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eNews for Thursday, January 3

The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only
as a spectrum of possibilities.

~ Stephen Hawking

RE Wonder Board

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate wonder last month in our multigenerational exploration of what it means to be a people
of mystery. It was a joy to see our board overflowing and to read all the things that can inspire our wonder. In this new year, if you're ever looking for something to fill your thoughts and feed your imagination, we recommend taking some time to wonder
and to appreciate
life's mysteries.

Worship Matters

Please plan to join us as we gather for worship this Sunday, January 6 to begin our exploration of what it means to be a people of possibility with a message from our minister titled “The Parable of Maybe” – we hope to see you there!

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking. Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dreams…
     ~ Margaret Wheatley

You can read more about our monthly theme as well as explore some supplemental resources here. And if you happen to miss being in worship on any given Sunday, the texts to previous sermon messages (and some of the readings as well) can be found in our website sermon archive.

Upcoming Services

January Theme: What Does It Mean to Be a People of Possibility?
January 13: “The Art of Possibility”
January 20: “The No That Makes Possible Each Yes” - MLK Sunday

About Joys and Sorrows…a message from your minister

There was a time years ago in our fellowship when we had an in-depth congregation-wide conversation about our ritual of “Joys and Sorrows” (J&S) in worship. There were too many instances at the time of some people using the ritual to make announcements (both political and personal) or providing lengthy detailed explanations and/or stories about their joy or sorrow. There was some debate about whether the ritual should be continued as part of our worship service. I argued (as it turns out, successfully) for the retention of the ritual as I believe the opportunity to participate in a symbolic ritual that acknowledges our most universal and connective human experiences is vital to worship.

We launched an education process about the ritual and reworked the narrative text we use to introduce J&S in worship. We expanded the element of the unspoken gesture “of honor and remembrance” that we open the ritual with and added a book on the table for people to inscribe their joy and/or sorrow if they prefer not to speak it aloud themselves or just want the minister to know about it. The phrase “mindfully brief” was added as a reminder of the need to be concise in our sharing – for reasons beyond the number of people who may want to share aloud before the gathered community. The spoken portion of the ritual is not intended for lengthy reflection – it is simply an opportunity to share in brief the joy, sorrow, or deep concern you carry, to speak it aloud and thus lift it up symbolically, if you will, and also to allow the community to know that something is going on that you may want to speak about more at length following worship.

My intent in recounting this history is likely obvious – it’s been too long since we revisited the purpose and process of this sacred ritual and a call for attention is again necessary. We need to consider what is meant by the phrase “mindfully brief” and follow the guidance: be willing to prepare ahead what you need to say, consider what is most essential to be shared, and limit yourself to those essentials. And…if you have difficulty determining what is essential and fear you may go too long in your sharing, please make a notation in the book provided to alert leadership that you need to speak with someone. The book is available before and after worship for your use.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

First Friday Potluck - January 4

Laura McBride is hosting, and the theme is Comfort Foods. The potluck begins at 6:30 p.m. - helping hands are welcome at 6:15 p.m. to assist with set-up preparations. We will also be celebrating the January birthdays of Janis Shinn, Elizabeth Dealing, Mel Bailey, Aaron Calhoun, Joe Dumas, Whitley Webster, Stacey Pattison, Doris Hall, Dawn Daniels, Jennifer Davis, and Annette Pratt.

Infant Pantry Collection - Sunday, January 6

Donations for the Infant Pantry are collected on the first Sunday of each month. Most needed items are things for baby care - diapers and pull-ups in sizes 4, 5 or 6, creams, shampoos, lotions, and baby food in jars. To donate money, make the check out to CCN (Community Compassionate Network) with memo “Infant Pantry.” Contact Tom Moffit ​(989-772-1602; with questions.

Young Adult Potluck - January 9

We gather to share a meal and engage in conversation and some game-playing or video watching (or whatever strikes our fancy) on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the UUFCM Social Hall. The fellowship will provide a main dish and beverages, all others may bring a dish to pass. But if you're short on time or energy to bring something, don't worry - please come anyway!

Path to Membership Workshop - January 19

This workshop is designed for those who feel ready (or even somewhat ready) to make the membership commitment to UUFCM. In this interactive session we explore the deeper meanings and expectations of membership and shared ministry; it is a three-hour session (depending on the size of the group – may be a shorter timeframe if a small group). Refreshments and childcare will be provided. Please let us know one week prior to the class if you need childcare. For more info or to register for the workshop contact:
Laura McBride (989.772.5512;, or
Gisela Moffit (989.772.1602;

Important Retreat on Saturday, January 26

On Saturday, January 26, we will have our annual all-congregation retreat.
While always a valuable gathering, this retreat will be extremely important as we will be making decisions about our direction forward in light of Dawn’s departure on January 31. A hot breakfast will be served at 8:30, and the retreat will occur from 9-12. All members and friends are encouraged to attend.

MidAmerica Regional Assembly - Save the Date

The MidAmerica Regional Assembly will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, April 5-7, 2019. The keynote address will be presented by UUA President, Susan Frederick-Gray, and there will be multiple workshops. If you are interested in attending (with support from the Fellowship), contact Norma Bailey at 989-560-3952 or at

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Got News?
The deadline for submissions to
the Order of Service Insert and the UUFCM weekly e-News
is Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
Please send all submissions to
Mindfulness in Parking Requested
Let us be mindful to leave the parking spaces directly across from our Wisconsin entrance open ​for our friends who have mobility issues. Thank you for your consideration.
UUFCM Board of Trustees for 2018-2019
President: Mary Alsager (989.773.2595;
Past-President: Norma Bailey (989.560.3952;
President Elect: Carol Rard (989.561.2969;
Treasurer: Terrie Robbie (989.400.2495;
Co-Treasurer: Jen Prout (989.400.3130;
Secretary: Brigitte Bechtold (989.954.1123;
Trustee: Janis Shinn (989.400.3724;
Trustee: Aaron Jones (989.501.0672;
Trustee: Carolyn Hancock (517.881.6006;


We are a
religious community
guided by love,
transforming our lives
and our world.

Copyright © 2018 Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan, All rights reserved.

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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan · 319 S University Ave · P.O. Box 41 · Mount Pleasant, Mi 48858 · USA

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