From all of us on staff,
Happiest of Happy New Years!


At our recent holiday Zoom staff gathering, we reflected gratefully on the privilege of getting to serve this wonderful community. Thank you to each of you for making it so.
If you’re looking for a simple ritual to usher in 2021, you are very welcome to adapt or even just adopt what has become my (Leah here) own private practice on January 1st each year. I light a candle and read Martín Espada’s iconic Imagine the Angels of Bread.
One of my favorite lines right now is, “This is the year that those who swim the border's undertow and shiver in boxcars are greeted with trumpets and drums at the first railroad crossing on the other side.” Click HERE to read the whole piece. Especially acclaimed for his poetry, Martín Espada is also an essayist, translator, editor, and attorney. A Latino from New York, he has the local-ish connection of graduating from UW-Madison with a degree in history.
After I finish reading this poem, sometimes to myself and other times aloud to family or friends, I take a walk in the cold new year. When I return to my warm home, I let the candle burn down and out and then…it’s done. The new year is here and I am in and of it. If you’d like, join me—maybe with a reading of your choosing.

With love and dear, deep hope for a harmonious and happy 2021,
Rev. Leah

Sunday Services

10:00 AM CST
Turning of the Year
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 meet for Children's Chapel at 9:00 am CST via Zoom! See our website (here) for more information about all Religious Education classes for children and youth.

Monthly Evening Service

Wednesday, January 27 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 January service will be “Flexibility.” All are welcome to join us! If you have questions, please reach out to Ali at We hope to see you there.
Zoom link HERE, passcode UU
Call in: 312-626-6799, meeting ID 827 7074 7192

Adult Faith Development

Click the image above for details on all these events.
January 7 - Fellowship Book Read with Rev. Leah Ongiri: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Coming of Age for Adults with Ali Peters, intern minister

Weekly Sessions on Sundays 1/10 through 2/14; 12:00-1:15 pm CST

When we hear “coming of age,” we typically think of young people. And yet, we “come of age” again and again at various points in our adult lives as we go through changes in our lives and relationships. COA for Adults is a six-session series designed for adults of all ages to explore their spiritual journey and religious identity. Participants reflect on how they got to now, engage with texts as they relate to their spiritual lives, and craft a statement of faith about who they are as a person of faith. Each COA session builds on earlier ones, so participants are asked to attend as much of the series as possible.

Wellspring When the Barn Burns Down: Secret Stores of Resilience in Art and Being with Rev. Theresa I. Soto

Wednesday, January 13; 6:30-8:00 pm CST
My barn having burned down, I can see the moon.
-Mizuto Misahide, 17th-century Japanese poet and samurai

The idea of resilience can get easily warped to end up being something like the power by which we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. If that’s not it, what else is there? This exploration will allow us to recognize both our individual and collective resilience and how that can serve us as we move toward the futures of wholeness and connection that call us forward.

Click HERE for details.

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 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!
• UU the Vote efforts in Georgia’s Senate runoff races – find out how to get involved.
• Green Sanctuary book study of As Long as Grass Grows will be on January 25. Information is on the Justice Hub webpage regarding the book and how to obtain it.
• ESTHER (interfaith organizing) information: Taskforces and updates.
• Information about all the ways United Way offers support and resources for people in need, and how you can help.
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.


Flexibility Pictures Needed

Due January 5. Either a photo of you “being flexible,” however you define that! Or, a photo of you with the following sentence (fill in the blank) “I have adapted by ____.”
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

Staff Time Off

As is our practice, your staff is taking some time away from Fellowship responsibilities following the Christmas Eve Services. While we will hold regular worship services on January 3rd, we won’t be back in our virtual offices, checking email and voice mail, and open for regular business until January 4th. Thanks for supporting us in taking this important time off.
A few reminders while we are closed:
*If you have an urgent crisis, such as a death or other major emergency, please leave a voice mail message for Rev. Christina at 920.731.0849. She will check messages once daily and make sure a minister or care team member responds promptly.
*For mental health support, NAMI is a great resource! The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, EST at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). 
*If you or someone you know needs local resources, such as assistance with health care needs, finding food, paying housing bills, and other essential services, please call 211 or visit

A year-end note from our Director of Finance and Operations: What a year 2020 has been…

Though our building remains closed and we have been unable to gather in person, it is heartwarming and encouraging that our members and friends remain connected to the Fellowship in so many ways. It has also been great to have new members join and past members and friends re-engage through our virtual services and program offerings.

Your support has never been more important!

As we approach the end of the calendar year if you are financially able and have not yet made your monthly, quarterly, or annual contribution to the Fellowship, it is not too late to make a contribution for the 2020 tax year.

Please use the method of payment that is most convenient for you…

Though we are not available for contribution drop-offs this year, you may still mail a check to the Fellowship. All contributions received in the mail postmarked December 31, 2020 will be credited to tax year 2020. Any contributions received after that time will be credited to tax year 2021.

This year you can also use one of our electronic options to GIVE. All contributions initiated and processed through our online giving platform on or before December 30, 2020 (please note this differs from mailed contributions due to processing time) will be credited to tax year 2020. Any contributions received after that time will be credited to tax year 2021.

The CARES Act makes it possible for taxpayers who don’t itemize to take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash donations made in calendar year 2020 to qualified organizations, including religious organizations. In addition, the limit on the amount of charitable cash contributions a taxpayer can deduct as an itemized deduction has been temporarily removed for the calendar year 2020; meaning individuals who itemize may deduct qualified cash contributions of up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. As always you should consult with your tax advisor as to the deductibility of any contributions.   

If you have questions about your current 2020-2021 pledge, please contact me via email,, or leave a message at the Fellowship office, 920.731.0849, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you for your generous and unwavering support in these uncertain times! - Phyllis Schmitt

Virtual General Assembly Registration Open! 

General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. That remains true even when we cannot gather physically. Last year, GA had more than 4,900 registered attendees participate from remote locations around the world. Although we give up the face-to-face interaction and hugs that are prevalent when we meet in-person, we 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!) GA mobile app. Learn more and register HERE

Small Groups

Click HERE for details about these groups.
  • Fellowship Community Journal
    Ongoing, submit your work to

    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 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
  • Third Thursday Book Club, Third Thursday of the month, 2:00 pm CST. Click the link above for the reading list.
  • UU Parenting Support Group, First Monday of the month, 6-7:30 pm
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