Speaker: Gaye Symington

UU Strategies for Foxholes

This week a friend reminded me of the saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” 2020 has felt like a year of being in a foxhole, with nightmare scenarios pressing in from a range of existential disasters: a global health pandemic, pervasive structural racism, climate change exacerbated wildfire and hurricane seasons and political brinksmanship that feels just a step away from civil war.

In this service I will build on thoughts that emerged from the early October RExploration, where we talked about whether Hope is a necessary ingredient to managing through a crisis. What touchstones or tools can keep us going if Hope seems elusive or truly is no longer present? Where do we draw the presence of mind and heart to place one foot in front of the other in those situations.

Needless to say, you should not come to this service expecting clear answers to these questions. But, with readings and poetry and a few reflections, I imagine we can connect, exchange stories and thoughts, and provide support for each other from our socially distant Zoom box foxholes.

Gaye Symington lives in Jericho and has been a member of MMUUF since 1993. She is the lead staff of the Burlington-based High Meadows Fund which provides grants, mission-focused investments, and collaborative thinking to promote a healthy natural environment and long-term economic vitality in Vermont. And she hoping to shake off a masochistic habit of signing up to lead the first service after a presidential election two cycles in a row.

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Engaging in a Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning

Earlier this fall Erica Baron spoke about the connection between truth and meaning, the key elements of the fourth Unitarian Universalist principle. On November 10th Gaye will explore some of the untruths imbedded in the stories she’s relied on to make sense of the world, and how she is rethinking those stories in her search for truth and meaning.

Also during this service, MMUUF will host a Service of Dedication and Welcome, celebrating the Fink and Greenblott families’ presence in our fellowship. During or after the service I hope you’ll take a moment to sign the certificates of dedication for each of the four children, Isla and Tahlia Greenblott and Sutton and Greyson Fink.

If other families would like to participate in the service, please contact Gaye at gsym@together.net.

During the dedication portion of the service Gaye will ask the fellowship, “Do you agree to dedicate MMUUF to support Kevin and Tresa and Dusty and Jenn, to honor and recognize their children, entrusted to the care of both family and community, and covenant to provide their children with a community of warmth and affection, equity and compassion and dedication to the creation of a world worthy of coming generations?”

It’s probably pretty obvious, but the answer she’s looking for is, “Yes” or “We do”.

Gaye lives in Jericho with her husband, Chuck Lacy, with visits from their three children who attended MMUUF in the 1990’s. She works in Burlington at the High Meadows Fund which provides grants and mission investments to promote sustainable farm, food and forest enterprises, reduce the use of fossil fuels in buildings, and improve Vermont’s resilience to climate change.

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Sunday Service

This Service will introduce the theme for several of this year’s Services – the second principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.

As Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove explains, “The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.”

  1. 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Living Into Covenant: Sharing Our Collective Work

At this special service, we will share the draft of the MMUUF Covenant along with reflections about the process and the purpose. There will be opportunities for discussion (and offline opportunities for wordsmithing). Please join us for this important reflection and discussion.

Please remember that each Sunday we ask Fellowship Members to bring a donation for the local Jericho Foodshelf. Our Fellowship has been asked to provide canned fruit when possible. Our contributions are critical to their important work!

Please send any announcements or gratitudes for the Order of Service insert to ad…@mmuuf.org. Deadline is the Friday before the service. Thank you.

Affirming the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person, Even During an Election Campaign

 

The first UU Principle states: We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
How can our UU faith help us move beyond contempt to recognizing, respecting, and sharing a community with people who hold different values? In this first service after Election Day, Gaye hopes you will help answer that question.

Please remember that each Sunday we ask Fellowship Members to bring a donation for the local Jericho Food Shelf. Our Fellowship has been asked to provide canned fruit when possible. Our contributions are critical to their important work!