Northlake Lighthouse – January 2022
January Worship Services
“Spiritual With or Without God” by Rev. Nancy. What does it look like to be spiritual without having an understanding of God? Many of us have discarded concepts of God that seem unbelievable, but we still have a sense that there is a force of life that can’t be defined. We will explore what spiritual maturity might mean without having to believe in God.
“Being Anti-Racist” by Rev. Nancy. Part of our work in the world is to undo the white supremacy culture we exist in, yet many of us can’t identify or admit to this notion. This is a crucial part of undoing a racist system, and a first step in the work of this congregation becoming part of the anti-racist church.
“Wisdom of the World Religions: Our 3rd Source” by Rev. Nancy. This is the third sermon about the Sources that UU’s base our faith on. This source is: “The Wisdom of the world’s religions which inspire us in our ethical and spiritual life.”
“The Signs Are Everywhere” by Rev. Mykal Slack. What we surround ourselves with impacts what we believe is real and possible, in life, more broadly, and in our Unitarian Universalism. Join this 5th installment of a series on the 8th Principle, as we explore together the significance and the timeliness of a longer, more expansive view of liberation and community care.
Engaged in the Work
– Ellie P., NUUC Board of Trustees President
About 5 years ago, I joined Fran W, Dee O, and Celestine W to hold vigil at the Northwest Detention Center. The incarceration of undocumented citizens in our area was something I felt called to witness because, at the time, two of our close family relatives were undocumented. I came to understand, on very personal level, the real sacrifice these individuals make to secure a better life for their children, while contributing in enormous and beneficial ways to our economy and society.
I felt so grateful to our vigil team because it afforded me a way to assist those, like my family members, who had endured so much hardship. It also allowed me to bear witness to a gross injustice that was occurring: expanding immigration custody (to the detriment of immigrant health and safety) to increase company profit.
Ultimately, this Northlake program gave me PROXIMITY. Talking to family members of incarcerated immigrants, offering them food and comfort, was a way for me to live out our seven principles. And it’s not the only Northlake program to have done so. A few years ago, we hosted the Eastside Emergency Shelter for a month, which allowed me and other Northlakers the PROXIMITY necessary to understand the true face of homelessness in our area. I was astounded at the number of employed individuals who cannot afford housing, as well as the number of families with young children. And as a result of this experience, I’ve volunteered with a group of friends, providing meals to the local day shelter on a regular basis.
Time and time again, Northlake has provided opportunities to engage in THE WORK, an opportunity to understand why our mission and vision exist. Whether flash stances, donation collections, community meals, or letter writing campaigns, Northlake has provided multiple channels to act on our values and religious beliefs. And as we weather the uncertainty brought on by this pandemic, continued racial unrest, and environmental exploitation, I know we will continue to do so.
This is why I give to Northlake. Funding our mission through my pledge is how I ensure we can do this work now and for years to come. As our Stewardship drive nears, I hope you will consider the ways Northlake has given you proximity to the issues that matter to you, the ways it’s allowed you to make a difference in this world, and I hope you’ll pledge your support.
Being a Member of Northlake UU Church!
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
Many folk have been joining us for our Sunday worship service and weekly gatherings in the past year. All are welcome, and I would like to extend the invitation to become a member of our church!
There are several ways to prepare for membership at Northlake:
- Review the NUUC Mission, Vision, and Covenant of Right Relations and decide if they are consistent with your personal values and goals.
- Attend 4-6 Sunday services and/or church activities to see if you feel welcome and would like to participate regularly.
- Make a financial contribution of record to Northlake and consider what level of financial support you are willing to make in the future.
- Meet with the minister or a representative of the Membership Committee and request to sign the Membership Book.
Northlake expects members to each do their part to create and maintain a successful spiritual community. There are various ideas about what makes a good member but here are some common ones:
- Participate regularly in worship services and activities.
- Attend Congregational Meetings held a few times per year to elect board members, review the annual budget and vote on major decisions that require membership support.
- Respect the Covenant of Right Relations and make a strong effort to comply.
- Take the time to understand the Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association of which Northlake is a member congregation.
- Offer financial support (an annual pledge) to the church consistent with your financial means and level of participation. (Most of our operating budget comes from pledges of our members and friends. A smaller percentage comes from rentals.)
- Volunteer to help with projects and committees, sharing your time and talents.
- Offer support and respect to Visitors, Friends and Members, as each of us do our part to serve the mission of the church and to make our church vision statement a reality.
- Show respect toward the church’s status as a Welcoming Congregation and as a Green Sanctuary.
If you have never signed our Membership Book but are interested in being a member of our beloved community, I would love to talk with you! Please reach out.
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
We do not have an ongoing Social Justice Team at Northlake at this time, but that does not mean the growth and practice of creating justice in the world has stopped! This year we have had two primary focus areas that require internal work that will then influence how we interact with each other and our world:
At one of our next Congregational Meetings the Northlake congregation will vote on whether to support adding a new Principle to the traditional 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism. This Eighth Principle reads: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
At the same time we will vote on whether to hang a “Black Lives Matter” sign from our building.
These votes are not to be taken without preparation. This is more than a display of our dreams, it requires that we each examine ourselves as we examine the way our collective members act to dismantle racism.
There are ways you can engage in preparing for this.
First, plan to attend the 4-hour online workshop on Feb. 12th. with Paula Cole Jones. This workshop will introduce strategies for working toward long-term cultural change within the congregation that can lead us into the future. It will share a framework for how collaboration and accountability shape the racial and social justice history in the U.S., and engage us in the transformative power of the 8th Principle.
Second, attend the Eighth Principle Series of sermons that happen the last Sunday of each month. These sermons are from BIPOC people around the country who zoom in to talk with us about part of the shift we must make to join in anti-racism work. This month we will hear from Rev. Mykal Slack and in April Rev. Ranwa Hammamy will join us.
Third, read My Grandmother’s Hands and So You Want to Talk About Race, and prepare to join a discussion about each of these books.
Northlake has been recognized by the Welcoming Congregation program for many years. We have worked hard to make sure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are full members of our faith communities. Being welcoming means striving for radical inclusion, and creating spaces that honor every part of our identities, backgrounds, and experiences.
It is not enough, though, to do the work once and then rest. New members and changing culture means we need to be regularly evaluating ourselves and how we include all. This year we are renewing our Welcoming Congregation status, and this means officially recognizing days of significance for the LGBTQI+ community, offering a workshop, and focusing two worship services on LGBTQI+ topics.
You may have noticed that there have been on-going moments during worship services where we have talked about Transgender Remembrance or important historical events. In March we will have Rev. Alex Kapital present for the Transgender Day service, and in June we will formally recognize Pride month. At the end of June this will allow us to reapply for recognition as a Welcoming Congregation.
Adult Education Opportunities at Northlake
Monthly Book Group
The Book Group would love to have you join us for rousing discussion of the books listed below. The group meets first Tuesday of the month 7:00-8:30pm. In April, help us choose the books we’ll read for the next year.
Please contact Diane D (click to join) for more information and to join the group.
January, 2022: The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
Presented by Raziya M
February 2022: The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
Presented by Joyce W
March 2022: Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Presented by Pat K
April 2022: Annual Potluck and Book Selection Meeting
Join us on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm for time to grow together, deepen our spiritual lives and learn how to heal the world.
January 12th – Spirit in Practice: Mind Practices
Sometimes spirituality is associated with purely emotional, non-rational ways of being; however, rational thought has an important role in spiritual practice, especially in Unitarian Universalism. This will be the focus for reflection this month.
January 19th – Writing from Your Soul
This is a new offering, and a time for each of us to reflect and practice creative writing (or whatever creative process that works for you). It is not a creative writing class or a time for critique, but a time for individual reflection, sharing and affirmation. The format will include sharing a poem together, then individual creativity, then time to listen to what we have each created (as we are willing to share).
January 26th – UU Social Justice History: Responding to Calls for Black Empowerment
This workshop is part of the Resistance and Transformation series and addresses some of the UU history regarding Racial Justice:
“In the late 1960s, the Unitarian Universalist Association and its member congregations were faced with a changing philosophical and strategic landscape surrounding their social justice efforts. The Black Power movement was one of several empowerment and liberation movements that challenged the existing structures and priorities. This workshop examines how the “Black Power” movement affected our religious movement by focusing on two narratives—one the story of a congregation and one of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Both were torn apart by the pressures and tensions that arose as a result of their responses to the events of the time.”
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org