June 30, 2024

your weekly newsletter of events & issues

You are welcome here.

BUUF Background.transparent


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.
Your donations help us build a loving and just community.

Coming up: Sunday, July 7, 2024 at 10:30am

Lighten Up a Little Bit:

Embracing Humor as Spiritual Practice

This Sunday, July 7th, Rev. Jim McConnell will, in his sermon titled, "Lighten Up a Little Bit: Embracing Humor as Spiritual Practice." explore a theme that lies at the heart of our human experience—humor.

Humor is not just a source of entertainment; it is a profound tool for healing, connection, and understanding. In our Unitarian Universalist tradition, where we celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of every person, humor helps us bridge the gap between our light and dark natures and fosters a sense of wholeness and meaning in our lives.

Additionally, we will have a Story for All Ages, BUUFers with some humorous stories of their own, and some patriotic music to acknowledge the birthday of our country. Come in person or join on Zoom.

Why did the Unitarian Universalist cross the road?

To help the chicken find its own path.
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.



Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Benton Harbor
Join us for fun social time making and serving food for folks who need and appreciate a meal. Come anytime for part or all of the time. You will be greeted by smiles.
  • Yard Clean Up
    The Buildings and Grounds Committee needs Helping Hands on Saturday July 13th from 10am-Noon! In case of an emergency from back door of the building is needed, the Fellowship needs a safe pathway available. Currently the backside of the building is overgrown with weeds, brush and small trees that will make this impossible. If you are available for an hour or so, bring saws, snippers and clippers and help hack out a path to safety! Pizza will be available at noon! Thank You. Diane Gibbons
  • Climate Cafe
    The next Climate Cafe gathering will be on Thursday July 18th at 6pm. The evening will start with a potluck vegetarian/vegan supper. During the meal folks are encouraged to discuss all aspects of the Climate Crisis we are facing including actions that are being taken. Please come and share your concerns or good news from our area, the rest of the US, and internationally, regarding this hot topic. At 7pm Harvey Johnson will show a David Attenboroug film to top off this enjoyable gathering. Diane Gibbons
  • Rosie Ruggless & Rachel Reed: PRIDE festival went well in Benton Harbor. Lots of stands, Rosie got her face painted, and helping with temporary tattoos.
  • Beth La Fleur: My older kids loved seeing the representation at PRIDEfest.
  • Nancy Gilpin: Thanks, on behalf of the social justice committee, to all who made it through the heat to attend and to help with the booth. Our booth was pointed out as being exemplary!
  • Dave Richardson: I have made a virtual version of the Silverwolf service I did at BUUF on May 26. I put a link on our Facebook page.
  • Harvey Johnson: This is the mowing schedule. It is on the kiosk next to the refrigerator in the kitchen. This is a co-op. We have a riding electric mower, easy to use, I'll show you how. If you can spare an hour it's a great help. Please sign up. Thank you.

Migrant workers could use:

      • Baseball caps
      • Bandanas
      • Short-sleeved T-shirts
        in Small, Medium or Large (no XL please)
Please place good, used, clean items in the blue bin at the back. We will deliver them.

Thank you!

Beth La Fleur

Our New Sunday Service Committee Chair
Hello, BUUF'ers! I am pleased to be stepping into the role of Sunday Service Committee Chair for the next calendar year. Joanne has done a wonderful job and I have big shoes to fill! Two requests from you all as I start!
  • 1. Please always feel welcome to come to me with feedback, positive or negative, on aspects of the Sunday services as we go through the year. My email is balafleur08@gmail.com and I'm around most Sundays to speak with!
  • 2. Joanne usually brought flowers or other decorations for the Chalice altar and worked to make sure it was set up and looking nice before services. Due to my other Sunday pre-service duties, I am looking for a rotating set of volunteers to help with that. Please let me know if you are interested.
  • Thank you, Beth!

  • Thank you, Joanne, for so many great services.

Click here to read the minutes of

BUUF's 2024 Annual Meeting.

Joys & Concerns

Please subscribe to read this portion.

Spoken or unspoken, we hold you in our hearts.

Green Sanctuary, July 2024

As the earth swells in numbers of humans on the planet, our effects on our living system is showing signs of stress. Before I go to my main subject of interest, I want to talk about a historical account in the past. In Great Britain, London’s population grew dramatically over the centuries to 2.35 million people between 1800 and 1850. Along with that came the problems of pollution, drinking water contaminated, and an overburdened and obsolete sewage system. Cholera broke out killing 10s of thousands of people. Londoners had to transition to an improved sewer system. People did not understand back then where Cholera came from. Parliament in 1859 could smell the effects of the sewage and refuse then and finally acted on it. The period of history is called “The Great Stink”.

The above example is a necessary transition of large numbers of people living closely together to manage different kinds of waste including human waste. Another kind of waste to consider is the waste of burning fossil fuels. Here we are using the air as our sewer adding all kinds of gaseous pollutants to it. We are now in transition to cleaner energy. There are signs of change coming. Gasoline car sales are in the start of decline. There has been all kinds of information going around that EVs are the ones coming to an end when in reality the opposite is true.

The Facts Are In: It’s Not Looking Good for Internal Combustion
The "EV slowdown" is overblown. It's internal-combustion cars that are on their way out.
As recently as 2016, roughly 700,000 plug-in cars were sold worldwide, according to the IEA. Put simply, annual electrified vehicle sales have exploded by 2,000% in well under a decade. Projected out to 2030, it’s quite easy to see internal combustion engines for cars are in serious decline. China is the most aggressive market in the world where EVs have a 50% market share.
On a different graph, same article, Bloomberg has a projection by 2040 of EVs having 75% of world sales. If you were to listen to petroleum-based projections, EVs would be barely denting the
market by 2040. Plug-in car sales in the U.S. will end the year up 20% over 2023, BNEF says, less than the 32% it had previously projected. Still, it expects plug-in cars to make up 29% of the U.S. vehicle market by 2027.

Looking out a few years, the health of America’s EV transition hinges on whether cheaper models materialize in a meaningful way, said Cantor. Think a range of different models in the $25,000-$32,000 range, after incentives. Those kinds of vehicles are in the works from Ford, GM, Jeep, Kia and others.

This is transition with a deadline. The slower we go, the worse the consequences of polluting the atmosphere. Batteries and technology have come together to make a cleaner way of travel. Once fossil fuels are eliminated from the electrical grid, we will be entering a near carbon free time to travel to grandma’s or the grocery store. Solving this issue was like “The Great Stink” of London. The trouble is co2 doesn’t stink. It’s invisible and we depend on instruments to tell us what is happening. But now we know.

“The Great Stink” is one of my favorite analogies to what is happening today. As humans burden the living system of earth, it is a struggle for awhile before society starts to move on changing our sewage system or changing our energy systems. I have enjoyed watching this part of our society move forward on this issue. And to be able to talk to you about it in these postings. Thank you for letting me be part of your reading pleasure. Jeff Green

The Pride Flame

We light this flame
to ignite our hearts and minds—
the spark of knowledge that enlightens,
the shimmering hope that burns,
the blazing love that engulfs our actions,
the bonfire of our commitment.

We light this flame for those
who celebrate themselves
who fear
who hope
who persevere
who stand on the side of love for all.
excepted from UUA resources
Thanks to Peter Tortorello for reading this poem in it's entirety on Sunday.

Ongoing BUUF'ortunities

New Moon Womyn's Circle

  • 6:15—9:00pm on or around the new moon each month at various locations
  • Contact Lisa Fuller lmfuller0116@gmail.com to be added to our email list.

Men's Group

  • Regular date TBD (Please see upcoming meeting in Announcements portion of this email.)
  • If you have any questions, please contact Nico Rojas at lucificador@gmail.com

Writing Group

  • Every other Monday at Noon at BUUF. Bring your lunch, notebook, and favorite pen.
  • Contact Patrice Grant at astilbe531@gmail.com or Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, office@berrienuu.org 407-488-4057 for more information. Janice Zerfas is also a leader.

Euchre, Anyone?

  • Thursdays at 3:30–5:30pm at BUUFers' homes. You do not need to know how to play.
  • Contact Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin, office@berrienuu.org or 407-488-4057

Small Group Ministry

  • 6:30pm, first Monday of the month
  • The curriculum is always heart and mind opening. This is a friendly way to get to know other interesting BUUFers—as well as yourself! For details contact our DRE Rachel Reed dre@berrienuu.org

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 help. Contact Leanne Thomas office@berrienuu.org for more info.
For help with any of this, please contact
Leanne Thomas, BUUF Office Admin,
407-488-4057 office@berrienuu.org
Would you like a copy of our Members & Friends directory including our leadership roster? Just let me know.
In this congregation
BUUF Caring Committee Do you need a call or a card, some food or funds? Application forms for the caring fund are available in Fuller Fellowship Hall behind the visitor's table. Many requests for support can be fulfilled simply by reaching out.
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 https://berrienuu.org/.
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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/235633159789553
To view previous services (abridged for privacy) or messages delivered during Sunday Services, visit BUUF's YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1HR_Yar9OKKWzAou31ETLw.
You Can Help Beautify BUUF: CLICK HERE for the BUUF Maintenance List

Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship • 4340 Lincoln Ave, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
Email Marketing Powered by MailPoet