Mill Creek Weekly News – April 11, 2024

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
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Here’s what’s happening at Mill Creek:

Editor’s Note:
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** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Church Social Events this Saturday, April 13th
↓ Come for the Drum Circle, Stay for the Potluck! ↓

Drum Circle

Join Sara Durham this Saturday, April 13, 4:00-5:00 pm for a drum circle. Beginning in June, these gatherings will occur on the second Saturday of every month. See or contact Sara ( with questions.

Saturday Evening Potluck
Everyone is welcome to join us for an evening Potluck Dinner this Saturday, April 13 at 5:00 pm. Bring a main or side dish, salad, appetizer, dessert or beverage to share. See or contact Fran Gulino ( with questions.
And speaking of Social Events…

Fran Gulino is forming a new social events committee. The first order of business is to check in with all of you to learn about the kinds of social activities you would enjoy so that the committee can best figure out what to organize. To help with that, please take just a few moments to complete a very short, simple, anonymous* survey.

See or contact Fran Gulino ( with questions about the committee or the survey. Thank you!

** Drive-thru Food Pantry On-Site this Saturday
The Food Bank of Delaware will be here this Saturday, April 13th at 11:00 am to distribute food. Volunteers should arrive before 10:30 am to assist. Registration is required to receive food.

** Join us for a Social Justice Evening

This is a free, in-person event – no registration required.
Learn more about Black & Indigenous Birthworkers of Delaware: click HERE (
Click HERE to contact Frank Burns with any questions you have about this event. (

** Service Auction: Everything You Need to Know

Earlier this week we sent a comprehensive email related to ALL THINGS AUCTION, including:
* TICKETS – how to buy them in person or online
* SILENT AUCTION – how it will be different this year than last
* DONATIONS – the many different types of possible donations, LOTS of suggestions and resources, and how to make YOUR donations

You can read that email HERE (
If you’re ready to make your donations, CLICK HERE (
Get your tickets on Sunday with cash or check, or buy them now: CLICK HERE (
Have questions? Need help understanding the Service Auction concept? Click HERE for our FAQ page. (
If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the church office ( , or our Auction Specialist, David Bonner ( .

** Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music Concert
If you like the sound of old time music, come to Mill Creek on Friday, April 26 at 8 pm to hear Kellie & Pete and Spencer & Rains.

Kellie Allen and Pete Peterson have been harmonizing and making music together since 2000. They both enjoy deconstructing an old-time or early bluegrass song or tune and turning it into their own music.

Kellie and Pete play regularly with Jane Rothfield and Allan Carr as one-half of the Jane Rothfield Old-Time Quartet; the duo has also teamed up with Beverly Smith to form Smith Allen Peterson, a powerhouse old-time trio. They are a sought-after back-up duo for fiddlers and singers from all over the U.S. and beyond. In addition to performing, they enjoy showing others how to play and sing in the styles they have learned in individual lessons, short workshops, and week-long classes at music camps.
Learn more about Kellie & Pete and sample their music HERE (

Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains are both fiddlers, guitar players, and singers who preserve and build upon the traditions of their home states of Texas and Kansas. This husband & wife duo are known for their distinct twin fiddling and close-knit vocal harmony.

Both multi-instrumentalists, they are steeped in family musical tradition and are dedicated to the preservation, performance, and sharing of old time music.They are members of the five-piece band, the Orpheus Supertones ( (with Walt Koken, Clare Milliner and Hilary Dirlam), which has traveled extensively in the United States, Australia and Europe. The band runs a local concert series in Oxford, PA, the Fiddlers’ Follies.
Learn more about Spencer & Rains and sample their music HERE (
Tickets sold at the door:
Public, $25; Seniors, $20; Students w/ID, $15; Ages 17 & under, FREE

** How to Support Two Great Organizations: the Delaware Nature Society and Mill Creek
The Delaware Nature Society is having their annual Native Plant Sale* on Friday, May 3, 2pm-7pm (member day), and Saturday, May 4, 9am-3pm (open to the public). Location: Coverdale Farm Preserve (,+Wilmington,+DE+19807/@39.808516,-75.637869,17z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x89c6feb0eab42bb1:0x6d686663f18b55b6!8m2!3d39.8080186!4d-75.63834!16s%2Fg%2F11bw3hm4fb?hl=en-US&entry=ttu) , 543 Way Road, Greenville, Delaware.
To learn more about Delaware Nature Society and their plant sale, and to view their catalog, click HERE (
You can support the DNS organization by purchasing a plant or two (flowers, grasses, ferns, trees, shrubs), and support Mill Creek by donating the plants to the church garden!
We’ve made some great progress preparing our flower beds and our brand-new raised beds and now we need some plants! Here are the names of some great plants that our pollinators will love and that will help make our gardens gorgeous: Butterfly Milkweed, Bee Balm, Purple Coneflower, Cardinal Flower, Wild Columbine, Joe Pye Weed, Foxglove, Mallow, Black-eyed Susan, Aster, Ironweed, and Sunflower. Most of these are perennials that will thrive year to year. Feel free to add native shrubs, ferns, or even saplings that would enhance our meadow and woodlot. We’re also looking for a bird bath and some larger garden pots for the new Children’s Garden Area.

Don’t for get to join us Wednesday evenings starting at 5:30 pm to help us spruce up our meadow and native habitat areas.

Contact Ann Draper, Amy White or Jamie Kegerise with questions.

*All proceeds of the Native Plant Sale benefits Delaware Nature Society and their mission ( to improve the environment through education, conservation and advocacy. Your support of the sale helps DNS to advance this important work.

** What Will the Kids Plant in the New Raised Bed Gardens?

Eggplant? Snap Peas? Rutabagas? Horseradish…? Who knows what the little tykes will decide, but they are sure to get a nice lesson on “reaping what one sows” and the simple miracle and transition of seed to shoot, plant to food, and Sun to leaf. E=MC2. All kinds of learning and fun here!

Thanks to the Children’s Faith Exploration Program and the Land Stewards group here at Mill Creek, and the generous donations of our members, these beds are now ready for planting. On installation day we were able to have the garden beds* around the church property cleaned out and mulched. We maybe ordered just a tad too much garden soil, so feel free to take a few buckets home if you can use it.

There are many people to thank here, including Ann Draper, Anna Hull, Lisa Steinberg, Isabella Weber, Roy Draper, David Bonner, and Jamie Kegerise. Plus the generous backers (who shall go unnamed) who donated the garden soil, the mulch, the underlayment, and brought in a crew of landscapers who transformed the beds. We are filled with gratitude – thank you!

*Adopt-a-Bed It would be wonderful and extremely helpful if a few individuals or small groups could “adopt” some of the garden areas to keep them looking vibrant and healthy. We will need to replant some of these areas, and it is our hope and intention to plant only native and pollinator-friendly plants.

See Ann Draper, Margaret Borrer, or Jamie Kegerise with questions.

** Are You Ready to UU the Vote?

In Delaware, UUDAN (Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network) is gearing up for postcard writing. Our first mailing will be in late April and mailings will continue through October. Our target audience is people of color who are registered to vote but haven’t voted in recent years. Although postcards are strictly non-partisan, we all know that democracy is on the ballot this year and people’s voices must be heard. Cards and addresses will be provided to volunteers, who will be trained in how to write the postcards. Writers are asked to provide postage (postcard stamps are currently 53 cents each) but if this isn’t possible, UUDAN will cover the cost.

This year’s national goals:

Becky Varlas, Social Justice Chair, is putting together a list of volunteers for this activity. If you volunteer, you will be contacted each time a mailing is being prepared. You are not expected to be available every time – any help you can give will be deeply appreciated! The Social Justice Committee also hopes to host postcard-writing events.

If you have questions or would like to volunteer, email Becky by clicking on the link below. Or you may sign up in the gathering space after Sunday’s service. For more information, go to
Contact Becky Varlas HERE (
Learn more about UU the Vote – click HERE (

** Adult RE Opportunities
Shared Pulpit Workshop
Have you ever thought about preaching for a worship service at Mill Creek? Unitarian Universalists have a long history of inviting members to preach, in addition to our religious professionals. This spring we’re holding a class called The Shared Pulpit, where Rev. Christian and worship chair Kathie Stamm will help participants explore preaching and write a sermon, with the goal that many participants will preach and lead a future worship service.

The class is 8 sessions total from mid-April to mid-June. It is important that you commit your time and energy to the program — including doing the required writing between sessions. The classes will be a mix of in-person and virtual, with most taking place on weeknights. If you are interested or want to learn more, contact Kathie Stamm ( .

Spiritual Growth through Poetry
Rev. Christian continues with a virtual adult ed/spiritual growth opportunity using a practice called lectio divina. This involves reading a poem together several times, exploring the meaning in it, and sharing together — and it must be experienced to be fully understood. Join Rev. Christian on Zoom at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 17 and continuing on the third Wednesday of each month through June. Contact Rev. Christian ( with questions.
Attend Lectio Divina – click HERE for the Zoom link (

** UD Sustainability and Climate Change Symposium
The University of Delaware Office of Sustainability invites you to a Symposium and Teach-In on Tuesday, April 16, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Trabant Student Center in Newark. Scan the QR code to register, or click the link below.
Register for the UD Symposium HERE (

** Current Share Our Plate Recipient
We regularly donate a portion of our undesignated plate collection to a local charity or non-profit organization. For the months of March and April we are supporting:

Limen Recovery + Wellness
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders are Not a Life Sentence
Since 1969, Limen Recovery + Wellness has been providing temporary sober living homes for men and women recovering from substance use disorder and mental health challenges. Based in Wilmington, Delaware, this organization provides tailored programs designed to meet every client’s unique needs focusing on positive mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational outcomes.
Learn more about Limen Recovery + Wellness HERE (
Support this organization with your online donation HERE. Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund. Thank you! (

** Sunday Worship Service Information
April 14, 2024
10:30 am
While we often talk about the concept of radical hospitality, what does that really mean in practice? Join us on Sunday when Mill Creek member Karen Rege shares the idea of radical hospitality through the Senegalese practice called La Teranga.

Dr. Karen Rege has been a member of Mill Creek since 2015 and this is her third time in our pulpit. Her life work centers around the intersection of music, education and spirituality with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. In addition to being a musician, Karen is a dean at the Community College of Philadelphia. She is a member of the church worship associates committee, the music committee, and the technology committee. The inspiration for Sunday’s sermon comes from her most recent trip to West Africa with her Senegalese husband, Paco Samb.
Music for this service will be performed by Shianne and Daille Kettrell. Shianne is a singer/songwriter/entertainer from the south who has 30+ years professional experience in performing and writing music of multiple genres. She has opened for many artists. Daille became Shianne’s keyboardist in 2013 and they have worked together as a duo ever since. Daille is a pianist/composer/vocalist from Camden, NJ who also has worked professionally for 30+ years. This duo has worked together in several groups/bands and are currently working on their own project, Open4Business.
Connect with Us In-Person
* Service begins at 10:30 am
* Children’s RE programming is available for ages 4 and up
* We are currently unable to offer child care (infant/toddler, ages birth to 3)

Connect with Us Virtually
Here’s how to get the Zoom link for livestreaming the service:
* Click the link below: ‘Sunday Livestream’ (bookmark it on your preferred device for quick and easy access on Sunday morning); OR
* Get the link by accessing the church calendar ( ( ( )

Sunday Livestream – CLICK HERE (

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 using a credit card or your checking or savings account!
Mill Creek Staff
Rev. Christian Schmidt, Minister
Rev. Schmidt is on leave now through Sunday, April 14. For immediate concerns, contact the church office.

Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 9 am to 2 pm, Monday-Thursday (
Connect with the UUA, Delmarva Cluster, and Central East Region

** Learn More About the Unitarian Universalist Association
The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles ( that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs.

The UUA is led by the elected ( President ( , Moderator ( and Board of Trustees ( . These leaders are elected every few years by congregational delegates at the annual General Assembly ( gathering. The President is the chief executive of the UUA and its public spokesperson. The Moderator chairs the business meetings of the General Assembly and meetings of the Board of Trustees. Specialized boards, committees ( , and advisors also help lead the UUA.

The mission of the UUA is to equip congregations for health and vitality, to support and train lay and professional leaders, and to advance Unitarian Universalist values in the world.​
Learn more about the UUA — click here (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update

APRIL 2024

Featured Resource:
CER Summer Institute and UUMAC
The 1000+ Unitarian Universalist congregations in North America are grouped into 5 regions: Pacific Western, MidAmerica, Southern, Central East, and New England. The Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek (UUSMC) is part of the Central East Region. To learn more about what’s happening in our region, click the button below.
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (

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