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December 2013

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Ways and Means

NUUC Annual Service Auction: A Raging Success!

This year's Service Auction was oodles of fun, with many exciting offerings and lots of great competition.  In the past 5 years, this has been far and away the most successful event - we raised a total of $5,502.25!  (cue happy dances and high fives). Great Job everybody!  

There was some confusion during the auction, as our technology decided to temporarily abandon us.  If, upon reviewing your winnings, you notice that something is missing that you thought you won - you're probably right!  Please feel free to call me (Becca Morse) at 614-805-6680, and we'll figure it out together.  Also, official requested payment deadline is Sunday, December 8, 2013.  (Not November 8 as stated in the bidding instructions.  No Time Travel required here.)  

If you purchased or donated items in the Auction, you will be receiving an email with the contact information for the people who won (or bought) your items.   (Please note: If you donated AND purchased, you'll be getting two emails!)  There will also be full reports posted in the bulletin board in fellowship hall during the entire month of December.  

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the auction.  

This event could not happen without you, whether you donated, purchased, or even just bid on items.  I believe that the connections we forge during the Service Auction enhance and enrich our community at NUUC.  Thank you for participating!  

I want to give Extra Special Thanks to several people:  Eileen Watters, for planning and providing lunch, Erika Shell Castro, for recording the winning bids, Nathan Morse, for his technological magic, and to our Youth Group: Amelia Rosenburg, Charles Rodeheffer, Amelia Petras, Mike Fagan, Jay Grimshaw, Olivia Mallet, and Maura Lawton, for being our official Auction Runners.  Thanks also to Merrily and Reverend Ritchie for their lively Co-Auctioneering!  Great Job Everyone, and Gracias!  Merci!  Grazzie!  Toda Rabah!  Tusind Tak! Danke!  - or just plain "Thanks!"  

I also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to my fellow members of the Service Auction Task Force:  Bob Keith,Marty Keith, and Laura Howe.  They have been an integral part of the auction's wild success.  Without the planning meetings and the many phone-calls, email discussions, last-minute announcement editing, newsletter announcements, and, (I confess) nudges to meet deadlines from each of them, this auction would not have been nearly so fabulous.  They have been truly fabulous in every way.  It has been an honor for me to serve with them, and I am truly grateful for their service.  

-Becca Morse,

Also in ways and means:  

December Fair Trade Sale

Save the date! Our December Fair Trade Sale

will be held on Sunday, Dec. 15th in Fellowship Hall following the service.


Have coffee and/or chocolate lovers on your gift list? Need mini chocolates

for stocking stuffers? Or, need a caffeine or chocolate boost yourself?


Share your passion for fair trade and UU-ism with others by giving gifts whose labels proudly display these values while also supporting our sponsorship of

Claudia at Montana de Luz. 



If you are interested in volunteering for these opportunities, or if you have other ideas for fundraising opportunities for our congregation, Please contact Becca Morse 


Thank you!


Sign up for the
Kroger Community Rewards card
Do your regular grocery shopping, and earn money for NUUC at the same time!  If you need help signing up. someone will be available on the second Sunday of each month to walk you through the process.  

Did you know?
We are a registered Non-Profit organization at the Delaware County Community Market.  You can buy groceries from Local vendors AND have a portion of your purchase donated to us!  Check it out! 

Healthy Congregations/
Smart Church 
is a series of workshops designed to assist congregational leaders and members in understanding their congregation as an interdependent system grounded in emotional processes.  It looks at congregations as living systems that incorporate thinking, feeling, responsibility, and purpose/mission.  This understanding can guide leaders to think more clearly about the congregation's life together and offer more effective responses in times of change or challenge.  

The North Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lewis Center, OH,  will be hosting the Healthy Congregation/Smart Church series of workshops to be held on:  January 11 and 25 and  February 8 and 22.  The program consists of four Saturday sessions (2 in Jan, 2 in Feb).  Each session will be 6 hours (9 am to 4 pm),  6 hours of process and an hour for lunch.  

* Participants will gain increased knowledge about systems, congregational dynamics and how these affect their congregations.
* Participants will gain new understanding of their congregation as an interdependent system in the midst of larger social change
* Participants will gain a stronger view of themselves as part of a congregational team and as part of our larger faith.
* Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Unitarian Universalism, stewardship, and leadership as a spiritual practice 
* During the course, the foundations of cluster partnerships and networks will be strongly encouraged so leaders can support one another's work and put the material into practice.  

For registration and more information:

The workshops will be led by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, Staff Lead for the Central East Regional Group,  and Amy Watson, OMD adjunct consultant for Healthy Congregations.  Together, Joan and Amy have been working with and teaching this material for over six years.

Brown Bag Books

Meets at Noon the Third Tuesday of the month.  Get all the details by clicking here.
NUUC Youth Group
For grades 6 through 12
We will meet the


Sunday, December 15, 7pm, location TBD


Contact Kristin Grimshaw 
or Melinda Rosenberg
Ohio Meadville  District of the UUA

   Click here for the Latest News!
Thanks for Helping with the Mowing at NUUC
As you may know, for this just-completed mowing season, we handled the mowing ourselves at NUUC.  Our coordinated mowing efforts went quite well and saved a lot of money.  We estimate we saved $2,700 by not contracting out the mowing.  Instead, for the yards around the church and Nielsen House, the Building and Grounds Committee members took turns mowing each week except for the 4th and 5th weeks each month, which were handled by volunteers from the congregation.  

At this time, we would like to thank the congregational volunteers for their efforts to fill out the mowing schedule.  Specifically, a big thank you goes to the following congregational volunteers for mowing once during the summer:


Sue Frederick ***

Dennis Howe

Roger Johnson **

Neil Kirby

Jerry Schardt **


*** = mowed 3 times,

** = mowed 2 times

For 3 weeks each month, 3 members of the B & G Committee took turns mowing.  We give a hearty thank you to these committee members for their efforts each month:

Roger Orwick

John Rodeheffer

Bob Keith

Also, we give a great big thank you to B&G Committee member Gary Rusk for his work mowing the large field at the rear of our property plus west of the parking lot.  Gary volunteered to handle mowing the fields for the entire mowing season, which really enhanced the appearance of our property.

Lastly, mowing is not complete unless you trim the edges.  We give a big thank you to Dennis Howe for his weed trimming efforts each month, which added a lot to the grounds overall good appearance.

Since our volunteer mowing approach worked so well, we plan to continue this approach in the coming mowing season.  Watch for more information on our mowing plans as Spring approaches.


Congregational Meeting called for Dec. 22, 11:30 AM, for the purposes of approving the 2014 budget.  Babysitting will be available through the end of the meeting.



Susan RevElations


I have a neighbor who always experiences internal conflict this time of year regarding which holidays to celebrate.  She was raised Jewish, but attended Catholic schools even through college.  She no longer identifies as religiously Jewish, although, of course, she feels strongly about her cultural heritage.  She doesn't consider herself Catholic, but, especially as a musician, she enjoyed and continues to enjoy the beauties of the church and its rites.  Anyway, this neighbor usually handles her dissonance about what to celebrate by not decorating at all for the holidays.


So imagine my surprise to visit the other day and see her entire living room draped in gorgeous strings of golden lights.  I asked her about it, and she said just very simply, "I realized that suggesting the dark is improved by lights really isn't all that partisan."  I liked hearing that.  Something about her statement allowed me to see immediately the basic human instincts behind all of this season's celebrations.  Of course we bring light and greens to our rooms.  Of course we defy the coldness of the season by simply insisting on abundance, and finding cause to celebrate. 


And if you too would like to light up the dark night, don't forget our special Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7:00 PM.  And bright blessings on all you do in this magical time of year.



To Life!


From our Music Director




It's the most wonderful time of year to be a musician. There is a plethora of music begging to be played between Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of my toughest decisions as music director is selecting the precious few pieces that the choir will perform during the month of December. However, it's not just the choir bringing you this gorgeous music. We will be having some help this month from some of our favorite instrumentalists, including a violin and flute duet by Emerson Saling and Rosie Hartzler.


December 1: The choir will sing "Inscription of Hope" by Z. Randall Stroope, quoting and Russian folk song, with lrics from an inscription on cellar walls in Germany. The NUUC Recorder Ensemble will play "What Child Is This?" for the offertory.


December 8: "Keep Your Lamps" is a traditional spiritual, arranged by Andre Thomas.


December 15: "The Best of Rooms" is by Donald Busarow, an Ohio composer.


December 22: "Love Came Down at Christmas" by Howard Helvey is a new addition to the choir's repertoire.


Christmas Eve will feature the choir's favorite selections from the above. Lily and John Rodeheffer will perform a flute duet.


The choir will be on a well-deserved vacation December 29 and January 8. We will need someone to play piano for the hymns on December 29 and any vocalist or instrumentalist for the musical interlude on January 8.


Musically yours,

Marlene Hartzler, Music Director 

Notes from the Board President

Hello, all:


I thought it time to bring you up to date about the Board's activities.


In October, we brought in an expert, an architect, to answer some questions about a building addition.  We now know what is "physically" feasible.  On top of that, the architect didn't charge us for his help, and I, for one, had fun.  I'd say that was a good Board of Trustees meeting!  


Now, the Finance Committee is considering the specifications we gave them and will be telling us what may be "financially" feasible. A future step, of course, is putting on display a detailed, developed, possible plan for you to see, getting your comments and suggestions, and then making some decisions.


The new sign for out beside Lewis Center Road is much further along than the building expansion idea....  In fact, the design is about ready to be taken to Mr. Frank Clay, on whose land the sign sits, and the township zoning authority for final approval.  Then a sign company will make the vision a reality.  Kudos to Lauren Richards, Board member and resident artist!  


Because the tree near the sign has done what living things do-grow, and we cannot change the sign's size or location, Lauren has opted for a bold font that can hold its own against the tree's presence. Eye-catching colors also will help assure that the sign stands out. The sign will not be in place as early as I'd hoped, but the kind Building and Grounds Committee will bolt it onto the upright posts in the middle of winter, if need be.  In the spring, they will repaint the posts.


Well, those are the big items I thought you'd like to read about.  


The Board of Trustees also is getting ready for an upcoming congregational meeting and keeping an eye toward the future.


Have a great month!

Until later,

Marty Keith


From your Social Action Committee 


EMPTY BOWLS:  NUUC raised $507 for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank this year.  Thanks to everyone who donated money, contributed delicious food, and helped with set up, serving, and clean-up. What a wonderful opportunity to share a meal with others in our NUUC community while also making a difference for the hungry in our greater community


LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING:  Our Loose Change Offerings in November and December will be donated to People in Need to help provide a brighter holiday season for others in Delaware County.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP GROUP:  In October and November, the Adventures in Green group discussed holiday pitfalls and ideas for creating an eco-friendly season that is meaningful and enjoyable.  Check out the NUUC Adventures in Green Facebook page or the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall for more information and ideas.  


The next meeting of the Adventures in Green group is scheduled for Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 7:00pm and will be held at Becca Morse's house. We'll be watching and discussing two of the short videos produced by Annie Leonard and The Story of Stuff Project, a community of 500,000 changemakers worldwide, "working to build a healthier and more just society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division." 


The Story of Stuff "is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world."  


The Story of Solutions "explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current 'Game of More', we're told to cheer a growing economy - more roads, more malls, more Stuff! - even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is increasing,and polar icecaps are melting.  But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn't more, but better - better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn't that be what winning means?"  Look for more information on the bulletin board and in the January newsletter.


RECYCLING DRIVE:  The Adventures in Green group is planning a recycling drive after the holidays. So hold on to your electronic waste, old holiday cards, and Styrofoam packaging.  Join us in keeping these items out of the landfill.  


STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE/UU JUSTICE OHIO T-SHIRTS AND RALLY SIGNS: Let your UU values show!  These yellow shirts and rally signs are a great way to make us visible at social justice events and to demonstrate our UU principles to others.  See Pam Patsch if you would like to buy a shirt or rally sign.


NEW MOVE TO AMEND STAMPS:  Let your money speak for you.  Look for members of the Social Action Committee after Sunday services to get your money stamped with "A corporation is not a person.  Money is not speech", "Not to be used for bribing politicians," or "The system isn't broken, it's fixed."  When you spend your money, you spread the word.  

SOCIAL JUSTICE LIBRARY:  The Social Action Committee is starting a lending library of books and DVDs on social justice issues such as immigration, poverty, LGBTQ, environment, and human rights.  Check out our selection on the bookshelf in Fellowship Hall and please consider donating appropriate books or DVDs to add to our collection.  


SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE BULLETIN BOARD:  Check out the folding divider in Fellowship Hall with information about upcoming SAC activities as well as issues and actions at the local, state, and national level.  If you have information about social justice issues you want to share with the congregation, please post it on the bulletin board or email it to Pam Patsch at


The next SAC meeting will be on December 8th at 11:30.  We welcome new members.  For more information about the Social Action Committee, contact Pam Patsch at



From Your Board of Trustees Meeting   

Materials from the last board meeting are still pending...we will present them next month.