UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville  
November 28th, 2013
Vol. 13 Issue 48
In This Issue
Sharing Sunday
Fair Trade Chocolate!
Upcoming Services
Sunday in RE
Green Potluck
Stocking Stuffers Needed
More Pageant Participants
OWL Parent Meeting
Christian Sources
Winter Candlelight Service
We Share the Plate
Broadmor Briefing
Care List

This Sunday, December 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 items for the food basket this Sunday, to be donated to the Huntsville Assistance Program. The basket is in the sanctuary, near the coffee counter at the back. 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.


Fair Trade Chocolate is back!
Equal Exchange Logo
This Sunday, Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate will again be for sale in the back of the sanctuary.

In addition to the yummy chocolate bars, we will be selling hot cocoa, baking cocoa, and chocolate chips for the upcoming holiday baking season and cool weather.  Proceeds are used for social justice projects, and our congregation's purchase of Equal Exchange products supports UUSC.



we also have
Fair Trade, Organic, "Kaffeeklatsch" coffee for sale!  
With Fair Trade products, everyone wins!
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Upcoming Services

UUCH Chalice
Sunday December 1st, 2013

"A Theology of Gratitude"  
The Reverend Alice Syltie    


The first day of Hanukkah this year falls on Thanksgiving Day.  Some have named this extremely rare occurrence "Thanksgivukkah." It will be at least 70,000 years before it happens again.  The two holidays are not at odds with each other. The Talmud describes Hanukkah as a "holiday of thanksgiving."  Jewish people in America will have reason to be doubly thankful this year.  Most religions address gratitude as part of their theology.  What about us?  Does your Unitarian Universalist theology include gratitude?  This Sunday we will consider a Unitarian Universalist theology of gratitude and why being grateful is good for us. 


Also this Sunday we Share the Plate with First Stop Inc. Please see the article below

This Sunday in Religious Education


Game Day! Bring your favorite board games to play with your friends in RE! 


Nursery care (ages 0-3) will be provided as usual.

For more information, contact Erin Reid, our Director of Religious Education (256.694.6786 or eeried@hotmail.com).  

Green Potluck this Sunday

recyclelogo 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!) 

Stocking Stuffers Needed This Sunday
On December 3rd, the Alabama Kidney Foundation volunteers will stuff Holiday stockings for over 1,000 dialysis patients who live in N. Alabama. For some this is their only holiday present.  

Please consider bringing in one or more of the following items this Sunday, December 1st.    

  • Travel size dental supplies--toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss.
  • Travel size toiletries--shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.
  • Candy canes, peppermints, and Tootsie rolls.  
  • Pens, post-it notes, magnets, stress balls, etc.   

There will be a collection box in the foyer. Social Justice co-chair Gail Williams will make sure our donations get to the assembly site. All donations will be appreciated!


It you would like to help stuff stockings, come to the Main Library (915 Monroe Street, Downtown) on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd from 3:30-5:30pm.  You may also take your donations directly to the library that afternoon.
  Christmas Pageant--Parts Still Available!


We had a successful casting session last Sunday. Children and youth who were not able to be present for pageant casting are still welcome to join in the fun!  Parents/guardians may email DRE Erin Reid and indicate what part your child/youth would like to play.  Parts available are: shepherds, lambs, camels, angels--and any animal!


The Annual Christmas Pageant will be performed during the Worship Service on Sunday, December 15th, 2013. Children who participate in the pageant should:

  • be at least 4 years old (we have parts for adults too!)
  • be able to attend a short rehearsal during RE on Sunday, December 8th
  • be able to arrive at church early (10:00 a.m.) on the day of the pageant (Dec. 15th) for a quick run-through
  • be able to supply simple costume items (e.g., bath robes, etc.--no sewing or elaborate costuming required). NOTE: We have some cloth robes, both colorful and white, that were recently added to our costume collection, which might be useful for angels, magi, or shepherds!

For further information, contact Erin Reid at (256) 694-6786 or eereid@hotmail.com. THERE ARE PARTS FOR EVERYONE!

Save the Date: Parent Meeting for OWL Participants (Ages 11-12) on Dec. 8th


The Children and Youth Religious Education Program will host Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education programs for youth ages 11-12 in January 2014.  The facilitators will offer a parent meeting December 8th, 12:30-2:30 PM, at the church to give parents/guardians vital information related to the program.  Parents/guardians who are interested in enrolling their youth in OWL must attend this meeting.  Childcare will be provided downstairs.  This meeting is for parents and guardians only.

OWL offers a beautiful curriculum in keeping with UU values for building holistic identity and sexuality awareness in young people.  OWL fosters authenticity, safety, age-appropriate understanding, self-worth, and, in general, provides the tools a young person needs to make healthy choices. The class will be led by a committed team of trained facilitators.

OWL class size and the number of families we can accommodate at the orientation are limited.  Please RSVP to DRE Erin Reid at eereid@hotmail.com by December 6th.

Read more about OWL at http://www.uua.org/re/owl/

Adult RE "Sources" Series:
Christian Teachings


The Adult RE "Sources Series" to examine our Six UU Sources continues in December with our source that draws from Christian teachings. Our previous sources workshops have been very interesting with lively discussion, and you are encouraged to join us even if you have missed these earlier workshops. We will base this discussion on Zealot, by Reza Aslan, a book exploring the historical Jesus through both biblical and extra-biblical sources. Aslan presents the historical Jesus as a political radical executed for sedition, whose apocalyptic vision centered on social justice and equality. The book has received both high praise and high criticism, depending upon the reviewer--let's see what it has to say to Unitarian Universalists!


You can find both print and eBook versions of the book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, or if you are unable to get a copy for yourself we will have a few on the coffee bar at the back of the sanctuary that can be checked out. Of course, we should have ample talking points even if you can't get the book read before the discussion.  Dr. Laurel Bollinger and Denise Runnels will facilitate this discussion.  Dr. Bollinger has taught courses at the graduate level in the Bible as Literature, and looks forward to this conversation! We will meet Sundays December 8th and 15th at 6pm. Please contact Nancy Finley at least one week before the discussion if you need childcare.


Winter Candlelight Service

Friday Dec. 20, 2013

Music for centering at 6:45 pm

Service begins at 7:00 pm


Take refuge from the commercialism of the season and enter a space of peace and wonder. Let the music of the harp, a chorus of voices, and the wisdom of the ages nurture your spirit as we approach the Winter Solstice.

  UUSC'S Guest At Your Table Program


UUCH has kicked off our participation in the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's (UUSC) Guest at Your Table program. The Guest at Your Table program is an annual tradition in which congregation members learn about several people with whom UUSC is working. This year, the UUSC is featuring people who have empowered others to realize their human rights. These people are your "guests" and we ask you to share your blessings with them to support our shared mission. By welcoming a "guest at your table," you are helping nurture a spirit of gratitude and the UU values of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Guest at Your Table fosters understanding and awareness of UUSC's human rights work and our shared belief in social justice.


You can learn about human rights leaders empowering others through the Stories of Hope booklet that was distributed this past Sunday. If you missed getting a copy of this on Sunday, additional copies are available at church. Consider reading or discussing a story when enjoying meals with family and friends. These stories will connect you to real people who are involved in the daily struggle for human rights. Telling the stories of their hopes, dreams, and achievements is a meaningful way to bring these special guests into your home.


Make a regular practice of giving contributions to your "guests," perhaps at mealtimes or other household gatherings. At the end of December, you can 1) return your donations to UUCH, 2) mail your donations to UUSC using the envelopes provided at church, or 3) donate online at  https://guest.uusc.org/uuch . If your final gift totals $100 or more, it will be eligible to be matched dollar for dollar through a grant from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y., doubling the impact of your efforts!


The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is guided by the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of Unitarian Univer­salism, which uphold the inherent worth and dignity of all people. UUSC strengthens workers' rights; pro­tects the right to safe, affordable water; defends civil liberties and democratic processes; and preserves the rights of people overlooked in times of disaster and armed conflict. UUSC is an independent human rights organization and receives no financial support from the UUA or the federal government.

  We Share the Plate* with First Stop Inc.


STP logo As many as 25,000 people in Alabama may be homeless. As many as 3.5 million people in the U.S. may be using homeless shelters. These are estimates but the numbers are still staggering. In Madison County, we are privileged to have the assistance of First Stop.  


FIrstStopFirst Stop is a daytime program that evolved to help people--who are living on the streets and under the interstate bridges--move into housing and return to self-sufficiency. They serve residents of Madison County. To qualify you must be a homeless adult, age 18 & older, no restrictions.


At the First Stop Day Center (206 Stokes Street, 35805) they serve breakfast, provide photo ID cards, distribute meal packs, hygiene kits, blankets, and warm clothing as needed; they provide showers, laundry, and storage of personal items. They also perform crisis response, assess needs, create individual plans, help with referrals, and assist with finding housing. 


The First Stop program was begun by the Interfaith Mission Service, but is now an independent agency. Like most social service agencies in Huntsville, it is struggling for funds. Thanks in advance for your generosity!


*When we "Share the Plate," all cash collected on the first Sunday of each month in the quarter (October, November, and December), along with any checks noted as "Share the Plate," will be halved with First Stop.

ModChalice Broadmor Briefing


The Renovation Committee met with one of the prospective roofing companies and discussed the latest plans for the roofing replacement. This company provided us with a quote last summer for replacing the roof over all areas except the sanctuary. During our meeting last week, we discussed the replacement in more detail and the preliminary plans for installing the sanctuary HVAC units on the roof over the office and kitchen areas. The roofing company will provided an updated quote based on the changes discussed during our meeting.


The Renovation Committee also met last week with the
Aesthetics Team and our architect, Greg Kamback, to discuss the status of the sanctuary bathroom renovation, the RE Wing window replacement, and the three consulting tasks that Mr. Kamback will be performing for us. The three consulting tasks are to make recommendations on 1) a facility-wide color palette, 2) flooring types/colors in various areas of the facility, and 3) improvements to the foyer to make it more welcoming. Mr. Kamback provided the latest plans for the sanctuary bathrooms which will be handicapped accessible and contain the same number of fixtures as the current layout.  For the RE Wing windows, Mr. Kamback discussed two different options that will enable an emergency exit through one window section per room and also provide much greater energy efficiency than the current windows.


--Brad Korb, Renovation Committee Chair

Care List  


On Sunday, November 24th, our Circle of Candles included:


A Candle of Joy for Katie Smith: "Matt's birthday is tomorrow!  Also we are hoping to get good test results this week."


A Candle of Joy for Nancy Finley and Becky Ellingwood: "Our daughter Abby will have her 16th birthday this week!"


A Candle of Joy for Gary and Barbara Hitt: "We celebrate our anniversary tomorrow--46 years of marital bliss!"


A Candle of Joy for Bob and Jefflyn Weed: "In May we will be grandparents for the second time. The new baby might have the same birthday as Jefflyn--one less birthday for Bob to forget!"


A Candle of Joy for Nathan Kline: "A highlight of my week is time spent with your lovely congregation. For you, I am truly grateful."  And UUCH is grateful to have you worship with us, Nathan.


A Candle of Joy for Theresa Miller: "Forty years ago this Wednesday, I gave birth to a sweet little red haired girl. We got to have a little celebration with Stacy yesterday in Birmingham."


A Candle of Joy for Bette Keane: "My grandson Avery turned six yesterday!"


A Candle of Joy for Larry Goodman: "We are celebrating Lydia's birthday which is tomorrow."


A Candle of Joy and Sorrow for Jason Minter: "I had a car accident on Tuesday, but got a new car." UUCH hopes you didn't suffer any injuries, Jason.


A Candle of Sorrow for Cheri Smith: "My granddaughter Isis broke her ankle this week. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers."


A Candle of Concern from Barbara Hitt: "Please light a candle of concern for Norma Harwood who is facing a very serious medical condition."


A Candle of Sorrow for Kathy Fisher: "A nephew of a friend and stepson of a classmate was murdered last week. Another classmate died the same day after six months with cancer. My dear friend was diagnosed with two terminal illnesses the very same day."


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

There will be no Board meeting in December. Next UUCH Board Meeting will be on Tuesday, January 28th, 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.