All-Church Picnic – Aug. 25 after worship

Join us at noon after our 10:30 a.m. worship service on Aug. 25 for an All-Church Picnic to kick off the church year with celebration and fellowship.

We have reserved the picnic shelter at Shepard Park, adjacent to the east of the church, so we can make use of the park grounds and playground for outdoor fun.

We will provide meat and veggie burgers, hotdogs, and fixin’s. You are invited to bring a potluck side or dessert for the feast. Also consider bringing picnic blankets and chairs, outdoor toys and games, and your own picnic dishes and utensils to cut down on the disposables.

RSVP by email so we can have enough burgers and hotdogs.

Justice-Making Summit with Rev. Ashley Horan – Sept. 7

Rev. Ashley Horan

The Social Action Team is bringing the UUA’s new “Side With Love” director, the Rev. Ashley Horan to UUCC on Saturday, Sept. 7 for a full day of working with our Justice-oriented groups and all UU Churchers interested in justice work.

Rev. Horan will help us strategize, clarify priorities, and imagine how to work powerfully together as a congregation to move forward the work we care about. Rev. Horan is one of Unitarian Universalism’s fiercest and wisest social justice leaders, and she has worked with UU Churches across the country for years to strengthen their congregational justice-making work.

If you are a long time justice leader at UUCC, someone just dipping their toe in the water, or anywhere in between, you are warmly invited! RSVP here so that we can provide adequate lunch and child care!

 

 

 

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

Would you like to join a Chalice Circle?

It will soon be time to sign up for 2019-20 Chalice Circles. The groups meet regularly to deepen and strengthen interpersonal connections, and encourage spiritual growth. They provide a place to share deeply with each other, to build lasting and caring relationships, and to strengthen our church’s sense of community. Each Chalice Circle has seven to 10 members and meets at least once a month.

If you would like to join a group, starting Sept. 1 you will be able to sign up on our website or on Sundays in the Greeting Area.

“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

President’s Perspective – summer tasks and summer beauty

By Mindy McPherson, 2019-20 President

As part of the business conducted at the Annual Congregational Meeting in May, our congregation voted to elect three new board members. In July, their three-year terms began, and we welcomed Jeremy Duke, Rebecca Graves and Michela Skelton Birk to the Board of Trustees. I’m most thankful for their service to our community and look forward to working together. At our most recent board meeting, Jeremy was elected Treasurer, and Michela was elected President-Elect. Sam Buffaloe, whose term expires in June 2020, was re-elected Secretary.

During the summer transition period, the board members spend time learning about or reflecting on our policy governance model and our board member job description. While policy governance is certainly not new to UUCC, having been adopted in 2010-2011, it may be a new or unfamiliar governance model to some. It is important that we all have a clear understanding of how our church functions, so that together we can best carry out our mission. Policy governance emphasizes the mission and values of our church, as discerned by the congregation. In our work, a policy is an expression of the board’s vision. The board leads the church by focusing on ends statements and large issues. The board delegates to the minister, staff and volunteers the job of effectively determining and executing the means by which to accomplish the ends, within the bounds of the policies. The board is continually evaluating whether the means and ends are being accomplished and, in so doing, assessing the ministry of our church.

I encourage you to learn more about our church governance here. There you can also find board meeting agendas and minutes, which will help you stay informed and up-to-date on board activity. The Board of Trustees is dedicated to the work of our church. We embrace and strive to represent the diversity of our beloved community. With that in mind, please reach out to your elected board members. We’d enjoy hearing from you and want to ensure that we are best representing our congregation.

As the hot summer days give way to hot fall days, I hope that you’ve found this summer to be a time of renewal and growth. August, for me, marks the temporary return of the monarch butterflies to our garden. Each year, I wait in eager anticipation of the first sighting, as their migratory route brings them through Missouri on their way to Mexico. I’m in awe of their beauty and inspired by their tenacity. I’m reminded that the garden is not my garden, but a space that I can cultivate to help my fellow travelers on their journey.

Social Action Team News

Justice-making summit with Rev. Ashley Horan on Saturday, Sept. 7

We on the Social Action Team believe this all-day seminar with a nationally recognized expert could be a game-changer for how we interact with each other and do our social justice work in the community. More information will be forthcoming. For now, block off the day on your calendar, and we’ll see you there.

Faith-to-Action nominations for 2019-2020

The Social Action Team has received 20 nominations for the 21 possible FTA collections during the 2019-2020 church year. At the Aug. 4 team meeting, the SAT reviewed the applicants. Look for an announcement soon on the church website of the approved recipients.

Loaves and Fishes continues and needs your help

Our church (along with many other local churches and groups) has a long-standing commitment to prepare and serve meals for our homeless and near-homeless neighbors once a month. Our turn is the third Sunday of each month. We often wonder if we’re going to get enough volunteers to cover food preparation, service and cleanup, and some months we barely do. Please consider signing up in advance. Our website administrator posts signups for several months. We know that some of you out there are planners. Now’s your chance! Plan ahead! Sign up!

Pledge drive for Cito and Keyla

At the successful crêpe luncheon fundraiser on June 29, our Honduras Ministry raised more than $350 in cash and received 26 pledges of $125 each to help cover the cost of Cito and Keyla’s college education so they can continue to help their community in the Cangrejal River Valley in northern Honduras. While we have 26 pledges so far, our goal is 50 (to cover one year of expenses). If you would like to pledge $125 to help this couple, and thereby make a positive difference in the community, please fill in your initials on the poster in the Greeting Area at church and send a check payable to UUCC for $125, with “Honduras Education Fund” on the memo line. Also please send an email to Caya Tanski so we can keep track of the contributions.

Sanctuary Team news

Edler, Yadira and their two girls, the Honduran asylum-seeking family that our UUCC Sanctuary Team is helping support, continue to do well. They are well set up in the duplex now thanks to many generous people’s donations. They are not allowed to drive, so volunteers to offer rides will be very appreciated.

Yadira is a great cook, so if you are interested in ordering Honduran food – it is well worth it. She also gives Spanish lessons. Contact Dottie or Allie (see below) for more information.

Our Aug. 11 lunch fundraiser for the family had to be postponed. Please stay tuned for a lunch fundraiser coming up in the near future.

We are appalled at the continuous assaults on human dignity at the border. We stand in absolute solidarity with our migrant friends and will continue to do all we can to help create a world of safety and welcome for them.

For more information or to get involved, please email one of the Sanctuary Team co-chairs, Rev. Dottie Mathews or Allie Gassmann.

CROP Walk – Sept. 15, 2019

Mark your calendars the CROP Walk at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 at Stephens Lake Park. This is an annual interfaith effort to raise funds to relieve hunger here in Columbia and Mid-Missouri, across the U.S. and around the world. This event is sponsored by Church World Service. CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

Kids are welcome, and the Walk is designed for all levels of ability. Look for the CROP Walk table in the greeting area during the weeks leading up to the walk. You can sign up for the walk and donate either at the table in the Greeting Area or at the Columbia CROP Walk website

For questions or more information, please email Allie Gassmann.

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.

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

Garage sale “love letter”

From Qhyrrae Michaelieu:

I have a love letter to my church for all the assistance you provided at the church garage sale. Thank you to the folks who asked me what they could help out with, to those who agreed to help when I asked ahead of time (and to those who wanted to help, but had other obligations), and to the folks who showed up on short notice when I started panicking about hauling off all of the left-overs, and of course to my Chalice Circle members who agreed to help with this large undertaking!

Thanks also to all the people who donated stuff and to folks who helped spread the word! (I know it sounds like a Oscar Award speech or something.)

I was so touched by the help you all gave! Together we helped people downsize and get rid of extra belongings, we helped people to reuse material, and we provided lots of free stuff for those who could not afford it and to various charities.

Additionally we raised $1,500 for the church. My heartfelt appreciation!

Email redirection canceled, website redirection modified

About six months ago our internet address changed from https://uuchurch.net to https://uucomo.org. At that time we began redirecting staff and program emails ending in uuchurch.net to correponding addresses ending in uucomo.org. Because of a problem with spam emails, we recently canceled email redirection, with the result that emails sent to uuchurch.net addresses will not be received, and you may not receive a bounce message. If you recently sent a message to which you did not receive a reply, please resend it to the corresponding uucomo.org address.

Also, please update your email program’s address book to change all uuchurch.net email addresses to end in uucomo.org. Otherwise, auto-complete may result in your sending a message that won’t be received.

In addition to the email change, we also recently modified website redirection. In the past, if you went to https://uuchurch.net, you would automatically be redirected to the home page at https://uucomo.org. Now, instead, if you go to https://uuchurch.net, you will see a page advising that the address has changed and providing a link that will take you to the current home page. Please update your browser’s bookmarks/favorites list to the new correct address.

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.

Walk on the Wild Side – March 24, 2019

On the fourth Sunday each month, the Green Sanctuary Team is sponsoring monthly walks to explore the beauty of local woods and creeks (Gans Creek, Three Creeks, and Mark Twain National Forest). Participating on March 24, 2019 were Kathie Bergman, Gerti Motivali, Roy Wheeler and Peter Holmes.

The next “Walk on the Wild Side” will take place on April 28. Meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. to shrug off your civilized self for a time and enjoy the peace of wild things. The walks are suitable for reasonably fit 10- to 70-year-olds. Children are very welcome. There will be plenty of stops along the way. For more information, email Peter Holmes.

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.