UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
November 5th, 2015
Vol. 15 Issue 45
In This Issue
Last "Awareness Through Movement" Class Until Next Year!

Everyone is welcome! This class has been held each Saturday at 10:00 a.m. But we will be taking a break from Movement classes for the holiday season.
The last one for this fall is this Saturday, Nov. 7th, then we will break, and start again in January.
This Feldenkrais group class is designed to improve self-awareness and mobility.
 This Adult RE class is drop-in, no experience necessary, and is led by Sally Locklear. Wear comfortable, loose clothing, and bring a bath towel to use as a head support. For further information, contact Nancy Finley at finleyn@uah.edu. If you need childcare for this event, please contact Nancy at least a week before the event.
We Can Do It!
Thanks to your generous donations, we collected 110 items in the Food Basket during October!
 
The Social Justice Committee's goal is to collect and donate 100 items per month. CAN you pick up an extra CANNED good, nonperishable food item, or personal care product next time you are out shopping? Please do, and put it in the basket in the church foyer to be donated to the Huntsville Assistance Program (HAP).
 
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.
New Flavors!

The word is out--there is a new batch of Fair Trade Chocolate at UUCH, including new flavors like Chocolate Raspberry!  

Your Social Justice Committee invites you to visit the coffee table in the Fellowship Hall--where delicious Fair Trade chocolate is sold--to order your Certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee from the Kaffeeklatsch. All profits go in support of our Social Justice efforts.

UUA Common Read: Just Mercy

The UUA's 2015-2016 Common Read is Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Author Bryan Stevenson advocates for those wrongfully trapped by the U.S. criminal justice system, including poor people, people of color, women, and children. The book speaks to justice, mercy, and compassion, timeless and important concerns for people of faith. UUCH Adult RE will host a book study on this in January, but you can order the book now from the UUA Bookstore! ARE also has a few copies to lend: See Nancy Finley (finleyn@uah.edu)
 for details. For more about the Common Read program, see the website.
ThriveAlabama Dinner Theatre
Nov. 7th

If you are interested in enjoying this event with other UU's, Social Justice Co-Chair Tonia Betts is coordinating for a sponsored table. Please call Tonia at 256.882.9891.
 
Enjoy a fun evening of dinner and a play as Thrive Alabama presents a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at Campus No. 805, the former Stone Middle School. Lunch (or dinner) along with dessert, will be served by Bubba's Silver Spoon Catering. Dress for a southern wedding.There will only be two performances:
 Nov. 7th at 1:30 for $35 and 6:30 p.m. for $50.
 
Buy tickets at thrivealabama.org. Advance purchase only by Nov. 3rd. Additional information at 256-536-4700 ext. 139

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UUCH Chalice
Sunday, November 7th, 2015
 
 
"Embracing Our Ancestry"
The Reverend Alice Syltie    
 
Our theme for November is Ancestry. One definition of Ancestry is "persons comprising a line of lineage." Some of the people making up the long line of our lineage are blood relatives, others are part of the ancestral history that we claim as ours. Our Unitarian Universalist faith is fond of the latter. In both cases, the people's lives become a part of our story. What does it mean to be a people of ancestry? Perhaps to answer this question, we must also ask ourselves to identify the people who have most influenced who we are or who we aspire to be?
giving heartThis Sunday in RE

We continue our shared journey with Heart Talk for Kids with all ages, this week focusing on Session 6: Self-Empathy. Children and youth in Peace, Justice, Searchers, and Transformers Rooms are given concepts and tools to grow in our ability to communicate with each other in empathy.
 
There are still spaces available in Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education for Youth, which begins on November 8th. If you are interested and were not able to attend the parent meeting on Oct. 18th, please contact Erin Reid, Director of Religious Education. 

Questions about Religious Education at UUCH may be directed to Erin Reid, our Director of Religious Education (DRE) (256.694.6786 or eereid@hotmail.com) or Jessica Zelaya, RE Chair (256.322.2210 or asuriai@yahoo.com). Register online for the UUCH Children and Youth RE Program at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WS8LDNP. 
From Your Minister

The common theme for November is Ancestry. Here are some shared thoughts on the topic.

What Does It Mean To Be A People of Ancestry?

Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.      - Ralph Ellison, American writer

Our faith agrees with Ellison: there is a difference between relatives and ancestors. Relatives give us our brown eyes and bowed legs; ancestors bless and burden us with a legacy. Relatives are those we tell stories about; ancestors call us to carry the story forward. Our relatives allowed us to be here; our ancestors tell us
why we are here and why being here right now matters. The difference is huge. It is--as Ellison also points out--all about choosing to see yourself differently and live by a different set of values.

Take success. There's an old line that challenges the hubris of some people with privilege: "He was born on third base but believes that he hit a triple." People who choose to see their lives through the lens of ancestry constantly remind themselves how they really got there. Instead of talking with puffed up chests about how they hit a triple, you will hear them speak of "the shoulders on which I stand." Hubris or humility? Ancestors never let us forget the latter.

You will also hear ancestor-conscious people speak of blessings differently. People of ancestry look at their blessings and choose to see not only a gift, but also a responsibility. It's one thing to gratefully celebrate the blessings passed on to us; it's quite another to be so grateful for those blessings that we can't help but ensure they get passed on to others. Simply put, ancestors pass on obligations. To be a people of ancestry means recognizing that something of value has been entrusted to you and that there is a long line of people behind you counting on you to pass it on. Even
expecting this of you.

And whether that expectation feels to you like a blessing or a burden, it most surely also reminds you that you are part of something larger. Ancestors don't simply tell you that you are obligated; they tell you that you are obligated
to something larger. And not just that you are obligated to it, but that it is dependent on you. Whether the story continues to be told is up to you! Whether the family tradition continues to be done is up to you! Whether the native language continues to be taught to the children is up to you! Whether the family cycles of health are strengthened or the family cycles of dysfunction are stopped is up to you! Ancestors plop these incomplete and intimidating endeavors in our laps and say, "We've done our part and taken it as far as we can. The next step of the journey is in your hands."

Which of course also means that our hands are connected. They handed the precious gift to us. We are asked to hand it on to those who follow. And they will hopefully continue the sacred chain.

And in the end, maybe it all boils down to that: seeing ourselves as part of a sacred chain. We are not small. Our lives are not insignificant or independent. Our choices are not without consequence to others. We are part of a story, not just a set of random happenings. Our choices tell the next chapter. Our choices connect the next link. Our choices pass on that which is precious and remind us we are preciously connected. This is what choosing to be a people of ancestry means. This is how it asks us to see our lives.

So, this month, let us all be grateful for those brown eyes, but choose to be part of the precious chain.

In Love and Hope,
Rev. Alice
Help Senior Citizens Prepare for Winter: Work with TEMP$ this Saturday, Nov. 7th

Your Social Justice Committee invites you to participate in a community service project with CASA
(Care Assistance System for the Aging) in Madison County. For several years, UUCH has participated in the annual Taking Energy Measures Personally = $avings (TEMP$) program sponsored by CASA.
The TEMP$ program is an annual one day event in which teams of CASA volunteers weatherize the homes of clients by putting plastic on windows, insulating pipes, caulking breaches, installing smoke detectors, replacing storm doors, and performing other small repairs. Special skills are not required, but an interest in basic household type repairs and/or interest in interacting with seniors in our community are desired.TEMPS 

UUCH will be working at two homes near our church this year! We have selected two homes near Pulaski Pike and Stringfield Road with low income, elderly residents needing our help to prepare for the winter.
 
The TEMP$ program workday will be held Saturday, November 7th, starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting for 3 to 4 hours. We will meet at the church at 9:00 a.m. to divide into two teams and then go out to work on our clients homes.
 
Please contact Brad Korb at bradkorb@mindspring.com or 256-895-9303 if you have any questions or are interested in participating.
UUCH Service Auction 2015!

Arrr, Maties! The UUCH Service Auction takes place Saturday, November 14th at 6:00 p.m. The donation deadline is this Sunday, November 8th. Get your last minute donations in and delivered to the church by Sunday!
 
Remember, there are 3 ways to donate:
1) Fill out the paper forms available in the Fellowship Hall and drop them in the Treasure Chest,
2) send an email to Bob Locklear (boblocklear@mac.com) with details about your contribution, or
 
The forms and email also let us know you're coming, and pre-register you as a bidder. Pre-registration will make sure you "sail in" and "sail out" on auction night!  

The food and drink will be bountiful, as will the vast stores of treasure that await you!

Childcare will be provided. Door prizes will also be given away throughout the evening. You must be present to win! 
Compassionate Communications
Adults Can Learn, Too!
 
stained glass chalice The youth and children of UUCH are spending their Sunday mornings learning about "heart talk," a program based on Marshall Rosenberg's model of Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication. And now, we adults have a chance to catch up to the wisdom of the kids.

Adult Religious Education at UUCH
is offering a two-part series on Compassionate Communication using the original book from Rosenberg as our starting point. This step-by-step approach, with exercises and real examples, will assist us in our development of a new philosophical model for interaction. Sometimes we don't even know that we are using patterns that undermine the outcomes we want. This practice can help liberate us from adversarial and competitive patterns of power and communication, and replace them with non-violent ways of interacting. It potentially provides an important piece in our efforts for conflict resolution in our families, work environments, church, and even national and international relations.

There is something in this program for everyone.
So save the evenings of Sunday, November 15th and 22nd at 6:00 p.m. to join us. Erin Reid, Sara Cline, and Nancy Finley will be facilitating. Childcare will be provided. Contact Nancy at finleyn@uah.edu for further information..
Please Save the Date!
 
The Alabama Hispanic Association Christmas Dinner will be held Saturday, December 12th, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., here at UUCH
 
We will need lots of volunteers to help spread Christmas cheer to those in need in Huntsville's Hispanic community. We will serve dinner, distribute presents, and entertain. 

There is a job for everyone!
Please put this fun event on your holiday calendar!
October Board Report

Your UUCH Board of Trustees met October 27th, 2015. Highlights of the meeting:
  • Approved a one-time Girl Scout Brownie troop fund-raising activity.
  • Approved fund-raising for Alabama Hispanic Association children's Christmas gifts.
  • Advanced the process of improving church accessibility.
  • Planned a joint meeting with the Council to develop a budget for next year.
  • Agreed to use the method of responsibility assignment, which was formulated in our recent retreat, to implement church projects.
Ed Bernstein, Secretary
UUCH Board of Trustees
votives Care List 
 
At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, November 1st, candles were lit for:
 
Cheri Smith, a candle of joy: "My dog King is better! My grandson Vincent and the team from Johnson High School won first place in Design and first place in the Green Power Races yesterday. I am so proud."
 
Betsy Applegate, a candle of concern: "A candle for my father, Richard Applegate, who has moved to nursing care."
 
Mari Hinckley, a candle of joy: "Today is my grandmother's 96th birthday."
 
Ed Bernstein, a candle of sorrow: "Paulette's mother, Margaret 'Ma' Cramer, died Wednesday at home, surrounded by family. She was buried yesterday in the family cemetery in Athens. She was 86."
 
If you have pastoral care needs, please contact the
Reverend Alice Syltie at revaluu@aol.comCare Committee Chair Barbara Hitt will be out of town for a few weeks. Please contact Care Committee member Tim Miller (tim.miller.hsv@gmail.com, 256.880.6792) should a need arise. 
UUCH 15-16 Board Members

 

President: Laurel Bollinger 

Vice-President: Angel Hundley 

Secretary: Ed Bernstein           

Treasurer: Jerome Belcher   

Trustees: Millicent Simmons, John Fox, & Denise Runnels 

 

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 Laurel Bollinger, 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
jointly with the Council, on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. December's Board Meeting is on the 15th. 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: Laurel Bollinger  

Editorial Board: Laurel Bollinger, Kathy Heath 

 

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

 

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.