David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Church Phone, 532-9269
Sarah Lovejoy, Moderator, 532-2831
Ann Rheinlander, Treasurer, 532-3383
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051

April 2003

First Church of Houlton,

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

Wherever snow falls, or water flows, or birds fly; wherever day and night
meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds, or sown with
stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are 
outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there 
is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for you, and although you should walk 
the world over, you shall not be able to find a condition inopportune or 
						-  Ralph Waldo Emerson
All the aspects of nature are in full swing lately as spring is coming to the local forefront. Renewal is as cyclic and dependable as those spring mail-order catalogs arriving at the postbox. (Although the fly-fishing catalog I received back in February did seem a bit premature!!) There is no concern that nature will vary too far beyond its normal boundaries. It is exact in its own occurrence. Even the exceptions, such as the couple of April snows we've had this year, are only playful twists in its natural unfolding. Nature brings with it a certain guarantee, so that even now we can start to plan our gardens and summer building projects.

 stones.jpg - photo by Hutch
photo by Hutch
One of my favorite activities is collecting stones out of the stream that runs by our cabin. The stones experience the entirety of nature; even while they are covered by the snow and ice for months at a time or exposed to the wind and rain as the stream rises and falls. I collect the stones because it helps to remind me of my own relation to nature. When I glance at them sitting on my shelf, I see the Beauty that Emerson talks about. Even in the harshest of times, nature endures. Stones sitting quietly on my shelf help to calm my soul in case I've watched too much news on CNN. In these days ahead may we turn to the places that sustain our spirit and the ways that lead to peace.
            In Ministry,     Dave

Since this is my first Moderator's Message and you all know I am not the writer in the family, please bear with me. ( I was going to pass this time, but Dave “strongly encouraged” me to write something, an act he may soon regret.)

The last few months have placed a great strain on all of us, on the whole world for that matter. Though we may have differing views politically, we do have one thing in common - the UU Principles. And I feel that we have a strength based on these principles that can see us through the troubled times to come.

We are a diverse group with varied backgrounds and spiritual beliefs, but we are always encouraging and accepting of each other in these beliefs and in all our attempts to find truth and meaning in this life. I actually see us as more than a spiritual community. I see us as a spiritual family - supportive, loving, and tolerant in all we do, no matter our differences.

Though I am a relative neophyte to this congregation, I am increasingly aware of the long history of this UU Society. There have been many challenges faced by congregations of the past; yet we are still here today thanks to the strength, wisdom and the guidance of many wonderful individuals, most recently Reverend Martha Newman, Bruce Glick and Reverend Dave, to name a very few. As we celebrate the centennial year of this building and our history, let us rededicate ourselves to the Principles that brought us to this point and continue to work together to make this a better world.     ... Sarah

"War: Why Now?" From a speech given by Scott Ritter in January and shown at UMPI last month.
Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine intelligence officer who served in the 1991 Gulf War under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. That same year he joined the UN arms inspection team, UNSCOM, as its chief weapons inspector. In the fall of 1998, Ritter resigned his post charging that the United States was purposefully obstructing the completion of the UNSCOM mission. CBS news reported at the time that "Ritter was so effective at weeding out Saddam's weapons that the Iraqis launched a huge campaign to get him booted off the inspections teams. The Iraqis couldn't get rid of him, but now the U.S. has. He has resigned in protest, accusing the Clinton administration of publicly demanding full, unfettered inspections, but blocking them behind the scenes." Ritter was quoted as saying: "The U.S. has intervened at least six times to stop inspections."

Ritter believes that UN inspectors destroyed 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the 7 years they spent there, and that it would be impossible for Iraq to have built new weapons in the years since the inspectors left without being detected. He is author of the book "Endgame: Solving the Iraq Problem Once and For All".

We will be taking part in a fundraising/recycling program to recycle computer printer inkjet and laser cartridges. Please bring your old cartridges to the church. We will send them on their way. NOTE: Epson cartridges and previously recycled or remanufactured cartridges are not eligible for the program. For more information or a list of acceptable cartridges, please go to: www.inkbank.com.
We are planning to have another rummage sale this year, tentatively scheduled for mid-May. Please stay tuned for a firm date and think about what treasures you may have to contribute.
Once the church year ends we try to stay connected by getting together for planned activities. If you have an activity to suggest or maybe are interested in coordinating one, please contact Robin at 538-9709.

April 5 - Meditation group in the parlor, 8am
April 6 - Sunday Service, Rev. David Hutchinson (Daylight Saving Time begins)
April 12 - Film Night in the Parlor, 6pm
April 13 - Sunday Service, Sue Glick (Palm Sunday)
April 19 - Coffeehouse, in the basement, 7-9:30 pm   Carol Ayoob & Doug Drew will be performing.
April 20 - Sunday Service, Rev. David Hutchinson (Easter; Earth Day 4/22)
April 23 - Video and Discussion , 6-8pm "War: Why Now?" From a speech by Scott Ritter
April 27 - Sunday Service, Bruce Glick (Holocaust Remembrance Day 4/29)

May 3 - Meditation group in the parlor, 8am
May 4 - Sunday Service, Jeff Lovejoy
May 10 - Film Night in the Parlor, 6pm
May 11 - Sunday Service, Rev. David Hutchinson (Mother's Day)
May 17 - Coffeehouse, in the basement, 7-9:30 pm
May 18 - Sunday Service, Linda Rowe
May 25 - Sunday Service, Ann Rheinlander (Memorial Day 5/26)

June 1 - Closing Sunday Service with Flower Communion and more, Rev. David Hutchinson
June 1 - Music Recital, Students of Peter Carr and Nancy Harris. 4 pm in the Sanctuary
June 26-30 - General Assembly

* Children’s Religious Education classes meet on the last Sunday of each month.

Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 1. Please bring a fresh cut flower to contribute to the communion basket. This Unitarian tradition originated in 1923 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Norbert Capek asked his parishioners to bring and receive flowers as a symbol of their shared life as a spiritual community. We will also dedicate our new banner in the sanctuary on the same day. This is a commissioned work commemorating our centennial year. Please come and join us for this special service. Following the service we will again have our bubble blowing celebration on the front lawn. Following that we'll be heading to the Rheinlander's for our end of year barbecue.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2003 GA is the national convention of the Unitarian Universalist Association. This year's convention is in Boston, Massachusetts, June 26-30. (It won't get any closer than this!!) One of the keynote speakers is Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. It is also the bicentennial year of Ralph Waldo Emerson's birth, so Emerson will be high profile at this year's GA. It's still not too late to register!! To find out more about the conference, check the UUA website at www.uua.org/ga
Sterile Spring

Black as night raven in a sticky spring snowstorm Prods the crotch of a white-flocked tree: No nests, no nestlings, no eggs, no food. Out of season, but in his element, Soot black raven rises to wind, Adrift in a sterile white sea. Susan Glick March 31, 2003

Before the Crocus Rise

Cold trails of water, puddles from nowhere: Gravel snowcones twist and fade; Dirt comes brown like bile, like malice. Scent of dust in the gritty wind, the taste like the memory of mudpies in our youth - taunting with the promise, with the memory of Spring. Yet there, by the foundation, green arrowhead aims to the southern sun. Debra Frazier April 13, 2003

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