General

“A wild creek in May is a magical place….” (from The Middlewood Journal)

Artist and naturalist Helen Correll, who spoke with our congregation about the winter woods of Spartanburg County this January, returns to share with us about the transformations of spring and summer here in our home. Helen is a person of limitless generosity and creativity—come to hear her reflect on the beauty of this place we inhabit.

On display in the Sanctuary is a completely new body of artwork by Helen, never before shown–abstractions done entirely in pigments she has created from the Piedmont earth.

Come to see this amazing new art, and come to hear the wisdom of walking the woods.

–Scott

“Is it possible to give Meaning and Expression to Wood and Wire; or to bestow upon them the Power of raising and soothing the Passions of rational Beings?” (Francesco Geminiani, from The Art of Playing on the Violin, 1751)

In other words, how does a musician draw such beautiful music from an instrument? And how can music have such effect on us?

This Sunday, a string quartet will offer music in our service. Not one, but four musicians will draw from wood and wire an experience for us beyond the limits of our reason.

Beauty. Teamwork. Skill & magic. Come hear.

–Scott

OPEN MIC Coffeehouse May 25, 2019

Come be the Cat’s Meow!

Please join us at Coffeehouse from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Saturday, May 25th. Sign up for open mic to sing a song, tell a story, demonstrate a craft, perform a skit, or read a poem during the first hour. We welcome all forms of creative expression that are in good taste. Please limit your act to about five minutes or two songs. We encourage donations of non-perishable food items for our TOTAL Ministries Food barrel, which helps struggling families in our community. An entry donation of $5 for UUCS is suggested if you feel you can afford it; performers get in free. Come join in the fun!

For questions, contact Cindy Freeman, coffeehouse@uucs.org. 

 

The 2019 UUCS Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, June 2 immediately following the 11 AM worship service. The meeting will include votes for the slate of board and committee candidates, and for approval of the budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Voting is restricted to church members who have signed our membership book by April 18, 2019, or before, and who have made a monetary donation of record to the general operating fund this fiscal year (since July 1, 2018). “Lite Bites” refreshments will follow the meeting.

Following the Sunday service on May 26, Board members will be available in the Fellowship Hall to answer questions about the budget.

Proposed Budget for the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020)

The proposed budget has been passed by both your Finance Committee and your Board of Trustees. We will be asking for your approval for this budget at our Annual Congregational Meeting, Sunday, June 2, 2019.*

Absentee ballots may be submitted online (below), or paper ballots obtained from Board Secretary Jan Jerome on Sunday, May 19 or Sunday, May 26. These must be returned to Jan before the June 2 meeting.

2019-20 Election of Officers and Representatives

The UUCS Leadership Development Committee is pleased to present the following slate of officers, board members, and committee members for election at the June 2, 2020, Annual Meeting.

Board Officers:

President (1 year) Rick Hahnenberg
President-elect (1 year) Linda Leible
Treasurer (2 years) Pate Randall
Secretary (1 year) Rob Gettings
Trustee (2 years) Peggy Hamrick
Trustee (1 year) Brannon Carter

Endowment Team: Dave Drum (3 years)

Committee on Ministry: Jule Klotter (3 years)

Leadership Development: Clare Van Sant (2 years), Alice Sutton (2 years), Amanda Wolcansek (2 years)

We thank all of the volunteers who stepped forward to agree to accept these responsibilities in building our church life.
For information on the current board, you can see https://uucs.org/member-info/governance/leadership-directory/.
Further information about UUCS governance is at https://uucs.org/member-info/governance/
And, finally, if you have questions, ask anyone on the leadership development committee (Linda Leible, Palma Eisner, Alice Sutton, Diane Dixon, and Betty Koester) or email leaderdev@uucs.org

Absentee Ballots

The online absentee ballot can be accessed here: Absentee ballot – June 2, 2019, UUCS Annual Congregational Meeting.

*Paper absentee ballots will be available from the Board of Trustees upon request to eligible voting members unable to attend the meeting. To be counted toward the vote, absentee ballots must be received and validated by the Secretary of the Board prior to the opening of the meeting, June 2, 2019.

Leadership Development Committee

On a day as beautiful as this one, a teacher of mine once remarked, “Days like this are why we live where we do.”

Come outside and enjoy the beauty. It is good to be here now.

Scott

LGBTQ Theologies: What LGBTQ Spiritual Leaders Say About Their Faith

This Saturday, May 11, come to an event centered on LGBTQ theologians and spiritual leaders. These thinkers will share their own theological understanding of themselves and our world—beyond the arguments straight clergy have about LGBTQ people’s lives, even when expressing support.

Please spread the word, and join us. Come for as much of the day as you are available. Registration is free; lunch will be served; all are welcome. This will be a powerful event.

Details:
Title: LGBTQ Theologies: What LGBTQ Spiritual Leaders Say About Their Faith
Date: Saturday, May 11
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Location: Spartanburg Methodist College Chapel
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lgbtq-theologies-what-lgbtq-spiritual-leaders-say-about-their-faith-tickets-59320806128?fbclid=IwAR3zTNB5oaGv-x9ow8nyIyAiaU3J2FbpFuE2pm0B3zoMoBNxtCApDoZbiZg

Questions? Ask Anne Garner (intern@uucs.org) and Scott Neely (minister@uucs.org).

The 2019 Spartanburg Earth Day Festival is this Saturday, May 4 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at UUCS. Come! This is an inspiring convergence of our church volunteers, our neighbors in South Converse, and members of our wider community–all in celebration of the Earth we share.

Come celebrate. Come make this even more Our Home.

Peace,

Scott

In her brilliant TED talk on compassion, renowned scholar of the history of religions, Karen Armstrong, asserts that the core teaching of each of the world’s religions is simply this: “Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you.”

This can be stated many ways, but its meaning is evident. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” I remind my children each day as they head off to school.

The trick is, once I have thus admonished them, will I do so myself? What makes this way of life so difficult is that we are both its standard and subject. Steven Pinker raises the bar still higher with what he calls the Platinum Rule, further underscoring the importance of acting with regard for one another: “Do to others what they would have you do to them.”

It is beautiful when people choose to do this. Even more, it is beautiful that it works.

With registration now exceeding 40 children, our RE program has wrestled with how to provide a learning environment for our children each Sunday while simply helping them fit comfortably and peaceably together in one space. More children means more different children, all of whom bring their personalities and their backgrounds into the room with them. Some of our children are differently-abled, adding to the complexities of a setting that strives for diversity to not mean divisiveness.

I have witnessed a team form to support these children and their families. Rather than chastise unruly behavior, child development professionals in our congregation have joined together to bring their expertise to bear in order to help children with diagnosed disabilities, relieving environmental stressors and coaching new behaviors. RE staff and volunteers have reorganized their work to help all of our children learn how to interact in ways that are respectful and productive for everyone in the classroom.

All of this is premised on the question, “What would I want to have happen if I were that child?” Pinker’s science and Armstrong’s theology fuse to create a strategy that is both practical and aspirational—treating one another with the respect and kindness we desire for ourselves eases tension, opens us to forgiveness, and builds trust. And trust is the life of any community.

Pinker’s book is Enlightenment Now; Armstrong’s TED talk is entitled “A Charter for Compassion“. But the real resource for this way of living is ourselves. We ask:

“If I were living in these circumstances, how would I want to be treated?”

And then we act.

—Scott

JUNE 8 from 9:00-11:00 at Furman University, Greenville

A grand opportunity has arisen for our church community to take part in *NAMIWalks for the Upstate sponsored by NAMI (National Association for the Mentally Ill).

The 4th Sunday AM Covenant Group is inviting everyone to participate with our team – UU SPARTANBURG (team website link). Carpooling will be available. You may help by joining OUR TEAM and walk with us, support our team by making a donation to a team member listed on our ROSTER or both!

To give a donation directly to Team Captain Al Randall (receipt on request), or for more information, please contact Al at al.randall204@gmail.com or 704-692-3772.

So GIVE / WALK / JOIN the 4th Sunday AM Covenant Group for this worthwhile endeavor for our community on June 8.

*All funds raised directly support the mission of NAMI to provide support, education, and advocacy to individuals and families right here in our community.

In preparation for his talk this Sunday on Big History–a study of time since the inception of the Universe 13.8 billion years ago–Dr. Garry Snipes mentioned a beloved tune.
Louis Armstrong singing “What A Wonderful World”, when his own life experience included so much that was not wonderful, beckons us to live in joy and gratitude.
Beautiful,
Scott