Weekly News – January 27, 2022

** Sunday Worship Service:
January 30, 2022
10:00 am – Livestream
Join us as Rev. Kent Matthies shares his sermon…
Living amidst a pandemic invites all of us to consider matters of life and death. At memorial services we often hear the refrain,

“…losing our loved one reminds us to make the most of every day we are alive.”

In the present time, people are making many big changes in their lives (see the great resignation of jobs). Whether a person thinks they have decades left to live or only a few short months – the fact that we are all going to die can challenge each and every one of us to adopt the best possible approach to living.

Rev. Kent Matthies has been minister at Unitarian Society of Germantown (PA) since 2002.
Join us for the long-awaited return of the
Mill Creek Choir!
The Choir performs this Sunday, for the first time since the pandemic. Our music director, Rachel Sabella, will lead the choir in an African folk tune and a selection from the UU hymnal. There will also be a piano piece by Robert Schumann.
Connect With Us Virtually
There are several ways to get the Zoom link for livestreaming the service:
* Click the link below (Sunday Livestream) 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 Sunday LIVESTREAM (https://zoom.us/j/97806427419)

** Congregational Life

** Upcoming events, meetings and news to know

** Board of Trustees Meeting Quick Look Report
Wednesday, 19 January, 6:30pm on Zoom*

COVID-19 Statistics and Opening Policy – Due to the Omicron Surge, we will not have live, in-person services thru the 20^th of February. The board will discuss policy at its 16 February meeting with the hope that there is more definitive science at that time.

Finance Update – The board reviewed the report to be given at the midyear review.

Service Auction Planning – Recruiting for the Service Auction Leader will be initiated this coming Sunday.

Innovating Into an Unknown Future – Possible initiatives for our congregational goal were discussed.

Midyear Review – On 23 January, during the usual breakout time, we will have brief presentations on COVID, Finances, and “Innovating Into an Unknown Future” followed by a discussion period.

*Editors Note: due to timing issues, this communication was not included in the Jan. 20th email as it was intended.

January 30 – Rev. Kent Matthies, Minister at Unitarian Society of Germantown (PA)
February 6 – Rev. David Hunter (retired)
February 13 – Heather Petit
February 20 – Heather Petit

** ILYA Holiday Giving Project a Big Success
The Report is in, and the Independent Living for Young Adults Program (ILYA) wants to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to the numerous members of our UU congregations and other partners who contributed to the success of its Holiday Giving Project this year. This Project supported a record number of 112 young adults who have aged out of foster care and sixteen of their children in New Castle and Kent Counties.

Many thanks to Mill Creek members who contributed $750.00 to the Holiday Giving Project through the Share Our Plate offering in August and September. Overall funds collected purchased $50 Visa gift cards for each youth along with donated calendars, children’s books, knitted items from First UU knitters’ group, personalized greeting cards, blankets and 112 jars of honey contributed by First UU member Doyle Dobbins from his own bees.

Kudos to Project Coordinators Carolyn Gibson and Martha Gessler of First UU for leading this huge effort.

This project is conducted at the time of year for connecting with family and it can be quite lonesome for our youth who feel separated from family when those around them are with their families.

Thank you, Mill Creek, for your generosity!!
–The ILYA Team

** A Word about Pastoral Care During Rev. Greg’s Sabbatical
Dear Fellow Congregants,

In September of 2021, Rev. Greg asked me if I was open to being hired for a temporary role as “Pastor” during his sabbatical. The request was to employ my lifetime of pastoral care to assist congregants in any kind of crisis: physical, emotional or spiritual. I agreed, with the one understanding: that I would not assert any form of religious doctrine or identity during any meeting. My deepest belief is that the only expert on a person’s view of the meaning of life was that person. If they request I meet them were they are spiritually, I am highly experienced with having such a relationship. Rev. Greg smiled and said, “we’ve done a good job bringing you into the UU world!”

The Board, Rev. Greg and I want, therefore, for you to know that if you call Debby at the church office regarding any relevant issue, you will be referred to me. I may hear of something through the church “grapevine” and reach out accordingly. Finally, I want you to know you can call or text me 24/7 at 302-584-2218 or reach out by email at RJBroesler@Gmail.com (mailto:RJBroesler@Gmail.com) .

I am deeply grateful to be trusted as a part of the compassionate arm of Mill Creek, and thank Rev. Greg and the Board publicly.

The Rev. Robert Broesler

** Share Our Plate:
January & February

We regularly donate a portion of our undesignated plate collection to a local charity or non-profit organization.

For the months of January and February we have selected:
YoungMoms in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

The mission of YoungMoms is to inspire and equip young mothers to build thriving futures for themselves and their families. This non-profit organization, serving southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, provides the academic, employment, parenting and relational support pregnant and parenting young mothers need to achieve their life goals and improve their lives and those of their children.

The individuals they serve face huge challenges as they navigate adolescence and parenthood simultaneously, including incomplete education, poverty, language barriers, isolation, and a general lack of options and opportunities. YoungMoms offers a program of individualized, comprehensive, and long-term support to these young women, featuring:
* Highly specialized case management
* One-to-one mentoring
* Educational & employment assistance
* Parenting education & development
* Monthly club meetings, life skills training, and enrichment workshops in Kennett Square and Oxford

Participants remain in the program between two and four years, allowing the YoungMoms program to assist them in overcoming obstacles which might normally derail their progress in achieving goals. This long-term investment makes YoungMoms unique and life changing.
For more information about this organization, click on the link below:
LEARN MORE about YoungMoms (https://youngmomschestercounty.org/)
Support this organization with your online donation today!
DONATE to Share Our Plate (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/-/give/now)
**Be sure to select ‘Share Our Plate’ as the giving fund**

** Virtual Racial Justice Workshop
Saturday, January 29th
12:30 – 3:00 pm
First Unitarian Portland (OR) is inviting everyone to join them for Seminary for a Day: Doing the Inner Work of Racial Justice with Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, Senior Minister of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, MD.

This is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how racism has shaped our UU faith and our congregations; how structural racism still operates today, often unnoticed; and what is involved in cultivating Beloved Community and working against racism and oppression in all its forms. Offered online via Zoom.
LEARN MORE & REGISTER (https://www.firstunitarianportland.org/events/seminaryforaday22/)
MEET REV. JANAMANCHI (https://www.cedarlane.org/people/3)
QUESTIONS? Ask them HERE (mailto:kheintze@firstunitarianportland.org?subject=Doing%20the%20Inner%20Work%20of%20Racial%20Justice)

** Spiritual Retreat (In-person or Online)
at First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
Spiritual Retreat: Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Practices
First Unitarian Church of Wilmington
Saturday, January 29, 2022
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Begin the New Year by nourishing your Spirit. Join Rev. Larry Peers and Rev. Rob Hardies for a day-long retreat grounded in our own Unitarian Universalist spiritual tradition. In this retreat we will learn and practice the spiritual disciplines of our UU ancestors so that they might equip and sustain us in engaging our beautiful and broken world. Along the way, we will gain a better understanding of the spiritual and theological gifts of our tradition.

Each retreat participant will receive a set of handouts describing each spiritual practice, so that they can continue practicing at home. There will also be an option to form a small group that will continue practicing together.

Please bring or have handy a journal (or something to write with and on) as well as a brown bag lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided for those attending in the building.

The retreat fee is $25 for members of First Unitarian; $35 for all others. Scholarships are available. You must pre-register by January 24.
LEARN MORE here (https://firstuuwilm.org/wordcms/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/finale-Lifestream-Jan-29-Spiritual-Practices-Retreat-v3.pdf)
REGISTER here (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf2DFOwl8aTkmKICVQBGTSLkQw7tKTt2N8HBkmM-7oE0mwNuw/viewform)

** Upcoming Book Group Selections
Everyone is welcome to join the Book Group for the following discussions:

Glass Hotel
by Emily St. John Mandel
Tuesday, March 1st at 7 pm

Radium Girls
by Kate Moore
Tuesday, May 3rd at 7 pm
Zoom links remain the same for each discussion and can be found on the church calendar (https://www.uusmc.org/news/calendar/) . Contact the church office with any questions.


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.

There are several opportunities to join a circle!
Click the link below to contact Helen Springer for more information, including dates & times of available circles,
or call 484-732-8641; or call the church office, 302-369-2712.
Click here for more information about Chalice Circles (mailto:helen_springer@msn.com?subject=chalice%20circles)

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!

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 using your credit card or bank account (checking, savings, etc.): 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 during an uncertain time for all of us. 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)

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Mill Creek Staff

Rev. Gregory S. Pelley, Minister
Rev. Greg is away on sabbatical now through June 30.
He will not be available by phone or email throughout the duration of his absence. We offer assurance that all church operations will continue as usual, and have prepared a guide which contains a list of guest speakers, contact information for those in leadership positions, and other information. Use the link below to access the guide.
Sabbatical Guide – view it here (https://www.uusmc.org/wp-content/uploads/A-Guide-to-Rev-Gregs-Sabbatical.pdf)
Debra Damiani, Congregational Administrator
Monday 8 am to 1 pm, Monday-Thursday
administrator@uusmc.org (mailto:administrator@uusmc.org)

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

** Events in Our Local Community

** Newark Parks & Rec’s Winter/Spring Activity Guide Now Available
Who says it’s too early to think about spring?!?? The good folks at Newark Parks & Recreation have compiled their bi-annual guide full of longstanding activities and events. Check it out using the link below.

Did you know…Newark Parks & Rec has 37 parks and open space areas for all to enjoy, which encompasses over 650 acres and 17 miles of trails!
View the Activity Guide HERE (https://newarkde.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15472/2022-Winter-Spring)

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

** UUA Statement:
The Riot Concluded, the Threats to Democracy Grow

On the one year anniversary of the failed attempted coup on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, the UUA issued a statement outlining the continued and growing threats to our democracy and the need for individuals to take action.

Photo: Kyle Mills via Unsplash
As Unitarian Universalists, we hold democracy as a central principle for our faith. This is a time for true accountability and courageous action in pursuit of a more just, equitable, multiracial and pluralistic democracy.

The statement includes actions you can take, and references for suggested reading.
READ the statement in full here (https://www.uua.org/pressroom/press-releases/threats-democracy-grow)


Opportunities for Connection: Central East Region Update

Opportunities for Connection – click here to learn more (https://uua874.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=b096577e264d1ebd6b41041f392eec23.5614&s=8983449a6b0e04757c2c9729fa49f044)