March 2019 Newsletter




From the Minister

 Dear friends,

At the turn of the last century, a man Duncan MacDougall set out to prove that the soul was a real tangible thing.  MacDougall was a doctor who believed that the soul had physical weight.  He was convinced that at the moment of death the soul would leave the body and the body would consequently be slightly lighter.  He figured that with careful enough measurements he could measure the weight change that would be caused by the soul’s departure.  So he rigged up a bed with an elaborate series of beam scales and convinced a series of terminally ill patients to lie in it for their final days.

I’m not quite sure what the sales pitch was on that one, but it must have been impressive because a lot of people actually agreed to do this.  MacDougall determined that on average people lost 21 grams at the moment of their death.  He published his findings and discovered that even in 1907 people could recognize fringe science.  His research methods were questionable, his results uneven, and – let’s be honest – the whole thing was kind of weird.  Other scientists wrote papers denouncing him, and most people realized that this was a result in search of a test, not the other way around.  And yet, his story persisted.  There are still people who believe that the soul has weight, that MacDougall was on to something:  that a soul, like a physical part of the body, can be measured, can be evaluated, can be proven.

There is something deep inside, deep inside our souls perhaps, that longs for something more.  Something greater than the sum of our physical parts.

MacDougall was probably not correct in his belief that our soul has literal weight.  But as a metaphor I think he was on to something.  Our souls have weight, the weight of all of the times that we have been truly awake to the world.  To the times that we let ourselves feel the hurt that is the consequence of being human.  To the times that we have let ourselves be aware of beauty.  It is the weight of the one time out of a hundred times that we look out our windows and see the glory of creation rather than check to see if it looks chilly and we ought to bring a sweater.  It is the weight of sitting with a loved one in their grief without trying to fix it, noting that you can’t, that the pain is real and cannot and should not be ignored.  It is the weight of all of the times you looked at your children and saw the miracle that they are rather than wishing they could get their own juice.  It sits in those times you remember someone you lost and you get caught up for a moment in what they looked like when they were laughing at you – the place where joy and sorrow meet.  We can, we must, cultivate our soulful moments.  We must tend to the places in our own hearts where we seek delight and don’t hide from pain.  So that when the end comes, our souls weigh more than a man with measurements could ever dream.

So what are you doing to cultivate your soul?

In faith,

Rev. Aija






Worship Information

The Worship Theme for March is “Give Us Wings”

March 3: “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler” Come join us for our annual Mardi Gras service as we let the good times roll in celebration of the spirit of New Orleans.  Come holler for beads, hunt for babies and tap your toes (or do a wild dance!  That would be good too!)  Deb Stille will be making a special guest appearance as a worship associate to honor her adopted home state.

This party is for all ages.  Kids will join us in the Sanctuary but nursery care will be provided for kids 4 and under.  Mardi Gras means MUSIC at UUCV! Clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, drums, and even banjo join in with David and the choir on music from and inspired by New Orleans, to make this Sunday one you definitely won’t want to miss!

March 10: “Growing Pains – Moving Beyond Shame and Fear” When we were children, growing pains manifested as physical aches in our arms and legs. As we mature, the pain we feel as we grow is more ambiguous. Today we’ll examine the roots of our discomfort and consider how we might learn to welcome the ambiguity of our discomfort.  Cindy Terlazzo preaching with worship associate Cheryl Parsons.

March 17:  “Where Do We Come From?” What about our past inspires us? Whose dreams are we fulfilling?   Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Cathy Dewalt.

March 24: “Finding our Roots – Letting them Go” Where can we find safety? Where can we find peace?  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate Gisela Roethke.

March 31: “(Un) Labeled”  Rev. Aija Simpson preaching with worship associate What does it mean to have an identity? What if the identity you are assigned isn’t yours? Trans Visibility




Town Hall

Save the date for the next UUCV town hall meeting.  Following worship on Sunday, March 24, we will meet in the Sanctuary for our Town Hall meeting.  Get an update on the Capital Campaign, Fundraising opportunities and a financial update.




A wee bit of news from…

 The Capital Campaign


As we leap into the month of March, the behind the scenes work of the Steering Committee continues.   With a wee bit of luck, by the end of the month our architect will have completed the detailed planning and drawings.  This will indeed have us kickin’ up our heels!



Financial Updates:

The Wake Now Our Vision matching UUA initiative netted a sum of $13,000 toward the Capital Campaign.  Thank you to those households who committed a future legacy gift, thus allowing UUCV to receive 10% matching funds.  This program is one of the many ways our denomination has helped our local congregation.

Capital Campaign pledge dollars continue to be gratefully received via lump sum, quarterly, monthly, and other financial arrangements.  As of February 15th, $247,434 has been received toward the pledged total of $560,941.  Everyone is encouraged to keep current with pledge contributions so accurate financial planning can continue.

Preliminary Project Updates:

While the architect’s work continues, the steering committee has begun research on the type of appliances to be selected for the future kitchen upgrade.

Preparing for the future play area, the committee has researched multi-station play equipment and made on-site visits to view options first hand.  The necessary removal of the sugar gum trees was explored, quotes were received, and the work will be completed by the end of March.  Two key factors precipitated this action.  First, for safety reasons the deluge of falling sharp seed pods cannot be allowed in the play area.  Second, there is evidence the trees are not healthy.  Over the past two years large limbs have fallen.  Fortunately, none have yet damaged cars or mailboxes along the street. This liability would be UUCV’s responsibility.  We hope to replace the tree near the street with a new tree, perhaps a native Eastern Redbud.

Full-Time Director of Lifespan Faith Development Update:

Since December, when Capital Campaign funds expanded this position to full-time, Emily has been busy working with families, volunteers, and expanding programs.  A new age group is ready to begin OWL classes.  Community building among RE families and volunteers received a boost by holding movie nights and a group socializing “night out”.

The mission of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee during the implementation phase is:

               “To ensure that the projects as outlined and approved by congregation vote are

implemented to the fullest extent.”

UUCV’s Capital Campaign – a work in progress




Musings on Mission and Money

My volunteer service to the UUCV community includes being a member of the COM (Committee on Ministry) and the coordinator of our annual Auction for 2017 and 2018. Per the description on UUCV’s website, “The COM (Committee on Ministry) is dedicated to the support of the various ministries of UUCV, seeking a cohesion of efforts that reflect the mission and vision of UUCV. We support the Minister and Worship Staff, the Director of Lifespan Faith Development, the Board, and Committees of the Board toward creating worship, programming and outreach that reflect our UUCV community goal of transforming lives and caring for the world…” Our annual Auction, in addition to being a fun social event, is a fundraising event that is expected to raise a specific amount of revenue that is built into our annual budget.  In other words, the money raised by the Auction is relied on to meet UUCV’s annual financial needs.

When my COM and Auction identities speak to each other, questions arise. Why is it that we count on the Auction to raise a large sum of money ($15,000) for the annual budget? Because we’ve always done it that way? Because we like a party and will give to that as opposed to fully funding our annual budget with our pledges? Because the revenue generated from Sign Up items not only feeds the coffers but also helps to grow intracommunity connections? Is putting the enormous effort that goes into the Auction to raise money solely for our annual budget really an expression of our mission of transforming lives and caring for the world? Could we begin to grow toward a place where we support our annual budget in full through our pledges and dedicate our fundraising efforts toward outreach and caring for the world? What is it that we like about the Auction and are there other ways of providing that for our community? What would we miss if the Auction didn’t happen? If we believe the Auction is an important component of the life of our community, how do we recruit volunteers to help with the effort of producing it? And what about the Yard Sale and Strawberry Shortcake Sale at Foundry Day? Both are fundraisers that contribute to our annual budget and currently have no one in place to coordinate them. How can we balance our annual financial needs with our stated mission as an enduring liberal religious community and our desire to positively contribute to the needs of the larger community?

This seems to be a good time to pose these questions. If you recall, last year when we pledged toward the annual budget, we made pledges for the fiscal years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. Therefore, we won’t be having our usual spring Pledge Canvass this year. I think this gives the UUCV community a window of opportunity to consider how and why we raise money the ways we do and to discuss the possibilities of growing toward a fiscal reality that is more in line with our mission.

I appreciate your thoughtful reading of these musings. Perhaps they have stimulated questions and ideas you would like to share. In an effort to create a time and place for many to offer their input, these issues will be part of the agenda for the Town Hall Meeting scheduled after church on Sunday, March 24. Please plan to attend and be a part of the discussion. Your presence, ideas, questions, and creativity are wanted, needed, and welcomed. I also welcome your input and request that you offer it either in person or via the email listed below.

Thank you!

Wendy Gebb





Social Justice

You are invited to view the film Marshall 

The Social Justice Committee will show Marshall at 1:00 pm & at 6:30 pm on Friday, March 15th.  Marshall is based on the incredible true story of future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and one of the landmark cases of his life.


Project SHARE Farm Stand

Please join us at the Farm Stand on Thursday, March 14th and 28th from 9:30 to 11:00.  It’s easy work that provides a big benefit to a lot of people by providing fresh fruits and vegetables to those who may not be able to afford them.  The Farm Stand is located at 123 Lincoln St, Carlisle.


Carlisle CARES Host Training and Shelter Setup

Training for UUCV volunteers serving as CARES hosts during the month of April will take place after service on Sunday, March 31st.  Set up for the shelter will begin following the training.

Change For The World – Camp Koala

The mission of Camp Koala is to provide grieving children with the tools and resources to help them manage their grief in a healthy way, and to offer companionship in a supportive environment.





Adult RE Planning

Winter-Spring Adult RE Schedule

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

March 10: Zen and Reaching Our Full Potential

Which quote can you relate to?

“Joy is being willing for things to be as they are.” Zen Master Charlotte Joko Beck

“If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself and reinvent a new self.”  Joe Dispenza

In this class we will discuss the connection of author Charlotte Joko Beck’s awareness of self, meditation, and Zen and author Joe Dispenza’s power of self.  Sarah Gaudelli will lead the discussion.

March 24: Ritual in Religion

Why do UU’s light a chalice when we gather? What is the purpose of the myriad rituals practiced by religions? What effects do rituals have on practitioners?  We will explore the design, uses, effects and side-effects of rituals, from fasting to twirling, from chanting to human sacrifice.  Joe Osborne will lead the discussion.

April 14: Sacred Books – Part I

Our UU tradition draws inspiration from many sources including the sacred texts of the world religions. Wisdom from these texts inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.  Are you familiar with these sources? Can you identify them? Have you read any of them? Do you have favorites?  In this class we will provide an orientation and introduction to the books that are central to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  We are living in a time when all of the sacred books are readily available in both print and digital formats. Join us for a brief overview of history, content and a sharing of some of our favorite readings. We will provide recommendations for further reading and study.  Richard Bronakoski, Sarah Gaudelli, and Don Hoffman will lead the class.


April 28: Sacred Books – Part II

Our UU tradition draws inspiration from many sources including the sacred texts of the world religions. Wisdom from these texts inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life.  Are you familiar with these sources? Can you identify them? Have you read any of them? Do you have favorites?  In this class we will provide an orientation and introduction to the books that are central to Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  We are living in a time when all of the sacred books are readily available in both print and digital formats. Join us for a brief overview of history, content and a sharing of some of our favorite readings. We will provide recommendations for further reading and study.  Richard Bronakoski, Sarah Gaudelli, and Don Hoffman will lead the class.


May 12: Mental Illness Affects Us All

Well briefly take a look at Mental Health care in the broader context of our nation. Then we will take a deeper look at Cumberland/Perry counties and possible ways we as UU’s can be helpful according to our bridge in the inherent worth of everyone. Questions welcomed.  Chris Bilger will lead the discussion.


May 26: Consciousness and the Self

When we look deep inside ourselves, who do we find?  Is anyone there? Do we have a self? A homunculus? What creates the phenomenon of consciousness? Can machines be conscious? Are dogs or chimps or begonias self-aware? Scientists are just starting to unravel the functioning of the wetware in our skulls. But Buddhists have been studying minds from the inside for millennia. What can they tell us about being conscious?  Joe Osborne will lead the discussion.




Do You Enjoy Coffee During Social Hour?

If so, we need your help.  There is no one signed up to make coffee for the next several weeks.  Please consider volunteering one week every month or so to make the coffee for Sunday mornings.  First timer?  Max Lara will help you and there are written instructions in the kitchen as well.  This is a great way to volunteer your services for UUCV.  Sign-up sheets are located in the Social Hall “Volunteer Table” or call Pam in the office to see what dates are available 717/249-8944 or




Adult Ed Book Group

Join us Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 6:30 to 8 PM to discuss Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia by Emmanuel Carrère. Published as a novel in France in 2011, it was translated into English in 2014 and listed as a biography.  The author Julian Barnes calls it a very peculiar book that isn’t remotely a novel.  He says the book describes the life of a Russian outsider, punk, hoodlum, writer, socialite, jailbird and eventual politician, whose existence you might doubt if the internet did not confirm it. Is Liminov a hero or a thug? Check it out and get a glimpse of life in post-Soviet Russia. Richard Bronakoski will lead the discussion.  Questions: contact

The book for April is The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra MacPherson.





UUCV Small Group

UUCV offers many activities for members and guests.  Small Group Ministry (SGM) is one of the options that is very rich in a variety of ways.  Currently, we have 10 active groups – some of which have room for more members.  In addition, we are also considering developing some new groups.  Please let us know if you would like to learn more about joining a group.

In the past, we have answered questions about what SGM is and we did that by answering what potential members asked about.

Our new approach will be less descriptive but more interaction by a group in action for visitors to watch and later ask about.  This will be done on March 3, after church.

Please contact us if you would like to attend.  We are eager to hear from you.

Co Leaders Anne Gero 717/386-1852

Jim Burton  717/486-8600



Upcoming Open Auction Events (March – May)

The auction is over but there are still open events that you can attend.  Contact the event leader or Pam in the office 717/249-8944 or to sign up and submit payment.  For full details on events, check out the booklet online

Upcoming open Auction Events:

Honey Tasting and Bee TalkMarch 14 at 6:00 PM $20/pp, $35/couple  Hosts: Tara and Greg Hildebrand

The Owl as Spiritual Being March 23 $30/pp  Host: Char Klein

Learn to Dance with Fred and Ginger – April 13 at 2:00 PM  $10/pp  Hosts: Susan Rimby and John Katz

Good Day Sunshine Hike and LunchMay 18 at 8:00 AM $10/pp  Host: Sarah Gaudelli

Contact Pam in the office to sign up and for payment options 717/249-8944 or






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!




Mice Among Us

It’s that time of year where mice are hungry and cold and living at UUCV!  Please make sure ALL food is sealed in containers and trash disposed of in the provided receptacles…thanks for you help!






General Assembly

General Assembly is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates. The 2019 General Assembly will be June 19-23 in Spokane, Washington. Most General Assembly events will be held in the Spokane Convention Center.

The Power of We

What do we want Unitarian Universalism to be? It is a time when we are asking big questions in our faith, and GA 2019 will be focused on digging into those questions together. It is a critical chance for congregational leaders and passionate UUs to set new goals and aspirations for our religious community. Help begin to reshape our Association and our congregations in new and powerful ways.

This year’s theme is about collective power, “The Power of We,” as well as the possibility, the purpose, the struggle and the joy of what it means to be together in faithful community. In the past two years, Unitarian Universalism has recommitted to the work of liberation inside and outside our faith community. The antidote to a time of dangerous dehumanization is a love that connects us to our deeper humanity. Come to Spokane to experience what our shared faith can become when we embrace the Power of We.

Registration and Housing Open March 1

GA Registration and the GA Housing Reservation System open at 9 a.m. PST at


The Spokane region is the gateway for adventure and exploration in the Intermountain Northwest. Located driving distance from Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, Spokane is nestled in natural beauty.

Spokane is located on interstate I-90, 110 miles from the Canadian border and 18 miles from Idaho. It is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis.

Spokane International Airport (GEG) is serviced by Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United Airlines. Nonstop service is offered to 17 destinations, including Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, and LAX.

Spokane is accessible by rail via Amtrak’s Empire Builder route (Chicago – St. Paul/Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle). It is also reachable by Greyhound Bus.

Excellent Programming

GA will offer more than 100 programming selections over the course of five days. This year, in addition to Theme-Based Programming, the schedule will feature Role-Based Track Programming, including time for discussion among attendees, sharing inspiring models and stories, and concrete suggestions for how to further the work or “take it home.” More programming details are available at

Financial Aid Available

The UUA is committed to the goal of making GA accessible to as many attendees as possible. Go to in the month of March to learn about scholarships to support delegates – particularly those from marginalized groups – and volunteer opportunities (work in exchange for registration).





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