WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2020
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Sunday, September 20,
Rev. Sue Browning
"Artists for Justice: Learning the Stories"
In May, local artist Nancy Tankersley felt called to a more active role to help end racism. She saw her gifts as an artist and her connections to other artists as a starting point and within weeks the exhibit "Portraits of Black Lives Lost" by Artists for Justice emerged. In Kent County the Tapestry for Change and BLM mural projects are opening conversations on equity across the community. Join Rev. Sue Browning, Nancy Tankersley, John Schratwieser, Maria Wood and others at this service exploring the arts and justice, and the ways we are each called to use our gifts to bring about change.

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.

Jan Ross, Sept 7
Scott Ross, Sept 7
Linda Weimer, Sept 8
Mary Pritchard, Sept 16
Nathan Ferster, Sept 24
Lisa Kennedy, Sept 26

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


Sunday, September 27,
Rev. Sue Browning, Virtual Service, "The 2020 Elections: A National UU Worship Service"

Sunday, October 4,
Christen Green, Virtual Service, "Listening for the Unknown"

Minister's Column
The Courage to Pause
Some of my favorite "Opening Words" are by Rev. Kathleen McTigue.

"We come together this day to remind one another
To rest for a moment on the forming edge of our lives,
To resist the headlong tumble into the next moment,
Until we claim for ourselves awareness and gratitude,
Taking the time to look into one another’s faces
And see there communion: the reflection of our own eyes.
This place of laughter and silence, memory and hope
Is hallowed by our presence together."

This reading is a reminder not to rush, but to pause and to say thank you.

This past week I had the joy of working with Annie Lavin, John Ramsey, David Biehler, Fredy Granillo and Jim Lavin to create our annual ingathering worship service. We recorded the service in the UUCR sanctuary, a first since we began virtual services. Vida Morley dropped by with an amazing flower arrangement, and many members sent in water pictures for the Water Communion.

In my pause today, I am picturing our small group filming last week. I’m remembering that we laughed, we swore (a bit), and even had a few "blooper" moments. I am grateful for the ways our gifts came together. I hope everyone has a chance to experience this service, "Finding Our Way Back." (See the link below.)

It’s easy to find ourselves in "headlong tumbles" into what is next. We want to do more and to promise more. There is an excitement in juggling as much as we can. It's not a bad inclination, and, too, I encourage us to balance all this "doing" with deep pauses of awareness and gratitude.

For me, I am grateful for all who were a part of our service last week, and for the many ways we are learning ways to join hearts through virtual worship.

In thanks,
Rev. Sue
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 UUCR's Building and Grounds Committee
Building Use Procedures
The Board and B&G reviewed the current status of the church building and have decided to relax the restrictions of its use. We will still be aware and cautious of the Covid-19 virus and will have certain procedures that must be followed. These procedures are listed below and may be changed should conditions and/or compliance dictate. These procedures will be posted prominently in the church hallway.

Procedure for Church use

  • For church business only, individuals and small groups may now use the church as long as social distancing is maintained. In the case of small groups, contact B&G to insure there is no conflict with other groups.

  • A mask must be worn at all times covering both the mouth and nose.

  • All persons entering must sign and date the ledger upon entering the church. This is important and there are no exceptions. This information will be used for Contact Tracing in the unlikely event that an attendee or someone close to the attendee is exposed to the virus.

  • Food may not be served in the church.

  • Instructions on cleaning and disinfecting the area used during a visit will be displayed inside the office entrance. Appropriate supplies will be made available.

  • Social distancing should be practiced at all times. 

  • Only use the church if you are non-symptomatic for the Covid-19 virus or any other transmittable disease that could compromise the health of another congregant.

  • At this time, please do not use any of the hymnals. 

  • The Nursery and the RE rooms are strictly off limits.

  • Please avoid using the office if at all possible. 

From UUCR's Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
25 Challenges for White People -
6 through 10 of 25
What can white people do to eliminate racism and create a more equitable society for everyone? You can educate yourself by using the available systems and resources about how to stop racism. Here are "25 Challenges for White People" to become more aware of systemic racism in our country. The point is for you as a white person to choose a challenge that makes you step out of your comfort zone. Persons of color (POC) have to live in discomfort and endure the trauma of racism every day. White people must pick up the baton and learn to be uncomfortable as you move to eliminate racism. Saying you are not a racist does not mean you are an anti racist. Step out of your comfort zone: conquer new challenges on this list.

6. Acknowledge there is a reason for Black Anger! Blacks have been forced to an oppressed system for over 400 years through slavery, Jim Crow, and on to discrimination which has evolved into systemic racism...Blacks are usually forced to lower education systems, low menial jobs, low pay, substandard housing, unequal health care, unfair criminal system, and police brutality/profiling.

7. Listen without ego and defensiveness to people of color. Truly listen. Don’t scroll past articles written by people of color.

8. Find out how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era are being taught in your local school. Advocate that history is taught correctly and certain parts are not skipped over or barely mentioned. Advocate that many voices be used in the study of history. Is the school teaching about post-Civil War convict leasing, the parent to our current mass incarceration system? Talking about slavery alone, is your school showing images such as Gordon’s scourged back, a slave ship hold, and an enslaved nurse holding her young master? Are explorers, scientists, politicians, etc., who are POC discussed? Are male and female authors who are POC on reading lists? Are Japanese internment camps being discussed? Is history explained correctly in history books?

9. Buy children’s books that show Black people as heroes and the main characters. Donate them to public and private schools.

10. Work on ensuring that Black educators are hired. All children, especially Black children, benefit from an inclusive staff.
UU the Vote
UU the Vote is a UUA-sponsored initiative to provide resources to help get out the vote for this November’s election. If you are interested in making phone calls to voters in key states, go to, and click on “sign up to phone bank.” This takes you to the UU the Vote phone banking hub. From there, scroll down to select a date and time and click on “register.”

The Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee has been exploring various ways that our members and friends can get involved in getting out the vote (GOTV). We hope to continue to offer other ways to get involved up to this critical election.

Amy Warner, Co-chair
Reeb Project for Voting Rights
We need you – the hundreds of members and friends of All Souls, who have powered us over the past seven years – to mobilize and equip voters with the information they need to ensure their votes count and their voices are heard.

Join us as we work in solidarity with other UU congregations and progressive partner organizations that center the leadership of people of color, work in communities with historically low voter participation, and advocate for changes to oppressive voting laws.

There are many regional and local organizations taking action to encourage voter participation in the upcoming Elections.
The REEB Voting Rights Project offers several actions in addition to writing postcards to swing state voters as illustrated by LindaDutton completing her packet of 60 from the All Souls Church project.

Our local Indivisible Group for Kent and Queen Anne's Counties offers many opportunities as well!

Sign up for more info on actions....or donate to please help keep our letter campaign on track!

Dear Indivisibles,

So far, we've been able to prepare almost 4,000 letters to swing voters in PA and MI. But we have a long way to go to our goal of reaching 10,000 voters--and we're out of funds to pay for expenses. Can you help us reach our goal with a donation?

How will your donation help?

$8 pays for 500 mailing labels
$30 pays for a pack of 500 envelopes
$55 pays for stamps for 100 letters

We also take donations of stamps and envelopes directly.

How to give:

- Online, using PayPal: (or by searching the email address:

- By mail: Kent and Queen Anne's Indivisible, 104 Spring Ave. #781, Chestertown, 21620

Many thanks in advance for your help. The KQAI Admin Team
White Allies Pledge Campaign by Kent County's Social Action Committee for Racial Justice
The Social Action Committee for Racial Justice (SACRJ) believes that white people are
responsible for individual and institutional racism in this country. Therefore, we are
asking white people to take a stand against racism and become publicly engaged in
anti-racism activities in all aspects of our society. To that end, the SACRJ has created a White Allies Pledge for all those in our community who are committed to racial equity and justice to sign and to act accordingly. This pledge with the names of those who have signed it will be published in local print and social media in the coming months.

The press release with more information is attached here.
Our Special "Possessions"
Over the years our beloved church has been adorned with incredible gifts (for example, the handsome lectern at the front of our sanctuary built for us by Tom Kerr), and we would like to make note of them as a part of our history — better done now than after those of us who remember best have moved on! One item that stood out recently is our quilt of chalice image squares, designed and assembled by Sue Thompson, we believe, but others were involved as well. If you contributed to this quilt would you please notify Jan Whitney at

We need to know more about the artist who created our stained glass window as well. Have some memories and answers? Please let us know. 

From Sunday, September 13, Rev. Sue Browning,
"Finding Our Way Back"
Welcome! Welcome! While we won’t yet be gathering in person, at this virtual service we’ll be finding our way back to one another. Join us as we "kick-off" the year with song, story, reflection, a message from Rev. Sue, and an adapted version of our Water Communion service. The service will be a chance to explore the blessing of connection as a renewing force in our lives, especially in these unique times

Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Sue Browning, Liz Hausburg, Eamon Peach, Ellen Barry Grunden, "Ampersand": Beth Lawton, Dick Hogal, Topher Lawton, and Dave Moore. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team of Don Barker, Bozena Lamparska, Jan Whitney, Jane Hardy, John Ramsey, Fredy Granillo, Jim Lavin, and David Biehler.
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.
Check in Every First Wednesday at
7 pm for Support and Feedback on Our Individual Efforts to Make a Difference
Dear UUCR Members and Friends,

During my sermon on Sunday, June 21, I encouraged each congregant to make one specific commitment to support ending racism. As I explained, I will host a Zoom call on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm, where we will be able check in with one another on our progress. The call will be brief, and will focus on encouragement and learning. Rev. Sue Browning

 If you have questions, please be in touch with Rev. Sue at email.
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