UUCM Monthly News
September 2020 -- Minister's Message

Dear Members & Friends of UUCM,

Welcome to a new church year, and what a year it will be! With so much uncertainty surrounding us, it can certainly feel as though we have been thrust back into a time when darkness covered the face of the deep.
 
Read Rev. Shayna's entire message.
Virtual Worship Services - Sundays
Sept 6 - Last summer service at 9:30
Now is The Moment ... The Worship Team
Welcome to the present moment and all it offers. As we transition into a new church year, we bring challenges with us from COVID-19, the urgency of affirming that Black Lives Matter, and the anxiety over the upcoming national election. How do we set aside the negative baggage of fear, unrest, and worry to find the positive energy that comes with a renewal of fellowship and the beginning of a relationship with our new minister, Rev. Shayna Appel?  September’s theme of renewal tells us to celebrate the new as we acknowledge that we aren’t perfect, but we are optimistic. Now is a moment of welcome and a time to recharge.

Sept 13 - 10:30 services begin
Rev. Shayna Appel
September is a season of homecoming for us UUs. And renewal is central to that. At the opening of each new church year, we renew our commitments to each other and our church community. We renew our energy for another year of journeying together. Read more as we focus on the theme of RENEWAL this September.
Description of future services will be in the Weekly Update, posted online, and in the calendar.
A Message From the Board
A new church year has begun, and the Board has already begun its work, along with our new minister, Rev. Shayna Appel. The Board and Rev. Shayna met recently in the Shelley Garden for our retreat, with social distancing and safety protocols as described in the Reopening Plan, Phase 2.

In case you missed it, the Reopening Team and Board have officially opened the Shelley Garden to small groups, with guidelines outlined in the Reopening Plan. If your small group would like to meet in the Shelley Garden, contact the office to reserve the space, and be sure to read the Reopening Plan to see what is expected of those using the garden.

Although the year remains uncertain in many ways, one thing we can all rely on is the connection we continue to share through attendance at virtual services and other gatherings during the week. Please be sure to read both weekly and monthly newsletters to keep up with all the goings-on! Welcome back to UUCM!
Your input needed for the Reopening Taskforce!
Do it NOW: Please take this Short Survey!
As we work toward reopening the church for meetings and worship, your input is essential. Please click here to answer this short survey that will help us formulate plans for reopening.
Finance Committee News
This budget was developed with the pandemic in mind and assumes a slow reopening in January, 2021, but it will work even if we don’t open at all during the next church year. If we live to this plan, we will take less than permitted as part of our Endowment Standard Withdrawal. The good news is that we may not need to take any of the Endowment Investment in Our Future monies (part of the 5-year plan to take $108,000 from our Endowment). Pledges are coming in ahead of schedule. At this time, we are in a good financial position to respond to whatever COVID-19 brings our way.
** Many thanks to John Mika, who served as Treasurer last year. We will miss him on the Finance Committee. Welcome to Alan Shirey, our new Treasurer.
Finance Committee Happenings
  • Closing the books on 2019-20.
  • Analyzing how effective the different ways to give are and their fees.
  • Looking at how to do the Holiday Fair virtually [Fundraiser Team].
Meetings are being held on Zoom. Check the online calendar or Weekly Update for additional event details and Zoom links.
Holiday Fair - Making it Happen!
Monday, 8/31 and Tuesday, 9/1
If you are interested in helping UUCM host a virtual Holiday Fair in early December, we need your input and help: 
  • We need people to take photos of items, generate descriptions of items, potentially package items, and deliver items.
  • We need crafts and food items that we can sell easily.
  • We need people who don’t do crafts or prepare food to help to make this happen.
Although not as intense an effort as our in-person Holiday Fair, it will still involve more than a few people. To contribute your ideas, join one of the two Zoom meetings, Mon 8/31 at 10:30am or Tues, 9/1 at 7pm. Go to the church calendar, where you will find the link for the Zoom call. If you cannot attend either meeting, contact Sandy Frades or Dona Eaton before 9/1.
Adult Ed Continues Virtually
Sept 2, 16, 30 @ 4pm
Since last April we've enjoyed gathering on Zoom for conversation and learning through Adult Ed experiences. Like all gatherings in our community, it has strengthened us in many ways and let us share things in our lives that stimulate our minds and comfort our worries. We will continue on September 2nd with Marti Kennedy's program on "Where does our food come from?", a look at the origins and sources of what we eat. This is an important topic, especially with the uncertainties of today's food situation. Watch the Weekly Newsletter for information about the September 16 and 30 programs. 
Tidbits Resume Sept 13th!
For many years Nancy Baker has offered a “tidbit” on the UUCM theme of the month. It is usually a poem paired with a painting along with a few essential questions that stimulate thinking on the topic. Click here to see the most recent Tidbit from June 14th. If you like, you can respond and open a conversation. If you prefer, you can just read and enjoy. From September through June the Tidbits arrive by email twice a month, late on a Sunday afternoon. If you’d like to be included on the distribution list, send a request to Nancy by email or call her. If you are no longer interested in receiving them, just let her know and she will remove you from the list. The topic for September is Renewal, so the Tidbit will focus on art and writing that ties to that theme
Reading for Change
Thursday, Sept 24 @ 7pm
UUCM's Reading For Change discussion group selected Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson for September. Stephenson is a lawyer who worked for decades in the South to defend prisoners on death row in their appeal process. This is a gripping and inspiring book! Contact Cathy Goldwater or Amy Conley for more information. Also visit UUCM's interactive Reading for Change Facebook Group.
The INS and OUTS of Prison Life
Sept 28 @ 6:30pm
A Study Reflection Group Sponsored by UUCM's Women in Transition Team (WITT) led by Rev. Jeanne Nieuwejaar, Minister Emerita. This is an opportunity for those of us on the OUTSIDE of the prison walls to:
  • Learn more about those who live on the INSIDE -- their life stories and the realities of incarceration.
  • Reflect on our own feelings and reactions to those stories.
We will:
  • Reflect on the responsibilities we OUTSIDERS bear for cultural change grounded in justice and compassion.
  • Confront the philosophy of punishment and vengeance that prevails in our criminal justice system.
  • Look at alternative models.
  • Talk about how we can respond.
Because WITT’s work is with women, much of the reading and conversation in this program will center on women’s issues. The program will remain flexible, able to respond to other questions or topics that may emerge.
Registration is required and short readings will be sent to participants before each Zoom conversation. To register or for more information contact Jeanne through the UUCM office.
Virtual Coffee with UUCM Friends
Fridays @ 10:30 – 11:30am
We begin with a check-in to support each other, hear about our best adventure of the week, and what is concerning us. Then we discuss the 'topic of the week', which attendees selected at the end of the previous week’s coffee. Join meeting HERE every Friday or call in: (646) 558-8656 or find your local number here. Meeting ID: 965 7299 1266. Password: 014669
Racial Justice Task Force
Thursdays @ 4-5pm
Join us on Zoom to discuss issues around racism/racial justice, share resources, and plan actions! Contact Cathy Goldwater
Oval Visibility - Focus on VOTING
Weekday Evenings @5:15-6:15pm
The weekday evening visibility group is focusing on Voting, weather permitting, on the Oval. We will have signs to encourage folks to vote in the upcoming NH State Primary (Sept 8) and the General Election (Nov 3). Please join us.
UU the Vote
This fall, anyone can vote absentee in the NH State primary (Sept 8) and the NH General Election (Nov 3). Click here to obtain your absentee ballot and get instructions for submitting it. You can also go directly to your Town Clerk to obtain an absentee ballot. Contact your Town's Clerk's office for more information. It's advisable to apply for your absentee ballot as soon as possible to avoid the expected rush.
Highlights of the June Annual Meeting 
For Pastoral Care Assistance: contact office@uucm.org
Share with SHARE
During these challenging times, SHARE continues to help residents in Milford, Mont Vernon, Amherst, and Brookline. Click here to see where you can make your donation of money or food.
Food Pantry Requests This Month: Toothbrushes & paste, Deodorants, Shampoo & Conditioner, Bar Soap, Feminine Hygiene Products, Diapers, Wipes. NOTE: The SHARE Clothing Barn is not currently accepting donations.
Newsletter deadlines: 
Directory & Committee Listings - You will the find the newest directories here, in the Members section of the UUCM website.
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