Thursday, November 25, 2021
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Why do experiences of sharing matter? What does sharing teach us? Please join Rev. Sue Browning and other service leaders for an intergenerational Thanksgiving service where we will share through story, song, and the ritual of Unitarian Universalist bread communion.

This Thanksgiving weekend our Sunday Service will be available on UUCR's YouTube channel only! No in-person or Zoom service this week.

The service will be available by no later than 10 am on Sunday, November 28 and you are invited to watch it at your convenience. Click here to go directly to UUCR's YouTube channel. There will NOT be an in-person service at UUCR or UUFE, nor will there be a Zoom service this week. We'll return to hybrid services on December 5.

Because we are recording the November 28 service in advance, we will not be doing individual "Joys and Concerns." We will resume on December 5.
Helpful Links
Upcoming Events
This Week's
Worship Service

Previous Worship Service Recordings

are available on the UUCR YouTube channel


NOV 25 | Thanksgiving

NOV 28 | Worship Service
Prerecorded YouTube ONLY
Rev. Sue Browning
and other service leaders

DEC 05 | Worship Service
In-Person and Online
Rev. Sue Browning
Jan Sprinkel, Service Leader
Al Martinez, Musician

DEC 12 | Worship Service
In-Person and Online
Rev. Mike Franch, Guest Speaker
Annie Lavin, Service Leader
Schuman/Bennington, Musicians
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 Services
Sunday, December 5 — In-Person and Online

"Speaking of Angels"
Among the candy canes and Santas, Christmas decorations include angels, shepherds, and bright stars. At this service with Rev. Sue Browning, we'll consider how the many symbols of the season might help us find hope in a confusing world. 

  • Rev. Sue Browning
  • Jan Sprinkel, service leader
  • Al Martinez, musician

Sunday, December 12 — In-Person and Online

"The Gospel of Unitarian Universalism: Two Kinds of Good News"

  • Rev. Mike Franch
  • Annie Lavin, service leader
  • Schuman/Bennington, musicians
President's Message
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I know some of you will be sharing this Thanksgiving with family and friends, and some of you may be alone, but I hope you will take a moment to speak your blessings out loud. Despite the turmoil of our current world, we still have so much for which to be grateful.

Gratitude is a foundational concept for Unitarian Universalists, but it takes practice. The American poet W. H. Auden said we must practice our “scales of rejoicing” like a musician practices scales for hours, so that at performance time the music flows
naturally. Let us practice our “scales of gratitude” daily, so that gratitude flows effortlessly to sustain us in both the wonderful and difficult times of our lives.

for ...

I am grateful for many choices. I can jump into my car — even pay for a full tank of gas — and GO so many places while remembering my first choice to live is in Chestertown. I have choices of being with people I love and am pleased that they choose to be with me. My world is rich with choices — and I want to be mindful and grateful for every choice known and yet to be made known. ~~~ Vida Morley


On this Thanksgiving

The beauty that surrounds me

Makes me most grateful. ~~~ M. Q. Riding


I am very thankful for living where we do in Chestertown and the beauty of nature that surrounds us here. And for all of the good people at UUCR that have worked so hard over these pandemic times to keep us all connected. It has made this difficult year and a half much less painful than it could have been. ~~~ Diane Shields


In a topsy turvy world, my heart remains so grateful for Jimmy, neighbors with a fire pit, kind words, women friends, my UU community, Abbey Road, ice cold champagne, and my new hip! ~~~ Annie Lavin


I am thankful that this church community is so friendly and got me involved very early. ~~~ Catherine Brooks. 


I am thankful for so many things, but mostly I am thankful for my family. My wonderful wife, my six children who love me and each other, and the addition of two very special stepchildren. It doesn’t get any better than this. ~~~ Jim Lavin


I am grateful for friends and family who have reached out to me during this difficult week. ~~~ Nancy Holland
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The Power of Small Groups
M. Q. Riding, guest columnist
Take a moment to reflect upon the small groups that you have been associated with within your life. These groups could be a book club, a gardening group, a social justice committee, etc. Throughout our lives, small groups often can make large group settings more manageable. This is even true in church life, where if you join a new church, finding a committee that you can contribute to or joining a choir gives you a safe space to get to know the larger community.

There are elements in small groups that make them work as a place to safely explore. For example, there are typically agreements made on how one acts within the group; there are goals set, and everyone is encouraged to commit to and participate in the group. Creating a baseline of expectations allows bonds to be made more quickly and exploration to begin. More to come on the power of small groups in future Reflections newsletters.
Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
Holiday Sharing Returns

As we kick off our Outreach Collections program for the church year, we are pleased to offer our Members and Friends the opportunity to support our community's most vulnerable families during the holidays. Once again we are working with Kent and Queen Anne's Counties' Department of Social Services to provide personalized gifts and gift cards. We have been matched with a family of six, which includes a mother and five children ranging in age from 2 - 17 years. If you want to provide a gift, please sign the list in the church lobby, which provides gift suggestions. Gifts will need to be returned to the church by Sunday, December 19, wrapped and labeled to specify the recipient. If you can't get to church and want to sign up for a gift, please contact me. In addition, you can donate funds (before December 19) which will help us provide gift cards or buy additional gifts. You can contribute by bringing, or sending, a check to the church office, made out to UUCR specifying "Holiday Sharing" in the memo line, or you can donate online at the church website using the "Donate" button (click hereand "Custom Amount," specifying "Holiday Sharing" in the comment section. If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Dolinger,, or call 215-872-5773.
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.”

For your information, The Washington Post of November 9, 2020, had an interesting article (link here) on coping with love and loss by Zibby Owens entitled — "After losing two loved ones to covid-19, I turned to books. Here are 15 titles that helped me cope." Included in the list is Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself by our First Lady Jill Biden. Another book Vida feels is worth examining (not on the list) is by UUCR member Marilee Taussig entitled — Old Enough: Making the Years Between 50 and 75 the Best Chapter of Your Life.

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

*6 - Carl Gallegos
13 - Rev. Sue Browning
18 - Jan Brandon
20 - Tim Ford
21 - Sara Warner
24 - Diane Shields


7 - Pat Bjorke
7 - Pat Kobes-Gomez
8 - Lynn Donahue
9 - Carol Dobson
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 November 25, 2021