Monday, March 30, 2009

New Email Subscription option!

Do you love to keep up with First Unitarian's RE-Connect Baltimore Blog, but have trouble navigating to the site each week? Now you can sign up to receive an email whenever a new item is posted to the blog. Simply type your email address into the Feedburner widget in the sidebar to the right. Easy as pie!

If you sign up for an email subscription, each time a new post appears on the blog, you'll receive it right in your email inbox!

Thanks to Karla Peterson for the request!

New to Unitarian Universalism?

In the past few weeks, several folks have inquired about resources for diving more deeply into Unitarian Universalism. Here are just a few resources to get you started:

Voices of A Liberal Faith DVD (order free online here: or watch online here:

UU World ( Church members should automatically receive this official Unitarian Universalist magazine. If you haven't received it in the mail, check with the church office (via email) about getting your subscription. For an eco-friendly version, just visit their website, with an archive of past articles.

Unitarian Universalist Association ( There are a lot of great resources available here, including several sermons on "UU perspectives" of various issues here: and a brief history section here:, including a slideshow of historical UU leaders. There is also a brief section on the symbol of our faith, the chalice, here:

UU & Me ( UU & Me is a kids magazine included in issues of the UU World. Sometimes I find information and ideas in publications for kids that some of the publications for adults never get around to articulating. This can be a neat resource.

Quest ( The Church of the Larger Fellowship is an online community for UUs who may not have a local UU church to go to. Their magazine, "Quest" is a great repository of sermons, articles and other short pieces written for UUs. You can read or listen to article at their website.

Podcasts -- there is a great wealth of UU podcasts out there now. If you have iTunes, you can simply search of "Unitarian Universalist" and find a treasure trove. I recommend starting with the UUA's official podcast, which you can find here:

I hope you find these helpful!

In addition, the membership committee of First Unitarian holds a class called "Beginnings" that can help newcomers connect with Unitarian Universalism in general and our congregation specifically. The next Beginnings class will be in the Fall. Childcare is no problem! Just let them know you'll need it when you sign-up for the class.

**Note to Parents' class participants: stay tuned later this week for that promised post on resources for kids' theological questions...**

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mystery Buddy Breakfast this Sunday!

Now is the time! The day you've all been waiting for! Identities will be revealed at the Mystery Buddies Breakfast this Sunday, March 29 at 9:30 am in the Parish Hall.

In the meantime, you might have some questions, like...

• What should I bring?
Two things: 1) You should bring a breakfast dish or beverage to share (preferably something that does NOT need to be reheated, since the kitchen will be crowded) 2) Please also bring some last little gift for your buddy. A flower, a drawing, a work of art...some small token. You will meet your buddy before you exchange gifts, so this does not need to be a clue like in previous weeks.

• How will I know who my buddy is?
When you arrive, drop your food off at the main table and look around the tables in the parish hall to find a nametag with your code name on it. Put on your name tag and look around at the other guests to find your buddy, who will also be wearing a name tag. Once you've found each other, turn your nametags around to reveal your real names.

• What do we do once we find our buddies?
First of all, have a bite to eat! Chat! Get to know each other better! Also on each table will be our annual Mystery Buddies art project, where we decorate paper people cutouts to somehow represent ourselves. Once you've both completed your art project, bring them to Becky to include on the Mystery Buddy Banner.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Springfest is coming, April 5

Twice a year, the Fest Committee requests the assistance of children (1st-6th grades) in their special services, Springfest and Winterfest. These children, the InFesters, help plan their roles in the worship as well as performing these roles during the services themselves. There are opportunities for young people with a broad range of interests, including speaking parts and non-speaking parts, and even totally behind-the-scenes efforts.

The theme for this year's Springfest service is Balance, under the title "Dancing on the Winds of Change." Laurel Mendes and Becky Brooks will be leading our first InFesters rehearsal to plan for the children's parts on March 29, from 12:45 to 1:30 pm in the youth room. All kids who are interested in participating should attend this rehearsal.

There will be one additional rehearsal, a dress rehearsal, on Saturday, April 4, from 10:00-11:30 am in the Sancutary. The Springfest service will be at 11 am, Sunday, April 5. All worship participants, including InFesters, should arrive on Apr. 5 at 9:45 am.

If your children are interested in being involved in the Springfest service, please let Becky know via email at your earliest convenience. I hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family HEART Camp — Summer opportunity

Every once in a while I hear of opportunities offered by other organizations that First Unitarian families might want to take advantage of. This seven-day summer camp for families, "Family HEART Camp," focusing on Nonviolent Communication for families, will be offered July 10-18 in Northern Virginia.

The description from their website:

Would you enjoy having more Harmony, Ease, Authenticity, Respect, and Trust (HEART) in your family? Do you want to create close connections with your children, to inspire cooperation instead of power struggle, to take good care of yourself, to support your children in thriving, to have fun and peace of mind, to enjoy parenting?

Then consider Family HEART Camp – an unforgettable one-week immersion in Nonviolent Communication for families. Family HEART Camp will be held on July 10-18, 2009 in Northern Virginia, 35 miles south of Washington, DC.

Our dream is that Family HEART Camp will be a place where children learn to cherish, honor and respect their parents, and parents learn to cherish, honor and respect their children. We hope to create a supportive community of like-minded people who will feel like a new family by the end of the week. We envision an environment where parents and children thrive, supported by experienced staff and by their new friends. We want to make it possible for parents and children to learn new skills together to support harmony, cooperation and peace in their families, with lots of play and fun for everyone.

Family HEART Camp is based on Nonviolent Communication, which offers a powerful set of tools and inspiring perspectives that support people in living their values, and in speaking and acting in ways that say "You matter!" to everyone involved.

To learn more, please visit

Beginnings Class will be offered Sat., March 28

Are you new to the congregation? Want to know more about our church? Sign up for "Beginnings: Is UU for You?"

Our "Beginnings" daylong session is scheduled for Saturday, March 28, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. The session, led by members of the congregation, includes an exploration of spiritual journeys and our liberal religious heritage and beliefs as well as the history of our church. We will also discuss the many facets of our congregational polity (how we govern ourselves) and church community, including how one becomes a member. We encourage you to bring your questions as well.

Both a continental breakfast and lunch are included as part of the program and childcare will be provided. Participants must register in advance. To sign up, stop by the Welcome Table during coffee hour on Sunday. You can also register via email at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Save the Date for our Passover Seder, Apr. 9!

First Unitarian's Annual Passover Seder will be held on Thursday, April 9, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm

Each spring, the eight-day Passover holiday is observed with a traditional meal and ritual called a Seder, featuring a retelling of the story of the Jewish peoples’ Exodus from Egypt. The Seder is an multigenerational event where participants eat symbolic foods and progress through the Exodus story during the meal. You are invited to participate in First Unitarian’s second annual Passover Seder on April 9, 5-7:30 pm.

You must register for this event beforehand.

The deadline for registration is April 1.

Unlike a potluck, the Passover Seder is a participatory, communal religious occasion and all who register will be given a food or beverage assignment on April 3.

A $5 donation per family is requested to cover the cost of beverages (a ritual part of this meal)

To register, contact Mickie Grover

Are you interested in helping to plan and host this event? Contact Becky Brooks.

Community News

Spring is such an exciting time. Is there something new or exciting in your life? Would you like to include it in our "Community News" column (on the right sidebar)? Get into the school you were hoping for? Welcome a new member of your family? New responsibilities? Exciting changes afoot?

To have your news included in our "Community News," email Director of Religious Education, Becky Brooks by clicking here.

I look forward to hearing from you!