Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
John Lloyd, Moderator, 532-2525
Treasurer, Mary Blocher, 521-5253
Fred Griffith, Clerk, 538-6175
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269
Committee on Ministry,
Roger Morin, Sylvia Williams, Fen Carmichael

Newsletter - Summer 2017

Unitarian Universalist
Church of Houlton

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

"The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love." - John Muir (1838-1914) from his journals

"We stand on the edge of all that is great, yet are restrained in inactivity and unconscious of our powers. We are always on the brink of an ocean of thought into which we do not yet swim. What a benefit if a rule could be given whereby the mind, dreaming amid the gross fogs of matter, could at any moment east itself and find the sun!" - Emerson (1803-1882) from his journals

When I stand by the ocean and gaze across the vast water field horizon before me, I find the small sense of myself (my problems, obsessions and preoccupations) slowly begins to dissolve and blends into something larger. It's not that my problems go away but they are now in a more expansive context, a space that can hold that and more. As we look at a flower or inhale the fresh morning air nature reminds us that we are but a small part of a large bio-connected system that sustains and informs us. There is a vast dimension to each of us that is always present, but not always perceived. In nature we can sometimes sense this subtle, yet pervasive quality of being. When walking along the beach the continuous wave action rolling back and forth across the sand generates a transmission of energy that you can feel not only in the bottom of your feet but all around you. The sun, the waves, the breeze and you are all one experience as the seagulls fly by overhead. Perhaps this is just a poetic way to express how someone experiences the world, but then again, perhaps it's a nice way to spend the summer.

Have a great summer!   Dave

the opening - photo by revdav
the opening - photo by revdav

written by Rev. David Hutchinson for the Congregational Appreciation Dinner Program
Two long histories
One shared beginning
our stories have crossed and uncrossed through the years.
Yet here we are
on this day in one place
gathered around tables
platters of food
fresh polished silver
and pots of hot coffee
what is our story but a shared story
a sharing together
imperfectly perhaps
as all sharing is
but the aspiration is noteworthy
and the intent to accomplish shared endeavors noble.
Two separate entities
yet shared interests in common
a coming together
to honor what is unique to each
even as we touch what we share
a sharing of a meal
a sharing of stories and humor
a sharing of the days news and happenings
(our opinions, predictions and forecasts)
a sharing of liturgies, art and music
a sharing of the building, its sacred space, its plumbing, its parking lots.
a sharing of the kitchen, its stoves, its cupboards, its sinks.
a sharing of our end of the block, corner of Military and Kelleran.
a sharing of our sign, stone base, sturdy posts, visible to all passing by.
a sharing of the new entrances, solid cement front walkway, aluminum ramp on the side.
a sharing of an easier access bathroom on the first floor.
a sharing of our lives as a shared community
a sharing of histories, ancestors and traditions
a sharing of the present, because here we are.
and a sharing of the future
a sharing together of what that might be
a shared vision
in this shared place
a sharing of people and our concerns.

May our sharing be a strength and an encouragement
an encouragement to appreciate what we have on this day
and an encouragement to continue.
To continue our lives together in ways that create meaning, sustenance, and hope.
May our future days be days of shared efforts and shared significance.
a sharing together of who we are and what we value.
a sharing together together.

Laney and I just returned from a 2-1/2 months stay in California caring for an old friend’s house and cats. When we got there on March 1 the leaves were still coming out on the trees, and after all the rain they had over the winter everything was the greenest I have ever seen in California. When we left on May 16, the strawberry harvest was in full swing and there were apricot sized fruits on the peach trees. When we arrived here in Houlton it was Spring again! The leaves were still in the process of coming out, it was (and is) amazingly green and now our apple trees are blooming. I love Spring and its new life and vigor, and this year I got to experience it twice.

Speaking of new life and vigor, when I went to our church after our absence, I found a lot of life and vigor there too. The parking lot was graded, new parking spot markers were in place and there was a new outside light to guide us from the lot – thank you Marion Blocher and Joe Petroski. Before we were fully unpacked, a whirlwind of activity greeted us with a Saturday night concert by Shawn Mercer and his daughter Maizey – great music, sweet message and lots of hugs from old and new friends. On Sunday, Molly Mercer accompanied by Shawn and Maizey gave a very touching and inspiring service about their Standing Rock experience and the urgency of water conservation. It’s good to be back!

During our absence, our membership put on an appreciation dinner for the Congos (who made a very generous contribution to our new parking lot.) I understand that it was very well received and well attended. Thanks so much to all who helped with this.

I am happy to report that attendance for Sunday services remains strong and that we are financially sound. We do have a big project coming up this Summer which is to finish shingling the church roof. This will cost several thousand dollars and any donations to this project will be greatly appreciated.

This Summer we will continue to have Sunday services at the usual 10:00 am time. The services will be informal and mostly lay led. Bill White promises to start it off with a talk about a mysterious cave in Africa.

Again this summer our crafters group will be offering hand crafted items for sale at the Houlton Community Market. This will be held every Saturday from 9 to noon in Market Square in downtown Houlton. Help with setup, take down and selling will be greatly appreciated. Donations of home made craft items are also welcome. Contact Sylvia Williams for more information.

Have a great Summer and stay in touch,   John Lloyd

Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 4th. 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 Laney and John Lloyd's this year. (867 Ludlow Road) Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. There is a large lawn for games and a garage in case of rain or in case we need shade from the heat. All are welcome and don't forget the bug spray!
There will be a 10am service offered in the parlor on Sunday mornings during the summer. Sunday service includes readings, candles of joys and concerns, a short talk and time for quiet reflection. This is our fifth summer offering services and it looks like the summer tradition will continue. Once again, Bill and Betty White will be coordinating the services. If you are interested in leading a summer service please speak to Bill and there is a sign up list in the coffee room.

Please click here for the currently scheduled events.

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.   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.
  • The website of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • The website of the Northern New England District (NNED)   http://
  • The UUWorld magazine   (You can also sign up for a weekly email update.)