In 2010, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Citizens United, clearing the way for unlimited corporate spending on behalf of political candidates. Later cases reaffirmed the two metaphors that underlay the court’s reasoning: corporations are people, and money is speech. These decisions have had a profound impact on our elections and government, unleashing risks of corruption and unequal representation between a “donor class” and the majority of Americans who cannot afford to play this money game. Because Citizens United and related cases are based on the Court’s interpretation of the United States Constitution, the only way to overturn those cases and secure our right to republican self-government is to amend the Constitution. University of Wyoming law professor and UUFL board member Ken Chestek will outline the problem, while Jeff Clements, President of the national 28th Amendment campaign, American Promise (www.americanpromise.net), will lead a discussion of how we can organize immediately to take back our rights as human citizens of the United States.
Religious Education

President Elect Donald Trump is promising a tsunami of change once he is inaugurated. In 2017, as we religiously liberal people face the new challenges that this tsunami brings, we will need the courage to let ourselves die to what is no longer going to be and, like the Phoenix, with full and loving hearts we must have the courage to be reborn. Being reborn is not for the faint-hearted. But we Unitarian Universalists (UU) are not faint-hearted people. We have risen . . . have been reborn . . . in the past, and we can do this again, grounded in our UU commitment to justice for the vulnerable. In this reflection, I’ll offer the reasons why as well as the ways we can rise again, like the Phoenix from the ashes.

For many people the concept of spirituality is difficult to get a hold on, to explain, or to even completely understand. It’s sort of like trying to hold onto a bag of water. Is spirituality something you possess, something you do, or something that occurs outside of you? Through stories I’ll share some ways that spirituality can be discerned.

Join Nan and Jeff Lockwood for a snowshoe walk at Happy Jack. If you can walk, you can snow shoe! We will meet at the Fellowship at 10:00 AM and drive up to the Tie City parking lot. You will need to bring snow shoes (they can be rented at local outdoor stores) and dress appropriately for the weather. Parking costs $5.00 per vehicle if you don’t have a National Forest Service Pass. We hope to be back to the Fellowship between 12:30 and 1:00.

Contact Nancy Lockwood if you have questions: nanlockw@gmail.com, 307-721-2081, or 307-399-9080.

For those who do not wish to go to Happy Jack, Catie Ballard will be hosting Coffee and Conversation at 10AM at the Fellowship.

This service is offered through the unique perspective that Unitarian Universalism brings to this Christian holiday celebration. Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler with other members will present a service designed to delight the hearts of the young and old. It will feature sacred and secular readings, including the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospel of Luke, special Christmas stories, special Christmas music and lots of carols to sing. We’ll end this joyous service with a special candle-lighting ceremony.
SPECIAL NOTE: At this time of year, many people who ordinarily do not go to church want to attend a Christmas service where they can be theologically and/or philosophically comfortable. They often want to relive in some small way the joys of their childhood Christmas Eve services. I encourage you to do your family members and friends a favor and invite them to attend our Christmas Eve celebration with you. Inviting them might make their Christmas this year all the more meaningful and memorable. Also, they might discover that they’re actually Unitarian Universalists and didn’t know it. Don’t be shy; invite them to the service. The worst scenario is they say “no thank you,” but it’s also possible they might say “thanks for asking me to come with you.”

This beautiful service will be held at the Fellow-ship. It offers a more contemporary perspective on the Winter Solstice. There will be readings, moments of silence, songs and a candle-lighting ritual that will take us on a journey to honor the poignant and fertile darkness of the season and back to a joyous celebration of returning light.
There will be a special Winter Solstice story for children and after the story children will leave the room to make special candles that they will bring into the sanctuary and place around the altar towards the end of the service. Older children who are able to sit quietly are invited to stay in the sanctuary for the full service.
As you may remember, we will be offering our second annual Winter Solstice service on Wednesday, December 21 at the Fellowship. Please bring a drum or any-thing that can be used as a drum (an oatmeal box, coffee can, etc.). Also, please bring a treat to share for the social time following the service. This service often becomes people’s favorite and most meaningful holiday celebration. Invite your friends!

The holiday season is the time when we think about Jesus, an extraordinary man who was said to have been born in a stable on December 25 and whose religious and cultural significance are amazing. His life and work have been the subject of thousands of books and commentaries. Yet in the end, we’re not sure if he represents a spiritual truth or a physical fact. In this reflection, I’ll consider whether it is a man or a myth we celebrate at Christmas.
Remember your Guest at your Table boxes.

In fall Earth begins releasing all the things she held onto in spring and summer, and by midwinter she has let everything go. There is a quiet humility about the Earth in winter. She grows dark earlier and stays cold longer while animals and people retreat inside to escape the wet and freezing cold that takes hold. My reflection will consider what we might learn from Earth as she gracefully surrenders to this emptiness that precedes all form, to the peace that precedes activity, and to the rich darkness that precedes the light.

How about a “help and run” Christmas gift? That’s what we will be doing this morning. NO formal service but you have an opportunity to help members of our community without spending a dime. You can choose from several activities:
1. Bring baked and bagged cookies and/or help deliver them to some folks in need. (See Nancy Lockwood or Barbara Bogart for details.) OLDER kids may be able to help here. Certainly they can bake cookies at home and bring them.
2. We can shovel neighbors’ walks. In case of no snow, we will find other jobs in the neighborhood for you.
3. Go with a group of other UU’s to UUFL members’ home who need 45 minutes of in home help, maybe move some furniture, hang a curtain, set up a outdoor light display. See other notice in newsletter if YOU might need services.
4. Rest of us will stay in the building and set up our holiday decorations. Kids WILL have RE but will come out a bit early to help decorate the tree once it is ready.
5. Bring gifts for the “Family in Need”

This Sunday will be an informal gathering over coffee to discuss any topic of the group’s choosing hosted by Barbara Bogart.