Thursday, September 2, 2021
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"Systemic Racism in
Historic Preservation"

Catherine Brooks, Service Leader

In Person, In Sanctuary
Summer Service and Discussion

September 5, 2021
10 am

Join us for another UU Summer Session on September 5 on the topic of “Systemic Racism in Historic Preservation.” A lot has changed in Kent & Queen Anne’s counties since Catherine lived here in the early 80’s. The amount of restoration of old homes and commercial buildings is striking. Catherine will share her experience of nearly 20 years in the historic preservation arena on a national level. Let’s look back … far back … and talk about how our community has changed, or not, regarding the historic restoration.

To share is good, and all personal disclosures will be “left at the door.”
Helpful Links
Upcoming Events
Sep 6 - Labor Day

Sep 12 - Worship Service
In Person, In Sanctuary

Sep 19 - Ingathering/Water Communion Worship Service
In Person, In Sanctuary
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!
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President's Message
Welcome to September! Where did the summer go?

With summer nearly over, I want to thank Vida for once again organizing our summer discussion series. I also want to send a big “Thank You” to all the wonderful facilitators who presented such interesting and diverse topics. Despite the complications of Covid, UUCR was able to persevere and safely come
together this summer!

Now, with Labor Day upon us, we look forward to resuming our normal fall calendar of Sunday services. Unfortunately, the Delta variant of Covid has led to a sharp increase in cases in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, both of which, as of this writing, have high positivity rates and are considered to be at high risk.

The first priorities of the board, the Reopening Task Force, and your minister are to keep our congregation as safe as possible and to provide the spiritual and communal connections we all need so dearly now. After meeting this past Monday and reviewing local statistics and new safety recommendations from the Unitarian Universalist Association, we have decided to remain open for in-person services at this time. Additional safely precautions will be instituted, such as four-foot spacing between chairs, and you will receive revised safety guidelines shortly.

Rev. Sue, the Worship Committee, and our Tech Team are busily at work planning hybrid services for the coming year. This means members, friends, and visitors will have the option to attend services in-person at UUCR, or live-streamed on a digital device (computer, notebook, phone) in the comfort and
safety of their homes.

This next step into technology will also provide us an additional method to broadcast virtual services, should we need to close down again at some future date.

Please be reassured that we are monitoring the local risk levels and will adjust our approach if necessary based on scientific data and the recommendations of the CDC, and state and local health departments.

This pandemic has shown us that our congregation is resilient, innovative, and determined.

Happy Labor Day to all.

In gratitude,

Minister's Column
Making Sense of It All - Monthly Themes for 2021-22
It is the beginning of our church year and I am working with many at UUCR on plans for the fall. What will we explore at Sunday services? How might we create small group discussions? What will make sense for fostering connection in 2021-22? 

In some ways, it’s like the start of other years at UUCR. Excitement and possibility on the horizon … new questions, fresh perspectives, and reassuring connections all in the mix. In other ways, we are painfully aware we are living with the angst of "Covid times" and we know we’ll need to be flexible in all we do.

As I focus on the "excitement and possibility" part (just seems more fun!), I’m pleased to share that UUCR has again subscribed to Soul Matters, a program that offers resources for congregations around monthly themes. The themes for 2021-22 will be:
September: Embracing Possibility
October: Cultivating Relationship
November: Holding History
December: Opening to Joy
January: Living with Intention
February: Widening the Circle
March: Renewing Faith
April: Awakening
May: Nurturing Beauty
June: Celebrating Blessings 
Glancing at these topics, what comes to mind for you? Which themes are intriguing? Puzzling? 

Each monthly theme is an invitation to peel back layers and consider the big and small questions in our lives. As an example, the September Soul Matters packet on "Embracing Possibility" includes these conversation starter questions:
●   What’s something new you’ve learned about yourself in the last three months? 
●   If you weren't doing your current job, what would your dream job be?
●   How has your belief in the possibility of a better world grown or shrunk over the past couple of years?
These might make for interesting dinner table conversations with family and friends!  There are other opportunities to go deeper into the Soul Matters monthly themes. If you'd like to join a small group or hear about ways to explore Soul Matters themes on your own, please be in touch. 

Looking forward to the possibilities of the coming year. 

In connection,

Rev. Sue
Leadership Development and Worship Committees
The Leadership Development Committee has been asked for assistance by the Worship Committee, which is charged with scheduling and providing meaningful and inspirational
services every Sunday at UUCR from September through May, and with scheduling informal summer sessions. While Rev. Sue plans and leads the first and third Sundays of each month, it
is the second and fourth (and possible fifth) Sundays of each month that are planned and carried out entirely by the Worship Committee.

Only two or three of the existing Worship Committee members are able to serve this year, so we need four to five interested members or friends to step in and help.

The Worship Committee needs new members to serve in this vitally important component of our congregation. We are seeking people to volunteer as:

  • Service Leader — this person plans the service, including making contacts with guest speakers, coordinating music, choosing opening and closing words, and leading the service on the given Sunday. A detailed job description is available, and new service leaders will be given a lot of support from Rev. Sue and experienced service leaders.

  • We are also considering adding a new position this church year — Assistant Service Leader. This person would assist Rev. Sue on the Sundays that she is in the pulpit. More information will be available as the details of this role are yet to be determined.

It is recommended that both Service Leaders and Assistant Service Leaders join the Worship Committee.

This is a critical need for UUCR as we begin our regular services in September. If you are interested, please contact: MQ at 302-463-1022, Diane at 410-490-0492, or Amy at 410-562-6288. Please consider how you can serve UUCR in one of these roles. If we don’t hear from you, you will hear from us!
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
Public Relations Outreach and Communications Committee (PROCC)
Greetings from PROCC! Many of us don’t know what that daunting acronym stands for: Public Relations Outreach and Communications Committee. Now say that 20 times and it develops a nice little lilt, as well as helping you remember what "PROCC" means.

In the past year we have had to shift from our traditional role and develop new technological skills. In the coming year we will be working on live streaming, and would welcome anyone interested in video editing. We will not be adding Star Wars effects. Or if you have video camera or sound skills, or would like to learn on the job, please join us.

One of things we set up in 2019, besides the new Reflections, were two Facebook pages. The regular UUCR Facebook page is for announcements and church information. There we post a link to Reflections and information about the Sunday service, and other events. The other is the UUCR Forum, which is a private group for UUCR congregants and friends. Its objective is to be like an online “Joys and Concerns.” Lately, Marilee Taussig and Carl Gallegos have posted there about how they are doing with their medical challenges. Please visit our Forum. We are looking for more “Joys.” If you are not a member already, you will have to ask to be approved. We promise to do a better job at monitoring requests.

Thank you from your PROCC team, John Ramsey (Chair), Jane Hardy, David Biehler, and our newest member, Elisabeth Tully.
For more information and/or to offer input and help, contact John Ramsey at
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 |


-8 - Linda Weimer
14 - Larry Schroth
16 - Mary Pritchard
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 September 2, 2021