Join us this Sunday for In-Person Outdoors -or- Livestream Worship

Read our latest announcement.

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Worship Service
October 17th, 2021

10:00 AM

In-Person Outdoors
on the South Lawn of the Church
Join Rev. Greg this Sunday
when he shares his homily:


Join Us In-Person
If you plan to attend in person, please respect the requests for social distancing, mask-wearing (N95 masks, available at the church), and vaccination.
Please, too, offer your grace to all who arrive and respect their desires for safety.

Or Connect With Us Virtually
There are several ways to get the Zoom link for livestreaming the service:
* Click the link below (Sunday Morning Live!) and bookmark it; OR
* Access the church calendar ( (; OR
* Open our Sunday morning email; OR
* Open ANY PREVIOUS Sunday morning email

However you connect with us for livestreaming:
Sunday Morning Live! (
Click on any topic of interest to jump to that particular announcement. Or, continue scrolling so you don’t miss anything!

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

** Last Sunday Morning Adult Religious Exploration Session Until Further Notice
Due to scheduling conflicts, the Sunday Morning Adult RE sessions will be suspended temporarily after this Sunday’s session. We will keep you informed when we are able to resume our gatherings.

This Sunday we will conclude our discussion on Cultivating Relationships. There are many types of relationships, and being involved in a relationship is a spiritual practice that needs to be cultivated to promote growth. Join our lively Zoom conversation about discovering how different types of relationships need to be uniquely nourished in order to flourish.

How to Get the Zoom Link
* Click the link below, OR
* Open the Sunday morning email which will contain the same link, OR
* Access the church calendar (

Join us this Sunday morning, October 17th, at 9:00 am for our final session until further notice.
Adult RE Zoom Link (

** COVID, Delta, Mu & UU’s

The Board of Trustees and your Minister continue to monitor COVID data and information regarding variants as we continue to discern safe, inclusive ways of being a community.

COVID transmission rates in our area remain very high, and so our safety protocols tend to be a bit more restrictive than you may be used to in your day-to-day life. So if you plan to attend in person, please respect the requests for social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination.

Our primary data source is a site called Covid Act Now ( This is a joint project that collects and disseminates COVID-19 stats in the United States, broken down by state and county, and is institutionally supported by Georgetown University, Stanford University Medicine, and the Harvard Global Health Institute.

With regard to our worship service the Board of Trustees has established the following thresholds using the daily new case rate for New Castle County. (We also monitor Chester County, PA and Cecil County, MD, as these can be considered part of our wider community. However, our primary focus is on New Castle County where both the physical church is located and where the majority of our congregation reside, work, and play.)
* Our current policy is to have indoor, in-person worship services when the Daily New Case rate falls below 15.
* We will continue to have outdoor worship services (weather permitting, of course) when the case rate is above 15 and below 61.
* In all cases, we will continue Live Streaming.

Each week, a decision will be made by Thursday morning as to whether the coming Sunday worship service will be outdoor, indoor, or live stream only.
The Daily New Case rate in New Castle County as of Thursday, October 14:

per 100,000

** Considerations for Safe Return
The Board of Trustees, Minister and Staff are in constant communication regarding the current status of the new Covid case rates in our area and how it affects our operations and ministry. We have prepared a document for your review detailing our considerations for safe return which highlights topics such as Opening, Vaccinations, Masks & Distancing, and more. You can read the document in full HERE. (

** Couples Retreat – New This Year!
Whether you are a new couple or have been walking together for many years, to be in a close relationship can be empowering and energizing. Yet, sometimes it can also be stressful. We can get lost in the day to day activities of our lives and the wonderings about our futures. Our connection to our chosen partner can loosen.

Join Rev. Greg for a Couples Retreat where we will explore both the strengths and the growth areas of our closest relationship. Prior to the retreat, participants will each take an online assessment of their relationship, the results of which will frame our work together. In both groups and one-on-one exercises, we will engage in conversations about our expectations, roles, and communication styles. We’ll look at how we deal with stress, how we deal with conflict, and how we deal with joy – together.

The retreat will be led by Rev. Greg on Saturday, October 23 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, and will include a box lunch. Registration is required and limited to (10) couples. There is a fee of $60 (per couple) that covers the cost of the online assessment and lunch.

Use the buttons below to register or if you have questions:
Tuesday, October 19th

** Saturday Evening Campfires Continue

the true heart of autumn … the perfect blend of daydream and reality, with amazing weather, a beautiful quiet, and soul-calming breezes which lead the way to the comforting slow-down of the year.
—Terri Guillemets
There’s nothing like an autumn campfire, and we’d love to have you join us this Saturday evening in the Memorial Grove (unless otherwise noted, and weather permitting). We gather around 7:00-ish. Bring all your comforts (lawn or camp chair, blanket, refreshment, etc.) and feel free to bring along your family, friends, and neighbors of all ages!
October is the perfect time of year for a campfire! We welcome everyone to join us, and enjoy “the true heart of autumn.” The Memorial Grove is to the left of the main (back) parking lot as you drive in. (Note: there is a slight grassy incline leading up to the area.) Please be aware 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.

** Mill Creek New UU Class Series
We are offering a three-part series of virtual classes designed to introduce visitors, friends, and even current members who might be interested in learning more about the UU faith and the Mill Creek congregation. Attendance is expected for all three sessions. Use the link below to attend, or access it on the church calendar ( . All are welcome!

Introduction to UUism: Tuesday, October 19^th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 1 of 3. Rev. Greg will lead a session on the history, theologies, and polity of Unitarian Universalism.
Attend the class HERE (
Intro to Mill Creek: Thursday, November 4^th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 2 of 3. Rev. Greg leads a conversation about the Values, Beliefs, and Mission of Mill Creek with the intention of helping new folks get to know who we are as a religious community.

The Meaning of Membership: Tuesday, November 9th, 6:30-8:30 pm
Part 3 of 3. This session is a conversation about what it means to be a member of Mill Creek. It will provide information and establish our shared expectations for membership.

** Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, 15 September, 6:30pm on Zoom


Opening Committee
Assessment Committee – delayed until October
RE Coordination

COVID-19 Statistics, Grid review, Board Opening Policy
Communication – We communicate, but is anybody listening?
Lessons learned from Ingathering
Opening Committee Discussion – to be or not to be
Generosity Campaign – Schedule review and actions
CER support on Reawakening – Committee? Board? Plan?


** Treasurer Notes for the accounting period ending September 30, 2021

The Bookkeeper’s Notes show a deficit of $9,380 in the Operating Expenses for the month ending 9/30. This adds to our previous deficit for this fiscal year; the cumulative deficit for 21-22 standing at $14,218 for the 3-month period. There are 63 pledge commitments outstanding for 2021, totaling $52,578. This is a normal trend, based on the last 5 years, as we move into the end-of-the year.

Total Reserves balance stands at $93,510; which includes Gifts Undesignated and Prior Year Operating Reserve.

Comparing income and spending vs. our approved budget, we have received $16.49% of income at 25% of the budget year and our expenses stand at 22.83%.

** Tree Planting Days:
Next Weekend

Earlier this year, through the efforts of Jamie Kegerise and Amy White, a grant was applied for and awarded from the State of Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The $1500 matching 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 – and we are ready to plant!

Saturday, October 23rd:
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sunday, October 24th:
11:00 am (after worship service) to 3:00 pm

We plan to get all 25 trees planted and mulched, and we need as many volunteers as possible to make this happen. Come out for just one day or part of one day – even one hour of your help will be greatly appreciated! (Many hands make light work…)

While registration is not required, it will be helpful to the team for planning purposes – use the link below and let us know you’ll be there!
I will be there! (
Contact Jamie Kegerise ( or Amy White ( with any questions you have about this project.
The symbolism – and the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth, and it is a way for individual men, women and children to participate in creating solutions for the environmental crisis.
― Al Gore

** Church Member Needs Transportation

A long-time member of our church, residing in Elsmere, Delaware, has a need for transportation to and from physical therapy appointments three time a week.
Our Pastoral Care group is coordinating this effort on behalf of the congregant and is asking for assistance. If you can help in any way, please use the button below to contact the group. Even one trip would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
I can help! (

** Planning for Rev. Greg’s Sabbatical
The Roots and Significance of the Sabbatical

“… and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” (Gen. 2:2)

As we prepare for Rev. Greg’s upcoming six-month sabbatical beginning January 1, 2022, it might be helpful to think about the history of the term, and the idea behind it, which can be traced to the very creation story of the Judeo-Christian tradition. After creating the heavens and the earth, and everything in them, in six days, God designated the seventh day a day of rest, which he made holy. The word Sabbath derives from the Hebrew for “rest” but also relates to the word for “(7-day) week.” It is the sacred day of rest, which devout Jews and Christians observe weekly even now.

Subsequent books of the Old Testament extend the idea of sacred rest to a “Sabbath of the Land” or “sabbatical year,” in which farmland should be allowed to rest and lie fallow, i.e. unplanted and wild, every seventh year. It was also decreed that debts should be forgiven, and indentured servants released, in the sabbatical year. In other words, it was a time of “letting go,” of rebalancing the order of things before resuming business as usual.

We now understand scientifically the multiple benefits to soil health from this 2500-year-old approach to agriculture. Letting a field lie fallow for just a single season replenishes nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, resulting in a significantly higher crop yield when it is replanted. (Conversely, failure to rest or rotate the fields will result in a depleted soil with ever-decreasing productivity.)

In academia, sabbaticals have become a traditional way to allow professors to take a break from teaching and committee work, devoting their time wholeheartedly to research and discovery. The same principle has been applied for ministers in different faith traditions, and increasingly is being utilized in business settings, where quantitative analysis has demonstrated its value in reducing burn-out and increasing retention and productivity (an NEH study of academic sabbaticals has shown that professors “gain more from their sabbatical if they are able to remove themselves from their campus office” —it seems that a change of scene is as important as a change of routine).

As with the fallow field that becomes more fertile after being rested, so the teacher, minister, and even office worker becomes demonstrably more productive having spent some time away, taking a pause, recharging, and reimagining what lay ahead.

** Chalice Circle Openings
Chalice Circles at Mill Creek are small groups within our church 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.

Women’s Chalice Circles
2nd Tuesday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 7:15 to 9:00 pm

Wednesday Evening Circle:
Meets twice a month, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Chalice Sisters Thursday Circle:
Meets twice a month,2nd & 4th Thursdays, 6:15 pm

Men’s Chalice Circle
3rd Tuesday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 7:00 pm

Click the link below to contact Helen Springer for more information,
or call 484-732-8641; or call the church office, 302-369-2712.
Curious about Chalice Circles? Read what people are saying:

“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.”
Click here for more information about Chalice Circles (

** Book Group’s Current Read

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 2nd, 7:00 pm
Schedule: every other month on first Tuesday evenings
Location: meets virtually on Zoom
Selection: Hamnet ( by Maggie O’Farrell
Questions: contact Deanna Koepcke (

The Zoom link can be found below or by accessing the church calendar ( ( The Zoom link remains the same for each meeting.

JOIN this meeting HERE (

** Newark Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Newark United Methodist Church (
69 East Main Street, Newark, DE

** 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**

** Complicated Grief

Part of a series shared by
Rev. Robert Broesler

There Is No Defined Timing or Prescribed Process in Grief

It is common knowledge people experience stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Recent research has added a sixth stage we as ministers can uniquely understand: Meaning.

These insights have done much to free people from judging themselves or others in the grieving process. I believe, however, that we tend to misunderstand or misapply this wisdom. First off, some assume these stages occur in a defined sequence. This is in no way true. Nor does every person go through each stage. No two deaths are ever mourned the same way, in either process or time.

The second confusion is to believe, once one moves past a stage, it never returns. I know in my life, while God has given me renewed meaning, I still experience anger, depression, and despair. While healing will help us better endure it, some pain never goes away.

It is a wise practice to occasionally preach or teach about these concepts, especially as God is often the target of the anger and despair. Such teaching can help in the grieving and loss everyone must endure. Fortunately, we can add that God in Jesus loves us at every moment. God gives us meaning, even when we cannot see it.
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 links below:
Email (
Facebook (
LinkedIn (

Realm is our church management software program. We use it exclusively for accounting, pledge data, membership, registration events, and more. Use the button below to access your Realm profile to make sure we have your most recent contact information, and make pledge payments and contributions.
Access your Realm profile HERE (
Fun fact: you can use Realm to set up recurring online monthly pledge payments!

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** (

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 – (
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

** Pumpkin Carve in Chadds Ford, PA – Chester County

The Great Pumpkin Carve of Chadds Ford
Thursday, Oct. 14th thru
Saturday, Oct. 16th

This annual tradition is a three-day event with over 70 local artists carving giant pumpkins. The pumpkins will be lit after the carving is completed and then displayed all three nights – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Treat yourself and the family to great food and fall treats offered by area eateries; enjoy live music; visit a “haunted” trail; raffle prizes…and MORE!

Chadds Ford Historical Society (
1736 N. Creek Road
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Click here for ticket pricing & more information (

** Farmer’s Market in Earleville, MD – Cecil County

A boutique winery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
The Broken Spoke Winery hosts The Hub Farmers’ Market every Sunday, 1-4 pm featuring local artisans, craftsmen, musicians, and local food trucks. Peruse items like honey and lavender products, dog treats, nursery plants, soaps, baked goods, and much more.

Broken Spoke Winery (
942 Glebe Road
Earleville, MD
Check out The Broken Spoke events calendar here (

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

** UUA Spotlight:
Erika A. Hewitt

Erika Hewitt is the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Minister of Worship Arts, and contributor and Editor of Braver/Wiser ( , a weekly spirituality series. Erika lives in Maine, where she also serves as a wedding officiant.

Together with Becky Brooks ( , Erika is the author of Sparks of Wonder ( , a theme-based ministry resource. Erika’s previous books are Story, Song and Spirit ( and The Shared Pulpit ( .
Learn more about Erika and her writings HERE (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update

Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (

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