A long standing and lovely tradition in UU Fellowships and churches across the world is the springtime “Flower Communion.” 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. No two flowers are alike as in our community, 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 caring, religious community.

Come join us for good Conversation on topics of your choice and refreshments. These are often some of the best programs.

It’s time to celebrate the Fellowship. So in this service we’ll hold a New Member Ceremony and celebrate our new friends. As it takes the dedication of time, and energy of UUFL’s members and friends to keep the Fellowship building, programs, services, etc., viable over the year, we’ll acknowledge and thank those people in a Volunteer Recognition Ceremony. As the lyrics from that joyful hippie song, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang say, “Yeah-Hoo, we’re gonna celebrate and have a good time.”
After the service we’ll continue our celebration with a break and then our Annual Meeting where we’ll hear about the success of our 2016-2017 Annual Budget Drive, find out about the successful work of UUFl’s committees and vote on important matters related to the Fellowship’s next year and beyond. So come celebrate and party with us!

Please join us for the Multigenerational Service led by Manda Still and Leah Byrnes with our children who are excited to show off their puppet show, as well as show what they know about the details of leading the congregation in song and service. We will highlight what we’ve learned throughout the year, and perform the play we’ve worked so hard on; we’ll see you there!

This Mother’s Day reflection invites us to think about the word “mother” as a verb, as a way to widen our collective notion of what and who a mother might be. A special candle-lighting ceremony will be offered, and to honor your special ‘mother person’ everyone will have the opportunity to pick a red or white carnation as a way to let others know whether that special person is alive or has passed away.

We’re honored to have Sheldon Williams play for this service. Sheldon is a very accomplished violinist who is always one of the soloists when the youth from the Wyoming String Academy perform. The piece he’ll play is the exquisite La Folia by Arcangelo Corell.

This morning we are asking you to share the music you love. Not everything. but the music which reflects your values, especially your UU values. What songs speak to you of the mystery of life, the goodness of people, the beauty of nature, the big questions of life? The hymns in our hymnal are lovely but this morning we are hoping to hear the songs perhaps more contemporary, maybe even sung by popular singers; jazz, pop, folk or gospel. Remember the beautiful “One Voice” sung by three of our talented members a month or so ago? It was written by “Wallin’ Jennys. a great song for UU’s every-where. So come with your song choice or choices on your device if possible . If you want you can bring a printout of the words. We will listen to as many as we have time for and maybe even find a few we might want to include in a Sunday service. If you would like some other examples go to https://sermonsinstones.com/2011/04/05/contemporary-songs-for-uu-worship. You will find names from Lady Gaga to Los Lonely Boys which might get you thinking of other contemporary songs that speak to us all.
Change is for Change Clothing Cottage.

Today many of us are deeply concerned about Earth’s changing eco-systems and the loss of so many life-forms as the result of — particularly — climate change and human population growth. There is so much happening and so much uncertainty. We wonder if humanity and other life-forms will find ways to survive whatever the future may bring. Many feel a constant low-grade sense of despair about the days and years ahead. We may even feel like giving up, not working to find and enact needed life-style and systemic structural changes for, as Carl Sagan called it: “the only home we’ve ever known, that pale blue dot.” To help counter this feeling of despair I’ll offer the balm of what the Buddhist Joanna Macy calls, “active hope for the future.”

Do join us for a special guest minster speaking this morning on “Wyoming’s Religious Family Portrait.” Rev Leslie Kee, UU minister from the Casper congregation says about her service: “When looking at Wyoming’s family of churches, are there similarities to a dysfunctional family?” What do our religious institution in Wyoming say about us?
Leslie has been a popular visitor to our pulpit and in addition to her years serving the Casper UU group also has experience as the Chaplin at the women’s prison in Lusk.

My reflection concerns something that is no secret: the gap between the rich and the poor which is growing exponentially and thereby increasingly shrinking our middle class. We know there are corporations, and CEOs, people who inherited their wealth, etc., who are growing wealthier — financially making out like bandits, while more and more people are becoming poorer. It’s outrageous economic inequality.
Grounding my reflection in our denomination’s Principles and Purposes, I’ll examine and critique economic inequality and lift-up some possible actions we might take to help address and remedy this troubling reality.

The Choir Director for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Grand Junction, in Colorado, Kathleen Ruhleder, their pianist, Janet Cummings, and voice student, Matthew Coronado, will provide some of the music for this service. They are participating in the annual National Association of Teachers of Singing competition on April 9th, being held at the University of Wyoming.

We continue our alphabetic exploration of transforming everyday activities into spiritual practices.
Change for Change: Albany County Back Pack Program