November 29 - December 5, 2018
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of
The Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community

THIS WEEK: This Saturday we gather leaves; and on Sunday we welcome Rev. Kent back into the beloved community from his care-giving trip to the border and watch a special video presentation from the ERC.
Leaf Raking Day! REGISTER NOW!
December 1, 2018
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Come for any amount of time; it all helps! Bring the family, bring a friend, your gloves, your rakes, tarps and especially your leaf blowers! Join us for this annual labor of love to spruce up the church grounds. The more the merrier! Many hands lighten the load! Childcare, coffee and sandwiches and a special treat - Berne Graham's soup! - will be provided. Please RSVP at this link to let us know you are coming so we can plan accordingly. Questions, contact Mike Rogers at or Gloria Guldager at . (By divine edict, rain will wait till afternoon.)
In Worship, 10:30am
I n the Dark , Rev. Kent Matthies
The shortest days and the longest nights. We are on our way to the season of light --- but be careful not to hurry. Disappointments, melancholy and heartbreaks are integral to life's fabric and we can learn to embrace them. There can be a mystery and magic to walking in the dark.
In Child Spiritual Development
Children begin Sunday morning in the Sanctuary with their families and then at 10:45am are sung out to their classes:
  • PreK - K - Sullivan 1
  • Grades 1 - 3 - Nursery School, 1st Fl.
  • Grades 4 - 6 - Sullivan 2 & 3
Class beginning at 10:30am:
  • OWL, Grades 7 - 8 - Bristol Room (meets 10:30am - 12:00noon)
  • Morning Youth Group - Daskam Room (meets 10:30 - 11:30am).
Parents, please click here to find out details, especially about where to collect the children after the service ends.

Details about the CSD 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. 
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.

BRING IN nonperishable food items for our annual Fall Food Drive and put them on the designated carts in the Kitchen. Donations will be delivered to St. Vincent de Paul's Food Pantry. Please check expiration dates.
Coffee Hour
After the Worship Service

Enjoy a welcome and refreshments offered by USG's Ending Racism Committee. All the generous folks who donate or provide food are asked to be diligent in trying to know what is in the food and helping to announce if any has nuts or other allergens .

At 12:00pm, attend the special Video Narrative from the ERC in the Edna Jones Room. Details below.
Ending Racism
Video Project Narrative Release
by The Ending Racism Committee
Sunday, December 2, 12:00 - 2:00pm

In 2015, in honor of USG’s 150th anniversary, the Ending Racism Committee (ERC) decided to make an offering to the congregation. Selected congregants and ERC members were interviewed on questions pertaining to race relations and systemic racism (from their perspective while attending USG). A condensed narrative of 14 interviews has been created.

On December 2, ERC will host Fellowship Hour followed by the Video Project Narrative Release, 12:00 - 2:00pm, in the Edna Jones Assembly Room .

One of the fourteen interviews is accessible now on the ERC web page . (See the clip below.)The interviewee, Mrs. Marion Watlington , is a long-term member of USG and had been a member of ERC until recently. After December 2, the narrative will be available online and through the ERC lending library.
Sunday, December 9, 10:30am
The Holiday Music Service:
Brother Heinrich’s Christmas , a musical fable by John Rutter

How do you write a new Christmas carol (well, new in the 14th or 15th century)? Sometimes assistance comes from where you might least expect it – like the donkey lying over in the corner of the stable. You just never know where help may come from – it’s a mystery! It’s been quite a while since the choir has presented this charming holiday piece, one that will appeal to children of all ages.

With Music Director Mark Daugherty and the USG Choir and featuring Ashley Izard as the narrator.
Click here for an easy list of all Upcoming Events!
Yep, they are all right there on the website, thanks to Treva Burger.
Fundraiser Dinner for Sanctuary Families
This Friday, November 30
6:00pm at FUMCOG

Join the Reyes and Thompson families who are in sanctuary at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, FUMCOG, for dinner. Starting at 6:00pm on Friday, November 30th, meet the families and enjoy the meal that the families cooked. Stay for the panel discussion about Forced Migration.

The meal is open to the public. The fundraiser will occur each fourth Friday until the families’ situation is resolved. Please try to make at least a $10 donation.

First United Methodist Church of Germantown is at 6001 Germantown Ave. Use the entrance off the parking lot on the northwest side of the building. If you have questions, contact Yvonne Marlier
Greens Workshop
A Family Fun Event
Sunday, December 9 following the service
Join us for the Annual Greens workshop! If possible, please bring wire cutters and gloves for yourself (but we do have extras.) Never made a wreath before? We will have some seasoned wreath makers to guide you through the process. Donations of greens are gratefully accepted! For more information, e-mail Deb Kish-Silver at .
Cost: $5; Family $10.
Greening the Sanctuary
Saturday, December 15, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Fun, fast, and it adds so much to our holiday services! Come to USG for an hour of creating the swags for decorating the sanctuary with greens. No experience needed!! We will meet in the Sanctuary. Please RSVP to Elaine Hills if you can make it, (215) 206-6257 or .

Friday evening, December 14
We need one or two hale and hearty folks to help get the poinsettias INTO the sanctuary – be in touch with Elaine to verify time, etc.
Auction Event Openings for December
If interested, contact Kay Weiser.
MindEscape is a top-rated escape room adventure. Join Maggie Chapman and Janet Haas for an adrenaline-filled hour trying to escape a Thai prison. MindEscape is located at 521 S. 4th Street. Plan to meet at the location at 11:45 am for gaming, and those who wish, may join Maggie and Janet for lunch afterwards in the area. There is a $25 ticket cost for a minimum party of 10 adults and children, due at the time of admission. Children are welcome. Sat. Dec. 1, 2018 at 11:45 am. Adult: $10, Child: $5. Room for 4-6 more.
And in case you missed these Spiritual Development events in Tuesday's SPIRIT...

REGISTER NOW ! for another special Oren Jay Sofer Mindfulness Event : Saturday, January 12, 2019: "The Art of Mindful Communication : Finding Clarity and Poise in Life.” A mindful approach to nonviolent communication. How to find your voice, speak your truth, and listen deeply. Led by Oren Jay Sofer, author, and teacher of mindfulness and communication. Spaces fill up fast, so register soon : click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 7:00 - 8:30pm

A new Difficult Conversation: Abortion , December 12, 7:00 - 9:30pm with USG folks and parishioners of Our Mother of Consolation Catholic Church in Chestnut Hill invited to participate. Contact Gerry Whelan if interested.

Rev Kent Matthies was interviewed at the Caravan Camp in Tijuana. Click here to listen.
Deadline for ordering: December 7
Our annual poinsettia display in the chancel will be set up on December 14. Please complete this form to place your order and make your payment via ACH (electronic check) or by credit card. Please select:
  • how many and what color (red, white, or pink)
  • what the brief dedication should be for the orders of service, and
  • when you intend to take your plants
The cost per each large plant is $23.  In addition, you may see Elaine Hills at Fellowship Hour on Sundays Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 to place your order and pay with cash or check. If you have any questions, please contact Elaine Hills at  or 215-206-6257.
It's a Breeze!
We invite you to connect with Breeze, USG's new, more powerful, user-friendly, and money-saving database, which includes a Member Directory. We are finding it ...a Breeze! Go to to create your own log-in, manage your profile, make contributions and view previous giving, and connect with other USGers. You may also download the Breeze app on your smartphone to have access to USG data while on the go.

Click here to get helpful tips for using the new Breeze database and Member Directory.

If you have any questions or need assistance using Breeze, please contact Gloria at .
Come Join the Choir!
The illustrious USG choir is looking for some additional singers! All that is necessary is the ability to match pitch and a desire to be a part of a venerable USG tradition that regularly rehearses (on Thursday evenings and on Sunday mornings) and sings at most Sunday services from September through the end of May. Interested? Please see Mark Daugherty , our music man.
We have a few new people on
USG's Creative Teams...
We are looking for more!

Do you enjoy telling stories with images? Working with PowerPoint or on a website? Are you a budding videographer?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, USG NEEDS YOU....
1)  to work with Rev. Kent and the various guest speakers and worship associates on Sunday worship slides creation and/or projector operations, and/or
2) to videotape the Sunday services, which Jeff Smith has done for many years, and/or
3) to help create and maintain information about our programs and activities on our website.

Please let Gloria know of your interest at .
Did you know…
...Did you know that, in addition to the 7 UU Principles and the proposed 8th Principle (banners for which hang in our Sanctuary), there are 7 Principles of Black Lives ? Here they are for your consideration and meditation:
1: All black lives matter.
2: Love and self-love is practiced in every element of all we do.
3: Spiritual growth is directly tied to our ability to embrace our whole selves.
4: Experimentation and innovation must be built into our work.
5: Most directly affected people are experts at their own lives.
6: Thriving instead of surviving.
7: 360 degree vision.
We are excited to announce our new Text Giving option through Breeze for making pledge and contribution payments to USG!
Please click here to learn how to use this convenient tool.
Thank You, Villagers!
Thank you to all who participate in hosting Fellowship Hour! If you are willing to coordinate for your Village, please let Treva Burger, know. Below is the schedule for upcoming Fellowship Hour Hostings:
  • December 2 - Ending Racism Committee
  • December 9 - Village 4
Volunteers Needed!
MLK Day Coming Soon! 
The MLK Day planning team is busy working on details for another successful USG MLK Day event on Monday , January 21 , 2019.   We are looking for a few more Project Leaders for off-site (external) projects:
  • Interim House Cleaning - 2 leaders
  • 5 Local Schools cleanup - 5 leaders (1 project leader per school)

and on-site (internal) projects:
  • Thank You Notes to MLK Sponsors writing - 1 leader
  • UUPLAN Advocacy letter writing - 1 leader
  • PIHN "Paper" Houses Creations, an advocacy project - 1 leader
  • Welcome Committee outside - 1 leader of other stalwart outside greeters

The primary time commitment will be on the morning of MLK Day, with some planning via email or phone calls beforehand. If you’re interested in helping to orient and guide project volunteers, please email the MLK Day co-chairs Lois Murphy and Devery Howerton at . Thank you!
Winter Coat Drive
Please bring in donations of much-needed warm winter outerwear - coats and jackets - for distribution in our community, to PIHN's network and to Whosoever Gospel Mission. The coat collection barrel will be in the vestibule by the name tag boards from Sunday, December 2 until at least January 6. See Devery Howerton or Carolyn Scott with questions.
Be a Holiday Angel
The Holiday Angel tree enables you to play Santa Claus for members of homeless PIHN families. Select a gift request ornament from the tree in the Dining Room, and bring in your unwrapped gift by Sunday, December 16. CSD children and youth (and perhaps some adults in Fellowship Hour) will then wrap them for delivery.
Adorn the Mitten Tree
The Mitten Tree will be in the Sanctuary on Christmas Eve, and everyone is invited to bring in warm woollies- scarves, mittens, gloves, ear muffs - to adorn it. If you are unable to come to either Christmas Eve service (4:00 Family Service, 6:00 Candlelight Service), you can hang your warm woollies on Sunday, December 30. On Monday the gifts will be taken to PIHN for distribution.
Sound the trumpets! Registration is now open for our Central East Region New Day Rising Conference: Identifying Your Congregation’s Next Steps in the Struggle with White Supremacy Culture , Saturday, January 26 in Fairfax, VA
Slightly overwhelmed by all the options available for tackling white supremacy culture in your congregation? Join with Central East Region staff and UU congregational leaders for this day of learning. Click here to learn more.
Greater Philly UU Cluster Events
1) Missa Gaia UU Concert
There's still time to join as a singer! Nate Bergey (First U) and Jane Hulting (Restoration) are organizing a Missa Gaia concert for Dec 21. If you can attend both the November 17th and December 15th dress rehearsals at First U, you can still participate! For more info and to register to join the choir, visit:

2) To see upcoming events at our GPC congregations, visit the GPC calendar:

3) GPC is on Facebook !
- Please "follow" us on the Facebook page, "Greater Philly Unitarian Universalist Cluster".
- Please join our Facebook group, "Greater Philly UUs". It is a "closed" group, so find "Greater Philly UUs" on Facebook and click the button to request to join.

4) Introducing UUA LeaderLab ! LeaderLab provides relentlessly useful resources for lay and professional leaders of UU congregations and covenanting communities. For more info, visit:

5) CER Guest in Your Pulpit program
The Guest in Your Pulpit Program is a listing of available ministers, seminarians, ministerial candidates and lay pulpit guests for congregations in the Central East Region. This program was created to assist churches to find people who are willing to provide services. For more info and to be added to the list, visit:

For more information on the Greater Philly UU Cluster, check out our website:
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.

20's & 30's SGM Group - Second Thursday, December 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. 

Book Group on Friday Morning - Third Friday, December 21, 10:30am at Cathedral Village. If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall. The 2018-2019 Book List is now posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group .

CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Fourth Monday, Next meeting January 28, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Nancy Anderson .

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

Coffee Hour for Social Justice - Next: December 16, 9:15 - 10:15am (none for November). Usually Third Sunday. Usually in Dining Room at USG. Get up. Get coffee. Get involved.

EarthSpirit Circle . First Monday, except for holiday weekends. Next meeting December 3, 7:00pm, to plan the Winter Solstice event. At USG. Contact Donya at

ERC (Ending Racism Committee) - First Sunday, December 2, 12:00 - 2:00pm. Special Video Project Narrative. More information forthcoming. At USG. Contact Barbara Dowdall.

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists , Fourth Sunday, December 23, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti .

Nature Walking at Valley Green - Please note time change: Starting in December, every Monday and Thursday at 10:00am, 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 - First Wednesday, December 5, 1:30 - 3:00pm, off-site. Contact Margaret Thompson .

Open Small Group Ministry - Second Sunday, December 9, 12:00 - 1:30pm. Those new to SGMs can get a "sample" before making a commitment. For more information, contact Mark Bangela .

Racism Book Study Group - Next session: December 10, second Monday, 7:30 - 9:00pm. Contact Treva Burger.

UU-101 - Third Sunday, December 16, 12:00-1:00pm. UU-101 is an Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, held at USG, and childcare is provided. Please let a leader, Charles Gabriel or Eric Foster, know that you plan to attend by emailing to 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
It is a "closed" group, so find "Greater Philly UUs" on Facebook and click the button to request to join.

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

Exploring Elderhood
caring square
Our thoughts and prayers are with...
... Erica Miceli, her daughter Riley, and her son Michae l. Riley is being evaluated by doctors for a mass under her arm, and her son Michael was just hospitalized for complications of his juvenile diabetes. He'll have to be in the hospital for 4 weeks. Your caring thoughts, emails, and cards would be appreciated.

...Elaine Wallace (in Village 7), a frail elder who would love to attend Sunday services if we could provide transportation. She lives within a mile of USG on Wissahickon Ave. If you can help, please contact Linda Bernstein at .

... Barbyose and Al Sanders (in Village 1) and Baryose’s cousin, MithSaika Napoleon, who has been a patient in the ICU at Bryn Mawr Hospital since Saturday, November 17 with an undiagnosed seizure disorder. MithSaika has been attending USG with the Sanders family. Barbyose would appreciate our prayers of healing for her. 

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