Lake Fellowship

of Unitarian Universalists

2009 Programs

September 13 — Water Ceremony and Seven Principles Discussion
Fellowship members please bring to the program a small amount of water from a place that is special to you. During the appointed time in the program, people one by one will pour their water together into a large bowl. As the water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them.The Water Ceremony, also sometimes called Water Communion, was first used in Unitarian Universalist worship in the 1980’s. Many UU congregations now hold a Water Ceremony once a year at the beginning of the new church year (September). We will also discuss the Unitarian Universalist Principles and review minor changes that were made in the principles this year. Do you have a favorite? The principles can be found in the UU world or on the UUA website.

September 20 — Critical review of Katherine Kersten’s article: Hostility to religion bodes ill for society.
Our program for Sunday is a critical review of Katherine Kersten’s column published in the Star Tribune on Sunday, June 6th, 2009. In her column, Ms. Kersten makes a number of comments (observations? accusations?) that are certain to inspire a lively discussion. The purpose of our program is to review these comments and see how Fellowship members/friends feel about them. Program Committee member Chris Hall will lead our discussion. He has developed some questions he would like us to explore together, but also encourages us to bring our own questions and comments to the discussion. Chris’s questions include:
- Ms. Kersten comments that religion is under attack in America and that religious leaders are timid to speak out. True or False?
- How do you feel about Ms. Kersten’s assertion that only Judeo-Christianity teaches universal standards of right and wrong, trumping our personal desires, and that without a belief in God it is not possible to have a belief in the dignity and infinite value of each human being?
- Do you feel that the politicians who would agree with Ms. Kersten’s column actually practice the moral principles of equality and compassion that she says are universal standards of Judeo-Christianity teachings?

September 27 — Growth in Diversity Discussion
The past couple of years the UUA has had an Association Sunday where thousands of UUs across the nation simultaneously celebrate our shared commitment to Unitarian Universalism. This year the theme is “Growth in Diversity.” Lake Fellowship is working on becoming a welcoming congregation for GBLTs, but what would the acceptance be for someone of a different religious background, such as a Pentecostal Universalist Christian? Sunday’s discussion will be based on the article Gospel of Inclusion in the fall 2009 UU World, which can be also found on the UUA website, http://www.uuworld.org/life/articles/145503.shtml. Some questions arising from the article might be:
- When people share the same theology and values, but different styles of music and worship, what can a congregation do to meet everyone’s needs?
- What could and would Lake Fellowship do? Newly elected UUA President Peter Morales told UU World “The breadth of our message is very appealing, but we need to become more culturally diverse in our forms of expression in order to reach the millions of people who share our theology and values.” (“A Multicultural Future,” page 38) Do you know people who share your UU beliefs and values, but who may not feel welcome in your congregation? Can you imagine things your congregation might do that would help them feel at home?

October 4 — The Challenges of Teaching Philosophy of Religion to Community College Students by Don Allan
In his own words, our presenter says: “As a philosophy instructor at Inver Hills Community College during the last three years I’ve discovered some innovative ways to teach students how to think for themselves about the meaning of life, death, God, salvation and other traditional religious topics without having the classroom discussion break down into polar opposites of atheism vs. religious fundamentalism. The key is to begin the conversation with a point of common ground everybody agrees on: There is mystery in the universe. What language do we choose to describe this mystery? Gradually, as students listen to one another in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they move toward an open and inspiring classroom discussion in which every student feels safe to participate. Don Allan has an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Florida and an M.F.A. in writing from Hamline University. He has contributed to a variety of journals including Free Inquiry, Secular Nation, Present Time, Primal Renaissance, and The Meaning of Life, and he’s finishing his first book manuscript, a philosophical and psychological memoir, Laughing at the Abyss. He has been a guest speaker at UU, humanist, and atheist groups in Florida and the Twin Cities, and he is currently developing a blog, SlowNietzsche@Blogger.com.

October 11— Peter D’Ascoli on OWL (Our Whole Life) – Lifespan Sexuality Education
Using values, communication skills and spirituality as starting points, this program explores sexuality issues for adults of all ages. It builds understanding of healthy sexual relationships, affirms diversity and helps participants accept and affirm their own sexuality throughout their whole lives. Dr. Peter D’Ascoli, a noted obstetrician and gynecologist, is also a medical educator who lectures medical students on reproductive control at various age levels for the Unitarian Universalist Association of America. His medical practice extends from Minnesota to South Dakota. He is active in the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, where he facilitates Whole Life education.

October 18 — Life in Pakistan Today
Amir Naqwil will share with Lake Fellowship a brief account of his ancestors’ lives and the role their message plays in everyday life in Pakistan today. Amir will use short videos to present the religious practices introduced by the Sufi preachers. They show how female leadership is cherished in devotional dance and music of that region. He wishes to have a lively interaction about Sufi Islam that would be enlightening for him and the Fellowship. Amir Naqwi was born and grew up in Karachi. He obtained MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University and held a faculty position at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. He settled in MN in 1993 and is the founder and president of Powerscope (www.powerscopetech.com), a company that develops advanced medical technologies. He is working on a novel introducing practices and trends in Shiite and Sufi Islam.

October 25 — Concert by Musician Michael Monroe
You can hear Michael’s music and learn about him at http://www.michaelmonroe.info/

November 1 – Unitarian Universalist Readings
This Sunday we will share readings from the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition, that have inspired us or simply caught our interest. Last week Chris Hall encouraged us to take hymnals home to find lyrics or a reading we would like to share with the group, something that we particularly relate to (or perhaps even something we particularly dislike!). If you took a hymnal please remember to bring it back; if you didn’t have a chance to take one home, you may find something to share before we begin on Sunday morning – our hymnal has 415 hymns and 317 readings!

November 8 – The Power of Visioning - Creating Positive, Dynamic and Inspiring Visions
Visioning is a powerful tool which, whether we realize it, we use all the time. Our visions are created by our thoughts and reinforced by our emotions. They can be positive or negative. As Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.”

Louis Asher, an active member of White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, will provide a concise, thought provoking and humorous talk on the power of Visioning. Louis has done this presentation a number of time, including at 3M where he worked. Louis and his wife Lisa graced us with their presence most Sundays last year while their home was being renovated. During that time they did one of our programs and performed in our talent show.

November 15 — About UUA General Assembly
Our speaker for today is David Lauth, who is a member of First Universalist in Minneapolis. He plans to tell us about what happens when the UUA General Assembly meets in Mpls next summer and how we can be a part of it, suggest-ing just how and where we can help.David is a past president of First Universalist congregation. He is serving as the District Coordinator for next year’s GA, which means that he has a major role in recruiting and or-ganizing about 200 local volunteers who will make it happen. (Side note: Marilyn Vialle went to the GA when they met in Boston several years ago and found it an interesting and inspiring time and thinks it is a great opportunity for Lake Fellowship and individual members to be in-volved in the GA.)

November 22 — Thanksgiving Celebration
Today we celebrate with our annual Thanksgiving potluck. Before we eat we will spend some time talking about what we are thankful for.

November 29 — Movies from Cinema Circle
Marilyn and Chris will share some movies and clips from Cinema Circle. They have shown Cinema circle movies several times before and the Fellowship has found them interesting, in-spiring and humorous.

December 6 — Faith and Health
Our speaker today is Eleazar Fernandez, Professor of Constructive Theology at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton. Eleazar Fernandez is the author of Reimagining the Human: Anthropology in Response to Systemic Evils, and co-editor of two books, Realizing the America of Hearts and A Dream Unfinished.

December 13 — To be announced

December 20 — Holiday Play and Potluck
The Fellowship children will perform a play today, followed by our Holiday potluck dinner.

December 27 — No service