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 - Winter/Spring 2020

Unitarian Universalist
Church of Houlton

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” - Rumi

Clever people seem not to feel the natural pleasure of bewilderment, and are always answering questions when the chief relish of a life is to go on asking them. - Frank Moore Colby; American educator and writer

There was a red button on the wall labelled EMERGENCY, but no button labelled BEWILDERMENT. - Michel Faber, “The Book of Strange New Things”

In a world of inescapable complexity and bewildering incongruencies our challenge is to maintain a modicum of composure while we try to make sense of it. For clever people who are trying to figure it all out or are trying to make it turn out a certain way, it can be a frustrating, stressful and disappointing experience. This is why Rumi says, “Sell your cleverness and replace it with bewilderment.” Bewilderment is okay. Even though you may feel uneasy at times…you may have more questions than answers or you may feel a bit off-balance, again, that’s okay. Bewilderment allows us to explore what we don’t know as of yet, it buys us time to figure things out as we go, it opens us to the possibilities that we have not yet experienced or even imagined.

I recently purchased a classic snow globe that contains a winter scene of cardinals in the snow and cardinals perched in white birch trees. Of course, when you shake the globe the snow storm begins but within minutes (if you don’t shake it) the calm will return. This is a good analogy of our life as well as good advice for whatever lies ahead of us in the new year. When life starts to shake up your world like a snow globe full of white chaos skittering every which way and that, just take a moment, set down the snow globe storm on the window sill and simply watch it. Watch calmly. Watch with curiosity and wonder. Be bewildered, that’s okay. Even the bewilderment will settle. Watch closely with awareness and simply wait for the natural clarity of the glass globe to return. You don’t have to try too hard. You don’t have to make it happen. It will happen. No matter how hard your world has been shaken the calm will return, the settling of all things on the ground of your experience. Look out this day upon the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. Embrace it all; the chaos, the bewilderment and the beauty. It is all part of this season of lights, celebrations, holiday logistics, stormy weather and Christmas clutter; yet overhead in the clearnight sky shines the stars, the planets and the dreams of us all.

Peace, bewilderment and wonder in the days ahead.   Dave

The holidays have crept up on us, at least they have on me! It has been a year of significant change for many. A time of hunkering down, resting and recuperating from whatever has taken its toll, and planning for the next year really is the best way to move forward.

As we look ahead, it is important to not get caught up in worrying about things that have not yet come to pass. There are challenges that face us as a church membership that are always there. Sometimes they change dynamics, but it is a dance we each chip in to choreograph while seeking to invite possible new members, meet the rising costs of the needs of the building, sharing the tasks of planning and leading; the challenges will never stop. We are going to be looking for folks interested in stepping up for a few positions soon. As I write this, I am looking forward to receiving a new right knee in three weeks. I am planning to step down as moderator of the board of trustees as of the Annual Meeting. I will not be at the Annual Meeting because it is only four days after my surgery. I can say that the job is not as time consuming or difficult as I had imagined. Dave is a good coach! We are also looking for one or two more people who would like to be on the Board. ‘Many hands make light work’ may be a cliché, but it is true when it comes to the tasks of the board. Every time a decision - major or minor, is made, it brings a sense of accomplishment and relief that that one item is decided. The follow-through feels easier in comparison! If you are interested in either board position (The Moderator is a board member) please let me or anyone on the board know.

We have experimented with various fundraising projects and will most likely continue to try new ideas. If you have an idea of how a particular thing may work more smoothly or attract more people, please share it. Also, if you have an idea for a new approach to fundraising please mention it to someone on the Board. The congregation does (and should) look to the Board for guidance, but the Board also looks back at the congregation for ideas and support. We seem always to be begging for Board members, but we also need members of the congregation who are willing to speak up if they have an idea that will improve the church experience for us all. It feels good to be part of the planning, and everyone CAN be part of that!

Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!   Leigh

“Balancing Our Ecological World” - February 10, 2020 6-8PM

Part 1: Larry King interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson
Part 2: One Strange Rock; National Geographic Series
As part of our theme for the year “Keeping Your Balance in a Changing World,” issues related to climate shift and environmental sustainability have been a recurring concern. In this Monday Evening Conversations session we listen to a Larry King interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the introductory episode of “One Strange Rock,” a new National Geographic series exploring this amazing 3rd rock from the sun that serves as our home in the cosmos. Discussion will follow the film with light refreshments provided by the cafe.

About the film:
From the award-winning team of filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (`Black Swan') and producer Jane Root (`America the Story of Us'), this 10-part cinematic event series explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth -- one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. Host Will Smith guides viewers on an unprecedented exploration, bolstered by an elite group of eight astronauts who provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of the planet seen from a distance. Hourlong episodes delve into monumental events such as genesis, cosmic violence, human intelligence and alien life, oxygen, and survival vs. destruction.

Saturday Evening, February 15, 2020
Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with a romantic dinner and dance at The Houlton Coffeehouse and Cup Cafe. The main entree is stuffed shells (sausage or vegetarian) with salad greens, garlic bread, choice of beverage and cheesecake dessert. The live entertainment is Brad Hutchinson’s “Barefoot Brotherhood,” featuring the dance music of Phish and The Grateful Dead. Tickets for the event will go on sale in January. There are dinner & dance options, dinner only or dance only. More details to follow.

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.)