If you heard Walter’s sermon on Sunday, you heard him say how important it is to have a vision statement to guide us through the work we do. When you have a clear vision of what your faith is calling you to do, it is much easier to make the choices, do the work and achieve the goals.

We will be working through the process of creating vision and mission statements over the next year or so as a congregation. That got me thinking about our RE Program and its vision.

According to our Religious Education Charter, the purpose of the committee is: To promote and nurture the spiritual growth and education of the Fellowship’s children and youth.

Our current mission statement for RE is:

The UUFP Children’s Religious Education Program is committed to fostering a safe and loving community where all are accepted and empowered to search and question our individual paths by celebrating our shared history and experiences.

To support this mission:

– We will provide opportunities for lifelong exploration and learning.

– We will ensure that acceptance and tolerance are taught and modeled.

– We will show appreciation for our UU history and the world at large.

– We will foster a sense of community through multigenerational activities.

Looking at these purpose and mission statements, I think we do these things more or less. But like our Fellowship’s current statements, these statements fall short. They don’t call us to live our faith out into the world. They are still very inward thinking.

Yes, it is important for our children and youth to learn about our Unitarian Universalist history and our principles. They need to feel safe and loved in our community. They need to feel accepted for who they are and empowered to search for their own truths. But in addition, they need to go out and do the work of making heaven here on earth.

So, over the next few months, I’d like to begin the process of creating a new vison for our religious education program. I will invite families to come together to talk about their desires for their children’s faith development. We will examine what is working well and what things we would like to change or add to the program. I look forward to working together to re-envision our vision!

See you in the RE!



Posted in Uncategorized

Root and Wings


Our idea for this series of articles was to base them on information we gathered from young “graduates” of our fellowship regarding how their UUFP experience has affected their adult life. Sometimes this is easier to do than at other times.
Julian Padowicz




Back here on The Peninsula, she’s remembered as someone who liked to help other young people. “I think about her kindness and ability to help people feel valued and important,” says RE Director Joanne Dingus. Oh, and they also remember her bright red hair.

Chloe was twelve years old when she and her parents, Jan and Donna Briedé, moved to Virginia from Ohio and joined the Fellowship. What she soon discovered, she says, was that talking and learning about religion was something she very much enjoyed doing, and that, “UUFP was always a safe community to learn and to explore.”

Today, after a stint of working with the Red Cross in West Virginia, Chloe has turned her joy of learning and exploring the subject of religion into a vocation, as she studies for her Doctorate of Divinity at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recognized as the oldest non-sectarian divinity school in the country and just an MTA ride away from UUA headquarters on Beacon Hill, the School seems like the ideal place to prepare for a career as a Unitarian Universalist minister. Chloe is looking forward to, some day, serving a community much like the UUFP and to raising a family.

On the other hand, Chloe says she misses “living in a more rural area. I mostly enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and camping. I got into Swing and Blues dancing a couple of years ago.” She does, though, have the companionship of her UUFP friend and now schoolmate, Jaimie Dingus. Together they’ve found a spiritual home in Boston at historic Arlington Street UU Church, once the pulpit of William Ellery Channing, one of the shapers of the American Unitarian movement.



When we asked Annie Campbell, daughter of Sandy and Barry Campbell, our series of standard questions, what we got back was a letter that presented her feelings on the subject so completely and poignantly that we decided to let Annie’s letter speak for itself:

I am a ceramic sculptor and ceramics professor at Auburn University in Alabama. Being brought up Unitarian Universalist has influenced my path in many subtle and major ways. As a child and teen at UUFP I always felt safe, supported and celebrated. In a general sense, growing up in an environment that encourages one to find their own individual way really helped me along the path of becoming an artist.  The long journey to becoming a professional artist is fraught with rejection and financial instability and lacks a defined set of steps that lead to success. Unitarian Universalism (along with the unending support of my parents) taught me to believe in myself and forge my own way through uncertainty.

Another aspect that has had a huge impact on my life is spending many summers at The Mountain, a Unitarian Universalist camp in the mountains of North Carolina. At camp we learned to celebrate what makes us truly unique. We learned how to find our true selves, and embrace the differences in the people around us. We learned how to be vulnerable and strong, open and accepting. As a staff member I learned valuable leadership skills that serve me to this day. It was also at The Mountain that I discovered my love and aptitude for teaching art. During three summers as the arts and crafts coordinator I decided that this would be my career path. The UUFP and The Mountain have shaped me in many significant ways, and I look forward to my children having the same enriching experiences within a UU congregation and Mountain Camp. 

Posted in Roots and Wings | 1 Comment

April Flame

Goddess Circle   Remembrance of Holocaust   On the Road Again                                          Physical, Mental, Spiritual   Leadership Development #3


Happy Birthday to our members who were born in April!

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

Patricia Moseley

Lee Dralling

Josie Dougher

Barbara Morgan

Tonya Sprock

Sarah Davis

Bobbie Schilling

Jaimie Dingus

Joanne Dingus

Katie Vozzelli

Scott Kasmire

Donna Briede

Konrad Krafft

Connie Keller

Chris Meyer

Lissa Henry

Michael Kleiner

Delany Ward

April 2nd, 2017

Our group members will present

Goddesses and Birds

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.



The Social Justice Committee is ordering more Standing on the Side of Love T-shirts.  We will be buying regular tees and women’s cut tees.  Carey Hall-Warner and Pam Luke will be taking orders through April 2nd.

The Social Justice Committee has chartered a bus to go to the People’s Climate March on Saturday, April 29th.  Bus tickets are $50 with driver tip included.  See Carey or Pam to reserve your seat.

Now that we use IconCMO to organize our church data, it is possible to print a directory with photographs of all of our members and supporters.  To do this, the Membership Committee needs your photo!  See Rosalee Pfister to have your picture taken or send your own digital file to



Yoga is a universal practice to increase awareness physically, mentally and spiritually.  We meet in the Sanctuary at 9:30am every Tuesday morning.  The first class is free, so come check it out!  There’s more information on the general bulletin board or you can contact Nancy Sessoms.



Remem Holocaust

Julian Padowicz, who was seven years old and living in Warsaw, Poland, when WW II broke out, will talk about his experiences as a “confused” Jew during the Holocaust and after, at Adult Forum over the next two Sundays in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Month. The two-part talk is entitled, “A Streetcar Named Eternity,” and is based on his award-winning memoir, “Mother and Me: Escape from Warsaw 1939” and its sequels, “A Ship in the Harbor,” “Loves of Yulian,” and, “When the Diamonds were Gone.”

In Part 1, he will tell about German bombs, Soviet occupation, and an against-all-advice escape over the Carpathian Mountains. Part 2 deals mostly with his struggle to fit his war-traumatized psyche into “The American Dream.”

Julian has told these stories in libraries, colleges, churches, and synagogues throughout his former home state of Connecticut, as well as other parts of the country.


The Leadership Development Committee (LDC) is offering the final LEADING YOUR CONGREGATION INTO THE FUTURE workshop Saturday, April 8th.

This event is being offered to everyone who wishes to “… learn 21st Century skills of conducting and participating in religious or business committee meetings.”  These skills are valuable to everyone in the Fellowship, and these skills are needed in the greater community.

Bob Smith and Donna Carter are the facilitators, and they are planning a concise, educational, and entertaining morning.  The LDC will be offering a light Continental Breakfast and snacks for the breaks.

Child care will be available if LDC is notified by Monday April 3rd.

Please come prepared to take notes.  A $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Breakfast starts @ 8:30am

Workshop will end @ 1:00pm

Please register on-line at .

Posted in Uncategorized

Sunday Services (April 2017)

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

theme: Kindness Can Heal UsRev. Andrew Clive Millard

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

April 2nd: “For We Were Strangers Once”

Spring is here, and in Jewish traditions that means it’s time to celebrate Passover!  Centered on the Biblical story of the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, the Passover seder features a variety of special and everyday foods, songs in both English and Hebrew, and lessons for all ages about the community, gratitude, freedom and hospitality.

Music will be provided by the UUFP Winds!

April 9th: “A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine”

The UUFP’s Community Minister, Rev. Jennifer Ryu, shares her reflections on faith and healing from her experiences as a hospital chaplain.  She explores the faith practices of Unitarian Universalists in times of illness and injury.Rev. Jennifer Ryu

Rev. Jennifer Ryu attended seminary in Berkeley, California at the Starr King School for the Ministry, graduating in 2005.  She served as minister to the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists 2006 to 2015.  Jennifer is now completing a one-year chaplain residency at a local hospital.

Special Service!Passover Seder at UUFP, April 15th,
5pm on April 15th: a Passover Seder

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 16th: “Potential Grizzlies”

One of the more common pieces of advice given in the Christian gospel is “Do not be afraid.”  Said many times, according to the gospel-writers, by Jesus, it is also spoken as part of both Nativity (Christmas) and Easter stories.  In our own time, we have moved on from many ancient fears, but have we simply found new ones to replace them?

April 23rd: “Why Are You Here?”

In his final sermon as the UUFP’s Student Minister, Walter Clark reflects on his experience at the Fellowship and what it means to be a spiritual community.  Is a congregation a collection of individuals or is the sum of us greater than our individual parts?Walter Clark, the UUFP's student minister

Walter Clark commutes down from Richmond for his internship at least three times a week.  He is scheduled to meet with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee in September, and hopes to eventually settle down in the area of northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Wendy, and their two children, Willow and William.  Walter graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School in May 2016 and has preached in Norfolk, Richmond, Glen Allen and Fredericksburg.

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

April 30th: “Resilience and Resistance”

The word “resistance” has become prominent in our vocabulary in recent months, with calls to resist every effort to dismantle any and all progress on civil rights, gender equality and environmental protection.  Given the real risk of “resistance fatigue”, though, it’s even more important now to cultivate resilience in ourselves and one another.

Posted in Sunday Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Resist at every turn


It’s time for the next bus trip to Washington on April 29.  Organized by the Peoples Climate Movement, this march is your chance to stand up for our community and to make your voice heard.

When leaders say that they don’t believe in climate change, it’s time to set them straight.

When leaders voice their opinions that the right to clean water, air and land needs to be reversed, it’s time to voice your opinion. Who would have thought these hard fought rights would be in jeopardy?

Join the UUFP Social Justice committee on this amazing new adventure!

Bus tickets are $50 and still available now at UUFP-Climate-Movement. Please do it now! Can’t go but want to help pay for a ticket for someone who does and can’t afford it? UUFP-Climate-Movement-support.

Posted in Climate Change, Social Justice, Standing on the Side of Love

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 .


Posted in Canvass


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.”


Posted in Finances

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.


Posted in Canvass, Member Testimonial | Tagged | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Social Justice


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!



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment