Channels Newsletter
   May 13, 2016  
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Interested in w alking in support of the LGBTQ community and Equality Maine?

We are seeking people who would like to join us at this annual very fun event! If interested, contact Gwen at
 Visit First U's Event Page FMI

Stolen Goods for Sale

This winter the church office was broken into and a number of items were stolen, including a Staples card. The perpetrator used that card to purchase a
HP Officejet Pro X476dw that retails for $699.99 .

The Yarmouth Police Department has kindly donated the printer, after it was finished being used as evidence.

It is unopened, wireless, can print, copy, scan, and fax, prints double-sided and in color, has a touch screen, and comes with four ink cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, yellow).

If your business or home is in need of a professional, fast, quality printer, we'd be happy to sell you this one. Name your price! 
Upcoming Events 
The church year may be ending soon, but there is still a lot happening at First U. View the church calendar or check out our save the date list. 
1.  Worship on Sundays at 10:30am 
Member Service Sunday    
May 15, 2016 
Details about worship can be found on our website.  
Last week's service featured Emily Dix-Thomas beautifully playing her cello. Evie, 11, sketched her portrait while Emily's music filled the sanctuary.

2.  Religious Education 
9:30am Adult Religious Education

Join the Here for Good team as they lead Adult RE this week. 
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...?
Joining a UU congregation is unique

In many religions, joining a church, synagogue, or temple means conversion. That conversion often has quite specific requirements; sometimes you have to reject any other religious affiliations, be baptized, accept a specific creed, agree to worship a specific deity, repent for your sins, or participate in intensive study.


As Unitarian Universalists, anyone who visits a worship service is known as a friend. Friends can attend services, volunteer at church events, and participate in religious education. Members can vote at our annual meeting, hold leadership positions, and belong to a greater movement. Both friends and members commit their time, talent, and treasure in order to support our community.


Moving from friendship to membership does not involve a test of faith or devotion to a religious creed. Instead, becoming a member involves just three things: agreeing to strive to affirm the Seven Principles, signing the membership book, and pledging to give of their time, talent, and treasure on a yearly basis.


This Sunday, our newest members, along with just a few of our longstanding and devoted members, will be recognized by the congregation during our celebratory worship service. Join us in welcoming and thanking our members for their fellowship in our community.

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
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: $95,700 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
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:   
Respect differences of opinion and strive to be a democratic community. (Sound familiar?) 

"Real community is not homogeneity. It is the discipline and devotion of disparate people bearing with one another - the hard tasks of love." 
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
YOGA - Last Class of the Spring Session

The last class of the spring session is this Saturday, May 14.  Class at 10:00 - 11:15 am at the Church.  This is a multi-level yoga class.  EVERYONE 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. Stay tuned for plans for the summer session. 
Looking Back From the Gate: A Story of Love, Art, and Dementia
Friday, May 20 at 1pm
Lundt Auditorium in Falmouth, ME 

Join First U member Phyllis Chinlund for a reading, discussion, refreshments, and book signing for her recently published memoir. You can view the attached flier for more details.
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!

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 
savethedate Save the Date
Sat. May 14 -
Final Spring yoga class
Sun. May 22 -
Final Adult RE & UU Games for the church year
Tues. May 24 -
Annual meeting information session at 10:30am
Thurs. May 26 -
Annual meeting information session at 5:30pm
Sun. May 29 -
Annual meeting information session at 11:30am
Sun. June 12th
- Junior youth to ARLGP at 1:30pm; senior youth group meets at 4pm
Sat. June 18 -
Pride Portland Parade and Festival
Thurs. June 30 -
Gather Dinner
Fri. - Sun. July 15th - 17th -
Yarmouth Clam Festival
Sun. Sept. 11th - Ingathering 
Church and Office Hours:
Tuesday 8:30am - 4pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4pm
Sunday 9:00am - 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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