January 4 “Regional Interfaith Declaration supporting PNW First Nations” with
Deb Cruz, BUF’s Native American Connections Committee
On February 15th, BUF will be holding a special congregational meeting. At this meeting, the congregation will be asked to consider requesting our Pacific Northwest District leadership to sign an interfaith declaration of regional faith leaders, in supporting the Pacific Northwest First Nations, in their struggles to oppose energy development projects throughout the Northwest and to safeguard the traditional lands, waters, and sacred sites of their peoples from destruction. Come with your questions and your discussions on this resolution that will be decided upon at GA this year.
January 11 "Choice at the End of Life" with Cynthia Heft, Client Support
Volunteer for Compassion and Choices of Washington
C&C of WA was instrumental in passing the Death with Dignity Act in November 2008. Cynthia will discuss aspects of the law and her experiences working with clients, providing free end-of-life counseling and support to terminally ill Whatcom County residents who desire to have choice at the end of life without going through protracted and often painful end-of-life events. "It has been an honor," she states "to assist the critically ill and their families who are navigating the last chapter of life, by providing the information and support that they need to make their own unique choices." In 2010, following the prolonged deaths of her parents, Cynthia, a longtime resident of Bellingham, became a Client Support Volunteer.
January 18 “Getting There” with Susan Horst, Director, Mobility Programs,
Throughout history humans have transported themselves in various ways: by horses, canoes, stage coaches, sailing ships, trains, gliders, motorcycles, elephants, our legs, bikes, wagons, autos, mules, etc, etc, etc. What are the choices and challenges today and for the future?
January 25 “Classroom Challenges” with Kathryn Peck, Teacher, Sedro
Kathryn teaches early grades in a rural area Skagit school where many of her students come from low income and Hispanic homes. She daily confronts and solves difficult teaching problems that would be rare in middle- and upper-class schools.
February 1 “Poetry and Healing” with poet/educators Matthew Brouwer,
Betty Scott and Kevin Murphy
Matthew, Betty and Kevin will look at the ways poetry can promote health for both the individual (reader and writer) and the culture at large—offering solace even as it strives to be a disruptive force. The poets will share poems as well as stories of teaching poetry to troubled populations—kids in juvenile detention, people suffering from chronic illnesses, and individuals in crisis. William Carlos Williams said that “men die miserably every day for lack of what is found [in poetry].” Is that true? Matthew, Betty and Kevin are eager to explore with you poetry's energetic influences.
February 8 “The Last Child in the Woods” with Saul Weisberg, Exec.
Director, North Cascades Institute
Many of us seek to protect Nature through politics, legislation, litigation, conservation, but several decades ago Saul realized that something else was more basic: education, especially the education of youth, a realization that led to his founding the highly successful Institute in Skagit Co.
February 15 “Beyond Pipelines: Settler Solidarity with Indigenous Land
Defenders ” with James Leder, WWU Student
Some of you may know James as the outstanding photographer from the recent Totem Pole Journey. James has not only been supporting our local First Nations, but has been actively involved in working with the Wet'suwet'en community and the proposed Pacific Trail Pipelines that will carry natural gas to the British Columbia Coast. You are invited to join James in an interactive discussion about ongoing Indigenous struggles against resource extraction projects in unceded British Columbia. The conversation will be led by settlers who have been involved in solidarity work at the Unist'ot'en pipeline blockade, and will be centered around how settlers can engage in consent-based support work from their own communities.
February 22 Off to GA! with fellow BUFsters
Join fellow BUFsters as we talk about this year’s UU General Assembly in Portland. Every year, the Unitarian Universalist Association holds a national conference of Unitarian Universalists. This year’s GA will be held in Portland, Oregon from June 24th through the 28th. BUFsters who are veterans of past GAs will be on hand to share their experiences and wisdom on how to navigate this huge event. We have information available on this year’s GA, including the strong presence that BUF will have in this year’s programming. If you are planning to attend GA or interested in learning more about what GA is, please join us! We are encouraging as many BUFsters who can, to attend, and this will be a good introduction for you. Early registration begins March 1st planning needs to start soon.