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UUCM Newsletter
April 2018

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Minister's Message
Dear Friends,

As I sit down to write this morning, my gaze is drawn to the clouds gathering on the horizon.  More snow is on the way. The third nor'easter this month! Spring officially arrived yesterday, but today I'm not so sure.  The light is returning. The birds know it. They're up with the dawn, singing sun salutations of joy. My soul knows it too. I want to revel at the sun's return, but even though I know the greening of the earth is just around the corner, I'm weary, weighed down.  I long to put my heavy coat, my boots, and my shovel away. I love winter, but enough is enough! I'm ready for what's new and green and growing.

As I was reading about Emergence in this month's Soul Matters packet I came across a poem that captures something of that longing.  

To Live in the Longing by  Steve Garnaas-Holmes

You who live temperate zones,
who haven't lived through these months here
of cold, shoveling snow, shoveling more
snow, living in box canyons of snow,
under worried roofs, dripping walls,
chipping ice, walking stiff-kneed on ice,
dressing complicatedly for every sojourn,
the layers, the precautions, things matted,
frozen shut, the dark skies,
skies continually falling, dark,
if you haven't looked out windows
trying to remember what a yard looks like,
trying to guess where the ground is,
longing for green, longing for smells,
longing to walk across grass, to be outside
and not hurt, longing for something
to be easy -- do you know this yearning
for light, for warmth, for beauty, for release,
do you know this ache?
 
I believe you know it
with or without the metaphor in your yard.
It's the ache for the new world,
for the old life to close its winter eye,
the ice grave to crack wide open,
for your true self to walk toward you
out of the darkness. It's the ache
for freedom, the long, dark ache for Easter.  
 
It's not a bad thing
to live in the longing, with even grace
not merely laid at your feet yet,
not of your doing, but purely gift.
To know you are waiting,
and what you are hungry for.  
And how deep is your longing.
And that it is coming.
 
Today is the first day of spring.
The forecast is for snow.
I am filled with hope.

The good news is that Spring is here, emerging as life always does -- literally and figuratively! The forecast may be for more snow, but light and life are always there -- gifts of grace and hope. As we explore Emergence together this month, remember that longing for that which you hope will emerge -- in you, in the world.  It's not a bad thing to know what you're hungry for and to know it is coming.

Faithfully Yours,
Rev. Carol
Worship Services
Sundays at 10:30am
April 1 - Liberation and New Life
Rev. Carol Strecker
The stories of Passover and Easter have something in common.  They both lift up the theme of emergence: the Jewish people emerging from slavery in Egypt and Jesus emerging from the tomb in victory over death.  The Earth tells its own story and we are part of it. New life emerges again and again. This celebration is also a call to affirm new life emerging in us and in the world.  
We will also formally welcome our newest members.

April 8 - You're a Shining Star 
Rev. Carol Strecker
When Joni Mitchell sang, "We are stardust, we are golden. We are billion year old carbon. And we got to get ourselves back to the garden," she wasn't just speaking metaphorically.  It's been 50 years since scientists discovered that the complex organic compounds that make up the human body actually did have their origins in the stars. 
11:45: Join us for a celebration of Everyone's Birthday in Barnum Hall.   

April 15 - Gender Revolution
Rev. Carol Strecker
A new concept of gender is emerging in the shifting landscape of gender identity.  What is gender and how is it expressed? How is it different from sexuality and sexual preference?  As Unitarian Universalists we're called to affirm the worth and dignity of all people. What do we need to know about gender to be able to do that?  How can we honor the diversity that transcends labels?

April 22 - Music Sunday 
Carolyn McCreary, Music Director 

April 29  - The Art of Friendship
Collaborative Worship
Kahlil Gibran writes, "Your friend is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving."  Friendships are the bread of life; they sustain us in times of joy and sorrow. They need love and care to grow.  It's been said that the frantic pace and casual attitudes of modern life have made it hard to cultivate and sustain real friendship.  One of the gifts of community is the opportunity to make friends. This morning we'll take a look at what emerging friendships need and how we can nurture them in community.
 
Lifespan Faith Formation  
April's Theme: Emergence theme 
You can access resource materials for each month's theme at https://uucm.org/ministries/2017-2018-themes/#emergence.
The materials identified as RE include a section near the end addressed to families.

Sharing Circle to Create a Collaborative Service on Friendshipfriendship
April 8, 12:30-2pm
Bring a brown bag lunch and your favorite poems, readings, songs, and stories to a sharing circle on friendship.  We'll meet in the Granite Room and put it all together in a collaborative worship service for April 29.
 
Children & Youth FF Update 
April 1:  Easter Egg Hunt (with a UU twist!) - Don't miss this UU-inspired egg hunt -- outside if weather permits!
April 8:  Cupcake Decorating & SHARE Birthday Bags
The children will decorate cupcakes to represent all 12 months for Everyone's Birthday Party after the service. They will also use donations that were collected in March to assemble Birthday Bags for SHARE's clients. 
April 8:  Everyone's Birthday Party after the service.  Come find your birthday table and enjoy the creative, scrumptious cupcakes that the children decorated. While you're at it, you can learn about a famous UU that shares your birth month.
April 15: Sunday Morning Circles
April 22: Happy Earth Day! Children and youth will learn hands-on ways to appreciate our Earth. We will use recycled products to create unique, upcycled projects.

Can You Sign up to Bake a Dozen Cupcakes?
CYFF will be hosting Everyone's Birthday Party during coffee hour on April 8. We need volunteers to make 12 or 24 unfrosted cupcakes for the children to decorate during their Circle time that day. Sign up with the office
( office@uucm.org, 673-1870).

Sign Up for SHARING FRIENDS Program!
Would you like to get to know a fellow UUCMer a bit better? We need you! This program is intended to help foster multigenerational relationships within the congregation. Sign up for this church-wide, all ages program that will take place throughout May. Participants will fill out short intake questionnaires and then be paired up based on common interests. There will be a mystery period in the beginning where you will need to use clues to figure out who your Sharing Friend is. Then there will be several opportunities to bond with your new friend by connecting at one of the many planned Sharing Friends events, such as bonding over games and activities during Coffee Hour, signing up for the Crop Walk together, or leaving a note or letter in the Sharing Friends mailboxes that will be up in Barnum Hall. Sign up in Barnum or by contacting office@uucm.org

UUCM Activities & News news
You Are Invited to Kali's Ordination
April 8, 4:00pm - Manchester UU
The UU Church in Manchester invites you to celebrate the ordination of Kali Fyre, who was our Ministerial Intern, on April 8th at 4pm.  Refreshments following.

Please RSVP Yes by clicking here.  
 
All Women's Potluck Lunch  
Monday, April 9 - 11:45am in Barnum Hall
This is an opportunity to enjoy one another's company and learn a bit more about each another in a relaxed setting with delicious food. We'll begin to gather at  11:45 to help with setup, and enjoy lunch at  noon . Afterwards, many hands make cleanup fast. Any questions? Please call Elise DeMichael.  
 
Are you in the Middle-Life Squeeze?
"Whine Women and Song" may be for you!
Starts April 5 at 6:30pm
Are you in the middle-life squeeze?  Cammie Opre invites UUCM working women to join her "Whine, Women and Song" evenings to share your lives and support one another.  From 6:30-7:30pm conversation may touch on jobs, children, parents, relationships, health, financial well-being - whatever the group decides. Cammie says, "What's needed is connection! What's needed are ideas and information that will make life easier!" and she will be in the Teen Room (near the kitchen) each Thursday, starting April 5th, to get this group off the ground.

How to Make a UUCM Facebook Post Visible
If you have a church event to publicize on Facebook, it will be more visible on UUCM's page if one of the page's administrators posts it for you.  Just send your item and a related photo, if possible, to news@uucm.org . Otherwise, your post gets relegated to some mysterious sidebar on Facebook. 
 
Auction Results
Thanks to so many of you for attending the very successful auction last Saturday.  We are thrilled to announce that we raised a little over $13,000.  Thanks for our success goes to Sue Olsen, Elise deMichael, Peter Lippitt, the Bennett family, Lynn Coakley, Traci Dorsey, Bethany Poulin, Bob Eaton, Rev. Shayna, Jackie Davis, Fred and Susan Dyke, and Amy Conley.
~ Dona Eaton and Leslie Bennett, chairs

Volunteer Opportunities
Donate to SHARE in April
Water Bottles & Beach Towels Month
All through April, we will be collecting new water bottles and beach towels for SHARE. Please leave your donation in the basket in Barnum Hall. You can still donate new underwear through the end of March. For more information, contact Sandy Frades.

Nashua Soup Kitchen (NSK) News  
Every month we need three volunteers to help Meghan Hoye serve  Sunday  lunch at the Nashua Soup Kitchen. 
When : 2nd  Sunday  of every month (next on  April 8 )
Time:   10:30am-2:30pm
Duties: Setup, simple food prep, serving, cleanup
Who:   Adults and youth 12 and older (accompanied by a responsible adult) 
Of Interest to UUCM Folks
Learn Peacemaking Skills 
April 6-8 in Littleton, MA
With political polarization, sexism, and racism in the daily news, people are invited to three events featuring international peacemakers on April 6, 7, and 8 at First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster St., in Littleton, MA. People
are invited to attend any or all of the three events.  For complete information and to register, click here. Free dinner and introduction by the presenters on Friday night, April 6 at 6pm at the church.
 
Dissolution of NNED?
The  Board of Directors for the Northern New England District-UU asked that we share this letter with the congregation.  The board is encouraging people to attend the Spring Assembly & Annual Meeting as there will be a meeting on Friday evening that will also help answer questions and provide information.
 
NNED Spring nnedAssembly
April 13-14 at the UU Church of Nashua
Join fellow UUs from Northern New England in worship, thought-provoking programming, and a chance to connect.  The program this year will focus on dismantling white supremacy and building liberation as Unitarian Universalists. People of all ages are invited to attend. Youth (14-18) are welcome to participate in the regular programming, and there is a program for children (ages 2-13).  More program information and registration

Help UUA COA Select the Next Study Topic
T he UUA Commission on Appraisal invites your participation in a brief survey to help us as we prepare to select our next study topic. The Commission serves similarly to a "think tank" on larger issues facing Unitarian Universalism. Our recent study was on 'Class in the UUA'.  Read about the COA and complete the survey
 
Save the Date
Spring Fling Fundraiser for UUCM
Yard, Plant, and Bake Sale 
Saturday, May 12, 8:30am - 1pm 
- Moving soon? Or just decluttering?  NOW is the time to start cleaning out your basement, attic, spare room, etc. You have the opportunity to raise money for yourself and UUCM.  UUCM will organize the event, do the advertising, and provide a table at an excellent selling location! You will set up your table, sell your stuff, and take home whatever does not sell. As a minimum, 20% of your profits will go to UUCM.

- If you have perennial plants to donate, we will sell them at the Spring Fling. If you need help or pots or more information, contact Dona Eaton.  

- We will also have a bake sale, so if you can make something, that would be great!

There is a signup sheet in Barnum Hall with more details about the event. Or you can contact Sandy Frades.


Trivia Night - May 19 at 7pm

Trivia fun night is coming back by popular demand! Reserve a table or just a spot for yourself. See Cammie Opre or Sandy Frades for more information.

Reminders  
Pastoral Care Contact for April -  Linda Higgs

SHARE - Contribute to the Food Pantry  
Please leave contributions in the SHARE basket in Barnum. This month's needs: Pancake Mix & Syrup, Condiments, Cooking Sauces & Seasonings, Cooking Oil, Jelly, Cold Cereal   

Ch urch Closure Due to Weather  
In the event of bad weather, you can check whether church programs have been cancelled in several different ways .
 
NOTICE: P arking at UUCM
Weekdays before 6pm and Saturdays before 5pm: Park only behind the church or in the circular driveway in front (and NOT in front of the Garden Door). For more parking information (including a printable map), click here .
 
Where Can I Get More Information?
Choir Rehearsal - Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm in the Sanctuary w/Carolyn
Church Directories (updated 2/22) - UUCM website or ask Jamie
Church Policies - UUCM website
Council Minutes - UUCM website
Endowment Update - UUCM website
Faith Formation (Adult and Youth) - UUCM website