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!

March 26th, 2017–Forward into the Garden of Eden with Rev. Krista Taves

All religions have some sense of what the perfect state of being looks like. Buddhism has nirvana, where all things become one. In Judaism it is when God and the people live in perfect covenant. In Christianity, there are multiple understandings of what it takes to recreate the Garden of Eden. Unitarian Universalism, with its roots in liberal Christianity and its modern multifaith identity, also has a sense of where we should be heading. It’s called Beloved Community.

Service Recordings

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

March Special Collection-Family & Children’s Center

The March Special Collection will be to benefit the Family & Children’s Center. FCC is a regional, 501(c)3 agency that provides a continuum of services designed to strengthen families and promote the well-being of children. Their services include alternative schools, community-based and home-based counseling, and residential options. Their centers throughout the region have more than 300 professional staff. There is a strong focus on child abuse and neglect prevention. Donating funds to this agency that aims to strengthen children and their families is a way to invest in our future.

For more information, visit their website:  http://www.fcconline.org

Caregiver

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 March is Kathy Schnitzius. You may reach her at schnitz96@aol.com.

How can liberals find happiness?

 Some years ago I read an article that said countries with liberal governments are  happier than countries with conservatives governments because liberal countries tend to provide more security for their people.  There is generally less economic and social stress and a higher overall quality of living.  However, conservatives living in liberal countries are happier than liberals living in liberal countries. The social safety net provides a security in living, but conservative belief systems understand socioeconomic suffering as a personal failing.  Therefore, social conservatives feel less social angst about the ills of the world.  It’s not their problem.  Inequality is a given and simply to be accepted.   In this worldview, our primary responsibility is to take care of our little corner of the world.
 
Liberals, on the other hand, tend to have a stronger sense of a collective responsibility for others, believing that we can and should work to change the systems that create human suffering.  Add to this a strong inclination to see climate change as human created, and you’ve got a pretty huge sense of responsibility.  The theory is that this is why liberals are less happy.  They spend more time worrying and more time trying to change systems that often resist change.   Liberals are therefore more restless and anxious.   
 
I’ve been thinking about this as I watch my own social angst at this particular time in history.  I self identify as a political, social and religious liberal.  When I hear about poverty, homophobia, racism, classism, sexism global warming and threats to the social security net, I can lose sleep at night.  I think about what else I can do, or should do, or didn’t do.  Sometimes I get angry at all that appears to stand in the way of the world as I think it should be and the world that actually exists.
 

So how do liberals find happiness?  These are some places I’ve witnessed happiness in the last four months:

1) Really good movies.  There are some awesome movies that break new ground, movies and inspire hopefulness.  Some really good ones are Moonlight and Hidden Figures.  Some of them face really hard issues, but the overriding message is one of hope.  The human spirit can always heal.

 
2) Really good friends.  Spending time with people who love and appreciate all of who you are is a wonderful way to recover hope in the world.  When in the company of good people, love abounds and provides a real time example of who we can be to each other.
 
3.  Really good marches.  A lot of us are protesting now, heading to the streets on a regular basis.  While the reason we march is dead serious, I have experienced a profound sense of joy and community at many of the marches.  I am meeting so many awesome people and quite possibly developing many new friendships.  We are facing hatred with love.  I love seeing the joyful explosions of conviction and commitment as we walk the streets.
 
4. Really good music and art and stories and…. You get the picture.  Art is the expression of what is possible and what already is in the human spirit.  Art is resistance and creation of beauty, truth and wisdom. 
 
5. Really good fresh air.  Even though there is a great tragedy unfolding on our planet, sometimes I make sure to get out and be in it.  When I feel overwhelmed with all that is happening, it’s reassuring to know that the birds are still singing and the sky is still beautiful and the sun and moon with rise and set. 
 
6. Really good community.  This is someplace that religious liberals shine.  We intentionally build communities that nurture and try to model the values that we believe would make life what it is meant to be.  We focus on valuing the inherent worth and dignity of each person and on nurturing authentic loving relationships of accountability that have liberating potential.  We offer a place to rest and a path for action. 
 
7.  Really good vision.  One of the things I often tell myself is, “Just because I don’t see something happening, doesn’t mean nothing is happening.  I’m just not able to see it right now.”  One of the things that motivates liberals is a trust that despite the setbacks, despite the stream of bad news, despite all the things that give us such pain and sorrow, good people are working together to move towards a vision of a world defined by justice, generosity, and love.  When we get tired and need to spend time in a different space refueling, someone is getting back up and keeping the ball rolling.   We are all moving together and love is going to win.
 
I would rather experience the interweaving of joy and sorrow that comes with loving the world so much that it hurts than a sheltered contentment that comes from turning my back on others and thinking only of my little corner of the world.  This, in my mind, is what is means to be truly alive. 
 
Yours in faith and service,
 
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.

Circle Suppers

There are two host sites for March 18 and two for April 29. Please find sign up sheets on the back table in kitchen.

Ingrid Iverson and Milo Velimirovic are hosting a circle supper on the 18th at 6 pm at their home. There is still room for 3 more adults and children are welcome. Contactiiverson@uwlax.edu for more information.

Margaret Dihlman-Malzer and Ron Malzer at 331 28th Street South are also holding a circle supper on the 18th (time TBA) and they have 6 more open spots. Contact Ron atronsaturday@gmail.com for more information.

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We are looking for a minimum of 4 hosts per date (but more might be considered if interest is high), meaning people who are willing to open their home to a potluck for 6 to 12 people. The host will provide the main course, but will not be held responsible for specialty diets unless they want to. Those who sign up under a host will also sign up to bring something to contribute to the meal, and if you have a special diet you will be able to bring something that meets those requirements. It needs to be easy for the host, the focus being on the fellowship among those who gather. It will be assumed that these are adult gatherings unless a host explicitly welcomes children, which would be wonderful.

If you wish to be a host, please email the date, number of people you can have as guests, if you live in a disability accessible home, what you will be making for a main course, your name, address and email, arrival time for guests, and any other information you feel would be helpful. Sign-up sheets will be made available at the fellowship in the coffee area. If you don’t attend on Sundays, please email Rachelcoordinator@uulacrosse.org to sign up. Once we have the slots filled for a given date, the hosts will get a list and can take over communication with guests from there.

I have very fond memories of these suppers when we did them long ago, and I made some lasting friendships. My hope is that Circle Suppers can once again become part of what we do to nurture the bonds between us and to reach out to others. Let’s give it a whirl! Email me if you have any questions laurierogers@me.com or 608-385-2056 (If you text me, please identify yourself. Thanks.)

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 Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month, 6:00 to 7:30, with our next gathering April 18, 2017, at UU Fellowship (use north side door). 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 book group.

“Living Well in the City: Together We Can!” 2017 La Crosse Mayor’s Neighborhood Expo

Mayor Tim Kabat would like to invite members of the La Crosse community to take part in the 4th Annual La Crosse Mayor’s Neighborhood Expo. This year’s FREE Expo will take place Saturday, March 25th from 8:30am to 2:00pm at the La Crosse Center, South Hall, 300 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, WI.

 Are you 70-1/2, with an IRA?

Did you know that a direct charitable contribution from the IRA counts toward your Required Minimum Distribution? The amount donated is not taxable. You can talk to a member of the finance committee (Margaret Dihlmann-Malzer, Dave Long, Drew Neve or Phil Sandberg) for an overview, but remember we are not tax professionals. Please see your tax professional to facilitate a contribution.

 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

 

4/2/17:  The First Amendment: Just 45 words… and one big principle with Rusty Cunningham
Join Rusty Cunningham, Executive Editor of the La Crosse Tribune, as he talks about the importance of a free and independent press.
4/9/17-Multigenerational Service*: A celebration of books and words and how they make us feel. 

To say that you merely admire or respect a book could feel a bit insulting because we’re more likely to say we LOVE books that stir our emotions! What books and words do you LOVE? This multigenerational service is an opportunity to share some of the words you hold dear and experience those of members and friends.

 In “Loving Literature: A Cultural History,” Deidre Shauna Lynch, professor of English at Harvard, shows us that for a long time, people didn’t love literature. Many readers believed that they read with their heads, not their hearts and they were unsettled by the idea of readers becoming emotionally attached to books and writers. However, Lynch writes—that over the century roughly between 1750 and 1850—reading became a “private and passional” activity, as opposed to a “rational, civic-minded” one.

 No matter your numerical age, during this service you are invited to display books (or other forms if necessary) that you are most passionate about. We’ll create a temporary book display to celebrate how our UU community is founded on loving alike, even if we don’t always think, read or feel alike. The service will incorporate stories and samples along with time to be together. If you can’t select just one example, bring two—and all ages are invited to come dressed as a favorite character or in celebration of reading.

 *A Multigenerational Service is designed to engage multiple learning styles and include everyone—from youngsters to elders—in a shared Unitarian Universalist experience.  This is one of the ways that we model and visualize our desire to coexist in difference.  Everyone is invited to join in mind, heart and spirit for a service with participation, choir, and a surprise or two!

4/16/17-Unbearable Gifts with Rev. Barbara Pescan

Unitarian Universalists may resonate with ancient scripture as poetry even if we do not regard it as fact.  The Easter story is poetry of fear and loss, human grief and hope and persistence.  In the northern hemisphere seasonal changes mix with ancient rituals that touch this history, our memory and our very bodies.  Each touch is a gift.  

Reverend Pescan is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister and a member of our Fellowship along with her partner, Reverend Ann Tyndall.

 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!