Message from our Director of Religious Education: "Move It or Lose It"
In the March Connection, I encouraged folks to attend the Long Strange Trip programming. Fortunately, Bonnie Norton agreed to present not one, but two repeat sessions on Mondays for those of us who couldn't come on Sundays and I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. If you noticed, I’m walking a bit taller these days, it is because I am absolutely uplifted by the history I am a part of in UU.
I also found the Long Strange Trip sessions a bit like watching Olympic athletes or those exercise clips that I see on Facebook or my Twitter feed. Wow, I say to myself, I'm going to go for an extra walk this week or I can incorporate that "10 Minutes to Great Looking Upper Arms" into my daily routine. Then, when it comes time for the actual work, meh, not so much.
But I noticed something about this sequence in regard to our UU forefathers and mothers. These folks, while devoting extensive time to intellectual pursuits, questioning current thinking, writing and speaking, also took bold action. Many moved extensively, even crossing oceans. They were cast out, publicly ridiculed, lost personal friendships, and some paid with their lives. They raised their voices and moved their feet to end slavery, seek an end to capital punishment, and were a veritable gold medal team for women's rights.
I'm going to be honest and say: I think I've been doing a bit too much watching/learning and too little doing.
I hope that the wide range of programs this season on topics from rights and responsibilities at the end of life, our November ballot issues, homelessness and poverty in our community, climate change and ensuring our democracy works for all, has informed you. Even more, I hope you find a way to ramp up the action aspect. Let's inspire each other to action, through some of the many projects UUCOV has undertaken or in the broader community. There is much at stake. Our heritage demands it.
Message from our Director of Religious Education
Meet You at the Quad
Okay, we don't have a quad on the UUCOV campus yet. It was the evening of February 2. There was a large group assembling for the showing of the film “Legalize Democracy” in the sanctuary, people were engaged with choir practice in Waters Hall, and a Pathways class was about to start in Asta Linder House. I was assigned the task of picking up a flip chart stand and pad needed for the discussion following the film. The stand was in Asta Linder House. I chose to drive over rather than stumble my way in the dark from ALH to the sanctuary with the stand.
As I pulled up close to ALH, (but not so close that I would hit someone's motorcycle) the doors to Room A were open wide welcoming the Pathways participants. Chairs were being arranged, folks were greeting one another and streaming between Room A and Room B. I pulled the stand and pad from the closet and wound my way through the crowd toward the door when I heard these words, "Wow, this place is so active it reminds me of a college campus!" I was so busy trying not to spear or hit someone with the stand I was carrying, I couldn't turn to see who said it, but those words really made an impression. It also put a big smile on my face.
Team leaders were asked recently to relay one and only one accomplishment that they were most proud of for this past fiscal year. I noted that Lifespan has been working with and being supported by a number of the other teams this year and it has been productive and fun to work together. But, I must confess that the comment about UUCOV reminding someone of a college campus personally resonated. My recollection of campus life conjures images of energy, exploration, growth, social and justice activities, laughs and great friendships. Even better; we can stay enrolled for as long as we want.
We Return to One Service
Beginning April 23 at 9:00 am, we introduce a terrific Great Course Program on the Cycles of American Political Thought. This is very highly rated course examines the often neglected philosophical underpinnings of our nation's history, exploring how this nation of "doers" has, from its birth, been deeply engaged with the most fundamental questions of political philosophy. We will explore the many ways our nation has answered the question: "What is an American?", including how the idea of "We the People" has changed and expanded far beyond the founding fathers' original conception.
Through the sessions, we'll navigate the ever-shifting political landscape and see how political trends in American history can be understood as variations on a single theme: the philosophy of liberalism.
The Book Club will continue through the summer, meeting at 1:30pm on the second Thursdays of the month. On June 8th, we will discuss Janet Snyder Matthew’s "Venice, Journey From Horse and Chaise", a selection from the reading list for the Summer Lecture Series 2017. Although it is out of print, it is available at local libraries and through Amazon. To borrow a used copy, contact Barb Smith .
July’s book is Amoc Fowles’ “A Gentleman from Moscow” and in August we’ll discuss Carson McCuller’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”.
Also, throughout the summer, we will co-sponsor the Summer History Lecture Series with The Venice Historical Society. (see above) This program will focus on local South County history from 1865 to 1965. The first of these will be on June 13th at 1:30pm; we’ll discuss “Four Visionary Women of Venice: Ann Worthington Manning, Louella Albee, Elizabeth Savage Owens and Frances Bourne.” All programs are open to the public; we’ll meet in the sanctuary.
The group will not meet again until September.
Plato's Circleis a gathering, open to the community, on the 1st Wednesday of each month, at which people discuss challenging ideas and issues through empathetic listening and conscientious thinking. A discussion leader presents an overview of the topic; it is then opened for participants’ responses and group interactions. At the June 7th meeting, 1-3pm, the discussion topic is: Can a National Guarantied Income end poverty and technology-driven joblessness? Questions? Contact Bill Dowling:. All UUCOV members, friends, and neighbors who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate on June 21.
Socrates Cafe are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the central theme of 'Socratizing'- the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others. UUCOV’s Café meets every third Wednesday of the month in Waters Hall at 1pm.
The group meets will not meet again until September.