Registration page banner



September 29, 2016
Latest News
Mother Up!
What Does it Mean to Be a Healthy Congregation?
Meet the Minister!
Safety News: Second Lockdown Drill
Oct 16...Lockdown Drill Tips & Info for Children & Parents
New UU Class October 15
Nicaragua Cultural Exchange Pot Luck
Notes From the Music Director
Get your Pancakes!
Youth Ministry Calendar
Spiritual Theme Art Pieces!.
Classroom Sundays for preschool
Upcoming Sundays for Children
Children's Chapel This Sunday
Registration for Religious Education
Teachers Are Preparing
"Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going." - Mary Oliver

Breath of Fresh Air

 A new newsletter from
RE for UU families!
Upcoming Services
October 2-"Building a Listening Congregation"
**Return to Two Services**

9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Worship Leaders: Rev. Mara, Healthy Congregation Team, and Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson, special guest

Music: Adult Choir, 11am

This Sunday, we'll kick off our month-long exploration of "Deep Listening" by considering its role in the health of our spiritual community. Our guest, Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson, a member of the UU Church of Concord, NH, will reflect with us on her congregation's journey of building its listening practices (see more about the related after-service workshop below!). Rev. Mara and members of the Healthy Congregation Team will share in the leadership of the service, during which we will also lift up and renew out First UU Congregational Covenant. And we will joyfully recognize our most recent cohort of new members!

Important Dates
October 2
**Two Service Sundays Return!**

Building a Listening Congregation

October 5
Meet the Minister

October 9
Pancakes! Yum!

October 13
Mother Up!

October 15
9:00 a.m.
New UU Class

October 16 
**Lockdown Drill**

5:00 -7:00
Nicaragua Cultural Exchange Potluck-Community Room


Quick Links

Like us on Facebook

View on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

In Case You Missed It
Visit the eNews archives on our website

Theme Circles Registration Deadline Extended to October 4!
There are still spaces available in the fall theme circles groups! Register Today!

You will meet monthly with your group of 8-10 other First UU'ers to share and reflect. Each group will be led by a trained facilitator (and fellow First UU'er) and will follow the same program.

Theme Circles are a great way to meet new folks in our community, deepen our connections and sense of belonging, and also to deepen your spiritual journey.

Mother Up!
by Maeve McBride and Rachel Schek

Mother Up! is a program of 350VT bringing together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world. On the second Thursday of each month, we invite you to join us for a simple, vegetarian, community meal for all ages. Older children and adults will then gather for songs, discussion, and sharings to unleash our intelligence, our ingenuity, and our solidarity for the healing of our world. Childcare provided for babies and toddlers. 

The first gathering will be Thursday, October 13 from 5:30 to 7:30.

What Does it Mean to Be a Healthy Congregation?
by Peggy Owen-Sands

Join the Healthy Congregation Team on October 2, 2016 at 12:30 for a light lunch followed by a discussion of conflict, communication and listening from 1:00 to 3:00.  Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson, a Restorative Circle Facilitator from Concord, MA, will lead the discussion and help us practice deep listening so that we can learn to be a Listening Congregation.  

Deep Listening is one of the essential components of being and remaining a healthy congregation. Deep Listening is also a tool you can use in many aspects of your life.

Plan to join us after the service on October 2.  You will be glad that you did!

If you are able, please sign-up ahead of time at the following link so that we can better plan for food and handouts. 

Meet the Minister!
by Nina Buss

Beginning October 5th, Rev. Mara, Nina, and the Membership Team, will be hosting a "Meet the Minister" gathering on the first Wednesday of each month from 4:00-5:30 in the Parlors. (*Due to a scheduling conflict, however, the November gathering only will be the second Wednesday, 11/9). 

This will be an informal drop-in event with light refreshments. If you have not yet had a chance to meet our minister in a small group setting, this is your opportunity! It will also be a great way to connect with other First UU folk in a more intimate setting than Sunday coffee hour. 

Since this is primarily a group social event, if you are in need of one-on-one conversation with Rev. Mara about a pastoral issue or spiritual care matter, it's best to set up a separate appointment time with her via email ( ) or office phone: 862-5630 x-24. 
Safety News: Second Lockdown Drill Sunday, October 16
by Martha Dallas

 During the past two years, the FUUSB Facilities Manager, Bob Furrer, and Safety Team (Rev. Mara, Martha Dallas (Director of Religious Education), Suzy Comerford and Becca Grimm) have done substantial work to prepare for a lockdown situation prompted by an emergency at, or in the area of, the Meetinghouse. In January, we ran a partial drill encompassing our RE classes.

On Sunday, October 16, we will hold our second drill during our Sunday morning programming, this time involving the whole Meetinghouse. About half-way through the hour during each service, there will be a message broadcast throughout the Meetinghouse advising that a lockdown has been initiated. Simultaneously, blue lights will flash in the Sanctuary, Community, Whitney Young and Susan B. Anthony Rooms.

In the Sanctuary, since this is our first run, we will do a "talk-through" version of the drill, which we expect to take about ten minutes. All present in the Sanctuary and Parlors should remain quiet, still and in place,as described in our lockdown procedures. Reverend Mara will speak from the pulpit about the drill, explaining our procedures for emergencies in and out of the sanctuary. While there will not be time to ask questions during the drill itself, after each service, FUUSB staff and Safety Team members, as well as a member of the Burlington Police Department, will be in the Sanctuary for an informal Q&A time. BPD officers will be present for the drills to observe and be able to offer suggestions for improvements in the future.

For RE stewards, Martha Dallas, our Director of Religious Education, will provide training to stewards at 8:30 and at 10:30 on both Oct. 9 and 16. This will involve a brief walk-through, and a time for questions.

Children will be guided by RE stewards to conduct the drill in their classrooms. They will follow our lockdown response procedures, including drawing shades, turning out lights, locking the door, and sitting quietly on the floor until it is announced that the drill is over. Parents who wish to be with their children during the drill are welcome to do so, but should plan to join the group when it leaves the Sanctuary at the usual time. Once the drill has begun, we ask parents in the Sanctuary to remain there and reunite with their children at the close of worship as usual, as our procedures outline should happen in the event of an actual lockdown.

At the completion of the drill, the blue lights will be turned off and there will be a second message broadcast throughout the Meetinghouse advising that the drill has been completed. Though these drills will certainly cause a brief, though emphatic, interruption in the normal flow of worship and RE programming, we ask for your understanding of, and attentiveness to, proceedings involving the drill. While we know this type of drill may seem strange and even scary to some adults, school children are quite familiar with them. We believe that conducting them is an important part of our First UU safety practice. At the same time, we understand that the drills may be especially challenging or triggering for some of us, based on personal history or experience. Accordingly, we will have a few designated folks on hand in the Sanctuary after each service/RE hour should you find yourself in need of a pastoral listening ear. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Bob Furrer, our Facilities Manager ( For questions specifically about children during the drill, contact Martha Dallas (

Oct 16 Lockdown Drill Tips & Info for Children & Parents
by Martha Dallas
General information about lockdown protocol is found elsewhere in this enews. Some specifics that affect children and parents: 

  • There will be written and verbal announcements about the drill in the sanctuary on Oct. 16

  • Children will be sung from the sanctuary to go to their classes. Parents who wish to be with children during the drill need to accompany them at that time. Otherwise, parents should stay in the sanctuary. 

  • For the drill, the classes will follow the protocol with teacher guidance. The drill will last 5-10 minutes, after which time classes will return to scheduled activities. 

Talking points for children:

Sometimes there may be an emergency, such as an ill or injured wild animal - or a person - who is not behaving right, on church property.

We are practicing how we need to be so that the helpers can best do their work to help right the situation. 

Any questions or concerns about our lockdown drills as they pertain to children and youth, please contact Martha Dallas( or Safety Team members Suzy Comerford-Joyce ( or Becka Grimm (

New UU Class October 15
by Nina Buss

Save the Date-New UU Class October 15th
Would you like to learn more about Unitarian Universalism?  Find out more about our own Burlington UU Congregation?  Meet other newcomers?  If so, please sign up for the New UU Class!  The class will be held October 15th from 9am -12:30 here at the Meeting House.  There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board outside the parlor or you may e-mail Nina Dahlstedt Buss at
Nicaragua Cultural Exchange Pot Luck
by Pam Laser

Sunday, October 16,  5:00-7:00 pm.  Community Room. 
Come learn about a 2018 Youth/Family/Multi-generational service-learning opportunity in Nicaragua via Planting Hope, the Montpelier non-profit providing education, community-based learning and cultural exchange in Nicaragua.   Share food, music, dance and community with six staff visiting Vermont this fall in a Nicaragua-to-Vermont exchange.   Learn about their work and the cultural immersion, service opportunities they coordinate.   Hear from Burlington and Montpelier UUs about their experiences on Planting Hope community-based volunteer trips.
Open to anyone interested in learning about Planting Hope and a UU service-learning trip to Nicaragua.

RSVPs helpful for food planning purposes:  email Pam Laser 

Notes From the Music Director
by Jennifer Carpenter

Have questions about the music opportunities we offer, and/ or would like to talk with me about sharing your musical gifts at FUUSB?  I can usually be spotted in the main building on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings as I attend meetings on those days, but if you want to make sure you catch up with me, I would recommend making an appointment!

Office Hours:  By Appointment. 

My email is if you would like to schedule a meeting.

I am off email on Fridays and Saturdays, as those are my days off.
Get your Pancakes!  Sunday, October 9th
by Tiffany Tillman

The YUUth group is at it again.  Next Sunday, 10/9, they'll be serving up delicious pancakes after both services.  Come hungry and ready to support them as they prepare for their next service trip. 

To learn more about their service trip last year read their reflections here. 
Youth Ministry Calendar
by Tiffany Tillman

2nd, Sunday:  Coming of Age, 10:45am-12:15pm
6th, Thursday:  YUUth Group, 6-8:30pm
9th, Sunday:  Pancake Breakfast, 8am-1pm
16th, Sunday: Sanctuary Sunday, 11am service followed by Donuts and Dialogue
20th, Thursday: YUUth Group, 6-8:30pm
29th/30th, Saturday-Sunday:  Yurt Overnight, 3pm-11am

Coming of Age:  Coming of Age is run by Jennifer Callahan, Melinda Lee and Debby Bergh.  It will meet once a month with a retreat in May and culminate late May/early June.  The meetings will mostly be on the first Sunday of the month from 10:45-12:15.

YUUth Group:  YUUth Group strives to be youth driven with a focus on justice and building supportive and accepting relationships with other UU youth.  Youth will be asked to share in leadership responsibilities by leading reflection and discussion along with planning justice projects and fundraisers.  We culminate the year with a youth led worship service and service trip.

Sanctuary Sunday and Donuts and Dialogue:  Every third Sunday youth will gather with our congregation and enjoy worship together.  Youth are encouraged to take on leadership roles in the service by being worship leaders, ushers and entertainers!  A few times a year we'll host a discussion after the service with either OWL, Campus Ministry or other youth groups with Donuts!

Fundraisers:  Parents and youth will plan fundraisers throughout the year to support the end of year service trip and other justice projects throughout the year.  Fundraisers can include Pancake Breakfasts, Lasagna Dinner, Parent's Night Out, Giving Board, No Frills Fundraiser, and Car Wash.  DATES:  TBD by YOU!

Socials and Overnights:  Youth love to gather in non-structured way.  We encourage families to host socials on weekends!  Just let Tiffany know when and we can help publicize.  We'll also host an overnight or two throughout the year for team-building and with other UU youth groups.  Dates:  TBD

Creative Project- Spiritual Theme Art Pieces!
by Sarah Forbes

Are you, or your UU group creative?

We are looking for different individuals & groups to create the banner/wreath/wall-hanging/textiles that will represent the spiritual theme for each month. Each piece will hang in the arch above the pulpit for its designated month. The idea is to have some wonderful art pieces, made with love and enthusiasm to visually support the spiritual theme that will be spoken of from the pulpit and in the Path and Afterword.

We would like the theme word to be incorporated into the item, the size to be roughly 3' x 4' and it needs to have some way to hang it.

Spiritual Themes are:
October-Deep Listening

Please contact Sarah Forbes for a project outline if you or your group is interested!
Classroom Sundays for preschool - 7th grade start Oct 2! 
by Martha Dallas

Here are our groupings this year, and where they'll meet:

At 9:00, we have one multi-age group (preschool & elementary), which is doing Spirit Play in the Jordan-Latimer Room.

At 11:00

Spirit Play 1 (pre-1st) meets in Jordan-Latimer (across from kitchen)

Spirit Play 2 (1st-3rd) meets in Barnum (next to kitchen0

Bible Stories (4th-5th) meets in Dix (next to Barnum)

Riddle & Mystery & UU History (6th grade) meets in Reeb (past restrooms)

Building Bridges (7th) meets in Barton (next to Dix)
Upcoming Sundays for Children
by Martha Dallas 

Oct 2 at 9 & 11 AM... classes for preschool-7th grade begin
Oct 9 at 9 & 11 AM... classroom Sunday
Oct 16 at 9 & 11 AM... classroom Sunday
Oct 23 at 9 & 11 AM... classroom Sunday
Oct 30 at 9 & 11 AM... Multigen Worship

Children's Chapel This Sunday
by Martha Dallas 

The first Sunday of each month, after being sung from the sanctuary, children and teachers gather in the community room for a 10-minute Children's Chapel time. Classes begin after Children's Chapel ends. 
Registration for Religious Education
by Martha Dallas

It takes just five minutes, and ensures that our teachers know to expect your child in their group. The form is here. Thanks so much!
Teachers Are Preparing
by Martha Dallas

Two Sundays ago, teachers gathered for orientation and planning for the new program year. Here they are reflecting and connecting around some deep questions.