News: December 2

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Worship Service
December 5th, 2021

10:00 am


Join Rev. Greg this Sunday
when he shares his homily:

joy, notwithstanding

Connect With Us In-Person
Join us in our sanctuary at 10 am for Sunday Service by registering below. Seating is limited to 35 guests; wearing N95 masks and vaccination are required for attendance. Child care is not yet available but we are hoping to have a team established soon. Interested? Contact Rev. Greg ( .
Connect With Us Virtually
There are several ways to get the Zoom link for livestreaming the service:
* Click the link below (Sunday Morning Live!) and bookmark it; OR
* Access the church calendar ( (; OR
* Open our Sunday morning email; OR
* Open ANY PREVIOUS Sunday morning email – the link remains the same from week to week

Click here for LIVESTREAM (
Register Your Child(ren)
We are happy to offer a safe space for our children and youth to re-connect with one another by hosting ages 4 and up in Classroom 1 for a mostly unstructured time of play, art and connecting. Click the button below to register your child(ren).
Click here to REGISTER for CHILDREN’S RE (
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Editor’s Note:
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** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Seed Gathering & Tree Care Event This Weekend

Sunday, December 5th
Immediately after church service, 11:15-ish

* Hunt, collect & spread seeds
* Seed swap
* Tree care

Everyone is welcome to join us when we search our meadows and woodlots for seeds to collect and scatter to encourage the growth and spread of more native plants and flowers. We will be looking for Milkweed (as shown above), Goldenrod, Aster, Joe Pye Weed, Brown-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Milkweed, Mountain Mint and Cardinal Flower to name a few. We’ll show you what to look for!

To help improve conditions for wildlife, birds, and pollinators in our area and to promote the importance of backyard habitats, some of the seeds we collect can be taken home to encourage participation in this effort. Conversely, we are interested in other native tree and shrub seeds that you may have in your own yard for a seed swap! We are especially interested in White Oak, Red Oak, American Beech, Sycamore, White Pine, Red Maple, Tulip, Viburnum, or whatever you may be able to offer.

We will also be providing necessary care and attention to our trees, especially the 26 trees we planted last month. This may include weeding, watering, mulching, cage repairs, etc. We’ll show you what needs doing!

Bring or wear appropriate clothing for the weather, including possible messy conditions. Please bring work gloves, gardening tools, and a bucket or other container for collecting the seeds.

Please contact Amy White ( or Jamie Kegerise ( with questions or for additional information.

All plants are not created equal, particularly in their ability to support wildlife. Most of our native plant-eaters are not able to eat alien plants, and we are replacing native plants with alien species at an alarming rate, especially in the suburban gardens on which our wildlife increasingly depends. My central message is that unless we restore native plants to our suburban ecosystems, the future of biodiversity in the United States is dim.
– Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home

** 2022 Generosity Campaign Underway
The Mill Creek 2022 Generosity Campaign is underway! The Generosity (pledge) Campaign runs from January through December 2022. Pledge cards have been mailed to members and friends. (If you haven’t received yours in the next few days, please let us know.)

You can make your pledge of financial support in one of the following ways:
* return the pledge card by mail in the envelope provided; OR
* access your Realm profile ( , go to your Giving page and select the +Pledge button, then click on 2022 Generosity Campaign; OR
* email the church office ( with the amount of your pledge; OR
* Click on the Pledge Now button below

Did you know?
Electronic giving through Realm is easy and secure.
What it offers you: the opportunity to schedule your pledge payments over time. You can set up a recurring weekly, monthly or quarterly schedule to suit your budget.
What it offers your church: a constant and predictable source of income.

However you decide to make your pledge, we hope to have all commitments by Monday, November 22nd. Contact the church office ( with any questions you have.
Thank you for your support!
Use the easy link below to make your pledge today!
Pledge Now (

** 2021 Generosity Campaign Ends December 31st
As we gear up for our new Generosity Campaign, now is a good time to see where your are with your current pledge payments. Check your giving profile in Realm, or give us a call at 302-369-2712, or contact the church office using the button below.
Click here to contact us via email (

** In case you missed it…!

Have you missed a particular sermon or homily? Is there one you’d like to see again? Click the link below to access our new You Tube channel where we upload videos of our Sunday messages.

Now available:
unbearable stillness- Nov. 28th
(Rev. Pelley)
Click here to access our YouTube channel! (

** Share Our Plate: November & December

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 have selected:
Life Lines Program at West End Neighborhood House.

Established in 1979 and based in Wilmington, West End Neighborhood House offers a wide array of support services throughout the state of Delaware designed to resolve complex social challenges. Their outcomes-driven programming includes education and employment programs, financial services, housing, and much more, including services for foster care youth through their Life Lines Program.

This program offers services for foster care youth ages 18-23 through intensive case management. For 20 years they have offered housing, education, and employment training to youth both in and emancipated from foster care. They are expanding their program through the construction of their Drop-In Center. When complete it will serve unaccompanied homeless youth, including those who have experienced the foster care system, as well as those who identify as belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. It will offer 33 beds including an ADA-compliant efficiency unit. While not a homeless shelter, the Center will provide supportive services these youth need to reintegrate into society and become self-reliant, including education, physical and mental health services, drug & alcohol prevention & treatment, job training & placement, and more.
For more information about the program, click on the link below:
LEARN MORE about Life Lines Program (
For more inspiration, click the link below to watch a short video:
WATCH the video here (
To support this program, click on the link below to donate:
DONATE to Share Our Plate (
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**

** Learn how to help people who are maintaining their sobriety, and support those in active recovery.

Did you know that Delaware currently has the 2^nd highest overdose death per capita in the country? The Delaware Division of Public Health is pleased to work with Faith Forward Collaborative Healing Substance Addition to address this issue. The Collaborative is an inter-denominational alliance of faith leaders working to combat the overdose crisis in our state. One of their efforts is education for faith communities like Mill Creek.

You are invited to participate in a free training session, Walking in Faith During the Holiday Season. This webinar, held on Wednesday, December 8^th at 11 am, will offer tips on how faith leaders and congregants can help someone maintain sobriety, not just during the holidays, but into the new year as well. They will present information for how to support those who are in active recovery.

Use the links below to learn more, and to register for the webinar.
LEARN MORE about the Collaborative here (
REGISTER for the trainnig session here (

** Complicated Grief
Part of a series shared by
Rev. Robert Broesler
At the Newark Interfaith Thanksgiving service on November 23rd, we were all reminded to remember those who were unable to be present at the death of a loved one. The holiday season makes such loss more acute. The tragic necessity of isolation during illness has left many individuals and families with unresolved grief and mourning. As congregations have begun to reopen, there is opportunity to speak in person with members who have suffered in this way. The reality is that we are facing a pastoral challenge which is unique to our congregants and to us as ministers. Peoples’ loved ones are physically gone now, but it still feels as though they are emotionally present because one has not had a way to observe their loss.

We are wise to openly name the lost physical presence, touching and communal sharing in the room of the loved one we lost. To affirm something irredeemable has been taken from us. As pastors we can open opportunities for meaningful mourning, grief, and the gradual return to meaning. A parish-wide memorial service or such services for individual families; gathering and praying at a gravesite and/or simply naming this unresolved grieving frees people to move toward the new normal they are entering.
As an outgrowth of the loss of my son Justin, I believe I have been called to provide counsel to people who are experiencing “difficult grief”, particularly but not exclusively the loss of a child. This also includes those unable to be physically present with their loved one while they died. Below is another in a series of insights which I believe will provide you with the language to be present for a friend in such situations. I hope they are helpful.
-The Rev. Robert (Bob) Broesler

Rev. Broesler is a Grief Counselor and a member of Mill Creek. Connect with him using any of the links below:
Email (
Facebook (
LinkedIn (

Chalice Circles at Mill Creek are small groups within our church that provide a supportive environment for people to meet and discuss topics relevant to our lives as well as share our stories, our experiences and our ideas. Circles are an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level and develop a rich spirituality. During COVID, some Circles meet virtually, some in person; some meet during the day and some in the evenings.

2nd Tuesday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 7:15 to 9:00 pm

Wednesday Evening Circle:
Meets twice a month, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Chalice Sisters Thursday Evening Circle:
Meets twice a month, 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 6:15 pm

Thursday Afternoon Circle
Meets twice a month, 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 12:30 pm

Men’s Chalice Circle
3rd Tuesday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 7:00 pm

Click the link below to contact Helen Springer for more information,
or call 484-732-8641; or call the church office, 302-369-2712.
Curious about Chalice Circles? Read what people are saying:

“During the pandemic, the circle has been a wonderful means of keeping in close touch with these members of our church. And in ordinary times, the circle meetings provide friendship as well as an opportunity to think more deeply about what our church means to us.”

“Joining a Chalice Circle was the most significant thing I did once I joined this church community several years ago. It is my main source for support.”

“The sisterhood of my chalice circle has been a lifeline for me. We ZOOM every week, sharing our own stories and deeply listening to the stories of others. Such a gift.”

“I have been participating in the men’s chalice circle for over two years now. It has been a wonderful way for me to connect with other members of the church on a deeper and more personal level. It has shown me additional view points and brought me a different set of tools for living my spiritual life. It has also brought me a lot of laughter and a place of emotional support in times of need.”

“The women in my Circle mean so much to me, we care for and about each other in a way I find difficult to achieve away from church.”
Click here for more information about Chalice Circles (

** Book Group’s Next Read

Join the book group on Tuesday, January 4th at 7 pm on Zoom for a discussion of Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein ( .

The Zoom link can be found on the church calendar (

** Adult Religious Exploration Opportunity
The Artist’s Way – Virtual Workshop
Winter/Spring 2022

Art is a spiritual act of faith, and we practice practicing it.
This virtual workshop is based on Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It not just for artists, but for anyone interested in living more creatively through practicing the art of creative living. “No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late to work on your creativity.” Join artists, Karen Rege and Yolanda Chetwynd in discovering your artistic gifts through reflective exercises and thoughtful discussion.

This will be a virtual discussion group:
Thursday, January 6 – Thursday, April 14 (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Use the link below to register; the Zoom link for the sessions are included there.
Register 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!

We encourage you to continue your financial support of Mill Creek during the closure by using one of the following methods:

1. Mail a check: 579 Polly Drummond Hill Road, Newark DE 19711 (staff is present in the office and the mailbox is checked daily). Please indicate on the subject line if this is a pledge payment, a general contribution, or a contribution to a specific giving fund.
2. Give electronically through REALM: or use the link below (remember to select a giving fund).
3. Text-to-Give: text MillCreek and the amount [e.g. MillCreek 50] to 73256.

We sincerely appreciate your support of Mill Creek, especially now while we are unable to gather together for the time being. But the work of the church continues! We gratefully acknowledge that there would be no Mill Creek without YOU. Thank you.
**Click here to GIVE NOW** (

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Mill Creek Staff office hours & contact information

Rev. Gregory S. Pelley (
Hours by appointment – use the link below to schedule:
– Click here to schedule time with Rev. Greg – (
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 8 am to 1 pm, Monday-Thursday (

Rachel Sabella, Music Director
Hours by Appointment (

** Upcoming events in our local area

** Upcoming Events in Pennsylvania

A different series of events each weekend now through January 1st awaits you in historic West Chester.

Snow not guaranteed!)
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce is reimagining what the holidays mean this year by launching the first-ever Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester. Transformed into a winter wonderland, the streets of historic West Chester are bathed in the glow of thousands of holiday lights every evening now through Saturday, January 1. Each weekend features different holiday festivities, shopping and dining.

Old Fashioned Holiday Weekend
Friday, Dec. 3 — Sunday, Dec. 5
West Chester is decked out for the borough’s beloved Tree Lighting Ceremony, followed by a fabulous holiday bazaar, breakfast with Santa, choral performances by West Chester’s Merrie Minstrels Carolers, free coffee & hot chocolate… and so much more.
First Responders & Health Care Heroes Weekend
Friday, Dec.10 — Sunday, Dec. 12
Ambulance, police and West Chester Fire Department Trucks along with some construction vehicles will be on display. Meet the firefighters, get hands-on with a firetruck, and sign a thank-you banner to let these local heroes know how much we appreciate their service. Plus Holidays Around the World demonstration, Selfies with Santa, Holiday Market, and more.
‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas
Friday, Dec. 17 — Sunday, Dec. 19
This final weekend of festivities features live music performed by Lenape Brass Band and offers Parent’s Night Out, Cookie Decorating for Kids, Making Spirits Bright Holiday Music Series featuring East High School Choir outside the Historic Chester County Courthouse, and an appearance by Santa on a fire truck.
Learn more about this new series of events here (

ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir

ANNA Family Reunion
Saturday, December 11th
7:30 pm

Free Concert!

ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir (formerly ANNA Crusis Women’s Choir, learn about their recent name change here ( ) invites you to a live performance in Center City, Philadelphia featuring familiar favorites along with new selections. The concert is free with an opportunity for a freewill offering. Use the link below for all the details, including information about their safety protocols and accessibility
The Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion (
2110 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
Concert details here! (

** Upcoming Events in Delaware

Christmas in Odessa
Saturday, December 4th
10 am to 5 pm
The town of Odessa welcomes all to the 57th annual Christmas in Odessa, a self-guided walking tour of private homes and public buildings, many dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, all decorated for the holidays. In addition to the tour there is a Christmas Craft Shop at one location and freshly cut greens for sale at another, featuring wreath making demonstrations. Use the link below for ticket information and other details.
Info: Christmas in Odessa (
New Castle County Art Studio offers classes year-round for artists of all ages, skill levels and abilities. You can register for single-session workshops or multi-session classes on weekdays or weekends. Classes include potter, drawing, painting, weaving, mixed media, fibers, jewelry, Saturday child and teen classes, family classes, summer camps, and more.

The Art Studio is having a pottery sale just time for holiday gift giving where you’ll find beautiful pieces of handmade pottery. Visit the Studio Monday, Dec. 6th through Wednesday, Dec. 8th from 10 am to 8 pm to browse and shop. Use the link below to find out more about the Art Studio, the classes offered, and how to register.

New Castle County Art Studio
310 Kiamensi Road
Wilmington, Delaware
Learn more about the Art Studio and how to register for classes ()

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

** UUA President’s Holiday Message & Resources

Turning toward a concrete practice of gratitude helps us resist the ways in which we are being called to isolation and division, because gratitude actually turns us toward each other.
-Susan Frederick-Gray

“Each year at about this time, I share a holiday message for Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations. This year, I was moved to share how my own gratitude practice has been helping me find joy, compassion, and humility in the present moment.”
Practicing Gratitude (video) (
“As we enter this season so known for its holidays and holy days, we’ll have many opportunities in our congregations to draw our attention to what sustains us, to the sources of love and care and gratitude in our lives.”
Gratitude Homily (video) (
“A final resource to support a concrete practice of gratitude is this guided meditation. In this nearly 11-minute long video, you are invited into a quiet, meditative space to focus your mind on what you are grateful for today. I guide you in asking yourself questions in your heart like, What or who are you grateful for? Who is caring for you, showing you care, inspiring you, comforting you? May it be of help for all.”
Guided Meditation on Gratitude (video) (
“This extended time of social distancing has taught us just how much we need each other as individuals and collectives; in many ways, our interdependence has never been clearer. UUA Congregational Life staff have developed a conference to help UUs navigate this time and join with each other in charting a path toward a deeper connection with their faith. Join Compass: Navigating the Paths of Liberation Together, an online conference being held on December 11 and 12.”
COMPASS: learn more & register (

** Young Adult Revival Network
A platform for all young adult Unitarian Universalists
The Young Adult Revival Network ( , coordinated through the First UU Society of San Francisco (CA) is a global effort to rebuild the UU young adult network.

YARN’s Mission:
To foster and support inclusive, celebratory, Unitarian Universalist spaces that connect young adults with one another; to recognize intersectional identities and places of privilege and oppression; to create & share resources to build connections, grow the community, and actively engage in anti-racist & anti-oppressive efforts around the world while living the seven principles and striving to realize the eighth.
SUBSCRIBE to YARN’s bi-monthly newsletter here (

Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update


Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (

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