Monday, December 24th is our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve Service beginning at 6:00 PM. Marion Wallace and Karen Fothergill will lead this service titled “Meanings of Christmas.” Members are urged to bring healthy hor d’oeuvres for treats afterwards. Colette Hoglund and Suzanna Terry will be our featured musicians. For information, please contact Ken Whiting at 734-9161.
We are bringing back our tradition of singing Christmas Hymns this coming Sunday in honor of former member Don Royster. For many years, Don attended our Church and led our music program providing accompaniment for hymns and playing original music and classics for our Fellowship. Don passed away Christmas Eve in 2005.
Susanna Terry will be leading the musical part of our program and Karen Fothergill will be the host. Michael Johnson will be featured on the guitar. Childcare is available. The Magic Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday beginning at 10:30 AM at the Twin Falls Senior Center. For information, please contact Ken Whiting at 734-9161.
The holiday song, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is a carol that aptly describes this time of year. It’s the time of the year when many holidays and events are celebrated.
Of course, Christmas is the holiday that most people around here think of, but it certainly isn’t the only holiday that’s recognized in other parts of our country and the world. We are currently in the final days of celebrating the Jewish holiday ‘Hanukkah’, also referred to as the “The Festival of Lights.” Others celebrate the winter solstice, which of course describes the time of year when the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun resulting in shorter daylight and longer nights. In Sweden, Santa Lucia Day has historical roots to the winter solstice celebration and now combines the Christmas celebration with it. The newest of the holidays is Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday, started 46 years ago and is celebrated from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa developed to honor the values of ancient African cultures. And finally, Bodhi Day or Rohatsu is a Japanese Buddhist holiday that fell on December 8th of this year and commemorates when Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) experienced enlightenment. Each of these wonderful events’ similarities and relationships will be discussed to enable us to fully appreciate ‘the reasons for the season.’
The Magic Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday beginning at 10:30 AM at the Twin Falls Senior Center, 530 Shoshone Street West in Twin Falls. Newcomers are always welcome. Child care is available. For information, please contact Ken Whiting at 734-9161.
The UU program for 12-8-12 will be a video sermon by Rev. Marlin Lavanhar titled “Why Atheists Go to Church.”
Rev. Marlin Lavanhar is the senior minister of All Souls Unitarian -Universalist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Marlin grew up as a Unitarian Universalist in Illinois. He majored in Sociology at Tulane, and graduated from Harvard Divinity School. All Souls called him in 2000 at age 32, making him the youngest senior minister of a major congregation in the denomination. Marlin began his religious life in the North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Illinois. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he taught English and American Culture in Kyoto, Japan for two years. He followed that with a three year around the world bicycle trip, studying Buddhism in Asia, Hinduism in India, Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions in Israel, and cycling through much of Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North America. Along the way visiting and writing about Unitarian communities on the Island of Negros in the Philippines, in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India, and in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Rumania. The experience helped him recognize the Unitarian ministry was his calling, and he enrolled at Harvard Divinity School. At Harvard, he was selected to assist the Unitarian Universalist Association at interfaith and international relations, and was invited to present a message to the Triennial World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom in Korea. After graduating, he served as Minister of Outreach at the historic First and Second Church in Boston. He became widely recognized within the denomination for his development of the “Soulful Sundown Service” program in Boston, which reaches out to unchurched young people. His success demonstrated by wide distribution of a manual he wrote on how to bring young people into church.
Since coming to All Souls, Marlin has overseen exponential growth in the membership and attendance of the church. In 2008, All Souls in Tulsa became the largest church in the Unitarian Universalist Association with almost 1800 adult members. He serves the wider Tulsa community as the President of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries, as a member of the Downtown Clergy Association, a board member or the John Hope Franklin Museum for Reconciliation and the Mayor’s Police and Community Coalition. He is married to Anitra Lavanhar and they have two children, Elias born in 2000 and Lyla born in 2008.
The UU program for 12-2-12 will be a Great Courses video by Jay Garfield of Smith College. The topic this Sunday (tomorrow) is “The Meaning of Life”. This presentation will feature the thoughts of John Lame Deer, a Lakota Sioux Medicine Man.
The Magic Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship meets every Sunday beginning at 10:30 AM at the Twin Falls Senior Center, 530 Shoshone Street West in Twin Falls. Newcomers are always welcome. Child care is available. For information, please contact Ken Whiting at