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Pioneer Newsletter

September - October 2018
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Interim Musings - "Death"

Death is a subject that most of us choose to avoid or ignore, when we can. For many of us the closeness of a death in our life is current and fresh. For others the anguish of the old losses is charged by newer deaths, even by those not related or close to us. It is bad enough to be reminded of the losses of friends and family we have lost in our lifetimes. Those refreshed pains only ease, and become bitter-sweet with reflection and time. Much of the pain of our losses is from our being deprived of the presence of our beloved. 

It is not just DEATH, as in our physical mortality, but also the many, constantly occurring “little deaths.” in our lives. The end of anything and everything is a type of death, leaving the reality of the present, in our past. Quite frankly, endings generally scare most of us. We tend to tie up our sense of self with our relationships to the world. And, when there is a possibility that those relationships might change in some fundamental way, we tend to be afraid. Internally, we equate the "little deaths" of these endings to the perceived finality of our physical deaths. Many of our anxieties connected to "Death" with a capital "D," then come into play without our consciously being aware of them.             

Yet, I feel that even these are not enough to account for the profound aversion we seem to have in dealing with the topic of “death” itself. In our interconnectedness, we partake in the each other’s existence in a variety of ways and levels, from the subatomic to the cosmic. Because of our awareness of those connections, the concerns for our own mortality are struck, rung like a bell, resonating waves of fear and anxiety through us. Our fears send us running for cover, but also pique our curiosity about the large and terrible, and often tender, mysteries of death.   

Be with us as we explore these and other Mysteries of our lives together.    
See you in church!  

Blessings,

Rev. Patrick

Circles of Life

The Celebration of Life Service for George Tattersfield will be held in the Sanctuary on Saturday, October 6, 2018. A memorial visitation with refreshments will be from 11am to 12pm in the Common Room, with the Celebration of Life Service beginning at 12pm. There will be fellowship and refreshments after the service. We welcome donations of food and beverages for the reception. Please sign up here online or on the sign-up sheet posted in the Common Room. Jeanne Neltnor & Vohny Moehling (memorialservices@uusg.org) will coordinate. Please drop off food/beverages, 7-8pm on October 5, or by 10:30am on October 6. 

Board Blog by Nancy Christensen
 
Greetings! I just returned from an overnight camping trip with the YRUU. We went to Rock Cut State Park, just north of Rockford where we camped at the side of a beautiful lake. The weather was beautiful – sunny and warm during the day and cool and clear at night.

We did what most people do when they camp – pitch tents, hike, eat junk food, eat too many marshmallows, swim, play Frisbee. The best part of the camping trip is the time for conversation. We sit by the fire and talk – for hours. It is an invaluable step away from our lives.

My time at our church with the YRUU is just over 10 years now. It fills me with laughter and hope as I watch, year after year, Freshmen grow into Seniors and then leave us, sending back little snapshots of their new lives. We have gleaned so much from their presence and miss them dearly. These beautiful young people have much to teach us, when we take the time to be with them.

YRUU is a commitment, to be sure. We have had many YRUU advisors over the years who have stayed for years, in order to build relationship with our youth. Right now we have five YRUU advisors who work to plan curriculum and activities for this diverse group of young people. We cook for Lazarus House. We camp. We run screaming at a haunted Corn Maze. We plan for our Habitat trip. We talk smart. We laugh. We love.

We advisors do our work with these youth for them, for sure. They need these connections with each other and with our UUSG community. They need a safe place in the world, even if it’s for one hour a week. We’re happy to assist and to be a group of trusted adults they can turn to. But, no mistake, we’re also in it for ourselves, for what we get out of it – Love, Laughter, Hope and Community. I am grateful for the community of advisors and the community of the YRUU. It sustains me.
Our House
 
Whew! The Facilities Team spent 15 solid hours this past weekend installing new floorboards on the three porches on Pioneer House. What a team effort, and not just for the Facilities Team, but for everyone who jumped in and helped, and for those who dropped by and gave us their support! The entire UUSG community should be proud of this effort since it took months of planning, a hefty budget commitment, and a lot of dedicated people.  

Once we removed the old flooring it became painfully obvious that this job needed to be done. The porches were misaligned, rotted in some places, and required additional structural support. With the leadership, expert advice, and carpentry skills provided our Project Managers Dave Hansen and Ron Craig, the team was able to overcome these obstacles and install new flooring that will be maintenance free for years to come. Photos of the project are posted on UUSG’s Facebook page.

This could not have been accomplished without the volunteers who committed their time and energy. The construction crew was: Sherri Casterline, Ron Craig, Aaron Fogleman, Dave Hansen, Tom Lichtenheld, Pat McGleam, Kevin O’Neill, Linda O’Neill, Hal Schulman, Bill Scown, Shawn Thornton, and Dave Tomell. The support crew was: Jamie Carroll, Jan Miller, and Lisa Rittenberry.  

However, the job is not complete. Wood trim around the posts and the porch steps require finishing work. Once the Facilities Team gets some rest, we’ll start the process of planning and scheduling that work.  

In addition to the porches, the long awaited re-roofing project over the Common Room began on September 24. Assuming the weather cooperates, Klemm Roofing should finish the job within a few days. So, by the end of this month we will have completed the three high priority projects for the year - repainting the belfry, replacing the porch floorboards, and re-roofing the Common Room.  

If you’re interested in seeing our historic site preserved, our meeting space improved, or our classrooms enhanced, then please contact Kevin O’Neill at facilities@uusg.org. We have plenty of projects to do.

UUSG Music

Music has lent joyful buoyancy to September with two terrific collaborations at the piano by Tom Zimmerman and Cynthia Spiegel, who added her signature vocals to the mix. They were complemented in their second program by gifted flutist Ruth Cavanaugh, including music composed by former congregant Susan Conant.

From cleverly personalized lyrics to an array of instruments, the UUSG House Band rocked Homecoming Sunday, featuring the talents of Geoff Pynn, Tracey McFadden, Tracy Dullea, Andy Montgomery and Dave Hanchette. Pianist Sandra Anderson also drew raves.

Looking ahead, we’ll be treated to the UUSG Choir led by Cynthia and the keyboard artistry of Sandra, Geoff, Lynn Fisher McCanne, and Angela Salvaggione.

Be a part of the joy of music – there is a place for you in our Music Ministry! Students, amateurs, professionals, adults, and youth. Please contact Music Director Tracy Dullea at music@uusg.org today!

The Moral Imperative
Project SnowFall's Letter to Our Congregation #5
September 27, 2018

 
1. Buddhist
“We have a brief window of opportunity to take action, to preserve humanity from imminent disaster and to assist the survival of the many diverse and beautiful forms of life on Earth. Future generations, and the other species that share the biosphere with us, have no voice to ask for our compassion, wisdom, and leadership. We must listen to their silence. We must be their voice, too, and act on their behalf.”

2. Jewish
“In Leviticus 26, the Torah warns us that if we refuse to let the Earth rest, it will “rest” anyway, despite us and upon us – through drought and famine and exile that turn an entire people into refugees.”

3. Hindu  
“A radical change in our relationship with nature is no longer an option. It is a matter of survival. We cannot destroy nature without destroying ourselves.” Climate change creates pain, suffering, and violence. Unless we change how we use energy, how we use the land, how we grow our crops, how we treat other animals, and how we use natural resources, we will only further this pain, suffering, and violence.

4. Islam  
“Disruption of the global climate is a consequence of our corruption in the earth. We are but one of the multitude of living beings with whom we share the earth, and a minuscule part of the divine order, yet we have exceptional power, and bear the responsibility to establish good and avert evil in every way we can.”

5. Evangelical Lutheran Church of America  
“…an honest accounting requires a recognition that we all participate both as consumers and investors in economies that make intensive and insistent demands for energy. In addition, as citizens we have chosen to support or acquiesce in policies that shift the burdens of climate change to communities that are most vulnerable to its effects. People who are already challenged by poverty and by dislocation resulting from civil war or famine have limited resources for adapting to climate change’s effects." 

6. Pope Francis
“Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. That is why, in the absence of pressure from the public and from civic institutions, political authorities will always be reluctant to intervene, all the more when urgent needs must be met. To take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail, politicians will inevitably clash with the mindset of short-term gain and results which dominates present-day economics and politics. But if they are courageous, they will attest to their God-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of selfless responsibility. A healthy politics, capable of reforming and coordinating institutions, promoting best practices and overcoming undue pressure and bureaucratic inertia, is sorely needed.”

“What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power only to be remembered for their inability to to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?”

7. Presbyterian Church USA  
The love of neighbor, particularly the least of Christ’s brothers and sisters, requires action to stop the poisoning, the erosion, the wastefulness that are causing suffering and death. The future or our children and their children and all who come after is at stake.

8. United Church of Christ  
“WHEREAS, the predicted impact of global warming will have a disproportionate impact on those living in poverty, least developed countries, the elderly and children and those least responsible for the emissions of greenhouse gases; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Twenty-sixth General Synod of the United Church of Christ admits Christian complicity in the damage human beings have caused to the earth's climate system and other planetary life systems, and urges re-commitment to the Christian vocation of responsible stewardship of God's creation, and expresses profound concern for the pending environmental, economic, and social tragedies threatened by global warming, to creation, human communities and traditional sacred spaces.”

9. The United Methodist Church
“Leaders in some developed nations continue to debate, from places of comfort and privilege, the “reality” of a changing climate in order to perpetuate their polluting ways. As the church we witness firsthand the consequences of climate disruption inner communities and in the lives of those Christ calls us to be with in ministry. Recognizing our complicity and responsibility, we seek to chart a new path rooted in economic and ecological justice. We understand climate justice not simply as an environmental or economic concern but rather as a deep ethical and spiritual concern that the Church must address so that abundant life is ensured for our children and future generations.

10. Unitarian Universalist Association
“WHEREAS, global climate change is fundamentally a moral and ethical crisis induced and exacerbated by human activity that can and must be modified to maintain a livable world for ourselves, our descendants, and other species; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2015 UU General Assembly calls on Unitarian Universalists to unify and provide ethical and moral leadership for climate action and to do so within our congregations and within our multi-faith communities.”

11. Lutheran
Many have reacted to these changes with grief and anger. In their outrage some have understandably focused on the neglect and carelessness, both in private industry and in government regulation, that have contributed to these changes. However, an honest accounting requires a recognition that we all participate both as consumers and investors in economies that make intensive and insistent demands for energy. In addition, as citizens we have chosen to support or acquiesce in policies that shift the burdens of climate change to communities that are most vulnerable to its effects. People who are already challenged by poverty and by dislocation resulting from civil war or famine have limited resources for adapting to climate change's effects.

1. A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change May 14, 2015
2. A Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis 
3. A Hindu Declaration on Climate Change
4. Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change
5. Caring for Creation - Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
6. Pope Francis - Laudato-Si
7.  Presbyterian Church USA 
8. UCC - A Resolution on Climate Change 2007 GS26 
9. UMC - The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2016: 
Climate Change and the Churches Response

10. UU 2015 Action of Immediate Witness

11. Lutheran  

Mental Health Ministry: Grief
 
The Mental Health Ministry will sponsor a discussion about grief. Peter Coe will lead the discussion on the nature and function of grief through the life span. We will have a chance to discuss our own grief over the loss of George Tattersfield, who was an important member of the MHM. We will meet in the Common Room, 1pm-2:30pm, on Sunday, September 30. All are welcome.

The UUSG Printed Directory Returns!

 
If you and/or your family would like to be included in our upcoming printed directory, please visit uusg.org/directory or the bulletin board in the Common Room for instructions. The deadline to update your information is September 30. Questions? Contact Christine at office@uusg.org.

Pathway to Membership
 
Are you new around here? Have you been wondering what UUSG is all about? Are you looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon? Would you like a free lunch? The UUSG Welcoming Team invites interested newcomers to attend our next Pathway to Membership (P2M) session on Sunday, October 21. Gather in the Common Room right after the second worship service. We'll kick things off around 12:45 with a light lunch. Please RSVP here. 

Since this is a full 4-hour session, participants are encouraged to make their own childcare arrangements at home. If circumstances require that your small children accompany you, we will attempt to provide nursery care at church for those aged 6 or younger. A minimum of two weeks notice is needed to find available caregivers. Watch for more details in the next Pioneer and listen for pulpit announcements as the date approaches. Questions? Please stop by the Welcome Center in the Common Room. For further information, please contact Jim or Kate Frazier at welcoming@uusg.org.

UUSG Auction 2018: "Auctions Speak Louder than Tweets!"
Saturday, November 3, 5-8:30pm

Remember, this is an All-Church Auction, with special food and events planned for children.

Donations are being accepted – either complete a form in the common Room or donate online. People will be available during coffee hours to help with online donations. 

New this year – Advance Bidding! Training and assistance will be provided during coffee hours.


Questions or would like to volunteer? Contact Jean Pierce at auctionleader@uusg.org.

Nursery Caregivers Wanted
 
We are looking for a few people who enjoy playing to join our nursery caregiver team. This is a paid hourly position and includes a commitment to being available a few Sunday mornings a month (one service or both) or simply as a sub/back-up provider. There are additional evening opportunities throughout the year as well. For more information, please contact Sean and Becky Hruby at nursery@uusg.org.

October Friday Flick: Almost Sunrise
 
This month’s Friday Flick is hosted by the UUSG Veterans Group. Please plan on joining us in the Common Room October 26, at 7pm, for this informative film on awareness and treatment of Moral Injury.

Almost Sunrise tells the inspiring story of two young men, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, who, in an attempt to put their haunting Iraq combat experiences behind them, embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile trek on foot across America.

The film also acts as an urgent call for communities to better understand these deep-seated psychic wounds caused by a condition called “moral injury”. Moral injury is a relatively new concept that involves psychological and spiritual wounds that result from experiences that conflict with one’s deeply held beliefs of right and wrong. The key precondition for moral injury is an act of transgression, which shatters moral and ethical expectations. The injury can arise in a variety of forms ranging from perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. It is the resulting loss of the sense of personal worth from the moral injury that leads to overwhelming guilt, depression, and thoughts of self-harm. And moral injury as a diagnosis separate from PTSD better explains some of the recent spike in veteran suicides. Almost Sunrise acts as an urgent call for communities to better understand these deep-seated psychic wounds, and for the government to acknowledge and finally treat moral pain by using methods other than pills. Almost Sunrise deftly and movingly demonstrates the promise of holistic healing practices which the VA and private counselors are using to address this newly recognized condition.

And don't forget to join us tomorrow, Friday, September 28, at 7pm for September's Friday Flicks Presentation: Understanding the Opiod Epidemic

Green Sanctuary News
 
Save the Date for the UUSG Harvest Dinner, Saturday, Nov 10.

At a recent Citizens Climate Lobby meeting, we learned that environmentally concerned people are less likely to vote than are average voters!! Check out the Environmental Voter Project here.

I'm sure you don't need any reminders that the next election is coming up on Nov. 6. But Early Voting starts on Sept 27, at the Kane County Clerks office and Oct 22, at permanent polling places. Or if you or too busy - vote with your bunny slippers on: Vote By Mail! It sounds too good to be true, but it is true! Print out and complete the application to vote and mail it to the Kane County Clerk. They will mail back your ballot and instructions. The only thing easier than voting is falling out of bed. But only one of them will have a positive effect on Human Rights and the Environment.

Easy composting! Geneva and Batavia have community composting. Just put select food scraps in with the yard waste! Geneva has a Food Scrap page on their website making it relatively easy to find. The Batavia posting in down the Yard Waste page - "Organic Composting with your Yard Waste - New in 2018"

Mill Creek Watershed runs through Campton Hills and just west of St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia. A University of Illinois study shows the water flow reduction of up to 90% in the next 10-20 years. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is collaborating with Kane County, the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership, Fox River Study Group, and local municipalities, districts, and organizations to create a water quality-based protection plan for Mill Creek. They are hosting an Open House about The Mill Creek Watershed on Thursday, September 27, anytime between 4:30pm and 7pm at Peck Farm.

Court Upholds Illinois Nuclear Subsidies Law. Here's Why It's a Big Deal for Renewable Energy Too.

Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence's Wind and Rain

In Florence's Floodwater: Sewage, Coal Ash and Hog Waste Lagoon Spills

Carbon Removal (the hoped-for silver bullet to fix climate change) is Not Enough

Equal Exchange Fair Trade
 
New items are added on a regular basis. There are a few sale items. Please put payment in the coffee can along with any suggestions. 

Book Exchange
 
The book exchange is hard to get to right now, but there are 4-5 new additions on the top of the west book case.They look tempting. Keep as long as desired.

Items Looking for a New Home

 
UUSG Member Ellie Radvanovsky will be moving soon, and in preparation for her move, she finds that there are a few extra pieces of furniture that will not work in her new home. She has two twin beds (Hollywood style with no headboard) which come with bedding, white floral. Also she has a walnut entertainment center that is in excellent condition. Finally she has a sewing machine in its stand/cabinet. These things are available for free once her home has sold. If you are interested, please contact Ellie at (630) 402-0045.

Get Involved With Interweave

 
Interweave is a local group of LGBTQ members, friends and allies who meet once a month for discussions and special events. We will be having our fall social after second service Sunday, October 21. We will gather at the church at about 12:30 and walk to a nearby restaurant to eat lunch together. Come join us for food and great conversation. For more information please contact Lynn Steele at interweave@uusg.org.
 

Bible Study for UUs

 
For UUs who simply want to learn more about the Bible as literature, "Bible Study for UUs" is on the third Monday of each month, 7-8:30pm. 

Our next meeting will be on October 15. This will be the absolute, final, no appeals, last time we "finish" the "The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World" by Bart Ehrman. 

Please be thinking about what to read after that. Exodus is under consideration.

For more info, please contact Jim Frazier at biblestudy@uusg.org.

Food Bank Group
 
Join us on Saturday, September 29, from 9am to noon at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. If you would like to sign up for a volunteer shift please do so here. And bring a friend! Show someone who has never volunteered before the impact that sacrificing 3 hours can make on the lives of literally thousands of people. Questions? Email foodbankleader@uusg.org
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