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The North Unitarian Universalist Congregation Newsletter

January 2011

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This year is not the first year that I have wondered about the oddities of New Year celebrations in our culture.  The turning of the year is so ripe for theological reflection.  This is a natural time to think about the regrets and accomplishments of the past year, and to wonder about what it would take to move into a different future.  And yet mainstream American Christian culture gives us no religious holiday this time of year, unlike most other religious and cultural traditions.  I don’t want to sound too complaining.  I like my bubbly champagne, and I even understand the point of having at least one night a year devoted to sparkly clothes.  And why not have another holiday about food a week after the last one?  But still, sometimes I long for something more.   Of course we do gesture towards making resolutions this time of year, but even these often make the classic anti-religious mistake of assuming that we are self-derived, and that we just need to derive even more from ourselves for a successful future. 


So this year as the ball drops (what a custom that is!) I am going to contemplate your incredible New Year’s gift to the hopes we hold in common.  At the beginning of December, the Board and I explained to the congregation that we thought that the budget really needed more pledge income to do what we felt it should do.  You came through with such faithfulness and generosity.  If I were in charge of celebrations, this would be exactly the theme I would select for moving through this dark cold winter and into a new year—the reminder that we are not alone.


Happy New Year!


To Life!

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Youth “Seeker” News


The Youth are busy learning about topics related to developing a personal theology through studying the UU curriculum "A Place of Wholeness."  Students have looked at the idea of a spiritual journey and how working together can foster growth, what is faith and its use, our roots and wings, the theology of love and many others.  All of this information is being collected in a journal so that students may use it in writing their Coming of Age credo.


In January the students will start the Coming of Age Program (COA) during the Sunday morning hour. This Unitarian Universalist program results in the kids writing their own values and beliefs statement or personal credo.  We have an impressive number of students who have committed to attending every possible Sunday.  (This is BIG, given the age and the desire for sleep in the morning!)  Further, it takes guts to face yourself, and formulating a comprehensive belief statement will not be easy.  


On Sunday, January 9, a COA Parent Orientation will be held at Nielsen House from noon to 1:30pm.  Then on Sunday, January 16, our COA Mentors will attend their Orientation from noon to 1:30pm.  Finally, the Coming of Age participants will attend an overnight retreat at NUUC beginning Friday evening, January 21 (concluding on Saturday morning the 22nd).  If you have any questions about the COA program, please contact Rev. Susan Ritchie at .


We applaud them all for their commitment.  Yay!! 



Melinda Rosenberg

For the Youth Teaching Team


“Northern Light” Newsletter


The “Northern Light” is a monthly newsletter produced by North Unitarian Universalist Congregation and is distributed approximately the 1st of each month.


Submissions:  The deadline for submissions is generally the week following the monthly Board of Trustees meeting.  The submission deadline for the January 2011 issue will be Wednesday, January 19.  If possible, submissions should be sent as a Word-compatible document attached to an e-mail to Jeri Dill at  Pasting the article into the body of the e-mail is also suggested in case of incompatibility of software.


Delivery matters:  Delivery by electronic mail (e-mail) is our preferred method in order to save paper and postage; however, paper mailed copies are available upon request.  If your postal mail or e-mail address changes or you wish to be added to or removed from either mailing list, please advise Jeri Dill in the office at or by calling her at 740-657-8081, ext. 1


Worship Schedule


January 2        Commissioned Lay Leader Teri Cornell leads a New Year’s service.


January 9        Coming of Age for Adults.  Whenever adults hear about the components of the Youth Coming of Age program, they invariably say “I wish I could do that!”  Today’s service explores what intentional spiritual maturity involves at any age: community, intentionality, and informed theology.  Future services “UU View of X” will continue to address that last part.


January 16      UU Views on God.  While Unitarian Universalists are not required to profess one particular understanding of God, one approach is mandatory: a suspicion about the human ability to capture absolute truth.


January 23      Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, NUUC member and District Executive for the Ohio Meadville District of the Unitarian Universalist Association, offers the service today.


January 30      Tick Tock, Tick Tock: Our Disordered Relationship to Time.  One of the least obvious, but spiritually most important, consequences of our religious beliefs is the meaning they give to time.  Is time your friend or foe?



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Children’s Religious Education


Our formal age-appropriate RE classes are currently meeting weekly unless services are noted otherwise as “intergenerational,” with classes running concurrently to the 10:30am worship service.  (There is no Children’s RE on January 2, 2011).


Class formats are the same as last year—“Chalice Children” is for 3-5 year olds and meets in the back of Fellowship Hall.  The “Explorers” (ages 6-11) and Youth “Seekers” (ages 12+) meet in Nielsen House, our religious education “house” located across the driveway from the church building.  (The age groups are a guide; you are welcome to place your children to accommodate any special needs or circumstances.)


The complete and updated 2010-11 Religious Education Prospectus of class offerings may be viewed by visiting us at, click on “Worship and RE,” then on “Children’s Religious Education Program.”


If you would like to learn more about teaching or assisting with one of our classes for the Winter/Spring 2011 session, please contact Rev. Ritchie at 740-657-8081, ext. 2 or .



Nursery Observes Fall Hours


The NUUC nursery is staffed weekly to serve younger-than-toddler age children.  Unless otherwise noted, nursery hours are 8:45am until 11:45am.  Special notes for January:

--  Coverage will be amended to 10:15am – 11:45am on January 2 and January 9 while the choir takes a hiatus for the holidays; starting coverage will revert to 8:45am on January 16.






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Also in this issue

Page 2   Events & Activities.  Find out what's happening this Month!


Page 3  News from the Board and Committees.


Page 4   A Call to Action!  See how you can support your congregation and your world!