The Search for the Historical Jesus
Alan Anderson, one of our Lake Fellowship members who is also a Congregationalist, has been studying this topic for some time, by attending The Jesus Seminar and reading several books by a number of authors. Some of the books are The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg, The God of Jesus by Stephen J. Paterson, Losing Moses on the Freeway by Chris Hedges, and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, to list a few.
Spiritual Cinema Circle movie with discussion
Lake Fellowship members Chris Hall and Marilyn Vialle have watched a number of these films, which provoke questions for discussion. We will view and discuss just one or two of these. One of the short films, Amal, is about an auto rickshaw driver in India who gives a grouchy old man a ride... Marilyn and Chris reserve the right to change their minds on which short films to show, but would like to share a couple of their favorites with us.
Musician/carpenter Bruce Johannsen
Bruce will play for us, and he would like us to come prepared to share our musical talents or read a favorite poem or tell a story... Bruce has played for us in previous years and plays rockabilly do-wop music, he says. (No depressing blues or “she done me wrong” songs!) Sounds good for the middle of January with the days getting longer, right? Get out your instruments, limber up your voice or share your literature and stories with the group!
Jennifer Vanek, volunteer with the Center for Victims of Torture since 2003
Jennifer will describe what the Center does to heal people and communities who are devastated by government sponsored torture. She will share what has been done and what more could be done to end the practice of torture. Come and find out how to make the world a better place.
Torture and UU's first principle
Rev. Dr. William Schulz, recently retired executive director of Amnesty International, wrote an interesting and provocative article in the winter 2006 UU World: “What Torture Has Taught Me.” In the article Dr. Schulz challenges the Unitarian Universalist affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of each person, using his experience with torture victims and perpetrators. “Is the worth and dignity of every person inherent? No, inherency is a construct, a useful myth perhaps, but a myth nonetheless.” (page 35) What does the inherent worth and dignity of every person mean to you? Please read the article and we will discuss the article and the issues it raises.
Simplicity and What are the “Necessities” of Life?
Ten years ago, few people had cellular phones; now cellular phones are considered a necessity. I-Pods, plasma TVs, computers and air-conditioned cars 10-30 years ago did not exist, but are now considered a necessity. Sociologist Juliet Schor calculated that from 1973-2000 the average worker added 199 hours to his or her annual work schedule. Americans have the shortest amount of paid vacation time in the world. Is our pursuit of “necessities” degrading our quality of life? Lake Fellowship member Chris Hall will lead a dialogue on what are the necessities in our lives and the consequences of an increasing number of them.
Who is a Unitarian Universalist?
Reverend Holden has an extensive biography - he has worked as a UU community minister and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Additionally, he was a founder of the Victims Intervention Project Institute (an organization providing support to families following traumatic death - suicide, murder, accident) and the Second Chance for Life Foundation (a heart & lung transplant support group; Rev. Holden had a heart transplant in July 1986).
Trans-Fat Bans and the Erosion of Liberties by Fat-Headed Bureaucrats
Arthur Latz-Hall will speak on the thesis that a trans-fat ban is an illegitimate goverment activity and that it lays the groundwork for other civil liberty limitations. The talk should lead to a good discussion on the government’s role in an individual’s life. Arthur is the son of Lake Fellowship member Chris Hall and was extensively involved in various debate programs while in high school before attending Macalester College. Arthur currently works for 3M Company in the International Tax Department.
Youth of Today: Generation Next
Teens of the Lake Fellowship, Katee Wendt, Rita McGlynn, and Scott Plewka, will do a presentation followed by a discussion on the youth of today and the advent of new technology in the upcoming half-century.
Zafar Siddiqui, President of the Islamic Resource Group will provide an overview of Islam including terminology, demographics, beliefs, and practices. His talk will also include a discussion on the common perceptions about Islam and Muslims and the sources of those perceptions. He will also discuss religious celebrations. Zafar Siddiqui is the president of the Islamic Resource Group (IRG), an educational organization based in the Twin Cities. IRG had done about a 1000 presentations on Islam and Muslim culture to various public instituations, faith based organizations, law enforcement agencies and businesses. IRG seeks to build bridges of understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. Zafar was born in India and has been living in the United States for about 15 years. He has a master’s degree in Computer Science and is a Software Engineer by profession. He is married with four children and currently resides in Blaine, Minnesota. Zafar is also a board member of the only Islamic school in Minnesota.
April Fool’s Day: The Joke’s on UU
Borrowing from other Unitarian Universalist groups the “service” will be appropriate for the day. For part of the program Fellowship member, Marilyn Vialle, will introduce Lake Fellowship members to the Laugh Club. Bring a joke (or be willing to read one),i a smile, and be prepared to laugh.
Spring Equinox and 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! A sign-up sheet for the potluck will be posted on the bulletin board.
Generosity weekend: Is peace achievable through generosity or is domination the only way?
The program will start with a media presentation of Nichola Torbet from The Network of Spiritual Progressives. We will then discuss whether America can transition from its Homeland Security based on military might to a Global Marshall Plan based on generosity. The Network of Spiritual Progressives has declared April 15th, 2007 as Generosity Sunday. The idea behind the day is this: they believe that the antiwar movement needs a new message, one that supplements the “Out Now” message with a deeper positive vision of the world we want to see, one in which the "domination and control" paradigm is replaced by a "generosity and care" paradigm at every level of our society. Generosity Sunday will focus in particular on The Network of Spiritual Progressives’ Generosity Strategy for Homeland Security and National Defense: The Global Marshall Plan. Under that plan the US would take the lead (by example) but also try to involve the other G- 8 countries in an international effort to have each country, starting with the US, dedicate 5% of the GDP of each country each year for the next twenty years to eliminate global and domestic poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care, and to repair the global environment.
Earth Day Celebration
The Lake Fellowship will start its Earth Day celebration by watching the short feature “The Awakening Universe” from Spiritual Cinema Circle and have a short discussion following the viewing. The other half of the program will be a discussion of the article “Eating Ethically – A Seventh-Principle Approach to Food” from the spring issue of the UUWorld. If the weather cooperates we will take a walk in the woods behind the Fellowship.
People Serving People
Just in case you wonder what happens to the money, toys and gifts that we give to People Serving People, Erika Iverson of that organization will join us at Lake Fellowship this morning to give us an overview of their services and how we help them to aid homeless people in the metropolitan community.
Music with Nancy Cox
Nancy’s presentation involves congregational participation. “As a musician, my focus is on singing. I’ll talk about how singing, not performing, just everyday singing – alone in the shower or in the car, or with other folks in a congregation or around a campfire -- can improve and maintain one’s physical health, can create community, can lead to a development of one’s own spirituality. I’ll also ask people present to contribute their experiences regarding singing, and now and then throughout the talk, we may sing some simple songs together. (It is not necessary to be “a singer”! I encourage participation, but no one is required to participate.)” Nancy Cox has been teaching voice for 30 years in the Twin Cities and in Europe. Currently she teaches singing in the music department of Minneapolis Community and Technical College and also maintains a private teaching studio in her home. Throughout the Twin Cities and the five-state area she has presented vocal workshops for many kinds of voice users, including broadcasters, public school teachers, counselors and therapists, dance companies, and even square dance callers. She teaches a speaking voice class called "The Confident Voice" for the Compleat Scholar through the University of Minnesota, and a singing class for Community Education called "Beyond the Shower, Enhancing Your Voice". She has found that anyone who wants to sing can learn to sing!
What is forgiveness?
Lake Fellowship member Bob Speeter will lead the Fellowship in a look at the various definitions of forgiveness from great thinkers, religion, psychology, forgiveness studies and spiritual traditions. Is forgiveness the "key" to unlocking our true reality?
Sharing Our Talents
In January the Fellowship had a program where members shared their musical talents or read a favorite poem or told a story, and it would be nice to do it again. It seems a good way to say good-bye to each other on the last Fellowship meeting until the fall. Get out your instruments or limber up your voice or share your literature and stories with the group. After the program the Fellowship can do some grilling on the deck, so bring something to grill and a dish to share, and if the weather cooperates we can have a picnic and explore the Fellowship grounds.
Introduction and history of the principles
Discussion of the first and second principles. First principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. Second principle: Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.
Discussion of the third and fourth principles
Third principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. Fourth principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
Discussion of the fifth, sixth and seventh principles
Fifth principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. Sixth principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. Seventh principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Choice Makes Us Human: Reproductive Rights and Faith
Far from leaving our faith aside, we can use our Seven Principles as theological grounding to support reproductive health for all people. Kelli Clement, our presenter, is a seminarian half-way down the turtle track to UU parish ministry. She is the co-chair of Seminarians for Choice at United Theological Seminary.
Howard Hobbs, guitar and autoharp. Howard Hobbs plays at First Universalist in Minneapolis either solo or in a four person group. He enjoys folk music. Program details will be announced at a later date.
Unexpected stories of women
Join Nancy Stephan, Founding Executive Director of Honoring Women Worldwide, to explore the unexpected stories of women who are discovering themselves through community building opportunities afforded to women of every age, culture and background. Learn how this benefits the men in our community as well.
Day of the Dead celebration
The first part of the program will be a short animated feature of a Day of the Dead Celebration in Mexico. We will then recognize individuals who have passed in a short ceremony. The final part of our program will be a discussion of our ancestors. What memories do you have of your grandparents? Do you have memories of your great-grandparents? Do you have a pirate or a saint as an ancestor? Please come to the Fellowship and tell us about your ancestors.
Current events discussion
The campaign for president is going on, the war in Iraq goes on, Gore gets the Nobel peace prize, fires in California. What other current events would you like to discuss? — Discussion led by member Les Kraus.
Liberal religion and the working class
Does Unitarian Universalism say something about life or just about life in the professional classes? What does liberal religion have to say to the working class? We will use the article in the Fall 2007 issue of UU World magazine as a basis for the discussion. Article copies will be provided to those who cannot find their UU World. Fellowship member— Chris Hall will lead discussion
Thanksgiving Celebration: Sharings and Blessings
We will share gratitude, offer gifts to share with homeless children and then share our bounty in our traditional Thanksgiving feast. Please bring a thought about what you’re thankful for, one unwrapped toy and/or “hotel toiletries” for us to donate to People Serving People—a shelter for Homeless families— and a dish to pass among ourselves. There will be a sign-up sheet for food posted at the A-frame. If you are unable to attend today and would like to donate a toy, please bring it to the A-frame by December 2.
Spirituality: What does spirituality mean to you?
Do you think that atheists and/or humanists can be spiritual? Is there a difference in how spirituality is experienced by men and women?—Chris Hall will lead discussion.
The Power of Words
Join Susie Rosenthal Kraus in exploring the impact of an aspect of our reality which in large part is responsible for shaping who we are and our world. Susie will activate us to examine the power of words and will invite us to consider a leap in consciousness as we affect others with our speech.
Discussion of the Sixth and Seventh Principles
Sixth principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. Tim Wendt and family will lead the discussion. Seventh principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part—Chris Hall will lead the discussion.
Annual Holiday Celebration
The children in our RE program are planning something special to delight and entertain us during this celebration of the season. We will also partake in a holiday feast; please bring a favorite dish to share.