September 6 - 12, 2018
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of
The Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community

THIS WEEK: We start off our new church year with our Annual In Gathering, Water Ceremony and Potluck Picnic! Welcome back!
In Worship, 10:30am
USG's In-Gathering Water Ceremony Celebration

Raising our Principles Together
 Rev. Kent Matthies, Mark Daugherty and the USG Choir, Emily Joy Goldberg, DSD Ryan Hurd, and You
For our Ingathering Water Ceremony we begin the church year anew by celebrating our commitment to our UU Principles. Come help us celebrate new, beautiful sanctuary banners , which help us affirm and promote “the inherent dignity and worth of every person”, and “justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” Bring water from a special place from your summer - including your home. Together in Beloved Community we are empowered to more fully live out our values. 
After the service we will have a potluck picnic lunch . Please bring a dish to share. If you are able to assist with either setup or cleanup for the potluck, please contact Gloria at .
Before or after the service, please visit the Welcome Table to get crepe paper for you to display as you wish (as a headband, neck tie, wrist wrap, boutonniere, etc) so that you can identify others in your Village. t
In Child Spiritual Development
This Sunday, September 9, the children will be in the Sanctuary for the intergenerational celebration of In Gathering. Most of the CSD programs for the Year begin on September 16; Coming of Age begins on September 23.

Details about the CSD programs and schedules can be found on the website under the Spiritual Development tab.

Childcare for children 4-5 years old and younger is offered this Sunday and most Sundays from 9:00am - 12:00pm in the Committee Room. 
Before the Worship Service
Meditate in the Meditation Room
Meditation, reading, dharma and sharing are offered in Sullivan 3 on the First and Second Sundays of the month between 9:15 and 10:20am. All are welcome to join in quietly. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to come and sit. For information on meditation, click here.

Stop by the Welcome Table to get your Village crepe paper!

Drop off nonperishable food items to the designated carts in the Kitchen for delivery to St. Vincent's Food Pantry.
Coffee Hour
After the Worship Service
Get to Know Others in Your Village:
Please visit the Welcome table to get your crepe paper!

Gather with old friends and new for the annual potluck picnic .

Sign up for a Small Group Ministry. Several groups have openings. Click here for details and for openings. (add'l info below.)

The usual Second Sunday Open SGM will not be held this month, as we are offering two Drop-In SGMs for folks to sample, on Sept. 16 and 30.

SignUp is the reminder tool USG uses to organize volunteers for our upcoming activities. Click Here to go to our group page to sign up online.

Then return Sunday evening.....
....Return this Sunday evening at 5:00pm for 90 minutes of a Mindfulness Meditation in Nuturing Kindness , led by Deborah Cooper. Click here for details. Look for signage on how to access the Sullivan Chapel.
Listening for Hashem's Voice
Rev. Kent Matthies
Sunday, September 16, 10:30am
The Jewish New Year is a time for finding meaning and getting right with God and conscience. 
"Hashem" is a name for God, which simply means “the name.” Whatever your theology, you can listen for and live out the “voice” of Hashem. Theists, agnostics and atheists can all find great value in this time of atonement and renewal.
Parent Orientation for OWL Program
Friday, September 7, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Interested parents are invited to a Parent Orientation for Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program for grades 7-8. Meet the teachers, review content, and ask questions. Parental permission forms will be available for signature. The orientation is required unless you have already had a child in OWL before. We will schedule a second orientation for those who cannot make the one on Sept. 7. Please RSVP if you plan to attend to .
Tuere Sala on The Triple Gem of Buddhism : Sangha in Troubled Times
Friday, September 7, 6:00 - 8:00pm
We are pleased to welcome Dharma teacher Tuere Sala from the Seattle Insight Meditation Society. Her talk on the Three Jewels of Buddhism will emphasize the importance of Sangha — community — in these troubling times. All are welcome, no meditation experience is needed. Suggested dana/donation: $5-$15
Co-sponsored by Springboard Sangha and USG. Click here for more details. Look for signage on how to access the Sullivan Chapel.
Movie Event
Social Justice Movie of the Month:
“It’s STILL Elementary”
Monday, September 10, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
It’s STILL Elementary  presents a moving story about the power to ignite positive social change through documentary film and grassroots organizing. It examines the incredible impact of  It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School  over the last decade, and follows up with teachers and students featured in the first film to see how lessons about LGBT people changed their lives.
red school house
Panel Discussion on The Future of Philadelphia Public Schools - New School Board -- New Day?
Sunday, September 30, 12:30 - 2:00pm, Edna Jones Assembly Room
Jessica Stanforth from the Cooperative Nursery School at USG will moderate a panel of local public school advocates, parents, and teachers. Each will express their views about our children's future. Join the Social Justice Council for light snacks before this lively event, its Q&A and networking afterwards. Click here for details and list of panel members.
Still-Open Auction Events:

Classic Dealer's Choice Penny Ante Poker
Friday, September 21 at 7:00pm.
At Gerry and Eileen Whelan's home in Wyndmoor.
$15. There is space for 3 more. Interested? Contact Kay Weiser .

Book Swap Brunch
Saturday, September 8 from 10:00am to noon
Join Jenn, Zoe, and Janet at the Leiby home in Plymouth Meeting. Talk about books and enjoy a light brunch. Room for 7 more adults. Cost is $20 each for adult. Interested? Contact Kay Weiser .

Press Club Dinner
October 5, 6:30 pm
Diane Fiske gives USG people an opportunity to come to the oldest private press club in the US. Guests can view media memorabilia dating back to the early 20th century, enjoy gourmet food, wine and beer. Adults: $15. The cost of the dinner and drinks will be each person's responsibility. Carpooling from USG. 9 spaces available. If interested, contact Kay Weiser , 215-527-3179.

Fall Dog Day Afternoon
Saturday, October 6 from 3:00 - 5:00pm
Join Bonnie McDairmant, Carolyn Scott, other USGers and their furry friends for a romp in the Wissahickon. Room for 3 more of any age. $15. Contact Kay Weiser .
Ground Breaking for the Elevator
On Thursday August 30, a power shovel moved in to start creating the space for the elevator addition, and now we have a big hole---a VERY big hole, 25 feet deep. Completion of this major project is expected towards the end of February, 2019. 

The stairway to the Sullivan wing is no longer accessible; the only access to the Sullivan Chapel wing will be through the side door off the courtyard.  The area in the grove that's now fenced in is a hard hat area and access is limited to the construction workers. Safety First! Parents, we know big holes are fascinating, but please prevent children from getting too close.

As we all navigate the construction areas, please look for signage about how to access the Sullivan Chapel.
A New Year in CSD!
Parents, save the date: Our Regular Church Year program for Children's Spiritual Development (CSD) starts Sunday September 16 - except for Coming of Age ( see below) . Our Sunday children's program philosophy is steeped in UU values, child-centered learning and fun! Our classes are facilitated by volunteers, many of whom are also parents at USG. If you'd like to be involved this year, we still have openings! Contact Ryan Hurd at . And stay tuned for registration details.

Parent-Teacher Meet & Greet:
September 16, in the Edna Jones Room upstairs, following the service

Classes will be grouped as follows:
Grades Pre-K - K
Grades 1-3
Grades 4-6
Grades 7-8 OWL -  Our Whole Lives Sex Ed Program   (follow link for details)
Grades 9-10  COA - Coming of Age  Will NOT start as previously announced on Sept. 23. Please stay tuned for alternative Sunday morning programming!
Grades 9-12  Youth Group  (follow link for details)

NOTE to Parents with youth in grades 7-10. Hopefully you received an email from us about the OWL and COA programs. If you did not, please contact Ryan at . If you have not responded to an email about these programs, please let us know if your youth will be participating so that we can plan. Thank you!
Archives Committee Forming
Thursday, September 13, 3:00-4:30pm
Calling all members who enjoy organizing and cataloguing as well as those who enjoy watching history emerge in an ordered view of the past. USG has a long and distinguished past, and our archives have the beginnings of order. But there is much work to be done. We plan to catalog our holdings, develop a church-wide archives policy, deal with media conversion issues, and create exhibits from time to time.

Please join us for this initial meeting in the Committee Room if you can. Notify co-chairs Susan Bockius ( ; 215-247-4249) or Kay Weiser ( ; 215-527-3179) of your interest and/or plan to attend.
USG Video Team
Would you like to get more involved at USG? Do you have experience working with video or images or want to become more experienced in this area? Rev. Kent is looking for several people to assist him with video production for a series of videos he would like to create to complement our spiritual development programs.

In addition, the Worship Arts team is looking for individuals who can work with Rev. Kent and the various guest speakers and worship associates on Sunday worship slides creation . If you would like to be a part of these creative teams or if you would like more information, please contact Kent at or send a note to .

We will be following a new curriculum, Soul Matters Sharing Circle, for SGM this year.

Signups for Open SGMs continue this Sunday.
Several groups have openings for new members.  Follow this link  for availability (towards the bottom of the page) or visit the SGM table at fellowship hour to signup. You may also contact the group leader or Treva Burger, at  or 215-277-5752, for more information or to sign up.
Are you skilled in reupholstery?

Needed: someone to help us improve these fine wood chairs that function as our waiting area for Reverend Kent Matthies’ office. The chairs could use a new seat covering. If you would be able to work on this for the church, please send a note to Gloria at .
Planning to Attend Rev. Connie Simon's Installation in Cincinnati?
The First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati is working hard on arrangements for Rev. Connie Simon's Installation on Sunday, October 28 4-6pm. For more details, click here .

If you are interested in going with a group, either by car or chartered bus, please contact Gloria Guldager in the office at or Treva Burger .

Whether you go with a group or by yourself, if you do plan to attend, please contact Gloria , as Cincinnati needs the count of attendees.
We are excited to announce our new Give+ Text option for making pledge and contribution payments to USG!
Please click here to learn how to use this convenient tool.
Thank You, Villagers!
Thank you to all who participate in hosting Fellowship Hour! If you are willing to coordinate for your Village, please let Treva Burger, know. Below is the schedule for Fellowship Hour Hosting in September.
  • September 16 - Village 6
  • September 23 - Village 7
  • September 30 - Village 8
Come early next Sunday, September 16 for USG's First Social Justice Coffee Hour.
Held every month in a corner of the Dining Room on the third Sunday from 9:15 to 10:15am, the SJ Coffee Hour will provide a chance to share your social justice passions and learn from others.
Racism Book Study Group
Monday, September 24, 7:30 - 9:00pm
For September, we are reading  Black Pioneers in a White Denomination , by Mark Morrison Reed, who uses the stories of two pioneering black Unitarian ministers to illustrate the widespread and disturbing problem of racism in Unitarian Universalism. Click here for more.

In future, look for updates on this reading group in Tuesday's Spirit email.

We are thrilled to be joining the network of local area churches who belong to POWER. POWER is an interfaith organization committed to building communities of opportunity that work for all. It represents over 50 congregations throughout Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania. For more information regarding USG's involvement in POWER, please contact Lois Murphy and Dev Howerton, our Social Justice Council Co-Chairs at

Education Campaign, Lancaster, PA (site TBD), September 30, 4-6pm
COOP Nursery School
The Cooperative Nursery School is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year. It’s a great little nursery school for three- to five-year-olds. School hours are 8:15am through 3pm. Preference is given wherever possible for contributing USG members. Submit your application online at .
Open house is Wednesday, October 10 at 7:00pm in the school house; no RSVP necessary. Come learn about the school’s education philosophies and cooperative community.
Jess Stanforth
CNS | Administrative Coordinator
Greater Philly UU Cluster Events
September 22, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, DE

GPC Meeting
September 29, 9:30 - 11:30 am (9:00 meet and greet)
UC of West Chester, 501 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382
- we'll debrief the UU Community Weekend, discuss upcoming Legislative Advocacy training, and more. All are welcome!

Marx in Soho (one man play) at Mainline UC, Sept 23 at 7pm: See attached flyer or
Get Involved! Meet Fellow UUs!  
Follow links below to find out more information about the events and groups at USG that occur usually once a month. Please note that some groups are now on summer hiatus and thus not listed below. Check back in September to see what's new!

20's & 30's SGM Group - Second Thursday, September 13, 6:30pm, Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group. For more information, please contact Stephanie Bonner at or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.  (A big shout-out to this group, who has come forward with many volunteers to host PIHN families!)

Book Group on Friday Morning - Will resume its regular Third Friday, 10:30am, discussions September 21 at Cathedral Village. If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall. The 2018-2019 Book List is now posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group .

CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Fourth Monday, September 24, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Nancy Anderson .

Caregiver Support Group - Second Friday, September 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm. At USG. Contact Maura Gallagher .

EarthSpirit Circle . First Monday, except for holiday weekends: (e.g., September 10). Next meeting September 10 , 7:00pm. At USG. Kat Grau's presentation of the history of Mabon will jump-start planning for our 9/23 Autumn Equinox celebration. Then we'll have a guided relaxation (so you may want to bring a yoga/meditation mat). Please use the side door off the Courtyard to enter the Sullivan wing during the elevator installation. Although temporarily inconvenient, remember that the Building & Grounds project has already resulted in an altar-centered labyrinth; special thanks to Roderick, the Scouts, and USG volunteers for their labor. Questions? --contact Donya at

ERC (Ending Racism Committee) - First Sunday, October 7, 12:00 - 1:30pm. At USG. Contact Barbara Dowdall .

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists , Fourth Sunday, September 23, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti .

Nature Walking at Valley Green - Every Monday and Thursday at 9:00am, you can meet others - whoever shows up- at Valley Green in Chestnut Hill for a morning walk. Point Person is Steve Conrad, who is usually there.

Needle Exchange, a Handwork Group - Next meeting will be September 5, 1:30 - 3:00pm, off-site. (Usually First Wednesday). Contact Margaret Thompson .

Open Small Group Ministry - Usually Second Sunday but this September we are offering instead two Drop-In SGMs, so that those new to SGMs can get a "sample" before making a commitment. They will be held Sunday Sept. 16 at 12:00pm in the Daskam Room, Sunday, Sept. 30 at 12:15pm in the Minister's Office. For more information, contact Treva at .

UU-101 - Usually third Sunday but next session will be September 23 , 12:00-1:00pm. UU-101 is an Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, held at USG, and childcare is provided. Please let a leader, Charles Gabriel or Eric Foster, know that you plan to attend by emailing to If unable to email, you can call Eric at 484-347-8998.
Join A USG Facebook Group!   
You can join a USG Facebook group as well as meet in person!
To find out about special events, post photos, and stay in touch, here are some of USG's groups and their Facebook links:

ASD (Adult Spiritual Development) facebook
CSD (Child Spiritual Development)
YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) A Closed Group great to know about and if desired, ask to join.
YA - Young Adults
Greater Philly UUs - Social Justice & Other Greater Philly UU News

P.U.S.H. Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists

Exploring Elderhood
caring square
We pass on a heartfelt thank you from...
...Janet Haas for the food, many cards and outpouring of concern since her accident in which she broke her arm. “The love and support I have received from our community warms my heart and has certainly helped the healing process. Thanks to you all!”
Caring Team
Linda Bernstein (chair), Sarah West, Rev. Kent Matthies

If you are aware of any joys or concerns that should be part of our caring system, please let us know. You can email
If you call a caring team member and do not speak directly, leave a voice mail and your call will be returned ASAP.
Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister -
Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development -
Mark Daugherty, Music Director -
Gloria Guldager, Church Administrator-
Carolyn Scott, Asst. Administrator-
Carolyn Cotton, Rental Coordinator -
Mike Rogers, Sunday Morning and Special Events Sexton -  
Tuesday's SPIRIT (not every Tuesday in the Summer) - Friday by 3:00pm
Thursday's Weekly eCommUUnicator - Wednesday by noon
Sunday's Announcements - Thursday by noon

The Unitarian Society of Germantown | 215-844-1157 | 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119