UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville  
August 29th, 2013
Vol. 13 Issue 35
In This Issue
Sharing Sunday
Green Potlucking
Upcoming Services
Sunday in RE
From Your Minister
New UU in September
Broadmor Work Day!
Day of Service & Unity
Time to Register for RE!
Fall Adult RE is Packed!
Gather Your Books!
We Share the Plate
Care List

This Sunday, September 1st, is a Sharing Sunday!

On the first Sunday of each month, we

Share the Plate during the offering,

Share our Lunch with each other during Potluck and  

Share our Bounty by bringing Food Items for the Food Basket!  


Your Social Justice Committee asks that we bring non-perishable food and hygiene items for the food basket this Sunday, to be donated to the Huntsville Assistance Program. The basket is in the church foyer.  

Our Goal: 100 Food Items per month!


Food items are welcome at any time, but we're making a special effort to bring items on the first Sunday of each month; we will share food with the larger community as we share with our Church friends and families.


This Sunday's Potluck: Bring Your Own

In a move to a more environmentally sustainable world, our Social Justice committee has suggested that we Bring Our Own non-disposable plates, cups, etc. to our monthly Sunday Potlucks. You may also want to remember to bring a bag for transporting home your dirty items! We'll continue to provide disposables for those who need them.

(In addition to being "green," bringing your own plates also saves the church money to help fulfill other goals!)
It's Only Fair. 


Fair Trade, Organic, "Kaffeeklatsch" coffee for sale!  Bags of coffee are available at the back of the sanctuary after Sunday services.


Proceeds are used to help fund Social Justice projects--everybody wins!
Quick Links...
Join Our Mailing List
Upcoming Services

UUCH Chalice
Sunday September 1st, 2013

"Songs of Friendship"

Join Rev. Alice Syltie, the worship committee, and the choir for a special musical service celebrating the friendships we share as a liberal religious community.  You don't have to sing like an angel to make a joyful noise, enjoy the music, and to celebrate connections with your church friends.  "Come, sing a song with me," that we might enjoy one another's voices, presence, and kinship.


Also this Sunday we Share the Plate with the Community Free Clinic. For more information, please see the article below. 

This Sunday in Religious Education



All children and youth, along with teachers and adult volunteers, are invited to work and play together in cleaning up the RE area, organizing their rooms, decorating, and setting up for the new year.  Treats will be provided, but beware of the Big, Bad RE Inspector!  The first day of our Fall RE program will be September 15th.  See the welcoming article below for more details. 


Nursery care (ages 0-3) will be provided as usual. For more information, contact Becky Ellingwood, our RE Chair.

From Your Minister


UUCH Chalice "Land is always in the mind of flying birds."   

That was the message in the fortune cookie from the Thai restaurant in Rice Village today, a place here in Houston where one can find food from just about anywhere in the world.  I'm thinking this cookie should have been called a metaphor cookie, rather than a fortune cookie.  In any case, I started thinking about what that might mean to me right now.  There are certainly lots of ways I am looking for solid ground and a safe landing.  The first, of course, would be good health for David.  The next thing that came to mind was our church.  We have been looking for a place to land for several years, and now we have chosen our ground.  It might have been instantaneous, or perhaps an accumulation of ideas released instantly upon crossing the threshold of the vote.  Whatever the impetus, by Tuesday plans for the next step on our journey were being generated and talked about by leaders on several committees.  Now that we will have the space to expand and invite more people to experience Unitarian Universalism, we are eager to get started.  I, too, have been thinking about this for many years.  There's a wealth of material out there about what people are, and are not, looking for in the world of religion, spirituality, or communities of faith.  One thing I feel confident saying is that the majority of people today are not looking for more things to add to their "To Do List." "Crazy Busy" is often how people describe their life to me.  We want to be the antidote to "crazy busy."  Not the poison.   


Last February, at the seminar for UU ministers in St. Pete Beach, Florida, many of us learned how growing thriving congregations are keeping it simple, to keep it strong.  I am part of a Sharing Circle with UU ministers across the country who are inviting their congregations to explore a different theme with them each month. Several of the ministers collaborated on a list of themes for this year. Together we might explore the themes through worship, music, religious education, chalice circles (which we plan to have more of this fall), shared resources, or conversation at coffee hour.  We will start slow, and simple, and see how it goes.  


The theme for September is Kinship.  As we come together at the beginning of a new church cycle, we might think about the many ways we feel related to one another. As we expand on the idea of kinship, we might contemplate a wider circle of relationships. The first Sunday in September, you have an opportunity to explore kinship and friendship through singing and music.  On September 8th, we will contemplate our connections with  one another and the natural world with some new inspiration for our mingling of the waters ceremony.  (More about that in the next newsletter.)  On subsequent Sundays I will share my own thoughts on the theme of Kinship, and Erin Reid will remind us of how we are kin across the ages and generations. On September 29th, I will attempt to take us to the next step of creating a community of shared understanding and deeper connections.  This is a month of Sundays you won't want to miss. 


If you feel moved to share some of your inspired thoughts on the theme of kinship, please feel free to drop me a line at revaluu@gmail.com.  


 In Love and Hope, 

Rev. Alice

"New UU Class" Starts September 8th


rainbow chalice What does it mean to be a Unitarian Universalist?  Guided by the Tapestry of Faith Curriculum, we will offer a three-part series that explores important themes in UU congregational life--our worship and theology, history, covenant and polity, faith development, social justice, and membership.  This program is particularly focused on introducing newcomers to Unitarian Universalism, but those of us who have been here for awhile will also be able to share and connect with others as we explore our own beliefs and how they intersect with the UU tradition.   


Everyone is welcome! 

So mark your calendars now for the Sunday mornings of September 8th,15th, and 22nd for this chance to learn and share. Meet for coffee or tea at 9:00 a.m.; discussion starts at 9:15.  Pam Korb and Nancy Finley will facilitate the discussion.  Contact Nancy Finley (finleyn@uah.edu) for further info.  If you need childcare during this time, please contact Pam Korb (bradkorb@mindspring.com) at least a week before the event.

Time for Sweat Equity at Our New Home!


Attention All Ages! It is time to start making the new church building our very own, using our very own sweat equity. We will be gathering on Saturday September 14th to begin cleaning up the new church property.  We'll start at 9am, and will finish by 1pm.  Our main tasks will be clearing brush and cleaning out whatever is left in the building.  It will be a fun time for all!      


Bring work gloves, pruning shears, and other tools. There will be jobs for every skill level, and a light lunch will be provided. Families are encouraged to participate with their children and youth for any amount of time, so our young ones too can begin to connect with our new building.  Children will be under their families' supervision for volunteer activities.  Childcare with space for rest and play will be provided all morning as needed. For further information, please contact Property chair George Fletcher at fletcher35801@comcast.net. See you there!

Interfaith Mission Service (IMS)
Day of Service and Unity


When: Saturday, September 21, 7:30 am-12:30 pm 

Who: You!  All ages are welcome--youth and children are encouraged to attend! 

Where: Meet up at Faith Presbyterian Church, 5003 Airport Road, (at the corner of Airport Road and Whitesburg Drive).


What is the IMS Day of Service and Unity?

chalice hands

The Interfaith Mission Service is a Huntsville-based cooperative of congregations, including UUCH, which works to bridge religious, denominational, cultural, and racial differences.  


The Day of Service and Unity was developed by IMS as a positive response to the tragedies of September 11, 2001.


It is a great opportunity for our congregation to join with other churches in a day of interfaith community service.  The day begins with a yummy breakfast, then participants divide into groups to volunteer at various locations such as the Harris Home, the CASA garden, Operation Green Team, etc.


How Do You Get Involved?

If you plan to attend, please let Tonia Betts know (kevin.m.betts@saic.com  or 256-882-9891) so we have a rough headcount. Of course, last minute additions are always welcome!


Why Should You Get Out of Bed at the Crack of Dawn on a Saturday Morning to Do This?

IMS does beautiful work to make Huntsville a more open-minded and tolerant place.  Let's have a strong UUCH turn-out in support of this great organization and work!

A New Year in Children and Youth Religious Education--Families Please Register!REWelcome


giving heart Welcome back to the fall program of children and youth religious education at UUCH! Children, youth, and leaders will meet in their RE rooms beginning Sunday, September 15th. As usual, children and youth will begin the service upstairs with our full multi-generational congregation and will go downstairs to their classes after the Story for Sharing. The worship service will include a ceremony of dedication for our RE leaders. After church the RE Committee will host an RE Open House and Ice Cream Social. Our program has grown so much, we will mingle upstairs and down. All are invited. Come on out to start the new year with old friends and new!


If you haven't done so already, please register children and youth for this year's program by September 13th. Registration helps us plan for facilities, leadership, and safety needs. It also lets us be in touch with your family with special announcements and RE information. All participants in the RE program (ages infant to 18) should register each year even if you've registered before. Paper registration is available at the church, or you can register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WS8LDNP


Our RE age-based groups for this year are: Nursery (for ages infant to 3, and staffed by experienced childcare providers); Peace (ages 4/Pre-K to grade 1); Justice (grades 2-4); Searchers (grades 5-7); and Over-Achievers (grades 8-12). There are many children and youth transitioning rooms this year, which is VERY exciting! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact DRE Erin Reid.


This year's theme is "Good Churches Make Good Neighbors." The curriculum offerings give children and youth, at age-appropriate levels, the opportunity to explore diverse religions of neighboring faiths and the tools for respectful, accepting interfaith interactions. Doing interfaith exploration from a Unitarian Universalist perspective means that young people, grounded in their own faith tradition and practice, feel confident to understand other faith positions, stories, and practices and accept other people for who they are on their own terms in their own faith communities. As UUs we understand that doctrine need not separate us from others. There is something deeper that connects us with the great interconnected web of all life and all people.  While we come to understand each other's diversity, we simultaneously come to understand the unity of our hearts and capacities for doing good in the world. Curricula can be stand-alone Sunday morning experiences, and also serve to set up experiences for junior and senior high youth in visiting other places of worship and having guest speakers from other faith communities several times throughout the year. 


We are delighted to be using curricula that teaches faith diversity at all age levels. The Peace group will be using We Are Many We Are One by Colleen McDonald, which explores our own UU diversity, the diversity around us, and builds a sense of belonging. The Justice Group will be using Holidays and Holydays by Charlene Brotman and Barbara Marshman. Participants engage in the process of learning about the origins and meaning of holiday and holy day celebrations from diverse sources and places and find similarities between world religions and UU principles and sources. Both the Searchers and the Overachievers will be using the Tapestry of Faith series Building Bridges by Mary K. Isaacs. This world religions program deepens youth's understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live, builds understanding of religious diversity, finds connections with their own beliefs, and builds bridges among all of us.


We will be continuing our special way of welcoming children, youth, and families to church this year. In the back of the sanctuary by the foyer as families enter, the RE Committee will host each week an RE Welcome Area. Visitors will be greeted and given information about the program and the activities for the day. Returning children and youth will come here to pick up their name tags and also get a big, warm welcome to church. We want to encourage this ritual of a special welcome for children and youth, and we encourage families to stop at the table on your way in.


Welcome back, and welcome for the first time!  We are so pleased for your presence in the UUCH Children and Youth RE Program.

Please contact DRE Erin Reid with any questions at eereid@hotmail.com

Adult Religious Education
is Stepping Up and Moving Out!

stained glass chalice The Adult RE committee is excited about the upcoming changes this church year and has planned a very active 2013-2014 program that will include a wide variety of offerings.


Kicking things off is the Fall "New UU" class, facilitated by Nancy Finley and Pam Korb; it will run for 3 consecutive Sunday mornings--September 8th, 15th, and 22nd. Immediately following that, on September 29th, we have the ongoing Chanting Class with Deedee Moore in the morning, and a Facilitator Training Workshop in the evening with Rev. Alice Syltie and Denise Runnels.


As part of our Six Sources Series--October 6th and 13th--we will have a book discussion on "Reason and Reverence: Religious Humanism for the 21st Century" by William Murry, led by Jon Fox and Nancy Finley. (For anyone who may have difficulty getting the book, we have a few to loan. Look above the coffee bar at the back of the sanctuary for a book sign out sheet. Anyone needing the help is welcome to borrow a book; please read and return within a reasonable time so that others have the opportunity to read the book as well.)


Other planned upcoming events include:

  • Continuation of our exploration of the Six UU sources via "Bible as Literature" and "Writing as a Spiritual Practice" discussions with Laurel Bollinger and Erin Reid, respectively.  We also plan to have another book discussion in the spring.
  • Video Discussions that range from the stars in the beyond to the dirt at your feet, math, philosophy, religious diversity, ... this will be an exciting new addition to our repertoire and with demonstrated interest may turn into an ongoing regular meeting.
  • Rev. Alice will be coordinating additional Chalice Circles (Small Group Ministries).
  • Chanting will continue on a monthly basis.
  • On some Saturdays "Awareness Through Movement" sessions, to expand options for new ways of moving while increasing sensitivity and improving efficiency.
  • A "UU Parenting Class" is also being discussed for the spring.

Watch the newsletter for details about all of these opportunities for stimulation of the body, mind, and spirit or talk to any of our committee members:  Denise Runnels (chair), Nancy Finley, Mona Smith, Jon Fox, Diedre Moore, Brad Korb, Barbara Hitt, and Gary Hitt.

Donate Your Books to a Great Cause!


BooksaleArt Save your books to donate to the UUCH book sale that will be held in October!


This is one of our major fundraisers for this church year, and we need your used books! We will announce drop off days and storage locations in the near future. However, NOW is the time to start saving and boxing up your tax-deductible books, CDs, and DVDs. You still have time to read your more recently acquired books before donating them.


We'll accept all types of books (subject only to some basic ethical considerations)...fiction, non-fiction, hardback, paperback, textbooks, children's, picture, how-to, religious, political, etc. We want your best books, your boring books, your big books, your small books, fancy books, plain books, intellectual books, silly books, any and all books you can bear to part with!

At each of our prior book sales, members and friends have collectively donated over 5,000 books. We already have several hundred books in storage, but we need thousands of books to have a successful sale. So look through your shelves and stacks, and box up what you've already read. You may end up replacing them with "new" books that you'll purchase at the sale--for a steal of a deal!
We Share the Plate* with
the Community Free Clinic!STP


STP logo The Community Free Clinic has been open in Huntsville since 1999. The mission of TCFC is to provide quality free healthcare, education, and medications to thousands of people in Madison County without health care benefits. The goals and objectives of the CFC are to improve the quality of life of those with few health options through medical treatment and health education.


The clinic is a volunteer-driven organization. Local physicians donate their time to see patients who have no health insurance and who cannot otherwise afford to be seen by a doctor. A dispensary is located on site where prescriptions are filled as needed for patients' treatment.


The Clinic is located at 410 Sivley Road, 35801

For further information, call the clinic at (256) 533-2910, or go to  http://www.hsvfreeclinic.org.


*When we "Share the Plate," all cash collected on the first Sunday of each month in the quarter (July, August, and September), along with any checks noted as "Share the Plate," will be halved with the Community Free Clinic. Thanks in advance for your generosity!

votives Care List 


In our Circle of Candles on August 25th, requests for candles came from: 


Matt and Katie Smith-Jordan, "Katie's recent biopsy was benign. Still not sure what is wrong with her but we're thankful it isn't breast cancer."  


Mari Hinckley, "Joys! 1. Proud Mommy Moment: Kristabelle has successfully completed her first week of Kindergarten and loves school! 2. I've joined the choir here." 


Larry and Lydia Goodman, "Joy: Celebrated wedding anniversary #58 last Wednesday!  Sorrow: Today is son-in-law's sister's memorial service." 


No Name given, "Please light a candle for my friend, whose grandmother suddenly passed away this weekend."  


Kathy Fisher, "This Tuesday, August 27th, is Mother's birthday. She would have been 91, and is always in my heart."  


Vanessa-Miller-Mantis, "Positive thoughts and prayers are requested for George for his out-of-state job interview tomorrow. Still hoping for something local, but prayers requested for what is best."  


Ken and Lydia Hines, "Joy: Son Michael going to Burning Man in the Nevada Desert this week. We wish him a rewarding and safe experience."  


Adam Martin, "Joy: The Vancouver Film School is having another scholarship competition! Wish me luck! :)"


When you fill out a Circle of Candles form to be read during the service, please indicate on the form if you do not want your concern mentioned in this newsletter.   


If you have pastoral care needs, please contact the Reverend Alice Syltie at revaluu@aol.com. Barbara Hitt is Chair of the Care Committee, and may be reached at home, (256) 881.2531; on her cell, (256) 348.5845; or by email at bghitt1@comcast.net.

UUCH 13-14 Board Members
President: Kevin Betts     

V.P.  Denise Hunter-Gilbert 

Secretary: Bobby Hall           

Treasurer: Jerome Belcher   

Trustees: Nancy Finley, Kathy Heath, & Laurel Bollinger  

Do you have an Agenda Item for the Board?  
The Board respectfully requests that all agenda items for the meeting be submitted to Board President Kevin Betts, no later than one week prior to the meeting, i.e. the Tuesday before.You may leave a copy of your request in his Mailbox at the church office, or contact him at

Next UUCH Board Meeting will be on September 24th, 2013 at 7pm. Thanks for your cooperation!

From the Overlook is a publication of

The Unitarian Universalist Church,

2222 Governor's Dr. Huntsville, AL 35801

Minister: The Reverend Alice Syltie

Board Pres: Kevin Betts 

Editorial Board: Laurel Bollinger, Kathy Heath 


Newsletter deadlines are each Monday at midnight!
Please send submissions to news collator Deedee Moore at


Admin. Office Hours:  

Monday 10am- 1pm; Thursday 9:30am-12pm ; Friday



Office phone: 256.534-0508, email: uuch@uuch.org 

Minister's Phone: 256.539-9607, email: revaluu@aol.com

Web: www.uuch.org 


Sunday Services are held 10:45am to 12 noon;  

Children's Religious Education held concurrently.   

Nursery available for age 3 years and under.

For further info on any event, call the church office:
256. 534-0508.