Kaleidoscope February, 2016

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1 Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church 2001 California Lane Arlington, Texas Kaleidoscope February, 2016 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM IN ARLINGTON Sunday Feb. 7 10:00 a.m. Sunday School Gang (adult RE): History of Christianity; Coffee CUUPS in the library 11:00 a.m. Alice Burkhart speaks on honeybee care 12:30 p.m. Congregation Compassionate Communication Workshop (lunch served) see more on page 3 Sunday Feb :00 a.m. Big Questions Forum, led by Keven Holt; Coffee Hour in the library 11:00 a.m. Dr. Steve Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School, TCU, speaks (see page 2) 12:30 p.m. Board Meeting Sunday Feb :00 a.m. Sunday School Gang: The Holy Land Revealed ; Coffee Hour in the library 11:00 a.m. Rev. Larry Brumfield speaks (see page 2) Sunday Feb :00 a.m. The Spectrum of Consciousness and Expanding It: host Gregory Ellis; Coffee Hour in the library 11:00 a.m. Matt Pargeter-Villarreal speaks on Getting Your Ducks In a Row 12:30 p.m. Potluck luncheon/congregation Community Building Event Telling Our Stories For more information about UU visit the north Texas cluster website at and the national UUA website at Pledging: It costs only about $45 per pledging unit per month to sustain the Arlington UU Church. Please give what you can. To make a contribution of record, use one of the offering envelopes or indicate Pledge on your check. Thank you for your support.

2 Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle Speaks February 14 Stephen V. Sprinkle is Professor of Practical Theology, and has held the office of Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry since 1994 at Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. A native of North Carolina, and educated with a B.A. from Barton College, an M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duke University Graduate School, he is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists. Dr. Sprinkle was named Hero of Hope by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, for his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community and currently serves as Theologian-in- Residence for the Cathedral. In 2013, he was named Director of Baptist Programming for the Divinity School. He holds professional memberships in the Academy of Religious Leadership, the Association of Theological Field Educators, and is a member of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy. Dr. Sprinkle is a human rights advocate, a widely sought speaker, and an internationally recognized authority on anti- LGBTQ hate crimes. Dr. Sprinkle is the author of many articles and chapters in books, and of three books: Disciples and Theology (1999) and Ordination (2004), both published by Chalice Press, and Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims (2011) by Resource Publications. Unfinished Lives won the International Silver Medal in Gay/Lesbian Non-fiction, given by the Independent Publisher Book Awards (the IPPYs) in In 2013, his book was translated into Korean and published in the Republic of Korea under the title, Who Trampled Down the Rainbow Flag?: Remembering the Death of Victims of Hate Crimes Against the Sexual Minority (Seoul, South Korea: Alma Publishing Co. Ltd.). Dr. Sprinkle is the founder and webmaster of and an official blogger for the Huffington Post. AUUC is very honored to have Dr. Sprinkle speak from our pulpit as part of our continuing project to qualify as a Unitarian Universalist Welcoming Congregation. Rev. Larry Brumfield Rev. Brumfield was called and ordained in the Church of the Brethren. His seminary was founded by Church of the Brethren and Quakers. He was a founding member of Northwest UU of Baltimore in This congregation morphed into the CedarHurst UU Church of Finksburg, MD, He is former pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Baltimore and Washington City Church of the Brethren in Washington, D.C. Before moving to Texas, Rev. Brumfield served as the Chair of Equality Maryland's Pride in Faith, an alliance of religious and faith leaders committed to LGBT equality and justice, and a Founding Member of the Maryland Black Family Alliance (MBFA). His occupation before retiring more than 10 years ago was in engineering and business management. Rev. Brumfield is a member of Oak Cliff UU Church in Dallas, where he preaches frequently. Rev. Brumfield (center) with the Common Ground Street Choir at the Dallas Selma Echo in

3 Compassionate Communication Workshop Compassionate Communication has guided hundreds of Unitarian Universalist leaders in growing and deepening their UU faith development in their congregations. It also supports increasing our skills and effectiveness in emotional, social, ecological, and spiritual intelligence by accessing and articulating not only our feelings, but the universal human needs behind those feelings. During this workshop we will introduce the fundamentals of Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication), and through interactive and reflective exercises we will provide opportunities for participants to not only practice, but also to expand their compassionate consciousness. Suitable for all ages and stages. Winter Congregational Meeting The 2016 winter congregational meeting was held Sunday, January 31. Following presentation of the minutes of the 2015 annual meeting by Doreen Kaszak and a mid-year Treasurer s report by Larry Heath, the voting members present (who met the requirement for a quorum) first took up the business of electing a Nominating Committee for 2016, per AUUC Bylaws Article VI, Section 1: A Nominating Committee consisting of three persons, all Active Members of the Church, shall be nominated and elected at the winter congregational meeting. Its function shall be to nominate candidates for the offices and trusteeship of the Church. Persons elected to the 2016 Nominating Committee are Zak Kaszak, Joyce Rury, and Tu Le. The second order of new business was consideration of three proposed amendments to the AUUC Bylaws. The first was a simple change to the description of the Publicity Committee to include maintaining a church website. The second, a proposal to increase the requirement for a quorum at congregational meetings from 30% to 50% of voting members was tabled at the recommendation of the Acting President, John I. Blair. The third, concerning requirements for voting membership, was adopted with the following wording: An Active (voting) Member must be at least 16 years of age, have been a member for at least 60 days and have made a contribution of record (i.e., a contribution clearly identified with their name) to the Church within the last 364 days. Additionally they must have attended at least four Sunday services of AUUC following entry of their name in the Membership Book, their attendance been recorded by the membership Committee Chair or another person designated for that task, and (for members new to UU) participated in a class on the basics of Unitarian Universalism, with that participation recorded and the participation record filed in the person s membership file. Changes are not retroactive. 3

4 AUUC Notes: The Importance of Volunteers Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church is a layled organization, governed by the active (voting) members of the congregation through the medium of a Board of Trustees elected yearly. Critical to its functioning from day to day is the activity of the many volunteers who do tasks ranging from putting out the hymnals on Sunday morning to making sure there are snacks and drinks for coffee hour, books on the library shelves, flowers in the sanctuary, accompaniment for our singing, and a host of other things. The more hands, the lighter the work! We especially need specific skills such as musical talent, plumbing repair, electrical work, decoration, painting, gardening. Ask a Board member for guidance or sign up on the volunteer bulletin board. What s Happening in Arlington February 11, Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m. in The Lone Star Theater at the Maverick Activities Center (500 West Nedderman Drive at UTA), the Arlington Police Department will present a film ( Waking in Oak Creek ) about attacks on Sikhs in Wisconsin. It is part of a nationwide program against hate crimes known as "Not in Our Town". Further info Plot summary: As the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, prepares for Sunday prayers, a deadly hate attack shatters their lives but not their resilience. After six worshipers are killed by a white supremacist, the local community finds inspiration in the Sikh tradition of forgiveness and faith. Lieutenant Murphy, shot 15 times in the attack, joins the mayor and police chief as they forge new bonds with the Sikh community. Young temple members, still grieving, emerge as leaders in the quest to end the violence. In the year following the tragedy, thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism. UUs Born This Month Paul N. Carnes, third president of the UUA (Feb 1) Horace Greeley, editor and politician (Feb 3) Josiah Quincy, statesman, author, Harvard president (Feb 4) David Reed, founder of The Christian Register (Feb 6) Pierre Van Paassen, author, Unitarian minister (Feb 7) Lydia E. Pinkham, patent medicine manufacturer (Feb 9) Lydia Maria Child, author (Feb 11) Charles Darwin, scientist, evolutionist (Feb 12) Jeremy Bentham, English economist and philosopher (Feb 15) James Russell Lowell, poet, essayist diplomat (Feb 22) Linus Pauling, chemist, peace activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner (Feb 28) see page 4 AUUC Mission Statement Our mission is to provide a nourishing environment: In which liberal religious thought and spiritual growth are encouraged; where doubt is welcome and free choice is the rule In which we will be motivated to contribute to the betterment of all life In which we will teach and promote all of the other Unitarian Universalist values, embodied in the Seven Principles 4

5 Meet Linus Pauliing UUism is a creedless religion our deeds speak louder than our words and so it may be easier to understand UUism as a living faith by noting the individuals who have been associated with UUism. The only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes, Linus Carl Pauling ( ) was born in Portland, Oregon. Starting his career at Caltech in the 1920s, he became one of the most distinguished scientists of the 20th century, helping to integrate chemistry with quantum theory and founding the discipline now called molecular biology. From 1945 on much of his time was devoted to antiwar activities and stopping atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. In 1939 Pauling wrote The Nature of the Chemical Bond, which has been called the most important chemical text of the twentieth century. Eight years later he wrote the most popular freshman chemistry text ever published, General Chemistry (which ultimately made him a wealthy man). Pauling did work that later helped Watson and Crick unlock the genetic code, identified the cause of sickle cell anemia, and demonstrated how anesthetics work on the brain. His work as a pacifist following WWII ultimately led him to becoming a Unitarian because [Unitarianism] accepts as members people who believe in trying to make the world a better place. He won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1954 and for peace in In an article in the Fall 1974 issue of Humanist magazine, he said, my basic philosophy is oriented to the diminution of suffering in the world. (based on I am constantly asked by students how I get good ideas. My answer is simple: First, have a lot of ideas. Then, throw away the bad ones. Satisfaction of one s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. Perhaps, as one of the older generation, I should preach a little sermon to you, but I do not propose to do so. I shall, instead, give you a word of advice about how to behave toward your elders. When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or has lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong. So you must always be skeptical always think for yourself. 5

6 Poetry Corner: SALVATION By what are you saved? And how? saved like a bit of string, tucked away in a drawer? Saved like a child rushed from a burning building, already singed and coughing smoke? Or are you salvaged like a car part the one good door when the rest is wrecked? February Religious Holidays Feb. 2 Candlemas - Presentation of Christ in the Temple - Christian Imbolc- Lughnassad - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern Hemispheres Saint Brighid of Kildare - Celtic Christian Feb. 3 St. Blaze Day - Christian Setsebun sai - Shinto Feb. 7 Four Chaplains Sunday - Interfaith Transfiguration Sunday - Christian Feb. 8 Chinese New Year/Tet - Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist: Begins a 15-day festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth. Feb. 9 Shrove Tuesday - Christian Feb. 10 Ash Wednesday - Christian Feb. 12 Triodion - Orthodox Christian Vasant Panshami - Hindu: Celebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of learning. Feb. 14 St. Valentine's Day - Christian Feb. 15 Nirvana Day - Buddhist - Jain Feb. 26 Ayyam-i-ha or Intercalary Days begin - Baha'i: Four days devoted to spiritual preparation for a 19-day fast in early March; celebrate hospitality, charity and gift giving. Do you believe me when I say you are neither salvaged nor saved, but salved, anointed by gentle hands where you are most tender? Haven t you seen the way snow curls down like a fresh sheet, how it covers everything, makes everything beautiful, without exception? Lynn Ungar from Blessing the Bread Skinner House Books,

7 Our Natural World AUUUC Plants and Animals Our nearly three acres of land, kept as natural as we can manage, contain besides a rich variety of plants a remarkable population of plants and animals of many species. The Chinese pistache, or Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis), starts out as an unattractive and misshapen young tree but grows gradually into a magnificent specimen with a height of up to 35 feet and an equal spread at maturity. It is a tough tree that can withstand urban conditions. This tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy and adds visual interest and beauty to landscaping. Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree. In a shaded area, it grows much more slowly. The Chinese pistache grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, welldrained and clay soils. It also grows well in drought conditions, withstands heat quite well, and shrugs off neglect. This tree is famous for providing fall color, with leaves turning beautiful shades of orange and red. In the growing season it features lustrous dark green leaves that are around 10" long and compound, commonly with (sometimes as many as 20) leaflets. Pistache trees produce panicles of greenish flowers in April and May. They then yield small, round (¼" diameter) orange to red drupes that ripen in October. Because of its plentiful, edible fruit, this tree is used by Xeriscape (dry landscaping) gardeners as a critical addition for wildlife. The seeds provide food for small rodents and birds while the flowers provide food for insects. 7 Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbrier) is a woody vine native to the Eastern United States and Canada. The leaves are glossy green, alternate, and circular to heartshaped. They are generally 5 13 cm long. Common greenbrier climbs other plants using green tendrils growing out of the petioles. The stems are round and green and have sharp spines. The flowers are greenish and are produced from April to August. Common greenbrier grows in roadsides, landscapes, clearings and woods. In clearings it often forms dense thickets. It grows throughout Eastern North America and as far west as Texas. Greenbrier thickets are great cover for wildlife. Many birds and other small animals, such as rabbits, hide inside Greenbriers for protection. Many birds also build nests in Greenbriers. Some of the animals which eat the leaves and stems of Greenbrier are white-tailed deer, beaver, and eastern cottontail. The flowers of Greenbrier attract insects such as blue bottle flies. These flies help pollinate the plants. The fruits are bluish-black berries (similar to blueberries). Many animals eat the berries, which stay on the plant through winter, including wild turkey, wood duck, northern cardinal, gray catbird, common crow, northern mockingbird, american robin, brown thrasher, cedar waxwing, pileated woodpecker, virginia opossum, raccoon, and squirrel.

8 New Books from Beacon Press: Turning Point Essays on a New Unitarian Universalism Editor: Fredric Muir In inspiring, fresh essays, 20 leaders show a way forward from an isolated, individualistic "ichurch". Outlining a bold vision for the future of Unitarian Universalism, they issue a clarion call for change in the denomination. They implore us to collectively liberate ourselves from patterns that prevent us from becoming a robust faith for a new age. Emerging from a history marred by the errors of individualism, exceptionalism, and antiauthoritarianism, Unitarian Universalism faces a crossroads. Turning Point shows a way forward, by embracing promises shaped from our theology: generosity, pluralism, and imagination. With essays that include the stories of creative new types of Unitarian Universalist communities across the country, this essential new collection outlines a liberal faith for the twenty-first century. It offers a vision of an inclusive, multicultural Beloved Community and inspires trust that Unitarian Universalism can deepen and grow once again, meeting the aching needs of a new generation. A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century Authors: John A. Buehrens, Rebecca Ann Parker Hope is rising. The political tide in the United States has turned, and people across the country who have been working for years for social change and justice finally feel as though they aren't struggling alone. Yet for those who ground their social activism in progressive religious belief, it is all too easy to feel spiritually divided and isolated, daunted by the apparent dominance of religious fundamentalists in the media and politics. The impact of liberal religion is richer and more far-reaching than many know a force for good that has inspired and supported two centuries of American social progress, from the abolition of slavery and the securing of women's rights to the present-day struggles for marriage equality, ecological responsibility, and global peace. In order to sustain our spirits and advance positive social change, progressive people need to claim the transforming power of our theological heritage. Authored by two leading progressive theologians, A House for Hope affirms that the shared hopes of religious progressives from many traditions can create a movement far stronger than fundamentalism: a liberal religious renaissance. Yet for it to flourish, progressive people must rediscover the spiritual sustenance available in the theological house our liberal forebears built, and embrace what our tradition truly holds sacred, as well as understanding what it rejects. In lively and engaging language, A House for Hope suggests that liberal religious commitment is based on expansive love for life rather than adherence to narrow dogma. With chapters that reveal the political and personal relevance of the enduring questions at the heart of this theology, A House for Hope shows how religious liberals have countered fundamentalists for generations, and provides progressives with not only a theological but also a spiritual foundation for the challenges of the 21st century. Cell phones should be turned off during the service. Food in the Sanctuary: So we can all enjoy a snack and fellowship afterwards, please do not bring food into the sanctuary during services and forums. (Water, in a spill-proof container, is permitted.) Facilities Use Policy: Permission must be obtained prior to use from the church board or, at minimum, the church president. The fee is $20/hour with one hour minimum, unless another rate is agreed upon by the AUUC Board. A copy of the policy and a user s contract will be provided on request to the Board. New Members Welcome: Membership in the Arlington UU Church is open to everyone 12 or older who is in sympathy with our purpose and principles. If you wish to join us, you need to complete and sign a membership form in the presence of an officer of the Church or the Membership Chair. Active (voting) members must be at least 16 and additionally make a financial contribution of record (i.e., with your name on it) during the year prior to, and be on the roster at least 60 days prior to, any congregational business meeting at which you wish to vote. Church Newsletter Editor: John Blair, , 8

9 Pantheism is the belief that the Universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an allencompassing, immanent god. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god. Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years, and some religions in the East continue to contain pantheistic elements. In the West, Pantheism was formalized as a separate theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, whose book Ethics was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza held the monist view that the two are the same, and monism is a fundamental part of his philosophy. He was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate. His work Ethics was the major source from which Western pantheism spread. Pantheism is derived from the Greek πᾶν pan (meaning "all") and θεός theos (meaning "God"). There are a variety of definitions of pantheism. Some consider it a theological and philosophical position concerning God. As a religious position, some describe pantheism as the polar opposite of atheism. From this standpoint, pantheism is the view that everything is part of an allencompassing, immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it. Some hold that pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Spinoza 9 Universe (in the sense of the totality of all existence) and God are identical (implying a denial of the personality and transcendence of God). The English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism this way: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance." In the early nineteenth century, the German theologian Julius Wegscheider defined pantheism as the belief that God and the world established by God are one and the same. During the 19th century, pantheism was the theological viewpoint of many leading writers and philosophers, attracting figures such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge in Britain; Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in Germany; and Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in the United States. In the late 20th century, pantheism was often declared to be the underlying theology of Neopaganism, and Pantheists began forming organizations devoted specifically to Pantheism and treating it as a separate religion. People who have been identified as Pantheists have included Albert Einstein, Alan Watts, Baruch Spinoza, Carl Jung, Carl Sagan, Emily Dickinson, Nikola Tesla, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rumi, and Lao Tzu. Adapted from the article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pantheism

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