the OUUC spark
September 15, 2022
Welcome! - by Rev. Mary Gear
Our spiritual theme for the month of September is “welcome.” As we begin a new congregational year, we welcomed each other back from the Summer with our In-gathering and Water Communion service last Sunday, September 11. It was wonderful to sing together in a round and to hear the wonderful OUUC choir once again.
You can watch the service here:
For water communion, we mingled our water to signify our return and new beginning. We invited you to share the meaning of your water, in the chat for those online and on paper raindrops in The Commons for those in person. Our two rivers – online and in-person -- joined together.
Below is what you all shared.
Thank you to everyone who shared and for finding meaning in gathering our water.
What are you welcoming this month?
Blessings on your week.
What is the meaning of your water?
Let's Party for Peace - by Rev. Sara Lewis
You may recall that a feature of Rev Mary’s Installation this spring included an exchange of gifts, which is a traditional and common practice for a ministerial installation in a congregation. OUUC gave Rev Mary a stole, made by the Sewing Ministry Team, and Rev Mary gave OUUC a Peace Pole. There are estimated to be about 200,000 peace poles around the world, proclaiming our common wish for and commitment to peace on earth.
Our UU values of inherent worth and dignity, interdependence, and compassion all support a call to work toward a world of peace and justice for all. And while we have never been united in an understanding of pacifism (see some interesting history here), we have long worked for peace. Peace work has also been important to many here at OUUC, with past projects including Nuclear Disarmament classes and talks and the creation of memorial markers for the civilian casualties of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now we will have a new visual reminder of peace, which I hope will help us reflect on how peace is part of our values, part of our practices, and part of our hopes and aspirations for the world. A big Thank You to Rev Mary for this gift!
The Buildings and Grounds Team have identified a great spot for the Peace Pole, right near the main entrance. They’ve already dug the hole, which is now marked with an orange cone for safety. Thank you, B&G! And now we can all join in: when a peace pole is “planted”, there is a ceremony to perform. As Rev Mary and I were looking at the fall calendar, we realized that we could hold this event near International Day of Peace, which is September 21st.
Which brings us to the planned Party for Peace at OUUC on Saturday September 24th, 4-7pm. Please join us for the planting and dedication of the peace pole, for a potluck dinner, and for activities and discussions of peace. There will be something for all ages, and this will be a chance to be in community together outdoors as well.
Volunteers for set up needed. Contact Rev. Sara if you can help!
Back to School Blessings
Last Sunday we held our annual Blessing of the Backpacks, attended by about 25 students and their family and friends. Grades represented ranged from preschool to grad school. We, as a faith community, support and encourage all in their life long journey of learning. We still have backpack charms which were blessed at this ritual, so if you are a student and couldn’t make the blessing, please still come and get a charm from Rev. Sara or Anissa!
Happy Back to School Season to you all!
Quixote Village to Quixote Communities: A growing mission and vision to serve the unhoused - by Joe Shorin
Most OUUC members know the basics of OUUC’s instrumental role in creating Quixote Village: OUUC was the first faith community to provide sanctuary to the residents of an unauthorized homeless community camped on City of Olympia property in 2007; its members and leaders were instrumental in a multi-year and multi-organizational effort to host Camp Quixote; and during that time, they were actively engaged in the planning and development of Quixote Village, a 30-unit tiny home village on Mottman Road built to provide permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.