A Leadership Development Note from Rev. Leah

Dear Ones,
There are congregations where the big problem is that no one seems to care. It’s like pulling teeth to get people involved. Not so at the Fellowship, where our challenge is as simple (but frustrating) as not getting the word out enough! Please help: Read on and share widely.
At the Fellowship, our complex leadership development formula is pretty basic. Staff, existing leaders, and our leadership development committee brainstorm fantastic people to invite to our leadership class and other events. Then we publicize the opportunity so more incredible folks can self-select in.
Our events involve carefully curated information about the Fellowship and Unitarian Universalism. Marie makes sure we have good eats. We thoughtfully select engaging activities to illumine spiritual leadership themes. Most importantly, we provide time and space for participants to reflect on their own lives and connect deeply with each other.
Guess what’s hard to do virtually when many are already Zoomed out? Long evening sessions of self-reflection and weekend retreats for deep peer conversation. So, let’s skip events for now—stay tuned. They’ll return.
But leadership development is still happening! And, as the saying goes, we want YOU to be a part of it. If you’re reading this, you’re already involved. What’s your next move? New committee member, small group leader, Governing Board member, task force chair, hands-on project superstar? If you’re ready for your next leadership role (including your first one!) or think you might be and would welcome a discernment conversation, then get in touch. We’d be honored to listen and help steer you in a helpful direction.
Anyone who reaches out to nominate someone else they believe would be a fabulous Fellowship leader gets a gold star! We absolutely take referrals.
Thank you to all past, present, and future Fellowship leaders!
With love and in service,
Rev. Leah leah@fvuuf.org
Marie Luna marie@fvuuf.org
Justin Fisher, chair, Leadership Development Committee justin@justinandann.com

Sunday Service

10:00 AM CST
Spring and Other Balancing Acts
by Rev. Leah Ongiri
Click HERE for Worship Service Zoom Information and the Order Of Service
  • During our Zoom worship service on March 7, we, unfortunately, missed a large chunk of the Time for All Ages due to technical difficulties. We invite you to enjoy the full Time for All Ages from that service using this link
  • 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 6th grade will meet as a large group at 9:00 am CST for Children’s Chapel before the All Ages service at 10:00 am. See our website (here) for more information about all Religious Education classes for children and youth.

Monthly Evening Service

Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00 pm CST
Join us for a worship service led by our intern minister, Ali Peters, and our Fellowship Care Team. 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. This month, our service will reflect on moving forward after one year in the pandemic. 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.
Log-in information can be found on our website HERE.
March 14th was the deadline to submit your Fellowship pledge, but if you haven’t done the online form yet, please do so right away! The stewardship team will be following up with you soon.
Pledge Campaign Status:
Of the 488 pledge letters sent, 173 (35.5%) have been returned, along with 1 new pledge. Our goal is 100% participation.
Of the pledges so far received, $488,936 has been promised. This is 58.5% of our total goal of $836,049.
Find all the information about our budget goal and pledging information on the stewardship campaign website. If you wish to go straight to the pledge form you can do so here.
Our final stewardship testimonial was this past Sunday, a powerful one by Mary-Justine Lanyon who lives in California but discovered the Fellowship through her daughter and son-in-law Amanda and Andrew Kramp. She has been attending services, participating in events, and giving financially throughout the pandemic. “I have attended nearly every Sunday since (the online services) began. I sincerely hope they continue as these services have given me hope and encouragement during the pandemic... I have found the services to be the perfect way to end one week and begin the next.” Watch Mary-Justine’s entire testimonial, HERE.
We need you to turn in your pledge form so we can plan our 2021-22 budget.
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.

2021 Annual Congregational Survey

The Fellowship Governing Board and Executive Team are hoping that all members and friends of the Fellowship will participate in our annual congregational survey. The information gathered in this survey is of critical importance as we evaluate progress toward The Fellowship’s goals and identify areas in which we need to dedicate additional time and resources. Your opinion counts.
The survey includes 60 questions and may take around 15 minutes to complete. The questions are about Fellowship demographics, how we live, and our engagement with the Fellowship over the last 12 months. All responses are anonymous.
We will report on the survey results at the 2021 annual meeting. We administered the same survey in 2019 and 2020 and plan to continue asking the same questions every year so we can track our progress over time.
The survey will be available through March.


Thank you so much for sharing your input.
Bradley Shipps
Governing Board President

Adult Faith Development

Spring Equinox Ritual

Friday, March 19; 6:00-7:00pm CST
Join Marie Luna in a celebration of spring and the fertility of the land! This ritual will help us uncover what we buried in the last seasons and explore what we might want to plant and grow as the wheel of the year continues to turn. The ritual will include individual reflections, so have a writing implement available, as well as a candle. Contact Marie Luna at marie@fvuuf.org with questions. Log in information available on our website HERE.

COVID-19 Vaccine Forum with a Nurse

Tuesday, March 23rd at 6:00 pm and Wednesday, March 31 at 1:00 pm CST
With the frequent changes and updates to recommendations, multiple vaccines being approved for use in the US, and a slow rollout of distribution of said vaccines, it is no wonder that people have questions! If you would like to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, or if you have questions or concerns you would like to discuss, please join Hannah Weck for just such an opportunity. Hannah is an oncology Registered Nurse working in Appleton and a member of the Fellowship since February of 2019. Zoom information available on our website HERE.

This Day in Recovery

Thursday, April 22; 6:30 pm CST
Join Revs. Lane Campbell and Katie Kandarian-Morris as we celebrate the new Skinner House publication, This Day in Recovery: 365 Meditations. This book seeks to be a resource for Unitarian Universalists and spiritual seekers whose lives have been touched by addiction. We will share some of the stories as to how this book came about, read some excerpts from the book, and have some time for questions and answers. 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.

Call for Summer and Program Year Teachers

Hello lifelong learners! We are looking forward to exciting changes that we plan to make to our religious education program once we can safely return to in-person classes, and we will need many volunteers to help us provide a quality religious education experience for our Pre-K kids to high school seniors. We need you!
•  Are you interested in being a classroom Leader or Assistants in 3-4-year-old, 7-8th grade, or high school Breakfast Club classrooms?
•  Are you interested in being a classroom Assistant in 3-4-year-old, 7-8th grade, or high school Breakfast Club classrooms?
•  Are you interested in being a classroom Assistant in the K-6th grade classrooms?
Please contact Eve Rosera eve@fvuuf.org to sign up and for more information.

Justice Action Ministry

Transylvanian Easter Traditions

Saturday, March 27th, 10:00 am CST
Zoom link HERE (Or can be found on our website)
The Partner Churches Committee warmly invites you to meet Zoli Koppandi, pastor of the Unitarian Church of Deva, Transylvania to discuss Transylvanian Easter Traditions. He is very excited to meet all of you. Hope to see you there! Learn more about our Partner Churches HERE.

Partner Churches Plant Sale

Calling all gardeners! In honor and support of our partners in Deva, Romania, and Banaybanay, The Philippines, the Partner Church Committee is planning a socially distanced Plant Sale on Sunday, May 23. We welcome your donations of vegetables, native plants, perennials, houseplants, etc. If you would like to donate or have questions, contact Theresa Spoehr at cmtheresa@gmail.com.

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!
•  Help provide food for the March 29th Pillars shelter meal. Sign up here.
•  An invitation from Green Sanctuary to participate in an in-home plastics audit and some great resources to learn more about the impact of plastics.
•  Election News: Information and resources for voting and upcoming elections for State Superintendent, county officials, and judges.
•  Register for ESTHER's April 15 virtual Madison Action Day to ensure the
state budget provides opportunity and equity for all members of our community.
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.


The UUA Decries anti-Asian Violence
click the image to read the article

New Member Joining Invitation

Sunday, March 21st at 9:00 am CST
If you have been thinking about becoming an official member of the Fellowship, Rev. Leah Ongiri and director of congregational life Marie Luna invite you to join them for our next new member joining. Contact Marie at marie@fvuuf.org for more information or to sign up and get the zoom link. Click the image to watch an invitation from Rev. Leah. 

Birthday Cards Needed!

Boone Reopelle is turning 12 on March 26th, and Jon Reopelle has a birthday two weeks later. We have shared that Jon has been diagnosed with stage four cancer and recently transitioned to hospice. We would like to inundate them with birthday cards (and treats, if you are so called!). Email Cyndi Polakowski, fellowship secretary, at cyndi@fvuuf.org for their address. You can mail or drop off on their porch.

WITNESS, CONNECT, ACT! A Social Witness Convening

Wednesday, March 24, 6-8:00 pm CST
While many of us celebrate the promise of a new administration in the White House, things we care about — advocating for racial justice, countering white supremacy, protecting our democratic freedoms — are still at risk. By the thousands, Unitarian Universalists made their voices heard through the UU the Vote campaign. UU the Vote showed us all how vital and powerful we are when we act together. Inspired to grow more connections for collective social witness action for a wide range of values at risk, the Commission on Social Witness invites all UUs to Witness, Connect, Act!, a social witness convening to share and connect UUs doing similar work for inspiration and ideas. 
Register Now! For questions, email socialwitness@uua.org

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 _______."
“Flourishing” Theme Selfies (Due April 25)
Instructions: Take a photo of yourself in a place that is flourishing (whatever that means to you!), or with the following sentence… fill in the blank: “Flourishing means: ____.”
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.
click the image for current information

Small Groups

Gathering Circle: A Pagan Small Group

4th Monday of the month, 6:30-8:00 pm CST, starting March 22
Does your spirit respond to nature? Do you follow the seasons or find spirituality with the elements? Pagans believe that nature is sacred and that the natural cycles of birth, growth, and death observed in the world around us carry profoundly spiritual meanings. Human beings are seen as part of nature, along with other animals, trees, stones, plants, and everything else that is of this earth. All who want to explore these topics are welcome to join the reinstated Gathering Circle Small Group. Heather Westley will again be the facilitator, and the group will mostly be conversation but may include short rituals and outdoor gatherings. Contact Heather at firemoon0812@yahoo.com with questions. Zoom link can be found on our small groups page HERE.
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
  • PoC, Email PoC.global.majority@gmail.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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