Weekly Update - December 17th, 2020
Holiday Services
"Waiting for Light"
led by Rev. Laurel Gray
Sunday, December 20th at 10:30 am
It’s holiday pageant time again! This Sunday we’ll tell two different stories: one about Hanukkah and one about Solstice. Invite your family, gather up the little ones, and let’s celebrate stories that remind us to hold the light and the darkness of this season in balance.

To join online, go to zoom.us/j/89214621289
To join by phone, call 301-715-8592, meeting ID 89214621289
"The Power of Friends"
led by Rev. Laurel Gray
Thursday, December 24th at 5:30 pm
Come celebrate Christmas Eve with UUCSW! This will be a classic lessons and carols service – we’ll tell the age-old tale of the little baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and the wise men who followed the guiding light of a star. In this strange season of spending Christmas physically separate in order to keep each other safe, I’ll reflect on the power of friends in the Christmas story and our own lives.

To join online, go to zoom.us/j/82133517803
To join by phone, call 301-715-8592, meeting ID 82133517803
"Take from Life the Coals – Thoughts on Life, Fire, and Balance"
led by Scott Owens
Sunday, December 27th at 10:30 am
Our relationship with fire is complex. Like other elemental forms, fire has within it the power to both help and harm, and it can move from one to the other with a simple shift in the wind. Living with fire—both actual fire and the symbolic fire within us—requires a delicate balance and constant attention. The waning days of this challenging year may be a good time to reflect on all those fires, to find our balance, and to take from life the coals.

To join online, go to zoom.us/j/89214621289
To join by phone, call 301-715-8592, meeting ID 89214621289
Holiday hours: The church office will be closed for the week between Christmas and New Year's. Please submit announcements for both the December 24th and December 31st Weekly Updates no later than Tuesday, December 22nd. Happy Holidays!
SMOC Food Drive for December
The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC), which provides meals for people in Worcester, is especially in need of: 6-8 ounce juice boxes/pouches; fresh fruit, especially apples and pears; 16 oz. packages of bologna, pre-packaged slices; and boxes of chewy/soft granola bars. There will be a collection for these items on Tuesday, December 22nd between 4:30 and 5:45 pm at the Ruggles Street door of UUCSW. Please reach out to Libba Moore at libbamoore13@gmail.com ahead of time if there's a better time for you. Food will be delivered to SMOC on December 23rd. Thank you!
Help UUCSW Help People in Need
SMOC has identified the need for warm winter clothing, especially socks, coats, sweatshirts, sweatpants, long sleeve shirts, hats and gloves. New socks only please, other items should be new or gently used and clean; note the ratio of men to women served is 70:30. Hand warmers and ponchos are also welcome. Bring your donations to UUCSW on December 22nd between 4:30 and 5:45 pm, the same day/time as the monthly food drive. If this timing does not work for you, please reach out to Nancy Siegal at NSIEGAL185@msn.com or Pauline Sciarappa at psciarappa@gmail.com for other options. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Stop & Shop Gift Cards Fundraiser
We are continuing this fundraiser throughout the year. For every card purchased, the church receives 5% of the face value back. If you are interested in purchasing some cards to support the fundraiser, contact Lisa Shumway at treasurer@uucsw.org.
*A note about hashtags - I learned that you have to capitalize each word in a hashtag in order for assistive reading devices to be able to read them. Here's to practicing better inclusivity!

This week, our gifts that do good post is in partnership with UUCSW's Racial Justice Committee. I was hoping to do a list of Black-owned businesses and Jane Walsh sent me the link to this Uncommon Goods list. Look at that synchronicity! This list includes everything from penguin socks, to food, to board games, to jewelry and these gifts support small, Black-owned businesses!

What's your small act this week? What gifts are you giving that affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people? - Rev. Laurel
Spiritual Resources for the Month of December
Stillness is a practice that helps us deal with feelings of being overwhelmed and find our center. During the busy holiday season, we all certainly can use those moments of peace that stillness brings.

Stillness allows us to perceive that which is truly precious. When we pause and find that sacred point of balance, the blur that usually dominates our attention fades to gray and we are able to notice that which truly deserves our focus.
Visit our website uucsw.org
Listen to our podcast bit.ly/UUpod
Invite a friend uucsw.org/invite-a-friend
Request a meeting calendly.com/revlaurelgray