A Note from Rev. Leah Ongiri, Associate Minister

Dear Ones,
Guess what? Last summer marked my ninth year of ministry here! I started at the Fellowship on August 14th, 2012. Inspiration to count back came from an article called Staying Put: A Look at the First 10 Years of Ministry by Alban, an organization that studies and supports thriving congregations. 
Apparently, recognizable dynamics appear at similar lengths of ministerial tenure across denomination, congregational size, and other variables. The first year of ministry in a congregation, for example, focuses on the key (upcoming pun alert!) question, “Which Door Does This Key Open?” The third year tends to be about hitting a stride. Year seven typically revolves around how to recharge or else face burnout.   
Naturally, I immediately scanned down to discover my current theme: Ninth Year: The Year of Commitment
At first, I was put off. What the heck?! Have I not been committed for years to these people in a VERY COLD climate?! Indignity, I started to list the ways I’ve served faithfully. Eventually, I kept reading and calmed down. The wise folks at Alban emphasize a specific kind of commitment that takes a while to pollinate, bud, and then blossom fully. They call it being in one place long enough to make a mature, emotional commitment to “your” congregation.
This captures correctly the sense of deepened roots I have felt lately. I’d assumed it was simply due to how much I miss the face-to-face interactions I previously took for granted. Now I see that is also my yearly evolution in my commitment to this ministry as a whole. Alban says, “Your relationship with the congregation…becomes deeper, more honest, more intimate, and more vulnerable. …[M]inistry becomes more about relationships and less about management.” Yes! Spot on! I am experiencing this.
The article concludes with the provoking concept that ministry begins in the tenth year. I believe it happens from day one but that it can deepen if the fit is solid and nurtured. While I have no immediate plans to resign, I know I won’t be one of your ministers forever. However, my sense of staying put, as Alban puts it, has grown in ways that I personally experience as emotionally beautiful and relationally committed. What a blessing for any year!  
Rev. Leah

Sunday Service

10:00 AM CST
Yes, And
by Rev. Christina Leone-Tracy
Click HERE for Worship Service Zoom Information and the Order Of Service
  • Listen to past sermons HERE.
  • Watch some of our past services on our Youtube channel.
  • Click HERE for information on hosting a traveling chalice in your home.
  • Students in Pre-K through 1st grade will meet at 9:00 am CST via Zoom for Children's Chapel! See our website (here) for more information about all Religious Education classes for children and youth.

Monthly Evening Service

Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 pm CST
Join us for a worship service led by our intern minister, Ali Peters. On the last Wednesday of each month, we hold an informal evening service to re-center ourselves during the week, connect more deeply with one another, and hold each other in community. These simple services include a reading that is related to our current worship theme, a centering practice, and an opportunity to reflect and to share joys and concerns with each other. The theme for our February service will be “Creativity.” All are welcome to join us! If you have questions, please reach out to Ali at ali@fvuuf.org. We hope to see you there.
Zoom link HERE, passcode UU
Call in: 312-626-6799, meeting ID 827 7074 7192

Stewardship Information and Creative Practices

Our stewardship campaign kicked off last Sunday with a wonderful service led by intern minister Ali, director of religious education Kim, and lay worship leader Cindy Darling. You can find the link to the service on our YouTube channel HERE. It was a reminder to stay out of our own way when it comes to creativity; we can all be creative, even if only “Ishly.”
If you missed the after-service creativity practice, here is a video of Mary Gerlach sharing how to do some cool fabric art. You’ll need the creativity kit provided by the Fellowship, or some fabric crayons, paper, and fabric.
If you make something from our creativity practice sessions or videos, please share them (creations only, no faces) with Photos@fvuuf.org so we can share them with the wider Fellowship community!
This coming Sunday, Jerry Behrendt will be sharing how to create simple 3D structures using foamboard (provided by the Fellowship for pickup, see the Creativity Kits article in the Notable section below) or cardboard.

    •  Zoom link HERE or call in: 312-626-6799, enter 869 6579 1335, followed by 888463

Please remember that we need YOU (yes you!) to “creatively love the Fellowship” by turning in your pledge form so we can plan our 2021-22 budget. Find all the information, including an online pledge form and information about our prize drawing, on the stewardship campaign website HERE
The online pledge form is the quickest and easiest way to pledge. However, if you prefer to complete a paper pledge form or have questions about your current pledge please contact director of finance and operations Phyllis Schmitt, Phyllis@fvuuf.org or 920.731.0849.

Adult Faith Development

Fellowship Liberation Circles

Four Sessions: 2/20, 3/6, 3/13, and 3/20 
10:00 am-12:00 pm CST
Join us for Fellowship Liberation Circles, an anti-racism virtual learning series on Zoom. The series is being created specifically for our Fellowship community in partnership with professional decolonization educator, Anjali L. Nath Upadhyay, who will co-facilitate the series along with Ali Peters, our intern minister. Each session builds on previous sessions, so participants are encouraged to attend as many as possible. Contact Marie Luna at marie@fvuuf.org to sign up.

Nasal Narcan: What is it and how can it help?

Thursday, March 4th, 6-7:00 pm CST
This quick, practical training will introduce Nasal Narcan, or Naloxone nasal spray, which is used along with emergency medical treatment to reverse the life-threatening effects of a known or suspected opiate (narcotic) overdose. Participants will learn about drug use, how to use Narcan, and its legal implications. To register, fill out the brief form HERE. Youth and adults encouraged to attend!
To lead this important community health and safety opportunity, we are pleased to welcome Amanda Tennyson, Prevention Specialist at Vivent Health in Appleton. Amanda works to prevent HIV and Hep C amongst priority populations, especially those who use drugs and members of the LGBT community. She provides judgment-free, client-centered experiences to promote healthy behaviors, reduce harm, and help clients thrive.


March 10, 6:30 pm CST
Archipelago Stories: Liberal Religion in Southeast Asia          by Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyon
Unitarian Universalism was founded in the Philippines in the 1950s in an organic way and has steadily developed across the 7,000 islands. Join us as we share and discuss the culture, theology, and practices of liberal religion, including the unique history of faith healing. Read More

Religious Education - Children and Youth

Our virtual Sunday programs for young people meet at 9:00 and 11:00 am. We are excited about our classes which have been designed to be fun and engaging with online learning in mind. Don’t miss connecting with our Fellowship friends and family this year!

Program Year Format for Registered Students:
•  Pre-K through 1st grade meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 9:00 am CST
•  2nd through 6th grade meets the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month at 9:00 am CST

*All students are invited to attend all classes; however the classes will be geared for the target ages.
•  7-12th grade meets each Sunday at 11:00 AM CST
Please visit our website for more information about our classes. Contact director of religious education, Kim Hartman, at kim@fvuuf.org with questions.

Justice Action Ministry

Justice Hub Webpage

The Justice Hub webpage has information about our JAMs, justice groups, justice events, and opportunities here at our Fellowship and out in the community right there at your fingertips any time you need it.
This week: Read more about each of these on the Justice Hub webpage!
•  The next Green Sanctuary book study of As Long as Grass Grows will be February 22.
•  An invitation from Green Sanctuary to participate in an in-home plastics audit.
•  Common Talks Virtual Upstander Training: February 26, 1-5:00 pm.
•  Election News: Information about the State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates.
•  Black History Month with UW-Oshkosh and an equity challenge from United Way Fox Cities.
•  Save the date: April 15 for the Madison Action Day (interfaith organizing and online visits with legislators to discuss budget priorities).
•  Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant environmental impact survey public comments due March 3.
If you want to share something on the Justice Hub webpage, please do so by completing this form by Thursday to be posted when the page is updated each weekend. Submissions may be subject to staff approval and editing.


Creativity Kits Available for Pick-Up Now!

Now through March 14, we will be having a month-long celebration of creativity at the Fellowship in conjunction with our stewardship pledge campaign. Swing by the Fellowship building and pick up a kit for your household to participate actively in our services and other offerings. The color of the bag does NOT matter this time, so just grab one. There is also a separate bin with pieces of foam-board and pins to use during one of the offerings focused on creative construction. If you want to try that activity, grab some from that bin, too.
If you need us to mail you a bag or drop one off at your home, please email Christina at christina@fvuuf.org.

New Day Rising Conference National 2021

Saturday, February 27 • 11:00-8:00 pm CST • Register Now
Is your congregation ready to take a new step in changing white supremacy culture? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.
On Your Own:
Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes, and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations.
Together on February 27, 2021
•  Worship ~ Workshops ~ Caucusing
•  With plenty of breaks
•  11:00am - 8:00pm CST

Virtual General Assembly 

Hearing from UUs around the world, experiencing our faith from a multitude of different perspectives and experiences at General Assembly (GA) has helped me become a Unitarian Universalist. Attending last year's virtual GA was more connecting and meaningful than I could have expected. Contact me if you have questions or want to learn more about GA.

-- Marie Luna, director of congregational life

General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct the business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Virtual GA allows us to retain our dedication to community and make our experience more accessible and more environmentally sustainable. 

Registration for virtual GA 2021 is $200 per person. Financial support for registration as well as a payment plan are available. General Assembly registrants receive access to the 2021 Online Participation Portal, including live, simulive, and on-demand video content, the virtual exhibit hall, chat features, support, and a (new and really exciting!) GA mobile app. Learn more and register HERE

Selfies Needed

"Balance" Theme Selfies (Due March 21)
Instructions: Take a photo of you "balancing" (whatever that means to you!) or with the following sentence... fill in the blank: "I find balance when _______."
Our preferred method for submission is via this Google Form. You need a Google account to use the form, but if you’ve ever used Google Docs, you might already have one! Google accounts can be created with your current email address, a Gmail address is not required.
If you do not have a Google account, please email your submissions to photos@fvuuf.org.

Small Groups

Smiling Dandelion Sangha

The Smiling Dandelion Sangha is starting a new topic in our weekly meetings. We will be reading Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be A Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman. Details about the book can be found on the website HERE.
We are looking forward to exploring the ideas in the book and welcome anyone who is interested to join us. You do not need to be a Buddhist or have meditation experience. We meet every Sunday evening from 6:00 to 7:30 pm CST; the Zoom link is on the Fellowship website. We start our meetings with a 25-minute period of silent meditation and then begin the reading and discussion. You can join us for the meditation or link in after that. If you have questions, email smilingdandelion@gmail.com.
Click HERE for details about these groups.
  • Fellowship Community Journal
    Ongoing, submit your work to leah@fvuuf.org

    More information HERE.
  • Fellowship Pen Pals - Click HERE for information. 
  • Joyful Mind Zen Sangha; Saturdays, 7:00 am CST
  • Men's Group, First Wednesdays & Third Tuesdays, 7-9:00 pm CST
  • Music-Making Online - Click the small groups link for information
  • Pollinate (BIPoC), Email pollinate.BIPoC@hotmail.com for meeting information
  • Senior Wonders - Contact Janet Hughes for information
  • Smiling Dandelion Sangha, Sundays, 6-7:30 pm CST
  • Spill it Sister, Second Thursday of the month, 6:30-8:00 pm CST. Contact Kate Hancock-Cooke at rugbykate@new.rr.com with questions.
  • Third Thursday Book Club, Third Thursday of the month, 2:00 pm CST. Contact CyAnn Martin at cmartin25@new.rr.com for meeting information.
  • UU Parenting Support Group, Contact Erin Vandenlangenberg for information at vand0379@umn.edu
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