Unity Church of North Easton News
(Unitarian Universalist)

"Welcoming people into community to grow in  thought, spirit, and service to others.

Volume 4, No. 1, July 18, 2014

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In This Issue
Unity is Buzzing!
RE Needs YOU!
GA Reflections
Unity News this Summer
Church Member List
Event Photos!


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Unity is Buzzing this Summer!

Dear Unity Church,

Although summer has officially begun, Unity Church continues to buzz with activity. While Gail toiled away in the church office already getting organized for next year, I spent the last week of June learning and serving in Providence, RI.

From Monday through most of Wednesday I spent time in worship, workshops, and the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Minister's Association. Then, from mid-Wednesday through Sunday I both led and took advantage of the many worship, workshop, witness, governance, and fellowship opportunities at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. I even had the honor of officiating the wedding of two members of the congregation I served as an intern years ago, since sadly they still cannot be married in their home state of Texas.

ll in all, it was an exciting week filled with collegiality, learning, worship, and some silliness, and it was wonderful to see some of you there! But I think our whole family is glad to be back home and back into our regular routines.

Speaking of routines, I wanted to let everyone know that my office hours will be changing slightly for the summer. I will be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with availability on some Tuesday and Thursday evenings by appointment.

I also wanted to update you all on some new developments with our shared youth group initiative. The project is officially called UUnited Youth Ministry, and I am so proud to share that in just 16 days we have raised $6,385! In talking with the ministers of the other six involved congregations, it sounds like several more donations will be coming in the next few days, and so I wanted to make sure everyone at Unity Church who would like to make a special donation to this project knows how to do it.  Simply click here and follow the instructions for giving online. This is going to be an exciting program to be a part of, and every donation, whether it's $1, $10, or $100 counts!

Have a great summer everyone, and I look forward to seeing you for summer worship!

In faith,
Rev. Kristin
Stole Detail
Hands & Flames Religious Education
Needs You!

The Religious Education (RE) program is looking forward to another great year with our children, but in order for that to happen - our children need YOU!

Volunteers are needed to teach Religious Education classes this fall.

No teaching experience is necessary. The only requirement is a desire to inspire the youth of Unity!

Whether you can help out for one week or every week - we would love to have you!

Please contact Deanna at deanna.greenstein at gmail.com or by phone or text at 857-829-3285.

Reflections of General Assembly 2014
From Chris Pender

This year was the 53rd annual General Assembly (GA). It was held in Providence, R.I. from June 25th through June 29th and six people from Unity Church of North Easton attended all five days: Ken and Mary Lu Love, Cheryl Brigante, Nicola Wilbur, Reverend Kristin, and myself. 


I had never attended GA and didn't really know what to expect. I knew there would be workshops and worship services but I had no idea how wonderful they would be. The Welcoming Celebration was Wednesday night and I had the honor of carrying our banner in the traditional Banner Parade. There are 1,049 churches in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and it seemed like all of them were represented that night. The service that followed was spiritual, and had wonderful music. Our banner was hung in the main hall where all of us from Unity could see it - it truly created a sense of pride as we walked by our flag each day.


The days were similar in that there were worship services in the morning followed by various workshops in the afternoon. There were hundreds of interesting workshops to choose from. I was able to attend breakouts on Social Media, Stewardship and perhaps the most interesting, Doing Church in the 21th Century which focused on the structure of today's successful UU religious affiliations.


Interspersed throughout each day were General Sessions where we heard reports from various committees concerning national UU issues. The most important function of the General Sessions, however, was voting on how to handle those issues. Ken Love and I were Unity Church's two voting delegates and were able to weigh in.


The two most compelling votes taken were whether or not to divest the UUA's funds currently in Fossil fuels, and a vote taken to choose a topic for Congregation Study and Action; a topic that would be investigated over the next four years during which time plans would be put in place to achieve as many positive goals as possible in the action chosen.   


It was decided that divesting in Fossil Fuels was the overall action to take but that it was wise to keep enough holdings to still have a voice at the table. There were many issues presented for the Congregation Study and Action but the winning action was Escalating Inequality. There are many books, websites and videos available to aid in the study of this issue and I am hoping to get together as a group to explore the topic. If anyone is interested in helping me organize the sessions, please let me know.


Nicola sang with a choir at one of the services and had a solo. She also enjoyed the many hallway sing-a longs that would spontaneously occur. One or two people would have an instrument and then song would break out. Please ask her about her experience next time you see her. You can see the entire service here.


For me personally, Saturday night was my favorite part of GA. It began with the Ware Lecture by Sister Simone Campbell, and ended with WaterFire, a celebration held on the Providence River Waterfront. Sister Simone is the National Coordinator of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. She urged us to walk towards trouble, as that is the only way that we can truly effect change. Here is a link to the whole lecture. 


After the lecture, Ken, Mary Lu, and I joined Nicola, Cheryl, Susanne Rogers, and Audrey Davies for dinner. We then went to the Worship service titled, Make Way for Love where we enjoyed a music packed service at the Dunkin Donuts Center after which the entire session left for WaterFire. It was quite a sight to be seen as 5,000 UU's followed our moderator, Jim Key and our President Rev. Morales through the streets of Providence to the waterfront to light the river fires from our chalice that had been originally lit during the service at the Dunkin Center.


If you haven't been to WaterFire, it is a wonderful experience in itself. Each Saturday night during the season fires are lit on the river and people gather to watch and enjoy the night. This night the ceremony was sponsored by the UUA and those in attendance were treated to thousands of UUs singing songs of love - you couldn't help but be moved.


We all attended many workshops and all took things away from GA that we would like to apply at Unity. Ken especially liked the Ware Lecture and the Sunday morning sermon. Some of Cheryl and Mary Lu thoughts about the session are in the articles below. 


GA is a wonderful experience that cannot be fully appreciated unless you have attended one. It is exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. And there is nowhere else that you can go and see close to 5,000 Unitarian Universalists all in the same place. It was a wonderful experience and I hope to be able to attend next year's GA in Portland Oregon.


You can see many services and workshops on the UUA website. I encourage everyone to go to the website and take away as much as you can from what was both a truly a significant and spiritually uplifting session for me, Ken, Mary Lu, Cheryl, Nicola, and Kristin.


From Cheryl Brigante

GA offers so many different types of experiences during five days. For me, going to GA was an opportunity to refresh my mind, spirituality, and soul after a difficult period in my life.   


Music is very big at GA, just as it is at Unity Church. We shared treasured hymns from the gray hymnal, new hymns from the teal hymnal, new and traditional songs, with guitar, bongo drum and hand-held accompaniment and sometimes the words displayed on the jumbo-tron. There seems to be a move away from traditional hymns to music which to me seemed like revival music. My hope is that we (global UU "we") won't abandon one form to embrace another. Visit the UUA website to experience some of the worship services.


I attended a workshop on Caring for our Older members. As a congregation, we can think about a special Covenant: What are our response-abilities? Some of the suggestions that I liked follow. If anyone would like to work with me to bring an idea to fruition at Unity Church, please email or call me.   

  • Make home safety kits with flashlights, ready to eat food, and batteries, etc.  
  • Care Beyond Casseroles. Prepare meals and eat with residents in their homes.
  • Company is as Nourishing as the Food Itself. Establish "parishes", create a pin-map of neighborhoods by zip code where members live. Know who you live close to.
  • Create Life Crisis Forms. Include contact information for doctors and relatives.
  • Ensure elders are invited into, and can participate in, congregational life.
  • Schedule an Inter-Generational Workday to do home repairs or yard work Ensure that electronic messages and information gets to those who don't use those devices.   

I also attended a workshop on bringing Religious Education into the homes, and will share that information at a later date. At GA there is a large exhibition hall with vendors giving out information about UU and UU-like organizations and vendors selling books, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and chalice jewelry. Don't feel you have missed out, visit the bookstore website or the shopping website for UU related items.


I was lucky enough to win a raffle which included two books, and a Pete Seeger cd! 


From Mary Lu Love 

Attending as the president-elect of the Ballou Channing District (BCD), I started my GA activities on Tuesday evening by meeting presidents of the regions and districts, learning about the opportunities and challenges as the UUA moves toward regional staffing.


This was my fifth GA, and I enjoyed the flag parade, General Sessions, worship services, the singing, and workshop sessions. One session, I attended on adaptive leadership has become the focal point for the BCD leadership retreat we are having in August. While I had been thinking it was the right topic for the BCD at this time of transition, it became more important, when my first email as president on July 2nd generated a flurry of emails.

The highlight for me was WaterFire, Providence's excuse to bring the city outside and meet at the river. It was amazing to leave the auditorium with literally thousands of UU's be escorted to the front of the basin, sing songs about love, and watch the braziers being lit.


There is something magical about fires at night reflecting in water. It was great that additional Unity folks joined the GA attendees for this evening. It was the opportunity for public witness of our faith! As Jim Keys, the moderator, said, "You shouldn't have to wait fifty years to be told you are a Unitarian Universalist!"

Woman Reading the News
Unity News Editions this Summer
Because even the news editor needs a vacation, the Unity News article submission and Unity News publishing dates have changed slightly for the months of July and August.

Unity News will be published once per month, with the next edition published on the third Friday of August. Remember, articles for the August edition need to be submitted no later than Tuesday, August 12.

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As always, if you need to send out a congregational notice between newsletters, please contact our Office Manager, Gail Bruno at office@unity-church.com.

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Photo Credits for this Issue of the Unity News
Cathy Adler, Ellen Dehm, and Chris Pender

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For questions or comments regarding this message, please contact Cathy Adler, Unity News Managing Editor & Web Administrator,
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