Holiday Events

Carol Sing at UUCUV–Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 7:30 PM

UUCUV will host the Second Annual Community Carol Sing in the UUCUV Sanctuary. All are welcome to come with family and friends to sing songs of the season. It is informal. Participants request specific songs, and the group sings them with gusto, accompanied  by piano. There will be music and word sheets for all. During a refreshment break, Jane Sachs and Jo Shute will lead their bell choir in favorites of the season. Please join us for an evening of fellowship and musical fun!

Holiday Blue Vespers Wednesday, December 19, 6:00 PM (UUCUV)

If you would like to take a breath, have some quiet and reflective time in a small group, or if for you this holiday season is more challenging than merry, please join us for this contemplative vespers service.

Christmas Eve Services–Monday, December 24

            4:30 PM Christmas Pageant with Sparrow

                                     simple potluck

            6 PM Candlelight Service with Rev. Jan


Come Caroling & Visiting Nursing Home residents on Christmas Morning!  Dec. 25

Once again we will be visiting two area nursing homes on Christmas morning to bring good cheer to the residents. You are welcome to bring cards and your singing voice – though no singing ability is required!  Song sheets will be provided.  We will hand out some holiday cards and stuffed animals.  We will visit Hanover Terrace on Rt .10  in Hanover at 10 AM, and Genesis – Lebanon Center near Wilson Tire off Rt. 120 in Lebanon at 11 AM. If there is sufficient interest we may form a carpool from the meeting house.  Come to one or both! For more information contact Rich Greenlee: or 802-436-1150.


Indian Dinner –Nov. 16 at 6:30 PM

Enjoy a menu of favorites from past dinners including:

Chicken Korma

Chickpea dal in brown onion sauce

Pumpkin and coconut puree

Aloo Gobhi (potatoes & cauliflower)

and more…..

To reserve email or

This dinner is a fundraiser to send our minister and four UUCUV women

to visit our partner church in Mukhap, India in February.

A minimum donation of $20 is suggested.

24th Annual Pods for the Pulpit Craft Fair—Nov. 23 & 24

10-4 at Tracy Hall in Norwich, VT

Twenty-three years ago, the UUCUV’s Social Responsibility Committee wanted to raise funds for charitable giving. We came up with the idea of making star shaped ornaments from milkweed pods to sell. Although we no longer make the ornaments, we have kept the name, Pods for the Pulpit, because it has become so well known. Money raised at the Fair (it’s been around $10,000 in recent years) goes to Ways and Means with half dedicated to charitable giving and half benefiting the UUCUV.

According to chairwoman Sally Page’s calculation, over the past 23 years we have given away over $150,000 to various local non-profits (which are selected each year by the congregation at our annual meeting). This year the two that will benefit are The Haven (which we all know about) and UV Strong, which helps people in Vermont and New Hampshire affected by natural disasters, especially floods.

A Sunday Morning Experiment

During the month of March, you will see a few changes to the service in the opening moments.  In their ongoing work to introduce the congregation to different pacings, formats, and styles of worship, they have accepted my proposal to create the service opening on four Sundays, culminating in Children’s Sunday on March 25th.

Please expect the opening fifteen minutes of worship to be quickly paced, full of hymns that are easy for young singers, and joyfully accepting of toddlers who need to wriggle their bodies.  Families with young kids will have special roles to fulfill.

We wondered whether folks who are uncomfortable with the high energy of active children might begin to be late to the services… and then realized that would be all right.  While we all recognize the value in true intergenerational interaction, nothing’s going to be lost by a one-month experiment.

I look forward to seeing you in March, my friends, Sunday mornings at 10 AM sharp.

ANNOUNCEMENT of Congregational Meeting to be held on February 11, 2018

ANNOUNCEMENT of Congregational Meeting to be held on February 11, 2018

In accordance with the Bylaws of the UUCUV, the Board of Directors will hold a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, Febryary 11, 2018 at 11:30 am.  This meeting is called in respponse to request form a group of members and friends who met on Social Justice issues on January 21, 2018.  The Meeting will consist of a single issue on whether we should put up the “Black Lives Matter” sign outside of the UUCUV Meeting House.

The Motion is: The Board asks that the UUCUV members approve the display of a “Black Lives matter” sign outside of the Meeting house.

We hope that everyone will be able to attend this meeting to vote.  While the UUCUV does not allow for proxy votes, if you are not able to attend, you are invited to write a note in agreement or in opposition to the Motion.  Please direct your note to the Board prior to the meeting by email or mail and the notes will be read at the meeting to have your opinion stated.

Child care will be provided.  Please contact a member of the Board if you have questions.

President’s Message

Like all of you, I have so many feelings since the events in Charlottesville VA – outrage and deep sadness at the senseless murder of Heather Heyer, disgust at the lack of leadership in denouncing the white supremacist Neo-Nazi groups, and a restlessness calling me to action, but a sense of helplessness as to what to do. I tell myself that the church needs to respond. We need to just put up the “Black Lives Matter” sign right now and stand up. But I know this is not a unanimous decision by the congregation and I cannot move forward unilaterally. I want to assure you that we did not drop the ball on this issue after the Annual Meeting. On Sunday August 27th, Patience addressed the issue of race and action and I shared my experiences from the UUA General Assembly in New Orleans from June regarding the racial healing work being done at the UUA. (See story in this issue of the Call, page 12). But as ready as some of us are to move, there are some in the congregation that voiced discomfort and disagreement with the movement. And so, we have to once again take a deep breath and step back. We need to find other ways to talk together and become more educated in the issues surrounding the Black Lives UU. It is slow going. Process can be tedious. But, being in right relations and in community with each other is hard work. We need to learn to talk together and deeply listen to each other to be sure that all voices are heard. We need to move forward with intention. The Board needs to grapple with how decisions are made on what goes up in front of our building. But doing nothing also sends a message. Being silent is being complicit. Bill Brawley is starting to mobilize people interested in social justice work. Please let us know if you are interested in this effort. (Bill can be reached at I believe there are ways to become a voice for social action while still listening to each other and trying to find common ground. Many of us do our social action work outside of the church with other groups. Although that is satisfying, I still believe that the UUCUV needs to be a united voice in the Upper Valley. A place where we live our values and where people who are struggling with injustice can find allies. May we work together to find a way to respond to the hate and terrible injustice in our country. And may you all hold our congregational leadership accountable if we don’t work fast enough.

~ by Lori Fortini, reprinted from the Autumn 2017 newsletter

Beyond Categorical Thinking: Workshop Summary

The Unitarian Universalist Association (of which we are a part) offers a workshop called Beyond Categorical Thinking to any member Unitarian Universalist church that has embarked on a ministerial search.  It is designed to help congregations see beyond societal categories that might sometimes constrict our choices, and to consider prospective ministers who might not fit into our “categorized” thinking.

The UUCUV Ministerial Search Committee arranged for such a workshop on September 24th, 2017. It turned out to be an extremely hot and sunny day. After the Sunday service given by Jacqui Williams (the facilitator), approximately 38 workshop participants enjoyed a lovely lunch provided by the Board.

After lunch, Jacqui spoke to us at length on how easy it is to put people of color, people with a disability, people who are LGBTQ+, and people who are young or old into categories that may prevent us from seeing their value as a minister, a member or a friend of a congregation. She gave us examples from around the country.

The first workshop exercise was to imagine growing up as someone different than who we are. We counted out the numbers 1,2,3,4 around the room, and Jacqui then assigned these scenarios: 1 was born into a family of color, 2 was born with a mental or physical disability, 3 was born gay or transgender, and 4 was assigned a different (than what they are) sex at birth.  Each person had to consider how their life would have been different given those circumstances. It was interesting to hear the discussion and to realize how we are so affected by the happenstance of our own situations.

Next we formed groups of five or six, each group facilitated by a member of the search committee. Each group was given about 5 case studies of uncomfortable situations (that had actually happened in UU congregations) regarding attitudes toward a person of color, Latino/a, Hispanic, LGBTQ, disabled in various ways, young or old, formerly addicted, obese, and formerly mentally ill.  Our task was to choose one of the situations, determine whose problem the situation was, and discuss what would have been the most appropriate response. This challenging exercise compelled us to grapple with our own attitudes as well as to think about the integrity of those in the case study and the greater good of the congregation.

Finally, we were asked to fill out a survey that assessed what our concerns would be regarding ministers of color, LGBTQ+ ministers, and ministers with disabilities, and what the benefits would be of having such a person as minister. In general, participants said the benefits would include educating the congregation, broadening our thinking and responses, living our principles, and helping to reduce prejudice. Participants’ concerns about these categories brought up some important points to consider.

In response to some people’s concern about whether a minority minister would be comfortable or happy here, Jacqui pointed out that actually, people who are members of minorities have a lifetime of experience of being a minority in a majority-dominant culture, and they have the agency and intelligence to know what they’re getting into and to make their own choices. Their comfort is really not for us to discern or even to worry about on their behalf.

Jacqui’s response to those who don’t like the statement “Black Lives Matter” and would replace it with “All Lives Matter” was, “When your house is on fire, and the fire department responds, they don’t water all the houses equally.  They put the water on the house which is burning.”  To say, in response to “Black Lives Matter” that “All Lives Matter” is to refuse to acknowledge that in the United States currently (and historically), black lives are significantly more in jeopardy than white lives.

In response to some people’s concern about the functionality and longevity of ministers with certain disabilities, Jacqui pointed out that ALL ministerial candidates with the UUA go through a vetting process, which includes a psychological screening and a criminal background check.  All ministerial candidates who have a history of mental illness and/or addiction must have been effectively treated and functional for a period of time, such that they are capable of doing the job and worthy of being in the candidate pool.

Jacqui told us that the most common disability is hearing impairment.  According to Google, hearing loss afflicts about 20% of the population, while over 40% are nearsighted.  However, nearsightedness is almost always easily fixed, while hearing impairment is more difficult to fix.

Participants grappled with concern about issues of too young, too old, and obesity, and how such circumstances would or would not hinder a minister’s ability to fit well and function well in our congregation. Jacqui advised that many searching congregations are also grappling with these concerns, and responses depend on the history and circumstances of each congregation as it seeks the best fit.

The Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop was challenging, interesting, and educational! Thanks and kudos to all who took time on a sunny, hot Sunday afternoon to participate, thus giving the Search Committee a wealth of thoughts and ideas for our process going forward, as we seek a minister who best fits our unique congregation.

From the Ministerial Search Committee

Joani Nierenberg, Grace Alden. Kathy Christie, Leah Goat, Maureen McNulty, Bob Riccio, and Mandy Ruest