Mill Creek Weekly News – December 7, 2023

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek

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Here’s what’s happening at Mill Creek:


** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Hanukkah Sameach!

Also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah (or Chanukah) celebrates two miracles: a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple. The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second night, until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night. Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game. This year it begins at nightfall on Thursday, December 7 and ends at nightfall on Friday, December 15.

Hanukkah greetings to all who celebrate – wishing you love, peace, joy, and happiness.

** Chanukah Shabbat Service
Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness are offering a virtual Chanukah Shabbat service this Friday, December 8 at 8:00 pm EST with Rev. Sam Teitel of First Unitarian Church of Memphis (The Church of the River, ( ). All are welcome to celebrate.
Register to receive the Zoom link HERE (
Did you know…?
Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness ( is committed to supporting Unitarian Universalist Jewish multi-religiosity. They offer resources to those who have come to Unitarian Universalism from Judaism; interfaith/multi-religious individuals and families; religious professionals; anyone with a personal or spiritual interest in Jewish UU theology, stories, heritage and resources. They work to help people understand Judaism and the ways it has impacted and continues to develop our Unitarian Universalist faith.

** Potluck Lunch this Sunday

Come for the sermon, stay for the food!

Plan to remain with us after church service this Sunday, December 10 for our monthly potluck lunch. Bring a main or side dish, appetizer, salad, dessert, or beverages to share if you wish. Everyone is welcome – whether you bring something or not – join us!

** 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.

** 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 ( on Claymont Street in Wilmington.
* Children’s items will be distributed to families attending St. Michael’s Preschool and Nursery Programs ( housed on North Walnut St in Wilmington.

Since 1977, The Ministry of Caring’s mission has been to serve the needs of the poor with dignity, respect, and love. They have done so 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.

St. Michael’s Preschool and Nursery 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, please support this project by placing your clean, gently used items in the box labelled “COAT DRIVE” located in the gathering space.
Thank you for your generosity and participation.

** Date Change: 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 has to 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). NOTE CHANGE IN DATE. 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.

** 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

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 10, 2023
10:30 am

Join us this Sunday when Rev. Christian explores the Jewish holiday of Hannukah, and the concepts of mystery and miracle.

Music for this service will be performed by returning guest musician Carlos Espinoza. Carlos is a senior at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington. Carlos began playing piano at age 7 by teaching himself a few simple songs and later received formal lessons. At Cab he has performed in many concerts and accompanied different art installations. In addition to playing piano, Carlos plays volleyball at the varsity level.

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

** Donate to a Food Pantry Near You
Local food banks, closets, and pantries are dependent upon continual donations of food supplies in order to serve those who are experiencing food insecurity. The holiday season can make it even more difficult for some people to have enough to eat for themselves or their families.

If you’d like to donate food but aren’t sure where, the link below is an easy tool. Simply enter your zip code then view the location that suits you; addresses and phone numbers are provided, along with website links. Contact the location of your choice for more information and to make arrangements for your donation(s).
Find a Food Pantry Near You – It’s Easy! (

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

** New video 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 (

** Menorah Lighting 101

Featured in WorshipWeb ( , Rev. Joanna Lubkin, a UU minister who also went to rabbinical school, shares in a video how to light a menorah responsibly and respectfully. The video helps to assess whether the design of the menorah is respectful, how to place the candles into the menorah, how to light them, and more.
Watch the video 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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