Thursday, August 19, 2021
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"Calling Forth Baruch Spinoza"

Joy Kim, Service Leader

In Person, In Sanctuary
Summer Service and Discussion

August 22, 2021
10 am
Helpful Links
Upcoming Events
Aug 25 - Delmarva Cluster Mtg. ZOOM (see details below)

Aug 26 - A Chance to Learn: About Unitarian Universalism
(see details below)

Aug 29 - The Annual Poetry Reading Opportunity!
In Person, In Sanctuary

Sep 5 - Catherine Brooks
In Person, In Sanctuary
If you know of another link or event that should be added, please contact
the UUCR office by email or phone 410-778-3440. Thanks!
Upcoming In Person, In Sanctuary -
Summer Discussion Services
Sunday, August 22

The Annual Poetry Reading Opportunity!

  • In Person, In Sanctuary - Summer Service and Discussion

Sunday, September 5

“Racism in Historic Preservation”

  • In Person, In Sanctuary - Summer Service and Discussion
  • Catherine Brooks
Minister's Column
Why Does Diversity Matter?
It's late August and time to set my priorities for the coming year at UUCR. Where is the energy in the congregation? Where are the needs? What might be possible? I’m asking, "Where is love calling us? Where is love guiding me? In this time in this place, what is ours to do together?"
As a start on priorities, I plan to continue to support UUCR as we walk together through this still-with-us (urgg..) pandemic, and to help UUCR grow and nurture leadership. I also feel called to partner with UUCR in its ongoing efforts to be a deeply inclusive community.
On this last priority, in July I led a summer session about what it takes to deeply welcome all. During our conversation we reminded one another that diversity is a broad concept which includes differences in age, economic background, sexual orientation, gender and gender expression, religious beliefs, vocation, physical abilities, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and more. We talked about what it feels like to be genuinely included (for both newcomers and long-timers), the need to be intentionally aware of differences, and the power of avoiding assumptions.
Over the next weeks I'll be asking many, “Why would you want to be a part of a diverse (defining diversity broadly) congregation? Why does being a diverse congregation matter to you? To UUCR?” 
It’s easy to hear these questions and jump to "how?" Or, "what do we need to do?" Or to report, "but we've tried everything...we don't know how." For today I invite us to hang with the "why" questions. Might a more diverse group offer a broader range of perspectives? Challenge our worldview? Offer our children the experience of seeing and feeling diversity all around? 

What are your answers to the "why diversity" questions? If we have a sense of "why," together we can focus on UUCR's plans for 2021-22. 
Like so many choices in life, where we focus our intentions will make all the difference. 
In care, 
Rev. Sue 
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Books Recommended in
Last Week's Service
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy
This book is designed to make you question your basic assumptions about who you think you are, what you think you believe and value, and what you think you’re doing here.
Available through Amazon click here.

Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes
A memoir on mortality as only Julian Barnes can write it, one that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction.
Available through Amazon click here.
You're Invited
Invitation to Join Rev. Sue at the Delmarva Cluster Meeting (Zoom) on Aug. 25 at 7 - 8:30 pm. 

The Delmarva Cluster of UU congregations is a group of eight congregations from the Eastern Shore (MD, DE) that meets to compare notes on congregational life and to explore areas where we might work together as UU congregations. Rev. Sue plans to attend the next Delmarva Cluster meeting (Aug. 25, 7 pm on Zoom) and hopes a few members/friends might join her and learn more about being our congregation's cluster rep for 2021-22. Interested? Please be in touch with Sue for more details. (, 703-201-2745). 
More Background
The Delmarva Cluster includes the UU congregations from Salisbury, Easton, Chestertown, Lewes, Dover, Newark, Willmington and Mill Creek (near Newark). Neither Easton, nor Chester River, has had a presence at the cluster meetings for the last few years. Meetings are about every six weeks. One option for 2021-22 would be for Chestertown and Easton to each have a rep and the reps could serve as back-ups for one another. 
A Chance to Learn:
About Unitarian Universalism
Thursday, August 26 at 6:30 pm at UUCR
What is Unitarian Universalism? What are the core values of the UU faith tradition? What are common UU spiritual practices? Are all UUs engaged with social justice? How do UUs approach Religious Education? On Thursday, August 26 at 6:30 pm, UUCR will offer an "About Unitarian Universalism" session to answer these and any other questions you may have about our faith. We invite all who are curious to join us for an evening with Rev. Sue Browning and several leaders of the congregation. We'll begin with a brief presentation, will have time for questions, and will end with informal social time. Visitors, friends, and members welcome! 
Guidelines: We do plan to meet in the sanctuary. Masks will be required for all. See detailed Covid protocols here
Leadership Development Committee
Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice
When Diane Shields, M.Q. Riding and I met for the first time this summer to discuss our goal of developing leadership for UUCR, M.Q. offered to lend me a book, Serving with GraceLay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice by Erik Walker Wikstrom. As I read it, it is clear that we can use it as a tool to help us focus our mission and as a source of inspiration for the task ahead. This statement in the first chapter strikes me as one that encapsulates the spiritual practice of service to our beloved community:
“Work devoted to something greater than yourself lifts you out of the narrow sphere of individual concerns, enlarges your perspective, and provides context for the joys and concerns of your own life. It’s a reality check, bringing us constantly back to the truth of our seventh Principle, in which we affirm the interconnected web of all existence. No lay leader gets to act alone. It means working for and with a group of people who have intertwining needs, hopes, fears, and expectations, all to help fulfill a common mission that binds them together. What better opportunity to learn over and over again that we are mutually interdependent? Lay service means claiming your own strand of the interdependent web while honoring the needs of others. It means being a firsthand witness to the power of diversity united in a single mission.”
I hope that you’ll read the statement above a couple of times. What part resonates with you? Especially meaningful to me is the reference to our seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” We are intertwined in countless ways that both nurture us and help us to grow. I encourage you to think about how your spiritual practice can be enriched by lay service to our community as we work together to fulfill our mission. 
Amy Warner
From the Office
**** The small, colored stickers are in and available on the nametag board to help you locate your nametag more easily. Pick any color you so desire (red, green, yellow or blue) — or not (use of stickers not mandatory).
We won't need the "mat-in-the-door trick" anymore to block open the ramp side door. Barbara Ellis has made (and donated) a knotted door stopper for UUCR. Although Barbara is better known as a plant expert and author, she is multi-talented, with decorative knotting included in her repertoire and as a side business. Barbara "welcomes inquiries from anyone who has rope-related problems to solve!"
(Mostly Knots
Community Events
Phone Check-ins Offered In Kent County and Nearby
Do you live alone or know someone who does? Would a quick phone call relieve some stress from your life?

Through the office of the Kent County Sheriff, residents of Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties may sign up to receive phone calls from volunteers Monday through Friday mornings. The project’s name is Telephone Reassurance.

Volunteers have maintained the service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. They currently make calls from their homes instead of from the Kent Department of Aging, which assists in the project.

Telephone Reassurance has been operating for about 20 years and has proven its worth, according to Sheriff John Price. “I think it’s a great service, and it’s free. Considering the relatively large senior population we have in Kent County, I’d encourage family members to seriously consider it.”

The coordinator is Nancy Walls. She noted that “Sometimes a family member has been doing the phone check for months and could use a break. We also take assignments on a temporary basis.” For more information, contact Nancy Walls at

Linda Weimer
Pastoral Care and Connection
We are here for you!  We will focus on staying directly connected with our members and friends, especially those who may need assistance or support. The caring teams from our congregation is staying in touch, but if you need to reach out, please be in touch with any of the contacts below to stay connected (and see additional contacts below for RE families).
Please know your congregation is here. We can help you find connections. Please don't hesitate to reach out and let us know what is helpful for you in this time. 

Rev. Sue Browning, and the Pastoral Care Associates: Kevin Brien,
Gayle Folger, Nancy Holland, and Vida Morley
or for more information, contact:
 UUCR office - phone: 410-778-3440 |

-3 - Kevin Brien
-6 - Joan Blume
18 - Joan Biehler
19 - Bob Fox
27 - Margo Long
30 - Liz Salett
We want to help celebrate your birthday! If we didn't include your birthday, please contact the UUCR office by email (click here).
Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD 21620
Phone: 410-778-3440
END of REFLECTIONS for August 19, 2021