Mill Creek Weekly News – November 2, 2023

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.

Here’s what’s happening at Mill Creek:


** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Turn the Clocks Back this Weekend

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5th at 2:00 am.
Remember to set your clocks and alarms BACK one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night so you’re not late for church on Sunday morning!

** Lunch with Rev. Christian
Everyone is welcome to join our minister for lunch on Tuesday, November 7 at 12 noon. The main dish will be a Texas favorite: King Ranch Casserole. It’s chicken, corn tortillas, a cheesy sauce, and mild peppers (and gluten free!). It’s a low-pressure time to be together, talk, and share a meal. Join us!

** Electronic Pledge Payments in Realm –
Important Things to Know
Using Realm to make electronic payments and contributions is a convenient way to support your church. As with any kind of electronic transaction there are important safeguards and procedures you should be aware of, and we share them with you here. PLEASE READ.

Realm has placed updated restrictions and controls which limit the kinds of changes we can make regarding your electronic payments. Changes to certain types of transactions may require the re-entry of credit or bank account numbers (changes like payment amounts, giving funds, etc.), and we do not have access to your personal credit or bank account numbers. While this puts more responsibility on you, it adds an additional layer of protection by limiting access to your personal banking data.

If you make electronic pledge payments via a recurring schedule, it’s helpful to think of declaring your new pledge in Realm as a two-step process: 1) entering your total annual pledge amount, followed by 2) creating or updating a giving schedule (including payment amount and giving fund) using your bank or credit account. This can be accomplished by accessing your profile and selecting the blue +Give button. You can still use Realm to enter your pledge of support without creating a recurring giving schedule. To do so, access your Realm profile and select the +Pledge button.

As we transition from one pledge year to the next, it is important to be sure that existing recurring giving schedules are accurate. In all cases the new giving fund will need to be updated (2024 Generosity Campaign). In some cases the monthly payment amount will also need adjusting (if you’ve made an increase in your monthly payment amount for example).

If you are paying on your 2023 pledge with a recurring giving schedule and it has an expiration date reflecting when your pledge will be paid in full (your payments cease in December 2023 for example), and you want to continue making payments using this method, you will need to create a new schedule for the 2024 Generosity Campaign. Realm will require your banking account or credit card number, your payment amount, the selection of the new giving fund, and the start & end dates.
Example: John Smith has a 2023 pledge amount of $3000. He pays $250 every month via a recurring giving schedule he created last year using his credit card information; his payment schedule ends in December 2023 when his pledge is paid in full. John recently entered his 2024 pledge in Realm of $3600. He now needs to create a new giving schedule to select the 2024 Generosity Campaign as the giving fund, enter his increased monthly payment amount of $300 along with his credit card number, and new start and end dates.

If your giving schedule does not have an expiration date, the schedule will still need to be updated to reflect the new giving fund. Example: Mabel Jones has a 2023 pledge amount of $1200 and she pays $100 per month via a recurring giving schedule without an expiration date. Mabel has entered her new 2024 pledge in the same amount as the previous year – $1200. Even though there is no change to her monthly payment amount, Mabel will still need to access her Realm giving profile to adjust the recurring schedule by changing the giving fund from 2023 to 2024; Realm may also require her to re-enter her credit card info.

Please note that if you are using a credit card account to make monthly payments, updating your Realm profile with all required information is sufficient; your credit card will be charged monthly the payment amount you have selected within Realm. However, if you have opted to have the funds withdrawn from your banking account (checking or savings) via a payment schedule set up with your personal bank, resulting in a paper bank checked mailed to us, then this may require the additional step of making any payment adjustments with your bank.

Have questions? Contact the church office, 302- 369-2712 or email ( .
As always – thank you for your support.

** Share Our Bounty:
Only 2 Sundays Left!

We are supporting the Food Bank of Delaware ( and Kennett Area Community Service Food Cupboard ( (in PA) with our donations of non-perishable food items now through Sunday, November 12.

In past years we’ve assembled individual family-sized food boxes designed to provide a full Thanksgiving meal. After consulting with these two organizations, we’ve decided to collect the food items most needed by each one (like hot & cold cereals, spaghetti/tomato sauce, peanut butter, etc.), plus Thanksgiving standards (such as canned cranberry sauce, instant mashed potatoes, canned/jarred gravy, etc.).

Look for the collection bin in the gathering space where you can pick up a printed flyer containing a list of acceptable food items. OR – click the button below. See or contact Becky Varlas ( with any questions about this project.

Thank you for your support!
Click HERE to see the full list of non-perishable food items (

** 2024 Generosity Campaign Underway
Are you an Ordinary Hero?
Forms for the upcoming 2024 pledge year have been mailed to Mill Creek members and Friends.

To make your pledge of support for this Campaign you may:
* return the pledge form in the envelope provided, or
* place the form in the offering plate, or
* place the form in the collection box, or
* email your pledge info to ( , or
* make your pledge TODAY by clicking the link below

Pledge Now! (
The Finance Team is hoping to have all pledges received by Sunday, November 12 – this gives the team adequate time to prepare the budget for 2024.

Feel free to contact the church office with questions.

Thank you for your support!

** Spotlight On: Social Justice Committee

Our newly configured and reenergized Social Justice Committee had their first formal meeting recently and they are committed to the livelihood of several projects. Information about each project will be shared as appropriate. They are currently focusing on Share Our Bounty, our annual food drive, which comes to a close on Sunday, November 12.

Thank you: Frank Burns, Christine Reynolds, Chitra Vaidy, Suzanne Smith, Kathie Stamm, Mary Ellen Trusheim, and the committee chair – Becky Varlas. We are grateful for your participation and volunteerism.

Feel free to contact Becky ( with any questions you have about this committee or if you are interested in providing assistance.

** Introduction to Cohousing
The Newark Area Cohousing Organization ( is working to build a cohousing community in the Newark/northern Delaware area. If you are interested in or even curious about living in a more cooperative and environmentally sustainable way, then cohousing might be for you.

Everyone is welcome to join Mill Creek member Jamie Kegerise ( in classroom 1 on Friday, November 10, 6:30 to 8:30pm for an informal but informative introduction to the cohousing concept, covering what cohousing is, how it benefits members, details of the current project, plus a Q & A session. This is a free, drop-in event for all. Come and learn what the buzz is all about!

** Concert Series Continues

Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music brings the second of four concerts to Mill Creek on Friday, November 17 at 8:00 pm when they will host Uncle Henry’s Favorites.

For over 30 years, the members of this band from Charlottesville, Virginia have devoted their lives to the tradition of old time music and bring not only a great deal of sensitivity but also plenty of spirit and humor in the vein of past performers. Pete Vigour performs on fiddle and guitar, Ellen Vigour on mandolin, Jim Childress on fiddle and guitar, and mark Beall on bass fiddle. Bring the whole family for an evening of entertainment you won’t forget!

Tickets on sale at the door:
General Public, $25
Seniors, $20
Students with ID, $15
Ages 17 & under, FREE!
Take a listen to the band HERE (

** We’re Hiring!
Would you like to hear music consistent with Sunday’s message?
Do you want to see more church members performing on Sundays?
Can you envision the return of an active choir?

All of these things can happen if we have a permanent Music Director on staff. Music has always been a big part of our story here at Mill Creek and you can help us fill the void!

Because the search is local, we will need to take advantage of every medium, network, platform, and resource to get the word out to optimize our chances of finding someone who is available and qualified. Here’s how you can help:

Use the link below to view the specifics of the position as shown on the church website. Then, feature it on your own social media platforms, share the link with friends and family, and mention the position in face-to-face conversations. Or simply encourage anyone who might be interested to contact us about the position: (

A permanent Music Director will be a great benefit to our church’s programs and activities, and will allow us the opportunity for better long-range planning. We all have a stake – please consider how you can help.
Learn about the Music Director position 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! (
Share Our Plate Recipient for September & October: Sean’s House

We supported Sean’s House with our donation of $1,049. Sean’s House, a free resource in Newark for young adults aged 14-24. It is a home-like space designed to help members of our community improve their health and wellbeing and connect with their peers in a safe and confidential environment. Support is available 24/7 for young adults to talk about mental health or substance use challenges with other young adult Peer Specialists who have lived experience with similar challenges. The goal of these services is to improve wellness, empower members of the community, and connect young adults to resources and communities of support that meet their specific needs, with the hope of reducing the rate of youth suicide by providing a place for young adults to feel safe, welcomed, and supported.
Our donation was designated to support the Peer24 Program, a training program at Sean’s House designed to provide the skills necessary to offer the high level of support offered to visitors. Learn more at

** A Word About the Church Calendar
All church and rental events are featured on the church calendar. The calendar can be accessed via the website, At the top of the screen, access the ‘News & Events’ drop-down menu, then select calendar (

If you have an event or meeting you’d like to schedule, contact the church office ( ( ) with the details (date, time, duration, desired meeting room, etc.).

** Sunday Worship Service Information
November 5, 2023
10:30 am

Samhain is an important pagan holiday which is celebrated around the world in many forms with many names, yet the roots of which are interconnected like the tree of life that unfailingly renews itself. It is a time of transformation, and a time to pause and remember the past. Join Mill Creek member Rev. Ayliah Cannon and Rev. Christian Schmidt for this service, “Honoring Our Ancestors.”

Music for this service will be performed by Carlos Espinoza, 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

** Wilmington Art Loop this Friday featuring Jo Redbird

Featured above: Andromeda in Action by Jo Redbird

Art lovers from around the region will be flocking to the next Art Loop Wilmington of 2023 this Friday, November 3. The popular FREE art exhibition, now in its 35th year, is a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Out & About. Galleries in and around Wilmington will participate in this month’s Art Loop.

Our own Jo Redbird will be showing her work in the Baby Grand Gallery of the Grand Opera House during an opening reception from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Fresh from her Art Lab, Jo’s newest paintings are a real departure from her previous themes — particularly trees — so they are all connected through nature and all things in the Cosmos. Through these recent works, “Change is the Only Constant,” the lifelong artist Is exploring the spiritual experience of creation through glowing layers of colors and curious textures, not planning how it will turn out. Instead, she allows the process to flow through her as a co-creator in this experience we call life.

The Grand Opera House (
818 N. Market Street
Wilmington, Delaware
The Baby Grand Gallery
Cash Bar & Fun Treats

** Brain Health and Aging

Friends of the University of Delaware Library presents
a Fall Faculty Lecture
FREE and open to the public:

Brain Health and Aging with Professor Matthew Cohen*

Approximately one in nine adults aged 65 or older has Alzheimer’s disease or a related cause of dementia. Although there is no cure, up to 40% of cases of dementia could be delayed or even prevented. Join Professor Cohen to explore up-to-date information about modifiable risk factors for dementia and what investigators at the University of Delaware are doing to advance Alzheimer’s disease research.

Registration to this event is required; event attendees will need to show ID upon arrival. Seats are limited, register soon.

Tuesday, November 14
4:30-6:30 pm
Morris Library Reading Room
University of Delaware
181 S. College Avenue
Newark, Delaware

*Matthew Cohen is a clinical neuropsychologist, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the associate director of the Delaware Center for Cognitive Aging Research. His research focuses on early detection of and early intervention for Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions.
Learn more about the lecture and register: click here (

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

** Congregational Connections Series:
Trans Etiquette Training
The UUA’s Leader Lab has a Congregational Connection Series featuring stories, resources, ideas, and practices shared by congregations in the spirit of creative interchange, group learning, and emerging practices.

A team from the UU Church of Akron, Ohio created Trans Etiquette Training, a series of teaching videos to help others learn how to avoid microaggressions and use clean language in their interactions.
View the training videos HERE (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


Featured Resource:
UUA Common Read

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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