Weekly Invitation – May 25, 2023

Unitarian Universalist Society of Mill Creek
We are a community that invites you to awaken to love.
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This week, we invite you:

Editor’s Note:
If you do not see ‘Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update’ as the very last section of this email (look for the little purple map), you’re not seeing the whole email. You may need to click on ‘view entire message’, ‘view in browser’ or something similar, depending on your device.

** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Church Office Closure
The church office will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

** Mill Creek Annual Meeting

Sunday, June 4th
11 am

Date: Sunday, June 4th, 11:00 am (after church service)

Purpose: The purpose of the annual business meeting shall be to hear reports of officers and staff, to elect new trustees as applicable, to adopt an annual budget, and address any business that comes before the congregation.

Voting Eligibility: Church bylaws state that each member shall be entitled to one vote who: (a) has attained the age of 18 years or has completed the Coming of Age program on or before the date of the meeting at which the vote is to be cast; and (b) whose request to be admitted or readmitted to membership was recorded in the records of the congregation at least 35 days before the date of the meeting at which the vote is to be cast; and (c) has made a financial contribution of record during the twelve-month period preceding the meeting at which the vote is to be cast.**

How to attend the meeting: The meeting will be offered in a hybrid format: in-person in the church sanctuary and livestreamed via Zoom. The meeting will be preceded by our regular Sunday worship service. If you choose to join the meeting via livestream, the link is the same one used from week to week. We encourage everyone to attend.

By-Laws Requirement: Our By-Laws give voting privileges to members who have made a contribution of record in the 12-month period prior to the meeting. They do not allow for proxy voting, so only those eligible members who attend the Meeting either in-person or via livestream will receive ballots. Voting will be handled via ElectionBuddy; ballots will be emailed to eligible members.

**If you are unsure of your pledging or contribution status, contact the church office by calling, 302-369-2712, or by email (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org) .
You can read the UUSMC By-Laws HERE (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/UUSMC-By-Laws-revised-06-02-2019.pdf)

** Volunteer Spotlight
First & Third Tuesday Chalice Circle
The church entrance was recently weeded and cleaned up by the following: (left to right): Ewa Iracka, John LaFerla, Rose Zink, Jim Fossler, Laura Bonner, Ann Fossler, Anna Hull. Thank you!

** Church Member Needs Assistance

Lucille Avakian would like to express her gratitude for the support she has received so far in response to the injuries and losses she recently sustained. On April19th Lucille, while at Christiana Mall on her mobility scooter, was hit by an SUV traveling at 20mph, tossing her onto the pavement as her daughter Celeste watched.

Their needs are ongoing, and here’s how you can help:
* Transportation
* Yarn & art supplies for Celeste, to help her work through the trauma
* Housework assistance
* Funds; Gift Cards: Acme, Walmart, Amazon, etc.

Or you may make arrangements with Lucille directly for alternate forms of assistance. Use the link below to connect with her by email. Thank you for your support.
Email Lucille HERE (mailto:lucilleavakian@gmail.com)

** New Member Classes
Have you been thinking about membership? Are you wondering if perhaps now might be the right time to join the Mill Creek congregation?

If so, we welcome you to participate in our orientation classes offered virtually with Rev. Greg starting next week:

Monday, June 5 @ 6:30-8:00 pm –
Intro to UU Society of Mill Creek (values, beliefs, mission)
Monday, June 12 @ 6:30-8:00 pm –
Meaning of Membership

These classes are designed to introduce (or reacquaint you with) UU history, the history of Mill Creek, and the meaning of membership. All are welcome to join in … existing members, friends, and visitors! Click the button below for the link to attend – the same link will be used for all three classes.
Click here for Orientation Classes (Zoom link) (https://georgetown.zoom.us/j/95383179518)
These classes will prepare you to participate in our next New Member Ceremony on Sunday, June 18. Contact Jerry Bilton (mailto:jabilton@aol.com) for more information.

** Ice Cream Social & Summer Campfire Next Month

Summer Campfires for all ages are back! Our first event of the season begins on Saturday, June 10, at 7:30 pm, with a special Ice Cream Social.

The campfires are held in the Memorial Grove by the Nature Sign at the edge of the rear parking lot, weather permitting. (Note that this is a grassy area with a slight incline to reach the campfire site).

Join us for fellowship, singing, poetry reading and story-telling, and bring your own lawn or camp chair, blanket, and other comforts. Mark your calendar for our other campfire dates (all Saturdays): June 24; July 8 & 22; August 5 &19. EVERYONE IS WELCOME. Contact Jamie Kegerise (mailto:jamie@dsofurniture.com) with questions.

** Church Presence at Local Pride Festivals Next Month
Jenn Broomfield, Dana Broadway, and Maria Ruocco are planning to attend two local Pride Festivals next month. Their goal is to be a Mill Creek presence at each event, and to determine the feasibility of having a display table or organizing a march at future events.

Delaware Pride Festival (http://www.delawarepride.org/index.php?ch=2023_delaware_pride_festival&screenID=20518)
Legislative Hall, Dover
Saturday, June 10
10 am to 5 pm

Middletown Pride Festival (https://allevents.in/middletown/middletown-de-pride-2023/200024081586510)
Main Street, Middletown
Saturday, June 17
12:00 pm

If you have interest in attending either of these events or have questions, feel free to reach out to Jenn (mailto:jennbroomfield@gmail.com?subject=Pride%20events) , Dana (mailto:danalbroadway@aol.com?subject=Pride%20events) and/or Maria (mailto:ruocco.mariahw@gmail.com?subject=Pride%20events) , or look for the sign-up sheet in the gathering space.

** Summer Solstice Celebration
Everyone is welcome to join us on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 pm when we celebrate the return of the sun!

We’ll begin with a ritual in the sanctuary, then go outdoors for a bonfire (weather permitting). Bring snacks & beverages to share. Contact Regina Guarino (mailto:regina139@msn.com?subject=summer%20solstice) with any questions, or if you’d like to help with the planning.

** Meadow Maintenance: Ways You Can Help
Join the crew any Wednesday at 5:30 pm when they gather to pull invasive plants and weeds, and water our newer trees. Bring work gloves, clippers & general gardening tools, and a kneeling pad if you have/need one. (Note that the time will be pushed back as the season progresses.) If you’d like to help with our efforts but either can’t join the crew on Wednesdays or perhaps you have physical restrictions – there are other ways – and we need you!
There are two great programs that we are likely to qualify for, but we need one or two people who could help us by submitting the required documentation.

The National Wildlife Foundation has a program called Sacred Grounds that recognizes congregations, houses of worship, and faith communities who both create wildlife habitat and actively link faith practices and caring for the environment.

We’ve already completed two of the required three steps toward this recognition: 1) Gather Your Team, and 2) Plant Your Garden & Engage Your Community. The final step, Designate as a Sacred Grounds Site, is more of an administrative task, and is the one we need help with. CLICK HERE (https://www.nwf.org/SacredGrounds) to assist with this certification.

We would also like our meadow to be certified as an official Monarch Waystation by registering it with Monarch Watch. We’ve met all the required guidelines, leaving just some basic information to submit.

Through this certification, our habitat will be included in the Monarch Waystation Registry, an online listing of Monarch Waystations worldwide, and we will be awarded a certificate bearing our name and our habitat’s unique Monarch Waystation ID number. We would also like to procure the metal signage with our designation. This would be a great way to demonstrate to the larger community our environmental values, and to provide education about the value of individuals providing not just native flowers and plants in their own yards to help pollinators, birds and other critters, but also the critically necessary milkweed plants that monarch butterflies need to survive. CLICK HERE (https://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/) to assist with this certification.

Contact Jamie Kegerise (mailto:jamie@dsofurniture.com) or Amy White (mailto:amywwhite@comcast.net)
with any questions you have.

** Share Your Love of Music
Summer is an ideal occasion for sharing your music with the Mill Creek congregation during Sunday service. Two Sundays in July and most Sundays in August are available for such sharing, and you’ll never find a more enthusiastic, supportive audience than we have here. All musical forms and genres are welcome! Click the button below to connect with the Music Committee.
Share your love of music HERE (mailto:music@uusmc.org)

** Park Bench Project UPDATE

The order has been placed with Eco Plastic Products of Delaware (ECOP) for the purchase of NINE park-style benches which will be located around our meadow. Delivery is expected in 6-10 weeks.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has embraced this project. We have received a discount on our order in exchange for our donation of acceptable plastics and will continue this collection while the benches are being fabricated. Please keep bringing in your clean, dry, empty plastics stamped with #2, #4, and/or #5.

ECOP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that recycles eligible plastic and transforms it into consumer products. They use recyclable plastic marked #2, #4 and #5 ONLY in their process. Learn more using the buttons below.
Learn more about this organization and the work they do. (https://www.ecoplasticproducts.org/)
What plastics can be used for this project? Click here for a quick guide. (https://www.ecoplasticproducts.org/about-recycling)

** Meet our New Meadow Resident!
A large black snake has taken up residence in our meadow and has made its home alongside the walkway from the back parking lot to the rear church entrance. Its presence is evidenced by several large holes running along the walkway. This magnificent creature, Pantherophis obsoletus, also known commonly as the western rat snake, black rat snake, pilot black snake, or simply black snake, is NOT venomous (poisonous) and it is not aggressive.

If you keep your distance, it will be an amazing thing to behold. It dines on our meadow rodents including voles, field mice, and rats, so it will help keep our rodent population in check. We’re asking our kids to name the snake, so we’ll let you know what they decide.

Should anyone like to try some wildlife photography, we would love to have some pictures of it (the one featured above is a stock photo).

Despite the snake’s intimidating size – possibly over six feet in length – we reiterate that the snake is not aggressive or poisonous. However if you still would rather not take any chances at coming near the snake, please use the other (front) entrance (we haven’t seen any snake holes there at this time). See Amy White or Jamie Kegerise with questions. For more information about the variety of snakes in Delaware, click here. (https://greennature.com/delaware-snakes/)

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 May and June we are supporting:

Urban Bike Project

Located on North Walnut Street in Wilmington, Urban Bike Project (UBP) supports Wilmington communities by providing access to bicycling as a healthy, affordable, and practical means of transportation and recreation. Bicycles provide reliable, healthy, and emissions-free transportation. UBP’s work is guided by three core principles: open access for all Wilmington residents, opportunities for residents to build self-sufficiency, and community-driven programming that is responsive to resident needs. UBP offers a wide array of services: open-shop hours for repairs; retail-only hours; youth-only shop hours; a free bike program; several youth programs including build-a-bike summer camp; instruction classes; and a variety of other services, events, and networking opportunities.
Learn more about UBP here (http://www.urbanbikeproject.com)
Support this organization with your online donation HERE. Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund. (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)

** Sunday Worship Service Information
May 28, 2023
10:30 am

Join Rev. Greg for his message:

Music for the morning will be performed by returning guest musicians Chris and Jeanmarie Braddock, performing as The Nearly Valentines, with Chris playing guitar and Jeanmarie playing violin.

Connect With Us In-Person
* Service begins at 10:30 am
* Masking protocol will be posted at each entrance
* 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 (https://uusmc.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8c80a09d53a8aec43de675d26&id=a404d3fb3e&e=9e32ea5753) (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/ (https://uusmc.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8c80a09d53a8aec43de675d26&id=3386b49cce&e=9e32ea5753) )

Sunday Livestream – CLICK HERE (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)

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 using a credit card or your checking or savings account!
Mill Creek Staff

Rev. Gregory S. Pelley, Minister
minister@uusmc.org (mailto:minister@uusmc.org)
To request an in-person, teleconference or Zoom meeting with Rev. Greg, use the link below to schedule:
Request a meeting with Rev. Greg – click HERE (http://calendly.com/gpelley)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 9 am to 2 pm, Monday-Thursday
administrator@uusmc.org (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)

** Happening in Our Local Community

** Newark Arts Alliance Garden Tour

The Newark Arts Alliance (https://www.newarkartsalliance.org/) returns with its perennial favorite, The Newark Garden Tour on Saturday, June 3 from 10:00 am to 3:00pm (rain date Sunday, June 4).

The event features a self-guided tour of area gardens in Newark and surrounding areas. As guests stroll through the gardens, they’ll find live music, artists sketching and painting, locally made garden art for sale, and garden hosts available to share information about their gardens. Gardens both small and large include water features, flowering perennials, native plant varieties, vegetable gardens, micro greens, garden rooms and winding pathways. All proceeds benefit the Newark Arts Alliance. Tickets are $25 each, $20 for NAA Members, $10 for ages 12-20, ages 11 and under are free. Tour brochure with map is emailed to all guests the night before the tour. Hard copies of the brochure and day of tour tickets are available on the day of the tour at the Newark Arts Alliance which will be open 10:00am-4:00pm on June 3.
Click HERE for Garden Tour INFO and TICKETS (https://www.newarkartsalliance.org/event/newark-garden-tour/)

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

** Possibilities of Part-Time Ministry: Congregational Experiences

The Possibilities of Part-Time was a virtual gathering earlier this month for congregations exploring part-time ministry, with special guest G. Jeffrey MacDonald, author of Part-Time Is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clergy. This book explores how churches are rethinking their pastorates and thriving without full-time clergy. Jeff is an independent journalist, and an ordained UCC pastor with an MDiv from Yale Divinity School. You can check out resources about part-time ministry by clicking HERE (https://www.uua.org/leaderlab/pt-congregational-experiences) . Or, view Jeff’s YouTube video about this subject HERE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNYKTT5M3_s) .


Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update

MAY 2023
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 (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=275d7fb2fd45098ad5c3ece2ed4a2824.6028&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)