Newsletter April, 2013
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
The UU Fellowship of St. Croix celebrated a milestone Sunday, March 24, welcoming 10 new members into the Fellowship during an informal ceremony led by Rev. Qiyamah. Those present to sign the membership book were, from left, Janice Giles, Sue Filene, Rev. Qiyamah, Susan Kraeger, Irene Homa, Bob Filene, Frances Andrews and Board President Gail Nealon. An additional four will sign the book later: Sheila Scullion, Phyllis Charles, Ed Schell and Dorothy Flash.
APRIL SCHEDULE:April 7 (Sunday) 10 AM: Covenant Group meets home of Emy Thomas
5:30 PM: The Jewish and Unitarian Universalist communities are co- sponsoring a program marking Yom haShoah/Holocaust Memorial Day at the synagogue. The final version of the film, “Two Who Dared: The Sharps’ War,” will be shown, followed by a memorial service and a potluck vegetarian dinner. The film is about the Sharps, a UU minister and his wife from Massachusetts, who helped rescue thousands of Jewish children from Europe during World War II. They were the parents of Martha Sharp Joukowsky, a part time resident of St. Croix and a member of our Fellowship. (To allay any confusion: This is an “in-house” program, for members of the Jewish and UU communities and our guests. A longer version of the movie will also be shown [without accompanying memorial service], with invitations extended to the wider community, at the St Croix Reformed Church on the following Sunday evening.)
April 14 (Sunday) 10 AM: Service and Sunday School. Guest speaker: Nate Olive of Ridge to Reef Farm with an Earth Day message: “Growing for the Spirit that Moves Through All Things”
April 21(Sunday) 10 AM: Covenant Group meets home of Emy Thomas
April 28 (Sunday) 10 AM: Service and Sunday School. Rev. Qiyamah Rahman on “Let’s Talk About Evil”.
WE’RE ON FACEBOOK!
Thanks to Phyllis Charles, the Fellowship is now on Facebook. Search for Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St Croix and “like” the page, then youwill get all updates. Don’t forget we’re also on the web: uustcroix.org, thanks to Mandy Thody.
DIRECTORY UPDATE—SEND NEW INFO
We will be updating the Fellowship directory this week. If you have any new information to add or correct please respond to this email. We’d like to include all our new members, so if you haven’t already done so please send as much info as you would like to share: name, address(es), phone(s), email and ICE (in case of emergency—name, relationship and phone number.) Thanks.
REV. QIYAMAH’S COLUMN
The UUFSC concluded March on a celebratory note with a New Member
Ceremony that welcomed ten individuals into membership. Membership
denotes an important decision that invites individuals into the
intimate life of a community in order to invest and to work more
closely with said community. Like marriage, it signifies the readiness
of individuals to take things to the next level. They like what they
have seen and heard and now want to move to the next level of
To those ten individuals I say – THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I thank you for your trust and courage. It is not easy to make such a
big commitment. We honor your decision and we want to always uphold
the faith you have placed in us. We also want to help you find your
unique place in the community. To that end we will extend our
transparency that informs our decision making process so that you
might get a sense and feel of how things are run and how and where you
might want to be involved to make a good Fellowship great! You are
welcome to join in the life of the Fellowship at any and all levels. I
also extend this same invitation to all friends and visitors. Friends
and Visitors, you can avail yourselves of activities in the life of
the Fellowship at all levels except as Board members. You may attend
the monthly board meetings which are held in the Salt River area at the
Secretary’s home. Committee meeting times and locations will be posted
as they are scheduled. The next Board meeting is May 6 at 3:00 pm.
The Program Committee will soon assemble the church calendar for next
year to reflect themes and issues to facilitate the annual worship
experience and religious education (particularly adult religious
education). You will have an opportunity to voice your preferences as
we consider the needs of the membership and strive for a balance in
our diverse community with intentional learning experiences that link
worship, covenant groups, religious education, community service and
our giving to support our mission. You can contact me
(firstname.lastname@example.org) with ideas for sermons, guests speakers, themes
We are thankful for each and every one of you on this exciting journey!
See you in church!
(Rev. Qiyamah shares a magical experience at the end of this newsletter.)
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR TREASURER, Jim Nealon: Thank you
fellowship for your continued donations and pledges. We are operating a little ahead of the game in preparation for the lower activity weeks ahead.
Donations and pledges accepted any time.
For fiscal year to date, June 1, 2012 to Mar 28, 2013:
Income = $ 15,379 ( budget $ 15,932 )
Expenses = $14,955 ( budget $15,515 )
One of the first things I did upon arriving in St. Croix was to rejoin
the Writer’s Circle. Much of my writing is research based. However, I
had the opportunity to use a “stream of consciousness” technique that
is sometimes referred to as “automatic writing” where you put pen to
paper and do not lift it until a designated time has transpired. Ours
was one hour. This is what I wrote March 18, 2013:
I Remember the Time
I remember the time when I decided to magically love myself to paradise.
It was February, 2012 and I was two weeks into my visit as guest
minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix. I knew
in the 2nd week that I wanted to live and work in St. Croix. It felt
so natural and I felt at home. It felt like a place that I could make
a life. It took me five months but I returned for good with my cat, my
car, my clothes and some of my books.
I remember the time when I decided to magically love myself to paradise.
The plane landed and Will Franks was waiting to pick me up and help me
begin my new life in his apartment in the LaGrange Community. Settling
in, my black-southern-work-ethic kicked in gear and my euro-centric
task oriented get-the-job-done me was at the Labor Department that
first week talking with my job counselor who I had corresponded with
over the summer
and I was job hunting and apartment hunting like there was no tomorrow.
Meditating and visualizing and engaging my spirit so I would not get
anxious and afraid.
I have friends; I have a life with a growing garden, a quirky landlord
and a lovely duplex unit…
I have attended birthday parties, and raggae fests and Hanakah
celebrations and carnivals.
I have watched sun sets and a few sun rises, walked along the beach in
my bare feet and played tag with ocean waves at tide.
I have sat with dying patients and comforted family members and
endured endless staff meetings and created a violence free work place
I have watched the ocean waves roll in and laid listening to the soft
and quiet sounds of the night ocean and heard gun shots and sirens.
I remember the time when I magically loved myself to paradise
and found a Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists that appreciate me
and might even love me a little bit.
A small Fellowship filled with individuals that have hopes and dreams
that some share twice a month in Joys and Concerns that we say mostly
in silence, but I speak aloud the name of my grand daughter, Malia and
my sister Betty, and my soon-to-be ninety year old mothers name, and
my patients names.
The choir sings hymns, some familiar and some not so familiar, and the
musician plays the preludes and postludes and offertory hymns mostly
from the classical tradition and each week I pray for inspiration and
the right mood and tone to guide the prevailing Spirit amongst us,
That someone who came wondering if their life was making a difference
– leaves knowing it is, if to no one but them – and that’s all right.
That someone who came hoping to be inspired leaves with a growing
glimmer that their life is good and their hope is renewed
that someone finds a kind face, a gentle smile, a reassuring hug or a
shoulder to lean into.
I remember the time when I magically loved myself driving down the
“superhighway” that I take twice a day from Frederiksted to
Christiansted and at the end of each day my cat, Ms. Lily greets me:
How was your day and can you get my food – pronto!
Ms. Lili is now an outdoor cat that is mastering her environment
including the visiting cat that thinks it’s alright to steal her food
and drink her water. She is not her friend and she and Ms. Lili fight.
The visitor is lean like most Crucian cats and Ms. Lili is fat and
well fed like most state side pets.
I remember the time when I magically loved myself as I garden year
round and tend my house and sit quietly on my porch swing and wonder
at my good fortune and…
I remember the time when I magically loved myself to St. Croix!