Why I Pray

by Rev. David A. Miller.  Aug. 7, 2016. Have you ever sat down at the computer and, whether you are a believer or not, you thought, “God, if you are up there, or anywhere, please give me the inspiration to write this report, or paper, or if you are a minister, for instance, this sermon.” I have, that has been me, I admit it. There have been times when I sat down, stared at the keys on the computer and I closed my eyes. I’ve said please god, if you exist, give me inspiration to write this sermon. Then, like sometimes we do when we make prayers of petition, I […]

A Radical Revolution of Values

by Rev. David A. Miller. It is late on Sunday night and about 24 UUCF folks have just returned from the Moral Revival at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Rev. Dr. William Barber II is the central figure in this effort and he is leading an organization called Repairers of the Breach. This is the description from the website: “Repairers of the Breach, Inc. is a nonpartisan and ecumenical organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Repairers will help frame public policies [that] are not constrained or confined by the […]

Building Authentic Diversity

Intercultural Communication as a Tool for Congregational Change. A UU Capital Cluster/Central East Region Leadership Conference. Sat., Apr. 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sanctuary. Cost: $50/person (includes lunch and materials). Register here. Scholarships available when registering. Open to all. Questions? Contact Linnea Nelson. Learn with other UU congregations diving into racial justice or multicultural work and be more authentically open to new cultures and backgrounds. Workshop will provide both an analytic framework and concrete skills for effectively developing relationships across differences. About the leaders: Rev. Rob Keithan is a faith organizing and training consultant specializing in reproductive health, rights and justice issues as well as congregational social justice programs. He is a certified […]

We Can Welcome the Stranger

by Rod Paolini, Chair of UUCF’s Muslim Liaison Group. I’ve noticed lately that refugees are no longer on the front page of newspapers. There are no longer videos of columns of refugees trudging through a countryside nor confrontations with armed guards preventing their entry to a European country. So where are they? As best I can tell, they are “settled in place.” The least fortunate languish in refugee camps. Where’s the hope? According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the end of 2014 there were an estimated 14.4 million refugees (up 19% from the previous year). According to 2015 statistics, it is estimated that there are more […]

Building Relationships, Deepening Connections

by Rev. David A. Miller. As we are preparing to join together from whatever summer brought us, there are a few things that I have been thinking about and processing with colleagues and friends. It is inescapable to note the increase in worry, not only because of this summer’s tragic events, but also the current political campaign season and the endless stream of commentary in the news and social media. In observing the cultural phenomenon that is social media, it does seem to connect us in a myriad of ways never before seen in modern life. My concern is that although it does seem to help superficially increase our connection, the demands […]

“We Are More Alike, My Friends, Than Unalike”

by Linnea Nelson, Director of Religious Exploration. I love August! It’s hot and sunny and the Olympics have added a true bonus to the month. I was also lucky enough to spend the first week of August at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY, which for me became a place of spiritual renewal through the arts and spoken word. The week’s theme at Chautauqua was cities, but the underlying message was the importance of equity in thinking about oneness and wholeness. During the televised opening of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, a phone ad (of all things) mimicked my summer spiritual learning. I heard Maya Angelou’s unmistakable velvety voice reading […]

Puriang Unitarian School recognized

Posted Aug. 16, 2016. The students at the Puriang Unitarian School continue their record of achievement, and the school has received additional recognition. In June, headmaster Ditol Mylliemngap received word that 25 of the 27 10th grade students passed the standardized exam that qualifies them to pursue further education – seven in the first division, 12 in the second division and three simply passed. Three received merit stars. Several 11th grade students joined in the Commerce Stream and Science Stream in Shillong, the state capital. Puriang students participated in an essay competition conducted by Madan Laban Unitarian Church in Shillong in honor of the 150th birthday of Khasi Unitarianism founder Hajom Kissor […]

A busy summer in Szentgerice

Posted Aug. 16, 2016. In early August, more than 400 teens and young adults from around Transylvania gathered in Szentgerice for the annual Drama Week organized by the Transylvanian Unitarian Youth Organization. Rev. Barni writes, “It was a successful event and a good experience for us. Each morning the church was full at the morning prayers, and during the drama playing the community house was full too.” On Aug. 13, he and his wife, Ilona, participated in the annual summer Unitarian gathering near Szekelyudvarhely at Szeyke. More than 1,000 Unitarians were there. Earlier in the summer, UUCF member Charlie Wheeler and his daughter Margo made a return visit to Szentgerice. Margo was […]