water-life-cropA long standing tradition both within our UUFL and the wider UU community is the Water Communion. Its a Welcome back/In Gathering service which connects us again to one another after a summer of many of us being apart. In this inter-generational service, you are asked to bring a small amount of water from a place of SIGNIFICANCE where you were over the summer, maybe from a hike at Yellowstone, the stream at Moab or maybe from your own faucet. You’re then asked to speak briefly about the significance of the place to you or event from which this water came. All our water will then be pooled together to represent our coming together once again as a religious community. (Water can be symbolic if you don’t have water from the actual place.) Come join us as we begin our year together!

Traditionally we have used this Sunday to tidy up the building and our outdoor area. This year we may be painting in addition to washing windows and pulling weeds. At newsletter deadline time,we aren’t quite sure when we will need to paint OUR NEW kitchen, office and handicapped accessible bathroom. So please watch our FB page and our web site to learn if painting will be on the agenda this morning. We know we have a lot to do before our first formal service on August 28th. Come this Sunday and see our wonderful renovations and help us put things back in order. There will be many boxes to unpack in addition to our regular clean up duties. We need your help, even if only for an hour. Snacks and cold drinks promised to all volunteers.

Hikers are to meet at 8:00 AM at the Fellowship and share rides to the trail-head, a 45 minute drive. Bring water, snacks, and lunch for the trail and appropriate clothing for the weather – always be prepared for a thunderstorm, wind, and changing temperatures. By leaving early, we hope to be off the peak before the typical afternoon thunderstorms come in. To park at the trailhead, you need a forest service pass or $7.00 per vehicle.

IMG_0110.JPGMedicine Bow Peak, at an elevation of 12,000 feet, offers spectacular panoramic views from the summit and gorgeous scenery along the way. There are 2 main routes to the summit both involving fairly significant elevation gain (1200 or 1600 feet), some “bouldering” as you approach the summit, and some exposure along the trail. Regardless of route, one should be in good physical condition. More complete descriptions of the routes are in the August newsletter. Please contact Nancy Lockwood regarding which route you prefer and she will lead the trip on the route chosen by the majority. See page 5 of the newsletter for more information about the choices.

For those not going on the hike, we will be meeting at our building to perhaps paint, or if the rooms are not ready, do some unpacking of boxes and /or some washing of windows in the sanctuary. Much depends on how much is done with renovations between now and then. Come stop by if you don’t go mountain climbing. We would love to see you.

Join us as we continue to work our way through the Alphabet of Spirituality with the letter F. This workshop will shed new light on the topic of Forgiveness by looking through the lens of what neuroscience, contemplative practice and psychology tell us about what forgiveness IS and what it ISN’T. A gentle and informative adventure into a tough topic. Paper & pencil provided, bring your willingness!

The United Church of Christ has sometimes been referred to as “kissin’ cousins” of Unitarian Universalists. Certainly here in Laramie we have found common ground over the years with UCC members and their former ministers. They espouse a more liberal theology and social action practice than do some other mainline Christian churches. They too are a small congregation. Let’s get to know one another better, and perhaps explore ways we might work together, whether in social action causes or Religious Education events. Lets play together! We will with begin a very short, informal ‘service,’ followed by opportunities to visit, play games, and start up the grill. A POTLUCK lunch will be at 11:30. We will be at UNDINE PARK starting our service at 10. (watch for a sign to show our location). There is a splash pond there for kids to enjoy as well. Bring your lunch fixings and park toys.

Summertime hopefully offers us a little bit more free time to do a favorite pastime of many of us … reading. What great titles might you recommend to others? What is your favorite current read? Bring some suggestions for others. Bring if you want, a book you might be willing to trade or give away. Come prepared for an informal morning of sharing titles of books you have found memorable.

Hike around Turtle Rock at Vedauwoo—also known to the Arapaho as “Land of the Earth Born Spirit.” Whether your goal is to play on some of the oldest rock in Wyoming (1.4 billion years old) or to renew your acquaintance with a sacred place, the trail of approximately 3 miles is easy enough for families. On occasion, moose and other wildlife have been spotted near the beaver ponds on this trail. We’ll meet at the Fellowship at 9:00AM and carpool up to the parking lot at the foot of the Box Canyon. For those who wish to drive their own vehicles, there is a $5 charge for parking if you do not have an annual US Forest Service permit. After our hike, we’ll arrive back at our starting point before noon, just in time for sharing a potluck picnic lunch at one of the many picnic sites in the area. David Perry will be leading this hike. He can be reached at 721-9881 if you have any questions. Bring sunscreen and bug repellent and note the early starting time of 9:00AM.

The task of poetry is to make lived experiences accessible to others and to help us understand our own selves and our own lived experiences more deeply through that lens. Lori Howe, UUFL member, published author of “Cloudshade: Poems of the High Plains” and most recently “Voices of Twilight: A Poets Guide to Wyoming Ghost Towns” will facilitate this mornings workshop on poetry. She will use a simple writing prompt to help each of us create a poem. We guarantee no pressure, just being creative together. Participate as you feel comfortable. We had a wonderful, relaxed and creative time last summer doing this….and shared some amazing poems. Do join us.

Catie Ballard will host a relaxed coffee and conversation where we will rewrite the Pledge of Allegiance! Let this holiday weekend stir your creative and patriotic mindedness by joining in the fun!

The making of prayer flags can be found in almost every culture. They offer us bePrayer flagsauty, reminders, and declarations. Arrive in clothes that don’t mind paint, and plan on spending more than an hour to enjoy creating prayer flags decorated in your very own style!

Please look in closets, craft rooms, garages and attics to donate cloth, ribbons, buttons, lace etc. for making prayer flags. Call Catie Ballard at 399-9153 and she will pick up scraps, bolts, shoe boxes, bags or even a handful of any crafty things you want to donate!! Lets make prayer flags rich with possibilities and creativity!!