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December 5 - 11, 2019
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This week: we gather on Saturday to rake leaves and on Sunday, to hear a musical ensemble and the USG Choir present the Holiday Concert, Navidad Nuestra and then attend the Greens Workshop and/or the BLUU Box opening.
This Saturday, December 8, 2019
8:30am - Noon

Meditation with Mike (aka Leaf Raking)
followed by Bean Soup with Berne
here to register!
This Sunday, December 8, 2019
In Worship, 10:30am

Navidad Nuestra: Our Holiday Music Service
Presented by Music Director Mark Daugherty & the USG Choir

Sunday, December 8 at 10:30am
Our neighbors to the south have been in the news a great deal. There is a whole continent that we share this land mass with. What do we know of our southern neighbors and how they celebrate the Christmas holiday? The choir will be presenting Navidad Nuestra, a suite of pieces about the birth of Jesus composed by the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez. Based on dance rhythms from that country, the pieces are melodic and sweet, expressive of a traditional religious faith. Come celebrate with us as we listen to music from south of the border.

Image: Christmas Eve, midnight, El Calafate in Argentina.
Attribution: Photo by Mor. 

The poinsettias you will see in the chancel on Sunday morning are in honor of our wonderful children in the Spiritual Development (Sunday School) classes, past, present, & future!  A joyous holiday season to them all!
In Child Spiritual Development
CSD workshops and classes will extend until about 11:45am. Caregivers, enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation after service in the dining room before picking up your children in Sullivan Chapel.

This Sunday:
  • PreK through Grade 5 begin the morning in the Sanctuary with families and then are sung out to their Holiday Greens Workshop, led by Deb Kish-Silver in the Edna Jones Assembly Room. Parents are always welcome to accompany the children. Parents, please meet your child at 11:45pm in the Edna Jones Assembly Room.
  • Grades 6 - 7 (Middle School Youth Group) - will meet at 10:30am in the Bristol Room.
  • Grades 8 - 10 (Coming of Age)- will meet at 10:30am in the Sullivan Wing.
  • Grades 9 - 12 (Evening Youth Group) - will meet tonight at 6:00pm in the Kitchen & Bristol Room.
Our Children’s Spiritual Development program for 2019-20 has as its theme Wonder, Service, Mindfulness and Fun. This year we offer exciting programs from PreK to 12th grade, as well as monthly special events including Children’s Chapel and Justice Sundays. See the program descriptions here. You can register online at:

Childcare is offered to children 4-5 years old and younger in the Committee Room almost every Sunday from 9:00am until 12:00pm.
Opportunities before the service
Meditate in the Meditation Room
Meditation, reading, dharma and sharing are offered in Sullivan 3 on the First and Second Sundays of the month between 9:15 and 10:20am. All are welcome to join in quietly. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to come and sit. For information on meditation, click here.
In this harvest season, let’s remember those who need support.  Please contribute nonperishable food items to support both St Vincent de Paul's Food Cupboard. Leave your donations on the carts in the kitchen. Click here for the 10 most-wanted food items!
Opportunities after the service
Enjoy a welcome and refreshments from Village 3.  Food bringers, please label any items containing nuts. 

Attend the Holiday Greens Workshop in the Edna Jones Room after the service. Deb Kish-Silver once again is leading this craft workshop and can guide you through the process. Cost: $5 per person over 14; $10 per family. Adults, if possible, please bring wire cutters and gloves for yourself (but we do have extras.) We welcome you to bring in greens to work with.

Engage the BLUU Box (Black Lives of UUs) in the Sullivan Wing at 12:00pm.
...followed by...
the Ending Racism Committee meeting at 1:00pm

Upcoming Events

POWER presents A Day of Racial Justice
Tuesday, December 10, 12:00 - 8:00pm

Join POWER at Rodeph Shalom in Center City for a day of Racial Justice Lecture and Conversation programming with Amanda K Gross! Come to one or more of the programs:
  • Luncheon – White Women Get Ready – 12:00 PM
  • Afternoon Session – Afromations & Analysis: Lessons in Anti-Racist Intergenerational Youth-Focused Organizing – 1:30 PM
  • Evening Session – The White Police Officer in my Upper Right Shoulder: Healing and the Impact of Multi-Generational Trauma in the Body – 6:00 PM

The EarthSpirit Circle invites you to join its annual 
Sunday, December 22

We will gather at 6:00pm; the ceremony starts at 6:15pm. 
Dress warm (we will be outside), bring a drum if you wish, and bring a dish and/or drink to share. After the ceremony and fire wheel, we will enjoy a pot-luck dinner in the dining room of the church. Questions? Contact
And of course we hope to see you at USG
on December 24, Christmas Eve!
4:00pm - The Family Christmas Eve Service
5:00pm - The Christmas Cookie Reception
6:00pm - The Candlelight and Carol Service

Details here!
In case you missed these other Spiritual Development events in this week's SPIRIT...

Breathe program
Sunday evenings, 5:00 - 6:30pm

December 8: Michelle Stortz; Wrestling the Monsters: You vs. Desires and Cravings. Dealing with your desires and cravings can feel like wrestling a monster. We’ll talk about strategies, strength, support, and, ultimately, how to befriend the monster. 

Breathe is our Sunday evening mindfulness program with a changing cast of meditation teachers and mindfulness leaders. To see the schedule, learn more and see leader bios, click here and then scroll down.

Exploring Elderhood
Friday, December 13, 2:00-4:30pm

Guest Presenter Michael Whelan: Age as a Creative Experience: Our Deep New Phase of Life, A Poetic Forum & Dialogue for Exploring Diverse Perceptions.

Throughout the year, you are welcome to join any Small Group Ministry group with openings. Please visit the Small Group Ministry page on the website for more information. 

Please note that the new program Everyday Spiritual Practices will not meet in December. The next session will be January 11, the second Saturday, 10:30am -12:00noon.
The Spirit in Action

Fundraiser Dinner for FUMCOG’s Sanctuary Families held at USG
Friday, December 20, 6:00-8:30pm

The Thompson and Reyes families will be in Sanctuary at FUMCOG for another Christmas. USG will host a Fundraiser Dinner for them on December 20. The families will provide Jamaican and Honduran food and Christine Thompson is bringing her grandmother’s Jamaican bread pudding. Please bring your family and join us for holiday cheer and song. Suggested donation is $15.
News and Announcements
Give While Gifting!
Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at and Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to the Unitarian Society of Germantown. Just choose USG as your recipient.
It's Time to Order Holiday Poinsettias!
Deadline for ordering: December 8 (Note the new deadline)
Our annual poinsettia display in the chancel will be set up on December 13.  Contact Elaine Hills ( or 215-206-6257) to tell her
  • how many,
  • what color (red or white or pink),
  • what the brief dedication should be for the orders of service, and
  • when you intend to take your plants.
Order now; pay before Christmas Eve (the first time one can take them home). Payment is by cash or check (made out to USG with “Poinsettia” on the memo line); give to Elaine, send it to her at home, or place in her church office mailbox. The cost of each large plant is $23. Elaine will confirm any orders she receives. Deadline for ordering: December 8th, to facilitate florist order. Thank you all!
Greening of the Sanctuary
Friday, December 13, 11:00am - 12:00pm, in the Sanctuary

Fun, fast, and it adds so much to our holiday services!  Come to USG for an hour of creating the swags to decorate the sanctuary with greens. No experience needed!! David Tepper will again share his experience in the craft. Please RSVP to Elaine Hills (215-206-6257 or

The poinsettias will be delivered later that Friday - if you can help move them in, or want to see how they are assembled, contact Elaine to verify the time.
Interested in joining USG?
For more information, please visit the Membership page in the Home menu on our website, or email
Electronic and Texting Donations
Technology is a great way to make regular donations and many other USG payments. Here's how.

USG Villages
If you have any questions about Villages at USG, please direct them to

Thanks to all the Villages who offer a friendly welcome and refreshments every Sunday. Here is the schedule of upcoming Fellowship Hour Hosts:
  • December 8 - Village 3
  • December 15 - Village 4 & 6
  • December 22 - Village 5
  • December 29 - Village 7
Our Wider Community
The Central East Region has a field staff position open!  See
Connect with Others
It's a Breeze!
We invite you to connect with Breeze, to access USG's Member Directory. Download The Breeze app to your smartphone, enabling you to find folks' contact info and more, while on the go.
Ongoing Groups. Meet Fellow UUs!
Follow links below to find out more information about the events and groups at USG that occur usually once a month.
20's & 30's SGM Group - Second Wednesday, December 11, 7:00pm, Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group. Contact Johanna at or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.
BLUU Box - Usually First Sunday, 12:00 - 1:00pm. Next session: December 8. (Note change of usual day) Each BLUU (Black Lives of UU) Box contains a prayer to center us in joy, affirm us and ground us in spiritually challenging times; a reflection on contemporary issues informed by a Black UU faith perspective; information about prominent Black UUs who have shaped and informed our living faith tradition; and a brief guided meditation. Please join us....
...followed by...
Ending Racism Committee Meeting - 1:00-2:00pm, December 8. In Sullivan Chapel at USG. Contact

Book Group on Friday Morning - Third Friday, December 20, 10:30am at Cathedral Village. If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall at The 2019-2020 Book List is posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group.
CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Now meets every Wednesday. 2:30 - 3:00 PM, but call 215-848-4623 ahead of time to be sure. Off-site at Janes Memorial Church, 47 East Haines St. Contact Margaret Robertson at (CAMI now supports the Germantown Participatory Defense HUB from 3:00-5:00pm on Wednesdays; anyone interested in helping must have training.)

Caregivers Support Group - Second Friday, December 13, 11:00am - 1:00pm. USG. Contact Maura Gallagher at

LOC for POWER - Local Organizing Committee for Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Renew - Precedes the Social Justice Coffee Hour on the Third Sunday. Sunday, December 15, 9:00 - 9:40am
. At USG. Contact Dennis Brunn,

EarthSpirit Circle-First Monday (except after holiday weekends) at 7:00pm. Next: January 6. At USG. Contact
Exploring Elderhood Gathering - Second Fridays, Next: December 13, 2:00-4:30pm. At USG's Edna Jones Assembly Room. Contact Gerry Whelan at

USG Handcrafters, a Handwork Group- First Wednesday, January TBA, 1:00 - 3:00pm.  At USG. Contact Margaret Thompson at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, Fourth Sunday, December 22, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti at

Nature Walking at Valley GreenMonday and Thursday, December through March start time: 10:00am.  Meet others at Valley Green Inn in Chestnut Hill for a morning walk. Contact Steve Conrad, (April through November, start time will be 9:00am.)
Racism Book Study Group -  Second Monday, December 9, 7:30 - 9:00pm. Contact Treva Burger at
UU-101 - Third Sunday, December 15, 12:00 - 1:15pm. UU-101 is an Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, held at USG, and childcare is provided. Please RSVP to Charles Gabriel or Eric Foster at
Follow @uugermantown on Instagram!
Join A USG Facebook Group!  
To find out about special events, post photos, and stay in touch, here are some of USG's groups and their Facebook links:
ASD (Adult Spiritual Development)
CSD (Child Spiritual Development)
YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) A Closed Group great to know about and if desired, ask to join.
YA - Young Adults
Greater Philly UUs - Social Justice & Other Greater Philly UU News
It is a "closed" group, so find "Greater Philly UUs" on Facebook and click the button to request to join.
P.U.S.H. Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists
Exploring Elderhood
Our Caring Community

We are relieved and happy to share the good news that...
...Jennifer Bright, our wonderful childcare worker and CSD teacher for many years, was cleared of all charges in a 2018 case of wrongful arrest. If you do not know her, please introduce yourself. 
USG's Caring Team
Linda Bernstein (chair), Sarah West, Andi Bernstein, Rev. Kent Matthies
If you are aware of any joys or concerns that should be part of our caring system, please let us know. You can email caring@usguu.orgIf you call a caring team member and do not speak directly, leave a voice mail and your call will be returned ASAP.

USG's Committee On Ministry (COM)
The Committee on Ministry (COM) is responsible for helping to facilitate communications and resolve conflicts within USG, and for handling issues under USG’s Safe Congregation Policy and Covenant of Right Relations. To find out more, including how to contact the COM members, please click here.

USG's Cancer Support Group
Co-chairs are  Susan Zingale-Baird and Sarah West. Click here for info.

Contact Us
Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister -
Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development -
Mark Daugherty, Music Director -
Celeste Lamb, Church Administrator-
Carolyn Scott, Asst. Administrator-
Carolyn Cotton, Rental Coordinator -
Mike Rogers, Sunday Morning and Special Events Sexton -

Board of Trustees 2019-20
Jenn Leiby, President, 
Jess Slivak, Vice President
Sam Stormont, Secretary
Nancy Anderson
Zachary Bosco
John Davis
Maggie Beaumont
Andrea Barsevick
Debbie Ward

Contact information for our Board members is available to all USG Members. Go to and log in, then click on Members tab> Leadership Directory.
Copyright © 2019 Unitarian Society of Germantown, All rights reserved.

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