The Flame

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published Thursday, April 3, 2008
Handling Surprises
Sunday, April 6 at 11 am in the Church Sanctuary
service conducted by the Rev. Fred Rabidoux

"Keep your feet firmly planted in mid air."

Is this advice for a spiritual program or a tip on snow boarding?

Be forewarned, you won't leave the service the same as when you came in.

Participating in the service with Rev. Rabidoux will be Acting Director of Religious Education Betty Skwarek, Unitarian Universalist seminarian Michael Walker, Trustee Nan Parks McCarthy, and Sunday's Forum Speaker, the Venerable Robina Courtin.

The Liberation Prison Project
Forum Sunday at 9:30 in the Thomas Starr King Room
from Karen Melander-Magoon

The Venerable Robina Courtin will speak to the Forum about the Liberation Prison Project and her work teaching the principles of Buddhism.

A nun for over 20 years in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Ven. Courtin spent 10 years editing for Wisdom Publications followed by over five years as editor of Mandala, an international Buddhist news magazine.

Ven. Courtin directs the Liberation Prison Project, serving thousands of prisoners nationwide. She also travels the world teaching Buddhism to students of all ages and levels. Her prison work was recently profiled in an award-winning documentary, Chasing Buddha.

The free program will start at 9:45. Come at 9:30 for conversation, coffee, and (for a slight charge) a light breakfast.

Take-One, Bring-One Children's Library Opens
Religious Education Classes Sunday at 11 am
RE Family picture from Betty Skwarek, Acting Director of Religious Education

The Society has a new "take-one, bring-one" children's library in the Religious Education (RE) library space thanks to the efforts of a whole bunch of parents and children. Special praise goes to the Junior Youth and their teachers who moved a lot of books from the RE library to the RE office last Sunday.

The "take-one, bring-one" library works like this: Come and browse. Select a book you want to take home. You may keep it as long as you like, but before you take another book, please bring back the book you took originally or another book that someone else would like to read.

In the next few weeks the RE team will be introducing the children to the library and encouraging the children to start using it regularly.

Sunday School begins focusing on its April theme, "appreciation and resentment". The lesson in chapel will be the Buddha's birthday.

New students are welcome throughout the year, and parents are invited to phone Acting Director of Religious Education Betty Skwarek at 776-4580 for more information.

Two Sextons Lose Home In Fatal Fire
Fire Fund Established to Help Our Community Members
from Rev. Gregory Stewart

Sextons Thomas Brown and Kelvin Jones lost their housing and personal belongings in a fire in their apartment building on Adeline Street in Oakland Tuesday.

The fire started in apartment #119. Thomas lived with his partner Peggy in #117, and Kelvin lived in #113.

One resident died in the fire. Peggy, who was at home at the time, escaped through a window.

Cash donations may be sent to the church. Please mark Fire Fund on the memo line. Please do not bring clothing or furnishings until we know that they have found a new place to live.

Good and Welfare
We are saddened by the death of long-time Member Ted Drenton. Ted passed away this week at Saint Mary's Hospital. Information on a memorial service will be shared in a future newsletter.

The Memorial Service for Marvin Mercer will take place on Sunday, April 13, at 3 pm (not on Saturday as previously announced). The service will be conducted jointly by Ven. Darlene Cohen, a Zen priest and Marvin's beloved teacher, and the Reverend Gregory Stewart.

Marvin joined this congregation in 1955, and maintained his membership the remainder of his life. If you have pictures of Marvin, or reminiscence to share, please contact Rev. Stewart.

Jean Kroll Rev. Laurel Liefert, the Society's ministerial intern 2005 - 2006, was in Colorado over the weekend with Henry and Jean Kroll. They all attended the grand installation ceremony for former Bay Area minister the Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry. She is the newly called minister for the Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Jean will be making her first visit to San Francisco since moving to Silver Sage Cohousing Village in Boulder in November. She plans to be at church a week from Sunday (April 13).

Congratulations to Denis Paul on being approved for fellowship by the Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Fellowship Committee last week. Denis has now completed all of the formal education steps toward becoming a minister.

The Witness and Foolish Fun
Play Performance Monday (April 7) 6:30 pm at 234 Hyde Street
Oscard Feast

Faithful Fools invite you to a performance of the play The Witness, Monday (April 7) at 6:30 pm at Fools Court, 234 Hyde Street. Based on the Ten Ox-Herding pictures of the ancient Zen Buddhist teachings, this one-woman play follows the journey of a young woman onto the streets. She comes to understand that she must look at the assumptions of her own mind before she can enter whole-heartedly into the community of all living beings.

Written and directed by Martha Boesing, The Witness portrays the work and operating ethos of the Faithful Fools. A free-will offering will be received. For more information call the Fools at 474-0508.

The photograph at the top of this story shows Foolish frolickers feasting at last week's annual fundraising dinner. See more Sonnie Willis photographs from the festival and from the Fool's Sunday service by clicking below.

Why China Resident Matt Brazil is a Member
Did you know that the Society has pledging members who rarely get to actually come to a service? They contribute generously from locations far and wide.

Matt Brazil (pictured) has maintained his pledge, first from Australia and now from China.

We asked him "Why?"

Bubba's got Jazz, but needs a Home
from Dolores Perez Priem

Bubba was rescued from a New Orleans shelter in December 2007. He is just one of many dogs rescued by our Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (UFETA) in a joint venture with Animal Rescue New Orleans. He is currently being fostered by Sue Anthony here in San Francisco.

Scenes from the Meatout Bubba is a 1- to 2-year-old purebred Mountain Feist, a Southern breed often confused for a large Jack Russell or Rat Terrier. He's a very affectionate, happy dog despite having spent most of his first year in a shelter.

If you know anyone who may be able to give this sweet dog a forever home, please contact Sue at 826-6193 or by email.

UFETA's Great American Meatout last Saturday was a lively affair which featured a healthy and delicious lunch. The photo at right is from that luncheon which included representatives of the Social Justice Ministries.

phone: 415 776-4580

The Flame is published by volunteers under the authority of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco.

To submit information, photographs, or essays -- or to ask a question -- please e-mail the editors. Deadline for articles is noon each Tuesday. Our publication guidelines are available on the Internet.

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