Even in the midst of dark times, the new year holds
the promise of new beginnings, new possibilities.
The Reverend Kathleen McTigue writes:
The first day of January is another day dawning,
The sun rising as the sun always rises,
The earth moving in its rhythms,
With or without our calendars to name a certain day
As a day of new beginning,
Separating the old from the new.
So it is: everything is the same,
Bound into its history as we ourselves are bound.
Yet also we stand at a threshold,
The new year something truly new,
Still unformed, leaving a stunning power in our hands:
What shall we do with this great gift of Time, this year?
Let us begin by remembering that whatever justice,
Whatever peace and wholeness might bloom in our world this year,
We are the hearts and minds, the hands and feet, the embodiment
Of all the best visions of our people.
The new year can be new ground for the seeds of our dreams.
Let us take the step forward together, onto new ground,
Planting our dreams well, faithfully, and in joy.
What seeds will you plant this year? What dreams will you sow? This is an important
question on so many levels. Each of us has our own dreams, but UUCM is on the verge
of stepping forward together, onto new ground. A relationship with a new minister will
bring all kinds of possibilities. What will you grow together? I can't wait to find out.
We still have time together to do some work to till the soil, preparing it for planting.
In January we'll focus on interpersonal relationships -- looking at what it means to be "in
right relationship" and creating a covenant that makes explicit the ways you agree you
want to be together in community.
I'm working with the Council to help them glean some core values inherent in the
statements you made at the Appreciative
Inquiry workshop last fall about what is most important to you about UUCM. These values will become central in their work, providing a
lens through which you can make decisions about how you want to use your resources
And finally, I hope to facilitate a process that might help you use your core values to decide upon a social justice project you can take on as a congregation this spring. There are all kinds of possibilities and all kinds of programs that you help to support in one way or another. But I'm curious to know if there's one project you can all agree to work on together.
I was blown away again this year by the number of people who worked together to make the Holiday Fair such a fabulous community event. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- when you all have a focus, you really pull together and make things happen.
can only imagine what would happen if you had a social justice focus. Many of you
have said you long for more multigenerational social justice projects. Well, let's see if we
can't agree on one and get that wheel in motion.
In this, the season of new beginnings, let's remember the power we have to
create justice, peace, and wholeness. There are many ways in which the days
ahead seem daunting. The news continues to be dominated by stories of suffering and
uncertainty. But one day, one step, one breath at a time, we are the only ones who can
give life to our dreams for life in abundance for all people and the planet.
Happy New Year!
Worship Services at 10:30am
Rev. Carol Strecker
Thich Nhat Hanh writes, "Every morning, when we wake up, we have 24 brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift!" As we perch on the leading edge of a whole new year, what are the possibilities for beginning anew?
Rev. Carol Strecker
Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal faith -- not a creedal faith. We don't tell people what to believe. We invite people to enter into a process, creating covenants that state explicitly how we want to be together. Our UU Principles are a covenant of how we want to be in the world. This morning we'll begin to look at the importance of covenantal relationships within a community such as this congregation.
Following the service: Join a potluck lunch and workshop where we'll begin to draft a "Covenant of Right Relations" for UUCM.
Curiosity is what keeps us alive to possibility and responsibility. When we learn from what we don't already know, we grow into deeper understandings of the totality of the world around us and its challenges. Few people realized this basic educational and spiritual truth more than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. On the day when we remember how he challenged us to test the possible and take responsibility for the outcome of our actions, we explore what curiosity can mean for us as individuals and as a congregation that strives to live and act by the principles we believe in.
Rev. Carol Strecker
Many of us are struggling with what it means to be white in contemporary American culture. Whiteness as a cultural norm. It confers power and privilege based on the color of one's skin. It's deeply rooted in systems of oppression designed to maintain the status quo. It can be hard to see because it's literally the water we swim in. Understanding the dynamics of racism is important work for people of faith who affirm the worth and dignity of all people and equity and justice for all.
Meet the Minister - New here? Meet with Rev. Carol and a few others in our congregation immediately following the service.
for Grades 1-6
- Jan 6: Vision Boards The children will start off the new year by creating 'vision boards' to help them envision what they would like 2019 to look like for them.
- Jan 13: Exploring Through Our Senses The children will use their senses to explore the world around them.
- Jan 20: A Look into Civil Rights The children will explore topics around civil rights, including answering the question "What would your sign say?"
- Jan 27: Bird Feeder Making The children will up-cycle old milk cartons and expired snacks to create bird feeders to help our local birds this winter.
- 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.
News & Activities
Council has big plans for the new year:
- We will be taking a look at our mission statement with fresh eyes, with the purpose of more clearly expressing UUCM's vision for the future and the way we want to be in the world.
- We will be supporting Rev. Carol and the congregation as we begin the important work of our Congregational Covenant.
- We will be looking at business and topics for discussion as we plan for a Winter Congregational Meeting in late January or early February.
This month's worship themes are Curiosity, Possibility, and New Beginnings. We wish you a new year filled with all three, especially in your life here in our community.
A new Small Group Ministry will begin on Tuesday, February 5, from 2-4pm, at the home of Ruth Heden. Co-facilitators will be Linda Pellerin and Linda Higgs. The group will meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoons. For more information about SGM in general or this group in particular, please contact Linda Pellerin, Linda Higgs, or the office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Come to Barnum Hall for an evening of fun and fellowship. We will meet on January 4 at 7pm 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. Our plan is to play the first Friday of every month through May, so mark your calendar! Questions? Contact Leslie Bennett.
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.
Monday, Jan 14 - 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.
WITT, in its support of women recently released from prison, is constantly aware of ways in which our political system might better support women in making a healthy transition back into the community. With that in mind, we welcome our newly elected state senator, Shannon Chandley, to tell us about her committee experience of legislative priorities regarding matters of criminal justice in New Hampshire. During her term in the NH House, Shannon served on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee and is well informed regarding current issues.
WITT is sponsoring this program with hopes that we might find a meaningful way to engage with legislative issues affecting this population. Folks from the congregation not presently working with WITT are encouraged to join us. Coffee will be served.
TIP: Our parking lot is likely to be filled on Saturday morning, so plan to park on the street or behind the school. Please register with the church office (email@example.com), if you plan to attend, so we will know how many to plan for.
WITT primarily provides rides for women recently released from prison. There is a broad ebb and flow in the number of rides requested, however, and sometimes there are stretches of time when our drivers could accommodate more clients.
And so, beginning in January, we will also be offering rides to clients of SHARE who have difficulty transporting their groceries from the Food Pantry there. Perhaps some of you who were uncomfortable about driving former prisoners would be happy to serve this new client base.
If you would like to be a driver once or twice a month for this very local and very important purpose, please be in touch with Mary Ann Pank or Donna Ryan. Thank you!
Saturday, January 19 at 6pm
Enjoy meeting new and old friends during a potluck dinner. Appetizers and adult beverages (BYOB) start at 6pm. Please list ingredients for those with food sensitivity. See the Food Allergen Policy. Contact Dona Eaton.
Stay after dinner for a travelogue from a recent trip by Bob and Nancy Baker to the far north - Iceland, Shetland, Orkney and Faroe Islands.
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 (
Be a Borrower and/or a Volunteer
The UUCM library consists of books for adults in the Fireside Room and books for children and curriculum guides in the Brown Room. Books may be checked out by signing the card in the book and putting the card in the box provided. Books being returned should be put in the basket or tray and not back on the shelf.
It's time to form a new committee to process new books and organize the shelves. Consider joining us! Erna Johnson will start rounding up volunteers in January.
The Holiday Fair craft group can turn them into recycled gift tags. When you are done admiring the beautiful cards, please place them in the labeled shoebox in the coat room. We thank you!
Outreach - Helping Others
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 are 1-2 hours. 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
- Pot Washing
- Bus tables, scrape & stack dishes
- Dry dishes & put away
- Clear Dining Room and Kitchen 6:30 - 7:00
- Also: Donate baked cookies/bars; pick up bread at Good Loaf.
Each month Nancy Danzinger sends a message soliciting volunteers for that month. Contact her to get on the distribution list.
Every month we need three volunteers to help serve Sunday lunch at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.
When: 2nd Sunday of every month (Next on January 13 )
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 supports SHARE throughout the year in numerous ways.
This year we provided more than 25 pajamas and over $500 to SHARE in the form of gift cards for the Adopt-a-Family program. Many thanks from SHARE! For more information, contact Sandy Frades.
We will be collecting
underwear for all sizes, ages, and genders during the month of January. You can leave items in the basket in Barnum Hall.
Food Collection this Month: Toothbrushes & paste, Deodorants, Shampoo & Conditioner, Bar Soap, Feminine Hygiene Products, Diapers, Wipes. Leave these items in the basket in Barnum Hall.
Monthly newsletters offer a way to plan ahead. See all information about upcoming UUCM events in the
. Articles must be sent to
by the 20th of each month.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-673-1870).
Please observe UUCM's Food Allergen and Alcohol policies on the
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),