Channels Newsletter
   April 29, 2016  
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Save the Date: Yarmouth Clam Festival
July 15th, 16th, & 17th 
Paper and electronic sign up sheets for volunteer spots will be arriving soon.  
1.  Worship on Sundays at 10:30am 
Children's Sunday  
April 24, 2016 
Details about worship can be found on our website.  
2.  Religious Education 
9:30am Adult Religious Education

Join Lois and Al Howlett as they lead a discussion on climate change and provide information from the Northwest Institute.  
Information about Children's RE programming can be found here.
Information about Youth Group programming can be found here.

Please email Gwen,, if you would like to receive the RE Sun, the weekly e-newsletter about children and youth programming at First U. 
Church Library 
Click here for more information about our Church Library.
3.  Member Services 
Did You Know...? 
You can showcase your musical talents here at First U.  
click here to read how!  
Curious about other First U facts? Visit our archive to learn more.

Brought to you by the Member Services committee. 
Considering Membership? 
Visit our website for more information on how to become a member.
4. Faith in Action
Half-Plate this Sunday:

This week's half plate recipient is Portland's Family Shelter, providing temporary housing to families with children. The Shelter has a capacity of 94 beds in apartment style living. Last year 391 of the 916 people served were New Mainers, 90% of whom were homeless for the first time in their lives. When needs exceed the Shelter's capacity, the Shelter seeks emergency housing elsewhere; First U is now one of the Shelter's emergency resources. Your generosity is appreciated. 
Two Fun Opportunities to
Help Furniture Friends Create Homes and Rebuild Lives

Our congregation is a strong supporter of Furniture Friends, the Portland nonprofit that delivers free donated furniture to those in need, including many of the New Mainers we are getting to know in the Greater Portland area.

On Wednesday, May 4, Gelato Fiasco at 425 Fore Street in Portland will give Furniture Friends 100% of the proceeds of all gelato sold between 11am and 11pm, so long as you mention Furniture Friends when you place your order. (This applies to gelato you take home too, so fill your freezer!)

On Sunday, May 15, Portland House of Music (on Temple Street just a few doors down from the Nickelodeon Theater) opens its doors for a Multicultural Music fest from 2-6pm, with proceeds benefitting Furniture Friends. (You can find more information about the concert at Furniture friends' Facebook page or website ( The music fest is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Consider buying some extra tickets and inviting an individual or family from the immigrant community to join you and your family-this is a great chance to witness and celebrate Greater Portland's growing cultural diversity!
5.  Here for Good NEWS

(3D model of renovated chancel area - gives you the basic concept!!)

Dear UU Friends, 
Here's an update from the  Here for Good Project Team: you've heard that we got bids for the Sanctuary Chancel renovation and other interior improvements. We're entering into a contract with Wright-Ryan Construction (W-R) from Portland. Right now we're working on prudent and realistic financial plans to support our vision. More on that soon. 
Let's keep in mind the REASONS for our generous giving to the Here for Good project: we want to be Flexible, Accessible and Beautiful. (FAB!) The new worship space, for example, will allow all kinds of things that are not possible with our chancel and pulpit five steps up. 
If the campaign happened before you joined us, or you were not able to participate last year, we'd welcome your support, any time! 
Questions? Ideas? Stay tuned! We'll have info sessions in May as we approach the Annual Meeting in June.
With love and excitement, 
The Here for Good Team
Marge Titcomb, Peter Titcomb, Charlie Horstmann, Anne Turner, Jane Cleaves, Dorothy McAloney, Frank Read, Sarah Witte, & Ben Tupper
6.  From the Board 


"May our vision so soar that no budget is possible to contain it, may our love of justice be so genuine that no community can thwart its cleansing healing goodness, may our courage overcome all fear and set the spirit free."  
- Robert Karnan, Salted with Fire

Friends, we are getting there AND every amount matters. You might be getting a call from a friendly Board member asking for your financial commitment to next year's programming. Please be ready, warm, and welcoming as they take the time to find you and connect you to the vision we have for a great year of worship, RE, and social justice.
Thank you for your generosity.

Our current campaign progress: $75,800 in giving commitments.
Our goal for the 2016/2017 fiscal year: $150,000.

For more information, progress updates, and instructions on using the giving website, please click here
Healthy Congregation Tip:   
Wholeness should not be confused with oneness. 

" Wholeness is not sameness. Wholeness means two or more parts are interconnected. Wholeness is relational. In wholeness differences are not eliminated; rather, they become alive. Wholeness involves various parts coming together and interacting." 
Click here to read more about this week's tip
 Or visit the HCT archives to read more tips. 
Brought to you by the HCT:  
Jane Cleaves, Sue Ellen Bordwell, Steve Thomas, Tom Carlisle, Sarah Witte, Ellen Kornetsky
To learn about our Hannaford Gift Card program click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 
7.  Community Announcements 
Clam Festival Equipment and Supplies Need a New Storage Home

For the past 15 years Jane Cleaves has generously donated part of her garage/barn to keep our church equipment safe all year long. The time has come for us to look for a new storage space for these items.

If you, or someone you know, has room in a barn, or better yet has a storage trailer (10' x 12') they could donate or sell to the church, please contact:
Jane Cleaves
Between the World and Me Book Discussion
Monday, May 23 at 7pm
First Parish Portland, 425 Congress St.

Ta-Nehisi Coates received the 2015 National Book Award for this non-fiction work, a letter to his 15-year-old son.

The Washington Post writes : "Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders, and it is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers at the very moment national events most conform to his vision." All are welcome, sponsored by the First Parish Portland Black Lives Matter Team. FMI: Carolyn
Arlene Stevens May Tornquist Scholarship Fund

The Elizabeth Wadsworth Chapter of the National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution is offering a $1,000 scholarship for the Fall 2016 semester.

Eligibility requirements for the scholarship include being a female Maine resident, and being in her junior or senior year of college. Preference is given to applicants who are members of Portland area Unitarian Universalist churches.

Applications, essays, and letters of recommendation are due by June 15, 2016. The award notification will be given by July 1, 2016.

Gwen has a copy of the application and complete list of requirements which you can pick up at the church office or request an email copy from her: 
Before That Last Breath: Maximizing the Quality of Life Seminar

Speaker Amanda Carr, RN, will explore the topic of creating a personal definition of quality of life and maintaining it through the years on May 5th, 1:30pm - 3:00pm at the Lunt Auditorium in Falmouth.

More information can be found at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging website.
RSVP to:
Good Friday Walk Thank You

What an amazing Good Friday, March 25, 2016! What could have been a cancelled Good Friday Walk do to severe ice coating walks, roads, driveways at 6am turned, instead, into a spirited and successful event raising 100 brave walkers and $30,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. Not only that, but people have come forward to make sure the Good Friday Walk in some form will continue. Youth told me they would run it if no one else came forward; individuals said we can't let this die; four people have agreed  
that they would put together a planning team to bring a new iteration of the walk forward for 2017. What wonderful news!

This is a huge thank you to all who walked, TOE truck-drove, registered walkers, fed walkers, sponsored walkers, greeted walkers at way stations, committee members and way station hosts. What a "village" we live amongst, each doing his or her part to produce an  
amazing result. Thank you! Thank you!
YOGA - Update

The spring yoga session continues every Saturday through May 14th.  Classes are 10:00 - 11:15 am at the Church.  This is a multi-level yoga class.  Drop-ins welcome.  Donation requested: $10.  One-half of the funds collected go to the Church and one-half to a charity selected with the class.  Contact: Lois Howlett at or call 847-3055.  
Safe Passage 5K & Fiesta

The 12th annual Safe Passage 5K and Fiesta will be held on Sunday, 5/1 at Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine. This will be a festive, family-friendly event beginning with a 5K Walk/Run, followed by a Fun Run for Kids and ending with a Fiesta for all featuring Maine-made Cuban music provided by Primo Cubano! Registration is $20 for adults, $8 for students or $45 per family.
Donations will benefit Safe Passage, an organization that provides hope, education and opportunity to the students and their families in the Guatemala City dump community. For more information or to register, go to .
8 .  Church and Office Information 
Please welcome our new office administrator!
Hi, my name is Jenn Edwards.  I was born and raised in Poland, Maine and still reside just up the road from my childhood home.  I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters ranging in ages from 14 to 23.  I hold a degree in Business Administration & Management and a degree as a Medical Assistant. Bookkeeping, accounting, and office management/administration have been a part of my life for the past 15 years.

I look forward to getting to know each of you, and would like to thank you for this opportunity. (And please forgive me at first as I am terrible with names!)

- Jenn Edwards
Jenn will be in on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am - 4:00pm. 
If you would like to have an announcement included in Channels, please send an email to by the Wednesday of the week you wish it to be published.  Please put "CHANNELS" in the subject line, otherwise it's very likely we will not recognize your request. Thank you.

torm Cancellation Information:
First Universalist service and event cancellations are announced on the following radio stations: WGAN (560 AM), WMGX (93.1 FM), WPOR (101.9 FM), WYNZ (100.9 FM) and on WCSH channel 6 (television station) 

For more Church information click here

If you are experiencing a crisis, including needing a hospital visit, you may call her on her cellphone: 207.356.1467 any time.  Please note that Friday and Saturdays are typically her days off - Rev. Jennifer does not check email on these days, but will answer any crisis or emergency calls.
9.  Blog Links
(updated 9/2015)
A new blog from Worship Council: 
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