Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Chance for 2016 Donations

This is your last opportunity to make a 2016 tax deductible donation to the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches this year.  
Your gift will: 

•Help maintain a strong liberal religious presence in Palm Beach County;

•Help to provide our inclusive congregation the opportunity to come together to help each other grow spiritually, strive for social justice, and help those in need;

•Help support the strong programming such as News Talk, Teaching Thursdays, and Second Saturday Book Club (among many others) that the congregation provides for its members, friends, and community.
To Donate by Mail
Mail your Donation to:

First UU Congregation of the Palm Beaches
635 Prosperity Farms Road
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Checks can be made out to “First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches” or “1stUUPB”.

To Donate Electronically
Your gift can be sent to us electronically by credit card or ACH transfer by clicking HERE
Thank you,
Harry Wolin, Treasurer

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Teaching Thursdays 2017

Dear Members and Friends of 1stUUPB,

The season for Teaching Thursdays has arrived. Each Thursday evening for the next three months our Congregation will offer an entertaining educational program from 7 to 8:30. A social hour including an optional meal will precede the programs beginning at 6:00.

Here is your Teaching Thursdays schedule for January:

January 5 -- CIVIL WAR HEROINE CLARA BARTON AND THE HISTORY OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN AMERICA, presented by Janelle Bloodworth. (in Ministers Hall)
               Hillary Clinton may not have broken the glass ceiling, but women have made much progress in the past century and one-half, haven’t they? Find out for yourself as retired history professor and Civil War expert Janelle Bloodworth uses Clara Barton’s story to reveal what Clara Barton faced as a would-be woman nurse during the Civil War.   

January 12 – OUR UU CONGREGATION’S COMMITMENT TO RACIAL JUSTICE, presented by the Justice Action Ministry (in Ministers Hall)
               Wouldn’t you know that Judy Bonner has second act up her sleeve? She will be retiring as our JAM chairperson only to take on her new passion, racial justice. Plan to attend this Teaching Thursday program to find what you can do as an individual and what we can do as a Congregation to promote racial justice.
               On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration our resident and retired Professor of Political Science Allen Maxwell will present his thoughts and ask you to join him in speculating about whether or not, “It could happen here.”

January 26 – BEYOND THE ONE-MINUTE ELEVATOR SPEECH, presented by Rev. C.J.McGregor (in Ministers Hall)
               How do you describe our faith to family and friends? What about visitors to our Congregation? Do you get tongue-tied, seize up unable to articulate? We’ve been at UUs to develop a rote elevator speech to describe our faith. We are learning that this canned speech may not be the best way to attract new people or articulate our faith. Join this session and learn the art of being able to describe the beauty and power of Unitarian Universalism anytime and anywhere.

Meet Some New Members

Mini Bios of Recently Recognized Members:

Ashley Snyder
I grew up outside of Philadelphia and moved to Florida in 2004 to attend graduate school at FSU for Classical Archaeology and Museum Studies. After I graduated, I moved to West Palm Beach to work in the Curatorial Department at the Norton Museum of Art and became a stay-at-home mom after our daughter was born. I now teach Art Appreciation as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College and help out at our family business. My husband and I will have been married for seven years this December and we have two children, Teddy (6) and Maisie (3) and a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier, Neko (10). David is a life-long Palm Beach County resident and he has been running and really transforming his family business, Able Printing, since 2012 (@ableletterpress).  We just recently moved to North Palm Beach from Northwood in West Palm, where we lived for eight years. We are so grateful to have found this community, it has really been a blessing for our family and so welcoming to both me and the kids. Thank you so much for the warm welcome and I look forward to getting to know everyone more in the coming years.

Gail Burwell
Hello, my name is Gail Burwell and I am looking forward to a long, loving, and productive relationship with the 1stUUPB Congregation.
I was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin and I find the weather in the Florida to be far more friendly.  
I earned my bachelors degree and did some masters work in business administration and for many years I worked in various companies and corporations in administrative and human resources positions.
My husband, daughter and I now reside in Palm Beach Gardens.  I've lived in various states including Texas, Missouri and Connecticut and truly appreciate the diversity our country offers.
My hobbies include reading, bicycling and crafts.  I look forward to growing spiritually through the various programs, ministries, and teachings of the 1stUUPB Congregation.

Carol Baxter
was born and raised in New York City.  She lived in Staten Island, Long Island and Manhattan.  She moved to Connecticut in 1980 and raised two daughters there.  She is a clinical social worker and was told by colleagues, while working at Yale, "You are a Unitarian."  We explored that in 1984 at the Unitarian Church in Westport.  We joined that year and remain a member there to this day.   I so enjoyed all the roles I have had there and the many relationships that were made.
Fred Smith and I moved to West Palm Beach in October and I look forward to participating in the life of this community.  I have two daughters.  One lives in Palm Beach and the other in Chevy Chase, Washington, DC. with their husbands.  I also have a brother in Palm Beach. I enjoy most sports, draw and paint, love exploring biking and hiking.  I have been enjoying getting to know the members of this wonderful church family.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Reminder: No NewsTalk Jan 1 -- Happy New Year!

There will be no NewsTalk next Sunday, January 1.

NewsTalk will resume on Sunday, January 8, at 9:15.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

No NEWSTALK Dec 25 or Jan 1

There will be NO NEWSTALK on December 25 (Christmas) or January 1 (New Years).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

NewsTalk will resume on January 8

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Norton Tour, Dec 30

Natalie Lederer will lead a tour of the Norton Museum’s newest exhibit “ Rudin Prize for Photography and Related Art Works” on December 30, 2016 at 1pm. Call Natalie at 561-790-5981 to reserve a spot. For further information, see

Joint Letter from the Minister and the President

Rev. CJ has made the decision to leave our Congregation and the Board of Trustees has agreed to accept his decision. We have jointly agreed that Rev CJ will leave at the end of our current contract on April 30, 2017.

The next few months will be a period of completion, preparation, and celebration. This Congregation has come a long way since 2013. We are a stronger, more collaborative Congregation and, although not without significant financial challenges, ready to continue the journey towards settled ministry. A celebration dinner is being planned for April 22, 2017.

A Ministerial Selection Committee will be commissioned by the Board of Trustees to seek a Developmental Minister to be in place during the summer of 2017. Members of the Congregation who have accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Ministerial Selection Committee are: Sylvia Ansay, Drew Davis, Dick Hattwick, Sadiqa Johnson, Chris Juhl, Jim Meyer, and Suzanne Schluter. We appreciate their service to our Congregation.  

Previously planned schedules mean that neither of us will be at the service on Sunday, but please reach out to us by email or telephone or talk to members of the Board of Trustees at Sunday’s service.

   Rev. CJ McGregor              Paul G. Ward
   Minister                            President, Board of Trustees

Shortest Day

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Singalong With Bruce, Dec 15

Making it Through the Holidays

Holiday times are some of the most challenging for those of us who are grieving a loss or struggling for a number of reasons. It is a difficult time of year. It is doubly difficult as those around us prepare to celebrate. Holidays may not be the same, yet we offer hope that holidays can still be meaningful. This time together will offer support through sharing information, listening to each other's stories, thinking about how to manage holiday plans and connecting with others. Come to one or both times. Wednesday, Dec 14, 10am, 12noon,  Ministers Hall.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Commitment for 2017

The new year is around the corner and it's about this time I reflect on the past year and set goals for the new year. I guess you could call them resolutions. I wonder if you have a similar practice.
I've decided that one thing I'll commit to in 2017 is to hold reasonable expectations of myself and for others in my life. I decided this after re-reading my favorite book on ministry leadership, Leading With A Limp by Dan Allendar. I love how honest Allender is. It’s refreshing because he says things that most of us are afraid to say -- the simple truth of realities. The chapter in which Allender writes this is about counting the cost of leadership.  It’s simply an honest look at the unrealistic expectations we create for people.
I'm going to be intentional about practicing what I preach and let people know I have their back, expect them to make mistakes and not be good at everything, confront them with grace and gentleness and understanding that my specific desire and expectations may not be met, and to remember they are imperfect people just like me, and that they are human, not superhuman.
Allender writes, "What we want is an illusion and we know it.  We prefer the illusion because we have a deep need to be buffered from reality." and that "we inflict on a few while we comfort ourselves that we don’t have the right stuff to pull it off."  Strong words, words that I rejected at first reading, but found myself understanding them the more I thought about it.
I wonder, as imperfect humans, what do we avoid about the reality of ourselves when we are unreasonable with our expectations for others? For me, I can unreasonably expect people to be all I need or desire because that's who I want to be, and it's impossible.  It's good to step back and say. "It's not about me in this moment." I wonder if you might benefit from stepping back and realizing that your expectations for perfection from others, thus creating an illusion of reality, is because of your own fear of not being the perfect superhuman. Being compassionate toward ourselves will lead us to show compassion to others. Compassion is the root to all that we hold dear in our UU faith.  I look forward to adjusting my expectations and reminding myself I am beautifully imperfect and will not have my every need and desire met because those around me are beautifully imperfect too. 

May your holidays be blessed with joy and beautiful imperfection.

Rev. CJ

Holiday Donations

Thank you all for your generosity with our holiday donations.  Next Sunday, December 18, will be the last collection for socks and teen gift cards.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

NewsTalk Topics for December 18

- update on Trump nominees

- should Congress extend Obama's DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive orders to avoid Trump deportations?

- are Trump's claims of an election "mandate" and "an historic Electoral College win" valid?

- should one lose their citizenship for burning the American flag?

- should women be required to register for the draft?

- should only property owners be allowed to vote?

- and more...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Join Us on Sunday, Dec 11

Join us for our 10:30am service this Sunday, December 11th and welcome Kevin Locke. Kevin is a member of the Sioux Standing Rock Tribe and is just returning from the Standing Rock Native American Reservation.
Kevin Locke (Tokaheya Inajin in Lakota translation “First to Rise”) is a world famous visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of the Indigenous Northern Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator. Kevin is Lakota and Anishnabe. While his instructions were received from his immediate family and community, from extended family in every part of the world Kevin has learned many lessons in global citizenship and how we each can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage.

Seven Principles Under Siege

A 1stUUPB Post-Election Action Planning Session
Saturday , December 17th, 1 to 2:30pm, Ministers Hall

The recent general election failed the test of Unitarian Universalism’s Seven Principles.

What should individual UU congregations do in response?

On Saturday, December 17th, the Justice Action Ministry will host a 1 1/2 hour workshop to address that question from 1 to 2:30pm in Ministers Hall.

This workshop replaces the originally scheduled showing of a JAM film.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Message From Jennifer Hommel

I am reaching out to you to remind all the children that this month we are collecting some wonderful items to help those who really need them. Please remember to bring lightly used or new socks for our Sox Box and toiletries for the Not Included in Food Stamps Collection. In addition, we will have the opportunity to hear our guest speaker, Kevin, answer some questions the kids have prepared for him about his experience at Standing Rock. We will also present to him a framed Thank You letter to show our appreciation for his courageous effort during the protest. We will be spending 10 extra minutes in the service to ask our questions and then we will head over to embark on our lesson about Defining Justice and how as Unitarian Universalists we practice peace and what it means to us. I would love for you to discuss this with your children at home this week. Our group is filled with such amazing minds that I have no doubt the children will come up with some pretty mind blowing definitions. As always, I am so honored and grateful to be a part of such an inspiring group of children and I can't wait to hear their definitions of what peace means to them! See you all on Sunday and enjoy the rest of your week!! 

Blessed Be!
Your Religious Education Interim, Jennifer

Holiday Potluck and Singalong, Dec 15

Bruce Holden will lead us in a Singalong of carols and traditional holiday music on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. Prior to the Singalong. a potluck dinner will be held at 5:45pm in Ministers Hall.  Everyone is welcome.

Monday, December 5, 2016

NewsTalk Topics for Sunday, December 11

Homework Assignment
international trade:  make an inventory of your home (cupboards, closets, electronics, foods, etc.) to determine the country of origin of the things you own; how dependent are you on international trade?

- Trump's Cabinet picks

- should one lose their citizenship for burning the American flag?

- should women be required to register for the draft?

- Texas continues its attack on abortions

- California wants to bar sex between attorneys and clients -- a violation of fundamental privacy rights?

Dec 25th Social Hour

Nobody signed up for Social Hour hospitality on Dec 25th. How about a Potluck Lunch? Please bring food to share. 

Need volunteers for set up and clean up.
Contact Barbara Hatzfeld, or 561-627-6105.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Congregational Assembly, Dec 11, 12:15pm

There will be a Congregational town hall meeting on Sunday, December 11th, from 12:15 to 1.30pm in the Sanctuary. The Board of Trustees president will share the results of the ministerial survey with the Congregation, which will be followed by an opportunity for members and friends of the Congregation to ask questions and share observations. The conversation will help guide members of the Board of Trustees in their subsequent decision-making on behalf of the Congregation.
Paul Ward, president, 1stUUPB Board of Trustees

Friday, December 2, 2016

Second Saturday Book Group

1stUUPB’s Second Saturday Book Group will be meeting in the Sanctuary at 10am on Saturday, December 10, to discuss Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.  An American classic first published in 1937, this novel has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.  Hurston brings us the story of Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, showing her journeys from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance.  Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century, the novel was initially poorly received for its rejection of “racial uplift literary prescriptions.” Today, it has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women's literature.

Holiday Teacup Auction

We will be having one of our popular teacup auctions on 
During Coffee hour

We will be offering a variety of items for all ages.
Hope to see YOU there.

Raffle tickets will be $1 each
$5 for 6
$10 for 12

SmileBRING MONEY!!!Laughing

Kathe B. and Pat K.

Washington, DC Spring Social Justice Conference


The rising tide of inequality, intolerance and racism makes it more important for UUs to stand up for their values. UUJEC and UUs for Social Justice in the National Capitol Region (UUSJ) are organizing a spring conference in Washington, DC to give UUs an opportunity to advocate for a vision of a fair and compassionate society directly to decisionmakers on Capitol Hill.  We cannot take a step back on progress in equality and human rights.  Now more than ever we must act…

There are just 5 days left to contribute to our Faithify campaign to help fund conference scholarships and ensure UUs voices are heard in Washington, DC. Our faith compels us to act.  Please visit our campaign page and contribute whatever you can.  Help UUs bend the arc of history towards a more just world!!

Thank you, from the UUJEC

Sunday Service, December 11

On Sunday, December 11, 2016 Kevin Locke will lead our 10:30am service. Kevin is a member of the Sioux tribe and is a Standing Rock activist. Kevin, and his wife Ceylon, are just returning from Standing Rock and will help us understand the issues and actions from their personal perspectives as the conflict there escalates. 

Please join in welcoming Kevin and Ceylon and attend this special service.