January 2018 Newsletter


Worship Information

The Worship Theme for January is “World Religions”

January 7:  “Fresh Start?”   On this first Sunday of the New Year we ask: Can we ever really begin anew?   Rev. Aija Simpson will preach this Sunday with worship associate Christin Kapp.  Music Director David M. Glasgow provides wintry service music from and inspired by the great George Winston.

January 14:  “Take My Hand” – Who do we reach out to? Whose hands are we waiting to hold? On this Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday we ask how it is that we build relationships with new people and communities.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

January 21:  “Snappsy the Alligator Didn’t Ask to Be in This Book” How do we understand other people’s expectations of us?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Julie Ham for this multi-gen service.

January 28: “With a Capital T” Is it possible to proclaim the truth of your own faith and at the same time agree that other religions are also valid paths to Truth?  Christin Kapp is service leader with Dot Everhart as worship associate.


Mozambique Bursary – The Forever Gift of Education

On December 3rd UUCV members and friends attended a Mozambiqucan-style luncheon and hear why Bursary Committee members support this project.  The luncheon began the kick-off to the 2018 Bursary fundraiser. Three hundred dollars supports one girl for one year.  Donations of any size supports Mozambiqucan girls in their dream of a secondary education.

During this time of year, when we focus on family and our blessings, may we give special thanks for the gift of literacy and economic opportunity. The Mozambique Bursary committee sincerely thanks those who have donated to the project for the 2018 school year. The forever gift of an education transforms the lives of girls in rural Mozambique and benefits not only the young woman, but her family, community, and nation. Checks payable to the UUCV Mozambique Bursary Project can be put into the offering or mailed to UUCV. Thank you for your generosity.




2018 – 20 Years since Charter Sunday



What is special about 2018 in the life of UUCV?

It is the 20th Anniversary of our Charter.  This is a time to celebrate 20 Years of fellowship, as we have grown in so many areas.


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 each Sunday, January 21 and 28, and February 4 and 11.  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.

On Sunday February 18 there will be a preference vote by all members, to select one of the packages.  This is an important day, and you will want to be present.  If it is impossible for you to be at UUCV on that date, you may appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.  Ask a committee member for the required form.  Arrangements are being made to visit and obtain votes from members who are unable to attend services due to health or mobility issues.  Everyone has a voice in the decision.

2018 will be an exciting year for UUCV, as we celebrate 20 Years of growth of our beloved community, and as we continue to work together to realize our dreams.




UUCV Living Our Mission In 2017

The Social Justice Committee at UUCV would like to thank all of those who volunteered their time, services, financial support and talents as we contributed to the following organizations in 2017:

Project SHARE Farm Stand

MLK Jr Walk and Commemoration

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Fill the Bus

Mt Holly Food Bank – Kit Karnsey

Change for the World

Social Justice-related films

Building Bridges / Friendship Dinner

Carlisle C.A.R.E.S.

Advocacy: petitions, rallies, phone calls

PRIDE Festival

Silent Witnesses

Gleaning for Project SHARE

United Way Day of Caring

National Public Lands Day

Gerrymandering presentation

Mozambique Bursary

Mitten Tree (YUUTH)



Thanks To…

The Compassion and Caring Committee would like to thank Pam Martin and Max and Susan Lara for their help before, during and after the Memorial Service for Dan Bechtel. They were quiet angels.




Social Justice “TO DO” January Events


Carlisle’s MLK Jr Walk and Commemoration ServiceJoin us on Sunday, January 14th at 2:45 pm as we participate in Carlisle’s annual MLK Jr. walk.  The walk begins at 2:45 at the First Lutheran Church on East High Street in Carlisle.  We will walk a short distance to the Old Courthouse for a short service.  The MLK Jr. Commemoration service follows at 4:00 pm at First Lutheran Church.

Volunteer opportunities – Project SHARE Farm Stand  If you want to get involved in helping the local community, JOIN US at the Farm Stand on Thursday mornings, January 4th and January 25th.  Project SHARE’s Farm Stand, located at 123 Lincoln Street, Carlisle, provides fresh produce, perishable products, and bread two or three days a week to anyone in the Carlisle community who is in need.  Volunteers are needed from 9:30 am until about noon to sort the fruits and produce donated by local grocery stores and farmers.  It’s NOT hard work and it’s FUN. All ages are welcome.  If interested, SIGN UP at the Social Justice table in the social hall. 

Change for the World – PET Carlisle, Inc. Donate your loose change to help bring mobility and dignity to disabled individuals in developing countries by providing Personal Energy Transportation (PET) wheelchairs at no cost to people who have lost the use of their legs.  These wheelchairs are built in Mt Holly Springs, PA. 100% of all donations go towards building and shipping the PET wheelchairs.


Worship Service Flower Coordinator Named

Thank you to RJ Lesch who has volunteered to take this position.  Please support RJ and UUCV by signing up to bring flowers for our worship services.  You can sign up in the Social Hall on the Volunteer Table.





 One of our great strengths as a congregation is the active and enthusiastic participation in the Small Group Ministry program.

Currently there are 8 active groups, each with seven to twelve members.   The make up of the groups vary, some being all women, all men, or combined.  Meetings are once a month at members homes or at the meetinghouse. It is a testament to the importance and success of this program that some groups have been active for many years, and that new groups continue to be formed.

Although lasting friendships are often established through taking part in the program, the real benefit is sharing the gift of deep listening.  The groups provide much more than friendship and mutual support.  Each group has a covenant explaining the expected behaviors to ensure a welcoming and meaningful time together.  Facilitators are trained and supported by UUCV.

You do not need to be a member to join a small group, both friends and members of UUCV are equally welcome.

There is additional information on the UUCV website under the “Growth” heading.

How do I join a small group?

Contact Rich Bronakoski richardbronakoski@gmail.com  or Reverend Aija revaija@uucv.net.  They can answer any questions you may have and put you in touch with the facilitator of a group that meets at a time and place convenient for you.

“Listening creates a holy silence.  When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.”   (Rachel Naomi Reemen in Kitchen Table Wisdom)

Ellen Buller



UUCV Book Group

Join us on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to discuss Trevor Noah’s book, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.  Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times, says the memoir is “alarming, sad and funny, as it provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid.”  June Hoch will lead the discussion.  Questions: contact richardbronakoski@gmail.com .


Used Chess Sets Needed

Project SHARE is kicking off an AFTER SCHOOL CHESS PROGRAM FOR YOUTH and they need chess sets.  We are partnering with Project SHARE to collect donations of used chess sets.

So….if you have one that’s gathering dust in your basement, please bring it to UUCV by Sunday, Jan 21st.  We’ll make sure it gets put to good use.  Thank you!

Project SHARE is also looking for volunteer chess mentors.  If interested, please contact Joe Kloza at jkloza@projectsharepa.org.


Re Classes

Meditation with Bhante – Tuesday, January 2 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the RE classrooms.

Drum Circle with Dani Fiore – Monday, January 8 from 6:00 PM– 8:00 PM in the RE Classrooms.



Adult Topics of Interest Winter/Spring 2018 Schedule

Classes begin at 9:00 am in the UUCV Board Room.  Beginning in January the adult RE Sunday morning classes will explore ideas put forth in Anthony Kronman’s book, Confessions of a Born-Again Pagan. We will have separate discussions on each of the four sections of the book, those being: Gratitude, Pride, Salvation, and Joy. Although the discussion leaders will use Kronman’s book as a starting point, you need not to have read his book in order to participate in the discussion.

Kronman addresses the meaning of religion today.  He cannot accept the views of the “true believers,” those who believe in the God of Abraham and his prophets, but he also rejects the “self-professed” atheists who, as he says, mock the true believers.  Kronman starts with Plato and Aristotle and surveys centuries of Western thought to arrive at what he calls a born-again pagan view of a God that is not separate from this world. Kronman argues that only such an understanding of God makes sense.

Jan 7 – Gratitude  What is Gratitude? Should we be grateful to God or the Universe? In what ways does gratitude benefit the grateful person? Could gratitude be good for one’s soul? What is the connection between gratitude, love, and creativity?  How does gratitude contribute to our sense of being “at home” in the world?  Or does it? How has the western “Christian” view and doctrine of gratitude conditioned us?

Jan 21 – Pride  The much revered Christian philosopher and saint, Saint Augustine, considered pride the most deadly sin, but Aristotle considered pride a virtue. What is the basis for this disparity? Are these philosophers talking about the same thing? Are there different kinds or levels of pride? If so, how do you determine which pride is good and which pride is bad? What, if anything, should we be prideful about?

Feb 4 – Salvation  Some say that we live in an age of disenchantment. This world, this life is an illusion and we are just passing through waiting for admission to eternity.  If we give up the God of Christianity, must we also give up the notion of eternity and fall into nihilism? Born-again paganism may offer a solution by connecting the insights of Aristotle with our experience of the modern world and our sense of the divine.

Feb 18 – Joy  What brings us joy? Are there different kinds of joy? Can knowledge and science be a source of understanding that leads to joy? Do works of art that transcend rational understanding provide joy if we let ourselves get “lost” in them? Can relationships engender joy? Would such joy differ from love? We will discuss some of Kronman’s beliefs about joy and add our own.


Topics and dates for additional Sunday morning adult RE classes include the following:

March 11 – The Swerve, Lucretius and the Nature of Things  In his book, The Swerve, Stephen Greenblatt brings the past to vivid life in the exploration of one of the most influential works of literature of all time.  Greenblatt writes about the rediscovery in the 15th Century of Lucretius’ book, On the Nature of Things.  This book, or rather poem, written in 100 BCE, may be the catalyst that moved Western civilization towards humanism. Join us for an exploration of this important work that in many ways may still be relevant to our own time.

March 25 – Stoicism   Zeno of Citium founded the philosophy of stoicism in Athens in the 3rd century BCE. Stoics believe that emotions cause errors of judgment and that one must develop will power to control one’s emotions. The Modern Stoicism movement has gained prominence since the publication of Lawrence Becker’s book A New Stoicism, in 1997. We will discuss how this movement has molded the ancient philosophy to fit modern times and what, if any, are the connections between modern stoicism and UU principles.

April 8 – Epistemology  How do we know what we know? What is the difference between knowledge and belief? How do we determine whether something is true? What justification(s) can we use to establish the truth of a belief? Can we identify basic beliefs? Are some beliefs holistic in a way that they depend upon other beliefs? We will explore these ideas and perhaps discuss our personal beliefs, and their foundations.

April 22 – The Historical Jesus and Christian Faith  Critical biblical scholarship has come a long way in recent years to give us a new way to see Jesus that radically departs from the literal, traditional reading of the New Testament.  We will examine some of the writings of Bart Ehrman, Marcus Borg, John Shelby Spong and others as we discuss the myths and contradictions in the Jesus stories. What can we know for sure and what role does faith play in our understanding? How should we as Unitarian Universalists read and interpret the Jesus stories?

May 6 – Dreams  The Do you remember your dreams? Do you try to analyze them? Psychologists, beginning with Freud and Jung, have put forth a number of different theories on the nature of dreams and their significance in relationship to our desires, our personal problems, and recent memories. Is there a proper way to interpret dreams? Should we write down our dreams upon waking? Should we be making significant decisions based upon our interpretation of a dream?

May 20 – Time  How do you experience time? Can something exist outside of time, i.e., is anything timeless? What would it mean if physicists could define all of physical existence with equations that do not include time as a variable? Would it mean, as some claim, that time is an illusion? Join the discussion about the nature of time and our experience of it.


Carlisle CARES Fundraiser

Join Carlisle CARES for an unforgettable night and delicious evening.  The event will be held at the Carlisle Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 40 West High Street, Carlisle on Wednesday, January 17.  The evening starts at 6:00 PM with a reception featuring local appetizers and beverages.  The evening continues at 7:00 PM with the film “The Leisure Seekers” All proceeds support Carlisle CARES homeless shelter.

January Open Auction Events

There are still spaces in the following events scheduled for January:

Introduction to Woodcarving – Thursdays, January 4, 11, 18, 25 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.  Learn basic woodcarving in four evening sessions.  Richard Bronakoski will sponsor the class which includes all the necessary tools and materials for a beginning project.  Classes will be held at New Kingstown Fire House, New Kingstown, PA.  Cost is $20.  Contact Rich at richardbronakoski@gmail.com to sign up.

Poets Corner – Friday, January 19 at 7:30 PM at the home of the hosts: Wendy Gebb and Cheryl Parsons,  Go to their home and take your favorite poem.  You will share the beauty of written language as you each present your poem and a little background on the poet.  Sweet and savory snacks with hard and soft beverages will be available as you explore the wonder of words.  Must be able to do steps.  Cost is $15.  Contact Wendy Gebb at wendywinter@comcast.net to sign up.

Memoir and Personal Writing Workshop – Saturdays, January 20, February 3, 17 and March 3 from 10:00 am – noon at UUCV.  Everyone has a story that only they can tell.  Come and discover your story and learn how to tell it in your own voice.  No writing experience necessary.  Bring a pen and paper.  Cost is $40.  Contact Sharon O’Brien obrien@dickinson.edu to sign up.



UUCV To Host Young Adult “CommUUnication” Conference

The YACPACC (Young Adult Conference Planning and Coordinating Committee) of the Unitarian Universalist Association will host a weekend retreat for 18-35 year old UUs in the area. The conference will include worship, themed workshops, self-care and socializing.

Participants will stay overnight at UUCV from Friday, Jan 5 at 6:00pm – Sunday Jan 7 at 8:00am. Partial registration is available for those who can only attend one day of the event at a reduced rate. For questions please contact Elizabeth Burdette at eburdettetweed@icloud.com



Whalecoast Alaska 2018

Have you ever dreamed of visiting Alaska? If so, WhaleCoast Alaska 2018 is for you!  Four Alaska UU fellowships invite you to experience our eco-cultural and spiritual program this summer.  See Alaska through the eyes of local UUs, with friendly homestays and unique tour activities.  See wildlife, including moose, bears, caribou, whales, bald eagles, seals, and otters. Visit Denali National Park. Experience Native Alaskan culture.  Forget the cruise ships – our program is the best way to visit Alaska! Tours led by Dave Frey, member of the Fairbanks UU congregation and Alaska travel expert. Find out more about this Alaskan trip of a lifetime. For complete information go to:  www.WhaleCoastAK.org, email dfrey@whalecoastak.org or call 907-322-4966.  Discount for groups of 8 or more. We would love to share our Alaska with you!









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