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January 9. 2020
Latest News
Join Us for Worship This Sunday!
Our Money, Our Mission
Coffeehouse and Potluck
Raise the Minimum Wage Legislative Breakfast
Zigzag Sundays
You Are Musical!
From the Immigration Justice Team
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance
Offices Closed January 20
From the Care Network Team
Nursery Childcare Providers Needed
Joy of Sharing Stories - Spirit Play
Sharing the Plate
Theme Circles Registration
8th Grade OWL Request
Steeple Newsletter Submissions

New to First UU?  Register for one of our upcoming New UU Orientation Sessions

Upcoming Service
Sunday, January 19 at 10 a.m.

Worship Leader:
Rev. Patricia Hart

Worship Associate:
Kristin Kany

"Dreaming the World"
Celebrating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is important every year... and never more than now, in this time of heightened dangers for people of color  and  
greater understanding of the persistent costs of our nation's legacy of slavery and racism. What does Dr. King's life teach us, and call us to do and be in our own time? 

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Join Us for Worship This Sunday!
Sunday, January 12 at 10 a.m. 

Worship Leader:  Rev. Patricia Hart, Developmental Senior Minister

Worship Associate: Melinda Lee

"The State of the Society"
January is a good time to take a step back from day-to-day congregational life and assess how this Society is doing: where you've come from during the last decade and where you are heading in this new time. My role as your developmental minister calls me to share my sense of the challenges, opportunities, and especially the big questions that lie ahead.

Come for the service to hear my thoughts - and plan to stay for a congregational conversation hosted by the Board about First UU's mission (and the budget)!

Our Money, Our Mission: A Learning & Listening Session
Leandre Waldo, Board Secretary

Please join fellow congregants and members of your Board of Trustees, Finance Team and Transition Team for a learning and listening session dedicated to our mission and budget. This is a timely opportunity to learn about how our budget supports our mission, ask questions and provide your perspective about what's important as we begin the process of developing our FY21 budget. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday, January 12, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. 
Susan B. Anthony Room

- OR -

Tuesday, January 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Susan B. Anthony Room

It's only January! We're Talking About the Budget Already?
Yes! We recognize that the Annual Meeting, which takes place in early June and at which members vote on the budget, feels like a long way off, but the opportunity for congregant input into the budget is NOW . Here's the timeline for budget development: 
  • January 12 & 14:  Our Money, Our Mission listening & learning sessions. (Can't attend? Please email the Board at and we'll find a time to meet.)
  • February: Budget developed
  • March: Finance Team & Board review budget
  • April: Board votes on budget
  • May:  Meet the Budget sessions. These sessions are intended as an opportunity to present the board-approved budget and answer congregant questions, rather than an opportunity to suggest budget revisions.
  • June 7: Annual Meeting and Member budget vote
Coffeehouse and Potluck
Join Us for Good Food, Friendship and Music at the Saturday,  January   11  FUUSB Potluck and Coffeehouse
What?  Our Monthly Sanctuary City Potluck and Coffeehouse
Who?  Everyone! Friends and family welcome
Where?  The Parlors, First UU Society of Burlington
When?  Saturday,  January   11 , 6-8:30 p.m. The potluck begins at 6:00, and the open mic starts at 7:00.

We welcome all ages and skill levels to sing a song, play an instrument, read some poetry, tell a story... or you can just listen. It's a great way to share food, fellowship and fun, and we would love to have you join us.

Questions?  Herb Schroeder:   or Brian Haas:

Raise the Minimum Wage Legislative Breakfast
Monday, January 13 at 7:30 a.m. - Community Room, FUUSB - Please Come
Help tens of thousands of our Vermont neighbors who need a raise in the minimum wage. Meet your state reps and share your and your friends' and neighbors' stories. As shown by the Public Assets Institute, Vermont's affordability crisis is a low wage crisis. Still, all across the nation states and cities are raising their minimum wages and leading the way to a more fair and just society.  Come this Monday to the breakfast to share your stories in person. If you can't come, we can deliver them in writing. Contact Gene Bergman, FUUSB Economic Justice Task Force,, (802) 598-3602.
Zigzag Sundays
Erika Reif,  Director of Lifespan Faith Development

We don't have separate age-based classes for children every week; occasionally we do multigenerational services where all ages worship together the whole time,  and once a month we have a different type of offering where children of all ages come together and adults are welcome, too! Just as kids can choose to stay and worship in the Sanctuary for the full service, adults can choose to leave after the Reflection and explore their faith in a different way. These Zigzag Sundays take many forms, mini-field trips, spiritual practice workshops, service projects, guest presentations, and things we haven't even thought of yet. You don't need to commit or sign up in advance, just come when you feel moved to zigzag with us!
You Are Musical!
Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

Celebrate the inherent musicality we humans share in the first "Zigzag Sunday" workshop to be led by Music Director, James Stewart. Come January 19, explore different types of music, dance, sing, move, and then collaboratively create a song from scratch, together, all in one fun-filled hour. This departure from our normal Faith Development classes is open to both adults and children and will begin immediately after the Reflection for All Ages. 
From the Immigration Justice Team: 
Syrian Kurdish Allies in Need of Help

Kim Watkin

After Turkey invaded North-East Syria on October 9, Syrian Kurds who collaborated with the United States during the war against IS became targets of revenge. Janet Biehl's friend Hassan and his brother were among them-right away they fled for their lives to Iraqi Kurdistan, along with their families and thousands of other Syrian Kurds. Now Hassan and family are applying for asylum in France. The prospects are good, but they need help getting there. Could UUs step forward? Come listen to Janet tell their harrowing story on Sunday, January 19, at noon in the Susan B. Anthony Room.   
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance
Sunday, January 19 , 3:00 p.m.
First Unitarian Universalist Society

Keynote Speaker: Mayor Steven Reed
First African American mayor to be elected in Montgomery, Alabama

Featuring the local Congolese Choir and the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church Choir.

Open to the public, tickets required. FREE tickets available at:
Fletcher Free Library, City Market (Downtown & South End), Peace & Justice Center, and ECHO Leahy Center

More details at  or call 
(802) 657-4219
FUUSB Offices Closed January 20

The First UU Society offices will be closed on Monday, January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
From the First UU Care Network Team:  URGENT New Meal Train Requests
Sarah Weber

Two of our beloved members, Miriam (Tammy) Strauss and Rebecca Anderson, are fighting cancer undergoing daily radiation treatments this month and next. Fatigue is a cumulative side effect of radiation and both these people would greatly appreciate the support of meals. Your generous help truly shows how we "care for each other and our community," words from our congregational vision statement. Thank you, in advance, for your support. Contact me, Sarah Weber, at (802) 373-0197 or if you have any questions. 

Please use this link to sign up using the Meal Train app, where you will find meal preferences, contact information, and delivery instructions:  
Nursery Adult Childcare Providers Needed
Join us in exploring Beloved Community at
We have need for more adult childcare providers to take an occasional/flexible shift in our nursery. This is a paid position and allows you engagement with families and precious time working alongside a youth provider and caring for infants and toddlers on Sundays and the occasional special event such as game night. Working in the Nursery is a great way to serve the community, connect with other families, and make a little money! Here's a  link to the job description .  If you think you would be a good fit, contact Margo Whitcomb, Faith Development Assistant, at .   
The Joy of Sharing Stories - Spirit Play
The Faith Development program needs assistance to replace one of our volunteers. This person needs no formal training but should have a love of story and a desire to deepen their faith in service to young children ages preK to first grade. The commitment is (5) five Sundays, January to early March. Spirit Play is a Montessori-based approach to faith formation based on story and ritual, play and creativity that gives children the tools to make meaning of their lives within the container of Unitarian Universalism. It is deeply engaging and fun!  Please contact Erika Reif at  or (802) 862-5630, ext. 28.
Sharing the Plate - December
Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance 

In the month of December, our congregation shared our plate with five organizations for a total of $1,238.85! The organizations that benefited from our generosity last month are: The Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, Migrant Justice, Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington, The Family Room, and Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform. In addition to our regular Sunday collections, we also had a special collection at all three of our Christmas Eve services. The total of these collections, $6,995.72, was shared with: JUMP (Joint Urban Ministry Project), VIA (Vermont Interfaith Action), our Partner Church in Transylvania, and our own Discretionary Fund. Thank you for your generosity!

In January we will be sharing our collections with the following organizations: 1/5 - 350VT, 1/12 - BLUU (Black Lives UU), 1/19 - AALV (Association of Africans Living in Vermont), 1/26 - Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center.  

In addition to putting cash in the plate on Sunday mornings, you can also contribute to the "Loose Plate for Charity" from our website:  and also by texting  Steeple Outreach to 73256.  

Theme Circles Registration
Rodney Lowe

Registration is presently underway for our next season of Theme Circles! Groups will begin meeting at specific times during the third OR fourth weeks of February through June to explore the monthly spiritual themes of Resilience, Wisdom, Liberation, Thresholds, and Play. 

Theme Circles consist of about eight to ten members who meet with a facilitator at a specific time each month to discuss, reflect, and explore the monthly spiritual theme. Participation in a Theme Circle is a wonderful way to make new friends, connect with old friends, and foster meaningful connections in our large congregation. After receiving and studying the monthly edition of The Path , participants choose a question or two to incorporate into their daily lives and then ultimately share that experience (or other thoughts or inspirations) when the group meets. Be aware that when you join a Theme Circle, you should make every effort to attend all meetings, although members will certainly understand your absence when you are out of town.  

Sign-ups will extend online at this link through February 2. There will also be opportunities to sign up after the service before then. Each registrant will be asked to list first, second and third choice of group times. The sooner you sign up, the more likely you will get your first choice. You'll learn your Theme Circle Group assignments soon after. 

If you have questions, email me at

We look forward to another fabulous season of Theme Circles!
8th Grade OWL Request
The UU 8th Grade Owl Program is hoping to find an outgoing pregnant person to speak to the class on Sunday, February 2, coming in about 9:45 a.m. to meet the facilitators and answering questions for about a half hour.  The person would have to be comfortable with being vulnerable, a little silly, and honest even with intimate details. Some women have brought their partners along to answer questions with them. 

This is a great opportunity to help educate young learners about this stage of life. Please contact Erika Reif at or 802-862-5630, ext. 28.
Steeple Newsletter Submissions
Mary Williams, Society Administrator

The next issue of FUUSB's congregational newsletter, the Steeple, will be published at the end of January. The deadline for article submissions is January 15

If you would like to write an article for the Steeple or have questions, please let Mary know at Thank you!
Steeple Article Guidelines:
Length: 200-400 words 
Content: Big picture/goals-related, or the story behind your FUUSB project or topic; can include photos. 
For more information about the Steeple and our other newsletters, please visit our website at: