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February 2014

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Annual Meeting
Our Annual Congregational Meeting, for the purpose of electing new trustees and members of the Nominating Committee, has been called for after worship, Sunday March 9, 2014.  Additional notice will be provided when the names of candidates are available.
Ways and Means



 February Fair Trade Sale 

Share your passion for fair trade and UU-ism with others by giving gifts whose labels proudly display these values.    

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! 

Threshold Congregation Committee (TCC) - Update

One year ago, NUUC became a Threshold Congregation* as the recipient of a three-year, non-monetary grant from UUA/CERG (Central East Regional Group).  A committee was formed and charged with taking NUUC to the next level through strategic planning while maintaining the unique community and spiritual aspects of NUUC. 


During this first year, the Threshold Congregation Committee (TCC) has met for a minimum of two hours a month to review historical data, gather current data and evaluate, analyze, discuss the many possibilities for strategic growth of NUUC.  In November we presented our initial findings to the Board of Trustees, and we are now developing recommendations for the Board that we believe will contribute to achieving many aspects of growth at NUUC.


In addition to meeting regularly this year, we went on road trips.  We visited another Threshold Congregation (UUF of Wayne County in Wooster) to learn about their successes and processes, and we attended a leadership conference at North Hills UU in Pittsburgh - again comparing notes, learning from others.


Laura Howe, who spearheaded the submission of NUUC's grant application, has skillfully guided the team during its first year. 

Additional team members include:  Bob Keith, Kim Poderys, John Rodeheffer, Cathy Rodeheffer , Joan VanBecelaere (CERG coach) and Sydney Schardt, current chair.


As we continue the work of the TCC into its second year, we're looking forward to hearing from each of you - your dreams, hopes, ideas and suggestions for the future of NUUC.  We'll be back in touch with you soon.  In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns or burning ideas, please reach out to any TCC member.  We'd love to hear from you.



* What is a Threshold Congregation?  Threshold Congregations are basically healthy congregations who are poised and ready to strive for the next level of effectiveness.  While "seats in the pews" are one aspect of growth, equally important is the offering of vibrant and challenging worship experiences, welcome and true hospitality, an effective system of governance with effective leaders, loving social action beyond its walls, and the inclusion of everyone of all ages in the work of the congregation.  UUA/CERG (Central East Regional Group) awarded a three-year, non-monetary grant to NUUC in May 2013.

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.

Religious Education
We are looking for one more volunteer to round out the roster of religious education volunteers.  Would you be willing to be the second adult in the room (no lesson preparation required) for just four Sundays between now and June?  Please contact
Becoming a Member

Sunday Feb. 23, 11:45 AM-1:00 PM

Nielsen House (across the street from the church parking lot)


Join Rev. Ritchie and Membership Chair John Rodeheffer to learn more about what it means to be involved in our congregation.  This is an appropriate class if you are considering membership, or if you just have questions about either Unitarian Universalism or our congregation.  


A light lunch will be provided. Sign up on the form on the bulletin board (by the kitchen door) to Fellowship Hall, or by emailing

Spiritual Autobiography Class


 Unitarian Universalism offers you the freedom to chart your own spiritual course. Each of us do this but we rarely talk to each other about our journey. "Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography (Well, Just an Essay)" is a three-session class where you can reflect on your spiritual history and clarify your spiritual present and future. The class will involve guided discussion and culminate with an autobiographical essay which can be shared with the group. 


The dates/times/place: 3 Sundays (March 2, March 16, and March 23) from noon until 1:30pm in Nielsen House. Group facilitator: Dick Leavy. A sign-up sheet is posted in Fellowship Hall.

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


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

   Click here for the Latest News!

Our NUUC Member Directory is now available online!  Go to the "About NUUC" menu tab on our website, and select "Members Directory."  You'll be asked for a password.  
Please ask Susan in person or via email ( for the password so that we can protect the privacy of our members. Also, please email her a digital photograph for inclusion in the directory if you can!  She will also be roaming around this month, randomly terrorizing people with her camera. 


Susan RevElations


It is with great pleasure that I announce-how many years since I have been able to say this!-an experiment in worship.  Starting this upcoming Sunday, the first Sunday of each month, the children will begin in worship together with us.  We will share a few intergenerational service elements, listen to the choir together, and then the children will leave for class.   We are hoping that this fosters a greater sense of intergenerational community. This also has the advantage of allowing us make use of religious education volunteers who would ordinarily need to remain in the service for choir (you have likely noticed how many folks participate in choir!).


Also, towards the end of February, look, or I should say listen-for our new sound system for the sanctuary!  No longer will we have weird buzzings from the back speaker, or spots in the vestibule and other places in the sanctuary where it is hard to hear.  We'll have a digital recording system for both the choir and the service, a wireless microphone for me (no more wondering if I am going to trip on the cord!), and, did I mention, everyone should be able to hear!  Yay!

Christmas in February, just when we need it!


To Life!


From our Music Director




From the adults in the choir to the youth who play instruments, we are fortunate to have a deep well of musical talent in our congregation. It makes my work as music director even more joyful to know there are always people I can count on to enrich the worship service with their gifts. Of special note, I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Barbara Lubberger who sang a solo on January 5 while the full choir was on break.

As part of the new worship format that will include the kids of the congregation on the first Sunday of every month, we are inviting young singers and instrumentalists to perform. This might include playing during the prelude music or offering special music in the first half of the service. Playing at church is a great way to get performance experience while participating in worship. Interested families should choose a date and we'll put it on the schedule.

Here's a look at what the choir is preparing this month:

2/2: The full choir will sing a favorite from the repertoire - "Scarlet Tide" from the movie "Cold Mountain."

2/9: John Rutter's setting of "For the Beauty of the Earth" combines lush music to give a new perspective on a familiar text.

2/16: The women of the choir will be featured in a contemporary version of Hildegard von Bingen's plainchant "Columba Aspexit."

2/23: "Prayer of Being" is a contemplative piece; the first line is "Be in my life, be in my breath, be in my walk, be in my rest."

Musically Yours,
Marlene Hartzler, Music Director
From your Social Action Committee   


FOCUS ON POVERTY AND HUNGER:  In the coming year, the Social Action Committee will be focusing on issues related to poverty and hunger.  We are inviting the congregation to join us to learn more about this topic by reading the book and watching the documentary, A Place at the Table.  "Why are almost 50 million Americans hungry, and why are more than 23.5 million children and teenagers overweight or obese (and sometimes hungry, too)? What triggers and connects these trends? What systems and institutions perpetuate food insecurity, and what reforms will ensure that people get the healthy food they need?" Come engage in a conversation about these questions at a potluck and free screening of the critically acclaimed documentary "A Place at the Table," directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush on Sunday, March 2, 2014. The movie will begin at 5:00 pm followed by a potluck and discussion at 6:30. Look for more information about hunger in America on the bulletin board and sign up for the potluck in Fellowship Hall. 


At the service on Sunday, March 9, 2014 we will learn about local problems with food insecurity from MelodieCorroto, Executive Director of Andrews House (  Learn what the needs are in our community, what is being done, and what you can do to help. 


Our Loose Change donation in February and March will go to Andrews House in Delaware, OH.  Andrews House is Delaware's multifaceted community services center whose mission is "People strengthening people."  The Andrews House founders envisioned the facility as "...a place for hospitality, healing, and education and to advocate for individuals and families in the community. It is a safe place of acceptance, where people meet, learn, find solutions, overcome differences and achieve wholeness."  Andrews House is the home of six small social service agencies and also provides office space for a church and two small service-oriented businesses. Andrews House also supports eight programs separate from those of its resident partners including free meals, free legal advice, computer learning center, and a medical clinic.


Some Facts about Hunger in America


What is food insecurity?


Food insecurity refers to the inability to afford nutritionally adequate and safe foods.  There are four pillars of food security-- availability, access, utilization, and stability.


Why does it matter?


Food insecure individuals suffer from many physical and mental health concerns.  Specifically, food insecure and low-income people are especially vulnerable to obesity due to the additional risk factors associated with poverty, such as lack of access to healthy, affordable foods; fewer opportunities for physical activity; cycles of food deprivation and overeating; high levels of stress; greater exposure to marketing of obesity-promoting products; and limited access to health care.  Obesity is a major contributor to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Facts

  • Over 47 million low-income Americans participate in SNAP to help purchase food.
  • 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.
  • 83 percent of SNAP households have incomes at or below 100 percent of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013). These households receive 91 percent of all SNAP benefits.
  • Program eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty level and no more than $2000 in assets. Participants must also meet work and citizenship requirements.
  • The average SNAP household has about 2 people, with a gross monthly income of $744 and countable assets of just $331.
  • The average monthly SNAP benefit per person was $133.41 in FY2012, or less than $1.50 per person per meal.
  • 90 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed by day 21 of the benefit period - meaning most SNAP benefits are not enough to last recipients all month.
  • All SNAP participants saw a drop in their benefits on November 1, 2013 - the average decrease was $36 for a family of four. Over the entire year, the average family of four will have $396 less to spend on food. 

HELP WANTED:  Our Social Action Committee has some ambitious and creative plans for this year.  We would love to have new (or returning) members on the committee to help us brainstorm and implement activities related to social justice.  We also welcome people who are unable to commit to being on the committee on a regular basis, but are willing to help with a specific project.  Contact Pam Patsch at if you are interested in getting more involved in social justice at NUUC.


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.  Contact Pam Patsch at if you would like to buy a shirt or rally sign.


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. 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




Little Bean Counters' and Treasurer's Report for December 2013

by Jerry Schardt, Treasurer

Hi, and a big thank you to all the little bean counters who helped count the loose change offering in January for Amelia Rosenberg - which totaled $405.92, a record amount.

Here's how it happened: I was sitting on the floor of the nursery surrounded by a big pile of coins, when curious kids started coming in and asked if they could help. So together, we separated the pennies from the nickels, dimes and quarters. When one young man said that he didn't think he could count his big pile of coins, we took a different approach. Since everybody could count to ten, five pairs of little hands started stacking coins in columns of ten. Fyi - it takes about 30 minutes to count $75 of mixed coins.

This grandpa had fun, and now we have trained volunteers ready to help with the next loose change offering.

What a nice group of helpful kids we have. But watch out Mom and Dad, you may have a budding bean counter in your family.

On a treasurer's note, NUUC ended the year in a very good position and will take care of some needed major repairs and improvements. The reserved expenditures are detailed below.


Actual $
Received and Paid

Planned Receipts/ Payments


December, 2013








2013 Pledge Offerings




Non-Pledge Offerings




Rental Revenue




Ways and Means - Fundraising








Total Income








Total Expenses
















2012 Pledge Offerings




2013 Pledge Offerings




Non-Pledge Offerings




Rental Revenue




Ways and Means-Fundraising








Total Income








Total Expenses









Income exceeds Expenses                  





Authorized expenditures per Board

    Building & Grounds                           3,800

    Music Program                                    300

    Minister Professional Expense            1,500

    Sound System                                  6,000

    Capital Reserve                                2,805


NUUC ended the year with an excess of $14,405 (Income exceeding Expenses by $14,405). This amount has been transferred to the Reserves account and will be disbursed per the Board's direction
(see above) as the actual expenditures occur.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Jerry Schardt, Treasurer


January minutes pending