The Drummer – Weekly Beats – December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017
· Sunday Service 17 December–Meantime Joy
Most of life is not a pinnacle moment, but a “meantime” between this and that. The “meantime” is not necessarily a boring place. It is as filled with life as any other time, whether marked by the rush of getting things done or the pain of living with an illness. In the Advent time of waiting for Christmas, we’ll remember the joy that can be found in the meantime.
Sierra-Marie, MSW, MDiv, is a recent graduate of Yale Divinity School, a ministerial candidate, a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and a former Unitarian Universalist religious educator. She is currently the Intern Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship. She lives with her wife and two children in New Haven.
· Soup and Bread Potluck & Holiday Concert/Carol Sing this Sunday December 17
Our annual Holiday Concert/Carol Sing will be held on 17 December. Immediately after the service, we will be having our traditional Soup and Bread Potluck, so be ready to fire up your Crock Pots and ovens. We will aim for the concert to start somewhere between 11:15 and 11:30. Please feel free to invite friends and family.
· Christmas Eve Service Need
Does anyone have one of those electric fireplaces (it doesn’t even need to work) we could use as a set piece for the Christmas Eve service? If so, could you bring it this Sunday and/or contact Peter and Ellen.
· Religious Education for Children
This week we discuss Hanukkah while assembling PB&J sandwiches.
Going Forward – New Time Religious Education for Children or Faith Formation will be “experilearning” from 22 October through the end of 2017 with a different schedule. We will continue to worship all together at 10 AM each Sunday, after our refreshment break, children and teachers will gather for religious education in the “Second Hour”. So far, the Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala and Molly Nolan. A couple people have expressed interest in participating in RE for children. The team would benefit with one more core member and a roster of volunteers willing to assist with class. Ideally, two adults are with the children at all times. Could that person be you? Please contact Karen or Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Guest at Your Table
The Guest at Your Table program kickoff was part of worship on 26 November. Even if you were unable to attend the service, you can pick up your collection box or envelope and your copy of the Stories of Hope on the table in the back of the Sanctuary. Guest at Your Table is an invitation to engage in understanding and support of the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). More information about Guest at Your Table and the UUSC can be found at: https://www.uusc.org/welcome-to-guest-at-your-table/
· Small Group Ministry Will Enrich Your UUCGB Experience
The call is still out for participants in UUCGB’s Small Group Ministry experience for this church year. If we don’t hear from at least five interested members or friends by Sunday, December 1, we will not able to offer SGM this yeaand that will be a loss for us all.
If you are a newcomer to UUCGB and do not feel truly connected yet, participation in these discussion sessions can help you feel more comfortable and confident to explore and share milestones on your faith journey. If you have been around for a while, SGM can help develop and strengthen friendships with fellow members and followers and greatly enrich your church experience.
We’ve recently learned that Thursday evenings are difficult for some. We chose Thursday evenings only because it is the one night when there are fewer regularly scheduled “church” meetings. Perhaps there is another evening or time in the week more convenient for those who have an interest in SGM. If this is your situation, please talk to one of our facilitators and let us know when you would be available. It would be wonderful if we could find a time convenient to at least five individuals. We are considering holding sessions at UUCGB if that would be more convenient to participants, Please contact either Al Post, Anita Sanders, Virginia Smith, or Jennifer Winschel with your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you.
· UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The book for January will be The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.
The January meeting will be Saturday, January 27th at 10am
The book for February will be Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
· UU Meriden becomes a Sanctuary Congregation
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Meriden and the congregation’s recently formed Chalice Sanctuary Team made arrangements to provide sanctuary to Sujitno and Dahlia Sajuti. Sujitno came to the US as a Fullbright Scholar and then returned to work on a PhD through UConn. He overstayed his student visa and to date has not been able to attain documented status.
UUCGB has offered help to UUCM. We have been asked to get a group together who are able to individually stay overnight at UUCM a few times as needed. Please email President@uucgb.org if you are interested.
· UUA Disaster Relief Fund
Our UU friends and neighbors in Florida and the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—have experienced extraordinary devastation following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. UU friends in California have experienced devastating damage due to wildfires. We invite you to contribute to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund (formerly the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund) so the UUA can provide financial assistance to UU congregations impacted by these and other natural disasters. In addition to facilitating their own disaster recovery, congregations receiving disaster relief funds will have discretion to provide financial assistance to their members, as well as to support local partner organizations serving the community at large. For more information, including suggestions for how to contribute beyond the UU sphere, visit our website https://www.uua.org/giving/areas-support/funds/disaster-response.
· Tuesday Evening Taize Prayer Service
Our contemplative Service of Evening Prayer is a service consisting of repetitive singing of chants, readings, prayer and periods of silence, in order to reach a contemplative state. The Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic order in France, founded in 1940 to promote peace and justice through prayer and meditation. Our service mirrors Taizé-style attention to silence, holy words, prayer, and singing, but has also evolved to include other meditative traditions, as well.
Service begins at 7p, each Tuesday, and lasts 30min.
· This Week in UU History
12/15/1588 – Peter Gonesius professed his Unitarian ism at the Synod of Brzesc in Poland. Said to be to Polish Unitarianism what Francis David was to Transylvanian Unitarianism, Gonesius was the first of the Polish Anabaptist reformers to publicly declare the union of two theologies—the use of adult reasoning in achieving faith and the monotheistic nature of God.
12/20/1697– Thomas Firmin, a friend of John Biddle, died at age 65. A Unitarian leader during most of the 17th century, he wrote Unitarian tracts and books and was very gernerous to Unitarian causes and victims of persecution. Although he never officially left the Church of England, Firmin did not engage in religious disputes but devoted himself to practical benevolence, He was regarded as a great friend and benefactor of Unitarian churches and underwrote the cost of printing many Unitarian books.
12/21/1563 – The anti-Trinitarian Bernardino Ochino was expelled from Zurich, Switzerland at age 76 and in the winter, for publication of Dialogues (1531), the authorities claiming that he had written in favor of polygamy.
UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:
Sunday 12/17, 10:00 am worship “Joy” with Worship Leader Sierra-Marie Gerfeo and Worship Weaver Sarah Miller
Sunday 12/17, 11:30 am Bread and Soup Luncheon
Sunday 12/17, 11:30 am Holiday Concert & Singalong
Tuesday 12/19, 7:00 pm Taize Service
Wednesday 12/20, 7:00 pm Choir Practice
Sunday 12/24, 10:00 am worship Christmas Eve Stories and Songs “Love” with Worship Leaders Ellen Hardy and Peter Morse
12/24 Sunday Service: Christmas Eve Stories and Songs “Love” with Worship Leaders Ellen Hardy and Peter Morse
12/31 Sunday Service: “Imagine” with Worship Leader Mike Ingber
December Office Hours
I am close to determining standing office hours; we are still waiting on reports from doctors to chart the path forward with my mother. For the next two weeks Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 1 pm. Please get items for the Order of Service and the Drummer into the office as soon as possible, Wednesday 9 AM at the latest.
Thank you for your good wishes and schedule flexibility!
Molly Nolan, office administrator
Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to email@example.com by Wednesday at 9 am! The weekly email is sent every Thursday evening!
Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport
275 Huntington Road
Stratford, CT 06614