October 26 & November 2014
Sunday Services at 9:15 and 11:00 a.m.
"What does it mean to be a people of renewal?"
"Festival of Remembrance"
with Rev. Mark Stringer and Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: David Quinn
For this, our traditional end-of-October service of remembrance to honor those who have died and celebrate the continuity of life, we will together create an altar adorned with items that we think would be beautiful to our departed loved ones. All who attend are encouraged to bring photos, mementos, special items, etc. that can be placed on the altar early in the service (before the children are released to their classes). Reflections will be shared about those from our church community who have died since last October. And we will honor the membership anniversaries of our long-time members with a ritual of recognition. A Sunday of memory, meaning and milestones.
"What does it mean to be a people of grace?"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: Laura Berardi
Grace is sometimes thought of as unmerited reward, as a blessing that arrives via divine intervention, accident, or even luck. Might we also think of grace as something that we bring about by how we choose to live, even when life seems to have led us astray? Maybe even especially then?
with Rev. Erin Gingrich; Celebrant: Petra Lange
November’s monthly theme invites us to be a people of grace. What does this mean for our church? The Rev. Kate Braestrup, a Unitarian Universalist chaplain to game wardens in Maine, shares a vision in her book about prayer for atheists, agnostics, and even theists. She writes, "prayer is an ancient and simple way to prepare yourself for grace, or love, and to learn to recognize it when it comes. Yet...millions of Americans are ambivalent about it." What would it look like to prepare ourselves at First Unitarian for grace, love or even be able to recognize it when it comes? How might we avail ourselves of the spiritual practice and tool of prayer in meaningful ways?
"The Grace of Non-Anxious Presence"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: Carissa Fields
Managing our own anxiety in the midst of family challenges is one of the most difficult and helpful things we can do for ourselves and for our families. What does holding steady to our principles and our sense of self look and feel like when everything around us seems topsy-turvy? How might we withstand the heat created when we take a stand for self in the midst of anxious systems? What is at risk if we don’t?
New members will be recognized at this service.
"To Rest in the Grace of the World"
with Rev. Mark Stringer, Rev. Erin Gingrich and Linda Barnes, Ministerial Intern;
Celebrant: Susan Jellinger
For this pre-Thanksgiving, all-ages service, featuring our adult and children’s choirs, we’ll share in an apple communion and consider with gratitude the grace all around us. You may have your child dedicated at either of these services. Contact Rev. Stringer for more information.
"You Make the Call Weekend"
with Rev. Mark Stringer; Celebrant: David Quinn
At a service a few weeks back, the congregation voted for a sermon they would like to hear Mark deliver again. “Flickering the Gaslights”—originally presented in 2012—was the winner. Do you know the psychological term “gaslighting”? Mark didn’t either, until he read a Huffington Post essay, and he’s been thinking about it ever since. A consideration of our culturally engrained practice of manipulating women and the ways this practice (conscious or not) diminishes us all.