BUUF Announce


Your weekly newsletter of events and issues 
At and Around 
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 

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.


Joys and Sorrows


We all had a scare this week when we learned that our beloved minister, Rev. Jim McConnell, was in a car accident on Sunday. Even though he broke some bones in his chest and was in pain, he went right back to work on Monday, preparing for our upcoming service "Blessing of the Animals."  What a hardworking and resilient minister we have!

Jim passed along the following message to the fellowship:

"Thanks for the kind notes. I broke my sternum and and a couple of ribs. Thankfully, no one else was hurt. I am filled with gratitude that I am a part of BUUF and your lives."

Also, we are grateful to Jim for repairing and repainting the BUUF road sign (pictured at top). We have already received many compliments on it from members and visitors.  

To share your joys and sorrows with the larger BUUF community send an email to Office@BerrienUU.org or contact Rev. Jim McConnell at Minister@BerrienUU.org or 574-229-6536.


Sunday Service

Sunday Service: "Blessing of the Animals"

"Blessing of the Animals"

October 21, 10:30am - 11:30am

Sunday, October 21st, is Blessing of the Animals Day. Rev. Jim McConnell and farmer Rachel Reed will explore the bond between animals and humans. Harvey Johnson will bring us a poem, Katharine Lion will tell the “Story for All Ages,” and Candace Onweller will be at the piano. Additionally, we will have a ceremonial Blessing of the Animals so, bring your pets or favorite animals to be blessed. If your animal is too large to bring to church or is deceased, you can bring a picture and we will bless your animal in absentia. Sunday will be an inter-generational service so the children will be with us the whole service and are encouraged to bring their own animals to be blessed.

See you all there with your furry, scaly, feathery friends.


This Week at Berrien UU

Environmental Justice Film Series: H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters

Environmental Justice Film Series: "H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters"

Thursday, October 18, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The Environmental Justice Film Series presents H.O.P.E. (2016 ) a life-changing documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of our typical Western diet on our health, the environment and animals. The film has a clear message: By changing our eating habits, we can change the world. The film is 100 minutes, and after we watch it we’ll discuss what actions we can take on this and other environmental justice issues.

This film is free and open to the public. Free popcorn is included; BYOB encouraged. Doors open at 6:30 PM. "H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters" is presented by Berrien UU Board Member Harvey Johnson.

Save Your Vote: A Public Forum

Save Your Vote: A Public Forum

Saturday, October 20, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: Benton Harbor Arts & Culture Center, 275 Pipestone Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI

Come join us for a Voter Information Forum to educate all Michigan citizens on voting. Five Non-partisan experts will present short messages on the November 6 Election including the 3 Ballot Proposals each followed by an open Question and Answer session. Panelists include Chris Thomas (retired Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections), Elizabeth O’Dell (Voters Not Politicians), and Marvin Haywood (social justice activist).

This event is free and open to the public. Free hot dogs and other refreshments will be provided. Doors open at 12:30 pm.

Event sponsored by Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties, Voters Not Politicians, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the OutCenter. Several BUUF members are involved in planning the event, including Harvey Johnson, Marilyn Klawiter, Dave Sarra, Ellen Higdon, Gloria Weberg and others. 




Voters Not Politicians

Canvassers Needed!

BUUF President Lisa Fuller and others have been actively involved in the Voters Not Politicians campaign to end gerrymandering in Michigan. BUUF is serving as a staging location to quick train Proposal 2 canvassers. Beginning Saturday October 20 and continuing through November 6, Voters Not Politicians will prepare new volunteers to present their Michigan Proposal 2 message: "Vote Yes on Proposal 2 to create a citizens' commission and draw Michigan voting districts in a more fair, impartial and transparent way". The group will continue to accept and train Proposal 2 canvassing volunteers through Tuesday Nov 6. If you would like to help Voters Not Politicians get Proposal 2 passed into law sign up for a  canvass training session using this link. LINK FOR CANVASSER VOLUNTEERS

Voters Not Politicians Website: https://www.votersnotpoliticians.com


Recommended Reading

InSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop recommends the following books in honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11). Their full collection of LGBTQ resources is available online.

A Queer History of The United States by Michael Bronski

Intellectually dynamic and endlessly provocative, A Queer History of the United States is more than a "who’s who" of queer history; it is a book that radically challenges how we understand American history. Drawing upon primary-source documents, literature, and cultural histories, scholar and activist Michael Bronski charts the breadth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history from 1492 to the 1990s. His book is a testament to how the LGBTQ experience has profoundly shaped the United States.  

Coming Out in Faith: Voices of LGBTQ Unitarian Universalists edited by Susan A. Gore and Keith Kron

This collection of poignant testimonials illuminates the lived experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Unitarian Universalists. Coming Out in Faith also helps to raise awareness of Unitarian Universalism's active role in promoting a vision of humanity that not only embraces LGBTQ people but actively seeks to learn from the unique strengths they bring to questions of personal faith and organizational vitality. Editor Susan A. Gore has also created a wonderful resource for creating a discussion group. The resource is available online.

LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens
by Kelly Huegel Madrone

LGBTQ: The Survival Guide is an indispensable resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning teensand their allies. This fully revised and updated third edition includes current information on LGBTQ terminology, evolving understandings of gender identity and sexual identity, LGBTQ rights, and much more. Other advice covers topics such as coming out, confronting prejudice, getting support, making healthy choices, and thriving in school and beyond. 

"You're in the Wrong Bathroom!" And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs

Bringing together the medical, social, psychological, and political aspects of being transgender today in the United States, "You're in the Wrong Bathroom" unpacks the twenty-one most common myths about transgender people.The book serves as a useful resource for the transgender community, educators, and allies.


Planning Ahead

Creative Conversations: "More Perfect: Object Anyway"

Creative Conversations:
"More Perfect: Object Anyway"

October 24, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

We invite you to join us on October 24th from 7-9pm for our lively Creative Conversations with potluck snacks & BYOB. We’ll be listening to an episode of the podcast, “More Perfect: Object Anyway.” We’ll learn about one aspect of racial bias in our justice system. “The Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection may have only made the problem worse.” Come, listen and put your 2 cents worth in.

Any questions can be emailed to Katharine (dre@berrienuu.org)


OutCenter Halloween Party

Saturday, October 27

BUUF will be hosting the annual OutCenter Halloween party again this year. If you would like to volunteer or otherwise support this event, please contact Dave Sarra or email office@berrienuu.org. 


Upcoming Committee Meetings

The Membership Committee meets the second Thursday of every month at 8:00 AM at Panera Bread in St. Joseph. Topics include UU AllComers, circle suppers, a possible men's group, greeters, welcome packets and more. All are invited to attend these meetings. If the time, date or location does not work for you, please contact Lisa Fuller or Joanne Krettek (co-chairs) to discuss other arrangements. Or, feel free to submit an email with your ideas and suggestions! 

An Anniversary Celebration Planning Session, chaired by Dave Sarra, will be held on November 11th following the service. We will be planning how to celebrate BUUF's 60th anniversary and Rev. Jim McConnell's 10th anniversary with the fellowship. Bring your creative ideas and hardworking hands to this meeting!