UU La Crosse
A Unitarian Universalist Fellowship


May, 2019 Monthly Newsletter
Newsletter changes:
To reduce confusion and duplication of information across UU La Crosse publications, the Communications Team has decided to run longer articles in the Monthly newsletter, with the Weekly e-news running more time sensitive events and information. Further information can be found through links to UU La Crosse Announcements page and to UU La Crosse Monthly & Weekly Newsletters.
Mystery has a place in a spiritual life

“[We are] a mystery …[that] needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It has always been a mystery to me that people can emerge from very similar life experiences and respond in such markedly different ways. How do two children from the same family grow into adults with different values? How do survivors of trauma diverge so greatly in the way they heal, with some finding peace by erecting walls the keep out memories and fears, and some becoming almost fearless in treading into unknown territory?

I am constantly in awe of the human spirit and the multiplicity of ways that we experience grief, joy, despair, hope, love, suffering, and renewal.  Like many, I have certainly tried to find answers. I love the social and human sciences. I love detecting patterns, causalities, predictable behaviors, or group characteristics because it helps me to feel that I understand what happens around me and in myself.

 And yet, there is always something that is unquantifiable that defies the containers we use to understand ourselves and others and feel a measure of control.  There is always something left hidden, something that is working beyond the detectable, and when mystery becomes knowledge, there is always more that is still beyond our grasp. 

During a time in my life when I wasn’t particularly happy with how things were unfolding, I had a mantra that I used to repeat to myself many times a day:

 “Just because it looks like nothing is happening, doesn’t mean nothing is happening.” 

I wasn’t finding much to hang onto in the discernible world and so I gave myself over to mystery and tried to trust that things were shifting beyond my gaze. When I was meant to see those things, they would come into view. But until that time, holding onto the mystery was what I had and where I found my solace. It helped me to see beauty every once in a while and to learn how to become quiet and wait.  Ironically, the more I trusted in the unseen, the less I tried to force things to happen, and eventually the impasse gave way and possibility returned. Leaving some of my life in the hands of mystery helped me to stay in a place of reverence, possibility and hope and to acknowledge without shame how powerless I often was. Opening to mystery also assured me that we are not simply defined by what we do, but by how we receive.

As Unitarian Universalists we place a tremendous faith in the knowable, in reason and rationality. This is a powerful thing.  But we also proclaim that love is stronger than anything. We say that love always wins and that loving bravely can change the whole world. I will be the first to admit that I often see but dimly that this actually happens. I don’t have the perfect study or the big story that shows this to be true. To proclaim this brave love is to give mystery a prominent place in our spiritual life.

Yours in spirit,
Rev. Krista.   

Rev. Taves' May Visit
Rev. Krista Taves’ May visit is May 12 through May 19 . She will be on study leave in June and on vacation in July, returning in August.

Office Hours
Monday, May 13 10 am – noon
Tuesday, May 14 10 a.m. – noon
Thursday, May 16 10 a.m. – noon
If you would like to meet with Rev. Taves and these office hours do not work for your schedule, please reach out to her directly at revkristataves@gmail.com
Sunday Services
May 5 Steve Minnema
Persisting for Justice
Rev Minnema will report on his month long stay in Colombia where he was accompanying various Presbyterians who are advocates for some of the six million displaced persons who lost their lands, their livelihood and their culture to the long years of violence and greed that have created a most unjust situation there. The question is how one persists in pressing for justice when it appears that the powerful hold all the cards.

Steve Minnema received a BA from University of Michigan and MDiv from Harvard and a Doctor of Ministry from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. After serving for over 40 years as a Presbyterian minister, her is retired and living in La Crosse with his wife, Dr. Deborah Buffton, who teaches history at UWL and attends the UU Fellowship. He has written a book about his ministry called A Small Good Story and Other Tales of a Pastor/Weaver at Work. His papers have included studies of John Calvin, Menno Simons and Lucius Aeneas Seneca. He has taught a number of courses in religious studies and ethics at Viterbo University. Last fall he taught a course on "The Ethical Life of the Consumer."

May 12. Rev. Krista Taves.
Mothering: From Mystery into Mastery
In the 1800s, Unitarian and Universalist women were at the forefront of first wave feminism. They transformed motherhood from a private family matter into a political force to be reckoned with. We will celebrate their successes, own their shortcomings and draw on their learning.

May 19. Rev. Krista Taves. Faith of a Father:

May 26, no regular service.
Uncapped Conversations, Rev Krista Taves. May 14, 6:30 p.m. Java Vino
“Lost in Mystery, Found in Life.” These guided conversations take the spiritual theme of our month and through readings and focusing questions, we examine our own experiences, hopes and dreams. We meet in the private room at Java Vino, order our meals and beverages, and the conversation begins around 6:45 p.m. This is a great way to slow down midweek, catch your breath, share an evening with great people, and leave refreshed. Please RSVP revkristataves@gmail.com as space is limited.  
The silent auction is going to be a fun day together; full of food, socializing, and bidding. Held where?  We have some amazing, unique, fun, and delicious services and items available. Pictures of some of the items are at UU La Crosse Silent Auction
Bidding only occurs on-site, day-of (not online). So come eat, socialize and have fun bidding in person!  
How to Donate  Fill out a donation form available at the Fellowship and give it to any stewardship member (Nicole, Celine, Veronica, or Meghan), put in the Stewardship cubby at church, or send in information about the your donated service or item to  stewardship@uulacrosse.org . Bring items to the Fellowship Saturday, May 4th from noon-4 pm.

Only cash and checks will be accepted as payment, we cannot take credit or debit cards
Our theme for May is Mystery
We have chosen Daughters of the Dust to explore the mystery that is lived. Charles Mudede writes that Daughters of the Dust is one of the great films in Black American Cinema. He points out “…the lyrical greatness of  Daughters of the Dust , a film set in a strange time (1902) on a strange island (Georgia's St. Helena Island),and negotiates a strange cultural zone (between black Africa and black America) with a poetry that, though romantic, has anthropological sophistication.”
Come see this beautiful film on Saturday, May 4 at 4 p.m.  Great seats, interesting company and popcorn.

Head Downstairs for an RE Open House
During the Silent Auction

 Religious Education is having an Open House! Join us May 5, after service and along-side the silent auction, until about 1 pm in the basement and nursery spaces. This is the perfect opportunity to bring a friend who might be interested in learning more about UU La Crosse and how our kids are involved. Contact Delena Leon at delena@uulacrosse.org with any questions.
UU Spring Clean Up
Saturday, May 4th at 9am
Please join us as we do some spring cleaning at the UU La Crosse building inside and out. Please wear work clothes and bring gloves. Even an hour or two of your time would be very helpful! We will have cleaning supplies, trash bags, and a pickup truck for hauling.
Bring snacks if you’d like. All ages and abilities welcome.
If you have questions please contact David Boen davidboen@bellsouth.net .

May special collection is Share the Bounty

Share the Bounty is a sustainable agriculture and food security program gathering fresh produce from farmers markets, and distributing this healthy food through local food pantries.
Share the Bounty trucks the produce it receives to the  Hunger Task Force, which in turn, distributes it to the pantries and directly to consumers on Monday afternoons by the La Crosse Public Library. This program distributes over 30,000 pounds each growing season!
Share the Bounty is a program of La Crosse’s interfaith network Compassionate Community Faith Alliance (CCFA). To contribute, make your check out to “CCFA”.
From the Board

Diving Into Summer On and Off The Board

The Board is SO excited for folks to participate in the Visioning get-togethers - your input helps us IMMENSELY! This chance only comes around once in a while. Please take full advantage of making it fun and fruitful with our Visioning Team as facilitators. 
 
We are also both sad for some anticipated Board Member departures and equally enthused for some new faces with fresh ideas and experience. Want to learn more? Make sure to be present to lift up our new Board nominees on May 19th and to share in the joy of this once-a-year opportunity to have as many UUF of La Crosse friends, guests, and members as possible under our roof! 

June will be here in no time and while the summer often has an easier pace in our congregation, we are thrilled to offer services and childcare this year. 

 Finally, we want to give a shout-out to our amazing staff who are dedicated, caring, and skillful. They do great work behind the scenes and have aided the growth in our Fellowship this past year. It honestly makes me so emotional when I think of each and every one of them. Please take a moment this month to tell each of them how much you appreciate their service!
Spring Notes From Jen

Happy Spring! As some of you may know, my family and I moved to La Crosse in October from Illinois. This means that this is is my very first Wisconsin Spring. I am thoroughly enjoying our warmer weather and exploring this beautiful region.

As of April 15th, Donna and I have officially worked as Membership Co-Coordinators for two months. During this time, I have enjoyed getting to know members, friends, visitors and staff. I welcome the opportunity to get to know everyone better and look forward to speaking with you after Sunday service, at meetings or at events.

If you are interested in becoming more involved with our Fellowship, but don't know where to start, we are here for you. Also, if there is just something that you need assistance with, please know that we are happy to help in person, by phone or email.

For friends that are looking into membership, Donna and I would love to have the chance to sit down and talk with you. Either one of us is available every Sunday after service or we can schedule a time during the week that is convenient for you.

I highly recommend Pathways to UU to those of you that would like to know more about Unitarian Universalism.

The next Pathways to UU will be held on Saturday, May 18th from 1 PM to 4 PM. This is an introduction to Unitarian Universalist history and theology. You will learn more about our Fellowship, including programming, social activities, and social justice commitments. This is an interactive class and there will be many opportunities to share and learn from each other. Many of our newer members and friends find that this is where they begin to feel more connected and where friendships begin that last far beyond the class. Let us know if you will need childcare. RSVP to Jen (by May 4th if you need childcare) at jen@uulacrosse.org, or call 779-861-2655.

Lastly, to our Earth Fair tabling volunteers, thank you! We truly appreciate your time and effort
representing UU La Crosse.

Jen Miller
Membership Co-Coordinator
jen@uulacrosse.org
779-861-2655
Social Justice News
May 2019
This will be my last column as Social Justice Chair. As we head into our May 19th annual meeting, there is a lot we at our Fellowship, and Unitarian Universalists nationally, can be proud of. We are in difficult and dangerous times for our country and the world. But we are finding ways to speak truth to power, and to continue the long fight for justice and democracy. Dr. King once said “Change does not roll in the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

This fellowship year, Social Justice Team had as its main accomplishment work done along with others to push area registered voter turnout to 85%, up from about 65% in the previous midterm election. Voters are aware of how much is at stake. We can take a share of credit as a Social Justice Team, helped greatly by two paid staff, Emmy and Donna. Many hours were put in leading four community events, with help from the Driftless Voter Coalition and the League of Women Voters, making sure that a message was heard in November. A UUA fund helped us financially.

Our Team continued our tradition of tabling at a number of social and environmental justice community awareness events. Among those we did last summer were the annual Pride Event, and the first ever Peoples Fest, both in Riverside Park. We are grateful to Communications Team in taking the lead to continue our tradition of tabling at the Myrick Park Earth Fair late last month.
Starting next month, I’m passing this baton, in order to focus on increased responsibilities I anticipate taking on with the Board of Trustees in the coming year. It’s been four years as Social Justice Chair for me. Rev. Krista has helped us greatly, and energy and enthusiasm of the team, and passion for social and racial justice carries us far.

We look forward to the Fellowship year ahead with high energy. We decided at our retreat late last month that the coming Fellowship year will have an increased environmental focus, while sustaining our commitment to making the world more just. Here’s to a great report next year on what we will be accomplishing between now and May 2020!

Ron Malzer, Social Justice Chair
Sunday Services will continue through the summer
 
Sunday morning Fellowship will continue through the summer*
Summer is a great time to stay connected to your UU family!
- Bring friends, invite neighbors, remain inspired
- Services will continue to be at 10 AM (NOT 9 AM like last summer)
- Special RE experiences are planned (think Summer Camp!)
- Summer kickoff, June 2 (the one start time exception) meeting at 9AM for the traditional Bird Walk in the marsh
       - meet at Myrick Park Eco-Center at 9 AM for a walk in the marsh
       - followed by a pancake breakfast on site
       - special activities at the Eco-Center for kids or others who prefer not to walk
- Look to the e-bulletin for further service schedule details/content
- Summer will culminate with our service at the Folk Fest at Riverside Park, August 25th (time to be announced)
 
* Note: no service on:
       May 26  (Memorial Day weekend)  NO SERVICE
       July 7      (Fourth of July weekend)  NO SERVICE
       September 1 (Labor Day weekend)  NO SERVICE
Contacts

Office Hours
 Emmy will be available for drop-ins or appointments  Thursdays from 10am – 1pm .
As usual, email Emmy at  officeadmin@uulacrosse.org  if you would like to meet outside of office hours or need assistance otherwise.
She is also at the Fellowship building on Sunday mornings.

Deadlines for Newsletters & Announcements:

Weekly E-news : Giorgia at  enews@uulacrosse.org by 12pm Mondays

Monthly Newsletter:   Janis at jollyjanis22@gmail.com    by 23rd of the month

Order of Service:   Emmy at officeadmin@uulacrosse.org u   by 12pm Mondays

All other announcement s: Emmy at officeadmin@uulacrosse.org. ccoordinatoru