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News From the Red Floors

News From the Red Floors for
November 27 to December 3, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! 

For many, this is the favorite holiday. A chance to pause and remember what’s right in our world.

Unfortunately, it is not the best time for me to bring up the topic of Sunday parking. We have lost access to quite a few parking areas recently and the most accessible spots that remain are often used either by new local residents or hospital employees. 

During my first few weeks in the role of Interim Church Business Administrator, parking issues and possible solutions have been a priority. I’ll be sending out an email message that addresses the topic more fully, but please know that we are very aware of the problem and pursuing improvements. For now, keep in mind that the walk from the large and empty University Station Clinics (accessed via University Ave or Marshall Ct) lot takes only a few minutes for those of us fortunate enough to be mobile.

I hope you all are enjoying this joyful and restorative holiday season. 

Kurt Stege
Interim Church Business Administrator

How UUs can Respond to the Refugee Crisis

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is working to help forced migrants fleeing conflict and terror in Syria. To date, the UUSC has raised $400,000 for this cause.

Working with its partners in Europe, the UUSC is providing legal, medical, and social services to refugees in Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Greece. In addition, UUSC is assisting over-burdened aid organizations working with vulnerable refugee groups in Turkey and Jordan. 

In the United States, the UUSC funds grassroots organizations around the country assisting resettled refugees with education, legal support, livelihood opportunities, and social services. 

UUs, through the UUSC, are advocating on behalf of refugees to ensure that the US lives up to its international obligations. 

Take Action
  1. Call your Congress members and urge them to provide a safe haven for those fleeing terror and conflict.
  2. Join the national justice-building conference call at 2 p.m. CST on December 3.
  3. Know your talking points. Whether it's around the office coffee machine or the Thanksgiving table, it helps to have the facts when people get talking about this issue. The UUSC has provided a list of talking points to ease these conversations and encourage UUs and others to show compassion.  

A donation to the UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund will fund partners working to provide relief to refugees in the Middle East, Europe, and those who have been settled in the United States. 

Donate to the fund online.


Turkey Drive Update
Last week FUS members donated 450lbs of turkey, 200lbs of food, and $800 in cash to the St. Vincent De Paul food pantry. Together this will feed 55 local families. Thank you to all who donated and to John Cotter in family for coordinating the effort.

Tubes for CRE
Children's Religious Education asks for paper towel tubes! Please donate any used paper towel tubes at the CRE table in the Atrium. Thank you!
No CRE Classes this Weekend
This Thanksgiving weekend we have the pleasure of enjoying a worship service for all ages. There will be no Children’s Religious Education classes. Please come join us in the Auditorium! (Child care will still be available for children 4 and younger.)

Campus Ministry Break
UU Campus Ministry will not meet this Sunday. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Chalice Groups
Groups that are currently looking for more members are:
Parents of Teens, Varied Topics/Smorgasbord, Parenting Through Shared Wisdom, Women’s Spiritual Practice (daytime and evening), Buddhist Meditation and Mindfulness and Spiritual Pathways (3rd Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.).

If you are interested in becoming a part of one of these groups please let Rev. Kelly know via fusmadison.org/MCL or 233-9774, ext. 112. If you filled out an interest form, we are compiling groups and hope to get them started soon. If you would like to start your own, simply complete a form in The Commons.

Family to Family Holiday Giving
There is still time to snap up one of the remaining families to give to this weekend. Also, the elves need help Dec. 14 and 15 when social workers pick up the gifts, and the Elf Committee needs new members! Ask about all this in the Commons after services or sign up to volunteer online

Yard Signs Available
Black Lives Matter yard signs will be for sale in the Commons on Sunday, Nov. 29. $10 in cash or check.

Centering Prayer on Hiatus
Our Sunday Centering Prayer group will be on hiatus until February 2016. More information will be forthcoming.

Join the Construction Crew
Sunday, December 6
We have changed the date of our annual Gingerbread House Festival to Sunday, December 6, 1-3 p.m. We hope you can join us in the Commons to make Gingerbread Houses (actually, we use graham crackers). And we need your help! We’re looking for volunteers to whip up our mortar (frosting!) from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. We could also use some help cleaning up after the event, from 2:30 - 3:30. Please let me (Leslie) know if you can help by emailing me at fusmadison.org/DRE. If you just want to come and play, please bring a bag or two of items to use for decorating the houses-pretzels, peppermint candies, tootsie rolls... whatever you’d like!

Children's Books on Death, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement
We now have a dedicated basket for children's books on death, loss, grief, and bereavement in our library. The basket is located on top of the bookshelf (out of the reach of tiny hands) and has a large sign. Please stop by and take a look.

Homeless Services Panel
Monday, November 30
This is an excellent opportunity to learn all about homeless services in Dane County. Monday, Nov. 30, 2015; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave. A panel of local homeless shelter and street outreach providers will share how they help homeless individuals and families. Speakers will be from coordinated intake, overnight shelter providers, day resource centers, and street outreach teams. Who should attend: School liaisons, social workers, case managers, outreach employees, community policing teams, faith communities and homeless advocates and volunteers. Event coordinator: Karen Andro, kandro@fumc.org

Spiritual Topics Book Group
Tuesday, December 1
The next meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held in Courtyard E at FUS on Tuesday December 1 at 7 p.m. The group will discuss Sam Harris's book, "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion."

Noon Musicale
Friday, December 4
Please join us on Friday, December 4 at 12:15 p.m. when Helen Avakian, the 2014 International Finger-style Guitar Champion, will be with us. Helen will play music of Ralph Towner, George Gershwin and some originals.

UU Alliance Holiday Lunch
Wednesday, December 9
All are invited to a Holiday Lunch with the UU Women’s Alliance on Wednesday, December 9th at noon at Oakwood Village West in the Westmorland Room. Karlos Moser will offer “How I Compose: Plotting, borrowing , stealing and inspiration”. Please offer a dessert or dish to go with the chili provided by Nancy Deer. All are encouraged to dress to suit the holiday occasion. Underground parking is available. More info needed? Contact Shirley at 230-3080.

Young Adult Holiday Potluck
December 17, 7-9 p.m. Gaebler Living Room
Join us for a festive evening of dining, conversation, and everyone’s favorite thin - a white elephant gift exchange. Please package and bring a silly, fun, or nifty gift, spending no more than $20 to be exchanged. Please bring a generously portioned dish to share. Emailjulieb@fusmadison.org with what you’ll bring so we make sure to avoid a night of only cookies and soup. Hope to see you there!

Children Are Not Colorblind, A talk by Dr. Erin N. Winkler
Sunday, January 24, 3-4:30 p.m.
We’ve heard the myth that children “don’t notice race.” Many adults avoid discussing race or racism with children, worrying that conversations will put negative ideas in children’s heads. Research suggests otherwise. Dr. Winkler will describe current research on how young children understand race: how ideas of race form, why and when they form, and why it matters. She will also suggest how to discuss race with young children in age-appropriate, empowering ways. Come to listen, engage, and ask questions. Interested? Email or call Rachael at rachaeld@fusmadison.org or (608) 233-9774 ex. 129.

Trees For Tomorrow Weekend
February 19-21, 2016
As the weather gets colder it is time to plan your winter get away at Trees for Tomorrow in the North Woods near beautiful Eagle River. The Trees for Tomorrow weekend is a great chance to cross-country ski, snowshoe and have fun and fellowship.
Rev. Michael Schuler muses on the habit of worrying in our daily lives. [more]
Come and shop the work of over 40 outstanding local artists in Frank Lloyd Wrights beautiful First Unitarian Society Meeting House. [more]
Ministerial Intern Julie Brock invites us to find the opportunity for grace and gratitude in everyday obligations. [more]