Weekly Newsletter 
February 19, 2017
In This Issue
Minister and Staff


Director of Music

Nancy Arteberry
Director of Religious Education

Office Administrator

Marc Coulombe
Maria Martinez

Board of Trustees


Abby Powell



Gordon Matthews

Vice President/President-Elect


Robin Lonscak



Margaret Hall

Secretary of the Board


Jessica Leavitt

Trustee At Large


Judy Saucerman

Trustee At Large


John Cook

Trustee At Large

Hours and
Office Administrator's Hours
Mon.-Wed. 5:15-7:30 pm
Thurs. 3:00-7:00 pm
Sat. 4:15-7:30 pm
Sun. 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Minister's Office Hours 
next week:
Sunday, 1:30-3:30 pm
Monday, 3:00-6:00 pm
Tuesday, 2:30-5:30 pm

To schedule an appointment within these blocks or at other times, just send Rev. Dave an email at

Pastoral care requests can be sent to the team at any time to:

  Deadline for the Order of Service, Weekly Newsletter and Sunday Services Announcements: 
Tuesday at Noon
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Worship This Sunday
9:30 and 11:00 am

Being For Each Other, A Pastoral Letter
Rev. David H. Messner

The practice of offering kindness and care to one another as a way of life.

This will be our annual Caring Community recognition and recruitment service; make sure to be there if you are part of that team or would like to be!

Our Worship Associate will be Caitlin McRae and our 
will be Jake Kawatski.

Special Music  will be provided by Ellen Gross, Bill Smith and Dave Smith.

Children and Youth will attend Religious Education classes. In the early service, children begin in worship and depart for their regular classes (divided in age groups) after the story for all ages. In the late service, children may stay in worship or can attend our all-ages religious education adventure for the entire hour which is led by Nancy Arteberry, our Director of Religious Education. The nursery will be available during both services.

Also this Sunday:
RE Reflections
Nancy Arteberry, Director

On Sunday I shared Shel Silverstein's story "The Giving Tree" with my late Sunday school class. I chose this story because it appeals to all ages and has a theme of love - appropriate for this month of love. The story has always made me uncomfortable, because it is about an apple tree who slowly gives all of her branches - and even her trunk - away to an unappreciative little boy. At the end of the story, the little boy has become an old man, and he returns to the old tree - now a stump - to find solace. We are never sure whether the old man loves the tree, or whether he is just using the old tree to satisfy his needs.

The children in the class ranged in age from 3 to 13. The 3-year-old declared that she loved apples -- especially red ones -- while the older children debated whether the boy loved the tree. He did not treat the tree with respect, yet the tree loved him until the end of her life. For those of you who are parents, you understand this kind of love. It is fierce, tenacious, and painful. It is not returned at the same rate as it is given.

I find comfort in the words of Malvina Reynolds, a UU folk singer who wrote "The Magic Penny." Lyrics to this song are posted in Phillippa's Place, and they are not just for children:

"Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.
It's just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won't have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor."
During this month of love , I challenge you to love freely. It might not be returned in the way you hoped, or from the person you hoped, but keep your eyes open for those unexpected magic pennies!

In Love,


Worship Next Sunday
February 26, 2017
9:30 and 11:00 am

Stay Inspired; Our African American His/Herstory May Be of Service
Rev. Duncan E. Teague

If we remain respectful of the past in a deep and intimate way; our stories and our lessons learned may inspire us to further celebrate our work or to cope with the challenges facing our faith and values. Rev. Teague is mining our Unitarian Universalist past with the future in mind. 

Before accepting his calling to professional ministry Rev. Duncan E. Teague, a native of Kansas City, MO, had a career in HIV/AIDS education, advocacy, and research coordination in Atlanta, GA, his home since 1984. Teague is leading an emergent congregation in Southwest Atlanta, Abundant LUUv Ministry. He worked at Georgia Equality as Faith Outreach Consultant with the former Freedom to Marry organization. He is a member of the UU Ministers' Association's Committee on Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression and Multi-culturalism (CAROM). He is an inductee in the Board of Preachers of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International College of Ministers and Laity.
Teague is a published writer and senior member of the performance poets, The ADODI Muse; A Gay Negro Ensemble, since 1995. Duncan lives with his longtime companion and husband, David Thurman, a semi-retired neuro-epidemiologist with the Emory School of Medicine, and the National League Against Epilepsy.

Rev. Dave will serve as Worship Associate. Our Storyteller will be Luke Higgins.

Special Music will be provided by the UUCS Vocal Ensemble, Sara Breyfogle, Kelly Carlile and Treble Spirit.

Children and Youth  will attend Religious Education classes. In the early service, children begin in worship and depart for their regular classes (divided in age groups) after the story for all ages. In the late service, children may stay in worship or can attend our all-ages religious education adventure for the entire hour which is led by Nancy Arteberry, our Director of Religious Education. The nursery will be available during both services.

Also this Sunday:
  • Youth Book Sale, 9:00 am-1:00 pm in Rahn Hall
  • WRUU Cruise, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm, Bull River Marina
A Note from Rev. Dave
Looking Forward: Sabbatical Plans

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share a little planning for the coming years as the Board and I have been developing the plans for my sabbatical. I will be taking a split sabbatical, half in the next church year and half in the year following. We believe that three months at a time is best for the church and also most helpful for the work I hope to accomplish.

By way of background, we have a tradition in our ministry for clergy to take a sabbatical (typically every seven years) as a time for doing spiritual work outside of the routine of church in the interest of renewal of the ministry. Such a sabbatical is a part of our contract between minister and congregation and accrues at the rate of one month for each year of service.

For the minister, the sabbatical is a time for active study and development, reflection and renewal of the ministry. For the church, it can be an energizing time of new experiences, strengthened leadership and similar renewal. When they work well, periods of sabbatical are joyful and mutually transformative.

So in looking at the cycle of our church years and critical events, the Board and I have planned that I will take a "split" sabbatical, half next year and half the following year. These will be years six and seven of my serving as settled minister of UUCS. In each year, the sabbatical period is scheduled for July, August, and September. I am planning to use the sabbatical to further my scholarly work in religious ethics and society.

The sabbatical will be a special chance for a collection of gifted guest preachers and teachers to give offerings within the themes of those three months. This will also be a great chance for our lay leadership, many of whom have joined the church in these past 5 years, to take even more leadership responsibility.

This is just one of the many exciting things on our horizon. I look forward to continuing our adventure together. If you have any questions, would like to learn more about my plans, or would like to help out by taking on special responsibilities during these times, please drop me a line (at

In Faith and Gratitude,

Rev. Dave
Covenant Groups

Our covenant groups are exploring together the February monthly spiritual theme of "Friendship." 

The first reflection question this month: When was the last time that you made a new friend? Has it become easier or harder as you've grown older to make friends (or some of both)?

To get a larger taste, see all of  the  February Questions & Spiritual Assignments  here.

Do you have a place where you can explore the experiences and meaning of your life with a circle that cares? Being part of a covenant group is a collective spiritual practice that builds meaningful relationships. To join a group which meets on an ongoing basis, send a note to Rev. Dave at:

New Member Spotlight
As part of a series, this column introduces new members as they join the congregation. In a growing church, getting to know each other is one of the most important ongoing practices. This week's spotlight falls on  Brett and Jennifer Highland.

Brett says: "I am a long-time UU (20 years), so my liberal religious roots go way back. I was raised in Savannah, and have lived in Florida for many years before returning "home." As a scientist working in agriculture, I enjoy looking at insects, plants and all of nature. My great "cathedrals" exist in nature, and I enjoy camping, kayaking, pretty much anything in the out of doors. I love people, and enjoy art, painting, reading, and travel."

Jennifer says: "I am a two-time Savannahian, returning for the second time last summer after living in Texas and Florida. I am married to Brett Highland, also a new member off UUCS. We have two daughters, Suzanne, a poet, social activist and teacher in New York City, and Abigail, an artist and University of Colorado student in Boulder in Human and Cultural Geography and Peace and Conflict Studies.

My career has spanned a cross-section of health care. I began as a Registered Nurse in my home town of Lafayette, LA, then worked as a health educator and consultant in Savannah and San Antonio. My most significant work was as an executive administrator for a non-profit in maternal-infant health care in Sarasota, FL. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Health in Community and Family Health Education.

Having been a 20-year UU, I am happy to be part of the Savannah church. My hobbies are photography, family history, flower arranging and interior design. I volunteer at the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club.

Welcome to UUCS membership,  Brett and Jennifer!

Bring Your Used Books 
February 19, This Sunday!

Time is running out. . . our Youth Book Sale is just 10 days away! It will take place this year on Sunday, February 26, from 9:00 to 1:00.  We are currently accepting donations in Rahn Hall. You will find collection bins next to the engagement table.  

Please drop your used books, CDs, DVDs, and video games in the bins, and our youth will do the rest.  Thank you for helping the planet, our youth, and our church! 

Gift Offer to the Church
February 19, 12:30-1:30 pm
In the Sanctuary

As Abby Powell said in her President's column last month: "We have received a generous offer from a member who proposes a gift to make changes to the sanctuary windows. Any offer of a gift for a specific purpose (restricted gift) must be accepted by the Board of Trustees on behalf of the congregation. In this instance, the Board would like a preliminary sense of the preference of the congregation before evaluation proceeds further. An information session has been scheduled after the 11:00 service this Sunday. A brief survey will be available directly after the session and by web link from our newsletter for two weeks after the information session, for congregational feedback. Please note: the purpose of this informal survey is only to get a sense of the body and does not reflect any vote or decision."

Ardis Wood is the kind proposer of this gift. You can read a note from Ardis on her idea and motivation here. She will offer an information and learning session for all who wish to attend on February 19th, at 12:30 pm in the Sanctuary.
Popcorn with TED
February 24, 6:30-8:00 pm

Once a month, we sit down and enjoy some popcorn while listening to one of the many fascinating TED talks, then share our thoughts in a lively discussion afterward. This is a free event, and newcomers are always welcome! Please join us in Rahn Hall at 6:30 pm on the 24th.
Enjoy a Cruise for Community Radio
February 26, 2:00-3:30 pm

Enjoy an afternoon exploring the beautiful Georgia coast with Bull River Cruises! Guests will be welcomed aboard a comfortable excursion vessel as they embark on a 1 1/2 hour tour of the Wilmington River and surrounding waters. Feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy as you take in the beauty of our southeastern marsh ecosystem. Wine and Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. Knowledgeable tour guides will be available to answer any questions you may have about plants and animals we find along the way. 

Tickets are $30 and available here: arrive at Hogan's Marina (36 Wilmington Island Road, Savannah GA 31410) by 1:45 to begin the boarding process. 

Bull River Cruises is donating 100% of the funds raised by this outing to WRUU Community Radio!

More information about WRUU can be found at and you can listen to the WRUU Streaming Station any time.

More information about Bull River Cruises can be found at

Social Justice Ministries Call for Volunteers

There are so many ways to help bring about social justice. You don't need to join a committee and attend monthly meetings; we do that for you, leaving you free to choose the right time and place to add your own contribution. We hope you'll choose from the list below; your contribution makes a world of difference!

Inner City Night Shelter needs people to provide food and serve a meal on the Third Sunday of the month at 4:30 p.m. 

Celebrating Families (Strengthening Families) needs help with providing a meal and serving the meal on the following dates: February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11 and May 16. All are Tuesdays and we serve the meal at 5:30 p.m.

Congregations in Service weekend is Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2. We are looking for members of UU Savannah to join volunteers form other area churches to help with projects around the city. More information will be available soon, but you can contact Jim Rosch today!

Family Promise is looking for your help for the week of April 30 through May 7. As we did last year, we will be hosting a family as they transition into a stable living situation. Help needed includes meal preparation and serving and overnight hosting. 

You can sign up for any or all of these ministries at the Engagement Table in Rahn Hall on any Sunday, or contact Jim Rosch at or 518-232-1005. 

Mark Your Calendars for the Coming Weeks

Thursday, February 16
  • True Colors AA meeting, 7:30-8:30 pm in Phillippa's Place
Sunday, February 19
Monday, February 20
Tuesday, February 21
  • 3rd Tues. Covenant Group (Ionno-Matthews), 7:00-8:30 pm in Rahn Hall
Wednesday, February 22
Thursday, February 23
  • True Colors AA meeting, 7:30-8:30 pm in Phillipa's Place
Friday, February 24
  • Popcorn with TED, 6:30-8:00 pm in Rahn Hall