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The Lowcountry


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry January 2011

Standing on the Side of Love in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island for over 30 years.

A Month of Sundays Sunday Service: 10:00 am January 2 Survival of the Fittingest Rev. Tom Schmidt

January 9 Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson

January 16 A Message from the Mountaintop Rev. Tom Schmidt

January 23 Bending the Arc Toward Justice Harry Gregory, Joely Tweel, Peggy Tweel

January 30 Rev. Carl Beyer

Contact Information 110 Malphrus Road Bluffton, SC 29910 (843) 837-3330

Office Hours Volunteer Office Staff Thursdays 10:00 am-12:00 pm Rev. Thomas Schmidt Thursdays 10:00 am-3:00 pm or by appointment Rev. Schmidt is always available for pastoral care and counseling, please do not hesitate to call. Cell: E-mail:


Leadership Staff Minister

Thomas Schmidt

Minister Emeritus

Manuel Holland

Religious Education

Ann Harrison


Peggy Tweel

Editor Email:

Mary-Michael Hanbury

Minister’s Message I Will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.

I came across the above poem recently and felt it resonated with all that is going on in my life. I also felt it appropriate to share for the arrival of the New Year. Where most people make very specific resolutions to eat less or read more, I think this poem reminds us that at times we set our goals far too low. It is my conviction that the purpose of life is to live it, “to inhabit my days to allow my living to open me.” If you have ever asked yourself, “What is spirituality?” or “Why should I adopt a spiritual practice?” This poem speaks to both of those questions. January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of gates, doorways, beginnings, endings, and time itself. He is generally depicted as having two heads facing in opposite directions, one looking back and the other forward; one looking towards the past and the other toward the future.

With the new year, we are invited to reflect on the year recently passed with an eye on the future, to celebrate success, learn from our mistakes, and apply those lessons for the year ahead. From over the shoulder the future comes into our field of vision. On occasion we are fortunate enough to glimpse pieces of it in the periphery but at best, we can guess what the future holds. There is no destiny. There is no fate. There are only circumstances in which we find ourselves. All that is, all that exists, is the product of that which came before, the seeds of previous generations. We are all the product of ever present evolutionary pressures, the product of cultural and genetic inclinations. We

are the product of love, the care and nurture of countless generations. We cannot change what came before us, we cannot change the circumstances of our birth. We can only make the best of what has been placed before us. Though we cannot predict the future with any degree of certainty, we know the future will be shaped by the seeds we plant today. Our actions are the seeds that will shape the future. It matters what seeds we plant. Let us throw to the four winds the seeds of love, kindness, and generosity. And from over the shoulder the future will come, beyond our control but shaped by our actions. ~ Rev. Thomas Schmidt

Programs, Meetings, and Special Events

Renewing Our Vision

Adult RE - Beginning Thursday, January 13 (7 pm) New Adult RE Class: Articulating Your UU Faith. This is a four week class designed to help participants understand and articulate their own UU faith more clearly. Classes will meet on Thursday, January 13, 20, and February 3, and 10. Board Meeting - Thursday, January 27 (6:30 pm) The monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees is held on the fourth Thursday of each month in the UUCL Clara Barton Conference Room. Visitors are always welcome. Book Club - Friday, January 21 (7 pm) "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule" by historian and journalist Thomas Frank. Contact Virginia Jordan 6896714 or for directions. Circle Dancing - Tuesday, January 18 (7pm to 9 pm) Discussion of Contemporary Issues - Sunday, January 9 (9 am to 9:50 am) E-Team - Sunday, January 23 (11:30 am) The Environmental Team meets on the 4th Sunday of each month. Knitter’s Circle - Wednesday, January 19 (6:30 pm to 8 pm) Bring yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, needle & thread, etc. Light refreshments will be served. Contact Ann Harrison for more information at 342-5207 or 422-2598. Newsletter Deadline - Saturday, January 15. The deadline for the Beacon is on the 15th of each month. Items for consideration should be emailed to Mary-Michael Hanbury at Spanish Language Classes - Tuesdays (7 pm to 8 pm) Intermediate Spanish at UUCL. Contact Richard Friedman at 757-0018 for more information. UU101/New Member Class - Sunday, January 16 (11:30 am) Share your spiritual search, get a brief history of the Unitarian and Universalist movements, ask questions of our minister Rev. Tom Schmidt, and learn more about UUCL. Sign up by adding your name to the list at the Visitors’ Table. or email Kathy Quirk, Membership Chair at UU Animal Ministry - Sunday, January 9, 11:30 am. UU Animal Ministry meets the second Sunday of each month. For more information call Peggy Tweel at 757-7780 or email peggy@hargray. UU Singers - Sundays at 9:30 am. Singers are invited to arrive early before Sunday’s service to practice the hymns for that day. This is the first step to creating a Music Program here @ UUCL.

Dear Members and Friends, Our congregation is going through a period of change and in order to accommodate that change your Finance Committee, Pledge Campaign Chair, and Board of Trustees have begun planning for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. For many reasons we have struggled financially over the last several years and had to make some difficult and painful decisions during this fiscal year to avoid serious problems. Our planning now for the future will include a balanced approach that puts us back on a good financial path as well as allowing for the accomplishment of our mission and many goals. You will be kept fully informed as we proceed with the planning and ultimately the establishment of a budget for the next fiscal year. The UUCL has been and will remain a haven for those of us who otherwise would not have a community like ours. We can all join together to insure its future and accomplish its mission. With faith in the future, ~ Dan Tweel Treasurer/VP Finance

Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" -Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Lowcountry Beacon, January 2011


Dear Members and Friends, Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 29th when the Winter Dinner and Auction will be held at UUCL from 6:00 to 9:30 PM. The FunRaising Committee is working hard to produce this event. Our goals are to promote opportunities for our members to get to know one another better, have fun, and support the Fellowship through a fund raising event. We are planning a catered buffet Italian dinner, both vegetarian and omnivore. The cost is $25 per person with children 12 and under free. Musical entertainment, wine, and a silent auction will highlight the evening. Please see any member of the FunRaising Committee for tickets. In order to accomplish our goals, we need the help of every member and friend. How can you help? First, we are asking you to share your talents and resources with us by offering something of value that you will donate to our auction. Your contribution may be a service, a skill, a gift certificate or an item to be enjoyed by others. Some suggested contributions include: baked goods, dinner prepared at your home or the bidder’s home, gift certificates from local businesses, babysitting or respite services, vacation packages, boat cruises on local waters, lessons showcasing your talents (cooking, computers, music, etc) or gardening services. Be creative in determining your donation! Donated items of cash value may be tax deductible. Donation forms are available in the foyer each Sunday, or you may contact Janice Alden at, Suellen Manning at, Rebecca Gordon-Schmidt at or any member of the committee for information or to have your items picked up. January 16th is the deadline for donations. Secondly, you may help by attending the event and bidding on the goods and services of your fellow Unitarians. Bring your friends and neighbors. Bring your children. Give a ticket to the event as a Holiday Present! We will have a list of auction items available in the foyer each Sunday prior to the January 29th event so you can think about the things that interest you. We hope to see you all Saturday evening, January 29th.


President’s Message

Aesthetics & Décor Fran Farrell Peggy Tweel

Dear Members and Friends, Greetings and Happy New Year!

Building Maintenance Bill Barraclough

In my first Beacon article as your president six months ago, I included a quote from the Unitarian Universalist Association website that reads:

Care Dan Tweel Committee on Ministry

“The religious community is essential, for alone our vision is too narrow to see all that must be seen, and our strength too limited to do all that must be done. Together, our vision widens and our strength is renewed.”

Jeff Donahue Dominique Geer

Grounds Paul Brophy Mary A. Walker Finance/Treasurer Dan Tweel Fund Raising Janice Alden Hospitality & Kitchen Kathleen Mirin Leadership Development Rev. Manuel Holland Membership Kathy Quirk

Join thousands of fellow Unitarian Universalists from across the country as we remember the persons and events that brought into being the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in May 1961, to reflect on our denomination’s relevant achievements and struggles since then, and to chart new aspirations for the future we are determined to shape. Contact Linda Nelson if you plan to attend

Music Jeffrey Watkins

It’s difficult to believe that we are now half-way into our fiscal year of July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011! As part of your Board’s commitment to keep you informed, there will be a mid-year “State of the Congregation” meeting on Sunday, January 30th following our worship service. (This will be an informational meeting only) - I hope you will plan to attend! Our congregation hosted “Family Promise” families for one week beginning on December 26th. Many thanks to all of you who volunteered and participated in so many caring ways!

Planned Giving Coordinator Rev. Manuel Holland Press & Publicity Coordinator (open)

Our annual Winter Dinner and Auction on Saturday January 29th. The dinner will be catered by Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant and will include both omnivore and vegan entrees. Please plan to attend this wonderful event and invite your friends and family also! (Additional information from the FunRaising Committee is included this newsletter or you may contact Committee Chair Janice Alden at

Religious Education Richard Friedman Social Activities Libba Beerman Strategic Vision Team Mary Alice Walker Worship Cheryl McCarthy

May we continue to nurture and inspire each other in this new year! With warmest wishes for 2011!

Social Justice Groups: E Team Harry Gregory Family Promise UU Animal Ministry Peggy Tweel

As we enter this New Year, our caring for and belief in each other and our Unitarian Universalist principles and beliefs continue to inspire and strengthen us as individuals and as our beloved religious community!

Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson delivered a well received sermon entitled “The Holy Infant Was Humanist” at a December service.

In fellowship, ~Peggy Tweel

Rev. Tom as Santa. (Top) RE Kids and leaders wrap Christmas presents for the kids in some of the families that reside in the development next door to the church. (Top right and bottom) (All Photos: Ron Titus)

“We acknowledge and affirm the kinship and interdependence of human and non-human animal, and adopt ethics of interspecies compassion as an integral component of liberal religion.”

Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry nd

Meetings are on the 2 Sunday of each month at 11:30 am following Worship service. For more information contact Peggy Tweel at 757-7780 or To learn more about the Unitarian Universalist Association’s social justice issue, “Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice” please visit: The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. To read "Unitarian Universalism on Animal Protection - Official, Historical, and Contemporary Statements on Animals" please visit :

Food Donations for People and Pets

Please remember to bring your food donations on Sundays, which are donated to the Sandalwood Food Bank. The Sandlewood Food Bank, founded by Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson, serves food to 50 low income families. There are now 300 low income families (1,000 people) that are served each month, demonstrating the critical need and poverty in our area. Sandalwood Community Food Pantry Reverend Dr. Nannette Pierson PO BOX 5061 Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 Phone: 843.645-0935

Email: Website:


Starting in February, Rev. Tom will be starting a new group called Transitions. Transitions will be support group for anyone going through a major transition in their life. Major life transitions include (but are not limited to) the death of a partner, divorce, recovery, retirement, job loss, etc. Groups will meet twice per month initially with one group meeting during the day, one in the evening. For more information and questions, please contact Rev. Tom.

There will be a fiscal mid-year “State of the Congregation� meeting on Sunday, January 30th following our worship service. Please plan to attend!

The Lowcountry Beacon, January 2011


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry Our Mission To enrich and clarify our understanding of religious thought; to provide experiences for spiritual growth; to encourage and protect the right of individual freedom of belief; to promote the democratic process in human relations; and to advance these principles for the benefit of each other, our community and our world.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry covenants to affirm and promote: • The inherent worth and dignity of every person; • Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregation and in the society at large; • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

The Living Tradition Which We Share Draws From Many Sources: • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder; affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love; • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspire us in our ethical and spiritual life; • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves; • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Book Club—January 21st Selection "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule" by historian and journalist Thomas Frank, the author of the landmark bestseller "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America". Published in 2004, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" explored the rise of conservative populism in the U.S. centering on the example of Kansas, the author's native state. His new book, "The Wrecking Crew" provides disturbing insights into how conservatives rule once they get into office. Book review: Contact Virginia Jordan 689-6714 or for directions. February 18th - "Monkey Beach" by Eden Robinson. The Washington Post said "Far more than a novel of psychological transformation... It is, in the best sense, a thriller, a spiritual mystery... breathtaking... Robinson rewards our faith that after all these years writers can still, as Pound said, 'make it new.' Book review: March 18th - "Making Our Democracy Work" by one of the brightest minds on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Breyer discusses what the Court must do going forward to maintain that public confidence and argues for interpreting the Constitution in a way that works in practice. Book review:

9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11:30 am Meeting “State of the Congregation”


9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11:30 am E-Team


9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship (Rev. Tom Schmidt) 11:30 am UU 101/New Member Class



7 pm Spanish Class


7 pm Spanish Class 7-9m Circle Dancing (In the Sanctuary)




7 pm Spanish Class


7 pm Spanish Class



11:30 am UU Animal Ministry

Nannette Pierson)

9 am Discussion of Contemporary Issues 9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship (Rev. Dr.





9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship (Rev. Tom Schmidt) 11:30 Socrates Cafe




6:30 pm Knitter’s Circle





6:30 pm Board Meeting


7:00 pm Adult Religious Education


7:00 pm Adult Religious Education









January 2011

7 pm Winter Gala



February Newsletter Deadline





Beacon (January 2011)  
Beacon (January 2011)  

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry Monthly Newsletter