Hope begins in the dark, it’s a stubborn hope that if you just show up
and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work!
~ Anne Lamott
What does it mean to be a people of hope? This coming Sunday, December 10, we will begin our month-long worship exploration of this question by asking specifically: How might we talk about hope in this season without resorting to light overcoming darkness? The message for the morning is titled “A Meditation on Hope in the Dark Season.” Please plan to join us!
I want to feel hopeful, but I don’t want to be split—one side or the other. I don’t want to demonize the dark or lionize the light. I want to search for the spiritual blessings in both and I want to engage the spiritual challenges in both. I don’t want to be divided within myself or against the world. I don’t want hope to emerge at the expense of wholeness. I am hopeful, but not for anything that requires the waging of some cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil. I want to be very careful, in speaking about hope, not to re-inscribe these pernicious false dualisms because, in the end, I believe they diminish our humanity. I believe they diminish Nature—the earth. I believe they diminish any worthwhile concept of divinity.
~ Joshua Mason Pawelek
You can read more about our monthly theme as well as explore some supplemental resources here.
And if you happen to miss being in worship on any given Sunday, the texts to previous sermon messages
(and some of the readings as well) can be found in our website sermon archive.
December Worship Theme: What Does It Mean to Be a People of Hope?
December 17: “Festivals of Winter: Between Darkness and Light” – a multigenerational service
December 24 at 10:30 a.m.: “Radical Hope”
December 24 at 7:00 p.m.: “Carols by Candlelight”
December 31: “The Burning Bowl – Welcoming the New Year” Lay Leader: Ricky Courlander
Notice: Student Documentary Project – Filming this Sunday, December 10
This coming Sunday, CMU student filmmaker Theresa Polgar will be joining us during our worship service to shoot some footage for a documentary film she is producing about the UUFCM. She will be as unobtrusive as possible during the service, stationing herself at the back of the sanctuary at the vestibule entryway. Consider yourselves forewarned! And please know that the signing of release forms will be required before any footage is finalized for the project.
On Being a Welcoming People – Gentle Reminders
While it is a lovely thing that we are so very comfortable together as a community, sometimes in our familiarity we can develop habit patterns that can lead to our being less mindful of the new people in our midst. So…it is time for some gentle but direct reminders of behaviors that will help us be more hospitable in our welcome of newcomers:
- Be willing to seat yourself on the north side of the sanctuary (the choir side) during worship so as to leave ample seat availability near the entrance for both newcomers and late arrivals – it’s a kindness. Nothing like being forced to make a long trek in front of everyone to find a seat when you’re visiting a place for the first time.
- Allow our minister time immediately after the service to meet and welcome our guests and newcomers. She often gets swamped up front right after our benediction – and while it’s all a lovely swamping of various responses and gratitudes – we need to provide her the time to make connections with our newcomers. Wherever she stations herself after worship – whatever doorway or hallway she ends up in – it’s ok to make contact, just don’t use that time to engage in long conversation. Allow her space to greet as many others as possible as they exit the service. Catch up with her during coffee hour or leave her a note in the office letting her know you would like to talk.
- Similar to some of us having favorite seats in the sanctuary, many of us slip into patterns following worship in the social hall as well – we have favorite seats and people we like to sit with and sometimes forget to consider the new people among us. Whether you attend coffee hour in the social hall or do your socializing after service in the sanctuary or elsewhere in the building – please be mindful of the newcomers among us…welcome and include them.
Last Call! Volunteer for Christmas Outreach
Distribution for all items (coats, boots, linens, etc.) will be at Finch Fieldhouse on the CMU campus this Friday, December 8, from 9am-4:30pm, and Saturday, December 9 from 9am-2:30pm. Volunteers are needed to serve 2-hour intervals on those days to help parents choose books for their children. Contact Beth Macleod (firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-772-0595) if you would like to volunteer.
Holiday Tea and Treats Celebration with Nutcrackers - Sunday, December 10
Please bring a goodie to share and/or a nutcracker to display on our tables on Sunday, December 10th! Nutcrackers come in a variety of sizes and characters now, so bring one or two of your favorites to display as a part of our six table centerpieces, while we enjoy each other and our tea and goodies after the service. Please be sure put your name on the bottom of the base to avoid confusion. Looking forward to sharing the cheer of the season with you!
Remind-er - In Case You Missed It!
Please add this app to your smartphone, laptop, or ipad/tablet...REMIND! This is the method we will use to notify you of fellowship service closings and event announcements. You will be getting an invitation from Laura McBride. If you want it sent to an email address versus a cell phone number, let Laura know.
Add the app to your technology of choice. Direct questions and requests to Laura McBride (989.772.5512; Lmcbride010@gmail.com).
RE Caroling - Sunday, December 17
RE children and youth will be caroling after service. If you would like to volunteer to help drive/come sing with us, please contact Anna VanArsdaleHoot (email@example.com; 517.930.6927).
CUUPs Celebrates Winter Solstice - Sunday, December 17
Yule, the winter solstice, is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. It's also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving. We invite those of you who are interested in participating in this ritual to bring an item of food or drink to share at the potluck that follows the ceremony. We will gather at 6:30 pm and begin our ceremony promptly at 7:00 pm.
Church Clean-up Campaign - December 28/29
We need volunteers to help us clean up the church before the start of the new year. We will be cleaning inside windows, washing walls, sanitizing the toys in the infant room, organizing the kitchen cupboards, etc. Please sign-up in the Coffee Community Center (a.k.a. Social Hall) for Thursday, December 28th and/or Friday, December 29th. We will be working from 10:00-4:00, with lunch from 12:30-1:30. If you would like to provide soup, bread or a dessert for our meal, you can sign up for that, as well. Please bring any cleaning supplies that you would like to, but that is not required. We look forward to working and dining together! Thank you.
To Whom Should We Give Our End-of-Year Donations?
Your Social Justice Coordinating Team would like to suggest that your donations in the holiday and end-of-year giving season be given to meet local, national, and global needs with a focus on advocacy for change locally, nationally, and internationally for global justice and peace. We believe that our donations should not only provide balm for the wounds of injustice but also should change the conditions that create injustice and poverty. We have created a document with further information and some suggested organizations that support justice.
Please Think Before You Spritz
This message is a request for mindfulness as well as an effort to raise awareness. There are people who attend services and other activities at our fellowship who have fragrance allergies/chemical sensitivities. Being in close proximity (which is difficult to avoid in our small space) to folks wearing cologne, perfume - even heavily scented soaps/shampoos - can cause a range of uncomfortable symptomatic reactions. While we like to think of ourselves as a diverse bouquet as a faith community, the literal mixing of so many different scents (as opposed to the metaphorical mixing) can be a health hazard for some of us. We ask that you keep this in mind when considering your choice of personal care/hygienic applications. Thank you!
“Hansel and Gretel” on Saturday, December 9 at 12:55 at Celebration Cinema
This whimsical opera by Humperdinck is a holiday presentation from the Metropolitan Opera, which delights young and old. It starts at 12:55 and runs for 2 hours with one intermission. Take your children, grandchildren or your neighbors’ children for this “must see” spectacle.
Classics @ The Presby Recital Series - Sunday, December 10 at 4 pm at the First Presbyterian Church
Come hear ‘Dueling Keyboards’ with Adrienne Wiley and Mary Jo Cox. Works for piano-4 hands, duets for piano and organ, as well a work for piano duet and tuba, featuring Mark Cox. Refreshments and Starbucks coffee provided. Come as you are! Free!
Sing-Along “Messiah” - Friday, December 15 at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church
All are invited. Bring your score to sing along or just come to hear many of the famous choruses and solos. Always uplifting!
Scratch a cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.
~ George Carlin
Let us be mindful to leave the parking spaces directly across from our Wisconsin entrance open
for our friends who have mobility issues. Thank you for your consideration.
The deadline for submissions to the Order of Service Insert and the UUFCM weekly e-News is
Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service Cancellation Policy
In case of inclement weather, a decision to cancel the service will be made by 9 a.m. There are multiple ways to learn the status of a Sunday service in our snowy months. Members and friends may request to join the
Remind app and receive cancellation news via a text or email. In addition, an announcement will be posted on Facebook as well as sent directly via email. Those who are not online will be phoned. If you have questions, call Laura McBride (989-772-5512). We hope we won't have to resort to this very often, but we live in Michigan after all, so we need to be prepared!
UUFCM Board of Trustees for 2017-2018
President: Norma Bailey (989.560.3952; email@example.com)
Past-President: Laura McBride (989.772.5512; firstname.lastname@example.org)
President Elect: Mary Alsager (989.773.2595; email@example.com)
Treasurer: Chris Bailey (989.775.8257)
Assistant Treasurer: Ricky Courlander (989.772.4457; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Secretary: Brigitte Bechtold (989.954.1123; email@example.com)
Trustee: Janis Shinn (989.400.3724; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trustee: Joyce Henricks (989.400.9743; email@example.com)
Trustee: Ethan Kolek (413.387.7321; firstname.lastname@example.org)