From the Minister
In honor of National Coming Out Day
A few years ago, in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting, I preached a sermon that some people interpreted as me coming out of the closet. Afterward, a number of people reached out to tell me how glad they were. While I am always happy to receive well wishes and I’m glad that the response to a minister coming out was joy (not surprised, but still glad), there is one small problem. That is not what I understood myself to be doing. I did not consider what I was doing coming out because, as I said in that same service, I have been out since I knew there was anything to be out about. There was no closet for me to stay in.
For most of us, the default assumption is that we are straight. I don’t think this is a useful default assumption, but as in so many things, no one asked me. But for me, and to the other kids I grew up with, that wasn’t the default assumption. It wasn’t assumed that we would be straight any more than we would be gay. There was no default. I have lived my entire life out in the open because in my world there was no other place to be.
When I say that it behooves those of us for whom coming out is easy to do, I meant in the way that we are offered opportunities every day to come out, over and over again. This isn’t something you realize if it isn’t your truth but you are afforded multiple opportunities, every day, to either start a conversation or keep silent and know what the other person assumes about your default. And I was reminding myself, and others, that it is always worth it to have that conversation, over and over.
So you might be asking yourself, OK Aija, that’s nice, but why should we care?
Because of an idea that is bigger than my experience, bigger than all of us. My context was not yours. I understand that most people don’t grow up without a default sexual orientation. But I like to think that someday, we will. I like to believe that someday no one will assume that someone is straight unless told otherwise. I like to think that someday my radical experience of starting “out” rather than ending there will one day be normal. I like to think that there will be no more need to come out because there will be no more closets. And until that day comes, we will cheer everyone who steps forward, again and again, and says:
This is me. This is my truth. What is yours?
*edited and reprinted from August 2016 article
The Worship Theme for November is “Sing in our Hearts”
November 4: “Finding our Song” As we welcome new members to our beloved community we explore the ways that these new voices will enhance and change our collective song. Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.
November 11: “Our Actions Matter” What we do matters. This holds true for each and every one of us. From showing up on election day to cast a vote to inspiring a small rural community in Central PA to sponsor the education of young girls in Mozambique – each one of us has the power to change our world for the better. Come – let us consider what we might do with our “one wild and precious life.” Intern Minister, Cindy Terlazzo, preaches with Mozambique Committee members as worship associates.
November 18: “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” Who gets to decide which stories we tell? Who gets to decide who will tell them? As we look forward to Thanksgiving, we explore the stories we have chosen to tell – and the ones we’ve tried to ignore. Rev. Aija Simpson preaches with worship associate Michele Burton.
November 25: “Somebody with a Little Hammer” Do our efforts matter? The challenges of the world can feel so big and our lives can seems so small. Is there any point to our small efforts? Rev. Aija Simpson preaches with worship associate Dick Poland.
The Capital Campaign has raised a total to date of $561,741!
This is an AMAZING total for this congregation, when all we really started with was an interest in getting the roof fixed! With this amount, we will be able to make the needed building repairs and many of the improvements we envisioned and help grow our congregation by seeding funds for a full time DLFD. Look for more information in the coming weeks as the Steering Committee begins planning the rollout. Additional pledges will continue to be appreciated.
Thanks to everyone for your support and investment in the future of UUCV!
Kudos and Thanks to our amazing Capital Campaign stewards!!
More than a half-million dollars has been pledged for the Capital Campaign, which is absolutely amazing! We sincerely appreciate the many contributions, as these funds will go far to make UUCV a more welcoming place.
Most of those funds would not have been possible, however, without the significant time and support of our stewards. First, they said yes when asked to be a canvasser for this vital campaign for the future of UUCV, an affirmation of their love of the congregation and definitely their spirit. Asking others for money is not normally considered an easy or desired task, yet they still agreed to help out.
Some of their reasons for accepting this challenge were, “It’s a way to pay it forward . . . If there’s not a UU church in the area, for some people, there is no church at all . . . Membership confers responsibility. . . It was a place that finally allowed me to be myself. (Perhaps some of these same reasons were why you made a pledge!)
Next, this valiant group of UUCVers spent three hours of their time getting trained by Barry Finkelstein, our UUA consultant, on a busy Saturday morning. Then, each reached out to specific congregants to make appointments to explain the program and ask for pledges of support. All of this took courage, determination and time, effort that certainly must be recognized!
As co-chairs of this phase of the campaign, we certainly can’t thank them enough. Therefore, the next time you encounter one of these folks, please extend your appreciation for a job very well done!
Bev Ayers-Nachamkin Gail Black
Laurel Belding Jim Burton
Will Guillams Kit Franklin
Amy Farrell Wendy Gebb
John Bloom Char Klein
Max Lara Dee Lauderbaugh
Mary Lynn Lynch Melissa Mattson
Tony Matyas Bev Motich
Gisela Roethke Dennis Schad
Laura Rumley Ann Sheehan
RJ Lesch Jon Tarrant
Courtney Wiley Paula Terry
Submitted by Carole & Tom DeWall
Mozambique Bursary Project 2018 – 19 Kickoff
The Mozambique Committee will launch their campaign on Sunday, November 11th by taking part in the regular UUCV 10:30 – 11:30 church service. Then, from 11:45 – 1:00 we’ll provide a Mozambican style luncheon and an information session to celebrate the launch of our 2019 Bursary Campaign. ALL Bursary supporters – within and outside UUCV – plus anyone interested in learning about the program — are invited to UUCV on November 11th.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” UUCV members act upon Mandela’s words by supporting the Mozambique Bursary project. A small donation makes a huge impact on the quality of rural, Mozambiquan girls’ lives. The girls, in turn, use their education to give back to others when they become adults. Their educations provide a lifelong gift that improves their lives and the lives of their families. Educated Mozambiquan women also make a positive impact on their communities and nations. Three hundred dollars supports a girl in secondary school for one year.
Celebration of Life Service – Art Stilson
Please join us on November 10 at 2:00 pm in the UUCV Sanctuary to celebrate the life of Art Stilson. A reception will follow in the Social Hall. If you would like to bring a dish to share, please contact Pam in the office at email@example.com or 717/249-8944.
Town Hall Scheduled
Reserve Sunday, November 18 for our next UUCV Town Hall meeting to be held in the Sanctuary following worship. Capital Campaign plans will be revealed and there will be a Q & A portion in the meeting.
Fall is here and with it, lots of work on the church grounds. Leaves and dead branch pick up, shrubbery trimming and general church clean up along with other interior projects require our attention. Please consider volunteering your time and energy to participate in this annual event. We will begin at 9AM on the Saturday the 3rd of November. This will last approximately 4 hours. Any time you can provide supporting this effort will be greatly appreciated. A sign up sheet will be located in the social hall beginning this Sunday. Thank you in advance for considering this important effort to maintaining our beloved church.
Arm Chair Seating
For anyone who has difficulty maneuvering in and out of the pews, we’ve put a few chairs with arms in the back of the church. Feel free to sit in the chairs if it’s more comfortable for you. If we get positive feedback, we can add more chairs. Let Pam firstname.lastname@example.org or Rev. Aija know what you think!
A big THANK YOU to all who contributed Sign-Up Events, Silent Auction Items and Services to the Auction.
And now – On with the Show, This is It! The countdown is on. We are one month away from the Premier and the Auction is in full production phase in preparation for Opening Night. The Production Crew is creating the Auction Booklet with the goal of distributing them several weeks in advance of the Auction to allow you to plan your bidding and buying strategies. Also, the Production Crew is preparing the lighting, sound, and set decorations for UUCV’s biggest annual FUND raising event. As a reminder, the money generated by the Auction is a line item in our annual budget. For 2018-19, our congregation passed an annual budget that relies on the auction raising $15,000. Each and every one of us has a role to play in the Cast and Crew in making this Auction a box office success.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE:
BUY A TICKET – Advanced Registration – $5 person and bring a non UUCV Friend for Free! Beginning Sunday, November 4 the Check In/Check Out Crew will be available during Coffee Hour for you to register in advance. Advanced Registration is VERY helpful! It allows The Check In/Check out Crew to have data entered and ready for the night of the Auction. This saves lots of time on Opening Night and streamlines the Check In/Check Out process which makes everyone happier!
OR GET A BIDDING BUDDY (If you can’t make it the night of the Auction)
Ask someone to be your Bidding Buddy.
Provide them with a list of items and events you’d like to bid on
Tell your Buddy the maximum you will pay for each item and event.4.Provide your Buddy with a way to pay for your purchases the night of the Auction. Cash, check, or credit cards are accepted. The easiest way to handle this would be to pre-register your credit at the Auction Advance Registration Booth in the Social Hall. This will be available on Sundays after church between now and the Auction.
Your Buddy will get you a bidding number so UUCV records will reflect your name on the purchases and will get you a receipt for your purchases.
PURCHASE RAFFLE TICKETS – Tickets will be on sale during Coffee Hour on the Sundays leading up to the Auction and on Auction night. Take a chance on winning a cash prize! The drawing for the winner is held the night of the Auction.
ANSWER THE CASTING CALL – Needed for a successful production:
Food table hosts – offer a half hour or so of your time to help keep the hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and coffee and tea concessions flowing along.
Caterers – sign up to bring your favorite non-nut hors d’oeuvres or dessert for all to enjoy, or donate soda, beer, or wine to stock the bar.
Extras – check the Auction Table in the Social Hall for opportunities to be in the show.
Auction 2018 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2018
UUCV Book Group
We read many interesting, challenging and fun books this past year and we are looking forward to the New Year.
Please join us on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 6:30 PM in our Yuuth Room to help select books for 2019. We are open to any subject, fiction or non-fiction. The books must be in print and easily available for purchase. We ask for no more than two suggestions per person. You may email recommendations but our preference is that you be there.
Everyone present at this meeting will vote and we will set the schedule for next year. Questions: Contact Rich at email@example.com.
Small Group Ministries Groups Seeking New Members
Over 120 participate in UUCV Small Group Ministries. Perhaps this is for you. Are you seeking a community that fosters spiritual and personal growth within a framework of trust and safety? Participation in Small Group Ministry might be your answer.
The following groups have openings:
The Kumquat Group meets 2nd Sundays at 2:30pm in area homes
Daytimers meets 3rd Thursday at 1:00pm at the church
There has been interest in starting a couples/partners group. Are you interested too?
Contact the Coordinating Committee co-leaders if interested in joining any of these groups.
Jim Burton: firstname.lastname@example.org – 717 486 8600
or Anne Gero: email@example.com – 717 386 1852
Bright and early on Friday October 12th UUCV’s Day of Caring team joined almost 300 other volunteers for a morning of community service. Margie Akin, Cindy Good, Pam Martin and Paula Terry teamed up with Penny, Alyssa, Kevin and Lisa from the Inclusive Employment Program (a local training facility for adults with disabilities).
We spent the morning sprucing up the pavilion and garden areas at the One West Penn apartments in Carlisle. Yes, it was chilly outside and we worked hard and got dirty but our hearts were warmed by the many “thank yous” we received from the residents.
Think about joining us next year!
Do you or someone you know need assistance getting to your polling place on Election Day, Nov. 6?
If so, UUCV’s Social Justice Committee is ready to help. Committee members and volunteers will be providing free transportation for anyone needing a ride to her/his polling place. If you need a ride, or know someone else who does, please contact Dick Poland via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-737-7820.
In addition, if you are interested in volunteering to use your vehicle to provide rides to polling places, please also let the Social Justice Committee know via the same contact information.
UUCV encourages every individual to exercise her/his civic duty AND VOTE!
VOTE – Tuesday, November 6th
Your vote makes a difference!
Project SHARE Farm Stand
Help is needed on Thursday, November 8th and 29th 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.
Mozambique Luncheon and Kick-off – November 11th
Join the Mozambique committee in the dining room immediately after service for a simple lunch and presentation.
Change For The World – Operation Veterans Hope
Operation Veterans Hope (OVH), a local 501(c)3 organization, helps homeless veterans get work, job skills, and housing. Their goal is to be a support, referral and collaborative partner with other area organizations that can help Veterans and their families prevent homelessness.
Veterans taking part in the “Work2Stay” program with OVH have a job and a place to live so long as they work at the organization’s thrift shop on North Baltimore Avenue in Mount Holly Springs.
Sunday Volunteers Needed
Coffee Makers are needed to prepare coffee for social hour. Contact Max Lara to sign up email@example.com If you’re a first timer…he will be happy to show you the ropes. Volunteer sheets are also located in the Social Hall.
Flowers to share during worship. Pick fresh from your own garden or from UUCV’s. Contact RJ Lesch firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteer sheets are also located in the Social Hall.
November Adult RE Schedule
These classes will be held on Sunday morning’s beginning at 9:00 am in the Board Room.
November 11: Reincarnation – In this class we will review the evidence for reincarnation that comes from the hundreds of documented cases of young children who have spontaneous detailed memories of past lives, especially from children born with birth marks or birth defects that correspond to wounds or injuries purported to have been suffered by the previous personality. We will also look at the use of past life therapy to resolve deep psychiatric problems that are resistant to more conventional treatment. Don Hoffman will lead the discussion.
November 25: Christian Origins Revisited – Was Jesus an historical figure whose life was later mythologized, or was he a mythological figure whose life was later historicized? In this class we will continue our exploration of this question by looking at the letters of Paul and at the 333 Old Testament “prophesies” that were allegedly fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Don Hoffman will lead the discussion.
Evening Adult RE:
Listening to our Lives: Rev. Kathy Ellis will lead these sessions from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm in the Yuuth Room. Bring snacks to share if you like. Contact Emily Crutcher email@example.com if you require childcare.
November 14 Spiritual Practice
November 28 Community
Grocery Cards – Easy fundraiser for UUCV
Don’t forget to stop by the Grocery Card table after service on Sundays to buy a Giant, Karns or Weis card to purchase all your picnic groceries. This is a great fundraiser for UUCV – we receive 10% of the face value of every Giant Card sold and 5% for each Karns and Weis card sold. Cards can also be purchased during the week in the church office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm and on Wednesdays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. And you can use your Giant card for gas, Carlisle Borough Trash Bags, prescriptions, and beer for those over 21!
Parking at UUCV…be courteous to our neighbors!
The parking spaces in the UUCV parking lot are very limited. Please reserve these spaces in our parking lot for those with mobility issues and families with small children. There is additional parking across the street at the convenience store parking lot as well as the Boiling Springs Middle School parking lot. Let’s all be neighborly…please DO NOT park along High Street in front of our neighbors homes or along Forge Road. This makes it difficult for our neighbors…and UUCVer’s….to have clear visuals when trying to pull our onto Forge road. Thanks for your cooperation!!
Help Us…Help You!
Please be sure to note on the memo line of any checks made payable to UUCV the reason for the checks, such as “grocery cards” “capital campaign” “pledge” “offering” “Mozambique” This assures that your donation gets applied to the account you intended and keeps your year-end tax statements accurate.
If you have any questions, contact Pam 717/249-8944 or firstname.lastname@example.org