Affirming Flame

Services at 9:00 and 11:00 am


Celebration Sunday! “To Show an Affirming Flame”


Join our huge worship production including our entire religious education program, our entire choir, two ministers, and the Holy Spirit. (The latter has merely been extended an invitation, but we hope the spirit of generosity will join us in our Pledge Kick-off). Special coffee hour to follow.

Sunday, February 26 after each service. Have a tasty breakfast at church and support our high school youth in their June service trip to New Orleans. Want details or to help? Contact Nancy Moos at or Lori Shields at

CORC - Coalition Of Religious Communities 

Want to engage the state legislature with other Unitarian Universalists? The Coalition of Religious Communities builds on a broad base to engage shared values for compassionate change in social issues. This year’s focus is on ending youth homelessness. Join other Unitarian Universalists along with our Jewish neighbors at the State Capitol on Tuesday, February 28, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Check out the event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/218512665256777/. “Come tour the Capitol, meet legislators and help reduce the number of children who become homeless in Utah. We will meet in the Aspen Room, which is near the cafeteria in the Senate Building (located to the northeast immediately behind the Utah Capitol Building).


Parking at the Capitol is scarce. We recommend carpooling or finding a public transportation route at:
http://www.rideuta.com/Rider-Tools/Trip-Planner. For more information contact Bill Tibbitts at Crossroads Urban Center, or 801-364-7765 ex 107.

Rev. Matthew’s Congregational Life Report - Feb. 25th


-Submitted by John Rasmusson

When you read the Strategic Plan on the Church website, you’ll find it has a Congregational Life Objective that calls for addressing “the needs of our congregants in all stages of spiritual, theological and social development.” The plan stipulates that church leaders “will complete programming assessments and report on the results.” And so they will! On Feb. 25 at 9 a.m., our consulting minister, Matthew Cockrum, will report on his assessment of the Congregational Life Objective. Don’t miss this opportunity to see what progress we have made and where additional effort is needed. All are encouraged to attend and participate.

The Annual First Unitarian Church Fine Arts and Crafts Festival will be held on Saturday April 22nd from 5 to 10 pm and Sunday April 23rd till 1:30 pm. Artists: Please register using the online form found on the Arts Fair Registration Page . This is a fun family event with food and entertainment provided. Artists can show their art for fun at no charge. All sales are handled by the church. Church retains 25%, artist receive a check from the church for 75%. All arts and crafts welcomed. Display space is limited, so sign up early. If you have any question please contact Bill Reed at .

Social Justice Film - March 11th
-submitted by Barbara Taylor

The Social Justice Committee and Just Peace in the Holy Land invite you to a showing of the documentary, “the Settlers,” Saturday night, March 11, Elliot Hall and we would love it if you would come.


Trump who presented himself as a staunch supporter of settlement expansion during his campaign, has back pedaled in recent days. King Abdullah of Jordan flew to Washington, uninvited to give the president some advice: “Settlements are an obstacle to peace.” Luckily, the president often agrees with the last person who whispers into his ear.


However, since Mr. Trump’s inauguration Mr. Netanyahu’s government has announced the construction of 5,500 new houses in the occupied West Bank and has raised the idea of building the first entirely new settlement in years. He is still upset that the US (under President Obama) did not veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for building settlements.


Mr. Netanyahu might as well admit his intention is to physically break up the Palestinian territories so thoroughly that there is no possibility of a Palestinian state.
What is the motivation behind the settler movement? The Israeli government lures incoming refugees to move to the Occupied Territories by offering them condominiums, swimming pools, good schools, homes with no down payments and low interest rates. Others move there for religious reasons claiming the land was promised to them by God.


We will examine attitudes on both sides of the issue, Saturday night, March 11, 7 pm in Elliot Hall when the entire congregation is invited to view a film, “the Settlers,” directed by Jewish film maker, Shimon Dotan. We hope to have a lively discussion. Save the date.

Environmental Ministry News
-Submitted by Joan M. Gregory

2017 Environmental Ministry Series: Effective Action in a Trump Administration!


FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: BREATH OF LIFE Tuesday, February 21, 7PM Eliot Hall Facebook Event Page


Spectacularly photographed in Europe, Scandinavia, North America and Hawaii, BREATH OF LIFE travels the globe in search of the truth behind what appears to be a looming environmental catastrophe. Everyone is telling us how we are destroying our world. BREATH OF LIFE shows us why. This stunning documentary transcends the usual experts and captures the mind-bending insight of the world’s greatest evolutionary scientists, down-to-earth farmers and Hawaiian wisdom keepers. It will change forever the way you view the world and provide a roadmap to the future you can actually use. Following the film, we will explore the question: what does effective action look like in the face of the realities of climate change?


Co-Sponsors: Association for the Tree of Life, Climate Emergency Coalition, and Environmental Ministry – First Unitarian Church of SLC.

 

Be Part of the Solution! Let your Voice be Heard! The Utah State Legislature is in session!!

Websites for tracking legislation: Utah State Legislature: http://le.utah.gov/ - schedules, news, legislator contact information, a bill tracker http://le.utah.gov/asp/billtrack/track.asp and a direct link to the General Session: http://le.utah.gov/~2017/2017.htm. Find YOUR legislator: http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp. Many local organizations track bills of interest. Alliance for a Better Utah, HEAL Utah, Utah League of Women Voters, and Utah Clean Energy, are just a few. Let your Utah legislators know how you would vote on the legislation.


Nationally, there are many reasons these days for contacting your 2 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. Representative every day. What to call them about? Whatever you just saw in the newspaper or wherever you get your news. Call the capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask for your Senator or Representative by name, and give your zip code. [OR look up your Senators: https://www.senate.gov/ and Representative: https://www.house.gov/ and put their numbers into your cell phone]. Introduce yourself to the person who answers the phone letting them know you are a constituent, and ask to speak to your member of Congress (MoC). If your MoC is unavailable, ask to speak to the aide who deals with the subject you are calling about. If all else fails, leave a voice message for your MoC regarding your concerns or your support. If the phone line is constantly busy, send a message to your MoC via their web contact form, typically in the CONTACT section of their website.

-Submitted by John Rasmusson

Looking at a glass of water, the optimist says, “It’s half full.” The pessimist says, “It’s half empty. The consultant says, “It’s twice too big.”

Looking at First Church, the optimist says “It’s a flawless organization.” The pessimist says, “It’s riddled with problems.” The consultant says....
Come to Eliot Hall on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. to find out what Consulting Minister Matthew Cockrum has to say about our church as an organization after working with us for 18 months.


(Spoiler Alert: It is not twice too big, but it is not without flaws.)


After hearing the consultancy’s findings, congregants will have the opportunity to offer their own perspective on Matthew's report.
Please join Tom, Matthew and the church’s leadership cadre for this important event.


All are welcome.

Celebration Sunday Theme

-submitted by Julia Rossi

The theme of Celebration Sunday is ‘Show an Affirming Flame,’ the last line of a famous, albeit controversial, poem written by the famous poet, W. H. Auden in the throes of World War II. In an article written in the New York Times (shortly after September 11th), journalist Peter Steinfels asks “….would a contemporary version of the 1939 poem be found guilty of what has come to be labeled ''moral equivalence”? Was Auden shifting moral responsibility from totalitarian evildoers to past misdeeds by those under attack and to a universal human egotism in which everyone was more or less equally complicit?”

This poem was selected by Dylan Zwick, Chair of our Pledge Committee. Here are his thoughts:

Our theme for this year’s pledge drive, “Show an Affirming Flame”, comes from the final line of W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1st, 1939”. Written at the start of the Second World War, its title references the day Germany invaded Poland, and it became obvious and inevitable that, despite the horrors of their recent past, Europe and the world were to suffer war again. The poem is mostly a meditation and analysis upon the madness, both in human culture and the human psyche, that led to this disaster, but it ends with a pledge. The pledge is not a statement of uplift, but an affirmation of support for what is best within humanity, and a wish to stand with those who uphold it in the darkest times. We are now at the beginning of another version of madness in our own country. We have yet to see how far it will spread, and how much harm it will do, but we hope as a church and as a blessed community to show our own affirming flame within these times. I pledge as part of an effort, beleaguered by negation and despair though I may be, to do what I can within our congregation, our community, our country, and our world. I wish I could give and do more, but if we all give and do what we can, I believe we can fuel a powerful and beautiful chalice.

 

September 1, 1939

British Poet W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Listen to this poem read by Dylan Thomas (he includes some stanzas not in this version of the poem): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED4sN16x1ls

Celebration Sunday Theme

-submitted by Julia Rossi

The theme of Celebration Sunday is ‘Show an Affirming Flame,’ the last line of a famous, albeit controversial, poem written by the famous poet, W. H. Auden in the throes of World War II. In an article written in the New York Times (shortly after September 11th), journalist Peter Steinfels asks “….would a contemporary version of the 1939 poem be found guilty of what has come to be labeled ''moral equivalence”? Was Auden shifting moral responsibility from totalitarian evildoers to past misdeeds by those under attack and to a universal human egotism in which everyone was more or less equally complicit?”

This poem was selected by Dylan Zwick, Chair of our Pledge Committee. Here are his thoughts:

Our theme for this year’s pledge drive, “Show an Affirming Flame”, comes from the final line of W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1st, 1939”. Written at the start of the Second World War, its title references the day Germany invaded Poland, and it became obvious and inevitable that, despite the horrors of their recent past, Europe and the world were to suffer war again. The poem is mostly a meditation and analysis upon the madness, both in human culture and the human psyche, that led to this disaster, but it ends with a pledge. The pledge is not a statement of uplift, but an affirmation of support for what is best within humanity, and a wish to stand with those who uphold it in the darkest times. We are now at the beginning of another version of madness in our own country. We have yet to see how far it will spread, and how much harm it will do, but we hope as a church and as a blessed community to show our own affirming flame within these times. I pledge as part of an effort, beleaguered by negation and despair though I may be, to do what I can within our congregation, our community, our country, and our world. I wish I could give and do more, but if we all give and do what we can, I believe we can fuel a powerful and beautiful chalice.

 

September 1, 1939

British Poet W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
“I will be true to the wife,
I’ll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Listen to this poem read by Dylan Thomas (he includes some stanzas not in this version of the poem): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED4sN16x1ls

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