HOPE – A 4-Letter-Word

Audio Recording

Hope-A 4-Letter-Word (MP3 file) – Recorded and edited on 4/21/2019. Please note that some of the audience responses had to be cut due to poor audio quality

Credit: Flickr User “Viv Lynch“, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 License

Order of Service for 4/21/2019

Prelude Music – Tam Kjer Murke Cveto

Lighting the Chalice

Opening words # 652 – Call and response

words by William Ellery Channing (Unitarian preacher)

Welcome & Greeting

Song # 1007 There’s a River Flowin’ in My Soul

Opportunity to Speak for Social Action

Joys & Concerns

Reading our Principles(front of hymnal)

HOPE—a “4-letter-word”
(presented by BHUU member Ken Hood)

  • Introduction
  • Parts 1 and 2
  • Reflection/Audience Feedback
  • Part 3

Song # 344 A Promise through the Ages Rings

Opportunity for Sharing Gifts

  • Music: Beautiful Dreamer, written by Stephen Foster

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Words # 691 (all recite)

Help us to be the always hopeful
gardeners of the spirit
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth
as without light
nothing flowers.

May Sarton (Unitarian poet)

Circle of Peace and Friendship (words written on the back wall say “Go well into life now, and when you need us, always remember that here you will find the hands of friends”)

Sources and Related Media

  • Danielle Muscato: “Humanism and social justice activism are inseparable. I do activism because I care about human welfare and meaning and health and happiness. I believe that humans are responsible for our own lives and welfare and that positive change comes about through human action. That’s the definition of humanism. Doing social justice activism is a foundational, integral aspect of being a humanist.”
  • Nontheism/Nontheist at WikiPedia
  • HG Wells (quoting from near the end of The Time Machine): “The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow in freshening gusts from the east, and the showering white flakes in the air increased in number. From the edge of the sea came a ripple and whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives—all that was over.”
  • Ryan Bell reflecting on his interview with Prof. John Gray, a noted critic of Humanism (transcript typed by Ken Hood): “I don’t think we need to decide between the optimist and the pessimist. The real challenge of post-theism is to be a realist. Sometimes reality gives us reason to hope and sometimes it does not.” Relevant audio begins at 50:53 in the video.
  • Sincere Kirabo: “I don’t think it’s possible to fully realize my ambitions for social transformation. At least not in the US. I don’t consider acknowledging this as being pessimistic. I’m a realist. I may think or dream big, but I’m grounded enough to accept that the legacies of oppression that shape our world, and the conditions that perpetuate these legacies, are extraordinarily difficult to dismantle. Regardless, the fight is necessary. All of the battles waged and little victories won along the way towards those seemingly unattainable end goals help inch marginalized communities that much closer to a freer tomorrow. This in and of itself makes the fight worthwhile.”
  • Recommended listening: “Broken and Really Broken,” by David Breeden, Humanist minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis.

Sunday, April 21st Schedule

Always a favorite Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist happening is “Soapbox Sunday!”  As topics, concerns and frustrations bubble & brew in your consciousness, make a note to bring them to our attention this coming Sunday, April 21st at the 9:15 forum.  

Former Board Chair Ken Hood will conduct the Service at 10:30.  Noting that “HOPE is a Four–letter Word”, Ken will share with us stories from his time student teaching and working with secondary school students.  Together we will reflect on the role of Hope–a sometimes helpful, sometimes dangerous quality–within a non-theistic framework.

Nourishment for body and soul always follows the service with fellowship and light refreshments;  it being third Sunday of the month, the congregation will enjoy pot luck together.   All are invited.

soapbox stand with painted words

Sunday, April 14th Schedule

Our Forum tomorrow morning, April 14th brings our fellowship Treasurer Pat Shifferd to the foreground to review and explore the proposed budget for 2019-2020.  Input from the membership is sought as we plan the coming year’s projects and events;  we begin at 9:15 a.m.  

Musical friends “February Sky” from da U.P. hey, Michigan, will enliven the 10:30 Service with their musical presentation “Acts of Creation -the Sacred Place of Art in Our Lives.” Phil Cooper and Susan Urban make up the folk duo, playing a number of acoustic instruments including guitar, cittern, mountain dulcimer, banjo and percussion. Always a favorite morning, their music ranges from traditional, modern and Gaelic folk to Susan’s original work.

Nourishment for body & soul always follows the service with fellowship and light refreshments, after which our BHUU Board will meet. All are invited to attend.  Added delight: we actually believe it will stop snowing by then ~ as they say:  Keep the Faith!

February sky band
Phil Cooper and Susan Urban – February Sky

Sunday, March 31st Schedule

Planned to be held earlier this month, the Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship will hold a Forum on “Climate Change & the Right to be Rescued” at 9:15, Sunday March 31st.  The topic will be addressed by Valerie Rude, whose experience working with persons with disabilities has made her aware that this issue is sometimes overlooked in planning for natural disaster rescues.   Time for discussion will be part of the Forum.

We expect our “little free library” to look something like this.

A “Work Day!” experience will take the place of formal service this same Sunday, as UU’s gather at 10:30 a.m. to build a “Little Free Library” which will be located on the premises as soon as the ground thaws.  Member Dave Hart will supervise the construction with plans and materials.  Bring your hammers, screwdrivers & saws. Those less comfortable with construction will sort through the BHUU library to select books to be offered.

Nourishment for body and soul always follows the service with fellowship and light refreshments;  all are invited to participate.

Sunday, March 24th Schedule

On Sunday March 24th, the 9:15 Forum at Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist fellowship in Rice Lake, will be hosted by Dave Hart.   The topic, yet to be determined, promises to be engaging, topical and often provocative.   Discussion rises to near art form in UU congregations, with time for all voices to be heard.


Rev. Jane Rzepka of the Church of the Larger Fellowship will conduct the Service at 10:30 a.m. via the magic of cyberspace.  Her topic, “Salvation”, springs from an earlier gathering of the General Assembly.   A time for fellowship and gnoshing always follows service, and all are invited to participate.

Sunday, March 10th Schedule

The Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship will gather Sunday March 10th to review the book choice for the “Common Read,”an event which all UU fellowships take part in each year. 2019’s book choice is a collection of essays entitled “Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment.” The text considers the work and involvement of various UU congregations. Kent & Pat Shifferd will lead a discussion of the book, expected to be cover the full morning beginning at 10:00 to 11:30.

Common Read Discussion

UU chalice symbol over rainbow background

Sunday, Feb 24th Schedule

Update: Service has been cancelled for today due to the weather

Update: Due to the heavy snowfall all activities at BHUU have been cancelede for Feb 24, 2019. Please stay safe!

The 9:15 Forum will take the form of advance planning for administrative issues of the fellowship on Sunday, February 24th.   Members are urged to attend and share their thoughts to help form direction and decisions for the future of our UU.  Community residents interested in the UU as a viable voice in the area are welcome to attend.

One of our most looked forward to Service hours will begin at 10:30 a.m.  “Music & Poetry Sunday” invites those attending to share favorite poems to read, whether their own creation or beloved work of other poets, and have opportunity to request specific hymns within the Service.   

Sunday, Feb 17th Schedule

With an active industry in frac sand mining in Barron County, it becomes critical for residents to learn as much as possible about the process and ramifications. Dr Dale Crisler of the Canton area has been active in the effort to bring attention and information to both his own Town Board and county residents. He will continue this mission as he leads the 9:15 Forum at our fellowship on Sunday, February 17th to consider the topic “Issues in Frac Sand Mining.”

During the formal Service at 10:30, Pat Shifferd will address the “Role of the Arts in a Time of Change.” Asserting her belief that the arts are essential to building a more just and sustainable society, Shifferd seeks to make the connection between Art and the UU “7th principle”:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Events: Saturday, Feb 9th

BHUU Board Meeting – Starting at noon and going 2-3 hours. Linda Thompson will host the meeting at her house (please email Linda if you need the address). The menu is “bring your own lunch.” This will be an open board meeting to discuss important items we need to plan for our fellowship.

Strategy Meeting – The Immigrant Advocates of Barron County (a local advocacy group which our fellowship supports) will meet at 1:30 PM at the Rice Lake Public Library.

Your presence is welcome if you are able to attend either of these meetings.

Sunday, Feb 10th Schedule

Unitarian Universalists recognize and honor six basic “Sources” as the rock for the belief systems and philosophies shared by UU fellowships.  At the 9:15 Forum Sunday February 10, Kent Shifferd and Robert Hasman will lead a discussion centering on these Sources and how they may be particularly meaningful to each of us as individuals.

The 10:30 Service will be led by Judith Barisonzi, with a goal to consider  “The UU View of Evil.”  Noting that “it has always been difficult for Unitarian Universalists to reconcile the often dark complexity of human nature with belief in the value of each individual human being,” the fellowship is invited to “ponder evil” and its implications for a spiritual outlook.