weaving the threads of community

wondering with AWE

  • Wondering with AWE, September 2017

    by Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen

    My return from sabbatical was like jumping into the deep end of a pool—full immersion! You carried on spectacularly during my five-month absence, but that meant there was a lot to reengage with upon my return. And, because that coincided with the start up of a new program year, I had to start swimming immediately or sink. I chose rapid strokes and I’m now swimming happily with the rest of you.

    Members of the Fellowship should have received the Fall 2017 issue of UU WORLD magazine by now. It contains the first article from the UUA’s new president, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, on page 4. (It’s also available at www.uuworld.org/issues/fall-2017.) In the article, she highlights how initially her former congregation in Phoenix put their ministries in silos ‘that often saw themselves in competition with each other rather than part of the same team.’ She goes on to say that something changed and lay leaders began to get on the balcony for a new view of the congregation as a whole.

    We did the same thing here at Athens. During my first few years here, we created the Ministry Council composed of me, program staff, and Lay Ministers who coordinate a cluster of ministries (committees and teams working towards similar goals). This council gave us a better opportunity to get out of our own programmatic silos. Now, through the Ministry Council and the Leadership Council (organized by the Lay Ministers with Committee and Team leaders), we work together. We work together so that different programs support one another. Justice engages with kids to make lunches, kids work with Spiritual Arts to present worship services, Spiritual Arts works with Lifespan Development to create meaningful adult programming, Partner Church Committee works with Fellowship and Children & Youth Religious Exploration, etc. We doing so much more and we’re doing it together!

    Getting out on the balcony with me and staff is a responsibility of the Lay Ministers. Sometimes in the past, we were so involved with our own activities,  we forgot the Fellowship has many areas of interest. And sometimes we’d forget that we serve our Fellowship’s shared mission and vision, not just our own particular wants and needs. Getting out on the balcony to take a look at the big picture helps us keep in touch with our mission and our goals.

    UUFA needs Lay Ministers to help with this important work. Two part-time program staff and myself can’t do it all by ourselves. And you shouldn’t want us to plan all the programming and activities for you. Engagement and commitment is a way we make meaning for our lives. If everything were done for you, I don’t think your participation would have much value. It would be as if someone swam your laps for you. You wouldn’t get any physical benefit from it.

    Consider Lay Ministry. If you are a leader at UUFA, someone who has donated time and talent to this Fellowship, and you want to deepen your understanding of congregational dynamics, UU history and philosophy, and your own beliefs and connection to our Principles, then please consider joining me in this year’s Lay Ministry training. Please join me on the balcony so that we can be sure to make this Fellowship matter to all of us—within and without of the community.

Ministry Notes

  • Child Dedication on Sunday, Nov. 19

    Child to Dedicate?

    If you would like your child/ren to be dedicated during the Sunday, November 19, 2017, worship service, please contact Rev. Alison (rev.eskildsen@uuathensga.org). We dedicate children newly born, newly adopted, or new to Unitarian Universalism. This naming ceremony celebrates new life into the world and into the care of our community.

    Can’t make this date? Another date will be chosen in the spring. Please let Rev. Alison Eskildsen  know if you have a particular date in mind that works well for your family.

membership & volunteers

  • Spotlighting September Volunteers: Myrna and Herb

    Myrna Adams West and Herb West care for the Fellowship:
    They care for the ministry – both serving as Lay Ministers (Myrna now emerita), WAC volunteers, choir members, and mainstays of the BlUUgrass Folks; Myrna leading the Writing as a Spiritual Practice and Goddess Groups, and Herb earlier on the Stepping Stone SupportTeam.
    They care for our heritage – Myrna heading the 60th anniversary celebration in 2014 with Herb supporting the effort.
    They care for effective governance – Herb as Board President (2011-2012) and both now working with the Leadership Development Team.
    They care about our future – both having served on the EOV Steering Committee with Herb chairing the Capital Campaign. He is now representing the Ministry Council on the new Building Project Committee.
    –And we can depend on both Myrna and Herb to be hard at work during activities like last month’s Spiffy-up.
    Why not take a moment in September to thank Herb and Myrna for their year-round commitment!

    — The Volunteer Recognition Committee

  • Service after the Service!?

    Interested in being more involved with what is happening at UUFA?

    On Sunday mornings, visit the Stepping Stones table to sign up for the various opportunities at UUFA.

    At other times, take a look at the “Service after the Service” bulletin board (last one on the left) to view the various activities at UUFA for which you can sign up.

     

    Questions?

    Contact any of your lay ministers;

    names are listed on the back cover of your order of service and on the UUFA website.

fellowship

  • Scrabble Every 3rd Friday

    Meets every third Friday from 7-9 pm in the Fellowship Hall at UUFA. All are welcome to come play and bring your own set. For more information, Kathy Larsen, 317-855-0009, kathylyndall@gmail.com.

  • 4th Sunday Lunch–Romanian dishes!

    Soup

    Sour-Cherry Soup (Meggykeszoce)

    Main Dishes

    Meat

    Chicken Paprika (Csirke Paprikas) & Rice/Egg Noodles (Levesbe)

    Pork, Cabbage, and Potato Goulash (Szekely Gulyas)

    Vegan

    Potato & Vegetable Goulash (Vegetáriánus Gulyas)

    Squash & Bean Goulash (Vegetáriánus Gulyas)

    Vegetarian

    Potato & Egg Casserole (Rakett Krumpli)

    Sides & Salads

    Beet Salad (Gellert Salata)

    Cauliflower (Sult Karfiol)

    Cole Slaw (Kaposztasalata)

    Tomato & Cucumber Salad (Paradiscom Uborka Salata)

    Eggplant Spread (Zakuska)

    Desserts

    Assorted Cakes, Cookies, & Pastries

    *A $5 donation is asked for the work of the UUFA.

  • Upcoming Activities at The Mountain

    Wonderful upcoming activities at The Mountain, the UU retreat center in Highlands:Southern UU Fall Institute October 1-6, and Women Spirit Oct 13-15. You can attend for all or a portion of SUUFI. http://themountainrlc.org/ . Contact Kathy Stege if you have questions or want to coordinate with others from UUFA who are going!
    kath22steg@gmail.com 478.955.3422 c

  • Tickets Available ONLY this Sunday! Are You Ready For Fun?

    Enjoyable Entertainment Events Are Here! This Sunday, September 24th is the time to buy tickets for your choice of events. There are nine fun and interesting events that have been planned by our fellow members for the first half of the program year. Come prepared with your calendar and checkbook.

    Following are the events:
    A Creative Soiree October 6 6 to 8:00PM $15.00
    Picnic and Tour of Sweet Olive Farm October 28 11 to 1:00
    $10. adult $5. child $20. family
    Tapas and Tasting of Wines from South America November 4 $50.00
    Game Night November 17 7 – 9:00PM $15.00
    Munchkins and Munchies November 25 4:00-6:00 $15.00
    Festive December Brunch December 9 10:30 $20.00
    Cowboy Grub and Sing-a-Long January 5 $20.00
    Cranium and Gourmet Ice Cream January 13 2-4:00 $10.00
    People, Prose, Poetry and Pie January 20 $15.00

    If you have questions or can’t make it this Sunday, please contact Jane Mayer (jamkp42@hotmail.com) or Carol-Lee Baker (carlee45@yahoo.com).

  • New Member Ceremony, Sun., Oct. 8

    Are you ready to become a member of UUFA?

    If so, the next New Member Ceremony will be held during worship services on Sun., Oct. 8, 2017. Please stop by the Visitor Table to sign a Covenant of Membership form. This starts a process of making your commitment of time, talent and treasure to UUFA.

    Larry Dendy, chair of the Membership Committee, will get in touch with you about including you in the New Member Ceremony after receiving your Covenant. After filling it out, just leave it at the Visitor’s Table.

    Not yet ready to join but want to know more about UUFA? Then also stop by the Visitor’s Table to sign up for the next ‘New to UUFA’ class to be scheduled in November or December. It will begin at 8:45 am with coffee and conversation.

     

expanding our vision

  • EOV Building Project Milestones

    We have signed a Letter of Intent for the Clover Leaf Group to partner with us, Houser Walker Architects, and Koons Environmental Design as we finalize building plans. This local construction company is experienced in aligning pre-construction decisions with budgets. Andy Hogan, their CEO, and Drew Wren, the Project Manager, will be valuable partners as we move forward.

    Josh Koons submitted the required Special Use Permit to the Athens Clark County Planning Commission September 1st. This is the first of several steps prior to approval by the Mayor and Commissioners November 7th. We are planning to have an Open House soon to which we will invite neighbors along Rambling, Cheatham, and Timothy Roads. We need to assure them that our project will not have negative impact in terms of storm water run-off and will greatly improve on-site parking.

    The first actual physical step toward construction occurred last week when GeoHydro Engineering did three 20’ borings near the current UUFA main entrance. Preliminary reports indicate ground holds no impediments to laying the foundation for the building expansion there.

    Last, but certainly not least, we’ve learned that the building project can be completed without the fellowship needing to move out of our building! CloverLeaf has a plan for phasing that will close off portions of the building while allowing us to continue with most activities in other areas. We will need to be flexible and willing to accept some inconvenience, but we’ll not need to incur additional costs to rent space elsewhere. Yea! — Iva King, EOV Building Project Chair (ivaking@bellsouth.net).

Board Notes

  • Board of Trustees, Member-at-Large

    Anxiety and Community

    September 2017 Roger Bailey: Board of Trustees, Member-at-Large

    For the last year, I have lived in an anxiety unlike anything I have ever experienced. So much feeds my dis-ease: the physical changes that characterize my own aging; changes in friends and family; National Public Radio; PBS; conversations, social and political; government, state and national; and all sorts of other things scattering those monkeys in my head . The first two, of course, are natural and worrisome. The rest, enormously problematic in what they offer. At seventy-three, I am fortunate most nights to sleep seven uninterrupted hours. However, it is not unusual for me to wake up unrested, perhaps because I dream about personal and worldly change without recalling the troublesome narratives. I’m sure the monkeys don’t sleep: loved ones, healthcare, immigration, racism, sexism, greed, financial profit margins, religious freedom, Falwell fervor, homophobia, the internet–fake news. All mixed up in an unpalatable, toxic soup.
    Mean-spiritedness defines much of today’s public discourse. Anger can quickly surface without regard to the singular importance of free speech, so indispensable to a democratic society in which the dialectic of collaboration must be paramount at all times. Solutions to numerous socio-political challenges become lost in bitter irresolution. People who need affirmation and assistance receive neither. We live in the age of the reality show where narcissism reigns supreme, and “you’re fired” has become a national mantra. In this era of acceleration, destruction and creation, not clearly separate, are ineffective partners, and their clash occurs in a world now too often lit by lightning, echoing the words of Tennessee Williams in the early 1940s.
    For me, The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens offers a community that can provide a still point in this crazy-quilt of turbulence. We have in this fellowship others who are deeply concerned with the inherent worth and dignity of every person as they promote positive change in themselves and in the world, making an institutional creed a living practice. Our principles and our covenant can define us. This community, even in disagreement, works from a passionate concern for others’ well-being. Respect and affection for each other emerge in our participations, and this union becomes such a fundamental solace for me. That we are growing in numbers heartens me, making me know that the future promises an even more vibrant fellowship.
    As the UUFA expands its vision in regard to physical space and structure, we will also be able to strengthen and expand our ministries, so that we can understand more personally, more collectively, what it means to be human on an Earth that is becoming so crowded and so battered by the change that sweeps world-wide. We may not all agree, for we come from diverse backgrounds. Hopefully, we grow in our appreciations in terms of our individual journeys. We can, nevertheless, open doors of discovery for each other as we explore the present, as we collaborate to make a dynamic future where we respect the interdependence of all life.

denominational affairs

  • UUA Matters: Propose a Congregational Study/Action Issue

    Is there an issue that you think would benefit from four years of study and action by UU congregations as a Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI)? Is it an issue that hasn’t already been the subject of the CSAI process?

    Consider making a proposal for General Assembly 2018. Proposals are due by October 1, 2017. For more information about the process, instructions on submitting, and a list of previous CSAIs, visit the UUA website. Send questions and submissions to socialwitness@uua.org.

  • UUA Matters: Southern Region Newsletter: Mid-September Edition

    Click here to read the latest edition of the UUA Southern Region newsletter or go to https://goo.gl/2Agjpi.

  • UUA Matters: Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund

    HURRICANE IRMA RECOVERY FUND

    The UUA has established a Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to assist congregations in repairing any damage and to respond to the needs of their members and their community’s efforts to get back on its feet.

    Click here or go to https://goo.gl/wzxFqF for more information.

  • UUA Matters: Love Resists–Three Things You Can Do to Support Dreamers

    Love Resists Logo

    When one of us is at risk of deportation, none of us are truly free and beloved. When policymakers target people who are served by programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), we refuse to be divided.

    Our partners are calling us to take immediate action, knowing the defense of DACA recipients, the “Dreamers,” is just one step in our work to ensure safety, dignity, and a clear path to residency and citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

    For three things you can do today, click here or go to https://goo.gl/WiFqtd.

     

    The Love Resists Campaign, sponsored by the UUA and the UUSC, is activating people of faith and conscience to resist the criminalization of our neighbors and communities, and create a safer, more just, welcoming, and sustainable world.

  • UUA Matters: Southern Region Newsletter: Early September Edition

    Click here to read the latest edition of the UUA Southern Region newsletter.

  • UUA News Alert: UUA, UUSC Leaders are Appalled by Decision to End DACA

    UUA News Alert

    The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and Thomas Andrews, President and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), issued a statement in response to the Trump administration’s announcement to end the DACA program.

    Go to https://goo.gl/JJNtmK to read.

  • Hurricane Irma & Harvey Recovery Funds

    Hurricane Irma Relief

    With Hurricane Irma—the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded—barreling across Florida after devastating parts of the Caribbean, there is likely to be significant damage similar to what Hurricane Harvey inflicted. We know that long after the initial clean-up, real recovery can take months or years.

    The UUA stands with its congregations which have been impacted by these natural disasters and has established a Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to assist congregations in repairing any damage, and to respond to the needs of their members’ and their community’s efforts to get back on its feet. UUA staff is working closely with leaders in the Association’s Southern Region, to ascertain where the need is greatest and distribute funds efficiently.

    Thank you for your generosity.

    If you prefer to donate by mail, please make your check payable to the UUA with “Irma Recovery Fund” on the memo line, and send to UUA Gift Processing, 24 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210. To support both the Irma and Harvey recovery funds, you may send one check with a note indicating how much to allocate to each fund.

    Hurricane HarveyRelief

    On Friday night, August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 Storm and brought with it deadly winds and rain to an area of the United States millions call home. Much of the Texas Gulf Coast has been impacted and communities in Louisiana and across the state of Texas are still coping with more days of rain. We’re holding all of those affected in our hearts and prayers and we are in touch with local Unitarian Universalists so we can meet the needs as they arise. To do this, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has joined with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) on a recovery and relief fund.
    Please give as generously as you are able. Half of all funds raised will go to at-risk populations served by UUSC partners and the other half of the funds will support Unitarian Universalist congregations and members of those congregations most affected by the storm. Those funds will be administered by a group of leaders in the UUA’s Southern Region, which includes the states across the southeast from Texas to South Carolina, and from most of Virginia to Florida.
    Using their eye-to-eye partnership model, UUSC will work with and support local grassroots community partners on the ground in Texas serving at-risk populations who may not be able to access relief services and who are traditionally left out of mainstream response efforts. UUSC and their partners will work to bolster locally led relief efforts that are serving immigrant families, in particular young mothers and their children.
    As the storm passes and recovery begins, UUSC will continue to get updates and work with partners to ensure their needs are met.

    Online contributions may be made here:
    https://giving.uua.org/harvey-floods

    Contributions may be mailed to:
    (please include a “Hurricane Harvey” memo on your check)
    Unitarian Universalist Association
    Attn: Gift Processing
    24 Farnsworth Street
    Boston, MA 02210-1409

    Your donation to this fund is much appreciated. Thank you.

  • UU conference in India!

    Registration is open through Nov. 30 for The International Council of Unitarian and Universalists’ (ICUU) 2018 Conference in the Khasi Hills of India.  Join us for learning and inspiration, worship and conversation.  We will hear from several keynote speakers, each speaking not only to the unique expression of Unitarian/Universalism in their faith community but also about how we bridge the differences of our faith expressions and how to become a stronger, more united voice for religious freedom in our world.  The event will be held 11 FEBRUARY – 15 FEBRUARY 2018 in Shillong, India.

    Registration information can be found here – http://icuu.info/node/176 Registration through Nov. 30 is $300, and Late Registration through Jan. 15, 2018, is $350. Accommodation reservations are separate and sent to you once you have registered. The costs range from $72 – $448 USD depending on the type of room you choose. Please note all rooms are subject to availability. Air Travel/Transportation costs are the registrant’s responsibility. If you are at all interested, please contact Heather Kleiner at hkleiner@uga.edu (706-769-0525) or Michelle Leebens-Mack at leebensmack@gmail.com (706-410-6454) ASAP! Active members of the UUFA may receive partial financial support.

  • UUA Matters: UUA President Condemns Directive Banning Transgender People from Military Service

    UUA NEWS ALERT

    UUA President the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray issued a statement in response

    to Donald Trump’s directive banning transgender people from entering the military.

    Go to the following to read more:

    https://www.uua.org/pressroom/press-releases/uua-president-condemns-directive-banning-transgender-people-military

  • UUA Matters: Southern Regional Newsletter–Mid-August Edition

    Click here to read the latest edition of the UUA Southern Region newsletter.

     

Forum

  • Forum Folks Needed

    Do you have good ideas? Do you know people?

    If so, you are invited to become a member of the 2017-18 Forum Committee to help plan, promote, and introduce next year’s Forums.

    Need more information?  See any member of the current Forum Committee:  Kate Blane, Frank Boardman, Gary Crider, David Jarrett, or Karen Solheim.

    Ready to join?  Contact Karen Solheim (justice@uuathensga.org or 706.202.7515).

Education

  • Sermon Discussion Group After the Service

    Dive into the Sermon Inspired to go deeper? Ever want to talk about ideas and feelings generated from the Sunday Service? You are invited to join a discussion group that will meet once monthly following the 4th Sunday Lunch. At these gatherings, you will have the opportunity to join a dialog on the theme of the service, beginning with the questions posted in the order of service. No registration required. Group will meet from 12:30 – 2:30 in Sofa Room. All are welcome! Group Facilitator: Michelle Leebens-Mack, leebensmack@gmail.com, 706-410-6454. September’s topic is “To Forgive.” Join Us!

  • Family Fun Day – Everyone is Family at UUFA – Sun. Sept. 17th

    Family Fun Day at UUFA…Everyone is Family at UUFA!!


    We invite “kids” of all ages to attend our Family Fun Day at the Fellowship.
    Sunday, September 17 from 12:30-2:30.


    We will have pizza, games and fun for all. Please RSVP with the number of folks attending to Kelli McConnell ( dre@uuathensga.org ) before September 15th.
    All are welcome!  Questions? Contact Kelli McConnell

    Reserve a T-Shirt to Tie-Dye!!

    We are excited to unveil our Love Calls Us On T-Shirt to
    commemorate the upcoming Program Year! T-Shirts will be printed on soft white cotton and are available in both youth and adult sizes. If you want to tie-dye your shirt, please join us at our Family Fun Day tie-dye table!

     

    If you are able, donations of $10 per shirt will offset the cost of printing. Everyone who wants a shirt can have one. Donations are appreciated, but not required.

    Reserve your size here: https://goo.gl/forms/FfyamdYMzCznErVx1 or email Kelli McConnell (dre@uuathensga.org) with the size(s) you need.

  • September 25: Building the World We Dream About

    The first session of this adult religious exploration curriculum  was held Saturday, and we managed to cover both of the first workshops that morning. Our next session will be next Monday, September 25, in the sofa room at UUFA. We’ll start at 7, and end at 9 or before. Even if you cannot attend every session, we hope you’ll attend when you can.If you want to know some of what we did on Saturday, check out workshops 1 and 2 on the UUA website: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults/btwwdaya

    Additional meeting dates:  Mondays—October 9 and 23, November 6—and Saturday, November 18. The Saturday sessions meet from 9:30-12:30; the Monday sessions from 7-9 PM.

    This series of classes is facilitated by Hilda Kurtz and Vivian Preston Sellers.

  • Small Group Ministry Registration opens in August!

    WHAT IS SMALL GROUP MINISTRY? This program provides an opportunity to establish new and deeper relationships with one another and to find a place to enrich our spiritual and life exploration and growth. Small Group Ministry (SGM), sometimes called Covenant Groups or Chalice Circles in other UU congregations, allows people to get to know a small group of UUFA members or friends while discussing questions and issues of deep significance.

    The groups typically meet twice a month at either UUFA or in group members’ homes. SGM is intended to give participants a chance to get to know others in a manner different from the experiences of committee work, Sunday service, and other Fellowship activities. To participate, one MUST register during the times set aside for that; this year’s fall registration will occur from August 13-27. Even if you were a member of a group last year, registration for this program year is required.

    For more information, speak with Vivian Preston Sellers or any SGM facilitator, or go to the SGM page on the UUFA website: http://uuathensga.org/education/small-group-ministries/. More information concerning how to register will come in August.

  • Dive into the Sermon: A Sunday Small Group Ministry Group

    Inspired to go deeper? Ever want to talk about ideas and feelings generated from the Sunday Service? You are invited to join a Small Group Ministry group that will meet once monthly following the 4th Sunday Lunch. At these gatherings, you will have the opportunity to join a dialog on the theme of the service, beginning with the questions posted in the order of service. No registration required.

    Group will meet from 12:30 – 2:30 in Sofa Room. All are welcome! Group Facilitator: Michelle Leebens-Mack, leebensmack@gmail.com, 706-410-6454.

    The upcoming September topic is “To Forgive.” Join Us!

  • Adult Religious Exploration for Fall

    Interested in broadening your religious and/or spiritual knowledge? Then sign on to take one of the four Religious Exploration offerings for Fall, 2017, aimed at older youth and adults. The selections offered are: “Building the World We Dream About,” a social justice-focused class; “The Historical Jesus,” a class focused on evidence of Jesus’ life; “Governance and Ministry” book discussion, focused on how UUFA gets things done and how that is reflective of Unitarian Universalism; and “In a Word,” a discussion group about the language surrounding religion and worship, led by our minister, Rev. Alison Eskildsen.

    For more information on the classes—meeting dates, location, content, and how to join the class—see the UUFA website page: http://uuathensga.org/education/adult-education/

  • Fall Adult Religious Exploration Offerings
    “Building the World We Dream About” —8 sessions, facilitated by Hilda Kurtz and Vivian Preston Sellers.
    This is a UUA-developed curriculum that “supports Unitarian Universalists and congregations to build the multicultural world of beloved community we dream about by cultivating participants’ knowledge, skills, and capacity to address issues related to race, ethnicity, and cultural identity.” Though developed as a curriculum tailored to the experiences of young adults, the facilitators will adapt the sessions for all age groups, incorporating information and activities from the 24-session original curriculum. The classes will begin in September, and continue through October. More information is available at http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults, though the format for each session will be slightly different than that online. Please let Hilda (hldkrtz@gmail.com) or Vivian (vpsellers@gmail.com) know if you are interested, or sign up on Sundays in July and August at the Stepping Stones table.
    The Historical Jesus book discussion—1st and 3rd Mondays, beginning in September, 7:00-8:30 PM; facilitated by Steven Pottier.

    Steven will base the class on the book The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed, which is available from Amazon, or from the bookstore of your choice. The class will follow the definition from Wikipedia: “The term “historical Jesus” refers to attempts to ‘reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods,’ in ‘contrast to Christological definitions (‘the dogmatic Christ’) and other Christian accounts of Jesus (‘the Christ of faith’).’ It also considers the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived.”

    Please let Steven at spottier@uga.edu, or Vivian Preston Sellers at vpsellers@gmail.com, know of your interest in the class, or sign up at the Stepping Stones table after services on Sundays in July and August.

    Governance and Ministry book discussion, facilitated by Lee Cornell and Jane Mayer; October 7th & 21st; Saturdays, 9 am – noon.
    UUFA employs a policy based governance model that empowers and enables our members and staff to do the nitty-gritty work of ministry and service. Join Lee (Past President and Lay Minister Candidate) and Jane (Lay Minister Emerita and Past President) as we explore our governance past, how we developed our current model, how congregational size impacts governance and ministry, and how the dynamic interactions of governance and ministry work together to help us realize our Mission and Vision.

    While useful for leaders, these discussions will be adapted for anyone who wants to understand the governance model currently in place at UUFA, how we came to this model, and how it will evolve as we grow our community. The group discussions will pull from materials in the book Governance and Ministry, available from the UUA bookstore (http://www.uuabookstore.org/Governance-and-Ministry-Second-Edition-P17796.aspx). A few copies will be available to borrow from the UUFA library during the class for those unable to the purchase the book.

    Contact Lee at uufa.lee@gmail.com, or Jane at jmayer1953@gmail.com , or sign up at the Stepping Stones table after services on Sundays in July and August.

    “In a Word”— Reverend Alison Eskildsen will facilitate.
    Religious language can be both a curse and a blessing. Which is it for you? Join Rev. Alison on the 3rd Saturday of the month, at 9:30 am, from September through May, to explore the various meaning and impact of words used in religious or spiritual contexts. We’ll explore words such as faith, worship, sin, grace, prayer, and more, to discover what emotional, intellectual, or spiritual value they may have (or not have) for diverse Unitarian Universalists.Brief readings will be assigned for each session, primarily taken from Fluent in Faith, by Jeanne Nieuwejaar, published by the UUA’s Skinner House Books. To express your interest in participating or to ask questions, please contact Rev. Alison (rev.eskildsen@uuathensga.org).

  • SGM Registration Opens August 13th!

    WHAT IS SMALL GROUP MINISTRY? This program provides an opportunity to establish new and deeper relationships with one another and to find a place to enrich our spiritual and life exploration and growth. Small Group Ministry (SGM), sometimes called Covenant Groups or Chalice Circles in other UU congregations, allows people to get to know a small group of UUFA members or friends while discussing questions and issues of deep significance.

    The groups typically meet twice a month at either UUFA or in group members’ homes. SGM is intended to give participants a chance to get to know others in a manner different from the experiences of committee work, Sunday service, and other Fellowship activities. To participate, one MUST register during the times set aside for that; this year’s fall registration will occur from August 13-27. Even if you were a member of a group last year, registration for this program year is required.

    Registration will begin August 13th, after the service, both online and on paper. Paper registration forms will be available at the Stepping Stones table in the Fellowship Hall after services August 13, 20, and 27th, or from the UUFA office during the week (usually from 10-4, T-F). To register online during those weeks, go to the UUFA Website page listed below, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the words in red print “here during the enrollment period.” Registration will end at 5 PM on Sunday, August 27th, in order for groups to be formed prior to the beginning of September.

    For more information, speak with Vivian Preston Sellers or any SGM facilitator, or go to the SGM page on the UUFA website: http://uuathensga.org/education/small-group-ministries/.

  • Religious Exploration Offerings for Fall, 2017

    Adult Religious Exploration Offerings for Fall, 2017

    “Building the World We Dream About” —8 sessions, facilitated by Hilda Kurtz and Vivian Preston Sellers.
    This is a UUA-developed curriculum that “supports Unitarian Universalists and congregations to build the multicultural world of beloved community we dream about by cultivating participants’ knowledge, skills, and capacity to address issues related to race, ethnicity, and cultural identity.” Though developed as a curriculum tailored to the experiences of young adults, the facilitators will adapt the sessions for all age groups, incorporating information and activities from the 24-session original curriculum. The classes will begin in September, and continue through October. More information is available at http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults, though the format for each session will be slightly different than that online. Please let Hilda (hldkrtz@gmail.com) or Vivian (vpsellers@gmail.com) know if you are interested, or sign up on Sundays in July and August at the Stepping Stones table. The dates will be confirmed by July.
    The Historical Jesus book discussion—1st and 3rd Mondays, beginning in September, 7:00-8:30 PM; facilitated by Steven Pottier.

    Steven will base the class on the book The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed, which is available from Amazon, or from the bookstore of your choice. The class will follow the definition from Wikipedia: “The term “historical Jesus” refers to attempts to ‘reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods,’ in ‘contrast to Christological definitions (‘the dogmatic Christ’) and other Christian accounts of Jesus (‘the Christ of faith’).’ It also considers the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived.”
    Please let Steven at spottier@uga.edu, or Vivian Preston Sellers at vpsellers@gmail.com, know of your interest in the class, or sign up at the Stepping Stones table after services on Sundays in July and August.

    Governance and Ministry book discussion, facilitated by Lee Cornell and Jane Mayer; October 7th & 21st; Saturdays, 9 am – noon.
    UUFA employs a policy based governance model that empowers and enables our members and staff to do the nitty-gritty work of ministry and service. Join Lee (Past President and Lay Minister Candidate) and Jane (Lay Minister Emerita and Past President) as we explore our governance past, how we developed our current model, how congregational size impacts governance and ministry, and how the dynamic interactions of governance and ministry work together to help us realize our Mission and Vision.
    While useful for leaders, these discussions will be adapted for anyone who wants to understand the governance model currently in place at UUFA, how we came to this model, and how it will evolve as we grow our community. The group discussions will pull from materials in the book Governance and Ministry, available from the UUA bookstore (http://www.uuabookstore.org/Governance-and-Ministry-Second-Edition-P17796.aspx). A few copies will be available to borrow from the UUFA library during the class for those unable to the purchase the book.
    Contact Lee at uufa.lee@gmail.com, or Jane at jmayer1953@gmail.com , or sign up at the Stepping Stones table after services on Sundays in July and August.

    Ongoing Groups: no need to sign up!

    Political Discussion Group—ongoing, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sundays each month; facilitated by Paul Gurian and Joey Freeman; meets in the rainbow room.
    One doesn’t really need to “sign up” for this group, which will meet 3 times each month at 12:30 to discuss the current political landscape. Paul is a former political science professor at UGA who specializes in presidential election cycles; Joey is a long-time member of the discussion group.
    Writing as Spiritual Practice—ongoing; Myrna Adams West facilitates; 1st Sundays at 9:15 am in the couch room near Rev. Alison’s office
    This group offers an opportunity to explore spiritual expression through various genres. Each Sunday the topic for the worship services will relate to that month’s theme, not as a series, but just another angle on a subject to deepen the exploration of that particular theme. The suggested prompts for Writing as Spiritual Practice assignments will follow the monthly worship themes.
    Book Group— ongoing,; 2nd Sunday each month, September through May; facilitated by Clarissa Finco; meets in the office around the conference table.
    The book group meets each month to discuss a book, fiction or non-fiction, chosen by the previous year’s group to read and discuss. Book titles will be available on the bulletin board or online.
    Goddess Group: ongoing, meets the 3rd Sunday of each month, usually from 1:30-3:30. Facilitated by Myrna Adams West.
    The Goddess Group is a circle of women who are exploring their inner goddess through appreciation and participation in the arts, everything from crafts to fine art, to gardening and nature walks, to singing and dancing and drumming, to reading and writing, to cooking and sewing. The group formed following study of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s curricula about thealogy (the study of the feminine aspect of the Divine, i.e. the Goddess), “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” and “Rise Up and Call Her Name.” Ritual, conversation, sharing, and caring are part of the group’s ongoing ministry to each other.
    Forum: ongoing; presentations occur the 2nd and 3rd Sundays each month from September to May, between the first and second services (from about 10:10 until 10:45). The forum team facilitates these presentations.
    The Forum is an adult lecture and talk-back featuring a vast array of topics. Previous Forum topics include SPLOST issues, global climate change, our UU Transylvanian Heritage, happiness, creativity, and more.

spiritual arts

  • *New* Dance and Move at UUFA

    Do you like to dance? Leigh Harvey will be teaching West African Dance in the sanctuary (with our drummers) Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 September 6th-October 26th. She will also be teaching responsive and creative movement “Dancing with our Hymns” in the Rainbow Room on the same nights, 6:45-7:15. E-mail Leigh with questions, beedancer@gmail.com and get muuving!

  • Sun., Oct. 8, Bring your Stuffed Animal for a Blessing

    Bless your stuffed animal (or mineral or vegetable)!

    During the Sunday services on Oct. 8, we’ll have an alternative to a live animal blessing. No matter your age, if you’d like some stuffed comfort item to be blessed, bring it with you to the Fellowship that morning.

    Questions? Contact Rev. Alison or CRE Kelli.

  • Music Ministry
    We Are What We Sing
    Our theme for this month -which will be the basis for our yearly theme- comes from the song “Love Calls Us On” by UU minister and composer Jason Shelton.  Jason has often quoted Dr. Mark Noll, a Christian Historian, in saying, “We are what we sing.”
    Our songs define what we value, who we are, and who we are becoming.  They inspire us to action and comfort us when we need encouragement.
    How does love call you to respond to the world’s needs?  What songs lift you up and soothe your spirit?  
    If you are looking for more inspiration, consider connecting with music at UUFA.  New choir and drum circle members are always welcome, and we have some new activities this fall:
     
    Community Choir *New*
    Come sing songs of hope and justice with UUFA choir members and members from the community once a month at UUFA,
    The next date is Wed. Sept. 13th, 7:30-9:00 (Join us at the FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating, $5-10 donation) dinner before choir 6ish-7:30 for more fellowship.)
    We also have regular choir rehearsal every Wednesday, 7:30-9:00.  The choir sings two Sundays/month at both services.
    Drum & Dance! *New*
    Leigh Harvey will be teaching West African dance steps to the rhythms we are learning in drum circle, Wednesdays in Sept. and Oct, 5:30-6:30
    E-mail Leigh if you have questions about dancing, beedancer@gmail.com
    New drummers are always welcome too!  E-mail Amber with questions about drumming.
    Dancing the Hymns *New*
    Leigh will also be leading creative movement in the RE wing Wednesdays in Sept. and Oct. from 6:30-7:30
    E-mail Leigh if you have questions about creative movement, beedancer@gmail.com
    Singing Meditation
    Our exploration of singing as spiritual practice will be at the home of Kathy Stege this month on Sunday, Sept. 17th, from 5:00-7:00pm.  Bring a potluck dish to share.  E-mail Amber for directions or to learn more musicdirector@uuathensga.org.
    Maybe you have other musical gifts to share?  Let me know about it!  Please talk to me during fellowship hour or send me an e-mail.  Tell me what music moves you!
  • Tai Chi Flow Classes starting 9/19

    Come join us for some Tai Chi and Qigong! Tuesday nights at 6pm, beginning 9/19. in the Sanctuary. Includes self-massage, breathing exercises, and simple moves for meditation, balance, and fitness. You don’t need to know anything about Tai Chi, just follow along! Join in anytime. Contact Jackie or Bill Pierson – birdfeathr@gmail.com or 706-850-0713.

  • Share your time & talent with the Worship Arts Committee!
    – Would you like to have input into what happens during worship services on Sunday?  
    – Is there a topic you would like someone to address during a service?  
    – Are you interested in helping plan worship services or in assisting with some of the parts of a worship service?

    UUFA’s Worship Arts Committee (WAC) meets generally on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Sofa Room.  Anyone is welcome to attend a meeting, whether you want to observe, give feedback or input, or are considering participating in planning and conducting worship services.  The next meeting is Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at 6:30 pm.

    You do not have to join WAC, although this committee always welcomes new members.

    If you would like to be a Worship Assistant who works with Rev. Alison or a guest speaker in presenting a service, you may participate in a training session for Worship Assistants in the near future.

    You can share your thoughts about our Sunday services by
     attending a meeting
    – speaking with a committee member, Rev. Alison, or Lay Minister Herb West
    – by sending us an email

     

  • My Journey Through Tai Chi

    About 2 years ago Bill and I took Tai Chi Easy at OLLI, and it has changed our lives! After the class, we decided to lead a practice group at UUFA. So we nervously started a class, and people actually came! Since then, Bill and I have been learning more about Tai Chi and Qigong. We both practice nearly every day, and have taken more classes and workshops. Last year we went to a week-long Qigong workshop in Florida with Roger Janke. I have been learning a longer more traditional form, the Yang-style 108 moves. I am currently working on level two of an on-line study course in TaijiFit that includes many classes taken by video conference, self-study, and a three-day workshop in Santa Barbara, CA.

    I really appreciate each and every student, whether you came once or twice and checked it out, or you have come to nearly every class, it’s wonderful to have you there. I look forward to seeing some of you again, and to meeting new students. I am grateful for the opportunity to try out things as I learn more about Tai Chi and Qigong. It’s been a wonderful journey and I feel like it’s just beginning.

    I am currently leading Taiji Flow, it’s a follow along Tai Chi that’s set to music (a little like Zumba, but it’s Tai Chi). You don’t have to know anything or learn anything, just come and enjoy.

    This fall, in addition to a class at UUFA, I will be leading a class at the Winterville Community Center, Wednesday mornings at 10:00, beginning September 20th.

    Classes at UUFA will be starting up again on September 19th, class will be every Tuesday at 6pm. There’s no charge, but we do accept a donation which we give to UUFA to cover use of the room and utilities. We’re meeting in the Sanctuary, which is nice as you can look out at the trees, and the carpet feels good on your feet. Bill usually brings a quote or a reading, and maybe an original ink painting or calligraphy to class. You don’t need to know anything or memorize anything, just come. It’s a moving meditation that’s fun! What are you waiting for? come join us!

    For more information contact birdfeathr@gmail.com or 706-850-0713

  • Offsite Singing Meditation & Potluck Sept. 16

    Join us for a potluck and singing meditation at the home of Kathy Stege. Singing meditation is the spiritual practice of singing and silence. No musical experience required! Sept. 16, 5-7 pm

    RSVP to Amber, musicdirector@uuathensga.org

  • Art in the Foyer August & September

    Jennie Snare Paintings: “I arranged the objects of these still life paintings in front of a window in the upstairs of my home. I was inspired by the light coming in which gave the set up a life it would not have had otherwise.”

Justice

  • October 7: UUFA Team for the Annual Athens Aids Walk 2017?!?

    Join the UUFA Team for the Annual Athens Aids Walk 2017 on Saturday, October 7, 2017!

    Time:  10 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Location:  Starting and ending at Creature Comforts Brewery, 271 W. Hancock Avenue

    Registration options:  $25 includes event t-shirt or free without event t-shirt

    Click here or go to https://goo.gl/forms/yiuemh5v0kfmcB123 to register by Wednesday, September 27.

     

  • October 1–You’re Invited: Social Action Committee (SAC)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, October 1, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the front office.

    Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv here: http://lists.uuathensga.org/listinfo.cgi/social_action-uuathensga.org This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up!

    For more information, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com).

    The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster.

  • Sanctuary Movement Team: You’re Invited

    Join us for the next gathering of the Sanctuary Movement Team on second Thursday of the month–October 12–beginning at 7 p.m. in the sofa room.

    To join the Sanctuary Movement Team listserv, click here or go to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/uufa-sanctuary-movement-team/join

    Need more information?  Contact Chase White (robert.chase.white@gmail.com or 864.238.1870) or visit http://www.uua.org/immigration/witness/partners/newsanctuary.

  • DACA Renewal: Can you help?

    from JoBeth Allen, Co-director, U-Lead Athens, a UUFA Justice Cluster partner:

    As you have heard by now, the current administration ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Many people are outraged and wondering what they can do. There are over 100 people just that I know of in the Athens area who have this protection from deportation, work permit, and as a result, driver licenses. They will lose all these things if Congress does not do something to replace DACA (please contact your Senators and urge them to support the Dream Act 2017, an excellent bipartisan bill).
    There is a small window of safety for some DACA holders. If their DACA expires before March 5 2018, they can renew it if they file before October 5. We can help! U-Lead Athens is spreading the message far and wide that we will help people in this situation file their renewals. We do this free of charge; lawyers charge a fee. The Department of Homeland Security charges $495. We would like to pay whatever part of this fee the DACA holder cannot. We know we have 10 people coming to renew. We hope to have more in the next few days.
    ———————————————————————————-
    On Sundays, September 24 and October 1, a donation basket will be available.
    Please make all checks to U-Lead Athens, writing DACA on the memo line.
    Not at UUFA this Sunday?  Mail all checks to U-Lead Athens, 130 Hope Avenue, Athens, GA 30606.
  • Meatless Mondays…Coming to UUFA!?
    Please join the UUFA Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating (FREE) Team in Meatless Mondays or choose other diet explorations such vegan before six or weekday vegetarian.
    We have a goal of having 100 members and friends commit to living lower on the food chain!
    FREE will have a table in the Fellowship Hall most Sundays.  Please stop by, and select your level of diet exploration OR click here (or go to https://goo.gl/forms/RF1IYjkAXmRludIf2) to participate electronically.
    What we eat three times a day has a tremendous impact on our bodies and our global society and environment.
    Living lower on the food chain can add pleasure and satisfaction to our daily 3 squares.
    Questions:  Contact Kate Blane (raya_mead@yahoo.com).
  • October 1: Cause of the Month Conversation–Our Partner Church

    Please join the Cause of the Month Conversation on Sunday, October 1, from 10:05-10:50 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall to learn more about our partner church in Okland, Transylvania.  Heather Kleiner will facilitate this interactive informational session.

     

  • Can you CANtribute?

    As of August 31, UUFA is in fifth place in the friendly competition among the 25 faith communities who CANtribute regularly to the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank.

    With our year-to-date CANtributions of 1196 items, we are 2000 items out of first place! 🙁

    However, we are only 35 items away from fourth place!

    The wicker basket as you enter the sanctuary is willing and able to receive your CANtributions.

    Not a fan of shopping?  Savvy Social Action Committee (SAC) shoppers will convert your monetary donation to nonperishable food items.  See any member of SAC.

  • #ReviveLove with Black Lives of UU

    On September 30th, in Atlanta, join ‘Black Lives of UU’ on the road tour as they partner with ”Standing on the Side of Love’ and Rev. Sekou and the Holy Ghost for the #ReviveLove Tour – Political & Spiritual Sustenance For Movement!

    What began during a post 2017 UUA General Assembly gathering this past June has grown into the #ReviveLove Tour, offering Black organizers and movement supporters a space to recharge, replenish & build together in love.

    For more details, go to http://www.blacklivesuu.com/revivelove/

    Black Lives of UU provides information, resources and support for Black Unitarian Universalists and works to expand the role & visibility of Black UUs within our faith. For more on BLUU, go to http://www.blacklivesuu.com

  • September 10: Athens Pride Festival

    Athens PRIDE

    Sunday, September 10

    2-6 p.m.

    Washington Street between Pulaski and Hull Streets

    Can you help person the UUFA table at the 2017 PRIDE Festival and Community Fair Event?

    Help is also needed with setup and take down.

    Click here to RSVP.

    Questions?  Contact Karen Solheim, Justice Lay Minister

    (justice@uuathensga.org or 706.202.7515)

  • September 25: Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition

    You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition on Monday, September 25, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Oconee Street UMC.

    This group is called to do the following:

         –Cultivate relationships with undocumented immigrant families and individuals – this is the foundation of what directs us

    –Support legal aid defense funding – ALCES and the Latin American Association

    Partner with Community Support for Families in Crisis Due to Deportation/ Detention by providing financial support, becoming a Buddy, advocating for detainees, providing transportation, or becoming a temporary guardian

    This group will meet the fourth Monday of every month.

    To read what transpired at the August meeting of the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, go to https://goo.gl/b2Wij6.

  • December 16: Visit to Stewart Detention

    Join members of the UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team on a visit to El Refugio and Stewart Detention Center on Saturday, December 16.

    El Refugio is a hospitality house located in Lumpkin, GA – right outside the gates of Stewart Detention Center whose purpose is to serve the family and friends of men detained and, thus, separated from their loved ones.

    Click here to sign up.

    For more information about this visit, please read the El Refugio Visitor’s Manual: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-sojNRbRJ4wd0E0UWRZcm9NbDdyMGJhUnRMclN1X1hFRTM4/view?usp=sharing

    Questions?  Contact Chase White (robert.chase.white@gmail.com or 864.238.1870).

    The Sanctuary Movement Team is part of the UUFA Justice Cluster.

     

Please note: the Communications Team continues to work on the formatting of this new page; send feedback to Shaye .

To read past Tapestries, visit http://uuathensga.org/connections/tapestry/newsletter/