Do you recognize the photo below? Do you know where it is in our building? Who made it? What the writing says?
While we were preparing the slide show for our January presentation to the Wise Elders, Ginny Black and I realized that this lovely piece of artwork, created by Elsa Deutsch, who also made the copper doors and chandeliers, had not been included in the Treasures of UUCB book. Covered with blue transparent paper, it fills the diamond-shaped skylight in the back of the Earth Room (originally called the Hearth Room and the only socializing space in the building before the Sky Room was built). If you look closely, you will see that on the bottom is carved the words “Thus Our Religion Shall Be.” Make sure to look for it next time you are at church!
PRINTED SERMONS AND OTHER EARTH ROOM TALKS IN OUR COLLECTION
Often members and friends have asked if we had a copy of past sermons or other Earth Room talks that have been given over the years. DVDs have been made of every service for the past seven or eight years, but what about printed copies of sermons/talks from earlier years — or if you would just like to read a talk rather than watch and listen to a entire service?
This summer, Ginny Black and Tessa Davis created an inventory of all the printed sermons/talks we could find in UUCB’s Archives Room. We were amazed at how many we have in our collection from the 1950’s onwards — a total of 372! They include 320 from all eight (Maloney, Pennington, Meek, Whitman, Stefancic, Kuhwald, Ziegler and Gunn) of UUCB’s past ministers. (We are hoping to get printed copies of some of Howell’s sermons, but currently do not have any.) The rest are sermons/talks given by other UU ministers, leaders from the Boulder community, and our own past and present lay members, including current members Reed Bailey, Robert Bushnell, Alan Davis, Sally DuGar and Jim Hester.
Many of the sermon/talk titles from past years seem as current as if they were written today! A few examples from earlier decades that intrigued us are: The Relevance of Job for the Modern Liberal (1964); Towards a Theology of Technology (1975); I’m Righter Than You Are: Compassion and its Shadow Twin (1997)
If you are interested in reading or learning more about our collection of print sermons/talks, please speak to either Tessa or Ginny and schedule a time to visit the Archives.
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Our Archives also contain over fifty old 8” magnetic recording tapes many of which have either sermons or educational lectures recorded in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. We would love to hear from anyone who has an old reel-to-reel tape recorder and an interest in helping us decide if any are worth transferring to a more modern media. We plan to transfer the few VHS tapes that we have to DVDs in the coming year.
Our congregation has been blessed for the past year with the lovely, sonorous sounds of a Tibetan singing bowl to guide us in and out of meditation during our Sunday services.
The bowl, along with its clapper and cushion, were donated to UUCB by longtime UUCB member Diana Maiden early in 2013. The Worship Committee had recognized the need for a more resonant and lower toned bowl; and Diana, a member of the committee, immediately offered to find and donate one. After sampling many bowls at Old Tibet on Pearl Street, she chose the one we now enjoy and presented it to us. Inscribed on the bowl are the Tibetan symbols for the most familiar and beloved Buddhist mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM. While talking with the owner of Old Tibet, Narayan Shrestha, he reminded Diana that, when she was UUCB’s administrator in the late 1980’s, he used to rent the Sky Room at UUCB for occasional large (and raucous) Tibetan dinners. If the church ever wants to get another bowl, Narayan also said that Old Tibet will happily take this one back as a partial trade.
Please thank Diana when you see her for this wonderful gift which blesses us each week.
Many thanks to Shirley Bulla who, while going through all of Bill’s files, collected all the newsletters, service bulletins, and other assorted mailings they had received from the church over the years and donated them to our Archives. We’ve been able to fill in many of the gaps in our records thanks to Bill’s saving habits. Mary Jean Ewing has also recently gone through her old files and found several documents that will be warmly welcomed into our collection! Tessa and Ginny encourage everyone not to throw out old church documents before checking with us to see if we could use them.
***50 YEARS AGO January 1964. The Reverend Philip Pennington preached at the church on the first two Sundays in January, 1964 and was subsequently called to be the Unitarian Church of Boulder’s (as we were then called) 2nd called minister at a full-time salary of $8200! He was the first minister in the almost-completed church building on Pennsylvania Avenue which had held its first services there on Christmas Eve the month before.
***25 YEARS AGO January 1989. Topic for the January 8 service at UUCB was “Humanism and the Problem of Evil” with Professor Darryl Mehring from Regis University. On January 15, UUCB’s minister, Dr. Forrest Whitman spoke about “M.L.King Jr.: The Warrior.” On January 29, after the service, the congregation held its Annual Well Blessing Ceremony before their Congregational Meeting and potluck. The church operated on the calendar year at that time, and besides electing officers and approving the budget at the meeting, the congregation also discussed the possibility of changing the church’s mission and discussing program ideas to support it.
***COMING UP THIS WINTER... Have you ever wondered about the story behind the copper doors outside Howell’s office, or the stained glass window in the sanctuary? Or what the church was like in the 60’s, or 80’s or 00’s? If so, plan to attend a 3-session class this winter when Tessa Davis will lead an Adult RE class that will give you the answers to these questions and more that you may have about UUCB’s past and our building’s art treasures.