Kids these Days
(The Illusion of Moral Decline)

Sunday, September 24, 2023, 10:25 am

Online on Zoom:
Passcode: BUF

Zoom by phone, for audio only: (346) 248-7799
Meeting ID: 738 363 620
Passcode: 306220

Gathering Music              Melanie Rieck, piano

Welcome                          Rev Paul Beckel

Prelude                             From a Distance, sung by Ahwren Ayers

Chalice Lighting              Carrie Koehnline


Love is the spirit of this fellowship, and service gives it life.
Celebrating our diversity, and joined by a quest for truth,
We work for peace, and honor all
This is our covenant.

Singing Together             #123, Spirit of Life

Children’s Focus             I had an Overcoat”

Children’s Blessing

We hold you in our love as you go, as you go.
May your heart be at peace as you go.
To nurture the spark of your precious life,
We hold you in our love as you go.


Reflections, Part 1        


Reflections, Part 2

Sharing our Gifts 

Singing Together            #354, We Laugh, We Cry


Singing Together            #155, Circle ‘Round

Circle ‘round for freedom, circle ‘round for peace.
For all of us imprisoned, circle for release.
Circle for the planet, circle for each soul.
For the children of our children, keep the circle whole.


If you’re with us on Zoom today, please stay after the service for our online coffee hour. If you’re here in person, please join us downstairs for coffee and conversation. Visitors: you may wish to use a red cup — then we’ll know you’re open to a bit of orientation.

If you’re new, we’d be grateful to have you provide us with contact information so we can let you know what’s happening here. There are buff-colored visitor contact cards in the pew racks, and in the entryway, that you can drop in the collection basket. Or provide your contact information HERE. 

Contributions payable to “BUF” may be sent to:
1207 Ellsworth Street, Bellingham 98225

For info about donating online (credit card or PayPal), by automatic bank transfer, or via phone apps, see the “give” button in the upper right-hand corner at or contact the office: (360) 733-3837 /


Wednesday Night Dinner every week, $5, 6 pm in the Social Hall


Social and Environmental Justice Committee
Please join the Social Environmental Justice Committee’s fall meeting and luncheon next Sunday, October 1st at noon after the service.  If you have a social or environmental justice project, or concerns that you would like to share, please join us. The committee is always eager to welcome new members and new ideas.


BUF All Church Retreat
Saturday, October 21 with Friday-Sunday Overnight Options
Saturna Retreat Center, north of Maple Falls
Our retreat program—led by rEvolve, a passionate trio who have performed and led music and activities for retreats of 8 to 800—will offer practices for integrating our gratitude, fears, and hopes for the future of our planet. We’ll also have meals together, and free time to enjoy Silver Lake on canoe or paddleboard, or hike through 100+ acres of forest.

For more info, contact  or register at
See the Saturna resort website:
More program and schedule details will be in the next BUF MidWeek Update


Adult Religious Education

Pathways for Parents     Sundays, Sept. 17, 24, & Oct. 1 / 10:30–11:45 a.m.
Learn about the UU tradition and BUF in relationship with your peers


UU History                      Sundays, October 1, 8, 15, 22  / 12:00–1:30 p.m.


Pathways with Lunch     Saturday, October 28 / 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
An intro to BUF, BUFsters, and Unitarian Universalism


Spirit in Practice             Wednesday, November 1, 8, 15, 29 / 11:00-12:30
Explore practices to connect with the sacred ground of our being, however you understand it


Update on Sanctuary Chairs

The BUF Board will host listening sessions as an update on the plan to replace some of the sanctuary pews with chairs. You input is welcomed!
Sessions will be held on:

  • After the Sunday Service: September 24, noon in the Library
  • On ZOOM Thursday, October 12, 7PM
    Meeting 738 363 620 / passcode BUF (this is the regular Sunday link)
  • Before the Sunday Service: October 15, 9AM in the Conference Room


Scent Detection and Orca Study

7 pm, September 28 in the BUF Sanctuary
What Poop Can Tell Us about Southern Resident Killer Whales
Dr. Giles serves as the Research Director for Wild Orca, monitoring the Southern Resident killer whales’ health. Wild Orca’s research utilizes non-invasive sampling with Eba, her highly-trained scent detection dog. “We collaborate with the most respected names in wildlife conservation research to paint a near, real-time picture of the health of endangered Southern Resident killer whales, and to provide timely data to the public and management agencies used to understand and address the causes of population decline.” Looking for volunteers to help with the event-contact
More info:

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

The living tradition we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life
  • Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.