E-news/Bulletin Items

If you have an item to add to the weekly e-news or to Sunday bulletins, please email our a/v technician, Giorgia Brennan at brennan.giorgia@gmail.com by 8 a.m. Wednesday mornings unless otherwise noted.  

In the event that Sunday services may be canceled due to bad weather (e.g., snowstorm), please check our web site, www.uulacrosse.org, for any such notification after 8:00AM. Sunday morning.  A notification email also may go out, so watch your email inbox.  Regardless of any official decision, please consider your local weather conditions and use common sense if you venture out in bad weather.

Please use the front doors and kitchen doors if entering the Fellowship before 9 am. The recovery group meets in the conference room until 9 am and we would like to respect their privacy.  Thank you!


April 30th, 2017–Found in Translation with Rev. Dean Staffanson

“As I reflected on what has occurred in my near twenty years of work as a chaplain, I realized I have needed to redefine many, many things. For example, what is pastoral presence? And, what is prayer? I want to share this experience with you and ask us to think about how we can be a healing presence to others.”-Rev. Dean Staffanson

 Service Recordings

Please  follow this link  https://soundcloud.com/uuflacrosse to listen to past Sunday services. 

April  Special Collection- Citizens’ Climate Lobby

The April Special Collection will be Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization empowering people to experience breakthroughs exercising their personal and political power. Our chapter is just one of hundreds of chapters across the world working to create the political will for a livable . This market-based policy will drastically reduce emissions, create jobs, and support small businesses and families- all without growing government.


The caregiver can offer support to those in need by sending a card, contacting Rev. Taves for personal support, making an announcement during Joys and Concerns, and/or publicizing your status and needs via the weekly emails. Let us know the level of care you desire. The caregiver for April is Kathy Schnitzius. You may reach her at schnitz96@aol.com.

News from Rev. Krista Taves 

American Unitarian Universalism is in a significant moment. We’ve been moving towards it with increasing speed for almost three years. Let me explain.

When Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson MO, the nation focused on race in a way that we had not seen in some time. The tensions over the meaning of his shooting divided some and brought others together. What became clear to many is that the shooting highlighted the depth of systemic racism that many, especially whites, wanted to downplay and minimize.

In our Unitarian Universalist faith, there was much consternation and sometimes conflict over how to respond to the emerging Black Lives Matter movement. Those with family in law enforcement felt torn between standing with their loved ones and struggling with the face of racial bias in the criminal justice system. Many ministers and lay people joined the protests that mushroomed across the nation. Unitarian Universalist People of Color raised their voices, challenging us all to stand together in this crucial time and not to shy from the work at hand. The Black Lives of Unitarian Universalists Organizing Collective was formed to coalesce the voice of

African Americans in our movement. They have often been our prophets, speaking of things that many of us don’t want to hear or are afraid to say.

In the intervening years, at every General Assembly, which is our annual national conference, the delegates who gathered recommitted our association of congregations to continue the hard work of dismantling systemic racism both within our congregations and in the movement as a whole. It felt like we were living our principles faithfully and becoming more like the beloved community we wish to be.

A few months ago, however, we received a reality. Black Lives of UU had challenged the Unitarian Universalist Association Board and Leadership Council to be more intentional in hiring people of color at the highest levels. There are no people of color in regional lead positions. Our association is divided into regions and each region has a staff team with its own Regional Lead. In March the newest regional lead hire was revealed, another white male, when an equally qualified woman of color had also applied. Black Lives of UU demanded that the UUA Board recognize the white supremacy thinking that lead to a status quo decision. Many white Unitarian Universalists joined them to amplify the message. The President of the UUA, Rev. Peter Morales, decided that he was the wrong person to lead the association through this challenge and stepped aside. The individual who was offered the Regional Lead Position has declined the offer. Two other high level UUA staff people have also tendered their resignations to create room for new vision. The UUA Board has put in place a three-person team to fill the President position until the election of a new President in June. The three person team is former UUA President Rev. Bill Sinkford, Rev. Sophia Betancourt, and Leon Spencer, three highly-respected African American leaders in our movement.

Black Lives of UU has asked every Unitarian Universalist congregation to commit a Sunday for a Teach In about the what white supremacy looks like in liberal congregations. It’s a scary prospect for many people. We don’t like to think that as liberals we can be racist or that we are part of the problem. However Unitarian Universalist of Color often experience being disempowered in our congregations. They are asking us to take responsibility for how we exclude non-whites with our implicit assumptions. They are asking us to look with open eyes at how Unitarian Universalism often centers the white experience. To date, 540 congregations, which is more than half of our congregations, have committed to a teach-in. I find this very exciting, very brave, and very hopeful. It says to me that the yearning for wholeness and healing is strong enough that we are willing to welcome a time of introspection and accountability. My profound hope is that we will become the world we dream about and a model for other liberal institutions to follow.

This is a tender time and it’s also a transformative time. Let us move through the possibilities of this moment with compassion, conviction, kindness, and hope.

Yours in faith, Rev. Krista Taves.

Building Use Reminder

If you have a key to the UU Fellowship building and need to enter the building for any reason, please remember that you are responsible for re-locking the door and for checking all other outside doors to verify that they are locked and closed before you leave.

SUMMER SERVICE SCHEDULE (note time changes)
June Services
June Sunday Services will start on June 4th with the bird walk in Myrick Park, a long-standing favorite of the Fellowship.  Starting at 9:00 a.m. Melinda Knutson will lead the walk and end back at the gun shelter for pancakes!
The following three Sundays (June 11, 18, and 25) will be an opportunity for the attendees to develop and expand a foundation of knowledge as we use the series Race: The Power of Illusion to guide a conversation about race in our Fellowship, our community, and the nation.  The services will start at 9:30 and are scheduled to go until 11:00 to ensure there is time for discussion.  
July Services
There will no services in July
August Services 
The August 6, 13, and 20th Sunday Services will follow a similar pattern to June services with an opportunity for personal growth and learning about the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community.  The first three weeks in August will also start at 9:30 and are scheduled to go until 11:00.  
During this time of elevated fear, concern and increased hate crimes, the Sunday Service and Music Team with input from the Fellowship, believe it’s of utmost importance to become better community members by learning with and from each other.
Summer services end on August 27th with another familiar service linked to the Folk Festival.  More information to follow.

UUF Collecting Items for the Homeless

Our congregation continues to collect needed items for La Crosse-area homeless shelters and centers. Right now, they especially need these things:

* Women’s underwear (sizes medium and small)

* Men’s and women’s socks (black crew socks are great)

* Body wash (large containers, to keep in shelters’ showers)

Other items are also useful: large bottles of 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, bar soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, snacks, and easy-to-heat food. The collection box tends to wander a bit but is currently lurking in the fellowship’s coffee area. There are also lists of needed items, if you want to take one with you.

Questions? Contact Ellen Severson at EllenQofSheba@gmail.com.

Hamilton Elementary can use your Box Tops for Education

Do you save Box Tops for Education? If you don’t already save Box Tops for another school, you may be throwing away a little extra help that Hamilton Elementary School can use. Box Tops are found on hundreds of General Mills products throughout the grocery store and on some office supplies. You can look on your cereal, Kleenex, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, packaged foods and garbage bags—and bring your Box Tops to the Fellowship. There is an envelope on the bulletin board in the kitchen where you can place Box Tops. If you have questions, please contact Deborah-Eve @ uueducation.lax@gmail.com

Volunteer in the Nursery

If you miss watching babies learn to crawl, learning how to pull up and learning how to play, you might want to volunteer in the Nursery.  We have regular paid staff, but they are mostly college age and will be gone in May.  Volunteer one time or many times.  You spend about 1 ½ hours in the nursery on a Sunday morning and are left with joy for the day.   Contact  Ingrid or Kristie for more details.  iiverson@uwlax.edu  kristieneve@gmail.com

Book Group

The book we will be reading and talking about is Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindleen. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month, 5:30 to 7:30, with our next gathering May 16, 2017, at  Java Vino – note the change in location. Everyone is welcome. For more information contact Barbara McPeak, (608) 780-9035 or bj_mcpeak@charter.net . Please note May 16 will be the last meeting for the season for the book group.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 27, 2017

Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem 


AIM Team Looking for Members

We are looking for members for our Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Team. The Fellowship is in phase II of the AIM certification process to become a certified congregation working towards the full engagement of people with disabilities and their families in our congregation, providing support and action. For more information on the goals of an AIM congregation and the certification process, please visit http://www.uua.org/accessibility/aim If you are interested in being a member of our AIM team, please contact Rachel Carter at coordinator@uulacrosse.org or 608-498-9603.

 Being Thankful and Giving Thanks

We, as a congregation, would like to further our efforts to promote love, compassion, and gratitude within our fellowship. In our lobby, there are markers and pieces of paper. Feel free to write down what you are thankful for or a short thank you to someone our congregation. Then, put the note in our former suggestion box and Rachel will add it to an upcoming order of service. “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”-Randy Pausch. For more information, contact Rachel Carter at coordinator@uulacrosse.org.

Upcoming Services

5/7/17- Coming Home: It Takes A Community to Heal A Soul with Alice Holstein

What does “coming home mean?”  It can mean a variety of things, says Alice, who returned to the “last place she ever wanted to live” in 2002 in the midst of a mental illness crisis. In La Crosse, however, she found the people and resources to restore her body and rebuild her life.  This presentation is for all who have contributed to creating community through a multitude of everyday actions and those who might wonder how “simple” gestures and welcoming organizations can make such a difference.  It is told through Alice’s personal stories of discovery and renewal.
Alice has a doctorate in Organization Development and had a career as a college instructor and self-employed consultant before it was destroyed with 12 years of horrific suffering from manic depression.  She wrote a book about that experience and from 2008 to 2017 she was a peer support specialist at the La Crosse mental health VA clinic.  In her “retirement” she plans to do more writing, practice “Spiritual Journey Companioning ” and have some fun.

5/14/17A recent collaboration based on a different way approach people who experience homelessness resulted in stable housing for all veterans before Christmas 2016.  Join  two of the collaborators Kim Cable from Couleecap and Joel Miller from the City of La Crosse Police Department as they share their experience and ongoing planning to end homelessness for others in La Crosse.

5/21/17  Improving Health, One Relationship at a Time with Liz Arnold

Relationships are at the core of a healthy life. Learn how Gundersen’s Global Partners program is engaging our region in meaningful relationships to improve the health of vulnerable individuals around the world… including our own backyard.

5/28/17 Memorial Day for Pacifists with Rev. Krista Taves

Many Unitarian Universalists have a conflicted relationship with Memorial Day. Some of us would rather go camping or spend the day in the park than think about the meaning of the day. Partly this is because Memorial Day can include a kind of patriotism that feels more like a religion. Many of us also value peace. We struggle with our nation’s military industrial complex, and want to offer respect to those who have given their lives in the service of the nation. Some of us are veterans. How do we hold all these experiences authentically and in harmony with our values?

 Please check the weekly enews and website for confirmation and more information! If you can’t make it on any given Sundaythe UUA’s Church of the Larger Fellowship offers live-streaming Sunday services also. Check it out!