December 2017 Newsletter

From the minister…

 Spirit of Life come to me

Sing in my heart the blessings of Love

Give me roots, hold me close

Give me wings, set me free

Spirit of Life be with me.

Roots hold me close, wings set me free.  I have spoken those words once a day for almost 30 years.  They live their contradiction – pulling me closer to my community even as I have flown far, far away.

When I was a little girl, my mother called my minister in a panic.  I had been at a slumber party and when the other girls went to say their prayers, I had nothing.  Like kids everywhere, if someone else had it, I wanted it.  So my minister was tasked with creating a prayer that a 5 year old could remember.  She turned to a favorite, much sung hymn, and, with some edits, created a prayer that I still say every day.

It followed me to college when I went as physically far away from home as I could go.  It was on my lips when I struggled and in my heart when everything was going well.  I’ve said it before bed in homes in seven cities and mumbled it to myself before service every Sunday.  A few short lines representing a lifetime’s worth of connections.  It is my minister, taking the request of a little girl seriously.  My parents seeking out a way to connect me to my faith.  It is every person who has been in the room when I have sung that song.  More than that, it is every other congregation that sings Spirit of life in their services.  All of that love, all of those people, I carry with me in five short lines.

As we enter into the holiday season, think about the words that pull people close.  The songs that remind you of all the people who have loved you that set you on your path.  The prayers that you have sent and those you have received.  The silence that reminds you that you are not alone.

In faith,

Rev. Aija

Worship Information

The Worship Theme for December is “Jewish and Christian Teachings”

December 3:   Hope in the Dark” As our world gets darker we ask: How do you find hope in the dark?  Rev. Aija Simpson will preach this Sunday with members of our Mozambique Steering Committee assisting in the worship service as we get ready to kick-off our 2018 Bursary Campaign.  Music director David M. Glasgow provides service music from African folk traditions, and Pat Spader returns with a special prelude.

December 10:  “Waiting” – In this season of anticipation what does it mean to live in the waiting?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

December 17:  “Light” – As people all over the world celebrate Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza and more we ask: what does it mean to find light in the darkness?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

December 24:  “Multi-Gen” Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

December 24:  “Christmas Eve Service”

December 31:  “Janus/Grief Multi-Gen” Student Minister Mathieson preaching.   Welcoming a new year also means saying goodbye to the old year. On the morning of New Years’ Eve, we will remember the joys and sorrows of 2017 as we prepare to journey into 2018 together.


Change for the World – “Save the Lake”

In June 2016 a sink hole developed on the east of Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs.  Inspection of the sink hole, spillway, and collapse of the limestone wall all indicate that the dam is in very poor condition and must be replaced.  Without the dam there is no lake.  Other areas of the lake that need work include: Silt removal (the last silt removal was done in 1995), storm drains directly entering the lake, habitat and cover, aerators (oxygen poor water), and possible addition of a wheelchair accessible pier.

Save The Lake Campaign is a grass roots, community advocacy effort to coordinate awareness and fundraising efforts to save Children’s Lake…by replacing the dam and improving the lake. Let’s join this community effort to save Children’s Lake.



UUCV Cookie Decorating Party – Everyone Invited!






On Sunday January 14, three packages will be presented outlining how the unrealized possibilities of UUCV can become reality.  It is exciting that we are moving toward achieving the vision for our building, for us as a congregation and for our place in this community.

The presentation will take place immediately after the service, and will be followed by a delightful light lunch.  Childcare will be provided.  Everything will wrap up in time to get to downtown Carlisle well before the Martin Luther King Day March and service.

Handouts will be provided for you to take home and review.  Bring your questions and other input back to UUCV on the

following several Sundays.  Members of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee will be in the social hall during coffee hour, eager for your input.  Look for the “TALK TO ME” signs and yellow name badges.

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season, and look forward to the package presentation in January, and to working together to bring our dreams to fruition.


Heartfelt Gratitude To The Beloved UUCV Community

Your cards, notes, prayers, and hugs have sustained me these weeks since Dan’s death; I am overwhelmed by your caring and warmth. My intention was to write each of you a personal note.  However, the longer it takes me to do that, the more I feel the need to say “Thank You” to each of you right now.  Please accept this as a personal expression of gratitude, respect, and love.   Joan Bechtel

Mozambique Bursary – The Forever Gift of Education

How do we put a price on an education? In the United States, we take it for granted.  Never is there a question of whether our youth can attend middle and high school; in fact, they must!

Girls in rural Mozambique do not have this right. There, girls help support the household by hauling water, gathering firewood, tending crops and watching younger siblings. They often marry in their early teens, renewing the cycle of early childbearing and poverty. Mozambiquan girls may attend a local primary school sporadically. The cost of attending secondary school — room and board, school fees, uniforms and supplies to attend a regional high school is simply out of reach. Your gift of $300 will support a girl for one year, while she completes her secondary school education; however, gifts of any amount are welcomed. If you can read this, please be generous.

The Mozambique Committee will launch their campaign Sunday, December 3rd by taking part in the regular UUCV 10:30-11:30 Church service.  Then 11:45-1:00 we’ll provide a Mozambiquan style luncheon and an information session to celebrate the launch of our 2018 Bursary Campaign. ALL Bursary supporters – within and outside UUCV – plus anyone interested in learning about the program — are invited to UUCV on December 3rdUUCV is at 2 Forge Road, Boiling Springs, PA.  See map at  Luncheon is in church dining room which is on the lower level.

Project Share Farm Stand

Thursday, December 7th Show up at Project SHARE’s Farm Stand to help sort fruits, vegetables, baked goods for distribution to those in need.  (9:30 till about noon)



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

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?

Christmas Marketplace

Hey, Hey, Hey, all you Guys and Dolls, let’s keep the good times rollin’ and make this a humdinger of a holiday! The Marketplace this year will be held on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th. Lay down some scratch on fab-u-lous treasures for the holiday season, and to support our continuing fundraising efforts. Our Merry Marketplace gives us the opportunity to give twice. We also need some good eggs to:

Donate generous gifts to sell.

Discover treasures to donate that have value as gifts.

Make jewelry fit for a dapper cat or a flapper gal.

Knit or crochet homemade crafts.

Create fresh wreaths (approximately 6) for Market Sundays.

Prepare jams or pies to be sold on Market Sundays.

You can pony up your gifts by placing them on the back of the stage with an identification note so we can tell the world that you’re the cat’s meow.  If you have questions, tickle Katie McFarland’s ear at

P.S.  We, of course, do need help. Please offer your hand in setting up, selling, and tearing down the marketplace. Please sign up at the information table in the social hall.


Worship Service Flower Coordinator Needed

After many years of making sure we had flowers for our worship services, Nancy Tarrant will be stepping down on December 31 as the flower coordinator…Thank you Nancy!!!  We are in need of a new volunteer.  The duties are simple: Make a yearly sign-up sheet that lists all the Sundays in the year so volunteers will be able to choose a Sunday when they are willing to provide a fresh flower arrangement for a Sunday service.   It would be helpful if the coordinator were willing to do some encouraging/asking and also be willing to provide flowers on those Sundays when volunteers are not forthcoming.  If you’re interested, get in touch with Pam in the office 717/249-8944.

Open Auction Event Available – Great Family Event

Kindness Rock Painting Party

One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire outlook…day…life.  Come paint positive messages on rocks.   Then take your rocks on your travels for the upcoming holidays, whether locally or afar, and place them to be found by others.  Spread kindness.  Open to all ages.  Rocks and paints provided.

This event is $10.00/per family and will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 10:00 am – noon.  Melissa Mattson is your host for this event.  If you’re interested, contact Melissa at

Attention Holiday Bakers!!

The Carlisle Area Religious Council will again be coordinating our annual collection of cookies for the inmates at the Cumberland County Prison. Each year we try and gift a dozen preferably homemade cookies to each inmate. This year, the census is up so we need to pack 480 dozen. Please help, if you can, by baking an extra dozen or two for to brighten their holiday.

You can also join us to help pack the cookies on Tuesday, December 19 at 6:30 PM at First Church of the Brethren. All are welcome. The cookies will be distributed the following day to the inmates by the prison staff.

Julie Ham will collect in the Social Hall at UUCV on Sunday, December 17, or you can drop off cookies at the Church of the Brethren on the day of the event. If you need to make other arrangements, to donate, or if you have questions, please contact Julie at, or 717-462-7623.

Decorations needed for the UUCV Mitten Tree

Starting December 4th, our yuuth group will be collecting donations for our annual “mitten tree”.  Decorations of new mittens, gloves, hats and scarves should be placed on the tree in our sanctuary throughout the month of December.  All items received will be given to Carlisle CARES for families in need.           Your generosity is appreciated to help keep others warm this winter. Thanks!

UUCV Small Group Ministry

Our 3rd UU Principle affirms our acceptance of one another and encourages spiritual growth in our congregation.  This is not easy work.  We know that our Seven UU principles challenge our beliefs and practices. While we readily acknowledge the guidance that the principles offer, the question is “What are we doing about them?”  What are we doing to promote our own personal and spiritual growth?

First, I believe that we must do our own work individually by developing a daily spiritual practice. And second, which I think is essential, we must articulate and share our understandings, beliefs and feelings with others.  As members of this UU faith tradition we have an obligation and responsibility to support each other in this endeavor.  Our Small Group Ministry Program exists for this very purpose.

The program 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 let by trained facilitators who encourage deep listening and the sharing of beliefs and feelings about chosen topics.

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



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