UUCH Chalice
The Overlook
Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville
3921 Broadmor Rd., Huntsville AL 35810  
February 11th, 2016
Vol. 16 Issue 06
In This Issue
We CAN Reach 100!

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). Suggested donations:
macaroni and cheese, pasta and sauce, dry beans and rice, boxes of cereal, bars of soap, canned meat, and peanut butter!
Thanks in advance!
We Want Your BOOKS!

We know UUs are Avid Readers! 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!
And remember, if your shelves look empty and lonely, you can always come to the sale and Buy More Books!
Awareness Through Movement!
This Saturday!
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 are 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.
Safe Space for Children and Youth

For the safety and enjoyment of our all-ages community, parents/guardians are asked to supervise children and youth in the church facility and grounds when they are not in their planned RE activity.
A very important note on safety at the church:
Remember that your first stop on Sunday morning is to check-in at the RE Welcome Area in the foyer and pick up a nametag. The grounds are large, and we ask as always that children be in parents' or guardians' supervision at all times, especially on the playground.
If you haven't already, please register your children and youth online and check out our "family agreements commitment."

Sweets for the Sweet! 
Your Social Justice Committee is selling Certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee from the Kaffeeklatsch, and Fair Trade chocolate from Equal Exchange.
New Chocolate flavor: Lemon-Ginger! We also have chocolate Easter Eggs!
Ingredients include a clear conscience. Pick yours up in the Fellowship Hall after Sunday morning services!
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 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.

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Upcoming Services
UUCH Chalice
Sunday, February 14th, 2016
"Communicating from the Heart"
A Youth-Led Multigenerational Service  
Join the Transformers and Searchers Youth in a creative youth-led multigenerational service that explores ways we can communicate from our hearts. Through drama, music, art, and more, we will continue to investigate how Compassionate Communication, or Heart Talk, helps us learn authentic ways to connect with each other based on our UU principles and unlearn negative forms of communication socialized in our culture. Youth have been preparing and helping create this service for the last three weeks, and the RE children have made a special gift for the congregation. This is a fun, colorful, interactive service you won't want to miss. The UUCH Choir will sing a special selection. (A note for families with young children: activities will be engaging and appropriate for all ages, and the service will be shorter than usual so that our younger members can participate comfortably).
As a congregation-wide social justice activity, all are invited to bring to this service an item to share with the church's homeless outreach.
The Social Justice Committee and Children and Youth Religious Education Program will be holding a RE Creative Service Sunday in March where children and youth will assemble meal packs for distribution in the community.
Needed items include individual servings of canned fruit, cracker packs, pudding cups, juice boxes, canned meat (pull-tops, e.g. Vienna sausage), travel-sized hygiene products, and gallon-sized Ziplock bags. This will be an ongoing collection through March 13th.
giving heart This Sunday in RE
Children and youth will participate in the all-ages service in the sanctuary. RE classes will not be held. Childcare for ages 0-3 will be offered as usual in the Nursery.
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

Last week, as agreed upon by the Unitarian Universalist ministers and our congregations in the Alabama and Gulf Coast Cluster, I preached at the UU Fellowship in Auburn while their minister is on sabbatical. Amanda Schuber graciously accepted my invitation to fill the pulpit here, introducing our theme for February, Desire.
The question to ponder this month is
What Does It Mean To Be A People of Desire?
Here are some additional thoughts on the topic, for your consideration.
Fall in love with
the agony of love
not the ecstasy
then the beloved
will fall in love with you
-- Rumi
Is it possible that this month is really about heartbreak? We may be able to indulge some desires without much cost, but we are fooling ourselves if we think we can pursue spiritual desires without suffering a broken heart. The desire for a better world. The hunger for deep connection. The longing to actualize our full potential. Leaning into these desires is to let yourself care deeply for what can't ever be fully attained. When it comes to the most beautiful and noble of our desires, it's all about loving and pursuing that which will always be out of reach.
And of course we reach anyway. We can't help ourselves. It's what it means to be human. Plato puts it this way: "We are fired into life with a madness that comes from the gods and which would have us believe that we can have a great love, perpetuate our own seed, and contemplate the divine." Notice the implicit plea to be grateful. It comes "from the gods" he says. This madness, this dis-ease, these unstoppable desires for great love, great change, and great connection are a gift! The prize is not the moment we are finally quenched; it's that first moment when we were wonderfully cursed with thirst! Heartbreak and heartache are not dangers to be avoided; they are signs that we are living fully and leaning into the holy dis-ease that makes us most human.
It's why Rumi says "fall in love with the agony of love." He knows many of us avoid pursuing our deepest hungers because of fear. No one's deepest longings ever come true. Better to play it safe and keep those deep hungers at a distance. But in this case, playing it safe also means going numb. And we were not created to go numb.
So friends, get out there this month and get your heart broken. It won't feel good, but you will know you are on the right path. And remember Rumi's promise: somewhere in that agony you will feel yourself loved by and deeply connected to life.
Not a bad deal.
In Love and Hope,
Rev. Alice
Wonderful Wednesday Spaghetti!

Come enjoy homemade spaghetti (meat & veggie) and warm UUCH fellowship at the Wonderful Wednesday Supper on Wednesday, February 17th, serving 5:30-6:45 p.m. 

Family-friendly pricing: ages 6 & younger are free, ages 7-12 are $2, age 13 & older are $5. Family max: $15.

Childcare and creative children's activities will be offered at 6:30 for families staying to attend Adult RE or choir activities. Adult RE film and discussion at 7:00p.m., following the supper. (See article below.)

Do yourself and your family a favor! It couldn't be easier, so don't try to resist--just come join the fun!

Hosted by your UUCH Hospitality Committee.
ARE Film Discussion on February 17th: Leadership Should Not Be
Command and Control  

Is there a failure of our educational system?
Of the 34 OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, the US spends almost twice as much per student for K-12 education as the OECD average. Only three (Austria, Norway, and Switzerland) spend more than we do. Yet we rank 21st in graduation rate. Our math test scores rank 27th, science scores rank 20th. Surely we can do better than this.
On Wednesday. February 17th from 7:00-8:00 p.m., UUCH Adult RE will facilitate a discussion of K-12 education following a 20-minute TED Talk on this subject by Sir Ken Robinson. Robinson, a very entertaining speaker, presents his ideas on the shortcomings of our educational system and on what needs to be done to improve it. Please join us and share your thoughts on relevant educational topics such as Common Core, standardized testing, charter schools, school vouchers, home schooling, teacher pay and evaluation, optional vocational training, and how they relate to our principles as UUs.    

Gary Hitt and Ed Bernstein will facilitate.
Childcare will be provided. Be sure to come early and have dinner at the Wonderful Wednesday Suppers. Contact Nancy Finley, finleyn@uah.edu for further information.
Social Justice Committee Meets

justice scales The Social Justice Committee will meet on Sunday, February 28th at 9:30a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We will discuss upcoming activities, and the SJ web page and budget. Everyone is welcome! We will have bagels, and childcare is available--just let Tonia know at 256.882.9891.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!

On Sunday, January 31st, UUCH welcomed 12 new members into covenant during a brief ceremony. Pictured above are our new members (left to right):
Front row:
Diane Scanland, Kirsten Clark (and Maggie), Maria McSherry, Darby Mason
Center (seated):
Steve Rittenberg, Lynda Lamitie, Julie Brewer
Back (standing):
Brian Scanland, Rondi Kelton, Greg Kelton, Tim Brewer (and Aaron)
Not pictured: Alice Wellette
We appreciate the commitment that these new members have made to our church community with their gifts of time, financial support, talents, and themselves. We all look forward to working together to fulfill the mission of this church.
The UUCH covenant that members make with each other is as follows:

We, as members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville, covenant to work
together to create a supportive, affirming, sustaining community that inspires and challenges each of us to become our best selves. To further our goal of creating such an intentional community, we promise each other to:
  • Affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every member of our community, valuing our differences and supporting each other in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • Listen to one another with the intent of understanding, and speak to one another with respect and kindness, so that all may be heard;
  • Recognize that forming an intentional community may at times require us to place the needs of the community above our own needs;
  • Foster caring relationships by assuming the best intent in others, disagreeing in love, and empowering one another to speak for ourselves;
  • Affirm the work of the church to the best of our abilities, valuing the work of others, and supporting those who voluntarily accept leadership roles in the church;
  • Promote an environment where all people feel safe, both physically and emotionally;
  • Use the energy and support we thus create to bring our vision of justice, equity and compassion in human relations into our wider community, our nation, and our world.
Our Shared Journey! 

The 2016 UUCH Annual Budget Drive (ABD) will start this year on Sunday, February 21st with the theme of, "Our Shared Journey!" This year we take time to celebrate some of the great things we have accomplished on OUR SHARED JOURNEY over the past few years. Then we will look at some of the places OUR SHARED JOURNEY can take us next!
Together we have done great things and will continue to do great things. Your support, my support, all of our support together is what makes great things possible through our church home.
The ABD Cottage Meetings will be held in late February through early March, in the homes of UUCH members. These Cottage Meetings are held to give you an opportunity to complete the forms for your Pledge of support while you enjoy food and fellowship with others who value and support the UUCH.
Whether you are a long-time member, or someone who only recently started coming to UUCH, your support is the key to all the great things the UUCH can accomplish. The Pledge form you'll fill out at the Cottage Meeting, along with the Pledge forms from everyone else, will be the basis for creating the annual operating budget for the 2016-2017 church year that starts in July.
SIGN UP NOW on the poster in the church fellowship hall, or  Sign up online. Several of the meetings are designated as "(CF)" (child-friendly), so your whole family can attend. Any special diets will be accommodated so that everyone is welcome at a cottage meeting. Please note any special needs on the signup form.  SIGN UP SOON!
We look forward to seeing each of you at a Cottage Meeting. 
Jason Aycock,             2016 ABD Chair
Kevin Betts,                 2016 ABD Co-chair
votives Care List 
At our Circle of Candles on Sunday, February 7th, candles were lit for:
Catherine Hall, a candle of concern: "My son, Steve, is beginning the process for a cochlear implant tomorrow in Nashville. He has a hearing loss from pre-natal rubella, and recently lost all the hearing in one ear. Hopefully, this operation will compensate."
Kathy Fisher, a candle of joy: "Joyful birthday blessings for my daughter, whose birthday was last week." And a candle of sorrow: "Please lift up my family in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of my former mother-in-law."
Christie Aycock, a candle of sorrow: "My uncle Ronnie is in a coma with no brain activity. Just want my family to feel peace as we go through this time. He married Jason and me 14 years ago."
Michelle Clark, a candle of sorrow: "My grandmother will need chemo, and last night she lost her sister-in-law, the last other of their lively foursome. Please pray for her 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 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, February 23rd, 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


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.