Newsletter 2021-02-26 – 8

Newsletter 2021-02-26 – 8
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     The Weekly Candle Flame 
   February 26, 2021 

Sunday Morning Online Service at 10:30am

February 28
"On Beloved Community" - Drawing on the writings of Dr. King, Toni Morrison, and others, we'll explore the functions of racism, the need for accountability, and the goal of Beloved Community. Our virtual choir will sing "I Have a Dream." Led by the Rev. Eric Severson.
Please share your feedback for any of our Sunday Services here!  

Meeting ID: 943 984 845
NEW Password: 62201162
Dial In Phone Number:  (312) 626-6799 (*6 to mute and unmute)

Virtual Religious Education SUNDAY at 1:00pm

February 28
Join us Sunday for virtual Religious Education, led by our online Religious Education Coordinator, Shana Barth.

Please contact Shana to sign up your child for classes if you haven't already.  The zoom link for the virtual sessions will be sent via email and can be found on the Parents Circle private Facebook Group.

   This Week at the Fellowship
All teams and groups have decided to meet via Zoom instead of face to face during this time.  Please contact your team/group leader if you need further guidance.  If you have any questions about upcoming events, please email the office or call 989-631-1162. 

All meetings listed below are via Zoom unless noted otherwise.


Weekly Zoom Links

Sunday Virtual Service
Sundays at 10:30am
Meeting ID: 943 984 845
Passcode: 62201162
Dial In Phone Number:  (312) 626-6799


Three Jewels Sangha
Whether you have been practicing with us often, are curious about meditation or Buddhism, or find yourself in need of connection, all are welcome to join the Three Jewels Sangha weekly Wednesday meeting.  We will be gathering at our usual time, 5:00-6:30 for conversation and meditation via Zoom.  We will have some time to share how we are doing, some silent restorative meditation, and a reading from our current book.  
Wednesdays at 5:00pm
Meeting ID: 200 926 356
Password: uufom


Saturday Rehearsal
Saturdays at 10:00am


Minister's Reflections

February 2021

I am pleased to introduce our COVID-19 Task Force, which will be advising the UUFoM board on safety issues and suggesting possible plans for reopening when the public health threats are diminished. 
The task force includes Becky Carlson, Maxine Guettler, Kathy Kinkema, and me. Becky and Maxine both have extensive experience and links to the medical community. Among other experiences, Kathy has been involved with the “Mask Up Midland County” community service group. I will be monitoring guidance offered by denominational leaders and minister colleagues.

In order to assess the risks to our congregants, we are asking folks to voluntarily share (in confidence) whether they have had COVID-19 or have been immunized against it. Knowing whether a certain percentage of people have been exposed will help us plan our return to in-person gatherings. (The transition will not be a quick one; we welcome your hopes, fears, thoughts, and feedback.) If you get COVID or when you get your shots, please let Maxine know at or 989-492-4413.

In a piece of arcanery, I am thrilled to share that I have received my first of three annual letters from the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee, granting me renewal of my “preliminary fellowship” status. It means I can continue to serve as a minister in good standing with the denomination. There is always room for improvement, so I will be pursuing various objectives toward professional development. I will be working and communicating with the Committee on Ministry and board about these.

If you have questions about any of the above, please let me know. And, especially during the pandemic, if you need me for any reason, I’m just a phone call, text, or email away.

Rev. Eric

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NEW:  Building & Grounds Planning

Patricia Calahan is the new Building and Grounds Chair.  As we move into spring, the committee will meet and set up projects for the Fellowship grounds.  Right now, we are not working inside the Fellowship.   
There will be a zoom meeting on Sunday, March 21, at 1:00pm.  If you can not come to the meeting but would like to share ideas, please contact Patricia.

Our first task will be to decide when people are available to meet in early spring.  Other agenda items include:  the roof, new playground equipment (right), and Spring Clean-Up Day.  There are also long-range things to do:  review a draft of the Building and Grounds procedures, design our webpage on the UUFoM website, and start a five-year plan for Building and Grounds.  If you can attend the meeting that would be wonderful.
Meeting ID: 897 1242 1437
Passcode: 273989

Public Radio Bundling

DUE SUNDAY.  Do you enjoy listening to programs such as All Things Considered, Science Friday, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, The 1A, or World Café on Delta College or WCMU Public Radio? If you appreciate our local public radio stations, you can support them and help others learn about UUFOM at the same time, by joining our annual public radio bundling initiative.
For the last 13 years, UUFOM members and friends have been getting extra value from their public radio donations by combining their payments into UUFOM “bundles” that get sent to Delta College and to WCMU in Mount Pleasant.  Our Fellowship gets free advertising from the money, and donors get the satisfaction of helping out both public radio and our church. 

Please join us!  To have your check bundled with others from UUFOM, make it out to WCMU 89.5 or Delta 90.1, then mail it before the end of February to:

Tim Wagner
5313 Gardenbrook Drive
Midland, MI  48642. 

To let Tim know your check is coming, please send him an email at or call 989-839-0912. Checks will be accepted through end of February, and every amount counts.

COVID-19 Task Force Information

If you have tested positive for or been vaccinated for COVID-19 and are willing to share that information in confidence, please contact Maxine at or 989-492-4413.  Thank you! Stay well!

Resources for Black History Month

Organize a book circle to read Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, the UUA ’s 2020-2021 Common Read.  Note:  Available from many retailers as a book, ebook and an audiobook.

Watch and share a story about the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, voting rights activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Shared in simple language with engaging visuals.

Read Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 and buy it from a Black-owned bookstore.

Watch the Democracy Now! feature on the upcoming documentary "My Name is Pauli Murray". Murray was a Black queer trans legal scholar and religious leader who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall and their groundbreaking civil rights cases before the Supreme Court.
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Exploring Unitarian Universalism Virtual Workshops

"Exploring Unitarian Universalism" is developed by the Engagement Team.  This is an opportunity for new and long-time members of UUFoM to explore different aspects of Unitarian Universalism.  The sessions are limited to 10 participants and registration is required for each session.  Participants may attend any number of sessions they choose. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.  

All sessions are 1:00-3:00pm on the dates listed below. 

Mar 06 Workshop 4: Social Justice Philosophy and Practice (Three seats remaining)

Mar 20 Workshop 5: How Are Decisions Made? Governance and Policy  (Three seats remaining)

To register for a workshop, please sign up here.

If your desired workshop session is full, please contact Wendy Altmeier to be placed on a wait list.  Your Zoom links will be sent once registration is completed. 

UUA's National New Day Rising Conference

There is still time to register for this Saturday's Conference.  Are you ready to take a new step in changing white supremacy culture? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home?  Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.

On Your Own:
Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations.

Together on February 27, 12:00pm-9:00pm

Worship ~ Workshops ~ Caucusing - With plenty of breaks

Register Here

Cost will be a sliding scale fee of your choosing: $20/30/40/50. Registration fees are on a sliding scale, based on your assessment of your ability to pay. Those who pay at the two highest levels are making a donation to help those in financial need for this event. Please remember that for a sliding scale to work, we need the same number of people with means to generously pay more to balance the needs of those who can afford less. (This is one way we try to build the Beloved Community!) If you are part of a congregational team of three or more, please pay the lowest fee.

Brought to you by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Virtual Religious Education Dates

Religious Education Zoom sessions are led by RE Coordinator Shana Barth.  Biweekly sessions will run through May 2021.  Please email Shana if you, your children, or grandchildren would like to participate.  See all dates below.

Virtual Religious Education Classes - Sundays at 1:00pm
February 28
March 14
March 28
April 11
April 25
May 9
May 23
Upcoming Services
February 2021 Theme - "Beloved Community"

February 28
"On Beloved Community" - Drawing on the writings of Dr. King, Toni Morrison, and others, we'll explore the functions of racism, the need for accountability, and the goal of Beloved Community. Our virtual choir will sing "I Have a Dream." Led by the Rev. Eric Severson.

March 2021 Theme - "Commitment"

March 7
"Why I Come Here"
- Many of us carry religious "baggage" from our upbringings. It is not always easy to understand, release, or transform such beliefs or practices. Join fellowship member Charlie Enright as he describes some of his journey and how he committed himself to Unitarian Universalism. Led by Fellowship member, Charlie Enright. 

March 14
"Memory: A Commitment to the Past"
- Led by the Rev. Eric Severson

March 21
"Witness: A Commitment to the Present" 
- Led by the Rev. Eric Severson

March 28
"Hope: A Commitment to the Future"
 - Led by the Rev. Eric Severson

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Our Mission

We are a multigenerational, liberal religious community in the Tri-City region. We offer a beacon to the religious seeker, supporting and nurturing the individual and collective pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.To achieve this mission, we:

  • Empower members, friends, and the surrounding community to think freely, live ethically, and grow spiritually through lifelong learning, as we explore our values, live the principles of Unitarian Universalism, and search for truth and meaning.
  • Assemble in supportive and beloved community, sharing life’s joys and sorrows, and embracing all of our wondrous diversity.
  • Gather for stimulating worship experiences and rites of passage that inspire and provide opportunities to examine, clarify, and strengthen our personal value systems.
  • Create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world through our words of influence, constructive deeds, and engaging love.

We focus on these four social issues in order to improve the community and demonstrate our commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of all people.

  • Global Climate Change
  • Racial Justice
  • Homelessness
  • LGBT Rights
copyright Unitarian Universalist Association

Previous Newsletter Articles

Building Access During COVID-19

For everyone's continued safety through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors has determined that the building will remain closed and in-person activities will remain suspended through June 1, 2021 at the earliest. The Board of Directors will continue to reassess based on all available information, and continue to regularly communicate updates as conditions evolve. 

The Fellowship Building is closed to everyone except: staff, Sunday musicians, Vicki Rothhaar, and Pete Carlson.

Thank you!

Fellowship Links

Board of Directors

Beth Sperry - President
Sasha King - President-Elect
Shannon Sonoras - Secretary
Tim Wagner - Treasurer
Chris Nakamura - Member-At-Large
Marsha McDonald - Member-At-Large

Pastoral Care Ministry Team

February Contact:
Amy Rogers 989-750-6989

March Contact:
Mary Johnson 989-859-1490

Our Pastoral Care Ministry Team is here for you.  We can provide a meal, a ride, some respite or a supportive ear and a cup of coffee.

Fellowship Staff

Rev. Eric Severson - Minister  (608) 738-2694
Unavailable Mondays, except in emergencies.

Wendy Altmeier - Office Assistant  (989) 631-1162

Unavailable Mondays.

Shana Barth - Online RE Coordinator  (989) 631-1162

Sandy Hay - Sexton  (918) 698-0311
In case of building emergency, call anytime

Melanie Willison - Accompanist

Andrew Schulz - Choir Director
(Leave of Absence)

Jan Shea - Nursery Provider
(Leave of Absence)
Copyright ©2017 UUFoM, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland
6220 Jefferson Avenue
Midland, MI 48640

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