Upcoming at UUVerdugo

This Friday, July 20

The Verdugo HUUT! presents "beatlesque

7 p.m.

Our celebrated Hootenanny in the Hills brings L.A.'s finest musicians, storytellers, and comedians to our beautiful sanctuary for a night of music and laughs which the L.A. Times recently called "Hilarious!" and "A compelling experience."

This month's theme is "beatlesque" and, in addition to the delightful comedian Jackie Primrose Monahan, the HUUT! stage will feature David Kaufman, Carol McArthur, Deanna Neil, Mitchell Schaffer, Melissa McKinnon, Fogelfoot, Melinda Gibson, and Art Stucco—our biggest night yet. Not only that, but there will be prizes and beatlesque cookies!

And, for the first time, we will have childcare for tots from 2 to 12 (just let us know beforehand at 818-248-3954). See? It's getting so much better all the time.

 

Recommended donation: $10

The Verdugo HUUT! is a family-oriented show for audience members 12 and up.

Sunday, July 22

TMI—Too Much Information 

Guest Speaker: Rev. John Bloom-Ramirez  

10:30 a.m.


With Siri and Alexa at our beck and call, our lives are awash in information. It might even be too much. This sermon will explore the difference between information and wisdom, and some of the frameworks for making meaning out of the surplus of data in our lives.

Saturday, July 28: Monthly Movie Night  

"About Time(2013)

6:30 p.m.

This wonderful 2013 film by the creator of "Love Actually" is an unabashedly sentimental story about finding delight in everyday things if one is attractive, British, and financially stable.

Starring Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, and the incomparable Bill Nighy.

This event—along with the popcorn!—is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 29

With Liberty And Justice for All

Guest Speaker: Rev. Betty Stapleford  

10:30 a.m.


We know those words as part of our United States pledge of allegiance. But what do they mean outside that context?  And what could they mean to us as Unitarian Universalists. Let's look a little deeper to see them without their flavor of patriotism.  They may just comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

(Rev. Stapleford spent many years as UUVerdugo's minister and we are delighted to have her back, even for one Sunday.)

Sunday, August 5

Comfort Zone 

Guest Speaker: Cantor Deanna Neil  

10:30 a.m.


When there is loss or difficulty, how do we find comfort? And on the other end, when do we need to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones? Together we'll explore the aspects of comfort and consolation.

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Thursday
Oct012015

“Mindfulness” is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

That definition is awesome!  That understanding is very desirable to me.  That way of life is not mine but I would sure like to try to incorporate it into my daily life as I am concerned that if I don’t pay closer attention to all the beauty around me it might be lost to me in a fog of memories come and gone.

So I went on a search and discovery mode and found many interesting and insightful resources.  Clearly Mindfulness as a cultural phenomenon is here to stay.  We as people fro a western ideological standpoint are engaging this important precept.  In a cover story in the November-December issue of Psychology Today, I learned of   paradoxes of living in the moment. Since then, I’ve been trying to live in the moment as much as possible. Whenever I feel upset or worried, I try to bring myself into the present. And when I can I take a few mindful breaths.  Look at my surroundings, and pay attention to the moment.  Wow, have I got a long way to go, but I’m living less in my head and more in the moment now than ever before—and I can feel the difference.

Here are some practical tips to help you on your mindfulness journey.

Meditate. The easiest way to meditate is to simply focus on your breath.   The challenge is to keep your attention on your breathing. Often, your mind will wander and thoughts will arise—and that’s fine. When it happens, just let go of the thought and bring your attention back to the present by focusing once again on your breath.

Use a reminder, something that you can use as a call to attention.  When you notice it, let that serve as a reminder for you to notice your surroundings, become aware of your senses and your bodily sensations, and bring your focus into the present.

Practice slowing down life by attending to the small things of life and experience. Take a minute and go get a handful of rocks or sand. Now look closely don’t just drop them or it. Instead, imagine you’ve never seen a rock before. Look it over carefully. Consider its shape, weight, color, and texture. Rub the rock or sand in your hand.  Notice its feel, texture, color, and weight, all of the qualities.   Remember to focus on what each pebble/rock or grains look like.

Make it new. When you’re cooking, giving a presentation, or even just recounting a favorite story, try to make it new in subtle ways, delivering it in a way you’ve never done before. Rather than performing it by rote, take a risk and try something slightly new—use different seasoning, words, add a pause, try to express a particular emotion to the audience in a new way.

Mind the gap. Whenever you find yourself waiting—for the checkout line to move, for the traffic light to change, for the Web page to load—get present. Instead of being impatient and wishing things would go faster, be grateful for the gift of a respite—for the 30 seconds or a minute or two minutes during which you have no obligations. Take the opportunity to mindfully breathe in, breathe out, and savor the moment.

Focus on your senses. When you observe your surroundings without judging them good or bad, you naturally move your awareness into the present moment.

Close your eyes and focus on your sense of scent and mentally list all the smells you're aware of—the restaurant downstairs, the wet pavement outside, the perfume of a nearby co-worker.

Next, list all the different sounds you can hear—the ventilation system, cars in the distance, and the hum of your a/c unit, texting, and footsteps.

Then, open your eyes and list all the things you see—the rustling of the trees, the faces in the crowd, and the wrinkles on your palm.

Finally, list all the things you can sense that you appreciate—the way a beam of sunlight hits the brick building across the street, the welcome sight of a friend's smile, the smell of cookies baking. Remember, you're not looking for things to appreciate—you're appreciating the things you sense.

With practice, this exercise will put you in a state of relaxed attention that reduces anxiety and makes you feel more fully alive.

That’s ultimately my goal for each of us...  to be more fully alive this day and all the days of our lives.

In faith,

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

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