Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Worship Service
December 12th, 2021
Join Rev. Greg this Sunday
when he shares his homily:
Comfort and Joy
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. Infant/toddler care is not yet available but we are hoping to have a team established soon. Interested? Contact Rev. Greg (mailto:email@example.com?subject=child%20care) .
Click here to REGISTER for IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=Mjg4YjY2YWEtNGI2ZC00ZjdkLWIwZjgtYWRmNjAxMGE3ZTJk)
If you are unable to attend service, please cancel your registration(s).
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 (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/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 (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)
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 (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=MjkwZTNkMDUtODhhNy00ZDI2LWFkZDEtYWRmODAwZTM4OTEz)
IN THIS ISSUE
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** Congregational Life
** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know
** A Word About the Recent COVID Surge
When the Board made the decision at its October meeting to offer indoor services starting November 14, the COVID new case levels were decreasing. All three counties reached a minimum during the first 7 days of November. Since then, the new case levels have been increasing and in the last few days surging to levels surpassing the Delta peak in September. New Castle County got to a low of 20.6 on November 5. The new case rate is now 55.4 as of December 9*. This surge has nothing to do with Omicron and is still due to Delta, the 38% of the population who have not been fully vaccinated, Thanksgiving gatherings, and increased indoor activities as the weather gets colder.
The best guidance we have received in order to continue offering in-person gatherings at Mill Creek is for all attending to be fully vaccinated and schedule their booster if they haven’t already done so. As a respectful reminder, if you think you have been in a situation that exposed you to COVID, you should refrain from attending in-person service but are welcome to participate in church service via livestream.
*Source: covidactnow.org (https://covidactnow.org/us/delaware-de/county/new_castle_county/?s=26551559)
** Church Operations During Rev. Greg’s Sabbatical
As the time approaches for Rev. Greg’s sabbatical, January 1 through June 30, we want to offer assurance that all church operations will continue as usual. We have prepared a guide which contains a list of guest speakers, contact information for those in leadership positions, and other information.
Access the Sabbatical Guide Here (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Guide-to-Rev-Gregs-Sabbatical.pdf)
** 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.
December 5th – joy, notwithstanding
Click here to access our YouTube channel! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChRFPbSookb9m3PV6DMtbHg)
** December Sunday Service Schedule
Dec 12: Comfort and Joy – Rev. Greg
Dec 19: Return to the Hot Seat – Rev. Greg
This annual favorite, giving folks the opportunity to ask Rev. Greg questions, is especially poignant as he prepares for his 6-month sabbatical (Jan. 1 – June 30).
Dec 24: Christmas Eve, 7:30 pm — Rev. Greg
This in-person, candlelight service will require reservations; it will also be livestreamed. More details will be forthcoming, including how to register.
Dec 26: Special Zoom-only service with Rev. Greg and Heather Petit
** Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda
Wednesday, 15 December, 6:30pm on Zoom
Opening – Soul Matters theme of “Opening to Joy”
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. -Thich Nhat Hanh
November Board Meeting minutes
COVID-19 Statistics and Opening Status
Set Date: Sunday 23 January (in lieu of breakout rooms)
COVID – John
Finances – Ann
Innovating Into an Unknown Future – Joe
Sabbatical Status – any actions?
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. –Rabindranath Tagore
** 2021 Pledge Payments and Year-End Contributions
The end of the year is fast approaching and the window for 2021 pledge payments and contributions is closing soon. If you’d like to have any payments or year-end contributions posted before December 31st, send them now or access your Realm profile to give electronically. Contact us with any questions you have by calling the church office, 302-369-2712, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the button below.
Please be advised that the church office is closed for the holidays from Monday, December 27th through Friday, December 31st.
Contribute WITH your Realm Profile (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/SignIn)
Contribute WITHOUT a Realm Profile (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/form/give/now)
Contact Us With Questions Here (mailto:email@example.com)
** 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 (https://westendnh.org/programs/life-lines-programs/)
For more inspiration, click the link below to watch a short video:
WATCH the video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN8Tto-thoE)
To support this program, click on the link below to donate:
DONATE to Share Our Plate (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**
** Complicated Grief
Part of a series shared by
Rev. Robert Broesler
LOSS AND GRIEF ARE SOULFUL EXPERIENCES, NOT CLINICAL CATAGORIES
When a friend or family member experiences the significant loss of one they deeply loved, among the most difficult aspects of their experience is a profound sense of loneliness. While some of this is clearly associated with the loss of their loved one, an unfortunate reality is that we, their friends and family, all too often privatize grief as an isolated, individual experience. This extreme misperception exacerbates the struggles of the grieving friend or family member. Mourning, by nature of its definition – ‘a shared social response to loss’ – must be viewed in the broader context of social and family connections. In fact, the person often perceived as ‘not doing well’ in grief is usually the one who is crying out for get help from their family and social systems. Yes, professional companions can be essential as well. However, the common scientific literature on caring for those who are grieving reveals that our modern understanding of grief all too often lacks any appreciation for and
attention to the spiritual, soul-based nature of the grief journey. As authors such as Frankl, Fromm and Jung noted years ago, academic psychology has been too interfaced with the natural sciences and laboratory methods of weighing, counting and objective reporting. It is essential that we return the soul; the longing for connection; the need for the person in mourning to not be “categorized” but rather embraced.
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:
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
1st Thursday Evening Circle:
Meets monthly, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Thursday Afternoon Circle
Meets twice a month, 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 12:30 pm
Men’s 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 (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=chalice%20circles)
** 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 (http://www.amygoldsteinwriter.com/janesville/) .
The Zoom link can be found on the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/)
** Adult Religious Exploration Opportunity
The Artist’s Way – Virtual Workshop
Art is a spiritual transaction..an 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 (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=OTgyODI1Y2UtZTVhMi00ZmIwLWFiMDgtYWRlZDAxMzFhNDZi)
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!
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: https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/Give 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** (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
Follow us on Instagram!
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 – (https://calendly.com/gpelley)
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 Delaware
Santa at the Zoo
Saturday & Sunday
Dec. 11 & 12
10 am – 12 pm
Visit the Brandywine Zoo this weekend for a Winter Wonderland event featuring a photo opportunity with Santa. Holiday treats, free hot chocolate, and fun activities planned for the kids.
1001 N. Park Drive
Wilmington, DE 19802
Click here for registration information (https://brandywinezoo.org/santa/)
Holiday Lights Express Aboard the Wilmington & Western Railroad
Experience the magic of riding aboard the festively decorated, 100-year-old heated coaches, all covered in thousands of holiday lights during a 1-hour evening trip through the scenic Red Clay Valley. The ride offers views of many trackside homes and yards decked out with holiday lights and displays. This is a unique and fun local event for all ages. Friday, December 10 through Thursday, December 30.
2201 Newport Gap Pike (Route 41 North)
Wilmington, DE 19808
For questions, access the Contact Form here (https://www.wwrr.com/contact-us.aspx)
Click here for Reservations & Ticket Information (https://www.wwrr.com/ride/events/holiday-lights.aspx)
** Upcoming Events in Maryland
Christmas on the Farm
at Milburn Orchards
Visit Milburn’s Farm Market this Saturday, Dec. 11 & Sunday, Dec. 12, for a free photo with Santa (or take your own pics with your phone or camera). The Market, open now through December 31^st, has a wonderful assortment of unique gifts and delicious treats that make great holiday gifts, featuring jams, jellies, dressings and mixes. Don’t forget to check out the Bake Shoppe for pies and other baked goods, including their popular Apple Cider Donuts. Also available: cookbooks and crafts from local artists. Ask about their custom gift baskets.
1495 Appleton Road
Elkton, MD 21921
Learn more about Milburn’s HERE (https://www.milburnorchards.com/)
** 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.
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 (https://greaterwestchester.com/events/featured-events/holiday-weekends-west-chester/)
ANNA Family Reunion
Saturday, December 11th
ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir (formerly ANNA Crusis Women’s Choir, learn about their recent name change here (https://annacrusis.org/annas-evolution/) ) 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 (https://www.lc-hc.org/)
2110 Chestnut Street
Concert details here! (https://annacrusis.org/anna-family-reunion/)
** News from the UUA, the Central East Region, and the Delmarva Cluster
** UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) 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.
“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) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AvOFqY_sVw)
“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) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8mxywToosQ)
“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) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMwCIqOVELc)
“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 (https://www.uua.org/leadership/events/compass)
Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=8bd39eae38511daad6152e84545e504d.5577&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)
** Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UUSMC)
** Website (https://www.uusmc.org)
** Instagram (http://instagram.com/millcreekuu)
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