Do humans have an inner longing for something more out of life, and if so, do religious liberals shy away from what could be described as the soul’s longing for God?  Our special guest minister, Rev Leslie Kee from the UU church in Casper, will consider this question in this morning’s sermon.

Religious Education

With a sense of urgency unfelt before, people from all walks of life, religious and secular, are saying that the time has come to extend equality beyond humanity to what is called, “Ultimate Democracy.” This is a broadening of the concept of Love Thy Neighbor to include love of all creation. In my reflection I’ll go into why I believe humanity is being called to do this now and what this means.
Religious Education

On Easter morning, hundreds of millions of Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with supreme confidence in his saving power. Whether born-again or mainline, they believe in salvation through the risen Christ. But saved from what or to what? Is “saving” an adjective describing Jesus, or a verb implying we have to save him? I have a sneaking suspicion my answer will confirm what you think is the truth.
SPECIAL NOTE: For some respectful fun during this Easter service, men, women and children are asked to wear any kind of Easter hat, be it beautiful or amusing and during the service we’ll have an Easter Parade around the sanctuary.
This is a “BRING A FRIEND” Sunday service. Easter is one of the times when many un-churched people, or people dissatisfied with their current or former religions consider attending a different religious community’s service. So this would be a great day to bring someone along with you because we’ll honor and celebrate Easter from the unique Unitarian Universalist perspective. You could be the person who makes a significant positive difference in another’s life. EVANGELIZE . . . share the good news of Unitarian Universalism! If you bring a guest and let Rev. Ziegler know this, you’ll receive a chocolate treat from her.
As Spring peeks her tentative face forward, let’s celebrate by gathering for our traditional Easter brunch right after Rev. Jackie’s service today. We try to keep this a simple finger food brunch and won’t be setting up tables, so please bring easy to eat items like holiday breads, muffins, meat roll ups, fruit. Stalwart souls can bring kites to fly if they wish and little ones of egg hunting age should bring 6 Decorated Easter eggs which the Easter bunny will hide for kids to hunt after the service.( outside, weather permitting).

Of this service Ma’ikwe says, “This talk will combine brain science with my years of living in community and developing a deep understanding of the benefits and challenges of living and working closely with others. I will introduce the concept of cooperative culture and talk about the relationship between individuals (especially American-raised individuals) and our communal gatherings. I’ll also talk briefly about this in the context of our current political milieu.”
Ma’ikwe has lived in intentional Communities for two decades and has written extensively on the ecological, spiritual and social advantages of community living. She also has a book coming out this month “Together Resilient: Building Community in an age of Climate Disruption.”

Michael Nutter will be at the Fellowship to talk about Family Promises and the role the Fellowship may play in its growth. We will have a light finger food potluck in the Sanctuary for those who choose to stay at 11:30.
Religious Education

For me, selfishly shaping the future is a Unitarian Universalist expression of grace. Grace expresses itself in our awareness that we have a choice as to whether or not we will demonstrate love through our small and large redeeming acts of love towards one another. This expression of grace is the driving force behind human spiritual evolution. By this definition, not only the world’s great prophets, but each one of us can be vehicles of grace.
Surely, our efforts today to shape life for future generations can be understood as selfish, redeeming acts of grace. And it is through our Fellowship that we see the bonds that bind us all to those who are living now and to future generation. Our relationship with the Fellowship assures us we are not struggling for justice on our own, but as members of a larger community. I believe this religious community provides the grounding for acts of grace. Alone, our vision is too narrow to see all that must be seen and our strength too limited to do all that must be done. Together we discover the vision for all that is needed for the future. Together we gain the strength to be vehicles of grace.
Our Fellowship is a spiritual sanctuary and an incubator that helps us discern which acts of grace will be driving forces behind humanity’s spiritual evolution.  In this challenging time in the United States, “Now Is the Time” to provide the financial support that sustains and builds our religious community.  Your support, our united support is a selfish act of grace. And thus this service is the beginning of our 2017-2018 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN.

Jeff Lockwood will explore with us the importance of free speech to any democracy—from a nation to a religious community. To understand moral hazards censorship, there is no more compelling, contemporary context than the energy industry’s application of economic pressure on governmental bodies and public institutions to suppress the expression of ideas that are contrary to the financial interests of those who profit from fossil fuels. Based on this recent book, Behind the Carbon Curtain: The Energy Industry, Political Censorship and Free Speech, he will share stories and thoughts about human freedom, the control of citizens by those in power, the dire risks of dissent in times of fear, and the importance of speaking the truth about oppression—whether political, economic, or both.

Jeff Lockwood is a UW professor of Natural Sciences & Humanities and long-time UUFL member.
Children’s Religious Education

Many Unitarian Universalists claim Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1800-1808), to be a Unitarian. But, is this true? In my reflection I’ll explore the religious views that grounded Thomas Jefferson’s life and work as a way to help us decide whether he could truly be claimed as a Unitarian.
Children’s Religious Education
Sign up for Mystery Pals

With the flood of faked stories masquerading as news, and clearly false statements from officials fouling our democracy, how can ordinary citizens sort out reality from unreality? A functioning democracy requires a baseline of actual facts so that we can safely debate policy.
Journalist Ann Imse covered the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Associated Press as a Moscow correspondent, and later worked for the Rocky Mountain News, the Orange County Register and numerous other news operations in print, online, radio and television. She will give us some strategies for discerning fact from fiction in today’s disorienting media environment.
Children’s Religious Education

Since first invented, tables have been silent listeners and witnesses to conversations ranging from the mundane to the profoundly spiritual to the world-shaping. I’ve found that the table in a religious community often can rep-resent a significant theological tenet. If I asked you to reflect on what your table has heard and witnessed, I suspect you’d be surprised by what you’d discover and what it can reveal about you or your family or your loved ones. In my reflection I’ll consider the value of the table in our lives.
Change for Change
Children’s Religious Education

How can three words generate such controversy? Why does this simple assertion evoke defensiveness? What is the story and meaning behind, BLACK LIVES MATTER? This Sunday Dr. Forbes will help us navigate the social discourse churning around Black Live Matter. Is it merely a moral affirmation; does it encompass a new or ongoing movement; how can we understand reactions and responses—and what would it mean to us and the larger community if the UUFL were to publicly announce our alliance with Black Lives Matter?  Erin Forbes is a UW professor of English and African American & Diaspora Studies.