by Joanne Dingus

Last call for Guest at Your Table. If you still have your Guest at Your Table box please bring it to the Fellowship this Sunday February 5th. We want to get the funds counted and sent in. Thank you to everyone who has participated.

It’s time again for our annual Care Packages to college students and deployed military. We need two things: names and addresses of people you would like to receive the care packages and goodies to put into the packages. Here are some ideas for things to donate. Candy, non-perishable snacks, trial size toiletry items, gift cards for coffee, hand written notes of encouragement. Please bring these items into the Fellowship by February 19th.

Our Coming of Age class will soon begin. This class is for 7th-10th grade students or older students who haven’t taken it before. Part of the course requires the students to work with a mentor from the Fellowship. Mentors come to several of the Sunday morning classes to work with their students. They may also get together in groups outside of church from time to time. Being a mentor is a very important and rewarding experience so I encourage you to say “Yes” if a youth approaches you to be there mentor!

The Policy Board approved the childcare policy that the RE Committee submitted. They are now asking a task force to work out the details and procedures of how we will do childcare at the Fellowship. Meanwhile the childcare contingency budget has been depleted so we are asking for volunteers to do childcare at meetings and events for the rest of the church year. If you enjoy playing with children and have a few hours to spare please see Joanne Dingus or Allison Black so that we may put you on the list of people to call when we need childcare. Just for clarity, the Sunday morning nursery is staffed by Mary and Bill who are employees and paid from a separate nursery budget, so we are all set for the year there.

Here are a few upcoming events that youth and children might enjoy:

February 11th– Game Night 6:30-8:30 Sanctuary building bring a game to play and a snack if you like.

February 12th– Coming of Age Orientation meeting for youth and their parents interested in the Coming of Age program. 12:30-3:30 lunch will be served. We will start with an orientation, outlining the details of the program. Then those who decide to join will have their opening ceremony.

February 19th– Soup Social after second service children and youth assemble care packages for college students and deployed military.

February 24th- The Youth in Norfolk are hosting an Open-Mic from 6:30-10:00pm. If you would like to recite a poem, play music, perform a dance, or just watch others share their talents you will enjoy this event. This is a family friendly, free event, a potato bar will be served.

February 28th– Monthly Youth Group for middle and high school age students. Dinner and activity. 6:30-8:30pm.

March 10-12th– Super-Cluster Youth and Adult Peer Chaplaincy and Social Activist Training Conference!! Location Charlottesville. Registration info coming soon.

March 25th– Erase the Race 9am-1pm Walking for Freedom, Unity, Equality. Starts at York Middle and ends at Yorktown beach. We are inviting youth from Norfolk and Williamsburg to join us and will gather for lunch afterwards.

March 28th– Monthly Youth Group for middle and high school age students. Dinner and activity. 6:30-8:30pm.

See you in the RE!

Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday Services (February 2017)

Services for February 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula

theme: Sharing What We Can

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

February 5th: “We are Stronger Together”

As Black History Month starts, we must acknowledge the dignity found in each person.  This month is actually about all of us.  Diversity strengthens us, and when we celebrate diversity we are continuing our mission to love one another through our actions.

Rev. Christopher Bush-WinstonRaised near Richmond and active in ministry since his teen years, the Rev. Christopher Bush-Winston has been a missionary, youth minister, community educator and LGBT outreach worker.  Ordained with the Affirming Pentacostal Church International, in 2014 he founded Open Arms Outreach Ministries of Hampton Roads.  This is his second visit to UUFP.

February 12th: “R.I.P., Facts”

“Now in two, three years tops, everyone will be Unitarian Universalist.  We know that.  Why?  Because UUs have the best beliefs.  Everyone says so.  The best.  They’re so great, everyone else is jealous.  Their beliefs just aren’t as good.  Sad!  So of course everyone will be UU.  Won’t they?  You tell me.  But I never said everyone will be Unitarian Universalist.”

February 19th: “OUUr Black History”

February is national Black History Month, but what do we know about the lives of Black Unitarian Universalist and the UU relationship with people of color beyond the march on Selma?  Student minister Walter explores that relationship and asks, “Where do we go from here?”

Walter Clark, the UUFP's student ministerWalter Clark 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 continues his quest to find the best tacos in Virginia.

February 26th: “We Can’t Just Wait”

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.  It bends toward justice when we lend the weight of our souls to bend it.  It bends toward justice when we seek the power to lift all people, when we seek the courage to withstand hatred.  It bends toward justice when we refuse to live behind walls of fear.  It bends toward justice when we welcome the love that heals the broken heart and eases the troubled mind.  Let’s get bending that arc!

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

Posted in Social Justice, Standing on the Side of Love, Sunday Services, Youth and Young Adults | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February eFlame

Goddess Circle     Game night       Sunday Morning Forum Topics


Happy birthday to our members who were born in February!

Nan Procyson

Cher Balsley

Barry Campbell

Milyn King

Megan Zunk-Wasilausky

Ray McAdaragh

Barbara Linde

Rosalee Pfister

Nicholas Hagstrom

Steve King

Stephen Vozzelli

Arik Rhone-Christensen

This is a reminder that our next

Goddess Group

will meet on February 5th.

Tris will present
Goddesses and Chocolate

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 with any questions.


Game Night!

Saturday, February 11th, 6:30 PM in the Sanctuary building


February Sunday Morning Forum Topics

Come learn with us and join the discussion!

Sunday mornings at 11:15 AM in our Annex Building (facing Warwick Boulevard).

All are welcome!

2/5 Bob Smith Utilizing the Great Courses DVD series Science and Religion by Lawrence Principe – Science and Religion, session 1:    NATURAL THEOLOGY AND ARGUMENTS FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN Natural theology sprang from the 17th/18th century mechanical conception of the world. The redevelopment of the argument for intelligent design, based on Natural theology, has entered our US classrooms. These two ideas have a common etiology that we will discuss.
2/12 Bob Smith Science and religion, session 2: GEOLOGY, COSMOLOGY and BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGY The long earth history, revealed by geologists in the late 19th-century, was easily accommodated by better educated, less literalist biblical scholars. The two rival 20th-century cosmologies—steady-state and Big-Bang—have had important religious impacts.
2/19 Bob Smith Science and religion, session 3: DARWIN AND RESPONSES TO EVOLUTION

Three important features of Darwin’s evolutionary principles were common ancestry, speciation through variation, and natural selection. The response to these ideas by literalist was interesting.  We will end this series by exploring our own ideas on science and religion.

2/26 Lehni Lebert So What do I want?  Dreaming the Year Ahead.  First thoughts would be:  The first step in getting what we want, of achieving our goals, is knowing what we want.  Let’s ask ourselves the question:  So what do I want?  And envision the answer?  What would it look like? Feel like.  Include?  The focus is on the vision, not how it will be attained?  We could focus on the following areas: Personal/Individual, Inter-Personal Relationships, Family, Finances, UUFP Community

Don’t forget to check out our

Public Calendar

for upcoming events!

Thank you for being part of the UUFP Community!

Posted in Adult Religious Education, Announcements, Birthdays, Family Events, Flame, Goddess Circle, Reminders | Tagged ,

The BIG day is tomorrow!

With so many friends and members taking the UUFP buses to Washington tomorrow, it gives you chills. This are followed by a sense of pride in their willingness to get up early, ride for three hours, and take the Metro, all before joining thousands of others on the Women’s March.


Once again, Unitarian Universalists and their friends are a part of history.

But history should be documented and this is where you can help. As the day progresses, email some pictures to be posted a web page. They’ll be posted when received, so start with the buses loading and continue all day.

Send your pictures to .

Posted in Social Justice, Standing on the Side of Love, Women's March on Washington | 1 Comment

Being a part of something great!


From the Foodbank


During the summer we gathered canned goods for the Foodbank. And, we also collected money—$252.



Here’s what happened

The Foodbank distributed 11.7 million pounds of food in 2016 which is the equivalent of almost 9.7 million meals!

The UU Fellowship is a part  of making an impact on our neighbors in need. Thanks to the Social Justice committee and you!

Posted in Caring for One Another, Social Justice

Of Words and Wonderings

Language is weird, English especially. We park in driveways and drive on parkways. While slim and fat are antonyms, slim chance and fat chance are synonyms, just like tie up and tie down mean the same thing. When we seed the soil, we plant crops but when we seed a watermelon, we remove the seeds. Tom Stoppard wrote in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead that “what English lacks in beauty, it makes up for in obscurity.” Amen to that.

One reason our language is so weird is because it is always changing. As different cultures interact with American culture, Americans incorporate their words into their vocabulary. Examples? “Kindergarten” is derived from German, “entrepreneur” and “intrigue” are both French in origin, “chocolate” is Spanish, as is “ranch.” Emoji? Japanese. Schmooze? Yiddish. Phony? Irish. Banjo? African. Let’s not forget about the words we make up on our own. Band-Aid, Kleenex, Chapstick are from brands that became synonymous with their products, while terms like “boardwalk” “carhop” “moxie” and “sneaker” came about with cultural shifts. We even change the meaning of well-established words. Awesome meant something was so immense and moving that one was moved to a state of reverence until the 1980’s changed “awesome” into a mild affirmation. Words like “bad” “sick” and “ill” took on positive connotations at the end of the previous century.

The words we use cannot be pinned down, even though we try to. If writing words down prevented language from changing, we would all sound like characters from a Shakespearean play. Language moves on no matter what we do to preserve it. And it should. The only languages that don’t change are the ones that are not spoken (e.g. Latin). Language reflects culture, the everyday actions that make up life. We are ever changing beings in an ever-changing world, its only fitting that our words would change too.

maya card.jpgHowever, our words aren’t the only things that change. Our beliefs change too. As we experience the world in all its complexity, we find that truths that we once held either need deepening or discarding. As infants, we believe that our parents can take care of all our needs. As we grow, we find that there are needs that parents can’t meet. We discard the idea that our parents are perfect and begin to deepen our understanding of self-reliance. As we go through life, we start to observe new things and maybe we begin to incorporate them into our lives like English incorporates new words. The more we expose ourselves to new ideas, the richer our lives can become.

This applies to your spiritual life as well. One of the wonderful things about Unitarian Universalists is that we embrace the idea that theology can change, believing that revelation is not sealed. This may sound exotic and exciting at first, but remember change can often be difficult. In 2013 many dictionaries added that the definition of literally can be figurative as well as literal. Plural second person pronouns “they” and “their” are now being used as second person singular pronouns by people who do not use gender binary pronouns. These two issues have a lot of self-identified “grammar police” at the literal end of their rope. To them, this is a belief that one does not change. Yet the change comes.

If you truly believe that revelation is not sealed, then you must be prepared to encounter every new moment as a possible revelation. You must be willing to constantly examine the beliefs you have in the context of the world you live in and ask if those beliefs are bringing you closer to the inter-connected community or are they isolating you from it? It can be difficult work, examining what you hold dear, but it is rewarding work. In the example above, you can choose to not use “literally” metaphorically. You can hold that belief and still be in community with others, just don’t jump down someone’s throat when they say they literally tried on a thousand pairs of pants the other day. Be respectful of how they have grown into using language. However, in the second example, you may need to put aside your issues with “they” to be in good relationship with someone who prefers it for their pronoun. After all, the goal of language is to communicate clearly with others, not who has the best grammar.

If the goal of language is to be able to communicate with others, then what is the goal of spirituality? For me, the goal of spirituality is connection and meaning, which could be summed up in the question, “Where do you find meaning in the Universe?” Like language, the answer of this question is constantly in flux, taking on new meaning based on the surroundings. And like language, you don’t have to engage in this question alone.

uu-faith-class-posterStarting on Thursday, February 16th at 7:00pm I will be running the “Articulating your UU Faith” curriculum from the UUA. There will be a total of 5 weekly meetings (2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9 and 3/16) and it is encouraged that you attend all 5. They will run from 7:00 to 8:30 and I would like to limit the class size to 10 people, due to the intensity of the curriculum. This is a workshop that is meant to arm you with an answer when someone asks you, “So, what is it exactly that UU’s believe?” However, you’ll find in the process of trying to answer that question for someone else, you’ll end up answering so questions to yourself that you never even knew that you had. This class is an opportunity for you to allow yourself to go deep with your personal theology and to put that theology into words.

But don’t forget, words do change. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and so too, the unexamined faith is not worth believing. This class will help you discover where you are now, but never stop examining the world around you, letting revelation come to you again and again. After all spirituality and language are both like a parade. It’s not very interesting if it stops in one place, it’s at its best if it keeps moving.

Interested? Contact me at and to register for the class.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Joys and Sorrows Change

 by Jim Sanderson, Chair Sunday Services Committee

Joys and Sorrows is an important part of our worship service, however it can either take up a great deal of time or it can cause individuals to rush through their concern to allow others to speak.   Also, people have different comfort levels with speaking before the congregation.

In July, we started something new at the second service.  Joys and Sorrows are expressed through a Pastoral Prayer. We are making a small change to how it works.  The “Book of Life” will be placed on a desk in the Library Space adjoining the lobby. Before the service anyone having a joy or sorrow they wish to share may briefly and quietly write it in the book.   This will provide easier and private access to the “Book of Life.” Andrew will weave the entries into a Pastoral Prayer which he will offer aloud during the Joys and Concerns section of the service.

We will continue to offer the current form of Joys and Sorrows with individually presented concerns and candle lighting at most 9:30 services

Did You Know?

Did you know you can share an item to be included in the Pastoral Prayer with Andrew in 2 ways:?

  1. Write your concern in the Book of Life prior to the start of the service
  2. E-mail Andrew with your request


Posted in Sunday Services Committee

Snow income

Actually it’s no income! That’s what occurs when church is cancelled. The baskets sit in a cool, dark sanctuary untouched and empty. Sad, but don’t cry.

The Fellowship has Vanco, our on-line collector of funds to pay Dominion, Verizon, support share the basket and, really important, our staff! And with nearly half of our income (seriously, stop crying) being received on-line it makes a difference.

As dependable as the post office

Through rain, sleet, snow and even broken pipes, we receive the financial support the Fellowship needs. If you are using it, you know how easy it is to set up and pay your pledge, support our share the basket and tip the web master. Never mind, that was removed.

If you aren’t using it, try it once and see for yourself. The church only pays 25 cents when you pay using your checking account and about 3% when you use a card, but either way the money is automatically deposited within 48 hours to our bank account, ready to use!

Melt the snow income!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Upcoming Adult Forums

We are so happy to have the opportunity to take part in this fellowship full of really interesting people with lots to say! You are invited to come listen and participate the Adult Forum every Sunday at 11:15 am in the office building. Here is a sample of what is coming up:

1/15 Kathryn Ozyurt: Beyond the Partisan Divide Part 2: Anonymous UU voices from the 2014 General Assembly

1/22 Kimberly Irvine: Effective Advocacy and the General Assembly: Kimberly Irvine is the Director of York-Poquoson Social Services. Kim will discuss advocating to protect the interests of those in need in the legislature.

1/29 Preston Saks: Diet and Religion

2/5 Bob Smith: Science and religion
2/12 Bob Smith: Science and religion part 2
2/19 Bob Smith: Science and religion part 3

We welcome suggestions for future Forums.  Please talk with Kathryn Ozyurt, Bob Smith, Lehni Lebert, Maria Cory or Kimberly Irving if you would like to hear about something or if you are interested in facilitating a Forum.

Posted in Uncategorized

Delving Deeper Returns

We had a nice discussion after our service on November 20th. Several people asked us to offer this again. So, we have decided to hold our next “Delving Deeper” discussion circle on Sunday, January 29th after second service.

The intent of these discussion circles is to enrich your Sunday morning experience and help you carry it into your week.

If you would like to talk with others about the morning service, please return to the sanctuary at 12:30. The circles will be made up of approximately 10 people with a group facilitator. The facilitator will guide the group through 3 questions about the service.

To get you thinking about this service in advance, here is the description. “Love of Money Is the Root of All Evil” How do you love? Does your love touch you, hold you, fill you, fling you into the world? Whom do you love? Are there relatives and friends, close to you or far away, living or departed, their faces in your heart? What do you love? Does your love reach out, to heal, to soothe, to comfort, to feed the hungry and warm the cold?

Posted in Adult Religious Education, Community Building, Fellowship Circles, Sunday Services, Sunday Services Committee