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Newsletter for Members & Friends of the South Fraser Unitarian Congregation, Surrey BC
---------------------------- April 2012 ----------------------------Sunday Services (10:30 am)
Apr 1 “A Baha’i View of Our Time on Earth”” ~ Harold Rosen
Truth, justice and...
By David Dalley
What is the meaning of humanity’s journey across the ages? Does our collective saga reveal an overall purpose or direction? What light does the Baha’i Faith cast on humanity’s past, present and future? Harold Rosen, former UU minister and current community interfaith educator, offers some thoughts, reflecting his interfaith experience, and his work and learning as a member of the Baha’i community since the year 2000. Apr 8 “Why Do UU’s go to church on Easter?” ~Rev. Ev Morris
Picture this: The summer sun is going down and the flickering lights of a hundred tea lights trace the spiraling curves of our Labyrinth in Fleetwood Park. The haunting notes of “Spirit of Life,” sung a cappella, float out over the park, drawing in curious onlookers. All are invited to walk the labyrinth, offer a song or prayer, or just watch. Plato claimed that the three essential human pursuits are truth, justice and beauty. While our congregation has much to offer those who seek a free and responsible search for truth and justice, I wonder how we contribute to the pursuit of beauty in our community? The labyrinth in Fleetwood Park is a beautiful public sacred space that our congregation helped to create, and our congregation has a growing base of musical talent. I wonder if there is potential to combine the beauty of these things? This past fall a small group of South Fraser Unitarians hosted a series of evening candlelight meditation walks at the labyrinth in Fleetwood Park. They went very well, and there is interest and energy in starting the program up again once the weather gets better. This is a wonderful opportunity for outreach and creating sacred space in our community. Watch for our new Labyrinth brochures and stay tuned for more information. Talk to David Dalley if this is something you’d be interested in supporting.
Jesus died just like each one of us here will die. The body stops functioning. But is it really over? Is the soul as finished as the flesh? No one knows, but I personally don't think so. This Sunday let's see where that takes us. Apr 15 “Our Emerging Voice” ~ Joyce Poley
The songs we Unitarians sing each Sunday reflect who we are as a religious community. The wide range of spiritual expression we embrace is well represented in our two hymnals -- from standard Christian hymns, to songs of peace and justice, to earth-centered and multifaith chants. But our ‘living tradition’ challenges us to continually revaluate our needs. So what might our next hymnal look like? This morning we will explore the richness of our current hymnals, and consider where we might be heading musically in the years to come. Apr 22 “Joy, Thou Goddess” ~ Rev. Amanda Aikman
Happiness is elusive and temporary. But what about joy? Can we reliably create experiences of profound joy, if we make it a priority for our lives? Indeed we can, if we just practice Lightening Up. (Amanda has written a whole book on Joyfulness and considers herself quite the expert.) Apr 29 “Poetry, Prose & Music” ~ Joan Russell
Calendar of Events for April ’12
Sun, Apr 1: Service Market begins
April is Poetry month in CUC, please let us live outside the box, to give all our members the delight of being part of the service. See Page 2 for some expansion of more ideas.
(details page 2) Sun, Apr 22: Pilgrimage to Burns Bog Support Group for Being Human (details page 2) Sun, Apr 29: Deadline for Sonia Brook Nomination Card/Jewelry Sale (details page 2) Sun, May 27: Annual General Meeting (details page 2)
South Fraser’s Bulletin Board
April Birthday Greetings to: 5th Myung Lee 19th Joan Campbell Aurora Scott 21st Mitsu Oishi 8th Trudy Borkenhagen 23rd Win Searle 13th Carrie Phillips 25th Karin Wegner 15th Jean Assimakos 27th Shan Dube 16th Lynne Rhead Adam Scott ------------------------------------------------------------------SFUC’s ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING is on Sunday, May 27th after the Service. ------------------------------------------------------------------SONIA BROOKS AWARD: Each year at the Annual General Meeting we present the Sonia Brook Award to an SFUC Unsung Hero. The winner is selected by the direct votes of members of the congregation. The person chosen cannot have won it previously nor be on the board of trustees. Please cast your vote for the person that you feel is deserving of the this award by giving your vote (in writing or email) to Erin Knudsen Dalley by April 29, 2012. ------------------------------------------------------------------CARD/JEWELRY SALE: Everyone has special family members and friends to whom you send greeting cards. The dollar–store variety is simply not good enough, and Hallmark doesn’t quite have the right message. On April 29th, after the Service, there will be an opportunity to buy unique hand-made cards by our Congregation’s creative women. Also, check out our costume jewelry table where you may find an item which appeals to you for a minimum $2 donation. Those donating more pricey items, may keep 80% of the selling price, if they wish. ------------------------------------------------------------------Celebrate Earth Day with the PILGRIMAGE TO BURNS BOG! Don't be fooled by the name, our pilgrimage is simply a journey to a place of importance that helps you see a different aspect of the Bog. Everyone is welcome. Festivities begin at 2 pm Sun April 22nd in the parking lot of Planet Ice Delta (10388 Nordel Court, Delta). There will be music, speakers, displays and merchant booths. All ages welcome! The actual walk into the Delta Nature Reserve will begin at 3:00 PM For more info call Jeremy at 604-572-0373. ------------------------------------------------------------------It’s that time of year again. SFUC members and friends share their talents in the SERVICE MARKET. Each year people offer to teach/assist/entertain one another to raise funds for the Congregation, and to receive tax credit. Two forms are available: 1) offers to come to a meal, bake special foods, clean, drive, teach, do sewing, etc. 2) requests for help with specific chores. The Service Market sign-ups will begin on April 1 and continue until May 27th. Please get involved and enjoy participating with others in a more personal way. See you at the back of the coffee room! ------------------------------------------------------------------UNITARIAN FAMILY CAMP: June 1-3. Set in the natural splendor of Belcarra Regional Park, the camp offers swimming, boating, hiking, climbing, a children’s program, campfires and other communal events. Heated cabins with electricity. Meals provided. Reg. deadline: April 30th. Adults: $135; Children: $120; Infant (0-2): Free. Download a brochure/registration form at www.beaconunitarian.org/sasamat.html or email: email@example.com. ------------------------------------------------------------------Here are some ideas on how you might participate in this month’s POETRY SERVICE. By giving us the pleasure of listening to a poem or thoughtful prose (if you would like to have someone read it for you find a friend who would love to do that). Selecting a piece of music to sing, dance to, or chose your favorite hymn and we will all sing it with you,with the help of our choir. Please send me your ideas at email JoanofArt@shaw.ca or 604 531 746
Drop-In Support Group for Being Human
By Rev. Amanda Aikman
Are you human? Need some support every now and then? You are welcome to drop in to this hour-long spiritual support group that I will be facilitating on Sundays March 25, April 22, and June 10. The “support group” will consist of a shared reading -- usually an evocative poem -- followed by a time of silence, structured sharing, free discussion, and a time of affirmation for each others’ hearts’ desires. Participants are absolutely free to speak or just listen. I invented this format because, as the Buddha said, “life is suffering.” There are many support groups for people dealing with specific issues such as grief and addiction – but every one of us needs some support from time to time, just from the stress of living, and that is nothing to be ashamed of! I have been leading such a group for two years at another church, and it is a lovely time of deepening and getting to know each other at a level that is usually difficult to access. I focus on creating a heart space of freedom and safety for all to be heard. The group will meet in the children’s religious education room from 12:15 to 1:30. All are welcome. Just bring yourself. Questions? Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Note from Amanda:
Dear South Fraser Unitarians, I’m so thrilled to be part of your journey. Thanks for the very warm welcome in February. As I stated then, my intention is to listen and learn for the next few months. Your Board has also given me seven specific goals, which I will summarize here: Goal #1: Help the congregation discern and articulate its calling and mission. Goal #2: Tend to pastoral needs of congregation by supporting Care and Concern Committee. Goal #3: Establish a Committee on Ministry to support minister in accomplishing these goals. Goal #4: Develop and implement a process for dealing with conflict. Goal #5: Help to develop a variety of small groups: interest groups and discussions that cross generational lines. Goal #6: Help to analyze space needs and explore alternatives. Goal #7: Support improving excellence of worship services. The most important thing I wish to convey, as we journey forward together, is that I am here for you – as your minister, I want to be available to you, and encourage you to contact me if you’d like to set up a pastoral counseling session, or talk about a church issue, or just chat! My email is email@example.com, and my phone number is 425-750-0711. I always appreciate feedback, suggestions, and compliments – and I look forward very much to moving into a deeper and ever more rewarding relationship with all of you. In the faith, Amanda
Submitted by Carrie Phillips, Board Secretary Highlights from the Board Meeting held Feb 28, 2012
PRESENT: Erin Knudsen, Mike Sands, Carrie Phillips, Sandy Chism, Reverend Amanda Aikman REVIEW OF CONGREGATIONAL GOALS: The eight goals which Amanda had sent to Board members earlier in the month were reviewed and discussed. (See Amanda’s report) REPORTS FROM LIAISONS: CUC - A study group will meet on March 11 to participate in the CUC’s “Active Democracy” nation-wide discussion.
Applications to attend the CUC AGM will close on March 10th. Applicants must agree to report to the Congregation orally or in writing about the workshop they attended. The SFUC AGM is set for May 27th, 2012 after the Service. The meeting ended at 5:40 p.m. The next meeting will be on March 26th at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Carrie Phillips.
Roots and Wings: Religious Education at SFUC
By Kate Coghlan, DRE
Have beginning of start to had the privilege of working really excited alongside Regina Ogmundson, at the Kabir At theyou had a goodMarch, Ithe church year? I have, and I'mwith the kids, about our Spirit Play program this year. Centre. South Fraser’s service was moved to the Kabir Centre out of necessity, but I think I speak for all who were there I want to it ended up being an the amazing resource that is available to us. Last year, David Dalley and the Surrey when I say tell you a bit about incredibly enriching experience. Neighbouring Faiths group worked alongside the Surrey Public Library to put together a set of multi-faith kits. We did one for lot of interesting it was fun to think of you should go in time for me to talk with adults young faiths I miss a Unitarianism, and services, it’s true. But what know, there’s the box for discovery by curiousof otherpeople and their caregivers. experience what those faiths have to offer. Watching the kids I work with have their own multi-faith experiences at the age they’re at, is a limited-time offer. With our new multi-faith series of speakers, I thought it was a great opportunity to use these kits in our lesson plans. Each is the Hinduism multifaith music to dance to, with objects to explore, activities to try, and even join us, and it We tookfilled with books to read, kit from the librarysacredus. One of the women there kindly offered to felt stories – it fits great to have Spirit Play format! was right in to the her tell us about the sacred items and festivals from the kit. What I didn’t expect was the real exchange of information that happened during our circle time. We had our chalice board as usual, and as some of the children who We had the pleasure of joined us, they were able to get a the month of October. I believe each teacher Promises to our attend the Kabir Centre checking out the Hinduism kit for taste of Unitarianism, too. We introduced the got to work with it once, and I'm sure some of us learned a lot from it a know I template!) so she perfect as our friends and hosts, and one enthusiastic mom wrote them down (on (I rainbow did). Timing was could “borrow” them later.neighbours got ready to celebrate Diwali, just this past week. There is goodness in multi-faith interactions, and there is goodness in multi-generational interactions. I was not quite On a day when we have visitors from uplifting it was will always two collide. It kit for me faith in our classroom. I prepared, however, for how completelyanother faith, we to watch the try to have the offered that hope and a sense of real hope to this people spend time together and particularly to and their kids... who clearly thought it was no big deal. peace thatwatchcan generate some discussion between children watch the parents, learning together. And if you'd like to come types to the classroom and take a tolerance, kit or read through any of the materials, These down of interactions don’t display look at thebut rather true acceptance of one another. please just let me know. Do ask – these items are on loan through personal library cards, and we need to make sure to keep the kit together – but I'd be more than happy to arrange it for you. One of the South Fraser kids came dressed for the day in a t-shirt sporting a flaming chalice. Another child pointed out “you have a diya on your shirt!” The response was something along the lines of “umm... it’s a chalice.” Giggling ensued. Our that, is a studying Hinduism has come to a close for now, though I look forward to more of it in the future. And month of multi-faith connection that I’m glad I did not miss. By David Dalley
Bridging the Digital Divide
By David Dalley
“Spirit of Life and Love, we have gathered again out of our separateness to know that we are not alone.” Much of the success of our coming growth and transformation lies in the way we work together to minimize the “digital divide” in our congregation. The term “digital divide”of spiritual leaders from diverse faith traditions in our community On September 17, Patsi Chism addressed a room full refers to any inequalities between groups or individuals in terms of access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies. were carefully chosen, and gently at the annual Interfaith Peace Conference at Northwood United Church. Her words delivered. “In our fears, we are not alone. In our grasping for peace, finding it in fleeting moments, and losing it again to An increasing of the mindour congregational administration and outreach now takes place online, and this trend is likely some turmoil amount of and heart, we are not alone.” to continue. Our website and social media sites are increasingly becoming a source of information and connection, not only forin the conference, about our community,the international within our community using“United share ideas Later newcomers learning a speaker from but also for those interfaith organization them to Religions and deepen(www.uri.org) would elaborate on this idea that peace is not something we arrive at, but something that we Initiative” relationships. must struggle to create and re-create in every moment of our lives. But for now, Patsi held the stage: Don’t worry! This won’t replace good ‘ole fashioned Sunday morning worship, but it is an emerging aspect of congregational life in You, Spirit ofcontribute to.wholeness, for this brief time - willing to be held here in an immense and “And so we dwell that we can all healing and eternal love whose origins we do not know, whose reality is irresistible.” David Dalley is offering tutorials and information sessions for anyone interested in minimizing the “digital divide” in our congregation. Tutorials we must be able to listen to one another. Really listen. Not your own computer, at your own Before we can have peace, can take place in a group setting or at your own home, on pace. be deciding whether we agree or disagree with what is being said. Not be thinking about how we are going to respond when it is our turn to talk. We need to just listen; Topicsbecause we want to understand, understand because we want to trust, and trust listen may include: because we want peace. Introduction to our website and how to set it up as your “homepage” on your computer. Introduction to congregational email lists and making sure you are included Introduction to Facebook and how to set up an account and participate online Introduction to Meetup and how youHIGHLIGHTS BOARD can participate in this important outreach project
There are no “dumb questions!”
Submitted by Carrie Phillips, Board Secretary
To book a time and to discuss what you would like to learn, please contact David Dalley at: (604) 502-8661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Erin Knudsen, Mike Sands, PRESENT: Lynne Rhead, REPORTS FROM Carrie Phillips, Sandy Chism COMMITTEE LIAISONS: 3 4
Highlights from the Board Meeting held Oct 6, 2011
Introducing... Myung Lee
By Keiko Yano
I am pleased to introduce Myung Lee. She was born in Kang-won Korea. She immigrated to Canada 10 years ago with her husband and son Hal. Their daughter Dephne was born in Canada. Myung was brought up as a Christian, attended a Presbyterian church in Seoul and the Nazarene church in Surrey. She visited SFUC after meeting David Dally at an event hosted by a Surrey Foundation. Myung was a award winning editor in Korea. She went to Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Now she publishes DIVERS, a Canadian multicultural awareness magazine. She currently lives the Fleetwood area in Surrey with her husband and two children. Welcome to our Congregation Myung!
Robert Latham’s Moving On From Church Folly Lane: Study Group Reflections
By Mitsu Oishi and Mary Hamilton
At the 2011 CUC Annual Conference Meeting in Toronto, UU minister Robert Latham challenged Unitarian Congregations with this statement: Any congregation that wishes to impact society, and survive long enough to assure this impact, will have a profound clarity about its mission and an equally profound commitment to this mission. Royce Rourke and Steve Faraher-Amidon from SFUC brought his message home to us with a 20 page handout that was as exciting as it was provocative. In February, more than a dozen self-selected members of SFUC met to discuss Latham’s ideas as presented in his book, Moving On From Church Folly Lane. Latham’s thesis is that mid-sized UU congregations (approx. 150 members) languish because they are not committed to a clear religious mission based upon social transformation. Though we are a small congregation, his warning resonated. SFUC does have a congregationdeveloped mission statement, but it is arguably not one to which the congregation is “profoundly committed”. So for two Sunday afternoons the group sequestered itself to deal with whether commitment to mission was important, and what a “profoundly clear” mission might look like. We did not see ourselves as representing the congregation; we were individual members with an earnest curiosity and willingness to explore the intellectual and emotional challenge of Latham’s writing. Latham comes from a critical place - or so it seems. (One can ask whether calls of alarm can be otherwise.) Our little group of seekers responded to the challenge of his questions with a more appreciative perspective. Some wrote a statement of their own religious mission, added to the one we have, or searched other congregations’ websites for inspiration. Acknowledging that SFUC has been at times over the years an inspiring and stimulating presence, we allowed that we did indeed have “good news”. Where does SFUC go from here? It was not for this study group to say; however, there were many individuals who seemed recommitted to seeking together with the congregation as a whole, a more powerful vision and statement of mission to take out to the world. One of our group captured the last of our sessions with this reflection: We sit in a bubble while outside the snow falls gently down. Thoughts, ideas, questions, quotes, laughter come out of our mouths and float around, bouncing off the sides of the bubble and passing in and out of our heads. Out of the amorphous collection, some structure begins to form for each of us. Mine looks like this: A vision of what could be… As sense of mission arising out of the vision… A covenant to make the mission concrete … Some specific goals to bring the covenant to life … And holding structure and us all together, a simple motto: We seek, we reveal and we rejoice in our interconnectedness. And thus our work continues anew, weaving in the threads of our past!
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