September 10, 2017 Service about Water
Each year we have a service about water in September. At the end of summer it is well to remember how much we depend on it for life. There are times when a physician may proscribe water as the sole treatment for what a body needs for healing. There are times when the planet earth uses water to remind we humans that the eco-system of the planet needs healing. Langston Hughes wrote about such water and such people in their relationship with Rivers.
Today we shared among ourselves our relationship with the creeks behind the house, and the water in her mother in law's pond. We spoke of being happy to live in a place where we take clean water for granted. We spoke of water used for transportation of people to America, and we spoke of water leaking through the roof. Water of the Colorado River is completely subjected to politics, and water was at the center of some family strife. This year, we had people bring water from the Georgia coast and from Alaska to contribute to our common vessel of water. And this year, for the first time, we had water collected under the watchful gaze of the eclipse.
Water connects us, we share it. Water transports us, so we can share ourselves.
Come visit us in peace.
September 3, 2017 Service about Labor Day
Today, Madeline reminded us of the struggles that organized labor went through to bring us the 40 hour work week and the 5 day work week. The labor of the working class has been exploited for centuries. In the late 1890's in America, some working people organized into a union so that they could speak with one voice and have more negotiating power with the owners of factories. We don't teach the history of Haymarket, or the Pullman Strike. The miscarriage of justice against the working poor that was a result of the trials following the Haymarket riots was rectified somewhat by the temper of justice brought by the Governor of Illinois who pardoned those who were found guilty in the kangaroo court that resulted from that riot. That governor, John Altgeld was vilified and thrown out of office as a result of his mercy and sense of justice. It is an interesting story. You can read about it here: Altgeld
Come visit us on Sunday. We seek a wide diverse set of opinions and then we talk about what was presented each Sunday. Just as the citizens of Illinois did not agree with their governor John Altgeld, we don't always agree with our governor... or indeed do not agree among ourselves. One of our organizing principals is to seek justice and compassion in human relations, so in our seeking we sometimes talk about unpopular opinions on our way to seeking justice. We hope to get there though. Come join in the conversation (and coffee, did I mention the free coffee?)
July 30 Service about White Privilege
One of our Unitarian Universalist principles is to note the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The basic fundamental truth about white privilege is that if you can't see it, then you are most likely benefiting from it. It is a reflection of the fact that you can walk through certain places without hindrance knowing full well that if your skin were a different color, you would be watched very carefully and maybe even questioned intensely.
Let me digress. When the super storm Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States, certain Senators from southern states refused to vote for relief for those disadvantaged citizens of the country. It was like someone said "Flood victims matter" and the senators from these southern states responded with "no, all citizens matter." That is how it is when we say "Black Lives Matter" and the response is "no, all lives matter." When we restore the dignity and worth of flood victims, we restore the dignity and worth of all citizens. When we restore the dignity and worth of our black citizens, then all citizens will matter. And, of course, it is supremely ironic that the southern states that these senators represent now find themselves flooded and disadvantaged. Now, suddenly, they want flood victims to matter.
And finally, this: Seek not love, seek rather to remove from yourself all of its obstacles.
July 16, 2017 Service about Music
I missed the service this week so I actually can't report on it with any credibility whatsoever. However, I want to take this opportunity to pass on this from Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio
SAVE THE DATE!
UU Justice Ohio Annual Justice Assembly: STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY
, Delaware OH (Methodist Theological School in Ohio)
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST JUSTICE OHIO
"Love your neighbor as yourself," he said.
"But that's hard," I said.
"Yes, neighbor, I know," he replied.