Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Another Memorial Day Homily

I wanted to jump on the band wagon here and link to the Homily I gave this past Sunday. It was received really well.

Some of you already know the story, if you scroll down you can read it in detail, but in one of those weird ways of the universe, it has actually allowed me to connect with people on a level I did not have before.

You can read the sermon here

Until Then, and Always

Monday, May 29, 2006

Chaplain Kane Essay at UU World Online

UU World Editor Chris Walton writes:

Dear friends at Unitarian Universalists in the Military,

UU Navy chaplain Cynthia Kane has written a brief essay for Memorial Day for uuworld.org. A link to your group blog is one of the essay's "Related Resources," so I hope at least a few readers will connect with your community after reading Cynthia's essay.

Warm regards and many thanks for all you do,
Chris Walton

Thanks, Chris, for your awareness of our forum and our work.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day Sermon

Today, I had the honor of presenting the sermon during a moving Memorial Day ceremony at the Emerson Unitarian Church in Houston.

It was a very moving service, involving a reading of several poems by soldiers, the playing of "Silver Taps" after a silent meditation, and many other elements.

I was honored to be asked to present the sermon, and as always I have placed it online.

It is entitled "Silent Tears: The Faith of a Solider".

I was proud of Emerson Unitarian Church, and proud to be a part of a service presented and lead by UU Veterans. I was also proud of how well the sermon was received by the congregation.


Yours in Faith,

David Pyle

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Amateur Radio Help

Is everyone aware that there are ham radio operators specially licensed to pass messages between US armed services personnel, their families, and friends? The information is available online and there are separate systems for Army, Air Force, and Navy-Marines. One helpful starting point is: www.navymars.org. Message traffic through the MARS networks isn't as swift as email or telephone but the operators are dedicated volunteers. As with other activities at which amateur radio operators work, there is no charge for the service.

Marilyn, KC0PMD

Monday, May 22, 2006

Welcome to new Blogger

Welcome to Marilyn from Minnesota. We look forward to seeing your posts.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

UU Military Congregation in Maryland

Linda from the UU Fellowship of Southern Maryland writes:

I am writing you from the UU Fellowship of Southern Maryland, a little over an hour south of DC and adjacent to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Lexington Park, MD. Our congregation has many members who are retired from various branches of the military as well as many contractors that support the work of the base here. On May 28, we will be conducting a lay-led sharing service with the title "Honoring Those Who Protect Our Freedom" and is described in our newsletter as follows:

"On this Memorial Day weekend, it seems appropriate to ask how we can honor members of the Armed Forces who put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedoms and our way of life, while at the same time honoring our UU values to promote peace. And what about the many civilians who work for the Armed Forces as employees and contractors? This morning's sharing service will be an opportunity to explore these important - and sometimes difficult questions."

I have listened to the tape from last year's GA on "Unitarian Universalists in the Military" and that's how I got your address and blog address. I have wonderful material from that tape, but would also appreciate any readings that you recommend. When reading your blog, I got the feeling that you were reaching out to congregations to help them understand this issue better and to talk about being more welcoming and inclusive. I will plan to use Gini Courter and Bill Sinkford's comments.

Our congregation is sensitive to the issues I heard on the tape. About 18 months ago, we had a service for Peace Day when our retired military members talked about their time in the service and the "peace missions" and work they did with communities that they were stationed at. It was an eye-opening event for our hard line peace folks, something that the quieter military folks were so relieved to
experience. It has meant all the world to our military folks to no longer hide who they are and to be acknowledged as true UUs too.

I have not served in the military myself, but have a younger brother who is an active member, an officer, in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk.

I am glad that we are learning to me more inclusive - it's about time!

Thanks for the work you are doing and if you can provide any assistance for our worship service on the 28th, I would appreciate it.

Linda, thanks for YOUR work. If anybody can help her out with readings for her service on Memorial Day weekend, please e-mail us and we'll pass it along.

UU Military Congregation in Minnesota

Thanks to Marilyn from the Nora UU Church in Hanska, MN for telling us about her congregation, which has at least one military member, an Army guardsman now on his second deployment to Iraq.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Of Course, There is Still Work to Do

FUUSE had this article posted on their site today.. of course there is no mention of Youth and Young Adults who may actually want to join the military.

A tolerant community, we all hope, would be one that is tolerant of all people not just those with which we agree. Of course there are lines we cannot accept being crossed, and for some people the military is over that line.

Can I just say to any Youth or Young Adults who are considering the military and come across this entry that I would honor and respect your choice, and continue to welcome you into the UU faith with open arms.

Until Then, and Always

Chipping Away

As Gregs last post pointed out, people are beginning to listen.

I wanted to share something that happened in my home congregation. The Monday night SGM (small group ministry) group decided that they wanted to do a project together. They chose to support an organization known as "Books for Soldiers".

They enrolled the entire church and where able to gather together over 200 lbs of books, all paperbacks, and the money to have them shipped over seas.

Since my point of view of supporting the military is so well known I kind of stayed out of it unless people would think I was running the program.

I am so proud of my congregation, so proud of the anti-war people who came to me and said "What would you have liked to read while you where away from home?"

The really amazing thing though is how many people right now are talking about how they can support and show our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines love and respect while continuing to be against the war.

This week.. is a good week for military UUs. I was also asked to share the story about the UU World article during our memorial days service.

Greg is right.. people are listening.. so please keep speaking
Until Then, and Always