March Theme – “Freedom & Responsibility”
“Personal Rights and Responsibilities” Many of us take for granted our ability to speak out when we feel the need. But what happens when one’s safety, or even life, is threatened? What is the responsible thing to do? What is the right thing to do? Fellowship friend Sohail Qamar, who has traveled with his family to over 33 countries, will share powerful anecdotes about personal rights worldwide and the role of responsibility. Sohail Qamar speaking.
“What Is Freedom For?” Millions fought and died so that we might be free. But free from what? For what? How do we balance freedom and responsibility? Let’s move beyond the esoteric to some practical solutions. Led by Eric Severson, Minister.
“Unless” The beauty and bounty of summer begins with a tiny bud on a branch, or with a tiny plant emerging from a seed and thrusting through the soil to the sun. We will explore the power and responsibility we have as individuals to change the world, for better or worse. Unless we take those first steps, a journey never begins. Join us to find the promise in the word “unless.” This is a multigenerational service. Led by Eric Severson, Minister, and Heather Cleland-Host, Director of Lifespan Religious Education.
“The Credibility Gap” Public figures often make promises they can’t keep. But, too often, there also is a gap between our own intentions and actions. Let’s consider ways in which we might hold elected officials accountable and improve our own credibility. Led by Eric Severson, Minister.
“Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands” How do we respond to circumstances we’ve never experienced before — especially when they call us to new responsibilities and curtail our freedoms? What do our consciences and values suggest? Please join us for an online service to examine our human nature and ways of coping.
February Theme – “Resilience”
“Is There Life After Death?” When a loved one dies, the life we have built can be shaken to its foundation, and sometimes, even the foundation crumbles. How, then, do we keep living when our loved one dies? Come explore strategies for rebuilding a life after death, and ways foundations can be reinforced even before the great quake comes. Led by Denise Reiling.
“Back From Despair” Finding a spiritual home that gives us hope by affirming our personal identities can be life changing, indeed, life saving. So it is with Unitarian Universalism; perhaps it was true for you. Come celebrate stories of resilience from within and beyond our fellowship. Led by Eric Severson, minister.
“On Hope and Courage” The long, dark days of winter can be challenging for many of us, and the seemingly endless and urgent needs of the world cry out for courageous, loving action. The values and sources of Unitarian Universalism can help us through these times and respond to this call. Led by Eric Severson, minister.
“Committing Our Hearts” Love and compassion sometimes are difficult to give. No one wants a broken heart, and yet vulnerability is essential to building or deepening relationships. How might we draw on our Judeo-Christian heritage in loving our neighbors as ourselves?
January Theme – “Thresholds”
“Life Transitions” Sometimes making a life transition is like walking through a door into a new and different world. Join us as fellowship members reflect on important life transitions they have experienced. Eddie Mulford and Amy Rogers, guest speakers.
“Going Out or Coming In?” It matters, when crossing thresholds, whether we are entering or exiting — or does it? Come explore some of the ways we approach what may be mundane or numinous experiences. Led by Eric Severson, Minister.
“Thresholds We Dare Not Cross” We human beings developed a fear response for good reason. We learned good and evil and where to draw the line (sometimes). What are some of the thresholds we dare not cross today and why? How might we harness our fear and act with courage? Led by Eric Severson, Minister.
“The Final Threshold?” To the best of our knowledge, physical death is the final threshold of life. But many world religions suggest otherwise, that some form of spirit remains or continues on. Let’s explore some eschatology together. Led by Eric Severson, Minister.
December Theme – “The Unexpected/Awe”
“The Unexpected Journey Into Paganism” Members of our Ancient Shores CUUPS chapter will share stories on how they became pagans. Afterward, congregants will be able to ask questions about the panel’s paths and beliefs. Led by Scott and Monica Hughes and members of the Ancient Shores CUUPS.
“Annual Choir Service” Our fabulous choir members will present our annual music-filled service where songs of the season will be sung sweetly in celebration of the onset of winter and the holidays. If you miss the service, or just love hearing the choir sing, come and see the UUFoM Choir at the Dow Gardens Christmas Walk on Friday, December 13 at 5:30pm, near the birches, only a short walk from the main building.
“Turn the World Around” Pageant Sunday This year’s Winter Pageant will be held on December 15 during the service. It will include a modern adaptation of O’Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” A young couple moves into their new home just before Christmas. They have very little money, and each sells something precious to themselves in order to give something to a person who is more precious to them (their spouse). Our story is full of surprises as we find out what happens when they exchange gifts (and what happens to their ex-belongings). Come celebrate the holidays with song, story and tales from the children of our congregation. See how a new perspective can turn your world around.
“What Is To Come” Whether it is in a hospital room, at home by the phone, or during the long months of winter or of a pregnancy, waiting can be the hardest part of any period in one’s life. That is especially true when the stakes are high and the future is unknown. The Christian season of Advent has much to teach about waiting for that which is to come and finding the unexpected.
“And So the Children Come” In this Christmas Eve service we will celebrate through story and song the hope and awe inherent in the nativity story, reverence for every human life, and the promise of generations.
“Beneath the Snow” In the cold and dark of winter in the Upper Midwest, it is easy to succumb to depression and “cabin fever.” It is a good time to tend one’s body, mind, and spirit and to look beyond the surface of things. What might we find beneath the snow? The sacred dark, perhaps, and surely more.
November Theme – “Thanks and Praise
“Sharing Our Gratitude” Gratitude Journals have become a well-known technique for improving one’s happiness and stress level. The worship team has asked UUFoM members to keep a gratitude journal leading up to our November theme of “Thanks and Praise.” UUFoM members will volunteer to share entries from their gratitude journals during this service. By sharing our gratitude, we hope to be drawn together as we support and affirm the goodness in the world together. Susan Mayer speaking.
“On the Shoulders of Giants” We discover truths by building on previous discoveries all the time, often without realizing it. We’ll reflect on the giants in our lives, the truths they helped us to see, how we might serve as giants to others. Eric Severson speaking.
“Transgender Courage” In thanks and praise of living with integrity and courage, we will center the stories of transgender and nonbinary folks and will honor the memory of those who lost their lives to violence in the past year. Eric Severson speaking.
“Thanks for Simple Gifts” As we approach the Thanksgiving Day holiday, let’s prepare ourselves for gatherings of people, overconsumption, and the winter holiday countdown by focusing on small, more immediate sources of joy. Eric Severson speaking.