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#1 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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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.



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#2 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#3 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#6 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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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!

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#7 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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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.
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#8 of 86 Old 12-21-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 86 Old 12-22-2009, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#10 of 86 Old 12-22-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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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.

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#11 of 86 Old 12-24-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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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.
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#12 of 86 Old 12-25-2009, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#13 of 86 Old 12-25-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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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.

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#14 of 86 Old 12-27-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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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.

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#15 of 86 Old 12-28-2009, 02:19 AM
 
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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!
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#16 of 86 Old 12-29-2009, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#17 of 86 Old 01-02-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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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?
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#18 of 86 Old 01-03-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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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.
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#19 of 86 Old 01-04-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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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
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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?
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#20 of 86 Old 01-04-2010, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 86 Old 01-04-2010, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I remembered after my last post that my dd absolutely loved the Berenstain Bears First Time books when she was younger. There are a ton of books in this series and the vast majority of them do not mention God or religion at all. Many are about first experiences (first day of school, first trip to the dentist, etc.), but there are a lot about values and virtues too. Here are some good ones:

The Berenstain Bears . . .
New Neighbors (tolerance of difference and neighborliness)
The Truth
Think of Those in Need
Forget Their Manners

The Berenstains themselves (Stan and Jan and their son, Mike, who is writing the books now) are/were Christian and some of the newer books are more overtly Christian. In my family we love the Berenstain Bears so much we got those too and found them to be good stories with opportunities for talking about what we believe and what others believe. Here are some of those:

The Berenstain Bears and The Big Question
The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings
The Berenstain Bears and The Golden Rule

And finally, there are a few that are probably going to be too religious for your tastes, but that your husband might like to read to your dd:

God Loves You!
Say Their Prayers

Note: We own these last two just because we are completists, but both my dh and I are agnostic and by the time we read them to dd she was old enough to think of herself as either an atheist or an agnostic (and a Unitarian Universalist first and foremost) so there was no worry of the books generating conflict of differing beliefs for us.

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#22 of 86 Old 01-09-2010, 04:07 AM
 
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...subbing...
Hello UU mamas! I may have posted several threads ago with questions about being UU or maybe I was just lurking. Anywho, I've been attending a UU church for a few months now and really was enjoying it.
I am moving to a new city soon and have visited their one and only UUC and I am sad to say I don't enjoy it as much. Do any of you have any suggestions that may help me to feel more at home at the new church, once we make our final move at the end of this month? I was really getting something from the services here and my 4yo dd really enjoyed the RE classes. I am going through a very rough time in my life and the community I found here was really helpful. Also I need something to look forward to every week.
I also have an incredibly active 6 mo, so certain activities may be hard for me to participate in.

Thank you to the PPs for your book suggestions. I've been wanting that info as well.

I hope everyone had a nice solstice, Christmas and New Year's
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#23 of 86 Old 01-09-2010, 04:10 AM
 
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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.
Atobols- I hope you find a way to go if you're feeling the need. I totally understand the scared part.

I don't understand the part about why it's wierd your ped is the RE Instr. Wouldn't it be easier that it's someone you dc already knows?
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#24 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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I became a member of my congregation this morning. The service was really moving. I just love the love and acceptance from the congregation and minister and just everyone.
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#25 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 04:13 AM
 
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I became a member of my congregation this morning. The service was really moving. I just love the love and acceptance from the congregation and minister and just everyone.
that's awesome ziggy!
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#26 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Congratulations, ziggy! That's wonderful!

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#27 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Lovin' It and welcome to the Winter Thread!

I'm sorry you are going to be moving away from the church you like. A few years ago I got a new job in Omaha and we were fully intent on moving. We got an apartment in Omaha while we tried to sell our house in West Des Moines. For a couple months I attended the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. It was fine, but I missed my old church terribly. Through a surprising turn of events we ended up returning to Iowa so I was able to come back to the church I love.

Before you leave you might want to talk to your minister and friends at your current church and see if anyone knows someone at your new church. The DRE at my church at that time knew the DRE of the Omaha church and was able to help me make a connection. You could also post on this thread which new church you are going to (if you are comfortable with doing that) and maybe you will get lucky and find you already have an online friend there. Beyond that I can only suggest you attend the new church several times to allow yourself to start to feel comfortable there. And know that it is perfectly natural to miss your old church. Because UU churches vary so much you may never like the new one as well, but I hope after you start to feel at home in your new community you do start to enjoy and find support at your new church. Good luck!

Adele

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#28 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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Thank you Adele!

Wonderful suggestions. I'm moving back to Eugene, OR. I did meet a few people there that I made a connection with. I will try to concentrate on that. One of the hardest things for me is that they don't have a "cry" room. My 6 mos. old doesn't cry really, but she talks LOUD and is extremely active (everyone says she's on the 9 mos. old walker track). I like to listen to the sermon and music and be a part of the adult group without disturbing everyone, but it's near impossible without a room to listen/watch from.
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#29 of 86 Old 01-11-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Hi Everyone,

I have only been attending our UU services here since November but they have been wonderful.

I decided I would attend the Building Your Own Theology workshops (Ethics) starting soon and wanted to know if anyone had experience with this series. The are also looking at OWL (Our Whole Lives) and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear it.

Also - when you talk membership, what does that mean for you and your church? Our particular church website doesn't say anything about it - but other neighbouring churches talk about pledging and paying money to the church - is it expensive? (Don't want actual figures, we just aren't rich).

Many blessings and thanks!

Nicole: mama to DD and DS, childbirth educator and doula. Dancing the spiral dance of life bellycast.gif

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#30 of 86 Old 01-12-2010, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome to the thread, singin_angel!

At my church we talk about the "four P's of membership". They are:

Presence - This means attending services regularly, whatever "regularly" means to you. We certainly don't take attendance or anything like that , but we feel everyone contributes to the church experience for everyone else. In other words, if you think you won't be missed you are mistaken.

Participation - This refers to getting involved in the church in whatever ways are meaningful for you. You can teach a class, usher a service, join a committee. Everyone enjoys different things, but everyone has something to contribute. It is through this participation that we make and strengthen our connections to each other.

Pledging - We do expect our members to make and fulfill a financial pledge each year. However, it is not "expensive" because each member (or household) decides for themselves how much to pledge. My church gives out charts of suggested amounts, but they are all based on percentages of income and in any case they are only suggestions. Personally, I think it is important for members to pledge some amount rather than just "give what you can when you can" because it allows the church to budget and because pledging is a representation of your committment to the church. Also, as my minister said at the last canvas, "We are not your creditors, we're your church." I have no doubt that if I lost my job or something else happened that preventing me from fulfilling my pledge, it would be forgiven. My church, and I'm sure yours as well, supports its members during hard times, it doesn't add to their problems.

Pass It On - This means when you've found something wonderful, don't keep it a secret - tell people about it! I try to do this is several ways, not the least of which is keeping these threads going on MDC!

HTH!

Peace.

Adele

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