UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
February 26th, 2015
Vol. 15 Issue 09
In This Issue
This Sunday, March 1st, is a Sharing Sunday!
STP logo
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 filling the Food Basket!
Please don't forget to bring non-perishable food and hygiene items for the food basket, to be donated to the Huntsville Assistance Program.
All donations are welcome and appreciated!


In addition your Social Justice Committee and Religious Education Department are also collecting supplies to create meal/hygiene packs for our Homeless Outreach program. See the article below.
This Sunday's Potluck: Bring Your Own Plate
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. 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. You may also want to remember to bring a bag for transporting home your dirty items!
for Good
The church is sponsoring its annual yard sale on Saturday, April 25th! Start emptying your drawers, garages, attics, and closets! Please make sure that clothes smell fresh as daisies and that donated items are not torn or broken. On the other hand, keep in mind that one person's junk is another's treasure! Contact Bonnie Herold bherold51@gmail.com with questions.
Adult RE Presents: Awareness Through Movement 
Everyone is welcome!
Come learn how to use the core of your body to improve movement, balance, and chronic pain. Class is drop-in, no experience necessary, and is led by Sally Locklear.
 Wear comfortable, loose clothing, and bring a bath or beach towel to use as head support for comfort in side-lying.

These classes are being held in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m., continuing until further notice.
Please note: There will be no ATM class on Saturday, February 28th--Sally is going out of town for training that weekend.

For information, contact Denise Runnels If you need childcare for this event, please contact Denise at least a week before the event.

Chocolate Re-StockedEqual Exchange Logo

Just in time for Spring, Social Justice has re-stocked their stores with a fresh variety of Equal Exchange chocolates--including Easter candy! 

Look for it after church on Sundays, on the coffee table in the Fellowship Hall.

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UUCH Chalice
Sunday, March 1st, 2015

"Wedding Week: A Community Comes Together"

Denise Gyauch, Intern Minister, and many others  


On Monday, February 9th, couples long denied the right to legal marriage in the state of Alabama lined up at the Huntsville courthouse to apply for marriage licenses. Many of us stood waiting expectantly to see if their hopes would become a reality. The first couple, two women, emerged to cheers, applause and tears of joy.


Although I am unable to be present this Sunday, I want you to hear the stories of our members who gathered that day, and subsequent days, to Stand on the Side of Love. Come and celebrate a grassroots initiative that brought a community of LGBTQ people and allies together to celebrate a milestone in a long and continuing journey. -- Rev. Alice   


This Sunday we Share the Plate with New Futures, Inc. For more information, please see the article below.

  This Sunday in RE

Peace Room
Chalice Children: "Feeling Sad"

Justice Room
Signs of Our UU Faith: "Finding Beauty in Uniqueness"

Searchers Room
Toolbox of Faith: "Love: Gloves"

Over-Achievers Room
A Place of Wholeness: "Tolerance"


  For more information, contact Erin Reid, our Director of Religious Education (DRE) (256.694.6786 or eereid@hotmail.com).   
  We Work Together for Social Justice


Meal-Pack Supplies Collection--Now! 

On Sunday, March 22nd, the children and youth in RE will prepare meal packs for the homeless. In advance of this date, we are requesting donations of canned fruit, cracker packs, pudding cups, juice boxes, canned meat (pull-tops, e.g. Vienna sausage), granola bars, and travel-sized hygiene products. Items can be placed in the foyer or the south wing entrance hallway collection baskets. Thank you so much!mealpacks

  justice scales

This Sunday, March 1st After Potluck

Bags to Blankets! 

 We need your helping hands!

UU's are joining a city-wide effort that involves recycling plastic bags into sleeping mats for the Homeless. 

There is a job for everyone--flattening, cutting, looping, crocheting. Please bring plastic shopping bags if you have them. If you have questions or if you would like childcare, please call Tonia at (256) 882-9891.

A Letter about Stewardship
from our Board President


Dear Members and Friends,

On November 9th, 2014 we ceremonially crossed the threshold of our new church. We Are Here, and we are happy! There is so much to enjoy about our new church and so much more we can do because of your demonstrated commitment to church stewardship. Take a moment to consider the WHY. Are we dedicated, committed stewards because we need to cover increased operating costs, support two properties, wait on Phase 2 renovations, and grow our infrastructure to support bigger programs and begin wider outreach? Or are we strong stewards because of WHY we gather together--our dream of a continued welcoming liberal religious tradition in Huntsville and of being a church community that works to create a better world? I ask you this: know your own WHY and, regardless of income and circumstance, consider it a privilege to give generously to our work for the greater good.  


Our 2015 Annual Budget Drive is focused squarely on our church mission: "We Are Here, and we welcome diversity" by reaching out. Due to our tradition of strong stewardship, our church is dynamic and, in many ways for a church of our size, exemplary. We are growing and envisioning more ways to be of service to our church and to our wider communities. This year, we return to holding cottage meetings to discuss our pledge decisions for the upcoming church year. Cottage meetings are fun get-togethers with current and new friends-to-be, in groups of 10 or so, for a meal and a presentation by volunteer hosts. These presentations go into the details of our target pledge amount and what we hope to accomplish in the upcoming church year when we reach our financial goals. Come be a part of the discussion! And to our new folks: we understand financial diversity too. Just as some of us have more or less time to commit, some pledge more, others less-but together, we have pledged enough to do great things in the past and to hope for the future. All are welcome!


--Denise Hunter-Gilbert 
Are You Ready to Become a Member?


rainbow chalice If you've been attending UUCH long enough to know that this church community feels like your spiritual home, you may be ready to take the next step and become a member. We will recognize new members during a Sunday service next month as they "sign the book" and officially join our church.

If you are ready to become a member or would like to find out more about the process, please contact Pam Korb (membership chair) at bradkorb@mindspring.com.

Rights and Responsibilities of Membership
Because we are a democratic community, members are collectively vested with responsibility for the congregation. Members may vote at all congregational meetings, be elected to the governing Board, be appointed as committee chairs, and participate in all activities of the congregation. 


Because we are a covenanted congregation, members have certain responsibilities to the congregation and to each other. These responsibilities are best fulfilled by: 

  • Regular attendance at worship. Weekly worship cements the bonds of community, and keeps our attention directed to our highest values, while nurturing our spirits.
  • Voting at congregational meetings. Responsible participation includes imagining the needs of the entire congregation, rather than focusing only on one's own needs or desires. Consider how issues affect all members of the congregation, as well as potential members and others in the world outside the congregation.
  • Making financial contributions. Not only does this provide for the support of the congregation, but it also serves as a spiritual discipline.
  • Contributing time and talent. Congregations succeed because their members find ways to give of themselves, whether through singing, financial management, educating children, sharing their passion for social justice, organizing, cooking, greeting, maintaining the building and grounds--the list of tasks goes on and on. Finding ways to give back that nurture your own soul helps support your personal growth along with the growth of our congregation.
  • Spiritual growth and development. Working deliberately at your own spiritual development is a gift to yourself, to the congregation and to the larger world. 
We Are Here, Reaching Out!
2015 UUCH Annual Budget Drive


The 2015 UUCH Annual Budget Drive (ABD) will kick off on Sunday, March 8th. Numerous cottage meetings will be held on the following two weekends. The ABD slogan "We Are Here, Reaching Out" recognizes our shared accomplishment of moving our church and making it home. It also reflects our mission statement to  "let people know 'We are here' and that we welcome diversity."
Here's what you'll need to know to be ready for this important part of the church calendar:

What is the Annual Budget Drive (ABD) and who participates?
The ABD is held to obtain pledge commitments for the upcoming church year. All member and friends will be asked to make an annual pledge commitment that will take effect on July 1st at the beginning of the new church year. The ABD commitments fund our operations and allow us to plan our 2015-16 church budget.

Why is the ABD held in March if the new church year starts in July?
Pledge commitment forms are needed in March each year to enable us to plan our new budget and have it approved by the congregation at our annual meeting in May, well in advance of July 1st.

How will the 2015 ABD be conducted?
We will offer a number of Cottage Meetings in member homes where our church and stewardship-related matters will be discussed in small groups. You will receive your pledge commitment form at the meeting and be asked to complete and return it (confidentially) that day.

What is a Cottage Meeting?
Cottage meetings are hosted by church members in their homes where you will enjoy food and fellowship in a small group social setting. Several cottage meetings will be designated as "child-friendly" so your children will be welcome to come too.

How can I sign myself (and my family) up for a cottage meeting?
Check your calendar for your availability to attend a lunch or dinner meeting on March 13-15th or March 20-22nd. Cottage meeting signup sheets are being distributed at church as an insert in our Sunday orders of service. Please complete and return them soon, as these will assist the ABD team in getting everyone an invitation in the coming weeks.

Look for more information about the 2015 ABD in upcoming newsletters, Sunday bulletins, and announcements!

--Jon Fox, 2015 ABD Chair
We Share the Plate with New Futures, Inc.


STP logo New Futures, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, founded in 1990, addressing the need in Huntsville and Madison County for an organization that serves homeless, intact families. New Futures Inc. operates the Marilyn Mabry Family Lodge, a homeless shelter that allows families to remain together in a safe, family-friendly environment. They are the only homeless transitional housing program in Madison County that accepts families with children up to 18 of both genders, single fathers with minor children, and single mothers with sons over age 10. By keeping families together, the Lodge will enhance the positive outcomes for all family members, and ultimately for the community of Madison County. stpnf

New Futures' shelter is dormitory style, with private rooms and shared bathrooms and common areas. Through its transitional housing program, New Futures acts as a catalyst for homeless families to obtain skills, education, and successes to empower themselves and overcome extreme poverty to achieve independence. Services include a Shelter Program--90 day program, job prep, job search assistance, case management; and a Transitional Housing Program--including Education Services (including GED, Certificate & assistance), Job Placement, Job Coach/Resume Building Classes, Transportation, Counseling, and Daycare assistance. For more information, see their website: newfuturesriseabove.org


*When we "Share the Plate," all cash collected on the first Sunday of each month in the quarter (January, February, and March), along with any checks noted as "Share the Plate," will be halved with New Futures, Inc.

Care List  


At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, February 22nd, candles were lit for:


Howard Williams, a Candle of Sorrow: "A good friend passed away Friday night, Jack Robbins of Robbins Music Store. He will be missed."

Scott and Jessica Zelaya, a Candle of Joy: "We are very happy to be back at church with our son, Rowan, who is here for the first time meeting everyone. We are also blessed to have Scott's mom Martha with us enjoying her first visit with her new grandson. Thanks so much to everyone for your love and support and for all the food you sent us since we've been back from the hospital."

Barbara Hitt for the Care Committee:
"A candle of sorrow in memory of former member Richard Kramer who passed away last week. (Richard's family asks that any memorial donations be sent to 'A New Leash on Life' at Market Place, 707 Andrew Jackson Way, Huntsville, AL 35801)."
"A candle of concern for Richard's wife, Norma Harwood, who is leaving today for Johns Hopkins where she will undergo treatment for a third recurrence of cancer."
"A candle of concern for Anne Rutledge who has been feeling under the weather this week."
"A candle of joy for Mona Smith who hopes to be going home this week after spending four months in rehab at Redstone Village."
"A candle of joy to have Kathy Fisher back with us!"

Ilene Sparks: "First a candle of joy that my friend and neighbor, John Cook, is home after two weeks hospitalization for treatment and surgery for an aneurysm.
"A second candle of joy for the dinner and birthday celebration for the one-year-old son of my Nepalese neighbor, Kagial and Depak Uperty.
"A candle of sorrow for the death of my dear friend Richard Kramer and thoughts for Norma who is returning to John's Hopkins for lung cancer treatment.
"A candle of sorrow for my beloved and loving kitty cat who nurtured me through with the withdrawal of addiction to a prescribed drug. Kitty is in the animal hospital for treatment for kidney failure. I will bring her home Tuesday to nurture and care for her for the rest of her days."

Kathy Fisher, a Candle of Joy: "Thank you all so much for your loving support after my surgery! Thank you, Catherine Hall, for playing for me for services and choir rehearsals!! I appreciate your help deeply! Also, my fifth grandchild was born January 5th, and I got to hold him a couple of weeks later."
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 14-15 Board Members


President:  Denise Hunter-Gilbert

Vice-President: Angel Hundley 

Secretary: Bobby Hall           

Treasurer: Jerome Belcher   

Trustees: Millicent Simmons, John Fox, & 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 Denise Hunter-Gilbert, no later than one week prior to the meeting, i.e. the Tuesday before. You may leave a copy of your request in her Mailbox at the church office, or contact her at UUCHBoardPresident@uuch.org.

Next UUCH Board Meeting will be on
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Thanks for your cooperation!

From the Overlook is a publication of

The Unitarian Universalist Church,

3921 Broadmor Rd. Huntsville, AL 35810

Minister: The Reverend Alice Syltie

Board President: Denise Hunter-Gilbert 

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: 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Mon-Tue-Thu-Fri.

For Wednesday access, please call in advance. 

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

Minister's email: revaluu@aol.com.

Web: www.uuch.org 


Sunday Services are held 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 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.