For a complete viewing of the most current UUCWI events, click here.

October 2
Aging in Community Workshop
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

October 2 and 3
Life is a Cabaret!
7:30 p.m. at UUCWI

October 6, 13, 20, 27
Poetry Group
to 7:00 p.m.

October 9
ALL Ages Game Night
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

October 10
North End Coffee
1:00 p.m.

October 11
Lunch Bunch/China City
11:45 a.m.

October 12 and 26
Laudato Si Dialogue
2:30 to 5:00 p.m.

October 15
North End Group Discussion
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

October 17
UUCWI Work Party
9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

October  20
Newsletter Deadline

October 23
SEJC Film and
Advocacy Series
6:00 to 9:30 p.m..

October 24
South End Coffee/Langley
10:30 a.m.

October 25
North End Dine Out
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

October 28
What Moves Us Workshop
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Minister Office Hours
Tuesdays & Wednesdays
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.


Worship Services

October 4 - 10 a.m.
Camino: Lessons in Pilgrimage
Guest speaker Jerry Millhon will share his recent experience walking the iconic Camino de Santiago. “For 1800 of years, pilgrims from all over Europe have walked the 500-mile path from St. Jean de Port to Santiago, Spain, eliciting a sense of invitation and mystery about this pilgrimage. From the physical to the spiritual dimensions, this walk to the tomb of St. James is humbling and inspirational. I entered with no expectations or hope. But the Camino gifted me far more than I imagined. All of us have our own Camino and I will share the gifts I received last April.”
    Currently founder and team leader for Thriving Communities, a 5-year-old initiative of the Whidbey Institute, Jerry served as Executive Director of the Whidbey Institute from 2011 through 2015.  His career also included positions as Executive Director of the Foundation for Vascular Cures in San Francisco, California, Director of the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas and headmaster of several independent schools in Ohio, California, and Washington. Jerry has two children – a daughter who’s an artist in Ballard, and a son with ABC World News in NY – and
4 grandchildren. 
Worship Leader: Sandy Welch  
Special Music: Ken Merrell

October 11 - 10 a.m.
Discovering and Deconstructing the Doctrine of Discovery
Rev Dennis Reynolds

It has been going on now for over half a millennium, the historic notion that European whites and their descendants had special claim to territories across the globe. It is called the Doctrine of Discovery and its  shadows still haunt us. How might fuller knowledge and deeper compassion help us to celebrate Columbus Day is new ways?
Worship Leader: Rick Weiss
Special Music: Russell Clepper 

October 18 - 10 a.m.
HOLDFAST:  How, and to what, do we anchor in a sea of critical and accelerating change? 
Those of us who learned “to go with the flow” may ask if we should even attempt to cling at all.  The focus will be the botanical and nautical term, “holdfast”, to see if the bull kelp has something to teach us. This reflection is based on Kathleen Dean Moore’s excellent book, Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World.
Guest Speaker: Dianne Shiner
Worship Leader:  Effie Brown

October 25 - 10 a.m.
Am I a Pope Francis UU ?
Rev Dennis Reynolds

Pope Francis, current head of the Catholic church has, since his election in 2013, said some surprising and amazing things. He has been quoted about marriage, homosexuality, economic justice, and environmentalism. Some of us have been part of an interfaith exploration of his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si', about  “Care for our Common Home.” Who is this guy? Does part of his message resonate for us a religious liberals ?   

The Minister's Corner

Hiking Lessons

As summer was coming to an end, I was graced by a visit from two of my three adult children. They both live in Providence Rhode Island and wanted have some time in what my daughter called a "proper wilderness.”  

So the day after they arrived we set off for a three-day hike in the North Cascades. Well, our long hot summer had kindled other plans. The forest fire that closed Highway 20 turned us back. After watching the fire that was literally burning right down to the side of the road, we turned around and came home.

Lesson #1 - Sometimes things do not go as planned. That night after dinner we hatched a new plan to head west and take a two-day hike in the Olympics.

Lesson #2 - Be open to creating a Plan B. When we arrived at the wilderness center in the National Park Headquarters, we were pleased to find permits available for a spot in the Seven Lakes Basin. We bought a topographic map of the area and drove the trailhead. Later, a couple miles into the hike we took a midday break and actually took a closer look at the topo map. It seems the whole hike would involve a total elevation gain of 3500 feet, a very strenuous climb, particularly for a senior citizen carrying a full backpack. OMG.

Lesson #3 - Pay attention to the details. It was arduous. Late in the day, after 8 miles, I briefly doubted I could make the last 3/10ths of a mile, but I did. I caught up with the fit young adults at the edge of an amazing little lake called a Heart Lake. My weary body drank in the view and exalted that I had made it. It warmed my heart to be in the wilderness with my kids. The first time in years. The day also confirmed that I am recovered from last winter’s illness.

Lesson #4 - You can, through perseverance, do the hard stuff.

Lesson #5 - It’s worth it. The next day was also hard, but was made easier by the fact that after a climb to what is called the High Divide, it was mostly downhill. I had trekking poles to help reduce the stress on my knees.

Lesson #6 - Preparation can make our journey easier. The other bonus on day 2 was the fact that my kids took the tent out of my backpack and split that part of the load between them.

Lesson #7 - Life is easier when we lighten the load.

Lesson #8 - Share the load. The view from the top of the High Divide was beyond breathtaking.  Mt. Olympus peaked out of the soft clouds and the lush green forests of the Hoh and Sol Duc Valleys below were gorgeous.

Lesson #9 - We are surrounded by incredible beauty. We got to the trailhead late in the afternoon, hopped in the car, and headed off to make our early evening ferry reservation from Port Townsend back to Whidbey Island. The next day the grown-up kids caught a south-bound train to continue their visit on the West Coast and I returned to work.  I stretched my sore muscles and reflected on our little adventure.

Lesson #10 -  It is worth the effort, the inconvenience, the stress, and the exhaustion that can come from spending time doing special things with the special people in our lives. 

What Moves You?

Do you want to explore more deeply your own personal theology?

Do you want to know more about important figures in Unitarian Universalist history and how their lives and their thoughts shape us still?

If so, join Rev. Dennis Reynolds and Rev. Bill Graves as they co-facilitate a 4 week introduction to an Adult Programs class titled “What Moves Us.” 

This class  will use material from a 10-week Unitarian Universalist Association curricula of that name.

The class will meet at the church on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 on October 28, November 11 & 18 and December 2 . Sign–ups will begin at church on Sundays beginning October 11 or by contacting Dennis by email at minister@uucwi.org.   

The contemporary theologian Thandeka, author of the curriculum, describes “What Moves Us” as  “a program that explores the life experiences of both historic and contemporary Unitarian Universalist theologians, highlighting that which caused in them a change of heart, a new direction, new hope, and a deeper understanding of their own liberal faith. These workshops offer participants a chance to engage with and bring their personal experiences to bear on the very questions explored by each theologian in turn. The program offers a pathway for developing not only one's own personal theology but also one's deep understanding of the threads of our Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist theological heritage.”

Bill and Dennis will offer an additional session of “What Moves Us” later in  the  church year.  The fall sessions will explore the life and work of Hosea Ballou, Margaret Fuller, William Ellery Channing and James Luther Adams.
For more info on the program go to http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults/movesus .


From Our Leadership

President’s Column

There is so much I want to talk to you about! But, what I know is that a lot of it would bore you to tears.

How many of you want to pour through financial statements, write up job descriptions, or develop agendas for meetings? How many of you want to go around trying to find people to take on tasks that are still being defined? Wouldn’t you rather go visit someone you know who is having a rough go of it at the moment? Or, plan a class on meditation, or UU 101 or…? Wouldn’t you like to put a service together with an amazing group of people? Or maybe you are willing to pull weeds, serve food, or use your imagination and intellect in visioning our future? 
We often bemoan the difficulty of finding people to volunteer for various tasks, but when I look around, I don’t see anyone who isn’t active in at least one more way other than coming for Sunday service. That is pretty impressive! When you come to an event at our church, just about every person you come into contact with has offered up themselves in some way for the benefit of our group. That is pretty darn impressive, if you ask me. You are standing up for your group, your spiritual home. For that is what this is, whether you like it all the time or not; it is a home for your spirit and you are part of the team that is taking care of it.
When I let that really sink in, I wonder how in the world I can ask anyone to do more? To make a request that you take on another task that needs a caretaker? I bet you know what’s coming next…. the reality that I will ask. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and you’ll be able to say yes. Thanks!

Sarah Richards, President, Board of Trustees

In Our Community

Sages Gathering

Back during the warm days of summer, the Pastoral Associates helped host a gathering at Glo Sherman’s One Spirit Garden for some of the older members of our congregational community.  A score of folks who were born before Pearl Harbor Day and their companions along with a half dozen singers and servers were serenaded with song, treated to a dinner, joined in a sing along,  wandered the garden, and had great conversations .

The pictures below give you a glimpse of the day. The Pastoral Associates are planning for more events in the fall. Watch the Friday E-news for more details.


Fabulous UUCWI Auction Coming Up!
November 7  

...for a rollicking good time at our annual UUCWI Auction! This year we’ll have all the great items you’re hoping for (and some you never expected), entertainment surprises from your favorite UU members, plus great food and libations, and enough laughter and fun to keep you smiling all season!

Our theme this year is “A Whidbey Harvest”. There will be a delicious feast celebrating locally harvested foods, and we're encouraged to wear theme-appropriate attire  -  come as a farmer, a scarecrow, a vegetable... use your imagination…

Please get your donation offers in before Oct. 18 so they can appear in the auction catalog! Printed donation forms and a donation form drop-basket are in the foyer. The online donation form can be found at UUCWI.org in the lower right of the home page. Fill it out, click “submit” and you’re done!

Raffle tickets will be available in advance at the ticket sales table on Sundays. Of course you can get more at the auction as well.

Your seating may be chosen when you buy your auction ticket. Get your ticket soon for the best chance at your favorite seats! Clara will have the seating chart at the ticket sales table on Sundays.

This year those who can't be here for the auction can still participate! The catalog will be out by Oct. 24, and many items will have a "Buy It Now" price.  You can also send a proxy to bid for you, if you like.

Your auction committee has been working hard to make this the best auction ever! We think you’ll agree.


It is Auction 2015 time and back this year will be the Raffle Baskets. Do you have items that you would like to donate that can be put together in a basket already provided? Or would you like to fill your own basket with abundance and donate it already full? If so, contact Katy Shaner at
The goal for this year is 10-12 baskets of new items, gift certificates or an activity provided by the donor.
Go creative and share with delight!

Lifespan Spiritual Development

Lifespan Spiritual Development at UUCWI
Organized Classes, Groups, Conversations, Outings and Play for Members and Friends

Lifespan Spiritual Development provides life-long learning and development of the whole person at
all ages and stages in life. These learning opportunities are open to both our members and friends.
They support us getting to know and growing deeper connections with each other through exploration, reflection, fun and study. I hope you will check out some of our Fall offerings!
Please also be in touch with me about offerings you would like to see or facilitate yourself.  Along with organizing the dates and details, I am also available to help you develop ideas for a group or class or find others who want to facilitate a topic you would like to explore more deeply.
You can find me most Sundays at the Morning Service or by email at
lifespancoord@uucwi.org  I am available Fridays through Mondays to meet with you and also return emails those days.

Ginger White
Your Coordinator of Lifespan Spiritual Development
Notes From Your Lifespan Spiritual Development Coordinator

Wow!  Fall is in swing and we are going back to class! Or group, or study or theatre or more! It’s exciting and I am enjoying working with all of you about your ideas of what you want to offer at UUCWI. This month I wanted to highlight some possible ways you could do a Lifespan Spiritual Development Offering.

Here are a few:

Study Group- This is one of my favorites, because you don’t have to be an expert. You simply find a topic you want to study and ask others to join you. You will need to find a book, video, topic, film etc. you want to study and organize the structure. For example what is being read or watched.   But once the structure is set you can even take turns facilitating the discussion each week. True peer learning at its best!

Classes- This is where you are an expert and we want to learn from you! You set the structure and guide us through, be it dance, poetry, theology or more, we are interested in your knowledge on this topic and want to can teach us. Of course being UU’s I imagine many still hearty discussions.

Outings-  The possibilities are endless here, hikes, bird walks and talks, Scouting, going to a play or event off island together in carpools, going to the women’s spa in Lynnwood (soon I hope) or museum visits, a group visit to another congregation, a trail ride… it’s really up to you. Goals are socializing, learning, fun and exploration.

Teaching- This can be working with our little ones on Sunday mornings, mentoring a teen or tween or training in and teaching a year- long UUCWI approved course like Adult OWL or something.

With Lifespan Spiritual Development the sky and your imagination are the only limits and I am here to help you develop your ideas and get them out to the community. Come talk with me!

Aging in Community 101 Workshop
Friday, October 2nd
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Presented by Janice Blanchard, MSPH

As an alternative to institutional long-term care, aging in community describes grassroots initiatives and housing arrangements that enhance the well-being and quality of life at home.

In this workshop, attendees will explore where, why and how aging in community models have evolved to date and how to start one in their area. Attendees will learn about the opportunities and challenges involved in this evolving paradigm that seeks to expand the choices for where, how and with whom we grow old.

Janice Blanchard, MSPH, is President of Aging Better, Together and editor
of the recently published book, Aging in Community (2013)


Please join us for a series of
 INTER-FAITH discussions of the Laudato Si' encyclical

September 28 - 3 p.m. at St. Augustine Episcopal Church, Freeland;
a reflection on Pope Francis' addresses to our US Congress and the United Nations
Facilitated by Sharon Parks and Larry Daloz                                 

October 5th - 3 p.m. at Langley United Methodist Church, Langley;
"What is Happening to our Common Home?"

October 12th - 3 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Freeland;
"The Gospel of Creation"

October 19 - 3 p.m. at St. Hubert Catholic Church, Langley;
"The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis"

October 26th - 3 p.m. Quakers at the Unitarian UCWI, Freeland;
"Integral Ecology"

November 2 - 3 p.m. at Unity on Whidbey, Bayview;      
"Lines of Approach and Action"

November 9 - 3 p.m. at St. Hubert Catholic Church, Langley;  
"Ecological Education and Spirituality"

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Guss at
Elizabeth@sthubertschurch.org, 360-221-7953

Encyclical letter from


Sponsored by the Greening Congregations
of South Whidbey

Langley United Methodist, St. Augustine Episcopal, St. Hubert Catholic, Trinity Lutheran
Unitarian Universalist, Unity on Whidbey, Whidbey Quakers - Friends


FRIDAY October 9
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Play Games, Eat Pizza, Have Fun!

Open to the whole community!

A great way to hang out with and get
to know some UU’s. Side-dishes, desserts
and games welcome, but not necessary.

$5/10 suggested donation per person/family
RSVP your pizza preference by noon on
Friday to 

This is a fun night happening
the first Friday of every month.
This month is an exception.
We would love to have you join us!


Come, read, and discuss a series of ultra-short thought-provoking plays written by Rev. Amanda Aikman illustrating contemporary religious and
ethical issues. 

Three engaging plays will be performed
reader-theatre style in each session. 

Refreshments provided.

Facilitator: Dave Cauffman

Two Fridays:
Nov. 13 and Nov 20, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm


cauffman@whidbey.com to reserve your spot.    


poetry of e.e. cummings

The "e.e. cummings" Poetry Group begins this Tuesday, Oct. 6th
at 5:30 at UUCWI.
If you haven't signed up, there are a couple of spaces left.  We will meet for six Tuesdays in a row.  The first week's assignment is to read the first 20 poems in "95 Poems" and plan to read your favorite to the group.  Estlin was such an interesting guy.  Come join us to expand your appreciation.

Joan Gerteis ( 221-2189)  and Mary Goolsby ( 579-2838)


New Book Group - Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin


Please email Judy Kaplan at  peacefuljudyone@gmail.com if you have questions


Power of Vulnerability Study Group
Beginning January 6, 2016 

Dr. Brenè Brown offers “Power of Vulnerability” program in which we learn about the foundations of wholehearted living. If you are interested to learn about how our emotional responses influence our way of experiencing life, please join the study group.

We will meet for six consecutive weeks on Wednesdays, beginning January 6 and ending
February 10, 2016  from 2 PM to 4 PM at UUCWI.

During each session, we will watch four videos of Brenè’s presentation, followed by questions and explorations. The objective of this study group is to learn about the Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.  It is important to be able to attend all sessions as each session builds on the previous one. The study group is open to maximum of 11 participants. To register, please contact Jarina Moss by e-mail:


Social & Environmental Justice Council News



Weather is Becoming a Worry

This year’s extreme weather in western North America (fires, drought, floods, etc) highlights the need to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution, especially carbon dioxide. The need for the world to confront the Climate/Ocean Crisis prompted UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to call on government and civil society leaders to bring bold initiatives and proposals to drastically lower global warming and ocean altering carbon pollution, saying, “I challenge you to bring to the Summit (Paris) bold pledges. Innovate, scale up, cooperate, and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement.”

 Social Instability

It is becoming apparent that we have a crisis of unprecedented proportions. The Syrian refugee crisis which the National Academy of Science has determined is climate driven, offers a window into a frightening future as food shortages, primarily due to drought, and sea level rise cause massive social disruption. According to the International Organization on Migration, sea level rise alone will displace 25 million to one billion people by 2100.  North Americans produce twice the carbon pollution  (19.2 tons/year) as Europeans, 10 times the amount as Mexicans and 100 times as much as Africans. Clearly we need to act to conserve.  Interfaith Power and Light,  an interdenominational organization of which UUCWI is a partner, has a plan for members and churches which your Social and Environmental Justice Council supports.   It is called the Paris Pledge.

What is the Paris Pledge?

The Paris Pledge was announced by IPL’s Rev. Sally Bingham in response to UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon's challenge on Earth Day 2015.   It is a commitment to reducing your carbon pollution by 50% by the year 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Together, we can make a real difference.   You can sign on online.   The SEJC will also have information available and a laptop to facilitate individual signup in the foyer of the sanctuary.    When you take the pledge, Interfaith Power & Light will provide you with helpful resources and tools so you can reach (and maybe even exceed) these commitments.  They will then tally all pledges and share these results with the global community in Paris.  


IP &L is not alone in attempting to influence UN conferees in Paris.  The Pope’s encyclical, UUA’s Action of Immediate Witness on Global Warming, the Quakers,   Islam leaders and many other influential institutions are directing their attention towards Paris.  By taking this action we will show our world leaders that we believe climate change is a real threat that needs to be addressed immediately and with vigor. 


Take the Pledge: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/50836/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=13329

 NAS Scientists Say Syrian Refugee Crisis is Climate Change Caused





Our congregation has been blessed by our association with our Northwest UU district.  The Chalice Lighter program from our UUNWD aids congregations when there is a need for small grants to aid our member churches. 

We have been fortunate to receive grants in the past which have helped us with initial construction of our building and more recently with our lighting and sound systems.  We would like to obtain more help with some of the projects which our board feels would benefit our congregation. 

The Chalice Lighters organization requests a donation three times a year of $15 dollars minimum.  Money will be distributed where needed as our district is able.  We need to have 30% or more of our membership agree to pledge three times a year to be eligible for more help.  Thank you to all those who contribute now. 

Pledge forms are available online from our district. We will have some to distribute in the next few weeks.  And please, talk to me for more information.  Frank Allen

Upcoming Events

2nd Sunday Lunch Bunch

This month on October 11, join in the warmth of sharing a meal and conversations. Then, the grand finale, the Fortune Cookie Game!  "What’s that?” you say?  Come find out.  China City, after church, from 11:45 to 1:00, give or take.
Monthly Dinners for Fun
Linda and Leonard Good will open their cozy home for this month’s pot luck.  Perhaps Linda will give us a tour of her new music studio while we are there.  Let her know what you would like to bring and join other members and friends for an always pleasant evening with the Goods.  Call  360 221-6439 or email llgood@langleywa.com

In Gratitude


Congratulations!  On September 20th the congregation collected a most generous $930 dedicated offering for the Syrian refugees.

Your generosity is amazing!


UUCWI Board & Program Chairs

2015 - 2016 Board of Trustees

Sarah Richards, President
Libby Roberts, Vice President
Nick Fowler, Treasurer
Mary Goolsby, Secretary
Clara Beier, Trustee
John Long, Trustee
Teri Wright, Trustee
Contact Board members at UUCWI voice mail 360-321-8656

Dennis Reynolds   541-517-7325  minister@uucwi.org

Sally Elder  360-675-3314  chaplain@uucwi.org
Our minister and chaplain are available for rites of passage ceremonies
(including ceremonies of commitment or union) and pastoral visits.

Meri McCormick - admin@uucwi.org

Lifelong Spiritual Development:
Ginger White - lifespancoord@uucwi.org

Choir Director:
Mavis Cauffman - mgc@whidbey.com

2015-2016 Committee Chairs
Auction - Laurie Riley and Larry Morrell (Co-chairs)
Building and Grounds - Gene Berg (contact) Big Picture Coordinator: Toyan Copeland Landscape: Chris Bell
Caring Connections – Laurie Riley
Meri McCormick, newsletter editor newsletter@uucwi.org
Charlie Knutila, Website Manager: wwg_chair@uucwi.org
Finance -  Open
Leadership Council – Libby Roberts
Library - Joan Gerteis (Chair)
Long Range Planning – open
Membership - Clara Beier and Gaye Simpson (Co-chairs)
Ministry - Sara Heath (Chair)
Music - Linda Good (Chair)
Nominating – Lois Chowen
Social and Environmental Justice - Gary and Dianna Piazzon
Stewardship - John Long (convener)
Visual Arts – Christi Shaffer and Dallas Huth (Co-chairs)
Worship - Terra Anderson (Chair)


Newsletter Information

News, announcements, events, and other items of interest to members of the congregation should be submitted in writing by the 20th of each month to the editor, at admin@uucwi.org.  Suggestions for articles and information of interest to the whole congregation are both welcomed and encouraged. Items may be edited as needed.

"A Welcoming Congregation"

Worship Services are held every Sunday, 10 a.m. in our Sanctuary
Located at 20103 State Route 525 in
     Freeland, WA 98249
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