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September 28, 2017
Latest News
Two-Service Schedule This Sunday!
Join Us for Worship This Sunday
Religious Education Classes
Planned Giving Meeting
Adult Religious Education
Gathering of the Poor People's Campaign
Name Tags on Sundays
Disaster Relief
UUs and Black Lives Matter
Born on Third Base Book Group
Thank You RE Stewards!
Our Whole Lives (OWL) News
Helping With Meals and Rides
Run for JUMP Update
Upcoming Services
Sunday, October 8,
9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Rev. Phyllis B. O'Connell
Sabbatical Minister

"Is Health in Our Hands?"
Is good health a matter of good fortune, good genes, or good lifestyle choices? Do we really know? In what ways does courage play a role in health? Health and health care are much on all of our minds these days. It's a subject worth thinking and preaching about.

In addition to Rev. Phyllis's sermon, Ed DeMott who is a member of FUUSB and a Public Health Specialist, will speak briefly about Vermont's 3-4-50 program.

Worship Associate:  Melinda Lee

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Our Two-Service Schedule Starts This Sunday! 
Please note that beginning this 
Sunday, October 1, we will go back to our regular two-service schedule. 
Services will be held at 9 a.m. and 
11 a.m.   on Sundays. 

Join Us for Worship This Week
Sunday, October 1 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Andre Mol, Ministerial Intern

"The Space Between"
Names and categories create distinctions which we use to navigate our world.  But what happens when society's standard labels don't fit our identity - black, white, gay, straight, male, female? We are more than just a label. Yet, it takes courage to live outside categorical norms. Our ministerial intern, Andre Mol, explores stories of individuals who risk living into their full humanity.

Worship Associate: 
Kristin Kany

Religious Education Classes This Sunday
Martha Dallas, Director of Religious Education

This Sunday, October 1, RE classes begin for most children! At 9:00 a.m. we offer one multi-age (preschool to 5th grade) Spirit Play group, and at 11:00 a.m. 
several groups serve preschool to 7th grade. Please register if your child will participate in our programs this year. Registration last year does not carry into this year. Here's the form.  Thanks for your cooperation!

Planned Giving Meeting This Sunday
Nick Nixon

The long-term financial viability and sustainability of the First UU Society is supported by testamentary and other similar gifts to the endowment fund. Find out more about Planned Giving at an informational session this Sunday, October 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the Reeb Room downstairs in the Meeting House. Written materials will be available and there will be a short discussion of giving options.

Adult Religious Education Opportunities
The Story Of Your Life: Writing Your Own Spiritual Autobiography
Sundays 12:30-2:30 p.m. on October 1, 8, 22, and 29, and November 5 and 19
Facilitated by Rodney Lowe and Sally Russell.
Participants will draw, write, and share each other's life experiences while you build a basis for your own Spiritual Autobiography.

Cakes for the Queen of Heaven 
Mondays 6:30-8:30 p.m. on October 16, 23, and 30, and November 6 and 13
"Cakes for the Queen of Heaven" is a woman honoring adult RE curriculum by Rev. Shirley Ranck. Join Sally Russell in examination of pre-Judeo Christian cultures that may have worshiped the female as divine. 

For more upcoming events,  click here to download the 2017-18 Adult Religious Education Offerings brochure.

Live Stream of the Poor People's Campaign Gathering This Sunday
Zoe Hart

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction and related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. The Campaign aims to build a broad and deep national moral movement - rooted in the leadership of poor people and reflecting the great moral teachings - to unite our country from the bottom up.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove co-host a monthly program to equip communities with resources for faithful reflection and public action on moral issues. "The Gathering" includes an introduction to a moral issue, immersion in freedom songs that inform how we engage the issue, an interview with someone who is directly impacted by the issue, and a theological engagement with the issue that names a specific call to moral action. This month's issue is Ecological Devastation.

Please join members of First UU's Justice ministries for the live streaming of this month's gathering this  Sunday, October 1 from 6-8 p.m. downstairs in the Community Room. The live stream event starts at 6, so you might want to arrive sometime between 5:45 and 6.

More information about the campaign and the event can be found at the  Poor People's Campaign website and this  Facebook event page.
Name Tags on Sundays
Nina Dahlstedt Buss, Membership Coordinator

Many of us have gotten out of the habit of wearing our name tags on Sunday morning. This is a basic "best practice" for UUs and here are a few of the reasons why:
  • Nametags help people get to know each other more quickly.
  • Nametags help create a welcoming environment for newcomers. If a new person is the only one wearing a nametag she or he may mistakenly believe that everyone else knows each other well, which can be very intimidating.
  • Wearing nametags sends the message that we fully expect newcomers every week and we want to get to know them. 
Please help us get to know each other and create a warm welcome for newcomers by wearing your nametag on Sunday mornings. The front Pearl Street entrance has two nametag racks (one rack for A-K and one for L-Z) located on either side of the Sanctuary doors. The side Clark Street entrance has one rack (L-Z) on the wall near the stairs to the Sanctuary and another one (A-K) in the Parlors around the corner to the right as you enter. 

If you cannot locate your name tag (or know that you need a new one) please e-mail Mary Williams at 
mary@uusociety.orgWe will find your nametag or make a new one for you. If you request a new nametag, 
please pick it up within  the following few weeks . New nametags can be found in the nametag basket on the Welcome Table in the Parlors. If you have any concerns or questions please email Nina at

Disaster Relief and Socially Responsible Santa
Many of you are familiar with our annual program called Socially Responsible Santa. We all give money on one Sunday in December, and then we give that money directly to people in our community to use as they see fit. The idea behind this program seems to bring out the best in us, I think, trusting that members of the community should be allowed to make their own decisions and purchases for the holidays. Many organizations support holiday programs that have people choose a name from the holiday tree and purchase gifts for that person or family. Think about that model for a minute: Who gets to decide what a 7-year-old boy will want or what a 75-year-old grandmother would want? Who gets to have the pleasure of shopping for items, wrapping them, and giving them? Yes, it certainly makes people happy to know that there will be something under their tree on Christmas morning, but I would imagine it would also take a little piece of their dignity away to know that they had no part in making it happen.
What does this have to do with disaster relief, you might ask? Well today I spent a chunk of time researching the best places to contribute money for disaster relief. I did this because our congregation is going to give 100% of
its Sunday cash collection for disaster relief on October 8. As I began reading about different organizations, I came across an article from Black Lives UU (BLUU) that invited me (and us) to really think about who we give our money to. Like many other places, FUUSB has had a policy to only give our Loose Plate for Charity money to 501c3 organizations. It always felt to me like this was a prudent and safe thing to do. What I learned today was that many of these large organizations are entrenched in white supremacy culture and may not always work to get help to people of color in a timely manner. BLUU offered us many alternatives. Most of these alternatives involve giving directly to people of color through small organizations and/or Go Fund Me type websites. At first my reaction was: Oh no, we only give to official non-profits; we can't give directly to people. And then I thought of Socially Responsible Santa and wondered: What is the difference?
We could give all our money to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund or the One America Appeal. AND/OR we could think outside of our white supremacy culture box and give money directly to people who need the help right now. So on Sunday, October 8, you will have the opportunity to contribute to Disaster Relief. Please come prepared to give generously! All cash collected and checks with "Relief" in the memo line will be divided equally between the organizations recommended by BLUU, helping victims of hurricanes in Texas, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and also the earthquake in Mexico. Like with Socially Responsible Santa, our contributions will go to help people in our community, but wonderfully our community has just expanded a bit.

Christina Fulton,  Director of Operations and Finance

UUs and the Black Lives Matter Movement
Zoe Hart

Unitarian Universalists everywhere are joining the Black Lives Matter movement. In June 2015, the UUA General Assembly passed an Action of Immediate Witness in support of Black Lives Matter. The UUA web site hosts a page with a map showing every UU congregation that displays a Black Lives Matter banner. Our Society has a long history of anti-racism work with our Anti-Racism Action Committee and most recently our Racial Justice Task Force and we're doing much of the work that the UUA action calls on congregations to do around intentional learning. The task force feels it's time for our Society to consider joining the many other UU congregations who are explicitly supporting Black Lives Matter.

We propose that the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington take a position in support of the broader Black Lives Matter movement and bear public witness to that support by hanging a banner and actively supporting local people of color led racial justice organizations. In the coming months we'll be hosting a series of discussions in which we can explore together what it means to support Black Lives Matter and how we can be effective allies in racial justice work.

The first two events will take place in October. Following both services on Sunday, October 8, we'll hold discussions on what it means to be an ally in racial justice work. And following the services on Sunday, October 15, we'll have brief Q & A sessions about the Black Lives Matter movement.

It's important that support for Black Lives Matter in word and deed come not just from a task force or committee, but from our whole community. We hope that you'll join us in these important conversations. Whether you have words of support or concerns to raise, please come and make your voice heard.

Helpful reading in preparation for the October 8 discussion includes:

Born on Third Base Book Group
Join Economic Justice Task Force member Gene Bergman and congregant Valerie Wood-Lewis to read and discuss 
Born on Third Base: A One-Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good by Chuck Collins. You may have seen Chuck speak at the Society last year or at General Assembly - He's a voice worth listening to! This 6-week group will read and discuss the book and do extension activities together. Join us!  

Thursdays, from October 19 to November 30 (except Thanksgiving), from 7-8:30. 

Contact  Gene at  with questions or to register. Buy or borrow your copy of the book now, so you're ready!
Thank You RE Stewards!
Martha Dallas
 A thankful blessing to this year's RE Stewards!
Join me in sending vibes of gratitude, and give a virtual blessing to these awesome folks - all volunteers with our children and youth this year:

Mark Kupruch, Charity Clark, Sally Russel, John Lincoln, Jill Stevens, Cara Krebs, Michelle Connor, Tara Graham, Ginger Williamson, Krista Nickerson, Kim Brockway, Todd Clason, Anna Chang, Linda Graves, Christine Vatovec, Rachel Schek, RJ Lalumiere, Mary Beth McNulty, Nina Harrington, Paddy Kwass, Ann Rathbone, Kate Grodin, Tori Cleiland, Tiffany Tillman, Xu Zhou, Peg Rosenau, Sara Everest, Josh Fairfax, Michael Wood-Lewis, Raymond Paquin, Steph Larkin, Elaine Sopchak, Caitlin Waddick, Don MacDonald, Louis DeRosset, John Leddy, Lorraine Carter-Lovejoy, Jill Allen, Isolde Frank, Adessa Yeager, Clara Keegan, John Koutras, Rodney Lowe, Jennifer Schollmeyer, Jenn Callahan, Melinda Lee, John Grimm, Amelia Schlossberg, Jordan Young, Mike Nichols, George Rutherford, Brenda Balon, and Paula Rupp.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) for Kindergarten and First Grade
Martha Dallas

We are thrilled to offer this age-appropriate sexuality curriculum for a series of Sundays in early December, January and early February! Our awesome teaching team of John Koutras, Clara Keegan, and Adessa Yeager is meeting this week to plan details, after which we'll be in touch with eligible families. Curious? Contact Martha Dallas at:

Helping With Meals and Rides -
Making It Easier to Volunteer!
Did you know that in 2017 so far, our congregation - YOU ALL - collectively have donated almost 100 meals to other families in our faith community who could use some extra support? BRAVO! BRAVA! Thank you.
To make it even easier for you wonderful cooks/drivers to find out who could use some help on any given day, we now have one consistent link to all the active meal and ride requests. Click below and then bookmark the page. The link is also on our First UU Society home page.  
Thank you so much for all you do.
- Sarah Weber, on behalf of the Care Network
Run for JUMP Update
The 2017 Run for JUMP was a great event!  Thank you to all who contributed to this joyful, athletic, meaningful success for our community! Every sponsor, donor, walker, runner, volunteer, JUMP board and staff member participating contributed to this awesome day!

We are 75% of the way to our $12,000 goal for the 2017 Run for JUMP - Contributions are welcome! Please mail a check to JUMP (38 S. Winooski Ave., Burlington, VT 05401), or give online at this link.
Wanda Hines
Director,  Joint Urban Ministry Project