UUCM Monthly News

February 2024

We are a spiritual fellowship dedicated to building beloved community

within and beyond our doors.

Minister’s Musings with Rev. Julie Lombard

Let us welcome in the gift of Justice & Equity as our worship theme for February. This month is well-known as Black History month where we honor the role that African Americans have played in shaping U.S. history -- from slavery and its abolition to the Great Migration, the civil rights movement, and military, scientific, cultural, and political movements leading us to the present day.


The UUA’s 30 Days of Love 2024 Campaign: Imagining an Interdependent Future continues in February, ending on Valentine’s Day. This campaign is a gift to our community. It offers us ways to embody our values year-round. Each week the 30 Days of Love website offers us new ideas and things to ponder.

  • Jan 15-21 - Safety: Decriminalization
  • Jan 22-28 - Re-imagining: Climate Justice
  • Jan 29-Feb 4 - Possibility: Bodily Autonomy (LGBTQIA+, reproductive, gender, and disability justice issues)
  • Feb 5-11- Resilience in Democracy: Electoral Justice
  • Feb 13-14 - Interdependence: Liberatory Intersections


Each week's offering includes personal stories, reflections, prayers, blessings, and grounding practices, and A Time for All Ages. The UUA is committed to helping every UU congregation grow souls who want to achieve justice for all.


In January, our church leadership began to roll out the new committee reorganization to committee chairs. The first ministry addressed was our various Justice Ministries.


How will Justice & Equity come alive at UUCM this month? Our worship, youth programs, and small group ministries are all following this month’s Soul Matters theme. In worship, we will look at these issues from a number of perspectives and explore how they might inspire you to embody your faith. Join us on this journey to flex our muscles to build a beloved community.


Justice is one of the most important ideals to lift up in our society. It's what we strive for in order to create a fair and equitable existence. Our faith calls us to live out our values and all that we love. In the words of Cornell West, “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”

From the President's Desk  

Budgets, Auction, and Stewardship, Oh MY!

Is it just me, or does it seem like everything keeps coming around faster and faster?

Wasn’t it just Christmas?


Actually, it’s no illusion, but things aren't really speeding by either. Some church happenings are scheduled just a bit earlier this spring -- by design. 


If you've ever sat on the Board, or participated on one of the many committees here at UUCM, you know that it can often feel like a last-minute sprint to the finish to get everything done for our annual meeting: elect a new slate of officers and leaders, approve our budget, etc. It feels like there's little to no time to unwind and enjoy the fruits of our labor once everything is signed, sealed, and delivered before saying goodbye for the summer.


Why should we allow church work to get in the way of the work of the church? This year we are moving the annual meeting to May 19th. By making this move, we won’t run up against Memorial Day, our end of year picnic, or Milford Pride (like we did last year). This allows us to be a better partner organization, and better serve our community. Of course, this also means that we need to get all the dominoes lined up. We need to approve our budget earlier, so Stewardship and our fundraisers will be a bit earlier as well. By reshuffling these key items on the calendar, we will have time to do the proper planning needed to align our hopes and dreams with our means and expectations.


By the time you are reading this, the Finance committee will already be cobbling together the draft budget for next year, and one of our biggest (and most fun) fundraisers -- our annual Goods and Services Auction -- is only a few weeks away on February 17th .


So let’s not hunker down and wait out the winter before we finally emerge with the flowers. Waiting, then racing with a self-imposed sense of urgency to do everything before time runs out is not ideal. It's feeling better to me -- and I hope to you as well -- to have a Spring full of productive and purposefully steady work. And fun!


We set the schedule; the schedule doesn’t set us. As I've written in previous missives, everything need not fall back into the patterns of “this is how we’ve always done it.” We don’t have to wait for the snow to melt to sow the seeds for success next year and for the years to come. Let us plant those seeds now to enjoy the fruits of our labor later.

February’s Worship Theme - The Gift of Justice & Equity

 Read more.

February Worship Services

Sunday Services at 10:30 a.m. (in person and on Zoom)

February 4 - The Justice Juggle

Rev. Julie Lombard

As Unitarian Universalists, working for justice & equity is a spiritual practice. We commit ourselves to building a beloved community right here in the Souhegan Valley and beyond in numerous ways. Juggling is a skill set that not all have. So those who cannot juggle must wisely choose the justice and equity they seek and prioritize their actions. If we want to move beyond the “us & them” dichotomies that separate us, we must commit to uniting with folks that are not like us to bring about change. Join us for worship that inspires and fellowship that reminds us that you are not alone.


February 11 - Getting into Good Trouble

Rev. Julie Lombard

Today, we’ll honor John Lewis, a towering beacon in the fight for justice. His words and deeds were inspiring, familiar, and comforting. How might we best honor and celebrate his life’s work? I believe we honor him when we continue his work rather than enshrine it. He would ask us to listen to the new and current voices of those seeking justice. Today, we will hear some voices of contemporary black leaders and what they are asking of us, as UUs, as allies, as members of the Beloved Community.


February 18 - Change is Coming

Rev. Julie Lombard

Justice looked beautiful in the face of Greta Thunberg of Sweden as she sat next to UN Secretary General António Guterres at the COP24 in Poland to tell attendees that "our political leaders have failed us, because we are facing an existential threat and there's no time to continue down this road of madness." Hear her stern rebuke offered on behalf of the world's youth climate movement. Hear the story of how the young plan to guide us to a greener future.


February 25 with the Worship Team

Watch for details in the February 23 Weekly Update. Today is a Family Sunday where children remain in the sanctuary with their parents for the full service.

Be More Engaged with the UUCM Community

Lend a Hand on Sundays:

  • Be a Worship Reader.
  • Greet at the Garden door.
  • Pass the collection basket.
  • Help make coffee and set up.
  • Bring snacks for coffee hour.
  • Help with coffee hour cleanup.

Click here to Sign Up To Help.

Thanks to those who helped in January: Lisa Rothman, Candy Shirey, Karen Walsh, Laura Lynch, Linda Pellerin, Brenda Perry, John Miller, Jane and John Mika, Dona and Bob Eaton

UUCM - Your continual love & care does not go unnoticed!

Thanks to:

  • Leslie & Crista & their many holiday elves for their leadership & organizing the Fair.
  • Jackie for continuing to lead our Music Director Search.
  • John Bigl for organizing the Christmas Potluck.
  • Pastoral Care Team for loving up our members.
  • Worship Team for extra work with the Acting Music Director absence.
  • Ping Pongers for bringing joy to Barnum every Wednesday evening at 7pm.
  • Joes for leading a wonderful Holiday Music Service on 12/17.
  • Seamus, Amy, and Michael for hosting an amazing concert on 12/28.
  • Stuart Davidson, Candy Shirey, John Miller and Maintenance Team for greatly improving the visual appeal of the screens and organ loft.

Children & Youth Committee (CYC) February News

February’s theme is Justice and Equity. It’s also Black History Month. Enjoy this video storybook about Rosa Parks together as a family, especially if you are unable to attend the children’s circle this month: Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Illustrated by Bryan Collier.

Upcoming Family Sundays: Feb. 25 and March 24 and 31.

Update from the Music Director Search Team

We have just officially launched our search for the new Music Director and it should be live now.

My thanks to the stalwart members of the MD Search Committee: Nancy Baker, David Harris, Jane Mika, Sherri Sinclair, Graham Smith, and of course Rev. Julie, with special guest Dan Rothman.

In service,

Jackie Davis, Chair, Music Director Search Team & UUCM VP

February Happenings

UUCM Auction: We have the best stuff!

Saturday, February 17, at 6pm in Barnum

  • House & Garden - Yard beautification/cleanup, hellebore plants, carpentry by John Miller, a morning of work by the Maintenance Team, chainsaw tune-up, watercolor painting, pottery, sculpture
  • Events – Soup & songs, Boston Duck Tour, Currier Art Museum tour, tree farm tour, kayak & lunch  
  • Fabulous Feasts – Asian garden, Italian fiesta, Indian delight, cedar planked salmon, spring brunch, St. Pat's day Irish dinner
  • Getaways - Boothbay waterfront stay (3 nights), Franconia mountain view (3 nights)
  • Food to Go - Delicious soups, brunch delivered, dozens of fresh eggs, line caught Alaskan fish
  • Delectable baskets - Gourmet foods, charcuterie foods and board, Italian delectables, chocolate yummies, personal care, jam & pickles
  • Gift cards to local businesses

To donate to this list, fill out a form in Barnum or email auction@uucm.org

Coffee & Conversation with the Board

Sunday, February 18 at 11:30am

Fireside Room

Milford PRIDE News at UUCM

  • FREE Barbie showing in Barnum on Friday, Feb. 16. Doors open at 6:30pm and the movie starts at 7pm. Admission is free and there will be a cash bake sale table.
  • Please join us in planning the best Pride Festival ever in Milford this June. We’ll meet on Sat., Feb 10, at 3pm in the Granite Room. Feel free to contact Karen Crossman with any questions.

Reverence for All Life Retreat

In person/online - Saturday, February 24, 9am-5pm

UU Concord, 274 Pleasant St.

What does it mean to have reverence for all of life? What parts of life or parts of ourselves do we feel don't deserve reverence? It's natural to encounter difficulties within ourselves and in our lives as we explore a spiritual path and move toward awakening. Can we learn to open to these aspects of our experience more? Let's explore this together!  Get more information and register here.

Adult Education

February 14, 2024 @ 4 pm on Zoom

With a Grain of Salt

Salt is an essential in our lives for so many reasons, and it has a major role in our long history as human beings. We’ll see how it is mined or extracted around the world, how we use it to preserve and cook food, and the ways we even create art from it. Join Nancy Baker for a chat about this essential ingredient that flavors our living.

 

The Surface of Mystery Series resumes on February 28 @ 4pm on Zoom

The Five Elements:  Water

Water covers 70% of the earth, but vanishes right in front of you every day. It is solid around here at this time of year. In every season it is vapor in the air and under our feet as ground water. It comes fresh or salty. We couldn’t live without it, yet we pollute it, fight over it, and try to reshape its natural contours and beauty. As usual, we’ll see how people have celebrated water over the ages in myth, song, theology, art, science, and politics. Over two months we’ll consider everything from Neptune to seascapes, from baptism to floods.

Candlelight Vespers in the Sanctuary

Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. through 3/27/2024

All are welcome to soothe your soul with music, poetry, and prayer in our candlelit sanctuary, followed by a simple meal of soup and bread. Even the atheists among us will find a deep sense of spiritual peace in this setting designed for all souls. Rekindle your flame with a little help from your friends. Rev. Julie Lombard will lead this brief half hour series. Soup will be waiting on the stovetop at 6:30pm. Please join us! Then stay for more fun with ping-pong if that calls to you.

Community Supper

Wednesday, February 21, 5:30-6:30pm

Take a night off from cooking and join some friends at church for supper! The menu changes monthly, and we always offer a vegetarian option. Questions? Or want to volunteer to help? Contact Nancy Danzinger.

UUCM Ping Pong!

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm

Come play ping pong with us every Wednesday in Barnum Hall. Hope to see you there!

Building Security Notes

UUCM is gradually upgrading security in our building to ensure that we all continue to feel it is a safe place. Recent noteworthy changes:

  • The code on the doors that allow access to the building was changed.
  • Cameras, which record motion and sound, were installed at the three doors.

Recycling at UUCM!

Yes, we do! - the Maintenance Team recycles what Milford accepts at the Transfer station - plastic bags, paper, metal cans, some plastics. See signs in kitchen. You are encouraged to recycle in your town!

Compost - we have a compost bin outside church for church waste - whatever was leftover on food plates or from food prep goes in the large marked plastic bucket.

Available Now - Pizza stone, Printer, Art books

See the bulletin board in Barnum. Post listings for things you would like to find a new home for or something you are looking for. Your 8.5x11 (or smaller) listing must include the date posted.

SHARE Needs Your Support in February

Each month SHARE asks UUCM to help stock their food pantry that serves clients in Milford and surrounding towns. Please help our neighbors this month by donating: toothbrushes & paste, deodorants, shampoo & conditioner, bar soap, feminine hygiene products, diapers, wipes for the Food Pantry at SHARE. Leave items in the box in Barnum Hall, or click to see where to drop off food donations.

Weather Cancellations at UUCM

It’s Snowing – Is Church Closed? If so, you can still participate via Zoom. To find out whether we will be meeting in church:

  • Call the Church at 603-673-1870. If in-person church is canceled, the answering machine will tell you.
  • Check the calendar on the website. The title will say "Worship Service (Online only due to snow)".
  • Check WMUR-TV (News 9) or http://www.wmur.com/weather/closings and look for “Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Milford” under the letter U.


Note that these closure notices apply to church services and programs only. It is up to group leaders, committee chairs, and renters to notify their people if a meeting is canceled.

To contact UUCM leadership:

  • UPDATE: Jamie, our administrator, is in the office from 10am-2pm on Monday, Thursday. and Friday. To schedule an appointment, please email office@uucm.org. On Tuesday and Wednesday, she works remotely and can be reached by email. 
  • Rev. Julie can be reached at minister@uucm.org or call 603-673-1870 x2. For time sensitive or urgent situations, text or call Rev. Julie at (603) 724-0978.
  • The UUCM Board can be reached at board@uucm.org.

Newsletter deadlines: 

Where to Find:

  • Directory & Committee Listings - You will find the newest directories here under the Member Resources tab on the UUCM website.
  • Login or website help - Send email to commteam@uucm.org.

Find it on UUCM.org

The easiest and fastest way to find information on our website is to enter a word or two in the search box located at the upper right on any page.

UUCM 603-673-1870, office@uucm.org

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