weaving the threads of community

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spiritual arts

  • January 26: Singing Meditation Join Music Director Amber Fetner to sing simple chants, breathe in silence, and experience peace. Meet in the UU Heritage Room at 1 p.m. ——————————————————————————-
  • Silk Floral Banner Missing In Search Of… …The royal blue silk floral wall hanging that for many years was displayed on the curved wall behind the piano. It was removed during the renovation of the sanctuary and seems to be unaccounted for. If you have any information pertaining to this wall hanging, please contact Kate Blane.   ______________________________________________
  • Worship in January Services on Sunday at 10:30 am unless otherwise noted. All-Fellowship Theme: Participating, Engaging, Involving January 5 – Open to Opportunity  The New Year offers new doors to open, new thresholds to cross. Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen. January 12 – Mystical Insights  How might Julian of Norwich and other medieval mystics inform our understanding of the divine? Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen with the Chalice Choir. January 19 – The Spirit of Justice  For Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend, UUFA members share spiritual and personal rewards of making the world a better place for all. January 26 – Youth Engagement  Service led by UUFA’s youth. ——————————————————————————————-
  • February 4: Worship Arts and Celebrations Team You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Worship Arts and Celebrations Team (WACT) on Tuesday, February 4, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend a meeting whether you want to observe, want give feedback or input, or are considering participating in planning and conducting worship services. You do not have to join WACT although this group always welcomes new members. For further information, contact Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–

  • Play UUFA Bingo! Now through February 19 Make Connections! Get Engaged! Stay Active! Between January 5 and February 19, we offer you an opportunity to get engaged in the life of the Fellowship by playing UUFA Bingo. Anyone can play! We have UUFA Bingo cards for adults and cards for kids (youth can choose which they would like to play). The cards list a variety of activities you can consider such as the following: Invite a friend to Sunday service Discuss questions printed in Sunday’s bulletin Help set up for an upcoming Coffee House Concert Sign up to be a Mystery Friend Attend a community justice event While you play, your card will be posted on the Fellowship Hall windows. As you complete an item, you can stamp the square to show it was done. We’ll have little prizes for completing rows or entire cards! We hope you will participate–the all-Fellowship theme for January. It’s a great way for you to meet people, contribute to the Fellowship, or make an impact on the wider community. If you have questions, please ask any Lay Minister (Carol-Lee Baker for Fun and Fellowship, Lee Cornell for Religious Exploration, or Iva King for Justice) or Rev. Alison, Music Director Amber Fetner, or Religious Exploration Director Kelli McConnell. _________________________________________________

denominational affairs

  • Read about UU the Vote 2020   The UUA’s non-partisan faith initiative, created in partnership with broader justice movements, is designed to engage our neighbors, educate our communities, mobilize voters, and rally around key ballot initiatives. Join with your UU community to create a future defined by love, justice, and faith.    ——————————————————————————–
  • February 16: What’s General Assembly? Join Rev. Alison and Michelle Leebens-Mack for an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about whether attending General Assembly is for you. This year, GA will be held in Providence, RI. Meet in the Conference Room at 11:45 a.m. For more information from the UU Association, follow this link: https://www.uua.org/ga ——————————————————————————
  • Click Here to Read the Latest and Take a Survey for The Mountain Retreat Center! Thank you for being a part of The Mountain! Mountain friends and family, thank you!  Due to your kind and generous donations of time, treasure, and talents, we’ve had another successful year at The Mountain! As we tie up loose ends, it is clear that 2019 presented some challenges, but our Mountain community again stood tall and guided us through a ninth year of continued success. As we dive into 2020 and beyond, I again ask for your support and guidance. At this time, I would like your opinion on building our future and how to best use the generous donations you give. The Mountain is at a crossroad of sorts. During my tenure, we have spent a lot of time looking back and living in the present. Though we have taken steps to prepare for our future, there is much work to be done. Please click here to take the Mountain Funding Priority Survey to help improve The Mountain. This survey is intended to gather information on how you would like your money allocated to repairs, improvements and enhancements to our physical plant. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are very important to me and our Mountain community. Below are brief explanations / descriptions to help you with the survey. For your convenience, the survey link also appears at the end of the descriptions of the budget categories. -Ted Wisniewski, Executive Director at The Mountain Click here for upcoming events at The Mountain! ————————————————————————————–


  • Sharing Your Secret Super Power Do you have a secret super power? Have you been wanting to share your smarts and skills more actively within our community, but don’t know how/where to start? If you’re interested in exploring leadership opportunities at UUFA or if you know someone with hidden talents, the Nominating Committee wants to hear from you! We are seeking UUFA members who excel in the following areas: accounting; budgeting and money management; survey building; qualitative evaluation; institutional knowledge about UUFA; policy review and accountability; team building. If you’d like to hear more about the available roles, please email one of us: Molly Williams – mollyswilliams@gmail.com, Linda Gilbert – gilbert.linda@gmail.com, Diane Bridges – dianebridges156@gmail.com, Paul Gurian – PHGurian@earthlink.net, Rich Rayburn – camburn7@gmail.com ———————————————————————————–
  • Ministerial Transition Dear UUFA Members and Friends, As the end of my tenth year of service to UUFA nears I have decided it is time for me to retire from full-time ministry. I have submitted my resignation to the Board of Trustees indicating that my ministry here will end at the close of this fiscal/program year, in June 2020. Reaching this decision was difficult. It has been my joy to serve Unitarian Universalism and this congregation. I believe we created a meaningful relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and, dare I say, love. Together we made this Fellowship incredibly vibrant, exciting, and highly valued because of our activities within its walls, and outside in the larger community. We have grown our membership, expanded our facilities, established a vibrant lay ministry program, increased our social justice impact, and developed greater interfaith community connections. Your dedication to our shared values has brightened the beacon of this Fellowship, as we hoped it would. For these reasons I do not step aside lightly. When my tenure ends, Paul and I plan to move to the Chapel Hill, NC, area to be closer to where our older son and his family reside. For the remainder of this fiscal year I will continue to serve the congregation fully as its minister. Along with appropriate UUA and Southern Region staff, I willingly offer to assist the Fellowship in understanding its upcoming transitional needs. I also hope we will find time to celebrate our many shared accomplishments and acknowledge the ending of our current relationship. UUFA faces a terrific future. I believe you are well prepared to continue your journey with new ministerial leadership. With great affection and respect, Rev. Alison ———————————————————————————–

  • UUFA Board President Comments on Rev. Alison’s Retirement Dear UUFA Members and Friends, It’s true. And it’s sad. But it is understandable. As many of you are learning, Rev. Alison W. Eskildsen has decided to retire, ending her 10 years of ministry here at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens. Rev. Alison submitted a letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees indicating her tenure with UUFA will end in June, 2020. In addition, a letter was sent to all members and friends on UUFA’s email news list and by surface mail to those not on that list. Reverend Alison and her husband Paul plan to move to North Carolina to be near their older son and his family. After ten years of ministry at the Fellowship, Rev. Alison leaves us in great shape to carry on until a new settled minister is selected. With her guidance we have successfully conducted our capital campaign, expanded our building, increased membership, streamlined and focused the Board of Trustees and developed a Ministry Council with lay ministers who have expanded programming. In the next few weeks, we’ll be in touch with the Unitarian Universalist Association and Southern Region staff who will assist the Fellowship in understanding the process and timeline for a smooth transition and in hiring an Interim Minister. We’ve done this before and we can do this again. A typical transition includes hiring an Interim Minister for two years. Assuming the Board approves this recommended process, a small committee will be appointed to select the interim minister from candidates available. The interim minister would likely start in the late summer of 2020. During that time we will also begin to form the plans for the settled minister search. During the first year of the interim ministry, the members of the Fellowship will reflect on their vision for UUFA and perceived needs of the Fellowship. The Board and Committee on Shared Ministry have already been involved in data collection related to mission review, and with the assistance of the interim minister, those efforts will continue and help us discern what ministerial skills and talents will best meet our congregational needs at this time. In the second year, a Search Committee will be in active conversation with ministerial candidates in a winnowing process. At the end of that process, roughly March 2022, they will present a candidate to the Fellowship. The active members of UUFA will decide by a vote whether to call that candidate to be its next settled minister. All these steps will be made clear as the process gets underway. For now, Rev. Alison continues to serve fully as our minister. She will continue to be engaged in all aspects of congregational life, including its spiritual, pastoral, justice-seeking, and educational programming. Additionally, she will assist leaders in understanding what’s ahead. Before Rev. Alison retires in June, we will celebrate her ministry. There is much to be grateful for. Let us spend this remaining time letting her know how much we appreciate her service to us as we wish her well in transitioning to retirement. Barb Schell, UUFA  President, president@uuathensga.org, cell: 706 540-7908 —————————————————————————————-
  • Fulfilling the Promise by Engaging By Barbara Schell, UUFA Board of Trustees President Our congregational theme for the first month of this New Year relates to fulfilling the promise by engaging.  For me, that prompts consideration about how we each engage in this Fellowship at different times and in different ways. I know that since I have become President, I have tried to become more aware of the different communities within our congregation, along with seeking to understand if and how our practices work to help each person give and get what they need from being a member. I am pleased with actions that I see that send a message of inclusion. For instance, our children now have their own clip-on name tags that they pick up by the RE station as they come into the building. Our Board of Trustees voted at the beginning of the program year to invite a youth representative to attend our meetings with voice but not vote. So far we have had youth at three of our meetings, and we routinely seek their input as they become aware of what the Board does for the Fellowship. As we look to children and youth, our gaze naturally rises to consider those who are parents in our group. I am glad to hear from some mothers and fathers that the small group ministry for parents is a helpful opportunity for connection and support. The new outdoor patio seems to have taken on both a physical and a spiritual commitment to care for the families among us. And even a cursory glance shows that there are many different social, educational, and religious offerings for adults of all ages to engage in.  Many of us enjoy engaging in food and fellowship. For some individuals, the engagement is less social and more contemplative. This month we will be setting up the new spiritual lending library in the Heritage Room, providing a quiet space to sit and visit with the wisdom of philosophers and religious leaders. Every one of these opportunities and accomplishments is the result of engagement among and across groups including the Board, the Ministry Council, our staff, and countless volunteers. We know that there is always more to be done, but I think we can start this New Year inspired by what we have built and continue to sustain. I will end with a quote from Erin Powers: Humans, just like strings of lights, are wired for connection. It’s when we’re wound most tightly that we need the connection most of all. We’re at our best when we are plugged in to each other. We find our true purpose and spark with others, not alone—and it’s in these connections that we shine most brightly. (From Wired for Connection, Braver/Wiser, 12/17/2017: https://www.uua.org/braverwiser/wired-connection) May this New Year shine for us all and propel us to meaningful and important engagements in our lives and here at the Fellowship. ————————————————————————————–


  • Spiritual Exploration and Practices Group Cleta Rudolph and Kathy Mason have studied broadly in the area of spiritual traditions and meditation practices to support their spiritual journeys.  They are seeking like-minded travelers to study and share ways to engage spiritually in their daily lives.  Specifically, like-minded travelers who will have studied and applied meditation practices as well as direct method approaches to spiritual development from East and West wisdom traditions.  The group will draw from various books, such as The Untethered Soul, websites, and Rupert Spira works from the UUMystics.org site. If interested, contact either Cleta Rudolph (614-390-2122 or cjrrpr@sbcglobal.net} or Kathy Mason (678-661-0394 or kkmason@aol.com).   The groups plans to meeting weekly Thursday afternoons at UUFA.   ________________________________________________
  • January 19 Forum: Reflections from Tijuana This Forum will be a discussion with a local activist–Imani Scott-Blackwell–about experiences supporting families in the migrant caravan.  You can expect an overview of major takeaways, pertinent policies, and personal anecdotes from the experience. The Forum is held on second and third Sundays from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. in the Eskildsen Room. ————————————————————————————-
  • February 9: “Come, Come, Whoever You Are!” Join UUFA members for the next series of “Come, Come Whoever You Are” sessions, beginning Sunday, February 9, continuing for 7 weeks each Sunday at 12 noon in the Heritage Room. Meet new people and get to know the UU Fellowship better by attending one, some, or all of the following sessions: February 9: “Where Do We Come From?” (Learn about UU history, principles & purposes) February 16: “Here We Are Gathered” (What we do when we gather on Sunday morning) February 23: “Wake Now My Senses” (How we do religious exploration) March 1: “We Laugh, We Cry” (How we get to know one another and make connections) March 8: “Building a New Way” (How we make the world a better place for all to live) March 15: ”Filled with Loving Kindness” (How we take care of one another) March 22: “Gathered Here” (What it means to be a member and how we organize UUFA) Please look for another brochure about this series of discussions on the Ways to Engage table for more information or go to https://www.uuathensga.org/fellowship/ membership-info/come-whoever-you-are/. For more information about this program, contact Vivian Sellers at vpsellers@gmail.com. ————————————————————————————-
  • Mystery Friends – Birds of a Feather Mystery Friends – Birds of a Feather UUFA congregants of all ages–please sign up to be a Mystery Friend! Sign up in the Fellowship Hall or email DRE Kelli McConnell (dre@uuathensga.org). This year’s Mystery Friends theme is Birds of a Feather…this month-long mystery-pen-pal event allows children in the RE Program to connect with and befriend adults in the congregation through anonymous messaging and is is a great way for people across generations to get to know each other. Friends will be matched together and will correspond via letters placed in their shared mailboxes in the Fellowship Hall. More information about what to expect by participating is given out to participants the week before the writing begins. Pen Pal-ing will begin on Sunday, January 12, so be sure to SIGN UP BY JANUARY 10! The two friends will begin writing each other and will continue sending notes until our Bingo & Birds of a Feather Party on Wednesday, February 19. Non- RE parents are especially encouraged to be a “Friend”! Sign up by emailing Kelli (dre@uuathensga.org) or by signing up on the clipboard at the RE Desk.   ——————————————————————————
  • January 12 Forum: Local News, Local Politics and YouTube: How I Became a Journalist Chris Dowd will talk about his journey, starting as an activist with Athens for Everyone and then as a journalist covering local news and politics. Can local journalism survive in the 21st century? What will it look like and how will it be funded? The Forum is held on second and third Sundays from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. in the Eskildsen Room. ———————————————————————————–


  • February 5: Communications Team The Communications Team invites creative, techy, and fun people to work with getting the UUFA word out! Join us on Wednesday, February 5, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room. Questions? Contact Herb West (herbwest48@gmail.com) —————————————————————————————–
  • February 8: Quarterly Connections You are invited to join in the next Quarterly Connections on Saturday, February 8 , from 9 a.m. to noon.  This session will focus on interacting with our children and youth: What has been done? What is coming up? How you can be involved? What should one do and not do when engaging with children and youth? All are encouraged to attend. For planning purposes, CLICK HERE to RSVP, or contact Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————-
  • Thank You for Your generosity! We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the holiday gift in December. Your generosity brightened our spirits and warmed our hearts! ~  Amber, Erin, Kelli, Marcus, Neil, Nora, Pam, and Shaye ————————————————————————————
  • January 15: Let’s Communicate! Communications is the key to success. The Communications Team invites creative, techy, and fun people to work with getting the UUFA word out–internally and externally! Join us on Wednesday, January 15, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Conference Room. Questions? Contact Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–
  • February 20: Graphic Design Workshop Do you create handouts for activities or programs at UUFA or for other venues? Do you want to know some basic design guidelines for good communication? And if so, might you like to create graphic materials for UUFA, especially for our website? Rev. Alison will share some tips gained from her 25 years as an Illustrations Editor at the National Geographic Society. WHEN: Thursday, February 20, at 6:30 p.m. WHERE: UUFA’s Conference Room SKILLS NEEDED: Ability to use UUFA’s online resources and files __________________________________________


  • Join a Small Group! (Click here for the link to sign up online!) Become closer with a small group of members, Dive deep into meaningful conversations, Deepen your spirituality Registration for Small Group Ministry (SGM) program is open until January 31.  Please click here to sign up. ——————————————————————————  

  • February 15: New to UUFA Orientation NEW DATE: A New to UUFA newcomer orientation will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020, 8:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Newcomers to UUFA and Unitarian Universalism are invited to attend and learn more about us. Participants briefly share their religious journey, and learn about the history and development of Unitarian Universalism and UUFA. You’ll meet Fellowship leaders, including our minister, Rev. Alison Eskildsen, and get information on programs, activities and services at UUFA. The morning begins with a continental breakfast and ends by noon. Child care can be arranged with advance notice. A sign-up sheet is at the information station in the Welcome Hall. You can also sign up by contacting or calling the Fellowship office (uufa@uuathensga.org) or by contacting Michelle Leebens-Mack, chair of the Membership Committee (leebensmack@gmail.com). ____________________________________________________
  • February 2: Getting to Know UU Fellowship of Athens You are invited to join Rev. Alison, Michelle Leebens-Mack–Chair of the Membership Committee, and other newcomers for an informal opportunity to ask questions, learn a bit about UUFA, and share what you might be hoping to find here. Feel free to drop in with your coffee or tea after the service.  “Getting to Know UUFA” is held the first Sunday of each month following the service.  Drop by and say “Hi.” Questions?  Contact Michelle Leebens-Mack (leebensmack@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————-
  • February 1 and 22: Cabin Fever? Need Some Fresh Air? Come help weed, trim shrubs, and pick up trash around UUFA. Saturdays February 1 and February 22, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Green Sanctuary and Building and Grounds Committee’s would appreciate the help! ————————————————————————————-
  • Our January Spotlight Volunteer of the Month Our January 2020 Spotlight Volunteer of the Month for coordinating the Fellowship’s bus trip to Montgomery, Alabama, last March is Ange Kahn. Participants visited the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and were very moved by the experience. The idea for the day trip blossomed from the Social Action Committee. Thank you, Ange, for all you do for this Fellowship. —————————————————————————————  
  • Long-Time Member Leaves Athens Franklin Boardman, aka Frank, recently moved permanently from Athens. He now resides at 23 Gary Drive, Englishtown, NJ 07726-8205. He can still be reached at 706-410-0282 and by email at fraboa@yahoo.com.  Frank said “I went back to New Jersey because I felt guilty not paying enough in taxes.” UUFA wishes Frank all the best. He will be missed! ————————————————————————————–
  • January 14: Second Lookers Second Lookers will meet Tuesday, January 14, at noon at the Fellowship. Gary Crider will speak about how invasive plants can overwhelm native flora. The top ten worst plans will be named along with basic control measures. Bring a brown bag lunch; coffee and tea are provided. Gary Crider is a team leader with the Memorial Park/Birchmore Trail Weed Warriors, a volunteer group that works to limit the spread of invasive plant species in areas across the Athens community. In recognition of his efforts with the Weed Warriors and other such organizations, Gary received the 2013 Alec Little Environmental Award, which is given annually for environmental activism and education in the Athens area. For more information or to get a ride to Second Lookers, contact Hester Meyers (rhmeyers@uga.edu). —————————————————————————————

  • January 26: 4th Sunday Lunch Hosted by Self-Identifying Men of UUFA Please join in the annual tradition of those self-identifying as men of UUFA hosting.  We have a wide variety of foods on the menu including traditional, vegetarian, and vegan.  There’s something for everyone! ————————————————————————————
  • February 8, 7 p. m: Coffee House Concert Come and enjoy the wonderful tones of Gypsy at Heart in our “Coffee Cafe” in the Fellowship Hall on February 8 at 7:00.  Refreshments and beverages will be served.  Donations requested. You’ll love it! Gypsy at Heart have created their own unique style of rhythmic-acoustic sounds. Their music draws upon many genres including traditional Indian and Middle Eastern with hints of Latin, Celtic, Jazz, and American Folk…a real treat for our ears while enjoying some sweet and savory treats and our favorite beverages. Don’t miss it!  Donations appreciated Questions?  Contact Carol-Lee Baker (706-483-2314) or Amber Fetner. ———————————————————————————–
  • February 11: Second Lookers On Tuesday, February 11, at noon, Second Lookers will welcome DianaTorell and Paul Eskildsen for a musical program of song and instruments: fiddle, guitar, and maybe harmonica for us.  Join us at noon in the Eskildsen Room, bring a brown bag lunch, enjoy music of the season. For more information or to get a ride to Second Lookers, contact Hester Meyers (rhmeyers@uga.edu). —————————————————————————————  
  • New Tai Chi Class Beginning February 4 Tai Chi Flow and Forms, an introduction to the 24 Form, will be held Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. for six weeks beginning February 4, and continuing thru March 10, 2020. Suggested donation: $30 for all 6 weeks, with all monies going to UUFA. Tai Chi helps build strength, improves balance, and reminds us to be more mindful. The first half of class will be Tai Chi Flow, which is what many of you who have been to Jackie Pierson’s  classes are familiar with:  just follow along with Jackie and do some Tai Chi and Qigong moves set to music, and Bill Pierson might even play. During the second half of class, we will work on some Tai Chi principles. We’ll do some Tai Chi walking and work on some of the moves that are included in the 24 Form. This class is open to people of all ages, whether you have done Tai Chi before or not. For more information please contact Jackie Pierson  (birdfeathr@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————
  • Faithify for UU Youth! Please help us support our own UUFA Youth, Josie Green, as well as other UU Youth for the International Youth Pilgrimage! Did you know the US and Canadian Unitarian Universalism is just one thread of a diverse tapestry of liberal faith present all across the globe? Our own Josie Green will be participating in a youth pilgrimage to Transylvania in July 2020. Teens from North America will not only encounter the sites of Unitarianism’s founding from the 1500s, but they will also worship and connect with Transylvanian Unitarian teens in Romania at their annual youth camp. If you are able, please donate to our Faithfy campaign to make this opportunity financially viable for all the North American teens participating. You may be funding the future of our global faith. Go to this site to contribute – https://faithify.org/projects/international-youth-pilgrimage/?fbclid=IwAR2gUz4t8Sb9iOkVBEU1STtMmKl9goCeRMP3mfVtSU2zCSqIYao1Ra2DI1g ————————————————————————————  
  • January 26: 4th Sunday Lunch Hosted by the Self-Identified Men of UUFA! The self-identified men of UUFA will host 4th Sunday lunch following the service on January 26.  Everyone is invited to attend this annual event when the men show their culinary skills and delight our palates!  Men,  we still need several main dishes, a couple of side dishes and several desserts.  We also need some additional hands for set up and clean up.  Please contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com) to contribute a dish and to offer help that day. Responses help us to plan for the correct amount of food. Thanks! ————————————————————————————-
  • January 16: Scrabble with the Rabble Scrabble with the Rabble meets Thursday, December 19,  from 7-9 p.m. in at UUFA in the Fellowship Hall (or Ocean Room). All are welcome to come play; please bring a Scrabble set if you have one. For more information, Kathy Larsen (317-855-0009 or kathylyndall@gmail.com). —————————————————————————–
  • January 12: Film Fans UUFA Film Fans will be meeting Sunday afternoon at Beechwood for a 3:30 showing of Just Mercy.  Everyone is welcome to come.  We’ll meet in the lobby about 3:15.  Hope to see you there.  For information about Film Fans, a Fun and Fellowship activity, contact Carol-Lee Baker at carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314. ————————————————————————————
  • January 26: Alphabet Family Gathering Do you identify anywhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum? If so, we invite you to our next Alphabet Family Gathering, held on the fourth Sunday of each month, from 6-8 pm. If you’re able, feel free to bring a snack to share with others! We use the Fellowship Hall for snacks and then move to the Universe Room to chat. ————————————————————————————-
  • Caring Card Corner On Sunday morning during Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones, do you ever think, I really want to send a card to ….but then somehow you never manage to get that card to the mailbox? We have put together a box that contains everything you need to get a card ready to drop in the mailbox. This box which contains cards, pens, postage stamps and a member directory, will be on a card table in the Fellowship Hall every Sunday. Then we will mail the cards on Monday. Please visit this table to write a card to let a fellow member know that you care. ——————————————————————————
  • January 3: Coffeehouse with Hiroya Tsukamoto, Guitarist 7 p.m. Contact Amber for more information (uufamusicdirector@gmail.com). Donations appreciated. https://youtu.be/IydCpejaPKg ——————————————————————————————–  
  • The Grateful Thread Donations (Click here to see pictures!) “The Grateful Thread” is a social gathering for knitting, crocheting, quilting, and any other types of thready crafts that has been meeting on the second and fourth Mondays from 2-4 p.m, in the Eskildsen Room at UUFA. Currently taking a break from the holidays, the group will resume meeting on the second Monday in January (January 13). Open to anyone, “The Grateful Thread” welcomes all skill levels and ages. Attendees are happy to teach anyone wanting to learn. All are extremely grateful for the donations of finished items and yarn/thread that have been received.  A HUGE thank-you to all of you who donated items. The group completed several shawls, scarfs, and lap blankets as well as a dozen “twiddle muffs.” Twiddle muffs (or twiddle mitts) are knitted/crocheted hand-warmers that are decorated inside and out with buttons, beads, or other textured items that provide sensory stimulation for people living with dementia, autism, or other medical issues that limit speech and movement. They keep restless hands busy and soothe and comfort those who are anxious or agitated. Most of the finished items for 2019 were donated to Avery Place Assisted Living and Memory Care in Winterville. They will be distributed as needed or as Christmas gifts for those who don’t receive much. Other finished items are made available to the Pastoral Care Team to be distributed as needed to the UUFA Congregation. For more information, contact Valerie Linn (valerielinn63@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————  
  • 2020 Save the date! Retreat! Retreat! Save the date!  Mark your calendars!  Our next UUFA Fall Retreat is less than one year away! From October 2 to October 4, 2020, we will be at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center near Highlands, North Carolina for a wonder-filled, inspirational, fun, and friendship-forming weekend surrounded by the beauty of Little Scaly Mountain. So…save the date, save your pennies, watch for more information, and we hope that you all can come. Anyone interested in being part of the planning for the retreat, contact Carol-Lee Baker, Lay Minister for Fun and Fellowship, at carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314. ———————————————————————————-
  • Joys, Sorrows, Milestones – Winter 2019-2020 Recently Shared In keeping with our “Sharing Our Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones” procedure (click on the blue link for details), the following people asked to have their notes from a recent Sunday service shared with you. Notes from the last four weeks are posted. Sunday, January 19, 2020 Myrna Adams West had outpatient bladder surgery last week. Herb reports she is home, feeling better, but recovering slowly.   Sunday, January 12, 2020 Deb Brenner says, “I’m excited about being in the upcoming performance of the Polliwog Prince next weekend (Jan. 17-19) in Sign Language…And voice for the Sign Language impaired. So many of you say you’ll be coming and I’m thrilled! I’m havinga blast in this fun show.” See Deb for more info. Sunday, January 5, 2020 Leigh Harvey celebrates her 50th birthday today and is glad to be here at UUFA. June Warfield shared that her “grand-dog, CK, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Friday evening. He had been going downhill since summer and it was time to let him go. Also, we brought our grandson back to Ft. Gordon after his holiday break. We are grateful he will be going to Korea and not the Middle East, but even Korea is scary.” writes, “A few weeks ago I shared that my brother Dick Bishop was terminally ill. He died on December 18th, a few days after celebrating an early Christmas with his family.” John Olive let us know “My brother Martin, who is suffering from dementia in a nursing home in England, has a chest infection that he may not recover from. He has been in hospital several times this holiday. Please send healing thoughts to him.”   Sunday, December 29, 2019 Barbara Schell shared that her brother-in-law, Dan, John’s last remaining brother, died the weekend before Christmas. She and John will travel to Kansas City in January for his memorial service. John Olive and Deb Brenner celebrated the holidays with their whole family–Nathan, Lotta, Meja and Astrid from Sweden, and their daughter, Jaime, from Denver. Sharon Elaine Carty writes, “My intention to be a full-time university student has changed because of too much focus on computer use. I will now focus my energy on Eastern Philosophy, Spiritual Life Coaching practice and teaching.”   Sunday, December 22, 2019 Anonymous shared their celebration of 9 years recovery “from a hopeless state of mind & body” now 9 years sober and clean. “Thank you for supporting the recovery community at UUFA by hosting AA meetings.” Nancy MacNair shared that Jo Beth Allen of U-Lead sent UUFA a card thanking us for our advocacy for immigrant rights, “the incredible gift of diapers” and UUFA’s support of U-Lead, SIFIC, and AIRC. Jo Beth wrote, “Your congregations is amazing!” ___________________________________________________
  • Grateful Thread: Handwork and Conversation We would like to propose a group for anyone who likes to crochet, knit, quilt, tat, weave… anything to do with threadwork. We mainly want to meet socially as we do our threadword; however, if anyone is interested in learning a new skill, Valerie will teach crochet and Lindsay will teach knitting. Any other member of the group is welcome to teach as well. We would also like to provide items for the Rolling Marketplace, with an emphasis on donating things for charities (such as hats, gloves, scarves for the homeless). We could also work with other groups at UUFA to coordinate this effort.. This fun group will be meeting on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. Hope to see you there.  We’ll be meeting in the UU Heritage Room (fka “the sofa room”). ——————————————————————————
  • Thursday Breakfast You are invited to join us for Thursday Morning UUFA Women’s Breakfast.  We meet at 8:30 at Em’s Kitchen on Hawthorne Avenue to enjoy conversation and coffee or our morning meal. For more information contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314). ————————————————————————————–
  • Let’s Get to Know You – First Sundays Join Rev. Alison, a member of the Membership Committee, and other newcomers for an informal opportunity to ask questions, learn a bit about UUFA, and share what you might be hoping to find here. Feel free to drop in the Conference Room with your coffee or tea after the service. The Conference Room is the second door on the right as you enter the Fellowship through the main doors. ———————————————————————————-
  • UUFA People’s Lunch All are invited to the People’s Lunch Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. at Jason’s Deli. Please join us! ——————————————————————————
  • UUFA Men’s Breakfast Men of UUFA meet twice weekly for breakfast and conversation from 9-11 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Panera Bread. ——————————————————————————


  • 2019 DACA Dollars Needed Can you contribute towards someone’s DACA renewal fee, which is $495? For every DACA renewal fee dollar contributed between now and December 31, the Social Action Committee will match it (up to $495)! Please write your check to UUFA with DACA in the memo line. Every dollar counts! from JoBeth Allen of ULead: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is the only protection un(der)documented young immigrants in the Athens area have from deportation. DACA also allows young people to get work permits and driver licenses. The DACA holders we serve include parents of young children, college students, small business owners, service industry workers, and others. One, Damaris, is completing a degree at Athens Tech this semester; after working with us to renew her DACA two years ago she studied the process and now advises other DACA renewers every week during U-Lead! The current administration has banned new DACA applications, but immigrants can still renew their DACA protection every two years. While some lawyers charge high fees to fill out the paperwork, trained volunteers at U-Lead Athens provide that support for free. We also pay all or part of the renewal fee of $495 for anyone who cannot afford it. Our highest priority is keeping people safe from deportation. We average payment of 3-4 renewals a month (and help about an equal number  with just the paperwork). We’ve spent $8415 over the past 5 month period, depleting our fund considerably. We can keep 1 person safe from deportation for two years – we donate $495. We can keep 2 people safe from deportation for two years – we donate $990. For further information about this SMT initiative, contact Nancy MacNair (ncmacnair@gmail.com).  The Sanctuary Movement Team is part of the UUFA Justice Cluster. ———————————————————————————–
  • CANtributions 2019 and 2020 At the end of 2019, UUFA was in fourth place in the friendly competition among 25 faith communities, CANtributing 3655 nonperishable food items to the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank!  This number is over 1000 more items than 2018!  Many thanks to all who CANtributed in 2019. The wicker basket is willing and able to receive your donations of nonperishable food items, and cash or checks are also welcome. Please put the following in the memo line of your check donation: “Food Bank” and 1-8016. Current targeted items are peas, saltines, and cereal. Could you consider a CANtribution of one item a day? Or every other day? Or consider a birthday challenge (bring one item for each year you’re celebrating)? For further information, contact Karen Solheim (uufa.karensolheim@gmail.com). This initiative is hosted by the Social Action Committee (SAC), a part of the UUFA Justice Cluster. ———————————————————————————–
  • Composting Continues–Pitch In Don’t put your pizza crust, cookie crumbs or green salad scraps in the garbage after Coffee Hour or Pot Luck.  COMPOST THEM!  The Green Team is composting at UUFA.  Look for the compost pail (and maybe a friendly Green Team member waving a “Compost Here” sign) just outside the kitchen door. What can you compost?  Any food scraps except meat and excessively greasy stuff.  Composting reduces waste, saves landfill space and enriches dirt.  Do Mother Nature a favor and COMPOST. For further information about this or any other Green Sanctuary initiative, contact Liz Weaver (ejsweaver@gmail.com). ——————————————————————————
  • February 2: Social Action Committee Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, February 2, beginning at noon in the Eskildsen Room. Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv here: http://lists.uuathensga.org/listinfo.cgi/social_action-uuathensga.org This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up! For more information, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com). The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. —————————————————————————————
  • February 22: UUFA Trip to Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Click here for info and to register!) You are invited to attend the UUFA trip to Atlanta on Saturday, February 22, 2020, to visit Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights.  We’ll carpool from UUFA, leaving at 9:30 a.m., arriving back at UUFA around 4 p.m. Please bring a sack lunch. Cost is $22 per person to be paid by the end of January (includes ticket, plus parking and gas for those who drive extra people). If you cannot go with the group, tickets are valid for six months from the date of purchase. Click here to register. For further information or to RSVP, contact Connie Bruce (706-254-7822 or connie.l.bruce@gmail.com). This event is being sponsored by the UUFA Racial Justice Team. ———————————————————————————  
  • February 9: Carver Cards Are Coming! One-of-a-kind collage cards by UUFA member Virginia Carver will be for sale on Sunday, February 9.  Carver Cards are colorful, one-of-a-kind greeting cards using a variety of papers and natural materials. All proceeds will be used to purchase food items for the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank. ———————————————————————————-
  • January 12: New Sanctuary Movement & Faith in Public Life The Sanctuary Movement Team (SMT) invites to learn more about the ways that you and your congregation can get more involved in immigration advocacy. We will have speakers from the New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta and Faith in Public Life, to break down what we can expect in 2020 in terms of immigration policy and the best ways for people of faith to make their voices heard for those who are being harmed. Please support the asylum seeker being sponsored by the New Sanctuary Movement of Atlanta by bringing a $10 gift card from Walmart to help with necessities. Your support would be greatly needed and appreciated. Thank you! When: January 12, 2020, 2-4 p.m. Where: Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North,  11420 Crabapple Rd, Roswell, GA 30075 RSVP Here: http://fpl.actionkit.com/sign/uu-roswell-immtraining-120/ For further information, contact SMT member Julie Sapp (jvsapp@yahoo.com). ————————————————————————————–
  • January 16 and 17: Our Daily Bread What’s cooking? Hopefully you might be. 🙂 Help is needed on Thursday, January 16, at 2 p.m. to prepare the monthly meal for Our Daily Bread. Help is also needed on Friday, January 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to serve the meal at First Baptist Church. Our Daily Bread Community Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday and a sack meal on the weekends. Annually, this program provides more than 60,000 nutritious meals with gracious hospitality to men, women, and children in need and offers a gateway to other transformational services. Partnering with more than 70 volunteer groups. Our Daily Bread in Athens has served meals seven days per week, 365 days per year since 1989. To sign up to serve and/or to cook, contact David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com or 706.338.2798). Our Daily Bread outreach is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. ——————————————————————————–
  • January 19: AADM’s 5th Annual Athens in Harmony Concert The UUFA Social Action Committee (SAC) invites you to the 5th Annual Athens in Harmony concert: Honoring Dr. King Jr. and Inspiring Through Music. January 19, doors open at 6 p.m. www.FoundryAthens.com for tickets and information. Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) is a UUFA Justice Partner. For further information, click For further information, click here. ————————————————————————————-
  • January 19: Green Sanctuary Team Meets Interested in environmental justice? The Green Sanctuary Team will meet Sunday, January 19, at noon in the Kleiner Heritage Room.   All are welcome. For information, contact Larry Dendy (ldendy@uga.edu). ————————————————————————————-
  • January 19: Sanctuary Movement Team Interested in immigrant justice within the Athens community and ways you can help? Join us for the next gathering of the Sanctuary Movement Team on third Sunday of the month—January 19–beginning at noon-ish in the conference room. To join the Sanctuary Movement Team listserv, first click the headline above and then click here or go to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/uufa-sanctuary-movement-team/join. Need more information?  Contact Nancy MacNair (ncmacnair@gmail.com or 706.546.5237) or visit http://www.uua.org/immigration/witness/partners/newsanctuary. The Sanctuary Movement Team is part of the UUFA Justice Cluster. ——————————————————————————-
  • January 20–UUFA Participates in MLK Parade 2020 You are invited to join the UUFA Social Action Committee (SAC) and Palms of Fire Drum Circle on Monday, January 20, in marching in the Athens-Clarke Fourth Annual MLK Parade. The parade begins at 3 p.m. Please wear your Side with Love and/or UUFA t-shirt. What to expect: By 2:30 p.m, parade participants check-in in front of Morton Theater 195 W. Washington St, Athens, GA 30601. At 3 p.m., the parade begins (on the corner of Hull and Washington Street near Browns Barbershop). Parade participants must walk in groups of 5 or more people and all participants are encouraged to make signage that represents the theme, which is “Stand With Love, Not Hate. Let No Man Pull You Low Enough to Hate Him.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Participants can also promote a cause or a positive message. 4:00 pm Block Party and Club Crawl proceeds will benefit the AADM “End School To Prison Pipeline” program. For more information, click here. Questions?  Contact Deb Brenner, AADM UUFA liaison:  dbrennercbrenner@gmail.com —————————————————————————————–
  • January 20: UUFA Participates in Athens MLK Day of Service The Social Action Committee encourages UUFA members and friends to sign up now to participate on January 20 in one of two Athens MLK Day of Service projects: Historic Brooklyn Cemetery Clean-Up and Beautification Athens Area Homeless Shelter Indoor and Outdoor Workday Click on each project above to receive more information and to register to participate. All volunteers are encouraged to attend our Kickoff Celebration on the morning of the Day of Service. The Kickoff Event will be held at Clarke Central High School on Monday, January 20, 2020, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The school is located at 350 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30605. The first 300 registered volunteers will receive free t-shirts, and a light breakfast will be served. Participants will hear from several speakers before heading out to their work sites around 9:30. Click here for more information about the Athens MLK Day of Service. You are invited to wear a UUFA or Side with Love t-shirt. For more information, contact Karen Solheim (uufa.karensolheim@gmail.com). —————————————————————————————  
  • January 26: Food Justice Team Do you eat?  If so, you are invited to attend the next meeting of the Food Justice Team on Sunday, January 26, beginning at noon in the Conference Room. Grab your Fourth Sunday lunch and join in discussing programs and initiatives for 2020 including the Beef-Free Zone invitation and the showing of Cowspiracy. For further information, contact Kate Blane (raya_mead@yahoo.com). ———————————————————————————-
  • January 26: Welcoming Congregation Team You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Welcoming Congregation Team on Sunday, January 26, from 5-6 p.m. The Welcoming Congregation Team serves to help UUFA to complete the renewal of our Welcoming Congregation recognition annually through education, advocacy, and action related to LGBT/TGQNB issues. This meeting will focus on activity planning for the 2020 calendar year. For more information about the UUA Welcoming Congregation renewal, click here. For more information, look for the Welcoming Congregation Team group in Ream (onrealm.org/uufa) or email uufa.lee@gmail.com. Stay for the Alphabet Family Gathering thereafter. ————————————————————————————–
  • January 28: Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition at UUFA Interested in immigration issues? You are invited to attend the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition to be held on Tuesday, January 28, from  7-8:30 p.m. at UUFA.   The Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, comprised of members of some 15+ faith communities serving the Athens area, is dedicated to offering hospitality, safety, and opportunities for all immigrants, regardless of status, to participate fully in our shared community.   This group traditionally meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. For further information, contact UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team member Nancy MacNair (ncmacnair@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–
  • January 4: Justice Partner–AADM–Event You are invited to join the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) for a community discussion and learning experience includes a special guest speaker from Southern Poverty Law Center. Attendees will “receive an updated edition of the 2016 report Whose Heritage?, the SPLC identifies 114 Confederate symbols that have been removed since the Charleston attack — and 1,747 that still stand.” For further information, contact UUFA AADM liaison Deb Brenner (dbrennercbrenner@gmail.com). – ———————————————————————————–                                                             ————————————————————————————–  
  • January 5: Green Sanctuary Meets Interested in environmental justice? The Green Sanctuary Team will meet Sunday, January 5, at noon in the Kleiner Heritage Room.   All are welcome. For information, contact Larry Dendy (ldendy@uga.edu). ————————————————————————————-
  • January 5: Social Action Committee Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, January 5, beginning at noon in the Eskildsen Room. Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv here: http://lists.uuathensga.org/listinfo.cgi/social_action-uuathensga.org This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up! For more information, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com). The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. —————————————————————————————
  • New Procedure for 2020-21 Causes of the Month In determining 2020-21 Causes of the Month, the UUFA Social Action Committee (SAC) is inviting the members of the congregation to choose the organizations that will receive Cause of the Month funding through a two-step process. First, any member may nominate a Cause of the Month (limit one per member).  Nominations will open on February 1, 2020, and close February 20. Second, UUFA members will then vote on the nominations on Sunday, March 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Eskildsen Room. Advance voting by paper ballot or online also will be available from March 19 until noon March 28, 2020. For further information, contact Deb Brenner (dbrennercbrenner@gmail.com) ————————————————————————————
  • PARES Tutoring Opportunities and Update Members and friends of UUFA  have been tutoring about 20 students at Alps Road Elementary School since the onset of the the 2019-20 school year.  We have received news that the kindergarten children we are tutoring have moved up several levels since the beginning of school! Having more tutors for the remainder of this school year would be wonderful so that we could help more students move up. Please let UUFA PARES (Partnership with Alps Road Elementary School) liaison Caryl Sundland (csundland@aol.com) know if you are available for tutoring so that you can fill out a background check form and become involved with this wonderfully successful program. ————————————————————————————-
  • Please Don’t Donate Expired Food While the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank welcomes your donations of canned and non-perishable food items, please note they cannot distribute expired food. Please check the expiration dates of your items before bringing them to donate. You might want to consider eating the food yourself, since some canned goods are edible after their expiry date. Alternatively, empty the contents (some can be composted) and recycle the packaging. If you know a farmer in the area, sometimes they will accept expired canned goods to feed to livestock, as well. The wicker basket as you enter the sanctuary is always ready to receive your unexpired, non-perishable food items and/or monetary gifts. Contact the office if you have any questions or concerns (uufa@uuathensga.org, 706-546-7914). ————————————————————————————
  • Possible New Year’s Resolution 2020:  UUFA, a Beef-Free Zone?! Members of the UUFA Justice Cluster invites you to participate in UUFA’s being a beef-free zone beginning January 1, 2020. As you consider bringing food for any event at UUFA, could you consider not including beef?   Why you may ask? Every week during the month of January, the weekly announcements will contain an answer to this question. Stay tuned. ————————————————————————————-
  • UPLIFT: Farewell 2019 Click here to read the latest UPLIFT newsletter. ————————————————————————————
  • UUFA Diaper Drive–Thank You for 2019–Diapers Still Needed for 2020! Many thanks to all who contributed diapers in 2019 for immigrant families in the Athens area. However, the need for diapers continues, so the Diaper Drive continues in 2020. All sizes are needed. Please place the diapers you bring near the CANtribution basket. Questions?  Contact SMT member Nancy MacNair (ncmacnair@gmail.com) The Sanctuary Movement Team is part of the UUFA Justice Cluster.   ————————————————————————————-  

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