WEDNESDAY, December 16, 2020
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You’re Invited!
Join Us For UUCR's
2020 Holiday Party
In the tradition of our Annual Solstice Potluck Dinner, we will gather by Zoom on Friday, December 18 at 5 pm. With a “sunset” backdrop we will celebrate the shortest day of the year (a few days early) with readings and reflections.

After the solstice ceremony we will look to each other to mark an exceptional year. Jim Lavin and John Ramsey will be our Masters of Ceremonies as we share brief stories about special Christmases in past times, and what we’re looking forward to in 2021. Here’s how you can prepare for our Party!

  • Let’s dress up! Wear your party attire, or a favorite hat, or whatever pleases you.

  • Bring your favorite cocktail, punch, or soft drink to make a “toast” with, and be thinking of whom or what you’d like to drink to.

  • Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or short song or poem? Please be prepared to share it.

  • Have a candle by your side to light at party’s end.

To join us for the party, click here on Friday, December 18, at
5 pm. Do you need technical support to join the Zoom? Please call Jan at UUCR, 410-778-3440, and she will pass on your needs to our tech team. Don’t be shy; we will do what we can to make this work for you.

See you Friday!
Sunday, December 20, at 10 am,
Zoom Service,
led by Rev. Sue Browning,
"Communicating with Santa"
For years, children (and adults) have sent their wishes and promises in letters to Santa. What might letters to Santa teach us about direct communications? What might these letters teach us about being good? What might Santa teach us about giving? Join Rev. Sue Browning for a service where we'll consider the perspectives of children from many walks of life during the holiday season.

Join us by clicking the Zoom link here on Sunday, December 20 at 10 am, immediately followed by coffee hour. Please sign in by 9:50 am so we can begin the service promptly at 10 am.

If you have a joy or sorrow for the December 20 service, please share it during the discussion or if you're not planning to attend, email the UUCR office at UUCR email by Friday, December 18 at noon.
Join Us for Coffee Hour on Sunday!
Come join us for a time to see and talk to one another. It's the next best thing to being there!

Click on the Coffee Hour Zoom Link  at 11:00 am this Sunday.

Pat Bjorke, Dec 7
Pat Kobes-Gomez, Dec 7
Lynn Donahue, Dec 8
Carol Dobson, Dec 9

We want to help celebrate your birthday! If we didn't include your November/December birthday, please contact Jan Whitney at UUCR email


Sunday, December 23,
Rev. Sue Browning, Zoom
Service, "Eve of the Eve"

Sunday, December 27,
Rev. Sue Browning, Zoom Discussion

Minister's Column
Fitting In Laughter This Season
Once in a while something strikes us as funny. Really funny. And we find ourselves laughing almost until we cry. Can you remember such a time? More often we laugh in smaller doses, during an evening of conversation, or on a phone call, or at a movie. It feels good to laugh and have fun.
In laughter we feel release. We have the experience of shared joy. Even in times of grief, as stories are shared, there is the natural weaving in of laughter in with the tears. Humans are wired to laugh.
In 2020 I sense we have laughed less often than in most years. We’ve coped as we’ve needed to do. We have shown resilience. We’ve worried and been frustrated and sad. To be sure, we’ve laughed some, yet, on balance the social times which naturally lead to spontaneous smiles, giggles and laughs have just been fewer. And the circumstances have been trying. 
This coming Friday evening, on December 18, at 5 p.m. (on Zoom) UUCR will host a 2020 Holiday Party. The specifics are above. My hope is many will join to connect and laugh together. It’s an evening planned for the fun. It feels needed this year. 
(And if you have "tech" limitations or questions, my hope is you will reach out to Jim Lavin for ideas of ways we can figure out for you to join the fun, by phone or other means.)
Another opportunity for shared joy and fun will be UUCR's annual Eve of the Eve service (virtual on Zoom) on December 23 at 7 p.m. Details coming shortly! 
Wishing you joy in the many forms it will need to take this year,

Rev. Sue
From UUCR's Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
Holiday Sharing Miracle
After tallying the incredibly generous response to Holiday Sharing, the UUCR Social Concerns Social Justice Committee set out to distribute funds totaling $1,258! We have now purchased gift cards, and a few gifts, for the Department of Social Services for holiday programs in Kent and Queen Anne's counties totaling $900. The remaining funds will be sent to the Feed the Children and Elderly Initiative administered by the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice and the Kent County Community Food Pantry. Thanks, once again, for your generous contributions to add some joy to this year's Holiday Season. Hoping to see a tree abundant with gifts next year.

Lynn Dolinger and Amy Warner
From the 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
Shopping Online This Christmas?
Your Purchases Can Help UUCR!
Go to the link on the UUCR webpage here and enter either Amazon or IGive to make your purchases; .05% of what you spend will end up in UUCR’s coffers. Yes, it’s only a half-cent on the dollar, but these “ha’pennies” turn into dollars and then into scores of dollars.

Happy shopping!
Last Sunday's Virtual Service
From Sunday, December 13, at 10 am,
Zoom Service,
led by Rev. Sue Browning,
"And The Days Get Shorter Still"
In 2020 the practice of waiting has taken on new dimensions. We are waiting for a vaccine, and a return to travel, and the joy of carefree gatherings. Join Rev. Sue Browning as we consider how the seasonal lessons about waiting and preparation may help us as we wait in this oddest of years. 

Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Sue Browning, Ellen Barry Grunden, Philip Dutton, Carey Miller, and Rev. Joanna Lubkin. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team of Elizabeth Hausburg, Emily Cranwell, John Ramsey, Don Barker, James Lavin, Bill Browning, Bozena Lamparska, Jane Hardy and Jan Whitney.
UUCR on Facebook

Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River now has two Facebook pages. Our original UUCR Facebook Page now has a new look. This is thanks to Kate Livie, of Alosa Communications. (Click the image below to go to our original UUCR Facebook Page.)

  • Frequent posts are desirable not only because they keep our page updated with fresh content, this new content is carried forward into our followers’ newsfeeds. That’s an example of the interconnectedness of all things. We want our page to reflect a balance of news and information, not skewed too much in one direction. So far the bulk of our content is about upcoming services, ideas for family activities, and our work on racial justice. It would be helpful if we could expand our postings into other areas.

  • Pat Bjorke has been posting from UU World about Unitarian Universalism so that folks not familiar with us will get some idea what we're about. 

  • Pat has also been posting her “BITES” on this Facebook page, as well as putting them in Reflections newsletter.

  • PLEASE visit ... maybe once a week to see what's new even if you're not going to post.

  • As well as our Website, our Facebook page is our public face in the now mostly virtual world. Do not post personal information about yourself or anybody else.

  • If a Facebook page isn’t seen in the virtual universe, does it exist?

  • People have discovered that when they post something on our FB page, it "disappears". It really doesn't. There are two tabs above and to the left. One says "Home" and the other says "Community". Your post, if you are not an administrator, goes into the "Community" time line. Your tireless administrator, once he found this out, has been trying to catch posts and move them to the "Home" timeline.

Our UUCR Facebook Forum is the new more personal space. Again, created by Kate Livie. (Click the image below to go to our UUCR Facebook Forum.)
  • This is a private Facebook page/group for UUCR congregants and friends only.

  • One has to be admitted by someone already in the group.

  • Only members can post.

  • The intention is to give us a means of sharing experiences and possibly connecting in this time of distancing.

  • Content posted to the private UUCR Facebook Forum group offers greater latitude than on the public Facebook page, and can include thought-provoking discussion topics, fun asides, and current local topics of interest. It is highly advisable to keep a definite boundary between the two Facebook pages.

  • DICK HAWKINS MEMORIAL SERVICE -- A picture of the service has been posted on the Facebook Forum. This is your chance to join the group, if you have not already done so. Add your own pictures and remembrances. Feel free to start your own post.
Pastoral Care & 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:
Jan Whitney (Office) p: 410-778-3440 | e:
Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD 21620
Phone: (410) 778-3440