Helpers among the community of Pittsburgh area UUs. Link to the main Sunnyhill site.

Friday, December 31, 2004

What do you think about NOT ONE DAMN DIME Day for Jan 20, 2005

This isn' my idea. What do you think? I'm not sure myself. But, it might make for a good blog comment topic point.
Since (SOME OF) our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it, Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.

During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.

On "Not One Damn Dime Day," please boycott Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target.

Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter).

For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down. The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics.

"Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan - a way to come home.

There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing.

You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.

For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Kennedy and C-Span II

C-SPAN II has a bunch of political chatter this time of year and one interesting quote was about religion and the US President. Seems J.F.K. said something to keep active the Unitarians writting his Catholic speeches.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Carol gets us all singing. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 13, 2004

New baby?

If you would like a baby born since last Christmas Eve honored then
please email Amy Kent. I would like Name, Relationship to you and date of birth.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Now that the elections are over -- Humanist meet and ponder.

From Ken:

Now that the sporting event (a.k.a. election) is over, we could review the process and examine its effects on the American public as well as other nations. As you may recall, we did not get the opportunity to have a full meeting due to the fire alarm and our having to leave the building early.

We can now question the effects of the voting and whether America has been made better by what has been experienced as a result of the recently held election. Two questions should be "Should getting people to vote be what really matters or is there something more important?" "Should elections be about who has the power to impose conduct on the others?"

You may want to review the attached article which had been made available before, but is even better now that the emotions have settled. This point is now very obvious: "partisanship serves as a filter. A partisan filters out facts that are inconsistent with the party's approved worldview and exaggerates facts that confirm it." "That suggests that political polarization is the result of deep and self-reinforcing psychological and social forces."

(See the comment for the article.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

New web design at

Hats off to Peter and the others who made a redesign of the web pages at Sunnyhill.Org. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section of the blog.

There is a web crew email discussion list that accepts mail, Sunnyhill - web - crew @ Sunnyhill.Org. (Retype without the spaces.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Open Mic Night at the DownUnder

You are invited to attend the DownUnder Coffeehouse on
Saturday, December 18 from 7:30-9:30 for an Open Mic night
featuring some of best local acoustic performers, including
First Church's own Rich Wells. Any wanting to be added
to the playlist, should send email by December 5th.

The DownUnder Coffeehouse is open the third Saturday of
every month in the basement of the Allegheny Unitarian
Universalist Church, 416 West North Ave, North Side.
Suggested donation is $3.00. Call 412-322-4261 or see for more details.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Need a Spiritual Lift -- err -- Left

The Democrats Need a Spiritual Left

This piece is so right-on says a net friend in Pittsburgh, Jim. He and Holley love this guy, Rabbi Lerner. He's totally right in his analysis of why Kerry failed to reach a mass following when his opponent was so vulnerable on so many issues.

God is Truth, Truth is God, as Gandhi liked to say.

The Democrats Need a Spiritual Left by Rabbi Michael Lerner
For years the Democrats have been telling themselves "it's the economy, stupid." Yet consistently for dozens of years millions of middle income Americans
have voted against their own economic interests to support Republicans who have tapped a deeper set of needs.

Tens of millions of Americans feel betrayed by a society that seems to place materialism and selfishness above moral values. They know that
"looking out for number one" has become the common sense of our society, but they want a life that is about something more - a framework of meaning and purpose to their lives that would transcend the grasping and narcissism that surrounds them. Sure, they will admit that they have material needs, and
that they worry about adequate health care, stability
in employment, and enough money to give their kids a
college education. But even more deeply they want
their lives to have meaning - and they respond to
candidates who seem to care about values and some
sense of transcendent purpose.

Many of these voters have found a "politics of
meaning" in the political Right. In the Right wing
churches and synagogues these voters are presented
with a coherent worldview that speaks to their
"meaning needs." Most of these churches and synagogues
demonstrate a high level of caring for their members,
even if the flip side is a willingness to demean those
on the outside. Yet what members experience directly
is a level of mutual caring that they rarely find in
the rest of the society. And a sense of community that
is offered them nowhere else, a community that has as
its central theme that life has value because it is
connected to some higher meaning than one's success in
the marketplace.

It's easy to see how this hunger gets manipulated in
ways that liberals find offensive and contradictory.
The frantic attempts to preserve family by denying
gays the right to get married, the talk about being
conservatives while meanwhile supporting Bush policies
that accelerate the destruction of the environment and
do nothing to encourage respect for God's creation or
an ethos of awe and wonder to replace the ethos of
turning nature into a commodity, the intense focus on
preserving the powerless fetus and a culture of life
without a concomitant commitment to medical research
(stem cell research/HIV-AIDS), gun control and
healthcare reform., the claim to care about others and
then deny them a living wage and an ecologically
sustainable environment --- all this is rightly
perceived by liberals as a level of inconsistency that
makes them dismiss as hypocrites the voters who have
been moving to the Right.

Yet liberals, trapped in a long-standing disdain for
religion and tone-deaf to the spiritual needs that
underlie the move to the Right, have been unable to
engage these voters in a serious dialogue. Rightly
angry at the way that some religious communities have
been mired in authoritarianism, racism, sexism and
homophobia, the liberal world has developed such a
knee-jerk hostility to religion that it has both
marginalized those many people on the Left who
actually do have spiritual yearnings and
simultaneously refused to acknowledge that many who
move to the Right have legitimate complaints about the
ethos of selfishness in American life.

Imagine if John Kerry had been able to counter George
Bush by insisting that a serious religious person
would never turn his back on the suffering of the
poor, that the bible's injunction to love one's
neighbor required us to provide health care for all,
and that the New Testament's command to "turn the
other cheek" should give us a predisposition against
responding to violence with violence.

Imagine a Democratic Party that could talk about the
strength that comes from love and generosity and
applied that to foreign policy and homeland security.

Imagine a Democratic Party that could talk of a New
Bottom Line, so that American institutions get judged
efficient, rational and productive not only to the
extent that they maximize money and power, but also to
the extent that they maximize people's capacities to
be loving and caring, ethically and ecologically
sensitive, and capable of responding to the universe
with awe and wonder.

Imagine a Democratic Party that could call for schools
to teach gratitude, generosity, caring for others, and
celebration of the wonders that daily surround us!
Such a Democratic Party, continuing to embrace its
agenda for economic fairness and multi-cultural
inclusiveness, would have won in 2004 and can win in
the future. (Please don't tell me that this is
happening outside the Democratic Party in the Greens
or in other leftie groups --- because except for a few
tiny exceptions it is not! I remember how hard I tried
to get Ralph Nader to think and talk in these terms in
2000, and how little response I got substantively from
the Green Party when I suggested reformulating their
excessively politically correct policy orientation in
ways that would speak to this spiritual consciousness.
The hostility of the Left to spirituality is so deep,
in fact, that when they hear us in Tikkun talking this
way they often can't even hear what we are saying ----
so they systematically mis-hear it and say that we are
calling for the Left to take up the politics of the
Right, which is exactly the opposite of our point ---
speaking to spiritual needs actually leads to a more
radical critique of the dynamics of corporate
capitalism and corporate globalization, not to a
mimicking of right-wing policies).

If the Democrats were to foster a religions/spiritual
Left, they would no longer pick candidates who support
preemptive wars or who appease corporate power. They
would reject the cynical realism that led them to
pretend to be born-again militarists, a deception that
fooled no one and only revealed their contempt for the
intelligence of most Americans. Instead of assuming
that most Americans are either stupid or reactionary,
a religious Left would understand that many Americans
who are on the Right actually share the same concern
for a world based on love and generosity that
underlies Left politics, even though lefties often
hide their value attachments.

Yet to move in this direction, many Democrats would
have to give up their attachment to a core belief:
that those who voted for Bush are fundamentally stupid
or evil. Its time they got over that elitist
self-righteousness and developed strategies that could
affirm their common humanity with those who voted for
the Right. Teaching themselves to see the good in the
rest of the American public would be a critical first
step in liberals and progressives learning how to
teach the rest of American society how to see that
same goodness in the rest of the people on this
planet. It is this spiritual lesson --- that our own
well-being depends on the well-being of everyone else
on the planet and on the well-being of the earth --- a
lesson rooted deeply in the spiritual wisdom of
virtually every religion on the planet, that could be
the center of a revived Democratic Party.

Yet to take that seriously, the Democrats are going to
have to get over the false and demeaning perception
that the Americans who voted for Bush could never be
moved to care about the well being of anyone but
themselves. That transformation in the Democrats would
make them into serious contenders.

The last time Democrats had real social power was when
they linked their legislative agenda with a spiritual
politics articulated by Martin Luther King. We cannot
wait for the reappearance of that kind of charasmatic
leader to begin the process of rebuilding a
spiritual/religious Left...

My personal assumption: When you got west far enough you end up back in the east. And, I guess, it goes the other way as well.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

UU Church of the North Hills -- arts festival

Please extend our invitation to your congregation and any others to attend our first annual Arts in The Autumn Festival, running from Friday, November 12 through Sunday, November 14. The exhibit opens at 1:00 pm Friday and continues through 6 pm Sunday afternoon. Special events include: Meet the Artists, with Food and Entertainment, 7:00-9:00 pm on Friday; a folk concert and musical spoons workshop with Simple Gifts, 2:00-4:00 pm on Saturday; a jazz concert by the Carl Arter Quartet, 8:00-10:00 pm on Saturday; and of course, your very own Tom Roberts and Jennifer Russell singing American classics at 1:00 pm on Sunday. Everything is FREE. Refreshments will be available at all times.

Please consider joining us Sunday morning for the service at 11:00 am to be sure not to miss Tom and Jennifer. We'd love to have you.

UUCNH is located at 2359 West Ingomar Road, phone: 412-366-0244 for directions.

(P.S. to anyone in the choir: we are in desperate need of women's voices for our Thanksgiving service on November 21, when we will be singing Aaron Copland's The Promise of Living from The Tender Land. Let me know!) Thanks - Kathy

East Suburban UU Church Tree Sale

ESUUC's Christmas Tree Sale calls for Orders and Payment Due by Nov. 21st. Checks should be made out to ESUUC. Delivery date December 17th 7-9pm at ESUUC.

The following items are available,

$15 20” Wreath
$15 6’ Garland
$9 36” Swag
$35 4’-6’ Tree
$40 6’-8’ Tree

We are also accepting donations to provide trees or other decorations to families in need in conjunction with the local food bank. You can email orders to or send orders, payments and donations to:
ESUUC, Attn: Fundraising, 4326 Sardis Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Thanksgiving Feast

Email signups seem to work better for everyone so here is one for the
Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, November 21.

If you would like to come please reply the number of people attending (including children) and note what dish you will be bringing. We have lots of desserts already.

Sunnyhill’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Join us at 5 pm on Sunday, November 21, 2004, for a Thanksgiving Dinner with (if you’d be so kind) all the trimmings. We provide the turkey, apple cider and rolls. You bring everything else, namely a dish to serve 8-10 people and plates, silverware for your family.

Sign up by November 15. When signing up, please specify what you will bring. Items needed include:
A potato , yams or stuffing

There’ll be crafts and games for the kids, and music and fun for all. Everybody’s invited, so please come!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

To Mt. Lebanon library patrons

original source: Mary Beth T.

The Mt. Lebanon Commissioners are reviewing their budget -- and presently, a minimal increase is being suggested for our library. When coupled with the increases in certain library costs, the ML library will be forced to cut staff and hours even further. (Sunday hours were cut last year.) It has been noted that when the public supports certain projects en masse -- as has happened on behalf of golfers, swimmers, and soccer players in recent months -- the commissioners DO listen and respond accordingly.

With this is mind, the library board is asking its patrons to support the level of funding that the library board is recommending -- a level which will permit the library hours and staff to stay as they are presently -- and perhaps even allow the library to replenish its collection and add new programs. (Restoring Sunday hours is perhaps unlikely.)

The following commission meetings are key:

Regular Commission Meeting: Monday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. at the MRTSA Building, 315 Cypress Way. Attendance by library supporters is crucial. Public comment is allowed at the beginning of the meeting for 3-5 minutes per person, with speakers signing up prior to the meeting.

Commission Budget Review: Tuesday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m., (old) Municipal Building at 710 Washington Road. No speakers allowed, but library supporters should attend the first part of the meeting when the library presents its case for increased funding: supporters can leave soon thereafter.

Budget Public Hearing: Monday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m., (old) Municipal Building at 710 Washington Road. Attendance by library supporters is crucial. Public comment is allowed at the beginning of the meeting for 3-5 minutes per person, with speakers signing up prior to the meeting.

The library will provide buttons to distinguish its supporters from the rest of the crowd.

IF FURTHER CUTS IN LIBRARY HOURS AND STAFFING ARE ABHORRENT TO YOU, please do plan to come to one, two or three of these meetings to show your support.

If anyone is interested in making a "public comment", please contact me for a copy of the "talking points." Six to ten persons have been asked to speak on behalf of the library's various "constituencies". They have been asked to speak very pointedly and personally to the importance of the library to themselves or their groups. I understand the commissioners will allow only a certain amount of public comment on a certain topic, so I think short, sweet, and personal is the best tack to take.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

DownUnder Coffeehouse, Allegheny UU Church

The DownUnder Coffee House will feature Joey Murphy on November 20 for an evening of alt-country from one of Pittsburgh's rising singer-songwriters. Come hear what the noise is about.

The Down Under Coffeehouse is open from 7:30 to 9:30 on the third Saturday of every month in the basement of the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, 416 West North Ave, North Side. Baked goods, desserts and beverages will be for sale during the concert. Suggested donation is $5.00. Call 412-322-4261 for more details.

Source: Steve Hirtle

Friday, October 22, 2004

More Music, pointer from Louise M

The Bach Choir presents international choral pieces that celebrate Pittsburgh's cultural diversity at 8 pm on Saturday, October 23, 2004 at the Upper Saint Clair High School. Featuring the Coro Latino Americano and African drummers. An interesting concert! Hope you can come. Tickets $20; $14 Senior discount; $7 Child/Student.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

If You Can't Find the Hole

Listen with a MP3 (5-megs)
Song: Be Careful Punching Ballots If You Can't Find the Hole

Amy Carol Webb, visiting Pittsburgh
If You Can't Find the Hole
Be careful punching ballots
If you can't find the hole
Or you could see your civil rights
Jerked out of your control
You could find your chad left dangling
In some partisan unknown
So be careful punching ballots
If you can't find the hole

Be at Sunnyhill on Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 7 pm. Voter education and concert that features Amy Carol Webb from Florida.


First Church's EDUCATION--SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2004

This is NOT at Sunnyhill, but at another UU church in Pittsburgh, First Unitarian in Shadyside.

The Sierra Club is wrapping up their ambitious Environmental Voter Education Campaign on November 2nd and they need your help. For the past two months volunteers have been educating tens of thousands of infrequent environmental voters about both candidates' environmental records here in Pittsburgh. Now it is time to get these infrequent voters to the polls! In order to do that, the Sierra Club will need 150 volunteers to help Get Out the Vote from October 30 to November 2.

This Sunday, October 17, 2004, Conservation Organizer Annie Leary will be speaking briefly about the Sierra Club's Campaign and volunteer opportunities coming up at the end of the month. Annie will be in the Schweitzer Room immediately after the 9:30 and 11:00 services this week to fill you in on the Sierra Clubís Voter Education Campaign, answer your questions and help you get personally involved in the Campaign if you would like to lend a hand to this important work.
This is a critical election year to get involved and make a difference for the environment! (The Sierra Club campaign is not advocating for the election or defeat of either candidate). If you would like to read up on the Campaign, visit its web site at .

Council of Chairs, Sunday Oct 24 gathering

You are cordially invited to the annual Counsel of Chairs meeting. Bring your thoughts, where you are, where you want to be, and rough idea of funds needed on October 24, 2004, 9 to 11 A.M. (No guarantee on the latter but we still can dream!) Plan on a photo op after the session which will be included in the membership portfolio. Smile pretty. And to further entice you, as if getting up early on Sunday wasn't enough, I will be providing some goodies so skip your Wheaties.

(KZ as original source)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Harvest and Holiday actions

Harvest and Holiday Logo

The event is gearing up. Your help is needed. Sales are looming too, so save your nickles and dimes.

Friday, October 08, 2004

SHIM food drive

Annual Thanksgiving food drive for the South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) is set for the first two Sundays in November at both services. Early collection is necessary so that the food can be distributed to the families before Thanksgiving. Items such as stuffing mixes, gravies, yams and canned pie filling will be in high demand, although any non-perishable food item or money would also be appreciated.

Dates: NOVEMBER 7 and 14.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

LifeCraft on November 7 has an Emerson discussion on gene doping

I'm honored and excited to lead the November 7, 2004, discussion with the Emerson Group about gene doping in sports. To prepare, read the article with a click on the title above to see the 270 k PDF.

Emerson Group

Monday, October 04, 2004

Science and Spirituality, second meeting for new season

Meet during LifeCraft on Sunday, October 17, 2004.

The topic listed in the Drummer is not correct. It was taken from one of our early lists before the group had voted on the subjects that they wanted. Our topic will be presented by Bob Trivus, it
is: Tribal Identity, Genetic History and Biology of Human Relations.

This topic traces the scientific basis for ethnocentric group actions of people around the world. Bob is currently working on the material that will be transmitted to you later this week as downloads. We will print some of the material and store it in the Science and Spirituality Mailbox for people who do not have printers, or are not connected to internet. Bob always presents
a very interesting topic about human interactions, psychological/medical information, or a scientific topic about people.

Agenda for 2004/2005 Sessions

1. The Shapes Of Space, And The Extraordinary Death Of Ordinary Stars (Murray) This topic was discussed last month.

2. Tribal Identity Genetic History and Biology of Human Relations, this topic traces the scientific basis for ethnocentric group actions of people around the world. (Bob Trivus) This is the current topic.

3. How Deep Seated Psychological Needs Caused People To Turn To Supernatural And Religious Beliefs; Do Scientific Tools Offer Any Comfort? (Randy)

4. When Methane Was The Predominate Climate: The Start Of Life On Earth, Its Incubation, Plants -- Ultimately The Formation Of Oxygen, Etc. (Murray)

5. Are Social Behavior Patterns Programmed Into Genetic Makeup? (George Bentrum)

6. Fly By: We will first view a NASA tape involving space probes. The tape viewing will be scheduled for a convenient evening prior to the LifeCraft meeting. Then we will have an open discussion during LifeCraft about what we will have seen. (Mike Laughton suggested this topic)

7. Einstein and Beyond, 100 years Since Relativity (Murray)

8. Black Holes (Gerry Walsh)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

8 at 8 is on for Oct 9

The 8 at 8 tradition is about to begin.

The schedule is now at version 1.2. Make sure you have the latest version, now uploaded.

Oct 9, 2004
Nov 6, 2004
Dec 4, 2004
Jan 8, 2005

Be there or be elsewhere and less nourished.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Save the date, Oct 21

Amy Carol Webb, a great UU singer and songwriter, is going to perform at
Sunnyhill at 7 pm to 10 pm on Thursday, Oct. 21 for our voter education
event. Save the date. Details to come soon.

Song search

Denise wrote in part for any ideas, recordings, sheet music, etc:
I'm searching for songs about Families of Different Types, acceptance of different types of families, orientation, lifestyle, diversity ... that are lyrically acceptable for children to sing, i.e., not raunchy, or else that can be acceptable with a few changes to the words. This is for a service at Sunnyhill on February 6 about "all kinds of families". (Actually, I'm not going to include abuser/victim style families.)

Put messages into comments.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Good Clean Fun - Soap Wrapping Party

Not Rap, but wrap.

Join the fun at the annual Soap Wrapping Party at 7 pm on Friday, September 24, 2004.
We slice and wrap 80 brand-new loaves of Primal Elements Soap to fill our bathtub for the upcoming Harvest and Holiday Shop. Attendees sniff the cool new selections and have first choice on this year's soap and candle purchases!

Jan Ripper and Dorothy Burns will provide the snacks. Source: Jan and Dorothy, Soap Mavens, -- via Amy.

Exploring and Sharing Spiritual Practices

Rev. Lynn Brodie will lead this class exploring a variety of spiritual practices.

Each week will focus on one technique including hands on work. Participants will be asked to experiment with that particular practice during the coming two weeks and share their reflection on the process at the beginning of the next session. Topics will include such practices as journal writing, sitting meditation, Sabbath, walking meditation, spiritual practice through relationship.

This session will meet six times on alternate Tuesday nights from 7- 9 p.m. starting September 14. Dates are: Sept. 14, Sept. 28, Oct.12, Oct. 26, Nov. 9, Nov. 23. All classes will meet in Room 25 at Sunnyhill.

Participants must sign up ahead of time by calling Lynn at 412-561-8012 or using the sign up sheet on her office door.

Diversity Dialogues

This discussion forum facilitated by our minister, Lynn Brodie, will involve people in sharing their personal journeys in ways that increase understanding between theological, philosophical and political perspectives.

For example, what makes you feel safe gives you and gives you a sense of belonging at Sunnyhill as a UU humanist, a UU Christian, a UU pagan, a UU Buddhist, as a Republican or a Green Party member? What do you need from Sunnyhill? Monthly topics will be announced in the newsletter.

Dialogues will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. followed by snacks and social time on the first Sundays of Oct., Nov., Dec., Feb., March and April. Dialogues will be held in the main room at Sunnyhill.

Peaceable Kingdom, movie at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Schweitzer Group Presents the movie at 7 pm Saturday

Jane Goodall calls it "a masterpiece". The world premiere of Peaceable Kingdom at Lincoln Center sold out 10 days before the event, and drew an audience of 1100. Now we will hold the first Pittsburgh area screening of Peaceable Kingdom, a documentary with a message of compassion and a look into the world of factory farming, focusing on individuals whose lives were deeply entrenched in that world. "Much more than an expose, Peaceable Kingdom is about personal redemption, commitment, healing and hope, offering a life-changing vision of a peaceful world that is well within our reach." (Tribe of Heart Ltd.)

Childcare and light refreshments will be provided, and there will be a raffle for a basket of animal-friendly goodies. A discussion will follow, with guest speaker Cayce Mell of Oohmahnee Farm, a farmed animal sanctuary near Pittsburgh, on hand to answer questions. This event is free and open to the public. For more info contact Jay or Geneva Pullen.

Behavioral Covenant Workshop

A workshop is slated for staff, board of trustees, and congregational leaders to begin the creation of a behavioral covenant. Rod Thompson (our UUA district leader) first suggested our participation in this during the mission/vision process earlier this year. This covenant is an agreement about how members of the congregation will treat each other, helping to manage conflict by avoiding it. During the workshop, participants will share thoughts and ideas that will then be drafted by volunteers into a working document. Input will be solicited from the congregation. Finally, the congregation will vote on the covenant and sign it.

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, October 2 from 9 am to 3 pm.

Religion and Politics

From Lynn and the September edition of The Drummer

We still have time before the presidential elections. I feel strongly that the results really matter, but it's not clear what will happen. This is just the time to talk a bit about religion and politics.

Many of us feel very strongly about the upcoming elections and about other current political issues. Unitarian Universalism encourages us to be involved in politics and to use our religious values as we take political stands.

In our country, though we have a strict separation of church and state. This means it is never appropriate for the minister, any service leader or a guest speaker to advocate from our pulpit for particular political candidates. It is also not appropriate for members of the congregation to advocate for certain candidates during a church service. If we start to do these things we will risk losing our tax exempt status.

However, expressing your views in conversation after a service or at social events is just fine. When you do have political discussion, it is important to keep in mind that one of the gifts and the strengths of Unitarian Universalism is our diversity. Some UUs assume all of us are Democrats. It's true that many are, but we also have Republicans, Green Party members, Independents, Libertarians and probably more.

Sometimes I wish everyone would vote the way I plan to vote in November. But I catch myself when I begin to think this way. After all, if everyone voted the same way, we would have an autocracy, not a democracy. Democracy and Unitarian Universalism thrive on diversity of perspective and healthy, respectful discussion and debate. If we all agree, that can never happen. In the coming months I encourage you to celebrate our diversity and rejoice that not everyone thinks exactly the way you do.

(For further reflection on the subject of diversity, please note the upcoming Diversity Dialogues.)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Volunteer Party

Sunnyhill's volunteer party, rained out from last weekend, is slated for 7-9 pm on Saturday October 2, 2004. Light fare and beverages are to be provided. Feel free to bring your own grog of choice. Babysitting is available if requested in advance.

Every Sunnyhill member and friend, volunteer or not, is invited to this evening of festivities, so don't delay with your RSVP. The staff and board need a count of adults attending and children requiring babysitting by Wednesday.

Hope to see you there for a song and dance evening celebrating the people who really make Sunnyhill shine.

Down Under Coffeehouse, Allegheny UU Church

You are invited to attend the Down Under Coffeehouse on Saturday, Oct 16th from 7:30-9:30 to hear an evening of songs from the American songbook, featuring the vocal styling of Jennifer Wood with the unbelievable jazz piano of Tom Roberts. A night not to be missed!

The Down Under Coffeehouse is held the third Saturday of every month in the basement of the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church, 416 West North Ave, North Side. Suggested donation is $5.00. Call 412-322-4261 or see for more details.

Submission via Stephen Hirtle.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Eight At Eight

The new schedule is out. A PDF is on the web site. You'll need to know the password to open it.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Quaker Meeting Begins at Sunnyhill

Sunnyhill, in cooperation with members of Pittsburgh Friends Meeting will offer a Quaker meeting for worship every second Sunday evening of the month from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. The first meeting will begin, with a brief introduction to Quakerism, on Sunday, October 10th. Quakers meet silently in unprogrammed worship, occasional spoken messages, inspired by the Spirit, may arise from the

Get Out And Vote

Election Day is November 2, Right?
Not if You are an Absentee Voter.

Voting has never been easier! Starting this Labor Day, September 6, 2004, voters in almost every state in the United States will have the opportunity to register for absentee ballots. States have made it easier to register as an absentee voter to encourage voting in this and future elections.

Absentee voting is an easy and flexible way to vote. It allows you to participate in the election when it is most convenient for you. Most states give you the option to vote as early as two weeks prior to November 2, however, in select states you can vote even earlier — late September to early October through November 2. Application processes and regulations differ from state to state, but in many states you can permanently register for an absentee ballot so that you never have to go to the polls again! Applications are about one page and take five or less minutes to fill out.

For more information on your state’s absentee voting program and to register to vote, please visit and print out a voter registration form at

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Its looking like Christmas

The annual Harvest and Holiday Shop is just around the corner. The workers are busy to prep the event.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Stop! Wait!

Recent sermon now on the web. Thanks Lynn.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Main page goes to black

From time to time, as sad news arrives, the main page at Sunnyhill.Org goes to a black background, as is the case now (Sept. 6). This is a way to send an alert without being so direct. The web and the internet isn't always the best medium for delivery of news and information.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

New Members mingle with Committee Chairs

All committee chairs are invited to the Sunnyhill Get Acquainted Party at 7 pm on Friday, Sept. 17, 2004. Bring Hors d'oeuvres to share, and help give potential and new members a chance to meet us in a casual setting in order to learn more about what the congregation has to offer.

Each chair is to give a short presentation regarding what the committeee does and offers. We'll tape the presentations for a new member video.

Significant others are welcome. Babysitting is provided. RSVP to Patty Williams.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Mindy Simmons to return to Pittsburgh - Jan 29, 2005

Mindy signed a contract to do a workshop in the afternoon and an evening concert with the folk organization in town. Save the date, January 29, 2005. Events will be at First Unitarian in Pittsburgh.

Mindy is working on other engagements in the region.

A confusing, but hopeful first day

A confusing, but hopeful first day: "Claire Galpern, 16, a Schenley High School junior, left, and Eliza Hens-Greco, 14, a freshman at Winchester Thurston School cheer for Amina Sunday night as she learns how to open a combination lock for the first time. The three were attending a dinner at First Unitarian Church in Shadyside where backpacks full of school supplies and clothes were given to about 50 Somali students. "

Event at First Unitarian gets great ink and serves a wonderful purpose. Eliza is a S.I. regular too.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Voices of the Revolution on Friday with Anne

This Friday, September 3rd, the Voices of the Revolution Tour is coming to Pittsburgh, 7pm at the Quiet Storm, 5430 Penn Ave in Friendship/Garfield.

The $5 admission helps the Thomas Merton Center continue working for peace and justice throughout the year.

Board member and labor folksinger, Anne Feeney, is emcee-ing and performing! This is something you won‚t want to miss ˆ a chance for many within the peace movement in Pittsburgh to get together for fun and relaxation and to get to know one another a little better.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

UUSC Tie Dye Fundraiser

Tie Dye Fundraiser-benefits the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Membership Fund to provide financial assitance for UUSC membership dues to members and friends of Sunnyhill. Items Available
1 Infant Tank Romper has snap closure around legs $12.00 each
sizes 6m, 12m, 18m, 24m
2 Infant & Toddler Tees $10.00 each
sizes 6m, 12m, 18m, 2T, 4T, 6
3 Empire Dress $15.00 each
sizes 3m, 6m, 12m, 18m, 2T, 4T, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12
4 Youth Tees $14.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl
5 Youth Long Sleeve Tee $12.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl (run big)
6 Adult Tees $12.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl, 2x
7 Adult Long Sleeve Tees $20.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl, 2x
8 Doggie Tees $15.00 each
sizes s (8-14lbs), m (14-24lbs), l (24-45lbs), xl (45-75lbs)
9 Tote Bag Made in USA (18”WX16”H, 9”strap) $12.00 each
10 Shoulder Bag (17”WX15”H, 3”wide shoulder strap) $15.00 each
11 Womens French Terry Capri Pants $20.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl
12 Fem Fit Softee Tank (women’s) $10.00 each
sizes s, m, l, xl, 2x detach below
Order Form

# Description Size Quantity Price
-items will include a chalice logo -make checks payable to UUCSH
-forms must be returned by October 3, 2004 return to church office 1240 Washington Rd. Pittsburgh PA 15228 or Kim Harford
any questions contact Kim Harford 412 563-0814
Orders should be available by December 5, 2004 at UU Church of the South Hills. Thank you!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Peaceable Kingdom

Pittsburgh UFETA's (Unitarian Universalists for the Fair & Ethical Treatment of Animals) Sunnyhill's Schweitzer Group

Our focus is promoting the seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism, "respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part", while acknowledging the need to extend the other 6 principles to include all living beings, whose welfare is inextricably linked to our own.

Our goal is to increase awareness by educating ourselves and others about animal suffering, to re-connect with and inspire reverence for the natural world, and to realize the far-reaching consequences of our daily choices and actions.
With monthly discussions on the second Sunday of each month at 10:15 a.m. (as well as on-line discussions), volunteer projects, an animal blessing service (and hopefully other animal-centered services), guest speakers, potluck dinners (vegan, naturally!), cooking classes, and other member-driven activities, we hope to be a vibrant and inspiring presence at Sunnyhill.

Our first meeting of the year is Sunday, September 12, 2004 during Lifecraft (10:15). We'll be discussing the toll Factory Farming takes on our environment. This is an issue that needs to be addressed for our movement toward "Green Sanctuary" status with the UUA.

SPECIAL EVENT: 7 pm, Saturday, September 25, 2004

The first Pittsburgh-area screening of "Peaceable Kingdom", a documentary film that tells the powerful story of former farmers and animal rescuers working together to turn the tide on industrial farming. Light refreshments and childcare provided, and discussion to follow. FREE.


  • Tuesday, August 17, 2004


    September discussion in the Humanist Forum with Ken W, and how politics do and/or should relate to our roles as citizens as we individually perceive them. There have been numerous articles gathered over the last two months related to that discussion. For your benefit the articles listed below are worth watching a the election draws nearer.

    This issue is more significant due to the effort being made to have paperless voting used for the count.

    Sunday, August 15, 2004

    Sunday Service Committee

    Our Minister, Rev. Lynn Brodie, presents three Sunday services each month, while the Sunnyhill Sunday Service Committee is responsible for arranging for the remaining services. The committee of dedicated volunteers plans, organizes and coordinates one or two services per month. It utilizes
    speakers from outside as well as from our own congregation. Services offer various viewpoints ranging from humanitarian to philosophical to theological.

    Meetings of the committee are generally held on the third Sunday of each month, following our final service. Please join us. Your ideas and perspectives are most

    The next meeting of the Sunnyhill Sunday Service Committee will be after the service on August 29th. Please note that there will only be one service on that date starting at 10:30 am.

    We all scream for ice cream!

    Homemade, store-bought, plain or with sprinkles however you like it, come and lick some at the annual Ice Cream Social, September 5th after the 10:30 service. This year we will use the ice cream social to bade our summertime and summer schedule farewell.

    Donations of home made ice cream are more than welcome. Helpers to set-up, scoop and clean-up a requirement.

    Please contact Mary-Jo Hennessy if you are able to assist.

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    S&S agenda gets finalized

    Maurice has put the final schedule together for the popular Science and Spirituality group. Check it out. Of course, things can change in the future.

    Perhaps this blog can be a place were other pointers and discussions can occur as a spin out of that group?

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Sunnyhill's NEW email discussion for Justice Talk

    A year or two ago, we had a "justice talk" list. But, it sorta died on the vine. It was taken down. However, interest has sparked again. Hence, the new list. You can subscribe yourself -- and in turn, opt-out too.

    For extra help, send an email to Webmaster.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Another obersation by Ken

    "the number of people with no faith was rising but nobody was paying attention to where they were coming from."

    It becomes obvious why we are hearing so much noise from the "America is a Christian Nation" crowd. They feel threatened by the loss of being able to assert they are the status quo having enjoyed an assumed certain privileged position. To do so, "Protestants" have had to embrace "Catholics" as fellow believers. Quite a reversal. Remember the noise made even when the first JFK ran for president just four decades ago. We can expect more "circling of the wagons" as the trend continues. People like D. James Kennedy are milking the people who are sensing the loss of their "freedom", their being the dominant religious (moral in their thinking) voice.

    Your comments are welcomed. Click on the button and post your thoughts.

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    Left Brain, Right Brain - via Ken W

    In religion, the use of metaphor is significantly important. To put this in perspective try the exercise below.

    While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Now, while doing this draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand.

    Your foot will change direction and there's nothing you can do about it.

    There is much to learn about how our minds work.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    That Dam Ride to Confluence

    Saturday, September 11 to Sunday, September 12

    That Dam Ride is a popular overnight bicycling event to be held this year September 11 &12 along the bucolic packed limestone Youghiogheny River Trail to the small town of Confluence Pa.. with an optional tour of the Confluence area. Last years That Dam Ride attracted over 400 visitors from 8 states and contributes recreation, tourism, and economic generation to Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Cyclists, from novice to expert, choose from three mileage options ranging from a 12 mile leisurely guided tour of the Confluence area, to 30 miles a day from Connellsville and back, or 70 miles a day from Boston and back. Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area coordinates That Dam Ride. Proceeds benefit the Mon Yough Trail Council, Steel Valley Trail Council and a number of other non-profit organizations providing volunteer support and services.
    Cost: For  those starting in Boston or Connellsville, a $60.00 entry fee covers gear transport both ways, five rest stops including two lunches, dinner, camping with a light breakfast,  prize drawings including a grand prize bicycle, and an event T-shirt.. Or, enjoy the Tour de Confluence with rest stop, dinner, a T-shirt, and camping included for $35.00.

    Contact:  Pre-registration is required and ends August 27.  Call 412-462-5328 for a brochure.

    Spirit and Nature Conference Saturday, October 16                 

    Perhaps the CUUPS folks should attend this event and see if others are interested:

    The majesty of a mountain overlook, the mystery of a deserted beach, the quiet of an old growth forest, or the bright sparkle of a mountain streamWhat is it that draws you back to a place? What is it in us that responds to a particular favorite spot, that gives us a feeling of anticipation as we approach it, a feeling of satisfaction or re-creation as we take in its essence? These topics and more will be explored at the day-long Spirit and Nature Conference at Chatham College, Saturday, October 16, 2004.

    The conference will feature keynote speaker Scott Russell Sanders, flutist Michael Pestel and a variety of other provocative and inspiring discussions, experiences and speakers. Join us as Native American ceremonies open and close this unique event.  The conference also features a discussion among knowledgeable panelists whose spiritual insights include a reverence for nature. The panelists will represent a diverse range of religious and philosophical backgrounds, from Eastern Orthodox to Muslim, from Catholicism to Judaism.  The capstone to the Conference will be the Saturday evening presentation (8:00 PM) by renowned British mountaineer and photographer, John Beatty. Prepare to be enthralled as Beatty presents his WILD: A Dialogue of Elements a spellbinding and dramatic multidimensional visual experience.

    Location: The Chapel at Chatham College
    Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Conference, 8:00 PM John Beatty presents WILD: A Dialogue of Elements
    Cost:  a. Conference - $45 ($30 seniors and students), includes lunch but does NOT include the John Beatty presentation.  b. John Beatty: $15 ($10 seniors and students). Combination tickets (full day conference and John Beattys presentation) $55 ($35 seniors and students)
    Contact: Venture Outdoors, 412-255-0564, or

    Tuesday, July 27, 2004


    Summer is passing and the grounds and gardens at Sunnyhill are reflecting the efforts of many people who have contributed to their nice appearance. A number of work parties were held in May and June. In May, the back patio and front and rear gardens were readied for our annual picnic. The gutters were also cleaned of the growing maple wings. In June, three work parties were held during which the many yews were trimmed, the trumpet vine shaped, and tree branches which interfered with cutting the grass were removed. In addition, general weeding and sweeping of the front patio and the gardens were performed.

    You have probably noticed the results of considerable effort to remove six yews and the Thornwood bush at the entrance to the north parking lot. These were removed to provide another parking space and to improve the visibility of the lot making it unnecessary to enter and leave to see if there was a spot available. It also helps traffic flow on the Sunnyhill entrance driveway when there are a lot of people entering. The resulting tree branches and yews were reduced to mulch using a wood chipper.

    All of the above work could not have been accomplished without the help of the following: Carl and Liz Bergmann, Vijay Chandhok, Charlie Cook, Larry Comden, Margaret Hamstead, Mike and Mary-Jo Hennessey, Joe Lodge, Margaret Lindquist, Andy Loverich Bernard, Keith McGough, Emily Marlier, Kimball Nedved, Steve and Angela Suarez, Pat Troell, Jerry Walsh, George and Patty Williams, and Robert Williams.

    Our thanks to all who have helped maintain the Sunnyhill gardens and grounds. More work parties are planned to make Sunnyhill ready for the fall opening. So, it is not too late to provide your expertise to help. In addition to meeting fellow Sunnyhillers, you also become eligible to participate in the annual Garden Party party to celebrate our efforts during the year.

    Sunnyhill Cooperative Babysitting

    Get coverage for your kids from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm on the third Saturday of the month.

    Sign up before September

    This is a great way to get out while your children are safe having fun and playing with other children. Sign up for a four month period -- the third Saturday of September, October, November and December. Each parent gets three Saturdays free to go out and have fun, while agreeing to help, with other couples, baby sit the children at church one of the Saturdays. Families who baby sit provide snacks and videos. Your children get four nights of fun and you get three nights out. We ask that you commit to all four Saturdays, or it won't work. This time out, we've moved it up a half hour and we'd like the kids to bring a bag dinner. For more information or to sign up, contact Amy & Bruce Kent.

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Ken wrote

    This is copied from the 2004 SUUSI catalogue:

    Ekstasis - A New Worship for Unitarian Universalists Ekstasis is an exciting and innovative worship service which celebrates being fully human, welcoming and taking pleasure in the whole body's amazing ability to sense and to feel and to think within the realm of worship.
    Ekstasis invites participants into a physical and cerebral worship, encouraging everyone to enjoy their bodies‚ wondrous, natural responses and sensations, in primal human yearnings to engage ecstasy, as well as their rational sensibilities.

    Ekstasis allows and promotes the Œhallowed use‚ of modern technology: computer generated art, visual slide shows, live video feeds, dynamic sound systems, and Œtechno‚ dance music.

    Ekstasis offers worshippers a time of reunion with their ancient human impulses to sing and dance and move into the flow of sacred time and place and drama.

    For over thirteen years, the Reverend Thomas G. Anastasi has been parish minister at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church near Seattle. Thomas‚ background is diverse and non-typical. He was reared as a Pentecostal Christian and later worked as a professional singer and musician. He brings this spirited energy to his ministry, continually exploring new and creative ways to engage and embody liberal religion in the world."

    Out of curiosity I attended this "worship service" at SUUSI. Someone's report on this could not have been believed had it not been personally experienced. UU Pentecostalism has been marketed for some time by this relabeled pentecostal.

    The initial observation was to say that "It was placed incorrectly in the schedule. It would have been great had it been in the entertainment portion of the evening NOT in the worship category." However, after some amount of reflection, the distinction is retracted since a worship service usually utilizes forms of entertainment. This "service" could easily been replaced with a round of liquor.

    In pursuing that line of thought further, I get more authentic religion from some of the entertainers while at SUUSI than the clerics. The clerics use often issues in life to tell me how I should act and what organized activities I should support. Meanwhile, the entertainers, who act like the sages in past times, present the sometimes searing issues of life in the form of metaphors and narratives then allow me the wisdom and motivation to act in the manner of my choosing.

    In analyzing the activities of clerics, I offer that a large number should leave the "ministry", undertake social work and leave religion to those who take religion seriously and are better equipped to teach serious religion.

    Ken W

    Sunday, July 25, 2004

    New Blog is in Pre-Flight

    This blog is a bit of a test case and preflight to see how others might be able to be recruited to be blog helpers.

    Please post a comment to this and offer to help or offer some tips as to what you think we should be talking about in a discussion format.