For every individual searching for spiritual meaning, Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship provides a welcoming and caring religious community dedicated to diversity of thought, social and environmental justice, and peace for all.
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a more loving and just community.


April 21, 2024

your weekly newsletter of
events & issues

You are welcome here.

Coming up: Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 10:30am

“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

This Sunday we will have our quarterly Fabric of Life Ceremony, where BUUFers are invited to “weave a thread” in memory of a deceased loved one. All contributors are also welcome to share a photo or other item symbolic of their loved one. In addition, we will have a special presentation by Christopher Bartlett entitled: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” And finally, time permitting, Rev. Jim will deliver a brief sermon. See you on Sunday!

To join BUUF’s Sunday Service via Zoom, please click this link; Meeting ID: 973 1741 4085; Password: 354882. If you have trouble getting connected please contact Beth LaFleur (‭269-932-8598‬). To minimize background noise, please mute yourself unless you are speaking. Please leave your camera on; we love knowing you are there.
We enjoy being in fellowship with you wherever you are.


Saturday, April 27th, 5:30-8:30 pm

Enjoy a buffet dinner and cabaret style entertainment at BUUF by BUUF members. Dinner buffet, dessert and soft drinks will be provided. Feel free to BYO beverages.
Everyone is welcome to attend and performread a poem, sing a song, perform music, or present a skit--all sorts of performances are welcome.
Celebrate the End of BUUF's Pledge Campaign:

Please RSVP here.

Suggested donation: $10 per adult, $5 per child (12 and under), or $30 per family. There will be a collection jar at the event.


  • Rev. Jim McConnell: Dear BUUfers we are very happy to announce that our own Scott Frankel has been appointed to an important federal judgeship. Check out the official announcement below and click on to the link for the full press release. Scott, we are very proud of you!
    SOUTH BEND, Indiana (April 17, 2024): The Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana are pleased to announce the selection of Scott J. Frankel for the position of United States Magistrate Judge in the Court's South Bend Division. Mr. Frankel will succeed the Honorable Michael G. Gotsch, Sr. upon his retirement in August 2024.
For the full press release click here.
Nancy Gilpin: The migrant workers are here. There is a blue bin at the back of the sanctuary to collect BLANKETS & BATH TOWELS. Clean used items are good. Clark and I will deliver them.
  • Diane Gibbons: The monthly meeting of the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor Citizens' Climate Lobby Group will be held April 24 at 6pm at the St.Joseph Library. It does not cost anything to join this group and is another easy way for BUUF members to fight the Climate Crisis.
  • Lisa Fuller: Yard signs for the May Market are here! Please pick yours up on the table at the back of the sanctuary if you ordered one. Our cost is ~$14 per sign. If you would like to sponsor a sign (pay and pick up after for reuse next year) for one of our public locations, please see Lisa Fuller or Leanne Thomas. There are also lots of postcards to hand out, mail, or post at your local gathering places. Please help yourself.
  • Julie Williams: Passover starts the evening of Monday, Apr 22, and lasts eight days. Let's think of our Jewish friends at this time.
  • Harvey Johnson: The mowing schedule is open now. We are a co-op here and could use two people per week for half hour to an hour during this heavy growing season. The battery of our electric riding mower lasts about an hour. I will be happy to give lessons and transmit my secret knowledge on riding it.
  • Celia Barnes: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will be speaking at Lake Michigan College in the Hanson Auditorium on Tuesday, April 30, doors open at 5:45pm for 6:00pm talk on how to protect voting rights.

Cottage Meetings: Creating BUUF Together

We are entering BUUF's annual pledge season for the next church year, July 1st, 2024 - June 30th, 2025. As part of this year's pledge campaign there are opportunities to meet in small groups at the homes of various BUUFers to chat about BUUF, its mission, and how BUUF can help us actualize our shared hopes and dreams.
  • Tuesday, April 23rd, 3:30-5pm, at the home of Gloria Weberg, 1751 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph

RSVP to attend this Cottage Meeting TONIGHT.

"If we can calm the storms within our souls, the living water of our consciousness will become clear, and we will be able to see the sky reflected in the still waters of our consciousness."

BUUFer, Dave Richardson

We are in process of updating BUUF's website.

If you have anything you would like to see included, or to let us know how you use it—or wish you could use it—please let me know.
Leanne Thomas
This year's fundraiser is a plant/bake sale called May Market. It will be Saturday, May 18th, from 9 AM-1PM, at BUUF. There are many ways to help. Some things need to be done now, others not until April or May. We really need all hands on deck for this to be successful. Event goals are to increase awareness of the importance of pollinator plants, raise money for BUUF's operating expenses, and have a lot of fun working together for the betterment of our community.
CLICK HERE to see what is needed and indicate where you can help.

May Market

Peace, Lisa Marie Fuller (Plant Sale) 269-470-7379 & Laurie Myers (Bake Sale) 708-606-0391
May Market Co-Chairs

Joys & Concerns

Joys and concerns are shared with Announce subscribers.
Use the sign-up box at to have it delivered to your inbox every week.

Whether your joy & concern is spoken or unspoken, we hold you in our hearts.

Green Sanctuary, May 2024

  • There aren’t too many days I don’t read up on articles about renewable energy, electric cars and other possible subjects on our use of energy. Articles will come streaming by me of which I don’t pay attention to. And then more and more articles are discussing the same subject again and again. Well, it looks like an important area has come to mind, let’s dive in a little deeper. The subject is wires. The energy highways that connect eventually to our homes providing us lights, refrigerators, tv and other services we take for granted. As we travel around the country, there are the really tall towers holding these transmission wires. It turns out there may be a solution to bringing in more clean energy to our homes.
  • Problem is, the United States has a huge backlog of clean power production in the queue to get onto the open market.
  • The backlog of new power generation and energy storage seeking transmission connections across the U.S. grew again in 2023, with nearly 2,600 gigawatts (GW) of generation and storage capacity now actively seeking grid interconnection, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
  • The total capacity in the queue at the end of 2023, nearly 2.6 Terawatts (TW), is more than twice the current U.S. generating capacity of 1.28 TW, and roughly eight times larger than the queue in 2014.
  • According to what I am reading the queues have increased by a factor of 8. And yet we have a system that approves new transmission very slowly. Especially compared to those that would like to get on the grid. One solution just recently discussed is reconductoring. Adding new transmission in the United States is very arduous and takes more than a decade. Reconductoring replaces old transmission lines with new ones that can hold twice the capacity of the old. Vast improvement. Instead of taking 10 to 20 years for new separate slowly approved transmission, reconductoring will take about 3 years.
  • If you look at the illustration below, it helps to show how the new advanced conductor can improve conduction of energy (electricity). The old conductor has a steel core and the new conductor has a lighter, stronger composite core. The strength and lighter weight of the core supports more conductors for more capacity. The old conductor can be pulled down from the transmission tower and the new higher capacity conductor put in its place.
  • As Obama said, “Change is not easy”. Can we get to a totally clean energy society. I say the answer is a resounding yes. I encourage those curious enough to read the links. This is an interesting area of which I haven’t included a great deal of interesting factoids in this short article.
  • Thank you for letting Green Sanctuary come into your reading pleasure. Jeff Green

Ongoing BUUF Opportunities

New Moon Womyn's Circle

  • 6:15—9:00, each month
    on or around the new moon
  • Contact Lisa Fuller to be added to our email list.

Writing Group

  • Every other Monday at Noon at BUUF
    Bring your lunch, notebook, and favorite pen.
  • Contact Patrice Grant at or Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, 407-488-4057 for more information. Janice Zerfas is also leading this group.

Euchre, Anyone?

  • Thursdays at 3:30–5:30pm at BUUFers' homes
    You do not need to know how to play. We will teach you.
  • Contact Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, or 407-488-4057 for more info

Small Group Ministry

  • 6:30pm, first Monday of the month
  • The curriculum is always mind-opening and enchanting. This is a friendly way to get to know other interesting BUUFers—as well as yourself! For details contact our
    DRE Brett Maccani

Salvation Army Soup Kitchen
in Benton Harbor

  • 9:00am—1:00pm, first Saturday of the month
    233 Michigan St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • Feel free to come for all or part of this opportunity to be of help. Contact Leanne Thomas or Rev. Jim McConnell for info.

BUUF Caring Committee

If you need help, please contact Leanne Thomas, Office Admin, at 407-488-4057 or

Your request will be met with respect and confidentiality.

Application forms are available in Fuller Fellowship Hall in the cubby behind the visitor's table.

For a copy of our Members & Friends directory,

which includes our leadership roster,
please contact Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, at

Beautiful BUUF: Maintenance

CLICK HERE for the BUUF maintenance list

If you're handy, please take a gander at the list in the above link and see if anything sparks your interest. If you would like to lend a hand indoors or outdoors, please contact Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, at 407-488-4057 or
facebook instagram youtube website 

BUUF on the World Wide Web

Did you know BUUF has a hearty online presence? BUUF members are invited to visit and become familiar with BUUF's website, facebook page, private facebook group and YouTube channel. These platforms provide information about BUUF governance, upcoming events, discussion of various topics and an opportunity to view previous services and messages.
Being familiar with these online locations will help you participate more fully in BUUF activities and share information with others who might appreciate our BUUF community.
For BUUF history, governance information and much, much more visit the website at
For information about upcoming events, visit, like, and follow BUUF on Facebook at
To share info and participate in discussions with other BUUFers, join BUUF's private Facebook group at
To view previous services (abridged for privacy) or messages delivered during Sunday Services, visit BUUF's YouTube channel

You are welcome here.

Everyone is welcome here. You are welcome here regardless of your age, your race, your income, your religion, or the gender with which you identify. You are welcome here regardless of who you love, who you vote for, the regrets that burden you or the mistakes you have made.
In this safe community we support each other in the sacred task of Becoming, celebrate the transcending mystery of life, and rely on the transforming power of love. Here, we revere the words of the great teachers such as Jesus, the Buddha, and Confucius. It is however, the task of every UU to be their own Buddha, their own Jesus, their own Confucius. It is our work, as a community to walk with each other along the spiritual pathways that lead towards happiness, compassion, and Life fully lived. And, while we are a safe harbor where there is solace and healing, we are also a launching pad from which we are propelled into the tumult of life to live courageously, justly and lovingly.
In this sacred place we create the structures that lift up the down trodden, set the captives free, and heal the broken hearted. Here we have learned that to be fully human is to be fully divine and that with a little help from our friends we can each tell our own unique story.

We honor all religions.
This is a religion of religions.

Whatever path you choose,
we're going to walk with you.

Rev. Jim McConnell
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Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
4340 Lincoln Ave, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085

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