weaving the threads of community

Please note: the Communications Team continues to work on the formatting of this new page; send feedback to Shaye (uufa@uuathensga.org).

governance & denominational affairs

  • General Assembly Matters–Let’s go to NOLA!

    Registration for this year’s General Assembly to be held June 21-25 in New Orleans opened March 1! Want to be put your name in nomination as one the six delegates representing UUFA?  Click here. Go to  or nominate yourself at the April 30 Town Hall Meeting.

    Want more information about the UUA General Assembly?  Watch for upcoming General Assembly information sessions at UUFA. Go to www.uua.org/ga. Delegates to General Assembly 2017 will be electing the next president of UUA. To read more, go to http://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/elections/president.

    Read on for a plan to share transportation from Atlanta to NOLA.

    Bus to New Orleans for GA?!

    Dear UUFA Friends:

    We have just learned that the cost to charter a bus to G.A. is MUCH LESS than previously reported.  We hope you can circulate this updated announcement out to the UUFA Family.

    Atlanta Regional UUs are planning to rent a bus from Atlanta to General Assembly in New Orleans in June. We have just learned that the cost to charter a bus to G.A. is MUCH LESS than we previously reported. The bus travel cost would be about $130 per person round-trip, which is much less than flying or driving (at 55 cents per mile). We will be finalizing and confirming our plans by March 22nd if we can get tentative commitments from at least 50 attendees to travel down together by bus. We would depart Atlanta (Northwest UUC-Sandy Springs) on Wed. June 21st at 9:30 a.m., arriving at the New Orleans Convention Center at 4:30 p.m.  We would depart New Orleans on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. after worship, arriving back at Northwest UUC at 8:30 p.m. Please emaildavid.zenner@zennergroup.com  (with “Bus to G.A.” in the subject line) promptly if you are interested in joining a busload of enthusiastic UUs, or have questions or comments.

    Dave Zenner

    NWUUC president-Elect

    Unitarian Universalist Northwest Congregation

  • Budget Drive & Capital Campaign Updates

    Annual Budget Drive Exceeds Goal, but unexpected budget increases arise. The drive for pledges for the 2017-2018 budget year, which begins July 1, has exceeded its original goal of $300,000 by $4,000 as of March 22.  Meanwhile, the Finance Committee is grappling with a challenging budget process because of some unforeseen increases in projected expenses, such as staff compensation and health insurance, and building utilities. Pledges from a few members who have not yet pledged would help alleviate the stress of cutting program funds to meet these critical needs.

    Capital Campaign Nears Goal As of March 24, commitments to the Campaign total $1.254 million.  In the past month, 31 households have increased their original commitments and 10 more new commitments have been made.  The Challenge Fund was successful in reaching its dollar-for-dollar match!  The Capital Campaign Team is still pursuing some other possible sources of funds.

  • Next up, Apr. 23 Budget Town Hall

    SAVE THE DATE: May 21, 2017, Annual Congregational Meeting

    The 2017 Annual Congregational Meeting of the members of UUFA will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017, right after our single Sunday service. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. We will hear about programming, get the latest update on facility expansion, and vote on leaders and topics that will guide us into the coming year.

    Prior to the May 21 Congregational Meeting, there will be discussion opportunities at several Congregational Town Hall Meetings:

    Sunday, April 23
    Budget Town Hall, 10:05-10:50 a.m., to discuss the budget for the next program year

    Sunday, April 30
    Town Hall, 10:05-10:50 a.m., to continue discussion of topics relevant to the Congregational Meeting on May 21

    In May, members will receive a mailing in preparation for the Congregational Meeting that will include: the May 21 agenda, proposed budget, election slate for 2017/18, and proposed wording of any special votes.

    In order to vote at the Annual Meeting, individuals must be “Active Members” of the Congregation: those who have signed the membership book, been members for at least four weeks, and have made a financial contribution of record during the previous 12 months. (See Article II, Section 2.1 of the UUFA Bylaws.) For minutes of past meetings, click here.

  • Ministry Council Update

    Ministry Council Update, March, 2017
    Five members of the Ministry Council met Tuesday, March 21st. Items discussed included:
    • The ERJ task force’s decision to disband;
    • The success of the EOV Capital Campaign and the Annual Budget Drive;
    • The Sanctuary Movement’s progress in Athens;
    • Calendaring priorities, and ways to improve the process;
    • Membership retention/follow up with those who leave;
    • The visit to Athens by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and our congregation’s role;
    • The progress toward hiring a Coordinator of Religious Education.
    Next month’s meeting will focus on getting a draft year-long calendar of Council events and priorities to take to the Leadership Council, which meets May 6th, and updating information on the topics discussed this month.

    –Vivian Preston Sellers, Lay Minister for Lifespan Development

  • Get On Board

    GET ON BOARD

    At its March 14, 2017 meeting, the UUFA Board of Trustees accomplished the following:

    Discussed:
    • development of a 3-year strategic plan;
    • accomplishments of the Board/Ministry Retreat;
    • date change of the Expanding Our Vision (EOV) Congregation Town Hall to March 26;
    • progress on the capital campaign and annual budget drive; and
    • Sunday offerings shortfall.

    Took the following action:
    • to accept the proposed paid time-off policy for the Employee Handbook and contracts.

    Accepted the following reports and discussed when necessary:
    • Treasurer’s report.

    Set as future agenda items:
    • to review the system for documenting earned leave; and
    • to review Sunday offerings data.

    IMPORTANT DATE to discuss the EOV building plans and funding:
    Sunday, March 26 — 1:00 p.m., Congregational Town Hall (after 4th Sunday Lunch)

    To read the adopted February 13, 2017, Board minutes, please click HERE – February 13, 2017. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Tuesday, April 11, 2017, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Comments are invited. You are welcome to attend this meeting, or please share any feedback you have with any Board member.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Barbara Teskey
    Secretary, UUFA Board of Trustees

  • Denominational Affairs: Southern Region Spring Gatherings

    Your Southern Region Spring Gatherings this year will be held April 7-9–programming will be primarily on Saturday, April 8–at the following locations:

    Florida – UU Fellowship of Marion County, Summerfield, FL. Learn more and register here.
    Mid-South – First UU Church of Nashville, TN. Learn more and register here:  https://goo.gl/sxHpBF
    Southeast – Unitarian Church in Charleston, SC. Learn more and register here.
    Southwest – Bay Area UU Church, Houston, TX. Learn more and register here.
    UUA Presidential Candidates:
    A feature of our Spring Gathering events this year will be a UUA presidential candidates’ forum live-streamed from Charleston to the other three Spring Gathering locationsLearn more about the candidates at their campaign websites:

wondering with AWE

  • A note from Sabbatical Road, by Rev. Alison

    Greetings!

    During my first month of sabbatical I found myself needing to do four things:

    • Finishing up a few projects, like budget recommendations and staff contract renewals
    • Letting go of being involved and having an opinion on everything (!)
    • Preparing for my overseas pilgrimage to Ireland
    • Cleaning out my office (mostly)

    Although seemingly unconnected, these activities were necessary steps in my process of separating for the sabbatical. For seven years I’ve been involved on a daily basis with some aspect of the Fellowship. My involvement can’t be turned off as easily as a faucet. And I know your activity, the bubbling life of the Fellowship, can’t be stopped while I’m gone, either. Nor should it. This is one reason why sabbaticals aren’t short–it takes time for the process of letting go, the going, and then readying for the return.

    Before fully leaving (mentally, emotionally, and physically), I had to finish up a project or two. This was as much about my need to provide input to a process that would take place while I was gone, as it was about your needing that input. I needed to feel like I’d done everything I should before I could head out.

    Once these last projects were completed I then had to let go of participating on the building project and capital campaign work, as well as on hiring a Coordinator of Religious Education. I couldn’t let go of these things if I didn’t trust you to make good decisions without me. I do trust you. I trust you to make wise, responsible decisions in my absence. Like many things, saying that is easier than doing it. But I am letting go because I do trust you.

    Only after the last projects were complete and the letting go mostly accomplished, only then could I begin preparing for my big sabbatical adventure—a Celtic Spirituality pilgrimage to Ireland. I’ve been reading and reflecting in preparation for it. And I’ve been shopping for electric outlet adaptors for Ireland, raingear, and other miscellaneous stuff. Now I’m nearly ready to fly out to the Emerald Isle.

    But before that moment, I had one more task. I had to clean my home office. Tossing out old papers also helped me let go and prepare for something new to take its place. Even tackling the dust bunnies acted like a ritual cleansing, preparing me for new adventures and new sacred moments. It also lightened my spirit to have the old hoard gone.

    Tomorrow, I leave on a jet plane for a spiritual journey to a land where people connect to the elements more closely—to the rain, sun, mist, and darkness. I hope my spirit will connect more deeply as I touch ancient lands and explore its holy sites.

    As new life emerges with the coming of springtime, may you be equally blessed by all life has to offer.

    Be well, Rev. Alison Eskildsen

  • Interfaith Symposium with Rev. Alison

    Join Rev. Alison Eskildsen, Imam Adel Amer, Rabbi Eric Linder, and Pastor Paul Baxley for a panel presentation about their faith traditions. “A Conversation In Abraham’s Tent” is this year’s Schwartz Symposium at Congregation Children of Israel.

    WHEN: Thu., Apr. 27, at 7 pm.

    WHERE: Congregation Children of Israel, 115 Dudley Drive, Athens, GA 30606 (near the ACC Public Library).

expanding our vision

  • Budget Drive & Capital Campaign Updates

    Annual Budget Drive Exceeds Goal, but unexpected budget increases arise. The drive for pledges for the 2017-2018 budget year, which begins July 1, has exceeded its original goal of $300,000 by $4,000 as of March 22.  Meanwhile, the Finance Committee is grappling with a challenging budget process because of some unforeseen increases in projected expenses, such as staff compensation and health insurance, and building utilities. Pledges from a few members who have not yet pledged would help alleviate the stress of cutting program funds to meet these critical needs.

    Capital Campaign Nears Goal As of March 24, commitments to the Campaign total $1.254 million.  In the past month, 31 households have increased their original commitments and 10 more new commitments have been made.  The Challenge Fund was successful in reaching its dollar-for-dollar match!  The Capital Campaign Team is still pursuing some other possible sources of funds.

  • Town Hall on March 26 discussed building project

    The EOV Building Team has been at work reviewing options for revising the conceptual building plans to fit a project budget of approximately $1.75 million. Meanwhile, the Capital Campaign Team has been discussing strategies for closing the remaining gap between the current $1.25 million campaign commitments and the goal of $1.3 million. There is a plan to borrow up to $500,000 as part of the final project budget to replace the existing mortgage that expires early next year.

    At the Town Hall on Sunday, March 26, the Building Team provided an opportunity for the congregation to hear about the progress and process of finalizing the building plans, to ask questions, and to offer comments. More information will be forthcoming soon, and additional opportunities for congregational feedback will be scheduled and announced.  Please put Sunday, April 30, at 10:05 am, on your calendar–this will be a Town Hall when the building plan and budget will be presented in advance of the congregational vote at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 21.

     

  • Challenge Fund Formed to Close Remaining Gap in Capital Campaign

    Several members of the Fellowship have created a $65,000 Challenge Fund that will match dollar-for-dollar increased Capital Campaign commitments.  For example, an increase of $3,000 becomes $6,000 toward the campaign goal. This Challenge Fund, if successful, will get us very close to closing the gap.

    Already, thanks to the generosity of ten households who have just increased their commitments or submitted new commitments, we’re over halfway to meeting this challenge!!!

    But with nearly $100,000 remaining to be raised to reach $1.3 million, your increased or new commitment will be doubled and will help us reach our goal! Forms are available at the rear of the Sanctuary, or by contacting Shaye in the office.

    In addition, the EOV Building Team is working diligently with the architects to revise the proposed design to fit within a lower budget if we aren’t able to meet our goal.  For more information about possible revisions to the building expansion plans, attend a Town Hall meeting on March 26 at 1:00 pm, following the fourth Sunday Lunch.  Click here.

    For more details on the project, click here.

  • EOV CAMPAIGN UPDATE FEBRUARY 23

    The Capital Campaign is now over $1.1 million and the Annual Budget Drive is near $290,000.  Additional funds are required to meet the Annual Budget goal of $300,000. The Finance Committee has begun its planning for the 2017-2018 year and needs to know that we will meet our goal.  Please make your annual pledge.  Forms are available at the rear of the Sanctuary or just call Shaye or email at the office (706-546-7914, uufa@uuathensga.org). More details about the project plans will be forthcoming as the Building Team develops options for a reduced budget.

    Bob McArthur, chair, EOV Steering Committee

  • Original Leissner Artwork Cards Support EOV

    The Rolling Market now offers original cards by Barbara Leissner in support of the Expanding Our Vision building fund. If you would like to purchase during the week, stop by during office hours (Tues.-Fri. 10-4).

care connections

  • Update on Gini Carter

    Please send cards and notes to concern to Gini Carter who suffered an aorta dissection around Christmas. She is still dealing with its effects, recently going into Emory Hospital on March 18th. Send cards and notes to her home address: 690 Covered Bridge Road, Hoschton, GA 30548

  • Note from the Kelemens on Rev. Levente’s Recovery
    Levente is out of the hospital now , we are recovering at some friends house near Budapest.We are planning to stay here another two weeks or so.  It is a beautiful surrounding, on the banks of the Danube river, so we can walk by the Danube. The doctor said that the surgery went well, he managed to take out all the bad parts . The after the surgery biopsy showed some cancerous cells. Out of  removed 9 lymph nodes they found the cancer cells in only two and both the ” beginning ” and the ” end ” parts of the surgery / where the cuts were made /, are fully clear, which means that there is no methastasis. They suggest kemo, but fortunatley no radiation. The results will be sent to a special oncology team and they will come up with the suggestion for the kemo. The doctor said that it is likely that there is not even need for kemo, but because of his age they are suggesting full protection, so that they make sure all the bad cells are killed. We are completely OK with that. He lost about 10 pounds, but has a good apetite now, and he can eat almost everything/ of course very small portions /. We hope that he will be able to gain some weight soon, before the kemo starts in about a month.
    Thank you so much for standing by us in these troubled time, it means a lot! Will keep you informed about the news! Lots of love! ~Eva and Levente
    Levente Kelemen, Minister of our Partner Church in Okland (Transylvania), Romania, has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Levente, his wife Eva and their three children have visited Athens over the years and members of UUFA have traveled there, too.
  • Drivers Needed on Sunday

    If you drive to UUFA on Sundays and once a month would be willing to pick up a non-driver, please let Susan Ponsoldt know. For example, we have a few people at Talmage Terrace and in that neighborhood who would love to car-pool with you. If you can swing by on your way to UUFA it will be an easy way to help someone in our community.

  • Update on Jaime Olive’s recovery

    Jaime Olive has had some rough bumps on her road to recovery from her snow boarding accident which occurred January 7, 2017. Her fractured pelvis has been healing well, but unfortunately, the health professionals didn’t take x rays of her broken wrist before re-casting it at the last appointment. Today, when they did take x-rays, they discovered that the wrist is not healing well. On Tuesday, Jaime will have surgery on her wrist and will have it re-broken as well as have plates and screws inserted. The road to recovery continues to have many challenges. John’s return to Athens will be delayed as she will be in severe pain, once again, and require additional assistance.

  • Levente Kelemen Health News
    Levente Kelemen, Minister of our Partner Church in Okland (Transylvania), Romania, has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Levente, his wife Eva and their three children have visited Athens over the years and members of UUFA have traveled there, too. The cancer appears limited to the upper stomach with no metastases in other organs. Although the family is still absorbing the news, Levente seems upbeat that it was caught early enough.
    We have sent a e-card wishing him well, but we also have paper ‘get well’ cards at the sanctuary entrance for people to sign personally.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Levente and his family during likely surgery and any follow up treatment.
  • Volunteer Opportunity with the Care Team

    Looking for a way to make a contribution to the Fellowship, but don’t have a lot of time? A small group of members have been driving George Koch and Roland Bramlet from Talmadge Terrace on Sunday to attend the service for a number of years. We need a new driver to take over the first Sunday. All that is involved is swinging by Talmadge about half an hour before the 11:00 service to pick up George and Roland and then drive them back after the service is over. And who knows – you might make a new friend. Contact Susan Ponsoldt at ponsoldt@msn.com or 706-548-4821.

    Many thanks to Virginia Carver for driving Roland and George for many years!

Forum

  • Forum Folks Needed

    Do you have good ideas? Do you know people?

    If so, you are invited to become a member of the 2017-18 Forum Committee to help plan, promote, and introduce next year’s Forums.

    Need more information?  See any member of the current Forum Committee:  David Jarrett, Helene Brittain, Bob Schneller, or Karen Solheim.

    Ready to join?  Contact Karen Solheim (justice@uuathensga.org or 706.202.7515).

  • Caroline Strobel gives a Tax Update on March 19

    March 19, Tax Update, Caroline Strobel

  • Learn about Invasive plants on March 12

    Amanda Tedrow, of the Athens-Clarke County Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension will discuss how invasive plants displace many native plants from their natural habitat, how to identify invasive plants and their control options.

  • Forum April 9: Dennise Grayson, attorney Elder Law / topic: The Four Important Documents

    Dennise Grayson, attorney and specialist in Elder Law, will present a forum on “The Four Important Documents: Will, powers of attorney, advance directive — why having a Will alone is not enough.”

membership & volunteers

  • Yard Sale: Bring Your Stuff NOW!

    UUFA Yard Sale is on the calendar for Saturday, May 13 from 8am- 1pm. Come one, come all.

    But, bring your stuff NOW. We need a lot of good quality donations and many, many volunteers to pick up large stuff and take it to the UUFA storage unit in Watkinsville, to set up on Thursday and Friday, and Saturday morning, and to break down Saturday afternoon. Please contact Sherri Tanner, sherritanner12@yahoo.com or 706-424-8310.

  • Volunteer Recognition Team Spotlights Susan Ponsoldt

    Congratulations to Susan Ponsoldt, our April volunteer being recognized in the Volunteer Recognition Team’s Spotlight Series.

    Susan Ponsoldt helps bring a ministry of caring, support, and hope to Fellowship members through her long-term leadership of the Pastoral Care Team. Along with other volunteers she arranges visits and calls to those who are experiencing illness or bereavement and to members who are isolated or dealing with chronic mental and physical conditions. Pastoral Care also schedules transportation to services and medical appointments and sends cards of caring and celebration.

    To nominate a UUFA member or friend you feel is making a difference in the Fellowship, just follow this survey link or contact Susan Curtis to let the Volunteer Recognition Team know about your nominee.

  • Education Cluster Recognizes Forum Committee

    Writing in his history of UUFA, Horace Montgomery quoted a leading faculty member who characterized the Fellowship’s mid 20th century Sunday meetings as “the best lecture and art series in the community.” As the Fellowship gradually separated its Sunday worship into minister-led services and member-led discussions, the intellectual quality of the Forums continued.

    Today the Forum Committee continues the long tradition, arranging twice monthly speakers to bring valuable ideas to the congregation. Committee members are Karen Solheim, Helene Brittain, Bob Schneller, and David Jarrett. Together they plan for the program year, developing the Forum schedule from a list of speakers that individuals send to them and through their own contacts. They work via email, using a Google spreadsheet to save time and ideas.

    Through the 2016-2017 program year, the committee has brought us speakers on topics ranging from invasive plants and end of life concerns to the environment and racism.
    The committee is happy to welcome fresh program ideas and new members to help plan, promote, and introduce Forums.

    On April 30, 2017 Vivian Preston Sellers, Lay Minister for the Lifespan Development Cluster, will recognize Karen, Helene, Bob and David for their volunteer effort.

    The April recognition is being organized by Diane Bridges of the Volunteer Recognition Team.

  • New to UUFA Class, April 8

    Are you a recent visitor or newcomer to UUFA and want to learn more about our Fellowship or Unitarian Universalism? If yes, please attend the ‘New to UUFA’ orientation on Saturday, Apr. 8, at 8:45 am.

    You’ll meet some Fellowship leaders, learn a little about the history of Unitarian Universalism and UUFA, and get information about Fellowship programs, activities and services.

    The class begins with a continental breakfast and ends by noon. Child care can be arranged with advance notice.

    A sign-up sheet is at the Visitors Table in the foyer. You can also sign up by e-mailing or calling the Fellowship office (uufa@uuathensga.org) or by contacting Larry Dendy, chair of the Membership Committee (ldendy@uga.edu).

  • Drivers Needed on Sunday

    If you drive to UUFA on Sundays and once a month would be willing to pick up a non-driver, please let Susan Ponsoldt know. For example, we have a few people at Talmage Terrace and in that neighborhood who would love to car-pool with you. If you can swing by on your way to UUFA it will be an easy way to help someone in our community.

  • Justice Cluster Recognizes IHNA Volunteers

    Imagine that you are a parent with young children, and because of circumstances such as illness, loss of a job, or other unforeseen events, you suddenly lose your home. For many families in Clarke and neighboring counties, this is not an imaginary scenario but reality. In fact, there are approximately 200 students in the Clarke County School District who are homeless on any given day, and families are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population.

    This month’s volunteer recognition focuses on the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens (IH-NA), a non-profit organization which was formed in 2001 to address the specific needs of fami-lies with children who are in crisis homeless situations. IHNA partners with congregations across different faiths and denominations to use church facilities as temporary housing from 5 pm to 7 am when these facilities are not in use. Each host congregation houses families 4 to 5 times throughout the year.

    UUFA has participated in IHNA for more than a decade, initially serving as a host congregation with leadership from Hank Raichle, who was on the board of the IHNA at that time, working with Patty Freeman-Lynde. In recent years, UUFA has served as a support congregation during the weeks when guests stay overnight at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. UUFA volunteers cook and serve meals, play games after dinner with families, spend the night at Holy Cross, and host at the IHNA day center on weekends. Our next host week runs March 12 through 19.

    Julie Sapp has been our IHNA coordinator for several years. She schedules volunteers and does a great job of organizing to meet the needs of guest families during their stay at our partner church. Our volunteers who work with her are Iva King, Molly Williams, Mark and Marta Dan-iell, Jean Bleyle, Jane King, Suzanne Murphy, Mary Jean Hartel, Laura Leiden, Paula Keam, Mar-guerite and Will Holmes, Hester Meyers, Mark and Janet Hodges, Carol-Lee Baker, Vivian Pres-ton Sellers, Diane Bridges, Rosemary Woodel, Bill and Peggy Horton, and Steven Pottier.

    The Justice Cluster’s Karen Solheim notes that these IHNA volunteers are an example of how the Social Action Committee puts our values into actions for the benefit of our community.

    by Debbie Hardegree, Volunteer Recognition Team

  • Volunteer Recognition Team Spotlights Karen Solheim

    Karen Solheim

    Since arriving at UUFA in 1999, Karen Solheim has modeled commitment. In addition to serving

    as the Justice Cluster lay minister since 2014, Karen is a member of Palms of Fire and the Forum Committee. Her involvement with the Justice Cluster encompasses the Soc

    ial Action Committee, Exploring Racial Justice Task Force, FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating), Green Sanctuary, and Our Daily Bread. Thanks, Karen!

    Thanks to Helene Brittain for nominating Karen. If you would like to nominate a UUFA member or friend you feel is making a difference in the Fellowship, just follow this survey link to let the Volunteer Recognition Team know about your nominee.

Education

  • Any Adult RE Ideas?

    Hey! Have an interest or idea for an adult Religious Exploration topic? Willing to facilitate a class this summer or fall? Please contact Vivian Preston Sellers at vpsellers@gmail.com or 770-833-6290 with your thoughts. THANKS!

spiritual arts

  • Worship in April

    2 April A Place to Bloom

    Our welcome mat as Unitarian Universalists has few limitations. We strive to be a place where people can figuratively bloom into what they desire as better for themselves. We will be discussing how we encompass transgender individuals and their families in our communal transformation and hospitality. Service is led by the Reverend Duncan Teague.

    9 April Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, A Palm Sunday lens.

    Jesus understood as ;the presence of Wisdom,” the feminine form of the Divine. In his short ministry, Jesus embodied the archetype of Sophia. He lived from and taught the Power of Love. With his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, he modeled the soft form of ;Love as Leadership. Faith in that softness means lovecanprevail, since all people want love. Service is led by visiting minister the Reverend Roy Reynolds.

    16 April Not Just a Rolling Stone

    Not Just a Rolling Stone According to the gospel story of the first Easter, Mary Magdalene found the stone rolled away and was the first to see Jesus after his resurrection. What stones must be rolled away before we see life in a different way? Service led by Myrna Adams West, Lay Minister Emerita

    23 April Earth-Water-Flower Day

    Honoring the Earth and its water in continuous movement from living to nonliving and back again reminds us to be mindful of how our actions may change the waters of earth. It is water’s movement from air to soil to roots and stems that make the flowers, the promise of a next generation. With our annual flower ceremony, everyone is invited to bring a flower to share.

    30 April Life’s Not Fair. Change is Hard: We Must Begin

    Transforming our lives and transforming our community requires more than good intentions. Converting intentions into actions requires an individual to discover a path, then find the courage to take it. Service led by member the Honorable Judge David Sweat.
  • Did you enjoy Killick and Beto’s music last Sunday?

    Download their album the art that gives us strength to face the tyrant  at:  https://killick.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-that-gives-us-strength-to-face-the-tyrant

    100% of our proceeds from this album will go to Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition (www.athensimmigrantrights.org) to provide relief for families facing deportation and help for primary needs such as food, housing, or power bills. AIRC also conducts informational forums to promote a better understanding of the migrant community in Athens.
  • Help with April 15 UUFA Seder?

    It could be held Saturday, April 15, starting around 6PM. I would be happy to lead the Seder but I need others to step up and prepare the food and sell tickets and set up and clean up. We usually sell tickets to pay for the food but someone need to cook it and help prepare the Seder Plates. We have some excellent UUFA Haggadahs to use. If you want this to happen and are wiling to help, contact David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com), Chief Athens Jewnitarian

  • Music Ministry for March
    Nobody’s perfect.  We all have our rough edges, our cracks and scars.

    One lesson I took to heart from my Christian upbringing is that the bible is full of flawed people who, despite their flaws, inspired and helped people.  I think of Mark Miller’s song (St. Francis Prayer) “Make me an instrument of peace.”  It doesn’t say, “a perfect instrument” or  even, “an instrument that plays in tune.”

    Sometimes, our need to be good at things (like singing, drumming, public speaking, writing…) keeps us from doing things we might enjoy, things that might spread joy to others.  We forget that our willingness to take these risks (and be imperfect) inspires others to do the same.  Through these selfless acts, we say, “it’s ok to try new things” and “this is a place where we can grow and be our real selves”.

    Music can be a balm for our souls, a way to express our broken hearts.  We can sooth, inspire, come together, and “hear our voices in each other’s words”, as Joyce Poley sings.  But we have to be willing to set aside the need to be good and be willing to be beautifully imperfect together.

    I invite you to join in this month, bring your real self, sing with wild abandon from the pews,or try out a musical ensemble:
    Choir, every Wednesday 7:15-8:45
    Drum Circle, every Wednesday, 5:30-6:30
    Singing Meditation, Sunday, March 19th, 10:15-10:45 sofa room (behind the sanctuary)
  • Worship in March

    March 5 – What Is at Stake  We heal the brokenness in society by first healing the brokenness in ourselves.  Through spiritual practices we invite Wholeness into our bodies and minds, and relate to others and the world around us out of our internal Wholeness. This is the path of Love.  “Be the change you desire.” Service led by the Rev. Tom Camp, Spiritual Director, Samaritan Counseling Center.

    March 12 – Our Brokenness and Caring for Ourselves  We will attempt to find ways of dealing with our feelings as we live in a time of national polarization. Learning to deal with our fear, anger, and loss of hope becomes essential as we seek to be a community of healing while respecting one another’s needs and perspectives. Service led by the Rev. Dr. Don Randall, UUFA’s Affiliated Community Minister.

    March 19  Seeing the Light Following Spring Equinox, our days have increasingly longer hours of light than darkness. In what ways do we break through the darkness of limitation to emerge to the light of individual potential? Service led by Dir. of Religious Education Morgan Watson.

    March 26 – Companioning as Communion How shall we dwell together in community? In society? In family? Whether we choose or not, these questions keep bubbling up and foisting themselves upon us; especially during this time of societal brokenness. Let’s examine these concerns thoughtfully. Reverend Reynolds keeps recognizing that a healthy–and heartful–way of entering these questions is to imagine ourselves always tending toward mutuality, reciprocity, and inclusion. Isn’t that communion? Shouldn’t we dwell together in communion? Let’s explore how we can honestly achieve that.  Service led by the Rev. Roy Reynolds.

Justice

  • Tues., Mar. 28: Sanctuary Movement Team Potluck Dinner and Discussion

    ​Want to learn more about how Immigration became such a contentious issue in the United States? The UUFA Sanctuary Movement Group is sponsoring a potluck supper and discussion of the book Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal by Aviva Chomsky on Tuesday, March 28, at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

    The book can be purchased locally at Avid Bookstore for $16, and it is also available through other sources for the same price.  For more information, contact Mark and Janet Hodges at 706-850-8387 or markhodges4427@gmail.com.

  • March 26 Town Hall Meeting: Final Draft of the Resolution on Racial Justice

    You are invited to attend a town hall meeting on Sunday, March 26, from 10:05-10:50 to give feedback, ask questions, and comment on the Racial Justice and Equity Resolution created by the Exploring Racial Justice (ERJ) Task Force. The final draft of this Resolution can be found at https://goo.gl/0yyuEk. The ERJ Task Force has been busy gathering feedback from numerous individuals; from ‘cluster’ groups at UUFA, such as Small Group Ministries, Choir, and Drum Circle; and through Open Feedback Sessions and Online Feedback.  We have worked diligently to produce a Racial Justice Resolution that the entire congregation (we hope) will feel comfortable to adopt at the Congregational Meeting on May 21.

  • Input Wanted for 2017-18 Causes of the Month

    Causes of the Month for 2017-18 To Be Considered Soon

    Do you have an idea of a local organization that should be one of the 2017-18 Causes of the Month?

    Do you have questions about how the Causes of the Month are elected?

    Contact SAC (Social Action Committee) chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com or 706.338.2798) with your ideas by April 15 or with your questions any time.

  • April Cause of the Month Conversation

    Join a representative from Upper Oconee Watershed Network on Sunday, April, from 10:05-10:50 in the Fellowship Hall to learn more about the April Cause of the Month.

  • Time and Talent Opportunity: What’s Cooking?

    What’s cooking?

    Hopefully you might be. 🙂 Help is needed on Thursday, April 20, at 2 p.m. to prepare the monthly meal for Our Daily Bread. Help is also needed on Friday, April 21from 11:30 to 1 to serve the meal. Interested? Questions? Contact Michele Simpson (mtsimpson145@gmail.com or 706.546.1471)

    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.

  • Join the UUFA Mar. 18 MS Walk team

    This year we are walking in honor of Catherine Kleiner and Jerry Costilow. The walk takes place on March 18 at Southeast Clarke Park. If you would like to sign up or get more information please look for Heather Kleiner in the Fellowship Hall after the service. Please support MS research and contribute to our team.

    This link will take you to our UUFA team page. You can read more about Catherine Kleiner and Jerry Costilow there, and you can make a contribution and sign up to walk with us on March 18, 2017http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/2017UUFA

  • Save the Date–April 25: Interfaith Hospitality Network Training
    Training for New Volunteers and a Great Refresher for long term volunteers.
    Bring your family as kids make great hosts along with parents.
     
    We will be serving a light dinner, courtesy of Phil Hale, of BBQ sandwiches, slaw, pickles, chips, and moon pies! So call the church office at Covenant Presbyterian – 706-548-2756  to reserve your BBQ sandwich!
     
    Tuesday, April 25th at 6:30 – 7:30 pm
    Covenant Presbyterian Fellowship Hall
     
    Questions about this training? Call Susan & Randy Parish 706-850-0835.
    Questions about IHNA at UUFA?  Contact Julie Sapp (jvsapp@yahoo.com).
  • April 2: Foyer Art Exhibition Opening Reception

    The April-May ethical eating art display in the UUFA foyer features the artwork the young students of Athenian Broderick Flanigan.

    Broderick held a workshop centered around healthy eating, and the students painted a tomato (Andy Warhol-esque).  Other art from students in other workshops will be displayed.

    Please join us for an opening reception on Sunday, April 2, at 12.

    This exhibition is sponsored by UUFA FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating), a part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster.

  • Save the Date: April 22–Justice Partner Community Living Wage Cookout

  • “Protecting Immigrants’ Rights in Athens and at UGA”–Panel Discussion March 15

    “A Place for Everyone: Protecting Immigrants’ Rights in Athens and at UGA”

    Wednesday, March 15, 2017; 6:30 PM-8:00 PM.

    Room 102, Miller Learning Center, University of Georgia

    Come join a discussion with Athens residents, activists, and community organizers about issues affecting the Athens Latino immigrant community, and the contributions that students and others can make to ensure that the human rights of all Athens residents are protected.

    Panelists include:
    Betina Kaplan of the UGA Department of Romance Languages
    Melissa Kurtz of Clarke County Schools
    Beto Mendoza of the Athens Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
    Kevin Ruiz of the UGA Undocumented Student Alliance
    and Robert Foster of Oconee Street United Methodist Church

    Facebook event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1797874117205839/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1488511242004603

  • March 18: Fifth Annual Athens Black History Bowl

    2017 Theme – “Looking Back to Move Forward — Continuing the Legacy.”

    The challenging academic competition, open to youth in grades 5 to 12, is designed to stimulate an awareness of and appreciation for African-American history and culture. The Bowl also promotes academic rigor and teamwork. During the contest, teams will display black history knowledge in various categories, including economics, civil rights, education, science, and entertainment.
    The Bowl is sponsored by the all-volunteer Athens Area Black History Committee. The Economic Justice Coalition, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the event’s fiscal agent. Contributions are tax deductible.

  • March 19: Exploring Racial Justice Task Force

    You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Exploring Racial Justice (EJR) Task Force on Sunday, March 19, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

    For more information, contact Deb Brenner (dbrenner@uga.edu) or 706.338.1137).

    The ERJ Task Force is part of the UUFA Justice Cluster.

  • April 2: Social Action Committee

    You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, April 2, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the front office.

    Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, send an email to UUFA_Social_Action_Committee-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join the listserv. This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up!

    For more information, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com).

  • April 1: Fifth Annual Chess and Community Conference

  • Navigating the Wilderness of Race- A Community Event

    Covenant Presbyterian Church is hosting a three-part series on the power of race and how to move closer to what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Beloved Community. Nibs Stoupe, recently retired pastor of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga, and an award-winning author on race in America, will facilitate the first two interactive workshops on March 12th and 19th. The March 26th workshop will be led by local human rights leaders who will offer opportunities to get involved in community efforts to counter racial injustice. All workshops will run from 3-4:30 p.m at Covenant PC (1065 Gaines School RdAthens, GA 30605).

  • Happening in March

    SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE: Be the Change You Want to See in the World! You are invited to become a member of the UUFA Social Action Committee (SAC)!  How? Attend our next meeting on ​March 5 at 12:30 p.m.. in the administration office.

    Want to know what transpires between SAC meetings? Join the SAC listserv at http://lists.uuathensga.org/listinfo.cgi/social_action-uuathensga.org This listserv will let you know what transpires not only within SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action.  Everyone is encouraged to sign up!

    CAUSE OF THE MONTH: The Causes of the Month Share the Plate for March is ​Samaritan Counseling. Hear a representative from this organization during the worship services and join in the Cause of the Month Conversation (10-10:50 a.m.).

    Causes of the Month for 2017-18 To Be Considered Soon  Do you have an idea of a local organization that should be one of the 2017-18 Causes of the Month? Do you have questions about how the Causes of the Month are elected? Contact SAC (Social Action Committee) chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com or 706.338.2798) with your ideas by April 15 or with your questions any time.

    ATHENS AREA EMERGENCY FOOD BANK ​ CANtributions​: “We’re #​4 we’re #​4? For the ​first month of competition among the twenty-five area faith communities CANtributing to the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank, UUFA ​is in FOURTH PLACE with our total CANtributions of 188! Many thanks to everyone who CANtriubted! A Can a Day Keeps Hunger Away! For 2017, you are encouraged to bring a can a day to UUFA:  365 cans in all! The wicker basket as you enter the sanctuary is willing and able to receive your CANtributions of either nonperishable food items or monetary donations.  Tuna, saltines, pork and beans, and green peas are always needed. Not a fan of grocery store shopping but still want to CANtribute? Donate any amount of money (designated as Food Bank), and savvy SAC shoppers will convert your cash or check to cans.

    CAN YoUUr Birthday! How can you CAN YoUUr Birthday? Whenever you celebrate your birthday, bring enough nonperishable food items to match every year you are celebrating. For example, turning 60? Bring 60 cans!  Turning 16? Bring 16 cans. The wicker basket as you enter the sanctuary is willing and able to receive your CANtributions whether you are celebrating your birthday or not! Not a fan of grocery shopping, buy a grocery card (See John Olive) and donate it to the Social Action Committee (SAC), and SAC’s savvy shoppers will shop for you. All CANtributions will be donated to the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank.

    FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating) Save the Date:  Wednesday, ​March 8 The FREE (Food Responsibility and Enjoyable Eating) group will be serving our monthly dinner on Wednesday, ​March 8, at 6:30 pm in the UUFA Fellowship Hall. Suggested donation is $6 – $12 per adult (which does not cover wine) and $4.00 per child. The suggested donation has been increased this program year so that FREE can contribute a  local, in-season for the monthly meal UUFA provides for Our Daily Bread. For further information about FREE, contact Kate Blane (raya_mead@yahoo.com, ​or 706.248.8057).​

  • March 13: Black History Bowl Benefit Concert

    Click on image to go the the FaceBook event page!