This Sunday’s service: “Making Music, Making Meaning”

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Please join us for our last lay-led service of the summer this Sunday, August 24, titled “Making Music, Making Meaning.”

Inspirational music has always played an important role in American society and in our growth as individuals. Most of us have memories of songs that hold particular meaning for us. Our Unitarian traditions alone are a rich and diverse source of songs about belief, social justice, healing, relationships, emotions, aspirations, peace and war that continue to inspire and sustain us. This will be a participatory service of words and music that explores some of our best. Please come prepared to share some of your favorites and to sing.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Following a one-week break for Labor Day weekend, our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.

Photo (cc) by ShalRath and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

This Sunday’s service: “Acceptance”

“Acceptance — A Beginning Rather Than an End” will be the theme of our lay-led summer service this Sunday, August 17. The service will be led by church member Brian Orr.

Acceptance has been described as the end point of a process. What if it was the beginning of new processes? What if we got to acceptance earlier? Could that improve our ability to respond in the moment? Dr. Orr will discuss the benefits of moving more rapidly to acceptance in our daily lives.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.

This Sunday’s service: “More Than Meets the Eye?”

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Church member Amy Tedford will be the guest speaker at our lay-led summer service this Sunday, August 10. Her topic, “More Than Meets the Eye?,” will explore the connection between humans and animals. She explains:

Several encounters with wild animals and domestic pets have caused me to wonder if there is some psychic connection between humans and animals. Telepathy? Good vibes? Body language? Or a possible connection held over from our animal past?

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.

Photo (cc) by Chau kar Man and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

Needlework exhibit to be displayed in meeting room

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An exhibit of needlework by the late George J. Goddard, of San Antonio, Texas, will be displayed in the church meeting room from August 3 through September 26.

Mr. Goddard was born in 1916 and died at the age of 96 in 2013. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and later earned a Harvard MBA. He entered the Army Air Corps in World War II, served in the Air Force in the Korean War, retired from the service in 1966, and taught aircraft maintenance and materiel until 1971, when he retired for good.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, George enhanced his retirement by taking up needlework. Almost all his work was counted cross-stitch, usually on very fine canvas. He enjoyed whimsical topics as well as American Indian themes and fantasy — there be dragons! Many of the works were submitted to the Oklahoma State Fair, where they typically won first prize in their categories.  Our enjoyment of the pictures and pillows may be increased by the realization that George was colorblind.

The exhibit may be seen before and immediately after the 10:30 am Sunday services, or by appointment by calling 978-774-7582.

This Sunday’s service: Mental illness and social justice

Our lay-led summer service this Sunday, August 3, will be on the topic of “Mental Illness and Social Justice: The Next Frontier.” Our guest speaker and service leader will be Kelly Knox.

There is a tremendous amount of stigma in relation to mental illness. Stigma can lead to discrimination. Discrimination may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental illness or your treatment. Or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding you because the person assumes you could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to your mental health condition. You may even judge yourself. People who live with a mental illness deserve to be treated equally and without prejudice. Social justice should apply to all people including those living with mental illness.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.

This Sunday’s service: Reflections on Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is a larger-than-life figure in American history, poetry, and literature, and the subject of exhaustive academic research and cultural analysis. His works are vast and are tremendously meaningful to many of us.

In our lay-led service this Sunday, July 27, titled “Walt Whitman’s Blessed Imperfection,” we will set aside the historical personage and the analysis and simply see if we can join Whitman in his open, fluid stance, observing the world as he did: just as it is, completely flawed and simultaneously completely whole. The service leader will be longtime church member Jennifer Revill.

Bring a favorite Whitman poem or passage if you like, or read aloud one that has been pre-selected. The Essex Harmony, artists in residence at the Danvers Historical Society, will provide some 19th-century a cappella musical accompaniment.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.

This Sunday’s service: Life lessons from musical theater

Brynner_1977_programThis Sunday, July 20, our lay-led summer service will be presented by church member Lois Markham on the topic of “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Musical Theater.” Here is her preview of what to expect:

When I saw the movie version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” at the age of 11, I was hooked for good on musical theater. I was enchanted by the music and entertained by the story, but most important I was transported into a world way beyond the insular homogenized environment of my North Shore upbringing. For close to 60 years, my love affair with musical theater has taught me some important lessons about the larger world I live in. During this service, I’ll share some of those insights with you as we enjoy some familiar and not-so-familiar songs from musical theater.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by coffee and fellowship at about 11:30. Visitors are always welcome. Our regular church services and Religious Exploration Program will resume on Sunday, September 7.