Beverly Unitarian Church at Christmas
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SUNDAY January 21 ~ 10:30 AM

Rev. David Schwartz
Sermon: "How Much is Enough?"
In Japanese Buddhist mythology, “hungry ghosts” are depicted as humans with huge stomachs and inhumanly small mouths and throats: no matter how much hunger they have, they can never get enough. How do we find the quiet heart of having enough in a world that tells us, always, that we need more?

BUC Spotlight

Our Clever Minister's History Lesson

This is Reverend David's January article in our monthly newsletter. You can see why we are appreciating our minister who is new to us this year. He's clever and smart and his river runs deep. We could not ask for more!

“Ten Commandments for Church Members”
Last month I had the chance to read through the Beverly Unitarian Church files in the archives at Meadville. There’s a file folder of official correspondence with the American Unitarian Association (predecessor of the Unitarian Universalist Association). It’s full of mostly mundane things: logistics around purchasing the castle and borrowing money; help in finding ministers to serve in the 1940s; the occasional complaint letter about something happening within the church.

But there was a second file folder as well: Beverly Unitarian Church formed out of the merger of the Beverly Unitarian Fellowship (founded in 1941) and the older People’s Liberal Church of Chicago, also called the First Universalist Society of Englewood (founded in 1878).
Among those papers, I found a mimeographed paged called “TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR CHURCH MEMBERS” from the 1940s, whose slightly tongue-in-cheek approach to member-ship appealed.
I. Thou shalt not take it for granted that the church work will be done by someone else if thou failest to do thy share.
II. Thou shalt not charge thy brethren with the responsibility of seeing that the temple is filled if thou abidest elsewhere.
III. Thou shalt not say thy church is unfriendly if thou dost not thyself contribute to its
friendliness.
IV. Thou shalt not look only at the machinery and mechanics of thy church, but look beyond those and behold its mission as an uplifter of men and a changer of life-currents.
V. Thou shalt remember that thy church consisteth of thee, thy brethren, and those who minis-ter, and that these jointly are responsible for success or failure.
VI. Thou shalt give as thou hast prospered so that the endeavor to bring in the Kingdom of God [by which they mean what we today might call “beloved community”] may prosper also.
VII. Thou shalt speak well of that which is good rather than discourage others by talking loudly only of what has not been so hot, or it shall profit thee nothing.
VIII. Thou shall occasionally say, “Here I am, send me.” [Meaning: volunteer from time to time!]
IX. Thou shalt occasionally bring others with thee that new friends may be made for thy church.
X. Thou shalt not be absent from meetings and services excepting for reasons that would keep thee from other meetings also.

I appreciate knowing that the people who sat in our chairs before we came along weren’t all that different than us. Like us, they sometimes grumbled, and sometimes failed to show up, and sometimes loved their church so much they forgot to invite anyone else to join them here. Like those deeply involved in leadership today, they struggled sometimes to balance doing the work of making the church machinery run with getting personally fed and uplifted by that church.

And like us, they knew that the substance of the church—the thing that endures, the thing that is real—is the relationships between its people. The mission points us a way, and the building make a space, but the life of the church is lived only by its members and friends.
I’m grateful to be here with you all who lives these commandments, and sometimes falling short, of course, and picking ourselves up, and setting joyfully to work again.

In Hope,
Rev. David Schwartz

Thank You!

December was a busy month! The Beverly Unitarian Church opens its doors to the larger community and they never fail to respond positively.

We began on the first Saturday of the month with our Breakfast with Santa "FUN"draiser. Everyone who is able pitches in to work the event, mostly because it is so much fun and Char Lichtenfeld, who chairs the event, sees to it that things run smoothly. She's had a lot of experience because we've been doing this for years and it is delightful to see how the children grow and change from year to year. Almost all of the attendees are not members of the church and we are thrilled that our church home is the place where Santa resides one day of the year. It is a four hour whirlwind with a few tears shed here and there by some of the more skeptical toddlers Nonetheless, the delicious $5 breakfast, which has never gone up in price, makes everyone happy. Even the adults!

Visitors in December can't miss seeing "Santa's Holiday Resale Shop" on display in the church's vestibule and foyer. Every year, the donations pour in to become a treasure for some lucky buyer. The kids love it too because it all began as a way for them to learn about the art of giving. There are always lots of reasonably priced items that become their gifts for their families.

That Saturday was also the kick off of the Christmas Tree Sale. Jean Hardy Robinson champions this fundraiser, which is a long standing tradition in the community. Jean purchases 100 freshly cut trees of all sizes. The sale only lasts four days but the conversations we have with our neighbors provide long lasting memories. Ours is the Christmas tree lot that is filled with good will and camaraderie.

On the Sunday before Christmas, the children of the church conduct the holiday service. What they decide to perform is always a wonderful surprise and we are all rewarded afterwards at the ANNUAL COOKIE WALK. It's a magical experience! Members spend lots of time baking at home and then they bring their goodies to church and then buy each others cookies. It may not make sense but it does make for a good time and tins filled with a wide variety of delicious carbs.

Thank you to all who visited the castle this season. We hope you enjoyed your pancakes and photos with Santa, the treasurers you found at our resale boutique and your fragrant Christmas tree. Happy New Year and see you next year.

Breakfast with Santa ~ Sat. Dec. 2, 8 AM to 12 Noon

You can believe in Santa on this magical day when we welcome the larger community for this favorite, annual FUNdraiser that fills our sanctuary with smiles. Yes, it is that time of year ALREADY. Comfort yourself, friends and family with hot food, good coffee and friendly faces all for a $5/person donation. You can also browse the White Elephant Holiday Boutique to find the perfect decoration to fill in that one empty spot in your home. Our 1st Floor is Wheel Chair Accessible.

Welcome, Reverend David Schwartz!

The Beverly Unitarian Church community is extremely pleased to introduce (drum roll) the Rev. David Schwartz! The congregation, after hearing David's first sermon, is feeling more than lucky. In the pulpit, David is personable and able to convey a heartfelt message with humor and thoughtfulness. Your week will go a lot better when you begin it on Sunday, listening to an articulate and positive minded minister deliver a researched and reflective sermon that encourages hopefulness and motivates us to do the good work that needs to be done, for ourselves and for our wonderful world. Together, we are better!

Reprinted here is David's "Welcome from the Minister."
"Welcome to Beverly Unitarian Church! I hope this will be a place where you can grow your spirit and help heal the world.

We are a diverse community, joyfully gathering in multi-racial and multi-ethnic community hoping to reflect this city. We are a welcoming congregation, celebrating the presence and participation of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer.

What binds us together is the values we share and the mission we seek to live. As Unitarian Universalists, it isn't the specific list of things we believe that unites us: theologies within our congregation include folks who believe in God all of the time, and some of the time, and none of the time.

More than that, we are a people who know firsthand that uniting in a religious community has profoundly shaped our lives for the better. We are transformed by deep relationships across the usual division of race, class, age, and sexuality. We are strengthened with a weekly worship that recommits us to actually practice in the world what we preach. And we’d love to welcome you into this way of living, too.

So, come on in -- we’ll see you in church!
Rev. David"

Buddhist Meditation

Reverend Marcia Curtis invites you to participate in a Buddhism-based meditation in a group setting. Join us Sundays at 7:30pm in the church sanctuary. Newcomers welcome.

Religious Education

       

Childcare for our youngest is available during services.
                

                        All children are welcome!   

 

 

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