FUS On-Line Services and Links

• Both Landmark and Atrium Auditorium Services are audio webcast live at fusmadison.org/live. Use this link and listen along even if you can’t make it to church. All Atrium services are also available as live video streams on YouTube, also found at www.fusmadison.org/live. Works great on your smart phone!

• Video, audio and text of the week’s Reflections are available at www.fusmadison.org/sermons. Download a PDF of a sermon, listen to the Reflection, or connect to the YouTube video.

• Subscribe to our Sermon podcast! Want to listen to the Reflections on your laptop, smartphone or tablet later? Subscribe, and it automatically will download the files for your convenience. Information at www.fusmadison.org/podcast

• Our YouTube channel is growing and now has hundreds of videos of music, readings, and services! Use the link on the FUS home page, or go to https://www.youtube.com/user/fusmadison/featured. Click subscribe, and it will be added to your personal channel.

THE MADISON UNITARIAN [013-826] is published monthly by the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison, WI 53705-2298.

Questions, comments may be directed to
Harry Carnes. First Unitarian Society,
900 University Bay Dr., Madison WI 53705;

What Exactly _IS_ FUS?

First Unitarian Society is a place where questioning people gather to explore spiritual, ethical and social issues. We provide an accepting and nurturing environment for people to satisfy this curiosity, and we support freedom of thought of each individual in that journey. Together, we seek to be a force for good in the world.

All of us agree that there is no single, superior path and that there are many possibilities to ponder and choose from. We choose to spend at least part of that journey together in community, singing, thinking, deepening, laughing and crying.

Who we Are

Our Society is made up of people of all walks of life who seek supportive fellow travelers to accompany them on their spiritual and ethical journey. Some of us are refugees from the world of orthodox religion; others are souls looking for an alternative to the consumerism that has become the dominant “religion” of our nation. Still others are parents and educators and activists who have a vision of a better world.

Our Denominational Connection

While we cherish our congregational autonomy, we also affirm and support the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA),which serves more than 1,000 member societies throughout the world. The Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merged in 1961, and the congregations affirm the following:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The rights of conscience and the use of the democratic process;
  • A world community with peace, liberty and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Our Continuing Bond of Union from 1879

“We whose names are hereunto inscribed, desiring a religious organization in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, which shall make integrity of life its first aim and leave thought free, associate ourselves together as the First Unitarian Society of Madison and accept to its membership those of whatever theological opinion who wish to unite with us in the promotion of truth, righteousness, reverence and charity among all.” Adopted 1879, revised 1980.

News From the Red Floors for January 23-30, 2015

News From the Red Floors for January 23 – 30, 2015

Rev. Schuler will be in our pulpit Sunday

Dear Friends…

I’m tempted to ramble on here. I could tell you about my dog, whom I nearly starved to death this month, unintentionally. Or my two fine sons who are not starving. Or my wonderful wife, whom I still wonder why she puts up with me.

But no, I am just going to point out that the Rev. Dr. Michael A. Schuler is preaching at FUS this weekend. Who’s afraid of Solitude? I am, I think.

Come to the Meeting House and learn and join in. Don’t worry – we’ll have the walks cleaned if it snows.

See you there!
Harry Carnes, Director of Communications 

P.S. – There is a Parish Meeting on Sunday, 12:30. Lunch served.


This weekend is our annual CRE Banner Parade. Parents: please be sure to arrive on time and to have your kids go directly to their classrooms.  After service, come check out how beautiful their banners are as they hang in the Atrium Crossing!

Budget Forum!

This Sunday we will hold our mid-year financial update from 12:30 to 2 p.m. This is a chance for you to be engaged, learn about our finances, and make your voice heard. Lunch will be provided, so please consider joining us.

UU Campus Ministry *  Welcome back – you have been missed! We will meet at FUS this Sunday, January 25, for food and fellowship; 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Gaebler Living Room. Open and welcoming to all college students – we hope you will join us! (take bus routes 2 or 8 from campus).

Peace & Justice Book Club * 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.

Dance Explorations * Soothing music and gentle movement welcome you each Monday afternoon, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Open and welcoming to all. $10 one-time registration fee. Contact Janet at  /DAE for more information.

Men’s Group Meeting * All men are invited to join the Open Men’s Group meeting on Monday, January 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium. Topic: What is maturity? Do you still aspire to be more mature? For more information, Gordon at /mens.

Women In Transition Meeting * This group meets next on Monday, January 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Courtyard D. This is a drop-in group that is open to women who are experiencing any sort of change in their lives. Please call Dorit Bergen at 279-4414 for more information.

Spiritual Topics Book Group * The January meeting of the Spiritual Topics Book Group will be held on Tuesday, January 27, at 7 p.m. in Courtyard E. The Group will be discussing Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square by Paul Rasor. Note that this book has been designated as the UUA Common Read. For further information contact Ken Gage at 230-5068.

Health Issues Group * The Health Issues group meets on Wednesday, January 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium Library.  For more information, please call Amy at 841-1091.

Our next Friday Musicale features flutist Peiyi Guan and pianist Zijin Yao playing music of Schubert, Schumann, Chen Yi and Dutilleux. Join us for this free concert in the Landmark Auditorium on Friday, January 30, at 12:15 p.m.

Last call for Trivia Buffs! Wednesday, February 4. UU Team Trivia at The Brass Ring, 701 E. Washington Ave. Good beer! Good fun! What more could you want? Trivia begins at 7 p.m., but show up by 6:45 p.m. to make sure you are settled in and ready for the first question. Contact Joe Harris at jeharris56@gmail.com to reserve your seat!

Food waste digester tour – Water Sentinels * Join us on Thursday, February 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to tour the UW Oshkosh Bio-Gas plant. Madison, which plans to build its own digester in 2017, sends organic waste to this plant as part of a pilot project. Participants will get a close-up view of how a food-waste digester works and the distinctions between food-waste and manure digesters. An option on the return is a stop at the Rosendale Dairy Farm manure digester. Tour limited to 20 people; age 15+. You must navigate stairs and dress appropriately for weather. Carpooling & Lunch stop planned. RSVP: Liz Wessel, 238-9934 or lizmwessel@gmail.com.

The FUS MOSES Ministry Team will resume monthly ministry meetings on Wednesday, February 11, at 4:30 p.m.  All are invited.

A Poetry Workshop with the Alliance * At noon Wednesday, February 11, the Women’s Alliance will meet for brown bag lunch at Oakwood Village West before joining FUS member and published poet, Robin Chapman, for her workshop, “Metaphor in Poetry.” Bring your pen and ideas. Call 249-4549 for more information.

Trees for Tomorrow Winter
Retreat & XC Ski Weekend

Registration is now open for our annual Trees for Tomorrow Winter Fun weekend on February 20-22.
Members and friends have been enjoying the simple lodgings, fellowship, excellent skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities at Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River, Wisconsin for over 25 years. It is a wonderful weekend. Please join us! Registration includes meals, and lodging in family style dorms, a nature program and free snowshoe rental.
Cost is $117 for adults, $73 for youth (6-17). Kids under 6 are free. Go to /trees to register. Remember, we can’t confirm your spot until we receive payment! Registration closes on February 12.

The Winter Farmers’
Market and Breakfast
Saturday, February 21
Market open 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Breakfast from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Our FUS Winter Farmers’ Market returns with great local food and products, activities for kids, live music, and a delicious breakfast prepared by Abigail Gage and the Food Haulers. The breakfast is prepared using items sourced from participating vendors and other local producers.
Registration is highly recommended if you would like to share our meal. You can register at /market. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids and students, $25 for families. Volunteers are needed. Contact Rev. Kelly at /ministerRE or 233-9774, ext. 112. Menu, vendor information, and more at /market.

“MOSAiC” Resumes on February 23 * 6:30-8 p.m. MOSAiC is our monthly gathering to discuss and delve more deeply into our monthly worship themes. On the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium Auditorium, we come together to explore and expand our understanding of each topic. The evening will begin with a welcome and introduction by Rev. Kelly Crocker, followed by small group discussions. February topic: Charity. More at /MOSAIC.

Teen Service Trip * FUS is once again sponsoring a Teen Service Trip to Camp Friendship in Annandale, MN. Teens ages 15 to 18 are invited to work with campers with developmental, physical and other disabilities. We’ll be there for two different weeks: June 20-26, and July 11-16. Last year’s trip brought great experiences, fond memories, and good, hard work! No doubt this year’s will bring the same. For more information and to download an application, go to /youth.

Friends of the Meeting House Sponsor Tour to Racine * Join the Friends and enjoy a bus tour of iconic FL Wright masterpieces! The tour will visit the Wright-designed SC Johnson campus and home ‘Wingspread’ on Friday, February 27. Can’t make the tour? Join the Friends anyway! Your membership supports preservation work on the Meeting House. Go to /friends for details and sign-up.

Cabaret is coming back!

YES, Cabaret is coming back this Spring per popular demand! Watch Red Floors for updates going forward. For now, save the date Friday, April 24 on your calendar. You do not want to miss this year’s Spring auction event. Questions? Ideas? Contact Sally Bowers, Director of Development at /developmentdirector or 233-9774 x 123.

Registration is Open for Our Winter/Spring Adult Education Classes

The Winter/Spring Adult Education catalog has been mailed and registration is now open on-line. Stop by the Adult Education display in the Commons after services or visit /adult-ed. Childcare is available upon request for many programs; contact Deb Mies at /REprogramcoordinator for more information.

Classes beginning soon…

“Whovian Theology” begins
Sunday, January 25

Join Sasha Ostrom, our Ministerial Intern, and popular presenter, in this family-friendly theolog­ical course on Sunday evenings, Jan 25, Feb 8, 15, 22 and Mar 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. in Courtyard ABC  The program is intended for older children, youth and adults who love or are curi­ous about the hit BBC television show, “Doctor Who.”  Plenty of popcorn, fun, and multigenerational conversation for those who join us! No fee for high school or college-age students.Registration will be accepted at the door.   Fee:

$25 pledged/$35 non-pledged More at /whoian.
Considerations on the Origin and
Evolution of the Universe
Where It Has Been? Monday, January 26

Where It Is Going? Monday, February 9

More at /origins.

“Why Whiteness Matters”
begins Sunday, February 1

More at /whiteness  

Nature as Spiritual Sustenance –
A Spring Retreat 

Join Retreat Leaders FUS Rev. Michael & Trina Schuler, and their Papillon Sasha at the Serene Pilgrim Center on Green Lake, April 10-12, 2015. Registration is now open. Early Bird Fee of $230 due by March 8. Vegetarian option.  For Retreat information /retreat , and to register online:  /ae-registration or contact Deb Mies at 233-9774, ext. 114. Contact Trina at Trinass@gmail.com for questions about the Retreat.

This weekend: “Who’s Afraid of Solitude?”

Worship Services, January 24 & 25

By Michael A. Schuler, Senior Minister

Human beings are social animals, which means that is stresses us to be isolated.  Prison officials – not to mention those folks in the CIA – recognize that long-term “administrative segregation” (also called solitary confinement) is one of the harshest punishments they can inflict.  On the other hand, spiritual seekers throughout the ages have sought solitude – in desert,  mountain or a monastic cell – in the belief that it is conducive to their development.  How much solitude do we need, and what sort of benefits might it confer?

Musically, on Saturday, Linda Warren will play solo music for celtic harp, arranged by and in memory of her life-long friend Kathy Bundock Moore. Sunday, the Society Choir will sing, and Dan Broner will play Sonata No. 3, Op. 46, published in 1947 by the Soviet composer Dmitri Kabalevsky and popularized by the Ukrainian pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

Join us Saturday, January 24 at 4:30 p.m. or Sunday, January 25 at 9 & 11 a.m.


Caregiver Gathering on Jan 24th

This winter, caregivers will have an opportunity to begin gathering together regularly in community for reflection, mutual support and spiritual deepening.  This month, we will gather to explore different ways of thinking about our caregiving journeys, including the possibility of seeing caregiving as a spiritual practice or even spiritual path. 

We will be meeting in the Gaebler Living Room from 6:30pm-8pm on Saturday, January 24th.  If you have questions, please contact Nastasha Ostrom at sashao@fusmadison.org or 233-9774 ext. 124.

Get a Head Start on Giving in 2015

A number of members made large contributions last month, and a few paid multiple years of pledging in advance. Several also transferred stocks or mutual funds directly to FUS, and we’ve received over $153,000 of securities into our Ameritrade account in six months.

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

A 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. Gifts this January count for 2015, and we will send a statement reminding what you gave when you do your taxes.

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

To make a contribution in the New Year, visit http://fusmadison.org/donation


Quest: A Spiritual Journey | Coming August 2015

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet and learn to be home.  -  Wendell Berry

Quest is an innovative and transformative adult faith development program created here, in this faith community, by dedicated lay leaders and ministers. This two-year program was born of the desire to create an intentional spiritual community, where participants are encouraged to value spiritual exploration, to practice our spiritual principles in everyday life, and to reach outward in compassion and connectedness.

This journey is shared in community with fellow learners, who together create an environment conducive to and supportive of reflection and self-exploration.

Quest IV will begin in August 2015. Informational Sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Sunday, February 15, 2015; between worship services, in the Landmark Auditorium
  • Sunday, February 22, 2015; between worship services, in the Landmark Auditorium
  • Saturday, February 28, 2015; following the worship service, in the Landmark Auditorium

Following a brief presentation, members of the Quest Ministry Team, Quest leadership, and former Quest participants will be available to share their experiences and to answer questions.

Want info now? Please contact Janet Swanson, Director of Adult Spiritual Programs, and the Program Director for Quest, at /DAE.


January 25th – FUS Budget Forum

On the fourth Sunday of the year, we’ll hold our mid-year financial update from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Members own this congregation, and we look to you for thoughts, advice and guidance.

This is a chance for you to be engaged, learn about our finances, and make your voice heard. Lunch will be provided, so please consider joining us.

P.S.: Make an end of year donation at http://fusmadison.org/give.