One of the recent books we’ve read in our book discussion group is “The Invention of Nature; Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World” written by Andrea Wulf. Humboldt was a 19th century German naturalist and scientist whose research and discoveries changed the way we view the world and our relationship to it. Humboldt saw nature as a complex and interrelated ecological system that was in continual flux. One part does not exist in isolation from other parts. Humboldt’s writings combined poetry with science and in turn influenced such noted figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, Walt Whitman and John Muir.
Our theme for the new church year is “Back to Basics” and we are focusing on our UU Seven Principles and the Five Agreements. In a world that is challenging the basics of inclusion, human rights, economic opportunity and democratic process, a return to the core values of Unitarian Universalism is timely. And like Humboldt’s view of nature, each principle or agreement doesn’t stand alone but each overlaps and supports the other. To have a clear understanding of one helps in understanding the others. This is a time to be clear about what is important to us and to take action if required. We do this as individuals and we also do this as a congregation in our community and in our nation. Back to basics is a way for new people to find out who we are and what Unitarian Universalism is about and it’s a way for long term members to refresh their experience. Like nature, each of us is an inseparable part of the process.
One part of many, Dave
As the summer begins to cool down our thoughts turn toward warm days with cool breezes and crisp nights. Not yet, the raking of leaves with hot apple cider breaks, but we know those are not far off. Also soon we will be gathering together for our regular Sunday services.
We do have a theme for this year - Back to Basics - Seven Principles and Four (actually 5) Agreements.
Some of you know that I read a lot of fiction. Of course the best fiction often corresponds to and informs us about everyday life. Currently I am reading (re-reading) the extensive series of science fiction books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, who are friends of ours who live in Waterville, Maine. The main characters in their Liaden Universe books belong to Clan Korval, whose motto is “I Dare”. Of course, I don’t think I would dare do half the things they dare, but when I find myself hesitating to take on a new endeavor I think of the motto and the authors of these books and chide myself, “...and I’m too chicken to do that?” Suddenly, I don’t think so anymore. What I need to take on is nothing compared to taming a wild Artificial Intelligence, or moving a household while still meeting deadlines for manuscripts, book signings, and SciFi conventions (while keeping all four cats out of mischief - mostly).
While the summer was a “soft” beginning in this position for me, I found myself getting nervous about the next season. I don’t know why, exactly. The board has things in hand, there is progress moving forward, and things look pretty good heading into the Fall. I know the church, the congregation, our Minister, and now it is time for me to look forward and say, “I Dare!”
“The Three Questions” - Don Miguel Ruiz (2018)
As part of our “Back to Basics” theme this year I would like to recommend the latest book from Don Miguel Ruiz who is the author of “The Four Agreements” and “The Fifth Agreement,” two books that we have featured in previous years. Ruiz has once again shared practical wisdom from the Toltec tradition and applied it to the complexities of contemporary life. In this short book the author asks three questions, that once considered, leads to transformation and a new way of experiencing the world. The book will be available in our library during the upcoming year. How you answer the three questions will be up to you. There will be three “Sunday Morning Conversations” hosted by the minister during coffee hour for those interested in discussing the book.
From the Flyleaf Cover:
The three questions offer a practical framework that provides the clear path for overcoming fear and discovering truth, peace of mind, and joy. Ruiz’s transformative message serves as an essential guide for all travelers pursuing self-knowledge, understanding, and acceptance. “The three Questions” is the next step in our unique spiritual metamorphosis.
INGATHERING SERVICE, WATER CEREMONY and LAWN PARTY
Our first service of the new church year is on September 9th. 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. After the service we are once again having a lawn party coffee hour on our front lawn. It was so much fun last year that we??™ve decided to do it again. (weather permitting) I plan to grill an even larger amount of "Deacon Al's Grilled Shrimp” and Fen has something special in mind for his flat-top grill. Board members will provide the rest of the goodies. Please bring your favorite lawn chair and a hat for the occasion.
LIVE MUSIC @ THE CUP
Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards
October 13th, Saturday Night 7-9PM
($5 cover charge)
We have a concert on the cafe stage October 13th featuring the folk music duo Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards from central Massachusetts. Mark & Raianne were nominated for “Best Americana Act” and “Best CD” for their latest album Grain By Grain by the 2017 Worcester Music Awards. For more information and music samples please check out their website www.markandraianne.com
Biography written by Nick Noble, host of WICN’s “FOLK REVIVAL”:
“The best part of their performance is the undeniable chemistry Mark and Raianne have together; they play with a comfortability and trust that can only come with years of partnership. They allow enough space in their musical bond to for us to settle in and witness some serious songwriting and playing.” - Fred Knittel, WXPN (Philadelphia)
LOOKING AHEAD... at The Cup Cafe and Gallery
Several workshops will be coming up soon at the Cup Café Gallery in the lower level of the Unitarian Universalist Church. The Café will be open and parking is available on Kelleran Street on the south side of the church.
Leigh Griffith and Karin Cohen are offering a six week course on watercolor and acrylic (your choice) painting. Students will learn basic composition and techniques to complete a painting of their choice of subject. Classes are to be held on Mondays from 9 am until noon and are planned to begin September 17 and run until October 22. Cost is $100.00 for all six classes and covers all materials used in class, the two instructors, and use of the space. Students will have their own finished painting at the end of the class. We will also discuss some framing options. To sign up for the classes or for more info call either Leigh - 694-5732 or Karin - 448-7095.
Sara Regent and Betty White are offering a two-session workshop on "Pen and Ink Doodling and Tangling" which will be held Saturday, Oct. 13 & October 20 from noon until 1 o'clock. Students will learn how to make pen and ink designs and then paint "a cairn." No former experience with pen and ink doodling required. On Oct. 13 we will explore several doodling designs on paper. Then we will each paint six stones white (paint and brushes provided.) At the next workshop on Oct. 20, each student will draw a pen and ink doodle on their stones and make *a cairn." Students will need to bring a fine point black Sharpie pen, available at many grocery stores or where school/office supplies are sold. $10 due at the first session. Children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.
*A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. Preparing the designs on the stones and learning how to balance the stones is a meditative experience.
A Victorian Tea will be held sometime during October in The Cup Cafe Gallery. (The time and date is yet to be determined.) Tea and coffee will be served along with soup, sandwiches, and cookies. There will be a limited number of tickets available (56). Details about the tea will appear in The Pioneer Times as well as on the church bulletin board which is located in the church coffee room. If you would like to assist in preparing for this event, please contact Betty White.
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