UUCGT Flash  
   October 8, 2020    

Second Week of October
Brief Announcement: Looking Ahead...
Search Team News
Music & Religious Education
NEW! UU Original Voices
UUCGT Calendar
Bulletin Board: Indigenous People's Day
Bulletin Board, Pt II
End Note - Free Listening from Ben Mathes


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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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Margaret Wosniak has asked me to share this announcement looking ahead to the All Souls Service of Sunday, November 1:
Congregants are invited to take an active part in our November 1 lay-led service on All Souls Day. Are you willing to speak about a loved one's favorite vacation spot, book, piece of music or food? Could you share something related to their hobby or life-long passion? Perhaps you could explain their favorite charity or volunteer commitment. Or you could simply state a group of adjectives that made them lovable. Reflections can be brief, anything less than four minutes.
If you have something to contribute but would rather not present it yourself, we will find someone to present it in your stead, or you can submit a video. Please contact Margaret Wozniak at wozniak64@yahoo.com or at 231-510-0903 by October 15.

This Sunday, October 11, 2020
     Deep Listening     

Our Service on Sunday October 8th is coordinated by Mary Van Valin and will be led by Rev. Cathy Harrington. Exploring the topic of Deep Listening may be the most important thing we can do at this time. When the smoke clears after the election, our greatest gift to peace will be the ability to listen deeply to those with differing points of view.  

Dear Ones,
This Sunday, we will explore the healing power of deep listening as we explore the concept that truly listening to those with whom we disagree might be key to uniting our country. The pandemic continues to keep us in isolation, and more and more people are admitting they are depressed. Of course we are depressed, and with the upcoming election, I find myself feeling anger and frustration these days. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being tired.
Practicing deep listening with less judgment and more curiosity is the first step to neutralizing this anger. My father used to say, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" Instead of arguing to prove that we are right, we have a choice to listen whole-heartedly, not to win the debate but to find common ground or at least recognize our common humanity.
Benjamin Mathes said, "Hear the biography, not the ideology... Ask just one question, 'Will you tell me your story? I'd love to know how you came to this point of view.'"
Less judgment, more curiosity leads to less arguing and more listening. Listening leads to healing. Rachel Naomi Remen said, "Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person."
May we learn to be sanctuary for one another because each of us has "homeless parts" that need to be heard.
See you in church!
L, Cathy

The Rev. Dr. Cathy Harrington
Interim MInister
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse

Prayer for the Stubborn by Vanessa Rush Southern
O name for that which holds us and will not let us go,
O force of vision in our lives,
Source of dreams that hold us captive and give us reasons to wake:
Help us to have the strength to persist.
When despair comes knocking, or the road seems too dry and dusty,
When circumstance conspires against greatness or the honest telling of truths,
Help us to find the power and inspiration to endure.
Or at the very least, help us find our way back to the simple
    rituals of love and justice that can resuscitate our dreams.
In this life, may we
Love deeply
Act in humble, but determined ways
And never waver.
May we persist until the sun sets
And wake again to persist once more 
Until the world of our boldest aspirations is made real by passion,
And also by endurance, stubborn faithfulness, and persistence:
The trademarks and engine of a noble and visionary life.
For the sake of all we cherish, O God,
Keep us stubborn. 
From Bless the Imperfect: Meditations for Congregational Leaders
Kay Montgomery, Editor
Sunday morning's Order of Service
will be published in the
Sunday Morning "Reminder" Flash!
Click on the link below to join the service...
The Meeting ID is 817 7744 8560

Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account; however we had no Service to share. I'll leave the link up for Sunday the 20th if you missed it and/or would like to re-view!   Click here to view the Service of Sunday October 4. A password is required, that code is uRS@2ei5

This is your chance to listen carefully.
Your whole life might depend on what you hear.
- Joyce Sutphen
The Soul Matters theme for October is Deep Listening, and the poet suggests that learning to listen, to truly listen is not only the greatest gift you can give to another, your life may depend on what you hear.  The Soul Matters small group packet is available to you if you'd like to read further and engage the exercises to help you practice deep listening. One question asks you to remember a time when someone listened to you when you needed it most. "Who first gave you the gift of deep listening?" Try writing the answer in a journal. What would happen if you committed to try listening deeply, to friends, to nature, to yourself? Sutphen's full poem, "How to Listen" offers further instruction on deep listening.  
Paul Tillich wrote, "The first duty of love is to listen," and Rumi said, "The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind does not understand." If you have an anecdote you'd like to share about a time when someone gave you the gift of listening or a time when you listened deeply to what your soul, and it changed your life.  I'll include it in the message on Sunday, October 11th.  
In faith and love,

    How to Listen
Tilt your head slightly to one side and lift
Your eyebrows expectantly. Ask questions.
Delve into the subject at hand or let
things come randomly. Don't expect answers.
Forget everything you've ever done.
Make no comparisons. Simply listen.
Listen with your eyes, as if the story
you are hearing is happening right now.
Listen without blinking, as if a move
might frighten the truth away forever.
Don't attempt to copy anything down.
Don't bring a camera or a recorder.
This is your chance to listen carefully.
Your whole life might depend on what you hear.


Good news: Our goal of 60% participation in the Congregational Survey has been reached! We will now move on to collating the results which will be shared with the congregation and placed in the Congregational Record. Short answers will be presented as word  clouds and charts will reveal critical data.There will also be a short executive summary that is sure to be the next best seller found on every UUCGT bedside table soon.
After weeks of discussion and deep thinking, the MST is closing in on its definitive covenant with an emphasis on major decision making. The covenant will receive a final look and acceptance at next week's meeting.

Cottage Conversations will be on the MST meeting agenda again next week as we refine plans for tapping into this important source of information from all of you. Conversations will be held after church on dates soon to be announced. Some questions for discussion:        
1) How would success look three years from now?
2) What is the most important role of a minister for UUCGT?
3) What are your goals and how can a minister help you achieve them?

Additional Cottage Conversations will be held with defined focus groups.

Neutral Pulpit dates have been confirmed for Feb. 28, Mar. 14, and Mar. 28.
We can hardly wait for these opportunities to preview our ministerial candidates.
We love to hear from you!
Your Team: Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan




RE Director Betsy Hammerberg invites you to:
Letter Writing Parties! 

Tuesday, October 13, 3:00pm               
Friday, October 16, 10:30am 

Please join me for a virtual letter writing party through Vote Forward. The goal of the campaign is to send handwritten letters to people, encouraging them to vote. Vote Forward supplies a template and you provide envelopes, stamps, paper, and your time. It's easy and fun! RSVP to Betsy (dre@uucgt.org) and I will send you all of the information and a Zoom link.

And Emmy Lou Cholak reminds us to:
Please remember the Unitarian Universalist Theme of #Vote LOVE #Defeat HATE as you consider all your choices.  Emmy Lou points our attention to these (nonpartisan) ballot initiatives:
Proposal 20-1
This proposal would amend the state constitution so that money from oil and gas revenues could be used at a higher percentage for property maintenance rather than for land purchase. Available land for preservation only comes available once, usually never to be repeated. If we are unable to purchase and preserve & salvage good land for wildlife, excellent views, unusual habitat, etc., when it is available, the likelihood it would be developed for commercial use is inevitable. Voting no would maintain the percentages as they are, preserving the monies available when needed to purchase the land for public rather than commercial use.
Proposal 20- 2
This proposal seeks a constitutional amendment requiring anyone claiming to need access to your electronic data and communications to obtain a search warrant as is currently needed to search your house or other physical property. Consider voting to require warrants for digital or virtual property as well.
County Proposal re: Roads, Streets, Bridges, etc. 
Please note that this proposal which seems only to request funding for common-sense infrastructure would likely support a Boardman River bridge and/or bypass both of which have repeatedly been voted down by the public. 


              MUSIC: "A Few Notes"

- from RE Teacher Renée Herman Russell - 

This week we engage in the concept of deep listening - in a time so full of noise it can be hard to listen to ourselves, let alone others around us. I have found lately that I rarely reach to turn the radio on when I get in my car. Instead, I roll down the window and let my senses have time to settle. I'll ask myself, "what sounds do I hear right now?" I do this when I am hiking as well. I find this grounding of the senses allows deep listening to unfold within me so that when I return to my busy family, or those online who may be triggering me, I am coming from a place of stillness and the ability to listen deeply.

What are 5 sounds that you can hear right now? 


                           RELIGIOUS EDUCATION                

- from RE Teacher Claire Crandell -    

"A circle of friends is a blessed thing."
Sunday and Every Day, My Little Blue Book of Unitarian Universalism
This Sunday, October 4th, we began our October theme of "Deep Listening". After happily greeting one another we quickly reviewed the ASL sign words we have learned so far.

We shared what our past week of joys and challenges had been. Events shared were school face to face and how important a friend can contribute to the time in school. We shared outdoor activities such as running and walking. We shared birthday celebrations. Then we all meditated for 5 minutes focusing on "listening" to the silence, inner peace and strength we can find within.

Before we began our discussion of what "deep listening" might mean to each of us two quotes for the day were read: 
"I had no idea nature made so much noise." - Richard Powers
 "The Earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is said that one of the greatest gifts we can give to another is our attention. Youth were asked to think about and express what this might mean to them. Someone said that they can learn things from someone else. Another said that we can try to understand what someone is trying to say. Then we talked about "listening from the heart" and how we can develop compassion for the other person.

We talked about some of the October celebrations:
  • Oct 1 World Vegetarian Day (two of us shared our veggie recipes)
  • Oct 2 Gandhi's Birthday
  • Oct 4 Feast Day of St. Francis
  • Oct. 8 Indigenous People Day
We looked at a sculpture of St. Francis holding animals in his arms. A student read the poem "Everyday miracles" (click here!) while we contemplated this inspiring photo. And then we waved goodbye until next week.


- from RE Director Betsy Hammerberg -

Anti-Racism & You: A Course for Teens
"In a racist society, it's not enough to be non-racist-we must be ANTI-RACIST."
-Angela Davis
We are excited to be offering a new course for youth ages 12-16 based on the book "This Book is Anti-Racist". The book was written specifically for youth and leads them on a four-part journey to: explore their own identities; understand the history of racism and its current implications; learn how to take action and respond to racism; and gain the tools to work in solidarity as anti-racists. The course will meet on Zoom twice per month on Sunday afternoons, from October through April.

This course is open to youth from UUCGT and from the wider community. Follow the links below for more information!



Compelling and beautiful work is emerging from UU's Writing Workshops.  We'll be adding a blog-like page to our website showcasing these lovely examples of creative writing and updating it regularly.  For now, here's a link to the first selections.

Many thanks to Adult RE Director Alison Ernst and the brave participants sharing their work with us.

UUCGT CalendarStay Up to Date!

Sunday Services, meetings and classes are hosted on Zoom until further notice. Note that as of September 30 2020 Zoom requires a passcode and/or an enabled "Waiting Room" for ALL newly scheduled meetings. 

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

Requests should 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, October 8
1:30 PM
   Creative Writing with Alison Ernst
   Interested in a future session? E-mail Alison at awa2write@gmail.com
7:00 PM   
   Zoom link is here, and you'll need this passcode: 728769

Friday, October 9
10:00 AM
   Reading and Writing Whiteness with Rev. Cathy
   Interested in the next session? E-mail her at revharrington@mac.com
1:00 PM
   Zoom rehearsal for Sunday Service
3:00 PM
  Program Council
8:00 PM
   Friday Evening Vespers Service
   Click here to join the Service...; or paste the meeting URL
   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87353524606 into your browser. 
   You can begin signing at 7:30 PM to visit!
Sunday, October 11
10:30 AM
  Sunday Service - Listening Deeply - Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81777448560
   You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!

Monday, October 12
10:00 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen
2:30 PM (note new time!)
   Ministerial SearchTeam
   Zoom link is here; mtg ID: 839 8133 9396. Passcode is required and available to
   Search Team members.
7:00 PM
Creative Writing; e-mail Alison Ernst at awa2write@gmail.com
Tuesday, October 13
10:30 AM
   Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church. For info contact Mary Kiner.
1:30 PM
   Sunday Service Coordinators: Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84320051489
7:00 PM
   Reading & Writing Whiteness with Rev. Cathy

Wednesday, October 14
11:15 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen Class
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
   Virtual Office Hours w/Rev. Cathy, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84030698778
3:30 PM
   Finance Committee - Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82417523003
5:30 PM
   Wednesday "Bring-Your-Own" Picnic Supper -
   All are welcome! Contact Mike and Sandra McDonald.
7:00 PM
   Board of Trustees meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81705401632 

Thursday, October 15
~ 12:00 PM...
   You should be receiving next week's Flash...

* * * * * * * * *

 UUCGT Bulletin Board
Visit our website at www.uucgt.org



Finally: A new Directory will be created later in the fall.
Thanks for sending in updates and corrections; we haven't forgotten them.  We may be shifting some of the ways in which we maintain our database and it may turn out that it'll be much, much easier to wait and create a directory within the new system.
Not only that, we'll have a more attractive and helpful directory!

End Note:
"Hear the biography, not the ideology... Ask just one question, 'Will you tell me your story? I'd love to know how you came to this point of view.'"

  - Benjamin Mathes, 1979 - , actor, author, educator, and founder of Urban Confessional, a Free Listening Movement


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!

Contact Rev. Cathy at revharrington@mac.com
Stay up to date on the UUCGT website