Sunday, December 6, 2020: Creating Christmas

Can you in your Conscience think, that our Holy Saviour is honoured, by Mad Mirth, by long Eating, by hard Drinking, by lewd Gaming, by rude Revelling; by a Mass fit for none but a Saturn or a Bacchus, or the Night of a Mahometan Ramadam? You cannot possibly think so.

— Cotton Mather, Grace defended: A censure on the ungodliness, by which the glorious grace of God, is too commonly abused. A sermon preached on the twenty fifth day of December, 1712.

Christmas is a much loved holiday in the United States, celebrated to some extent by Christians and non-Christians alike. But that wasn’t always the case. For a generation during the 17th century, all celebration of Christmas was banned in Massachusetts, as it had been in England after the Puritan victory in the English Civil War. For a century or more after the law banning Christmas celebrations was repealed, Puritan ministers like Cotton Mather continued to preach fiery sermons against such activities. When Christmas finally returned to respectability it was, we are told, largely through the encouragement of Unitarian and Universalist ministers and laypeople. Robert Helfer will share some revelations about this UU involvement in the creation of modern Christmas customs.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.
If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, November 29, 2020

“When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope.” – Henri J. M. Nouwen

This Sunday, Cricket Hall will give a lesson titled “Letting Go of the Life you Wished For”


We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.


If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, November 22, 2020

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” — Maya Angelou

This Sunday, John Hall will give a lesson titled “Thanksgiving of Healing”


We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.


If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

ILLUSTRATION BY TARA JACOBY found in this article

Sunday, November 15, 2020: The Hardest Principle?

The Principles are not dogma or doctrine, but rather a guide for those of us who choose to join and participate in Unitarian Universalist religious communities.

— Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove

Welcome before prelude

Good morning and welcome to West Fork Unitarian Universalists. I’m Robert Helfer and I feel blessed to serve this congregation as a lay leader. I’m glad to see all of you here today.

Thank you for joining us.

Let us use the prelude for centering. We are about to enter sacred time. We are about to make this time and this place sacred by our presence and intention.

Please silence your phones… and as you do so, I invite us also to turn down the volume on our fears; to remove our masks; and to loosen the armor around our hearts.

Breathe.

Let go of the expectations placed on you by others—and those they taught you to place on yourself.

Drop the guilt and the shame, not to shirk accountability, but in honest expectation of the possibility of forgiveness.

Let go of the thing you said the other day. Let go of the thing you dread next week. Be here, in this moment. Breathe, here.

Prelude: Breathe in, breathe out, Peter Mayer

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Sunday, November 8, 2020: Chop Wood, Carry Water

Axe in stump, man carrying water up a mountain to a cabin

The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.

Henry Moore

Much advice over the last four years, and especially the last year, has been focused on self-care. Much of religion, philosophy, and psychology is focused on purpose, usefulness, and caring for others. No matter what happens this week, we will have work to do. Lisa deGruyter will share some ideas about usefulness and the meaning of work.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.
If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, October 25, 2020

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

This Sunday, Cricket Hall will give a lesson titled “Listening to yourself – the difference between maintenance and indulgence.”


We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.


If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, October 18, 2020

“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.” – Dean Jackson

This Sunday, John Hall will give a service on the 5th principle titled “Listening to the least heard voices.”


We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting instead through the magic of ZOOM. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

Please Join us for Worship.


If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Curbing the Need to Be Right: Using Acceptance as a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Logic, reason, and science are often at odds with the spritual and the divine. How do we honor the 3rd Principle to accept one another and encourage spiritual development in our faith communities? Sunday, July 26th, John Hall will attempt to thread this difficult needle in our principles and perhaps find some new tools for dealing with the discomfort of other people’s “wrong” ideas and how to grow from it.

We will be meeting on Zoom. We will have a gathering coffee time at 10:30am and the service will begin at 11:00am. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using Zoom.

We would love to have you worship with us!

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic. But just because we are meeting online, doesn’t mean we can’t have guests.

This Sunday we are joining the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Morgantown as we worship with special musical guest Andrew McKnight.

The service he will present is called “Beyond These Walls, Beyond These Broken Hearts” Even as we navigate the daily uncertainties of pandemic life, we are bound by threads of grief and gratitude connecting across our physical isolation. Drawing lessons from our history and our ancestors, Andrew’s words and music help us reaffirm our empathy and our strength during our time of turning and metamorphosis.

We will be meeting on Zoom. The “doors” will open at 10:45am and the service will begin at 11:00am. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using Zoom.

We would love to have you worship with us!

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

 

Photo Credit: Christi Porter