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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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BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER...
Rev. Cathy is back (hallelujah, and more in just sec!) but whatever you read in this week's Flash, please read the Ministerial Search Team's section below on our upcoming workshop with Rev. Keith Kron of the UUA Transitions Office. There are links to more info about Rev. Keith, a survey he'd like all of us to fill out before the workshop, and a video about completing the survey form. Please take a few minutes to address this important step in our search for a Settled Minister!
To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes
to let it go.
- Mary Oliver
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Reverend Cathy is back! She will lead the coming Sunday Service, August 16, beginning at 10:30 AM. Start signing into Zoom at 10:00 to visit before the Service begins. The Service is being coordinated by Richard Miller, who will be assisting. The theme Sunday will be "How can we heal from the wounds of the past and truly let go?"
Rev. Cathy shares some thoughts on what inspired her in this week's...
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you. - Lewis b. Smedes
This Sunday, I'll explore the meaning of forgiveness, what it is and what it isn't. It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that I needed to give this subject some thought when I had the experience of seeing someone from the past that I hadn't seen in years. Immediately, my resentment towards them rose up into my throat like the foul taste of bile. I was surprised by this visceral reaction and wondered why I hadn't moved past this? The next question I asked myself (because it was spoiling my otherwise perfect day) was how can I let go of this?
The word forgive comes from the Old English word forgifan, which means "to give completely." Maya Angelou wrote, "You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality...I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it.'"
I want to be finished with resentments because they are only hurting me. It is true what Hannah More said about forgiveness, "Forgiveness is the economy of the heart...forgiveness saves expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits." Paul Boese explains forgiveness as not changing the past but enlarging the future. Boy, I'm for that!
Unfortunately, letting go of my stockpile of resentments will take some work. Jewish theologian Martin Buber, author of I and Thou, understood this best. He said, humans are "promise-making, promise-keeping, promise- breaking, promise renewing" beings. The path forward in our lives will be obstructed with broken promises and resentments; it is the task of our lives to enlarge the future with the practice of loving generously and unconditionally.
- Rev. Cathy
You'll receive a reminder on Sunday morning!
Our Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account. From now on we'll be posting 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 August 9
! A password is required, that code is 9UA2E5.! - the exclamation point is part of the code.
(Storage capacity limits us to keeping only the most recent two or three Services online at a time, so only the current month's Services will be available at a time.)
from Michael McDonald & the Finance Committee
Click on the link to read
Ministerial Search Team Report
from Jan Zerbel
The Ministerial Search Team invites YOU to be part of the team.
Join us for "Beyond Categorical Thinking" when we will...
- - consider the hopes, expectations, and concerns we all have for a new minister.
- - learn more about the ministerial search process.
- - explore how thinking categorically about people sometimes interferes with choosing the best candidate.
Beyond Categorical Thinking
with Keith Kron
All are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop designed to promote inclusive thinking and prevent unfair discrimination during a congregation's search for a settled minister with UUA presenter Keith Kron. The presentation is in two parts, each lasting an hour and a half. It will utilize conversations and case studies of actual events from other Unitarian Universalist congregations. Please mark your calendars for Part I Friday evening August 21st, 7-8:30 PM, and Part II Saturday morning August 22nd, 10-11:30 AM. If you have questions, contact Mary Van Valin. (Next week's Flash will bring you the links to the Zoom sessions!)
In preparation, Rev. Keith requests that we all take the survey at the link here..
Rev. Keith has also made a video to guide folks through filling out the form, which can be viewed at the following link...
Rev. Keith Kron
is the Director of the Transitions Office for the Unitarian Universalist Association, helping congregations and ministers as they navigate the ministerial search process. He is the former Director of the Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns for the UUA. He held this position for 14.5 years, from 1996-2010.
In his time working for the UUA, he has visited over 450 Unitarian Universalist congregations from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and from Honolulu, Hawai'i, to St. John's, Newfoundland.
MUSIC: "A Few Notes..."
- from Music Director Renée Herman Russell -
This week's service is about healing from the wounds of the past and moving on. We will explore that process with a few beautiful songs from diverse musical genres. Do you have songs that inspire you to move forward in joy from painful parts of the past? I love Celtic music. There is something about the music's juxtaposition between lightness and melancholy that speaks to me. To me it embodies the honesty of living with the reality of the pain that has been while still engaging in fervent joy for the now, acknowledging that the beauty is in the transition.
MUSIC VIDEOS from last week's service about the 5th UU Principle, right of conscience:
(click on the highlighted words)
- from Claire Crandell and Stella LeBarge of RE -
On Sunday, August 9th, RE youth met to share our Week 5 Activities from the RE Kits.
In the "Finish the Picture" Challenge some of the drawings created were a chocolate chip cookie (yum), a "cool" car and an awesome spider.
Our "Observation for the Week" was to look carefully at a spider (legs, body, color and so on). We talked about the respect due spiders for eating unwanted insects. We also talked at length about the "wolf spider" native to our area. Then we looked at pictures of a variety of very colorful "peacock" spiders. One mother was kind enough to show us her night photos of spiders and we all thought using a flashlight to take night pictures might be fun to try.
The youth also shared some of their summer activities they had done during the past week. Most had been to the beach or taken hikes. We talked a little about backpacking and shared some experiences. It is a joy to visit and share with one another and to feel the sense of the UU community in the youth.
Families: If your child has not received the RE Summer Creative/Fun Kit please let Betsy or Claire know. We will deliver it to you!
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 of the preceeding week, please, if you want your meeting or event included in the FLASH, especially if you are requesting a Zoom set-up!
Sunday, August 16
You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!
Monday, August 17
Tuesday, August 18
Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church
For info contact Mary Kiner
Sunday Service Coordinators
Leadership Development Committee
Wednesday, August 19
Thursday, August 20
Congregational Care Team
In case we haven't made it clear yet, please plan to join us for a very special workshop with guest Keith Kron, Director of the Transitions Office for the Unitarian Universalist Association. The two 90-minute sessions are at 7:00-8:30 PM Friday and 10:00-11:30 AM Saturday, August 21 and 22. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to participate in the search for a new Settled Minister.
New to Zoom?
Check out these Zoom introductory videos & FAQ's
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UUCGT Bulletin Board
Video Recordings of the current month's Sunday Services are available online. From now on we'll be posting 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 August 9! A password is required, that code is 9UA2E5.! - the exclamation point is part of the passcode.
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Rev. Cathy and others have requested/suggested that we begin linking to important social justice issues featured on both the Michigan and National UUA Social Justice pages! Today we feature the Michigan UU Social Justice homepage - www.uujustice.org
- where the banner headline is TAKE ACTION NOW!
Call our Michigan Senators to demand "true COVID relief for American families."
Sen. Gary Peters: 1-202-224-6221Sen.
Debbie Stabenow: 1-202-224-4822
Vote HEROES, not HEALS.
Additionally, you're Invited to hear speakers on "Attacks on the U.S. Postal Service." Judy Beard, Legislative & Policy Director for the American Postal Workers Union, and Annika Christensen, Professional Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs, will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday August 15th via Zoom. You can join the meeting at
From uuworld.org we share this article regarding the First Unitarian Church of Portland joining a lawsuit
stating the presence of federal agents both "exceeds the government's authority" and "has chilled the congregation's lawful right and spiritual call to protest."
And, lest we forget, the "Unite the Right" march - and murder of Heather Heyer - was three years ago yesterday. We honor her memory.
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We still have
BLACK LIVES MATTER T-shirts
Well-made, 100% cotton. $20 apiece.
This money supports local BLM efforts!
Please contact or come by the office.
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Reminder: Book Club in August: White Fragility
Please contact Rev. Cathy
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Coronavirus infections and cases of the Covid-19 illness continue to rise in many regions. While Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties are not currently what are designated as "hot spots," multiple locations in our area have been identified as places where people now known to have tested positive for the virus have gathered. Continue to exercise caution and to stay informed!
This disturbing article in The NY Times
makes it clear that we are seriously undercounting the number of deaths due to Covid-19: "At least 200,000 more people haved died than usual since March" in the U.S. This suggests an additional 60,000 deaths than have been attributed to the coronavirus thus far. (The graph alone is worth clicking through!)
is offering their coverage of the pandemic for free, without needing a subscription or running into a paywall. This is true of The Washington Post
, The Atlantic
, and many other major media outlets as well.)
Continue to stay informed, be safe, save lives.
End Notes: Further thoughts on forgiveness, on moving on...
"The weak can never forgive.
Forgiveness is the
attribute of the strong."
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple,
nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with
a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's
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.
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