First Universalist's weekly newsletter
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!
Music Sunday
with Sam Chandler, Music Director
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 10:30 am
Earth Day Carnival 2019!
This Sunday in Children’s Chapel, children, kindergarten through fourth grade, will be working together to creatively problem solve. How high of a tower can you build? Can you make something to communicate? Could you design something that a kid would love? ALSO: Save the date for next week’s Children’s Chapel, 5/26, where we have our annual Memorial Day strawberry shortcake picnic.

In Junior Youth Group, fifth through eighth graders, we will be doing words of kindness/affirmations that we can take with us into the summer and we will plan our celebration for our final group of the year on June 2. 

Senior Youth Group, ninth through twelfth graders, will be meeting at the church and then carpooling to Bayside Bowl as a last hurrah of the year for our youth group and as a celebratory send-off of our five graduating seniors! 
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. 
Informational Meetings on Sundays in May
Sundays in May at 11:30 Board members are enthusiastic about discussing with you details of the Budget and By-law changes that will be up for your vote at the Annual Meeting on June 2. The three informational sessions (May 12, 19, 26) are your opportunity to ask questions. As always, there are 
budget challenges. There are also important by-law changes to align our bylaws to current best practices, helping the Board do its work more efficiently and effectively. 

...and attend the Annual Meeting!
Sunday, June 2, 11:30 am, Gathering Room
Attend this year’s annual meeting to VOTE! (Members can vote, friends are welcome to attend, but unable to vote.) Votes this year include by-law changes and the budget, as well as voting for your representatives: members of the Ministerial Search Committee, and this year’s slate of Board and Leadership Development members. This is also your opportunity to get updates on programs, committees, and councils, and to learn more about the transition work that will be taking place next year. Childcare and a light lunch will be provided. 

Learn more about proposed by-law changes
Below, click the buttons to review the summary of the proposed by-law changes and to see the by-laws in their entirety.
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 
  • Do you want to be with people who value compassion, justice, love and truth, though they have different thoughts and opinions about all sorts of things?
  • Do you want to be with people who have many names and no name at all for God?
  • Do you want to be with people who give of themselves, who share their hearts and minds and gifts?

You are invited to membership at First Universalist!
June 2nd 9:30 am: Info coffee, Q&A about membership.
June 9th 9:00 am: Book signing ceremony followed by New Member Recognition Service.

For more information, please email
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.
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 Friends of Casco Bay .

Friends of Casco Bay has a big impact on the health of our beautiful bay through its many programs: Water Quality Monitoring, Baykeeping, Casco Bay Curriculum, BayScaping, and Pumpout Service. With just 9 expert staff, Friends relies on 310 dedicated volunteers and its 2400 members to 
improve and protect the health of Casco Bay. Visit to learn more. Please be generous! 
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. The Census Bureau are hiring for a variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Pay in Maine starts at $16.50/hour. Apply online.
Furnished, 4-bedroom New England home for rent on Lower Flying Point Road, Freeport.  July 2019 – July 2020 negotiable. 2300 sq. ft. 2.5 bath. Close to water down quiet road with overarching oak trees. Water view and water access. Swim and paddle in summer and ski in winter in nearby field or Wolfes Neck Farm. 10 minutes from Bowstreet Market and Freeport outlets, 15 minutes to downtown Brunswick. Hardwood floors. Gas range. Washer and dryer. Canoe and kayak use included. $2200/month + utilities. Please email for info and pictures:
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.
Join Midcoast Humane for their 17th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 18 (rain date of Sunday, May 19) from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 190 Pleasant Street in Brunswick. They’ll be selling a wide variety of annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, and trees to support our critters…everything you need for a beautiful garden this year! They will also have crafts, raffles, and food for sale.
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 19th in Freeport, and May 30th in Orono. Visit their website to learn more and to RSVP to events.
In the tradition of barn raising, Opportunity Alliance is bringing together community leaders like you who share their belief that positive change is possible. The Barn Raising is on Thursday, June 6th, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, at the Family Center in the Brick Hill neighborhood of South Portland. This will be an event that celebrates the important efforts of many with fantastic food, live music, and drinks. Tickets are $35/person. Learn more and purchase tickets.
Sacred Heart Church is holding an e-waste collection at 336 Main Street in Yarmouth on Saturday, June 8, 3 - 6 pm, and Sunday, June 9, 7 am - 12 pm. Acceptable items include computers, televisions, printers, microwaves, VCRs, and leftover parts from other electronics, including wiring. Boy Scouts and church volunteers will be there to help unload items curbside. Disposal of items is free, but donations are always welcome to benefit Catholic Charities of Portland. For additional information, please contact Melissa Bagdon or Mimi Rice.
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 | |