the OUUC spark

April 6, 2023

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In What Do We Trust? - Rev. Mary Gear

This will be published on Maundy Thursday, the day in the Holy Week between Palm Sunday and Easter when Christians mark an eventful day. The story goes that on Maundy Thursday, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, took part in a Passover seder where he gave the first rite that we now call communion, prayed in the garden wondering if he really had to do the hard thing that was before him, and was betrayed by Judas. All in one day.

Often for Unitarian Universalists, the Bible stories are metaphor. Did those things really all happen on one day in Jesus' life? We don’t know. But we can understand this story as one that invites us to reflect on being of service with humility, building community, facing reality, and enduring betrayal and heartbreak. These are universal experiences and feelings that we all can relate to.

Our spiritual theme of the month of April is “trust.” The stories of Jesus’ life this Holy Week also invite us to reflect on who and what we trust. Who do you trust, even a little? Who do you trust a lot, with what is in your deepest heart and soul?

The story of this week is that ultimately Jesus trusted God, something greater than himself. I would say that Jesus also trusted his people, even knowing that he might be betrayed. And those people are part of why his message of love remains more than 2000 years later.

The word maundy comes from the Latin, 'mandatum', or 'command.' This day is called Maundy Thursday because of the instructions that we should love one another that Jesus gave his disciples at the seder we call the Last Supper.

Love is a universal and Universalist message. May your Holy Week be filled with Love.

Blessings on your week,

Rev. Mary

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Congregational life is a lot about trust, especially when a congregation is in transition. OUUC has been in transition for several years now and we are all in transition now as we emerge from Covid. Rev. Mary presented a forum on “OUUC After Covid” on Sunday, April 2. You can access the recording here and the slides here.
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A poem for trust in spirit, in community, and in shared ministry.

~ “All That We Have Been, All That We Will Become” ~ by Leslie Ahuvah Fails

All that we have been separately

and all that we will become together
is stretched out before and behind us
like stars scattered across a canvas of sky.
We stand at the precipice, arms locked
together like tandem skydivers
working up the courage to jump.

Tell me, friends:
What have we got to lose?
Our fear of failure?
Our mistrust of our own talents?

What have we got to lose?
A poverty of the spirit?
The lie that we are alone?

What wonders await us in the space
between the first leap
and the moment our feet, our wheels
however we move our bodies
across this precious earth
touch down softly on unknown soil?
What have we got to lose
that we can’t replace with some
previously unimaginable joy?

Blessed are you, Spirit of Life
who has sustained us, enlivened us
and enabled us to reach this moment.
Give us courage in our leaping,
and gratitude in our landing.
And share with us in the joy of a long
and fruitful ministry together.

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OUUC Under Construction Soon!

Work on OUUC’s HVAC system will begin on Monday, April 10. That means the Sanctuary and part of the Commons will be a construction zone for a while.

This work is part of our commitment to lowering OUUC’s carbon footprint by installing energy efficient heat pumps to replace gas furnaces. Thank you to all who contributed to the Capital Campaign that helped make this happen.

Here’s what you can expect in the next few weeks:

Sunday services will be held in the classrooms on April 16 and 23, and maybe on April 30.

The classrooms have limited seating, so if your spiritual needs can be met by participating on Zoom or YouTube we invite you to do so.

We’ll have coffee and treats in the Commons and breakout rooms online after the service as usual.

The after-service events will be offered as usual, too. April 16 is Board Sunday and April 23 is Melanie Ransom’s Talk Show featuring guest, Rev. Sara Lewis.

The Thursday dinners will be held as usual.

The Commons ceiling near the doorway may look like a construction zone, but we expect the rest of the room to be fit for use.

There will be no Thursday evening spiritual practice after April 6.

We will offer after-dinner activities in the Commons for those onsite on Thursday evenings.

For those people who like online spiritual practice, we encourage you to use the many recorded Thursday evening events we’ve offered for the past several years. You can access those on the OUUC YouTube channel.

We will update you weekly in the Tuesday update and The Spark.

We’ll also put information in the email reminders and on the website.

Other scheduled meetings will take place in the classrooms as planned.

Thank you for your patience! It will be great when it’s done!

Rev. Mary

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Pre-auction Opportunity! Cameroonian Dinner

Don’t miss your opportunity to purchase a ticket to this delicious and unique dinner! Beatrice Owana-Kellogg is offering a traditional Cameroonian dinner, featuring six traditional dishes from her home country, Cameroon. The meal will feature: Pepper Soup, Dodo and beans, Puff Puff and Beans, Fried Vegetables, Paulette DJ, and Egussi Pudding. The evening will also include a display of some traditional Cameroonian clothing, music, dance, and crafts. Limited to just 30 participants, this event will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at a private home in Lacey. The cost is $100/per person. You can purchase your ticket to the dinner here (or from the home page, click “Auction catalog.”) There are only 30 seats available for this fabulous dinner, and they are going fast! Don’t delay—this rare opportunity is not to be missed.
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At General Assembly (GA) 2023, Unitarian Universalists will take an initial vote on proposed changes to Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bylaws, which includes the current UUA purposes, principles, sources, and clauses on inclusion and freedom of belief. Until April 30 any Unitarian Universalist may submit as many suggestions and ideas as they would like through an online form for ways they recommend modifying the Article II Study Commission proposal (PDF).

Submit ideas here.


Looking for upcoming events? Go to the OUUC Calendar.