September 2016 Newsletter

From the Minister…


Want what you have.  Do what you can.  Be who you are”

~Rev. Dr. Forrest Church

The moments in my life that I am most grateful for, the gifts I treasure, are just that gifts.  They are moments of love, or compassion or help that I didn’t deserve, that I didn’t earn.  I am lucky – I have never had to depend on the kindness of strangers to have enough to eat or to find somewhere to sleep.  But I have known grace.  We all have.  Every single person in this congregation has been given a gift that they didn’t earn – but changed their life for the better.

We know grace whenever we are loved – because love isn’t something we can earn.  We can do our best to deserve it – but in the end – we are loved simply for who we are – not what we do.

Every evening I do a gratitude practice.  I sit down with my journal and write down all of the things I am grateful for.  It swings wildly between the serious and the silly.  On one line I will write my gratitude for the amazing, perfect, possibility that lead to a tree and on the next I will remember that I am quite excited about my new toe nail polish.  The last line of this is always, always: for people who love me and people I love.

When we love people, it is a whole lot easier to want them to have everything – even things they didn’t earn – maybe especially things they didn’t earn.  We are called to love each other and then we are called to act on that love.  And we are so, so grateful.

In faith,

Rev. Aija Simpson


September Worship concludes “Words that Unite/Words that Divide” and will begin focusing on an Introduction to Principles

September 4 – Words that Unite/Words that Divide: “Guilt and Shame”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship assicate Gisela Roethke.

September 11 –  “Water: We Can’t Live Without It”    Cheryl Parsons is service leader with worship associate Michele Burton. Today’s service celebrates the many ways that water enhances our quality of life and also explores the challenges we face when our life waters become turbulent or in short supply.  Our much-loved water ceremony provides an opportunity for those in attendance to share either real or virtual water, along with a short reflection about how water has influenced their lives in the last year.

September 18 – “Principled”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.

September 25 – “Hey, Who Made This Decision?”  Rev. Aija Simpson will be preaching with worship associate Dick Poland.


Change for the World – Area M Special Olympics

Area M Special Olympics provides year round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities – giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.  All training and competitions are free of charge to athletes. Money raised through CFTW will be used to support 3 or 4 athletes from our area attending the state games in November.  The cost per athlete is approximately $75.  Area M’s service area covers Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, and Northern York counties.  You can visit their website at


New Membership Classes

Classes have been scheduled for anyone interested in becoming a member of UUCV or if you simply have a desire learn more about UUCV and the meaning of membership.    The kick-off class will be held on Sunday, October 30 from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm.  Lunch will be provided by the Membership Committee for the kick-off class.  Remaining classes will be held Sunday, November 6 and Sunday, November 20 both beginning at 12:30.  Feel free to bring a bag lunch.  Please contact Pam at 717/249-8944 or if you still wish to register or if you require childcare.


New Adult Religious Education Classes for Families

Programs for adults give us the chance to go deeper— intellectually, socially, ethically, and spiritually. From workshops to community service, covenant groups to discussion groups, meditation to marching—all in the context of a supportive spiritual community—Unitarian Universalism has much to offer adults beyond our Sunday services. We affirm a free and responsible search for truth and meaning from birth to death. Unitarian Universalism celebrates the ways that our needs, our hopes, and our beliefs change as life changes us. I am excited to tell you about a new offering at UUCV, Tuesday night Adult RE.  Every Tuesday night starting September 6th we will gather at 6:30 for Adult Religious Education.  I hope you will join me for one or more of the classes!


First Tuesdays – Parents as Social Justice Educators beginning September 6 , 6:30 pm  (Childcare Provided)

As we live in a world that seems to be increasingly engulfed in violence, we ask ourselves, how do we talk to our children.  How do we give them the information and tools that will allow them to feel empowered to work for change without overwhelming them with the sheer amount of work there is to be done?  Join Rev. Aija and other parents as we discuss tools to help us be the social justice educators our kids need.


Second Tuesdays – Hindsight, Humor & Hope: Who, Me, An elder?  Beginning September 13, 6:30 pm (Childcare provided upon request)

A Work in Progress – Join us as we explore the idea of elderhood as a creative and important time of life, a time to search inside, integrate experiences, and cultivate wisdom. Rituals and activities for the program, such as journaling, sharing blessings, and allowing for silence between speakers, will be established. Participants will begin to get to know one another and to create a community of elders learning together.


Third Tuesdays – The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit & Life beginning September 20, 6:30 pm (Childcare provided)

The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life is a program that gos far beyond “Financial Literacy 101” to include such topics as personal and cultural money stories, economic justice, classism, and the impact of our financial decision making on our ability to live lives of meaning and purpose. Their hope was that such a program would free congregations, families, and individuals to speak openly about a subject that is often fraught with unstated presumptions and unacknowledged tensions and would allow the creation of spiritually healthy approaches to money, generosity, economic justice, investment, and stewardship.

Why is it important to talk about money? We will think about the meaning of money and the ways one’s personal money issues can be a factor in living a fulfilling life. We consider the variety and complexity of individual and social dimensions of our relationships with money. Join Rev. Aija as we begin to develop a productive way of being together to explore money issues.


Fourth Tuesdays – Spirit of Life beginning September 27, 6:30 pm (Childcare provided)

Spirit of Life workshops offer participants space, time, and community to explore their Unitarian Universalist spirituality. Each focuses on a different aspect of the spiritual life, framed by the lyrics of Carolyn McDade’s song “Spirit of Life.” Like the song, the workshops are designed to be welcoming to Unitarian Universalists of many spiritual and theological persuasions. Participants are invited to claim an inclusive definition of spirituality and recognize the spiritual aspects of their lives. Reflecting, speaking, and listening are core activities in each workshop.

This introductory workshop gets participants in touch with spiritual moments in their lives. Rather than offering opportunities to discuss or debate the existence of something external called “spirit,” the activities help participants recognize and claim their own internal experiences of wonder, awe, and connection.


Adult RE Fall Schedule

Fall Adult RE Classes will be held at 9:00 AM on the second and fourth Sunday of each month in the Board Room from the beginning of September through the second week of December.  “Hot Topics” will now be referred to as “Adult RE Topics of Interest.”


“Adult RE Topics of Interest.”

September 11 –  A look at the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a “leading-edge Order of queer nuns” devoted to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges. The group originated in San Francisco in 1979 and has spread across the country and around the world. Travis Ferrell leads the discussion.


September 25 – The Trinity as metaphor and other variations on the theme of three. Explore a new way of looking at the traditional Christian Godhead. Throughout modern science in fields of phenomenology, physics, chemistry, psychology, and philosophy of mind the magic number of three constantly makes an appearance. What are the connections, if any, between this seeming disparate entities. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.


October 9 – Chakras of the body and other octaves. Learn about the traditional chakras mentioned in Yogic literature and how different systems utilize them. See how the seven chakras correspond to the major scale in music and how they fit into what some call the Ray of Creation. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.


October 23 – Part 1: 19th Century mystics and their movements and the influence on our culture. The 19th century produced a large number of new spiritual movements led by charismatic men and women, whom many would call mystics. Many of these movements still hold a significant place in our society. In this first of a two-part series we will discuss the Christian related movements including, Joseph Smith and the Mormons, Ellen Haron and the 7th Day Adventists, Charles Russell and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.


November 13  – Part 2: 19th Century mystics and their movements and the influence on our culture. In the second part of this series we will discuss non-Christian movements including, Paschal Beverly Randolph and the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, Helena Blavatsky and Theosophy, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and Swami Vivekananda and the Vedanta movement. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.


November  27 – Part 1: 20th century spiritual leaders and their movements and the influence on our culture. In this first of a two-part series we will discuss William Seymour and Pentecostalism, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy, and G. I. Gurdjieff and his teachings. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.
December 11 – Part 2: 20th century spiritual leaders and their movements and the influence on our culture. In the second part of this series we will discuss Hazrat Inayat Khan and the Sufi Order International, Paramahansa Yogananda and the Self-Realization movement, Swami Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta and the Hare Krishna movement, Sun Yung Moon and the Unification Church, L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Brian McPherson leads the discussion.


UUCV Small Group Ministry

From our UUCV website:  Our UUCV Small Group Ministry provides a safe space for personal and spiritual growth, fellowship, and enhanced relationships. Meeting once a month in members’ homes and at the church, our small groups are led by trained facilitators who encourage deep listening and the sharing of beliefs and feelings about chosen topics.  We believe that thinking, feeling and speaking about our experiences are essential elements for spiritual growth.

The success of our SGM program is the direct result of the work and leadership of our facilitators. Their dedication and involvement is extraordinary.  We therefore honor and thank the following small group facilitators: Bobbi Bassett, Rachel Teates, Char Klein, Jackie Page, Bee Miller, Joan Bechtel, Jon Tarrant, Art Berman, Dan Cozort, Ellen Buller, Dot Everhart, Rebekah Feeser, Anne Gero, Wendy Gebb, Kit Franklin, Michele Burton, and Ed Glasgow.

Our small groups are open to members and friends of UUCV. If you are not currently a member of our small group ministry program and are interested in more information about the program, please check the UUCV website and contact me or Reverend Aija.

Richard Bronakoski


UUCV – Helping PA State Parks

Sunday, September 11th – registration deadline for National Public Lands Day volunteers.  Everyone is welcome to register!  Park officials need our roster in advance for planning work and lunch.   Details are on the display in the social hall.  *Participants should watch for details regarding check-in procedures, clothing, and lunch details.*

Event date – Saturday, September 24th    Check-in by 8:45.    Work starts at 9:00am.

Contacts: Dee Lauderbaugh-  or Paula Terry-


Dessert And Documentary

SEE IT HERE BEFORE IT’S SHOWN ON PBS…A screening of the soon-to-be shown documentary DREAM ON will be held at UUCV on Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30 pm.  The documentary DREAM ON investigates the perilous state of the American Dream after decades of rising income inequality and declining economic mobility. In an epic road trip, political comedian John Fugelsang retraces the nearly two-hundred-year-old journey of Alexis de Tocqueville. Along the way he explores whether the optimistic spirit of the American Dream that Tocqueville popularized is alive and well in the twenty-first century or whether George Carlin was right when he famously quipped “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”  Bring a dessert to share with the group!


Remaining Open Auction Events

Ferns and more FALL SPECIAL – Ferns and more fall special! – Ferns have regrown after the drought and are now ready for moving from Carole DeWall’s garden to yours. If interested in these or other plants, including liriope, contact her at or at 249.3900. Cost is $10 for four ferns.

Fall Campfire – Saturday, October 1 at dusk  Gather ‘round a campfire at the Washingers and toast marshmallows and s’mores.  Campfire dinner included.  This is an all-age event and pets are also welcome!  Cost $15/pp

Oktoberfest and Volksmarch – Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Celebrate this traditional German event at Walhaus, home of Michele and Jim Burton.  It will start with a six-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail beginning at 9:00 am.  The ‘Fest with bratwurst and bier will begin at 1:00 pm for those who don’t hike.  There will also be an opportunity to take a guided walk of the POW camp nearby.  Cost $30/pp

Contact the host to sign up for their event.  Payment should be made to UUCV with “Auction” in the memo line and sent to Pam in the office.


Mental Health Workshop

UUCV is excited to be working with the Mental Awareness Association in providing an all day workshop designed for college age youth and adults on Mental Health Issues. The course gives an overview of understanding mental health issues such as depression, bi-polar, substance abuse, anxiety, and schizophrenia, The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 22 from 8:45 am until 5:00 pm in the Board Room.  The class size is limited to 30 people, so please contact Pam at 717/249-8944 or to register for the class.  A light breakfast and lunch will be provided


Book Group’s September Selection


argonautsJoin us on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to discuss The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. Recognized by many groups as one of the best books in 2015, this is an extraordinary memoir that will challenge your understanding of love, language, gender and family on many levels. From a Chicago Tribune review:  “In a culture still too quick to ask people to pick a side-to be male or female, to be an assimilationist or a revolutionary, to be totally straight or totally gay, totally hetero—or totally homo-normative—Nelson’s book is a beautiful, passionate and shatteringly intelligent meditation on what it means not to accept binaries but to improvise an individual life that says, without fear, yesand.”  Bev Ayers-Nachamkin will lead the discussion. Questions: contact Rich at



UUCV Grocery Cards

Remember to stop by the Grocery Card table after the service and purchase cards to Karns, Giant and Weis. We have $50 and $100 cards available. UUCV receives 10% of the face value of each Giant card and 5% of the face value of each Karns or Weis card. This is an amazing fundraising opportunity for UUCV! You can also purchase cards at the office Monday – Friday from 8:30 – 1:30.




auction rabbit.jpgThe World of Alice in Wonderland 

         UUCV’s 20th Annual Auction

Saturday, November 5 from 6:30 – 9 P.M

Admission $5    Bring a non-UUCV Friend for FREE!

Mad Hatters and Queens of Hearts! Make your way to the World of Alice in Wonderland!

Alice and the Queen will be holding court at our Auction on November 5, 2017! The scene will be set for a magical evening right here at UUCV. You won’t want to miss it! There will be a staffed nursery provided along with a fun program for our youth.

Our photo booth activity will return by popular demand! Through the magic of modern sorcery, you will be able to have your likeness immortalized for all time as you romp in the Land of Alice’s Adventures. Pose in your own costume or use some of the props provided. Enjoy the slide show of your photographs during checkout in the Sanctuary.

This is the UUCV family’s biggest social event of the year and also our biggest fund-raiser.  Support our community with your donations and most of all, with your presence.  And please consider donating your time as volunteers are always needed to help display our treasures.

A volunteer sign-up poster for food and drink donations, as well as opportunities to help in many other ways, will be located on the Auction table in front of the stage. Goods and services donation forms are available there as well as online at

This event is all about you! So be thinking about what you can donate to this year’s Auction event in Alice’s World. Sign-up events such as a themed brunches, lunches or dinners, Facebook 101, dog-sitting, a canoe for a weekend, a custom-baked pie; your imagination’s the limit. Popular Silent Auction treasures include fine collectibles, high-end hand-made items, classy jewelry, furniture, art, etc.

Let’s meet in the enchanted land and put the “Fun” in fund-raising. At UUCV, we’re one extended family. If you have any questions about how you can help or what to donate, please contact

Rita van Alkemade at

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