Mill Creek Weekly News – December 14, 2023


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:

** Congregational Life


** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Chalice Children Holiday Ornament Sale this Sunday

Stop by the table in the gathering space this Sunday, December 17th to support the Mill Creek RE kids with your purchase of a beautiful handmade holiday ornament.
One day only!

** Social Justice Team Meeting this Sunday
Join the team in the conference room after service this Sunday, December 17 for a short meeting to review current and future projects. All are welcome.

** Poinsettia Plants on Sale
Come to church this Sunday and purchase a beautiful poinsettia plant to take with you.
There is no limit on the number you can purchase. They make a great gift – buy one or more! $20 each: cash or check only.

** Adult RE Opportunity: Spiritual Growth through Poetry

Rev. Christian is starting a new 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, December 20 and continuing on the third Wednesday of each month, December through June (formerly the second Wednesday). Contact Rev. Christian ( with questions.
Attend Lectio Divina – click HERE for the Zoom link (

** Winter Solstice Event
Everyone is welcome to join us for a celebration to honor the longest night of the year and the return of the light. We will gather around the bonfire to reflect on the cycles of time and declare our intentions for the year ahead. Afterward we will gather in the warmth of our sanctuary for refreshments and fellowship.

** Winter Coat Drive Ongoing

The Social Justice Committee is accepting new and/or gently used cold weather items for both adults and children including coats, scarves, hats, and gloves. This is the perfect opportunity to give new life to unneeded and seldom used items.

Adult items will be donated to the Ministry of Caring Distribution Center ( in Wilmington. Their mission has been to serve the needs of the poor with dignity, respect, and love by establishing emergency and permanent housing for men, women, families with children, adults with disabilities, those living with HIV/AIDS, and senior citizens. They also provide job placement and training, Rapid Rehousing services, affordable dentistry, low-cost high-quality childcare and more. Their distribution center provides free clothing, furniture, and household items to those in need.

Children’s items will be donated to St. Michael’s Preschool and Nursery ( . This organization has been in operation for 133 years and is a 5-star learning center with a diverse student body. They partner with community organizations to provide support and resources for their families. Annually, used coats and accessories are solicited for distribution to participant families.

Now through January 31st, you can support this project by placing your clean, new or gently used items in the box labelled “COAT DRIVE” located in the gathering space.
Thank you for your generosity and participation.

** No Sunday Morning Worship Service on December 24
Everyone is welcome to join us for a special Christmas Eve service at 7:00 pm, complete with candlelight, carols, and all the joy of the season.

**Please note: we will not have our usual Sunday morning service on that date.**

** End-of-Year Giving
As we near the end of the 2023 calendar year, it’s a good time to review the status of your pledge commitment for the current year. The pledge year ends on December 31 and there is still time to make a payment, pay your balance in full, or make another donation before the end of the year. Click the button below for more information about signing in to your Realm profile, how to make a quick online donation, how to give via text, and how to donate shares of stock. Contact the church office ( with any questions.

We are grateful for your generosity, and participation in church life at Mill Creek!
Give to Mill Creek HERE (
Declare your pledge for 2024 HERE (

** NWF’s Sacred Grounds Program
Pictured here: male Monarch Butterfly gathers nectar from native Asters and Goldenrod in the meadow

Thanks to the months-long efforts Mary Ellen Trusheim and several members of our Land Stewardship group, we have completed the significant application process for our church property to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Sacred Grounds habitat.

To qualify for the designation, we needed to show that we had created a healthy habitat for wildlife that includes native plants and trees. We had to list all of the new plants and trees that have been planted, and we had to show that at least several members of our congregation were involved with this effort. Building awareness of the importance of restoring and creating habitat to our membership and the wider community was also a key part of the application.

We plan to post the application on our website in the next couple of weeks. We hope to hear back from the NWF soon, and hopefully we will be installing new signs in the meadow next year indicating our Sacred Grounds status.

One of the key aspects of our narrative was the ongoing and generous volunteer work from so many members and friends of Mill Creek. It really is remarkable that so many of you have helped in small and large ways over the past several years. From tree plantings to invasive species control to watering and mulching, there have been so many folks who have chipped in and helped. Hopefully that volunteer work has been fulfilling and enjoyable. It is really a lovely way that we come together in community.

Many thanks to Mary Ellen Trusheim, Amy White, Ann Draper, Anita Sgrignoli, Roy Draper and Jamie Kegerise for putting the application together. Thanks also to the many members and community friends who have spent countless hours over the past several years working to keep our meadow and woodlot areas healthy and beautiful.
Click HERE to learn more about the Sacred Grounds program (

** January Concert: Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music returns in January with another concert series!
Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass ( continue to be deeply rooted in tradition but look to the future with enthusiasm and anticipation. The group’s latest release, Bluegrass Troubadour, was nominated for International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s Album of the Year and earned significant chart action, with the song Blink of an Eye spending several months at the #1 spot on the Bluegrass music charts and was also nominated for IBMA Song of the Year.

Danny Paisley (born in Landenberg, PA) and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers. His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today.

Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
Friday, January 5, 2024
8:00 pm
Tickets Sold at the Door
General public: $25; Seniors: $20; Students with ID: $15; Ages 17 & under: FREE
Take a listen to the band HERE (

** Unity Youth at Mill Creek
The Art Lab and Youth Lounge (blue room) are open exclusively for teens every Sunday, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. ALL TEENS are welcome to be a part of Unity Youth to drop in and create — or just hang out. Bring a friend!
Have questions or want more info? Click 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 November and December we are supporting:

Deep Roots at Clairvaux Farm
Located on 20 acres in Cecil County, Maryland, Deep Roots serves as a homeless shelter for children and families in the community while providing case management and assistance to break the generational cycle of homelessness. Situated at Clairvaux Farm, this organization provides stable and safe transitional housing featuring private apartments for up to 12 families with children. They operate a free café, have an on-site thrift store and furniture exchange, offer after-school programing, plus a variety of support services and programs, all with a focus on their mission, “Ending homelessness one family & one child at a time.”
Learn more about Deep Roots 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
December 17, 2023
10:30 am

Darkness gets a bad rap: it’s scary or bad, we’re told. But darkness is both lovely and magical, and, it turns out, a key component of the Universe as we know it. Join Rev. Christian for a closer look at themes of darkness and how balancing it with lightness is essential to our lives.

Music for this service will be performed by the Clarion Brass featuring Gordon Roth and Kristen Tosh-Morelli, trumpet; Jill Mears, horn; Tom Hartline, trombone; Brian Hanson, euphonium; and Amanda Ostrusky, tuba.

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 0 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 & 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
In Office: Sundays & Tuesdays (
979-450-2477 (cell)
To request a teleconference, or an in-person or Zoom meeting with Rev. Christian – CLICK HERE (
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 9 am to 2 pm, Monday-Thursday (

** Happening in Our Local Community

** Volunteer Tutors Needed for Adult Literacy Learners

Since 1983, Literacy Delaware, a non-profit organization, has been empowering adult Delawareans by advancing literacy through training, English language acquisition, and advocacy for all. Their learners have basic desires some may take for granted, such as obtaining a driver license, helping their children with homework, or getting a better job. To accomplish this, they depend on trained volunteer tutors to help their learners improve reading, writing, and basic English language skills. Lessons are one-to-one or in small groups at mutually convenient times and locations. Literacy Delaware provides teaching materials, books, and ongoing support.

New tutor orientation and training opportunities are available in January, February, March, and April and are offered via Zoom.

Use the link below to learn more about becoming a tutor – the requirements, the application process, the rewards, and more.
Literacy Delaware – learn more HERE (

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

** Holiday Message from UUA President
UUA President the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt shares a new video message for the holidays where she shares greetings and a prayer that all UUs lean into the beauty and goodness that we share in common during this season of peace.
View the video message HERE (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


Featured Resource:
Mosaic Resource Hub

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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