UUCGT Flash  
   December 31, 2020: New Year's Eve Day    

The first Sunday of 2021...
Search Team Report
Music & Religious Education
UU Original Voices: click on the picture!
UUCGT Calendar (a little of it, anyway)
UUCGT Bulletin Board
Community Needs
End Note: Cherishing a winter sky and a change of seasons...


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We are a Congregation creating a better world by nurturing the heart and expanding the mind.

We provide a safe, caring community where all can freely explore diverse religious thought. 

We work for justice and equality with the power of compassion and compassionate power.


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This Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 10:30 AM
(Begin signing in at 10:00 to visit!)
Sign in to the Zoom Service: Click this link


     Let's Keep Going     

A lay-led Service of hope for the coming year, coordinated
by Mary Van Valin and featuring members of our
Ministerial Search Team.
They will share some of their journeys and challenges
as we progress in our search for a new Settled Minister.

The Order of Service may be accessed HERE.

(This Order of Service was a "work in progress"
at the time this 
Flash was being completed:
there may be slight changes before Sunday.)
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW to join the Service: 
The Meeting ID is 879 9782 0177

Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account.  Click here to view the Service of December 27 - THE BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS if you missed it and/or would like to re-view! A passcode is required, that code is 33+F9G+W

You can also view or re-view our CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE of MUSIC & CANDLELIGHT.  The link for December 24 is here, and the passcode is %7x$p3!r 


For January, Soul Matters addresses...


 Happy New Year from your Ministerial Search Team

 Have we ever looked forward to a new year more than we 
 do now?  We can be grateful for lessons learned in 2020
 while also having so much hope for 2021!

 Your MST members have been working on presentations for
 the Jan. 3 Sunday Service.  Our team focus continues to be
 on interview questions, plans, and techniques, as we
 approach that crucial and exciting phase of our search. 
 Weeks full of Zoom meetings are in our immediate future for
 the new year.

 Best Wishes for UUCGT in the New Year,   
         Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan

- "A Few Notes" from RenĂ©e Russell -  

Hi all, 

Thought I would just share this fun video to round off 2020 and a link to the fun 2020 version of "So Long, Farewell"  shared in this last week's service. As a special personal note: my family was lucky enough to go unscathed from a carbon monoxide leak in our home discovered Christmas morning. Please make sure to have your detectors up to date and posted in your home, they truly do save lives. Here's to a less exciting new year!


-  from Claire Crandell -  

On Sunday, December 27th our theme was "Wait for Freedom" in honor of the December 31st "Watch Night" or "Freedom Eve."  We know it was hard for all of us to wait for Christmas to come! We talked about a holiday called "Watch Night" or "Freedom Eve" which took place on December 31st in 1862, when slaves were waiting for the announcement that they were free through the Emancipation Proclamation. We read the opening paragraph from the Watch Night Poem (in our UU Resource book) which exclaimed in jubilant words how slaves felt AFTER they were set free

It was also mentioned that the older UU kids are taking a semester long Anti-racist class. We talked about how UU encourages us to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community and what that means. And, how wonderful it is to realize we are ALL different inside and out. 

A few of the words from Nina Simone's moving song "I wish I knew how it meant to be free" were read. Then we drew a picture of what the words from the song meant to us. And, how it might feel to be in chains and then be freed, or what it would feel like to fly like a bird. One child drew a picture of a girl singing in happiness; the notes of song were  portrayed in a word balloon above her head. 

If any of you have Disney+ there is a cute nine-minute video animation called "Float" which shows the joy of accepting a child's difference. We all look forward to seeing you next year!!! I'm sure we will have so many new things to share with one another!



Click on the graphic:

UUCGT Calendar - Stay Up to Date!
Happy New Year, everyone!
The UUCGT office will be closed
from 12 noon today until 9am Tuesday January 5.

The Beacon will arrive tomorrow, January 1!

Guy will be back in the office next week, Tue-Fri, 9am-3pm (at least). Best way to reach him is during those hours via e-mail at 
uucgt.org or by calling the office number, 231-947-3117. Now that he's no longer working from home he'd appreciate it if you'd call his cellphone only if it's an off-hours emergency and if Rev. Cathy is unavailable.

Sunday Services, meetings, and classes are hosted on Zoom until further notice. To request a Zoom meeting setup and link for your group or committee meeting, please e-mail or call Guy as per just above.  Thank you!

The entire UUCGT.ORG calendar is HERE; there will be no Vespers Friday Jan 1 (or Friday Jan 8). This Sunday's Service information is here again:
Sunday, January 3
10:30 AM (sign in beginning at 10:00)
   Zoom link for Sunday Service

UUCGT Bulletin Board 


With Gratitude, we thank this Congregation for the surprise recognition you gave us in awarding the Gamble Award for 2019 on Sunday, Dec 20, 2020.  Believe us, the recognition goes to all of you for making our service possible - for having faith in us as newcomers, welcoming us warmly into this community, trusting us with committee appointments, and being there for us.

You supported us in so many ways throughout 2019 and this year as we lived in multiple locations after our house fire.  Two of you appeared the very morning of the fire and provided lots of help and support for weeks and months following.  Under Joanie Jackson's Congregational Care, many of you laundered much of our smoky and not-so-smoky clothing.  Delicious meals and soups were delivered, cards sent, phone calls made and much more.  We would not have gotten through this time without your support.

You are a loving community, 
                         Rick and Chris Walter


We all want to see the State Theatre and other local institutions
looking like this again. We might even want to be there!

Well, Mark Gustafson and the Men's Group have this to say about that:
In this time of pain and stress, I was thinking about what Jimmy Carter said 1979.  He implied that there was a "malaise" affecting America, a crisis in confidence.  And Jimmy didn't know about our present political climate.  Well, I feel that crisis now.  So what do we do?  For one thing we could help the State and Bijou Theatres come back to life. These movie theatres are the heart and soul of downtown Traverse City.  They show movies that make us laugh and cry and think.  They give us joy!  How can we help?  We can give money!   Our UU Men's group is having a fundraiser starting now and through January to help our theatres survive.  

If you would like to participate, please
make your checks out to TCFF
and send them to:
Mark Gustafson
1111 Lake Ridge Drive # 201
Traverse City, Mi. 49684.

Even if our stalwart Emmy Lou Cholak hadn't reminded me, I'd know to remind you that it's time to renew - or perhaps begin? - a membership in the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network.  That's because I just renewed our own Congregational membership!  The MI UUSJN folks work tirelessly and do a good job keeping us aware of little things we can do - calling a congressman TODAY, for example - to work toward social justice and equity.  You can sign up here.  

The Wednesday dinner group has tried to stay connected these past months, socially distanced picnicking in the UU parking lot when we could, on ZOOM when it was rainy.  We are going to weekly ZOOM now, 5:30 every Wednesday.  If you would like to join us, contact Mike and Sandra McDonald for the ZOOM invite.  You may bring your glass of wine.

End Note:
Just a touch of grey in the sky today
Much more than a touch of grey in my hair
The stream along this road
Is running so much colder
There's more than a hint of a chill in the air

The blue-grey sky is giving way to purple
This afternoon is gliding to a close
With my hands on the wheel
I'm not sure how I feel
To see the first snow of winter
Bury the last autumn rose

So I pull off the highway
Drive these winding roads instead
Thoughts of the bad years
'Cause up ahead
Off in the distance
Is a strange and soothing sight
The mountains look like sleeping manatees
This cold December night

I leave my car by the roadside
And hike up that old hill
The Stars: they circle in slow motion here
As they always will

A million miles away
From where I was this afternoon
I wrap my misgivings in a tune
While I'm . . . shining my flashlight on the moon
I'm shining my flashlight
It's gonna be a long, cold night
So I'm shining my flashlight on the moon

 - a slight paraphrase of Christine Lavin's "Shining My Flashlight on the Moon" so as to bring it from Autumn to Winter, with apologies. (Though I don't think she'd mind.)

The UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however the office is again staffed (at least) Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm.