eNews

June 27, 2024

Join Us for Worship This Sunday!

June 30 at 10 a.m.

Geoffrey Duke, Worship Associate


"Bringing the General Assembly to Burlington"


This Sunday's service - June 30 - is special! A 90-minute worship service coming to us from last week's General Assembly. Let's gather together in person to watch it - and to entice you to come in-person, we will have special food at the back of the sanctuary. In fact, you can think of the whole service, from 10 -11:30 as an extended coffee hour with a wonderful worship service led by multiple UUs from all over the country. We know that you may have plans that need you to leave at 11 (or whenever); please come and know that it will not be a problem if you need to leave early.


Children are always welcome in the Sanctuary, but the nursery, on the lower level, is open if needed.


Join us for worship in person in the Sanctuary, or online. The livestream link and order of service will be shared at bit.ly/FUUSBWorship, or visit our YouTube channel.


Following the service, all are welcome to Coffee Hour outside, weather permitting.


While at the Meeting House, anyone is welcome to wear a mask. In the spirit of caring for each other, please stay home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Thank you.

Love at the Center: New UU Statement of Values Passes at General Assembly

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister


On June 22 (and announced June 23), a significant moment in the history of Unitarian Universalism: the delegates to the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association voted 2025 to 499 to revise Article II of the UUA bylaws. You can read more about it in this UU World online article. 


This has been an important process taking place over the last 4 years. In some corners of our UU universe, there were uneasy discussions and in other corners, there was easeful exploration. (And in some corners, some folks didn’t notice the conversation.) Such a change is not to be taken lightly and it was not. In our UU democratic way, we have worked to chart our collective path forward. 


This change places Love at the Center, surrounded by the newly articulated values of Equity, Generosity, Interdependence, Justice, Pluralism, and Transformation. There is no particular order of these values ~ and that is purposeful, raising up their equal presence among each other.

With time and attention, as we become more familiar with these values, there is no obligation to deny the Principles. Values or Principles, these are only meaningful when we covenant to practice and to live them as much as possible. For a whole host of reasons outside of Unitarian Universalism, this coming year will bring significant challenges ~ and opportunities ~ to live out our principles and values. Let us prepare with both joy and determination.


Let us do what is ours to do: in all that we do, place Love at the Center.

Looking Back to Sunday

Here is a link to the video recording of last week's service.

Summer Childcare for All Ages

Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development


During summer services, childcare providers will be expecting children of all ages who prefer to engage in free play during the worship service. You can sign your children into their care before the service begins or escort them to the childcare site at any point during the service. Please return to sign them out promptly after worship. This week, childcare will be in the Nursery on the lower level.

Summer Administrative Announcement

Töve Johnson, Administrative Assistant


Our Administrative Assistant, Töve Johnson, will be away on break from June 29th- August 13th. Note: during these six weeks, there will be no eNews.


Also, there will be no Order of Service for Sunday services. Click here to see a list of titles & descriptions for FUUSB's Summer Service Season (June 23 - September 1).


Töve will not be responding to emails during this time. Upon her return, any email sent to her mailbox will be deleted without being viewed. If you have any questions, or need to get in touch with someone in the office, please reach out to Director Operations & Finance, Christina Fulton xina@uusociety.org.

A Powerful, Poignant Interfaith Event


After the Sunday service, we were honored to host an interfaith faith, co-sponsored by multiple local religious organizations. We had somewhere near 100 in attendance from Ohavi Zedek, First Congregational Church in Burlington, St. Paul's Cathedral, Ruah haMaquom, Vermont Interfaith Action, First Congregational Church in Charlotte, and general community members.


After eating pita and hummus, we gathered in the sanctuary, where there wa a live Zoom presentation by two members, Laila and Ofer, of the Parents Circle/Family Forum, made up of both Palestinians and Israelis who have lost a loved one in the Conflict and who choose peaceful, engaged co-existence instead of vengeance. It’s been in existence since the mid 1990s. After Ofer and Laila told their story, there was a chance for questions, and then a time for small group processing.


One participant called it “vital.” Another called it “transformative” for them. We were asked by the presenters to bring back to our families, friends, and congregations what we learned from their stories of loss and commitment to peace. It is the hope of the organizers that this is just the beginning of more engagement in peace efforts when it comes to Palestine/Israel.

Felicidades! & Congratulations!

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister


There was GREAT JOY on Saturday morning when four of our newer congregants got married in the sanctuary. Felicidades! and Congratulations! to Analy & Erick! and to Cecilia & Byron! The double wedding was attended by many in the congregation who helped to make the ceremony even more abundant with love (music and flowers and bubbles) including an official interpreter. Rev. Karen officiated. 


With a world on fire, moments of connection and joy like this remind us why we place love at the center and why the presence of this congregation and this community is meaningful in ways we cannot anticipate.

Announcing New Director of Music-

 Liam Hart!

The Search Team is pleased to share that we have our next Director of Music: Liam Hart. Announced at last Sunday's worship service, these words were shared:


Our new Director of Music is Liam Hart. Liam brims with excitement at the chance to help our congregation connect both with music and with making music. Liam brings multi-faceted experience: teaching Irish music through singing and playing. Experience as a cantor in two Catholic churches in New Jersey. Leading sessions for singing music in Irish pubs. Liam plays multiple instruments, including the guitar and flute/tin whistle. We believe that Liam understands making music as ministry, which means that he will make music with a focus on meaning-making, and community building. He brings with him an understanding and commitment to anti-oppression approaches to music, which aligns well with UU values.


Here is a bio from Liam, who will start in early August and be present at our Sunday service on August 11, 2024.


Liam Hart was born and raised in northwest New Jersey, just off the Appalachian Trail. He was blessed with a musical upbringing, with folk songs from his mother, country music from his father, and jazz standards from his grandmother. Liam studied voice with Dr. Everett McCorvey at the University of Kentucky and found a passion for church music under his tutelage. He has performed in many church settings, including 5 years at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ. Liam is also an Irish language teacher and an award-winning Irish traditional musician. After thirty years as a professional musician and educator, Liam's great passion in life is helping people find joy in making music together. He lives in Jericho with his wife and two teenage children.

Seeking UU Gardeners

Nancy Knox, Member


Seeking all interested in helping maintain the plantings in the First UU Memorial Garden and around our campus.


We have lovely plants and they sometimes need some TLC, so if you can spare a couple of hours once or twice a month this summer, we'd love to have you join our team. No heavy lifting...we'll do some weeding, pruning, and generally paying attention to what we have growing, and keep things looking good and healthy.


My goal is to meet for a couple of hours on a weekday morning every couple of weeks, probably Wednesday or Thursday. If you have your own preferred tools, bring them; we have extra. I can also meet at other days/times. Please email/call/text me if you're interested, or if you have any questions. - Nancy Knox at ospreyvt@gmail.com or 802-373-4281.


We're Hiring!

Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development


FUUSB is currently hiring a Childcare Coordinator -

Looking for someone who loves young children, having fun, and who is able to supervise other childcare providers. The Childcare Coordinator, works 5 -7 hours/week, and regular Sunday morning availability is needed. Must have experience working with infants and toddlers.   


This position pays well over minimum wage. If you are interested, please email Erika at erika@uusociety.org to learn more about this great opportunity!

SIGN UP NOW FOR OWL!

Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development


Honest, accurate information about sexuaity changes lives, and sometimes saves them!

Our OWL classes are open both to children from this congregation and the wider community, so if you know a child who would benefit but isn't part of FUUSB, please share this information.


We plan to offer two age-levels of the Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive human sexuality education curricula in the coming program year, older elementary and middle school. Note: the elementary grade levels have changed since our earlier listings, now for 5th and 6th grades.

Find out more and register your interest at these links:

Summer Services at FUUSB

Click here or the image below for details & descriptions for Summer Services at FUUSB.

Summer at FUUSB: While Rev. Karen's Gone, What if I Have a Pastoral Emergency?

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister


Rev. Karen will be on vacation and study leave from June 24 - August 1. This is a time she will use both to rest and have fun (vacation) and a time she will be able to explore & learn without the distractions that come from day-to-day work life (study leave). If a congregant experiences a pastoral emergency while she is away, reach out to Christina Fulton, our Director of Operations & Finance - you can email her at xina@uusociety.org or leave a voice message at 802-862-5630, x22. She'll help figure out the next steps, including whether it makes sense for her to reach out to Rev. Karen.

Christina Away

Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance


Christina will be away from the office until July 1st. She will be attending AUUA Professional Days, an AUUA Board Retreat in Chicago, General Assembly in her living room, and then will be taking a week of vacation. She will be checking her email regularly during this time, but will be holding off on responding to anything but urgent issues.  

Recharge Your Spirit at Silver Bay

Erika Reif, Director of Lifespan Faith Development


Planning your 2024 activities and travels? Be sure to include UU Weekend at Silver Bay October 11-13, 2024 (with an option of an extended stay until 10/14/24) in your schedule! 


This annual retreat is the perfect way to say goodbye to the summer and enjoy the beauty of a fall weekend. Whether from an armchair discussing topics of interest, standing on the top of a mountain, or drifting in a kayak, this weekend will fill your mind and recharge your spirit before the onset of another winter. 


Children under 6 are free and discounts for older children and youth.  And remember – your room, all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, programs, activities and entertainment are included in the price.


Many individuals and families from First UU have signed up already! If you register, please also add your name to this spreadsheet, so we can coordinate! Some financial assistance is available for anyone who can't afford the cost; contact erika@uusociety.org

Additional information about Silver Bay and UU weekend, including the registration form, a slide show, and the schedule of events at this link.

Congregations and IRS Guidelines on Advocacy, Lobbying, and Elections

Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance


As a religious organization, First UU Society of Burlington is required to follow certain IRS regulations in order to maintain its Non-Profit Status. It is truly important that we are all aware of what we are allowed to do and what we are not allowed to do. The UUA has published a great little guide called, "The Real Rules," that goes into great detail on this topic. But let's face it, it isn't exactly a page turner. So what do you really need to know? 


It is pretty simple really: Issues are ok, candidates are not. What I mean by this is that it is ok to advocate for issues. It is not ok for FUUSB to ever show support for or against a candidate. Therefore, we can pass around a petition to support an issue, but we cannot pass around a petition to support a candidate. We can post in our Facebook group about an event about a particular issue, but we cannot post about an event to support a candidate. We could also put a sign up in the yard about an issue that we do not support, but we could not put a sign up for a candidate that we do not support. So, Issues are ok and Candidates are not.  


If you are unclear or have any questions, contact Christina at xina@uusociety.org.

UUA Virtual Hymnal Project -

a way you can participate

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister


The UUA is in the process of creating a virtual hymnal which they will roll out in June, 2025. You have a chance to participate now!  Click this link to participate in the survey (by July 1) seeking your favorite public domain hymns that they will then use in their beta testing phase.

Have a Great Summer!

Stay tuned for the next eNews:

August 15th!


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Upcoming Worship Services

In-Person & Live-Streamed Services



July 7 at 10 am

"The Bible in America"

Jeffrey Trumbower, Ph.D, Guest Speaker

Judy Brook, Worship Associate




July 14 at 10 am

"Say What?!?: Spiritual Importance of Words"

Zr. Alex Kapitan, Guest Speaker

Mary Beth McNulty, Worship Associate





More details at uusociety.org

Care Network:

Sharing Joys, & Sorrows, & Gratitudes Form

Click here to submit a joy, sorrow, or gratitude.

Weekly Events
Visit uusociety.org for more information!

Sundays - 8 am

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Community Room

Sign up to help: signup.com/go/yAbRpfy


Sundays - 11:10 am

Coffee Hour

Outside, weather permitting.


Mondays - 5:15 pm

UU Meditation Group

Susan B. Anthony Room

Questions? Email meditation@uusociety.org



Wednesdays - 5:15 pm

Love & Justice Vigil

In front of the Meeting House


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Word Out
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Contact Us
First UU Society of Burlington
152 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-5630