WEDNESDAY, January 20, 2021
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“Heart and Hearth”
presented by guest minister,

Rev. Renée Ruchotzke
YouTube video, Sunday Service
January 24, 2021
Annie Lavin, Service Leader

Where do you go for comfort, creativity and inspiration in these days of winter? For Rev. Ruchotzke it is the Natural World, where she finds connection and creativity in every season. She tells of practices close to home, and then with pictures and stories shows traditions in Latvia, her ancestral home, where a deep connection with nature is needed to survive and flourish in the long winters. At the center of all is the ubiquitous hearth, a crucible for comfort, fun, and creativity. Join us as we look for ways to warm the body and spirit while awaiting spring.

To view this service (it will be uploaded by Sunday morning), click here to go to the UUCR's YouTube channel. You may also go to the church's webpage by clicking here and find the service by clicking on the tab at the bottom of the "Keeping In Touch" column on the left side of the page.

If you would like to have a "Joy" or "Sorrow" included in the service, please submit it in writing to both Rev. Sue Browning's email and the UUCR's office email by 12 pm Thursday and she will read all submissions as a part of the service.
You're Invited to Coffee Hour on Sunday!
Please come join us for UUCR Coffee Hour at 11:00 am, on Sunday, January 24 at the Zoom link here.

It's a time to see and talk to one another, and the next best thing to being there!

Vida Morley, Jan 1
Ralph Dolinger, Jan 2
Melinda Lippincott, Jan 3
Isaac Newell, Jan 4
Dianne Turpin, Jan 4
Brad Hardin, Jan 10
Judy Graham, Jan 14
Caren Samuels, Jan 18
Al Mathwich, Jan 20
Clark Bjorke, Jan 22
Zoe Perry, Jan 29

We want to help celebrate your birthday! If we didn't include your January birthday, please contact Darlene at UUCR office email

Sunday, January 31

"Lessons from Dr. Seuss,"
Rev. Sue Browning,
Pre-recorded Service

Sunday, February 7

"Celebrating Our Congregation's Story"
Rev. Sue Browning,
Zoom Service UUCR
Minister's Column
A Needed Tribute
On Tuesday evening the nation set aside a time to mourn the 400,000 lives lost to the Covid-19 virus. The ceremony included prayer, beautiful music, and brief words from President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris. It was a needed moment.

The setting was particularly striking. The speakers faced the Lincoln Monument, the reflecting pool glimmering before them. Behind them was the Washington Monument and Capitol, lit
against the darkening sky (this picture). As cameras zoomed in and out, we were offered views of the Potomac River, the bridges closed for inauguration, a wider panorama of Washington DC, and the statue of Lincoln.

These iconic American images in DC offered a sense of our shared national experience; a sense of our shared sorrow; and a sense of our shared resiliency. Throughout the country, other cities and towns found ways to "light up" and ring bells in what was named, “A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance.”

We can barely comprehend 400,000 deaths caused by a virus we had barely heard of a year ago. Something does feel more real when we hear the stories of those who died, including details of their childhoods, careers, interests and families. It is a difficult time.

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory included these words on Tuesday,
“May our prayer this evening serve as a small expression of our national desire to comfort and strengthen those who have endured the loss of a loved one to this pandemic, and may it be a resounding gesture of gratitude for all those who have cared for the victims of this virus and their loved ones.”

I add my prayers to those offered Tuesday. I’m grateful to those who realized it was time to pause and collectively share a time of mourning.

Rev. Sue
Jan 24 - YouTube Service
Jan 24 - Coffee Hour UUCR
Jan 27 - Board Meeting
Jan 31 - YouTube Service
Feb 07 - Zoom Service UUCR
Feb 07 - Pledge Drive Starts
Feb 14 - Sunday Service
Feb 14 - Cookie Giveaway
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!
Pledge Drive Committee
Two Weeks Until the Pledge Drive Starts

February is Pledge Month at UUCR, and kick-off for this year's Pledge Drive is Sunday, February 7. Later in the month we will have a YouTube presentation and Zoom discussions. Details from the Pledge Drive committee in next week's Reflections. 
Outreach and Communications Committee
Looking for people with ways and means to help with social media, i.e. Facebook. We have two Facebook pages; our main one which is primarily for links to services, announcements, and events, and our Facebook Forum, which is a private group made up of us UUCR’ers. (Hint: You have to ask to join. That’s not a big hurdle.)

The goal is to keep them active as resources to connect with our community. If you have the time, and maybe a flair for communication, we could use you. The main requirement is being alert to what’s going on at UUCR (think of our social justice work, our sermons, our guest speakers, our community information) that might be of interest and importance to other Kent Countians. While we regularly post links to our services, we would also like to highlight particular “good bits” and stirring music from the service as “stand alone" Facebook posts. If you have or can obtain video editing software that would be helpful, but not absolutely essential. You job would be to help us be in the public eye.

Please contact John Ramsey at or 443-480-9460

UUCR needs you!
Sweets for the Sweet:
Share the Love
on Valentines Day!

Our committee has been looking at ways for our congregation to “connect” non-electronically during these strange times. So, when we noticed that Valentines Day falls on a Sunday this year, we thought about handing out a plate of homemade cookies and/or sweets to each carload of UUCR-ers that comes to our parking lot at 914 Gateway Dr. We are still in the planning stages, but please let us know if you would volunteer to

Bake a batch or two of Valentine cookies, candies, or fudge?

Come to the church, latex gloves at the ready, to make up and wrap platefuls of goodies ahead of pick-up time?

Stand outside to quickly and safely hand off these plates of delectables as cars drive up — all parties masked up, of course?


Deliver a plate to someone who is housebound?

If you can help out, please contact 
Jane, 410-639-7811, or
Darlene Wiggers (our new church administrator!),

We are still in the planning stages with this Great Cookie Giveaway: we don’t yet know all the logistics, or the time of day, just the date, February 14, and we need to hear from you if you’d like to bake, share, or just partake!

If there’s enough interest in this event, we are hoping to do a sort of Round Robin Potluck in the spring. 

Hoping to hear from you and “see you for real" in February,

Your Outreach and Communications Committee
Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
First Home Moving Day
After an effort that started in late October, a team of dedicated UUCR members, artfully led by Nancy Holland and Linda Weimer, was gratified to see their work culminate last week at the first home built by Kent Attainable Housing (KAH), a local charity dedicated to working with low income working families to break the generational cycle of poverty through home ownership.
As sunny skies helped buoy the mood, ten UU donors carried their furnishings to the charming, traditional two-story house at 204 College Avenue on Wednesday and Thursday. In support of the UUCR commitment to racial equity, the team spent countless hours helping the bi-racial family of five furnish their first home. The collection ranged from the big (a trundle bed for two kids) to the small (serving dishes for the kitchen) with plenty of mid-size pieces like compact storage. In addition to the UU donors, another six of our neighbors and friends made property contributions.

UUCR has been pleased to partner with Kent Attainable Housing to help this family move in to their new home and hopes to continue its work to support their successful transition to home ownership.

For those of you who have been navigating the path to scheduling a vaccine, you know that it is challenging! What we know now is that all residents age 65 and older will be eligible starting next week. You can schedule appointments anywhere in Maryland, however they are very hard to find and limited by the rolling availability of vaccine within the state. Bob Bjork and Lynn Dolinger are working with a local team of churches and the Kent County Health Department to understand the process and will continue to provide updates as we have them. The websites we've found most helpful are and Patience is the "name of the game." We will continue reaching out to members and friends listed in the recently published church directory to provide information about the scheduling process and to identify those who might need assistance in completing the forms or with transportation. If you do not receive a call, or are not listed in the current directory and need assistance, please contact the church office by UUCR email or by UUCR phone at 410-778-3440. 

Special Collection for January
Winter Shelter through the
Samaritan Group in Kent County
Our special collection for January will be used to support the work of the Samaritan Group in Kent County, in particular the winter shelter. The winter shelter houses and feeds homeless individuals from January until the end of March at three different churches, the Church of the Nazarene, First United Methodist, and the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the protocol has changed this year. Guests stay from 8 pm to 8 am each day and are given two bagged meals. There are more paid staff to monitor and assist the guests this season. 
Please watch the appeal from Rev. David Ryan, the Samaritan Group’s Board chair, during this Sunday’s service. Their need for funds is more critical now than ever before, and we hope that our members and friends will contribute generously to this community need. Please send your check to the UUCR church office by February 15 (marking it "winter shelter special collection") or make your donation from the UUCR website through the “donate” button by clicking here. On behalf of the committee, we thank you for your generosity.

Amy Warner,
Green Sanctuary Committee
Annual Environmental Book Read
Join the Green Sanctuary in our annual environmental book read! We will be reading As Long As Grass Grows by Dina Gilio-Whitaker and discussing it in February, most likely on Zoom! This book is available on Amazon new or used as well as at the library. BookPlate is another source that is always accommodating. Happy reading and I hope to see you in February.

“Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy.

Throughout 2016, the Standing Rock protest put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists, but it also underscored how little Americans know about the longtime historical tensions between Native peoples and the mainstream environmental movement. Ultimately, she argues, modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.”

Kim Agee
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:
Darlene Wiggers (Office) p: 410-778-3440 |
Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD 21620
Phone: (410) 778-3440