Mill Creek Weekly News – February 8, 2024

** Congregational Life
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** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
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** Potluck Dinner this Saturday
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Fire up those crockpots and get out your spoons – we’re having a Saturday-night potluck!
Saturday, February 10th at 5:00 pm
Soup and sides are on the menu. Please bring a pot of soup in a crockpot to stay warm. Or if you prefer, bring a loaf of bread or muffins. If you’d rather be sweet, dessert is another option. Hope to see everybody there! Contact Fran Gulino (mailto:frangu302@gmail.com) with questions.

Please note: this event takes the place of our Second Sunday Potluck on February 11.

** Volunteer Recognition
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Many thanks to everyone who helped out with the preparation work ahead of the interior painting recently done by Paint Doctors, as well as those who assisted with the resetting tasks after the job was complete. The following areas have received a fresh coat of paint: minister’s & outer offices and doors; hallway and doors; and the cloakroom.

To keep our building looking neat and presentable we have formed an Aesthetics Committee led by Jerry Bilton. Please see or contact Jerry (mailto:jabilton@aol.com) if you have questions about hanging any art, posters, etc., in the hallway, gathering space, and/or the sanctuary.

Thank you to David Bonner, Jerry Bilton, Ann & Roy Draper, Steve Selph, Isabella Weber, and Margaret Borrer for their assistance, but especially David Bonner, who coordinated the entire project.

** Settled Minister Search Committee Nominations Deadline: this Sunday, February 11
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If you haven’t already made your nomination(s), click the button below to do so. Direct any questions you might have to nominatingcommittee@uusmc.org (mailto:nominatingcommittee@uusmc.org) .
Make your nominations HERE (mailto:nominatingcommittee@uusmc.org

** Last Sunday for Canned Food Donations
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This Sunday is the final day for food donations to support the Food Bank of Delaware (https://www.fbd.org/) . We are collecting canned soups, fruits & vegetables, beans, and other non-perishable foods. Look for the collection bin in the gathering space. Thank you for your support!

** Land Stewards Activities
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Come out and learn how to prune fruit trees this Saturday & Sunday, February 10 and 11. We will be pruning our six Asian Pear trees, and we’ll start Saturday at 9:00 am. We will complete any work on Sunday after coffee time. Please bring your pruning shears if you have them and dress for the weather.

We invite you help us prepare for the annual mowing of the meadow. We will be working on removing invasive plants and tagging trees on Sunday, February 18 and 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 (mailto:Jamie.NewarkCoho@gmail.com) with questions.

** Environmental Justice Seminar
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The Social Justice Committee is sponsoring Social Justice Evenings on the third Thursday of each month beginning on February 15. Join us this month when we welcome Delaware State Representative Larry Lambert (https://legis.delaware.gov/AssemblyMember/151/Lambert) , 7th District, and his message, Striving for Environmental Justice: Advocacy and Policy.
These programs will begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public, so please invite your friends, family members, and neighbors, and share on your social media platforms. Coffee and cookies will follow the message, along with discussion time. Each month will feature a different topic delivered by a speaker with expertise in that area. Contact Frank Burns (mailto:cynwydb@aol.com) with questions about this event.

Join us and find out what we can do
to help make our world a better place for all.

** Winter Coat Drive a Huge Success
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Your generosity has once again exceeded all expectations. Over the past 9 weeks we collected 118 items of warmth. Members donated 39 coats, 15 jackets/fleeces/vests, 11 sweaters/sweats, and 45 accessories such as hats, gloves, socks, & snow pants. St. Michael’s preschool received 50 children’s items while all adult items were delivered to Ministry of Caring. Both these Wilmington-based groups have been extremely appreciative of the donations. The Social Justice Committee thanks everyone for their generosity and support of this project. And thank you Chris Reynolds for coordinating this effort.

** Adult RE Opportunity: Spiritual Growth through Poetry
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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 (mailto:minister@uusmc.org) with questions.
Attend Lectio Divina – click HERE for the Zoom link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83227623145)

** Volunteer Opportunity: Family Promise
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Family Promise of Northern New Castle County (https://www.familypromisede.org/) 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 fomer 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 (mailto:reynoldschristine0@gmail.com?subject=Family%20Promise) 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 (https://www.familypromisede.org/sherman-s-journey-home) )

** Workshop Series Based on the UU Common Read 2023-2024
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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 (https://www.uua.org/read)
Buy the Book HERE (https://www.uuabookstore.org/

** Save the Date:
Mill Creek’s Annual Service Auction
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Saturday, May 11
Mark your calendar now!

** 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 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 (https://firstuuwilm.org/connect/ilya-independent-living-for-young-adults-a-program-to-support-youth-aging-out-of-foster-care/)
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)

** Church Cancellation Procedures and Notification Methods
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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 wdel.com (https://www.wdel.com/features/wdel-stormwatch/) and wstw.co (https://www.wstw.com/wstw-stormwatch/) m (https://www.wstw.com/wstw-stormwatch/) ; these links will be available on the church website, uusmc.org (https://www.uusmc.org) . 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
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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)

** Sunday Worship Service Information
February 11, 2024
10:30 am
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This Sunday we will explore what love looks like in public which, according to Cornel West, is justice. That is, justice is how love is embodied in the world. Join Rev. Christian Schmidt and the third in his three-part series about Love.

Music for this service will be performed by returning guest musician Heather Scott. Heather has been playing the bassoon for over 6 years and is a major in Music Education at the University of Delaware currently finishing her last semester. Music is her passion, along with cats – she owns three and loves volunteering at shelters to help all the kitties with no home.
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 (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) )

Sunday Livestream – CLICK HERE (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)

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

** Happening in Our Local Community
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** Local Volunteer Opportunities
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Programs offered by New Castle County Parks & Recreation are greatly enhanced by caring volunteers. There are several opportunities from which to choose. Consider Carousel Park Equestrian Center, Rockwood Park & Museum, Hope Center, and more.
Click HERE to learn more (https://www.newcastlede.gov/517/Volunteer-Opportunities)

** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
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** inSpirit Featured Book
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Soil: A Black Mother’s Garden
by Camille T. Dungy

In Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden, poet and scholar Camille T. Dungy (https://camilledungy.com/bio/) recounts the seven-year odyssey to diversify her garden in the predominately white community of Fort Collins, Colorado. In resistance to her community’s homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national discourse about the environment is the best means of protecting it.
Purchase the book HERE (https://www.uuabookstore.org/Soil-P19877.aspx?_gl=1*14sdfti*_ga*MzUxNzY1NTc5LjE3MDExMDQ2NjU.*_ga_CN7F7RET4F*MTcwNzMyNTA0Ny4yMC4xLjE3MDczMjYyMzYuMC4wLjA.)

https://www.uua.org/central-east