EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


Rev. Joe Wants You to Know

Rev Joe Requests Stories of Joy
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” In the service on August 20, I hope to explore the intersection of experiences of joy with experiences and understandings of the divine, of spirituality, of G-d. And I would like to be able to include voices from the congregation in this service, too!  Here’s the request: Could you write a paragraph or two telling me a story of an experience of joy in your life and then a paragraph reflecting on how that experience comports with what you believe about G-d, Truth, Love?  I look forward to discovering a few stories of joy when I check my emails when I return!

What you share with me about joy I may share with the congregation, though I will not use names without permission.
I am grateful to be enjoying a family reunion in Southern California, and I look forward to returning to you on August 10th.

Blessings,
Rev Joe

P.S. Our annual service including the Water ceremony and a blessing of backpacks will be on September 10. You’ll be invited at that service to share a stone or small sample of water (legally and sustainably obtained, of course) that symbolizes a moment of joy that you experienced in the past year.

Special Message from the Planning Committee
The rumors, e-mails and announcements are all true.  From charter members to members joining at our last New Member Sunday, a team of over a half-dozen individuals now constitutes the core of “The Planning Committee.”

The Board of Trustees has asked the Planning Committee to “investigate multiple avenues for increasing our physical space for services, for Religious exploration, and for related staff and congregational needs.”  The committee is gathering information about a wide range of options most of which fit into four major categories:

1. A modest building expansion of our current location
2. A major building expansion at our current location
3. Move elsewhere to an existing building close to our current location
4. Move elsewhere and build from scratch on land close to our current location

Two very important principles are at the core of our work:
1. The committee will not make major decisions. We will provide the information needed for the Congregation to make decisions.
2. As the committee asks questions and seeks answers we are constantly sensitive to the present and future financial situation of the Congregation.

As we actively explore our many options, we are certain to ask difficult questions, likely to propose unpopular ideas and will probably offend without the intention of doing so. Please accept our apologies in advance and know that our efforts are in the spirit of effective communication.   We hope you will join us whenever we offer formal opportunities to do so and when the spirit moves you.

Please share your ideas, concerns and questions with any member of the committee: Hal Bigelow, Rev. Joe Cleveland, Pam Collins, Kris Dallas, Louise Gava, Judy Halstead, James Helicke, Jim Mihuta and Nedra Stimpfle

A Message from your “Welcoming Congregation” Team
Your team: Matt Memmelaar, Linda Miner, Sue Ward, Nikki Williams. We are looking to connect with the Congregation. Please reach out to us at welcoming@uusaratoga.org

CHECK OUT THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BACK OF THE SANCTUARY! Educational information PLUS upcoming community events! Please join the UUCSS family to attend events in our community!

Theme: Joy
In my own worst seasons, I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.” — Barbara Kingsolver

Please consider yourself invited to an opportunity for discussion of this summer’s theme of “joy” with Rev. Joe.  We’ll meet on Sunday, August 27 at 4:00 in the King Room at 624 N Broadway.  Before the gathering, please read through the packet you’ll find here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzks0cu1nGnNeHFnUzI2dzR4VUE/view?usp=sharing.

Experiment with one of the spiritual practices. Reflect on one of the questions. If you like, watch a video, listen to a song, read one of the recommended books.  Consider your reflections on the way joy as a theme has been part of Sunday morning services this summer.  Notice moments of joy this summer. Then, come to the discussion and together we’ll share our insights and deepen our reflection on the place of joy in a Unitarian Universalist theology and in our daily lives.

Give Away the Plate Program
Last month for the Give Away the Plate, we collected $363 for Wellspring. This month we will be supporting a summer camp for the children of backstretch workers. It is sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa.  Thank you for your generosity!

If there is an organization you would like the Social Justice Committee to consider for the Give Away the Plate program, please send your suggestion to administrator@uusaratoga.org


General Announcements

UU Saratoga Springs needs OWL facilitators
OWL (Our Whole Lives) is a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities. Interactive workshops and lessons engage participants, while step-by-step instructions for program planners and facilitators help ensure success. Six curricula speak to participants’ needs, by age/grade group: grades k-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adult, adult.

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.

The Religious Exploration program of UU of Saratoga Springs is placing a priority on being able to offer these important classes to our congregation, with a priority on grades 4-6 and grades 7-12, over the next 2 years. But we can’t offer them without your help! The program requires dedicated trainees who are willing to receive training and facilitate classes. There are many training opportunities in the Northeast this summer and fall. Training is a 3-day commitment and our Congregation has funds to help pay for this. If you are interested please contact our DRE, Julie Lewis @ dre@uusaratoga.org.

Volunteers Needed for Saturday Play Day for the Children of Backstretch Workers
The First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa and others sponsors a summer Saturday play day for the children of backstretch workers. The day is at the Pine Grove Camp (Corner of Grand and Pine Aves. in SS [on Route 29) and involves about 35 children. Adult volunteers are needed to supervise the children and help with lunch preparation. If you want to be really useful in an important activity, here’s a chance to put in a few rewarding hours.

Please contact Eric Lawson, Chair of the UUCSS Social Justice Committee.

Social Justice Committee Seeks Associate Give Away the Plate Administrator
The Social Justice Committee seeks an Associate Give the Plate Away Administrator to work with Renee Keeler. Be involved in selecting organizations that will receive money from our monthly charitable giving initiative. It’s rewarding work and is an example of living our faith in the real world. Get in touch with Eric Lawson, Chair of the Social Justice Committee.

Resistance & Transformation: UU History & Social Justice – August 16, at 6 P.M.
Perhaps the best way to learn about the character and the promise of a non- creedal faith tradition like Unitarian Universalism is to study its history. In a moment of heightened awareness of division in our country on issues of social justice, it seems appropriate to explore that history using a social justice lens to help us to ask the justice questions that pertain to our lives, congregations, and society today, and identify the social justice challenges of our era.

Tonight’s topic: Free Speech
We consider the House Committee’s inquiry into speakers, meetings, and activities of the church an attack upon our institution and on all organized religion and our nation’s tradition of the free conscience and the open mind. — Paul Kelley, chairman, in a statement from the First Church Los Angeles Board of Trustees, September 1951

The right to speak one’s mind is one of the founding principles of the United States of America. “Free speech” is secured by the First Amendment to the Constitution alongside freedom of religion, of the press, and of assembly. These principles are basic to the society in which we live. But is it the work of religious institutions to safeguard these key freedoms?

There are certainly many religious traditions that do not consider “free speech” to be fundamental to their work. In Unitarian Universalism, however, we have a long tradition of open debate. Many take it for granted that Unitarian Universalists ardently support the right to free expression, regardless of the political context. However, it is not always so cut-and-dry.

This workshop examines a time in our history when the issue of free speech was the focus of both national and intra-religious debate. In the anti-Communist fervor of the mid-20th century, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) actively pursued anyone who might be considered a Communist or “fellow traveler.” The Rev. Stephen Fritchman of the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles was the first member of the clergy HUAC called to testify. Although many in the Unitarian world, including the president of the American Unitarian Association (AUA), supported Rev. Fritchman’s refusal to answer questions or name associates, there was much debate in Unitarian circles about how best to deal with the perceived threat of Communism.

In 1951, First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles refused to sign the loyalty oath imposed by the Levering Act in the State of California and, as a result, temporarily lost their tax-exempt status. The congregation was one of several to fight the imposition of the loyalty oath on religious groups all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the congregations eventually prevailed.

Fritchman and the congregants of First Church considered free speech to be a defining issue of their time. Through first-person accounts, this workshop invites participants to consider the importance of free speech as a social justice issue today.

Bring your own dinner. We’ll set down to eat at 6:00, begin the workshop by 6:30, and end by 8:00.

Saratoga Unitarian Book Group
The Saratoga Unitarian Book Group meets on the 3rd Monday of the month throughout the year.  We begin at 6 PM in the King Room with a light supper brought by members of the group. Around 6:45 we then begin a discussion of the book for that month. The discussion lasts about an hour. We are happy to have additional folks join us whether it’s to be a regular participant or a contributor for a particular book. TRY US OUT.
Contact Pat Goodale with questions: 584-0588.

Book selection for Aug 21 – “1000 White Women” James Ferguson
Please see last page for a list of future meetings and book selections.

Safe Exiting of the Building
In the event that we need to leave our building quickly, there are three exits: the front door, a door to the left of the chancel, and the office door downstairs.  People in the front half of the congregation should exit through the door to the left of the chancel.  This exit leads to the playground.  People in the back half congregation should exit through the front door.  Children downstairs will be led by teachers outside to the playground through the office door.

Safety in the Congregation
Parents and Caregivers, please remind your children to walk inside the congregation building, especially in congested areas such as the stairs and during coffee hour. Also, when children are outside playing they must remain inside the playground. If any member of the congregation member sees a child running or playing in the gardens or parking lot, please give them a gentle reminder to stay inside in the playground for their safety. Our concern for everyone’s well-being is a top priority and it takes a village!

Thank you!


IN OUR DENOMINATION AND OUR COMMUNITY

All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) was and continues to be very active in upstate New York. In the last month, many raids have occurred at local restaurants and other businesses, raising reasonable fear within the immigrant and refugee community. In light of these incidents, The Saratoga Immigration Coalition — a group of concerned, non-denominational individuals — will be holding a walk and vigil on Aug. 24, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. The purpose of the “All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil” is to educate the public about the unseen yet vital part immigrants play in our lives and to show support of and gratitude to those immigrants. In so doing, we walk, hold vigil, and educate.

The walk and vigil is to be quite different from a protest or an event to express disapproval of current
policies and procedures directed at immigrants. The Task Force envisions a walk of silence starting
from three locations in Saratoga Springs all ending with a simple vigil gathering at “The Spirit of
Life” statue in Congress Park. The group is currently researching national and local facts about
immigrants that will be printed on cards for “walkers” to carry, with some extra handouts to give to
interested observers. Other signs will present meaningful quotations related to the immigrant
population. At “The Spirit of Life,” there will be a very short program with spoken word and song.
The walk will start from 3 locations: Union Ave. near the track entrance, Beekman St., and
N Broadway near City Center and Temple Sinai. Locations have been chosen for their current and
historical connections to immigrants. The track is home to immigrant back stretch workers;
Beekman St. was once a hub of Italian and Irish immigrants; and Broadway signifies the impact
immigrants have on our daily lives be it through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the music we
hear….
The planning committee set aside August 1st at 6 pm for a meeting with potential volunteers
(please contact Maxine Lautenberg; see information below). The Saratoga Immigration Coalition’s
walk & vigil committee needs people to assist in the event. For example, four people are needed for
each route to serve as “sentinels” along the walk courses, two at the beginning and two others
stationed along the way. These individuals will help ensure that the intention of the walk and its tone
and tenor are maintained. Sentinels will join the walk as it proceeds to Congress Park. People are
also needed to help with publicity, making signs, Facebook, Internet postings, procuring
contributions and other logistics the day of the vigil walk
We hope this is something that stirs the heart of every member in our community, and that we
can walk together to show support for a community that supports us every day. If you have any
questions about the walk and vigil, or would like to volunteer, please contact Maxine Lautenberg, All
Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil committee member, at mlautenberg@nycap.rr.com, 518-587-
9438 or 518-951-0702. If you are interested in volunteering, please let Maxine know.
Thank you!
Sincerely,
All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil Committee

NEW VENUE! Capital Region Truth Commission on Poverty
The Capital Region Truth Commission, held last Thursday (13th), was the second of three events we’re holding across New York this summer to tell the truth about ongoing injustices in New York communities, make connections across issues and regions of our state, and support existing efforts to organize and advocate against poverty.

Do you or someone you know have a story to tell about poverty in your community, its causes, and/or solutions? We’re looking for directly impacted people, direct service providers, faith and community leaders, advocates, or other experts to testify. Click here to register to share testimony.

If you’re not able to attend, you can still submit testimony – either written or recorded – until August 14. Email emcneill@labor-religion.org for more information.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for October 16-18 – the release of the statewide Truth Commission report, the Faith for a Fair NY Conference, and a New Poor People’s Campaign Revival with Rev. William Barber, all in Binghamton, NY. More details coming soon!

In solidarity,
Rev. Emily McNeill
Executive Director

Yoga Camp for Kids
Compassion Camp, a mindfulness and movement camp for kids, is running for 2 separate weeks
this summer at Yoga Mandali in Saratoga Springs, and there are still open spots!
Compassion Camp provides a counterbalance to the busy world today’s kids live in by encouraging
them to tune into their own inner compass. In this camp, children will create stronger awareness
about themselves and their feelings. Through yoga, mindfulness activities, creativity, and games
children will develop skills they can use throughout their lives to approach stressful times in a
healthier way.

August 8-12
The cost of the camp is $225/week, and it runs from 9 am – 3 pm each day. It’s led by yoga
teacher Kristin Brenner.
This camp is designed for kids ages 8-12. Campers will bring their own nut-free lunch and snacks.
Weather permitting, we will be spending time outside.
For more information and to register, click here: https://www.integritymindbody.com/summer-camp/

All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) was and continues to be very active in upstate New York.  In the last month, many raids have occurred at local restaurants and other businesses, raising reasonable fear within the immigrant and refugee community.  In light of these incidents, The Saratoga Immigration Coalition — a group of concerned, non-denominational individuals — will be holding a walk and vigil on Aug. 24, from 6:00–8:00 p.m.  The purpose of the “All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil” is to educate the public about the unseen yet vital part immigrants play in our lives and to show support of and gratitude to those immigrants.  In so doing, we walk, hold vigil, and educate.

The walk and vigil is to be quite different from a protest or an event to express disapproval of current policies and procedures directed at immigrants.  The Task Force envisions a walk of silence starting from three locations in Saratoga Springs all ending with a simple vigil gathering at “The Spirit of Life” statue in Congress Park. The group is currently researching national and local facts about immigrants that will be printed on cards for “walkers” to carry, with some extra handouts to give to interested observers.  Other signs will present meaningful quotations related to the immigrant population.  At “The Spirit of Life,” there will be a very short program with spoken word and song.

The walk will start from 3 locations: Union Ave. near the track entrance, Beekman St., and N Broadway near City Center and Temple Sinai.  Locations have been chosen for their current and historical connections to immigrants.  The track is home to immigrant back stretch workers; Beekman St. was once a hub of Italian and Irish immigrants; and Broadway signifies the impact immigrants have on our daily lives be it through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the music we hear….

The planning committee has set aside August 1st at 6 pm for a meeting with potential volunteers (please contact Maxine Lautenberg; see information below).  The Saratoga Immigration Coalition’s walk & vigil committee needs people to assist in the event.  For example, four people are needed for each route to serve as “sentinels” along the walk courses, two at the beginning and two others stationed along the way.  These individuals will help ensure that the intention of the walk and its tone and tenor are maintained.  Sentinels will join the walk as it proceeds to Congress Park. People are also needed to help with publicity, making signs, facebook, internet postings, procuring contributions and other logistics the day of the vigil walk

We hope this is something that stirs the heart of every member in our community, and that we can walk together to show support for a community that supports us every day.  If you have any questions about the walk and vigil, or would like to volunteer, please contact Maxine Lautenberg, All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil committee member, at  mlautenberg@nycap.rr.com, 518-587-9438 or 518-951-0702.  If you are able or not to come to the meeting August 1st at the Presbyterian New England Congregation Church in the Nolan House and are interested in volunteering, please let Maxine know.  Thank you!

Sincerely,
All Are Welcome Here Walk & Vigil Committee

EOC Soup Kitchen Needs Our Help to Stock the Food Pantry
Please help the EOC Soup Kitchen, located at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church, stock its food pantry. Place donations of nonperishable food items or financial donations in the basket on the middle table at the rear of the Sanctuary. Your contributions are brought weekly to the Soup Kitchen.

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Event Calendar

August 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Yoga Group
  • NA Invitation to Live (rental group)
2
  • NA Race is Over (rental group)
3
  • Men's Breakfast
4
  • 12 Step Meditation (rental group)
5
  • Weekly Housekeeping
6
  • Blessing of the Animals Service
  • CODA - 12 step meeting
  • Augustine Fellowship
7
  • No Choice 12-Step Group (rental group)
8
  • Yoga Group
  • Finance Committee
  • NA Invitation to Live (rental group)
9
  • NA Race is Over (rental group)
10
11
  • 12 Step Meditation (rental group)
12
  • Weekly Housekeeping
13
  • SERVICE
  • CODA - 12 step meeting
  • Augustine Fellowship
14
  • Worship Committee
  • No Choice 12-Step Group (rental group)
15
  • Care Team Meeting - off site
  • Yoga Group
  • NA Invitation to Live (rental group)
16
  • NA Race is Over (rental group)
17
  • Men's Breakfast
  • Planning Committee Meeting
  • Social Justice Committee Meeting
18
  • 12 Step Meditation (rental group)
19
  • Weekly Housekeeping
20
  • SERVICE
  • CODA - 12 step meeting
  • Augustine Fellowship
21
  • UUCSS Book Group
  • No Choice 12-Step Group (rental group)
  • Board of Trustees
22
  • Private Memorial Service and Gathering for Battaglia
  • Yoga Group
  • NA Invitation to Live (rental group)
23
  • Resistance & Transformation: UU History, Theology, and Social Justice
  • NA Race is Over (rental group)
24
25
  • 12 Step Meditation (rental group)
26
  • Weekly Housekeeping
27
  • SERVICE
  • Theme Discussion: Joy
  • CODA - 12 step meeting
  • Augustine Fellowship
28
  • No Choice 12-Step Group (rental group)
  • Building & Grounds Committee
29
  • Yoga Group
  • NA Invitation to Live (rental group)
30
  • Resistance & Transformation: UU History, Theology, and Social Justice
  • NA Race is Over (rental group)
31