Ruby Reithel, Speaker
Terri Wright, Service Leader
Ruby Reithel, a longtime UU member, will be the speaker this Sunday.
She will discuss compassion and spirituality, specifically sharing her own lifelong spiritual path with horses. She will relate how horses may sometimes play the role of spiritual guides, and discuss ways in which her interactions with horses have shaped her life. The introduction to the major benefits of equine therapy (both physical and emotional) will be discussed at various points. Ruby will share how compassion for horses as a part of the UU Principle for the interdependent web of life of which we are all apart has brought her great joy and solace in life in many ways.
Ruby also wrote "Growing Up UU."
This Sunday, folk singer Ken Sizemore will present a musical service entitled "Songs Of Hope For A Better World". Though much of the news we hear from around the world and here at home is bad, we UU's know that it is important to keep on trying to make things a little better each day, in our communities and on our planet.
Ken will perform songs that embody hopefulness and optimism, and give us some tangible sounds and lyrics to encourage us to keep on fighting the good fight. Drawing on the classic folk music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as well as including some gems from the popular music of those same decades, Ken plans to leave us feeling more hopeful than ever as we move further into 2015 and beyond.
As a teaser, here are just a few of the songs that you can expect to hear this Sunday morning:
"Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream" (Ken says this is the best "peace" song he has ever heard)
"What A Wonderful World"
"The Times They Are A-Changin'"
"Let There Be Peace On Earth"
Jim Becker, Speaker
About his talk this morning, Jim writes: "I can't help but go back to my religious roots on this one! When the decision was handed down, a good friend from Birmingham, AL, texted me "We did it." Amazing Grace, HallelUUjah!, and the HUGE Blessed Be! My first thoughts in those first few moments went back to memories-all those who had gone before us. My arrival in Mississippi in 1989 and since then-the deaths, the illicit weddings we performed anyhow, the ways we hid, the terrible AIDS crisis we faced. I will walk you through those years and the lives we changed over the years here with a message of hope, renewal, acceptance, and salvation."
Jim Becker is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, where he has served terms as president, programs director, communications director, director of religious education, and now, serves on the ministerial council, and the minister relations committee. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at The Mountain as their recording secretary.
Prior to becoming a Unitarian Universalist, Jim was a 15-year minister for Metropolitan Community Churches and, in 1992, was the first openly gay minister publicly ordained in Mississippi. He is the founding pastor and now pastor emeritus of Jackson's Safe Harbor Family Church (United Church of Christ). Throughout his life, Jim has been an activist for LGBT concerns, street ministries, nursing home ministries, white people healing racism encounter groups, and prison ministries.
Jim is retired from the Mississippi Department of Education, where, under his watch, the first ever LGBT resources were added to the job description materials for all school counselors. In addition, he introduced encounter sessions between the Mississippi Counselors Association and the LGBT community at state conventions.
Jim's life-mate of 24 years, Freeman, is a life-long resident of Mississippi. Their Chi-children, Chihuahuas Mikey and JayLo, will soon have legally married daddies -- in December 2015! Jim's daughter (Kathryn) and grandson (Hayden) live in Ohio.
On Sunday, July 12, UUCO will be honored to have Darryail Whittington, of Oxford, Mississippi as a guest speaker. Darryail has a long history of serving with Habitat for Humanity International. He will share with us the guiding principles of Habitat International, the history and operating procedures of the Lafayette-Oxford affiliate, and detailed information about homes that have been completed in our area. He will also share why Habitat for Humanity is dear to his life, why he chooses to devote time, energy, and passion to this work. We are hoping that it will become clear how UUCO might become more involved. Some of our members already devote time and energy to help. We welcome Darryail and the information he will share about taking practical social action in our community!