LAKELAND UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP
Collective Learning: TRANS 101
The Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (LUUF) was proud to host a workshop/presentation on January 17th titled Trans 101 as part of LUUF's commitment to building and maintaining an inclusive, caring, social-justice oriented faith community. The LUUF congregation and community was welcomed Montclair State University's Lavender Leaders who presented a collective learning about the lived experiences of transgender people and actions allies can take to ensure the wholeness and wellbeing of all members of our communities.
"Most Americans believe that the term "working poor" should be an oxymoron, "if you work full-time, you should not be poor," says director Roger Weinberg." But today one in four American workers, 30 million people, earn less than the federal poverty level for a family of four. I decided to follow the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose seminal work, Democracy in America, helped plant the seeds for what later became known as the American Dream. By revisiting the places he wrote about in 1831, and capturing the stories of a diverse group of Americans struggling to climb the economic ladder, we were able to put an intimate human face on the endangered American Dream."
Fugelsang says, "Tocqueville wanted to understand how America worked, and we wanted to see how America could keep working. We found the divisions and dysfunction in the areas he reported on: commerce, government, religion, and race relations, were still prevalent and festering today." Fugelsang's reflections are captured in a stand-up comedy monologue woven throughout the documentary.
Fugelsang hosted America's Funniest Home Videos and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, HBO, and NPR. Currently, he hosts a daily political comedy program called "Tell Me Everything" on the new SiriusXM Insight Channel.
Dream On is the 32nd documentary produced and directed by Weisberg for national public television. His previous films have won over 150 awards, including Emmy, duPont-Columbia and Peabody awards, as well as two Academy Award nominations.
Sunday, June 14th,
Guest Minister: Rev. Allen Wells
The service on June 14 was a special one of “Flower Communion,” a communion based on the exchange of flowers and unique to Unitarian Universalism. It was created by The Rev. Norbert Chapek in Czechoslovakia on June 4, 1923 as a way of celebrating the oneness of people while respecting their diversity. It is held by many UU congregations in June, as congregations enter the less active summer season. It celebrates the essential spirit of Unitarian Universalism. It has also become a service of remembrance of The Rev. Chapek who was subsequently arrested by the Nazis during their occupation of Czechoslovakia and executed at Dachau in 1942. In a broader sense it has become a celebration of all those who have given their lives to preserve religious freedom. Each member or guest was asked to bring a flower to contribute to the communion. In the service they were exchanged and each person left with a flower contributed by someone else.
Sunday, May 3rd
THE MERRY MERRY MONTH OF MAY
Guest Speaker: Cynthia Lightbody
Longtime LUUF member and Cynthia Lightbody presented a May Day program on May 3 at 11a.m.
“May is awash with flowers blooming, trees leafing, animal babies being born and lovely, sunny days,” Lightbody noted. “It makes us feel young again. Join us in this celebration, complete with songs and a Maypole dance.”
Lightbody has studied and practiced the spiritual traditions of many diverse cultures. The Maypole was set up outdoors, in the north garden area, and everyone was invited to take part in the dance to decorate it.
Sunday, April 12th
Guest Speaker: Min Mulholland
During the April 12th service, Guest speaker and LUUF member Min Mulholland examined the possibility that our society may be “Recovering Empathy” in response to our many current crises. Mulholland said, “The remarkable slogan, ‘We are the 99 percent,’ sprung from the Occupy Wall Street movement, continues to trigger our emotions. It is widely believed that income disparity, social inequality and the endangered biosphere are at peak distress; not surprisingly, the pooling of resources to benefit in common is of heightened interest. These crises may stir the desire for more compassionate regard in all our relationships– social and environmental.”
The provocative talk was part of a full program featuring wonderful performances by guest musicians, Charlie, Marie and Himmel.
LAKELAND UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP SCREENS DOCUMENTARY ON STATE OF AMERICAN DREAM
A special screening of Dream On, a new film about the state of the American Dream with political comedian John Fugelsang, was held on Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 231 Parish Drive, Wayne, N.J.
In Dream On, Fugelsang retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose study of our country in 1831 came to define America as a place where anyone could climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Following in the Frenchman's footsteps, Fugelsang speaks with fast-food workers and retirees, prisoners and entrepreneurs, undocumented immigrants and community organizers about their hopes, dreams and daily struggles. Dream On explores whether the optimistic spirit of the American Dream is alive and well in the 21st century, or whether George Carlin was right when he quipped, "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it."