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July 30, 2020
Latest News
Join Us for Online Worship!
Racial Justice Team Visit to Rokeby Museum
Collaborative Middle School Youth Group
Racial Justice Team Visit to Hinesburg
Fund in Memory of Kathleen Bonilla
Care Network Team News
Act for Justice
Immigration Justice Team News
Guide to Online Giving
Steeple Newsletter Submissions

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or call 1-413-398-0207 (PIN: 744 756 177#)

Thursdays at 4 p.m.
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Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-5630
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Racial Justice Team Visit to Rokeby Museum
Linda Cooper, Racial Justice Team

Your Racial Justice Team takes you to visit Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh,  August 1 - carpool with face masks and windows open, leaving FUUSB at 12:30 p.m. (or meet us at the site at 1 p.m.) , returning about 4 p.m. 

Described as "unrivaled" by the National Park Service, Rokeby Museum is a National Historic Landmark and preeminent Underground Railroad site. "Free and Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont" introduces visitors to Simon and Jesse - two historically documented fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby in the 1830s. The exhibit traces their stories from slavery to freedom, introduces the abolitionist Robinson family who called Rokeby home for nearly 200 years, and explores the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War.

Once a thriving Merino sheep farm, Rokeby retains eight historic farm buildings filled with agricultural artifacts along with old wells, stone walls and fields. Acres of pastoral landscape invite a leisurely stroll or a hike up the trail. Picnic tables are available for dining outdoors.  We will visit the exhibit and property. The historic home is not open at this time. 

Bring water and a snack or lunch to enjoy on your own. We will wear facial masks and carpool with windows open (or ride with partners).  Cost is $8 per person.  Rokeby staff will introduce us to the two current exhibits, then we are on our own.

VTUU Collaborative Middle School Youth Group Continues! 
Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development

4:30-5:30 Wednesdays, August 5 &19:
Rising 5th through 8th graders are invited to gather virtually with familiar UU peers as well as new faces from neighboring congregations for games, games, and more games! Come meet youth and advisors from FUUSB, along with the Montpelier, Mount Mansfield, and Upper Valley congregations. We're trying it for the summer, but hoping the connections formed will last much longer. Charades, Would You Rather, Virtual Capture the Flag, Drawasaurus, Scattegories and more!

Contact  for more details and the Zoom link (the link can also be accessed through Realm for those who were registered this program year).

Vermont's African American Heritage Trail Beckons...
Linda Cooper, Racial Justice Team

Your Racial Justice Team takes you to Hinesburg to learn about the Black Farmers of 1790-1890:  August 15 , 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Leave from FUUSB at 9:45 a.m. to carpool with face masks and windows open (or meet the group by the Black Settlers Historic Marker in Hinesburg). Bring snacks and water for yourself.

From 1795 to 1865 an African American farming community thrived on Lincoln Hill in what we now know as Hinesburg. The first settlers at the bottom of the road in 1798, from Massachusetts, were Samuel Peters, Hannah Lensemen and husband Prince Peters. Prince served in Captain Silas Pierce's MA Line (8th Com 3rd MA Regiment) for three years during the American Revolution. Samuel Peters volunteered at the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812.

Violet and Shubael Clark, from Connecticut, arrived at the top of the hill in 1795. Their farm grew to 175 acres spilling over into Huntington, and one son owned 100 acres nearby. The original settlers expanded to five related families just before the Civil War; many are buried in an abandoned cemetery at the top of the hill.

We will go for a walk around Lincoln Hill (on a road) with historian Elise Guyette to see where the farms where, learn what their lives in Hinesburg were like, and see some of the remnants of the cemetery.  Elise is author of Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburg, 1790-1890 , University of Vermont Press, 2010.

Maximum 20 adults, $10 each.

Fund in Memory of Kathleen Bonilla
Erika Reif,  Director of Lifespan Faith Development

When we lost our beloved member Kathy Bonilla to cancer last August 15th, many of you expressed a desire to offer assistance to the two grandchildren who lived with her, and for whom she served as sole guardian. All who wish may make a donation in Kathy's memory to the children she loved so dearly, allowing these two incredible young people who have shared so much of themselves with this congregation throughout the years to feel our love as they journey into their futures.  Here is the link to the GoFundMe page.
Care Network Team News
As COVID-19 continues to loom large in our lives, and our return to the Meeting House is far off, the Care Network wants you to know that we are still available  to provide a listening ear, Meal Train, and other limited help. Please let someone on the team, Lynn Douglas, chair, Rev. Tricia, or Mary Williams know if you are in need of support and attention. The Team wishes you well, and of course, hopes we can see you in person in the not too distant future. 

Lynn Douglas,, (802) 318-2663
From the Immigration Justice Team: 
Opportunities to Act for Justice
Kim Watkin, Immigration Justice Team

Here are some things you can do "to act for justice" today:

Call and/or write to our Members of Congress and Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201. The phone number for the DHS comment line is 202-282-8495.
Action #1:
The most urgent call and/or letter is about Pastor Steven Tendo, an asylum seeker from Uganda who is facing imminent deportation. Pastor Tendo has been tortured and mutilated in Uganda for his human rights activities, and there is good reason to believe he will be killed as soon as he gets off the plane if he is sent back. For more information about this case, please visit:
Action #2:
Carlos Martinez was one of the first people in Arizona to get DACA back in 2012. Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois used his portrait twice to argue for DACA on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Eleven months ago on his way home from a disappointing job interview, Carlos acted on impulse and decided to visit his grandmother in Mexico. Shortly after crossing, he realized he had made a mistake and returned to the border. Since then, he has been detained at a for-profit prison, has COVID-19, and is facing deportation. You can learn more about Carlos by visiting:

Good News from the Immigration Justice Team!
Carolyn Smiles, Immigration Justice Team

Wondering if our small efforts can make a difference? It appears they can.

Kelly Gonzalez Aquilar is 24 years old and was just released in mid-July from an ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) detention center in the US after spending 1000 days and 3 birthdays in detention. 1000 days earlier she had simply asked for asylum in the US.  While in detention, Kelly, a transgender woman originally from Honduras, had told Amnesty International (AI) USA: "Our lives are in danger because there are people who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and there is nothing we can do. More detainees keep coming and going. This is a time-bomb for our lives. We pray that someone will do something."

After 80,000 emails, letters, faxes and petition signatures to ICE from many individuals and coalitions, and also through engagement with legislators, Kelly was finally freed.  Quite a few members of our FUUSB Immigration Justice team are members of our local Champlain Valley AI Local Group. Together they, along with the many other coalition partners and individual AI members, advocated on behalf of Kelly.

Reminder: Guide to Online Giving
Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance

Many of you have been deciding to make your pledge and other gifts to the Society online. This is a wonderful idea that we support wholeheartedly. Giving online is safe and cuts down on administrative time processing checks. If you're considering this way of giving, but you're still a bit confused, here are the basics:

Where to set up your gift - If you are a member and have a Realm account, just log in to your account and click on Giving. From there you can either make a one-time gift or set up automatic payments. If you do not have a Realm account, you can make online gifts from our website: From there you can also make a one-time gift or set up automatic payments.

How to make sure your gift is credited to the right fund - When you set up online giving, there are several funds to choose from; here is a guide:
  • Angel Fund - This fund helps replace pledge income lost due to COVID-19 (applied to 2020/2021 fiscal year)
  • Share the Plate - This fund is like putting money in the basket on Sunday morning; it is split 50/50 between the Society and a nonprofit.
  • 2019/2020 Pledge - Gifts to this fund will be credited to your current year pledge.
  • Gift - All to FUUSB - Gifts to this fund will go to the current year general fund.
  • 2020/2021 Pledge - Gifts to this fund are credited to your pledge for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
  • Youth Group - This fund supports our Youth Group.
  • Boston Trip - Gifts to this fund support our youth going on the Boston UU History Trip.
  • Discretionary Fund - This fund assists members of our community with personal financial needs.
What methods of giving do you accept? - Credit cards, debit cards, or automatic debits from your savings or checking account. There are fees involved with these, but the fee is smallest for automatic debits. If you would like to cover the fees, you will be given the opportunity to do so while setting up your gift.

How often can I give? - You can make one-time gifts as often as you like! If you plan to set up automatic giving, you can choose to give every week, every two weeks, every month, twice a month, or every three months.

Can I give to more than one fund at a time? - Yes! You can choose which funds you would like to give to and how much you would like to give to each fund.  

Can I text my gift? - Yes! You can text a gift to FUUSB at any time by texting Steeple to 73256. You will be given the opportunity to give to any of the funds above.

If you ever have questions about online giving, please contact Christina at  xina@uusociety.orgThank you so much for your generosity and support of FUUSB!

The Steeple Newsletter Submissions
Mary Williams, Society Administrator

Are you interested in writing an article about a FUUSB project for the Steeple newsletter? The Steeple is published four times per year, and the next issue will be out in September.  The deadline to submit articles is August 24 If you would like to write an article or have questions, please email For details on the Steeple and our other publications, please visit our website at . Thank you!