WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020
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Minister's Column and
Zoom Meeting Tonight,
Wednesday, November 4, 7 pm
Earlier today I sent out the letter below to UUCR Members and Friends. It is where my head and heart are this morning. In the letter I note we'll have a chance to share initial reactions about the election this evening at 7 p.m. through a Zoom gathering. Elsewhere in today's newsletter you'll also note we are planning to hold our Sunday service this week at 10 a.m. on Zoom (ie. a "live" service). With so much unfolding, my hope is that folks are continually finding ways to connect, share and support one another. Sending love and care to all.  Rev. Sue

Dear Members and Friends,

We awake this morning to the confirmation of what many had anticipated: We don’t yet know who won the presidential election. We had told one another the results would likely not be known on Tuesday, nonetheless it is unsettling to not have a clear result. It is going to take time to count all of the votes. Waiting is difficult, especially when the stakes feel high. I have faith that together we will get through the waiting part. We know that getting valid, supportable results matters.

I sense we awake this morning to something more. For many of us, our hearts feel heavy today, and this heaviness feels beyond just the uncertainty of the outcome. In some fresh way, these election results are revealing the depth of polarization in our country. These results are highlighting dramatic differences in priorities and in what constitutes effective leadership. These results have us questioning who is included in that nation's vision for a just society, and even more basically who is safe. I sense that while we had hoped to experience relief in this election being over, instead today many of us feel some combination of sadness, frustration and worry.

Or your experience may be different than all of the above. We know we learn and are strengthened when we share our perspectives with one another, especially in the midst of unsettling times. In this spirit, tonight at 7 p.m. there will be an opportunity (Zoom gathering) for members and friends to share early reactions and emerging questions around the election. We will open with a chalice lighting, and create space for reflection.
Zoom Call, Wednesday, November 4, 7 p.m.

Zoom Sign-In
Meeting ID: 987 6386 1714
Passcode: 694963

If you are new to Zoom, please email the offices (, this afternoon and we’ll have someone provide you support on how to join a Zoom call.

As these next stages of the election unfold, and as the pandemic continues, please know you can reach out to me or members of the pastoral/caring teams in the congregations at any time for support.

In connection and care,
Rev. Sue
Sunday, November 8, at 10 am,
Zoom Service,
Led by Rev. Sue Browning,
"And We Take the Next Step"
How will the 2020 Election have unfolded by the time we gather for our Sunday service on November 8? What will be known and still unknown? Importantly, how will our values and convictions guide us as we take in the results, and decide on our next steps? For this service led by Rev. Sue Browning, you are invited to join using the Zoom link below. (We encourage you to join by 9:50 so we can have everyone on the call by 10.)

Join us by clicking the Zoom link here (passcode 381847) on Sunday, November 8 at 10 am, followed by coffee hour on a separate Zoom link (see below).

If you have a joy or sorrow for the November 8 service, please share it during the discussion or if you're not planning to attend, email the UUCR office at UUCR email by Friday, November 6 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.


Carl Gallegos, Nov 6
Sue Browning, Nov 13
Jan Brandon, Nov 18
Tim Ford, Nov 20
Sara Warner, Nov 21
Diane Shields, Nov 24

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


Sunday, November 15,
Rev. Sue Browning, Virtual Service, "When We Want to Heal: A Service About the Rocky Times"

Sunday, November 22,
Rev. Sue Browning, Virtual Service, "Intergenerational Bread Communion"
The Thankfulness Pumpkin
During the month of October, our RE kids "passed the pumpkin" from one house to another, writing things they were thankful for on it. The Thankfulness Pumpkin has made its way back to UUCR, where Rev. Sue will include it in a November worship service.
There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of UUCR member Dick Hawkins on Sunday, November 15 at 3 pm on Zoom. All are invited to attend. As we get closer to the service, a Zoom link and additional details will be shared.

If you need support using Zoom, please let us know by email at or by phone at 410-778-3440.
From UUCR's Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
New Home, New Hope on College Avenue
A new house on College Avenue is giving the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River the chance to build hope for a local bi-racial family of five.

Kent Attainable Housing is building the modest house. All we have to do is furnish and equip it, all 1,200 square feet.

With what? Just about everything. Open the attached List of Needs for the details.

Despite needing to find new employment, due to the Covid-slowed economy, a couple with three children has accomplished everything required of them so far by Kent Attainable Housing (KAH). They will soon be leasing-to-buy the modular home due to arrive on College Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 28. Move-in is anticipated in early December.

The couple had to jump through all the qualifying hoops, like classes in personal finance and a HUD certified First-time Homeowners Class, before their selection. KAH is a local non-profit committed to ending multi-generational poverty through home ownership. This home, recently named Garnet House in honor of Kent County’s noted abolitionist H.H. Garnet, will be the first KAH completion.

The UUCR’s Social Concerns/Social Justice committee was inspired by Kent Attainable Housing after hearing Lani Seikaly, the founding chair, present the 501-C3 charity to the Chester Valley Ministers Association last year. The UUCR study of racism had already taught members about the blatant discrimination by federal and private mortgage entities aimed at African-Americans for decades.

The nest egg, the inheritance that many White families have received from their parents, often based in the paid-off family home, never existed for most Black families. Helping this family start building their nest egg is a rare chance for us to make a difference, a material difference in our own community -- financial security and a leg up for the next generation of long-oppressed Americans.

The UUCR committee envisions this project as a first step toward a possibly lasting relationship with the local couple. Both Lani and Lynn Dolinger, initiators of the collaboration, say there may be opportunities to assist the family with technical and budgeting issues they encounter for the first time. “This relationship could develop into something fun and beneficial to both parties,” Lynn noted.

Another value of UUCR’s role will be to serve as a test-case for KAH collaboration with other churches for future homes. KAH already has received applications from 24 families, mostly led by single women with children. Six households are in various stages of the lengthy process, and a second homesite and qualified family might emerge within the foreseeable future. When the area’s economy recovers, KAH expects its clients to qualify for mortgages rather than lease-to-buy contracts.

So, if downsizing or clean-outs of garages and attics are on your autumn agenda, please reserve the choicest items that fit the attached Needs List. Contact info is shown at the top of the List.

Thanking you in advance,
Nancy Holland and Linda Weimer, coordinators 
Sign Up and Be Counted
It's not too late to sign the White Allies Pledge. UUCR has been assisting the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice to engage community members in supporting People of Color in their quest for justice and racial equity.  We hope that you will sign the Pledge and be counted when supporters' names are published in early November.

While this is a product of the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice (SACRJ), our own Board and Social Concerns Committee are partnering with the SACRJ in support of our Strategic Plan's focus on racial equity. In addition, many of our members are actively working with the SACRJ to promote racial justice in our community, including Philip Dutton who is a member of the SACRJ Steering Committee. If you want to do more, please consider signing the Pledge and becoming a member of the SACRJ. There's a lot of information on their new website You can also contact Philip Dutton at or Lynn Dolinger at

Lynn Dolinger,
Co-Chair of the UUCR Social Concerns Committee
Photo Directory News
Please share your photos!
All members and friends should have received an email with instructions on giving us the latest picture to be included in the UUCR photo directory. You can send them either through the web site, or by email at We are looking forward to seeing everyone and their family.

David Biehler
From Sunday, November 1,
Rev. Libby Smith,
"Fragments of Holiness"
In our longing for healing and wholeness, we need to make room for the reality that sometimes we, and the world around us, feel more broken than whole. Can we learn to see the beauty that lies even at the heart of our brokenness?

Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Rev. Libby Smith, Annie Lavin, Philip Dutton, Lea Morris, Playing For Change 3. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team of John Ramsey, David Biehler, Jim Lavin, Dave Moore, Jane Hardy, Bozena Lamparska 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