Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Rev. Martha Newman, Minister Emerita
Karen Klahr, Moderator, 532-4051
Susan & Bruce Glick, Co-Treasurers, 538-9264
Leigh Griffith, Clerk, 532-2455
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269
Ministerial Relations Committee,
Walter Goodrich, Debra Frazier, John Pasquarelli

Newsletter - September 2004

First Church of Houlton,

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

Keep your mouth shut
Guard the senses
And life is ever full.

Open your mouth
Always be busy
And life is beyond hope.

        - Tao Te Ching #52

photo by Linda
These words from the Tao Te Ching offer a succinct framework for a sane life in these quick and hectic times. We know all too well what it's like to see our schedule book fill up as our availability for what's left drops in proportion!! As we start a new church year at the Unitarian Society it may be helpful to keep this Taoist advice in mind.

We recently completed the report on our re-visioning questionnaire/survey and discussed it during our one day retreat at Camp Williams. Personal busyness and increased competition for our time are two factors to consider as we look ahead and plan for our upcoming year. We like to think that the time you spend at the Unitarian Society adds sanity and insight to your life and is not just one more contributor to the problem!! At the retreat I shared my observations of the survey results and someone suggested I should call my report "Revdav's 4 X 4." Well, I took them up on their suggestion and here it is in abbreviated form:


  1. Fragmentation: A dispersed focus and feeling of disconnection from the larger picture. A sense of disjointedness and not seeing how all the bits and pieces fit together.
  2. Fatigue: Classic burnout. Dissipation of energy and emotional resources from extended demands and activities.
  3. Disillusionment: Frustration and confusion develop over time if warning signs #1 and #2 remain un-addressed.
  4. Irrelevancy: Is what we're doing worth the time and effort?! Does it make a difference in our life or in our community?
  1. Sustainability: Everything is subject to review. What we do or how long we do it is determined by our interest, personal availability and time constraints.
  2. Selectivity: We can't do everything!! Even good ideas may be sidelined by better ones. We may select 2 out of 10 instead of 6 out of 10.
  3. Integration: An integral-based approach reminds us of the underlying connections between our various activities.
  4. Sanctuary: It is essential that a safe and trusting environment is established for the exploration of self and other in a spiritual community.
I am convinced that our efforts at creating a viable spiritual community are worth the time and energy. As you take a look at the responses in the report I think you will notice how strongly we feel about ourselves and see why we continue to push ahead as religious liberals. In my sermon on September 26th I will expand my comments on "Revdav's 4 X 4" and set aside some time so you can add your input as well. Until then, enjoy Fall as it approaches and revel in the every day of all there is.         In Ministry,     Dave
It was a great sadness to learn of the death of our beloved Henry White, who always showed great love and devotion to the church and was a constant presence at our services and functions. At the closing service of the last church year, we dedicated our new sound system and thanked Henry for generously envisioning and funding the project. We were so pleased that Henry was able to be there for that service, since the sound system was a long-time dream of his finally come to fruition. It was also good to know how pleased he was with hearing the words and music of the service that Sunday "just perfectly."

With our most successful rummage sale ever, a summertime sharing service and several outdoor activities we remained active and connected. Undoubtedly we will be sharing details of summer happenings during our upcoming ingathering and open pulpit services.

As part of our re-visioning process we sent out a questionnaire earlier in the year and we have the results collected in a report which is now available to the congregation. We sent out an e-mail version of it a couple of weeks ago and took our first look at it as a group during our summer retreat at Camp Williams. If you have not received a copy of the report yet, you may pick one up at the Ingathering Service or request an electronic version from our minister at . We will be referring to it off and on during the year and hope that this will become an active document and not just sit in our archives until the next survey.
  • to Debra for serving as our librarian.
  • to Tanya for assuming the job of "keeper of the directory".
  • to all of you who made summertime payments on your pledge and helped keep a balance in our checking account.
  • to all of you who helped with the rummage sale.
  • to Sue for leading our Sharing Service in June.
  • to Pat for acting as our guide and for providing readings for our lunchtime meditation during our Hodgdon Mill Pond paddling trip.
  • to LT for being our guide for our Jackson Falls hike.
  • to Leigh and Fred Griffith for "setting up camp" at South Branch Pond Campground and introducing us to "Extreme Croquet".
  • to Bruce for being our activities photographer extraordinaire.

    Over the summer, we've reorganized the library a little bit, and added a few books. This process has included my renumbering nearly all the books. So, if you have a book out, it would be greatly appreciated if you could return it soon so your friendly librarian can renumber it! Also, please don't reshelve books that are currently out; please place them on the top of the shelf so I know it is there. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Regarding the collection, I must say I was really impressed by the quality and breadth of topics in the books we have on those few shelves. Much of these texts are not in the local library, either. There is a noteworthy selection of spiritual and psychological self help books. There is also pretty much something for anyone's spiritual quest: books on Judaism, Christianity, Unitarian Universalism, Wicca, Earth-based religions, Bahai, Islam, Zen, Humanism, Buddhism, and meditation. We also have books that might be of interest and value to you for recovery from loss or other problems that may have entered your life. Check out the website in the near future, when the list of books with a brief description will be in place. Some of the new titles include "The Zen Teachings of Huang Po" and "The Tao is Silent", books on Taoism and Zen Buddism philosophy; "The Quran", a highly recommended translation by Abdullah Yusef Ali; "100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism", which is useful for explaining what, exactly, we belive in; "The Hero Within," a book on archetypes upon which we pattern our lives; and "Bahaullah and the New Era", a book that explores the foundation and history of Bahai faith and beliefs and the life of Bahaullah. There are more new books, including information on the Maliseet tribe, and some New Age books. Many thanks to those who have donated books over the years.         Debra Frazier

    The church directory is due for its yearly update, so if your address (postal or email) or phone number has changed please be sure to get the info to Tanya Pasquarelli.
    Our first service of the Fall season is on September 12 as we begin our 195th year as a religious organization in this town. We will once again open our church year with a water ceremony. Bring a small container of water from a special place you may have visited during the summer (or from your backyard!!) and we will pour them into a sacred bowl sharing our waters and our stories together. It is a simple ritual that captures the energy and life adventures of our spiritual community.
    We have scheduled an Open-Pulpit Sunday for September 19th. How an OP Sunday works is we select a topic for the day and encourage people to share a poem, reading, music or their thoughts on that particular subject. It tends to make for an interesting and rewarding service. Our topic for this service is related to our re-visioning process and survey report. Our hope is to come up with a "loose" theme for the year that lay-leaders can tap into during the year (as well as the minister!!) and offer insights from various approaches. We can also catch up on how we spent our summer recess from church or "What I Did on my Spiritual Path This Summer."
    Sept 12
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson - in-gathering service
    Sept 18
    Coffeehouse in the Basement - 7pm Featured performer is Dustin Saucier, folksinger/guitarist from Presque Isle.
    Sept 19
    Open pulpit service
    Sept 26
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Oct 2
    Meditation group in the parlor - 8am
    Oct 3
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson - "The Four Agreements"
    Oct 9
    Film Night in the parlor - 6pm
    Oct 10
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson - "The Four Agreements"
    Oct 16
    Coffeehouse in the Basement - 7pm
    Oct 17
    Sunday service - Jason Freidus - "The Seeker: risingstar13"
    Oct 24
    Sunday service - Stan Scott - "Poetry and the Art of Meditation: Going Behind the Symbols"
    Oct 31
    Sunday service - Leigh and Fred Griffith - "Halloween"
    Meditation group in the parlor - 8am
    Nov 6
    Film Night in the parlor - 6pm
    Nov 7
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Nov 13
    Coffeehouse in the Basement - 7pm
    Nov 14
    Sunday service - Bruce Glick
    Nov 21
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Nov 28
    Sunday service - Karen Klahr
    Dec 4
    Meditation group in the parlor - 8am
    Dec 5
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Dec 11
    Film Night in the parlor - 6pm
    Dec 12
    Sunday service - Susan Glick
    Dec 18
    Coffeehouse in the Basement - 7pm
    Dec 19
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Dec 24
    Christmas Eve service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    Dec 26
    Sunday service - TBA
    Jan 2
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson

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