First Universalist Church of West Paris lists service topics for May

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WEST PARIS — First Universalist Church of West Paris has announced its May worship schedule, with sermons focusing on science and nature. All are welcome to attend the 9 a.m. services, which are provided with a combination of guest speakers, the Worship Service Committee and the Rev. Fayre Stephenson, who leads worship services every month.

A Natural Response: May 6, led by guest speaker Doretta Colburn, who is a retired minister, teacher and organic farmer. “Nature teaches us more than about science and our environment, but also about who we are and our potential for justice,” Colburn says. “Nature is awash in spirituality — seeing beyond sight, listening more than hearing and fully experiencing the wonder of our world as it informs and motivates us. There is always more than meets the eye!”

Hard Conversations:  May 13, led by a group of church members of the First Universalist Church of Norway. As members of a faith community, the group is seeking to deepen understanding of racism. Five members of the Norway congregation will share their journey through the online “Hard Conversations” course; learning, listening and beginning conversations about racism in the country, communities and ourselves.

Universalism on the Frontier: 10 a.m. Sunday, May 20, at the South Paris Unitarian Universalist Church. The West Paris congregation will attend the worship service at the South Paris church. The service will be led by the Rev. Peter Tufts Richardson. According to Richardson, Universalism was a product of frontier days in northern New England. Maine’s first organized Universalist congregation was convened in Norway and Paris. One of these founders, General Levi Hubbard of Paris, named Oxford County after his hometown, Oxford, Massachusetts. A liberal religious impulse, Universalism opposed rigid doctrines of Calvinism and emotional excesses of revivalism in favor of openness to enlightened ideas and a loving, generous way of life.

“Beam Me Up, Scotty”: May 27, led by Stephenson. “Beam me up, Scotty,” of “Star Trek” fame is almost a cliche for expressing a desire to transcend a bad situation. Recognizing that tele-transportation is still found only in science fiction, this service will explore more earthly means of transcending life’s predicaments.

For more information about the church and services, contact Marta Clements, 207-674-2143 or [email protected], or Bob Clifford, 207-674-3442 or [email protected] To learn more about Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, visit www.uua.org/.

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