- New to UUFA Newcomer Orientation on Feb. 10
If you’re a recent visitor or newcomer to UUFA and want to learn more about our Fellowship and Unitarian Universalism, plan to attend the next “New to UUFA” class on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8:45 a.m.
Participants briefly share their religious journey, and learn about the history and development of Unitarian Universalism and UUFA. You’ll meet Fellowship leaders, including our minister, Rev. Alison Eskildsen, and get information on programs, activities and services at UUFA.
The morning begins with a continental breakfast and ends by noon. Child care can be arranged with advance notice.
A sign-up sheet is on the Visitors Table in the foyer. You can also sign up by contacting or calling the Fellowship office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by contacting Larry Dendy, chair of the Membership Committee (email@example.com, 706-546-0431).
- Come hear about the building!
On Sunday, January 21, in the Fellowship Hall between the two services, members of the Expanding Our Vision Committee will provide a project update. This update will include information about the final building plans, a preliminary budget update, and phasing of the project throughout the coming calendar year, including how construction will affect the use of the building. This is an exciting time for UUFA. We hope many of you will come hear our news.
- Sad News of a Founder’s Passing
With great sadness, please note that Ethel A. Foster, our last surviving UU Fellowship of Athens founder, died peacefully on Monday morning at her home. Just prior to her death, Ethel had joyfully celebrated her 100th birthday in November.
Ethel requested there be no public memorial service. However, if you wish to make a memorial gift in her name, the causes she supported were the U.S.O., the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank, and the UU Fellowship of Athens.
To read her obituary, click here.
- Congregational Poll–Your Input Needed
You are invited to vote on which (if any) Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) you should think should be added to the General Assembly agenda for four years of study, reflection, and action.
For the Congregational Poll, go to https://goo.gl/forms/5KvDs8Pzdy0prD0m2.
For more information about General Assembly, go to https://www.uua.org/ga.
For more information about CSAIs, go to https://www.uua.org/action/process/csais.
Please participate by midnight on Sunday, January 21.
- Care Notes
John Bleyle has been receiving medical treatment for prostate cancer. Every three weeks John and Jean have been traveling to MD Anderson in Houston where John is enrolled in a clinical trial. Please send cards and notes of concern to John and Jean.
Cara Andrews had foot surgery on Wednesday, January 10, for a condition that has been bothering her for years. During recovery she will need to stay off her feet for six weeks. If you can bring Cara a meal or want to visit, contact Kathy Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org / 678-661-0394 or Liz Weaver at email@example.com / 706-769-6629. Please send cards and notes of concern to Cara.
- Who is my neighbor? Do you have a story? The title of the February 4 worship services is “Who is my neighbor?” The question is especially potent given the current discussion around immigration.
- Should those who were allowed to come as workers and students but who stayed without government papers remain among us?
- Should those who came illegally into the country decades ago to provide us reasonably priced food be deported?
- Should those young people who grew up in our schools and neighborhoods but lacked citizenship papers be required to return to the country of their birth?
- Should those who came under Temporary Protected Status in the 1980s and 1990s to escape war and environmental devastation lose their legal standing?
- What should happen to those people who are naturalized United States citizens but are now threatened with no longer being able to bring other family members into the country?
- What should happen to those who come seeking asylum for persecution?
Should everyone be our neighbor? Do you have an immigration story to tell that can help shed light on this question: “Who is my neighbor?”
If you have such a story you wish to share, you are invited to write a short narrative.
With your permission, your written thoughts may be shared during February 4 worship.
- Thirty Days of Love
- Announcing Side with Love! We are so excited to share with you that our new name, our new imagining, as the Responsive Resolution so beautifully called for, is Side with Love! You can also watch a video about our announcement here. Check out EqUUal Access’ take on the shift here.For more information, visit https://sidewithlove.org/ourstories/announcing-side-with-love
- January 19: Vigil and Rally
You are invited to attend the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition Vigil that will be held in conjunction with the rally/protest led by Dignidad Inmigrante in Athens (DIA).Friday January 195:30pm-8:00pmCity Hall-Downtown AthensThe Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition has representatives from several local faith communities and works on the following:
- Cultivating relationships with undocumented immigrant families and individuals – this is the foundation of what directs us
- Supporting legal aid defense funding – ALCES and the Latin American Association
- Partnering with Community Support for Families in Crisis Due to Deportation/ Detention by providing financial support, becoming a Buddy, advocating for detainees, providing transportation, or becoming a temporary guardian
UUFA’s Sanctuary Movement Coalition is a member of the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition.
Dignidad de Immigration is one of three organizations that make up the Athens Immigration Rights Coalition. The other two include U-Lead and Community Support. Dignidad de Immigration is operated by undocumented Clarke County residents and is thus unable to be funded through grants. The organization sponsors Latino Fest and, throughout the year, know-your-rights workshops for the undocumented. It also publishes know-your-rights posters that are publicly displayed. Most importantly, funds donated to Dignidad de Immigration are used to pay for an emergency phone hotline that helps alert the community to threats of detention. Dignidad de Immigration is the February 2018 Cause of the Month.
- UUA 2017-18 Common Read
TWO Books have been chosen for the 2017-18 Common Read
Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, (Beacon Press, 2017) lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that has led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save our democracy and to take our civic life to a place it has never been.
Download the discussion guide.
Daring Democracy Book Discussion—first half of the book: Sunday, February 25, 12:30-2 p.m. (during the Fourth Sunday lunch) and/or Tuesday, February 27, 7-8:30 p.m.; second half of the book; Sunday, March 25, 12:30-2 p.m. (during Fourth Sunday lunch) and/or Tuesday, March 27, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (Skinner House, 2017), centers the stories, analyses, and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious professionals of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities.
Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry Book Discussion–Monday, May 7, and/or Monday, May 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
To register for the book discussions online, click https://goo.gl/forms/7o8vZwGr3Uvy30Mk1.
- January 22: Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition
You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition on Monday, January 22, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Oconee Street UMC.
This group is called to do the following:
–Cultivate relationships with undocumented immigrant families and individuals – this is the foundation of what directs us
–Support legal aid defense funding – ALCES and the Latin American Association
—Partner with Community Support for Families in Crisis Due to Deportation/ Detention by providing financial support, becoming a Buddy, advocating for detainees, providing transportation, or becoming a temporary guardian
This group traditionally meets the fourth Monday of every month.
For further information, contact Karen Solheim, UUFA Justice Lay Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.202.7515).
- January 20: 2018 Social Justice Symposium
The Social Justice Symposium will feature outbreak sessions relating to Systemic Poverty, Under/Unemployment, Immigration Reform, Affordable Housing, and Mental Health. The Symposium will also have a keynote speaker – Kristen Daniel, the Founder & CEO of Pentorship (http://pentorship.org/kristen-daniel-founder-ceo/).
2018 Social Justice Symposium in Athens, GA
Date: January 20, 2018
Time: 8:00am to 5:00pm (Registration from 8:00am-8:30am)
Location: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens
780 Timothy Road
Athens, GA 30606
Contact us at email@example.com with any questions! We will see you at the Symposium!
- UUFA Cooks
What’s cooking? Hopefully you might be. 🙂 Help is needed on Thursday, January 18, at 2 p.m. to prepare the monthly meal for Our Daily Bread. Help is also needed on Friday, January 19, from 11:30 to 1 to serve the meal. Interested? Questions? Contact David Jarrett (firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.338.2798).
Our Daily Bread Community Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and a sack meal on the weekends. Annually, this program provides more than 60,000 nutritious meals with gracious hospitality to men, women, and children in need and offers a gateway to other transformational services. Partnering with more than 70 volunteer groups. Our Daily Bread in Athens has served meals seven days per week, 365 days per year since 1989.
Our Daily Bread outreach is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster.
- Spring Enjoyable Entertainment Events Are Here! We have four fun and exciting events planned for the second half of the program year scheduled in March and April. Tickets will be sold following each service on Sunday, January 14, 21 and 28. Be sure you are prepared with your calendars and checkbooks so that you can get tickets for your choice of events. Questions? See or contact Carol-Lee Baker at email@example.com, 706-483-2314 or
- David Jarrett Honored as January Spotlight Volunteer
Congratulations to David Jarrett, UUFA’s first Spotlight Volunteer of 2018! In addition to serving as Board Chair in the early 2000’s, David has shared his knowledge with the investment and finance committees. He also organized Seder observances for many years and currently works with the Forum committee. For years he has served on the Social Action Committee, most recently chairing the group. The Worship Arts Committee has benefited from his leadership as a Worship Assistant and as a Worship Leader. In addition to presenting sermons, David also facilitates sharing services, often around July 4 and late in the year.
The Volunteer Recognition Team appreciates David’s multi-faceted commitment to UUFA!
- Justice Cluster Recognizes Active SAC Volunteers
In January UUFA’s Justice Cluster led by Karen Solheim is recognizing active members of the Social Action Committee (SAC). SAC is the oldest among the cluster’s groups and initiatives which include Our Daily Bread, the Interfaith Hospitality network, FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating), the Sanctuary Movement Team, and the Green Sanctuary Team.
Karen and the Justice Cluster are thanking individuals who have been active members of SAC in 2017: Chair David Jarrett, Greg Davis, Caryl Sundland, Ange Kahn, Connie Bruce, Carol-Lee Baker, Jean-Marie Buxton, Deb Brenner, Ed Helm, Julie Sapp, Barb Leissner, Nancy MacNair, Rick Fyock, Sandra Storer, Virginia Carver, and Adrien Helm.
The focus of SAC used to be on what its individual members were doing throughout the Athens community. SAC’s focus is now on initiatives sponsored by SAC in particular, and often by UUFA in general. Initiatives sponsored by SAC include activities such as the Smart Lunch Smart Kids sandwich making, the Cause of the Month Conversations, and the Share the Plate Program along with the Christmas Angel Project, CANtributions for the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank, and the Common Read Discussions.
The members of SAC do realize that many UUFA justice warriors who do not attend the monthly meetings of SAC are a part of this congregation as are many former members of SAC; the members of SAC value those who participate in justice work beyond that of SAC and also value the overwhelming support they feel they receive from the Fellowship.
Diane Bridges of the Volunteer Recognition Team worked with Karen to organize this month’s recognition.
- SGM Registration Extended!
If you failed to sign up for SGM during December, a reprieve has been granted! You’ll have the next two weeks,until January 14th, to go to the website at http://uuathensga.org/education/small-group-ministries/
for information and a chance to register. Go to the red word “HERE” at the bottom of the page for a link to the form.
- Small Group Ministry Mid-Year Enrollment
The Mid-Year Enrollment period provides an opportunity for participation in SGM to newcomers to UUFA, as well as current UUFA members and friends who missed the fall enrollment period. This year, interested folks will sign up in December to join a group in January to complete the SGM year which runs through May or August, depending on the wishes of the group. Mid-Winter Enrollment is not for those already settled in a group who wish to move to another. Not all current groups will be available to join, as some groups are currently at maximum numbers. Mid-year enrollment will occur December 1-31, 2017.
If you need more information about SGM, and to enroll, please see the UUFA website page at http://uuathensga.org/education/small-group-ministries/ . This page will allow you to learn about the SGM program at UUFA, to understand its requirements and expectations, and to enroll by clicking on the red “Here” near the bottom of the page. If you’d prefer to enroll on paper, see the Stepping Stones table after services or contact Vivian Preston Sellers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Enjoyable Entertainment Events
Tickets for more wonderful Enjoyable Entertainment Events will be available in January. For the second half of the year we have a St. Patrick’s Party, brunch, wine tasting and more scheduled. Watch for more information to follow. Any questions contact Carol-Lee Baker, email@example.com, 706-483-2314 or
Jane Mayer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-614-4926.
- Jan. 14, 2018, Interfaith Service for MLK Day
Join Rev. Alison Eskildsen and other area clergy and diverse communities for an interfaith service honoring the work and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018
TIME: 5 pm
WHERE: First Baptist Church, 355 Pulaski Street, Athens
DON’T FORGET the MLK Day of Service and Parade
Jan. 15, 3pm.
For details click here.
- Learn About 2018 Adult RE Offerings
Several offerings will be available for adults and older youth during January-May, including:
Paul-Henri Gurian will facilitate two series of discussions of the book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. Kate Blane and Judy Bradberry will offer a single-session discussion of The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals.
2017-18 Common Read Book Discussions Daring Democracy & Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry
Registration is open now online at the UUFA website and on paper at the Stepping Stones table in the Fellowship Hall after services starting December 3rd. For more details and links to register online, go here: http://uuathensga.org/adult-religious-exploration-2018/ or scroll to the “Education” section of the Tapestry page always found here: http://uuathensga.org/tapestry/
- Art in the Foyer 2018
Art in the Foyer for January and February, 2018: “Illuminations” by Melody Croft. Artist Statement: The paintings are a group of portraits that I have coined: Illuminations. A painting begins with someone I have seen whose appearance, character, situation, or personality interests me and then slowly transforms into a narrative. My portraits become “illuminations”. Using newspaper and magazine print, I include poetry excerpts to accomplish two goals: first, to enhance the overall image and second, to introduce the viewer to the person in the portrait. The various colors, sizes, and fonts of each letter add to the visual dynamics of the overall painting. The poetry illuminates the portrait: adding meaning to the image, which provides the viewer a way to connect emotionally and/or intellectually to the individual in the painting.
In general, more timely announcements will be presented here on the uuathensga.org/news page, but longer articles and columns by members, friends, and leadership, as well as monthly updates from Social Action Committee and others, will appear on the uuathensga.org/Tapestry page.