This service is simply about “change.” I’ll share how my presence and my work with you will bring changes not only for the Fellowship but for me as well. I’ll lift up why I feel our future together abounds with wonderful new possibilities despite and because of the changes that will happen. I invite you to come and find out what my role and your role can be in helping create a future where the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Laramie will be known in the Laramie area as THE home of progressive liberal religion.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Our Children’s Connection, a time when our children join us at the beginning of the service, will be offered during this service. For the 2015-2016 year the Children’s Connection will generally be offered during the second Sunday of every month in sync with our Children’s Religious Education program being offered too. For more information on our Children’s Religious Education program please see the article on page 5 of  the September Newsletter.

This Sunday begins the 61st year of our coming together as the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laramie. As with many other UU groups across the country, we begin our formal Fellowship year with this Ingathering Service. This morning we ask that you bring water (real or virtual), from places or events you have been to over the summer which have real meaning for you. We add the water each of us brings to a common bowl, signifying our coming together from different paths and journeys. We invite you to speak briefly as you pour your water into the community bowl about the significance this water has for you and or your family by saying, “With this water, I honor……..”

The weeds are taking over! Please come help us spruce up both the outside of the building and the inside as we prepare for our more formal Fellowship year starting later this month. We need to wash windows, dust, vacuum, just some general tidying up as well as pulling some persistent weeds in the yard. Come with work gloves, a Weed Wacker if you have one, or your window cleaner if you can. Otherwise we will have what we need to get our Fellowship home sparkling. Come stay for 30 minutes or as long as you can. “Many hands make light the work.”

A recent Pew Research Center. (May 2015) survey shows the Christian share of the U.S. Population is declining while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.. the “nones”. Yet there still exists a spiritual hunger; a desire for people to authentically connect but don’t know how, a place for humanists, atheists, agnostics. Wait….that place already exists! Could it be…us?? Come this morning for a discussion about exploring how we might find new ways of reaching out to the “nones.”

Pope Francis has recently stirred up some controversy even among some Catholic clergy with his recent encyclical calling world leaders to take immediate action to care for the planet and reduce or reverse the process of global warming. We as UUs can find common cause with his initiative. Ken Chestek will lead an informal discussion about what we can do locally to advance the cause of climate justice.

Americans do not, in general, read or write poems. The task of poetry is to make lived experience accessible to others, and to help us understand our own selves, and our own lived experience more deeply through that lens. On this beautiful Sunday morning UUFL member Lori Howe who is an instructor in the English Department at UW will use a simple writing prompt to help each of us create a poem that does just this–share something meaningful to us, with others, through words. We guarantee no pressure; just being creative…together. Participate as you feel comfortable doing.

Isn’t every creative endeavor a way of touching or reaching out to something more? Come explore origami, bring kids, be all thumbs, but come. Catie Ballard opens this UN-folding/folding with readings from Rachel Remen MD, then we delve into the ancient Art of Origami as a spiritual practice.

Join us for a Camp out at Vedauwoo Saturday July 18th. We will be in the lower (tent) campground, but those with trailers can join us in the evening for s’mores! The following morning (the 19th) we will get together for a short hike at 9. A potluck brunch will follow at 10:30 at the picnic area between the campground and the box canyon Trailhead. Those who can’t come up to camp are welcome to join for the hike and/or brunch. Bring your own food, some entertainment for evening, gear for camping along with warm clothes for evening and a nibble dish to share for the brunch. Be sure to have comfortable clothes to hike in and maybe a chair. Look for the dark blue flag with a world on it and that will be our UUFL spot.
For more information call Claire Maloney at 205-612-2057.

Join Nancy and Jeff 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 our pace and water falls viewing time.  We will meet at the Fellowship parking lot at 8:30 AM on July 12 and car pool to the trail head. Following the hike, you may journey back to Laramie, or stay for 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.
Directions to Curt Gowdy will be available for drivers on the day of the hike.