The fall cleanup will be Saturday November 17th. Potluck breakfast will start at 8:00 and then we’ll begin raking leaves around 9:00. The more the merrier as this is a big job.
Women’s Group Saturday 10:30 am November 3rd
(meets every other week)
Open conversation about what is on your mind.
All are welcome!
There are two empowerment self defense workshops being offered by myself and Sher Mindermann. I hope that in some small way, we can offer a fun, dynamic, and transformative experience for others to move through the world feeling safe and self-affirming. We serve to guide students as they explore their own abilities and create a sense of safety and harmony in their lives. At the heart of this is a deep passion to grow.
All workshops are free and all persons are welcome. These 2 offerings will be held at the UU Church of Pittsfield at 175 Wendell Avenue.
November 17th, 2018: ESD Global will collaborate with a U.S. based company called Fodada to help promote their International Women’s Self-Defense Day. For the past 7 years, Fodada has used the sales of its clothing line to provide these free workshops for women worldwide.
Messages of Hope
“Messages of Hope” art exhibition is a collaboration between Unitarian Universalist Church, Teaching Artist Marney Schorr, and emerging Pittsfield artists from the Arts in Recovery for Youth program. The show will feature original paintings and drawings by Marney Schorr, as well as her students. Curated by poet and artist, Jack Kelly, this show aims to inspire hope, healing and community action about suicide, including the youth perspective.
An opening reception will be held at Unitarian Universalist Church during First Fridays Artswalk, on Friday, November 2, from 5-8 pm in their main lobby and social hall. All works are for sale and benefit youth arts engagement in the community.
In conjunction with the show, Unitarian Universalist Church will offer a Community Artist Talk on Sunday November 4th during Sunday Services, which starts with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am, and service at 10 am. Guest speaker, Marney Schorr, Founder and Director of the Arts in Recovery for Youth program, will chronicle the shared journey of these youth artists, from hopelessness to resilience. The Talk will include a community dialogue about solving the youth suicide problem together, through hope, faith and action.
For information about Unitarian Universalist Church, go to https://www.uupittsfield.org.
For more information about the show, or to view works privately, contact Curator, Jack Kelly at (413) 770-0320.
For more information about Arts in Recovery for Youth, please visit www.airyedu.com.
Silent Auction startup after the service Sunday November 18!
The auction is a wonderful place to do your Christmas shopping. Please bring your friends to bid on auction items, especially the last day. The church is open on the weekdays and you’re welcome to bring friends in and sign and the bid sheets. Happy Shopping! The auction ends on December 2nd.
To help or ask any questions contact Paula at: 413-281-6094.
fodada International Women’s
Self Defense Day – November 17th, 2018
We are very excited to announce the 7th Annual fodada International Women’s Self Defense Day from 2-5pm at the church. This program aims to empower women by providing and facilitating free self-defense classes in communities around the globe.
In the past six years, we have reached milestones in this movement. We’ve expanded our locations from right here in Southern California, to as far as Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, India, and more. We have provided these self-defense classes to over 6,000 women in 30 US cities and 15 countries around the globe at no cost, and we are excited to expand our program further this year.
From schools, to community centers, business board rooms and to open fields, fodada partners with individuals, groups, companies and organizations like yours that recognize the importance of women’s empowerment, and are interested in becoming catalysts for this powerful message and movement. There is no cost for the program and our facilitation.
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.
Ben Foley, Organizer.
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: email@example.com. My phone: 413-212-8240.
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.