The Newsletter February 2015                  

Invitation to the Ordination of Rachel Baker


Invitation to the Ordination of Rachel Baker.


First Parish in Bedford cordially invites the members and friends of North Unitarian Universalist Congregation to witness and celebrate the Ordination of Rachel Allen Baker to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry.


Sunday, March 15, 2015 

at 4:00 p.m.


Clergy and seminarians are invited to robe and process at 3:30 p.m.

75 The Great Road, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730


Reception to follow.

NUUC Youth Group
For grades 6 through 12

Contact Kristin Grimshaw
for the meeting schedule!
Movie Night!! 


Movie Night is happening! 


Scott and Sheryl Hardin will host this month on Sat. Feb 21 

at 6:00 pm


Moviegoers will assist with a potluck supper before viewing the film.


There are a few seats left; contact Sheryl & Scott if you would like to come.

Service Auction 


Save the Date!  Service Auction on the evening of Saturday May 16!


This year, we will celebrate our annual Service Auction in style, with a few exciting changes, so  - Save the Date!  The evening of Saturday, May 16 will mark the first spring Service Auction for our congregation!  Here are just a few of the exciting changes you can look forward to:  


Spring!  The annual Service Auction is moving to the spring.  No longer will the every-member pledge canvas Stewardship Campaign be held simultaneously.  Having the Service Auction in the spring* will give us a chance to kick up our heels and get ready for warmer weather!


Theme!  This year's theme is "An Evening of Enchantment: Tropical Paradise."

Evening Format!  We will take time to gather as a community and celebrate with merriment and, of course, refreshments!

Multiple events for the whole family!  This evening Gala will have more events - A Silent Auction, a Gift Basket Auction, our exciting Live Auction, and even a Kids Auction!

For more information about the service auction, go to to see our FAQ, previous catalogs, and our online all-in-one Registration/Donation/Volunteer sign-up form.  The deadline for donations is March 31.  More information will also be available in special announcements each month, order of service, and from a SAMM near you.  


*(In November, we will have a pre-thanksgiving bake sale, so you can still get your goodies this fall!)

Our Congregation 


Feb. 1, 2015 , 11:45 AM, Nielsen House parlor. 


Join Rev. Susan and Membership Chair John Rodeheffer in Nielsen House after the service for conversation about our congregation, membership, Unitarian Universalism-anything at all about the whats, hows, and whys of engaging in our congregation.  



New Member Recognition


During service on Feb. 15, we'd love to recognize new and prospective church members.  

Contact if you are interested.


Brown Bag Books

Meets at Noon the Third Tuesday of the month.  Get all the details by clicking here.
Adult Enrichment

"Mindful Writing" continues to warm us writers through the winter months as we meet to share
thoughts about topics that take surprising turns. January's subject was "sin." Prejudice, wealth and
power without compassion, and simple day-to-day disregard for others showed up on our lists of
Modern Sins.

On February 18 we will consider "Love," something "hardwired into the human brain as
a natural and necessary connection to one another," according to Rev. Karen Hering, author of Writing
to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within. What is love? What do you see when you
look into a loved one's face? How has love transformed you? Does love, as Zora Neale Hurston
writes, "make your soul crawl out from its hiding place"? Can you love again after a disappointment?

Oh, yes, this tree has many branches (and roots as well), and I'm sure our next session will be
interesting and fun. We meet in Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm on the third Wednesday of each month.

Marty Keith will answer your questions!
Annual Chili Cook-off 

Annual Chili Cook-off Sunday, March 1st in Fellowship Hall following the service.

Bring your favorite meat or veggie chili and/or your taste buds to help judge. 

First place
prize to be awarded for each category.You do not need to bring chili to participate in 
this fun and delicious annual event.

Contact Eileen Watters or Jan Bourke with questions.
Join Our Mailing List
Ways and Means 

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 at  

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! 
Ohio Meadville  District of the UUA

   Click here for the Latest News!


Susan RevElations!


Commissioned Lay Leader Teri Cornell and I would like to invite all Pastoral Care Associates, all Casserole Brigade members, and anyone interesting in serving in those capacities to join us at church Feb. 19, 7:00 PM.  We'd like to streamline and refine how we communicate, and also just have a discussion about how we are and how we might grow in meeting the congregation's needs.  Our hope is to both expand our numbers and improve our efficient so that no individuals have too much to do, but there is a chance for all to make meaningful contributions.  So please join us!  Join us f you like to cook OR sending cards OR making a few organizing phone calls OR leading joys and sorrows OR just checking in with fellow members after service or by phone. Look no further than Jeff's column below to know how important this is to our fellow members!


To Life!



Notes from the President

Good Evening All.

First and foremost, on a personal note, I would like to thank the congregation for the strong outpouring of support over the past several weeks. Lynn and I greatly appreciate all of the food from the casserole
brigade and folks stopping. It has made these last few weeks much more bearable.

This month, your board has been focusing on getting the budget approved. While late, we were trying to be the best stewards we can be of your money and protecting the programs that make our congregation the home that it is. While not perfect, it's a workable budget. Special thanks to our Treasurer, Jerry Schardt and your finance committee: Neal Kirby, Scott Grimshaw, and Scot Hardin for all of their advice in putting it together.

One of the things I especially like to do is hand out special "thanks" from the board. This month, our special shout-out goes to an individual that has spent countless hours on Fair Trade Sales, Recorder ensemble and last (but not least) our phenomenally successful service auction. Our board special thanks goes to Becca Morse.

Warmest Regards.

Jeff Hill 


You may have noticed that the Guest Log in the entrance has disappeared. No, it is not lost.

We have intentionally made it disappear. The purpose of the log was to provide visitors with an opportunity to let us know who they are and, if they so choose, to provide us with their contact information. It was also a way for them to request information from us.

We now have a new method for this exchange of information including high tech capabilities (QR code). You may have noticed "WELCOME VISITORS" cards on the back of the pews which replace the guest log. There was awkwardness about visitors encountering a registration
immediately as they enter the door and then having a greeter point it out to them should they happen to miss it. We don't think this is a very welcoming experience for the first time visitor.

The cards in the pew give the visitor a little time to consider if or what information they wish to share and what they would like know about NUUC. After filling out the card they are instructed to drop it in the offering basket. Having these cards show up in the office immediately
following the service quickly draws attention to who the visitors are on any given Sunday. This allows for a quick response to any information they may have requested.

NUUC has a reputation for being a friendly congregation. We now have an opportunity to "kick it up notch". We want to continue our long standing tradition of greeting our pew neighbors following the service but, additionally, we are asking you to beware of visitors near you before
the service begins. Welcome them and point out the cards and the information packets in the back of the pew and let them know to place completed cards in the offering basket. If they miss getting the cards in the basket, you can offer to see that their card reaches the office.

Let's all work together to welcome our visitors.

John Rodeheffer, Membership Committee Chair
The Threshold Congregation Committee Asks, "Have you seen it?"

It isn't two roads diverging in a yellow wood... a la Robert Frost ...but one wide stone path climbing up the wall in the sanctuary...with Merrily pointing the way.

We invite you to explore - bring your imaginations and 'walk' along the Path of Service in the sanctuary. Check out the many opportunities available to serve our church and meet its growing needs.

Then we invite you to ask questions, such as . . .

Where am I on the path?
Do I see more ways that I can serve my church?
Can I contribute even more of my talents and skills?
Is it time to branch out, stretch a little with my church involvement?

Getting involved is a way to connect - with new friends, old friends, new members, old members. And as we serve and connect, we strengthen each other and NUUC as a whole. We spread the joy of serving among more people. We collaborate; we share ideas; we support. Serving is about volunteering for a task, and it's also about more than that. It's about connecting and working together for the greater good and purpose of NUUC and the world around us.

In the words of Merrily, "it's better to serve than be served."

If you have questions or suggestions about the path (or anything else), feel free to talk to anyone on the Threshold Congregation Committee (TCC): Sydney Schardt, Cathy Rodeheffer, Dee Burlison, Bob Keith, John Rodeheffer, Laura Howe.
News from your Social Action Committee (SAC) - February 2015 Newsletter

ACTIVE HOPE: On March 8, 2015, the Social Action Committee will be giving a service on climate change. You are invited to join us on a time travel adventure followed by a celebration of The Great Turning.

COMMIT2RESPOND: What if you could halt the rising tide of climate change? Commit2Respond is a coalition of Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience working for climate justice. Commit2Respond's leadership is provided by Unitarian Universalists from across our movement. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Ministry for Earth, the UU Ministers Association, and the UU College of Social Justice are some of the groups in collaboration on this initiative.

Commit2Respond is focused on three major objectives: growing the climate justice movement; advancing the human rights of affected communities; and shifting to clean, renewable energy. Kicked off at the People's Climate March in New York City on September 21, 2014, Commit2Respond unites our many diverse efforts for climate justice. From World Water Day on March 22nd to Earth Day on April 22nd, we are invited to join in a spiritual journey for climate justice. During Climate Justice Month, you are encouraged to learn, reflect, and discern what long-term actions you, your family, and our congregation will take to build resistance to climate change.

You can learn more about this initiative on the Commit2Respond website. Look for more information in the Order of Service and on the SAC bulletin board in the coming weeks. One person can't avert the crisis that is in progress. But united together we have the power to create a better world and save the only home humanity has. Caring about our planet's future isn't a question. We are called to honor life's interconnectedness and save our home. As people of faith and conscience, we Commit2Respond.

HOLIDAY FAMILY: This year, we selected Montana de Luz (MdL) for our Holiday Family. MdL provides a home and support for children in Honduras with HIV/AIDS whose families are unable to care for them. In
addition to gifts that were donated, our congregation collected $567.97 to help provide a special Christmas for the children served by MdL. Erika Shell Castro, NUUC member and director of Montana de Luz shared her
appreciation for the generosity and support of our congregation.

Dear North Unitarian Universalist Congregation,

I want to thank you for your very generous outpouring of support for the children of Montana de Luz! Your gifts, donations and support helped them to have a wonderful Christmas.  The children had a "family reunion" with 5 children who have transitioned out of MDL to live with
family or to study or work.  It was wonderful for them to come back to share the holidays with their MDL family and friends.  Everyone loved their gifts and was thrilled to shop for shoes and the older children shopped for a new outfit as well.  Over the holidays the children who have extended family traveled to stay with relatives and those that do not were taken in by our loving staff to spend the holidays with their families.  The children are back on the mountain of light now and school will soon begin.  Muchas Gracias y que Dios les Bendiga!

In Gratitude~


JANUARY LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING: Our Loose Change Offering in January was donated to the Barrett family of Red Lake Nation Reservation.

Dear North Unitarian Universalist Congregation,

Chi Migwiich we received quite a donation for the Shirley Barrett family of Red Lake Nation. This family of seven is hungry and in deep need.  Some of their relatives are also homeless and displaced. The Barretts are a family of Pipe Carriers and Makers keeping Ojibwa values in this
modern world. So many of the old ways are being lost.  My prayers are that this family can keep them going. The Loose Change offering raised $284.11 for the family.  As I witnessed people dropping money into the pink bucket, I just cried because it was so beautiful.

A youth named Isaac gave an additional $6.80 from his piggy bank and Judy and Roger Johnson gave bags of groceries and $20.00 for postage to send it. An additional $30 was handed to me after the service.  This raised an amazing total of $331.91 for the Barrett family. On the reservation, most family incomes are less than $1,000 a month so this is really helpful. Reverend Ritchie has also allowed me to have scone sales to raise money here and there through the year.  This is a cause near and dear to my heart. Thank you so much for your love and compassion.

Forever Grateful,

Donna Hrabcakova

Mino Gezee Gaad.  Today is a good day.

Guest at Your Table: The 2015 Guest at Your Table campaign is underway. Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is a program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (the UUSC), one in which our congregation has participated for years. Our "guests" are people all over the world whose rights have been jeopardized. Our contributions help the UUSC advance economic justice by advocating for adequate wages and fair trade practices; strive for environmental justice by defending everyone's right to water and other resources; fight for civil liberties by supporting freedoms of speech, assembly, and religious worship and by opposing unfair imprisonment and state-sponsored torture; and respond to humanitarian crises, offering help to people made vulnerable by natural disasters and conflicts. In short, making a donation during the Guest at Your Table campaign allows us to follow our UU heartsand be of assistance in this world, trusting the UUSC to do an amazing job. Our UUSC earned the highest rating possible-four out of four stars-from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent evaluator of nonprofit organizations. The UUSC is fiscally responsible and committed. It works with grassroots groups in numerous countries, not by telling others what to do, but by listening, giving suggestions, and helping to come up with strategies.

"Sustainability" is GAYT's theme this year. Accordingly, in the booklet "Stories of Hope," you will read about Nancy Vilce and Marie Obethe Moise who are involved in projects that will aid Haitians in healing and sustaining themselves after last year's earthquake; Don Mario Perez, a coffee farmer in Honduras and a member of Cafe Organico Marcala, a large cooperative that partners with UUSC's Equal Exchange to encourage fair trade and sustain the environment; and Chrisantus
Mwandihi, founder of the SoilFarm Multi-Culture Group, which promotes conscientious agricultural techniques and protects the Kenyan rain forests and water sources in the face of global climactic changes.

Please consider donating this year. Guest at Your Table contributions can be made online (see Marty Keith), or you can give your donation envelope to Marty on or before March 22. A donation makes you a member of the UUSC: an individual membership is $40, dual membership is $75, senior citizen membership is $20, and youth/student membership is $10. And please keep in mind that
donations of $125 or more are eligible to be matched by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y.

Thank you!

FEBRUARY LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING: Faithful Forgotten Best Friends (FFBF) is an organization committed to reducing hunger and providing veterinarian wellness checks for the pets of the homeless and
less fortunate in the downtown Columbus and Franklinton areas.  The organization believes in the healing power of companion pets and that the human/animal bond is very important to life.  This is the only non-profit organization in the Midwest that focuses on this need.  Ohio shelters do not allow pets, and many of the homeless are forced to choose between their pet and staying in a shelter: Most choose to stay on the streets with their pets. Sometimes, this is their only companion or family! Between 5% and 10% of homeless people have dogs or cats. NUUC will be collecting dog and cat food for the month of February to be donated to FFBF. 

The February Loose Change offering will also go to the organization, to help with FFBF's goal of stocking medical supplies and buying a larger van with which to haul food.  Check donations can be made to NUUC
with FFBF Loose Change in the memo line. To learn more about FFBF, visit  Feel free to contact Erin Fisher Kenny at with any questions, and thank you for your donations!

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST JUSTICE OHIO MEMBERSHIP CHALLENGE: UUJO is a statewide action network for the 38 UU Congregations in Ohio and their more than 5,000 members - 27 churches and fellowships in the Ohio Meadville District of CERG and 11 in the MidAmerica Region. NUUC is one of the congregational members. The mission of UUJO is to organize justice seekers statewide to promote education, service and advocacy consistent with Unitarian Universalist liberal religious principles and to witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals. Visit the UUJO Website  or Facebook page to learn about statewide issues and actions addressing immigration, economic justice, environmental justice, LGBTQ equality, criminal justice and race, reproductive justice, peacemaking, and voting rights/fair elections. The January 2015 newsletter offers recent information about justice in Ohio. To learn more about UU State
Advocacy Networks watch "What's Your State of Justice" Youtube Video shown at 2013 GA.

In December, The UU Funding Program offered a $5,000 matching grant for new individual members or current members who renewed their membership for 2015 at a higher level.

You can become a member of UUJO by submitting a form online and making a minimum contribution at one of the following levels:

 Low income and students:     $10-24

 Supporting level:                  $25-49

 Chalice level:                        $50-99

 Beacon level:                        $100 and above

Please complete the online membership form to become an individual member of UUJO.

SOCIAL JUSTICE LIBRARY:  The Social Action Committee has started 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

SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING - The Social Action Committee meets after the church service on the first Sunday each month. Our next meeting is Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 11:45 am. New members are
always welcome.

Treasurer's Report of December 2014 Results, January 27, 2015

Good news! Our Income exceeded expenses by $1,156 for the 2014 fiscal year.

The 2015 Budget was developed jointly through the collaboration of our Board of Trustees, the Minister and the Finance Committee and was accepted by the congregation this past Sunday. The 2015 Budget has $15,000 of expenses to be met each month.

To pay our $15,000 each month, it's important to receive pledges in a timely manner, especially during those slow, vacation-filled summer months. It would be a great help to the church, and could be convenient for you, to set up an automatic payment of your pledge to NUUC from your bank. Most banks have a "bill pay" feature and can send a check to the church on a regular basis.

Please be assured that all processes for receiving and recording pledges, including automatic payments, have been established by the Board and are secure and confidential. Thank you for considering this option for contributing your pledge. It will help ease the strain of meeting our obligations.

Highlights: December YTD financials reflect Income of $166,691 which is $7,551 greater than budget primarily due to DRE Funds and Ways and Means fundraising. Expenses of $165,535 are ($5,855) over budget and include unbudgeted DRE expense.

INCOMEMonth ended Dec 31, 2014
2014 Pledges  16,501.6612,420.00
2015 Pledges 1,200.000.00
Non-Pledge Offering  1,882.000.00
Rental Revenue 100.00125.00
Trf from DRE Restricted Funds1,345.630.00
W & M Fundraising 257.71716.66
TOTAL INCOME 21,287.0013,261.66
TOTAL Administrative 235.45289.99
Bld & Prop Ins 0.00308.33
Bld Mortgage 785.00833.33
Bld Property Tax 0.0021.25
TOTAL Building R&M 1,058.34431.23
TOTAL Building Utilities 623.21676.24
TOTAL Committees 49.41199.97
TOTAL Compensation 11,232.189,657.32
TOTAL Dues 1,013.00911.66
Pledge Canvass 0.0016.66
TOTAL EXPENSES 14,996.5913,345.98
OVERALL TOTAL 6,290.41(84.32)
North Unitarian Universalist Congregation
INCOME YTD ended Dec 31, 2014
2014 Pledges 139,818.92149,040.00
2015 Pledges 1,700.000.00
Misc. 77.180.00
Non-Pledge Offering  6,610.740.00
Rental Revenue 1,300.001,500.00
Trf from DRE Restricted Funds6,728.150.00
W & M Fundraising  10,456.048,600.00
TOTAL INCOME  166,691.03159,140.00
TOTAL Administrative 3,661.043,480.00
Bld & Prop Ins 3,774.003,700.00
Bld Mortgage  9,590.9710,000.00
Bld Property Tax  267.82255.00
TOTAL Building R&M 5,506.965,175.00
TOTAL Building Utilities  7,411.928,115.00
TOTAL Committees 1,913.902,400.00
TOTAL Compensation  121,642.48115,415.60
TOTAL Dues  11,655.0010,940.00
Pledge Canvass 111.15200.00
TOTAL EXPENSES  165,535.24159,680.60
OVERALL TOTAL 1,155.79(540.60)

Board of Trustees


Click here for the December meeting minutes


January minutes not yet approved