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UU Church West E-News

Sunday, December 3, 2023 - 10:00 AM CT

"The Mystery and Magic of Community Effervescence"


Rev. Julie Stoneberg

Coming together in community is like a magnificent science experiment! We bring our ingredients, combine them, give them a little shake, and how this can result in joy and meaning remains a beautiful mystery. Let’s keep the grand experiment going!

Our theme for December is “The Gift of Mystery.”

Ruben Piirainen will provide us with beautiful music. 



Milwaukee has experienced a small increase in COVID hospitalizations this fall, and here at UUCW, as the weather changes, we're aware of an uptick in COVID illnesses (including our Church Administrator, Vicki Banville, who tested positive this week). We are still providing masks and encouraging you to wear them! Here are some simple guidelines to follow: 

  • If you are sick with a fever or new cold symptoms, stay home.
  • If you have mild or recent symptoms, wear a mask to protect others.
  • If you’re concerned about getting sick at church, wear a mask.
  • Stay up to date on protective shots. The vaccines for influenza, COVID, and RSV are effective at reducing the risk of severe illness and are safe.

Some helpful resources:

In Memorium

Oliver Dane


Feb. 5, 1999 - Nov. 15, 2023

Please join us as we honor the memory of Oliver, son of UUCW member Nicole Grandstrand and Lee Carmichael.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 2nd at Unitarian Universalist Church-West from 1:00 pm until the start of the service at 3:00 pm. 


You can help provide support (both financially and for meals) to the family during this difficult time.


Volunteers are needed to bring food for the visitation, greet guests, and help assist in clean up after the service.


Engagement Campaign Phase Two

Phase Two of UUCW's Engagement Campaign enables you to share the skills and interests you might offer the church and those you wish to explore through church activities. Recently, members and active church participants were invited via email to update a Skills and Interests Profile in Realm. 

If you have questions about completing your profile in Realm, please visit the Skills and Interests Table in the Community Room after services. Members of the Engagement Team will help you to log in and update your skills and interests. You can also fill out a skills and interests profile on paper. If you have any questions, contact Vicki Banville.

Join the Solstice Singers!

Dec. 21 - Winter Solstice service

at 7 pm

You’ve seen this small group of singers leading chants and special music at our EarthSpirit services. Give it a try for this year’s Winter Solstice service.

There will be two rehearsals prior to the service: Tuesday, December 12 and Tuesday, December 19, both at 7 pm.

If interested, please contact Ruben Piirainen.

Multigenerational Christmas Choir

Dec. 24 Christmas Eve at 10 am

We’re putting together a festive all-ages group of voices for our morning Christmas Eve service.

You do not need to know how to read music to be in this choir! Bring your kids or your grandkids or your neighbors or just yourselves! There is a place for everyone in this choir. There will be two rehearsals prior to the service: Tuesday, December 12, and Tuesday, December 19, both at 6 pm.

If interested, contact Ruben Piirainen.

December Donation Rotation:

Holiday Decorations and Gifts

After Service on December 3rd

Earth Ministry offers you a place to recycle unused gifts or holiday decorations such as ribbons, wrapping paper, tinsel, candles, nutcrackers, bells, Santas, angels, Menorahs, and Christmas cards after the service.

Browse and find a Holiday treasure for your home, office, or schoolroom. You do not need to bring anything to take something. Please do not bring items to church before Dec. 3rd.

Earth Ministry Team Offers

Eco-friendly Gift Raffle!

In addition to the Earth Ministry’s holiday-themed rotation, they will host a table on Sunday, Dec 3, after the service featuring eco-friendlier gift ideas. You can also learn about online resources that offer ways to reduce plastic and ways to save money and the environment. Don't miss the raffle, which offers eco-friendly goodies, including a Yeti tumbler, a shampoo bar, and reusable lunch napkins! Come get ideas and take your chance at the raffle!

You're invited to a

Reflection Salon (what's that?)

Wednesday, Dec 6, 5-6:30 pm

Join Rev. Julie for a wine and cheese 'salon'... a warm gathering to share personal reflections and ideas on the many ways in which UUCW matters...what it means to you and how it inspires you to live. You may be asked to sign up to share your feelings with the community (spoken or written), but that's optional; this time together is simply a way to gather our brain/heart murmurings through conversation.

Location will be shared with those who RSVP to Rev. Julie.

Why We Cannot Turn Away 

December 9th, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

This event has been rescheduled from its original Nov. 18 date. A potluck lunch will follow for any wishing to continue the conversation informally.

Let's gather to watch an excellent webinar created by the help us deepen our understanding of truth and possibility. This event is for those who want to take a deep dive, and who are willing/able to take the time to reflect and to dialogue. This is not a public event.


Join the Welcome Team!

You can bring joy to folks just by making and serving coffee! COFFEE SIGN-UP

You can help make our church a welcoming place. GREETER SIGN-UP

Ushers are a core element of our in-person worship. USHER SIGN-UP

Greet and answer questions for our visitors. NEWCOMER TABLE SIGN-UP

If you or someone you know needs Pastoral Care, contact Rev. Julie or the Lay Pastoral Care Team.

Enter your Joy or Concern with the link below and choose whether you'd like them shared in the e-news or shared privately with Rev. Julie.



A Unitarian Universalist Vigil for Gaza

Sunday, December 3rd - 5 pm CT

This online vigil, open to all, is to honor the spiritual work toward ending the violence. We deeply honor the worth and dignity of all Palestinians and all Israelis.

Join us as we grieve, rage, learn, and find solace together. The vigil will be held for 45 minutes, with a 30 minute facilitated breakout session for those who wish to connect more intentionally.


Our Split the Plate Partner is

Allies for Teens in Foster Care

On the recommendation of YRUU, which is UUCW’s high school Youth Group, our Split the Plate partner for December is Allies for Teens in Foster Care.

Teens in foster care are vulnerable and need to be protected. Allies are a bridge for community members, businesses, and private organizations who are willing to aid teens in need.


UUCW Supports the

Kinship Community Food Center for November and December

Kinship Community Center engages volunteers and community residents to end hunger, isolation, and poverty.



New Peer Caregiver Support Group starts December 12th

With the intent to support UUCW caregivers who are gifted with caring for another's life, a 'Peer Caregiver Support Group' is offered to strengthen ourselves so we can provide positive support for our loved ones in need. 

Gatherings will be held at 1 pm on alternate Tuesdays beginning Dec 12 and Dec 26 in room UL5. If this

relates in your life, please reach out with comments or questions to Mary Ross or Susan Swearingen

It's Time for Holiday Decorating!

Friday, December 1

10 am - 12 pm

Help decorate the church foyer and Sanctuary for the upcoming holidays!

Guidance and decorating supplies will be provided. We’ll have holiday cookies and festive music!

Come and stay for as long as you are able. Maybe stay for "Lunch with Rev. Julie" at noon. Contact Kelly Bognar, Communications and Marketing Specialist, if you have any questions.

Don't miss the next

"Lunch with Rev. Julie"

Friday, Dec. 1 at 12 noon

Enjoy lunch and a time of open conversation with Rev. Julie and anyone else who shows up. Come prepared to participate…to both listen and share your thoughts about worship or anything about UU Church West that concerns or delights you.

There is no need to RSVP. Bring your lunch and favorite beverage. Contact Rev. Julie if you have questions.

Twisted Stitchers

December 2nd is cancelled.

The New Dates for December are the 9th and 16th at 1 pm

Interested in knitting, crocheting, embroidery, rug making, or any other craft that requires a chair, table, good light, and friendly company? Join us at Twisted Stitchers for discussion and fun. And just sitting and enjoying the company is OK as well!

We always welcome new crafters too.

Questions or comments? Call Carol Trinastic or Jeannie Baker.

The Wednesday Night Book Group

The book group will be meeting on December 13 at 7 pm on Zoom only and rather than discussing a book, we will be selecting the reading calendar for 2024.  

We welcome new and potential group members to join us for the meeting.

Contact Patti Ulwelling for the Zoom link.

Reconsidering Resurrection

for Today

All are welcome to the second presentation and discussion in Topics in Liberal Christian Thought to be held at UUCW on Thursday, December 14th at 10:30 am in Room UL5. The topic for this discussion is Reconsidering Resurrection for Today. Join us as we look at spiritual understandings of The Resurrection in light of more current scholarship.


From Age-ing to Sage-ing

1-3pm every other Monday

starting Jan. 8

Those interested in deepening their understanding of aging and spiritual elderhood are invited to sign up for this eight-session Adult Religious Education program, to be held in person at UUCW.

Participants will explore their life journeys and elder consciousness through discussions of various chapters of rabbi Schachter-Shalomi’s book From Age-ing to Sage-ing.


Gr. 7-9 OWL: Coming Soon!

UUCW invites you to register eligible youth for Our Whole Lives, the UUA’s comprehensive sexuality education program. Facilitators from UUCW and LCUUC will lead weekly Sunday classes from 5:30-8 pm at United UU Congregation in Waukesha beginning Feb. 14. Prior to that, please note the following:

Jan. 14, 1:30 pm: Parent Orientation

Feb. 3, 6 pm: Student “Kick-off”, with games & pizza


Join "Afterthoughts,"

the small-group discussion

held after the service in UL4.

Grab a coffee and head to UL4. to reflect on the morning service with others. Discussion prompts are posted on the room's bulletin board.

CommUUnity Connections provides a helping hand to support members of the church community in times of need.

Mary Wierman is the CommUUnity Connections coordinator for November.


Beyond UU Church West

Click below for community events and resources from outside our church that align with our UU values and may be of interest to members and friends.



Our YRUU group shared a wonderful Thanksgiving buffet last Sunday.

Next Sunday, December 10, 2023 - 10:00 AM CT

"Music, Mystery and Meaning"


Rev. Julie Stoneberg and

Ruben Piirainen, Music Director

Mystery can open our hearts, renew our spirits, and transform our lives. In the presence of beautiful music and singing, let us come together to celebrate the gifts of mystery! Featuring music by the UUCW Adult Choir, the UUCW Philharmonic, and more! Invite your friends for a marvelous experience of how Unitarian Universalists celebrate the season.

Today we offer a group multi-age religious education experience for grades 4K through 8. Childcare starts at 9:45 am. Children are always welcome to stay in the sanctuary during the service.

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Grounded in love, UUCW is a joyful community

committed to spiritual growth, inclusion, and justice.