ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
Happy year's beginning! Funny how fall brings us into that sense: back to school, the "regular" program year starting, the feeling that our more laid-back summer is done and things are different now.
This year, our Homecoming Sunday—always a joyous event—has a poignancy to it, also. Yes, we will bring water from all our travels (or stays at home!), and we will rejoice at seeing folks we may not have seen during the summer. At the same time, this particular Sunday is September 11, the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, so we will take a little time in our worship to reflect on life's paradoxes of love and hate, separation and community.
Two excellent events will also take place in the larger community that day, and I hope that we can support the inter-faith community by going to these. The first is Master Chorale and First United Methodist Church's performance of "And None Shall Be Afraid," a beautiful piece whose lyrics are taken from five different religious traditions at 3:00 pm at FUMC.
That evening, at 6:00 pm, there will be a gathering at Ahavath Beth Israel, our local synagogue, at which many of us from different faiths will be represented. On the theme of "Healing Our Future," we will break bread together ( a light vegetarian meal), share and reflect on our hopes for religion's healing power. Email me if you intend to come. (Suggested donation of $7.00)
We gather together in affection, concern, joy, wonder and hope. See you soon!
It's the beginning of the school year, and so my thoughts travel back to the BIG questions that comprise the literature I teach: Who are we? Why are we here? How should we behave? I thought it would be interesting to check in with BUUF, and what the Board is doing to help further our congregation's ever evolving, ever deepening exploration of these BIG questions. So,
Our Mission Statement, adopted in the 2010 strategic plan, states:
We are a caring community promoting and providing robust religious and intellectual exploration opportunities for children, youth, and adults. We offer creative and inspirational opportunities for worship. We nurture spiritual and personal growth and transformation, foster diversity by reaching out to different communities, and practice justice as individuals and as a community.
So far, so good.
Probably not: "...to attain everlasting life through Christ, and to bring others to Christ."
How about: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." No?
Some might agree with the above statements, but only if we agreed to a very expansive, or even "naturalistic" conception of god. But we probably would all agree that the focus of our endeavors should be this world, and in our own lifetimes.
Probably not: "...fearful of punishment meted out in the afterlife."
Well, we should probably behave in ways loving and generous, without allowing destructive behaviors to derail the mission we have of bettering our collective lot in this world. How we behave with one another affects our ability to fulfill our purpose, our mission, our chief end.
These are the initiatives, then, that the Board is undertaking with our Minister and Staff, our Board Committees, and all of the ministries and committees connected under the Program Ministry Council:
1. The Board is implementing a new organizational structure that attempts to achieve two things:
It is a structure that more clearly delineates responsibilities and decision-making authority. It uses the PMC structure to more fully empower committees to define their mission as it relates to the overall mission of BUUF, and to move toward the Deming Continuous Improvement model to evaluate the success of our efforts.
It elevates the status of Social Justice Outreach to a higher priority in our collective consciousness, and will allow us to set goals and track progress on Justice Outreach initiatives. In this way, we hope to expand on that portion of our mission statement that calls us to "practice justice" in the wider community beyond BUUF. And we hope that this attention will help transform lives, deepen peoples' commitments to BUUF, and bring to our midst new sojourners who want to help shoulder the mission of social justice. This new structure helps us codify an answer the question: Who are we?
2. The Board is encouraging the PMC to adopt, and assisting the development of, a new model of stewardship, fashioned after the UUA's FORTH (Google it!) endeavor that was recently tested over three years in seven varied congregations. The model focuses on institutionalizing behavior that welcomes new people, finds a place for their contributions, and encourages deeper commitments to the fellowship—financial and otherwise. The following programs go a long way towards answering the question: How should we behave?
– To formalize this endeavor, we are implementing a program called P2P (Person to Person) Stewardship, and a group of mentors will be recruited to induct newcomers into the life of BUUF, much as a mentor brings along someone in a profession, or guild: attending the new member classes with a cohort of prospective members and, over the course of a year, helping them find their niche or helping get their needs met within the structure of BUUF.
– We will implement a "first contact ministry" to call people who signed the guest book, and tactfully enquire about the attendee's impressions and whether BUUF has something to offer for them, and vice versa.
– We will be implementing the 4 Square Stewardship program reminding us to be (and rewarding us for becoming) a little more welcoming to others, and more nurturing of our fellowship. "Bless'd be the ties that bind..."
– We will be creating a Healthy Congregations Committee to begin the process of instituting a Covenant of Right Relations, so that we can all learn to communicate with one another when inevitable difficulties arise as our individual or committee missions and priorities come into conflict with one another.
3. The Board has created a 21st Century Communication Task Force to teach us how to use social media and other technology to find affinity groups, to recruit volunteers, and to find a way to match people's personal ministry/mission/talents with the needs and aspirations of our congregation.
4. Finally, the Board is holding a number of conversations to find a way to expand involvement in our Justice Outreach. We are investigating pursuing a grant to fund the position of a Justice Outreach Coordinator. A person in this position would look for ways to use our existing committees to work with social justice groups within and outside of our congregation to leverage their efforts and add a "multiplier effect" to our social justice endeavors. Expanding the scope and impact of our social outreach work was a key component of our strategic plan. But more than that, for many of us it answers the question: Why are we here?
The universe has been knocking on my head again, asking to come in and chat. As always, I welcome the perspective and the chance to step back from the details of the day for a brief while. This morning, the universe was in the guise of my daily horoscope, which read, "You want to connect with the magic in the universe. You don't have to reach far to do so, because the magic is not 'out there.' It's right where you are. Expect to experience it, and you will."
Our BUUF community is that magic for me. I've been working and talking with several different groups of people throughout the summer and a common theme has emerged. (Knock! Knock!) We are doing some amazing things here and our future will be fuller, deeper and more phenomenal! Religious Exploration for Children and Youth, along with the whole community is celebrating what we have and what we can be together.
Religious Exploration creates a space for children, youth and adults to grow together and to connect with their faith. There are teams of folks gathering to imagine and create this space. Talk with me and find out how you can join with us to help make a magical difference in your own world and the greater world around you!
Sunday, September 11, is the first day of Religious Exploration for children and youth for our new program year. Our services will return to the 9:30 and 11:15 times and they will begin with time in the sanctuary with families and our beloved Mingling of the Waters ceremony. When the children and youth recess to their classrooms, Emmie Schlobohm, your Director of Religious Exploration, and members of the Religious Exploration Committee will be available to help children and families find their appropriate classrooms. We look forward to being together again!
Religious Exploration for Children and Youth registration forms are available and due back!
Religious Exploration registration forms help us keep you and your children informed of upcoming events and wondrous happenings in our religious exploration community. It is time to turn in your children's Religious Exploration registration forms. If your child was registered last year you will be getting your registration form in the mail. If not, you can pick one up in the Religious Exploration section of the Information Center in the north vestibule. Please return your registration forms – either by mail or directly to the office of the Director of Religious Exploration, Emmie Schlobohm. We are in the final phases of planning for fall classes and would love to hear from you. Your response and information will allow us to make plans to accommodate all our children and youth. If you have any questions, please contact Emmie Schlobohm at 658-1710 or .
The Unitarian Universalist human sexuality class, Our Whole Lives (OWL), will be offered to our junior high youth at BUUF starting this fall. This 26-week class is taught every other year and alternates with our Coming of Age program for this age group. The Youth will be meeting with the facilitators Sunday mornings during the first service. There are two parent information orientations scheduled. Attendance at one of these sessions by a parent or guardian is required for youth participation. If you have any questions, please contact Emmie Schlobohm, Director of Religious Exploration, at 658-1710 or .
OWL parent/guardian orientations:
Sunday, Sept. 18 from 12:30-2:00
Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 6:00-8:30
I would like to thank the dedicated and amazing summer coordinator and volunteer teachers/guides who shared their gifts of time and talent with our children this summer through exploring issues of world hunger and how we all can make a difference. My appreciation and gratitude go out to Ann Sabin, our Summer RE Coordinator, and to Mary Stell, Lorel Case, Charlene Becerra, Matthew Sabin, Val Duffy, Jen Justis, Valerie Wright, Anna Morrison, Kristin Bergeson, Shelia Dengler-Shaw, Claudia Fernsworth, Maridee Lemieux, and Cathy Sherman.
Many thanks also to our nursery and classroom volunteers who also give from the heart. We couldn't offer such a great summer of discovery with you. Thank you!
Stating this October 2, we will be having our offertory when the children and youth are in the sanctuary with their families on the first Sunday of every month. We receive support, insight, love, and a place to be ourselves here at our Fellowship and, as our BUUF community gives to us, we in turn give our own gifts of energy in many forms, among them love, time, and money. Our children and youth are vital members of our community who receive loving teachers and a caring community supporting their spiritual growth and development as human beings. As members of our community, our children and youth will have an opportunity every month to participate in the offertory as a part of the Sunday services before they head out to their classes.
Parents and family members, please talk with your child(ren) over the next few weeks and help them collect some money and talk with them about stewardship, shared community and gifts we give to help those we love. Thank you for all that you do for your children and for our beloved community.
Are you wondering about how to get involved at BUUF? Do you know what our many committees are doing? The Annual BUUF Committee Fair is coming to town Sunday, September 11, to help answer these and other questions you may have about committees and other groups at BUUF.
We are blessed to have a flock of fabulous committees and groups at BUUF that do many amazing and exciting things for us and the community! The purpose of the Fair is to connect our members and friends to our committees. Find out a group's mission, what activities are involved, and who participates. There will be information about how to participate in group events, how to join an existing committee and how to start your own group.
The Fair will take place in the Courtyard – weather permitting - after both the 9:30 and 11:15 services. Committees will have displays set up for browsing, conversation, and fun! Plan to move your coffee time and social networking into the courtyard on this first Sunday of the new program year. Come find out what is going on at BUUF! Be a part of this good thing we've got going on here!
For more information about this and if you're a committee chair or the leader of a BUUF group and want some direction, contact Paul Schlobohm (343-3662 or ) or Cathy Carmen (338-8984 or ) for the latest.
Be on the lookout for the following fundraising events:
If you have any questions or comments, please call me.
What is the Bridge Event Center (BEC)? A basic question many of you may not know the answer to, so here's a quick primer.
BEC is an arm of the Fellowship that administers the rental of the facility and grounds within BUUF and within the community.
Our mission is to protect the facility and equipment, augment income to the Fellowship from outside sources, making sure costs are covered and a profit made when appropriate. In the process of giving tours, talking about what we have to offer, BEC has also provided outreach to people unfamiliar with BUUF. We have gotten much very positive feedback. They love our beautiful grounds and are so glad we offer this service. Thanks to everyone who works so hard and show off what we have so well.
We market the facility using our website, Craig's List, Google, and the Boise Tour Planner's Guide. Word of mouth is our best source of reaching people so we hope that you'll suggest us to anyone you know planning an event.
Last fiscal year BEC brought in substantial income for the general fund by sharing our beautiful grounds with people wishing to use it for weddings, birthday parties, meetings, and events of all types.
Our two Event Coordinators, Karen Raese and Cathy Carmen, are the ones to talk with if you have any questions. And check out www.bridgeeventcenter.com or call 891-8081 for more information.
Our June offertory recipient, The Idaho Safe Schools Coalition (ISSC), and the Rainbow Outreach Committee extend their heartfelt gratitude for the generosity of BUUF's members and friends who donated $641.71 to support ISSC's programs.
ISSC is a partnership of community organizations, school and government agencies, churches, youth, parents and educators. Its mission is to help schools become places where every family can belong, every educator can teach, and every child can learn, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Each month BUUF gives 25% of the Sunday plate offering (or 100% if you specify Outreach) to a social justice cause. Last year, members of the social justice committees got together to determine worthwhile causes for 2011. We will meet again this fall to select offering recipients for 2012. If you have a cause you'd like us to consider, please e-mail information about the organization to Sheila Ames at . If your organization is selected, you will need to 1) have a speaker (or speak yourself) for the first Sunday of the month in which your cause is the recipient, 2) write a short newsletter article about the organization and 3) write a notice for the weekly announcements and order of service. You will be sent more information to help you with those tasks. So, if you have a deserving cause that's dear to your heart, and you're willing to do what's necessary to advertise the organization, please send an e-mail no later than September 30.
We will be meeting at 6:30 in the Raible room (our usual meeting place) in the north wing at BUUF on Monday, September 12. We will be reviewing and evaluating recent activities and planning for this program year. In addition, we plan to brainstorm about ways to minimize meetings and maximize opportunities for involvement in hunger/food supply social justice actions.
The Idaho Interfaith Roundtable Against Hunger (IIRAH) invites you to an interfaith panel discussion Tuesday, September 13, 7:00pm-9:00pm at Ahavath Beth Israel at 11 N. Latah, Boise. Rabbi Dan Fink from Ahavath Beth Israel, Sr. Carol Ann Wassmuth from the Catholic Monastery of St. Gertrude, Abdul Yoonas from the Boise Islamic Center and Fr. Lucas Grubbs from the Episcopal St. Michael's Cathedral will be our panelist for this sharing on faith, economics, and hunger.
Together, we will learn what each faith says about serving people who need immediate food, what each faith is doing to change the structures that prevent people from having enough food, and what each faith leader describes as a vision of a world with no hunger.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, marks the 10th Anniversary of the Al Qaida attack that destroyed the World Trade Center. What is the proper Humanist response to this event?
Osama Bin Laden and his co-conspirators, cloaked in extreme Islamism, railed against U.S. support of oppressive Arab regimes, hoping to spark a holy war between Islam and Christianity. Should the U.S. give them what they wanted, and attack Islamic countries everywhere? Should we turn the other cheek?
Should Humanists, as non-theists, condemn all religion for this barbaric act by some religious extremists? Should we distinguish between extreme and moderate religious beliefs, and those who act of them? Should a mosque be built near Ground Zero? A temple?
Should Humanists double down on promoting positive aspects of "being good without god," using reason and compassion to guide us in this human life here on earth? How do we respond to barbaric acts, be they motivated by religion or something else?
We will discuss many aspects of this subject at our meeting on the 2nd Sunday of the month, 11:15, BUUF Library.
In August, we briefly discussed our Oct. 29 program against bullying, and set a planning meeting for later in August. Then the subject of campaign finance reform sparked a passionate discussion of the role of money in U.S. politics, and what to do about it. Should campaigns be limited, to solve the problem? Does the government have too much power, which attracts the money? Opinions varied!
This course starts Tue. Sep 27. See the page with our Fall 2011 BUUF Adult Education Program offerings for a description of this course, including dates and cost. Those who register by Mon. Sep 26, will receive an email from the coordinator (Webb Van Winkle, , 208-853-0341) later that day letting them know what will be asked of them at the first meeting on Tue. Sep 27.
Beginning October 8 Second Saturday Potlucks will return as Fellowship Fun Nights. Join us at 6:00 for our UU Story, Story Night celebrating 2011 as the 50th Anniversary of Unitarians and Universalists merging, as well as the Anniversary of BUUF's Charter in the State of Idaho. Both these events took place on May 15, 1961!
People will be telling stories of the ministers who have served the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. You don't want to miss this!
In order to address the diversity of dietary needs, think about bringing a vegetarian or vegan dish and labeling it as such. Bring your own utensils and plates. Contact Wanda Jennings at 362-7563 or .
Take a little time for being with other BUUFers ! Each month, the Committee On Ministry and your minister, Elizabeth Greene, "sponsor" two no-host lunches—second Tuesdays and fourth Fridays—for schmoozing and sharing.
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 11:30, Miss Tami's Tea House, Meridian
Friday, Sept. 23, 11:30, URS cafeteria (across from Ram Brew Pub off Broadway)
Our theme for our Worship Services this year is "Our Living Stories, Living Our Principles" and we would like to hear your story!
During Worship Services this year we will be hearing two-minute stories from people in our congregation. If you would like to tell your story of living our principles, please contact Wanda Jennings at 362-7563 or .
Some time almost 30 years ago, the Rev. Armida Alexander made a suggestion to a few elders of the church, that "you should get together and talk about things." (I wasn't so elder back then, so my hearsay account may be sketchy.) And so it began...
We don't check anyone's ID; if you're free on a Thursday morning, we're happy to have you join us. We enjoy whatever (no-host) breakfast we like, friendly conversation, and presentations on wide ranging topics—politics, religion, education, travel—from "regulars," guests, and the occasional irregular. We meet 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 9:30am at the Kopper Kitchen (2661 Airport Way).
On September 8, we'll have a potpourri (any and all can "present"), of "What I did on my summer vacation." (It doesn't have to be this summer if you have one you liked better!) Watch the announcements for future topics, or just come and join us; newcomers are welcome. Contact Tom at 378-1217 or for more information.]
Are you new to BUUF? Would you like to learn more about Unitarian Universalism? Are you thinking about becoming a member? Then the New UU class is for you! This class will offer you the opportunity to meet other newcomers, church leaders, and members. It will provide you with some history, an opportunity to explore your own spirituality, and give you a glimpse into the inner workings of the Unitarian Universalist Association and of BUUF in particular. It will also reveal the many ways ou might become involved in the life of this community.
The New UU is the first step toward membership, but, even if you don't plan to join right away, the class is fun and informative.
This time around, the class will be offered in a single session: Saturday, September 10 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Bring a sack lunch, and we can socialize during our meal break. Please complete an Adult RE enrollment form or call the church office at 658-1710 to register. For more information contact Jay Wechselberger at 871-3765, or email . Childcare is available at no cost if you contact Jay at least one week in advance.
At BUUF the person who conducts the service is called the Celebrant and usually Elizabeth Greene is the celebrant. However, when Elizabeth is not in the pulpit we need someone to conduct the service allowing the presenter to give the presentation. You could be a Celebrant!
Elizabeth Greene will be conducting Celebrant Training on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00-12:00. This is one of your last times to learn this from Elizabeth.
If you would like to be trained as a Celebrant, and even if you have had Celebrant training in the past, we would encourage you to join us.
Contact Wanda Jennings at 362-7563 or .
BUUF Classicists will gather at Marcia Lyons's home (902 N. 18th) at 7:00 on September 13 to discuss Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. All readers are welcome. Call Lorel Case (376-3188) for details.
More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a sovereign state based on the 1967 borders. Palestinian officials are hoping to line up more than 130 votes. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has declared September 20 as the date when it will apply for the United Nations' recognition of Palestine as an independent state. Israel is doing its utmost to block Palestinian aspirations for self-determination, statehood and freedom.
Come and learn about and discuss this topic:
Saturday, September 10 at 4pm, in the South Wing Jr Hi room.
Presented by UUJME*
*(UUJME = Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, headquartered in Massachusetts, is not affiliated with BUUF or the UUA, but is recognized by the UUA as a related organization. The Boise chapter is composed of UUs, BUUFers and Guests.)
Come join us for a lively discussion on books and other topics. We meet on the second Sunday of the month from 7pm and usually end by 8:30pm.
On September 11 we will be discussion Moral Lives of Animals by Dale Peterson. We will meet at Dorothy Vanderpool's home, 5129 N. Riverfront Dr, Garden City, 853-1598.
On Oct 9 our book is Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss (who will speak in Boise for the Log Cabin in Nov.). We will meet at the home of Kathleen McGown, 3496 Holl Dr., Eagle, ID 939-7215.
Our November 13 book is Double Bind by Chris Bohjalin. Gathering place to be determined.
Our December 11 book is Run with the Horseman by Farrell Sams. We will meet at the home of Benita Coleman.
If you would like to be on our email list send your address to .
In April 1981, Armida Alexander, BUUF's first fulltime minister, had heard three months of a persistent and eloquent lament: we need to keep our door open in the summer; trouble doesn't take a holiday, why should we; someone is looking for us and we need to be here Sunday morning.
Armida's response was ah-ha! Another opportunity to do-it-ourselves! A small group (including Gene Bakes and John Harms) concerned about the long dry summer ahead met with her to discuss possibilities, and lo - a plan!
Casual consensus was the guideline. Continental breakfast (self-supporting) at 9:00 am, coffee, croissants, and conversation. The service following would be brief and geared to all ages, child friendly. Topics to be offered by and agreed to by participants would vary - biographical sketches of UU heroes and heroines, poetry, whatever the group could agree upon. Plus, of course, sign up sheets and a facilitator for each Sunday. Almost like today.
Also, almost like today, probably a quarter, perhaps a third, of the full congregation came to those early Summer Sundays in the Summer of '81. Plus, quite a few wondering strangers, who stayed.
We are honored to be hosting a show of Martin Wilke's art. Martin is a long time member of this Fellowship, and this is his second art show at BUUF. The Art show will run from Sept 18 until Oct 16 in the south hallway. Martin will be available for a meet and greet after services on Sept. 18. Below is a short bio of Martin's. You can also visit his website at www.martinwilke.com. Pieces will be available for sale.
I have always drawn. When I was growing up with 11 siblings, drawing supplies were usually at hand and other types of art supplies were never at hand.
I graduated from Wayne State College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting. I taught art in Michigan Public schools for five years. I took graduate hours at Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State University. I've had one-man shows in MI, NE, CO, ID and OR.
My subject matter varies widely but quite a lot of what I do artistically has to do with flying. I used to fly and skydive and I never fully returned to earth.
I welcome comments, complaints and compliments about my work. My favorite comment is "I've never seen anything like this before."
I do what I do and I'd probably do that even if no one noticed what I created. I think the worst kind of art is the type that people pass without seeing it. Hopefully I've created some things that might make people want to linger for a bit.
If you ask what my art means, I may not be able to tell you. And that's okay.
Thanks for looking.
Ponderosa Pines scent the air,
BUUF campers arrive without a care,
Meeting and greeting; pitching our tents,
Our weekend of socializing becomes intense.
Sitting around the campfire; laughing and talking
Some go hiking and some go walking.
The water is cold; but it feels good to swim,
Playing Apples To Apples 'til the light is too dim.
Sleep late, relax, read a book by a tree,
Teenagers build friendships; we're family.
Breakfast and dinner, sharing our meals,
Camaraderie with BUUF friends, how good it feels!
...table of contents