General

Each week you join together with others to covenant in “honoring the generous heart”. Stewardship is the process of empowering your own internal passion to be generous with how you invest your time, your money, and your giftedness and talents.

You’re invited to a Kick-off Luncheon announcing the start of our annual Generosity of Giving Pledge Drive Campaign. This is an opportunity to learn more about investing in the growth of our programs, events, and services both in our congregation & in our community. We’re taking this time to look for opportunities to grow and expand our reach into our community and city. This period of reflection can help us each consider ways we can invest in the energy that drives the vision and mission we all strive towards here at UUCS.

Date: Sunday, January 26th
Place/Time: following the service at 12:15pm down in Wilde Hall
Sign-up Required: visit www.uucs.org/luncheon OR see the sign-up sheet above the coffee in the fellowship hall
Meal options available: Meat, vegetarian, and vegan options will be available

Be a part of all of the MLK Weekend celebrations in Spartanburg:

  • Friday, Jan. 17 at 6:00pm at the Library Headquarters: Movie Night: “I Am Not Your Negro”, on the life and writing of James Baldwin, followed by community dialogue.
  • Saturday, Jan. 18 at 9:00am at Wofford College’s N. Church St. entrance: Walk as One community walk for racial solidarity in our city.
  • Monday, Jan. 20
    • at UUCS: MLK Day of Service
      • 10:00am: Pack hygiene kits in the UUCS Fellowship Hall
      • 1:00pm: Neighborhood litter sweep starting in the UUCS parking lot
    • 6:30pm: City MLK Unity Celebration at Memorial Auditorium

Let us stand in the best part of our history, and create the future that is possible–

Scott

This Saturday evening, January 11, celebrate the New Year with our annual Bright New Beginnings church pot luck. We will honor a few Unsung Heroes in our church community and revel in our life together. Families are invited and child care will be provided. Doors open at 5:00pm and dinner starts at 5:30pm. This is a beautiful event, full of warmth and light on a winter night–come.

— Scott

9:30-10:30 am, In the Sanctuary on the 4th Sunday of January, & February

Death is a difficult topic to think or talk about, but a necessary one if we or our loved ones are to have the best possible end of life experience. This series will look at death and dying from a global perspective, and then we will talk about what you can do to make things the best they can possibly be in this phase of life that we will all face at some point. Presenters will be UUCS members Garrett Snipes, MD, Medical Director, Spartanburg Regional Hospice, and Lisa Mowery, BCST, SEP, LMBT, who offer specialized support for all stages of the dying process.

The first two sessions were in October and November and the last two sessions will on the 4th Sunday of January and February from 9:30-10:30 am in the Sanctuary. Topics in the series will be as follows:

I. Introduction: Modern Death in 5 Easy Questions – October 27

II. Exploring the Process of Dying – November 24

III. Dying Well: An Oxymoron? – January 26

IV. Conclusion: Layers of Support at End of Life – February 23

Please join us for what we hope will be a frank and honest, but not dour, look at death and dying. We also hope to give you some ideas about the things you can do to plan and prepare yourselves and the people you care about. This series is relevant for adults of all ages.
These sessions will be followed by a Saturday workshop which will provide opportunities to complete end of life forms and define individual intentions. Childcare can be arranged for this workshop with prior notice. Date to be announced later.

Have questions about this congregation and/or about Unitarian Universalism? Then please join us and get answers. Our minister, Scott Neely, and a couple of congregants will be leading the conversation.

We hope you want to know and understand who we are here. You do not have to join, no way. This is a time to get more information.

The next class will be held on Sunday, February 2nd, after service. Lunch will be served and childcare is available. Please register on the sign up sheet in the Sanctuary Foyer, by sending an email to membership@uucs.org or click the Path to Membership Class (link) We will have New Member Sunday, Sunday, February 16th, 2019, during the 11 am service.

Please sign upit makes life easier for the organizers.
Look for the sign up sheet on the whiteboard in the foyer of the church. We look forward to being with you.

UUCS Membership Committee

 

You are invited to a kick-off luncheon announcing our annual Generosity of Giving Pledge Drive Event on January 26th, 2020 at 12:15pm following the service downstairs in WILDE HALL.

This is an opportunity to learn more about investing in the growth of our programs, events, and services both in our congregation and in our community.

Please RSVP for this event no later than January 23, 2020.

Submitting the form below will register you for this event.

This Sunday, our own Anne Garner, ministry intern extraordinaire, will bring us into the New Year with a meditation on why social justice matters. Bring your loose change in support of the “Guest At Your Table” offering, supporting women”s justice ministries around the world through the UU Service Committee. This is a year for social justice. Let us begin, together, resoundingly.

We are on the move,

Scott

There are an abundant 490 hymn selections within our 2 UU hymnals. Sadly, most congregations consistently use on 15-20 of these on a regular basis.

During each month of 2020 we’ll explore at least 1 unfamiliar hymn. Hearing it sung by the choir or presented as an instrumental arrangement will aid in learning these potential new favorites!

Feel free to make the music director aware if there is a particular hymn you’d suggest we consider trying.

Keith

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Human Sexuality Program in the Spring at UUCS

UUCS now has seven trained facilitators in the OWL program. We are planning to offer this in the spring, with a required parent orientation in January, and classes then running from February through May, 2020. The program, OWL (Our Whole Lives), is a human sexuality program developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It focuses upon human sexuality in a secular setting that also teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. Youth are taught by trained facilitators, and are closely united in covenant to establish an atmosphere of deep understanding and trust. For this reason, a commitment to attendance is a requirement of the program.

We currently have four of our own youth interested in participating, and we want to open this up to the church community at-large. If you know a family who might be interested outside of church, or if any of you have grandchildren who might like to participate, please consider this opportunity. We will begin publicizing the program within the Spartanburg community, with registration limited to 15 students per class. There will be two classes offered concurrently, one for Grades 7 – 9 and one for Grades 10 – 12.

In order for youth to participate in the program, parents will be required to attend a parent orientation and sign permission slips at a meeting to take place at UUCS in January. The program will then running on the following Sunday afternoons: February 2, 9, 16; March 1, 8, 15, 22; April 12, 19, 26; May 10, 17, 24.

Lunch will be provided each of the Sundays, and there will be a small registration fee per family to cover meals and materials needed for the program, to be determined.

More information about the programs can be found here: https://www.uua.org/re/owl 

If you are interested or have additional questions, please contact Sybil at dre@uucs.org

Sybil H. Argintar,
Director of Religious Education
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg
P.O. Box 1942
Spartanburg, SC 29304

“The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young but to stir up their own.”
(William Ellery Channing)

Martin Luther King Day Activity, Changes for our fair trade coffee program, Choosing the social justice focus issues for the coming year, And a new meeting time for the Social Justice Council!

There’s always a lot happening in Social Justice, but this is an exceptionally busy time! Our meeting this month is at 12:00, TUESDAY, Jan. 7th, in room 5. (We’re trying this daytime meeting for the winter months.) Everyone is always welcome to join our meetings and share ideas.

Before I share our focus issues for the upcoming year, let me tell you about two other ways you can help our church, our community, and our world:

  1. Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 20th, in the Fellowship Hall. Many people asked about repeating last year’s activity, packing 388 hygiene kits for the homeless and others in need, so we’re doing it! Adults and youth are welcome (please feel free to invite a friend or two). We’ll work from 10:00-12:00 (last year, we finished well before noon). All month, we’re collecting the items to pack: soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and washcloths (we already have ordered 432 toothbrushes). If you can donate, just put your donations in the containers under the Social Justice bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. This month’s share-the-plate will also be used to purchase supplies for the kits.
  2. Equal Exchange For almost ten years, we’ve been buying fair trade, organic coffee, tea, and chocolate through Equal Exchange’s interfaith program for congregations, along with over 6,000 other congregations throughout the US (over 450 UU!). We support small farmers and help the environment by buying organic, and we know that the chocolate we buy isn’t produced by child slaves. Equal Exchange also gives $.20 a pound of UU purchases to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee AND charges us wholesale prices– we buy great coffee for less and cover the cost of the coffee and tea we drink during coffee hours. I think that’s WIN-WIN-WIN-Win! For several years, Russ and Tracy Stapleton have been wonderful coffee shepherds, selling coffee, etc., once a month. But they’re leaving for Spain, so starting in March we need to train a new team, ideally, four people, two per month, to keep our coffee and tea (and chocolate) coming. Could you be one of those four people? If you’re interested, talk to Tracy or Russ, or email socialjustice@uucs.org
  3. Lastly, Focus Topics The social justice council has chosen our focus topic options for June 2020, a total of 3 local and 3 global issues for the congregation to learn about and consider between now and the vote at our annual congregational meeting in June 2020. The issues chosen will be our focus for the year July 2020-June 2021. There were many vitally important issues submitted by the congregation at our church service Nov. 3rd, at Social Justice (SJ) meetings, and also by email or notes on the SJ bulletin board. Our SJ meetings elicited intense discussions encompassing the passions of SJ members, the concern shown by congregational “share the plates,” as well as the recent collection of food and sundries for PASOS (Hispanic, poverty) and other actions such as the coat collection for the Atheists Helping the Homeless, the youth collections for animal welfare, etc. We also looked at which issues offered the best opportunities for action for our entire church community, i.e., what organizations we currently have connections with, for potential partnerships, and resources available from UUA. Our notes below begin to expand on the issues; we will continue to discuss ideas for actions and education for all of them.

 

LOCAL ISSUES:

  1. Racism. Address need to understand history from perspective of Native Americans, African Americans, and other ethnic groups. Activities: work with Speaking Down Barriers, join MLK Parade, work to put up lynching memorial/ remove any Confederate statue in Sptg, similar. Write letters to support legal actions. This ties into various poverty, education, and UUCS internal concerns. UUA and racial justice: https://www.uua.org/racial-justice
  2. Immigration and Hispanic Alliance. Treatment of refugees as well as children in custody. Many issues re changes of immigrants and longterm immigrants. We have many church members who are passionate about this, and overall support has been shown by contributions to PASOS food and sundry drive, share the plate for lawyers for immigrants and services for children in custody. We have an ongoing relationship with the Hispanic Alliance in Spartanburg. Actions could include more of above, English lessons for adults or homework help for children. Also relates to poverty, and more.
  3.  Being a Good Neighbor in our church community and in Spartanburg. More details on this one later.

 

GLOBAL ISSUES:

  1. Also Immigration and Hispanic Alliance. Treatment of refugees as well as children in custody. Many issues re changes of immigrants and longterm immigrants. We have many church members who are passionate about this, and overall support has been shown by contributions to PASOS food and sundry drive, share the plate for lawyers for immigrants and services for children in custody. We have an ongoing relationship with the Hispanic Alliance in Spartanburg. Actions could include more of above, plus visit to detention center, plus political activity (letters, more). Also relates to poverty, climate change, and more.
    Unitarian Universalist Assoc. and immigration issues: https://www.uua.org/immigration
    And 2018 https://uucsj.org/immigrationstudyguide/
  2. Citizenship Action and Get out the Vote. Although local actions, e.g., to register citizens to vote,encourage youth to vote, and to inform ex-felons of their voting rights, are important, they may seem not meaningful enough in this conservative state. However, local experience in voter registration may be practice for participating in voter registration in neighboring states. Also, citizen action, particularly phone calls and letters, can be effective in influencing legislation that affects many causes, including S.C. legislative action on the environment (local initiatives banning plastic straws and bags threatened by upstate legislators), work licensure for Dreamers, solar energy, marijuana legislation (criminal law reform), gun violence, education, etc. A monthly or bimonthly letter-writing + campaign could be a part of this, first, as part of the Congregational Education on Issues, and then, after the election of 2020 is over. Our strong ties with League of Women Voters would give us partners for this work, as well as our ties to WREN and “green” groups, and, of course, our own experience with Spartanburg Earth Day. This UUA webpage offers a way of pulling together a lot of our concerns about voting and citizenship: https://www.uua.org/justice/vote
    #3. Environmental Action. We have just completed a 4- year focus on the Spartanburg Earth Day Festival, and as we partner with USC Upstate and become their junior partner.. we have ongoing actions that relate to the commitment underlying the festival. Our global concern is reflected in ongoing local activities with the SC Aquarium on working against single use plastics, and with professors at USC Upstate on a project to help restaurants in Spartanburg become more environmentally friendly. Wider global action could include phone calls, petitions, letters, and demonstrations supporting/fighting legislation. This is another issue with lots of information for action from UUA, including at
    https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/climate_broch_short_edge.pdf

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