This Sunday, December 23, 2018
Light in the Darkness
Service Leader: Rev. Margret A. O'Neall
Sunday, December 23, 9:30 AM & 11:15 AM in the Sanctuary
Night falls earlier, the air cools, the dark time of winter solstice affects us even in the desert. Around the world and through the ages, people bring light to lift the gloom, to bring hope, inviting the sun to return. How shall we bring light to a darkened world?
New Inquirers Series at UUCP
Every Sunday 9:45 AM in Annex B
Inquirers is a series for anyone who would like to meet others and learn more about UUCP. Join other newcomers, members, lay leaders and the membership team for a half hour of building connections and growing relationships. The second half hour explores changing topics each week, that go deeper into an area of ministry within our congregation. Inquirers topics include  Leadership, Children’s Ministry, Unicare, Social Justice, Membership, Congregational Tour and History, Small Group Ministry, Unitarian Universalism 101  and  Inside Worship Services. Coffee and treats provided, no sign-up necessary!
 
This week's Inquirers will be UU 101 - What do Unitarian Universalists believe? Come join the group discussion about our 7 principles. 
The Advancing Justice team is looking forward to two coming events that focus on police violence and mass incarceration. 
  • On Wednesday, January 9, our partners at Poder in Action are hosting a forum at a church downtown. We hope for a UUCP presence there. Details at the AJ table.
  • On Sunday, January 13 after 2nd service, UUCP is hosting a presentation by the ACLU Smart Justice campaign. There will be personal stories related to mass incarceration followed by Q & A. Details at the AJ table, more info on Smart Justice at https://www.phxuu.org/ACLU
Next Sunday, December 30
Kwanzaa: Celebrating Family, Community and Culture
Sunday, December 30, 9:30 AM & 11:15 AM in the Sanctuary
Kwanzaa is a non-religious celebration of African-American culture recognizing the first fruits of the harvest. Kwanzaa is based upon seven principles that are to be lived. Created in America in 1966, Kwanzaa honors the African people and their culture the world over and honors Africa as the birthplace of civilization.
New Inquirers Series at UUCP
Sunday, December 30
Next week’s Inquirers topic is Congregational History and Building Tour - Learn about the history of UUCP and navigate the building with a walking tour. 
Upcoming Events
Saturday, December 22, Blue Christmas
Saturday, December 22 at 5:00 PM in the Sanctuary
There is much joy in the holiday season, but it can also be a painful time for those who have experienced loss. This gentle service will offer a space of holding, with music, spoken word and meditative ritual, to provide support in the sadness that can be present among the celebrations of this time. Child care will be provided.
Christmas Caroling 
Saturday, December 22, at 12:00 PM, meeting in the Sanctuary
If you enjoy singing Christmas carols and spreading cheer, please join us on Saturday, December 22, for our congregation's annual afternoon of caroling! We'll meet at UUCP at 12:00 PM, sing a few carols together, and then spend a relaxed afternoon visiting and singing to UUCP elders who are rarely able to attend services. If you'll definitely be attending, let Benjie know so that he can estimate how many people we can visit.
Monday, December 24: Christmas Eve Services
5:30 PM Family Service and non-traditional Nativity Play
Service Leaders: Rev. Margret A. O’Neal, Anthony Johnson, Children’s Ministry Team
6:30 PM-7:30 PM Cookies and Cider Fellowship Hour – please bring cookies to share
7:30 PM Lessons and Carols
Service Leaders:  Rev. Margret A. O’Neall, Anthony Johnson, Benjie Messer
We celebrate Christmas Eve with music, community and candlelight, singing carols and lighting candles in the darkness. The early service includes a children’s play and the later service will include the congregation choir. Everyone is invited to bring cookies to share in fellowship from 6:30 PM-7:30 PM.
Green Sanctuary Highlights
December Recycling:  The Recycle Queen, Sherrie Zeitlin, Founder and Manager of the Art Resource Center thanks us greatly for sharing the plate with her this month. All our new forest-green table cloths came from the ARC. We will keep collecting recycled items and art supplies for the center through December. Look for boxes and baskets at the Green Sanctuary Table.
Green Heroes:    Ginny DeMarco donated 7-8 reusable water bottles to choir members last week. Because of Sharon Day's curiosity, we discovered that Lora Gustafson, Dale Fisher and others are keeping up the work of replacing lighting bulbs and fixtures with lower energy use bulbs especially in the parking lot (more safety) and bathrooms.
Upcoming Community Events:  
Saturday, January 26, 2019-- "Awakening the Dreamer" workshop at the Franciscan Renewal Center all day, $75 incl. lunch (based on the Pachamama Alliance work)
Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 8:30-2 Environmental Day at the Legislature, sponsored by Sierra Club
Week of April 5-14- Interfaith Power and Light Climate Week (sermons, postcards and more)
Coming Soon: Neighborhood Connections
Members at UUCP come from all over the Valley. Soon, you may receive a phone call or email from someone in your neighborhood, looking to get together with others in proximity to make connections and get to know each other. What will this look like? You get to decide! Have a potluck, meet at a local coffee shop, picnic in the park, it's up to you. These neighborhood groups move us toward a radically inclusive community, provide a familiar face on Sundays, and can be a source of support when your car won't start, or you need to borrow a cup of sugar!
Calling all Poets!
This year's Poetry Service will be in both services on Sunday, January 6, 2019. We invite poets to share their work and poetry lovers to share beloved poems. If you wish to share poetry in the service, contact Rev Margret at  minister@phoenixuu.org , or by phone at 623-201-7188.
Traveling 2nd Friday
Friday, January 11, 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary
ECUADOR, ON OUR OWN by Laurel Hardin
In spring of 2016, Laurel went to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. As she spoke Spanish, she and her husband made their own travel, tour and residential arrangements. We found warm, happy people, a variety of micro-climates and exotic animals as we wound our way around this colorful country.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR the 2nd Friday of each month. It is held at the UU Congregation in the sanctuary from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. All welcome & no charge. Questions, call Barbara at 480-994-1452 or email travel@phoenixuu.org
Spanish Discussion Group
Wednesday, January 2 at 7:00 PM in Annex C
Facilitator:  José Diaz
Join José Diaz for Spanish conversation on current events and cultural topics. This drop-in group is best for people with intermediate Spanish skills.
Parent’s of Teens Small Group
Thursday, January 3 at 6:45 PM in Annex C
Facilitator: Tammy Wheeler-Rhodes
Join other parents of teens in a space designed for sharing thoughtful discussion and mutual support.
Construction Update
You can get the most up-to-date construction information by calling 602-840-8400 and choosing option 8.
 
Right now only half of the upper parking lot is open and the handicapped spots are no longer available up there. The lot will stay this way until at least January 7. The accessible entrance will be the center door that you get to by going down the path on the left side of the building from the main parking lot.
 
Please don’t cross any barriers or yellow caution tape.
An Invitation to Current (and Former) Members and Friends.
 
As UUCP commits to being a radically inclusive, welcoming community and a “spiritual community for our time,” how can we assure that all feel truly welcome? How should we change, and how should we stay the same?
 
The UUCP Inclusion Team invites you to join a vital and ongoing conversation about these questions. In coming months, we will be exploring how congregants come to feel included and excluded based on gender, race, ability, mental health, age, religious background and other factors.
 
As a first step, we are seeking your stories of gender inclusion and exclusion at UUCP. As a person who identifies as trans, gender nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or gender conforming -- what experiences have led you to feel welcomed, or not, at UUCP? As an ally, how have you witnessed gender inclusion or exclusion?  
 
How will these stories be used? First, your experiences will help us educate ourselves and other members. Your responses will be discussed by the team as we assess UUCP’s status as a welcoming congregation. Second, your stories will inform the design of welcoming spaces, services, rituals, and social activities. Third, with your permission, and only with your permission, we will work with you to share some of these stories in written or multi-media messages designed to foster understanding and gender inclusion at UUCP. Please join the conversation by sharing your own experiences on this brief (10-15 minutes) survey. Use the link phxuu.org/GenderInclude
 
The UUCP Inclusion Team (Amanda Rogers, Anthony Johnson, Ashley Perez, Courtney Flanagan, Jonny Lifshitz, Katie Quinn, Larry Reed, Margret O’Neall, Vince Waldron)
UUCP | 602-840-8400| Info@PhoenixUU.org| PhoenixUU.org