UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
March 5th, 2015
Vol. 15 Issue 10
In This Issue
Spring Forward!
Whether we like it or not, Daylight Savings Time starts early this Sunday, so set your clocks AHEAD 1 hour before you go to sleep Saturday night! 
Food Basket Works Because of You
On Sunday March 22, the children and youth in RE will prepare meal packs for the homeless. We are taking 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!
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.

For information, contact Denise Runnels If you need childcare for this event, please contact Denise at least a week before the event.
Kid Tested,
Bunny Approved
Eggs & Bunnies

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.

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.

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UUCH Chalice
Sunday, March 8th, 2015

"Building Resilient Communities"

Nick Wilbourn and Angel Hundley


Our theme for the month of March is resilience, an idea that many of us associate with individual strength and triumph over personal struggle. But when did we decide that resilience is a solo project? As Americans, we are taught to stand strong when faced with personal difficulties, yet as UUs, we recognize the importance of leaning on one another in our own times of need. This Sunday we will reflect on how building supportive, intentional communities can help us become resilient, whole individuals.  

  This Sunday in RE

Peace Room
Chalice Children: "Weddings & Union Services"

Justice Room
Signs of Our UU Faith: "Group Decisions"

Searchers Room
Toolbox of Faith: "Justice: Flashlight"

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 Are Here, and Reaching Out!
2015 UUCH Annual Budget Drive


The 2015 UUCH Annual Budget Drive (ABD) will kick off this Sunday, March 8th. Numerous cottage meetings will be held on the following two weekends. The ABD slogan "We Are Here, and Reaching Out" recognizes our shared accomplishment of moving our church to Broadmor Road 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 members 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 available 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. If you will not be at church to sign up for a cottage meeting, please contact Pam Korb at bradkorb@mindsping.com to reserve your spot for a lunch or dinner meeting.

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

--Jon Fox, 2015 ABD Chair

What UUCH Means To Me

by Laurel Bollinger,  

as presented during the worship service March 1st, 2015


Good morning!


As we move into our Annual Budget Drive this year, I've been asked reflect on our decision regarding my family's pledge, a question that really means evaluating the importance of this congregation to our lives and the life of my family.


For me, I evaluate the importance of this congregation in two main ways: how do we reach inward, to support one another, and how do we reach out into the world, to do the work of social justice that we're committed to as a group and as a faith tradition?


How do we support one another? For me, the moment that highlights the critical importance of that work happened almost four years ago, when I brought my mother from Denver to enter hospice in our house, because the melanoma she had fought for some 18 months had metastasized to her brain. Not only are David and I thousands of miles from other family members, we're both only children and had two school-aged kids of our own, and the needs of a brain cancer patient are pretty intense. I assumed we could do it on our own--because, well, what choice did we have? But thanks to Betsy and Alice, who made the initial arrangements, and then Laurie Keller of the Care Committee who coordinated everything, and then the dozens of members of this congregation--we had help. For two months, people brought us meals, three or more times a week--which basically meant we never had to cook, because most of those meals would feed us more than once. I've been known to joke that one reason to be a member of a church community is for the casseroles--but that's actually one of the really wonderful ways we support one another through the tough times. Forming an intentional community such as this congregation takes effort from us all, but the support we can give one another is wonderful.


How do we reach out into the world? Well, our social justice actions take many forms, and one I think we don't always recognize is simply the fact of being here--of letting the greater Huntsville community know that there's a place where being a person of faith doesn't take a narrow form, but is broad enough to encompass almost any form of faith we might choose to follow: faith in the mysteries science can unveil, faith in a sense of the spiritual that fills us, faith in the world we inhabit, faith in one another as full human beings. To do that work, we have begun to commit ourselves to being a teaching congregation, where we would have ministers in training intern with us to learn how they might function as a minister--particularly important, because so often only large congregations can be teaching congregations, but most ministers will work in churches more our size or even smaller. Not only does that work help us as a congregation--I'm sure many of you have seen what a wonderful presence Denise Gyauch has been this past almost 18 months!--but we help spread the UU message far beyond these walls. Hosting an intern minister may feel like it's about the internal life of our congregation rather than social justice per se, but it really does reach out into the world. In our new facilities here, we've been able to do so much more, and so much more can be planned--I may not always have time to be involved, for instance, at the Christmas Party we helped host for the Alabama Hispanic Association, or to weave "plarn" to make blankets for the homeless, or to be in Big Spring Park to celebrate marriage equality, but because I support this congregation, those social justice activities are my actions by proxy.


So that brings me to the decision about how to support this congregation through pledging. Each of us has to make a decision based on our own financial situation, but we all share in the work to make this intentional community possible for each of us. Those of us with the means to do so can give a little more to help us invest in the future of our congregation, while young people and young families may not be in a position to be as generous as they may wish to be, or may be able to be later. In turn, we pick up the torch from those who can no longer give as they once did. We invest in one another--not in a building, not in a budget. But we have to have the building and the budget to sustain this community, to be that light shining out what we believe to be of ultimate importance. I hope each of us can think carefully and fully about what this community means to us in deciding at what level we can afford to give. Thank you.

Exploring SoulCollage® with Adult RE


Join us for a unique Adult RE experience in this workshop to begin (or continue) creating a beautiful image-based deck of individualized 5" x 8" cards. It's as easy as cutting and pasting! Choose from hundreds of prepared images, just cut and combine in unique ways. Move from your linear language-based left brain into your creative image-based right brain, even if you have never done art or would not describe yourself as creative. Explore your inner world and the connections to the larger spiritual-archetypal energies that shape your life.

This month we will be looking a little deeper into the process that is SoulCollage® as described by Seena B. Frost's published works.  Denise Runnels and Sally Locklear will co-facilitate the workshop and we will meet in the UUCH fellowship hall Thursday evening, March 12th, at 6:00pm and create until 8:30pm. Let Denise (drrunnel@gmail.com) know at least a week beforehand if you need childcare for this event. Also, if you have good scissors, bring them; we will have some on hand, but they are not the best.
Social Justice News


justice scales

Food Basket!
In February, we collected 170 items for the HAP food pantry plus items for homeless meal packs. Awesome job!

Specialty Eggs!
Please check out the fair trade Dark Chocolate Easter Eggs for sale on the coffee table. They were really popular last year and are endorsed by the Easter Bunny.

Becky, Catherine, Jefflyn, Virginia, and Patsy, busily turning bags into Plarn
Plarn Rules!
Thank you to the great group of plastic yarn or "plarn"-makers and crocheters who turned out last Sunday after potluck to work on sleeping mats for the homeless. We managed to make a dent in the piles of bags we've collected. It was fun!
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. 
Board Notes for February 2015 


Your Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 24th. After welcoming our new Trustee-At-Large, Millicent Simmons, we discussed:
  • Plans for the upcoming Annual Budget Drive (ABD)
  • Scheduling a workshop for Board visioning
  • Preparations for the Annual Congregational Meeting in May
  • Plans for co-hosting the Ordination of our Intern Minister, Denise Gyauch
Care List  


At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, March 1st, candles were lit for:


Rose Deverzley, a Candle of Joy: "Fifteen years ago this month, my son concluded treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. He has remained cancer free. I will always be thankful for all the UUCH members who helped support me emotionally through his illness. David celebrates his 45th birthday on the 18th of this month!"
Nick Wilbourn, a Candle of Joy: "It is a wonderful coincidence that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was overturned mere weeks before I planned to propose to my boyfriend of five years, Ryan. I asked, he said yes, and I couldn't be happier!"
Ilene Sparks, a Candle of Joy: "My Kittie Kat is almost her 'ole self', following a week at home. She is loving me, following me, and eating well. I will be taking her to another vet for a second opinion if she begins to fade."


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.