December, 2016

Solstice Peace to You,

- Martha

Growing Light

As I write, the woodstove fire is blazing a few feet away, generously heating the shins of my jeans. Outside, it's -1 with the windchill. Squeaky-snow weather. 

I am grateful. Deeply so.

It is awarenesses like these that return me to myself in this still-unbelievable, post 11/9 time.

We're each responding as suits our needs. Here are some things in which I find solace and see hope:

  • Attendance at First UU, and across UUism, is markedly up. Both visitors and "come-backers" fill our pews and RE classrooms.
  • The delight I experience watching the birds from my kitchen grows with each passing year. Watching connects me to my late mother, and to the wonder of nature outside my window.
  • First UU'ers gave about 280 notes of love and support to our neighbors at the VT Islamic Society. At least 35 folks went to the mosque this past Friday to show solidarity.
  • The crisp, curling crackle of dry birch bark catching fire.
  • The 11th hour permit denial of the Dakota Access Pipeline was a blast of good news and a reminder of unexpected possibility that a great, compassionate diversity of praying protesters can manifest.
  • 20 (perhaps more) Republicans are considering voting as "faithless electors" and they've been offered pro bono legal support.
  • The contented purr of my cat.
  • Folks are wearing safety pins and #Black Lives Matter bracelets.
  • There are petitions to sign and wonderful organizations to give money to - lots of it!
  • Chocolate. I am eating a lot of it.
  • These election results seemed inconceivable, so I believe anything can happen!
  • Many are resting their spirits by moderating news and social media intake. Wise, you.
  • Singing. Always. Doing it, hearing it.
  • There is WAY more creativity and innovation in humanity than the mainstream press gives a hoot about. Discover it and spread the news!
  • Snow that makes eentsy unique chrystallized tessalated hexagons. Miraculous!
Our days are about to turn again toward increasing light and decreasing dark. And I pray that this seasonal turn will be echoed in the wider world of our lives. May it be so.

Martha Dallas, Director of Religious Education
Building Bridges 
Martha Dallas

So far, our Building Bridges seventh grade class has visited Essex Alliance, New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church, The Islamic Society of VT, First United Methodist, the Greek Orthodox Church, and Burlington Friends Meeting. Wow!

They also welcomed UU guests Adam Bortz and Rachel Schek, who presented about Humanism and Paganism, respectively.

Here they are at the Burlington Friends Meeting.

photo by Suzie McCoy

Thanks to their dedicated teaching team: John Grimm, Sharon Leach, Caitlin Waddick, Josh Fairfax, and Tori Cleiland, AND to their stellar Trip Planning Duo, Suzie McCoy and Valerie Wood-Lewis!
Coloring his principles!
Martha Dallas

Hugh, a member of our 9:00 Spirit Play class, colored this poster with a friend recently. Proud of the result, he took it to school to share! When  later asked about it, he said, "I liked the way we colored it together and that it was in a rainbow." 

Thanks to Hug's mom, Tara, for her permission  to include it here!

First Night Burlington and First UU
Martha Dallas

Our meetinghouse is one of the prime stages of Burlington's annual First Night celebration!

Hungry that night? Fill your belly with lasagna, salad and yummy home-baked desserts served up from 4-8 PM  by our YUUth Group as a fundraiser for their annual service trip!
Safety at First UU

Martha Dallas

It's important to know what to do if something goes wrong.

This is the first of some "safety minders" to help us all be prepared for emergencies.

First Aid Kits are located near the sink in each kitchen/kitchenette. Help yourself to anything you need!

If there's a moderate or severe accident, please alert staff and fill out an accident report form, found in the main office. 

In This Issue

This month's Path
 provided these resources with children in mind:

Handy Links
Parenting Resources

UU Library

Did you know that we have a cart of books just for parents? 

It's dark red and can be found Sunday mornings in the Community Room. 

Self serve! Check it out!

"The Beginning of Life"

I just streamed this amazing new documentary on Neflix about babies' brain development, especially the first three years.Loved it! If you have young children or love science, child development, or simply witnessing kids' discovery of life, watch it!   Read about it here.

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vermont
152 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05401