July 7, 2024

your weekly newsletter of events & issues

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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 14, 2024 at 10:30am

What is Unitarian Universalism?

This Sunday we will study the "Elevator Speech." Leanne Thomas, Ania Bijak, Don Schaffer, and Laurie Myers will—in the time it takes for an elevator ride—share with us their ideas, in two or three sentences, the answer to the question: "What is Unitarian Universalism? " Jeff Green, Janice Zerfas, and John Steffan will share their elevator speeches on: "What is BUUF? " Additionally, Rev. Jim McConnell will have a short sermon followed by a question-and-answer period on our Welcoming Words (printed below), DRE Rachel Reed will have another excellent Story for All Ages, and Beth La Fleur will have more great music for us. Alana Steffan will do our Chalice work. Come in person or join on Zoom. This service is going to be too good to miss.

Welcoming Words

Good morning, friends. I want to extend a warm welcome to you today. 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 a cornerstone of our religion that, even though we do not always have control over the events of our lives we each of us is the author of our own life experience and through the practice of Loving Kindness we can heal our bodies, our minds, our spirits, and our planet. 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. 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.
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.


Yard Clean Up

The Buildings and Grounds Committee needs Helping Hands on Saturday, July 13th from 10am-Noon.
Currently the backside of the building is overgrown with weeds, brush and small trees. In case of an emergency if the back door of the building is needed, the Fellowship needs a safe pathway available. If you are available for an hour or so, bring saws, snippers and clippers and help hack out a path. Pizza will be available at noon! Thank You! Diane Gibbons
  • Julie Williams: Nancy Gilpin did this beautiful needlework with "America the Beautiful" on it, and I brought it so you could all see it. I enjoy it everyday in my home.
  • Lisa Fuller: New Moon Womyn's Circle is today at 2pm here at BUUF.
  • Jim Fuller: August 3, Saturday, there is a 5k fundraiser for a scholarship for a Benton Harbor student for next year. If you would like to run, walk, or volunteer, please see me. Thanks.
  • Leanne Thomas: This beautiful quartz Mikasa vase, along with the lovely flowers picked and arranged with help from Eleanor Mendoza, is our raffle item for today. It was donated by Sandy & Larry Felman and won by Ania Bijak! Little Nadia pulled the winning ticket (and we don't believe there was any cheating as she probably doesn't know her number yet! ;) Thank you for your raffle donations which fund building maintenance projects.
  • 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
  • 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.

Writer's Group: Monday, July 15 at Noon, brown bag it at BUUF. All are welcome.

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.

Click here to read the minutes of

BUUF's 2024 Annual Meeting.

Joys & Concerns

Available to subscribers only. Please subscribe at berrienuu.org.

Spoken or unspoken, we hold you in our hearts.

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.
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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
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