We Need You!

Who? All UU Community Volunteers

What? UUCS MLK Day of Service as our contribution toward the United Way of the Piedmont MLK Birthday Observance

Our Project: Creating hygiene kits for people in need, to be distributed by TOTAL Ministries

When? Monday, January 21, 2019; 10:00am – 12:00 noon

Where? UUCS Fellowship Hall

How? By giving your time and/or enthusiasm and/or any of the following items:

1) Bars of soap
2) Men’s/Women’s Deodorant
3) Tubes of Toothpaste
4) Toothbrushes
5) Gallon-sized ziplock bags
6) Shampoo

***Contributions can be left in the MLK Box in the UU Fellowship Hall***

Contact: Patrice Fentiman (

January 24 session is canceled… New session starts January 31…All are welcome

Interested in joining Mindful Meditation, Thursday mornings at 10:30 am in the UUCS Sanctuary? Email Gail Stephenson at with your inquiries.

Gail Stephenson will continue to offer mindfulness meditation on Thursday mornings at 10:30 am in the UUCS Sanctuary beginning January 31. This series was offered in the fall and is free and open to the public and will last for 8 weeks,  All are welcome. It is not required to attend all classes to participate. The sessions will include traditional style meditation, walking meditation, body scans, and lovingkindness meditations. A UUCS member, Gail has been meditating for over 20 years and has been practicing Mindfulness Meditation for over 10 years. She is currently participating in a 300-hour mindfulness meditation teacher certification. This series is part of her certification practicum. Come for a time of peace, practice, and deepening awareness together!

Come join fellow UUCS-ers transforming our corner of the world by helping in the South Converse Neighborhood cleanup Saturday, January 26, from 8 am to 10 am. Meet at the small park at the bottom of S. Converse Street a few blocks from UUCS. Bring gloves. If the weather is inclement, the event will be rescheduled. Let’s put our covenant in action by serving our neighborhood with “a love beyond belief”.

Thank you!

If you can come, please meet at the small park at the bottom of the hill on South Converse Street.  Bring work gloves, trash bags are provided. It’s for 2 hours, but it’s fine if you need to step out early.

UUCS has long been a part of the South Converse Neighborhood. The South Converse Neighborhood Association has a monthly cleanup on the fourth Saturday of every month. UUCS Social Justice Committee decided to add our support every other month and will be starting Saturday, March 24, 2018. Plan to meet at Park on South Converse Street, at the bottom of the hill of South Converse Street at 8:00 AM. The pickup lasts till about 10 am (or whenever you need to leave). It’s great to bring a pair of work gloves. Trash sacks are provided. Come, show our pride and care for our church neighborhood! Thanks!

Curious as to what else is happening in the South Converse Neighborhood? Look on the ‘Community’ bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for current month’s posting of SCNA Community News(letter).

Our Annual Fund Theme for 2019-2020
Saturday, January 26 from 6:30–8:30 P.M.

Please join us in the Fellowship Hall as we kick-off our Annual Pledge Campaign.
Light Appetizers, Beverages, and Child Care will be provided. After socializing and enjoying live entertainment, we will have a short presentation on our financial needs. You can make a financial pledge that evening or turn your Pledge Card into our Annual Fund Stewards in February. We will finish up our Annual Fund Drive at the end of February.
In order to know how many to expect to our Kickoff, please email Rick Hahnenberg at or at our sign-up sheet at the coffee table bulletin board.


UUCS 2019-2020 Annual Pledge Form

“Dark Money” is the subject of the UUCS Humanist meeting on Wednesday evening, February 13, in the Fellowship Hall at UUCS, 210 Henry Place, Spartanburg. Susan Griswold will show part of a documentary by the same title and then lead the discussion.

The making of this documentary by Kimberly Reed was prompted by the 2010 United States Supreme Court Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate spending in election campaigns if it is done apart from a candidate or party. She began “Dark Money” two years later when her home state of Montana unsuccessfully challenged the decision. Filmed over three election cycles, this film follows the ramifications of that Citizens United decision. For further information before our meeting, go to

Come at 6:30 p.m. to socialize informally with your fellow Humanists. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. See you there!


Click here for more information on UUCS Humanist.

This is really what the UU tradition is all about–people doing things that matter, not for praise or reward, but because they matter.

I remember walking into the Sanctuary of a sister UU congregation. At the entrance there was a great placard bearing the photographs and brief descriptions of more than a hundred trailblazers–people who had broken new ground in mental health care, prison reform, civil rights, on and on–all UUs, and all unknown.

Come this Saturday night to celebrate some of our own Unsung Heroes. Bright New Beginnings is a way to launch this New Year together, and to praise a handful of our own fellow trailblazers for the things they have done that matter to us all.

To work that matters–


In preparation for the Celebration of Life for Steve Fowler, for which we will gather this Sunday, January 6 at 2:30 pm in the Sanctuary, a lyric was brought to my attention from many years past:
“Shower the people you love with love,
show them the way you feel.
Things are going to be much better
if you only will.”
As simple and true as a broad smile: things will be much better
if we only will.
May we build one another up, day after day,
for all of our days–

Dear Members and Friends,

We enter the New Year with church activities in full swing.
The Wilde Hall kitchen project is progressing; physical work has begun with a wall cutout for a pass-through window, sealing the outer walls against moisture, and modifying the drains under the floor to accommodate the sink and dishwater. Once the city approves the engineering drawings, the purchase of major appliances and services will commence. A recent $10,000 gift to the Wilde Hall Development Fund means that the kitchen is now fully funded, including the unexpected expense of an electric power upgrade. Although the upgrade requirement was unwelcomed, the good news is that it will provide the electric capacity required for our future elevator.

This fall we have had many members enduring hardship and illness, and we have suffered two recent deaths of long-time members. It is some compensation witnessing what an incredibly dedicated Pastoral Care group we have, providing loving support and companionship to those facing these extreme challenges.

January will bring two different congregational gatherings. The Bright New Beginnings potluck dinner is a wonderful social event to brighten the dark winter days, and it provides an opportunity to give recognition to various members and friends who work in the background to keep our church functioning. Later in the month, we will have a Pledge Kickoff social event to celebrate our bounty and start building the financial support which will fuel our work in the next church year (which begins in July). The theme this year is Living Our Mission, and I look forward to discussions of its meaning.

And please join our Social Justice Council on Martin Luther King Day for a service project at church. Last year we had a great time working together preparing hundreds of personal hygiene kits to be provided to homeless people in our community. This is a great activity for including older children and youth.

In love and peace,

Fred Stoll

“…to strive to become our better selves…” (from the UUCS Covenant)

It is hard to imagine a better resolution for the New Year than this:
– to face ourselves, to require ourselves to confront our blind spots and biases;
– and to honor and exercise our gifts, to share our strengths for the benefit of ourselves and others.
This would be an outstanding endeavor for a new year.

“…to strive to become our better selves…”

The strange thing about this statement is what comes right before it. In our covenant, we promise to do this work of self-development in community: “Together we covenant…” We do this with one another, for one another. In other words, as a team.

“…to respond to systems of violence and oppression / with the power of a love beyond belief…”

Nothing builds team like work. As I read the words of our covenant, our determination to build together a more livable world through the power of love, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. come to mind:

“I must oppose any attempt to gain our freedom by the methods of malice, hate, and violence that have characterized our oppressors. Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, ‘Love or perish.’”

To summon the best in one another as we build a better world: that is our mission.

A New Year dawns. Let us challenge one another, with both honesty and kindness, to become the better selves we know we are capable of being—for the world we know is possible.

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for [humanity] to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. [Humanity] must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech)


Yeish kochavim sheoram magi’a artzah…

“There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.

And so it is with people that we loved.
Their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.

But the stars that light up the darkest night,
these are the lights that guide us.

As we live our days,

these are the ways we remember.” (by Hannah Senesh)

Join us this Sunday as Yossi Leibowitz, our community’s rabbi, leads us. We will remember the year that has been; we will remember those we love; we will follow light into the New Year. Come for a time of memory, wisdom, and laughter.