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News From the Red Floors

News From the Red Floors for December 19 to 26, 2014

Dear Neighbors --

One person last weekend commented to me that the Landmark Auditorium looked like a warehouse behind Santa's workshop. And indeed, the entire space was filled with packages destined for the 600+ children and adults served by our Family-to-Family Holiday Giving program. Kudos to all who donated, and to the troop of Elves who ran an incredibly smooth operation.

Services this Saturday will again be held in the Atrium Auditorium, where Kelly and Sasha plan to celebrate the Solstice with support from our Teen Choir and an assemblage of talented Celtic harpists.Then, on Sunday I'll be discussing the ever-enigmatic and infinitely malleable figure of Jesus. Although many have claimed to have done so, getting an accurate read on him has never been easy. I'll try to explain why. There'll be great seasonal music featuring soloist Jennifer and pianist Dan Broner.

And...Christmas Eve is just around the corner. Check the column at right for descriptions of our four services.

See you at the Meeting House...  


The End of Year is Almost Here * Your tax deductible gift to FUS allows us to continue great programs, offer weekly worship, promote social justice, and so much more. We want to make it easy to do, in a way that is comfortable for you, and in an amount you feel good about.  You can always call Andy with any confidential questions at (608)233-9774 x 115. More at http://fusmadison.org/give2.

No Saturday CRE * Parents, please note that there are no Children's Religious Education classes this Saturday. We hope you will join us for our always-wonderful Winter Solstice worship service for all ages. Saturday classes will resume on January 3.

Christmas Eve Ushers Needed! * On Christmas Eve Day, we provide four services. We would appreciate if you and /or your family would consider greeting or ushering! Our 2 p.m. service is our family-friendly Away in a Manger in the Atrium Auditorium. Our 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Vespers and Evening service bring families and guests in the Atrium. Our 11 p.m. Candlelight service is a lovely late evening in the Landmark Auditorium. Sign up at http://www.fusvolunteer.net/. We would love to see you here!

Vegan Holiday Treats Exchange December 21 * The FUS Vegan Holiday Treats Exchange (hosted by the plant-based eating group) will be Sunday, December 21, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in Courtyard C. Bring two dozen vegan treats (24) and a container to carry your treats home. Leave with a varied holiday plate of delicious treats for yourself or to share! Questions?Contact Sara sandrewsbibliophile@gmail.com 957-2392.

MOSAiC is December 22 * MOSAiC [Making Our Selves Alive in Community] is a drop-in gathering that invites people to discuss and delve more deeply into our monthly worship themes. On Monday, December 22, at 6:30 p.m. we will come together to explore and expand our understanding of myth and imagination in the Atrium Auditorium. Questions? Contact Jeanne Sears at /memberprogramscoordinator or 233-9774 ext 116.

'Thank You!' for Sharing with Families in Need!
The FUS community's generosity continued this year with the Family-to-Family Gift Giving Program. We were able to provide food cards and gifts for 158 families, making the holidays brighter for 661 people! We had a flurry of activity recently, with two days of dropping off and organizing gifts, followed by two days of packing social workers' cars with gifts. Our elves were thrilled to help you help others. Thank you!

Women In Transition Next Monday * The Women In Transition Group will be meeting this coming Monday, December 22, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Courtyard D. This group is open to any woman who is experiencing any kind of transition in her life and would like to find a safe environment to get and give support for whatever the changes may be. For more information, contact Dorit Bergen, 279-4414 or elanor3560@att.net.

Away in a Manger Family Service Reminders * If you were planning on bringing your family to our 2 p.m. Christmas Eve "Away in a Manger" Nativity Service, please bring a non-perishable item or two for a local food pantry. Our Wise Ones will collect these items during our service and they will be delivered over the holidays. Remember to bring cookies to share and dress up as angels, wise ones or shepherds!

The Longest Night Caregiver Gathering * The holiday season can be a very difficult time for caregivers, who may be struggling with stress, fear, grief, anger or sadness. If you are a caregiver and would like to connect with other caregivers in mutual support and spiritual deepening, please join us after today's service for the Longest Night Caregiver Gathering, the very first of the caregiver gatherings that FUS will now be offering regularly through our Lay Ministry program.  We will be meeting in the Gaebler Living Room from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For those who were unable to attend this first session or who would like more time to connect, we will also be meeting again next week from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 28.

All Music Sunday rehearsals begin January 4... Guest singers are most welcome to join the Society Choir in singing for our March 29 performances of Maurice Durufle's exquisite Requiem. Rehearsals begin Sunday, January 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium. Complete rehearsal schedule is available from FUS Music Director Dan Broner.

Child Dedications to Be Held in January * A child dedication is a uniquely UU ceremony which offers the opportunity to have your child blessed by our congregation, their family, and our ministers. The next dedication ceremonies will be held the weekend of January 3 and 4 at all three services. For more information, please contact Rev. Kelly Crocker at /MCL or 233-9774, ext. 112. More at /child-dedications.

Equity Ministry Team Meeting in Early January * Are you resolving to help reduce Madison's racial disparities in the new year? Come share your concerns and get help advancing your ideas with the Equity Ministry Team on Monday, January 5, at 7 p.m in Courtyard C. Contact Erica Colmenares ericacolmenares@gmail.com or Betsey Day daybuss@charter.net for more information.

Our Friday Musicales are on
hiatus over the holidays...
Please join us for the first musicale of the new year on Friday, January 9, at 12:15 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium. Music by Bach and Bartok will be performed by violist Jeremy Kienbaum with pianist Vincent Fuh.

Regular Choir Rehearsals begin on January 7 & 8. The Cherubs (6:30 p.m.), Choristers (7), and Teen Choir (7:45) return on Wednesday, January 7. The Meeting House Chorus returns on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.) and the Society Choir on Thursday, January 8, also at 6:30 p.m.  New members are most welcome. Contact Dan Broner for more information.

Volunteers Needed! * Effective and rewarding: Circles of Support is a program offering men and women returning from prison a chance to get reconnected with the community. Community members-some from FUS-commit to meeting with a returnee in a group setting once a week for six months. More volunteers are needed to start more Circles! Next training January 10. Please e-mail Jaclyn at jaclyn@emum.org for more info.

Hockey Outing * Beat the winter blues! Join 50 of us at the UW Women's Hockey Game during Youth Hockey Weekend, Friday, January 16. The UW Women's Hockey Team is having an amazing season - so let's support them! They play at the LaBahn Center (next to the Kohl's Center). We have general admission tickets for just $1 per person!
    Some are also meeting at the Nitty Gritty before the game to socialize and share platters. You can join us for an additional $6 per person.     
   Contact Jeanne Sears, Coordinator of Member Programs, at jeannes@fusmadison.org or 233-9774 ext. 116 to reserve your tickets.

January 25 Budget Forum * On the fourth Sunday of the year, we'll hold our mid-year financial update from 12:30 to 2 p.m. You all own this congregation, and we look to you for thoughts, advice and guidance.  This is a chance for you to be engaged, learn about our finances, and make your voice heard. Lunch will be provided, so please consider joining us.  P.S.: Make an end of year donation at http://fusmadison.org/give.

Peace & Justice Book Club * No December Meeting. Next meeting: Monday, January 26 at 7 p.m. in Courtyard E. Book: On the Rez by Ian Frazier. Questions? Carole Briggs (608)772-7134.

Help The FUS Library Thrive and Grow * Are you interested in libraries? Are you one of the many folks who use our FUS Library? Our Library Team members help catalog books, decide on new additions to the library, and help maintain our collection.  If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Rev. Kelly at 233-9774, ext. 112 or /MCL.  

Trees for Tomorrow Winter Retreat & XC Ski Weekend Registration is now open for our annual Trees for Tomorrow Winter Fun weekend on February 20-22.
   Members and friends have for over 25 years been enjoying the simple lodgings, fellowship, excellent skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities at Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River, Wisconsin. It is a wonderful weekend. Please join us! Registration includes meals, and lodging in family style dorms, a nature program and free snowshoe rental.
   Cost is $117 for adults, $73 for Youth (6-17). Kids under 6 are free. Go to fusmadison.org/trees to register. Remember, we can't confirm your spot until we receive payment! Registration closes on February 12.

“Winter Solstice Service:
Welcoming back the Light”
with Kelly J. Crocker and Sasha Ostrom

Join us as we come together during this holiday season to celebrate the Winter Solstice. [more]
“Christ the Chameleon” by Michael A. Schuler, Senior Minister
People’s perceptions of Jesus have shifted considerably. Is any one image more credible than the others? This Service will be on YouTube. [more]
Join us as we come together during this holiday season to celebrate! [more]
“Creative Destcruction” by Michael Schuler, Senior Minister. On this last Sunday of 2014 we’ll look at change and destruction, and invite you to participate in our annual ritual of releasing regrets and lifting up future hopes. [more]
On the fourth Sunday of the year, we’ll hold our mid-year financial update from 12:30 to 2:00 pm. [more]