Updated: Saturday, December 4 —


COVID Protocols & Guidelines
Mask Reminder
Contact Tracing


Upcoming Worship Services

Past services you wish to re-watch, are available HERE.

December 5 - The Joy Service!
What is Joy? How do we know it? How do we show it? On this first Sunday of Advent, and in preparation for Hanukkah and the other December Holy Days, we'll dive into exploring Joy with a fun-filled and zany worship experience. You won't want to miss it! We have plenty of space in our sanctuary, and we're looking forward to it!

December 12 - The Earth Based Roots of Christmas and Winter Holidays
We will give a brief history of the core ideas of many of the celebrated holidays that take place during the winter season and what ties them together, and explore the deeper, more universal meaning they have for all of us. It is time for us to reclaim every source of religion for the benefit of humanity and break down the movements throughout the world to patent or franchise them for different small groups and sects. Religion is for all of us. Rev. Dr. Omprakash John G and Rita F co-lead. This is also New Member Sunday!

Kwanzaa and Yule/Solstice Service Leaders Needed
We are looking for worship leaders of the Kwanzaa and solstice services in December. The social service will take place in the evening, and we would love layperson support. Kwanzaa will happen on December 26, at our usual Sunday morning time. Both the services will be open to members of First U downtown and the Unitarian Society of Germantown. Please contact McKinley if you're interested in helping with the services.

Again, RSVP by 3:00pm Friday to the office
by email or phone 215-247-2561 for Sunday, in-person.

NOTE: All services will continue to use our normal
Zoom link for Sunday worship.

UUs of Mt. A,
We've made it to December, y'all! This month's theme is "Opening to Joy", and it's clear that our wider society is beginning the inexorable march towards Christmas, full of capitalism and More, More, More. More toys, more food, more gifts, more commercials, more JOY JOY JOY.

But if you're like me, you may be finding Joy hard to come by these days. I'm holding space for all the feelings this week and this month. I'm not just jumping headlong into the holidays that depict light banishing the darkness of fear and disunity. I'm not taking for granted that Joy is just something that happens. I think Joy is different than that, and I'd like for us to embrace that on Sunday and going through this month.

So whatever Joy or lack thereof you're feeling this week, we'll start our December Holy days this week with the story of Hanukkah, a New Member Ceremony, and a little something we call "The Joy Service". All you need to do is show up in person or online, and bring your feelings and commitments to the table.

We're going to do some things to spark Joy this month, and we'll get started this weekend.

Here are some things we're doing to make more Joy in the world:
  • Donations of mittens, gloves, hats and scarves for the Mitten Tree
  • Donations for Welcome Packages for Afghan Refugees in Philly
    • Pick something from this Amazon Wishlist:
    • Provide gift cards (ie: grocery stores, Target, WalMart) to help refugees already in Philadelphia make ends meet on a limited income.
    • Donations of used CLOTHING & SHOES (All items must be clean and in good condition- no stains, rips, or holes)
See below for more details, but we will accept donations through Christmas Eve - however, everyone is invited to make Welcome packages, holiday decorations, and to write letters to Refugee families on Sunday December 12th, after service. This will be an Intergenerational Activity, and we welcome RE families, kids, and other church folks to come and be together. We'll collect all these items through Christmas Eve. Thank you for your support!

Love, Rev. McKinley

More Details on Clothing/Mitten Drive for Mitten Tree
and Afghan Families in Philly

Linking to the Worship Service

Reminder that there are two ways to watch worship:

Click the blue "Live Streaming" arrow on the homepage of this website: www.uurestoration.us

The Zoom link that will be opened after the service has been changed because security protocols on their end. Look at the email from Desi for the new link and the new password.

Need help with Zoom?
Here's an old tutorial video: https://youtu.be/QKgQHtc7REc

Here's helpful tips:
Here's more helpful info: https://zoom.us/resources
Need more: Email McKinley.

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Worship Month at a Glance

Sunday, December 12 —

Justice Council Meeting

Our next Justice Council meeting will be on Sunday, December 12, starting at 1:30pm. We will be talking about the upcoming N'COBRA workshop series on Reparations starting January 30, deciding the Change for Change recipient for January, as well as discussing possible actions we could take related to gun violence in the city, future CommUUnity "Potlucks", upcoming book discussions and other issues related to racial and social justice, with reports about campaigns of POWER and UUJusticePA. Please join us!

If you have any other questions, contact Bruce!

Tuesday, December 14, at 2pm —

Sacred Text Study Returns

Sacred Texts group resumes this fall with a 3-part conversation about Zoroastrianism on Dec. 14 at 2pm.
Jim W will be our guide. He writes:
I'm looking forward to being something of a guide and facilitator for the exploration of Zoroastrianism and its sacred texts. I say "something of a guide" because I make no pretense of being an expert on that ancient religion, but I do have some familiarity and I'll do my best to facilitate your exploration.
We will assemble on ZOOM at 2pm on 12/14. If you would like to participate, please let me know and I will send you the ZOOM link information and a copy of a sermon Jim delivered as an introduction for us all.

Fern C - email, call or text at (215) 970-4746.

Sunday, January 9 at 3:30pm —

Book Discussion: Valarie Kaur's
See No Stranger, Part III

We will be discussing the book See No Stranger: A Manifesto of Revolutionary Love, by Valarie Kaur (One World, 2020) on Sunday, January 9, at 3:30pm. The book is about revolutionary love - for others, even those we have the most negative feelings for, and for ourselves, consistent with our 1st Principle of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We will discuss Part III, the last 3 chapters (chapters 7-9). HERE is a copy of the Reader's Guide that goes with the book. The Zoom link is in the weekly eNewsletter.

If you have any other questions, or would like to see supplementary resources related to the book, contact Fern, Mary L, or Sharon F! If you have any other questions, contact Bruce!

Beginning January 30 —

N'COBRA Reparations Workshop Series: Every Other Sunday, starting January 30, 1-3pm, in person and via Zoom

N'COBRA (The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, which Wayne B and Cynthia B are members of) is offering to us at UUs of Mt Airy a series of 6 workshops on Reparations and cultural competence, which will start on Sunday, January 30, and continue every other Sunday, from 1-3pm. They will happen in person, in the Sanctuary, but will also be accessible via Zoom in a hybrid format. Anyone interested is invited to come, preferably if you can commit to coming to all of the sessions if possible. Please spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you there! Mark your calendar!
N'COBRA Resources to Prepare for Training Workshops Starting in January

After his sermon on October 17 about Reparations, Minister Ari Merretazon was asked about books and other resources those of us who would like to might look into in preparation for the training workshops that will be starting in January. At the time, he mentioned the 1619 Project, which can be accessed at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html. He also sent a syllabus to a course he teaches at Temple, with reading resources, which you can access by clicking on THIS LINK. He also sent a second resource list, which you can access by clicking HERE.

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Final Name, Tagline, Mission, and Vision!

We have finalized our new name, Tagline, Mission, and Vision! The Board approved the last two items, the Mission and Vision, at its meeting Sunday. CLICK HERE to see the final wording of each of them. Thanks to the Name Change Committee for all of its hard work, to Harald G for some helpful suggestions that went into the final version of the Vision, and to all of us for taking the time to gradually clarify who we are and discern who we want to be! Congratulations to all of us - we did a lot of good, hard work! We now have a foundation for moving forward, and can use this base as we discuss the Widening the Circle workshops and ideas for our future at our Town Hall Meeting on November 28 after the worship service.

What's the Deal with the Name of this Place?

On February 28, 2021, the congregation voted to change its name from the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration to Unitarian Universalists of Mt. Airy. This was the culmination of a four-and-a-half-year process that began in 2017, included two congregational surveys (that yielded over 40 suggested names and many comments); many Town Hall Meetings/Listening Sessions/Congregational Meetings — including one exclusively for People of Color; conversations in worship services; and informal conversations with individual congregants as requested, and multiple written reports and updates to the congregation.

Why did we change the official name? The overriding goal that informed the process was to see if we could identify a name that would help us "build a bigger tent" by communicating something meaningful to the outside community about who we are and what we stand for, without the baggage of explicitly Christian language like "church." For some, "church" has been a place of welcome and community, of deep meaning and solace. For many others, however, Christianity has been abusive and harmful, full of pain and exclusion. We have roots in the Protestant Christian Tradition, but our deepest theological commitment is not about one idea of the Holy - it's about Love and Inclusion, no matter who you are or whom you love, atheist, agnostic, or other. A name that would be perceived as an "invitation" to newcomers of diverse backgrounds, without explicitly Christian language that might act as an unnecessary deterrent for those with wounds from that religious tradition, was not only a good idea, but a statement of our faith commitments. In 2017, when a sermon was delivered in a worship service that raised the question: how do we want to be known? As part of that worship service, congregants were given an index card and asked to write down the first three words that came to their mind when they thought of our congregation and what it means to them. This word cloud was generated from the responses, and we offer it as a graphic representation of UUs of Mt. Airy, this diverse spiritual community open to all and committed to justice. We'd love to host you on your spiritual journey, no matter whether or not you pray, what tradition you identify with, or how well you sing. Welcome! #UUmtairy

Staffing Changes

As many of us know, this next year will bring a few more big changes to our congregational family. More than just navigating the pandemic and working to continue to provide ministry and care to all members and friends of this church, our staff have been absolute rockstars the past two years. We are so grateful for their hard work, their creativity, their commitment, and their love. Some of our staff are looking forward to their next adventures in life, and will be leaving us in the next year. We're sad to say goodbye, and we are so filled with gratitude for their service that it's hard to believe there could be an "after" once they've moved on! Change is the one constant, and we are called to celebrate the service and care of our wonderful staff here at UU Mt. Airy.

First off, the wonderful Joanna Smith will be looking to wind down her time as our RE coordinator over the next six months or so. Joanna has been flexible and ingenious in leading pandemic RE classes, even increasing the kinds of engagement our kids could connect to. As she and Emlen get ready to move on, they'll help us find the next iteration of what RE Programming looks like. We can't say enough about her work ethic and unconditional love for our kids and families. We get to continue being blessed by her for a while yet, so be thinking of ways to celebrate her! We're hoping to hire a new coordinator to start in Fall 2022.

And then we have Jane Hulting. What can you say about more than 35 years worth of ministry to this congregation? Restoration wouldn't be "us" without Jane.

As she gets ready to find the next phase of her Music Ministry, we hope you'll find time to congratulate Jane on a wonderful career at this little house of worship, leading us year after year in diverse and powerful experiences that create the transcendent encounter with Wonder and Mystery. We can never replace her, but we will try to find an interim Music Director as we chart our next course of religious journeying. The Board and Minister want to impress upon everyone that this transition will feel hard. It will be sad. It will be full of grief. These are all good things, because they mean that there's been an incalculable amount of Love given and received from Jane's time with Restoration and now with UU Mt Airy. Words will never be enough to express how much she's meant to us, how much she's given to us, and how much she'll be missed. So we grieve, we mourn, and we celebrate Jane Hulting's music ministry here in Mt. Airy. What a gem! Jane's final Sunday with us will be Music Sunday December 19th. She'll be around through the Dec. holidays, and will continue to be around on the periphery, but she's earned some time off!

The search committees and the Board will be working to provide updates on new hires for this January for interim Music Director and for the Fall for an RE Coordinator. Until then, please join us in saying more than "thank you" to these two for their generous spirits, full hearts, and beautiful minds. We have been so blessed by them and we know they will go on to be a blessing to others. What a joy to be a part of this work together. Thank you, Joanna and Jane! We'll miss you!

Follow-Up to the Widening the Circle Conversations Earlier This Year

In response to evidence of a pattern of discriminatory hiring practices by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2017, the UUA president resigned, and the Board tasked three co-presidents, UU leaders of color, to form the UUA Commission on Institutional Change. Members of the Commission analyzed structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and developed recommendations "to advance long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism." In June 2020, the Commission published their report, Widening the Circle of Concern, which included a series of twelve workshops to enable UU groups to implement these recommendations.

These workshops were conducted via Zoom by the UUs of Mt Airy 8th Principle Team to reflect on ourselves, our religious community, and our community relationships for the purpose of identifying and challenging barriers toward UUs of Mt Airy's vision of Beloved Community, rebuilding personally and collectively to embody our beliefs and values, and developing action plans to achieve attainable objectives. Cathy M and the 8th Principle Team put together a summary of the possible action items we at UUs of Mt. Airy might want to consider coming out of these workshops. Please read this REPORT to see them, and start thinking about which ones you think are most important. Please send questions, comments, and concerns to Cathy M, or phone 267-972-1121. We expect that our congregation will talk about this report and the workshops, at the Town Hall Meeting on November 28 after the worship service, and help to decide how we move forward with the recommendations.

From Our Moderators

Parental Leave is a hybrid thing for us at UUsMA. It will not be a sequence of weeks that Rev. Sims will be at home with his baby/family without doing work for the congregation and then he returns to us as he was a year or more ago. To read the entire article...

Looking for Zoom Coffee Hour Facilitators!

Are you comfortable using Zoom? Would you be willing to help facilitate online Coffee Hour, including guiding conversations in a breakout room? If so, we need your help if we want to have space in Coffee Hour for sermon discussion, deep check in, or other subject matter! Please reach out to McKinley, Fern, or Bruce if you're interested.

Adopt a PIHN Family for the Holidays

Our affiliation with PIHN (The Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Program) is one of Restoration's most enduring social action initiatives. PIHN provides support for families in crisis. In addition to providing safe temporary housing for homeless families, PIHN continues to assist families after they have secured permanent housing. That support includes education, training, and social support. The end of year holidays provide an opportunity for us, as PIHN supporters, to grant wishes to children from the families in PIHN's network.

Here's how it works: Children (18 and under) are asked to write down items they'd like to receive on a wish list. PIHN distributes the lists to people who would have volunteered to shop for gifts (suggested amount is $25 per child). You may also choose to provide a $25.00 gift certificate for the parents, but that's not expected. Many of us have put smiles on children's faces in years past and warmed our own hearts in doing so.

If you're interested and able to help, please let us know and we'll ensure you're added to the list of participants.

Steve W & Darlene S
Restoration's PIHN Liaisons


Vivian D has made many quilts over the years. She is now hoping to share her quilting fabrics. The materials are cotton and vary in sizes and patterns. Please phone her if you are interested!

See What's Happening —

Renovations are Finished!

B&G is very happy to report that the renovations to the first-floor bathroom and the kitchenette in the Hale Building are finished!! Everything is functional, clean and attractive.

B&G also contracted to repair the walls of the front steps and replaced four sidewalk sections that were a tripping hazard. Not pictured, they are also repairing water damage behind the wall of the minister's office. Other improvements have been the upgrading of the sanctuary chandeliers to LEDs, improving the air filtration systems in the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, and continuing to maintain the playground and garth.

Calling All Prospective Worship Associates!

Are you interested in helping lead worship? Want to read a poem or book excerpt every once in a while? Want to help plan music? Join the team! Commitment is a once a month meeting and helping with worship when you can! We'll have a worship team retreat towards the end of August/beginning of September to plan this year. Contact McKinley for more info!

Folk Factory News

Folk Factory is taking a sabbatical with Bruce & Linda PJ, through December.
We will start back up in January!

Can Sunday Book Sales Return?

BOOK LOVERS: As we look forward to having at least some people present for Sunday services, we want to know if anyone is interested in organizing "SUNDAY BOOK TABLE" offerings for coffee hour.

An actual book sale for the community is a very long term goal but having SUNDAY BOOK TABLE offerings may be a start...

Louise S

Ministerial Discretionary Fund

Any one who would like to donate to the emergency fund that goes towards our most vulnerable members can do so by sending in a check earmarked for "Min. Disc. Fund" or contacting McKinley directly to donate electronically. We have helped ease the strain of Covid-19 for some of our most directly impacted folks. Your donations go a long way, and offerings are always greatly appreciated.

Looking for the Latest Congregational Directory?

... directions to a friend's home, or your latest contribution statement?

Find all this by clicking the MEMBER PORTAL button at the right, or on the Home page of this site. You can edit your own information from the ICON Home page or change your password on the Settings page.

If you attach a photo to an email and send it to either the Office or the Webmaster, we will be happy to add it to your profile.

Forgot your username or password?
Email the Office and request a new one.

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Every Thursday, 6 pm —

Join Us at Our Weekly Black Lives Matter Vigil every Thursday

Please join us to show our concerns about racism and white supremacy every Thursday. We line Stenton Avenue with our signs (and get tons of supportive honks) from 6-6:30pm, then join to meditate, light candles, and share from 6:30-7 pm; outside if weather permits. Bring a lawn chair and candles. Please join us, and encourage your friends, too!

Now that Philadelphia is officially "Yellow," we are able to have up to 25 vigil keepers in attendance. Since we are still not going inside the buildings you need to come prepared for that (no bathrooms)! We can fit about 8 folks under the portico in chairs or stools brought from home. So when we have

more than 8, some folks will need to sit out on the lawn, keeping the minimum of 6 feet distance, for the quieter, more prayerful portion of our hour together.

Bruce will be available with his laptop connected to ZOOM for folks at home who wish to connect with us at 6:30pm and we are still experimenting with how to get the speakers' voices amplified so everyone present can hear as well.

Dress for the weather as we hold the vigil rain or shine. So remember, wear your face mask, bring something to sit on and a sign. Fern brings a few back and forth for those who wish to borrow one.

A List of Ways to Connect and Exercise Spirit

Sunday Worship Services, 11am
Livestream from the Homepage (www.uurestoration.us)
or Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/UURestoration/)
Zoom link to see faces and add joys and sorrows. Use the link emailed to you from the office.

Thursday BLM Vigil: 6pm-7pm
Working on having a digital component for the candlelight half of the gathering

Thursday Choir, 7:15pm, via Zoom
Join to sing and hear music through the magic of technology. Contact Jane Hu. for more details.

Pastoral Care Check-ins
Need to talk about anything? Contact McKinley if you'd like to talk! Phone or zoom your choice!

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Purchasing Online?
Shop Using iGive.com

Calling all online shoppers! Give to Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) through iGive.com! You can make financial donations to PIHN without spending an extra penny. Do your holiday online shopping through iGive.com. It's as easy as 1-2-3...
  1. Visit this link: http://www.igive.com/Qx51lcq. It will take you to the iGive homepage with Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network selected as your cause. Here, you can register to be a PIHN supporter (it's easy and free).
  2. After you sign up, you'll get an email telling you to install the iGive button with instructions on how to do so. You can download this onto any computer or phone you use to shop online. The button will show up on the top of your internet browser window.
  3. Press the iGive button, and browse 1,300+ stores that participate and select one. You'll see what percentage of your purchase will go to PIHN. Your purchase/donation will automatically be registered with iGive. You'll receive an email confirmation after you visit your first store, just to make sure the donation tracking system is working.
Go for it. And thanks!

Another Way to Stay In Touch

If you use Facebook, please join the congregation's group page. You can learn more about what's going on in our community and you can post your own thoughts, poems, prayers... https://www.facebook.com/groups/39131276017/

Work Request Forms

If you are requesting work to be done, please complete the appropriate colored work request form located on the office door. Once your form is completed, place it in the bin labeled Administrative Assistant also hanging on the office door.

For those who do not frequently visit in person, you can send your request via email to the Administrative Office.

Pink - Request for Administrative Assistant
Yellow - Request for voucher check
Blue - Request for the custodian

Please Hang Up Your Coats

Do not leave your coats on the chairs in the Fellowship Hall or the pews in the Library. They take up valuable space that we need for seating during Coffee Hour. Please hang your coats on the rack in the hallway just outside the Fellowship Hall so that everyone can sit comfortably.

Staples Rewards
Us with $$$

Don't forget to give our telephone number (215-247-2561) when you make any personal purchase at a Staples store, by telephone or online. By doing so a credit will be posted to our Staples account for a percentage of the sale. These credits, known as Staples Business Rewards, really add up. We use them to offset the cost of our office supplies.

In addition, the Staples account will receive a Reward of $2.00 if you give the telephone number (215-247-2561) when you turn in your used printer cartridges (any kind or type) at Staples. You can also leave your old cartridges in the Duo Room where they will be picked up and turned in to Staples.

A Super Easy Way for
You to Help our Congregation

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!What if our congregation earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause? Well, now it can!

https://www.goodsearch.org/ is a search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!

GoodShop.com is an online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause - US! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you'll be supporting Restoration.

Be sure to enter the "Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration" as the charity you want to support.

Hale Hall Doors

It is imperative that we remember that both front and back doors to Hale Hall remain locked at all times. This means even during meetings and Sunday services. Please do not let anyone into Hale Hall that you do not personally know is safe at any time. During services, all members, friends and congregants should come in the sanctuary door. Thank you for your cooperation.

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