Today we lift up the other side of our monthly theme on Memory by looking at the unexpected gifts of those living with Alzheimer’s. In a religion that has so often emphasized self-reliance and cerebral knowledge, how do we make sense of diseases that take those two things away? What resources do we have to make meaning out of this cruel disease?
Where leads our call? It is a workshop for UU Ministers but it is also a relevant question for congregations. A call is often thought of as something deep, unshakable. But it can also change, and should change, depending on the larger circumstances. Come join us this Sunday before Election Day as we seek to both remember who we’ve been and recommit to who we are called to be as UU’s in this beautiful and broken world.
Come for a service to remember our beloved dead. We’ll name those from High Street who have died in the past year and have an opportunity to light a candle for those in our personal lives who we’ve lost. Bring a photo or memento of a beloved dead one to add to our altar!
JoAnn Weiss, El Refugio Board Chair – October 21, 2018
JoAnn shared with us from her rich personal experience and how it relates to our need as human beings to not only seek refuge but also to provide refuge to those around us who need sanctuary.
JoAnn has been an activist for social justice in Latin America since the early 1980s. In California, she worked with refugees and asylum seekers from El Salvador and Guatemala. In Nicaragua, she served as a witness to U.S. policies during the Sandinista revolution, and in New Mexico, she worked as a community organizer in border communities. JoAnn is an instructor of Adult Education at Gwinnett Technical College, and has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett for nearly 20 years. She currently serves as Board Chair of El Refugio.
Our historic, wooden and stained glass sanctuary is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. It offers guests of the sanctuary a lived experience of what sanctuary might feel like: Peaceful. Safe. Grounding. The question our physical sanctuary asks us is not just how to preserve the physical sanctuary, but how to create living sanctuary for and with one another! What kind of space do we want to create together as a community seeking to better ourselves, our community and our world? Perhaps in searching for the answer we will find that sanctuary is not just about comfort. It is also about calling and being a living sanctuary in the world.
In-door Multigenerational Service As the world gets faster and noisier it can be harder and harder to hear the sounds of the animals. And yet their needs are just as real as ours: needs of habitat, of food, of sanctuary, of home. Today we celebrate the tradition of Saint Francis of Assisi and bless our animals. If you have a pet animal you’d like to get blessed, bring them, or if it’s easier, a photo or stuffed animal, and be ready for a Service filled with lots of animal noises!
Though largely credited to Martin Luther King Jr., the phrase “the most segregated hour in America is 11 O’clock on Sunday morning” came from sociologist Liston Pope. I’ll look at how the hour became segregated and why it is not as simple to desegregate as we might think. In the process, I will talk about the projects that have brought the two First Baptists together in recent years.
Dr. Doug Thompson is associate professor of history at Mercer University. He and his wife Kerri along with their sons and daughter (whom they adopted in 2012) have lived in Macon since 2001. In June 2017, Doug published Richmond’s Prophets and Priests: Race, Religion, and Social Change in the Civil Rights Era. He is currently working on a project about Martin Luther King Jr. When not teaching, researching, writing, or traveling with his family, he is also an avid runner.
An 8th principle of our 7 UU principles has been written and promoted since 2013. But it has not been formally accepted as part of our UU principles. It reads, “We, the member congregations of the UUA, covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.” One of the tripping points in working for positive change is language and how we frame what we are for, and whether or not we need to be against anything. Come hear why we need to be both against racism AND for multicultural community, and how we can be a part of this vision in the making.
This evening at sunset marks the beginning of Rosh Hashana, the Head of the Jewish Year. Jews around the world devote much thought, prayer and practice in seeking amends with people they have wronged and hurling away past sins or transgressions. While UU’s might not often use the more traditional religious language of sin or repentance, we can probably agree that we all mess up every once in a while. We all might be carrying some burdens that we’d like to get rid of in order to be our best self. Instead of a traditional Water Communion this year we begin with the Jewish ritual of Tashlich, the casting away of all that burdens us. Practical note: Please bring any water you have gathered over the summer (as is traditionally done for Water Communion) and add it to the vessels in either entryway when you arrive which will be poured into the Fountain of Cleansing Waters during the Service.