Canvass Update

The 2017 pledge drive to support the UU Fellowship may turn out to be the most successful in our history!

And it makes sense if you think about what we have to offer. If you have kids, the religious education is top notch. In addition, there is the Navigators program, an active group offering an alternative to scouting. And, if you like discussion on a variety of topics, the Sunday Morning Forum is the ideal place to be at 11:15AM.

At the helm is Rev. Andrew Millard with topical and inspiring sermons every week.

Social Justice is front and center at the UU Fellowship! Taking an active role in supporting women’s health and rights, fighting institutional racism through education and contributing as well as preparing food for those most at-risk in our own community.

Making a pledge to the Fellowship is how we know that we’ll be able to make all of the new plans for next year a reality. So, if you’re a new member and want to be a part of the vibrancy here or you’ve simply lost the pledge card you received in the mail, contact Judy Remsberg today at .


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This seems like a good time to talk about trust.

As a financial supporter of the UU Fellowship (or any group you support) you have placed your trust in the leadership to carefully and mindfully use your money in a way that reflects your values. You expect that every dollar will be allocated properly.

As the Finance Committee prepares the new budget, we’ll be looking at budget requests and doing all we can to fund everyone’s values. The committee is aware that you could spend the money you’ve pledged on something else, but your pledge—regardless of size—is a testament to this strong, dynamic church and what it stands for.

Story (told in a Maine accent)

Matilda and Bert went to the county fair. They come to a poster saying “Ride for two: $10”

Matilda: “I’d like to try it.”

Bert: “I don’t think so. Ten dollars is ten dollars.

Matilda: “But, I may never have another chance.”

Bert: “I don’t think so. Ten dollars is ten dollars.

So, the pilot offers a free ride-if they agree to say nothing during the flight.

So up they go. Stunts! Turns! A wild flight! But the pilot hears nothing from them.

After they land, the pilot says, “Well, I tried, but I guess you got a free ride.”

Bert says: “Well… I was going to say something when Matilda fell out of the plane-but ten dollars is ten dollars.”


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Thinking about community

A woman where I live passed away recently and no one knew it. She had no family members checking on her and she didn’t go to church, so she wasn’t missed or even thought about until her scent filled the hallway. She had been dead for three days. That is my definition of “no community.”

My mother was an active member here in the 90’s, long before me. She died during a meeting in the sanctuary, surrounded by more than forty friends holding hands in a circle around her, waiting for the ambulance. That is my definition of “community.” (In all fairness, my mother always wanted to have the last word, which she achieved that night.)

When I had my stroke, I had so many UUFP visitors, my nurse complained that there wasn’t space in the waiting room for anyone else’s visitors. Without names, the same nurse came in a bit flustered to say there was a gynecologist there to see me. Just another visitor. A few came by and commented that my speech sounded like I was drunk. (Real funny, but I still remember who those clowns were.) I never felt sorry for myself or lost my sense of humor, thanks to you.

There’s more. I couldn’t go home because I lived upstairs, with stairs being the key word. More than a dozen members of this church packed my house up and with cars and trucks, moved me to my new apartment.

After I moved in, I was told by some of residents that all the visits and a ride to church would stop after awhile. I just smiled. Neither was true, of course.

That is my definition of “community.”

So if you ever wonder why I work so hard to raise money for the Fellowship and never have a problem asking you for a pledge, this is why.


We have something really good here.


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From our new friends

It’s always nice to hear back from our partners in the community. In fact, Karen Joyner will be here in May to tell us more about the Foodbank and its programs!

Foodbank-letter1               Foodbank-letter-food

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by Joanne Dingus

The Interconnected Web of RE

As many of you know, David Walsh has been keeping all things RE updated on our website for many years. He has provided pictures, content and entered RE updates from me and the committee time and time again. I would like to extend my thanks to David for all his hard work and gentle reminders over the years. The RE Committees and I can’t thank you enough!

Former RE student Ethan Farthing has recently been working on setting up our new website. He has put in many hours this year, while going to school at CNU. We thank him as well for his help in making this change. Megan Jensen and members of the Communications Committee are now working on the process of collecting content.

So, I would like to ask our families and volunteer teachers for their input as to what to put on our RE pages. We will definitely have a RE main page that will explain our program, describe our classes, give weekly updates and information for potential visitors. We will have a page for our Youth Group as well. But what else would you like to see? What would be helpful for you? A calendar of RE events? Other UU resources for children? Suggested reading lists? Links to parenting concerns? Please let Megan or I know what you might like to access by clicking on our pages.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but we want to make sure we have the right pictures and more importantly, pictures that we have permission to use. For safety concerns, we need to make sure we are posting pictures of children and youth properly. Therefore, we plan to have consent forms for pictures that show the faces of children and youth. We will not use the names of the children we feature or tag them on facebook and we ask that anyone recognizing a child, not use the child’s name in their comments. PLEASE stick to general comments!

I look forward to working with everyone to make our UUFP Children’s RE pages attractive, informative and welcoming to our present and future members.

See you in the RE!



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Make this THE weekend, please


The UUFP canvass really isn’t about money, it’s an invitation to support and be a part of the remarkable work of the Fellowship.

As we wind up this phase of the canvass, thank you to those who have made their commitment to the Fellowship for next year! So many new experiences and activities are bubbling away.

If you haven’t returned your pledge card yet, will you make it a priority this Sunday? There is a colorful box at the table in the visitors’ area or you can give it to Judy Remsberg, Pat Yaros or David Walsh.

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What do you mean “no candy”?

freely-10116Growing up in a Catholic town, Lent was a big deal. I would see kids at the bus stop with smudges of ash on their forehead talking in a way that was both reluctant and excited about what they were giving up for Lent. They would compare the grade school vices they were giving up with pride.

“I’m giving up pop!”
“That’s it? I’m giving up chocolate!”
“Yeah? Well, I’m giving up TV!”

I was in awe of their will, knowing that I could never give up any of those things, but mystified as to why they were even doing so. “Why do you have to give up stuff for Lent?” I would ask.

“It’s what you do” they always answered.
“Oh, okay. I’ll give up lima beans.”
“That doesn’t count. It has to be something you like.”
“Because that’s how it works.”

That was the mystery of Lent for me. Why did they bother giving something up at all? What was the point of any of it? Spend a month without stuff you like and at the end you get to pig out on chocolate. What good was that?

Turned out that a lot of my Catholic friends didn’t really understand it either. My sophomore year in high school the religion teacher asked the class about Lent (I went to a Catholic high school, we had a religion class each year). No one knew anything about it except it meant not eating red meat on Friday and giving up sweets.

preparing-grilled-salmon-steak-picjumbo-com“How many of you go out to eat once a week with your family?” he asked. Hands shot up across the room. “Okay, so let’s say every Friday your family goes to McDonalds for dinner. However, since it’s Lent, instead of going to McDonalds for burgers, you decide to go to Red Lobster since you can’t eat red meat. Is that the right thing to do?” There were a few silent nods in the room, but most of us just stared blankly back at him. This felt like a trick.

“Technically it is. The church says no red meat on Friday during Lent, but it’s not within the spirit of Lent. You are missing the meaning altogether.”

My ears pricked up. There was a meaning? I needed to hear this.

“Before Jesus started his work, he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. During that time he was tempted by the devil. No one knows what happened or how he was tempted, but when he returned, he was ready to do his work, to do God’s work. We observe Lent to do as Jesus did, to humble ourselves before God, to cleanse ourselves of temptation so that we will be ready to do the work of God. By going out to a fancy seafood dinner instead of some humble McDonald’s burgers, you are doing the opposite of what Jesus did. You’d be better off eating red meat in this case.”

That made a lot more sense to me than, “It’s just what you do.”

There is a lot to be said for preparing yourself to do this kind of work. When it comes to living out your values, one should determine what those values are. By getting rid of the distractions around you and intentionally focusing on what is larger than yourself, you gain a better understanding of self, of your connection to the web of life and how you should live within that web. This is a time of quiet, intentional reflection.

So how we as Unitarian Universalists, with our vibrant and diverse beliefs, live into the spirit of Lent? I have a few ideas:

1. Meditation: Now is a great time to start a meditation practice. There is a web site call Winter Feast for the Soul that has a great 40 day meditation practice on overcoming that I would recommend. Even just sitting quietly in silence for 15 minutes a day focusing on your breathing will do wonders.

2. Beauty Walks: If the weather is good, go outside and talk a 15-30 minute walk. BUT, no music, no cell phone, no distractions. Just you and your environment. On your walk take the time to notice what is around you. The shape of a tree, the chittering of a squirrel, the sound of the nearby road. Reflect on what you encounter in a positive light.

3. Yoga: There is a small Yoga group at UUFP. 9:30-10:45am on Tuesdays. Ask Nancy Sessoms for details.

4. Journaling: There is a practice called “Morning Pages” where you put your pen to paper (or cursor to screen) and write constantly for 30 minutes. Do not stop writing to fix errors or spelling, just keep going writing whatever is in your head. If stream of consciousness doesn’t work for you, maybe you should use some prompts that help you go deeper into your own values. “I believe that___,” “What is most important to me is____,” “My ideal self is____,” are a few examples. There are some much better ones here.

These are just a few examples of things you can do, but the idea is to take some time to reflect. Many of us have been on high alert since the election and reacting to a lot of horrible things that have been happening. We can’t stay on high alert forever, we need to take some time to breathe and to tend to our own wounds. If we don’t we will exhaust ourselves before any change can be enacted. Taking the time to reflect helps you to stay engaged with what is important.

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Sunday Services (March 2017)

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

theme: Life Has Its Battles

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

March 5th: “Staying at the Table with Archie Bunker”

The living tradition that is Unitarian Universalism is based on the truth that we are most human when we are in right relationship with one another and with the world around us.  That’s far easier said than done, though!  Beyond staying in relationship when there’s simple disagreement, how do we stay in right relationship when someone supports values hostile to our own, even to our own lives?

March 12th: “Our Imposing Needs”

Needs matter.  They can propel us into great successes and fulfilling relationships.  They can also lead us into unknown territories and dangers.  When we let them, our needs define not only who we are, but who other people are, and what the world itself becomes.  The trick is to get these needs met — without letting them take over our shared human reality.

Scott KasmireA Unitarian Universalist of over two decades, mostly in the Church of the Larger Fellowship, Scott Kasmire joined the Fellowship in the Autumn of 2014.  He serves as chair of our Communications Committee and as a Youth Adviser.  He spent many years overseas, especially in Thailand, teaching English, math, science and philosophy.  He has also been a school administrator, a navy sailor and a movie theater manager.  He now lives in Norge VA.

March 19th: “Defying the Nazis”

Hans Deutsch designed the flaming chalice as a symbol of love, truth and freedom.  Waitstill and Martha Sharp accepted a life-threatening mission to help refugees.  Norbert and Maria Čapek preached the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  Decades later, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee continues their work, advancing human rights and social justice around the world.

March 26th: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Often in the fight for justice, we concentrate on what we can do to address the immediate issues of the here and now.  What can we do to prevent injustice in the first place?

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 can be found drawing, singing, taking pictures or washing dishes.

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

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March Flame

Goddess Circle    Sunday Morning Forum   Yoga!     Free Trader Joe’s gift card Pathway to Membership


Alan Sheeler

Jake Strom

Ann Taylor

Susan Schneider

Maggie Fureymoore

Adam Balsley

Andrew Millard


Tret Fure

Parker Stokes

Jackie Herman

Jerry Dingus, Jr.

Maria Cory

Randy vanValkenburg

Arthur Fynsk


 If you have a birthday we overlooked, please contact Bobbie Schilling.

Goddess Circle

March 5th, 2017
Allison will present
Moana (Pacific Islands goddess of oceans)

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.


March 5

Ken Goodrich The 4th Principle of Unitarian Universalism is “A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning”. In a time of fake news, alternative facts, and an information-scape that seamlessly adapts, caters to, and even exploits our preconceptions, how can we be sure of our own search? Join us for a two-Sunday forum exploring and sharing best practices and insights on how to avoid becoming lost in epistemic bubbles of our own making.

March 12

Ken Goodrich “A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning” part 2

March 19

Greg & Janet Gecowets The spirituality of music

March 26

Greg & Janet Gecowets The spirituality of music


Yoga at the UU –

          Tuesday Mornings at 9:30

Yoga is a universal practice to increase awareness physically, mentally and spiritually. We meet in the sanctuary.

Bring your mat and come check it out!  First class is free. $8 drop-in fee or $40 for 6 classes.  Proceeds are shared with the UU. The class is open to non-members, so pass the word!

Whether you are new to yoga or experienced, Vinyasa – All Levels is for everyone.  This 75-minute class links body movement with breath and emphasizes strengthening the core.  Pose modifications and challenges are offered to fit the participant’s experience level.  Starting slowly with warm up stretches, the music takes you to a progressively higher energy level about midway into the class and concludes with a relaxation period.  Some benefits for you are improved posture, flexibility, balance, and strength as well as calming of your mind and lessening of stress!

Taught by Nancy Sessoms, RYT 200, Yoga Instructor, Licensed and Insured ryt-yoga

A chance to win $25 gift card to Trader Joe’s

The Committee on Ministry (COM) is doing a survey to clarify how members and friends of UUFP feel about how ‘things’ are going.  Is UUFP meeting a majority of the needs of its member and friends?  How does the congregation feel/think we are doing as an organization?

The survey will be emailed to those that have email accounts listed with the Fellowship.  Printed surveys and two envelopes will be available for those that do not have email.  The final date for submitting a survey will be Sunday, March 26, 2017.

The survey is anonymous.  We are using Google Forms. You do not enter your name.  Google compiles the data so we cannot see your answers and names together.   In order for us to know who has answered the survey you must email a number that is at the bottom of the form to Meg Glenn-Albiez.

We know how much people love taking surveys, so we have purchased 4 gift cards from Trader Joe’s (at the personal expense of the members of the COM).  There will be a drawing on Sunday, April 9, 2017 to pick the winners of the gift cards from those who submitted the survey.

Questions?  Concerns?  Contact a Meg Glenn-Albiez at  committeeonministry@uufp



Thinking of taking the next step and becoming a member of the UUFP? To become a member, we encourage all to attend a new member orientation class, which are held three times a year. The next Pathway to Membership class will be held on Saturday, March 11th, from 12-4pm. During this time, we will enjoy a homemade lunch, a time to share our spiritual journeys and learn more about what it means to be a UU as well as our UUFP history, and the benefits and expectations of membership. Please contact Rosalee at if you are interested in attending.

Saturday, March 11, 12pm – 4pm

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Continuing to Think Pink

Whether you went to Washington in January or viewed from home, it was impossible not to feel the heat and the passion! Watching the speeches at the Women’s March, it was hard not notice the participation of Planned Parenthood. This is an organization that’s been laser-focused on women’s rights since they began and even more so in today’s climate.


Cecile Richards, president Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is a Share the Basket partner and this Sunday is our day to support them. Imagine if everyone showed up this Sunday in pink, too! What a great way to show our continuing collaboration with them for the important work of the Social Justice committee and the Fellowship. And stuff some cash in your pockets or your “Kitty Cat” ears to fill those baskets.

Maybe we can send pictures and cash to Planned Parenthood just to let them know that we Stand on the Side of Love! And you can support them on-line.


Posted in Share the Basket, Social Justice, Women's March on Washington | 1 Comment