UUCM Monthly News

April 2024

We are a spiritual fellowship dedicated to building beloved community

within and beyond our doors.

Minister’s Musings with Rev. Julie Lombard

Interdependence is the state of being dependent upon one another. How you depend on everyone and them on you. The gift of Interdependence is also our worship theme in April.

Victoria Stafford shared that Douglas Steere, a Quaker teacher, says that the ancient question, “Who am I?” inevitably leads to a deeper one, “Whose am I?” – because there is no identity outside of relationship. You can’t be a person by yourself. To ask “Whose am I?” is to extend the question far beyond the self-absorbed self, and wonder, who needs you? To whom are you accountable? Whose life is altered by your choices? With whose life, whose lives, is your own all bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?

In the month ahead, we will welcome another Music Director Candidate – how might they help us to serve Milford? We’ll be celebrating Earth Day – how will we serve the planet?

Maybe you will choose to come to the Sacred Ally Quilt Project lifting up George Floyd’s last words? It will be hosted at UUCM and many area churches are getting in on the action. For one week, April 20-28, UUCM and our partners will host eleven quilts made by quilters and justice seekers in NH. This quilt project was begun by the United Church of Christ. It was a way to lift up the values we revere.

Years later, the quilts still deeply move people. Recently, the show was in Prince’s home, now a gallery. The quilts have plans to go to South Africa upon the request of the Mandela family, but first they will come to our humble spiritual home where Black Lives Matter. Aren’t we a fortunate beloved community.

You might like to consider if a new Music Director here is the only way we can serve this area? What about a Director of Religious Education? Once upon a time, Milford UU was the jewel of NH’s Religious Education programs. Isn’t education for the next generation something Unitarian Universalists champion? We can say, “it is because we cannot afford one,” but what would it take to change that? UUCM’s Sunday School teachers are tired and need help. All kids in our area need to know we care for them.

Is this something we could grow into? The Board is exploring this. A creative approach may fit within our means especially if our giving remains strong. Many learned from the movie, A Field of Dreams - if you build it, they will come. Maybe the young will come once they are served what they need. Time to ask the hard questions that interdependence requires of us. How are we serving other’s needs? Who is underserved?

From the President's Desk  

One thing I’ve always loved about all of us at UUCM is how we are greater than the sum of our parts. We can pull off great things with a little time, attention and intention.

Our potlucks are like the proverbial stone soup. When everyone gives a little bit of this or that, we end up with a veritable feast.

Likewise for our programs, events or activities at UUCM. Take any small group of us and we'll roll up our sleeves, add in a dash of our collective time, talent and treasure, and we will accomplish so much.

Our annual budget is just like that soup as well. It’s the foundation of everything we hope to achieve. Everyone throws in what they're able, so we can make the plans needed to more fully live out our mission… hopefully without also having to pull more than is appropriate from our endowment.

Now that our Stewardship campaign is in full swing, our Finance Team is awaiting your pledge cards so they can more realistically posit what next year could look like.

What do we as a church want to do? Much! And we can!

In part, we’ve taken a look at the open Music Director position and are contemplating the need to add a little more incentive for the applicants. Directorship is a big job - and we should be living our values by compensating fairly.

We’re also looking at reestablishing the role of Director of Religious Education. Whether part-time, quarter time, or something else entirely, the CYC has long been asking for someone to help them run and manage our religious education. It’s in the early stages, and we’re open to any and every possibility. With a tiny bump in what we are each giving, together we make many dreams real.

It’s been a few days, and I’m still basking in the delightful time Amy and I had at the Circle dinner we attended with other Board members and their partners. It was a wonderful blend of food, fellowship, and much, much laughter. (Sign up in Barnum, or contact the Stewardship Team so you don’t miss out if you want to attend one too!) May you all find the same joy, remember who we all are together, ponder what we can accomplish, and pledge to stretch a little bit if you can.

Help us achieve something beyond all of our wildest visions.

April’s Worship Theme - The Gift of Interdependence

 Read more.

April Worship Services

Sunday Services at 10:30 a.m. (in person and on Zoom)

April 7 Interdependence and the Gift of Faith

Rev. Julie Lombard

A child asked their parent, "What do we get at church?" It’s the question seekers often ask. What does our religious community offer children and their parents? What might we offer to the next generation beyond an invitation to join us with the programs that support adults? We believe in the importance of children and their need to be companioned in their religious thinking by parents and wider circles. We’ll explore ways UUCM accompanies children on their spiritual journey. In what ways do we ensure that this kind of companioning occurs here? How can we strengthen this "gift of faith" for kids here? Join us for worship that awaken us to the deeper needs of all people of

every age.

April 14 Creating a Listening Community

Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson

A former UUCM member returns to share her wisdom about Restorative Circles, a UU congregation-tested way to restore relationships, build community, and address conflict. It is a community-based conflict resolution process using reflective listening to create understanding. Join us to hear stories of how Restorative Circles bring community together to discover the interdependence we have with one another. It’s a place to hold space for people to speak, be heard, and understood. This results in a deeper connection and empathy for each other. How might this process help us to be more connected? Join us for a holy conversation that will leave you feeling blessed.

GUEST SPEAKER BIO: Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson's life is focused on creating harmony, peace, and beauty within individuals and communities. Sarah-Elizabeth is a Facilitator of Restorative Circles and former Chair of the Restorative Circles Facilitator Team at the UU Church of Concord, NH. She has led workshops at UUA General Assembly and she leads Restorative Circles Trainings for communities here and abroad.

April 21 An Earth Day Celebration

Rev. Julie Lombard & friends

Earth Day serves as a potent reminder of the interdependence of all living things and the vital part that each individual plays in protecting our planet for coming generations. Join us for this holy appeal to come in support of the shared objective of building a more sustainable, healthy planet. Rev. Julie and the new reorganized Social Justice Ministry will spotlight this annual cry to love and protect our planet and all that lives on it.

April 28 Stitch by Stitch

Rev. Julie Lombard FAMILY SUNDAY

The Sacred Ally Quilt Project is a racial justice response that came after people of faith in NH said enough is enough! Churches from across our state lifted the power of their faith through action. The quilts offer a powerful protest to the wrongful death of George Floyd by stitching his famous last words into them. Our aim in partnering with other area churches and organizations to bring this gallery show here is another way we can spread the good news that Black Lives Matter in this Beloved Community. Join us for worship that inspires us to be the change we want to see in the world.

Be More Engaged with the UUCM Community

Lend a Hand on Sundays:

  • Be a Worship Reader.
  • Greet at the Garden door.
  • Pass the collection basket.
  • Help make coffee and set up.
  • Bring snacks for coffee hour.
  • Help with coffee hour cleanup.

Click to Sign Up To Help.

Thanks to those who helped in March: Holly Hornor, Scott Blanchard, Lisa Rothman, Linda Higgs, Julie Al-Zarabi, John Bigl, Susan Kierstead, Dax Mattson, Candy Shirey, Karen Crossman, Karen Walsh, David Pierson, Linda Pellerin, John Miller, Jane and John Mika, Dona and Bob Eaton

UUCM - Your continual love & care does not go unnoticed!

Thanks to:

  • Jackie D & the Music Search Team for continuing to lead our MD Search (with 2 candidates).
  • Dona E & Auction Team for a terrific event & successful fundraiser.
  • Dona E & Membership/Hospitality for working with Rev. Julie to prepare for the UU & You Welcome Dinner to welcome our newest faces at church.
  • Our Stewardship Team/Heather R, David H, Michael C, & Judy E for working with staff to prepare our stewardship packages to be sent out, reaching out to committees about next year’s budgets, organizing/hosting the Stewardship Circle Dinners & Sunday speakers.
  • Marti & CDC for their hard work securing leaders for the next vote at our Annual Meeting.
  • Pastoral Care Team/Nancy D, Barbara & many church friends for all their hard work at supporting the Reilly Memorial Reception, prepping for the Danzinger Memorial Reception, & for loving up our members during death & many other needs.
  • Worship, Amy C, & Lisa M for extra work with no MD & for covering the ministers’ vacation Sundays in Feb & Mar.
  • Candy S for leading vespers on 2/28.
  • Ping Pongers for bringing joy to Barnum every Wednesday evening at 7pm.
  • UUCM Board for voting to become community partners with ACC & other area churches to host: the Sacred Quilt Project in April 2024.

Children & Youth Committee (CYC) April News

Upcoming Family Sundays: April 28, May 12 (Mother’s Day), May 26

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt - an easy, fun activity for the whole family, and can be done multiple times, indoors or outdoors.

Suggested Introductory Words - For this activity, we are going on a scavenger hunt to help us honor Earth Day. The goal is to find something that…..

Is green

Is recyclable

Is made of natural ingredients

Is grown by the sun

Represents a connection to nature

Is reusable

Is part of the web of life

Has a star, moon or planet on it

Is blue

Has a flower on it

Bonus: shows our planet!

Sacred Ally Quilt Exhibit

Coming to the Souhegan Valley at UUCM - A powerful quilt exhibition memorializing the words of George Floyd will be traveling to our area this spring, including a stop at UUCM. The Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry was formed by nine NH congregations, who came together in response to the senseless killing of George Floyd. The exhibition invites viewers to be more deeply present with his final words. 

“George Floyd’s pain won’t go away. We respect it, walk gingerly around it as one would around a grave. We honor his pain with this stitching, these prayers in thread,” said the Rev. Mark Koyama, minister of the United Church of Jaffrey, NH. “These quilts are a distillation of four hundred years of oppression. They express the devastating pain of America’s racial wounds.”  

Later this spring, the quilts will continue their New England tour, and finally they will be displayed at the Congregational Library in Boston. 

"It is truly an honor to be able to share this powerful work across New England. The impact of the rich engagement made possible by The Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry is already palpable," said Kate Ostertag, hosting the exhibit at Edwards House and Irons Homestead.

When will they be at UUCM? They arrive on Friday, 4/19. The gallery will be open in Emerson and Fireside for 9 short days:

  • Saturday, 4/20 & 27, Sunday, 4/21 & 28 from 12– 8pm.
  • Monday, 4/22, Wednesday, 4/24, & Friday, 4/26 from 10am-2pm.
  • Tuesday, 4/23 & Thursday, 4/25 from 4-8pm.

Want to come? Want to volunteer to be a gallery attendant? Shifts are available and you don’t want to miss this or the looks on people’s faces when they see them. Hope you get to experience them.

Host Families Needed

Creating Friendships for Peace Inc. is looking for families to host pairs of teens from the island of Cyprus in July here in New Hampshire. By opening your home this summer to a pair of teens who have grown up in countries divided by conflict, your hospitality will provide a haven where they can reconcile differences and develop trust and mutual respect for their former enemies. And most of all, they develop lifelong friendships that will be transformative for each other, their families, and their communities back home, providing hope for their country’s future.  Read more about this program.

Adult Education

Wednesday, April 10 at 4 pm on Zoom


It’s greening up out there! As spring arrives we’ll look at the color green and how it enlivens us as a color. Green is the color of nature and growth, but also symbolizes hope, youth or inexperience, calm, jealousy and envy. This is an upbeat exploration of why we take green for granted yet depend on its rejuvenating powers. See calendar for link.

Wednesday, April 24 at 4 pm on Zoom

The Five Elements: Air

In Greek mythology air was associated with the soul. It seems infinite to us with no beginning or ending. It moves and can be hot or cold. The ancient Chinese called it Qi, a part of everything that lives. Yet today we are able to see it through a cloud of pollutants. This program will explore our complex history with air through philosophy, myth, theology, art and science. Has a breath of fresh air become a luxury? See calendar for link.

April Happenings

Circle Dinners

Speaking on behalf of the UUCM board, we invite you to attend a circle dinner during April. The intent of the gatherings is to encourage folks to get to know one another and understand what UUCM means to each of us so we can better support the mission of the church. You may wish to discuss your pledge - many of the Board members have pledged to increase their giving by 10% - but the circle dinners are not necessarily about increasing your pledge as much as they are about deepening your commitment. You can reach out to the hosts of your desired circle dinner if you wish to go. Also, it's not too late to offer a circle dinner yourself! Please contact Michael Conley for questions or to offer!

The sign up sheets are up in Barnum on the Events Board! 

* April 6 @ 6 pm - Holly Hornor will host a potluck dinner. Holly will provide the main dish.

* April 13 @ 6pm - Heather and Chris Romeri will host a barbeque dinner.

* April 20 @ 7pm - Bob Thompson will host a circle at his firepit for s'mores and popcorn.

* April 26 @ 6pm - Laura Lynch and Mark Rohleder will host a turkey tetrazzini dinner.

Sign up NOW - We Need Your Help.

Saturday, Apr 6 @ 9am-noon

Help us tackle one of the many chores that need doing inside and outside. All welcomed, training provided, snacks offered.  Please sign up here!

UUCM's Climate Action Team (CAT) helps Milford!

Saturday, April 13

Join the UUCM team who'll help on Milford's Clean Up Day. We'll be assigned a section of Milford to pick up and bring our trash to Keyes Field where the Town DPW will pick it up and dispose of it. Show Milford that UUCM cares! Contact CAT to sign up.

Community Supper

Wednesday, April 17, 5:30-6:30pm

Take a night off from cooking and join some friends at church for supper! The menu changes monthly, and we always offer a vegetarian option. Questions? Or want to volunteer to help? Contact Nancy Danzinger.

Coffee & Conversation with the Board

Sunday, April 21 at noon

Fireside Room

UUCM Ping Pong!

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm

Come play ping pong with us every Wednesday in Barnum Hall. Hope to see you there!

Restorative Circles

Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson (a former UUCM member, now Concord (NH) UU member) will be a guest speaker at UUCM on April 14th and she’ll be spreading the Good News of Restorative Circles in Milford. Learn more and sign up for Creating a Listening Community: Restorative Circles Practice and Facilitation.

More Recycling at UUCM

Yes, we do! - The Maintenance Team recycles what Milford accepts at the Transfer station -- plastic bags, paper, metal cans, some plastics. See signs in the kitchen. You are encouraged to recycle in your town!

Compost - We have a compost bin outside the church for church waste, including leftovers on food plates or from food prep, all of which goes into the large marked plastic bucket in the kitchen.

SHARE Needs Your Support in April

Each month SHARE asks UUCM to help stock their food pantry that serves clients in Milford and surrounding towns. Please help our neighbors this month by donating: Canned Fruit, Flour, Sugar, Boxed Cake Mixes & Baking Supplies, Coffee & Tea, Juice, Granola. Leave items in the box in Barnum Hall, or click to see where to drop off food donations at SHARE.

To contact UUCM leadership:

  • Jamie, our administrator, is in the office from 10am-2pm on Monday, Thursday. and Friday. To schedule an appointment, please email office@uucm.org. On Tuesday and Wednesday, she works remotely and can be reached by email. 
  • Rev. Julie can be reached at minister@uucm.org or call 603-673-1870 x2. For time sensitive or urgent situations, text or call Rev. Julie at (603) 724-0978.
  • The UUCM Board can be reached at board@uucm.org.

Newsletter deadlines: 

Where to Find:

  • Directory & Committee Listings - You will find the newest directories here under the Member Resources tab on the UUCM website.
  • Login or website help - Send email to commteam@uucm.org.

Find it on UUCM.org

The easiest and fastest way to find information on our website is to enter a word or two in the search box located at the upper right on any page.

UUCM 603-673-1870, office@uucm.org

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