SOCIAL HOUR

I welcome anyone to sign up for coffee hour. I can/will support anyone who wants to help with coffee hour. My phone to call is 413-447-9305. I welcome and support anyone thx, Ben.

Ben Foley, Organizer  🙂

SHARING AND CARING WELCOMES KATHERINE HOAK

We all know the importance of receiving acknowledgements indicating support when we are going through difficult times.  Those contacts are very important to all of us.  It’s important that the contacts be continued.  Therefore, please let me know when you’re aware of one of us is either ill or injured or somehow “under-the-weather,” so I can respond to those concerns.

My e-mail is: wkhoak@gmail.com.  My phone: 413-212-8240.

Katherine

Finding a Place by Kim Rivers

I can’t even remember what initially drew me in the church door. I’d gone in and out of the building for years. Classes, conferences, parties, meetings, concerts, I’ve been coming to 175 Wendell Ave for at least 30 years. Despite all the ins and outs, I’d never attended a service. I may have sat in the sanctuary, but there was no way I was going to church!

 

Growing up I attended catechism, which is school framed on the teachings of the Catholic Church. I wasn’t too swayed even as a youngster. Something about the whole premise of hierarchy and needing an intermediary to communicate with god didn’t sway me. I questioned everything much to the chagrin of the nuns and priests. I did make my first communion, but was never confirmed. I appreciate that when I told my mother I didn’t want to continue going to Catechism or church she agreed. Hence I sometimes jokingly call myself an almost catholic. I explored a number of other churches, but none resonated. It was in 7th grade through a course in Greek mythology that I had my first inklings of polytheism. This led me to the modern incarnation of Wicca. This is where I found my spiritual footing.

 

Wiccan and other pagan spiritual belief systems offered me freedom from original sin (because being born female meant I was already condemned) and deep connections with nature. No longer was I removed from other beings or the divine. I was a representation of the divine. This is what I think most spiritual seekers are after; not just a higher power to guide their lives, but a potential mirror to see themselves as more than the limits of their body, mind, and heart. Too often I’ve found these aspects of myself can be in competition and without some guiding principles formed into beliefs and values my id would rule most of my day-to-day. It’s not for lack of rational thought to temper my more primal drives, but rational thought sometimes needs a leaping off place. Enter the longing for spiritual connection and guidance.

 

When a friend invited me to the UU, I came with curiosity, but also some skepticism. It was church after all and I’d already rejected that model of spiritual pursuit. It seems however the cosmos had some different ideas to put before me. I found warmth, kindness, and compassion amongst the UUs. I also found folks from different spiritual traditions, including the pursuit of the intellect. I also found that my own spiritual beliefs or pursuits were not at odds with the UU principles I’d have not thought I’d find a resonance with others in the formal framework of worship. Perhaps it was that there are no doctrines per se, but only the now familiar principles based on dignity, justice, and actively living these in our community, not just confined to the walls of the church on a Sunday.

 

So too there’ve been times of strife and discord, but that seems to come with any large group from different backgrounds. I’ve seen the Pittsfield UU go through many growing pains. Heck, I’ve contributed to those pains sometimes, but what endures for me is the commitment people bring by returning again and again despite the strife. Some longtime members have chosen to step away. The reasons are as varied as the person, yet still this place endures. And as I sit here and write, I ponder the future. No one knows what comes next, but for the UU I think it’ll continue to draw people in seeking a path to share with others the deep meaning of what it means to engage the divine.

Letter from Carol Moak, UUCP Board President

Transformation.  Renewal.  Community.  Energy.  These are some of the concepts that have come out of the board meetings that were held over the summer to discuss our church’s future.  Although we recognize that we have problems regarding having enough money and having a dwindling membership (the same issues that most churches have), we feel committed to finding ways to revitalize our church community.  We believe in our 7 Principles, and we believe that when we come together each week, we become a part of a greater whole.

We meet each Sunday to share a spiritual – and often educational – experience.  We celebrate each other’s joys, and support each other in our sorrows.  We become a family that cares, loves, and yes, sometimes argues.  And that’s okay.  It’s better to disagree and to talk things out than to keep a perceived hurt inside and allow it to fester.

On that note, we plan to have a Congregational Meeting in late September or early October to discuss our challenges as a community, and to seek ways of transforming ourselves into a vital and re-energized family.  I hope that we will approach our issues with an attitude of creativity, positivity, and love.  Even when we disagree – and we will – we must remember that we are all working toward the same goal, and that we respect and care about each other.

Until then, Peace and Love, Carol

Service Schedule September 2018

Services start at 10 AM. Come by for coffee and conversation at 9:30
Child care is provided during autumn, winter and spring services.
For latest service information, call (413) 443-7903.

 

September 16th
Transformation in Ourselves and the World Around Us”.

 

Reverend Carol Killian

 September 23
Anna Pollock “History, Heart and Heritage:  Personal Reflections “

Church wish list

Church wish list:

 

The church is in need of a few items.  If you can help with any of these or know anyone that can please let us know.

  • A refrigerator. The one in the kitchen drips water so we’re looking for a replacement.
  • A CD player. Deck type, preferably less than 10 years old.
  • A lockable filing cabinet
  • Curtains for the church office.

PLEASE BE MINDFUL…

PLEASE BE MINDFUL…

Please do not use the driveway between 187 and 189 Wendell Ave. to turn around as it is a shared driveway between two houses and both neighbors are bothered by the number of times this happens on a daily basis.  Please do a three-point turn in the street or approach the building from Colt Rd. Also, some people park on the street blocking their driveway so that they have to drive on one lawn or the other to get into or out of their driveway.

Church office summer hours

Church office summer hours:

Monday through Friday 7-8am and by appointment

Wednesdays 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Tuesday 5:30 to 7:00PM – Finance Meetings: Open to all church members

Religious Ed. News

The following letter was recently sent to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee by the students in the RE program:

 

Dear UUSC,

Our Religious Education class did a project to raise money for Syrian families who were supposed to move to the area.

 

For our project, we sold homemade soup and donated bread.  We sold it during coffee hour.  Our project lasted for several months.  And we made posters to advertise.

 

In total, we raised $450.  Circumstances changed and the families were not re-located to western MA.

 

Please accept our donation for Syrian families and children.

 

 

Sincerely, Caelin and Brennan, Blake and Evan

Social Responsibility

Returning to Guaimaca I bought more paint and working with a smaller group from the neighborhood we continued to clean and paint. We are getting very close to having the building ready for July 1st. I provided the mayor s office with an outline of our agreement, and next week we will work on the formal agreement.

 

The city council had their second meeting for the month in the building and they all got a chance to really see the whole facility. Now our work has turned to a complete inventory.

Saturday morning I headed back out to Intibuca to see some of the equipment donated in this container and previous containers also.

 

My visit this week to schools, medical clinics and the hospital have been amazing. I have been able to see dental equipment in use with hand tools we sent. I got see students reading some of the English books we got from a grammar school in Pittsfield. That school also donated cases of new food trays close to five years ago. This most current container had school desks donated by St. Joe’s and therefore had plenty of small spaces for things like the books and trays. I even got to visit the local jail were one of the dental chairs and a lot of the supplies went to. They were especially happy about the syringes we sent.

 

The visit to the hospital was the most interesting. To be able to see our impact there was most rewarding; I wish others were able to see it. I took pictures and will put a presentation together to show when I get back. This hospital serves not only the people from this city but to all the surrounding towns and even other states. They have just completed a whole new building for mothers and children. It is truly a beautiful building but unfortunately they lack the equipment to actually use the building. First thing they need is 28 hospital beds; we have them ready to go! They also need cribs which BMC has already donated to us. The monitors we sent on in the last container were mostly for adults. One of the pieces of medical equipment for light therapy is working and the other I have to get a part when I return. I have already contacted BMC to let them know that equipment sent has already been put to use and that I will present a list of current needs that I am hoping they may have in North Adams. One of their biggest needs is 80 garbage cans!

I will head back to Guaimaca this weekend and put the final touches on our work there and then get ready to come home. Again thanks for everyone’s help.

Eddie