WEDNESDAY, November 25, 2020
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Sunday, November 29,
Bob Clegg,
"Unitarian Universalist Survival, Relevance, and Meaning in the 21st Century"
The UUA's Commission on Institutional Change published the report of their 3-year study this year, which was overwhelmingly approved at the UUGA in June. What is the message of this newest in a history of UUA commission reports? Does it differ in substantial ways from reports that came before? We will look at the challenges of this report, the demands it makes of us, and why it may hold the key to the survival of Unitarian Universalism and its relevance to society.

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,, 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's email and the office email by 12 p.m. Thursday and she will read them each as a part of the service.

We will also have written versions of the service available that we can email to you or mail to you by US postal service.
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.
Minister's Column
A Different Holiday
As I’ve checked in with members about plans for Thanksgiving, most folks are staying home. To the extent there are gatherings they are small, and have been carefully considered. It goes without saying, this is a different year.

How might we use this Thanksgiving?

Maya Angelou observed, “Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

In Angelou’s words we hear an invitation to lay down the churn in our lives, at least for a day. She encourages us to find calm in the midst of the stress. While holidays are traditionally filled with bustle, in this quieter year what might it be like to pull back and reflect?

It is challenging to trust that the world will be "ok" if we take a break from all the doing and the worrying, even for a day. My hope is we each might find just such a day this weekend. Maybe we will use the day to play, or nap, or read. Maybe we’ll use such a day to creatively connect with those closest to us, even if they are not nearby. Maybe through the freedom of this break we'll sense what we are most grateful for in a fresh and deeper way.

It is a year that feels different; it is a year that is different. How might we use this Thanksgiving?

Sending love and care to all,
Rev. Sue


Carl Gallegos, Nov 6
Sue Browning, Nov 13
Jan Brandon, Nov 18
Tim Ford, Nov 20
Sara Warner, Nov 21
Diane Shields, Nov 24
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 6,
Sana Saeed, UUA, Virtual Service, "Finding Balance: Reflecting on Emptiness and Abundance"

Sunday, December 13,
Rev. Sue Browning, Virtual Service, And the Days Get Shorter Still"
UUCR Children's RE Program
Winter Coat Drive - this Sunday Nov 29
UUCR's Children's RE program is collecting winter coats that are in good condition, adult and children's sizes. Coats must be laundered or dry-cleaned, free from tears and stains, and all zippers, snaps and buttons in good working condition. Adult coats will be donated to an addictions recovery center and half-way house; children's coats will be donated to local agencies.

Sunday, Nov 29 1:00-2:00 pm

Questions? Contact Pat Bjorke at 410-708-9482
From UUCR's Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
Holiday Sharing is Back
Holiday Sharing is back, with a twist.  We're not collecting individual gifts for a Department of Social Services (DSS) family this year, but we are collecting funds to provide gift cards for a deserving family selected by DSS.

You have two options for donating. You can send a send a check to UUCR at 914 Gateway Dr, Chestertown, MD 21620 clearly marked for Holiday Sharing, or click here to go to the brand new donate page on the UUCR website.

This is our first Outreach Collection for the year.  The needs are even greater this year for all of us, so I hope that you can share to bring and find some joy in this unusual holiday season.

Please donate by December 1 as you are able. Contact Lynn Dolinger for questions: or call
From the PROC Committee
Volunteers Needed!
The PROC (public relations, outreach and communications) committee needs assistance in addressing and distributing our new member directory, which is coming soon. Please email Jan Whitney at, or call 410-778-3440 and leave a message, if you can help.

Also, 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 Ramsay 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
Last Sunday's Virtual Service
From Sunday, November 22,
Rev. Sue Browning,
"A Time for Gratitude: Our Annual Bread Communion"
All are invited to our virtual bread communion service, an intergenerational service where we remind one another of the power of ritual in harvest times.

Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Eamon Peach, Sue Browning and Ellen Barry Grunden. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team of Elizabeth Hausburg (editor), John Ramsey, Don Barker, Bill Browning, Dave Moore, 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