News to Know: Dec 19th

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
Sunday Worship Service
December 19th, 2021

10:00 am

In-Person
+
Livestream

Join Rev. Greg this Sunday
when he ….

Returns to the Hot Seat

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:minister@uusmc.org?subject=child%20care) .
Click here to REGISTER for IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=ZjRlNTYyNDUtNzZhMC00YmNkLTlmZDItYWRmZDAwZGYxNmM5)

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=OGQ3MGYxNjUtNWY4Mi00MWY5LTgzM2ItYWRmZDAwZGU5OWE1)

 

IN THIS ISSUE

** An Update on the Ongoing 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 59.0 as of December 16*. 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, and increased indoor activities as the weather gets colder.
*Source: covidactnow.org (https://covidactnow.org/us/delaware-de/county/new_castle_county/?s=27011590)

For the in-person services scheduled for the remainder of this month – December 19 and 24 (Christmas Eve) – it is more important than ever that all attending be fully vaccinated, with wearing N95 masks a MUST (a supply of masks is available in the gathering space at church).

PLEASE SEE BELOW REGARDING A CHANGE
TO IN-PERSON SERVICES IN JANUARY

** JANUARY WORSHIP SERVICES
WILL BE LIVESTREAM ONLY
————————————————————
(NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP FOR JANUARY)
At the Board’s most recent meeting (Wednesday, December 15) a decision was made to offer worship services as livestream only beginning Sunday, December 26th through January 30th.

This means that after the Christmas Eve service, no in-person worship services or Children’s RE will be offered until February 6.

LIVESTREAM ONLY SERVICES:
December 26: Rev. Greg & Heather Petit
January 2: Rev. Keith Goheen
January 9: Rev. Andrew Weber
January 23: Heather Petit
January 30: Rev. Kent Matthies

** Christmas Eve at Mill Creek
————————————————————
Join us at 7:30 pm for Christmas Eve when Rev. Greg shares his homily, “Sore Afraid.”
Please note the following:
* This is a candlelight service, in the round, 7:30 pm
* Music will be performed by a vocal quartet
* Registration is required for each guest – use the link below
* A maximum of 50 guests will be permitted
* Vaccination is required
* Wearing N95 masks is a must (a supply is available in the gathering space)

REGISTER HERE FOR CHRISTMAS EVE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=ZmNiOGIyMDctMGY1MC00MDgyLWE5NWYtYWRmOTAwZTMzOTYx)
We will have our annual collection to benefit Family Promise of Northern New Castle County. Family Promise is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness for families of all shapes and sizes. They provide shelter and case management services to hundreds of local families Learn more about Family Promise, and feel free to donate today using the links below.
LEARN MORE about Family Promise here (https://www.familypromisede.org/)
SUPPORT Family Promise with your ONLINE DONATION here (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/give/FamilyPromise)

** Church Operations During Rev. Greg’s Sabbatical
————————————————————
As the time approaches for Rev. Greg’s sabbatical, January 1 through June 30, we 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)

** Check out Mill Creek’s You Tube Channel
————————————————————

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

Now available:
December 12th – Comfort and Joy
(Rev. Pelley)

Click here to access our YouTube channel! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChRFPbSookb9m3PV6DMtbHg)

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

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)

** 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 (administrator@uusmc.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:administrator@uusmc.org)

** Board of Trustees Meeting Quick Look Report
————————————————————
Wednesday, 15 December, 6:30pm

The board will approve Heather Petit performing wedding services.

The COVID-19 risk level is 59.0 (high risk) and increasing. The delta surge peak in mid September was 43.5. Live, in person Sunday services will be held for the rest of December, but we will go to Zoom only during January.

Our Midyear Review will be held on Sunday 23 January in lieu of breakout rooms. The agenda will include a discussion on COVID, Finances (Budget revisions and Generosity Campaign), and church activities during the sabbatical.

Choir rehearsals will start in January with an expectation of performing in February.

The finance team reports that income from our Service Auction is needed. Otherwise, drastic cuts to services will be required this coming year. Planning for a hybrid Service Auction will start immediately.

** 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

“Remember – nobody mention John around Mary –
she has suffered enough with his death.”

It is no great insight that this time of year is hard for the bereaved. One common reaction is for friends and family members to not mention the recently deceased. This is natural , well meaning – and PROFOUNDLY UNHELPFUL. The deepest need of the person in mourning is to share their experience and memories with those whom they love and trust. To be vulnerable in a safe, loving space. If the deceased becomes “taboo,” such sharing, be it tears or anger; laughter or stories of seasons past; times of silence and sadness…these cannot be shared and comfort received. Seek the courage and commitment to act natural and say what you already feel – your shared grief, memories, sense of loss and deep love for the bereaved.
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 (mailto:bob@bobbroesler.com)
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/robert.broesler.52)
LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/griefcounselorrobert-broesler)

**
Chalice
Circle
Openings
————————————————————
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:helen_springer@msn.com?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/)

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!

@millcreekuu

Mill Creek Staff office hours & contact information

Rev. Gregory S. Pelley
minister@uusmc.org (mailto:minister@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712
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
administrator@uusmc.org (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712

Rachel Sabella, Music Director
Hours by Appointment
music@uusmc.org (mailto:music@uusmc.org)
302-369-2712

** Upcoming events in our local area
————————————————————

** Upcoming Events in Delaware
————————————————————

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 creative displays. This is a unique and fun local event for all ages now 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 Schedule, Reservations & Ticket Information (https://www.wwrr.com/ride/events/holiday-lights.aspx)
Forest Restoration at White Clay Creek State Park

Interested in becoming an environmental steward of this beautiful park? Curious about what it takes to keep the park healthy and vibrant? Join volunteers in the fight to rid the park of invasive plants. ‘Invasive plants’ are those that are non-native to the area in which they grow, can establish on many different sites, grow quickly, and spread to the point of disrupting plant communities and/or ecosystems. Invasive species continue to be a huge ecological problem in the park since they spread rapidly and outcompete our native species.

This volunteer effort has won awards from the State of Delaware for their dedication to the park (read about it here (https://news.delaware.gov/2021/11/16/delaware-state-parks-wins-national-competition-for-excellence/#:~:text=November%2016%2C%202021-,Gov.,Delaware%20also%20won%20in%202015.) ). They have done some amazing work controlling invasives, but this is an ongoing effort and there is always much to do. They welcome anyone who wants to learn how to identify invasive plants, remove them, and help the local ecosystem thrive. The group meets at the Judge Morris Estate parking lot every Thursday, 9-11 am and every Sunday, 1-3 pm. There is no registration required, and parking is currently free.

Judge Morris Estate at White Clay Creek State Park (https://destateparks.com/wwwroot/downloads/brochures/judge-morris-estate.pdf)
79 Polly Drummond Hill Road
Newark, DE 19711

Delaware Park…
More than just a casino!

Looking for something different to do? Delaware Park offers more than just slot machines, poker, and sports betting. The Park’s Stage 37 venue is where you’ll find free entertainment like Latin Fiesta Night, Country Line Dancing, Open Mic Karaoke, and a variety of live bands.

Delaware Park Racetrack & Slots
777 Delaware Park Boulevard
Wilmington, DE 19804
800-41-SLOTS
programs@delawarepark.com (mailto:programs@delawarepark.com)
Learn More Here (https://delawarepark.com/casino/free-entertainment/)

** Upcoming Events in Maryland
————————————————————

Christmas on the Farm
at Milburn Orchards
Milburn’s Farm 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
410-398-1349
Learn more about Milburn’s HERE (https://www.milburnorchards.com/)

** Upcoming Events in Pennsylvania
————————————————————

Final themed holiday weekend in historic West Chester.

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. 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 has featured different holiday festivities, shopping and dining, and this weekend is the last in the series:
‘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/)

** 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.
-Rev.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) (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)

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

**
Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update
————————————————————

DECEMBER 2021
Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=8bd39eae38511daad6152e84545e504d.5577&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)

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