August 23 - 29, 2018
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of
The Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community

THIS WEEK: Rev. Kent Matthies returned to the pulpit to help us make space for grace. We also look forward to our annual Water Ceremony Ingathering Celebration and the start of the new church year.
In Worship, 10:30am
Make Space for Grace
Rev. Kent Matthies
The poet Hafiz wrote, “Like the morning breeze, if you bring to the morning good deeds, the rose of our desire will open and bloom.” Summer can be a time to feel the morning breeze. Often this can lead to a more active, enriching engagement with life. Slow summer days can spaciously allow for blessings to flow. As we transition back to the “school year,” how can we make space for grace?

Image credit: Rick020200 .
In Child Spiritual Development
Children will begin their USG morning in the Sanctuary with their families and then at 10:45am, will be sung out to their Summer CSD programs:
·       For 6-yr-olds and younger, Summer Arts and Crafts will be in the Committee Room and Dining Room.
·       For 7-yr-olds and older, the Feeling the Spirit Through Music program will be in Sullivan 2 and 3.

Details about the programs and schedules can be found on the website under the Spiritual Development tab.

Childcare for children 4-5 years old and younger is offered this Sunday and most Sundays from 9:00am - 12:00pm in the Committee Room. 

Parents, save the date: Our Fall program for Children's Spiritual Development (CSD) starts Sunday September 16 . Our Sunday children's program philosophy is steeped in UU values, child-centered learning and fun! Our classes are facilitated by volunteers, many of whom are also parents at USG. If you'd like to be involved this year, we still have openings! Contact Ryan Hurd at . And stay tuned for registration details.

Classes will be grouped as follows:
Grades Pre-K - K
Grades 1-3
Grades 4-6
Grades 7-8 OWL -  Our Whole Lives Sex Ed Program   (follow link for details)
Grades 9-10  COA - Coming of Age   Starts Sept. 23 (follow link for details)
Grades 9-12  Youth Group  (follow link for details)

NOTE to Parents with youth in grades 7-10. Hopefully you received an email from us about the OWL and COA programs. If you did not, please contact R yan at . If you have not responded to an email about these programs, please let us know if your youth will be participating so that we can plan. Thank you! 
Before the Worship Service
Meditate in the Meditation Room
Meditation, reading, dharma and sharing are offered in Sullivan 3 on the First and Second Sundays of the month between 9:15 and 10:20am. All are welcome to join in quietly. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to come and sit. For information on meditation, click here.

There is a continued urgent need for food for our neighbors. Drop off nonperishable food items to the designated carts in the Kitchen for delivery to St. Vincent's Food Pantry.
Coffee Hour
After the Worship Service
Enjoy refreshments, compliments of Village 5.

Sign up for a Small Group Ministry. Several groups have openings. Click here for details and for openings. (add'l info below)

At 12:00pm, attend the  Humanists (PUSH) meeting in the Daskam Room.

SignUp is the reminder tool USG uses to organize volunteers for our upcoming activities. Click Here to go to our group page to sign up online.
Sunday, September 2, 10:30am
A Lesson from the Edge
Eileen DiFranco
Eileen McCafferty DiFranco will share how ordinary people can empower each other to build a new world in uncertain times.

Eileen is a lifetime resident of Philadelphia. A graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia, Eileen was ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest in 2006. She currently co-pastors the Community of St. Mary Magdalene which is located in Drexel Hill, PA and Palmyra, NJ. Eileen is a registered nurse who worked for the School District of Philadelphia for 25 years. She recently published her first book, "How To Keep Your Parish Alive."
USG's In-Gathering Water Ceremony Celebration!
Sunday, September 9, 10:30am

Raising our Principles Together:
For our Ingathering Water Ceremony we begin the church year anew by celebrating our commitment to our UU Principles. Come help us celebrate new, beautiful sanctuary banners, which help us affirm and promote “the inherent dignity and worth of every person”, and “justice, equity and compassion in human relations”. Bring water from a special place from you summer - including your home. Together in Beloved Community we are empowered to more fully live out our values. 
Afterwards we will have a potluck lunch . Please bring a dish to share. If you are able to assist with either setup or cleanup for the potluck, please contact Gloria at .
Movie Event
Social Justice Movie of the Month
“It’s STILL Elementary”
Monday, September 10, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
It’s STILL Elementary presents a moving story about the power to ignite positive social change through documentary film and grassroots organizing. It examines the incredible impact of It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School over the last decade, and follows up with teachers and students featured in the first film to see how lessons about LGBT people changed their lives.
A Still-Open Auction Event:
Classic Dealer's Choice Penny Ante Poker
Friday Sept. 21, 2018 at 7:00pm.
At Gerry and Eileen Whelan's home in Wyndmoor.
$15. There is space for 3 more. Interested? Contact Kay Weiser .

We are thrilled to be joining the network of local area churches who belong to POWER. POWER is an interfaith organization committed to building communities of opportunity that work for all. POWER represents over 50 congregations throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania. For more information regarding USG's involvement in POWER, please contact Lois Murphy and Dev Howerton, our Social Justice Council Co-Chairs at

Relational Voter Engagement Kick-Off
Trinity UCC Church Pottstown
August 26th (this coming Sunday) 
3:30-6:00 pm.
(Bus leaving for event from Germantown Jewish Center around 2 pm)

Leadership Training, with POWER Political Director, Bishop Royster
Rodeph Shalom, 635 Board Streeet
August 28th (Tuesday) 5-9
August 29th (Wednesday) 8:30-4:30

Education Campaign
Lancaster, PA (site TBD)
September, 30th 4-6pm
USG Video Team
Would you like to get more involved at USG? Do you have experience working with video or images or want to become more experienced in this area? Rev. Kent is looking for several people to assist him with video production for a series of videos he would like to create to complement our spiritual development programs. In addition, the Worship Arts team is looking for individuals who can work with Rev. Kent and the various guest speakers and worship associates on Sunday worship slide creation. If you would like to be a part of these creative teams or if you would like more information, please contact Kent at or send a note to .

Signups beginning this Sunday, August 26

Several groups have openings for new members.  Follow this link  for availability (towards the bottom of the page) or visit the SGM table at fellowship hour to signup. You may also contact the group leader or Treva Burger, at  or 215-277-5752, for more information or to sign up.
What's Going On in Your Village?
Since the USG Village program began a year ago, Villages have been doing a tremendous job providing refreshments and hospitality for Fellowship Hour. We would like to learn about and share other experiences people are having with their Villages. If your Village has had a social event, or responded to a Caring need as a Village, or car pooled, etc., please share your experience with the Welcoming team at . Thanks!
Planning to Attend Rev. Connie Simon's Installation in Cincinnati?
The First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati is working hard on arrangements for Rev. Connie Simon's Installation on Sunday, October 28 4-6pm. For more details, click here .

The folks in Cincinnati are hoping to get a count of USGers who plan to attend. If you are planning to go, please send a note to Gloria Guldager in the office at so she can keep a count.
USG's Summer Office Hours
Throughout August , our hours will be 9:30am until 1:00pm, M through F. We urge you to call ahead - 215-844-1157 - if you need entry to the building. You can also contact communi catio .
We are excited to announce our new Give+ Text option for making pledge and contribution payments to USG!
Please click here to learn how to use this convenient tool.
Thank You, Villagers!
Thank you so much to all who participate! If you are willing to coordinate Fellowship Hour for your Village, please let Treva Burger, know. Below is the schedule for Fellowship Hour Hosting for the remainder of August and into September.
  • August 26 - Village 5
  • September 2 - Unhosted
  • September 9 - Congregational Potluck
  • September 16 - Village 6
Greater Philly UU Cluster Events
September 22, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, DE

Join other UU congregations in the Central East Region for a day of networking, learning, and connecting:
- Learn how to use social media to advance your community
- Discover new ways to encourage volunteerism in your congregation
- Invigorate your church's social justice programs
- Find out about new requirements for Welcoming Congregations
- Linkage: Where we are and how we got here

Paula Cole Jones will be MCing the event. Check out the website (see below) for info on the other workshop presenters, including Pat Infante, our CER primary contact, who will be talking about encouraging volunteerism in your congregation.

Lunch provided. All are welcome.

Registration: For planning purposes, please register by September 17, at
$10 registration fee requested (waivers available).
Childcare available by RSVP only.
Walk-ins welcome.

GPC Meeting
September 29, 9:30 - 11:30 am (9:00 meet and greet)
UC of West Chester, 501 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382
- we'll debrief the UU Community Weekend, discuss upcoming Legislative Advocacy training, and more. All are welcome!

Marx in Soho (one man play) at Mainline UC, Sept 23 at 7pm: See attached flyer or
Get Involved! Meet Fellow UUs!  
Follow links below to find out more information about the events and groups at USG that occur usually once a month. Please note that some groups are now on summer hiatus and thus not listed below. Check back in September to see what's new!

20's & 30's SGM Group - Second Thursday, September 13, 6:30pm, Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group. For more information, please contact Stephanie Bonner at or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.  (A big shout-out to this group, who has come forward with many volunteers to host PIHN families!)

Book Group on Friday Morning - Will resume its regular Third Friday, 10:30am, discussions September 21 at Cathedral Village. If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall. The 2017-2018 Book List is posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group . In late August, the 2018-2019 List will be posted.

CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Fourth Monday, August 27, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Nancy Anderson .

Caregiver Support Group - Second Friday, September 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm. At USG. Contact Maura Gallagher .

EarthSpirit Circle . First Monday, except for holiday weekends: (e.g., September 10). Next meeting September 10 , 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Donya Coldwell at .

ERC (Ending Racism Committee) - First Sunday, September 2, 12:00 - 1:30pm. At USG. Contact Barbara Dowdall .

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists , Fourth Sunday, August 26, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti .

Nature Walking at Valley Green - Every Monday and Thursday at 9:00am (please note summer start time), you can meet others - whoever shows up- at Valley Green in Chestnut Hill for a morning walk. Point Person is Steve Conrad, who is usually there.

Needle Exchange, a Handwork Group - Next meeting will be September 5, 1:30 - 3:00pm, off-site. (Usually First Wednesday). Contact Margaret Thompson .

Open Small Group Ministry - Second Sunday, September 9, 12:00pm, Daskam Room at USG. This group is available to people who want to try out Small Group Ministry or attend occasionally. For more information, contact Mark B, , or just show up.

UU-101 - Third Sunday, August 19, 12:00-1:00pm. UU-101 is an Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, held at USG in the Daskam Room, and childcare is provided. Please let the leader, Eric Foster know that you plan to attend by emailing him at If unable to email, you can call Eric at 484-347-8998.
Join A USG Facebook Group!   
You can join a USG Facebook group as well as meet in person!
To find out about special events, post photos, and stay in touch, here are some of USG's groups and their Facebook links:

ASD (Adult Spiritual Development) facebook
CSD (Child Spiritual Development)
YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) A Closed Group great to know about and if desired, ask to join.
YA - Young Adults
Greater Philly UUs - Social Justice & Other Greater Philly UU News

P.U.S.H. Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists

Exploring Elderhood
caring square
We are grateful to...
...all the people who volunteered to provide groceries and host the PIHN families during their two-week stay at Grace Epiphany, with whom we are partnering this year. We are grateful to those still-stalwart "old-timers" who help out year after year and thrilled to have some younger folks volunteering their time, too. We know it's a sacrifice, and we appreciate it. You are the best.

... Beverly Gross Spencer wants to let the USG community know that she and Tim can not fully express their gratitude for the meals prepared with love and the visits that filled their home with laughter in the weeks following Bev’s surgery. Her healing continues and Bev and Tim look forward to seeing everyone in the fall. They feel fortunate to be part of such a caring community.
Caring Team
Linda Bernstein (chair), Sarah West, Rev. Kent Matthies

If you are aware of any joys or concerns that should be part of our caring system, please let us know. You can email
If you call a caring team member and do not speak directly, leave a voice mail and your call will be returned ASAP.
Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister -
Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development -
Mark Daugherty, Music Director -
Gloria Guldager, Church Administrator-
Carolyn Scott, Asst. Administrator-
Carolyn Cotton, Rental Coordinator -
Mike Rogers, Sunday Morning and Special Events Sexton -  
Tuesday's SPIRIT (not every Tuesday in the Summer) - Friday by 3:00pm
Thursday's Weekly eCommUUnicator - Wednesday by noon
Sunday's Announcements - Thursday by noon

The Unitarian Society of Germantown | 215-844-1157 | 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119