commUNITY Vol. 34, No. 10 Unity Church–Unitarian June/July 2011 Wisdom The life of a congregation is a rich community tapestry of people, programs, ministries and worship. We lift up the patterns of this tapestry at Unity Church with the threads of monthly themes woven through our worship and programming. These themes deepen our understanding of our own faith and strengthen our bonds with one another in religious community. We explore each theme in worship and in our newsletter; in covenant groups, guided writing sessions and Wednesday evening programming; and in our community outreach ministries, our literary journal and programs; and many other opportunities. The June theme is Wisdom. Wisdom, says the biblical book of Proverbs, takes her stand at the crossroads. She is found, not in the quiet glen or near the babbling brook where one might expect a wise word to be heard. “Wisdom cries out in the street,” Proverbs’ priestly scribes claim; “in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out.” Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel. In the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, the first recorded words of wisdom were made in that most rudimentary written form – the list. Understood by some as the oldest approach to scientific method, these early inventories have been called “list wisdom.” Can it be? Is Wisdom really as visible and audible — and entangled in our daily traffic — as that? A time to be born, A time to die, A time to plant And a time to pluck up what is planted. Of course, our love of wisdom (philo + sophia) can also take us down the long halls of philosophy’s ivory towers reciting Plato’s words. But wisdom traces its truest lineage to the quotidian ground of the pedestrian proverb, its deep insights thinly disguised as practical instruction. The way of the lazy is overgrown with thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. Wisdom, in every culture, begins as practical knowledge acquired through experience and seasoned by love and compassion. It is, according to religious scholar and historian Mircea Eliade, our human insight into the connectedness of the world, and it begins with our senses. As values were enlisted to organize these inventories, they gave rise to the proverb, linking human behavior with consequences and connections. The lazy person does not plow in season; harvest comes and there is nothing to be found. We are called, by wisdom sayings around the world, to pay attention. To take note of the seasons. To listen to the world and one another, that we might hear and know a wider and wiser way of being. “No one is wise enough alone,” says the sign outside the House of Charity serving free meals in downtown Minneapolis. Worship Theme Resources books Holy the Firm, by Annie Dillard, a small book uncovering large connections as Dillard ponders time, reality, nature, suffering and God. Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawken, a timely exploration of the worldwide movement to restore the environment and foster social justice. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Dr. Seuss, for the young and young at heart alike FILM Stand and Deliver, (1988) a dedicated teacher in Los Angeles inspires his dropoutprone students to raise their self-esteem by learning calculus. Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela's venture to unite his racially divided nation. The hearing ear and the seeing eye — God has made them both. Every culture has its own methods and forms for preserving and transmitting wisdom across time. Some have hitched it to divinity while others have embedded it in the secular search for knowledge and truth. Many, however, agree with Kahlil Gibran, who noted that while wisdom can be learned, it cannot be taught without awakening the wisdom within, discerned when heart and mind engage together to perceive our place in the world. The wise teacher, Gibran says, “does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” What you see in yourself is what you see in the world. So, seeking wisdom, we find ourselves back at the threshold, at the crossroads where Wisdom takes her stand and cries out, though not with a single truth for all people and all time. Rarely does she advise which road to take, nor does she step out and stop traffic for our safe passage. Instead, her words might be spoken as plainly as the old Green Cross Code of children’s curbside instruction, saying, “Stop, Look, Listen, Live.” Wisdom is the deep knowing that comes when we stop at the crossroads, pausing long enough to know who and where we are, to remember where we’ve come from, and to open the eyes and ears of our hearts that we might understand where we’re going and how we are intimately connected to all the traffic crossing our path along the way. ~ Karen Hering, Consulting Literary Minister Just words / Wheel of Life Just Words What did a six year old know about a church’s impending building project? I first learned about it when my parents told my brothers and me that someone important from our church was coming to visit and have an important talk with them. This important church visitor was a member of the Board of Trustees who came to ask my parents to participate in the capital campaign. My father was a sanitation engineer who worked in the Public Health Department for the city and county of Tulsa, Oklahoma. My mother was newly employed as a science teacher with student loans to repay. They had four growing children and a limited budget. They were as generous to our beloved Unitarian congregation as they possibly could be. But here was an important leader of our church asking my parents to give even more! My father expressed shock at the amount the visitor asked my parents to consider giving. They took the time to think about the request. They thought and discussed. They looked at their meager finances. They talked some more. They talked about the role of the church in all of our lives. Then my father asked for a family meeting. We didn’t have family meetings very often, so it was obviously important. My father told us about the visit with the important man from church. He explained that the man had asked my parents to give generously to the capital campaign so we could redo our church. He then told us that they had decided to give what the church needed from our family, but that it was going to mean sacrifices on everyone’s part. We all agreed to these imagined sacrifices as long as the Sunday trips for ice cream would continue. (I knew what was important.) Both my parents talked about how important the church was to them and how important their investment was for our future. I believe this meeting shaped our attitudes toward giving and the role of religion in our lives. As a result of that family meeting, all of us felt some level of investment in the capital campaign and the resultant building project. Once the new building was constructed everyone was asked to contribute in some way. By then I was seven years old and I joined my second grade classmates in doing what we could for the new wing. We created curtains for our new classroom. We dipped our hands in bright tempra paint and put our handprints on the muslin material which were made into curtains by one of the parents. For years afterward I could go down when visiting the church of my childhood and see my handprints in the second grade classroom. I felt as if the very fiber of my being was in that building. I still do even though it has changed a lot since I was seven. I will always love that church because I think my parents helped me understand that it was every bit as much my church as it was theirs. I feel that way about our former church in Oakland, California. I feel that way about Unity Church. I feel that I am woven into the fabric of the very being of this building. It is sacred space for me that I cherish and want to maintain and update so that future generations can grow and flourish within its walls as I did so many, many years ago in Oklahoma. Some weeks ago some important visitors took Rob and I out to lunch. They spoke of their commitment to the church and how they were stretching financially for the future of Unity Church. They asked us to stretch too. Just like my father, I wondered how much we could stretch. We are giving more than we planned and in all likelihood will give even more. We were inspired by their commitment and want to be a part of this next chapter in the unfolding story of Unity Church. I hope you will too. — Janne The Wheel of Life In Celebration Charles Frederick Lord Donald "Charlie" Born one more redeemer May 12, 2011 to parents Bryan Donald and Katie Lord Donald and grandparents Brooks Donald and Karen Mackenzie Summer Worship Schedule Reminder! Beginning Sunday, May 29, and continuing throughout the summer, one Sunday service will be held each week at 10:00 a.m. Independence Day The Church Office will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. commUNITY is the newsletter of Unity Church–Unitarian. It is published monthly, except the month of July. Deadlines are the 14th of each month. Subscriptions are free to those who make pledges to Unity Church and are available to others for $30 per year. Unity Church–Unitarian 732 Holly Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 651-228-1456 • fax: 651-228-0927 www.unityunitarian.org [email protected] 2 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY June and July Worship Calendar From May 29 through September 4, one Sunday service will be held each week at 10:00 a.m. Beginning July 3, Sunday services are led by members of Unity Church. Sermon podcasts and archives are available online at www.unityunitarian.org. June Worship Calendar July Worship Calendar June 5: Growing Wise — Janne Eller-Isaacs July 3: UUs in the U.S.A.: Patriotism for Grownups — Chico Hathaway Kerri Meyer described wisdom as “the knowing that waits.” We grow wiser when we stop and reflect on the connections that exist in our lives, within, among and beyond us. Janne and Worship Associate Jeanne Barker-Nunn will explore how we might create a climate for growing wise in today’s world. This service will include a Bridging ceremony for Unity's high school seniors. Special music offering this Sunday will be Teresa Tierney, soprano. June 12: The Attributes of Wisdom — Rob Eller-Isaacs We know it when we see it. There’s a certain calm, an ability to take the long view, a deep appreciation of the things of this world that are kind, clarifying or beautiful. Rob and Worship Associate Marg Walker will suggest some of the virtues we might hope to cultivate along the path to wisdom. June 19: Unexpected Wisdom — Jason Seymour Opportunities for growth surround us in every moment, if only we encourage our capacity to see them. Come, explore the prophetic role of the liberal church... to freely seek wisdom in unexpected places. June 26: Wise Humility — Luke Stevens-Royer We are a studious people of facts, of reason, of learning. Yet when we study Wisdom traditions and modern science, we are pushed toward a deeper truth, a sacred ambiguity. The Biblical Psalmist says the beginning of Wisdom is to tremble before God; Lao Tzu says the more we talk about the Tao the less we understand it; and David Brooks speaks of emotion and intuition being more important than our cognitive choices to frame our reality. Many of us can probably agree that we need more than just facts, but what exactly does that look like? If the search for Wisdom is rooted in ambiguity and humility, how does wisdom lead us to social healing and Beloved Community? Flowers for Summer Worship If you would like to bring flowers from your garden for a 10:00 a.m. summer worship service, please contact Julie at the Church Office at [email protected] The available dates are June 12 through August 21. The flowers need to be arranged in a vase and placed in the chancel by 9:15 a.m. on the Sunday you select. “The Fourth” in the U.S.A. is a time of flag waving and soaring oratory proclaiming the greatness of America. When we look at the picture of patriotism that is presented to us on such occasions, what do we see? Mostly we are given color-crayon patriotism, as if drawn by and for third-graders. But we are not children. What sort of patriotism befits UUs, whose skepticism brings them to a nuanced vision of theology and religion? July 10: With One Smile — Katy Taylor Sometimes opening to suffering is what awakens us to joy— the heart is cracked open to the depth and breadth of life. Another way to awaken to joy is to cultivate the soil in which it grows and is nourished—and we can begin at any time with one smile! Katy Taylor and Worship Associate Jeanne BarkerNunn take delight in playfully exploring the art of savoring and welcoming all of life. July 17: Lessons From the Cave — Ashley Horan There are moments when life among other people, in the midst of the often overwhelming pain of the world, becomes too much. In such times, we often retreat "into the cave," seeking solitude and refuge and escape—a motif reflected in almost every religious tradition. In this service, join Ashley Horan and Worship Associate Bob Steller for an exploration of the depths of the cave: what sends us scurrying inside, what we may encounter within, and what might ultimately draw us back out into the world once more. July 24: Justice, Roll Like Water — Ellen Green What's in a word? What is justice? Is there a synonym? Is it a system or a way of being? If so, what is your personal way of justice and how does it work in the face of conflicting systems, especially when you have one foot in each? What's the end of justice—or could be? Ellen and Worship Associate Katy Taylor will wrestle with these and other personal issues with justice. July 31: Stay Loose — Patricia Ohmans What could a former shoe salesman know about international diplomacy? How much can we really know about the generation that preceded us? And how responsible are we for the sins of our fathers? Patricia Ohmans examines these and other conundrums in the life of John Larson Ohmans. The June and July offering recipients are listed on page 10. 3 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Board of Trustees / Anti-Racism Leadership Team Board of Trustees ARLT at the White Privilege Conference from Rob Fulton, chair from Alana Howey and Pauline Eichten, Anti-Racism Leadership Team members Each fall three new members are selected to be on the Unity Church Board of Trustees. The Board is composed of nine members each serving three-year terms. We have been blessed over the years with many members of the congregation who have served in this capacity. It’s the first day of the 12th annual White Privilege Conference, being held in Bloomington, Minnesota. It’s the first time I’ve attended one of these conferences, and I’m looking forward to what I might learn. I’m also feeling a bit stressed out by the logistics of figuring out which workshop to attend (there are almost 150 workshops being offered over the three days) and having to navigate through the mass of people (approximately 2,200 participants) to get there. But first is the keynote address from Michelle Alexander, a professor of law and civil rights advocate and author of the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She tells the story of how she finally came to realize that the so-called War on Drugs has resulted in a redesigned system of racial and social control, similar to Jim Crow. She spells out how it has worked and the devastating effects it has on communities of color. And I’m sitting there thinking, how did all this happen without good people protesting? I recognize that I knew of or had heard about various aspects of what Alexander laid out, but I hadn’t put it all together. Alexander argues for a major social movement to dismantle this new caste system, but cautions that is not enough. Unless we address the critical role of race in the basic structure of our society, she says, a new system of racialized social control will emerge. (Submitted by Pauline Eichten) The primary duties of the Board of Trustees are to oversee the Ends Statements and to monitor the Executive Team as they develop and carry out the Means to reach the Ends. The Board makes contributions that lead the congregation toward the desired performance and assures that this occurs. The Board also establishes governing policies and assures that the Executive Team performance meets expectations. The Board meets monthly, alternating between the third Wednesday of the month (an evening meeting that lasts two hours) and the second Saturday of the month (a four hour meeting). The term starts at the congregational meeting in November. The current Board of Trustees is appointing a nominating committee that will screen and interview candidates for the Board and make recommendations to the congregation for three positions to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. The next several years will be exciting as Unity Tomorrow becomes fruition and the physical facilities are improved. This means that there will be some disruption to the facility as the work progresses. The Board of Trustees will be challenged to assure that during this construction, the Ends Statements are well honored and met. Mari McCauley and I were able to split the next two days of the conference to cover work and home duties. My first big impression is how very warm and authentic this crowd is. During my workshops I learned that the whole spectrum of understanding of racism and white privilege is represented here, and the “newbies” are being embraced by the group. The crowd is highly diverse. Workshops involve dialogue and deep sharing. It is through getting a bit uncomfortable that deep transformative learning can occur. This work of dismantling racism is soul work. We cannot be truly whole when we are separating ourselves physically or psychologically from our brothers and sisters of color, unconsciously or not. We cannot be effective in dismantling the system of racism if we do not adequately do the work of addressing our own internalized personal racism alongside it. My greatest fears in seeking to develop meaningful relationships across race were addressed on more than one occasion. The concept of microaggression was discussed at length — the daily insults, invalidations and assaults that people of color contend with. My intentions may be good, but in my position of privilege I am unable to see how I may be causing harm to people of color in my words and deeds. I appreciated the many examples and frankness of the speakers and attendees in helping me become more aware of some of these. But it comes down to that regardless of intent—if I’ve done harm, I must make restitution. It is not okay. I learned that there are many models and ways of approaching antiracism work. One just needs to explore for the best fit(s) for their personality. (Submitted by Alana Howey) Please give some careful thought if you might step forward and place your name in nomination to join the Board of Trustees. (The vast majority of Trustees have nominated themselves and that is quite appropriate!) 4 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY 2012 Pledge Team / Hallman Ministerial Intern Campaigning in Concert Jason Seymour from Chris Crosby-Schmidt, Pledge Team Member 2010-11 Hallman Ministerial Intern Writing a piece for commUNITY is an odd exercise in time travel. I’m tempted to wax poetic about the mid-May weather that’s challenging my optimism as I type this; however, my fervent hope is that by the time this appears, those fierce winds, chilly temps, and icy rains will be a distant memory. Projecting myself into the future, when a lovely Minnesota summer is in full bloom, I get excited. At the end of June, I will conclude my time here at Unity Church. Jen, Jonny and I will soon embark on the next leg of our journey... to Appleton, Wisconsin, where I will serve the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship — a healthy, growing congregation of about 700 members — as their Director of Membership Ministries. This is a terrific opportunity for me professionally, and we are all looking forward to more exciting adventures in the Northern Midwest. At the risk of pushing a metaphor beyond utility (and elegance), the Unity Tomorrow Capital Campaign is a similar exercise in time travel. We’re all asked to imagine the next five, ten, thirty years, and it’s exciting stuff. Like all the gardeners with their itchy shovel-fingers, we’re getting ready to plant the seeds of a beautiful future. The “quiet” phase, in which the Unity Tomorrow team approaches a small group of church members who have the potential for high contributions, is already under way. And we’re looking forward with much anticipation to the public phase, when the entire church community will have the opportunity to participate financially. With that excitement, however, comes a number of challenges, especially for your friendly neighborhood Pledge Team. The Capital Campaign timeline places the public phase this fall, in October of 2011: smack in the middle of the annual Pledge Drive. So we’re running the two campaigns together, in concert. We’ll be asking the community for their annual pledge of financial support for Unity’s day-to-day operations and programming, and at the same time asking for an investment in the future represented by Unity Tomorrow. Recurring pledge and once-in-a-lifetime capital commitment, all at once. So, if we’re asking people for money for two different purposes, how do we help the congregation keep the two straight? That’s precisely the question the Pledge Team has been wrestling with. Thankfully, we now have some answers. We’ve joined forces with Kit Brady and Lee Carey, both members of the Unity Tomorrow Capital Campaign team and both legendary Pledge Team members in the past, to plan and coordinate the effort. Kit and Lee are the bridge between these two efforts, providing information, insight, and guidance. Together, we’re working on ways to engage the whole community in both efforts. We’re planning events of different sizes to connect with people on a level with which they’re comfortable. We’re mapping out a path to October, when the public phases of the two drives will be in full swing. Yes, more time travel -- and more excitement. While our destination brings with it much excitement, hope and possibility… our departure is not without grief. Truly, we will miss you. We have so enjoyed our time together. We take with us so much: experiences, hopes and dreams, stories, friendships… and a well-developed ability to discuss uncommon weather. So... as you will no doubt hear from me many, many times over the coming weeks... thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to join your staff, and your community, as the Hallman Ministerial Intern. I take with me a wealth of experience that I know will serve me — and the world! — well in the years ahead. Thank you for listening to my sermons, for participating in my classes, for sitting next to me in meditation, for sleeping outside with me in a box in the snow. Thank you for allowing the stories of our lives to intersect, if only but for a chapter. Truly, I am changed for having known you. And this makes me glad. It has been an honor to be among you for this past year. I leave you in capable hands: yours. Unity Church is thriving, and while there will be ongoing challenges — there always are! — I know that you will meet them with grace and courage, and with the kind of compassionate witness that continues to expand the reach of Unity Church and heal the world in creative and collaborative ways. Your intern for next year is smart and capable, and I know that you will show her the depth of care and interest that you have shown me. I join the chorus of your voices in welcoming Rachel Long, and in supporting her ministry at Unity. Look for an introduction from her in the August newsletter. With enduring hope for a way undivided, and faith in love to deliver us as one… until we meet again… Rock on, friends. And blessed be. 5 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Fellowship / Spiritual Practice / Community Fellowship Groups June 5: Grand Old Day Parking Alert! These fellowship groups are open to all. Please contact the person listed for more information. Congregants should be aware that street parking will be limited due to the Grand Old Day street festival. The parking lots will be managed by Unity youth and adults so that worshippers can park while fair-goers contribute money toward our youth and community outreach ministries. Men’s Retirement Group: Monday, June 6 and 20, and July 11 and 25, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Contact: Phil Morton at 952-934-3578 Job Transition/Networking Group Unity Singles: Contact: Bonnie Reiland at [email protected] A New Look at the Bible: Second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Contact: Paul Gade at 651-771-7528 Afterthoughts: Sundays after the 10:00 a.m. service. Contact: Paul Gade at 651-771-7528 Unity Men's Group: Third Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. Contact: Nels Otto at 651-484-4590 Unitots!: A playgroup for families with kids through preschool age. Fridays at 9:30 a.m. Contact: Michelle Hill at 651-264-0884 Grandparent Unitots!: A playgroup for grandparents and their grandkids. Mondays at 9:30 a.m. Contact: Ona Lentz at 651-222-8117 Unity Bridge Club: First Friday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Contact: Mary Barrett at 651-225-9708 Evergreen Quilters: Second Tuesday of the month from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and fourth Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Contact: Peggy Wright at 651-698-2760 Unity Book Club: Tuesday, June 14, July 12, and August 9. See ad at right for book titles. All are welcome! Job Transition/Networking: Mondays at 9:30 a.m. Contact Rachel Holtzer, Facilitator, at [email protected] Meets every Monday • 9:30–11:30 a.m. The Job Transition Networking Group was created to offer support, encouragement, information, and skill-building resources to Unity Church members who are unemployed or underemployed. Contact Rachel Holtzer, Facilitator, at [email protected] Unity Church Book Club Everyone is welcome — even if you haven’t read the book! The Unity Church Book Club will meet from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14. The Book Club will be discussing The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow. On July 12 they will discuss This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. On August 9 they will discuss The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax. Living With Grief Group Tuesday, June 14 • Third Tuesday of the month • 7:00-9:00 p.m. Rev. Janne Eller-Isaacs will offer a group for people living with grief and loss. All are welcome to come to discuss issues related to the grieving process. Please contact Janne ([email protected]) if you are interested in attending. Drop-ins are welcome as well, but please contact the Christy Randall ([email protected]) to request childcare. This group will not meet in July. Caregivers Group Thursday, June 16 • Third Thursday of the month • Noon–2:00 p.m. Are you a part-time or full-time caretaker of loved ones in your life? Do you need support in order to sustain the care you are giving? Join Rev. Janne Eller-Isaacs and Pastoral Care Team member Cynthia Orange for an informal support group for caregivers. Contact Janne Eller-Isaacs ([email protected]) if you would like to participate in this group. This group will not meet in July. Wanted: Summer Gardeners Help keep our flowers blossoming all summer. Join other Unity Gardeners and sign on for a few hours of weeding/watering. No experience necessary! Contact Ethel Griggs at [email protected] Remember Merging of Waters! Remember to bring back water from your summer travels for our ritual Merging of Waters in September! Families can help their children make special, beautiful containers to keep the water in while we’re apart from one another. 6 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Literary Ministry / Unity Libraries OPEN PAGE: reflecting with pens in hand These guided writing sessions, led by Consulting Literary Minister Karen Hering, are invitations to the creative spirit, opportunities to correspond with “the still, small voice within.” No writing experience necessary; only an empty page and an open heart and mind. Check individual listings for location and registration requirements and fees. Sunday, June 5 • Noon-2:00 p.m. • NOTE EARLIER TIME! Reflection Topic: Wisdom • Unity Church “At the crossroads, Wisdom takes her stand.” Join us at the crossroads of our own times considering the proverbs Wisdom offers as her stand and guidance. What proverbial wisdom, old and new, do we need today and where might we find it, worldwide and within? This session is free and registration not required, but an email to [email protected] is requested to help in planning space and handouts. Tuesday-Friday, June 14-17 • 9:00 a.m.-noon Summer Institute in Spirituality and the Arts OPEN PAGE Writing Session Series Topics: Thresholds, Courage, Vocation and Becoming Location: United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities Registration and fee information on-line at UTS Summer Institute or by calling 651-255-6138. Register by May 31 to receive a significant discount. A threshold is a place of great vitality, where old greets new and self meets the other. It can also be a place that brings hesitation or even fear. This four-part series of morning writing sessions is available at the annual Summer Institute in Spirituality and the Arts offered by United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Three other workshop options are available and participants can register for mornings or afternoons only or for the full day. For information visit www. unitedseminary-mn.org. July – August Open Page writing sessions will not be offered in July and August but will resume in September. Other Programming and Resources For more information about the Faithful Words literary ministry and additional writing programs offered in other locations, visit www.unityunitarian.org/literary-ministry.html. To receive periodic e-mail notifications of upcoming literary programs and invitations for member writings, contact Consulting Literary Minister Karen Hering at [email protected] These programs are supported by a grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalism and contributions from individual donors. Read with the Unity Church Book Club this summer! Details are on page 6. Happy Summer Reading! In the Library and Bookstall from Shelley Butler, Library Team photo by dottorpeni, courtesy of Flickr Writing as a Spiritual Practice School is out. Sun is shining. The vacation is planned. Adults are enjoying one of the great pleasures of summer: reading a book for the sheer enjoyment of it. The kids are… what? That wise author, Unknown, once said, “TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six. Open your child's imagination. Open a book.” In the Whitman Children’s Library: Check out imaginative summer stories and vacation tales, such as My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath, The Vacation (also by the amazing and hilarious Polly Horvath), and The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. Not to forget picture books, check out the brand new Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet by David Larochelle, photography by Joe Rossi. New in the Anderson Library: UU’s write fiction? Yes: Summers at Blue Lake is an engrossing story about a woman cleaning out her grandmother’s home, finding a secret, and coming to terms with the changes in her own life. Compelling and imaginative, The Vision Board: The Secret to an Extraordinary Life by Joyce Schwartz is said to prove that we can make impossible dreams come true, and includes art by our own Katy Taylor. John Buehren’s new Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People's History is not just another list of familiar facts and famous faces, but fascinating stories of a living religion including those about people unrecognized until now. In the Bookstall for Children and Adults: We have books for the boat, the backpack and for around the bonfire; books you can get up close and personal with, get sand in, splashed upon, or melted chocolate on, or that you can mark up with notes, like the bird you heard singing while reading "that" page (unlike the kindle or a library book). We have memoir, poetry, meditations, UU thought and history, children’s books, pocket size books and so much more. Open All Summer! Summer Writing and Art The Cairns committee will be accepting submissions of art and writing for the next Fall 2011 issue all summer! We look forward to doing some summer reading of our own with your submissions. Find out more on the Unity web site; send submissions to: [email protected] 7 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Community Outreach Ministry Join a Summer Trip to Bolivia with Mano a Mano Mano a Mano International Partners, a local volunteer-based, non-profit organization is one of Unity’s commissioned Community Outreach Ministry projects. Dedicated to improving health and economic well-being in very low-income rural Bolivian communities, Mano a Mano has built 120 community health clinics that make health care available to over 700,000 of Bolivia’s rural poor, plus constructing schools, roads, and water reservoirs, all in partnership with residents of these areas. During the ten-day visit we will visit operating clinics in poor urban barrios and remote rural areas, see roads that Mano a Mano has carved into mountainsides and water reservoirs that help farm families increase their meager incomes. If you are interested in joining us in Bolivia or would simply like to learn more about Mano a Mano, we invite you to contact Nate Knatterud in the Mano a Mano office at 651- 457-3141 or Joan Velasquez at 651-558-9168. ZINDABAD! Almost 90 Unity members and friends packed the Parish Hall on May 7, sampling a buffet of sumptuous Indian food, shopping at a crafts table, and enjoying traditional and not-soclassical Indian music on guitar and mandolin by stringed instrument whiz Greg Herriges. Proceeds from the event will start a scholarship fund to establish an exchange with teachers and students at the Eklavaya School for tribal girls in Usgaon, India. Group leaders Wendy Harris ([email protected]) and Laney Ohmans ([email protected] gmail.com) are already planning for fall events, as well as a trip to India in March 2012. Many thanks to all who made the "Evening in India" a success! Rondo Circle of Peace from Sarah Balenger No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. —Albert Einstein The Rondo Peace Circle, launched by Russel and Sarah Balenger in March 2010, is a response by parents and concerned community members and organizations to the gang warring and violence that threatens the well being of young men and their families in the Rondo neighborhood. In the 1930s Rondo Avenue was the heart of St. Paul's largest black neighborhood. But in the 1960s, notes the Minnesota Historical Society: “The construction of I-94 . . . shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.” The Rondo community has since rebuilt itself as a vital cultural home to African Americans as well as one of the city’s most racially and economically diverse areas. According to 2010 Ramsey County Juvenile Services data, Boys Totem Town “hosted” 168 young men that year. Zip code data show that 59 percent were from the two neighborhoods—Old Rondo and the East Side, where opposing gangs generate significant tension and violence. Current correctional responses had not reduced recidivism; in fact, many Rondo residents saw the revolving door of incarceration as a significant contributor to crime. Now the Rondo Peace Circle, hosted at Unity-Unitarian Church, includes residents of both neighborhoods. It has gained the trust and involvement of youth in correctional placement, the commander of the St. Paul Police district serving Rondo, the commander of the St. Paul Police Gang Unit, the assistant superintendent of the Ramsey County juvenile placement facility (Boys Totem Town), and concerned friends, family, and community mentors. The Circle, preceded each week by a communal meal, tackles safety and survival issues for our youth, encourages planning for a better path forward, and seeks to repair the break of trust between community members and law enforcement personnel. Amicus, Unity Church, Save Our Sons, the St. Paul Police Department, and Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation support the Circle, which uses listening, developing, coaching, and sharing to unleash the energy, experience, and knowledge of many. The Circle promotes collaboration, trust, empathy, and the ethical use of power by individuals, families, and communities to initiate transforming change. It encourages the involvement, growth, commitment, and teamwork of individuals, families, and community. It believes in the group benefits of mentorship and encourages members to coordinate their actions to improve outcomes for themselves and their neighborhoods. Unity’s Restorative Justice and Anti-Racism Teams provide monthly meal preparation for the Circle. Its Concerts for a Cause series and church members have donated generously to the cause. The Rondo Circle of Peace offers its wholehearted thanks to Unity Church for its ongoing, unconditional support. 8 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Community Outreach Ministry UUSC Update from David Byfield and Marty Rossmann, UUSC Local Representatives Got Water? Defending the Human Right to Water Water is essential for life. Yet, nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water and 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation — more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet. The statistics are staggering. Even more surprising is how simple and cost-effective the solutions are. According to a 2006 United Nations Development Program report entitled "Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis," every $1 spent in the cleanwater and sanitation sector creates on average another $8 in costs averted and productivity gained. Mark your calendars!! The sixth annual Unity Church Pilgrimage to New Orleans will take place from November 6-12, 2011. Watch for more information in the August and September newsletters or contact Pat Haff at the Church Office ([email protected]). The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution Friday, March 25, extending the mandate of the independent expert on the human right to safe water and sanitation for another three years. The resolution, passed by consensus, also gave the U.N. Independent Expert Catarina de Albuquerque the powers of a special rapporteur. This is good news for many reasons. The first is that, as a special rapporteur, de Albuquerque now has different powers. In addition to assisting governments to define the scope and content of the rights, she can engage with governments about complaints from affected individuals, communities, and civil-society organizations on issues and violations of the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Secondly, the resolution explicitly states the full list of criteria for the human rights to water and sanitation. The U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Human Rights Council resolutions did not list the full criteria, which is outlined in the resolution: "Encourages the Special Rapporteur, in fulfilling his or her mandate: (a) To promote the full realization of the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation by, inter alia, continuing to give particular emphasis to practical solutions with regard to its implementation, in particular in the context of country missions, and following the criteria of availability, quality, physical accessibility, affordability and acceptability." UUSC's goal is to ensure sustainable access to safe, sufficient, affordable water to every person by enshrining the human right to water into law — internationally, nationally, statewide, and locally. UUSC needs your help to make this a reality — find out what you can do to get involved! This information is taken from the UUSC web site – to learn more visit: www.UUSC.org. Evergreen Foodshelf The third Sunday of every month is Evergreen Food Drive Sunday. Donations can be brought anytime and should be placed in the barrels located at both the Holly and Portland Avenue entrances. June 19 suggested items: cooking oil, small bottles of detergent (dish or clothing). Whole Farm Coop Buy meat, cheese, produce and more from local, sustainable farms and pick it up at Unity Church! Order from www. wholefarmcoop.com or call 320-732-3023 by Wednesday, June 8, or July 13. Orders will be delivered to Unity Church on Wednesday, June 15 and July 20. 9 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Ministry with Children and Youth / Offering Recipients High School Bridging June/July Offering Recipients Sundays in the Garden June 5 and July 17: Project SUCCESS is a youth-development non-profit organization that has worked with middle and high school students in St. Paul and Minneapolis over a seven year period to help them develop life skills that can transform their lives. Their philosophy is to provide a non-judgmental and supportive forum where students can speak out and be heard, where they can learn to assess themselves and their options before making decisions about their future. To date, 10,600 students have been served through programs such as school-based workshops, theater experiences, and one-onone assistance. Unity Church members, Delaney and Willie Webb have participated and benefited from Project SUCCESS programs as have other Unity Church youth. The congregation is invited to celebrate the graduation of Unity’s High School youth of the Class of 2011. Please join us on Sunday, June 5, at 9:00 a.m. for coffee and pastries with the youth and their families. During the 10:00 a.m. worship service, the youth will be recognized and the congregation will participate in the Bridging Litany. Each Sunday, thirty percent of the offering goes to support the Community Outreach Ministry at Unity Church and seventy percent is given to the chosen community non-profit recipient. Please make checks payable to Unity Church. June 12 and July 24: Friends of Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County develops park trails and works to preserve parks, open space, and urban forests. Over the last 25 years, their accomplishments include stopping park land development, establishing park commissions, promoting an annual tree sale that has placed over 6,000 trees in parks, removing buckthorn on the Mississippi River, restoring Pickerel Lake, and installing a safe bikeway trail on the 1-35E bridge over the river. Unity member Marsha Soucheray has served on the Friends board for about 15 years and as board president for one year. Unity Church member Kathy Stack is the current president. Children attending the 10:00 a.m. summer service with their families are invited to join us for our Summer Gardening program each Sunday. Volunteer teachers will help kids ages 4-12 tend our vegetable and flower gardens out in the Greenspace. The beautiful blooms and healthy produce are given to clients of the SummitUniversity Living At Home/Block Nurse program. No registration is necessary. Please make sure your child has sunblock on and is signed in each Sunday in the Yellow Hallway downstairs. Regular R.E. resumes in September. Missed Registration? Save the Date: September 7, 2011! If your family missed our four Spring sessions of registration for Religious Education (R.E.) 2011-12, please plan on joining us for the September session on Wednesday, September 7, at 7:00 p.m. Many classes and volunteer roles have already been filled, so please come with an open mind and flexible spirit. R.E. begins on Sunday, September 18, 2011. June 19 and July 31: Project Home, a program of the St. Paul Council of Churches, serves as Ramsey County’s overflow family shelter, providing 40-60 beds for children and their parents. Project Home partners with area churches, synagogues and schools each month to provide a safe and clean temporary home for Ramsey County’s ever growing homeless population. Each May, Unity Church serves as a host site for Project Home with about 150 Unity Church members volunteering as evening and overnight hosts this year. Unity member Elizabeth Wrobel serves on the St. Paul Council of Churches board of directors and has worked to raise funds for Project Home. June 26: The fourth annual Unity Church Chalice Camp is taking place from July 18—22 and this offering will go toward scholarships for some of the campers. The theme of the camp this year is exploring the neighborhood right around Unity Church and will be a blend of learning, service and fun for campers entering 1st-6th grade. The camp will focus on Unity Church’s commitment to social justice right here in our nearby neighborhood so campers will meet and help neighbors who participate in the Summit University Living at Home Block Nursing Program (SULAH) or people who are working to develop new community gardens. Unity Church member Katie DeCramer is serving as Director of the Chalice Camp this year. July 3: Microgrants is a Twin Cities nonprofit that gives small grants to selected lowincome persons for training, classes, equipment, tools, or other means of assistance to follow their goals and achieve a better standard of living. Unity Church member Phil Morton provides computer support for the Microgrants program. July 10: Northwest Youth and Family Services (NYFS) is a nonprofit social service and mental health agency serving residents of northern and southern Ramsey counties since 1976. Its mission is to prepare youth and families for healthy lives, touching over 4,000 individuals annually. NYFS provides a mental health outpatient clinic, several educational and support groups, and general community social service functions for several metro communities. NYFS offers one-to-one support programs for individuals in need, from mental health counseling to chore services for senior citizens who want to live independently. Unity Church members Mark and Cynthia Stange have been active in several aspects of NYFS over the years with Mark currently serving on the development committee. 10 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Summer Solstice / Music Ministry / Parish Hall Artist Summer Solstice Reflection from Katy Taylor, Seasonal Coordinator Worship Associate ([email protected]) Summer Solstice reminds us to notice and celebrate the full return of the light. The daylight hours have been growing since Winter Solstice, each day becoming slightly longer until the Spring Equinox in March, when the day and night were equal in length. This full-on light invites us out of the house, into the warmth, into its embrace. The seeds that slowly prepared themselves in the mysterious darkness within the earth and within our souls are ready to bear gifts in the fullness of the light. We are invited into a season of fertility, abundance, vitality, and blossoming. What is calling you into blossom? As the poet Mary Oliver invites, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” You may want to write in a journal or create a ritual to explore this invitation. How can you embody the gifts that have been growing in you? Does anything need to be released in order to allow these gifts to manifest? A short ritual could include: • • • • In the brightness of the day Write each “blossoming” or release on a small piece of paper Light a candle and say a blessing or intention Read one “blossoming” or release at a time, and then burn it in the flame, allowing it to be transformed into whatever form it will take in your life. Other ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice: • • • • • Create a flower garland for your head (dandelions make a great braided crown) or your front door. Or put some flowers in your hair or around your house. Paint a smiling sun on your cheek or on the back of your hand. Drink lavender or chamomile tea with honey in it. Enjoy sunflowers and fireflies. Dance, sing, gather around a fire, and be merry! Remember that as this day comes to an end, the days will very slowly become shorter now, until at Autumn Equinox, the day and night will be balanced, and by Winter Solstice, we’ll be back to the longest night. Savor and revel in the bounty of this summer season and the gift of “your one, wild, and precious life.” Next year, we hope to celebrate the Summer Solstice together with a ritual at Unity Church. Unity “Walk-In” Choir Sunday, June 12 Come and sing with members of the Unity Choir on Sunday, June 13. Come for a rehearsal at 9:00 a.m. and sing at the 10:00 a.m. service! Come for some fun and music quickly learned! Wanted! Summer Musicians Summer is a great time to share your musical gifts with your Unity family and friends. Summer lay-led services begin on July 3 this year and continue through August 28. If you are interested in participating in the music contact Kathleen Bartholomay at 651-698-2431 or by email at [email protected] Parish Hall Artist Catherine Vesley When I was young I had a chance to spend a summer on the ranchette my grandparents lived on outside of Great Falls, Montana, in the shadow of the Little Belt Mountains. Since then I have always missed two visual things while living in Minnesota, the third stage of the landscape, and a good view of the bones of the earth. The Laurentian Shield is what's left of our mountains, and the "bones" are long since buried by glacial drift. To paint those sorts of places that I fell in love with at an early age, I routinely travel to the west and southwest, set up an easel in a lonely place and paint away for a few weeks. Gradually a series accumulates that I take home and finish in the studio over the winter. Some of the paintings work, others are edited out, and the survivors eventually hang on a wall. The work has developed over years spent studying and teaching art history and studio arts in colleges; wandering through museums, studying geology and collecting rocks, hiking with dogs on all sorts of varied terrain, conserving and restoring antique oils as a business, doing endless figure drawings, and just staring at prairie skies. Through it all, I kept painting as a way to keep what I saw alive in my mind. A photo simply does not usually have the impact. My painting style has changed over the years, sometimes becoming more abstract, sometimes less; the palette shifts as does the point of view. This is the current crop and I hope you find something of interest in them. For me, there is something so appealing in massive and brilliant red cliffs when you are finishing a painting in your studio on a frozen gritty January day in the Minnesota we all know and love. It was special there and I will return . 11 A Welcoming Congregation June/July 2011 commUNITY Unity Church–Unitarian 732 Holly Avenue • Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 651-228-1456 • fax: 651-228-0927 • www.unityunitarian.org • [email protected] Rob Fulton, Chair, Board of Trustees Janne Eller-Isaacs, Co-Minister Rob Eller-Isaacs, Co-Minister Barbara Hubbard, Executive Director Leon Dunkley, Director of Congregational Life Non-Profit Org. US Postage Paid Twin Cities MN Permit No. 1141 Time Sensitive Material change Service Requested U Boston Pilgrimage October 26–30, 2011 You are invited to join our ministers for a pilgrimage to the Unitarian Universalist holy sites! We’ll visit Plimouth Plantation, Harvard Divinity School, the Oracles of Concord, Walden Pond and the historic churches of Boston. There will be time for sightseeing as well as conversation and reflection. The approximate cost will be $1200 exclusive of airfare. If you are interested in participating in this pilgrimage, please contact Song Thao at the Church Office ([email protected]) to have your name added to the list.