Reverend Elizabeth Greene
Rev. Elizabeth Greene is on vacation during July. Her column will resume in the August newsletter.
Welcome to the beginning of the 2006-2007 church year. I am both honored and humbled to be your President this year, after having served as your President in the 2000-2001 year.
There are three major happenings at BUUF this year in which I hope each of you will become involved:
1. Small Group Ministry. This is a network of Chalice Circle groups which will deepen our understanding of UU principles and values, and challenge us to action and spiritual growth. Please consider joining one of these groups by contacting Jay Wechselberger.
2. BUUF will be hosting the Pacific North West District (PNWD) Annual General Meeting (AGM) February 16-18, 2007. It is a challenge, a joy and a privilege to be the hosts and we will need everyone's help to do an outstanding job.
3. On November's ballot there will be a vote on the anti-gay marriage amendment, which has ramifications for the civil rights of every one of us. We need your help in making our convictions clear.
I am looking forward to an exciting, productive year. I appreciate the support and dedication each of you has for this home we call BUUF.
Farewell from Patti....
I want to let you know what a great honor it has been to be the President of BUUF. Thank you for electing me and supporting me. In July the Board will be setting our budget for FY 2006-2007. At our June meeting Lynne Tolk, chair of the Stewardship Committee reported we now have pledges of $210,000. The committee and others continue to make some of the final contacts soliciting pledges. We really should be at about $230,000, so if it is in your heart to pledge and you haven't done so yet, please do so. The good news is our budget this year is doing very well, as of April income is ahead of schedule and expenses are lower. I know that I am leaving you in the capable hands of Wanda Jennings and I will enjoy being your past president.
Sunday, July 2, Single service, 10 am
Small Group Ministry Kicked Off With Forum on June 4
The June 4 forum on Small Group Ministry was a great success! Well over 30 people attended the two hour meeting to learn more, express an interest in small group ministry, or to volunteer as a facilitator. Besides discussing issues of group size, meeting format, discussion topics, and training for group facilitators, the group decided to call the individual groups "Chalice Circles". Some groups may begin to meet this summer, but the overall objective is to have more groups form and begin meeting at the start of the new program year in September.
The Small Group Ministry program provides an opportunity to connect with others in our fellowship who wish to explore their ideas of spirituality in an intimate setting, and who wish to make a difference together through service to BUUF and the larger community.
Through individual Chalice Circles we:
- - listen and share as we explore spiritual questions in an environment of trust and intimacy;
- - continue to develop and articulate our personal beliefs;
- - feel a sense of belonging to the church community;
- - meet new people, develop deep and lasting connections;
- - give meaning and joy to our lives as we participate in service to our community; and
- - participate in a denomination-wide movement.
A Chalice Circle is not a study group, a committee, therapy, or a debate society. Its purpose is not to solve a problem. Topics of discussion are not ends in themselves, but rather a means to the goal of getting to know each other. As each person speaks their own truth, and as each person listens to another's truth, their connection deepens.
If you would like to join a group or learn more about the program see the Small Group Ministry display at the Fellowship or talk to a member of the organizing group (Wanda Jennings, Cheri Rendler, or Jay Wechselberger).
enThralled with RE
Karen Raese, RE Elementary Program Specialist
I am just settling into my summer schedule as I write this, enjoying a bit slower pace. I'll be off the month of July but back in the office Tuesday and Thursday mornings during August preparing for the fall and the start of the new program year. Jennifer Thrall Thomas, our fabulous Director of Religious Education, will be back from her leave in August and we will welcome her with open arms!
An important part of our preparation for the fall involves the RE registration forms. Registration forms for the 2006-2007 program year have been mailed to all that were registered last year. We do request a new form each program year. If you haven't returned yours, take a moment now to locate that colorful envelope and return the completed form. If you need one, please call the BUUF office or locate one in the north vestibule information center. Your speedy response greatly assists us in our planning.
Bring your children, grandchildren and other special young people to hear Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories featured in our summer RE program. Look for the related article in this newsletter.
Enjoy your summer!
Summer RE Coordinator Joins Us!
The Children's Religious Exploration Program is thrilled to welcome Amber Stigile as our new Summer RE Coordinator. Amber brings with her a wealth of experience with young children and older youth as a teacher and program coordinator. She and her husband Lee have three children, Blake, Adaela and Aaron and have been attending our Fellowship since January. Look for Amber to bring some consistency and enthusiasm to our summer curriculum in her work with our volunteer teachers each week. Please stop by the first classroom in our North Wing to see what adventures lay ahead with Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories and be sure to welcome Amber.
What Adventures Lie Ahead for Summer RE...?
If you're a child, 5-10 yrs. old, come join the adventure at our Summer Religious Exploration Program. Rudyard Kipling takes us through the darkest jungles and to the depths of the sea to discover the wonder of his Just So Stories. See what's ahead for the summer:
- July 2—How the Leopard Got his Spots
- July 9—The Sing-song of Old Man Kangaroo
- July 16—The Elephant's Child
- July 23—The Beginning of the Armadillos
- July 30—How the Rhino Got his Skin
- Aug. 6—How the First Letter was Written
- Aug. 13—How the Alphabet was Made
- Aug. 27—The Elephant's Child
- Sept. 3—Rudyard Kipling, The Author
This multi-aged class meets in the first classroom in the North Wing during the 10 a.m. service. Youth 0-4 yrs. gather in the nursery, while youth 11 and older are invited to participate in the adult, lay-lead service. Come join the adventure, "Oh best beloved"!
Pastoral Care Team Reports
Did you know that BUUF PCT is still organizing transport to Sunday services during the summertime? Scheduling complications can come up in summer, though, making it a little more difficult to arrange. If you can be a driver or just "pinch hit" for someone it would be helpful. Please give Charlotte Tompkins or the church office a call if you can help out.
PCT is holding its annual retreat on August 12 from 9am-3pm. Once again thanks go out to David & Catherine Fitch and family for the use of their lovely home. This gathering gives the team a chance to revisit goals, plan for future events, participate in in-service presentations and bond along with food and fun.
Under examination is the proper placement for the Album of Passages. Things are taking on a comfortable protocol at BUUF. A well organized presence is also a caring one.
Summer always seems to go by so quickly for me and mine. This year I've resolved to grasp it firmly and enjoy every precious moment. How about you? Do you feel a need to talk or have an issue or burden that you would feel comfortable sharing? Your local pastoral care team would be honored to shoulder some things along with you. Call any one of thirteen of us, we'll listen, care and do our best to be there for you. At present the pct poster and "request for assistance" drop box is located in the Fellowship office, pictures and phone numbers of team members are on the poster.
The hot season is upon us. Trust that you are cared for. May you be ensconced in summer's magical spell.
Partner Church News
Reverend Elizabeth Greene read the following letter from Reverend Robert Balint at the Partner Church Re-commitment ceremony celebrating our 13 years of the partnership between the Boise and Mészkõ congregations:
When I was a child I liked to balance on rails, dreaming that one day I would reach the point where the rails meet, at the end of the horizon. I never succeeded, of course.
Than I learned at school that: if two lines go alongside and have no common point we call them parallels. And the rule of the parallels is that they never meet, unless in the infinite.
I gave up balancing on the rails. Instead I started to watch people, and I still do. I watch them as they work, as they celebrate, as they cry and suffer. I realized that in most of the cases we are like the rails that run to the infinite. We run on each others sides, without having a common point. Our fears, joys, and hopes are discernable for the others. I observed that we live a parallel life. We live among people but we still may be lonely.
So it is always a high day if I see that someone cares about me, about us. That some people have the same thoughts, values. Although our history and even our present life are different we are not indifferent to each other.
Today you walk across the bridge of friendship and care, the bridge that connects our souls, our hopes. A bridge that has a story that is about you and us: a bridge that tells that the parallels sometimes meet not only in the infinite, but also in the present.
As you walk across the bridge, we will be there with you, for we think of you, and we send you our prayers and friendship. May God be with you in your celebration; in your joy.
Robert, Réka, Dalma and all your Unitarian friends and partners from Mészkő-Alabaster Village, Transylvania."
Other Partner Church news: Miriam Woito will be chair of the committee for the coming year (beginning in July).
Coming September 30—Fesztival!—Last year 100 volunteers made this a very memorable occasion for over 300 participants. Please volunteer this year if you can or come as a participant. We have just the perfect job for you.
Change in Meeting Date for July—Although the committee usually meets on the second Tuesday, for July we will meet on July 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the fellowship.
What is Worship to Us?
That's only one of the questions we'll puzzle over as BUUF humanists consider a few big ideas from their own peculiar perspective. We are working toward presenting a workshop at next year's district meeting. Please join us July 9 in the senior high room. No prior experience with big ideas required.
UUs Can Dance
Music and movement are life; how did we forget? After all, children bounce on their feet as soon as they can stand, and our earliest human societies danced ritual into existence.
We're calling it healthy exercise, a chance to appreciate being together trying something new. Or call it tribal dance, shaking off the troubles of the world for an hour. Come to our first meeting Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 pm in the Sophia Lyon Fahs Room (preschool room) at BUUF.
Bring a scarf, any music and jangly jewelry left over from that belly dancing class you took years ago. Beginners encouraged; all ages and levels of mobility are welcome (you can move your eyes, can't you? Your shoulders, too?) We'll draw from many cultures, have music, beginner exercises, scarves to share. Call Sandy Layser at 376-8579 or Jeanette Ross, 378-1217.
The Book Nook is Coming!
The Book Nook is coming to BUUF this fall, featuring UU books from Beacon Press and Skinner House. UU inspired jewelry, chalices and other gift items will also be available for purchase.
We need your input on your favorite books from UU publishers. Beginning in July, bring a favorite book to share after the coffee hour on Sundays. We will meet in the Senior High Room and listen to you read a passage or share what you have written about it. This will help us learn what we need to stock in the Book Nook.
For more information, contact Kathy Hall or Claudia Fernsworth on Sundays, or call Kathy at 323-1618 or Claudia at 853-1526.
Book Club News
BUUF has two open-to-all book discussion groups—one reads classic novels four or five times a year, and the other reads current fiction and nonfiction each month. Both groups are taking summer breaks, with resumption in September. If you'd like to start reading in preparation—
Sept. 10—The Other Book Club: "Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps" by Ted Kooser
Sept. 19—Classics Group: "The Old Curiosity Shop" by Charles Dickens
The locations and times will be announced in the September newsletter and Sunday bulletins.
In an Adult Religious Education class in spring, 2006, members wrote their "elevator speeches, " in response to the following hypothetical situation: if a person gets on an elevator with you, notices your flaming chalice pin, asks about it, and you only have a few floors to explain the Unitarian Universalist faith, what do you say?
Elevator Speech—Kathy Hall
I'm in an elevator; my neighbor admires my chalice necklace, asking me what it means. I respond: it is a Unitarian Universalist symbol. In our fellowship, we light a chalice flame in every service, and our minister announces a theme to think about. Often small children become chalice lighters. Our fellowship embraces the idea that there are many paths to the spiritual light. We nurture each other in our individual attempts to know ourselves, and find our spiritual life's work and inner source of compassion. We are a nucleus of brotherhood for all genders, races and sexual orientations.
Some Unitarian Universalists see themselves as humanists or atheists, others as Christians or Buddhists. Through religious education for the young, we mark important passages in life and teach self-reliance in thought and action. As a fellowship, we sponsor social justice programs in our community and use outreach as an expression of our inner commitment to the good of all.
Gutting Homes for Habitat for Humanity
Hurricane Katrina causes flooding,
All of St. Bernard Parish is hard hit,
Houses are worth saving,
So we gutted and threw out the grit.
Like ants with homes destroyed
Volunteers are working to rebuild,
We've become their community,
With love all hearts are filled.
In the 9th Ward homes were destroyed,
Across America people scattered like leaves,
There's not much left here to save,
Devastation you can not believe!
Four women representing BUUF,
Becky and Frankie, Cynthia and me,
Working to make a difference,
Helping our world community.
Everyone has a story,
Lives were changed, this was real.
I hope you will help New Orleans,
Working together our love can heal!
~ Wanda Jennings, April 1, 2006
Report on Pledge Drive
As of the newsletter deadline, the pledge drive has garnered pledges from members and friends of the fellowship totaling $210,435 for the 2006-2007 fiscal year operating fund. Thanks to the 164 households who have responded so far. The Stewardship Committee is working to complete the pledge drive and hope that the remaining pledges bring us closer to our goal of $254,000 which would help to fund all programs at their requested level. In the August newsletter, we'll provide information regarding the giving levels of our congregation for this campaign and compare it to previous campaigns.
The board will meet on July 6 to set the budget for next year based on the income projections. Pledges make up the lion's share of our operating budget.
If you have not yet turned in your pledge form, there is still time. Last fall, we asked our leaders to talk about the things that make this place so important to them. A lot came out of that discussion, but one of the main points had to do with the feeling of being accepted here, with all our differences. The other thing was the conviction that such values as inclusiveness, respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the democratic process, and the interdependence of all life are values badly needed by our country and our world. Most of us feel a responsibility to publicly embody those values. A pledge of financial support is one way in which you can ensure that BUUF can continue to play the important role in our lives and in the larger community.
For your convenience a
printable pledge form (PDF)
is available. Please return completed pledge forms to:
Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
6200 Garrett Street
Boise ID 83714
"Sir! No Sir!"
The suppressed story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam, showing July 20, 7 pm at The Flicks Theatre. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Hang Around the Halls
BUUF will resume hosting individual, dual or even group art exhibits in the fall. If you'd like to see your art hung in the South Wing Gallery—or the art of a friend—get full information from the BUUF Office, asking for the Art Exhibition Package. We'll also send it electronically—just email
We are looking for drivers for two people who enjoy coming to our Sunday Services. One lives near Bogus Basin Rd. and the other, near Warm Springs and Walnut. If you would like to provide transportation to one of them occasionally, please call Charlotte Tompkins.
Senior Sages News
On the second and fourth Thursdays of most months, there's a lively morning gathering of BUUF members and friends (and a few independent firebrands)—purpose: to have convivial meetings over no-host breakfasts, hear thoughtful presentations on a huge range of subjects and enjoy intellectual discussions. Everyone is welcome. The Senior Sages usually meet about 9:30 a.m. at the Kopper Kitchen on Airport Way (see July 13 exception, below).
Thursday, July 13—SPECIAL LOCATION: meet at the home of Dorothy and Chuck Hansen, 2415 Eldorado St. (off Northview) for the Sages's almost-annual potluck brunch. Come enjoy delicious food and stimulating conversations. First arrivals: 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, July 27—"The Cathars" Over a no-host breakfast at the Kopper Kitchen, John Harms talks about the medieval religious movement which sought to achieve purity.