Sunday, Jan. 7th

Burning Bowl Ritual

No matter the culture or season, the new year is usually a time of reflection and new beginnings. Join us at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowshipat 11:00 am on January 7, as we celebrate the the New Year with a Burning Bowl Ritual in which each of us chooses both what we wish to leave behind in 2017 and wish to work toward in 2018. All are welcome to stay for the coffee hour that will follow.

Versions a of a Burning Bowl Ritual have been used by various cultures.  We will use a variation of the ritual used by various Unitarian Universalist congregations and ministers. Everyone is invited to participate in their own way and desired level of activity as we endeavor to unburden ourselves of those things holding us back and move forward into the new year focused on those things we wish to achieve.

Sunday, Sept. 24th
"​Ignoring Racism-A Family Story in 4 Generations"
Speaker:  Carol Swift

There has long been an admonition to the white majority, that to combat racism, we should confront it when we see it in our families, work and lives. In contrast, it was often argued that confrontation would not achieve the desired result, but only cause friction since people are set in their ways. 

In the aftermath of the violent Charlottesville demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, a debate was reignited about how anti-racist white people should react to white supremacy. Various people encouraged everyone to ignore the White Supremacist and Nazi demonstrations so as not to give them publicity. Others called on all that could to turn out in numbers to counter-protest.
LUUF member, Carol Swift will lead a discussion of this subject starting with a real-life example of what happens when racism is ignored, as well as when it is not. 
Members and visitors are encouraged to bring their own personal examples as we delve into how to discourage racism in our own lives and family.Sunday, Sept. 17th

Sunday, Jan. 14th

Guest Minister: Rev. Allen Wells

If it hasn’t already, the Supreme Court will soon decide whether a Christian baker can lawfully refuse on religious grounds to make a same-sex couple’s wedding cake.  This dilemma is more complex that it may appear to either side and this case illustrates issues that are roiling the globe including growing white supremacy, ethnic cleansing, the idealism of jhad, immigrant suppression, and the discontent of many who voted for President Trump. I invite us to reflect upon about what it means to be caring when human rights conflict. 

Sunday, March 11th
Breath of the Sacred Feminine

​Guest Speaker: Robin Reichert

Just when you are feeling powerless you discover something you've always carried within. Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine is a return to what is fundamental in life. The breath can open doors to wholeness and reunion with the Great Mother. Robin will tell a story of how focused breath gave her an expanded and profound sense of intimacy with the Divine in all things.

​Robin Reichert is a professional storyteller/speaker since 1995, she has taken to the pulpit specializing in inspiring sermons that open your heart, stir your soul & relate to challenges, humor, and magic that life presents.  Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon (Merseyside Unitarian Ministerial Partnership in NW England) says “Robin's stories and sermons are poignant, humble, bold, and touch on universal themes. She is a gifted writer and storyteller, and brings her work to others through a careful wisdom and boundless compassion.” Robin has published two books Feather Gifts for All Ages (2009) and Earth Divine–Adventures of an Everyday Mystic (2016).  Her first CD, "Mystic - stories of Magic and Wonder is available now.

Sunday, Dec. 24th
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year!

Join us at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for a service about the Joys of Giving. and stay for a potluck afterward, if you are able.
Christmas and giving are often joined, sometimes with disastrous consumerism results. However the concept of generosity towards others is a good one that is especially needed right now. We will look at some historic icons who are sometimes credited as inspiring the myth of Santa Claus, as well as a couple modern people whose work has inspired giving to others. 
You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own stories of people do good works that bring joy to others.

Sunday, Dec. 10th
Santa  Lucia Celebration

Join us and bring the kids! It is time for the annual Santa Lucia celebration! 

This Sunday, we will be bringing out the candles to start celebrating the season of light with a Scandanavian tradition lead by member Lucy Cilento. Be ready to share with the yougsters your words of wisdom and what life has taught you.
Lucy says, "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, Oct. 29th
Guest Speaker: Joe Gonzalez

Samhain is the most sacred holiday on the pagan calendar.  It is not only the New Year celebration, but it is also the time when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is at its thinnest.  At this time of year, pagans invite their ancestors to join their rituals and festivities.  At today's service, we too will call upon and celebrate our ancestors, those who came before us and helped make us who we are today.  Join us in celebration with meditation, chants and personal ritual! ​Sunday, Oct. 15th

Sunday, Nov. 19th
Guest Minister: Rev. Allen Wells

"What could be the most important issue of our time seems to be rarely discussed outside the realm of experts.  The Singularity, when artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence is speedily advancing according to experts.  Can we contribute to its beneficent directlon?"

Sunday, March 4th
Thoughts on Racism and Growing up in White Suburbia

Guest Speaker:  Joanie Palmino

An article by Doug Muder from UUWorld , Fall 2017, will be used as a catalyst to consider  the  subtle racism that lurks in our white suburban communities. 

Sunday, Feb. 25th
Thoughts on Persistence

 Guest Speaker:  Tara Bedeau​

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, Nov. 5th
The Challenges of Interfaith Practice

​​Guest Speaker: Terri L. Clegg

Unitarian-Universalists are no strangers to the semantics that often trigger and trip us up in our work together. The term “Interfaith” can be one of these semantically loaded terms, and the questions it raises get to the core of what it means to co-create spiritual community. So what does the term “Interfaith” mean? And how do we hold space for these conversations in ways that transform the semantic blocks into new understandings? This talk, and the discussion afterward, will focus on these questions through the lens of the Seven Principles.​

Sunday, Nov. 12th
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Guest Speaker: Donnalynn Scillieri
Transgender Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for communities to come together and remember transgender people, gender-variant individuals, and those perceived to be transgender who have been murdered because of hate (Human Rights Campaign).
The Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Congregation is coming together to know and embrace the journey of our transgender community and as allies to help them live with dignity and grace with peace.  We are all in balance with one another to create the whole of the world and cannot allow anyone to suffer abuse and murder because of a lack of empathy. We will discuss transgender to have a better understanding of who they are and the struggles they face.

 Donnalynn Scillieri (she/her/hers) is a Human Rights advocate, professional speaker, coordinator and moderator for events focusing on LGBT issues, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, gang/violence awareness, substance abuse prevention and animal abuse.  She is professor at William Paterson University, Kean University, New Jersey City University and Ramapo College; teaching Gendered Lives and Societies, Social Issues, Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, Diversity and Difference, Sociology, and the New Student Experience. Until recently, she was on the Board of Trustees for the NJCEDV and headed the LGBT Task Force. She earned a BFA in Graphic Design and Art History from WPUNJ and an MA in Arts Management from MSU. Donnalynn Scillieri has two children, Jeremy is 25 and Victoria is 20.

Sunday, Dec. 17th
LUUF's celebration of the season of light continues...

Join us at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for a Winter Solstice Service given by our own Cyn Lightbody and Terri Clegg.

As they explain, "The longest and darkest day in the solar year, Winter Solstice is a time of celebration and reflection in many traditions. December 21 will be the day in 2017 that the earth begins to turn in orbit to bring its northern hemisphere once again closer to the sun. This time of year, we celebrate the return of the light, appreciate that it is only in darkness that we can witness the stars, and seek balance between the two forces that so greatly impact our lives.  Join us for music, reflection, and conversation as we look into these themes." 

Sunday, Nov. 26th
Guest Speaker: Min Mulholland

Min Mulholland will address some hidden mechanisms whereby trees arrange and manage their life cycles.  Deciphering the secrets about forests is the work and passion of forester Peter Wohlleben whose book The Hidden Life of Trees explains a deliberate way of life within vast scopes of time.  

The average North American oak lives about 400 years, one in Sweden is 9,500, still living.  Our human lives are engaged with time at a much faster pace, rushing to get everything checked off.  Time is stretched broader for trees, thus, we may think them slow.  While 'The Slow Talk of Trees' refers the scope of time available to trees, theirs is a language communicated by scent.  Trees "talk" by scent, the nuances of which benefit us with beauty and clean air.  Further discussion may inquire about the intelligence with which trees cope with turbulence -- wind, rain, snow. 
Min Mulholland is a happy member of the LUUF community, is a professional musician, currently performs with the Leschetizky Group and sings with the Verismo Opera Company of NJ.Sunday, Nov. 19th.

Sunday, Dec.3rd

Our Thoughts and Prayers are With the Families....Now's Not the Time to Talk Politics"

Guest Minister: Rev. Heidi Swarts

How many times have we heard statements from politicians like this one? "Our thoughts and prayers......" is, tragically, almost a cliche by now. We tend to hear these pronouncements when there has been a mass shooting, and the "politics" referred to has sometimes been named specifically, as in "Now's not the time to talk about gun regulation." The unstated assumption behind such comments (besides the political motivation for them) is that grief and tragedy are personal and intimate, while politics and policy are public and crass, involving the decided impure process of compromise. 

Sunday, Jan. 21st:
“A Politics of Justice”
Guest Minister: Rev. Rob Gregson

Now more than any time since the twin scandals of Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, politics seem further and further away from a shared understanding of “the common good.”  Rev. Gregson argues that UUs working together can bring the best of two great communal traditions into a mutually beneficial whole--what he calls “a politics of deep conscience and hard-won compassion.”  Come hear about the new possibilities for progressive social change following the Nov. gubernatorial election and our ability to bend the arc of justice in our personal and social lives closer and closer to the ideal of Beloved Community.

About the Speaker:
Rev. Rob Gregson is the Executive Director of the newly-renamed Unitarian Universalist FaithAction New Jersey, a social justice and public policy ministry representing nearly every UU congregation across the state. 
Prior to this ministry, Rev. Gregson co-founded and directed SimpleGifts: Unitarian Centre for Social Justice, an immigrant/elderly community center and social justice training program based in East London, United Kingdom. He has served congregations in rural Hunterdon County, NJ and North London, UK. Rev. Gregson currently resides in South Orange, NJ with his two children.Sunday, Jan. 14th

Sunday, Jan. 28th:
Honoring the Seasons in an Age of Disconnect
Guest Speaker: Terri Clegg

Here we are in the deep Midwinter, the halfway point between Solstice and Equinox. The sparkling lights of December are gone and what remains are the bare cold and the long nights. For those of us who live indoors and have central heat, these elements may seem like a minor annoyance or a passing blip on our social media newsfeeds. 

But the return of the Light and the warmth of Spring are more serious matters for many, and it's not so many generations ago that the ancestors of even the most privileged among us had a much more direct connection with the seasons. Even the most prepared might see their Winter stores of food and accessible firewood beginning to run out right about this time of year, and people would find themselves faced with hard choices. So, communal gatherings to share prayers and songs about the return of the Sun were as much about planning and resiliency as they were about religious ritual. In this sense, faith and practicality were not separate things, but inextricable tools for survival.

So how do we pause to observe what's happening around us in this, the most bare of seasons? How do we connect to the seasonal elements of our planet as we move through the blur of fast-paced life that is considered “normal”? We may notice that the sunset is beginning to happen just a little bit later every day, so how to we honor the tangible return of the light that we sang about in our Solstice celebrations, and what does it actually mean to us? In this talk, we'll take a look at some ways this time of season is observed by a few different traditions, from religious to secular.​

About the Speaker:

​Terri L. Clegg was LUUF’s music coordinator between 2007-2010 and is happy to be back. A survivor of the foster care system and a toxic religious upbringing, Terri identified as an atheist at a young age. However, her journey led her to Interfaith practice, and, over the last few decades, she has studied with and given support to teachers from earth-based spiritual traditions as well as practitioners of multiple schools of Buddhism, seeking to honor and give back to these traditions without misappropriating their teachings. She has also participated in metaphysical “New Thought” communities as well as several Christian denominations and sees the value of these teachings as well. Her primary concern in spiritual practice is to reclaim the communal disciplines that help us all dig deeper and get out of our heads when it comes to practicing our belief and relationship to All That Is. Understanding what it is to grow up in severe trauma, Terri has collaborated with therapists to work with teen survivors of human trafficking, children in the foster care system, and other “at-risk” youth, developing lesson plans using movement, music, and creativity for self care, healing, and expression.

Sunday, Sept. 17th
"The Wisdom of Hindu Bhakti Poetry"

Guest Minister:  Rev. Heidi Swarts​

​​Guest minister, Rev. Dr. Heidi Swarts will speak about “The Wisdom of Hindu Bhakti Poetry” at the 11 a.m. service on Sept. 17th.
Rev. Swarts says, "As one of the world's most ancient religions, Hinduism has a vast number of different aspects and traditions, from ancient to modern. This sermon examines the beautiful tradition of Bhakti poetry, which expresses devotion to God in different guises: as child, mother, father, and even beloved. There is an implicit wisdom in recognizing our need to personalize the holy in different human guises. It provides food for thought no matter what your religious tradition."

Sunday, Oct. 1st
"​The Gift of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels

Guest Speaker: David Chapmant

 Guest speaker David Chapman says, “One of the great joys of being a Unitarian Universalist is that we are encouraged to learn about many different aspects of our lives, our spirituality and the religions of the world. Dave shares the views of the great historian, Thomas Cahill, on the remarkable impact the early Hebrews had not just on the role that religion plays in our lives, but on the entire cultural history of humanity.  How great an impact?  Cahill argues that the greatest gifts of the Jews are the linear theory of history (vs. the cyclical theory of other ancients), with its implication that life can get better and avoid decline and the idea of the equality and dignity of each individual that culminated in the declaration that "All men are created equal." 
Chapman is a John Maxwell Certified coach, speaker and trainer. He focuses on the areas of human productivity, social psychology and religions of the world. He also teaches at the Rutgers University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He is a ten-year member of Toastmasters and will receive his Distinguished Toastmaster certification in October of this year. He also serves as secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Senior Debate.​

Sunday, Sept. 10th, 2017
Guest Speaker:  Steve Kneisel
​Welcome back to LUUF as we kick off the Sunday Service season with a water communion program.
Bring water from somewhere special, or use some LUUF will supply.
Coffee hour will follow for conversation and re-connection. 
​Kneisel says, “The Water Ceremony is a celebration of water; the simple, ubiquitous, and seemingly-inexhaustible compound without which life, as we know it on our small blue planet, would not exist. All are invited to bring a small quantity of water gathered from a place of special personal meaning. These waters will be mingled, in celebration of our shared experience of the interconnected web of life." Water from the well at LUUF will also be available for use by anyone who does not bring water but wishes to participate in the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and participate to whatever degree they wish.

Sunday, Oct. 15th

Founders Day

Speaker:  Carol Swift

Join us at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sunday, October 15, for our Founders Day Service: 55 Years of Building Community.

We will look back at how and why LUUF was founded. Who were the people and what were the principles? We will recount some of LUUF's history, and see how it fits into the history of our country and our culture. We will see if there are lessons we can learn, or inspiration we can take with us into the future.

We will also remember and honor those members who we have lost. Please bring thoughts and memories about LUUF,  and the members you either knew, or knew of.  Kris Jones will be remembered during this time.


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