The living tradition, which we share, draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.
Wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.
Jewish and Christian teachings, which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Focusing on Friends and Family
The start of the holiday season can cause many people to struggle - family relationships can leave you feeling depleted and unsure of your next steps. Familial relationships can be some of the most confusing and complicated that we'll ever experience. Difficult relationships can be great teachers, but there comes a time when we just need peace. Peace can look different to all of us depending on our circumstances.
First, know that the "perfect" family doesn't exist - in this age of Internet perfection where many things are faked and photoshopped, don't fall for the belief that perfection exists in every family but your own. In reality, every family can have drama - it's up to US how we respond to it, because we only really have control over our OWN responses.
Learn how to recognize if you're being emotionally sapped by another person and take practical action to protect yourself against people who are not good for you. A favorite meditation can help you stay centered and calm.
Protect yourself from common "control dramas" that arise when people are feeling defensive - recognize the behaviors of the intimidator, the poor me, and the interrogator, and prepare in advance what you want to say to maintain your calm and enjoy the holiday.
Get past denial and distraction and learn the wisdom of forgiveness. Unwind and release the limiting beliefs that aren't true and learn your life and soul lessons with gratitude.
Learning and implementing these skills and the knowledge you'll gain is indeed hard work, but you'll continue to improve your life and shed the old - just in time to start the new month with increased joy, confidence, and strength.
Adapted from Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Same Choices, Same Results
“A change in perspective, behavior, or response can do so much more to help us move past issues left unresolved”
- Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
December 26, 2017 through January 1, 2018 - Community Kwanzaa Celebration
The Unitarian Universalist Church, in cooperation with the Norwich branch NAACP and the Norwich Area Clergy Association, is proud to announce its 2017 – 2018 Community Kwanzaa Celebration. Each day of Kwanzaa will be observed at area locations including the Donald L. Oat Theater, Park Congregational Church, the Norwich NAACP offices at Foundry66, and United Congregational Church from December 26 through January 1.
Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture. It’s celebrated from December 26th through January 1, and has its origins in the first harvest celebrations of Africa. It’s a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between us, a time to reverence the creator and creation, a time to commemorate the past and recommit to our highest cultural ideals.
The holiday was created in 1966 and is practiced by people from all religious faiths who come together based on the rich, ancient and varied common ground of their heritage, and their respect for and interest in the culture and music of people of other heritage backgrounds.
Each night’s observance will be held from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, with doors opening at 6 pm. Each celebration will include the principle of the day, the lighting of the Kwanzaa kinara (candleholder) and fellowship. Each night features a different speaker and some also have artistic or creative presentations. Our speakers include: Lottie B. Scott; Derell Wilson; members of the Norwich Area Clergy Association; Iris & Angy Gardner of Blazin BBQ; Wayne Silver of American Friends of Kenya; Professor Michelle Dunlap of Connecticut College; and Dianne M. Daniels of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Norwich. All are welcome!
February 18: Reverend Richard Kellaway - You Are Your Decisions?
Rev. Richard Kellaway is a regular speaker at UUCN, bringing many years of experience as a Minister and Service Leader.
Join us for Reverend Kellaway's sermon. All are welcome.