New Website has arrived

For those of you who periodically monitor the UUCE Website you will have noticed two things recently. The first is that the website is completely new. The second is that suddenly all the input about what has been going on in our little congregation had gone silent.

The former is due to the hard work and diligence of Marco Valdez. He has built and bequeathed to us a useful new tool to reach the community. (Hi Marco!) The latter is due to my inability to devote enough time to getting in here and start digging. Hopefully I keep up from now on.

I'm going to move through the new site here and figure out how it works. I may even resurrect the Newsletter concept if I continue to have things to announce and/or to rant about. The firsts thing I have to get used to is the new-fangled practice of only putting one space at the end of a sentence instead of the traditional two. I am old-fashioned and was taught to use two on my typewriter keyboard (I'm a geezer who learned to type on a typewriter that had little arms (with letters stamped on the end of them) that made inked imprints of the letter on real pieces of paper. We put stamps on the newsletters, hauled them to the post office and mailed them. How quaint. Anyway, this new software doesn't like me using two spaces at the end of the sentence instead of one. So, we will get used to each other, maybe. Right now, it does not appear I'm going to run out of things to rant about.

Peace,

Rick

 

New UUCE.net Web Site!

Welcome to the new UUCE.net home page!

Prior to 2007, the UUCE.net domain name was abandoned on a free hosting service. UUCE was not able to update any information on the this web site.

In 2007, the church was able to regain control of the domain name and began hosting a blog site based on WordPress software.  This updated web site was able to attract new members to the church. The church was able to notify the public of important information relative to Sunday services and special events.

In 2016, a major upgrade was completed for the web site.  This new web site now uses a Content Management System called Joomla to make it easy for the Webmaster to perform site functions.

In the next year you may notice some continued changes to the site as we get better to using it.

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

Proclamation 9457 of May 31, 2016

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation
Since our founding, America has advanced on an unending path toward
becoming a more perfect Union. This journey, led by forward-thinking individuals
who have set their sights on reaching for a brighter tomorrow,
has never been easy or smooth. The fight for dignity and equality for lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is reflected in the tireless
dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive
society. They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds
and by demanding equal treatment—under our laws, from our courts, and
in our politics. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring
us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward
justice.
Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality
in all 50 States was a historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity
for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines. For every partnership
that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American
who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled
newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all more free when we
are treated as equals.
LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them. That
is why my Administration is striving to better understand the needs of
LGBT adults and to provide affordable, welcoming, and supportive housing
to aging LGBT Americans. It is also why we oppose subjecting minors
to the harmful practice of conversion therapy, and why we are continuing
to promote equality and foster safe and supportive learning environments
for all students. We remain committed to addressing health disparities in
the LGBT community—gay and bisexual men and transgender women of
color are at a particularly high risk for HIV, and we have worked to strengthen
our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new infections, increase access
to care, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV.
Despite the extraordinary progress of the past few years, LGBT Americans
still face discrimination simply for being who they are. I signed an Executive
Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and
contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I urge
the Congress to enact legislation that builds upon the progress we have
made, because no one should live in fear of losing their job simply because
of who they are or who they love. And our commitment to combatting
discrimination against the LGBT community does not stop at our borders:
Advancing the fair treatment of all people has long been a cornerstone
of American diplomacy, and we have made defending and promoting the
human rights of LGBT individuals a priority in our engagement across
the globe. In line with America’s commitment to the notion that all people
should be treated fairly and with respect, champions of this cause at home
and abroad are upholding the simple truth that LGBT rights are human
rights.
There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country
to every American, but because of the acts of courage of the millions who
came out and spoke out to demand justice and of those who quietly toiled
and pushed for progress, our Nation has made great strides in recognizing
what these brave individuals long knew to be true in their hearts—that
love is love and that no person should be judged by anything but the
content of their character. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender
Pride Month, as Americans wave their flags of pride high and march boldly
forward in parades and demonstrations, let us celebrate how far we have
come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of
the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate
the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day
of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

[Federal Register Document 2016–13361

Call to Action on Fracking right in our own community

Attention!! Fracking has now come to our very own Reynoldsburg and Lithopolis, Ohio.  Nathan Rutz and Ohio Citizen Action is trying to raise awareness of the potential dangers coming to Reynoldsburg by conducting fracking activities in our own community.

Come to 5 Bean Coffee shop, 2087 Baltimore - Reynoldsburg Road (Rt 256) on Saturday Oct 13, 2012 at noon.  Ohio Citizen Action will have flyers for you to see.  If you can help, please stay to help hand out flyers in the community.  The action volunteers will be leaving around 12:30.  Later we will meet for Pizza.  Please come.

National Wildlife Federation National Camp-Out

Saturday June 23 is the National Wildlife Federation's National day of Camping out.  Matt and Emily are organizing a camp out at our very own fire-pit area and you are invited to a pot luck supper with fun and games to accompany it.  You can come for just the fun and games if camping out doesn't suit you or your inner child... or your outer child... or your real actual child.  It is a lovely area for those who haven't been back there in a while.  It is a little bit of primitive Ohio nestled nicely into Truro Township.  Bring your tree leaf recognition software... er, no... we are supposed to be getting away from electronics and just enjoy the out-of-doors nature of the place.  Come.  It will be fun.

Rick  (But contact Matt for details.)

Charter for Compassion

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Obituary for Shirley den Broeder

Shirley Jean den Broeder

January 11, 1936 - March 3, 2011

Shirley Jean den Broeder, 75, of Reynoldsburg passed away on Thursday March 3, 2011

She was born January 11, 1936 in Newark, Ohio to the late Murrell and Ruth (Robison) Orr.

She is survived by her son, Jody den Broeder, her brother Paul Orr, her sisters Nancy Channell, Caroline King, Elizabeth Williams, and Marjorie Bergstrom and many loving nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers David Bline, John Orr and Lee Orr, and her sister Kathleen Orr.

Shirl will be remembered for her love for her son and family and her love for the outdoors. She could often be found tramping through nearby parks searching for mushrooms. She became an expert in identifying mushrooms (a mycologist).As a volunteer with the Metro Parks, she led hikes to teach others how to identify mushrooms and shared her love of the subject. A walk in the woods with Shirl made you open your eyes to the beauty around you.

She also loved history and could usually be found with a book in her hand (or more recently with a netbook in hand). She spent years researching family genealogy and always had a family story to share. Recently she developed a passion for raw foods and could often be found growing micro-greens and dehydrating whatever she could think of to dehydrate. She loved creating her own recipes and sharing the result with others.

More recently she found a spiritual home at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Reynoldsburg where she found others who shared her love of the environment. She led meditation groups and delivered the Thanksgiving service where she shared another passion – early American history and the life of native Americans. While her time there was brief, she spoke often of her delight in finding this new home and the friendships she made there.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be announced here later.

Donations are requested to Columbus Metro Parks, 1069 West Main Street, Westerville, OH 43081 in her memory.

Church without God - The Columbus Dispatch

FAITH & VALUES

Church, without God

Some local atheists attend worship services for support, social reasons

Friday, February 4, 2011  02:52 AM
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THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Kyle Robertson | DISPATCH
 
Stan Bradley of Lithopolis is the president of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation East in Reynoldsburg. The atheist said, "Community is important. You get with people, share your concerns and joys."

Faith & Values podcast

Dispatch religion reporter Meredith Heagney talks to a religious atheist.

Stan Bradley likes Bible stories, admires Martin Luther and uses expressions such as 'heavens, no.'

The Lithopolis man is president of a local congregation and rarely misses a Sunday service. Occasionally, he goes to his wife's church instead.

For these and other reasons, Bradley considers himself religious.

He is also an atheist.

His house of worship is Unitarian Universalist Congregation East in Reynoldsburg. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal denomination whose members claim different identities - Christian, atheist, others - but come together for shared prayer and songs.

Like Bradley, some atheists participate in organized religion for its social and psychological benefits.

"Community is important," Bradley said, explaining why he is part of a congregation that meets weekly. "You get with people, share your concerns and joys."

Another local congregation open to atheism is the Humanist Jewish Chavurah of Columbus. Only 25 people strong, the group meets once a month in the same building as Bradley's congregation at 1789 Lancaster Ave. in Reynoldsburg.

Chavurah is a Hebrew word for a small group of people within a congregation who get together for discussion, board president Ellen Rapkin said.

She and other humanistic Jews believe it's important to maintain their cultural Judaism, even if they don't believe in God.

They meet on Sundays, rather than the Jewish Sabbath of Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. They celebrate Jewish holidays in a secular way.

On Passover, they focus more on the Jewish exodus from Eastern Europe after World War II than God's role in the biblical Exodus from Egypt, Rapkin said.

"'Where was God during the Holocaust?" is a big question for humanistic Jews, she said.

Yom Kippur is still a time to think about how they've behaved and how they've treated others, just as in mainstream Judaism.

"I don't see it as being religious - I see it as more of a cultural thing," Rapkin said. "Somehow (Jews) survived. You don't want to chuck that out."

The social supports found in churches and other houses of worship are difficult to replicate elsewhere, said Lindsay Jones, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Ohio State University.

Churches are great places to find friends, support and youth education, so nonbelievers and believers alike join congregations to fill those needs, he said.

He has spoken to elderly and sick people who can no longer go to church and they say they most miss the feeling of community.

Recent research from Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin backs him up. It found that religious people tend to be happier than nonreligious people, not because of belief but because of the friendships found at church.

And being part of a group of like-minded people provides a sense of worth, Jones said. A congregation, with or without a belief system, offers a "strategy to mitigate the sense of helplessness" that can accompany life's ups and downs.

Bradley, 61, grew up Presbyterian and once believed in God. He was drawn to humanism by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell.

"I heard him complaining so much about humanists, I thought I'd look up and see what these people were about," he said.

Through reading and after a lot of thought, he decided in his 50s that God and Jesus did not exist. But, he said, he has no "burr in my saddle" with religion. His wife, Beth, believes in God and is an elder in the Bloom Presbyterian Church in Lithopolis.

People have asked him where his morality comes from if he doesn't believe in God. He tells them his values come from his parents and his country - and from reason.

"As social animals, it makes sense you don't club each other over the head, you don't steal from each other," he said.

"Helping others - it just makes sense."

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