Thursday, January 13, 2022
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"What Does Progress Look Like?"

Rev. Sue Browning
Nancy Holland, service leader

Online Zoom ONLY Worship Service

Sunday, January 16, 2022 | 10 am

On this MLK weekend, where can we see progress on racial justice? Where do the struggles continue? What new is emerging of moving toward equity? Join Rev. Sue Browning and several local leaders as we consider all are called to work together in the name of Love. 

This will be a joint Zoom service of the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton

So we can begin the worship service promptly at 10 am, please sign into Zoom (click here) by no later than 9:50 am. A virtual coffee hour will immediately follow the service.

If not attending the service by Zoom, please submit "Joys and Concerns" and "Announcements" in advance by emailing them to the UUCR office (click here) by 9 pm Saturday.
Come Join Us for Coffee Hour
Please come join us for a joint UUCR/UUFE Virtual Coffee Hour at 11:00 am, on Sunday, January 16 immediately following the worship service (continuation of the worship service's Zoom link).

It's a time to see and talk to one another, and the next best thing to being there!
Upcoming Services
Sunday, January 23 — Online Zoom ONLY (Jointly with UUFE)

"Zwang — The Cost of Last Commitment"

What is the price of democracy? Would I be willing to pay it if the price were dear? How can I prepare myself to pay that price if I were called upon do so? This service challenges us to consider our commitment to the UU principle of democracy as it manifests in our personal lives, in Unitarian Universalism, and in the public square.

  • Bob Clegg, guest speaker
  • Jan Sprinkel, service leader
  • Zoom link to January 23 Worship Service (click here)

Sunday, January 30 — Online Zoom ONLY (Jointly with UUFE)

"Living Boldly"

A few weeks back we challenged the congregation to reflect on the question: 'What do I want?' How are you making out with this question? At this service we'll hear some answers to this homework assignment. Join Rev. Sue Browning and other speakers for a morning of honesty around this question.

  • Rev. Sue Browning
  • Zoom link to January 30 Worship Service (click here)
Helpful Links
Upcoming Events
This Week's
Worship Service

Previous Worship Service Recordings

are available on the UUCR YouTube channel


Worship Service &
Virtual Coffee Hour
Online Zoom ONLY
Rev. Sue Browning
Nancy Holland, service leader

Worship Service &
Virtual Coffee Hour
Online Zoom ONLY
Bob Clegg, guest speaker
Jan Sprinkel, service leader

Worship Service &
Virtual Coffee Hour
Online Zoom ONLY
Rev. Sue Browning

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!
Memorial Service for
Denise Tontarski
Saturday, January 15, 11 am
As shared last month, UUCR member Denise Tontarski died on December 18, 2021.

A service celebrating Denise's life will be held this Saturday, January 15 at 11 am. To assure adequate space, we arranged for the service to be held at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown at 905 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD (across the street from the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River). For those choosing to attend the service in person, masks are required.

The service will also be available virtually at 11 am on Saturday. We will be livestreaming the service using the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown's YouTube channel. Here is the link for the service: Denise Tontarski's Memorial Service

If there are questions about the service, please contact Rev. Sue or the office. 
Minister's Column
The Focus Needed This MLK Day
As I started working on our service for MLK Sunday, the requests from Rev. Martin Luther King’s family to postpone celebrations this year jumped out at me. In short, King’s family has requested no celebrations unless federal lawmakers pass voting rights legislation.
They are reminding us to press for action and to avoid making speeches, tributes, and accolades that aren’t tied to concrete actions to protect voting rights.
This is an important message to faith and local communities about the importance of keeping MLK Day as a day of forward progress and commitment. 
Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who is both senator and pastor, in an interview last week noted, “democracy in a real sense is the political enactment of a spiritual idea." He reminds us that the need for everyone to have a voice and vote is tied to affirming the dignity of everyone’s humanity. Sen. Warnock reminds us that at every level (local, state, and federal) there needs to be both access to voting, without voter suppression, and an acceptance of verified results, without subversion of the outcomes.   
As we hear the calls for action, it is critical to be clear on the risks. It is the voices and votes of communities of color and communities in economic struggle most at risk of harm from dangerous voting policy and practice. 

Our commitment to ensuring a voice and vote for all is a test of our faith. Unitarian Universalism has long lifted democracy as a moral issue. It is the essence of our 5th principle. We center democracy as a moral imperative. As Rev. King’s family reminds us, democracy can’t be taken for granted.  (A past sermon on the UU 5th principle available here: Sermon, The Heart of Democracy, Rev. Sue Browning)

As you consider how to honor MLK Day, I invite you to consider how you might support fair voting policy and practices at the local, state, and federal levels. We will discuss some options at coffee hour after the service this week.  

In connection, 
Rev. Sue
UUCR Services Going Online-ONLY for the Month of January

January 4, 2022
Dear Members and Friends,
UUCR’s Re-Opening Task Force met this past week and has decided, based on local health conditions, including the record-breaking spread of Covid and hospitals being at capacity throughout the region, that UUCR will not hold in-person Sunday services for the month of January. Sunday services will be held each week on Zoom.
This was a difficult decision. We recognize our members value the option to gather in person each week. And, too, we see the spread of the virus breaking all records. During this post-holiday period, we expect the high transmission to continue for a few weeks. By moving to online services for January, we hope to do our part in the community to limit the spread and to ease pressures on hospitals.
We plan to resume in-person services (continuing to provide an online option) as soon as conditions improve. With consideration for our fellow congregants, when we resume in-person services, we ask that all who attend in-person services to please be fully vaccinated. We understand that a few people may have a medical exception to being vaccinated. Yet for the majority, and to protect those who cannot yet be vaccinated, we ask all others to be fully vaccinated and boosted if eligible.
At this point, UUCR will continue to permit the use of the building by small groups (e.g., for committee meetings), provided all of UUCR’s Covid guidelines are followed. While Sunday services are open to the public, with large, varied groups, including visitors, our assessment is that small groups can more easily check in with one another and make a choice on whether or not to meet. We do want to emphasize the importance of proper mask wearing whenever in the building.
The task force will meet again in a few weeks to assess local conditions, including stress on hospitals, and review these plans.
If you have questions or input for the task force, please be in touch. As always, thank you for your flexibility and patience.
The Re-Opening Task Force
Jim Lavin (Task Force Chair), Nancy Holland (Board President), Rev. Sue Browning (Minister), Pat Bjorke, Gail Folger, and Jackie Mathwich
If you don't see "END of REFLECTIONS for January 13, 2022" at the very end of this email, you're not seeing the entire email. To view it to the end please Click here
Leadership Development Committee
Gentle January
There’s a concept that has been introduced in a few newsletters/blogs that are out on the internet called "Gentle January." The idea is after the hectic holidays it is good to ease into the new year without putting too many expectations on yourself. Instead of making New Year's resolutions, consider how you would like to do things (anything) in the coming year.

This practice is a form of personal development. Looking ahead and giving yourself time to think through what could be, without judging yourself, creates an opportunity to be

The Leadership Development Committee encourages you to think of all of the possibilities that can enhance your life. Our church community is one, have you thought through how
much it means to you?

Very best, Amy, Diane, & M.Q.
Your communications committee (PROCC) is hoping to revise last year’s fun and successful valentine cookie event — sweets for the sweetest congregation of members and friends ever! Once again we will need volunteers to: 
Bake a batch or two; 
Deliver bags of cookies to our members and friends;
Hand out bags on the pick-up day, Sunday afternoon, February 13, at the UUCR parking lot. (Plenty of hours before the Super Bowl).
Other opportunities to help are on the horizon as well, as we will have a gathering of folks to fill the bags on the Friday or Saturday before 2/13. 

Please let us know if you’d like to help — contact Jane Hardy,, 410-639-7811, or our UUCR office, 410-778-3440.
Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
Working on the Maryland Environment
As Maryland has more than 3,000 miles of tidal coastline, our state needs to be a leader in reducing the causes and effects of rising ocean levels due to climate change.  A group of UUCR members is forming to support measures expected in the 2022 Maryland legislature, opening on January 12.  We will use the positions advanced by the Maryland League of Conservations Voters, an umbrella group of volunteer environmentalists that has worked in Annapolis for 40 years. This year, for the first time, the League is partnering with the state NAACP to ensure equity for communities of color under any proposal.

See the website for more about the League.

Local supporters will be asked to telephone and email members of the District 36 delegation when key votes are scheduled. Those reps are Senator Stephen Hershey and Delegates Steve Arentz, Jefferson Ghrist, and Jay Jacobs. Their contact info will be provided.

So far, three UUCR and a UUFE member (met via a Sunday coffee Zoom) have expressed interest. The Conservation League has emphasized the importance of making a strong impact (via numbers of contacts) on legislators from rural, conservative areas such as the upper and mid-Shore since veto-proof majorities may be needed on some bills. Please contact Linda Weimer at or by phone at 410.778.2618 if you want to help.
Collecting Redner Receipts for
Amy Lynn Ferris Adult Activity Center
For those of you who are still collecting Redner grocery store sales receipts for the Senior Center, please be assured that they are still accepting and using the receipts to help them cover programming costs. They get a small percentage of the sales amount on the receipts. You can mail them directly or bring them to church and we'll mail them in bulk. Their address is: Amy Lynn Ferris Adult Activity Center, 200 Schauber Rd., Chestertown, MD 21620, or you can drop them off during their weekdays hours. Questions? Contact Lynn Dolinger,
Pastoral Care and Connection
You are encouraged to share your joys and sorrows with the UUCR Pastoral Associates (see below). This team is a mixed group — but all have had previous life experiences and a variety of professional training in counseling and philosophy. Please contact one, or several of us, if you “want to talk.”

Pastoral Care Associates: Kevin Brien,
Gayle Folger, Nancy Holland, and Vida Morley

11 - Vida Morley
12 - Ralph Dolinger
13 - Melinda Lippincott
14 - Dianne Turpin
14 - Judy Graham
20 - Al Mathwich
22 - Clark Bjorke
29 - Zoe Panas
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
Office hours: W - Sa, 8:30-10:30 am |
Su, 8:30 am-noon | Closed, M & Tu
END of REFLECTIONS for January 13, 2022