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January 2013

Staff and Board Reports
Board/Committee Happenings
Religious Education: next meeting: January 6th 

Social Action:

Fair Trade
Board of Trustees:
next meeting:  
January 19th, 9 AM
Upcoming Worship:
Creative Fellowship:
Creative Fellowship will begin meeting on the 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. starting Jan. 15th in Fellowship Hall.

This is a great opportunity to get to know other people you see in the pews on Sunday while we work on our sewing, scrapbooking, cross stitch, knitting or any other creative endeavor you are working on. Any questions please contact Teri Cornell.
Join the UUJO
(UU Justice Network of Ohio) 
UU Justice Ohio (UUJO) offers social justice activists an exciting new opportunity to unite in an effective network coordinating liberal religious advocacy in our local communities, the state, and beyond. UUJO will facilitate collaboration between our congregations as well as partnerships with other Ohio social justice organizations promoting social, economic, environmental and racial justice that fosters the dignity of all, through education and by organizing concrete action and public witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals.
An online form is provided for individuals to register as members. to receive periodic UUJO news updates, to identify issues of interest, and to volunteer time. All 41 Ohio Congregations have also been asked to join UUJO by formally designating an individual liaison here.
For more information, visit the UUJO website. 
Brown Bag Books

Brown Bag Books 
in January:
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

in February:
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America by Bill Bryson

So reserve you books and mark your calendars for the Third Tuesday of each month. We meet at noon at the Highbanks Metro Park Nature Center for a discussion of the current book, and then we've been doing a short walk after. Come as you can... we have a good time!

Happy Reading,

Harvest the Power:
Adult Enrichment Opportunity! 

Many Unitarian Universalists experience a deepening commitment to their faith and congregation as a call to accept a position of leadership-as a lay worship leader, a leader of children or youth or a member of a task force, committee or governing board. Harvest the Power provides leadership skill development that goes hand-in-hand with faith development. The program helps lay leaders grow in spirit as they grow as leaders. The focus of these sessions will be to strengthen UU identity, and help individuals to discover and resonate with our stories, symbols, and practices. To be conducted by NUUC President Laura Howe each of the four Sundays in January, from 5:00PM- 8:00 PM, dinner break included (dinner provided the first session). Sign up by signing the form on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall, or by emailing Susan, or Laura. 

Join us on Facebook!

Orientation to Our Congregation

Orientation to Our Congregation

Feb. 3, Noon-1:30 PM

Potluck Lunch Included

Join Rev. Susan Ritchie and Membership Committee Chair John Rodeheffer to learn more about our congregation. Sign up on the poster in Fellowship Hall or, email an RSVP to

Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to 2013! We hope that your holidays were full of laughter and light and that your new year is an improvement on your last.



I hope you won't be shocked when I say that I love the first day after we've taken down the holiday decorations. It is exciting when they go up: but after a point, the glitter that once thrilled starts to seem gawdy, and the plainness of every day life reveals its appeal in a new way.


Recently, I was thrilled to come across this haiku for the New Year, by the 18th century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa:


New Year's Day--

everything is in blossom!
I feel about average 


I just love this poem for the permissions it offers.  Perhaps this time of year does find us extremely excited by the promise a fresh starts and new unfoldings.  And, perhaps it feels, um, a Tuesday, which it also is.  And both are fine--totally and completely fine. 


I can't predict the future, but I rather suspect that 2013 will contain it all: new creation, average days, and even new disappointments.  I suspect then, that the point of starting the New Year with a clean slate and a fresh calendar isn't so much to control the future, but to see each thing that comes our way for exactly what it is, outside of expectations. 


To Life!


P.S. Don't miss the announcement about the Orientation to Our Congregation class on Feb. 3.  I do know for sure that one of the best parts of 2013 will be in welcoming new friends!



By Lily Shahar Kunning, Director of Religious Education

Can it really be 2013 already? I am busy, sequestered here in Appalachia, working on curricula for our RE program.

I am currently working on some more lessons on each of the seven UU principles. In the fall, we covered one and two (Although- do you ever really "cover them"? I still come back and reflect on them as I wade through my daily life and decisions! I will keep coming back to these ethical guideposts throughout the years in my lesson planning, to be sure).

Currently, I have several books on the concept of peace and war on my desk that are at different age levels and am busy trying to make such abstract concepts age appropriate and understandable for a lesson on principle six. How do we teach our children about something we hope that they never see or experience? Hard work, this. 

As a parent myself, I worry about exposing my child to the stuff of nightmares, like war and violence. But I also know that I need to introduce those topics and make sure my son understands what I expect, what I think, and what I feel about them. I use the same discernment when designing lessons for the children and youth at school. 

I am also writing my arts and performance curriculum for this semester, which needs reworking because of our funding.
We suffered a setback in my arts curriculum recently: I discovered that no grant money will be available for us, as most arts grants will not cover religious activity. even if I made the program completely secular (which I do not wish to do), we could not get funding, as the program serves the church only. So I am moving on to plan B, which is getting artists in without compensation. I should be able to do do some of what I originally envisioned, with more work on my part. Stay tuned!

MarleneMusic Notes
By Marlene Metz Hartzler, Music Director 

December is always a big month for the music program at NUUC and this year was no exception. Instrumentalists played at three services - a flute trio, the Recorder Ensemble, and a quartet of kids. Our adult choir prepared lots of music for regular Sunday worship and the Christmas Eve service. We even took the show "on the road" to WillowBrook at Delaware Run for a special concert for the MacLaughlins, where Joan is recovering from back surgery. Thanks to the coordination of WillowBrook's activity director Kelly Frentsos, we presented an hour-long concert for about 50 residents. The concert included carols, anthems, instrumental music, and readings.


The choir's focus now turns to preparing music for a joint concert with the choirs at Asbury United Methodist Church in Delaware. We are working on a total of eight pieces for this performance. The repertoire features a wide variety of choral music including the Bach "Epiphany" Cantata, "God Thou Art Love" by Columbus native Craig Courtney, and "O Magnum Mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen. The concert will be at 4:00pm on Sunday, February 24 at 55 W. Lincoln Ave., Delaware. Our choir will be presenting many of these concert selections at worship services in January and February.


Regular choir rehearsals will resume at 9:00am Sunday, January 13. Now is an excellent time for new members to join the ranks. We have an informal audition process. See me for a folder of music and attend a Sunday morning rehearsal to check us out.


Musically yours,

Marlene Hartzler, Music Director

Treasurer's Report, November 2012
By Koraleen Stavish, Board Treasurer

Outlined below is a summary of the financial report presented to members of your Finance Committee and Board of Trustees for the month of November, 2012:


Actual $ Received and Paid

Budget (Planned Receipts and Payments)

November, 2012






2012 Pledge Offerings



Non-Pledge Offerings



Rental Revenue



Ways and Means - Fundraising






Total Income






Total Expenses












2011 Pledge Offerings



2012 Pledge Offerings



Special Collection



Non-Pledge Offerings



Rental Revenue



Ways and Means-Fundraising






Total Income






Total Expenses



charityLoose Change & Charity Giving Report

January's Loose Change Offering and the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also called chemical injury, environmental illness, and twentieth-century illness, is on the rise as we use more and more chemicals in our daily routines. According to Pamela Reed Gibson (2000) in her book Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, over 11 million people in the United States have moderate to severe MCS, and that estimate was nearly thirteen years ago.  This ailment is a global concern as well.    
Anyone can get MCS, but chances increase greatly for those who have a single large exposure to chemicals, low-level repeated exposures, family histories of chemical sensitivity, or bodies that cannot detoxify chemicals.  For example, recent studies show that many people with MCS also lack certain enzymes or have injured enzyme systems.  Enzymes aid detoxification.    
A person might have MCS if his or her symptoms are reproducible with repeated chemical exposure, the condition is chronic, levels of exposure lower than previously tolerated bring on symptoms, symptoms improve when the irritants are removed, responses occur with multiple chemically unrelated substances, and symptoms involve multiple organ systems (Gibson, 2000).  Any bodily system can be affected, such as respiratory, digestive, neurologic, musculoskeletal, endocrinologic, and immunologic.  Common complaints include lethargy, difficulty concentrating, memory difficulties, muscle aches, and nausea.  Less common are memory loss, nervousness, bleeding from the lips, heart palpitations, water retention, and hair loss.    
In short, MCS changes lives.  Families are disrupted.  Careers are ended.  And "triggers" are everywhere.  Pesticides, formaldehyde, fresh paint, new carpets, car exhaust, perfumes and air fresheners are only a few.    
The Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured in Parma Heights, near Cleveland, supports MCS sufferers by explaining the condition, sharing experiences, and validating symptoms (affirming that the symptoms are real and that very probably the new carpet is making someone feel ill).  In addition, this organization tries to educate the community with programs and literature.  Your Social Action Committee has decided to send January's "loose change" offering to the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured to help it do its work.

MinutesBoard Minutes




NUUC Board meeting  December 8, 2012

Attendees: Jeff Hill, Kim Poderys, Mary Ann Wojton, Laura Howe, Nina Webb- Lawton, Susan Ritchie, Koralleen Stavish, Nathan Morse, Marty Keith     Absent:  We were all here!


1.    Chalice Lighting by Laura Howe

 Quorum Check:  Yes


2.    Acceptance of minutes of previous board meeting

         Nina moved to accept minutes from November, Laura seconded, minutes were accepted.


3.    Treasurer's report

         We are on track for November


Jeff motioned, Nathan seconded that we go into Executive Session.

Nina motioned, Jeff seconded that we return to regular board meeting.



4.    Minister's Report



5.    New Business

2013 Budget



         Jeff motioned, Mary Ann seconded that the 2013 budget, as amended, be presented to the congregation for approval at the congregational meeting on 12/16/12.  Budget passed. 

         Nominating Committee asked for clarification


Board directed nominating committee to submit a slate (1 person per position)

Nominating committee directed to put out a call for nominations to the congregation.

         Threshold congregation, application has been received and Joan Van B will help us complete next steps.

         UU Justice Ohio is a new group forming in Ohio focused on social action.  There is no dues impact.  Nina moved and Marty seconded that NUUC join UU Justice Ohio.  Motion passed.


6.    Adjournment

Nina moved, Marty seconded that the meeting adjourn at 10:41 AM.  Meeting adjourned. 




VolunteersVolunteers of All Stripes Needed
Our active and vibrant congregation needs volunteers of all kinds to do the work of building beloved community and social justice within our congregation and out in the world. Take a look at the opportunities available and see which opportunities appeal to you!

Religious Education:  We need substitutes to fill existing vacancies and act as last minute subs when someone gets sick. We are asking members of the congregation with a special talent for art, performance, and/or activism to step forward and help with guest appearances for our spring semester. We have an RE Rep of the Day most weeks, but also need subs for that position as well. We are looking for second chaperones for our new Youth Group (that meets outside of church twice a month).
Email Lily for information or to make a commitment.

Refreshments for Social Hour: Can you bring snacks and refreshments for social hour after worship? It requires purchasing items, coming in early for set up, and helping clean up afterwards. Sign ups are in the Fellowship Hall on the bulletin board nearest the kitchen.
membershipMembership Committee Presents: "A Pathway to Membership"


Up this point, all one had to do become a member of NUUC was simply ask to sign the membership book.

We are now recommending that our friends who wish to become members attend at least two adult RE classes (look elsewhere in the newsletter for upcoming classes)  and a NUUC orientation (the first of which will be February 3rd) before deciding to become a member. After attending the three sessions just mentioned, those interested in becoming a member of NUUC, will have the opportunity to sign the membership book and become an official member of our NUUC family.  Of course, it is always possible to simply have a discussion with Rev. Ritchie about your interest in membership.


At this point, our new members will be matched up with a mentor or buddy.  Care will be taken to match similar demographics such as single persons, families with young children, or older couples etc. 


If you are a member of NUUC and would like an opportunity to offer the most special, unique gift possible, to give of yourself as a mentor or buddy to a new member,  there will be an orientation or introduction to this program on Sunday, January, 20 following the service.  


I'm asking you to consider attending this introduction.  Your attendance at this orientation is not a commitment.  After listening to how the program will work and it's expectations, you will be offered an opportunity to sign up to become a mentor/buddy or you may decide that this commitment simply will not work for you at this time. We are simply urging you to attend this brief meeting on January 20th if you have any interest at all.

SACNews from your Social Action Committee

Social Action Committee Surveys:
Approximately 25% of the congregation responded to the Social Action Committee survey. Economic Justice received the most first and second choice votes with Poverty being the topic people were most interested in addressing. Human Rights came in second with the most interest in LGBTQ and reproductive rights. Environmental Justice was third. Sustainability, Climate Change/Global Warming, and Dependence on Fossil Fuel/Alternative Energy were the topics that received the most votes in this area. Activities people were interested in are listed from most to least interest: donating items, attending a presentation, attending a class for several weeks, financial donations, volunteering in community projects, hearing a lay sermon, joining with other community groups in an event, watching a movie, book talks, writing letters, accessing information on-line, giving a presentation, taking a service trip, Lobby Day, and mentoring a family. Thanks to everyone who completed a survey! The Social Action Committee will use your feedback as we plan for the coming year. 

Social Action Committee Bulletin Board:
We have so many exciting things to share that we needed to expand our space. Check out the folding divider in Fellowship Hall with information about SAC survey results, Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort, letters to the editor from NUUC members, upcoming SAC activities, and community events including films and speakers. Let us know what you think!
Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort: During November and December, the SAC collected money for relief efforts for our fellow UU's on the east coast who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. This effort was coordinated through the Central East Regional Group (CERG) UU disaster relief. NUUC has contributed $923.95 to this fund. See the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall for additional information.
Inter-faith Global Warming Preach-in: On February 10, 2013, NUUC will be participating in this event. Look for more information in the coming weeks. 

Social Action Committee Changes:
Tracy Steinbrenner has stepped down from the position of Social Action Committee Chair due to family needs. Please be sure to thank Tracy for her effort, time, and leadership during the past 2 years. Pam Patsch is the new Social Action Committee chair and Yvonne Clippinger in the co-chair. Other committee members include Tracy Steinbrenner, Mary Keith, Chuck Lynd, Sheila Fox, Lyn Heron, Rod Myers, Erika Shell Castro, Ulrike Martin, and Gwyn Andrix.

New members are always welcome. The SAC meets at 11:45 on the first Sunday of each month. Our next meeting is January 6th. For more information about the Social Action Committee, contact Pam Patsch. 

With every breath and every step, may we be working to create the Beloved Community we all strive for!

Susan Ritchie and Lily Shahar Kunning
North Unitarian Universalist Congregation