November 2016 NEWSLETTER

From the Minister…


Dear Friends,

There is a question I believe that we struggle with as a religious community.  How do we, a faith that is so open to the possibility of finding wisdom in surprising places, express a definitive statement of what we believe?

We can talk about what I believe.  Or what you believe.  But we…We is harder.  We have theists and atheists – pagans and Christian – Buddhists and Jews and everything in between and within.  Some of these beliefs are not exactly in harmony with one another.  Do we believe in a god?  What happens when you die?  What is the point of it all?  These are the questions that most of the western world thinks religion exists to answer.  And each of us could come up with very, very different answers to those huge, terrifying questions.

Uniformity of belief doesn’t work for us.  Too many of us have been told that what we believe is wrong to ever want to do that in our churches.  But there is another option.  Perhaps there is no one truth that we will all agree on.  But maybe there are ways of being that we can all agree on.  In this country, steeped as we are in Christian tradition, we tend to think of orthodoxy as the standard of religion.  But this isn’t always the case.  Judaism is actually a religion of orthopraxy.  Orthus still refers to straight, but praxy comes from the Greek root for praxia which means action.  So instead of right belief, we have right action.  For Jews, this means following the laws as handed down from in the Torah and interpreted over the millennia.  In Judaism it is what you do that matters, not what you think.

It is my contention that this sounds a lot more like us.  What you do matters.  It is guided by what you think, but it is by your actions that you will show your faith.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:  “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

That sounds like a theology I can get behind.  Or to put it another way – here is the great belief of Unitarian Universalism, one that I think we can all get behind:  what you do matters.  And Unitarian Universalism is here to help you figure out what to do.

In faith,

Rev. Aija


November’s worship theme is “Justice, Equity and Compassion”

November 6 – “Love Wins” We often speak of justice and compassion as though they might be in contradiction with each other. On Tuesday we will be called to make a decision in a campaign where both Justice and Compassion have often seemed in short supply. How do we bring these values out of the sanctuary and into the streets, the dinner table and yes, even into the polls? Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

November 13 – “Compassion? Equity? Justice?  In this Election?”   Dick Poland preaching with worship associate Dot Everhart.

November 20 – “We Offer Thanks” We offer thanks for the gifts we have been given. To what and to whom do those gifts behold us?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associates from the Mozambique Steering Committee.

November 27 – “But It’s Not Fair”   We often use the words justice and fairness as thought they were interchangeable. But are they. Are there some things that are just but just aren’t fair?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.


Change for the WorldSexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services/Cumberland County

The November Change for the world is Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services of Cumberland County.  The YWCA’s Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis program offers a 24-hour Hotline for victims of rape and sexual assault, accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings, individual counseling for victims and their significant others, support groups, advocacy, and prevention/education programs to professional and civic groups, and students in Cumberland County Schools  Services provided include a 24 hour toll-free Hotline, Counseling, Medical and Legal Advocacy, Protection from Abuse Orders, Preventative Education Programs, Girls Camp (week long camp for teen girls who have been victims of sexual abuse) and the Hero Project (a community based child sexual abuse prevention program to motivate adults to report child sexual abuse.)  All Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services are free and confidential.


Town Hall Meeting

Reserve the date:  Sunday, November 13 in the Sanctuary following the Worship Service.   These meetings are designed to foster a more open, transparent and collaborative relationship between the Board and the congregation.  We are looking forward to an open discussion, your questions, and share any particular concerns with our community.


OWL – Our Whole Lives

UUCV will be offering OWL – Our Whole Lives classes for grades 7th – 9th from November through June.  There will be a family meeting on Wednesday, November 9 to provide more details…time to be announced.  All youth grades 7 -9 are welcome to attend so bring your friends and their families to this informational meeting.  For early enrollment contact Mark at


UUCV Small Group Ministry

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. 

UUCV is the first UU church my partner and I have ever attended so we were totally unfamiliar with the concept of SGM.  Since we were also new to the Carlisle area, we wanted to find ways to establish closer connections with our community.  We’re not big on joining official groups, but we took a leap of faith and asked to become members of a Small Group.  Honestly, not a month passes without us marveling at what a positive, life-changing decision that was.

Recently, a newer member of UUCV remarked on her desire to have more spiritually oriented discussions with folks.  She lives in Shippensburg and getting to Carlisle, where all of the current SGM’s are based, is not always easy during the week.  We have a number of members who live in Shippensburg and it occurred to me that there’s no reason why you couldn’t start up an SGM closer to home; the same goes for members living to the north in the Camp Hill area.  If this is of interest to you or you would like to join an existing group, or simply want information about the program, contact either Rich Bronakoski at or Rev. Aija at to check out the possibilities – you’ll be glad you did!

Bev Ayers-Nachamkin


UUCV Office News

Beginning Monday, October 31, the UUCV office hours will be:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Wednesdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Also, from Thursday, October 13 until Tuesday, October 25, the office computer was out for repairs.  A back-up computer was being used but limited functions were available.  If you’ve contacted our Church Administrator, Pam Martin, during that time and haven’t received a response or support that you needed, please contact her again at  unfortunately, some information was lost during this timeframe.


Unity Rally

What if a hate group held a rally in Harrisburg and nobody came?  What if instead the community came together to celebrate equality and non-violence?  We can help that happen.  On Saturday, November 5th from 2 to 4 PM, let’s join with others at the “Speak Up for Unity” rally at Harrisburg High School.  This rally is in response to the news that a white supremacist hate group is planning to rally on the state Capitol steps as the same time.  It’s a chance for all of us to show our support for equality and non-violence.

Join Fellow UU’s With A $20 Gift To Chalice Lighters Three Times A Year

At a time when we need more UUs, your Chalice Lighter gifts keep the flame of Unitarian Universalism burning brightly.  Chalice Lighters pledge to contribute $20 or more, when the call comes to “light the chalice” for congregations in our region.  There are three calls each year.  Chalice Lighter funds help congregations through grants for staff positions and other innovative growth strategies.   Every dollar you contribute goes directly into these grants.

Combined with gifts from other UUs in our District, your gift helps to jump start new congregations and provides critical grant support to existing congregations.  Joseph Priestley District (JPD) Chalice Lighters in our 70 congregations in MD, PA, DC, DE, and NJ have combined their $20 or $40 or more in contributions to help start 7 new congregations over the last 25 years, adding 750 new Unitarian Universalists to our numbers.  UUCV has benefited from three Chalice Lighter grants, which initially helped us staff our RE Director, Music Director and Office Administrator positions.

$20 isn’t much to ask, but combined with thousands of others in the JPD, it enables congregations to build strong ministry, attract children, youth, and adults, and offer enhanced music services.  We have a goal of 33% participation in the Chalice Lighter program, and we need your help to reach that goal!

Those members who have given generously to Chalice Lighters in the past can take special pleasure in the knowledge that they are doing their part to strengthen Unitarian Universalism in our region.  Talk to our Chalice Lighter Ambassador Bev Motich during coffee hour on Sunday to make sure that you are on the list!

To find more information and for the on-line enrollment form visit


Thank You To The 2016 UUCV Lawn Mowing Team!

UUCV’s all-volunteer lawn mowing team does more than keep our grass trimmed and looking beautiful.  They also have a positive impact on our budget.  The seven team members gave of their time to mow a total of 28 times this summer.  Total cost savings to our budget is estimated to be over $2250, at the very least.

Please join our team next year!  You will help UUCV and your health because each time you mow you walk a 5K (3.1 miles).

THANK YOU to the 2016 team:

Max Lara                                             Jon Tarrant

RJ Lesch                                             Michael Wycha

Dave Mooney                                     Cindy Good

David Rutherford


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”

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.


1st Mondays Drum Circle!  The first Monday of the month join your community in rhythm! Monday, November 7, we’re hosting a free, all levels, community Drum Circle facilitated by Dani Fiore. A limited number of drums and percussion will be provided but please bring your own if you are able. Didgeridoo? Flute? Bring those, too! All acoustic instruments welcome! We will gather in the main RE classroom on the lower level of the church beginning at 6:00 PM.  Reduce stress, improve health and focus, learn something new, connect with others, breathe, relax, laugh, HAVE FUN!  Participation is FREE but a love offering will be gratefully accepted; a portion of which will be donated to the UUCV.

Meditation with Bhante These classes will be cancelled until further notice.  Bhante returned home to Sir Lanka due to the sudden death of his father.



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 change us. Every Tuesday night 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 at 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 – CLASS WILL BE CANCELLED THIS MONTH FOR ELECTION DAY!  This class will resume in December.


Third Tuesdays – The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit & Life at 6:30 pm (Childcare provided upon request)

The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit, and Life is a program that goes 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 at 6:30 pm (Childcare provided upon request)

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.



Auction News


Alice In Wonderland Auction

The auction is just days away! November 5–6:30 pm

Our Annual Auction is a highlight of the year for our Congregation. Not only is it our biggest fundraiser, it’s also a FUN raising, fun-filled evening!

The Auction catalog is available for pick-up in the office this week Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 1:30 pm so you can look over the offerings and think about what you might bid on.

So, get those Wonderland costumes ready, and we’ll see you at the Auction!


Kids Auction

UUCV will be offering childcare and a separate kids’ auction for any parents attending the auction on November 5.  Nursery care will be available as well as activities for kids under 12 including snacks, an auction (with play money), crafts/games and a movie.  If you child/ren plan to attend, please contact Mary Lynn Lynch at or 697-7019 so we have adequate coverage.


Book Group’s Selection Meeting

We read many interesting, challenging and fun books this past year and we are looking forward to the New Year.  Please join us on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to help select books for 2017. We are open to any subject, fiction or non-fiction. The books must be in print and easily available for purchase. We ask for no more than two suggestions per person.  We will take requests by email but our preference is that you be there.  Everyone present at this meeting will vote and we will set the schedule for next year. 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.


November – UUCV Social Justice Events


Project SHARE Food Distribution Days – SHOW UP to help on one of following days:

Tuesday, November 15th from 11:30 am to 2:15 pm

Wednesday, November 16th from 8:30 am to 11:15 am

Thursday, November 17th from 3:00 pm to 5:45 pm

Saturday, November 19th from 8:30 am to 11:15 am


Mozambique Bursary Project Kickoff Luncheon – Sunday, November 20th



Fine Pottery items are still available which will be sold at our Auction…  Checks, credit cards and cash all accepted!

This is a special opportunity to own a piece of Barbara Diduk’s pottery. Diduk’s works comprise the main focus of this offering, but the collection also features ten ceramic pieces from Dickinson College artist, Brooke Wiley, as well as a few pieces of select works of artists Mark Pharis, Minnesota; Paul Dresang, Wisconsin; Randy Johnston, Minnesota; Kei Hashimoto, Japan; Li Chao, China; Lynn Evans, New York City, and several Dickinson student pieces.

BARBARA DIDUK has taught at Dickinson College, Washington University, St. Louis, and Princeton University. Her work incorporates quasi-functional, sculptural ceramics developed from traditional vessel forms and modernist sculptural issues. At Dickinson, she teaches courses in ceramics, three-dimensional design, and sculpture. Barbara has received three Pennsylvania Arts Council artist fellowships, as well as artist residencies at the European Ceramic Work center in the Netherlands. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally, (The Vase Project in Jingdezhen, China) and is represented by Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City. Barbara is the recipient of the Dickinson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

BROOKE WILEY is the Studio Technician and Manager of the Goodyear Gallery at Dickinson College. She is a graduate of Grinnell College and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire.

This sale is part of a fund raiser to support the mission of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley.

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