Join us for an autumn church picnic after the service on October 7th, 12:30 to 3:30, at Hatcher Gardens on Reidville Rd.
This will be a No Waste Event so please bring a dish of food to share and your own place settings if possible. We will have paper plates and cups available. Also, bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on.
There will be fun activities including giant bubbles, beach ball, volleyball, sidewalk chalk, trivia and more.
All are welcome.
Hope to see you all there.
As Hurricane Florence breaks over our region, please:
- bear in heart & mind all in the storm’s path;
- check on neighbors, to be sure those in your near vicinity are safe and cared for;
- check on church friends, especially those you know who may be most vulnerable; and
- if you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to the church via text, call, or e-mail: 864-590-8260 / email@example.com.
We are only small people, and this is a great storm; but together we can do very much.
With hope for all,
Sunday, September 23 beginning at 10:15 AM and after Sunday Service.
All groups need volunteers to make their organization dynamic and successful. UUCS is no exception. Please take some time on Sunday, September 23 to come to our Volunteer Tables in the Fellowship Hall and talk to our Committee Chairs. We need your help! Serving on one or more of our UUCS Committees is a great way to know our members and friends, and help our Congregation grow.
One of the best ways to connect with our church is to share your talents. Whatever your skills and interests, you can find a place for them in our congregation. You are important to our ministry in the areas of Adult Enrichment and Youth Religious Education, Worship, Social Justice, and Caring. The opportunities for service are endless. UUCS is volunteer powered. Share your talent and energize our program.
If you like or are interested in:
- Writing – Be an in-house writer for the newsletter or the website
- Singing or playing an instrument – Join the choir. Contact our music director firstname.lastname@example.org
- Playing the guitar – Perform at the monthly Expresso Yourself Coffeehouse
- Dramatic performance – Perform at the Coffeehouse.
- Art or computer graphics – Design logos and flyers for church activities
- Children and Youth – Join our Lifespan Faith Development teaching team, help out with youth groups, or help in the nursery
- Gardening Help with yard maintenance, bring flowers for the sanctuary or special occasions
- Interior decorating. Give us some ideas to make our church more attractive; make a banner
- Photography – Take some pictures of church events and submit to the newsletter or website Send to email@example.com with Unison or Web in the subject line
- Crafts – Teach the children how to make beads, masks, mandalas; or make something to sell at the Auction
- Cooking – Prepare food for Coffee and Conversation and special occasions
- Dancing – Contribute a lesson to the Auction or perform at a special service
- Hiking or Cycling – Ask around, you’ll find plenty of folks to walk or ride with
- Helping people – Visit the homebound, volunteer at St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic. Help persons recuperating from an illness: sending cards, making meals, providing transportation to doctors
- Yoga or meditation – Teach a regular class
- Handyman work – Help fix up, paint, repair the church
- Astrology or Tarot cards – Do a chart or a reading as an auction donation
- Social Justice – Attend our Social Justice events on the fourth Wednesday of each month to find out what you can do in this area
- Office duty – Volunteer to answer the telephone or do clerical work
- Computers – Contribute an hour of computer maintenance or training to the Auction
- Sound systems – Help out at the coffeehouse, worship service, or special events
- Creative ideas – Give your ideas for fundraising, RE classes, and other things that need doing to the appropriate committee chair or church officer
Look at the Leadership Directory and contact a committee chairperson and inquire how you can be involved. Not sure of how you can volunteer? Email our current President-Elect, Rick Hahnenberg, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he may be able to direct you to a group where you may be comfortable utilizing your skills and/or interest.
This Sunday, September 9, we will celebrate our annual Water Communion. Each of us is encouraged to bring water from our homes, our travels, or our favorite rivers, streams, and lakes to pour together during the service. This practice represents our return to one another from our summer journeys, however close or far afield we have been; we draw together again as a community.
And something more: not only do we return to one another, but we flow, we merge, we re-enter the great current of this congregation, deepening our course, drawing one another in, widening our banks, rolling with rising strength—on.
“O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the human soul
is capable of generating and emitting
in steady and limitless floods.”
(Walt Whitman, “A Song of Joys” from Leaves of Grass)
This September, we welcome to our congregation a new team member. Anne Garner, a second-year student in the progressive Christian Theological Seminary’s low-residency graduate program, will join us as an intern until May 2019. A Greenville resident, she was urged by colleagues to do her year-long field education placement with UUCS because of our history of social justice and her own commitment to liberal religious practice. Through a series of interviews and deliberations this spring, our board agreed that this could be a good fit and a wonderful opportunity for both Anne and our church.
This means that we will become a teaching congregation. We will not only be beneficiaries of Anne’s service to our own goals and projects; we also assume the responsibility to help her learn. She is in training, seeking how to use her gifts for the transformation of the world—by welcoming her this academic year, we become a testing ground, a place for her to work and experiment and hone her abilities. We offer her a community, full both of opportunities and also the grace to attempt them without requiring perfection.
When I mentioned this to one of our leaders, they laughed and wisely noted, “After all we needed to teach you this past year, we certainly are a teaching congregation!” I could not agree more. You have afforded me an opportunity that does not stop unfolding in richness, offering me, my family, and I hope all of us possibilities and horizons we could not imagine only a year ago. And you have done so with unfailing patience and kindness, coaching my understanding of our congregation’s traditions and ways, slowly building and rebuilding a network of energy and wisdom to make me and many more newcomers an integral part of the life and work of this church.
Nowhere is this more evident to me than in the compassion you extend to one another. All summer, even when I have been away, I have witnessed the most basic and extraordinary acts of kindness that you offer each other in times of suffering, anxiety, and loss. Again and again, you show up—to be with, to stand with, to walk with one another in whatever you each are facing. And again and again, without requiring perfection of yourselves or others, the network of energy and wisdom you have created sends through its channels the compassion, the resources, and the support needed for each person. It is a marvel to behold and a lesson well worth studying.
I am learning so much here with you. It gives me great joy to imagine all that Anne Garner will bring to UUCS, and all that she will discover here with us. And above all, I feel a surge of energy when I consider all that we will offer one another and so many more people in the ever-building, ever-rebuilding, ever expanding network of energy and wisdom you have long woven with such consummate care.
July 1, 2018
Dear Members and Friends,
It’s July, when the pace of church activities slows. But as we begin the new church year, we are in a good position of strength, with a newly ordained minister, and some budget surplus from the past year. We are blessed to have effective staff and committee leadership in areas too numerous to list, and I feel a positive spirit within the congregation.
I am excited about many things from last year which promise to be even stronger this year, for example: A robust RE program; Increasing Adult RE programming; Lots of music and musicians in our services; Progress by the Wilde Hall Task Force; Improvements to our Covenant Group program including a strengthened service component; Live video-streaming of our services on the internet; Another successful Earth Day Festival; A strong share-the-plate program; A new Social Justice Council; A calendar of fun, community-building social events/meals; and of course inspiring sermons. Sooner or later I’ll try the Wednesday meditation!
Here are a few suggestions for interfacing with the church:
- Concerns or input regarding our facilities, including safety, should be brought to the Board of Trustees.
- Concerns or input regarding an area of ministry should be brought to the Committee on Ministry.
- The bulletin boards in the Fellowship Hall are maintained with a lot of information about church resources and activities – take a little time to look!
- The UUCS web site can answer many questions you might have about church operations and activities – take a little time to explore!
- The BREEZE link on the web site (and the BREEZE smart-phone application) gives you, among other things, instant access to member and friend contact information.
- If you are looking for ways to get involved, we will hold our annual Volunteer Fair in September.
In peace and love,
Fred Stoll, 2018-2019 UUCS Board of Trustees President
Dear Members and Friends,
As I sit in the Sanctuary on a Sunday morning, calmed by the beautiful space, energized by the vibrant people surrounding me, transported by beautiful music and inspiring sermons, I am reminded as a leader to appreciate this part of the church life as the sustenance which balances the considerable work so many of us contribute to maintain and develop the church, the grounds, and the many systems and ministries.
As updates, in July we incurred the expense of replacing the large air conditioner for sanctuary. The good news is that we identified some regular maintenance practices which should serve to make the new unit last much longer than the last one. We will also be cutting down a couple of dead or dying trees in the back area.
For four years we have let our bylaw-defined Long-Range Planning committee languish, as we worked through changes in leadership and undertook a long quest to find a settled minister. With Rev. Neely now settled, we have entered a period of greater stability, and we can focus more on developing long-term goals, informed by the leadership of our minister. An initial focus of Long-Range Planning will be to define facility needs which can be addressed through the ongoing development of the Wilde Hall space (below the Sanctuary) along with other physical improvements.
In that regard, the Wilde Hall Task Force continues with the planning of the Wilde Hall kitchen, for which we will take advantage of volunteer professionals to perform the specialized installation tasks free of charge to the church. The Task Force has also worked to clear out old items and materials from downstairs storage areas and has made a new practice space for the Choir in the former equipment room.
Please look forward to our Volunteer Fair on Sunday, September 16, before and after worship service. It is a great chance to chat with the leaders in our many areas of church operation and mission, and you might just find a committee or group you would like to join!
In love and peace,
Heading to Inman Sept. 29th – Lemon on Love (Our Earth Day Lemonade Stand)
Our delicious home-squeezed lemonade is heading to the Inman Harvest Festival on Sept. 29. We’ll be selling lemonade for our Earth Day Festival, recouping funds from purchasing the lemonade stand last year and contributing to next year’s Earth Day Festival budget.
Folks are needed from 9 – 7:00. Or you can meet the lemonade stand when it returns to UUCS and work a short shift from 7 – 8:30 to clean and store the equipment. See Joyce Harrison or email her email@example.com to note your interest and she’ll send you a schedule of available shifts.
Come along, squeeze a few lemons, enjoy visiting with other church friends, and interacting with a happy crowd. Guaranteed to be fun!
Saturday, September 29th, Coffeehouse from 7:00 to 9:00 PM featuring Erin Galloway
This month, we are in for a very special treat – – – our very own Erin Galloway has agreed to be our headliner, treating us to an hour of her piano and vocal talents. She will also share some of her self-written songs that she is in a process of publishing.
Erin is a native of Youngsville, Pennsylvania, where she studied piano and violin, dabbling in other instruments along the way. She has always been a singer but only took voice lessons for a very short time. Erin moved to South Carolina in 2004 to attend Furman University, where she studied with Dr. Ruby Morgan and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with concentrations in both piano and violin.
Plans to return to Pennsylvania were changed when her now husband, Travis Galloway, swept her off her feet just before her graduation from Furman in 2008. They have been married and living in the Spartanburg area since 2009 and have two young children, Norah and Ridley.
Erin has been teaching piano lessons at the Lawson Academy at Converse for the past seven years, with students from age four through high school.
Over the past several months, she has been preparing music for an upcoming album of lullabies which will be titled Time For Sleep. She has written several pieces of music recently as well, some for the CD and some for future projects. Her hope is to begin performing frequently around Spartanburg.
So come to join us for a fantastic evening while we can still afford to see her. She may even be willing to sign autographs before the talent-scouts taker her away from us.
We encourage donations of non-perishable food items for our TOTAL Ministries Food barrel, which helps struggling families in our community. An entry donation
of $5 for UUCS is suggested if you feel you can afford it; performers get in free.
For questions, contact Cindy Freeman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, Oct 14, after service, in Wilde Hall, the next Path to Membership Class will be held.
Are you considering joining the congregation of UUCS? Then the Path to Membership Class is the place to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and our congregation.
If you are ready to learn more about UUCS please register by clicking the Path to Membership Class (link), signing up in the Fellowship Hall, or by sending an email to email@example.com. Lunch will be served and childcare is available.