December 2016 NEWSLETTER


From the Minister…


What does your heart seek?  Are you ready to shout your joy from the rooftops?  Does your soul cry out for help?  Is the glory of the universe that we are surrounded by threatening to overwhelm you?

Whoever you are, however our spirit moves – you are welcome here.  You are wanted here.  You are needed here.

We are waiting….


In faith,

Rev. Aija



December’s worship theme is “Acceptance and Spiritual Growth”


December 4 – “St. Niklas: A Generous Spirit” Gisela Roethke will talk about the historical St. Nicholas and his role at the Council of Niceae as service leader.  Worship associate Rachel Teates.

December 11 – “Faith’s Power”  As we prepare for the season of Festivals of light, we explore the Chanukah story and the quest for religious freedom.  Julie Ham is service leader.

December 18 – “Other People’s Spirits”  How do we honor the deepest truths of each others lives. In the season of Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice, Kwanza and more, how do we make space for other people’s traditions while we honor our own.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

December 25 – “Christmas Eve”  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Rachel Teates.



Change for the World – Carlisle’s Hope Stationhope-station

Since 2000 Carlisle’s Hope Station has worked to lift up the entire neighborhood –  by tackling what it has identified as the community’s most difficult problems –  through education, technology, job development and, most of all, by teaching children to become leaders by learning to respect themselves and others.  Examples of activities sponsored by Hope Station are a Kids Café, Cubs Scouts/ Girl Scouts, a Summer Food Program, Youth Leadership Program, Bicycle Repair and a Black History Festival.

Hope Station is located at 149 West Penn Street, Carlisle.  Additional information is available through its website at


Winter Solstice Celebration 

With the coming of the Winter Solstice , it is a time to gather and reflect .  The UUCV hospitality committee is planning a soup dinner to celebrate the winter solstice.  Celebrate the longest and darkest night of the year. The beginning of the new sun, to grow higher and higher in the sky to warm the earth. Gather for hot soup and warm friendship. Sunday, December 18, at

Noon in the Dining Room.  There are sign-up sheets in the Social Hall if you are interested in contributing to this event.



UUCV Social Justice Events

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

Tuesday, December 13th from 11:30 am to 2:15 pm

Wednesday, December 14th from 8:30 am to 11:15 am

Thursday, December 15th from 3:00 pm to 5:45 pm

Saturday, December 17th from 8:30 am to 11:15 am



Let ‘em Hear You

You probably know by now that the vote on Carlisle’s proposed Equality Ordinance is scheduled for December 8th. Yes…it is important that we SHOW UP to show support for this Ordinance.  However, it is also very important that we let the council members know your views before December 8. Likely they will decide how to vote before the meeting. You can find email addresses for all council member here:…/mayor-council/  Even if you are not a resident of Carlisle…you probably do business here…so let them hear from you.


UUCV Small Group Update

UUCV Small Group Ministry will offer a short term small group that will meet 12 noon to 2 PM on the third Sunday of the month from January to June 2017. Rich Bronakoski will lead the group with a designated theme, readings and questions to facilitate the sharing and deep listening.  This program offers a safe place to articulate your beliefs and understandings and to listen as others do the same.

We will need at least 8 participants to proceed.  If you are interested in our small group program, this might be an ideal opportunity for you.  If you have questions, please contact Rev. Aija at or Rich at .



The Gifts of SGM (by Dot Everhart)

In this season when we often celebrate by giving gifts to one another, let’s consider the gifts Small Group Ministry gives to us:

The Gift of Belonging: Being a part of a small group gives us a sense of belonging to UUCV at a deeper level than many of us feel when we speak of the whole congregation.

The Gift of Being Listened To: Some congregations call their SGM groups “listening groups” or “listening circles.” The session plans we use provide the opportunity to be listened to at a deep level during check-in (when we update the group) and during the time of answering questions. We take turns “speaking from our hearts and listening with our hearts” as some of our group covenants say. So often in our daily lives people talk at us or talk around us or interrupt us—instead of listening to us. In SGM, we can count on being listened to—and deeply, with respect and love.

The Gift of Being Cared For: Our small groups have a rich history of caring for one another in times of need and challenge—not only during group sessions, but through acts of kindness between sessions. Casseroles or meals are shared during times of illness or passings. Rides are offered when illness or injuries prevent safe driving for oneself. Phone calls are made checking to see what might be needed. Visits might happen or greeting cards sent.

The Gift of Self-Development: The topics we explore through readings and questions often prompt us to think more deeply about a subject or help us probe into an area we might not have thought about before. Quotes from writers and thinkers might challenge us to change our perspective on something.

The Gift of Spiritual Growth: Some topics encourage us to delve more deeply into our faith and beliefs. Some introduce us to spiritual practices and disciplines we might find helpful in our individual spiritual journeys. Check-ins encourage us to report about our progress in trying something new.


The Gift of Fun, Friendship and Laughter: The Men’s Group meets over dinner; the Lunch Lovers enjoy lunch at the Boiling Springs Tavern after their meeting. The Womenfolk arrange to go to dinner with each other and sometimes attend a movie on a monthly basis. Group members are often seen sitting together in worship and chatting together in the social hour. Most groups enjoy humorous moments and healthy belly laughs—not from ridicule, but from seeing the heart-warming humor in our stories and experiences.

The Gift of Serving Others: SGM’s are encouraged to serve others by completing one service project within UUCV and another in the community or world at large. Some groups serve as coffee hour hosts, some offer unique auction events, some sponsor one of our Mozambique bursaries, some volunteer together at Project Share.

The Gift of Leadership Opportunities: Each group has at least one facilitator and most have two co-facilitators. These volunteer leaders receive training and on-going support to learn about group dynamics and SGM principles and values.

Perhaps you would enjoy receiving one or more of these gifts for yourself! If so, please tell Rev. Aija or Rich Bronakoski that you want to join a small group. They will help you find one!

How Does UUCV Decorate A Holiday Tree?21706_509798662386925_2020029074_n

… with lots of NEW mittens, hats, gloves and scarves (in all colors and sizes)!

Let’s add to our holiday shopping lists these needed gifts of warmth.  Hang your “decorations” on the tree in the sanctuary between now and Christmas.   Items will be donated to Safe Harbour, a Carlisle shelter for homeless families.




If you love baking for the holidays, please remember the Carlisle Area Religious Council will sponsor its annual Cookie Pack for the inmates of the Cumberland County Prison on December 20, 2016 at 6:30 PM at First Church of the Brethren. Each year we ask area churches to donate cookies, homemade preferably, to reach our goal of 450 dozen.
Please bring your cookie donations to UUCV on December 18.  To sign-up, please contact Julie Ham at 342-6056, or, or on the “Cookie Sheet” in the Social Hall.
Cookies can also be dropped off in the enclosed porch area of the church during the day on December 20 or just prior to the event in the recreation hall area.



Mozambique Bursary Project News

On Sunday, November 20, we celebrated UUCV’s most well-known international social justice project during the Sunday Service and a luncheon afterward.  On behalf of the steering committee, I would like to thank everyone who attended, and listened, and learned about this very important and worthwhile project.  In particular, to those of you who chose to contribute on that day to the Project in support of our many girls who are so motivated to learn and do so, against all odds, we say an emphatic “Thank you!

The words of Malala Yousafzai bear repeating here.  She is the young Pakistani girl. who was shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because she advocated for girls’ education.  If you heard them during the service, just read them again, it’s worth it.  At age 19, she has already earned a much deserved Nobel Peace Prize.

Excerpts from Malala Yousafzai’s Speech before the United Nations, July 12, 2013


their right to live in peace;”Here I stand… one girl among many.  I speak – not for myself, but for all girls and boys. I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights:

their right to be treated with dignity;

their right to equality of opportunity;

their right to be educated.

Dear sisters and brothers, we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced. Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education for everyone. No one can stop us. We will speak for our rights and we will bring change through our voices. We must believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the world.

Because we are all together, united for the cause of education. And if we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness. Dear brothers and sisters, we must not forget that millions of people are suffering from poverty, injustice and ignorance. We must not forget that millions of children are out of schools. We must not forget that our sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright peaceful future.  So let us wage a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism and let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.

‘One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.’”

Malala was 15 years old when she was shot by a Taliban terrorist and she spoke before the United Nations on her 16th birthday, 9 months later, to an audience of 193 world leaders.


One of the girls we support could be the next Malala in Mozambique.  Your dollars are well-spent in supporting these young women, there is no doubt!

Thank you for contributing to this wonderful project this year and, if you haven’t yet done so, you can mail a check payable to “UUCV Mozambique Bursary” to UUCV or drop it in the collection basket any Sunday.  We offer our sincere thanks to you and, as an additional token of our appreciation to any donor this year, we are offering “The Faces of Mozambique,” a unique coloring book that illustrates varied aspects of village life. It would make a great gift for a young friend or relative.  For your free copy, e-mail Dianne at  You may also stop by our Moz Bursary Project exhibit during coffee hour and pick up brochures to pass along to other potential donors.  If you are interested in getting more involved, contact Priscilla Laws (, Martha Bergsten ( or June Hoch ( to volunteer to help with the day-to-day administrative activities and to be considered to participate in the next review visit as early as the fall of 2017.

On behalf of the Mozambique Bursary Project Steering Committee,

Dianne Dusman

(717) 319-5362


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 , Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm and on Wednesdays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  With the holidays right around the corner, these are GREAT STOCKING STUFFERS!!!


Social Justice Alert Roster – We Want You!

Want to be notified when we need to SHOW UP for social justice events or when we need to CONTACT our politicians to voice our opinions?  If so, please add your name and contact information to the clipboard on the table beneath the Social Justice bulletin board in the social hall.  Let us know if you prefer text or email notification.


FIRST DEGREE – A College Behind Bars

Can a college behind bars stop the revolving prison door?  Join us on Sunday morning, December 18th at 9:15 in the YUUTH room as we view the film, FIRST DEGREE.  This is a Social Justice Committee presentation.


OWL – Our Whole Lives

UUCV will be offering OWL – Our Whole Lives classes for grades 7th – 9th we have scheduled  OWL classes for Sundays at 1:00 pm beginning January 8, 2017 in the Yuuth Room at UUCV. Again, Please RSVP to Mark Harris at regarding the program even if you have told us you were coming before.


Adult RE Fall Schedule

December 5 – 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.

December 7 – Parents as Social Justice Educators 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.

December 11“Adult RE Topics of Interest” – 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.

December 13 –  Hindsight, Humor & Hope: Who, Me, An elder?  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.

December 20 –  The Wi$dom Path: Money, Spirit & Life 6:30 pm (Childcare provided upon request)  The Wi$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, generosity, economic justice, investment, and stewardship.



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