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Monthly Archives: March 2023

December 2014 Worship Schedule

Children12/07         “The Ghost of Hanukkah Past: The Mystery of Miracles”

Rabbi Marc Soloway, Congregation Bonai Shalom


12/14         “What Does It Mean to Partner?”        

Diana McLean, Ministerial Intern

 12/21         “Singing in the Solstice” – Full Church Worship

Deborah Berioli, UUCB Music Director

 12/24         4:30 pm  Family Christmas Eve Service

                  Janen Wright, Lifespan Faith Development Director

7:00 pm All Church Christmas Eve Service

                  Rev. Howell K. Lind, Developmental Minister

Diana McLean, Ministerial Intern    

12/28         “Every Child Is A Miracle”

Diana McLean, Ministerial Intern



Newsletter Editor Wanted

Help wantedVolunteer help needed putting together the Church’s monthly newsletter, the Clear Light Messenger. No experience needed and training/support provided. This is a great way to give back to the church 3-4 hours per month from the comfort of your home and perhaps learn a new skill. Please contact David Hughes if you are interested or have questions, or e-mail me at


Reflections on the Journey by Rev. Howell Lind

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore than any of the other months of the calendar year, the month of December always brings the gift of children to my heart and thinking.  Undoubtedly this association comes readily to me because two of my daughters were born in the month of December and that December 25th is the date the world has designated as the date for celebrating of the birth of Jesus.


Perhaps this connection for me of children and this twelfth month of the calendar year also centers on watching children, wide-eyed and excited as they open presents scattered under a Christmas tree.  For many reasons, this month of December is a special time of the year.


Our church’s ministerial intern, Diana McLean, and I had a recent meeting with Samantha Frazee of the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services.  Samantha is part of Boulder County’s 360 Family Connection Team and the Foster Parent Engagement Specialist.  Our time together was informative and productive as I learned more about what Boulder County is doing to help children in our region.


Children in our community desperately need the help of all of us, regardless of our ages!  Our community needs us to volunteer as foster family helpers, respite providers, and especially to step up and sign up as foster parents.  Diana and I have asked Samantha to be with our congregation on several Sundays in December to share more about ways in which all of us can be involved in providing needed services and assistance to the children in our area who need the kind of caring, loving, and supportive help that you and I are capable of providing.


Diana and I have decided that we will utilize several of the Sundays in this month of December to speak to the connection of children with the values of our chosen faith of Unitarian Universalism.  In truth, children –– their care, instruction, and nurturing –– is a responsibility that our faith has always championed and held as one of the most important ways to live our faith and values through our efforts and service to the needs and growth of children.


Hopefully, throughout the entire year, all of us are attentive to the ongoing need of caring for and the nurturing of young hearts and minds, but this month of December 2014 will be a good opportunity for us to strengthen and renew our commitment and our faith in and of children.  See you in church!




Faith Formation Focus by Janen Wright

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood Tidings of Comfort and Joy

The first Christmas that I admitted to myself that I was no longer Christian started out being a difficult one for me.  I could no longer be the recipient of  ‘Good Tidings of Comfort or Joy.’  The lie that my fancy nativity set represented made me feel like a hypocrite so I packed it all up and put it back in the garage–feeling pretty sorry for myself.  I felt deep sadness too, that my children would grow up without feeling the magic of the miracle of Christ as their Savior.  I had flashbacks to the Christmas of my childhood –the one when I found out the truth about Santa.  Christmas had fallen very flat for me that year.  Both unwelcome revelations of no Santa and no Savior made me feel like I stood on shaky ground.  What was the next strong belief that I now cherished but was soon going to turn to dust?

Then I read something that hit me like a ton of bricks and forever gave me back an authentic reason to celebrate Christmas. (I have tried to relocate these words in order to quote them here and give credit to the author but I can’t find them.  Maybe Karl Sagan?)  Anyway, the gist of the message was that if you truly stopped to consider the miracle of existence itself, the miracle of the virgin birth seemed negligible in comparison. (I believe the author called it “chump change” in fact.)

Unitarian Universalists express this same idea with the words, “Every night a child is born is a holy night” but I was years away from discovering you folks.  Anyway, at the time I was very glad to realize that I could still feel awe and reverence and the glow of something much bigger than myself if I based Christmas on the miracle of existence itself and tried to appreciate how incredible it is that any of us ever came to walk this earth in the first place.  Happily I decided it was okay to let my nativity set represent the miracle of all our existence and it was restored to its honorary place in our living room.

My Unitarian Universalist ‘Tidings of Comfort and Joy’ that I share with many of you are that the divine resides in each one of us instead of in just one carpenter’s son. Our tidings are the blessing of belonging to a religion where spirituality and science can meet and get along.  Our tidings are that we can search for and assign meaning to all the days of our lives and that our theology can grow and change like any other healthy thing because it isn’t handed to us already carved in ancient stone!

For those of you who have children, or are a child at heart, I look forward to our Family Christmas Service this year which we will hold in the Sky room.  I anticipate sharing with you one of my other favorite Christmas stories that I didn’t get to tell last year. I take special satisfaction in happy holiday UU services because we have such wonderful tidings of Love and Acceptance to offer the world!  Have a very, very Merry Christmas.

On the Path: Intern’s Insights by Diana McLean

Diana MOn the Path: Intern’s Insights

We are approaching my favorite time of year. No, not Christmas, though I have plenty of happy memories of gathering with the extended McLean clan in Wisconsin. It’s the Winter Solstice that speaks most to my soul.

It’s partly about the beauty of the Winter Solstice itself, that longest night of the year, when we celebrate both the darkness and the returning light, as people have done from ancient times. Its power is part of why Christianity celebrates the birth of Christ in late December: to connect with the ancient Winter Solstice and Saturnalia celebrations of this welcoming back of the light into the world.

What I really like best about the Winter Solstice, though, is the powerful love and belonging I associate with it. At my church in Spokane, I sang in the women’s choir, a tight-knit community within a community. I loved that experience all through the church year, but it became especially potent for me in the fall and winter, as we began to rehearse the Winter Solstice service.

The service itself was so powerful that it moved me to tears the first time I experienced it, as a congregant rather than a choir member. Not just because the lyrics were meaningful, though they were. Not just because the women’s voices were beautiful, though they were. But because through the singing, those women created sacred space in that sanctuary. Everyone was wrapped not only in the sound of their voices, but in the powerful feelings of love and reverence they evoked.

Let the Spirit come to you, run through you, renew you.

Let the love shine on to you, pursue you, undo you.

Let the light shine above you, be of you, that loves you.

Let the peace settle in you, within you, begin you.

I have enjoyed singing with others since I was a child. Blending my voice in a group has always been a tangible experience of interconnectedness, and a spiritual practice that moves me out of my head and into my heart and my soul. As we sing, we literally vibrate together, and are bathed in the sound we can only create together. When I sing, especially the powerful Winter Solstice songs, I feel that vibration in my heart. And when it works perfectly, the congregants, even when not singing, become part of a loop of giving and receiving of both sound and love that is almost beyond the power of words to describe. The lyrics of one of the Winter Solstice songs reflect that:

One is for our faith in the music

Two is for our faith in the crowd

Three and four our faith in each other

That is how we sing out loud.

I’m looking forward to our “Singing In the Solstice” service on December 21st. Come, let’s sing together!

Membership Matters by Barb Richards

barbWe honor members, friends, visitors

Our thoughts and good wishes continue to be with:  Joyce Perata on her upcoming surgery and wish her a speedy recovery.  Hilton Fitt-Peaster who is recovering from shoulder surgery last month.  He went into it not knowing if it would be minor or major.  When his doctor got inside, via arthroscope he realized that only some small cleanup was required so no open surgery.   Minor it was!  Here’s hoping that his golf swing may even be improved! Joyce Perata is now at Boulder Community Hospital.  Her surgery went well and she is in rehab.  She can and wants to have visitors.  Susan Riederer’s brother, Greg Shannon, died this week of a long-term illness.  Kitty Turner’s mother died last month.  Hilton Fitt-Peaster’s sister, Jeannine, died on November 22nd.  Susan and Tim Bailey flew to Chapel Hill, NC on Sunday, November 23rd, as their son Justin was admitted through the ER on Saturday.

Congratulations, Good Luck, Blessings, and Thanks to:  Suzy Belmont shared that last month Neil DiMuccio and all her friends and family gave her the most amazing 30th birthday, for her to always remember.  Ginny Wright has returned sporting her new knee replacement — she is indeed an “Energizer Bunny”!  Judith King, Ellen & Don Lilley, Julie & Bob Ford always deserve my special thanks, and they know why.  If you have thought about being an usher, but feel like you need to know more we plan to have training in early December.  Please sign up at the office counter. The Mazzola’s welcomed their first grandchild, a girl named Isabelle, on November 4th, in New Jersey.

Random Thoughts:  Do you feel that change keeps happening?  That is because it is happening, and it is all to make your church community a place you want to be.  Past President Whitney Wheeless, and President Jennifer Skiendzielewski have been convening Strategic Planning sessions around our goals.  Some of the ideas are already being put into place.  Others will roll out later.  “Tweaking” can and may happen.  Sunday morning we are no longer ringing the entry bell to begin church, but Deborah Berioli is coming to the Sky Room and, front hall playing her beautiful sound bars, while leading us into the sanctuary to begin Worship.  The sound is very pleasant. 

Families with children are encouraged to sit up front until after the first hymn, when our youth and teachers leave for their morning.  The Earth Room doors will now close when the Service starts.  Latecomers are being directed to enter the sanctuary via the Sky Room/Listening Room as they arrive.  Also our Ushers will be encouraging you to “schooch” toward the center on the benches, providing additional seating.  Our Music Director, Instrumentalists, Pianist and Choir now have their own “nook” on the West side of the sanctuary.  Yes, these changes came about, from those of YOU who participated during the Strategic Panning sessions.  We take Worship seriously, and want everyone to have a great experience.


Caitlin Moore, shared the following at the end of the Strategic Planning session, which I attended (Hospitality and Community).


Yearning for a new way will not produce it.  Only ending the old way can do that.

You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you want something new.


The old will defy the new;

The old will deny the new;

The old will decry the new.


There is only one way to bring in the new.

You must make room for it.


…by Neale Walsh


May all of YOU and YOURS enjoy a safe and satisfying Holiday Season from now and into the New Year.



With Love & Care,



PS: Fred has a suggestion for New Year’s Day — “I hereby resolve to attend the 2015 General Assembly —Building a New way — to be held in Portland, Oregon, June 24th thru 28th!”

UUCB End of Life Seminar Series

eolThe third and last of the fall End of Life Seminars, After Death Decisions and Creating Peace of Mind at the End of Life,  will take place from 12:30 – 2:30 after the service on Sunday, December 7th.  In this seminar we will have presentations on traditional and new options for caring for the dead and their remains; look at a checklist for creating peace of mind at the end of life; and learn about ways to leave spiritual and financial legacies.

In the first hour, Karen van Vuuren, the Executive Director of Natural Transitions and other volunteers from this Boulder non-profit resource center, will talk about family-led after-death care, home funerals and green burials.  In the second hour we will look at the “Creating Peace of Mind Checklist” and touch upon spiritual or ethical wills with Rosemary Lohndorf. We will also learn about financial legacies and leaving a legacy to UUCB with Peter Holt

Remember to visit the table in the Sky Room for information and resources and to sign up if you haven’t already done so.  Lunch will again be provided for everyone who has signed up ahead of time.

We hope our series has given you food for thought around end –of –life issues, and perhaps places to start your own work around this important topic.

Welcoming Congregation Renewal

Come join us for our second meeting of the year to discuss plans for the Welcoming Congregational renewal process and events at UUCB. We will be deciding on our focus for the year, what education, improvements, as well as issues we want to tackle. We will also have a chance to start planning our involvement in the Standing on the Side of Love month in January-February!! 
More information about Welcoming Congregation can be found here:
Join us after church at 12:30pm on December 14, 2014.
Email/call Suzy Belmont with questions

Calculate and Reduce your Carbon Footprint!

November 16 – December 14

 Earth from spaceUUCB Climate Ministry invites you to calculate your household carbon footprint by going to Knowledge is empowering!  Find out how you can act to reduce your own CO2 emissions.

In 2010, thirty-one UUCB households calculated their carbon footprints and we found that the average was 34.4 tons of CO2 per year.  This compared favorably with the U.S. household average of 48.5 tons CO2 per year, but we all agreed we could do even better.

Let’s see how we’re doing now as a congregation!  We would like to find the average carbon footprint for our UUCB membership, so please send your household total emissions to Timothy Bailey.    For more information, visit our Climate Change Ministry table during coffee hour, November 16 – December 14 or read our longer November CLM article.  And watch for an Adult Education class in January on how to reduce your CO2 emissions.

/blog/ subsite developed by Boulder Information Services.