Page 1

White Bear Un it arian Un iver salist C hurc h



328 Maple Street | Mahtomedi, MN 55115 | Phone: 651.426.2369 |

December 2019

Blessing – the practice of noticing Find resources for spiritual practice at

To see the current issue of Show Your Soul, visit

Bring a blessing to this house; come with friendship in your open hands. Take a blessing from this house; go with friendship in your open hands. - Marilyn Hanna Rogers

December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

From the Minister | The Waiting Time time leading up to Christmas, is a particularly fascinating experience, imagining the parallels of my experience with the experience of Mary as she anticipated the birth of her first child.

Reverend Sara Goodman Assistant Minister

As I contemplate our monthly theme of blessing, I find it impossible not to mention the biggest blessing in my life right now. Next month, January 2020, I will be giving birth to a daughter, a blessing in the life of my family, and hopefully in the life of this congregation. This whole new person will be here, making a space for herself in this world. Being near the end of a pregnancy in the season of Advent, the waiting

“Each child brought into this world is a blessing, and we are given the opportunity to notice, once again, what it is that this world means to us . . .” The physical discomfort of the final month of pregnancy. The anticipation of meeting a new little person that will undoubtably change life as we know it. The impossibility of anticipating the challenges that come with birth and the period just after when we are learning how to

keep a tiny person alive. Anticipation and hope, fear and confusion, all mixed into a beginning that will change the world. As Sophia Lyon Fahs wrote: “… Each night a child is born is a holy night— / A time for singing, / A time for wondering, / A time for worshiping.” Each child brought into this world is a blessing, and we are given the opportunity to notice, once again, what it is that this world means to us, what it is to be a new human on this planet, what it means to tend to the world and make room for the changes that the new generations will bring. As you move through this anticipatory time, waiting for the official beginning of winter, experiencing the shortening of the days and the extension of the night, what blessings are you noticing in your life?

From the President environment carry on the blessing of change that is so fundamental to our planet’s thriving. As earlier Crows told us: There’s reason to believe maybe this [next] year will be better than the last. And I believe it. Spring is coming. Alex Bartlett 2019-20 President

As our attention is turned to the change in season, the absent light is notice that blessed forces beyond our control have cast us into more shadow than sun; yet by the same circumstance the light has not forsaken us, for the tilt shall foreseeably return to our favor come Spring. The physics of our

A deluge of loathsome political ads may be the price, but we continue to bear this cost for the greater privilege of choice. In this realm where we do hold some control, we are also blessed. A choice is coming. May we make notice of our great and small blessings and seek to share such knowledge, freely. In the cold months ahead I shall hold fervent hope for this to be a season 2

of change, next year in The USA. And in our ongoing hope for change, let us seek to foster the efforts that kindle these feelings. We could do far worse than to hold kindness and love first in our heads; we can hold in our hearts the conviction to overturn tables laden with inequity as peaceably as we can. We needn’t rely on any one figure for such instruction, nor turn away from one who models this so broadly. In any event, the stirring here at WBUUC goes on unabated— the work of many hands. Your presence here blesses these ends. In our work together we grow the means of happiness among and beyond ourselves. Thank you for a beautiful 2019. December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

Music & Art enough for running. For rushing. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.  ~ Jan Richardson

Thaxter Cunio Director of Music

Advent: the time to listen for footsteps. You can’t hear footsteps when you’re running yourself. ~ Bill McKibben The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time

Advent is the season of waiting, expectation and noticing. Its origin comes from the Latin adventus which means an act or instance of arriving. I’m reminded of the Thích Nhất Hạnh poem: I have arrived, I am home In the here, In the now I am solid, I am free In the ultimate, I dwell The Choir sings this in a couple of different chant like settings. You’ll have heard one of these settings on November 17 and the other will be for December 22. This is an invitation to stop, listen, notice (our practice for

the month of December). Doesn’t the month of December always have this feeling of expectation? The art lies in arriving without any expectations and just noticing the perfection that is already there. Be also on the lookout for other advent songs like “Long Is Our Winter” and “The Solstice Song,” both slated for Dec. 22 services. And, the return of Sarah Greer for Dec. 1 services, our Triannual Featured Musicians’ second appearance on Dec. 8, Harmonia for Dec. 15, the newly formed vocal quintet Querencia arriving for Solstice Service on Saturday, Dec. 21 and Brett Smith on marimba for Dec. 29. The month of December promises a time to just listen, stop running, and simply notice.

Social Justice | Unitarian Universalist Service Committee: Guest at Your Table

Dick Ottman Social Action Committee

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a 77-year-old human rights organization working in more than a dozen countries (including the US). Why You Should Financially Support the UUSC: 1. The UUSC has our name on it and it follows the 7 UU principles. 2. The UUSC is a membership organization receiving no money

from our denomination or from our church budget. 3. The UUSC receives NO government funding so they are NOT constrained by US government policies and regulations. 4. The UUSC gets the HIGHEST rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is America’s largest independent evaluator of nonprofit organizations. 5. The UUSC helps people help themselves by partnering with local organizations, which are small startup organizations with creative ideas. The UUSC helps people organize for sustainable agriculture, better drinking water, better health care and women’s rights. Donations of $125 or more are matched dollar for dollar by a foundation and a member of our church, so your donation is 3

multiplied by 4. For example, a $125 donation becomes $500 to the UUSC, or a $200 donation becomes $800 to the UUSC. Ways to Help the UUSC Financially: 1. Write a check to WBUUC with UUSC in the memo line and place the check in the collection plate or in the donation box next to the office. 2. Put cash in the collection plate at the Dec. 22 or Dec. 24 service at WBUUC.

December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

Updates FACING RACE Black Lives UU—BLUU Formed in 2015, the BLUU Organizing Collective is committed to: • Expanding the power and capacity of Black UUs within our UU faith • Providing support, information, and resources for Black Unitarian Universalists • Justice-making and liberation through our faith BLUU’s grounding vision, developed in December 2018, is “centered in our love for Black people and our belief in our UU faith”: BLUU harnesses love’s power to combat oppression and foster healing as a spiritual and political imperative. We know the power of love to be life changing, inclusive, relational, uncomfortable, unconditional, and without end. From the start, White Bear UU Church has been a proud supporter of BLUU, committed to annual financial support and also to a stance of humble follower-ship, learning from our BLUU siblings how to help transform our congregation and UU

Association so that all may grow, thrive, and lead with spiritual power. Learn more at about BLUU’s mission and vision, including ground-breaking work to END MONEY BAIL.

Bottled Gentian photo by Dana Boyle

EARTH MINISTRY Notice. Cherish. Protect. The visible growing season has gone dormant in Minnesota, yet we are reminded that important work is taking place beyond what we see—not only in nature, but in our personal lives. Now is a time to reflect on how well we live in harmony with the interdependent web of all existence and what our plans are to deepen that relationship. How have your individual actions impacted energy consumption, water conservation, and habitat protection? How will you resolve to improve them? WBUUC Earth Ministry looks forward to engaging you in such critical conversations because change takes root in community. Currently, we’re designing a permanent tree sculpture as a hub for the church community, and we will host a member art exhibit 4

here next spring—celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and featuring creative expressions of your relationship with the UU 7th Principle. SANCTUARY Love Lives Here: Immigration and Sanctuary—Join Us A new season of work around issues of immigration and sanctuary has begun at WBUUC. A new core group of dedicated volunteers have established a short list of concrete actions we as a church can take to support detainees and other sanctuary churches. Specific details and actions will be forthcoming as we move into the work, and may include bearing witness at immigration court hearings, volunteering at congregations currently housing guests, and a border pilgrimage with the UU Service Committee. Those willing to commit to a onetime task, a particular project, or for longer-term ongoing work are welcome to attend the next meeting: Tuesday, December 10 at 7pm. To learn more, contact Victoria at

December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

Welcome a Guest at Your Table

Guest at Your Table is an annual intergenerational program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) to raise support for the advancement of human rights globally and nationally. The UUSC works in over 25 countries, with over 75 grassroots partners touching thousands of lives. From Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve our households collect money in “Guest at Your Table” boxes, simple reminders of the great need of so many people in so many places. On Christmas Eve, please bring your Guest at Your Table box, or a generous check (made out to WBUUC with UUSC in the memo line). Beginning December 1, you may also “TEXT TO GIVE: Text “WBUUC amount guest” to 73256 (e.g. “WBUUC 10 guest” for a $10 donation).


$25 helps women in Kiribati access clean water for their households by installing new water tanks. $50 supports a research project by Muslim women about surveillance of Muslim communities in the US. $75 advances drought recovery in Tanzania by providing livelihood support for women with disabilities. $100 bolsters women’s farming cooperatives in Nicaragua. $150 helps girls and women from Burma (Myanmar) attend leadership and peace-building trainings to bridge ethnic and religious divides. $300 supports legal aid for vulnerable migrants applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. $500 helps with psychological support and security for Honduran women human rights defenders. Contributions of $125 or more will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a member of the church AND by the UU Congregation of Shelter Rock, NY. Thus, your contribution is multiplied by FOUR ($125 becomes $500 to the UUSC, for example).

Mitten Tree Let’s Keep the Children Warm!

Please bring new hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for children in the wider community! We will collect these in the Atrium through the holiday season, and present them to the Mitten Tree on Christmas Eve.

People Incorporated Clothing Drive Today Through Sunday, Dec. 22

Again this year, we will have a warm winter clothing drive for people experiencing homelessness at People Incorporated’s Project Recovery. They need warm coats, boots, hats, mittens, scarves, and sleeping bags. There will be a table in the Social Hall for donations.

Support Solid Ground by Donating Holiday Gifts Bring Items on Sundays Dec. 1 and Dec. 8

Solid Ground is a local nonprofit providing housing and supportive services for families who have experienced homelessness. Please consider donating NEW items for their annual Santa Shop: toasters, coffee pots, mixing bowls; socks, underwear and pajamas (all sizes), and children’s books including chapter books. Please place unwrapped gifts on cart in Social Hall on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Thank you!


December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

Religious Education

Nico Van Ostrand Religious Education Assistant

I write this having recently returned from the Philippines, where I visited Unitarian Universalist churches and began friendships that I hope will last for many years. The UU churches in the Philippines didn’t hold Religious Education classes while Rev. Jack and I were there, but rather had all of the children in the sanctuary to greet us alongside the adults. The kids wiggled in their seats, made faces at us from across the room, and held whispered conversations throughout and within the service. The energy of young ones was ever present as they ran in and out of the sanctuary, laughed when they felt like it, and leapt from their seats to investigate the chalice more closely as

the minister spoke. Is this familiar? On the first Sunday of every month, our Pre-K - 5th grade WBUUC kiddos participate in Chapel Sunday programming together. We reenter the sanctuary to meditate and sing with the wider congregation. The group goes right up front to sit, lie, fidget, make faces at each other, giggle at supposedly inappropriate times, and carry on conversations even over the minister’s voice. Have you noticed?

“Who says we have to sit quietly in the benches, looking at the speaker? That is an expectation grounded in white supremacy.” I have a challenge for you. Let’s rewrite our notes on what it means to bless the sanctuary. Who says we have to sit quietly in the benches, looking at the speaker? That is an expectation grounded in white supremacy. It’s also an expectation grounded in ableism. It’s not a trauma-informed expectation. It’s an expectation

built on a very narrow definition of how to bless a community with your presence. Unlearn the idea that sitting still, being silent, and looking at the speaker is the only way to be fully present. The current way of doing things is not the only or even necessarily the right way of doing things. So when someone else’s child bumps into you because they’re dancing along to the hymn, dance alongside them. When someone else’s child is too shy to go to RE class, introduce yourself to them so they know they are always welcome. When someone else’s child wiggles through the whole service, show them the knitting or doodle pad or fidget you also use to help you wiggle through the service. And when your child’s way of worshipping does not involve sitting quietly and looking at the speaker, know that they are noticed by the congregation. Know that as they are noticed, your kids are blessed by this congregation that they belong to completely. Adults’ way of doing things is not the only right way to do things. And what a blessing that is.

Grow Your Soul | Upcoming Classes, Groups, and Forums UPCOMING CLASSES New Member Class: Membership 1 Sunday, December 8 | 12:30-2:30pm In the first of WBUUC’s two part membership series, we explore the history and theology of Unitarian Universalism. Participants get a chance to meet each other and articulate what has been meaningful to them about finding this community. Light lunch provided. Childcare available. Contact Rev. Jack Gaede with questions or to sign up:, 651.426.2369.

NEW ONGOING GROUP Caregiver’s Support Group 2nd Tuesdays | 1-3pm Caregiving can be an overwhelming, exhausting and isolating experience, but you are not alone. WBUUC’s newly-formed Caregiver Support Group will bring people together to talk with others who truly understand what you’re going through. They will help validate your experience and give connection and support. Contact: Susan Taylor ( 6

UPCOMING FORUMS Dec. 4 | First Wednesday Vespers Join Rev. Sara for a Contemplative Worship Service on the theme of the month: Blessing: The Practice of Noticing Dec. 11 | Facing Race Discussion Dec. 18 | Drop-in Theme Circle Join a small group of people to explore the theme of the month in depth. The theme for December is Blessing: The Practice of Noticing Dec. 25 | No forum - Christmas Jan. 1 | No forum - New Year’s Day December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

A Congregation of Generous People Our congregation is supported financially by the deliberate generosity of members and friends. To learn more and to contribute, visit program because in addition to serving on the Pledge Committee, we are all members of WBUUC! The Pledge Committee’s unique angle is that we know that every program, every idea, every initiative, affects the budget which influences how we approach the pledge drive this year. Steve Kahn 2019-20 Pledge Co-Chair

This month the WBUUC Board embarked on an exciting journey related to belonging. This program, “Creating Belonging Together,” will result in further defining our congregation’s values, mission and goals. Participants were asked, “What could we create through belonging to a community where we grow our souls and serve the world?” Like the board, the WBUUC Pledge Committee is excited about this

One of the most beautiful things about our church is that it is built upon its people and belonging, so our church becomes what our members want it to be. We are a welcoming congregation because we value and encourage disparate voices and believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all people. We form our covenant based upon belonging and recognizing the strength of diversity and the power of congregation. We are all stronger as a community when we encourage and expect inclusion. Some of the powerful messages we’ve

received at previous meetings center on the power of an open, welcoming community where there is trust and confidence that we can be ourselves with each other, trust in the RE program, and a sense of wonder that so many warm and caring families found their way here. It comes as no surprise that our church is unique and special as a result of our people and ensuring that we all know that all belong. -Steve Kahn, Pledge Co-Chair

Looking Ahead to 2020 UUSC Leader to Speak at Our Church! Rev. Kathleen McTigue Director of Activism & Justice Education, UU Service Committee Sunday, Jan. 12 at 9am & 11am Prior to joining the UUSC staff in 2012 as Director of the UU College of Social Justice, Kathleen served for 25 years as a UU parish minister, including 21 years as senior minister to the Unitarian Society of New Haven, Connecticut. A core part of her ministries has been public advocacy and faith-based organizing for marriage equality, immigrant rights, economic justice, and peace. Her previous experience also includes multiple roles with Witness for Peace and a yearlong economic study in Tanzania. Kathleen will speak to

us about the intersectional work of the UUSC on human rights and climate change.

Baby Shower! Sunday, Jan. 12 at 1pm Rev. Sara and Shawn Goodman are getting ready to welcome a brand new baby! Please join us for a baby shower on Sunday, January 12 at 1:00pm in the Social Hall, with cake and other light refreshments. Presents 7

welcome but not required; children and adults all welcome to come celebrate! Rev. Sara will be away on parental leave from Jan. 15 through early April. Congratulations Sara, Shawn, and big brother-to-be, Jamie! Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Monday, Jan. 20 at 7:00am We rise and shine each year bright and early on Martin Luther King Day, to celebrate, learn and organize our hearts and hands to continue Dr. King’s urgent vision of Beloved Community with justice for all. This year’s keynote address will be given here by Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of CAIR-MN, the Council on American Islamic Relations. December 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 4

A Month of Sundays

Supper and Soulwork

December 1 Pastor Danny Givens, preaching, With music from special guest Sarah Greer

Join us each Wednesday for a community meal at 5:30 followed by many ways to nourish your body, mind, and spirit. Nursery care is available for ages 4 and under.

December 8 | Eternity in an Hour Victoria Safford With music from Nanc MacLeslie, Dick Rogers and Carol Caouette December 15 | No Extraordinary Power Victoria Safford With music from Harmonia: Lisa Borg, Becky Pansch, Virginia Podobinski, Melissa Stoddart, Cathy Dalton, Miriam Juvette, Diane Hilscher, Lisa Clemen Sem ONE SERVICE ONLY at 11:00am! December 22 | Inside Out and Round and Round Victoria Safford, Rev. Sara Goodman and Amy Peterson Derrick, With music from the Adult Choir and the Youth Choir ONE SERVICE ONLY at 11:00am! December 29 | While We Turn Rev. Jack Gaede With music from Mary Duncan (piano) and Brett Smith (marimba)

Choir | 6:15pm | Ages 14 & up Art and Soul | 6:30pm | All Ages Movement | 6:30pm | All Ages Forum | 6:30pm | Ages 14 & up Upcoming Wednesday Forums Dec. 4 | First Wednesday Vespers Dec. 11 | Facing Race Discussion Dec. 18 | Drop-in Theme Circle Dec. 25 | No programming Jan. 1 | No programming See page 6 for more detailed information.

Special Services – see insert! Saturday, December 21 at 6:30pm: Winter Solstice Tuesday, December 24 at 4:00, 6:00 and 10:00pm: Christmas Eve

Wh i te B ea r Un i t a ri an Un i ver sa l ist C h urch



328 Maple Street Mahtomedi, MN 55115 Phone: 651. 426.2369 December 2019

To contact Monthly contributors, or for general information:

At 10pm: The winter night deepens, with readings, carols, candlelight, and music from Corinne and Carol Caouette; Victoria Safford speaking.

At 4 and 6pm: Songs and traditional carols, stories and wonder, candlelight, and music from the Choir. Victoria Safford speaking, with Amy Peterson Derrick, Rev. Sara Goodman, Rev. Jack Gaede.

Tuesday, December 24 Candlelight Services at 4pm, 6pm and 10pm A Holy Disruption

Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 21, 6:30-8:30pm We’ll mark the turning of the year and welcome Yule with a magical tree, music from Querencia, solstice stories for all ages and an outdoor starry circle ’round a solstice bonfire. Adults and children of all ages are welcome (no nursery care). We begin in the sanctuary and then go outdoors—dress warmly! Querencia is a new vocal ensemble at WBUUC: Jaime Staska, Sydny Brakke, Alissa Bartlett, Emily Stelter, and Stephanie Ward

Winter Solstice Celebration

You are as welcome as a warm mug of cocoa!

Enjoy the new Appetizer Buffet! Non-alcoholic beverages (free) Beer & Wine (bring cash) Cookies by the Youth Group at The Sweet Shop Grab and Go deals for all! Events, Dinners, Trips, Art, Bed and Breakfast, you name it, someone has donated it!

17 12:30pm Men’s Group 1pm Theme Circles 6:30pm Building Bridges 7pm Shamanic Drumming 7pm Adult Children of Alcoholics

16 10am Theme Circle



15 9am & 11am Worship Service 9am & 11am Religious Education 10:15am Sitting Meditation 12:30pm Gallery Committee 12:30pm Witnessing Whiteness 12:30pm My Grandmother’s Hands

22 One Multigenerational Service Only at 11am 12:30pm Wellspring 12:30pm Theme Circle

29 One Multigenerational Service Only at 11am

31 7pm Adult Children of Alcoholics

24 Christmas Eve Services 4pm, 6pm, & 10pm Candlelight Services 7pm Adult Children of Alcoholics

10 1pm Caregivers Support Group 6pm Gun Sense Group 6:30pm Building Bridges 7pm Love Lives Here: Immigration & Sanctuary 7pm Men’s Group 7pm Adult Children of Alcoholics

9 8:30am People Incorporated 12pm Second Monday Discussion Group 7pm Women’s Book Group

3 12:30pm Men’s Group 7pm WomenSpirit Group 7pm Adult Children of Alcoholics

8 9am & 11am Worship Service 9am & 11am Religious Education 10am &12pm Artist Meet & Greet 10:15am Sitting Meditation 12:30pm Membership 1 12:30pm Wellspring 1pm Living with Grief

2 1 10am Shamanic 9am & 11am Worship Service Drumming 9am & 11am Religious Education 10:15am Sitting Meditation 12:30pm Witnessing Whiteness 12:30pm My Grandmother’s Hands 12:30pm 8th & 9th Gr. OWL Parent Circle 1pm Living with Grief




December 5

1 New Year’s Day Church Office Closed No Choir Rehearsal, No Dinner, No Programming

25 Christmas Day Church Office Closed No Choir Rehearsal, No Dinner, No Programming

18 5:30pm Supper 6:15pm Choir Rehearsal 6:30pm Art 6:30pm Movement 6:30pm Forum 7:30pm Young Adult Group 7:30pm UU Voices 7:30 Youth Group


13 Church Closed

6 Church Closed





14 9am Cookie Bake

7 4pm Auction



Visit for the most current information.

27 Church Closed

19 20 11am Third Thursday 60+ Church Closed Group 7pm Global Climate Change Committee

11 12 5:30pm Supper 6:15pm Parents’ Group 6:15pm Choir Rehearsal 6:30pm Art 6:30pm Movement 6:30pm Forum: Facing Race Discussion 7:30pm Young Adult Group 7:30 Youth Group

4 5:30pm Supper 6:15pm Choir Rehearsal 6:30pm Art 6:30pm Movement 6:30pm Forum 7:30pm Young Adult Group


Profile for WBUUC

December 2019 Newsletter  

December 2019 Newsletter  

Profile for wbuuc