Services for December 2023

Soul Matters theme: Mystery

Sunday Services take place at 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary.  You can also connect via Zoom at https://uuma.zoom.us/j/920676087 or telephone to 646-876-9923 (Meeting ID: 920 676 087). 

Andrew-Millard_pulpit_eflame-services-articlesThe Rev. Andrew Clive Millard

December 3rd: "Where the Magic Happens"

Our comfort zones are, by definition, comfortable places to be.  It’s where everything is familiar, where we feel safe and in control... and where nothing new is happening.  There’s no growth in a comfort zone.  It’s not until we move outside our comfort zones — even just a little — and are challenged by new experiences that we can learn and grow.

December 10th: "Keeping the Faith"

It’s been one year since we adopted our congregational covenant!  “Together, united by love and embodying gentleness,” our covenant is a list of intentions describing who we aspire to be as a faith community.  Let’s look back to remember how we reached this milestone, and let’s look forward to imagine where it will take us in 2024 and beyond!

Music for the season will be provided by the UUFP ChorUUs!

December 15th: "Between the Dark and the Light"
NOTE TIME: 7pm at the UUFP

Merry Meet!  EarthRising, the UUFP’s Earth-centered spirituality group, invites you to the Fellowship’s 36th annual Yule ritual and feast.  The Winter Solstice is the pause amidst the darkest day of the year, the moment of perfect balance between light and dark, before the dark begins to wane and the return of more light.  What might we contemplate in our pause in the dark?  What might we anticipate as the light returns?

Weather permitting, our celebration will be held outside, followed by a potluck feast.  Children are welcome with their parents.  Please contact EarthRising if childcare is needed.

December 17th: "The Great Yearning"

At times in our lives when we feel lost, we often find ourselves yearning for something, some connection.  That yearning often leads us to grab frantically for easy solutions: buying something new, finding a new interest, finding a new relationship.  While these sometimes lead us to temporary happiness, they don’t often help us find what we are truly looking for: inner peace.  In this service, we’ll discuss how different people seek and find some of their own ways to inner peace.

The Rev. Amy Russell is an Assistant Minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.  She has been in ministry for twenty-two years with UU congregations in Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia.  Rev. Amy is partially retired, and she loves spending time with her grandchildren and writing fiction.  She lives in Richmond with her husband and their dog.

December 21st: "Longest Night of Remembrance and Healing"
NOTE TIME: 5:30pm at the UUFP

Join us for this interfaith service marking the longest night of the year as a time for remembrance and healing.  Everyone is invited into sacred space to reflect and look ahead.  The service will be followed by light refreshments for those who would like to stay for conversation.

Music will be provided by joint choirs from Hilton Christian Church and the UUFP.  The service will be led by the Rev. Natalie Chamberlain of Hilton Christian Church, Rabbi Séverine Sokol of Temple Sinai and Rev. Andrew.

December 24th: "Do-It-Yourself Nativity Scene"
NOTE: This is the Sunday morning Service.

December 24th falls on a Sunday this year, so join us this Christmas Eve morning for beloved carols and a telling of the nativity stories as found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  And come prepared to participate in the telling!  For as we work through the stories, we’ll assemble our cast of characters and create our own nativity scene on stage.

December 24th: "Celebration in Words and Music
NOTE TIME: 6pm at the UUFP

Join us this Christmas Eve evening for our Unitarian Universalist version of the traditional “Festival of Lessons and Carols”.  We’ll celebrate the season through UU poetry and prose matched with Christmas carols, and we’ll reflect on the meaning of Christmas.  As always, we’ll conclude with the beloved ceremony of passing the flame.

December 31st: "A Midrash on the Magi"

The Magi (often called the “three kings”) are mysterious figures in the Christmas story told by the Bible’s Matthew.  We don’t really know exactly where they came from, who they were, or even how many there actually were.  So why not construct a story?  Leading up to Epiphany (or “Three Kings’ Day” on January 6th), let’s retell the journey of the Magi in mythic time, to speak to today's realities.

The Rev. Robert Janis-Dillon is the new minister at the Unitarian Society of Hartford — Rev. Andrew’s home church! — in Connecticut, having grown up at the Universalist Church of West Hartford just down the road.  He has been in ministry for sixteen years with congregations in New Jersey, Merseyside UK, and New York.  Bob has two children, plays the guitar badly, and is a published poet.  We welcome him to the UUFP in this New Year’s Eve pulpit swap with Rev. Andrew!

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