Mill Creek Weekly News – December 21, 2023

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

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** Congregational Life
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** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
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Season’s Greetings to Mill Creek Members and Friends

We extend warm wishes for a blessed holiday season – may it bring you peace, love, and joy.

We are grateful for your support throughout the year, and deeply appreciate your participation in church life!

From the Mill Creek office and staff:
Rev. Christian Schmidt, Minister
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator

** Holiday Office Closure
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The church office is closed now through Monday, January 1 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2. In the meantime, immediate concerns should be directed toward the Board (board@uusmc.org (mailto:board@uusmc.org) ). Concerns of a pastoral care nature may be directed to the team (pastoralcare@uusmc.org (mailto:pastoralcare@uusmc.org) ).

** Winter Solstice Gathering Tonight at 7:00 pm
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Everyone is welcome to join us this evening at 7:00 pm for a celebration to honor the longest night of the year and the return of the light. We will gather outside around the bonfire to reflect on the cycles of time and declare our intentions for the year ahead. Afterward we will return to the warmth of our sanctuary for refreshments and fellowship.

** Happy Kwanzaa!
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Heri za Kwanzaa!
As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African culture, bringing a message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. It occurs every year from December 26 through January 1.

During the holiday, families and communities organize activities around the Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles): Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and lmani (Faith). Participants also celebrate with feasts (karamu), music, dance, poetry, narratives and end the holiday with a day dedicated to reflection and recommitment to The Seven Principles and other central cultural values.

Wishing a Happy Kwanzaa to all who celebrate.

** End-of-Year Giving
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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 (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org) with any questions.

We are grateful for your generosity, and participation in church life at Mill Creek!
Give to Mill Creek HERE (https://www.uusmc.org/members/ways-to-give/)
Declare your pledge for 2024 HERE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/give/2024Pledge)

** Lunch with Rev. Christian
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Join our minister on Tuesday, January 2 @ 12 noon when he will prepare a soup or casserole to share with us for lunch. Everyone is welcome!

** January Concert: Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
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Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music returns in January with another concert series!
Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass (https://www.dannypaisley.com/) 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 (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGqlDm2enOH9HZjAaYerPmQ)

** Adult RE Opportunity: Spiritual Growth through Poetry
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Rev. Christian continues with 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, January 17 and continuing on the third Wednesday of each month through June. Contact Rev. Christian (mailto:minister@uusmc.org) with questions.
Attend Lectio Divina – click HERE for the Zoom link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83227623145)

** Winter Coat Drive Ongoing
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The Social Justice Committee continues their collection of 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. We are very grateful for the enthusiastic response to this project!

Adult items will be donated to the Ministry of Caring Distribution Center (https://www.ministryofcaring.org/) 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 (https://www.stmichaelsde.org/) . 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.

** Unity Youth at Mill Creek
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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. (mailto:arts@uusmc.org)

** Current Share Our Plate Recipient
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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 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 (https://deeprootsinc.org/)
Support this organization with your online donation HERE. Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund. Thank you! (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/Give)

** No Morning Worship Service this Sunday, December 24.
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Instead, join us in person for a special evening service:

** Christmas Eve Worship Service Information
December 24, 2023
** 7:00 pm **
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Everyone is welcome to join us in person for our evening Christmas Eve service featuring Rev. Christian’s homily, plus carols, candlelight, and fellowship.

Music for this service will be performed by returning guest musicians Joshua Goldstein on trumpet, and Cole Walker on piano. Joshua Goldstein is a freelance trumpet player in the greater Mid-Atlantic Region. He is currently attending the University of Delaware pursuing a graduate degree in music performance. You can find him playing locally in numerous UD music ensembles and in the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band. Cole Walker is a music education major at the University of Delaware specializing in voice and piano. As a collaborative pianist, he performs with many groups in the greater Delaware area and is also the Music Director of the MelUDees A Cappella group at UD.

We regret that we are unable to offer this service in virtual livestream format.

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!
Mill Creek Staff
Rev. Christian Schmidt, Minister
In Office: Sundays & Tuesdays
minister@uusmc.org (mailto:minister@uusmc.org)
979-450-2477 (cell)
To request a teleconference, or an in-person or Zoom meeting with Rev. Christian – CLICK HERE (https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/0/appointments/schedules/AcZssZ1ETx17XToDEx3GC5293hfnHTj-VJpBMu_m7SpHkuCcHozb-ceUiT3H-hDGLbziPku9hYBquodp)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 9 am to 2 pm, Monday-Thursday
administrator@uusmc.org (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712

** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
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** Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism Offers Sitting Meditation Sessions
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BLUU community member, Alice Ocrey, leads a 30-minute sitting meditation in Black Sacred Space every 3rd Monday of the month at 8:25 pm EST. Black Sacred Space is by and for Black people. If you are a Black UU or a Black person who shares our values of love, justice, and liberation, you are encouraged to join the group on Zoom – Monday, January 15, 2024. (Note: registration for each session is required.)
Register HERE (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vd-CopjgiHt1ybWjCvxcIEZ_2ONFB_zYk#/registration)
Did you know…?

Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (https://blacklivesuu.org/) was founded in 2015 at the Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, Ohio. The dozen or so Black UUs in attendance imagined a cohesive, national, vibrant community of Black Unitarian Universalists. BLUU evolved from several conversations among Black UUs at that gathering.

BLUU has transformed from a small, informal gathering of Black UUs into an impactful 501(c)(3) organization that creates life-giving and life-saving opportunities for spiritual community and Black-centered organizing. Since its founding, BLUU has hosted a symposium centering Black UU theology, established a popular virtual worship space for Black people; organized UU congregations to donate and organize for bailout funds; and started a vibrant youth ministry.
https://www.uua.org/central-east

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Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
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DECEMBER 2023

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 (https://www.uua.org/central-east/blog/opportunities-1223)

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