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“The Gifts of the Journey” UUCUC Pageant

December 16, 2018

led by Michele Townsend Grove

Sophia Lyons Fahs said, "Every night a child is born is a holy night."  We will celebrate this truth in our all ages holiday pageant called The Gifts of the Journey.  The story will unfold as the participants travel to find a newborn baby and bring gifts to honor the holy event. This all ages worship experience gives everyone the opportunity to experience the holiday season and while providing children with the opportunity to participate in a way that is special to this time of year.  

“You Can Do It!”

December 9, 2018

Patch Adams, MD, guest speaker

Patch Adams is a doctor, clown, activist, visionary, and a member of our community. In this service Patch will talk about his work, the Gesundheit Institute, his concepts of “health care” and “hospital”, and his vision of the world as it should be.

Keine Angst vorm Dracula! (No Fear from Dracula!)

December 2, 2018

UUCUC Partner Church Committee 

This annual service honors and acknowledges our relationship with our partner Unitarian churches in Transylvania and India. The UUCUC choirs will be singing.

Where Credit Is Due

November 25, 2018

Sam Beshers and Worship Committee

Can you think of a time recently when someone you know took a risk? Did they try something new and different, unsure if it would be a triumph or disaster?  Very likely you know someone who stayed late to finish some work, took extra responsibility, volunteered...or maybe checked in on a friend at an important time. Today we will talk about those who do good, and who are often unseen, and how we can give thanks.

Prophetic Sisterhood

November 18, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

On the Midwestern frontier in the late 19th century, a quiet revolution unfolded: women began to be ordained and to serve as ministers of Unitarian and Universalist churches, which was entirely new in the history of Western religion. They were astonishingly successful, founding many new congregations. This church had a female Universalist minister early in its history. In this year where we have elected so many women. Come hear the stories of these strong, resilient, and determined women, and what they can teach us now.

Rituals of Love

November 11, 2018

Rev. Patrice Curtis, Visiting UU Minister

As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to challenge and confront powers and structures of evil. Might a newly inspirational humanist imagination help us do this work? 

Rev. Patrice Curtis is the minister for the Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater in Florida. She sits on the Gulf Coast Jewish Refugee Advisory Council, Interfaith Tampa Bay, and the UU Historical and Heritage Society. Previously, she served All Souls Church in Washington, DC and as intern at First Unitarian Portland in Oregon. Rev. Curtis is a colleague and friend of Rev. Caplow, here for our Celebration of Shared Ministry.  

Celebration of Shared Ministry & Installation of Reverend Florence Elizabeth Caplow

November 10, 2018

All Souls: Honoring Ancestors

November 4, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

Our November theme is "Memory". Join us on November 4th for a poignant service to honor those who have passed away and yet live on in our hearts and memories. Bring photos, mementos, or cards for our annual candle lighting ritual. The ushers will have blank cards at the door as well. This is an all-ages service. The UUCUC Choir and Children's Choir will be singing.

Shelter in the Storm

October 28, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

As the elections loom and as great storms, literal and figurative, are forecast daily, we are all just trying our best to live our lives with a little grace and joy and humor. In difficult times, how can we strengthen our support for each other and our neighbors? How can we provide refuge and sanctuary for one another? What lessons can be learned from real storms and their aftermath? Let's take a look.

Beloved Community/Radical Hospitality

October 21, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow and Deanna Hence

Deanna Hence and Rev. Caplow will explore what it means for us here at UUCUC to make a commitment to beloved community and ever-deepening hospitality, at a time when racial and economic divisions are widening daily. Children and youth will begin in the Sanctuary.

Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant

October 14, 2018

José Ángel N., Guest Speaker

José Ángel is the author of Illegal , published by the University of Illinois press. October's theme is "Sanctuary?" and this is an opportunity to hear a first person account of what it is like to be undocumented in this country. The UUCUC Choir will be singing. Children will begin in classrooms. The Press will have copies of our speaker's book for sale after the service, and he will be signing copies.

Speaker Biography : José Ángel came to the United States in 1993 and has lived here since. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in Hispanic Studies. You can explore his blog at 

Blessings of the Animals

October 7, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

Our Sunday service, in honor of the birthday of St. Francis, will be a celebration of animals, both our companions and the wild ones. This will be an outdoor service, weather permitting. If it is rainy, the service will be held in the Sanctuary, and animals are still invited to attend. You can bring your pet (on a leash or in a carrier please), or, if your pet is shy, you can bring a photo to be blessed. Kids, you can even bring your favorite stuffed animal! All are welcome and all will be blessed.

I Have Come to Speak Only of Love

September 30, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī was a 13th century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic, born September 30, 1207. His ecstatic poetry has been popularized by Western translators, and in that form has made its way into many of our UU hymns, readings, and sermons. In fact, some people say that our UU scriptures are the poetry of Mary Oliver and Rumi! In keeping of our September theme of Vision, and in honor of Rumi's birthday, we will be read his poetry and ask "Who was Rumi? What was his mystical vision? Has something of his spirit and faith been lost in translation? In this time of anti-Muslim feeling, what does it mean that we can so easily forget that Rumi was a poet writing from within the Muslim faith?"

A Wider Vision: Celebrating the Transcendentalists

September 23, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

The Transcendentalists, a loose-knit group of writers, intellectuals, speakers, Unitarian ministers, and reformers in 19th century New England, are among our spiritual ancestors as Unitarian Universalists. They included Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Peabody, Nathaniel Hawthorn, and others. This small group profoundly changed America and American values. September 19th is the 182nd anniversary of the first meeting of the Transcendentalist Club. Our theme this month is "Vision", and we will celebrate the transformative vision of the Transcendentalists. The UUCUC choir will be singing music from Transcendentalist composer Charles Ives. CrUUners and Children's Choir will be signing, too. Children and youth will begin in service before going to their classes.

Bubby’s Story

September 16, 2018

Elizabeth Davis, guest speaker and the Worship Committee

Twenty years ago, a young mother was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Her daughter Elizabeth will tell about her mother’s life and battle with the disease, and her own story of being raised to confront adversity and to “keep things in perspective”. The UUCUC Band will be playing. This service may extend beyond an hour.

Shared Ministry: Going Deeper

September 9, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

Last year, as Rev. Caplow began her ministry with us, she brought us the vision and practice of "shared ministry," which is based on the understanding that ministry is done by all in the congregation, not just the minister, and ministry reaches well beyond our walls. As we begin our second year of shared ministry with her, how have we traveled together in the last year? Where might we go from here? This will also be our annual Teacher Dedication and beginning of Children's Religious Education classes for the year. Children and youth will begin in worship service before heading to their classes. The UUCUC Choir and the CrUUners will be singing.

A Brave and Startling Truth

September 2, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

Maya Angelou wrote, "We, this people, on a small and lonely planet...It is possible and imperative that we learn a brave and startling truth...We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world" ( In September we will be exploring the theme of "Vision" beginning with this beautiful poem, and what it can teach us about vision and possibility. 

Gathering of Waters: Our Lives Flow on in Endless Song

August 26, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow and Michele Townsend Grove

The UUCUC Water Service is our annual multi-generational Ingathering service at the end of the summer. Please bring a small vial of water from somewhere sacred to you, from far away or nearby. This is a beautiful UU tradition for all ages, honoring the waters of the world and our joining together in community once again. The service will be co-led by our minister, Rev. Caplow, and our new Interim Director of Religious Education, Michele Townsend Grove. 

Getting REal: A Transformative View of Religious Education

August 19, 2018

Michele Townsend Grove and Rev. Florence Caplow

Come learn more from our new Interim Director of Religious Education, Michele Townsend Grove! After a national search, we were thrilled when one of the top interim religious educators in the country agreed to come to UUCUC for two years, to guide us through a visioning process about our program. Interim religious education work is a relatively new field, and Michele is a leader in it. She will be sharing some of her life story and she will give us a preview of the interim work we will be doing together.

Creating Connections in a Growing Church Community

August 12, 2018

Sherry Bohlen, Scott Godlew, Deanna Hence, Jason Rock, Priscilla Kron

Featuring reflections from Rev. Florence Caplow; Song Leaders: The CrUUners

Come learn how to be a part of an emerging new "Covenant Group" program within our church community. The Covenant Group concept planned for this Fall has been designed for all new and old members and friends of UUCUC to create connections in our growing church environment. The Covenant Groups will follow UUA's theme-based ministry called "Soul Matters".  

Scott Godlew, Deanna Hence, Jason Rock and Priscilla Kron will represent the cadre of fellow congregants who will facilitate our small groups.

“Small Group Ministry is one of the great grassroots movements in Unitarian Universalism today. It is also one of the healthiest. It is helping us shape a faith that affirms real, lived human experience in all its complexity. It is helping us live out our individualism in ways that not only support but enhance our sense of community.”  Rev. William Sinkford, Past President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Each Breath is Borrowed Air

August 5, 2018

Janet Revell Barrett, Sam Beshers, and the Worship Committee

The pace of our contemporary lives makes it difficult to slow down, inviting moments of awe and wonder into our lives. We reach toward these restorative dimensions of experience on this summer morning by contemplating the expansiveness of the air we breathe, the panoramic sweep of earth, sea, and stars, the intertwined strands and molecules of life, and the interconnected lattice of our social worlds. Inspired by a hymn of this title, Jody Hanger, Virginia Brubaker, Kiri Fagen-Ulmschneider, Sam Beshers, and Janet Revell Barrett will interpret the rich meanings of text and tune, inviting those in attendance to pause in gratitude and appreciation for the wonders of reason and science, art and nature.

Is this who we are?

July 29, 2018

Ben Leff and Worship Committee

Amidst the recent furor over the Trump administration's immigration policy, a common refrain has been to assert that "this is not who we are"-- that these cruel policies fundamentally clash with American values and our history as a "nation of immigrants." This sentiment, however well-intentioned, ignores the long history of xenophobia in American society. Indeed, recent policies and rhetoric represent only the most recent of many surges of nativism in American history. Thus, one might argue that this is exactly who we are. In this service, exploration of the current political climate in its historical context by relating it to previous waves of immigration and nativism. As well as how Unitarian Universalist principles can underlie a thoughtful, ethical, and humane perspective on immigration policy.

Speaking Up for Children in Foster Care

July 22, 2018

Sandy Hannum, Pricilla Kron and Sherry Bohlen

This service will look into why the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program was created and how it works. Sherry Bohlen, Sandy Hannum, and Priscilla Kron, who are all current CASAs, will give their reflections on being an advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care. Because of the terrible mishandling of immigrant families in this country, there are many additional children in foster care right now who should never have been taken from their parents. This will be touched on as well.

Her/Hymn Sing

July 15, 2018

Barbara Hudgings and Worship Committee

Learn about women composers throughout history and also sing favorite hymns.

All Are Called

July 8, 2018

Amanda Owings, Mona Shannon and Worship Committee

Annually, Unitarian Universalists from across the world gather together to worship, to learn, and to collectively make decisions as an Association of Congregations. The theme of this year's General Assembly (GA) was, "All Are Called". 18 people of this congregation joined about 2,800 participants. In this service, we will explore the powerful challenge and beautiful spirit behind those three simple words.

What to Make of a Diminished Thing

July 1, 2018

Adam Davis and Worship Committee

Diminishment, personal and environmental, can be a source of deep sadness. Robert Frost's poem, 'The Oven Bird', offers wisdom for acknowledging these feelings and moving forward

Sounding the Call

June 24, 2018

The UUA's annual General Assembly features some of the most memorable worship and music of our entire denomination. In this service, we will stream the Service of the Living Tradition from this year's General Assembly in Kansas City, MO.

Reflections on Ending This Chapter

June 17, 2018

Beth Cobb, Assistant for Services

Beth Cobb has been the Assistant for Services at UUCUC for nearly 20 years, through five ministers and two sabbaticals and she will be retiring at the end of June (though not leaving the congregation). In this service, she will share some insights into what she has learned about being part of a team creating meaningful worship services. Beth will also share what it has meant to be part of so many weddings and memorial services for friends and strangers. We will be honoring her service and contributions to our Sunday experience in this special service.

Flower Celebration: Sharing Our Gifts

June 3, 2018

Rev. Florence Caplow

UU churches around the world celebrate "Flower Communion" or the "Flower Celebration" originally developed in the early 20th century by Rev. Norbert Čapek, who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. He wanted to unite the diverse religious traditions of his congregation by celebrating the beauty of nature. In this last service in the sanctuary before the summer begins, we will also honor all who give their time and energy to this congregation. Please bring long-stemmed flowers to share with others in this favorite multi-generational service. Childcare is provided for the youngest children, but all ages are welcome in the service.