From the Minister

Dear Friends:

Stop.  Look.  Listen.  For the holy is all around us.

It is in the light in this grey, winter sky.

It reflects off the glistening ice and individual snowflakes all unique.

It pulses through the hands resting on the pew next to you, the hands on the cart in the grocery store, the hands that wrap the gifts and the ones that tear them open, the hands tucked in pockets and cuddled in mittens and clinging tightly to each other.

It calls from the whistling wind, from the honking horns and the swish of slush giving way under your tires.

It whispers in the rustling in of intrepid squirrels in leaf piles, the hiss of fires being lit for the first time, the hum of heating we are so lucky to have.

Stop.  Look.  Listen.  The holy is all around us, waiting for us to notice.

Stop.  Look.  Listen.


In faith,

Rev. Aija




Worship Information

The Worship Theme for December is “The Blessings of Love”

December 2: “A Gift that Keeps On Giving” Out of abundance comes service. Or does it? We gather to celebrate winter, to offer gratitude when we are warm and others are cold, when we have shelters when others do not. Does this reminder of our blessings lead us to extend them? Or to hold them tight?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Julie Ham.

December 9: “Ask the Minister” Ever wonder how something at church works?  How does Rev. Aija plan her sermons?  Who decides what our kids will do on Sunday mornings?  What exactly does pastoral care mean?   If you have a question, today is the day to get an answer.    Rev. Aija Simpson will take questions as we explore what it means to be a religious community.  Christen Kapp will be the worship associate.

December 16:  “The Essence of the Situation” As we enter into the darkest time of the year we are reminded not only of the contrast between the light and the dark but of the intertwined relationship between the two. Today we will explore what it means to embrace the All-ness of life and consider what the pure essence of the situation may really be.  Cindy Terlazzo preaching with worship associate Molly Wilkinson.

December 23: “A Winter Speech Choir” Join us for a multigenerational winter holiday pageant.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Emily Crutcher.

December 24: “Follow the Light” Join us for this multigenerational evening of stories and carols.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associates Cheryl Parsons and Dick Poland.

December 30: “Lift Up Your Voice” Join us for a quiet, decidedly non-holiday themed musical service.  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching.





Celebration of Life Services

Pat Spader – A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, December 29 at 3:00 PM at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg (1280 Clover Lane)

Bill Vernon – A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, January 5 at 11:00 AM in the UUCV Sanctuary.  Rev. Aija Simpson officiating.



UUCV Poinsettia Fundraiser –Remember.Honor.Support

Purchase a poinsettia to remember or honor a loved one…to show appreciation…to support UUCV. An insert in the Order of Service will list the names of those being recognized by the poinsettias.  The poinsettias will decorate the Sanctuary from December 16th to 30th so all can share in their beauty. Please take your poinsettia home after the service on December 24th or 30th.  Why not give it to a neighbor or friend as a gesture of kindness and love or keep it to enjoy its beauty.

The cost of each poinsettia dedication is $15. Complete the order form located in the social hall or contact Pam in the office 717/249-8944 to place an order.

The last day to place an order is Sunday, December 9thPlease see Cindy Good or Pam Martin with questions.






Mozambique Bursary Committee  

Please give the forever gift of education to a girl in Mozambique!  In the United States, we take secondary education 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 opportunity. 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 often attend a local primary school.  But the cost of attending a regional secondary school — room and board, school fees, uniforms and supplies is simply out of reach for most families. Your gift of $300 will support a girl for one year while she completes her secondary school education.  Gifts of any amount, however, are welcome and help Mozambiquan girls achieve their educational goals.  Checks payable to the UUCV Mozambique Bursary Project can be put into the offering or mailed to UUCV. Thank you for your generosity




Small Group Ministries Program Information

As Christmas approaches, I am thinking about resources that are available for all of us to take advantage of ways to explore connection.  Getting to know others helps us belong, connect, learn, and assist others.  For many, these resources are essential for growth, development, and enlightenment.

Jim Burton and I are Co-Leaders of our UUCV program and are reaching out to you to learn about SGM.  Currently, we have more than 10 groups & are starting more.  Please contact either of us and we will be glad to get together to discuss our resources and your needs.  Anne 717/386-1852 or Jim 717/486-8600

We look forward to discussing this opportunity,

Anne Gero & Jim Burton







UUCV….Caring For The World!

Project SHARE Farm Stand

Please join us on Thursday, December 13th and 27th from 9:30 to 11:00 as we help provide food for those in need.  The Farm Stand is located at 123 Lincoln St, Carlisle.

Blanket Drive for the Shalom House – a homeless shelter for women and children

The Shalom House, located in Harrisburg, has an urgent need for new or gently used blankets.  The SJC will collect these items through the end of December.  Donation tubs are located in the Social Hall.


Mozambique Bursary Project – Donations are currently being accepted

The forever gift of an education transforms the lives of girls in rural Mozambique and benefits not only the young women, their families, communities, and nation. Three hundred dollars educates a girl for one year.  All donations contribute to these girls’ well-being. Checks payable to the UUCV Mozambique Bursary Project can be put into the offering or mailed to UUCV. Thank you for your generosity.


Change For the World – Domestic Violence Services for Cumberland and Perry Counties

DVSCP supports the empowerment of those who are experiencing domestic violence through the provision of direct services and the promotion of nonviolence through social and systems change.  Services provided include: Emergency Shelter, Counseling and Advocacy, Children’s Programs, Protection From Abuse Orders, 24 Hour Hotline, Public Education and Outreach.





Holiday Cookie Decorating


Stay after service on Sunday, December 9 to decorate holiday cookies with us! All are welcome to join us in the dining room downstairs from 11:45am-1pm. Cookies will be baked and ready for decorating, all you have to do is show up and make them sparkle!

Kids may sample one cookie each, and the rest will be donated to the Cumberland County Prison.






It’s that time of year! Come down to the Spirit Play classroom after service on Sunday, December 23 for a brief family choir rehearsal with David, UUCV’s Music Director. Kids and caregivers will practice singing familiar holiday songs that will be performed during Christmas Eve service on 12/24. All are welcome!








December Adult RE Schedule

These classes will be held on Sunday morning’s beginning at 9:00 am in the Board Room.

A Matter of Faith and Belief

For our two meetings in December our discussions will highlight two books: Emmanuel Carrere’s The Kingdom and Bart Ehrman’s TheTriumph of Christianity. However, reading these books is not a prerequisite for attending the classes and participating in the discussions. With the help of these recent works we will survey the New Testament writings of Paul and Luke and the early growth and development of Christianity. Both Carrere and Ehrman started as Christians, but now consider themselves agnostic, and yet both are still fascinated by the Christian story.  With the help of these two authors we will take a new look at this most interesting and fascinating story that has affected and continues to affect so many. Rich Bronakoski will lead the discussions.




Easy Ways to Contribute To UUCV

UUCV will receive .5% of every purchase made when UUCV is chosen as the donor organization.  Go to and choose UUCV as the charity from the pull down drop box at the right side of the screen.  Select “Change Charity” and enter Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley.  UUCV will receive .5% of all purchases you make.  UUCV will automatically come up as your charity going forward until you change it.

This is the first online shopping mall where a portion of each purchase is donated to your favorite organization.  Visit the website and follow the instructions to list Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley as the organization you want to support.  This is free for you…the stores pay.  Every time you purchase something from a participating store and have UUCV listed as your organization, UUCV receives a donation from that store.



If you shop at Staples and are not a reward member, give them our phone number 717/249-8944 and you will earn rewards points for UUCV.




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 soldCards 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!





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 or Rev. Aija know what you think!





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





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