UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
January 7th, 2016
Vol. 16 Issue 01
In This Issue
We CAN Reach 100!
foodbasket
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.
 
From the HAP website:
"HAP's primary goal is to help clients have a better life. This does not always mean paying their bill will be the answer. We endeavor to meet many needs whether they are emotional, financial, or spiritual. All of our clients are interviewed in person and as much time as is needed to 'peel back the onion' and get to the core of that person's particular problem is taken. We may need to refer this person for financial counseling, marital counseling, drug/alcohol addiction, or medical assistance. We are a major referral source for services available within Madison County. All persons interviewed are encouraged to find a church family regardless of their denomination preference."
 
To read more about the Huntsville Assistance Program, please visit their website.
Plan to Attend the Alabama Arise 2016 Legislative Preview  
To learn about the issues the Alabama Legislature will be addressing in their next legislative session (beginning in early February), come to the Main Library in Huntsville to attend the Alabama Arise 2016 Legislative Preview.
The event will be held on two dates: Saturday, January 16th from 10-11:30 a.m., and Thursday, February 25th from 7-8:30 p.m. 
Discussion Topics will include: Stop and Debt Trap; Restore Voting Rights; Untax Groceries; Expand Medicaid; Ban the Box; Death Penalty Reform; and Fund the HTF.   
UUCH is a member organization of Alabama Arise and we are encouraged to attend! These sessions should prove to be very informative for everyone.
Mark Your Calendar for Circle Suppers!
 
Circle Suppers are informal potluck dinners held in host's homes--just for fun! It's a great way to get to know your church friends a little better. So we'll be coordinating a round of Circle Suppers to be held around the end of January, from January 28th through February 1st. Please look for the sign-up sheets, coming soon!

Coming in January: Let's Read This Book Together

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. 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.

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Upcoming Services
UUCH Chalice
Sunday, January 10th, 2016
 
 
"Fire Communion Ceremony
The Reverend Alice Syltie    

Resistance is the theme for January. Going through the Potluck line last Sunday, I overheard several people commenting on how they were already about to break their New Year's resolution. Just over a week into the New Year, have you resisted the temptation to break your New Year's resolution, or did you resist making a New Year's resolution, for fear of falling short of your hopes? In this month, when we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded that even he admitted that resistance takes a movement. We need help and support in creating change. Our Fire Ceremony is one way we acknowledge together that change is difficult. Our ritual of release makes concrete our intentions to hold on to what is good and let go of the things that block us from the fulfillment we desire. What you choose to let go up in smoke is for your eyes only. The community is here to support you in your aspirations. 
giving heart This Sunday in RE

We continue our shared journey with Heart Talk for Kids with all ages, this week focusing on Session 9: Observation in Nature.

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

My sharing circle of minister colleagues chose Resistance as the theme for January. Here is our message. 
 
What Does It Mean To Be A People of Resistance?
...it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each 
day you mean one more.
--Marge Piercy, from "The Low Road"
 
Yes, this month's theme is among the most complex of them all. But it also may be the most simple. 
 
The complexity is clear:
 
Sometimes being a people of resistance involves struggle and requires us to disobey; other times it asks us to just be ourselves and not hide who we really are. Sometimes it involves defeating the enemy; other times it is a matter of noticing that treating them as the enemy defeats us all.
 
Sometimes being a person of resistance is about fighting all the way to the top; other times it's about picking yourself up off the floor and taking one tiny step. Sometimes it depends on the will to never let them win; other times it hinges on the wisdom to follow the path of least resistance.
 
It certainly takes the form of speaking our truth. But more often than not, it's about the harder task of speaking the truth in love.
 
We all know being a people of resistance involves refusing to comply and demanding change, which requires great courage. But sometimes the most courageous thing is to stop resisting and accepting that things just aren't going to work out the way we hoped.
 
Bottom line: being a people of resistance is tricky business and takes multiple forms.
 
But beyond this complexity lies the simplicity of Marge Piercy's words. In all cases, she reminds us, being a people of resistance starts when we say we.
 
January puts this in stark relief. Think about all those New Year's resolutions that try to overcome our personal inertia. Who of us ever accomplishes that without help? Without someone holding us accountable or cheering us on?
 
Martin Luther King Jr. Day makes it just as clear. Although we celebrate him as a great leader, he himself preached that change requires a movement. Simply put, none of us resist alone.
 
Or maybe it's better to say that none of us have to resist alone. We all know what it is like to want to resist. Think of all those voices we hear in our heads and feel in our hearts: I'm not going to take it anymore. I will not go along. I will not submit. I refuse to conform. I will no longer be numb. I will not give up. I will not forget. I will not go to sleep. I will ignore it no longer. I will not turn a blind eye. And yet, we also know that those voices are hard to hear and hold on to by ourselves. The blessing, of course, is that we don't have to hold on alone.
It is one thing to be told, "Resist!" It is quite another to be told, "Resist together!" But often what we need most is simply to be reminded that we don't have to resist alone.
 
May this be the gift we give each other this month. Let's help each other remember to start by saying we! It may be as simple as that.
 
In Love and Hope,
Rev. Alice
Time to Return Guest at Your Table Boxes
 
Now that we are through the holidays, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Guest at Your Table program is wrapping up and it is time to return your Guest at Your Table boxes!
 
There are three ways you can return your contribution to the UUSC:
  1. Bring your box to church and place it in the basket in the Fellowship Hall (cash or check; if cash, provide the information on the side of the box)
  2. Send a check directly to UUSC at UUSC, PO Box 808, Newark, NJ 07101-0808
  3. Donate on-line at  https://secure2.convio.net/uusc/site/Donation2?df_id=3640&3640.donation=form1
Thanks for your contributions!
Awareness Through Movement!
 
Everyone is welcome! This Feldenkrais group class is designed to improve self-awareness and mobility. The class will be verbally guided through gentle movement sequences. These new movement patterns will enable you to move with greater ease and fluidity.
 
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. Classes start again on Saturday, January 16th! Classes will be held on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.
 
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.
A Chili Cook-off Hot Time!
 
singing chiliThe 2016 UUCH Annual Chili Cook-off will be held on January 16th! Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and judging begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 each for those 12 and older; Children 3-11 are $3 each, with a family cap of $15. Admission is free for Chili Cooks! Advance ticket purchase isn't necessary.

We are looking for volunteers to provide side dishes, chili accoutrements (cheese, sour cream, crackers), salads, cornbread or rolls, and desserts. Please sign up via this website (http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c044ea9a62aa3fd0-2016) or the poster located in the Fellowship Hall.
 
Chefs vying for the Chili Crown should also preregister (via the website or poster) prior to the event.
(Who will win the coveted Red Ladle?)

Open mike entertainment is an important part of the evening! Contact Vanessa Miller Mantis (vanessa.mantis@me.com or 256.585.0260) if you'd like to be part of the show!  
Social Justice News

Our next Social Justice Committee Meeting will be held Sunday, Jan. 24th at 9:30 a.m., in the Fellowship Hall.
 
justice scales Do you have an idea for a Social Justice project UUCH should work on? Would you like to get involved with current projects? If so, please join us for our next meeting; we'll discuss spring activities. If you need child care, please let Tonia know at (256) 882-9891.
 
Please keep the donations coming for the HAP food pantry--they are greatly appreciated. With holiday busy-ness, we collected 61 items in December. Let's try to reach our monthly goal of 100 items in January. Thank you for your generosity!
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 welcome new members during a Sunday service in late January 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.
SAVE YOUR BOOKS!
Donate them to the
UUCH Book Sale!
 
Save your books to donate to the UUCH Book Sale to be held in April. NOW is the time to start saving and boxing up your tax-deductible books, CDs, and DVDs. You still have time to read your more recently acquired books before donating them.
 
At each of our prior book sales, members and friends have collectively donated over 5,000 books. We need thousands of books to have a successful sale. So look through your shelves and stacks, and box up what you've already read. You may end up replacing them with books that you'll purchase at the sale (for a steal of a deal!).
 
Whenever you're ready, BOX up your books and bring them to church. Boxed books are preferred because they stack better for storage. Drop your boxes off near the door to the North Wing hall (storage wing) near the Sanctuary foyer.
 
We'll accept all types of books (subject only to some basic ethical considerations)...fiction, non-fiction, hardback, paperback, textbooks, children's, picture, how-to, religious, political, etc. We want your best books, your boring books, your big books, your small books, fancy books, plain books, intellectual books, silly books, any and all books you can bear to part with!
Board Report for 12/15/15
 
Your UUCH Board of Trustees last met on December 15th, 2015. Salient points:
  • The Board was presented with budgetary options as part of a comprehensive five year plan developed from inputs from each church council committee and by our staff.
  • Using this input from the Council and professional staff, the Board drafted goals for the 2016-2017 church year to present to the congregation as part of the annual budget drive.
votives Care List 
 
At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, January 3rd, candles were lit for:
  
Lynsie Lamite, a candle of thanks: "We would like to say thank you to all those present in body or spirit at my Dad's celebration of life, and a huge thank you to Betsy and everyone else who helped with food and setup. There really aren't words for the gratitude we feel for all of the love and support."  
  
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 15-16 Board Members

 

President: Laurel Bollinger 

Vice-President: Angel Hundley 

Secretary: Ed Bernstein           

Treasurer: Jerome Belcher   

Trustees: Millicent Simmons, Jon 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
on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 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: 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.