Mill Creek Weekly News – January 4, 2024

** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

We never want to cancel our Sunday morning services, classes, or any event due to inclement weather. However, we also want everyone to be safe, so on occasion, we must – from an abundance of caution – cancel. Board policy leaves the decision to 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 also be available on the church website, ( .

So, particularly now through March, if the weather calls for any kind of dangerous precipitation, please check your inbox or the above media.

We want everyone to be safe this winter!

** Concert this Friday at Mill Creek: Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music returns in January with another concert series! Danny Paisley, a Landenberg, PA native, 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 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 (

** Settled Minister Search Committee Nominations

We will be seeking a settled minister to begin in July or August of 2025. A Ministerial Search Committee needs to be elected by the congregation at our annual meeting this coming June so that the committee will have the 12 months’ time necessary to complete the task.

We are now accepting nominations for consideration for the Ministerial Search Committee.
You may nominate as many individuals in our congregation as you would like to be considered for participation in this Committee. You are welcome to nominate yourself, too.

We will be accepting applicants until the close of our mid-year meeting on Sunday, January 21, 2024. During February and March, the Nominating Committee will be vetting candidates and presenting them to the Board prior to the annual meeting in June. Once this process is complete, the final 5 Ministerial Search Committee nominations will be voted on at that meeting.

Click the link below to provide the full names of the people you’d like to nominate for the Ministerial Search Committee. Only the members of the Nominating Committee will receive responses, all of which will be kept confidential. You are also welcome to write-in your submissions by completing the nomination form located on the table in the gathering space and placing it in the Collection Box.

Deadline for submissions:
Sunday, January 21, 2024.

Let us know if you have any questions: (
Or you may reply to this message.

We encourage everyone to participate in the democratic process by nominating individuals who are committed to this important work – work which will help to determine our path forward during this critical time in our church.


The Nominating Committee:
Sara Durham, Chair
Kristina Ellura, Committee Member
Kathie Stamm, Committee Member

** Land Stewardship & Meadow Maintenance Meeting

Learn how to identify & safely remove invasive plants from our meadow.

Everyone is welcome to join us in the conference room after coffee time this Sunday, January 7 to learn how to identify and safely remove invasive plants from our meadow spaces. We have been invaded by ornamental Callery Pear trees and other woody introduced plants, and we would like to eliminate many of them before the early springtime mowing. If the weather is OK, we will try to move outdoors to practice the removal techniques (so you might want to bring a change of work clothes).

Come out on Sunday, January 21, after coffee time to put our training to work in the meadow (weather permitting). We will work together to reduce the non-native tree saplings that have been springing up in the meadow. Please bring a change of clothes (or just wear your work duds to the church service).

Our next Land Stewards planning meeting will be on Sunday, January 28, after coffee time in the conference room.

All are welcome to attend these gatherings. Contact Jamie Kegerise ( with any questions.

** 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, January 17 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 (

** Winter Coat Drive Now through January 31st
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.

Adult items will be donated to the Ministry of Caring Distribution Center ( in Wilmington. Children’s items will be donated to St. Michael’s Preschool and Nursery ( .

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
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 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! (
For the months of November and December we supported Deep Roots at Clairvaux Farm with our donation of $1510.50. This organization, located in Cecil County, Maryland, serves as a homeless shelter for children and families while providing case management and a variety of support services and assistance to help break the generational cycle of homelessness. Learn more at

** Free Energy Conservation Workshop this Month

The Newark Interfaith Green Team invites everyone to attend a fun and educational workshop which will provide energy conservation tips and information about additional programs. Offered in person and on Zoom (email ( for the link). Attendees will receive a free weatherization kit in the mail after the workshop.

Date of Workshop:
Tuesday, January 30, 7:00 pm – 8:00 m.

New Ark United Church of Christ
300 E. Main Street
Newark, Delaware

** Sunday Worship Service Information
January 7, 2024
10:30 am

This Sunday Rev. Christian will offer a message for the start of a New Year called, “A Door to Something New.” During the service we will have our traditional Threshold Ritual to mark the movement of our lives from one calendar year to the next and ponder what we want to leave behind, and what we’re bringing with us.

Music for this service will performed by Dr. Andrian Harabaru. Andrian is from the country of Moldova. He began his musical journey as a cellist, studying at the National University in Bucharest, Romania and toured with the Central European Initiative Youth Orchestra. From there, he completed a master’s degree at Southeastern Louisiana University and then earned his doctorate degree at Louisiana State University. During his time in Louisiana, Andrian won the first prize in the LSU concerto competition and second prize in the Monroe Symphony concerto competition, held a tenure contract with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and played with several symphonies throughout Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. Andrian went on to be the assistant conductor of Baton Rouge Civic Orchestra and began a master’s degree in conducting at the University of Delaware. In 2022 he began the collaboration both as cellist and assistant conductor with Newark Symphony Orchestra and is looking forward to the
upcoming 2024 season.

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 (

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

** UUA President’s New Year Sermon
Rev. Sofia Betancourt, UUA President, shares her sermon entitled, Seeds for the New Year. This ties in with Mill Creek member Anna Hull’s December 31st sermon of the same name. We encourage everyone to view it!
View the sermon HERE (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


Featured Resource:
30 Days of Love Resources

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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