As it’s Valentine’s Day and as February 14-20 is Random Acts of Kindness Week, with February 17 being Random Acts of Kindness Day, I want to ponder with you how kindness, which is another manifestation of love, can create a paradigm shift that would change humanity, the world. You know, you can’t have ‘humankind’ without ‘kind’, after all. No doubt about it, we all struggle, we all stress. But, thankfully, we also all love and thus we all can be kind. In this service, I’ll share an answer to the question, “Why kindness?” I’ll offer an opportunity for you to discuss ways you can practice random acts of kindness as well as share stories about when you were either a recipient of or a provider of an act of kindness.

Before the service, if you would like, watch this video by going to https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-videos/1033-paradigm-shift

There is Children’s Religious Education this Sunday

We Unitarian-Universalists have had a hard time thinking clearly about good and evil because we have always been a decidedly optimistic religion. To balance that, so-to-speak, I’ll explore the very profound, difficult complexities and contradictions of human nature. I’ll explore the questions of why does suffering exist and what is the nature of evil. In relationship to the many forms of injustice in our world, regardless of your theology or philosophy, it is good to know what beliefs form the foundation for your actions.

This is Rev. Ziegler’s second reflection in the “What Do We Believe?” series.

Change for Change this week goes to Big Brothers, Big sisters

UUFL members Catie Ballard and Barbara Bogart will lead this workshop-style service by introducing us to “The Alphabet of Spiritual Practices.”  This will be a service that is practical, useful and offers enlightening ways to loosen your load!  It should be ‘loads of fun.’

Our guest speaker is Mark Heinz, a Laramie resident and native of the Rocky Mountain West. He is pleased to share information and have a discussion about his Baha’i Faith.
Mark will give a brief overview of his own personal journey — from Christian to atheist, and then his discovery of and ultimately embracing the Baha’i Faith. He’ll also give basic information about the Baha’i Faith, its worldview and its similarities to Unitarian Unitarianism. As UUs, we gain wisdom from all the world’s religions, so this should be an especially interesting service.

In honor of the national celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., I’ll share what I think he might have to say about the soul of our nation today.  Our “Once-a-Month Choir,” directed by Willie Mandeville, offers melodious voices to enrich our experience of the service. We’ll hear Martin Luther King, Jr.’s favorite hymn.

The sage, Dolly Parton, once said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” I have found that pithy aphorism to be true in my personal life and as a minister pastoring to members of the congregations I’ve served over the years. So in this reflection, I’ll share how I’ve found experiences of grief, sadness and failure can paradoxically deepen and broaden the joy in our lives—they can give us that rainbow! Perhaps, you’ll find what I share is true in your experience of life too?

A formal Children’s Religious Education class is offered during the service for children ages 5 to 12.

Longtime climate change and intentional communities activist Rev. Ma’ikwe Ludwig and Bren Lieske will explore both the spiritual and ethical implications of having a body and being on the planet in a time of mounting ecological crisis, and the felt experience of embodiment.

Change for Change this morning will go to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage where Ma’ikwe is the Executive Director. Bren and Ma’ikwe will lead the service with Matt Stannard collecting the offering.

You are invited to a talk from 6:30-8:30 at the Fellowship hall when Ma’ikwe will speak about Cooperative cultures, climate change, and more about Dancing Rabbit.

This service is offered through the unique perspective Unitarian Universalism brings to this Christian holiday celebration. Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler with other members will present an evening 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 candlelight ceremony.

Note the start time will be 6:30PM

This beautiful service will be held at the Fellowship at 7 p.m. It is a service of readings, moments of silence, songs and a candle-lighting ritual that take us on a journey to honor the poignant and fertile darkness of the season and back to a joyous celebration of returning light. This service is offered by Rev. Jacqueline Ziegler and other members of the Fellowship.
Bring a drum or anything that can be used as a drum (an oatmeal box, coffee can, etc.). Also, please bring a treat to share for the social time following the service. Older children who are able to sit quietly during the service are invited to attend.
This service often becomes people’s favorite and most meaningful holiday service. Invite your friends! (If you would like a ride to this service, please contact Rev. Ziegler.)

This morning we will celebrate the season and ask that you help with the pro-gram! If you can sing or play an instrument we would welcome your participation… adults and kids!! Or if you have a favorite seasonal reading or poem, we would welcome your sharing it this morning. Be creative. Maybe get the whole family involved in a poem or reading. Contact Linda (lindgold@hotmail.com) to get onto the program. She has lots of ideas if you need a poem or reading. Also, we will have our traditional Mitten Tree decorated with mittens, hats or gloves that YOU bring and then are donated to those in need in our larger community. We will collect filled Guest at Your Table boxes to be sent to UUSC ( Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) for self help projects around the world. Some lovely holiday hymns will round out the service. We also ask, if you can, to bring some simple holiday treats to round out the morning’s refreshment table.