The Prologue
Monday, December 15, 2014
Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana

Congregation founded 1949

GLBTQ Welcoming Congregation since 1995

Green Sanctuary since 2007

Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World


December 21

Solstice Celebration

6:15 p.m.


December 24

Christmas Eve Services

4:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.



Quick Links
Solstice Celebration
Away in a Manger
Congregational Meeting Highlights
Shambhala Meditation
Our Folks...
Exploring UU Class
Susie's Place Report
Contact a Minister

Sunday, December 21, 2014    9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.


"Beginners: So Much Is in Bloom"

Reverend Douglas Wadkins

Continuing to explore the meaning of Hope in this season, and building on ideas from the November 30 service; Rev. Wadkins will delve into the wisdom of the interplay between nature, the myriad facets of winter and our own search for enlivening hope.

Sunday, December 21, 2014    6:15 p.m. 


"Winter Solstice Celebration for All Ages"

Reverend Emily Manvel Leite

Reverend Mary Ann Macklin

Reverend Douglas Wadkins

with special music by Janiece Jaffe, Colleen Haas, and Ray Fellman
      Come share in a quiet, reflective service celebrating the returning sun. We will enjoy music provided by special guests and will join together in a candlelit spiral procession as we reconnect with the earth and its natural cycles. Childcare for very young children available in Room 108.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014   

4:00 p.m.

"Away in a Manger"

Reverend Mary Ann Macklin

Adrienne Summerlot

This worship is an interactive Christmas Pageant designed for families with young children and for those young at heart. There will be a few chairs set up, but we invite folks to sit on the floor to create a more relaxed and informal atmosphere. Details on the service are given below, by the photo of the Nativity scene.


7:00 p.m.

"Candlelight Christmas Eve"

Reverend Mary Ann Macklin

Reverend Douglas Wadkins

Join us for this uniquely Unitarian Universalist celebration of Christmas Eve. Our choir, with guest conductor Ray Fellman, will share gifts of music; congregational singing of Silent Night and other carols and candlelighting will be part of the service.

Sunday, December 28, 2014    9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.


"Pure Jesus"

Shari Woodbury, guest preacher

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." So says Jesus in the mystical Gospel of Thomas. As we move past Christmas and prepare for a new year, come and hear this gospel's hopeful message about who Jesus is - and who we all are. Shari Woodbury, congregation member and Candidate for the UU ministry, will be joined by Rev. Douglas Wadkins and a special mini-choir for this service on "Pure Jesus." 

Sunday, January 4, 2015    9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.


"Gnothi Sauton"

Reverend Douglas Wadkins

It is a new year and a new theme for the month of January,  Integrity. Know Thyself is integral to integrity  Our first service examines the relationship between self-knowledge and this month's theme. 


Board of Directors, Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington:
Pat Brantlinger, Von Welch, Deb Hutton, Ann LeDuc, Kathy Sideli, Doug Cauble, and Arzetta Hults-Losensky


December Congregational Meeting Highlights

     At the fall congregational meeting on Sunday, December 14 at 4:00 p.m., 67 gathered members heard reports from the Board, the ministers, the Social Justice Funds Committee, the Green Spaces Initiative Capital Campaign Committee, and the Treasurer. We also approved the previously published Bylaws changes with a few improving amendments. President Kathleen Sideli also reported on our progress and process for searching for an Associate Minister. Minutes of this meeting will be available online and on the bulletin board in the Courtyard Entrance within a few weeks.

    Many thanks to all who led and attended the meeting.  

--C. Marks, Ch.Admin.


From Our Interim Minister


The month of December is flying by, and yet, we are still on the brink of the major winter holidays. In the final weeks of 2014,  may some aspect of this time offer you a meaningful measure of what you need -  perhaps a moment of restorative peace, a full belly-laugh with friends and family, or a moment where you know you've done something--anything--to make a life better for someone in a time of need.  May the truths of our life and the larger life be the place where we begin.


In a service at the end of November, I shared this list of guiding stars for the season adapted from the wonderful book, "Unplug the Christmas Machine" by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. May something in these words serve you well in the coming days:


 Believing in the possibility of the spirit of this season, may I:  

  •  Remember those people who truly need my heartfelt gifts.
  •  Express my love in more direct ways than material gifts
  •  Examine my holiday activities in light of my deepest values
  •  Be a peacemaker within my circle of friends and family
  •  Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth 

Given what I do and just the truths of our lives, the holiday seasons have not always been jolly and light for me, but they have ALWAYS been meaningful and a chance to do important work.  For that gift, and for this blessed time we are sharing, I am grateful.




The Reverend Douglas Wadkins, Interim Minister

Seeking The Spirit

Religious Education News Blast

Want to know what is going on in Religious Education for Children and Youth?  Follow this link to an easy access guide to upcoming events! 

RE News Blast


Do you love Drama?  Religious Education is searching for 3 teachers for January Intersession to share their time and talents with children in Kindergarten-8th grade for 4 short weeks!  Contact Adrienne Summerlot


Tuesday, December 16th - Holiday Sing Along - 6:00-6:45 pm
The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loudly for all to hear! Join us in the Meeting Room for this musical celebration. Newcomers and Visitors are welcome to join in the fun! Find this event on Facebook and share with your friends! Holiday Sing-Along 

Wednesday, December 24th, 4:00 p.m.
Away in a Manger Christmas Eve Pageant 
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin 
and Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education

This worship is an interactive Christmas Pageant designed for families with young children and for those young at heart. There will be a few chairs set up, but we invite folks to sit on the floor to create a more relaxed and informal atmosphere.


What to bring:

- a stuffed animal or doll to put in the manger and share with the babies and other children

- soft blankets, pillows or floor chairs

- a plate of cookies to share

- If your budget permits - a pair of new mittens for the Mitten Tree


     Specific age groups are invited to come dressed for parts and to become familiar with a few lines. These ages are just suggestions, if your child feels called to play a certain role assigned to a different age group, that is fine! 

      Please let Adrienne Summerlot ( know if someone in your family can arrive a little early and be an Inn Keeper and help pass out candles and programs.

      0 - 3 year olds - Angels - Wear halos perhaps made of aluminum foil and whatever else you feel makes you angelic. Practice saying, "Oh, what a wonderful child" and "Peace to all people on earth!"

      4 - 5 year olds - Shepherds - Wear shepherd hats like a towel on head tied with some type of rope or tie and whatever else would keep you warm if you were a shepherd. Practice saying, "Let's go look for that baby" and "Oh, what a beautiful child!"

      6 - 8 year olds - Wise Ones- Wear crowns and other wise-one like garb. Practice saying, "Look at that amazing star! It must be shining for something very special!" and "This child will be our teacher."

      9 and up - Inn Keepers- Help pass out programs and play the role role of Inn Keeper. Please let Adrienne know if a youth or adult in your family can help in this way.

Monday Shambhala Meditation is Every Monday at Noon 

Join us at 12 noon every Monday in the Meeting Room for an hour of Shambhala Meditation, walking meditation, and Shamatha yoga with Sarah Flint. Please bring your own cushion; sitting in one of the Meeting Room chairs is also fine.




Our Congregational Themes for 2014-15

December:  Hope

January:   Integrity                

February:   Faith          

March:   Resilience               

April:   Revelation    

How does Hope help you Seek the Spirit, Build Community, and Change the World?  

Building Community

Our Folks...

     Congratulations to Steve Dillon who received the 2014 Al Horn Award, a lifetime achievement award  recognizing his work for NORML to legalize marijuana, and  defend  those charged with marijuana offences.

     Congratulations to Colleen Haas and Mary Boutain who were married in a small ceremony over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

     Happy Birthday to Virginia Clendenning, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 19.

New Email for our Multimedia Specialist 

    Our Multimedia Specialist, Andy Beargie, has a new email address: Please do not use his * address for church business any longer, but use this new address instead.

Solstice Celebration with Central Indiana UUs

Join central Indiana Unitarian Universalists at their 10th Annual Solstice Celebration on December 20 at 7:00 p.m. at UU Church of Indianapolis:


Hospitality for Those with Allergies

As a courtesy to our friends and members who have allergies to fragrances, we are designating the west section of the Meeting Room (next to the sliding glass doors and tall narrow windows) as Fragrance Free. Please do not sit there if you have used any fragrances.  Anyone else is welcome to sit in this area.  Thank you for your consideration. 

Cookie Bakers United!

To all who baked, sold and bought COOKIES:  Awesome job everyone!  We had a great selection and we completely sold out! Our cookie customers were very impressed and sugar saturated happy. The Cookie Walk Committee thanks you, the Bazaar organizers thank you and our church thanks you.  You were a hit!

Your cookie committee, Mary Jo Conley and Meg Sears  

Giving Tree Thanks

Many thanks to all who brought the beautiful and useful gifts for Stepping Stones, Positive Link, Circles Initiative, Blooming Families, Shalom Center and Monroe County United Ministries on December 7.  Collectively, we have touched the lives hundreds of local people in need.  Also, thanks to your generosity, $2132.74 is on its way to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee as our Guest at Your Table contribution to support their important work all around the world!


Exploring Unitarian Universalism Class Meets Sundays, 
January 11 & 18, 2015

     Are you interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism and this congregation?  Whether you are considering membership or are just curious, this class is for you.  The Exploring UU Class will be held on Sunday, Jan 11 and Sunday, Jan 18 from 2-4 p.m. in the Ralph and Annetta Fuchs Library.  Sign up by Sunday, January 4 at the welcome table in the foyer, or by emailing

NEW! OPTIONAL-- Exploring UU History,  a third class in this series for those wanting more details on UU History. Sunday January 25th, 2:00-3:00 pm. Led by Stuart Yoak.  Exploring UU History is
open to anyone in the congregation.  Free child care is provided.  For more information contact Judy Bennett,   
Speaking in Order to Be Heard and Understood
     The Elder Focus Task Force was delighted to see the guest column that Anna Wiley wrote for the Herald Times last week about making it possible to understand speakers. It's not pleasant if you can't hear a speaker.  Anna confirmed, as we have stated before in our work on this issue, that it's not just necessary to speak louder,  but one has to use the diaphragm to give the breath support that is necessary for speaking clearly and understandably. Sometimes a microphone helps but mostly it's projecting and being conscious of not dropping your voice at the end of a sentence and not mumbling that allows the other person to hear and understand you.  Click here for Anna's column.  --Barb Backler, Elder Focus Task Force

William Bentley and the American Unitarian Church

     William Bentley (1759-1819) was raised in the Congregational faith.  He was tutored in Latin and Greek and attended Harvard.  After the Revolutionary War he became a minister of the East Church in Salem where he lived out his life. He was a scholar and wrote to Enlightenment figures like Priestley and shifted to the more liberal theology of the English Unitarians. He faced rejection by the more traditional Congregationalists whose views were closer to Calvin. Bentley rejected predestination and he believed Jesus did not exist before he was conceived and born to Mary. His outlook was one of reason over emotionalism or faith.  He claimed that "the only evidence I wish to have of my integrity is a good life, and as to faith, his can't be wrong who has a life in the right."  He had a library of 4000 books and was admired as a scholar, historian, and antiquarian.  He loved Salem. He turned down the Presidency of the University of Virginia offered to him by Thomas Jefferson.  He turned down serving as the first Chaplain of Congress.  He never married.  His church in Salem had mostly sea captains and local merchants as congregants. They kept his cabinet of curiosities filled with items from around the world that he sought. He kept a diary starting at age 23 until he died. It was not meditative, but reveals the daily life of those who lived in the early days of our Republic and the conflicts of the evolving Protestant denominations in a new nation that permitted freedom of establishing religious institutions.    --Elof Carlson, Congregational Historian


New History of Our Congregation Available Soon

Elof Carlson completed a new history of our congregation this past spring, and we expect to be able to make it available online in the new year, when we have our new website in place!

UUs for Hire - List and Waiver Form Now Available

The Elder Focus Task Force has compiled a list of gifted and talented Unitarian Universalists who are available for hire for a variety of useful purposes including Pet Sitting, Home Healthcare, Organizational Skills, Carpentry, Counseling, Sewing Machine repair, Building Construction. The list and the liability waiver form are posted here:     UUs for Hire and Liability Waiver

Changing the World
Habitat Task Force Organizes Mid-Week January Build
The UU Habitat Task Force would like to help Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County this winter by providing workers for a mid-week build. The local organization is holding mid-week builds, in addition to Saturday builds, to cut the building time from 14 to 7 weeks in order to help more families this winter. We are hoping to recruit 10-12 volunteers for Wed., Jan. 7, or Thurs., Jan. 8 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Work planned for those days primarily includes painting and trim work inside, but maybe some siding outside. If you can participate, please contact 
Barb Berggoetz,  Thanks for your support.  


Susie's Place Report - 

2014-15 Recipient of 25% of our Sunday Offering

     Allison Creekmore of Susie's Place shares information about Stewards of Children trainings that have been presented utilizing our 25% of Sunday Plate fund, as well as initiatives for future trainings in Bloomington.



  • Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington - Supervision staff training August 2014
  • Monroe Co CASA - volunteers and staff - contact has been made for all staff to be trained, as well as ALL volunteer CASAs being offered the training 
  • Monroe Co Community School Corp - The Superintendent has given approval to move forward with bringing this training to staff at MCCSC
  • Meeting on December 5th - I will be attending the Bloomington After School Network meeting on December 5th at the Boys and Girls Club.  Multiple youth serving organizations in Bloomington attend the meeting to network and collaborate. Will offer opportunity to receive the Stewards of Children training at their sites.
  •  Adrienne Summerlot will meet to discuss a strategic plan for offering the Stewards of Children training to the UU Church both to the staff and entire congregation.  
For details, click here.
(Since July 1, we have donated $2,231 to Susie's Place to support their work in our community. On January 2, we expect our second quarter contribution will exceed $2,300.)

UU Humanist Discussion Group Meets on Alternating Sundays

Our Humanist Discussion group meets on alternating Sundays at 12:45 p.m. upstairs in

Room 210. This group offers an opportunity for regular, open, wide-ranging discussions of issues relating to morality and ethics, human development, and the nature of the universe. The next meeting is on Sunday, December 21; the topic is "Humans and Robotics"  and will be led by Reverend Mary Ann Macklin and Harold Ogren.    

UU Freethinkers Group Enjoys Free Ranging Discussion 

The purpose of the UU Freethinkers bi-weekly meeting, Sundays at 12:45 p.m. in Room 210, alternating with the UU Humanist Forum, is to create the opportunity for participants to raise questions and engage in open and non-structured discussion of issues of social concern, political concern, and theological/religious concern. The UU Freethinkers next meeting is on Sunday, December 28. Info, contact John Crosby.   

Everyone is Invited to Make a Pledge or Make a Financial Gift

If you have not yet pledged for the fiscal year that started on July 1, it is not too late! You may make a pledge at anytime during the year. Please call 812-332-3695, ext. 200 to let us know the amount of your pledge, or send the info in an email to Church Administrator Carol Marks at or pledge online. 

See our Stewardship webpage at or go to the Donate page (tab to the far right at the top of the page) at and click on "I want to make a Pledge."  You may also make a one-time donation (as many times as you like!) to General Donations or Sunday Plate 14-15 at the same Donate page. Click on "I want to make a Payment." Please call the office if you have questions and we will be happy to help, 812-332-3695.     


Contact a Minister

    Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, our Senior Minister, can be reached at 812-332-3695, ext. 201 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, or For pastoral emergencies, please call her mobile, 812-322-0205


    Reverend Doug Wadkins, our Interim Minister, can be reached at 812-332-3695, ext. 207 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, or email For pastoral emergencies, please call his home study number, 812-369-4179.


Reverend Emily Manvel Leite, our Minister of Religious Education, can be reached at 812-332-3695, ext. 203 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, or email For pastoral emergencies, please call her at home, 812-333-9822.

    All ministers have voicemail on their numbers so that you can leave a private message.  

Attendance and Membership

Current Membership: 502     Certified Membership as of 2/1/2014: 492

We are currently reviewing our Membership Rolls, as required annually by the Bylaws, which is why our membership has dropped in the last week or so. Some members have moved away, etc. --Carol Marks, Ch.Admin.



Sunday, December 7             9:15:    112;     11:15:  176;     RE: 28             Total:   316

Sunday, December 14           9:15:    156;     11:15   197;     RE: 31             Total:   384

Non-Pledge Offering

12/7 - $660;  12/14- $972        Total to be donated to Susie's Place - $407.89

Grocery Card Sales

December 7    $1,450, income to UUCB $72.50

December 14  $1,125, income to UUCB $52.25

Limiting Doors Unlocked for Evening Meetings and Events 

Unless your event or meeting is being held in the Meeting Room, for evening meetings please unlock and use courtyard or portico entrances only. This helps us with building security.  Questions, contact Carol Marks, Church Administrator,, 812-332-3695, ext. 200 



Dirk and Susan Hirk-Hoyman from Prairiee UU in Madison, Wisconsin are seeking apt to rent starting second week of January. Please contact Dirk at

Calendar of all our congregational events can be found at  Click on "Full Calendar" and then on the date you are interested in. You can also search for a specific event! Our facebook page also has scads of useful information:

Next issue, Monday, January 5. Deadline for articles about congregational events and projects is 10 a.m. on 1/5/2015, to Carol Marks at  Next few publication dates (1st and 3rd Mondays): 1/5, 1/19, 2/2, 2/16, 3/2, 3/16. 

Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, 2120 N. Fee Lane, Bloomington IN 47408, 812-332-3695