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January 31 - February 6, 2019
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This Week: This Friday, we gather for a collage workshop, begin a month's Read-In of African American writing, and celebrate Imbolc; on Sunday, we reflect on what or whom we trust for strength and truth, and we engage in the BLUU Box.
This Sunday, February 3, 2019
In Worship,10:30am
In God We Trust?
Rev. Kent Matthies

Rumi said, “You were born with goodness and trust.”  The question becomes, trust in what? Trust in God? Trust in Love? Trust in Life? These are deep and complicated questions for many of us. Thankfully, our Unitarian Universalist tradition embraces an open and honest search in these matters. In what or whom do you trust and believe in for reliability, truth and strength?

In Child Spiritual Development
Children begin the morning with families in the Sanctuary and then are sung out around 10:45am to their classes. (Please note that during elevator installation, some classes will meet in different rooms*.)
  • PreK - K - Sullivan 1
  • Grades 1 - 3* - Sullivan 2
  • Grades 4 - 6 - Sullivan 3
Classes beginning at 10:30am:
  • AM Youth Group - Daskam Room (10:30 - 11:30am
  • OWL*, Grades 7 - 8 - Youth Lodge, 1st Fl. (meets 10:30am - 12:00 noon)
Parents, please click here to find out details, especially about where to collect the children after the service ends.

Details about the CSD programs and schedules can be found on the website under the Spiritual Development tab.
Childcare* for children 4-5 years old and younger is offered this Sunday and most Sundays from 9:00am - 12:00pm in the Bristol Room.
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.

BRING IN nonperishable food items for our monthly Food Drive and put them on the designated carts in the Kitchen. Donations will be delivered to St. Vincent de Paul's Food Pantry. Please check expiration dates.

Opportunities after the service
Enjoy a welcome and refreshments provided by Village 12. Those generous folks bringing food are asked to label items containing nuts.

Engage the BLUU Box (Black Lives of UU) at 12:00pm in the Sullivan Chapel, and then...

Remain for ERC's Monthly Meeting at 1:00pm in Sullivan.

Upcoming Worship Services
Sunday, February 10, 10:30am
Faith Under Pressure
Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt

So many of us come to Unitarian Universalism to find community, to renew our spirits, to commit ourselves to the work of justice. But the promises we made as liberal religious people were made in a world very different from the one in which we live today. How shall we now live our faith, in these critical days for our country and our world?
The Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt is president of Starr King School for the Ministry, a Unitarian Universalist and multi-religious seminary in Berkeley, CA. A congregational minister in Manhattan for more than a dozen years, Rev. McNatt was an editor and widely anthologized writer for more than 20 years before answering the call to ministry. She is the author of three books, including her memoir, Unafraid of the Dark. Rev. McNatt is married to Robert McNatt, a lifelong UU who introduced her to the faith when they met at Yale University. They are the proud parents of two young adult sons, Allen and Daniel.  

Sunday, February 17, 10:30am
Music Service: The Immigrant Experience, composed by John Kramer
USG choir and soloists and Mark Daugherty, Music Director
Immigration has become a hot button issue in 21st century America. It seems we sometimes lose track of the fact that real human beings, looking for a better life for themselves and their families, are involved. A colleague of Mark Daugherty's in the UU Musicians Network has recently composed an extended work called The Immigrant Experience featuring texts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B. Johnson, George W. Bush, James Madison, Robert F. Kennedy and Thomas Paine. The piece had a sensational premier in Massachusetts in November, and the choir has voiced their strong emotional connection with the music and words. We will be presenting the first performance in Philadelphia (probably also the Pennsylvania premiere.) Come and share this experience as we present powerful topical music of our time. Bring a friend, maybe even someone who doesn’t normally attend services here.
Upcoming Events
Kick-Off Event at USG
This Friday, February 1, 4:00- 5:30pm

Come by to select a book from the ERC Lending Library, enjoy a sweet snack, and add the name of a previous reading to our USG Read-In poster!

Read-In runs from February 1 to February 28, midnight 

Select something to read by an African American author: fiction or nonfiction, a play, poems, etc.
Read anytime during the month.
Send a note with the title(s) and writer to Barb Dowdall, ERC Chair  at
Share your reading at the ERC Meeting, Sunday March 3, 1:00 pm
USG will fill out and send in our report card with the number of readers along with titles and authors.
Additional information and lists are available at:
Note: Book and magazine donations are welcome for students at A. Philip Randolph Career Tech High School. Leave at Ending Racism Committee Table
Pickleball Pizza Party!
Date: Saturday, March 9, 7:00 - 9:00pm
Place: Upper Dublin Sports Center
            680 Tennis Avenue
            Ambler, PA 19002
Cost: $25 donation to USG (please make payment via the Online Payment Center at

Join Judy and Rick Rodes and other USGers for a Pickleball Pizza Party! No prior pickleball experience is necessary. Please contact Rick Rodes at if you have any questions or if you wish to reserve a spot for this exciting evening of fun, friends, and food
Save the Date for an All Church Dinner
Saturday, March 30, 5:00pm Start

Everyone who attends USG is invited to an All-Church Dinner on Saturday, March 30. More information coming soon!
And in case you missed these Spiritual Development events in this week's SPIRIT...
Next Difficult Conversation: White Privilege, White Supremacy, White Fragility, and Racism.
Wednesday, February 6, 7:00 -9:15pm. Please note date change. Due to the ravishment of our ranks by this nasty flu going around, the Difficult Conversation has been postponed to Wednesday, February 6 at 7PM in the Edna Jones Assembly Room at USG. At this post there are now spaces for participants and observers. Please email Gerry Whelan if interested.

Exploring Elderhood: A Collage Workshop
Friday, February 1, 2:00 - 4:30pm

Imbolc Celebration
Friday, February 1, 6:00 - 8:30pm

Mindful Living with Deborah Cooper
Sunday evenings, February 10 - March 31, 5:00 - 6:30pm

Racism Book Study
Second Monday, February 11, 7:30 - 9:00pm (please note correct date)
Call to Action
Have you been wondering if there are any local resources to help furloughed/unpaid federal workers? Have you been wondering how to help neighbors who may be furloughed? Click here for some ways to find help or be of help. Thanks to Andrea Durham for the list.
Immigration Justice
Sanctuary Families Fundraiser Dinner
February 22, 6:00pm at FUMCOG
(Every Fourth Friday)

Meet the Reyes and Thompson families who are in sanctuary at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, FUMCOG, for dinner. Open to the public, the fundraiser meal will occur each fourth Friday until the families’ situation is resolved. Please try to make at least a $10 donation.

First United Methodist Church of Germantown is at 6001 Germantown Ave. Use the entrance off the parking lot on the northwest side of the building. If you have questions, contact Yvonne Marlier:
News and Announcements
Seeking BookTable Manager
The InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop is offering a new opportunity for all UU congregations to create a Booktable account. This new account would allow USG to receive special discounts on book sales. Many congregations have books for sale before and after Sunday services, and the booktable becomes a popular way to raise money and also keep congregants aware of new resources. Also, if there is a USG group that is reading a book for a special program, we could possibly sell the books at the discounted rate for those participants. To make this happen, we need someone who would be willing to manage and oversee the booktable. If you would be willing to manage a booktable account for USG, please send a note to Gloria at
Your Five Star Ratings go to... ?
Do you have a favorite florist? Caterer? Photographer? Or any other person or company you would use for a special event? Please let us know. We are updating our "preferred vendors" list for building rentals and are hoping to build strong connections and create cross-promotion opportunities with vendors we work with regularly. Send your recommendations to Gloria at Thank you!
Help Us Look For Potential Board Candidates
The USG Board provides essential but sometimes unnoticed leadership to USG. Without it, there would be no functioning USG congregation. Serving a term on the Board is both an honor and a great way to help ensure the vitality of this congregation, now and in the future.

Every year the USG Nominating Committee is tasked with finding three new people to serve a three-year term on the Board. We strive to find people who will bring to Board service as many of the following qualities as possible.
1. Is a USG member
2. Has shown personal integrity and the temperament to work well with other Board members
3. Would bring ethnic, gender, or age diversity to the Board
4. Has provided significant past or current service to USG through committee work or other service
5. Would bring significant life experience (professional or otherwise) that would be relevant to the Board's work.
6. Has made a financial commitment to USG
The Nominating Committee would like to make sure that we are aware of anyone in the congregation who might be interested in Board service and who feels they meet some or all of the above criteria. If you are such a person, or would simply like to learn more about Board service, please contact any current member of the Nominating Committee.

They are Alan Windle (chair), Linda Brunn, Rick Rodes, Shobhana Kanal, and Howard Silver. You can reach them at
It's a Breeze!
We invite you to connect with Breeze, USG's new, more powerful, user-friendly, and money-saving database, which includes a Member Directory.
Go to to create your own log-in, manage your profile, make contributions and view previous giving, and connect with other USGers. You may also download the Breeze app on your smartphone to have access to USG data while on the go. For those of you who loved the ChurchLife app for smartphones, you will love this app, too. Find out people's phone numbers, addresses, and get directions, all in one place. It is ... a Breeze!
Click here to get helpful tips for using the new Breeze database and Member Directory.
If you have any questions or need assistance using Breeze, please contact Gloria at
New Text-Giving Option in Breeze
Please click here to get information about how to text your donations - pledges and other contributions - using the new Breeze church system.
Interested in Joining USG?
We welcome people into membership four times a year. We ask that people take a UU-101 class (offered monthly, next: February 17) and a Membership Orientation (offered quarterly, next: April 14) before joining. There will be a New Member Signing on February 10. If you are interested in any of these events or for more information, please email Welcoming Co-Chairs Treva Burger and Lisa Dutton at In addition, you can visit our Membership page on our website,
Our Wider Community
San Diego UU Fundraiser for Social Justice
UUs in San Diego are running a fundraiser to support their Social Justice work, especially at the border with Tijuana. They are offering a 5-day tour package, which includes staying with church members, most meals, and insider tours to their famous sights, slated for March 2-7.  Details are at
Volunteerism- The Struggle is Real!
Volunteerism training, March 16, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (8:30 Meet and Greet), At USG. Pat Infante, CER Primary Contact, will be facilitating a workshop on volunteerism
We’ll examine changing demographic trends and what they tell us about who volunteers and why, and look at new ways of recruiting, retaining and appreciating the folks who power our congregations in so many ways. The morning will include time for group conversations about what IS working – please come and share your successes! For more info and to register, visit:
Greater Philadelphia UU Cluster
Events & News

Jubilee, March 8-10, Main Line Unitarian Church. For more details and to register, visit:

Singers Workshop, April 13, 12:00 - 5:00 pm, UUC of Delaware CountyCalling all singers! Come and participate in group singing exercises and several workshops geared toward developing your voice. More details to come!

To see all upcoming events at our GPC congregations, visit the GPC calendar:
Ongoing Groups
Get Involved! 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 Thursday, February 14, 6:30pm, Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group. For more information, please contact Stephanie Bonner at  or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.
Book Group on Friday Morning - Third Friday, February 15, 10:30am at Cathedral Village. If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall at The 2018-2019 Book List is now posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group.
CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Fourth Monday, February 25, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Nancy Anderson at
Caregivers Support Group - Second Friday, February 8, 11:00am - 1:00pm. At USG. Contact Maura Gallagher at
Coffee Hour for Social Justice - Third Sunday, February 17, 9:15 - 10:15am. Usually in Dining Room at USG. Get up. Get coffee. Get involved. Contact
EarthSpirit Circle. First Monday, except for holiday weekends. Next meeting February 4, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Donya at
Engage the BLUU (Black Lives of UU) Box - First Sunday, February 3, 12:00 - 1:00pm. followed by....
ERC (Ending Racism Committee) - First Sunday, February 3, 1:00 - 2:00pm. At USG. Contact Barbara Dowdall at
Exploring Elderhood Gathering - Next: Friday, February 1, 2:00 - 4:30pm. Usually Second Friday. At USG. Contact Gerry Whelan at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, Fourth Sunday, February 24, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti at
Nature Walking at Valley Green - From December until April, every Monday and Thursday at 10:00am, you can meet others - whoever shows up- at Valley Green in Chestnut Hill for a morning walk. Point Person is Steve Conrad, who is usually there. Contact
Needle Exchange, a Handwork Group- Usually First Wednesday. Next meeting February 6, 1:30 - 3:00pm, off-site. Contact Margaret Thompson at
Open Small Group Ministry - Second Sunday, February 10, 12:00 - 1:30pm. Those new to SGMs can get a "sample" before making a commitment. For more information, contact Mark Bangela at

Racism Book Study Group - Usually second Monday. Next session Monday, February 11, 7:30 - 9:00pm. Contact Treva Burger.
UU-101 - Next session January 27, 12:00-1:00pm. (Usually Third Sunday). UU-101 is an Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, held at USG, and childcare is provided. Please let a leader, Charles Gabriel or Eric Foster, know that you plan to attend by emailing to If unable to email, you can call Eric at 484-347-8998.

USG Facebook Groups
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
We Appreciate!
This January of 2019 saw the very last four of the fabulous Sprinkle-Barsevick Bread and Soup Nights. We want to express our loving appreciation to Rudy and Andrea for this wonderful tradition that has brought together the USG community and beyond during the post-holiday season. Inspired by a reading during a UUA General Assembly, Rudy and Andrea have offered the Bread and Soup Nights every Friday evening in January for at least twelve years. They have made three different soups and two to three different breads every evening for 48 evenings! (They are now experts on crockpots and breadmakers.) Attendees per evening have ranged from six to thirty-two. Thank you for SUCH a convivial gift, Rudy and Andrea.
We also want to send our grateful appreciation to Bill Blasdel, one of our wonderful Building and Grounds co-chairs, and to Mike Rogers, our super sexton. Bill oversaw the fixing of the broken valve on the boiler which left the church without any heat during this very, very frigid week in January. Mike came in several times to make sure that pipes did not freeze. (Only Polar explorers, such as the one pictured in the USG office above, could survive in the cold, cold rooms.) Thank you from the bottom of our now warm hearts, Bill and Mike!
Our Caring Community
We share in the joy of ... 
......Erica Dearden and John Hopper, who welcomed baby Jack (John Charles Hopper III) into the world on January 17 at 8:36am. Jack weighed in at 7lbs., 2 oz and measured 20 & 3/4 inches. First-time grandparents Nancy and Dave Dearden report that he is a "sweet little guy!" and is doing really well.

and at the same time we share our love and concern for... 
...the Dearden family as Nancy was admitted on January 22 to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to undergo radiation treatment for ongoing multiple myeloma. Update: Nancy also fell just this week (of January 28) and broke her right femur. She is having surgery on Friday, February 1 and will then be discharged to a rehab facility.
Caring Team
Linda Bernstein (chair), Sarah West, 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
If you call a caring team member and do not speak directly, leave a voice mail and your call will be returned ASAP.
Contact Us
Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister -
Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development -
Mark Daugherty, Music Director -
Gloria Guldager, Church Administrator-
Carolyn Scott, Asst. Administrator-
Carolyn Cotton, Rental Coordinator -
Mike Rogers, Sunday Morning and Special Events Sexton -

Board of Trustees
Jenn Leiby, President, 
Jess Slivak, Vice President
Eva Finney, Secretary
Nancy Anderson
Michael Campbell
Joanne Davis
Sam Stormont
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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