This year, UUFP Endowment Trustees Judy Remsberg, Mason Moseley and Roy Schilling awarded a $500.00 grant to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to support their Culinary Training Program. Judy Remsberg received a letter from the Foodbank director and a link to a WAVY TV program highlighting their accomplishments.
“I’m so proud of the UUFP being able to support this worthy program through the Endowment.” -Judy Remsberg, UUFP Trustee
“For all that is our life” by Rev. Andrew
As part of my professional development this year, I am a Fellow with GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization that was founded in 1992 and inspired in part by the Rio Earth Summit. About ten years ago, religious leaders approached GreenFaith for training and support in their own work, and a fellowship program was created. UUFP member Robin van Tine was one of the first GreenFaith Fellows, and I am grateful to Robin for bringing the program to my attention and for supporting my own application for a fellowship.
The GreenFaith Fellowship Program spans one year, and began last month with a webinar for fellows and program staff to introduce themselves to one another. I am one of twenty-five fellows, representing Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Quaker and UU traditions, and we come from across the United States and from Chile, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As well as monthly webinars and small group discussions on-line, we meet in person twice during the year, with the first retreat taking place next month near GreenFaith’s offices in New Jersey. There are a number of reading and writing assignments and a leadership project involving religiously-based environmental work in the community.
I plan to write further articles about my experience of the program as it progresses, and I’ll begin with my reasons for applying for the Fellowship, which was part of our discussion during last month’s webinar.
In preparing my sermon for Earth Day this year, I realized I was feeling a need to rededicate myself to spiritual/environmental efforts. The problem, as I explained in that sermon, is not a lack of scientific knowledge or understanding. Rather, it is a lack of moral motivation and political will, and both institutional religion and individual spirituality have important roles to play in correcting that.
Knowing about the GreenFaith Fellowship Program from Robin when he was a Fellow some years ago, I decided to look into it. What I learned confirmed that this would be a good program for developing my own theology around environmental issues and for helping the UUFP to deepen its environmental responsibility. (We have been working on becoming a Green Sanctuary since before the UUFP called me as minister. Let’s complete that certification process!)
As well as the educational component, I expect that the fellowship program will help me to reflect on my own place in both environmental problems and their solutions, as well as to learn how to lead congregants in similar reflection. I expect that the leadership project in particular will help me to develop significant community relationships, including accountability to the people we’re aiming to help rather than our own agenda, as well as to take public positions on the issues that affect all of us as neighbors and citizens of the Earth.
Finally, I will note that this is timely work, given the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that sets forth in no uncertain terms an imperative for us to act decisively given the short amount of time remaining before the effects of global climate change are irreversible. Religious traditions and faith communities have an essential role to play in making clear that climate change is a moral issue and that we are called more urgently than ever to care for the Earth.
The Fellowship maintains a Capital Fund which is a reserve of money that is used for improvements and major repairs to the campus and buildings. As we seek to develop our mission, the quality of our facilities will play a crucial role.
UUFP has reason to be deeply grateful to Richard Hudgins, who has made a major donation to the Capital Fund, a donation that is allowing the Board and Building Committee to move forward on replacing worn and damaged sections of the Sanctuary Building siding. Another member made an anonymous donation which will help with the cost of replacing the old and dilapidated storage shed. Pat Yaros asked that those wishing to honor Steve Yaros do so by giving to the Capital Fund. We thank her for thinking of UUFP. Already some members have made generous contributions. The Fellowship appreciates these acts of giving.
The Capital Fund stands apart from the Operating Budget and is not funded through pledge donations. Contributions to the Capital Fund can be made at any time and are always welcome. Be inspired by the generous members who have seen the need and responded. When you donate to the Capital Fund you are investing in the future success of the Fellowship and helping to protect our investment in our physical property and buildings. If you are moved to make a gift please be sure to designate it for the “Capital Fund.”
By Scott Kasmire
Have you ever been disappointed that you missed one of UUFP’s Sunday Services? Or perhaps you attended, but wished the officiant had worded something slightly differently, or that something might have been left out. Or maybe the topic was something so close to your experiences, you felt you needed to spend more time with it in a Unitarian Universalist setting. Or on the other hand, maybe it was so out of the realm of your experience that you wanted more time to explore it. Unitarian Universalist Sunday services often leave people thoughtful, or in the mood for action -- and wanting to talk about them more.
UUFP is offering a follow-up discussion group to meet just these kinds of needs. We’re calling it “Reflect Back,” and it will happen on our Beloved Community Wednesdays at 7:00 PM (just after the community meal that is from 6:30 to 7:00). The inaugural session will be this Wednesday, October 17th, reflecting on the Rev. Andrew Millard’s recent service entitled “Patriotic Correctness.”
Unitarian Universalism has a long tradition of encouraging individuals to rely on their own experience and discernment. In the past, many congregations provided time during the Sunday worship service itself, after a minister's sermon, for members to "talk back" to the pulpit. While the tradition has fallen out of favor in most larger congregations, there remains a strong impulse to apprehend, reflect, criticize, deconstruct, reconstruct, and internalize a message, making it one's own — and strengthening our bonds of fellowship in the process. Our “Reflect Back” program aims to meet those needs.
Join us, then, for reflection! And if you missed the Sunday service, all the more reason to come — it will be a good way to catch up!
Sponsored by the Adult Religious Education Committee
The Adult Religious Education program encourages and supports the spiritual, social and intellectual growth of our UUFP congregation through educational classes, activities, and focused discussions on topics of interest. These opportunities allow participants to learn from one another and from active members of the broader community.
Always illuminating are the weekly Sunday Morning Forums that occur in the UUFP Office Building from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Check out below the poignant topic that tomorrow’s (10/7/18) guest speaker has prepared for us, and scroll through the snippets of prior LIGHT-exuding summer classes.
Join us in being Givers and Receivers of Light!
"Moving Beyond Words - How to Establish a Sanctuary Congregation"
Presented by Denise Woods
October 7, 2018
Every week brings a new attack on immigrants. UU congregations nationwide realize that standing on the sidelines is not an option and many are choosing to become Sanctuary congregations as a way of fighting back. If you are interested in understanding more about what a Sanctuary Congregation is - and how UUFP can become one - then this is the session for you. Denise Woods, one of the leaders of All Souls Sanctuary Movement in Washington, D.C., will join us to share their story and then lead a working session for us to make our own plan.
"Our Blue World"
Presented by Kathryn Ozyurt - September 30, 2018
"The Stranger Among Us"
Facilitators Pam Luke and Kathryn Ozyurt
A joint presentation by
the UUFP Adult Religious Education and Social Justice Committees
September 23, 2018
"Report on General Assembly"
Presented by Sandra Engelhardt, Judy Remsburg, & Pat Sloan
September 9, 2018
General Assembly is the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.
"The Tolerance Paradox"
Presented by April Kelsey
September 2, 2018
"The Legacy Society of the UUFP Endowment"
Presented by Judy Remsburg, Mason Moseley, & Roy Schilling
August 26, 2018
Attendees gathered to learn about what is happening at present and the plans for the future. The Legacy Society belongs to the members so this is your vision, too.
Presented by April Kelsey
August 9, 2018
Socrates Café are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences, while embracing the central theme of Socializing; the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others. Using the Socratic method, the facilitator will pose questions and challenge statements to stimulate critical thinking about the subject and elicit logical conclusions.
"Loss of Dreams - A Special Kind of Grief"
Presented by Kay Braguglia
August 12, 2018
Our culture helps people deal with conspicuous losses such as a death but there are no ceremonies for dealing with a shattered dream. When we experience a loss of a dreams about how life is supposed to be, the loss can be as devastating as the loss of a beloved person. The dying of a dream needs to be acknowledged and grieved before we can move forward.
"Living Interfaith Network (LINK) of Hampton Roads"
Presented by Lynne Finding
August 5, 2018
Services include sermons preached by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard unless otherwise noted.
October 7th: “Knowing Our Foremothers”
One of Unitarian Universalism’s seasonal rituals is the Water Communion. Many congregations used it to mark their “ingathering” at the end of the Summer, and it became dominated by travelogues. However, the Water Communion was specifically created (at the 1980 UU Women and Religion Continental Convocation) as a feminist ritual, and in recent years there have been efforts to remember and revisit those roots.
For the Water Communion, please bring an ounce or two of water from home to the service.
October 14th: “Patriotic Correctness”
The term “political correctness” refers to the avoidance of wording that might exclude, marginalize or insult people already placed at a disadvantage by society. It is often used to disparage efforts to respect diversity and multiculturalism as excessive or even unnecessary. There’s another version of “PC” that is a much greater threat to freedom, though, thanks to a narrow understanding of “patriotism” as obedience and conformity.
October 21st: “How Coyote Lost His Songs, Music and Dance”
Coyote lived in a village with a number of other people, but one day he decided that he didn’t want to be around them any more. He had his songs, his music and his dance, and he didn’t need anyone else for any of those things. Besides, Rabbit, Moose, Raven and all of the other people were strange and they often annoyed him. When he set off to find a place to be by himself, though, Coyote discovered how hard it was to be himself.
Special music will be provided by the UUFP ChorUUs!
October 28th: “Narcissus in Bloom: The Importance of Self Love”
The myth of Narcissus, as interpreted by Freud and others, has contributed to an unfortunate devaluing of self-love. A more favorable telling of this tale helps to correct the distortion that self-love is mere vanity and ends in ruin. Removing the pathological underpinnings reveals the ancient truth that the awareness of, and affection for, the true self is the gateway to inner peace and outer harmony.
Mike Verano is a licensed therapist, a cancer survivor and an author with over thirty years of experience in the mental health field.
Happy Birthday to all our members born in October!
Bella Finkel Oglesby
If you are a member and have a birthday in October that we overlooked, please contact Bobbie Schilling; firstname.lastname@example.org.