News for the Week – December 23

Christmas Eve at Mill Creek
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Join us at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 24th for our Christmas Eve Service when Rev. Greg shares his homily, “Sore Afraid.”
Please note the following:
* This is a candlelight service, in the round, 7:30 pm
* Music will be performed by a vocal quartet
* Registration is required for each guest – use the link below
* A maximum of 50 seats are available
* Vaccination is required
* Wearing N95 masks is a must (a supply is available in the gathering space)

Register here for in-person attendance (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=ZmNiOGIyMDctMGY1MC00MDgyLWE5NWYtYWRmOTAwZTMzOTYx)
This service is also available for viewing LIVESTREAM. Use the link below to join us virtually!
Join us LIVESTREAM here (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)
https://www.familypromisede.org/

During the service we will have our annual collection to benefit Family Promise of Northern New Castle County.

Family Promise is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness for families of all shapes and sizes. They provide shelter and case management services to hundreds of local families and engage an interfaith hospitality network for additional support. Mill Creek is a support congregation in this network.

Despite the COVID challenges of 2021, through the coordination of Mill Creek member Chitra Vaidy we continued our support of Family Promise by providing 3 meal deliveries to the families in the program (usually 2-3 families).

We are continuing our commitment to support Family Promise for 2022. This includes shopping and meal preparation 4 times throughout the upcoming year. Many of our members are involved in this effort but more help is needed in order to maintain a rotation of service. Use the link below to connect with Chitra if you have any questions or would like to offer your assistance.
Contact Chitra HERE (mailto:cvaidy226@gmail.com?subject=Family%20Promise)
Use the links below to learn more about the Family Promise organization, and to offer your support with an online donation today.
LEARN MORE about Family Promise here (https://www.familypromisede.org/)
SUPPORT Family Promise with your ONLINE DONATION here (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/give/FamilyPromise)

** Sunday Worship Service
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Sunday Worship Service
December 26th, 2021

10:00 am

Livestream Only

Join Rev. Greg and Heather Petit this Sunday

fly on the wall

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 (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/); OR
* Open our Sunday morning email; OR
* Open ANY PREVIOUS Sunday morning email – the link remains the same from week to week

Click here for Sunday LIVESTREAM (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)
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
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** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
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** JANUARY WORSHIP SERVICES
WILL BE LIVESTREAM ONLY
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(
NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP FOR JANUARY)
At the Board’s most recent meeting (Wednesday, December 15) a decision was made to offer worship services as livestream only beginning Sunday, December 26th through January 30th.

This means that no in-person worship services or Children’s RE will be offered until February 6.*

LIVESTREAM ONLY SERVICES:
December 26: Rev. Greg & Heather Petit
January 2: Rev. Keith Goheen
January 9: Rev. Andrew Weber
January 23: Heather Petit
January 30: Rev. Kent Matthies

*This is the date we anticipate resuming our hybrid services including limited in-person gathering, with the hopeful expectation that the COVID new case rate begins a downward trend.

** Church Operations During Rev. Greg’s Sabbatical
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As a reminder, Rev. Greg will be away on sabbatical, January 1 through June 30. He will not be available by phone or email throughout the duration of his absence. However, we offer assurance that all church operations will continue as usual. We have prepared a guide which contains a list of guest speakers, contact information for those in leadership positions, and other information.
Access the Sabbatical Guide Here (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Guide-to-Rev-Gregs-Sabbatical.pdf)

** Adult Religious Exploration Opportunity
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The Artist’s Way – Virtual Workshop
Winter/Spring 2022

Art is a spiritual transaction..an act of faith, and we practice practicing it.
This virtual workshop is based on Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It not just for artists, but for anyone interested in living more creatively through practicing the art of creative living. “No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late to work on your creativity.” Join artists, Karen Rege and Yolanda Chetwynd in discovering your artistic gifts through reflective exercises and thoughtful discussion.

This will be a virtual discussion group:
Thursday, January 6 – Thursday, April 14 (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Use the link below to register; the Zoom link for the sessions are included there.
Register here (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=OTgyODI1Y2UtZTVhMi00ZmIwLWFiMDgtYWRlZDAxMzFhNDZi)

** 2021 Pledge Payments and Year-End Contributions
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The end of the year is fast approaching and the window for 2021 pledge payments and contributions is closing soon. If you’d like to have any payments or year-end contributions posted before December 31st, send them now or access your Realm profile to give electronically. Contact us with any questions you have by calling the church office, 302-369-2712, or email (administrator@uusmc.org) or use the button below.

Please be advised that the church office is closed for the holidays from Monday, December 27th through Monday, January 3rd.
The office will reopen at 8 am on Tuesday, January 4th.
Contribute WITH your Realm Profile (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/SignIn)
Contribute WITHOUT a Realm Profile (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/form/give/now)
Contact Us With Questions Here (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)
**NEW FEATURE**
DONATE FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

In addition to electronic payments by credit card, we now accept debits from your personal bank account (checking, savings, etc.) as a form of payment for pledge payments, contributions, and other giving funds. Use one of the buttons above to donate WITH your Realm profile or WITHOUT. Enter the amount, select the giving fund, and be sure to select BANK ACCOUNT at the top right on the form, then complete.

This offers you a convenient, immediate, and hassle-free way to donate to your church; you can even set up recurring giving from your bank account (i.e. make monthly pledge payments).
It benefits Mill Creek since we are charged a reduced 1% processing fee for bank account payments versus a 3% fee for credit card payments. You can help offset either of these charges by clicking the box where prompted.

** Share Our Plate: November & December
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We regularly donate a portion of our undesignated plate collection to a local charity or non-profit organization.

For the months of November and December we have selected:
Life Lines Program at West End Neighborhood House.

Established in 1979 and based in Wilmington, West End Neighborhood House offers a wide array of support services throughout the state of Delaware designed to resolve complex social challenges. Their outcomes-driven programming includes education and employment programs, financial services, housing, and much more, including services for foster care youth through their Life Lines Program.

This program offers services for foster care youth ages 18-23 through intensive case management. For 20 years they have offered housing, education, and employment training to youth both in and emancipated from foster care. They are expanding their program through the construction of their Drop-In Center. When complete it will serve unaccompanied homeless youth, including those who have experienced the foster care system, as well as those who identify as belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. It will offer 33 beds including an ADA-compliant efficiency unit. While not a homeless shelter, the Center will provide supportive services these youth need to reintegrate into society and become self-reliant, including education, physical and mental health services, drug & alcohol prevention & treatment, job training & placement, and more.
For more information about the program, click on the link below:
LEARN MORE about Life Lines Program (https://westendnh.org/programs/life-lines-programs/)
For more inspiration, click the link below to watch a short video:
WATCH the video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN8Tto-thoE)
To support this program, click on the link below to donate:
DONATE to Share Our Plate (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**

** Check out Mill Creek’s You Tube Channel
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Have you missed a particular sermon or homily? Is there one you’d like to see again, or share with a friend? Click the link below to access our new You Tube channel where we upload videos of our Sunday messages.

Now available:
December 12th – Comfort and Joy
(Rev. Pelley)

Click here to access our YouTube channel! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChRFPbSookb9m3PV6DMtbHg)

**
Chalice
Circle
Openings
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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.

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

1st Thursday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Thursday Afternoon Circle
Meets twice a month, 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 12:30 pm

Men’s 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 (mailto:helen_springer@msn.com?subject=chalice%20circles)

** Book Group’s Next Read
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Join the book group on Tuesday, January 4th at 7 pm on Zoom for a discussion of Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein (http://www.amygoldsteinwriter.com/janesville/) .

The Zoom link can be found on the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/)

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 (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/SignIn)
Fun fact: you can use Realm to set up recurring online monthly pledge payments using a credit card or your checking or savings account!

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 using your credit card or bank account (checking, savings, etc.): 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 during an uncertain time for all of us. 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!

@millcreekuu

Mill Creek Staff

Rev. Gregory S. Pelley, Minister
Rev. Greg will be away on sabbatical from January 1 through June 30.
He will not be available by phone or email throughout the duration of his absence. We offer assurance that all church operations will continue as usual, and have prepared a guide which contains a list of guest speakers, contact information for those in leadership positions, and other information. Use the link below to access the guide.
Sabbatical Guide – view it here (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Guide-to-Rev-Gregs-Sabbatical.pdf)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 8 am to 1 pm, Monday-Thursday
administrator@uusmc.org (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712

Rachel Sabella, Music Director
Hours by Appointment
music@uusmc.org (mailto:music@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712

** Upcoming events in our local area
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** Current Events in Delaware
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Forest Restoration at White Clay Creek State Park

Interested in becoming an environmental steward of this beautiful park? Curious about what it takes to keep the park healthy and vibrant? Need more opportunities to work outside? Join volunteers in the fight to rid the park of invasive plants. ‘Invasive plants’ are those that are non-native to the area in which they grow, can establish on many different sites, grow quickly, and spread to the point of disrupting plant communities and/or ecosystems. Invasive species continue to be a huge ecological problem in the park since they spread rapidly and outcompete our native species.

This volunteer effort has won awards from the State of Delaware for their dedication to the park (read about it here (https://news.delaware.gov/2021/11/16/delaware-state-parks-wins-national-competition-for-excellence/#:~:text=November%2016%2C%202021-,Gov.,Delaware%20also%20won%20in%202015.) ). They have done some amazing work controlling invasives, but this is an ongoing effort and there is always much to do. They welcome anyone who wants to learn how to identify invasive plants, remove them, and help the local ecosystem thrive. The group meets at the Judge Morris Estate parking lot every Thursday, 9-11 am and every Sunday, 1-3 pm. There is no registration required, and parking is currently free.

Judge Morris Estate at White Clay Creek State Park (https://destateparks.com/wwwroot/downloads/brochures/judge-morris-estate.pdf)
79 Polly Drummond Hill Road
Newark, DE 19711
From Alapocas to White Clay Creek, click here for a quick reference guide to Delaware State Parks (https://www.visitdelaware.com/things-to-do/outdoors/guide-to-delaware-state-parks)

Delaware Park…
More than just a casino!

Looking for something different to do? Delaware Park offers more than just slot machines, poker, and sports betting. The Park’s Stage 37 venue is where you’ll find free entertainment like Latin Fiesta Night, Country Line Dancing, Open Mic Karaoke, and a variety of live bands.

Delaware Park Racetrack & Slots
777 Delaware Park Boulevard
Wilmington, DE 19804
800-41-SLOTS
programs@delawarepark.com (mailto:programs@delawarepark.com)
Learn More Here (https://delawarepark.com/casino/free-entertainment/)

** Current Events in Maryland
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Cecil County Arts Council
Annual Art Mart
Shop for last minute gifts while supporting local artists at this annual event in Elkton. Holiday décor, works of art, and wonderful gift options are available at all price levels.
Cecil County Arts Council
132 E. Main Street
Elkton, Maryland
410-392-5740
Learn more about CACC here (https://www.cecilarts.org/events/ccacs-annual-holiday-art-mart/)
Contact CACC by email here (mailto:info@cecilarts.org)

** Current Events in Pennsylvania
————————————————————
Glencairn, formerly the Pitcairn family home, serves as a not-for-profit museum of religious art and history. Collections include ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, medieval Christian, Islamic, Asian, and American Indian. The museum recognizes universal spiritual concepts expressed in religious beliefs and practices around the world—past and present—through the interpretation of art, artifacts, and other cultural expressions of faith.
Christmas at Glencairn includes a World Nativities exhibition, a Christmas in the Castle tour, and other events – now through January 30th.
Clencairn Museum
1001 Cathedral Road
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
267-502-2600
Learn more here (https://glencairnmuseum.org/)

** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
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Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant,
awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.
-Pagan ‘Prayer to the Earth’
learnreligions.com (https://www.learnreligions.com/about-yule-prayers-4072720)
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) was chartered by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) at the General Assembly in 1987. It is an organization dedicated to networking Pagan-identified Unitarian Universalists (UUs), educating people about Paganism, promoting interfaith dialogue, developing Pagan liturgies and theologies, and supporting Pagan-identified UU religious professionals.
Learn more about CUUPS here (https://www.cuups.org/)
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President’s Holiday Message & Resources

Turning toward a concrete practice of gratitude helps us resist the ways in which we are being called to isolation and division, because gratitude actually turns us toward each other.
-Rev.Susan Frederick-Gray

“Each year at about this time, I share a holiday message for Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations. This year, I was moved to share how my own gratitude practice has been helping me find joy, compassion, and humility in the present moment.”
Practicing Gratitude (video) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AvOFqY_sVw)
“As we enter this season so known for its holidays and holy days, we’ll have many opportunities in our congregations to draw our attention to what sustains us, to the sources of love and care and gratitude in our lives.”
Gratitude Homily (video) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8mxywToosQ)
“A final resource to support a concrete practice of gratitude is this guided meditation. In this nearly 11-minute long video, you are invited into a quiet, meditative space to focus your mind on what you are grateful for today. I guide you in asking yourself questions in your heart like, What or who are you grateful for? Who is caring for you, showing you care, inspiring you, comforting you? May it be of help for all.”
Guided Meditation on Gratitude (video) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMwCIqOVELc)

https://www.uua.org/central-east

**
Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
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DECEMBER 2021
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=8bd39eae38511daad6152e84545e504d.5577&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)

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