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.
If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter
Coming This Sunday, September 10, 2020
"Ingathering and Water Communion"
Coming Home, Virtually
This Sunday we share in the traditional Ingathering and Water Communion Ceremonies, celebrated across the country by many UUA Congregations on the first Sunday following Labor Day.
Margaret Wozniak coordinates this Service, which will be led by
Rev. Cathy Harrington.
Rev. Cathy shares...
The Water Communion
In 1980, two Unitarian Universalist women - Carolyn McDade and Lucile Schuck Longview - were asked to create a worship service for the Women and Religion Continental Convocation of Unitarian Universalists.
As they shaped that service, McDade and Longview wanted to create a new ritual "that spoke to our connectedness to one another, to the totality of life, and to our place on this planet." They included a new, inclusive symbol of women's spirituality: water.
"Water is more than simply a metaphor. It is elemental and primary, calling forth feelings of awe and reverence. Acknowledging that the ocean is considered by many to be the place from which all life on our planet came-it is the womb of life-and that amniotic waters surround each of us prenatally, we now realize that [this worship service] was for us a new story of creation... We choose water as our symbol of our empowerment."
The November service, held in East Lansing, Michigan, was called "Coming Home Like Rivers to the Sea." As its creators, McDade and Longview enacted their ritual in the liberating space of a semicircle around a large earthenware bowl. They asked eight different women-each coming from distant places-to bring water, and they did: water from the Rio Grande and Assiniboine Rivers, rain water from Maryland, water from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and others were poured into the earthenware bowl as each bearer described its significance.
"As the ritual is continued," says Carolyn McDade, "water deepens in meaning for us, just as water deepens during its long and winding journey to the sea."
Many thanks to Carolyn McDade, Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, and Marian Shatto for their assistance in building this history (wait - history? no. let's go with:) herstory.
And in case you missed this request on Wednesday:
Do you have a photo of yourself in front of a body of water that is meaningful to you? Please send it to me with a description and why it is meaningful to you to firstname.lastname@example.org
*until Saturday night midnight. I can add a photo to the slides as late as 9 am on Sunday morning, but it would be optimum for you to send it by Friday or Saturday. You can also take a picture of you collecting water that you will bring to add to our communal waters. There will be a water vessel for you to drop off your water for the Water Communion Ceremony on the bench in the entry way at UUCGT as of tomorrow noon through Sunday morning. We want to see as many of you as possible in photos! We got great music, a delightful story and all need is YOU!
To encourage you to find old photos here's one of me with my sister at Point Reyes, California. The photo below is me enjoying a swim after a long paddle on the Little Manistee River.
Let's make this Sunday's Ingathering Ceremony a joyous reunion!
In faith and love,
*Please note: Send to Cathy email@example.com, not to the office! (Some of you are doing so, or perhaps you're just clicking on 'reply'? Send to Rev. Cathy!
Letter from the President of the UUA
The Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA president, writes again this week...
Dear Fellow Unitarian Universalists -
Across many congregations this is the season of ingathering. A time when our congregations have rituals and traditions to welcome the beginning of a new congregational year. The rituals vary, yet the message is often similar-it is a reminder of our fundamental interdependence and the life-saving, life-affirming power of religious community.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are not known for our rituals, but we do have them...
Continue reading here... You'll find further links to UU pages for Ingathering resources, Get-out-the-vote intiatives, and a video greeting from Susan.)
Meeting ID: 817 7744 8560
You'll receive a reminder on Sunday morning!
Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account. We post a link to the most recent service in case you missed it and/or would like to re-view! Click here to view the Service of Sunday September 6
. A password is required, that code is 1*t7!a1&
Joanie Jackson shares that Barbara McClellan has passed away. Her decline was very swift and we are sorry the congre-gation didn't hear about it. She had all her family with her at the end.
The service for Barb will take place at Reynolds-Jonkhoff outside under the tent on Tuesday, September 15. Visitation is at 10 am, service is at 11. Masks are required. Our cousin, Pastor John Thomas, will lead the service.
She appreciated all of you very much. Her life has been very full with her involvement with the Unitarian Fellowship, The Dennos Museum, Michigan Artists Gallery, and the Human Rights Commission.
The obituary will be in the Record-Eagle this Friday.
Cards may be sent to Rosie at
2563 W Crown Dr
Traverse City, MI 49685
Joanie also passes along that Jo Polk-Matthews will reach her 90th birthday on September 24th! She is the mother-in-law of Barbara Termaat - many of you know her and may want to send her a card:
931 Paget Ave
Santa Cruz CA. 95062
Ministerial Search Team Report
from Jan Zerbel
As our work progresses, we are asking for more help from the rest of our teammates - YOU!
- After many hours of work and revisions by Chris and Jim, the Congregational Survey should be coming to you by early next week. Tabulated results will give the best picture of our congregation's hopes and needs with everyone's participation.
- Cottage Conversations will follow, giving you an opportunity to discuss various topics including some taken from survey results.
An MST webpage will soon appear, along with other exciting additions and editing, on UUCGT.org.
Let's keep the enthusiasm going. Go Team!
from Misty Sheehan
The UUCGT has decided that Green Sanctuary goals need to be a part of our congregational plan so we are focusing on a Green Sanctuary vision below.
A world that is viable and just for humanity and for the whole of the web of life, including present and future generations.
Our High-Level Goals and Strategies Forming the Mission include...
- Act with love and justice to heal the earth, our home.
- Support frontline communities to protect people and the web of life.
- Take courageous action to fight against environmental and climate injustices.
If you are interested in pursuing these and other environmental goals, please contact Misty Sheehan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUSIC: "A Few Notes..."
- from Music Director Renée Herman Russell -
This week we honor the locally abundant and life affirming water that surrounds us through the metaphor of blessed community, grace, and life. As you go out to gather water from your sacred well, river, or lake to add to our communal blessing, what melody do you take with you? One of hope, peace, doubt? In a time that feels defined by division, witnessing the power of the glaciers upon our land, the channels carved by our favorite brooks, and the crops bursting from rain, it is nice to be reminded that it is the combined impact of each drop of water to the whole that makes all the difference.
The brave souls of our Virtual Ensemble have taken on the daunting task of recording their voices alone, without the support they are so accustomed to from the voices beside them and trusting that once they send me their solo videos, together their voices will create a sea of harmony, and so they do. Please enjoy the efforts from last week of our beloved community and please consider joining your drop to our ocean, there's plenty of room. The UUCGT Virtual Ensemble sings As We Go Marching, Marching (Bread and Roses)
And here's the song
I'll be humming as I go to gather my bit of sacred water to share.
- from RE Teacher Claire Crandell -
"A circle of friends is a blessed thing."
Sunday and Every Day, My Little Blue Book of Unitarian Universalism
On Sunday, September 6th, RE experienced some technical difficulties. Once again we were saved by the tech savvy of our UU youth (and family). Thank you! Our attendance was small but the warmth of sharing great.
Some amazing rocks - fossils and other variations - discovered during a recent trip to the U.P. were shared. Stories and pictures of going to a bear rescue reserve and feeding a baby bear were so awesome and inspiring too. Pictures of double rainbows, the light shining through the trees after a rain, and the Tahquamenon Falls were beautiful. In sharing our explorations through pictures and stories we remind one another of the inspiring Beauty in our world.
Next Sunday, the 13th, we will focus on Grandparents Day and also Encouragement Day holidays. We plan to "snail mail" our new Fall RE Schedule and monthly activities package soon and we will begin the new and exciting youth and family format on Sunday, September 20th. Watch for it in your mail!!
- from Adult RE Director Alison Ernst -
LAST CALL FOR FALL: There are a few spots still available in this fall's CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS:
Mon nights, 7 - 8 PM, starting September 14.
Thu afternoons, 1:30 - 2:30 PM, starting today, September 10.
There are two sessions of the READING AND WRITING WHITENESS groups:
Tue nights, 7-8:30 PM, which started last night: September 8.
Fri mornings, 10-11:30 AM, starting September 11.
- The second sessions begin the week of October 26, days and times TBD.
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.
Requests must be made by Wednesday at noon for the next day's FLASH, please, if you want your meeting or event included - especially if you are requesting a Zoom set-up!
Today, Thursday, September 10
Note: Congregational Care Team meets the 17th, not today
as published in the Minister's Message e-mail.
Creative Writing with Alison Ernst - see above!
Apparently there is no VE rehearsal this evening.
Friday, September 11
Reading and Writing Whiteness with Rev. Cathy - see above!
Sunday, September 13
You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!
Monday, September 14
Ministerial Search Team - this meeting is open.
Zoom link is here; mtg ID: 839 8133 9396, PW: 411275
Tuesday, September 15
10:30 AM Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church
Sunday Service Coordinators
3:00 PM (tentative?)
Leadership Development Committee
Reading & Writing Whiteness with Rev. Cathy
Wednesday, September 16
Thursday, September 17
Congregational Care Team
Leadership Development Committee?
(I'm erring on the side of doing too much rather than too little)
Creative Writing with Alison Ernst
VE Rehearsal with Renée
Meeting ID: 824 6134 0486 Passcode: 728769
* * * * * * * * *
New to Zoom?
Check out these Zoom introductory videos & FAQ's
* * * * * * * * *
UUCGT Bulletin Board
The New Fall Line is here! Update Your Wardrobe!
As you've no doubt noticed, autumn is approaching; in some ways it's already here. There is a beautiful new selection of FACE MASKS from which to choose in our vestibule! Sport the new fall colors from our generous mask-makers!
Please take note of this request from Mary Kiner!
As Tuesday Lunch approaches colder weather and we need to let people eat indoors, we need some men to volunteer for crowd supervision. (No cooking involved!) Call Mary Kiner 935-3050, or e-mail her at email@example.com. Thank you!
* * * * * * * * *
SURVEY NEARING COMPLETION!
Be on the lookout for the completed and official MINISTERIAL SEARCH SURVEY sometime IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS! This is another chance for ALL to PARTICIPATE in the search for our new Settled Minister...
End Note: The inimitable Joan Didion on RITUALS...
"...Small disciplines and rituals are valuable only insofar as they represent larger ones. To say that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton is not to say that Napoleon might have been saved by a crash program in cricket; to give formal dinners in the rain forest would be pointless did not the candlelight flickering on the liana call forth deeper, stronger disciplines, values instilled long before. It is a kind of ritual, helping us to remember who and what we are."
"We tell ourselves stories in order to live."
Most of the UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however the office will generally be staffed* Tuesday-Friday.
with any questions or concerns.
*With thanks to Alison Ernst for suggesting
the gender-neutral language here!
Stay up to date on Facebook & UUCGT website