Poets, gardeners and philosophers have long explored the world of nature as a source of knowledge, beauty and inspiration. A single flower can trigger dozens of poems. Our five senses are the personal tools that we humans use to touch, smell, taste, hear and see the world. And it is an effortless expenditure when our senses are working correctly. Perhaps that's why we so often fail to be aware that we are even using them. We are sensate beings that function with ease. To make a point of being aware of our senses is a life-expanding experience. Instead of coasting along in our life on automatic pilot, we begin to notice the small and everyday wonders that are inundating our experience. Our senses provide a direct experience of our world and with nature itself.
Whitman says that we are as one with the world and nature. We are literally breathing the sky, drinking the river, and eating of the earth. This essentially closes the gap between us and nature. We are not only in nature, we are nature. To be alive is to feel your own aliveness as you move through this marvelous world of color, aroma and beauty.
Live Each Moment, Dave
Hi, this is John Lloyd, your new moderator. First I want to thank my predecessor, Fred Griffith, for his years of service and great work, Thanks Fred! Part of my job is to be efficient so I'll get right to the message.
This year at our annual Congregational Meeting the Board of Trustees (BOT) proposed that we focus on creating more "social capital"¯ for our church. Having more social capital will surely benefit each of us personally as well as our church collectively. Read the following definition of "social capital"¯ and see if you don't agree.
From L. J. Hanifan's 1916 article: "I do not refer to real estate, or to personal property or to cold cash, but rather to that in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people, namely, goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals and families who make up a social unit… The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors."
Social capital is built through hundreds of little and big actions we take every day. A passing smile, a friendly word, a helping hand, a warm greeting, shared knowledge and wisdom all of these things help create social capital. We of the UU Society of Houlton have been doing good things to generate social capital for years. There was a time when our social capital here in Houlton was huge. It has dwindled in recent years and we need to build it back up.
There are several things we can do to increase our social capital. One of the biggest and simplest is to let people know we are still here and have a lot to offer. The BOT is working on ways to increase our visibility through advertising, a new sign, improved building access and more public activities. We are also working on ways to improve the services we offer. We are asking you, our members and associates, to help by spreading the word to your friends, neighbors and associates. If you know of someone who you think would benefit from our services or that you would like as a part of our UU community let them and/or a BOT member know. This is a win-win proposal. The more social capital we have the more benefits all of us and our community at large will receive.
In closing I want to say that Fred leaves really BIG shoes to fill but I promise to do my best, though I may stumble a bit.
ANNUAL PLANT SALE/EXCHANGE
May 23, from 9:30 to 1:30, will be the first day of our annual UU Plant sale/exchange. Bring plant starts, perennials, veggie plants, seeds to exchange or sell for the benefit of the church. Depending on the weather, the sale will be on the church lawn or in the basement. Unitarian Church is at 61 Military Street in Houlton.
Besides plants and seeds, we hope to have gardening books or other nature books, lawn ornaments, seed row markers, used tools, and other surprises. As always we offer good stuff at prices that reflect no "middleman."
If you miss Friday's sale, more plants will appear on Saturday at our booth in the first Houlton Farmers Market on Market Square. For more information, contact Bill White (521-0015) or Susan Glick (538-9264).
UU BOOTH AT THE FARMER'S MARKET
Beginning on May 24th, the UU Crafters will once again be offering homemade crafts at the Farmer's Market in Market Square. Also, for those who enjoy coffee during shopping or selling, Betty and Bill will be offering fresh brewed Equal Exchange coffee. Come and check out what we all have to offer. Perhaps you might enjoy joining our market team. We would especially enjoy the help of someone with a pickup truck.
TRAVIS HUMPHREY CD RELEASE CONCERT
Travis Humphrey will be performing at the Houlton Unitarian Church on the sanctuary stage at 3PM Sunday, June 1. Travis will be playing music from his latest CD "The Roadhouse Gospel Hour." $5 suggested donation will benefit the Unitarian heating fund and Across the River Collaborative for Maine Youth, respectively. The Houlton Humane Society will receive a percentage of all CD sales. This is one of two CD release parties in the state. The CD will be available June 1 on ITunes, Amazon and all other major online distributors. Get your CD at Houlton's release party. Refreshments will be served after the show and The Cup Cafe will also be open.
FLOWER COMMUNION & COOKOUT
Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 8th. 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. Flashy shirts and splashy skirts are also encouraged for the festive and colorful occasion.
Our cookout will take place at Rick and Kathari Findlen's this year. Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. There is a large lawn for games and shelter in the garage in case of showers. All are welcome!
There will be a 10AM service offered in the parlor on Sunday mornings during the summer. It will be a twenty to thirty minute service that includes readings, candles of joys and concerns and time for quiet reflection. It will also depend upon the creativity of the service leader, so who knows... If you are interested in leading a summer service there is a sign up list in the coffee room.
BARBECUE AT DAVE & LINDA'S
July 13, Sunday at Noon
There will be a summer outing at Dave and Linda's home on the Meduxnekeag River in Monticello on Sunday, July 13th at noon. It is a pot-luck meal with a grill available for those who would like to barbecue. There is swimming, horseshoes, frisbee, bocce, and I suspect extreme croquet. Dave will also lead a bike trip to the train trestle on I-83 for those who are interested. (approx. 5 miles round trip) Directions will be sent out the week of the event.
BAR HARBOR RETREAT
John and Laney Lloyd have a 3 bedroom apartment in Bar Harbor available Friday night, August 8 through Sunday afternoon August 10 as a base for a social retreat. The apartment is about Ā¼ mile from the harbor and downtown. There are 2 queen beds, two single beds and one queen air mattress. There is also room in the back yard for one or two camping tents. There is one bathroom and a full kitchen. We can work out sleeping arrangements when we know who is coming. There is a lot to do in the area: hiking and bicycling in Acadia National Park; kayaking and canoeing on lakes and sea; shoreline walks; great restaurants; swimming at lakes and public pool; retail therapy (shopping); live music at some bars and restaurants; tourist attractions. Activities will be at the whim of those there. Contact John or Laney to make reservations or get more information on other accommodations available in the area.
Please click here for the currently scheduled events.
E-MAIL/INTERNET DISCUSSION LIST: UU HOULTON COMMUNITY
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. We currently have 26 members. Please take a look at the webpage. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uuhoultoncommunity/ If you'd find it useful and wish to join just click the "Join This Group" button. After entering your info, remember to click on "save changes" before leaving the page. You can contact Rev. Dave or Karen if you have questions or need further instructions.
OTHER UU ONLINE RESOURCES