CUUPS Spring Equinox 2023 Newsletter - Archived

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CUUPS Newsletter
Spring Equinox 2023
It’s Time for General Assembly ’23
Welcome New Board of Trustees
Serving With Grace Book Group
Upcoming Rituals • Volunteering
Podcasts • Chapter Manual • Brochures
From CUUPS Co-Chairs
Spring is coming.
For the past few months it seemed as though Spring came and went several times, but…the real Spring, as per calendar, will be coming soon. This is very different from when I was a child. People used to say that Spring came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. In the Philadelphia Area of the US, that was completely true.
I remember running home from elementary school on the first day of Spring. The winds would be blowing hard. It seemed as though a shift had taken place overnight. The temperature was drastically different, much warmer, and we would run home looking forward to the beautiful weather, the opening of the flowers, the blossoming of the trees, all the beauty associated with ending a brutal winter and beginning lives of long days in the sun.
It’s not like that now. Things seem more unpredictable, even the weather. We seem to be in a constant state of flux as some of us try to find a way to create a beautiful, pluralistic society. In contrast, others fight to cling to the winter of humanity by holding back the advancement of the quality of life for each individual as well as the world. It seems discouraging sometimes, like the Spring of humanity will never arrive again, but it will. We seem trapped in the winter of anger, greed, and delusion.
Sometimes things may seem hopeless and even painful, but as the Taoists say, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, all the seasons come in their turn and drift away. I add that the only thing that keeps us healthy and happy, regardless of the seasons and external circumstances is the warmth of familiarity. To really be familiar with ourselves, our friends, our neighbors, and our communities are what will keep us warm through all the seasons, and that has been something that has been missing for several decades in the US at least. It is time though, for us to become familiar with each other and the people in our communities again. I don’t mean the caricatures of people created by the media and the fearful, I mean being able to see the real person behind the mask, and being able to be the real person behind our own masks.
This is a time for opportunities. The greatest opportunity for us is to be free of the ideas planted in a profit-driven society so we can attain the most important things. What are those things? Love, acceptance, self-acceptance, and being in communities that have our best interests at heart are the most important. We will be trying to create such a community. I invite you to join us. You are important, like the fine threads weaving the tapestry of life. If you are not there, this creation will never be complete. Rejoice in your own true self because nothing is more beautiful than what I can see in your eyes.
Namaste,
Rev. Dr. Om Prakash (John Gilmore)
Co-Chair CUUPS & Right Relations Liaison
Changes and Shifts for the Board
Greetings fellow travelers! I hope you are finding time to have just a bit of relaxation and joy. Please take a look at our website if you haven’t visited www.cuups.org recently, to find out about new things that we will be doing.
I would also like to let you know about the makeup of our newest Board. We welcome two new members. Taryn Nelson Seawright, is managing Curriculum Development and Podcasts. Susan Foster, is supporting Chapter Development and Membership. I will continue as Treasurer and Co-chair of CUUPS along with Om Prakash Gilmore as Co-chair and Right Relations. Our former President, Jerrie Hildebrand, is transitioning to President Emeritus and managing the Communications.
Cat Rigby is transitioning off at the end of the fiscal year. She will be volunteering a bit continuing with some of the programmings she started during her position as secretary. She did a great job creating programs, organizing the mailing system, preparing agendas and covering meetings, and many other things that have contributed to the organization’s function. She was accommodating when it came to creating the videos for on-demand programming for GA. Thanks, Cat!
Please consider if you want to serve on the CUUPS Board. Perhaps some position sings to you. Volunteer opportunities are available for those who want to support the organization and provide a welcoming place for those who practice various forms of Paganism and Earth-Based Spiritualities.
Blessed Be,
Ron Zorn
Co-Chair CUUPS & Treasurer
CUUPS In-Person at UUA General Assembly in June 2023!
This year CUUPS Board members will be supporting the CUUPS Table in the Exhibit hall and be onsite to meet and greet you and work on our virtual presence. We will have two programs, one on the GA programming list and one not on the programming list.
  • Summer Solstice Celebration (On-Site, Not in Program) – The GA Programming Committee approved for CUUPS to have this event only online. We wanted to be in person. So, the Planning Team is giving CUUPS a place to do an unofficial, not on the program, service. We will have information at the CUUPS Exhibit Hall Table about where we will be and, of course, post it on the Whova App and our social media.
  • A Concert to Celebrate Our Resilient Planet – (Online, on the Program) – This online concert celebrates the hope, resilience, and courage we create together as UU’s honoring the planet and all of its creatures through activism and practice at home and in our communities. Gather your friends and congregations together for this delightful event. All are welcome. We will announce the musician(s) in the mid-Spring newsletter and on our social media channels.
We will have more information upcoming newsletter. The Communications Team is putting together advertising for the UUA channels for the event. If you want to support the exhibit hall table, help with the ritual, or support our participation there, contact president@cuups.org, and the co-chairs will get back to you. We are especially looking to connect with Pittsburgh area chapters.
2nd Saturday Chapter Support: Serving With Grace
Join us online on the 2nd Saturday of the month, where we share highlights from the last ritual at home or with our CUUPs chapter, and get to know each other as we explore this year’s book group selection.
We began exploring “Serving With Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice” by Erik Walker Wikstrom in the fall. Although only three sessions remain, you can buy copies at the UUA Bookstore.
Sessions are “drop-in” friendly, and you can share your leadership thoughts and experiences even if you haven’t read the chapter yet.
  • March 11, 2023, Mission and Community
  • April 8, 2023, I Put My Hand in yours
  • May 13, 2023, Bringing It All Together
Register and attend any of the sessions: https://tinyurl.com/Fall2022ServingWithGrace
Email secretary@cuups.org if you would like to help facilitate a session on this “team teach” or for more info.
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Invitation to Volunteer!
Communications Team – Info Desk Helper
the position supports people writing CUUPS with essential FAQ items and forwards emails to the appropriate person in the CUUPs organization. Three times a week, you pick the days. Depending on the volume of emails and the season, this post is 1-3 hours a week.
Programming Team – “Sacred Cosmos” Helpers
We are developing a new discussion guide for past “Sacred Cosmos” journals—Gmail and typing skills are required. Volunteers can work as much or as little as they want after 1 Zoom orientation meeting. Specific roles available are:
  • Sign up to type editable Google Doc files of “Sacred Cosmos” essays from PDF scans,
  • Sign up to write five discussion prompts for each piece.
For more info about any of these positions, email secretary@cuups.org.
Board Members – Secretary, Membership Coordinator, Event Coordinator, At-Large
  • Gmail, Google Drive, and Zoom skills are required.
  • Strongly identify as UU Pagan
  • A current paid member of CUUPS at the national level
  • In right relations with your own congregation
  • Experience serving on a “working board.”
  • Has references to support their work
  • A willingness to work in a team environment
  • Young Adults welcome
Nominating Committee
  • All of the exact requirements as board members
  • An awareness of UU Pagans and Earth-Centered Spirituality to discuss participating on the board.
  • Good Networker
Contact info@cuups.org with information about yourself for us! We also welcome volunteers in other areas! Please let us know if you’re interested.
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More News & Happenings!
Chapter Manual Development
Susan Foster is creating a basic chapter manual to support congregations and chapters in creating healthy and open groups. The manual will include applying to be a chapter, building great relationships with the ministers and community, crafting covenants, dealing with disruptive persons, working with local media, and so much more. If you have suggestions about what will support our chapters, email Susan at chapters.membership@cuups.org, and she can discern how we might add it.
Reinventing Our Podcasts!
Currently, CUUPS has about 35 podcasts for the past online. Taryn Nelson Seawright, our new Curriculum Team Lead and Board Member, sees this as an opportunity to expand our resources in a current way. She has crafted a vision and met with former Executive Director David Pollard to begin to draft her plan of action strategically. The podcasts will show the depth of thinking, philosophies, and traditions in UU Paganism and Earth-Centered Spirituality. You can reach Taryn at curriculum@cuups.org.
Resurrecting Brochures!
Taryn Nelson Seawright and Jerrie Hildebrand met to begin discussions about creating a new brochure for CUUPS that expresses who we are today. They hope to have copies available at the General Assembly Table and online for purchase by chapters in June.
Got Ideas?
If you have ideas for the board and want to help develop let us know at info@cuups.org.
Becoming You
I love it when we sit in front of the fireplace
with a bowl of popcorn and watch life’s scary themes,
or how we play in the rain all night until we are soaking wet
and then sit in the my kitchen sipping hot cocoa
made with your own hands.
Your own recipe.
Sometimes you go heavy on the sugar,
my Beloved,
or add puffed rice pellets instead of little marshmallows,
or my apple vinegar instead of
the honey sitting nearby.
Behind your concerned look you challenge me
to fix your mistake without throwing the whole thing out!
Being with you and loving you
means being willing to learn to correct your purposeful mistakes.
What else can I do?
Learning to become you is totally worth the cost.
Om Prakash Gilmore
Copyright March 29, 2012
Chapter Thanks!
While there are no new or renewing chapters since the last newsletter, we wanted to thank all our CUUPs chapters for engaging and enriching their UU church and local community with rituals, classes, and more!
CUUPS Twitter Ended
The Curriculum and Communications Teams recommended CUUPS end their Twitter affiliation. It was rarely used and currently the organization is not in alignment with UU Principles, Purposes and Values.
Newsletter Submissions Deadline for April/May
The CUUPS newsletter works to publish four to six times in 2023. Please email your submissions to info@cuups.orgg for consideration by the next deadline of April 21, 2023 for the Beltaine/Mid-Spring Issue.
Submissions can be news, art, photos, poems, readings, from individual CUUPs members or CUUPs chapters.
CUUPs Worship List
The March 2023 edition of the CUUPs Worship List is posted! Visit any CUUPs chapter to celebrate Spring Equinox, Lunar rituals, and other worship.
You can also plan ahead Is your CUUPs chapter having a solar ritual around May 1? Full moon or new moon events?
Please email secretary@cuups.org with your chapter name, time zone, time and date of your event, and a short description to be added to the upcoming April/May edition of the worship list.
AmazonSmile Ended
Amazon ended this program on February 20, 2023. CUUPS no longer receives funding from them.
Membership Renewal
Members keep us growing…Join or renew with Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans National!
  • 1 yr Membership – $25.00 (USD)
  • 3 yr Membership – $60.00 (USD)
  • Life Member – $400.00 (USD)
Go to www.cuups.org and click the blue button in the top right corner. Enter the email you registered with and your password. You will go to your account. If you have trouble, write us at info@cuups.org for support!
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc.
2692 Madison Rd., Suite 216, Cincinnati, OH 45208 | 330.892.8877 | www.cuups.org

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