Announcements (April 2015)



Tris will be discussing
Goddesses of Memory

This is an open discussion circle for both men & women.
Goddesses are chosen from various world religions as a starting place for group discussion.

When: 1st Sun.of each month after the 2nd service (about noon)
Where: In the Annex Building Why: potluck, fellowship and fun.

Childcare can be provided with advance notification.
Please contact with any questions.

(submitted by Janet Gecowets)




(submitted by Bobbie Schilling)




Questions? Contact Esther Sherman at


Bellydance Classes

New “Skills and Drills” classes for all levels of dancers are starting in March!  These will focus on exercise through Mid-Eastern dance combinations done with an emphasis on correct posture and having fun.  Classes will run on Mondays from 5:30 – 6:15 pm, March 16 – April 27, with an optional field trip to Rosalita’s to see instructor Jeylan perform on Monday, March 30.  The cost is $45 due at the first class.  Questions or concerns may be directed to Rachel at  Ladies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities are encouraged to give it a try!


Black History Study Group  –  Facilitated by Allison Black

The Black History Study Group will meet in the Office Building on April 18, 2015 at 2 pm.  We will discuss Black feminism, intersectionality, and stereotypes.

The Black History Study Group is a monthly discussion group dedicated to examining black history (and current events involving race), which is much deeper and more complex than allowed for by the one month we usually give to black history.  This discussion group will be a venue for members of the congregation to become more informed about race, including the racist history of the United States, the history of different communities in the United States, to the roots and impact of current events.  The group will also encourage discussion of the experience and history of other minority communities in the United States.


As UU’s we can make a difference!!


 Any announcements not submitted may be added to this post at a later date and/or posted via other communication venues.

Posted in 2015, EDITION: April 2014 | 1 Comment

Sunday and Special Services (April 2015)

Services for April 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Liberation

“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.  The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both.  But it must be a struggle.  Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did and it never will.” — Frederick Douglass

Special Service!
4pm on April 4th: a Passover Seder — UUFP Office Building

This multi-sensory liturgy dates back thousands of years and is celebrated annually by millions of Jews and people of other faiths.  The modern seder allows us to bring its meaning alive in terms of contemporary themes, while continuing to revisit the ancient story of liberation and hope.

Since the seder combines worship with a potluck meal, please sign up at:

April 5th: “Not a Moment, but a Movement”11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

The Biblical story of the Hebrew exodus out of Egypt became a powerful source of hope for Africans and their descendents yearning for freedom from slavery in the United States.  In its own way, the Christian story of Easter has long been understood to make promises of liberation from guilt and fear.  And in today’s world we also have the “words and deeds of prophetic women and women which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love.”  The struggle continues!

Special music will be offered by the UUFP Winds!

April 12th: “Prejudice: a Retrospective” — 11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

With so many recent events concerning racism in our country and the fiftieth anniversary of Selma, Joanne Dingus has taken some time to look back on examples of her own personal prejudice.  Reviewing these images past and present has improved her understanding of privilege and oppression, and she challenges us to examine our own attitudes about race and privilege.

Joanne Dingus

Joanne is the UUFP’s Director of Religious Education.  She loves her work with children and youth.  She sings in the ChorUUs, participates in a Fellowship Circle, and is an active member of the Sunday Services Committee.

April 19th: “Selma Here and Now”

More than fifty years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent a telegram to faith leaders around the country, including Unitarian Universalists, calling on them to join him in Selma.  They heeded the call.  Now that the celebration of this historic event has passed, where do we go from here?  It’s 2015 and the American Dream is still only a dream for many, even in our own neighborhood.  As people of faith who value peace, justice and liberty for all, there are still many bridges to cross.

Christina Hockman

Christina Hockman is the UUFP’s intern.  She is a resident of Virginia and a member of First Unitarian in Richmond.  Currently a student at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chris is in training to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.

Special music will be offered by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!

April 26th: “Small Gods”

“In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was ‘Hey, you!’  For Brutha the novice is the Chosen One.  He wants peace and justice and brotherly love.  He also wants the Inquisition to stop torturing him now, please.”  When author Terry Pratchett (1948–2015) took us to the desert theocracy of Omnia, the time of the eighth prophet was nigh.  But then Brutha the novice heard the Great God Om talking to him — only it appeared that Om was just a lowly tortoise…

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Birthdays (April 2015)

Many Happy Returns to our UUFP members and friends who will be celebrating their birthdays in April!  They are:

Daisies on the banks of the Diascund Reservoir in Lenexa, VA by Dean Ceran

Daisies on the banks of the Diascund Reservoir in Lenexa, VA by Dean Ceran

Chloe Tinari
Patricia Moseley
Mary Elizabeth Garrett
Daniel Drees
Josie Dougher
Barbara Morgan
Tonya Sprock
Sarah Davis
Bobbie Schilling
Jaimie Dingus
Lou Ayers
Mary Luke
Joanne Dingus
Scott Kasmire
Donna Briede
Konrad Krafft
Connie Keller
Chris Meyer
Lissa Henry
Kenny McIntyre
Amy Grissom 

If you have an birthday that we’ve overlooked, please get in touch with Bobbie Schilling (UUFP Membership Committee) at:

Mary White Ovington

Mary White Ovington

Mary White Ovington was born April 11, 1865 in Brooklyn, New York. Her Grandmother attended the Connecticut congregation of Samuel Joseph May also known as Harvard. Her parents, members of the Unitarian Church were supporters of women’s rights and had been involved in anti-slavery movement. Educated at Packer Collegiate Institute and Radcliffe College, Ovington became involved in the campaign for civil rights in 1890 after hearing Frederick Douglass speak in a Brooklyn church.

The National Negro Committee that held its first meeting in New York on May 31 and June 1, 1909. By May, 1910 the National Negro Committee and attendants, at its second conference, organized a permanent body known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) where Ovington was appointed as its executive secretary

Posted in 2015, Birthdays, EDITION: April 2014 | Leave a comment

Calling all Editors!

click image for biography

Brad Garbus
(FLAME Keeper)


We need your help!  We need someone who enjoys editing to assume the role as Chief Editor (Flame Keeper) of the eFlame.

Due to additional responsibilities, projects and personal health challenges I need to step down from my position on the eFlame, as soon as possible.

The role as chief editor is actually very flexible since the newsletter went electronic.   I will also make the transition very easy and even fully train my replacement and remain available to assist until you are comfortable with the interface.

Familiarity with WordPress is a huge plus, but not required.

If you have any questions or are interested in the position, please feel free to contact me directly.

With Gratitude,  Brad  (

Posted in Letter from the Editor | Tagged | 5 Comments

Thank you, Michael Piazza.

For all that is our life! by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard

I went to California at the beginning of February for a conference organized by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.  Known as the Institute, it featured a number of well-regarded presenters who offered three-day workshops, and I was in the workshop offered by a Congregationalist minister, Michael Piazza.

If you haven’t heard of him before, Piazza started as a Methodist preacher and then moved to the Metropolitan Community Church when he came out.  In the 1980s, he began serving an MCC congregation in Dallas that was dying.  Literally dying.  It was the height of the AIDS crisis, there was little understanding of what it was or how to treat it, and while gay men were dying across the country, the White House press corps was laughing about it.  Piazza turned that church around, and as the Cathedral of Hope, it’s now the largest LGBTQ-friendly congregation in the world.  And it’s in Dallas, Texas.  Four years ago, Piazza began serving a United Church of Christ congregation in Atlanta.  It was dying, too, given the age of its members, but in those four years, that congregation has quadrupled in size, and it’s now racially diverse, too.

I recently wrote this open letter to Michael Piazza in gratitude for his workshop at the Institute.


Dear Michael Piazza,

Thank you for restoring my faith in church.

Oh, I don’t mean “a church”.  I have great confidence in the congregation I serve, after all, and I know there are other good faith communities out there, too.  And I don’t mean “the church”, in the larger sense of organized religion.  Rather, I mean “church”, as short-hand for “the institution of congregational life”.

You restored my faith in the institution of congregational life when I attended your workshop at the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s “Institute” at the beginning of February.  Your title was “Preaching and Worship for the Future Church and the Future of the Church”, and though in the course of our three days together you certainly talked about good preaching and good worship, what came through most clearly was your passion for doing church well.  It was clear that you so dearly want to do congregational life well — and that you sincerely wanted every UU minister in that lecture hall to do like-wise, too — because you believe that congregational life really, really matters.  It was your passion and your heartfelt belief that restored my faith in church.

>>> Read the rest of my letter here.

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RE NEWS by Joanne Dingus


By Joanne Dingus

 Trees, a Circle of Life

We have used many of the UUA’s Tapestry of Faith programs for our religious education classes over the past few years. They are filled with stories, activities and UU faith development practices. We’ve always gone with age-specific programs but they now have a couple of multigenerational programs.

This summer, I would like to try their curriculum called Circle of Trees. This is a program for all ages that we could use for the 11:00 class. We might also be able to take many of the elements of the program and modify them to be used at 9:30 in our multi-age class. Or we may decide to choose another related program for 9:30.

Circle of Trees is written for eight sessions but offers many alternative activities and faith in action projects so it would be easy to stretch it out across the eleven weeks of summer.

Here is the description from the UUA website:

The Program

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  — Albert Einstein

Every part of the earth is sacred; every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every humming insect is holy.  — Anonymous

Roger Ulrich is an environmental psychologist who took advantage of a naturalistic experiment . . . What he found was that the patients with a view of a grove of trees left hospital on average a day sooner, needed less pain medication, and had fewer negative nurse’s notes than patients who had a view of a brick wall.  — Esther Sternberg in “The Science of Healing Places,” On Being, September 2012

Circle of Trees is a multigenerational program of eight workshops that nurture deep connection with trees, nature, and all of earth’s living creatures. The program uses trees as an entry point to understand and connect with life on earth. Across many cultures, trees are recognized as a symbol for life on earth—for example, the biblical Tree of Life. Even young children understand trees as sustainers of life, fundamental engines of life on earth as we know it. Trees create and purify the air we breathe. They house and provide resources for myriad creatures, including humans. They bring us peace, joy, and delight.


This program will:

  • Provide a basic understanding of why trees are, literally, “providers of life”
  • Identify threats to trees and the web of life and provide inspiration to take action
  • Explore using methods that are spiritual, non-intellectual, with the hope of fostering deep connection
  • Provide meaningful ways in which participants can actively promote the health of trees and, by extension, the web of life
  • Reinforce the concept of interdependence as expressed in the seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”
  • Affirm that stewardship of the earth is an explicit act of Unitarian Universalist faith.

This program has been carefully written, adapting activities when necessary to include everyone. There will be time for 2-3 faith in action group projects and a field trip at the end of the program to a local nature trail.

To learn more about the program and see specific lesson plans go to:

I would love to hear your thoughts about this program and whether you think it would be a good fit for our summer schedule. I would also like to know if you think you would participate. For those concerned about missing services, most sessions stand alone so you would not have to participate each week. And of course you would be welcome to attend service at 9:30 and then come to class at 11:00.

See you in the RE!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunday Services (March 2015)

Services for March 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Wisdom

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” — English proverb

March 1st: “This Friendly Place” (postponed from Feb. 22nd following the pipe burst!)

“I’m so happy that I’ve finally found a place where I feel I belong.”  “I just knew that this was the right place for me.”  “My friends are here; they know me for who I am.”  “I can be myself, and people love me anyway.”  “People here are so warm and friendly!”  “I can’t imagine feeling so welcome anywhere else.”  “This is where my family wants to be, in this friendly place.”

Special music will be offered by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!

March 8th: “To Teach The Hope That Is For All!”11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

A primary source of hope for Unitarian Universalists is Universal Salvation, which is our call to create Heaven here on Earth.  It is crucial that we build this important call into our lifespan religious education programs.

MacPhersons at UUA General Assembly

Three generations of MacPhersons at the 2011 UUA General Assembly in Charlotte.

Rev. David Hicks MacPherson is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister.  He helped to build congregations and their buildings in Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  A fifth-generation Universalist, his book Reclaiming Universal Salvation: Universalism Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow was published in 2011.  David is Minister Emeritus at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.

March 15th: “Imagine the Change” — 11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

The UUFP’s very own Teen Squad will share their views on the hit single “Imagine”.  The students have truly out-done themselves preparing for this service, asking themselves the same questions John Lennon asked.  Can you imagine a world with no countries, no religion, no possessions?  Can you imagine a world where people live in the moment, live lives of peace, and share with the world?

The Teen Squad

The Teen Squad

We are the Teen Squad: Jerry, Mayah, Caroline, Jesse, Daniel, Athena, Shea, Chris, Ezra, Arik and Asher.  We have been with this church for many years, during which we have helped at LINK, served dinners at social events, cleaned up on grounds days, and participated in RE classes and Youth Group.  We have prepared a Sunday morning service each year.

March 22nd: “Everyday Spirituality” — 11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

It’s become something of a cliché in our culture to identify as “spiritual but not religious”, but what does it really mean?  And how does it relate to one of the primary Sources of (the religion of) Unitarian Universalism that is “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life”?

Special music will be offered by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!

March 29th: “Truly Good News” (Pulpit Swap Sunday) — 11am only at Sandy Bottom Nature Park

Rev. Andrew and the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists’ Rev. Jennifer Ryu will offer simultaneous services for Palm Sunday.

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