Our congregation's newsletter is called "The Church Mouse".
Here is the text version of the latest edition.THE CHURCH MOUSE
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken.
The following is something I can do while relaxing in the sunshine waiting for a lawn mower repair - if only in my head!
The Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker served as President of Starr King School for The Ministry in Berkeley, CA, from 1989 to June, 2014. She is an ordained United Methodist minister in dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Before assuming leadership of Starr King School, she spent 10 years as a parish minister in the Pacific Northwest and taught at the Northwest Theological Union in Seattle. She has written and co-written several books which have been gathering on my bookshelves. Oh, I’ve read passages here and there, but my plan this summer is to read several from cover-to-cover, so you will surely be hearing from Rebecca in the year ahead!
The following is from Blessing The World; what can save us now. I read it sometimes when I am questioning my choices, my actions, my involvements and my doubts, as it speaks to me about the direction of my life. I make no comment, but share it with you as something to think about when your lawn mower is waiting for repair.
CHOOSE TO BLESS THE WORLD
whatever you discover them to be
can be used to bless or curse the world.
The mind’s power,
The strength of the hands,
The reaches of the heart,
the gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing,
Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,
bind up wounds,
welcome the stranger,
praise what is sacred,
do the work of justice
or offer love.
Any of these can draw down the prison door
abandon the poor,
obscure what is holy,
comply with justice
or withhold love.
You must answer this question:
What will you do with your gifts?
Choose to bless the world.
The choice to bless the world is more than
an act of will,
a moving forward into the world
with the intention to do good.
It is an act of recognition,
a confession of surprise,
a grateful acknowledgment
that in the midst of a broken world
unspeakable beauty, grace and mystery abide.
There is an embrace of kindness,
that encompasses all life,
And while there is injustice,
anesthetization, or evil
a holy disturbance,
a benevolent rage,
a revolutionary love
protesting, urging, insisting
that which is sacred will not be defiled.
Those who bless the world live their life
as a gesture of thanks
for this beauty
and this rage.
The choice to bless the world
can take you into solitude
to search for the sources
of power and grace;
native wisdom, healing and liberation.
More, the choice will draw you into community,
the endeavor shared,
the heritage passed on,
the companionship of struggle,
the importance of keeping faith,
the life of ritual and praise,
the comfort of human friendship,
the company of earth,
its chorus of life
None of us alone can save the world.
Together - that is another possibility,
The Unitarian Universalist Association has a lot of content online, some of it created by authors some of us know. It's at www.uua.org if you would like to see it for yourself.
First Universalist Online
Your Orange U-U Congregation is online! Any website is a work-in-progress, but you are reading it.
The volunteers who re-organized our kitchen have found several “kitchen things” (dishes, servers, and so on) which are not ours. If some of yours have gone missing, stop by and see whether these belong in your kitchen instead of ours.
It's Picnic time!
Our annual picnic is on the last Sunday of June, the 24th. Carlton and Janice Lanou have volunteered to host the celebration again.
Ringing the bell on July 4th...
The gesture is part of a tradition in honor of Concurrent Resolution 25 passed by Congress in June of 1963.
The resolution begins as follows: “Whereas the tolling of the Liberty Bell of Independence Hall, Philadelphia at 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the fourth day of July, 1776, proclaimed the signing of the Declaration of Independence; and whereas the adoption of this historic document marked the birth of our country as a free and independent nation,” Congress therefore proclaimed that at 2 p.m. (E.D.T.) the anniversary be observed throughout the country with the ringing of bells, and that civic and government leaders encourage public participation within their communities.
David Star was a great help in upkeep of our grounds and building and a soul very much in the spirit of this congregation. Some of his ashes have been spread out front, and we can say that his presence is always with us.
Again this summer, our doors will be open from 10 to 11 on Sunday mornings. And, again, we need volunteers to be here for that time. The sign-up sheet is beside the one for watering the plants. Which would fit together very nicely...
5 – Melinda (Rossi) Jones
9 – Ruie Hall
13 – Marilyn Spooner
18 – Jean Hanlon – 101!
24 – Stephen Lanou
25 – Matthew Gibb
11 – David and Leanne (Sanborn) Royal
22 – Brian and Genie (Gunn) Casey
25 – Kevin and Donna Sweeney
30 – Matthew and Rebecca (Hempel) Robinson
If you see any of these people out and about, don't forget to offer congratulations! Or send a card if you don't see them...
We are collecting non-perishable food items for the Orange Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the hall, and we hope to donate all it can hold several times each year.
To submit news or other information for the Mouse (was a date wrong? Or missing?) call the church office and/or voicemail at (978) 544-6501, send us a note at 31 North Main Street, Orange, MA 01364, or email Dave <firstname.lastname@example.org> and we'll publish it.
Or, if you prefer, we'll note it for future reference but not publish it. Just let us know what you had in mind.