KUUC COMMITTEE AND BOARD INFORMATION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Check the Calendar/ Schedule Meetings

Please contact Susan to inquire about scheduling a meeting at 352-1719

Church Office Hours:     The office is usually open from 9:30-5:00 on Monday, Thursday and Friday each week.  As usual, it’s a good idea to call or email first to make sure Susan is available if you need assistance.

COMMITTEE CONTACTS

Circle of Caring:  Betsy Zimmerli, Andi Johnson

Covenant Group Council: Carolyn Antrim

Investment:   John Bordenet

Membership: Melinda Hildreth-Honkala

Music:  Betty Forrest

Personnel:   Ruth Shepard

Religious Exploration:  Barbara Bryce

Senior Lunch Bunch:  Betty Forrest

Shawls of Love: Darcy Doyle

Slice of Fellowship:  Betty Forest

Social Action/Green Sanctuary: Ann Shedd

Stewardship: Carol Stamatakis

Ushers:  Jenn Wyman

Wayside Pulpit:  Vicki Keller

Worship:  Jenn Wyman

Property:  Bob Hill

Fundraising:   Open

Greens Sale:  Open

Welcoming Congregation: Open

2018-19 BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Carol White, President   carolwhite11@comcast.net   –   617-229-9463

Past-President

John Walter, President-Elect   jnwalterjr@gmail.com    –   358-3101

Andrea Ansevin-Allen, Treasurer  aansevin@yahoo.com   –  358-3701

John Lowry, Clerk   lowry63@ne.rr.com – 355-295

Deb McLay, debmclay529@gmail.com  499-6043

Tim Robertson, timothyrbrtsn2@gmail.com   –   352-700

Ruth Shepard, ruthshep47@gmail.com  –  477-5694

Enid Smith, enidraesmith@gmail.com  –  827-2964

Carol Stamatakis, cstamatakis@outlook.com  –   398-5389

 

 

 

FROM THE UUA – NOVEMBER

What’s Happening in our UU Movement?    Submitted by Mary Heafy

  • Save the Date for the Northern New England District Annual Assembly and Meeting – April 5-6 in Concord, NH. A block of hotel rooms is reserved at the Hampton Inn in Bow but Concord is also an easy drive from Keene.  Scholarships available.  Details to follow.
  • The next face-to-face meeting of our UUA Board of Trustees is in Boston on January 25 and 26. Did you know that you are welcome to attend any meeting of the board AND if you go you will both observe and participate?  It is a powerful connection with our faith to experience these volunteers and UUA staff in action.  Mary Heafy is planning to attend on the 26th if anyone is interested in going.  You can join face-to-face or video stream.  https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/board/meeting-dates
  • Here is a great support from our UUA delivered to your inbox: Life is full of hard edges and complicated choices. Braver/Wiser gives you weekly message of courage and compassion for life as it is. Every Wednesday we deliver an original written reflection by a contemporary religious leader, and brief prayer, grounded in Unitarian Universalism. Join the Braver/Wiser community and sign up today! https://www.uua.org/braverwiser
  • How are UUs being represented in the world right now? Our UUA President the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray is joining other UUs in Florida to advocate for Florida’s amendment #4, the second chance amendment, to restore the voting rights to over 1M felony offenders.  Only 4 states in the US prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a felony from ever  This work connects with our Universalist heritage that believes everyone can and should be redeemed, and our UU belief that everyone should have a voice.
  • From our UU Service Committee: Take Action to Oppose Family Separation & Detention  Congress is once again considering massive funding increases for immigration detention, deportation, and criminalization of immigrants.  Follow this link for more information.  https://www.uusc.org/resources/tools-for-taking-action/migrant-justice/take-action-oppose-family-separation-detention/
  • Next UN Ambassador Must Be Voice for Human Rights October 11, 2018. S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s surprise resignation on Monday highlights the dangers of the Trump administration’s continued disengagement from the global community, as well as the need for U.S. leadership to show a more genuine commitment to human rights and the international rule of law.  Want more info:  https://www.uusc.org/next-un-ambassador-must-be-voice-for-human-rights/

 

 

   

DECEMBER 2018 – COMMITTEES, EVENTS, ACTIVITIES

SEEKING QUALIFIED CHILDCARE PROVIDER     The Personnel Committee would like to hire someone to provide childcare on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 am.  When no childcare is needed, this person would assist with the RE class.  If you know anyone who is interested in earning $40 each Sunday and has completed the Red Cross (or similar) training, please contact Ruth Shepard (chair of Personnel Committee) at ruthshep47@gmail.com with your recommendation.  We will also be needing a volunteer each Sunday to help with the childcare in order to fulfill the “safe congregation” commitment to our children.

2018-19 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN     Please provide your 2018-19 pledge by December 31!  Contact John Walter, Stewardship Chair or email Susan in the office. 

COMMITTEES AND GROUPS       

ALTAR DECORATIONS – REVIVING A TRADITION     The Worship Committee would like to revive the longstanding tradition at KUUC of congregants providing Altar Decorations on Sunday mornings.  An Altar Decoration can be a flower arrangement, a seasonal display, artwork, or creative expression of your choosing.  It may be made in honor of or in memory of someone in your life or an event to commemorate.  It may be something just for fun and creativity.  If this is something that you would like to do please sign up on the board near the door of the Parish Hall and provide any information if you would like the altar decoration to be dedicated to someone or something.  On the day that you designate, please have the altar decoration in place by 9:30 Sunday morning.  Call 357-2675.  Rachael Walter   rachaelwalter@twc.com

KUUC AMBASSADORS    One of the ways that we make certain that newcomers to KUUC feel welcome and have their questions answered is through our “Ambassadors” program. Ambassadors are individuals who have volunteered to be the first point of contact for people who are new to our church or to Unitarian Universalism.   Before each Sunday service, the Ambassador of the day will be introduced and asked to stand so our visitors know who they can talk to about KUUC. It is important to remember, however, that in some sense all members are Ambassadors so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone you don’t recognize. If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador add your name to the sign-up sheet by the door to the Parish Hall.

ON THE INTERNET   If you are new to KUUC, please feel free to join us in the Private Facebook Group, Keene UU Church.    Simply click here:  and ask to join.  We will need to be able to recognize you as a friend or member.   In that this is a private group, please remember: you may not share the pictures in the group unless they are your own.  Sometimes there are photos of children whose parents may or may not want their child’s picture shared, as well as church members/friends.


ACTIVITIES, EVENTS

RUG RAFFLE WINNERS!  Winning tickets were drawn on December 2.

Large rug:  Liz Wyman   –   Medium rug:   Marlene Merrifield   –   Brown oval rug:   Ronald Kee

SLICE –   DECEMBER 7    Slice of Fellowship is a monthly potluck dinner open to all members and friends of KUUC and is held on the first Friday of every month during the church year in the parish hall.  Wine to share and cheese are at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6:00 pm.  You are asked to bring a veggie, main dish or dessert.  Please bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins.  Call Betty Forrest 357-1534 or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net  with any questions.

LIBERAL CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES DISCUSSION GROU – Our fellowship group meets at 5:00 PM on the first Tuesday of every month in the Keene UU Church Alliance Room, 69 Washington St., Keene. This group is for anyone inspired by the teachings of Jesus or who identifies with aspects of Christianity and would like to share their experiences, feelings and insights in a supportive environment, and support one another’s spiritual growth and understanding. This group is guided by our fourth UU principle (“a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”) and free of the doctrine or dogma that has often characterized traditional institutional Christianity.   If you would like to learn more, please contact Carol Stamatakis.      cstamatakis@outlook.com or 603-863-4920/ 603-398-5389.

LUNCH BUNCH  –  DECEMBER 19     Senior Lunch Bunch is a monthly potluck luncheon open to all senior members and friends of KUUC, an opportunity to meet and socialize with peers.  Please bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins.  Call Betty Forrest at 357-1534, or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net with questions.

THE COFFEE CONNECTION –  DECEMBER 18, 8:30-10:30AM  AT KRISTEN’S BAKERY IN KEENE    Join us at this monthly, informal discussion with Rev. Michael.   The Coffee Connection is an open conversation over coffee about whatever topics you want to discuss. Here are some things to know about it:

  • Come as early as you are able, grab yourself a cup of coffee (not provided, sorry) and stay as long as you can. The two-hour time limit refers to how long I can stay that morning.
  • Bring any questions, concerns and ideas that you would like to discuss.
  • Please understand that there are some issues that might not be appropriate to discuss in a public setting and know that some concerns/issues that are voiced (related to Personnel for instance) can only be heard and not responded to for ethical reasons.
  • I hope that the “Coffee Connection” itself will become a regular, monthly happening. If, in time, we decide that a particular topic warrants a whole 2-hour discussion, then we will make that happen. Otherwise, it will be entirely free form.
  • Realizing that not everyone can make a morning gathering or, may not be able to be there on November 20th, I ask that you contact me michaelkuuc1824@gmail.com with your questions, ideas and concerns and we can either discuss them via email or I can bring them up with the group.
  • Because there are some folks who would never be able to make a morning meeting I am also looking for input on when an afternoon or evening group could meet.

THE CONTEMPLATIVE COMMUNITY  –  DECEMBER 19, 7-8PM   KUUC Alliance Room     “The Contemplative Community” is our monthly contemplative worship service.  In November we will focus on the theme of Gratitude, (what better topic on the Thanksgiving Eve).  The service, which is centered in meditative and contemplative practices, will meet in the Alliance Room on the third Wednesday evening of every month.

Our hope is three-fold:

  1. To offer a regular, complementary worship service at time when people who might not be able to attend on Sunday morning—or simply long for more group spiritual time during the week—can join together.
  2. To offer a monthly service with a particular emphasis; in this case on contemplation. So, in this case the focus is contemplative practices which may include or combine: sitting meditation, walking meditation, labyrinth practices, chanting, visualization or other guided imagery practices.
  3. That this service will be the beginning of an effort to explore the possibility of holding weekly services on a different time and day of the week, not all of which would be contemplative.
  4. The idea is not to replace Sunday morning worship but to augment it.

Any ideas that you have about this should be directed to Rev. Michael mailto:rev.michaelkuuc1824@gmail.com or Worship Chair Jenn Wyman.

MIDDLE EAST STUDY GROUP LECTURE SERIES  –  MONDAY, JANUARY 14     The Middle East Study Group has planned a lecture series for the church year on Russia and Yemen.  The second part of the series will be on Yemen under the titles of “Yemen: the Most Forgotten Country” and “Yemen: Statehood to Starvation.”  Dates are Monday, January 14 and March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  Jim Smart is the presenter.  Jim is Professor Emeritus from KSC  and has long had a special interest in the Middle East.  It is hoped that the church and the community will benefit from these updated perspectives.

SAVE THE DATE FOR 2019 FERRY BEACH!    2019 KUUC Ferry Beach Get-a-Way Weekend !   

Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER MESSAGE from KUUC BOARD PRESIDENT, Carol White

“The people of KUUC are committed to actively creating compassionate community and working for a fair and peaceful world.”

It is certainly a season to be thankful for having each other and a church family. Each of us probably appreciated different things at church in November. I was pleased with the wonderful turn out and beautiful meal at the Thanks for Giving Dinner as well as the number of us who enjoyed laughter and camaraderie while making berry bowls together. It is also a time to remember those who may be struggling, however. The community breakfast program has again started but because it was so successful or was so needed is now taking place at the community kitchen. A number of churches in Keene are contributing to this effort including a number of people from our church. If you are interested in helping out with this please talk to Carol Hill.

Our annual Greens Sale will soon be here. It is scheduled for Friday, 11/30, 5 – 8p and Saturday, 12/1, 9a – 2p. We still have work to do and time to enjoy each other’s company getting ready. We will begin covering the Berry bowls in the Parish Hall after coffee hour on Sunday, 11/25, and on various days and times the following week. Carol McIntyre Peale will be leading people in decorating wreaths and other greens for the holidays. Other areas people could help include organizing books for the book nook (Suzanne M), bringing bake goods (Melinda), helping with the white elephant table and braided rug raffle (Hazel), and the luncheon (Betsy). Betsy would like help with set up and serving as well as contributions of vegetarian and chicken soup, breads, and salads. Cider and tiny decorations for the card tables would also be appreciated. Carl Jacobs is again bringing his wonderful clam chowder!

The board continues to work on identifying active committees and has finalized who will be the liaison to the various committees. The committee chairs should be hearing from their board liaison soon if they haven’t already.

We also continue to work on the next steps needed to improve the heat in our beautiful historic building. We discussed the broader issue of deferred maintenance in general. We will be doing some repairs on the roof soon to address leaks. Heat, now that winter has come early, is our top priority, however. Our next step, in addition to small immediate repairs, will be to develop a set of proposals for heating system repairs for consideration.

We hope to continue to have services in the church sanctuary this winter but, if the Sanctuary is not warm enough on a particular Sunday, we will follow the procedure set up last year by the Worship Committee and move to the Parish Hall.

Hope to see everyone at the Greens Sale (11/30 and 12/1). Also, remember to sign up for picture taking for the church directory on the following Friday and Saturday. You will be able to take one picture home for free as well. (See Deb). The end of the month will be festive with a Christmas Eve service and Wassail provided by the Board before the service!

 -Carol White, KUUC Board President

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                             

 

 

   

 

DECEMBER 2018 – SHARING MINISTRY with Rev. Michael Hall

Rev. Michael Hall

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past,

courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish

that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal,

and that every path may lead to peace.”  —Agnes M. Pharo

One of my favorite stories of the season is that of Ebenezer Scrooge as told in Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol—and not just because Dickens was a Unitarian. I have always admired the story of the overnight conversion of the miserly, severe and friendless old man into the joyful, benevolent and sprightly gentleman animated by the spirit of Christmas. Yet, all of the celebrations of the many traditions in this “Season of Light” —from Hanukkah to Kwanza, Bodhi Day to Yule—could well open a hardened heart to compassion.

A few years ago, Christmas Day was on a Sunday and, even though we don’t usually have a service on Christmas Day (Christmas Eve is our tradition) I really thought it important to open every Sunday no matter how many, or few, came to our Sanctuary doors. I was very grateful that a few dozen people not named Hall showed up that morning if for nothing more than to hear the beautiful music that Carin Torp chose to play on that occasion.

I want to share with you the reflection that I gave that day, because it still rings true, like Christmas Bells even when times are trying, as they often are—as they still are. I hope you find it so, and perhaps it will prompt you to break out your Dickens and share that timeless story with your own family.

 

“Joy To The World”                                             (Michael F. Hall, adapted)

I have a question for you: Which Scrooge are you this morning? Are you the Scrooge that trudged home from his counting house joylessly last night; self-absorbed, venomous, cynical, feeling superior to others and telling yourself that all you need is to hoard something, (in Scrooge’s case money), that you have no use for and do nothing with? Or are you the joyful Scrooge this Christmas, kicking your heels and positively gleeful to be alive?

Are you the Scrooge transformed by Love in the face of mortality, grateful to have another day in the world in all of its heartrending beauty, just as it is? Are you the Scrooge craving the opportunity to be of use to others, in the place where you live, willing to embrace the world every day with a “Merry Christmas” heart? Are you the Scrooge who has learned from your life, who seeks to wear your heart on your sleeve and breathe new life into broken relationships? Even if it means risking an apology that may not be reciprocated?

I must ask you, on this Christmas day, are you willing to begin anew, to open the fullness of your being to stranger and saint; to live like time is both an ally and adversary? Have you decided to let generosity and joy be what you would lay on the scales— if ever there were need to account for your days—not your money; not your assurance that the world can be broken down into two camps: 7 billion nincompoops and you?

My friends, I don’t know very much, or at least I don’t as much as I would like to think. But I do know that joy need not be just an occasional state of mind. Joy can be cultivated; it can be chosen, it can be a conscious and full-hearted orientation to life. It can be turned into an action plan; to seed the world with Love.

For many of us, it has been hard to muster up joy lately. We have worried over the elections and the state of our democracy, wrung our hands over the state of affairs in far-flung places, fretted about the economy, or the vile things that some people do—and I am not suggesting that those things are not worthy of your concern or mine. But every last one those concerns can be a roadblock to doing the hard and needed work of engagement with the people and institutions in our world.

Where does this come from, this inclination to shut ourselves up, as old Scrooge had done for decades, to close off to the love of friends—-even family? How do people begin to return the kindness of others with coldness, suspicion or disregard? I think it may be fear at the root of this real psycho-spiritual disease.

Underneath, Scrooge was in the deadly grip of a profound, even pathological, fear. Fear of love, of loss and lack, not only of money but ultimately of control. In the end, he feared life, and people and, most of all, looking the fool. As he walked home on Christmas Eve, grumbling about the poor and the foolishness of holidays and charities, he had fully become what his choices dictated: a lonely, loathsome and pathetic man, the butt of jokes for whom only the saintly Bob Cratchit would choose to pray.

Don’t be that Scrooge.

Be the Christmas morning Scrooge, the one with the courage to be joyful in the face of circumstances beyond their control. Be the Scrooge that opens their heart to love despite the risk of loss, be the Scrooge that embraces life rather than fears death. Be that Scrooge, the one who woke one morning with a merry heart and learned to dance to the strains of mercy, redemption and service. Be that Scrooge, the one with the open heart and liberal spirit. Be that Scrooge, because that is the one most needed.

Happy Holidays to you.

Yours in Faith, Hope and Love,

Rev. Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 2016 Events & Activities

Slice of Fellowship – Friday, April 1

Slice of Fellowship is a monthly potluck dinner open to all members and friends of KUUC. It is held on the first Friday of every month during the church year in the Parish Hall. The April theme is “Fool-o-ship” featuring fun foods and lots of opportunities for foolishness and fellowship, hosted by Susan Chamberlin and David Wilbur. “Whining” is at 5:30pm, and “Dining” is at 6:00 pm. You are asked to bring a veggie, main dish or dessert. We also ask that you bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins. (Wine glasses and coffee mugs will be supplied.)

Additionally, the announcement for this year’s Stewardship campaign will be shared.

FUNDRAISING CONCERT Sunday, APRIL 3 at 7 P.M.

Jim Peale has been inspired to bring a singer/songwriter to KUUC who will be familiar to some of you. For the last two years, Andrew McKnight has been the musician of the week at Ferry Beach for the Family and Friends conference. McNight hails from Virginia and his website is www.andrewmcnight.net. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and senior citizens. Mark your calendar now for this event to be held next Sunday, April 3rd in the Parish Hall!

Time to Sign Up for the Worship Workshop – Begins April 26!

Several people have already reserved their spot in Rev. Michael’s new workshop It’s More than a Sermon: Creating Quality Worship 2.0. There are still a few slots available but now is the time to secure yours. Workshop sessions are April 26, May 3, 10 and 17 from 7-9 P.M. and are limited to 10 participants so please contact Rev. Michael at rev.michaelkuuc1824@gmail.com  or by telephone (508) 821-6092 to sign up.

Dance Connection – Wednesdays, Through May 24

Dance to enhance your own inherent worth and dignity. Dance to feel part of the interconnected web of life. Just dance because. . . . All are welcome! We generally warm up with various dance techniques/styles, then have some free movement time and either structured or free closing time. Free of cost, with donations accepted to pay for use of the space. Classes are from 2-3P.M. For more information, contact Carin Torp at 357-7645. I hope to see you there.

Poetry Group – Wednesday, April 13

Join us each month on the second Wednesday at 5:30 P.M. in the library to read, or listen to, original, found and favorite poems.

 Lunch Bunch – Wednesday, April 20

Senior Lunch Bunch is a monthly potluck luncheon open to all senior members and friends of KUUC, an opportunity to meet and socialize with peers. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday at Noon, September through May in the parish hall. Please bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins. (Glasses and coffee mugs will be provided.) Susan Segal and Betty Forrest are hosts for this month. Call Betty Forrest at 357-1534, or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net with questions.

Community Breakfast Program Ends April 16

The 2015-2016 Community Breakfast Program has not been without its challenges, but the dedicated volunteer teams have persevered to serve a hot, substantial breakfast to guests each morning during the coldest part of the year. Six days a week from November 24, 2015 through April 16, 2016, adult and children alike will have been provided with nutritious food to begin their day. Somewhere between 30 and 40 guests attend the Community Breakfast program daily, making the total number of breakfasts we will have served by season’s end over 4000—more than double the meals we served last year. The dates of the program coincide with the provision of lodging offered at Hundred Nights Shelter.

Volunteers and financial support from the KUUC, United Church of Christ, Parish of the Holy Spirit (supported by Knights of Columbus Councils 819 & 5414) and St Margaret Mary Catholic Church sustained the collaborative program Monday – Saturday each week. Additional contributions were made by St. James Episcopal Church Thrift Shop and the Federated Church of Marlborough.

A chest freezer was donated to the program by Kathy Guenther in memory of her daughter, Bonnie White who has a cobblestone in the memorial garden, and a grant from C&S Wholesale Grocers provided 17 cases of food.

Final reporting will appear in the May Messenger. Thanks to our dedicated KUUC team captains: Carol and Bob Hill, who also took on the enormous task of weekly shopping; Bill and Sue Hay; D’Vorah and Bob Kelley.

Rummage Sale – May 28! Do you have too many Hangers?

We need hangers!!! Please take notice of the two newly designated “rummage drop spot here” signs, located in the area across from the ladies’ room door and the landing between the former R.E. space & the elevator.

As a community we have opportunity to exercise our “green” values while working towards budgetary needs.  I would encourage us all to consider creating a “drop spot” in our homes for the things that no longer serve.  We all have excess that can be better used elsewhere, so let’s redistribute and make a difference for our church, our homes, our community.  We will have pick-up options in the near future.

If you would like to be involved in sorting and pricing, contact Hazel Erdoben-Evans.   Thank you all for your participation!                                                              

Reverend Sue Phillips to Visit KUUC

Rev. Michael has been in discussions with our former minister, the Rev. Sue Phillips, to return to KUUC in the fall for a weekend visit. This much we know, Rev. Sue has agreed to join us for a weekend which will have her facilitating a workshop, leading worship and being our guest at a potluck in her honor, (where we will welcome members of other local UU congregations). We will need a group to help plan and run this special event.

If you are interested in being part in a task group being formed for this purpose please contact Spiritual Life Cluster Chair Rachael Walter at rachaelwalter@twc.com or (603) 357-2675

Month of Sundays to Return in October – Help Wanted!        

Several people have expressed their desire to make sure that “Month of Sundays” (MOS) doesn’t go away but happens again soon. Others have said that when the time comes to plan that huge event that we should count them in. A small group has already begun to think about what this year’s “Month of Sunday” would look like. Perhaps you want join us?

This year MOS will be in October and the theme will be “Journey to Joy.” We believe that the exploration of “Joy” through worship, spiritual practice, art, social action and community activities, will help us fuse the individual search and collective journey and see how joy, happiness and our lived religion meet and merge.

“Month of Sundays” may well be the best laboratory for shared ministry we have and an example of how the democratic process can bring life to more than just committee work and church government.

In the coming months we will be gathering your input on what you think should be included in MOS, and we may be asking you to help on particular aspects of planning and carrying out the program. We also need several of you to step up and be part of the Month of Sundays Steering Group. There is no need to audition for the Steering Group; we need all the help, wisdom, creativity and attention to detail that you can bring to the table.

In the coming weeks we will be getting together that Steering Team. Please think about joining us. It should be a work, but it is guaranteed to bring you joy!

For more details or to volunteer contact Mickey Cronin at (603) 852-2903 mfpepera@aol.com or Rev. Michael (508) 821-6092 rev.michaelkuuc1824@gmail.com

PFLAG Presents “A Self-Made Man” — Saturday, April 9

On April 9th, PFLAG Keene and Antioch College will be hosting a benefit screening of the film, “A Self-Made Man” by award winning documentary filmmaker Lori Petchers.

This feature length documentary takes a candid look at what it means to be transgender, told through an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate, Tony Ferraiolo. We watch Tony guide children as young as 8, and their parents, through the confusing journey of defining themselves, when their physical appearance conflicts with how they view themselves.

The benefit screening will be held at Keene High School. The doors open at 6pm. There will be a short meet and greet with Tony Ferraiolo before the screening at 7pm. After the screening we will have a Q & A where all the audience is welcome and encouraged to ask Tony questions. The event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated to benefit PFLAG New Hampshire and Antioch’s SERDS program, which has offered to purchase items for Keene High School’s Gay Straight Alliance.

For more information, please contact PFLAG Keene at pflagkeene@gmail.com or find us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/PFLAG-Keene.

Board President Lucius Parshall – April 2016

SPEAK UP SO I CAN HEAR YOU!

The season is upon us once again. No, not that one. Our church is again entering the time when we are all asked to pledge to the church that has served us so well, so it will be there to serve those yet to come. Those congregants that have been paying attention over the last few years know how this works.  We put off pledging until the end of the campaign, then await the unveiling of next year’s budget that reflects every penny pledged—and not a cent more. Then we squirm and eventually rise to the occasion.

I’m proud of the financial restraint that our board has displayed over the course of this fiscal year, but our bricks and mortar are suffering. We were fortunate enough to avoid dipping into the reserve funds that the congregation allocated at our last general meeting, but we were also blessed with some very light heating expenses. Plans change, sometimes for the better.

Our congregation is getting older, so is our larger community. As America becomes more secular we watch the churches close around our community. I don’t think that Unitarian Universalists need to suffer this same fate. Peter Morales has made an eloquent case for us in his “A Religion for Our Time” video series (try that in your YouTube search window).

In the next year all of us will be asked to engage in creating a common vision that will carry the message of Unitarian Universalism into our local community. It is my fervent hope that this is not yet another exercise in wordsmithing, but a real communication of what we offer that sets us apart from dogmatic congregations. This vision is needed to lay the foundation for a new generation of congregants who will continue the work of making our liberal faith relevant.

I’m getting older, and I have a request. Will you please SPEAK UP SO I CAN HEAR YOU! I’m ready to increase my pledge by 5%, I’m ready to increase my involvement by 5% and I’m ready to work towards our common vision, 5% harder. That’s how it comes down, committing our time, treasure and talent to growing our congregation.  You may divide this pie differently, but in the end I’ll still be asking for 15% more. It’s what we owe to ourselves, and those who will follow.

Peace, Lucius

Reverend Michael’s Moment – April 2016

Bend down—and there it is: No need to wrest it from others. With the Way, in complete agreement— The mere touch of a hand is spring: The way we come upon blooming flowers, The way we see the year renew itself. What comes this way will stay…  —Ssu-k’ung T’u, (837-908), The Twenty-Four Orders of Poetry

Finally, it has arrived! One would think that such a mild winter as this would have been more patiently endured and easily gotten through—especially when compared to the ferocious cold and record snows of last year. For me that was decidedly not the case. With each tease of mild weather my heart soared and with the least suggestion of icy winter’s return it withered. I found that I was looking forward to, no longing for, the return of spring more than I ever have before. Maybe you felt that way too?

Why should this be? Who knows.

Perhaps such longing was the product of less light in the day. I know that many people lack concentration or are troubled by sadness and fatigue during the winter. Perhaps we felt compelled to stay inside and keep to the work at hand, winter’s shadows deepening the feelings of responsibility that come with maturity. For me, it may have been that the concerns of aging were finally creeping in, and with them wariness that under each fresh dusting of snow, hidden ice and a sudden fall waited. As the years pass, each turn of the wheel is more precious—as it should be—and witnessing the unveiling of another spring is not to be taken for granted.

In retrospect, I realize that I was simply impatient for the return of the lark and leaf—for the return of the spring in my step that comes with this season. I deeply missed playing toss on the lawn and listening to the muddy squish, swish-swish of my boots as I tramp around Goose Pond. I looked and looked for signs of budding, the reemergence of color, the return of the light and now, with April, I have my reward!

I won’t regret this impatience for spring, and neither should you. In this case impatience is simply a sign of health; of how much we love life, all life and the beautiful, cool, (never cruel), up-springing April.

However, I do want to extend this apology to winter: you are also lovely and not to be taken for granted. Enjoy your time away winter! We’ll see you again come December!

With Heart and in Hope,

Rev. Michael

March 2016 Events & Activities

Events, Activities, Updates & Other News

DANCE CONNECTION – Wednesdays, Beginning March 2-May 24 Dance to enhance your own inherent worth and dignity. Dance to feel part of the interconnected web of life. Just dance because. . . . All are welcome!  We generally warm up with various dance techniques/styles, then have some free movement time and either structured or free closing time.  Free of cost, with donations accepted to pay for use of the space.  Classes are from 2-3P.M. For more information, contact Carin Torp at 357-7645.  I hope to see you there.                                                   Peace, Carin

SLICE OF FELLOWSHIP – Friday, March 4          Slice of fellowship is a monthly potluck dinner open to all members and friends of KUUC. It is held on the first Friday of every month during the church year in the Parish Hall. Wine and cheese are at 5:30 and dinner at 6:00 pm. The March theme is Italian Cuisine hosted by Darcy Doyle, Carolyn Allen and Suzanne Morin. You are asked to bring a veggie, main dish or dessert. We ask that you bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins. (Wine glasses and coffee mugs will be supplied.) Please call Betty Forrest 357-1534 with any questions.

POETRY GROUP – Wednesday, March 9       Join us each month on the second Wednesday at 5:30 P.M. in the library to read, or listen to, original, found and favorite poems.

LUNCH BUNCH – Wednesday, March 16      Senior Lunch Bunch is a monthly potluck luncheon open to all senior members and friends of KUUC, an opportunity to meet and socialize with peers. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday at Noon, September through May in the parish hall. Please bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins. (Glasses and coffee mugs will be provided.) Betty and Mike Forrest are hosts for this month. Note: If school is canceled due to inclement weather, Lunch bunch is also canceled. Call Betty Forrest at 357-1534, or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net with questions.

FUNDRAISING CONCERT SUNDAY APRIL 3 at 7 P.M.      Jim Peale has been inspired to bring a singer/songwriter to KUUC who will be familiar to some of you. For the last two years, Andrew McNight has been the musician of the week at Ferry Beach for the Family and Friends conference. McNight hails from Virginia and his website is www.andrewmcnight.net. More details to follow, but mark your calendar now for this event to be held in the Parish Hall on Sunday, April 3!

WORSHIP WORKSHOP Begins April 26!     Have you always wanted to lead a worship service but weren’t sure where to begin? Do you feel there is a sermon within you yearning to break free? Have you led worship services before but are looking for an opportunity to hone your skills and learn more about the art and craft of worship development? Then you really want to take part in Rev. Michael’s workshop “It’s More Than a Sermon: Creating Quality Worship 2.0.”

For those of you who need to plan well in advance, the workshop will take place on the following Tuesday nights in the spring: April 26, May 3, 10 and 17 from 7-9 P.M. This class will be limited to 10 participants—if more than 10 people want to take the class we will offer a second section at another time.

FERRY BEACH Get-A-Way Weekend     May 20, 21, 22     The KUUC Ferry Beach Committee is excited that we have been able to change our annual Ferry Beach Get-A-Way weekend to May 20-22, 2016. Ferry Beach is a UU Conference Center on Saco Bay in Maine. During the Spring and Fall weekends, the facilities are rented by UU Church groups.

This year we will be sharing Ferry Beach with the Acton/Stowe UU Church. Our weekend is a wonderful intergenerational gathering. Imagine long walks on the beach or in the nearby State Forest, conversations in rocking chairs on the porch, playing board games, joining various activities or just solitary time. The accommodations are rustic, but the setting is majestic. Costs are below.

Lodging              $140/room for the weekend (sleep 1,2,3 or 4 people) or $32/weekend campsite

Cleaning fee      $10.00/ “family” unit

Meals                  Provided by Pangea Food Service in the DeWolfe Dining Hall. Four meals included: Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday breakfast.

Adult                  $48 (13 years+)

Child                    $32 (5 -12 years)

For registration forms and information visit the Ferry Beach table at coffee hour. The forms are also available in the KUUC office. Registration and full payment is due March 20, 2016. Contact Jim Peale or Carol McIntyre-Peale, 357-7875, pealefamily@gmail.com for all details.

RUMMAGE SALE!   We need hangers!!!  The next rummage sale is set to take place on May 28th. Please take notice of the two newly designated “rummage drop spot here” signs, located in the area across from the ladies room door and also on the landing between the former R.E. space & the elevator. If possible, please include hangers with your clothing donations.

As a community we have opportunity here to exercise our “green” values while working towards our budgetary needs.  I would encourage us all to consider creating a “drop spot” in our homes for all the things that no longer serve.  We all have excess that can be better used elsewhere, so let’s redistribute together and make a difference for our church, our homes, our community.  We will have pick-up options in the near future.   If you would like to be involved in the sorting and pricing process contact Hazel Erdoben-Evans.   Thank you all for your participation!                                

Board President Lucius Parshall — March 2016

A recurrent topic with the Board is in the interpretation of the KUUC vision. This has been reflected in the House Meetings, and will hopefully be further developed with help from the district level over the next few months. I cannot express enough gratitude towards Talu Robertson, who has joined the board to serve out the remainder of our Past Presidents term.  Rachael Walter has been plugging away with the Worship Cluster, and D’vorah Kelly can always use more help for several openings on the Fellowship Cluster. Susan Chamberlain has agreed to coordinate the fundraising events that many of you are involved in. Feel free to discuss any fundraising ideas with Susan.

Thank you to all committee heads that have submitted their budgets to John Lowry. He is already well-underway in creating next year’s budget.  Mark Meess and the building committee has been developing a solar panel project that would further lessen our carbon footprint. It seems that several projects are underway, including plans for the space in the R.E. Wing. Take a moment and share your thoughts on these initiatives, or anything else concerning our common vision, via phone, email, and I’m usually around on Sunday mornings.

Peace, Lucius