UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION 2018. 10. 7.¢  Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Blacksburg,

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  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Blacksburg, VA October 2018


    1301 Gladewood Drive

    Blacksburg, VA 24060

    Website: www.uucnrv.org

    E-mail: info@uucnrv.org

    Phone: (540) 552-9716

    NEWSLETTER October 2018

    Year 53, Issue 10

    What does it mean to be a People of Sanctuary?

    Writing this letter after watching the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the Supreme Court nominee highlights the need for sanctuary in the world. No matter our political leanings, most of us have been shaken by the hearings - in which a woman bared her most painful experience of sexual assault to a nationwide audience, and a man shared his rage and frustration at the allegation. To say nothing of the death threats and online attacks both people and their families have endured. How did we get here?

    There’s no telling what will have happened in this situation by the time you read this letter, but I find myself feeling outrage over the state of our nation’s political landscape. My heart aches for those who have experienced sexual violence. I struggle with despair. Where can we find sanctuary? Certainly not by staying glued to the news on television or social media. Instead, we can find respite and relief in spiritual practices - meditation, journaling, yoga, walking - and in our relationships - our family, friends, and community.

    As I listened to Dr. Ford’s experience of sexual assault, I’m also reminded how grateful I am for Our Whole Lives (OWL), the UUA Lifespan Sexuality Education curriculum that UUC offers from kindergarten through adulthood. Her testimony and some of the public response make it abundantly clear that we must teach our children about healthy sexuality, about agency, and about consent. As an OWL facilitator, I worked with youth whose understanding and attitudes about healthy relationships gives me hope that ours does not have to be a culture that accepts or excuses sexual violence. I have hope that these young people have the skills and the knowledge that will help transform their community and the world.

    I’m mindful also that while we may find sanctuary - a place of safety and retreat from the evils of the world - in our religious community, we cannot allow ourselves to remain there. Instead, we can use the healing and renewal we find in our sanctuary to go back out into the world and fight injustice. When we come together, we can educate ourselves about the ills of the world - be it racism, sexism, environmental degradation, stigmatization of mental illness, assaults on democracy. When we come together, we can find the resolve to fight for the inherent worth and dignity of every person and for the protection of the interdependent web of all life. When we come together, we amplify our cries for justice.

    As we explore what it means to be a people of sanctuary, let us find practices and spaces that will give us respite and relief. But let us also find renewal for ourselves so that we can go out and help heal a hurting world.

    In faith and with hope, Rev. Pam

    Message from Our Minister Rev. Pam Philips

  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Blacksburg, VA 2 October 2018

    Minister: Rev. Pam Philips 434-996-7094 minister@uucnrv.org President: Ellen Plummer 540-230-8433 president@uucnrv.org

    Director of Lifespan Faith Development:

    Karen Hager 540-577-8043 DLFD@uucnrv.org

    Administrator/ Newsletter/Website:

    Lisa Evanylo 540-257-3612 administrator@uucnrv.org

    Pianist: Jared Gibbs pianist@uucnrv.org Choir Director: Ella Kromin choirdirector@uucnrv.org

    Lay Pastoral Care Ministry: LPCM@uucnrv.org UUC Website: uucnrv.org

    UUC Office Phone: 540-552-9716

    Minister Emerita: Rev. Christine Brownlie

    Contact Information

    Staff Office Hours:


    Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9-1

    Contact for appointment or use this link to set one up online.


    Mondays 9-12, Fridays 1-4


    Contact for appointment.

    Our Mission

    Inspire. Create. Transform. Inspire spiritual and ethical growth. Create compassionate community. Transform our community and the world through

    courageous love.

    Our Vision UUC will be a beacon of liberal religion in the New River Valley. We

    will join with other organizations and faiths to work for just causes.

    We will practice generosity and radical hospitality. We will be known as a place of beauty, welcome, joy, and celebration.

    Message from Our President

    Sanctuary. Sitting with the word sanctuary leads me to take a deep breath, settle, imagine calm, support, peace and quiet. Our worship theme this month is sanctuary, which seems additionally important at this time when Supreme Court nominations have ripped open the complex emotions associated with sexual violence and harassment. It’s humbling to consider the intense pull that the hope of sanctuary brings to hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants across the globe. So many of us – as individuals and as communities of people – hope for the peace promised by a sanctuary.

    At one time, a sanctuary was a sacred and holy location – such as a shrine. In some traditions, a sanctuary was – literally – a haven. A sacred and faith- based location where one could not be apprehended. Over time, the use of the word sanctuary has broadened beyond sacred places to mean any place of safety for humans, other animals, and plants. It seems to me that, currently, there are not enough safe spaces - sacred and otherwise – for each and all of us. My conversations are populated with discussions of heartfelt hunger for respite – for peace and quiet – for sanctuary from fear, noise, hate-filled emotions. Sanctuary to rest and think and collect oneself for the purpose of persisting.

    By initiating our new Small Group Ministry effort (see page 13 for more info and how to sign up), Rev. Pam is leading our congregation to participate in creating sanctuary for each other and for ourselves as a community. As a congregation, we benefit from the resources provided by Soul Matters including participating with UU congregations across the country in using worship themes to inspire worship and small group ministry. Many of us have agreed to serve as Small Group facilitators (thank you!), and many more of us have signed up to join a Small Group once a month to discuss the month’s worship theme. This is a form of creating sanctuary – with and for one another. It is sanctuary we are offering one another. When we are together, we offer sanctuary – sacred sanctuary – to be together in peace, to share, explore, offer support, encouragement, and celebration.

    If you can, I encourage each of us to join a Small Group and help to create sanctuary for others – and, as a bonus, you might just benefit from the sanctuary others have committed to provide you.


  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Blacksburg, VA 3 October 2018

    Upcoming Events

    UUC 2018 Service Auction & FUNdraiser

    Theme: Tricks and Treats

    Join us on October 27 promptly at 5 PM for the 2018 Goods & Service Auction. We’ll bid and buy during both Silent and Live Auctions while making new friends and enjoying tasty goodies. Don’t miss

    UUC’s premier FUNdraising event of the year!

    Things to know about the service auction:

     The last date to get your item in the printed catalog will be Sunday, October 14. Items will continue to be accepted but won’t necessarily be in the printed catalog.

     An abbreviated printed auction catalog will be available after the service on October 21 and at the auction. For a more detailed catalog, you can browse all catalog items online, either as a list or by category, at http://www.togetherauction.com/uucnrv.

     Auction items can be dropped off at UUC on Friday October 26 from 4-7 PM and on Saturday, October 27 from 10 AM – noon. Be sure to attach the item’s catalog number, e.g. A1, to it before dropping it off.

     When you arrive at the auction, register to bid and pick up a bidding number. Remember to bring your checkbook or credit card so that you can check out and pick up the items you have won before leaving.

     Children who have been registered for their Tricks and Treats party should be dropped off downstairs. Children 3 and under will be in the room off the nursery. To register your child (ren), contact Rachel Craine. Forget to register? Not a problem – they are most welcome.

     The Silent Auction begins at 5 PM and will close after the first Live Auction session. See the printed catalog for details. The food and bar will be available at 5 PM and during breaks between Live Auction segments.

     50/50 raffle tickets ($1 each and 6 for $5, cash only) will be available until the beginning of the second (and final) Live Auction segment. The winner will be selected during this auction period.

     Can’t come due to a conflict? Bummer! You will miss so much fun, but all is not lost. Send a friend with a bidding list and ask them to get a bidding number and bid for you – the higher, the better!!!

     Our monetary fundraising goal is $18,000. Our community-based FUNr