UU 101 is a two-session class offered quarterly that covers some basics about Unitarian Universalist History, Theology, and Polity. What is polity, you ask? Come to UU 101 and find out! The next UU 101 dates are:
Session 1: Wednesday, October 20, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, via Zoom
Session 2: Wednesday, October 27, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, via Zoom
Improvisational Comedy (Improv) has become incredibly popular over the past several years as a form of entertainment and as a way for actors to build their skills. Improv can also be a powerful form of spiritual practice. Bridget has been performing and teaching improv for over 20 years and it has been an integral part of her personal and spiritual growth. You are invited to come play, laugh, and learn improv basics with her while also learning how these skills can aid in your spiritual journey.
When: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month (Nov. 2-March 15) from 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: WUUC Sanctuary (This will be an in person class. Masks will be required. Social distancing will be practiced as much as possible.)
Who: High School Youth and Adults (Limited to 18 participants)
This 4-session course provides an opportunity to explore Spiritual Practices as a way to engage the holy and deepen our spiritual lives. We will learn about and try out a few Spiritual Practices together, and then we will share and reflect on our experience.
The four sessions will be on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 23 and 30, and Nov. 6 and 13.
This course will be in-person at WUUC, outdoors when weather permits, and masks required when indoors. This course is limited to 9 participants. Registration deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 20, but may fill up sooner. Please register for the course by emailing Rev. Dan Lillie (email@example.com).
My name is Silvia. I retired from gainful employment in the Healthcare field shortly after leaving my marriage several years ago. Divorce felt devastating.
After regaining some sense of “normalcy,” I began volunteer work co-facilitating a support group for women in Domestic Violence situations. The focus was on “self-empowerment” which actually helped my own healing process.
However, I never accomplished practicing enough detachment when listening to the women’s often tragic accounts of their turbulent relationships. Their despair became infectious and I grew weary and discouraged. I needed to look for volunteer work that was not draining and instead would be energizing and lift me up.
I found two such opportunities:
A friend at the Redmond Senior Center, who also grew up in Europe needed help teaching ESL, as her class had grown beyond her capacity to handle it alone. We taught for two years until the pandemic forced us to quit.
What I took with me from that experience was the appreciation and love we received from our students. Several of them brought gifts upon returning from trips to their respective countries. I won’t forget how the diversity in our group taught me not only to better understand other cultures but, more importantly, how similar we are in our common experience of simply being human. Two of the women, one from China, the other from Russia became naturalized U.S. citizens during that period.
For some time now I have been volunteering at the little “Discovery Thrift Shop” in Redmond. All work is done by volunteers. The money made off donations goes to benefit cancer research. We sell almost anything donated that is in good condition, from clothing, jewelry, hardware and books to items initially hard to identify. Not infrequently, once we do figure out what we are pricing it makes us chuckle. Additionally, I really value the mindset of recycling. Sometimes we come across rare items of significant value and spend extra time researching their origins.
I especially enjoy cashiering. People from all walks of life stand in line with their “treasures.” A personal benefit is that I get to practice Spanish with many of the Hispanic shoppers. It is a language I spoke until age 7 before my family moved back to Germany from Bolivia where they had spent the years during World War II and beyond. I was born there.
I thrive in multi-cultural environments because I feel a certain kinship with people who are immigrants to this country. As some shoppers struggle with language and we communicate with hand signals I smile with them when they finally feel understood.
In summary, I have experienced several fun ways to make a difference. With the barrage of domestic and global bad news unloaded on us every day it’s easy to become cynical. My volunteer work helps to keep me balanced. It has become easier to acknowledge the dichotomy between good and evil about being human in this, our world.
For many years, WUUC has participated in the Totes To Go program. What is that? It’s a system through which schools in our general area identify students who are at risk of missing meals over weekends, when school breakfast and lunch programs aren’t available. We provide a variety of food items that are placed in a backpack for each of those students to take home with them each Friday. They are mostly single serving items as the living situations of the students may be unstable.
The WUUC program started up again with the new school year. We packed bags for each student after the Sept. 1 service and our first delivery was made on Sept. 5. Deadline for collection of October supplies is Oct. 2. Here’s the link to what we need: inventory
This year we are supporting 15 students in two Bothell schools. We’ve had a strong response from our congregation and are so grateful for your participation! Those 15 students send a big ‘Thank You!’
Please remember the ‘Totes’ program when you get your groceries. Everything goes more smoothly when we don’t need last minute calls for still-needed items. We are making a difference!
By Linda Sherry Based on Soul Matters Materials Relationships are not just about people. We have relationship with many aspects of our lives. While this month’s theme primarily focuses on connections with people, might I suggest we also consider our relationships to what nourishes us, and what stresses us, and how we cultivate the garden that is our lives.
As the seasons change, we cultivate the soil; we choose what to plant we carefully feed and water; we delight in the first sight of a new green sprout; we cull the garden to allow space for healthy growth; we pull weeds; we relish the flowers that delight; and eagerly enjoy the fruits of each. Each season of our life is a little different.
What do you want and need in your garden at this time of your life?
ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE
The precious people in our lives know we love, appreciate and adore them, but there’s something about giving voice to the reasons for our love that makes that love tangible. When we identify the specific ways our lives are enriched by another, saying it out loud breathes life Into our connections.
What relationship in your life needs to be restored? What connection have you ignored for too long?
Is it time to stop cultivating a relationship and instead walk away from it?
ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS AND THE COVID PANDEMIC
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your relationships? Have you had more time or inclination to think about them?
Have you experienced unexpected closeness with anyone?
When you’ve felt lonely or isolated, who have you yearned for most?
What was the most nourishing new relationship you cultivated during the pandemic time? Was it with an unexpected person? A new habit? A new part of yourself? And what’s your plan to intentionally nourish that relationship moving forward?
ABOUT RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR BELOVED COMMUNITY
Building community is to the collective as spiritual practice is to the individual. Grace Lee Boggs
We are like aspen trees – who have mistakenly thought that since we look like many trees that we are separate beings – but under the ground, our root system is one – we are fully alive when we are connected because we are, we were always, part of one another. Rev. Hilary Krivchenia
What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? George Eliot
ABOUT CONFLICT IN RELATIONSHIP
How Do You NOT Cultivate Relationship? It’s counterintuitive but true: arguing well can strengthen relationships unlike almost anything else. Those skilled at navigating the tense waters of a fight know that it’s not the fight itself but the way one fights that tears the threads of relationship. To have had a fight with someone that “fights fair” is to know that you can trust them when things get rough again. It leaves one clear that what matters most to the other is not winning but the relationship itself. Here’s the good news: we can all get better at arguing well, at fighting fairly! And a great place to start is with recognizing the ways in which you don’t fight fairly.
Each month WUUC embraces a theme that we carry into our Worship, some of our small groups, and hopefully into our quiet conversations and personal reflections. These themes are offered and supported by the UUA’s Soul Matters program.
By Bridget Laflin Congregational Intern You all know me as the Director of Religious Education, but I am also a seminary student in my last year of my Master of Divinity program at Seattle University. My ultimate goal is to become an Unitarian Universalist minister. As a graduation requirement for my Master’s program, I need to do a congregational internship for two quarters. Rev. Dan and the Board of Trustees at WUUC were kind enough to let me do my internship here in addition to my work as DRE. A few things to know:
I only have 10 hours per week in this position, and will only be wearing my intern hat between the end of September and the end of March, so the scope of my internship will be limited.
The amazing Rev. Grace Simons will be acting as my internship supervisor and mentor. I am incredibly grateful to her for her generosity and wisdom.
I will be offering an adult religious education class at WUUC from November – March called “Improv as Spiritual Practice.” More info to follow.
I will be working with the worship team for the next several months and will be helping to create and lead several services between now and the end of March.
I will be working with the Lay Pastoral Associates to learn more about providing pastoral care within the church community.
I can’t wait to spend more time with you all in my new role as a congregational intern. Let me know if you have any questions!