What Does It Mean to Be a Community of Joy?

Susie Maharry, TUUC
Susie Maharry
Director of Adult Religious Exploration

Recently on “This American Life,” they did a segment on “Coming Out as Fat.” I had recently started a Living Body Positive group with Alana Franklin and Cynthia Hackett, and so several people had recommended that I listen to it. I was born fat. I was three months old when the doctor told my mother that I was overweight, and they put me on my first diet. And ever since, for over 50 years I have been trying to get to the “right weight.”  Waiting for the future when I would finally be the “right weight,” and thus finally able to begin my life. Dieting, starving, fasting, using sex, drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes to curb the appetite, engaging in extreme exercise, constantly distracting myself with activities to keep busy, so I wouldn’t eat too much, and vomiting the excesses when I failed. But in spite of all this I failed at being a thin person. I just couldn’t do it. Striving and never arriving. But this is supposed to be about Joy, and so far this isn’t a joyful story. Hey, listen, you have to know NOT JOY first, before you can know JOY. So I listened to the podcast.

And here is where the Joy begins. What if I wasn’t a thin person trapped in a fat body? What if I never was a thin person? I was born fat after all. I’ve always been fat. I have succeeded perfectly at being a fat person. If you turn the dime on its head – I wasn’t a failed thin person – I was a successful fat person! And so I decided to come out as fat. Nothing changed but my perspective. For me, to finally arrive after decades of striving is to know Joy.

Here are my top three picks for opportunities for Joy around town this month (in chronological order):

Sound Bath

Healing Sound Meditation with Kim Valentine

Saturday June 10, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

At Sacred Serenity Space, 2601 70th Ave. West, Suite I, University Place, WA 98466

Experience the relaxing and healing qualities of singing bowls, gongs, and other healing instruments. Feel your mind and body relax as you are led on a guided meditation with singing bowls in the background. Kim Valentine is a MPH, CMP, and Certified Singing Bowl Teacher. The cost is $20. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a pillow and blanket to cover up as you either lie on yoga mats or sit in comfortable seating. The fee is $20 with Advance RSVP. RSVP with Kim at 253-223-3202 or email kimvalentine@rejuvaself.com


Interfaith Iftar Dinner

Wednesday June 14, 2017, 8:00-10:00 pm, Wheelock Student Center, Rotunda, University of Puget Sound

Come learn about Ramadan and celebrate the nightly iftar (“breaking of the fast”) with your Muslim neighbors and friends. This is a free event (dinner graciously provided by Pacifica Institute.

Join us for an evening of unity and commonalities and discussions filled with hope, compassionate listening, and peace building. Dinner is graciously sponsored by the Pacific Institute. However, registration is required. Please RSVP at www.associatedministries.org/events/iftardinner2017 or call Sandy Windley at 253-426-1506.


Meaningful Movies Tacoma (MMT) presents:
“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”

Thursday, June 22, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Grand Cinema
When Donald Trump says, “This election was rigged”- he should know. His buddies rigged it. Rolling Stone investigative reporter Greg Palast busted Jeb Bush for stealing the 2000 election by purging Black voters from Florida’s electoral rolls. Now Palast is back to take a deep dive into the Republicans’ dark operation, Crosscheck, designed to steal a million votes by November 2016. Crosscheck is controlled by a Trump henchman, Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State who claims his computer program has identified 7.2 million people in 29 states who may have voted twice in the same election–a felony crime. The catch? Most of these “suspects” are minorities-in other words, mainly Democratic voters. Yet the lists and the evidence remain “confidential.” Palast and his investigative partner Leni Badpenny do what it takes to get their hands on the data, analyzing it to find the names of nearly one million Americans about to lose their right to vote.
Join us for a lively discussion to follow this extraordinary film that will inspire you. Bring your friends and family! The public is invited FREE of charge. Any donations will be gratefully accepted and will help MMT volunteers continue to bring cutting edge documentaries to the community.


Small Group Ministry News

Women on the Other Side

This women’s group has room for two new members who are available to meet in the afternoon and who live on the other side of the Narrows Bridge. Their service project is working at the Farmers Market in Gig Harbor every Saturday collecting money for Backpacks for Kids.  In July they are hosting a picnic at Barbara and Skip Tripp’s home as an auction item. Tickets are still available for purchase.

Drop-in Chalice Circle

Every 3rd Sunday after Church we gather to discuss the topic of the month. Join us June 18th in the Youth Room, to discuss “Joy”!

A Time for Men

We will be meeting this coming Sunday, June 11 at 11:45 am right after the service to gather in male fellowship and camaraderie to share our experience, aspirations and support on this journey of being male in our society. In addition to addressing this month’s topic on “Men and Honor,” we will have the opportunity to discuss the future of this men’s group, which believes in the value and benefits of men gathering and offering support, encouragement and camaraderie as a way to deal with the growing disconnection, isolation and alienation occurring in our growing electronic and technological society. This June gathering of a Time for Men will be the last organized meeting unless someone steps forward to support its continuation in some shape, form, fashion.