Channels Newsletter
   May 6, 2016  
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Your contribution matters - join us as we reach our goal.  
Please make your gift to First U today.
Contribute and be a proud part of our success as a community.
Yarmouth Clam Festival
July 15th, 16th, & 17th 
Volunteer sign up is now available online or in the Gathering Room.
More information can be found here or on our website.
1.  Worship on Sundays at 10:30am 
Blessed Are Those Who Nurture   
May 8, 2016 
Details about worship can be found on our website.  
2.  Religious Education 
9:30am Adult Religious Education

Join Michelle Zimmerman as she leads The Mindful Pen: Nurturing Ourselves Through Writing during Adult RE. 
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  CHANS Hospice Care Program, offering care and comfort during life's final stages. Their goal is simple: to enable your loved one to remain at home in dignity while receiving professional, medically-based support from a team of caring professionals. One service CHANS offers is the music of Evenlight Hospice Singers, trained to bring comfort and calm to the dying through the gift of song to all present. 

Your generosity is appreciated.
Thank You from Parkside Neighborhood Center 

Parkside Neighborhood Center, a recent half-plate recipient, wrote to First U to thank our community for generously donating $215: "Your gift enables us to say 'yes' when someone comes to us with a need or an aspiration. Because of your support people are healthier, more financially stable, succeeding in school, and better connected to their community. Thank you again for being our partner in this work." 
 A Fun Opportunity to Help Furniture Friends

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 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: $85,000 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
Volunteer at the Yarmouth Clam Festival

The  Yarmouth Clam Festival is a beloved Maine community event that features a parade, live music, fireworks, food, a carnival, arts and crafts vendors, and races and competitions. First U, along with many local nonprofits, joins in on the fun!

You can work alongside other members and friends of First U by participating in pre-festival  set-up, helping in the kitchen, selling and serving at the Church or on the Green, or assisting in clean-up.  You can also sign-up to bake a cheesecake or lemon bars. 

Working a shift at the Clam Festival is a fun tradition for all of us and we reward our volunteers with a slice of our famous, delicious UU Cheesecake.

This is a major church fundraiser and we need lots of hands to make it work.
Please visit the volunteer sign-up page to join us.
Orphaned Kitchen Items

Are you missing pans, platters, or other kitchen items? They may have found their way to First U's kitchen. Make sure to take a look and claim what is yours before June 1st. Unclaimed items will be re-homed (donated) after that date.  
Healthy Congregation Tip:   
Be the brave and forthright messenger of hope
for the whole of the human family. 

"The early Universalists said, pure and simple, that every human being, no matter how strange or flawed or unlovable or broken or weird they may seem, is to be protected, cherished, welcomed, loved. We must speak and live and share the generous heart of Universalism." 
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
MUUSAN Spring Conference
Saturday, May 14

Please join MUUSAN, the Maine UU State Advocacy Network, for our Spring Conference at the UU Community Church of Augusta! Free!

Fabulous UUs, including from the UU Service Committee and the UUA New England Region. Come be inspired about advancing our UU Principles at the State House and in the public square!

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.  
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: 
8 .  Church and Office Information 
NEW Church and Office Hours:
Tuesday 8:30am - 4pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4pm
Sunday 9:30am - 12:30pm  
*and by appointment
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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