This Saturday – “Winter Solstice Service: Welcoming Back the Light”

Saturday, December 20 at 4:30 p.m.

with Kelly Crocker, Minister of Congregational Life and

Sasha Ostrom, Ministerial Intern

Join us as we come together during this holiday season to celebrate the Winter Solstice. In this service full of stories, music and candlelight, we will honor both the gifts of darkness and the gifts of light as we gather on this longest night of the year. We will rejoice as we welcome back the light and celebrate the presence of light in our world, in ourselves and in one another.
Musically, the Teen Choir will sing and the Solstice Harp Ensemble will play music arranged by Laura Zaerr.

Again the earth did shift Again did the nights grow short, And the days long.
And the people of the earth were glad and celebrated each in their own ways.

     — Diane Lee Moomey

Financial FYI: Charitable IRA Rollover Deadline December 31st

A number of FUS members made large contributions over the past month, while others have paid for multiple years of pledging in advance.  Several have also directly transferred stocks or mutual funds to FUS, and we’ve received over $153,000 of stocks into our Ameritrade account since July 1st.

There’s a simple reason for this influx: It’s been a good year for the market, and this type of charitable giving makes smart sense.  It counts as a deduction, avoids capital gains tax, and meets the qualifications for those over age 70 who need a minimum amount to come out of an IRA.

The Charitable IRA Rollover allows individuals to direct transfers of funds from an Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to qualified public charities without having to count the distributions as taxable income. It applies only to people 70 1/2 and older, is limited to a $100,000 gift per year, and it must be a direct transfer from IRA. 

Please contact COO Andy Gussert at 608/233-9774 x 115 with any questions about contributions or planned giving. Please consult a financial planner, attorney or other professional for specific advice. 

To make a special donation to FUS over the holidays, visit http://fusmadison.org/donation

 

Health Issues Support Group Meets December 17

The Health Issues Support group provides an opportunity for spiritual and community support for individuals dealing with health issues or physical impairments.

Please note the new time: Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium Library. Please contact facilitator Susan Flowers at (225) 636-8214, or lay minister Amy Kell at (608) 841-1091 for further information.  

Be a Shelter Volunteer This Winter!

The Winter Shelter team is currently gearing up for working at the Salvation Army Single Women and Families shelter again this winter.
Last year, our team provided morning assistance at the Salvation Army shelter at 630 E. Washington Ave. 6 to 8 AM on cold mornings (overnight temps 20˚ F or lower). County policy requires shelters to exceed their usual capacity, but does not provide additional staff funding.  
On weekdays, the team helped with various tasks to help get everybody up and out to school/work etc. On weekends, when staff levels are lower, FUS volunteers mostly supervise the dining room, allowing the paid staff to help folks with specific issues.
On occasion we also help with other projects, such as days when school is closed due to bad weather, or providing child care while parents attend parenting classes.  
Our hope and intent is to provide an even more robust resource to the homeless of Madison this winter as the weather gets colder. But we need your help. This is a way, with very little investment of time, to make a real difference for those who are really struggling in our society, literally out in the freezing cold. Join us!
If you are interested in joining us or want more information, please contact… Gail Bliss at 231-3511/ gail3511@gmail.com, or Dorit Bergin at elanor3560@att.net, or Becky Shigiel at /socialjusticecoordinator 233-9774 x 125.

Saturday Potluck with a Twist Tonight

Join us tonight - Saturday, December 13, at 6 p.m. in the Atrium Commons for a little different potluck!

We will provide the food, you provide donations for our two Partner Church high school students. Our 2nd and 3rd grade Free to Believe classes will be preparing a delicious taco dinner to raise the much needed funds for our UU friends in the Philippines and Transylvania.

Join us…You will be glad you did!

News From the Red Floors for December 12 to 19, 2014

News From the Red Floors for December 12 to 19, 2014

Dear FUS Friends and Members…

Forecasters are predicting an uncharacteristic temperate December weekend, and while it will by no means be “Hot as Hades” in the Four Lakes region, it is in keeping with the hot topic I’ll be addressing from the pulpit.  Curious about the nefarious figure of Satan — where he came from, what purpose he serves and why he has remained so popular? At our services we’ll be giving the devil his due, with macabre piano accompaniment from Dan Broner on Saturday and offerings by the talented Ancora String Quartet on Sunday. New members will also be recognized at all our services.

I should also note that your minister will be wearing black this weekend, in solidarity with an initiative being undertaken by a large number of African American church groups. This is a way for us silently and solemnly to affirm that ”black lives matter” and to appeal for racial equity in our U.S. justice system. The FUS MOSES and Equity ministry teams and members of the staff will join me in this effort, and we invite your participation as well. There will be information tables, with postcards for individuals to send to Dane County officials calling for fixes to our, the nation’s worst, racial disparities.

See you at the Meeting House…

Michael

Happenings

Saturday Potluck with a Twist This Month
Join us Saturday, December 13, at 6 p.m. in the Atrium Commons for a little different potluck! We will provide the food, you provide donations for our two Partner Church high school students. Our 2nd and 3rd grade Free to Believe classes will be preparing a delicious taco dinner to raise the much needed funds for our UU friends in the Philippines and Transylvania. Join us…You will be glad you did!

20s & 30s December Brunch * Join us for brunch at Bluephies on Monroe St. Sunday, December 14, at 10:30 a.m. RSVP to Maureen at muldoonmaureen@gmail.com or (608)514-4462 by Friday, December 12. If you can give a ride or need a ride after the 9 a.m. service, please let Maureen know. Hope to see you there!

Family-to-Family Gift Drop-off This Weekend * Please bring your wrapped gifts this Saturday (December 13) from 4 to 6:30 p.m. or Sunday (December 14) from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please bring everything to the Landmark Auditorium, keeping food cards separate, and identifying everything with the family number. Social workers are coming to collect gifts starting Monday. Thank you for your generosity!

Gingerbread House Party: Let’s Share Some Holiday Cheer * This Sunday, December 14, is our annual Gingerbread House Festival, a wonderful event for all ages. Please consider joining us from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Commons. Bring along one or two items to decorate with-licorice, pretzels, sprinkles, jelly beans, candy canes, etc. Together we provide the holiday cheer! Hope to see you there.

Health Issues Support Group Meets December 17
The Health Issues Support group provides an opportunity for spiritual and community support for individuals dealing with health issues or physical impairments, will meet Wednesday, December 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium Library (Note the new time). Please contact facilitator Susan Flowers at (225)636-8214, or lay minister Amy Kell at (608)841-1091 for further information.

Vegan Holiday Treats Exchange December 21 * The FUS Vegan Holiday Treats Exchange (hosted by the plant-based eating group) will be Sunday, December 21, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in Courtyard C. Bring two dozen vegan treats (24) and a container to carry your treats home. Leave with a varied holiday plate of delicious treats for yourself or to share! Questions?Contact Sara at sandrewsbibliophile@gmail.com or 957-2392.

MOSAiC is December 22 * MOSAiC [Making Our Selves Alive in Community] is a drop-in gathering that invites people to discuss and delve more deeply into our monthly worship themes. On Monday, December 22, at 6:30 p.m. we will come together to explore and expand our understanding of myth and imagination in the Atrium Auditorium. Questions? Contact Jeanne Sears at /memberprogramscoordinator or 233-9774 ext 116.

Away in a Manger Family Service Reminders
If you were planning on bringing your family to our 2 pm Christmas Eve “Away in a Manger” Nativity Service, please bring a non-perishable item or two for a local food pantry. Our Wise Ones will collect these items during our service and they will be delivered over the holidays. Remember to bring cookies to share and dress up as angels, wise ones or shepherds!

All Music Sunday rehearsals begin January 4…
Guest singers are most welcome to join the Society Choir in singing for our March 29 performances of Maurice Durufle’s exquisite Requiem. Rehearsals begin Sunday, January 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium. Complete rehearsal schedule is available from FUS Music Director Dan Broner.

Child Dedications to Be Held in January * A child dedication is a uniquely UU ceremony which offers the opportunity to have your child blessed by our congregation, their family, and our ministers. The next dedication ceremonies will be held the weekend of January 3 and 4 at all three services. For more information, please contact Rev. Kelly Crocker at /MCL or 233-9774, ext. 112. More at /child-dedications.

Our Friday Musicales are on hiatus over the holidays…
Please join us for the first musicale of the new year on Friday, January 9, at 12:15 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium. Music by Bach and Bartok will be performed by violist Jeremy Kienbaum with pianist Vincent Fuh.

Volunteers Needed! * Effective and rewarding: Circles of Support is a program offering men and women returning from prison a chance to get reconnected with the community. Community members–some from FUS–commit to meeting with a returnee in a group setting once a week for six months. More volunteers are needed to start more Circles! Next training January 10. Please e-mail Jaclyn at jaclyn@emum.org for more info.

Hockey Outing * Beat the winter blues! Join 50 of us at the UW Women’s Hockey Game during Youth Hockey Weekend, Friday, January 16. The UW Women’s Hockey Team is having an amazing season – so let’s support them! They play at the LaBahn Center (next to the Kohl’s Center). We have general admission tickets for just $1 per person!
Some are also meeting at the Nitty Gritty before the game to socialize and share platters. You can join us for an additional $6 per person.
Contact Jeanne Sears, Coordinator of Member Programs, at jeannes@fusmadison.org or 233-9774 ext. 116 to reserve and pay for your tickets.

Peace & Justice Book Club * No December Meeting. Next meeting: Monday, January 26 at 7 p.m. in Courtyard E.  Book:  On the Rez by Ian Frazier. Questions? Carole Briggs (608)772-7134.

Help The FUS Library Thrive and Grow * Are you interested in libraries? Are you one of the many folks who use our FUS Library? Our Library Team members help catalog books, decide on new additions to the library, and help maintain our collection.  If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Rev. Kelly at 233-9774, ext. 112 or /MCL.

Major gift received for purchase of a digital organ for the Atrium Auditorium… FUS would like to thank William Wartmann for a substantial gift given in honor of the lifetime friendship of Joyce Wartmann and Eva Wright. It will be used to purchase a new organ for the Atrium Auditorium. Look for more information in upcoming newsletters.



Be a Shelter Volunteer

This Winter!

The Winter Shelter team is gearing up for working at the Salvation Army Single Women and Families shelter.

Last year, our team provided morning assistance 6 to 8 a.m. on cold mornings (overnight temps 20˚ F or lower). County policy requires shelters to exceed their usual capacity, but does not provide additional staff funding.

Our hope and intent is to provide an even more robust resource to the homeless of Madison this winter as the weather gets colder. But we need your help. This is a way, with very little investment of time, to make a real difference for those who are really struggling in our society, literally out in the freezing cold. Join us!

If you are interested in joining us or want more information, please contact Gail Bliss at 231-3511/ or via her web form at /shelter.

~~~

Because this work is with a vulnerable population, potential volunteers are required to fill out a lengthy application form. Forms and mailing instructions are available in the Commons at the Social Justice Board or on the FUS website at /shelter.

Check out the Free Friday Noon Musicale at FUS

The Friday Noon Musicale series provides musical outreach to  the greater Madison community and many local and regional musicians enjoy performing in our historic Landmark Meeting House auditorium.

Today at 12:15 pm – Guitarist Christopher Allen plays music of Tedesco, Brouwer, Ponce, Albeniz, and Barrios

On other days, including worship services, the musical life of First Unitarian Society of Madison is rich and varied. Traditional masterworks, contemporary anthems, jazz, folk and world music find a warm reception here. The Society Choir, the Meeting House Chorus, and our Children’s and High School choirs enjoy a long tradition of excellence and provide inspiration for worship and opportunities for growth and fellowship. 

Vocal and instrumental groups such as The Three Sopranos, the Chime Choir, and the FUS String Band along with many ad hoc vocal and instrumental ensembles offer additional variety.  The professional staff, accomplished performers and educators all, regularly contribute to the musical tapestry.

“Evil Incarnate”

Saturday, Dec. 13 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 9 & 11

by Michael A Schuler, Parish Minister

Between his baptism and the beginning of his ministry, Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, where he encountered Satan and, according to Matthew and Luke’s accounts, was thrice tempted. Jesus, of course, did not succumb, but passages like these have been used to buttress people’s belief that there is a powerful metaphysical being who embodies and spawns evil.  Where did this idea come from, and why does it remain so popular (57%, of Americans subscribe to it, according to a recent poll)?

Musically, on Saturday, Dan Broner will play “dark” piano music of J.S. Bach, Schumann and Liszt. Sunday, members of the Ancora String Quartet will play the musical offerings.

More at http://fusmadison.org/evil