"...A couple years ago, Evergreen’s Board Of Trustees realized that they weren’t sure what was meant by "provide a liberal religious home” in Evergreen’s stated Mission. So, they asked you all what that meant to you - and there was clearly not much agreement as to either what that meant or whether it was even what we should be doing!" Continue reading on page 4
Do you love (or enjoy) and miss the hymnals? Maybe you prefer to sing along with the music rather than the lyrics posted on the Zoom screen? You can contact Kathleen, our Music Director, if you'd like to arrange a coordinate a date to pick up the hymnals from Evergreen until we meet in-person; you'll be held financially responsible for returning them in the condition you checked them out.
please e-mail newsletteR@evergreenuu.org for a print copy
Late Summer 2020 | Covers August 2nd through September 20th
from the minister - on page 4
Table of contents
EUUF Info ......................................2
Connection Page ...........................2
Evergreen's Offering ......................3
From the Minister .........................4
Mission Planning Team ................5
Full Week Faith .............................6
UUA, Holidays and Days of Observance ....................................6
Children & Youth ..........................7
More Offerings ...............Back Cover
YOU ARE INVITED!!
Tuesdays from 11-11:30 we have story time in RE -- and we'd like you to join us! What would that mean? You could share a book, tell stories from you childhood, let the kids ask you questions, or you could just sit with us and be part of the listening to books we read. It's up to you!
If interested, contact Mari at REDirector@evergreenuu.org.
Meet with Pastor Tom
connect with us!
We have updated the website, and most of the sermons since mid-June are now available for listening. Some of the sermons are being transcribed to increase accessibility - we use a program that provides a script based on closed-captioning, and then we go through and fix the errors by listening to the audio and editing the script. This is time-consuming, but for some, meaningful and enjoyable work. If you have an interest in helping make transcripts of sermons, contact Mari at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 2nd - September 20th
Sunday Worship Service
Join Zoom Meeting
1607 4th St.,
Marysville, WA 98270
Please check with the Office Admin via email for in-person office hours
MINISTER Pastor Tom
BOARD PRESIDENT Fred Haist email@example.com
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
OFFICE ADMIN Alli Curtis
RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR Mari Budlong
Like our public Facebook Page!
Late summer 2020
Racism / White Privilege Discussion Group -
1st and 3rd Fridays from 7 - 8:30 pm
Let's get together on Zoom to begin discussing the tough questions of race. Meeting information here
EUUF Writer's Night -
Second Wednesday from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Join in an evening of sharing your written works. Non-writers are welcome; the last part of the meeting will be dedicated to workshop / sharing writing techniques, methods and inspiration. Join Zoom Meeting. Contact Orient Coleman or Jen Broadway for more information.
Big Questions -
2nd and 4th Fridays, from 7-9 pm
Join here to discuss fundamental questions in philosophy. The questions take the Socratic form, “What is …?” What is justice? What is truth? What is it to be spiritual? All are welcome. Contact Desmond Smith for more information.
Book Discussion Group -
Last Wednesday of the month 7:15 - 8:45 pm
August 26th - “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism” by Katherine Stewart
September 30th - "Americanah” by Chiananada Ngozi Adichie
Contact Michelle Valentine for more information.
Forgiveness: A Key to Health & Happiness
Tuesday, August 11th, August 25th & September 15th, 6:15 - 8:15 pm
Join Pastor Tom for this three part class! Read more about it on the back cover.
Racism discussion recap
Past sermons on website updated
To schedule a phone/virtual meeting, go to calendly.com/therevtombozeman. Or, if something urgent comes up, you can always call/text him at 774-353-0523.
pastoral associates are available by phone or e-mail, or they can set up a zoom visit with you. contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” African Proverb
Listening, learning and taking action to help support the Black Lives Matter Movement are the goals for this group. We don’t claim to be experts; our hope is for us to be open and learn from each other, have a working covenant where we speak from our experience, look for moments where we can deepen our understanding, and take action.
These are some of the questions we have begun tackling so far:
6/19 What is Racism /what is White Privilege ?
7/3 How to respond to Racist comments? Is history being rewritten by the destruction of monuments celebrating historical figures?
7/19 What is the difference between being "not Racist" and being Anti-racist? How can we deepen our fight against Racism?
Our Next Racism discussion is Friday, August 7th
What is White Supremacy/Culture?
Just Mercy- with Jaime Fox
When they See Us
Selma - film
I Am Not Your Negro
A Courageous Presence with Racism with Tara Brach
Dr. Ibram X Kendi- How to be an Antiracist
So You Want To Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped - Dr. Ibram X Kendi
Stamped- A Remix - Dr.Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds
Black Like Me - John Griffin
Born A Crime - Trevor Noah
Me and White Supremacy - Layla Saad
We’re working on getting going with Slack and are sending invites out. You can watch a two-minute intro video that describes Slack here. (Although the video is designed to appeal to businesses, it should give you the idea.) Keep an eye out for more info!
Are you on Facebook? We have a private Facebook group called Evergreen UU Community--join us!
Is there a program you'd like to offer? Contact Desmond at email@example.com.
Find more details on our website! www.evergreenuu.org/adult-programs
Over the past two months, we have continued on our journey of visioning the many avenues of possibility for Evergreen’s future in the next 30 years. In Pastor Tom’s article elsewhere in this Newsletter, you can review the genesis of this voyage as well as the steps we have taken to date and read more deeply about the course of the Mission and Vision process as we draw closer to putting all of the pieces together this Fall in finalizing a Vision and Mission for Evergreen.
Unlike some organizations where Visioning and Mission building is a top-down (CEO), Board directed, Committee driven, or select few organizational activity, we’ve tried to ensure widespread awareness, transparency, and participation. Every Member and Friend of the Fellowship has had the invitation and the opportunity to engage in the process at their own comfort and interest level at every key point in the process. Your participation has been, is, and will be critical to the long-term success of Evergreen.
Since January, Pr. Tom has provided us with a series of Worship Services and guided spiritual practices and experiences to assist us in arriving at consensus on a list of Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs in preparation for the current Visioning effort. Right in the middle of it all, we were confronted with the unprecedented pandemic that has rocked our world and tested our strength and our resilience. We have all been touched and challenged to be a larger and more generous community than before; to reach out beyond our comfort zones, to open our hearts with compassion and courage and meet strangers with a new outlook; to be witness to the loneliness, suffering and trauma of others with increased gentleness and presence. It has been an unexpected opportunity to exercise our newly renewed Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs to their fullest - and to wrap our arms around each other as well as to feel the warmth and comfort of the community that we share.
As we now prepare to emerge from this time of isolation, we do so with greater understanding of ourselves, our community, and our world. This greater understanding of our strengths and our vulnerabilities is fertile ground on which to consider how we might re-imagine the future landscape of our lives and the future of Evergreen:
What ideas, thoughts, images come to mind as you dream about walking through the doorway to Evergreen’s future?
How might we affirm and promote our denomination’s Principles?
How might we build on our Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs in our Visioning?
What kind of future do you want to create for Evergreen?
What legacy do you want to build for Evergreen together?
What bridges might we be building that do not currently exist?
The Vision is the image, the picture, that we can see in our minds of the future we want to create together; our Mission will be the roadmap to accomplishing it. It is aspirational and reflects our Values and Beliefs. It motivates folks to work together because they all can see the Vision from their own vantage point and have ownership and commitment to it.
The Mission is the what, why, how, who of our organization. It is our purpose…why we exist. We will begin work on it in the Fall.
The Planning Team will continue to gather Visions submitted by the Congregation and Friends and publish them anonymously in the Weekly Update. At the end of the summer, these submissions will be compiled for discussion and synthesis at a series of Focus Groups before presentation to the Congregation. Please add your voice to the vision of possibility and promise for Evergreen’s future.
from the minister
Please submit Visions by email to the Planning Team:
NEWS FROM THE MISSION PLANNING TEAM
THE MISSION PLANNING TEAM
Please contact any of us with questions or concerns. We welcome your input and your participation.
Ann Kelleher • Karen Winchell • Nancy Miller
Marijo Duprey • Sally Malan • Laurel Nisler
Come, Dream A Dream With Me
One of the paramount responsibilities of serving on a congregation's Board Of Trustees is to be faithful to the congregation’s mission - its actual mission, not just the words that are used to describe its mission. For instance, if a congregation’s mission is to be "Alive in the City – Embracing the World,” but their building is located on a farm in the country - and the people have no interest in relocating - then there’s a clear disconnect between the words and the actual Mission of the congregation. And, in a case of such a disconnect, it would be more sensible to get the words closer to the actual Mission than it would be to try to convince everyone to pour their time and energy and money into an effort they clearly don’t care about.
A couple years ago, Evergreen’s Board Of Trustees realized that they weren’t sure what was meant by "provide a liberal religious home” in Evergreen’s stated Mission. So, they asked you all what that meant to you - and there was clearly not much agreement as to either what that meant or whether it was even what we should be doing!
And, at an all-congregation meeting a couple months earlier, the idea of revising the stated Mission of Evergreen was raised and there was general approval in the room.
In light of both of those instances, the Board realized that the congregation needed to craft a new Mission Statement. And, as your Developmental Minister, I thought that this was sound reasoning.
Clarity about mission does many things, including: infusing energy into a congregation, inspiring volunteerism, and providing clarity to visitors and potential members. Since one of the primary hopes that folks have expressed to me has been that more members join the congregation, it would follow that making progress in this area would serve that end.
Having these kinds of conversations can certainly be challenging. They can be threatening. They might change what this congregation understands itself to be. But, without having them, congregational energy will inevitably decline, volunteerism will grow less and less inspired, and most visitors and potential members will be unclear about what this congregation is actually about.
The current Mission Statement of the congregation was drafted over thirty years ago. Only a handful of the folks who are currently involved in Evergreen were around back then. Some argue that, in order to “stay relevant, these statements need to be revisited at least every five years. With people entering and exiting our congregations, the way to keep these documents alive and vital is to make sure the gathered people have ownership of them." So, there’s this glaring question before you all: “Why must this congregation exist?” This is a very different question from “Why does Evergreen exist?” Rather, the former question focuses on, “What are we called to be and do?"
From January through March, we completed the first two parts of this process by articulating our:
Core Values (like the seeds from which our actions grow, these are the values - both positive and negative - that are evidenced in the way that we live our lives every day)
Bedrock Beliefs (those understandings of the universe or existence or humanity or God or whatever else that we automatically come back to when it really comes down to it in life - when a loved one dies, when we are involuntarily out of work, when we go through a divorce)
Since March, we’ve been focusing on the next step: our Motivating Vision. This is an opportunity to dream together - to fantasize about what might be possible - to cast our hearts and minds beyond mere operational questions (e.g., figuring out facilities questions) to focus on what’s the song that’s singing in our hearts? Focus on what lights you up or sends an excited shiver down your spine?
To help inspire you, here’s some example visions for fictional congregations:
The Waterfall Of Grace. We hold our congregational gatherings in the park surrounding Niagara Falls, and our facility devotes an entire wall in the vestibule to a waterfall in which people can be baptized in any and every way.
The Phoenix Rising From The Ashes. We tear down our Gothic urban building to create a high-rise with apartments for newly arrived immigrants. The sanctuary is on the first floor and the central image is a modern tapestry depicting the phoenix rising from flames resembling the skyscrapers of the city and ashes made of the trash cans at the street.
The Summer In The Soul. This phrase is lifted from a song verse that epitomizes our experience with spiritual growth through small group ministries. It evokes lush, diverse, constant growth. We're known as the "summer in the soul congregation."
The Northern Light. Located in a mining center in a remote northern region, among a transient population of people seeking their fortune, we feel called to be a guiding light for foundational beliefs and values. Rather than display a sign on the property, we place huge colored spotlights to shine into the night sky. We are known on the night shift as a source for wise coaching through the ambiguity of daily living.
The key part in visioning is paying closest attention to what is EXCITING to you, what gets you ENERGIZED and positively ENTHUSIASTIC about putting your energy into making it happen. Those example visions may or may not do any of that for you - but what does?
Since letting ourselves go to that place of excitement, energy, and enthusiasm can feel vulnerable, please remember this covenant to which we agreed specifically for this visioning process:
As we address the future direction of this congregation, we promise to:
listen with our hearts,
think with creativity and imagination,
stay open to and respectful of new ideas and concepts,
consider limitless possibilities, and
honor the values and beliefs of the Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; and
ready to offer the maximum generosity of spirit,
prepared to laugh at ourselves and laugh with each other, and
eager to try, fail, learn, and try again.
We’re focusing on our Motivating Vision for about another six weeks or so. Please send in your visions so that we can continue to share them (anonymously) with the rest of the congregation - and every vision that is submitted will be included in our visioning Focus Groups in September, from which we’ll synthesize our congregational Motivating Vision!
Come, let’s dream some dreams together!
Click on the Images to view full size.
Books / Poetry
Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea
Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi
The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff
The Outlaw by Nancy Vo
The Hugging Tree by Jill Neimark
I'm Gonna Push Through by Jasmyn Wright
Sometimes We Fly by Katherine Applegate
After the Fall by Dan Santat
Fire of Grace by Richard W. Rouse
Bone To Pick by Ellis Cose
Getting Even by Jeffrey G. Murphy
Beyond Forgiveness by Phil Cousineau
The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal
Wounds Not Healed By Time by Solomon Schimmel
Repentance by Louis E. Newman
The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr
Movies / Videos
What is Forgiveness?
The Tale of Desperaux- G
The Hired Hand (1971) -R
Return of the Secaucus 9 (1980) - R
Baraka (1992) - not rated
The Straight Story (1999) - G
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - R
Marriage Story (2019) - R
The Forgiveness Breath, guided by the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, helps us recognize where we have tension and loosen it, releasing that which we're holding onto.
Craft / Activity
The Peace Crane Project offers folding guides of items of various levels of difficulty (as well as the opportunity to connect with others in the world by sending packs of folded cranes to each other!) How do you feel when you fold cranes?
Songs / Music
The Forgiveness Song by Lee Motrram
Building Bridges, #1028 SLJ
Loving-Kindness meditation can be practiced in various ways, and this script is one that includes holding someone who we're having difficulties with. This kind of meditation can lead to a deep sense of peace through reaching genuine and sustained forgiveness. Do you practice? Let us know about it!
Children & Youth
These resources and ideas are tied to the theme and offer ways for you to engage with the worship series throughout the week.
What are we doing in RE? We're doing so much over Zoom...
Mondays our Youth Group meets, and we play games like Hangman and virtual escape rooms, we brainstorm service projects, consider our strengths, and develop deeper understandings of ourselves and those in the group. We have a fun project coming up in the next couple of months, stay tuned!
Tuesdays we have evergreen storytime, where we invite adults from the congregation to join in sharing stories, maybe from their lives/childhoods, maybe books or poetry they have. Sometimes the kids ask them questions, sometimes the adults listen to books JW and I read - we share a relatively unstructured time where we try to keep adult congregants connected to our kids in simple ways that most people enjoy - stories!
wednesdays we have family fellowship, where families are invited to check-in and share what's been going on in their lives. Have we been learning new recipes, discovered new fun games? Are we reading good books? How are our gardens doing? Have we stumbled on new music or reconnected with music we used to listen to?
thursdays we have religious exploration classes, following the Sing to the Power curriculum found on the Tapestry of Faith portion of the UUA website. We have invited the choir to record verses of "Now Let Us Sing" with the variations provided in the lesson plans, and we invite RE Helpers to share the various components of the class that invite us to explore things like stillness, growth, roots, presence, silence and so much more.
some fridays we have activity-based fellowship activities, where we hang out and chat over activities - Lego-building or art, game design or just being goofy.
UUA news, holidays & days of observance
playing with the season
a time to laugh
Q: What did the ocean say to the pirates?
A: Nothing - it just waved.
Q: Why does a seagull fly over the sea?
A: Because if it flew over the bay it'd be a baygull.
Ground Control, written by Erika A. Hewitt, calls us to consider how we can be "soothed by the occasional bursts of human kindness" we find in our lives.
Are you familiar with the UUA bookstore? InSpirit offers publications of poetry, meditations, fictions, biographies, music--so much variety for people of all ages, as well as jewelry and apparel that shows UU spirit.
view from Little Mountain Park, Mt. Vernon, WA
*NEW* Let's socialize virtually
Sunday, August 23rd, 10:30 am
This is an opportunity to ask questions & get responses from Pr. Tom: With what dilemmas are you grappling? What questions keep you up at night? What do you wonder about our Minister, our Fellowship, our world? Submit all questions to Pr. Tom by noon on Thursday, August 20th.
Questions of faith
Grievances and blame are just a part of being human. For some of us, they occupy a large part of our awareness; for others, they come and go pretty easily; for some, they are held onto but not thought about much.
Howevermuch you identify with each of those - or if you would use different words for your own experience - I hope that you’ll join me for our three-part class over Zoom. We will discuss: disappointment, taking things personally, blaming, grievances, the rules we make, when to (not) forgive, the science of forgiveness, forgiveness techniques, wishes and hopes, positive intentions, and forgiving oneself.
There’ll be no expectation that anyone forgive anyone that they are not ready to or do not want to forgive; this is all about just learning and exploring it together.
You can sign up for the class by filling outthis form.
Fun and Games may have a virtual format but the experience and good times will be REAL!
Mark your calendar for a summer Homegrown Coffeehouse / Talent show event on Saturday, Aug 15 from 4-6 p.m. All ages, all talents welcome. This is your opportunity to show off- your new project (painting, quilting, crafts), talent (did you take up juggling?) or performance (song, dance, music, gymnastics). And don't forget that performers love an audience. There's a place for you!
And we're going to try some virtual Games, too. We'll try Bingo (gather some paper and markers), Tenzi (10 dice per person needed), Uno (one deck per household), Yahtzee (5 dice per screen, plus paper and pencil or a Yahtzee game set), Scattergories (paper and pencil). And there are some virtual games that can be played on various platforms. We will mix up the times and days to maximize the option to participate. Be sure to invite family and friends - the more the merrier!
Do you miss meal time conversations? Well, get your plates loaded and glasses filled and replace your centerpiece with a device - let's try chatting over a mid-week lunch, afternoon tea or Sunday dinner.
To start things off, get ready for Tenzi on Saturday, Aug 8 at 7 p.m. It's a quick game to learn, and minutes to play a round with lots of variation.
Suggestions always welcome! Do you want to be a Zoom host? How would you like to spend time with your fellow Evergreeners? Contact Mari or Judy
submission deadline for Late summer newsletter: september 14th
date range: August 2nd Through september 20th
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your submissions to email@example.com
Forgiveness: A Key To Health & Happiness