Events

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.

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

On the day of the inauguration, Friday, January 20th, First Church will host an Interfaith Prayer Service. Please join us at 9:00 a.m. for an infusion of hope, love, and prayer.

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m.. Our church will host the annual remembrance for Down Winders. An Interfaith group of clergy will join Tom Goldsmith in exploring the effects of a nuclear world. The choir will join the service.

On the day of the inauguration, Friday, January 20th, First Church will host an Interfaith Prayer Service. Please join us at 9:00 a.m. for an infusion of hope, love, and prayer.

Call for Solstice Singers:
We need singers for the annual Winter Solstice service here at First Unitarian Church. Teens and adults from our congregation are encouraged--and needed!--to join with members of the Chancel Choir to sing at this special event. Four rehearsals are scheduled, each Tuesday beginning November 29, at 7:00 p.m. The Solstice celebration will be Wednesday December 21, at 6:00 p.m. (Note the different day of the week.) If you enjoy singing, can make it to most of the rehearsals--and the performance!--and would like to join this fun and rewarding experience, please email Holly at to get involved.

Religious Education ColumnJulie Miller, Director of Religious Education

Do you dread it or embrace it? There’s no escaping the fact that from October through January, our church routines are chock-a-block full of events and celebrations. Last week, our families with younger children attended our annual Halloween Party in Eliot Hall. We hosted nearly 100 people who truly enjoyed an evening of food, crafts, music and, of course, some very inventive costumes. Money raised during this event goes to the lower and upper divisions of the RE program, either for Sandwich Sunday supplies (lower) or the service trip (high school youth). The evening culminated with a group sing-a-long at Friendship Manor led by David Owens and our Junior Choir.


The next two events we’re heavily involved with are the Christmas Pageant followed by the Winter Solstice service. This year, the Pageant is based on a children’s book The Last Straw by Frederick Thury. The Pageant is set for Sunday, December 18th at the 11am service only. We need gifts or trinkets for our camel to carry to the Baby King plus any costumes that reflect the early Christian era—think desert inhabitants. Please bring your donations for our Pageant play to the RE office or to a box marked PAGEANT in the Little Chapel.


The beauty—perhaps it’s a curse!—of doing these pageants is that there are very few rehearsals. This year, the most likely rehearsal dates are December 10 and 17—Saturdays 9:30am to noon. We’re encouraging children and youth to participate this year. You can sign up online or the old-fashioned way by paper and pencil in the classrooms or at the RE Welcome Table.


Soon after the Pageant, we hold our annual Winter Solstice Service on Wednesday December 21st. The service begins in the Sanctuary at 6pm followed by another excellent communal meal served in Eliot Hall and hosted by our high school youth. Plan to celebrate with your immediate clan and extended family as we gather to embrace the season of returning light. This ancient cultural phenomenon is a multi-generational event that incorporates music, dance, poetry, reflection, food and drink, and is appropriate for all ages.


Further, the Solstice Service lets us recognize our role in the Web of Life, affirm our earth-centered values and revel in the beauty of the coming light. This is also a fundraiser for our high school youth trip in 2017. Ticket sales start soon and a word to the wise: buy early as this event is sold out every year!



Just Around the Corner

  • Remember our clothing drive. Donate gently-worn clothing items for infants through teen years. Donation boxes will be located in the Little Chapel or bring your items on Monday November 7 for Family Fun Night.
  • Sanctuary Sunday, November 6th: Family Chalice Lighting shared by Megan Anderson, Steve Boyer and the children Jaxon and Asher.
  • Family Fun Night, Monday November 7, Eliot Hall, 6pm. Service Project hosted by Lissa Lander Play rehearsal runs concurrently with the family event.
  • Remember: Daylight Savings ends on Sunday November 6

 

The Music Department at First Church is pleased to host an evening recital of British Humorous Music on November 14th at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary. Longtime musical friend, Baritone Keith Trickett, will offer his musical musings at this benefit recital for The Homeless Youth Shelter. Keith's recitals are always a pleasure and this one is sure to be a special delight. Joined by accompanist Emily Williams, this will be an entertaining and worthwhile evening. Please come !!!

A Suggested Donation of $10 will gratefully be accepted at the door, and following the recital a full reception will be held in Eliot Hall. If you have questions, please feel free to contact David Owens 801-390-0488