York Unitarian October - Unitarians in the UK & ?· The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 1 FROM THE…

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<ul><li><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 1</p><p>FROM THE MINISTER </p><p>October seems to me a good month for settling in to Autumn. Its definitely here! No more pining for maybe a few more days of summer. I love the leaves falling off the trees, the musty smell of Autumn pavements and parks. I revel in it and it was something I missed when I lived in sub-tropical Auckland. Most of the trees there were evergreen. I really like to know where I am in the year. </p><p> September has been a busy month with the Ministers Autumn Conference on the t h e m e o f Boundaries with a promise from the new Ministry and Congregational Life man Simon Bland promising he will b e p u t t i n g o u t suggested changes to the Guidelines for Ministers and Congregations and w o r k i s b e i n g carried out on a n e w C o d e o f C o n d u c t f o r Ministers. </p><p> I am a member of the committee of t h e U n i t a r i a n College in Manchester who have been working with our Executive Committee on the new t r a i n i n g a n d e d u c a t i o n p r o g r a m m e development. This will set up a Foundation to co-ordinate training for Ministers, Lay leaders, Service leaders and others just wanting to take a module or a day course. They are looking to provide a more flexible and accessible way for </p><p>people to train and a pilot programme will start to train ministry students in Autumn 2018. </p><p> I am so pleased to be in a ministry with a congregation who do things. Last month we opened for Heritage open days and hosted an exhibition of charming paintings of Tibetan costumes for the Tibet Relief Fund. Its great to be able to support other compassionate causes by using what we have, a building! I believe it is an important part of the Unitarian message of hospitality. As a part-time Minister I cant do it all so its fantastic to have members with </p><p>connections and interests that we can support in the wider community. </p><p> The Unitarians have been around in York contributing to relief of the i n d i g e n t f o r c e n t u r i e s , w e l l before the Welfare system, so it was a pleasure to attend t h e 3 0 0 t h A n n i v e r s a r y o f Coltons Hospital Almshouses and learn a bit more about this historic charity and meet s o m e o f t h e residents. </p><p> All these events mean more people become aware of Unitarians and what we can offer and we have more new people attending Sunday services. As different people with different outlooks and histories join us our community changes and we learn and grow. Fantastic! </p><p> Nicky Jenkins</p><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 1</p><p>THE YORK UNITARIAN St. Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York YO1 8NQ </p><p>October 2017</p><p>Unitarian flaming chalice symbol </p><p>Unitarian Universalist Church Piedmont, North Carolina USA</p></li><li><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 2</p><p>OTHER EVENTS IN OCTOBER </p><p> Monday 2 October 8.00p.m. Soon Amore rehearsal (Chapel) </p><p> Tuesday 3 October York Interfaith Group Conflict Resolution: the Place of the Faiths Speaker: Revd Dr Inderjit Singh Bhogal OBE Chair: Mark Cosens; Host: Sr Patricia/Sr Agatha) (York Medical Society, Stonegate) </p><p> Thursday 5 October 10.30 for 11.00a.m. Meditation Group (Upper Room) </p><p> Saturday 7 October 1.00p.m. Late Music: Jennifer Cohen (flute) and Mark Hutchison (piano) (Chapel) </p><p> Saturday 7 October 7.30 p.m. Late Music: Ebor Singers (Chapel) </p><p> Monday 9 October 8.00p.m. Soon Amore rehearsal (Chapel) </p><p> Thursday 12 October 10.30 for 11.00a.m. Meditation Group (Upper Room) </p><p> Friday 13 October 12.30p.m. Occasional Friday Music: Garland of Flutes (Chapel) </p><p> Friday and Saturday 13 and 14 October Unitarian Theological Conference (Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds) </p><p> Saturday 14 October Yorkshire Unitarian Union AGM (Pepper Hill Unitarian Chapel, Shelf, Halifax) </p><p> Saturday 14 October 7.30p.m. Da Costa Academy of Singing (Chapel) 10 </p><p> Monday 16 October 8.00p.m. Soon Amore rehearsal (Chapel) </p><p> Thursday 19 October 10.30 for 11.00a.m. Meditation Group (Upper Room) </p><p> Friday 20 October 11.00a.m -3.00p.m. Craft Day for Christmas Market (Chapel) </p><p> Monday 22 October 8.00p.m. Soon Amore rehearsal (Chapel) Wednesday 25 October 7.00p.m Chapel Poetry Group (Simon &amp; Marta Hardy's) </p><p> Thursday 26 October 10.30 for 11.00a.m. Meditation Group (Upper Room) </p><p> Friday 27 October 1.00p.m. Last Friday Music: Val Parker, mezzo-soprano (Chapel) </p><p>NOTICE OF SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING </p><p>A Special General Meeting of Members of the Congregation will take place on Sunday, 5th November, at 12 noon following the morning service to take forward proposals to become a Char i table Incorpora ted Organisation. A list of voting members will be on the Notice Board prior to the meeting. Non-members are welcome to attend and may speak but not vote. </p><p>Margaret Hill Secretary</p><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 2</p><p>A MONTH OF SUNDAYS at 11.00a.m. </p><p>Sunday 1 October Revd. Nicky Jenkins Membership Service </p><p>Music by David Hammond </p><p>Sunday 8 October Nick Morrice </p><p>Hope springs eternal Music by Helen Drewery </p><p>Sparklers at Great Hucklow! </p><p>Sunday 15 October Claire Lee </p><p>. . . and the day is my own Music by Nick Morrice </p><p>Sunday 22 October Bright Lights Intergenerational Worship </p><p>Claire Wilton and Dee Boyle Flying Free </p><p>including Tin Harvest for Carecent Music by David Hammond </p><p>Sunday 29 October Revd. Nicky Jenkins </p><p>Cafe Church Music by David Hammond </p><p>Nicky Jenkins celebrating her first anniversary as our minister</p></li><li><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 3</p><p>CREATIVE SERENDIPITY Sunday 27 August </p><p>We brought items to Chapel which we had created ourselves and spoke briefly about them. Here is what we brought: </p><p> Peter Exley A blacksmiths cross and nails. Nick Morrice about his new novel Castaways 16 children on a tropical island. Brinley Price a sonnet Forge for Laurie and Dave Adrienne Wilson Sugar plums' to eat and remembering John Yudkin. Betty Rumsby a jumper she had knitted from wool which she had spun. Joan Sinanan a special china mug which she had repaired. Matthew Palmer a short piano improvisation. Elizabeth Claughton paper collage Laura Francis advent calendar bunting. Diana Robinson a painting of Glenfinnan Simon Hardy on a creative Mexican mistake. Alan Pennington a teaching model made to show the structure of common salt. Margaret Hill a quilted water lily pad made specially for the quiet room at Unitarian General Assembly 2003 in Edinburgh. Jen spoke about taking up the BBC painting challenge. Elizabeth Faiers silver pendants and earrings she had made. Jenny Jacobs A victorian pattern Lucy Boston inspired crazy patchwork tea cosy Jen Atkinson A Bargello work cushion the making of which had helped her through a difficult time. Barbara Barnes a picture of a child with curly Afro hair from her beginners art class. Andrew Hill a new hymn about a chapel close by a city wall. </p><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 3</p><p>EVENTS SUPPORTING CARECENT </p><p>the breakfast centre for all homeless, unemployed or otherwise socially excluded </p><p>members of community based at Central Methodist Church, which is our neighbour at </p><p>the top of St. Saviourgate. Carecent is our Chapels 2017 chosen charity. </p><p>Sponsored Walk Sponsored 5 mile fund-raising walk, around </p><p>Welburn and the Castle Howard estate Saturday 30 September. </p><p>Meet outside Crown and Cushion pub in Welburn at 9.45a.m. </p><p>Enquiries to Alan Pennington </p><p>01937 845575 </p><p>Tin Harvest The tin harvest will be part of our </p><p>Bright Lights intergenerational worship on Sunday 22 October. </p><p>Care cent stocks are low and gifts of the following would be appreciated: </p><p>Tinned tomatoes (preferably whole not chopped) </p><p>Tinned meat which can be served cold ham, spam, corned beef. Tinned hot dog sausages</p><p>Tinned spaghettiBaked beans</p><p>Breakfast cerealPorridge oats</p><p>Canned fish (especially other than tuna)Brown Sauce</p><p>Tomato Ketchup Tea </p><p>Instant CoffeeSugar</p><p>Marmite / Peanut butterTinned fruitFruit juice </p><p>Volunteers needed after the service to pack and transport the tin harvest gifts the short </p><p>distance along St. Saviourgate.</p></li><li><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 4</p><p>UNITARIAN WOMENS GROUP 20 -22 October 2017 </p><p>The Nightingale Centre, Great HucklowIf you haven't already booked, </p><p>there are still places. It's not too late! </p><p>Contact: The Nightingale Centre or margaretrobinson81@gmail.com </p><p>or talk with York Unitarian, Sue Catts</p><p>OCTOBER MUSIC IN THE CHAPEL </p><p>Late Music Saturday 7 October 1.00p.m. </p><p>Jennifer Cohen (flute) &amp; Mark Hutchison (piano) </p><p>a global journey through night to dawn </p><p>Late Music Saturday 7 October 7.30 p.m. </p><p>Late Music: Ebor Singers includes music by Hildegard of Bingen and Errollyn Wallens new work setting Langston Hughess poem The negro speaks of rivers </p><p>Occasional Friday Lunchtime Friday 13th October 12.30 p.m. </p><p>A Garland of Flutes </p><p>Da Costa Academy of Singing Saturday 14 October 7.30p.m. </p><p>Songs on a summer night </p><p>Last Friday Friday 27 October 12.30p.m. </p><p>Last Friday Music: Val Parker, mezzo-soprano </p><p>YORKSHIRE UNITARIAN UNION AGM Saturday 14 October 2017 </p><p>Pepper Hill Unitarian Church Shelf HX3 7TH </p><p>10.30:Yorkshire Unitarian Lay Preachers AGM and future planning </p><p>11.15: short break 11.30: Opening devotions Rev. Celia Midgley </p><p>11.45: Yorkshire Unitarian Union AGM 12.30: Lunch </p><p>13.30: The work of the Bradford Peace Museum: and its education workshops for schools encouraging children to develop critical thinking based on peace related themes. </p><p>14.30: short break 14.45: YUU General Meeting </p><p>15.45: tea or coffee and departures </p><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 4</p><p>UNITARIAN THEOLOGY CONFERENCE 500 YEARS ON: </p><p>THE REFORMATION MUST CONTINUE </p><p> John Calvin Michael Servetus 1509-1564 1511-1553 </p><p>Friday 13 &amp; Saturday 14 October Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds. </p><p>FRIDAY starts with worship at 11.30...then: Ant Howe: Wrestling, resisting &amp; </p><p>resting . . .responding to the Divine voice Jane Blackall: Models of God and the </p><p>Meaning of Love Lewis Connolly: The Unchained Spirit </p><p>Death of God theologyPanel Discussion with three speakers </p><p>SATURDAY starts with devotions at 9.30...then: Ann Peart: Theology from Womens </p><p>Experience Justin Meggit: Early Unitarians and Islam: radical dissent and its consequencesStephen Lingwood: What is our Unitarian </p><p>Good News? Panel Discussion with Claire MacDonald, </p><p>Lucy Harris, Robin Hanford. ending at 3.00 </p><p> or</p></li><li><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 5</p><p>HOW NOT TO SPEAK OF GOD A sermon by Jenny Jacobs on 23 July 2017 </p><p>I have a confession to make. Although I think of myself as a Unitarian nowadays, I have been persuaded in the past to fall in love with the idea of the Holy Spirit. Theres a great book by John V Taylor called The Go-Between God and it characterises the Holy Spirit as exactly that the part of God which reaches out from the godhead and animates the spaces between us, informs the meeting of minds, is the spark when any two people feel theres some real discourse going on between them. But why the need to separate off one aspect of the godhead from any other? Why the human urge to analyse, label and dissect? This forensic skill is a very useful tool on occasion - when we are describing the parts of a plant, for instance, and the very many thousands of species and how they relate to each other. I like knowing that if a plant has the word salicifolia in its name it means it has long narrow leaves like a willow or if its described as lutea then its flowers are bright yellow. But when it comes to God, these forensic labelling skills just dont end up being very helpful. The Trinity as a concept seems symptomatic of our very human desire our need even to dissect, chop up, label, characterise and thereby assume some level of control over and intimate knowledge and understanding of something inef fable, unknowable, unquantifiable. The great mystery of faith, surely, is to know that the thing we seek is unknowable. We may label it but it defies our labels. We can break it down into father, son &amp; holy ghost and thereby think weve got a handle on it and not just a handle but the handle but our presumption is misplaced. </p><p>KAREN ARMSTRONGS GOD I spent years looking for a God I could get a handle on. Maybe, one I could cling onto for grim death! I remember reading Karen Armstrongs book The Case For God during this period and being dismayed and even flummoxed by her statement: </p><p>Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologians have insisted for centuries that God does not exist and that there is nothing out there; in making these assertions [she says], their aim was not to deny the reality of God but to safeguard Gods transcendence. </p><p>What is the point, the old me might have asked, of a God that does not exist? Who doesnt sort us out after we die, rewarding good behaviour </p><p>with an endless stay in a heavenly holiday camp and punishing others in a nightmare of everlasting torment? A God who doesnt stir himself to save that child from drowning or that granny from an earthquake or indeed, who doesnt find me a parking spot when I desperately want one? That was then. I resisted Karen Armstrongs Case for God when I read it. But it had an impact all the same. It dropped into my consciousness like a stone flung into a pond the ripples are still spreading. </p><p>R.S.THOMASS GOD In R S Thomas poem, God is felt not as a solid presence but is known more by absence, that sense of coming into the room through the door just as God left through the window. Theres something in that imagery which resonates with me; that in my past years of very earnest seeking, God eluded me, whisking out of sight, leaving a teasing sense of having been there before me - like a waft of perfume or a draught that is felt as a coolness on the skin. Occasionally I would catch a sideways glimpse out of the corner of my eye. Enough to keep me chasing over very many years, even though I was looking for the wrong thing, that God more concrete and physical that I could grab hold of. I wasnt then aware of St Augustines saying, If you think you have grasped it, it is not God. Looking for the wrong thing can blind you to whats actually there. Instead, perhaps we need to make room for God as R S Thomas puts it, provide a vacuum he may fill. </p><p>SIGNPOSTS So rather than prescriptive definitions of God, which inevitably must fall short, we need signposts to ways of encountering, recognising, experiencing and undergoing God. In this regard, perhaps the difficult concepts do work best not God as any kind of being, let alone a grand old man with a plan and a long white beard but rather the sort of abstraction which poet Henry Vaughan described as a deep but dazzling darkness. And this meshes with the surprisingly modern, Eastern possibly, holistic vision of God in Psalm 139, where God is to be found as much in the darkness as in the light. </p><p>NEITHER A PRESCENCE NOR AN ABSENCE So when I think of God nowadays, I am content for it to remain a mystery I cannot grasp; neither a presence to me nor an absence but rather the fundamental necessity of all that is. Should I </p><p>The York Unitarian (October 2017) page 5</p></li><li><p>The...</p></li></ul>

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