Sunday, November 29, 2015

December Services

Please note the many special activities in red this month as our Fellowship celebrates the holiday season!

December 6 - "Advent: Anticipating a Blessing"  On this second Sunday of the Advent lay minister Rick Johnson will lead a service celebrating this ancient Christian tradition of anticipating the blessing of Christ's birth.  Readings will be shared for all of the four Sundays of the  (Rescheduled from November 29)  Religious education will be provided for our young ones.

After service today we will put up the Christmas tree at the Meeting House.  We have decorations that have been donated in the past but you are welcome to bring something from your family to put on the tree.

December 13 - Tyler Owen will present a program this morning entitled "Christmas is the Season for Reason: Abandoning Logical Fallacies".  How do we know what we believe is true? One of the UU principles is "a free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Logic and reason are some of the most valuable tools we have in the search for truth and meaning. Logical fallacies are pitfalls that we can sometimes encounter in this search and we must train ourselves to recognize and avoid them.

Our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange will take place immediately following today's service.  If you would like to participate please contact Jennifer Fenton-Schuster for more details no later than Friday, December 4th.

December 20 - Winter Solstice is upon us, and many religious celebrations coincide with this celestial event.  This morning we will share some elements from several religious traditions that focus on this time of darkness and new beginnings.  Lay minister Rick Johnson will lead this service, and religious education will be provided for younger attendees.

A soup/appetizer/dessert potluck is planned after today's service (12/20).  Please bring one of these items to share if you are able, but all are welcome to join us today for a meal after our service.  After the potluck please join us for a showing of "A Christmas Story".

December 27 - What is Boxing Day?  These and any other questions you may have will be discussed during our adult discussion group this morning.  Coffee, tea and some treats will be available during this informal gathering, so feel free to come share in the lively discussion this morning.  Religious education will be available for those young ones in attendance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November Services

November 1 - "Preserving Our Sense of Awe" - Rick Johnson
In this age of high tech toys and ever increasing entertainment options, have we lost our sense of awe?  We read of experiences, typically religious in nature, that can carry a person beyond the material concerns of our world and give us a sense of overwhelming wonder.  It is here that our soul often finds much needed nourishment.  How can we preserve this necessary element in our lives?

November 8 -  "The War on Christmas: A Study In Victimization" - Rick Johnson
Christmas is under attack according to some very loud, very forceful voices in our society.  What is really at play here?  Is it really an effort to remove the words "Merry Christmas" from the public square?  Or is it instead a concerted effort to preserve cultural dominance by a group that is slowly losing influence in our culture.

Please remember that our Second Sunday Cinema will screen Jackie Chan's movie "Shanghai Noon" on Sunday, November 8 starting at 6:00 PM.

November 15 - Karla Mundt will lead this morning's intergenerational program entitled "Little Life Lessons".  There will be singing, sharing and snacks for all ages.  Come and enjoy a celebration of the little moments in life that mean so much.

November 22 - Kathy Bowman from the UU Congregation of the Quad Cities, will lead today's service entitled "On Care For Our Common Home, Laudato Si".  Pope Francis's Encyclical, On Care For Our Common Home, will be celebrated in the spirit of Thanksgiving with music, poetry, readings from the encyclical, and a brief reflection.  The conjunction of Unitarian Universalist principles and the teachings of the encyclical will be highlighted.  We will also ponder what actions might flow from both our UU heritage and this call to action, at the global level and at the local level.  Gratitude for all that is our lives is embedded in the encyclical and in our UU heritage.

November 29 - "Advent: Anticipating a Blessing" - Rick Johnson
On this first Sunday of the Advent season we will take a look at this ancient Christian tradition of anticipating the blessing of Christ's birth.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Services for September

September 6 - The 8 hour day, 40 hour week, and overtime pay are just a few of the things workers have received from the Labor movement over the years.  At our service today we will celebrate the Labor movement in song and story, and take a look at what the future may hold for the working class in our country.  We will also formally welcome a family as members of our congregation.  Children's RE will be provided.

September 13 - Our Annual Ingathering Service is a time to celebrate our adventures over the summer season as we come together and begin a new "church year."  We will have Water Communion and a time of reflection as we prepare to begin our 65th year as a congregation.  Children's RE will be provided.  There will be a brief business meeting immediately following the service today as we vote on two Council positions and address some building repair issues.

September 20 - Moore Anderson will lead us through Sam Harris' book "Letter to a Christian Nation".  With religious freedom an important issue in the news and our politics, Harris' rational argument against fundamentalism is important for us to hear and understand.

September 27 - Our program this morning will be a follow-up on our Labor celebration.  We will watch a presentation from Howard Zinn entitled "The Hidden History of the American Working Class" and have a time of discussion following the presentation.  Howard Zinn was a historian, educator and author who focused on the untold stories of American history, bringing to light times when our nation's actions did not reflect our stated ideals.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Services - UPDATED 8-AUG

August 2 - Moore Anderson will facilitate a program and discussion on the book "Godless" by Dan Barker.  From

"Dan Barker (1949-) is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and co-host of Freethought Radio. After 19 years as an evangelical minister, Dan "saw the light" and announced his atheism in 1984. His first public appearance as an atheist was on Oprah Winfrey's "AM Chicago." Since that time he has traveled extensively, lecturing and performing on college campuses, and participating in more than 110 public debates defending atheism. A former composer of Christian songs and musicals (for which he still receives royalties), Dan is now a jazz pianist and writer of freethought music, including the albums Beware of Dogma, Friendly, Neighborhood Atheist, and Adrift on a Star. Dan has 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and lives with his wife (and co-president) Annie Laurie Gaylor in Madison, Wisconsin."

August 9 - We will continue our series of summer discussion sessions today with the 2015 Action of Immediate Witness "End Immigrant Child and Family Detention Now".  Immigration looks to be an important issue in the upcoming Presidential election, and we will examine it from the aspect of children and family rights.  Children's religious education will be provided.

August 16 - Our adult discussion series continues today as we explore the issue of "Fossil Fuel Divestment".  In light of the growing concern over both peak oil and global warming, the UUA has encouraged congregations to explore this issue and its possible impact on our environment and our way of life.  Children's religious education will be provided.

August 23 - We live in a nation that has more firearms per capita than any other nation on earth.  Yet our murder rate is among the highest of all industrial nations, and our rate of imprisonment is the highest of all nations.  Yet we continually hear calls for more gun rights.  Do guns bring safety?  Today our discussion group will wrestle with the issue of guns and violence in our culture.  Children's religious education will be provided.

August 30 - We bring to a close our summer discussion series this week with an open forum.  You set the agenda this morning with whatever you bring to the table.  Have you come across a good article that stimulated your mind?  Share it with us!  How about that hot summer read that you could not put down?  Give us a review of that book so we all can get hooked!  Has something in the news really pushed your button?  Share your thoughts with us!  No topic is off limits this morning as we celebrate the end of another enjoyable summer discussion series.

A special announcement from the Council:  On Sunday, September 13 (our Ingathering Service) there will be a special business meeting held immediately after the service.  The Council seeks direction from the Congregation on the following two items:

- John Toney has become our newest member and has expressed a willingness to serve a full 2 year term as our treasurer.  This needs to be approved by the Congregation.

- We have a bid from Caston Brothers construction to repair the kitchen cupboards (broken drawers and water damage beneath the sink) at a cost of $1500.00.  The same vendor has also given us a bid to replace water damage from an old roof leak upstairs of $600.  And finally, we have a bid from McDonald Supply for a replacement water heater, a 30 gallon gas model that will cost $439.08 plus installation.  (Quotes are being obtained for installation and will be published before the meeting).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Services

July 5 - No services at the Fellowship today!  Enjoy your holiday weekend!

July 12 - Lay Minister Rick Johnson will lead an adult discussion group today exploring recent events in the news and other items of interest.  Children's RE will be provided.

July 19 - Bard, storyteller and folk musician Mama Gina will present a program at the Meeting House this morning.  More information is available at her web page

July 26 - TBA

Saturday, June 6, 2015

June Services

As we enter June we begin a more informal schedule of programs and services.  These gatherings allow for times of thoughtful discussion and polite but earnest debate of issues and ideas that are relevant to us today.  As always the coffee pot will be on, and you are free to bring treats to share with the group if you desire.  Services will begin at 10:30 (or is summer, after all).

June 7 - The UUA General Assembly will be preparing a Statement of Conscience at our General Assembly this year on the issue of Reproductive Justice.  Come join us this Sunday for an informal discussion of this topic.  Childcare will be provided.  For more information please check out this page at the UUA website.

June 14 - We will gather this Sunday for a sing-along of some of the old folk songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Children will be welcome to join in this celebration.  We encourage you to bring along a treat to share during this fun morning of music.

June 21* - NO SERVICE TODAY - Instead we encourage you to attend the Snake Alley Art Fair which will be held in the street in front of our Meeting House.  Come see the wonderful offerings of artisans from throughout the Midwest and enjoy this traditional closing celebration of Steamboat Days.

June 28* - At today's program you will be the one in charge.  Bring an article to share from the UU World magazine or other current issue magazine of your choice.  See where the discussion takes us and explore important issues of our day.

Please remember that Weight Watchers will be using our Meeting House for their Wednesday meetings during Steamboat Days this year.  The Meeting House will be unavailable for rental on June 10th and 17th.  Also, our June Council meeting will take place on Thursday, June 18th at 6:30 PM.

*Rick and Paula will be out of town these weekends.  If you need to reach Rick please call 319-601-1364.

Friday, May 8, 2015

May Services

May 3 - Karla Mundt will lead our annual Flower Communion.  Bring a flower to share and enjoy this annual celebration of our religious community.

May 10 - Lay Minister Rick Johnson will look at the activist origins of Mothers' Day and explore how, in the present day and age, mothers are uniquely empowered to speak to the issues we face.  Children's RE will be provided this morning.

May 17 - As a liberal religious community we have a unique calling to be both a sanctuary and a beacon on the hill.  This morning, as we have our annual business meeting, Rick Johnson will speak about our calling, and how it can motivate us to rise to the challenges ahead of us.  Children's RE will be provided this morning.

May 24 - Jerry Rigdon will be speaking at our Fellowship this morning.  Jerry is a former mayor of Burlington, and has served the community in many roles over the years.  We look forward to welcoming him, once again, to our Meeting House.

May 31 - TBA

June 7 - To kick off our Summer season Rick Johnson will lead a program on the proposed Bakken pipeline that is planned to be built through Iowa.  Several short videos will be shown regarding the project and the arguments against it.  Children's RE will be provided during the service.