UUMeriden Newsletter - Online Version
Note - some information such as email addresses and phone numbers have been omitted from this online version of the newsletter. Those on our mailing list receive a full PDF copy of the newsletter via Email each month, and the PDF version is available for download in the Member's Section of the website.
From The Minister
Rev. Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull
Megumi Yamamoto, Moderator
The hours of Susan Petrosino, our Office Administrator, are Tuesday and Wednesday 12-5 pm and Friday 11 am - 4 pm. Deadline for announcements in the order of service and the weekly e-mail announcements is a firm Wednesday at noon!
Healing wishes to:
Bob Muir, who had foot surgery at Middlesex Hospital on November 1 and is recovering at home in Portland.
Carole Kargher, who is still recuperating from pneumonia.
Scott Barnard, who continues his struggle with ALS.
All who have shared sorrows and joys during the Community Candles sharing segment of our Sunday
If you know of someone who has contributed to this church in a most distinctive way in the recent past or
an event calling for celebration or sadness, please let Rev. Jan know so that we might extend Kudos,
Thank You, Congratulations, or Loving Condolences in next month’s newsletter!
Kudos and Thank You to:
As light is less, light is more. We approach the time of year that holds the darkest day of the year…until Solstice, when darkness begins to diminish and light marks an ever increasing portion of our days. For now, we turn on our lamps earlier and earlier, and we light lamps worldwide as holidays and holy days shine through the darkness.
Diwali, a five-day “festival of lights,” signals the kindling of lamps throughout India. Celebrated this year in early November, it is a time for families and friends to gather close as gifts are exchanged and festive food is served in a celebration of light over darkness, good over evil. Hanukkah, the festival of lights celebrated by Jews worldwide and many in our congregation, commemorates an ancient miracle of light. This year the first night of Hanukkah overlaps with Thanksgiving Eve! We’ll celebrate with the music of Hanukkah on the first Sunday and the first day of December and light five candles on the menorah for the fifth night of Hanukkah, which begins at sunset that day. That same day we’ll mark the first Sunday of Advent with a traditional Advent wreath holding five candles, one as the “lighting candle,” the others to be lit week by week in anticipation of Christmas. Count also on a celebration of Solstice, held in the form of a Yule Party directly after the service on December 22. That Sunday’s service is an intergenerational celebration of Christmas, when we tell again the story of child born under a star.
So many “Silent Nights, Holy Nights” arrive before we sing the carol of Christmas that so touches our hearts and lends peace to a world still reeling from its absence. What memories stir as the lights of our sanctuary go dim and we kindle our candles at the conclusion of our intergenerational Christmas Eve service.
As light is less, light is more…but not for everyone. These holidays of light are commonly punctuated by times of darkness for many among us. Difficult memories, lingering sadness, and sometimes full-blown depression visit many of us during the sometimes unbearable strains of “Joy to the World.” It is for this reason, that I am offering the workshops on “Loss, Grief, and Healing,” which will have begun as you read this, but will continue on two Tuesday evenings of December-the 3rd and the 17th. If this is an especially rough season for you, please give me call and we can meet one and one if you would like to talk through or simply be together through your holiday sadness. Perhaps listening and presence is the gift that you most need this season. It is a gift that I offer, along with my love for each of you.
As light is less, light is more. So it is amid the darkness that year after year gives way to light.
Love and peace-
My holiday thoughts this year will be short, not because I want them to be that way, but because for me, as well as you, this is a busy time! Acknowledging the fact that I may not do things as perfectly as I want to is important for me around now. I love the excitement and joy that comes from celebrating Christmas and Hannukah, along with both Asher and Zoe's birthdays, during the winter. But it's easy for me to get overwhelmed and start feeling that I'm not doing enough, unless I deliberately take a moment or two to pause and reflect. I try to remind myself that "the perfect is the enemy
of the good." I try to remember what things are most important to me -
spending time with family and friends, giving thanks for the abundance we have, and thinking about what I can do to make things better in my world. And at this time of year, I get to do this while eating special food (probably not cooked by me), giving and receiving gifts (some handmade!), and setting some time aside to be with the people I love. Those people include you, my church family. Thank you for the gifts of time, attention, and care that you share with me all year. Blessings and love.
You who have led such meaningful and memorable worship services during November-denis picard and Doug Philips for the November 3rd service; Angie Swanger, Carole Capen Kargher, Melissa Cordner, Maura Jo Lynch, Alice Sherard, Brayden Malley and his mother Patricia, and all from our LGBTIQQA group who carried the lion’s share of the service with Rev. Jan for the November 17th Transgender Sunday of Remembrance; and Nancy Burton, who worked so closely with Rev. Jan for our November 24 Guest at Your Table Service.
You who have served as Worship Assistants and contributors for our November Sunday services-Peg Kirkpatrick, denis picard, Jeff May, and Lisa Urso.
Randy Heath for generously doing a number of key tasks on behalf of the Property Committee: changing the dishwasher fluids, removing and disposing of the old cracked tube television set from the RE rooms, moving the wire-frame TV cart to the basement storage area, pulling the CFL bulb in the entryway (a challenging fixture!) and getting and installing a new one; and for contributing and installing two wide-screen plasma TVs on our first floor.
Joe Kiely for putting down the parking lot stripes and Dennis Kababik, who helped Joe snap the lines.
Molly Nolan, Connie Florio Welton, Jeff May, Bob Pearston, Steve Volpini, and Megumi Yamamoto for contributing so richly to the Next Steps workshops for prospective members, co-facilitated by Helene Figueroa, Membership Committee Chair, and Rev. Jan.
Jeff May for re-installing the Servant Keeper program on the UUCM office PC so that the same database files are available across all of the Windows login accounts. The database has been restored and tested and is now fully functional.
Connie Florio Welton, chair of our Adult Religious Education Committee, for her amazing work on the now available Handbook of Congregational Resources 2013-2014.
Joanne Edwards and Diane Szymaszek, for co-leading the Holiday Crafts Fair at Gallery 53 on Friday evening and Saturday, November 15 and 16, and for all who generously contributed your crafts and talents and presence. Reports are not yet in on the proceeds, but we know that it was a successful fundraiser for this congregation and that all who were present contributed and partook of the festive ambience.
All who have enriched and enlivened our congregational life and were not cited in these accolades.
Ann Smith, whose father died in mid-November in South Carolina.
It's time for the Goods and Services Auction at UU Meriden! Mark your calendar for Saturday December 7 at 5:30 p.m. We will dine at 6 p.m. and start the auction at 7 p.m. Child care will be available for the auction portion of the evening. To reserve a spot for your offspring, please contact Molly Nolan by Wednesday December 4.
Buy unique Christmas/holiday gifts. For example, who wouldn't love to know that spring yard clean-up will be taken care of by someone else-and it's already paid for!
While the emphasis is on services, we accept certain goods as well: cooked or baked items to take home that evening, inexpensive new handcrafted items.
Please note that we request payment that evening for your purchases: cash, check, or credit card. For credit card details, see Sandy Duffy.
For questions or to volunteer to help, contact Janet Hiller HERE
a Unique Christmas Gift Opportunity
Monthly worship services led by Rev. Jan will continue in December at Ashlar Village, a community for seniors in Wallingford. She now leads services there on the second Tuesday at 2:00 pm. The next service there will be on December 10 with the theme, “Out Under the Sky.”
at Ashlar Village
Honor a Loved One With Bookplate:
You may request a bookplate for the inside cover of the new hymnal, Singing the Journey. Dedicating a book is both a wonderful opportunity to honor someone near to you and
a way to help the church defray the cost of the new books. Your generosity will make it possible for congregants attending our service to “rise in body or spirit” and sing joyously together.
Forms are available in the foyer, and an on-line order form will be available here shortly.