Don’t tell me to be calm when there are so many reasons to be angry… I didn’t say to be calm, said the wind, I said to breathe. We’re going to need a lot of air to make this hurricane together. — Rev. Lynn Ungar, from her poem, “Breathe”
Submitted by Linda Sherry Often when stillness weaves its way into our discussions, it’s framed as a retreat strategy. A balm from the frantic and frequently wounding world. But as wise ones like Rev. Unger remind us, that’s not quite right. It’s less like a locked room that keeps all the enemies out and more like an oxygen mask that brings us back to life, that fills us with power. Stillness doesn’t simply slow our breath and energy; it fills us with it.
As Unger suggests, we don’t really want to be told to be calm these days. There is indeed so much to be angry about. So much that needs to be defended, resisted and restored.
A stillness that invites us simply to escape the world is dangerous. A stillness that merely anesthetizes our nerves comforts us but widens the wounds of the world. … .and alongside this vision of stillness enabling us to gather strength also sits the equally important idea of stillness as something that clarifies our perception.
Even sequestered we can busy ourselves and forget to stop. When we stop and wait for others in the gap we enlarge ourselves. When the merely important stops for what is beautiful, when we let a little sabbath interrupt our busyness the holy enters in the empty spaces. Stop, and let the Holy breathe in you. Who knows? In the pause, angels may parade the neighborhoods of your soul. — Steve Garnaas-Holmes
We have forgotten what rocks and plants still know; we have forgotten how to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is here and now. — Eckhart Tolle
It only takes a reminder to breathe, a moment to be still and just like that, something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection. The harsh voice of judgment drops to a whisper and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line; that waking up to life is what we were born for. As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I am going, that many times I can make the choice to stop, to breathe, to be and walk slowly into the mystery. — Danna Faulds
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be Astonished. — Mary Oliver, from her poem, “Learning to be Astonished“
The December 2020 theme for worship, RE, and small groups at WUUC is: What Does It Mean to be a People of STILLNESS? Our monthly themes and resource materials come from Soul Matters Sharing Circle, a network of Unitarian Universalist congregations. A small sample of thoughts to ponder about compassion from Soul Matters.
NW Justice Summit 2020, Part 2, online, December 4-6, 2020 Strategy Sessions/Action Planning
Session 1 panelists and breakout sessions yielded a wealth of action ideas that we will be pursuing at the online NW Justice Summit Session 2 on December 4-6.You are invited to be in on the ground floor for planning 2021 UU justice work in our state and beyond.
Your registration will include attendance for Part 2 of Summit, as well as access to videos and transcripts from Part 1 of the Summit. Details and access information will be sent to you after you register.
Preview night, Nov. 14,7-8 p.m. live (Zoom)- introduction of the virtual auction (SIMPLE auction website info/instructions), — plus our Auctioneers, Rob Katz & John Villasenor, will open bidding for one live auction item (test run for Nov. 21)
Virtual auction, Nov. 14-21 – online bidding anytime, 8pm Nov. 14- noon, Nov. 21, – bidders will receive email updates about their bid status
Live Auction & Party, Nov. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. (Zoom) 19-20’s holodeck Party & live auction with musical entertainment and break-out groups for gabbing & mingling
Donations needed by Nov. 7 — donate your knitting, canning, baking, brewing, and the spate of books you’ve read; dinner delivered, online games night, socially distanced summer escape. … For info, ideas, and updates see the weekly WUUC Auction email announcements OR contact the auction team at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Cora Goss-Grubbs and Pam Green, Co-Chairs We are delighted to report that last month we collected $1,455 to add to the Black Student and Families Fund (BSAFF). This money, along with WUUC volunteers, assists the families of students in the Northshore School District with a variety of needs – from essentials of food and shelter, to monthly bills and car repairs, to community organizing and support for future dreams including college and career development.
Your contributions will fund programs and services with the goal of providing a safe environment for students to explore and express their identity as they navigate the racial constructs of their world.
Our special collection on Nov. 20 will be for TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional UUs Together), an organization of trans Unitarian Universalists who are living out a call to ministry within Unitarian Universalism. Its mission is to advocate for the gifts, safety, liberation, and leadership of trans religious professionals in Unitarian Universalist ministries and institutions. Nov. 20 is also Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. Please consider making a financial contribution to TRUUsT on this important day.
Team Trees Update: One of the organizations we dedicated a
2019-2020 ASJ special collection to recently announced that they raised enough
to plant 22.3 million trees across six continents. That’s a lot of trees!
Curious to hear more about Team Trees and what they’ve been up to? Watch this
short video: https://youtu.be/myPgz2RRdok
As always, the ASJ Committee thanks WUUC members and friends for their generous support of our monthly special collections, which 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.