weaving the threads of community

wondering with AWE

  • Wondering with AWE – May 2018

    A Season of Growth, by Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen

    The theme suggested for Fellowship reflection and discussion this month is ‘Growth’. Growth can mean many things. Maturation and lifelong development may be synonymous terms for growth. As we age in years, we mature or grow our physical bodies. Our infant body bears little resemblance to our adult body. As we get older, we mature or expand our brain’s capacity to think and know. Our childhood brain, for example, does not have the ability to ‘read’ a 3-dimensional graphic and symbolism flies over their heads. And, as we age, we develop a deeper sense of ethics or morality (right and wrong) and create purpose or meaning for our lives. The catch-all phrase ‘body, mind and spirit’ covers these three essential areas of human growth over the lifespan.

    UUFA’s programming attempts to address all three areas of growth. We offer programming appropriate to different stages of life (Children, Youth, and Adult) which focuses on expanding our knowledge, creating deeper meaning, putting our morality or ethics into action, and through our various rites of passage, acknowledge growth and change. Newcomer welcome ceremonies, coming of age and youth bridging ceremonies, and child dedications are some of the ways we recognize growth. If you are graduating from a significant program of study, please inform Kelli McConnell.

    During the month of May, on Mother’s Day Sunday, I offer a child dedication ceremony. In this rite of passage we name and present to the UUFA community children newly born, newly adopted, or new to Unitarian Universalism. If you have a child or children you wish to be presented before the Fellowship, please let me know on or before Sunday, May 6.

    The month of May is full of growth recognitions. We honor youth graduating from university or high school, and those moving out of elementary school. We recognize four leaders of the Fellowship who have completed a year’s worth of training to become new Lay Ministers. And we offer thanks to four Lay Ministers who have served as program leaders for the past four years who enter the growing ranks of wise elders for the Fellowship. Finally, at the annual congregational meeting we will vote on new Board members and give thanks to outgoing Board members.

    Many transitions take place this month. Growth demands change in body, mind or spirit. Only those people without the breath of life can stop growing and changing. Show your liveliness this month by engaging in some activity that will develop your body, mind or spirit.

    Blessings, Alison

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Ministry Notes

  • Ministry Council Notes

    Notes from Ministry Council: April 17, 2018

    Present: Vivian (Facilitator), Hilda (Notetaker), Alison, Herb, Ange, Karen, Lee, Carol Lee

    The group present discussed:

    –As the PCC and others continue to struggle with the decision of the Romanian UU Church to not support gay marriage, the MC discussed the need to be mindful of their cultural context, and to hold some structured reflective conversations on the issue in order to come to a deeper understanding.

    –The decision to hire Kelli as the DRE (Moving on from temporary position into which she was originally hired, and the importance of allocating professional development funds to the DRE position, especially as the RE program seems to be growing.

    –Kitchen issues

    –Faith Forward Funding – $588 has been allocated in the budget for next year, the program will be ordered this summer, and a decision will be made about who will maintain the program.

    –Our Daily Bread requirements about where to cook the meal being served are at odds with what works logistically for some of the volunteers involved. More information will be gathered.

    –The timing of different Volunteer Recognition activities

    –Approval of and plans to set in motion the Mentorship Proposal by Jamie Mendenhall,

    –Transitioning to new Ministry Council, and specifically the May 6th service for installation of new lay ministers

    –Ministry Council Retreat – A start was made at scheduling a retreat for the incoming Lay Ministers in June or July.

    –Emerita/i/us status for Lay Ministers – Discussion of the role as ‘wise ones’ versus the title itself. Decision was made to use the title sparingly, when an emerita/i/us is serving in the stead or to give gravity or standing in a situation outside the Fellowship.

    Action items were reviewed, and the meeting was adjourned.

    Click here to read the notes from March.

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membership & volunteers

  • New to UUFA, Sat., June 16

    The next New to UU & UUFA will be held on Saturday, June 16, 8:45 am – 12 pm.

    Newcomers to UUFA and Unitarian Universalism are invited to attend and learn more about us. Participants briefly share their religious journey, and learn about the history and development of Unitarian Universalism and UUFA. You’ll meet Fellowship leaders, including our minister, Rev. Alison Eskildsen, and get information on programs, activities and services at UUFA.

    The morning begins with a continental breakfast and ends by noon. Child care can be arranged with advance notice.

    A sign-up sheet is on the Visitors Table in the foyer.

    You can also sign up by contacting or calling the Fellowship office (uufa@uuathensga.org) or by contacting Larry Dendy, chair of the Membership Committee (ldendy@uga.edu, 706-546-0431).

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  • May Volunteer Spotlight: Gaybriel Jones

    Thanks to Gaybriel Jones, folks at UUFA get to view and purchase members’ handiwork – jewelry, cards, ornaments, hats, scarves, poetry books, and more – on display each Sunday in our very own Rolling Market. Nowadays Gaybriel shares market hosting duties with Wendy Lamb. About twelve years ago as a Finance Committee member, Gaybriel helped bring the market, which had started earlier thanks to Bob and Karen Covi, back into use. Not only do we get to share our talents, but also the Fellowship receives 20% of the sales.

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  • New to UU-UUFA Orientation on Apr. 14

    Recent visitors and newcomers to UUFA, join us for the next “New to UUFA” class on Saturday, Apr. 14, at 8:45 am.  

    Participants briefly share their religious journey, and learn about the history and development of Unitarian Universalism and UUFA. You’ll meet Fellowship leaders, including our minister, Rev. Alison Eskildsen, and get information on programs, activities and services at UUFA.

    The morning begins with a continental breakfast and ends by noon. Child care can be arranged with advance notice.

    A sign-up sheet is on the Visitors Table in the foyer. You can also sign up by contacting or calling the Fellowship office (uufa@uuathensga.org) or by contacting Larry Dendy, chair of the Membership Committee (ldendy@uga.edu, 706-546-0431).

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  • Adult RE Volunteers Enliven Learning throughout the Program Year

    In May Vivian Sellers and the Religious Exploration Cluster thank individuals who in the past year have devoted much time and deep thought to presenting Adult RE classes and opportunities.

    Last fall Steve Pottier introduced a class based on the book The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed to delve into the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived, based on historical methods rather than traditional Christian accounts.

    Another offering last fall was led by Hilda Kurtz and Vivian. “Building the World We Dream About” involved participants in a UUA-developed curriculum 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.

    In February Kate Blane and Judy Bradberry facilitated a discussion of The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals for members and friends.

    It’s been a busy year for Paul Gurian. Since January Paul has led two classes discussing How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, tracing 300 years of Christian theology. He has also handed off the ever popular Sunday afternoon political discussions to Joey Freeman.

    Myrna Adams West has spearheaded Writing as Spiritual Practice since 2014. Based on Myrna’s monthly prompts (which participants think should definitely be collected as a book), the group offers an opportunity to explore spiritual expression through various genres culminating in a welcoming conversation. Myrna also leads the Goddess Group, which began in 2003 and is a circle of women who are exploring their inner goddess through study and participation in the arts. The group follows UUA curriculum several months each year.

    For decades Clarissa Finco has facilitated the September-to-May Book Talks group on second Sundays, making sure titles are selected and participants are welcomed to an invigorating conversation. Since its start in 1977, the group has discussed well over 150 fiction and nonfiction books.

    Jackie and Bill Pierson offer another multi-year opportunity: Tai Chi and Qigong sessions. With guidance from Jackie and Bill, participants learn and practice self-massage, breathing exercises, and simple moves for meditation, balance, and fitness.

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fellowship

  • UUFA Women’s Lunch on Wednesdays

    The UUFA Women’s Lunches are now on Wednesdays!Image result for lunch

    Same place:  Jason’s Deli — Same time:    11:30 a.m. You are invited to attend!

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  • TOMORROW evening! Come Scrabble with UUs!

    Every third Friday, all are welcome to come play and bring your own set.

    For more information, Kathy Larson, 317-855-0009, kathylyndall@gmail.com.

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  • UUFA Men’s Breakfast

    Men of UUFA meet twice weekly for breakfast and conversation from 9-11 am on Tuesdays at Panera and Thursdays at Cracker Barrel.

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  • Have You Registered Yet?

    For the UUFA Congregational Retreat at The Mountain, September 21-23, 2018, that is!

    Things you need to know:

    –The Mountain has held prices the same; adult price remains $190 for 2 nights lodging and 6 meals.

    –If you register before July 31st, the early-bird discount is $20 per adult, so $170 for the weekend.

    –All children and youth ages 0-17 are FREE.

    –The commuter fee for the day on Saturday is $50; this includes all meals and programming.

    –Scholarships are available for all adults. See Kelli McConnell, Amber Fetner, Vivian Sellers, or the retreat table in the sanctuary for applications.

    –The deadline for scholarship applications to be turned in to the box in the sanctuary is July 21st.

    You can register online at The Mountain website: (http://themountainrlc.org/event/2018-uufa-congregational-retreat/ or call Rachel Kinback’s office at The Mountain (828.526.5838 , extension 218). She’ll be glad to help you.

    This time, we’ll be the only group on top of Little Scaly Mountain, so we’ll have plenty of space to “Make Room for Creative Connections.”

    If you want to donate to the scholarship fund, please see Heather Jensen, Amber Fetner, Kelli McConnell, Herb West, Myrna Adams West, or Vivian Sellers, the retreat planning team. Several UUFA folks have already volunteered their time and talents to provide workshops during the retreat. Some of these are: a yoga class, tai chi, hikes, a drumming workshop, and family-friendly activities with Kelli and other volunteers.

    Rev. Alison and others will create worship services each night and Sunday morning; If you have an idea for something you’d like to have or to facilitate at the retreat, please let Vivian Sellers know. Come on! Sign up! It is a place full of magic and mystery, and you’ll be with kindred spirits!

    Let’s have the largest group of UUFA folks at The Mountain we’ve ever had.1n 2016, there were about 90 of us; let’s make it 100 in 2018! Email Vivian Preston Sellers at vpsellers@gmail.com if you have questions or ideas.

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  • Wed. Evening Potluck – A UUFA 35 year tradition

    All are welcome at the Wednesday evening Potluck!  Just bring a dish to share (homemade or purchased) at 6 p.m. and enjoy a glass of wine, good food and interesting conversation.  Hope to see you there.

expanding our vision

  • Construction Moving Ahead Despite Paper, Rock, and Rain!

    Construction is coming along – just a bit slower than hoped. Paper – in the form of county approval was delayed. Rock – was found toward the bottom of the huge hole necessary to accommodate the large storm water management structures required. Rain – has slowed work a few days.  None-the-less – we are making progress!

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Iva King (ivaking@bellsouth.net or 770-328-7928) or Herb West (herbwest48@gmail.com or 706-614-5644).  They are UUFA’s representatives who interact regularly with the contractors and the architect.  For recent updates, click here.

  • New Construction Details

    Expanding Our Vision! Now that construction has begun, I want to tell you about some of the exciting details of what is occurring and decisions on which our committee continues to work.

    During the past two weeks CloverLeaf Group construction has made a lot of progress!
    • Installed erosion control and tree fence (to protect as many trees as possible).
    • Removed the glass foyer and exterior brick around the old main entrance.
    • Installed temporary walls in fellowship hall and foyer, and began removing exterior walls.
    • Removed a portion of the front paving.
    • Started installing underground storm water pipes and huge concrete structures.
    • Removed trees within the new parking area off Cheatham Road.

    Progress was slowed a bit when a backhoe hit the UUFA water line. It was not where we thought it was! College Pro and CloverLeaf worked hard to rectify the problem ASAP.

    Within the next 30 days, CloverLeaf expects to accomplish the following:
    • Finish removing concrete block walls at the front of building.
    • Complete installation of the underground storm pipes and structures.
    • Level and prepare the building pad.
    • Rough in mechanical, electrical and plumbing in slab and pour concrete slab.
    • Pour pier footings/set anchor bolts for the steel structures.
    • Grade new parking lot.

    The tentative construction schedule is posted on the temporary wall in the Fellowship Hall (or click here for more detailed information).
    CloverLeaf has also promised they will put a temporary window in that temporary wall soon so we can watch their progress!
    A word about our trees – College Pro, the company that is doing all of the site work, is also a landscape company. They were so concerned about our trees that they asked Roger Moore and me to walk the perimeter of the construction area with them. They wanted us to understand that some trees outside the actual construction area will sustain unavoidable root damage. Significant root damage kills a tree, as does grading which raises the level of soil around a tree. However, when Roger looked at those trees, he found that they are already not very healthy; having grown so close together and competing for sunlight, they have just a few branches at their tops.

    On a brighter note – Roger also reported that when he stood at the end of the planned new parking lot, he could not see the sanctuary. Therefore, we’ll not likely see the parking lot when looking out the sanctuary windows. We will still have many trees providing summer foliage!

    Aesthetics- Barb Schell and the EOV Aesthetics subcommittee have been working hard to assure that our building is beautiful as well as functional. The full EOV Committee has confirmed their recommendations to have Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) in the new Gathering Hall/Fellowship Hall area. The LVT will have the look of wood flooring. A stone-look LVT will be installed in the RE Hallway. The carpet chosen for the new multipurpose room, conference room, and offices is a blend of grey and cream colors. The new carpet in the sanctuary will be a darker multicolor that coordinates nicely with our current turquoise pews but does not limit future color choices. (In case at some future time the pews are reupholstered.)

    What else can I tell you?
    • A decision has been made to not move the pews toward the back of the sanctuary. The pews will remain at the front and the 60+ additional seating capacity will be attained with flexible seating at the back.
    • Carol-Lee Baker has a subcommittee working on the best way to utilize funds specifically donated to update the kitchen.
    • John Olive reports that Capital Campaign pledges now total $1,330.500, and folks have already paid $915,857. The construction loan will be signed soon. However, since so many pledges have now been paid, he does not anticipate needing to draw on that line of credit for another few months. The less we borrow the less interest we will have to pay!
    • The Aesthetics sub committee is in the process of choosing paint colors for accent walls.
    • Lee Cornell and the UUFA Communications Team are developing ways to use monitors in the new Gathering Hall to keep us informed of happenings within the fellowship.
    • Some folks have expressed interest in having a patio outside the two new double doors that will connect the Fellowship Hall and the playground area. That is not currently in the budget, but with donated labor, Roger Moore, who heads the Landscape subcommittee, would love to see it happen.

    Another Workday! Since we don’t want to keep all the fun to ourselves, the EOV committee is proposing another work day in the near future. (The turnout when we asked for help in March was amazing.) There are some additional items that could be done, mostly outside, to assure that our 25-year-old spaces look as good as our new spaces. Stay tuned!

    Herb West and I are the EOV representatives that interact regularly with the contractors. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of us!

    Iva King, EOV Building Project Chairperson, ivaking@bellsouth.net; 770-328-7928.  Herb West, herbwest48@gmail.com; 706-614-5644

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  • Construction and Demolition Moving Ahead!

    Construction began the week of April 23! The orange construction fencing and black silt fences are now visible across the property.  Preparation for the new addition has begun by removing exterior brick; framing temporary walls in the Fellowship Hall, Foyer, and old office so that the exterior walls can be removed; and lots of digging in the old parking circle so that new, larger drainage lines can be installed.

     

    During the week, UUFA parking is restricted to the section of the parking lot closest to the woods, away from Timothy Road.  Subcontractors will be using the central section during the weekday.  Carpooling is strongly encouraged on Sundays due to the loss of parking spaces within the restricted construction fencing.

    Regular updates will be provided.  Please be patient and flexible as disruptions will occur periodically, and other issues will arise!

    Drew Wren continues as our CloverLeaf project manager and Alyssa Ferguson is the on-site supervisor. Phase 1 work will include the new parking lot off Cheatham Rd and construction of the new Gathering Hall, multipurpose room, conference room, restrooms, and offices. If the weather is good, CloverLeaf intends to finish this phase by early August.

    Click here for more information on the EOV page.

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Board Notes

  • Board Notes: Growth

    Several months ago, there was a leadership meeting offered at the Fellowship, which focused on growth. The information presented during the meeting was based on Loren B. Mead’s book, More Than Numbers: The Way Churches Grow and was adapted as a UUA weekend training.. In his book, he outlined four aspects of growth and stated that a vital, growing congregation would experience growth in all of these aspects. The four aspects of growth and a brief description are outlined below:

    Numerical Growth The number of members, specifically active members rather than names in the book. Are our trends in membership in keeping with the area and region both in Unitarian Universalism and in national faith trends.

    Maturational Growth is growth in the religious maturity of our individual members. Are we able to nurture ourselves and others within the congregation. A healthy, growing congregation empowers its members to contribute their unique talents and gifts for the well-being of the whole. Maturational growth emphasizes the need for members to move beyond the consumer orientation to church membership to more of a personal ministry. Meaning that we are moving from an approach of expecting the organization to deliver them spiritual care to that of contributing one’s unique talents and gifts through a sense of personal ministry.

    Organic Growth is the growth of the congregation as a functioning community. Organic growth requires internal policies, practices, recruiting and planning for leaders. Evaluation of programs and hired staff and practices to deal with conflict.

    Incarnational Growth is taking Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values to the outside community, society and world. It’s how we make a difference in the world.

    I found this “Leadership” meeting to be very informative and personally significant. I put the term in quotes because these meetings are not limited to designated leaders. They are open to everyone and will help individual growth and understanding of our beloved community. I invite and encourage you to attend any of the growth oriented meetings/classes that are offered at the Fellowship. These lead us to greater understanding and enhance the natural leader in each of us.

    On a different note, we are about to experience another type of growth – that of our physical building. Our long time planning is coming to fruition. We may have some growth challenges to face, but so much excitement is on our horizons. In Faith, Carol-Lee Baker, Board Member at Large

denominational affairs

  • UUWF Involvement Opportunities

     

    Positions Open on the UUWF Board
    Two positions on the UUWF Board will be open as of June — the VP of Communications and the VP for Funding Programs. The UUWF Board of Trustees is a dynamic, committed group of people. We meet in person twice a year, and attend General Assembly.
    Think about joining! And please share this link with people who might be interested. Deadline for applications is June 1.
    2018 General Assembly Booth Staffing Opportunity
    As part of our work, the UUWF is committed to presenting engaging and empowering workshops and programs each year at the UUA General Assembly. In 2018, the UUWF is dedicated to making the UUA a more accessible experience for all individuals, in particular individuals who identify as women and/or women of color. For this reason, the UUWF is offering a limited number of $150 stipends for three individuals to help offset the costs of attending General Assembly in return for their support of the UUWF during the week.
    Expectations: Each year, the UUWF hosts a booth at General Assembly in the Exhibit Hall as a way to share information on the UUWF’s work and cultivate new members for the organization. Over the course of GA, the selected candidate will be expected to staff the booth for approximately ten hours, in shifts of at least three hours. The preference would be for a candidate to help set up on the Wednesday morning of General Assembly and/or dismantle the booth on Sunday morning. Each candidate will receive support and a brief training in order to support their work within the booth. Each candidate will be awarded a stipend of $150 for their ten hours of service, upon completion of their work at General Assembly. Please fill out an application and email it to us by June 1.

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  • Love Resists: Resist the Criminalization of Poverty– Learn How to End Cash Bail

    On any given night in the United States, more than 450,000 people who have not been convicted of a crime are locked up in jail simply because they don’t have enough money to pay bail. Universalism means no one is disposable and interdependence means that none of us are truly free as long as people are in jail.

    Join us on Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST for a webinar to learn how the cash bail system criminalizes people for being poor.
    Click here for more information including registration.

     

    Love Resists is a joint campaign

    by the Unitarian Universalist Association

    and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

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  • UUA Matters: May 2018 Southern Region Newsletter

    To read the May 2018 Southern Region Newsletter,

    click here.

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  • UUA Matters: Get Out the Vote Project Grants Available

    The Fund for UU Social Responsibility is offering grants of up to $500 for 2018 Get Out the Image result for get out the voteVote projects! Unitarian Universalist congregations can support the democratic process in many nonpartisan ways this year:

    • by supporting voter registration drives.
    • providing nonpartisan educational materials or forums for voters.
    • by helping registered voters get to the polls.

    The application deadline is rolling between March 15 and November 1. Learn more at UUFunding.org.

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  • Side with Love: Prophetic Witness with the Poor People’s Campaign, May 13-15 & Beyond!

    From UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray:

    You may have heard me say that this is no time for a casual faith and no time to go it alone. I mean it with every fiber of my being. And it’s out of those convictions that I am joining the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival to engage in direct action on May 14th at the nation’s capital with other denominational leaders and national justice partners, and thousands of clergy, activists, and impacted people. 

    In less than two weeks tens of thousands of people of faith and conscience, people from organizations working for justice, people directly impacted by poverty and systemic oppression, people deeply concerned about climate change, racism, and the war economy will take action across the country. In Washington, DC and in most state capitals, there will be a mass meeting on May 13th to prepare ourselves spiritually and tactically and on the 14th we will witness and engage in non-violent moral fusion direct action. Many Unitarian Universalists are already connected with the campaign and have pledged to come to Washington. Will you join us? 

    You can learn more and sign up to take action with other Unitarian Universalists on Monday May 14th or another Monday here. Some of ourLove Resists national staff will be taking action on May 21st and UUs have signed up for following Mondays as well.

    This new Poor People’s Campaign is one powerful offering, building on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘s call of fifty years ago for a ‘Revolution of Values’ to challenge the triple threats of racism, militarism, and materialism and confront poverty and injustice. Rev. Dr. Claudia De la Cruz, Co-Chair of the New York State Poor People’s Campaign and member of the national steering committee said at the campaign’s national press conferencelaunch last month “We may not run the United States, but we make it run. And we are ready to shut it down with our bodies.”

    After the season of 40 days of direct action, teach-ins, worship, arts and cultural events, from May 13th-June 21st in over 30 states and the U.S. capital, and a mass mobilization on June 23rd in Washington, DC, the campaign will shift to voter registration and turnout, and begin developing fusion grassroots organizing campaigns to gain the campaign’s demandsfor policy change at the state and national level.

    Many of you have already said yes to this invitation. Unitarian Universalist clergy, lay leaders and activists are bringing your skill, resilience, power and courage to the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival and so many other places where justice is blooming. If you can be part of actions in your state capital and with me in Washington, DC on May 14thsign the UU Commitment Pledge, I will look forward to being with you. This is no time for a casual faith and no time to go it alone. Whatever you can do, I know that we will be together on the side of love.

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  • May 16-20: UU Womenspirit

    Image result for uu womenspirit

    This Institute is Wednesday– Friday morning; the Gathering begins Friday afternoon and ends Sunday morning. Please check out their website at http://uuwomenspirit.org/ and click on Spring Event to get more information.

    Questions?  Contact Vivian Preston Sellers or Virginia Carver.

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  • Love Resists

    A caravan of individuals and families is currently making its way toward the southern border of the United States. Hundreds of adults and children are fleeing violence and political repression in their home countries in Central America, especially in Honduras. Many hope to ask for asylum when they reach the U.S. border. The Trump administration’s response has been to send the national guard to an already militarized border. But we know that we are all connected and it’s time to have each other’s backs.

    While hate tries to close our borders, we are opening our hearts and our homes. Join us as we follow We Belong Together and Pueblos Sin Fronteras to say resoundingly: “You are welcome here.”

    Click here (https://www.uua.org/loveresists/blog/stepping-say-refugeeswelcome) to read more including how to get involved.

    Love Resists is a joint campaign by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

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Forum

  • Forum Returns in the Fall

    Do you have good ideas? Do you know people? If so, you are invited to become a member of the 2018-19 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

  • Hello, UUFA Families!
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s Religious Exploration update! We are preparing for RE Sunday, which is coming up on May 20th. On RE Sunday, we honor the volunteers who make RE great and we reflect on the fun we’ve had over the past year!!

    Any children who want to participate in RE Sunday– either by lighting the Chalice, ringing the bell, or by saying a word or two about their RE Experience, are welcome! Please connect with Kelli ASAP if your child or youth wants to participate!! We will also be honoring those kids who are moving from 5th to 6th grade, as well as our Youth who are graduating from High School

    Harry Potter Sunday School Because we are unable to offer Hogwarts Summer Camp, we will offer Hogwarts Sunday School this summer! Stay tuned for details and tell your friends, this summer is sure to be magical!! 
     
    RE Visioning Retreat – Saturday, June 2, in the morning We’re planning an RE Visioning Retreat that will be open to the congregation. Included in the conversation will be a review of the COSM survey, the World Cafe, and brainstorming for the 2018-19 RE program year. Stay turned for more information.
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    Click the link for details, but here are the basics:

    Register before July 31st for the early-bird discount—$20 less per adult (or $170 for the weekend).

    There is no charge for UUFA children and youth (below age 18)! We have scholarship money available for any and all children and youth who want to attend!! We hope this will inspire families to join us for a weekend of fun and fellowship!

    That’s all for now, hope to see you on Sunday at 10:30!

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spiritual arts

  • A Child Dedication – May 13

    Ready to Dedicate a Child?

    If you would like your child or children to be dedicated during the service on Sunday, May 13, 2018, please contact Rev. Alison (rev.eskildsen@uuathensga.org). Please notify her on or before Sunday, May 6.

    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 fall. Please let Rev. Alison Eskildsen know if you have a particular date in mind that works well for your family.

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  • Worship in May: Growth

    Worship in May

    All-Fellowship theme: Growth

    May 6 – Crossing Life’s Bridges  As we walk our paths through life, we’re faced with numerous opportunities and obstacles. Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen with new and retiring Lay Ministers.

    May 13 – Are You My Mother?  Moms are important figures in our lives, but do we really know who they are? This service includes a Child Dedication ceremony and is led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen with the Chalice Choir.

    May 20  Exploration Sunday  Celebrating Religious Exploration students and teachers. An all-ages service led by Kelli McConnell, Coordinator of Religious Exploration.

    May 27 – Lords o’ Leapin’  A much maligned symbol of mystery, myth, and magic, we’ll explore the transformational frog and its religious ties. This annual ‘animal gospel’ service is led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen with special music by a UUFA band. Kids remain in the sanctuary.

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  • May 1 Beltane Ritual

    Tuesday, May 1, from 5:30 – 8:00 at the home of Alice Rose, you are invited to join a Beltane ritual. We will leave the winter dead wood behind and celebrate renewal of spring. Bring actual deadwood or a symbol of such and a food to share after ritual. Contact Alice Rose (678-886-8680, alicerosephd@gmail.com) or Liz Weaver (706-338-6275 ejsweaver@gmail.com) for questions or to let us know you are planning to be there. Blessed Be!

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  • No choir or drum on Wednesday, May 23

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ministry

  • Ministry Council Notes

    Notes from Ministry Council: April 17, 2018

    Present: Vivian (Facilitator), Hilda (Notetaker), Alison, Herb, Ange, Karen, Lee, Carol Lee

    The group present discussed:

    –As the PCC and others continue to struggle with the decision of the Romanian UU Church to not support gay marriage, the MC discussed the need to be mindful of their cultural context, and to hold some structured reflective conversations on the issue in order to come to a deeper understanding.

    –The decision to hire Kelli as the DRE (Moving on from temporary position into which she was originally hired, and the importance of allocating professional development funds to the DRE position, especially as the RE program seems to be growing.

    –Kitchen issues

    –Faith Forward Funding – $588 has been allocated in the budget for next year, the program will be ordered this summer, and a decision will be made about who will maintain the program.

    –Our Daily Bread requirements about where to cook the meal being served are at odds with what works logistically for some of the volunteers involved. More information will be gathered.

    –The timing of different Volunteer Recognition activities

    –Approval of and plans to set in motion the Mentorship Proposal by Jamie Mendenhall,

    –Transitioning to new Ministry Council, and specifically the May 6th service for installation of new lay ministers

    –Ministry Council Retreat – A start was made at scheduling a retreat for the incoming Lay Ministers in June or July.

    –Emerita/i/us status for Lay Ministers – Discussion of the role as ‘wise ones’ versus the title itself. Decision was made to use the title sparingly, when an emerita/i/us is serving in the stead or to give gravity or standing in a situation outside the Fellowship.

    Action items were reviewed, and the meeting was adjourned.

    Click here to read the notes from March.

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Justice

  • Can You Help?

    The UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team (SMT) in conjunction with the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition of Athens (ISC) needs your time, talent, and treasure in supporting local immigrant families in crisis!

    Click here (https://goo.gl/UtwYhG) to read more and to sign up to help.

    The Sanctuary Movement Team is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster.

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  • May 20-27: UUFA INHA Week

    Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, GA. Helping Those In NeedThe Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, Inc.  is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide immediate shelter and guidance to homeless families with children, due to the impact of misfortunes upon their lives. Once accepted into our program, IHNA provides food, shelter, daycare, and transportation as needed.

    May 20-27 is the week that UUFA provides support for IHNA at Holly Cross Lutheran Church.

    Needed are meal preparers, dinner and evening hosts, overnights hosts, and IHNA Day Center hosts.

    For more information, contact UUFA IHNA Coordinator Mark Hodges (markhodges4427@gmail.com).

    Support of IHNA is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster

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  • May 9: Dinner Sponsored by FREE

    Please join us in the Fellowship Hall this Wednesday, May 9, at 6:30 pm for the monthly FREE dinner.

     We will be serving pizza, salad, and dessert.
     The suggested donation is $5 – $7.
    FREE is contributing a CSA to a local low income family with the funds raised.
    Questions?  Contact Kate Blane (raya_mead@yahoo.com).
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  • PARES Opportunity: Gardening Help Needed
     Image result for green thumbDo you have a green thumb or want to learn how to grow one?
    Alps Road Elementary School wants to start a garden.
    Interested?  Questions? 
    Contact Caryl Sundland (csundland@aol.com).

     

     

     

     

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  • PARES May 4 Career Day

    Do you have expertise in any of the following areas?

    Energy
    Hospitality/tourism
    Human Services, especially nurse or doctor
    Architecture
    Manufacturing

    Finance
    Arts
    Community helpers, especially firefighter (+ truck)
    If you would be willing to share your expertise at Career Day the Alps Road Elementary School on May 4 or if you have questions, contact PARES Coordinator Caryl Sundland (csundland@aol.com or 706.425.8575). Interested in helping with PARES in other ways? Click here:  https://goo.gl/forms/UiorsSxsoZtHG3LQ2
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  • May 14–Common Read Discussion–Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry

    Image result for centering UUA

    On two Mondays in May (7 and 14), Karen Solheim and Vivian Preston Sellers will lead discussions around the second of the books chosen by the UUA as Common Reads.

    Sessions will meet in the Ocean Room from 7-8:30 p.m.

    Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry is a book of essays by UU ministers and a religious educator about their experiences as people of color within their ministries. Powerful, surprising, horrifying at times, their experiences expose as side of Unitarian Universalism that has remained hidden for many years.

    Need a copy of this book?  Visit the Social Action Committee table on Sunday mornings.

    Register for one or both sessions by emailing Vivian at vpsellers@gmail.com.
    We hope to see you for what promises to be a powerful discussion.

    Questions?  Contact Vivian Preston Sellers, Lay Minister for Lifespan Development.

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  • PARES–Partnership: Alps Road Elementary School

    Want UUFA to adopt Alps Road Elementary? Vote at the May 20 Congregational Meeting!
    You are invited to become a part of a proposed new UUFA initiative:  PARES!

    Essentially an adopt-a-school program, our partnership with Alps Road Elementary School will offer both specific and flexible volunteer opportunities.

    PARES–Partnership: Alps Road Elementary School–To find out and sign up for more general and specific volunteer opportunities, click here.

    Those present at the May 20 Annual Meeting will be voting on the UUFA’s adopting Alps Road Elementary School.

      Questions? Contact UUFA PARES Program Liaison Caryl Sundland: csundland@aol.com or 706.425.8575

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  • UUFA Receives UGA NAACP Award

    Last evening, the UUFA was honored at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the UGA Student NAACP Chapter Awards Ceremony.

    UUFA was among five nominees for Outstanding Community Advocacy Group. Four UUFA members were there to accept the award.

    “We are so proud!” said Deb Brenner, an active member of the UUFA Social Action Committee, and board member of Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) board member. She also serves as AADM’s Sticker Campaign Manager.

    Rev. Alison said, “You have all shown exemplary commitment to justice–the award is well-earned. Congratulations!”

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  • May 10: Sanctuary Movement Team

    Interested in immigrant justice within the Athens community and ways you can help?

    Join us for the next gathering of the Sanctuary Movement Team on second Thursday of the month–May 10–beginning at 5 p.m. in the old 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 Karen Solheim, UUFA Justice Lay Minister (justice@uuathensga.org or 706.202.7515) or visit http://www.uua.org/immigration/witness/partners/newsanctuary.

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

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  • UUFA Trip to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum

    The National Memorial for Peace and JusticeAre you interested in joining other UUFA folks in going to the visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum that recently opened in Montgomery, Alabama?

    If so, click here (https://goo.gl/forms/tE5q0QKjqXWMfVOV2).

    Lay Minister Ange Kahn is wanting to gauge interest.

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  • May 6: Social Action Committee (SAC) Meeting

    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, May 6, beginning at noon in the old sofa room.

    The 2018-19 Causes of the Month will be decided at this May meeting.

    Click here to nominate a 2018-19 Cause of the Month.

    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.

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  • Side with Love: May Day–Migrant Caravan is Locked Out at the Border. Please Call.

    Our community members in the #RefugeeCaravan have made it to the border and are currently camped out at the port of entry and need our support.

    Call San Ysidro Port Director Sidney Aki at (619) 690-8830 to demand that CBP do its job and begin to process asylum claims for the women and children of the refugee caravan.

    Unitarian Universalists were at the border to welcome the caravan on Sunday, offering legal support, food and witness. Hundreds of you have signed up to open your homes to families seeking asylum — like Rev. Jill Cowie of Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church who spoke this morning on NPR saying “We’ll still be there if it takes a long time. My doors will be open.”

    This May Day, we honor all who labor, all who strike, all who migrate, and all who know that when hate tries to close or borders, we open our hearts and our homes.

     Like Rev. Jill, we are ready to open our doors and welcome those seeking refuge here. Call San Ysidro Port Director Sidney Aki at (619) 690-8830 and tell CBP to do its job and start processing their asylum claims immediately.
    In solidarity,
    Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen
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  • May 4: Justice Partner (AADM) Event

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  • Justice Partner Update: AADM
    Athens, Ga – The Athens-Clarke County Library will be the new home of the End the School to Prison Pipeline’s latest initiative – support services for the county’s most disadvantaged students. Designed for teens who may have been suspended, expelled or dropped out, it hopes to address needs unmet at school. Among the services provided, students can expect reading and math tutoring sessions for middle school and high school, self-improvement workshops, and apprenticeships. In collaboration with ACC Library, Everday Readers Literacy Program, Athens Clarke County School District, and AADM volunteers this program will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 9: 30 am to 12: 30 pm.
    African American students are particularly hit hard by zero tolerance policies. In Georgia, roughly two-thirds of students suspended or expelled were African American despite the fact the group accounts for less than 40 percent of public high school students. Not surprisingly, research indicates that these kinds of disciplinary actions dramatically increase the likelihood that a student will drop out, be held back, sent to alternative schools or enter the juvenile justice system.
    To prevent the inevitable cycle of incarceration and state supervision, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement has assembled a team of advocates to work with local teens that get neglected or often left behind.
    For more information or to volunteer, please contact (706) 389-4129, visit aadmovement.org or email jasminejohnsonedu@gmail.com
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  • May 17 and 18: Our Daily Bread

    What’s cooking? Hopefully you might be. 🙂 Help is needed on Thursday, May 17, at 2 p.m. to prepare the monthly meal for Our Daily Bread. Help is also needed on Friday, May 18, from 11:30 to 1 to serve the meal. Interested? Questions? Contact David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com or 706.338.2798).

    Our Daily Bread Community Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and a sack meal on the weekends. Annually, this program provides more than 60,000 nutritious meals with gracious hospitality to men, women, and children in need and offers a gateway to other transformational services. Partnering with more than 70 volunteer groups. Our Daily Bread in Athens has served meals seven days per week, 365 days per year since 1989.

    Our Daily Bread outreach is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster.

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