August 2017 Newsletter

From the minister…

I bet this has happened to you once or twice.  You are talking to someone – a co-worker or the mom of one of your daughters classmates.  You’re making small talk, and church comes up.  You take in a fortifying breath.  Am I about to be witnessed to?  But wait, no, your new friend wants to know about your church.  Is the witnessing still on the table?

Unitarian Universalists.  Well, we believe that all people…wait, no, we believe the many different faiths…wait, rewind, well our church is a place where you can be…um…what do we believe?  Well – wait, I’ve got it, Unitarian Universalism is a church where you can believe whatever you want.  It’s kind of…broad but, it is clear.

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 in this room could come up with very, very different answers to those huge, terrifying questions.

Once upon a time, we had a better idea of the answers.  Once upon a time the Unitarians believed in the Unity of God and the Universalists believed in Universal salvation and it was all very clear.  For about a minute.  As soon as we had a clear idea of what we believed we then proceeded to complicate it, change it and argue about it.

As time has gone by, and the places we have sought truth have expanded, we have defended this right to follow our own conscience in matters of faith with more and more zeal.  The things that were acceptable broadened and the things that were unacceptable narrowed.  It became harder and harder to claim anything as definitely true.  And so we are left stuttering about our faith.  A faith that I believe is life enhancing and soul strengthening is instead an afterthought for most Americans, a nice idea at best, those idealistic Unitarians, or often a joke on this American life.  Those wacky Unitarian Universalists.  Never can make up their minds, but they are awfully nice people.  They do good in the world, even if no one quite knows what it is they think.  What do we believe?  Can we say?

Orthodoxy 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. 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.

Over the past year we have explored the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism.  As I work to figure out what Unitarian Universalism calls me to do, I am drawn, as so many are, to our first and last principles:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person and Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We all matter and we are a part of something greater than ourselves.  In other words, treat yourself and others with care and pay attention to how you are affecting the world and everyone in it.  Orthopraxy.  What you do matters.

Unitarian Universalism is a religion where you can believe whatever you want.  Maybe, but that isn’t really the point.  It isn’t a religion where you can do whatever you want, or say whatever you want without considering how it will affect the person next you, on the other side of the room and across the world.

We are a faith that cares about action.  What are you called to do?

In faith,

Rev. Aija


Worship Information

August Worship Theme is “Words That Unite/Words that Divide”

August 6 – “ApocalypseRev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

August 13 – “Covenant” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

August 20 – “Held by a VisionSpecial Guest Speaker David Pyle is preaching with worship associate Deb Stille.  Every congregation has a vision of themselves and the world they wish to build.  A congregation could not exist without one.  For many congregations, however, that vision exists in the implicit assumptions of the members and friends of the community.  Rev. Pyle will look at some of the implicit visions that have held Unitarian Universalist congregations, and challenge us to turn our implicit assumptions into an explicit understanding of the mission, vision, culture, and identity of our congregation, in this time of looking to the future.

Rev. David Pyle is our congregation’s UUA Staff Primary Contact as a staff member of the Central East Region of the UUA.  He is a UU Minister who has served congregations in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and California.  He has also served for the last 10 years as a member of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.  He serves as the UUA Staff Primary Contact for the congregations of Central Pennsylvania, Greater Baltimore, and the Delmarva Peninsula, and serves the region as the Governance, Arts of Ministry, and Large Church consultant. 

August 27 – “SGM Sunday- What’s In It For Me?” Our Small Group Ministry Committee will lead the service with several reflections about the benefits of SGM for members, for facilitators, for UUCV as a congregation and for the world beyond.  Rev. Aija Simpson will also talk about the benefits of small group ministry for the congregation.  The children will experience the “Check-In” process during Moment for all Ages.



Change for the World —

Cumberland Valley Habitat for Humanity “Home Again” Program

In keeping with Cumberland Valley Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live, the “Home Again” Program provides low-income homeowner’s an affordable way to improve the quality of their living conditions through home repair and enhancement to their house.  Although there is a mandatory application $50 fee, normally the work will be completed at no additional cost to the family.

The program provides repairs and improvements such as: painting, landscaping, exterior repairs, window and door replacement, insulation improvements, ramp construction, heating, plumbing, and electrical.

The application and approval process is a multi-step process that includes a visit to the home by CVHFH staff/volunteers to review what repairs or improvements are needed and to make sure CVHFH staff/volunteers are able to do the work required.  If approved, the project is assigned to a coordinator and/or volunteer leader and work will be completed.


Change for the World – Annual Report

The UUCV congregation set a new record for contributions to the “Change For The World” (CFTW) program during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  For the 12-month period from July 2016 through June 2017 a total of $3,518.18 was collected and then distributed to 12 different charitable agencies and programs.

The previous record was $3,347 donated during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  The contributions in the recently-completed year were $338 more than the previous year.

The month with the largest collection was in October 2016, when $511.31 was given in response to the flood relief program of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

By coin denomination, pennies lead the way in volume but quarters were dominate in dollar amount, as follows:

          Pennies  –  11,567, or $115.67.

          Nickels  –  3,981, or $199.05.

          Dimes  –  6,367, or $636.70.

          Quarters –  8,553, or $2,138.25.

          5-cent pieces  –  2, or $1.00.

          Dollar coins  –  32, or $32.00.

For those of you (trying) to keep score at home, that’s 30,502 individual coins!

If any reader is such a “numbers” person that she or he wants to multiply the various coin totals to see if it actually equals the total amount, a piece of advice – don’t, because it doesn’t because there were several donations made via check.

          Per month, and by recipient, the CFTW contributions were:

July 2016    $ 323.42 to the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania

Aug. 2016   $ 258.94 to Planned Parenthood’s Fund- For- Choice Across Pennsylvania

Sept. 2016  $ 282.28 to Area M (central PA) of the Pennsylvania Special Olympics

Oct. 2016    $ 511.31 to the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge’s (LA) Flood Fund

Nov. 2016  $ 341.08 to Carlisle’s YWCA Sexual Assault and Rape Crisis Center

Dec. 2016   $ 213.90 to Hope Station Carlisle

Jan.  2017   $ 331.72 to Carlisle Victory Circle

Feb. 2017   $ 272.96 to the Community Responders Network (central PA)

March 2017  $ 294.98 to the Equal Justice Initiative of the UU PA Plan

April 2017  $ 286.62 to the Gleaning Project of south-central Pennsylvania

May 2017   $ 198.94 to Carlisle C.A.R.E.S.

June 2017   $ 202.03 to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

TOTAL                $3,518.18

For more information about any of these recipients or to learn more about the CFTW program, readers can contact the UUCV Social Justice Committee.



UUCV’s Future is in Our Hands 

Like any family, the friends and members of UUCV’s congregation have our idiosyncrasies and differences.  That’s what makes us special.  But clearly, there is a great sense of community and enthusiasm.  A capital campaign is the path to growth and improvement, and an opportunity for the congregation to come together and invest in the future of UUCV.

UUCV has proven that it is a generous congregation.  UUCV started with a small group of like-minded individuals meeting at Baird Farm.  In the nearly 20 years since its charter on March 15, 1998, we have moved from meeting at Denny Hall, to purchasing our own building.  We did not stop there, but went on to update and refurbish the sanctuary, and replace the failing boiler.  More importantly than the building, we have developed a professional staff that would be impressive even for a much larger congregation.

The first phase of our Capital Campaign planning is the visioning process. We have invited Rev. David Pyle, our UUA Staff Primary Contact, to lead our worship service on August 20th and present a visioning workshop following that service.  Rev. Pyle is a UU Minister who has served congregations in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and California.  He has also served for the last 10 years as a member of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.

Then, starting August 21st, for three weeks UUCV will offer Cottage Meetings.  These meetings will be led by UUCV facilitators trained by Rev. Pyle. The goals of the meetings are to create a vision of what we would like to see UUCV become in the future and define the steps needed to achieve that vision.  Watch for sign-up information.

Rev. Pyle introduces his time with us saying:  “Every congregation has a vision of themselves and the world they wish to build.  A congregation could not exist without one.  For many congregations, however, that vision exists in the implicit assumptions of the members and friends of the community”.

Rev. Pyle will look at some implicit visions and challenge us to turn our implicit assumptions into an explicit understanding of the mission, vision, culture, and identity of our congregation, in this time of looking to the future.

Together we can develop a vision and bring it to fruition.

What’s that noise?? It’s the Roaring Twenties!!

Join the party at UUCV’s 21st Annual Auction

Saturday Evening, November 11, 2017

Admission only $5 & bring a non-UUCV Friend for FREE!

Come see how our very own talented Artists work their magic to transform the UUCV Meeting House Social Hall and enjoy an evening of food, music, fun and the chance to bid on sign up events, silent auction items, gift certificates, and maybe a surprise or two this year. Each year there is something fabulous to grab your interest. The Auction is not only a fun-filled event but is also UUCV’s biggest fund-raiser of the year. Its success depends on YOU! So, Flappers and Sheiks, Dolls and Gangsters, it’s time to start planning your costume (not required but always welcome!)

Here’s what the evening includes:

***Hors d’oeuvres, Desserts and Bar: There will be a spread of hors d’oeuvres and desserts which are donated by UUCV members and friends (included in the $5 admission fee) along with a cash bar of soft drinks, wine, beer, and maybe even a little bathtub gin. And remember to take a break from gnoshing to check out all the items available and get your bid in on time!

***Sign Ups: Fill up your social calendar with this Auction favorite. Everyone has a chance to sign up for events ranging from themed dinners to a hike in the woods. Please consider being the host for a sign up event. They are the most popular part of the auction and add the most toward our fundraising goal. Let your imagination run free and create an event! Host a dinner and share your favorite cuisine, have a game night, take people to your favorite museum, lead a workshop, or what will YOU come up with?!?

***Silent Auction: Members and friends donate everything from jewelry and artwork to small appliances and kitchen items to helpful skills that are your special talent. There is always an array of high quality items that might be destined to become a gift to someone on your list or maybe a treat for yourself. Be alert so you don’t get outbid. Also this year be on the look out for gift baskets and other specialty items. There is a special area for gift certificates, so please think about any business connections you have that may be willing to donate a service, membership, or discount. Ask them yourself or let us know and we’ll do the asking.

***Live Music: Anyone ready to learn or teach us the Charleston?

***Children’s Auction: The Auction isn’t only for adults! Downstairs in the elementary classrooms children ages 4 and up will have their own Roaring Twenties Auction. There will be cool kid items and each child will receive “Auction Bucks” for purchasing items. Nursery care will be available for our younger friends.

How can YOU make this year’s auction a “Roaring” success?

Participate and contribute in some way. Only YOU can help us achieve the goal of 100% involvement and reach our fund-raising target.

***Attend! Bring yourself, your family and your friends. If you need a ride, we can help. If you can’t attend, please sign up for a bidding buddy and check out buddy. If you cannot be with us, then support the Auction by buying a raffle ticket, donating an event or food, or simply sending a check of support made out to UUCV and designated to the Auction.

*** Volunteer! We need helpers for set up and clean up, check in and check out assistants, silent auction monitors, food servers, etc, etc etc.  Think about how YOU can help and sign up when the time comes.

***Donate! This event depends on everyone’s generosity. We need donations of food, drink, sign ups, silent auction items and everything that goes into making the Auction a fun and successful event. Start now to plan what YOU may be able to contribute.

Coming Soon: Details about how to register for the event, how and when to make donations, and what is needed to make our 21st Auction a Roaring success.

For now, it is time to remember to –

 ***save the date (Saturday November 11) and mark it with a star***

See you there!!

If you have questions or need information please contact

Wendy Gebb 717.706.9924) or

Melissa Mattson  ,484.988.0264 Auction co chairs.

Fill the Bus Thank You

THANK YOU for your support of this year’s Fill the Bus drive.  Your generous donations will help many local kids begin their school year with the tools needed to succeed.

Together we donated:

67 packs of loose leaf paper             8 spiral notebooks

4 backpacks                                      20 two pocket folders

1020 crayons                                    442 colored pencils

120 lead pencils                                57 markers

37 erasers                                         21 highlighters

42 glue sticks                                    $90 cash/check donations

Social Justice Calendar

Save the following dates for opportunities to

“transform lives and care for the world”.

**On Saturday, September 30th, help us care for one of our local State Parks by participating in National Public Lands Day at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  This is a great family activity.  Sign up in August to join the list of UUCV volunteers giving a morning of their time at Pine Grove Furnace State Park on National Public Lands Day, September 30th.  Sign up at the Social Justice table in the Social Hall.  This is a great FAMILY event!

**Save Friday, October 6th to join us as we do good work in our local community by volunteering for United Way’s “Day of Caring”.  Sign up begins in September.

**Gleaning for Project SHARE – Monday evenings from 5:30 to 8

Anyone who enjoys working outdoors should meet at Project SHARE on North Orange Street at 5:30 on Monday evenings.  Volunteers carpool to local farms and orchards to collect excess, unsellable, but perfectly good field gleanings.    

Mozambique Bursary Project Update

The UUCV Mozambique Bursary Project Steering Committee is pleased to announce that our 2017 Review Team, Deb Genet and Brian McPherson, departed for Moz on Friday, July 21, from Dulles Airport.  Titos Macie, our Project Manager met them upon their arrival in the capital, Maputo, and traveled with them by air north to Quelimane.  There, the three will meet Sonia Saual, who oversees the day-to-day workings of the Project.  The four will travel by car north through the country to the school sites where the young women whom we support through our donations each year reside.  With Titos and Sonia, Brian and Deb will meet with the students, their mães (dorm mothers), teachers and parents to learn about the progress of this important Social Justice Project firsthand.  We wish them safe travels and look forward to hearing their stories and seeing their pictures upon their return.  Please mark your calendars for our luncheon on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at noon, where we will be able to hear Deb and Brian’s firsthand accounts of their travels in Mozambique on behalf of UUCV!


UUCV Social Justice Committee fundraiser for the Central PA LGBT Center

Join us on Saturday, October 7th for the performance of FUN HOME at Open Stage of Harrisburg.  The tickets cost $30 each and $10 of each ticket will benefit the LGBT Center. Our fundraiser tickets will be sold to attendees of UUCV and to friends via Facebook.  There is an online registration for those interested in tickets, however, no payment can be made online.  Your ticket reservation will be confirmed when payment (cash or check) has been received. Payment (cash or check) can be given to Cindy Good, UUCV Social Justice Committee member. Checks made out to UUCV with FUN HOME in the memo line can also be mailed to:

UUCV/Attn Cindy Good

PO Box 207

Boiling Springs, PA 17007

FUN HOME, the winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, is based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir of the same title.  This groundbreaking autobiographical production introduces us to Alison (best known for the long-running comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For”) at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family that connect with her in surprising new ways. The New York Times calls the story “heart-gripping and cathartic,” and says that “FUN HOME occupies the place where we all grew up.”

UUCV Music Director David M. Glasgow plays “Bruce,” Alison’s closeted father, and serves as music director for the Open Stage production.

While the cast of FUN HOME includes actors as young as 9 years old, and the piece is full of humor and upbeat music, parents may wish to consider whether younger audience members will be comfortable with the images of parental anger, suicide, and lesbian sexuality that appear in the course of the story.

NOTE: We are unable to accept payment online for this program.  Your ticket reservation will not be confirmed until payment has been received by Cindy Good, UUCV Social Justice chair.  You can reach Cindy at <>.


SAVE the DATE…The UUCV Talent Show is Back!

Dust off your instruments, vocal chords, magic tricks, poetry and other talents and plan to come together with the UUCV Community on Saturday, September 23rdRegistration forms for performers will be available shortly. Any questions may be directed to Becky MacDicken at or 717-460-3750 (call or text). Open to most ages and talents (no fire eaters due to fire code).

New Fall Membership Class Dates Set

If you would like to become a member of UUCV or just learn more about Unitarian Universalism, we will be starting classes in the fall.  The first class will be Sunday, September 10 at 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM  Lunch will be provided for the first class.  The remaining classes will be Sunday, September 17 and Sunday, September 24.  Feel free to bring a bag lunch to these classes.    If you are interested and haven’t already signed up, please contact Pam in the office at or 717/249-8944.

UUCV Book Group

Join us on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to discuss Daniel L. Everett’s book, Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes.  In 1977 Everett took his wife and three small children to live with the Pirahã, a small tribe in central Brazil and one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer cultures in the Amazon. The purpose was to learn the language so he could translate the Bible. The problem: no Pirahã would read or write, or even understand the concept of a written language.  They have no counting system, no fixed terms for color, no concept of war and no personal property.  Like a true missionary, however, Everett persisted over the course of several decades and gradually mastered the language.  In the process he learned that the Pirahã were not interested in the Bible, Christ or, indeed, any abstract philosophy or experience that they could not themselves witness. He also discovered that he no longer believed in God.  Part memoir and part scientific exploration, this is an amazing and fascinating story of language and faith. Brian McPherson will lead the discussion.

August Eclipse in Carlisle

August 21 Eclipse in Carlisle PA: UUCV congregants are welcome to come to a public event to be held at Dickinson College’s Tome Hall. Members of the Department of Physics & Astronomy! Emeriti professors Kenneth and Priscilla Laws will be on hand along with other members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy for a public viewing of Carlisle’s partial solar eclipse. For more information about the eclipse time and appearance in the Harrisburg Area see:

UUCV Grocery Cards – Charge Cards Now Accepted

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 for Giant and Weis and $100.00 for Karns. Beginning February 5, you will be able to pay for your Giant Cards with your personal credit card.  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.

Adult RE Schedule

August 1 – Meditation With Bhante Returns – First Tuesday of the month from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. in the RE Classroom.  There are concerns benefits derived from the practice of meditation. These include peace of mind, the powerful impact of practicing compassion towards oneself and other, stress reduction and overall spiritual growth and wellbeing. All are welcome!


Game Night

There are openings for Game Night at the Vernons in Carlise which has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 26th from 7:00 to 10:00 PM .   A variety of games will be on hand as well as Carole Knisely playing the piano for a sing-along for anyone interested in that option.  Contact Susan Vernon at or Pam at to sign up for this event.  Cost is $15.00

World of Alice in Wonderland 2016 Auction Events Still Available

You still have a chance to be part of the fun.  Open Auction events are posted here:

ALL scheduled events can be found on our UUCV Calendar

Contact the office at or the event host if you are interested in attending one of them.

For those of you who are new to UUCV, our annual auction is a highlight of our church year.  Not only is it our biggest fundraiser, it’s also a fun-filled evening! Stay tuned for news about next year’s auction (already in the planning stages).

For further information, please see our list of Auction FAQs, or contact Rita van Alkemade at or 480.620.6921.



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