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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry

December 2010

Sunday Service: 10:00 am •

December 5: Sacred Stories: Rev. Tom Schmidt

December 12: Emily BugayDirector of Family Promise

December 19: Was Santa Claus a Shaman? Rev. Tom Schmidt

December 24: 7 pm Deck The Halls-Special Christmas Eve Service. Rev. Tom Schmidt

December 26: Rev. Dr. Nannette Pierson

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

Office Hours Volunteer Office Staff Thursdays 10:00—12:00 Rev. Thomas Schmidt Thursdays 10:00—3:00 or by appointment Rev. Schmidt is always available for pastoral care and counseling, please do not hesitate to call. 290-6819

Leadership Staff Minister

Thomas Schmidt

Minister Emeritus

Manuel Holland

Religious Education

Ann Harrison


Peggy Tweel

Editor Email:

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

A Month of Sundays

Cell: E-mail:

The Lowcountry

Mary-Michael Hanbury

Minister’s Message Most likely you have heard the news, I submitted my resignation to the Board effective June 30, 2011. I did not come to this decision easily, but I am convinced it is the best decision for both the congregation and myself.

ture. The following are those guidelines most pertinent to the given situation and where we are in the process: •

I understand there were some elements of my letter to the congregation that were confusing. I cannot tell you how hard it was to write that letter and it required many drafts. In the editing process, some information was deleted unintentionally leaving some questions in many people’s minds. To the point, what did I mean when I wrote, “When my time comes to bid you farewell, I ask that you re- • frain from asking me to do anything that would break the ethical relationship by which I have attempted to guide my life, as your minister and in my relationship with other ministers?” As a Unitarian Universalist Minister, I am a member of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association (UUMA) and I am bound to the UUMA Guidelines for • the Conduct of Ministry and the associated Code of Professional Practice. The Guidelines specify things I should and should not do during this period of transition and following my depar- •

The minister can (and often should) serve as a consultant to the Board in preparation for va• cancy in the ministry, helping members to understand candidating and settlement procedures. However-and we say this in the strongest terms possible-once a move is announced, the minister must take no leadership role in the planning and development of program or policy for the period after • his/her departure. It is unethical for a minister to suggest any one or several candidates to the society to serve as successor or interim. The minister should not perform any services associated with the parish-based ministry for members except at the request or with the permission of the incumbent minister. The minister should not offer solicited or unsolicited advice or criticism of the minister(s) or the workings of the congregation to members of the congregation. A former minister must respect the previous

professional relationship. Although he/she has left the congregation and its people, the confidences granted and information about individuals gained must be forever treated with utmost respect. Most importantly, the ministry continues until the time of actual departure. Maintaining the effectiveness of the ministry must be the prime factor in choosing the manner of the announcement and in conducting the ministry following the announcement. The minister’s relationship with the people will necessarily change. The minister must nevertheless continue to minister within the altered context. The minister will especially need the support of the Board of Trustees during this period.

So there you have it. The bottom line is that while I am here, I am your minister and when I am gone, I must be completely gone. The congregation has many decisions to make in the coming months and except for questions about process and procedure, I am not allowed to help. - Rev. Thomas Schmidt

The Lowcountry Beacon, December 2010


Programs, Meetings, and Special Events

Holiday Potluck December 19th

Board Meeting - Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 pm. The monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees are generally held on the fourth Thursday of each month. Due to the Holidays, the December meeting takes place on the 16th. Visitors are always welcome. Meeting is held in the UUCL Clara Barton Conference Room. Holiday Potluck - Sunday, December 19. Libba Beerman and the Social Activities Committee Holiday Pot Lunch Brunch after Services. Contact for more information. E-Team - Sunday, December 26 at 11:30 am. The Environmental Team meets on the 4th Sunday of each month. Knitter’s Circle - Wednesday, December 22 at 6:30 - 8 pm. Bring yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, needle & Libba Beerman and the Social Activities Committee would thread, etc. Light refreshments will be served. Contact like to thank all the many folks who have hosted a “Dinner Ann Harrison for more information H: 342-5207, C: 422- for Eight” in October and November. 2598 The generosity of Bill Barraclough, Doris Hammond, Ruth King and Dorothy Feind is much appreciated. Newsletter Deadline - Wednesday, December 15. The deadline for the January Beacon is on the 15th of Libba and the Committee will be sponsoring a Holiday Pot each month. Items for consideration should be emailed to Luck Brunch after services on Sunday, Mary-Michael Hanbury at December 19th. Second Annual Holiday Cookie Sale - Sunday, December 12. Everyone please bring 3-4 dozen cookies to church (and their recipes to share). The kids will organize the sale during service. After service you may fill a container with your favorite cookies! All proceeds from the sale go to UUCL. Spanish Language Classes - Every Tuesday from 7-8 pm. Intermediate Spanish at UUCL. Contact Richard Friedman at 757-0018 for more information. UU Animal Ministry - Sunday, December 12 at 11:30 am. UU Animal Ministry meets the second Sunday of each month. For more information contact Peggy Tweel at 7577780 or peggy@hargray. UU Singers - Singers are invited to come early (9:30 A.M.) every Sunday to practice the hymns for that day. This is the first step to creating a Music Program here @ UUCL.

These Free Fun Get-Together Dinners are gathering momentum! If you would like to be a host or guest, please contact Libba Beerman at . There are also sign-up sheets in the foyer.

Documentary Film John and Folly King’s documentary evening will start up again in January on the fourth Friday of the month. The first movie will be on January 28th. For suggestions or questions contact John or Folly King at

The Lowcountry Beacon, December 2010


Winter Dinner and Auction Saturday, January 29, 2011 Dear Members and Friends, Mark your calendars now 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; and the cost is $ 25 per person with children 12 and under free. Musical entertainment, good food and wine ,as well as a silent auction will highlight the evening, so please plan to join us. 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. Sincerely, The FunRaising Committee

“Authentic spiritual teachings must necessarily teach an ethics of loving-kindness, because this reflects our interconnectedness and the truth that what we give out comes back to us. It leads to the harmony in relationships that is necessary not just for social progress, but also for our individual inner peace and spiritual progress.” (From The World Peace Diet, Dr. Will Tuttle)

Food Donations for People and Pets 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. Please call Kelly Benson at 815-5981 if you have any suggestions or would like to help. The food you donate is on someone’s table in a few days!!! Sandalwood Community Food Pantry Reverend Dr. Nannette Pierson PO BOX 5061 Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 Phone: 843.645-0935 Email Website:

UUCL Strategic Plan 2010 – 2011 The Strategic Vision Team presented their Five Year Strategic Plan for UUCL to the Congregation following the Sunday service on November 14. Members made brief presentations on the vision and goals that were the result of the appreciative inquiry sessions held last spring, the results of the congregational survey, the Beaufort County/UUCL demographics, and the Implementation Plan. Although the committee presented ten goals for the Congregation, three important goals for 2010 – 2011 were stressed: Financial Well-Being, Membership Growth and Good Governance. Copies of the complete report are in blue binders on the library shelves in the Clara Barton Conference Room for anyone to borrow. Thanks from Mary Alice Walker to a terrific team for their hard work: Bill Barraclough, John Quirk, Ron Titus, and Manuel Holland. f you need to schedule an event or meeting to be placed on the congregational calender, please contact Rosalind Ayers at

RE Holiday Cookie Sale FunRaising Event

“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 Meetings are on the 2nd 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: socialjustice/issuesprocess/currentissues/ethicaleating/55648.shtml 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 : unitarian_universalists.html

Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual RE Holiday Cookie Sale! It will be held directly after the service on Sunday, December 12th Everyone brings 3-4 dozen cookies to church that day. Any kind of cookie - but homemade are the best! If possible, bring copies of the recipe for people to take. The kids will organize the cookie sale during the service. People will then have the chance to fill a container with their favorite cookies. All money from the sale will go to UUCL.

President’s Message Dear Members and Friends, As we all know, Rev. Thomas Schmidt recently submitted his letter of resignation as our minister to be effective June 30, 2011. We appreciate Rev. Schmidt’s teachings and all his efforts over the last 4 ½ years. We understand his desire to pursue other options in his life and career, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors. We are now in the planning stages for this significant change in our Congregational life. We need to continue to come together during this transition and we will be communicating with you with each step. You can always speak to any Board member at any time, and Rev. Schmidt invites you to contact him with any of your questions or concerns about his future plans. We have been in contact with Annette Marquis, District Executive of the Unitarian Universalist Thomas Jefferson District, and she will be meeting with your Board in January to explore the ministerial options that are available that would meet our Congregation’s current needs. We will have our mid-year Congregational meeting on Sunday, January 30th following our worship service and will have more information to share with you at that time. The Strategic Vision Team recently presented their 5 year plan for UUCL. The three primary goals for this year are Financial WellBeing, Membership Growth and Good Governance. We are grateful to Mary Alice Walker (Chair), Bill Barraclough, John Quirk, Ron Titus and Manuel Holland for a job well done! Your Board has been hard at work and has accomplished much as we near the half-way mark of this fiscal year. Primarily the plans set forth last July to insure that we end our fiscal year with a balanced budget continue to be on track. As the Holidays approach we can celebrate with confidence that the values and principles that we embrace are steady and strong, as we hold up the light of Unitarian Universalism in our community! May we continue to work together to nurture our minds, our hearts and each other! With warmest wishes to each of you for a Holiday Season filled with joy! Peggy Tweel

Committees Aesthetics & Décor

Fran Farrell and Peggy Tweel

Building Maintenance

Bill Barraclough


Dan Tweel

Committee on Ministry Jeff Donahue and Dominique Geer Grounds

Paul Brophy and Mary A. Walker


Dan Tweel

Fund Raising

Janice Alden

Hospitality & Kitchen

Kathleen Mirin

Leadership Development

Rev. Manuel Holland


Kathy Quirk


Jeffrey Watkins

Planned Giving Coordinator

Rev. Manuel Holland

Press & Publicity Coordinator


Religious Education

Richard Friedman

Social Activities

Libba Beerman

Strategic Vision Team

Mary Alice Walker


Cheryl McCarthy

Social Justice Groups: E Team

Harry Gregory

Family Promise UU Animal Ministry Peggy Tweel

The Lowcountry Beacon, December 2010


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;

• •

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

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.

Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregation and in the society at large;

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.

Please join us in celebrating the warmth and joy of the holiday season. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry invites you to a special Christmas Eve service filled with traditional carols and contemporary music. Service begins at 7:00 p.m. Holiday treats to eat and drink following the service. “Somehow, not only for Christmas but all the long year through, The joy that you give to others Is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing The poor and lonely and sad, The more of your heart's possessing Returns to you glad.” ~John Greenleaf Whittier~





December 2010 Wed


















Hanukkah Begins



9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11:30 am Socrates Café with Rev. Tom


7 pm Spanish Class


9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11 am Holiday Cookie Sale! 11:30 am UU Animal Ministry

14 7 pm Spanish Class


9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11:30 am Scripture Study

January Newsletter Deadline



7 pm Spanish Class

6:30 pm Knitter’s Circle

6:30 pm Board Meeting


7 pm Christmas Eve Service


26 9:30 am UU Singers 10 am Worship 11:30 am E-Team

Kwanzaa Begins


28 7 pm Spanish Class




The Lowcountry Beacon, December 2010



Beacon (December 2010)  

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Lowcountry Monthly Newsletter

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