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    November 29, 2019 

Sunday Morning Service at 10:30am

December 1
"The Unexpected Journey Into Paganism"   Members of our Ancient Shores CUUPS chapter will share stories on how they became pagans.  Afterward, congregants will be able to ask questions about the panel's paths and beliefs.  Led by Scott and Monica Hughes and members of the Ancient Shores CUUPS.

For upcoming Sunday Services, click here.

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

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Interested in Circle Dinners? 

Would you be interested in participating in a Circle Dinner, spring 2020, on the weekend of April 19 or 25?  Please vote for a weekend in our doodle poll!  If enough members express interest, the Engagement Team will assist with the organization of these dinners.

Circle Dinners are held in the homes of UUFoM Members. The goals are to:  

  • Make new friends
  • Grow and learn
  • Share a meal together

This is a modified potluck. Your host(s) will provide an entrée and you & other guests will bring the rest of the meal. Your host will help you decide what to bring. These are adult only events.

Vote here!

Website Wish List

Over the next few months, you will see changes to our website:  some major, some minor.  Then, a major overhaul in 2020.  While we are making these changes, we would like to know what kind of things do you like and dislike about our website currently.  What type of changes would you like to see?  What kind of topics would you like us to address?  We want the good, the bad and the ugly.  We are interested in the slightest changes.  Share your recommendations and suggestions here.   If you need access to Members section of the website, please contact Wendy Altmeier, Office Administrator.

Currently, when you access our website via Google, the link does not take you to our current website.  It takes you to a website that we cannot access in the Fellowship Office.  We are working towards resolving this issue with Google.  We recently set the link up to go to our Facebook page for the present time as that is much more accurate than the page it was linked to.  We ask for your patience as we attempt to manage the situation. 

Toys for Tots Drop-Off Location

US Marine Reserve Toys for Tots program collects new and unwrapped toys each year to distribute as Christmas gifts to children and youth ages 0-17 in the community.  Midland is hosting a Toys for Tots drive and the Fellowship is a drop-off location.  Please bring in a NEW and UNWRAPPED gift to the Toys for Tots box located in the lobby area before Sunday, December 8.  Toys for Tots does not accept realistic looking weapons and gifts with food.  

Distribution will be held on December 14 at the Midland Mall, Midland.  There are no income requirements but you must be a resident of Midland County.   You will need your driver's license, proof of residency, and birth certificate(s) for all children and youth participating.  Sign up before December 1 to participate. 

Contact Wendy at if you have any questions!

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RE-Flections: One is Enough

Many years ago, I was at the UU General Assembly, when I had a perspective shared with me by a stranger that turned my world around.  At the time, my oldest child was the only one in our congregation his age.  He was too young for the age group above him, and too old for the age group below, and there was no one his age.  I shared how I understood the decision not to offer a class for just one child.  This stranger stopped me.

“It does not matter that there is only one.  ONE is enough,” he told me passionately.  “When we say one is not enough, we are telling that child that they do not matter.” 

I blinked.  It was so simple for this stranger.  Eye-opening for me.

This changed my world in two ways: one was for my child.  He mattered – not just to me – that was a given, but to everyone. As a Unitarian Universalist parent who values the needs of not just their own child but the other children in our community, it is easy to feel hesitant or to worry about imposing. We fret about having something done on behalf of our single child.  What I want to share both as a parent and now as a Director of Religious Education is that it is not an imposition, but a joy.  Every child matters to our congregations – to this congregation.  The needs of even one matter.  If the needs of a family can be met, our Unitarian Universalist congregants have the biggest hearts.  We want to make it happen.

One is enough.

We have two teachers for every classroom.  This is part of our congregation’s commitment to safe church policy to protect both children and volunteers.  This means that sometimes we have a classroom with a one to one ratio, or rarely even a two to one ratio of adults to children.  Does this mean our commitment to providing teachers for that age-group is a waste of time? Absolutely not.  If there is even one child, offering age-appropriate materials matters, because that child matters.
We do sometimes bring a child into an older or younger class when they are the only one in their age group, if they are old enough or young enough to fit into the other classroom.  We do this, not because the volunteer time matters more than that one child.  We do this because what child wishes to be alone when there are other children to share adventures with? So, if you find a slightly older or younger child in your class, welcome them.  Let them know their desire to be with others matters.

These things are also true when it comes for childcare, or a child with a specific need.  Even if we have only one child who has the need, they are STILL one.  They still matter.  Each and every one.  If we have the ability to do so, we will provide.  If you are the parent of that child, never doubt that your child is worth it, not just to you, but to your congregation.

One last note: We are going into a holiday season that is traditionally filled with wonder and transformation.  Welcome those moments.  Open your hearts to those amazing words or experiences that can turn your world around!  It is miraculous how the words of one stranger can change things.

Yours in Fellowship,

Heather Cleland-Host
Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Youth Winter Pageant "Turn the World Around"

This year’s Winter Pageant will be held on December 15 during the service. It will include a modern
adaptation of O’Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” A young couple moves into their new home just before Christmas. They have very little money, and each sells something precious to themselves in order to give something to a person who is more precious to them (their spouse). Our story is full of surprises as we find out what happens when they exchange gifts (and what happens to their ex-belongings).

Come celebrate the holidays with song, story and tales from the children of our congregation. See how a new perspective can turn your world around.

Upcoming Services

December Theme - "The Unexpected/Awe"
December 8
"Annual Choir Service"
 Our fabulous choir members will present our annual music-filled service where songs of the season will be sung sweetly in celebration of the onset of winter and the holidays. If you miss the service, or just love hearing the choir sing, come and see the UUFoM Choir at the Dow Gardens Christmas Walk on Friday, December 13 at 5:30pm, near the birches, only a short walk from the main building. 

 Youth Winter Pageant

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.” 

Dates to remember:
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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Holiday Help in Midland

  • 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.

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.
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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!

More than 50 items were donated to the Food Pantry this month!  

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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. 
Sun 12/01 10:30am Sunday Service
  11:45am Pageant Rehearsal
  7:00pm AA Meeting (rental)
Wed 12/04 5:00pm Three Jewels Sangha Tea & Meditation
  7:00pm Choir Rehearsal
  8:00pm AA Meeting (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
December Contact:  Mary Johnson 989-859-1490

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
Unavailable Mondays, except in emergencies.
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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