The Chalice Blog

Next Sunday, Rev. Peter's Poem for February & UUCDC Fund Drive and Capital Campaign

Feb. 24:  "Trusting in Us"

This Sunday is Stewardship Sunday, the official kick-off to the Annual Fund Drive. As we close out our month-long consideration of the theme of "Trust," Rev. Peter, DRE Chrissy Bushyager and Worship Associate Kathy Alston will reflect on the beauty and power of a community when it's built on a foundation of trust. Music Director Bob Rowland will lead the UUCDC Choir at both the 9:30 and 11:15 services.

The "Share the Plate" recipient this month is "The Media Food Bank".  Click here to learn more.

"Trust Fall"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs, the theme for Februay is "Trust"

What have you learned
about the way the world works?
Are your hopes intact, your
bones unbroken? Do you
still dream of being able 
to fly?
 
Or do you wear the wounds 
of pain, ancestral or intimate,
as your uniform, creases sharp, 
donned each day without thinking? 
Is your skin so thick 
with scars it renders 
clothing redundant?
 
Would you ever climb up
on the table-land 
of your life, and stand
like a high diver,
your back to the void,
your heels hanging
over the edge and,
taking with one deep breath 
a full accounting of all 
that has brought you here,
lean back, 
let go, 
     and
fall 
               into 
      whatever
        is
           waiting
        to
 catch
          you?
 

Feb. 23; Annual Fund Drive Kick-Off

Be sure to join us at the church on Saturday, February 23, from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, for our Annual Fund Drive Kick-Off Event. The evening will include food, activities, and entertainment by the singing duo, Bethlehem and Sad Patrick. Please RSVP for this event! It's catered, so we need an accurate headcount. You may also email or call the office at (610) 566-4853. Childcare will be provided for small children and older children are welcome to join the fun. You will not be asked to pledge at this event. Just come and enjoy!

The UUCDC Capital Campaign is underway!  Learn all about it by clicking here.

 

Next Sunday, Events and Rev. Peter's Poem for January

January 27:  "The Beauty of Our Scars"

As the spiritual theme of the month is "Possibility", we reflect on how our scars—the wounds we carry— hold the possibility to emerge as part of our spiritual journey. Rumi wrote, "The wound is the place where the light enters you". Where can we find the possibility of beauty? How can we connect with beauty even as wounds are healing? How can we relate the beauty of our scars to a form of birthing joy into the world? Guest speaker Rev. Rebekah Ann Savage, DRE Chrissy Bushyager, and Worship Associate Sharon Fichthorn will lead our worship. Music will be provided by Gabby Sacks and Joy Thiessen.

Mark your calendars for Jan 26 at 6:00 pm and Sign-up for the Annual ChiliChocolate, Home Brew Challenge!

The Eleventh Annual ChiliChocolate, Home Brew Challenge is coming your way.  Read all about it and register here.  We look forward to your support!  

January 27: Congregational Meeting at 6:00 pm preceeded by a potluck dinner at 5:00 pm

Please join us for our winter Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 27, with a pot-luck dinner from five to six o'clock followed by the formal meeting starting at six o'clock. This is an opportunity to learn about important initiatives at UUCDC including: where we are on the design work for our building expansion, how we plan to address the 8th Principle on racism, how this year’s fund drive will be different than those of recent years, and other topics. These are exciting times for our congregation, and it is important for all of us to stay informed. 

"Possibility"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs, the theme for January

The acorn scoffs
at the notion that it 
is the source of the mighty oak.
 
“Ridiculous,” replies the raindrop,
as it falls and joins its kin,
upon hearing rumors of how
the Grand Canyon came to be.

December's Services and Rev. Peter's Poem

Christmas Eve Services at 5:00pm and 7:30pm

We will offer two Christmas Eve services with stories and carols this year. The UUCDC Choir will sing at both services. All ages are welcome!

Sunday, Dec. 30 at 10:00 am:  "Finding Faith in the Darkest of Hours"

As the nights are long and the calendar prepares to flip to a new year, we may struggle to stay connected to our faith, or even to define what that faith is for us. What does "faith" look like to a Unitarian Universalist? Come worship with us as Rob Sartain and Worship Associate Norma Lewis lead us in an exploration of the mystery of faith for UUs in these dark hours.

"What If"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs for the December theme of "Mystery"

What if… 
 
Earth’s orbit was
three degrees different,
and the glaciers had never
pulled back to the poles, or
 
A billion years later,
a small band of nomads 
hadn’t made its way west 
to what we now know as France 
carrying fire and wine, or
 
My grandfather four 
generations back had died 
as a boy in an accident down 
at the sawmill, or my great-
grandmother Louise had 
succumbed at age six to the flu, or

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's November Poem

Sunday, Nov. 25: "A Negativity Bias"; Rev. Andrew Weber

As humans, we have an inclination to react to and remember negative events as opposed to positive ones.  The thought is that through natural selection, it was more advantageous for our ancestors to know what could possibly harm or kill them.  How can we pay more attention to and remember more the positive and blessings in our lives?

Please note that there will be one service at 10am and no Religious Education programming; which will resume on December 2nd.

"Tatters"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs for the November theme of "Memory"

I imagine my mother, 
auburn hair askew, 
swaddling her wedding dress 
like an infant and, with self-same care, 
easing it into the steamer trunk 
that I pulled today from the attic eaves, 
like Jesus, resurrected 
three days beyond her death.
   
She was the last to leave the party then,  
as now, all witnesses extinct. 
This artifact, the lone trace element  
left behind from all her carbon-dating. 
 
Countless times she shared 
the story of that auspicious day. 
But what remains for me is more 
the telling than the tale. 
 
The brittle threads that hold her close 
crumble at my touch. 
It’s all just sugar sifting 
through my fingers:  
Sweet, but impossible to hold.  

This Sunday, Rev. Peter's October Poem, Message from the President and UUCDC Happenings

Sunday, Oct. 28: "All Musical Service"

This Sunday in worship, through music and poetry, we will explore one of the basic tenets of our faith: Inclusion.  We will acknowledge those who  too long have been marginalized  in our society due to a range of seemingly insurmountable differences.  We will celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our lives together and examine our role as advocates for those who do not share equal rights with us under the laws of our land.  Music selected includes "Nowhere Man", "Born This Way", "De Colores" and "Would you harbor me?" among others.

The Church Auction is Nov. 3!  Click "Read More" below to get all the information.

"Next Steps" Capital Campaign Report is available here!

"When Worry Knocks"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs for the September theme of "Sanctuary"

The knock can come
at any time of the day or night. 
And when it does, we know
in our gut who it is, because
we’ve heard that sound 
so many times before.
 
Our response is Pavlovian.
We drop everything
and run to the door. 
Opening it, we say 
“Come in. Of course.
Make yourself at home.
Would you like some tea?”
 
We don’t ask impertinent
questions like “How long
will you be staying?”
or “How great is your need?”
We simply say, “Yes,” and then
suffer the consequences.
 
Worry is a thief who steals
the silverware right off our table. 
The freeloader who finishes 
the milk, then complains when 
there’s none for his coffee.
It has our PIN, and each 
time it visits, it depletes 
our savings, knowing
we’ll forget by the next time 
it comes ‘round.
 
What would happen if we 
barred the door? 
Or, like a couple who’s run out 
of Halloween candy, turn out 
the lights and pretend we’re not home? 
Will it look to slip in by a window, 
or come down the flue like an anti-Santa?
Or might it just give up 
and walk away, perplexed?
 
Worry will be back, to be sure,
to test our resolve, 
for it’s relentless.
But every time we refuse
to answer its call,
we keep our hearts a refuge,
our homes a sanctuary.

This Sunday, Rev. Peter's Sept. Poem and UUCDC Happenings

This Sunday Sept. 30, 2018 - "An Earth Made Fair"; Rev. Peter Friedrichs

You may have heard the expression "An Earth made fair and all her people one." It comes from a mid-20th Century Christian hymn titled "Turn Back, O Man, Forswear Thy Foolish Ways" and is often used as a shorthand to describe our vision of a utopian future. As we wrap up our month-long theme of "Vision," Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Josie Cressler will consider these questions: What is our vision of and for the world? What is our responsibility to help bring that vision to reality? Dick Veleta will provide our music at both the 9:30 and 11:15 services and we will be holding a Service of Naming and Dedication during the 9:30 service.

"The Invitation"; by Rev. Peter Friedrichs for the September theme of "Vision"

The E-vite lands 
in your inbox 
with the other 6am chaff.
 
“Click Here to View Your Invitation”
 
You don’t recognize the sender, 
but you’re intrigued, so you do.
 
In flowing calligraphic script, 
you read:
 
You’re Invited!
 
Date: Today
Place: Here
Time: Now
Dress: Come as you are
 
You read on…
 
Everything you need has been provided. 
We only ask that you bring your own:
Imagination
Creativity
Vision
Hope
Mercy
Love
Joy
More Love, because you can never have enough.
A fruit salad or pie would be nice.
 
Invite your friends – space is unlimited. The more the merrier.
 
And then it asks:
 
Will You Attend? 
 
Please Click 
“Yes” or “No”

This Sunday and UUCDC Happenings

This Sunday Aug. 26, 2018 - "Al Capone and the $45"; Chrissy Bushyager

A sermon that has almost nothing to do with Al Capone, but a lot to do with ethics, privilege, and what happens when we don’t agree.

Chrissy Bushyager is currently serving as UUCDC’s Director of Religious Education.  She loves to preach summer sermons.  She and her wife and two children live in Havertown.

Religious Education Registration for the new church year is open!

We're just about a month from our first Sunday of RE classes!  This is going to be a great year with some changes that continue to build community, integrate service, and enrich lives.  Registration is open and we are looking forward to seeing you soon.  Click here to access registration forms.

Tickets are now available for the Chester City NAACP Scholarship Fundraiser Concert on September 29, 2018!

Our church sponsors the NAACP Scholarship Fund from the proceeds of various events, projects and contributions by regular donors. We are hoping to increase the College scholarships of $1,000 per year that the church provides for up to four years to each of four Chester students selected by the NAACP Chester chapter. A full house at this concert will help these students and their families!  Click here to download the poster for the concert and learn all about it!

To buy a ticket on line, click here!  Tickets will also be available each Sunday and at the door.

Individual donations are welcome to help support this worthy program and may be made through the church office or online with a bank transfer. Contact Kathy Alston

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's June Poem

The spiritual theme for June is "Blessing"

This Sunday July 1, 2018 - "Border Issues with Mexico",  Megan Mathieson

Megan spent two weeks recently in Mexico learning about border issues and is excited to share her experiences with us. A sermon on immigration issues will accompany a Mexican-themed service.

Megan is a third-year seminarian at Lancaster Theological Seminary and member of UU Gettysburg. Megan, her wife, and their family currently live in East Berlin PA. She is currently serving as summer minister at UU Sterling VA and will complete a full-time ministerial internship at UU Frederick MD during the 2018-2019 school year.

"Sense of Blessing"  by Peter A. Friedrichs

I know what a blessing looks like,
and I’m not talking about a picture of 
the Pope placing his cupped hands 
on a child’s head.
 
It looks like the midnight delivery 
of a stunned and wide-eyed Indian orphan 
to her adoptive parents at the baggage claim
carousel in Terminal E of Logan Airport; 
and a full moon rising over Mt. Katahdin 
on an autumn night so clear and cold 
it makes your teeth ache.

This Sunday & Rev. Peter's May Poem

The spiritual theme for May is "Creativity"

This Sunday May 27, 2018 at 10:00 only - "The Power of Creative Tension"

This Sunday, Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Kathy Alston will explore an unlikely source of creativity: tension and anxiety. How can we harness these emotions, which have the power to paralyze us, to our advantage? The UUCDC Choir will provide our music.

"From Hope"  by Peter A. Friedrichs

You can stand on the stage,
the most skilled illusionist, 
madly conjuring card after 
card from thin air, or
producing doves like some 
crazed, relentless peacemaker, 
astounding even the most 
jaded, jeering crowd.