Read our latest announcement.
Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Livestream Worship
August 22nd, 2021
Join us this Sunday when Rev. Greg shares his message,
“It’s a Marvel”
Connect with us: check your inbox on Sunday morning for the link!
(NOTE: the Zoom link remains the same from week to week)
IN THIS ISSUE
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Editor’s Note: if you do not see ‘Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update’ as the very last section of this email (look for the little purple map), you’re not seeing the whole email. You may need to click on ‘view entire message’ ‘view in browser’ or something similar, depending on your device.
** Congregational Life
** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
** Changes to Joys & Sorrows Format
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO JOYS & SORROWS FORMAT
For our Joys and Sorrows ritual going forward, we are asking that you submit your Joy or Sorrow in writing beforehand. Rev. Greg will read them aloud during the ritual. You can submit your Joy or Sorrow via email: firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) – or use the button below.
Submissions need to be received by 10:00 am on Sunday to be shared that morning. Submissions received after 10:00 am may be shared the following week. Please note that we will not be responding to emails sent to this address. If you need to talk to someone, please call the church (302) 369-2712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) – or use the button below.
As we become more adept at managing the technology, we anticipate having both spoken and written joys and sorrows. Please be patient as we work to make that happen.
SUBMIT Joys and Sorrows HERE (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
CONNECT with Pastoral Care HERE (mailto:email@example.com)
** Saturday Campfire Events
We continue to hold a campfire in the Memorial Grove every Saturday evening (unless otherwise noted, and weather permitting). We gather around 7:30-ish. Bring all your comforts (lawn chairs, blankets, refreshments, etc.) and feel free to invite your family, friends, and neighbors of all ages!
If you haven’t yet joined us for a campfire, consider one (or more) of these Saturdays this summer when we have some fun themed events planned for the whole family:
August 21^st – Stargazing
We’re hoping for a clear sky, so bring along any astronomy equipment you may have, such as a telescope or binoculars to get a good look at the moon, planets, and stars. Or phone apps to assist you in finding constellations.
August 28^th – Campfire Stories
Bring a favorite story to share. This could be a selection from a book or just a funny or interesting personal story to share.
All of our campfire events are open to everyone!! The Memorial Grove is to the left of the main (back) parking lot as you drive in. (Note: there is a slight incline on a grassy area leading up to the area.) Please note that the church building will be closed except for restroom use (by one person or family at a time). Contact Jamie Kegerise (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) or the church office (mailto:email@example.com) (302-369-2712) with questions.
** Mill Creek Board of Trustees Meeting – Quick Look Report
Mill Creek Board of Trustees Meeting
Wednesday, 18 August, 6:30pm on Zoom
Quick Look Report to the Congregation
All board members present
COVID-19 Statistics – Delta variant new cases still increasing. Comparison of risk levels between COVIDACTNOW and CDC was given. Activities allowed in various Phase levels was discussed.
Congregational Goals were approved –
1. To come together as a community – Planning and execution by the ministry teams and governance committees to successfully achieve our reawakening.
2. To have a successful sabbatical – Planning and execution by the ministry teams and governance committees to maintain/improve our church during the sabbatical period.
Worship Team – Draft plans for Ingathering on 12 Sept. were reviewed.
Opening – John Springer will be acting chair of Opening Committee to prepare for live, in person Sunday Services.
Sabbatical – Overview of planned activities was reviewed.
Assessment – Procedure update for assessment of ministry due to sabbatical was reviewed
Generosity Campaign – Still gathering data.
RE – Kristina to follow up with Rev. Greg on coordinating with parents
Adjourned at 8:00
** Your pledge dollars at work!
$205.72 + $800
During previous calendar year 2020 we paid $205.72 for sewer services. We were on track to pay a comparable amount for calendar year 2021 and budgeted a similar amount for 2022.
However, New Castle County passed two ordinances earlier this year which were created to help defray the costs of the County’s investment in its system-wide wastewater infrastructure. The passage of the ordinances translates to a Capital Charge being assessed to all residential and commercial parcels. Most residential households will see an increase of $25.
Because the Capital Charge is based on the size of the property’s water meter, the increase to our annual sewer bill is $800, resulting in total sewer charges of approximately $1000 for the current year and going forward.
You can read more about it here. (https://www.delawarepublic.org/post/new-castle-county-council-approves-new-sewer-fee-next-fiscal-year)
** CHURCH BUILDING CLOSED DUE TO COVID-DELTA SURGE
On August 28 the new case rate for New Castle County was 21.8 (new cases per 100,000), which means we have transitioned back to Phase 3 on our phased opening plan. This means that the church building is closed with the exception of essential personnel and public service use (AA meetings). Restrooms are available for outdoor activities if masks are worn and used by one person at a time.
For those of you who were unable to attend our briefings, new case rate is the weekly average of daily new cases per 100,000. The infection rate in the area is high, so the new case rate will be increasing rapidly. You can track the relevant data at the site: Covid Act Now (https://covidactnow.org/?s=21851111) .
The surge is due to the Delta variant and CDC guidance is changing due to its increased transmissibility. Predictions on when the new case will peak and at what level are very rough at this time and highly dependent on vaccination assumptions.
The Board of Trustees continues to review COVID-19 data and it’s implications for our return to in-person worship.
Questions may be directed to the Board (firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) ) or use the link below.
CONTACT the Board with Questions Here (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
** Share Our Plate:
July & August
We regularly donate a portion of our undesignated plate collection to a local charity or non-profit organization. Although we aren’t meeting in person for Sunday services for the time being, contributions are still being received to support this fund and are donated entirely to the selected recipient.
For the months of July and August, we have selected Independent Living for Young Adults (https://firstuuwilm.org/connect/independent-living-for-young-adults-ilya/) (ILYA), a social justice program led by members of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, to be the recipient of this fund.
Use the links below to learn more, and to donate.
LEARN MORE about ILYA (https://firstuuwilm.org/connect/independent-living-for-young-adults-ilya/)
DONATE to Share Our Plate (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**
** Opportunity to Learn about ILYA Student Care Package Project
Just What is the ILYA Student Care Package Project All About?
Do you remember when you were away at college or in the military and how nice it was to receive a surprise package of goodies from home? Sending such packages to young adults who have aged out of foster care and are continuing their education in post-secondary programs or the military is exactly what the ILYA Student Care Package project is all about. Our federal and state governments are now helping these youth with their tuition costs, but more support and motivation is needed to keep them pursuing their education.
If you are interested in volunteering for this project but are not really sure what it entails, two Zoom meetings have been scheduled for you to find out more. These are just information sessions; no commitments to volunteer are required. The Zoom link is below.
We are already receiving names of students who are attending various colleges and universities and are requesting care packages for the coming school year. If you decide to join other ILYA volunteers in support of this project, we will also be scheduling an Orientation Session in September that will provide additional background. This year, we are also encouraging members to find a friend to support a student together. It can be much more fun (and half the cost) doing it with someone else.
Two “Introduction to Student Care Packages 101” sessions are scheduled for these dates:
Sunday, August 29th at 12:00 noon,
Tuesday, August 31st at 7:00 p.m.
Join the Zoom sessions via the following link:
Zoom Link to ILYA Project Information Sessions (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86584827091?pwd=b2Iyd09HeHlCKzNOOVkvZkhwZEFEZz09)
** Chalice Circles Have Openings!
Chalice Circles at Mill Creek are small groups that provide a supportive environment for people to meet and discuss topics relevant to our lives as well as share our stories, our experiences and our ideas. Circles are an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and develop a rich spirituality. During COVID, some Circles meet virtually, some in person; some meet during the day and some in the evenings. We have five Circles comprised of women and a men’s Circle. If you’re interested or would like more information, contact Helen Springer at 484-732-8641, or by email using the link below; or call the church office, 302-369-2712.
Here’s what people are saying about Chalice Circles at Mill Creek:
“During the pandemic, the circle has been a wonderful means of keeping in close touch with these members of our church. And in ordinary times, the circle meetings provide friendship as well as an opportunity to think more deeply about what our church means to us.”
“Joining a Chalice Circle was the most significant thing I did once I joined this church community several years ago. It is my main source for support.”
“The sisterhood of my chalice circle has been a lifeline for me. We ZOOM every week, sharing our own stories and deeply listening to the stories of others. Such a gift.”
“I have been participating in the men’s chalice circle for over two years now. It has been a wonderful way for me to connect with other members of the church on a deeper and more personal level. It has shown me additional view points and brought me a different set of tools for living my spiritual life. It has also brought me a lot of laughter and a place of emotional support in times of need.”
“The women in my Circle mean so much to me, we care for and about each other in a way I find difficult to achieve away from church.”
Questions about Chalice Circles (mailto:email@example.com?subject=Chalice%20Circles)
** Mill Creek Meadow and Grounds Spotlight
A Meadow a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Pictured: Jamie Kegerise working tirelessly in the meadow
This is a cheeky take on the familiar proverb involving an apple: meaning that if one eats healthy foods like apples and other fruits, one will remain in good health and will not need medical intervention as often.
The same analogy can be used when considering the act of gardening. Both at home and here at Mill Creek, gardening and working in the yard or meadow offers a variety of health benefits. Some are well known while others may come as a surprise.
Exposure to Vitamin D
This is essential for hundreds of bodily functions, like strengthening bones and the immune system. Just 30 minutes a day can produce 8,000 to 50,000 IUs of vitamin D. It also helps lower our risk of certain cancers.
Working outside in the yard or open space can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by offering the mind something else to focus on. It is mood-boosting, fights stress, increases self-esteem, and lowers levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Decreased Risk of Dementia
Gardening as a form of exercise improves cognitive brain function and may spur growth in the brain’s memory-related nerves. Some countries, like Korea, Netherlands, and Norway, now include gardening and horticultural therapy in their dementia treatment programs.
Opportunity for Exercise
Gardening is a wonderful way to get exercise as it uses every muscle group in the body, and you can control how much or little you get.
Pulling weeds, raking leaves, reaching for various plants and tools, twisting and bending as you plant or gather vegetables – it all counts as exercise! This builds muscle strength, promotes restful sleep, increases stamina and flexibility, and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
Helps Combat Loneliness
For some of us, finding worthwhile socialization opportunities can sometimes present a challenge for many different reasons. Community gardens can be a fun way to engage with others while providing benefits to the area. While not exactly a community garden, the Mill Creek meadows and grounds are available to all, and we encourage everyone – church members, friends, families, neighbors – to come out and take part in our efforts to keep our property well-tended and healthy.
Here at Mill Creek we have a small but dedicated (and overworked) group of people – our Natural Lands Stewards – who gather every Wednesday afternoon around 5:30 or so to tend to the trees, meadows and grounds. Won’t you consider lending them a hand? Everyone is welcome – no gardening experience or knowledge is required. Bring your gardening gloves and we’ll show you what needs doing. If you’re more interested in the scenery, we happily encourage anyone who might be curious about the work we do to stop by at any time for a walkabout and reconnect with nature.
Jamie (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amy (mailto:email@example.com) are always happy to answer any questions you might have – feel free to reach out to one or both of them.
Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.
– Allan Armitage, horticulture professor and author
COMING NEXT WEEK: We continue our look at the health advantages of gardening with one final, unexpected yet topical benefit…stay tuned!
** Complicated Grief
Part of a series shared by Rev. Bob Broesler
Surrendering to Grief
A person in grief is able to come to “understanding” when they are embraced by companions who help the mourning individual to surrender; surrender any need to compare their grief (it is not a competition); surrender any self-critical judgments (self-compassion is a critical ingredient integrating loss into life); and surrender any need to completely understand (we never do because mystery is something to be pondered not explained).
The grief that touches our souls has its own voice and should not be compromised by a need for comparison, judgment, or even complete understanding. Actually, surrendering to the unknowable wilderness of grief is a courageous choice, an act of faith, trust in God and in oneself.
As an outgrowth of the loss of my son Justin, I believe I have been called to provide counsel to people who are experiencing “difficult grief”, particularly but not exclusively the loss of a child. This also includes those unable to be physically present with their loved one while they died. Below is another in a series of insights which I believe will provide you with the language to be present for a friend in such situations. I hope they are helpful.
-The Rev. Robert (Bob) Broesler
Rev. Broesler is a Grief Counselor and a member of Mill Creek. Connect with him using any of the following methods:
CLICK HERE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/SignIn)
to access your Realm profile!
We encourage you to continue your financial support of Mill Creek during the closure by using one of the following methods:
1. Mail a check: 579 Polly Drummond Hill Road, Newark DE 19711 (staff is present in the office and the mailbox is checked daily). Please indicate on the subject line if this is a pledge payment, a general contribution, or a contribution to a specific giving fund.
2. Give electronically through REALM: https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/Give or use the link below (remember to select a giving fund).
3. Text-to-Give: text MillCreek and the amount [e.g. MillCreek 50] to 73256.
We sincerely appreciate your support of Mill Creek, especially now while we are unable to gather together for the time being. But the work of the church continues! We gratefully acknowledge that there would be no Mill Creek without YOU. Thank you.
**Click here to GIVE now** (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
Follow us on Instagram!
Mill Creek Staff office hours & contact information
Rev. Gregory S. Pelley
Hours by appointment – use the link below to schedule:
– Click here to schedule time with Rev. Greg – (https://calendly.com/gpelley)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 8 am to 1 pm, Monday-Thursday
Rachel Sabella, Music Director
Hours by Appointment
** Upcoming events in our local community
** Twilight on the Terrace at Mt. Cuba Center
Friday, August 20
Live Music and Food Trucks
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
3120 Barley Mill Road
This Friday, August 20^th is the perfect time to visit Mt. Cuba Center during their Twilight on the Terrace event. Local food trucks – Natalie’s Fine Foods, Bivouac Pizza – will be onsite, and beer and wine will be available for purchase while live music will be performed by Briz and the Revival. Enjoy evening access to the gardens! This is one of two remaining Twilight events happening at Mt. Cuba (last event in the series is Friday, September 3^rd). Access the link below for tickets and more information.
Tickets & Info (https://tickets.mtcubacenter.org/webstore/shop/viewItems.aspx?cg=ga&c=EVENTS#6788)
The mission of Mt. Cuba (https://mtcubacenter.org/) is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the habitats that sustain them. It has been a home for conservation, education, and preservation since the 1930s, when farmland was gradually transformed into a lush botanical garden like no other, featuring some of the region’s most beautiful native plants. Mt. Cuba Center and Red Clay Reservation merged in 2018, combining conservation efforts in northern Delaware with a total of 1,083 acres.
** Friday Farmers Markets in New Castle County
There are several Farmers Markets in our local area operating most Fridays. Use the link below to find out more!
More info about NCC Farmers Markets (https://nccde.org/455/Farmers-Markets)
** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
** Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Responds to Haiti Earthquake
Image Credit: iStock—ffikretow
In response to the news of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on the morning of Saturday, August 14, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) CEO and President Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued a statement of compassion and support. UUSC has been in contact with long-term grassroots partners in Haiti to assess and respond to the most pressing needs. Rev. Morn hopes to raise money for the UUSC Emergency Response Fund which will provide much-needed support to those groups on the ground in Haiti.
Use the links below to read Rev. Morn’s statement in full, support the Emergency Response Fund, and learn more about UUSC and the work they do.
READ Rev. Morn’s statement in full (https://www.uusc.org/uusc-statement-on-7-2-magnitude-earthquake-that-struck-haiti-on-saturday-august-14/)
SUPPORT the UUSC Emergency Response Fund (https://donate.uusc.org/give/352941/#!/donation/checkout?preset1=50&preset2=75&preset3=100&preset4=150&utm_source=fy21-fund-Haiti-lightbox&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=fy21-fund-Haiti)
LEARN more about UUSC (https://www.uusc.org/about-uusc/)
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity. UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. They respond to humanitarian crises as partners with people whose access to aid is most limited.
Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=1b113258af3968aaf3969ca67e744ff8.5497&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)
** Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UUSMC)
** Website (https://www.uusmc.org)
** Instagram (http://instagram.com/millcreekuu)
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