"The River"
This Sunday
December 1
Speaker: Rev. Bruce Bode
Celebrant: Jim Heard
Music: Sally Riggers

The Heart of Religion: Love Beyond Belief
This companion sermon to “Deeper Than Our Separateness,” given on November 17, will explore the “heart of religion” – both its basis and goal – with the aid of Unitarian Universalist theologian Dr. Thandeka who has recently published a book titled Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spirituality.

NOTE: Near the end of the service, you will be invited to briefly share a “mystical experience” with another person, that is, an experience in which to a greater or lesser degree you glimpsed a unity beyond the everyday push-and-pull world; or, to quote Joseph Campbell, a time when you experienced “a plane of consciousness where you could identify yourself with that which transcends pairs of opposites.”
S UUF will be having a series of discussions based on the UU curriculum,
 "Build Your Own Theology".   This Sunday at noon.

Our first meeting was after church on the first Sunday in November, Nov 3rd at noon. (Circle of chairs = meeting!) All are welcome to hear about the curriculum, which is available from the the UUA website Bookstore). I suggest that the study group meet once a month for 9 months, until next June to work through book One of the curriculum. We will break down the curriculum into monthly units, suggest some readings and journaling, if people wish to do so (writing, art, song, whatever!),
and discuss our own thoughts and feedback on the topics.

People are welcome to check this out-- no "obligation"!  Monthly meetings with be open to all, as is the basis of our UU theology-- with caring, curiosity, faith-seeking, and respect!
Call Doris, 360-336-3453 for more information.
We are going to start opening the Fellowship early on Sunday mornings -- 9:15 AM -- for simply socializing and for regular meetings of various groups and committees. Enticements will include fresh coffee, snacks, and cheer.
This Sunday, December 1st, in the hour before the service, we will be decking the hall, festooning a tree, and otherwise arranging ornaments that Sally was kind enough to lay out for us. Come early and join in.
To all Skagit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship members: Sunday, December 1, is our upcoming day to support our Family Promise group as members work toward finding homes and places to live. As always, the group of up to 15 adults and children will arrive around dinner time at our host church, Trinity Lutheran on 18th in Mt. Vernon. SUUF provides and cooks the dinner for guests as well as themselves and we usually cook the meal (whatever we've decided to serve) at the church which has a large commercial kitchen. After dinner, the guests have the rest of the evening to read, or do whatever they wish before going to bed. In the morning they get up between 6 and 6:30 am to eat breakfast, put lunches together for the day if they wish. They have to leave the building by 7 a.m. and either go off to work or school, or be driven in a van that is provided to the Day Care facility in Sedro Woolley where they can spend the day. 

Duties for SUUF staff after dinner on Sunday evening is pretty simple: helpers clean the kitchen, wash dishes and dinner items, put out items such as coffee maker to be ready for the next morning, and then go home. The only exception is for 2 SUUF members who arrive about 8 p.m. to spend the night sleeping on cots which are actually fairly comfortable. We are required to have 2 Family Promise members available at the site to deal with any issues that may come up, although that has yet to happen. 

This is a very simple description of the Family Promise Program and it's a program that you can become very fond of. You hear the stories from people who are working hard to provide their children with futures that they can be proud of and you leave the program grateful for the opportunity you had to help. You learn that you really can make life better for others. The only thing we need to make the program better for us is to have more offers of participation from members. We don't need a large number of volunteers but we do need to have people that we can turn to when we need help. It would also be good if we could take turns occasionally with things like cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, and maybe evening spending a night on the cots. These are just ideas but if any of you would like more information just check with Pat Young or Patty Yount. 

Upcoming Services

December 8
Speaker: Rev. Rick Reynolds  
Celebrant: Matt Bianconi
Music: SusanWakeman

Lessons From the Street
In 25 years in working with homeless people in Seattle, Rev. Rick Reynolds has some stories to tell, which will challenge and inform us,
not only about the current state of homelessness in the Pacific North- west, but also our own attitudes and prejudices about our neighbors outside. 

December 15
 Speaker: Rev. Barbara Gilday
Celebrant: Doris Brevoort
          Music: Susan Wakeman
Reuse, Renew, Recycle and the Christmas Story
The traditional Christmas story is one we UU’s often reject - and for many good reasons. How much is history? How much is magical thinking? How reliable are sources that tell the story up to 80 or so years after the death of Jesus. And yet, how does one account for miracles and mysteries associated with Christianity in the past 2 centuries? (And yes, wars and atrocities.) What signs in this old story comfort us, challenge us, bring us to hold the story with open hearts and minds? Experience in life tells me that such a big story which has lasted for such a long time, is worth considering. Can we find the essence of the story, and so, revalue it for our time?
December 22
Speaker: Rev. Lena Breen
Celebrant: Rosemary Stevens
Music: Sally Riggers  
Winter Solstice: A Time of Kindling Light and Hope
By holding gratitude for our earth home and paying tribute to it's changing season we are restored and reminded of our essential nature. During part of our
service we will share a ritual together including a call "To The Four Directions", time in darkness, singing, and sharing of light. Our community's joy will connect us to each other and sooth our fears.

*And remember Lena's Yoga For All at SUUF, the day before (12/22), 4-5pm.

December 29
Congregational Sharing
Celebrants: Jim Heard & Kathy Roche-Zujko
Independence From Foreign Influence
Bring yourself.. but leave everything else behind! Today we gather to greet the new year as empty vessels, ready to fill ourselves and our lives with joy, positive influences and certainty. A clean slate is yours for the taking. What baggage are you going to discard today?

At inSpirit, we love selecting thoughtful children's books with Unitarian Universalist values a nd recommending them to families. One of our guiding principles as we select books is known as "windows and mirrors" developed by professor of education Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop and used increasingly across schools, libraries, and bookstores. Dr. Bishop writes that "children need literature that serves as a window onto lives and experiences different from their own and literature that serves as a mirror reflecting themselves and their cultural values, attitudes and behaviors." We're proud to offer books with this guiding principle and would like to recommend the following books on sympathy, mindfulness, gratitude, and curiosity. Check out these and more great children's books online in our category Kids and Youth-New and of Note . And don't forget that free standard shipping on orders within the U.S. of $50 or more is also available now through December 15th.   
This space awaits a photo or poem or news or reminiscence from you, when you're ready. Email your contributions to the office.
Extinction of the Human Species
By Nancy B. Miller 11/06/2019
Keep burning the oil, the gas and coal as well,
Environmentalists have a message you must quell.
Deny the glaciers melting and the rising of the seas.
Make profits from the rain forests cutting of their trees.
There is too much carbon in the atmosphere we’re told,
Who are those scientists who would speak so bold ?
How much truth does their alarming message hold ?
I’ll be long gone before their unthinkable prediction will unfold.
What legacy is this that I am passing on to my human race ?
Will the earth, in time, for humans become an uninhabitable place?
Should I believe we’ve passed the 350 point of no return?
Will my descendants starve and in the great fires, burn?
I want to continue to deny but now it is the truth that I must tell,
I have supported the wealthy and purchased the goods that they would sell,
I have continued to maintain my comfort and indulged way of life,
And helped create my descendants bid to survive through agonizing strife.
I hope there will be a miracle, a way,
So at safe levels the carbon measurements will stay.
It will require courage and sacrifice from many each day,
And those in power must move toward this goal without delay.
Happy November birthdays!!!  Best wishes to Rev. Barbara Davenport, Yolanda, Nancy and any others celebrating your special day this month.
Soup-er Sunday 4th Sunday each month. Stay after the service for a delicious bowl of soup and bread $6. If you would like to help make soup contact Greg Sherman at 360 421-0633 or gregorysherman@gmail.com
Soup-er Sunday fundraiser has a new goal - pay off the mortgage on our building! Beginning in October, 2019 , soup money will go to separate mortage payoff account.
Hearing at SUUF Applified earphones are available at the back of the hall for those wanting to better hear the service. Also we are equiped with a hearing loop system similar to what was recently installed in the Lincoln Theatre. SUUF's loop was installed by Jim Brown and Dundas Winn. Jim passed away a few years ago, but our thankfulness for his donation remains.
Covenant Circle now meets Wednesdays.
We are living in a time both fascinating and terrifying. Please come and add your reflections as we discuss magazines, books, the news, and life.

Every Wednesay afternoon at 1:30 at Haggen on Division Street in Mount Vernon. Call Joy Lindberg (360-424-8090) for further information.
For the children   CRE with Maddie Schleif Sunday 10:30 am.

The smaller babies room has a speaker system installed. If you should need to leave the service, you can still hear everything in there..
Yoga with Lena Breen at SUUF fundraiser. There will be three more classes 4 pm to 5 pm on 12/21/19, 3/9/20 and 5/24/20.
Office Administrator, Newsletter : Claire Phillips skagituu@gmail.com Hours: Tue. & Thur. 12-4 pm

Worship Team Leader : Sally Riggers suufmusic@gmail.com

Board contact: Jim Heard james.heard@skagituuf.com