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January 6, 2017
Latest News
Check Out the Winter Edition of "The Steeple!"
January's Edition of "The Path"
Next "Mother Up! A Gathering for Families" is on January 11!
FUUSB Book Group January and February Meetings
DOVE- Demonstrating Our Values Through Eating Returns!
Interfaith Youth Gathering
You Are Welcome Here
Universal Gun Background Checks
Save the Date! New England Regional Assembly- Awaken!
Breath of Fresh Air
Upcoming Services
January 8- **Bicentennial Service of Rededication**

11:00 a.m. 

(Original dedication: January 9, 1817). Our Service of Rededication will include speakers from the community, a story for all ages, homily by Senior Minister Rev. Mara Dowdall, inspiring music from the First UU Choir, and a ritual of rededication. 

All ages are welcome. 

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Important Dates
January 8
Bicentennial Service of Rededication
11:00 a.m.

January 12
Mother Up! 
5:30 p.m.

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Dear Ones,
Two hundred years ago this week, the members and friends of our congregation, then called the First Congregational Society, gathered to dedicate the newly built Brick Meetinghouse as their spiritual home. 

This Sunday, we will gather to rededicate our now historic building at the top of Church Street.  In doing so, we will give thanks for this incredible inheritance, consider our role as its stewards, and, related, our call to live out our values - love, service, openness and respect - within and beyond its walls in the years to come. 

Since its construction, our house of worship has grown into a vital community meeting place, iconic city image, and beacon for our UU values in the world. Accordingly, we are thrilled that many members of the larger community will be present with us on Sunday.

The world has changed in extraordinary, mind-bending ways over the past two centuries. And yet, for all the ways in which the moral arc of the universe has been bent toward justice, we know that, as we begin 2017, there are so many ways in which we fall short of "a world made fair with all her people one" - what King called Beloved Community and our Universalist forebears referred to as heaven on earth. Particularly this January, the world's anguish and our own fear and sadness feel especially close. In this climate, our First UU mission feels every more urgent, and our values ever more needed. It will be good to be together Sunday, both to celebrate our rich inheritance, but also to recommit ourselves to the work that lies ahead.

An amazing team of staff and volunteers has been working behind the scenes to prepare for this event. To refresh you on the key details:

*One service only @11am! Hymn-singing in the sanctuary will start at 11am, with the service proper beginning at 11:15am.

*All ages will start together, then children will have an opportunity to depart for a special activity in the Community Room, returning later in the service. The Nursery will be open for infants and toddlers all morning. 

*Reception to follow, with refreshments in the Community Room and Parlors. Special Bicentennial booklets will be available for a small donation, and the youth will have a special photo booth you'll hear more about on Sunday!

*We expect a full house, so parking may be in shorter than usual supply.

Much heart, my friends, for this new year, and looking forward to our celebration. See you at the Meetinghouse!

Rev. Mara

First UU in the News

Here's some coverage of our Society and Meetinghouse this week:

Check Out the Winter Edition of "The Steeple!" 

If you missed "The Steeple" during the holiday rush, have no fear, you can cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa (or your favorite warm item) and tuck into the winter edition. We have important updates from Rev. Mara and our Board of Trustees, Healthy Congregations team and more! 
January's Edition of "The Path"
by Annemarie Granillo

Due to the holidays and Bicentennial prep, "The Path" is delayed till next week of January 9. Thank you very much for your time and patience and please don't hesitate to contact me ( if you have any questions! 

Next "Mother Up! A Gathering for Families" is on January 12! 
by Rachel Schek

Please join us for the January Mother Up! gathering Thursday, January 12th at 5:30. We'll begin with a simple, vegetarian dinner for all ages. (No need to bring anything!) Following dinner, for parents and older children, we will gather in a time of reflection and sharing. Childcare is provided for young children in the nursery. 

RSVP with food allergies and childcare requests!

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. What Joanna Macy calls the "Great Turning," or the third revolution, is this unprecedented time where we are called to stop the destruction of our world, to build new life-sustaining practices and ways of being, and to shift our collective consciousness. We especially wish to engage young parents in this vital discussion of how we can make positive changes to protect our planet for our children's future. 

Click here to view the Facebook invite:

FUUSB Book Group January and February Meetings
by Barbara Doody

Please join us on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 12 o'clock at the UU as we discuss the book  Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmine. Meetings are held upstairs in the Susan B. Anthony room. Newcomers are most welcome

Please join us on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 12 o'clock at the UU as we discuss The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernières. The novel is "a sweeping, immersive epic story of love and war set in England in the first half of the twentieth century."

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

DOVE- Demonstrating Our Values Through Eating Returns! 
by Valerie Wood- Lewis 

Join us for a 4-week program, offered through FUUSB's Lifespan Education, that explores the connections between our personal values and our food choices. It includes guided group discussions, educational documentaries, fun cooking sessions and more!

When: 6:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m.
Thursdays:  1/26, 2/2, 2/16, and 2/23

Registration Required

Where: Meeting House (Community Room and Kitchen)

For more information and to sign up: Please contact Valerie Wood-Lewis at or 859-0049. 

What does DOVE cover?  It uses video, discussion, and supplementary materials to explore issues that affect us all:
  • Why do some foods seem almost addictive?
  • How can we fight global warming with our fork?
  • What really happens to the workers and animals who  produce our food, and what can we do to help?
  • Participants also get time in the kitchen, preparing delicious recipes that demonstrate values of health, justice, compassion and sustainability.

Interfaith Youth Gathering:  January 20th 6-8PM United Methodist Church
by Tiffany Tillman

Join area youth from all faith backgrounds for a game of building bridges through eating tacos, group inititatives and other games.  All Middle and High School Youth are welcome to attend.  Youth Ministry Coordinator Tiffany Tillman will be attending.  Please contact her with any questions,  Tiffany has been working with area youth group leaders and Ministers to provide opportunities for our youth to gather and build bridges across differences.  This event is the first of many to come!  Should be a great time.   
You Are Welcome Here
by Tiffany Tillman

The YUUth Group was moved after the election to create something that demonstrated the inclusivity and acceptance they feel within our group.  Thanks to Myla Jacobs for the drawing and Liam Patullo and Sarah Forbes for the design collaboration, we came up with a poster we want to share with the world.  During our bicentential celebration the YUUth Group will be giving out signs for a small donation.  They will also be taking photos of folks holding the signs to make a video to share on social media.  The signs will be available for all to share as well.  We want the world to know that our future as UUs is bright and bends the arc of the universe towards justice.  

We are a welcoming faith and people.
Universal Gun Background Checks
by Jud Lawrie

Thank you to those of you who came to the gun violence vigil on December 14th in front of City Hall. It was good to come together in support of this important cause.  FYI, Mayor Weinberger opened the event, and Rev Mara offered some inspiring words.

Next step forward-Gun Sense Vermont has announced that a date for the Universal Background Check Bill Introduction and Press Conference has been set! This is where your presence in-person is invaluable. Mark your calendars now, and 
RSVP here

Date: Tuesday, January 10th
   12:00pm - Lunch with your representatives in the Statehouse cafeteria
   12:45pm - Press conference in the Cedar Creek Room
   1:30pm - 3:00pm  - Strategic Organizing Meeting in Room 10

Location: The Statehouse--Montpelier

If you need a ride, or can provide one, let me know. Together we'll show lawmakers how strong the support for Universal Background Checks is!  We need to offset the voices of the NRA/gun lobby.

Jud Lawrie (
Chair, First UU Gun Violence Task Force

Save the Date! New England Regional Assembly- Awaken! & 9th Annual Meeting of the NNED-UUA

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Northern New England District - UUA you are invited! 

Gather this spring (April 21-22, 2017) in Woburn, Massachusetts with Unitarian Universalists across New England to celebrate our faith. Come for inspired worship, engaged learning, community singing, UUA Presidential Candidates Forum, regional workshops, fellowship and fun. Awaken your spirit!

Visit for information about registration and workshops.