Apr 252018
 
dup-circles

  Dances of Universal Peace Return to Springfield

Sunday, May 20, 2 pm

Springfield UU Church, 21 Fairground Road

The DANCES OF UNIVERSAL PEACE (DUP) are simple, joyous, meditative, multicultural, circle dances that use sacred phrases, chants, music and movements to touch the spiritual essence within ourselves, and recognize it in others. These Dances are based on teachings embraced by Universal Sufism. No musical or dance experience of any kind is required, and everyone is welcomed to join in. The DANCES focus on PEACE, creating a sense of solidarity and community, while celebrating the underlying unity of all the spiritual traditions of the earth.

COME AND BE A PART OF THE CIRCLE THAT CONNECTS ALL OF HUMANITY!
Apr 172017
 

uu-banner-2-230x400In our congregation we have a wonderful way to get to know each other at a deeper level and to have meaningful conversations about spiritual issues: Our Small Group Program. For many member, the small group is a highlight of their month, a time to connect with old and new friends, to explore worthwhile topics in a respectful space that is conducive for deep reflection and sharing. We have three groups: one which meets once a month on Thursday — contact Jeff Taft Dick about this at taftdickjeff@gmail.com. One groups is facilitated by Rev. M’ellen and meets usually once a month on one of the Sundays after church. This is a drop in group open to anyone who would like to participate.

Here is an example of a small group session:

fopspiritualpractice2018-mar-wellness-wk

 

Feb 272017
 
You’re invited to participate in our Small Group Program.
An opportunity for developing friendship and growing spiritually.
In the groups, we set aside time to go deeper, to listen respectfully to ourselves and each other, and to explore spiritual topics.  The groups have trained facilitators and are fulfilling and fun.  One group meets once a month on Sunday after church and the other on Thursday afternoon.  The Sunday meeting is facilitated by Rev. M’ellen and is a drop-in group, meaning You’re welcome to come when You can.  You don’t have to make a commitment to attend each meeting.  The Thursday group is ongoing and You’re asked to make a commitment to be a regularly attending member.
This year our groups will be a chance to explore in more detail how we can and are
taking back our lives – (the theme of our church year and of some of the worship services).  At each monthly meeting, we’ll explore topics such meditating, creating community, the arts and our spirituality, cultivating self-discipline, and celebrating race amity.  We really hope You’ll join us if You’re looking for more opportunities for community and reflection.  Questions?  Speak with Ellen Allman ellenallman@gmeail.com or Rev. M’ellen mellenken@aol.com 802-377-2999.
Feb 232017
 

Come join us in the church activities room for discussion over a healthy potluck lunch.  What ways are You reclaiming your life?  We’ll find and share inspiration with each other.  Free copies of the book “50 Shortcuts to a Sugar-Free Life” are available on the harvest table if You need an extra boost of ideas on taking back your body and diet.  Our discussion will range over whatever topics are on your heart and need not be limited to food and diet.

Feb 092017
 

Come join us in the church activities room for discussion over a healthy potluck lunch.  What ways are You reclaiming your life?  We’ll find and share inspiration with each other.  Free copies of the book “50 Shortcuts to a Sugar-Free Life” are available on the harvest table if You need an extra boost of ideas on taking back your body and diet.  Our discussion will range over whatever topics are on your heart and need not be limited to food and diet.

Sep 052016
 
You’re invited to participate in our Small Group Program.
An opportunity for developing friendship and growing spiritually.
In the groups, we set aside time to go deeper, to listen respectfully to ourselves and each other, and to explore spiritual topics.  The groups have trained facilitators and are fulfilling and fun.  One group meets once a month on Sunday after church and the other on Thursday afternoon.  The Sunday meeting is facilitated by Rev. M’ellen and is a drop-in group, meaning You’re welcome to come when You can.  You don’t have to make a commitment to attend each meeting.  The Thursday group is ongoing and You’re asked to make a commitment to be a regularly attending member.
This year our groups will be a chance to explore in more detail how we can and are
taking back our lives – (the theme of our church year and of some of the worship services).  At each monthly meeting, we’ll explore topics such meditating, creating community, the arts and our spirituality, cultivating self-discipline, and celebrating race amity.  We really hope You’ll join us if You’re looking for more opportunities for community and reflection.  Questions?  Speak with Ellen Allman ellenallman@gmeail.com or Rev. M’ellen mellenken@aol.com 802-377-2999.
Oct 302015
 

Every board meeting has some standard agenda items, including the treasurer’s report, minister’s report, etc. The good news is- its all good news! Bob says we have enough money in our checking account, and M’ellen reports that, from her perspective, we are doing well. Good news indeed!

One of the things that the Trustees are working on is an analysis of, and improvement of, church communications systems. As we plan for growth, having good communication with all the parts of our congregation is key. M’ellen has a template from another congregation that we’ll use as a guide in creating a communications document for us.

And one of the most important parts of that is our Church Directory. Because of the need to protect people’s privacy, we will be sending out a new form so you may indicate what kinds of information you are comfortable sharing, and what kinds you are not. Of course our Church will never share anyone’s private information beyond our community, but what kind of data are you comfortable sharing within it? Telephone? Email? Address? We need your phone number to have a working telephone tree, most often in case we need to cancel church because of bad weather. So we need to find the balance between public and private, within the context of our Church. Look for more on this topic!

It is both achingly sad and deeply meaningful to be preparing for the Memorial Service, on Sunday, November 8th at 3 pm,  for one of our own, Susan Hunter. This is what we do for each other- honoring the memories, supporting her family, saying goodbye. Susan had just joined the Board when her life took a different turn. Fare thee well, Dear One!

And we carry on… with Coffee Houses, Film Series, Small Group Ministries, SundayServices, great programs for our children, and so much more.  Let It Be a Dance We Do…!

Oct 012015
 

Dear Friends,
In the news today we’re hearing of several stories of contentiousness involving religion.  The flap over a presidential candidate opposing a Muslim sitting in the White House (when our country is founded on religious freedom), the clerk in Kentucky who will not file marriage licenses for gay couples, internationally the Syrian refugees crisis, and the rise of ISIS.
At the same time, a growing body of religious leaders are standing against interreligious fighting and contentiousness, and are standing in solidarity with each other, with justice, with respect for each other and the Earth.   The harmonizing, peace-giving, restorative face of religion is a powerful and hopeful force in the world today. The Pope’s declaration on the environment and on economic justice are examples.  Interfaith groups of Christians, Jews and Muslims have launched a national campaign, “We Refuse to Be Enemies.”  And internationally, the Parliament of World Religions is meeting this month in Salt Lake City “to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”
I feel very fortunate because I will be attending the Parliament as part of a Sufi delegation.  I first heard about the Parliament in Seminary when taking history classes.  You see, the first Parliament took place in 1893 in Chicago, less than a mile from the UU seminary I attended.  From its inception, the Parliament has been a beacon of hope in our world.  If You want to learn more, please visit http://www.parliamentofreligions.org//mission
After the inaugural event in 1893, the Parliament did not convene for 100 years. It was started again in Chicago in 1993.  Since then it is held every few years at various locations around the globe, recently in Australia and also Spain.  So this year’s gathering in Salt Lake City, though far away in some ways, is relatively close by on a global scale.  Some of this year’s presenters in Salt Lake City will be the Indigenous Grandmothers, the Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Arun Ghandi (grandson of the Mahatma), Krista Tippett, Eboo Patel, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel laureate –Mairead Maguire, Dr. John L. Esposito, Marianne Williamson, and Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Arikirangi Rose Pere.  I am grateful that I will have the opportunity to hear their wisdom, and be in their collective presences along with the other 10,000 or so attendees from around the world.
I am especially looking forward to the music which will be performed at the Parliament.  Rev. Patty Willis of the South Valley UU Church in Salt Lake, a friend of mine, and her partner, Mary Lou Price, Music Director there, have been commissioned to write, and with the Parliament choir, perform the opening theme for the Parliament. We in Springfield will actually get a chance to hear some of the music from the Parliament performed by our choir on October 25.
At the worship in Springfield on October 25, I’ll share with You stories and insights from the Parliament.  In this church year, as we explore how to cultivate optimism and be passionate about the impossible, I think that the examples of interfaith cooperation, synergy and harmony are especially inspiring and appropriate.  I believe in the power of prayer because I have experienced it in my life.  My greatest hope for the Parliament is that the collective prayers of all of these sincere hearts attuned to Love will create a ripple of Love which will encircle the planet and continue to help all of us awaken  more to our greatest good.  I look forward to sharing with You what I experience in Salt Lake City.  See You at Church..
With Love,
Rev. M’ellen