First Church Orientation Session - Tuesday, May 9, 7-9 p.m. - New to First Church or Unitarian Universalism?  Wondering what you can expect or what the church expects of you?  Join Revs. Tom Goldsmith and Matthew Cockrum along with other newcomers and church leaders for this orientation.  Childcare available.  Reservations required.  Please reserve your spot via e-mail () or phone (801.582.8687 ext. 205) with names and contact info of those attending along with names and ages of children needing childcare.

First Church Info Session - Sunday, May 7, immediately following each Sunday service.  Meet Rev. Matthew Cockrum by the piano immediately following Sunday service to join him and other Hospitality Committee members for this brief, informal information session about First Church and Unitarian Universalism.  No reservation required.  Questions?  Contact Rev. Matthew Cockrum at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205.

Have we got a film for you. If you are gay, lesbian, Moslem, atheist, minority of any kind; if you have bee afraid to “come out” to your parents, if you have left the denomination of your family, if you have lived in a city where you didn’t fit in; we have a film for you. This is the story of 3 gay Palestinians who move to Tel Aviv to explore their sexual identity. “Oriented” will be shown Thursday, June 1, 7:00 pm, Eliot Hall. Sponsored by Tanner Center for Human Rights, Unitarian Social Justice Committee and Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land. Free. Panel discussion following 80 minute film. As Unitarians we try to build and more just and inclusive world.

Attention Committee Chairs! It’s that time of year again. Please send your committee reports to Jenni at by Monday, May 1st to be included in the Annual Report for the 2016-2017 church year.

Communication with those on the other side of the divide On Thursday, May 4th from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. in Eliot Hall, Dr. Wazir Jefferson will join Rev. Tom Goldsmith in facilitating a discussion on communicating with people on the other side of the divide. Our Social Justice Council has made learning to communicate with the conservative right and Trump supporters a top priority. This promises to be a lively discussion. No registration necessary. Just come join us.

Highway Cleanup: May 6 - Looking for a quick and easy way to help the environment, volunteer and connect with other UU’s at First Church?  Join the First Unitarian Highway Cleanup Crew on Saturday, May 6.  Carpool meets in the church parking (Northeast of the Church) lot at 9:00 a.m. and at the Utah Department of Transportation Station (Immediately North of the I-15 at the East Canyon Exit) at 9:30 a.m.  For more information please contact Todd Seymour at  or 801.783.7837.

Scottish Dancing and Lunch Plan to stay after 2nd service on April 30 for a light lunch followed by an afternoon of Scottish (and some English and Welsh) country dancing taught by Martha Veranth. Martha has been teaching dances at the Solstice party since 2009 and loves to get everyone of all ages up and dancing. The music and Martha’s instruction will have your feet flying in no time. Lunch will begin at 1:00, dancing by 2:00. The cost for lunch including Scottish shortbread and expert dance instruction is $12/person, $45/family.

Church Picnic June 11th - First Church Needs Your Help! This year’s picnic is Sunday, June 11, and we have several volunteer opportunities. Help is needed for a supplies and food run (Friday, June 9); hauling tables, chairs, food, etc. to Sugar House Park (Sunday morning), and set-up at the site; grilling hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hotdogs, mixing (soft) drinks, and assistance with cleanup. Religious education has offered to plan activities for our youth.  Volunteers to coordinate other youth or adult activities will be warmly welcomed. Contact Joe Herring at , or 801-440-5521.

Refugee Resettlement Committee Sweep the dust off your porch, wipe the frost off your windows and critically scan inside your house for vibrant living and dining furniture, table lamps, wall art, etc. Spot what you can do without, and can share with families of tired, bright faces new to the Salt Lake Valley arriving in need our help. Seize the item and call Joe DuBray (904-527-9773) or email () and someone from the RRC will pick it up, promptly, to welcome and brighten the Spring of a refugee family.

Social Justice film Have we got a film for you. If you are gay, lesbian, Moslem, atheist, minority of any kind; if you have bee afraid to “come out” to your parents, if you have left the denomination of your family, if you have lived in a city where you didn’t fit in; we have a film for you. This is the story of 3 gay Palestinians who move to Tel Aviv to explore their sexual identity. “Oriented” will be shown Thursday, June 1, 7:00 pm, Eliot Hall. Sponsored by Tanner Center for Human Rights, Unitarian Social Justice Committee and Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land. Free. Panel discussion following 80 minute film. As Unitarians we try to build and more just and inclusive world.

UU Lunch Bunch A family-friendly group for anyone and everyone who would like to get together for lunch and chat with like-minded people. Meet at the Restaurant on Sundays at 1 pm. For more information contact Sonia Carnell at (801) 262-1151 or .

  • April 30: Red Moose Coffee Company (1693 South 900 East)
  • May 7: Market Street Grill (54 West Market St.)
  • May 14: Provisions (3364 South 2300 East)
  • May 21st: Congregational Meeting - no lunch bunch today
  • May 28th: Flatbread Naepolitian Pizzeria (2121 S. McClelland, Ste. E)

Dinner and Dialogue  Due to the amazing and generous support of so many of you, our Dinner and Dialogue events have been going very well.  It seems that we are getting to know each other better!  Please feel free to host a dinner (or lunch or brunch if you wish) on a date and time of your choosing in your home, or sign up to attend one.  We have newcomers and old-timers alike participating, so be sure to look over the white binder at the Congregational Life Table in Eliot Hall to see what might interest you.   You can contact Darlene Thayne at suppers @slcuu.org or 801-455-6553 if you need any assistance on this.  Let's get acquainted!

Mindfulness Group Every Sunday, meditation is offered as a time to pause, practice calming our thoughts and setting an intention to be mindful in our daily life.  Guidance for developing meditation practice is shared along with suggested websites and reading. The community supports our intention to experience the benefits of being mindfully aware so that we may cultivate and live with calm, peace and ease.  All are welcome. Sundays Following the end of the first service, in the Parlor.

Communication with those on the other side of the divide: On Thursday, May 4th from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. in Eliot Hall, Dr. Wazir Jefferson will join Rev. Tom Goldsmith in facilitating a discussion on communicating with people on the other side of the divide. Our Social Justice Council has made learning to communicate with the conservative right and Trump supporters a top priority. This promises to be a lively discussion. No registration necessary. Just come join us.

Church Picnic June 11th - First Church Needs Your Help! This year’s picnic is Sunday, June 11, and we have several volunteer opportunities. Help is needed for a supplies and food run (Friday, June 9); hauling tables, chairs, food, etc. to Sugar House Park (Sunday morning), and set-up at the site; grilling hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hotdogs, mixing (soft) drinks, and assistance with cleanup. Religious education has offered to plan activities for our youth.  Volunteers to coordinate other youth or adult activities will be warmly welcomed. Contact Joe Herring at , or 801-440-5521.

I grew up in Southern California and attended college at the University of Redlands.  Professionally I am a CPA and have worked primarily in not-for-profit organizations in the areas of secondary and higher educational institutions as well as serving as the Church Administrator at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, California before moving to Chicago to join the administration at Meadville Lombard Theological School, one of our two UU seminaries.

In July I retired after 12 years serving as the Vice President, Finance and Administration at Meadville Lombard Theological School, sold the Chicago condo and moved to Sandy, Utah to join my husband, Klaus. Needless to say UUism has been a large part of my life for over 40 years so one of the first things I did was look at the two UU churches closest to our home.

Klaus has lived in Utah since being transferred here in 2003.  My daughter, her husband and three of the grandkids joined us from California in August so we are living the intergenerational life after being empty nesters for nearly 20 years. Our two sons are still in California as are my mother who just turned 92, my two brothers and my two sisters so we travel there often.

My involvement in Unitarian Universalism dates back to the 1970's at Neighborhood Church and I have recently joined the SLC Church since moving here last July. Over the years I served on just about every committee at NC and was President of the Board for 3 years from 1994-1997. I also served on the Pacific Southwest District RE Committee in the 80's.  I currently serve on the Association of UU Administrators (AUUA) Board as their treasurer and I am “in training” to join the UUA Fair Compensation consultants group.

I look forward to finding my place at First Unitarian and connecting with the people here.  Supporting our communities of faith is an important priority and I am proud to say that I have pledged my financial support to First Unitarian during the ongoing pledge drive.

Highway Cleanup: May 6 - Looking for a quick and easy way to help the environment, volunteer and connect with other UU’s at First Church?  Join the First Unitarian Highway Cleanup Crew on Saturday, May 6.  Carpool meets in the church parking (Northeast of the Church) lot at 9:00 a.m. and at the Utah Department of Transportation Station (Immediately North of the I-15 at the East Canyon Exit) at 9:30 a.m.  For more information please contact Todd Seymour at  or 801.783.7837.

Plan to stay after 2nd service on April 30 for a light lunch followed by an afternoon of Scottish (and some English and Welsh) country dancing taught by Martha Veranth. Martha has been teaching dances at the Solstice party since 2009 and loves to get everyone of all ages up and dancing. The music and Martha’s instruction will have your feet flying in no time. Lunch will begin at 1:00, dancing by 2:00. The cost for lunch including Scottish shortbread and expert dance instruction is $12/person, $45/family.

Prince Harry, known as a royal “bad-boy” who lives more by instinct than decree, surprised much of the world by pronouncing his need for therapy. The emotion of his mother’s death when he was only 12 finally caught up with him in his 20’s. Even the proverbial stiff upper lip, especially associated with royalty and the Brits in general, eventually succumbed to the reality of emotions peppered with tragedy.

There are threads of shame, and guilt associated with anyone “needing” mental health, as well as a chink in the armor of pride and self-reliance.  Many feel they may not be able to fix a broken a leg, but emotional pain seems to fall under the heading of “I can take care of it myself.” Unless there’s visible blood and body parts dismembered, society has fostered a disdain for leaning on the medical establishment for anything less.  A weak character is impugned especially when needing help to find one’s emotional equilibrium. Apparently this is the case even if one’s mother is Lady Di, whose death left a ton of questions unanswered.

Prince Harry, after consulting with his older brother William, finally sought the help he needed when he was in his late 20’s. Although therapy is never quite the panacea, it still helps us get back on track. And for those who insist on personal responsibility, much of therapy relies on the client to stitch his or her life back together again.

Yet the stigma (or ignorance) of mental health festers in society to the point where U.S. legislators deny its need to serve the public. New Republican versions of health care deliberately defund mental health needs as though it were inconsequential to the welfare and overall health of a person. Strength of character seems the rationale to discard mental health coverage. It’s mostly wimpy liberals who seek counseling anyway, or so the rumor has it. Mental health is viewed as an un-American activity. America is built on the shoulders of strong men and women.

The denial of mental health coverage in some new iteration of health care will prove detrimental to the public. The political right refuses to acknowledge that a broken spirit can be more devastating than a broken leg. Depression can be more debilitating than the flu.

Prince Harry broke with a tradition that tends to minimize mental health needs. Even royalty, as pampered as they might be, still suffer the ravages of emotional trauma. It’s part of being human, regardless in which station in life we find ourselves. We can pretend to resume business as usual after devastating life experiences, but the pain will always find us eventually. We owe Harry an enormous debt of gratitude. It’s not easy to expose oneself so publicly, but he put mental health back on the table for us all to reconsider. Let’s hope Congress has enough presence of mind to listen. TRG

As my departure letter stated, my last day of ministry with you is approaching, May 11.  In the coming weeks there will be many goodbyes...we may even tire of saying goodbye to one another.  By the end we may be wondering, “Aren’t you gone yet?!”  Friday May 5 in the evening will be a gratitude for ministry event in which Tom Goldsmith will be honored for his 30 years of service with you along with my two years.  Sunday, May 7 will be my last Sunday service with you.

One of the most enduring images for my ministry comes from “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  This tale about a pilot who has crash-landed in the desert and befriends a childlike interstellar traveller includes a vignette in which the Little Prince befriends a fox.  The fox asks the Prince to tame him, explaining that to tame means “to establish ties.”  “Once you have tamed me,” says the fox, “I shall know your steps as different from all others.  And the wheat-fields, which before meant nothing to me, shall remind me of you, for they are the color of your hair.  Before I had no use for wheat, for I am a fox.  But once you have tamed me they shall bring me back to you.”  When the time comes for the fox and Prince to part the fox cries, and the Prince exclaims, “But you asked me to tame you!  And now you are sad.  It was for nothing.”  “No, not for nothing,” replies the fox, “for now I have the wheat fields.”

I have loved this notion and carried it close to my heart throughout my ministries in congregations, hospitals and summer camps, with youth, elders, families, individuals, staff and volunteers.  It poignantly communicates the power of relationships, how they connect us and how we carry pieces of them with us wherever we travel, or wherever we remain.  In many powerful ways I feel as though I am made up of the pieces and relationships I carry with me from where I have been before, by those with whom I have engaged in a mutual taming process.

Thank you for taming me, Friends.  Thank you for showing up faithfully, along with me, for the ministry of this faith and this congregation.  Thank you for inviting me into your lives and the life of this community.  It has been a joy to be in The Work with you...the work of “nurturing and challenging spiritual and intellectual growth...actively engaging in building and progressive and just community.”

The Work, of course, continues, though we will be doing it in different ways and in separate places.  As my work shifts to hospital chaplaincy in Vancouver, Washington, I will turn my attention and energies there.  Though you remain in my heart I will refrain from engaging you so that you and I will have time and space to build new relationships for vibrant, powerful ministries.  I wish you all the best in your new ministry with my successor, once they are secured.  They will benefit from your focus and welcome.

Our Unitarian Universalist faith and ministry ethics ask that ministers and congregations refrain from contact for a period of at least a year after leavetaking occurs.  This helps ensure success of the ministers and ministries that follow.  Please know that my silence is an expression of respect - for you, for this future ministry and for the movement we share which is so deeply and desperately needed in the world today.  Please know, too, that Tom Goldsmith and I will continue to be in touch as colleagues and friends and that I will be available to staff if there are resources, connections or dangling threads that need completion and tying off.  Tom will be aware of my whereabouts and how to contact me.  Though I will not “unfriend” you on social I will also not seek you out and will not discuss church business.

Thank you for the wheatfields, my friends - in this case, the mountains, desert, red rock, bright sun, Jazz Vespers, Art Festival, Winter Solstice, Coming of Age...and all the unique things that make up this community of First Church and Salt Lake City.

In the words of the poet, ee cummings, who was raised a Unitarian and schooled at Harvard:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

I’ll be seeing you around this UU world we share.

 

Here’s to The Work,

Friends!Peace, Faith & Passion,

Matthew


More from Matthew

First Church Orientation Session - Tuesday, May 9, 7-9 p.m. - New to First Church or Unitarian Universalism?  Wondering what you can expect or what the church expects of you?  Join Revs. Tom Goldsmith and Matthew Cockrum along with other newcomers and church leaders for this orientation.  Childcare available.  Reservations required.  Please reserve your spot via e-mail () or phone (801.582.8687 ext. 205) with names and contact info of those attending along with names and ages of children needing childcare.

 

 

First Church Info Session - Sunday, May 7, immediately following each Sunday service.  Meet Rev. Matthew Cockrum by the piano immediately following Sunday service to join him and other Hospitality Committee members for this brief, informal information session about First Church and Unitarian Universalism.  No reservation required.  Questions?  Contact Rev. Matthew Cockrum at or 801.582.8687 ext. 205.

Enewsletter

Subscribe to our email newsletter

 

The Torch