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October 6, 2016
Latest News
Writing With Spirit
White Privilege
Get your Pancakes!
Upcoming Sundays for Children
Creative Project
Volunteers Needed
Wreath Order Picker-Upper Needed
For the Benefit of Those Who See
Labyrinth Sunday
Nicaraguan Cultural Exchange Event
9:00 and 11:00 RE
Safety News: Second Lockdown Drill
Lockdown Drill Tips & Info for Children & Parents
"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 9-"A Conversation with the World"
9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. 

Preacher: Andre Mol, Ministerial Intern

Additional Worship Leaders: Rev. Mara Dowdall, Senior Minister; Rebecca Gurney, Worship Associate; Martha Dallas, Director of Religious Education

Find a peaceful place. Take a seat, breathe, and listen. Underneath the caucacophony of our human lives is another stream in which flows the quiet grace of the wider world. Pause to participate in a different type of conversation: one that unfolds not in words, but in the way we interact with the infinite web of existence that surrounds us and contains us. Andre's sermon will explore, how we might live into such a conversation and how it might change us.

Important Dates
October 9
Pancakes! Yum!

Labyrinth Walk
October 13
Mother Up!

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

200th Bicentennial Meeting House Tours (public welcome)

Cider and donuts and volunteers will provide historic information in period costume!

October 16 
**Lockdown Drill**

12:15- Meeting House Tours (Congregation Members Only)

Meet in vestibule by 12:15.

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

October 27
Writing With Spirit begins!

2nd and 4th Thursdays, starting Oct 27th, 6 - 7:30 PM


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Writing With Spirit
by Nancy Hellen

2nd and 4th Thursdays, starting Oct 27th, 6 - 7:30 PM
Writing With Spirit is a class in spirituality and creative writing. Drawing on a variety of meditation techniques and spiritual traditions as well as creative writing tools, we will find ways to tap into our own creative spirituality. Each class includes a meditation, a brief discussion of one aspect of the spiritual life, a time of writing, and group discussion. It can help writers working on memoir, nonfiction or fiction find new inspiration and, for those who would like to write, find the spark to start.  
Nancy Kilgore, MDiv, DMin, is a writer and pastoral psychotherapist in Vermont and New Hampshire. She has served as interim pastor in Congregational, Presbyterian and Unitarian churches. Nancy's first novel, Sea Level (RCWMS, 2011,) is about a church community in conflict and she is the winner of the Vermont Writers Prize 2016 for an adapted chapter of her second novel, Wild Mountain, to be published by Green Writers Press in 2017. She leads workshops combining creative writing and spirituality throughout the U.S.

RJTF- White Privilege- Sunday, October 23 
by Zoe Hart

As a follow on to our White Fragility discussion this summer, on Sunday, October 23 the Racial Justice Task Force will host the second of our discussion series, this one on the topic of White Privilege. We've identified a set of articles and videos for participants to read/view in advance and some questions to think about and to spark discussion. The discussion will take place after each service at 10:15 and 11:15.

The following articles and videos were selected by the FUUSB Racial Justice Task Force. We encourage all participants to read the Peggy McIntosh article, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

If you want to go a little further, you can also read the Lori Larkin article and view one or both of the videos. Members of the Racial Justice Task Force will be in the parlors on 10/9 and 10/16 and will have printed copies of the articles for those who would prefer that to the online versions.  

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
by Peggy McIntosh

This piece by a white woman discovering her own privilege remains a seminal work on the topic of White Privilege and is no less relevant today than when it was written in 1989.

What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege
by Lori Larkin

This article provides a powerful look at White Privilege from the perspective of a black woman who has experienced the lack of that privilege.

White Boy Privilege
This short video (under 5 minutes in length) provides a moving look at White Privilege from a 14-year old boy.  

A Trip to the Grocery Store
Rather than providing general look at White Privilege, this short video (also under 5 minutes) looks at an example of using privilege "to educate and make right a situation that was wrong".

Questions to think about for discussion:

1. What "white privilege" have you experienced or benefitted from in your life?
2. What "white privilege" would you be willing to give up to help "level the playing field", or to make recompense?
3. Can you think of ways you could use your privilege to help "level the playing field"?
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. 
Upcoming Sundays for Children
by Martha Dallas 

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
Nov 6 at 9 & 11... Classroom Sunday 
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, November-Hospitality, December-Expectation, January-Inheritance, February-Love, March-Imagination, April-Resistance, May-Growth, June-Delight.

Please contact Sarah Forbes for a project outline if you or your group is interested!

Volunteers Needed! 
by Barbara Heeter

With a great deal of appreciation to Susan Alden, I want to publicly thank her for her organization of the U-U monthly MOW for the last 44 years!  Willing congregants have
stepped forward with a commitment to be available for two hours (9:45-11:45 AM) for deliveries once a month. (Four times a year there is a fifth Wednesday of the month and deliveries are also made then.)
Through e-mail or a phone call,  please let me know if you are willing to become a permanent volunteer or if you have any questions about the job.

Wreath Order Picker-Upper Needed
by Sarah Forbes

After many years of picking up the wonderful, fresh wreaths in the northeast kingdom for our holiday bazaar, Bob Chutter and Don Moore are taking a well-deserved retirement from the job. That opens up the opportunity for someone to take on that highly appreciated task!  Can you be that person? You need to be free November 30, 2016 for the pickup.  You'll need to drive a station wagon type of vehicle to fit the wreaths.  Take a friend, have lunch, enjoy the drive to one of the prettiest areas in the state.  Please contact Sarah Forbes with questions.  Thank you! or 578-6119.
For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind
by Gerry Quinlan

Please join us on Tuesday, October 11 at 12 o'clock at the UU as we discuss For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind, by Rosemary Mahoney.   In this intelligent and humane book Rosemary Mahoney reports of the courage of the people who are blind, and gives voice to their miraculous dignity.

Meetings are held upstairs in the Susan B Anthony room; newcomers most welcome. 
Labyrinth Sunday
by Carol MacDonald
This Sunday, October 9th will mark the first in a series of Labyrinth Sundays. After both services, the flags will be out around the labyrinth and someone from the Labyrinth Ministry will be there to answer questions and guide you on your walk. Our plan is to do this on the second Sunday of the month when the labyrinth is accessible. Please join us after the service.
Nicaraguan Cultural Exchange Event - Sunday Oct 16
by Pam Laser
Hello UU 8th grade families. 

Interested in:

  • Social Justice? 
  • Traveling to Nicaragua on a community-based volunteer trip? 
  • Your child connecting with the Youth group?
  Join UU friends to welcome Nicaraguans to Burlington with a Cultural-Exchange Pot Luck and Community Festival at First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington.  
Come learn about a 2018 Youth/Family/Multi-generational service-learning opportunity in Nicaragua via Planting Hope, the Montpelier non-profit providing education and community-based learning and cultural exchange in the central mountains of Nicaragua.    Share food, music, dance and community with six Nicaraguan staff-members visiting Vermont this fall in a Nicaragua to Vermont Cultural Arts and Education Exchange.   Learn about their work to improve Nicaragua's education system and the cultural immersion, service opportunities they coordinate with U.S. volunteers.   Hear from Burlington and Montpelier UU Youths about their experiences on Planting Hope community-based volunteer trips.
When:  Sunday, October 16,  5:00-7:00pm
Where:  UU Burlington Community Room
Who:  Anyone interested in learning about Planting Hope and a UU service-learning trip to Nicaragua.
How:  RSVPs helpful for food planning purposes:  email 

All ages welcome! Potluck side dishes appreciated

9:00 and 11:00 RE: When is right for you?
by Martha Dallas

This year, there's quite a contrast in the size and energy of our 9:00 and 11:00 hours, since we've experienced an unusually large slide of families with sixth graders out of 9:00 and into 11:00.

9:00, therefore, is quite intimate and sweet!

Our one group has done some growing but totally has room for more. So, if you have children in preschool - 5th grade, and your family rises early on Sundays and/or your children do better in a smaller, quieter atmosphere, I invite you to check out9:00!

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 (

If you haven't registered for Religious Education yet...
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!

And if you - 'D'oh!" - forget and bring your children on Sunday anyways, don't worry! We have a stopgap form to fill out by hand which you can quickly complete and then return to worship.

We do, however, ask you to register at your earliest convenience. Thanks!