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January 10 - 16, 2019
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This Week: Exploring Elderhood on Friday; Daylong Mindfulness Meditation on Saturday;  Rev. Kent on Sunday speaking on the Possibilities when you say "No" --- but say YES to MLK Day, now only 11 days away!
This Sunday, January 13, 2019
In Worship, 10:30am
Possibilities through No, Rev. Kent Matthies

The New Year is a time when we can embrace new possibilities. Many times in order to have time, energy or focus, we have to “say no” first. What do you need to stop, leave or say “No” to in order to embrace your possibilities?
In Child Spiritual Development
This Sunday, January 13, CSD classes resume. Children begin the morning with families in the Sanctuary and then are sung out around 10:45am to their classes.
  • PreK - K - Sullivan 1
  • Grades 1 - 3 - Nursery School, 1st Fl.
  • Grades 4 - 6 - Sullivan 2 & 3
Class beginning at 10:30am:
  • OWL, Grades 7 - 8 - Bristol Room (meets 10:30am - 12:00noon)
  • Morning Youth Group - Daskam Room (meets 10:30 - 11:30am).
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 Committee 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.

Drop off your donation of a new or gently used winter coat or jacket for our Winter Coat Drive. Articles may be put in the barrel near the name tag boards.

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 9. Those generous folks bringing food are asked to label items containing nuts.

Attend the Open Small Group Ministry at 12:00pm in the Daskam Room.

Drop off your donation of a new or gently used winter coat or jacket for our Winter Coat Drive. Articles may be put in the barrel near the name tag boards.

Visit the Social Justice table to learn opportunities to participate in social justice.

Upcoming Worship Service
Sunday, January 20, 10:30am
MLK Sunday: Possibility against the Three Headed Monster, Rev. Kent Matthies
One year before his death Dr King preached at Riverside Church in New York about the triple-headed monster of racism, militarism and poverty. After that sermon, for the rest of his tragically short life, King had enemies and antagonists on all sides. Today the three-headed monster wreaks havoc in ways that bring hot anger and overwhelming despair.  How do we stay true to the Kingian vision and lean into finding and creating opportunities of peace, equality and justice for all?

Image Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Upcoming Events
MLK Day 2019: Calling all Volunteers! 
Monday, January 21, 8:00am - Noon

MLK Day is USG's largest Winter Social Justice Effort. Come out for an enjoyable morning of doing work that matters!

Pre-register NOW at!
On Monday, January 21 of 2019, hundreds of volunteers will be buzzing around USG and out and about in the community engaged in numerous projects for the MLK Day of Service sponsored by USG. Don’t get left out! 

You can preregister for one of 33 projects now by going to the website Click on “Volunteer” to see a list of the projects with brief descriptions and then on “Pre-register” to fill out the registration form. 

You can choose from internal projects such as greeting people as they arrive, signing in volunteers, helping serve breakfast, making cards or thank you notes, or you can go out into the community to help clean up a park or roadside area, paint walls, interact with residents of a nursing home, or make bowls for the PIHN empty bowl event. These are just a few of the projects that might tempt you. 

Sign up soon before your first choices are filled up! If you have questions or need assistance, contacts are listed on the pre-registration form or you can send an email to
Final Service Auction Event Openings
If you are interested in any of the following, please contact
Kay Weiser
Winter Games with Mark Bangela. Saturday, Jan. 26 from 1-4 PM.  Spend an afternoon playing various indoor games at USG. Lots of games and lots of fun with plenty of family time. There is space for 19 more people. Adults: $15, Child: $5 and Family $30. 
Soup and Bread - Friday, Jan 18, 6:00 - the Annual Gathering Event at Andrea and Rudy Sprinkle's home in Mt. Airy. There will be at least one vegetarian soup as well as meat soups and Rudy's homemade bread. Room for 8 more people. Adults: $15; kids: free.
Soup and Bread - Friday, Jan 25, starting at 6:00pm. See above. Room for 12 more.
Backpack Full of Cash
A Documentary on Privatizing Education
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 - 4:00pm


USG's Public Education Initiative (PEI) and the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (APPS) are jointly sponsoring a screening of the documentary, Backpack Full of Cash. Light refreshments and opportunity for discussion after are part of the event. 

BACKPACK FULL OF CASH, created by filmmakers Sarah Mondale and Vera Aronow and narrated by Matt Damon, is a cautionary tale about how, in cities like Philadelphia, privatization and funding cuts have had a devastating impact on public schools and on the most vulnerable children who rely on them. The film also showcases a model for improving schools – a well-resourced public school system in Union City, New Jersey, where poor kids are getting a high quality education without charters or vouchers. 
Save the Date for an All Church Dinner
Saturday, March 30, 5:00pm Start

USG members and contributing friends are invited to an All-Church Dinner at USG on Saturday, March 30, beginning at 5:00pm. More information coming soon!
And in case you missed these Spiritual Development events in Tuesday's SPIRIT...
We wish everyone attending Saturday's (January 12) Mindfulness Event with Oren Jay Sofer a good, rewarding, renewing day. "The Art of Mindful Communication: Finding Clarity and Poise in Life” is now fully booked. To be put on a waiting list, please email

Exploring Elderhood Gathering
Next meeting: Friday, January 11, 2:00-4:30pm. The topic will be Dreaming as a Spiritual Life Practice, a presentation by Ryan Hurd, followed by TGIF refreshments

Next Difficult Conversation: White Privilege, White Supremacy, White Fragility, and Racism. Please email Gerry Whelan if interested.
Call to Action
Help USG's MLK Day Team Set Up on Sunday, January 20!
We need movers and deliverers for this behind-the-scenes work as we set up on Sunday, January 20 for MLK Day Monday. Here are stores where we will have items ready for pick-up and then delivery to USG on Sunday around noon:
Giant in Flourtown on Bethlehem Pike
Weavers Way on Carpenter Lane & Greene St
Acme in Germantown off Germantown Ave. near Mt. Pleasant
Walmart in the Cedarbrook Shopping Center off Easton Road

If you can help with any of these pick-ups, please contact Carolyn Scott at
Winter Coat Drive
Please bring in donations of warm winter outerwear - coats and jackets - for distribution in our community, to PIHN's network and to Whosoever Gospel Mission. The coat collection barrel will be in the vestibule by the name tag boards until January 21, MLK Day. See Devery Howerton or Carolyn Scott with questions.
UUPLAN Membership Drive
Our UU PA Advocacy Network, UUPLAN, has launched its 2019 Membership Drive running through December and January. Individual donations of $40 make you a voting member; donations above that amount are thankfully received and help support our two staff (Director Rick Williams and Admin Assistant Kristi Lado) as they keep UUs across PA working effectively for justice.  Go to to renew or become a member for 2019.  Questions?  Ask USG's Dennis Brunn ( 
Immigration Justice
Tragedy in Tijuana
Click here to read the post from Rev. Kent Matthies following President Trump's Broadcast from the Oval Office on January 9, 2019.
Sanctuary Families Fundraiser Dinner
January 25, 6:00pm at FUMCOG
(Every Fourth Friday)

Join the Reyes and Thompson families who are in sanctuary at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, FUMCOG, for dinner. Meet the families and enjoy the meal that they have cooked. 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:
Sign the Petition to Help the Sanctuary Families
The goal is to get 10,000 signatures in the next two months to present their cases to senators in NJ and PA and see if we can get immigration officials to revisit their asylum cases. We need as many people as we can get to sign the petition. Please take a few minutes today to sign the petition and if you want, to pass it to your friends and family.

Visit the Social Justice Table this Sunday during Fellowship Hour, where you can learn how you can help.
News and Announcements
UU-101 Change in Schedule for This Month Only
UU-101 is usually held on the third Sunday of the month. However, due to MLK Day preparations, it will be held on January 27 at the usual time, noon to 1:15 p.m., in the Daskam Room. Anyone interested in attending please email if you have questions or to let us know you'll attend.
Cancer Support Group forming in the new year.
Sarah West and Susan Zingale Baird are interested in bringing together church members who have experienced a cancer diagnosis and would be interested in supporting each other and reaching out to others who may find themselves facing such a diagnosis in the future.

If you would be interested in a cancer support group please let Susan Zingale Baird know at or 215-284-5828.  If there is interest, we will schedule a short meeting during a Fellowship Hour to discuss possible goals and the structure that would work best for us.

Now Available to View Online:
The Ending Racism 150th Anniversary Video Project: Interviews on Race and Racism

In 2015, in honor of USG’s 150th anniversary, ERC decided to make an offering to the congregation. Selected congregants, including members of the Ending Racism Committee, were interviewed regarding their experiences and reflections on issues of race and racism during their time at USG. The Video Narrative book with composite answers on some of the questions from the interviewees is linked here. All the available interviews can be found at this link.
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.
Ever wanted to join the elite group of Ushers at USG? Now accepting applications on a rolling basis. No meetings, no resume, and no blood tests required! (Attendance at one great Annual Welcoming Breakfast is required.) Just send an email to if interested.
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: January 27) and a Membership Orientation (offered quarterly, next: January 13) before joining. There will be a New Member Signing on January 27. 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
New Day Rising Conference
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9am - 4:30pm
Fairfax, VA at UUCF
Identifying Your Congregation’s Next Steps in the Struggle with White Supremacy Culture.
Register here. Details here. Fee: Sliding scale $20-$30-$40 (waiver for $10 fee as needed – just ask).
Lunch included. Child care available – $5 per child. Please indicate your request for child care on your registration.
Save the Date!
Interfaith Freedom Seder + 50
Sponsored by The Shalom Center
Sunday April 7, 2019
Dinner - 5pm, Seder - 7pm
7401 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia 19138
Greater Philadelphia UU Cluster
Events & News

GPC Meeting, Jan 12, 9:30 - 11:30 AM (9:00 Meet and Greet), At UUC of the Restoration. We'll debrief the Missa Gaia concert, discuss upcoming Jubilee, and much more. All are welcome!

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. More details to come!

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:
- Please "follow" us on the Facebook page, "Greater Philly Unitarian Universalist Cluster". 
- Please join our Facebook group, "Greater Philly UUs". It is a "closed" group, so find "Greater Philly UUs" on Facebook and click the button to request to join.

Introducing UUA LeaderLab! LeaderLab provides relentlessly useful resources for lay and professional leaders of UU congregations and covenanting communities. For more info, visit:

CER Guest in Your Pulpit program is a listing of available ministers, seminarians, ministerial candidates and lay pulpit guests for congregations in the Central East Region. This program was created to assist churches to find people who are willing to provide services. For more info and to be added to the list, visit:

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, January 10, 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, January 18, 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, Next meeting January 28, 7:00pm. At USG. Contact Nancy Anderson at
Caregivers Support Group - Second Friday, January 11, 11:00am - 1:00pm. At USG. Contact Maura Gallagher at
Coffee Hour for Social Justice - Next: February 17 (none in January), 9:15 - 10:15am (Usually Third Sunday. 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 - Second Friday, January 11, 2:00 - 4:30pm. At USG. Contact Gerry Whelan at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, Fourth Sunday, January 27, 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 - Usually Second Sunday. Next session January 13, 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!  
You can join a USG Facebook group as well as meet in person!
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 prayers are with...
...Christine and David Ginsburg and their family. Christine’s mother, Frances Harrington, died on January 8. Mrs.Harrington, age 94, had recently entered hospice care after a fall. She had been living at the Ginsburgs' home this past year.  Cards and email expressions of support are welcome.

...Andrea Parry and Bill Blasdell as Andrea is laid up at home with pneumonia. She will likely be on the disabled list for several weeks. She will appreciate hearing from folks via email. It helps to feel connected when you are out of commission. 

... Mary Schuler and her family. Mary's father, Harold Schuler, died at 95 years old while in hospice on December 22, fortunately without pain. Cards and emails are welcome.

We celebrate with...
...Janet Haas, who is thrilled to announce the adoption of her 8-month-old grandson, Bodhi Lindmont, on December 31st. Bodhi is the son of her younger daughter and daughter-in-law, Sara and Dion Lindmont. Older sister Aunt Jenn (Leiby), with Uncle Carl and cousin Zoe, are also ‘over the moon’ with baby Bodhi!

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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