Category Archives: What’s New

Soup & Sources:  The Call of Nature (Sixth Source)

May 20 after the service
This will be our last Soup and Sources event of the year, so we are doing something a little special and holding it after the service.  We will have a soup contest, pizza, and fun activities exploring how we draw on different Sources including nature for our health and peace of mind.  As a special treat, we will be combining the regular CUUPS meeting with this event.  We will have a presentation by CUUPS members who will be sharing how Nature is a part of their spirituality.  Fun activities will follow for children and adults alike.  Contact Heather Cleland-Host for more information.

CANCELLED: Puzzle Pal Dinner

WHAT:  A dinner and puzzle night for multigenerational teams.
WHO:  Children and Adults who sign up will be matched to form teams.


  1. Fill out a sign-up card introducing yourself, including a hint by which your partner will know you.  It could be something obvious like that you will be wearing a hat, or you will skip into the Fellowship when you arrive, or something that requires conversation like that you like turtles and have rescued snappers.
  2. Shortly after arriving, you will be given another person’s introduction and hint, and you will be tasked with finding your partner.
  3. Everyone will share their meal and get to know each other.

After dinner, each team will solve a series of puzzle challenges.  Everyone needs to complete their challenge so that all the attendees can open the treasure.  (Puzzles and challenges will be scaled to the age of the younger partner).

2018-2019 Religious Education Program

“Seeking Meaning – the Journey”

The Lifespan Religious Education Team is happy to offer preliminary information about our religious education program for next year.  After focusing on how we covenant to be with each other through the Seven Principles, and then on the Sources we draw on for inspiration and courage, we are turning toward the individual and community journey toward articulating our own faith: who am I? who are we? how do we connect to each other and the world? We will explore ways to create our own “credo” or statement of belief, and the ways that we as a congregation journey together and support each other in our paths.

For the Children’s Circle, we plan to use curricula with a focus on journeying or welcoming and with a focus on the formation of a loving, supportive community.  For the Middle School, we will be using the Lodestone program, which explores big questions such as life and death, Unitarian Universalist values, ethical money usage, and racial justice. We will also be creating a Coming of Age program for interested older middle schoolers.  Rev. Connie will be leading a Credo-building workshop for adults and older teens.

Over the next month, we will be sharing more with you and inviting you to share your ideas for this program. Looking forward to many wonderful conversations!

RE-Flection:  Called to Volunteer

We are coming to the close of the Religious Education program year.  We have spent a year reflecting on the gifts of Six Sources of religious inspiration that Unitarian Universalists have identified. These six are not all-inclusive of course, but they give a window into the breadth of Unitarian Universalist faith.  The six are areas that speak to many of us – that call us.

A call is an interesting thing.  Ministers and other religious professionals often speak of their ministry as a calling.  Activists urge others to change the world with a call to action.  Children are told to find their calling – what are you drawn to do, to be? Where are your talents?  The expression has been used in both theistic religious ways – to express being called by God to do something, for instance.  It has secular usage to simply describe a powerful draw to action. We might talk about a need to act or being called by love and joy and hope.  I recently found myself in a conversation about the difference between a job and a calling.  Some jobs we do out of duty or necessity, but the jobs we find most meaningful are the once that call us – that we feel passionately driven to go beyond mere job duties.  A person who is called to heal works late into the night beyond their official hours.  A person who is called to create art might spend days absorbed in their work.  A minister or counselor might take calls late into the night, changing a life or two.

I think calling also applies to our church community – we are called to be part of this congregation, to help each other grow, to share our gifts with each other, young and old.  Volunteers have one of the most amazing callings.  Volunteering can be rewarding when you see the results achieved, but just as often, the rewards are unseen.  We do not know the difference we made in a moment spent talking with a child, sharing a story, or feasting together. Thank you to all of you who made religious education classes your calling this year.  Your dedication and commitment are what made this program a success.

Thank you!
Yours in the Spirit of UU,
Heather Cleland-Host

Children’s Circle – May

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

May 6  Aisha’s Moonlit Walk – This is a series of stories about a girl exploring the pagan seasonal holidays through the course of the year.  We will be reading from the story about spring.

May 13 A Tree in the Ancient Forest – This story uses a Spirit Play CD story about the ecosystem around an ancient tree.

Please note that there have been changes to the story schedule due to the cancellation on April 15.

Guest presenters in Children’s Circle include Tony Tienda (UV Artwork – 5th Source), Jon Cleland-Host (Fun with Science – 5th Source), Andrew Schulz (Earth-themed music – 6th Source —  cancelled due to ice storm, but kids still had fun in service!), Judith Hill (woodcarving – 6th Source), and Jessie Parham (gardening – 6th Source).  Thank you!

Elementary Earth Day Overnight – CANCELLED

Friday, April 20- Saturday, April 21 

We are having an Elementary Overnight in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland on April 20 for children in 2nd grade or older!   Youth will be assisting in making this extra fun!


Note: April 21 is the Earth Day festivities at Midland Center for the Arts and the Chippewa Nature Center.  So we will be finishing early enough for everyone to go and enjoy the fun!

A Chosen Faith Discussion Group

An exploration of sources from which Unitarian Universalism draws, based on A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism by John Buehrens and Forrest Church.  Suitable for longtime members as well as those who may be new to Unitarian Universalism, led by Rev. Connie Grant.  Our final discussion, on “Spiritual Teachings of Earth-Centered Traditions,” will be held on Tuesday, April 17 at 7pm.

Ministerial Search Update April 2018

This past weekend, the search committee formally began work during a retreat at the summer home of Andrew and Sarah Schulz.  The meeting and discussions were led by the Reverend Misty-Dawn Shelly, a settled minister in Fort Wayne, IN, who is serving as our Regional Transitions Coach from our UUA Mid-America Region.

The process is a long one, ending (hopefully) with a selected minister for our Fellowship coming to join us for a “candidating week” that will end in our “call” to the candidate, most likely in May of next year.

Between now and then, our committee will be working with Reverend Misty-Dawn, with our interim minister Reverend Connie, and with Fellowship members in an effort to determine what that “best candidate” might be based on information we will be asking of our congregation.

In addition to determining what we want and need in a minister, we will put forth information on our website about our Fellowship, our congregation and greater community for prospective ministers to review to help them make an evaluation about whether we would be a good fit for them.

We want everyone to understand how the search process works, and will be posting updates in the Candle Flame about our progress.  Additionally, if you have a question about the process, please feel free to ask me or any other committee member (Maxine Guettler, Mary Johnson, Sasha King, Chris Nakamura, and Tim Wagner) and we’ll be happy to talk with you.

Although the process is transparent, the actual identification of any prospective candidates, their history, background, or planned visits is strictly confidentialand we cannot and will not be sharing this information.

We appreciate the support and confidence you have placed in us for this important task, and are excited to begin the process.

In Fellowship,

Tom Bailey
Search Committee Chair

Collection for Midland Emergency Food Pantry Network

On an ongoing basis, we collect canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Midland Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN).  The EFPN helps many people in Midland County.  Here are some of the ways they have helped recently:
  • A family living in a hotel had not eaten in 1.5 days. They were desperate for some food.  They were helped that day.
  • A young parent with 4 children is undergoing treatment out of town for cancer.  Doctors are hopeful the treatment will work.  EFPN provided them food for the trip as they had depleted all their resources.
  • A recipient at one of the pantries was overwhelmed with emotion because of the amount of food they received.
  • A father needed Ensure to help gain his weight back after having chemo treatments.
  • A mother with a sick child used her food stamps to buy food that her sick child would eat.  She did not have enough money to buy more food for the rest of the family.
During the month of March, we collected small items for Shelterhouse.   Shelterhouse provides safe houses, shelter, advocates, counseling and more (all free of charge) to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Midland and Gladwin counties.

Drop off your donations in the bin at our new UUFoM Donation Center located across from the office door.

April’s Focus – “Protecting Our Environment”