2008 Programs

January 6 — New Year Resolutions
Have you made your New Year’s resolution or do you bother with it? The U.S. government even has a website to help people fulfill their resolutions. Chris Hall will share the history of making resolutions and we will discuss our resolutions and the value of making them. There will also be a short recognition of Winter Solstice.

January 13 — Humanism and Spirituality
David Emerson-Krammer felt that he was addicted to marijuana and joined the Marijuana Anonymous 12 step program. The program requires that the participants select a higher power. As his higher power David selected humanism. Following a long period of agnosticism, David says this decision makes him feel like a born again atheist. David will discuss what he means by humanism, what it means to him, and the wonder he finds in a world without god.

January 20 — Buddhism
A core teaching of Buddhism is to be mindful, to really be aware of what’s going on around us and within us. Mindfulness is developed through the practice of meditation. It can affect all areas of life and lead to greater joy, compassion and equanimity. Michael Holt will talk about the very basics of Buddhism, how he practices, and how his life has changed as a result. Michael is a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, and has developed a Buddhist outlook in recent years. He makes his living taking care of databases for a large corporation. His principal avocation is practicing massage therapy.

January 27 — Guys and Gals, Hanging Together... separately
What is the sense of satisfaction beyond the cultural expectations that males hang out with males and women hang out with females? Is the satisfaction that is reaped different for men than it is for women? Why do some guys say they prefer to hang out with women and some gals say they prefer to be with men? What can we learn from each other’s experiences that might enrich the time we hang out together with our own kind? Join Laurel and Claude Riedel in hearing their perspectives on this subject. Feel welcome to share your own experiences as well. Both Laurel and Claude are trained psychologists. Laurel had a private practice and then went on to become a midwife. Claude is currently in private practice and additionally is a thriving stained glass artist.

February 3 — Spiritual Guide Books
As many of you know, the tragic death of our good friend and Fellowship member Nancy Everson propelled me on a spiritual journey, which, I hope, never ends. During my journey so far, I have read several spiritual guide books, which I am donating to the Fellowship library. I asked to do this program so I could share with you what each of these books is about, how I came to read it and how it has aided me in this journey, with the hope that in doing so, these books will not just sit on the shelf in the A-frame stairwell. - Laurie Gauer, Lake Fellowship Member

February 10 — Members Sharing
This Sunday’s program will feature members sharing their talents, whether making music, reading a favorite poem or telling a story. Get out your instruments or limber up your voice or share your literature and stories with the group. Try to let Marilyn Vialle or Chris Hall know if you are interested in sharing music or a reading.

February 17 — The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster according to Bobby Henderson
Fellowship members, Dan and Vicki Larson, will present a lively and humorous look at the book “The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” According to church founder and author, Bobby Henderson, the universe and all life within it were created by a mystical and divine being: the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Within his book, the author outlines the true facts—dispelling such malicious myths as evolution (“only a theory”), science (“only a lot of theories”), and whether we’re really descended from apes.

February 24 — Adventure in Tibet
Anne Towey will join our Fellowship community to share her month-long adventure in Tibet with her three year old son. Bringing her son added amazing opportunities for growth for herself, her son and their travel companions. She will share her encounter with a culture where spirituality is the norm, rather than a Sunday event, her experiences with Tibetan Buddhist meditation and pictures from her trip. Anne has a meditation practice of one of the Tibetan traditions and views her work as a collaborative divorce attorney as ‘right livelihood.’  

March 2 — Current Events Discussion
The Democratic Presidential campaign might be close to being finished with the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4th. Who do you think will be the winner? On the other hand, Lake Fellowship member Les Kraus (our discussion leader) thinks perhaps we have talked about politics enough, so what other current events would you like to discuss? Bring your ideas and we’ll narrow the field down to 3 or 4 topics for a lively conversation!

March 9 — What is Fairness in our Society?
One definition of Justice is that Justice is fairness, but what is fairness? One individual might say that fairness is “Those who work harder should get more.” Another individual might say that fairness is “Every person gets one meal.” One book lists 10 different types of fairness. What is your idea of fairness? Fellowship member Chris Hall will lead a discussion on fairness.

March 16 — Minnesota History
2008 is Minnesota’s sesquicentennial. Melvin Aanerud will do a power point presentation on the 700 years of Minnesota history prior to statehood. Melvin is a twenty-year member and past chair of the Pilgrim House UU Fellowship in Arden Hills Minnesota. He is one of their lay facilitators and is a Stonetree speaker. In real life he is the assistant district director for the United States Small Business Administration.

March 23 — 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! Sign-up for the potluck will be posted on the bulletin board.

March 30 — Justice Sunday
The Unitarian Universalist Association has declared March 30th as Justice Sunday. Lake Fellowship member Alan Anderson will present a program and lead a discussion of how our Federal budget is an injustice beyond measure. The injustice of our spending is for future generations unforgivable. Alan will hand out copies of the Federal budget several weeks previous to March 30th.

April 6 — The Music of George Gershwin
Herb Holt, a frequent visitor to Lake Fellowship, will be playing George Gershwin. George and his brother Ira were marvels, and George was a very different kind of personality. It should be a fun program, as we hear good music and get to know the Gershwins. Herb Holt’s musical history dates back to his early childhood. He studied piano, violin and guitar and earned his living playing jazz with his own group. Herb owned his own business, Music Marketing, from 1968 until his retirement in 2002. He became interested in the history of musical entertainment in the United States and specializes in the years 1911-1943. This encapsulates the years of the jazz age which in turn emphasizes the great tunes we now refer to as standards, composed by the likes of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.

April 13 — Reducing Population to a Truly Sustainable Level
“Of all the issues we face, none is more important than population growth,” began a National Geographic cover story on Population. Unless we act now, our current 6.6 billion is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Many believe that humanely reducing population to a truly sustainable level is the challenge of our time. Recent global assessments indicate that Earth’s resources can sustainably provide for only two billion people at the consumption level of an average European. (An average European consumes only half that of an average American.) It is imperative that we move rapidly to reduce human numbers. While activities like reducereuse- recycle and redistribution are all very important, none of them will make a meaningful difference unless population is also reduced. Our speaker, David Paxson is a national leader on the issue of population growth and stabilization. He has participated at international meetings – including the United Nations Population Conference in Egypt – and he has spoken to groups across the United States. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Economics and a concentration in Environmental Education and Policy. He worked at the Center for Population Studies at the University of Minnesota. In 1991 David retired from the financial field and founded World Population Balance. Some members are strongly pro-life and others are pro-choice. They have respectfully agreed to disagree about the very difficult issue of abortion in order to focus energy upon raising awareness about the critical importance of stabilizing human numbers.

April 20 — A Bangladesh Wedding
Lake Fellowship member Sharon Dana recently made a trip to Bangladesh for a relative’s wedding. Sharon will present a program with photos and her impressions of attending a Muslim wedding in Bangladesh.

April 27 — Art Heals
Lake Fellowship member Cody Edwards introduces us to the concept of creativity as a tool for growth and healing. Cody will show how improvisation is one such creativity tool. Cody will be using personal experience that he has gained in healing from tragedies in his own life.

May 4 — Faith and Public Service
Mark Ritchie is Minnesota’s elected Secretary of State and a long-time member of First Universalist Church.

May 11 — Home Grown Unitarian Universalism
In the Spring 2008 UU World there is an excellent article about developing home-based community rituals that root UU adults and children. Author William Doherty argues that Sunday school is not enough to give kids a deep sense of UU identity; lifelong engagement with Unitarian Universalism must be rooted at home. Using this article, Lake Fellowship member Chris Hall will lead a discussion about the possibility of making Unitarian Universalism more a “traditional” part of our life.  

September 7 — Water Ceremony
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. We did not bring back any water from the St. Croix River, but someone can collect rain water and talk about the storm on our canoe trip this summer. 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).

September 14 — Just War
The 2006 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association posed this provocative question for congregations to consider over the next few years: Should the Unitarian Universalist Association reject the use of any and all kinds of violence and war to resolve disputes between peoples and nations and adopt a principle of seeking just peace through nonviolent means? The four-year process launched in 2006 to take this up will lead to a “Statement of Conscience” for consideration by the 2010 General Assembly. Should we, the Unitarian Universalist Association and member congregations, adopt a specific and detailed “just war” policy to guide our witness, advocacy, and social justice efforts? Lake Fellowship member Chris Hall will lead the Fellowship in a discussion about Just War and the UUA question. Fellowship member, Alan Anderson will also use part of the program to discuss a petition about cutting military spending to restore America’s financial strength and security. It would be helpful if people read the UU World article “Prophetic Nonviolence” in the Spring 2008 issue (online at http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/68490.shtml).

September 21 — Music on Sunday with Chuck Millar & Sandi Scott
A Minnesota-based duo, claiming 2nd place last year at the MN State Fair Duet Competition, will perform folk, country and bluegrass music. An author from Twin Cities Acoustic has pegged them as “Folkgrass.” Sandi Scott, who sings and plays both guitar and mandolin, has recorded two albums, one solo and one duet, titled “One More Time” & “The Flame in My Heart.” Both have been played on radio stations around the world. She has performed with Grammy Award Winner Clay Hess of “Mountain Heart” who has also brought his talents to her solo project “One More Time.” She is currently in the studio working on her third CD. Chuck Millar, a well decorated studio musician, also plays and teaches guitar, fiddle, violin, mandolin, bass, dobro and banjo. He is currently playing with the very well known “Tangled Roots,” a Minnesota-based bluegrass band which is getting national attention. Their latest CD “Valley Road” was recently released. The duo has been performing for 5 years and will soon be recording a CD together.

September 28 — An Exploration on How We Perceive Race
Because the UUA, the United Church of Christ and Barack Obama have called for a national conversation on race and because the demographics of our communities are swiftly changing, we are going to engage in a series of programs on race. The first will be a conversation about our personal feelings, thoughts and experiences about race. Susie Kraus and Laurie Gauer will guide us in exploring the following questions together: To what extent are you interested in race? How do you experience race? For those of us who are aware of experiencing our own racism, how did we come to realize that was what was going on? What have those of us who have first hand experience working with people of color and /or other ethnicities learned from the experience and what adaptations have been easy/difficult to make?

October 5 — An Introduction to Camphill Village
Camphill is located on a 500-acre biodynamic farm ten miles north of Sauk Centre in Central Minnesota. People live together family-style in seven different homes. Everyone shares in the responsibilities of life in the community. The Village has a strong agricultural component made up of farming and gardening. Craft work includes weaving and card-making, as well as a bakery that provides for the needs of the Village and sells in the surrounding area. Life in the Village revolves around the cycles of nature, with festivals marking the changing seasons. Plays, concerts, lectures and continuing education add depth and color to the fabric of the community. Camphill Village Minnesota is part of a worldwide movement that was begun in Scotland by Dr. Karl König just before World War II. The work of Camphill is based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian scientist, philosopher and educator who also inspired Waldorf education. The Camphill movement has over 100 planned communities worldwide for people with developmental disabilities and for others searching for constructive social and spiritual alternatives.

October 12 — Association Sunday
Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships around the country celebrate Association Sunday to affirm the common bonds and purposes with UU congregations across the continent and beyond. Honoring that connection and common vision can be a spiritually fulfilling, and empowering experience. The focus of Association Sunday this year is on “Growing Our Spirit.” We may not have a consensus on what spirituality means, but we agree on the need to be more clear, centered, and effective in our faith. Association Sundays are a request by the UUA for all congregations to recognize and support, both spiritually and financialy, the national work of the Association. Chris Hall will do a presentation and lead discussion.

October 19 — This Present Paradise
In the Summer 2008 issue of the UU World the authors of the article “This Present Paradise” purport that the early Christian church emphasized creating heaven on earth by living peacefully with each other. It wasn’t until the 10th century that the church emphasized the crucifixion. Heaven became a realm to be entered after this life, often achieved by killing or being killed in a holy war. Early Universalists challenged this violence. According to the authors, “Universalism tells us that we can come to know the world as paradise when our hearts and souls are reborn through the arduous and tender task of living rightly with one another and the earth.” Member Laurie Gauer will lead us in a discussion on what creating paradise in the here and now means to each of us. It would be helpful if you read the article ahead of time (on-line: http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/107992.shtml).

October 26 — Thirteen American Arguments
This program will start what we hope will be a series of programs using Howard Fineman’s book, The Thirteen American Arguments – Enduring the debates that define and inspire our country as a resource to explore American culture. Fineman’s book covers such subjects as “Who is an American?,” “The Role of Faith,” and “The Limits of Individualism.” We are hoping that Fellowship members will take chapters that interest them and lead discussions in future programs. Fellowship member Chris Hall will start the series of programs by discussing how America seems unique in the world as we are the “Arguing Country”—born in, and born to, debate. Fineman says, “The habit of doing so—the urgent, almost neurotic need to do so—makes us unique and gives us our freedom, creativity, and strength.” The second part of the program Chris will lead a discussion on “Who is an American.”

November 2 – The Power of Saying Good-bye
This Sunday will be recognizing then "Day of the Dead" by having a outside speaker.
Ellen Hufschmidt, M.A. will share stories of caring and honoring loved ones after death and before the funeral home comes. These stories have touched people in deep ways. Ellen has told these stories at various church groups including other UU's, Quaker, and Epsicopal gatherings. At the end of the talk members will be invited to come forward and drop a stone in a vase of water and leave a flower as they speak the name of a lost loved one.
Ellen is currently a Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospice and Palliative Care program in Duluth, MN. In addition, she is a Ritual Consultant in her own business, Rites of Change, that helps people mark significant transitions throughout their life cycle. Ellen has a deep appreciation of the ancient stories and rituals of her own Celtic roots. She has studied with shamans and spiritual leaders from Africa, Central America, and North America. "When I work with individuals and families, I want to know what is beautiful to them: what words touch them or what music inspires them; what gateways open their hearts; what melts their separation. Because everyone’s way is different; there is no formula.”

November 9 – What does spirituality mean to Unitarian Unviversalists?
The word "spirituality" carries a lot a meaning. These readings have a different meaning for Unitarian Universalists. On Sunday we will look at several brief readings by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham, Scott Alexander and Edward Frost and discuss how they have meaning for us and how it relates to being to an UU.

November 16 – Future UU Programming
This is a chance for Lake Fellowship members to help decide what kind of programs could be presented in the New Year.The Unitarian Universalist Association has a number of programs which offer a chance to explore the religious and spiritual aspect of our life and how we have come to be connected to Unitarian Universalism. Lake Fellowship member Chris Hall will introduce the different programs to the members and lead a discussion in choosing what “themes” the Fellowship members are interested in pursuing in the next year.

November 23 – 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 share. 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 to the A-frame by December 7.

December 7 – Third World Theology
Outside speaker Eleazar S. Fernandez is a Professor of Constructive Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Dr. Fernamdez will be presenting a program on Third World Theology.