Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
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 - May 2009

First Church of Houlton
Unitarian Universalist

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

I take to the open road.
Henceforth I ask not good fortune -
I myself am good fortune.

Strong and content I travel the open road.
Onward to that which is endless, as it was beginnngless.
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it.
To look down no road but it stretches and waits for you -
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads,
as roads for traveling souls…  
Walt Whitman

photo by Garrett Crawford

As the universe is open and in constant motion, so are we. The moments before and the moments after blur into one stream of time that cannot be contained by beginning or end. We are here right now, but the road just keeps on going.

The photographs in this issue are taken by my nephew Garrett Crawford who is a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His digital camera is currently his constant companion and third eyeball as he travels around the country looking for his next cool shot. He'll be visiting his Uncle Dave and Aunt Linda this summer as we head to the coast of Maine in hopes of adding new material to his portfolio. There are many ways to take to the open road. Whitman did it with his pencil and poetry. My nephew does it with his Nikon. As we launch into this adventure that is life, each of us has the keen capacity to observe and experience the marvel of being.

The wet highway shimmers in the sunlight. The shaded trees cool the way.

Have a great summer!!     Dave

How about enjoying some "essential" consciousness raising experiences this summer. Warm rain, long light-filled days, and walks under the stars will give you new experiences, new stories, and you may just learn something new. Take a journey into nature to gain an essential and imperishable knowledge and attitude. A summer journey will help you develop a philosophy if you like, a way of laying out the world and planting yourself in it. Saunter up the trail not to escape from the world but to escape into it--not to forget the world but to remember the pleasures of wilderness.
    Have you ever:
  • Walked 5 miles under the sun on a dirt path in the desert with a canteen of rusty water because you walked past a turnoff where there was clean clear water?
  • Pitched your tent in the dark on an anthill and felt the fire from ants?
  • Dropped your sleeping bag in a stream by mistake and had no way to dry it out?
  • Climbed a mountain, missed a side trail by half a mile, the sun was gone, and you had to sleep above the tree line on rocks?
  • Taken a back packing trip and hit a storm on the first mountain pass and spent four hours under a wet plastic tarp in a hail storm drinking lumpy, icy, chocolate-water and afterward walked through the ice and snow to a campsite and burnt your jeans drying them over a wood fire?
  • Left your insect repellent behind on a rock beside your last tent site?
  • Eaten cheese and crackers for a Fourth-Of-July dinner in Turkey Canyon, New Mexico under the full fire of the sun at twelve noon?
  • Lain under a disabled car for five hours in July because it was the only shade available to escape the sun in the desert?
  • Built a fire with pages you had already read from your book because it was the only dry fire starter you had?
  • Eaten just dried macaroni and oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for four days because you took time to build a fire and a bear got to your food supply before you put your "bear bag" up in a tree?
  • Camped in Alibates Quarry, Texas and next morning discovered rattlesnakes on rocks beside you warming their bodies in the rising sun?
You may not have enjoyed these specific consciousness raising experiences but you may have done something similar - possibly. These are some of my wonderful experiences in nature - those and all the thousand rocks and tree roots that I tripped over as I went up the trail. Everybody goes about life differently during the summer, of course, and I know none of us would trade any of it. Summer experiences usually translate into a lot of good humor and fun (as time softens the memory.) Such experiences have given me a few flashes of almost unbearable beauty and excitement which I can only call religious experiences (and if religion means anything, that's what they were.) Enjoy your summer!

"Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary." - Henry David Thoreau

Dave and Linda will be spending a month in sunny Hawaii this summer. Dave will be working with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Puna while he is there and Linda will be teaching yoga at Pangaia on the big island. (Jim and Kathy Vashro are the Hawaiian connection.) This is part of Dave's sabbatical opportunity provided by the church congregation. Dave will also be getting a crash course in a "raw food" diet while he's at Pangaia. No burgers for a month! Dave and Linda will be leaving August 13 and returning September 10. In case of emergency please contact our moderator Bill White. Cell phone coverage is spotty in the jungle, but we can be reached. For more information about Pangaia check out their website at The home page features a five part youtube clip where you can see how Jim and Kathy are going troppo.

photo by Garrett Crawford

The Mindful Minute #53
Before heading into the next project, pause and take a full breath in and out. Allow your mind to clear and focus on what comes next.

The Mindful Minute is meant to provide a thought for you to ponder and is 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.

A few months ago I decided to start using fabrics in my stash in a variety of ways and one was to participate in a "mystery quilt" with my local guild. As I was making the quilt, I was thinking that I wouldn't dare put it on my bed with two elderly cats with attitudes. (Changing our sheets, blankets, and even pillows three times a week is not unheard of here.) At the same time, our church board was trying to figure out how to get through the winter fuel bills and even more daunting (to me) stone foundation repairs with a very small membership to draw from. I put the two ideas together into, "raffle the quilt to benefit the church"! After I finished the piecework on the quilt top I gave it, along with batting and backing, to Lois Morin who quilted it all together. The quilt is now done and tickets are being sold. The drawing will be next July 4th (2010). The tickets are $1.00 each or a book of 6 for $5.00. In the near future we hope to have a link installed on the church's website where you can purchase the tickets online through Paypal. If you would rather do it the snail mail way, you can send a check to the church made out to the Unitarian Society of Houlton.   - Leigh Griffith

Please click here for the currently scheduled events.

Our traditional flower communion service is this Sunday, May 31st. 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. Please come and join us for this special service. Our cookout is at Dave & Linda's house in Monticello this year next to the beautiful Meduxnekeag River. Car-pooling, as always, is encouraged. Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. There will be swimming (for the daring!), extreme croquet, bocce, and horseshoes for those up to the excitement. Fun for all. Be sure to bring the bug dope!
After our May 31st service we will again have a plant exchange. If you have seedlings or garden plants to offer by all means bring them along.
On Saturday, August 15th we will be heading to South Branch Pond in BSP. Canoeing and hiking are readily available for those interested and it's a beautiful spot for a picnic and games. More details will come later. We'll also meet for breakfast at the Brookside Inn (8AM) before we hit the road. Join us for breakfast only or spend the whole day. If it's a lousy day we can still enjoy breakfast and move to plan B, which is a group visit to the Agricultural Museum in Littleton.
Work continues on the café project during the summer. It looks like we're ready for some paint on the walls. Please speak to Dave if you're interested in helping out. Caffeine will be supplied for volunteers.
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.)