August 2 - 8, 2018
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of
The Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community

THIS WEEK: Tonight we help Mike Rogers move stuff. On Sunday we hear Charles Bowser talk about small actions making a big impact, we help Roderick Ahrens make a clearing, and we prepare to help host a few homeless families. We ARE a church of helping hands.
Help Mike Move Stuff!
Mike Rogers, our fabulous Sexton, is hoping some of you can come to the church tonight from 6-8pm
to help empty the shop and load the temporary storage POD that has now been delivered to our courtyard area. This is not a job that Mike can do on his own, so let's lend him a hand! If you can pitch in for a couple of hours, please let us know. You can respond to . Or just come to the church at 6pm and check in with Mike.
In Worship, 10:30am
The Courage of our Convictions Against the Tyranny Of Manners , Charles Bowser
Charles Bowser will present an idea to do a small everyday thing that could have greater impact. Walk this way and take that step.

Charles is a single parent, union organizer, political activist and political consultant who officially joined the UU faith in 2004 at Harrisburg UU. There he served as a trustee, a regional delegate and a part of the membership committee that was instrumental in their congregation winning the O Eugene Pickett award which annually honors the congregation that has made an outstanding contribution to the growth of Unitarian Universalism.
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, this Sunday featuring Drumming with Karen Smith and Janet Haas.

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. 
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. Thanks to all who have already responded.
Coffee Hour
After the Worship Service
Enjoy refreshments, compliments of Village 2.

Sign up to host PIHN families! Learn more.

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.

Stay Sunday afternoon to help with...
...A Woods Clearing Project
This Sunday, 12:00 - 4:00pm
I am Roderick Ahrens, a youth member at USG. I am helping to develop the clearing in the wooded area of the church as my Eagle Scout project. The project includes building a labyrinth and restoring the path through the woods, as well as preparing the clearing for use as a classroom, EarthSpiritCircle space and meditation space.

We will work this Sunday starting at noon and hoping to finish by 4:00pm. Please bring gardening/work gloves and gardening tools (we will need trowels, shovels, and rakes) if you have them. If you are able to help out, please contact me ( or 267-994-5679) or just show up in the Grove at noon on Sunday.
Sunday, August 12, 10:30am
Scarcity in Abundance – Fear-based Thinking and Reality Parvathy Menon
We live in the most affluent part of the world where life, seemingly, couldn’t get any better. Still, on a daily basis, most of us experience lack of resources, well-being, optimism, hope. We live in fear of what tomorrow could bring. How can we let go of such “fear-thinking” to reconcile our perceptions of scarcity with the reality of true scarcity for a better world? 

Parvathy Menon grew up in India. Currently, she lives in Philadelphia. She is a committed friend of USG.
Archaeology and Our Spiritual Past- Recent Observations
Monday, August 6, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, In Sullivan Chapel
The EarthSpirit Circle is pleased to invite you to a presentation by our own Susan Bockius! An artist and independent scholar, Ms. Bockius wrote about Stonehenge and other ancient ritual sites in the Cottswolds area for the Oxford University course she took this summer. Come join us for this fascinating discussion and light refreshments! For more information, contact .
Help to Host PIHN Families, Working Their Way Out of Homelessness
Usually every summer for two weeks, USG provides shelter for these families as well as evening meals but because of our elevator construction, this summer we will provide just meals and hosts at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church in Mt. Airy. If you can help host, kindly contact Carolyn Scott . Learn more .

A Letter from Our New President!
Jenn Leiby, our new Board President, is excited, thankful, AND she has some questions for you. Read her first letter as Madam President here!

Pronouns: Honoring the Dignity of Every Person - A Letter from Rev. Kent
 Dear USG Friends,
What does it take to be a warmly welcoming community? Many times the answers come from our own stories. At least at two key periods of my life I spent significant time away from Unitarian Universalism. Both times when I came back I was feeling down or lost in life. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, much less in a church. However, in both experiences the people of those churches were very warm and welcoming. Church helped me – once again – to figure out who I am. And church accepted me.

Beloved community welcomes, accepts and honors people as they are. In our USG efforts to be truly welcoming, we are making a new effort. On our nametags, we are offering people the chance to indicate by which pronouns they prefer to be addressed. For example, I am choosing for my nametag:  Kent Matthies – he, him, his.

Why is this important? Within many places in society, people who are gender-fluid or transgender experience painful discrimination. Assuming other people’s gender identification is too often unhelpful or hurtful. When we allow people to identify their own gender pronouns, we can reduce awkward situations. More importantly, we can directly increase the respect we show one another with our words and actions. We can increase our capacity to welcome and honor each other for who we are.

At the Welcome Table, there is a new name tag request form which asks for people's pronouns and we also have stickers for the most common pronouns. For more information, please visit
USG's Summer Office Hours
In July and 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 .
Elevator News
The Board of Trustees approved the final contract for the elevator addition at its June meeting. On July 20, the City of Philadelphia approved the building permit allowing our contractor to begin work.  Ground breaking will occur during the week of August 13th.  Interior work including building temporary walls around the back staircase will start the week of August 6th . We will have to endure inconveniences and disruptions so we will all have to pull together during this time, but it will be worth it in the end. We will keep you posted as this project progresses.
A reading to honor the life and work of Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno
Sunday, August 5, 3:00 - 5:00pm
Manayunk Roxborough Art Center
419 Green Lane (rear), Philadelphia, PA 19127
This event will Include reading and comments by Kathy's students and friends. For this memorial celebration, everyone is invited to share memories of the remarkable teacher and special friend of the arts that is Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno. A $5 donation is requested. Refreshments will be served.
USG Member Sarah Frazier will work this summer on behalf of Immigration Justice
Sarah Frazier is going to El Paso, Texas (across the border from Juarez, Mexico)  from July 30 to August 12.   She has been accepted to work with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center ( ). Sarah will post updates each day on Facebook and also on her Wordpress blog " Going to the Border" , ( ) so that we can be engaged in this endeavor. She will also do a presentation to report on the work when she returns.

In order to make the financial requirements of this trip more manageable, Sarah has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for travel, food and lodging. Any additional funds she earns will be donated to Las Americas.  If you would like to contribute visit .  
 (Image: Sarah at the 2017 Auction)
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 in August.
  • August 5 - Village 2
  • August 12 - Village 3
  • August 19 - Village 4
  • August 26 - Village 5
UU Multitracial Unity Action Caucus
The Battle Cry of Freedom: Remembering Gettysburg and the Victory Over White Supremacy
Friday, August 3 - Sunday, August 5
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, August 9, 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 - 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, August 10, 11:00am - 1:00pm. At USG. Contact Maura Gallagher .

EarthSpirit Circle . First Monday, except for holiday weekends: (September 10). Next meeting August 6, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Donya Coldwell at .

ERC (Ending Racism Committee) - First Sunday, August 5, 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, August 12, 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
Our thoughts and prayers are with...
...tiny Zoe Kaye Brooks , granddaughter of Richard and Ann Clarey , who arrived on earth at Pennsylvania Hospital four months early, weighing in at 1.7 lbs. Her family - Keisha Hudson and Sam Brooks and 6-year-old sister Maya as well as Richard and Ann— are feeling very positive. We are sending the whole family our good wishes and lots of vitamin-packed love.

...Gail Mershon , who will undergo knee replacement surgery on August 3. The requests for meals for Gail is completely subscribed. Gail will eventually need rides to and from PT. If you might be able to help out with rides, please respond to the link.

... John and Ann Pron . John's mother, Stella Pron, died peacefully on July 24. Her service was held Saturday, July 28.  Cards are welcome.

...Ben Manes and his wife Hope Manes (in Village 9) . Hope’s sister, Tracy M. Hess, of Southampton, PA, died on July 5 in Abington Hospital. Cards and emails will be appreciated.  

...Beverly Gross Spencer and husband Tim Spencer (in Village 9). Beverly had successful heart bypass surgery on July 18 and is now recovering at home. Beverly and Tim appreciate all the care they have received from the congregation. (And special thanks to those who responded to the call for meals.)

...Elaine Wallace (in Village 7) , whose current health problems prevent her from attending USG. Her SGM meets now at her place. Elaine is appreciative of their support and welcomes cards and emails.

...the family and friends of Wesley Smith, who died on June 22. Although he had not been active for several years, Wesley was a long-time beloved member of our church choir bass section. His family is planning a memorial service for Friday, August 3 at 3:00 pm in Cathedral Hall at Cathedral Village. Wesley has a daughter, Moon Smith, and a son, Anthony. Cards can be sent to Moon Smith, 512 W. Allen 's Lane, Philadelphia PA. 

We share joy with...
...Gale Gibbons , who has announced the happy news that her daughter Megan Lang gave birth to a baby girl, Sylvie, on June 20. Mother and baby are doing well.
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