October 2017 Newsletter

From the minister…

Have you ever been granted forgiveness that you, in your heart of hearts, knew you weren’t worthy of?  Can you conjure up that feeling, that sense of grace that comes from unexpected generosity?  The kind of generosity that is almost frightening to receive, it means so much?  

And I don’t mean the grudging kind of forgiveness either.  The kind we extend so that the other person knows what a kind and generous soul we are and how grateful they should be that we are so nobly letting this go…  But rather genuine forgiveness and love extended – a promise that we have accepted what happened and moved on, that we will not bring it up every time we have an argument in the future, that it will not be hovering over every other interaction, waiting to break free.  Have you experienced that kind of forgiveness?

That is the kind of forgiveness that early Universalists were talking about.  When they spoke of Universal Salvation, they were calling people to an understanding of how we had to relate to each other that was totally outside of the way people were accustomed to being.

For thousands of years, people had been accustomed to thinking that some people were good and some people were bad, and that they should segregate themselves accordingly.  In death God would separate the sinners and the saints.  Different people deserved different things, and life was ordered around this.

The Universalists had a different notion.  Everyone was going to heaven after death.  Everyone.  In the words of one of our great Universalists preachers, Bucky McKeeman, “God would drag the last sinner kicking and screaming into heaven.”  This wasn’t the Universal salvation of everyone you liked.  Or the Universal Salvation of everyone who behaved mostly decently.  This was everyone.  Everyone was worth saving, every single human being.

And while humans weren’t aspiring to God like levels of forgiveness, we had to rethink how we dealt with people in the here and now, if we were going to be trapped with them in the hereafter.  No one could be dismissed as unworthy.  No one could be pushed aside.  We were going to have to deal with them someday, the more future looking of the Universalists realized, so we might as well start practicing now

What would the world look like if we truly tried to live this theology?  How might your world be different?  

In Faith, 

Rev. Aija




Worship Information

October Worship Theme is “Transcendence”

October 1 – “Awe (Yom Kippur) What does it mean to experience awe. Is it something we can seek?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

October 8 – “Sukkot Without a Roof” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching at this multi-gen service with worship associate Julie Ham.  Join us as we celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish festival of huts.

October  15 – “Silence”  We often speak of entering into a time of prayer and meditation. What does that look like for us?  Rev. Aija preaches with worship associate Michele Burton.

October 22 – “Mystery” We UUs can have trouble embracing mystery. We want answers! How can we find peace with the mysterious in our spiritual life?  Our new Student Minister Megan Mathieson preaches with worship associate Dick Poland.

October 29 – “All Souls?”  We say all souls are sacred. Do we mean it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Rachel Teates.




Change for the World — Change for the World – “Mama’s Bail Out Fund”

Mama’s Bail Out Fund, a project within the National Bail Fund Network, focuses on bailing mothers out of jail and bringing them home to their children and families.

Since 1980, the number of incarcerated people has grown by 500%.  Everyday tens of thousands of people languish in jail not because they have been proven guilty but simply because they cannot afford bail. In addition to the over $9 billion wasted to incarcerate people who have been convicted of no crime, pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on families and communities…Black and LGBTQ communities in particular. Even a few days in jail can ruin a person’s life. They may lose their job, their family may lose housing and some even lose their children.

The National Bail Fund Network, which includes Mama’s Bail Out Fund, is working with community bail funds across the country to end money bail, to get as many people back to their families as possible, and to counter the impact of mass incarcerations.






      Recapping: September’s – Capital Campaign Weekly Q&A     

What have we learned from September’s weekly Questions & Answers

#5 Q:  What things are we campaigning for?  Is this limited to building needs?

      A:  In many ways this depends on congregation decisions.  There is no skirting the fact there are several major building repairs needed.  BUT, the campaign dream is to incorporate diverse new initiatives to move UUCV toward the future.  The critical role of cottage meetings is for the congregation to give voice to these initiatives.

 Q:  Who creates the three project packages?

 A:  The six person Project Planning Team is tasked with forming 3 packages which address needed building restoration and new initiatives.  The building list was established by a collaborative effort of the B&G Chairs and Board members.  New initiatives (programs, staff, and enhancements) are determined by congregational input during the cottage meetings.  The Project Planning Team will work in consultation with various professionals, the CC Steering Committee and the Board.

#7 Q:  How can we make our building more accessible to everyone?

     A:  Cottage meetings raised the idea of not just meeting ADA “compliant” standards, but going a step farther to be ADA “welcoming”.  This idea would alter how we tackle the initiative.  Some projects being researched include: a wheelchair accessible main entrance, reconfigured bathrooms, and social hall entrance steps that accommodate walker assistance.   A bigger dream and price point – Imagine a more welcoming, wide-open lobby for enhanced mobility and new comer activities.

#8 Q:  How do we balance the annual budget drive and a capital campaign?

     A:  This is a question with diverse answers.  UUCV needs to maintain the current annual budget to meet expenses.  Thus, personally, we cannot reduce our annual budget commitment.  A capital campaign pledge, where giving can be spread over 3 years, is an opportunity for creative giving.  Options might include: annual interest from an investment, lump amount from a matured CD, part of an inheritance, bonus check, sale of an unneeded camper or car, lottery payout, taking a less expensive vacation, etc.  We will each need to explore possibilities.

#9 Q:  What are the priorities for using capital campaign funds?

     A:  Building priorities will be based on: safety & security, “welcoming” access, energy efficiency and reduced maintenance expense.  For example, repaving the parking lot is a safety issue and replacement windows address energy efficiency and security.  Additional priorities are decided by congregation Visioning input.  Tabulations are in progress, but priorities surfacing include: community outreach, congregation growth (especially young families) and expanded staffing.  Once completed, the Visioning priority data will be shared with the congregation.


Building Tours To Explore Restoration Projects

Have you wondered what major repairs are needed to our building?  Excellent!  Let’s get better informed, perhaps viewing areas you rarely visit.  Building tours to provide first hand observations are planned for Sundays during October.   All are encouraged to join a tour.

Dates:  October 1, 8, 15, and 22

Time:  11:50 following service

Starting Location meet at the main entrance

Tour Length:  about 30 minutes

*Tours involve walking outside, stairs and uneven surfaces.



Year-End Treasurer’s Financial Summary

I am excited to report that we ended the 2016/2017 fiscal year on a strong note!  We underspent our budget by around 2000 dollars and brought in another 2000 dollars more than anticipated.  As some of you may remember, we approved a deficit budget at our last annual meeting and so we made an extra effort to be responsible financial stewards.  I am equally happy to report that due to successful annual budget drive we were able to eliminate the deficit for the 2017/2018 budget.  We had an increase of over 11,000 dollars in pledges with 22 new families pledging.  UUCV has continuing positive cash flow and we are optimistic about our financial future.



UUCV Yuuth Group News

Our yuuth group is looking forward to growing and changing the world!  We are exploring social justice projects along with other fun activities.  Youth ages 14 to 18 are invited to attend our yuuth meetings on the 1st and 3rd Sundays each month at 10:30 am in the yuuth room.

Here is the tentative schedule until the end of December:

Oct. 8 and 22

Nov. 5 and 19

Dec. 3 and 17

We are also hoping to have a sleep over at the church on a Sat. evening to spruce up the yuuth room and have fun together.  Date will be decided soon. The group will also be getting involved in some service projects that may occur on a week day afternoon or on Saturday, probably about once per month.

We are also looking for another adult interested in assisting co-leaders, Mary Lynn Lynch and Nancy Bittinger.  Please contact Mary Lynn at 717-576-6639 or mlvlynch65@gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in getting involved.  Thanks!!


UUCV’s CAPITAL CAMPAIGN – Exciting things are happening!

Where are we now?

Hopefully, everyone has had the opportunity to attend one of the cottage meetings that were held between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10.  If not, no worries, your input is needed and there will be multiple future opportunities to have a voice in UUCV’s future.  All of us get to be part of the action, decisions and excitement.

What happens next …

October – Guided Building Tours

Charming and knowledgeable members of the Capital Campaign Committee will take you on a tour of the exterior and grounds of UUCV.  You will see scary things, including a bat house, crumbling walls, mismatched windows, and hostile trees.   Very suitable just before Halloween.   

 But, what you will really see is the potential for a safer, friendlier, more energy efficient UUCV.  You will hear and see first-hand how a capital campaign could benefit our building’s use for decades to come.

Each Sunday in October, the 1st, 8th, 15th, or 22nd, right after the service, meet outside the main entrance near the sanctuary for this not to be missed 1/2 hour tour.

  • early October – summary report from the Visioning Team

  • early November – estimates & research completed

  • Thanksgiving – 3 finalized packages provided to the congregation

  • mid-December (Sunday) – congregational “preference vote” for a package

  • January 8-12 – Feasibility Study to assess readiness to support selected package

Now is a great time to get involved in the Capital Campaign

 Can you design displays, create brochures, make phone calls, coordinate groups, talk with people, etc.  Many skill sets will be needed in the months ahead.  Contact any CC committee member to say, “I want to be involved.  How can I help?”




October Article of SGM Sessions on the UU Sources

By Dot Everhart

During worship from October through May, we will be exploring the UU Sources, so Small Groups will also have an opportunity to use a series of session plans that will parallel the worship themes for each month. On the back of our Order of Service and in both of our hymnals, the sources are written as a handy reference for us. The Overview Session Plan provides an opportunity to look at each of these sources and to share how they have been inspirational (or not) in our individual lives. Some groups may choose to start with this session, while others will want to start with the session on the worship theme for October, which comes from the first source about our direct experience of transcendence. Since we will also focus on transcendence during May, 2018; starting with the Overview might be valuable.

Here are the sources and the month selected for their exploration during worship:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder,(October and May) affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men (November) which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

  • Wisdom from the world’s religions (January and April) which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

  • Jewish and Christian teachings (December) which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

  • Humanist teachings (February) which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;

  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions (March) which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. www.uua.org

There is also a session plan for “new sources” which could be used at any time or at the end of the series.

If your small group choose to explore the Sources, each month’s session plan will be emailed to your co-facilitator just before the start of that month. Each group may opt to explore other topics of interest to your group and session plans for other topics may be located in UUA resources or by special request of some of our experienced session plan creators. Please make your requests for assistance with developing session plans to Rich Bronakoski at richardbronakoski@gmail.com.






In case you haven’t heard yet, it is Auction time at UUCV. The Auction is our biggest fund-raiser and fun social event of the year. And while the event isn’t until November, NOW is the time when your donations are needed. The deadline for donations is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8. Why so far ahead of the Auction? Because we need time to catalogue all the donations and get the Auction booklet prepared and printed. We also need time to prepare all the bidding and sign-up sheets so things flow easily the night of the Auction.

This is a UUCV community wide event and we hope to have 100% participation! There is something for everyone to contribute and every contribution is needed. Here are some ways YOU can be involved:

          Come to the Auction on Saturday, November 11. Registration is only $5 and bring a non UUCV friend for free                          (childcare provided and the kids will even have their own auction)

          Share a skill or interest or activity by offering a Sign-Up Event.

          Donate good quality items for the Silent Auction.

          Volunteer to help with setting up, cleaning up, registration, check out, being a food host, being a bidding buddy, 

          Make a donation of non-nut finger foods and desserts. Make a donation of beer, wine, and soda.

These contributions are all vital to the success of the Auction and the Auction Team knows it can count on YOU to play a part. You can register, sign up to volunteer, and make a donation at the Auction Table in the Social Hall or online at www.uucv.net/auction Silent Auction items can be dropped off at the stage in the Social Hall and please remember to include a completed donation from with your item. Donation deadline is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8. Thank you.

See you at the Auction. It’s the Bees Knees !

If you have questions please contact Auction 2017 co-chairs                                                                                                  Wendy Gebb at 717.706.9924, wendywinter@comcast.net or Melissa Mattson at 484.988.0264, jemgrrl@gmail.com,                or visit www.uucv.net/auction and scroll down to FAQ’S





Social Justice Calendar

Sunday, October 1st (and every Sunday this month) Stop by the Social Justice table to sign the petition SUPPORTING DREAMERS!  Show your support for the DREAMERS by stopping by the Social Justice action table to SIGN OUR PETITION telling legislators to support the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017.  The DREAM Act is urgently needed legislation that provides a path to citizenship for the nearly 1.8 million immigrants who have grown up here and know no other home.  Supporting the dreams of young immigrants in the U.S. is consistent with the foundational values of our nation, and with the moral imperative of extending hospitality to the stranger, of caring for immigrants and children, and of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Friday, October 6th Join the UUCV team for United Way’s Day of Caring.  We’ll be doing a variety of tasks at the Heberlig-Palmer Park (located behind Project SHARE’s Farm Stand)…from 8:30 to noon.

Thursday, October 12th  Show up at Project SHARE’s Farm Stand to help sort fruits, vegetables, baked goods for distribution to those in need.  (9:15 till about noon)

WHEN:  Thursdays, October 12th and October 26th from 9:15 – noon

WHERE: Project SHARE Farm Stand, 123 Lincoln St, Carlisle

WHAT:   You are needed to sort fruits, vegetables and baked goods donated by local stores & farmers.

WHY:     The Farm Stand provides fresh produce, perishable products, and bread two or three days a week  to anyone in the Carlisle community who is in need.  It’s NOT hard work and you will have fun.  All ages are welcome.  If interested, SIGN UP at the Social Justice table in the social hall.

Monday, October 16th Join us at 6:30 pm at UUCV to learn about GERRYMANDERING in Pennsylvania from Fair Districts PA speaker Jim Foster.

Join us at UUCV on Monday October 16th at 6:30 pm to hear Fair Districts PA speaker, Jim Foster, discuss reforming Pennsylvania’s redistricting process.  Mr. Foster will explain PA’s current redistricting process, demonstrate how it undermines democracy, and then offer a solution to the problem.

Fair Districts PA is a non-partisan coalition of citizens and organizations seeking to reform PA redistricting rules by taking the process out of the hands of party leaders and putting that process into the hands of an impartial, transparent, and accountable citizens’ commission.




UUCV Kitchen and the Approaching Mice Season

Our Membership/Hospitality committee spent several days fixing up the kitchen….consolidating, pitching, cleaning, arranging, labeling…pretty much everything but replaced the kitchen sink.  Please do your part in helping to keep the kitchen clean and organized.  If you use something, wash it and return it to the labeled cabinet it came from.  If you put something in the refrigerator, keep track of it and pitch it when it expires or is no longer needed.  Winter and cold weather are right around the corner which means the church mice will be out scrounging for food.  Clean up any crumbs you create and make sure any food you leave behind is in a sealed container.

For now, our kitchen is pretty well stocked with the supplies we need.   If you do have something you want to donate, please ask a Membership/Hospitality Committee member so they can determine if we have a use for it and then find a good spot for it.

Thanks for your help on keeping our kitchen clean and organized and a BIG THANK YOU to the ladies that spent days getting it in good shape!!!




Adult RE “Adult Topics of Interest” Fall/Winter Schedule

Join us in the Board Room at 9:00 AM on the dates listed below for “Adult Topics of Interest”  If you have additional questions, please contact Brian McPherson at wbmcp@hotmail.com

Oct 1 – Religious beliefs vs. spirituality – A large percentage of the population in the US claim to be spiritual but not religious. Is this just a desire to avoid a label? Can religious people not be spiritual? Are spiritual people not religious? Do these labels matter?

Oct 15 – Alternative therapies – People in our culture have increasingly turned to alternative therapies over the past several decades. We will look at this trend and explore the rise and use of several of these.

Nov 5 – Love – What is love? Is it a feeling, independent of your actions? Or do you need to act lovingly? Can you love someone or something that you only know from afar? Can you love someone who hurts you? Is love always unconditional? The answers depend on your perspective and experience. We will consider the views of philosophers and others and then discuss our own ideas.

Nov 19 – Death and dying – We will explore the ideas of conscious dying and dying with dignity, aka physician assisted suicide. Is the taboo of talking about death changing in our culture? What are the factors in this social evolution.

Dec 3 – After death, then what? – We will look at the views of various religions and societies on what, if anything, happens to an individual’s consciousness after biological death of the body. We will consider efforts to explore what happens after death from an objective viewpoint.

Dec 17 – Psychic research – We will look at the various academic explorations of psychic phenomena, including that done at Duke and Princeton and other universities and organizations. Is there an overarching pattern? Why are positive results rejected by mainstream academia?


UUCV Book Group

Join us on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to discuss Abraham Verghese’s novel, Cutting for Stone.  “Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.” Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal, calls the novel “Tremendous. . .Vivid and thrilling. . . I feel lucky to have gotten to read it.” It is an amazing story about our human condition, what it takes to be a doctor and what it takes to be a good one. Mary Ellen Pearson will lead the discussion. Questions: contact richardbronakoski@gmail.com .


Adult RE October Schedule

Sunday, October 1 – Religious beliefs vs. spirituality – A large percentage of the population in the US claim to be spiritual but not religious. Is this just a desire to avoid a label? Can religious people not be spiritual? Are spiritual people not religious? Do these labels matter?

Sunday, October 1 – New Membership Class at 12:30 PM in the Board Room.

Monday, October 2 – Drum Circle at 6:00 PM in the Religious Education Classrooms

Tuesday, October 3 – Meditation with Bhante at 7:00 PM in the Religious Education Classroom.

Oct 15 – Alternative therapies – People in our culture have increasingly turned to alternative therapies over the past several decades. We will look at this trend and explore the rise and use of several of these.



























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