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UUCM Newsletter
December 2018
 
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Table of Contents

Minister's Message

Yes!  This was posted on Facebook. And, I'd change the heading from "Christmas" to "Holiday" To-Do List. But you know what? If we can shift our focus from a commercial holiday season to one filled with presence, hugs, peace, and the spirit of giving, we will truly be the light of love in the world. And isn't that what this season is really all about?
 
I usually feel the need to steel myself for the holidays. There's just too much -- too much to do, too much stuff to buy, too much food. But this year, the world has been too much -- too much darkness, too much hate, too much violence and destruction. 

I'm actually looking forward to moving into the season of looking for light, love, peace, and joy amidst the darkness. I want to experience the mystery and wonder of the old stories about the cycles and seasons of darkness and light. I want reassurance that light will return, that the days will become longer, and hope, peace, joy, and love will come again -- for ourselves, for our neighbors, and in our world. May we have the strength in this season to keep looking for the shards of light scattered throughout the universe, and bring healing and wholeness to a fragmented and broken world.
 
Happy Holidays, my friends!  
Faithfully Yours, Carol
 
Worship Services in December
December 2 at 10:30am: Take Joy 
Rev. Carol Strecker
Joy is a theme often associated with Christmas.  But what is it?  Where does it come from?  Why is it important? His Holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu come from very different religious traditions. We can learn a lot from what they have to say about the importance of joy in a changing world.

December 9 at 10:30am  
Music and the Mystery of the Unknowable
Carolyn McCreary, Music Director
Leonard Bernstein once said that "Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." Its power to connect us to the wonder and mystery of the holiday season is strong and familiar. The choir, soloists, duets, trios, and a special young pianist will weave together a service of memory and the magic of being together for a celebration of song and storytelling. We are a congregation that values singing together, so let's enjoy a service where we can all sing and celebrate!
After the Service:  Meet the Minister -- For new folks interested in learning more about our congregation

December 16 at 10:30am
The Christmas Menorahs:  
How One Town Fought Hate
CYFF Committee
UUCM children and youth will act out the story of The Christmas Menorahs by Janice Cohn.  After someone throws a rock through Isaac Schnitzer's window, the people of Billings, Montana, join together to fight a series of hate crimes. Whole Congregation Worship
After Church: Potluck for all in Barnum

Friday, December 21, at 6:30pm in Barnum Hall 
Winter Solstice Spiral
Rev. Linda Goodman, Interfaith Minister
As the earth pauses its cycle and begins to turn again toward more light, let us also pause at this busy time and experience the wonder of the season with soft music, candlelight, and community. In this special ceremony for all ages you will be invited to walk a large spiral path laid out in evergreen boughs. At the center, you will receive a gift of candle's light by an "angel". As you walk the spiral path out, you will place your light on a star along the path, adding the gift of your light to the light of many candles shining on sparkling crystals. Come share the wonder!

December 23 at 10:30am in Emerson Hall  
Mysteries of Light & Love:  
Songs & Stories of the Season
Rev. Carol Strecker and UUCM Musicians
We'll gather in Emerson Hall to share some of the songs and stories from a variety of cultures and traditions around the world that capture the mystery and wonder of finding light and love in the darkness. Whole Congregation Worship

Monday, December 24, at 5pm  
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Rev. Carol Strecker  
We'll welcome Christmas with candles, music, and readings celebrating the light born of hope in the birth of every child. We'll tell the ancient story of Jesus' humble birth and light candles for the birth of every child born since last Christmas Eve. "Every night a child is born is a holy night." ~Sophia Lyon Fahs, Unitarian Religious Educator.
This is a service for all ages but it is not specifically designed for young children.  

December 30 at 10:30am
Life is a Riddle and a Mystery
Come ring out the old year by honoring the questions. Bring your questions and your curiosity.   
Lifespan Faith Formation
Children & Youth Faith Formation News
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to Jamie or the CYFF Committee chairs, Julie Adl-Zarabi and Kristin Rounds.
  • Sunday, Dec 2 and 9 - Sunday Morning Circle: The children will prep for the children's pageant, The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate (based on true events), by learning songs, making props, and rehearsing the story.
  • Wednesday, Dec 19 - We need help for the CYFF Community Supper.     UUCM families will put on the monthly free community supper. Please contact the office to offer help!
  • Sunday, Dec. 23 - Whole Congregation Worship
  • Sunday, Dec 30 - Sunday Morning Circle: Game Day!  As the holiday season winds down, children will get to enjoy a game day.
As a reminder, every Sunday we offer:
  • Free childcare (for infants through Kindergarten age) - Available every Sunday starting at 10:15am. 
  • A Family Room - Available to families every Sunday at any time during a service. In the Family Room, you can listen to the service and play with an array of crafts, books, and games. Parents must stay with their children in this room. 
Last, but not least, please join UUCM's Family Facebook Group !
 
Reading for Change White Fragility  
When: Tuesday, December 4 - 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Toadstool Books, Milford 
UUCM is hosting a discussion of the book "White Fragility (Why It's So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism)" by Robin Diangelo, published by Beacon Press. This New York Times bestselling book explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged that serve to maintain racial inequality.

Read the book and then join us at the Toadstool for a lively round-table discussion. Snacks welcome! We have purchased books from Toadstool at a discount; call Amy Conley to get one for $12. Learn more about the book and take a quiz to see if you exhibit any "white fragility" traits.
 
Thursday is Adult Ed Night at UUCM this Fall
UU History: "Long Strange Trip" -- Our six-part video series concludes. 
Date:  December 6
Time:  6:30 - 8:30pm - Feel free to bring your supper to eat while watching.
Location: The Granite Room
 
UUCM newsNews & Activities

Weather Cancelations at UUCM
It's Snowing - Are UUCM Services/Programs Canceled?

To find out whether UUCM is closed on Sunday: 
  • Call the church at 673-1870. If church is canceled, the answering machine will tell you.
  • Check the calendar on the website. Look for the word "CANCELED" next to church event in the online calendar.
  • Check WMUR-TV (News 9) or http://www.wmur.com/weather/closings and look for "Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Milford" under the letter U.
NOTE: These closure notices apply to UUCM services & programs only.  
It is up to group leaders, committee chairs, and renters to notify their people if a meeting is canceled.

Closings on Other Days:
If the office is closed, there will be a message on the answering machine. It is best to call ahead to ensure someone is in the office.  For meetings or activities, check with the group leader.

Shopping Smile.Amazon Benefits UUCM
If you are an Amazon shopper, use smile.amazon.com and a percentage of your sale will come to UUCM.  It's easy!  Here's how.  Or contact CommTeam for help.
 
Don't Miss the 110th Annual Holiday Fair & Café 
Saturday, December 1, at UUCM -- 8:30am - 2:00pm
Come and bring your children, grandchildren, and friends!  This extravaganza has something for everyone!
  • The Ritzy Boutique elves have marked 50 pounds of nice costume jewelry! New items will be featured on a select table in Emerson, and, with some in the congregation downsizing this year, there is a bounty of gently used items in the classrooms -- twice the usual number of bargains!
  • The Café is serving from 8:30 until 1:30. We open early for breakfast, so stop by for coffee, yummy strata, scones, and fruit salad. At lunchtime, get a sandwich made to order, your choice of soup, and pies -- oh, my!
  • In the bakery you'll find stollen and other fresh baked goodies. There'll be packaged candy, too!
  • In the Crafts room (Emerson Hall), Christmas gnomes with pointed red hats guard the creative treasures and our ever popular laurel wreaths. You can view previews of a few craft offerings from a link on the Holiday Fair page.
  • Catch up with Jeff Hoye sitting behind the 50-50 Raffle sign. Will you be the lucky winner announced in church on Sunday morning?
  • We are all looking forward to the 1:00pm children's sing-along and parade led by Amy Conley.
This Holiday Fair will not disappoint!  So be sure to come out for a day of fun and fundraising!  And if you want to sign up to help, contact Sally Sennott or Betty Sweeney.
After the Fair
Bargains: On Sunday, December 2, many leftover items from Ritzy Boutique will be in the Granite Room for half price.
Help Needed:  On Monday, December 3, Ritzy co-chairs, Elise deMichael and Cathy Haigh, will be boxing up final leftovers and would love extra help. Please contact Elise or Cathy before Monday morning at 10am if you are available to help. Thanks to all who helped with Ritzy!
 
Shop the Toadstool to Benefit UUCM
ONE DAY ONLY - Saturday, December 8
Pick up a certificate from the Garden Door shelf or at the
Holiday Fair -- or  print your own . A percentage of all purchases made at the Milford Toadstool Bookshop on December 8 will go to UUCM.

All Women's Potluck
Monday, Dec. 10 - 11:45am - Barnum Hall
Enjoy one another's company and learn a bit more about each other in a relaxed setting with delicious food. We'll gather at 11:45 to set up, and enjoy lunch at noon . Afterwards, many hands make cleanup fast. For questions, call Elise deMichael. 
 
Second Friday Song Circle  
Friday, December 14 from 7-10pm
People who love to sing and/or play acoustic instruments for fun meet monthly at UUCM and use the Rise Again songbook.  Contact Amy Conley.

Potluck Potluckfor All
Sunday, December 16 at 11:30am
Enjoy meeting new and old friends during a potluck luncheon right after the church service. All ages are encouraged to attend. Please bring something to share. Whatever it is will be appreciated. Please list ingredients for those with food sensitivity.  See the Food Allergen Policy.  Contact Dona Eaton.
 
Christmas Day Potluck & Yankee Swap
Needs a Coordinator!
A coordinator is needed if we are to hold the traditional Christmas Day potluck and Yankee Swap on December 25th.  Contact the office for more information and to volunteer your help.
 
Notes from the Council
This month, Council continues its work to understand the congregation's values and identity in order to clarify the congregation's mission. It is our hope to begin examining our mission statement -- with the goal of revising it -- with new insight and new goals in mind. This is an exciting moment in the life of UUCM!  Soon, our next minister will get their first look at who we are and who we want to be when our Ministerial Search goes live!  We thank the Search Committee for all their faithful efforts to prepare our Ministerial Search Packet for submission to the UUA.   
 
The Holiday Fair is fast approaching, so 'Thank You' to all of you for working to make the Holiday Fair a success. We hope this winter holiday season and New Year are a time of renewal and peace for you and yours.

In Service,
Marti Kennedy, Acting President
 
Small Group Ministry Welcomes New Members
Existing Small Groups that meet in Hollis and Mont Vernon have space for new members, and if there is interest, a new group might be starting In Milford after the holidays.  If you are interested in joining a group, contact Pat Nelson to learn more.  
 
Small Groups are a way to connect with others in a more in-depth way than is possible during coffee hour.  About 8-10 people meet for a couple of hours, usually twice a month, to share personal life experiences, thoughts, and insights on a theme introduced by the group facilitator. We explore life's big questions in a confidential, safe environment with a spirit of openness, non-judgment, and support for our fellow travelers. Through this process, ethical and spiritual concerns that impact our lives are given time for personal reflection, deep listening, and sharing. 
 
Small Group Ministry (SGM) offers an opportunity for spiritual growth, mutual care, and meaningful connections among members and friends in our congregation. Learn more about SGM. 

Musical Help Needed This Spring!
The congregational survey lists music as an important part of our Sunday services, and we need your help.  This spring will be a special challenge for the choir since three of our members are on the search team, and they will be gone visiting other churches on four Sundays.  If you sing or play an instrument and would like to contribute to UUCM's music program, please contact our Music Director, Carolyn McCreary ( music@uucm.org).  
 
Barnum Betterment  
Membership Committee Improvements
One of the improvements underway is to create a Photo board with pictures of you and your family.  Drop your photo off in the office or  email it.  If you need to have a photo taken, send an email to the office and we will schedule it.  Our new minister will be ever so grateful to arrive and be able to match up names and faces.
 
Outreach - Helping Others
Try it!  Volunteer at NSK This Winter
Every month we need three volunteers to help serve Sunday lunch at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.  
When: 2nd Sunday of every month (Next on December 9)  
Time:   10:30am-2:30pm 
Duties: Setup, simple food prep, serving, cleanup 
Who:   Adults and youth 12 and older (accompanied by a responsible adult). 
You can sign up online or contact Marti Kennedy or Meghan Hoye. 
 
UUCM Community Supper Needs Help in Dec. 
On Wednesday, December 19th, the CYFF committee is asking for your help with putting on the monthly community supper. Please help us serve the community by volunteering your time or donating some food. Contact the office with questions. Thank you in advance!
 
SHARE 
UUCM supports SHARE throughout the year in numerous ways. In addition to sharing the plate and collecting food for SHARE, we have special collections every month for specific items that SHARE needs. SHARE is a nonprofit 
organization serving the towns of Milford, Amherst, Brookline, and Mont Vernon. SHARE provides food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance  
to those in need. For more information, contact Sandy Frades.
 
Two SHARE Projects to Do Before Dec 2
  • UUCM will be providing holiday gift cards to people in need through the SHARE Holiday program. There is a tree in Barnum Hall with tags for gift cards to local department, pharmacy, or grocery stores. Please take a tag and bring a card in and give it to Sandy Frades or Jamie Ferrier. You don't even need to take a tag -- just bring a gift card in to UUCM. 
  • Food Collection this Month: Pancake Mix & Syrup, Condiments, Cooking
    Sauces & Seasonings, Cooking Oil, Jelly, Cold Cereal. Leave these items in the basket in Barnum Hall.
Reminders  
Pastoral Care pcareContact
December:   Irene VanKanan

Updated Member and Leadership Directories
The Leadership and Member Directories were updated to reflect the new leadership and new members. Now that the newsletter is public on the website and no personal contact info is provided, it is especially important that you make sure all your info is correct in the directories. Look for the directories online at https://uucm.org/members/keep-in-touch/directories/. Let Jamie know if you need to update your email address, phone number, or other information (office@uucm.org or 603-673-1870).
 
Log On to the Members & Friends Section of UUCM.ORG Why? Get the latest Church Directory, Council minutes, services provided by UUCM members & friends, ways to shop to benefit UUCM, and more. Contact commteam@uucm.org if you need help logging on. 
  
Guidelines: Bringing Food & Serving Alcohol at UUCM
Please observe UUCM's Food Allergen and Alcohol policies on the UUCM Policies webpage. 

Parking 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 .