Let’s take a meaningful bus trip

From the Women’s March on Washington organizers

On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country

Members of the UU Fellowship will be going and you’re invited! Two comfortable busses full of active folks (not all UU’s) will be going. Tickets are selling quickly to go to this once-in-a-lifetime event, so get yours NOW!


Questions? womens-march-bus-trip@uufp.org

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Upcoming Adult Forums

12/4 Meg Glenn Albiez The Committee on Ministry quietly goes about a job vital to the health of our Fellowship. Meg will discuss the work they do.

12/11 Walter Clark Building a Personal Credo: What motivates you to action? What are the things in life that you hold dear? Where will you not compromise? Join Walter for a crash course on building your own personal faith statement based on our UU values.

12/18 Ray McAdaragh the Youth Challenge Program. Jail doesn’t rehab people with a drug habit very well and they continue to go back to the life-style that got them in trouble in the first place. Judges would much rather sentence a drug addict to this program, rather than to jail, because it is successful for so many people. The goal of Youth Challenge is to teach these citizens how to make the internal change that is necessary. They use a Christian approach, but do not require them to become Christians. The ultimate goal is spiritual maturity, which allows an individual to take control of his/her own life.

12/25 Kathryn Ozyurt Endings and Beginnings

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December Flame

Goddess Circle     No Leaf left behind     Breakfast with Santa         Festival of the Season      Second Sunday lunch


Happy birthday to our members who were born in December!


Jacy Brooks

David Walsh

Donna Sprock

Pat Sloan

Nancy Sessoms

Randy Phillips

Alice Smith

Jackie Wilson

Erick Hagstrom

Mason Moseley

Lynn Oglesby

Linnea Harper


December 4th, 2016

We will present

Happy Birth-Day!  Goddesses of Childbirth

This is an open discussion circle for everyone.

Goddesses are chosen from various world religions as a starting place for group discussion.

When: 1st Sunday after 2nd service (about 12:30 pm)

Where: In the Annex Building    Why:  potluck, fellowship and fun.

Childcare can be provided with advance notification.

Please contact goddesscircle@uufp.org with any questions.

Hope to see you there!


There will be a Leaves Rake Up on December 3rd beginning at 8am. Roy Schilling, chairman, grounds committee.









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Stress Relief!


Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can feel a bit jangled.

So, the Social Justice team suggests giving_tuesday_logostacked as a way to fight back! Your gift will go to the Food Bank. What better way to help?


We set $250 as our goal and yesterday’s basket contained checks and cash for our gift to the Food Bank. We now have $163 but we need the rest today before midnight (Giving Tuesday). Only $87. Can you please help?

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Sunday and Special Services (December 2016)

Services for December 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Matters Small and Great

Rev. Andrew Clive MillardServices include sermons preached by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard unless otherwise noted.

December 4th: “Welcome Home”

What would it look like to live our Unitarian Universalist values by finding opportunities to welcoming military members back into our society?  Much more than offering the national paeanistic ritual expression of “thank you for your service”, we should welcome home combat veterans and encourage them to tell their stories.  Given the impact of our less-communally focused society on the young men and women returning from combat, this could become a greater part of our individual Veterans Day activity.

Steve WasilauskySteve Wasilausky has been married to Megan R. Zunk-Wasilausky for the past seventeen years and is the proud father of Sophia and Caroline.  Last December, Steve retired from twenty-two years in the U. S. Army, having spent a significant amount of time in Korea, Germany and Canada, as well as deployments to Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Steve is a two-year member of the UUFP and currently serves as Buildings Committee Chair.

This service was postponed from November 13th.

December 11th: “The Joy of Universal Salvation”

Is redemption possible for truly anyone?  Does every soul have the possibility of salvation?  And what do these words — redemption, salvation — mean to Unitarian Universalists?  In language more familiar to us, what does it mean to affirm and promote “the inherent worth and dignity of every person”?  And what makes worthwhile “the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all”?

November 18th: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

The UUFP’s youth present UU minister Greg Ward’s adaptation of Barbara Robinson’s play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever with a bit of a Unitarian Universalist twist.  Join us for carols and laughs while exploring the magic and meaning of the holiday season.

Walter Clark, the UUFP's student ministerWalter Clark, the UUFP’s student minister, received his Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in the Spring of 2016.  He lives in Richmond where he spent two years as an intern at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.  When not spending time with his wife and two children, Walter is reading in preparation for his interview with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.

Special music will be provided by the Fellowship’s fabulous ChorUUs!

Special Services for Christmas Eve!
5:00pm on December 24th: “The Christmas Candle”
7:00pm on December 24th: “No Room at the Inn?”

Christmas EveWe hold two services on Christmas Eve!  The earlier is a family service with a story and a song sung by the children, and the later features a play presenting a different take on the traditional nativity story.  Both services feature Christmas carols and will conclude with the beloved ceremony of passing the flame.

Special music will be provided by the UUFP’s fabulous musicians!

December 25th: “Blue Christmas”

Christmas is supposed to be a happy time with family and loved ones.  Setting aside the crass commercialism that makes it more of an orgy of materialism than a celebration of religious values, Christmas is a challenging time for many people, particularly if they are alone or have lost loved ones during previous holiday seasons.  Hence the tradition of Blue Christmas, finding comfort in naming feelings of loneliness and grief, and finding peace in being together with one another."Doc Robin" van Tine

“Doc Robin” van Tine and Friends will provide special music — Blues, naturally!

(Picture by Dean Ceran.)

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By Joanne Dingus

Most of you will remember that our intern, Chris Hockman, started working with the Boys and Girls Club in Aqueduct as part of her ministry with us. She often did yoga classes with the kids or organized a seasonal event. She helped our members get involved with the mentoring program there as well. With Chris leaving and the Club itself going through several staff members, it has been difficult to keep up our connection to the Club. Allison Black has continued to spend time with the kids twice a week, playing with them on the playground, helping with homework and just having fun.

Allison is working with the RE Committee to provide crafts and events for the children on a more regular basis.

She and I did some crafts at Halloween and more recently we did crafts for Thanksgiving.

I wanted to share my experience. I decided on a turkey craft that could be used as a table decoration. It consisted of a brown paper cup, construction paper feathers, a pompom and some googly eyes. I couldn’t find large brown pompoms in the store so I decided to get yarn and teach the kids how to make one themselves.

When I arrived at the club, I was immediately greeted with smiles and hugs. “You came back!” squealed one girl. “I was hoping you would.” Then others asked if they could help carry in supplies. “What are we making?” they asked and I showed them the sample.  “I want to make one.” “Me too!”

So, Allison and I began handing out paper, cups and string. We led them through each step, helping them as needed. The kids were so excited and happy to be making something they could bring home.

One little girl touched my arm when we were winding yarn for the pompom. “Your arm is so soft!” she said. She told the other kids and then called me Miss Soft Arm the rest of the night. It still makes me smile. Another girl tore her rice crispy treat in half and gave me a piece. One child created a play with her turkey cup and I got to be the audience as she performed it.

We were only there for two hours but they was definitely the highlight of my week.

Allison and I are planning to go back before Christmas. We would love to have more craft tables available and maybe some homemade treats to share with the kids. If you are interested in helping please email me at jmdingus@verizon.net.  You’ll be glad you did.

See you in the RE!

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Not Just For Show

photo-nov-27-1-42-57-pm            One of the more interesting responses to a Donald Trump presidency has been the safety pin. The idea itself came from across the pond in Europe after Brexit. The tenor of the country was becoming increasingly xenophobic due to an influx of Syrian immigrants. Some Britons want to let these immigrants know that they had allies, that there were safe people for them. Well, nothing says safety like a safety pin, so people who identified themselves as allies started to prominently wear them. The hopes were at the most that if a refugee felt threatened, they could find someone with a pin to help them and at the least a refugee would know a pin wearer would not start any trouble. The election of Trump has been the Brexit of the United States, with the same xenophobic fear as a part of the campaign. It’s no surprise that the safety pin showed up again.

Personally, I’m conflicted about the pin. Yes, I think it’s a good thing to support marginalized persons, but I plan on speaking up when I see someone being harassed regardless if I am wearing a pin or not. Will it really be a comfort to a Muslim, LGBT person, Transgendered person, Undocumented person, black person or Latina/o if they see me wearing one or will they think, “Another cis-white male trying to feel good about themselves?” I have heard the argument that the pin puts the onus on the marginalized to seek out the ally instead of the ally seeking out those in need. All these points beg the question, who is the pin really for?

On the other hand, it’s just a pin. After a polarizing election, it is good to know that there are people out there, people who look like our new president elect (white), who have love and respect for people in the margins. People who don’t blame Muslims or Latina/os for the state of our country. That LGBT persons are loved for who they are. It’s a sign that these are people who want to work with, not against.

I had the honor of attending a retreat for southern Unitarian Universalist ministers a week ago. Mark Morrison-Reed was the key speaker, so there was a generous turn out. There was much discussion about the election, the healing that needs to take place in our nation, our role as ministers and where do we as a denomination go from here? While in line for dinner one night, I was speaking with a colleague who is black about the safety pins and he said, “you don’t get to call yourself an ally. The people you are helping make that call.” It was a gentle way of saying that wearing the pin is the reward for doing the work, that it is part of the means and certainly not an end.

2015-01-06-11-49-33                Recently there has been renewed interest in putting up the Black Lives Matter banner at UUFP. Many of you who know me know that I am very much in favor of having that banner up for all of the traffic on Warrick Avenue to see. My concern is what happens next? What will we do as a community that will inspire the black community to call us allies? What actions will we do to help those who literally live in our back yard and improve their quality of life? How will show them that we believe that Black Lives actually Matter?

I think before the banner goes up, we need to increase our involvement in the black community of Newport News. Something where we interact with members of the black community face to face, where we get a chance to listen to them and build relationships. Once we do that, putting up the banner isn’t just political, it’s personal.

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Kids These Days With Their Gender Identities

Last week (November 20th, 2016) Athena Krafft wrote a piece for worship about transgender identity. If you were unable to attend service that day, I recommend you take a few minutes to read this insightful piece

One of the things our elder generations hold most dear is something they don’t even think about. Gender. Gender and gender roles are pillars of American society. Past movements have claimed to revolutionize and change gender roles, but really it was a limited reordering of a few aspects of them. Even within the most radical of past movements, changing gender roles have kept to their cores and maintained strict definition and form. Many people don’t realize how important that structure and those longstanding roles are to them until they are shown something that falls outside of it.


Photo by Rev. Andrew Millard

To cite a common example: “Mommy, is that man wearing a dress?” “Mommy, why is that girl going in the wrong bathroom?” “Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?” And it’s not just children with these questions running through their minds. Adults form judgements and assumptions based on people’s appearances and how they fall into gender boxes as well. And their ironclad grip on those boxes and those assumptions are what make trans lives hell.

Trans, or transgender, people identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. There are binary trans people, whose genders still fall under the male/female dichotomy. Then there are also the oft mocked non-binary genders, people who do not fall in either the boys’ or girls’ camps. The grey area where words like “bigender,” “genderfluid,” “agender,” “transmasculine,” and “transfeminine” come into play. All these people have vastly different lives and experiences, but they have one problem in common.

The gender boxes and assumptions of cis people. People who aren’t trans. People who think gender goes one way and one way only. People who assume a man wearing a dress is the problem, and never stop to consider that maybe they are the problem. After all, who’s to say that men can’t wear dresses? Who’s to say that that individual was even a man? Who’s to say how that person can and can’t to express themselves and their gender?

The answer to all those questions is, “Not you.” You are not here to judge that person and decide how they have to live their life. You are here to accept and respect them. You are here to be a part of the change, not to loiter in the base of the opposition.

We encounter many things that confuse us in our lives, but our strongest virtue is that we learn and grow from those experiences. Each new person you meet and every interaction you have helps you learn and grow towards your better, truer self. But how can you do that if you are shutting down those opportunities and walling yourself in with those very boxes of gender that you seek to change?

The first step to tearing down those walls is accepting your own ignorance. You don’t know everything there is to know about gender, and that’s okay. Gender is such an individual and varied experience that trying to apply one set of rules to everyone is just ridiculous. But we need to work on learning and accepting each other’s rules so that we can come together to build a stronger whole.

Stop assuming you know someone’s gender based on appearance. Ask for people’s pronouns when you ask for their name. Use those pronouns, even when the person isn’t there. Don’t stand by in silence when people claim “they” isn’t a singular pronoun, or that “ze” is just a made up word. Educate yourself. There’s no shortage of websites willing to explain anything that might confuse you.

Our culture is working towards its first true gender revolution, and it is going to be scary. But if you prepare yourself for the change, it won’t have to be. You can either be fighting on the forefront or you can find yourself scrambling to catch up. The choice is yours, but no matter what you chose, there will always be people ready to help you make the transition into the new world. The world of acceptance and hope where people are allowed to live and to Be without fear or shame.

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Giving Tuesday on Sunday

heartSo, here we are, racing toward Giving Tuesday. What a great opportunity to help the FoodBank feed our neighbors. And don’t forget the math! Your gift—combined with that of others—gives them to create four meals for every dollar you contribute!

Triple Bonus!

Bank of America will add $2 for every dollar you contribute! So, your $10 and their $20 will gift our local FoodBank with $30 or 120 meals for people who are struggling with hunger and that’s one in seven families in Tidewater!

Will you please bring a check or cash marked Giving Tuesday tomorrow or go on-line now to do it?

I always wanted to go back to school but, as a single mom with three boys, it was tough. Last year I decided to go back. We get by, but it’s a struggle particularly during the holidays. I may not have a lot to give my boys but they love food, so when the food pantry gives us an amazing meal, I know they’re happy. Food pantry volunteers full of love, compassion and support for those in need. Liz


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Black Friday. Yes or No?

If your answer is “Yes,” and you use Amazon to shop you have the opportunity to really help the UU Fellowship this month!

If you begin on the calendar page (http://www.uufp.org/calendar.html) or the announcement page (http://www.uufp.org/UUFP-Happenings.html) and click on any of the four boxes, the UUFP will receive 12% back instead of our regular 6-6.5%. But, it’s only good during November!


And, if your answer is “No” well, OK then.

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