All posts by WAltmeier

The Worm Thrower, revisited

I was reminded recently of an essay by Loren Eiseley titled “The Star Thrower.” Here’s my adaptation of an adaptation:

One morning, while walking on the beach, an old man saw a young man off in the distance, and wondered about the strange thing the young man off in the distance was doing. The young man kept bending down, picking something up, and throwing it into the ocean. He kept doing it over and over: bending down, picking up, throwing. As the old man walked closer, he saw that the beach was covered with starfish that had been washed onto the beach at high tide; they were stranded there when the tide went out. And he saw that the young man was picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean.

When he got up close, the old man asked the young one what he was doing, and the young one replied, “saving starfish.”  And the old man said, “There are so many starfish on the beach, you can’t possibly save enough to make a difference.” And the star thrower bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the ocean, and replied, “It made a difference to that one.”

Sometimes, when rain soaks the soil, worms come up for air. Sometimes they crawl out onto parking lots or driveways and then can’t find their way back to the dirt. When I see stranded worms, I try to save them, at least some of them. Since I really don’t like touching worms, I take a leaf or a piece of paper and I gently nudge the worm so it scrunches up. Then I carefully slide the leaf or paper underneath it and gently toss the worm back onto the dirt.  Once, I saw a whole parking lot covered in worms. I tried to pick some that looked nice and healthy, so they would have a good chance of surviving. I like to think it makes a difference to the worms.

Last week there was a worm on the cement pad in front of the Fellowship building. It was large and intact, but dead. I found a flat stick and used it to gently place the worm in the dirt, so it could return to the earth as it decomposed.

Just call me “The Worm Thrower.”

In Faith and Hope,

Connie

December Parents’ Circle: Third Annual Parents’ Holiday Break

Saturday, December 1
12:00 – 4:00 pm
Free Lunch & Childcare
Calling all parents and caregivers! We are once again holding a parents’ break on the first Saturday in December!  Come, get refreshed in preparation for the holidays (and maybe get some early shopping done)!  From 12:00 to 1:00pm, parents (and caregivers) will enjoy a catered adult lunch together at the Fellowship (while kids eat separately)!  Afterwards, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, you will have the option of free childcare on-site while you go shopping or go on siesta with your partner or a friend or maybe see a movie!  Three hours will be entirely yours!

Childcare will be provided at the Fellowship and will include lunch and games.  We will have at least two adults supervising and plenty of teens assisting in making this as fun for the kids as for their parents.  Please sign up ASAP with Heather Cleland-Host or at the Fellowship, so we know how many providers to have on-site.

 

Ministerial Search Committee Update

This month, our team is working to finalize the documents we will be submitting to the UUA. Beginning in December, they will posted for review by ministerial candidates.

We want to thank you for helping us by taking part in the Beyond Categorical Thinking service and workshop and sharing your experience with those who were unable to be there.  Also, we thank you for sending us your photos for inclusion in our packet.

From Tom Bailey

RE-Flections: Just Another Annual Meeting?

This past Sunday, I attended yet another Annual Meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland.  Leading up to the meeting, I had many new members ask me what happens at an Annual Meeting.  I told them about how we select our Board members, vote for the Budget, and receive reports from our teams and volunteers.  We vote on By-Law changes.  The Annual Meeting is an important part of running the Fellowship, but it is mostly business.  Or is it?

On Sunday, I was reminded that our Annual Meetings are anything but “just business.” Sure – some years have been quick and concise.  We’ve gone in, heard the reports voted in the budget and officers and gone on our way, but more often, the Annual Meeting is where we gather and FEEL how we are as a community.  We celebrate the Unsung heroes amongst us, and we share things we struggle with as a community.  Each Annual Meeting has its own tenor and personality.  This year, I was reminded that always it is sacred space.

The meeting ran long and yet our chair, Sara Clavez, kept us on the task at hand.  She never wavered in moving us through the agenda, and yet she made certain each voice was heard.  As the voices were heard, a story unfolded.  It was a story of a community that values each other for all that we are.  Our number one community value is not just the democratic process – though we honored it.  It is not that we all agree on everything or that we all have to follow the same identical path – though we agreed on a way to unite together behind a cause.

Our number one community value that I saw celebrated on Sunday was and is our sacred commitment to each other.  We deeply value and cherish this community and one another.

Yours in UU,

Heather Cleland-Host

December Parents’ Circle: Third Annual Parents’ Holiday Break

Saturday December 1, 2018 12 – 4 pm
Free Lunch & Childcare

Calling all parents and caregivers! We are once again holding a parents’ break on the first Saturday in December!  Come, get refreshed in preparation for the holidays (and maybe get some early shopping done)!  From 12 to 1 pm, parents (and caregivers) will enjoy a catered adult lunch together at the Fellowship (while kids eat separately)!  Afterwards, from 1 – 4 pm, you will have the option of free childcare on-site while you go shopping or go on siesta with your partner or a friend or maybe see a movie!  Three hours will be entirely yours!
Childcare will be provided at the fellowship and will include lunch and games.  We will have at least two adults supervising and plenty of teens assisting in making this as fun for the kids as for their parents.  Please sign up ASAP with Heather Cleland-Host or at the Fellowship, so we know how many providers to have on-site.

Children’s Circle and Secondary Classes for November

We are currently in our second block, which is themed around “Community Values.”  Children’s Circle is for our elementary school students – Pre-K to 5th grade.  We have one to two circles depending on the number of students on a particular Sunday.  Our Secondary class spans 6th through 10th grades.  Nursery care is also available for our littlest UUs.

Children’s Circle is using lessons from the Tapestry of Faith program Wonderful Welcome and Faithful Journeys as we go into November.

11/4     The Gift of Families (Family and Fairness)
11/11   The Gift of Mutual Caring (Helping one another and finding balance)
11/18    Multi-generational Service
11/25    Pizzazz!

Secondary Class (6th -10th) is continuing to use the Lodestone lessons on Money.  They will be looking at how we manage our money and the value we place on things based on how we earn and use it.

November’s UUnique Journey: Community Values

As we enter the holidays, we look at what we value most as a community as individuals.  At Halloween (Samhain) we remember our ancestors.  At Thanksgiving, we express gratitude for family, friends, and many blessings that we share.  During the winter holidays, we honor the sacred and set forth on new paths with new resolutions.

What is important to us as a community, as a religious family?