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


Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help at the Soup Kitchen on Saturday. We had a great turnout with some newer BUUFers in the mix. Charles Long directed the activities and everything went smoothly in Jim McConnell's absence. We enjoyed some tasty leftover pizza after Sunday's service!

It was wonderful to have Gloria Weberg back at BUUF after visiting with her great-grandchildren in Colorado over Thanksgiving. She reported having a joyous time with family!

What a joy to have our pianist Candace Onweller back at BUUF this Sunday. Please keep Candace's sister-in-law Barb, who is very ill, in your thoughts.

Happy birthday to Gretchen Ohmann and all other BUUFers who celebrate their birthday this week! 

 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: "Labor Day in December"

"Labor Day in December"

December 9, 
10:30am - 11:30am

On Sunday, December 9th, BUUF is going to celebrate Labor Day in December with Professor Dan Graff, Labor Historian and Director of the Higgins Labor Program at Notre Dame University. Dr. Graff will bring a message titled “Envisioning a Just Wage Economy” in which he will share his spiritual journey to becoming an advocate for labor and tell us about an online tool he is developing to promote wage justice. Additionally, Jim Fuller will be our reader, Joanne Krettek and Terry Sundstrom will tell the Story for All Ages, Hunter Leggitt will sit in the Poet’s Corner, and the BUUF Musicians will perform a special musical number.

Daniel Graff, Ph.D. has been the director of the Higgins Labor Program since 2014. Dedicated to encouraging the Notre Dame community to realize the centrality of “the labor question"  Who does the work, who gets the fruits, and who makes the rules? — to all human endeavors, Graff has initiated projects like the Labor Cafe, Lunchtime Labor RAPS, HFAN (the Higgins Friends & Alumni Network), and the Just Wage Working Group (with Professor Clemens Sedmak). He also writes and curates original online content, including the Labor Song of the Month, Work of Art/Art of Work, and The Labor Question Today blog.

If you work for a living, this is a service you do not want to miss!

There will be children's RE this week!

The Board Meeting is this Sunday from 8:30 to 10:00 AM.

The BUUF Musicians will rehearse before the service starting at 9:30 AM.

The Fundraising Committee will meet following the service at noon.

“Here in the US, far too many people struggle with making ends meet on a weekly basis. Living hand to mouth, too many households must rely on multiple wage earners (sometimes working multiple jobs), and even those who do get by are only one work accident, job loss or family illness removed from disaster. In short, too many people are increasingly compelled to participate in what we might call a "just hope and pray economy," where they literally must hope and pray that they and their loved ones will avoid a variety of worst-case scenarios each day.”  Professor Dan Graff


Letter from BUUF's President


December 2018

Dear Friends,

This year several BUUFers spent time outside of BUUF learning about and experiencing new ways to provide worship services.  Last month a group gathered together to hear and exchange ideas for enriching our Sunday Services.  (If you weren’t able to attend the discussion but have ideas about enriching our Sunday services, let me know. President@BerrienUU.org)

BUUFs approach to worship services isn’t broken.  My personal feeling is that our worship services have become much richer, deeper and more personal over the past several years.  But even things that are working well can benefit from fine tuning.

The goal of last month’s discussion was to consider new ways to be inclusive of all ages and create (even more) engaging worship for both children and adults.  

Out of the discussion, a few key themes were repeated:

Mindfully include children in the worship services. Individuals who are part of the service begin to recognize themselves as part of a larger faith community. They learn the language of the UU faith. 

Our goal is to create deeper worship experiences for young children by:

• engaging them with familiar hymns/songs

• making space for them to be comfortable

• including them as greeters, offering ushers

• inviting them to lead our affirmation

• connecting them to the chalice message.  (I like ‘this flame stands for the love light that guides us and the fire of justice within us’ as chalice lighting words that can resonate with children.)

Music planning and practice. All musicians and singers at the discussion agreed that advance planning and practice makes a big difference in the quality of musical performances. Nan Lundeen moved right ahead and proposed routine choir practices. Let Nan know if you’d like to be included in these. NanLundeen@yahoo.com

Coordinate contributors. The words ‘worship planning team’ and ‘worship associate’ were voiced by several participants. Interaction between presenters, rehearsal if possible, coordinating and planning, were all recognized as adding value to quality services. Jim McConnell offered to help connect participants to facilitate this.  (President’s note: the goal here isn’t to make anything harder, but look for ways to make things better.)

Weave together all parts of the Sunday service for cohesive presentations. The UUA and our UU MidAmerica district offer great resources for honing service leader skills. Individuals at the discussion who regularly serve as service leaders agreed to utilize those resources. If this sounds interesting to you, too, let Lisa or Rev. Jim know. Minister@BerrienUU.org

Maintain spontaneity and flexibility. No one at last month’s discussion wanted to see a Sunday service template be so structured that it sacrificed variety, creativity and spontaneity. Everyone agreed that flexibility is important. And more than one person said they didn't want us to lose our relaxed approach to Sunday service.

So, can we fine tune our Sunday services to create (even more) coordinated, cohesive, skillfully presented services without sacrificing flexibility and spontaneity? I hope so. The December 2 Sunday service incorporated most of these themes. How did we do? Share your thoughts with me. President@BerrienUU.org

Blessed Be. May it be so.





BUUF Membership Directory Available

For an electronic copy of the BUUF Members and Friends Directory (with names and contact information), please email office@berrienuu.org. This directory is available only to those affiliated with BUUF and not the general public. If you would like to be added to the directory or update your contact information, please email office@berrienuu.org.


Upcoming Committee Meetings

The next BUUF Board Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, December 9th at 8:30 AM. 

The BUUF Musicians are rehearsing starting at 9:30 AM. 

The Fundraising Committee, led by Dave Sarra, will be meeting at noon on Sunday, December 9th. They'll be planning BUUF's spring and summer fundraisers for 2019. If you are unable to attend this meeting but have ideas to share, please pass them along to Dave.

BUUF Board Members, from left to right: Dave Sarra, Rev. Jim McConnell, Harvey Johnson (Treasurer), Beth La Fleur (Secretary), Lisa Fuller (President) and Katharine Lion (DRE)

The Sunday Services Committee will meet at noon on Sunday, December 16th. With Committee Chair Dennis Higdon away for the winter, Harvey Johnson will lead the group in establishing Sunday service content for the first half of 2019. 

The Anniversary Celebration Planning Group will be meeting every Potluck Sunday (first Sunday of the month) at noon at BUUF. They are planning ways to celebrate BUUF's 60th Anniversary and Rev. Jim McConnell's 10th Anniversary with BUUF in 2019. The next group meeting is January 6th. 


All BUUF members and friends are invited to attend any and all of these meetings!


Planning Ahead

BUUF Brunch: Small Group Ministry on "Forgiveness"

BUUF Brunch: Small Group Ministry on "Forgiveness"

Thursday, December 13, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Our Small Group Ministry is meeting December 13th from 11am-1pm. We lovingly invite you to join us. We break bread over our Potluck, have a time of peace, then commune by telling our stories and listening to one another with open hearts. The topic for this meeting is Forgiveness. “We must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” -Reinhold Niebuhr

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

Here is a link to the readings and questions which you may choose to review before the meeting. The readings can also be found on the BUUF website.

Readings on Forgiveness-Dec BUUF Brunch

Mindfulness Workshop: "Art Journaling"

Mindfulness Workshop: "Art Journaling"

Saturday, December 15, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Mindfulness is the act of noticing. It is a muscle that we can develop. Learning to develop the muscle of noticing helps one deal with adverse events, get caught up less in worries & helps form deeper connections to others. In addition, mindfulness lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain & improves sleep.

We invite you to join us on Saturday, December 15 from 1-3pm at BUUF to develop our mindfulness muscle through mindful art journaling. This process, through ritual, creates a safe reflective space to witness your thoughts & sensations without the gaze of your ego. We will be learning the process & making a visual piece with writing. No artistic talent required, all materials will be supplied. This process is an adaptation from Workshop Muse.

Please contact Katharine with any questions (dre@berrienuu.org)