Check the Calendar/ Schedule Meetings

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

Rev Michael’s Office Hours:  Call to set up an appointment:  508-821-6092

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.


Circle of Caring:  Martha Bauman, Betsy Zimmerli, Andi Johnson

Covenant Group Council: Carolyn Antrim

Investment:   John Bordenet

Membership: Melinda Hildreth-Honkala

Music: Matt Aversa

Personnel:   Carolyn Antrim

Religious Exploration:  Barbara Bryce

Senior Lunch Bunch:  Betty Forrest

Shawls of Love: Darcy Doyle

Slice of Fellowship:  Betty Forest

Social Action/Green Sanctuary: Nancy Brigham, Ann Shedd

Stewardship: Carol Stamatakis

Ushers:  Rachael Walter

Wayside Pulpit:  Vicki Keller

Worship:  Rachael Walter

Property:  Open, contact Bob Hill

Fundraising:   Open

Greens Sale:  Open

Welcoming Congregation: Open


Anne Branzell-Spiegler, President   annebranzell@gmail.com – 499-2858

Carol Stamatakis, Past President   cstamatakis@outlook.com – 863-4920

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

Andrea Ansevin-Allen, Treasurer   aansevin@yahoo.com

John Lowry, Clerk   lowry63@ne.rr.com – 355-2958

Bob Hill, HCBHill@ne.rr.com  –  903-0197

Deb McLay, debmclay529@gmail.com –  499-6043

Tim Robertson, timothyrbrtsn2@gmail.com352-7006

Judy Saunders, segwyne@gmail.com  – 835-2360




Dear Friends,

Time goes by so fast! Cold nights are upon us, the Community Kitchen

breakfast has started up, snow plowing and removal contracts are due,

the Greens’ Sale is around the corner, and the advent season is about to begin.  It seems just yesterday the Board of Trustees’ meetings ended before sunset and while leaves were still green on the trees.  However soon we will celebrate the shortest day of the year, and my term as President of the Board of Trustees will be half gone.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be of service, and for the chance to meet more of the members of KUUC.

As December closes in, see if you can warm yourself with community or commitment at KUUC.   There are opportunities to give and receive with compassion, joy, laughter and song

Be warm on these cold and shortening days

Anne Branzell-Spiegler, President







2017-18 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN:  CONSIDER MAKING AN EARLY PLEDGE      Our Stewardship Campaign officially kicks off on Sunday, October 16th. But you don’t have to wait until then to make your pledge. You can pledge now!  An early pledge will enable us to have reliable income until the Stewardship Campaign ends, and allow us to reduce the amount of time we spend talking about the pledge campaign!  GO TO THIS LINK:  http://kuuc.org/pledgeCard/pledge_form.php

This year, we are holding our Stewardship Campaign in the Fall for the first time. We operate on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year. Your pledge will support the budget that was passed at Annual Meeting this past May and that went into effect 7-1-17. This means that at the moment we are operating on faith!

The budget that was passed in May depends on $145,669 in revenue from pledges. This amount represents is an increase of nearly 8% from the amount pledged to support the 2017 budget. There will be a link on our website to record your pledge. You will also have the opportunity to extend your pledge, pro-rated, through the end of December. This will provide us with much-needed stability through the Fall of 2018.

Pledge cards will be available through the church office and on the welcome table. Please contact Carol Stamatakis cstamatakis@outlook.com with questions or if you would like to know your pledge amount for last year.    http://kuuc.org/pledgeCard/pledge_form.php

UU CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES DISCUSSION GROUP  – December 5      This group is an opportunity for people inspired by the teachings of Jesus or who identify with aspects of Christianity and would like to share their experiences, feelings and insights in a supportive environment, and support each other’s spiritual growth and understanding.  This group is guided by our fourth principle (“a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”) and free of the doctrine or dogma that has often characterized traditional institutional Christianity. The group may discuss Bible readings or other sacred texts, books or films, invite guest speakers, contribute to worship services or do other activities.  The day, time and frequency of meetings will be decided by the group.  Meetings are held in the Alliance Room on the first Tuesday of each month. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please contact Carol Stamatakis at cstamatakis@outlook.com or 603-863-4920/603-398-5389

COFFEE HOUR NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION    Welcome back to a new church year!  This year, I will continue to come in to make the coffee each Sunday, and again, refreshments will be potluck.  As I strive to keep the kitchen appropriately stocked, please let me know if you have a favorite tea you would like to have available, or a particular sweetener.  And please consider bringing some healthy treat in for refreshments for everyone, such as pretzels, or cheese slices.  If everyone contributes something once a month, we will have a nice array to fuel our bodies for conversation and catching up with friends.

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.

COMING IN JANUARY—MONTH OF SUNDAYS   This year the “Month of Sundays” program will focus on the “Joy of Community,” with the main goal of enjoying each other’s company and reveling in our community before we begin our sabbatical with Rev. Michael. There will be community meals and programming each Friday night, field trips each Sunday afternoon and other activities on Wednesday afternoons and/or evenings.  So don’t you go anywhere in January 2018.  There is still time to cancel any vacation plans that you have already made.   Let’s make that time of transition a time of joyful celebration so that when minister is away from the church both the congregation and minister know that we are ready for a period reflection and renewal, rather than worry.  If you would like to join in the fun of planning Month of Sundays, or have an idea for an event in January, contact Rev. Michael, rev.michaelkuuc1824@gmail.com


POETRY GROUP MOVES TO A NEW DAY  –  Join us on the fourth Monday at 7PM in the church library.  Please bring poems to read and discuss as well.  Plan on leaving a copy of each poem to add to our archive.  NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.

DANCE CONNECTION WITH CARIN TORP  –  Wednesdays at 2pm in the Parish Hall.  Fall session a bit sporadic, so contact Carin Torp or look for schedule posted on the “Community News” bulletin board to find out class dates!       Carin 357-7645 or carintorp@yahoo.com

KUUC OUTDOORS   Meet at KUUC, 69 Washington St, Keene at 1pm to depart

Sunday, December 10 Hike to the Pinnacle – Fitzwilliam NH   This is a 2+/- mile hike on moderate terrain. The Pinnacle is the site of the Fitzwilliam Ski Area originally built in the late 1940’s and associated with the Fitzwilliam Inn. The area closed in the 1970’s but artifacts of the lifts still remain.   Info/photos of the old ski area visit: http://www.nelsap.org/nh/fitzwilliam.html#fh   Wear good walking shoes and dress for the weather!   Contact Carole Mills, cmmills2@yahoo.com 

Sunday, January 14, 2018      Robin Hood Park, Skating & Sledding



ONE MORE WAY TO SUPPORT KUUC    At Coffee Hour on December 3 and December 17, Beth Caldwell will sell In One Place, a handbook for organizing important documents. By filling in the blanks in this handbook, you will create a comprehensive resource which catalogs all your financial, insurance, legal, medical and digital/password information “in one place”. The basic version sells for $20, while the deluxe version (which includes a heavy duty 1.5″ binder, labelled tabs, and 20 sturdy sheet protectors) costs $35. A portion of each sale will be donated to KUUC.

Slice of Fellowship – Friday, December 8   Open to all members and friends of KUUC. This month (on the second Friday) we will meet in the Alliance Room at 5:30 pm to celebrate this joyous season. Please bring a hearty hors d’oeuvre to share and your beverage of choice. Darcy Doyle, Carolyn Allen and Suzanne Morin will be hosting this event. Dishes and tableware will be supplied.  Contact Betty Forrest at 357-1534, or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net with questions

Lunch Bunch – Wednesday, December 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, October through May in the parish hall.  Please bring your own dishes, flatware and napkins.  Call Betty Forrest at 357-1534, or email mandbforrest@myfairpoint.net with questions.


Everyone is invited to join the Ansevin-Allen Family on December 25 at 12 Noon for a Christmas Day Potluck.  Please sign-up (if possible) in the Parish Hall to indicate what you might bring and the number of people attending.  All are welcome to break bread, share stories and enjoy fellowship together at Christmas.  If you have questions, contact Scott Ansevin-Allen at 313-2549.  Merry Christmas!


Learn About The Green Dot Initiative    The Monadnock Progressive Alliance (MPA), a local grassroots community action group, has invited Vicky Pitman and Julie Woodbury-Johnson to speak about the Keene Green Dot initiative.  Keene Green Dot is a bystander-focused initiative aimed at reducing the rates of power-based personal violence. The overview talk introduces the basic elements of the Green Dot strategy while using persuasive and inspirational language to engage participants in immediate action. The basics of this speech are used to introduce Keene members to Green Dot etc., generate community-wide buy-in, and begin the process of behavioral change.  Registration is required.  Contact Julie at keenegreendot@gmail.com or call her at 603.352.3844 ext. 203 to reserve you space by January 10th.     http://www.livethegreendot.com/train_curriculum.html

Keene Green Dot Overview Presentation at KUUC

A Bystander Initiative to Reduce Power-Based Personal Violence

Wednesday, January 17th  .  6:30-8:00pm  .  Alliance Room

Save the Dates for Ferry Beach Get-A-Way Weekend!  May 11, 12 & 13, 2018    We will be sharing Ferry Beach with the Bedford, MA UU Church. We have been assigned 9 rooms, 7 in Quillen and 2 in Rowland as well as 3 rooms in the Cross Cabin.   Sign-ups will be on a first come basis.  We know that it is Mother’s Day Weekend. Bring Mom and help her celebrate with a relaxing weekend. If you need to return to Keene for Mother’s Day, leave after breakfast and be back in Keene by noon.   More information contact Jim Peale & Carol McIntyre-Peale:   pealefamily@gmail.com

For more information, contact the office: office@kuuc.org, 352-1719







You may be asking, what happened to that “mission” process we started in the Spring? You may wonder if we will be able to make the January 31st deadline for the new KUUC Mission Statement and Vision.  Of course, in the swirl of plans, deadlines and responsibilities that are at the center of your own lives, you might have entirely forgotten about that “vision thing” we started.  Or it is quite possible that you dismissed it as a waste of time, something where you have “been there, done that,” at work or even—many years ago—at this church.

First, here are the answers to your questions: The Visioning Process that we started Spring is very much alive. Together we discovered our three core values—Community, Compassion & Commitment—and Rev. Michael test-drove them in several memorable services in September, October and November. The Visioning Steering Group (Rebecca Baldini, Susan Chamberlain, Mickey Cronin, Melinda Hildreth-Honkala and Rev. Michael) has met regularly to prepare for the final stages of this huge effort. Finally, with all of us doing our part, the new Mission Statement & Vision should be in place by the end of January 2018.

But we NEED YOU to finish this work so together we can START living the Mission and acting on our Vision!!  Please join us, after a “hearty coffee” hour on December 10th, for the last developmental meeting of the Visioning Process.

Homework for the December 10th Visioning Session: “3 Churches”

To help you prepare for our session on December 10th please consider the following ideas that Rev. Michael presented to our KUUC Ministerial Search Committee back in 2012. We believe that it still has relevance today. Think about the “three churches” that Rev. Michael outlined back in 2012 and then answer the two questions that follow. Bring your answers to the December 10th meeting, not because we will go over them but to help prepare and inform you for that day. The Visioning Steering Team welcomes your responses however, if you care to share them with us.

First consider the “Three Churches”:

In the course of reading our “Congregational Record,” in his discussions with the Search Committee, and later, with the congregation, Rev. Michael, identified for the committee and church leadership two things that he thought were very important. The first was the desire “to do something together,” as a whole church (both children and adults) in the realm of social justice work. This eventually led to the creation of “Month of Sundays” as a way that that desire could become a reality.

The second was an even deeper question of our congregational identity, a matter that would not be as easily gotten to—certainly not through a single program. It is the Visioning Steering Team’s belief that the products of how each of us—and all of us—consider the question of “The Three Churches” may help us finish the Visioning Process and develop our mission.

Rev. Michael said he couldn’t discern who we were, and what type of church we wanted to be, and threw out these examples for the Search Committee and others he talked with at Candidating Week to consider and act on. The first question is this: which of these three church models do you think most closely describes the church we are now, or have been since you started coming to KUUC

The Home Church:

By this Rev. Michael was speaking about a church full of kind, free-thinking and liberal spirited people that is welcoming, but more inwardly oriented. In this type of church, the congregation, most of whom are generous with their time and do good work in the community, try to make a difference in the world, by acting on their native goodness and the UU Principles. The church is a place that the people return to for community, and to be reminded of that goodness and those principles. The church is a little like a battery; renewing the commitments and spirit of its members.

The Activist Church: This kind of church can be found throughout the Unitarian Universalist Association and in other denominations. The focus here is to direct the mission of the congregation, and much of its financial and human resources, to Social Action work or Social Justice ministries. This doesn’t mean that there is no life within the walls of the church, or that Sunday Worship is arid. What it does mean is that even those things are directed to supporting one or more—but not every possible—Justice issues. These ministry may include homeless ministry, prison ministry, sanctuary church issues, needle exchanges programs, economic justice action or Civil Rights work.

The Incubator Church:

In this church, in many ways the vision is vision. Again, this church has good worship, a strong sense of welcome and it encourages growth and community building. However, the focus is one of generating and supporting ideas; worship, programs and initiatives that are supported by the current energy and thinking of people within church, but aren’t necessarily expected to be part of the church forever, or may never officially be church programs at all. The best examples of this type of church might be seen in efforts such as the Community Kitchen (which we housed for a time), The Monadnock Interfaith Project (which started at a “Month of Sundays” Brainstorming session), the Community Breakfast (which started as a KUUC sponsored one day a week service project, and is now a six day a week, lay-led, interfaith program which will be leaving our facilities beginning next winter), “Month of Sundays” (a continuing KUUC program) and the Monadnock Time Exchange (which had its “soft launch” at KUUC and with whom, soon after we became organizational partners) .

So, our second question is this: Which of the “three churches” would you want us become—without taking concern for how it is that we would get there? One could easily find illustrations for all three of these models in the long and remarkable history of our congregation.

Once again, please come to this vitally important meeting on Sunday, December 10th. We won’t waste your time and we will achieve our ultimate goals.

—The Visioning Steering Team


KUUC = Mission x (Compassion, Community, Commitment and Vision)

The Keene Unitarian Universalist Church is equal to its Mission times its Values and Vision







“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.”  — Tuli Kupferberg

December is a beautiful month of holidays and holy days and gift-giving; when people of many faiths gather to celebrate “light” in its many natural and symbolic meanings. In December, folks the world over honor and rejoice in the return of light (Yule, Solstice, Pagan), the light of enlightenment (Bodhi Day, Buddhism), the light of restoration (Hanukkah, Judaism) and the hopeful light of a New Year (Ōmisoka, trad. Japanese). Perhaps it is fitting that in this month full of joy, sincerity and giving, that we are also building up our own light here at KUUC, and celebrating all that we are and can be as a community.

In the following pages, you will read about many important programs and initiatives, some of them a long time coming. They are just breaking out from the shadows now, and soon will bring new light, clarity and purpose to our beloved KUUC. We are in the final two months of having a new mission and vision for our church; and on December 10th we will take another giant step forward in that process. On December 31st we will begin a new edition of the magical, Multi-Generational “Month of Sundays” program. In January, we will celebrate the “Joy of Community” through worship, fellowship activities, field trips and outreach. Also, if you read on, you will be able to see how far along we have come in planning the first ministerial sabbatical at KUUC in 30 years!

These plans are worthy of celebration. They not only mean that we are going forward together, but each a clear sign that we are breaking patterns: the lack of a united vision or inspirational mission; the emphasis on situational, and often crisis-driven thinking; the years of deferred maintenance and inability to plan a campaign for our capital needs; the many short-term and interim ministries.

I do see a new world emerging in this old church—I am excited about it, and I hope you will begin to see and get excited about it too. I am certain that our shared ministry is truly becoming shared—which isn’t always easy terrain for the congregation, the professional minister or the rest of the staff to negotiate. I see in the sabbatical not only time set aside for my study and renewal, but more so an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and rejoice over all that we have done and what we are capable of doing together. I am not so much the starry-eyed dreamer to think that all of this will be easy, that it will come without hard-

work, occasional confusion, or even hurt feelings. There will be changes that we all need to acknowledge and even mourn. We won’t always get our way as we are “Building a New Way.”   What we will be is stronger and clearer about the direction of our shared journey. I promise you this: if we all generously participate and not hold back, and commit fully to each other, the result will not be some foreign, unrecognizable wilderness—which is always a fear in times of change—it will be the church you know becoming the gift you will give to “people you will never know.”

Yours in Faith and Fellowship

Rev. Michael 



Rev. Michael and the rest of the Sabbatical Committee have been hard at work preparing the sabbatical our minister will be taking from February 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. On November 20th our Board of Trustees approved the Sabbatical Proposal the Rev. Michael worked on with the Sabbatical Committee, (which includes representation from the Worship Committee, Personnel Committee, Staff and the Executive Council of the Board of Trustees). Rev. Michael also developed an exciting Worship Calendar (see below) that eventually filled each of the 20 weeks that he will be out of the pulpit!  Here is what we can share with you right now as there are still logistic and education brochures that are still in the works:

  • The Rev. Olivia Holmes has agreed to serve as sabbatical minister! Rev. Holmes has a very focused portfolio and fewer hours in five months than we have come to expect from Rev. Michael in one.
  • Rev. Holmes will be primarily responsible for leading worship 1x/month, supervising and evaluating the staff, and reporting to the Board of Trustees monthly. She will also be available for pastoral visits on a limited basis.
  • Rev. Michael’s sabbatical will focus on three areas: a study, renewal and new learning.
  • As much as we might wish to contact him about church business and as much as he might wish to attend Sunday worship at KUUC, there will be little contact with him around professional matters and only by certain identified people under particular and urgent circumstances.

Here is the Worship Schedule for the sabbatical:


Feb. 4: Olivia Holmes (Sabbatical Minister)

Feb. 11: (Reserved, Speaker TBA)

Feb. 18: Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy (Springfield, VT)

Feb 25: Judy Saunders 

MARCH 2018

March 4: Olivia Holmes (Sabbatical Minister)

March 11: Rev. Patrick McLaughlin, (Manchester, NH UU)

March 18: Rev. Sara Hayman, (Ellsworth, ME UU)

March 25: Rev. Sandra Whippie

APRIL 2018

April 1: Olivia Holmes (Sabbatical Minister)

April 8: Young Adult Group

April 15: Rev. Mark Glovin

April 22: Rabbi Amy Loewenthal (Congregation Ahavas Achim)

April 29: Music Sunday

May 2018

May 6: Olivia Holmes (Sabbatical Minister)

May 13: Rev. Sylvia Stocker (Brunswick, ME)

May 20: Kali Frye

May 27: Rev. Hank Peirce

JUNE 2018

June 3: Hazel Erdoben

June 10: “Gratitude Sunday”

June 17: Olivia Holmes (Sabbatical Minister)

June 24: Summer Services Begin


We hope you are as excited about this as we are!

Rev. Michael & The Sabbatical Committee

(Content Team) Dottie Bauer, Larry Dachowski & Tom Julius

(Logistics Team) Jill Hall, John Lowry, Ann Shedd & Rachael Walter



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.


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


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