Weekly Newsletter

High Country Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (HCUUF)
Weekly Newsletter: January 15-21, 2018
• Sunday Services
• Upcoming Service & Social Time, January 21, 2018
• Mediating on Winter
• HCUUF Weather Cancellation
• Touchstone Journal, January 2018
• Other News Sent under Separate Cover
• HCUUF Website
• Contact Information for Newsletter Announcements
• Contact Information for HCUUF
• Consulting Minister, Board Members, Committees, Musician, Staff
• Sunday Services
Our weekly Sunday Services take place in the Fellowship Hall of the Lord of the Mountains Church in Dillon, CO at 4:00 pm and are followed by a Social Hour or Potluck at 5:00 pm.  Potlucks usually occur on the last Sunday of the month. 
During 2018 we have had a short sabbatical during the months of May and October during which no services are held but other activities takes place from time to time.
• Upcoming Service & Social Time
January 21, 2018: Service & Social Time
Sermon Title: The Audacity of Hope, The Necessity of Justice
Speaker: Rev. Kirk Loadman Copeland
Join us as we explore hope and justice through the perspective of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and President Barack Obama.
Theodore Parker, a 19thcentury Unitarian minister, first spoke of bending the moral arc of the universe toward justice, which Martin Luther King beautifully paraphrased in 1958.
Hope without justice is demoralizing. Justice without hope may satisfy the letter of the law, but not the spirit.
We need hope to believe that this moral arc can be bent, and justice to keep bending it.
• Mediating on Winter
By Kirk Loadman Copeland, Consulting Minister
The Inuit (aka Eskimos), having lived for centuries in the Arctic coastal regions, have a rich native language to speak of the countless varieties of ice and snow. We are less articulate. Still, winter invites meditation, an encouragement to reflect, perhaps, on things for which we have no words. In the great spiritual traditions of the world, meditation is the discipline by which we move beyond words to what is. This essential “is-ness” is too immediate and complex and mysterious and sublime and simple to be captured in words. This is why the mystics are unable to speak directly about their experiences of encounter with ultimate reality. In this way they are like those poets and watercolor artists who convey as much with silence and empty space as they do with word and image. Perhaps this is the sacramental aspect of winter and art, to draw us into mystery without ever finally naming it for us. Patricia Hampl writes that, “Winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.”
Winter offers a way of being religious. As May Sarton said, in a tenderness of snowing, silence assumes the air. Dogmas and doctrines, creeds and decrees, questions and answers: so many words and so little understanding. Let us instead seek enough silence to protect us from the idols of our own certainty. Let our gaze return again and again to some familiar winter landscape, perhaps the one outside our kitchen window, or the surrounding mountains. Let us meditate on these like a verse from scripture, allowing them to teach us year-in and year-out what we still must learn and already know. With each meditation, we will become aware that the winter weather has altered the outer landscape, just as each day lived alters our inner landscape. The changes, though imperceptible, are cumulative. It is only by paying attention; perhaps the most religious act of all, that we understand that winter is not one season, but many. Even if we can not name the changes in snow and ice, we can learn to sense them. Even if we have no name for god, we can reach inside to touch that which lies underneath the snow, underneath us. Religion is not the word, but the experience. In her poem Snow Fall, May Sarton writes, “There is nothing to do / But drift now, more or less / On some great lovingness, / On something that does bless, / The silent, tender snow.”
Most people think that prayer is words. More often than not, it is silence. It is a way of opening ourselves to that which is. Jacob Trapp said that, “To pray is to listen to the revelations of nature, to the meaning of events.” In this way winter is a prayer without words. Do you understand that we need silence as the earth needs winter? Each, in its own way, is a path to new life. As Ruth Stout observes, “only in winter [and in silence]...can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” Let us not wish away the silence. It is a season to itself, not simply the way to something else.
• HCUUF Weather Cancellation
Happy winter and snow! This is what we (at least, many of us) having been waiting for.  And once again, the question of HCUUF cancellations arises.  For our Sunday service, decisions regarding cancellation will be made by Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning at the latest, by the Lay Leader and the Speaker.  Generally, when there is a Winter Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service, our service will be cancelled. Notice of the cancellation will be disseminated by email to others involved in the service and to HCUUF friends and members. 
HCUUF members should be watching the weather also, and checking their emails.  If a member or friend does not have email access, it is best to check in with someone who does, or ask someone to call them in the event of a cancellation.
• Touchstone Journal, January 2018