What draws people to Buddhism? How is it a lived philosophy or religion? What practices or beliefs come from Buddhism? Join Ron Frost, a longtime student of Buddhism, and Catie Ballard in a lively conversation. Bring questions and plenty of joy!

It is hard to figure out a balance between being safe in our sanctuaries and at the same time being a welcoming community to the stranger who comes to a Sunday service. A problem is that today we don’t know the intent of the stranger who comes through our doors. Is the person coming with the innocent intent of finding out about the Fellowship and what Unitarian Universalism means? Or does the person have a malicious intent? As you all know this is a very serious concern. My reflection will lift up the importance of finding that balance. Related to this concern, after this service there will be a special and very important congregational meeting. Please see page 3 of the Newsletter for more information.

Catie leads us in a consideration of how Spring Break offers us an opportunity to consider how and why we step out of our busy routines to refresh and renew ourselves.

“There’s Martin Luther King, and there’s Gandhi … and there’s Fred Rogers,” wrote Gene Collier, columnist for Post-Gazette.com in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in his article eulogizing Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers touched the lives of children and adults alike because he spoke so simply and eloquently about loving yourself and others. There are probably a few among us whose lives and hearts were touched by this exceptional man. February 19, 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In honor of the anniversary we’ll consider Mister Rogers’ messages of love and ask if those messages are as relevant in today’s world.

Last fall’s production of The Fantasticks sparked a debate about presenting a classic work to a contemporary audience. Professor Stone explains how the entire production team responded to the challenge presented when Native American students walked out of the performance and invites discussion of the broader question of the role of the arts in society

As part of Evolution Weekend marking Charles Darwin’s birthday, Jeff Lockwood and Matt Stannard will share a dramatic reading based on correspondence between the Unitarian Charles Darwin and Asa Gray, a Harvard professor of botany and an orthodox Christian. Their correspondence helps shed light on the personal religious struggle Darwin had about publishing his book. The service will be followed by a “donation-suggested” chili luncheon prepared by Bren Lieske, a showing of “Paradise Lost: The Religious Life of Charles Darwin,” and a facilitated discussion of the continuous controversial debates about evolution, creationism and intelligent design.

“We have needed to define ourselves by reclaiming the words that define us.” (Selma James). And this is what we plan to do on this Sunday. Beginning in 2000, we have conducted workshops in which members and friends collaborate in small groups to craft OUR definitions of potent, powerful, and provocative religious words. How would you define: communion, evil, grace, prayer, sin, and worship? Those are 6 of the 38 words in our congregation’s glossary. And this Sunday we’ll expand our lexicon with such words as: guilt, miracle, mystery, peace, prophet, and sacrament. Come join a lively and engaging exploration how we can reclaim the vocabulary of religion for our Fellowship (and receive a FREE copy of the UUFL Glossary!).

The Rev. John Buehrens, former President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, when he encountered someone who became upset with him for using the word “God” would ask that person, “What God do you not believe in? Maybe, I don’t believe in that one either.” He was lifting up that we often mean different things amongst ourselves when we say “God.” Distinguishing between theistic, pantheistic and panentheistic notions of God can clarify our discussions and help us know if we’re even talking about the same “God.” This reflection lifts up the differences between the pantheism and panentheism notions of God and explores those differences in relationship to sacredness.

Where do we find hope in trying and turbulent times? Members of the congregation, guided by Catie and Barbara, will share their own stories of finding and sustaining hope.

Few words in our moral vocabulary convey so wide a spectrum of meanings as “pride.” It is one of the Seven Deadly Sins in Christianity and considered to be THE cardinal sin. However, today the word can connote anything from narcissism to self-confidence to self-respect. We Unitarian Universalists straddle and struggle with the word. Believe it or not there are times we embody it as a vice. I’ll explore “Pride” when we consider it as both a vice and a virtue.