News From the Red Floors for June 26 to July 3, 2015

News From the Red Floors for
June 19 to 26, 2015

Sermon
Rev. Schuler

 

Dear FUS Friends and neighbors;

With its announcement that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of gays and lesbians to civil marriage the Supreme Court finally caught up with the First Unitarian Society of Madison. More than eleven years ago members present and voting at a parish meeting endorsed, without dissent, a Statement of Conscience calling for marriage equality.  Seven years earlier FUS had received denominational certification as a “Welcoming Congregation committed to the proactive inclusion of persons identifying as LGBTQ.

It has been a long struggle, and represents quite a turnaround from that day in 2006 when Wisconsin voters passed an amendment to our state’s Constitution prohibiting same sex marriage. This weekend we join with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in celebrating this landmark victory for civil rights, and applaud the fact that our recently married same-sex couples will now have their unions recognized in every one of the fifty states.

And, of course, other decisions SCOTUS handed down this past week also lifted progressives’ spirits. Federal subsidies will still be available to enrollees under the Affordable Care Act; demonstrably discriminatory practices in housing and real estate were disallowed, and the Court also condemned the brutal treatment of detainees by law enforcement officers. For our most vulnerable citizens, these all represent important gains.

The second of our UU Principles calls on us to “Affirm and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations,” a sentiment with which, in these most recent cases at least, a majority of the high court’s justices, clearly agreed.

In gratitude and in hope…  Michael

 

Happenings

This Sunday in Summer Fun!
This Sunday during Summer Fun we will be exploring our interconnected web of life – hopefully we will be untangled by pick up! All children ages 4-12 are welcome to join in our games. Please sign in with Abby Whisler at the Greeter’s Table before service so we know to count you in!

Help Needed This Sunday!
Build community June 28, Noon to 3 in James Madison Park. Take this opportunity to get out and meet others, while helping Operation Welcome Home (homeless fighting for homeless) enjoy a BBQ while focusing on education and organizing to bring about solutions to homelessness.  Join other FUS volunteers helping with food and games for all ages. E-mail Betsey Day today!

MOSES Hiring Full-Time
Community Organizer!
Do you know this person? The individual we seek for the full time position as Organizer for MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity) is community centric, passionate and committed to ending racial and economic inequity and reforming the criminal justice system in Wisconsin. More information at http://mosesmadison.org/

Don’t worry! You didn’t miss
your chance to register!

We are still accepting registrations for Children’s RE, but the longer you wait, the less likely you are to get the class you want when you want it. No need to wait to anymore! Just go to /cre-registration and sign up! We look forward to seeing your kids fill our halls come September.

Please teach me! (spoken in voices of beautiful children)
We hear there are still a lot of teaching spots open for Children’s RE next Fall. We’re worried that our class may not have enough teachers. Where else can we go where our spiritual development is honored, our integrity is nurtured, and our compassion has a voice? At FUS, we learn who we are, what we value, and who we hope to be as we grow older. But we need you adults to help us along the way! Please consider teaching us. We ask good questions and we’re eager to learn more about our world. You may have to help us understand how to be our best selves sometimes, but we’re always trying to learn our way. If you’re interested in teaching, contact Leslie Ross, our Director of Children’s Religious Education, at /DRE. Thank you!

Child Care for Next Fall
Do you (or will you) have an infant or toddler who will need child care during worship services next fall? If so, please register now to reserve a spot. There’s no fee, but we do like to know how many kids to anticipate so that we can schedule enough care providers. You can register at /cre-registration.

Gardeners Wanted  
Come and enjoy the summer by sprucing up around FUS a couple hours a week. Usual workday is Thursday morning between 8:30 and 10:30. No experience or tools needed yet helpful. Come, or contact Nan at nanragland@att.net or 249-9573.

Volunteer at Dane Dances
The Dane Dances volunteer picnic will be at Vilas Park on July 14 at 4 p.m. Everyone who is interested is invited! Sign up while you are there, and there will be another date after that for training.”The specific objective of Dane Dances! is to provide an environment where relationships can grow between people of different backgrounds in Dane County.” Volunteer or just go! www.danedances.org

Support the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund
The loss of life and devastation in Nepal from the recent earthquake are truly staggering. Rebuilding is beginning and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association have activated joint emergency response efforts. Donate at http://bit.ly/1EoKoXB.

“Service Sunday” Date Set * On Sunday, August 23, FUS and friends will DO service instead of attending services. If you have an idea for a group volunteer project, or can lead a project, or just want to help make it happen, please e-mail Lisa West at west@charter.net.

Volunteers needed!
Help is needed July 25 in Brittingham Park: Disability Pride Festival is looking for people of all abilities to help out, from set-up that morning to tear down at 6pm. There are lots of jobs including staffing the information desk, helping with concessions, talking to festival attendees and other tasks.  To volunteer go to their website at http://disabilitypridemadison.org/sign-up/ or call 838-7011.

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The Spiritual Topics Book Group will hold its July meeting at FUS at 7 PM on Tuesday, July 28, in the Gaebler living room. The group will discuss Stephen Prothero’s book: ‘God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World-and Why their Differences Matter’. For more information contact Ken Gage at 230-5068 or ksgage@yahoo.com.

Be a Part of our Annual Art Fair!
Applications are now being accepted for Art in the Wright Place, FUS’s annual (and wonderful!) art fair. Art in the Wright Place will be held on Sunday, November 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This sale is an excellent opportunity for area and FUS artists to sell their handmade items while raising funds for our Children’s Religious Education programs. Previous media have included fibre arts, photography, jewelry, origami, pottery, beadwork, woodwork, quilting, basketry, art glass, watercolor, and more. For more information, go to /artfair; or to apply, go to /artreg.

Pride Team forming!
Madison’s OutReach Pride Parade 2015 will be on Sunday, August 9 at 1 p.m., up State Street to the Capitol Square. All Madison UUs will march together once again, behind the huge Standing on the Side of Love banner.  Wear yours, or wear yellow. (There’s time to buy a SOSL shirt from Becky at FUS or from the UUA bookstore. Help coordinate our parade participation – please contact Elizabeth Barrett ebarrett@tds.net.

As You Travel, Gather the Waters.
Water Communion is

August 30.

This Sunday – “Synchronicity”

9 am and 11 am in the Atrium Auditorium
by Bobbi Zehner & Friends

Contemporary author and critic, Charles de
Lint, believes “…in an everyday sort of magic—
the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes
experience with places, people, works of art
and the like—the eerie appropriateness of
moments of synchronicity.”On June 28, come
listen to what eight fellow UUs have to say
about their own powerful and engaging experiences
of connectedness.

Special music ragtime with Karlos Moser and Doug Hill.

News From the Red Floors for June 19 to 26, 2015

News From the Red Floors for
June 19 to 26, 2015

Sermon

 

Dear Neighbors…

It has been a week filled with many visitors to Mr. Wright’s Meeting House. Our wonderful Meeting House guides – volunteers all – have been doing an extraordinary job sharing the stories behind the stones, and making all feel welcome. They deserve our hearty thanks, as do our many visitors who travel here from around the world to remind us how fortunate we are to have such an extra-ordinary architectural home. I’m in awe of the accomplishments of our forebears as well, the Stonehaulers, who had the vision, paid the bills, and the sore backs that made Wrights design a reality.

This weekend will be a fine time to come by the Meeting House.Two of our many talented members, John Powell and Jim O’Brien, will be speaking, tackling the topic of “How Much is Enough?” I’m not sure where the line is, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the “too much stuff” side. So come, join the discussion, and have a lemonade. We’ll be looking for you!

Harry Carnes

p.s. – Many thanks to everyone for their well-wishes on my impending retirement. My last day will be July 22, so I’ll be here a bit yet. Let’s have coffee!

Happenings

 

Saturday June 20! Celebrate Juneteenth,
Celebrate Our Community!  Noon to 6 at Olin Turville Park.  FUS is proud to have an info table at the festival. Don’t miss this 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in the U.S.  It is a Madison tradition: history, performances, food, and more.

This Sunday in Summer Fun!

This Sunday, in honor of Father’s Day, we will be celebrating all the varieties of families we come from. All children 4-12 years old are welcome to join us after the message for all ages. Please sign in with Abby Whisler at the Greeter’s Table so we know to count you in! Hope to see you Sunday!

Calling for Pledges on Monday, June 22 

There are quite a few people who pledged last year, or in the past few years, but have not done so this year. Each June we give them each a call, and touch base. If you’d like to join us in reaching out through a phone canvass this Monday evening, June 22, from 6 to 8 p.m., please contact Andy Gussert at andyg@fusmadison.org

. We have a high return rate with the people we reach, and also leave a lot of messages. There will be snacks, refreshments, and a phone for you to use. Please e-mail Andy to reserve a spot.

Men’s Group Meeting

All men are invited to join the open men’s group meeting on Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m. in the Gaebler Living Room. Topic: moral conundrums and ethical problems at work. For more information, Gordon at /mens.

Equity Team Meeting
Now that Madison’s African American community has presented “Our Madison Plan” for eliminating our notorious racial disparities, it’s time for action! Please attend the Equity Ministry Team meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, in Courtyard C to lend your ideas and energy to FUS’ involvement in this important work. More info: Betsey Day daybuss@charter.net.

Health Issues Group
The Health Issues Group will be meeting on Wednesday, June 24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium Library.  This group provides a supportive environment where personal health issues are discussed and explored. For further information, please contact Amy at 841-1092.

MOSES Hiring Full-Time
Community Organizer!
Do you know this person? The individual we seek for the full time position as Organizer for MOSES (Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity) is community centric, passionate and committed to ending racial and economic inequity and reforming the criminal justice system in Wisconsin. More information at http://mosesmadison.org/

Don’t worry! You didn’t miss your chance to register!
We are still accepting registrations for Children’s RE, but the longer you wait, the less likely you are to get the class you want when you want it. No need to wait to anymore! Just go to /cre-registration and sign up! We look forward to seeing your kids fill our halls come September.

Please teach me!
(spoken in voices of beautiful children)
We hear there are still a lot of teaching spots open for Children’s RE next Fall. We’re worried that our class may not have enough teachers. Where else can we go where our spiritual development is honored, our integrity is nurtured, and our compassion has a voice? At FUS, we learn who we are, what we value, and who we hope to be as we grow older. But we need you adults to help us along the way! Please consider teaching us. We ask good questions and we’re eager to learn more about our world. You may have to help us understand how to be our best selves sometimes, but we’re always trying to learn our way. If you’re interested in teaching, contact Leslie Ross, our Director of Children’s Religious Education, at /DRE. Thank you!

Peace & Justice Book Club
The Peace and Justice Book Club will meet June 22 in Courtyard C at 7 p.m. Book: The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, by Charles Eisenstein. Questions? Carole Briggs gone.knitting@hotmail.com.

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The June meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held in the Gaebler Living Room at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. The group will discuss Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God. For further information contact Ken Gage at 230-5068 or ksgage@yahoo.com.

VeganFest!
Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Goodman Community Center.  FUS is a proud sponsor of VeganFest, where everyone – curious omnivores to longtime vegans – can enjoy exhibitors, speakers, cooking demos, and a great food court. Free and open to the public. Lots of samples! www.veganfest.org

Child Care for Next Fall
Do you (or will you) have an infant or toddler who will need child care during worship services next fall? If so, please register now to reserve a spot. There’s no fee, but we do like to know how many kids to anticipate so that we can schedule enough care providers. You can register at /cre-registration.

Gardeners Wanted  
Come and enjoy the summer by sprucing up around FUS a couple hours a week. Usual workday is Thursday morning between 8:30 and 10:30. No experience or tools needed yet helpful. Come, or contact Nan at nanragland@att.net or 249-9573.

Support the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund
The loss of life and devastation in Nepal from the recent earthquake are truly staggering. Rebuilding is now underway and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association have activated joint response efforts. Now is the time to urgently help our neighbors build housing as the rainy season begins. Donate at http://bit.ly/1EoKoXB.

“Service Sunday” Date Set
On Sunday, August 23, FUS and friends will DO service instead of attending services. If you have an idea for a group volunteer project, or can lead a project, or just want to help make it happen, please e-mail Lisa West at west@charter.net.

Volunteers needed!
Help is needed July 25 in Brittingham Park: Disability Pride Festival is looking for people of all abilities to help out, from set-up that morning to tear down at 6pm. There are lots of jobs including staffing the information desk, helping with concessions, talking to festival attendees and other tasks.  To volunteer go to their website at http://disabilitypridemadison.org/sign-up/ or call 838-7011.

Be a Part of our Annual Art Fair!
Applications are now being accepted for Art in the Wright Place, FUS’s annual (and wonderful!) art fair. Art in the Wright Place will be held on Sunday, November 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This sale is an excellent opportunity for area and FUS artists to sell their handmade items while raising funds for our Children’s Religious Education programs. Previous media have included fibre arts, photography, jewelry, origami, pottery, beadwork, woodwork, quilting, basketry, art glass, watercolor, and more. For more information, go to /artfair; or to apply, go to /artreg.

Pride Parade
Madison’s Pride Parade will be Sunday, August 9, at 1 p.m. If you’d like to be part of the Pride Parade planning team, please contact Elizabeth Barrett ebarrett@tds.net. We’ll do a flag routine and more on the route. This year we will have a vehicle to transport folks who don’t walk or roll easily.

As You Travel, Gather the Waters.
Water Communion is August 30.

This Sunday – “How Much Is Enough?”

9 am and 11 am in the Atrium Auditorium, June 21st

by John Powell & Jim O’Brien

Some of history’s brightest minds have subscribed
to the principle, “all things in moderation.”
Our own culture has turned that teaching
on its head, calling for “all things in excess.” Our
two commentators will tag-team, with John
laying out the problem and Jim asking the key
question: “How much does any person need to
be truly happy.”

The Solstice Harp Ensemble, directed by
Linda Warren, will play songs arranged by Kathy
Bundock Moore

Anne Nicol Gaylor – RIP

Anne Nicol Gaylor, a Madison institution, passed away on June 15 from complications of a fall in her apartment two weeks earlier.  I did not know Ms. Gaylor personally and, as the intrepid woman who founded and presided over The Freedom from Religion Foundation for twenty-six years, she had no use whatsoever for communities of faith – even one as progressive as FUS.

Many of the issues Anne Gaylor cared passionately about were ones that I and most other Unitarian Universalists also shared.  We, too, have historically objected to directed prayer and scripture reading in the public schools. Sectarian symbols such as crosses, crèches and the Ten Commandments should not, we agree, be displayed on publically-owned properties.

The expenditure of tax dollars for so-called “faith-based initiatives” also seems unwise, given the opportunities it affords for groups to proselytize and promote their own religious agendas.  And, I’ve heard more than a few UU’s express displeasure over the “God-language” that belatedly has been appended to the nation’s currency, to its Pledge of Allegiance and, in many states, to automobile license plates.

Gaylor was also a strong advocate for women’s reproductive rights, calling for universal access to contraception and abortion.  But ten years before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, Unitarian Universalists were pressing for the legalization of abortion.  Early in the 20th century Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was supported in her work by John Haynes Holmes, a prominent New York City Unitarian minister, and many of his East Coast co-religionists.

When asked why she and her daughter were moved to establish the Freedom from Religion Foundation in 1976, Gaylor explained that the “root cause of women’s oppression was religion and dogma in our secular laws.”  But, while much evidence can certainly be marshaled in support of that statement, it is just too comprehensive and indiscriminate.  Like the strident New Atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, Anne Gaylor reduces religion to a caricature of its complex and multi-faceted true self.

Not all religions are dogmatic, and not all are the oppressive and autocratic entities Gaylor would have them be.  Even Robert Ingersoll – the self-proclaimed agnostic and “Great Infidel” of the 19th century took pains to distinguish between the various flavors of religion.  A spellbinding orator, Ingersoll spoke to crowds upwards of ten thousand during his storied career, delivering withering critiques of the Bible and exposing the illogic of supernatural Christianity.  But of the Universalists he once said, “I want to thank the Universalist Church.  They, at least, believe in a God who is a gentleman…a heavenly father who will leave the latchstring out until the last child gets home.”

I admire Anne Nicol Gaylor’s gumption and, as I told The Isthmus earlier this year, support many of the stands taken over the years by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.  Both mother and daughter have carried on for decades despite vilification and threats to their lives.  I just wish that they were a little more judicious in their comments on “religion,” because they routinely refuse to acknowledge the myriad ways in which it can be expressed and practiced.

All of which suggests to me that while Anne Nicol Gaylor was a secularist and a progressive, she was also a polemicist.  She had an axe to grind and to be effective she needed to keep the message simple.  Which is unfortunate, because Gaylor fancied herself a “free-thinker” – a word, together with “feminist” and “activist,” she asked to have engraved on her tombstone.

As I see it, a free-thinker strives to keep an open mind, and to be discerning even on subjects he or she deems distasteful.  Rest in peace, Anne Nicol Gaylor.  This is one man of religion who thanks you for your service and  blesses you on your way.

Michael A. Schuler,Senior Minister

News From the Red Floors for June 12 to 19, 2015

News From the Red Floors for
June 12 to 19, 2015

Sermon
Kelly Crocker

Dear Friends,

With the ending of the school year, summer is officially here.  Welcome to summer break but I hope that doesn’t mean you are going to take a summer break from FUS!  This weekend we will enjoy the music of Robin Ryan and
Marika Fisher Hoyt.  It is sure to be glorious.  I’ll be thinking about all things theological and asking questions about God and salvation and trying to craft a theology that fits in our world. One fun event on Sunday morning, from 10am – 1pm, is the Open House at the Isom House. What’s the Isom House?  It is the former FUS parsonage that sits on the back of our lot behind the playground.  Many of our parents know it as the house that hosts Mind Body and Soul and Compass Points classes.  This house has recently received quite an astounding makeover.  Please stop by after services to check it out, it looks better than it has in a very long time.

with love and gratitude,

– Kelly

Happenings

This Sunday in Summer Fun!
This week we will be reading The Everything Seed.  We will explore the beautiful web of life and do some creative art and planting with different seeds.  All children 4-12 are welcome to join us.  Please sign in with Abby Whisler at the Greeter’s Table so we know to count you in! Hope to see you Sunday!

Violist Jeremy Kienbaum in Fundraiser Recital…
FUS member Jeremy Kienbaum will be graduating from the UW School of Music this spring and has been accepted into the Masters of Music program at the famed Juilliard School of music in New York City. Jeremy has been active in the FUS music program, playing in the FUS String
Band, our All Music Sunday orchestras and more, and we wish him much success in his new venture.  Jeremy, with pianist Seungwha Baek and cellist Andrew Briggs, will be playing a concert in the Atrium Auditorium on Saturday, June 13, at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets, available at the door or at
Orange Tree Imports, are $20.  The proceeds will go towards the cost of tuition.

Shawl Ministry Drop-in • Join Dorit Bergen and friends at the next Shawl Ministry drop-in on Thursday, June 17, 10-11:30 AM, in the Atrium Library.

Saturday, June 20 Juneteenth Day is a celebration of freedom for many African American communities across the nation, commemorating the freeing of slaves in Texas in 1865.   A longtime tradition in Madison, this special community celebration at Olin Park will include a parade, food vendors, crafts, and music. Festival takes place noon to 6pm, with parade details to be announced.

A CRE Concern • While some of our teacher recruitment is looking great for the fall, we have three classes with zero… yes, ZERO, teachers; and one with only one teacher. Of deepest concern are Celebrating Me & My World (pre-K) and Experiences with the Web of Life (K-1) on Saturday. Bibleodeon (4th-5th gr) at 11 also has no teachers, and Experiences with the Web of Life at 11 has only one. Please help us make these RE classes possible for our kids. To learn more about teaching, contact Leslie Ross at /DRE or go to /cre-volunteers.

Isom House Open House June 14
Come to the Isom Open House on Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm. Initially named the “Education Wing”, over time it would also colloquially be called ‘the annex”, ‘youth building”, “895 Cornell Court”, and “the Isom”. In 1963, the entire structure was physically picked up, moved to our back lot, and set in its current location across from the Shorewood city dump. Swing by Sunday and see the many upgrades inside and out, between 10 am and 1 pm

Did you win an item at the Cabaret Spring Auction?
Invoices have been mailed to winning bidders for Cabaret Spring Auction items, events and services. If you are a winning bidder for any items, they are available for pick up in the FUS Administrative Offices (A-8, located off the Loggia in the Landmark building. Stop by Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. We are hoping to have all items picked up by June 15. If you have questions contact Sally Bowers at 233-9774 x123 or sallyb@fusmadison.org.  Thank you to all who made this event a success.

Peace & Justice Book Club
The Peace and Justice Book Club will meet June 22 in Courtyard C at 7 p.m. Book: The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, by Charles Eisenstein. Questions? Carole Briggs gone.knitting@hotmail.com.

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The June meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held in the Gaebler Living Room at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. The group will discuss Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God. For further information contact Ken Gage at 230-5068 or ksgage@yahoo.com.

VeganFest!
Sat. June 27, 10 am to 5 pm, at the Goodman Community Center.  FUS is a proud sponsor of VeganFest, where everyone – curious omnivores to longtime vegans – can enjoy exhibitors, speakers, cooking demos, and a great food court.  Free and open to the public.  Lots of samples!
www.veganfest.org

Child Care for Next Fall
Do you (or will you) have an infant or toddler who will need child care during worship services next fall? If so, please register now to reserve a spot. There’s no fee, but we do like to know how many kids to anticipate so that we can schedule enough care providers. You can register at /cre-registration.

Gardeners Wanted  
Come and enjoy the summer by sprucing up around FUS a couple hours a week. Usual workday is Thursday morning between 8:30 and 10:30. No experience or tools needed yet helpful. Come, or contact Nan at nanragland@att.net or 249-9573.

Support the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund
The loss of life and devastation in Nepal from the recent earthquake are truly staggering. Rebuilding is beginning and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association have activated joint emergency response efforts. Donate at http://bit.ly/1EoKoXB.

“Service Sunday” Date Set • On Sunday, August 23, FUS and friends will DO service instead of attending services. If you have an idea for a group volunteer project, or can lead a project, or just want to help make it happen, please e-mail Lisa West at west@charter.net.

Volunteers needed!
Help is needed July 25 in Brittingham Park: Disability Pride Festival is looking for people of all abilities to help out, from set-up that morning to tear down at 6pm. There are lots of jobs including staffing the information desk, helping with concessions, talking to festival attendees and other tasks.  To volunteer go to their website at http://disabilitypridemadison.org/sign-up/ or call 608-838-7011.

 

 

 

This Sunday – “A Theology at Home in the World”

Sunday, June 14 at 9 & 11 a.m.

by Kelly J. Crocker, Minister of Congregational Life

As Unitarian Universalists with many varied theological perspectives in our midst, we often struggle to name a theology that “fits” for us.  We will take a look at concepts such as God, humanity’s place in this world and what saves us. Together we can create a theology that not only “fits” but gives us the inspiration, creativity and power to reconstruct the world.

The Ancora String Quartet will perform.

Preservation and the Rich Tapestry of our Historic Meeting House

Our Most Recent Curtain Call

In 1949, as final plans for the Meeting House came together, FUS member Helen Groves suggested a large curtain to section off the social area from the worship space in the Auditorium. Wright agreed to design it, his wife Olgivana wove the prototype, and FUS members wove the 120-foot-long tapestry, which hung for years. The curtain created the Hearth Room, giving both beauty and enhanced functionality to the new building created by and for our Stonehaulers and for their congregational descendants: us! You can see a restored section of that beautiful curtain in the loggia today.

Historic preservation encourages us all to weave the heritage from those who came before us into the present fabric of our lives.  It gives perspective to our place somewhere in the interdependent web of existence. Part of our commitment to living sustainably is fully appreciating, using, and maintaining the physical and cultural assets that others bequeath to us.

Thoughtful preservation does not freeze growth or prohibit change. Sometime in the 1960s, we decided not to invest in restoring the deteriorating curtain. We honored the weavers by restoring and displaying a panel, but we removed the curtain when the growing congregation required more worship space.  Our preservation and restoration efforts do remind us of the totality of shared experiences with the others who have walked through these doors.

Maintaining our Landmark building reflects a justified pride in the sacrifice and accomplishments of the Stonehauler generation.  Importantly, it also brings new people into our Society. On one recent Monday in April, we had folks drop by from Amsterdam, Japan and Germany… and also New Glarus, Fitchburg and Madison Montessori School.  Most make a financial donation that helps to fund preservation work; some become members!

The Friends of the Meeting House have directed tour contributions to some of the extensive restoration work done in 2007-2008 and to rebuilding the Lobby restrooms in 2011, among many other projects in recent years.  Last month the Friends funded the new curtains at the Landmark Auditorium’s entrances with a donation of $5,300; the new curtains blend Wright in!

Finally, as with any worthy human creation, preservation work at the Meeting House never goes away.  In the next few years, we must replace the 60+ year-old copper roof over the Loggia wing. Two years ago we sealed that large section with a rubber membrane; only a temporary fix.  Our challenge is to preserve the aesthetic design of Wright’s “Bermuda-style” roof with a functional, durable roof system.  We will be working together as a community on a design that will honor both the Stonehaulers’ legacy and also our core values around sustainable living.  Our interdependent web of existence is anchored in the gifts of the past and will, with effort, snare a bright future for those who follow us.

News From the Red Floors for June 5 to 12, 2015

News From the Red Floors for
June 5 to 12, 2015

Sermon
Rev. Schuler

Dear FUS Neighbors…

Harry Carnes has been teasing me all week about my sermon title, “The Whole Enchilada.”  A discussion of Mexican food isn’t what I had in mind and although the topic is a hot one, any references to habaneros will be purely incidental. The FUS chime choir will showcase their talents and for kids there will be some neat Summer Fun activities.

Meanwhile, several dozen members of our adult choirs are spending the weekend in New York City, where they are scheduled to join other vocal groups in a performance of Maurice Durufle’s “Requiem” at Carnegie Hall. Back at FUS, on Saturday hundreds of visitors are expected at the Meeting House as we are one of the featured stops on a Frank Lloyd Wright Tour.  

Ride-The-Drive starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Madison, so if you are coming to the Meeting House from the East side of town check to see what streets may be blocked off. Or, weather permitting, you could ride your bike to FUS and not have to worry about diversions.

Hope to see many of you on Sunday!

— Michael

Happenings

 

This Sunday in Summer Fun!  

we will read Owen and Mzee.  All children ages 4-12 are welcome to join us as we explore friendships and make new friend connections with fun and active games. Please sign in with Abby Whisler at the greeter’s station so we know to count your child in. See you Sunday!

FUS 20s30s: Spirituality with Spirits this Monday!
What: FUS 20s30s discussion group. Come for dinner and/or drinks (both are optional) over lively conversation surrounding this month’s theme!  
When: Monday, June 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: UW Memorial Terrace (outside assuming good weather).  
Questions: Creal Zearing at czearing@gmail.com or 815 878-7455.
RSVP:  Preferred but not required – see contact above.

Men’s Group Meeting
All men are invited to join the Open Men’s Group meeting on Monday, June 8, at 7 p.m. in the Gaebler Living Room. Which teachers made an impact on who you became? For more information, Gordon at /mens.

Support the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund
The loss of life and devastation in Nepal from the recent earthquake are truly staggering. Rebuilding is beginning and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association have activated joint emergency response efforts. Donate at http://bit.ly/1EoKoXB.

Child Care for Next Fall
Do you (or will you) have an infant or toddler who will need child care during worship services next fall? If so, please register now to reserve a spot. There’s no fee, but we do like to know how many kids to anticipate so that we can schedule enough care providers. You can register at /cre-registration.

Gardeners Wanted  
Come and enjoy the spring by sprucing up around FUS a couple hours a week. Usual workday is Thursday morning between 8:30 and 10:30. No experience or tools needed yet helpful. Come, or contact Nan at nanragland@att.net or 249-9573.

A CRE Concern

While some of our teacher recruitment is looking great for the fall, we have three classes with zero… yes, ZERO, teachers; and one with only one teacher. Of deepest concern are Celebrating Me & My World (pre-K) and Experiences with the Web of Life (K-1) on Saturday. Bibleodeon (4th-5th gr) at 11 also has no teachers, and Experiences with the Web of Life at 11 has only one. Please help us make these RE classes possible for our kids. To learn more about teaching, contact Leslie Ross at /DRE or go to /cre-volunteers.

Did you win an item at the Cabaret Spring Auction?
Invoices have been mailed to winning bidders for Cabaret Spring Auction items, events and services. If you are a winning bidder for any items, they are available for pick up in the FUS Administrative Offices (A-8, located off the Loggia in the Landmark building. Stop by Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. We are hoping to have all items picked up by June 15. If you have questions contact Sally Bowers at 233-9774 x123 or sallyb@fusmadison.org.  Thank you to all who made this event a success.

Violist Jeremy Kienbaum
in Fundraiser Recital…
FUS member Jeremy Kienbaum will hold a tuition fund raising recital in the Atrium Auditorium on Saturday, June 13, at 7 p.m. Jeremy will be graduating from the UW School of Music this spring and has been accepted into the famed Juilliard School of music in New York City. Jeremy will be joined by pianist Micah Behr and cellist Andrew Briggs. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased at Orange Tree Imports for $20.  The proceeds will go towards the cost of tuition.

Isom House Open House June 14
The Isom House originally rested in our current front yard, between where the bike rack and FUS sign now stand. Max Gaebler moved his family into the home, which was intended as a ‘future parsonage” in original blueprints.  We’ve done some major upgrades, so swing by and see it after service next week between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“Service Sunday” Date Set
On Sunday, August 23, FUS and friends will DO service instead of attending services. If you have an idea for a group volunteer project, or can lead a project, or just want to help make it happen, please e-mail Lisa West at west@charter.net.

Peace & Justice Book Club
The Peace and Justice Book Club will meet June 22 in Courtyard C at 7 p.m. Book: The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, by Charles Eisenstein. Questions? Carole Briggs gone.knitting@hotmail.com.

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The June meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held in the Gaebler Living Room at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. The group will discuss Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God. For further information contact Ken Gage at 230-5068 or ksgage@yahoo.com.

Volunteers needed!
On Saturday, July 25 in Brittingham Park: Disability Pride Festival is looking for people of all abilities to help out, from set-up that morning to tear down at 6 p.m. There are lots of jobs including staffing the information desk, helping with concessions, talking to festival attendees and other tasks.  To volunteer go to their website at http://disabilitypridemadison.org/sign-up/ or call 838-7011.

Column from the New Assistant Minister of UU Raleigh, NC

From Sasha Ostrom, Outgoing FUS Madison Intern Minister

I cannot believe, as I sit here in my office typing, that this is the last newsletter article I will be writing for you.  As many of you may already know, my ministerial internship here at the First Unitarian Society of Madison ends on May 31st, and then I will be moving shortly thereafter to North Carolina to become the Assistant Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh.  I will be near some of my family members and serving a great congregation, and am very excited.

It is because of the time that I have spent here among you at FUS that I have been offered this position, and it is because of the work I have done here with you that I now feel prepared to take this first enormous step into professional, ordained ministry.  As a ministerial intern serving such a large and active congregation, with countless programs, I have had the pleasure of being able to gain practical, lived experience in many of the areas of ministerial work that were new or relatively new to me when I first arrived back in August, including working with the lay ministry team; learning about and sometimes participating in some of those often unseen and underappreciated logistical details of church life; performing weddings and assisting with memorial services and other rites of passage; and many other things.

This year, I have been able to try my hand at leading some sessions of children’s, youth and adult religious education classes, as well as creating and leading a few classes of my own.  As someone with no significant teaching history before my arrival here, these opportunities were huge in terms of what they taught me about teaching and learning methods and ways of exploring different topics in religious education.  And I had a blast in the process!

I have also been able to preach regularly and assist Michael and Kelly in Saturday and Sunday services, learning how FUS performs some of the rituals of Unitarian Universalism—water communion, joys and sorrows, chalice lightings, new member recognitions, cares of the congregation, baby dedications, weddings, memorial services, flower communion—as well as how to craft and deliver messages that are shaped specifically for this unique, vibrant community.  It has been a real pleasure worshipping with you!

My office is now scattered with “artifacts” from different classes, activities, services and projects I’ve been involved in over the year.  Next to my bookcase there is a large “theological house”, which was collectively created by participants in my UU theology course.  On my table is a vase full of twigs with notes of gratitude written on paper leaves from the women’s retreat I co-led with Janet Swanson.  On my bookcase are small wooden hearts that people attending caregiver gatherings used to write small notes of wisdom and encouragement to share with one another.  On the floor is a box full of altar-building materials used by participants in my Dance As A Spiritual Practice class.  These are, for me, all very fun and physical reminders of the amazing nine months I have had with you here at FUS, and I know that I will remember you every time I see them.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this wonderful year!