Mill Creek Weekly News – February 22, 2024


Here’s what’s happening at Mill Creek:

** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Mill Creek Food Pantry
The Pastoral Care Committee is organizing a food pantry that will be available for members experiencing food insecurity. We will be collecting non-perishable items recommended by food banks, including canned foods (soups, stews, fruit, beans, vegetables, fish, chicken, broth); peanut butter; personal care/hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, toilet paper); and household products (laundry & dish detergent, paper towels, cleaning products).

Donations for the food pantry will be collected Sunday, February 25 and Sunday, March 3. All items will be stored at church. Anyone in need can contact the the Pastoral Care Committee ( ( ), the church office, or any member of the church. The items will be boxed and either delivered or may be picked up at an arranged time.

** Land Stewards Activities
We invite you help us prepare for the annual mowing of the meadow. We will be working on removing invasive plants and tagging trees this Sunday, February 25 (weather permitting). The work will commence after coffee time, so maybe bring a change of clothes so you don’t get grass stains on your Sunday best. Contact Jamie Kegerise ( with questions.

** Volunteer Opportunity: Family Promise

Family Promise of Northern New Castle County ( takes a holistic approach to the issue of homelessness by providing diversion services to keep families out of shelter; shelter and case management services for those who become homeless; and stabilization programs to help them remain independent once permanent housing is secured. Currently their Hospitality Center (the former Jesus House off Milltown Road) shelters up to 8 families (34 adults and their children).

Since 2008, Mill Creek has been providing financial and volunteer support to the Family Promise organization. Family Promise’s service model is based upon utilizing local congregations to provide food and dinner each week for those who are in shelter. We support St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in this endeavor 4 weeks a year. During each of these 4 weeks, Mill Creek is responsible for providing 4 families with groceries for breakfast and lunch (costing approx. $900). Our volunteers also cook and serve dinner on Tuesday and Thursday evenings these weeks. The best part of volunteering is joining the families for dinner and conversation and maybe engaging the children in a game or activity, giving parents a little downtime. Additional volunteers are needed, especially for our June and July hosting dates. Orientation will be provided! Contact Chris Reynolds ( for more information.

Our schedule for 2024:
Groceries: February 25, June 2, July 21, and October 13.
Dinners: February 27 & 29, June 4 & 6, July 23 & 25, and October 15 & 17.

Family Promise Impact 2023: By the Numbers
* 134 families comprised of 463 adults and children served
* 22,000+ meals provided
* 97 days on average to secure housing
* 93% positive outcomes

“Family Promise was more than a program, they were a blessing. I’m proud of my accomplishments and who I have become, thanks to Family Promise.”
(from Sherman’s Journey Home ( )

** Social Justice Opportunities
Movie & Discussion
The Environmental Justice Task Force and the Human Rights Task Force of First U in Wilmington are co-hosting a movie night this Sunday, February 25 at 6:30 pm:

“They’re Trying to Kill Us” stars John Lewis as he crosses the country seeking answers to why Americans of Color suffer from disproportionately higher rates of chronic disease than their European American counterparts, while examining the intersections of food, disease, race, poverty, institutional racism, and government corruption. There will be plant-based snacks and a discussion after the film to talk about next steps. Click the button below to register for this event, or find out how to view from home.
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
730 Halstead Road
Wilmington, Delaware
Register & learn more about the movie & discussion HERE (
UUDAN Monthly Meeting (Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network)
Monday, February 26, 2023, 6:30 – 8:00pm by Zoom
Open to ALL! Speaker: Traci Manza Murphy, Executive Director, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence

In 2022, the Delaware legislature passed a group of gun safety bills but failed to pass one of the most important: Permit-to-Purchase. This legislation creates an application process to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun and requires applicants to complete firearms training. All are welcome to attend this meeting to hear more details about this bill and what is happening with the bill in the House. Contact Becky Varlas ( for the Zoom meeting link.

** Workshop Series Based on the UU Common Read 2023-2024
Announced at General Assembly 2023 (and shared with you in our email on August 17, 2023), On Repentance and Repair, Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Danya Ruttenberg offers a glimpse into one of our faith’s foundational sources, Judaism. Readers explore our own call to be accountable in these modern times as we follow Rabbi Ruttenberg into a framework for making amends offered by the 12th century Jewish physician and scholar, Maimonides.

Rev. Kim D. Wilson, minister of UUCD (Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware), and Andrea Harding, Director of Religious Education at UUFN (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark) warmly invite all members and friends of UU congregations in the Delmarva Cluster to attend a virtual two-part workshop series on Wednesday, February 28, and Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. This series invites participants to apply On Repentance and Repair to their own experiences of harm and repentance in interpersonal relationships as well as in community.
Learn more about the UU Common Read HERE (
Buy the Book HERE (
Register for the Workshop series HERE (

** Concert: Country Gentlemen Tribute Band
Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music will host the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band at Mill Creek next month. This live tribute to one of the most influential bands in bluegrass history features all-stars Mike Phipps on guitar, David Propst on mandolin, Lynwood Lunsford on banjo, Kyle Windbeck on upright bass and Darren Beachley on dobro. Vocally and musically, this ensemble puts its heart and soul into each performance.

Country Gentlemen Tribute Band
Friday, March 15, 2023
8:00 pm
Tickets on sale at the door: general public, $25; seniors, $20; students w/ID, $15; ages 17 and under, FREE.
Take a listen to the band HERE (

** Children’s Book Drive
With thanks to Chitra Vaidy, the team is bringing back this ongoing collection of children’s books to be distributed to Nemours Children’s Health ( (clinic) on Jessup Street in Wilmington. Look for the collection box in the cloakroom.

** ILYA Baby Supplies Project
Every baby deserves a safe and loving start…and ILYA is there to help with baby supplies. Young people who have spent years of their own lives in foster care can unexpectedly find themselves soon to be parents — with little training, limited resources, and major time-consuming responsibilities like school and jobs! And no families to help.

ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults) assists and supports young adults who have aged out of the foster care system with a range of projects, including student care packages and the recent Holiday Giving Project, which just concluded successfully for another year. Holiday Giving was organized by dedicated project leaders who designed and assembled gift packages for 102 young adults with assistance from generous donors and helpers.

Another way in which ILYA volunteers can come to the rescue is with the lesser known Baby Supplies Project, which has recently been booming. This project provides large baby items, clothing, toys, and blankets to expecting parents. Aside from car seats/strollers, each purchased new by ILYA, all other items come from the generous donations of church members and the larger New Castle County community. The project is currently headed by First UU member, Crystal Oswald-Jones (pictured above), who incorporates her family into the work, including her husband, two young daughters and son, and her mom, who gifts a handmade blanket and hat to each newborn.

This article is meant to let you know of this ongoing ILYA project, but due to storage considerations, we cannot accept donations until a specific need is identified and we will be sure to inform you when we learn of upcoming baby due dates.

If you are interested in assisting or donating baby items, please contact one of our ILYA volunteers, Steve Selph ( , Kathie Stamm ( , or Ann Draper ( . We look forward to continuing the success of the Baby Supplies Project with your help!

** Adult RE Opportunity: 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, February 21 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 (

Mill Creek’s Annual Service Auction

Saturday, May 11
Mark your calendar now!

We will soon be sharing with you the exciting details about this year’s auction, but in the meantime….what will you be donating this year?

** 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 January and February we are supporting:

Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA)
A Program to Support Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
Independent Living for Young Adults is a social justice program serving young adults who are transitioning from the foster care system into independent living. This program is led by members of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington with assistance from the Mill Creek and Newark (UUFN) congregations. The ILYA program offers a wide array of services to support these young adults, such as Student Care Packages, New Apartment Kits and Furnishings, Holiday Giving, Educational Support, Emergency Grants, and more. Since 2005, ILYA has been providing support to help young adults feel part of a caring community and offers resources to increase their chances for future success.
Learn more about ILYA here (
Support this organization with your online donation HERE. Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund. Thank you! (

** Church Cancellation Procedures and Notification Methods
Board policy leaves the decision to cancel Sunday service with the minster and the board president. We always endeavor to make such decisions in a timely fashion. If the decision to cancel is made we will: send out an email to all congregants, and post notice on Facebook (both the public and private UUSMC pages).

We are also linked with the local SnoWatch system. SnoWatch reports are broadcast on 1150 AM WDEL and 93.7 FM WSTW and are available online at ( and ( m ( ; these links will be available on the church website, ( . SnoWatch reports can also be accessed by downloading the WDEL and WSTW apps on your preferred device.

If the weather calls for any kind of dangerous precipitation, please check your inbox or the above media.

** 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. (

** Sunday Worship Service Information
February 25, 2024
10:30 am
Join us this Sunday for a special service:
Celebrating Black Poets and Poetry

For this final service of Black History Month, we will highlight the powerful words of African American poetry from the 1920s to the present, featuring poems and poets with connections to our area. Challenging stereotypes and giving voice to silenced experiences, these poems speak to the “fierce urgency of now,” when the past is being distorted and progress undermined. Incorporating the soulful melodies of spirituals and the compelling rhymes of the spoken word, the service will celebrate how Black artists have used their talents to document history, challenge injustice, and uplift spirits.

Music for this service will be performed by Pape Demba “Paco” Samb and
Super Ngewel. Paco comes from a family that have been griots in his native Senegal for hundreds of years. As a griot, Paco is one of the keepers of the ancestral history, stories, and music of his Wolof peoples. As a master hand drummer, Paco not only plays the instruments, but he and his brothers build several types of drums as well. During the service you will see and hear a variety of drums including the djembe, tama (talking drum) and dunduns (bass drums) and the group will be performing traditional African rhythms from West Africa. In addition to Paco, members of the group include Baba Kamau Ngom, Waju Christie, and Mame Diarra Samb (Karen Rege).

Our poetry readers include Gladys Smith, Odunayo Ogunbo, Kimara Smith, and b.g. thomas.

The featured image, Langston Hughes, 1927, is drawn by Winold Reiss, a gifted portraitist from Karlsruhe, Germany. Reiss challenged the convention of racial stereotyping by portraying African American, Native American, and Asian American subjects as dignified individuals. The stylized background of this portrait conveys a dynamic impression of Black urban experience in the Jazz age, while the foreground features Reiss’s sympathetically drawn portrait of Hughes as the man who translated that experience into poetry.
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
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

** Climate 101 Workshop
Calvary Baptist Church
215 E. Delaware Avenue
Newark, Delaware
Questions about this workshop may be directed to Mill Creek member Jamie Kegerise ( .

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

** UUA Condemns Violence Against Gaza, Urges Immediate and Total Ceasefire


The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has issued a statement reiterating its condemnation of the Israeli military’s ongoing violence against Gaza and joins again with the growing chorus of voices across the globe urging immediate and total ceasefire, the provision of massive emergency humanitarian aid, and the safe return of all hostages and prisoners.
Read the full statement HERE (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


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 (

** Facebook (
** Website (
** Instagram (
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences (*|UPDATE_PROFILE|*)
or ** unsubscribe from this list (*|UNSUB|*)