Music update

From Jeremy Wagner, UUCC Director of Music Ministry

I want to congratulate everyone for their contributions to our music service on Sept. 22. You are now officially all budding musicians, and I greatly appreciate all of the thoughtful, meaningful words you gave to be shared during our service. I appreciate them so much that I decided to hang every index card I received in my office as a daily reminder of the wonderful humans, musicians and musical allies we have in this church.

Thank you all and please come stop by my office any time. If the light is on and I am here, I am open to having a discussion with every person who comes knocking.

To all parents of children in 3rd-8th grades

In the spirit of our music service and furthering our musical outreach in the church and in the community, I would like to extend an invitation to you and your children for the beginning of our very own UUCC Youth Choir, Pulchram Vocem, which translates to Beautiful Voice.

We are looking for a weekly meeting time, and I will reach out to you all individually to see when it would be possible for you and your children to be in attendance. The goal of this choir is to have fun creating music together and exploring what music means to us and how becoming musicians helps shape our lives. We are hoping to get this going as quickly as possible so our premiere performance can be at the Nov. 24 multigenerational Thanksgiving service.

To all non-choir members

Yes, I’m back once again wanting your voice in choir rehearsals Wednesday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Centering Room. The only requirement for this choir is that you have a love of music and that you want to share that love with the world. You DO NOT need to be able to read music. All that we ask is that you come to rehearsal wanting to get better every day. After all, our mission as musicians and as humans is to improve ourselves every day. I believe firmly that there is no better way to improve our humanity than through sharing the gift of music. Please, join us. We would love to have you.

To everyone

Last, I want to thank everyone once more for being so welcoming, warm, generous, gracious and beautiful to me as I have come into the church. I greatly appreciate every person with whom I have conversed and who has expressed a desire to share their gifts with the congregation. You all make this the easiest job there is with your love, acceptance and warmth. Thank you all.

 

Fall Adult R.E. – UU Social Justice History – Oct. 1-Nov. 19

Resistance and Transformation: UU Social Justice History

6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 1-Nov. 19
Kickoff Potluck – 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1

Our fall Adult RE program, “Resistance and Transformation: UU Social Justice History,” will be offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday evenings starting Oct. 1 and continuing through Nov. 19. We’ll kick off the semester with a potluck dinner at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

Join teaching team Kyna Byerly, Tim Dickerson and Connie Ordway to learn about the social justice actions of our forebears and consider how to apply their lessons to our work today.

Curriculum authors Collin Bossen and Julia Hamilton write:

Grounded in the belief that even “failures” in our history can be instructive, this program presents the ongoing struggle of our tradition to live up to its ever-evolving ideals of social transformation. Themes include abolition, peace-making, civil rights, free speech, utopianism, counter-culture, the women’s movements of both 19th and 20th centuries, sexuality education, and LGBT equality.

 

Joint Sanctuary Team and Honduras Ministry luncheon fundraiser – Nov. 3

Sunday, Nov. 3 after 11 a.m. worship

Please join the Sanctuary Team and Honduras Ministry Team for a lunch with delicious Honduran tamales and other delicacies cooked by Yadira. There is no set price – please give as you wish and can. All donations will be split between the two ministries.

The Sanctuary Team will continue to support Yadira and family by supporting their sponsoring family. The Honduras Ministry will use the funds raised for latrine-building supplies and other needed items for their service trip in late December and early January.

For more information, email Dottie Mathews or Allie Gassmann.

Honduras Ministry Trivia Night fundraiser – Nov. 16

Nov. 16, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

El Pital Clinic

The Honduras Ministry’s 8th Annual Trivia Night fundraiser will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at UUCC to benefit our Honduras work. This is a change from our usual January or February date because our fifth service trip to Honduras is scheduled in late December and early January.

Funds raised at the Trivia Night will be used for latrine construction, urgently needed El Pital clinic supplies, scholarship funds for trip participants who otherwise wouldn’t be able to make the trip, other projects that we will be asked to help out with, and to support the microfinance group Adelante.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for students). There will be six people per trivia team. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at church on Sundays starting Oct. 20.

The event will feature child care, good food, a silent auction, 50-50-raffles, a chili cook-off, and, of course, much trivia fun! Bring chili to share by 5:45 p.m. for a chance to win a beautiful Honduran bag!

For more information, email Allie Gassmann.

 

October Social Action Team news

The Social Action Team enthusiastically participated in the Sept. 7 Justice-Making Summit with the Rev. Ashley Horan. We were energized to see 28 UUCC members there to affirm our commitment to our various ministries of love in action in our community and beyond.

The SAT will continue its work along the fronts of economic justice, anti-racism and diversity as much as our forces allow. We invite any church member or friend who would like to find their social justice “sweet spot” (the intersection of their skill and their passion with community need) to join us in creating our agenda for this church year (i.e. in addition to our ongoing work).

We usually meet the first Sunday of each month in the Forum room after the second service; however, our October meeting will be the second Sunday, Oct. 13.

Please mark your calendars:

  • Loaves and Fishes on Sunday, Oct. 20. Sign up here.
  • Honduras & Sanctuary Teams Fundraising Luncheon – Sunday, Nov. 3
  • Honduras Trivia Night – Saturday, Nov. 16. Our Honduran siblings are in urgent need of solidarity: Please see this link from UUSC to see how you can help.
  • Room at the Inn at UUCC – Dec. 8-22
  • Honduras Solidarity Trip: Tentatively scheduled Dec. 28-Jan. 8. Email Allie Gassmann for more details.

 

President’s Perspective – Moving through the Year(s)

By Mindy McPherson, 2019-20 President

September marked the beginning of our church year. Are you feeling the energy surge flow through our community? Kids tumbling down the stairs for religious education. The music ministry swinging into high gear. Connections within our community being (re)established and nurtured. We’re moving to the rhythm of our congregational ministry.

The natural world, likewise, is moving to the rhythm of the seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. Do you have a favorite? There is something that I love about each “distinct” time of year, but I particularly enjoy the transition from one season to another. I’m still waiting for the hot, steamy, late-Missouri summer to give way to crisp, cool nights, though I have started to see a few leaves turning maroon around the edges.

The seasonal changes, or the flip of the calendar, might suggest a time to start anew, to steady ourselves amidst change or to chart a new course. We reflect on the work of the past and move forward, adjusting our path or setting set new goals and intentions. The transitions can be exciting, filled with anticipation and intrigue. They can also be busy, overwhelming and stressful, as we strive to find a balance and maintain our focus.

For me and my family, as well as many in our church community, September carried us deeper into the academic calendar. Parenting Schweitzer-aged children and being immersed in the world of higher education, I’m in a swirl of pedagogical thoughts and plans. I’m working to model, and encourage the development of, a growth mindset for my children and my students. Ask questions, dig for deeper understanding, revisit lessons with new perspectives, and continue developing as lifelong learners.

As we push through the transition to fall, we must take this opportunity to reflect upon our collective growth mindset and the work of our church community. Together we can use this seasonal change, this start of our church year, as an opportunity to ensure that our goals are set and our focus is sharp.
I encourage you to re-examine our mission and vision. Reflect upon our past intentions and efforts. Consider how we can challenge ourselves and work together as a multigenerational community committed to our own growth and committed to sparking growth in the wider world.

 

Hans Bridger Heruth – our new staff collaborative pianist

Hans Bridger Heruth

Hans Bridger Heruth became our staff collaborative pianist in September 2019. Hans is an award-winning composer as well as a conductor, pianist, singer, and violinist. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As our collaborative pianist, Hans will help shape our music program.

Hans was born in Kansas City, Mo. and began studying both voice and piano at age 3, training as a boy soprano. He began studying violin at age 9 and started composing shortly after. His chamber opera, “A Certain Madness,” based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, premiered with critical acclaim and sold-out houses. His current projects include a new work entitled “Wytchkraft” for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gemma New.

An active collaborative pianist, Hans is also a staff accompanist at MU, where he accompanies the flagship choral ensemble, the University Singers. As a budding conductor, he has made a number of appearances with various ensembles. Most notably, he conducted Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” with the Show-Me Opera Program.

 

Calling all musicians!

From Jeremy Wagner, Director of Music Ministry

Hello all you talented, lovely people. I have been so impressed at the level of musicianship present in our congregation, and I would like to ask you to use your gifts as you are able. Please click the button below for a signup sheet listing a number of Sundays that would be opportunities for you to wow both me and the congregation with your talents. Please do not feel obligated to sign up every possible opening, but consult your schedule or the church calendar to see if it is doable for you and/or applicable to the content of the week’s message.

Musician Signup

Also, I would like to informally meet with everyone who plays an instrument to discuss your ideas about music in the church and to also get a better idea of comfortabilities and possible pairings. I would like to meet with as many of us as possible at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 in the Greeting Area. If you are unable to meet during that time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by email to set up an individual appointment.

 

Why is that rug in the sanctuary?

Click to enlarge

Starting Sunday, Sept. 8, you will notice that the front two rows of chairs on the west side of the Sanctuary have been removed and replaced by a large rug for children to sit on.The rug will have quiet items like crayons, paper and foam blocks. Parents, teachers, and other adults are invited to join the rug community too!

The reasons we are trying this are several. The first and most important is that we have designed the first part of the liturgy to be engaging to children and meaningful to folks of all ages, but it is hard for children to see and participate when they are sitting in the back of the room behind a bunch of adult heads! We believe children will feel more comfortable in our sanctuary, learn our rituals, and begin to engage more fully when they are nearer the “action” on the chancel.

The second is that creating a designated space for children front and center communicates that their presence in our worship life is important to the adults of our community and that learning to be a part of our services  is an important part of their religious education, one we know takes time and patience.

The third is to create a clearer pathway in the back of the sanctuary for people with all kinds of mobility needs to get where they need to go. We know families with children often sit in the back for easy access to the door in case a child needs to take a break in the Greeting Area. By placing the rug at the west side of the sanctuary, we hope families will still have easy access to the exit if they need it. Additionally we hope to continue fostering an atmosphere that truly welcomes the energy of children!

We’ll check in after a while to see how it’s going, and we are always happy to hear your thoughts directly – email either Rev. Molly or Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder, or both.

 

Intern Minister Alexis to explore new path

From Intern Minister Alexis:

Dear UUCC Community,

During a sermon in February, I talked about how being in meaningful relationships with people and engaging with different ideas can call us to adjust the stories we write for ourselves. Little did I know how my intended storyline was about to change!

I write to you, dear community, with a mix of excitement and sadness, to let you know that my story is calling me to explore a new path, one that means ending my internship.

My time as an intern paralleled with seminary courses delving into aspects of Christian theology and biblical studies that captured my interest. As I had time to reflect upon my seminary experiences over the summer, I was surprised to realize these interests were calling me down an ordination track different from what I originally expected. After talking with trusted mentors, I have discerned a desire to explore another faith tradition, namely Disciples of Christ, a progressive Christian denomination.

This exciting new development is accompanied by sadness, because it means I will be leaving my internship to give my whole attention this new path.

Serving UUCC has been a great joy and honor, and I am full of gratitude for each one of you. I will miss you very much. The fact that my inspiration to explore another faith tradition is due to revelation rather than hardship is a great gift.

Thank you for being a space that allowed me to develop as a minister. Thank you for providing support and learning that will always be a part of whatever good I do in ministry.

I will be at both services on Sept. 8 to formally punctuate the transition from being your intern, and I hope to see you there to thank you in person. You are welcome to contact me by email if you’d like between now and Sept. 8.

In Gratitude,
Alexis

From Rev. Molly Housh Gordon:

Dear UU Churchers,

What a gift it has been to have Alexis learning and working with us over the last year. She has brought so many skills and talents to bear upon our ministry, and it has been an honor and a joy to be a part of her formation into ministry. I know that she will be a gifted minister in the tradition that calls to her heart and that we will always share the work of loving this world together.

We are sad to see her go, but it is the work of Unitarian Universalism to support the conscience and resource the spiritual journey, even when that work occasionally leads people away from us. We can be proud to be an important part of Alexis’ journey.

I hope that you will join us in worship on Sept. 8 for a ritual of release to send Alexis off into the rest of her journey with our blessing, love, and very best wishes.

And I hope and believe that with Alexis having paved the way, we will have many future opportunities to serve in a teaching and mentoring role for ministers-to-be. I look forward with you to those opportunities.

In Faith,
Rev. Molly

“Dinners for 8” will begin new season

In an effort to bring UU adults together in homes of UUs, we will begin another year of “Dinners for 8.” The dinners beginning in September are a great way to get acquainted and experience good food. The dinners are essentially theme potlucks that are organized in advance. Dates for the dinners in September, October, November, January, February and March will be suggested by the host in consultation with the randomly-chosen members of the host’s dinner group.

In early December we have a Holiday Hors D’oeuvres Party, and in April we have a Spring Finale. Both events will take place at the church. Drinks for both events and entrees for the Spring Finale will be paid for from our dues.

Right now is a good time to email Linda Lou Brown to let her know you are interested in joining our groups. Please send your name, address and phone number, and let her know if you are able to host one or two times during the year.

Dues are $25 for couples and $12.50 for singles. You may pay your dues with a check designated for “UU Dinner Groups” and place it in the offering basket at church.

Bon Appetit!
Linda Lou Brown – 573-447-3939
Melinda Farhangi – 573-445-6325

New Director of Music Ministry – Jeremy Wagner

From Rev. Molly and the Music Director Search Team:

Jeremy Wagner

We are very pleased to introduce to you our new Director of Music Ministry, Jeremy Wagner!

Jeremy stood out to our search team because of his passion for building community through music and his gifts for working with singers of all ages and levels, including a gift for working with children and youth. He was recommended by his mentors and peers as an excellent and accessible conductor and showed himself through conversations with our search team to be dedicated, effective, and creative! We are so excited to begin working with Jeremy.

Jeremy will be getting oriented this week and next, and his first Sunday with us will be July 28. He also looks forward to gathering and meeting the choir in mid-August, and will be available for a meet and greet to the whole congregation after the service on July 28. Please plan to stay for coffee on Sunday the 28th and welcome Jeremy to our beloved congregation!

Jeremy is a promising music educator, performer and conductor who recently earned a Bachelor’s of Science-Education degree (with an emphasis in Vocal Music), as well as a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Growing up in Edmond, Oklahoma, and living in New York, Texas, and Missouri, he found that no matter where he lived he was able to find friends and nurture his love for music through school choirs. During his time in both the School of Education and the College of Arts and Science at Mizzou, he was able to work alongside and learn directly from his mentors, Dr. Wendy Sims, Dr. Brandon Boyd, and Dr. R. Paul Crabb.

Additionally, he was given opportunities to work with local public educators and students from Columbia Independent School, Rock Bridge High School, Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School, and Jefferson Middle School. Through his participation in the community, he has also established himself as a performer, singing a number of roles with Show-Me Opera’s productions and Missouri Symphony Society. His musical gifts and focused work ethic led to him being named the Director of Music at First Christian Church in Centralia, Mo., where he served for three years. He also worked as an intern for the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri.

In Glad Song,
Rev. Molly & Your Music Search Team – Pack Matthews, Jamie Meadows, Neil Minturn, Jeanne Murphy

July 14, 2019 – Making Liberation Irresistible

This summer we are exploring the use of secular works as sacred texts. Listen to the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon on July 14, 2019 as she explicates the thesis of the book Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown. Brown posits that there is more to this world than the pursuit of mere life, liberty and justice; that we deserve pleasure; and, in fact, that embracing what brings us joy is central in organizing against oppression.

June 16, 2019 – Looking Up to Les Misérables

In summer 2019 we are studying secular works as sacred texts. On June 16, 2019, we explored secular texts using the spiritual practices of Lectio Divina and Floralegium – techniques that ancient monks used to study the Bible. Tim Dickerson and Sam Otten applied these techniques to excerpts from two works – Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and “John Wayne Gacy Jr” by Sufjan Stevens. Listen to their exploration of these works for the inspiration and deeper meaning we can find in them.

May 19, 2019 – Celebration Sunday Podcast

At worship on May 19, 2019, we were treated to a music extravaganza as we celebrated the service of our Interim Director of Music Ministry, Marques J. Ruff, and our accompanist, Arun Garg. We also celebrated the accomplishments of our high school graduates. We apologize that this is one of the longest podcasts we have offered – however we make up for it by having rights to publish the wonderful music from Marques, Arun and our choir. Also, you can see photos from the service here.

Rev. Molly’s new office hours

Beginning in June, Rev. Molly’s Community Office Hours will be held at Kaldi’s Coffee downtown on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (instead of Tuesdays).

Rev. Molly is also always happy to meet by appointment with members, visitors, newcomers and community partners. Regular office hours at church are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, but appointments can be scheduled on other days and at other times, including evenings and weekends.

Please do reach out if you’d like to chat about life, find your place in the church, process something difficult, find a listening ear, or discuss a project together!

You can schedule an appointment with Rev. Molly here or by sending her an email.

 

Fragrance sensitivity? We’ve got you (or at least your chair) covered!

On Sunday, March 24, the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Team presented the lay-led service, “Living Up to Radical Welcome,” and made a small change in the sanctuary while we were at it. As we’ve heard a number of questions about this change, we thought it was about time we shed some light on it.

If you’ve been to services during the past couple of months, you have likely noticed a section of chairs in the back of the sanctuary topped with yellow pillowcases. This sunny addition was inspired by feedback we’d received from congregants who have fragrance and chemical sensitivities. These individuals had been unable to enjoy services because of the migraines, allergies, and other reactions caused by these products, which many of us don’t think twice about applying. While we can’t control what products each person uses before joining us for worship, we can create a space in which people who live with sensitivities or allergies to those products can, hopefully, be more comfortable and feel more radically welcome.

The AIM Team requests that the fragrance-free seating area be reserved for individuals who are not wearing perfumes or scented products. We thank you for your help with this step towards being more accessible to and inclusive of all members and guests.

– Gretchen Maune, Chair
Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team

May 12, 2019 – Flower Communion

On Sunday, May 12, 2019 we celebrated our annual Flower Communion, a tradition started in 1923 by Czech Unitarian Minister Norbert Chapek. In this podcast, we are pleased to present the reflections of our Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder and feature the wonderful music from our service, by permission of the performers. Although the visual beauty of the service can’t be appreciated by listeners, we make up for that with the music from our guest musicians. Mathena Claire Page sang “Meinem Kinde,” Aubrey Smith sang “Serenade,” and then together they sang “The Flower Duet.”

Beware of scam emails

Our minister, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, warned congregants on Friday, May 10 that It appears email scammers are targeting our church and other Unitarian Universalist churches across the country. The scam involves using the names of staff members or church leaders with a Gmail address. The first email usually asks for urgent help, and if you reply, the scammer tends to ask for a gift card donation for a charitable cause.

The UUA’s MidAmerica Region has also issued a warning that UU churches have reported their members are receiving these scam emails and that at least one person has lost money to these scams. This scam is also targeting other religious denominations. Read more.

Rev. Molly asked our members and friends to remember that any emails from her will come from her email address ending “@uucomo.org” or through our email list showing an address of “Rev. Molly Housh Gordon via All.” She added, “If you are suspicious about any email from me at any time, please start a new email to me and ask about it. And I will NEVER email you asking for gift cards!”

Our members and friends also should be aware that UUCC only accepts online payments through this website on the Donations and Pledge Payments pages of this website and does not request gift card donations.

The UUA reports it has seen an increase in “phishing” attempts of all kinds. Phishing is a form of “social engineering” whereby a hacker with bad intentions sends an email (or text or phone call) pretending to be someone the recipient trusts and asks the recipient to take an action which can have adverse effects. Sometimes, they request money. Other times, they invite the recipient to click a link or open an attachment that can trigger malicious code.

A good rule of thumb with emails you’re not expecting is to:

  • Reach out to the sender through another channel such as a separate email, telephone call, or smartphone text message, and
  • Not click on a link (or send money, gift cards, etc.) without getting verification from a trusted source.

March 24, 2019 – Living Up to Radical Welcome

At worship on Sunday, March 24, the UUCC Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team explored the topic of disability. Some disabilities are easily observed, leading to snap judgements about the person’s inherent worth and dignity, to misconceptions and prejudices, and often to discrimination. On the other hand, many disabilities are invisible, leading to accusations that the person might be “shirking” or “faking it.” But often well-meaning people are too “helpy,” as it is sometimes described, assuming that they can grab a disabled person’s arm and lead them around. All of these attitudes, well meaning or not, miss the mark. Disability is the only minority that any of us can join at any time, and we are likely to join them if we are lucky enough to live that long. Listen as Gretchen Maune, James Cutts, Qhyrrae Michaelieu, Martha Brownlee-Duffek and Ruth Millage describe their experiences.

Feb. 24, 2019 – Reparations and Soul Repair

At worship on Feb. 24, 2019, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s topic was “Reparations & Soul Repair.” She explored these issues: If power is the ability to act, then our power is deeply affected by our resources. What do we do about the truth of history that many have been systemically robbed of resources and thus power? What joyful redistribution of shared power could we find through the exercise of reparations? And what does all this mean for the well-being of our souls?

Social Action Team makes UUCC T-shirts available

After a two-year lapse in the availability of UUCC T-shirts, the UUCC Social Action Team now has three designs of T-shirts available for purchase at $20 apiece. The shirts are perfect for rallies and other activities and events. Look for them in the Greeting Area.

Some of the shirts feature the design that first became available in 2017 before the UUA General Assembly. On the front this design includes the official church logo and the church motto. On the back, it features the logo and the following words from our Mission Statement: “Courageous Love, Radical Welcome, Deep Connection – Healing the World.”

The other two designs are specific to the Social Action Team.

You can see the shirts in the photo slideshow below. Click the arrows to see the next or previous photo.

 

 

Faith Voices unveils “Moral Agenda” endorsed by Social Action Team

The Faith Voices of Columbia Moral Agenda 2019 was unveiled at a press conference on Feb. 4, 2019 and presented to the Columbia City Council the same evening. Read about the press conference and see a photo in The Columbia Missourian. Our minister, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, was one of the spokespersons for Faith Voices of Columbia.

Our Social Action Team voted at its January 2019 meeting to endorse the Moral Agenda.

Jan. 27, 2019 – Across Generations: Founders’ Day Sunday

At worship on Jan. 27, 2019, the day before the 68th anniversary of our church’s founding on Jan. 28, 1951, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon reflected on the history and future of Unitarian Universalism in Mid-Missouri. Listen to her sermon exploring the vision that connects us across generations, what it means to be a good ancestor, and how this idea can inspire us to leave a legacy that we may not harvest.

Jan. 20, 2019 – MLK Jr. Weekend – The Lonely Justice-Maker

On Jan. 20, 2019, the day before the official observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon revealed a major new effort by Faith Voices of Columbia – an interfaith group that promotes relationships of understanding, cooperation, and respect across religious and political divides. This proposal is scheduled to be presented to our community and our City Council on Feb. 4, 2019. The proposal demands funding for a permanent shelter for the unhoused, real and full community policing, abolishment of cash bail, and a number of other measures designed to create a moral attack on amoral policies. There could be no more fitting tribute to Dr. King’s legacy. We also are privileged to have digital rights and permission to publish Marques Ruff’s inspiring vocal performances.

Jan. 13, 2019 – Thresholds

Church was canceled on Jan. 13, 2019 because of heavy weekend snow, so we offer an archived recording from 2015 on the topic of “thresholds.” Times of change and transition can seem significant. Below the surface of our lives, the seeds of huge changes sleep beneath the snow, but we suspect nothing. When the grip of some long-enduring winter mentality begins to loosen, we find ourselves vulnerable to a springtime flourish of possibility, a threshold that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored these ideas on May 3, 2015.

Jan. 6, 2019 – Be It Resolved

A guest preacher, the Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson challenged us at worship on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, a time of resolutions and self-reflection, to be courageous – courageous in the face of trouble, courageous to stand up and say “enough,” courageous in the face of criticism and controversy. Rev. Dawson said he would rather die courageous than live as a coward.

Dec. 30, 2018 – Begin Again in Love

At worship on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, we paused at the cusp of a new year to reflect on what had been, and also to look forward and find inspiration and purpose for the new year. Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, DRE Jamila Batchelder, Intern Minister Alexis led us in poetic reflection.

Social Action Team invites you to join

We invite all church members and all friends who have an interest in social justice issues to join our Social Action Team to help us shape and strengthen our work.

There are five important aspects of UUCC Social Justice Work

  1. Direct Service (e.g., Loaves and Fishes, Room at the Inn).
  2. Fundraising (e.g., through Faith-to-Action offerings, fundraisers such as the Honduras Trivia Night, sales of artisan crafts, and more, to support social justice work).
  3. Education (learning about systems of injustice, our role in them, and how to effect systemic change).
  4. Advocacy and witness (e.g., work with Race Matters Friends, showing up at City Council, Solidarity Network events, working with Missouri Faith Voices, the Sanctuary Team, letters to congressional representatives, work with MADP, the Center Project, etc.)
  5. Community building and deep connection (to sustain ourselves in the work, but also to create the world we want to see).

Besides joining the SAT itself, we encourage participation in any of our subcommittees or other teams such as the Sanctuary Team, the Missouri Faith Voices work, or the Green Sanctuary team. Together we create the change we want to see while being who we want to be in the world. We welcome your comments, suggestions – and of course action items.

– Caya Tanski, SAT Chair – email

Dec. 2, 2018 – The F word (Faith)

There is a word not often heard in the Unitarian Universalist Church, and it is the F-word. Dare we utter it? Faith. In our exploration of loaded words this year, faith is the loaded word for December. Sometimes we see faith set up as an idea in opposition to reason and doubt. But can faith be of use in our thought and practice? Can faith actually translate to passion and commitment? What if our “faith” is what we believe fiercely, and even irrationally, as a part of dreaming better for our world? At worship on December 2, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored this topic, with introductory readings by Intern Minister Alexis and Tim Dickerson.

Nov. 25, 2018 – Now the Work, Soon the Victory

Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson

One of our favorite guest preachers, the Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson, pastor of Dawson Journeys Ministry, was in our pulpit on Nov. 25, 2018. He teaches religion and philosophy at several area colleges, and his eight-week course “History of the Black Church in America,” has been a hit at our and several other area churches. In his sermon, “Now the Work, Soon the Victory,” Rev. Dr. Dawson asked, “How do we correct oppression? How can we be a part of the solution?” and he made clear there is much work to be done. The sermon was introduced by our Interim Music Director Marques J. Ruff singing “The Rain is Over and Gone.”

Nov. 11, 2018 – Service and Sacrifice

On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2018, our worship topic was “Service and Sacrifice” – a time to think carefully about the role of sacrifice in the lives of our service members and in all of our lives. What does it really mean to serve our country? Listen to Joe Collins and Anja Eick about their experiences in the military.

Nov. 4, 2018 – Day of Remembrance

In the United States we have often conceived of Halloween as a frivolous time when children don costumes and eat too much candy. However in many cultures, this is a serious season for contemplating and respecting the memory of ancestors, folks dear to us who have departed – a time for honoring their memory and coping with grief at their passing. In her homily on Nov. 4, 2018, “All We Are and Will Ever Be,” Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored this more meaningful and somber aspect of the Day of Remembrance, explaining how love is essential even though it entails future loss.

Oct. 21, 2018 – Do the Monster Mash

At our “Do the Monster Mash” worship services on Oct. 21, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon and DRE Jamila Batchelder considered the idea of monsters in mythologies and in the minds of young and old alike. Listen to their thoughts as they explored how the visceral imagery of devils or demons can describe the experience of evil and help us grapple with evils in our world.

Oct. 14, 2018 – Damaged by Privilege

In his sermon on Oct. 14, 2018, Jeff Ordway recalled how the privilege of being a white male, which might sound desirable, instead resulted in damage to his own soul and especially to others. The events of recent weeks, when we watched several women come forward at great personal risk to describe abusive behavior by a Supreme Court nominee only to watch as his confirmation sail through a mostly-male Senate, drive home the lasting damage done by white male privilege. Jeff’s personal journey witnessing and experiencing abuses and callous behavior among young white males demonstrates how these attitudes and behaviors are perpetuated. Trigger warning: The subjects addressed in this podcast may not be appropriate for all listeners.

Oct. 7, 2018 – Everyday Evil

Writing in the shadow of the Holocaust in the years after the Second World War, German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt said: “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” At worship on Oct. 7, 2018, Rev. Molly Hough Gordon’s sermon grappled with the small ways people of good will can participate in evil in their everyday lives and how we can work to align ourselves with good.

Sept. 30, 2018 – Peace Must Be Dared

German theologian, pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is itself the great venture and can never be safe.” On Sept. 30, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the mingling ideas of safety and risk in these times and in our lives against the backdrop of Senate testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about her unsettling experiences. After the sermon, we celebrated our long-time and well-loved church administrator, Kathie Bergman, upon her retirement.

Sept. 23, 2018 – A Shelter for Every Storm

At worship on Sept. 23, 2018, our Sanctuary Team (Immigrant Ministry) explored how to create an expansive sense of what it means to offer sanctuary in these challenging times. Together, we considered how claiming our identity as a sanctuary congregation relates to creating deep connections, radical welcome and courageous love – not just for our immigrant friends and guests, but for ourselves as members of this sanctuary community. With the addition of a shower in the church, we now have made our building even more accommodating should a person or family need the shelter of our church as they pursue legal remedies to avoid deportation – the Sanctuary Team thanks everyone who helped make this possible.

 

Sept. 16, 2018 – Making Amends

Our Jewish neighbors, members, and friends observed the high holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, Sept. 18-19, 2018. We all make mistakes. There is something reassuring about that – we have all fallen short, every one of us. Listen to the podcast of our Sept. 16, 2018 interactive worship service for all ages, in which we took the opportunity to contemplate what it means to make amends and acknowledge our failings and the importance of creating a community that continually recommits to our promises.

Sept. 9, 2018 – Sanctuary – An Altar in the World

“Loaded words” is our worship theme for the year, and September’s loaded word is “sanctuary.” Listen to our worship service on Sept. 9, 2018 when the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon, “An Altar in the World,” explored what it is to create and experience sacred space, and sanctuary, in the world and in our lives.