UUCM Monthly News

May 2024

We are a spiritual fellowship dedicated to building beloved community

within and beyond our doors.

Minister’s Musings with Rev. Julie Lombard

The gift of PLURALISM is an ideal where people of different social classes, religions, races, etc., are together in a civilization while they continue to have their different traditions and interests. It assumes that diversity is helpful and that autonomy should be enjoyed by different functional or cultural groups, including religious groups, organizations, and minorities of all kinds. We can think of religious pluralism as that place where religion comes together and each are respectfully seen as plausible pathways to connect with the holy and a better life.

There are few places in this world where this is truly possible. We divide into our tribes and we spend too much time being disrespectful even when it is just in jest. I was at a faith-based conference center and saw a plaque that displayed the many churches that had contributed to the center’s making. Many churches were named after saints. A UU minister leaned into me and asked, “Have you ever wondered which saint has the most churches and do you think the others are jealous?” By the smirk on their face, I knew it was just a silly question merely to make me laugh. And I laughed.

But the real question of pluralism asks us to do a moral inventory of what we think, believe, and act. Do we believe that all religious traditions are sacred pathways, as precious and valuable as our own? Have we caught ourselves “othering” some and ignoring others altogether?

The answer is not to go into our designated corners and silo ourselves off from the differences in the world. We need to engage and encounter them. We must create ways to come together. I have had some interesting attempts at this over the years. In one church, we partnered with a budding Islamic Society. Here at UUCM, bringing together the various faith traditions of the Souhegan Valley through the Sacred Ally Quilt display has been a powerful example of how we do not need to think alike to love alike. The quilts celebrate the life of George Floyd whose life was brutally extinguished. His final words are lifted up here, lovingly sewn into quilts made by participating church ladies. And this is where we find common ground. That is the true quest, to find common ground where love and respect will help us to overcome all differences and help us to honor the other. Only then can we truly make a life better.

From the President's Desk  -

The church year is drawing to a close, and so is our Stewardship Drive. As this newsletter hits your inbox, you still have a few hours left to officially get your pledges in!

The budget is coming together, nearly ready for us to vote on at the Annual Meeting on May 19th. Ready for us to try to weigh our hopes and dreams against our promises of time, talent and treasure. I hope you're all ready, willing, able and excited to contribute towards new and exciting endeavors.

I know. I get it. We can barely fit in all the things we're already doing. It's too much and can be exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be.

This year, I’ve adopted a motto. "Be 1% better everyday." Just one percent. It’s basically imperceptible on the day to day. But, in a year's time, a person could be 365% better at the things they focus on, right? Actually, the math of compounded interest tells us we’d be nearly 3,700% ahead of where we were. Small goals, significant gains! Granted, there aren't enough hours in the week for me to keep adding yet another 1% to my average daily run, BUT, this does help illustrate that even baby steps can lead to a world of difference. “The entire ocean begins with just one drop of water,..” and all that.

So, how does this relate to us at UUCM? What would you say YES to, but don’t think you have the time or energy for? Can we commit to bumping our pledges a smidge more? To attending one more event or fundraiser? Staying a couple minutes longer to help clean up a bit? Can we find one new way to help out here or in the community? Buy one extra ticket for a local event and give it to someone who'd appreciate it. Stop at the high school car wash, or buy from the kids fundraising outside the grocery store. Let folks know they are seen, and appreciated.

There are so many little things we can do that won’t impact our lives that much, yet can make such a positive impact for ourselves, those around us, and the greater good. Big or small, you can make a huge difference. Care to join me?

Scott Blanchard

UUCM President

May’s Worship Theme - The Gift of Pluralism

 Read more.

May Worship Services

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

May 5 Pluralism & Faith

Rev. Julie Lombard

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University studies and interprets the changing religious landscape of the United States. Diana Eck first offered a course in 1991 on “World Religions in New England.” Based on the findings, researchers set out to investigate the changing religious landscape, and to consider the implications of this more complex religious landscape for American public life. Diversity alone does not constitute pluralism. Pluralism requires a degree of engagement with our diversity and the knowledge of others and of ourselves that such engagement brings. And so, the Pluralism Project was born. Come hear the story of one person following their curiosity into an unknown land of faith.

May 12 Pluralism: Honoring Our Many Mothers

Rev. Julie Lombard

As children, we turn to our mother for the answer to our daily problems- they fed us, cared for us, and often, they tried their best to meet our needs. Later in life, we journey beyond our mothers into adulthood. We find many others that act as surrogate mothers along the way while our mothers remain on their home turf. Some of the women are friends, others are co-workers or life partners, while some we meet at church sitting next to us. All are good examples of mothering. How are we molded from the many mothers that come into our lives and how do we honor them on a day such as Mother’s Day?

May 19 Together

Rev. Julie Lombard

This week we’ll turn to "A Brief History of the Future", a documentary series on PBS. Host Ari Wallach travels the world filled with discovery, hope and possibility, and discusses where we might find ourselves today and in the future. In episode four, Ari examines the idea of being together, pluralism, from futuristic perspectives. Come learn about the possibilities of a future we dream of creating where democracy is being re-imagined and where humans prove to be inherently social and naturally cooperative in nature. We’ll look at the internal changes around us to broaden our communities.

May 26 Virtual Blessing of the Animals (ONLINE ONLY)

Worship Team

Join the Worship Team for our traditional Blessing of the Animals, with a twist. Stay comfy at home and allow your beloved pets to do the same. This service will be entirely on Zoom in order to allow the participation of those animals (including humans) who are more comfortable in their own habitat. Feel free to show photos of beloved pets who are no longer with us, or who are camera shy. See you all online!

Congregational Business

Annual Meeting

May 19, 12:00 pm

After service, have a quick beverage and snack, then return to the Sanctuary at NOON for the UUCM Annual Meeting, where we will approve the budget for next year and appointments for key committees. For those on Zoom, please log in using the same link as for weekly services. Only church members can vote. Contact Rev. Julie by May 18th to become a member.

Window Vote Results and Update

On March 24th, a quorum of 32 members were in attendance for a presentation and voted to approve the replacement of 22 windows in the basement and first floor of the addition. The motion passed unanimously.

This project is currently scheduled to take place June 24-28th.

Thank you to Dona Eaton, Property Chair, and the Property Committee for all your hard work in pulling this all together.

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 April: Linda Higgs, Lisa Rothman, Susan Kierstead, Karen Crossman, Julie Adl-Zarabi, John Bigl, John and Jane Mika, Heather Romeri, Lynn Coakley.

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

Thanks to:

  • Nancy D for all her work behind the scenes with Dick’s memorial, Community Supper prep, & for sharing her beautiful family with us at Dick’s celebration of life – the flowers were such a nice tribute to him.
  • Music Search Team for continuing to lead our MD Search.
  • UUCM Choir y’all sound so marvelous & thanks for your warm welcome to the various candidates.
  • Membership Team for a terrific UU & You event on 3/9 with 7 new members signing the membership book.
  • Stewardship Team for working with staff to prepare our budget, getting stewardship speakers for the TFAA, organizing/hosting the Stewardship Circle Dinners.
  • Pastoral Care Team for all their hard work at supporting the Danzinger Memorial Reception & for loving up our members during end of life & other needs.
  • CDC/Marti for the ongoing hard work securing leaders for our Annual Meeting & the Justice ReOrg meeting.
  • Worship, Amy C, & Lisa M for extra work with no MD, for covering the ministers’ vacation Sunday in Mar, & tech support for the Danzinger memorial.
  • Committee on Ministry respectfully address right relations in our ministry where ever they surface.
  • Ping Pongers for bringing joy to Barnum every Wednesday evening at 7pm.
  • UUCM Board for voting to become community partners with other area churches to host: the Sacred Quilt Project.
  • UUCM Your continual love & care does not go unnoticed.

Children & Youth Committee (CYC) May News

The Children’s Circle program will be wrapping up this year on May 19. We will have a little celebration! Please let someone on the CYC team know whether your children will be in attendance that day so we can plan accordingly.

The last Family Sundays for the year are:

May 12 (Mother’s Day), May 26, June 2, June 9

Thanks for a great year! We on the CYC Committee are all so grateful for your support.

Adult Education

Wednesday, May 8 at 4 pm on Zoom

"Spain, Portugal & Tapas" Presentation Part 2

Bryan Higgs just experienced his best trip ever – to Spain & Portugal. Here, he continues on from Granada, through Spain’s Andalusia, and into Portugal – the Algarve, Faro, Olhão, Lagos, Sagres, the western coast, Lisbon, and Sintra. Along the way, he had lots more Tapas! – or, as they call them in Portugal, PetiscosHe will attempt to convey his experiences, both visual and gastronomic, in this presentation. It’s going to be a tall order! See calendar for link.

Wednesday, May 22 at 4 pm on Zoom

The Surface of Mystery Series

The Fifth Element: Quintessence

Is there air that is so rarified that we humans can’t breathe it? How do we deal with things that are in their purest or most concentrated form? From antiquity we have considered what we can’t know or replicate as above us or beyond human experience. Theology, philosophy, mythology, music, art and literature have tried to explain quintessence and we’ll see some of those ideas in this final program of the series.

Questions?  ntbaker@att.net


May Happenings

Community Supper

Wednesday, May 15, 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.

UUCM Ping Pong!

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm

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

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 May

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: condiments, cooking sauces and seasonings; cooking oil, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatos. 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.
  • Technical 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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