December 15, 2020
Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
  Congregation founded 1949 | LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation since 1995 | Green Sanctuary since 2007
Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
Join us for online services
Livestreamed on Sunday mornings at 10:15 am

Sunday, December 20, 2020
10:15 am Livestream
Bright Morning Stars Are Rising
Reverend Dr. Susan Swaney and Music from the UUCB Car Choir
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, Reverend Emily Manvel Leite, and
Reverend Dave Clements
         Join us for a worship service filled with music, stars and stillness. Even in the midst of a pandemic we will have music and images from our Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington Choir through the magical technology of a Car Choir, directed by Reverend Susan Swaney with pianist Ray Fellman, aka The Gift. There may be mention of two planets meeting in the nighttime sky as well.
The car choir is made possible by a planned giving gift from the late Reverend Dr. Clarke Dewey Wells.
Monday, December 21, 2020
6:15 pm Livestream
Winter Solstice Celebration

All ages are invited to share in a quiet, reflective virtual service celebrating the returning sun. We will fully inhabit this place on our planet as we join together through live streaming and reconnect with the earth and its natural cycles.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Video on Zoom
Viewable anytime starting December 24
Away in a Manger Service
Reverend Dave Clements and
Director of Religous Education
Adrienne Summerlot

Our beloved tradition of gathering to share in the Nativity Story will occur online this year. Reverend Dave Clements and Director of Religious Education Adrienne Summerlot will be working with any interested folks to record the story, tentatively this Sunday, December 20th via Zoom. If you are interested in having a role in the video, we are seeking: Mary, Joseph, Angels, Innkeepers, Shepherds, and Wise Ones! Please contact Adrienne ASAP dre (at)  The link for the service will be available on Christmas Eve for you to view at your convenience. Stay tuned to our webpage, Facebook and RE emails for that link! 

Thursday, December 24, 2020
7:00 p.m. Livestream
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin and Reverend Dave Clements
Join us for a UU Christmas Eve, with music from our choir and singing of carols, including Silent Night by candlelight, all on livestream.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
10:15 am Livestream
Be Still and Wonder
Reverend Bill Breeden

I am ready for some stillness, so it is fortunate that this month’s theme is just that—Stillness. I suspect that many of us hope for quieter times in our nation as we look forward to the coming year. In this first service after the solstice, we will reflect on how being still is sometimes the best we can do. We need not rush to meet the future; it is only a breath away. Join us for the final Sunday Service of 2020.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
10:15 am Livestream
Through the Looking Glass
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education
Alice in Wonderland

         Join Mary Ann, Adrienne and Alice as we welcome in the New Year of 2021 with a few tales from Through the Looking Glass. We also will reflect upon mirrors as well as mirrors within mirrors which may become curiouser and curiouser. Special music will be offered by Ray Fellman and Kit Boulding. Adrienne Summerlot will provide our Time for All Ages and we will have a Social Justice Moment from our Task Force on Homelessness.
Our Building is Closed, but Our Hearts are Still Open.
To do our part to disrupt the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 in our community, our building is likely to be closed through May 2021. Our Board of Directors will review this decision at each monthly board meeting.
8th Principle Adopted at Congregational Meeting
on December 13

Over 140 members joined the Zoom congregational meeting on Sunday afternoon, December 13 and voted overwhelmingly to adopt the 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, proposed by Black Lives of UU:

“We, the members the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

Please click here for a summary of the meeting and a report from our Congregational President, Stuart Yoak.
MAM's Musings

         As part of our congregational meeting on Sunday, December 13, aside from the transformative, solid vote to adopt the 8th principle, I mentioned something about a balloon.  

         A balloon? 

Yes, a balloon. Well, OK, a balloon payment. More? OK, a balloon payment of $27,463 on our mortgage that will be due on March 2, 2021. 
So? So, we are planning on a fundraising week from January 29th to February 5th which will include two virtual dinner theaters with a dash of social justice. Yes, you provide the food and money but we all get to watch the balloon float away into the stillness of air. If you had planned to make an extra end-of-year donation to the church, please consider designating it to our balloon mortgage payment.
Our theme this week is stillness. These words from Herman Hesse, “Within yourself is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

May this time of rich darkness provide the sanctuary you seek.

Peace, Mary Ann

Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
Senior Minister
Emily's Post

It is the season of light's waning, and I am feeling it in my bones. In the shorter days and growing cold, I yearn for the glow of fire, the light of candles, and the gathering of community.  

This year, we cannot gather in our sanctuary together, but I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at tonight's Celebration of Light and Giving from 5-7PM. At that event, we will offer everyone a luminary with Mandy Skinner's beautiful design of our round window printed on it. As we travel through this darkest time of year, we hope that members of our community will light up their luminaries in their own windows each night at 7PM. If you are unable to come to tonight's event, we'll continue to have luminaries available for pick up outside the portico entrance through the rest of this week. Join us, and know that we are lighting up the world together.

Sending love and light your way,
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite, Minister of Congregational Life & Religious Education

P.S. Just in case you might enjoy exploring them over the holidays, know that next month we'll be visiting the worlds of Carroll's Wonderland, A.A. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood, Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snowy Day," Tolkien's Middle Earth, and L. Frank Baum's Oz as we celebrate Imagination together.
The Power in Stillness
by Rev. Dave Clements

Our country and the world are in the midst of a very tumultuous period. The recent national election is over and yet there remains contention about who will be our President come January 20. And the ongoing pandemic continues to impact all of our lives. It would seem that this is no time to be still. Action is called for on multiple issues. Yet we may want to consider how we might find the power that resides in stillness—the power that will be needed to see us through the challenges we are facing.

When we hear the word “stillness” we immediately think of it as the opposite of movement--but stillness is something quite different altogether. Stillness is an energetic quality of being. It is naturally present in the heart of every human being, equally so. Sometimes after a few cups of coffee or a fight we might not feel it, but it is still (pun intended) always there–it is only us who have chosen to disconnect from it. May each of you during this holiday time take time to be still and to ponder what your part will be in the year 2021.

  Rev. Dave
Reverend Dave Clements
Interim Minister Consultant
News and Happenings in Religious Education
To find family activities, information about programming for December, and more Religious Education News, visit our webpage!

This third week of Advent we are encouraged to connect with JOY. Do you remember your three year old self? How does joy come to into your life? How many ways can we bring joy into our lives? Pay attention, be ready, in this season of Advent, joy may found almost anywhere. 

I would like to share some joys I have found recently:
Aidan Wright, one of our youth recently chose to complete his eagle project for scouting by giving back to our congregation with over 195 hours of work as he and his team cleared out an acre of invasive honeysuckle, rebuilt the fire pit, and built three new benches! Perhaps you might find joy in the beautiful space where you can find calm and stillness on our grounds. Thank you Aidan!   (Photo Attached)

Recently, three of our youth who completed Coming of Age this past Spring were able to sign our membership book. Join us in welcoming Edwin, Susie, and Sylvia.  

I am also finding joy in looking at various holiday light displays and listening to music. I hope you will join us TONIGHT! Tuesday, December 15th from 5-7pm for Give Good Gifts! Celebration of Light and Giving.

Throughout the month of December, we invite families to learn about the many holidays celebrated this time of year. We have a calendar full of activities, read alouds, virtual rooms to explore for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, and much more. Please visit We are also hosting a Winter Play Family breakout room each Sunday in December during coffee hour, please stop by to show and share about your holiday traditions!  

Looking ahead into 2021, we won't reveal everything, but stay tuned to the Time for All Ages on Sunday, December 27th to learn about how we will explore Imagination together. The whole congregation will be invited to participate!

Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education
Our Folks...
Our sympathy and thoughts of healing are with the family and friends of member
Terry Loucks, who died this week.

Ed Robbins is hospitalized with COVID. He was admitted Thursday night, December 10, and likely will be released on Tuesday late afternoon if his progress warrants. Of course,
no visits but cards are welcome, sent to him at home. He will get them when he gets home.

Ruellen Fessenbecker has recently self-published a book of meditations based on traditional quilt patterns. The accompanying cards show the quilt patterns and the book offers the meditations. Contact Ruellen if you would like to see a copy or purchase one. rfessenb (at) 
Building Community
Welcome to Our Newest Members!
On December 10, we welcomed ten new members to the church. They are Allen and JaneAnn Gifford, Malea Hudson, Jason Michalek, Sarah Sanchez, Sylvia Sheets, Edwin Shipp, James Shipp, Susannah Summerlot, and Rebecca Willig. Below are a couple of their bios to help you get to know them. -- Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator

Edwin Shipp, born and raised in Bloomington, loves long walks in the woods and campfires below a starry night sky. He plays piano and enjoys juggling, unicycling, and stilt-walking. He loves to spend time with his friends and family, and he believes that setting goals is the best way to better himself as a person.  

James Shipp grew up in Bloomington going to the church before moving to Chicago (he now lives in both places). He goes to school in Chicago for most of the year, where he works as a resident advisor, but comes back to Btown whenever possible. James enjoys creating games and visual art, being outside, and talking with people. After being away from the community for the better part of the year, he's happy to be more connected to UU.  

UU Men Meet Third Tuesday of Each Month, Including Tonight!
Our UU Men's group meets on Zoom on the third Tuesday of each month, 7:00-9:00 p.m. For added security, this meeting requires registration. Next meeting: Tonight, Tuesday, December 15. Click here to register and receive the link to join the meeting.

Bazaar 2020 Deemed Great Success
The online Holiday Bazaar was a great success. Members and friends were able to purchase goodies and gifts for holiday celebrating. Many, many people were involved in this congregational event. Thanks to all the bakers, donors, persimmon pickers and pulpers, volunteers of all sorts and of course, the buyers who did a great job navigating the online version of the bazaar. We earned over $11, 500 for the church and several of the task forces. Great job everyone!
--Rich LeDuc and Ruellen Fessenbecker co-chairs
Gauging interest in a new online book club
We would like to know how many people would be interested in participating in a new online book group. This book group would read books chosen by its members that help the members dive into our congregation's monthly themes. For example, in December a member of the book group would pick a book that somehow exemplifies "stillness" the theme for December, and in January a different member would pick a book somehow related to the topic of imagination, which is the theme for January. The books could be fiction or non-fiction. Each month a different member would pick the next month's book and lead the discussion. Some more popular books even come with discussion questions for book clubs. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form to let us know:
We are here for you!
If you find yourself struggling during these pandemic times, this church is here for you.

Our Caring Committee volunteers offer:
  • occasional food for situations of short-term health recovery, bereavement, or new parenthood
  • occasional transportation to medical appointments
  • phone calls to check on the well-being of members
  • Contact Ann LeDuc at connect(at) or (812)720-3688, or Sharon Yarber at yarbersharon766(at) for Caring Committee assistance.

Our Ministers are available to provide pastoral care when you need a little extra support. (see their contact information at the end of the Prologue)
We have also compiled this short list of community resources that you may find helpful. 
Fridays at Noon with Rev. Dave
Join our interim minister consultant, Reverend Dave Clements, for an online chat every Friday at noon.
UU Singles - Upcoming Events
We are a group of single adults within the UU Bloomington community who meet occasionally for various kinds of connective events as a group. We'd love to have you join us! The following events will take place over Zoom. Please note that in the 4th and 5th weeks of the month, we will be meeting on Tuesday instead of Thursday. If you are not already on the UU singles email list (where the Zoom link is published), please contact mariedeer1961(at) or 812-391-0900.

Thursday evening, December 17th:
* 6 to 6:30 p.m., Hanukkah celebration 
* 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., shared storytelling

Tuesday evening, December 22nd:
* 6 to 6:30 p.m., check-ins 
* 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., game night

Tuesday evening, December 29th:
* 6 to 6:30 p.m., check-ins 
* 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., looking forward to 2021
Visit with the Connections Coordinator via Zoom on December 22
On Tuesday, December 22, 1-2:00 pm, join the Connections Coordinator, Ann LeDuc, via Zoom to ask questions, or just to visit. Newcomers and current congregation members are all welcome to drop-in. Additional ways to contact Ann are via email at connect(at) or phone at (812) 720-3688.
In the new year, Ann's open office hour will switch to Fridays, 3:30-4:30 pm, starting with January 8.  
Ask the Administrator on Wednesdays
Do you have burning church administrative questions? Wondering about: How much you owe on your pledge? When we will send 2020 calendar year contribution statements? Drop in on Zoom with Carol Marks our Church Administrator on Wednesdays, from 11 am-12 noon. Also available at admin(at) or call/text at (812) 287-9615, M-F 10-4.  
Carol will be away from her computer December 24-January 3.
What Do I Owe on My Pledge?
When Will We Receive Annual Giving Statements for 2020?
Wonder of wonders! You can find this information for yourself, using your log on to our church database.
Click here for how to find out what you owe on your pledge for 20-21, and to generate a statement of your donations for 2020 so far. (We will send out paper statements of giving towards your 2020-21 pledge soon, and also paper statements of 2020 donations by January 31, 2021, but you can print out your own statement sooner by using these instructions.)
If you need help, please contact Monica or Mandy at
Zoom Tips
Make Your Zoom Meetings More Pleasant and Helpful

  • Adjust your camera so it is at your eye level if possible. If your device that has a built in camera is sitting on a table or desk, set it on top of a box that is 8-12 inches tall, so you are looking the camera in the eye.
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking. This helps others hear, since it prevents ambient noise interference and inadvertent interrupting.
Late December Contributions
Please Send by December 26
If you would like to make contributions that are received by December 31, please be sure to mail paper checks by December 26, to UU Church, PO Box 1158, Nashville, IN 47448-1158. Mail sent to 2120 N. Fee will not arrive promptly, because it is being forwarded. You may also make a contribution using our Paypal page at this link:
Changing the World
Postpartum Support Network @ the UU Church
The Reproductive Justice Task Force is working with Maternal Advocates Resource Alliance (MARA) in looking for a team of 2-4 volunteers for MARA’s Postpartum Support Network, funded through IU’s Center for Rural Engagement. The goal is to bring postpartum support knowledge to our UU community, following women for the first year after giving birth. Training is on 6 Wed evenings via Zoom beginning Jan 27th. Registration by 12/21- Contact Nan McKinley 626-824-8955 / fiddlernan (at)
Homelessness and Hunger Task Forces 
Still Collecting Items for Shalom & College Square
Through December 31, we will be collecting food, hygiene items, and clothing for Shalom Community Center and food for our Pantry at College Square.
Needed items: Chunky soups, tuna, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal, coffee, peanut butter, macaroni & cheese, powdered milk, pasta, institutional size cans of food, condiments, tea, new socks. Collection bins at the northside Portico Entrance. Simply drive up and drop off--we are collecting donations from these bins daily.  Many thanks! --Homelessness Task Force and Hunger Task Force
Shalom Community Center Welcomes Donations of Tents and Sleeping Bags
Until the end of March, Shalom Community Center guests would really appreciate the donation of tents, sleeping bags, coats, hats, blankets, socks, and gloves, as well as macaroni, coffee, and hygiene supplies. Thank you. Donations may be left in the bins, under the portico at the church. Donations are collected every day.
Thank you. --Alan Backler for the Homelessness Task Force
Community Connections
Our Faith in Action in the Community

Volunteers Welcomed at My Sister's Closet
My Sister’s Closet, a non-profit boutique thrift store, has provided clothing, skills training, resume support, and confidence building to women in poverty, since 1998. MSC is seeking community-minded individuals with a desire to use their life skills and experience to make a lasting difference in the lives of women and children. For more information on MSC, the Store Manager and eBay Store Manager positions visit  Please spread the word! --Celeste McGregor

Free Covid Testing in Bloomington
Here is a new flyer with details about the Morton Street COVID Testing site in Bloomington, with expanded hours, including all Saturdays from 9am-3pm. At this time, the site will only close for holidays on December 25 and January 1 although times on the eves of these holidays may be shortened. Walk-ins are now accepted as time allows. Testing is free. 
Seeking the Spirit
Writing as a Spiritual Practice (Season 3)
A Drop-in Group with Rev. Barbara Child
You are invited to join me on a journey of personal exploration
through autobiographical writing in community on Zoom. We will meet every Tuesday afternoon 1:00-2:00 p.m. January 5 through February 23.
To begin with, even if you took part in Season 1 or Season 2, you need to register for Season 3 by clicking on this link.
You need to register only once and can then attend as many Season 3sessions after that as you choose. You may register up to a few minutes before a session begins.
Here is a description of “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” and what happens in our Zoom room each Tuesday afternoon at 1:00. 
–Rev Barbara Child
UU Freethinkers Meet Sunday, December 20, 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. Every other Sunday via Zoom at 12:45 p.m. To join, contact Harold Ogren.
UU Humanist Forum Meets Sunday, December 27, 12:45 pm
Every other Sunday at 12:45 p.m., our UU Humanists meet together online on Zoom for discussion. Email Ann Watzel or Harold Ogren if you would like to join the discussion
Shambhala Meditation Online on Mondays
Every Monday at noon online, or anytime it's easy, since there are saved sessions, you can join Sarah Flint in this 2500-year-old practice of cultivating peace and inner wisdom. Contact Sarah Flint to join the group in real time. On Facebook at UU Bloomington Meditation.
Open Mind Zen Online 
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Open Mind Zen with Frank Seisho Diaz is currently holding all meetings online. If you'd like to participate, visit and reach out via their contact page for more information.
Some Details:
Email SCAM Alert
Our ministers, staff, and board members or other members will never send you email asking you for any money besides your pledge payment! And never in the form of gift cards.

How to Recognize an Email Phishing Scam:
Is the email impersonating Rev. Macklin or another of our ministers? Are they asking you to purchase gift cards? Wait! Don't do it! We will never send you emails like this. To double check, look at the email address of the sender. Is it from an address at If not, that's the second good reason to delete it!

Office Hours, Calendar, Deadlines

<<Holiday Office Closure>>
Our administrative staff, Carol Marks, Monica Overman, and Mandy Skinner, will be off duty December 24-January 3, except for Sundays, when either Monica or Mandy will be available 10-1 at office (at)

Office hours: M-F, 10 am-4 pm (office closed at church, but staff working from home)
Church Administrator Carol Marks can be reached via text or voicemail during office hours at 812-287-9615. Email: admin (at)

Calendar: For our full calendar of events, visit

The Prologue is published on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Next issue is December 15. Deadline is 10 am on date of publication, admin (at)

Mailing Address
During the COVID emergency:
UU Church, PO Box 1158, Nashville, Indiana 47448-1158.
Membership and Attendance

Membership: 577 certified members;
568 current members.
Sunday, November 29     10:15  395 attended virtually
Sunday, December 6 10:15 386 attended virtually
Non-Pledge Offering
November 29:  $280    December 6:  $341
To make a contribution for the Non-Pledge Offering (Sunday Plate), or to make a payment towards your pledge or the Minister's Discretionary Fund, click on this link to get to our PayPal page:
  Total to be donated (25%) to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) Compass Early Learning Center and Self-Sufficiency Center: $155.25
Grocery Card Sales: (Bloomingfoods or Fresh Thyme) -- $200;   Total income to UUCB: $10.00
Free Money from Kroger!
Fresh Thyme and Bloomingfoods
Grocery Cards Available by Mail  
  • Did you know that Kroger sends us over $1,600 each year? This is made possible by those of you who participate in Kroger's Community Rewards program. Register your Kroger Plus card online at this link. We received $450.48 from Kroger for the months July through September from this program.
  • We are also still selling grocery cards for Bloomingfoods and Fresh Thyme. Click here to see what kind of cards and how many are available. Send your check to the church (UU Church, P. O. Box 1158, Nashville, Indiana 47448-1158) with a note to let us know the type and value of card(s) you want, and we will mail them to you. You do not need to send a SASE.  
Photos by Linda Mjolsnes-- masthead photo: A loon visits Lake Monroe, and below: turkey vulture with tulip poplar.