RE NEWS by Joanne Dingus

This year we have two students graduating from high school who will be bridging on June 5th. They will do a bridging workshop to help prepare them for this important transition in their lives. At the service, we will celebrate their time at UUFP, letting them express what our church has meant to them and what their plans are for the future. And of course we will have the traditional memory slideshow, with a box of tissues at the ready!

For the past few months, I have been part of a Think Tank on Bridging. I have been working with the staff of the UUA’s Youth and Young Adult office (YaYA) and with Ministers, DREs, Youth and Young Adults from our denomination.

Here is a quick history of how this think tank came to be: When the YaYA office realized that Bridge Connections (program designed to help youth connect to a congregation in the area they moved to after high school) was under used, YaYA staff gathered a Task Force to brainstorm technical fixes to meet bridgers where they’re at and help them get connected to existing resources. These fixes were designed to help bridgers “navigate the cliff” to use the common metaphor of what happens to youth after they bridge (they fall off the cliff and stop participating in UU). Through conversations with religious educators and congregational life field staff they decided to create a Think Tank that could help identify ways to “change the landscape” so that there wouldn’t be a cliff.

Scope: changing the landscape of “the cliff’s edge.” The scope of the Think Tank was to investigate what kinds of cultural shifts needed to happen to change the landscape for bridgers from the “cliff” to something more easily navigable and better supported.

We started by generating questions about the process of bridging, YA demographics, cultural shifts and beloved community.

We created a photo album of what a community with meaningful celebrations of transitions might look like.

We worked on a vision plan and an action plan.

A requirement for the Shared Vision was that it had to be in line with the Global Ends of the UUA and the YaYA Office vision.

Over the course of several video calls we came up with these ideas for our shared vision.

  1. Good multigenerational ministry that includes youth and young adults fully will also serve other marginalized groups such as those who do shift work, retail or restaurant work, those who can’t drive or don’t own cars, those who find participatory and less intellectual programs and worship more accessible, and others.  This ministry will also pay attention to the needs of marginalized youth and young adults such as youth and young adults of color and trans or gender non-binary youth and young adults.
  2. The staff in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry will (continue to) promote a culture shift toward truly multigenerational ministry that includes youth and young adults fully. This may include producing shareable and printable materials, initiating conversations with religious educators, ministers, youth advisors, youth and young adults, and advocating to other departments of the UUA.
  3. The act of “bridging” is spiritually grounded and universally understood as a part of the lifelong journey of truth and meaning. The particular vulnerability that comes with emerging adulthood calls for a more connected and intentional approach, which honors the fragility that comes with this transformational time in life. As we support emerging adults in our communities, we will nurture empathy, building bridges between generations toward a life-giving embodiment of multigenerational community.
  4. Honoring the deep need for community – virtually and in person. Creating a culture of online community. Many young adults are unable to commit to a community as there are many life transitions happening throughout such a large age range. If there were online clusters then location would not be an issue and commitment might be easier to make.
  5. While life transitions are a universal, repeated experiences for all Unitarian Universalists, the transition from youthhood to adulthood is unique. This coming of age milestone marks a specific leap in independence, responsibility, legal rights and brain development. The transition to young adulthood should be respected as one of life’s many transitions and simultaneously honored through providing developmentally appropriate support.  
  6. As Unitarian Universalists, we must reach out to and support fellow members of our faith community throughout their lives, both in the times leading up to and following bridging.  UUs of all ages and roles in our faith have a responsibility to engage the youth and young adults of our communities and to engage this larger conversation.
  7. As humans, we all need to find ways to make meaningful connections.  When we honor the talents and gifts of people of all ages and encourage them to share these gifts with one another we are able to go deeper. We must be intentional about providing opportunities for people to share their gifts with the community. When we create a culture where people of all ages mentor each other, not just at Coming of Age but through other life transitions, we develop lasting connections and a strong community.
  8. Understanding that the religious and spiritual culture of Unitarian Universalist youth communities sometimes differs drastically from the religious and spiritual culture of UU congregations that young adults bridge into, supportive bridging helps young adults stay in touch with what they value about Unitarian Universalism and remain open to its many faces. As youth cross the bridge to young adulthood they are invited to bring all that they hold precious from their experience growing up UU, with acknowledgment that they have an important perspective on our faith to hold and share; and they are invited to see adult Unitarian Universalism anew, both its struggles and its gifts. Similar to the welcoming of new members, we will celebrate that our youth bridging into young adults will both change and be changed by their community. If we succeed, our bridgers will see the good in congregational life and feel empowered to add their voice to it or help to build something new to serve their needs as people on the forming edge of Unitarian Universalism.
  9. Bridging from Youth to Young Adulthood is not just a singular event.  Ideally it is a process. One that begins when young people are considered Youth and given the opportunities associated with that distinction. This process is supported mainly through multi-generational, cross-program (i.e. Worship, Social Action, Affinity Groups, etc.) inclusion in congregational life and supported through regional and national multi-generational opportunities that include Young Adults.
  10. Unitarian Universalists will intentionally and conscientiously engage in excellent multigenerational ministry in all aspects of church life (not just RE or Youth Group!) so that our community members are sustainably prepared for and engaged during the many transitions they will experience as UUs.
  11. Excellent multigenerational ministry honors the gifts and ministry of all involved by attending to the many intersectionalities of life, including ability, neurodiversity, cultural background, sexual orientation, gender identity, work schedules, transportation, learning styles, geographic mobility and other needs.
  12. The time in one’s life when a transition from the security of childhood, into the unknown of young adulthood takes places, as a faith that values multigenerational community, it is our responsibility to uphold our intentional community and celebrate and provide the support needed to our young adults and provide a place for them where they feel as valued and empowered to keep on being involved in their UU community.

From the Shared Vision we distilled these commonalities.

  • Thinking lifelong – childhood to elderhood: bridging is one of many transitions, it is unique and it is also part of a larger arc of UU life.  We see a holistic approach to transitions that thinks about the whole lifespan.
  • Honoring everyone’s gifts – everyone of all ages bring gifts and truly contribute to our communities.  We see multigenerational communities where what each person has to offer is encouraged.
  • Including all ages into all aspects of ministry – not just RE or Youth Group.  We see folks from children to adults, especially youth and young adults participating in many aspects of UU life from justice to worship to faith formation to stewardship.
  • Paying attention to the gaps – the difference in worship and culture between youth and adults and the absence of young adult specific communities within UU.  We see preparation for this transition with acknowledgement of the challenge as well as more ways for young adults to connect (online and in person) and more ways to bring the best of youth culture into the adult sectors of our movement. 

We have been working on an Action Plan with concrete steps for the YaYA office to take. I will let you know next month what we come up with.

See you in the RE!

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“I Can See For miles”

One of the great songs of the 60’s.

And really appropriate when you think of the purpose of The Legacy Society because that’s the purpose of the UUFP Endowment Fund. It gives us the opportunity to think outside the box for the future.

For instance: money from the Endowment Fund has been used to support Rev. Christine Hockman’s travel from Richmond to the Fellowship. Funds have been used to assist with our activities at the Boys and Girls Club and, this year, $900 was applied to sending two members to Leadership School.

What all of these had in common was they were outside the budget. And they were funded without touching the principal of the fund, which ensures money will be there the next time for a great need!

Check out The Legacy Society.


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Farewell, but not Goodbye

by Chris Hockman, Intern Minister

It’s been a wonderful two years with you, UUFP! As I get ready to move to Texas, I wanted to give you an update on some of my final activities with you.

But first, let me tell you where I’ve been . . .


Graduation with uncles Larry and George

During the first week of May I was in Corpus Christi, Texas during what is called a “candidating week.” This is when prospective ministers chosen by a congregation’s search committee meet the full congregation, preaching two Sundays and spending the week in between doing a lot of meeting and greeting. The second Sunday service culminates in a congregational vote to settle the minister. My week in “Corpus” (as the locals call it) was a terrific one. I got to meet many lovely folks who are committed to their congregation. Plus, I received a unanimous vote on May 8th to become the settled minister of Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi.

Sunday, May 15th was my graduation from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Joined by my uncles Larry and George and best friend Kim, we had a great weekend participating in graduation events and seeing the sights of the “windy city.” An added bonus was the presence of UUFP’s own Pat Sloan at my graduation ceremony at First Unitarian Church of Chicago. What a treat to have her there representing the intern committee and all of you!

This coming Sunday, May 22, is my official “goodbye” Sunday at UUFP, during which I’ll be participating in services. But then, almost as if it never happened, I will be back as a full-fledged guest minister to lead services on the 29th.

And last but not least, the big finale – my ordination ceremony at First UU of Richmond, which will take place at 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 11th. This will be a dual ordination by UUFP and First UU. I would absolutely LOVE to see you there!

Thanks, UUFP for helping to make me a minister. It’s your receptiveness and enthusiasm that has given me the confidence to practice this amazing and challenging vocation.

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This Week in Adult Forum

5/22 Dennis Shaw and Lois Winter: Fascinating Fractals 1 “They are all around us, even inside us! They provide a “roadmap” to some of the secrets of nature and the Universe and are being applied to the fields of physiology, chemistry and mechanics. They are the basis for beautiful, inspiring art. What are they? Come to the Sunday Morning Forum on May 22nd and May29th and, with Lois Winter and Dennis Shaw, explore the fascinating world of Fractals! PS, not to worry, intensive math models will not be explored in detail!”

Upcoming Forums:
5/29   Dennis Shaw and Lois Winter: Fascinating Fractals 2
6/5     Jill Morgenthaler: Martin Luther King – promises we keep
6/12   Chris Woods: Socrates Cafe
6/19   Jaimie Dingus: Discussion of her thesis

The Sunday Morning Forum meets in the Office Building at 9:30am each Sunday.

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But not while you’re driving!

CELL-PHONE-HANDS-pay-pledgeYou have that really nice phone somewhere nearby, right?

You check your email every ten minutes, look at some cat videos, post a picture on Facebook and, maybe even look at Oh yeah, there’s Spotify and, of course, more cat videos.

Maybe you’re at work when it dawns on you, “I haven’t paid my pledge yet.” And you think, “Gotta take care of that as soon as I get home.”

 How old school! Just grab the phone and scan VANCOqrcode or click.

Remember the Fellowship in your will

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There’s more to do

As you heard from Alan Sheeler today, the budget for next year is not where it should be. The UU Fellowship is a part of the Unitarian Universalist Association and our commitment is to make a financial payment of our dues (the GIFT program). Nearly $10,000!

This is important because we value the UUA and need to continue to be a member! It is our national and international voice for economic justice, racial justice, LGBTQ justice, reproductive rights and many more.

Who will stand up for these issues if not us?

Please consider a change to your pledge today. A 10% increase will make this and many other needs possible.

Click here to make the change

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UUFP Legacy Society


Welcome to the future! The Legacy-Society-black is the Endowment Fund. It’s comprised of those who want to help guarantee the future of the Fellowship. So, let’s look at what it isn’t and what it is.

It isn’t another funding vehicle for the church to help pay the light bill or the mortgage or anything in the general budget.

It is a funding vehicle for special projects outside the budget. But, the principal is never spent! By using part of the interest to fund programs, the fund will always be safe.

Become a member of the Legacy-Society-black!

When you make a memorial gift to the Fellowship, you’re a member. So, consider a gift that will last instead of flowers. Or you can honor someone’s birthday, graduation or other special time.

What else?

Remember the Fellowship in your will. That’s a big one. There are a multitude of ways to gift money, stocks, bonds, life insurance and more that could help with your taxes while you’re alive.

Questions? Go to the Legacy-Society-blue-link and ask us. Trustees are standing by.

Your trustees: Parker Stokes, Judy Remsberg and Roy Schilling.

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Let’s do our part!



We talked about time, talent and treasure during the pledge drive.

What about time and talent?


Yes, the Fellowship needs money but it also needs you’re your help. It’s called Stewardship, taking care of something that doesn’t belong to you.

You see stewards at church all the time. They’re teaching religious education classes for our kids. Or, cutting the grass. Or, singing in the choir. Or, they welcome you to the Sunday Services with a big smile.

Take a moment to see what intrigues you.

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Kroger Community Rewards Program Benefits the UUFP!

by Connie Keller, Policy Board Member at-LargeConnie Keller

If you are a patron of Kroger grocery stores, there is an easy way for the UUFP to receive financial rewards each time you shop, and it will not cost you one penny more! Simply link your Shopper’s Card to Kroger’s Community Rewards program, and every time you shop a small portion of each total receipt is donated to our Fellowship. For the recent period of December, January and February, Kroger donated $128.48 to the UUFP because just twelve households shopped or bought gas at Kroger. If only twelve more households were to sign up that would be about $1000 added to our budget each year!

Here is how you can sign up:

  1. Go to: Kroger Community Rewards
  2. Create an account. (Or sign in if you already have sign-in for your KrogerPlus Shopper’s Card.)
  3. Designate the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula as your Community Rewards recipient. The organization number for the Fellowship is: 94749

Kroger Community Rewards logoThen, every time you shop at Kroger and swipe your Shopper’s Card, a portion of your total receipt will go to the UUFP. Using the card also gets you automatic discounts on any of that week’s sales promotions which you purchase. I have been saving money on Kroger discounts with my card for years!

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May Flame

Goddess Circle       Annual Membership Meeting      Sunday Morning Forum          

Games People Play        TCB    




Roy Schilling
Richard Hudgins
Valerie Gecowets
Caroline Fureymoore
Jerry Dingus, Sr.
Dennis Shaw
Cornell Burcher
Bill Cotton
Janet Gecowets
Nickie Saylor
Sandra Engelhardt
Ken Haggard

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

May Goddess Group

May 1st, 2016

Jeannine will present

Stories in Stone:  Malta

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 12:15 pm)  

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

Childcare can be provided with advance notification.

Please contact with any questions.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**



Annual Membership Meeting!

Membership meeting

Immediately Following the second service at noon.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**



Game Night!  is


Saturday May 7th will be Game Night here at the fellowship from 6:30-8:30. All ages welcome to come participate in a fun night of getting together to strategize or to even get a bit silly, depending on the game! Bring a friend or your families to this event along with a favorite game and a snack to share.

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**




Sunday Morning Forum


Bob Smith

EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Trying to answer WHY! Scientific research seems to agree that our Homo Sapien ancestors, in their wonderment, developed stories/myths/ideas to understand their surroundings: plants, animals, water, weather, life, and death—In search of WHY? We will discuss how the development of agriculture and community living influenced thought of supernatural beings.

Bob Smith

EVOLUTION OF THEISM: Western culture—the cradle of Theism. Most early, Stone-Age and Bronze-Age, cultures developed polytheistic myths. The Canaanite’s were polytheistic but graduated to monotheism sometime after 700 BCE. WHY? We will tip-toe over much of the myth and discuss how the Abrahamic religions grew and became dominant over most of our world. For many people Theism answered their quest for WHY?

Bob Smith

EVOLUTION AND THEISM: Are we ready to take the big leap beyond Theism? Science in the 21st century has outdated the literal teaching of the Abrahamic religions—but with what do we replace that inner search for WHY? Progressive religious thought may help save our planet and follow the teachings of Jesus.

Dennis Shaw

Fascinating Fractals 1

Dennis Shaw

Fascinating Fractals 2

**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**


Financial Sources

The Fellowship has a variety of financial sources. But the source we count on for our planning and dreams is PLEDGES. Keeping your committment up to date is the only way your Fellowship can make its dreams come true.  Take Care of Business


**Remember the Fellowship in your will.**

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