This Sunday 

This Sunday: Articulating Your UU Faith 

Okay, you’re a UU. “What do you believe?” How would you answer that question, especially if the person asking it is not familiar with Unitarian Universalism? Twenty UUFF members spent a day thinking and talking about the words we use and that are used by others when talking about UUism. We learned new things about the history and theology of our chosen faith. We ruminated. We role played. Clarity (at least a little) ensued. By the end of the day, we were each ready with our answers to the question: What do you say after you say, “I’m a Unitarian Universalist”? Some of participants in the workshop will share their answers and reflect on the journey they followed in arriving at a personal credo statement. Lay leader, Lisa Sporleder. Various Speakers. Pianist, Susan Johnson.

This Sunday: Subsisting sustainably – The ethics of being an Alaskan who loves fish 

Ethical Eating was selected at UUA Study/Action Issue for 2008-2012. However, when you look in the study guide at uua.org (www.uua.org/environment/eating), it says next to nothing about fishing. Rich Seifert has volunteered to rectify this oversight. The ethical and environmental issues surrounding fishing are global, but they touch us close to home here in Alaska. We will learn about some of the issues surrounding subsistence fishing in Alaska and examine our own spiritual and ethical responses. This is our third service in a series on ethical eating. Upcoming services include the spiritual discipline of berry picking (August) and a reflection on raising animals for food (September). We will end the series in September with an “ethical eating potluck” of locally grown/raised food.

This Sunday: Walking Meditation 

Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. Most people find it easier to be keep their awareness focused while doing walking meditation than in sitting forms of practice. This service provides an opportunity to practice mindfulness while walking as we go out of doors and enjoy the use our labyrinth and tree-lined driveway in a contemplative walking meditation. Indoor or outdoor sitting meditation is an alternative for those not able to participate in the walking meditation practice. Lay leaders, Julia Stewart and Susan Kessler. Accompanist, Susan Grace.

This Sunday: Learning, Laughing, Loving GA! 

What happens when a splash of Fairbanksans enters a sea of Unitarians in an ocean of Mormons? Find out this Sunday when we hear reports from “GA” — the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations that just wrapped up at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. GA offers five days of music, worship, business, lectures, classes and workshops on a range of topics from soul work and social witness to fund raising and governance. Since no two people will have the same experience with so much to choose from, we’ve asked several participants to share what they learned and what they loved at GA 2009.  Lay leader, Phil Osborn. Various speakers. Pianist, Yuri Bult-Ito.

Gardening – Why bother? 

This Sunday: In a recent New York Times article, author and food activist Michael Pollan asks why we should bother trying to change our lifestyles when the immensity of the climate change problem dwarfs any possible personal response. Yet he argues that growing your own food — even just a little — is one of the most powerful things an individual can do to change the cheap-energy mind. For the second Sunday in our series on ethical eating, we’ve invited accomplished local gardener Dr. Walter Benesch to philosophize on why he gardens. Lay leader, Rich Seifert. Accompanist, Vera Alexander. Read More »

This Sunday: Summer Solstice Celebration with Whale Coast Friends 

Join us in celebrating midsummer’s day with songs, stories and readings dedicated to Sol (the sun). Summer solstice literally means the day the sun stands still. In the far north, it means more than that – an almost never-ending day when Earth itself seems to pause in its rotation to mark the culmination of the sun’s long slow ascent against the sky and take a deep breath before beginning its downward journey toward winter. This pagan-flavored service will help us appreciate the importance of this eternal cycle to Native American and other Earth-based spiritualities. Whale Coast guests and any UUFF members who wish to join them will canoe down the Chena to the service. Lay leader, David Welch.

More than the Sum of Our Wants 

In a radical little movie last summer, the robot WALL-E helps humanity come to its senses after generations of luxurious meaninglessness. Our journey, too, can include learning to become “more than the sum of our wants.” Guest ministers, Revs. Barbara Wells ten Hove and Jaco B. ten Hove are both “homebred” UUs, were ordained in the mid-1980s, married in 1990 and served separate congregations in the Seattle area. During that time, they made a few trips up to Fairbanks to preach and teach. Then they began a co-ministry in Maryland in 1998, but last summer they returned to the Seattle area, now co-ministering at Cedars UU Church, on Bainbridge Island, Wash., so we lured them back to Fairbanks for a visit. Read More »

This Sunday: Where to go from here? Envisioning the future of the UUA, starting with its next president 

No plume of smoke will rise from the convention center in Salt Lake City, but in just over two weeks UU delegates from across the continent will pick a new UUA president. Who we vote for may influence the role and focus of the UUA in our congregations and the image UUs project in national dialogues on such interfaith issues as war, immigration reform, abortion rights, gay marriage and climate change. Two of our UUFF delegates to the General Assembly will introduce us to the candidates and lead a discussion on the future direction of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). In the week following the service we will send out an online survey so UFF members can advise our delegates on how they would like the delegates to vote. Speakers, Phil Osborn and Lisa Sporleder. Lay leader, Jenny Cady. Accompanist, Vera Alexander.

Hunting and Our Relationship with Animals 

This is the first in a series of summer services that will look at the ethics of eating. Our May 31 program explores the ethics of hunting and the question of how Alaskans, UUs or not, reconcile their hunting practices with their spiritual beliefs, including Unitarian Universalism’s seventh principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.  We have invited several speakers to present varying perspectives on the question. Later services in the series will examine growing our own food and raising animals for food. Ethical Eating was selected at UUA General Assembly 2008 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to be the Congregational Study/Action Issue for 2008-2012. The UUA site has www.uua.org/environment/eating. Lay leader, Cam Leonard. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

This Sunday: Maypole Celebration (followed by Potluck Picnic/BBQ) 

Join us and bring a friend to our annual Maypole dance – an outdoor, intergenerational celebration of Spring’s arrival. Everyone from children to nonagenarians are encouraged to join in the dance. As the dance progresses the ribbons are braided onto the pole or into a web around the pole. The dancers then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons. We’ll try two or three different versions accompanied by country dance music played by members of the Fellowship. If you are a musician who wants to join in, contact Jana Peirce (488-8692) or Pete Bowers (455-6528) or just show up with your instrument. Lay leader, Jana Peirce. Music, UUFF Maypole Dance Band. After the maypole dance, we will continue the celebration with a community picnic and barbecue. Please bring a side dish or something for the grill. If you can help with the planning or the clean up, contact Frida Shroyer (460-5372).

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Hayden