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January 30 - February 5, 2020
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This week: on Friday evening, we welcome Dharma Teacher Tuere Salaon Sunday, Rev. Kent speaks on the Frederick Douglass Chronicles, Part I.... PLUS Good Books to Read!
This Friday, January 31
Dharma Teacher Tuere Sala speaking on
Cultivating Awakening Emotions
This Friday, January 31, 6:30-9:00pm, Sullivan Chapel at USG

Often emotions can turn our lives into a roller coaster ride of reactivity which can have the effect of turning our meditative practice into an escape clause rather than the source of our inner strength. It is possible, however, to engage our meditative practice in a more proactive way by cultivating several awakening emotions. They are considered awakening emotions because when present, they bring clarity and wisdom. We will explore these awakening emotions, how to distinguish them from non-awakening emotions, how to cultivate them, and how to recognize their impact upon our practice. Click here to read more about the program and the speaker.
Presented by Delaware Valley Insight Meditation
and co-sponsored by Springboard Studio and the Center for Mindfulness at USG
This Sunday, February 2, 2020
In Worship, 10:30am
Frederick Douglass Chronicles, I
Rev. Kent Matthies
Traveling by train, horse, and boat, Frederick Douglass risked his life every day over decades, speaking to hundreds of thousands of people. In 1840 Douglass asked, “These hands – are they not mine?  This body – is it not mine?  I am your brother, white as you are.  I’m your blood kin. You don’t get rid of me so easily.” An escaped slave, orator, philosopher and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass was one of the all-time greatest and most important Americans.  This two-part sermon series will look at the chronicles of Douglass’ life.  What inspiration, wisdom, and direction can we glean from this beacon of justice for the living of our own lives today?

Image: Portrait of Frederick Douglass at around 37 years old. 1855.  Engraved by J.C. Buttre from a daguerreotype. [Public domain]
In Child Spiritual Development
This Sunday the children begin the morning in the Sanctuary with families and then are sung out to their classes. Parents are always welcome to accompany the children. 
  • PreK - K (Rainbow Connection) - Sullivan 1
  • Grades 1 - 3 (Signs of Our Faith) - Sullivan 2
  • Grades 4 - 5 (Sing to the Power) - Sullivan 3
Grades 6 - 7 (Middle School Youth Group) meets this Sunday at 10:30am: -  Bristol Room
Grades 8 - 10 (Coming of Age)- meets NEXT on Sunday, February 9 at 10:30am: Edna Jones Room (10:30 - 12noon)

Childcare is offered to children 4-5 years old and younger in the Committee Room almost every Sunday from 9:00am until 12:00pm.
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:
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.

Please contribute nonperishable food items (with sturdy bags for transporting) to support 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 11.  Food bringers, please label any items containing nuts. 

Come to the ERC table for details on the NCTE African American Read-In, a month-long opportunity to read and share reflections on a work by an African American writer, poet or dramatist. All ages are welcome to participate.

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.

Return at 4:00pm for the second of four special Breathe sessions. See below.

A Breathe Program
Sundays January 26, February 2, 9 & 15,  5:00-6:30pm
 Engaged Buddhism: Mindfulness in Action
Mary Kalyna, Leader
Can we integrate our spiritual practice as we work to oppose racism, sexism, destruction of the planet and other injustices in the world? We will explore how spiritual practice can inform activism and prevent burnout, and how engagement in the world is required for a grounded and authentic spirituality. The class will include meditation time, readings and discussion. We will consider the teachings and practice of Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernie Glassman, and Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, among others. Click here for more info.
Upcoming Events
Developing Compassion for Oneself and the World: 
A Livestream Audio Video with
Suvaco Hansen 
Sunday, February 9, 1:30-3:00pm, USG’s Sanctuary

This session will include a brief led-meditation, a Dharma talk, and time for individual questions. Suvaco was a monk in the Thai Forest tradition for many years. He now lives in England where he is a psychotherapist and teaches meditation retreats. He is active in the Climate Action community and occasionally works with refugee communities. Deborah Cooper regularly attends his retreats. Suggested Donation- $10-$15.
 Racism and Technology
 A Book Presentation
followed by a Lunch and a Workshop
Saturday, February 22 
9:30am - 2:30pm

Book Presentation
USG's Ending Racism Committee welcomes author Clyde Ford, Jr. for a Black History Month presentation about his new book, Think Black, a Memoir, which was nominated for the 2019 Goddard-Russo literary prize for Social Justice this past October. Relevant to our time, the presentation and discussion will challenge us to consider how technology has been and is being systematically employed to keep those in power, in power, and one step ahead by offering unsuspecting consumers ‘conveniences’ which are an intentional part of global economic racial oppression by design.

Copies of the book will be available for sale or bring your copy to have it signed.

Lunch will be provided for $10, with an additional suggested donation of $15 for the speakers.


After lunch, we will hear from Alison McDowall, who will speak on Big Data, Blockchain and Bonded Life. More details here.

You can help
Please rsvp to to assist in our planning.
 NEW: Book Discussion Group 
A Chance to Talk about the Transcendentalists
Thursday, February 27, 7:00pm, Sullivan 3 at USG

CONFLAGRATION:  How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice, a new book by former UUA President John A. Buehrens, portrays how Unitarianism, the Transcendentalists, and the social justice movements they began or participated in have meaning to our political age.  A number of us bought the book and plan to refresh our acquaintance with subjects dear to our Unitarian commitments. Accomplishing the reading can be aided by having an opportunity to discuss our thoughts and reactions with others. Interested readers are invited to gather in Sullivan 3 on February 27 at 7:00pm. If you have finished the book, wonderful; if you are part way through, also good.  

Some books are available through the Church Office for $30 ($2 under market price). Please contact the office if interested. For those who didn’t hear Rev. Buehrens’ talk, you can watch the video (see below). The discussion group will be held to a maximum of ten. Please contact Susan Bockius for further information or to sign up.
The Annual All-Church Dinner
Saturday, March 14, starting at 5:00pm

The Annual Convivial All-Church Dinner for USG members and their families will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020 beginning at 5:00 pm. The event will begin with a reception followed by a family style "assigned potluck" dinner. There will also be entertainment. Child care will be provided. More information coming soon!

JUBILEE Anti-Racism Training

WHEN:  Friday, March 27th   (6:00pm to 10:00pm); Saturday, March 28th    (9:00am to 9:00pm); Sunday, March 29th    (8:30am to 5:00pm)
WHERE:   UUCDC (Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County), 145 W Rose Tree Rd, Media, PA 19063
FEE:  $160 per participant (includes cost for trainers, meals and materials).  
Enrollment is limited to 40 participants, so sign up today!
Register online at
Auction Event Openings
There is still time to get in on some auction fun this winter with the following open events! To sign up and pay for an event, click here.  You may also contact the event host/hostess and pay with a check mailed to the office before the event. (Please put event name in memo section of check) To contact the people cited below, please access their emails through our BREEZE database. Don’t know how? Contact Carolyn or Celeste in the office.

•    Hot Soup on a Cold Night on 2/7 at 6:30 pm, $25/adult. Join Lucinda Lea in her Chestnut Hill home for a delicious meal of soup and salad. What better way to stay warm than enjoying a night of good food, fellowship and engaging conversation? There is room for one more at Lucinda's table. Please contact Lucinda to sign up.

•    Classic Dealers Choice Poker on 2/21 at 7:00 pm, $20/adult. Gerry Whelan will once again host his famous "dealer calls'  poker games - Stud poker, Hi-Lo, Anaconda, and others. Hoagies and drinks will be served. Contact Gerry Whelan.

•    Notary Service, $10/adult. Sarah West has generously donated her expertise as a notary at no additional charge. She will provide the service at a mutually convenient time either at USG, Cathedral Village in Andorra or a location within 5 miles of Cathedral Village. If in need of a notary before the end of May, please contact Sarah West.
In case you missed these other Spiritual Development events in this week's SPIRIT...

Breathe Mindfulness program
Sunday evenings, 5:00 - 6:30pm
(note return to regular start time). To see the Breathe schedule and leader bios, click here and then scroll down.

NEW: Meditations for the Mid-Week
Led by Deborah Cooper. Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30pm, January 15 - March 4.

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. 

Everyday Spiritual Practices
Second Saturdays (usually). Next: February 8, with the topic "Everyday Relationships." 10:30am -12:00noon.
The Spirit in Action
UUPLAN wants to thank all who participated in our "Statewide Advocacy Workshop" on the MLK Day of Service. 18 participated by making calls and sending postcards to elected officials on issues of raising the wage, moving toward 100% renewable energy,  and reducing the use of solitary confinement. For more info on critical statewide advocacy initiatives, go to and contact Dennis Brunn at
Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves Course: Do you do asylum, sanctuary or accompaniment work, or want to?

"Without community, there is no liberation." Audre Lorde

Do you want to join people of faith and conscience from across the U.S. in taking action and practicing reflection? Are you seeking ways to offer grounded solidarity without reproducing oppressive practices? Have you ever gone to an immigration (ICE) check-in or court to support a person at risk of deportation? Is your congregation part of the New Sanctuary Movement, or talking about joining?

If you answered yes to any of those questions,
join our e-course, Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves: Anti-racist practice for sanctuary, accompaniment, and resistance. This free interactive e-course will meet monthly and support groups in learning, reflecting, and acting for social change.

This program is a collaboration of the American Friends Service Committee's Friends Relations office, the UUA and UUSC's Love Resists campaign, Church World Service, and Freedom for Immigrants, formerly CIVIC.
This exciting new campaign of the UUA will be involving UUs across the country in a multi-level campaign to protect voting rights, register, educate and mobilize voters between now and November 2020. To listen in on the video of the recent "Launch" of this campaign,  go to To become involved, contact Lois Murphy, Chair of USG's Social Justice Council, at
UUPLAN's 2020 Membership Drive is Underway!
In addition to USG's institutional annual membership in UUPLAN, our statewide advocacy network, renewing and growing our individual membership is the basis of UUPLAN's capacity to make our voices heard on social and economic justice issues in Harrisburg.  Please consider renewing or joining for the first time. The suggested annual membership fee is $40 but contributions above or below this are also welcome and acceptable. To join, go to to donate online or for the way to contribute by mail.
News and Announcements
General Assembly 2020: Early Bird Registration Already Open! 
GA, the annual gathering of UUs from across the nation and beyond, will take place June 24-28, 2020 in Providence, RI. This year's theme is Rooted, Inspired, Ready! GA will delve into our theological and historical roots, bringing those threads into the present day and acting in solidarity with Indigenous communities. Attendees will be inspired and trained to engage in electoral work as people of faith, living out our values in service of all our intersecting justice commitments.

Early bird registration is open! New this year: Use the Early Bird Payment Plan to pay down your GA registration over time (initial payment of $50 required; final payment due February 29). Visit the GA Registration page at
Interested in joining USG?
The next new member signing is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23. People are asked to take UU-101 (offered on Sunday, Jan. 26) and a Membership Orientation (Sunday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 9:30am) before joining. For more information, please visit the Membership page in the Home menu on our website, or email
Help Us Look for Potential Board Candidates
The USG Board provides essential leadership to USG. Without it, there would be no functioning USG congregation. Serving a term on the Board is both an honor and a 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 Linda Brunn (chair), Shobhana Kanal (co-chair), Eva Finney, Gloria Guldager, Hal Krieger, and Andrea Parry. You can reach them at
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:
  • February 2 - Village 11
  • February 9 - Village 12
  • February 16 - Village 1
  • February 23 - Village 2
Our Wider Community
Mainline UU Author Event
Sunday, Feb. 2, Noon

Former MainLine UU member and Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist David Zucchino will speak on his new book Wilmington's Lie: When white supremacists overthrew an elected government. Click here for details. After the presentation there will be a reception and book signing in the Fireside Room. Listen here to the Fresh Air interview of Mr. Zucchino with Terri Gross. 
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, February 12, 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: February 2.  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, February 2. In Sullivan Chapel at USG. Contact

Book Group on Friday Morning - Third Friday, February 21, 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, February 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm. USG. Contact Maura Gallagher at

LOC for POWER - Local Organizing Committee for Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Renew -Third Sundays. Next: Sunday, February 16, 9:00 - 9:40am
. At USG. Contact Dennis Brunn,

EarthSpirit Circle - First Monday (except after holiday weekends) at 7:00pm. Next: February 3. At USG. Contact
Everyday Spiritual Practices - Second Saturdays. Next: February 8, 10:30am-12:00noon. USG's Daskam Room.

Exploring Elderhood Gathering
- Usually Second Friday. Next: February 14, 2:00-4:30pm. USG's Edna Jones Assembly Room. Contact Gerry Whelan at

USG Handcrafters, a Handwork Group- Usually First Wednesday. Next: February 5, 1:00 - 3:00pm.  Off-site (please note change in location). Contact Margaret Thompson at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, Fourth Sunday, February 23, 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
-  Usually second Monday. February's meeting is replaced by the Clyde Ford, Jr. presentation on Think Black: A Memoir on Saturday, Feb. 22.  Contact Treva Burger at
UU-101 - Usually Third Sunday, Next: February 16, 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

Our thoughts and healing prayers are with...
... Jessica Slivak as she recovers from a broken ankle and minor injuries suffered in a car accident.

We are happy to welcome...
... baby boy Elio Ugo Durkin Hankins (Ellie-oh oo-go) born January 26 to parents Anna Hankins and Tim Durkin. Elio weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. The family is doing well.

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 © 2020 Unitarian Society of Germantown, All rights reserved.

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