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We provide a safe, caring community where all can freely explore diverse religious thought. We work for justice and equality with the power of compassion and compassionate power.
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Love Thy Neighbor, Even When Her Heart is Hardened
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, (12th century) insists that everyone has free will; one can choose to do good, or evil. The ability to choose freely defines us as human beings; our choices define us as individuals. Freedom to choose is an essential and inherent right, but it is not absolute; there are consequences to actions.
Friends, I write this reflection as we finalize preparation for Passover, and for the last Sunday (for now!) on the 4th source of Unitarian Universalism: "love your neighbor as yourself." The Passover story contains the curious and challenging idea that the despotic Pharaoh had a "hardened heart," and as a result refused to free the Israelite slaves.
Journalist Dr. Moshe Dann writes, "The key to understanding this psychological debilitation [a hardened, unforgiving heart] - and what Torah teaches - is Pharaoh's lack of self-criticism. The ability to choose, to exercise free will without honest self-evaluation and introspection, is self-destructive and destructive to others. In Pharaoh's case, he led his army and his nation to disaster."
A stewardship drive is a time for deep introspection. What do we value? How do we express ourselves and our feelings with our gifts of money? Are our hearts hardened or open? How do we live our covenant in terms of our monetary gifts?
I want to thank and bless those of you whose hearts are open wide to the future of UUCGT. I particularly thank those of you who, like me and Karl (Bahle), increased your pledges, or pledged as much as you are able, to send a strong message of support to the path ahead.
Thanks to those who participate in Sunday services by attending regularly. Please join us this Sunday as we celebrate freedom, hope and risk, and also join me at 9:00 AM for "Foundations of Humanism, Part 1." Again to those who have given so very generously, after deep introspection, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, which remains open to all.
In Blessing -
April 24, Sunday Services
9:00 a.m. Adult Learning Class: "Foundations of Humanism, Part 1"
10:30 a.m. "Passover: Let Freedom Ring" - Rabbi Chava
On this second day of Passover, we will weave our powerful UU traditions with elements of the Haggadah, the text that guides the Passover Seder. Filled with questions and explorations, the Haggadah is one of the most widely read and often published texts in the Jewish world. How is this ancient tale relevant today?
This Sunday for Children and Youth
10:30 a.m. Programming & Education for Children and Youth
Children (preK-5th grade) and Youth (6th-12th grade, 12-18yrs) are invited to join their families in the service through the Story Wisdom. Following Story Wisdom, Children (preK-5th grade) will follow their teachers to the large classroom space. Youth (6th-12th grade, 12-18yrs) will join their teacher in the Office. Following the service, parents of Children (preK-5th grade) should make their way to the classroom/program wing of the building to sign their child(ren) out of programming.
This Month for Children... April brings with it the theme of Traditions & Celebration of our Judeo-Christian Heritage, as it relates to our UU principles and sources. Lessons will include a basic understanding of the figure of Jesus as a teacher of love, peace, and justice. Additionally, we will have a children's Passover Seder this month. The last Sunday of the month will feature our Activity Centers.
This Month for Youth...This month our youth will continue to explore justice as they consider Leadership.
Parent Empowerment Series is cancelled at this time
Parent's Chalice Circle (which had been meeting on Sunday morning at 9:45am) is breaking early for the summer. There is some interest in having informal gatherings for families throughout the summer. Please email Laura Matchett
if you would like to be on the list to receive email information about such gatherings. Thanks to those who participated.
UUCGT Membership / Voting Criteria
You must be a current member of UUCGT in order to vote on issues presented at the upcoming Annual Meeting on June 5, 2016 (i.e., budget approval, election of Board members, etc.).
A 30-day membership status is required prior to voting.
Deadline for membership / right to vote is
Sunday, May 1
This is what Membership involves:
- Having met with Rabbi Chava Bahle, or attended an Orientation Session for Prospective Members (does not apply to members prior to May 1, 2016)
- Signed the Member Book
- All Members must have made a pledge of record for the 2015-2016 fiscal year which ends June 30, 2015
Questions about scheduling a meeting with Rabbi Chava? Contact Susan Sherman, 947-3117
Questions about pledging? Contact Sheri Novak, 947-3117
Questions about Membership? Contact Chris or Rick Walter, 421-3069
What's Going On At UUCGT?
Link to the UUCGT WEBSITE CALENDAR
Weekly activities are listed in the Order of Service and in the Beacon
Wednesday Night Supper: Wednesday, April 27, 5:30pm social time, dinner at 6:00pm. $5/adult & $3/10 & under. Delicious meal and shared fellowship!
April 27: 7:00 p.m. Paul Ward, "The Art of Medicine"
May 11: 7:00 p.m. Karin Killian, "
Fair Trade Farmers in Latin America"
NEW! Memoir Writing Group
Mondays at 1:00pm on May 2, 9, 16, 23
Write stories from your life experiences and share them with the group. No topics will be assigned. Write about happenings in your own life. Maybe this can be the beginning of your personal memoir. Questions? Contact Sara Boys, at 231-620-3921 or email email@example.com
Concert Series continues....
Saturday, May 21 - 7:30 PM at UUCGT
Robin Lee Berry & Glenn Wolff
perform a night of collaborative music!
Link here for more information
F Y I
Please Note Deadline: 5/5/16 Flash articles must be submitted by Sunday, May 1st for inclusion in 5/5/16 Flash
Higher Grounds Coffee Orders are due Sunday, April 24
15 Minutes with the Rabbi:
Sunday, May 8, 10:00 a.m.
UUCGT Book Club, May 8 title:
"There is Something I Want You To Do" - stories by Charles Baxter
"Little Spiritual Book" Brown Bag Lunch & Learn:
Join Rabbi Chava for this monthly brown bag "lunch and learn" program. Pack yourself a lunch and come with an open heart.
Tuesday, May 17,
Brother Benet Tvedten, OSB, "
How to be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job: An Invitation to Oblate Life" (Paraclete Press),
SAVE THE DATE! UUCGT Spring Clean-up!
INSIDE & OUTSIDE
Saturday, May 14, 9:00AM-3:00PM
Local Community Needs: Please find a Local Community Needs request form HERE.
Kitchen cupboards, yard work, window washing, clean-up, spruce-up! Bring your own tools for tasks, and please join us as you are able ~ 15 minutes or an hour or two! Donuts provided! Join in fellowship & connection in support of UUCGT's home!
phone: l(231) 947-3117 website: www.uucgt.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: Monday by appointment
Tuesday - Thursday, 9:00 - 4:00
Friday, 9:00 - 12:00 noon
FLASH articles are due by noon on Wednesday of each week