ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Are we really a faith that embraces all faiths except Christianity?
The other day, a member told me of a conversation she had with an almost-brand-new member, who commented on what he perceived as an anti-Christian bias.
This is actually a touchy subject, much debated in just about any Unitarian Universalist congregation you might run across. There are people who have had pretty bad experiences in Christian settings—in some cases, actual psychic and emotional wounding—and who still hold a pretty negative view of the whole spectrum of Christianity. There are those of us who honestly feel the same toward Christianity as they do toward all other major religions. And there are UU Christians, often fairly quiet about it.
What's the deal here?
Seems to me that we ought to have some kind of forum to look at the subject. I'd like to preach about it, hopefully sometime this spring, and would love to hear your views.
Are we negatively disposed as a group, toward the Christian faith? Should we be? What is your personal opinion on the subject? Experiences?
Once I start collecting notes from your replies, perhaps I and others might start getting ideas about how we can get this important topic out into the open air for discussion. (Besides a sermon.)
Looking forward to hearing from you.
March. The name comes to us from Mars, the god of war. It was chosen because March was the time of year when ancient Aegean armies could recommence their military campaigns. This month does indeed feel fraught with conflict. Our legislature is in town. Being a schoolteacher, I feel under siege. Being on the board of our church, I sometimes feel under siege, too. How can this be? Why are so many of our social relationships fraught with conflict?
In her poem "A Brave and Startling Truth," honoring the 5oth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Maya Angelou asserts that peace is not a state—a time and place we arrive at in the future. Rather, peace is choice we make—or not—in every human encounter.
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
I go back to the issue of the legislature, and the state superintendent's plan to reform schooling in Idaho. I do not despise Mr. Luna. If there is an enemy, it is impoverished opportunity. We are all on the same side, I think, in wanting to vanquish this pernicious enemy. I have no enmity towards those who want to make significant changes to the way we implement education reforms. My enmity is reserved for the model some have embraced to carry out that reform, and the assumptions which underlie that model. We have come to know it as the business model, and it would seem that a majority of Americans have come to place their faith in this paradigm. Paradigms are hard to unseat once they have taken hold, and this one has pervaded every aspect of society. We now look for ways to inject into every human endeavor, efficiencies of scale, cost-effectiveness, and opportunities for competition and the profit motive. My understanding of the way the world works leads me to conclude that "this, too, shall pass." And much damage will be wrought in its wake. Alas.
And this brings me back to our congregation. We are trying to unseat a paradigm. We are trying to move from a church that has always done things one way, to being a church that tries new things. And evaluates those new things as objectively as is humanly possible. Our enemy, if we have one, is impoverished opportunity. Apparently, from our growth figures, we are not providing enough opportunity for many, many people to fulfill their own sense of ministry. The books we read tell us there are myriad reasons for this. The leadership of the church is trying to systematically confront a few. It is not lost on me that I may be a member of a board that appears and maybe even acts like Mr. Luna and his reformers.
But we are a congregation. We have consciously knit ourselves together in order to create a place where we practice peace, and feel that peace ripple outward into the larger community. Peace is a choice we make in every human encounter. Let us exchange cankerous words for songs of exquisite sweetness. This does not mean we do not speak hard truths to one another. But let us do so without impugning character and assuming malice, and rather by assuming the good (albeit perhaps misinformed) in each of us. And, like March, if we go in to an encounter like a lion, may we at least go out like a lamb.
This last month I boarded a plane at "0 dark:30", otherwise known as 6:00 am, and headed over deserts, mountains and rivers to Portland, Oregon to be with my religious education colleagues for our annual professional day preceding the Pacific Northwest District's Annual District Assembly. We spent the entire day together at one of our colleague's home fellowship catching up over food lovingly provided by members of the fellowship and participating in an all-day workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Phil Lund, the Lifespan Program Consultant for the Prairie Star District of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and he guided us through an exploration of family ministry and multi-generational ministry and what a congregation can be and do for a family. There is no set definition of family here. A family is what you define it to be in your heart so this is for everyone. The main inspiration I took away from this workshop was that a congregation can offer the resources, both physical and emotional, to build family. In Phil's words, "... It's the congregation's job to provide resources for individual families so they can practice their faith in a way that gives their life together a meaningful existence." We are a congregation together and we are a loving and supportive community.
I invite you to check out Phil's blog at to read more about the Seven Tools for Building a UU Home in his his February 4 entry. (The next day's entry has a picture of our group after our workshop. I'm in the back with a big smile on my face.) As you read through his information, and click on the links, think about how we can build that family and multigenerational ministry together here at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I'm dedicated to making it happen and I'm looking forward to sharing that heart work with you. Let's make it so!
Our children are an essential and life-affirming part of our congregation. Unitarian Universalists believe that each child brings new life and hope into the world and we, here at BUUF, include a special ceremony to dedicate children during a Sunday service. If you would like to have your child(ren) dedicated please note that April 10 is the next scheduled date. The Rev. Elizabeth Greene will be performing the dedication. For more information, or to indicate your interest, please contact Emmie Schlobohm, Director of Religious Exploration at 658-1710
Calling all high school seniors! If you have been associated with our church in your life, we want you to be part of Bridging Sunday on May 1! Contact Director of Religious Exploration, Emmie Schlobohm, right away. Plans are afoot.
Do you have a hidden or obvious talent for performing? Would you like to share your performance with an enthusiastic, appreciative and forgiving audience? Great! Your Religious Exploration Committee is sponsoring an ALL BUUF Talent Extravaganza on May 14 and we'd love to get you on stage! So haul out the old trombone, joke book, story-telling desires, or anything else you'd like to showcase and contact Emmie Schlobohm at 658-1710 so we can get you on the program.
Boston Bounders Parents are very excited to sponsor a wine and cheese reception (and a little chocolate) for the Gary Anderson Social Justice event. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Clarence Darrow, Esquire. It's not often we have such a dignitary in our midst, and we hope you will join us. Donations for the event will benefit the Boston Bounders travel fund.
Even if you don't wear green, you won't get pinched and you are sure to have a good time!
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner with potatoes and carrots and Irish Soda Bread
Vegetarian Option is Grilled Cheese Sandwich with special Cabbage slaw
Dessert Auction of very yummy selections—This is tons of fun.
Real live entertainment! "Cake" walk with prizes!
Suggested Donation $8.00 per adult, $5.00 per child. $25.00 per family.
None of this kind of green? Don't worry, come anyway.
Several incidents have occurred in the past months to violate our treasured and sacred home. Those incidents, beginning in November, include:
A suspect was arrested and is currently in jail awaiting trial. The suspect is a contractor who had access to the building with a key. The contracting company has taken appropriate measures to prevent future crimes by their employees. The stolen items were insured and a claim has been filed. Our bank covered the loss for the one check which was cashed.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Please contact David Clopton, at 208 422-0550.
The Fellowships Connection Team is committed to offering a warm and welcome invitation to all who enter our doors. We foster opportunities for integration into our congregational community for newcomers, friends, members and their families. We guide interested people along the pathway to membership.
Specific activities include:
Invitation – Newcomer chats, New UU classes, membership classes, welcome letters
Integration – Help people to find their niche in the BUUF community, nametags, newcomer packets
Initiation – membership joining ceremony, data entry, member lists
We really need your HELP!
Meetings are the 4th Wednesday of the month. You don't need to come to meetings to help. We have jobs of all sizes and durations.
Contact: Jay Wechselberger at 871- 3765 or .
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the YouCount February Census 2011 a success!
Look for a final report soon! The report will look at trends and participation levels, no names will be included.
Survey takers thank you for the wonderful insight and ideas, and for your thoughtfulness.
Group leaders thank you for taking attendance, I didn't know there was so much going on!
Please be sure that you have registered all of your volunteer hours for the month of February. The registry will give us a better understanding of general volunteer activities and how many hours it takes to get things done.
Thank you to all of our volunteers!
The information that we have gathered will help in so many ways! If you have any questions concerning the YouCount February Census 2011 please contact: Miriam Woito at 890 6074 or .
The BUUF Board of Directors has changed its email address to so that it accurately reflects who gets emails sent to the Board. The old email address (board (at) boiseuu) has been removed. So be sure to update your email contacts list.
BUUF Landscape isn't one simple organization. No, we have three distinctly different parts to us. So when you hear of 'Landscape', it could be one, two or three different elements. We've got the Landscape Committee, the Landscape Gardeners, and the Landscape Mowers and (Weed) Whackers. Some of us operate in one, two or three of these categories. It's also important to recognize that we're all vital, there is no hierarchy; we just have different responsibilities and/or interests.
The two that get the greatest (and deserved) attention are the Gardeners and Mowers and Whackers because what they do is visible to anyone who sees our grounds. If the Mowers and Whackers didn't do 'their thing' once a week during the growing season, we'd be overgrown with grasses and there'd be no way to make your way to the Labyrinth, the Children's Play area, The Grove or Jeremiah's Adventure Garden without a machete. You wouldn't even know we have a beautiful fountain in The Courtyard. As for the Gardeners, they keep the beds and shrubs tended, trimmed, deadheaded, mulched and annuals installed. The more assertive plantings would take over and we'd have more of a mono-culture xeric design. When you stroll around our grounds, you see the results of the labor of love of a lot of people. We get all sorts of kudos from visitors and also, of course, from the BUUFers and Friends who actually interact with our precious land.
The Committee is the connection to the Board from which our funding for maintenance of equipment and all supplies comes. The Committee also makes policy decisions, sets priorities and keeps the Master Plan, Vision Statement and Goals in mind so that our grounds don't become something that looks as if it were put together by a disparate committee which some have likened to how one would describe an elephant's design. (Make no mistake, we have the greatest regard and affection for elephants.) Anyway, this is a carefully prepared guide or Touchstone for which we are eternally grateful because it helps keep the focus on what serves BUUF best. We owe this guide to the Foremothers who developed the Vision Statement and Goals some twenty years ago. They are reprinted here so that everyone can appreciate the wisdom and thoughtfulness that went into their development.
So, Folks, this is what Landscape is all about. To everyone, we extend a great big humungous 'Welcome', should you want to join in the fun.
The second annual Northwest LGBTA Conference for Hope will be conducted in Meridian July 15-17, hosted by Lion's Pride Cubs, a local organization organized to sponsor activities that benefit lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied (LGBTA) youth and their families. BUUF's March offertory donations will help provide funding for this conference, which is expected to draw approximately 200 participants from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah and Colorado.
There will be workshop tracks for youth, parents and professionals. The needs of straight youth of LGBT parents will be addressed as well as the needs of LGBT youth with straight parents (and the parents' issues as well). The Idaho Safe Schools Coalition will present several workshops. Topics such as health issues, healthy dating, advocacy and learning about other segments of the LGBT community (transgender or bisexual people) will be included.
25% of BUUF's unpledged September offertory proceeds will be donated to the Conference for Hope. If you write "Outreach" on the memo line of your check, 100% of that amount will go to the conference.
And were they one of your favorite parts of our Sunday meetings? Time happened to our beloved, thought provoking discussions.
At the earlier service there is usually discussion. At the more heavily attended later service the "Joys and Sorrows" section and singing the children out to their classes require more time which allows no time for discussion if we are to meet the Religious Exploration pick-up time for parents.
The good news is that now the early service begins a half hour later, at 9:30. That extra half hour allows you a few more weekend winks and time to catch a service where you can enjoy the views and responses of fellow BUUFers. Second services begin at 11:15 so there will still be plenty of time for coffee and visiting.
The soul of the Congregational Care Team has been reinvigorated by an influx of enthusiastic new members since our training session last November. We now have twenty BUUFians on our rolls, after losing several to relocations, health issues, and life's other stresses and demands. If you have any issues in your own life - illness, bereavement, a lost job, hunger, or you otherwise need a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on - please let us know. We will try to help or at least point you toward someone who can. We are here to strengthen the bonds of the BUUF family and community.
Thank you to all who answered the call to replenish our BUUF food bank over the holidays. The shelves have been groaning under the load. Now we need a few people who can provide "comfort food" from time to time for those who might be ill or have other temporary circumstances that make it hard to cook for themselves or their families. If you would like to be on the list, please sign up on the Comfort Food clipboard in the north vestibule. If you have any questions, contact David Fitch, our comfort food coordinator, or any CCT member.
Come to the Thursday, March 10 meeting of the BUUF Sages to find out from Coston Frederick what every parent, teacher, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction needs to know about how children learn. We're meeting at the Kopper Kitchen (2661 Airport Way) at 9:30am for a no-host breakfast and our usual lively discussion.
On Thursday, March 24, George Moses will be our guest speaker. George has served as president of the National Association of Arab Americans, as a military officer, in Vietnam, and as a Congressional aide; his point of view about the Middle East at a turning point in its history is bound to be interesting. (He's also speaking at the meeting of the UUs for Justice in the Middle East group on May 12.)
Newcomers are always welcome. Contact Tom at 378-1217 or for more information or to be added to our email list.
Each month, the Committee on Ministry and our minister, Elizabeth, sponsor two no-host lunches, so that people can just gather and have some relaxed time with the minister and each other. We hold the West Lunch on second Tuesdays, and the East Lunch on fourth Fridays. Here are the facts:
Tuesday, March 8, Miss Tami's Cottage and Tea Room, 1031 North Main Street, Meridian, 11:30. (It's always possible just to have coffee here, too.)
Friday, March 25, the cafeteria in the URS Building (formerly Washington Mutual, even more formerly M-K) on Park, across Broadway on the inbound Extender, 11:30. Go in the double doors behind the big fountain.
As a congregation gets bigger, there are fewer opportunities for this kind of spontaneous conversation, and we have a good time. Join us!
How do we humanists describe ourselves and the task of forming useful societies that encourage satisfying and meaningful lives, without positing divine guidance? Even trickier, how do we make meaningful contributions to a culture that relies upon assumptions we don't share?
Frankly, we didn't put the entire puzzle together at our February meeting. We're only human. We did consider one interesting, nontheistic attempt to grapple with all this. Xan Barrett gave herself the heroic task of researching a system of explanations under the rubric of Spiral Dynamics. Her introduction to this approach (can't call it a philosophy or a science, really, although incorporating faith in certain assumptions) provoked many questions, reflections, and personal responses. We perplexed one newcomer by our willingness to listen, then wade into the subject. Who are we, anyway, a lecture audience? A friendly debate club? Why spend this time on something we found both provocative and more than a little quirky? That's just who we are.
Next month we gather to toss something else into the big hat (or onto the library table top). We are writing our elevator speeches. Consider what humanism is, from your own perspective, or find one that resonates for you, and be prepared to share. Or show up and listen. We meet each 2nd Sunday during the 2nd service; that will be March 13, 11:15am, in the BUUF library. For information or to get on our notification list, contact Rick or Jeanette .
A monthly discussion group focusing on spirituality and how it relates to sexuality and gender identity will meet on Sunday, March 13, at 12:45 p.m. in the Balazs (senior high) Room. The goal of the group is to help meet the spiritual needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally members of the congregation. Individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome to participate.
The first session, held in January, attracted a dozen people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and a variety of religious backgrounds (Baptist, Episcopal, LDS, Muslim, etc.) and spiritual orientations (Christian, agnostic, deist, Muslim, etc.). The group is committed to confidentiality and providing all participants an opportunity to voice their opinions and share their experiences.
This discussion group is sponsored by BUUF's Rainbow Outreach Committee, which is the Fellowship's liaison to the LGBT community. If you have questions about the group, please contact Michael Stevenson at or 562-7053 or Amy Stinnett at or 794-5018.
We have reserved camping sites at Ponderosa State Park in McCall for the annual BUUF camping trip August 12-14. We'd love to know if you want to be there! Let us know of your interest by contacting Karen Raese at or 853-3865 or Eileen Geddings at or 853-0822. It is helpful if you indicate how many people in your group and if you will have a tent, trailer or RV. If you have already signed up, watch for more details coming soon.
Come join us the 2nd Sunday of the month for lively discussion on books and other topics. We start at 7 PM and usually end by 8:30 PM.
March 13 we will be discussing the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz at the home of Benita Coleman, 8169 W. Beckton Ln., Garden City, 375-9082.
April 10, our book is Freedom by Jonathon Franzen. We will meet at the home of Dorothy Vanderpool, 5129 N. Riverfront Dr., Garden City 853-1598.
In May, we meet on the 3rd Sunday, the 15. We have selected The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobon. We will meet at the home of Carol Wilke.
Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
South Wing Gallery
January 12 - March 31, 2011
(March 1-31 a different selection of paintings from the project will be shown at Shangri-La Tea Room and Cafe, 18800 W. Overland Rd. in Boise.)
Join us for an evening of Appreciation, Fun, and Laughter (as Bob retires as Finance Committee Chair)
Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Second Saturday Potluck – April 9, 2011
Potluck at 6:00pm, Roast at 7:00pm
Please bring a potluck dish and your own plates, napkins and utensils
Pre-registered children (rsvp with names and ages) will be entertained at a special Children's Party hosted by Junior High Youth (Boston Bounders)
Debra Smith will MC the evening's events, and Roasters will include Maestro Jim Ogle, State Representative Shirley Ringo, Tom von Alten, Judy Holcombe, Bob Wallace & Elizabeth Greene.
Bring a written roast, toast, message, poem, card, memory, etc. for the Memory Book. (As time allows you may also feel moved to share the microphone with your roast or toast). If you cannot come and would like to share a memory in the book, please sent it to: Roast and Toast, c/o BUUF Office.
If you don't know Bob or even if you do, join in for a lively entertaining evening!
RSVP to Judy Holcombe at or 383-0022.
Since 1993, BUUF has partnered with the Unitarian congregation in Mészkõ, Transylvania. The Partner Church committee coordinates activities that help to sustain this relationship.
The Fesztivál Dinner has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 16. This will be a community dinner in the style of a Hungarian celebration. As usual, we will also be offering imported Hungarian beverages. The evening will also feature entertainment. Dinner is $30 for reservations received by April 3. We are also putting together a wine dinner option featuring Hungarian and Transylvanian wines. Details to be announced. Proceeds from the evening will benefit our partner church in Mészkõ. Please help make this a great celebration by volunteering – we need lots of cooks, set-up, etc. Contact Gwyn Reid 336-1536 if you can volunteer.
The Partner Church Committee meeting in March will be on Monday, March 14 at 4:30 p.m. instead of the usual first Monday. Meetings return to first Mondays in April.
The Balazs Ferenc Heritage trust was the recipient of the December outreach plate collection. $968 was received. Thank you to all who contributed.
Please contact Cynthia Alleman if you are interested in traveling to Mészkõ this summer or in the near future. For other travel opportunities visit the UU Partner Church Council website.
Are you an armchair traveler or otherwise? Let's gather to talk about travel. Together, we'll share experiences and insights, pictures and trinkets, conversation and friendship. We might even want to include snacks. Maybe you'll get some tips as you plan your next adventure and possibly find new traveling buddies. Meet fellow BUUFers to learn something new and have a fun evening together. Patty Nakaoki will start us off with her recent experiences eco-touring in Borneo. Join us on March 18 at 7:00pm at BUUF to learn more. Please contact Karen Raese at or 853-3865 for more information.
March 4, 5 at 7:30pm and March 5 at 4:00pm
At the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Sponsored by the BUUF Social Justice & Fundraising committees and Boston Bounders
In this intimate and warts-and-all portrait of a struggling and older Clarence Darrow, nationally renowned actor/expert Gary Anderson, explores a very personal life on the fault lines of change.
When you stand up for what is right, instead of bowing to what is popular, how high is the price you pay? Clarence Darrow was America's most celebrated and reviled lawyer. He took on racism, social injustice and the death penalty. All the while haunted and scarred by personal demons.
Why go? To delve into a relevant fascinating real life character and to hear original musical compositions created as underscoring for this new work by Rich McKinney and played by Kevin Hall - noted Boise bassoon soloist.
Who should you bring? Anyone who believes justice is worth striving for, even if it's not always attainable.
Tickets: $10-20, no one turned away for lack of funds
purchase in advance at services or at the door
Meet "Mr Darrow" at a Wine and Cheese Reception March 5 5:45-7:15pm - by donation to benefit the Boston Bounders
George Moses, a Vietnam vet, former president of the National Association of Arab Americans (now merged with the America-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) has written several articles for the Washington Review on Middle East Affairs, and has been a legislative consultant in Washington DC, will be our Guest Speaker at the next meeting of Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME):
Saturday, March 12, 4pm at BUUF in the Channing Room (South Wing). All are welcome; bring a guest and come join in the discussion!
(UUJME is a Social Justice organization of UUs, BUUFers, and guests, but is not an official organization of BUUF or the UUA.)
...table of contents