UUCSW Weekly Update
September 5, 2019
Ingathering Sunday and Potluck
Sunday, September 8 at 10:30 am
led by Rev. Laurel Gray
Join us for the first official Sunday service of the church year. If you can, bring water from a special place you've visited this summer for the water communion. We will have a potluck lunch after the service. Please bring a dish to share! Sign up here: www.signupgenius.com
Religious Education Announcements
Calling all Teachers! We want YOU to join the RE Program for the 2019-2020 program year! No, you don’t have to have a child in the program, nor do you have to have any experience teaching! We work in teams of 2 with a prepared curriculum at your fingertips! All you need is the joy of learning, a dash of patience, and the desire to pass on Unitarian Universalism to the next generation! Not sure what you can offer? Feel free to talk to the DRE Cassie! You are welcome to shadow a class to see if it’s right for you, or to offer only part of a year. Whatever you can do would be greatly appreciated!
Teaching Team Meeting and Dedication: All those who have signed up or are interested in teaching this year should join us on September 8th at 9 am for our annual Teaching Team Meeting and for the service at 10:30 for our Teacher Dedication! Please plan to attend if possible to learn about the new processes that we have implemented for this year, to fill out your new CORI forms, and so we can recognize you for the wonderful work you will do with the youth. Please contact Cassie if you cannot make it so she can get you all the necessary information. 
Blessing of the Backpacks: All our youth and those young at heart are welcome to join us on September 8th during the service at 10:30 to celebrate another new year! Feel free to bring your backpacks, briefcases, purses, grocery bags, sewing bags, diaper bags – whatever you carry with you that you would like to be blessed! 
RE Open House! All our families and youth are invited to stop by the RE Open House table during the Potluck on September 8th to learn more about our RE program and to fill out your registration forms! Please note we have a new process for registration this year and we would like ALL our families to participate! Youth can come learn what their classes will be about and who their teachers will be! Parents feel free to check out the VISTA or website for more information about the classes, age groupings, and our theme for this year! 
Join us on September 15th for our first day of RE classes! We will begin in the Sanctuary with the congregation at 10:30 for the opening and Time for All Ages, then our youth will proceed to class with their teachers. Parents, please note that RE time does go until 11:45 when we ask you pick up your children from their classes downstairs so you can take home any artwork and speak with the DRE/teacher if needed. 
Youth Group Visioning Meeting! We invite all High School Youth out on September 22nd at 12 pm for our first meeting of the year! There will be plenty of pizza and we will be deciding on what we want to do as far as our monthly event and our service project! All are welcome, regardless of if you have participated in the past or not. Come on out!
Food Packaging Event September 15
Mark your calendar for UUCSW's upcoming food packaging community service opportunities! Normally these are held on the first Sunday of the month after worship, but September 15 will be the first event this church year. Then we will resume our regular schedule on October 6.
Community and Connections
The words community and connection come up quite often when congregants are asked what brings them to or keeps them at UUCSW. Are building connections and community within UUCSW important to you? If so, please consider attending a kick-off session for the membership engagement team on September 24 at 7 pm in the parlor. John Metzger and Lisa Shumway are spearheading the team this year and we are looking for your energy and ideas to support the 
critical role of this group to strengthen our UUCSW community by creating welcoming experiences on Sundays, assimilating new visitors and retaining existing members and friends and caring for those within our community. Please let us know if you are interested in attending or have any questions.  - Lisa Shumway ( LSS0907@gmail.com)
If Not Now, When? If Not Me, Who?
This is the first of a series of short articles regarding what we can do to help address climate change. Climate change is coming and it's effects will be increasingly dangerous and far-reaching. The science is clear. We need to eliminate fossil fuel use, change how we use land and address many other aspects of what we do and buy within just a few decades.

For most people in Massachusetts, household energy, transportation and electricity are the three biggest source of green house gasses. So let's start by looking at steps you can take now, this month, this year to learn more and reduce your carbon emissions. Here are two steps for this week:

1. Visit a National Drive Electric Week event in September and start getting educated about electric vehicles (EVs). There are a number of EVs on the market now and many more will become available in the next few years. There is an event at the Northborough Walmart parking lot on Saturday, Sept 14 from 2 until 6 pm which will have a number of different vehicles to see and test drive. Even if it will be years before you might buy another vehicle, you will find that EV owners are enthusiastic about their vehicles and fun to talk with. There are over 200 such events planned across the country including several more in Massachusetts. Check driveelectricweek.org for other events nearby.

2. Consider switching your electricity to a plan that provides more local renewable electricity than the state minimum. Such plans build demand for more solar and wind projects within New England while reducing the carbon content of the electricity you consume. Many towns and cities in Massachusetts offer terrific plans for all residents and businesses. These are set up under a ten year old Massachusetts law that lets municipalities negotiate group buying contracts for electricity called Community Choice Aggregation plans. These offer well priced electricity with options for much more local renewable electricity than the state minimum. Three of our local towns offer them:

  • Westborough residents and businesses can switch to the town's Greener Plan with 34% NE renewable here
  • Southborough residents and businesses can switch to the town's Power Choice Green with 100% NE renewable here.  
  • Grafton residents and businesses can switch to their town's Energy Choice Green with 100% NE renewable electricity here.

Next week, I'll talk more about what you can do if you don't live in one of these three towns.

Please contact me if you have questions or suggestions of topics to cover. There is much to be done and much to learn. We are all in this together. - John Metzger ( jkmetzger2@gmail.com)
Welcome Rev. Laurel Gray!
Several events have been planned for UUCSW members and friends to meet our new minister, Rev. Laurel Gray. We want as many of you as possible to attend these events. Please let us know if you need assistance with transportation - send an email to Elisa (our office assistant) at office@uucsw.org and she'll connect you with a driver.
Open House Events
Friday, September 6 and Friday, September 20
6:30 to 8:00 pm
You're invited to join John and Kathie Metzger at an open house at their home to welcome UUCSW's new minister, Rev. Laurel Gray. The Metzgers are hosting two open houses, one on September 6 and another on September 20. Drop in to meet Laurel at one of these two events and enjoy a glass of wine and some appetizers. Sign-ups for Sept 6 are now closed but please join us on Sept 20 if you can, and RSVP below.
Ice Cream Social
Saturday, September 28
2:30 to 4:30 pm

Everyone's invited to a fun Ice Cream Social hosted by Ed and Jane Walsh at their home in Northborough. Rev. Laurel Gray will be on hand and she's hoping this event will be well attended by kids of all ages!