Groups Other Than Committees and Classes:
1. CUUPs (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) focuses on the spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions. CUUPs has about 10-12 active members. Since the summer of 2010 the group has been meeting twice a month and also gathers for holiday rituals.
2. The Buddhist Meditation Group has been meeting for at least 5 years. Three to eight participants gather twice a month to become more at peace with ourselves and others, learn about Buddhism, practice meditation (optional), and share personal experiences and reading. We feel more relaxed and peaceful after each meeting, and feel closer to each other.
3. The WHUUFTones are WHUUF’s own barbershop quartet. This a capella group has had the same four members since its inception in May 1998. Our repertoire includes classic barbershop, doo-wop, Beatles, and novelty songs. The WHUUFTones typically perform Sunday service musical interludes about four times a year and are occasionally featured at after-hours WHUUF celebrations. We also enjoy singing at retirement homes. Our performances are free, and worth the price! Practice is once a week, alternating at each other’s houses in order to give our wives a break.
4. The Choristers are an SATB choir (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) of currently 14 singers, plus a paid accompanist and director. (The director is WHUUF member Ralph Parsons, who is also one of the WHUUFTones.) We meet weekly for a two-hour rehearsal and provide the Sunday service musical interlude once a month. We provide a full service twice a year, in December and late spring. The music is sometimes challenging, sometimes not, giving a chance for members without much training to develop into excellent singers. We perform largely uplifting secular music, plus occasionally something more seriously classical (e.g. Brahms, Rutter) or spiritual (like African American spirituals) or not spiritual at all (such as Stephen Foster songs).
5. The Uke Group members meet twice a month and share music in an informal setting. New members do not need to know how to play a ukelele. These little harbingers of happiness are an inexpensive, casual, portable means of fun, and we can teach you three simple chords in a few hours that will enable you to play over 100 songs.
6. The Men’s Group has been meeting for about 17 years. There are currently 8 guys in the group and we meet every other week. Our group is organized very loosely: whoever wants to share does so, guys provide feedback, and then someone else shares. One member describes the Men’s Group as “the element at WHUUF that has brought me closest to my spirit, my inner self, peace, and clarity.” Our men’s group has achieved this because we challenge ourselves to share from deep within us.
7. The Women’s Group had its first meeting in December 2010, attended by 17 women. The group will meet twice a month. It is an opportunity for women to get to know other women, share ideas, do projects together, and meet outside of WHUUF for activities. It is an open group and as new women attend WHUUF, they will be invited to meet with us.
8. Two Sharing Circles bring WHUUFers together regularly. One open group with 6 currently active members meets two evenings a month. They get to know each other and themselves better through dialogues on specified topics, facilitated by the Director of Lifespan Learning. The Family-Friendly Sharing Circle (FFSC) has met roughly once a month since about 2004 and has about 20 members. All members have children, but discussion topics (chosen by members) are not directly related to parenthood, so members get to know new facets of each other. In addition to discussions, FFSC families share several outings a year, such as hikes, campouts, and volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank. The FFSC hosts WHUUF’s annual Halloween Party.
9. The Tuesday Afternoon Book Group has been meeting monthly for about two years. We have 6-10 people in attendance. Each of our books is suggested by a group member who has read it and feels it contains ideas that would make a good focus for conversation. Subjects range from religion to history to economics to lighter themes, whatever the group decides. We have great discussions!
10. The Addressing Addictive Behaviors Committee builds awareness of the broad range of issues surrounding addictive behaviors. Formed in 2007, AABC offers referrals and resources, hope, and nonjudgmental support for addicts, their families, and their friends. SMART (Self Management And Recovery Training) meetings are held weekly at WHUUF.
11. The WHUUF Hoofers have participated in the Portland To Coast Walk Relay every year since 2005.
Groups in the recent past:
The Lay Ministry Study Group of about a dozen people met regularly during 2009-2010 to investigate how to develop lay ministry at WHUUF, a project that remains of interest. Please see http://www.whuuf.net/mediagallery/album.php?aid=48&page=1 for the LMSG’s list of the Fellowship’s strengths, to which more than 30 people contributed.
The Dance Choir in 2010 ended an 18-year run of original productions staged twice yearly as Sunday presentations. This collaborative endeavor included a broad range of the Fellowship’s creative minds and bodies. Creation myths and other archetypal stories were explored, as well as thoughtful or light-hearted offerings on life’s journeys. A summer service featuring audience participation continues.