July 2014 Newsletter of the Keweenaw

       Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

    “We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”



Sunday Mornings at 10:30

BHK Building (700 Park Ave., Houghton).

Enter on North Side, off Waterworks Dr.


July 2014 Event Schedule






July 6: Service. “Flower Communion”

Please bring a flower or two! See the history of Flower Communion services below.


July 13: Forum. Songs of yesteryear, memories for some and delightful melodies for others.

    David Owens will lead a piano sing-along.  Booklets will help with the words for the songs, mostly from the 1950s

and earlier.  Requests will be honored.


July 20: Service. “Humor in Church” Are you serious? You can’t have fun in church! Or – can you?

    Potluck Sunday. Please bring your own plates and silverware if possible.

The Board meets today at 1 in the Fellowship office. Everyone is welcome


July 27: Service. “Entitlement”

Is there such a thing as a “culture of entitlement?” In conversations with parents, I am more often asked whether their kids’ unceasing demands for more and better stuff is “normal.” Let’s talk about it!


 Flower Communion, A History

The Flower Communion Service, created in 1923 by Norbert Capek, founder of the Unitarian Church of Czechoslovakia, was brought to the United States by Capek's wife, Maja. It was first celebrated in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1940.

     A former Baptist, Norbert Capek wanted a symbolic ritual to bind people and give concrete expression to the humanity-affirming principles of Unitarianism. He turned to nature for communion elements, asking people to bring to church a flower from their own gardens, or nearby fields or roadsides.   

       By placing their flowers in a common vase, people signified that they joined with others by their own free will. The vase, filled with all the flowers, became a symbol of the united church community. During the service, Capek would say a prayer and "consecrate" the flowers, making them sacred symbols of fellowship and the oneness of humanity. As people left the church, they took a flower from the vase – other than the one they brought, thus symbolically sharing the sacred.

   Fellowship Elects New Officers

The KUUF annual meeting on June 15th included the election of new Board Officers.

     Will Cantrell, beginning his 2nd year as Board President, continues for one more year.

     The Fellowship elected Melanie Keuber Watkins to fill the VP position, held previously by Roger Held, who had resigned.  She will continue until June 2015.

     Barry Fink will continue on the board, beginning a second term that will run from 2014 to 2016.

     Tom Hoornstra begins a term on the board that runs to 2016.

    The election also included people for the 2015 nominating committee. Those

selected included Harriet King, Dave

Watkins, and one person to be selected by the Board.

    Are you interested in possibly serving on the Board? For information on what this important work entails, see any board members, or president Will Cantrell.


  In the Interim for July 2014

Rev. Gabi writes . . .


A few years ago, the office administrator of the congregation I was then serving told me about a phone call she had received.

     A congregant wanted to know the title of the next Sunday’s sermon.  Unfortunately, our office lady did not know the answer, and she couldn’t get her hands on the newsletter where the information could be found.

     The caller was unperturbed. She said, “Never mind. I’ll just drop by. There is always so much going on at the Fellowship, and so many interesting people to talk to. I can probably help out at the Welcome Table. And it doesn’t matter what Rev. Gabi is going to talk about. Even in the unlikely case that I should not like it, the sermon will make me think!”

       I’ll come anyway --- isn’t that a wonderful statement? If your all-around Sunday morning experience is so positive that it doesn’t matter if some aspect isn’t perfect, this is a testimony to the importance of our relationships within our beloved communities, and an encouragement to keep offering radical hospitality and vibrant programs.  

       And you know, the last remark this congregant made is a “pearl of wisdom”: if a sermon rubs you the wrong way or you disagree with what the minister says, it may very well be the catalyst for some explorations of your own understanding and opinion, perhaps leading to new insights.

My wish for all of you is that you can whole-heartedly adopt this attitude and



                  Rev. Gabi



Animal Blessing Set for Aug. 3

On August 3rd, KUUF will have its annual Animal Blessing. Bring your well-behaved, leashed or crated animals,

or bring a photo for our display.

      In case of inclement weather, photos only, please!



Green Sanctuary Book Titles Needed

August 1 is the deadline for titles from which the Green Sanctuary Book Group will select their next round of discussions.

       Please send nominations to Linda Belote (lsbelote@mtu.edu).

     Voting will take place between August 4-10.


To Give Away:

Two UU T-shirts, adult size (would probably fit older kids). 482-7584.



Library News

                                   With Bob Fiandt


Over the next few months the KUUF library will undergo some major changes.  Currently, we have room for only a few more books. Therefore, we will be culling items that appear less important for a congregational library to make room for items that are more appropriate. 

     The books that are removed will go into the monthly book sale inventory.

      Once we have the extra space, we will invite book donations from our members.  We will also publicize book lists from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) own bookstore, and encourage members to purchase these and later donate them.

      To determine what is appropriate for our shelves, the Library Committee suggests categories established by the UUA bookstore.  Everything in our library should fall into one or more of the following groups:  books from the UUA; Skinner House books; justice; history; current events; inspiration; identity; spirituality; religion; church resources; pamphlets; RE; children and families.

     Some in our group have also asked for books by contemporary religion writers.

      Committee members may solicit KUUF members for suggestions on how the library might increase usage.

     If you have ideas, please see Bob Fiandt, Barry Pegg, Jack Jobst, or Rev. Gabi. 


  Deadline for the August KUUF     


Please submit your information no later than Tuesday, July 22nd.