This Week’s Announcements

This Week’s Topics Include—

  2. Special Earth Day Service THIS Sunday, April 23 
  3. UUCSS 101 – Interested in joining UUCSS
  4. Charity of the Month for April 2017 – Patuxent RiverKeeper.
  5. THIS April 23 from 7 to 9 pm in the Sanctuary, the UUCSS Racial Justice Task Force will host a live viewing and discussion of the Black Lives of UU webinar
  6. 2 Marches for the Planet
  7. The Annual Budget Drive is Almost Over!
  8. The Healing Task Force is organizing the Fellowship Dinner this year, with the theme of “Celebrating Love and Diversity.”
  9. River Road UU Congregation “Fiesta” on Saturday, May 6
  11. Uniter Meals provide opportunities for UUCSS members to get together
  12. Share Your Opinions! 
  13. Women’s Book Group
  14. Men’s Book Group
  15. Regisiter for Spring RE Workshops!
  16. Child Dedication Ceremony – Sunday, May 14th
  17. RE Registration for 2016-17
  18. The Daytime Creative Aging Group Welcomes New Members!
  19. Parking During Church Services & Events
  20. About Your Financial Contributions to UUCSS
  21. April Volunteer of the Month
  22. Deadlines for Announcements
  23. UUCSS Member Dropbox Link


SUNDAY, APRIL 23 – CONGREGATIONAL MEETING, immediately following second service.

ASL interpretation and child care provided

As announced earlier, on Sunday, April 23, there will be a CONGREGATIONAL MEETING immediately following the second service, for the purpose of holding a vote to authorize the board to embark on the process of hiring an interim minister. Such a vote is required by the church constitution, and, we encourage all members to attend.  Absentee ballots will be available for those members not able to attend. Friends and visitors are also welcome to sit in on the meeting. Below is the agenda for the meeting and instructions for submitting an absentee ballot.

Janne Harrelson

Board Secretary


CONGREGATIONAL MEETING April 23, 2017, 12:45/1:00pm


1. Welcome and Call to Order

2. Hiring an Interim Minister

MOTION: Authorize the Board to hire an interim minister with a salary of $96,000, in accordance with UUA fair compensation practices.

3. Adjourn



TO REQUEST A BALLOT: Contact Janne Harrelson at to request a ballot.


Absentee ballots must be returned to and received before the start of the congregational meeting on April 23, 2017, as follows:

  • ELECTRONIC BALLOTS: Electronic ballots must be emailed to by MIDNIGHT, April 22.
  • PRINT BALLOTS: Print ballots must be signed and in sealed envelopes, placed in Janne Harrelson’s mail slot in the church office by 11:00 AM on April 23,OR, hand-delivered to Janne in the sanctuary or placed in the ballot box in the foyer on April 23, prior to the start of the congregational meeting.
  • DURING THE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING: If a voting member of the congregation is present during the meeting but needs to leave prior to the vote, the ballot may be placed in the identified box.


2)  Special Earth Day Service at UUCSS THIS Sunday, April 23  – The Green Sanctuary Committee and the Gaia Circle will lead a special Earth Day service on Sunday, April 23, the day after Earth Day, at 9:30am and 11:30am. The service will be interpreted by American Sign Language and Coffee Hour will take place between the services. Please Join Us!

Be sure to BYOTM (Bring Your Own Travel Mug) to Coffee Hour in between services and enjoy delicious plant-based treats, info on how to easily contact your political leaders, and tips for holding green events at UUCSS and in your home. Don’t forget your corks for recycling!

3)  UUCSS 101 – Interested in joining UUCSS? – This is an informal informational session to learn more about our church and ask questions. The next UUCSS 101 will be THIS Sunday, April 23, during Coffee Hour (about 10:30 am) in the Triangle Room which is just off of the main room in the Community Hall.  All are welcome!  You do not need to sign up in advance.

4)  Charity of the Month for April 2017 – Patuxent RiverKeeper.  Located in Upper Marlboro, MD, the Patuxent Riverkeeper’s mission is to conserve, protect and replenish Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway.  Through strategic advocacy, restoration and education, our goal is long-term sustainability for the ecosystem of the entire Patuxent River basin and the people who rely on its future. Their work involves waterway patrols and enforcement of storm water regulations and pollution from wastewater plants and other sources.

The Riverkeepers are strong advocates of land preservation and watershed management, and provide complaint resolution, restoration, cleanup, and education services through staff and volunteer programs, improving public access for paddling and low-impact recreation as well as maintaining fish passage and a free-flowing river.

The Riverkeepers provide kayak and canoe rentals as well as guided tours of the Patuxent waterways. There are many educational and conservation resources available on their web site,

The collection for this worthy local organization will be THIS Sunday, April 23rd, when 100% of the plate will be donated.   Please make your checks out to “UUCSS”, but be certain to write “RiverKeeper” in the Memo line of your check so that we know what you intended it for.  Thank you.

5)  THIS SUNDAY, April 23 from 7 to 9 pm in the Sanctuary, the UUCSS Racial Justice Task Force will host a live viewing and discussion of the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism webinarWhose Faith Is It Anyway?: Confronting White Supremacy in Faith Institutions.” If you are new to these issues, you are especially invited to attend. Please join us! Email to RSVP.

6)  2 Marches for the Planet

2 very important marches are coming to Washington, DC this month. If you can’t attend one, try for the other and contact Doneby Smith at or240-426-2351 to let her know you are coming!

March For Science On Earth Day

THIS Saturday, April 22

National Mall

8:00 a.m. – crowd gathers
10:00 a.m. – teach in begins

The day’s program will include speeches and trainings with scientists and civic organizers, musical performances, and a march through the streets of Washington.

People’s Climate March

NEXT Saturday, April 29

National Mall

11:00 a.m. – faith contingents gather

12:30 p.m. – march

On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington DC to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.

This is the same march that members of UUCSS attended last year in New York City. Now it’s in our backyard!

7) The Annual Budget Drive is Almost Over!  We are marking the end of the Annual Budget Drive NEXT SUNDAY, April 30th, with the Fellowship Dinner. By now, you should have heard from one of our 30+ Visiting Stewards requesting a short personal visit. Responding to your steward not only gives you the opportunity to connect to discuss the budget and developments at UUCSS, it shows your support to the Board. Getting our pledges in on time helps the Board have the time needed to present a thoughtfully considered budget for the Annual Meeting. If you haven’t heard from your Visiting Steward or have any questions, please contact Erik Leaver or Meredith Massey at or see them at the ABD table during Coffee Hour.

8)  Thanks for the enthusiastic response to the Fellowship Dinner on Sunday, April 30.  Registration is now closed, with all 21 tables filled.  Our greatest need at this point is for two more table hosts, and some help with setting up child care.  We’ll also accept names for a wait list.  Please stop by our table at Coffee Hour, or send an email to

9)  River Road UU Congregation “Fiesta” on Saturday, May 6  –  River Road UU Congregation Fiesta is Saturday, May 6, from 6 to 10:30 PM at River Road UU Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817. This is an annual Latin party to benefit the Santa Marta, El Salvador, University Scholarship Fund. There will be music, a buffet dinner (by Master Chef Mariano Ramos-Castillo), cash bar (sodas, beer, wine, sangria), a piñata for the children, and presentation of the 2017 Humanitarian Award by the Latin America Taskforce Network. Tickets (sold at the door) are $35 Adults, $15 Youth, $100 Families; children under 12 Free. For questions, contact Don Chery at


Dear Loving and Caring Custodians of the Earth;

The clock is ticking on the strong possibility that all living things and all created beauty may disappear. We are now in a national atmosphere of overwhelming divisiveness, injustice, denial and despair.

NATURAL HISTORY WEEK ON STAR ISLAND, JUNE 2017, is a true antidote for all of the above. It will be a haven for unity, hope, solace and inner peace.

The most important issue today is the climate crisis.                                                                         It is not an easy subject to face and to grapple with. We knew this when we selected the subject of climate change. To deal with it makes demands on us.                                                                                                                                                                       It can seem to force us to turn our backs and walk away from it, taking the easy way out. But it will follow us and will continue to follow us. There is no obvious solution.                            However, there is hope, there can be understanding, and there can be solutions. These are the challenges that Natural History Week has sought to address.

Only in the last two centuries has humankind tried to dominate and control Nature. Even worse, it has disregarded the great laws of Nature. We can see the effects of this today in so many ways.

Please download this poster and share it with your friends and acquaintances and any organizations that might have an interest in encouraging attendance at this wonderful conference. If you have not been to Star Island, that alone is a reason to attend. There is nothing quite like it. It’s kept me coming back for 36 consecutive years!

Questions?  Contact UUCSS member Sally Oesterling:;

301 434-3237

11)  Uniter Meals provide opportunities for UUCSS members to get together, share a meal, and get to know each other better – usually as a potluck.  Details at

Design your own meal!   If you want to host a meal, choose the date, theme and the number of slots to suit your schedule and tastes.  Just email the details and Bob Kirk will post the meal in the site – first just to you for you to sign up as host and then to the rest of the community.  Hosts can also email Bob if they want me to put in an “ending” time – a gentle way to put a close to the evening.  If hosts also want to modify any posted settings of a meal – just email

12)  Share Your Opinions!  This week during Coffee Hour will be the last week to add to the plus/delta poster on the wall in the Community Hall. Come by the table, take a sticky note, write what you love about UUCSS, why you attend our beloved community, what you wish for at our church, and changes you’d like to see. Several church members will, together, type up the comments and disseminate them across various means of communication over the coming weeks. Next steps are up to us as a congregation. This is just an effort to collect folks’ thoughts, feelings, ideas, and wishes in a collaborative format. We hope to hear as many voices as possible and if you can’t be at church and would like me to add something, please send it to Allison Leaver via email at:

13)  Women’s Book Group – We are an informal gathering of interested readers and we meet on the fourth Monday of the month at a private home. This is the book group’s 15th year and new folks are welcome to join us. No long-term commitment expected. Please call 301-754-1239 for more details.

14) Men’s Book Group – We are reading George Saunders’s recently published first novel, Lincoln in the  Bardo.  The next meeting will be held at the home of Bob McGaughy, NEXT Sunday, April 23 at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome.   If you are interested in joining the group, contact Richard Lorr (, get the book, and come to the next meeting. Hope to see you there!

15 )  Register for Spring RE Workshops – Registration for our spring RE workshops is now open! All kindergarten through middle school aged children and youth must register for a workshop. You can find paper registration forms out on Sunday morning or you can access the online registration here:

16) Child Dedication Ceremony – May 14th

Sunday, May 14th, we will be having a Child Dedication Ceremony at UUCSS as a part of the morning’s worship services. This beautiful ceremony provides an opportunity for your child to be blessed in our Unitarian Universalist faith and for the whole community to commit to support your child’s spiritual life and growth within the congregation. For more information about this ceremony or if you and your infant or young child would like to participate please contact Director of Religious Education, Sarah Gonzalez, at by May 7th.

17)  RE Registration for 2016-17

Religious Education registration for the 2016-17 is now open! This year we have made it easier than ever to register. There are two online forms for registration. The first is our full registration form for anyone registering for the first time or anyone with changes in their information that they need to update. The second form is an abbreviated version for anyone who registered last year and all of their information remains the same.

Accurate registration numbers are crucially important to our RE program,

so please register today!

New or Updating Registrations:

Recurring Registrations:

Thanks, Sarah

18)  The Daytime Creative Aging group welcomes new members! We meet in the Dolan lounge on the first and third Wednesdays at 10:15. Contact Noni Barker at 301-520-9624.

19) Parking During Church Services & Events – In an effort to be as welcoming to visitors as possible, we encourage UUCSS members who are able to not park in the UUCSS lot for Sunday services or large events – so that we can keep spots open for visitors. We’ve heard from one visitor that she twice came to UUCSS and found the lot full, and went home without attending.

Good alternative parking spots include the side streets near UUCSS, and the CHI lot just north of the church on New Hampshire Avenue.

Thank you in advance for your help.

20)  We appreciate your financial contributions to UUCSS and want to provide accurate records for you. To help us do this, please put “Auction,” “Capital Campaign,” or “2016-17 Pledge” in the memo line of your check. If you want to donate stock, please email for easy instructions on how to move the stock into the church’s Etrade account. Thank you!

21)  The April 2017 Volunteer of the Month – Brian Beard

Brian Beard originally came to UUCSS in 1970 to attend RE classes after his family moved to this area from Oklahoma City (where they had to drive a long way to the only UU church).  In the early 70s, UUCSS did not have a full-time minister but his parents loved the community they found here at the church. Brian’s parents, John and Barbara Beard, especially enjoyed the duplicate bridge league and played regularly with Ken Iobst, and Drew and Beth Riggs in the 70s and 80s. After John passed away in 1992, Barbara rejoined the church and was very active with the Uniter group and the gardening of the church grounds (with her own plot assigned by Daisy Grubbs). Brian occasionally helped with the gardening, and also remembers helping transport pottery and other items to the church for the annual auction. Brian had thought for a long time about joining the church choir but he played softball on Thursday’s when choir practiced. After his mother passed away four years ago, Brian felt an even stronger desire to reconnect with the church community and joined the choir (and reluctantly retired from softball…).

Brian is still a member of the choir and on many a Sunday we can enjoy his beautiful deep voice. He also wanted to continue his mother’s legacy in maintaining the church grounds, so he started working with Jean Alexander, and is now the chair of the Property Committee here at church. Brian says the best way to volunteer at the church is to find something that you enjoy and will give you a feeling of satisfaction. In addition to chairing the Property Committee, Brian is also a member of Dreambuilders and the Operations Council, and on many Friday mornings can be found, along with Rachel and John, helping Melinda with editing, folding and inserting the Order of Service. His fondest memory so far of UUCSS is the camaraderie and friendship he has found with his “choir family”.

22)  Weekly Announcement Deadlines:  All OOS Information, Written & Oral Announcements and All-Church Email Announcements for  Sunday Services are due in the Admin Office by Wednesdays at 9am.

23)  UUCSS Member Dropbox link:

In order to provide ready access to documents that help everyone stay engaged and informed about church matters, the UUCSS Board of Trustees has created folders in Dropbox at the following link:–iMJ0zHRNa?dl=0

Click on the link, or copy/paste it into your browser, and it will take you to “UUCSS Board Information”, currently containing several folders: (1) Board Minutes, (2) Post Capital Campaign, and (3) Resources Related to Rev Leon’s Resignation. Additional folders will be added over time. SAVE THIS LINK. We will continue to use it to add relevant documents for UUCSS members.

Questions about the Dropbox may be sent to:

Emails to the Board of Trustees may be sent to:

Post Capital Campaign Feedback email address:

Emails with feedback related to the post-capitol campaign may be sent to the board via:

–Melinda Yalom, UUCSS Church Administrator