Sunday, April 24th

WHAT ABOUT THE WOMAN?

Guest Speaker: Steve Kneisel



Longtime LUUF member Steve Kneisel will present a sermon entitled “What About theWoman?” during the April 24 service.

This talk originally was delivered at LUUF in 1989 by the late Rev. Ray Pontier.  Kneisel reflects, “Safe and legal abortion was a hotly-debated topic then, and today it is hotter still. Since then, women's health clinics have been bombed and burned, health-care providers have been assaulted and assassinated, and the ‘pro-life’ movement has evolved into a political industry.” Kneisel will try to sift through the wreckage and rhetoric of violence to find evidence of resolution, in keeping with the Unitarian Universalist First and Second Principles: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person” and “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.”

Sunday, April 16

IS THERE A HAPPY ENDING?
Guest Minister:  Rev. Allen Wells
 Guest minister Rev. Allen Wells will mark Easter Sunday by posing the question “Is There a Happy Ending?” during the April 16 service, starting at 11 a.m.   Rev. Wells says, “This is a question many of us ask in the midst of a personal crisis—it is one of the oldest of religious questions. My answer is, ‘Yes, there is, but it may not be what you expect.’ Certainly it wasn’t for those who, long ago, yearned for a messianic age. They lost their leader on Good Friday and misjudged the meaning of Easter morning.”



                          Sunday, April 3rd
           IMAGINE THERE'S A HEAVEN
              Guest Speaker: Eileen Watkins



  

Longtime LUUF member Eileen Watkins will offer the program “Imagine There’s a Heaven” on April 3 at 11 a.m.   

Watkins observes, “People used to say, ‘We don’t know what happens after we die, because no one has ever come back to tell us.’ But now that modern medicine can revive a person who technically has ‘died,’ that may no longer be true.” She will look at highly credible reports of near-death experiences—including one by a respected brain surgeon—plus theories from quantum physics, that may provide new evidence of a complex Afterlife. How do they support or contradict our traditional ideas of Heaven?  

Watkins worked for almost 40 years as a journalist with The Star-Ledger and North Jersey Media group, and has published eight novels. She now writes fiction full-time.



                                     Sunday, June 5th


                  "WHAT I LEARNED

FROM BEING A HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN"


                      Guest Minister: Rev. Heidi Swarts 

​Guest minister Reverend Heidi Swarts will share the lessons from her experience as a hospital chaplain, during the 11 a.m. service on June 5.  
Rev. Swarts says, “I have been a chaplain intern and resident in the Mt. Sinai Health System in New York for about two and a half years. There has been so much to learn, from how to pray with patients to how to set your ego aside and really listen. And things I knew academically, as a social scientist -- for example, about the links between poverty, race and illness -- became up close and personal. Every one of us, though, may be called upon to use ‘pastoral care’ skills, sometimes when we least expect it.”


Sunday, Jan. 29th
The Women's March: Thoughts and Stories

Join us 11am, Sunday, January 29th at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship as we share stories of the Women's March, thoughts about its purpose, and discussion of what the next steps should be.

This past Saturday saw over 670 Women's Marches worldwide totaling well over 3 million  people.  Some of us participated in body, some sent support in the form of social media posts or monetary donations.  The morning after, police were reporting very little violence at any of the marches and no arrests at all at the 500,000 person Washington DC march.  Some people cheered this while others claimed that it showed weakness of purpose.  What do you think?  What should happen next?  Bring your own thoughts and stories to share, or just come to listen and discuss. 

         
​Sunday, Nov. 6th
Standing Rock: What Are We Doing?
Speaker: Carol Swift, LUUF President

Join us at LUUF Sunday, November 6 at 11:00 am as we look at the protests against construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline that are happening at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. We will review the issue that has brought hundreds of Native American tribes and thousands of protesters together. Beyond that, we will look at the actions of some of the different players: the protestors, the local authorities, the Federal government, the media, the social media, and the UN, as well as faith groups including Unitarian Universalists. What historical factors have brought us here, and as U.S. citizens, Unitarian Universalists and individuals, what are we doing? ​

 Sunday, June 4th
Guest Minister:  Rev. Allen Wells 

Creeds, Deeds and Needs
 
Guest minister Rev. Allen Wells will examine the wide range of beliefs within Unitarian Universalism in his sermon “Creeds, Deeds and Needs,” during the June 4 service. 
Rev. Wells says, “As Unitarian Universalists, we have for centuries affirmed freedom of religious belief and offered a community where each of us can develop an individual ‘creed.’  We also have come to believe that what do is more important than what we say, and so we have stressed deeds over creeds.  I will suggest a third step—to become more aware of the needs of others and ourselves. I believe that this understanding will lead us to more fulfilling action and a deeper spirituality.”
Following his service, Rev. Wells also will present a program entitled “The State of Religion Today,” with a particular focus on how it affects UUism, and will invite discussion of the subject.   
Rev. Wells most recently served as Consultant Minister at the Unitarian Society of Plainfield and Consulting Minister at the Skylands Unitarian Fellowship. He also is a former staff member of the DiMele Center for Counseling, New York City, and past president of the North Jersey Association for Humanistic Psychology. He also is one of 30 meditation teachers nationwide who have been accepted into the Integrated Study/Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, in Massachusetts.
The Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, along with other member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, aims to foster liberal religious attitudes and behavior. It supports the inherent worth of every person and the dignity of all humans everywhere, individual freedom of belief, the search for truth and the democratic process in all human relations.

Sunday, May 21st
Guest Speaker: Bill Baird

THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF PRO-CHOICE
 
Guest speaker Bill Baird will speak about “The Past, Present and Future of the Pro-Choice Movement” at the 11 a.m. service on May 21. 
 
Appointments of ultra-right judges to the Supreme Court under the current administration could spell the end for the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. Baird, a longtime activist for this cause, will discuss why the pro-choice movement has lost so much ground over the decades since that decision.
 
Baird began his crusade for reproductive freedom in 1963, after a horrifying personal experience. As clinical director for EMKO, a birth control manufacturer, he was doing research at a New York City hospital when a woman stumbled into the corridor bleeding, and died in his arms from a self-induced abortion. In those days, she had been denied access to safe, legal birth control as well. The shock of this moment spurred Baird into action. 
 
During the 1960s, he was arrested eight times in five states for lecturing on birth control and abortion, and was sent to prison for three months for a speech he gave to students at Boston University. He became the architect for five U.S. Supreme Court cases centered on birth control and abortion, most notably Baird v. Eisenstadt, which legalized birth control nationally in 1972. A year later, the Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal, as well.  
 
Last summer, Baird was featured on the National Geographic channel documentary “Original Sin” and recently he was filmed for another, upcoming documentary. New York Newsday has named him as “one of the 100 most influential people in the last 100 years.

Sunday, September 11th


 Water Communion Ceremony 
and 9/11 Anniversary Observance

Following a summer series of Sunday discussions, LUUF will kick off the fall season on Sunday September 11th, as regular Sunday service programming returns.  
 You are encouraged to bring a small container of water from someplace of significance to you, to take part in our second annual water communion ceremony.  The September 11th service will also recognize the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
                


PAST PROGRAMS

Sunday, March 26th
​Reflections on Unity

Unity. Being unified. It seems like a simple thing. Yet as we look to the past, both distant and more recent, we find the lack of unity as a main factor holding people back from accomplishing their goals.This is not a new realization. For thousands of years, powerful people and institutions, in order to keep or gain power, have worked to keep the less powerful from being unified. So why is it so difficult to unify, and so easy to to splinter people apart?  In this service,  we will look at what brings people together and what splits them apart. We will look at the story of the fight for LGBTQ rights as an example of a movement that made huge strides after having become unified. What can we learn from this to apply to today's struggles for the varied social justice issues so many of us support? We will look at the UULMNJ as a positive example of uniting for a variety of issues, and discuss what we can do to encourage unity in the movements we support.
You may read that question and say, "That's preposterous. Obviously they both are!" But not so fast. Whole academic disciplines are built on the assumption that we are a world of separate individuals who make separate decisions. In fact, Margaret Thatcher once announced, "There's no such thing as "society"!" 

At the other extreme, eminent social scientist Charles Tilly argues that the fundamental human unit is not the individual but the relationship between two individuals. Before I simplify things, I promise to make them more complicated--and show the consequences of both extremes.




                                       Sunday, Sept. 25th
                  UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM AND RACE:

                         WHY ARE WE SO WHITE 

                        Guest Speaker: Carol Swift, LUUF President


Unitarian Universalism's first principle recognizes "the inherent dignity of every person." It is no surprise then that UU's have been active in the most important social justice and racial justice movements in America's history, whether the abolitionist movement of the 1800's, the civil rights movement of the 1960's or the Black Lives Matter movement of today. With this in mind, why is the overwhelming majority of Unitarian Universalists white?





​ Sunday, January 8th

FREEDOM FROM FEAR
Guest Minister: Rev. Allen Wells

​Guest minister Rev. Allen Wells will talk about "Freedom from Fear" during the Jan. 8 service, starting at 11 a.m.
Rev. Wells says, "The more I reflect upon the place of fear in our lives, the more I see it as the major stumbling block to our spiritual depth and political progress. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned us against the "fear of fear, itself" and I believe he was right. If we can face fear, we can achieve the freedom that fear itself, surprisingly, can reveal to us."
 

Sunday, Feb. 19th
BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND IDENTITY

Black History Month has its roots in the 1920's. From the beginning the hope was that the day would come when Black History Month would no longer exist because black history would be fully integrated into American History. How are we doing in our pursuit?  As we look into our own internal understanding of American identity, what place does black history hold? Does our need for a Black History Month reflect a need to include and highlight contributions  of other specific groups in order to promote understanding of our interdependent society, or would this only help to fragment our internal identity of what an "American" is? 
Please come join us and share your thoughts.​

Sunday, Oct. 16th     11:00 A.M.​ 
         
FOUNDER'S DAY


 S
peaker:  Carol Swift, LUUF President

1962 was  a busy year in Unitarian Universalism. Congregations and organizations were springing up everywhere, and Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (LUUF) was one of them. 
Sunday, Oct 16 will be our Founders' Day Service. (LUUF turns 54 this month.) We look forward to hearing about our history from some of our long time members, as well as digging into our archives to see what we can find. 

Sunday, Dec. 4th
​​"GOD GIVES US GIFTS, AND WE DROP THEM"
​Guest Speaker: Rev. Heidi Swarts

Guest minister Reverend Dr. Heidi Swarts will speak on the topic "God Gives Us Gifts, and We Drop Them" during the 11 a.m. service on Dec 4th at the Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
   "This was a statement made by a patient I visited as a hospital chaplain," Rev. Swarts explains. "It is a starting point for us to consider the gifts we are given; how we identify our gifts and what they mean to us; what it means to 'drop' or waste a gift; and ultimately our capacity to forgive ourselves."  

Sunday, Jan. 15th
11:00 A.M.
​M.L.K 

Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 88 on January 15, 2017. Before he was assassinated 49 years ago, he called for unity and support from people of all colors, classes, creeds and ethnicities. Unitarian Universalists answered his call then, and carry on that tradition today. However, few things in life are simple and being an ally for racial justice can seem overly complex. Join us on January 15, as we examine the elements of being an ally in 2017, the issues UU's throughout the United States are rallying behind, and what we can do both individually and as a community to achieve the goals for which Martin Luther King, Jr. fought and died.​ Sunday, January 8th

Sunday, Nov. 20th
11:00 A.M. 
Guest Speaker: Donnalynn Scillieri 


Understanding and Embracing the Transgender Community

Professor and human rights advocate Donnalynn Scillieri will talk about “Understanding and Embracing the Transgender Community” during the 11 a.m. service .

Prof. Scillieri says, “We will travel the journey of transgender people (including) the hormone treatments, legal documents, employment discrimination, harassment and gender/race/orientation intersections.” She expresses hope that her listeners will leave feeling empathetic and supportive of transgender people, with ideas to bring back to their own lives and workplaces to make them safer and more inclusive.

Scillieri is a professor at William Paterson, Kean and New Jersey City Universities, teaching Racism and Sexism, Women’s Changing Roles, Gendered Lives and Societies, Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, Diversity and Difference, First Year Experience, College Writing and Leadership to at-risk youth. She also is on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, heads the LGBT Task Force, and is active with Human Trafficking Task Force, the New Jersey Coalition against Human Trafficking and the Passaic County SPCA.Scillieri coordinates and moderates events about domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, bullying, teen dating violence awareness, gang violence awareness, substance abuse prevention, animal abuse and LGBT issues. She earned a BFA in Graphic Design and Art History from William Paterson University and an MA in Arts Management from Montclair State University.“Dear members and friends of The Lakeland UU Fellowship. Like myself, I imagine many of you are dealing with many emotions and thoughts following this election.  At a time such as this it is good to be together in community for support, healing and renewal.  I feel privileged to be with you on this timely Sunday.  For this service I will offer a personal reflection on “Faith in Politics.”  And then I will invite us to share in our joys and concerns.  And finally to affirm our renewed commitment to love, justice, and peace. 
Come join us in a time for reflection, mutual support, and affirmation.”          


 Copyright 2016. LUUF. All rights reserved.

Sunday, Feb. 12th

Guest Minister:  Rev. Heidi Swarts

WHAT ARE WE CALLED TO DO?

In light of recent national events, guest minister Reverend Dr. Heidi Swarts will pose the question  "What Are We Called to Do?"  during the 11 a.m. service. 
Rev. Swarts says, "The first weeks of the Trump presidency have been tumultuous, with numerous violations of the seven Unitarian-Universalist Principles. UUs, along with millions of others worldwide, have reacted with massive demonstrations. But is that all we are called to do?"  She will put the Trump presidency in historical context, and compare the conservative movement to progressive organizing, to help answer this ethical question. 
Rev. Swarts is currently a chaplain at mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. She holds a Ph.D. in political science and has a diverse background in activism and ministry. Her preaching topics combine the personal, political, emotional, spiritual and intellectual. She has taught political science at Syracuse University and Rutgers-Newark and has published the book  "Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-Based Progressive Movements" (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). 

Sunday, April 2nd

"Kindness as a Saving Spiritual Practice"

Rev. Ian W. Riddell points out that kindness is not necessarily a trait, but an action. It is something that one can consciously decide to practice in order to integrate it into one's  life.  We will watch a sermon on this topic by Rev. Riddell and discuss the ways that this can apply to our own lives as we navigate a time when many find kindness to be absent from much of public and possibly private discourse and decision making.

Sunday, September 25th


            Bernie, Hillary, Donald, and Gary

             What Happened to Our Politics?
 

            Guest Minister:  Rev. Heidi Swarts


This election has been like no other in American history - and it's not even over! Bernie Sanders emerged from relative obscurity to gain massive support on the left. Donald Trump has not only defied public norms of civility and dignity, he has proudly paraded his ignorance, and that's just the beginning. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, is polling 8-12%, a significant number. Hillary Clinton is the only official candidate of one of the major parties to survive the primary. This leaves us with many questions, not least of which is: what happened to the two major political parties this year? Rev. Heidi Swarts argues that this election and slate of candidates is a predictable outcome of long-term trends in American politics. Furthermore, these trends have vital ethical implications for our democracy.

Sunday, Jan. 22nd

Albert Schweitzer, An Unlikely Unitarian​
Guest Speaker:  Arthur Aldrich 

Albert Schweitzer, physician, philosopher, musician, Nobel Prize recipient and humanitarian came from  a family of traditionally strict Lutheran ministers. Yet, early on he developed a sense of independent inquiry and action that put him at odds with his church. He also happily embraced membership in the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Larger Fellowship. We will follow the evolutionary process that enabled him to accept Unitarian principles that question dogma and doctrine while maintaining his core Lutheran theology.
 
About the speaker:
Arthur R. Aldrich has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockland County since the 1970s, where he has served several terms as chair of the worship committee and chair of the board of trustees. He publishes a weekly newspaper in Pearl River New York, is a radio host and commentator and teaches at the Learning Collaborative of Rockland County. With him today is his wife of 50 years, Elaine.

Sunday, March 19th
​Which is Real: The Individual or the Group?
Guest Minister: Rev. Heidi Swarts

You may read that question and say, "That's preposterous. Obviously they both are!" But not so fast. Whole academic disciplines are built on the assumption that we are a world of separate individuals who make separate decisions. In fact, Margaret Thatcher once announced, "There's no such thing as "society"!" 

At the other extreme, eminent social scientist Charles Tilly argues that the fundamental human unit is not the individual but the relationship between two individuals. Before I simplify things, I promise to make them more complicated--and show the consequences of both extremes.




                           Sunday, April 17th
                  THE POWER OF YET 

          Guest Speaker: Carol Swift, LUUF President




The Power of Yet Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck has written about what she calls the Growth Mindset versus the Fixed Mindset and the Power of Yet. In her Ted Talk, and much of her work, she has concentrated on childhood education, but as with any powerful concept, it can be applied to anything in life. We will look at what these ideas are and how they can be applied to our lives, our community and our Principles.

Sunday, April 9
 “A Unitarian Universalist Looks at the Tragedy of the Cross” 
– The Rev. Raymond J. Pontier 
Guest Speaker:  Steve Kneisel
This sermon was first presented on March 31, 1985, 
at the Lakeland UU Fellowship, Wayne, N.J. 
"I am, as always, deeply honored to re-present this Elder’s words." - SK

Sunday, Nov. 13th
11:00 A.M. 
Guest Minister: Rev. Allen Wells
​ From Rev. Wells:  

“Dear members and friends of The Lakeland UU Fellowship. Like myself, I imagine many of you are dealing with many emotions and thoughts following this election.  At a time such as this it is good to be together in community for support, healing and renewal.  I feel privileged to be with you on this timely Sunday.  For this service I will offer a personal reflection on “Faith in Politics.”  And then I will invite us to share in our joys and concerns.  And finally to affirm our renewed commitment to love, justice, and peace. 
Come join us in a time for reflection, mutual support, and affirmation.”          


Sunday, Oct. 23rd     11:00 A.M.​ 
         
​A REFUGEE EXPERIENCE

This Sunday, Oct. 23rd, Lakeland Unitarian Fellowship will have the pleasure of welcoming Mike Dibae as our guest speaker. LUUF sponsored Mike and his family when they came to the United States from Iran in the early 1980's. Mike will share his experiences as a refugee coming to America as well as his memories of our Fellowship at that time. 
A short discussion and coffee hour will follow.

 Sunday, June 18th
Guest Speaker:  David Chapman 

Family Values From a UU Perspective

If you ask 1,000 Unitarian Universalists what it means to be a UU, you’ll most likely get 1,000 different answers.  Dave believes that this diversity makes us stronger, more compassionate, and more creative when it comes to exploring our spiritual and social lives. 

Along the same line of thinking, what does it mean to be a member of a Unitarian Universalist family?  Careful who you ask, because you’ll probably get more than one answer from the members of the same family.  Guest Speaker Dave Chapman shares his thoughts on the value we can all find in having values that we understand, stand by, and are willing to share with others – especially on the topic of “family values.” ​
Creeds, Deeds and Needs
 
Guest minister Rev. Allen Wells will examine the wide range of beliefs within Unitarian Universalism in his sermon “Creeds, Deeds and Needs,” during the June 4 service. 
Rev. Wells says, “As Unitarian Universalists, we have for centuries affirmed freedom of religious belief and offered a community where each of us can develop an individual ‘creed.’  We also have come to believe that what do is more important than what we say, and so we have stressed deeds over creeds.  I will suggest a third step—to become more aware of the needs of others and ourselves. I believe that this understanding will lead us to more fulfilling action and a deeper spirituality.”
Following his service, Rev. Wells also will present a program entitled “The State of Religion Today,” with a particular focus on how it affects UUism, and will invite discussion of the subject.   
Rev. Wells most recently served as Consultant Minister at the Unitarian Society of Plainfield and Consulting Minister at the Skylands Unitarian Fellowship. He also is a former staff member of the DiMele Center for Counseling, New York City, and past president of the North Jersey Association for Humanistic Psychology. He also is one of 30 meditation teachers nationwide who have been accepted into the Integrated Study/Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, in Massachusetts.
The Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, along with other member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, aims to foster liberal religious attitudes and behavior. It supports the inherent worth of every person and the dignity of all humans everywhere, individual freedom of belief, the search for truth and the democratic process in all human relations.

​ Sunday, Dec.18th
​YULE'S LESSONS FOR DEATH AND REBIRTH
 Guest Speaker:  Joe Gonzales

 Guest speaker Joe Gonzalez offers a program on death and rebirth, and Yule's lessons of balance during the 11 a.m. service on Dec. 18 at the Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Gonzalez says, "December 21is the pagan festival of Yule. At this time of year, ancient pagans celebrated both the deepest darkness, on the longest night of the year, and the rebirth of the sun & the light, which promised new crops and fresh food in the coming months. But how is this celebration relevant to our current lives, filled with modern conveniences? This service will discuss how pagans and non-pagans alike can use this time of year to reflect on their own lives, bring light to areas of darkness, and achieve a sense of balance with Nature and the Universe."

Gonzalez lives in Stamford, CT,with his wife Tara and their three children. Joe and Tara, former members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Stamford, presently serve as Wiccan high priest and priestess of the Sacred Circle Pagan Group and lead quarterly pagan rituals during Sunday services. Joe is a friend of the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation in White Plains, N.Y., where two of their children attend religious education classes. Tara and Joe also teach Wiccan lessons through Religious Ed Neighboring Faiths classes, both in White Plains and at the UU congregation in Westport, CT.

Sunday, Oct. 2nd     ​ 
         
FOR THE SAKE OF HAPPINESS


 Guest Minister Rev. Allen Wells


Have you asked: "What should I do?” or more profoundly queried: “Why should I do what is right anyway?” or even asked: “What is right?” 
On Sunday, October 2nd, Rev. Allen Wells will examine the source of our ethical imperative and offer as an alternative to a morality based upon “shoulds” one based upon the degree to which it can make us happy.

Sunday, April 17th
FLOWERS FOR LUUF'S 50TH

Guest Speaker: Carol Swift, LUUF President


LUUF president Carol Swift will lead a joint celebration of Mother’s Day and the fellowship’s 50th anniversary on May 8 service.
Assisted by fellow LUUF member David Lay, Swift will conduct a UU Flower Ceremony that was originally created in Czechoslovakia in 1923. “We will examine the roots and history of the ceremony and our congregation, as well as celebrate our connection to the concept and reality of motherhood,” Swift says. “Each participant is asked to bring a flower to share with the congregation. (Flowers will be supplied for those who do not bring one.) Each person will leave with a different flower of their choosing. The significance of the ceremony is that as no two flowers are alike, so no two people are alike, yet each has a contribution to make. Together the different flowers form a beautiful bouquet, just as unique individuals come together to create our community.”

All are welcome to stay for a small 50th Anniversary celebration after the service.

Sunday, April 23

NEW CONFUCIANISM AND THE THREAT TO WESTERN LIBERAL THOUGHT
Guest Speaker:  Arthur R. Aldrich
Guest speaker Arthur R. Aldrich says, “Confucianism, as it originated in China and spread throughout Asia, was basically a humanist, non-theological movement that encouraged ethical behavior. Mixed with Marxism, it has taken on pseudo-theological aspects, including deification of secular leaders such as Chairman Mao in China and Kim Jun-il in North Korea. A new movement in China seeks to reinstate classic Confucianism as a response to modernity.  What are the implications for the West?”​

Sunday, Dec. 11th
SANTA LUCIA CELEBRATION

​ In this Sunday's service, we honor some traditions of the season.  Santa Lucia is usually celebrated on December 13, because this was the shortest day of the year before the calendar was changed. It was subtitled the Festival of Light to warm and brighten the hearts of Scandinavians enduring the harsh winter cold and darkness. 
We will try and generate peace and comfort within our community through song, procession and feasting.  Hope you will join in our child-led celebration, which reminds us that the true spirit of the season is one of joy and love."


Sunday, May 7th
Sermon: “The Curse of the Whippoorwill”
Guest Speaker: Dave Chapman

Our lives are filled with opportunities – but – we often have times filled with serious frustrations.  Some of these frustrations can have a tremendously challenging impact on our lives and the lives of those we love.  As Unitarian Universalists, where do we go for practical help and spiritual help when we feel overwhelmed by our difficulties?  What guidelines can we establish that will help us through the tough times?  And is there any truth to the oft-stated belief that inside every problem is an opportunity?  Dave shares his thoughts on the painful side of everyday living and the role our faith and our spiritual community can play in helping us survive and staying productive.
​​Dave Chapman is a John Maxwell Certified coach, speaker, and trainer.  He studies, writes and speaks in the areas of human productivity, social psychology and the religions of the world.

Sunday, April 30th
Spring is here and so is our annual Maypole Service!

Join us at 11 a.m. on April 30 as we welcome guest speaker Joe Gonzalez in celebrating Beltane with our annual Maypole Service.  Gonzalez explains, "Beltane is a season of rebirth, a time to celebrate the blooming of the flowers, the growing of the crops, and even personal rejuvenation.  Join us as we celebrate this ancient festival through personal ritual, chanting, guided meditation, and a Maypole dance!  

Celebrate Spring with us and bring the energy of rebirth to your life, our community and the world!" 
Gonzalez lives in Stamford, Conn., with his wife Tara and their three children.  Joe and Tara, former members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Stamford, presently serve as Wiccan high priest and priestess of the Sacred Circle Pagan Group and lead quarterly pagan rituals during Sunday services. Joe is a friend of the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation in White Plains, N.Y., where two of their children attend religious education classes. Tara and Joe also teach Wiccan lessons through Religious Ed Neighboring Faiths classes, both in White Plains and at the UU congregation in Westport, CT..




                           Sunday, April 10th
           ARE OUR MINDS (AND SOULS)

             REALLY JUST OUR BRAINS?
                Guest Minister: Rev. Heidi Swarts



Guest minister Reverend Heidi Swarts addresses the question “Are Our Minds (and Souls) Really Just Our Brains?” during the 11 a.m. service on April 10th.   Rev. Swarts observes, “In recent years, we've seen more and more headlines like ‘Neuroscientists find location of emotions’ or ‘Lumbar gland closely linked to altruism.’ The latest fashion in thinking about the human mind and soul is captured in titles such as ‘The Mind is the Software of the Brain.’

“The idea of the human being as computer – the body as hardware, the mind as software – is by now embedded in our culture. The idea of machines with artificial intelligence taking the place of human beings is seductive.  Just think of the endless number of films in which robots play leading roles, or Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with his new artificially intelligent operating system in the film Her. Do such notions reduce not only the complexity, but the very nature, of what it is to be human?” 


                          


                                    Sunday, May 15th


WHAT IT MEANS TO BECOME VULNERABLE

                   Guest Minister Rev. Allen Wells




Guest minister Rev. Allen Wells will examine the question, “What Does It Mean to Become Vulnerable?” during the May 15 service.
Rev. Wells asks, “What does it mean to become vulnerable to our feelings, with intimate partners, with difficult persons, to the onset of illness and old age, to the possibility of a terrorist attack? This question provoked The Buddha’s quest. It arises anew as we face chaotic politics and confront climate change.”Type your paragraph here.

Sunday, March 12th

​Women in UU History

There are dozens of very important women in Unitarian Universalist history.  Trying to discuss too many in one service would shortchange them all.  We will watch a sermon that concentrates on a few figures who may be new to you,  or whom you may not know much about.  
We will discuss current issues as we renew our commitment to promoting women's rights and educating ourselves about Unitarian Universalism.

LAKELAND UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP

Sunday, Feb. 5th

Guest Speaker:  Tara Bedeau, J.D., M.A.R., SPHR

Am I My Sister's/Brother's Keeper?

While the origin point of this adage is the gruesome story of murder featured in the religious texts of each of the the Abrahamic traditions, and it is the sarcastic response of the murder, the question has been redeemed in its utilization in and inspiration for various civil liberties and social justice movements.  Such movements have been as diverse as the US Civil Rights, Labor & Food Justice Movements, and as recent as President Obama's White House Program, Pope Francis's address for the XLIX World Day of Peace and the Global community's responses to the Refugee Crises.  In fact, the affirmative response to this question is among the drivers of various multifaith and multiwisdom movements for community healing and social change initiatives.  To that end, today's sermon inquires, in this legacy of reclamation, how does this question apply to the LUUF community?  And especially in this time and this place??

About the speaker:
Tara Bedeau, J.D., M.A.R., SPHR has been a licensed Attorney, Educator, Trainer, Public Speaker and Consultant for more than a decade and has been a featured keynote in the areas and panelist, broadcast commentator and media guest at national events and venues. She has authored several publications on various issues arising in her areas of expertise (equal employment opportunity law, diversity & inclusion, organizational psychology and systems change) in industry, academic and media publications for national and international audiences. In 2009, Ms. Bedeau launched The Precise Aim, an organizational consulting company addressing employment law, diversity, equity & inclusion and systems change management needs arising in the organizations, communities and groups.


To augment her social justice foci, Ms. Bedeau obtained a graduate degree in Religion (summa cum laude approximate) with a concentration in Interreligious Engagement (diversity, pluralism & inclusion) and Psychology & Religion at Union Theological Seminary (UTS), a Columbia University affiliate. While there, she served as an appointed member to their Diversity, Academic Affairs, Educational Policy and Strategic Planning & Implementation Committees. At UTS, Ms. Bedeau focused on the application of organizational behavior & systems change scholarship to religious, spiritual and faith based institutions, communities and initiatives, as well as the integration of these theories with holistic and psycho-spiritual informed best practices to effectuate sustainable change in communities, workplaces and other societal groupings and systems. To that end, Ms. Bedeau was awarded a 2014 Henry R. Luce Fellowship to study Religious Diversity & Inclusion in Indonesia, where she published a related paper. She also interned as a Pediatric Chaplain at a prominent international hospital, where she provided psycho-spiritual and emotional support for more than 800 patients, families and staff. 

Since then, Ms. Bedeau founded The Call of the Hummingbird: a life enhancement coaching practice featuring wisdom, psycho-spiritual and intuitive counseling. It is a reflection of more than two decades of work in psychological, emotional and spiritual healing with youth and adults. Ms. Bedeau graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Cornell Law School. She is currently exploring Interfaith ordination. Sunday, Jan. 29th
The Women's March: Thoughts and Stories