January 7: Faith Without God?

10 AM with Rev. Patience Stoddard

Is it possible to be religious and not believe in God or the eternal soul?   Religious Humanists would say “Yes.” Humanism has been a dominant faith perspective of Unitarian Universalists for much of the last century. What are some of its core principles and how might they speak to our current situation?

Simultaneous children’s religious education

December 31: Celebrate the New Year in Poetry

10 AM with Dr. Ed Greenlee

Join us for a relaxed worship service on December 31, 2017 at 10 am. We will share poems, experience meditative silence, and listen to a short message on Henry David Thoreau whose 200th birthday was celebrated earlier this year. Everyone is invited to participate in our service. Please bring one meaningful poem to share. We will also have some poems on hand so that everyone who would like can share in the reading.

Dr. Ed Greenlee is the team leader for the Worship Arts Program at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Ed earned certificates in Unitarian Universalist Studies and Multi-Religious Studies from Starr King School for the Ministry, as well as a D.Min. from the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies (New York and Maryland). Ed is an ordained interfaith minister.

Simultaneous children’s religious education


December 24: Two Services!

10 AM Intergenerational Christmas Service with Pageant – Sparrow F. Alden and Rev. Patience Stoddard.

All are welcome in the stable – from little lambs to wise ones bearing gifts, please come as  you are in this story for all ages.  Yes, dinosaur footy pajamas are fine.  So are stars.  We will use our beloved carols to tell the story of the Nativity.  No rehearsal, no telling who will make it to the stable!

6 PM Quiet Candlelight Service

We will read from the gospel according to Luke, sing the soft hymns, and wonder about the Miraculously Ordinary Story of a Baby.

Pick-up choir rehearsing at 5 PM, join us!

December 17: Two Services!

10 AM  Solstice and Christmas: Radical Images of Equality~Rev. Patience Stoddard Simultaneous children’s religious education

6:30 PM  Celebrating the Solstice~ Please join Patience and Sparrow for a Winter Solstice observance to turn the Wheel of the Year.  Chants and some gentle movement will honor the sun’s standstill and return.  If there is snow on the ground, we might have a snow labyrinth, so please wear your warm boots.  Feel free to bring your own short readings or songs to share.


December 3: Great Expectations

10 AM with Rev. Patience Stoddard

The Advent season is often described as a time of expectation and hope, but there are differences between these two attitudes. Expectations can be attached to specific outcomes, often leading to disappointment. Hope is not as defined by time or specificity and has room for set-backs and struggle. How do we stay hopeful in this difficult time?

 Simultaneous children’s religious education

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 BBrawley@mac.com.) 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