Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin
UUCM Email Weekly!
December 20, 2018
Issue #479
Sunday Worship Services & Christmas Eve Services
10:30 am
December 23, 2018: Overshadowed by Love    

This Sunday, we pause to reflect on the ancient mystery at the center of the traditional Christmas story. What can we learn from Mystery in our modern lives?
Rev. Emily Hartlief is a UU minister and Rev. Marcus Hartlief's beloved spouse.
December 24, 2018: Christmas Eve Pajama Service Fireside Room  5:00 PM
Our five o'clock service is especially for children and their families. We'll sing popular Christmas carols and tell stories about the magic of the season in our cozy Fireside room. Come in pajamas if you like!
December 24, 2018: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 7 pm
At our seven o'clock service we celebrate the Christmas story with traditional carols, readings, and candle lighting. 

Past worship services
The Sunday Circle 9 am
9 am - The Sunday Circle 

Upcoming Topics and Leaders
12/23/18  Christmas Memories: Choice, Challenging, or Chaotic...         All Comers
12/30/18  New Years Irreverent Irresolutions                                        All Comers
More Info and additional service topics.

The Sunday Circle is held from 
9:00 am to 10:00 am each Sunday in the Fireside Room.
Notes Along the Way
Rev marcus
Dear Ones,

Autumn rains have turned starwheel, as we sang on Sunday, and Winter is upon us. I offer you a blessing for this holiday season:

May we savor the moments of merriment and good cheer-
The feast for our senses, the flavors and lights, and the smells and sounds,
the warm fuzzy pajamas and robes and slippers-
May this feast nourish us body and spirit and linger in the senses for many days to come.
May unexpected moments of depth, and meaning, and beauty
awaken us
and lead us to fall in love with this world again,
fall in love so that we may meet the sorrows, disappointments and frustrations,
from the smallest irritations to the great griefs we must face,
meet them all as friends,
necessary companions on the journey.
Savor, nourish, awaken, love.
May you and your family be so blessed this holiday season.

With you on the journey,
Rev. Marcus
jef melcher
Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, and a Joyous New (Roman Calendar) Year -  This week many of us will join in on various incarnations of modern renditions of ancient rituals. Even a little research on the Roman origins of this holiday makes me glad we don't practice all of those ancient traditions. This millenia old holiday has and will continue to change and develop as humanity progresses into a kinder and more compassionate species. It takes intentional work to change a culture. We have to think long-term and understand our particular place in the middle of history. (The present day is in the middle of past and future.) Just below is a simple ritual I would recommend trying. It gives a nod to the ancient while embracing a peaceful, reflective, community & family building practice. What values do you want to invest your energy in this year? 

Friday, Dec 21, Solstice. I read about one nice ritual where sometime after dark all the lights in the house are turned off and the family sits in the dark for a period of time sharing stories of the past year and things being let go of. Then lighting a candle to honor and welcome back the Sun and speak your spiritual growth intentions for the year. After the sharing, joyous music, games, and food to celebrate "body and soul". I am trying this in my own household this year. If you give it a try I am interested in hearing about it.

Learning About the Power of Lending  - This Past Sunday, $300 of the Creative Compassionate's class fundraising money was lent, helping a farmer in Kenya to be more productive in his farming by leasing more land to grow potatoes and thus put more food in the local market. They also donated $45 to the non-profit   Kiva.org  to make this microlending project thrive. Read about this farmer, Josphat at  THIS LINK  Microloans have been shown to be of great help to those struggling to find a way to take the next step in a family or community business. We learn that this microloan system allows us to "give" and then "give" again when that loan is repaid. A gift that can keep on giving. Interested in lending? Follow   This Link and the youth will get a credit to loan out.

Youth & Family with UU Young Adult Annual Solstice Ritual and Potluck, Saturday, Dec 22 - We gather in the Fireside Room at 7 pm to make wish candles for the coming year. After calling the directions, we share our wishes into a circle of caring. Upon releasing the circle there is a potluck with music. We aim to finish by 10 pm. All YRUU families and YRUU graduates are encouraged to attend.

Family Xmas Eve Service - 5 to 6 pm in the Fireside Room - Yes, people really do wear their PJs to this early service. The Dearborn family join Marcus and Jef in presenting this secular celebration with music, story, song, and refreshments. All ages welcome. The Nursery will be open at both Xmas Eve services though not staffed. Speakers in the room pipe in the service.

~~~ Coming Up ~~~

Sunday, Dec 23: All Ages Religious Exploration - We will explore some of the various meanings of Xmas and its overlapping history with other traditions: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Greek and Roman Mythology using story, art, and music.
Sunday, Dec 30: All ages Art, Music, and Movement.
Sunday, January 6, 2019:  Annual packaging of toiletries. A fun and active project for children and youth ages K-12.
January 18 - 20: District Middle School UU Gathering (MUUGs) for 6th - 8th graders, A weekend of UU youth community building full of fun and meaning-making. This event is hosted by UUCM.

May your season be filled with comfort and compassion,

Jeffrey Melcher,  M.Div.
Director of Family Ministries
Selected Upcoming Dates
Upcoming dates link to the UUCM calendar for saving on iCal, Outlook etc.
Bring Cookies to 7PM Christmas Eve Service
Bring a plate of cookies or bars to the Christmas Eve service before 7 pm.
Contribute to Photography Exhibit
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Calling UUCM photographers of all ages! A photography exhibit is planned for January in the Fireside Room. Photos must be matted or framed and ready to hang on wire.

If you are interested  contact Carolyn Planakis Cplanakis@aol.com

415 479 5617
 Latest Building Projects and Priorities List 
At the following link is the latest building projects and priorities, resulting from the last Facilities Committee meeting.  Feedback is always welcome. dianneestrada11@gmail.com

Facilities Committee

Dec. 30 Participatory Poetry Service
Time to start looking through your poetry collections!! Bring your favorite poems on the theme of Mystery of the Known and the Unknown to share at our poetry service. See  https://uumarin.org/services/participatory-poetry-service/ for more information.
Join us for Dinners for Eight (or Six)!
Join us for Dinners for Eight (or Six)! This is a long-running tradition of potluck dinners held at members' homes. The next two dinners are scheduled for January 5th and February 9th.
The host provides the main course, and the guests bring the rest! You need not host in order to attend these dinners, held usually on the first or second Saturdays of the month.
New members are encouraged to join, you need not commit to anything but enjoying a meal in an informal setting and getting to know each other.
To join our mailing list, please e-mail Sher Sheldon at shershel@comcast.net.
If you are interested in attending or hosting these next two dinners, please let Sher know ASAP.
 New Soul Matters Groups forming for 2019
As you may have heard, new "Soul Matters" small conversation groups are starting in 2019. Use the yellow sheet to indicate your interest and preferred time. You will find out your assigned group in January, and meetings begin in February.

Completed forms can be placed in Kim Holscher's box in the Community Room, or handed to Dianne Estrada.
Touch of Beauty Sign Up
SO many thanks to the people who have provided us with color and beauty all through the fall. Now is the time to fill the winter slots: Jan, Feb and March. Some of our "regulars" have volunteered already, but we need many more. It would be wonderful to welcome a flower arrangement from a newcomer - or an old timer who's never waded in before! It's easy and fun - Winter arrangements are, by definition, quite spare, reflecting a beautiful shape or texture. OR, if you want color, Trader Joe's or Safeway await with bunches of flowers for less than $10. Please email sallyrschroeder@comcast.net with a date of your choice. Add a second date in case your first choice is already taken.

Many thanks, and happy holidays to all!
Social Justice Education/Action
If you are not already receiving emails from the social justice committee and wish to receive them along with information about social justice actions/rallies in and around Marin, please send your email address to:    socialjustice@uumarin.org
UUSC Take Action Items - Sign petitions, learn about issues, donate money. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you want to make a difference in our county and the world? We focus on local issues which are relevant to all of us. Bring your ideas and concerns to the  UUCM Social Justice Committee.  We meet the third Sunday of each month at noon.  ( SJ meetings are on hiatus until the third week of Jan.)
Continue your commitment to environmental and economic justice by shopping at   http://shop.uusc.org 
Quick Links
Staff Links
 Developmental Minister:  Rev. Marcus Hartlief revmarcus@uumarin.org  
Office hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: mid-morning to late afternoon or into the evening.
 Call, text or email to make an appointment.  
415-578-9632 (direct), 510-213-0404 (cell) 
Director of Family Ministries:  Jeffrey Melcher  dre@uumarin.org
Office hours:
Wed 10:30-2:00
Thursday 10:30-2:00
Sunday 9:00-1:00
Administrator: Janette Morrow  office@uumarin.org
  415-578-9577 direct 
Choir director:  Amanda Morando  muusic@uumarin.org    
Pianist:  Milton Wong pianist@uumarin.org   

Nursery Teacher: Glynda Christian nursery.k1@uumarin.org 
Pastoral Care Committee: pastoralcare@uumarin.org 
Don Beck: 415-892-0642 
Newsletter Guidelines
I appreciate any feedback about this weekly newsletter. 
eWeekly Deadline for Thursday issue:
Tuesday by 7 am - activities and announcements, Staff columns, committee reports

Send your news articles to groupemail@uumarin.org.

Weekly articles can contain:
  • Notices of UUCM sponsored events, meetings, or other activities which involve the entire congregation.
  • Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) or Pacific Central District (PCD) announcements of interest to the entire congregation.
(Staff article length 250 words)

Weekly, UUCM Connect and Special Announcements Editor: Lisa Cohen 
Backup Production Editor: Valerie Taylor
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin
415- 578-9577 - Direct
240 Channing Way
San Rafael, CA 94903