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October 29 -  November 4, 2020
The CommUUnicator
The Weekly Newsletter of the
Unitarian Society of Germantown
Building Beloved Community
This week: on Sunday, we remember heroes of democracy and on various days, we offer many opportunities to mindfully pursue justice and peace. 
This Sunday, November 1, 2020
Access the Worship Service HERE starting at 9:50am on Sunday.
Access a printable Order of Service at that same link by noon on Saturday.
With mariachis playing guitar and singing, flowers and candles, photos and mementos, we remember deceased loved ones.

USG members will share about deceased heroes who personally impacted them in their life dedication to democracy. Ingrid Brown will speak about Unitarian Minister and civil rights martyr Rev. James Reeb. Judge Linda Bernstein will speak about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Linda Brunn will speak about her father, Unitarian Minister and civil rights leader, Rev. Edward Cahill.  Rev. Kent Matthies will speak about his father Rich Matthies who supported his wife, Mary Ellen, at the League of Women Voters.  

In beloved community we make space to honor all deceased loved ones who remain in our hearts.
Please bring a photo of a deceased loved one to the zoom screen to share! 
Coloring Pages will be posted
and we will share a STORY FOR ALL AGES.
In Children's Spiritual Development
Raising Anti-Racist UUs Continues This Sunday 
In this six-week program, we join children from three other congregations.
Lower Elementary (K- 2nd grade): 1PM. 
Upper Elementary (3rd - 5th grade): 2PM. 

Both events are @ 30 minutes. Email for info and
Zoom access!
Other Gatherings This Sunday
Please note that Ending Racism Committee will meet NEXT Sunday, November 8, from 2:00 - 4:00pm, instead of the usual First Sunday of the month. Details below under "Connect with Others Remotely."
Sunday Evening Breathe with Pamela Freeman

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. This Sunday, we welcome special guests from the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network. All are invited, as always.

More details here. Contact with questions. To receive the Mindfulness newsletter & Zoom links, contact 

Celebration of Samhain on Zoom
Messages to the Dead
Sunday, November 1, 6:00-8:00pm
Zoom Link:
USG’s EarthSpirit Circle plans to create space from which to speak to our dead, using pencil and paper. Fire and/or water will be optional – bring your own to the Zoom screen, of course. Adults are welcome. So are children, if their adults are also present. Contact:

Last push to register voters and GetOutTheVote!

  1. Vote! Encourage family, friends & neighbors to vote!
    Phone banks jointly with POWER and other local faith communities, including First Church UU,  Restoration, Mishkan and St. Vincent's
    Thursday, 6:00 - 8:30pm:  Oct. 29 (TONIGHT)
    Sunday, 4:00 - 7:00pm:  Nov. 1

    Details and registration for all POWER phone banks can be found here:
    POWER Phone Banking Calendar and Registration
  3. Want to walk through filling out your ballot? Anne Bower will be hosting one final zoom ballot information session TONIGHT, Oct. 29, from 4:40-5:30pm on how to fill out your mail in ballot completely and accurately. To receive the Zoom link, email:
Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice
Rev. Slack will be joining a colleague, Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, who is the Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs in the Mayor's Office of Philadelphia, for a Prayer Pause for Philadelphia. The way to access the Prayer Pause is to go to the Facebook page for the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement. Rev. Naomi goes live from that page.

Join a daily weekday vigil:
Standing in Solidarity for Racial Justice

Monday to Friday, 5-6pm

Beginning Monday, November 2, the Vigil will run from 4:00-5:00pm
in front of the church on Lincoln Drive, weather permitting.
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 at In the event of inclement weather, this event is cancelled. BLM signs are available for $10 purchase or loan during the vigil.

Check it out!
Ending Racism Committee: Meeting the Moment
The ERC shares regularly updated resources at .
Recently posted: Lori Tharps' series of Small Action Steps.
"Don't Be Racist." 
More Spirit in Action
Food Pantry Donations
This Wednesday, November 4, 9:00-11:00am

Next: Wednesday, November 18

Please drop off nonperishable food donations in the USG Courtyard. With Thanksgiving approaching, St. Vincent Food Pantry's requests include canned yams or sweet potatoes, dry pie crust mix (not refrigerated!), and evaporated milk. Do remember good protein sources, as well.

USG's 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).
Other Upcoming Events

BLUU Be-ology Services
First Thursdays at 9pm. Next: November 5
Register at

Third Sundays at 4pm. Next: November 15
Register at
All of the BLUU* online worship services are Black Sacred Space in their entirety. *BLUU: Black Lives of UU. Visit USG's BLUU Resources for Black UUs page for details.
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.  To receive the Center for Mindfulness weekly e-news, contact

Some other gatherings are listed below under "Connect With Others."
News and Announcements
CSD SAVE THE DATE: During the week of November 8
we launch our Minecraft meets World Religions program for an Elementary aged group (roughly 2nd grade - 5th), and a Middle School/Youth group (6th grade +). Interested parents, please fill out this 2 minute poll as we find the best tech and times to meet: link to poll:
USG Now Offers Outdoor Meeting Spaces to Small USG Groups
following our Covid-19 TaskForce's guidelines.
Please click here to learn more.

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.

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 & Beyond
Can USG Help YOU? Or Someone You Know?
USG has dedicated an entire section of our website  to many and varied resources people might need during the pandemic: health, social, economic, family with children needs, food shopping. Listed there also are links to local food banks and mental and physical health supports.

As well, USG is committed to helping
 with financial hardships created by the pandemic. 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.
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.
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).

BLUU Box - VIA ZOOM. THIRD Sunday at 2:00pm. Next: November 15. 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. Join us at:

Book Group on Friday Morning -. Meeting via Zoom. Third Friday. Next: November 20 (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.)

EarthSpirit Circle -  Via Zoom. Usually first Monday. NEXT: December 7, at 7:00pm. (No meeting in November.) For info & links, contact

Ending Racism Committee Meeting - via Zoom- USUALLY First Sunday. Please note change in November to Sunday, November 8,  2:00pm. Meetings with Guest Speakers will alternate with meetings which engage the 8th Principle.  ERC will begin engaging the Commission on Institutional Change ReportFor the first session, please read the Report from the beginning through the Theology chapter. Our sessions will be guided by the UUA Study/Action Guide. We have much to do to make the vision of the 8th Principle a reality. Please join us as we begin to explore what its adoption means for USG. Contact

Exploring Elderhood Zoom Gatherings. Most Fridays, 2:00-4:00pm. Contact with Subject: Join Elders. No two programs are the same; come and see what the Elders are up to this time! 

Handcrafters of USG, a Handwork Group- Via Zoom. Usually first Tuesdays, 1:30- 3:00pm and Third Mondays, 7:30-9:00pm. Next: November 3. Contact Margaret Thompson at

Humanists - PUSH - Philadelphia Unitarian Society of Humanists - Fourth Sundays, 11:45am. (Next: November 22) Contact Paul Teti at

LOC for POWER -  VIA ZOOM. Usually Third Sunday. Next: November 15, 9:00-9:45am. Local Organizing Committee for Interfaith Social Justice group POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Renew) -Contact Dennis Brunn,

Men's Group. Third Tuesdays, 4:00pm. Next: November 17. Please contact Hal Krieger at

Racism Book Study GroupVIA REMOTE ACCESS. Usually Second Mondays, 7:30 - 9:00pm. Next: November 9. Reading DisgruntledContact Treva Burger 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

SGM: Drop-in Young Adults Small Group Ministry group - Second Wednesday, 7:00pm. Next: November 11.  Contact Johanna at or on Facebook where they maintain an active invite-only activities group.

Wissahickon Walking at Valley Green - Mondays and Thursdays, from November - March 10:00am Start Time, at Valley Green Inn. Social distance and masks mandatory. Contact (April - October, 9:00am Start)
UU-101 - ON ZOOM. Third Sundays, 12:00 - 1:00pm. Next: November 15. 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
Please note that we want to include in our Caring Community all the young people as well as the older folks. So if your student athlete or tumbling toddler needs a Caring Note, please let us know!
We pass on heartfelt thanks from Gail Mershon to USG folks, including Donna, Louise, Nancy, Alan, Charles, and Eileen, who were so gracious, patient, and caring in providing rides for two separate surgeries and two follow-up doc appointments...."which were not close to Mt Airy (where I live) at all!  The Caring Committee was incredibly helpful and patient in coping with the many changes required. In combination with the wonderful meals and company, I enjoyed two years ago after a knee replacement, these /acts of caring demonstrate that Caring is truly one of the best things we do at USG! 
We send loving thoughts to Sharon Mafuru as she approaches an elective surgery in November. Please see the dedicated email sent on October 20 to USG members and friends if you would like to help with a meal.
We send healing and loving thoughts as well to Lyla Duey, who is recuperating from surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. She is home with husband Dan Schultz and daughters Ida and Emmie.  A separate email requesting meals for the family will be sent later to USG Members & 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.

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.
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
Copyright © 2020 Unitarian Society of Germantown, All rights reserved.

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