Candlelight Vigil for Peace
Bring your family and join us for a remembrance for healing on Sunday, September 11, at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary. We will be commemorating lives lost over the summer in terror attacks in Orlando and Nice, as well as young black lives lost in
Minnesota and Baton Rouge, and deadly attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge. We gather to mourn the victims and to call for peace through words, meditation, and song. We unite to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion
in all human relations.
As I was away this summer, I kept hearing about tragedy after tragedy. I have to admit that
I was a bit relieved that, like my colleague Rev. Mark Stringer, “I did not have to be in the
pulpit immediately after the horrible events that seemed to pop up every couple of weeks while
I was away.” Like him, I was glad “I did not have to try to come up with something positive
and hopeful to say following the mass shooting in Orlando, the continued senseless murder of
black men by law enforcement, the tragic and deadly attacks on police officers, the massacre in
Nice. The list could go on and on, couldn’t it? What was there to say in the midst of the
onslaught of pain and sadness that seemed to arrive week after week?”
But in addition to the relief, it also bothered me not to be with you as these tragic things kept
occurring. It felt especially hard in the context of the political climate, with bigotry, racism,
lies and nastiness ruling the public discourse. And in the increasingly powerful gun culture
that scare gun owners and potential owners into thinking that elected officials will repeal the
Second Amendment, and seeks to deny the abundant evidence that gun control has reduced
gun deaths in countries around the world.
We would all be a lot safer with fewer guns. It occurs to me that police shootings have become
more common as the gun culture has increasingly created an armed citizenry. It is no longer
the case that only the cops have guns. Now that it is commonplace for people the police
encounter to be armed, the need for police to shoot before being shot has increased by a great
In order to address the feelings generated by the summer tragedies, the Care Team co-chairs
Pat Court and Margaret Nichols and I are offering a Candlelight Vigil for Peace at 7pm on
Sunday, Sept. 11 (also the 15-year anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers and the
Pentagon). I hope it can bring some healing and hope in these turbulent times.
I also want to bring your attention to our congregational covenanting process. Unitarian
Universalism is a covenantal faith, and it is our covenants with each other that define us as a
community of faith, both locally and on the denominational level. As Unitarian
Universalists we are bound by an implicit covenant, and yet congregations find that creating an
explicit covenant themselves can raise the level of understanding and commitment, and lead to
a greater awareness of the ways our faith can help us be in relationship and work toward
creating Beloved Community.
So be sure to stay after the service on Sunday, Sept. 25 to participate in the process of creating
a congregational covenant.
I’m glad to be with you for another year, and I look forward to many good things unfolding!
You can find me in my office on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, and I always
welcome a visit. You can also reach me by phone (ext. 22) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Gallery Night and Art in the Parlor
"Subject Matter: Black Lives" is an exhibition of art by two black artists from the Ithaca area--Terry Plater and Khalil Bey.
This is a significant show for our first of the new season and we are most happy to have these fine artists exhibit their paintings.
Terry has painted members of her family from photographs of family gatherings.
Khalil is a self-taught artist best known for his colorful pastel portraits of African-American lifestyles, prominent leaders and
big-eyed, hopeful children.
A reception will be held in the Parlor on September 2, during regular Gallery Night hours of 5-8 pm. The exhibition may also be viewed from 9 am - 4 pm M-F. The exhibition runs through October 13. Contact Gretchen Lindsay Ryan (email@example.com or 592-0716) or Carol Whitlow (firstname.lastname@example.org or 272-6529).
Important Congregational Meeting Sunday, September 25, 12:00 pm
After the service on September 25, we’ll meet as a congregation to finalize our Congregational Covenant. At this meeting the Board will offer a draft for your approval. The draft will incorporate the input you have provided on the sample covenant form. (If you haven’t given your input yet, the form is included in the September newsletter.) Your participation
in creating a Congregational Covenant is crucial. Please attend the meeting on September 25th.