Home Weekly Update, December 12, 2019

Weekly Update, December 12, 2019

Weekly Update, December 12, 2019

This Sunday, December 15, at 1U

Worship — 10:30 am, Sanctuary

Soulstice, by Rev. Samuel Schaal, Transition Minister

The Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere is a time of darkness and emptiness. It can also be a time of expectation and creation.

During today’s service, the nonprofit Mental Health Association of Central Florida will offer further organizational information. Then all undesignated (i.e., pledge) funds collected will be given to the Mental Health Association of Central FL. Your funds are vital. Your generous donations will enable them to continue their good works in our community.

Children & Youth Religious Education (CYRE) Sunday Schedule

Reminder:  Potluck lunch December 15 for youth and families, noon to 1:00 pm, Assembly Room Includes holiday photo, and the teens will do their youth group $5 gift exchange!

9:15 am-1:00 pm Nursery for ages 9 months thru 4 years (EC Nursery)

10:30 am-10:45 am Children begin in service with their parents

10:45 am-11:45 pm Children and youth proceed to the Enrichment Center for Children’s programming

11:45 pm Parents pick up Children in the Enrichment Center

For more information: RECoordinator@orlandouu.org. Also, join our Facebook group & stay informed!

Children & Youth Religious Education This Week

Again this Sunday our children and youth will be preparing to perform our annual holiday pageant Festivals of Light on Dec. 22. We welcome all children and youth during rehearsals December 15. Even if you missed last Sunday, there are roles both behind the scenes and in the spotlight. Adults we need your help, too! If you would like to assist or help with a cookie decorating project after the pageant, contact  Sarah Gray, Interim Coordinator of Religious Education: 1urecoordinator@gmail.com.

In our Nursery: Our Nursery staff,  Heather Coddington and Kristin Mataluni report a few children enjoyed the nursery and one child had her very first nursery experience and was all smiles.

In Dr. Seuss (ages 3-6): and Star Wars (ages 6-9): Last Sunday the classes joined to focus on preparing for our pageant. They practiced singing Friendly Beasts with Olivia Drouillard, Bonnie Peabody and Michelle Tichy. Cathy Spoone joined them when it was time to create scenery. More work on the pageant is slated December 15, including music and art work.

In Harry Potter (ages 9-13) and Youth RE and Youth Group (High School):  Last Sunday the tweens and teens teamed up to work on our pageant. Lynne Ricketts, Beverly Alig, Jonathan Gray and Stephen Orsborn coached the teens and tweens. Those who chose speaking parts divided up and rehearsed the narration while others prepared to include the younger children. Kristin Mataluni left instructions for preparing the costumes. More work on the pageant is slated December 15.

New to 1U? After Time for All Ages, you are welcome to accompany your child to the labyrinth outside our sanctuary. Our Religious Education teachers will provide guidance about the best class for your child and answer any questions you have.

Adult Religious Education (ARE)

Share the Plate — 9:30 am, Community Room

The Mental Health Association of Central Florida (MHACF) is thrilled about being the recipient of Share the Plate today. MHACF CEO Candy Crawford will discuss the status of mental health care in Central Florida, and the functions of MHACF’s organization. MHACF provides programs such as their Outlook Clinic, which serves uninsured patients with anxiety and/or depression and co-occurring medical conditions. They also offer the Reflections program: an educational, supportive, safe haven for individuals looking to maintain mental wellness and prevent crisis. Their Guardian Advocate training is a four-hour certification course offered regularly throughout the year to help caregivers become better versed in patient’s rights and knowledge of the Baker Act. These and other MHACF programs offer those with mental health issues a place to turn. With enormous cuts from the stat budget, funds are very tight at this time and our help is needed.  

Other Sunday, December 15 Activities

Nora Staton Bookstore Open — Before AND after Church, Gore Hall Foyer

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Come shop at the Nora Staton bookstore, where you’ll find a large assortment of UU-related titles in many categories. The bookstore is open quarterly, and this is the (late) Fall event. We have some excellent purchase awards: a Unitarian Universalist tote bag OR a bumper sticker — free with a $30 purchase! Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted for payment. Questions? Contact us at bookstore@OrlandoUU.org.

Dreamers’ School Info Session — 11:45 am, Gore Hall Room A 

Curious about who we are sharing our campus with? Come join us for “Meet and Greet with Sarah Barrett of The Dreamers’ School.” Sarah will tell us about the school, how it works as a hybrid classroom-home schooling program, and its philosophy and inspiration from Waldorf Schools.

Blue Christmas Service, by Rev. Samuel Schaal & Lay Pastoral Care Associates — 4:00 pm,  Room A in Gore Hall

We’re “supposed” to feel joyous in this season. The truth is, many don’t. The holidays can bring up old memories and pains. Join us for this special service acknowledging our difficulties so we might move forward more centered.

Coming Now Through Next Week

Friday – December 13

Black Cat Open Mic Night  —  7:30 pm-12:00 am, Gore Hall

Are you a performer? Bard, troubadour, musician, singer, poet, actor, dancer, comedian, highly skilled fool? Enjoy being part of the audience? Join others at the monthly open mic night and enjoy wine, beer, pizza, snacks and a great show! All are welcome! $2 donation. More info: BlackCatCafe@OrlandoUU.org or https://tinyurl.com/blackcatdec2019

Saturday – December 14

Tai Chi — 9:00 am, Enrichment Center Studio 

All are welcome, class is free, with a ($5) donation to 1U requested. Katherine Vaccaro, our Tai Chi instructor, welcomes you and any questions. The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit. Please email taichi@orlandouu.org for information about the class, which regularly meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:00 am.

Monday – December 16

Tuesday – December 17

Tai Chi — 9:00-10:00 am, Enrichment Center Studio

All are welcome, class is free, with a ($5) donation to 1U requested. Katherine Vaccaro, our Tai Chi instructor, welcomes you and any questions. The moe you practice, the more you’ll benefit.

The Alliance — 10:30 am, Gore Hall  

Updating the Holiday Boutique begins at 10:30, followed by a bag lunch at noon; all are welcome. Since our Holiday Luncheon was last week there will be no potluck lunch this week. For further information contact us at alliance@orlandouu.org.

Eclectic Music Collective Practice — 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

EMC (Eclectic Music Collective) is an open musical collective. The group seeks and encourages 1U members with varied musical abilities and interests to collaborate and create an eclectic range of musical offerings in support 1U’s mission. Key objectives include preparation for musical performances supporting Sunday services and 1U related events. Effective collaboration will be the primary intention and framework.

Monthly 1U Board of Trustees Meeting — 7:00-9:00 pm, Gore Hall Room A

1U members and friends are welcome to observe Board Meetings. To bring an item to the Board’s agenda, contact an Executive Committee member at least a week before the meeting. Executive Committee Members include the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Minister and immediate Past President.

Folk Ensemble — 7:30 pm, Enrichment Center Studio

Everyone welcome. No particular skill level needed. If you enjoy sing-alongs, please join us.

Wednesday – December 18

Wednesday Morning Meditations at UUUF — 8:30-9:00 am, 11648 McCulloch Rd

All are welcome to participate in a lightly guided morning sitting practice to get the day started at the University Universalist Unitarian Fellowship, 11648 McCulloch Rd, Orlando, FL 32817.

Choir Practice — 7:30 pm, Sanctuary 

The Chalice Choir rehearses until 9:00 pm under the direction of Aubrey Connelly-Candelario. All are welcome!

Thursday – December 19

Tai Chi — 9:00-10:00 am, Enrichment Center Studio 

For those of you who normally work on Thursday, here’s an opportunity to try Tai Chi at our regular 9:00 am time. It’s a great way to burn some calories and relax before the festivities begin. All are welcome, class is free, with a ($5) donation to 1U requested. Katherine Vaccaro, our Tai Chi instructor, welcomes you and any questions. The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit.

Eclectic Music Collective Practice — 7:00 pm, Sanctuary 

EMC (Eclectic Music Collective) is an open musical collective. The group seeks and encourages 1U members with varied musical abilities and interests to collaborate and create an eclectic range of musical offerings in support 1U’s mission. Key objectives include preparation for musical performances supporting Sunday services and 1U related events. Effective collaboration will be the primary intention and framework.

Mindfulness Meditation — 7:00-8:00 pm, Studio (West end of the Enrichment Center) 

Join us every Thursday for eclectic meditation practice based in, but not limited to, the Mindfulness tradition. After introductions, we have a 20-minute sit followed by discussion. We close with another 10-minute sit. Open to those with and without meditation experience. Drop-in friendly.

Other News


Holiday Schedule — All are welcome to attend!

December Worship Theme: What does it mean to be a people of AWE?

Dec. 21      7:00 pm Winter Solstice Service, Sanctuary

Join Mystic Grove in their 25th Annual Winter Solstice Service: a lovely evening service with the annual spiral dance in the courtyard. It is MG’s biggest ritual of the year! Come as you are or dressed in colors of the season. Coffee Hour and potluck finger food snacks at 8:00 in Gore Hall, ending about 8:45 when we carry and light the Yule Log in the EC Courtyard. Please drop off your snack in Gore Hall ahead of time. Facebook RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/MGwintersolstice2019.

8:45 pm-7:00 am Annual Yule Vigil, EC Courtyard

Join us for camaraderie around the Yule Log bonfire as we keep watch over the longest night of the year and do our part to ensure the sun rises! Bring your conversation, games, musical instruments and dish for Midnight Potluck! Some bring their sleeping bags and lawn chairs for napping. Facebook RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/mgyulevigil2019.

Dec. 22     10:30 am  Holiday Pageant Sunday (Intergenerational Service), Sanctuary

In this holiday pageant for all ages, we’ll celebrate the season with singing and story as we follow a theme of light through the winter holidays.

                                         11:30 am Holiday Potluck Lunch Following the Pageant

Celebrate the holidays at a potluck lunch in Gore Hall. Please bring a favorite festive dish to share with friends and family.

Dec. 24     Two Christmas Eve Services, Sanctuary

5:30 pm Intergenerational Family Service followed by cookies & cider

7:30 pm Candlelight Service followed by cookies & cider

We join the journey of the couple wandering in the night seeking the hospitality of strangers so they might birth the hope and possibility of a new child. Where is hope being born in our lives? Join us for cookies and hot cider in Gore Hall between the two services. Refreshments will also be served after the second service.

Dec. 29     Opening to Wonder, by Worship Associate Linnea Nelson, Sanctuary

Experience the simple beauty of prayerful music and a message of being open to wonder in the new year. You are invited to bring candles to add to the beauty of the service.


Introducing Religious Education Consultant: Michele Townsend Grove, D.Min. 

Michele Grove is our Religious Education Consultant to continue the success of our launch of a new generation of religious education at 1U. Michele will work with Interim Religious Education Coordinator Sarah Gray, the Religious Education Committee and Rev. Sam to develop a long-term, sustainable program employing the best practices of Unitarian Universalist religious education for children and youth. She will also consult with our Board and be present for the congregation as we continue to build synergy between our RE program and the church. She will be onsite at 1U for two weekends over the next few months: the first Jan. 25-26, preaching both Sundays. Her other consulting will be via internet meetings and phone.

Michele is a leader and pioneer of transitional ministry practice in religious education. She is currently serving the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, as Interim Director of RE and has served as a UU interim religious educator with congregations in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Michele began her career as an educator in the United Methodist tradition and then joined Unitarian Universalism in 2003. She developed a passion for interim religious education in 2006 and has served this specialized vocation since. Michele served as one of the interim religious education trainers for the UUA from 2008-2016. She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree and recently earned a Doctor of Ministry, both from Wesley Theological Seminary. Her Doctor of Ministry degree is in a specialized program called Creative Ministry for Church Renewal.

Community Garden Harvest Open to All

Come visit the 1U community garden and bring a bag. During this fall-winter season we’re running a low key “you-pick” operation. We’re growing vegetables, fruit and herbs for you. Ready for take home today: kale, green beans, leaf lettuce and red romaine. Our tomatoes also are ripening on the vine. Grab the red ones. Venture into the perma-garden, and you’ll find even more – also ready to take home today: Brazilian spinach, cranberry hibiscus, lemongrass, basil and those ever-lovin’ green papayas. Questions? Recipes? Talk to Rene Stutzman.

 Missed a Sunday?

Audio recordings for most Sunday sermons are online here. Just click and listen.

Caring Circle

Members of the Caring Circle offer kind, practical, tangible efforts to church members who may be experiencing significant joys, concerns, sorrows, or changes in their lives. We follow up on Joys and Concerns expressed in Sunday worship, as well as notices from the minister or other church members about short-term circumstances that may need attention. Caring Circle members provide  phone calls, greeting cards, rides to church events or medical appointments, and/or help with meals, pet care, etc., during a member’s period of recuperation. Our Caring Circle contact for December is Linda Piantieri, whose phone number is listed in the online member directory or email at CaringCircle@OrlandoUU.org.

1U Auction News

Planning has begun for 1U’s Hearts and Hands 2020 auction on Saturday evening, Feb. 22!  Be sure to mark it on your calendar now. We already have some exciting donations, including Karen Ramberg’s condo for a week in Lido Key, 4 hours of window washing by Rene Stutzman, kayaking for 2 with Ann Mount, and a pair of tickets to The Capitol Steps on March 12 given by Lindsay Stroh.

We are looking for more donations. We need gift cards, invites to dinner in your home, home baked cookies made and delivered, theater tickets…anything  that you can give from your heart or your hands to help support the work of 1U!  Note: please NO  clothing, furniture, hanging wall art, or “garage sale” items. Also, no more than three of a similar item per donor.

Donation forms (for tangible items and for services/events) can be downloaded from the Auction webpage, and they are also available either by email (auction@orlandouu.org) or on Sunday at Gaby’s table. You can return the completed forms at Gaby’s table, or you can send them to the church office. Please let us know what you can give.

Co-chairs Suzanne Oberholtzer and Carolina Lofgren are also looking for people who want to be involved: obtaining donations from businesses and members, helping with food, beverages, decorations, publicity, cleanup, etc. It takes a congregation to put on one of these events! Contact us at Auction@orlandouu.org! Any of us on the committee can use more hearts and hands to get this effort moving.

Pastoral Care Associates

Pastoral Care Associates have been trained to provide a confidential, caring presence to congregants undergoing stressful life challenges. Church members can receive compassionate care when they are in pain, sick, lonely or struggling with changes. If you are a 1U member in need, contact our Pastoral Care Coordinator at PastoralAssociates@OrlandoUU.org.

1U Collaborates on Food Pantry Needs with Joy MCC Church

1U is embarking on a new collaboration with Joy MCC ((JMCC) church, to support their food distribution ministries. Possibilities are varied, including contributing requested food, helping at their food pantry (they feed 100 families a week), assist with creating holiday meals, cash support, and education. The Joy MCC staff and volunteers involved in this work are eager and grateful for any participation on our part. Consider being part of a team to liaison and plan with Joy MCC. Team tasks could include, for starters, forwarding JMCC requests to 1U congregants, arranging for collection (they have agreed to pick up food as needed), planning for education opportunities, sharing information about volunteer opportunities. Contact Kathy Homblette for more specific details, at Welcometeam@Orlandouu.org.


Plan Ahead

December 21 — 1U Midlife Couples Group Enjoys Winter Park, 1:00 pm, Winter Park Main Square

Join the 1U Midlife Couples Group for the 24th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas, a free outdoor concert in Winter Park.  Spend the morning shopping the Farmer’s Market, eat breakfast on Park Avenue, or simply join us on the lawn for a fun concert. Bring chairs or a blanket, sun hat, and whatever you would like to eat or drink. Be sure to stop in at 10,000 Villages for any last minute holiday gifts you need to pick up.For more information contact:  Wendy McCleskey, whose contact information is in the 1U Member Directory. Enjoy the rich sounds of Christmas as tuba, euphonium, sousaphone & baritone players of all ages gather in Central Park to perform a FREE concert from the main stage beginning at 1:00 pm. Winter Park’s 24th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas is a free one-hour concert that has become a staple on the holiday list of things to do. Take a break from shopping on the Avenue, and relax with loved ones to enjoy this annual event.

December 22 — Drop In Covenant Group, 9:15 am, Gathering Space

All are welcome!

December 22 — Holiday Potluck Sunday, 11:45, Gore Hall

Celebrate the holidays at a potluck lunch in Gore Hall following the Children’s Holiday Pageant. Please bring a favorite festive dish to share with friends and family.

December 22 — Wrestling with Our Understandings around Race — 11:45-12:45 pm, Assembly Room in the Enrichment Center

This is an open meeting on the fourth Sunday of each month. The events of the past few years have called our attention to issues of race, and understanding our relationship to those issues. Each week our attention is drawn to another event in the public eye around race and justice. Many of us are wrestling with understanding and responding to our experience, our emotions, and what we are called to do. It can be difficult, and for some of us it is destabilizing. Let us remain open in our hearts to this journey. We anticipate deep conversation within the congregation, and hope for greater understanding, healing and spiritual development. You may find readings and resources at: https://wordpress.com/posts/wrestlingwithrace.wordpress.com.

December 28 — Into the Light: Winter Solstice Workshop, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Assembly Room

The final workshop in a series of eight led by Melissa Baker: Our Sacred Gardeners have cleared the field of their dreams, planted seeds of hope, blossomed and bloomed, harvested gratitude, and now it is time to move through darkness and into the light. Together, we will reflect on how we have grown through the seasons with a connection to our deeper selves through art, and determine what blankets of truth we will wrap ourselves in during the season of introspection. We will walk the labyrinth and journey through meditation into the tomb of surrender, as we prepare to be reborn into the light. Lunch will be provided, plus coffee, tea, water. Please bring your journal in case you’d like to write about what comes up for you. The cost for food, supplies for two creative projects, and venue is $65/$50 for 1U members (cash, paypal, or zelle). Sponsored by Pastoral Associates. Come grow with us! SPACE IS LIMITED – PLEASE RSVP IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND!

December 31 21st Annual Family-Friendly Intergenerational New Year’s Eve Celebration, 6:00 pm, Gore Hall

This event started in 1998 as a way for 1Uers to ring in the new year in community and in a safe place for the night.  Join fellow 1U members and friends for a family-friendly intergenerational New Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday, December 31. Pot Luck food that lasts all night. Games. Music. Conversation. Bring food and drinks to share – sodas and/or alcohol are ok. Bring breakfast food if you plan to spend the night. The kitchen will be available if you want to bake or heat something. Bring games to play. We also invite you to bring musical instruments for jamming and singing. Bring your latest craft project. This is an informal evening of fun, food, and fellowship. If any questions, send an email to folkensemble@orlandouu.org. If you plan to spend the night, you’ll need bedding, etc. Event ends at 3:00 am if no overnighters; and 11:00 am Wednesday if spending the night.

January 10 —  Black Cat Open Mic Night, 7:30 pm-12:00 am, Gore Hall

Are you a performer? Bard, troubadour, musician, singer, poet, actor, dancer, comedian, highly skilled fool? Enjoy being part of the audience? Join others at the monthly open mic night and enjoy wine, beer, pizza, snacks and a great show! All are welcome! $2 donation. More info: BlackCatCafe@OrlandoUU.org or https://tinyurl.com/blackcatdec2019

January 12 — Religious Education: Movie Talk, 9:30 am in the Community Room (classroom in the far right corner of the Enrichment Center)

Movie Talk is a monthly discussion group, meeting the second Sunday of every month, that allows us to examine our principles through shared cultural events – in this case, movies. Today, join the movie discussion on The Irishman. Can we, should we, cheer for and support a hitman? How far does inherent worth and dignity stretch?

January 20 — Monthly 1U Board of Trustees Meeting — 7:00-9:00 pm, Gore Hall Room A

1U members and friends are welcome to observe Board Meetings. To bring an item to the Board’s agenda, contact an Executive Committee member at least a week before the meeting. Executive Committee Members include the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Minister and immediate Past President.


Regional UU and Other Community Events and Activities


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First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Phone: 407-898-3621

Email: webmaster@OrlandoUU.org

Website: https://www.orlandouu.org

Transition Minister: Rev. Samuel Schaal

Email: RevSam@OrlandoUU.org

Affiliate Minister: Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen

Email: RevKierstin@OrlandoUU.org