The Chalice Blog

December's Services and Rev. Peter's Poem

Sunday, Dec. 16: "The Mystery of the Incarnation"; Rev. Peter Friedrichs

When you come right down to it, Christmas is about the Christ child, the notion of God taking on human form. This Sunday, Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Josie Cressler will consider how this concept might hold meaning for us as Unitarian Universalists. 

  • Tuesday December 18: "Longest Night" service at 7pm
  • Sunday December 23:   UU Holiday Pageant (One service at 10 am)
  • Monday December 24:  Christmas Eve Services at 5pm and 7:30pm
  • Sunday December 30:   Rob Sartain (One service at 10 am)

"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:
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.

This Sunday and Rev. Peter's Poem for March

This Sunday April 1, 2018 - "Resurrecting Hope"

Join us as we celebrate Easter Sunday at UUCDC! Rev. Peter, Director of Religious Education Chrissy Bushyager, and Worship Associate Kathy Alston will help us Unitarian Universalists make meaning out of this age-old story that is foundational to the Christian faith. 

Rev. Peter's Poem for March: Equipoise

It must be some kind of 
magic trick, with hidden 
wires and pulleys,
or maybe a confederate stands
behind the curtained valance.
How else could the sun, 
the moon, the earth hang 
in such perfect balance?
The earth dances through 
this empty space
like an ingénue, resisting 
the suitor sun’s embrace.
And, all the while, the moon 
is there to pull the seas 
with strength enough
to shift and mold her sister’s face.

Media Food Bank Benefit Concert, This Sunday and January's Poem

February 3 from 3:30 to 6:15 - Media Food Bank Benefit Concert - A fun afternoon family friendly event for a great cause!  See the concert poster here and feel free to send it to friends and family.

This Sunday Feb. 4 - The Dreams They Dreamed - Stewardship Sunday

This Sunday marks the kick-off of our annual Fund Drive and the launch of our new monthly theme of "Persistence." Rev. Peter and Worship Associate Nathan Rivera will reflect on the idea of "Legacy." What does it mean to stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and what responsibilities do we have to both those who came before us and those who will come after us? Music at both services will be provided by Dr. Richard Veleta.

Rev. Peter's Poem for January's theme, "Intention"

"For Chester"
I am tired of writing poems
that make us feel good about
ourselves. Poems written from
the comfort of a La-Z-Boy in
my living room, where the house 
is a cozy 70 and my bank account 
is set up to pay off my credit card
in full each month without needing
to worry the balance.