Rev. Katie's Animas View
In the Jewish tradition, the High Holy Days, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, mark the time when the year begins anew, and with it, a spiritual task to be undertaken. The work is atonement; breaking it apart to "at-one-ment" is possibly a better way to understand it, to be inclusive of secular and humanistic Jews, and us.
There are a quite a number of Unitarian Universalists who recognize this time as significant in our tradition, and I am one. For well over ten years, I have used this time in the fall to scour my life, to consider where I've fallen short, to right wrongs. Forgiveness is a tricky thing, isn't it? In some cases, in order to make my life richer, I've got to let go of something I think someone did to me. I need to look hard and carefully, thinking of what part I might have contributed to the mix and offer my own amends.
Sometimes these things are small, but Yom Kippur is so solemn that it encourages me to undertake the big things. Fourteen years ago, I was with my grandmother when she died. My aunt and uncle, who were far away, didn't agree with the decisions made in her last hours. There were angry words, accusations, and our relationship ended in the following days. It felt clear to my sister and me that they were wrong. I felt incredibly hurt that they accused me of being uncaring with my grandmother to whom I had always been incredibly close.
Those feelings have lingered. But after all these years, it's more important to me to find some repair with my mother's sister and her husband, who are elderly, and the only family left on my mother's side. I can acknowledge that my communication with all who were involved could have been much better and might have kept us from experiencing such a break in family ties. My mother was always someone who was a healer of relationships. She would have suggested this repair.
I will reach out to ask for forgiveness of my relatives, and in so doing bring some healing to my spiritual wholeness. My aunt and uncle may also feel some relief on their end. And if not, I've done the work I can do.
I often read my colleagues' sermons on forgiveness. One I recently read quoted the author Fred Luskin who said, "Forgiving someone means understanding you did not get what you wanted." And understanding brings me closer to spiritual maturity, closer to the divine.
I hope you'll share with me what you chose to forgive this month. I hope you'll share even if you're still struggling with it - especially if you are. These are the days of awe. It's so worth it!
October Sunday Services
There is a Love
Themes: Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Authenticity
Gratitude: An Instrument of the Heart
Chyako Hashimoto, pulpit guest
How might a practice of gratitude be instilled by considering the many "surrogate parents" in our lives?
When Roots Are Exposed
Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
This year, Durango will join a number of municipalities and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day over Columbus Day. What might we learn by joining the celebration?
More Than Bathrooms
Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
In order to honor Coming Out Day (October 11), let's consider the inclusion and affirmation we show to folks who are transgender. How might we widen our welcome?
Voting as an Act of Love
Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley
What does it mean to ground the act of voting in an ethic of love and compassion? How do we stay grounded in love during an election season that can feel like the antithesis of anything loving or compassionate?
Show Up and Be Real
Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
As the veil grows thin, we might feel a sense of vulnerability coming to the surface. We can use this feeling, in all kinds of healthy ways, to make life richer and better.
What a wonderful ceremony and celebratory reception the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango (UUFD) enjoyed this past month when installing our first-ever minister The Rev. Katie Kandarian Morris! The Rev. Michelle Favreault charged our Rev. Katie to teach her mission, tend her spirit, and practice gratitude. Each member of our congregation was charged by the Rev. Darcy Baxter to spread Universalist Love throughout Durango and the Four Corners -- even if it requires mud wrestling with angels. So now we continue working together toward our mission. Many thanks to the Installation Team for planning such a wonderful celebration: Kathleen Adams, Jim Dahlberg, Ron Garst, Susan Koonce, Tom Miller, K. Redford, Vanessa Self and Rev. Katie.
The New UU Workshop Series.
Developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), this series of interactive workshops was designed to welcome, orient, and integrate newcomers to Unitarian Universalism. Since this is the first time the series has been offered at UUFD, these workshops will also appeal to UUFD members who want to know more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. Facilitated by UUFD members and staff, the workshops are offered from 5:30-6:30 p.m. each Wednesday from October 5 through November 9 at UUFD. To participate, RSVP to Maureen Maliszewski at 970.903.0957. Thanks to Allison Andersen, Susie Francis, and Maureen Maliszewski, the UUFD Nominating/Leadership Development Committee, and Faith Formation Director Lisa McCorry for organizing the series for us.
We're "Building for the Future" with our Fall FROLIC scheduled for Saturday, October 15th. This evening of food, auction items, and entertainment will raise funds to help UUFD address our growth needs and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to local housing efforts. Purchase your tickets next Sunday during coffee time. Thanks to the FROLIC co-chairs - Bonnie Miller, Connie Jacobs, and Lynn Griffith - for planning this fun event for us.
Board of Trustees President
We bend together toward justice!
Update from Social Justice & Responsibility
Coordinators: Betty Schwartz-Bozeman, Bonnie Miller, Charlie Clements
The Share the Plate process this year brought 11 nominations from the Fellowship for new recipients, the most we've ever had! It was wonderful to read all the creative and thoughtful ideas for this year's STP. We are pleased to tell you that Thrive! has been selected as our October-December recipient. Their work to support a living wage is closely aligned with our Basic Needs social justice priority, and many UUFD members and friends are actively involved in this work.
In January-March, the 4 Corners Rainbow Youth Center will again be a Share the Plate recipient. This center for LGBTQ youth ages 13-17 was founded last year, and we are honored to continue our support and advocacy for them. The center is attracting an increasing number of youths seeking a safe and supportive place to learn and connect.
Affordable housing was a need expressed in different ways in several of the nominations received. Housing also is a part of our Basic Needs priority. In April-June, we will be donating Share the Plate funds to groups working on low-income housing and homelessness issues in La Plata County.
New this year is a decision to ask our youth group to recommend a recipient that meets our Share the Plate criteria. The youth are beginning their research, and once their work is complete will present their recommendation to the Social Responsibility and Justice coordinators and Rev. Katie. Their recipient will have the months of July-September. We are delighted to share the responsibility and satisfaction of social justice work with our enthusiastic youth members!
From July through September, $2291.15 was collected in Share the Plate funds. Your generosity makes a significant difference to our recipients!
Through the sponsorship of our LGBTQ social justice team, we hosted the 4 Corners Rainbow Youth Center in Bowman Hall for their first Back-to-School Dance Party on August 20. LGBTQ team member Anna Royer was one of the chaperones and is a regular volunteer at the Center. The youth had a great time and want to thank UUFD for their continuing care and support. Take a look at the photos taken that night of writing with glow sticks in the dark and see if you can tell what they say (answer below*).
Another success is the recent showing of the Ken Burns film
Defying the Nazis: the Sharps' War
in our Sanctuary on September 18. This is a powerful story of the sacrifices made by Unitarians Waitstill and Martha Sharp whose commitment to social justice inspired them to undertake dangerous rescue and relief missions across war-torn Europe, saving the lives of countless refugees, political dissidents, and Jews on the eve of World War II. About 70 people from UUFD and the community attended the showing and shared in the follow-up discussion.
*"Love Wins," "Pride"
Faith Formation Corner
"...because any call to justice we hear is a call we want our children to hear, too, as they grow in faith. We want to spark a child's empathy. We want to create a sense of urgency, but without creating a heightened sense of fear. Most important, we want to invite children to see themselves as agents of change-people who can help."
-Susan Lawrence, Managing Editor for the UUA Faith Development Office since 2007 and editor of the
UU World Families insert since 2009
Harvest is upon us. What is cooking, canning, pickling or fermenting in your kitchen from the autumnal bounty? Okay, I have never pickled much and my kombucha scoby went the way of garden compost after a year long relationship. None the less, meal preparation and meal sharing are common.
How might one consider the kitchen table as a place "to spark a child's empathy?" Be that child a part of your family, or the child of a neighbor, friend or fellow congregant in your church, how might we ask and listen to their voices on love and justice? Share too, your stories with them. Share a meal. Consider the value of the family meal. Consider family in the broadest sense of inclusion. Any guest at your table is, for that time, family.
This harvest season, bring a guest to your table, young or old. Practice presence on the path to understanding.
COMING THIS NOVEMBER:
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee "Guest At Your Table" Program at Durango UU
Guest at Your Table is an annual fundraising and education program that supports UUSC's human rights work. We invite everyone to take part: individuals, families, small groups, and congregations.
|Above, Choir Director Alane Brown and Faith Formation volunteer Don Spangler teach the children and youth a song for the installation.
The New UU
Workshop series for new and old members to explore our UU faith
The Nominating & Leadership Development Committee (Susie Francis, Maureen Maliszewski and Allison Andersen) have selected The New UU Series as the first offering of UUFD's leadership development initiative. Our goal is to provide a foundation to build upon. The New UU comes highly recommended from UUA as a great way to get new and old members well versed in our UU faith.
UUFD will offer the New UU series on
Wednesday evenings October 5th through November 9th from 5:30 to 6:30PM. Please mark your calendar now for the workshops you are interested in attending. These workshops will be interactive and facilitated by UUFD members and staff. Plan to attend if you are a UUFD member (new or old) or a non-member who might consider UUFD as your future spiritual home.
The goals of this program are to:
- Introduce new and existing members to UU and provide information related to UU worship, theology, history, social justice, faith formation education, membership and governance
- Provide resources within and outside the congregation for participants to explore topics independently
- Equip new members and friends to make a decision about membership in a UU congregation and facilitate integration into the congregation by introducing you to a cross section of members.
Workshop dates, topics and facilitators are:
- Oct 5 - Theology and Worship - Reverend Katie
- Oct 12 - Where Do We Come From? Unitarian Universalist Roots - Reverend Katie & Ken Carpenter
- Oct 19 - How We Grow in Faith: Philosophy of Faith Formation - Lisa McCorry
- Oct 26 - Social Justice Philosophy and Practice - Charlie Clements
- Nov 2 - How Are Decisions Made? Governance and Polity - Teresa Jordon
- Nov 9 - Membership - Carolyn Miller & K Redford
The New UU is a series of six 1- hour workshops addressing important themes in UU congregational life. Each workshop provides an opportunity to interact and share your own experiences, a process that echoes the UU commitment to individual theological exploration. Participants will learn about UU not only by hearing about it, but by doing it-exploring your own theology and its intersection with the tradition.
Each workshop includes a framework for introducing traditions & practices of our congregation and opportunities for members to interact with workshop participants, sharing various aspects of their congregational life.
For a printable flyer, click
Help raise wages for 420,000 Colorado workers
Thrive! Living Wage Coalition is leading the campaign in La Plata County to educate voters about the
Colorado Minimum Wage Ballot Measure
($12 by 2020). We need at least 30 Volunteers for Sept 3 - Nov 8 to knock on doors and educate voters about the ballot measure. All volunteers will receive all necessary training and support throughout the campaign. Low-wage worker volunteers may qualify for a stipend. Call Maureen at
Online giving now available!
Give with a simple click
It might look like a simple "Donate" button on our website, but it's a big deal to us! UUFD can now accept online payments for pledges and donations, including recurring or monthly payments. Simply go to
, click on "Donate" on the top menu, and you'll be guided through the process. UUFD is charged a processing fee to accept credit cards electronically, so if you do choose this method, please consider clicking the box that includes an additional 2.75% in your donation to cover this charge.
Fabulous, Rousing, Outrageous, Lively, Ineluctable Celebration!
Co-chairs: Lynn Griffith, Connie Jacobs, Bonnie Miller
Did you get that - the FROLIC! These words were the brainstorm of the 'founding mothers' of the UUFD Frolic, with Aline Schwob being the chief mama. We will be having our fourth Frolic this October 15 starting at 5:00 p.m. and the fun, good food, entertainment and fabulous auction items tradition will continue. Beginning September 11, someone will be at a Frolic table after each Sunday service through October 9 where you can purchase tickets for the event (still only $5 for adults and kids free!) and pick up or turn in a donation form describing what you can contribute to the auction. You can also go to the UUFD website durangouu.org and complete a donation form online.
In addition to the silent auction and live auction items, new this year will be a section of fixed price items, all at $50 or less. Also new, for every dinner in the Board Auction, we will have a raffle available for $20 for two spots. You can enter a raffle for as many dinners as you want and if your name is drawn, you and a friend will be going to one of the amazing gourmet dinners you will read about in the catalogue to come. Stop by the Frolic table to see a list of ideas about donations...everyone contributing something makes for a wide range of interesting items that members and friends can bid on and try to make theirs.
The Board of Trustees met recently to make a decision about the use of this year's Frolic proceeds. If you've been wondering about how we may manage our space needs in the future as we continue to grow, Frolic funds will help us all to find answers to that question. After donating 10% of Frolic proceeds to a local agency helping with housing issues, the remaining funds will be used to contract architectural consulting services to identify options for meeting our space needs, and to develop architectural designs for planning work. This should go a long way toward helping us in the next two years to accommodate our vibrant growing Fellowship. Our Frolic theme of 'Building for the Future' reflects this vision.
The Frolic couldn't happen without the generous contributions and volunteer work of so many of you. We still have need of some help with assorted tasks, so if can give some of your time, please contact one of the Co-Chairs for more information.
Don't miss out - mark your calendars now!
An ethical way of doing business
Please consider buying fairly traded products from Equal Exchange. We offer coffee, cocoa, chocolate candy bars, tea, and Palestinian olive oil. While many of the world's food products are offered by food giants, the co-op named Equal Exchange offers us products grown by small farmers all over the globe. They give us the opportunity to support small farmers. In turn we offer them the opportunity to stay close to the land and work in harmony with our planet. Corporations control vast sums of our earth, and place in jeopardy the lives of those who depend on the sustainability of productive arable lands.
Our purchases may not change the direction of food production, but we can at least say to the small farmer that we value their work and respect their land and families.
Thank you for your support of Equal Exchange.