Our special guest minister, Reverend Doak M Mansfield, visiting from the UU Church in Tampa, Florida, will offer his understanding of our progressive faith and the challenges facing Unitarian Universalism. What is our core message? What do we have to say to searchers that inspire, bless, and affirm? What is our ‘gospel’ for a broken and hurting world? What are our methods, ways of being? How do we live out our message? Please come give a warm welcome to Rev. Mansfield as he explores these questions with us.

The Fourth Principle of the UUA holds that each of us has a right to a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”  The owners of the Hobby Lobby stores claim that certain forms of contraception violate their religious beliefs, and the United States Supreme Court has recently affirmed their right to decline paying for those forms of contraception for their employees.  But does that belief, even if sincerely held by the company owners, trump the contrary belief of those employees?  Ken Chestek will discuss the always troubling intersection of law and religion in light of the Hobby Lobby decision and our Fourth Principle.  Ken is a UUFL member, UW Law Professor, and co-author of a new textbook, Your Client’s Story: Persuasive Legal Writing.

Universalist Galen Guengrich, in his book God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age, rejects traditional concepts of God in favor of notions of God that can square with science. But why even engage the concept at all? This service will explore some of Guengrich’s ideas, as well as our faith’s invitation to a constructive theology. This morning’s service will be led by Rev. Gretchen Haley, the Associate Minister at the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado where she has served since 2012.

Believe it or not, your program committee came up with this idea BEFORE the recent events involving police and black men/youth. The national conversation provides a compelling backdrop for a “sharing Sunday.” We ask you to tell about a time in your life when you confronted, witnessed, or experienced injustice—how did it feel, how were you changed, what did it mean, what did you do (or fail to do)? Perhaps you have a story of protest, an occasion in which you spoke, or wrote, or stood, or sat, or marched, or sang, or otherwise expressed opposition (or maybe even support). Bring your memory and an object, if one is appropriate, to share in a 2 or 3 minute vignette. Among these stories we’ll weave hymns of protest and power to form a quilt of principled words, images, and songs.

Because it is a holiday weekend, we will have no formal service, but instead offer “Coffee and Conversation” to those looking for both on this Sunday morning.

We invite all members and friends to join us for our traditional Christmas eve service at 7:00 on December 24th. There will be a quiet and gentle program of carols and readings that will allow everyone to slow down for awhile, settle into a evening of calm amidst the hubbub of the season, and reconnect with a sense of all that is good and right about a holiday in which we celebrate generosity, hope for peace, and work toward justice.

Join us for a morning of holiday songs, Children’s Reader’s Theater and other readings as we celebrate the joys and beauty of this season of peace and hope. We invite anyone, young or old, who would like to share their musical, talents, to participate in the service. Please let Michelle Visser (michvisse@gmail.com) know what you would like to sing or play. Young folk are especially encouraged to play.
Please remember warm socks, gloves, hats and mittens for our Mitten Tree and gifts for our Holiday Families. These are long standing UUFL Traditions, with items being donated to local, citizens in need via Interfaith and Safe House.  Also, we ask that you bring back your filled Guest At your Table boxes to be placed under the Mitten Tree. Holiday hymns and Christmas cookies will round out the morning. Come share in our Family Christmas program.

 

We welcome back Rev Leslie Kee from the Casper UU Church as our guest minister this morning. In the 2000 years since its inception, the nativity story is still alive and well. Even though its tradition continues to generate great loyalty, is there an alternative theological perspective for those who seek a different understanding of the Christ Child?

December RE will be offered this Sunday (December 14th). We will discuss what we can do to cultivate peace around us during the holidays as well as throughout the time in which we experience the least amount of light throughout our day.  We will also be practicing the Readers Theater we will be performing during the intergenerational service on Sunday, December 21st (winter solstice!).  The preparations for the readers theater will begin during our non-Sunday RE, Thursday, December 4th (right after the monthly potluck). If you are unable to attend on that day, but you or your child would like to participate in the Readers Theater on the 21st, please email Michelle at michvisser@gmail.com so we can plan for you to have a part.

Change for Change is for our Holiday Families.

Well, you’ve heard of “random acts of kindness”- it’s time for our annual UU program of “Guerilla Goodness.” At this time of year, we are often overwhelmed with preparations for the holiday. We want to reach out to others, but we’re buried in ‘to-do’ and shopping lists. Wouldn’t it be nice in this season of giving to have an opportunity to take an hour and give without all the craziness? Your program committee has done all of the planning and you just need to show up with a spirit of generosity. We will assemble teams to do simple, unconditionally nice things for our members, neighbors, and the community. In the course of an hour, we’ll spread some happiness by baking, sharing, cleaning, fixing, visiting, shopping, and shoveling. There will be activities appropriate for kids who want to help others. There will be childcare for babies.

This will be an informal morning of conversation around Guest At Your Table boxes. What are these boxes we all put in the middle of our table during the holidays? Why are they an integral part of the social action we UU’s profess to believe in? Members of our own Social Action committee will share some of the projects this year’s Guest at Your Table program supports.