Jamestown, N.Y. – “In the Lutheran tradition, the last Sunday in October is Reformation Sunday, when we remember Martin Luther’s courage in publicly criticizing the church and expecting it to do and be better,” says former Lutheran pastor Ruby Wiles, who served in North Dakota, New York City and Kane, Pennsylvania.
In her message at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown’s (UUCJ) 10:30 a.m. hybrid service on Sunday, October 30, Wiles will explore the question, “Do you need reformation? Do I?”
Wiles explains that, “I loved this day as a kid, because the church is always in need of reformation and I always had ideas on how to reform it. Now I realize, I am the church and my need for reformation. Based on scientific research, I would like to speak about our personal need for reformation and how to change.”
The message relates primarily to the second of the seven Principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations. It relates as well to the third – acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, fifth —the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large, and sixth principle – the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
As the founder of Warren, Pennsylvania’s Free Books for Kids Town, Wiles is passionate about encouraging children to read by having books that belong to them. She is bringing a literacy quiz and will update the congregation on her literacy work.
There will be time for questions after her presentation.
In 2017, Wiles received the UUCJ’s Richard T. Parker Award for Social Justice. The award recognizes individuals whose volunteer work for social justice has not been widely acknowledged. Subsequently, she inspired the church’s Social Justice Committee to promote reading by giving books to students in the Washington Middle School English as a New Language program and to Fletcher Elementary School kindergarteners, having a free children’s book box in front of the church, and holding a Halloween Book Giveaway during Jamestown’s Trick or Treat hours.
A social time follows the service when congregants will celebrate Rosemary MacKown on her last Sunday as regular pianist for the church. Following many years of her musicianship adding beauty to services, she will be wished a wonderful retirement and welcomed back for special occasions.
Participation can be either in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown or online. To join virtually, use the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to support and celebrate each other, encourage spiritual and individual growth, and serve the wider community.