NW Justice Summit

By John HIlke
This year, the NW Justice Summit, organized by JUUstice Washington, will be online (for obvious reasons) and this has allowed us to attract a wider range of panelists than in the past.  Unlike previous summits, all of 2020 summit programs will be sequential so that you can select the events that you want to attend and not miss any others. 

Also new this year, the Summit will reconvene in early December to discuss strategies for justice work in our state and beyond after the elections.

Please register for the NW JUUstice Summit by visiting the JUUstice Washington website — https://juustwa.org/ .  Closer to the event, registrants will get information for joining the various online sessions.  Feel free to forward the flyer to any folks you know who might be interested.

Please let John Hilke know if you have any problem registering.

Theme: Deep Listening

By Linda Sherry
What does it mean to be a people of Deep Listening?

Active Listening, a skillset taught broadly in the ’80s and ’90s, is defined as :

the ability to focus completely on a speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information and respond thoughtfully.

So how would you define Deep Listening? 

This month we will consider listening in more profound ways, ways we might call Deep Listening. 

Perhaps when we listen deeply, it is for more than information or exchange of thoughts. Perhaps it is when we listen for the reasons, for the context, for the issues, for the backstory, for the impact. Here are a few thoughts you might want to ponder as WUUC embarks on this month’s theme.

What if listening was really an act of love?

What if listening was really an act of prayer?

 Perhaps you’ve discovered in those rare moments of deep listening that a space suddenly opens up? A space that feels sacred. A space that, once you’ve experienced it, you never want to leave.

“To listen deeply is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.”
— Henri Nouwen

“We don’t just listen for clarity and guidance, we listen to become larger. Those voices calling us home are our home. We don’t have conversations, we are our conversations. …

“We must remember friends: Who we listen to is who we become.”
— Rev. Scott Tayler

“Listening to both sides of a story will convince you that there is more to a story than both sides.”
— Frank Tyger

Do we only listen to the words?  What if we listen to the silence between the words?

Listening in moments without words… a cricket chirps…  my heart beats…  life is precious… I am filled with gladness.

How to Welcome EVERYONE into Beloved Community

How to Welcome EVERYONE into Beloved Community

By Jean Fowler
Coming Oct. 19: “Transgender Inclusion in Congregations” – Offered by the Welcoming Congregations Committee

This eight-session Zoom course, beginning on Oct. 19, is designed to support our congregation as we strive to become ever more Welcoming to All – to include being fully inclusive and affirming of people of all genders.  Our initial offering will be limited to 12 participants who we ask to commit to attending all 8 sessions between Oct. 19, 2020 and Feb. 8, 2021 from 7-9 p.m.   Register for the course at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd0LqIRHlN-EbXGJlg-7ewFVLN6FovllsRva52MAeGKPyLyKw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

Several members of the Welcoming Congregation Committee have gone through this curriculum themselves and highly recommend it.

The course was created by the Transforming Hearts Collective, a team of amazing trans UU religious professionals, and uses pre-recorded videos and guided conversations to deepen our understanding of gender identity and expression in spiritual community. This class is an important step in living WUUC’s Welcome Congregations commitment, and we invite you to be part of it.

This curriculum was developed by a collective of individuals that include Zr. Alex Kapitan and Rev. Mykal Slack, who are the presenters of the course. Many of you may remember Rev. Mykal Slack’s prayer during the Sunday service at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly [[https://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2020/sunday-worship (starting at 30 minutes and 30 seconds into the video)]

Through six hour-long video lectures, followed by Zoom group discussions, we will:

** explore mainstream narratives about who trans people are;

** explore our understanding of non-binary identities and

** enhance our skills in relationship-building

Participants will be asked to watch each video prior to the group gathering where we will consider discussion questions, share personal experiences and reflect on our understanding of gender-based issues.  The last session will focus on how we can put our learning into practice and enhance WUUC’s Welcome to All.

You can learn more about the curriculum at the collective’s website https://www.transforming heartscollective.org/

The Course will be offered on the following dates:

Oct. 19 – Introductions, Covenanting, Course Outline

Nov. 2 – Introduction to Beloved Community:  Welcome as a Spiritual Practice

Nov. 16 – Gender and Our Faith Community

Nov. 30 – Unpacking the Gender Binary

Dec. 14 – Trans Experience and Spirituality

Jan. 11 – The Role of Culture in Trans Exclusion

Jan. 25 – Creating Culture Shift

Feb. 8 – Closing – Final Reflections – Making it Real at WUUC

For Additional Questions contact:  welcoming@wuuc.org

Notes 4 Earth: The Future We Choose

Notes 4 Earth: The Future We Choose

Part II:  Three Mindsets:  Stubborn Optimism, Endless Abundance, Radical Regeneration

Synopsis by Janice Anthony

“Impossible is not a fact. It is an attitude.” Authors Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac remind us that optimism is not the result of happy outcomes. It’s the mindset which we cultivate in ourselves and which moves us forward to succeed against that which appears too unrealistic to achieve.

One of the false mindsets that we as humans adhere to is that of scarcity. It leads us to compete, to hoard, to take too much at the expense of others. We believe that in order to get ahead, someone else must lose out. The authors give the example of the perceived water shortage in Tucson, where the actual rainfall is greater than the municipal water actually consumed annually. In situations of true scarcity, such as in the aftermath of natural disasters and even terrorist attacks, the way human beings most often react is in a collaborative fashion. The authors propose that such collaboration is the necessary, indeed the only option for dealing with the climate crisis. Changing our mindset is an absolute necessity for a successful outcome.

Developing this idea further, the authors argue that no amount of carbon budgeting is viable. We shouldn’t be negotiating each country’s allowable amount of carbon production, or how much carbon is acceptable for each individual worldwide, because these methods follow the model of competition rather than collaboration. We’re all in this together and we all need to pull together with a new zero-sum model. We need to believe with stubborn optimism that we can do it. The authors themselves did the “impossible” as they helped to construct the Paris Agreement of 2015, an achievement they themselves had doubts about in the very beginning. Their first act was to change their own thinking.

One of the next steps is to move away from the conventional “linear growth” model we’ve been following, which relies on extraction. We are now called to pursue regenerative growth. Rather than thinking in terms of extraction, we need to think in terms of actions which support humanity and nature. Nations must change their collective thinking, realizing that when all nations work to reduce carbon emissions everyone benefits. This thinking begins with ourselves on an individual level. Connecting with nature is regenerative; and restoring nature and ecosystems is necessary for us to survive on a physical and a psychological level.

The authors provide an array of ideas and facts to consider. This is an easy-to-read book with a real “Wow” factor; a refreshing outlook which leads the reader to the realization that bringing the earth back to a state of health is achievable.

(The next newsletter will include a review of the final part of “The Future We Choose,” the 10 actions we can take to be on an effective trajectory.)

ASJ Update: Thank You for Supporting Our Values

ASJ Update: Thank You for Supporting Our Values

Cora Goss-Grubbs and Pam Green, Co-Chairs

The ASJ Committee would like to thank WUUC’s members and friends for their generous support of our monthly special collections. These collections take place during services on the third Sunday of every month. Instructions for giving are posted during the service, and you can also donate anytime the following week at https://onrealm.org/wuuc/-/give/now, or by sending a check to WUUC at P.O. Box 111, Woodinville, WA 98072. Please make checks out to WUUC and write “ASJ Special Collection” in the notes. 

Our next special collection will be on Oct. 18, for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. FRRC is a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (Formerly Convicted Persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. For more information, go to  www.FloridaRRC.org.

Although we moved to online services in late March, we’ve demonstrated that we’re still dedicated to supporting our values with our money! Below is a list of the special collections from April to August.

April ~ Climate Justice ~ $465

May ~ Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) ~ $755

June ~ Equal Justice Initiative ~ $1,225

July ~ People for Puget Sound ~ $365

August ~ JUUstice Washington ~ $390

Additionally, the ASJ Committee voted to support the East Shore Unitarian Church’s homeless men’s shelter, taking place the month of October, with a donation of $200. We are proud to be members of a church that so generously supports the essential work of many organizations!