CUUPs Newsletter – MidWinter Issue 2022 - Archived

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CUUPs Newsletter
MidWinter 2022
GA 2022 • New Board Member & Chapters
MidWinter Worship List • Social Events
The Prospect of Spring Poem • Linus Project
“Voices of Pagan and Earth-Centered UUs” Book Discussions Starting
Monthly Touchstone Meetings
A Time to Renew & Be Inspired!
Living here in New England makes the MidWinter season an odd time of year to be thinking about Spring. Winter feels like it is just getting started. By evening when we light the fireplace, I am reminded of the balance of the season. It is time to get the greens out of the house start evaluating the seeds we have left to plant and what we need to purchase. MidWinter seems to be that point to organize ourselves for the planting season to come.
CUUPS is doing some similar things. The organization’s board looked at the need to “stoke the fire of inspiration” for the following year. We look at what the organization needs to feel renewed and refreshed. How do we find new ways to support chapters, members, and volunteers in the face of the new norms.
We have made some headway in some fun initiatives. Our board is starting to grow again! Billy Thorpe (aka Billy Bardo) from the Binghamton, NY chapter. He was appointed to the board after receiving approvals from the Nominating Committee. Billy has been around the CUUPS world for many years and is a leadership team member in his church’s chapter. He is a talented jeweler, bard, musician, and loves life. He will be working to catch up on the membership and chapter coordinator’s role and has some great ideas for future conferences and gatherings for CUUPS. Billy brings his refreshing wit, forward-thinking, and humor.
The board has submitted program proposals for General Assembly 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Our presence at GA will continue virtually for one more year, and we will sponsor the event. Once our proposals are accepted, we will reach out to create the programs. If you or your chapter like to contribute ritual pieces, please contact info@cuups.org.
Let us plant the seeds of inspiration and innovation to replenish our hearts.
Warm blessings,
Jerrie Hildebrand
The Prospects of Spring
by Om Prakash Gilmore
When the strong winds blow
I feel like a small leaf far out
on the edge of your branch
shaken by the breeze and just
trying to hold on.
The sun dips lower
the night feels colder.
The prospects of a warm spring,
or a verdant summer seem lost–
just a past memory I won’t see again in my life time.
But then, in the twilight of my youth
as I float down toward the soil you
hold me in your arms and comfort me.
You tell me that I am immortal.
I am the leaf, I am the branch,
I am the root
and as this sacred marriage
bond is broken
by the death of the body and new marriage
blossoms.
The marriage between body and spirit has now ended
and the one between soul and spirit has finally begun.
I will live forever in your arms, my Beloved.
I will see worlds born of fire and ash and watch
them dissolve into flame and gas.
I will see energy never being destroyed as all existence
one small piece at a time
wraps itself around the soul of the universe and learns
the spiral dance that weaves new patterns,
new thoughts,
new ways of being.
I want to be that pattern,
I am that pattern as I release myself into your wind
and realize that the wind that I have so ferociously resisted
is not some foreign being.
All the time the wind has really only been me
even as the god has only
really
been
me.
Om Prakash Gilmore
© February 2012
Volunteers Needed for Online CUUPS Socials
There have been requests for get-togethers for CUUPS members. We would like to experiment in offering socials once a month in each time zone to chit-chat and get to know each other. Here are a few quick details. More will be available at an organizing meeting. Those interested will receive information about the meeting via email:
Fellowship Time Zone Hosts
Time zone hosts coordinate with each other when they will lead meetings.
  • ZOOM savvy
  • 2 to 3 hosts per time zone
  • Good internet connection with Zoom knowledge
  • 90 minutes in your time zone six times a year.
  • Able to come to job orientation and touchstone meetings
  • Be in communication with Board members accountable for the program.
Fellowship Coordinator(s)
Coordinate and be in communication with hosts. Manage and set up host schedules
  • ZOOM savvy
  • 2 to 3 hosts per time zone
  • Good internet connection with Zoom knowledge
  • 90 minutes in your time zone six times a year.
  • Able to come to job orientation and touchstone meetings
  • The time commitment for one year
  • Able to come to job orientation and touchstone meetings.
  • Be in communication with Board members accountable for the program.
Email info@cuups.org for more info.
Congratulations to New Chapters!
Welcome our new CUUPs chapters:
  • Pacific CUUPs in Astoria, Oregon
  • Reston CUUPs in Reston, Virginia
To become a CUUPs chapter, visit https://www.cuups.org/CUUPS-Chapters
Send You Spring Equinox
Worship Dates!
The Spring Equinox marks the time when day and night are equal. Spring is a time of new beginnings, rebirth, and renewal. Is your CUUPs chapter having Lunar Ritual around Feb 16th or March 18th? Or Ostara/ Spring Equinox solar celebration around March 20th?
Please email info@cuups.org with your chapter name, time zone, time and date of your event, and a short description of your ritual to be added to the upcoming Spring Equinox Worship List. When completed the list gets shared out online.
2nd Saturdays: Chapter and Member Support
This month we talk about Online Worship Part 2 — a look at the technical side of putting components together. Come just as you are or in Valentine’s Day inspired colors!
Click here to register or mail info@cuups.org for more info.
UU Ministry for Earth:
Accepting Applications
for Board Chair
Now is an opportune time for a dynamic new Board Chair to lead UUMFE to the next level! Someone who can catalyze and navigate this period of growth, revisioning and internal transition. A good overview of the responsibilities and the leadership qualities we hope to attract can be found in our position description, now online HERE.
Although our timing is flexible, we hope to conclude a successful search by May, announce the new incoming Chair in June in conjunction with the 2022 General Assembly, and have the new Chairperson begin in July.
Need information? Contact Rev. Cindy Davidson, UUMFE Board Member Chair, at SearchTeam@uumfe.org!
“Pagan Voices” Book Group Starts
Join us for our monthly book group on 3rd Sundays at 7 PM EST for a series of 6 sessions!
You can buy your copy of “Pagan and Earth-Centered Voices in Unitarian Universalism” at the UUA Bookstore or set Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Inc as your charity when you shop through the Amazon Smile portal. 
Once you register you can come to all classes or just “drop-in” on the topics you like. Register at
February 20, 2022, begins with these selections:
  • “A Unitarian Universalist Journey into Paganism” by Shirley Ann Ranck
  • “Vibrant, Juicy, Contemporary: Or, Why I am a UU Pagan” by Margot Adler
In this particular book group you and your chapter can participate in three ways:
Be a Student – Register to attend and invite your chapter members and home church congregants to sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/PaganVoicesBookGroup2022
Help as Guest Facilitator for a Session – Lead a “table read” for 2 essays of your choice. We provide the discussion prompts. Our CUUPS Zoom tech will run the meeting Zoom for you.
Help write Discussion Prompts – Participate in the project as a writer by contacting info@cuups.org with which 2 essays you like from the available list. Then write 5 discussion prompts each. You can do as many as you like, but at least two essays.
Help Edit – Are you more of an editor? Help us gather the questions and format them into a Discussion Guide that CUUPS can offer to congregations and chapters at a later date for this book.
Be a part of the creation of this new Adult RE program! For info email info@cuups.org
Community Service: Project Linus and Ryan’s Case for Smiles
by Lady Jai
CUUPs chapter members are encouraged to participate in the life of their home congregation. Now that I’m a high school senior, I’m leading a project all on my own at my church so I thought I’d share my plans in case you might like to try it as well. With the COVID-19 pandemic closing church campuses everywhere, it can be hard to think about ways to do community service in a “pandemic safe” way.
I’ve been a patient at the children’s hospital before, and it was a blessing to get a visit from Project Linus and Ryan’s Case For Smiles. Both of these groups understand that a hospital stay can be a scary experience for children. The first provides blankets and the second provides pillowcases to help make the hospital room a bit cozier.
The third Saturday in February is “Make a Blanket” Day for Project Linus. This inspired me to organize a “drive-by” church event. It can also be any day of the year. I asked our CUUPs chapter and Children’s RE Committee if they would be cosponsors for an outdoor craft circle in our labyrinth if I helped organize the materials needed and they agreed.
While Project Linus accepts many styles of blankets and even provides patterns, not everyone knows how to sew. I chose the no-sew fringe fleece blanket #2 pattern. I will print these at the church front office to have for event day. I asked my mom to order 12×18 zip bags. You can also use Hefty 2.5-gallon bags if that is easier to find. You’d fold and roll the donated fleece fabric to fit, but I like the slightly taller bags to make kits.
On event day, I will have 20 complete kits ready for the early birds to “pick up.” People can just swing by anytime between 11 AM – 1 PM to donate 1.5 yards of fleece and pick up a different kit to do at home. They can return the completed blanket to the church office in the decorated box I will place there.
I’ll also have stations around the labyrinth on the event day. At the paper cutting station, people can use the paper cutter to cut up 4×4 corner square guides and 1×4 fringe strip guides from card stock.
At the packing station, people can fold donated fleece into a big zip bag. Then they can add the pattern sheet, a square corner guide, and a fringe strip guide. This makes a whole new kit. They will get placed in the laundry baskets on the curb for people to continue to “drive-by and pick-up.”
At the creation area, people who want to stay will have brought their own lawn chairs. This way they can visit outdoors with masks and social distancing in place while working on their blanket kits. Parents can help their elementary schoolers tie the knots. At the end of a month, I’ll take all returned blankets over to the Project Linus chapter for distribution at the children’s hospital.
I hope this gives you an idea of how to include kids in your CUUPs chapter events and how to create a fun church community service project that is accessible to all ages!
Join the CUUPS Board
  • Strongly identify as UU Pagan
  • A current paid member of CUUPS at the national level
  • In right relations with your own congregation
  • Familiarity with Zoom video conference or willingness to learn
  • Comfortable with Google Tools, or willing to learn
  • Experience serving on a “working board” like a UU church board or local community non-profit board is welcome but not required.
  • Has references to support their work
  • Young Adults welcome
  • A willingness to work in a team environment
Contact info@cuups.org with information about yourself for us to pass on to the Nominating Committee!
Newsletter Submissions Deadlines
The CUUPS newsletter works to publish four to six times in 2022. The next deadline is Mar 7, 2022 for the the Spring Equinox.
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc.
2692 Madison Rd., Suite 216, Cincinnati, OH 45208 | 330.892.8877 | www.cuups.org

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