Former member of UUFL, Andi Noakes, will be back in Laramie this weekend and will share some of her insights into a recent research trip she took to Kenya. With this country in the news lately, this will be a wonderful opportunity to hear what she learned about the wildlife, the people and the politics of this African country. We will have a potluck after the service, both for those wishing to visit more with Andi and as a farewell to Board member Nancy Fox and our minister, Sarah Ogelsby-Dunegan.  The potluck will be at Nancy Fox’s house at 2620 Douglas Drive in West Laramie (Cottonwood Estates).   Please bring a generous brunch/lunch dish to share and your own tableware.

The trail around Turtle Rock at Vedauwoo is approximately 3 miles and easy enough for families. We’ll meet at the Fellowship at 9:30AM and carpool up to the parking lot at the foot of Box Canyon. A moose was seen browsing near the beaver ponds in the area earlier this year. 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 by 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 repellant and note the early starting time.

Reading is traditionally a summer pleasure. What’s on your shelf for this summer? Have you read something lately that you would like to pass along to someone else? On Sunday, July 13, bring a book or two (or more) to swap with other members of the Fellowship. Or just bring a recommendation or two to share. Facilitated by UUFL member and former bookseller Barbara Bogart.

The Membership Committee is sponsoring this year’s Family Summer Picnic on Sunday, July 6, at 2pm at Ken and Robin Chestek’s home. The address is 4317 Cliff Street in Laramie, and the best way to get there is to take Grand going east, past the Walmart, and turn right at the light (Vista Drive), then turn right onto Bobolink, then an immediate left onto Forest, down two streets to Cliff Street, turn right and we’re the second house on the right. Can’t miss the teardrop trailer in the driveway.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, brats and veggie burgers and soft drinks will be provided by the Membership Committee. Please bring a dish to share and feel free to BYOB. Please RSVP to 460-9139. Kids welcome!

This will be an informal morning which we call “Coffee and Conversation”. We meet in the coffee room for casual conversation with discussion evolving from what those attending find important. It may be political, may be religious, may be local, may be national, but it is guaranteed to be interesting and stimulating. Facilitated by the Program Committee.

Join Nancy Lockwood on a pleasant outing to Hidden Falls at Curt Gowdy State Park. This is a moderate hike that should take the group around 2 hours depending on pace and falls viewing time.

We will meet at the Fellowship parking lot at 8:30 a.m. on June 29 and car pool to the trail head. The drive to the trail head takes about 30 minutes. Following the hike, those that are interested can join in a bring-your-own picnic lunch. The State Park charges a $4/vehicle day use fee for state residents. Bring your Driver’s License for proof of residency. The National Forest Pass is not good at state parks. No meeting at the Fellowship building this day.

Bring a Rock to tell your story of love and connection or sorrow and loss. We will join Catie Ballard for a hands on workshop in exploring how and why the stacking of rocks or building of cairns is an integral part of who we are!

We will explore hiking as a spiritual practice and form of pilgrimage, preparing ourselves for a summer of connecting with the earth and each other.  Drawing from various authors who have written of their experiences on the trail we will look for ways that we can find healing and restoration even when our feet hurt and our back aches.  Prayers and meditations for hiking as well as trail songs and campfire stories.  Bring your hiking boots, backpacks and other gear for a blessing.   Intergenerational service.

A long standing and lovely tradition in UU Fellowships and churches across the world is the springtime “Flower Communion.” As we in Laramie celebrate this simple ritual brought to the United States in 1940 from a Czechoslovakian Unitarian Church, we ask that those attending bring a flower which symbolizes “by their own free will they join with others.”  We will join our flowers together with accompanying readings and song. Unfolding before us is the importance and significance of religious community, with no two flowers alike, just as no two people are alike.  Simply bring a flower, homegrown in tough Laramie soil, or one from the store.  Our service is a wonderful way to welcome summer and acknowledge our shared community.

This Sunday, Wes Hogg will lead a discussion focusing on the New Testament Apocrypha, including the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Gospel of Infancy Thomas (have you heard of them!?). Should you wish to have a head start on this information you can do so by going to http://gnosis.org/library/pseudomat.html and htttp://gnosis.org/library/inftoma.htm. Both gospels are relatively short and were once considered canon of scripture. They were later rejected from the Bible by most Christian disciples. Join us for what will be something a little different on Sunday morning! (see details on page 8 of the June 2014 newsletter for mid week meetings to continue this kind of discussion).