February 2018 Newsletter

From the Minister

Dear friends,

Almost exactly five years ago today I met my first member of UUCV.  I remember sitting in my hotel, anxiously waiting for the car to pull up.  I hoped it would go well.  I hoped the search committee would like me.  I hoped I didn’t spill anything on myself at dinner….  That night I couldn’t have imagined all that was in front of us.  We have celebrated, worshipped, planned, mourned, dreamed, and sometimes even danced together.

We have done so much together and now, on the eve of our planned Capital Campaign, it seems that there is so much to do.  I am so excited about the work that is ahead and the possibilities that lie ahead for our beloved community.  I believe that there are wonderful times ahead.

In anticipation of the leap into the future that we are all about to take together, I will be taking a planned sabbatical from April 15 to August 15 of this year.   As many of you know, the covenant that I entered when I accepted your call to ministry includes a provision for a Sabbatical between the Minister’s fourth and sixth years.  And here we are!

I believe that I will come back to you not just a refreshed and rejuvenated minister but also a better one.  One who is able to offer deeper and more thoughtful worship, to be more present to the joys and sorrows of our beloved community, and who is ready to throw herself head first into the Capital Campaign when I return.  Ministers go on sabbatical so as to deepen their ability to nurture the work of the congregation.  I look forward to deeper study than I am able to engage in during the course of the church year.  I plan to attend to my spirit in retreat and deeper daily practice.

The congregation has been putting aside money every year in anticipation of this moment and I am so pleased that we will be able to maintain ministry throughout my time away.  I am delighted to announce that the Rev. Dr. Kathy Ellis has agreed to serve as our sabbatical minister.  Rev. Dr. Ellis recently retired from full-time parish ministry and has returned to live in Carlisle full time.  This seemed like a perfect opportunity for her and for UUCV.  Most of you know that Rev. Dr. Ellis was a member of UUCV when she first heard the call to ministry, so it feels appropriate to welcome her home.  Rev. Dr. Ellis will lead worship, with the continued assistance of our skilled worship associates, and she will attend and advise meetings of the Board, Capital Campaign, and others as needed.  We are in able hands.

In the past year I have had time to reflect on how proud I am to be the minister of this beloved community.  It will be hard to step away from this community, even for a short time.  But I know I will come home better able to serve our community and our wider mission in the world.

In faith,

Rev. Aija


Worship Information

The Worship Theme for February is “Humanism”


February 4 – “Possibility” When you don’t need faith.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Molly Wilkinson.

February 11 – “Throw Me Something Mister” At Mardi Gras parades people run along the sides of floats, calling up for the riders to “Throw me something Mister!” What are they expecting to receive. And why do they think they will receive it?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Christin Kapp.

February 18 – “A Needed Hope” At the turn of the last centurty a group of leading theologians, intellectuals and scientists came out with the Humanist Manifesto. Why was it so needed?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Michele Burton.

February 25 –“17 Generations” From the first slave delivery in 1609 to the present, we will look at 17 generations of slavery, perseverance, performance and ingenuity – in celebrating Black History Month.  Dick Poland is service leader.




Capital Campaign – Important Dates

Booklets outlining the three packages are available in the social hall.  Please visit the Capital Campaign display in the Social Hall for additional detailed information and to view photos and Fun Facts.



February 4 and 11 –  Informational Conversations

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

Sunday February 18 – Package Preference Vote

UUCV members will vote for their preferred package.  This is an important day, and you will want to be present.  If you cannot attend on February 18 and wish to vote, contact a committee member or Pam for further instructions.

February  26, 27, and 28 – Financial Feasibility Study




    Answers to Your Financial Questions


How do we expect to fund the Capital Campaign?

In 2016-17, 20% of our pledges accounted for 50% of the $216,000 pledge income. This would indicate that we can’t just take the total price tag of the Capital Campaign package and divide it evenly among all of the pledging households. Some will be able to contribute more than others. Initially, we are looking for a few major donors who could seed the campaign with larger investments to get us started. They will be joined by several others making significant contributions, and we will rely on many smaller contributions. Ultimately, we anticipate 100% participation from all members and friends of UUCV, regardless of the amount.

Why are holding a preference vote before a Financial Feasibility Study?

Based upon data from our Next Steps Weekend held last April, all three packages are within the financial capability of our congregation. The results of this vote will solidify our vision. Once we have decided what we want to do, then a Financial Feasibility Study will confirm whether we can successfully meet that goal.

What is a Financial Feasibility Study?

An FFS is an independent analysis to determine the extent of understanding, support, and likely financial commitment for the proposed campaign.  It is based largely on confidential in-person interviews of a carefully selected cross section of members (approximately 20-24 people). Interviews will be conducted by a neutral outsider who is a skilled interviewer, so that the responses are candid and complete, and the resulting data is valid and useful.  The interview data, supplemented by targeted surveys, is analyzed using a range of assumptions and “what-if” scenarios to help estimate an attainable campaign goal.  The Study typically provides specific recommended actions that the leadership can take to increase support and likelihood of success. The expected outcome is a projection of potential success for the Capital Campaign.

Why is staying in our current building the best option?

The Steering Committee worked with a realtor to explore the availability and cost of other buildings and property in a variety of locations in the Carlisle area. There are currently no appropriate buildings available. The cost of acquiring a suitable plot of land would be at least $1 million, with additional construction costs more than doubling that figure. Key major repairs would still need to be completed on this building before it could be offered for sale. Our best option is to care for our current home, a space where we have already made substantial improvements and investments.





Director of Lifespan Faith Development (DLFD)  

Prepared by DLFD Emily Crutcher, January 2018


The Director of Lifespan Faith Development (DLFD) position is currently funded for 20 hours a week. Providing initial funding that would be structured over time to become a part of the annual budget would expand this to a fulltime, 40 hour a week position, and would bring these benefits to the Religious Education Program:


Outreach to Local Community

Right now there is very little flexibility within this part-time position for the DLFD to make meaningful connections within our local community. Expanding this position’s weekly time would allow more connection with other Unitarian Universalist churches, as well as other local faith communities. We could also make concerted outreach efforts to the Cumberland Valley population through participation in community events and hosting large, family-friendly events open to the public. This kind of outreach would bring new members to the church, and also bring in more volunteers for the Religious Education program.

Intra-Congregational Community Building

Part of the focus of the DLFD position is to encourage community building within the congregation. This can look like hosting family-friendly events to encourage children to form friendships with each other, and also multigenerational events that encourage congregants who may not have much contact with each other to spend more time in fellowship. Currently it is possible for this part-time position to support one event per quarter, but expanding the position would allow us to offer events each month.

Adult Religious Education

The DLFD currently must focus on RE programming for grade school children and keeping nursery care running. Expanding this position to full time would allow the DLFD to offer more support for faith development over the lifespan, including more involvement in the Youth Group, and creating more opportunities for young adults to explore their faith and build community.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Classes

Offering comprehensive age-appropriate sexuality education through the OWL program is something that makes Unitarian Universalism unique, and is often mentioned as a primary reason that families initially build a relationship with UU. Currently we have the capacity to host one of the shorter modules of OWL once a year. Expanding this position would allow the DLFD to recruit and train more facilitators to offer the full 28-week OWL curriculum for grades 7-9, and to offer the shorter modules more often. We could also offer OWL modules for young adults and older adults.

Building a Safer Congregation

The DLFD is responsible for chairing the Safer Congregation Response Team (SCRT) and leading their activities. The purpose of this team is to create policies and procedures to prevent and respond to misconduct, including child abuse, sexual harassment, and other disruptive behavior. While the support of the team allows a part-time DLFD to meet these responsibilities, a full-time position would allow the DLFD to develop much more comprehensive prevention education efforts, including offering ongoing workshops on modeling consent for kids, effective bystander intervention, responding to disclosures of abuse or harassment, and exploration of how the prevention of interpersonal violence relates to our UU faith.

 Stability and Sustainability

Finally, expanding this position to full-time would support the sustainability of the Religious Education Program by making it possible for a DLFD to consider this a long-term career position. Part-time positions by their nature involve a lot of burn out, as there are many competing demands and never enough time. Financial considerations also lead talented individuals to seek other opportunities that are fulltime. This leads to a lot of turnover in the position, which costs the church both in terms of time and money, but also heavily impacts the stability of the RE program. It takes about a year for a DLFD to build up a sustainable pool of volunteers and devoted RE committee, and much of that momentum, institutional knowledge, and bond with UUCV families is lost when the DLFD position is in constant transition. The need is there to expand this position to fulltime, so that the DLFD can build a sustainable and comprehensive Religious Education program at UUCV.




UUCV Pot Luck Luncheon

Join us on Sunday, February 11 following worship for a pot luck in our dining room.  Bring a dish to share…no nuts please!



Mozambique Bursary – The Forever Gift of Education

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Because of your generous support, the Mozambique Bursary Committee will be able to contribute $42,300 to our partner secondary schools. Three hundred dollars supports one girl for one year.  Your donations will assist 110 girls in 2018 with their dream of obtaining an education that would otherwise be unavailable.  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.




Wanted: SOUP….this Sunday

Hey  Hey  –  What  do  you  say ?   Let’s  beat  hun-ger  .  .  .   to-day ! !

If you missed the worship service on Jan. 28 you missed the acrobatic performance of the Social Justice Committee Cheerleaders  –  but that’s okay, so- long- as  you remember their message to help end hunger.

Please HELP by bringing as many cans of soup as possible to church this coming Sunday (February 4),  “SOUPER” Bowl Sunday.   Please pass the word, and overwhelm UUCV with cans of soup  –  to make it a super SoUper Bowl!

All donations will be delivered to the Mt. Holly Springs Food Bank.





Building A New Way: The Biennial Budget Drive

February 25 marks the beginning of a new process for the pledge campaign that keeps our programs, personnel , and building operating on a daily basis.  This year we’ll be asking for your continued commitment to UUCV by signing up for a TWO YEAR pledge.  That’s right, the Annual Budget Drive will now become the Biennial Budget Drive (BBD)!

Letters will be distributed beginning February 25, and pledges must be returned on or before March 18, when we will celebrate the twenty year history of this generous congregation.

Please note the BBD is a separate request to support he ongoing needs of the church and is unrelated to the Capital Campaign, which will kick off in August.




UUCV…Let’s Do This!


Souper Bowl Day of Caring  – Be a part of the National Campaign to End Hunger.  Bring canned goods to UUCV on Sunday Feb 4 and Feb 11.  Let’s fill Kit Karnsey.

Project SHARE Farm StandHelp is needed on Thursday, Feb 8 and Feb 22 from 9:30 to 11:30.  Volunteers sort donated food for distribution to those in need.  The Farm Stand is located at 123 Lincoln St, Carlisle.

Black History FestivalHope Station is sponsoring the 2018 Black History Festival on Saturday, Feb 24th from 11 am until 2 pm at Hamilton Elementary School, 735 Clay Street, Carlisle.  The event will feature speakers and performances.

Change For The WorldAll change donated this month will support the efforts of the The Mt Holly Springs Food Bank which provides food to needy individuals and families in Boiling Springs, Mt Holly Springs, and Gardners communities.   The food bank is open every Tuesday from noon until 2:00 pm.  Your donations will help fight hunger in our own community.



UUCV Book Group

Join us on Sunday, February 25, 2018 in our Yuuth Room to discuss Bill Browder’s book, Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, And One Man’s Fight For Justice.  Described as a “financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade,” Browder tells the story of his murdered attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, and the fight against crime and corruption in Russia that led our Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act in December 2012 and Vladimir Putin in retaliation to  ban the adoption of Russian children by American families.  The Toronto Star calls this “a tale that makes the dirty dealings of House of Cards look like Snow White.” The events described continue to affect our relationship with Russia, the current political scene and the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller.  Darlene Smith will lead the discussion.  Questions: contact richardbronakoski@gmail.com .





Save The Date!

Do you remember how fantastic the band was at the UUCV auction?

Hearing the Jazz Legends perform, a group of very talented UUCV musicians, was the highlight of the evening!

Back by popular demand, the Jazz Legends will again gather together to play on Saturday, April 28 at a special spring fundraising dinner and dance at UUCV! Mark your calendar now for this date, and watch this space and the next newsletter for more details.


Change For The World Reminder

Do you volunteer for or are you familiar with an organization you would like to recommend as a Change for the World (CFTW) recipient?  If so, please complete a CFTW proposal (located on the Social Justice table in the social hall) and place it in the basket beside the forms.

Change for the World Guidelines

The Social Justice Committee (SJC) of UUCV uses the following guidelines in choosing Change for the World recipients that are recommended by congregants or members of the Committee:

Funds collected will be donated to organizations or groups providing needed services that are in keeping with UUCV’s mission and the UU principles.  Special consideration will be given to local groups for whom a donation of $200-$300 dollars might be crucial.

UUCV members who wish to nominate a recipient of CFTW are required to submit a UUCV CFTW proposal form (located on the SJC table in the Social Hall).  Proposed nominations will be reviewed by the SJC on a quarterly basis.  Please note the SJC reserves the right to make special selections during emergency situations, such as was done for hurricane relief.

For more information, please contact a member of the SJC.




UUCV Small Group Ministry Update

In the three years I have served as the chair of the Small Group Coordinating team, I’ve learned a lot.  I value the friendship and support I’ve received from the Coordinating Team and especially the facilitators of our small groups.  I know it is time to move on and I encourage others to share their talents to maintain and develop new initiatives for our Small Group Ministry Program, therefore I am stepping down as Chair of the Small Group Coordinating Team.

I truly believe that our UU tradition offers the best hope for those seeking answers to the “religious questions.” But this can only happen if each of us takes our responsibilities seriously.  This means not only doing our own work individually, but also being part of a program that allows us to articulate our beliefs, listen deeply to others, and develop a supportive community.  We are so fortunate to have dedicated facilitators who help to make this happen.  I am thankful for each of them and their ongoing work and effort to make the program successful. I am also extremely grateful for all the church members and friends whose participation makes this worthwhile.

Richard Bronakoski

As Rich has “stepped down” from leading our Small Group Ministry (SGM) Program, I decided to “step up”.  His decision allows him the freedom that he wants.  As I pondered what I wanted at this time of my life, I realized that I was eager to further develop the solid foundation of our SGM Program.  Most of my professional life has included development of groups as a means of working toward individual and institutional growth and further improvement.  I am reminded that my faculty department at Shippensburg U. would often point out that we had a good department and would question, “Why do we need to develop further?”  My response was always, “We don’t have to be sick to get better.”  It is still my mantra.  For this newsletter, I will offer a few of the ways we will consider to get even better.

Jim Burton will co-lead the program and we will work with the entire committee to explore ways to identify and solve problems.  We will continue to reach out to the groups to seek their perspectives and wisdom.

Currently, we have 8 small groups.  My hope is that we will increase that number in the coming year.  We will need help with training new group leaders.  (Let me know if you are interested.)

I will close for now. We will have more to describe as we continue to get better.  Our steps, stages, and plans will be described in each newsletter. Feel free to talk with us about what we are planning. We want to hear your thoughts.

We thank Rich for his contributions and hope he uses his freedom to satisfy his creativity.  Perhaps he will share some resources with us.  Best wishes, Rich.

Anne Gero

Re Classes

Meditation with BhanteTuesday, February 6 from 7:00 PM to 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.

Feb 4 – 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 18 – 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.

March 11 – 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 25 – 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.

April 8 – 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 22 – 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.

May 6 – 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 20 – 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


UUCV Bad Weather Closing Policy

Looks like the bad weather is upon us which also includes confusion over what is cancelled and what is still on the agenda.  To make things as simple as possible, that staff have worked out a plan that hopefully will answer your questions.

During the work week – if the South Middleton School District is closed, the UUCV office will be closed as well as all events scheduled for that day which would have been held at UUCV.   If an event is to be held offsite, it’s up to the discretion of the committee chair on whether to hold the meeting and the committee chairs responsibility to notify committee members.

For Sunday Worship or Special Events – there are several places you can check:

  • Check our website uucv.net

  • Facebook and Twitter

  • You will receive an email from Pam, the Church Administrator

  • If we have your cell phone on file, you will receive a text message. If you would like to add your cell to our distribution, contact Pam in the office with your cell #

  • Call the church office and listen to the recording 717/249-8944

Hopefully this information will be helpful to you and if you are in doubt, use your best judgement.



February Open Auction Events

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

Breath, Meditation and Gentle Yoga Saturday, February 3 11:00 AM $10  Contact Amy Farrell farrell@dickinson.edu

The Queen’s Tea Saturday, February 3 1:00 PM $25 Contact Laura Rumley lmrumley@yahoo.com

Spirit Doll Workshop Saturday, February 10 1:00 PM $30  Contact Leeann Rhoades L30rhs@gmail.com

Wine, Whiskey and Song Saturday, February 10  5:30 PM $25  Contact Leslie Carr lgcarr22@gmail.com

Look Beautiful with a Scarf Sunday, February 18 3:00 PM  $15  Contact Gisela Roethke roethke@dickinson.edu or Carole DeWall carolesdw@gmail.com

A Sondheim Supper Saturday, February 24 6:00 PM $45  Contact Joan Kraft joankraft@comcast.net


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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