Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Winter Solstice Celebration
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite, Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, Reverend Scott McNeill
All ages are invited to come share in a quiet, reflective service celebrating the returning sun. We will fully inhabit this place on our planet as we join together in a candlelit spiral procession and reconnect with the earth and its natural cycles. Our Children's Choir will share a gift of music. Childcare for little ones provided in
Sunday, December 23, 2018
9:15 am and 11:15 am
But How is it with Your Soul?
Reverend Scott McNeill
As our monthly theme of "Deep listening" nears its end, I wanted to give you - the people of my community - one of the greatest gifts I have ever received (and since have given). The simple pause and the deep breath that prepare you for peace before the inner turmoil that may arise. So, when you see friends from your hometown, people you had an awkward interaction with once, that one frustrating relative, someone from whom you are estranged, with whomever you come in contact - may that simple pause and deep breath allow us to move into a space of deep listening, and from the heart asking (and encouraging the ears to hear), "How is it with your soul?"
Monday, December 24, 2018
Away in a Manger Nativity Pageant
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education
This service in Fellowship Hall is designed with families and the young at heart in mind. Newcomers and guests especially are invited to join us for this informal service. There will be a few chairs around the room and plenty of room for kiddos and families to sit on the floor. This is an interactive pageant where you are welcome to participate actively or simply be present to the experience.
What to bring: - a stuffed animal or doll to put in the manger and share with the babies and other children - soft blankets, pillows or floor chairs, and if your budget permits, a plate of cookies to share, or a pair of new mittens, adult gloves or men's socks for the Mitten Tree.
Specific age groups are invited to come dressed for parts
and to become familiar with a few lines. These ages are just suggestions; if your child feels called to play a certain role assigned to a different age group, that is fine! Please let Adrienne Summerlot ( email@example.com ) know if someone in your family can arrive a little early and be an Inn Keeper and help pass out candles and programs.
0 - 3 year olds - Angels - Wear halos perhaps made of aluminum foil and whatever else you feel makes you angelic. Practice saying, "Oh, what a wonderful child" and "Peace to all people on earth!"
4 - 5 year olds - Shepherds - Wear shepherd hats like a towel on head tied with some type of rope or tie and whatever else would keep you warm if you were a shepherd. Practice saying, "Let's go look for that baby" and "Oh, what a beautiful child!"
6 - 8 year olds - Wise Ones - Wear crowns and other wise-one garb. Practice saying, "Look at that amazing star! It must be shining for something very special!" and "This child will be our teacher."
9 and up - Inn Keepers- Help pass out programs and play the role of Inn Keeper. Please let Adrienne know if a youth or adult in your family can help in this way.
--Adrienne Summerlot, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, December 24, 2018
Lead On, O Spirit of Christmas
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin and Reverend Scott McNeill
Candlelight Christmas Eve service with music from our choir, special guest soloists and singing of carols, including Silent Night by candlelight. While much of the Candlelight Christmas Eve service is an annual tradition, this year's theme will encourage us to explore what the Spirit of Christmas might lead us toward, in these unprecedented times. We'll be using the UU hymnal for carol singing at this service as well as projected words, but please feel free to sing the words you like the best! No childcare provided at this service.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
9:15 am and 11:15 am
Reverend Forrest Gilmore
Join us as we welcome our Affiliated Community Minister as a guest in our pulpit
. Reverend Gilmore also serves as Executive Director of the Shalom Community Center.
Large group Religious Education as well as childcare will be provided at both services.
Striving to be a Dementia Friendly Congregation
Recently some of our church staff and members participated in a training to help our congregation become more friendly and accommodating for people living with dementia. As a follow-up to that training, we invite everyone, friends and members of our congregation, to be mindful that we have a number of people living with dementia who attend our Sunday services. It seems to me that many of the suggestions for interacting with people living with dementia are good suggestions for all of us on any given Sunday.
First, simply take time to slow down to be with any person you are talking to. Avoid distractions. Speak clearly and naturally in a warm and calm voice. Refer to people by their names. Talk about one thing at a time. Use nonverbal cues. Listen actively. Don't quibble. As we strive to create a dementia friendly organization, maybe the gift we all will receive is learning to be with one another in healthier and more authentic ways.
Women's Alliance Presentation
Two weeks ago, on December 6th, I made a presentation at the December meeting of our congregation's Women's Alliance. The invitation to speak at their meeting stated that they'd like to get to know me better. So, with the help of our tech guys, Ned Joyner and Andy Beargie, I put together a brief musical biography and offered a half-hour presentation. Our Minister Emerita, Reverend Barbara Carlson, asked if we could record it, since she could not attend. Again, thanks to Ned and Andy, we were able to make a recording. Several of you have asked for the link to that video recording, so here it is---a half hour of
MAM Musical Musings
. And as Auntie MAME would say, "Haul out the Holly!" (
MAM Musical Musings
is a large file (3.3 GB), so it may take as long as 6-10 minutes to download before you can view it.
--Andy Beargie, email@example.com)
May the holiday season bless you with many musical memories and experiences.
Peace and Love,
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, Senior Minister
From Our Associate Minister...
Energizing Social Justice Work
We recently had a social justice circle meeting and I cannot begin to encapsulate the multitude of things happening within and beyond our walls! You may know of some of these - but just in case:
- 3rd Sunday Movie Series (December's was "Come Sunday") is going very well (a combination of Racial Justice, Reproductive Justice, Adult Religious Education, some funds from the Special Purposes Fund, fine-tuning by Jackie Hall, and anyone who's interested can help!)
- The Task Force that works with people experiencing Homelessness has updated hours they need volunteers (overnight shifts are a rarity these days - so, it may be more manageable for your schedule!). This would be a great time to extend a hand by contacting Alan Backler and Marlin Howard.
- Just Peace is moving forward on local legislation related to a local commitment to abide by non-proliferation treaties.
As you know, these are just a few highlights. I always hate only offering a few because someone will be left out, but rest assured, I've been taking notes and look forward to celebrating so much hard work around our church. AND, there's more ...
One of my goals in the coming year is to find ways that we can connect the things we care passionately about (whether there is an obvious task force for it, or not). By both giving more support to groups that exist, while also broadening their understanding of justice work - I believe individuals will be more successful, our congregation will be, and our community and country will be, too. So, in the coming months/years, there will be opportunities to talk with social justice groups (and/or in other small groups) about what areas of social justice work cross all (or almost all) barriers. An example (not that this is one we'll do) is that "Economic Justice" affects all of the following (Democracy really does, too).
Peace Habitat for Humanity
Racial Justice Help Feed Our Hungry Neighbors
End of Life International Outreach
Reproductive Justice Green Sanctuary
Rainbow Rights Hope for Prisoners
Homelessness Refugees and Immigration
There are so many ways we can take our passions and particularities, especially based on our life experiences and identities - while also working with a larger community - to effect more transformation than we could've dreamed possible alone. If this energizes you, or you may be up for getting involved in social justice in ways you haven't yet, let me know and we'll connect you!
From Our Board of Directors
Thank you to all who attended the Congregational Meeting December 9th! We'll provide a brief recap of some highlights for those who were not able to join us.
Reverend Macklin and Reverend McNeill provided updates on the overall health of the congregation, its work toward social justice, and our connections to the MidAmerica Region and UUA. Rev. Macklin expressed gratitude for the work of the staff and reminded congregants that the church is now staffed for current membership numbers and not for growth. She encouraged us to learn how to build trust in our leadership as we expand the community and "calmly face the unknown."
We were delighted to hear updates from several committees within our congregation. Planned Giving, Leadership Cultivation, Green Building and Grounds, and Right Relations all provided updates celebrating the generosity, leadership, and giving nature of our members and friends.
The Board report highlighted several steps the Board has taken or is taking toward meeting its goals for 2018-19 in the areas of Welcoming, Visioning, Membership, Connections, and Technology.
The congregation approved the Bylaw changes to Section 7.6 regarding undesignated financial gifts to the church. The updated version of the Bylaws can be found at
http://bit.ly/2gxOR8x. A paper copy of the updated version is also posted on the bulletin board in the courtyard entrance.
The next semiannual Congregational Meeting will occur on Sunday, June 9th, 2019, at 4:00 p.m.
Best wishes for quick healing to Ruellen Fessenbecker, recovering at home from knee replacement surgery.
Congratulations to Maggie Talmage upon the birth on December 14 of her new baby boy Garrison Roy.
Congregational Directory Correction: CORRECTED PHONE # FOR TOM AND MICHELE MCCAFFREY: 812-369-4070. Please make a note of this in your new green directory!
Unitarian Author Beatrix Potter Featured in January
Religious Education Intersession
We are thrilled to announce that coming soon for our January Intersession, Religious Education will be learning about Beatrix Potter through art, cooking, and animals! Preschool classes will meet in their familiar room (Room 103) and Kindergarten-6th grade will be in small groups, visiting a different specialty (art, cooking, and animals) each week!
Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education
Religious Education for Adults
Shambhala Meditation Meets Mondays at 12 noon
Join us at 12 noon every Monday in the Library for an hour of Shambhala Meditation, walking meditation, and Shamatha yoga with Sarah Flint. Beginners welcome to participate in this 2500-year-old tradition.
Shambhala Meditation will meet on Monday, December 24 and Monday, December 31, even though church offices are closed both days.
For more info: contact Sarah at
Open Mind Zen Meets Mondays at 7:00 pm
Join Frank Seisho Diaz for meditation, talks, and discussions on Zen Buddhism, Mondays 7:00-8:30 pm, in Room 112 here at the church. All are welcome regardless of faith or experience.
Traditional Taiji on Tuesdays at 7:15 pm
Brian Flaherty leads "Wu (Hao)" style Taiji in Fellowship Hall on Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. Anyone is welcome, even those with no previous Taiji experience. Please wear loose-fitting clothing. For more i
nfo: contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org
UU Freethinkers Meet this Sunday
December 23, 12:45 pm
The UU Freethinkers bi-weekly meeting creates the opportunity for participants to raise questions and engage in open and non-structured discussion of issues of social, political, and theological/religious concern. UU Freethinkers meet on every other Sunday in Room 208 at 12:45 pm, after children's Religious Education classes end.
Humanist Forum Meets
December 30, 12:45 pm
On Sunday, December 16, at 12:45 pm, the UU Humanist Forum will meet in Room 208 after children's Religious Education classes end. The discussion topic will be "DIVERSEability" facilitated by Noretta Koertge. The Humanist Forum meets every other Sunday, with a different discussion topic.
UU Children's Choir Upcoming Schedule
Wed. 12/19: Sing for Winter Solstice Service. Run-through promptly at 6:00pm (in Meeting Room); Service is 6:15-7:00pm.
Questions? Contact Jill: email@example.com
Making Tax-advantaged Charitable Contributions
Here's a potential way to make tax-advantaged charitable contributions to our church.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017 made changes to the standard deduction. The TCJA standard deductions for 2018 is $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for joint filers. These new higher thresholds of the standard deduction makes it more difficult to make charitable contributions deductible. A direct contribution to a qualified charitable organization might be tax-smart if you won't benefit from the charitable deduction. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington is a 501(c) (3) organization.
Per accounting firm Blue and Company: "IRA donations to charity: Taxpayers age 70½ or older are allowed to make direct contributions from their IRA to qualified charitable organizations up to $100,000 per tax year. A charitable deduction can't be claimed for the contributions. But the amounts aren't included in taxable income and can be used to satisfy an IRA owner's required minimum distribution."
It is important that the contribution come directly from the IRA "required minimum distribution" in order to be tax-advantaged under this approach. The major mutual fund providers are familiar with such "Qualified Charitable Distributions" and can facilitate the process for you.
If you have questions concerning this or other tax issues, please consult your tax adviser. And thank you for your generous donations to support our congregation.
--Edward Robbins, Treasurer and Arzetta Hults-Losensky, financial adviser
P.S. If you are making year-end payments toward your pledge, please be sure they are received by the church by December 30, so that they can be listed as 2018 contributions. All donors will receive a statement from the church in January 2019 listing their gifts during 2018. --C. Marks, Church Administrator
Enjoy birds? Join us for the B.O.F. table January 6
On Sunday, January 6, in the Fellowship Hall during coffee hour (10:15-11:15), come meet others who enjoy birdwatching at the Birds of a Feather (
BOF) Common Interest Table. Come share your bird photos, bird information, bird lists, and more.
--Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Hiking Group Plans January Hike
If you would like to join the Hiking group, just send an email to Ann LeDuc at
. We will be planning a hike in January. Information about the trail will be emailed to group members soon.
--Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Bazaar Net Exceeds $10,000!
We are happy to announce that unless we receive additional late reimbursement requests, the net for our Holiday Art Fair and Bazaar this year will exceed $10,000, at around $10,800. This meets our budgeted goal! Thanks to everyone for participating!
Women's Alliance Meets January 3
The Women's Alliance program on Thursday, January 3 will feature the Community
Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM). The presenters are Liz Granet,
Executive Director, Jane Ann Gifford, and Deb Hutton.
We gather at 11:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall with a brown bag lunch. The
presentation begins at noon, followed by a business meeting. The
hostesses for the month, Ann Connors and Beverly McGahey, will provide
drinks and dessert. Everyone, including women, men, and gender non-binary
persons, is welcome.
Welcome New Members!
On Sunday, December 9, we welcomed ten
members into our congregation. Please give a warm welcome to our newest
members-- Mary Blizzard, Juliana Crespo, Frank Diaz, Ned Joyner, Tera Nance-Knieriemen, Philip Knieriemen, Andy and Anna Knust, Charlotte Wager Miller, and Hwamei Shei.
Below are a few of their bios to help you get to know them. --Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Juliana Crespo has been living in Bloomington for more than ten years now and is an English teacher at Bloomington High School South. She first attended UU in 2001 and felt at home for the first time in a church. She is also a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction and regularly publishes her stories. When she's not teaching or writing, she's either spending time with her daughter and fiance, dancing with her lady friends, reading or going for long leisurely walks.
Frank Diaz was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in Miami, and lived in many places before settling down in Bloomington with his wife Jennifer and daughter Madison. Frank is on the Music Education faculty at the Jacobs School of Music at IU, where he teaches mindfulness and musician's wellness. Frank is also an ordained lay Zen teacher and leads the UU Open Mind Zen Meditation group.
Philip Knieriemen - I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. I originally came to Bloomington to attend IU, graduating with my Bachelors in Education in December 1999. Near the end of my time at IU, I met my wife Tera and we decided to set down roots here in Bloomington. I have taught high school math in MCCSC for the past 19 years. I really appreciate the open and accepting culture of UUCB and am glad that our family has found this community.
Tera Nance-Knieriemen grew up in Kentucky and in 1997 moved to Bloomington to attend graduate school. She met her husband Philip in 1999 and Bloomington has been their home for the past 20 years. She has been a mental health counselor in the Bloomington area for almost 20 years and enjoys her work. She has 2 daughters, Sophia and Clara, and is excited to have found a community that fits their family so well.
Anna Knust moved back to Bloomington in 2015 after 11 years in Nevada, where she attended graduate school. Anna grew up in Bloomington, and is an IU alumna. She currently works as a teacher at St. Mark's Nursery School and IU Biology's outreach program. She and her husband, Andy, have two children who also love attending the UU. Anna loves trying new recipes, exploring the outdoors, reading books, and drinking wine and tea.
Andy Knust came to Bloomington after living in Nevada for 11 years, where he studied hydrology and met his lovely wife Anna. Andy grew up in Michigan and misses the snow. Andy and Anna have 2 children, aged 4 and 6. Andy works as a civil engineer, and spends his free time playing bass, helping with his son's cub scout pack, training for triathlons, and seeking adventures close to home.
UU History For You --
Robert Burns - Poet, Lyricist, Rake, and Dissenter
Robert Burns (1759-1796) was born on his father's farm in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759. He was largely self-taught and initially followed his father as a farmer. He had a gift for poetry and wrote in Scottish dialect. He also had a talent for collecting folk songs and singing. He believed God gave us senses to enjoy the pleasures of life, and rejected original sin. He also abjured Calvinist rejections of living for the joys that earth provides. He was sympathetic to Joseph Priestley and the Unitarian movement in Britain.
Burns's sexual appetite was enormous, and he had many affairs producing at least 12 children, most of them out of wedlock. He was not a good farmer, and so lost his farm and was considering moving to the West Indies to live. A friend encouraged him to raise money for the trip by publishing his poems. His collection was an immediate bestseller, and he became celebrated throughout Scotland and the United Kingdom for his poems. He cancelled his trip and became a full-time poet and writer.
Burns had rheumatic fever as a child, and died in Dumfries of heart failure at the age of 37. Many of us sing "Auld Lang Syne" at Christmas time and know phrases from his anglicized poems -- "A man's a man for all that," "Coming through the rye," and "the best laid plans of mice and men, oft go awry."
--Elof Carlson, UUCB Historian
(P.S. Burns's birthday is celebrated yet today, in many places around the world, with "Burns Night" parties including both poetry recitations and the serving of haggis. Also whiskey, probably. --Ed. cm)
New Paper Directories Available
New paper congregational directories (green covers) are now available in Room 204. Please print your name on the list provided when you pick one up. If you are a member or a friend of the congregation and you have access to the internet, you can log on to our online database and make your very own up-to-the-minute directory or find everyone's contact info anytime, 24/7! Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 812-332-3695, ext. 204.
Buy Grocery Cards on Sunday and Support the Church
We have grocery gift cards for sale in the Commons every Sunday between services. The participating grocery stores send a percentage of your purchases back to the church to support our operating budget. We have gift cards for Bloomingfoods, Lucky's, and Fresh Thyme, and you can register your Kroger Plus card by clicking here. Our new Kroger organization ID number is
Many Thanks for All Your Gifts
Thank you to everyone in the congregation who has generously given gifts this season to help others, including our Giving Tree gifts, coats and hats for refugees, and toys for children whose parents are incarcerated. All these will be much appreciated!
Social Justice Film Series Continues January 20
Our Third Sunday Social Justice Film Series (and pizza) will continue on Sunday, January 20 at 5:00 p.m. Watch this space for details soon. We should know the title of the film by the January 2 Prologue. Please remember that if you will need childcare in order to attend the film on January 20, we need to hear from you by January 13. Click on this link to reserve childcare.
Social Justice Task Forces Receive $300 Grants
This week, each of our Social Justice Task Forces will receive a $300 grant from social justice funds reserved during our last capital campaign. This money needs to be spent between now and June 30, 2019. Leftovers will go back to social justice to help create grants in the future. Questions, please contact Jackie Hall.
Snow and Ice Awareness and
Event Cancellations at Church
In the winter months, when travel conditions become hazardous after snowfall or ice storms, please always check our home page,
or our Facebook page,
for updates on event cancellations or delays. If church services or other events in our building are canceled, this information will also be broadcast on radio at
television. You should also check with the leader of your group or committee, if you have a smaller meeting scheduled.
Best bet is to stay home if road conditions deteriorate.
--Carol Marks, Church Administrator
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, our Senior Minister,
can be reached at 812-332-3695 (ext. 201) and is available by appointment on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.
Reverend Scott McNeill, our Associate Minister,
can be reached at 812-332-3695 (ext. 209) and is available by appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
our Minister of Religious Education,
can be reached at
-3695 (ext. 207)
on Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Our Covenant of Right Relations
Our Minds Will Stay Open, but
Church Offices will be Closed
December 24-January 1.
The first Prologue of 2019 will be published on Wednesday, January 2. Office hours will resume January 2, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Many church events are also posted on our
The deadline for articles is 10 a.m. on the date of publication, which is
the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.
January 2 (A Wednesday), January 15, February 5, February 19
Livestreaming Our Sunday Services
You can view the livestream of our Sunday services and view archived video from the last few months
at this link
. If you have a problem viewing, please email Andy Beargie and Ned Joyner at
Links to Archived Videos of Services to View Online
Each Friday, we'll post the direct URL link for the previous Sunday's archived video of the service at the end of the Friday UU Update, as well as posting the links on the
of our website.
Membership: 512 certified members; 536 current members.
Sunday, December 9 9:15 - 102 11:15 - 169 TOTAL: 271
Sunday, December 16 9:15 - 190 11:15 - 224 TOTAL: 414
: $650 December 16: $746
Total to be donated (25%) to Spencer Pride: $349.06
Grocery Card Sales:
(Bloomingfoods, Lucky's Market, or Fresh Thyme)
December 9: $250, income to UUCB: $15.00 December 16
: $875, income to UUCB: $47.25
Masthead photo from the Internet. (modified by cm)
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