Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Rev. Donald Hinkley, Minister Emeritus
Bill White, Moderator, 521-0015
Susan & Bruce Glick, Co-Treasurers, 538-9264
Fred Griffith, Clerk, 532-2455
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269
Committee on Ministry,
Debra Frazier, Bruce Glick, Larry Tonzi

Newsletter - April 2009

First Church of Houlton
Unitarian Universalist

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.

  -   Opening lines of the Dhammapada

image from the SoyJoy Company
image from Soyjoy Company

Side effects from SoyJoy may include pleasant music playing in head.

Eating SoyJoy can cause abnormally rosy vision and difficulty sulking.

  -   Advertisement for organic SoyJoy fruit bars

With the ever-increasing popularity of iPods, people literally are walking around with music playing in their head. Depending on the gigabytes of memory on their device, they could have hundreds of songs catalogued on a personal play-list. While the human brain is advanced in its own way over an iPpod, we have the same capacity to play and re-play thoughts and tunes in our head over and over. So what's on your play-list? This question is a good way to review the content of your thoughts and observe the manner that your own consciousness shifts from one track to the next. Various states of negative and positive, loud and quiet, boredom and excitement all arise from the same source. Connecting to this source and grounding ourselves in this most human experience creates an open space for thoughts and emotion to exhibit a free quality. If you are stuck in an unproductive way of thinking and being, then its time to change the track!

What you program into your device is what you get. Don't expect to hear Carly Simon if all you've downloaded is the Marshall Tucker Band. As the opening line of the Dhammapada says, "You are what you think." Our interior thoughts are directly correlated to how we feel and how we act. Wherever and whatever we place attention on is where the energy goes. How you feel right now is a good indicator of what your mind is doing right now. You may notice abnormally rosy vision or notice difficulty sulking. Think Spring.

In Ministry, Dave

(It's hard to be upset when your favorite song is playing…)

The liberal ideal in our religious community is integration and not separation. It is acceptance of distinctiveness and diversity that gives us pride in drawing together as kindred souls when we voted unanimously to become a Welcoming Congregation. Our congregation has made a commitment to become a safe and affirming place for all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. When we take this step forward, we triumph over the homophobic fear that many in society spread around us. We thank Ann Rheinlander for starting our congregation toward the goal of a Welcoming Congregation three years ago in 2006. Since that time we have examined educational and programmatic materials, revised our Bylaws as necessary, taken our recent congregational vote to become a Welcoming Congregation, and one of our next steps is to receive UUA certification.

Of course we cannot simply relax and assume the choice we have made is now on an autopilot. There will be ample opportunity to support the human rights legislation reaffirmed in the November 2006 statewide referendum and also work to assure everyone is welcomed and cherished in our religious community for whom they are. It seems only self evident to believe that every person's life has a special right and value all its own. No person has a right to humiliate another, needlessly hurt another, force opinions on another, or use and exploit another for their own purposes. Is this not what we really mean when we say that people are free and equal and that every life has a special value of its own?

We fear what we don't know;
I know what the hills are there for and they know me.
Cut the root and the plant dies.
City life is the scary life, inane, insane, tiny and alone.
Learn wilderness and you don't fear anything.
Except people afraid.     -     Henry David Thoreau

The Geography of Bliss     One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World (2008)
By Eric Weiner
Reviewed by revdav:

In case you plan to do any traveling this summer, Eric Weiner, author and correspondent for NPR, has written a travelogue that might help you locate some of the happiest locations to book a flight to. He also lists a couple of places you might want to avoid. Although Houlton did not make either one of his lists, he does highlight the upsides of Iceland, Bhutan and the Netherlands. Weiner himself, while smart and witty is a melancholy sort, so his tough-sell approach works well with the material. He is not easily convinced that the people he interviews are as happy as they say they are. Page by page I found myself tagging along with Weiner on his adventures and it was the individual people he ran into along the way that left a lasting impression. Each one had a story or some advice to pass along about their own personal satisfaction with life. The old adage, "Be happy where you are." is as true now as ever. Reading this book will put a smile on your face. The Geography of Bliss will be featured and available in our Society Library from now until June. Check it out.

On The Back Cover of the Book:
"With one single book, Eric Weiner has flushed Bill Bryson down the proverbial toilet, and I say that lovingly. By turns hilarious and profound, this is the kind of book that could change your life. The relationship between place and contentment is an effable one, and Weiner cuts through the fog with a big, powerful mag light. The Geography of Bliss is no smiley-face emoticon. It's a Winslow Homer."   -   Henry Alford, author of Municipal Bondage and Big Kiss

"Laugh. Think. Repeat. Repeatedly."   -   Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?

Mindful Minute #6
Breathe & Feel - stay connected to sensations and feelings during stressful moments.

The Mindful Minute is meant to provide a thought for you to ponder and will be brought to you by Linda Rowe. Linda is a yoga instructor and a facilitator for mindful based stress reduction workshops. Over the years (some 14 years now), Linda has studied yoga with a few very good teachers. She has compiled lots of notes on workshops and gatherings from these teachings and her own meditations. Out of these, comes The Mindful Minute. One or two sentences that might spark a new way for you to view or approach your life. Sometimes the Minute is about our everyday life and other Minutes might be a bit deeper.   Enjoy.


Spring Decay

See the dying into spring:
Banks of white solid
Losing all soft form
To jagged graying grooves with
Fanciful canyon-topping
Outcrops of gravel and ice peaks.

Snow seeping into flashing water,
Raging rivulets, subtle streamlets
Seeking some lower location,
Some pool known internally through
Cold collecting memory
Of crystal gem existence.

We rejoice in this decay,
This leaving and joining and streaming,
Ascribing to it spring flowers,
Mosquitoes, black flies, and lawn mowing.
Most of all we see
Through its lenses to green.

Then all understanding
Evaporates in every shade
From chartreuse to Kelly and back again.
We become the green we see
Rising up or bending to tend it,
Taking in the newest fiddlehead.

We long to stay in green beyond its time
Until the promise of warm hues speaks again of decay
Still lulling all into sweet fall days
Harvesting grapes, apples and maple leaves:
To laud giving Earth one last day
Until the next turning.

Written after a long winter of deep snows and much longing,
2008 SGlick

Sounds of Spring

The mechanic enters spring
Testing the gas engines
Pull the rope on every mower, every trimmer
Charge the batt'ry on the yard truck and tiller
Find the spark that responds to green.

And while she's there
Let her pause to listen
Once the plug is done firing.
Turn it off to hear the peepers.
Turn it all off, the grinds and putt-putts of mind
Then open to the filling sounds,
Frogs, toads, bees, flies
Let the vibrations run deep,
Resonate with spring.

4-08 SGlick


the return of return

in early april
is the world of frozen and melting fluids
the trickle of sound
the flicker of sunlight on surfaces
the cooling of air currents in contact with water
nothing is static
constant motion
overhead geese returning from nowhere

no return

the roof is empty of snow
no fuel to feed the icicles
the sun beats down on dry cedar shakes
nothing to melt
a new kind of fuel shortage

by revdav

Click here for the current calendar.
Make plans now to attend the Gaelstrumm concert on April 18th at 7pm in our church sanctuary. Tickets are currently on sale at York's Bookstore and Visions in Houlton and at Fusion Coffee Company in Woodstock. Tickets prices are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. (Canadian money is at par.) Student price is $6 and children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. Refreshments will be available for purchase during intermission. Gaelstrumm is a five-musician music group formed in 2007 consisting of Helen Morag McKinnon, Jane Ogilvie, Katherine Moller, Robert Cassie and Robert Guthrie. As well as their voices they blend together a wide range of musical instruments, including harp, tin whistle, accordion, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bodhran and other percussion instruments. Singing in Gaelic, French and English they perform traditional Celtic and Acadian music as well as contemporary and original compositions.
After our May 31st service (Flower Communion and last service of the church year) we will again have a plant exchange. We'll remind you again in the next newsletter, but this is advance notice in case you want to start seedlings or otherwise plan you contributions to the event.
Ever wish you could easily hear a recording of the Sunday service or the latest concert at the church? Sure, there is a tape recorder, but few of us can play them in the car, and there is only one copy. If we lose it, we screw things up for everyone! For these reasons, the board has voted to purchase a professional quality multi-track recorder that can burn recordings to CD! We will be able to burn as many copies as needed, and it will give us something to listen to on those long trips we have to make all too often! The problem is that this costs quite a bit of money and it was not planned for in our church budget. Some kind folks have already pledged to donate or donated money to go towards the cost of the recorder, but even that is not enough.

Therefore, this is a special request... If you can find it in your heart and in your budget to contribute to the cost of this purchase, please contact Sue Glick at:, 538.9264 and/or bring in a check to the next Sunday service. Thank you in advance!   Fred Griffith - Clerk

Here's your chance to make a request. In the past we've hiked, biked, canoed/kayaked, with participants and non-participants usually meeting for breakfast beforehand. Last year we visited Kings Landing. Perhaps there's some activity we haven't thought of yet. We'll be starting soon to plan the schedule and prepare the calendar, so please let us know any Sunday or contact Dave or Karen.
The capital campaign is ongoing for the WiFi Café Project. Brochures about the project can be found at the church on the information table in the coffee room. If you haven't seen one yet, pick one up and see what the buzz is about. Improvements have been made to the space, with more in the planning. Volunteers to help out with the project are still welcome. Fair Trade is a concept that takes many forms in an effort such as this. See the brochure for details.
An email discussion mailing list is a tool for a group of people to exchange messages via email. Any subscriber to the list can send messages that are received by all the subscribers, creating an email-based group conversation. The UU Houlton Community Yahoo Group has been created for members and friends of the Unitarian Society of Houlton. So far we have 14 people subscribed. There are a number of photos posted. Any member can visit the group's page and view them and any member can add their own. Please take a look at the webpage.   If you'd find it useful and wish to join just click the "Join This Group" button, or contact Rev. Dave if you have questions or need further instructions.
  • The website of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • The website of the Northern New England District (NNED)
  • The UUWorld magazine   (You can also sign up for a weekly email update.)