Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah
Weekly Newsletter
December 31st, 2017

Worship This Sunday
December 31st, 11:00  am 
A Single Multi-generational Service

"What if God was one of us?  Just a slob like one of us"
  Rev. Michael J. Chaney, Jr.

Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home.

Our Worship Associate is Jessica Leavitt and our Storyteller is Jake Kawatski

Our Music will be by Kelly Blackmarr

Also This Sunday

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

Letter from A Board
Gordon Matthews, President

These are times that can easily sap my resilience as I see the power in Washington being used to serve the “top 1%” and the corporate interests (that fund the campaigns) while sacrificing the interests of most of the rest of our citizens. During these times I say to myself three things:

1. My UU community gives me an important local anchor of values and support that I appreciate more than ever,

2. I trust that with time much of our country will come to recognize that the actions of our President and Congress are completely inconsistent with the “sales pitch” which they used to gain votes and power, and

3. that ultimately there will be a swing back to the “center” to bring compassion, fairness, diplomacy, trust and wisdom to our country. In sending this personal expression to you, I want to encourage us all to hang together, support each other, knowing that we will need each other as we endure the what is going to be a multi-year process of bring transparency and trust back into the governance of our country.


Worship Next Sunday
January 7th 2018, 9:30 and 11:00 am
Our Worship Theme in January is Fire 

"The Art of Letting Go: Stress Management for Busy People"
Rev. Chris Schriner  

Rev Schriner will offer spiritual and psychological techniques that work rapidly and directly to relieve real-life pressures and frustrations.

Also Next Sunday

  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillipa's Place

Jingle Bell Sing and Reindeer Bazaar a Success!
Our teens did a fantastic job raising money for the church by organizing our first-ever Reindeer Bazaar. They sold gourmet cocoa and cider, home-baked treats, UUCS "Jingle Bells" note cards, and a variety of UU-themed products. Our new Jingle Bells note cards, designed for the church by member Laura Potts Wihrt, were a sell-out item! We hope to have more in stock soon. Thanks to all of our enthusiastic teens and their parents for a job well done. 

More photos at the end of the Newsletter!

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

A New Year with New Possibilities

New Member Spotlight
Luke Higgins

I have lived in Savannah for five years now with my wife Jenny Woodruff and, more recently, our one year old son, Hugo. For the last two of those years I have been teaching philosophy at Armstrong State University. I am originally from Connecticut, moved out to northern California to finish college, and ended up living on the west coast for about a decade altogether. The last three of those years I attended seminary school at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and from there went back to the northeast (northern New Jersey/New York City suburbs) to work on a Ph.D. in Theological and Philosophical studies at Drew University's Graduate Division of Religion. My academic work focuses on theology's intersection with ecology, feminist studies, science studies, Process philosophy, and Continental philosophy (especially Bergson and Deleuze). Other things about me: I am a great enthusiast of  music  of many kinds: I love to sing and play guitar, but my passion is primarily channeled into listening. My musical interests range from international music, indie/electronic, jazz, and contemporary classical to traditional Americana. My wife Jenny is also a musician and in her work she directs the education programs at the Savannah Music Festival. Although I was baptized Greek Orthodox, for most of my life I have been affiliated with the United Church of Christ, a denomination whose history is closely intertwined with that of the UU. From the first Sunday I attended worship at our church, this faith community has felt like home to me: A place where both the heart and the mind are nourished for the "Great Work" (to use Thomas Berry's term) of building meaningful and inclusive community, and serving/saving our larger planetary home.

Social Justice and Action

Chair - Jim Rosch,  jimrosch@gmail.com   518-232-1005

Want to make a difference with people who want to make a difference doing something that really makes a difference?   The following events are coming up.

Coats, Gloves and Scarves  - Our Savannah neighbors are in need of these winter essentials. Please bring donations to the Rahn Hall receptacles. This effort is sponsored by Food not Bombs, a world-wide organization to feed the hungry and promote the right for food.

Backpack Buddies  - School is in session and we need a lot of help to provide weekend food for families that are really struggling to make ends meet. The food that goes home with kids on the weekends helps to sustain them when there is no lunch program like they have when they attend school. We provide this service for the East Broad Street School. 
Items needed:  Food, such as applesauce and fruit cups, crackers and peanut butter, cookies, granola bars or other items that do not require refrigeration and can be easily opened and eaten in single-serving sizes. Receptacles can be found at the story corner, the narthex and Rahn Hall.

Martin Luther King Parade  - January 15th we will be participating in the parade and the following concert in our Sanctuary.  Please sign up early on the Social Justice Bulletin board in Rahn Hall to reserve a spot on the Trolley or if you are walking in the parade.

Celebrating Families  - The program for families who are in an "alternative to incarceration" will begin again in January. The dates are  Jan 23, Feb 20, Mar 6 and 27 and Apr 17. Sign up on the Social Justice Bulletin board in Rahn Hall to provide the main dish, drinks, bread, salad and dessert to about 20 men, women and children on these nights at 5:30 pm.

Thanks for your help!

Partner Church - Merry Christmas!

We received the following Christmas greeting from the Rev. Ilona Szent-Iványi, minister of Pestszentlőrinci Unitárius Egyházközség, our partner church in Budapest, Hungary, in the days before Christmas. We sent our Budapest family a Christmas greeting video that we recorded during our
Jingle Bells Festival on Christmas Eve
and that featured the Rev. Dave, Kelly
and the choir.

Merry Christmas! May 2018 bring you and your family peace, happiness and lots of good things. That has been a quiet year for us. Our membership is slowly growing. We welcome new comers. The Board and some mebers had 2 nice excursion to Transylvania. One in August, we participated at the International Unitarian Gathering near Szekelyudvarhely. In November we visited the tomb, the monument of our great founder Rev. Bishop Francis David, in the castle of Deva. Francis David  founded the Unitarina Church in 1568. January 2018 we shall celebrate the Diet of Torda, the 450th anniversary of our foundation. At the end of October we had a terrible wind storm and the metal cover of our church spire and the roof was seriously demaged. We started with an appeal, but there is a good amount still missing. We think and talk a lot about our partners across the ocean in Savannah, GA. May the Eternal Spirit bless you all!

Rev. Ilona Szent-Iványi

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - We Are One Concert
with Huxie Scott
January 15th, 2 pm, Sanctuary

Make plans now to attend the annual UU "We Are One" social justice concert featuring the fabulous Huxsie Scott. Ms. Scott was the featured vocalist for Savannah's famed, award winning Ben Tucker Jazz Band; was second place winner of one of the American Traditions Voice Competitions; and is currently a featured favorite in the Historic Savannah Theater's regular professional productions pleasing both locals and tourists from all over the world. Her band will include jazz pianist Eric Jones, bassist Marc Chesanow, and drummer John Williby. The concert will open with choral music featuring the combined choirs of the UU Church (led by Kelly Blackmarr) and Savannah State (led by Jacqueline Hamilton). 

Reception to follow! 

No admission will be charged, but a love offering will be taken to support the MLK Jr. Day Committee's Scholarship Fund.
UU Book Club
January 9th, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Rahn Hall
Second and Fourth Tuesdays of the month. 

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

In January, the UU Book Club will be reading  Margaret Atwood's "Oryx and Crake."  In this novel, Snowman (known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague) is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Once again, Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

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

WRUU Spotlight
Art on the Air
Wednesdays 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Hosts: Rob H. and David L.

An hour-long interview show dedicated to the visual arts in Savannah and the surrounding area. Each episode features a single guest in conversation about their philosophy, practice, and current projects, as well as commentary on the state of the visual arts in our community. Concluding with a discussion of the week's upcoming visual arts events.

Listen here: WRUU.org

Have You Been to the Website Lately?
New Audio of Recent Sermons
Bookmark  this page  to listen to weekly updates (on a one-week delay).
Not all are posted yet, but there's a selection of greatest hits, too.
This will soon include the recordings of guests and members, too.

A New Calendar
Bookmark  this page  to check the much-improved calendar. Drawing from a Google calendar the new page is much easier and quicker to navigate! As before, you can check on room reservations, committee meetings and upcoming events. This is a good tool to use before sending your scheduling requests to  admin@uusavannah.org

The Ideal New Year's Resolutions
Yoga and Meditation Group returns January 12th!
Fridays from 6:00 - 7:30 pm in Phillipa's Place, through February 16th.
Questions? Contact Sara Breyfogle at breyfoglesv@gmail.com

Together we will share the special practice of yoga: move on the mat through simple yoga poses, learn breathing practices, chant ancient Sanskrit mantras, and delve into meditation. As a group we will join in sangha, or togetherness, to cultivate spiritual awareness.

CPR/AED (Automatic External Defibrilator)
Training is filling up fast!
(Only 3 spots left)
Saturday, January 27th
One day only - noon to 4:00 pm
Questions? Contact Elmer Schleich at toad99@comcast.net

Our church is providing an easy, low-stress path for people to learn skills like CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation), a skill they can take out into the community and into their homes that will actually improve medical outcomes for their friends and family.

Our CPR/AED classes are taught by select, certified EMS safety instructors and includes: adult child and infant CPR and choking care: on site and hands-on class time: 2-year CPR, AED certification card: student manual with two years of access to a digital copy.

This course cost is $34 per person and is by far the least expensive CPR course in our area. Others comparable courses range in price from $50-$90  limit: 12 participants

Seeing our Racial Selves Through Film Discussion Group
The next screening: Fences
Saturday! 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.

Reindeer Festival Fun!
Mark Your Calendars

Sunday, December 31st
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Tuesday, January 2nd
  • 6:00 - 7:00 pm: WRUU Volunteer Orientation, Rahn Hall

Wednesday, January 3rd
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 noon: Qigong Practice, Rahn Hall
  • 6:00 - 8:00 pm: Adult Choir Practice, Sanctuary
  • 6:00 - 7:30 pm: WRUU Infrastructure Team Meeting, Rahn Hall

Thursday, January 4th
  • 5:30 - 7:30 pm: Environmental Issues Meeting, Rahn Hall
  • 7:30 - 8:30 pm: True Colors AA Meeting, Phillippa's Place

Sunday January 7th
  • 12:40 - 1:10 pm: Youth Choir Practice, Sanctuary

Minister and Staff


Office Hours
Sun 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Wed 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Thu 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Director of Music

N ancy Arteberry
Director of Religious Education

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.