Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Board President's Message, July 10, 2016

Message from the President

I was sorry to miss the weekend’s events at 1stUUPB. I hope everyone had a great time whether painting, welcoming our new intern minister, attending News Talk, or listening to our Treasurer’s service. Pat Knight and I -- Vice president and President of the Board of Trustees -- were in Orlando for the weekend attending the UUA Southern Region Presidents Convocation. We enjoyed meeting and conversing with other board members from 10 of the 50 plus congregations in Florida. Many familiar issues were discussed.

Growing a Beloved Community, a book written by Tom Owen-Towle, was the text used for us to explore Unitarian Unitarianism in small groups. A theme of Joy ran through much of the weekend. We were introduced to the UUA General Assembly Sunday Service. If you have not found this on the UUA website yet, you can find it here:
http://www.uuworld.org/articles/uuaga16-sunday-morning-worship.  If you have time, listen to the entire session. If not, begin at 1:11:50 to hear a wonderful sermon delivered by the Rev. Nancy Ladd.

Leadership Development was one of the items that had to excluded from our 1stUUPB 2016-17 budget. Financial costs of our attendance at the Convocation were met appreciatively from sources outside of the congregation’s funds. Looking forward, we will be forming a Leadership Development Team. If you are interested in serving on the Leadership Development Team, please let me know.

Board meetings are not scheduled for July and August but the Board of Trustees will be convening a second Board Retreat in September followed by the September board meeting. Following on from these events, we will be scheduling open forums to provide the opportunity to engage members of the congregation in conversations about our goals and our financial gap. Look for announcements soon.

I would like end with the words of Rabindranath Tagore:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. 
I awoke and saw that life was service. 
I acted and behold, service was joy.

Paul G. Ward
President, Board of Trustees

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Mother Prayer

My mother broke her heart in two
and handed both halves to me.
She didn’t know what to say,
just handed me the pieces,
warm and full of her life’s blood.
It was all she had to give
and all I ever needed.

In the darkness of her womb
I learned to play with rainbows.
I grew in the cradle of her love.
Her body housed ghosts, too.
Many phantoms haunted her.
They hid in the chambers
of her miraculous heart.

I was born afraid of them,
--determined to be the exorcist.
But I, mere mortal, failed to heal her heart.

now her body returns to Mother Earth,
and her soul
flies to the Angels of Mercy and Light.
She rests against the infinite heart of Mary.

And I am here
holding her heart
worn thin with use—
I hold it inside of me,
wishing I could have satisfied the Divine
with my heart instead.
It’s younger.
It’s stronger.
It beats like any other
even if it’s in pieces too.

I’ve tried melding it back together with tears.
I hollow it out with wailing.
I let it beat.
But I have to let go.

Broken or healed.
Absolved or not,
the race awaits me.
Mom, I promise I’ll jump back in
and run and run and run
out-pacing the specters
until I break the speed limit of joy
and make both our hearts whole again.

Mother Prayer, a poem composed and read by Amy Douglas, presented at the 1stUUPB Sunday service, July 3, 2016.

The Cosmic Dynamic

How is it that my awe and wonder at the Universe
Is the reason I am here, evolved to this state
Of consciousness, awareness and expression?

And my attraction to organization and adaptation--
Its beautiful mystery unfolding-- ignites my power
To be a reflection of the Cosmos, contemplating itself?

And my inward journey, probing meaning of this moment,
Expands my participation in the web of life,
So I know that I am in loving connection?

This life energy, which I share with the stars,
Is cause to sing, dance, and play
To express the exuberance of it all,

Which some call God….

The Cosmic Dynamic, a poem composed and read by Judith Kraft, presented at the 1stUUPB Sunday service, July 3, 2016.

Celebrate Blooming

On your Bicentennial birth day
I vowed to match your perfection
By being a perfect mother
 A Mom for all seasons

I fell short, as you’ve said—
The reason:  Never thought
There was such harshness
That would hurt you so much

I cry at not having been
Able to protect you
From the pain & suffering
You’ve endured

They say “Brokenness
That hasn’t killed you
Makes you stronger”
What else explains your
Indomitable spirit of
Love & generosity,
Integrity, compassion--
A phenomenon
Manifested today
In your being
A mother to my garden--
You learned to meet
Special needs of each plant
Like you have met your own

Nestled gardenia
In embrace of family
Of mint, rosemary, & jasmine
You regulate its chemistry
Proportions of acid/ water
Light/dark, fertilizer/dirt

You model moderation:
Balance--not perfection-- to thrive

Behold more buds every day
A profusion of blossoms
Today, six waxen beauties
Permeate the air
With a scent for the gods

Celebrate Blooming, a poem composed and read by Judith Kraft, presented at the 1stUUPB Sunday service, July 3, 2016.