Join in wood-chip blitz; get free laurel and hardy handshake

miki soos logoJoin us this Sunday, May 8th, (any time from 1-2 p.m. onward) to celebrate our Riverside-Salem Environmental Sabbath/Earth Day (Mother Earth Day)/ You can participate in wood-chipping the paths at the cottage and through the adjoining Town land or in generally cleaning/sprucing the garden beds and grounds.  Please bring gloves and any implements (pitchforks, wheelbarrows, rakes, etc.).  Snacks/potluck likely, too.  :-).

RS Environmental Sanctuary, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.

Here is your laurel and hardy handshake.

Programs for the rest of May:

May 15            Chris Barbera, Dreamers, Romans and Prisons: Meditations on Crime, Illness, Healing and Liberation. Chris will speak about the method of creating a theory and practice of justice, creativity and intelligence by collaborating and facilitating rather than advocating and educating – and then creating a network by mailing the words of inmates back to prison inmates.  June will speak about “Women Respond to Attica,” an article in the book.

May 22            Paul & Linda McQuillan show DVD: “THE ARMOR OF LIGHT.”  In The Armor Of Light Reverend Rob Schenck, antiabortion activist and fixture on the political far right, breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. Rev. Schenck is shocked and perplexed by the reactions of his long-time friends and colleagues who warn him away from this complex, politically explosive issue.  The McQuillans are Upstate Coordinators of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

May 29            [Memorial Day Weekend] – work/planting Sunday

*This Changes Everything* DVD on Sunday, May 1st

miki soos logoOn Sunday, Mathischangesy 1st, at 4 p.m., Pamela Hughes, Sierra Club Niagara Group Chair, will show a DVD, “This Changes Everything”, at the Environmental Cottage of Riverside-Salem United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island.

From the DVD publicity: “Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

“Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

“Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

“The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.”

Riverside-Salem UCC/DC, 3449 West River Road, Grand Island, NY 14072-0207

Program from 4-6 p.m. Sunday; potluck following.

Arun Gandhi to speak at Sister Karen Klimczak remembrance

Arun Gandhi

miki soos logoArun Gandhi, grandson of the great peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi, will speak on “Legacies of Nonviolence: From Gandhi to Sister Karen” at the annual fundraiser for the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence on Sunday, April 24th at 3 pm at Immaculata Academy, 5138 South Park Ave. in Hamburg, NY.

Riverside-Salem members and friends are encouraged to attend. There will be no program at the Cottage on this date.

Internationally known, Gandhi has been spreading the message of peace and nonviolence for decades. Founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, he will share lessons about compassion and love he learned from his grandfather.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Sister Karen Klimczak’s passing and the event will include a special commemoration of her life and ministry. The Center for Nonviolence founded in her memory shares a mission with Arun Gandhi to eliminate violence in our world.

Tickets are $25, student price $5 and scholarships are available. Tickets are available by calling 716-362-9688, purchasing online at or at the door.

A day for laughter yoga

miki soos logoScience backs up laughter as the best medicine.

Laughter Yoga was developed based on the scientific proof that laughter enhances the immune system.

On April 10 at 4:00 PM at Riverside Salem (3449 West River Rd., Grand Island) join me (Alan Sexton, a certified leader on Laughter Yoga) and participate in an introduction to Laughter Yoga, including a brief history of its development.

The only thing you need to bring is your funny bone.

(But Al is also a poet and welcomes possibilities to share poetry & other inspirations.)

Upcoming Sunday programs:

April 17         Vicki Ross, Charley Bowman, Valerie Niederhoffer, and Russell Brown, “Militarism & Environmental Degradation:  Mutuality at its worst.” We are waging war. We are the Nation of War. We destroy. We kill. Everyone fears us. Fewer and fewer admire us. The Pentagon is relentless in seeking immunity from federal environmental protection laws. [From Counterpunch, 3/9/16)

April 24          SKC 10th anniversary of Sr. Karen’s murder.  Arun Gandhi speaks at Immaculata Academy in Hamburg; tickets are $25.  Info:  362-9688 (Sr. Karen Center).

May 1              Pamela Hughes shows “This Changes Everything” (DVD)

May 8              “Mother Earth Day” – wood-chipping paths +

Pastoral Letter on violence and political discourse

March 18, 2016
Pastoral Letter from the Executive Minister of the Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America and the Conference Minister of the New York Conference, United Church of Christ:
As the Executive’s of the Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America and the the New York Conference, United Church of Christ, we join our voices and hearts in solidarity with the statement just offered by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Council of Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ with the following Holy Week statement:
On Good Friday the ruling political forces of the day tortured and executed an innocent man. They sacrificed the weak and the blameless to protect their own status and power. On the third day Jesus was raised from the dead, revealing not only their injustice but also unmasking the lie that might makes right.
In a country still living under the shadow of the lynching tree, we are troubled by the violent forces being released by this season’s political rhetoric. Americans are turning against their neighbors, particularly those on the margins of society. We seek to secure our own safety and security at the expense of others. There is legitimate reason to fear where this rhetoric and the actions arising from it might take us.
In this moment, we resemble God’s children wandering in the wilderness. We, like they, are struggling to find our way. They turned from following God and worshiped a golden calf constructed from their own wealth. The current rhetoric is leading us to construct a modern false idol out of power and privilege. We reject the idolatrous notion that we can ensure the safety of some by sacrificing the hopes of others. No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, we must respect the dignity of every human being and we must seek the common good above all else.
We call for prayer for our country that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail and we will not betray our true selves.
Reverend David R Gaewski, Conference Minister,
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Reverend Amy Nyland, Executive Minister,
Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America
New York Conference | United Church of Christ
315-446-3073 | |
New York Conference UCC, 5575 Thompson Road, DeWitt, NY 13214

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