UUCM Newsletter
March 2018

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Table of Contents

Minister's Message
Balance seems like a good theme for the month of March. The anticipation of warmer days ahead coupled with that feeling that spring will never truly arrive can bring with it a sense of being out of balance, out of synch with life's larger rhythms. Even though these days approaching the Spring Equinox bring with them the return of a balance between darkness and light, March can feel like a liminal time -- a little betwixt and between. I always feel a little restless -- ready to get on with whatever's coming next -- and a little lethargic -- very much in need of something green and growing to get me up and out and moving. Thinking about balance at this time of year seems like a good way to be more mindful of what's green and growing in this very moment.

Fortunately, for those of us who are part of this community, there's a lot that's already green and growing this month.

We've spent some time this winter looking at the values that feed this community. Last month we gathered to share stories of our most life-giving experiences at UUCM, compiling a list of the values inherent in those stories and some hopes and dreams for the future based on those values. The Transitions Team posted a consolidated list of those values on the UUCM website. 

When asked to choose which of these values are most important, those of you who responded included:
  • Faith Formation - Educational opportunities that help us learn about ourselves and others, going deeper, supporting all ages, especially those that focus on UU Principles and life passages (e.g., Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education and Aging as a Spiritual Practice)
  • Worship - Diversity of services, lay leadership and guest speakers, spiritual exploration
  • Music - Very important to this community, integral to worship, an important way people connect with worship services 
  • Social Justice - Community Supper, supporting community organizations like Ann Marie House and SHARE, Interfaith work, opportunities for the congregation to work together to gain understanding, seek out diversity, and stand up for UU values 
All fall under a broad umbrella of values related to building a strong, vibrant, caring community: welcoming, genuine, accepting, supportive, a place where everyone can fit in and be themselves, being there for others (not just ourselves). We stay in relationship with each other even when it's hard, sharing responsibility, trust, tolerance, respect, being nonjudgmental, inclusive, having opportunities to work together, in cooperation, learning and growing together. 


The amazing thing about these values is that they were generated by your experiences. These are values you've already experienced at UUCM!   What happens when we look at our experiences through a positive lens is that we discover all the things we value already exist. But looking directly through the lens of what you value also helps you focus on what you want going forward. Some of the hopes and dreams you expressed based on these values include:

  • More intergenerational projects that involve as many of us as possible (social justice) 
  • Outreach; strengthening our connections
  • Sharing what we've found here with others; thinking about new and different ways to use our space to reach out to the community; expanding our Community Supper program 
  • More vital programs for all ages focusing on Unitarian Universalist values
  • Community education programs such as voter registration, sharing our values with the broader community, working for justice  

As we move into the season where we're thinking about Stewardship -- how we support what we value with our gifts of time, treasure and talent -- my hope is that you can use these values, hopes, and dreams to help you focus on what you really want going forward -- keeping your eyes on the prize, so to speak, as you decide how to use your gifts in service of what you truly love. Congregational leaders from the Council and Stewardship Team compiled a list of ideas inspired by your values, hopes, and dreams. Some of these ideas will be used in the materials created for the Pledge Drive to help inspire your imagination. How might you put the things that are most green and growing among you into practice? It is a privilege to walk with you on this journey.


Faithfully Yours,


Rev. Carol
A Note from Rev. Carol about Ministerial Covenants
Rev. Barbara McKusick Liscord may be retired but she's still a Unitarian Universalist Minister with all the attendant ethical responsibilities that accompany that role. We've been meeting together to craft a covenant --
a statement of promises we're making to one another as two Unitarian Universalist colleagues who want to support one another while serving the
best interests of the congregation. You will find our covenant on the UUCM website.
This covenant provides us with guidelines for navigating our various roles, relationships, and responsibilities within Unitarian Universalism. It was
a great process that has already served us well.  We will revisit our covenant from time to time to make sure it's still working for us and serving the congregation well.  Rev. Barbara will craft a new covenant with the new settled minister. I want to thank Rev. Barbara for her generosity in welcoming me into her home as well as her generosity of spirit. 
Worship Services
Sundays at 10:30am
March 4    Being Maladjusted
Rev. Allison Palm, UU Nashua
In his book,  The Third Reconstruction, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber III writes about the power of fusion coalitions to bring people together across differences to fight for a better world for all. This sermon explores the concept of such coalitions and the powerful new Poor People's Campaign being started by Rev. Barber and others across the country.
Rev. Allison Palm of the UU Church of Nashua is preaching in Milford as the second of two three-way pulpit swaps among the Manchester, Milford and Nashua UU congregations.
After Church:  Potluck in Barnum

March 11    Collaborative Service
Worship Committee & Congregant Volunteers 

Before Church: 9am - Peace, Love, & Pancakes Breakfast
March 18   Turning To One Another: A Celebration of Community
Rev. Carol Strecker
Margaret Wheatley writes, "There is no greater power than a community discovering what it cares about." There is a power in moving toward a vision together greater then anything we can create on our own. Discovering a common vision requires vision, curiosity, bravery and the will to stay together, even when the going gets tough. Join us as we explore what brings and keeps communities together.
After Church: 
"What Floats Your Boat?" discussion

March 25   Mud Seasons of the Heart 
Rev. Carol Strecker
In New England there are five seasons: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Mud Season. What might we learn from this liminal time that often feels like being "stuck" between winter and spring?
Lifespan Faith Formation  
March's Theme: Balance  theme 
You can access resource materials for each month's theme at https://uucm.org/ministries/2017-2018-themes/. The materials identified as RE include a section near the end addressed to families.

The Third Reconstruction  Book
Book Discussion
Saturday, March 31 at 9am in Anthony
If you haven't had a chance yet to discuss the UUA Common Read book The Third Reconstruction, you're invited to a conversation hosted by the interfaith group that met for anti-racism training last year at the local Methodist Church.  Books are available at the Milford library or UUCM office. 
CYFF Update
Thank you to all the children and youth who participated in the "Who is Our
Neighbor?" worship service. It was inspiring to watch them brainstorm and perform The Good Samaritan skits and see the accompanying artwork. We plan to have more involvement of children and youth in upcoming worship services. For the month of March, we will go back to the Sunday Morning Circle format. As always, don't hesitate to contact Jamie Ferrier, the Office and Faith Formation Programs Administrator ( office@uucm.org, 673-1870 ext. 1) or Cathy Goldwater, Chair of the Children and Youth Faith Formation (CYFF) Committee.
UUCM Activities & News news
From the President's Desk 
Dear Members and Friends,
In January, Rev. Carol and Council both completed written appraisals of our shared ministry -- the work we're all doing together during this transition time. We discussed those at the February Council meeting. We will complete appraisals again at the 12-month mark and at the end of the second year of the transition. These appraisals serve as a chance to be mindful about our goals and to consider the work we've done and how we want to grow over 
the rest of our time together.

Thank you to everyone who attended the congregational meeting on February 18th. We accomplished a lot together, including unanimously passing the Property Committee's plan for safety changes to the sanctuary. There were also opportunities to sign up to participate in three projects: an outdoor sign that demonstrates UU values, campaigning Milford to adopt Indigenous People's Day, and looking at including diversity in the symbols in the sanctuary. Rev. Carol also shared a proposal for an improved decision-making process. Please read the minutes for details about the congregational meeting.

Council, the Congregational Development Committee, and others are polling each member and friend for their nominations to the search committee that will select a candidate to be our next settled minister. If you have not heard from someone by March 1, please contact Elise deMichael. Once nominations are tallied, Council needs to ensure the committee will be well-balanced and contact candidates to learn if they are able and willing to serve. Council will present the search committee as soon as possible.

Council is also developing an operations manual that will compile all our policies and procedures into one place, and make clear explanations of how
to get things done. Part of that will be the RACI analysis that Rev. Carol mentioned on February 18. (RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.) RACI is a way of analyzing tasks and projects to make roles and responsibilities clear. This operations manual project will probably continue into next year.

Council encourages your input, discussion, or questions about any of
these topics or other issues about the congregation. You can reach me at
president@uucm.org , or email everyone on Council at council@uucm.org . Council meetings are open to the congregation, so if you are interested in joining us, please feel free to attend.

We're now just a bit more than one quarter of the way through our transition period. This is an exciting and busy time to serve on Council and as the congregation's president.  While I thought I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, I'm finding serving on Council during the transition to be more rewarding -- and busy! -- than  imagined. Thank you for this opportunity to serve our community.

Tricia Jalbert, UUCM President 
UUCM Chooses to Put Its Values on the Lawnsign
In a recent poll UUCMers unanimously supported the idea of erecting a lawn sign that speaks to UU values, and the Council agreed.  The most popular was this 'love your neighbor' sign. The Council is investigating having additional signs made for congregants. Apparently we're not the only UU congregation that likes this sentiment.  Learn more by reading this article
2018 Pledge PledgeDrive
The team directing the annual pledge drive recently sent you an uplifting and fact-filled message about our financial health and this year's campaign.  If you missed it, read their very informative message.

Key dates:
March 18: Positive Vibe Pledge Drive Kick Off 
March 18: 9am -- Peace, Love, and Pancakes Breakfast 
March 18, Noon or March 20, 7pm: "What Floats Your Boat?" -- A Congregational Conversation around Financial Priorities. Your input needed! 
April 1: Positive Vibe Pledge Drive ends.  
If you have questions about the process or want to take a more active role in this important church event, reach out to Cammie Opre, Leslie Bennett or any member of the finance committee.
Welcome, New Members!
On February 18, we were honored to welcome five new members: Cathy Haigh & John Reagan, Jane & John Mika, and  John Dowd.  If you would like more information, read  How to Become a Member on the UUCM website.
We Have the Best Stuff!
Don't miss the Hawaiian themed UUCM Auction on March 24 at 7pm
Here are just some of the great offerings: 
  • For your House & Garden - Landscape design, Tree work, Lilac bushes, Carpentry by John Miller, a morning by the Friday Guys, Closet Cleanout, Deep Clean Your Kitchen, Detail Your Car
  • Fun Events - Soup & songs, Tacos & Train Dominos, Trivia, Manchester Monarchs, Fisher Cats, Boston Duck Tour    
  • Techie Help - Computer hardware, Computer applications
  • Learn & Lunch - Currier Art Museum,Tree Farm Tour & brunch
  • Dinners - Greek, Asian, Fajitas & Margaritas, Cedar Planked Salmon, Indian, Thai, BBQ, Daylilies and Dinner
  • Getaways - Boothbay fall weekend, more
  • Food to Order - Delicious Soups, Scrumptious Cakes 
To donate to this list, email auction@uucm.org
Property Safety

There have been recent incidents involving lit candles and ovens being on overnight. Please be vigilant and mindful when leaving the building.

Did you: Turn off the appliances? Blow out lit candles? Make sure the doors are locked and shut behind you?

Volunteer Opportunities
Sign Up to Help Before/After a Church Service
Click here to sign up. Each Sunday, we need: 1 Garden Door Greeter,
2 Sanctuary Greeters, & 2 Coffee Hour cleanup. Most jobs are suitable for families with kids.
March is SHARE Undies Month
During March, we will be collecting new underwear for all ages and genders. Please bring your donation to UUCM and put it in the Undies basket in Barnum Hall.  We are collecting these NEW items each month:
  • March - Underwear (all ages & sizes)
  • April - Beach Towels & Water Bottles
  • May & June - School Supplies

Empty Bowls Fundraiser for SHARE
Sunday, March 18 from 12am-2pm 
All are invited to SHARE in Milford for a simple meal of soup, bread, and beverages to remind us of those in our community who suffer from hunger and poverty. Ticket prices include a bowl handcrafted by school children in our communities.  More details here.
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  March 11 )
Time:   10:30am-2:30pm
Duties:   Setup, simple food prep, serving, cleanup
Who:   Adults and youth 12 and older (accompanied by a responsible adult) 
Save the Date
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.
NNED Spring Assembly
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).  Information and registration here

Spring Fling Fundraiser for UUCM
Yard, Plant, and Bake Sale  
Saturday, May 12, 8:30am - 1pm
This is a heads-up to start cleaning out your basement, attic, spare room, or whatever. You have the opportunity to raise money for UUCM and for yourself. 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 after the sale. As a minimum, 20% of your profits will go to UUCM. There is a signup sheet in Barnum Hall where you will find more details about the event. 

Pastoral Care Contact for March
Karen Walsh

SHARE - Contribute to the Food Pantry  
Please leave contributions in the SHARE basket in Barnum. This month's needs: Canned Fruit, Flour, Sugar, Boxed Mixes & Baking Supplies, Coffee & Tea, Juice, Granola & fruit     

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