First Universalist's weekly newsletter
We're in the process of reaching out to the individuals whose names were mentioned most frequently as members whom congregants felt would be good candidates. We hope to have 10-15 people from that list who are willing to be listed on the ballot. Each will prepare a short bio that will be shared with the congregation, to help us decide which 7 are best suited for this important work.

At the Annual Meeting on June 2, members will vote for 4 candidates. The Board will go into executive session to count the votes. The top 4 vote-getters are in, and then the Board decides on the final three, picked from the same list. The final Search Team members will not know whether they were elected or chosen. 

We sincerely hope that anyone who is on the ballot but not ultimately selected will not view this as a failure! Each was identified as being a trusted, respected, talented member of First Universalist. Thank you to all who are participating in this process!

— Board of Trustees & Transition Team 
Mother's Day
with Rev. Frieda Gillespie
Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 10:30 am
Join us in the sanctuary for a night of Middle Eastern music with Portland-based Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble. This group presents music from the richly varied contemporary and historic cultural traditions of the Middle East including Arabic classical and folk music, Ottoman Turkish Classical compositions, rural Turkish folk and devotional songs, and dance music from the Armenian and Turkish immigrant diasporas.

Music on Main exists to bring world-class music to our small-town community, welcome new and old faces into First U's beautifully renovated space, bring in funds to support the projects and programs of First U, and support a diverse group of talented musicians. Tickets by cash or check at the door. $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for youth. Funds received from tickets are split between the musicians and the church. 
This Sunday, during Time for All Ages, we will have a Naming and Dedication Ceremony for Arwen Matthews-Fast, Esther Redpath, Parker Redpath, Charlie Martin, and Teddy Taylor. This ceremony is how UU congregations welcome new babies, children, and youth, how they recognize and honor their uniqueness, and an opportunity for the congregation to dedicate themselves to the love, care, and raising of all of our children. 

And in Children’s Chapel, children and youth are invited to make a special craft for their mother or any special caregiver in their lives and we will discuss and celebrate how love is what makes a family.  Please note that there will be no junior youth or senior youth group on Sunday, May 12.
Sundays in May: 5/12, 5/19, & 5/26 at 11:30 am, Common Room
Board members are enthusiastic about discussing with you details of the Budget and Bylaw changes that will be up for your vote at the Annual Meeting on June 2. The 3 informational sessions (May 12, 19, 26 at 11:30 am) are your opportunity to ask questions. As always, there are budget challenges. There are also important bylaw changes to align our bylaws to current best practices, helping the board do its work more efficiently and effectively. 
We are continuing a series of conversations about Unitarian Universalism, starting with the Seven Principles, facilitated by Rev. Frieda. We hope that the next UU Conversations will take place on Monday, May 20, from 6—7 pm in the Gathering Room, but please check the church calendar to confirm. 
Are you interested in being trained to become an Our Whole Lives facilitator? The church has funding available ( thanks to our amazingly successful Call to the Heart) and we would love to expand and be able to offer more sessions of OWL for all age groups.

What we need from you:
* A short meeting with Gwen Matthews to discuss your interest
* One weekend to train (training, food, and lodging included)
* A commitment to teaching a minimum of two OWL class cycles

All OWL facilitators must:
* Be 25 years old or older
* Have been attending First U as a friend or member for 6+ months
* Be comfortable discussing sex and sexuality
* Consent to a background check if working with children/youth
* Agree to abide by the church's Safe Congregation Policy

What you get back:
* An incredibly fulfilling volunteer experience
* An opportunity to positively influence children, youth, or other adults and promote justice, inclusivity, consent, and healthy relationships
* Cross-generational connections
All are invited to
WHO: You, all! Children welcome to be present in every way. 
WHEN: on Friday May 17th at 6:30 pm
WHERE: First Universalist Church
WHAT: In the spirit of Stone Soup*, please bring a hot dish, salad, dessert, beverage, or bottle of wine. Plus a donation! And, if you feel so inclined, bring a board or card game to play with your church friends.
WHY: Why are we having this event and why are we seeking donations? Do you want the short answer or the long answer? OK! See below.

Short and simple: We did not sell enough tickets to the scheduled workshop on May 18th. We have faced the facts that we need to cancel it and cover some of our financial shortfall.

Long answer: We need to cancel the workshop which we were hoping would yield about $7k, and we are welcoming friends and members to chip in to help with our spring cash flow. We are open to learning all we can about where this effort failed, what is called an ‘intelligent failure,’ and at the same time we are also celebrating the faithful risk-taking it represented. We believe in the potential of Casco Bay Conversations and look forward to a mission-aligned and financially successful lecture series in years ahead. Thank you for being part of this journey. 

*Stone Soup, in case you don’t know, is a folk tale about how a village full of people thought they were poor with nothing to offer, but as they each scrounged for something to put in the communal pot, discovered that they were both rich in spirit and able to sustain each other with their generosity. 

RSVP: to Sarah Witte at
Sunday, May 19, 11:45 am, Children's Chapel
The Building & Grounds Committee will hold its first 
organizational meeting after the church service on May 19th for all of those interested. We will meet in the Children’s Chapel at 11:45 am. Currently, the vast majority of the Buildings & Grounds work has fallen on Pete Titcomb's capable shoulders. Pete, and the Board, feel that a more comprehensive & longer-term solution is required. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Joe Dreher or Pete Titcomb. Please come join us to keep the First U Church beautiful and functioning well!
When you join First Universalist in membership, you will become a part of this vital, liberating institution that stands for the worth and dignity of all people, the health of our planet, and the conscious care of our neighbors.
RSVP to or call the church office at 207-846-4148.
Interested in delving more deeply into being a member of our beloved community and "finding the access point to spiritual awareness (Thandeka, 2018)"? If yes, consider joining in small group ministry. Small groups are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself. Over time, participants build deep connections with one another, with the congregation and with the sacred. 

A small group is seeking new members. This group meets the first Monday of the month, from 1 pm—3 pm. The group has used the UUA publications Hand to Hand and Soul to Soul to guide our meetings and discussions. June begins a new series of discussions for us. If you are interested, please contact Rev. Frieda at 207.846.4148. 

Interested in a small group but not free on Monday afternoons? Contact Rev. Frieda or the church office to see if we can connect you with an existing or new small group.
Spring Yoga classes continue on Saturdays in the church Sanctuary 10:00 - 11:15 AM.  This is a multi-level yoga class. You can modify or stop at any time. Newcomers welcome. Ten dollars donation suggested per class. Half the funds go to a charity agreed with the class and half to the church. 
Any questions contact the instructor, Lois Howlett, at tel. 847-3055 or
First Universalist donates half of its collection plate directly to organizations and missions that live and promote our shared values. This week's half-plate will be shared with  Hopeful Links, a volunteer project of the Religious Coalition Against Discrimination . This project brings hope, stability, and permanency to unaccompanied minors and young adults who arrive in Maine from war torn countries, mostly those in Central Africa. They are connected with caring adults and safe housing, assisted in accessing medical care, gotten legal appointments, and ensured mentoring and material support they need to be successful in school or as they enter the working world. Please give generously to help young people who have lost that comfort and security, find a new home in our community. 
In response to requests, Maine-Wabanaki REACH, an organization that envisions and prepares for a future where Maine and Wabanaki people join together acknowledging truth, promoting healing, and creating change, is holding a number of educational workshops and presentations including events on May 11th in Belfast, May 19th in Freeport, and May 30th in Orono. Visit their website to learn more and to RSVP to events.
Star Island, off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, offers all-inclusive Unitarian Universalist programs for families that focus on a particular theme or topic such as art, history, climate change, birding, writing, spirituality, and yoga. Star Island is also open to the public from mid-June through September. Visit their website for more information.
Furniture Friends is holding their Multicultural Music Fest on Tuesday, May 14, from 6-9 pm at the Portland House of Music. This celebration of Maine's eclectic musical heritage includes performances by Primo Cubano (traditional Cuban dance music), Jean Paul Samputu (songwriter and musician from Rwanda), and Geraud Ng and Jake Hoffman (performing Americana-International fusion). Tickets are $20 in advance online and $25 at the door. Complimentary international snacks included.
Join the Center for Wildlife for an inspiring evening dedicated to raising funds for the future of our environment. At Call of the Wild, you will immerse yourself in the lifesaving work you make possible. You can bid on extravagant silent and live auction items, meet animal ambassadors and immerse yourself in a panel discussion with Center for Wildlife experts Kristen Lamb, Sarah Kern and Shelley Spanswick. A barbeque style dinner will be served with vegan, vegetarians and gluten-free options.
Purchase your seats now through May 1, 2019, to receive the Early Bird ticket pricing of $55 per person.
Pastoral Emergencies
If you have a pastoral emergency, you can contact Rev. Frieda Gillespie on her cell phone at 508-207-7566. Please note that most weeks she will be in Yarmouth Sunday - Tuesday and working from her home office in MA Wednesday - Friday. Saturdays are typically her day off, but she will answer calls for pastoral emergencies.
Submit Your Announcement
To have your church or community event included in this newsletter or in print on Sundays please email the information to Gwen Matthews, Program Assistant, at by Wednesday at 12 pm to have it included in that Friday's edition of Channels or the Sunday Morning News.
  First Universalist Church of Yarmouth | 207-846-4148 | |