March 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. in Houghton).
Enter on north side, off Waterworks Drive.
5: Aleta Daniels; 9:Tony Zoars; 11: Arthur Mayer (see King); 12: Anna Shoos; 17: Maureen Anderson and Jane Hiltunen;
21: Pete Ekstrom, Bill Fink and John Wheeler; 22: Ethan and Carson Baker; 24: Dave Watkins; 28: Dan Wisti, and Zach Edgerton; 30: Sharon Emley
Note: Did we miss your birthday? Do you prefer that we do not identify your birthdate? Either way, notify Lynn (email@example.com).
Fellowship Loses Another Long-Time Member
This winter season has been among the worst, not only because of the bitterly cold temperatures, but also because we have lost so many of our long-time members.
In January, Ken Kraft and Keith Baldwin both passed away, within days of each other.
Alice Boyce, longtime KUUF mover and shaker, who was the first to jump up on Sundays and make a visitor welcome, who volunteered for the tougher committee assignments and brought with her a motherly affection for everyone, has passed away.
Alice’s husband, Jim, now the oldest, long- term member from the KUUF beginnings in 1985, carries on.
Green Sanctuary Book Group
March 24: The Eternal Frontier by Tim Flannery
April 28: The Wealth of Nature by John Michael Greer
May 26: The Dismal State of the Great Lakes by Jim Ludwig. Note: if Ludwig visits the Copper Country that month, as he plans, we will move the discussion to the date he can attend,
June 30: When the Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce.
All discussions are on the last Monday of each month, 7 pm, in the KUUF office.
Celebrations Committee to Meet
The Celebrations Committee’s March meeting is on Tuesday, March 4 at 11 am, the kuuf office at Trinity. All are welcome to share, get involved.
Newsletter Deadline for the
Send newsletter info to jackjobst@charternet no later than Tuesday, March 25th.
Ever been stuck in traffic?
What a dumb question . . . We all know the problem: we are in a hurry to get to an appointment or to an event, or anywhere else where we want to arrive on time. We have given ourselves ten minutes for the fifteen-minute ride. We have no clue where to park once we arrive . . . And now the nicely flowing traffic comes to a grinding halt!
If you are like me, you start moaning and groaning and looking for a way out of this mess. Your blood pressure and your anger rise in proportion to the decreased speed.
Until last week, being stuck in traffic was one of my biggest nightmares. But then I discovered a book in the library called Just Add Buddha! by Franz Metcalf. Metcalf encourages his readers to look at the frustrating situation of a traffic jam from a different angle.
He writes, “Consider the actual situation: you are comfortable, quiet, and alone. Although you are surrounded by other people, they are minding their own business, and are not going to bother you unless you let them. You have full control over your internal world. You are a monk in your own little meditation cell.” What an extraordinary– albeit simple– thought! You could actually see this time in your car as a solo retreat!
I have long ago learned to use the time standing in line at a cash register or anywhere else to actively study people, with the result that I am usually disappointed when it’s finally my turn. The seconds for reflection have enabled me to see this “waste of time” as a good thing, because it gives me a chance to halt the hectic pace of my life for a few minutes and connect with people I would otherwise never meet. Simultaneously, my focus moves from myself and the things I need (or need to do) to others and their needs.
But turning the vexation of a traffic jam into a blessing is a new concept for me, and I can’t wait to try it out. Can you believe it – I’m actually waiting for a traffic jam?!?!
I invite you to try this out yourself – find the silver lining in the cloud of anxiety and meditate for a few minutes. Or, if this is not your “cup of tea,” enjoy the unexpected opportunity to look outside the car window at the world surrounding you. You might be surprised at what you see!
From the KUUF Library
(Bob Fiandt finishes his abstract of a chapter in In the Interim: “The Interim Minister as Systems Analyst” by Richard A. Nugent. The author provides numerous rhetorical questions that allow a fellowship to consider its effectiveness. (Editor.)
Theological grounding and spiritual deepening.
“What opportunities,” Nugent asks, “are available for individuals to deepen their spirituality and to question how best to respond to challenging life issues? Do covenant groups or other forms of small-group ministry thrive in the congregation with significant numbers participating?”
Does the congregation achieve a healthy balance between the ministry to present members and to the larger community (including newcomers)?
“Is stewardship a year-round program rather than an annual month-long blitz?” “Are canvassers trained in their jobs, or just assigned?”
How easy is it to find members to serve in important leadership positions? Do some leaders find themselves entrenched in posts for numerous years? Are there committees of just a single person? If a member has very limited time, are there still ways to contribute? Do some members function as leaders in more than one position at a time? Does the congregation conduct any leadership training in-house?
Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist
PO Box 276
Houghton, MI 49931
Nugent comments, “Is there a weekly email newsletter as well as a monthly one? Are they
read? If not, why not?” During Sunday services, are there policies regarding verbal announcements? (How do we convey those announcements to the rest of the congregation?) How does the congregation utilize social media?
Nugent concludes, “Interim ministry is most effective when the questions posed by the interim and explored by the congregational leaders and members challenge them to find new ways of living our faith in their shared religious community.” “It is a gift to individual Unitarian Universalists because belonging to a revitalized congregation offers individuals so many more opportunities to learn about life, to deepen their own spirituality, to advance progressive values, and to serve others both in the congregation and beyond its doors.”