Dear Ones,
What makes anti-racism work urgent for you?
Three years ago I was asked this question during an anti-racism workshop I was attending. “What makes anti-racism work urgent for you?” asked the facilitator. As a white person, I had never given this question real thought before.
I awkwardly stumbled out some answers about believing in justice and having been a teacher with students of color and wanting a better world for them.
“That’s great,” the facilitator lovingly responded. “But what makes it urgent for you?”
I paused. I tried to explain that she must not understand what I was saying. I mean, I really loved my students. They were a part of me!
“That’s great,” she said again. But she repeated her question once more, “what makes anti-racism work urgent for you?”
If I’m honest, her question has haunted me. She walked away before I could come up with a better answer, but her prompting had left a pit in my stomach. I couldn’t tell if the pit was shame or if the pit, itself, was an answer to the facilitator’s question, or both.  
The more I’ve sat with this question and with my reaction to it, the more I believe that our Unitarian Universalist faith can help guide me toward an answer. Not because I believe that UUs are total exemplars when it comes to anti-racism work -- like other faith communities, ours has stumbled and gotten things wrong and failed our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) siblings time and time again. But our UU faith is a profound call into right relationship with each other and a container for the messy transformation that is needed to get there.
That’s why I’m excited for our Liberation Circles that are starting on February 20th. During this series of four Saturday sessions, we will dive deep into the work of understanding and dismantling white supremacy. Perhaps you have felt nervous to engage in anti-racism efforts because you were afraid to make a mistake. Perhaps you have struggled to process the white nationalist assault on the capital. Perhaps you want to learn to create more inclusive spaces and to be a good ally. Join us as we dig into all of this and more while drawing on the resources of our UU faith. 
You can find more information about the series below under “Adult Faith Development.” I hope to see you there!

With love,
Ali Peters, Intern Minister

Sunday Service

10:00 AM CST
The Miracle of Adaptation
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 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, 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 We hope to see you there.
Zoom link HERE, passcode UU
Call in: 312-626-6799, meeting ID 827 7074 7192

Adult Faith Development

Fellowship Liberation Circles

Four Sessions: 2/20, 3/6, 3/13, and 3/20 
10:00 am-12:00 pm CST
The events of the past four years in our country have left many of us baffled and despairing. It is impossible to ignore how these events have emerged from our country’s deep wounds of racism and white supremacy. Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to the urgent work of healing those wounds and we invite you into this work with us. During the months of February and March, we will be hosting 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. We hope you will be able to join us! Contact Cyndi Polakowski at to sign up.


February 10: Life in Three Lines with Rev. Marti Keller          
February is the shortest month of the year and Haiku is the world’s shortest genre of poetry.
We will be learning about this verse form in its American manifestation, including how our Unitarian Transcendentalist forebears were influenced by it. We will hear and discuss diverse examples of three-line poetry, and practice it ourselves as some may pledge to write at least one haiku a day during National Haiku Writing Month. And discover how these tiny poems can tell our lives. Click HERE for more information.

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

Immigration Justice Team Update

Thanks to your financial help and to a team of volunteers helping with practical needs, we continue to support three local compas (people seeking asylum). One of the compas we support was featured on a recent PBS Newshour program. The 9-minute video can be watched HERE. It is a heartbreaking reminder of how much work we have to do after the last four years of inhumane immigration policies.
This week President Biden signed additional executive orders regarding immigration, which is a start, but more action is badly needed. The Unitarian Universalist Services Committee wrote a helpful article on this HERE.
Our Team will continue to help educate our congregation and offer opportunities for action as more is known. If you would like to get more involved, contact co-chair Marti Wheeler at

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!
•  UUA 30 Days of Love – resources, actions, and ways to get involved! (We're on Week 3)
•  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.
•  Thank you for participating in the Essentials & Immigration Justice JAMs Mitten Tree!
•  Election News: Information about the upcoming April 6 election, information about the State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates, and a tool to contact your legislators to end partisan gerrymandering.
•  ESTHER (interfaith organizing) information, including taskforces and updates.
•  Petition invitation to reduce architecture that is unwelcoming to Appleton’s homeless population.
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!

Starting February 14 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

Fellowship Men's Group

The Fox Valley UU Fellowship has nurtured a Men's Group for more than 30 years. We in the group want to reach out to all UUs who identify as male who have not attended or rarely attended, our Men's Group at the Fellowship in Appleton. We ask that you give us some quick feedback about your interests (Outdoor activities, like biking or skiing? Presentations rather than conversations? Other?) so that we can learn how best to broaden our scope and connections with others. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out the survey by clicking HERE.

Creativity Pictures Needed

Due February 10 – A photo of you with the following sentence (fill in the blank!) – “My creativity shines 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

Holding Our Plans Loosely: 

An Update on Fellowship Building Closure

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of our building closure, a milestone none of your staff thought we’d ever see. We miss you all and our beautiful space. However, we remain closed for the foreseeable future, as local Covid-19 infection rates remain high.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches (WCC) recently issued a second round of guidelines for congregational leadership called Holding Our Plans Loosely. That expresses well what we are doing here at the Fellowship.
Benchmarks such as 70% vaccination rate in the community and under 5 cases per 100,000 are recommended before congregations contemplate reopening. Unfortunately, as of January 22nd, Appleton had a seven-day average of 158 new cases. To fall within the WCC’s guidelines, that number would be around 4. There is much unknown, and yet we are clear that it’s not yet time to plan to reopen. 
It is our sincere hope that vaccines and other strategies will allow us to move toward in-person gatherings in 2021. Re-opening won’t happen all at once, nor will it transport us back to the old normal. We will likely require masks, limit seating and singing, and not serve food or beverages for some time. We could revert to immediate closure repeatedly, based on various factors. Probably certain events and features will remain virtual even when some of us are in person. We aren’t sure exactly what it will be like. This gives us the opportunity to adjust our expectations now. Hopefully this will help ease some of the transition stress when we’re ready to gather in person again.
In the meantime, thank you for continuing to love, value, and participate in our virtual community. It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish online, and we are forever grateful for your support in making it all happen. Please reach out to any staff member for help getting or staying connected.
With love,  
Your Executive Team
(Rev. Christina Leone-Tracy, Rev. Leah Ongiri, Phyllis Schmitt, and Ali Peters)

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

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. Contact Kate Hancock-Cooke at with questions.
  • Third Thursday Book Club, Third Thursday of the month, 2:00 pm CST. Contact CyAnn Martin at for meeting information.
  • UU Parenting Support Group, First Monday of the month, 6-7:30 pm
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