Who Are We?
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
NUUC is a church where people are invested in being part of building a community where we actively love and care for each other, where friendships develop, where we listen deeply, where we are intentionally present and where music flows from our hearts and throats.
How do I know this? Partly from what folk tell me during the informal gatherings and coffee hour times, and partly from the responses to our in-gathering worship on September 8th. At that service everyone was invited to write down (on a wisp of paper) what gifts they brought to this community, their intentional commitment for the year. Here are the most common responses (in rank order): love, community, care for others, singing/music, friendship, listening, being present and participating.
The core value of this church appears to be caring, loving community, and that is what I would call the Beloved Community. How do we actualize this? How do we make these values strong and vibrant?
Many people noted their intention to be more present, to care for others, to listen deeply, and so I want to use this opportunity to invite you to be part of the caring community. We are looking for people who will visit others when they are lonely or ill, people to listen to the stories, people to help organize meals at times. Please email me and let me know what active role you can play in caring for others: email@example.com
Here are some specific volunteer activities that you might consider:
Cook a meal, arrange for ongoing meals, visit someone who is ill or in hospice, arrange ongoing visits to a member, drive someone to medical appointments, coordinate receptions for member’s memorial services, join the Caring Committee!
Northlake Group Spotlight: Eastside Insight Meditation
– Steve W.
When people meditate together, the energy of gathering supports each person in their practice. That’s why the members of Eastside Insight Meditation practice together twice monthly in the Northlake chapel. Usually from 15 to more than 20 people gather, a fruitful mix of people who are Northlake members and others from the larger community. This mix benefits because it brings the group up to a critical mass, creating a mix of people with a wide range of meditation experience and temperaments.
The focus of Eastside Insight is training in mindfulness meditation, also known as insight practice or vipassana. While insight meditation is based on the teachings of the Buddha, it’s a universal practice that brings peace and perspective to people’s lives.
The practice can be an especially helpful tool for people in high-pressure tech jobs, which is why many of the regulars are from the tech community.
We sit on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7 pm. Generally the evening is made up of a brief introduction to the practice if anyone is new, followed by a 40-minute sit. Then we break for tea, and then check in around the circle so we get a chance to connect with each other and show up.
Finally there’s a talk on meditation and related aspects of the spiritual life, offered either by Kirkland-based teacher and Northlake board member Steve W., or by any of several experienced meditation and Buddhist teachers who visit. We always leave time for discussion.
Several times a year we offer six-week introduction to meditation classes, usually on a series of Monday evenings. We also offer days of mindfulness, usually on Saturdays. To offer these Eastside Insight is able to tap its second affiliation, as part of Seattle Insight Meditation Society. This helps us bring in teachers and other resources for offerings in Kirkland.
Any Northlaker is very welcome to join with us at Eastside Insight Meditation, as often or seldom as suits you.
Please email Steve W., and we will add you to the email list, which announces what we’re doing, and any schedule changes or visiting teachers. We hope to see you, and if you have any questions, let’s talk!
Joy and Sorrow
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
In the past 20 years or more there has been an effort to assure that Sunday morning services at UU congregations offer a sacred space. This has been a deliberate response to many who come to our sanctuaries to find a place that nurtures their spirit and feeds their need to explore what is holy in a world that feels increasingly chaotic.
What this means for us is that it is important to see each aspect of our Sunday service as a prayer, as an intentional act of ritual in our lives. At NUUC the litany for our service is around how we do the work of building beloved community, and we bring that question to each part of our worship together. As we share our joys or our sorrows with each other, this is part of a sacred ritual. It is a time when we express those things that stir us deeply and profoundly. This means we share a word, perhaps a sentence, just enough to make this a prayer. Let us continue to honor the community sharing of our lives in the spirit of holy intention.
Soul Matters Theme for October: Belonging
– Margaret Rogers, DLRE
“To ask ‘Whose am I’ … is to wonder: Who needs you? Who loves you? To whom are you accountable? To whom do you answer? Whose life is altered by your choices? With whose life is your own all bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?” —Douglas Steer
Northlake is engaging with the theme of Belonging this month. The Soul Matters Sharing Circle, for those who do not know it, is a resource for congregations to focus on a theme or topic each month. Northlake subscribes to the Worship, Small Group, Religious Education, and Family Ministry (called Soulful Home) components.
The advantage of this thematic ministry is that our entire multigenerational community is engaging with aspects of the theme together. This fosters the opportunity for connection across age groups and interests.
Northlakers can explore the thematic topics each Sunday in worship service. You are also welcome to join our informal small group discussion, which usually meets after service on the 4th Sunday each month. There are resource packets printed and available in the narthex (in the corner by the bulletin board to the left of the coffee hour treats). Packets are also available for download from our website (to access the folder, email Margaret).
Northlakers may also be interested in joining Rev. Nancy for a brown bag lunch and Ministerial Musings starting in November, and running on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 12:30 pm.
Youth in 6th-12th grade are engaging with the Soul Matters themes on the first Sunday of each month in their Coffeeshop Ministry discussion group (field trip to downtown Kirkland), led by two adult facilitators.
Our Children’s Religious Education classes are also exploring the Soul Matters themes in their Sunday morning classes. This past Sunday our 3rd – 5th grade class heard a story about reaching out to a classmate and then had a special guest, France G., who came to speak about why she belongs to Northlake and why she feels children are an important part of our congregation. The Wonderers class (PK-2nd grade) heard a wisdom tale about making mistakes, apologizing, and offering forgiveness – important skills for creating communities of belonging.
Families can access the Soulful Home packets to bring the theme back home. The packets are filled with questions, activities, bedtime stories, and ideas on how to bring the themes and values from church into family life. I especially appreciate the blessing for caregivers. The Soulful Home packets are available for download and printed copies are available in the narthex as well.
This is a kindly reminder to everyone to check on your vaccine status! Have you gotten your flu shot, are you up to date on your pertussis protection? We live in a close community here at the church, sharing our love along with our germs with the very young and the very old, and both of these groups are much more likely to have serious results of some of these preventable illnesses. It may not be you who gets ill, but the person you spread a germ to, so please check your vaccine updates! To find a personalized list of what vaccines you need for your age and lifestyle go to: https://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/