Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

Monthly Archives: January 2020

Family-Friendly Potluck

102-0250_IMGCatherine and Andy Burgess are hosting a Family-Friendly Potluck at their house on Friday March 8th, 6 to 8:30pm (2615 6th St., Boulder). This is our first event for the Family Group. We hope you are able to make it! The Burgess’ will provide a main dish. Attendees can sign up to bring an appetizer, salad, dessert, or drinks.

Please RSVP by March 1 to Catherine. They are looking forward to having UUCB families over to their house.

Lifespan Faith Development

At the end of January, a group of UUCB members had an incredible opportunity to attend the MDD Building Beloved Community conference at JUC in Golden. The theme this year was “Love Beyond Belief.” My initial thought as to what this title meant sounded something like “Wow, I can’t believe how much I love you!” And while that was a part of it, the conference focused more on loving others no matter what your or their beliefs are.

Rev. Dr. Thandeka, our presenter for the weekend, led us through various activities that included deep listening of our heartbeat, identification of our “bliks” (beliefs and walls that make up a core being of ourselves and influence how we interact with the world and others in it), and how to bring awareness to these “bliks” so that we might be able to watch our triggers and participate in our congregations and small-group ministries in the most productive, loving ways possible.

For me personally, identifying my “bliks” has opened up a great deal for myself, and how I relate with others. I would encourage all of you to reflect and find your own “bliks;” what do you believe so deeply, that if you didn’t have it, it would feel like you were dying? What beliefs and/or walls do you have that prevent or push you to engage with your peers, your congregation, and your world? How do your own life experiences shape your “bliks”?

If you are interested in the idea of Loving Beyond Belief (or blik), I would recommend looking at Rev. Dr. Thandeka’s website, revthandeka.org, for more on a very influential UU Theologian. Additionally, look up R.M. Hare, the philosopher to first coin the term “blik.”

President’s Column

We did it! We lived our faith as a Beloved Community at UUCB by participating in the Special Congregational Meeting on Feb 3rd. Your voice was heard. Thanks to all the members who participated in the Forums and the Meeting. Because of your involvement we held a Congregational Meeting of which you can be proud. We participated in our democratic process and the vote of the overwhelming majority was to pass the Resolution of the Congregation Of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Colorado To Extend our Developmental Ministry Contract with the Reverend Howell Lind. There are several people I would like to especially thank. First, your Presidentelect, Whitney Wheeless, who worked tirelessly on the FAQ’s and the many revisions. All the Members of the UUCB Board who presented at the meeting with thoughtful, well prepared words; Ralph Hanson, Jennifer Skiendezielewski, George Brandon and Jason English. Also, Diane Gollnick, Moderator; Ginny Black, Clerk; Ted Burnham, Parliamentarian and Will Kropp, Treasurer who contributed to the structure of our meeting.

In addition, I thank several members who not only attended the Forums with thought provoking comments, but also spent their time helping to improve the Resolution of the Congregation. Special thanks to Bill Belew, Tessa Davis, Paul Reiderer and Steve Todd. Because of their effort we had a Resolution which represented the will of our congregation.

I would like to share with you a few messages I received regarding our meeting. “I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to you and the board for a very memorable church meeting. The care and reverence you brought to the entire process—the initial meetings where everyone’s voices were heard and respected, revising the resolution, providing the historical context, explaining the Robert’s Rules of Order, etc.—made for a very powerful and positive experience. I am glad I was there for this important moment in our church’s history. It is indeed part of the healing and bodes well as we move forward.” And “Addressing important issues like this is so important in helping the congregation develop new expectations on how they all work together, what democracy means in a religious community, etc.”

Our “work” has just begun. Now is the time to refine our goals for the next 5 years as your Board prepares to write a contract with Rev Howell Lind, hire a Faith Development Director and an Assistant Minister. The Board has appointed a Task Force to begin this process. Once again, it is time for our entire Congregation to become involved. Two Forums are scheduled to discuss our Goals: Sunday, March 17th, 9–10:15 a.m. and Monday, April 1st, 7:30–9 p.m. This is another opportunity for us to live our faith.

This is our Mission—Deepening Faith, Living Well and Enacting Justice.

UUA General Assembly

This year’s UUA General Assembly will gather June 19th thru June 23rd, in Louisville, KY.
Registration, volunteer applications, and hotel reservation information will open March 1st at
generalassembly@uua.org. Also, the Pacific Western Regional Assembly will be held from April 26 to 28th, in San Jose, CA. Registration, Workshop offerings, and other information, will be available shortly.

If you have questions about either of these events please talk to me, or to Barbara Richards. Fred Cole – Denominational Affairs Representative.

Reflections on the Journey

“We are losing the hallmark of our species, the central feature of the human spirit – our sense of wonder.” This is the conclusion of the noted biological archaeologist, Melvin Konner, in a passage from his book, The Tangled Wing. Dr. Konner suggests that, at this juncture in the evolutionary cycle, the human spirit is insufficiently developed.

If early humanity had a sense of the mystery and awe and wonder to their lives, over the ages since, we have either lost or misplaced that “hallmark of our species.” Konner places an emphasis on re-capturing that sense of wonder if we are to further human development and work towards achieving our fullest human potential.

I couldn’t agree more.

In recent sermons I have attempted to emphasize our need to slow down in our busy lives, to find moments for reflection and centering, and to reconnect with that feeling of reverence for the amazing gift of life.

And I do recognize that this is not a particularly easy task. Daily are we surrounded by the defeating news that floods our thoughts and our emotions – of a crazy, often incomprehensible inhumanity going on throughout the world that we read and hear about. And it is not just the reports of bombing death, destruction and war, but it is also of the inequity, the poverty, and the human propensity to turn to the baser sides of our humanity.

It is not as easy as it sounds, given the worst of humanity that we read about. But perhaps it is precisely because of all the terrible news we are exposed to, that the need to recapture a centering sense of wonder to life becomes all the more important and needed.

When I lived in Maine I discovered the poetry of Phillip Booth. Over the intervening years since that discovery, Phillip Booth has become one of my favorite poets. In a poem which Booth calls “To Think,” he reminds us that after the Big Bang when “the universe that we know” got started, had there been a fraction less expansion, the universe would have collapsed – a fraction more, and gravity would not have held the stars. But then living stuff came along, and consciousness – the biggie that nobody understands – consciousness evolved.

And Phillip Booth, sitting in his ocean front cottage Downeast wondered: “Suppose we human beings are the only truly conscious critters in the entire universe? What reason have we to imagine that anyone might imagine us?

Then he goes on: “Who, for goodness sake, until we invented God, who could believe? We love to believe . . . we have to believe . . . we love.

But to think: After we go, in the last millisecond, when the planet will be beyond wonder – without wonder, what we were ever about?”

That is a question well worth our reflection. Without wonder, what ARE we about? I would maintain that wonder is at the soul of religion and it is religion that gives us to know what we are about. We feel it. Intuit it. And wonder opens us up to it; opens us to a sense of the spirit and a sense of the religious!

Where do you find wonder in your days? Discovering it, naming it, and appreciating it – give it some thought. Doing so can help us reclaim that hallmark of our humanity.

— Howell

See Change

Consider the changes in your life… past, present and future.

The work being done at UUCB is focused on helping each of us discover deeper spiritual meaning, while living in covenant with others and promoting social justice in the world. As we do this work, we are finding that lives are being changed. In the time that lies before us we are looking for your commitment to help us do even more, creating a sea change in our own lives and in those around us.

Our campaign for supporting our work in 2013-2014 is named, “See Change.” With your generosity we will have the resources to bring on an Assistant Minister this year and to be an even more effective force in our liberal religious community.

Think how far we have come in the last few years. As our good friend George Brandon recently summarized, “Brainstorming together, working together, digging deeper and pitching in our resources together, we’ve accomplished a lot.” We renovated the facility, built a playground, added solar panels, established robust Lifespan Faith Development programs, became a teaching congregation that welcomed Gretchen Haley and Kelly Dignan…the list goes on…

Shortly, we will need your pledge because our 2013-2014 budget depends on knowing how much revenue we can expect in the upcoming fiscal year. Without your pledge, it is impossible for us to reliably predict how much we can commit to our programs. Pledge cards will be distributed during services on March 3rd and March 10th.

In the words of Michael Durall, “Giving should not be too easy, nor too hard…for better or worse, issues surrounding money and stewardship play a critical role in the ability of a church to fulfill its mission and calling.”

Thank you for all you do both for UUCB and for everyone in our congregation. Your substantial generosity will allow us to see great changes in our own lives and in those of our community.

–Will Kropp, Treasurer

/blog/ subsite developed by Boulder Information Services.