Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah
Weekly Newsletter
February 11th, 2018

Worship This Sunday
February 11th, 2018, 9:30 and 11:00 am
Our worship theme in February is Earth

"Optimism, A Booster Shot"
Dr. Robert Pawlicki

Since approximately one-year-ago, when Robert delivered a sermon entitled Optimism in World of Bad News, our political world has undergone a daily barrage of insults, threats, lies and obscenities. We have seen a relentless and gut wrenching assault on our institutions and values and have had to resist feeling overwhelmed. It is in such a difficult environment, however, where it behooves us to search out the light in the sea of darkness. Where despair and pessimism drains our strength, optimism, hard work and perspective bolster our energy and ultimately help us to overwhelm the forces of ignorance and discrimination. So perhaps it’s time for a booster shot, to remind ourselves that when we closely examine our world, we are in fact, moving forward.

Our Worship Associate is Dorothy Holmes
Our Storyteller is Luke Higgins
Music by Kelly Blackmarr and the Choir

Also This Sunday
  • 9:30 - 11:00 am: Service and Fellowship to follow
  • 11:00 - 12:00 pm: Service and Fellowship to follow
  • 12:30 - 2:00 pm: Second Sunday Covenant Groups, various rooms
  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Music Notes
Kelly Blackmarr, Director of Music

February shouldn’t be the only month in which we feature the musical works of African American composers and lyricists, because there is a wealth of such works in our midst that should be enjoyed all year long. However, since February is Black History month, we are paying a special tribute to some of them in our worship services in February.
One obvious African American music form is the spiritual. As most of us probably know, music played a monumental role in the lives of early African Americans, giving them solace as slaves in a world from which they could only dream of escaping. The African American spiritual, like many forms of art born out of captivity, is simultaneously haunting, painful, beautiful, mournful, and joyful, serving as a creative expression of the slave’s longing for physical freedom as well as a longing for union with the divine. Indeed, union with the divine was determined the only guaranteed way to escape the bonds of slavery, and the spiritual brought voice to that longing in a way that slave masters would not suspect was anything but a desire to go to heaven. Many spirituals, in fact, were “map songs,” containing underlying messages of where to meet up with an abolitionist sympathizer on the underground railroad. Thus, the spiritual often served as a real vehicle to worldly, not just heavenly, freedom. We will feature several spirituals this month by different arrangers and in different forms (choral, solo piano, etc.). And I’m especially excited to welcome Tnai Williams, a local African American soprano and school/choral teacher, who will sing one of the most beautiful spirituals, “Give Me Jesus.” in our services on February 28th!

There are many black American composers and lyricists of great renown: composers who’ve written “through composed” music in varying forms, such as classical, jazz, and other genres; poets whose works have taken shape as song lyrics; and lyricists who have written for the song alone. Some of these artists are more well known than others. William Grant Still, classical composer; Duke Ellington, jazz composer; and Langston Hughes, poet are some of the more familiar names.. February 4th’s worship service featured piano solo music “On Bended Knees” by a lesser known classical composer, Harry T. Burleigh. "On Bended Knees" was included in the historic 1912 Clef Club concert of black music at Carnegie Hall. The choir will sing music arranged by African American choral composers and arrangers, André Thomas and Moses Hogan. Some of the lyrics you’ll hear this month will be those from poems by Langston Hughes, award winning poet and one of the first innovators of jazz poetry.

The takeaway is this: don’t miss a Sunday worship service in February! Not only will there be inspired messages offered by Rev. Dave and others, there will also be music surprises and visitors besides those already mentioned here to celebrate the rich heritage our African American composers, authors, and performers give us.

Worship Next Sunday
February 18th, 2018, 9:30 and 11:00 am
Our worship theme in February is Earth

"Salt of the Earth"
Reverend David H. Messner

Why do we fail so often at being there when people need us?

Also Next Sunday
  • 9:30 - 11:00 am: Service and Fellowship
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Service and Fellowship
  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm: Inner City Night Shelter, 124 Arnold St.
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Look at all the opportunities to be a part of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah!

Learn, Serve, Grow

Housing Rights Workshop
February 8th, 4:00 - 6:00 pm,
Rahn Hall

Our Social Justice and Action Ministry is co-sponsoring this workshop with the Georgia Legal Services Program which received a grant to help citizens in our community with understanding their rights as tenants as well as assisting participants in public housing and section 8 with staying in their homes. As with everything they do, their goal is to provide these citizens with access to justice.

Seeing our Racial Selves Through Film Discussion Group
The next screening: Fences
February 10th, noon, Rahn Hall
Raymond Holmes and Robert Pawlicki will facilitate this screening. 

Adult Religious Education Opportunity   
Series Led by Dr. Dorothy Holmes
Certain Saturdays Noon to 3:30PM in Rahn Hall
A series of five films, Selma (Oct), Moonlight (Dec), Fences (Feb 10), Hidden Figures (April 7), and Get Out (June 9), followed by discussion and then fellowship. Each film will have a moderator, to set the stage, briefly, with opening reflections and framing questions. Potluck refreshments will be provided by the participants.  Sign up in Rahn Hall.

Religious Ecucation
Nancy Arteberry, Director of Religious Education re@uusavannah.org

Give Us Your (Slightly) Tired Books!
We are now accepting donations of books and DVDs for our annual Youth Book Sale, to be held on Saturday, February 24. Please drop your donations in Rahn Hall in the designated collection baskets. Fiction and nonfiction books preferred. No textbooks, magazines, computer programming manuals, or outdated travel guides. If you are a book lover who is interested in helping to make this event even more awesome, please contact Nancy ( r e@uusavannah.org ). We’re seeking volunteers who are interested in helping us turn this into a community event.

2/23 (Friday), set-up in Rahn Hall, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
2/24 (Saturday), book sale in Rahn Hall, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
2/24 (Sunday), book sale in Rahn Hall, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Now Hiring
Our nursery is ever-growing! We are seeking part-time childcare assistants to supplement our awesome nursery crew. The right person must be enthusiastic, love babies and toddlers, have childcare experience, and be willing to work Sunday mornings and special events. Please contact Nancy ( re@uusavannah.org ) if you are interested or have questions.

UU Book Club
February 13th and 27th , 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Rahn Hall. Second and Fourth Tuesdays of the month. 

The UU Book Club reads both fiction and non-fiction, confronting topics like race, religious pluralism, social justice, violence, native peoples, American exceptionalism, health, gender, and the environment. 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

If you would like to join us in our readings, but can not attend book club meetings, please sign up for a weekly email. Emails can include short videos, music, articles and links that expand upon the text. You can sign up and drop out of emails anytime. Many of our future books will be available for sale at the UU Bookstore in Rahn Hall. For all things Book Club related, please email Kelsey Buckner at  kelseykate@gmail.com

TED Plus and Popcorn
New Voices in Conservatism
February 16th, 6 pm, Rahn Hall

So you think you know conservatives? Look past the ideologues that have gummed up Congress and the shrill, vacuous talking heads and you'll discover academics and journalists who are serious thinkers and use reason and research to support their viewpoints. They are shaping the future of conservatism in new ways. Can the idea of promoting family values be wrested away from moral judgement and viewed as sound public policy? What about the idea of saving capitalism from business? Is it possible for conservatives to embrace big government? Step out of your comfort zone, Unitarians, and listen to smart people from the "other side". You might be surprised.

Bagels and Philosophy
New Study Groups with Rev. Dave

Just for fun and purposes of physical sustenance, the location for both groups in February will be the Midtown Deli & Bagel Shop located in Chatham  Plaza at  7805 Abercorn St #18, Savannah, GA 31406 .

Our reading and discussion will begin promptly at 10am and conclude by 11. We will be following a structured format in which we will undertake both a serious and reflective reading of the texts. We may read very small amounts of text in one meeting! I will be there from 9:30 am, each day and you are welcome to come early as well so we can all have a chance to get food before the meeting starts.

THE BAGELS AND PHILOSOPHY GROUP : NEXT MEETING will be WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 28th, Gather from 9:30-10 am, begin 10 sharp.
  • The first 6 months, we’ll begin with Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
  • The text selection for the second meeting will be chapters 6-12, completing Book One. We are using the Sachs translation as our primary text (ISBN-13: 978-1585100354).

Reading and engaging words together can be a powerful experience. Drop me a note and let me know if you are coming for sure or would like to work with me on facilitating the group ( revdave@uusavannah.com ). Although drop-ins are welcome, it helps me plan when I know who and how many to expect. It also provides that comforting thought that I will not be eating my bagel and reading alone, although I am able to do so!

UU101, UU201 and UU301

Pathways is the way to become a member of the church. ​We ask everyone seeking to participate as part of this community to take this series, ​It is a ​an important learning and connecting experience.

UU101 is a conversation with Rev. Dave,
UU201 is focused on engagement in the life of the church, and UU301 explores belonging and membership.​ ​In both sessions​ we share stories, have fun, learn a little and break bread together.​ Please be welcomed.​

UU201 - March 7th and 14th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
UU301 - March 21st, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Sign up in Rahn Hall, or click here to:
Social Justice and Action
 Chair and contact: Jim Rosch,  jimrosch@gmail.com   518-232-1005
Sign up to help at the Social Justice bulletin board in Rahn Hall by the kitchen .

Inner City Night Shelter - We are in need of people to make sandwiches and serve the meal for homeless people who come to the Inner City Night Shelter for  Sunday, February 18th . We serve the meal around 4:30pm and we are usually finished by 5:30pm.

Celebrating Families - Families in this program are in an alternative to incarceration program after they have been convicted of a non violent crime. We provide a meal and serve the meal for them while they are involved with counseling and informative programs to get their families into a stable home life. Our next meal that we will provide is  Tuesday, February 20th. We serve the meal at the Baptist Church hall on McDonough Street. We get to the hall around 5:30pm and leave there around 6:30pm.  

Civil Rights Museum - This  Sunday, February 11th  the Civil Rights Museum is offering free admission to their exhibits from Noon to 4:00 p.m. It is located at 460 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. They are doing great things at the Museum to make a difference in the community to continue telling the story of Savannah's Civil Rights Movement.

Family Promise - The dates for the homeless family that will stay with us are  April 1 - April 8 . We need people to provide and serve meals and we also need people to stay overnight with the family. It is a simple yet powerful way of showing our love and concern. The program is very successful in getting places to live and transitioning families to stable jobs and fitting into the community. If you can help us one night,

Congregations in Service - Twice a year we join other churches to participate in worthwhile projects in the community for non profit organizations. Besides the benefit for the non profit organizations we also get to know other people from other churches while we are doing these wonderful things. Our next weekend for this will be Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15 . It will be a project on Saturday morning and another project on Sunday afternoon. Keep the dates open and we will fill you in on the projects and where they will take place.
Did you know we have an Earth Expert?
UUCS member and Buildings and Grounds Chair, and department head of the historic preservation program at Savannah Technical College, Benjamin Curran has studied the impacts of sea level rise. His paper on the subject is here:

WRUU Spotlight
Monday Motivation
Mondays, 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Host: Clay H odges

Monday Motivation gives listeners a kick start to their week. Motivational and inspirational topics are discussed and positive hip hop music that reflects the conversation is played with occasional guest interviews.

Clay Hodges is a Savannah, Georgia native and on-the-rise recording artist, actor, model, radio show host, and TV Personality. His art raises the bar and resonates with every audience imaginable and his devotion is to create an everlasting experience for listeners.

Listen here: WRUU.org

The Roof Over Our Heads
The roof is not sexy. But it's the big umbrella under which all the good at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah happens. Without a reliable roof what would be interrupted? Worship, Religious Education, Concerts, Coffee hour!, QiGong, TED talks, Yoga, Book Club, AA, Celebrating Families, the Auction, WRUU, Weddings!, Committee meetings (should I mention these?), rental income, and all the projects and presentations that members will create in the years to come. Repairs are scheduled for the roof and we’ve pledged to keep our building fund healthy so that the dwelling that has sheltered worshipers for one hundred and sixty-seven years can continue to do so. This Sunday please contribute to this vital, if unsexy, protector of the life of the church. 

More Things You Can Do At The Website!

Member Connections - Can you help?

Item - John Miller , our new transplant from Key West, is looking around to rent a small apartment or room downtown, preferably furnished. If you know of a place that is available, please let him know: pappajohn15@gmail.com or  (502) 876-5092

Item - Ardis Wood is donating a chair to the church and needs two men and a truck (not those two men and a truck) to pick up and deliver it. She can be reached at (912) 232-7708 or raywoodx@comcast.net

CPR/AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) Training
The first training on January 27th was fully enrolled!

Contact Elmer Schleich at toad99@comcast.net
or click below to
get on a waiting list for a second training - date to-be-determined.

Good Things This Week!

Bugapallooza in RE!
Ms Jennifer leads the Lovey Dovey RE class in "Bugapallooza"- an exciting lesson honoring the earth's many and varied insects.
Sounds and Spirits Concert
Kristin King's Eclectic Ensemble

This little harp/violin/cello ensemble packed a powerful punch from Satie to Debussy to Joplin to Led Zepplin! Some are daying say it was our best concert EVER. Did I mention they covered Led Zeppelin! Be sure to book your seat for the next one on March 4th.

Mark Your Calendars

Sunday February 11th
  • 9:30 - 11:00 am: Service and Fellowship
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Service and Fellowship
  • 12:30 - 2:00 pm: Second Sunday Covenant Groups, various rooms
  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Tuesday, February 13th
  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm: UU Book Club, Rahn Hall

Wednesday, February 14th
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 noon: Qigong Practice, Rahn Hall
  • 6:00 - 7:00 pm: Social Justice and Action Committee, Rahn Hall
  • 6:00 - 8:00 pm: Adult Choir Practice, Sanctuary

Thursday, February 15h
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Friday, February 16th
  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm: Yoga and Meditation Group, Phillipa's Place
  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm: TED Plus and Popcorn, Rahn Hall

Sunday February 18th
  • 9:30 - 11:00 am: Service and Fellowship
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Service and Fellowship
  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm: Inner City Night Shelter, 124 Arnold St.
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Minister and Staff


Office Hours
Sun 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Mon - Day Off
Tue - Writing Day
Wed 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Thu 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Director of Music

N ancy Arteberry
Director of Religious Education
912 549-0326

Alan Kindler
Office Administrator

Office Hours
Sun 8:00 - 11:00 am
Mon/Wed/Fri 5:00 - 6:00 pm

Marc Coulombe

Maria Martinez
Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah
311 East Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401
Please visit the website for more information.