I invite each of you today to take a journey, a walk, and join me as together we explore this idea of “Walking in My Shoes”. We will explore three concepts on our walk today, The First, “Seek to Understand” the Second, “Seek to be Understood” and the Third, “Leaving our own Imprint”.
During the summertime, the rhythm of our community reflects the pace of people coming and going. With school in swing again and fall on the horizon, it’s time once again to gather as a whole community and mark the beginning of another church year. Come, gather in with us in a celebration of beloved community and the difference it makes. Please bring a little bit of water and/or soil from your home to share in our annual ritual of gathering the waters and soils. Bring them to church along with your thoughts about what it means to you bring yourself into our faith community.
Our choir returns from their summer hiatus for this multigenerational service. Children preschool-age and up will join us for the entire service.
Led by Justin Czekaj and Rev. Christie Anderson
There are an infinite number of random incidents that brought you here today – not just here to church, but into existence. For starters, approximately 4.5 billion years ago, a rock smashed into our infant planet (a planet, by the way, which is wholly unique in our solar system), creating our moon. This celestial body is essential to our human evolution, helping coax the tetrapods from the sea. Only a few million years ago our eyes began to emerge, evolving 50-100 times ever since, giving us the ability to see that moon. And those eyes might be green, or blue, or brown, depending on your parents, and your parents’ parents. Consider the long line of people who had to come together to create you. Think about the random and unique genetic code that gives you awareness and makes you, YOU! You are random, and wonderful. You are Awesome!
Mary Stevenson, Executive Director of the Community of Oscar A. Romero (COAR), will present COAR’s work as an example of the Catholic tradition of social justice woven from the Gospel calls to help the poor, as well as a practical and compassionate response to crisis and poverty. In 1980, El Salvador entered the world stage through a brutal civil war. On March 24th, 1980, the Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar A. Romero, was murdered by the army while saying mass. Later, on December 2nd, 1980, four North American Churchwomen were also murdered. All of them, along with many Salvadorans, were murdered for their defense of the poor, denunciation of the violence, and, in particular, their defense of refugees and orphaned children. Out of those dark days sprang COAR: a school, foster care facility, and clinic serving the entire impoverished community of Zaragoza, El Salvador. COAR’s work continues today responding to the crisis of gang violence and unaccompanied minors at the US-Mexican border.
We regularly encounter situations in our daily lives that illustrate a clash of values between the pursuit of self interest and promotion of the common good. Real life stories will illustrate how people viewing the same situation subconsciously apply different values, resulting in disputes about appropriate behavior. Value judgements that seem obvious may be more complex when perceived through the lens of these conflicting American values.
Unitarian Universalism’s first principle calls for us to uphold and protect the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and our second principle requires us to seek out justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Recent events, such as the horrific mass shooting at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, and the numerous highly publicized killings of unarmed black people at the hands of police, have sparked a national debate about how we value the lives of ourselves and others, and specifically those of black people. Our own community has demonstrated a diverse response to these events, and our country is divided on how to move forward.
For this service, we will explore the historical roots of liberation theology in Unitarian Universalism and how our faith calls us to act when oppressed peoples are asking for us to witness their struggle and join them in protest for change. Most importantly, we will consider how we as individuals and a community can address the challenges facing us. What does it mean to be antiracist? What does it mean to be an effective ally? Are we ready to take a hard look at ourselves, and work towards understanding our place in one of the civil rights movements of our time? Join us as we begin again in love.
How does the way your brain is structured give you a sense of spirituality? How does thinking, learning and feeling develop each individual’s unique experience as a spiritual being? How does your brain respond to knowledge, ideas and feelings as you experience, learn and grow. Some surprising ideas from a neurological perspective.
As we witness a shift from mainstream church to a re-imagined sense of community and gathering, Unitarian Universalist are working in various emerging ministries to offer a generation of seekers and explores an inclusive liberal religious community that is spiritually diverse, radically inclusive and Justice centered. Our tradition is uniquely suited to meet people where they are on the life’s journey and work to build a community that loves the hell out of the world.
Kevin Lowry is a Commissioned Lay Leader candidate and Youth and College Community Coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County in Wooster OH. He serves as the Campus Community Mentor for the UU Campus Community at the College of Wooster. Kevin is is a Fahs Fellow with the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where he is exploring how Unitarian Universalist can best serve emerging adults as they set out on their journey of adulthood.
DUE TO THE WEATHER, THE SERVICE AND PICNIC HAVE BEEN MOVED BACK TO THE CHURCH. WE HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE THERE!
Led by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Director of Relgious Education Karen Lapidus, and Worship Associate Justin Czekaj
One service only at 9:45 am at Plum Creek Park, weather permitting*
Once each year our whole church gathers together for one joyful, multigenerational service. Please join us at Plum Creek Park for a service celebrating the holiness of playtime. We will gather in Pavillion #2 for one service only at 9:45 am. Please bring a blanket or lawn chairs to sit on and any sunscreen or insect repellent you may need. Then plan to stay afterwards for our all church picnic. Please bring your own place settings, beverages, and a dish to share along with any games you would like to invite others to play. For directions to Plum Creek Park, visit www.tinyurl.com/plumcreekpark
*In the event of rain, please check our church FaceBook page, our phone message and/or your email to find out if we have moved our service back to the church.