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.

Although UUs aren’t typically steeped in traditions of guilt and self-loathing, we are still quite fallible and flawed. Not just fallible, most people have qualities, habits, beliefs or behaviors which may feel shameful to recognize. Rather than following an urge to conceal or deny our negative aspects, today’s message will encourage us to accept the entirety of our being– the good, the bad and the ugly. Part of feeling true love for our fellow human is to first fully acknowledge, accept, and love oneself. Linda Meeker is a long time member of our Fellowship, Board Chair and licensed school Psychologist.

Personal letters often reveal much about the personalities of the writers and the recipients. This can be particularly true in the case of love letters. In this service, you will hear historic love letters of famous people, letters discovered in the archives of museums across the world. You’ll also hear love letters written by ordinary people. All of these let-ters not only help shine light on the writers’ personalities, and the recipients’ too, but give us an intimate perspective of the times the correspondents lived in.
You’re invited to bring a love letter (or excerpts from it) or a poem written by a family member or friend to share during our “Responses from the Gathered Peoples” time. Letters, which used to be somewhat common, are now rare. Perhaps this service will motivate you to pen a handwritten letter to a special person in your life and give your descendants something to treasure with grateful hearts.

It’s been my experience as a minister that Unitarian Universalist people become frightened when they hear the word theology because it conjures in their minds a system of belief that is irrational. However, there is a theology that is anything but irrational. It is a theology that is grounded in quantum physics, systems theory, chaos theory and evolution. And, actually, it is a belief system that can be considered a theology or a philosophy. So it can resonate with a theist, agnostic, humanist or atheist. The beauty of this belief system is that most Unitarian Universalists already hold these beliefs but don’t realize that what they believe in is embodied in a complete theology/philosophy.
My reflection is a quick tour through process theology. It will speak to people who have not yet encountered a belief system that satisfies their sense of what is real and possible. If you know someone who does not belong to a religious community because they believe there is not a religion that is grounded in science, or someone who is just interested in the intersection of science and religion, invite them to this service!
NOTE: Please see my invitation on page 5 of the newsletter to join me in a special evening gathering where I’ll lead an in-depth discussion about process theology/philosophy based upon the 2011 movie The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.

Led by members Catie Ballard and Barbara Bogart and building on previous programs, we will continue to work our way through the alphabet of words with spiritual connotations.

In 2010, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Citizens United, clearing the way for unlimited corporate spending on behalf of political candidates. Later cases reaffirmed the two metaphors that underlay the court’s reasoning: corporations are people, and money is speech. These decisions have had a profound impact on our elections and government, unleashing risks of corruption and unequal representation between a “donor class” and the majority of Americans who cannot afford to play this money game. Because Citizens United and related cases are based on the Court’s interpretation of the United States Constitution, the only way to overturn those cases and secure our right to republican self-government is to amend the Constitution. University of Wyoming law professor and UUFL board member Ken Chestek will outline the problem, while Jeff Clements, President of the national 28th Amendment campaign, American Promise (www.americanpromise.net), will lead a discussion of how we can organize immediately to take back our rights as human citizens of the United States.
Religious Education

President Elect Donald Trump is promising a tsunami of change once he is inaugurated. In 2017, as we religiously liberal people face the new challenges that this tsunami brings, we will need the courage to let ourselves die to what is no longer going to be and, like the Phoenix, with full and loving hearts we must have the courage to be reborn. Being reborn is not for the faint-hearted. But we Unitarian Universalists (UU) are not faint-hearted people. We have risen . . . have been reborn . . . in the past, and we can do this again, grounded in our UU commitment to justice for the vulnerable. In this reflection, I’ll offer the reasons why as well as the ways we can rise again, like the Phoenix from the ashes.

For many people the concept of spirituality is difficult to get a hold on, to explain, or to even completely understand. It’s sort of like trying to hold onto a bag of water. Is spirituality something you possess, something you do, or something that occurs outside of you? Through stories I’ll share some ways that spirituality can be discerned.

Join Nan and Jeff Lockwood for a snowshoe walk at Happy Jack. If you can walk, you can snow shoe! We will meet at the Fellowship at 10:00 AM and drive up to the Tie City parking lot. You will need to bring snow shoes (they can be rented at local outdoor stores) and dress appropriately for the weather. Parking costs $5.00 per vehicle if you don’t have a National Forest Service Pass. We hope to be back to the Fellowship between 12:30 and 1:00.

Contact Nancy Lockwood if you have questions: nanlockw@gmail.com, 307-721-2081, or 307-399-9080.

For those who do not wish to go to Happy Jack, Catie Ballard will be hosting Coffee and Conversation at 10AM at the Fellowship.

This service is offered through the unique perspective that Unitarian Universalism brings to this Christian holiday celebration. Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler with other members will present a service designed to delight the hearts of the young and old. It will feature sacred and secular readings, including the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospel of Luke, special Christmas stories, special Christmas music and lots of carols to sing. We’ll end this joyous service with a special candle-lighting ceremony.
SPECIAL NOTE: At this time of year, many people who ordinarily do not go to church want to attend a Christmas service where they can be theologically and/or philosophically comfortable. They often want to relive in some small way the joys of their childhood Christmas Eve services. I encourage you to do your family members and friends a favor and invite them to attend our Christmas Eve celebration with you. Inviting them might make their Christmas this year all the more meaningful and memorable. Also, they might discover that they’re actually Unitarian Universalists and didn’t know it. Don’t be shy; invite them to the service. The worst scenario is they say “no thank you,” but it’s also possible they might say “thanks for asking me to come with you.”