Connect With Us 8/26

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 29th, 2021

Join us this Sunday when Rev. Greg shares his message,
“regression to the mean”

Connect with us: check your inbox on Sunday morning for the link!
(NOTE: the Zoom link remains the same from week to week)
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


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: ( – 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 ( – 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 (
CONNECT with Pastoral Care here (

** This Saturday – Campfire Stories
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!

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 ( or the church office ( (302-369-2712) with questions.

Most of us have seen the Viking Cruise adds about long, cold Norwegian winters – and the joys of coming out into the warmth of spring with the earth reawakening – well, we have had our own long, cold time apart and the time has come for our reawakening, beginning with our Ingathering Service on September 12!


Held Outdoors – Ingathering Service, Sunday, September 12, will be held outdoors. In case of inclement weather, the service will be postponed to the following Sunday.

Start Time – the service will begin at 10:00 am and last approximately one hour. It will also be livestreamed. Please refer to the Sunday morning email for the Zoom link.

Location – the service will be held on the south lawn. The “pulpit” will be on the west end of the lawn, near the oak tree. Live music is planned, however there will be no community singing.

Water Communion – this annual ritual, traditionally held at Ingathering each year, will take place. Feel free to bring a small amount of water from a place or time special to you. When approaching the common bowl, please observe distancing from others.

Bring a Lawn Chair – if you need a chair, please ask one of the ushers; otherwise, we ask that everyone bring their own lawn or camp chair. Social distancing of 6 feet between households is required.

Masks Required – everyone 2 years of age or older will be required to wear a mask. Due to the COVID level, N-95 masks are required. If you do not have one, or the one you brought is not N-95, the usher will provide one.

Refreshments – unfortunately at this time we are unable to provide refreshments at the service.

Restroom Use – the restrooms will be open and the double doors to the parking lot will remain unlocked. Masks must be worn when inside the building at all times. Only one person at a time in each restroom. A doorstop will be used to keep the door open when restrooms are unoccupied.

Socializing – is encouraged while practicing social distancing.

Outdoor services will continue, weather permitting, until the COVID level allows us to use the sanctuary. If you have questions or comments, please contact Rev. Greg ( .

** A word about mask requirements…
Masks and Distancing Make a Difference

Our ability to have in person services depends on wearing masks and distancing. We know that the new, more transmissible, variants are making vaccinations less effective and that you can spread the virus even if you are vaccinated. The vast majority of new infections come from contact with the unvaccinated. The current surge of new cases is predominantly among the unvaccinated.

The kind of masks make a big difference. Homemade cloth masks are 20% effective. The surgical masks, which seem to be the most common, are 40% effective. N-95 masks are 95% effective. Wearing N-95 masks allows us to have in person activities at higher new case rates. But they are not 100% effective. That is why distancing is still important. So, when one of our church activities call for an N-95 mask, please wear one. If you need an N-95 mask, just ask, they are available at church.

The UUA has recently updated their COVID guidance for the Delta Variant. Scroll down to the ‘News from the UUA’ block for more information and a link to President Susan Frederick-Gray’s full statement.

** Mill Creek Meadow & Grounds: New Feature Added!

Wildlife Habitat Signage Added to Meadow

To honor the memory of Ann Roschinsky (June 20, 1942 – January 19, 2015), and to live our 7th Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” we are pleased to announce the installation of two interpretive signs placed on our property.

Ann was a beloved member of Mill Creek, a firm nature lover and supporter of all living creatures. When we received her generous legacy gift, we considered several projects that would recognize her environmental stewardship in a thoughtful and meaningful way. With input from our Natural Lands Stewards, the signage was selected as an appropriate way to honor Ann while demonstrating to the community our efforts to establish and maintain wildlife habitats.

The brightly colored interpretive signs, each with slightly different text, highlight some of the various wildlife species which are dependent upon our meadows as a source of their food and shelter. They also encourage homeowners to plant native wildflowers, trees, and shrubs as they are an integral part of the solution to loss of wildlife habitat both locally and worldwide.
Located in the Memorial Grove and along the cut path adjacent to Paper Mill Park, the signs are designed to welcome members, guests, and park visitors to explore and further understand the value of our wildlife habitats.

We encourage everyone to walk our grounds, explore our paths and see the fruits of Ann’s legacy. As the signs say, “We hope spending time here lifts your spirit and sparks an interest to create more habitats for wildlife in your own yard.”

We are grateful for the combined efforts of Lauri & Bobby Rickard, Amy White, and Jamie Kegerise, who worked together to see this project come to fruition.
COMING NEXT WEEK: We’ll return to our look at the health advantages of gardening with one final, unexpected yet topical benefit…stay tuned!

** Solar Energy Return On Investment Update


Solar panels were installed at Mill Creek in February 2018. Since that time, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions saved by this renewable power source is 50,295.98 kg, which is the equivalent of 837 trees planted.

** Share Our Plate:
September & October

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 September and October, we have selected Bellevue Art Lab. Located in the Bellevue Community Center in North Wilmington, Bellevue Art Lab is a place for growing artists of many ages and skill levels. It is an open studio setting which allows for exploration rather than strict instruction. The Lab is stocked with drawing, painting, and sculpting supplies as well as digital art, and is set up for jewelry making and metalworks. The Art Lab is a free open studio for youth ages 13-19 during after school hours, Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm. They offer private paint parties, host professional workshops and artist talks, design community art installations, and participate in the Wilmington Art Loop on the First Friday of every month. The Arts is an important way to engage the youth as well as foster bonds between artists and community members.

Use the links below to learn more, and to donate.
LEARN MORE about Bellevue Art Lab (
DONATE to Share Our Plate (
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**
Another Social Justice effort at Mill Creek…

** Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) Student Care Package Project

What is the ILYA Student Care Package Project?
It is a one academic-year commitment and involves the sending of “care” packages to young adults who have aged out of foster care and who are continuing their education in post-secondary programs (college, university) or the military. Packages are sent at least four times during the school year and for the young adult’s birthday. For some, the package is the only birthday recognition they receive. It is the most popular ILYA project.

Why is the Student Care Package Project so important?
Care packages are sent to young adults who have aged out of foster care and no longer have a support system. Many of these young adults have experienced loss, rejection, and trauma since leaving foster care. While Federal and State programs offer some assistance for the very basic needs of life, like food and shelter, the care package project provides more personal things to enhance the young adult’s feelings of self-worth and dignity. Feedback from the young adults themselves tell us that these packages have been a source of encouragement and support at critical times for them during the school year.

What kinds of things are included in the packages?
It is up to the sender what goes into the packages but often they include items such as: snacks like cookies, fruit, crackers & energy bars; school supplies like pens, pencils & highlighters; gift cards; dorm room decorations for holidays; household supplies like laundry detergent & paper products; personal care supplies like body wash, toothpaste & sanitary wipes; personal cards with words of encouragement, and so much more. But it is less important what is in the packages than the thought that someone else knows they exist and believes that pursuing their education is important.

Is there a way to get more specific information about this project?
We have two Zoom sessions available for anyone wanting to know more about the Student Care Package Project. They are informal and informational – no commitments to volunteer are required or expected.

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 link below. Note that the link will work for either session.
Zoom Link to ILYA Project Information Sessions (
Have questions about the Student Care Package Project, the Zoom sessions, or ILYA in general? Ask us here! (

** Book Group: New Schedule & Meeting Topics

The Mill Creek Book Group will be meeting virtually every other month on first Tuesday evenings at 7 pm, beginning September 7th.

Here’s what we have planned for our upcoming meetings in September and November:

Tuesday, September 7th – this is an open discussion about and recommendations for any of the books we have read during the pandemic.
Tuesday, November 2nd – we will discuss Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell ( .
Everyone is welcome to join our discussions!
Zoom link: can be found below, or on the church calendar ( . (Note: the link remains the same for each meeting.) Feel free to contact Deanna Koepck ( e ( with any questions you have about the Book Group.
JOIN the meeting here (

** Adult Religious Exploration Catalog Available Now
Click here to learn about Sunday Morning RE, Listening to Our Lives, Shared Pulpit Workshop, and Couples Retreat (

** Mill Creek Tree Planting Days

Saturday & Sunday, October 23 and 24

Earlier this year, through the efforts of Jamie Kegerise and Amy White, a grant was applied for and was awarded from the State of Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The $1500 grant is for the purchase of 25 native trees of a variety of species. While the grant covers the cost of the trees and materials, the labor involved with planting the trees is our responsibility.

We have selected October 23^rd and 24^th as tree planting days. We plan to begin on both days at 8:00 am and work until 2:00 pm. We will be inviting folks involved with the National Wildlife Federation’s “Sacred Grounds” program, as well as people from other local churches, and we hope to offer some Mill Creek hospitality by means of outdoor refreshments.

How you can help:
* Join us any Wednesday at 5:30 pm in September or early October to dig holes for the trees
* Join us on either planting day – even for just an hour or two would be a great help

Contact Jamie Kegerise ( or Amy White ( with any questions you have about this project.

** 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 (

** Complicated Grief
Part of a series shared by Rev. Bob Broesler

Love Not Logic
“The Ultimate Cure, as many ancient and modern depth psychologies have asserted, comes from love and not from logic” – Thomas Moore

To be torn apart by grief and to then become whole again, we need more than our intellect. We need experiences that spring from the spirit and the soul. “Spirit” can be broadly defined as our nonvisible essences, which include dimensions of intellect, emotion, personality, and spirituality. I see the spirit as the “divine spark” in all people. As human beings, we are embodied spirit explorers.

“Soul” is not a thing but a quality or dimension of experiencing life. Thomas Moore notes that soul “has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart, and personal substance.” Thus to move in a healthy path through grief, we need to find a companion who will meet us with radical love in spirit and soul.
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:
Email (
Facebook (
LinkedIn (

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: 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** (

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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 – (
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

** Newark Fall Activity Guide
Newark Parks & Recreation has put together a Fall Activity Guide including information about hundreds of activities, like music, fitness, dance, sports, and more. There’s something for everyone. Access the Guide by clicking the button below.
Fall Activity Guide (

** Summer Concerts at White Clay Creek
Sponsored in part by Friends of White Clay Creek State Park

There are two remaining dates for the Summer Concerts at White Clay Creek: Wednesday, September 1st, and a Labor Day concert on Monday, September 6th. FREE with paid admission to the park! Friends of White Clay will be at each concert with a food truck, beer garden, and a 50/50 fundraiser. For more information call the concert hotline at 302-368-6560 or click the button below.
Concert Info (

** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster

** From the UUA President: Updated COVID Guidance for the Delta Variant
In light of the changing COVID virus and the Delta variant, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) offers important updates to its guidance on gathering in UU congregations and communities.

We are providing the best guidance we can for this moment and will update our recommendations as appropriate. -Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
READ the message in full here (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (

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