In early (First Century) Judaism and in many other cultures, there was no such thing as “Religion.” It was not until the invention of Christianity as a religion that cultures started to separate the spiritual/religious from the rest of the human experience. In this era of rebalancing religion, how can we allow ourselves to integrate our mind, body, and spirit into one harmonious way of being in the world? How does that inform our living tradition of Unitarian Universalism?
In this darkening time of the year, it is fitting to remember beloved friends, family, and even pets that have passed away. For our ritual of remembrance, all are invited to bring a picture or memento of a deceased loved one or pet. What is the power of remembrance?
Just before Thanksgiving, we introduced you to the 2016 theme that will shape the year ahead—Stone Soup. We not only told the story of how you could make delicious soup from a stone if everyone brought one contribution to the soup pot to add to the stone, but we made a real stone soup after church, and it was delicious! This service invokes our stone soup of hopes and desires for West Shore’s future, as we consider the ingredients we currently bring to the common table we share, and the new ingredients we will need to nourish the health of our community.
Relationships are easier for some people than others. Extroverts who find engaging with people to be energizing may find it easy to have many relationships, while introverts have to try harder. But when both extroverts and introverts get over that initial hump of sitting down with a new person “one on one” they each face the same challenge. Can you get below the surface to understand what it really important to that other person? Many people are surprised that this question is vital, not only to building intimate relationships and friendships, but also vital to changing the world through community organizing. On this Sunday when our Outreach Offering is received to support Greater Cleveland Congregations and we meet our new full-time organizer, James Pearlstein, we will explore the connections be-tween the personal and the political, and the courage it takes to do both well.
As UU’s, we live out our seven principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality drawn from six sources. The first of these sources affirms the “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and up-hold life.” Just what is this “transcending mystery and wonder” and how are we to experience it? Be prepared to find windows into deeper knowing, being and love .
It was 175 years ago that Unitarians in New England were deeply involved in the beginnings of public education in the United States. The vision of publicly funded education was to give everyone a chance to live up to their full potential. Has that vision of the role of the public sector remained strong, or has public education become more like the social welfare system, the education of last resort? Khalilah Worley is a graduate of Cleveland Public Schools and has been deeply involved with GCC leaders, including many West Shore members, in their efforts to transform the Cleveland Public Schools.
If we dangerously believe everything happens for a reason,
what IS that reason? The way we answer this question
largely determines how we live our lives. Can the Christian
or atheist or Buddhist reason be the same? Katherine
Campbell-Gaston and Barbara G. Howell will explore how
we can take personal responsibility for what life " throws at
us" and transform it into a life lived with meaning, purpose
Our bright yellow t-shirts proclaim that love takes a stand. And love surely includes acts of compassion and mercy. But love that is profound does more. Love reaches out. What does it mean to reach out in today's world?
The Rev. Peter Morales began his second four-year term as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in June 2013. He administers staff and programs that serve its more than 1,000 member congregations. He also acts as principal spokesperson and minister-at-large for the UUA. Morales, the first Latino president of the UUA, was electedon a platform of growth and multiculturalism. Public witness is central to Morales’s presidency; he is especially passionate about immigration reform and environmental justice. Prior to his election, Morales served as the senior minister at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado and as UUA Director for District Services. Morales has also served on the UUA Board of Trustees, and on the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Executive Committee, as the first person to carry its anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism portfolio. Before entering the ministry, Morales was a Fulbright lecturer in Spain, a news-paper editor and publisher in Oregon, a Knight International Press Fellow in Peru, and a regional manager in California state government. The Outreach Offering this Sunday will be given to Esperanza, an organization which supports scholarship for Latino/Latina youth.
Songwriter David Byrne once wrote "heaven is a place where nothing ever happens." Sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? With 84% of the population believing in heaven as opposed to 42% believing in hell, heaven sounds like a place most people are just dying to get into! Our Universalist ancestors believed that both heaven and hell posed grave dangers for the immortal soul. Come find out why.
special musical guest artist Peter Mayer
with Worship Associate Dave Willett
(the opening piano music is played in it's entirety at the end of the recording)
Join Reverend Wayne Arnason in welcoming our pulpit guest Ari Lippman, lead organizer of the Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice.
In two short years, the power inherent in congregations who want to join forces for justice, and the sound principles and practices of community organizing, have produced a faith based organizing network that Northeast Ohio's political leaders respect and pay attention to. Come hear how it was done, and why West Shore is a proud dues-paying member of GCC. The Outreach Offering will support the work of GCC in the year ahead.
Former UUA moderator Denny has said, Unitarian Universalism is shrinking and may be going away entirely! According to the Pew Forum, the fasted growing segment of society is the "spiritual but not religious" group and even the Mega-churches are not unscathed by declining church attendance. What do these trends mean to the institution of church? How can we look with fresh eyes and find that which feeds those who understand themselves as spiritual beings but stay away in droves? Can "church" become relevant and meaningful in society again?0
Pam Rumancik is pursuing a career to become a Unitarian Universalist minister and is a graduate of Medville Lombard, class of 2011.