Blog

September 20, 2020

On Sunday, September 20th, as part of our Blue Hills UU service, fellowship member Jude Genereaux will share with us the ways she finds “Sanctuary in the Natural World.”   As we continue our journey in this strange time zone , we seek ways to cope with changes in our lives and gatherings.   Fortunate as we are to live in the northwoods, the many ways to seek understanding and peace for the soul are abundant.   Sometimes one just needs to hold still to recognize them.

What do you find in the out-of-doors that brings you solace?   Be ready to share an experience or solution to the claustrophobia that comes when life feels limited.

We begin at 10:00 a.m. The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to sign in. Visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.

Those lacking cyberlink connection or equipment to enable participation and want to join in, are invited to meet IN the church, masked and distanced ~!~ to watch the presentation on large screen ZOOM.

Several group discussions regarding Racial Justice will take place on September 21st and 30th at 6:30 p.m.  Based on the book “White Fragility”, April Neilsen serves as facilitator, encouraging those interested to take part whether the book has been read or not.  A link will be sent to members the day before, noting the time of meeting. 

September 13, 2020

Order of Service

There is “Power in Small Congregations” and our guest, Rev Phil Lund will share this perspective with the Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalists at our 10 a.m. service,  Sunday, September 13th.  

In recent discussions, our fellowship has affirmed the esteem and satisfaction we find in our small fellowship, which Rev Lund describes as “Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective.”   Lund expands his observance: “We’ve learned ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forced congregations of all sizes to find new ways of doing church. While larger congregations may seem to have more resources to make the changes needed to adapt, smaller congregations have their own strengths. We’ll explore the traits that make small congregations particularly well-suited to thrive in these trying times.”

The BHUU Board members will meet after the service concludes;  all are invited.

We begin at 10:00 a.m. The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to sign in. Visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.

Those lacking cyberlink connection or equipment to enable participation and want to join in, are invited to meet IN the church, masked and distanced ~!~ to watch the presentation on large screen ZOOM.

Several group discussions regarding Racial Justice will take place September 9 at 10 a.m., and on the 14, 21, and 30th, at 6:30 p.m.  Based on the book “White Fragility”, April Neilsen will serve as facilitator, encouraging all who are interested to take part whether the book has been read or not.  A link will be sent to members the day before, noting the time of meeting.  

September 6, 2020

Sunday, September 6th, Blue Hills UU’s will continue the discussion begun last week, considering how we, a small congregation, should think about our place in the community.  Dividing into smaller groups through the magic of Zoom, the following questions were focus:

  • What three or four basic values should be reflected in all our activities?
  • What difference do we want to make in the world?
  • What specific ends do we want to reach?
  • What projects would move us toward these ends?

We will continue this important inquiry on September 6th by hearing from each group as we seek to provide the foundation for building a consensus on how to live out our mission as UU’s.   Three additional questions will be asked of individual members to aide in our continued planning:   What is my passion?  What am I willing to give up (or have given up) to make this happen?   What am I looking for in BHUU?  What am I getting out of it?  What more do I need?  Am I willing to give more?

We begin at 10:00 a.m. The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to sign in. Visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.

Those who want to participate, but lack cyberlink connection or equipment to enable, are invited to meet IN the church, masked and distanced ~!~ to watch the presentation on large screen ZOOM.

Several group discussions regarding Racial Justice will take place September 2, 9, 14, 21, and 30th, at either 10:00 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.  Based on the book “White Fragility”,  April Neilsen will serve as facilitator, but encourages all who are interested whether the book has been read or no.  A link will be sent to members the day before, noting the time of meeting. 

“Sunfflowers” -James Bradley

August 30, 2020

Your Blue Hills UU Board members began their new term by meeting together (in person!) July 18th at our newly elected Chairman, Dr. Mark Van Etten’s home.   First order of business for Mark, was to launch a discussion on a rethinking of our “Missions and Goals.”  Earlier this year, some of our members participated in a series of webinars given by the UUA to help small congregations like ours build on their unique strengths. Now it’s time for us to discuss these ideas among ourselves and set priorities for our fellowship.

This approaching Sunday, August 30, after we light the chalice, we’ll divide into small groups (yes, we can do this on Zoom!) and seek your input to these questions:  

  • What three or four basic values should be reflected in all our activities?
  • What difference do we want to make in the world?
  • What specific ends do we want to reach?
  • What projects would move us toward these ends?

We’ll reassemble in our larger group to conclude the service.   On September 6th we’ll hear the conclusions of each of the smaller group, and plan to continue working together toward establishing the direction and activities for BHUU for the coming year.  This effort will provide the basis for what committees/action groups we need.    

Remember,every voice is important!

August 23, 2020

Order of Service

Sunday morning, August 23rd, Blue Hills UU member Brian Rude will poke the sleeping bear by asking us “”Questions of Pride”.

Brian Rude ~ Music Master

This will be an informal discussion focused on just what do we mean by “pride”?  Is pride a good thing?  Is pride a bad thing?  Is it sometimes both?  What are proper subjects of pride, and what might be improper?  Brian says “No hard and fast rules of pride are anticipated, but the subject raises many interesting and, I think, worthwhile questions.”  

One of the advantages of gathering on “Zoom” is that all participants can be given time to interact and respond to Brian’s provocative inquiry.  We begin at 10:00 a.m.  The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to sign in.  Visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org  for the link needed to join the service.

August 16, 2020

Order of Service (Docx, “Word” file)
Susan O’Leary of Madison WI will spend the morning with the Blue Hills UU’s Sunday, August 16th. to speak on “Kindness in These Times.”  As a member of Madison’s Snow Flower Buddhist Sangha, Ms. O’Leary has practiced in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and will share with us insight and wisdom acquired through over twenty-five years of practice. 

An author of several books, the most recent “Delight in 1000 Characters,” is co-authored with calligrapher and Buddhist scholar, Kazuaki Tanahashi.   The text addresses the 1000 Character Essay, brushed by monk Zhiyong, which for 1500 years was the standard calligraphy text in East Asia for teaching writing.

As one of the first in a group of women admitted to Yale University as undergraduates, after completing her degree, Susan returned to the Midwest to earn a Ph.D in French at the UW Madison where she & husband Jim continue to make their home and are active in Madison’s diverse culture. 

Be with us Sunday to share Susan’s rich experience;  we meet in cyber space at 10 a.m.  The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, though all interested are invited to participate;  visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.

August 9, 2020

Our own Kent Shifferd is plotting to bring the real dirt on “Dirt” to our Blue Hills UU’s this coming Sunday, August 9th.  “Dirt”, Dr. Kent tells us “is not only amazing, but is quite literally the ground of our being.”   

We simply refer to the substance as “dirt”, but there is a significant difference between soil, loam and dirt:   dirt is what you get on your clothes and hands while working in the soil.  Soil is “made up of elements that have been decomposing since the earth was created, composed of bedrock and mountain stones broken down over eons by wind and rain.”   Be with us as Kent leads us to discover the importance of this element, and, as he would remind us:  “No dirt /no Us”

     We meet in cyber space at 10 a.m. Sunday.  The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, though all interested are invited to participate;  visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.

Recently elected BHUU Board members will meet in regular Board session after the conclusion of the service, 11:00. New officers are Chairman Mark Van Etten, Vice Chair Pat Shifferd, Treasurer Jude Genereaux and members at large: Judy Barisonzi, Valerie Rude, Linda Tollefsrud and Ken Hood. Board meetings are always open to all BHUU members.








August 2, 2020

Order of Service (PDF)

Yard signs with the message to “SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS” have popped up along country roads and city byways.   How can we best do this, and what does this message mean to you? Do you have a relationship with a farmer you can ask what the message means to them?  Do you know what they want us to do?  Can we  find ways to learn from and actively support their contributions in our locality?

On Sunday, August 2nd, Linda Thompson will lead us in thought as we consider how we may best be able to identify local products and gain access to them.  We’ll listen to music, read a story of farming life and perhaps actually hear from local farmers who can suggest ways we can “Support your Local Farmer.”

 The Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship gathers at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, once again in cyber space through the magic of ZOOM.  The Zoom link will be sent to BHUU members, although all interested are invited to participate.   Visitors may contact Ken Hood > Ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join in the Zoom service.

July 26, 2020

Order of Service (PDF)

Blue Hills UU welcomes back Peighton Carter on Sunday, July 26th.  Carter spoke to our fellowship in 2019 on Veterans’s issues and disabilities, and returns to us via Zoom this weekend.  Having recently completed her ministerial internship at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Eau Claire, Carter continues work towards a Masters in Divinity, concentrating on social justice and ethics as a fourth year seminary student at Iliff School of Theology.    

At our 10:00 service, Carter’s focus will delve into story telling and narrative justice, sharing her journey in combining advocacy work and ministry.  We are invited to discover along with her as she considers “How the sharing of stories and experiences can help inspire change and build a better beloved community.”

Blue Hills UU meets in cyber space at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings; the Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to participate. Visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service

July 19, 2020

Order of Service for July 19
Richard Terrill returns to BHUU along with one of the members of a jazz quartet he plays saxophone with, to bring us a morning of reverence through thought provoking music.  Larry McDonough, of the quartet that goes by his name, will accompany Terrill on piano.  The musical pieces chosen seek to shed new light on our UU spirituality.

An award winning author, Terrill taught in the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato as a Distinguished faculty scholar, retiring in 2017.  Joining talents with McDonough, a law professor at U Minnesota and practicing attorney with a pro bono group, the two will bring us this original work created by Terrill.

We meet again in cyber space next Sunday, July 19th at 10 a.m.  The Zoom link will be sent to members by Saturday, although all interested are invited to participate;  visitors may contact Ken Hood > ken@bluehillsuu.org for the link needed to join the service.