2015-2016 service archive

October 30 - For the Love of the Earth 

UU troubadour Ken Sizemore returns with songs for the love of the earth.

October 23 - How Do You Connect to Your Coast?

Mark Berte, Director of the Alabama Coastal Foundation, will discuss ACF's work to improve and protect Alabama's coastal environment through cooperation, education and participation. The Alabama Coastal Foundation was recently awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to establish an oyster shell recycling program for local restaurants. 

October 16 - Spiritual Inventory

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." - Annie Dillard

Rev. Deanna Vandiver, Community Minister with the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists visits UUFM and leads this service followed by flying the Peace Dove and a potluck.

WORKSHOP: Embracing an Anti-Racist Worldview for Collective Liberation  2-4 pm

Co-Directors of New Orleans' Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal (CELSJR), Ruth Idakula and Deanna Vandiver, dialogue facilitator and member of the European Dissent Internal Organizing Team, Leslie Runnels, and Jolanda Martin who facilitates Uncomfortable Conversations at First UU New Orleans will conduct this training workshop. Childcare is available with advance notice. You can indicate a need for childcare or ask questions in this online form (also available by clicking the announcement bar on the home page). Free and open to the public.

October 9 - The Sixth Principle

Kitty Emery will lead this service focused on the Sixth Principle: the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. 

October 2 - Music: A Higher Revelation Than All Philosophy and Wisdom

UUFM Music Director Elizabeth Weaver leads a service about the importance and the value of music.

September 25 - The Peninsula of Moblie

Debi Foster will speak to us about The Peninsula of Mobile, a non-profit, community-based organization whose focus is the implementation of the first ever Mobile Peninsula Corridor Master Plan, a plan for Low Impact Re-development of Mobile’s unique coastal community.

September 18 - Water Ingathering Service

Water Ingathering (or Water Communion or Ceremony) was first used at a Unitarian Universalist (UU) worship service in the 1980s. Many UU congregations now hold a Water Communion once a year, often at the beginning of the new church year (September). Participants bring small amounts of water to the service, taken from places they have visited, collected from rainstorms, drawn from taps in significant spaces: water is shared that is significant or symbolic in some way. The waters are poured into a single container while the story behind the water is shared. We will also provide symbolic water in the back of the hall - should you need it. A One World Potluck follows.

September 11 - The Sage is Stupid and Simple: Early Taoism on the Project of Civilization

Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Eric Loomis returns to speak on Taoism.

September 4 - The Politics of Respect

Dr. Cindy Schneider will lead this service.

August 28 - Manatee Sighting Network

Elizabeth Hieb will speak about Dauphin Island Sea Lab's Manatee Sighting Network (MSN): "... the first network dedicated to collecting, mapping and tracking manatee movements in the nGOM outside Florida. In September 2009, MSN and collaborators made history by tagging a manatee for the first time in Alabama waters. To-date DISL researchers have tagged 8 manatees in Alabama waters, the 3-5 animals tagged at any time typically represent 20-25% of the total tagged manatee population in the U.S.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida before moving to Mobile in 2006 to attend Spring Hill College. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology in 2010 and then started graduate school at the University of South Alabama, where she obtained her Master's degree in Biology, studying population genetics of Alabama red-bellied turtles.She is currently a research technician and manager of the Manatee Sighting Network at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  

summer coffeehouses: JUly/august 2016

Coffeehouses continue in July and at least part of August. Join us for this informal summer series of discussion topics. July coffeehouses are: July 3 Patriotism, July 10 How to Be a Peacemaker in a Time of Hatred, July 17 TBA, July 24 Sustainability, and July 31 Satanism, a discussion led by our Teens. August topics: 8-7 GA 2016, 8-14 Pathways: Our Spiritual Journeys.

june 2016

Join us for our summer coffeehouse discussions. Children's RE continues.  

June 5 - The Fifth Principle (followed by Taco Sunday

June 12 - Democracy Spring!: Voter Mobilization, Publicly-Funded Elections & Overturning Citizens United

June 19 - A Discussion About Fathers for Father's Day

June 26 - Reproductive Justice

MAY 2016

May 1 - UU Saints

"The concept of saints is a longstanding one, and UUs can take some particular twists when thinking of the idea," Kate Perkins will be our speaker. Kate previously studied classics and history and is now a writer. Jerry Darring, who has facilitated our UU Renew workshops, will briefly present a final report. Taco Sunday follows.

May 8 - Mother's Day Service

May 15 - Dr. Mara Kozelsky, Islam in Russia: Beliefs, Practices and Politics

More than sixty million Muslims live in the territory of the former Soviet Union. After 70 years of Marxism, post-Soviet Muslims are relearning faith from historical tradition as well as external missionary influence. Political Islam has fueled the Chechen independence movement, while Russian restrictions on Islam have caused a wave of Muslim refugees to flee recently annexed Crimea. UUFM warmly welcomes Dr. Mara Kozelsky back; Dennis Guion is the service leader.

May 22 - Recognition Sunday

We recognize and honor our volunteers in this service led by Monica Pierre.

May 29 - Snow Stories

As the heat grows, members share stories of snow and cold in this counter-intuitive program.

April 2016

April 3 - Frank Barragan, The Alabama Coalition of Immigrant Justice

Frank Barragan, the south Alabama organizer with the Alabama Coalition of Immigrant Justice (ACIJ), will speak at UUFM. A Latino community leader in Mobile, Mr. Barragan has done extensive Know Your Rights trainings and ACIJ is undertaking a strong and focused get-out-the-vote drive for the 2016 election.  

The service is followed by the Mad Hatter Tea Party and reveal of Mystery Buddies. 

April 10 - UU Renew

Jerry Darring concludes the final segment of our UU Renew series, Definition and Commitments and all are welcome. Scroll down to read more about UU Renew.

April 17 - The Role of Women in Islam

Professor Rebecca Williams joins us again to talk about the role of women in Islam and she writes: 

Much attention has been paid in the media to the role of women in Islam.  Reports tend to focus on the hijab and on women's perceived subordinate roles in the Islamic religion and in predominantly Muslim countries.  While the welfare of women worldwide is an important issue, the role of women in Islam is not as clear-cut as is sometimes portrayed, and is often used by Western governments as partial justification for military actions that, themselves, do more harm to Muslim women than good.  At the same time, Western women continue to convert to Islam and to adopt the hijab, thus calling into question Western notions of womanhood and the place of religious devotion in a supposedly secular Western society. 

April 24 - Earth Day Service

Our CRE staff, volunteers, teens and children will lead this special Earth Day service.

MARCH 2016

March 13 - There's No Place Like Home

Jerry Darring facilitates the fourth of the UU Renew series. (more about the series below)

March 20 - A Sharing Service & Egg Hunt

Monica Pierre will lead us in this sharing service of our Easter time memories, followed by an egg hunt for all ages.

March 27 - Annual Easter Flower Communion Service

Betty Gartman leads our Annual Easter Flower Communion Service. Please bring a flower for the communal vase.

February 2016

February 6 - Blue Corn: the Gifts of Indigenous Peoples

Betty Gartman will be leading this service, discussing historical impacts of our relations with Indigenous peoples. The service will be followed with red beans and rice for all to share!

February 14 - Tom Neilson

Join us and Tom Neilson for a musical service full of political satire and lyrical joy! Our guest has offered to play us some of his (and our) favorite music! From his bio: Tom's music has been used in documentaries, TV shows, stage and street theater as he tells the stories of people’s struggles against greed & violence, interjecting a good deal of levity along the way. Learn more about Tom and his music at his website Music for Social Change. 

February 21 - On Covenant: the Writings of Rev Sue Phillips

Dixie Pomerat will read excerpts from Rev. Sue Phillips writings on covenant including her 2015 General Assembly presentation, The Myth of Congregational Polity. Rev. Phillips is currently the New England Regional Lead for field staff for the Unitarian Universalist Association.

February 28 - I and Thou

Jerry Darring guides us through the third of five services he will be facilitating (see January below for more details).

January 2016

UU Renew

Gerald Darring has been active in interfaith and community work for many years, some of which described here in a recent article. Jerry brings his wide experience to us as he facilitates a series of services that are part of UU Renew. This series will feature roundtable brainstorming, discussions, and decisions. The goal will be to develop a clearer self-definition of the community and sense of direction. Five services are planned at this time:

Pilate’s Question (1/10)
The Earth Seen from the Moon (1/31)
I and Thou (2/28)
There’s No Place Like Home (3/13)
Definition and Commitments (4/10)

January 10 - Pilate's Question

Jerry Darring begins his first in the UU Renew series workshop. This is also Souper Sunday and all are invited to stay for soup and fellowship. Suggested donation of $5 benefits our teen program. 

January 17 - The Fourth Principle

Member Dennis Guion will talk about the UU 4th Principle, a free and responsible search for meaning.

January 24 - Ken Sizemore

UU Troubadour Ken Sizemore brings songs to share.

January 31 -The Earth Seen from the Moon

Jerry Darring facilitates the second in the UU Renew series. 

December 2015

December 6 - My Homeschool journey

Activist Amanda Scott will talk about her journey through homeschooling to activism. 

Sunday, December 6 is Souper Sunday.  The CRE Ministry Team provides homemade soup, bread and dessert.  Your $5 donation supports UUFM programs for children, teens and families.  Join us at noon in Mahan Hall for good food for a good cause.

December 13 - The Third Principle

Kate Perkins will talk about the Third Principle: acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. 

December 20 - Many Hearts, Many Gifts

In this time of giving and receiving, we share the gift of being together. All ages are welcome at this holiday program of seasonal music and story.  Pot luck lunch to follow.

December 23 - Candlelight Service

All ages are welcome at this special 6:30 pm candlelight service.

december 27 - spiritual health in a beautiful hurting world

Cindy Schneider leads this coffeehouse-format service of sharing and discussion.

novemBER

novemBER 1 - dia de los muertos

Kate Nelson-Dooley will lead a service on Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead: 

It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Roman Catholic triduum festival of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day.

NOVEMBER 8 - THAT'S THE SPIRIT: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? 

 Dr. Sam A. McQuiston graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine at New Orleans in 2000. He now works in Mobile, Alabama and is the Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Assistant Professor, Radiology at the University of South Alabama. Dr. McQuiston is affiliated with University South Alabama Medical and USA Childrens & Womens Hospital. 

ANNual Meeting

Our annual congregational meeting follows the service and fellowship. We will have food and child care will be provided. All are welcome. Our special guest will be Jerry Darring, a former adjunct instructor of Theology at Spring Hill College, teaching courses that include Peace and Justice Issues, Contemporary Moral Issues, Human Sexuality and Marriage, and Religion and Society. Jerry is the co-founder of the Alabama Gulf Coast Holocaust Library and a Board member of the Mobile Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Jerry will help facilitate our work to heal and strengthen our congregation.

NOVEMBER 15 - SEDER SERVICE

Kitty Emery will lead our annual Thanksgiving Seder service, an intergenerational seder meal and service. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community, or by multiple generations of a family, in which the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt is retold. Turkey will be provided and bring something to share. All are welcome. We need people on Saturday, November 14, at 10 am to help setup the tables and prepare for this special service.

NOVEMBER 22 - THE SENSE OF EUN

UUFM welcomes Buz Ryland who will travel from Pensacola to speak to us. Buz shares this biographical info:
I am 67, from Wisconsin Illinois area,  retired from marketing of interior buildingproducts, B.S from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 71. Twice elected to municipal council while EMT -  Firefighter in two states simultaneously. UU member in Wisconsin and Pensacola, Retired to Pensacola 2010, President of the Humanists of West Florida, Co-coordinator of Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, and Co-coordinator of Northwest Florida Move to Amend. Married to Meredith, and one son who is a senior microbiologist for the state of Wisconsin.

OCTOBER

OCTOBER 4 MEDICARE, MEDICAID & ACA IN ALABAMA

UUFM welcomes local Attorney Henry Brewster, who will discuss Alabama's ongoing struggle with healthcare. Mr. Brewster, an Alabama State Bar member since 1981, focuses his current legal practice on employment, discrimination (in employment, housing and public accommodations) litigation, Constitutional rights, inmates' rights and police misconduct.  Mr. Brewster was involved in the creation of the Center for Fair Housing, Inc. (formerly the Mobile Fair Housing Center, Inc.), and has advised it since its inception in 1993.  He is a current board member of 15 Place, a homeless day center, and serves as an IHN/Family Promise Coordinator (homeless guest program) for his church, All Saints Episcopal.  He is an adult leader for Boy Scout Troop #147. He is married with two children. Stay after the service for coffee and a Souper Sunday meal that helps support our CRE.

OCTOBER 11 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY
Seattle WA joined Minneapolis MN in changing the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. UUFM member Cindy Blum Schneider will share her thoughts and research with us. 

OCTOBER 18 JUSTICE, EQUITY AND COMPASSION IN HUMAN RELATIONS

The second in a series on the principles, Dan Schlangen will discuss the 2nd PrincipleJustice, equity and compassion in human relations.  Please join us after the service for our monthly potluck. 

OCTOBER 25 THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

We welcome University of South Alabama Professor Rod Mollise. Rod Mollise is a Contributing Editor at Sky and Telescope magazine, is familiar to astronomers as the author of numerous books and magazine articles on every aspect of the science, amateur and professional. He is most well known, however, for his writing on Schmidt Cassegrain Telescopes, SCTs, and especially his last book on the subject, Choosing and Using a New CAT(Springer), which has become the standard reference for these instruments. Rod’s previous book, The Urban Astronomer’s Guide is also popular. That’s no surprise, since it is designed to help people who must observe the sky from light polluted urban and suburban sites see distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. In addition to his books, Rod’s work can be found in magazines including Sky and Telescope, Sky and Telescope’s SKYWATCH, Night Sky and many others. He is also one of the editors of the acclaimed double star magazine, The Journal of Double Star Observations. Rod is no stranger to Internet astronomy, either. Look for him on numerous online forums and on his popular blog, Uncle Rod’s Astro Blog

September

SEPTEMBER 6 THE INHERENT WORTH AND DIGNITY OF EVERY PERSON

Dr. Cindy Schneider will talk on the first principle of Unitarian Universalism: the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  Last week, we had an introduction to all seven principles, and in the upcoming weeks, a different congregant of UUFM will parse and illuminate each of the remaining six Principles. 

SEPTEMBER 13 WATER INGATHERING

Rose Scott will lead this water-themed annual service and UU tradition. 

September 20 Black Lives Matter

At the recent GA, UUs voted for the 2015 Action of Immediate Witness, encouraging  "member congregations and all Unitarian Universalists to work toward police reform and prison abolition (which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable); ..."   UUFM will display our new Black Lives Matter banner and we will also fly the peace dove in honor of International Day of Peace on Monday, September 21.

September 27, 2015 Medicare/Medicaid ACA in Alabama

We welcome local Attorney Henry Brewster, who will discuss Alabama's ongoing struggle with healthcare. Mr. Brewster, an Alabama State Bar member since 1981, focuses his current legal practice on employment, discrimination (in employment, housing and public accommodations) litigation, Constitutional rights, inmates' rights and police misconduct.  Mr. Brewster was involved in the creation of the Center for Fair Housing, Inc. (formerly the Mobile Fair Housing Center, Inc.), and has advised it since its inception in 1993.  

August

August 2 Fresh Air Families

Award-winner Verna Gates discusses her statewide organization Fresh Air Families.  Founded in 2006Fresh Air Families offers more than 400 outdoor activities to an outreach of more than 10,000 people.  

August 9 What's in a Name? ISIS, the Caliphate & Islamic Theology

We welcome Professor Williams, who teaches in the History department of the University of South Alabama. She is a scholar of Islam whose research includes many aspects of Islamic theology, culture, and historiography. 

August 16 Covenant Building Coffeehouse

Group work on building our Covenant of Right Relations

AUGUST 23 HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Jeremy Kerr discusses how to prepare and cope with hurricanes.

AUGUST 30 INTRODUCTION TO OUR UU PRINCIPLES

First of a series, Betty Gartman shares the background of the Unitarian Universalist Seven Principles. This series will feature one principle explored each month by a member or guest speaker.

July/ August

A series of coffeehouse discussions on Covenant building, racial identity, and two TED Talks, George Takai and Monica Lewinsky .

June

JUNE 7 LGBT WAVE OF HOPE

Lane Galbraith is a longtime resident of Mobile, AL. He has been the Director and Founder of LGBT Wave of Hope since 2009. He often provides education on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender) issues for local businesses, medical colleges, university student affairs, inclusive religious organizations, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and educational Gay/Straight alliances. He is on the advisory board for Aids Alabama South and longtime member ofMobile Alabama Pride. 

June 14 Family Promise

Teressa Ramsey
Family Promise of Coastal Alabama is the only organization in Mobile County that provides homeless shelter services for entire families. The Family Promise Network Program brings shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes through."Our mission is to provide temporary shelter, related services and nurturing support to families as they work to achieve and sustain independence". Family Promise's has an affiliate, the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) and they also put on the Cardboard City event, scheduled this year on October 24, 2015.  

June 21 Coffeehouse

A coffeehouse-style discussion on a topic to be anounced. Stay tuned!

June 28 Compassion for Immigrant Children

Founded and run Manos Helpinghands, a volunteer-based organization to serve, educate, and empower immigrant children in Alabama. From an al.com article on his work: "The need for tutoring is great, he said, because parents - many of whom are immigrants working construction and plant nursery jobs - lack sufficient English to help their children with their homework.  Some weeks, as many as 75 to 100 people have shown up weekly for the tutoring, English as a Second Language and GED classes."

May

May 3 Mind, Body & Spirit Bea Volkman

May 10 Mother's Day Service by Angel Noel-Chase

May 17 Songs for a Better World with Ken Sizemore

May 24 Half-thunk Thoughts and Half-fast Drawings by J.D. crowe 

May 31 Recognition Sunday by Kathy Murphy

april

April 5 Flower Communion & Souper Sunday with Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger

April 12 Public Secrets and Justice: Journal of a Circuit Court Judge with Judge Laura Melvin

April 19 Coffeehouse Discussion: The Meaning of Democracy: How We Use and Abuse It

April 26 The Work of Planned Parenthood by LaDonna Ellis

We welcome LaDonna Ellis, Alabama's grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood, Southeast. She will discuss the work of Planned Parenthood and their expansion of staff in Alabama as well as legislative issues and ways to get involved. Planned Parenthood is the nation's oldest and largest provider of family planning services. ... In 1930, a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama, the oldest in the Southeast.  

February 8, 2015: Russia,Religion, and the War in Ukraine

We welcome Dr. Mara Kozelsky, Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of South Alabama, is an expert on Ukranian and Russian history. The author of a book on the history of the Crimea, .Dr. Koselsky's knowledge of this complex and contested part of the world has recently been in demand by news agencies and others seeking a better understanding of the current situation.

January 25, 2015: Mass Incarceration: An Alabama Tragedy

We welcome Susan Watson, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama to talk about mass incarceration and its impact on the lives of Alabama citizens of African descent. The ACLU has received an Open Society grant of $50 million to make changing US criminal justice policies a key issue in local, state and national elections. UUA President Peter Morales has signed the Interfaith Letter for Clergy and Faith Leaders, as have many other faith leaders, asking that Congress institute changes to mandatory minimums. 

January 18, 2015:  Mobile Atheist Community

Dustin Chalker, founder of the Mobile Atheist Community (MAC), a social organization for non-religious people in the Mobile area. MAC is on of the groups participating in the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason's billboard campaign, getting underway as this newsletter is being done. Mr. Chalker recently launched Who Gives More?, an online fund-raising platform for charitable giving. 

January 11, 2015:  The Dance of Wisdom

Rev. Paul Beedle is the Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans and he will talk about the seven principles. The seven principles have been called "the seven abstractions." How can we offer and express Unitarian Universalist principles more substantially?  

Rev. Beedle's recent sermons range from a look at capitalism and the impact of Piketty's recent book to feminist theology to stories from the Jaya, by Devdutt Pattanaik, with discussion of the symbolism of Shiva and Vishnu in Hindu mythology.

UUFM will also be completing work on our Covenant this spring and we hope UU Renew will lay important groundwork for the future.  All are welcome to participate and our CRE staff and teens will be joining us for some of these, too. 
by UUA President Peter Morales appears in this month's World magazine. 

December 2015

December 6, 2015

Activist Amanda Scott will talk about her journey through homeschooling to activism. 

Sunday, December 6 is Souper Sunday.  The CRE Ministry Team provides homemade soup, bread and dessert.  Your $5 donation supports UUFM programs for children, teens and families.  Join us at noon in Mahan Hall for good food for a good cause.

December 13 - The Third Principle

Kate Perkins will talk about the Third Principle: acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. 

December 20 - Many Hearts, Many Gifts

In this time of giving and receiving, we share the gift of being together. All ages are welcome at this holiday program of seasonal music and story.  Pot luck lunch to follow.

December 23 - Candlelight Service

All ages are welcome at this special 6:30 pm candlelight service.

december 27 - spiritual health in a beautiful hurting world

Cindy Schneider leads this coffeehouse-format service of sharing and discussion.

novemBER

novemBER 1 - dia de los muertos

Kate Nelson-Dooley will lead a service on Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead: 

It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Roman Catholic triduum festival of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day.

NOVEMBER 8 - THAT'S THE SPIRIT: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? 

 Dr. Sam A. McQuiston graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine at New Orleans in 2000. He now works in Mobile, Alabama and is the Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Assistant Professor, Radiology at the University of South Alabama. Dr. McQuiston is affiliated with University South Alabama Medical and USA Childrens & Womens Hospital. 

ANNual Meeting

Our annual congregational meeting follows the service and fellowship. We will have food and child care will be provided. All are welcome. Our special guest will be Jerry Darring, a former adjunct instructor of Theology at Spring Hill College, teaching courses that include Peace and Justice Issues, Contemporary Moral Issues, Human Sexuality and Marriage, and Religion and Society. Jerry is the co-founder of the Alabama Gulf Coast Holocaust Library and a Board member of the Mobile Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Jerry will help facilitate our work to heal and strengthen our congregation.

NOVEMBER 15 - SEDER SERVICE

Kitty Emery will lead our annual Thanksgiving Seder service, an intergenerational seder meal and service. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community, or by multiple generations of a family, in which the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt is retold. Turkey will be provided and bring something to share. All are welcome. We need people on Saturday, November 14, at 10 am to help setup the tables and prepare for this special service.

NOVEMBER 22 - THE SENSE OF EUN

UUFM welcomes Buz Ryland who will travel from Pensacola to speak to us. Buz shares this biographical info:
I am 67, from Wisconsin Illinois area,  retired from marketing of interior buildingproducts, B.S from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 71. Twice elected to municipal council while EMT -  Firefighter in two states simultaneously. UU member in Wisconsin and Pensacola, Retired to Pensacola 2010, President of the Humanists of West Florida, Co-coordinator of Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, and Co-coordinator of Northwest Florida Move to Amend. Married to Meredith, and one son who is a senior microbiologist for the state of Wisconsin.

OCTOBER

OCTOBER 4 MEDICARE, MEDICAID & ACA IN ALABAMA

UUFM welcomes local Attorney Henry Brewster, who will discuss Alabama's ongoing struggle with healthcare. Mr. Brewster, an Alabama State Bar member since 1981, focuses his current legal practice on employment, discrimination (in employment, housing and public accommodations) litigation, Constitutional rights, inmates' rights and police misconduct.  Mr. Brewster was involved in the creation of the Center for Fair Housing, Inc. (formerly the Mobile Fair Housing Center, Inc.), and has advised it since its inception in 1993.  He is a current board member of 15 Place, a homeless day center, and serves as an IHN/Family Promise Coordinator (homeless guest program) for his church, All Saints Episcopal.  He is an adult leader for Boy Scout Troop #147. He is married with two children. Stay after the service for coffee and a Souper Sunday meal that helps support our CRE.

OCTOBER 11 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY
Seattle WA joined Minneapolis MN in changing the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. UUFM member Cindy Blum Schneider will share her thoughts and research with us. 

OCTOBER 18 JUSTICE, EQUITY AND COMPASSION IN HUMAN RELATIONS

The second in a series on the principles, Dan Schlangen will discuss the 2nd PrincipleJustice, equity and compassion in human relations.  Please join us after the service for our monthly potluck. 

OCTOBER 25 THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

We welcome University of South Alabama Professor Rod Mollise. Rod Mollise is a Contributing Editor at Sky and Telescope magazine, is familiar to astronomers as the author of numerous books and magazine articles on every aspect of the science, amateur and professional. He is most well known, however, for his writing on Schmidt Cassegrain Telescopes, SCTs, and especially his last book on the subject, Choosing and Using a New CAT(Springer), which has become the standard reference for these instruments. Rod’s previous book, The Urban Astronomer’s Guide is also popular. That’s no surprise, since it is designed to help people who must observe the sky from light polluted urban and suburban sites see distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. In addition to his books, Rod’s work can be found in magazines including Sky and Telescope, Sky and Telescope’s SKYWATCH, Night Sky and many others. He is also one of the editors of the acclaimed double star magazine, The Journal of Double Star Observations. Rod is no stranger to Internet astronomy, either. Look for him on numerous online forums and on his popular blog, Uncle Rod’s Astro Blog

September

SEPTEMBER 6 THE INHERENT WORTH AND DIGNITY OF EVERY PERSON

Dr. Cindy Schneider will talk on the first principle of Unitarian Universalism: the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  Last week, we had an introduction to all seven principles, and in the upcoming weeks, a different congregant of UUFM will parse and illuminate each of the remaining six Principles. 

SEPTEMBER 13 WATER INGATHERING

Rose Scott will lead this water-themed annual service and UU tradition. 

September 20 Black Lives Matter

At the recent GA, UUs voted for the 2015 Action of Immediate Witness, encouraging  "member congregations and all Unitarian Universalists to work toward police reform and prison abolition (which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable); ..."   UUFM will display our new Black Lives Matter banner and we will also fly the peace dove in honor of International Day of Peace on Monday, September 21.

September 27, 2015 Medicare/Medicaid ACA in Alabama

We welcome local Attorney Henry Brewster, who will discuss Alabama's ongoing struggle with healthcare. Mr. Brewster, an Alabama State Bar member since 1981, focuses his current legal practice on employment, discrimination (in employment, housing and public accommodations) litigation, Constitutional rights, inmates' rights and police misconduct.  Mr. Brewster was involved in the creation of the Center for Fair Housing, Inc. (formerly the Mobile Fair Housing Center, Inc.), and has advised it since its inception in 1993.  

August

August 2 Fresh Air Families

Award-winner Verna Gates discusses her statewide organization Fresh Air Families.  Founded in 2006Fresh Air Families offers more than 400 outdoor activities to an outreach of more than 10,000 people.  

August 9 What's in a Name? ISIS, the Caliphate & Islamic Theology

We welcome Professor Williams, who teaches in the History department of the University of South Alabama. She is a scholar of Islam whose research includes many aspects of Islamic theology, culture, and historiography. 

August 16 Covenant Building Coffeehouse

Group work on building our Covenant of Right Relations

AUGUST 23 HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

Jeremy Kerr discusses how to prepare and cope with hurricanes.

AUGUST 30 INTRODUCTION TO OUR UU PRINCIPLES

First of a series, Betty Gartman shares the background of the Unitarian Universalist Seven Principles. This series will feature one principle explored each month by a member or guest speaker.

July/ August

A series of coffeehouse discussions on Covenant building, racial identity, and two TED Talks, George Takai and Monica Lewinsky .

June

JUNE 7 LGBT WAVE OF HOPE

Lane Galbraith is a longtime resident of Mobile, AL. He has been the Director and Founder of LGBT Wave of Hope since 2009. He often provides education on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender) issues for local businesses, medical colleges, university student affairs, inclusive religious organizations, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and educational Gay/Straight alliances. He is on the advisory board for Aids Alabama South and longtime member ofMobile Alabama Pride. 

June 14 Family Promise

Teressa Ramsey
Family Promise of Coastal Alabama is the only organization in Mobile County that provides homeless shelter services for entire families. The Family Promise Network Program brings shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes through."Our mission is to provide temporary shelter, related services and nurturing support to families as they work to achieve and sustain independence". Family Promise's has an affiliate, the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) and they also put on the Cardboard City event, scheduled this year on October 24, 2015.  

June 21 Coffeehouse

A coffeehouse-style discussion on a topic to be anounced. Stay tuned!

June 28 Compassion for Immigrant Children

Founded and run Manos Helpinghands, a volunteer-based organization to serve, educate, and empower immigrant children in Alabama. From an al.com article on his work: "The need for tutoring is great, he said, because parents - many of whom are immigrants working construction and plant nursery jobs - lack sufficient English to help their children with their homework.  Some weeks, as many as 75 to 100 people have shown up weekly for the tutoring, English as a Second Language and GED classes."

May

May 3 Mind, Body & Spirit Bea Volkman

May 10 Mother's Day Service by Angel Noel-Chase

May 17 Songs for a Better World with Ken Sizemore

May 24 Half-thunk Thoughts and Half-fast Drawings by J.D. crowe 

May 31 Recognition Sunday by Kathy Murphy

april

April 5 Flower Communion & Souper Sunday with Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger

April 12 Public Secrets and Justice: Journal of a Circuit Court Judge with Judge Laura Melvin

April 19 Coffeehouse Discussion: The Meaning of Democracy: How We Use and Abuse It

April 26 The Work of Planned Parenthood by LaDonna Ellis

We welcome LaDonna Ellis, Alabama's grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood, Southeast. She will discuss the work of Planned Parenthood and their expansion of staff in Alabama as well as legislative issues and ways to get involved. Planned Parenthood is the nation's oldest and largest provider of family planning services. ... In 1930, a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama, the oldest in the Southeast.  

February 8, 2015: Russia,Religion, and the War in Ukraine

We welcome Dr. Mara Kozelsky, Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of South Alabama, is an expert on Ukranian and Russian history. The author of a book on the history of the Crimea, .Dr. Koselsky's knowledge of this complex and contested part of the world has recently been in demand by news agencies and others seeking a better understanding of the current situation.

January 25, 2015: Mass Incarceration: An Alabama Tragedy

We welcome Susan Watson, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama to talk about mass incarceration and its impact on the lives of Alabama citizens of African descent. The ACLU has received an Open Society grant of $50 million to make changing US criminal justice policies a key issue in local, state and national elections. UUA President Peter Morales has signed the Interfaith Letter for Clergy and Faith Leaders, as have many other faith leaders, asking that Congress institute changes to mandatory minimums. 

January 18, 2015:  Mobile Atheist Community

Dustin Chalker, founder of the Mobile Atheist Community (MAC), a social organization for non-religious people in the Mobile area. MAC is on of the groups participating in the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason's billboard campaign, getting underway as this newsletter is being done. Mr. Chalker recently launched Who Gives More?, an online fund-raising platform for charitable giving. 

January 11, 2015:  The Dance of Wisdom

Rev. Paul Beedle is the Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans and he will talk about the seven principles. The seven principles have been called "the seven abstractions." How can we offer and express Unitarian Universalist principles more substantially?  

Rev. Beedle's recent sermons range from a look at capitalism and the impact of Piketty's recent book to feminist theology to stories from the Jaya, by Devdutt Pattanaik, with discussion of the symbolism of Shiva and Vishnu in Hindu mythology.