|Oracle Articles - Oct 2011|
Vol. 65, No. 10; October 2011
The mission of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando (1U) is to exemplify liberal religion in Central Florida with a commitment to lifelong spiritual growth and compassionate service to the community.
9:00 am & 11:30 am Sundays in Our Sanctuary
Sunday, Oct. 2 | What Would Gandhi Do? Rev. Kathy Schmitz
We begin our exploration of world religions through the lens of compassion with a look at Hinduism.
Sunday, Oct. 9 | Standing Up, Speak Out, Rev. Kathy Schmitz
For the last century, First Unitarian Church has had the courage to stand up and speak out for its values. What does this mean in today's complex world?
This morning's Share-the-Plate recipient is Planned Parenthood.
Sunday, Oct. 16 | Leading Spiritually, Rev. Ron Hersom
Our guest minister serves the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, FL. This morning he explores the intersection of spirituality and leadership.
Sunday, Oct. 23 | Where the Rubber Meets the Road, Rev. Kathy Schmitz
In conversation, we share our values as well as our spiritual, religious, or philosophical perspectives. How do those values and perspectives hold up in everyday life? Can we live by them? Do they support us in our time of need?
Sunday, Oct. 30 | A Compassionate Conversation, Rev. Phil Schulman
Our guest worship leader this morning is Unitarian Universalist community minister currently serving as a district consultant for the Southwest Unitarian Universalist Conference in the area of "Nonviolent Communication," also known as compassionate communication. Look elsewhere in this issue of the Oracle for info on this evening's Introduction to Nonviolent Communication led by Rev. Schulman.
got dreams? We've got dreams, yes we do, we've got dreams, how 'bout you?
The 1U Board of Trustees has looked at the recent and distant past, where as a beloved community, we've talked about raising the roof, growing our congregation, serving our community, loving the music, empowering the youth... a tremendous amount of work has been done, and our goals have been defined. Now, it's time to give those goals greater definition-specific missions. One area of immediate interest is the aging facility we lovingly refer to as the RE complex. Our Religious Education complex is in serious need of our attention, and we believe the expressed missions of our church can be greatly advanced by working together to improve that area of our campus.
So! You're invited to come dream with us! Imagine for a moment that we have in our hands the winning lottery ticket. You know, the BIG one. It's dream time ... we've all done it ... sit down with the people you love to hope and dream with, and let your ideas flow freely about what great things can be done with the winning ticket. Bring your dreams for what you see happening in the newly re-imagined west side of our 1U campus! Will we fix it up? Or will we rebuild to suit our present and future needs? What kinds of activities happen there? What does the facility look like? Who will use it? For what? How can this space be re-created to fulfill our missions, nurture our spirits and heal our world?
got dreams? bring 'em, to one of three dreaming Town Hall meetings:
Dreamtime Town Hall meetings are brought to you by 1U Board of Trustees and facilitated by Christine Haskins. Childcare will be available during all sessions.
Sunday Morning Adult Education - An Update
All programs run from 10:15 - 11:15 am
We now have three concurrent options for adult religious education (ARE) on Sunday mornings:
Our plan continues to evolve. Here is the latest.
Sundays in the Library
Oct. 2 Hinduism and Compassion - Intro and discussion
Oct. 9 Share the Plate with Planned Parenthood - Speaker and discussion
Oct. 16 Newcomer Orientation
Oct. 23 Walking the Labyrinth Part 1: Speaker Tom Cook.
Oct. 30 Walking the Labyrinth Part 2: Actual walking this time, led by Tom Cook.
Please Note: a Congregational Town Hall meeting will take place during this time as well. Those wishing to attend Labyrinth Part 2 can attend one of the other two Town Hall sessions - details in got dreams? article.
We continue this successful track in Room 9 of the Education Center. Fall offerings begin with Voluntary Simplicity and will be followed later in the season by Food, Inc.
Oct. 2 Living More with Less: Accumulating material possessions is part of the American Dream. For some, the dream has become a nightmare. When do material possessions add meaning to our lives and when do they detract?
Oct. 9 Making a Living: A growing number of people wish to resolve the conflict between the desire to make and spend money and the desire for a simple life. Why is that so difficult in our culture?
Oct. 16 Do You Have the Time? In modern society, our minds are focused on the "busyness" of the day, our current problems, and our future challenges. Are there alternatives to the fast pace of our mainstream culture?
Oct. 23 Living Simply and Sustainably: There are countless practical benefits in moving toward simplicity and sustainability. What steps can be taken to move toward a life simple in means, rich in ends?
Oct. 30 No class due to the Town Hall meeting, "got dreams?"
The Community Room (Room 18, formerly the Florida District Office)
This new track encourages interaction between participants and was inspired by a desire to create a space for folks attending the two different services to be together.
Oct. 2 Each first Sunday we will use materials from "Spirit of Life." This UUA-created program seeks to bring meaning, beauty, inclusivity, and growth to Unitarian Universalist adults as they deepen their spiritual awareness and connections.
Oct. 9 The second Sunday of each month will focus on one of the steps described in Karen Armstrong's book, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life." Today, The First Step: Learn about Compassion.
Oct. 16 On the third Sunday of each month, Jim Belcher will lead sessions on developing community-building tools.
Oct. 23 On fourth Sundays we will use a video discussion series called "Spiritual Literacy" that uses short films to prompt discussion on a variety of topics. The topic for each month will be announced in advance. Check the eblast. Today, U is for Unity. Everything is interconnected. The truth is experienced in mystical moments at the edge of a polluted river, in the office, and holding a wooden kitchen spoon. Please join us for a thought-provoking film and discussion. Ken Lofgren will host this class.
Oct. 30 No class due to the Town Hall meeting, "got dreams?"
Other Adult Programming
The Power of Forgiveness: Film & Discussion
Monday, Oct. 3, 7:00-9:00pm in the Hiett Library
Free and Open to All
The 75-minute film will be followed by 45 minutes of discussion led by Rev. Kathy. The film's website says:
The POWER of FORGIVENESS includes feature stories on the Amish, the 9/11 tragedy, and peace-building in Northern Ireland, along with interviews with renowned Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, best-selling authors Thomas Moore and Marianne Williamson, and others. It explores the role forgiveness holds in various faith traditions and examines how the scientific community is now measuring the physical and mental benefits of letting go of grief and resentment.
For more info about the film, see the website: thepowerofforgiveness.com.
Francis Dávid* Café: A Drop In Discussion Group
Friday, Oct. 28, 7:00-9:00pm in the Hiett Library
Join Rev. Kathy as she facilitates conversation on a variety of topics, hoping to find and celebrate both our differences and our common ground. All are welcome!
*Living 500 years ago in Transylvania, Unitarian preacher Francis Dávid is best known among modern Unitarian Universalists for saying, "You need not think alike to love alike." Come practice what he preached.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) - An Introductory Session
Sunday, Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30pm in the Hiett Library
Practicing Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication) helps people communicate more authentically. It helps increase understanding, deepen connections, and manage conflicts. In this year in which we are focusing on compassion, come learn more about this popular approach to communication. The morning's worship leader, Unitarian Universalist Minister Rev. Phil Schulman, leads our workshop.
1U in the Community
Come Out with Pride: Orlando's Gay Pride Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 8. 2011, Festival 12:00-7:00pm, Parade 4:00pm, Lake Eola.
Watch the order of service & eblast for more info on First Unitarian's participation.
1U at Central Florida Veg Fest 2011
Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:00am-6:00pm at Loch Haven Park in downtown Orlando
1U will have a presence at the 6th annual Central Florida Veg Fest. Let Charlie Behrens know if you want to be part of sharing the 1U message!
On the Journey
Thoughts from the Minister
What an incredible amount of energy and goodwill there is around the congregation! I cannot tell you how impressed I am that so many people have been willing to try new things and move a little outside their comfort zones as we make the changes that will help First Unitarian grow to its full potential.
Ambiguity and not knowing can be hard to live with. We like to know how everything is going to work out - well trained as we are by the 30-minute sitcom. Real life doesn't work that way. Real life with intentional change really doesn't work that way. Yes, we have a direction, goals, and a working plan. However, we are well advised, as they say, to expect the unexpected.
So what would it mean to expect the unexpected? How do you prepare for the unknown?
For me, this is a question of faith. I could use the words trust or confidence, but I happen to like the word faith. I am, by nature, I am a person who likes to know. But I am also a person of faith. By this I mean that I can be okay with not knowing. I do not feel like I have to control everything about my life or the world around me. (This, it turns out, is a good thing, since it would be impossible to exercise that type of control, anyway.) The faith that I have isn't in something or someone "out there." It is more a trust in my ability to adapt or cope with or manage whatever I encounter. But, it is more than a trust in just myself; it is also a certain trust in the people and world around me.
Each day, each moment, I will be faced with decisions to make. I try to move myself and the world within my sphere of influence in what I understand to be a positive direction. Sometimes the results will be what I expected, sometime not. Sometimes I will be pleasantly surprised, other times bitterly disappointed. Always, my faith tells me that somewhere out there is a time and place of OK-ness. It may not be clear how to get from where I am now to that place of OK-ness. Still, I have faith that step by step, in spite of set backs or twists and turns, I can find a path ahead.
Each of us will find our faith, or trust, or confidence in different places and in different ways. I hope that our life in community will help us each to deepen our faith and live this adventure of life together more boldly.
Rev. Kathy's Schedule:
I will be attending the Florida Chapter of the UU Ministers Association (FUUMA) retreat Oct. 10-13. During that time, I will be able to respond only to timely matters or emergencies.
I am most often in the office during the day on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. I frequently have appointments scheduled either in the office or off-campus, so it is an excellent idea to call or email before making a special trip to see me. With advanced notice, I am happy to schedule appointments that fit your schedule, for example in the early evening.
Wednesday is my writing day. Thursday is my day off. On Thursdays, I only respond to emergencies.
Fall New Member Workshop
Are you interested in becoming a member of 1U? If so, we encourage you to attend worship services for a while and come to a Newcomer Orientation. We also invite you to attend any program or activity that interests you.
When you feel ready to deepen your commitment to Unitarian Universalism and the 1U church community, we invite you to register for a two-session Journey to Membership Workshop. In the workshop Rev. Kathy will tell participants about the history, philosophy, and practices of Unitarian Universalism, and church leaders will share information about our congregation.
Participants who attend the workshop will be invited to a New Member Potluck at which they'll meet church leaders and "seasoned members" who will serve as new member sponsors.
All those who complete a New Member Workshop and commit to join the church will be recognized in a New Member Ceremony that will be held on a Sunday during a worship service.
The dates of the next two-session Journey to Membership workshop are:
Friday, Oct. 14 (7:00-9:00pm in the Hiett Library) and Saturday, Oct. 15 (9:00am-noon in the Assembly Room).
The New Member Potluck for this class will be Friday, November 4 (7:00-9:00pm in Gore Hall)
New Member Sunday will be November 6.
October Newcomer Orientation
Are you a newcomer to our church? Would you like to meet our minister, Rev. Kathy Schmitz, learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and get answers to any questions you may have? If so, the Membership Committee invites you to attend the October Newcomer Orientation on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 10:15am in the Hiett Library.
Children's Religious Education (CRE)
With great pomp and circumstance, our new Children's Religious Education programs have begun. Two magnificent events helped launch this new year of learning about Compassion around the World and at Home.
The first event was our Get Connected Event for Teachers and Advisors. Reverend Kenn Hurto joined us via Skype and shared many words of wisdom about how faith development works and the important role learning to be compassionate with one another plays in that development. Then, teachers and advisors learned about the many online resources that are available, and they had the opportunity to get connected to each other, the Children's Religious Education Committee, their classrooms, and all the wonderful resources that live in supply cabinets, cupboards, and closets throughout the RE Complex. And, of course, there was lots of delicious food to sustain them in the midst of all that learning and getting connected.
The second event that helped launch our 2011-2012 Children's RE "ship" was the Sept. 18 One-Room Schoolhouse, which featured the Wombat, Bubbles for Peace, and the Charter for Compassion. Since part of our focus is compassion at home, we explored the idea of home. What and where is our home? And the answers our children and youth came up with are as inspiring and beautiful as they are. Home is our planet, the houses we share with our families, our church, and even our Sunday morning classrooms.
I do want to take a moment to say thank you to the folks who worked so hard to launch this new year of Religious Education.
Our Advisors are:
Our Teachers are:
o Preschool: Andrea and Scott Caruso
o Kindergarten/First Grade: Bonnie Pruitt and Melissa Rosario
o Second/Third Grade: Cathy Spoone, Greg Buckingham, and Robb Pynn-Cunha
o Fourth/Fifth Grade: Louise Christie, Mike Haddad, and Bill Smithson
o Middle School: Tim Wiley, Bekah Keyes, and Meredith Pagan
o High School: Ellen Tetlow
o Temporary Teachers : Mary Ann Horne and Miriam Roth Murphy
From the Desk of the Music Director
With the advent of double services for each Sunday, opportunities for your participation in our Music Ministry are now more numerous and multi-faceted.
If you like to sing, our non-auditioned and welcoming Chalice Choir meets Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm. We are also interviewing piano accompanists. (As of this writing one has not yet been selected.) This musical addition will enhance both our performance options and variety of repertoire. The Chalice Choir performs specially prepared music at least once a month, with extra presentations enhancing services more frequently. The music is diverse and topical and you are invited to take part.
Do you play a wind instrument (brass or woodwind)? The musicians in our 1U Wind Ensemble have established themselves as an excellent expression of instrumental music in service, sometimes alone and sometimes partnering with other elements of 1U music. Let us know if you'd like to be a contributing member.
The Tuesday Nite Band (TNB) has begun the Fall season by performing outreach to the Central Florida community. In September TNB played at Unity Orlando's "Rubicon" open mic and the Sept. 10th Celebration of Peace event at the Lake Eola band shell. The second event was a collaborative one, as we rehearsed/performed with Christ Church Unity's vocal group, Audacity, and their band. A musician from the University Unitarian Universalist Society (UUUS) joined our group for this performance. TNB will continue to expose the greater community to our Music Ministry and spread the word that 1U is here and ready to offer an alternative worship experience.
Other ensembles are always in the mix. September featured a singing/drumming/
flute/piano presentation of Islamic music that elicited heartfelt compliments from the visiting Imam/speaker. There was also a lively vocal group singing Motown accompanied by the TNB players. New combinations are always emerging and are a signature part of the Worship experience at 1U. Be a part if you like.
Soloists are an important element of music at our church and new faces and voices are continuing to join the rotation of worship music. Let us know if you are an interested solo vocalist or instrumentalist.
Variety and diversity are two main tenets of music at 1U. The opportunities for your participation are thus varied and interesting, from Islamic traditional melodies (this past Ramadan) to Americana folk to Classical (last June's tribute to Beethoven with the Ode to Joy medley, featuring both the Chalice Choir and the 1U Wind Ensemble) to American popular music and excerpts from Western and Eastern sacred traditions. Come join us.
Thanks to you, our membership is now 104 members strong - and, we added $300 to our treasury! In September we delivered 100 razors and shaving gels to the HealthCare Center for the Homeless. They will deliver them to the various homeless camps in the woods. We continually distribute the hotel soaps, shampoos, etc., that all of you contribute, to the HealthCare Center and the Women's Residential Center. In October our Centennial project will be a contribution match to Planned Parenthood.
The Alliance meets Tuesdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm in Gore Hall (unless otherwise noted). Among other activities, we prepare donated items for sale in our Continuing Bazaar. Bring along a bag lunch; iced tea is provided. All are welcome!
Oct. 4 Board Meeting and work on Continuing Bazaar.
Oct. 11 Lunch out at the Coalition for the Homeless, 639 West Central Blvd. The Coalition will provide a light lunch and take us on their "More than a Meal Tour" from 11:30am to 12:30 pm. Carpooling from Gore Hall at 11:00am. Work on Continuing Bazaar prior to leaving for the tour and lunch.
Oct. 18 Making sandwiches for the Homeless and work on Continuing Bazaar.
Oct. 25 Three women from the Central Florida Women's League will speak about their organization. Also, we'll work on the Continuing Bazaar.
Caring Circle and You
We all care about our friends, old and new, at 1U. But how can we manage to keep up with everybody, touch base with so many other busy lives? Caring Circle tries to do just that FOR you.
Each month, one of us coordinates the effort: it starts with following up on the joys and concerns voiced each Sunday in church. Often the minister or a congregant informs Caring Circle of circumstances that need our (often confidential) attention or response.
The response might be a phone call, personal contact, or a card or note to congratulate, console, sympathize, or encourage. We have given rides to medical appointments and to church services or events, provided care or food in emergency situations, and volunteered moral support or other services when needed.
Living the 7th: Green Team in October
Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month! Join us at our tent at Vegfest on Oct. 22 as we promote 1U, the Earth Charter, and the "Ethical Eating" CSAI (Congregational Study/ Action Issue)! Vegetarian or vegan eating is only one of many ways to express the desire for more "Ethical Eating." (http://tinyurl.com/ethicaleatinguua)
Green RE - Room 9, 9:30am Sundays (for details on classes this month, see article in this Oracle on Sunday Morning Adult Education).
Oct. 3 - VegCF "First Mondays" Vegan Potluck, 7:00-9:00pm in Gore Hall.
For those curious about the veg lifestyle ... The Green Team is pleased to host this VegCF (Vegetarians of Central Florida) gathering on our campus. Join us with a covered vegan dish and prepare to sample the yummies!
Oct 15 - Earth Cinema Nite at 7:00pm in the Hiett Library. Our 3rd Saturdays drop-in movie class is open and friendly! This month:
Forks Over Knives
The feature film "Forks Over Knives" examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.
Join Green Team! This year we experiment with a different model - once-a-semester meeting for education organizing; the rest of the time we'll schedule meetings as needed. Communication is mainly over the Green Team mailing list. Join us at:
Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/1ugreenteam
The Rummage Sale Is Coming!
The Rummage Sale Is Coming!
It's almost time for our annual all-church rummage sale, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 & 29, 2011; 8:00am - 2:00pm, in Gore Hall.
What do we need?
If you have items to donate, drop them off:
Whom do I contact if I have any questions or want to volunteer?
Please remember to sign up so that we know how many helpers we have. Last year we had a successful sale. With a little effort from everyone, we will do even better this year.
This annual church fundraiser could not happen without our wonderful volunteers and all the intriguing "Junque" that comes from everyone's closets, garages, attics, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family.
1U Book Club
Thank you to all that kindly donated on 9/11 at our Blood Drive! We were able to collect 11 units of blood, for a total of up to 33 lives saved. These results were better than the last three blood drives, I'm happy to report. With that said, the Florida Blood Centers have a minimum requirement for a successful blood drive of at least 10 units. Hopefully we can keep this participation up for future drives - our next being Sunday Nov. 13! Lives are depending on us!
100 Come Out With Pride Are you 1U proud? We're Nicki and Rachel, and we're here to recruit you! It's time to come out of the closet, let your brilliant light shine, and tell a world that desperately needs to know: that you are a proud, card-carrying, chalice-flaming Unitarian Universalist. So many people don't even know we exist, much less that UUs helped build this country, helped win civil rights, or that 1U has been in Orlando for 100 years, and that we are their neighbors and co-workers, friends and family members. We are everywhere. And there are UUs still in the closet - some who don't even know they're UU yet. They need our message and support, our witness and love. And, we need them.
Our ongoing participation in the annual Come Out With Pride parade is something we can all be proud of, with our numbers surpassing 60 1U attendees in recent years, and ranging in age from 2 to 82. This year, as we celebrate 100 years of 1U pride, we're out to recruit 100 UUs to stand - and roll and march and float and parade and sashay - on the side of love. Join in one of the most fun ways to affirm our principles and values, Saturday, Oct. 8, 4:00pm at Lake Eola Park.
UUA Trustee Tidbits
Joan Lund, October 2011
It is both exciting and heartening when I talk with Florida UUs and learn they are working successfully in their congregations on social justice issues and have as a congregational goal, record-breaking attendance at Justice General Assembly (GA) 2012. When we go to Phoenix next June we will be joining hands and hearts with local congregations and partner groups to increase our capacity to be a significant force for justice all through our UUA. Workshops will focus on justice issues and ways to organize in our communities, with significant focus on immigration problems. Also of course there will be excellent worship services and wonderful speakers.
Background: We know our current immigration system is not working. About eleven million undocumented immigrants are living and working within the US borders without a way to get to citizenship. Rights are violated by unjust raids and detentions. Families wait years, sometimes decades, to be reunited due to tremendous visa backlogs. Our nation's focus on enforcement-only policies and militarization of the border has led to much suffering, human rights abuses, and sometimes death.
One of the immigrant groups with whom we are in partnership is Puente Arizona. Puente AZ is part of a global movement for migrant justice and human rights. This is a grassroots community-based group that promotes justice, non-violence, interdependence and human dignity. Puente AZ works to empower the community and build relationships by working collaboratively with various organizations and individuals.
Also we have been invited to enter into partnership with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON). NDLON is committed to improving the lives of day laborers in the U.S., and works to unify and strengthen its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize, and organize day laborers. NDLON fosters safer more humane environments for day laborers, both men and women and helps them to earn a living, contribute to society, and be integrated into the community.
The General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC), the GA 2012 Accountability Group, UUA Administration, and the Board of Trustees are committed to fulfilling the GA 2010 Resolution for a Justice GA. We are counting on our UUA congregations to be involved during the next nine months in preparation for Phoenix. Contact me with questions, concerns, and Board governance business. I am "listening."
Board of Trustees
President, Michelle Bergandi
President Elect, Jean Siegfried
Vice President, Chris Baranyi
Secretary, Carolina Lofgren
Treasurer, John Hartgering
Rev. Kathy Schmitz
Director of Religious Education:
Director of Music:
Custodian: Victor Cruz
Editor: Amy Fairweather
Reporters: Church Members
News Deadline for the November Issue:
October 15, 2011, 1:00pm
First Unitarian Church of Orlando
A Unitarian Universalist Congregation
1901 E. Robinson St. Orlando, FL 32803