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Winter Unitarian Universalist Thread - All Welcome

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
Welcome to the Winter support, community, information, conversation, and fun thread for UUs and UU curious.

Here is the link to the previous Autumn thread.

Come on in and say "Hi", ask a question, tell a story, or feel free to just lurk for awhile.

Quote:
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell



Wishing you all a season of peace, joy, love, and family.



Adele
post #2 of 86
Thread Starter 
Yesterday we had a fabulous "mostly music" service at my church. This is an intergenerational service full of songs and stories. My dd sang with the children's choir and we sat through the entire service twice. By the end I was just reveling in the joy and so grateful that my life is overflowing with love.

Then I went home and got in a fight with my dh, who was mad at dd because her playroom is a wreck and she lost a library book. Why can't real life be more like church?
post #3 of 86
Happy Solstice.

Our congregation was given some bad news yesterday. Our minister is moving on and will be leaving at the end of his contract, end of June. We're a new congregating and he has been our minister since the beginning, when we met only twice a month. We meet weekly now and have 60 members but won't be able to support a full time minster so we'll begin looking for someone part time. I've been to a lot of UU churches and never have I seen a minister so universally loved by the entire congregation. This will be a difficult transition.
post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
Yesterday we had a fabulous "mostly music" service at my church. This is an intergenerational service full of songs and stories. My dd sang with the children's choir and we sat through the entire service twice. By the end I was just reveling in the joy and so grateful that my life is overflowing with love.

Then I went home and got in a fight with my dh, who was mad at dd because her playroom is a wreck and she lost a library book. Why can't real life be more like church?
Sounds great. Our kids did a solstice craft in RE, and our minister gave a great sermon about hope. That the journey to a peaceful world is the important part. We probably won't see world peace in our lives, but knowing that is a good and important thing. It will save us from being discouraged on the journey.

Sorry about DH not being in the holiday spirit when you got home.
post #5 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Happy Solstice.

Our congregation was given some bad news yesterday. Our minister is moving on and will be leaving at the end of his contract, end of June. We're a new congregating and he has been our minister since the beginning, when we met only twice a month. We meet weekly now and have 60 members but won't be able to support a full time minster so we'll begin looking for someone part time. I've been to a lot of UU churches and never have I seen a minister so universally loved by the entire congregation. This will be a difficult transition.
I'm so sorry your minister is moving on. I know I would be just devastated if our minister left.

Will you have an interim minister for awhile, or is that just when a congregation is looking for a fulltime minister? I'm sure you will want to be involved in the search for and selection of a new minister, but I know you already devote so much time and energy to your church that it will be hard to take on anything else.
post #6 of 86
ArtGoddess- That is sad news. I hope your congregation can find a good fit. We have a part time minister who we would love to hire full time, we just don't have the money. Sending finding the right minister vibes to your congregation!
post #7 of 86
I took the three membership classes and now I'm deciding whether or not I'm actually going to stand in front of the congregation, sign the book, and become a member. I'm not sure what's holding me back, but there's something.

Service on sunday was about solstice, kind of. It was called "breaking the surface" and about coming up to breathe/coming into the light after darkness.

Here's a random question - anybody ever want to ask somebody to not sit with them at church? I go to church alone. There's this person who comes to church - she's only come three or four times, and I knew her before, though I wasn't the one who invited her. She sits with me and she's just ridiculously distracting. She is always sharing my hymnal with me, instead of picking up her own on the way in, she will make these little comments during the service, and she's just awkward. I know I probably sound petty, but it's just hard to pay attention to the service when somebody is really distracting.
post #8 of 86
Oh Ziggy, that must be hard. The hymnal part would be easy to solve, just grab two and hand her one when she starts to share yours. But I too am annoyed by people who whisper comments in my ear at services. I'd just try and be polite yet straight forward with her. When she sits next to you maybe say, "good morning Betty, so nice to see you today. Oh that's a pretty shawl. Hey, I really want to be able to pay attention to the service, so try to refrain from any peanut gallery comments, it really distracts me."

Adele, yeah I'm really bummed. I'm not sure exactly how we are going to do our search. Our District Exec (who also happens to be my dad) will be meeting with the board in January to go over our options. But I think you are right, since we won't be able to look for a full time minister, we probably won't need a full search committee. This will come as a big relief for my DP, who is already counting the months to June when my RE teaching obligation as well as my board term will be done.

Aeress, thanks. We have been in the same predicament with our minister for years. He's really an amazing dynamic preacher. But we only have him working 2/3 or 3/4 time (depending on the year and the budget) because it's all we can afford. We have been blessed by the fact that his husband makes good $$ and they want to live in the area. Otherwise I'm sure he would have looked into other congregations years ago.
post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
I took the three membership classes and now I'm deciding whether or not I'm actually going to stand in front of the congregation, sign the book, and become a member. I'm not sure what's holding me back, but there's something.

Service on sunday was about solstice, kind of. It was called "breaking the surface" and about coming up to breathe/coming into the light after darkness.

Here's a random question - anybody ever want to ask somebody to not sit with them at church? I go to church alone. There's this person who comes to church - she's only come three or four times, and I knew her before, though I wasn't the one who invited her. She sits with me and she's just ridiculously distracting. She is always sharing my hymnal with me, instead of picking up her own on the way in, she will make these little comments during the service, and she's just awkward. I know I probably sound petty, but it's just hard to pay attention to the service when somebody is really distracting.
I don't know how it works at your church, but at my church people sign the membership book when they feel ready, even if that is months after they took the membership classes. If something is holding you back, in my opinion, it is just fine to keep attending and wait until you feel really moved to become a member.

Funny coincidence: this Sunday I sat next to a woman I don't usually sit with. She tends to make comments, and also even shout things out during the service. She was also doodling, though I never would have noticed if my dd had not pointed it out to me. I wasn't really bothered because this person does not try to engage me in conversation during the service, which does bother me, but about halfway through the service my dd leaned over and whispered to me, "She is really annoying me!" Luckily we stayed for the second service so my dd, who likes things to be "just so" was able to enjoy that service without distraction.

I think artgoddess has already given you some great suggestions and I am really bad at that kind of situation myself. If you arrive before the person, you might try sitting in a single seat between two other people or between a person and the aisle. If your church does not get that crowded you could try arriving a little later so she gets there first and then just not sit with her. That makes me sound kind of pathetic just avoiding someone instead of speaking up doesn't it? Well, I'm not usually a conflict-avoider, but in this case that is probably what I would do.
post #10 of 86
Hi, I'm popping back in here since I haven't been active in months. We haven't gone to church in months, probably 6 months or so. It was something that I enjoyed, but DH didn't. That's fine, I have no problem going without DH. I am really feeling the need to go back, but I'm scared.

DS loved going with me when he was 2 and got to go play in the nursery, but now that he's 3 he would go to RE. He doesn't really know any of the other kids and I'm not sure he would deal with it well. I know he would be fine after a couple visits, but the first few might be really difficult. Also, the RE instructor is our pediatrician. That makes it a little weird too.
post #11 of 86
For any of you who celebrate Christmas, Happy Christmas.

I went to the Christmas Eve service at my church tonight and it was lovely. Lots of singing, and sometimes it's nice to just hear the Christmas Story. Familiar.

It was also the sole thing I am doing for the holidays, so I'm glad I went.
post #12 of 86
Thread Starter 
Merry Christmas, Ziggy!

I'm glad you enjoyed your Christmas Eve service. We went to our family Christmas Eve service - lots of carols, telling the story from the perspective of the animals and shepherds, passing the candlelight, sharing cookies afterwards. Going to this service has become a tradition for us and I love it.

Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate it.

Peace on earth and to all the MDC UU Mamas!

Adele
post #13 of 86
Merry Christmas to everyone!
We went to our service tonight. Our little one was very into crawling up and down the main aisle, much to everyone's delight. And she was mesmerized by the candle-lit part. They turned the lights down and we sang "Silent Night" and she was in awe.
post #14 of 86
We've been superbusy with the church this season. For someone who's always hated "religion", I'm really into our church.

We did the mostly music service and it was a lot of fun. The kids did a Christian song, Jewish song and non-religious song. The adults did some really beautiful stuff. The 12days of Christmas in 12 different musical styles was interesting.

Then, a lady wrote and put on a Pagan Play on Solstice. I didn't know about the Godesses and seasons until the play. It was really interesting. My husband said you could really tell the who the Pagan women in the church are because their men are all behind them holding their stuff and slightly cowering.LOL

Then, today we had a small service and I was with the kids teaching them about Janus, the Roman God of thresholds.

I've been keeping busy elsewhere in the church since deciding that I'm not crazy about our minister. Seems to be working well.

As for people sitting next to me, I hide out in the "cry" room. I tend to not be able to sit still, so I roam in and out of service as people stand and sit, sing or greet, I find reasons to exit and listen from afar. Maybe it wouldn't be too much trouble to find an excuse to leave and then re-enter and sit somewhere else. I guess that would be difficult with a family though...I'm usually alone or with my baby.

Artgoddess, I hope you find a lovely minister soon. We've had interims for the last few years and apparently, we're having a lot of luck getting good applicants this year because of the economy. In june, we should have someone. Interims are nice though because you don't have to commit to them, but if you have a great one that has to leave at the end, it's really hard on everyone.
post #15 of 86
So today we had a service put on by the congregation - no sermon. A few readings, quite a few songs, and some drumming.

I really, really missed having our regular service. Like, really missed it. I don't want to drum during offering. I want to sit silently while we listen to the piano music. I want my minute of meditation. I want things to be how they normally are!
post #16 of 86
Thread Starter 
I totally know what you mean, Ziggy! I love all our special holiday services, but by January I am more than ready to get back to "normal" services.

My dd and I almost never miss church, but we didn't actually go last Sunday because it was another special service with no RE for dd, and no sermon from our minister and I just didn't feel like getting up for it.
post #17 of 86
subbing to the winter thread...

... and another not-so-quick question from a newbie UU. I posted this in the atheist/agnostic tribe too. I could use some help with decoding religious references... Have any of you read/used The Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov? I got it thinking it would be something good for our family that would put the emphasis on virtues and not on beliefs since my dh is Christian and we are always trying to find some middle ground (also why I joined the UU). Well, the book seems really great as far as the parenting philosophy and I love the idea of using the language of virtues... but even though it is non-denominational and pulls from all different religions/cultures, there's a lot of god language that I'm having trouble decoding and getting past... like asking for "god's help" or we were "created by god" or being thankful for "god's bounties". My dd is 22 months, so I know I'm going to have to get more comfortable explaining my views about god and doing a quick decode, but I'm just not there yet. I'd really like to use the book, so does anybody have suggestions for how to work through all the god references?
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by treehugz View Post
Have any of you read/used The Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov? I got it thinking it would be something good for our family that would put the emphasis on virtues and not on beliefs since my dh is Christian and we are always trying to find some middle ground (also why I joined the UU). Well, the book seems really great as far as the parenting philosophy and I love the idea of using the language of virtues... but even though it is non-denominational and pulls from all different religions/cultures, there's a lot of god language that I'm having trouble decoding and getting past... like asking for "god's help" or we were "created by god" or being thankful for "god's bounties". My dd is 22 months, so I know I'm going to have to get more comfortable explaining my views about god and doing a quick decode, but I'm just not there yet. I'd really like to use the book, so does anybody have suggestions for how to work through all the god references?

I just use it without the religious component unless the particular quote appeals to me or seems relevant and important to the discussion. Often it doesn't. I aim to teach my kids to be respectful of various religions but I am careful not to tie the idea of "being good" to the idea that God is essential/foundational to being good. If I am really on top of my game I may have other quotes from other sacred texts or philosophers etc to show that a particular virtue is not related only to one kind of thinking.
hth
Karen
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I just use it without the religious component unless the particular quote appeals to me or seems relevant and important to the discussion. Often it doesn't. I aim to teach my kids to be respectful of various religions but I am careful not to tie the idea of "being good" to the idea that God is essential/foundational to being good. If I am really on top of my game I may have other quotes from other sacred texts or philosophers etc to show that a particular virtue is not related only to one kind of thinking.
hth
Karen
well that makes perfect sense... thanks! i love quotes, so finding some quotes from other philosophers is a great idea. got any ideas for young kid's books that teach virtues? i've seen a couple series on manners, but they drop the g word. and if they don't use god's authority as a foundation, i'm surprised by how many stories about manners use threats or love withholding to encourage kids to be virtuous. are there better stories out there?
post #20 of 86
Thread Starter 
Welcome to the Winter Thread, treehugz.

We have What If Nobody Forgave which teaches UU principles and related virtues through stories. Each story is followed by discussion questions and suggestions for activities.

Parenting Beyond Belief is subtitled "On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion". I don't have this book, because as a UU I have never felt a need for it, but I follow the author's blog: The Meming of Life and I am fairly impressed with his ideas and writing.

You can also still use the book you have as Karen said. I would suggest just reading through each section by yourself before you read it with your dd and making note of any objectionable phrases and how you will handle them, whether skip entirely, preface with "some people believe . . . ", or replace with something like "centered myself and pictured myself doing the right thing" or "thankful for all the good things in my life"
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