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Sunday Worship 10 AM & 11:30 AM DECEMBER 4 SERMON Rev. Aaron White “An Angel Named Thelma?” – What

. . . a monthly publication of First Unitarian Church of Dallas

kind of world are you helping to bring into being, and who’s helping you?

a message from Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Daniel Chesney Kanter

MUSIC The Sanctuary Choir


DECEMBER 11 SERMON Rev. Aaron White “A Dangerous Peace” – The word peace appears many places this season. What kind of peace could we wage?

MUSIC A String Quartet – Parish Meeting at 1 PM –

DECEMBER 18 − CHRISTMAS PAGEANT − At this multigenerational service, Dr. Daniel Kanter will give a homily, our children will act out the Nativity story, and there will be a Service of Dedication of infants and children.

MUSIC Kindred Voices Choir

DECEMBER 25 − ONE SERVICE AT 11:30 AM − Join us for a Christmas service of story and song with Resident for Social Justice Ellen Quaadgras. MUSIC Don Krehbiel, organ

n 1846, a man in England named Frederick Hale Holmes patented the electric arc lamp. He made light by generating a strong electric current and forcing it to jump between two carbon rods, thus creating a bright light. Holmes’ arc lamp was installed in December 1858 in a lighthouse outside Dover and ran for 13 years. In December 1879, in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison invited friends to see a demonstration of his new incandescent lights. For the demonstration Edison’s workmen had created 34 bulbs which would last 13 hours. He supplemented his display with oil lamps to impress his friends, but the beginning of the light bulb was well underway. It was probably not intentional, but perhaps more than coincidence, that both of these displays took place in the month of December. Laurel Hallman, my predecessor at First Church, used to say that it’s not dark because it is Christmas, it’s Christmas because it is dark. As the days lose their light earlier and earlier, something in the human spirit needs reminders of times that are bright and joyful. The same could be true of any personal journey into the dark, or into the dark night of the soul. All such times require light of one kind or another to illuminate the way. I’m aware of the multiple dangers of using “light-dark” metaphors. One obvious peril is the misuse of such terms to prop up prejudice about skin tone. Another is to talk of the chosen and the fallen, or the saved and unsaved. Still, something in us wants actual light to shine in the literally darkest moments of the year and seasons of our lives. In December, the ancient holiday customs answer our need. Christmas and a host of other holidays speak to this. As we light the candles this month at Hanging of the Greens (the best holiday event in Dallas) and on through Advent to Christmas Eve, let us be mindful of this deep desire for precious light to shine in the darkness, and see whether, by that light, we can illuminate human meaning once more. I hope to see you in church.

− CHRISTMAS EVE − “A Light Shines in Darkness” 4:30 PM Multigenerational Service 6:30 PM Candle & Communion Service 8:30 PM Candlelight Service

ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Find out about current and upcoming Sunday morning programs for adults. page 2

PARISH MEETING Don’t miss this semiannual meeting. Snacks will be served beforehand. page 4

HANGING OF THE GREENS This festive holiday event is for all ages—bring the whole family! page 5

PUBLICATION DEADLINES The next DU deadline is December 12. Learn more about submission processes and guidelines. page 6


adult religious education

9:00 AM THE NEW TESTAMENT – Room 301 This video-lecture series, featuring Bart Ehrman with facilitated discussion led by Charles Vorkoper, considers the context of the New Testament’s creation and its impact on western civilization.

10:00 AM FAITH LIKE A RIVER – Room 305 This class explores themes in Unitarian Universalist history and the dynamic ideas, people, and movements that have shaped UU history. Facilitated by Charles McMullen, Director of Adult Religious Education. SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS – Room 302 This group uses a modified lectio divina format to experience the spiritual depth found in poetry and sacred writings. Currently the group is exploring the voices of women mystics, poets, and scholars from a variety of times, places and traditions. ISSUES ENGAGEMENT FORUMS – Room 301 Our Social Action Council (December 11) keeps us up to date on important issues related to social justice. And for the last several months, our Immigration Study Action Group (December 18) has brought us vital information about the impact of immigration laws and enforcement. Check the Friday Reminder (instructions on p. 6) for dates and topics.

11:30 AM ADULT DISCUSSION GROUP – Room 304 This group meets for spontaneous discussion exploring moral, philosophical, scientific, and religious ideas and the thought-leaders who advance them. Participants exchange information, share knowledge, and express personal views. Open to all. January brings new Sunday morning class offerings. Look for details in the next DU. NOTE: Only the Adult Discussion Group will meet on Sundays, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

“Mortality and Morality: The End-of-Life Paradigm” with Charles Hamlin, M.D. ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, AT 3 P.M. IN THE SANCTUARY, DR. CHARLES HAMLIN, A NATIONAL BOARD MEMBER OF COMPASSION & CHOICES (FORMERLY THE HEMLOCK SOCIETY) WILL PRESENT AN OVERVIEW OF THE SOMEWHAT CONTROVERSIAL HISTORY SURROUNDING COMPASSION AND CHOICES, WHICH HAS HAD A PRESENCE IN OUR CHURCH SINCE 1988. All are welcome at the presentation and reception afterward. Dr. Charles Hamlin served on the Compassion & Choices Colorado board of directors for three years before joining the national board in April. A retired surgeon, he holds degrees from Yale College, Dartmouth Medical School, and Columbia University. In 2001 Dr. Hamlin received the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

SOCIAL ACTION Issues Engagement Forum ELLEN PAYNE OF THE CENTER FOR SURVIVORS OF TORTURE (CST), A DALLAS-BASED NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, WILL BE THE GUEST SPEAKER AT THE FORUM ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11, AT 10 A.M., IN ROOM 301. CST provides psychological, social, medical, and legal services to over 1,300 torture survivors in Texas and Oklahoma. CST also provides education and training for professionals, students, and the community and is the sole accredited torture treatment center in the south-central US.

Inspired by a successful partnership between Unity Church and the Center for Victims of Torture in the Twin Cities, the UUSC is working to facilitate relationships between CSTs nationwide and UU congregations to help survivors, support community awareness, and provide a meaningful experience for volunteers. The UUSC stands ready to promote a partnership if there is sufficient interest here. Come. Learn. Sign up to volunteer.

UU PARENTS Making Memories – Making Meaning It’s not always easy to attend to the spiritual development of our children, but it’s one of the most important things parents do. Part of the challenge is simply Who are the finding time for meaningful conversations Spiritual Guides and spiritual experience, but, even if we do find time, knowing how to engage doesn’t for your Children? always come naturally. Our RE teachers do a great job on Sunday mornings, but daily parenting and guidance are the biggest influence. Scottie McIntyre Johnson, a church member, longtime UU, student at Perkins School of Theology and candidate for UU ministry, has developed a 6-week investigation of how we can make memories and meaning in our children’s spiritual lives. Plan to attend this series on SUNDAYS, AT 10 A.M., BEGINNING JANUARY 29.


Tuesday, December 6  •  7 pm in Room 304 




No charge  •  Film appropriate for all ages 

give STEWARDSHIP SPOTLIGHT 2011 PLEDGE PAYMENTS As the end of the year quickly approaches, please help First Church end 2011 in good financial health by completing your current pledge in December.


If you have a question about your balance, please call the church office at 214-528-3990 and someone will assist you.


NOTE: To appear on 2011 statements, contributions must be received at the church by December 31st or postmarked by that date.


ANNUAL CANVASS UPDATE Thank you to all who continue to support our church through the 2012 Operating Fund, both with renewing pledges from 2011 and with brand new pledges. We’ve seen an approximate 4% increase in pledges over last year, which is remarkable!

Your generous commitment sustains the life and work of our church. If you have not yet made your pledge for 2012, it's not too late! Pledge cards are available in the church office, or you can call 214-528-3990 to pledge or go to our web site,, to make arrangements. Every single pledge matters. Please let us hear from you today.



POINSETTIAS ARRIVE DECEMBER 3 Plant distribution begins on Saturday, December 3, before and after Hanging of the Greens. Come to Raible Chapel to collect your plants.

Poinsettias may also be picked up in Channing Hall after both services on December 4 and 11. Many thanks to all our Poinsettia Patrons for supporting the youth!

BRUNCH IN COMMUNITY– SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 The youth and parents of the 9th grade Coming of Age class will host a Holidaythemed brunch on December 4, after both services.


DPC’s mission aligns with UU principles of justice, equity, compassion, and peace, which may explain why members of our congregation have sat on DPC’s board for 16 years, and is seen in the emphasis on “Interconnectedness” and “Collaborative Strategies.” Some of DPC’s active teams and committees include the Middle East Peace Committee, Death-Penalty Abolition, Compassionate Care, Cuba Friendship, Committee for a Nuclear-Free World, and Peace & Justice in Latin America. Executive Director Kelli Seals-Obazee will be with us on the 4th to speak about the DPC’s current activities. Please give generously to support DPC’s efforts towards peace and justice in Dallas and beyond. If you cannot be in church on the 4th, please make a donation online ( or by mail, or drop it off at the church office by December 31. Thank you.

WANT SOME EXERCISE THAT ALSO HELPS FEED HUNGRY PEOPLE? A group of UUs volunteers monthly at the North Texas Food Bank (, and we could use a few more helping hands Eight First Church members teamed up WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7. The shift runs from 1:00-3:30. to help the food bank in November. We sort and pack donated goods in the warehouse, so some physical stamina is required, but the work is not strenuous, the camaraderie is high, and the cause couldn’t be more worthy. Email to get more details or find out about future dates.

NEEDED: Nominations for NTAUUS Awards NTAUUS is seeking nominations for its annual recognition awards. Please go to awards.shtml#nominations for more information. The deadline to submit nominations is December 9.

Brunch is $8.00 per adult and $4 per child under 12. All proceeds benefit Youth programs. DECEMBER 2011




Christmas Pageant

If your child has been assigned a role in the pageant, please note the schedule below: Sunday, Dec. 4 Sunday, Dec. 11

Costume Call after both services Make-up Costume Call after both services Thurs., Dec. 8 & 15 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Evening Rehearsals for speaking parts Saturday, Dec. 17 9:00 a.m. to Noon – Dress Rehearsal for 10:00 cast 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – Dress Rehearsal for 11:30 cast Sunday, Dec. 18 Christmas Pageants For more information, please contact Rachel Castrillon, pageant director, at


Dedication of Infants and Children on December 18th In our free faith, we acknowledge the divine spark within each child and believe that each child born possesses the potential to be one more redeemer. Each worship service on December 18th will include a Service of Dedication during which we > commit ourselves to the infants and children of our church, to their nurture and their growth; > pledge to love and cherish them always, in times of struggle as well as gladness; > pray that we may be worthy guardians of these young lives; > covenant to build a community in which they will grow surrounded by beauty, embraced by love, and cradled in the arms of peace; Children are never too old to be dedicated. To participate, please contact Lillian Drab-Braddick (, 214-884-1222).


CONSIDER BEING A PART OF OUR SMALL GROUP MINISTRY HERE AT FIRST CHURCH and join in what so many have already experienced as making a meaningful difference in how they’ve integrated into the life and membership of the church.

Circles are much more than a group of 8 to 12 people who covenant together to be present for a minimum of 12 monthly meetings. Circles provide a safe place to have deeper conversations around our beliefs, to engage in service projects, and to create more meaningful relationships with other members of our community. Enrollment is open every Sunday in December. To sign up or get more information, stop by the Welcome Center or visit http://

from the Board of Trustees . . . As vacancies occur in the Board of Trustees or the Endowment and Memorial Gift Fund (EMGF) Committee, our church by-laws instruct the Board to fill those positions as soon as reasonably practical. Two recent resignations on the Board of Trustees will be filled for the remainder of 2011 by Christiane Baud and Bill Didlake. We have also had a resignation on the EMGF Committee, and that opening will be filled for the remainder of 2011 by Charles Irsch. The Board extends its appreciation to Christiane, Bill, and Charles for their service in these roles.

SATURDAY SUPPER CLUB Please join the first club dinner on Saturday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m. This new group, meeting monthly on second Saturdays, is for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who would like to build social relationships during a casual pot luck at members’ homes. Please contact Rachel Rothstein ( if you would like to attend.




ANNUAL PARISH MEETING Sunday, December 11th, at 1 PM All First Church members are encouraged to participate in the Annual Parish Meeting. We’ll meet in the Sanctuary to review and vote on the 2012 budget and discuss updates on activities in the church, including the status of the Strategic Planning process. The Annual Meeting is vital to our church's operations, and demonstrates our belief in the principle of democracy. Please come and be a part of these important decisions for our church. A list of voting members is posted on the Board's bulletin board in Channing Hall. Please contact Diane Moore at with questions about membership status.

NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION SERIES The next New Member Orientation session meets Wednesday, December 21, 7:15 to 9 p.m., in Room 304. Chris Denney, Chief Administrative Officer, will speak on “Everything You Always Wanted to Know (About How this Church Works).” This repeating six-months series introduces new members to life at First Church. The series gives new members the opportunity to meet other newcomers, key staff and volunteers, and enjoy insight into our diverse congregation. RSVP preferred to or

connect PLEASE NOTE: Church’s Holiday Hours . . .


The church will be closed for the holidays from Monday, December 26th, through Saturday, December 31st. We wish our members and friends a happy and safe holiday season!

Sunday, December 4th After Each Service, in Raible Chapel New to the church? Been around a while & want to know more? Want to meet new folks? Have questions?


join us ! Email to RSVP.


Hanging of the Greens



Saturday, December 3rd 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary


Don’t miss this festive holiday event with SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2012, 6:30 PM

Skits • Decorations • Children’s & Youth Choirs Carol Sing-a-longs • Reception

coming up this month . . . Tuesday, Dec 6 Women’s Day Alliance 10:30 a.m., in Raible Chapel

Friday, Dec 9 JTW Movie Night 7:00 p.m., in Room 304

Thursday, Dec 15 Roots 7:00 p.m., in Room 303

SMU Professor John Mears will speak on “A Historian Inquiring into America’s Prospects.” Join us for the program and then a potluck lunch. RSVP at or call Vee Shine at 972-579-1358.

December’s movie is “Goin’ to Chicago,” a 1hour documentary of the Great Migration of southern African Americans to northern cities. JTW movies are free and open to all. Lively discussion follows. Please use the elevator.

This intro to UU ideas and history is open to everyone. RSVP at

Thursday, Dec 8 Sr. Men’s Fellowship 12:00 p.m., in Room 303 This group will meet for a brown bag lunch followed by a discussion at 12:45 on the book That Used To Be Us, by Thomas Friedman.

Thursday, Dec 8 Grief Support Group 6:30 p.m., in Room 304 This monthly support group is facilitated by Pastoral Care Director Charlise Hill-Larson. Drop-ins are welcome.

Thursday, Dec 8 Knit & Crochet With a Purpose 7:00 p.m., in Room 303 This group works on individual projects as well as charitable projects like baby blankets for Parkland and prayer shawls for our community. All skill levels are welcome. Email Suzy Hogue at for details.

Sunday, Dec 11 Food Matters Roundtable 12:30 p.m., in Raible Chapel

Sunday, Dec 18 Immigration Forum 10:00 a.m., in Room 301 This forum looks at the ongoing human rights issues surrounding public immigration policies.

Tuesday, Dec 20 WDA Friendship Group 11:00 a.m., in Channing Hall

This ethical eating group meets on second Sundays for fellowship, food, and special programs. Email Kathy Kinney ( for details.

This group will meet at 11:00 to tour the DeGolyer Estate at the Dallas Arboretum. For more info, call 214-324-3294 or 972-271-6077.

Tuesday, Dec 13 WDA Bridge Group 10:00 a.m., in Channing Hall

Tuesday, Dec 20 Reading Deeper Book Club 7:00 p.m., in Room 304 December’s book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Copies are available at the Book Nook. Tuesday, Dec 27 Movie Matinee

This group meets for bridge and fellowship. Contact Genie Fritz (214-352-8370) for info.

Thursday, Dec 15 Caregiver Support Group 6:30 p.m., in Room 304 Open to anyone caring for someone with any number of medical issues. For info, contact Charlise Hill-Larson (

Everyone is welcome. Films are selected the week before; details at

ONLINE >> For a more complete listing of church events, visit our website, DECEMBER 2011



Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Emergency Contact: Saturday, Sunday, Holidays & Evenings – 972.898.1949 Phone: 214.528.3990 Web: Senior Minister: Rev. Dr. Daniel Chesney Kanter ext. 1204, Associate Minister: Rev. Aaron White ext. 1210,

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS in the spotlight... In Dallas Voice ‘s cover story “Perform or Provide” (11.4.11), about military chaplaincy, Susan Gore is cited for her work on the recent Forum on Military Chaplaincy, at the Cathedral of Hope. Susan is also editor of the book Coming Out in Faith. Congratulations to Sarah Saldaña on her investiture as US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Rev. Kanter delivered the invocation and Rev. White the benediction at the November 18th ceremony. Kudos to Joanne Parker for being awarded The Bridge's Helping Hand Award recognizing her unique and continued volunteer service in our downtown homeless service center. Feel free to talk to Joanne about ways to volunteer at The Bridge.

Do You Have News or an Announcement? DUE TO THE HOLIDAYS, THE NEXT DU DEADLINE IS MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, AT NOON. Normally items for the newsletter should be submitted to, no later than the 15th of the month. Send items for the Friday Reminder and the Sunday order of service to no later than noon of the preceding Wednesday. Submissions for all publications are subject to approval and editing. To begin receiving our weekly Friday Reminder emails, go to, click on “e-news registration,” and enter your email address. You’ll receive a follow-up email where you can specify or change your preferences and select the “Friday Reminder” list. You can also schedule event reminders by clicking event links on the website Calendar Page.




BOARD OF TRUSTEES President: Joe Sifferman – Vice President: Stacy Duryea – Treasurer: Mike Scholten – Clerk: David Overton – David Aspinall – Christiane Baud – Jorie Blackwell – Dennis Cordell – Bill Didlake – Rusty Jaggers – Lynn Meyers – Jane Ramberg –

CHURCH STAFF To call a staff-member directly, dial 214-884 and the ext. # Resident for Social Justice Ministry: Ellen Quaadgras 1232, Adult Religious Education Director: Charles McMullen 1221, Adult Religious Education Administrator: Suzi Hall 1209, Associate Congregational Life Director: Regina Johnson 1230, Music Director: Donald Krehbiel 1214, Associate Music Director: Alan Dyer, Music Assistant: Martha Quigley 1223, Director of Pastoral Care: Charlise Hill-Larson 1211, Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth: Karen Lewis 1203, Religious Education Administrator: Dawn Hosking 1215, Youth Programs Coordinator: Lillian Drab 1222 , Childcare Coordinator: Brenda Johnson 972-890-4161 Chief Administrative Officer: Chris Denney 1206 , Church Administrator: Diane Moore 1200, Communications Director: Fritz Kuehn 1216 , Associate Communications Director: Suzi Hall 1209, Stewardship Administrator: Barbara Eidt 1201, Facilities Manager: Willie Kimbrough 1244, Facility Services: Joaquin Pinõn 1212, Ministers’ Assistant: Claudia Dixon 1205,

December 2011 Dallas Unitarian  

The December 2011 issue of the monthly newsletter of First Unitarian Church of Dallas.