Red River Ramblings – The January 2023 issue


12/31/22 - 01/31/23    
12:00 am

Event Type

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January 2023 - v.3


Regretfully, the electronic version of this month’s newsletter contains only SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS from the issue.  This because iContact (our email marketing platform) flagged the issue as ‘too long’ (last month’s issue was 2 more pages, go figure) and had too many internet links.

Here are the highlights.  You miss a lot by not reading the PDF version, however:

The January 2023 Issue


Choose your reading preference

The Electronic version, below, is SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS ONLY,

Sunday Mornings in January

The Morning Assemblies

11:15 AM in the chapel and streaming

on Zoom, Meeting ID: 989 0789 7878

Sunday, January 1, 2023 – 11:15 AM

Keeping the Church in your Heart

A New Year’s Day informal open house

While there will be no morning assembly on this New Year’s Day holiday, the chapel will be open with members of the worship and AV teams ready to greet all who may wish to drop in for an informal Open House. Nice people, wonderful surroundings, and lively conversations. Do come if you wish.

The Adult Forum and

Conversations & Calories

are taking the morning off today.

Sunday, January 8, 2023 – 11:15 AM

Stepping into Tomorrow

The Worship Team, leading

An old year is ending, a new one beginning.  We need to prepare ourselves for that step into the future by releasing whatever we want to leave behind and welcoming our next challenge. Along with the personal, we will also look at the UUA suggestions for the new 8th principle and the spiritual/religious challenge approaching.

CHRISTMAS IS LEAVING …We enjoyed a wonderful Hanging of the Green afternoon in early December and, well, it is time to Return Christmas to the Basement. Please plan on lingering after the morning assembly on Jan 8th to lend you wrapping skills to pack up the Santa collection, the tree ornaments and even the tree itself. We will start immediately after Conversations and Calories.

Sunday, January 15, 2023 – 11:15 AM

It’s a Conspiracy

The Rev Dr Mark Y.A. Davies, leading

So many persons are drawn to conspiracy theories. When one begins to believe one of the many baseless conspiracy theories being spread, it is like a gateway drug that leads persons down a path of accepting beliefs and explanations of reality that are demonstrably untrue and that are often racist, anti-science, and have the capacity to motivate persons to bring great harm to others.

Sunday, January 22, 2023 – 11:15 AM

The Social Ethics of Social Media

The Rev. Dr. Mark Y.A. Davies, leading

The chaos at a certain social media company over the past few months raises the question, “What is the good of social media?” With billions of persons investing so much of their time and lives into their presence on social media, how can social media be used in ways that benefit rather than harm the well-being of the human community?

Sunday, January 29, 2023 – 11:15 AM

Reaction to Modernity

Walter Norris, leading

Karen Armstrong in several of her books about the history of religion reveals that “religious fundamentalism is a 20th Century phenomenon.” She further communicates that “this phenomenon is a reaction or rejection to modernity.”

I am taking the opportunity to develop a three-part exposure of religious fundamentalism that will take place over three different morning discourses, each focusing on a Century – the 19th, 20th, and 21st.

On Sunday we will start with the early indicators during the 19th Century looking at the lessons from “Frankenstein”, Marxism, Evolution, and the loss of Colonialism.

5th Sunday Potluck Lunch is today. Bring a dish to share and plan on enjoying a lively, inclusive, and fun time. We start immediately after the morning assembly.

Marilyn’s Musings

January is the month of re-creating our lives. This is when we make New Year’s Resolutions, join health clubs, go on diets and other futile things that we will abandon by the end of the month! I wish you success, but I don’t shame you for failure. January is the month of re-creating our lives. This is when we make New Year’s Resolutions, join health clubs, go on diets and

other futile things that we will abandon by the end of the month! I wish you success, but I don’t shame you for failure. We all count our successes and failures secretly to ourselves. There is one thing that we can all strive to do and that is to be kind. True kindness in all things is seldom achieved.

However, our church community excelled in kindness in three ways this holiday season. We provided gifts for the children in the Texoma Family Shelter and shifting from clothing to food, Marion coordinated church members as they provided finger food for the Shelter’s Holiday Open House. Jim Runnells delivered the gifts to the shelter. They are always so appreciative. We also provided for our church needs with items for the Giving Tree. We distributed the Help cards to those needing services in our area in Oklahoma and Texas. We are truly a kind community. Our kindness has been a frequent observation by visitors who say that there is a warmth and a feeling of inclusion that they feel when they come here. May we always strive to be kind.

I wish you a 2023 that is everything you could hope for and more!

Each month, I will give highlights from the board meeting.

At our December board meeting, we accepted Dick Powell’s resignation and welcomed Carole Harner as our new treasurer. Carole is no stranger to that position, since she held it years ago. We will miss Dick as he has moved to Plano to be able to take care of Carol, but we can be confident that we are in good hands with Carole. We have been fortunate to have people in our congregation capable of handling this critical position. Thank you, Dick, for your self-less work and thank you Carole for agreeing to take the treasurer position. Also, thank you, Carol, for your work on the caring committee and the Aesthetics committee. We will miss your cheerful attitude and artistic touch. For those of you who don’t know, Carol designed the cover of the Caring Cards, then Doug added the lettering.

Since Carole Harner is on the Nominating Committee and people who are on the board or on the Committee on Ministry can’t serve on the Nominating Committee, she resigned. The board will be seeking new members for the Nominating Committee.

We also accepted the resignation of Elle Dyer as RE teacher for the children’s program. She has taken a new job that makes it difficult to also manage the RE instruction. We can all be very proud of the work Elle has done. She alone has grown that program. Now, David Dyer has taken over the instruction. We are grateful for both of them. While I am sure that the program will continue to grow under his leadership, he has asked that we seek a new person for that position.

Amy, Marla, and I attended an online course for Lay Led UU churches and gained some insight on how to make things better. Amy attended the Leadership section; Marilyn attended the Family Worship section (RE) and Worship sections; and Marla attended the Worship section. Mostly, we found that we were doing more than the others, especially small congregations, but found some ideas to incorporate. We will be conferring with those teams and you may see some future changes.

Marla forwarded a notice from the UUA that proposed replacing the section on principles and sources. Don and I will serve on a task force to evaluate that proposal and present at the February board meeting. [Ed. Note: Details about replacing the section on principles and purposes is available on the PDF version of this month’s newsletter.]

Work to repair the garages and add new siding has begun. Amy has inventoried items in the garages and she and Jim Holmes will coordinate selling, donating and/or disposing of some of the items stored there that aren’t needed. No personal items should be stored in the basement or garages unless first cleared by the facilities chair, Jim Holmes.

Marilyn Alexander, president

Nerdy New Year’s Eve

It’s gonna be a Nerdy New Years! Help us ring in the new year with a night of board games, geeky gifts, and great company. Visit for a couple hours or stay for the whole event. Either way, it’ll be fantastic to have you here.

At 6 pm on December 31st we’ll start things off with some games. Bring your own or try out some games supplied by members of the church.  Around 10 pm we’ll kick off the White Elephant Gift Exchange. If you bring a gift, join us in choosing, opening, and sometimes stealing cool presents. Gifts don’t need to be new, but we do ask that they be in good condition and fit the nerdy theme of the event (games, sci-fi, fantasy, comics, etc.). Then, games resume, with a pause before midnight to watch the ball drop. At 1 am, we say our goodbyes and head home, so we can be well rested enough to make corny jokes about how you haven’t seen your friends ‘since last year’.

An Artistic Challenge

from the Worship Team

Last year the Worship Team created a play from discourse “A Christmas Birthday” written by the Rev. Dr. Don Fielding, in which we used images we found online to bring to life spoken words. We would like to take 2023 to create a new video with sketches of the actual story line instead of generic pictures because it will result in a far more touching experience. If anyone is interested in creating the illustrations, you can watch the 2022 video on our YouTube channel here and then let your creative juices flow to think how you might draw pictures to bring the words ‘to life’. Intrigued? please contact someone in the Worship Team or email us all in one email here.

Walter Norris, Michelle Haynes, Jana Norris, Dan Althoff, Marla Loturco

Worship Team Training

The Worship Team is having a Saturday morning training on January 7 from 10-12 am in the Gil Alexander Room. If anyone has been thinking they might like to join the team to help them continue their quality services, this is the time and the place. Please let Marla Loturco know if you would like to attend.

Our Spiritual Self Help Group/Book Club

starts on Tuesday, Jan. 10th

Social Justice

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, some thought that was the end of the story of abortion rights in America. It wasn’t the end. This fight is just beginning. We won’t give up after one disastrous ruling. On January 22nd – the 50th anniversary of Roe, we march again. Save the date.


According to history, polls, and pundits, Democrats should have lost the 2022 midterms. Instead, women turned out and stopped the red wave in its tracks. But winning the midterms wasn’t enough. In 2023, we march because our rights are still under attack, and this is a fight we refuse to lose. On January 22, 1973, the Roe v. Wade ruling decriminalized abortion.

On January 22, 2023, the 50th anniversary of that ruling, we march to restore the protections of Roe — but that alone is not enough. Reproductive freedom is bigger than Roe. Our lives are bigger than Roe. On January 22nd, we fight for everything that we love.

To every politician and elected official: If you come for our families, our freedoms, or our future, we are coming for your seat. Period. On January 22nd, Women’s March is hosting our #BiggerThanRoe national march. It’s time we take our fight to the states and prove our electoral power once and for all. Be there. March with us in your city or state.

Please join us then. Jan Fletcher, chair