WEDNESDAY, December 9, 2020
Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
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. 

Join us by clicking the Zoom link here on Sunday, December 13 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 13 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 11 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 20,
Rev. Sue Browning, Virtual Service, "Communicating with Santa"

Sunday, December 27,
Rev. Sue Browning, Zoom Discussion
Minister's Column
Decorating, and Other Preparations
Some people love to decorate for the Holidays. As the boxes come out from the basement or attic, they are joyful about the whole process. With each ornament hung or candle placed, an old story comes to mind. Transforming the room is integral to their holiday experience.  

Others prepare (most years!) by planning for travel, parties, or concerts, or by baking, or wrapping gifts.

Is there a way you traditionally prepare for the Holiday? What are your preparation routines?

When our children were young my sister made us this Advent calendar below. It takes up the better part of a wall. Each day a felt ornament is taken from its pocket and is added to the tree. While our kids are long gone from the house, we still hang the calendar; at least we have in the past. It’s still our visible countdown to December 25, and it's a reminder of years when our children needed a chair to add ornaments to the tree.

I considered not bothering with the calendar this year. It’s awkward to hang, and few, if anyone, will be visiting this Christmas. In the end, it went up. It was a sort of shrug, and "why not" choice.

I sense my own ambivalence around Holiday preparations is shared by others this year. There never is a right or wrong way to prepare. Maybe this is a good year to change a routine; to simplify some preparations, or to take a break. On the other hand, maybe this is a year to decorate more; to try something new, or to take extra time on some detail to make the season feel special.

This is a good year to reflect on our "getting ready" routines of the Holidays. What parts of the preparation process have the most meaning? What is it we prepare for? How might our steps to prepare for the Holidays, in whatever form they take, open our hearts over the upcoming weeks?

Sending good thoughts to all during this Holiday season of 2020.

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 PROC Committee
PROC is assembling a task force to look for ways to better connect our beloved community during this stressful time — perhaps forming small support groups? Let us know if you have ideas; contact PROCC chair John Ramsey at or Jan Whitney at, 410-778-3440.
Save the Date - December 18 from 5 pm:
Party Time!
Stay tuned for more information about a gathering to celebrate the season.
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 6,
Sana Saeed, UUA,
"Finding Balance: Reflecting on Emptiness and Abundance"
For this service our guest minister Sana Saeed will use storytelling to explore the areas of life where we may feel empty in life and where we feel abundance during this time of pandemic and the holiday season. We’ll explore Buddhist ideas on finding balance in life when it feels overwhelming.

Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Eamon Peach, Sue Browning, Sana Saeed, Patty Rubin, Dick Doughty, Bozena Lamparska, Dave Moore, Ellen Barry Grunden, Philip Dutton and The Delmarva Cluster Virtual Choir. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team of Mark Peach (editor), John Ramsey, Don Barker, 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?

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