The Birth of All Things

Join us this Sunday, December 4th to explore the Tao Te Ching. Ten adventurers from a group who met to read, meditate and reflect on the Tao will share their insights which range from the hilarious to the profoundly inscrutable. Contradictions abound, but calm claims its rightful place when one gives way to awe…

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Thanksgiving Love

Late last fall Kim Belanger snapped this shot on the creek bed that’s across the meadow in front of our home. It is the only time we have posed for a couples photo. Even though we fell in love in the dark ages, none of our families had a photo of us on their wall. We didn’t want an airbrushed shot or something that idealized our lives. We wanted to be seen in peoples homes in a way that feels true to our history, true to who we are and where we live. One friend’s son asked, “Why aren’t they holding hands?” Our hands were cold, but we’re leaning into one another.

Love sometimes pools, sometimes it flows and floods. Charles and I are grateful for the mysterious pull that not only keeps us together, but focuses our love in ways that deliver us into a realm of tenderness that helps breakdown barriers for ourselves and others.

May love, whatever its source, move with tenderness in your life…

May we be thankful for the generosity of goodwill that flows from our Fellowship community inwards and outwards.

Michael

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OCCUPY YOURSELF!

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” -Saul Bellow

We need vital activism in this world as we need those who move deep into contemplation. Hopefully the result of both lead to a living out of a larger truth. Some of us are called to protest and some of us are called to a more contemplative approach to bringing about change. The passionate call for justice needs the balance of those who use silence to move into a deeper understanding of how strong a grasp illusion has on our individual and shared lives.

In our progressive Unitarian Universalist faith the diversity of theological approaches creates a vital and healthy community. I believe the same is true for bringing health to our world that sometimes feels as if it is tipping toward ruin. We need the people on the ground, in factories, hospitals, class rooms, homes, authors, painters, photographers, stay at home dads, pilots, visionaries, pragmatists…the whole kaboodle…

We live in a time when we need inspiration that brings us to a place of larger trust—where living directly from who one is and is called to be from moment to moment, day to day… helps to bring stability to a world that cries for compassion. We need many paths that lead to greater openness and a willingness to share more freely. To the extent we are locked into a singular view of what brings justice into the world, we are attached to illusion.

Let us be free! Let us celebrate our expansive understanding of what is possible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pagan Circle Events

Merry meet, everyone, and hang on to your hats, witches!  On Saturday, October 29th we’ll be celebrating our Samhain Sabbat, better known to the muggles as Halloween.  This is set to be a great time for everyone as we honor the dead when the veil between our two worlds is thinnest.  We’ll start by having our potluck dinner @ 5 pm. Bring a small halloween-themed dish to share, and take part in the fellowship and kinship we all feel at this special time of year.  After dinner we’ll get together to make Witches’ Flying Ointment as we prepare for our Samhain rite.  No worries, we will NOT use the belladonna that was used by our Pagan ancestors!  (We don’t want to fly that high!)  We’ll start with natural beeswax and go from there.  Bring a small container to take some home with you.  As we mix our ingredients, we’ll discuss the ancient Pagan origins of Samhain.

At 7 pm we’ll gather around the fire for our Samhain Circle. Our theme this year is Honoring Our Ancestors. Bring drums and bells to raise energy as we welcome the spirits of those who have crossed over. And to go along with this theme, we are going to set up an Ancestor Altar that will be accessible to all, the entire evening. We invite everyone to bring a small photograph or memento of a loved one who has passed on to place on this altar. There will be candles and incense available for you to use.

And please remember, all our UUFM Pagan Circles are family-friendly. There will be crafts or activities for children to do @ every event. And ritual garb is always welcome, but never required. Come dressed comfortably for the weather, because we will gather outdoors anytime the weather permits.  See you there!

Love and Blessings,

Deirdre

Learn more from Deirdre at saffyrr@gmail.com

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Doing Not Doing: Discovering the Tao

Join Rev Michael Nelson and UUFM member Blake Belanger in a six-week exploration of the Tao te Ching, “The Eternal Way.”  Taoism, along with Confucianism and Buddhism, is a primary influence in Chinese spiritual practice and has profoundly influenced thinking across Asia and the world.  Using 81 short verses, Lao-tzu offers a philosophy of living grounded in humility, introspection, and selflessness.  Embracing the Tao means living in equilibrium with the flows and forces of nature; nothing is forced, yet all things are done. Continue reading …

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PNO Pajama Party

We had a wild and crazy time at the PNO Pajama Party on Friday night. We build a fort, played football, ate pizza, drew pictures, played games, watched Toy Story, and ate cake. It was a lot of fun!

The night started off with fort building. Using tables, chairs, the dividers from the Jupiter (Large RE) room, and sheets I had brought from home, the kids constructed a cool fort for the night. It was even equipped with beds – although none of the kids wanted to do any sleeping at this pajama party!

After that, we went outside and played football and a quick game of elephant tag.

Then it was inside for pizza, carrots, grapes, and milk. Yummy!

After dinner, we broke up into 3 groups: one went into the nursery to play with toys, one back outside to play football, and another stayed inside to draw and perfect our fort.

At 7:30 it was movie time! This month we watched Toy Story. Most of the kids snuggled up in the Jupiter room for the movie and popcorn. Some stayed in the nursery to play with toys. They built buildings with the cardboard bricks, made tea, and took dolls for walks. Another group played games in the Inez Alsop room with Harriette Janke. She brought all sorts of new games to introduce to the kids, like Rummy Cube. Rumor had it the games were quite competitive!

Jack Warren’s birthday party group was nice enough to leave us some cake, so at 8:30 we took a cake break. Happy Birthday Jack! The kids REALLY enjoyed the cake!

After the sugar rush, some of the kids watched the rest of the movie. Others played tag, built buildings with blocks, or drew pictures.

To finish the night, we had a dance party! It was rockin’ good fun. We paused the music every so often, and some of the poses the kids had to freeze in were tough. I was super impressed!

All in all it was a pajamarific good night!

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Upcoming Pagan Circle Events

Merry meet, everyone! I’m so excited to invite you to the upcoming October Full Moon Circle here @ UUFM. On Saturday, October 8th, we’re honored to welcome Morrigan Oran from the Manhattan Goddess Circle as she presents the October Blood Moon ritual. Morrigan and I have been busy collaborating recently, and are excited to join forces, as it were, to provide what we believe will be a fantastic Pagan experience for all Manhattan-area Wiccans and Pagans. Morrigan’s Blood Moon ritual will be exploring power in uncertainty through our spiritual connections. Come out and join us in making her and members of the MGC feel welcome.

At 5:30 pm we will once again get together for a potluck meal here in the Inez Alsop room. Bring a small dish to share. And at 6:30 our Pagan craft will be chalice painting. Glass chalices will be provided, as well as enamel paint and brushes, so you can let your creative spirits loose! Our discussion topic, to go along with the painting, will be Magickal Symbols. And at 7:30 we’ll gather around the fire and under the stars to honor October’s Blood Moon. But there is a chance for rain this Saturday, so our inclement weather plans are to assemble in the Inez Alsop room.

And hang on to your hats, witches! On Saturday, October 29th we’ll be celebrating our Samhain Sabbat, better known to the muggles as Halloween. This is set to be a great time for everyone as we honor the dead when the veil between our two worlds is thinnest. We’ll start by having our potluck dinner @ 5 pm. Bring a small halloween-themed dish to share, and take part in the fellowship and kinship we all feel at this special time of year. After dinner we’ll get together to make Witches’ Flying Ointment as we prepare for our Samhain rite. No worries, we will NOT use the belladonna that was used by our Pagan ancestors! (We don’t want to fly that high!) We’ll start with natural beeswax and go from there. Bring a small container to take some home with you. As we mix our ingredients, we’ll discuss the ancient Pagan origins of Samhain.

At 7 pm we’ll gather around the fire for our Samhain Circle. Our theme this year is Honoring Our Ancestors. Bring drums and bells to raise energy as we welcome the spirits of those who have crossed over. And to go along with this theme, we are going to set up an Ancestor Altar that will be accessible to all, the entire evening. We invite everyone to bring a small photograph or memento of a loved one who has passed on to place on this altar. There will be candles and incense available for you to use.

And please remember, all our UUFM Pagan Circles are family-friendly. There will be crafts or activities for children to do @ every event. And ritual garb is always welcome, but never required. Come dressed comfortably for the weather, because we will gather outdoors anytime the weather permits.  See you there!

Love and Blessings,

Deirdre

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Deepening UUism

Reverend Michael Nelson guides a series of four classes focused on the questions of new members and friends considering membership, following Sunday services October 23 through November 13.  Childcare will be provided.  Learn more from Michael at minister@uufm.net

Continue reading …

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Seeds for the Sowing – Small Congregation Conference

Large congregations have them.  So do mid-size congregations.  Isn’t time for a Small Congregation Conference?  We think so!  Join us in Des Moines, Iowa, for a two-day conference specifically designed for congregations with fewer than 150 members.  Featured speaker will be the Rev Andrew Pakula, senior minister of New Unity-Unitarians, a small congregation in London, England which has grown from 35 to 100+ members in just five short years.  Continue reading …

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