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Newsletter for June 8, 2017
Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading

Church Office Hours

Regular Church Office Hours are:
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Please contact our Office Administrator, Linda Snow Dockser 
 with any questions or comments.

Wayside Pulpit

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood
and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long
for the endless immensity of the sea
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Important Reminder:

EVERY Sunday from May 7th through September 10th there will be ONE service each Sunday morning at 10:00 am!

Our Community Needs Us!

The UUCR Governing Board invites us to donate to a second collection this Sunday (June 11) in support of all those impacted by the fire at 52 Sanborn Street. All donations are tax deductible and will be sent to the "Schoolhouse Condo Fire Relief Fund." This Fund has been jointly set up by Reading Cooperative Bank's Charitable Foundation and the Town of Reading. Checks should be made out to: "Residents of 52 Sanborn Street."

For more information, check out the the Town of Reading and Reading Cooperative Bank
Schoolhouse Condo Fire Relief Fund Website and the Town of Reading Website.   The Town's Website has additional information about how to donate gift cards, clothing, and food.

Upcoming Worship

Sunday, June 11th, 2017 - "Returning to the Sea"
ONE Service - 10:00 am (choir singing)
Reverend Catherine Senghas

On this second to last Sunday of the regular church season, we'll say farewell to our Interim Minister and bring closure to these two years of transition ministry. We'll also welcome several new members! Comings and goings are an ever-present reality of our shared religious community experience.  Let's celebrate this particular moment. There is a farewell potluck honoring Catherine after the service.

Special note:  There will be a Second Collection to support those displaced by the fire at the 52 Sanborn St. condos on June 1st.

Sunday, June 18th, 2017 - "Flower Communion Sunday"
ONE Service - 10:00 am (choir singing)
Reverend Catherine Senghas

Our annual ritual is more than a simple going away pleasantry as we depart from the rigor 
of the academic year and church year cycle and shift into summer gear. This ritual that celebrates beauty, human uniqueness, diversity, and community is celebrated by many UU congregations. Originally created in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek of Prague, Czechoslovakia, it was brought to the United States by Rev. Maya Capek, his widow. Come hear the story and be part of the ritual.

Please bring a flower to church. We'll gather them all together, bless them, and then we'll each bring home a flower different from the one we brought.

Staff and Leadership Messages

A Message from Our Interim Minister

Dear members and friends at UUCR,

Last week's fire at the condos in the old schoolhouse at 52 Sanborn St brought the stunning suddenness of unexpected and complete loss close to home. Many among us feel compelled to help, and the challenge is to do this in a way that is in response to the needs of those displaced and not in response to our own need to feel helpful. What we imagine might be useful is often actually not of use-clothing that is the wrong size, food that although delicious is not easily received or stored or may not meet dietary restrictions of
those impacted, and many other heartfelt but misplaced offers. The Town of Reading has posted on their Facebook page several avenues of support that would be welcome.  One of them is donating to a fund managed by the Reading Cooperative Bank. On Sunday we will take a second collection to support this call. Checks may be made out to "Residents of 52 Sanborn St."

This Sunday will also be my official "Farewell" although my last actual Sunday here with you is the following Sunday, June 18th, when we'll celebrate our traditional Flower Communion
Sunday. Some have asked me about the "rules" around contact after your next minister, Rev. Hank Peirce, begins. The official shift happens on August 15th, although Rev. Hank and I are already meeting and communicating to facilitate a smooth transition.

Unitarian Universalist ministers subscribe to a code of guidelines whose ultimate aim is the health of ministries. Our code says, "In general, the future well-being of a congregation, agency or enterprise is best assured by the fully effective departure from leadership of any minister whose service to that institution has ended." It is important that the departing minister does not continue to exercise influence and presence, whether blatant or subtle.
The outgoing and incoming ministers are advised to formulate a covenant covering such things as contact with staff, appearance at public church events, and we have collegial practices and protocol for sorting out challenging situations. We all know how much is at stake!

People are asking, so I've been thinking hard about this. My own stance is that once I'm gone, I'll remain in the rear view mirror here. If our paths happen to cross in the wider world, especially the UU world, I will be delighted to see you but we won't start a new relationship. I do not have UUCR Facebook friends (unless from before I came here) because it's not a boundary I wish to criss-cross. I think of it as similar to a relationship one would have with one's former doctor, therapist, or teacher-even if profound, never evolving to a more casual relationship, even though I have a deep fondness for the members and friends of UUCR.

Interim ministry is indeed a precious and very time-bounded chapter. We'll close this chapter
together in the coming days.


Rev. Catherine Senghas
Interim Minister
781-944-0494 ext 101

A Message from our Ministerial Intern


As Dear UUCR members and friends,

I have a message for you, but first I have a question: Were you raised Unitarian Universalist (or pre-merger, as Unitarian or Universalist)? If you were born UU or joined before you turned 18, please let me know. I know the stories of some people who have found our faith as adults. I know less about who in the congregation is a lifelong UU, and I'd like to have a better sense of this. Click here to let me know! Thanks!  
And now, on a different note, here's my message:

Thank you, take care, and see you soon.

Thank you. As we come to summer, I'm looking  back on my first year of internship with you all with  a lot of gratitude. Thank you for warmly welcoming  me into this congregation, for trusting me as one  of your ministers, and for supporting my growth. 

Take care. Summer can be such a fun and easy time, but it can also be challenging. For some people, having less ministerial staff present is hard, or life itself is hard right now. Remember that the Pastoral Care Team is here to support you. (Just contact the office.) And do take good care - do what brings you joy, connect with loved ones, relish this summer.

See you soon. I'm preaching a few times this summer and look forward to seeing many of you then. And I look forward to being back with all of you in September. Much will be the same and much will be new next year - Rev. Hank will be here, new members and friends will join, and we'll all be in a new place as we continue on our spiritual paths together. I can't wait to see how this path unfolds.

With peace,

Liz Weber, M.Div.
Ministerial Intern

A Message From Our Music Director

Music Notes

This week, music for worship is specially chosen for  Rev. Catherine's farewell service.   Bird song will fill the sanctuary for our opening music,  as flutists Ruth Clogston and Chris West join me in  playing the magical "Dawn Carol" by Margaret Lowe. 

For our Introit, our wonderful women's vocal trio, Liz Lovell, Molly Smith and Lorraine Dennis, will sing " The Parting Glass", the traditional Celtic good-bye arranged by the Canadian band The Wailin' Jennys.
"Oh all the comrades that e'er I've had
Are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I've had
Would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all"

For music to light candles by, I have chosen the beautiful choral piece " The Ground" by contemporary Ola Gjeilo with Latin text. Here is a quote from the composer about his composition: 

"The Ground is based on a chorale from the last movement of my Sunrise Mass (2008) for choir and string orchestra. The chorale, beginning at Pleni sunt caeli in that movement is the culmination of the Mass, and it's called The Ground because I wanted to convey a sense of having 'arrived' at the end of the Mass; to have reached a kind of peace and grounded
strength, after the long journey of the Mass, having gone through so many different emotional landscapes."

We'll sing " Seasons of Love" from the Broadway musical "Rent" and close the service with a special Choral Benediction: " A Gaelic Blessing" with the traditional Irish text:
"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand."

In faith and song,


A Message From Our Office Administrator

Summer is Coming!
With it comes change...

It is hard to believe but summer is here! I will be switching to summer hours after June 18th which means that Office Hours will switch to Tuesday and Thursdays from 10-4.   I will still sometimes also be in on Wednesdays, but please call first to make sure I am here!

If you would like to help on summer projects such as transitioning old files to archives, researching comparative rental venues, or investigating office cost saving measures, please let me know!

The other change heralded by summer is a change in the Enews schedule. There will be an edition at the end of June, at the end of July and at the end of August.   If you would like to submit an entry, please send it to me at before the following deadlines: June 13th and 27th; July 25th, August 29th.  Regular Thursday editions resume with the first deadline of September 5th.

Last but not least, please check out the summer worship brochure. You can pick it up in the Atrium. The spiritual opportunities abound. Thank you so much to those who are making this wonderful smorgasbord of worship possible!

Wishing you a wonderful spring into summer!

A Message From Our President

"No Home for Hate" 
Discussion of Sign
June 25th at 11:30

The Governing Board is currently considering the request of a UUCR member to place a "Hate has no Home Here" sign on the church lawn.  For more information on the sign check out this link 

Before proceeding, the Board believes it is appropriate to hold an information session during
which church members and friends can have the opportunity to ask questions and voice their opinions. The session will be held on Sunday, June 25th at approximately 11:30 in Loring 101. If you cannot attend but want to provide input, please contact Mark Taitz at .

RE Updates:   
  • On Sunday June 11th children begin church in the sanctuary at 10:00am before leaving with leaders for a group activity. Our Nursery will be open and staffed by Terry and Stacey Hill, ready to greet our youngest friends at 9:45am! This Sunday marks Reverend Catherine's Farewell Celebration and Pot Luck Luncheon immediately after the 10:00 am service in Fellowship Hall. During the worship hour our children will help to ready Fellowship Hall for the celebration and will return to the sanctuary before the end of the service to present a farewell gift to Reverend Catherine from Religious Education.  
  • Families and friends of all ages are invited to the potluck lunch, and invited to bring a favorite appetizer, side dish, entree or dessert to share. Gluten free options are always welcome!
  • Terry and Stacey Hill will staff our Nursery this Sunday (6/11)and next week (6/18) before breaking for the summer months. We are so glad to know they will return to our Nursery in the fall! 
  • All children and youth are invited to worship with their families on Sunday June 18th as UUCR concludes the church year with a multigenerational Flower Communion Worship service. See you in church!
  • Families are asked to watch for communications regarding registration for Fall 2017
    Religious Education programming. Registration will be available online shortly-details will follow!

Church News  

News from the Pledge Team
"We are soooooo close!"

We have now received pledges totaling $373,333!  That's 98% of the $381,000 we need to raise to avoid having to make budget cuts.

If you have already made your pledge...thank you!

If you haven't made your pledge would be a great time to do it!  

If you can afford even just a little bit more...that would be awesome - just let us know!

We're almost there. Please help put us over the top!!!!!

Thank you.
Gretchen Latowsky, Josh Olivier-Mason, A.J.
Heidkamp, Steve Dennis

Reverend Catherine Senghas's Farewell Celebration 
and Pot Luck Luncheon on June 11th

Dear Members and Friends of UUCR:

You are cordially invited to attend the farewell celebration and potluck luncheon in honor of Reverend Catherine Senghas' wonderful two year interim ministry at UUCR to be held on Sunday, June 11, immediately after the 10:00 am service in Fellowship Hall.

The "Celebration Team" will be providing drinks, plates, cups & cutlery.

Please bring your favorite appetizer, side dish, entrĂ©e or dessert to share. 

Gluten free options would be much appreciated as well.

Reverend Catherine has done a magnificent job of leading us through these past two years of transition, and we hope you can join us for this special event.

Thank you,

Ron Cavicchio, Kitty Craig-Comin, David Gould, Clyde Hardin, Jane Jolkovski, Liz Lovell, Deedee Row, Molly Smith, Mark Taitz, and Rob Ward

Committee and Affinity Group Announcements


Weekly Hint from the Green Sanctuary Team
Smart choices help the environment and keep us safe. For those clothes that require dry cleaning, consider eco-friendly options instead of being exposed to harmful chemicals. Green 'Dry' Cleaning is available in our area. A search on the internet will find a location
near you.

PFLAG Reading
TODAY, Thursday June 8th at 7 pm
Next Meeting: July 13th!

The Reading PFLAG support group will meet this Thursday, June 8, at 7 pm in Loring House, 211 Summer Ave., Reading, MA. 

This is your chance to return books you have borrowed or borrow a book or DVD, tell your story or learn from the stories of others, gain strength to face the future with confidence. We may be a small group, but I have enjoyed getting to  know all of you, and look forward to hearing how things are going.

Please remember that PFLAG meets year round, our next meeting is scheduled for July 13.


Liberal Ladies
Annual Lunch June 14th at 11:45

Our June meeting is the last for this church year. As is  our custom, we will meet for lunch. Join us on June  14, 11:45 AM, at Fusilli's Cucina, 107 Main St., Reading,  01867. We will dine in a small room off the main  dining room; so conversation will be easier. Consider  joining us for the first time or if you have been away  for a while. I will need to give the restaurant an exact  count by Tuesday, June 13 , please RSVP to me by responding to this email or calling me at 781-438- 2565. 

Mary Binderman


Our Larger Community

North Shore Pride Parade
June 24th at Noon

UUCR is marching again this year in the North Shore Pride Parade on June 24. All members and friends are invited to march with us. The parade kicks off at Noon in front of the Salem, MA Post Office at 2 Margin St. and ends at the Salem Common. Bring your kids in their decorated wagons or strollers! Enjoy the festival on the common after the parade! Help provide visibility to UUCR and support our GLBTQ friends!

Sign up to march on the display in the Atrium, or email Martha Moore to sign up or for more information.


Martha Moore

Sawyer Preschool Accepting Registrations NOW!
Sawyer Nursery School is currently enrolling students for the fall of 2017. We offer a Three Day Program for 4 and 5 year old students and a two  Day Program for 2.9 and 3 year olds. 
Sawyer Nursery School is committed to the development of the whole child.  
If you are interested in learning  more about our program, please contact the Director, Debra Harvey, at 781-944-9581.

Our Caring Congregation

From Paula Houle: "I ask that you please think kindly and patiently towards people, especially children, with Intellectual and Developmental Delays. Please pray for my young niece Grace and her family as they work through a difficult time in Grace's young beautiful life. Thank you!!"

Rev. Catherine Senghas is available for pastoral care.  You may reach her by contacting the office at 781-944-0494 or you may send her a confidential email at .  You may also reach the Pastoral Care Team (PCT) at

Our Caring and Sharing coordinator is Sharlene Reynolds Santo.  She can be reached at 781-942-1848, or via email at   If you are willing and able to be on the team that responds to requests for meals, rides, and more, please also be in touch with Sharlene.

239 Woburn Street, Reading, Massachusetts 01867