The Drummer – Weekly Beats – June 30, 2017
June 30, 2017
• Pledge Forms
The fiscal year is ending today and we need all pledge forms and Vanco authorizations in immediately. Thank you.
• Message from New UUA President
Regarding NOLA Attack on GA Attendees
My Fellow Unitarian Universalists,
I invite you to join me in continuing to hold in our hearts, in our thoughts, and in our prayers, our UUA staff colleagues, James Curran and Tim Byrne who are recovering after being attacked and robbed in New Orleans. Both are continuing to recover physically and to navigate the trauma of the event. James is back home in Boston. Tim remains hospitalized in New Orleans but is making steady progress each day. His doctors are cautiously optimistic about the prognosis for his recovery. We are profoundly grateful to the dedicated medical professionals who initially treated and continue to care for James and Tim.
We continue to send Tim and James and their partners and loved ones our positive thoughts, care, and support in this time. As the new President of the UUA, I am doing my best to be present to these staff members and to honor the time and space they need to attend to their recovery.
I also want to acknowledge the sorrow, fear, anger, and heartbreak of seeing a loved one, a member of our community, violently attacked. I have experienced all of these emotions in the last few days, as have so many of the UUA staff and wider UU community. Throughout the General Assembly, we reflected on the narratives and wider systems of oppression that perpetuate both systemic and personal violence. This week, those reflections became personal and proximate.
As I have listened to Unitarian Universalists reflect on this situation, I have been moved by the connections made to Bryan Stevenson’s powerful message to us at General Assembly that “simply punishing the broken-walking away from them or hiding them from sight-only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.” May we hold the young adults who carried out the robbery, Rashaad Piper (20), Nicholas Polgowski (18), DeJuan Paul (18), and Joshua Simmons (18), with the universal love that we hold Tim Byrne and James Curran. This is so very important. Many voices have lifted up hope for a process of restorative justice.
These are our Unitarian Universalist values calling us to live in the reality of the heartbreak of our world, while remembering that no one is outside the circle of love – that compassion is always our guide, and that as a religious community, we seek the well-being of all people and the dismantlement of systems of oppression that undermine our collective humanity.
As President, I am waiting to make any official statements to New Orleans authorities in order to give our staff members time to be in the conversation. At the same time, I am encouraged by the local grassroots leadership of Unitarian Universalists in New Orleans, including the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR) and their partners, to help us see both the proximate and larger realities and humanity of this incident. I ask for your patience in this time, and for your faithful presence as Unitarian Universalists.
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
• Tuesday Evening Taize Prayer Service
Are you looking for some time for quiet contemplation? Are you looking for a worshipful experience in which there is no sermon and no one telling you what to believe before you are sure you believe it? Then the Service of Taize Evening Prayer may be for you.
This 30-minute service is inspired by the worship of the international ecumenical monastic community of Taize, France. The service consists of simple, modern chants sung repetitively or in a round, a brief reading of Scripture, a long period of peaceful silence and some time for intercessory prayer.
There is no preaching, no monetary collection, no attempt at recruiting church members; it is simply a time to come together in song and prayer. People who have attended often comment on the rich spiritual atmosphere of the service. Its serenity and simplicity provide a wonderful midweek opportunity to feed one’s soul.
Every Tuesday at 7:00
• This Week in UU History
7/4/1845 The Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau commenced 15 months of residence at the shore of Walden Pond, on land belonging to Ralph Waldo Emerson, outside Concord, Massachusetts. He did not break his social ties but continued visiting his family and receiving callers. He supported himself primarily on what he grew or caught, and he slept in a small cabin he built for himself. Walden Pond is preserved today as a recreational area, with a replica of Thoreau’s cabin on display. Thoreau’s resulting publication, Walden (1854), and his ideas about the spiritual relevance of nature continue to have a major impact on Unitarian Universalism to this day.
7/5/1810 Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut. He was reared a stern Puritan but became a devoted Universalist. The museum he opened in New York City featured natural history exhibits and curiosities. Barnum is best known for his operating “The Greatest Show on Earth,” his circus, but he was also civic-minded and served in the Connecticut legislature from 1867 to 1869 as a Republican. He was also mayor of Bridgeport, CT. Barnum called himself the “prince of Humbugs” but donated funds to build a museum of natural history at Tufts University. He died on April 7, 1891.
7/7/1540 Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania was born. He ruled from 1556 to 1570. George Blandrata and Francis David were members of his court. Unitarianism was under attack, and Prince John held a Diet at Torda in 1568 to delegate religion. The victory went to the Unitarians and Prince John, converting to Unitarianism, thereby decreed religious tolerance in his principality. Unitarianism flourished under his rule and the guidance of David.
UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:
Sunday 7/2, 10:00 Sunday Service
Tuesday 7/4, 7:00 Taize Service
Wednesday 7/5, 7:00 Choir Practice
Sunday 7/9, 10:00 Sunday Service
7/2, “Christianity” with Worship Leader Don Adams
7/9, “Mediation As A Religious Practice” with Worship Leader Al Post
7/16, “Humanism” with Worship Leader Jennifer Winschel
7/23, “Origins of UUism” with Worship Leader Virginia Smith
Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday at 9 am! The weekly email is sent every Friday at noon!
Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport
275 Huntington Road, Stratford, CT 06614