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October 24 - 30, 2019
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This week: Holy Ancestors! on Friday evening, we carve pumpkins and tell spooky stories, and the older folks celebrate Samhain; on Saturday evening, we celebrate the Hindu Festival of Lights, Diwali; and on Sunday morning, we celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead with the Mariachi Flores musicians! 
This Saturday, October 26, 6:00pm
Diwali, the Festival of Lights
with food, ceremonies, dance and sitar performances
This Sunday, October 27, 2019
In Worship, 10:30am

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)
We Belong

An Intergenerational Service
Come celebrate with Mariachi Flores and their wonderful assortment of instruments and vocals!  In many spiritual traditions the line between the living and the dead is more of a passageway.  Based in love and gratitude, we belong to the dead and the dead belong to us. In telling stories, talking to each other and feeling the energy enrich our lives, come claim your place of belonging!

All are invited to bring photographs of deceased loved ones to place on the altar.

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 to USG's Annual Fall Food Drive this October and November to support both St Vincent de Paul's Food Cupboard and the UU House Outreach Program, which aids older people in the Germantown area. Please bring canned and other non-perishable foods when you come to USG for services, meetings, whenever!  Leave your donations on the carts in the kitchen. Click here for the 10 most-wanted food items!

Opportunities after the service
Enjoy the greeting and refreshments offered by Villages 10. Food bringers, please label items containing nuts.

At 12:00pm, attend a meeting of the Humanists (PUSH) in the Daskam Room.

Then return at 5:00pm for our NEW Breathe program. Please see below.
Upcoming Events
USG is now offering a NEW Sunday evening mindfulness program with a rotating cast of expert meditation teachers and mindfulness leaders. 

Sunday, October 27th, 5:00-6:30pm
 Mindful Self-Compassion
in Your Mindfulness Meditation Practice and in Your Life

Teacher: Jesse Frechette
This course will include time for discussion on mindful self-compassion, a guided practice, and questions and suggestions for growing mindful self-compassion in one’s practice and life. Read more. Fee: None required; suggested dana of $15-20.
Let's get back to nature


Bond with us this November 1 - 3
in scenic West Chester, PA

workshops/ mindfulness
hiking/ drumming
good food/ poker

More info & registration or
It's almost full but we're saving a few spaces for you!
Apparently, Rev. Kent cannot get enough of retreating.
Join him two weeks after the Men's Retreat for a revitalizing Saturday retreat:
Caregiving Support Workshop: "The Art of Listening"
Sunday, November 17, 12:00 - 1:30pm, Sullivan 3

At the workshop, Andi Bernstein will present on ways to support loved ones experiencing life challenges such as a medical or mental heath diagnosis. 
In case you missed these other Spiritual Development events in this week's SPIRIT...

Racism Book Study
Monday, November 11, 7:30pm

NEW: Breathe programs!
Sunday evenings, 5:00 - 7:00pm

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

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. 
The Spirit in Action
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, November 20

PIHN's Annual Empty Bowl Dinner
Fresh soups, bread, and dessert
Family-friendly activities, live entertainment

three seatings: 

United Lutheran Seminary, Brossman Center Benbow Hall
Profits go to benefit Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network
Minimum donation:
Adults: $25
Students & Children: $10
Remember to VOTE on Tuesday November 5, 2019.  Local elections for mayor, school board, township commissioners, county commissioners, judges and other local officials are important to the health and strength of our democracy.   VOTE as if our democracy depends upon it, because it does!

Would you like to be part of a voter registration and voter engagement effort for 2020?   Contact Lois Murphy at
News and Announcements
Above are the wonderful volunteers on the Archives Committee, who are painstakingly sorting, filing, and storing USG's historical documents, photographs, and memorabilia. We are grateful for their behind-the-scenes, meticulous work. 

Seen here, L to R, are Archives Committee members Kay Weiser, Barbara Vandegrift, Carolyn Cotton, Linda Bernstein, and Chair Susan Bockius. (Not pictured: members Mary Phalan and Howard Silver.)
Please note: To read the full letter, you need to log into the website with your password. Then go to the Members tab> A Letter from Rev. Kent.
A Letter from Rev. Kent
Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well amongst the changing colors of fall.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual AND Transgender justice are all critically important at the Unitarian Society of Germantown....

In the last decade many of us, including myself, have learned more and become more dedicated to honoring and welcoming transgender and gender fluid people. One project within this ministry involves placing pronouns on our name tags. To date, approximately, 100 USG members and visitors have agreed to place the pronouns of their choice on their name tags. 

Recently, we made a well-intended mistake by assigning pronouns on the name tag of every person who had not responded. However, upon further reflection, we want each person to have complete choice about a) whether they participate by having pronouns on their tag, and b) if they participate, which gender pronouns to place on their name tag...

(Click here to read the full letter, including background on USG's use of pronouns on nametags.)

...please let us know your preference -- to either display no pronouns on your tag or use your preferred pronouns -- by simply filling out a name tag request form at the Welcome Table. Alternatively, email your preference to (Of course, you can also leave your tag as is.) As appropriate, we will make a new tag for you that will be at the Welcome Table the next week.

...our sincere apologies for any confusion or hurt caused by this effort. I look forward to many more years of moving forward in our efforts to help all people live out their fullest humanity.

In Faith,
Interested in joining USG?
The next New Member Signing will be on Sunday, November 10 during the service. 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:
  • October 27 - Village 10
  • November 3 - Village 11
  • November 10- Village 12
  • November 17 - Village 1
  • November 24 - Community Day Brunch
Our Wider Community
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, November 13, 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. (Please note corrected email address.)
Book Group on Friday Morning - Third Friday, November 15, 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. Please note time change: 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 Nancy Anderson.
Caregivers Support Group - Second Friday, November 8, 11:00am - 1:00pm. USG. Contact Maura Gallagher at
Coffee Hour for Social Justice - Third Sunday, November 17, 9:45 - 10:20am. Contact

EarthSpirit Circle-First Monday (except after holiday weekends) at 7:00pm. Next: November 4. At USG. Contact
Exploring Elderhood Gathering - Second Fridays, Next: November 8, 2:00-4:30pm. At USG's Edna Jones Assembly Room. Contact Gerry Whelan at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists, Fourth Sunday, October 27, 12:00pm. At USG. Contact Paul Teti 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, November 17, 9:00 - 9:40am. At USG. Contact Dennis Brunn,

Nature Walking at Valley Green - Monday and Thursday at 9:00am, you can meet others at Valley Green in Chestnut Hill for a morning walk. Contact Steve Conrad, (December through March, start time will be 10:00am.)
Needle Exchange, a Handwork Group- First Wednesday, November 6, 1:30 - 3:00pm. May now be held at USG. Contact Margaret Thompson at

Racism Book Study Group -  Second Monday, November 11, 7:30 - 9:00pm. Contact Treva Burger at
UU-101 - Third Sunday, November 17, 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
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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