The Advance — May 2010

From Frieda

Catholic priests who abuse children, teenage pregnancy, sex trafficking, the sex lives of famous people, the debate about access to abortion, the fight for gay-marriage rights, the rape of women in the Sudan and Congo, AIDS, our sexualized advertising, and the easy access to pornography on the Internet — there are few vital news stories in our world these days that don’t involve sex and sexuality. That’s one reason why I feel that our Unitarian Universalist sex education program, “Our Whole Lives” or “OWL,” is the most important religious education curriculum we offer.

The OWL program gives age-appropriate information about our sexuality, birth control, safe sex, gender, and sexual identity. More important is that it allows a group of young people — boys and girls — to talk to one another and to adults about their questions and concerns. The focus is on integrity in relationship so that youth, more aware of their feelings, options, and choices, will be able to communicate and act in a way that is beneficial to them and sensitive to others, in a variety of situations. The advisors and guest speakers offer their own experiences and perspectives, creating an atmosphere of openness and trust.

The group of sixth and seventh graders who finished their OWL program at the end of March really appreciated their advisors, Jim Lynch and Patty Rhode. All of us owe them a debt of gratitude for their commitment to this Sunday afternoon program over many weeks, and for the training they undertook to facilitate the curriculum.

Fred Mills arranged for one of the young people at the First Universalist Church in Salem to join in the class, a great connection with a sister church that will likely be ongoing.

If you have friends with young teens who could benefit from this program, don’t hesitate to tell them about it. They would be welcome to join the class next year.

See you in church!

Congregational Call to the Annual Meeting

Jennifer Revill, Moderator

May 2, 2010, following the church service:

  • To elect officers of the NSUU Church as presented by the Nominating Committee.
  • To hear the report of the Investment Committee.
  • To hear the report of the Treasurer and to vote on the budget.

Please be sure to come and cast your vote!

May 2010 services

May 2, 10:30 a.m. “Deep in the Soil the Seed Unfolds.” Rev. Frieda Gillespie. We are completing our second year together and for some, our progress toward growth may seem very slow. How might we prepare our soil for new growth? What crops would we like to see emerge? Let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished in two years and at what might be our next steps. Plan to stay for the Annual Meeting!

May 9, 10:30 a.m. “Life, Love, and Loss.” Rev. Rona Tyndall, Pastoral Care Coordinator, Hospice of the North Shore. Rev. Tyndall will draw on the poetry of a variety of writers as well as her experience of working with dying people and their families.

May 16, 10:30 a.m. “You Just Can’t Myth.” Michael Hall. The term “mythology” has many connotations. For some people, myths are the universal symbolic language of humanity; for others, mythology merely means a dead religion, the Latin of the soul. Still others use the term pejoratively, considering myths to be examples of primitive and inferior religion. What is the significance of myth for postmodern Unitarian Universalists in a largely Christian America? Mr. Hall has just completed his master of divinity degree at Andover Newton Theological School. For the past two years, he has served as support minister for the Unitarian Congregation of Mendon and Uxbridge; in September, he will begin his internship at the First Parish (UU) in Framingham.

May 23, 10:30 a.m. “Joy, Growth, and Discovery.” Fred Mills, Director of Religious Education. Join us for our annual Religious Education Sunday, and help us celebrate our children, our teachers, and our shared faith. For the past year our children have continued their exploration of church and faith. We have had the advantage of a great group of teachers and parents. RE Sunday is an opportunity to thank them.

From Fred

It is spring, a time when the thoughts of all RE directors turn to teacher recruitment, registration, and plans for the future. During the month of May, a table will be set up in our Fellowship Hall; please take the time to fill out a brief registration form for next year.

Fixing Behaviors That Drive You Nuts. Parents love their children, but sometimes it is hard to love the things they do. On Saturday, May 8, Brian Orr will be offering a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. Dr. Orr has been giving this workshop around the North Shore for more than eight years. The author of two parenting books, Brian has written over a hundred parenting articles that have been published across the country. Please join us from 9:00 to 12:00 for a morning of parenting discussion.

Find It on the Web. By now I am sure you have discovered the Northshore Church’s website. It is a great place to visit, lovingly maintained by Dan Kennedy. On it you will find links to religious education sites, as well as timely church news. In fact, as you read this newsletter you may be on the site right now. “The Voice from the Little Chair” provides a link to the Sunday morning stories. Let me know what you think of them.

Among Ourselves. Lydia King recently grabbed first place in a local road race. I doubt this will be the last time I write that line! Last month a number of our church school members visited Orlando, Florida, and came home safely with great tales.

A Large Thank-You. I echo Frieda in expressing our thanks to Jim Lynch and Patty Rhode for their extraordinary gift of time and effort in facilitating the OWL program. I know that both parents and children appreciate this gift

The $100 challenge

At the close of the Easter Sunday service, Frieda invited those who wished to participate in a spiritual challenge that involved money to raise their hands. These people were then asked to count off in threes, to form three groups. She handed one person from each group an envelope. Inside was a parable Frieda had discussed in her sermon, along with a hundred-dollar bill. Each group was challenged the use their $100 creatively to do the most good they could in six months’ time. They would then share their experiences at a service in the fall. The group leaders are Jennifer Revill, Tom Duff, and Jim Lynch. Let’s all cheer them on!

Social Action Committee

Share the Plate. During the May 23 service, Northshore UU will “share the plate” with the Food Project. A nonprofit organization that grows organic food in sustainable ways, the project at the same time incorporates the next generation of growers via its youth programs. The food goes to local markets, restaurants, and food pantries. The project works in various areas around Boston, including Lincoln, Lynn, and Beverly. For more information, check out its website at http://thefoodproject.org/our-farms. And make your checks payable to the Food Project.

Sunday-night suppers at Lifebridge. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered at the church’s Sunday night suppers at Lifebridge and/or donated money for buying food. We have a full complement of helpers for the May 23 supper. However, we still need volunteers for June 27, July 25, and August 22. Please check your summer schedule and see if you can sign up for one or more of these times.

Danvers Food Pantry. NSUU is still collecting nonperishable food items for the Danvers food pantry. Donations can be left in the box in the Fellowship Hall.

Ethical eating discussions. On March 28 the Social Action Committee began a series of discussions about ethical eating. After enjoying a delicious lunch and watching a segment from the movie Food, Inc., the twenty-one people in attendance broke into smaller groups for discussion and later reconvened to share thoughts and ideas. Many proposals for action emerged, including one for an “ethical eating” cookbook with recipes from the church’s membership! At the April 25 meeting (still to come as of this writing) we will decide if there is sufficient interest to hold a meeting on May 23 to plan future actions based on the proposed ideas.

Gay Pride Parade. The Social Action Committee is organizing a group from the church to march in Boston’s Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, June 12. If you’d like to march, please sign up on the sheet posted on the Social Action Committee bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. According to our bylaws, in order for the marchers to carry NSUU’s banner, the entire congregation must approve. We will take that vote on Sunday, May 2, during the annual meeting. Please come and vote, and please join us for the march!

Next meeting. The next meeting of the Social Action Committee will be on Monday, May 10, at 7:00 pm. We welcome new members. Contact Lois Markham for the location.

Ferry Beach Weekend (May 14-16)

There’s still time to register (but do it right away!)

If your life is too busy … that’s a reason to come to Ferry Beach!

If you are longing for friendship and community … that’s a reason to come to Ferry Beach!

If your spiritual, physical, and emotional reserves are running a little low after a long winter and early spring … that’s a reason to come to Ferry Beach!

Ferry Beach is a place to reconnect with yourself and your family, to feel wonder and awe as you contemplate the sea and the towering pines, to meet new friends, to have the luxury of time for thoughtful conversation, to journal, to sketch, to make music, or to finish that novel you have been waiting to read. Enjoy coffee on the porch and fabulous meals, take a beach walk, join an intergenerational volleyball game, or participate in the talent show.

We share this Unitarian Universalist conference facility with friends from the UU congregation in Medford, and we look forward to activities and events that will enable us all to get to know one another better. Talk with Marty Langlois or Gail Forsyth-Vail after a Sunday service, or give a call or e-mail (978-352-5571; glfv {at} verizon {dot} net).

The per-person cost for dormitory accommodations and all meals is $120 for those aged 13 or over, $70 for those 5 to 12. A camp site is $35 for the weekend plus $40 per person for meals. Or you may come for the day on Saturday from breakfast into the evening; or for the meals, chapel service, and activities on Sunday for $30 per day per person. Children under 5 are free. There is a $350 ceiling per family; reduced rates are available for families in need (speak to Gail).

Half of your total is due as a deposit by May 2 to hold your reservation, with the full amount due by May 9. Please make checks payable to NSUU or UUCM, with memo line “Ferry Beach Weekend,” and pay at church.

Mass Bay Spring Conference

Don’t forget the annual spring conference of the Mass Bay District, this year on Saturday, May 1, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, at the First Parish Church in Weston. The topic is “Using Social Media to Fuel Congregational Mission.” For a fee of $45, learn about many of the new technologies and their relevance to the UU faith and the purpose of our congregations. To register, go to http://www.mbduua.org/programs-events/spring-conference/

The Langlois/Lynch family

By Marty Langlois, Jim Lynch, and Martha Ardiff

Marty Langlois and Jim Lynch met at Mass. General Hospital, where she was a nurse and he worked part-time as a clerk while finishing college and beyond. Marty says, “We lived together in Boston for a couple of years, then moved to our new home in Beverly in August of 1975, got a dog license, then a marriage license (in that order), and got married in our backyard on September 20, 1975. It never occurred to Jim to change his name to Langlois when we married.”

Jim grew up in Charlestown, a predominantly Irish-Catholic community that is part of Boston. “I practiced Roman Catholicism until I was in my late teens. I stopped after having attended a Jesuit college for a year.” Marty grew up in southeastern Massachusetts with maternal Congregational and Methodist church roots. “My dad was a non-practicing Catholic except in emergencies (but that’s another story…).” Besides going to nursing school, Marty received a B.A. in Political Science from UMass Boston in the ’70s. “Religion kind of dried up for me, I felt no need or desire to be in church and clearly declined any soul saving or subscription to fundamental religion.”

She continues: “My good friend Christie Robinson, a nurse at MGH, raved often about NSUU, which she and her husband attended. In 1975 we went with them to NSUU’s OctoberFair. The next fall, while I was pregnant with Patty, I felt drawn to go to church and attended a service. When I came home, I said to Jim, ‘This is the place for me; I hope you want to come too. ‘The rest is history. NSUU is a great fit for both of us.” Jim says, “Part of my impetus in joining the church was Marty’s pregnancy with Patty. At the time I thought that a child growing up in the U.S. has to have some context regarding religion. I began attending and was hooked.”

Marty and Jim both left MGH in 1977 and moved with their infant daughter to Pittsburgh, where Jim entered the Carnegie-Mellon M.B.A. program. Marty worked full time as a nurse practitioner, but she says, “The hardest thing about that move was leaving NSUU.” When Jim graduated in 1979, the family moved to Akron, where he got a job with B.F. Goodrich, and where Kate was born in January 1980. Marty says: “All of 1981 we had ‘had it’ being so far from home and NSUU. We agreed to put the house on the market, look for jobs, and if all else failed, move back with my family — jobs or not — by June 1982. Jim got a job with Digital in May 1982 and moved ahead of me. It was a terrible housing market, but two weeks before I moved home with the girls in June, our house sold! We lived in North Concord (Mass.) for a year and finally landed back in Beverly in 1983. Jim stayed at Digital for nine years.”

The family has been to Ferry Beach almost every year since Jim and Marty came to NSUU. Patty first attended at age 7 months and continued into adulthood, bringing her husband and son. In 1980, when Kate was an infant, the family went to Ferry Beach during their summer vacation. During their year in North Concord, they all attended NSUU and Ferry Beach. “Most people probably know me as the Food Guy at Ferry Beach,” declares Jim. “For over twenty years members prepared their own meals there. I was in charge of purchasing the food and overseeing its preparation for five meals beginning with Saturday breakfast.” Marty helped with the food organization, of course, and says, “I was most silly in the melodramas we put on at Ferry Beach in the ‘70s. We laughed so hard and had such great times!” Both girls performed in the Ferry Beach talent shows. Kate became the talent show organizer when she was about 12 years old and continued until she graduated from high school.

Patty and Kate grew up in the RE program and still recall Rosemary Broadbent’s services for children and learning to meditate from her. Both girls attended the AYS program (About Your Sexuality, currently the OWL program) and felt it gave them many advantages in life. Both girls babysat during church services.

Patty, now a massage therapist and yoga teacher, is married to Michael McPhail, a professional carpenter who specializes in finish work. Their children are Nathan Michael, age 2-1/2, and Leah Elizabeth, born this past Easter Sunday. “We are blessed to have them live with us in Beverly,” says Marty. Jim adds, “I particularly enjoy being part of our grandchildren’s lives.”

Marty reports that “Kate is now a full-time student at North Shore Community College, doing very well academically and enjoying being an ‘adult learner.’ She and TJ Peckham live in Gloucester, where both of them work for the Cape Ann Brewery — Kate as a barmaid part time and TJ in sales and marketing. They are often seen around town in a rehabbed Volkswagen bus with the brewery logo on it, and on the side, two spigots that dispense beer, no less!”

Marty and Jim have both been in the NSUU singing group “forever.” Marty comments, “Jim and I have NSUU woven into our souls.” Marty has been on the church board, organized untold numbers of OctoberFair Natural Food rooms, participated in two sessions of Cakes for the Queen of Heaven, served on the transition committee during our ministerial search, assisted in organizing our Welcoming Congregation committee, and ultimately helped secure the Welcoming Congregation certificate from the UUA. “I have felt the honor and spiritual growth that our church affords us all in being able to speak from my heart to one and all during a church service.” She recalls: “I was blown away one Sunday when Jim spoke at a Roots Service. Patty and Kate were there too, and we were brought to tears hearing his from-the-heart memories of his family of origin and of our family as well.”

Jim has participated in and chaired the annual pledge drive and has served as church treasurer. He particularly liked being moderator of the annual meeting. “I taught RE and participated in the Youth Group’s Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives programs. I was fortunate to be nominated by Marty to participate in the Ministerial Search Committee when Ed Lynn retired. In turn, I nominated her to be part of the committee. Our only stipulation to the board was that only one of us would be part of the committee if chosen. I ended up being on the committee, and it was a terrific experience that resulted in Frieda’s becoming our new minister.”

Marty followed Patty’s example by becoming a yoga teacher, but for most of her professional life she has been as a nurse practitioner in occupational health and in hospital health and safety. “For almost fifteen years now I’ve worked for a program called PACE, taking care of frail elders and helping to keep them in the community where they wish to live. It is the most satisfying work I have ever done.” Marty has coronary artery disease that was relieved several years ago by stents.

At age 54 Jim started taking tai chi and then martial arts. He says those years were great for body conditioning and mental focus. He too has coronary artery disease, and had two rounds of stents being placed in his main coronary artery. “That seemed to work well for a couple of years. Last June 17, however, I suffered a brief period of Death. While at the Y in Beverly, I collapsed in the locker room. Fortunately a doctor was there at the time and the Y had the right equipment to resuscitate me. One week later I underwent open-heart surgery and had a quadruple bypass procedure. Everything looks good now. Between that outcome and Leah’s birth, all in all it’s been a pretty good year!”

What’s new at NSUU.org

Ever wonder who’s reading our church website? There’s no way of knowing for sure. But based on statistics provided to us by our hosting service, WordPress.com, the overwhelming majority of readers are people who are looking for a UU church.

Since NSUU.org was re-launched in the summer of 2008, we have received 359 online visits from individuals who located us through the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Find a Congregation” Web page. Another 70 were visitors to the Massachusetts Bay District’s website.

Oddly enough, 71 visits to NSUU.org came through IpswichMA.com, the only community site on our list of referrals. That suggests a possible marketing opportunity: if there are other community sites with religious directories, we should find out about them and make sure we are listed.

Reminder. Please check out our Facebook group, a place where you can share news, conversation, and photos with other church members. Just click “Find us on Facebook” at NSUU.org.

Dan Kennedy
Editor, NSUU.org

Upcoming NSUU art exhibit

Artist Sean Palmatier is presenting “Force of Will,” an exhibit of his nonrepresentational abstract paintings, in the church Meeting Room from May 2 through July 31.

“My paintings are inspired by the classical and modern traditions of Art but also by mythology, science-fiction cinema,” says Mr. Palmatier. His art is expressed through forms that intertwine and break apart in a living environment, with space and characters that change as necessary for reality itself to hold together.

“More recently I have come to know these ‘expressive elements’ as you would characters in a play. Three of them, so far, that influence the world are depicted in my canvases. One is usually dominant but they are all ever-present to maintain the balance between each other. As I explored these characters, it seemed only fitting to give them names.” (King, Hand, and Ragdoll are three of his characters.)

For more information on the artist, visit www.seanpalmatier.com/statement.html and www.artbreak.com/palmatier, or e-mail him at seanpalmatier {at} yahoo{dot} com.

Painless Fundraiser

Easy Instructions

  1. Locate a Crosby’s Market convenient to you.
  2. Take some vouchers with you.
  3. Shop at Crosby’s, starting April 25.
  4. Present a voucher to the cashier when you pay.
  5. Repeat through May 15.

The church gets 5 percent of your purchase amount; you get great meats, produce, organic groceries, precooked foods.

Go to https://nsuu.org/2010/04/22/our-painless-fundraiser/ for printer-ready vouchers, maps, and details.

May 2010 calendar

The Rev. Frieda Gillespie’s office hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (other times by appointment). Church office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For up-to-date information, see our online Calendar of Events at NSUU.org.

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