No one has yet made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen and where it may not. Among crowds, in drawing rooms, among easements and comforts and pleasures, it is seldom seen. It likes the out-of-doors. It likes the concentrating mind. It likes solitude. It is more likely to stick to the risk-taker than the ticket-taker. It isn’t that it would disparage comforts, or the set routines of the world, but that its concern is directed to another place. Its concern is the edge, and the making of a form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge. Of this there can be no question - creative work requires a loyalty as complete as the loyalty of water to the force of gravity. A person trudging through the wilderness of creation who does not know this - who does not swallow this - is lost. He who does not crave that roofless place eternity should stay at home.
How wonderful that the universe is beautiful in so many places and in so many ways…the universe is full of radiant suggestion. Over and over in the butterfly we see the idea of transcendence. In the forest we see not the inert but the aspiring. In water that departs forever and forever returns, we experience eternity. - Mary Oliver, from selected essays “Upstream” (2016)
We lost one of our beloved poets earlier this year, Mary Oliver. As some of you may have noticed she is one of my favorite writers and whenever I get a chance I include one of her poems in my talks. Her love for the natural world and her spiritual insights into the common and everyday have endeared her to many. Her poetry and writing are often associated with Cape Cod, the place and environment she knew and loved intimately.
While the poet writes about nature or the artist paints or photographs nature, nature itself speaks without using words. Nature hints at what lies behind (and beyond) it. I think that’s why hiking, sailing, biking or just sitting under a tree or laying at the beach is such a restorative experience. Oliver says “the universe is full of radiant suggestion.” You can talk about it if you want, but there are better ways to approach that which cannot be approached. As summer slowly arrives in northern New England seek out opportunities to be out-of-doors. You never know when or where the extraordinary is going to happen.
Enjoy your summer! Dave
Spring hasn’t really “sprung” upon us, this year. She has pulled back the covers a few times, shivered, and pulled them up over her head again in protest. With her covers melted away, she has been slow to warm up to the idea of getting things underway.
Summer will eventually be here and we will be enjoying warmer, sunnier days, lighter clothing, and more time outdoors. We have a reasonably busy summer line-up of gatherings, barbecues (the first of which will be at the Whites’ after the Flower Communion service on June 2), yard/craft fairs, and other activities to enjoy this year! We will again have our summer schedule of services at 10 AM on Sundays. These tend to be more informal and sometimes shorter than our regular season services. If you have ever thought that you may like to participate in or present a topic for a service, these summer gatherings are a great place to begin! Our building and grounds folks will also be working through the summer to address issues that had to be put off during the winter. If you are interested in giving a hand with any projects, contact Marion Blocher.
I hope to see you all at various times throughout the season.
Happy Spring and Summer! Leigh
ANOTHER WAY TO DONATE
This note from Bruce Glick.
The AmazonSmile program will donate a small percentage of the cost of each purchase you make to a designated nonprofit organization, such as our church, at no cost to you. Last year, I completed the paperwork to have our church listed as a nonprofit organization with this program. Anyone who has an account on Amazon can use the donation program simply by logging in with your password to AmazonSmile and making all your purchases through AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com). The AmazonSmile website is exactly the same as the traditional Amazon website. It will automatically recognize your password and your Amazon account and you can use it as you normally would use Amazon. When you log on for the first time, you will be offered an opportunity to choose a nonprofit to receive Amazon's donations from your purchases. There are no hidden fees or catches; the prices of merchandise on AmazonSmile are exactly the same as on the original Amazon site! You will find our church listed under the name Unitarian Society of Houlton (this is our name for tax ID purposes). You can change your designated nonprofit at any time. Since our church started the program in the winter of 2018, it has received $50-60 from the purchases made by members of our congregation. The more people who participate, the larger the amount of Amazon's donation will be. Even if you use Amazon only occasionally, please consider participating. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Bruce Glick
FLOWER COMMUNION & COOKOUT
Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 2nd. Please bring a fresh cut flower to contribute to the ritual. 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 Bill and Betty White’s home on 1849 Ludlow Road. Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. All are welcome and don't forget the bug spray and a lawn chair.
LOOKING AHEAD... at The Cup Café Gallery
The Cup Café is always available as gallery space for local artists. Please contact Betty White for details.
Betty and Sara will be offering a workshop on Making Stone Mandalas sometime this summer. It's still in the thinking/planning stages, so stay tuned.
The Cup Cafe Summer Painting Class will be held on Saturday afternoons, from 1 to 4 pm, from June 1 to August 10. (Some weeks will have no class due to scheduling conflicts.) The classes will be held in the Coffeehouse room in the basement. Both acrylic and watercolor techniques will be covered and participants will choose which medium to focus on. Instruction will include: basic rules for composition as well as specific techniques in both media, discussion of care and use of materials, supply sources, and display options for both media. Learn how to paint hair, fur, water, shiny objects, reflection, and more! Cost is $110 for six three-hour classes or $145 for eight classes. All materials to be used in class will be provided. To register for the class or for more information call Leigh Griffith at 694-5732 or Karin Cohen at 448-7095.
UU CRAFT and YARD SALES
We will be having THREE Craft/Yard Sales this summer on June 8, July 6, and August 24! Spaces cost $10 each day. There are seven spaces on the front lawn and twelve spaces in the parking area behind the church. A double space is reserved for the church yard sale. The UU Crafter’s Guild will have their booth. Food will be sold over on the side by the handicap ramp. We are currently looking for more crafters and yard sale vendors. Volunteers will be needed for painting signs, marking spaces, staffing the church yard sale tables, and various other tasks. If interested in volunteering or in setting up a drop off time for donations for the church tables, contact Gwydion Griffith at 538-8223. Please leave a message if he can’t answer the phone right off. Storage space is limited, so most items unsold by the end of each day must be picked up unless other arrangements have been made. We are also hoping to provide live music, but cannot confirm at this time.
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 Universalist Church 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