Lake Fellowship

of Unitarian Universalists

2006 Programs

January 8
Saddam Hussein's Right to a Fair Trial
We will explore one of our preeminent values and rights as it pertains to the trial of what many claim is one of the modern world’s greatest villains. Topics will include the right: to counsel of your own choosing; to counsel's safety; to call and cross examine witnesses; of a middle eastern government to act harshly after an assassination attempt on its leader during a time of war. We will discuss the criminal responsibility of Saddam for the actions of his underlings as well as how a fair trial is necessary to heal Iraq and set the stage for peace. Come prepared to discuss and ask questions about a topic that many of us have given little thought to. Fellowship member and attorney, Les Kraus, will facilitate the discussion and add his legal insight and knowledge.

January 15
Finding a Spiritual and Musical Voice
(Cancelled due to Nancy Everson’s death. Fellowship members gathered instead to support Tom.)
Jazz and the Unitarian-Universalist community have much in common. They both host conversations by people who share a common purpose, who bring to the conversation their past, present and future concerns and desires, who absorb the same from the other participants, and who can create together something never seen, heard, or experienced before. This program will combine jazz with readings and thoughts from saxophonist and author Richard Terrill and pianist Larry McDonough.

Writer and saxophonist Richard Terrill has won the 2004 Minnesota Book Award for poetry for Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Associated Writing Programs for his books. He has written a jazz memoir, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz. He teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He's also been a Fulbright professor in China, Korea, and Poland, and lately has been speaking at UU churches in the area.

Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist, singer and composer. He has performed at jazz festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, and churches around the country. His solo piano and voice CD, "Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano," is dedicated to the memory of friends Paul and Sheila Wellstone and benefits WellstoneAction. His new group CD, "Simple Gifts," includes jazz, popular, historical, and spiritual pieces in new arrangements. He is an attorney, representing low income tenants at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and teaches at the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas Schools of Law.

January 22
Music That Brings You Joy
The program itself will be performances. If you want to perform music that brings you joy,
contact Karen Wendt at 474-9570 or k.wendt@mchsi.com. After the performances, we will eat (bring food to share) and have fellowship. We want music during that time also, so please bring along a CD with music that brings you joy. Questions? Contact Laurie Gauer (952-474-4951)

January 29
Blue Wisdom
Tim Velner will share with us his book Blue Wisdom, which he wrote in response to his journey of the last 10 years from religion to spirituality. It is written from the point of view of the family dog, Blue, in response to the little girl Lucy’s common life questions. The book is written in a daily affirmation style, in which Blue’s answers are given with inspirational wisdom.

February 5
From King James to the Scholar's Version and UU History:
An Autobiography

From the King James Bible, Plimouth Plantation, President John Adams, Jefferson Bible, William Ellery Channing's 1819 Sermon, the SV (Scholar's Version) Bible and Ghandiji, to a safe haven in the UU. Fellowship member Alan Anderson takes us through his religious autobiography.

February 12
Varieties of the Experience of Love as Expressed Through Song and Verse
The love song… we all seem to know what that is... from Love Me Tender to That Old Black Magic and all those universes in between… but if God is love, would not a study of love be a study of God? Singer, songwriter and musician, Peter Rykhus will explore the varieties of the experience of love as expressed through song and verse.

From the streets of Europe to the pubs, coffeehouses, churches, theatres and block parties of Midwestern America, Peter has mined the mother lode of American Roots music for inspiration to write, play and perform music uniquely his own and most definitely our own.

February 19
How Jesus and Paul Ignited a Revolution and Transformed the Ancient World 
Fellowship member Sharon Dana will provide a brief history of the origins of Christianity, including the political, economic and social landscape that gave rise to a truly revolutionary religious movement, and explore the relationship between early Christianity and Christian churches today. 

February 26
Sophia Lyon Fahs: A Pioneering UU Educator
Sophia Lyon Fahs was one of our earliest pioneers in the field of religious education, and her contributions are many and extraordinary.  As we become more and more a two wage-worker family society, it is interesting to look at what her great contributions cost her and those around her.

Our speaker is Catie Chi Olson, who became a candidate for UU ministry this fall and has had an enduring interest in Sophia Lyon Fahs for many years.  Catie currrently serves the UUA as a Beyond Categorical Thinking Trainer, co-chair for the MultiRAC caucus of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) and coordinates the UU students at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Our spring programming continues with the historical roots of UUism, looks at current moral and justice issues, and offers music and programs to feed the soul.

March 5
The Potential Power Hiding in our Grief:
Keeping An Open Heart in the Midst of Big Pain

Have you ever wondered how people like Candy Lightner (parent of a child killed by a drunk driver and Founder of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) moved through their intense grief to became agents of change in the world? Have you ever wondered how to keep an open heart when tempted to protect it and close it? Have you ever struggled to stay in the present moment when confronted with difficult circumstances? Ever had the awareness that you are living too much in your thoughts and in your head? Ever wondered how you are going to just make it through a season of loss? Come explore the dynamics of grief and the workings of the heart with:

Kristen Wernecke, raised at Unity Church Unitarian, is a Hands-On-Healer, Massage Therapist and Teacher. She is an Ordained Minister of Healing and has 17 years of transformational healing work with individuals and teaching groups… and…
Tom Esch, MDiv., is a facilitator of group transformation disguised as a construction supply salesman. He is a spark igniting awareness and action. He is an activist with a strong contemplative side. Kristen and Tom have been married 7 years and have a 5-year old son named Elijah.

March 12
The Religious Roots of American Democracy
(rescheduled from October)
On a recent Minnesota Public Radio "Speaking of Faith" program, Jacob Needleman, an acclaimed philosopher of contemporary America, turned his attention to what he calls the meaning of America and discovered a profound sense of spirituality at the root of our Democratic ideals. He explored the spiritual sensibility of the founders and uncovers the subtleties of familiar patriotic sentiments: our "inalienable rights" were inseparable from duties, the "pursuit of happiness" was linked with virtue, and democracy was not simply a set of external structures but inward work on one's character, spirit, and intellect. Fellowship member Les Kraus will use the program to jumpstart our discussion of our founders’ spirituality.

March 19
Let’s Get Real
Fellowship member Susie Kraus will facilitate a dialogue about our integrity as UU’s, looking at the question about whether our walk matches our talk regarding the first two beliefs of Unitarian Universalists.* Are these beliefs that we really hold to and to which we hold ourselves accountable or do we simply look at them as guidelines or ideals? We will explore the challenges inherent in living by these beliefs and ask ourselves if there are any dangers in upholding them. Perhaps we will conclude that we wish to change the first two principles or perhaps we will find that we need to make deep changes within ourselves. Come prepared to share yourself with others in a safe and dynamic conversation. *Briefly, “We believe in the freedom of religious expression,” and “We believe in the toleration of religious ideas.”

March 26 is Justice Sunday
Each spring, in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, UU congregations nationwide stand together, and set aside one Sunday for worship and education focused on one pressing human rights issue.

March 26
It’s Not Just About Marriage – Gay or Otherwise: Understanding the Full Impact of the Defense of Marriage Amendment
As Minnesota gets ready to decide on whether to pass a Defense of Marriage Amendment, our speakers implore us to look at the impact similar amendments have had in other states. So far, there are 17 states that have passed some form of Anti-Marriage constitutional amendment.  Of those, 11 banned civil unions as well as domestic partner registrations.  A new initiative will bar foster care and adoption for gay/lesbian couples.  In some states, domestic abuse laws are tied to marital status in such a way as to disallow legal intervention when a heterosexual pairing is involved.  And it goes on and on… 

For our speakers, Peter and Carole Lawson of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and for many others concerned with social justice, the Defense of Marriage Amendment is a civil rights issue which affects everyone.

April 2
Transcendentalists:
Theological Infidels and Social Revolutionaries

Maren Aspaas, a UTS M.Div. graduate and Unitarian Universalist Chaplain will speak about her favorite time in Unitarian Universalist history: the Rise of the Transcendentalists. Philosophy and social justice merge in the sermons and lives of 19th century New Englanders to lay foundational stones for our religion and for U.S. democracy.

April 9
Finding a Spiritual and Musical Voice (rescheduled from January 19)
Jazz and the Unitarian-Universalist community have much in common. They both host conversations by people who share a common purpose, who bring to the conversation their past, present and future concerns and desires, who absorb the same from the other participants, and who can create together something never seen, heard, or experienced before. This program will combine jazz with readings and thoughts from saxophonist and author Richard Terrill and pianist Larry McDonough.

Writer and saxophonist Richard Terrill won the 2004 Minnesota Book Award for poetry for Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Associated Writing Programs for his books. He has written a jazz memoir, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz. He teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He's also been a Fulbright professor in China, Korea, and Poland, and has been speaking lately at UU churches in the area.

Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist, singer and composer. He has performed at jazz festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, and churches around the country. His solo piano and voice CD, "Tuscarora: Short Stories for Jazz Piano," is dedicated to the memory of friends Paul and Sheila Wellstone and benefits WellstoneAction. His new group CD, "Simple Gifts," includes jazz, popular, historical, and spiritual pieces in new arrangements. He is an attorney, representing low income tenants at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and teaches at the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas Schools of Law.

April 16
Spring Equinox & Easter Celebration
Come celebrate spring with our own new and ancient traditions and rituals including our annual children’s treasure hunt and a potluck feast!
Sign-up sheet for the potluck will be posted on the bulletin board.

April 23
With Dignity for All, Almost
We UUs like to feel we have stood bravely for the oppressed and accorded dignity where others have not. Yet there is a large group of Americans who look a lot like us but whom we are quick to categorize as "them." We need to understand our own prejudices and face them. Hint: You'll hear some country music.

We welcome back the UU Gospel Twins (UUGT), Kelli Clements and Paul Riedesel. Paul and Kelli first performed together in the summer of 1999. By early 2000 they had agreed to make the UUGT a permanent arrangement. While there was initially a tongue-in-cheek aspect to the UUGT name, they soon realized that it expressed an essential goal: the joining of the spirit of old-time music with that of liberal religion. And while "gospel" is popularly associated only with evangelical Christianity, its root meaning is "good news" which Unitarian Universalism has to offer as well. Musically, the appeal of the UUGT starts with Kelli's rich lead vocals, which are backed with close tenor harmony by Paul. Their instrumentation has remained simple--Paul's collection of guitars which he flatpicks almost exclusively. Kelli and Paul seek to bring people together in a way that only music—sung music—can.

April 30
Moral Politics
Fellowship member Chris Hall will use the book, Moral Politics, How Liberals and Conservatives Think by George Lakoff to lead a discussion of how the unconscious worldviews of Liberals and Conservatives influence politics on a number of issues. The differences in worldviews, George Lakoff argues, are not mere matters of partisanship, but arise from radically different concepts of morality and ideal family life.

May 7
No Room in the Church:
Illegitimate Thoughts about the Birth of Jesus

(rescheduled from January 22)
Our speaker, Frank Reilly, is a Roman Catholic theologian and public thinker. He has spent much of his forty-year career speaking and writing--occasionally on the Opinion page of the Star Tribune-- about controversial issues that face not only his church, but traditional Christian faith in all its forms. Throughout that career, Frank's great project has been a radical reinterpretation of the story of the virginal conception of Jesus. That is his topic this morning.

May 14
Blue Wisdom
(rescheduled from January 29)
Tim Velner will share with us his book Blue Wisdom, which he wrote in response to his journey of the last 10 years from religion to spirituality. It is written from the point of view of the family dog, Blue, in response to the little girl Lucy’s common life questions. The book is written in a daily affirmation style, in which Blue’s answers are given with inspirational wisdom.

May 21
Made to Order: Songs and Poems to Feed the Community
What are you hungry for? Courage? Peace? Beauty? Irreverence? For the last program of the year, singer/songwriter Barbara McAfee will cook up a program made-to-order based on conversation with the community that day. Come and co-create this feast of song, story and poetry.

Barbara McAfee has been bringing her musical programs to Lake Fellowship for the past 15 years. Besides our venue, her musical keynotes have brought heart and sass to events at Best Buy Women’s Leadership forum, YMCA national training, and numerous wellness events around the US. She has also lent her music to keynotes by national authors Margaret Wheatley and Peter Block. She also has a lively voice coaching practice where she supports all kinds of people in finding more power and pleasure in expression. Before becoming a speaker, Barbara was an organizational change facilitator for 12 years with a special emphasis on improving communities for children and families. As a self-producing artist, Barbara has released 5 compact discs and 4 volumes of poetry. Her new CD, While You're Alive, will be released in April, 2006.

September 10th
Welcome back to Lake Fellowship!
Lighting of the Candle, Music, Reading of Seven Principles of UU, Member Susie Kraus interviews Lee and Jo Hermann (two of Lake Fellowship’s earliest members), Fellowship song, Salute to the four directions (outside on grass or in the woods, WEATHER PERMITTING), Walk of the Fellowship Grounds

September 17th
Global Warming: Clean, Efficient Energy Solutions
J. Drake Hamilton of Fresh Energy will discuss the science of global warming, its projected impacts, and focus on the many solutions available to slow global warming and to reduce its dangerous impacts. The clean, efficient technologies that comprise the solutions will also benefit our economy, create sustainable jobs and economic development, and improve people's health. J. Drake Hamilton is Science Policy Director at the private, nonprofit Fresh Energy, which works to lead a clean energy transition. Fresh Energy is on the web at www.fresh-energy.org

September 24th
Share a Good Book
The Summer is a good time to read and we are sure that everybody read some good books (or intends to) and would be glad to share them with the Fellowship. This program will consist of members presenting synopses of book(s) they have read, allowing 5-10 minutes per person for a discussion format. Please call Chris (952.930.1967) or Marilyn (763.479.2484) to let them know if you are planning to share a book review so we can make time arrangements

October 1st
Pre-election Discussion
Many of us are unsatisfied with the direction that the country has been led in the past six years. What are your concerns about the upcoming election? What are your hopes and fears for the upcoming election? Lake Fellowship member Les Kraus will moderate this pre-election discussion.  

October 8th
Rebellion, Freedom and Going Green
The UU World fall issue has a number of interesting articles: “Five Years after 9/11”; “Hungry for Democracy”; “Original Perfection?”; and articles and poems touching on rebellion, freedom and going green. Please read the articles for this Sunday’s program as well as the questions on page 63. In our usual democratic manner we will vote on the 3 or 4 most interesting and/or relevant articles and will have a discussion on those top votegetters. (NOTE – if you do not receive the UU World magazine, copies of some of the articles can be provided at the Aframe or you may be able to borrow a copy of the magazine from a Lake Fellowship member.)

October 15th
Church and State separation?
It has become increasingly a concern for some people that religion does not play a large enough role in politics, while for others religion is too much involved in politics. An ex-president and a national correspondent have each written a book about the danger of not separating Church and State. Fellowship member Chris Hall will present a program on this subject using Jimmy Carter's book "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis" and Ray Suarez's book "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America."

October 22nd
Musical Performance by The Recliners
Music on this Sunday will be provided by The Recliners, a group of musicians who perform a mix of old-time country, folk, and bluegrass with occasional excursions into classic rock ‘n’ roll, and pop. They're suckers for a good harmony part, morbid murder ballads, brother duets, and the poetry of Chuck Berry. The group’s members are Deb Carlson (vocals/guitar), Bob Carlson (bass), John Whitehead (guitar, mandolin and vocals), Stew Lelievre (lead guitar), Scott Washburn (resophonic guitar), and Rick Swanson (banjo and vocals).  

October 29th
Hedgehog on the Left: Identifying a Progressive Philosophy
Tom Vellenga will make his case for the necessity of identifying a public progressive philosophy and offer a road map toward that end.

November 5th
Honoring Our Losses
We will celebrate Hallowed Eve/Halloween or Samhain by honoring our past year's losses. All endings bring about new beginnings, where life is never exactly the same as before the loss or change. We will share our community of love and compassion for each other.  Neen Lillquist, past Lake Fellowship visitor and presenter (as well as a close friend to Lake Fellowship member Marilyn Vialle), will lead us in this program.  Neen is a founding member of the Bemidji Headwaters UU Fellowship where this annual Memorial Service is a tradition. She is a Priestess graduate of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess Theological Institute and performs all life passage rituals.