Fire Communion – the Back Story

I have been leading our Fire Communion service the last couple of years at Glacier UU and will again this year. We do ours the last Sunday in December. I was looking for some closing words online and stumbled onto this blog…
it’s Great!

I'm Mary and I'm a Unitarian

Fire Communion – The Back Story

On December 29, 2013, Patrick Dubois and I led the annual Fire Communion at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. This was year six. We will keep doing it.

It all started because we happened to be sitting near each other at a fire communion many years ago. It sparked our collaboration. At that service, children were present and the worship leader kept warning everyone about the dangers of kids and fire. I thought: “Either have the kids there and make it safe; or provide an activity so they’re not there.” What if the Catholic priest during communion gave little mini lectures about the dangers of alcoholism or nutritional facts about bread and wafers? When I spontaneously said to Patrick, “I might like to work on next year’s fire communion,” he quickly offered to work with me on it.

View original post 3,325 more words

Advertisements

Group 9 – Moms & Daughters! (featuring Liz & Caitie)

Read this with a box of tissues…

alana t photography

melissajfinal
lilyfinal
caitiefinal
lizfinal
jenniferfinal
alyssafinal
jessicafinal
elainefinal
melissahfinal
tarynfinal

(The introduction for each of these Group 9 blogs will be the same…if you’ve already read it, feel free to skip down to Caitie’s & Liz’s stories…if not, Melissa’s & Lily’s stories can be found here)

“When people tell you that raising kids is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, it’s an understatement.”

Those were words written in and spoken by Melissa, the first mom to share her story. Melissa had participated in Group 1 and was ready/nervous/frightened/determined to participate in this group, as she thought it would be beneficial to share the same honest and open experience with her daughter.

This project had been going on for a year and a half by the time this group took place back in June.
Every group is eye-opening, every group is relatable, every group has compelling stories that evoke much emotion.
This group was all of those things and more.
The emotion…

View original post 4,614 more words

Super Easy, Family Pleasing Chicken

IMG_0566.JPG

Do you ever have one of those moments where you are contemplating what you’re making for dinner at like 2 o’clock in the afternoon, then you remember seeing something in your inbox a couple of days before that you’re pretty sure you have all of the ingredients for?

You find it, it looks okay & you realize that with a few modifications you’re pretty sure everyone would like it.

If you’re lucky you’re right. If you were me this last week, you were amazed because they LOVED it so much I just made it again tonight. This time I took pictures for you all!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

IMG_0554.JPG

8 oz of French Dressing

IMG_0555.JPG

1 packet of onion soup mix

IMG_0556.JPG

IMG_0557.JPG

A generous dusting of granulated garlic & a pinch or 2 of cayenne (more if your family likes things hot).

IMG_0558.JPG

8 oz of apricot preserves
(You could sub orange marmalade if you want it a little less sweet, but it’s not crazy sweet anyway…)

IMG_0559.JPG

Mix it up well & set aside.

IMG_0560-2.JPG

IMG_0561-0.JPG

Fill a glass baking dish with chicken thighs & season liberally with salt & pepper. (I used about 10-11 boneless skinless chicken thighs). Then pour on the sauce & spread to cover the thighs evenly. Place into a preheated oven & cook for 60 min.

IMG_0563.JPG

When the timer goes off turn on the broiler to low for 8-10 min. This caramelizes the top just enough to make it awesome.

IMG_0566-0.JPG

IMG_0564.JPG

And here we are! I served it with rice & salad the 1st night, peas the 2nd.
Leftovers heated up well too…this one was awesome!

Teens, the toddler, the hubby, & I all loved it & that is a rare occurrence!

Go love someone!
~Paige

July Special!

My business’ July special helps out my small UU Fellowship! Check it out!

k(No)w More

My July Special is a little personal….so for those of you who don’t care much about this cause I apologize & you will get something special in August (I know I haven’t posted in a while, sorry, but you know we’ve been speaking offline, so…..what can I say?).

My church, Glacier Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, is one of only a handful of liberal religious churches within several hours drive. It literally is a beacon of light here for those of us here who want to raise our children in a church community & feel like we have nowhere else to go.

My special, like I said, is personal & supports a current fundraiser at the Fellowship. “Faithify” is a crowdfunding site sponsored by UUs. We have a project on there to help us pay for the keynote speakers that we have lined up to come & speak & do some workshops…

View original post 160 more words

SCOTUS decides the Hobby Lobby case: AKA #BoycottHobbyLobby

It’s days like this where the impulsive part of my brain says, “Grab the children & move to Canada! . . . NOW!!!”

Then I read the following statement from our UUA President, Rev. Peter Morales, & I remember something that I watched during one of our Sunday morning worship services at last weekend’s General Assembly (which I will paste at the end:

http://www.uua.org/news/pressroom/pressreleases/296165.shtml

For those who are just waking up…this morning the US Supreme Court ruled in favor (5 to 4) of Hobby Lobby. This Corporation now has the right, based on their “religious beliefs” to pick & choose which insurance benefits they offer their employees.
In this case, we’re talking birth control. The “Christian Right Conservatives” don’t want to pay for contraceptives, basically (although meds like Viagra are okay…don’t get me started…I’m just beginning to not see red anymore).

Many are viewing this as a women’s issue, but it’s a men’s issue, a family issue…an everybody issue!

Go with me for just a minute…I’m going to get personal.

In my family, my husband works his butt off working full time, overtime when he can, gets benefits for the family. I work part time, 1-2 half days a week in the office & the rest of the time I work from home, averaging 16-18 hours a week, our 3 yr old goes to a Pre-school/daycare when I’m in the office. We have 2 other kids who are in school full time. I get paid monthly & even though my hours are minimal, my hourly pay is good & my paychecks cover most of our rent (and are equal to close to half of my husband’s monthly net pay).

I have an IUD. According to the New York Times, “The cost of an IUD, one of the most effective forms of birth control, is considerable. It requires a visit to the doctor, and a procedure to have the device put in place. Medical exams, insertion, and follow-up visits can run upward of $1,000. Without insurance coverage, it’s likely that many women will be unable to use them.” Luckily, my husband’s insurance covered it, but if more companies start following suit who knows if my next one will be covered. (They need to be replaced every 5 years.) I will also say that this is the only reliable method of birth control that works for my husband & I. We don’t have to worry about forgetting, misusing, having reactions from my IUD. It just works.

Now lets say for a minute that my wonderful husband worked for Hobby Lobby. They could have refused to pay for our IUD. There would have been NO WAY we could have paid for it. I know that I can’t take birth control pills (as I react); without getting too personal diaphragms don’t work for me; condoms aren’t practical for many married couples & they can break or get holes & even when used correctly they’re only 98% effective…we would end up pregnant again, I wouldn’t be able to work, we’d be on food stamps after my income stopped paying most of our rent (which is a program we know that they’ve been speaking out against) then we definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to get my IUD, then more babies….endless poverty cycle.

I don’t know how “Christian” “Pro-Family” people can go out of their way to create hardship for families who are just trying to protect themselves against having children that they’re either not ready for or perhaps (like we are) done making their family, or like many, taking the medications for other things all together.

One other analogy I offer that I want you to think about before I wrap this up, only because I think it’s all too easy to say, “well, if they don’t want to cover a medication, what’s the big deal? It’s their company…” (Even though the employees cover a fair amount of their own premium costs…)

let’s flip the perspective for a minute. I posted this in response to someone’s facebook post this morning & it got some feedback so I’ll put it to you all as well: *you are christian & work for a lovely Muslim family-owned corporation. They decided that during Ramadan, since THEY fast from sun up to sun down as part of their Religious Beliefs, they would stop allowing food on the business properties from sun up to sun down, just during Ramadan. You are welcome to drive off site, eat something, & drive back during your 30 min lunch break but they won’t give you more time & this would only allow you a few minutes to eat & ends up costing you more $ in gas each week. You sue, but are surprised when you lose because you find out that your boss’s religious freedom is protected over you, just like the fore mentioned case.*

The average Rightwing Christian doesn’t usually like to be the minority & doesn’t like it when the religion-based law that they made a such a big deal over doesn’t only apply to them.

It’s time for me to share with you what I promised I would earlier. I will share the words first then post the link for the service itself. (You will find this at approximately 49:41) It is the Meditation before the Sermon (which is also amazing!).

This is Revs. Shana and Melora Lynngood, Co-ministers First Unitarian Church of Victoria, BC~Sunday, June 29th, 2014 at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Providence Rhode Island

“Please join us in a spirit of meditation and reflection… breathe in… breathe out… if you feel comfortable doing so, close your eyes… We have all done it— Especially those of us who like to think of ourselves as astute, intelligent, well-informed.
We criticize and judge—convinced that we know the right way.
And sometimes we ARE right—especially when our object of critique is an injustice, an unfair law or system.
We clench our fists—indignant, righteous. Take a moment to consider—In justice work—in life—what makes you clench your fists?… Sometimes, that response is justified; the clenched fists understandable, even appropriate.
But if we remain in that pose, our posture rigid, our approach set, convinced of our own superior view,
Then we miss the blessings…Steamroll right past the beatitudes.
To experience spiritual transformation—in justice-making and in life,
We have to un-clench our fists and open our hands.
Hands open, letting go of the need to be right, the urge to point the finger of critique
Hands open—signaling humility.
Hands open—receptive to the love that can guide us
Hands open—ready to serve.
Hands open to grasp hands of others, joining across differences, finding there meaningful connection
Hands open, like a toddler stumbling with arms akimbo, awkward, but poised to explore and experience new possibilities, new insights, new growth.
Take a moment to consider—if you were to open your hands, step into a more embracing stance than is usual for you, what blessings might you receive?
May our hands—open to the spirit—give life the shape of justice.”

http://www.uua.org/ga/virtual/2014/worship/295428.shtml
No matter how frustrated you may be, regardless of pride, nor anger–may you find your inner peace & wisdom & be able to lower your fist & open your hands & accept the gifts that come.

Learn from this day. Get out there & make a better day for our children.
Don’t be afraid to be loud when it matters.
Shalom friends.
~P

One very big reason why I’m a UU…Inclusivity

One very big reason why I’m a UU…Inclusivity

Even from over 1000 miles away, I’m included.

Right now, our Unitarian Universalist General Assembly 2014 is happening. I cannot be there this year (& I’m super bummed about). I was able to get an app on my phone where I can get the schedule of events, pics of everything happening, & posts from people there. I am subscribed to a few UU minister’s blog sites who are blogging about their time there; some are opinion pieces & some are updates on their experiences of what’s happening to update their congregants who couldn’t attend. Many UU churches & members are posting things from GA on facebook & twitter & other social networking sites as well!

Also, the UUA keeps the world all included via uua.org. You can watch a live feed of the worship services and select other events over the assembly week. When there isn’t a live feed you can watch awesome videos like this one or highlights from last year’s GA. I am bummed that I can’t be present, but they have done everything they can to make sure that we’re all included.

I’m so excited due to watching this week’s events (through all of this inclusion) that nothing could keep me from attending next year’s GA in Portland! Luckily, I plan a Seattle trip every summer to visit my family anyway & there’s a good chance that I could find a friend in Portland to stay with so my expenses would be much less then a Rhode Island trip…

Whatever happens next year…I am so lucky to have found the UU church. (Thank you Aigner!) There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

 

how we love, laugh, cook, & function…in our dysfunction.