Growing Up Unitarian

We had a simpler credo in the late 1950’s, but being Unitarian was still all about the search for meaning and a life worth living.

About Stan Cummings: Stan grew up in All Souls Unitarian Church in Greenfield MA. The experience sent him on a lifelong search for meaning and purpose: Where did we come from? How did we get here? Where are we going? He has reflected on these questions and others in a series of talks presented at different times through ALPS, and also on cruise ships that have taken him and his wife Sigrid around the world. Stan’s professional career was spent in leading various nonprofit organizations while focusing on the education of young people, including most recently, the Northwest Maritime Center here in Port Townsend.

Music: Pat Rodgers, piano; Sigrid Cummings, vocalist

Poetry Service – 14th Annual

Genuine sharing is vital to a healthy community, and the “Favorite Poem Service” celebrates our sharing in deep and personal ways. This annual summer ritual is intimate, layered, and always surprising. It is structured on a format as simple as it is powerful: A person stands before the congregation, tells why a particular poem is important in her or his life, and then reads or recites the poem. Tears, laughter, and awe guaranteed.

Music: Evan Millman, piano

Fairy Tales for the Early Years

In past August Sunday services as I pick up again after a summer break, I have sometimes taken a second crack at sermons I’ve previously given, referring to them, following Nathaniel Hawthorne’s lead, as “twice-told tales.” This August, the “twice-told tales” to which I will be returning are literally tales, fairy tales, that is.

One of the functions of mythology and religion is what Joseph Campbell calls the “pedagogical function” – teaching and guiding the individual through the normal stages of life in a harmonious and fulfilling way. And fairy tales, the distilled wisdom of the ages – “minor scriptures,” if you will – are traditional sources of teaching what the values of the different stages of life are.

This sermon will be the first in a series of three sermons – August 6, 13, 27 – indicating the values that these tales bring forward for the three main stages of life. Those three stages are: 1) the early years of youth and dependence; 2) the middle years of adulthood and independence; 3) the elder years of disengagement, letting go, and return).

Music: Helen Lauritzen, piano; Sarah Moran, soloist.

Fairy Tales for the Middle Years

The strong majority of fairy tales – the ones we know best – deal with the issues and psychology of youth. They are designed to help young people cross the difficult and dangerous bridge leading from childhood and adolescence to adulthood and maturity.

But what happens after you’ve crossed the bridge and find yourself in the land of “happily ever after”? As it happens, there are also some fairy tales where the protagonists are in their middle years, tales very different in both form and content. This sermon, the second in a series of three sermons related to the distilled wisdom of fairy tales, will indicate what values these mid-life fairy tales bring forward for the middle years.

Music: Pat Rodgers, piano, and Uptown Acappella

Blessing of Animals Service

Presented by Rev. Bode, Nancy Mann, and the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry (QUUAM) – After a break of a couple of years, we are holding a “Blessing of Animals” service. This will an interspecies/intergenerational service held in the sanctuary, with the probability of an outdoor parade as well. Children and adults are encouraged to bring their companion animals with them to the service. Please bring only pets that are “people friendly” and “other pet” compatible. For safety, dogs should be on leashes, cats in carriers, etc. Come one, come all to this special service!

Music: Evan Millman, piano.

Fairy Tales for the Elder Years

The majority of fairy tales we know today have to do with the issues and psychology of childhood and youth and the threshold crossing into adulthood. But there are also a minority of fairy tales, some of which are being reclaimed, that deal with the developmental changes and psychological shifts related to both the middle years and the elder years. This sermon, the final one in this series of three late summer sermons on the distilled wisdom of fairy tales, will indicate what values these fairy tales bring forward for the elder years.

Music: Helen Lauritzen, piano

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Annual Water Service

Our annual Water Service happens September 3 and honors water in all its forms.  It also honors our coming-together as a QUUF community. For this tradition, you are invited to collect a small amount of water from a
place that is sacred to you, near or far – a mountain creek, the bay or lagoon, a bathtub, a birdbath or garden hose – and bring a little of it to mingle with waters QUUFers have offered for many years. You are also invited
to add your water with a word of what you bring to our congregation this year – hope, care, grief, help, strength, song, joy, etc.

Music: Ikue Goldstein, piano