April 1: You Can’t Get to Easter Until… What does it take to get to Easter? “Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together” - Pema Chödrön. Join Lay Leader Barb Gutsch in exploring the wretchedness we wade through on our way to the resurrection.
March 25: Ain’t Gonna Pass. Tom Neilson is no stranger to our congregation. He is a tireless troubadour for our sacred lands, our place and responsibility within and upon it. We will modify our service format somewhat for a rousing concert with narrative. We invite you to look at Tom’s causes nearer his East Coast home, and check out his website, http://tomneilsonmusic.com (No audio recording of service available.)
March 18: Lessons from Tai Chi: the Difference between Balance and Stability. Tai Chi concerns itself with many physical objectives: relaxation, breathing, precise movement, interaction between mind, body and spirit. Perhaps nothing more defines it, though, than the practice of balance. Jonalu’s more than twenty years’ practice of Tai Chi has brought a variety of insights about balance that apply beyond the physical body. Reverend Jonalu Johnstone is the minister at the UU Fellowship of Manhattan. She received her M.Div from Harvard Divinity School in 1993, having completed an internship at the UU Church of Reading, Massachusetts with Reverend Jane Rzepka. There, she worked with the middle school youth group, formed a Welcoming Congregation Committee, and learned that no matter what the appearances are, people are often struggling in silence to cope. I witnessed how a growing mid-size church functions and what effective lay leadership looks like.
March 11: It’s a Good Day to Die: Balancing Life, Death, and Transformation. On March 22, Mark Saville will celebrate the 30th anniversary of “the best day of his life,” the day he smashed into a tree on a ski slope and his life was forever changed. Mark will join Lay Leader Barb Gutsch in exploring life after tragedy and transformation over time.
March 4: art as faith. The Salina UUs and the Visual Voices Gallery are pleased to show the work of Kelly Anquoe, Kiowa-Cherokee artist from Tahlequah, OK. He notes that he looks forward to a new art atmosphere for the new millennium in the Midwest.
February 25: Together We Can Sustain a Very Long Song. Join our Lay Leader, Barb Gutsch, in exploring a lesson many of us learned in high school music class: When we band together and mindfully stagger our breathing, our ability to sustain a single note expands exponentially. How long is your song?
February 18: Thinking Outside the Jewelry Box. Come this morning to hear our Visual Voice gallery exhibiting artist, Micki Taylor, share with us about her artwork and her process. Read more below in her artist statement.
February 11: Racism, Politics, and the Gospel. February is Black History month. We will be viewing a portion of a presentation of Rev. William Barber III and Rev. Jim Wallis that was recorded last year. Both have fascinating insights of where we are today. You can see the entire event on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nvi2U1ahU4. Questions and discussion will follow as time allows. Further discussion is encouraged during a Pot Luck after the service. Bring your food for thought and food to share. We always seem to have plenty of both!
February 4: “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” Rev. Diane Miller. Persistence -- a quality we usually hold in high regard. Perseverance – a quality we encourage. A sermon on taking risks and sticking to it, both personally and institutionally. Beacon Press publishing the Pentagon Papers and New Year resolutions. The story for all ages comes from a book by Chelsea Clinton. Janice Norlin will be convener, and Gerald Gillespie will provide music, with Barb Gutch on Audio Visual. If you will be spending the evening with NFL Super Bowl, consider this a pep talk on goals of a different type.
January 28: My Life in the Ecosphere. Aubrey Streit-Krug is a writer and teacher in the environmental humanities who studies stories of relationships between humans and plants. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in Ecosphere Studies at The Land Institute, she earned her PhD in English (American U.S. & Indigenous literature) and Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also a student of the Omaha language. She likes collaborating on educational, interdisciplinary projects that build knowledge across communities and cultures. Aubrey grew up in the small town of Tipton, Kansas, and considers limestone soils with rocky prairie hillsides her home ground. She lives in Salina now with her husband and their little boy. Her service will focus on her own journey of learning and teaching about our shared human responsibility to be at home on our home planet.
January 21: Politics of the Protestant Reformation. Rev. Rose Schwab is the minister at Shawnee Mission UU Church and will share a sermon with us as part of the Kansas minister/lay leader pulpit exchange. She was educated at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has deep roots in the Salina area. This morning, she speaks about the importance of parenting, love, race, and how the politics of the protestant reformation are incredibly relevant to our lives today.
January 14: The Power of Assuming Good Intention. When we make mistakes, we are quick to defend our intentions. When others make mistakes, are we able to assume their intentions were good as well? Join Lay Leader Barb Gutsch in exploring the one assumption that is okay to make: the assumption of positive intent.
January 7: The Challenges of a Journey. Often lost in the debris of post-Christmas exhaustion is the story of the three kings traveling from afar to bring the infant Jesus treasured gifts. Celebrated twelve days after Christmas on January 6, Epiphany is rich with multiple layers of symbolism. The theme of this Sunday’s reflection is that of journeying – the challenge lies in being stretched. Teresa Hernandez will explore three aspects of the story of the Magi: embracing discomfort, following cultivated intuition and humility, with hopes that we can be renewed in our own challenging journeys.
January 1: The Burning Bowl annual New Year's Celebration
December 24: Winter Solstice Service. Come learn about the spiritual significance of the season and the mysteries of life that, like the passage of the seasons, defy dualistic thinking and lead to contemplation. Featured will be a candle light ceremony and a Yule log burning.
December 17: Politics is the new Religion. Mike Neustrom will talk about the transition taking place in our lives. He will address his own observations of his transition, and what bears watching, and determining conclusions in our society today.
December 10: Bring Your Broken Hallelujah Rev. Jill Jarvis, UU Fellowship Lawrence presents. Looking for “that perfect gift” for someone special? Maybe you are the gift, and perfection is vastly overrated. We all bring some broken dreams and long lost hopes on our journey toward wholeness. How do we pick up the pieces and reimagine the life-affirming world we dream of?
December 3: Advent: the Arrival of a Notable Person, Thing, or Event. A period of expectant waiting. For many Christians, today marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Born and raised Catholic, Advent holds a special place in my heart, with the 4 candles of the Advent Wreath representing Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace. Today we will consider what we, as Unitarian Universalists, wait and prepare for during this season. Presented by lay leader, Barb Gutsch.
November 26: Assuming Scarcity or Abundance: Choosing How We Live. In this service, we will examine how living with an attitude of scarcity causes us to act in individualistic and competitive ways, and choosing an attitude of abundance builds community. As we explore ways we can realign our inner and outer lives, let us also consider the part we play in perpetuating a cultural mentality of scarcity. Presented by Lay Leader, Barb Gutsch.
November 19: Stone Soup. Come join us for an annual Salina UU tradition of sharing a simple meal of soup and bread, as we also explore generosity and inclusivity as told in a folk tale about hungry travelers.
November 12: What Does It Mean to be a Community of Abundance? Reverend Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, from the Topeka UU Fellowship explores with us this morning the question “What do you have an abundance of?” It's not always the good things in life that are abundant. As a community we have an abundance of guns, poverty, and racism...we also have an abundance of social media, belongings, and political quagmires. Sometimes we even have an abundance of grief and personal challenges. How can we shift these to an abundance of peaceful solutions to conflict, families that have what they need to thrive and cultural diversity that doesn't cost people their lives? How can we use our gifts to develop an abundance that counters out challenges? How can we find beauty in each day to sustain us? How can we deepen our relationships and feel sustained by our community, offer sustenance to one another through spiritual and emotional presence? We will explore the tools that help us create and share an abundance that is life giving while addressing the kinds of "abundance" that come from a scarcity of spirit, justice and communalism. Sarah completed her MDIV at The Iliff School Theology in Denver. She was called by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka in July 2014 and has served there since August 2014. She currently serves on the board of Kansas Interfaith Topeka and as an organizer for the Kansas People’s Agenda, a collective and Kansas people and organizations developing a grassroots agenda for and bringing grassroots voices to the state capital.
November 5: Visual Voices. Michael Nelson, former minister for UU Salina and recently retired as UU minister in Manhattan, will present to us about his body of his work, entitled “Infusing the Everyday with the Cosmic”. Michael writes about his artist process…“While the mind is very tuned in, it’s the body, its instincts that has the most to say. Somehow, the hands, the heart, and the neurons are working together in a way that the “I” frequently feels absent. An elastic sense of being where the past, present and future unite..
October 29: You May Say I’m a Dreamer. Mary Landes will speak with us this morning about the Salina Innovation Foundation and its vision “to protect and endow the Masonic Center building and infuse it with new spirit and life”, from the point of view of having a dream and living it into a reality.
October 22: As the Spirit Moves Me. My life story has moved me geographically , spiritually, and emotionally from place to place and from highs to lows and visa versa. It has brought me intimately in touch with issues like addiction, psychological illness, immigration, and discrimination. It has given me strength and comfort through the people that have crossed my path, religion/spirituality and education. I look forward to sharing my story with you, but even more to learn about your journeys as we get to know each other in the future. This spiritual odyssey is presented by our new member, Jacqueline Morgan.
October 15: Visual Voices Artist, Andrea Fuhrman. Come hear more from currently exhibiting artist, Andrea Fuhrman, on This I Believe and her works based on imagery and memory.
October 8: The Courage to Explore Soul and Role. In his book, A Hidden Wholeness, Parker Palmer describes how we live divided lives; with our outside life often hiding our true inner self in order to achieve success and be accepted. Our Lay Leader, Barb Gutsch, will talk about what is “Soul" and why it matters, and how we can begin to live an undivided life.
October 1: Reaching Out From Within. Where are the human boundaries of separation when facing issues of incarceration, punishment, rehabilitation, change, transformation, and transition to life outside of prison? The work of volunteers in the program, Reaching Out From Within, is to support inmates' personal transformative work on themselves. This particular program's work is to help a new foundation for later life outside of prison walls and outside of 'personal walls' that are preventing life change. Three Salina volunteers involved in this program at Ellsworth's medium and minimum facilities will speak about the work of the program and their experiences.
September 24: Seeking to be Balanced and Whole. Parker Palmer writes "I yearn to be whole, but dividedness often seems the easier choice." As we move into Autumn and for a moment day and night are balanced, let us take this opportunity to explore our "Hidden Wholeness" and discover how "Soul Matters" in a balanced life. Presented by Lay Leader, Barb Gutsch
September 17: Alice Walker’s Welcome Table. In times such as these where intolerance and racism seems to be on the rise in our nation, a look at author Alice Walker’s short story called The Welcome Table may speak to the covert attitudes. In times when being ‘other’ than the dominant culture can get a person, thrown in jail, killed or mistreated, “just because.” This story speaks volumes about who we claim to be as ‘Christian’, and puts a light on how we really respond. Reverend Dee Williamston looks forward to sharing, in sermon style, this story and prays that it will help us all re-examine who we are has the human race! Rev. Williamston is an Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church and member in the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church.
August 20: The Clarion Call of Uncertainty: A Time for Hope? Or Depression? David Orr released his book “Hope is an Imperative” in 2011. Yet the imminent danger to our climate, natural, political, and economic, renders such hope difficult or impossible for many. And yet--- our service comes the day before two eclipses, and possibly, rays of hope. First, the “natural world’s” eclipse of the sun, and second, Rev. William Barber’s Topeka address to the Midwest, a kickoff for the eclipse of immoral public policies resulting in ‘political murder’ of the less fortunate. How do we fight depression, and maintain hope in these “Dangerous Years,” the title of Orr’s latest book? David Norlin will share some ideas/stories about how to combat—or live with--the big D. You bring your own.
August 6: “Preaching to the Corn". Are we practicing perfection or possibility? Pick one. Reverend Jordinn Nelson Long visits us from Boston.
July 30: “Improv” Church. Reverend Diane Miller will share with us how the principles of improv comedy are an excellent guide to being and to spiritual growth with participation by our UU youth.
July 16: Compassionate and Conscious Listening. In our culture, with so many distractions, we are in danger of losing our ability to really listen to one other. David Hanson will discuss ideas to help understand what listening does on a spiritual level.
June 25: Emery Diercks, a native Salinan and resident here her whole life (except when her family was in the military and her 2 children were born) will share her experiences growing up and living in Salina—and the U.S. Emery has been a tireless arts and poetry advocate, bringing in poets of many backgrounds and experiences to one mic and other presentations at Ad Astra Books and Coffee, Heart of Dixie, and Side B studios.
June 18: The Spirit of ZEST! It’s easy to be consumed by all that needs to be done, by all the wrongs that need to be righted, by all the ways we want to be better and do better. When is the last time you felt zest in your life? Who in your life embodies zest? On this Father’s day, we will pay heed the words of Walt Whitman: "To you, clerk, literary man, sedentary person, man of fortune, idler...UP! The world (perhaps you now look upon it with pallid and disgusted eyes) is full of zest and beauty for you, if you approach it in the right spirit!” Presented by Barb Gutsch.
June 4: Re-homing. What does it mean to belong somewhere, and how do we know when we're home? How does familiarity play into happiness, and how do nomads maintain wellness? Please join us for a service about finding and making homes. Rev. Rose Schwab, minister of Shawnee Mission UU Church in Kansas City Kansas, and prodigal grandchild of Kansas presents.
May 28: Visual Voice featuring Kae Brown: As we have in the past, this Sunday is an opportunity to hear from the artist whose work is exhibited in our fellowship gallery. Come to a conversation with the current artist, Kae Brown, and hear possible answers to what is next.
May 14: Honoring Our Mothers. The first celebrations in honor of mothers were held in the spring in ancient Greece. They paid tribute to Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 17th century, England honored mothers on "Mothering Sunday," celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Today we honor all the ‘Mothers' in our Fellowship. We will celebrate with a Flower Communion. Please bring a flower, or a few, to share. Created and presented by UUFS children and youth.
May 7: Impermanence. Willow Leenders just spent a week hosting Dr. Jampa Yonten and his Tibetan family from Bangalore, India and she will share lessons learned from time with a healer from a different culture and tradition.
Apr 30: May First is International Labor Day. So why don’t we celebrate it in the US? Patrick Harrington will present some facts of American history that make us celebrate Labor day in September.
Apr 24: Life Lessons from Creation. Pastor Noni Strand will share reflections based on her journey of living into “Earthly-mindedness,” that is, living with Earth in mind. From childhood experiences of camping to her recent publication of Rooted and Grounded in Love: Devotions for Growing Couples, Strand traces the life-long emergence of her ecological awareness and passion for sustainability, and invites her listeners to do the same. Strand currently serves as interim Director of the Chaplaincy Department at Salina Regional Health Center with a focus on collaboration and spiritual resilience for patients, their supporters, and her co-workers.
Apr 16: Hallelujah! Everybody is Saved! The Genius of Universalism. Rev. Diane Miller shares with us a sermon on the good news, the saving news, of our tradition. The sermon begins with Hosea Ballou’s treatise on the Ancient History of Universalism, published in 1829. The book is old and crumbling, but the ideas are relevant to our lives now. Our Universalist heritage proclaims that all are saved, no one is damned. It affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The children’s time will be an Easter egg hunt, a no-candy hunt to find eggs containing coins. Later the children will decide what to do with the money they discover.
Apr 9: What does it Mean to be a Community of Transformation? We are fascinated by transformation movies, from "Beauty and the Beast" to "The American Werewolf in London". It doesn’t matter if someone horrifying becomes beautiful or someone beautiful becomes horrifying, we watch with rapt attention. What is the catalyst for transformation? How does it affect my spiritual life? What does it mean for our church community? Lay Leader Barb Gutsch will present.
Apr 2: A Farm Boy with a Guitar. Tom Neilson, singer-songwriter and social activist, will highlight workers’ rights at our Sunday service. Neilson played last year in Salina to rave reviews and has been described as “the Jon Stewart of folk music.” His songs draw in listeners, raising human consciousness in an era where human worth and dignity are often diminished. His music has been used in documentaries, television shows, stage and street theater. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, he tells the stories of people’s struggles against greed & violence, interjecting levity and laughter along the way.
Mar 19: History of White Privilege Continued. The UUFS Social Action Committee will continue exploring the history of white privilege, using the UUA Examining Whiteness curriculum. Topics for this service include the origins of “WASP”, National Identity in America, Race Science, Social Darwinism, Immigration of Whites from Europe, and the rise of the White working class. Members of our committee will present these segments that are still so relevant today.
Mar 12: Visual Voices Rewind. Maggie Mae Fisher was an exhibiting artist in the Visual Voices: Art at UU gallery at the end of last year. Her artist’s talk was scheduled on a day when we had an ice storm, so she’ll present to us this Sunday in a dialogue conversation with Lee Romaniszyn about her art.
Mar 5: The Risk Taker in Each of Us: Exploring our Vulnerability and Strength. Along the road of life, we are confronted with many opportunities to risk; for adventure, love, justice, career, health, and much more. How do we determine which risks to take and which to avoid? What do we risk when we choose not to risk? Barb Gutsch will lead us in exploring Risk.
Feb 26: “With the Privilege…” My mom often said to us kids “With the privilege goes the responsibility.” As a kid, I associated privilege with having to do work in order to get to do something fun. With recent discussions of “white privilege” and “male privilege” I’ve started thinking more about it. What is privilege? How does having or not having privilege affect our world view? And if we have privilege, what then is our responsibility? Join us as we explore these questions. Rebecca Gant is a former teacher, Girl Scout Leader, congregational Chair and all around volunteer. In addition to many other roles, she joyfully serves as a worship associate and the worship team leader in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence.
Feb. 12: Intellectual Bravery, Curiosity, and Hunger for Truth. We celebrate International Darwin Day by considering what Charles Darwin has to teach us about our UU Fourth Principle (A free and responsible search for truth and meaning), 208 years after his birth in 1809. Presented by Barb Gutsch.
Feb 5: Love, Identity, and Community. Rev. Diane Miller looks at Exodus 3:14 where God speaks to Moses in Hebrew words that are generally translated, “I Am What I Am.” Identity politics may go back even earlier, but in recent years awareness of one’s identity has become an important aspect of Unitarian Universalism. How many identities do we have? Am I my identities? Or is there more to who we are? And how does this apply to the urgent political issues of our time?
January 29: Visual Symphonies: The Collision of Music and Paint. Our current artist, Carolyn Gutsch, will speak about her inspiration for the show and how the connections within the pieces were made for her. Carolyn will also facilitate an interactive activity exploring how music connects with visual art for each of us.
January 22: White Privilege: The History of White Supremacy in the United States. This morning’s service is presented by the UUFS Social Action Committee. The culture of white supremacy has a history that goes back over four hundred years. As a result of this history, we live in a society based on white cultural supremacy. When we examine our history and our privilege, we develop a historical, cultural, and institutional framework for understanding how these larger forces impact on our personal lives and shape us as white people and Unitarian Universalists.
December 25: Being Present: The Gift of Self. In a column entitled “The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice,” Parker Palmer writes "Advice-giving comes naturally to our species, and is mostly done with good intent. But in my experience, the driver behind a lot of advice has as much to do with self-interest as interest in the other’s needs — and some advice can end up doing more harm than good.” Sometimes we can give our best self to others by simply being present and bearing witness, even when we yearn to advise or fix. Barb Gutsch presents this Christmas morning.
December 11: Love, Love, Love. SMUUCh (Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church) member Caroline Dawson explores an alternate definition of love. This talk comes highly recommended by former UU of Salina members, Kent Johnson and Yvonne Gibbons.
December 4: The Body of Jesus. What do the Nativity stories tell us about the birth of Jesus or the presence of the holy in ordinary life? Why was the child’s name foretold as Emmanuel, meaning “God with us?” This will be a sermon from our Liberal Christian roots and our tradition of Incarnational Theology, or what we might call Embodied Faith by Rev. Diane Miller who is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister and former denominational executive now living in Salina. She served on the Committee that wrote the UU Purposes, Principles and Sources statement that was adopted in the 1980's. There will be a story for children about Advent.
November 27: I am Thankful…for my whiteness? In this month of “stories” we will begin the exploration of our white privilege, particularly as it relates to Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. Our stories of white privilege in United States history and culture have had a significant impact on this nation and have played out in our Unitarian Universalist Association. How does it impact us and our congregation? Barb Gutsch presents.
November 13: Environmentalism as a Human Imperative. The deep crises our world faces demands we re-examine our collective way of life, a task important for all of us, but particularly for younger generations who inherit our world, and hope to transform it. Jordan Jerkovich grew up in Salina, and has experienced his own transformation, from study and especially from study abroad. He will share his life story and resulting perspective. “Environmentalism is a human imperative that crosses identity lines. I will talk about where capitalism and environmentalism are and are not reconcilable, about social reasons for committing to a just/sustainable economy, and about how that can be justified as a virtue of faith and spirituality.”
November 6: Samhain. Jesseka Green and David Hanson will lead us in a Gaelic festival celebration marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Our celebration will include a time of remembrance, so please bring a photo of someone you would like to honor with remembering during this service.
October 23: Awe Nature. Michele Clark, the former director of the Stiefel Theatre in Salina, currently a resident of Tahlequah, OK, is currently exhibiting her nature-made art in the Visual Voices Gallery and will share more with us about how she sees art in all of nature. Michele says, “It can be fungus, tree roots, knots on tree limbs or the tiniest rock. There is art in every bit of nature, if you just look and use your artist eyes.”
October 16: Caring Conversations: Faith and Values in End of Life Decision-Making. Faith communities are reassessing their approach to illness, end of life, and grief. As Unitarian Universalists, how does our faith inform our approach to death and illness? How do we support our members, families, and friends, as they experience the death of a loved one or approach their own end-of-life concerns? During this month’s focus of healing, lay leader Barb Gutsch will present how caring conversations about the end of life can help us heal after loss.
October 2: A Time for Turning. Reverend Thea Nietfeld asks these questions, as seasons change, how might we respond to the call for spiritual turning? What intentions and practices might support our efforts?
September 24: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About Covenantal Relationships. Covenant is one of those words that can initially sound kind of stuffy, academic and out-of-date. But when you unpack its meaning and its practices, covenant holds a whole vision for how to live in this complicated, beautiful and broken world. It is a vision that says we are most human when we bind ourselves in relationship. But not just any relationship – relationships of trust, mutual accountability and continual return. These words are from the September 2016 Soul Matters curriculum and David Hanson will shed some light on covenantal relationships from the viewpoint of Chinese philosophers.
September 18: Defying the Nazis UU Action Project Martha and Waitstill Sharp of Wellesley, Massachusetts, risked their lives to save many lives as the Nazis invaded Europe. Their story is being told on PBS as a Ken Burns documentary on September 20th, entitled “Defying the Nazis: the Sharps' War.” What is the legacy of the Sharps, the Flaming Chalice, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee? Rev. Diane Miller, a UU minister for the past 40 years, serving congregations on both coasts and as Director of Ministry for the Unitarian Universalist Association presents.
September 4: "In All Thy Getting, Get Understanding". In this Part 2 report from the 2016 Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, Barb Gutsch will share a sermon by Nancy McDonald Ladd, challenging us to become a place of deep encounter where borders are crossed and faiths connect, where real stories and real struggle intersect and understanding arises anew.
Begin video at 1:12:00 to see Reverend Ladd's sermon.
August 28th: The Search of Meaning. The author of Ecclesiastes 3:19 (NIV) stated, “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.” David Hanson will guide the service and discussion, dealing with the search for meaning in our lives, especially in light of the Unitarian Universalist Principles we hold so dear.
Due to technical difficulties, not all summer podcasts are available. Sorry.
June 19: Buddhism and Christianity revisited. In July of 2000, Bill Martin gave a talk at the Salina UU in which he was critical of Buddhism and in which he supported some aspects of a "Christian" perspective. In the intervening time, Bill's perspective has changed in significant ways; in his talk he will discuss this journey in terms of both ideas and personal events.
June 5: UU Rites of Passage. Unitarian Universalists have many ways of celebrating life and marking life transitions. We share our joys and sorrows, supporting one another through difficulty and success. From birth to death, our congregations help us live with deeper gratitude, greater connection, and more reverence for life. Every UU congregation is free to create and celebrate its own unique rites of passage. Barb Gutsch will lead a celebration of life transition. We will also welcome Rachael as our newest member.
May 22: How The World Breaks. Stan Cox and his son, Paul, have recently released a book on “natural” disasters and how many of these disasters really have their roots in human activity and are therefore preventable in the longer term, if we are willing to seriously engage in behavioral change. A review of the book says, “Here we learn that change is more than mere adaptation and life is more than mere survival.” Come to learn how you can be a part of the change.
May 15: An Exodus From Syria. In conjunction with our tradition of Flower Communion and New Member Welcome Sunday, the UU Popcorn Theology Kids will present a service after viewing the movie “Chicken Run”, the UU Kids discussed Exodus in today's world and created a short play about a young girl's exodus from war-torn Syria.
May 8: Inner Democracy. In this accountability sermon, Rev. Thea Nietfeld links our Unitarian Universalist faith in the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process to the public deliberation work which she has been doing in central Kansas over the past year. Poetry and mysticism continue to be faith resources in community ministry.
May 1: From My Mother. Author Darcy Leech will share about her journey while caring for a mother with myotonic muscular dystrophy. The first child born to a woman with myotonic dystrophy, Darcy Leech was raised to expect her brother to die before she did. She matured quickly as a child living amid medical crisis and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Bethany College as a nationally award winning student athlete. From My Mother tells the family story of the strongest woman Darcy will ever know, her mother, Jo Lyn, who died from weakening muscles.
April 24: The Liberating Nature of Unitarian Universalism. “True wisdom comes in understanding that sometimes, you are both the prison and the key.” Words by Johnathan Jena. Barb Gutsch, our lay leader, will guide us in exploring how Unitarian Universalism can help us unlock the bars around us whether they be of external or internal origin.
April 17: Peas in a Pod. What do Gumby and nuns have to do with art and an expression of our connection and equality? Come find out when local artist, Carolyn Wedel comes to share with us about her current show in the Visual Voices Gallery.
April 10: Sister of the Earth. Lorraine Anderson celebrates both nature and the feminine in her collection of women's prose and poetry entitled Sisters of the Earth. Jackie Magnuson Ash has selected excerpts from several pieces in the book to share as meditation, aiming to affirm Anderson's argument: if we as a people can learn "to revere what is feminine, the image of earth as mother will evoke the reverence that is earth's due." Bev Lethem Davis and Jackie will read the selections.
April 3: Stories and Songs about People’s Struggles. Tom Neilson provides a voice for those who believe in the power of folk music to effect change. Come listen to his words and songs. Learn more about him at http://www.tomneilsonmusic.com/
March 27: Our Christian Roots: Re-visioning Easter Sunday. We live in a predominantly Christian nation. Christmas and Easter are all the rage: high mass, family gatherings, big meals, and presents. Even non-church-goers will show up in church on these two Sundays. As a Unitarian Universalist, I struggle to find meaning for myself and my children in this hype. If I reject the doctrine of the birth of a savior and the resurrection of the same, what do these holidays mean? Barb Gutsch will explore with us our Christian roots and what Easter Sunday might mean to a UU.
March 6: Flint Hill Wisdom Keepers. The Flint Hills Wisdom Keepers Foundation invites you to join in a conversation that began more than 25 years ago. Started by indigenous Elders from tribes across the country, the original conference sought to share the Elders’ cultural wisdom and insights. During this morning’s service, we will talk about the history of the annual gathering, show photos and discuss the Native American elders who have participated with us, and go over the gathering program content, including some ceremonies during the weekend. We will talk about our experiences with these elders and how they have taught us about traditional ways of their upbringing.
February 28: Articulating our UU Faith. Have you ever told someone you were a Unitarian Universalist and then got tongue-tied when they ask “What’s that?” Have you ever NOT told someone where you went to church because it was just too hard to explain? In today's service, Barb Gutsch will lead us in exploring how to better articulate our religious identity.
February 21: Mennonite Project for Racial Justice. Michelle E. Armster, the transitional executive director for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States Region, will share her work with us as she does when she connects with her constituents. MCC, a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. The mission of MCC is relief, development, and peace.
February 14: What’s Love Got to Do With It? Mike Neustrom will talk about the fellowship’s mission and how it is fulfilled.
January 24: Gather the Spirit - Water Service. Barb Gutsch reminds us that the Earth is our home, a place where waters flow and life thrives. Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to stewardship of the Earth, recognizing that without our stewardship, humanity and all other life may not survive. We will gather waters from our lives/travels and give thanks for our abundance of this precious resource.
January 17: Reflections of Ourselves. Dee Boyd undertook an "appreciation project" as a way to recognize the participation we have in each others' lives and to also appreciate the exemplary contributions we make to the Salina community. The service will center around remembering and appreciating Salina Unitarian Universalists who make up our history.
January 10: Learning from Cultural Diversity. Sommer Chalfont explores how globalization and interactions with diverse cultures benefits both international and domestic students, with an emphasis on diversity that is prevalent in higher education and how members of the community can help to encourage and improve these interactions.
January 3: Burning Bowl Tradition. Willow Lenders leads this annual New Year tradition New Year is a time for releasing the past, relinquishing anything that may weigh on your heart and mind as well as looking forward to the future to begin fresh and new.
December 27: Ashby House, A Way that Caring Happens in our Community. Bryan Anderson will be our guest this morning and share with us about homelessness and hope in our Salina community.
December 13: Thoughts on Spiritual Realization. David Hanson finishes the discussion on The Dark Night of the Soul by some of the ways one can know they are, indeed, on a spiritual path or journey. Concepts and insights from many of the Wisdom Traditions will be presented.
December 6: Connected By Flesh: Animals, Writing, Reading and Women. Lori Brack reads a couple of excerpts from her essays and some stories and articles from a class she gave on animals and gender that ask provocative questions. Then she'll open up for discussion rather than taking questions, she says she has no answers but only intuitions, ideas, dreams and more questions herself.
November 15: An Inside Job. We increase our sense of interconnectedness as human beings and as a community, by sharing aspects of our selves, and one aspect we all have is our creativity and/or our appreciation of creativity. Art at UU focuses on the creativity of the congregation this month, so come hear about our fellowship and its creative expression through visual art.
November 8: Justice, Equity, and Compassion. Rev. Thea Nietfeld shares that “since July, I have worked to encourage community discussion of criminal justice reforms. I look forward to sharing how this work expresses my UU faith. Each of us can bring our principles to life as we grow from experience and reflection.”
November 1: A Spiritual Odyssey. George Kramer says this about his journey, “It seems that I have always been a teacher. I live and breathe the process of learning. Rather than following a straight line, my experience has emerged a spiraling process in which my experiences are seen differently with each turn. I believe that I carry with me reasoning in all its stages: pre-causal, concrete-operational and abstraction. My concepts of life are colored by all that has gone on before. I find myself looking forward to many more turns of the spiral.”
October 25: Sharing on Writing. When she’s not reading, playing the piano, or talking to other writers, Marlene Lee holds down a table at the Lakota Coffee House in Columbia, Missouri, confronting blank pages during business hours and postponing the inevitable with another cup of coffee.
October 11: Hope for the Long Haul. As we confront challenges that we have no chance of solving completely, how do Unitarian Universalists maintain hope? Should we even try? Join returning guest and Meadville Lombard Seminarian JordinnNelson Long as we stake a bold claim on joy and optimism, even amid discouragement.
September 27th: Searching for Spirit. Our third principle is the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. Barb Gutsch will reflect on the spiritual growth portion of that principle and introduce the eight spheres of spiritual growth as spiritual practice.
September 20th: You Could Be Wrong. Each of us has probably considered how to offer forgiveness when we have been wronged. This Sunday we will look at another side of that question: what does it mean to know that we might be wrong? How can we act decisively, say no to oppression and injustice wherever we find it, and stand on the side of love . . . in the knowledge that we will make mistakes, and that our best intentions will sometimes lead us astray? Meadville Lombard seminarian, Jordinn Nelson Long, considers the role of humility and repentance in the context of our UU values.
September 13, 2015: Artist Randy Clark, who is currently exhibiting his artwork in the Art at UU gallery shares about his work and his process. Read his artist statement in the UUFS September newsletter.
September 6, 2015: Labor Day started as a part of the labor union movement, to recognize the contributions of men and women in the US workforce, but modernly is seen as a chance to celebrate the last weekend of summer. This morning, Patrick Harrington has some thoughts to share on Labor Day.
August 23, 2015: Youtube is not Your Truth: Locating Reality in an Unreal World. Think of a time in your life when you suddenly became aware of a reality not recognized before. How did you find it? On one hand, we have never had more information nor contact with the “real” world. On the other, that mere fact can be debilitating. Contemporary media (not just ‘reality TV’) is well-stocked with ill-equipped and sometimes false guides. So, how do we discover our own story—and tell it? How do we find true reality on a journey where only we are our ultimate guides? David Norlin will explore our common journeys while sharing parts of his own. Perhaps we can all unearth at least a shovelful of reality.