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December 1, 2016
Latest News
Socially Responsible Santa Visit This Sunday
KK Wilder Memorial Service
Christmas Eve Ushers Needed!
FUUSB Book Group: "My Stroke of Insight"
Holiday Bazaar
Thank You!
Ping Pong Reminder.
"Merchants of Doubt" Film Screening
Next Child Dedication Ceremon
COTS Phonathon Volunteers
Minister's Monthly Meet-up:
Upcoming Sundays for Children
Holiday Bazaar Silent Auction
Speaking of Stewardship
Sustenance for RE stewards
Publications for parents and RE stewards
Help Welcome New American Neighbors
Holiday Coat Drive
FUUSB is On Soundcloud!
Breath of Fresh Air

Upcoming Services

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Important Dates
December 3
Holiday Bazaar
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. 

Write for Rights 2016  
Hosted by Amnesty International in VT/FUUSB Member Carolyn Smiles
10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

December 4

December 5-6    
COTS Phonathon

December 7
Minister's Monthly Meet-up in the UU Parlors
4:30 - 6:00 

December 8
 "Merchants of Doubt"
FREE screening and discussion
6:00- Doors Open
6:30- Film Begins 

December 11
Child dedication sign up deadline

December 13
FUUSB Book Group: "My Stroke of Insight"
12:00 p.m. 

December 18
Multigen Worship
Child Dedication Ceremony

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Socially Responsible Santa Visit This Sunday!
Article Subheading

This Sunday, Socially Responsible Santa will once again visit the First UU Meeting House! It's the 30th anniversary year of this unique December ministry, which harnesses our combined generosity to provide holiday cash gifts to individuals and families in our First UU and greater Burlington communities to use as best fits their needs. Longtime First UU member Maggi Hayes coordinates this program as "head elf." After each service this Sunday, helper elves will be circulating to receive your contributions. Gifts will be distributed to identified recipients over the following weeks. Maggi is still looking for a few folks to help collect gifts after each service. If you are interested in helping in this way, please email Maggi directly at by Saturday at 5pm.

If you or someone you know of might benefit from such a gift this December, please contact Rev. Mara at

We welcome your participation in this annual holiday generosity opportunity this weekend! And if you are unable to attend the UU Sunday but would nonetheless like to participate, you may drop off contributions at the UU office on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week during office hours (9am-1pm). Many thanks in advance for your participation in this vital ministry, as givers and receivers!

KK Wilder Memorial Service: Sunday 12/11 at 2pm

chalice by river A Celebration of the Life of longtime UU member KK Wilder will be held on Sunday December 11 at 2pm in the Meeting House. KK passed away in October after a long illness. We warmly welcome all to this remembrance of KK and honoring of her life. We are in search of a few people who might be able to usher for the service. If you are interested to usher, please email Mary Fillmore, who's helping coordinate the service: A reception in the Parlors will follow immediately after the service.

Christmas Eve Ushers Needed! 
by Nina Buss

null Christmas Eve Ushers: Christmas is coming and that means we're looking for ushers/candle lighters for our beautiful Christmas Eve services.  Duties include handing out orders of service, passing an offertory basket and helping with candle lighting.  Please consider signing up to help with this lovely traditional service!  We're using to organize the sign up for this.  Here is all you need to do:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on 
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots - will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy! 

FUUSB Book Group: "My Stroke of Insight"
by Gerry Quinn

Please join us on Tuesday, December 13 at 12 o'clock at the UU as we discuss My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor. In 1996, 37 year old Harvard trained brain scientist Jill Taylor experienced a massive stroke that left her unable to walk, talk, do mathematics, read, or remember details. Her remarkable story details her slow recovery of these abilities, describing her progress and taking us on a tour of the right and left sides of her brain.

Meetings are held upstairs in the Susan B Anthony room. Newcomers most welcome.
First Unitarian Universalist Holiday Bazaar is Saturday December 3, 2016, from 9am-2pm:
by Deborah Ragione

It is that time of the year for the Annual UU Holiday Bazaar.  There will be books, jewelry, attic treasures, handmade crafts and homemade food items.  There will also be a variety of fresh wreaths and greens just in time for the holidays.   In addition, the Women's Alliance will be hosting the pie table and the 6th grade class will be hosting the toy room. A delicious lunch will be available from 11:00-1:00 for $8. 
If you have things that you would like to donate that fit into those categories, the hours for drop-off are Wednesday, 11/30 from 10-2, Thursday, 12/1 from 10-7, and Friday, 12/2 from 10-7.   Certain items such as clothing, bedding, furniture, large appliances and baby things cannot be accepted. 
Thank You! 
by Ellen Wollensack

Remember our first, cold, snowy day of the year last Monday, 11/21?  Twenty volunteers from UU weren't daunted by the elements as they hauled 190 bags of food, toiletries and household cleaning supplies over to First Congregational Church where JUMP is housed.  In fact, if you ask any one of those people, they will say that they actually ENJOYED the work, especially the miraculous human chain that swirled those bags up two flights of stairs to their final resting place!  It is quite a generous effort on ALL of our parts to provide JUMP with all of these essential items every year.  Thank you to EVERYONE who helped at every step along the way!  In case you didn't have a chance to bring in your JUMP bag yet, it isn't too late!  Here is a link to the food and toiletry shopping lists.  You can bring your filled bag any time to UU and leave it on the JUMP shelves in the back of the sanctuary.  THANK YOU, EVERYONE!!  

Ellen Wollensack

Ping Pong Reminder
by Martha Dallas

I've noticed some marks on the walls from shoes, dented edges of paddles, and quite a few crunched balls in our ping pong room. We'll probably have to purchase some replacements soon. It's your ping pong! Remember to treat it with respectful tlc while you have fun, so that everyone can enjoy it for a long time! Thanks! 

"Merchants of Doubt" Film Screening
by Alana Shaw

Have you ever wondered how big fossil-fuel companies managed to confuse the public and policymakers about the science of climate change?

Learn the answer at a free screening of the movie "Merchants of Doubt," sponsored by Vermont Interfaith Power & Light, the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington and the Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club.

What: "Merchants of Doubt" - FREE screening and discussion

When: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Time: 6:00 pm - Doors open and light refreshments available
             6:30 pm - Screening begins

Where: The Burlington Unitarian Universalist Church - at the top of Church St, in Burlington

"Merchants of Doubt" is a 90-minute documentary that exposes the strategies of ExxonMobil and others to create doubt about climate change. Hear pundits-for-hire present themselves as scientific authorities and strategists brag about their disinformation campaigns. The film shows how the fossil-fuel industry used tactics developed by the tobacco industry to create doubt.

Based on a book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, this film includes industry reps, global-warming deniers, environmentalists and climate scientists.  It is a well-crafted behind-the-scenes look at how the fossil-fuel industry has been so successful in blocking action on climate change.

Even if you think you already know the story, you'll find there's more to it!

For a trailer, go to:

For updates (e.g., changes of venue) go to:

For more information or to RSVP (appreciated, not required) go to:

Next Child Dedication Ceremony is December 18
by Rev. Mara

During our multigenerational Winter Solstice service on Sunday, December 18, we will offer a dedication ceremony to welcome new little ones into the circle of our community. A child dedication is a uniquely UU ceremony in which the child is officially welcomed by the congregation and the community, in turn, pledges its love and support to the child and her/his family. It also features a blessing with a flower and water, during which the sacredness of the new life is acknowledged. While dedications are often performed for infants in their first year of life, they are also open to children of all ages who might want to participate. If you are interested in having your child dedicated on December 18, please let Rev. Mara know via email at or by calling the church office (ext. 24). The deadline to sign up is Sunday December 11.

COTS Phonathon Volunteers Needed
by Bruce Brown

COTS Annual Winter Phonathon is coming up again.  FUUSB will be helping out on Interfaith Night on Thursday, Dec 1 (if not convenient you can volunteer 12/5-12/6).  Mailroom volunteers and callers are needed.  Calls are made only to previous contributors (no cold calling). We've had a core group of volunteers but would like to get new recruits. It's actually a fun evening as we cheer when big donations come in and hopefully win raffle prizes.  Orientation and pizza is at 5:30 and calling is from 6-9 at COTS temporary location at 179 S. Winooski Ave.  Please contact Bruce Brown at or 760-9427.
Minister's Monthly Meet-up: December 7th 4:30 - 6:00 in the UU Parlors
by Nina Buss

Join us at this community-building Open House to enjoy some light refreshments and connect with Reverend Mara and others in a relaxed social environment.  Everyone is welcome and we especially invite those who have not had a chance to talk with Reverend Mara more deeply than the greeting line allows.  Drop by for 15 minutes or an hour!   No RSVP required.
Upcoming Sundays for Children
by Martha Dallas

Dec 4: Classroom Sunday: Second Assistant/Doorkeeper block begins
  • Building Bridges trip to Greek Orthodox Church
  • Coming of Age meets
Dec 11: Classroom Sunday (Last class in preschool-7th till Jan. 15th!)

Dec 18: Mulgiten worship to celebrate the Winter Solstice. 8th Grade OWL meets.

Dec 25 & Jan 1: One 10 AM worship service. NOTE: Childcare in our nursery will not be available these two Sundays. Children may stay in the sanctuary or parents may supervise them in our nursery.

Holiday Bazaar Silent Auction
by Kim Watkin

The Silent Auction during the Bazaar this Saturday, December 3rd will be from 9:00am to 1:30pm.  Bids will be accepted until 1:30pm so that people may take home their items by the end of the Bazaar.  
Speaking of Stewardship
by Nancy Knox and Tom Porter

In the aftermath of the election, I am grateful to have our First Unitarian Universalist Society and its community in my life. I know this meeting house and our congregation represent a safe space for me and so many others in this uncertain time. I plan to deepen my connection to our Society in the weeks and months ahead, in many ways. If you feel this way too, I encourage you to look for ways to be more invested in our congregation and its good works. Joining a committee or being part of a small group is a way to do this, and the Stewardship Team is looking for help with its 2017-18 campaign. If you'd like to be part of our outreach efforts, we have many small roles to fill. Please contact me at or track me down on a Sunday, and stay tuned! - Nancy Knox, Stewardship Team co-chair
Sustenance for RE stewards...
by Martha Dallas

Reminder to all stewards that the Third Thursday of each month I offer an "RE Leaders Sustenance Circle" from 5:15-6:45. So far, only a few of you have made it. If you'd like to participate, but can't do that time, let me know and suggest an alternative time. After all, it's for YOU! 

Publications for parents and RE stewards
by Martha Dallas

We want to keep everyone informed! Depending on your needs, I hope you are receiving:
  • "We Are Going!" - monthly newsletter for parents and families
  • "Sunday to Sunday" - weekly email for teaching teams and other RE leaders
  • "YUUTH News" - regular updates in our youth ministry
Let me know if you'd like to receive any of these! 
-Martha Dallas -
Help Welcome New American Neighbors
by Cheryl Herrick

Our neighbors at AALV (Association of Africans Living in Vermont) have invited us to help create a welcoming atmosphere for the new arrivals they serve.  On Sunday 12/4, come downstairs to the Community Room at 10 and/or at 12 to make a You Are Welcome Here card.  We'll then share them with AALV, and then their staff will give them to the people they serve. 

Holiday Coat Drive
by Deborah DeLadurantaye

The Connecting Cultures social work department is collecting new or gently used coats and winter items! Connecting Cultures is housed in Vermont Psychological Services at the University of Vermont, and provides psychotherapy and social work case management services to members of the refugee and New American communities in Chittenden County. Many of our clients have expressed a need for coats and warm winter items for their children- so coats in both child and adult sizes would be gratefully accepted. Items can be dropped off at the Church in the box provided. For more information about the coat drive or Connecting Cultures, please contact Hannah Kretvix at
FUUSB is On Soundcloud!
by Annemarie Granillo, Communications Coordinator

We have some exciting news that we hope will continue to bring nourishment and comfort! 

 We are now on Soundcloud, a platform that allows us to create sounds and share them with you and the world. Over the next few months we'll be moving all of our sermons there. In the meantime, we have sermons from the past few weeks.

Please enjoy Rev. Mara's beautiful sermon from worship on Sunday, November 13, and we warmly welcome you to share with your family, friends, and anyone that needs it. As Leonard Cohen said, "There's a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in".