Apathy, Anger and Action: The White Response to a Racist America - Allen Coon - Sunday, February 19, 2017
Allen Coon is currently a student at the University of Mississippi studying public policy leadership and is a senator of the Ole Miss ASB organization. He will be discussing the importance of righteous indignation and productive white anger as a response to systemic hate. He also intends to discuss white apathy and the value of personal critique as a white ally in the struggle for racial justice.
The service on Feb. 12 is a fully intergenerational service. The children will not have separate RE classes that morning! The service will be a story, with some of the familiar elements of our services woven into the story. Y'all come!! It will be fun! The opportunity to do intergenerational services is really valuable. It is an opportunity for parents and children to have a shared experience of worship on Sunday morning. It is an opportunity for children to be with their parents and see their parents and the adults they know in the context of worship. And in this context I am using the word "Worship" in a Unitarian Universalist sense...the root of the word is worth, and worship is where we lift up what is of greatest worth. For me today, what is of great worth is the connection of dear people who care for one another and treasure religious freedom. It is being connected to something greater than myself. And through this community I find my inner compass that has been pretty stressed these last weeks.
From the beginning of the congregation we have had intergenerational services and we are glad to be drawing from these deep roots!
Y'all come! It will be fun!
"What is going on at Standing Rock? Why Should UU's Care?" In November and December Edie Love traveled twice to North Dakota to stand with the people of Standing Rock. She will share her experiences of being there as a Chaplain and witnessing first hand the challenges and the solidarity of those who responded. She will speak on her experiences as well as on the bigger issues of colonialism and abuse of native peoples. A Candidate for UU Ministry, Edie Love continues her work with the homeless population in Memphis! We are grateful to have her visit UUCO again!
Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time, providing a shared experience, a shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. Each year's Common Read is chosen by a committee including staff of the UUA. Anyone may nominate a book - and if you go to www.uua.org you can nominate a book for 2017-2018!
In the meantime, our January 29 service will be centered on this year's book, The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, by the Reverend William J. Barber II. Rev. Barber writes about creating a transformative coalition for social justice, not only in his native North Carolina but also around the country. You don't have to read the book to participate in the service, but some of our members and friends have volunteered to do so.
Dr. Michelle Pederson is in Community Ministry, affiliated with the Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and will share with us her insights on: "Engaging What Is".
It is important to accept the reality of our lives. It is also important to be engaged, active participants in our lives. Balancing both is where transformation happens.
Tysianna Marino and Dominique Scott, Speakers
Two UM students that are members of the NAACP campus chapter will be coming to share their experiences working with the campus chapter, their spiritual connection to Dr. King's work and legacy, and other topics related to Dr. King and civil rights.
In addition to a short service we will have a time of sharing with all who are present! We will close the service with the reading shared earlier at the Love Feast: "The Work of Christmas" by Howard Thurman.
The Work of Christmas
by Howard Thurman
When the song of angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the brothers,
to make music in the heart.
How short the daylight hours have now become. How gray the skies, how barren the trees. Let us not wish away the winter. It is a season to itself, not simply the way to spring. Cynthia Linton and her family present a program of special music, letting the light shine forth through their beautiful harmonies.
Our UUCO Holiday Lovefeast is our traditional 'Tis the Season' worship service. We invite all -- youngest to oldest, visiting guests and favorite neighbors -- to join in! We will sing the familiar songs of the season, read words from historic texts, share traditional Lovefeast buns and warm cider, and hold aloft our candles at the conclusion of the service. Our offertory will go to help families in our own congregation and community who could use a little extra this season. All are welcome at this multi-generational gathering, which is our own adaptation of the traditional Moravian Lovefeast.
The Lovefeast service is very simple and is focused upon love of humankind: a communal meal is shared in love. Music and readings are offered to support reflection about the meaning of this season of the year. The distinctive feature of the gathering is that sweet rolls and cider are served to the congregation and all hold lighted candles to end the service. Within the Christian tradition it has been noted that the Lovefeast is not a substitute for the Christian sacrament of communion, rather it is a simple, shared meal. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate Lovefeasts at this time of year.
The original Moravian Lovefeast had its roots in the early Moravian Church. Once, after a worship service, some Moravians shared a simple meal and were moved by the unity and good will they felt toward one another. This practice soon became a tradition and was called a 'lovefeast.' Moravian Lovefeasts are still held today to celebrate many occasions of special significance. Now practiced and adapted in many different faiths, it is a universal celebration and a calming way to engage the holiday season in a participatory and multi-generational service.