Moving Right Along...
It’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts in the Chalice, but the stars have aligned this month. I’d like to remark on movement, momentum and progress.
Our exploration for possible new premises for the UFL has been a prominent undertaking for the last 8 months, but it’s not the only project we’ve taken on. We’ve welcomed several new members, enjoyed some fun social events, and continued to present interesting and spiritually uplifting programs every week. We’ve welcomed guest speakers, guest musicians and benefited from talks by UU ministers from elsewhere in Canada.
I’m always impressed by a unique American trait, and that’s the way they move on from challenging ordeals. The big trend, story or theme one year is quickly forgotten the next, replaced by something else. There’s something good about moving on quickly, especially from something painful or distressing. Of course, one mustn’t ignore history, or the lessons history can teach us. But looking forward with optimism is to my mind better than wallowing in regret or feeling blue about missed opportunities. If unfavourable conditions grind you down, the motto is: get right back up and keep on marching!
Recent all-congregation meetings have generated a wealth of ideas and provided guidance for ways we can channel our energies. With the new year well underway, it’s fitting for UFL members and staff to set goals for our activities this year. We don’t want our aims to exceed our capabilities, but let’s work together with renewed energy to make this year one of our very best!
Respectfully yours, Brian Keith, Board President
“Rest and Restoration: Working Towards a Life of Peace and Purpose” was the title of the January 14 Sunday service, the ideas coming from the book “Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose” by Rebekah Lyons.
Nineteen people participated in small groups in the church hall while 14 tuned in on Zoom. In many ways the event was a form of small group ministry where we shared, discussed, expressed, and laughed at times! Eight questions guided the experience with each group having a moderator and a recorder.
It was amazing how often reference to our UFL (Unitarian Fellowship of London) appeared in responses. By attending Sunday services or viewing them on Zoom, the UFL was seen as aiding in slowing down life; the UFL family was seen as providing support and fellowship; the UFL contributed to one’s “play-time” through socialization activities like Soup Sisters, Men’s Lunches, and Book Club.
Other themes that predominated in discussion regarding how to relax and unwind were walking one’s dog, gardening, music’ exercise; meditation and yoga.
As for the effects of internet and social media, again the UFL Zoom Sunday services were noted as one of the positives of these technologies; other responses said that we stay connected to friends and family ; it enables us to be aware of world situations. On the negative, there is a need for balance and avoiding excessive reliance and time on social media.
People commented on how much they enjoyed this kind of service, allowing them to bond together in small groups.
Submitted by Eileen Howay
Quotes on Healing
“Healing is an art. It takes time, it takes practice, it takes love.”
“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
“When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.”
It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.
– Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
-Max de Pree
Service Leaders: Bill Ratcliffe and Karen Kidd
Playing a part in healing the natural environment and reducing stress
Questions for discussion:
- What kinds of communities do you seek out?
- Do you feel that participation is obligatory, or advised, perhaps work-related?
- Is there a kind and compassionate community available to you that encourages the giving and receiving of support?
- If you could create your version of a 15-Minute Village, what would it look like?
Join other UU 18 to 35 year-olds on Zoom for sharing of joys and sorrows, deeper check-ins, prayerful reflections, and an opportunity to process the events of our lives with a spiritually grounded community. Each month we are joined by a member of the Young Adult Pastoral Care Team.
These monthly gatherings have become highly valued touchstones in the lives of many young adults. While so much in our lives is unknown and unknowable, we can find comfort in familiar rituals and faces. By sharing our joys, our concerns, our sorrows and our gratitudes, we know ourselves to be held in a loving community. Exploring themes and spiritual practices helps us each remember our own creativity and resilience. We are all in this together, a part of a larger story.
These are drop-in gatherings, so you don’t need to sign up in advance and there is no fee. See event details for zoom link.
Join Elizabeth Van Rij online Monday, February 12th at 7:00 PM to discuss the 1923 spiritual classic ”The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. (Zoom link to follow later.)
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself” ― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. This short but profound book has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history, as well as one of the best selling books of all time.
To facilitate discussion please choose one or two of your favourite chapters that we can read in full as a group.
Electronic copies are at Project Gutenberg
You can listen to it online on YouTube
Topic: Elizabeth Van Rij "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran
Time: Feb 12, 2024 07:00 PM America/Toronto
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 894 6619 4089
A warm welcome is extended to men within our Congregation who would like to join other Unitarian Universalist men for food and conversation on Monday, February 19, at 1:00 pm., at the Family Circle Restaurant, at 147 Wellington St. London.
The UU Men's Lunch Group meets monthly for lunch, on the third Monday. The normal attendance is 6-8 men. A warm welcome awaits you.
Tom Orchard, <email@example.com>, emails members of the group the week before the monthly lunch, to determine who will be attending. You may contact Tom Orchard or Bill Ratcliffe, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions. Hope to see you at the next lunch.
The UFL book club has been around for 36 or 37 years, just slightly more than half of the ULF's existence. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 2 pm. Our February book is 'Hillbilly Elegy,' by J.D. Vance. The meeting will be via Zoom on Tuesday, February 20th from 2-4 pm If you are interested in joining our book club please contact me, Alice Wehlau, the coordinator of the book club. I hope to hear from you.