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UUCM Newsletter
November 2018
 
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Minister's Message
Your Search Committee is doing an incredible job!  They are doing everything they can to prepare themselves to represent you in their search for a minister that will be the best fit for this congregation.  It won't be long now until they'll be talking with actual ministers interested in learning more about this congregation. The information you've provided through the Congregational Survey and numerous focus groups will be the basis for those conversations. The Search Committee will take everything you've shared with them and go off and do what you've charged them to do -- find the best candidate available to be your next settled minister.  You won't hear much about that process until they're ready to present a candidate in the spring.

In the meantime, we have an opportunity to continue to do some important work together.  The theme for the month of November is Community. An important part of the search process is discerning a vision for this congregation as a community.  The danger inherent in surveys and focus groups, depending on how the questions are phrased, is that the results tend to be the sum of individual needs, desires, hopes, and wishes.  It's harder to get a sense of what's in the best interest of the congregation going forward. Every community needs a vision -- a pole star, a guiding light to help them answer that larger question.

In her sermon at General Assembly last June, the Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the UUA, shared her prayer for Unitarian Universalist congregations:

That we answer both calls to hold each other in times of pain and to hold each other to account to acts of courageous love when our institutions create harm -- in acts of courageous truth-telling when we inflict harm.

I'd like to recommend that we take up the following two-fold vision (at least for the month of November):

First: looking inward at our relationships.  What's required of us to be able to hold each other in love? What does it take to be a community where people intentionally try to build relationships based on a strong foundation of trust, compassion, and forgiveness?  What does it take to be a community where people make what they value in relationships explicit? This month we'll start this process by taking a closer look at building trust.

Second: looking out into the world.  What's required of us to be able to hold each other to account to our values when we see harm and inflict harm on others?  I've come to believe it begins with those trusting, open, honest relationships -- where people can share the pain of what's happening in the world so we can keep our hearts open in the face of overwhelming suffering. We need that kind of collective strength and mutual accountability to live our UU values in the world -- speaking up for the worth and dignity of others,  speaking up for justice, equity, and compassion, speaking up for democracy,  speaking up for the interconnected web of which we are a part -- both in our congregations and in society at large.  From the micro to the macro, we are called to create communities based on our principles. The world needs our principles now more then ever.  
 
"This is no time for a casual faith."
 
Our congregations are so very fortunate to have Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray's vision to light our way during these troubled times.  She walks the talk, providing a pastoral as well as prophetic presence.  She has put her body on the line in places like Charlottesville -- standing for love in the face of hate and violence. This weekend she's in Florida, rolling up her sleeves in support of the "Second Chances Amendment"  that would re-enfranchise more then 1.4 million residents banned from voting because of previous convictions. Now it's up to us to heed the call.

One small way I'd like to invite you to help heed the call to stand for democracy this month is by joining me at the church on November 6, Election Day, for a vigil in the Sanctuary from 7 to 9pm.  We'll gather to light candles, sing and stand in solidarity for the right and the responsibility to chart the course of this country by participating in the democratic process. Drop by or come and stay all evening.  It will be good to be together.

I highly commend Rev. Frederick-Gray's sermon to you in its entirety.    Rev. Frederick-Gray's sermon begins at approximately 42:00.  

In this, the season of Thanksgiving, may we be mindful for all we've been given, all we are to one another, and all that is required of us.
 
Faithfully Yours, Rev. Carol

Sunday  Services at 10:30AM 
** Remember to turn your clocks back on Saturday night! **
November 4: In ___ We Trust
Rev. Carol Strecker, Interim Minister  
Fill in the blank. For many Unitarian Universalists, it isn't God. But most of us recognize trust as the foundation for the ability to walk through the world with confidence. Relationships are built on trust. So, what is it, then, in which we place our trust -- and how do we build it? This seems an especially important question for intentional communities such as this one. How do we build trusting relationships and put them at the center of our congressional life?  
After Worship:  For new folks: Meet the Minister and a few church members in the Fireside Room.  
 
November 11: A View from the Balcony
Rev. Carol Strecker, Interim Minister  
An Interim Minister is charged with both joining the congregation -- that is, getting to know a congregation up close and personal -- and staying somewhat detached so that she can provide an objective, big picture perspective. Rev. Strecker has been with us for a little over a year now. This morning she'll share some of her observations of our congregation "from the balcony", focusing especially on how they relate to our search for our next settled minister.
After Worship: You're invited to get your coffee and gather in the Emerson Room to continue the  conversation with Rev. Carol after the service.
 
November 18: Gratitude - More Than Just An Attitude
Rev. Carol Strecker, Interim Minister  
Gratitude is a feeling, to be sure, but it's so much more than something personal and private. During this season of Thanksgiving we'll explore what an ethic of gratitude might look like -- gratitude that's more about "we" than "you and me". 
This seems like just the  right time to honor the generous bequest of Betty Winberg. Betty's daughter, Amy  Worrell, will be with us to celebrate her mother's generosity of spirit and vision for  UUCM. 
We'll put this ethic into practice by participating in the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's "Guest at Your Table" program during the holidays. Collection boxes will be distributed to each family this morning.
Whole Congregation Worship

November 25: The Stories that Define US
Worship Committee
Courage is a thread in all the stories that give our congregation meaning, relevance and longevity. As we look to our future, what has shaped us and what has defined us in the eyes of the larger community?  How will courage help us envision our future?
 
Lifespan Faith Formation
Children & Youth Faith Formation News
In November, we will be emphasizing our second principle: We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly .  November's Sunday Morning Circle schedule for Grades 1-6 is below: 
  • Sunday, Nov 4: Sunday Morning Circle: Trust Building The children will participate in activities and exercises to help foster confidence and trust in one another.
  • Sunday, Nov 11:Sunday Morning Circle: Stone Soup "Trail Mix" & Cookie Decorating The children will create trail mix, using the ingredients that were donated from the congregation. They will also decorate cookies to be given out at the Holiday Fair. Please read below on how you can help
  • Sunday, Nov 18: Thanksgiving ServiceWe invite all children and youth to join the adults in the Sanctuary 
  • Sunday, Nov 25: Sunday Morning Circle: Holiday Ornament Making The children will make ornaments to sell to the congregation. Proceeds will go towards the charity of their choice.
As a reminder, every Sunday we offer:
  • Free Childcare (for infants through Kindergarten age) is available every Sunday starting at 10:15am. 
  • The Family Room is also available every Sunday, to families, 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 !

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. 
 
The CYFF Committee Could Use YOUR Help...  
Sunday, November 11, please bring:
  • Plain Cookies -- The CYFF Committee is asking for volunteers to bake (or buy) plain cookies, and bring them on November 11. The children will spend part of the morning decorating the cookies, which will be given out at the door during the Holiday Fair. 
  • Trail Mix 'Stone Soup' Ingredients -- Please bring an ingredient for trail
    mix (nuts, dried fruit, mini pretzels, chocolate chips, etc...). The children will combine the ingredients to create trail mix, which they will hand out to congregants during coffee hour.
Share Your Talent
Do you have a talent that you could show our children and youth? The CYFF committee is looking for volunteers to sign up for a Sunday Morning Circle (grades 1-6) and show the children a new skill, talent or information (meditation, art, yoga, music, puppetry, circusry, knitting, embroidery, foreign language, storytelling, etc...)
 
Thursday is Adult Ed Night at UUCM this Fall
UU History: "Long Strange Trip" -- a six-part video series continues.  
Dates:  November 8 & 15
Time:   6:30 - 8:30pm - Feel free to bring your supper to eat while watching.
Location: The Granite Room
 
UUCM newsNews & Activities
Election Day Vigil
Tuesday, November 6, from 7- 9pm  
We'll gather to light candles, sing, and stand in solidarity for the right and the responsibility to chart the course of this country by participating in the democratic process.  Drop by or come and stay all evening. It will be good to be together.
 
Second Friday Song Circle  
Friday, November 9 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.

Fall Cleanup at UUCM
Saturday, Nov 10 at 9am
It's time once again to beautify our church inside and out, readying for a busy church year.  There is more work than the Friday Guys can do and your help is needed to rake leaves, clean the kitchen, wash stained glass windows, etc.  Beverages and snacks provided to keep you motivated and hydrated. Contact Barbara Smith  

Potluck PotluckEvening for Adults
Saturday, November 17 at 6pm
Get together with other UUCM adults for a potluck supper and entertainment.  The evening starts with appetizers and your beverage of choice.  Please BYOB and a dish to share, listing key ingredients. After dinner, take a short escape to the beautiful Greek Islands with photos from Bryan and Linda's recent trip.  See the Food Allergen Policy.  Contact Dona Eaton.
 
Thanksgiving Leftovers Banquet
Friday, November 23, 6-9pm
Not enough room in the fridge for all those leftovers? Can't quite picture yourself eating turkey dinners all winter? Then add what's left from your feast to the UUCM's Thanksgiving Leftover Banquet... Kitchen opens at 4. We'll join together for our feast at 6...  
Contact coordinator - Cathy Goldwater - to help with this special event.
 
Notes from Council
November's theme is Community, and community will be on our minds as we begin our mission and vision work in earnest this month. We will be considering very carefully what our UUCM community values are as we strive to set a course that leads to a vibrant future for our congregation. We will be looking for ways we can reach out to our wider community with what we value as a guide. We will be striving for stronger bonds with the Unitarian Universalist community at large as we discern how to respond to UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Grey's call, "This is no time for a casual faith".

November is also when this congregation, this community, works together to put the finishing touches on the UUCM Holiday Fair. Not only is the Holiday Fair an important fundraiser, it is also often the first glimpse of Unitarian Universalism that folks from the wider community see as they enter our building to shop or dine. It is up to all of us to make that day a success. Please make the Holiday Fair a priority in your life this year by volunteering in whatever ways you can. It is a large undertaking, and we are a small community, so all hands and hearts are needed and welcome.

In Service,
Marti Kennedy, Acting President
 
Finance Committee Notes
Key Points of October 5 Meeting
  • Welcomed new committee member, John Reagan. We're so glad John will be lending his expertise, and we invite any and all who wish to pitch in to consider joining the team. The Finance Committee generally meets once a month, and as our name implies, we focus on financial elements of the UUCM community.
  • Discussed and adjusted the 5-year financial plan scenarios and needed changes that emerged following the September 30 Congregational Conversation. We adjusted the plan to reflect salary adjustments that the UUA is expected to provide in the coming weeks, and we changed our recommendation from the high end to the the mid-point of the salary range. 
  • Compared actual expenditures and income to the budget. Expenditures are right in line; income is slightly below plan. If you  haven't sent in your regular pledge amount, please submit your regular contribution. If you have questions about your pledge amount, please reach out to treasurer@uucm.org for additional details. 
  • Crafted wording for a proposed motion, which will be posted for review prior to the Congregational Meeting that is slated for October 28.
  • Stewardship Campaign leader(s) are needed. Cammie and Steve Opre, after two amazing years of leading the annual Stewardship campaign, are stepping down. Thank you to the Opres for their past efforts! We are looking for folks to lead the effort this year. Please reach out to Leslie Bennett, Sandy Frades, or any member of the Leadership Development Committee to discuss the efforts involved in leading this critically important project!
The Finance Committee's next session is scheduled for on Monday, November 12, at 7:30 PM. Please consider joining us if you want to get more involved in the financial concerns of the congregation.

Ministerial Search Committee Information
Find Search Committee information on the website, including the Survey Results and the 5-Year Financial Plan presentation.  More will be added as the Search Committee completes it tasks. 

News From Our Partner Church
This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, which allowed local communities to freely elect their preachers rather than following the state church.

Inspired by the anniversary, our partner church in Szekelyzentmihaly completed several large projects in time for their annual thanksgiving celebration in September, including this beautiful new gate welcoming visitors to the church. This style gate is seen everywhere in the Szekely region of Transylvania and is a beautiful art form.  There are dozens of gates at residences in the village, each with unique carvings. 

They had hoped to build a playground for the whole community, but hit some snags getting site work done at the school property.  The equipment was also more costly than expected, so they are reviewing options to get the project done soon.  The UUCM Partner Church committee is looking at ways that we can support this effort.
 
Women in Transition Team (WITT)
UUCM's Ministry to Formerly Incarcerated Women
The shame of the criminal justice system in the U.S. is widely recognized. The vast numbers of incarcerated women and men is a particular piece of that shame, a piece that creates more problems than it solves -- problems for those who are sent to prison, for their families, and for the larger community.  One of the problems is re-integrating these women and men back into the community following their time in prison. When the State of NH releases prisoners, it gives them nothing to help them through that time of re-integration.  A few have families or friends to help them, but for most, the work of forging a path back to a whole and healthy life is a lonely and daunting task.
 
Five years ago, UUCM formed the Women in Transition Team (WITT) to support women released from prison who settle in our area.  A foundational principle of our work is that it is good for everyone when these women are supported through this time of transition: good for the women themselves, for their families, and for the community. We can be of help in a variety of ways, but most of our support is in providing transportation.  Few women returning from prison have cars or even licenses, yet need to get to medical appointments, support groups, court hearings, and other essential services. Most are required to meet weekly with their parole officer in Nashua.  Over the past five years we have provided hundreds of rides and have helped more than a dozen women in this modest way.
 
We have evolved from our beginnings as a UUCM program to one that includes several dedicated volunteers from the larger community.  Presently we have 21 drivers, 14 of whom are members of UUCM. We have also evolved to being available to serve other women in the midst of challenging life transitions as well.  A steering committee meets monthly and we engage regularly in training programs to deepen our understanding of the needs of this population and how best to be in relationship with them. 
 
If you would like to learn more or be a part of this work, we invite you to contact Donna Ryan, Chair of the Steering Committee, Linda Higgs, Secretary, or Jeanne Nieuwejaar, who serves as an advisor to the group.  Or come to our next meeting, November 12 at 6pm in the Reeb Room.  
 
Changes to the Sanctuary
You may have noticed changes to the Sanctuary.  During summer the Friday Guys constructed an improvement to the dais.  What was once a safety concern, is now a platform accessible to more folks.  Our own John Miller led the Guys in creating a space which looks like it has always been in our Sanctuary.  Thanks, John and the other Guys who worked on this project. 
Barbara Smith, Property Chair

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho!  The Holiday Fair is Set To Go! 
We're ramping up for the Holiday Fair with December 1 st just a few weeks away!  It is time to commit to your holiday role. Make this an easy volunteer ask. Sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin board in Barnum.
  • This year we will be giving away mulled cider and fancy cookies from 9-11 a.m. at the Garden Door. 
  • A pick-up children's sing-along and parade through Emerson with Amy Conley will happen at 1 p.m. Gather around the piano in the sanctuary.
  • Hot breakfast and lunch will be available from 8:30am-1:30pm. 
  • There will be handcrafted gifts, ornaments, jewelry, laurel wreaths, baked goods, candy, and jam. 
  • Ritzy Boutique will have an abundance of gently used treasures.  
Fair Day attracts hundreds of people from surrounding towns. Be sure to come and bring your friends!
 
Calling all crafters!  We know that everyone is not able to attend the church craft group on Monday mornings to create crafts to sell at the fair.  However, we welcome any crafty people who make crafts at home to donate their items to the fair.  Just contact Sandy Springer or Lisa Rothman.  
  
Social Action - Helping Others
Try it!  Volunteer at NSK This Fall 
Every month we need three volunteers to help serve Sunday lunch at the Nashua Soup Kitchen.  
When: 2nd Sunday of every month (Next on November 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). 
You can sign up online or contact Marti Kennedy or Meghan Hoye. 
 
  UUCM Community Supper Needs Your Help
On Wednesday, November 21, Rev. Carol and Jamie Ferrier are asking for your help with putting on the monthly community supper. Since it's the day before Thanksgiving, we'd like to keep the supper simple. We will be serving soup, bread, and a light dessert. 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 November SHARE Projects to do before Dec 2. 
  • UUCM will be providing holiday gift cards to people in need through the SHARE Holiday program. There will be 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. 
  • We are collecting nonperishable food, paper goods, and personal hygiene items for SHARE to help with their Holiday food baskets or just to replenish their shelves for the winter. For the baskets they particularly need stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables (corn, green beans), white cake mixes and frosting, pie crust, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk, instant potatoes,  and chicken broth. Leave these items in the basket in Barnum Hall.
Reminders  
Pastoral Care pcareContact
November:   Karen Walsh

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.