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October 21, 2016
Latest News
Upcoming Sabbatical for Christina Fulton
Rev. Mara Upcoming Out-of-Office Time
Welcome Sam Whitesel
Early American Organ Music: Gentlemen Amateurs, Immigrant Professionals, and Ornery Yankees
Gun Violence Prevention and the Elections
Time to Order a Holiday Wreath!
Join the Children's Choir!.
RE classes and picking up children.
FUUSB Book Group: "The Good Lord Bird".
Martha Away this Sunday
Holiday Bow Makers Wanted!
Children's Choir Rehearsal Information
Got Dried Natural Materials?
Discussion: White Privilege
Well Done with Our Lockdown Drill!
Get Your Fair Trade Chocolates
Upcoming Sundays for Children
"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

Important Dates
October 23
*Fair Trade Chocolate Sale!*

2:00 p.m.- Organ Concert, Wayne Schneider

"Early American Organ Music: Gentlemen Amateurs, Immigrant Professionals, and Ornery Yankees"

November 6         
Children's Choir Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

November 8
12:00 p.m. 
FUUSB Book Group: "The Good Lord Bird"  

November 13      
Children's Choir Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
November 10
Writing With Spirit begins!

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

November 20          Children's Choir Performance: Both Services        

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Upcoming Sabbatical for Christina Fulton, our Director of Operations and Finance
By Rev. Mara

This November and December, Christina Fulton, our longest serving FUUSB staff member, will be stepping away from her myriad First UU duties to take two months of much-needed and well-deserved sabbatical leave. While she is away, most of Christina's essential duties will be covered by long-time First UU member, Alana Shaw, who has graciously agreed to serve as our part-time Temporary Administrator during the leave. Other core duties will divided among other staff.

In our UU congregations, sabbatical leave offers an extended time away from regular work duties for personal and professional reflection, rest, and revitalization. The sabbatical requires no formal plan but is intended to enhance a staff member's capacity to perform their job on return from the leave. In our context, this sabbatical leave will afford Christina a brief respite to focus on self-care and renewal after nearly two decades of uninterrupted service and following a particularly intense period of ministerial transition (during which we down-sized to one minister), governance change, data-base conversion and office restructuring. By taking leave now, Christina will be able to return in time for our annual stewardship and budget seasons.

While sabbatical has been a common practice for UU ministers for decades, more recently it's become a best practice for all full-time religious professionals. During her interim ministry a few years ago, Rev. Roberta helped FUUSB begin to move in this direction by including sabbatical leave in a revised DRE job description and creating a religious professional sabbatical line in our annual budget. 

More recently, and in keeping with UUA fair compensation guidelines, we have developed a First UU sabbatical policy for inclusion in our Employee Handbook. Under our newly created policy, both the Director of Finance and Operations and Director of Religious Education positions will be eligible for this form of leave (in addition to the Senior Minister, who's sabbatical leave is covered in the Minister's Letter of Call and Agreement). Christina's sabbatical will be our first application of the new policy. 

During her sabbatical, Christina will be entirely away from her First UU duties. She will not be checking her email account or voicemail. We ask that you help Christina keep these boundaries by kindly refraining from calling her at home or reaching out to her on Facebook for Society business. Christina may attend services from time to time for her own spiritual nourishment; when she does, while she'll be delighted to see you, please, likewise, refrain from seeking her out for Society business. 

Your First UU Board has been fully apprised of these plans and the related development of sabbatical policy. Our staff team is ready and willing to step up during this time to ensure that our ministries will continue on uninterrupted, as we round out the 2016 year. Christina's last Sunday before sabbatical will be October 30, and her last day in the office will be the 31st. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Christina well for this time away! If you have any questions, please feel free to be in touch with me at or 802-862-5630, ex. 24.

(Re)Introducing Alana Shaw, Part-time Temporary Administrator for November and December 

In great good fortune, Alana Shaw, our current First UU Treasurer, has agreed to take on many of Christina's duties during the sabbatical. Alana is already familiar with our First UU systems, and will bring a wealth of related professional experience to this brief stint as our Temporary Administrator. Alana's tenure will begin November 1, and her primary days at the UU will be ThursdayFriday, and Sunday morning. Alana will be reachable at, as well as at Christina's extension: 802-862-5630, x 22. She will continue to meet monthly with the Finance Committee. Here's a little more about Alana:

Alana Shaw is a CPA with 30+ years experience in accounting. She is the Finance Manager at Mercy Connections and the Treasurer at both the Burlington Bicycle Project and the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington.
When she is not volunteering or performing in her folk duo, Waves of Adrenaline, she can be found enjoying time with her spouse, Kim Hier and their two cats.

Rev. Mara Upcoming Out-of-Office Time

Rev. Mara will be out of the office for most of the next two weeks. From 10/24 to 10/28, she will be out for either possible jury service and/or study time. Rev. Mara will be back with us for Sunday worship on 10/30, then will be out of the office again from 11/1-11/5, attending a regional UU ministers' gathering in New Hampshire. Mara will be back for Sunday worship on 11/6. 

During the first week, she will be completely off of email, and the following week, checking only sporadically. If you experience a need for pastoral care or become aware of a pastoral emergency in our community over the next few weeks, please call our First UU pastoral care number (802-870-0447), where someone from our community will be able to assist you and/or get you connected with ministerial support, if needed. 

Welcome Sam Whitesell, Acting First Service Pianist
by Jennifer Carpenter, Director of Music

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest staff member, Sam Whitesell, who will be joining us as our Acting First Service Pianist starting on Sunday, November 6th!    Having just moved to Vermont from Potsdam, New York, Sam has Piano performance degrees from the Crane School of Music, and has an extensive performing background in both classical and jazz piano.  Sam has also played for the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival for many years.  Sam is excited to be living in Vermont, and as it looking forward to new beginnings with us.  We are delighted to have Sam with us through January, and possibly beyond!
"Early American Organ Music: Gentlemen Amateurs, Immigrant Professionals, and Ornery Yankees."

Wayne Schneider, organist at the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Burlington, will present an organ concert on Sunday, 23 October 2016, 2 p. m., at the First UU Society Church. The program, entitled "Early American Organ Music: Gentlemen Amateurs, Immigrant Professionals, and Ornery Yankees" will feature music by William Selby,Lucien Southard, Oliver Shaw, Manuel Emilio, Samuel Whitney, Thomas Ryder, and John Zundel. The First UU Choir, conducted by Jennifer Carpenter, will assist with performances of music by Justin Morgan and William Billings. The concert is part of a
bicentennial celebration of the dedication of the 1816 Meeting House at the top of Church Street in Burlington.

Mr. Schneider is an Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he teaches music history. He studied organ with Yuko Hayashi, Lewis Zayre, Everett J.Hilty, and Miriam Aurand.
Gun Violence Prevention and the Elections
by Jud Lawrie

As you head to the polls on Nov. 8th (or fill out an absentee ballot beforehand), here's some helpful information to consider about the position of various local candidates regarding gun violence prevention and universal gun background checks:
Jud Lawrie
Chair, UU Gun Violence Task Force

Time to Order a Holiday Wreath! 
by Sarah Forbes

These lush wreaths are hand-made in the Northeast Kingdom and are custom-decorated in-house by a talented group of UU's. They come in the standard 24" width. To order a larger size, contact Sarah Forbes by November 21st at 578-6119 or  Wreaths will be ready for pickup at the Bazaar Dec. 3rd or Sunday the 4th in the community room.
Join the Children's Choir! 
by Nicholas Stokes

We invite all singers, from 3rd through 8th grade, to join voices in the Children's Choir this fall! Absolutely no experience required. The Children's Choir is an inclusive group for all children who enjoy singing. The fall season will include the following rehearsals and performance:

Sunday, October 23 -             Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sunday, October 30 -             Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sunday, November 6  -           Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sunday, November 13  -         Rehearsal: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sunday, November 20  -         Performance: Both Services

Rehearsals will take place in the sanctuary, and a snack will be provided. For more information, please email Nick Stokes at

RE classes and picking up children
by Martha Dallas

Friendly reminder to parents: please pick up your children on time. Children through 3rd grade are to be met by parents; 4th grade and up will be dismissed to find you. Even if worship runs a little long, be mindful that teachers expect you at about 10:20/12:20, so that they can clean up and head out for the rest of their day! Thank you.
FUUSB Book Group: "The Good Lord Bird"
by Gerry Quin 

Please join us on Tuesday, November 8 at 12 o'clock at the UU as we discuss The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride.  "We all know the story of John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, but McBride's fictional retelling of the events leading up to it will have you racing toward the finish." NPR

Meetings are held upstairs in the Susan B Anthony room, newcomers most welcome.

Martha Away this Sunday
by Martha Dallas

I'll be at a professional conference from Oct. 20-25, connecting with UU DREs from around the country in San Diego! I'm grateful to our awesome RE Assistant, Alex Kerrigan, who will be supporting RE in my stead. 
Holiday Bow Makers Wanted!
by Sarah Forbes

Looking for a few individuals interested in learning how to make the beautiful holiday bows to decorate the wreaths sold at the UU Bazaar in early December.  Once you learn the technique, you can make them at home when it's convenient for you.  Your help stocking up before the Bazaar will be much appreciated!  You'll never need to buy another flat, uninspired bow again!  Contact Sarah Forbes, 578-6119,
Children's Choir Rehearsal Information for October 23
by Jennifer Carpenter

The Children's Choir rehearsal on Sunday, October 23rd with Nick Stokes will take place in the Community Room from12:30-1:30.   Parking may be competitive at FUUSB due to the Organ recital in the Sanctuary at 2pm and prior setup at12:30.  Elmwood Avenue and Clark Street are suggested as convenient alternate free parking options.
Got Dried Natural Materials?
by Sarah Forbes
Gardeners! When cleaning up those beds please consider putting aside any interesting pods, bark, sturdy seed heads, dried flowers, grasses, birch bark, red twigs etc. for us to use to make the beautiful wreaths sold at the UU Holiday Bazaar.  Call to arrange pick up or drop off.  Thank you! Sarah Forbes, 578-6119,
RJTF Presents: "Discussion: White Privilege"
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 ofWhite 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 12:15.

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"?

Well Done with Our Lockdown Drill!
by Martha Dallas

AI wish to thank everyone, especially last Sunday's RE teachers and children, for doing such an awesome job with the drill! If you have any RE/children-related suggestions or questions in the wake of it, don't hesitate to let me know: Thank you!
Get Your Fair Trade Chocolates in Time for Halloween! Oct. 16 & Oct. 23
by Cheryl Herrick

As part of their fund raising for their trip to Boston to explore the roots of Unitarian-Universalism in spring 2017, the 6th grade RE class is selling delicious Equal Exchange fair trade chocolates on Sunday 10/16 and Sunday 10/23 following both services.  Look for our families in the parlor and in the community room, selling bags of 25 mini-chocolates for $7 each.  (Where does your chocolate come from? Click here for a great infographic!)
Upcoming Sundays for Children
by Martha Dallas 

Oct 23 at 9 & 11 AM... Classroom Sunday
Oct 30 at 9 & 11 AM... Multigen Worship
Nov 6 at 9 & 11... Classroom Sunday
Nov 13 at 9 & 11... Classroom Sunday
Nov 20 at 9 & 11... Classroom Sunday