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    November 8, 2019 

Sunday Morning Service at 10:30am

November 17 
"Transgender Courage" In thanks and praise of living with integrity and courage, we will center the stories of transgender and nonbinary folks and will honor the memory of those who lost their lives to violence in the past year.  Eric Severson speaking.

Lower Elementary
Welcome One and All (Moral Tales, Lesson 6)
Story: Mulla Nasraddin Feeds His Coat – This is a Middle Eastern folktale about Mulla Nasraddin who is turned away from a party when he arrives in worn work clothes, but welcomed inside when he returns wearing a fancy coat. 

Upper Elementary
Introduction to Native American Traditions (Sacred Stories)
Story: Turtle Island – This is a common Native American story describing the land of North America as Turtle Island.  This particular tradition is attributed to the Iroquois.

For upcoming Sunday Services, click here.

Please remember to silence your phones and that only covered drinks are allowed in the sanctuary.  

November 17 
"Transgender Courage"

Midland Area Interfaith Friends

 Sunday, November 17, 4:00pm at the United Church of Christ

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Leadership Workshop - Keeping Stress Productive


Sign up here!
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Ministry is largely about presence -- being present to people in need. Whether in worship, meetings, or pastoral visits, I try to be fully present physically, intellectually, and emotionally when I am with you. At the same time, I need boundaries to prevent burnout. So, just as I did with the search committee and board of trustees, I want to share some thoughts with you about my availability.

Here is the language about my work week in our letter of agreement: 

“Ministry is a calling and the Minister is an exempt full-time professional. In recognition that ministry is time intensive with widely varying hours, the Minister and the Board will discuss the broad parameters of the Minister’s schedule, understanding that the work of ministry is multifaceted, unpredictable, highly relational, and subject to unforeseen activities and events. The minister is responsible for monitoring their time to ensure the proper balance of work and time off.”

So, to give you a better sense of when I am available, here is my typical weekly schedule:

Sunday - it’s all about the worship service. Sometimes there are meetings afterward. It usually is a full, intense, and deeply fulfilling day for me. Unless there is other pressing business, I try to relax Sunday evening.

Monday - my day off. This is my sabbath day. (Yes, I get just one day off. Some colleagues manage two days off, but because I am just three months into the position, I will put in the time necessary to get things done. This includes, of course, emergencies.)

Tuesday through Thursday - I try to be in the office from 11 to 3, though offsite meetings or visits are sometimes necessary. I prefer to attend evening meetings in the middle of the week.

Friday - while sermons are percolating all the time, I set aside Friday as a writing day.

Saturday - I do whatever still needs doing for Sunday. Usually I’m glued to the laptop, writing.

Occasionally I have local or UU clergy meetings or family commitments that will take me out of town. I try to alert other staff members to this well in advance.

Usually I am “up and at ’em” by 9 a.m. and won’t attend meetings after 9 p.m. I’m pretty responsive to voice, text, and email messages, but I don’t check or respond to them after 9 p.m. (or Mondays). If you have an emergency, please call me. My initial trial of a local Google number proved that it was unreliable. Please use my actual mobile number: 608-738-2694. I trust you not to abuse it.

If you have any questions about any of the above, please let me know. I hope it gives you a better sense of my availability.


Eric Severson

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Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

November 20, at 6:00pm at Coffee Chaos 

The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to plan religious education programming for children, youth and adults within the Fellowship.  If you would like to join or are interested in checking out what this team does, feel free to attend.  Contact Heather Cleland-Host, Director of Lifespan Religious Education at for the agenda.

Crossing Paths:  Ziibiwing Center Visit

The Middle School Class's Crossing Paths Program will be visiting the Ziibiwing Center on Saturday, November 23, to learn about our local Native American community: the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (Anishinaabe).  We will be touring the museum, which includes a section on traditional religious beliefs within their community.  Any interested adults and younger children are welcome to this visit.  We will be getting a group rate, which will be $5.75 for adults and $2.75 for children.  Crossing Paths students and volunteers will have a reduced rate, courtesy of the youth program’s can returns. 

An informational meeting will be held on November 17, in room LL104 at 11:45 am.  Times and directions will be provided at the informational meeting.


 Youth Winter Pageant - Preparations Beginning!

Calling all children and volunteers! It’s time to sign up for the pageant!

This year’s Winter Pageant will be on December 15.  This is an early pageant, so rehearsals will be starting before Thanksgiving.  The pageant service will be aligned with the December theme, which is focused on "The Unexpected/Awe.”  The Middle School Class will be selecting the story for the pageant on November 17.  Rehearsals will begin on November 24.  Contact Heather Cleland-Host, at, if you or your child are interested in participating in the pageant service.  Opportunities include:  being in the pageant, sharing a talent, singing songs with the congregation, volunteering to help guide the children in rehearsal and during the service. 

Dates to remember:
November 17:    Pageant story selection (during Middle School Class)
November 24:    First rehearsal 12:00-2:00pm
December 1:      Rehearsal 12:00-2:00pm
December 8:      Rehearsal 10:30-2:00pm (During the service and after lunch)
December 15:    Warm-up - Arrival Time 9:00am; young children 10:00am)
                            Pageant Service 10:30-11:30am               
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Upcoming Services

November Theme - "Thanks and Praise"

November 17
"Transgender Courage"
In thanks and praise of living with integrity and courage, we will center the stories of transgender and nonbinary folks and will honor the memory of those who lost their lives to violence in the past year.  Eric Severson speaking.

November 24
"Thanks for Simple Gifts"
As we approach the Thanksgiving Day holiday, let's prepare ourselves for gatherings of people, overconsumption, and the winter holiday countdown by focusing on small, more immediate sources of joy. Eric Severson speaking.

November Lifespan Religious Education

Children's Circles
Lower Elementary Children’s Circle, Room UL303 (Age 4 to grade 2)
This year they are learning how different values and ideas are viewed by many religions and cultures, including our own.  November’s theme is “Gratitude and Generosity.” They will be learning about the value placed on hospitality and gratitude.  November volunteers are Jon Van Regenmorter and Cricket Krengel. One volunteer is still needed for November 17 and 24.
November 17: Welcome One and All (Moral Tales, Lesson 6)
Story: Mulla Nasraddin Feeds His Coat – This is a Middle Eastern folktale about Mulla Nasraddin who is turned away from a party when he arrives in worn work clothes, but welcomed inside when he returns wearing a fancy coat. 
November 24: Footprints Treading Softly on the Earth (Moral Tales, Lesson 10)
Story: Parachuting Cats to the Rescue – This modern-day story explores what happens when a new species is introduced into an ecosystem and then humans attempt to fix it.
Upper Elementary Children’s Circle, Room UL302 (Grades 2 to 5)
Upper Elementary Children’s Circle meets every Sunday in UL302. Second graders may join the Upper Elementary on a case by case basis.  This class is learning about the stories of the world’s religions.  In October, their focus was on Hinduism.  November’s focus will be on “Earth-Centered Traditions.”  Lessons will include Pagan and Native American traditions, and the students will get a taste of stories from these traditions. November’s volunteers are Lisa Janetski, Sasha King and Jessie Parham.

November 17: Introduction to Native American Traditions (Sacred Stories)
Story: Turtle Island – This is a common Native American story describing the land of North America as Turtle Island.  This particular tradition is attributed to the Iroquois.
November 24: Light into Darkness (Sacred Stories)
Story: Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun – This story tells how the animals brought light into the world.  The legend is from the Cherokee and Muscogee people.  It is also similar to a Kiowa tale. 
Crossing Paths Program
Secondary Class, Room LL304 (Grade 6 and up)
Volunteer facilitators and co-explorers: Monica and Scott Hughes, Linda Bozzelli
Our Crossing Paths Program meets every Sunday during the service.  Crossing Paths is a world religions survey class, where participants have an opportunity to learn about and visit other religious communities that make up our mid-Michigan region. They also explore how our Unitarian Universalist faith connects with these communities.  The secondary class is co-facilitated by one adult and one pre-teen.  Additional adults are invited to participate as co-explorers.  In accordance with Safe Church guidelines, all co-explorers must be approved for participation in a youth class, so please sign up if you are interested!
November’s focus is Earth-Based Traditions.  We will be focusing on Pagan traditions and Anishinaabe traditions.  We will have one lesson on each followed by a visit to or from each tradition.  Members from Ancient Shores Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) will be providing activities on Sunday, November 10, during the service. On Saturday, November 23, the class will be visiting the Ziibiwing Center.

UUFoM Adopt-A-Road Pick-Up

Sunday, November 24 
Eastman Road

Last spring, UUFoM adopted a stretch of Eastman Road, the west side from Monroe to the north fairgrounds entrance. We did the heavy work with the first pick-up this spring.

Let's live our values by continuing to keep Midland beautiful!  Our fall Adopt-a-Road Pick-Up will take place on Sunday, November 24, at 12:30pm. We'll gather in the foyer after the service to divide into teams, discuss safety, and distribute tools.  We'll be working near a busy road, so no young children, please.  You'll want to dress weather-appropriate and keep in mind the area we will be working in includes brushy terrain, and possibly water in ditches.  Rubber boots, gloves, rugged clothing, and eye protection are highly recommended. The City of Midland will supply safety vests and trash bags.

Sign Up Here!

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Holiday Help in Midland

  • 11/27/2019 Community Thanksgiving Dinner (Salvation Army)
  • 12/14/2019 Toys for Tots (Midland Mall) Sign-up online.  Must pre-register.
  • 12/14/2019 Jayden's Toy Store (Messiah Lutheran)
  • 12/18/2019 Christmas Toy Shop (Salvation Army) - Register at the Salvation Army (989) 496-2787(income guidelines apply.)
  • Adopt-A-Family (Salvation Army) Contact Salvation Army at (989) 496-2787. 

Sunday Scheduling

Sundays are busy and exciting at our Fellowship! Sunday worship activities, religious education classes and coffee hour run from 9:30am until 12:30pm in the building.  In addition, many groups are meeting after the service.

Please use the following guidelines when scheduling your meetings to better facilitate transitioning throughout the building: 

All rooms may be reserved beginning at 12:30pm. UL301 (food permitted) or the sanctuary (food not permitted) may be reserved beginning at 12:00pm.  

Please do not disturb worship and religious education programming in order to set up. Please store any supplies for Sunday meetings in UL305 or the kitchen, not in the classrooms. If childcare is requested, please communicate with your participants where and when childcare will take place. 

If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Altmeier, Office Administrator.

The Weekly Candle Flame Newsletter

Look for our newsletter on our new publishing day - Friday.   Submissions are required on Monday for  Friday's publication.  Please send any questions or submissions to Wendy Altmeier.

Library News

The UUFoM Library is now located in its permanent home - UL301.  Enjoy reading a book in a comfy chair upstairs or bring a book home to read.  If books are your thing, our library group is looking for some helpful volunteers.  Please contact Marsha McDonald if you are interested!
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Recording Volunteers

We need one to four volunteers to record sermons and upload them to a shared Google Drive so people who miss the Sunday service can listen to them.  There is a recorder available for this purpose.  The idea would be to rotate through the volunteers so no one has to do it every week.  Training on the use of the device and uploading the file will be provided. If you are interested, please fill out this form or contact Sarah Nuss-Warren. 

Speaker Suggestions

The Worship Team would like to prepare for 2020 by compiling a list of speakers we might call on when Eric is not in the pulpit.  If you have a suggestion for an outside speaker, or a lay-led service, please fill out this form or contact Sarah Nuss-Warren.  

Hearing Aid Headphones

There are two hearing aid headphones available for use during Sunday services. If you would like to use one, please let an usher know at least five minutes before the service.

Pastoral Care Team Request

The Pastoral Care Team and our minister, Eric Severson, have been contacted by a UU who recently moved to the south side of Saginaw.  She would like to attend services, but has no transportation.  If you are able to provide a ride occasionally, or have an idea how she could connect with someone using public transport or another resource, please contact a member of the Pastoral Care Team (Beth Sperry is the November contact) or our minister, Eric Severson.



Welcome, New Members!

Please give a warm welcome to our newest members:

From left to right:  Teresa Lynch, Nigh Cvengros, Ae Alexander, Chris Seman, Heather Self

Congratulations! We're so glad you are with us!
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Will You Welcome a Guest at Your Table?

The idea behind Guest at Your Table is to take a box home and place an amount of money in the box each day over the winter holidays, an amount that we might spend to host a guest in our homes.  Guest at Your Table donations support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, protecting and promoting basic human rights.

This year’s Guest at Your Table theme is Women Leaders, Strong Communities.  UUSC is highlighting the following women leaders from UUSC partner organizations:
  • A climate activist from Kiribati, Pelenise, is responding boldly to the climate change in the Pacific.
  • Marta is working to support victims of violence and eradicate violence against women in Honduras. 
  • Wai Wai is helping prevent violence and bridge ethnic and religious divides in Burma.
  • In Mexico and the US, Monica is using the arts to bolster resiliency and leadership among migrants.
Please pick up a Guest at Your Table box or envelope. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Clifton at

Sharing Tree

It's time for the Sharing Tree! The tree has 2 different tags. The green tags represent a request for this Christmas. The red tags represent a need to be filled throughout the year. Please return gifts, either wrapped (in a way that they can be inspected before distribution) or in a gift bag to the fellowship by December 2. You may also return them to another Sharing Tree location or directly to the Salvation Army location on Waldo Road. Thank you for your generosity to others in our community, during this holiday season.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Maxine Guettler.

Just a Reminder...

We collect donations on an ongoing basis for the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network.  Place your donations in one of the bins outside the sanctuary, and we will transport them to the Food Pantry. Non-perishable foods, self-care items, paper products and cleaning supplies are accepted.  Thank you!

We recently donated 42 items to the pantry!

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This Week at the Fellowship

Fellowship Office Hours
The Fellowship Office is open Mondays through Thursdays, from 9:30am until 2:30pm.  If you have any questions about upcoming events, please email the office or call 989-631-1162. 
Fri 11/15 10:00am Pastoral Care Team Meeting
  7:00pm Owning Your Religious Past
Sun 11/17 10:30am Sunday Service
  12:00pm Worship Team Meeting
  12:30pm Religious Education Gathering
  4:00pm Midland Area Interfaith Friends (offsite)
  7:00pm AA Meeting (rental)
Tue 11/19 6:30pm The Books We Carry With Us (Cov Grp)
  7:00pm Board Meeting
Wed 11/20 10:30am Staff Meeting
  4:00pm Where Do We Go From Here?  (Cov Grp)
  5:00pm Knitting (or Crocheting) the Web (Cov Grp)
  5:00pm Three Jewels Sangha
  6:00pm Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting
  7:00pm Choir Rehearsal
  8:00pm AA Meeting (rental)
Thu 11/21 7:000pm WOMAN (rental)

Reserve a space.

Maintenance Requests 

Have you noticed a burned-out light bulb or something in need of repair at the Fellowship?  Please fill out a Maintenance Request form, located in the rack outside the office door, and return it to the top slot in the rack.  Our sexton, Sandy Hay, will fix the problem as soon as possible!  Please respect that Sandy does not work on Sundays.  

Pastoral Care Ministry Team 

November Contact:  Beth Sperry 415-419-1747

Our Pastoral Care Ministry Team is here for you.  We can provide a meal, a ride, some respite or a supportive ear and a cup of coffee.

We maintain a volunteer list where you can identify ways to help a Fellowship member in need.  Please click here to fill out the Pastoral Care Volunteer Form online

Member Directory

You can access the Member Directory on the password-protected Member section of the website.  The Member Directory contains names and contact information for all members and pledging friends.  Please notify the office if you need to change your information or you do not wish your information to appear in the online directory. 


The Weekly Candle Flame is published each Friday.  Submission deadline is Monday for Friday's publication.  Please send submissions to Wendy Altmeier, Office Assistant, at


Wi-fi password for the Fellowship is yellowdeer807.  

Fellowship Office

Fellowship Office Hours
Monday - Thursday 9:30am-2:30pm

Eric Severson
Office Hours
Tuesday - Thursday 11:00am-3:00pm
Other times by appointment.

(608) 738-2694
In case of a pastoral emergency, call anytime.

Heather Cleland-Host
Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Office Hours by appointment only

Wendy Altmeier
Office Assistant

Office Hours
Monday - Thursday 9:30am-3:00pm
(989) 631-1162

Sandy Hay
(918) 698-0311
In case of building emergency, call anytime
Copyright ©2017 UUFoM, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland
6220 Jefferson Avenue
Midland, MI 48640

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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland · 6220 Jefferson Ave · Midland, MI 48640 · USA

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