March 2018 Newsletter


 From the Minister

Dear friends,

There are days when our world can feel dark.  There are days when it feels easy to despair.  But we choose to light candles in the dark.

A few weeks ago, I was with our small group facilitators and I was asked to light the chalice.  That day was one where it would have been easy to despair – it was days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.    On the days where the world feels dark, I find it useful to remind myself that the world has been dark before.  The following are the words I offered to them, and now offer to you.  For when you need to remember the light:

We light a chalice, symbol of our faith, to remind ourselves that this time is holy.

We light a flame when we come together: in worship, in meetings and in fellowship.

We light it to remind ourselves that there is a light, even when the world seems dark.

This symbol that gives us hope was not designed in a time of light, but in a time of dark.

In the 1940’s members of the Unitarian Service Committee were trying to help relocate as many Jews as they possibly could.

They desperately appealed to world governments as they raced against the clock.

One day, they decided that they might get more done if they spruced up their image.

Graphic designer was hired and from that moment came the symbol of a chalice, a beacon of light in a dark time.

So we light this chalice, knowing that days have been darker and the light has endured.

Light will continue to burn bright, because we will tend to it.


In faith,

Rev. Aija



Worship Information

The Worship Theme for February is “Earth-Centered”

March 4: “Why Do Goddesses Have Names?”  What does it mean to have a personified diety/embodiment, spirituality in our bodies?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.

March 11: “Place Matters”  Where we plant our feet matters. And when we change our place, sometimes we change our faith.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

March 18: “In Balance” As we come upon the Spring equinox, we ask, what does it mean to be in balance?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associates Rachel Teates and Rev. Dr. Kathy Ellis.

March 25: “How to Empower Your Mind” Rumi says “what you seek is seeking you”… perhaps it’s true. The evidence of the power of our minds is undeniable.. The ancient texts of the Buddha tell us that no external condition can be the cause of our happiness, only the mind has that ability. When people understand how they are influenced, the root causes of struggle and what we can do with our minds to make things better, sustainable happiness and radiant joy are the result.  Bhante Sujata is our guest speaker with Dan Cozort as worship associate.

About our Guest Speaker…

“My life as a Buddhist monk has given me a front row seat to incredible transformation within so many people as I teach them how to empower the mind and cultivate the qualities that will help you find strength and happiness, as well as give you a burning desire to add more love to the world.  When we understand our mind, we begin to re-shape our behavior and feelings about so many things… it’s the most loving act of service one can do for themselves and the world.”

Bhante Sujata

Bhante Sujatha, a 30+ year Buddhist Monk, is singularly focuses on adding more love in the world.  Bhante teaches loving-kindness meditation to people around the globe for all those seeking the art of happiness and contentment.  His approach to meditation is deep and simple, bringing core Buddhist teachings to everyone in a way that is practical and easy to understand.  A joyful, radiant, funny and wildly energetic monk, Bhante will help you obtain peace that can only be found in deep silence.   He is originally from Sri Lanka and is the head monk / abbot of the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock, IL.

Bhante believes his purpose is not only to teach meditation, but also, “teaching people how to be happy.”

Bhante does his book signing after worship and his CD’s are also available to purchase.  Proceeds go to Bhante’s Incubator Project 






Building A New Way: The Biennial Budget Drive


In the spring of each year, we pledge our financial commitment to UUCV to keep our programs, personnel, and building operating on a daily basis. This year we are asking for your continued commitment to UUCV by signing up for a TWO YEAR pledge. That’s right, the Annual Budget Drive is now the Biennial Budget Drive (BBD).

Please note the BBD is a recurring request to support the ongoing needs of the church and is unrelated to the once-in-a-generation Capital Campaign, which will kick off its fund drive in August. Pledge commitments for the BBD will be effective starting July 1, 2018 and extend through June, 2020.

This year we are asking for a small increase over last year’s pledge, of $10 per month per member. This will help us sustain increased costs for personnel and programs over the next two fiscal years.

What aspect of this church do you love the most – the sermons, music program, RE, Social Justice, Small Group Ministry, or other committee work? Rev. Aija often says that we come together each week to “make a church”. When you make your pledge this year, you can write your name on a small church cutout to post and symbolize that this is YOUR church.

We will not be canvassing this year. Letters were distributed the week of February 25, and pledges must be returned on or before March 18. Please complete your financial commitment form and join us for a Charter Celebration Party on Sunday, March 18th following the service to turn in your pledge form. Pledges can also be completed online at

March 18 will be a dual celebration – for the 20th anniversary of the signing of our charter, and our recommitment through pledges to keeping our doors open.

Circle March 18 on your calendar and help us make the BBD a success!



March for our Lives!!

“We are always the same age inside.”  Gertrude Stein.

So, we are all always kids, right?  I want to be one of the kids at the Million Kid March in Washington DC on Saturday, March 24, 2018, the “March for Our Lives.” Please, go with me to stand by them and walk with them in support.  I am writing this as I listen to the Parkland kids just days after they experienced a nightmarish tragedy in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School saying, among many other poignant things:

“We will not be silenced!”

“Our hearts are broken!”

“We have launched NEVER AGAIN and we will change the world!”

“We are not afraid of you, NRA!”

These kids lost seventeen classmates and teachers on February 14, 2018, but their bravery in speaking out despite their grief is awe-inspiring.

Please come with us and add your energy to this event. March with our kids! Bring your kids and grandkids and friends.  Details to be provided.

Contact Dianne Dusman or

Deb Genet for questions.



March 18 Service To Celebrate UUCV’s 20th Anniversary And Honor Charter Members

UUCV will celebrate its 20th Anniversary and honor its Charter Members at the March 18 service. We are reaching out to all Charter Members to join in the festivities. If you know Charter Members who are still in the area but who haven’t been active in a while, please help us spread the word. For more information, contact Laurel Belding at Hope to see you there!



Save The Date – March Social Justice Film

Join us on Wednesday, March 28th at 1:00 pm OR 6:30 pm as we view the documentary, Born Into Brothels.  The film is about the inspiring non-profit foundation Kids With Cameras, which teaches photography skills to children in marginalized communities. In 1998, New York-based photographer Zana Briski started photographing prostitutes in the red-light district of Calcutta. She eventually developed a relationship with their children, who were fascinated by her equipment.

After several years of learning in workshops with Briski, the kids created their own photographs with point-and-shoot 35 mm cameras. Their images capture the intimacy and color of everyday life in the overpopulated sections of Calcutta. Proceeds from the sale of the children’s photographs go to fund their future education. Directed by Briski and filmmaker Ross Kauffman, Born Into Brothels was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the documentary competition.




Capital Campaign – WE ARE GOING FOR THE GOLD



The Capital Campaign preference results have been finalized, and there is overwhelming support for the gold option.

The Results:

Gold.      57%

Silver.     28%

Bronze.  15%

Now we will make it happen!

Barry Finkelstein, the UU consultant with Stewardship for Us who visited with us in April has already determined that, based on the strength and commitment of the congregation, UUCV is capable of realizing the Gold option.  Barry has conducted one-on-one confidential interviews to gauge how knowledgeable the congregation is about our proposed project, to help identify any issues that must be resolved, and to give us a sense of the congregation’s willingness to support our proposed project financially.  He is completing Financial Feasibility Study.  Once this is received, there will be a congregational vote on April 15 to decide whether to proceed with the campaign.





March Social Justice Information


Volunteer in our local community

When: Thursday mornings, March 8th & 22nd from 9:30 – 11:30

Where: Project SHARE’s Farm Stand is located at 123 Lincoln Street, Carlisle

Why: To provide fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need.

Fun for all ages!  Please sign up at Social Justice table.

Change for the World – Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Council

The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Council (CVTRC) is an all-volunteer, non-profit, charitable corporation dedicated to conservation, historic preservation, recreation and alternative transportation in the Cumberland Valley through the development of multi-use trails along former railroad corridors and other areas.  The CVRTC depends on local membership dues and contributions for its operational funds.

Once a stretch of railroad tracks, the 11-mile Cumberland Valley Trail, from Shippensburg to Newville, was donated to CVRTC by Conrail in 1995.  CVRTC has spent the last 19 years developing the former Cumberland Valley Railroad into an improved multi-use trail to serve all ages and abilities.  Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses.  The trail, which is wheelchair-accessible, has a crushed limestone surface except for the last ½ mile at the Newville trail head which is paved.  All of the road crossings between these two points have been graded to meet ADA specification and paved if it is a long grade.  Plans are currently in the works to extend the trail into Carlisle.




UUCV Book Group

Join us on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to discuss Tom Nichols’ book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters.  Nichols is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, an adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School, and a former aide in the U.S. Senate.  He writes that the foundational knowledge of the average American is now so low that it has crashed through the floor of “uniformed,” passed “misinformed” on the way down, and is now plummeting to “aggressively wrong.” It is not that people just dismiss expertise, but that they do so with such frequency, on so many issues and with such anger.  Why did this happen, how bad is it and what can we do about it?  Join us for a challenging discussion led by Susan Rimby.  Questions: contact

Please note that the book for April will be Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture by Amy Erdman Farrell who will join us for the discussion



Re Classes

Meditation with BhanteTuesday, March 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.

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.



New Auction Event!

Jazz Legends Dance Night at UUCV

April 28, 2018

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

$25 per person

The great UUCV Jazz Legends Band — Brian McPherson, Marlene McPherson, Craig Raisner, Carla Claycomb, Mark Renault, Nate MacDicken and our own songbird, Laura Rumley — will host a very special evening of music and dance. The Social Hall at UUCV will be transformed into a fabulous, classy nightclub for the evening.

This will be a BYOB, adults-only event, so please bring whatever you wish to eat and drink during the evening. If you want to bring extras, we will have a table available for foods to share. Coffee and ice water will be provided.

Please invite your friends to join us for this festive evening. They will have fun and get to know UUCV at the same time!

This is a great opportunity to wear your New Year’s Eve outfit one more time, or perhaps your fancy flapper costume from the auction! Some of us plan to dress to the nines, but if that’s not your thing, wear whatever makes you dance!

Tickets will be sold at Coffee Hour beginning April 8, and will also be available at the door that evening.

Questions Contact:

Rita van Alkemade at or

Carole DeWall at




Remaining Open Auction Events

Country/Blues Line Dancing Saturday, May 12 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM  $15  Contact Muriel  Rich Lisa or Adrian 

Splash Pad Fun Day Saturday, July 14 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM $10/family  Contact Melissa

Cranium Party Saturday, September 29 DATE CHANGE 7:30 PM  $25  Contact Carole Tom Laurel or Will

UUCV Artists Home Studio Tour Saturday, May 19 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM $20  Contact Sue Kim Susan snvernon@comcast.








UUCV Bad Weather Closing Policy

Hopefully the bad weather is behind us….but just in case, 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

  • 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.


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