2014-09-18 Service

18 09 2014

First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Second Life (FUUCSL)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

6:30PM SL Time (Pacific Standard Time)

Leading the service: Sofia Freenote



Welcome to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Second Life.

An Order of Service is available by saying “oos” in chat.


For visitors, a special welcome.


If you are not familiar with Unitarian Universalism (“UU”), a single service is not enough

to experience the diversity of ideas and styles of interaction that we offer,

either here in SL or in RL.  Please come again.


You might also wish to look at UUA.org. or consider joining the group

Unitarian Universalists of SL to receive regular announcements.


Also please check out fuucsl.org, our web site.


We are always looking for members of our community who wish to get more involved.

If you would like to try your hand at leading a service,

please contact a member of the Leadership Group –

their names are available in the notecard dispenser in the welcome area.


If you are interested in renting residential property in UUtopia, contact Zyzzy Zarf.

If you are interested in becoming a voting member of our congregation, IM me and I will reply after the service.


Please join us after the service for coffee and conversation – a venerable UU tradition!


Are there any other announcements

** Lighting the Chalice and Opening Words**


WE come together this morning to

remind one another

To rest for a moment on the

forming edge of our lives,

To resist the headlong tumble

into the next moment,

Until we claim for ourselves

Awareness and Gratitude,

Taking the time to look into

one another’s faces

And see there communion: the

reflection of our own eyes.


This house of laughter

and silence, memory and hope,

is hallowed be our presence


** Joys and Concerns **


Now let us prepare our hearts to receive the joys and concerns,

hopes and sorrows, fears and dreams of one another.

If there is something that has recently happened to you, happy or sad,

and you would like to share it with us, now is the time.

We invite you to share your joys and concerns in chat, when you are ready.


** Offering **


A freewill offering is a sacrament of a free Church.

This fellowship is supported by the voluntary generosity of all who join with us.

There is an offering plate in the pool in front of us.

Please be generous in support of this UU fellowship.


** Musical Interlude**


Saving the Earth


Well meaning people say “we need to save the earth”.

I think they have missed the target.

Yes, we are expecting significant climate changes.

But no, the earth will still be here.

It will be changed.  It is continually changing.

What does it mean when people say we need to save the earth?

What are we urged to “save”?

I argue that this is a very conservative call to arms,

that what we are saving is our way of life, our security, our civilization, our comforts.

It’s a desire to stop change.  But as Bob Dylan said, “the times they are a changing” and they always are.


What if we embraced the change and tried to see how to make a better world in concert with it.

Indeed that might be our only option because

I’ve read that even if we stopped carbon emissions dead in its tracks, the change has already occurred

and will continue to occur.  It seems it is too late.


The spiritual virtue that applies in situations like this is “acceptance”.

Stop struggling against the change.

Accept it and make the best of it.

What I am suggesting is that we “mitigate” the consequences of Climate Change

rather than futilely try to stop it in its tracks.

We need to see what we can do to make sure that the harm is minimized

and that the positive opportunities are cultivated.


Minimize the harm.

To me that means that the first world should not be so concerned with preserving our affluence

but we need to share more radically with those who will be most affected

– sub-Saharan Africa; Bangladesh, the Middle East, etc.

Both globally and inside the USA, there will be great migrations of peoples as lands

become unlivable.

Other lands will become new frontiers.

Populations will need to be moved and supported.


Consider the first tickle of the new migrations –

Africans coming to Europe; Central Americans coming to the USA.

We haven’t been treating them too well.

The chaos and political instability in their home countries often has a basis in the lack of water or other climate changes.


Here’s a radical idea.

I don’t think climate change will be all bad.

I’m confident it will bring some positive opportunities.  Siberia and northern Canada will become new breadbaskets.

They will have new affluence and will need new immigrant farmers.

Wherever the economy is expanding because of climate change,

there will be a need for new workers.

Because first world birthrates are declining,

these new immigrants will be the key to continued prosperity in their new homelands,

as well as a better life for the individuals affected.

Opening our hearts and homelands to

people different from ourselves is the right thing to do.


This summer at Chautauqua, I heard a population biologist speaking.

He asserted that many population models are now indicating that as a result of the transition to middle class

(lower fertility) in much of the world,

world population will plateau at 9 billion about 2100 and then decline or level off.

The good news it that we are not facing exponentially increasing population (which we feared in the 1970s)

but that what we have is a difficult transition to negotiate.

This makes all the difference – it is still a difficult problem but not impossible.

I believe that much effort needs to be focused on making sure that the pain of that transition

does not just fall on the least fortunate.

Our moral challenge is to be able to give up some of our comfort and affluence

so that they are not the only ones bearing the cost of the changes we have all made to the environment.

What can I do about this?

What can we do as UUs?

This is going to be the basis for our discussion, following.

Here are a few of my thoughts:


* As an individual, continue to do everything possible to reduce my carbon footprint.

We may not be able to stop climate change,

but it may be possible to slow it down.?

* As UUs, support the efforts of the UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)

The UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering

with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to

challenge oppressive policies.

UUSC envisions a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can realize their full human rights.

This is a great place to pool our efforts and spend some of our affluence so that others will have better lives.


* Understand immigration issues as part of a much larger issue of social justice

and support efforts that manifest our values politically.


* As members of FUUCSL, support our Kiva micro-finance lending program

(there is a card giver in the walkway behind the sanctuary).

This is where we can share our affluence with those who have less and deserve more.


* Do not be seduced by old paradigms.

Yes, it feels good to get on the bus and wave a picket sign,

but every time I hear someone say “we need to save the world”, I cringe.

The world does not need saving.  It will be okay.

I know the point of demonstrations is to make the world aware of a problem in the hopes that “someone” will pay attention and fix it.

Well, I believe that we are already sufficiently aware of the problem…

.to paraphrase Pogo, “We have seen the problem and it is us”.

What we need, I believe, are practical steps to work through this period of change

while mitigating the harm that will come to the least protected amongst us.



Any other ideas about how to effectively mitigate the effects of climate change

** Closing words and Extinguishing the Chalice **


We extinguish this flame but not the light of truth,

The warmth of community,

Or the fire of commitment.

These we carry in our hearts until

We are together again.

– Elizabeth Selle Jones


** Coffee Hour & Dancing **