Committee Chairs . . . send updates and information of general interests to the newsletter address. You can send material for this page at any time of the month . . . you don't need to wait until the 15th!
The beginning of our regular church year has been strong, with a renewed sense of excitement being experienced with Rev. Jan, and reinvigorated worship services. Average Sunday worship attendance (that includes adults, children, and youth) for the five weeks in September was approximately 83. The committee appreciates Jan’s collaboration with us as we work together to enhance our overall worship program.
The date for our “Creating Worship” workshop was changed from November 4th to the 11th and will go from 12 Noon-3 p.m., with a light lunch at around 1 pm. The purpose of this opportunity is to provide information and skills for those in our congregation interested in leading worship before they assume the responsibility of being worship leaders. We are hoping to have childcare available but are faced with the increasing difficulty of finding volunteer or paid childcare providers.
We have instituted a new practice of worship assistants who assist the worship leader in facilitating the service. Such responsibilities include helping during the candles of community ritual as well as offering welcome and announcements at the beginning of the service.
Work continues on completing the 2012-13 worship calendar with lay-led and pulpit guests.
- Harry Mangle
First Hour is a drop-in style adult enrichment program with parents, teachers, and those with demanding schedules and/or night driving issues in mind. We are exploring, in one to two sessions, some of the basic information about our faith, teaching in our church school, and parenting UU children in a non-UU world. First Hour meets at 8:45 AM on Sunday mornings with coffee and breakfast-y baked goods to get us going. If you need childcare to attend, please notify Molly Nolan (203-237-9297) by the Wednesday prior to the Sunday you plan to attend.
Adult Religious Education (See more about our ARE programs on the ARE page)
Rick Klimowicz reports that the Men's Spiritual Sharing Circle is halfway through its 8-week curriculum. Seven men have joined in worship and in lively and supportive discussions based on the text, Gatherings: Small Group Ministry for Men. There is still time to join this group even if you can't attend all the sessions. It meets on Thursday nights at 7 PM in the front parlor.
The film series “The Long Strange Trip,” about UU history, has begun. There has been one session. The second one was postponed due to an overcrowded calendar. What a wonderful problem!
The next date is November 28th at 7 PM Please join us and find out more about this long and sometimes strange trip that we all find ourselves on, by examining the roots of our faith.
The Feminist Thealogy group is meeting weekly and having a wonderful, worshipful, sharing time. We are using the curriculum “Rise Up and Call Her Name” and going on a wonderful journey of the Goddess religions of the world. Two weeks of the month we work with the curriculum. On alternate weeks we have other programming. Our next session will be a journey to sub-Saharan Africa. We meet on Thursday evenings at 7 PM in the kitchen. We have had discussions on current issues, books, and women's issues. We are planning to write a children's book on the goddesses and are looking forward to one of our members, Diane Szymaszek, leading us on an exploration of the work of eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, PhD, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and pioneer of deep ecology. Come join us for ongoing spiritual development with a woman's perspective. Explore the sacred feminine in your life.
Our Spiritual Cinema series has had four screenings and is now on hold for the holidays. We will resume on Friday January 4 with the film “Finding Joe.” (Check out the movie trailer here www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAE8fPbXr58 ) We will continue on Martin Luther King Sunday with the documentary “The Children's March on Selma” after the MLK service. Look for further announcements on this event.
The books have been ordered for the Common Read (The New Jim Crow), and we are working in conjunction with SRC for discussion. If you are committed to reading this book and want a small-group experience to discuss it, please contact Angie Swanger firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-828-2945. First meeting will be Wednesday November 14th, 7-9 pm at a member's home. Other meetings will follow on a monthly basis. Space is limited, so we need to know of your interest ahead of time. First come, first served. We will be offering three meetings at the church over the next three months for those who just want to come occasionally to discuss what they have read. Times to be announced.
We are currently working with Steve Volpini (and UACT) on immigration and planning to do an interactive presentation that can inform and enlighten those of us who aren't completely aware of all the problems that undocumented workers face.
ARE is working on an action plan that would take us through May 2013. Would you like to play a more vital role in the congregation? Are you interested in taking part in the planning or in the implementation of any of these exciting offerings? ARE would like to involve more members in the adult education program. If you have any interest in finding out what you might contribute in the way of time and talent, please contact me, and let's talk! ( email@example.com )
Children and Youth Religious Education (See more about our RE programs on the Lifespan RE page)
At the November meeting of the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) Committee, we discussed several ongoing projects. The RE rooms have been painted and re-organized. We are now working on getting Principles and Sources up in each room, deciding on blackboard and bulletin boards, identifying any additional supply needs and how to celebrate the naming of the classrooms. Earlier this year we put it to a vote. The Preparatory class meets in the Pete Seeger Room (periwinkle/lavender). The Primary Class meets in the meets in the Louisa May Alcott Room (green/lime), the Secondary class meets in the Florence Nightingale room (yellow/lemon) and the Nursery is now the Beatrix Potter Room. Preliminary work has been done on images and information about these notable UUs to be posted in the classrooms.
The CYRE committee had a chance to check out Stone Soup: the Musical and agreed this would be a fun way to offer the service that concludes the Guest at Your Table program. The Mystery Pals program will be coming up shortly. The Committee discussed whom we might recruit this year to run Mystery Pals with Trish Schneider as consultant.
We also discussed OWL K-1 and 7-9 scheduling and the kick-off of this year’s service project. We still need additional committee members and someone to serve as Chair. We are implementing all aspects of the Safe Congregations Guidelines while we await passage as policy.
General Assembly (GA) is a fantastic, almost overwhelming opportunity to deepen our UU faith and practice. Each June UUs from across the continent gather to do the business of the association and to share programs, ideas, and questions on all aspects of life as UUs. In June 2013 GA is in Louisville, KY. In 2014 GA will be practically on our doorstep, in Providence, RI. To maximize the opportunity for our congregation to engage in the Providence GA, we discussed how we could encourage broader participation in 2013 and lift up GA attendance to help our congregation grow and become what we are meant to be. There are so many offerings that no one can ever get to all the things that are of interest at GA. Once you know a little more about GA and what is available/possible, you can make better plans to get to those workshops and events that will support your ministry. Attending GA can be a life-altering experience for youth. CYRE will continue to explore GA possibilities for 2013 and for 2014 for youth and adults.
All but one teaching team are fully staffed (Primary class still needs one more teacher), and we have had music in our classrooms almost every week thanks to our TrUUbadours, Carole Kargher and Eileen Lagasse.
The criss-cross networks of the global village provide things our ancestors could only dream about, such as oranges in December. We tend to lose sight of the seasonal rhythm of life, relying on processed foods and a worldwide distribution system that guarantees a loss of flavor and NUTRITION and an increase in wax coatings, chemical ripening agents, and other preservatives.
I suggest that, as a community that cares about our families and friends and those with few resources, we begin to look for locally grown foods on the produce shelves. Locally grown seasonal foods harmonize with our nutritional needs. For example, the beta carotene in the orange pigment of pumpkins and other squash will help bolster your immune system just in time to help ward off winter colds. And the oil from nuts-- fats in their purest form--provide nutrient-rich calories that help keep you warm as the temperature drops.
Research shows that eating seasonally may have major health implications. A British study found significant differences in the nutritional content of pasteurized milk in the summer as opposed to winter: iodine was higher in the winter, while beta-carotene, an antioxidant and immune system booster, was higher in the summer. Similarly, a Japanese study found a three-fold difference in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus that harvested in winter.
So, if you haven't picked up a Farm Map yet for Connecticut locovore exploration during the holiday season, please do so and have a happy time finding seasonal foods for family and participating in support of Connecticut farmers and our own knowledge quest. Happy Eating!
In the words of our own Liz Hall, “We are a wealthy congregation!” We have proven it again this month! While not all pledge units are up to date, when we add up all the numbers, we are receiving pledges for this fiscal year as well as for the Campaign For Growth ahead of schedule. By being so faithful and diligent, we make the mission and vision of our congregation a reality! Thank you!!
A dear friend of mine told me a story about joining a UU congregation when she lived in San Francisco. A minister there spoke with her before she signed the membership book saying, “You gotta pray, and you gotta pay!” He went on to explain that for Unitarian Universalists, praying is the time we give to our congregations, and paying is the financial support we give.
I know if you read this and other recent newsletters, you will see countless ways in which we are “praying and paying,” and as a result, creating our vision and moving our mission forward. As Stewardship chair, I am privileged to be charged with thinking deeply about how wonderfully giving we are as a congregation, and I am humbled and grateful to be a part of such a community.
I asked you last month if you would give some thought to how much the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden means to you. Last month I was talking about financial gifts, a la NPR pledge drives. This month I’d like you to think about giving of your time.
The Stewardship Team will, over the course of the next three months, be having conversations with all the generous people who pledge to support the work of our congregation. If you believe in our vision and mission, and have approximately ten hours between now and March to give to connecting with your fellow members and friends, please speak with me. This important work contributes to the bonds we build within our beloved community as well as supports the vital work we do within and without our walls.
I can be reached by phone or email, or just grab me for a chat after a Sunday service
Your faithful volunteer on Stewardship,
Carole Capen Kargher
Tomatoes! You eat them, from half a continent away, and they are flat and bland. Now, imagine taking a bite of a tomato grown half a mile away, and it’s spectacular-- juicy, sweet, and flavorful. We could say the same thing about any dozen produce items you’ll find at your local farmers’ market now.