Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport

The Drummer – Weekly Beats – July 7, 2017

The Drummer
Weekly Beats

July 7, 2017

• Sunday Service “Meditation As a Spiritual Practice”

Join us this Sunday for our second summer service, where we will learn with Worship Weaver Al Post how to practice meditation and incorporate it into our lives as a spiritual training. 
• Furniture Donation Request
I have just moved into an apartment without much closet space, so I am looking to see if anyone has an extra bookshelves/storage unit/armoires that they would be willing to donate. Also looking for a desk, TV stand, and window unit air conditioners. Thanks, Maureen Leahy maureenaleahy@hotmail.com
• Becoming A “Real” American by Yuri Yamamoto
Reversal Polarization: An overly critical orientation toward one’s own cultural values and practices and an uncritical view toward other cultural values and practices.
—Intercultural Development Inventory, version 3
When I took the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment in 2014, my trainer told me that I had some issues with my own cultural values and practices. It’s called Reversal Orientation, she said. I responded, “Why do you think I came to this country? I hated it there!” Then I went on: I was very unhappy in Japan. When I graduated from college as the only female student majoring animal science in 1983, no professional job for women was available. All professors were male, while one older woman researcher with a doctoral degree was paying the university so she could continue her research.
When I came to this country, I explained, I felt liberated from suffocating Japanese cultural norms. My professors encouraged me to succeed, and I worked very hard to become a real American. I avoided Japanese people because they reminded me of the norms I did not like. I didn’t go back home for twenty years, except when my mother died. As our U.S.-born children grew up, I was excited about their school that seemed much more relaxed than the Japanese counterpart.
Obviously this country was better.
The trainer listened to me patiently and said that perhaps this assessment might not work well for immigrants. “At any rate,” she continued, I should find ways to accept my own culture. This recommendation confused me: I knew exactly how I should behave in Japan — but there was no way I would accept it.
For almost thirty years after coming to the United States, I didn’t fully understand the cultural cues around me. Initially, this gave me a false sense of liberation in the land of freedom. I often interpreted uncomfortable situations to be my fault, as an ignorant immigrant. Trying hard to assimilate, I unconsciously suppressed what came naturally to me.
I now understand that I had an “uncritical view toward other cultural values and practices.” Because I wanted to believe that emigrating to the United States was the right decision, everything about my new country had to be better.
Today I am much more critical toward the norms of white middle class America. Friends who are not part of the dominant culture helped me grow. I have traveled back home more often. I used to consider Japanese bows humiliating, but now I can see the respect and appreciation for others in them. Both of these cultures have things to teach me; all of us could learn from each other.
May we recognize beauties in each other’s cultural values and practices and deepen our relationships across differences.
• 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
7/9/1850 Millard Fillmore, a member of the Unitarian Church in Buffalo, New York, became president of the United States when Zachary Taylor died.
7/10/1660 After a century of religious freedom, this date was established as the deadline by which all Socinians were required either to conform to Catholicism or leave Poland. Too poor to emigrate, many Unitarians were forced either to live in hiding or practice in secret. For affluent Polish Unitarians, this date marks the beginning of their Great Exile into other parts of Europe. 
7/11/1775 Joseph Blanco White (known as “Blanco”) was born in Seville, Spain. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1800, became Anglican, then Unitarian (in Liverpool, England). He took great interest in social and religious questions of the day and worked for the Liverpool Domestic Mission. White is the author of The Poor Man’s Preservation Against Popery (1824), The Internal Evidence Against Catholicism (1825), Second Travels of an Irish Gentleman (1833), and Heresy and Orthodoxy (1835). He was influenced by James Martineau, with whom he became good friends, and John Hamilton Thom, both distinguished Unitarian ministers. Joseph Blanco White died on May 20, 1841.

UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:    
Sunday 7/9, 10:00 Sunday Service
Tuesday 7/11, 6:00 Membership Meeting
Tuesday 7/11, 7:00 Taize Service
Wednesday 7/12, 7:00 Choir Practice
Sunday 7/16, 10:00 Sunday Service
Upcoming Services:
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 church.office@uucgb.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