A Message from the Healthy Congregation Team

The last 20 months have been challenging times in many ways as Covid has become a new norm. Lockdowns, masks, vaccines are now our realities.  And although Covid is an extreme event in our lives, life will always continue to challenge us and change. Right now, some of us may feel negative feelings like anxiety, depression, fear, loss, and others as we move through these changes. It’s okay. All feelings are valid. They serve as our guides. They serve as our teachers. They serve to let us know where we are in alignment with our inner self.   
In her book The Greatest Secret, Rhonda Byrne tells us that our natural state is one of happiness. The greatest secret is our awareness. Our awareness is always one of welcoming. Given that, Rhonda suggests a practice described by ex-physicist Francis Lucille called Welcoming as it relates to negative feelings. Welcoming stops us from resisting. Welcoming encourages us to invite negative feelings in like a guest. Sit with them. Open our hearts to them. Love them. Allow them to teach us. Just for a moment, it might feel worse, but when we shine the light of awareness in the dark, it can dissipate. And what is left is light. What is left is freedom. Freedom to feel better. 
That freedom allows us to see and greet the world through a new lens. To tell a new story. When you change on the inside, it doesn’t matter what is happening on the outside. You become aligned with yourself. You become your light. As it relates to our world, here is some light at our Fellowship:
•  The way we engage in worship services is now a choice – join in person or via zoom. Stay after service for discussion or head home.
•  The Fellowship building is buzzing with groups, committees, meetings, programs, etc. Many of these offer the choice of attending in person or online.
•  You can choose to connect with other members and friends of the Fellowship in person or in whatever ways are meaningful to you.
•  You are always welcome to chat with our ministers and staff – you can schedule a time to meet with one of them in person, on Zoom, or on the phone.  
Every moment provides a new invitation. Use the present moment as your divine teacher and guide. 
If you’d like to connect with the Healthy Congregation Team please feel free to fill out a feedback form. We would love to hear from you!
With love,
The Healthy Congregation Team

Sunday Services
9:00 AM Central in-person
10:45 AM in-person & livestream

Parting Thoughts; "Waves Upholding"
by Rev. Leah Ongiri
A few last observations, memories, and ideas, including many thanks, much gratitude, and a final favorite poem, from Rev. Leah on her last Sunday in the Fellowship’s pulpit. She will be preaching virtually from her new home in Portland but looks forward to sharing one last service with this beautiful congregation whose people and traditions have taught her so much about Unitarian Universalism, commitment, joy, hard work, relationship, and life in general. This will be her last day as one of the Fellowship’s ministers. 
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.
  • See the religious education section below for details about online and in-person classes. See our website (here) for more information about all Religious Education classes for children and youth.
Covid 19 Safety Plan

Adult Faith Development

Book Discussion: Burnout

The discussion of the book Burnout- The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski has been rescheduled for Thursday, December 2, 6:30 - 8:00 pm CT.
Please don’t feel pressured to read the whole thing—if you only have time to read a bit, the first segment (chapters 1-3) is the most useful! Even if you can’t read anything at all, please still feel free to join the discussion which is sure to be rich.
The discussion will take place in person and virtually, see our website HERE for log-in details.

UU Theology with Rev. Christina Leone-Tracy

Part 2: December 14, January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12; 6:30-8:00 pm CT - Drop-ins welcome!
UU Theology is a 6-session introduction to theological concepts through a Unitarian Universalist lens. Each session asks what does our Unitarian Universalist tradition teach about this theological concept, and how does that help me clarify and act on my own beliefs? The themes include:
• What is Theology?
• What are God and Spirit?
• What is Our Purpose?
• Who Are We?
• What Are Our Sources?
• What Saves Us?
You are encouraged to attend all the sessions, in order to get the most out of it, but are also welcome to attend just those which you are able. Participants will be able to attend virtually or in person. Contact the Fellowship Secretary at cyndi@fvuuf.org to sign up or Rev. Christina at christina@fvuuf.org with questions.

Justice Action Ministry

Kaukauna Little Free Pantry Donation Drive

Essentials: Food and Shelter for All will be focusing this holiday season on assisting those experiencing food and housing insecurity. Bins will be set out in the Fellowship entry lobby to collect items for a donation drive for the Free Pantry at the Kaukauna Public Library from Sunday, November 28, through Sunday, December 12, 2021. 
Items from the Kaukauna Public Library Free Pantry are available to anyone. Items that will be accepted are baby/child personal care items, hygiene, paper products, and nonperishable foods. Nonperishable food items should not expire before January 12, 2022. Any items that the seal has been broken or used items cannot be used. For a comprehensive list click HERE.

Meal at Pillars Adult and Family Shelter

Please join Essentials JAM by volunteering to provide a meal to the residents of Pillars Adult and Family Shelter on Monday, November 29th. Please click on the link to sign up for meal preparation to be delivered to the shelter at 5:00 pm. Pillars Adult and Family Shelter is located at 400 N. Division Street, Appleton. If you have questions, please contact Angie Miller at 920.810.7968 or angela.miller@oneamerica.com. Thank you!
Photo by Ann H from Pexels

Empty to Full Pans - Thank you

Thank you to all who brought back their Empty to Full pans on Sunday! We collected 47 pans, which is great, but we originally handed out 60! If you forgot to return your filled pan, please contact Deb Muench at 920.422.1852 to arrange a drop-off. Pillars Family Shelter is so grateful for the pans the Fellowship provides.

Justice Hub Webpage

The Justice Hub webpage has information about our JAMs, justice events, and opportunities here at our Fellowship and out in the community right at your fingertips any time you need it.
This week: Read more about each of these on the Justice Hub webpage
•  Sisters Rising Film Showing and Discussion
•  ESTHER interfaith community organizing information
•  UUA’s Side With Love offers resources at the Action Center
•  Decolonizing Anti-Racism program at UW-Oshkosh
•  Wade Fernandez in Concert at First Congregational UCC (proceeds benefit the Waking Women Healing Institute)
•  History and Culture of Afghanistan: Welcoming Our New Neighbors - program recording now available
•  What you can do to help ensure fair voting/districting maps
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.


Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Poetry Book for Rev. Leah Ongiri

In addition to a gift we will be giving Leah at her final service, we will also be creating a book of poetry for Leah in honor of her love of poetry. If you would like to submit a poem, please email it to Deb Andrews at dotyisland.deb@gmail.com by November 23rd.
Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Fellowship Engagement Discernment Opportunities

Now that we are back to offering some in-person opportunities, we are reaching out to our members and friends to find out how they want to engage with the Fellowship, or if their path has taken them elsewhere. There are several ways to share this information with us and find meaningful engagement opportunities if that is what you are looking for! We value and welcome your feedback and engagement
1.  Talk with director of congregational life Marie Luna, or another staff person 1:1 in person, phone, or zoom. Contact information HERE.
2.  Meet with a small group of others at the Fellowship to share stories and connect, led by long-time members Marti Wheeler and Karen Iverson Riggers. Contact them at martiwheeler50@gmail.com or kiversonriggers@gmail.com with questions. 
RSVP to cyndi@fvuuf.org if you would like to attend this session: 
• Saturday, November 20th; 9:00-10:30 am CT; in person
3.  Or if you don’t want to talk right now, you can also fill out this survey.

Express Yourself Creativity Invitation!

Express Yourself is a small group devoted to providing opportunities for art created in community. This month we are building off the service that focused on googly eyes. (If you missed it, you can watch it on the Fellowship's YouTube channel HERE.)
Using these fun stick-on GOOGLY EYES, we can turn an average object into something with which we suddenly connect on a more human level. The thinking here is if we can anthropomorphize a doorknob, we should be able to do the same with other human beings.
A bag of assorted googly eyes can be picked up at Cindy Darling’s home in Kaukauna on Sunday, November 21 from 12:30-4:30, otherwise feel free to contact Cindy to set up a pick-up time that works for you. The sky is the limit! Find random spaces in your home, office, school, etc. avoiding outside spaces where they could fall off and harm critters. Have fun with friends, with your kids, or whomever and turn ordinary objects into goofy “people.” If you need the address, message Cindy on Facebook, contact her via email: cindyd@maurealty.com, or text/call 920.205.9635.
Post a picture of your creation in the Fellowship’s Facebook group or by emailing Cindy and tell us about the experience of searching for faces in inanimate objects, and how the object was transformed by the googly eyes.

Fellowship Anti-Racism Practice

Join us as we continue our UU commitment to anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy culture.
In November we invite you to watch this YouTube video of Dr. Ibram X Kendi, The Difference Between Being Not Racist and Anti-Racist, and while watching, ask yourself: What feels uncomfortable? Why is it uncomfortable and how can I move past that to keep going? What is new to me? How can I use this in my life? What SKILLS are helpful? Do I notice anything here that resonates with the Fellowship?
Why do we do this work? What makes it appropriate for a religious congregation? Isn't this just "political" and "social" stuff? NO! Our UU religious tradition calls us to have faith in the possibility of a world more free, fair, and filled with justice and compassion -- and that our actions are what will make that possible. The only way we can fully live our UU values is to keep learning and working. These resources, which are the same our Governing Board is exploring together in their commitment to anti-racism, will also be shared on our Anti-Racism Learning Group on Facebook, and we encourage interaction there. Watch the Scroll for future Zoom opportunities to discuss these resources!

Photo Buttons Available!

Bring in a photo to make it into a button so we can still see each other’s faces while wearing masks! We have all of the supplies to quickly make a 3-inch button. If you need us to print your photo, send it to marie@fvuuf.org and it will be ready for you on Sunday!

Community Office Hours

Join Rev. Christina for informal conversation over a cup of something delicious. We can just get to know each other or you can bring something you’d like to discuss—the conversation will be guided by whoever shows up! Christina will also have a bag of conversation prompts if needed, and sometimes our staff, board president, or other lay leaders will join us. Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 pm CT as noted below, and the location will rotate monthly to reach different parts of our community.
December 2, 9, & 16 (none on 12/23 or 12/30) – Shellattés, 330 N. Commercial St., Neenah

Office Closed

The office will be open from 8:00-2:00 pm CT on Wednesday, November 24. The office will be closed on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26.
click the image for current information

Religious Education - Children and Youth

Eyebombing Extravaganza!

On November 7, while the adults took in Rev, Christina’s “Lesson From Googly Eyes” sermon, our young people also explored the practice of seeing all others as multidimensional and whole people. They even learned about the word “anthropomorphize” as they considered how to avoid making uninformed and one-dimensional judgments about others.  
Then… they set to work Eyebombing the Fellowship! They did a great job and want you to be able to enjoy some of their fine work!
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

4K-6 grade Religious Education Dismissal Procedure

Children will be dismissed in the same way as we have in the past, by asking parents and guardians to wait outside of the room to sign their child(ren) out.
Please help us by
•  gathering outside of the Fellowship Hall
•  communicating 1:1 with the teacher who has is holding the attendance clipboard
•  signing out your young person/people one family at a time
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with the new procedure; it is very helpful in keeping our children safe!

Sunday Religious Education Programs: Virtual and In-Person


Check out our website for class information for nursery through 6th grade HERE and 7th through 12th grades HERE. Programs are offered from mid-September through late May.

Crossing Paths: 1st and 3rd Sundays

Crossing Paths for students in 7th grade and above will meet again on Sunday, November 7 in-person or on Zoom. Youth in these grades who are present at the Fellowship on the 2nd and 4th Sundays must be in the sanctuary; there will be no supervision in the building and they will not be permitted to wander on their own.  

Small Groups: A great way to connect!

Join a Small Group!

All are invited to check out our Small Groups for connection and spiritual growth. The full list can be found on our website! Click on the image to learn more about our groups.

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