The worship theme for December is Hope.

Sunday, December 3 - 9:30 and 11:00 am 
"Hope in the Dark" - Rev. Barbara H. Gadon
What does it mean to be people of hope - especially when we feel most discouraged? Unitarian Universalists are generally optimists - about human nature and the moral arc of the universe bending toward justice. (It was Theodore Parker who first coined this phrase made popular by Martin Luther King, Jr.) What happens when we feel ourselves in darkness? Is there hope in the darkness itself?
Featured musicians: Kathie Price, vocals; Rich Heuermann, guitar and vocals; Chamber Singers; Dr. David Nalesnik, piano.

Sharing the Offering
In December we will be sharing our Sunday collections with Room at the Inn. Sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, Room at the Inn provides emergency shelter and a stabilizing support system to women and families in need in St. Louis County. During the day, the shelter in Bridgeton, Missouri, helps adults find work and housing and provides daycare for young children, transportation to school for older children, and personal counseling. Each evening, the guests are divided between two of the churches, which provide an evening meal and sleeping quarters. Eliot has been participating in this program since 1992. Please give generously to support RATI.

Religious Education
At 9:30, children in kindergarten and older attend the first 15 minutes of the worship service. Preschool children (ages 3-5) and nursery children (2 and younger) go directly to their class. 

At 11:00, children who are age 4 (by Aug. 1, 2017) through 6th grade attend the first 15 minutes of the worship service. Children age three (3) and younger and youth in 7th-12th grade go directly to their class.

Sunday at a Glance:
Chamber Singers meet at 8:30 am in the Music Room.
Eliot Choir meets at 9:00 am in the Music Room.
Children's Chalice Choir meets at 10:35 am in the Music Room.
Pageant Meeting is at 12:00 pm in the Sr. High Room.
Saunders Covenant Group meets at 12:15 pm in the Bergfried Room.
Living the Pledge Workshop is at 12:15 pm in Room 004.
LeLaurin Covenant Group meets at 12:30 pm in the Triplett Room.
Positive Psychology Covenant Group meets 12:50 pm in Room 005.
Lemon Covenant Group meets at 1:00 pm in the Jr. High Room.
Suter Covenant Group meets at 1:00 pm in Room 006.
OWL Parent Orientation (Kindergarten & 1st Grade) meets at 1:00 pm in Rooms 001/002.
Please Remember

Please remember Barb Natoli and her family as they mourn the loss 
of her husband Bart, who passed away on November 25.
Ann Ogawa passed away on Thursday,  November 30. Please remember her family and friends as they mourn her loss.

Church News

Guest at Your Table Offering
Eliot members and friends of ALL AGES are invited to participate in the Guest at Your Table (GAYT) offering between now and December 10. GAYT is an intergenerational outreach program sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) to raise funds to support human rights around the world. This year's theme is Small Change is Big Change. You can learn more about GAYT here.

Guest at Your Table offering boxes were given to children in their Religious Education classes on November 12. Donation envelopes and additional boxes are available outside the 5th & 6th grade room, which is across from the nursery, and on other tables throughout Eliot. This is a fantastic opportunity for UUs of all ages to engage in generosity and giving this holiday season.

Donation boxes should be returned to Eliot no later than Sunday, December 10. It's helpful if coins and cash are converted into a check payable to UUSC prior to submission.

Share Holiday Spirit with Area Youth
Eliot Chapel is sponsoring the Gift Giving Tree as part of Youth In Action's outreach to area children and youth. The tree will be in Adams Hall on Sunday, December 3 following the 11 am service, and will stay up until December 21. This is a terrific way to share your holiday season with others in need. Each ornament tag represents an area child or youth in need of a gift this holiday season. Select an ornament and purchase a small, age-appropriate gift for the child or youth whose age and gender is noted on the ornament. Gifts should be returned to Eliot Chapel (wrapped or unwrapped) along with the ornament attached to the outside of the gift no later than Thursday, December 21. Youth In Action picks up and distributes the gifts to area organizations which serve children and youth in need. A special thank you goes to the Junior High Youth (7th & 8th grade) for setting up our tree.

Have you completed your congregational survey?
Check your email or go to www.surveymonkey/r/eliot2017.

Can You Help?
We are looking for additional volunteers that can join our current pool of greeters here at Eliot. These are the fine people who pass out hymnals and orders of service each week, and take up the offering during the service. Please contact our coordinator Bob Coulter at for information.

Sanctuary Update
Alex Garcia is still in Sanctuary at Maplewood UCC. Recently, ICE agreed to file his request to remain with his family, but it has taken no action on the request, so until ICE grants the request, Alex lives under threat of immediate deportation, so efforts to comfort and sustain Alex in his fight continue. We need shoppers for weekly grocery shopping, companions to assure round the clock presence in the church, cooks to provide hot meals once a week, and donations for groceries, incidentals and expense of the sanctuary space.

We also need signatories to the Declaration of Sacred Resistance, the pledge of the St. Louis Coalition for Sanctuary to support people like Alex in the struggle to make immigration enforcement humane. Email to volunteer or give.

Monday, December 4
Sanctuary Christmas Decorating - all day in the Sanctuary
Kwentus Covenant Group - 10:00 am in the Jr. High Room
Jones All Read Group - 10:00 am in the Bergfried Room
A Course in Miracles - 7:00 pm in Adams Hall

Tuesday, December 5
Women's Alliance Book Discussion - 9:30 am in Adams Hall
Vigil for Hope & Healing - 6:00 pm outside Eliot
Attitudinal Healing - 7:00 pm in the Jr. High Room
Avant Covenant Group - 7:00 pm in Room 006
Social Justice in Action Assemblies - 7:15 pm in Adams Hall
Handbell Practice - 7:30 pm in the Music Room

Wednesday, December 6
Women's Chorale - 7:30 pm in the Music Room

Thursday, December 7
Attitudinal Healing - 10:30 am in the Jr. High Room
Room at the Inn - 5:30 pm in Adams Hall and Rooms 001-006
Maryann Mace Covenant Group - 6:30 pm off site
UU Christian Group - 7:30 pm in the Triplett Room

Friday, December 8
Friday Freethinkers - 10:00 am in Adams Hall
Immigration Justice Movie and Discussion - 7:00 pm in Adams Hall

Saturday, December 9
Carolyn Yager Memorial Service - 10:00 am in the Sanctuary
Stark Covenant Group - 11:00 in the Jr. High Room
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal - 12:30 pm in the Sanctuary
Christmas Pageant Service & Potluck - 4:30 pm in the Sanctuary and Adams Hall
Sr. High Youth Group Holiday Party - 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary and Adams Hall
See YOU at Women's Alliance
Eliot women are invited to participate in our  Women's Alliance group which meets on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays at 9:30 am in Adams Hall. 

Activities vary: 
  • First Tuesday - book discussion
  • Third Tuesday - speaker
  • Fourth Tuesday - field trip
Women's Alliance will be discussing the book  In Order To Live - A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park on  Tuesday, December 5. Coffee begins at 9:30 am. See you there!

Fa La La La La
Come caroling at Plowsharing Crafts in the U City Loop, Friday, December 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm! Show up to sing, play an instrument, and invite your friends and relatives to shop for a good cause! Portion of proceeds this evening go to Eliot Chapel music program. Contact Jan Chamberlin with questions or to participate at


Join us for
Vigil for Hope and Healing #160, Tuesday, December 5 at 6:00 pm
outside Eliot.

Bryan Stevenson Video and Reflection

Social Justice in Action Assembly
Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017 at 7:15 in Adams Hall
All members and friends are invited to attend a special viewing of a talk by Bryan Stevenson.  Stevenson is the founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Besides delivering inspiring stories about his work legally defending minority and other persons on death row in Alabama, in this talk he recommends four steps to change the world: "Get proximate," "Change the narrative," "Remain hopeful," and "Be willing to be uncomfortable." Rev. Barbara has preached on these steps recently, providing an opportunity for us to deepen our conversation on the issues raised. Following the 35-minute video, Ann Ruger's All Read team will facilitate small group reflections. The meeting should last no more than 60 minutes, followed by time for SJA interest-group planning.

The Immigration Justice Team along with Social Justice in Action presents
A film that explores perspectives on the decision to migrate, the process of migration
without authorization, and how we are called to honor the dignity of all
Eliot Chapel on Friday, December 8 at 7:00 pm
Childcare is available IF requested by 12:00 pm on Sunday, December 3. Childcare requests should be sent directly to Scott Stewart at

As part of the discernment and educational efforts of Eliot Chapel, the Social Justice Committee has partnered with the St. Louis Coalition for Sanctuary and the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA) to present clips of the film "La Bestia" (The Beast), directed by Pedro Ultreras. Sara John of IFCLA will offer a facilitated discussion and reflection on migration justice and themes highlighted in the film. 

In recent months, you have seen several calls to action on behalf of the newly formed St. Louis Coalition for Sanctuary, the St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, and especially Alex Garcia. You have read that Alex is a long-term resident of Popular Bluff, Missouri who is fighting to stay with his wife of 13 years and his five children, all of whom are American citizens. You have heard how Alex entered sanctuary at Maplewood United Church of Christ to gain time and focus public attention on the despair and panic of 11 million undocumented immigrants who may be deported at any moment, without warning or explanation. And you probably know many Eliot Chapel members and friends who have long been involved in dozens of pragmatic services through the International Institute, MICA, MIRA and other St. Louis institutions.

This focus on specific, urgent acts has neglected a critical step for people of faith: discernment of the appropriate role of our church in this movement. Social Justice in Action at Eliot proposes to conduct a discernment process over the remaining months of the church year, through a number of events that will provide information, create space for questions, and share perspectives and concerns. To do so, we must consider the theological and spiritual underpinnings of the movement, the historical causes and challenges of migration, perspectives on the decision to migrate, and what the process of migration without authorization looks like in today's America. When the congregation has fully considered these issues, it can determine what Eliot Chapel will profess and how it will act at the intersection of desperate circumstances, theological imperatives, shifting public policy and unjust legal structures.

The first step in this education comes to Eliot Chapel in the form of this film and discussion event. Sara John of IFCLA will show clips and offer a facilitated discussion and reflection on migration justice and the themes highlighted in "La Bestia". View the film's trailer at Ms. John knows the director personally through her work at the border, was involved with the film in production and provided research in the region. SJA is working to schedule a follow-up event with the director in person or via Skype.

"La Bestia" (The Beast) is the name of a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants whose aim is to cross into the U.S. These aren't passenger trains; there are no panoramic windows, seats or even a roof to guard from sun or rain, and only limited amounts of water. Some call it the Death Train. It's estimated that up to a half-million migrants ride The Beast each year, sitting back-to-back along the spine of the train cars, trying not to get knocked off their rooftop perch. Journeys on the train can take anywhere from a week to several months, and many migrants have made this trip more than once.  Most of those making this 1,450-mile trek are not from Mexico. They come from Central American countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, which has the world's highest murder rate.

This event is free. Bring a snack to share. We invite you to join us to learn more about the struggles of immigrants in our community.
Eliot's Young Adult Group presents Holiday Trivia Fun
Sunday, December 10
Eliot Chapel
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Doors Open at 2:00 pm
Tables $100 - Individual Tickets $10

Do you know:

  • What department store originated the story of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
  • In what year was the New Year's ball first dropped in New York City's Times Square?
  • Who celebrated the Winter Solstice with an event called Saturnalia?
You might be ready for the Holiday Trivia Fun presented by Eliot's Young Adult Group! Put together a table of your friends and test your knowledge and your competitive spirit! Bring snacks to share with your table. BYO or purchase soda and juice. This event supports Eliot Chapel's special fundraising campaign. Take a break from holiday planning and have some holiday fun! Sign up now on the Adams Hall bulletin board - only eight table are available for 10 players each so don't wait!

Embrace the Spirit of Christmas!
Enjoy an inspired musical journey through holiday favorites performed by harpist Amy Camie on Saturday, December 16 at 7:00 pm at Eliot Chapel. Donations accepted.

Holiday Events
for your calendar

December 1 & 2 42nd Annual Eliot Chapel Renaissance Madrigal

December 8 Caroling at Plowsharing Crafts

December 9 Christmas Pageant & Family Potluck

December 10 Holiday Trivia Fun

December 16 Harp Concert

December 17 Ho ho ho...Holiday Bazaar!

December 24 Worship services at 10:00 am, 4:00, 5:30, and 8:00 pm

Recognizing Eliot's Superheroes

Eliot's December Volunteer of the Month is an amazing, giving, and versatile member of the Eliot community!

Beth Rossow coordinates our Receptions Team which provides memorial receptions for those mourning a loss who choose to celebrate the life of loved ones here at Eliot Chapel. Beth was instrumental in organizing Eliot's most recent trip to our partner church in Transylvania. She also takes time to volunteer for our Transportation Team, who drive Eliot members to doctor appointments and to Sunday services.

We are so grateful for the compassion and dedication which Beth exemplifies in our community.

Sunday, December 10 - 9:30 and 11:00 am
"The Hope of Hanukkah" - Rev. Barbara H. Gadon
We continue the theme of hope in the story of Hanukkah and Jewish history. How do you find hope when it seems that you don't have enough - light, energy, or might? Please bring your menorah for our display.
Featured Musicians: Gail Hintz, Children's Chalice Choir and Eliot Choir
The ourEliot team promotes and enables healthy communications as promised to one another through the Congregational Covenant. If you have a compliment, suggestion or concern that is important to communicate to a responsible party, look for an on-duty member of the team in Adams Hall wearing an ourEliot badge or contact them via email at .

Eliot Unitarian Chapel | Kirkwood, MO | 314.821.0911
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