"Five minutes of today are worth as much to me, as five minutes in the next millennium…Without any shadow of doubt, amidst this vertigo of shows and politics, I settle myself ever the firmer in the creed, that we should not postpone and refer and wish, but do broad justice where we are, by whomsoever we deal with, accepting our actual companions and circumstances, however humble or odious, as the mystic officials to whom the universe has delegated its whole pleasure to us." - Emerson
Men and women are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love. - Pope Francis; Encyclical "Laudato Si"
Here we are, sitting on this most amazing planet floating in space like a blue marble just the right distance away from our nearest sun, and in most cases we are barely aware that it is happening. Since we are busy with the everyday demands of our life it doesn't leave much available mental space for thinking about our physical address in the universe. Yet, when we do pause and reflect on our advantageous placement we feel a sense of wonder and appreciation for everything and everyone that is here.In Pope Francis" recent Encyclical "Laudato Si" addressed to "every person living on this planet,"¯ he issues a moral call to reassess our relationship to our environment and to the home that we all share. The title of the Pope"s Encyclical is "On Care For Our Common Home"¯ and the document has received the support and praise of world religious organizations (including the Unitarian Universalist Association), environmentalists, the United Nations and concerned global citizens everywhere. In keeping with this timely topic, we have also decided to make it our theme for the year here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Houlton. "Caring For Our Planet"¯ is our theme and we will explore aspects of living in this shared eco-system from planet scale down to personal scale. Emerson says that five minutes right now is just as important as five minutes in the future. Since all we can really do is what we do right now, make sure you do it well. That's all the universe asks of us. Do what the moment calls for you to do and do it with an open heart. This is living in the eternal present. It is a timeless experience and that timeless experience connects you to 200 million years in the past or 200 million years into the future. All you have to do is act with a clear heart and mind and the rest will take care of itself.Please Take Care, Dave
It has been a busy summer and we have continued to make more gains in social capital as well as maintenance and improvements to our facility. As I have said before I believe that these two things are linked and that by improving our facility to make it more attractive, comfortable, easy to use and easy to find we will increase our social capital.
Bill and Betty White have been instrumental in keeping our Sunday services going this summer and it is rewarding and exciting to see how well they have been attended. The three services that I attended all had 15 or more people attending. Several attendees expressed appreciation for the relaxed less formal atmosphere.
A big thanks to Sylvia and all the crew that have run the Saturday Market booth this summer (and the last few summers). This has brought in a significant amount of money that will really help to offset the building expenses.
If you have not been by the church lately you may be surprised by our new look. The cedar tree in the front has been removed as well as all of the stumps that were in the north and east lawns. This has allowed a complete regrading of our lawn areas to keep rain water flowing toward the street and not the building. Also the lawn has been reseeded. It has really opened up the church and now shows off our beautiful historical building much better. We also have a new front walkway and railing. The foundation on the north and east sides of the church have been repaired, sealed with waterproofing and insulation installed to insure no more leaks. Two new catch basins and drainage lines have been installed to rout roof water to the street. Fred Griffith and team have also removed the old wooden handicap ramp on the east side and Rick Findlen and myself are in the process of installing a new aluminum ramp that will allow easy access to our new handicap parking area off the rear driveway. We are also working with Glen Hines to get a new sign out front. This is still a work in process but we are on schedule to have it all done in a few weeks. These changes will make our church more attractive, comfortable, easy to use and easy to find. This in turn should increase our social capital and allow us to bring smiles to more faces. - John Lloyd
A Constant Turning
INGATHERING SERVICE AND WATER CEREMONY
Our first service of the new church year is on September 13th. Please bring a small bottle of water you have collected from special places nearby or far away during your summer adventures. We individually pour waters into our collective basin and reflect upon our life as a spiritual community. Water seeks the form of the container into which it is placed and no matter how many different waters are added it all becomes one thing. The four elements will be represented on the altar as we explore our relatedness to each other and the world around us.
There will be a monthly meeting of the Houlton International Drum Circle the last Saturday of the month at 6:00 pm Eastern. This will be a no stress event with emphasis on having fun. New drummers, seasoned drummers, old and young drummers are welcome. As always this will be a "free style" drum circle with simple start-off heart beats that any one can follow (the minimum requirement is the ability to count to 4). After you feel comfortable with the heart beat you may embellish if you feel inspired or just "hold the beat"¯ for others to improvise on. Every song is unique and a great opportunity to enjoy one of our most primal instincts – group rhythm. Grab a friennd and come join us. As always drums and other fun percussion instruments will be available.
Please come and join us on Monday evenings at 5:30pm in the parlor zendo as we continue our "1st Monday of the month" time-slot. Our group (Sangha) practice consists of 2 twenty minute sittings, a walking meditation (kinhin), and a short reading followed by tea and conversation. No meditation experience is needed. We will start from scratch with some basic instruction and go from there. All traditions are welcome. We have a few extra cushions (zafus) available and meditation benches. Of course the couch works equally as well.
Come join us in the Cup Café where you can watch the month's featured movie on the big screen. There is no admission fee and the popcorn machine is always in action.
UNIVERSITY DISTINGUISHED LECTURER SERIES - Scot Miller
University of Maine, Presque Isle
Emerson, Muir,Thoreau: A Photographic Trilogy of American Wildness
December 1, Tuesday Evening 7PM Campus Center
Award-winning photographer Scot Miller will deliver a multimedia presentation about his latest work Emerson, Muir, Thoreau: A Photographic Trilogy of Wildness, the first book to visually connect the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau. The collectorā€™s edition book by Levenger Press marries passages from each man's selected work with 69 of Miller's never-before-published photographs. With words, photographs and video, Miller will illuminate the interconnectedness of these three and the role their intertwined orbits played in America's environmental coming of age. Miller is a contributor to the "Moment in Nature"¯ videos, broadcast nationally on Emmy Award-winning CBS Sunday Morning. His photographic and video collaborations include work with Yosemite Conservancy, the Walden Woods Project and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Scot Miller is a professor at Harvard University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Mr. Miller also has an art show at UMPI's Reed Art Gallery running from November 30 thru January 9 titled "The Maine Woods"¯ in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Henry David Thoreau"s "The Maine Woods."¯ A reception with Scot Miller is from 5-6:30PM on December 1 before his presentation at 7PM. Come early and check out the Reed Gallery.
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