UUCGT Flash  
 Special ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Edition!    
 
In This Issue
From Alison Ernst, DARE
UUCGT Calendar: Busy? Yup!
End Note: E. M. Forster
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We are a Congregation creating a better world by nurturing the heart and expanding the mind.

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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Aaaannnnnnnd . . . it's another mea culpa edition of the UUCGT Flash e-newsletter!

Our friend Susan Sherman told me that this position offered lots of chances to "give people an opportunity to practice forgiveness."  I hope I'll do so less and less often as I learn more and more, but once again I've dropped the ball on something, and I'd like to correct the issue.

Our new DARE - Director of Adult Religious Education - Alison Ernst asked me to include the following in the Beacon, and I got "Beacon" and "Flash" mixed up in my head.  The result was that I included the information in neither.  So here's another Special Edition Flash to share some details of the lovely writing workshop opportunities Alison is creating and leading.  In the long run I am glad to give Alison's work this spotlight.
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Notes from Alison Ernst, Director of Adult Religious Education (DARE)
 
      Beginning with a Family Stories workshop last spring, and with the addition of two creative writing sessions, in early summer, a dedicated cadre of UU members have been meeting virtually to write weekly. The writing workshops are facilitated using the principles and practices of the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, based on the simple core belief that "every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft."
      Each session begins with a reading of the philosophy and practices of the AWA method, which serves as a verbal chalice lighting of sorts, grounding participants in our purpose and the agreements we have with each other during our time together. We do a short writing warm up, to get our creative juices flowing. Then a more detailed prompt is offered for a longer writing session. Participants are encouraged to write whatever they want/need to, regardless of whatever prompt is offered that day. Next comes perhaps the most moving and learning inducing part of the session: reading of fresh fledgling work, and commenting that focuses on what is strong and successful. Focusing on what works in newly created writing teaches and encourages writers to tap into their unique voice and perspective. Critique certainly has its place in the writing process, but not in this setting. 
      Recently we used Mary Oliver's well known poem Wild Geese as a writing prompt. Inspired by the line "You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves", one of the workshop members created the following (printed with permission):
 
The Soft Animal Parts
 
The Soft Animal of my body - the warmest, most authentic part. Not the part inside my hard skull. Not my busy twitchy boney hands.
 
The soft animal part that longs to draw a baby close for naptime. The part that yips and hides in a hidden den when predators are afoot. The part that seeks survival above all else.
 
The Animal lying in wait. Composed, confident. With an uncomplicated understanding of life. Where are the best soft grasses? The dark fortified cavities within brush piles that you can move right into? Needs: few, comforts: simple, standards: low. The safest way for a soft-bodied animal to live.
 
But should I grow a tough hide? Stand upright? Think more about my carbon footprint? Finish my degree work? Diversify my investments? Plan my days more carefully?

No, I think I will remain a soft animal, with soft animal parts. As I was born, so shall I die.

                                                           -The Northwoods Writrix
 
Watch the Flash for posting about dates and times for this tentative lineup of writing workshops for the fall:
- Creative Writing
- Critiquing 101 (for previous workshop participants)
- Family Stories
- Writing Whiteness 
 

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UUCGT Calendar - Stay Up to Date

Sunday Services, meetings and classes are hosted on Zoom until further notice. Need help with Zoom? Click on Zoom links below.

To request a Zoom meeting setup and link for your group or committee meeting, please call or e-mail Guy at the office.  

THE OFFICE NEEDS YOUR INFO OR ZOOM SETUP REQUEST BY NOON OF THE WEDNESDAY IN THE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MEETING/EVENT, PLEASE, TO INCLUDE IT IN THE FLASH.

Reverend Cathy returns August 11th.  
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Every Tuesday - 10:30 AM
        Volunteer Community Lunch @ Friends Church - Contact Mary Kiner 

Tuesday, August 4 - 2:30 PM
        Sunday Service Coordinators
        Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85170198126

Wednesday, August 5 - 11:00 AM
        Stretch & Strengthen Class
        Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86328072766
Wednesday, August 5 - 5:30 PM
        Wednesday "Bring-Your-Own" Picnic Supper - 
        All are welcome! Contact Mike and Sandra McDonald for details

Staff Resources, which usually meets 1st Wednesday of the month, will meet instead on Wednesday the 10th in August, at 1:30pm.

Thursday, August 6 - 2:00 PM
        Congregational Care Committee meeting
Friday, August 7 - 10:00 AM
        Facilities Management Team meeting
Friday, August 7 - 2:00 PM
        Rehearsal for Sunday Zoom Service

To schedule all meetings & events, contact office@uucgt.org

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New to Zoom?

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End Note:  On Writing as Discovery...

"How can I know what I think till
  I see what I say?"   - E. M. Forster, 1879-1970



  
Most of the UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however the office will be manned Tuesday-Friday
for most of the next few weeks.
with any questions or concerns.

Contact Rev. Cathy at revharrington@mac.com
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