Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RE Advent class online!

I hope you are taking the opportunity to check out our first ever online RE offering for the season of Advent. AdventUretreat. You can still join in! If you have been there you will see that it is very opened ended. The main image is one of a spiral.

This advent class is an offering that is different from "brick and mortar" classes. It is not a webinar either. You can just go on each day and see what is posted. You can send pictures or email text of your own experience that Lisa will post. There is a button on the right side that says "submit posts." In that way you become a presence in it. You can put as much or as little into it as you like. What you get out will depend on your own willingness to engage.

I am experimenting with creating a sticky note spiral on a wall in my kitchen. You could do this on a shelf or on a piece of paper. The key is to keep coming back each day and let yourself be inspired by what Lisa and other's post. There really are many ways to travel this.

This is a new adventure for us. It is kind of mysterious: this new technology, this way of being, alone and together.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Welcoming the Returning Light!

At First Unitarian Society Schenectady our own past and traditions lend themselves to many opportunities for celebration and service during this season of increasing darkness. In that light (:0) , we are offering opportunities in Religious Education for both inward exploration and outward celebration and work.

We are offering our first online Religious Education class, led by Lisa Temoshok. ADVENTURE + RETREAT = adventUretreat. The season of Advent ad+venire (to come) rises like the sun on a frosty autumn morning. It is a time to retreat and reflect, noticing how our inner lives shape our outer lives.” Follow the link to read some about it. Starts on Advent, Sunday, November 28.

Saturday December 4 from 3- 6 PM we will have our first Homemade Holidays for the entire congregation. We have done this for the past two years with our children in religious education and now want to offer it to the FUSS community. Come, slow down and enjoy making gifts for your loved ones or teachers or friends. Make an evergreen wreath, a beaded bracelet, a felt ornament. Roll beeswax candles. Make an herbal sachet. The smells of this season are enticing. This really is an all- ages event! $5 at the door to make a wreath; $5 for tickets to make one each of the remaining crafts, or make more than one. Please email melissa.dre@gmail.com if you are planning on attending so we can make better guesstimates of supplies to have on hand.

Saturday December 18 from 5- 7 PM children can enjoy their own quiet, seasonal experience with our Advent Spiral Walk. We'll gather as families at 5 PM to share a potluck meal and hear a story related to the season. Then children will have the opportunity to walk a spiral laid out with evergreens and light a candle at the center. Adults will support them by holding the space sacred and modeling the reverence that it embodies. We offered an Advent Spiral as part of children's chapel three years ago and it was beautiful and sacred and quiet.. We all crave meaningful silence and we are able to embrace this with traditions that are age- appropriate. For a longer time of quiet reverence, enjoy the Winter Solstice Service Tuesday, December 21 from 7:30 – 8:30PM.

We say in our Bond of Union that “service is our prayer.” This is a time of year when we seek to do good for others. The Mitten Tree is one our our oldest, continual holiday traditions at FUSS. People knit, crochet and purchase hats, mittens and socks to donate to two local shelters, Bethesda House and Sojourn House. For a great story for children of a mitten tree, check out The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen.

On December 5, in our religious education classes, many of our children will be involved in service projects, making cookies, making cards, and preparing to staff a table to collect items for Sojourn House.

We will again support Sojourn House, a second chance home for homeless women with children and pregnant women with our without children, this holiday season. Beginning November 28 we will have a table in the back of the Great Hall to collect new, unwrapped toys and arts and crafts supplies. See the sidebar for items from their wish list. Gifts will be collected at a table at the back of the Great Hall through December 19.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Join a Common Read

December 15 7-8:30 PM come participate in a Common Read of The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands.

The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands by Margaret Regan (Beacon Press, 2010) presents "a series of intimate stories from immigrants, activists, human rights workers, and border patrol people. Through their stories, the book explores the ethical, moral, and spiritual challenges presented by the complex immigration issues on the border, evoking our human response, rather than a political or policy debate. Regan calls us to the religious act of bearing witness to brutality and despair along with extraordinary courage and commitment."

This past June, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly selected Immigration Reform as the new four-year Congregational Study/Action Issue and resoundingly endorsed holding a special “justice” General Assembly focused on immigration issues in Phoenix, Ariz., in 2012.

Please consider reading the book and joining our discussion. The book, a $15 paperback, can be purchased locally at a 15% discount if we have at least four people willing to buy it from the Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady. To support this local business and get a discount let Melissa know at melissa.dre@gmail.com by November 29. Otherwise, the Open Door will have copies available.

Childcare will be available. Led by Rev. Priscilla Richter and Melissa MacKinnon, DRE.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Holidays!

Please join us for an all -ages fellowship event

of craft and gift making!

Saturday, December 4, 3-6PM

Create a wreath or swag from evergreens to take home, make beautiful gifts to share for the holidays and crafts to decorate your home.

Minimum charge for supplies.

Childcare provided.

Bring box, tray or laundry basket to bring your treasures home in.

APC and RE will offer sub sandwiches at 6 PM for those wishing to stay for the annual FUSS Holiday Party that starts at 7 PM.