Sunday, May 28th – “Orchestrating Wellness”, Debra van Tuyll, Guest-in-the-Pulpit

Bio

Debbie van Tuyll is a professor of communication at Augusta University. She is the author or editor of six books, five of which deal with the Southern press during the Civil War. The sixth is a history of WGAC radio. Her journalism history students wrote the book, which she and Scott Hudson edited. Debbie has a long history of church service. She is a ruling elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church where she has served on most committees at one time or another. She also has been active in church conflict management and interpreting the denomination's constitutional activities for lay people. Additionally, she is a devoted Hiberniophile who plays the Irish whistle with the band De Céadáoin and the Celtic harp.

 

Build Your Own Theology-Part 3 Ethics

Building Your Own Theology PART THREE  “Ethics”
BYOT PT 3 “Ethics” invites participants to examine, question and explore their personal morality by applying beliefs, values and convictions to particular ethical situations. Scenarios are drawn from history, literature, today’s news and your own personal life.
This class will be held in 4 sessions on Sunday morning in Classroom 2 from 10:00 – 10:45am March 26, April 2, April 9 and April 23.  Class facilitator is David Dillard Wright.  Childcare provided if requested in advance.
The class is free, the textbook is $16 plus shipping and can be ordered new from the UUA bookstore at:
https://smile.amazon.com/Ethics-BYOT or new or used at http://Smile.amazon.com.
 
If you would like to know more, contact Chris Garcia  – garceus@yahoo.com – or visit the Welcome Table where the sign up sheet and a copy of the book are available to preview. Signup also on the following form: https://goo.gl/M63QLU

Building Your Own Theology: Part One – “Who Are You?”

                                    

Most of us arrive at the Unitarian-Universalist faith at a point on a longer spiritual journey. Most of us come from somewhere else. What is your journey? What have you left behind and what have you kept, and how did you decide? The truth is we all build our own theologies, but we don’t often have a chance to stop and ask ourselves in a clear eyes manner what we believe. Not what we have been told to believe, but what do we really believe? Building Your Own Theology is a series of three courses, and a uniquely Unitarian approach to the reality of our spiritual identities. In Part One, you will have a chance to explore your spiritual history and consider some of the great questions of life, in a safe place, in an intimate circle of fellow explorers. You will have an opportunity to know yourself in a new way, and possibly make new friends for life. The final product of the course is a “credo”. This is a personal creed, written and defined, a living document that you will create for yourself, and maybe those who come after you, defining exactly who you were on this journey, and stating the truths you came to believe in. And most of all – WHY you believe what you believe.

Building Your Own Theology, Part One, is a series of ten sessions, which will be held biweekly on the second and fourth Wednesday evening of each month. We will gather in the Common Room or a classroom of the UUCA in the evening from 6:30 – 8:00pm. This is not limited to UU members. If you have a friend or a family member who is curious about our faith community this is the best possible way to introduce them. All are welcome. The sessions are free, but participants are expected to acquire the green book “Building Your Own Theology” Second Edition that is available from Amazon or the UUA.org bookstore. If you would like to know more, contact Chris Garcia –  

Sign up for this class at this online form here:https://goo.gl/IwPT0C or visit the Welcome Table where the signup sheet and a copy of the book are available to preview.

Forget what the world has told you to believe – What do you REALLY believe?

Unitarian Universalism: A Direction, Not a Path

Unitarian Universalism is not a set of steps one takes to get to a predetermined end point. We do not preach an end, but an ongoing process. We expect to continue to learn; adapting, and improving throughout our lifetimes and passing our mission to future generations. Our heaven, the Beloved Community, will not be a single creation. We expect a perpetual work in progress, constantly adjusting to new needs and new information.

 

Unitarian Universalism is not a clear path we walk, but a direction we all head in. We get there together, but each of us is allowed our own pace. Each of us sets our own priorities and attends our own spiritual and emotional needs. We may stop and smell the flowers, pick the rocks from our shoe, or wander to see what’s over that hill. Some of us will rush ahead, or where we believe ahead might be, and make notes for the rest to ponder as they plan their path forward. Others will be content following behind the trailblazers and participating in the rituals and milestones created for them.

 

We do not expect that we will all have the same experiences along the way. Each perspective matters, though, in helping us plan future steps.

From the:  The I Am UU Project

 

 

A candid welcome to Unitarian Universalism

http://www.uuworld.org/articles/candid-welcome-uu

We see it all the time: Signs by doors say, “Everyone welcome here,” but we know it’s not true. We know that, because of our economic status, or sexual orientation, or gender identity, or racial or cultural background, or physical or mental ability, we are not actually welcome.

 

As senior minister of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), I thought I’d save people time by being honest up front and saying that, while all people are, of course, welcome at CLF, time has shown that folks who hold certain beliefs will ultimately be uncomfortable and leave. To make it easy, I have named some of those beliefs which, if you hold them, may well mean that you won’t like it here.

 

Belief #1. God wrote it, I read it, that settles it.

 

In this community, we’re not really focused on “settling” things. You’re more likely to hear words like exploring, questioning, wondering, learning, growing. And we don’t hold that there are particular words that God wrote and others that God didn’t. You’re as likely to hear poetry by Rumi, contemporary musicians, or names in the newspaper cited as you are Christian or Jewish scriptures. In fact, not everyone here believes in God at all!

 

Belief #2. There is only one right way, and many wrong ways, to understand what is most holy, precious, and true.

 

We are a community of atheists, Christians, Buddhists, earth-based and pagan folks, humanists, agnostics, and people who celebrate multiple religious traditions. We are a community of journeyers and spiritual adventurers. None of us is seeking “The Truth” so much as we are seeking a dance with the mystery, with the holy, as our daily practice.

 

Belief #3. It really doesn’t matter what I do day to day in my life, so long as I have done the proper rituals and accepted God into my heart.

 

We believe that faith is, ultimately, to be experienced in how you live. We have no creeds or dogmas, but we do invite one another to reflect on how our lives hold up when looked at through the eyes of our values, love being central among those values. Are our actions creating more love on the planet? Are we helping each other? Are we kind? Are we making the world more just?

 

Belief #4. Some people are worthy of help and love, and some people just aren’t.

 

We believe that no God would create people in order to damn them, that the chance to wake up exists throughout life for all people. We’re not chumps or fools; we understand that people do some truly rotten things. But we believe that the limitations on loving those people are our own, and not to be attributed to some external force called God or any other name.

 

Belief #5. God will reward the good and punish the bad after death.

 

Though we have as many opinions on the subject of what happens after death as we do on anything else, you won’t find many people here who talk about hell. We believe that most hell is suffered here on this planet, and it is our task to hold each other accountable for the hell we create for others.

 

Belief #6. Spirituality has no connection to the world of politics.

 

Of course we don’t get into the business of electoral politics or supporting candidates. But we are a community of activists related to our values: supporting marriage equality; protecting the earth from degradation; standing up for human rights for people regardless of economic status, immigration status, physical and mental ability, gender identity and every other descriptor used to dehumanize or ignore people. You’ll find a disproportionate number of activists here.

 

Belief #7. God has created a natural order, and traditional families and gender roles reflect that order.

 

We think the universe is a complex place, and that gay and lesbian couples, feminist men and women, transgender and bisexual people, and multiracial and multicultural families are part of the great gift of human diversity that makes life interesting. You will find members of this community from all walks of life, who experience love in their lives in very different ways.

 

Belief #8. God gave the earth to humans. Humans have dominion over the earth.

 

We talk a lot about something we call “the interdependent web of all existence.” That is to say, we understand ourselves as completely inseparable from and bound up with the earth, as dependent on it as we are on the air that fills our lungs. Far from having dominion or controlling it, we believe that we need to be grateful for this wonderful gift and show our gratitude through good care and respect.

 

Belief #9. People here are just waiting for someone like me to tell them the truth, so that they can become better people and be worthy of God’s love.

 

Whatever your truth, people here will be eager to learn from you about it. However, we will be equally eager to share our own truths with you! People are not here awaiting deliverance from themselves. We are looking for companionship, conversation, understanding, not for someone else to save us.

 

Belief #10. I have nothing to offer this community, but I can receive from others.

 

We are interested in your journey and your story. We believe that you bring unique wisdom and gifts, just the ones we have been waiting for! We are happy to share with you, and understand you might feel shy for a while, but we’re going to want to know you. We encourage you to start small and get to know a few people. We hope you will find this to be a safe, nurturing community where you can be your most authentic self.

 

Monthly Meditation

buddhist practice image 2

Monthly Meditation
A short, regular meditation session, with brief commentary, will be offered the second Sunday of each month in the UUCA Sanctuary at 10:00-10:30am prior to regular service. Though Buddhist in framework, content will incorporate the diversity of the UUCA community. For those new to meditation, preliminary instruction will be available at 9:45am by prior arrangement. Childcare will be available. Contact John Black at  for additional information.

Partnership Across The River

Rev. Gaye Ortiz shares the history of collaboration between the sister congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta, Georgia and the Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church in South Carolina in the latest Growing Unitarian Universalism blog.

"The 60-plus years of collaboration between Aiken and Augusta has made me the minister I am today…Going forward, we have agreed to assist each other internally within our congregations, and to promote our shared values in our communities."

http://growinguu.blogs.uua.org/organizational-maturity/partnership-across-the-river/