Category: This Sunday 

Humor Sunday: Can I get a “RA-men” from the Congregation? 

Reared in the spirit of ecumenical open-mindedness and deep spiritual curiosity, members of UUFF’s Youth Group have embarked on an exploration of Pastafarianism, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This Sunday they’ll share what they’ve learned about the beliefs, spiritual practices and metaphysical implications of this surprisingly consequential new religion, which has entered the debate on evolution vs. intelligent design and been featured on The Colbert Report and Science Friday, among other media outlets. Speakers and lay leaders, UUFF Youth Group. Accompanist, Susan Grace.
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Public Assistance: How close are you to our doors? 

Public assistance clientele are not always the people you expect them to be. Many times they are your friends and neighbors whose delicate financial balance has been upset by life events. Mike Thibodeau, Northern Region Manager for Division of Public Assistance will come and brief us on the reality of the people that come to his office for assistance. Speaker, Mike Thibodeau. Lay leader, Julia Stewart. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

First Lady of Feminism, First Lady of Universalism 

This Sunday: The Universalist side of our Unitarian Universalist heritage – the side most of us know less about – has near its beginning a distinguished and fascinating figure: Judith Sargent Murray. Judith was not only an articulate defender of Universalist ideas, she was also the first published American feminist author with a 1790 essay “On the Equality of the Sexes.” Her path-breaking work was long overlooked, but is now getting fresh attention from feminists, historians, and religious scholars. Part of this renewed attention is due to the discovery in 1984 that Judith had, through most of her life, copied her outgoing correspondence into blank books. The Rev. Gordon Gibson, who discovered those 20 books containing thousands of letters, is our speaker for this service. Guest minister, Rev. Gordon Gibson. Lay leader, Larry Fogleson. Accompanist, Marsha Sousa.

Small Acts Plus Quiet Courage Equals Change 

We are taught to think of great, larger-than-life figures as the creators of social change. For example, in the popular imagination “the civil rights movement” and “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” are two ways of saying the same thing. In reality, much change flows from multiple small acts, many of them quietly courageous, performed by people un-noted in the history books. Gordon Gibson, our visiting minister, was a participant in the Selma voting rights campaign of 1965 and was the Unitarian Universalist minister in Mississippi 1969-84. He has spent years collecting stories of small acts of great courage. Last summer he witnessed such acts when the church he now belongs to in Knoxville, Tennessee, was attacked by a man with a shotgun. Guest minister, Rev. Gordon Gibson. Lay leader, Michael Bonilla. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

Helping the Other Homeless: Animal Rescue 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress, can be judged by the way its animal are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi. Homeless is a word that we’re hearing more and more as our economy spins downward. While more Americans are facing homelessness, an estimated 8 million dogs and cats regularly become homeless each year in our affluent country. With respect to the seven UU Principles, there are some very practical steps that each one of us can do to help reduce this needless statistic, even if you are not willing to adopt another critter. Jeanne Olson is a holistic veterinarian in North Pole, and was the veterinarian/manager at the FNSB Animal Control from 2002-2004. She has also volunteered to help the street dogs and cats in Guam and Romania. Jane Smith will speak about her experiences with the FNSB shelter foster program.

Speakers, Jeanne Olson and Jane Smith. Lay leader, Lisa Sporleder. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes

Love is Like a Box of Chocolates 

Our fifth annual “Love is Like a Box of Chocolates” Valentine’s celebration provides an opportunity to reflect on all the many things we mean when we use that overworked word, Love. As usual, we’ve asked an assortment of people to give us their thoughts on love — in word, verse and song — each in 1-3 minute bite-sized morsels. While not everyone may get a Valentine with their name on it this year, everyone who joins us this Sunday will get a piece of chocolate as part of the chocolate communion that concludes the program. As Lucy says in Peanuts, “All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!” Lay leader, Peter Pierson. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

Note: The podcast includes just two of the morsels presented in 2009 – a song by Marsha Sousa and a story by Susan Johnson.

True Self, Authentic Self with Zen Master Bon Soeng 

How does Zen practice help people negotiate the ups and downs of every day life? Zen Master Bon Soeng (Jeff Kitzes) is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice and a Zen Buddhist abbot and guiding teacher of the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California. His specialty is the integration of Zen Buddhism and Western Psychotherapy. He has been practicing Zen since 1975, and began practicing with Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1979. He received transmission in April 2001. In addition to his work at the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, he is the guiding teacher of Cold Mountain Zen Center in Fairbanks. Lay leader, Susan Kessler. Accompanist, Marsha Sousa.

Readers’ Theater: A Christmas Carol 

Join us for this special service at UUFF when members will present a ‘radio drama’ version of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Although Dickens never officially joined a Unitarian church, he attended services at at least two Unitarian chapels in London, and counted numerous English and American Unitarians as friends and kindred spirits. He wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 at the time when he was attending the Little Portland Street Unitarian Church. We’ll revisit merry old England in song and story, and rekindled our connection with our Victorian Unitarian ancestors. Lay leaders, Shaun Lott and Susan Seefeldt. Pianist, Marsha Sousa.

The Energy Soft Path Revisited 

The subtitle of Rich Seifert’s talk on the ethics of energy is “How to stop burning Picassos for heat.” Rich will focus on moving to sustainability as not only necessary, but the only ethical choice. Applied hope, with applied love for place, will answer the questions of how we sustain ourselves. Renewable energy choices and knowing how to answer the question: “How much is enough?” is the immediate problem. This is the second of our 2008-09 series on ethics. The first service in the series focused on economics. A later program will focus on politics.

The Ethics of Power 

British historian, Lord Acton, earned himself an honorable mention in history when he coined the aphorism, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” At the end of a week in which Barack Obama will arguably become the most powerful person on Earth (others may argue for Rupert Murdock or the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank), it is a good time to reflect on the ethics of power. What roles do we play in life in which we are in a position of power? How can we wield power ethically either as individuals (parents, employers, supervisors, professionals) or as a nation or even a superpower? After service there will be Crosstalk in the sanctuary—an opportunity to explore over coffee hour the varied and individual responses to the ideas raised during the service. This will be the third in this year’s series on ethics, following services on the ethics of greed and the ethics of energy. Speaker, Mike Walleri. Lay leader, Cam Leonard. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

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