Pub Night invites YOU April 19

By Laura Patton

The Membership Committee is excited to bring Pub Night to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Friday, April 19, beginning at 7 p.m. Be prepared to form teams for “Pub Trivia,” to have some laughs playing board games, and to unwind to live music provided by Wormz and the Decomposers.

Some nonalcoholic beverages will be provided along with a few snacks. If you are interested in enjoying some libations, know that this is a BYOB function. If you are able, please bring an appetizer/finger food to be enjoyed by attendees.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there! Please feel free to invite friends and family. All are welcome.

Growing Together – April 2013

by Rev. Evan Young

Which, as much as I’ve liked it through the years, now feels like a kind of ironic title for this column. Because, as most of you already know, my ministry with this congregation will end on June 30, as I move into another phase of my own ministerial development, and as all of you move into the next phase of your life in community.

We have much to be proud of in our work together. We have grown our congregation in numbers and in capacity to welcome and care for all. We have embraced our mission to teach as well as embody religious pluralism, inclusive community, and sustainable living. We have stretched ourselves with ambitious challenges and goals, and we have celebrated our capacity to achieve them. We have taken upon ourselves and taken to heart the  responsibility to care for this faith community and invest in its development.

I have seen you do things I would not have thought possible 10 years ago. And even as you have surprised yourselves, I have seen you swell with pride at the things you have accomplished.

What will you do with the opportunity that is before you? I can’t begin to guess.
But I can look with eagerness and excitement at the prospect, because I know two things. I know what you have been capable of in the past; and I know that all you have accomplished so far is just a hint of the potential that lies within you. Perhaps we will be growing apart from now on–but I believe we will all be growing!

2013 Services: April 21 – May 12

Apr. 21 — Earth Day. UU Principles provide lessons to be considered on Earth Day. Learn more about the UU Ministry for the Earth (UUMFE) and the call to action sent to all congregations. (See p. 2 for that statement.) We will consider what resources are already in place to help us work toward sustainability and identify those ways that we can influence new or renewed initiatives. Service leader: Patrick Gordon, assisted by Barb Harrison.

Apr. 28 — May Day, with Sonja Coble — After the long winter, we welcome the seasonal fertility and growth with merrymaking, music, and fun! We hoist our annual Maypole and dance to celebrate the renewing Earth. Musicians are welcome!

May 5 — Brian Henke, guitarist — We are thrilled to host again guitarist Brian Henke, who wowed us last July with his musicianship and unique instruments. He composes and performs his music like a painter putting images on canvas, drawing his inspiration from the world around him. He often takes his guitar on hikes to create a spontaneous response to outdoor settings, which galvanizes the compositions of this award-winning virtuosic fingerstyle guitarist and his inspiring, soulful music. Service leader: Kimberly Wagner

May 12 — “Flowers for/from Your Mother,” with the Rev. Evan Young. We celebrate Mother’s Day, our annual Flower Communion, and the common thread between the two. Like a flower, a mother is here for a season, a finite lifetime, and then is a memory. And yet mothers plural, like flowers plural, are eternal and universal. And some of them have thorns. A celebration of beauty and loss, memory and resurgence. Bring a flower (or a bouquet) to share! Stay for the potluck lunch!

Children to have Easter can hunt

On Easter Sunday, March 31, the children of the Fellowship will enjoy an Easter can hunt as they look around the Fellowship property for canned goods the RE Program will later deliver to food pantries.

Those who would like to help with this could bring cans of food on any of the three remaining Sundays in March so the RE staff can “hide” them to be discovered on the appointed day.

Services: 3-31-13, 4-7-13 & 4-14-13

Mar. 31 — “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Easter Sunday,” with the Rev. Evan Young. We spend most of our lives more or less secure in our convictions about what’s going to happen next, and (oddly) denying what we know is inevitable. And the Easter story told and retold in the Christian tra-dition is filled with surprises that confound our expectations. Today we look at our own expectations, and the surprising deaths and rebirths that transform them.

Apr. 7 — “From Fear to Joy,” with Sonja Richter. It is safe to say that we live in uncertain times and many of us are riddled with fear, anxiety, and helplessness. Together, we will explore how we move from a place of fear to a place of joy. In the process we will learn how to really make a difference, for ourselves and others.

Apr. 14 — “Through a Glass, Darkly,” with the Rev. Evan Young. How we see ourselves is one thing; how others see us is another. How we are — that’s yet another. Today we take a look at a passage from the Christian New Testament, and a look at ourselves, and see what we shall see.

New Members Welcomed

Five new members were welcomed to the UUFA membership status during our morning service on Sunday, Feb. 24. They include:

Shea Daniels moved from Chillicothe to Athens in 2008 to attend OU. She is now an Americorps member serving Trimble Elementary School. She will begin graduate school this Fall.

Patrick Gordon is renewing his membership with UUFA after being on hiatus. He has attended three other UU churches: First UU Church in Columbus, First UU Church in Pittsburgh, and East Suburban UU Church in Murraysville, Pa. Patrick considers himself panentheist wherein one spirit is immanent and transcendent of the universe and all things are contained and part of that spirit.

Robin Schaffer just celebrated her 64th birthday by dancing with her 6-year-old granddaughter to the Beatles’ “When I’m 64,” doing shadow pup-pets, and making ravioli with her husband (and still her Valentine) of 37 years. Her life’s work has been 40 years of supporting children with disabilities, as well as their families and teachers. In re-tirement, she continues to be involved in the lives of people who are meeting challenges as she volunteers in hospice and seeks other ways, too. Her favorite hobby is storytelling, mainly through sign language and Appalachian stories. She is now prioritizing time for traveling, connecting with UUFA, and sharing joys and concerns.

Daniel Warmke was born, grew up, and attended college right here in Athens. His adult life has been split between his wife Jackie and daughter Norah on one hand and the Ohio Army National Guard on the other. He has served four deployments ranging from Hurricane Katrina to Afghanistan. He says Jackie describes him as “the least spiritual person she ever met,” but he has a degree in world religions and a love for all the wonderful and wild beliefs of humanity.

Daniel Williams grew up in the Dayton area, where he attended a liberal protestant church. He is an OU senior studying plant biology and bioinformatics.

Social Justice Notes – March 2013

by Lois Whealey

Celebrate Women’s History Month!
International Women’s Day Festival blossoms at Baker Center Ballroom on Sunday, March 17, 2-6 p.m. Lois Whealey is on the planning committee for the fifth Ohio IW Festival. Like past ones, this Festival is FREE, open to the public, has activities for children, vendors, and music by women, both groups and soloists. Also, speakers on serious subjects: Lois will present on Irma Voigt, PhD, pioneer Dean of Women who came to work at Ohio University 100 years ago. Also, dancers — both solo and group, a fashion show, hula hoop performer, etc.

UUSC Sponsors Social Justice on March 24.
Justice Is Choosing Compassionate Consumption. UUSC works to advance rights for workers in the food system. Justice Sunday upholds the worth and dignity of every person through our power as consumers, specifically by protecting the rights of workers in the food system. Workers have the right to work in a safe environment, receive fair wages, and organize with dignity.

UUA General Assembly 2013

This year’s General Assembly is in Louisville, Ky., an easy drive from all the congregations in the OMD. This year’s theme will be environmental justice. West Virginia and Kentucky ministers are already working on pro-grams and opportunities for this. OMD will be electing a new moderator as well as other positions. Learn more about the schedule, registration, housing, and more at www.uua.org/ga

Ohio-Meadville District News – March 2013

Our Ohio-Meadville District staff works hard to arrange many opportunities for our enrichment. Here are a few coming up soon:

Out of Bounds: Moving Beyond Our Boundaries
Join us for this historic joint District Assembly with keynote speaker the Rev. Peter Morales, president of the UUA. UUs from both the St. Lawrence and Ohio-Meadville Districts will gather at the Niagara Falls Convention Center in Niagara Falls, N.Y., April 26-27. Full information, details, and registration are available at the OMD website – www.ohiomeadville.org/program/da Hurry, advanced registration closes April 15th!

Are You Ready for Leadership School?
UULTI — the UU Leadership Team Institute is back with 10 offerings this summer — UULTI by the Lake July 31-Aug. 4 in Canandaigua, N.Y., and UULTI on the Hudson Aug. 14-18 in Stony Brook, N.Y. Youth can explore their leadership skills at Goldmine Youth Leadership School West, July 31-Aug. 4 ,also in Canandaigua, or Goldmine Youth Leadership School East, Aug. 20-24 in Stony Brook, N.Y. Details can be found at www. cerguua.org/uulti or www.cerguua.org/goldmine

WV Youth Service Learning Experience is Back!
Last year 20 youth worked in the Appalachian moun-tains of West Virginia to provide services to families in need and to learn about the unique culture and en-vironmental challenges of the area. This year we re-turn for new experiences the week of July 7-13. Registration is now open for youth who are interested. Adults interested in chaperoning may also sign up. Learn more at www.ohiomeadville.org/omdevents/590-youthcamp2013