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September 24 -  30, 2020
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This week: tonight, we can work on VOTING RIGHTS, watch a special Democracy film, attend a Death Cafe, or a Racism Book Study group; on Sunday, we hear Ms. Latifah Griffin talk about her call to the ministry; and WOMXN enjoy a "Courageous Heart" retreat this weekend. AND THERE'S MORE!
This Sunday, September 27, 2020
In Worship, 10:00am online
Access the Worship Service HERE starting at 9:50am on Sunday.
“My Call to Ministry: A Renewed Commitment to Faith”
Intern Minister Latifah Griffin, Music Director Mark Daugherty, Spiritual Development Director Ryan Hurd 
Ms. Latifah will share the journey that has brought her to UU ministry and USG.

Ms. Latifah Griffin is a student at the Lancaster Theological Seminary. Her Master’s Degree is in Pastoral Care and Counseling. USG will be her second direct field learning experience. Her first internship was at Nemour’s Dupont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, DE. She currently works as a counselor at Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services and Jefferson University in Philadelphia. 
Coloring Pages will be posted for children and there will be a Time for All Ages.
Other Gatherings This Sunday
11:30am - 12:00pm
Meet and Greet Ms. Latifah for Children & Youth.
Here is the Zoom link to join:

the Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, invites you to join the monthly meeting. For the Zoom link, contact
Sunday Evening Breathe
5:00-6:00pm with Deborah Cooper
Via Zoom
The Breathe mindfulness class consists of guided meditations, mindfulness and meditation teachings, and discussion, geared for both experienced and new meditators and led by a rotating group of experienced teachers. More details here. Contact for Zoom links.
TONIGHT, Thursday, September 24

(Now until the November election)

Sign up here:  UU Weekly Phone Banking Registration  
We partner with POWER to contact voters via phone.
Upcoming Dates:
Sept. 24, 29, Oct. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29 

Virtual phone banking with a breakout room for training for anyone who needs training or orientation
Phone calls to Pennsylvania Voters

(Now until the November election)
Email for links.

Voting Info, Resources & Opportunities for Action:
How you can get involved
Info for PA Voters
Info for DE and NJ Voters

You're invited to
"The Democracy We Want" Film & Discussion Series
Thursday, September 24, 7:30pm

The UUJusticePA (formerly UUPLAN) Film and Speaker Series presents “The Democracy We Want Part 2: Fixing Extreme Economic Inequality” with Chuck Collins. Chuck is the director of the Institute for Policy Studies team. This informative event is organized by the UUJusticePA Good Government and Economic Justice teams.

Please click the link below to register and receive the zoom link to this exciting event. All are welcome!
Register Now!

Death Café 
Thursday, September 24, 7:00-8:30pm
USG’s next Online Death Café will be facilitated by Maggie Beaumont, hospice chaplain, and hosted by Ryan Hurd on Zoom. Our objective is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.” Seats are limited: to learn more and save your virtual seat, click here:
More Spirit in Action

Join a daily weekday vigil to support racial justice
Monday to Friday, 5-6pm
in front of the church on Lincoln Drive, weather permitting.
Bring your placards and drinking water. This is a family-friendly event, and the 14th district police have been informed. Participants need to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Contact Mary Kalyna or Sarah Frazier at In the event of a heat advisory or thunderstorm, this event is cancelled. BLM signs are available for $10 purchase or loan during the vigil.
African Zumba Classes
to Benefit the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN)

Helping Homeless Families (A USG Partner)
Saturdays from 10AM -11:30AM
At the Mt. Airy Playground, 7001 Germantown Ave., next to the PIHN Office
Entry is pay as you wish ($10 recommended).
Please send your fee to PIHN's Venmo - @Phila-Interfaith or donate on website, dedicated to Zumba.
Ending Racism Committee: Meeting the Moment
The ERC will now share regularly updated resources at the top of its USG webpage:
Check it out!

Included: podcasts, short videos, articles, recommended books...
Examples: Recommended action, education, video, & more.

USG's Covid Financial Relief Fund
To date, three individual grants and three organizational grants (to Men Who Care of Germantown twice and Germantown Mutual Aid Fund once) have been made from the Covid Financial Relief Fund.

Recipient nominations can be made by contacting If you or someone you know can benefit from a grant from the Fund, please use this email, as well.

To donate any amount to the Fund:
    mail checks to USG with “covid” in the memo line; or
    text an amount to 215.608.2660, with keyword “covid” (for example: 250  covid); or
    donate online (at; select “to Covid Relief Fund” in the dropdown menu).
Child Spiritual Development (CSD)
CSD Programming 2020-21

In September, we will focus on creating fun, inclusive, and intergenerational worship services, and reaching out to families for support. 

In October and beyond, we are planning a brand new Anti-Racism curriculum for our children and youth, developed by regional UU education leaders in Pennsylvania and specialists at the UUA. We also could run a Minecraft/World Religions program, and more, if there's interest. as well as some other cool ideas!
We realize that online children's programming is not everyone's cup of tea, so we are also looking into innovative ways to stay connected offline. That's why all members and visitors are encouraged to register your children for this year's CSD and weigh in on what's most important for your family. Here's the link to register.  And good news: there's no registration fee for visitors this fall!
Adult Spiritual Development (ASD)


Friday, Sept. 25, 7 - 8:30pm; and Saturday, Sept. 26, 10am – 1:30pm
Leaders: Esther Wyss-Flamm and Adrienne Dolberry 

The equinox is a time to pause, let ourselves get still and listen to our quiet voice within. Relax, recharge, and rebalance in body, mind, and spirit with meditation, restorative movement, and ritual. No prior experience with yoga or mindfulness needed. For details, cost, and to register, go to

If you are unavailable on the retreat dates, all registrants will be given access to a recorded video of the event that can be viewed later.  

BLUU Be-ology Services
First Thursdays at 9pm. Next: October 1
If you have not registered for Thursday night worship, do so at
Third Sundays at 4pm. Next: October 18
If you have not registered for Sunday afternoon worship, do so at

 All of the BLUU* online worship services are Black Sacred Space in their entirety – by and for Black people, with the words and voices of Black folks across the diaspora – and we hope that Black UUs and Black UU-adjacent folks (who share UU values) from far and wide will join us!

*BLUU: Black Lives of UU. Visit USG's BLUU Resources for Black UUs page for details.
Wissahickon Walks Return!
Monday and Thursday walks will start at 9:00am from the Valley Green Inn parking lot. Social distancing and masks are mandatory. Walker traffic is typically 30 to 40 people over the course of a mile. Most are masked (not so much the bike riders and runners). The parking lots have spaces available so far.  Contact
Spiritual development events are more fully described in Tuesday's SPIRIT email. They are also listed on our website> Spiritual Development tab> Center for Mindfulness at USG.

Some other gatherings are listed below under "Connect With Others."
News and Announcements

Church Office Hours by Appointment Only
The church offices remain closed to non-essential visitors because of Covid-19. However, if you have essential business to conduct, please make an appointment by email or phone 215-844-1157.
BLUU Havens
A New Local BLUU Program
Lisa Dutton, USG's Welcoming chair, is delighted to announce BLUU Havens, a new social meet-up program launched by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). Lisa has applied to form a BLUU Haven for the Philly metro area and thinks this is a wonderful opportunity to get to know more people with similar interests and strengthen our UU (or UU-adjacent) community. Contact Lisa Dutton at if you are interested in participating in this exciting new social group.  

Please read the group’s criteria on our USG BLUU resource page or the BLUU website:

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU) invites meditation submissions for a new anthology
Skinner House Books invites Black Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists to submit original poems, prayers, or short prose pieces for possible inclusion to be published in Spring 2021. This will be an anthology of pieces by Black writers, musicians, worship leaders, and liturgists, published in partnership with BLUU. Deadline: October 1, 2020. For more information see

Do you need to host a Zoom meeting for a USG group?
Do you need to host a Zoom meeting for a USG group? We will be happy to schedule it for you. Please fill in the Zoom Meeting Request Form, linked here. You can always find it later on by looking under the Members tab (log in needed) or by entering "Zoom" in the search bar.
CoVid-19 Support at USG
Can USG Help YOU? Or Someone You Know?
    unable to make a mortgage payment this month or next? 
    experiencing food insecurity? 
    facing reduced hours at your job, a furlough, or layoff?
    sick and unable to work?
    feeling isolated and alone in this unusual time? 

USG can help with financial hardships. Don’t wait until your situation is dire!

Email or contact a USG staff member in complete confidence. Our Caring Team can also help with social connections and short term needs. Email or call 215-844-1157.

Get help now! Check out the link for Healthy Minds Philly: . It contains useful information on local and national mental health and wellness resources, including agencies, programs and facilities near you. Please contact the USG Caring Team at if you would like to receive or provide support at this time. Stay safe and be well!
USG has five teams to support the needs of congregants during this pandemic. If you are in need, email the contact listed below, or leave a voicemail on the USG office phone (215-844-1157), and your voicemail will be forwarded to the person listed. We are here to help you however we can.

Please let us know if you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, have symptoms and are self-quarantining, or are self-quarantining because of possible exposure. Email the Caring Committee:  or Kent:
Health challenges:, Linda Bernstein 
Staying connected socially: , Nancy Roeker-Coates
Economic challenges:, Lisa Dutton
Contact us via email to share resource information and to get the meeting information; or call the office 215-844-1157 with the message that you wish to speak to Lisa privately.

Families with children at home:, Gale Gibbons

Food Delivery help:, Carolyn Scott
Connect with Others --- Remotely
Below are various groups that offer opportunities to connect with others here at USG. Some of these groups are still communicating or gathering virtually or at a six-foot remove. We encourage you to stay in touch with your networks in whatever safe ways work for you.
Exploring Elderhood Zoom Gatherings. Most Fridays, 2:00-4:00pm. Next:  September 25. Topic: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Contact with Subject: Join Elders. No two programs are the same; come and see what the Elders are up to this time! 

BLUU Be-ology Worship Services
1st Thursday 9:00pm & 3rd Sunday at 4pm
For details, visit the BLUU Resources for Black UUs webpage (at> Spiritual Development tab).

Men's Group. Third Tuesdays, 4:00pm. Next: October 20. Please contact Hal Krieger at

Small Group Ministry Groups - These monthly groups offer an opportunity to share thoughts with others on the spiritual theme of the month and to become more acquainted with other people. Click here to see what groups are currently open and to learn more. Among the SGMs offered are ones for Young Adults (a drop-in group; see next entry), Women, and ParentsMany SGMs are meeting virtually. If interested, contact

Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group - Second Wednesday, 7:00pm. Next: October 14.  Contact Johanna at or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.
 THIRD Sunday at 2:00pm. Next: October 18. 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. Contact
Ending Racism Committee Meeting - via Zoom- First Sunday, October 4,  2:00pm.  Q&A with guest speakers, followed by business meeting.

Book Group on Friday Morning -. Meeting via Zoom. Third Friday. Next: October 16 (Time varies)If interested in joining, please contact Barbara Dowdall at The 2020-2021 Book List is posted on> About> Affinity Groups> Book Group.
CAMI (Citizens Against Mass Incarceration) - Every Wednesday via Zoom. Contact Margaret Robertson at (CAMI now supports the Germantown Participatory Defense HUB; anyone interested in helping must have training.)

LOC for POWER -  VIA ZOOM. Usually Third Sunday. Next: October 18, 9:00-9:45am. Local Organizing Committee for Interfaith Social Justice group POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Renew) -Contact Dennis Brunn,

EarthSpirit Circle -  Via Zoom. Usually first Monday. NEXT: October 5, at 7:00pm.
 For info & links, contact

USG Handcrafters, a Handwork Group- Via Zoom. Usually first Tuesdays, 1:30- 3:00pm (please note change in days) and Third Mondays, 7:30-9:00pm. Next: October 6. Contact Margaret Thompson at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists - Fourth Sundays, 11:45am. (Next: September 27) Contact Paul Teti at

Nature Walking at Valley Green - Mondays and Thursdays, 9:00am Start Time, at Valley Green Inn. Social distance and masks mandatory. Contact

Racism Book Study GroupVIA REMOTE ACCESS. Usually Second Mondays, 7:30 - 9:00pm, Contact Treva Burger at Please read & journal prior to the discussion.
Please note: the 
weekly Racism Book Study
(following the book Me and White Supremacy) meets next: Sept. 24,  7:30pm.
UU-101 - ON ZOOM. Third Sundays, 12:00 - 1:00pm. Next: October 18. For links to this Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, contact 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:
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 send caring thoughts and prayers to...
... Jerry Caruso, and wish him a speedy rehab from his knee replacement. Cards and other contacts are welcome.
... Sam Stormont, who had surgery for a cataract in his left eye on September 21. Sam reports that the surgery went well and recovery is going well, and he now has 20/20 distance vision in that eye and sees objects more clearly and brightly. 
... Gail Mershon, who will have cataract surgery on both eyes in the next weeks. We can help with transportation. Please see the email sent to members and friends. 
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.

Submissions to The USG CommUUnicator
Announcements should be limited to 400 characters, including spaces. Please send the blurb (or your questions) by noon on Wednesday to
Contact Us
Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister -
Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development -
Mark Daugherty, Music Director -
Latifah Griffin, Intern Minister -
Celeste Lamb, Church Administrator-
Carolyn Scott, Asst. Administrator-
Carolyn Cotton, Rental Coordinator -
Mike Rogers, Sunday Morning and Special Events Sexton -

Board of Trustees 2020-21
Andrea Barsevick (FY21), President, 
John Davis (FY21), Vice President
Sam Stormont (FY21), Secretary
Nancy Anderson (FY21), Zachary Bosco (FY22), Maggie Beaumont (FY22), Sarah Frazier (FY23), Devery Howerton (FY23), Lee Meinicke (FY23)

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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