UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
May 7th, 2015
Vol. 15 Issue 19
In This Issue
Filling the Basket


Thanks to your generous donations in April, we were able to take 165 items from our food basket to the Huntsville Assistance program this month. 

Please continue to bring non-perishable food and hygiene items for the food basket. All donations are welcome and appreciated!


HAP is an interfaith network of Madison County congregations providing volunteers, information, and financial resources to help those in need. HAP focuses on those who need temporary assistance. HAP provides not only food boxes but also assistance with rent/ mortgage and utility bills.

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 now being held in the Adult RE/Library Room, 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.

Wednesday Night Childcare!

Childcare is now being offered at our Wednesday evening church programs: choir, chalice circle, and Adult RE programs.  

If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Religious Education, Erin Reid, at eereid@hotmail.com or 256-694-6786.

Good for Everyone!

Equal Exchange Logo  

Your Social Justice Committee is selling Fair Trade chocolate from Equal Exchange. There are a variety of yummy flavors, and ingredients include a clear conscience!


Remember, Fair Trade products help ensure that:

1) Unjust labor practices, such as child slavery, are not used.

2) Farmers and workers are paid fair wages and have a voice in the organization to which they sell their products.

3) Environmental sustainability is held as an important goal.

Plus, proceeds are used to help fund Social Justice projects!

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Upcoming Services
UUCH Chalice
Sunday, May 10th, 2015

"REPRESENT! Articulating Our UU Faith: An All-Ages Celebration of Religious Education"

With Erin Reid, Director of Religious Education, 

the Reverend Alice Syltie, and the Children and Youth RE Program


Join in a lively, multi-generational worship service that celebrates our year in Children and Youth Religious Education, exploring who we are, what we affirm, and how we live as Unitarian Universalists. Children and youth will help lead our liturgy, sharing what they have learned and accomplished this year, and we will recognize our dedicated RE teachers and volunteers for their care and commitment. All ages are welcome! The choir will also lead a special congregational song that celebrates our goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

This Sunday in RE
Children will be in the sanctuary, participating in this Sunday's Worship Service. No RE classes will be held, but Nursery care (ages 0-3) will be provided as usual.  For more information, contact Erin Reid, our Director of Religious Education (DRE) (256.694.6786 or eereid@hotmail.com).   
From Your Minister


As I mentioned Sunday, our theme for May is Tradition.


The question we ask ourselves is, "What does it mean to be a people of tradition?" Unitarian Universalists have a long history of arguing with tradition. It has often been seen as a threat. We know what it means to have rules and rituals that tightly bind us and limit what we can think or who we can love. For a long time the message of Unitarian Universalism was "Don't be afraid to throw tradition out!" UU preachers and theologians have talked about it as "chains," tethers," even "a jailer." More recently, however, we began to see that we were "throwing the baby out with the bathwater." We realized that the question was more complex and that tradition can be a gift, not just a threat. We are more inclined to agree with W. Somerset Maugham, who wrote, "Tradition is a guide and not a jailer."


Tradition can be a connection to the wisdom and wonder of the past. We are even coming to realize that tradition can be a source of freedom. Voices of the present oppress and mislead as much as voices of the past. Opening ourselves to the voice of tradition is sometimes the only way to safely navigate the shallowness of modern day "wisdom." G.K. Chesterton put it this way, "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." And then there's the way that tradition helps us imagine the new. As the poet Carlos Fuentes reminds us, "There is no creation without tradition; the 'new' is an inflection on a preceding form; novelty is always a variation on the past."


Complex indeed.


As Unitarian Universalists we would want to choose carefully. We hold in our hearts traditions and memories that we value. We remember fondly the family gatherings and meals for special holidays. We honor the prophetic voices of the past. And, yet, with our busy lives, and the deluge of data coming at us, we are more likely to pick up a prepared meal and take our information from short posts, or our favorite bloggers. Tradition has become more absent than oppressive. A newer UU voice is saying to us, Yes. Choose carefully. Don't be bound. But maybe most important of all: "Hold on and make room!" This is the voice we are invited to listen to this month. People of tradition know that tradition guides, heals, inspires and connects us. People of tradition also know that these gifts of tradition can't live on without our help. So, this month, let's make some room. Let's make tradition more than a memory. Let's invite it back in and allow it to be a gift.


In love and hope,

Rev. Alice  

Habitat for Humanity Work Day


UUCH will have a volunteer day with Habitat on Saturday, May 9th from 8:00 a.m. until noon(ish). No special skills required (other than being 18 years old!) More details will be available later. Please let Tonia Betts know if you plan to attend at (256) 882-9891. Hope to see you there!

Property Work Days Coming Up!



Our church facilities need your help! We will be holding a property work day at our old facility on Governor's Drive on Saturday, May 16th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. There will be indoor and outdoor projects available for all ages and abilities. Please bring work gloves, loppers, clippers, rakes, cleaning supplies, and an eagerness to spruce up our beloved old place so we can get it sold!


We will also be holding a property work day at our Broadmor facility in June (tentatively scheduled for June 6th). Stay tuned for more details in a future newsletter.


We look forward to seeing you at one or both of our upcoming work days!


George Fletcher and Brad Korb 

Property Committee Co-Chairs

gavel Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
UUCH Annual Congregational Meeting will be held Sunday, May 17th


Meeting begins in the Fellowship Hall shortly after the worship service ends. Light luncheon to be provided.  


In addition to our usual election of new officers, votes will be taken on three proposed bylaw amendments:  

(1) our new address,  

(2) the new name of our organizational unit (Mid-South District is now UUA Southern Region), and  

(3) in our ongoing efforts to be more environmentally conscious, that written notice of future Congregational Meetings be delivered electronically with the option of requesting a hard copy if preferred.  


Everyone is welcome, and Members are especially encouraged to attend--we need a quorum!

Saturday, May 23rd:
A Good Day for a Roadtrip!
We are Ordaining Denise Gyauch!


Together with the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, we of UUCH will be ordaining Denise Gyauch, who served as our Ministerial Intern Fall 2013 through March of this year, in just a couple weeks.


When: Saturday, May 23rd

Service starts at 2:00 p.m.

Reception to follow


Where:  First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville

 1808 Woodmont Blvd.Nashville, TN 37215


The ordination-planning team absolutely guarantees a good time. Highlights include:

  • Anthem by the joint Huntsville and FUUN choirs
  • Peter Mayer (really--THE Peter Mayer) singing twice in the service
  • A sermon by Dan McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity at Harvard University (and an old friend of Denise)
  • Cake (because you can't have a party without cake!) provided by UUCH


Please email Denise at denise.gyauch@gmail.com.


Most of all, please join us!

Peter Mayer in Concert!


If you will not get enough of Peter Mayer (of "Blue Boat Home" and "Holy Now" fame) during Denise Gyauch's ordination, consider extending your road trip to Nashville to attend a concert in the sanctuary of First UU Nashville that evening, Saturday, May 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. Peter's latest CD, Third Street, was released in November and this concert will highlight a mix of new songs as well as some old favorites. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at the door.


Huntsville guests may reserve tickets at the advance price by emailing UUCH administrator Deedee Moore (uuch@uuch.org) by Wednesday, May 20th. Include the word TICKETS in your subject line, with your full name and the number of tickets you plan to purchase in the body of the email. You will then be able to pay the advance price at the door.

Walk a Mile in My Shoes


Thanks to your generous contributions (and ruthless closet-cleaning) our Social Justice Committee counted 146 pairs of shoes donated during the recent shoe drive. Your shoes were given to the Huntsville Assistance Program, who will in turn send them to micro-business sites to refurbish and recycle. Thanks so much!


Social Justice Meeting Set.  

Your Social Justice Committee will be meeting again at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday May 31st to make plans for the summer. We'll have bagels! Please call Tonia Betts with questions (256) 882-9891. Hope to see you there!

Summer RE: We Want You!


In the summer months, the Children and Youth Religious Education Program takes a special turn from the regular fall and spring curricula. We invite UUCH members and friends to plan a class session for the children and youth. You'll be part of a teaching team as either the lead teacher or a helper, and we'll be sure to have a regular RE teacher there as support. Even children and youth can partner with an adult to lead a session!


We invite you to sign up to lead a session that shares a special talent, hobby, skills, or learning area of yours. Here are some topics to get your creative juices flowing: music, finger painting, scrapbooking, nature walks, gardening, yoga, science, paper airplanes, drawing, Lego, origami, fossils, friendship bracelets, mythology, sidewalk chalk, pottery, cookie-making. The possibilities are limitless!! What's a joy to you can be a joy to others.


Leaders will prepare a topic/activity that is adaptable to children ages 4 to 12. Senior high youth are invited to participate as leaders and helpers, or to attend the regular worship service in the sanctuary. Because of our exciting program growth, we'll need even more leaders and helpers this summer than before! So, don't be shy! We have room for the sharing of your gifts. There's nothing like spending time with the children and youth at our church. Their energy, creativity, and intelligence are contagious. And they benefit from interacting with caring adults who make an investment in them. This is what multi-generational community is all about!


For the next month, we'll have a poster standing in the church foyer and fellowship hall where you can sign up for a summer Sunday session. Or, you can contact Erin Reid, Director of Religious Education, at eereid@hotmail.com.

UUCH Board Report for April 28th, 2015


Your Board met on Tuesday, April 28th. Members of the Finance Committee joined us to discuss the proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The rest of the evening was spent discussing other items for the annual Congregational Meeting scheduled for May 17th, 2015, such as the proposed slate of nominees for the Board and the Nominating Committee, and bylaws changes initiated by our move to Broadmor.

Care List  


At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, May 3rd, candles were lit for:


Glen and Michelle Clark, a candle of joy: "Joy that our Haley earned her yellow belt in Tang Soo Do this week. She has worked hard for 6 months, and we are proud of her."


John Sims Jeter, a candle of joy: "My brother celebrated his 77th birthday on Thursday, April 30th; and I celebrated my 75th birthday on Friday, May 1st."


LaDawn Edwards, a candle of sorrow: "My brother Tyler experienced a fire Thursday night. While he lost almost everything he owned, he is most upset that he could not save his dog."


Nancy Finley and Becky Ellingwood, a candle of concern: "We would appreciate everyone's thoughts and best wishes as Becky goes through her brain surgery this week."

If you have pastoral care needs, please contact the Reverend Alice Syltie at revaluu@aol.comBarbara 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.

The next UUCH Board Meeting will be held
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 at 6:30 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.