UUCM Newsletter
February 2019

Table of Contents

Minister's Message
Believe it or not, this is the time of year when life begins to stir.  Deep within the earth, sap in the trees is beginning to rise from root to crown.  Ewes are beginning to lactate in preparation for spring lambing. Yes, there are signs of new life beginning to appear even as temperatures plummet and the snow flies.  

It seems appropriate that our theme for this month is "Search".  The stirrings of new life may not be readily apparent, but they are there if we look closely, carefully for them -- with intention.  
Maybe February is the season of love because this is the time of year when our sap is rising too.  The darkest days are waning -- the light is returning. Like that famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, it's time to start thinking about coming out of hibernation.

In her reflection entitled "Groundhog Day" Lynn Ungar writes:

Celebrate this unlikely oracle,
this ball of fat and fur,
whom we so mysteriously endow
with the power to predict spring.
Let's hear it for the improbable heroes who,
frightened by their own shadows,
nonetheless unwittingly work miracles.
Why shouldn't we believe
this peculiar rodent holds power
over sun and seasons in his stubby paw?
Who says that God is all grandeur and glory?

Like Phil, we're all improbable heroes who unwittingly work miracles from time to time.  We all have the power to be harbingers of new life. I see it happen every day in the context of life here in this congregation: a flash of insight or compassion, an open mind, a new idea, an outstretched hand to welcome a stranger, pitching in to make coffee or wash dishes, working with our youth. All this and more rises up -- like the sap rising in the trees -- from the wellspring of our deepest sense of who we feel called to be to one another -- who we feel called to be in the world.  

So, my questions for you this Groundhog Day are: What's stirring in you? What's ready to sprout and blossom just under the surface of the snow? And how can this church community nurture those tender buds?  As you prepare to welcome your next settled minister, it seems like a good time to search out and articulate the core values you share.  

The Council has been working on doing just that.  They've created a set of core values gleaned from congregational conversations during the last year.  They include:
  1. Spirituality -- Connecting with something larger then ourselves.
  2. Freedom and Responsibility -- Determining our own beliefs.
  3. Human Worth and Dignity -- Working for human rights, justice, equality.
  4. Legacy -- Connecting with past and future generations and our Unitarian Universalist heritage.
  5. Community -- Welcoming and creating a sense of belonging, knowing we're not alone; security; trust.
  6. Working Together -- Helping each other, helping others, group efforts that create results.
  7. Education -- Growing in wisdom and insight. 
  8. Aesthetics -- Fostering a sense of wonder and beauty.
  9. Enthusiasm -- Passion that leads to action.
We'll be taking a look at these values together on February 24th -- in worship and in a congregational conversation facilitated by the Council.  It seems to me that you have the power to grow what you long to see blossom in the world. Conversations about those longings is a good way to seek out and find what is commonly held among you.  If you can find what you're looking for in terms of values, they can provide a lens for what you choose to do together as a congregation -- giving you a clearer sense of what you can grow together.  I think that's pretty exciting! I hope you do too.

Faithfully Yours,
Worship Services at 10:30am
February 3:  Looking for Signs
Rev. Carol Strecker
Imbolc is the earth-centered celebration of the first stirrings of new life. Believe it or not, this is the time of year when seeds begin to germinate and the sap starts to rise in the trees -- signs of new life that are so subtle we hardly notice them, but they're there. What's starting to grow in you?

February 10: Curiosity as a Search Tool 
Collaborative Worship
Curiosity is a natural instinct and a powerful learning tool.   
We use it to search for meaning, answers, inspiration, example, and community. In the process, we discover its many layers such as listening, questioning, close observing, being open-minded, and keeping a sense of childlike wonder about the world. In this service we explore how curiosity can help us grow as individuals and as a congregation.

February 17:  Seeing Through the Eyes of a Poet -- Remembering Mary Oliver
Rev. Carol Strecker
If Unitarian Universalism had poet laureates. one of the most beloved would be Mary Oliver. We'll honor her recent passing by lifting up the words and images that have helped so many look at life just a little more closely, seeing a little more deeply that which connects us to all that is. If you have a favorite Mary Oliver poem, please bring it with you to share. (Here's one that was recently shared in a tidbit.)

February 24:  Searching for What Matters Most
Rev. Carol Strecker
What core values do we use as a lens for making decisions in our lives -- as individuals and as a congregation? And how do those values, once identified, serve as a guiding light, a North Star as it were, in our daily lives?

There will be a potluck lunch immediately following the service. After lunch the Council will share the work they've been doing to identify some of these core values. Join us
for this important congregational conversation as we lift up those important values and ways we can live more fully into them. This is especially important in light of our upcoming Stewardship Campaign and the future of our education programming for children and youth.
Faith Formation
February Sunday Morning Circle Schedule
For Grades 1-6:
Feb 3: Church Wide Scavenger Hunt -- The children will use clues found around UUCM to learn more about our history.
Feb 10: Random Acts of Kindness -- The children will create "love" notes to leave secretly throughout UUCM just in time for Valentine's Day.
Feb 17: Exploring Through Our Senses -- The children will use their senses to explore the world around them.    
Feb 24: How are You UU? -- The children will be led in activities and songs that focus on how our UU principles relate to our own lives and behaviors.  
We invite anyone and everyone who has interest in what UUCM's children and youth are up to these days to consider joining the Children & Youth Faith Formation Committee! You are invited to our next meeting on Monday, February 11, from 12pm-2pm. Please contact the office or one of the chairs, Julie Adl-Zarabi and Kristin Rounds, for more information. 

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. 
And remember to join UUCM's Family Facebook Group !  It's interactive!
UUCM newsNews & Activities

Planting the Seeds - Stewardship 2019 / 2020
Our forebears planted the seeds for UUCM in 1833 when the congregation began working toward the abolition of slavery and establishment of equal treatment for all. Today, we reap the harvest of our predecessors and plant the seeds of love and hope for the next generation.
It is your commitment to UUCM that allows us to provide opportunities for spiritual and personal engagement through which we can support and serve one another and the wider community. It takes generous contributions of time, energy, and money to sustain and enhance our spiritual home at UUCM. 
None of this would be possible without your steady and growing financial support each year.

NEW!  Game Night - First Friday 
February 1, 7-10pm
Come to Barnum Hall for an evening of fun and fellowship.  We will meet to play board games and get to know one another better. Kids, families, and adults are all welcome. Bring a favorite game if you wish.  We will supply beverages and something sweet.  Questions?  Contact Leslie Bennett.   
Song Circle - Second Friday  
February 8, 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.

Trivia Night -- with Prizes!  All welcome!
February 9, 7-10pm
It's time for our annual Trivia Night at UUCM. Everyone is welcome, so invite your friends!  You'll have fun, laugh a lot, and enjoy food and drink. Come with a group and buy a whole table for 10 people -- or come alone or with a friend  and join a table. There will be prizes and a raffle.

No study ahead of time is required. In fact, the theme for the Bonus Questions is a secret so that no one can study up on the topic!
Fee is $10 per person. Free snacks at each table. Wine, beer, and soda can be purchased or you can have a tasty dessert for a donation.  
For more information or to reserve your table/space, contact Sandy Frades  
All Women's Potluck
February 11, 11:45am 
Enjoy one another's company and learn a bit more about each other in a relaxed setting with delicious food. We'll gather in Barnum Hall at 11:45 to set up, and enjoy lunch at noon. Afterwards, many hands make cleanup fast. For questions, call Elise deMichael. 
NEW 'On Being' Podcast & Potluck - Third Friday
February 15, 6:30-9pm   
Join us on the third Friday of each month. We will start by sharing a potluck meal and listening to a Krista Tippett " On Being" podcast, which promises "intelligent conversation on religion, meaning, and moral imagination." 
Following dinner, we'll talk about what we heard. It's like a book club with no homework!  Questions? Call Leslie Bennett. 
FREE Clothing Swap - Purge Your Closet!
February 16, 1-2:30pm
Winter is a great time to purge clothing you do not want.  Bring it to Barnum and swap for something you like better.  You get a table to display your clothes for women, men, kids.   At 2:30 take home your new things and your leftovers.  Or bag it up and we will take it to SHARE.

Winter Congregational Meeting & Potluck - Feb 24
Potluck potluck(11:45-12:30) &  Meeting (12:30-2pm)
We invite you to take part in a vital conversation about what we all value about UUCM. During this congregational meeting, we'll explore how these values are woven into our goals for our upcoming stewardship campaign, and how they will guide us as we consider the future of our Religious Education/Faith Formation programs. All are welcome to attend and join the conversation.  
(No congregational votes are scheduled for this meeting.)
Small Group Ministry
Small Groups offer a chance to connect more deeply with others and foster a quality of relationship among us that beckons forth hidden possibilities. There are presently three Small Groups at UUCM.
Linda Higgs & Linda Pellerin 
1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 2-4pm  
Milford, home of Ruth Heden
> Space may be available - Call Ruth (no email).

Dave Wheeler
1st & 3rd Mondays, 7-9pm
Hollis, home of Dave Wheeler
> Space available - Sign up with Dave.

David Harris
2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 7-9pm
Mont Vernon, home of Lou & Sandy Springer 
> Space available - Sign up with David.
See Something?  Say Something!
While the Custodian and the Property Committee attempt to keep on top of issues around the church, sometimes things get missed.  If you see something that needs attention, please make a note of it on the clipboard hanging on the bulletin board outside the church office. 
Thanks for helping us keep on top of issues!
~ Barbara Smith,  for the Property Committee
Outreach - Helping Others
UUCM Community Suppers  - HELP Wanted!
On the 3rd Wednesday every month (5:30-6:30pm) UUCM provides a free supper to the greater community and generally serves around 70 meals. 

We have a core group of volunteers, but would LOVE to have you join us.  
The jobs at UUCM are 1-2 hours. Or you can bake at home. Training and free dinner provided!   
  • Set-up team -- 4:30 - 5:30  
    • Set tables, beverage & serving area; plate bread and desserts.
  • Serving Team -- 5:15 - 6:30
    • Serve food; restock buffet and beverages as needed.
  • Clean-up Team -- 5:45 - 7:00 
    • Dish washing
    • Pot washing 
    • Bus tables, scrape & stack dishes
    • Dry dishes & put away
    • Launder dishtowels
  • Clear Dining Room and Kitchen -- 6:30 - 7:00
  • Donate baked cookies/bars.
  • Pick up bread at Dutch Epicure on 101A.
Each month Nancy Danzinger sends a message soliciting volunteers for that month.  Contact her to get on the distribution list.


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 February 10 )  
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. 
SHARE in February  
  • Cake Basics: During February we will be collecting cake mixes, cans of frosting, birthday candles, other cake decorations and party favors to fill as many birthday bags as possible with the things needed to create a birthday party. SHARE will put them on their pantry shelves for clients to create a party for their child. 
  • Groceries: Pancake Mix & Syrup, Condiments, Cooking Sauces & Seasonings, Cooking Oil, Jelly, Cold Cereal

Please place your donation in marked baskets in Barnum Hall. 

Pastoral Care pcareContact
Febuary:   Linda Higgs

Monthly Newsletter Deadline - 20th of Each Month
Monthly newsletters offer a way to plan ahead.  See all information about upcoming UUCM events in the monthly newsletter.  Articles must be sent to news@uucm.org by the 20th of each month.  
Weather Cancellations at UUCM
It's Snowing - Are UUCM Services/Programs Canceled?

To find out whether UUCM is closed on Sunday: 
  • Call the church at 603-673-1870. If church is canceled, the answering machine will tell you.
  • Check the calendar on the website. Look for the word "CANCELED" next to a 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 always best to call ahead to ensure someone is in the office.  For meetings or activities, check with the group leader.

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 to make sure all your info is correct in the directories. Look for the directories online. 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 .