Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Leigh Griffith, Moderator, 694-5732
Treasurer, Mary Blocher, 521-5253
Barbara Erickson, 532-3297
Fred Griffith, Clerk, 538-6175
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269
Committee on Ministry,
Sylvia Williams, Fen Carmichael

Newsletter - Summer 2020

Unitarian Universalist
Church of Houlton

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730


MINISTER'S COLUMN
All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing.

    A Thousand Mornings - Mary Oliver
"Unitarian Cherry Blossoms 2020"
Unitarian Cherry Blossoms (2020)

These are most unusual times indeed as the coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we knew it in so many ways. Things that we previously took for granted such as meeting friends at a local eatery or greeting someone with an embrace are now viewed with greater appreciation as we wonder how long it might be until life returns to somewhat more normalcy. It’s been over twelve weeks since we last met as a congregation in our cozy parlor (we barely had a chance to enjoy our new padded church chairs!) and that kind of extended absence is unprecedented in our long 200 year history as a religious community. Fortunately with the aid of modern technology and communications we have been able to retain a semblance of connection. Can you imagine if a crisis such as this had happened even 25 years ago? What would we have done? I look forward to the day when we can all safely gather together again but it’s difficult to say when that will be and what that will look like.

As a nation and a global community we are also in a period of traumatic transition and uncertainly. COVID-19 has exposed flaws in our societal framework that have remained unaddressed for decades. When a system is out of balance it needs a recalibration. Now is the time. The planet itself is out of balance. Nature is trying to find an equilibrium and our human placement in that ecosystem is suddenly in question. These are the big questions that our generation is going to have to address. Life will continue post COVID-19 but it’s going to be different than anything we’ve experienced before. We might as well get started now. Mary Oliver says that the night and the morning find a way to work together. That’s what we have tocontinually remember in the challenging days ahead. As your minister I encourage you to hold strong; hold to your inner center and to your spiritual community of friends. We can get through this together.

In Ministry,   Dave


POETRY CORNER
    Pandemic
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath?
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love?
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Lynn Ungar 3/11/20


REMEMBERING LOIS MORIN
What follows is a section of Lois Morin's obituary.

Lois Jean (Maskell) Morin, age 86, passed away in Houlton on April 14, 2020 after a brief illness. Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, to Roger J. Maskell and Margaret J. (Gilroy) Maskell, Lois went to Stoneham High School and received her BS in Nursing from Salem State College. Lois worked as a nurse until retirement, becoming the Director of Nursing at University Hospitals, Case Medical Center, in Medford, Massachusetts.

Although Lois' first major career was as a nurse, the passion of her later artistic life was quilting and mentoring other quilters. Also on January 8, 2005, Lois married Roger Joseph Morin, who became a noted Maine artist and Chess Master. They lived a wonderful life together, ending their lives in Houlton, where they kept an artist studio and a quilting studio, traveling to chess tournaments and quilting stores during time away. Lois became a good chess player.

After Roger passed in July, 2019, Lois expanded her quilting studio and continued to foster her local quilting family, one nucleus of her very dearest friends. Another nucleus was her friends at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Houlton as well as her friends among the local Masons. Lois had many friends, too numerous to list. She is survived by her sister, Beverly Benford of New Mexico, her son Roger Storer of Lewiston, Hermance Pettengill, a sister-in-law of Lewiston, Maine, and several other relatives.

What obituaries cannot convey of our friend Lois is her incredible vitality of spirit, her sense of humor, her practicality, and her good sense. She served for several years on the church Trust Committee and was always willing to question past practice and make positive suggestions. She was a major advocate for the parking lot endeavor, for every aspect of making the church building more usable for all people, and for keeping the parlor rocking chairs moving. She left the bulk of her estate to the church, a decision that will nurture us all in the coming years as we move forward into change. Soon after Roger's death last summer, Lois called Sue Glick to set in motion what was needed to assure that her estate contribution would be maximized for the church, but she didn't stop living. She bought a new quilting machine, remodeled the artist studio into a quilting studio and moved ahead despite her grief. At the time of her death, Lois had plans for a trip to casinos with her sister-in-law, a trip to an annual quilting event with her local quilting community, and had started a number of charity quilts that was part of her commitment to cherishing the broader beloved community. It is a tribute to the community she helped create that her fellow quilters will be completing all those charity quilts and probably dedicating them to Lois in a COVID-respecting service at our church. Her legacy of her skills and mentoring live on.

And what I didn't mention is that Lois had become a good chess player, as I have discovered in her chess game records scattered all over the house in neat notebooks. From what I can make out from the chess codes, she won many of those games and even recorded some computer chess matches in her records. Lois' mind and hands were never still, and her many gifts live on.

Written with love, Susan Glick

An additional note from Sue Glick, the Trustee of Lois' Trust
If you would like to contribute to Lois' gift to the church by purchasing some of her furniture or belongings, contact Sue at glickmaine@yahoo.com and say 'send me list' You will receive lists of belongings for sale and photos to help you decide.

All transactions will take place masked in Lois' parking lot at 102 Court Street. Checks should be made out to The Lois J. Morin Trust.


UUA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2020
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. The UUA Board of Trustees has passed a resolution to make the 2020 General Assembly a 100% virtual event. For many years we have offered virtual attendance as an option and, this year, we will scale and enhance our technology so that we can accommodate a wider, ideally more global, audience. Virtual registration is only $150 per person. ($200 less than traditional on-location registration!) You can visit the UUA website at uua.org and check out all the details of this year’s GA; programs, speakers, special events. There are several events that are available free of charge to the public via YouTube. One of the events we would like to encourage Houlton members to view is the Sunday Morning Worship Service at 10AM on June 28. We may do this instead of our regular zoom service and check-in. (More details later.) Virtual conference is a great way to have a GA experience without the added expense and stress of travel, lodging and food costs.
2020 Ware Lecturer at GA
The 2020 Ware Lecturer will be Naomi Klein.
Naomi Klein is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, and an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and international and New York Times bestselling author of, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (2019), The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists (2018), No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (2017), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000).

In 2016 she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, for, “exposing the structural causes and responsibility for the climate crisis, for inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality, and for reminding us of the power of authentic democracy to achieve transformative change and justice.” She is co-organizer of Canada’s Leap Manifesto, a blueprint for a rapid and justice-based transition off fossil fuels endorsed by over 200 organizations, tens of thousands of individuals, which inspired similar climate justice initiatives around the world. She is now a co-founder and advisory board chair of The Leap, a climate justice organization developed from the Manifesto that exists to inject new urgency and bold ideas into confronting the intersecting crises of our time: climate change, racism and inequality. In 2015, she was invited to speak at the Vatican to help launch Pope Francis’s historic encyclical on ecology, Laudato si’. She is a regular media commentator in print, radio and television around the world, appearing on such shows as Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN, BBC Newsnight and HARDTalk, Democracy Now, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report, The Tavis Smiley Show, Charlie Rose and HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

She has been interviewed and profiled in hundreds of magazines and newspapers and podcasts including a major profile in The New Yorker magazine where she was called “the most visible and influential figure on the American left, what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were thirty years ago.” She has been ranked as one of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals in Prospect magazine, as one of the 100 People Who Are Changing America in Rolling Stone and was named as one of Ms. Magazine’s Women of the Year.


History of the Ware Lecture
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President, in consultation with the General Assembly Planning Committee, invites a distinguished guest each year to address the General Assembly as the Ware Lecturer. The first Ware Lecture was in 1922. Previous Ware Lecturers have included Martin Luther King, Jr., May Sarton, Kurt Vonnegut, Mary Oliver, Norman Lear, Karen Armstrong and Cornel West.

Although a General Assembly registration is required to view, it will be available on YouTube or the UUA website later in the summer.


VIRTUAL OFFERING PLATE
If you would like to send in your pledge or donation (we still have to pay the bills) simply drop an envelope in the mail. The address is listed below. Thank you from the treasurers!

Mary Blocher   1124 Calais Road   Houlton, ME 04730



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
  • The website of the Unitarian Universalist Association   http://www.uua.org
  • The website of the Northern New England District (NNED)   http://http://www.uua.org/new-england
  • The UUWorld magazine   www.uuworld.org.   (You can also sign up for a weekly email update.)
    www.uuhoulton.org