Nurturing Unitarian Universalism Right Here!

by Leslie Ross, Director of Children’s Religious Education

One of the wonderful things about being in a community of UUs is that so many of us are committed to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

Fortunately, both Madison and FUS provide many opportunities to channel that kind of passion and commitment. One such opportunity at FUS is teaching in our Children’s Religious Education program. What better way to promote the values and priorities that draw us to Unitarian Universalism? Depending on what and who you teach, becoming a CRE teacher can enrich your life in many ways. Teaching provides opportunities to fall under the intoxicating spell of children’s sense of wonder. It helps us to deepen our own understanding of our UU faith – our roots, our accomplishments, and our distinctness as a faith. It broadens our understanding of other faiths and the bridges that connect us. And it helps to nurture a UU identity that will propel our denomination into future generations. If you sign on to teach, you will receive the training, materials and supplies needed. You’ll join a team of two to three others to share the joys and challenges with. And you’ll get to know inspiring kids and wonderful parents. Please consider making a commitment to teach next Fall. Our “school” year goes from mid-September ’til mid-May. Generally speaking, teachers are in the classroom twice per month. With enrollment anticipated to hit 500 by September, our need is great, and you can help fill it! For more information, please contact Leslie Ross at /DRE. She’s happy to discuss teaching options with you to find the fit that’s just right for your interests and strengths.

Start Saving Water!

Our annual Water Communion celebration will take place on Sunday, August 24, at our 9 and 11 a.m. services. Wherever your travels take you this summer, near or far or home, be sure to gather a small amount of water from a lake, stream, ocean or faucet to add to our common bowls.

This is a wonderful celebration of community, and a portion of our water is purified and set aside for the child dedication ceremonies that are held throughout the year.

Meet our Newest Trustee: Carol Roan

In June we Madison) and is currently the Study Director for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a fascinating project that has followed 10,000 Wisconsinites throughout their lives. You have to ask her about this when you see her in the Commons.

Here are a few things that popped out in conversation with Carol:

  • Carol and her family have been members of FUS since 1992, when she and Jim Schewe, her husband, were grad students. They came to FUS hoping to meet new people (non-sociologists), and found a warm reception in the Saturday congregation.
  • Both of their sons have been active in the Religious Education Program, and their youngest, Ted, just finished Coming of Age last year.
  • Carol’s involvement has included teaching a countless number of RE classes, and washing up many dishes. She is a long-time member of a chalice group, served for a year on the annual campaign, and recruited volunteers to bring post-service snacks.
  • Growing up in the Detroit suburbs (“boring!”) she was raised catholic, but “it didn’t stick.” She now considers herself a Religious Humanist. The word that came up immediately was “service.”
  • Carol is hoping to open a new chapter in her involvement in the church; thus her candidacy for a Trustee post (and Jim’s plans to be a facilitator in the Coming of Age program).

Asked about what she hopes for in the future of FUS, Carol pointed to the recent study, and the congregation’s interest in deepening connections among members. Deepening connections sounds good, Carol. Thanks for being a Trustee!

More Future FUS Field Trips….

Last month, over 150 of our folks got together at the Duck Pond to enjoy some brats, beer and baseball with the Madison Mallards.  It was three times the number we expected, which encouraged us to do more FUS outings in the future.  Whether it is heading out to a UW Women’s Hockey match, an American Players Theater show, or a Mad Dolls Roller Derby or some other event, we hope you’ll join us in the future. 

If you have an idea of where we should go, or want to coordinate an FUS outing yourself, please contact Jeanne Sears at 608/233-9774 x 116.

Update on Pride Parade Info

The Red Floors has an error. This is the correct information about the Pride Parade.

Stand on the Side of Love at the Pride Parade!
On Sunday, August 10, OutReach is hosting the Pride Parade in Madison. The theme this year will be “Equality Marches Forward – 25 years of Celebrating LGBT.” Parade staging happens at 1 pm at the new Central Park on the near-east side, followed by a 2 p.m. march to the Capitol, where the celebration continues until 5 p.m. FUS, James Reeb UU and Prairie UU will march behind the Standing on Side of Love banner. This year, we’d like to have a flag team perform an easy routine along the route. If you’d like to be a “Flaggie,” Contact team leader Elizabeth Barrett. at

News From the Red Floors for July 18 to 25, 2014

News From the Red Floors for July 18 to 25, 2014

Greetings! Rev. Schuler

This weekend FUS is hosting a very special guest, Roger Kuhns — a scientist, song-writer, world traveler and accomplished performer.   In addition to tag-teaming with yours truly on Sunday, Roger will bring his unique one-man show, “Dream Time Down Under,” to the Landmark Auditorium on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

   A combination of original songs and personal impressions of life in the Australian Outback, “Dream Time Down Under” is guaranteed both to entertain and give you something to think about.  Admission at the door is only $10 ($5 for kids), but no one will be turned away for lack of financial resources. I hope to see many of you there.

    — Michael 

Join us this Sunday for Summer Fun! Kids ages 4-13 are invited to join us for Summer Fun this Sunday during our worship services. This week we’re talking about horses! Gallop on over to Courtyard ABC for some summer fun! Please sign in with Sara as you enter the building.

Sign-up for Service Sunday!
Please volunteer for a Service Sunday project on the FUS web site or in person at the Service Sunday table in the Commons on Sundays throughout July.  There is a project needing your help, regardless of your age or ability. Most projects begin after a 9-9:30 a.m. service in the Auditorium and are completed in time to join other volunteers at FUS for lunch and a wrap-up discussion at noon.

Join our Service Sunday Drum Circle: drummers of all ages are welcome to join in a circle that will introduce our 9 a.m. worship service on Sunday, August 3. Please join Dan Broner near the front of the Atrium Auditorium at 8:50 a.m. You may bring your own drum or use one of ours.

“Survey Says….”
Over 40% of our people sent back more than 50,000 specific responses to 98 questions, and a few items that really stuck out.  We will be going over results in detail in the Atrium Auditorium, at 12:30 p.m. this Sunday July 20. For example, a whopping 93% self-identified as liberal.  About the same percentage of respondents (94%) completed college, while a staggering 71% have post-graduate education.  Most are involved because FUS represents and promotes their values (33%), or provides a forum for spiritual exploration (26%). This considerable project was organized by Nathan Henry, a national expert on surveys and polling, and an FUS member. He will be presenting the detailed cross-tabs and findings after service this Sunday, July 20, so feel free to stop by with questions and queries. See more at

Send Us Your Water Photos  What’s your connection to water? The Water Sentinel Team is preparing a “water” slideshow for FUS’s annual water communion service on Sunday, August 24. If you would like to have your special photo be considered, please send no more than two high resolution photos to Herb Garn,, by Friday,  August 1. The picture should represent your connection to water. A drinking fountain, rain drops, kayak trip, special lake, etc. Also, don’t forget to collect a small vial of water to bring to the service. —The Water Sentinel Team

Come Learn with Us! * Did you know that one of our congregation’s Vision of Ministry items is to foster multi-generational activities? You can be a part of achieving that vision by volunteering to teach one of our Children’s Religious Education classes. They are fun, educational for kids AND adults, and are a great way to meet others in this awesome community. Classes begin September 6 and go through May 17 with many weeks off in between. Teachers are generally in the classroom only twice per month. We have many spots available for teaching many different ages. Contact Leslie Ross at /DRE to discuss the best fit for you!

UU Business Directory * If you are looking to hire somebody, for any reason, check out our FUS business directory at to find a good fit from FUS.

Dance Explorations will NOT meet this Monday, July 21. Join us again on Monday, July 28, for music, movement and merriment! Open to all ages and abilities. Questions? Contact Janet at 233-9774 x 131

Spiritual Topics Book Group
The Spiritual Topics Book Group will discuss John Buehrens’s book: Universalists and Unitarians in America: A People’s History on Tuesday, July 22, at 7 p.m. in the Gaebler Living Room. For further information please contact Ken Gage at 230-5068.

July 29 * FUS Foundation Annual Meeting The First Unitarian Society Foundation of Madison, Inc. will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, July 29, at 7 p.m. in Gaebler Living Room. All FUS members are invited to attend.

Pride Parade! * On Sunday, August 10, OutReach is hosting the Pride Parade in Madison. The theme this year will be “Equality Marches Forward – 25 years of Celebrating LGBT.” Parade staging happens at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. march to the Capitol, where the celebration continues until 5 p.m. FUS annually sponsors Madison Pride events and marches with James Reeb UU and Prairie UU. Contact team leader Elizabeth Barrett. at

Pride Parade needs volunteers!   Celebrate our whole community.  The 2014 LGBT Pride Parade will be on August 10 and is coordinated by Outreach Community Center.  IF you aren’t marching with FUS, take a seat!  Outreach needs volunteer block captain to monitor the parade route.  Training on July 28 – Free pizza and a t-shirt!  Parade on August 10.  Call Angie 608-255-8582 or

Peace & Justice Book Club * Next meeting: Monday, August 25, 7 p.m. in Courtyard B. Book selection: Brightsided by Barbara Ehrenreich. Please bring ideas for future books.

IHN: Doing Something about Homelessness * Volunteers are urgently needed to continue the FUS role in Madison’s Interfaith Hospitality Network, a highly successful program to get families out of homelessness. Volunteers can provide part of a meal, a few hours of labor, a couple of hours of company, or help with other tasks. Children with families are welcome. We currently are organizing volunteers to staff our week in August. Help us take real action to end homelessness. Send an e-mail to Tim at /IHN to learn more.

Interested in participating in this year’s Art in the Wright Place? The annual fundraiser will be held on Sunday, November 23. You can apply to exhibit  on-line at /artreg. The deadline for applications is August 1.

Join us at the FUS Campout
at Upham Woods!
Mark your calendars and register now so that you don’t miss the FUS Campout at Upham Woods 4H Environmental Education Center in Baraboo on the nights of Friday, August 29, and Saturday, August 30. Join us and share stories under the stars, music around the campfire, games, and adventures to remember. To find more information and to register, go to beginning July 1.

Mallards Fun Last month, over 150 of our folks got together at the Duck Pond to enjoy some brats, beer and baseball with the Madison Mallards. It was three times the number we expected, which encouraged us to do more FUS outings in the future. Whether it is heading out to a UW Women’s Hockey match, an American Players Theater show, Mad Dolls Roller Derby or some other event, we hope you’ll join us in the future. If you have an idea of where we should go, or want to coordinate an FUS outing yourself, please contact Jeanne Sears at 233-9774 x 116 or

Help Wanted FUS is hiring a Podcast Specialist for 15 hours a week to create audio content and build out our podcast library. Programs will consist of content from FUS events, historical archives, educational seminars and worship services. We will also work with the local progressive non-profits with whom we’ve partnered. More people are now receiving information over laptops, smart phones, and computers hooked directly into a home television. As we move to stream worship services live over the internet, we see the potential of podcasts to allow people to enjoy our message on their own time, and in their own space, and bring them into our community. The applicant should have a strong background in digital audio, studio recording, and the creation of podcasts.  For a full job description, visit /jobs.


FUS Sunday Morning – “Environmental Responsibility on a Personal Level”

by Roger James Kuhns, 9 am and 11 am Sunday

With a new and incredible Climate Change
report out, and with renewed action by the
President, and with intense denial by some,
it seems an appropriate time to consider the
question: “What can I do as just one person?”

Today’s guest speaker will explore our responsibility
to future generations as well as the
question of meeting our more immediate needs
in what he describes as a philosophical and
ethical reflection.

Roger Kuhns is a writer, scientist, composer
and performer whose work has been featured
on PBS’s “Higher Ground.”
Our guest preacher, singer-songwriter Roger
Kuhns, will perform the musical offerings.

This Saturday at FUS – “Dream Time Down Under”

by Roger James Kuhns
July 19 • 7 p.m.
Landmark Auditorium
Admission: $10 adults; $5 under 12

Australia’s Outback is a vast and magical environment rich in unique vegetation and wildlife, underpinned by ancient volcanoes and ocean beds, and interfused with mystical beliefs and precious minerals. It was into this land that the geologist/writer Dr. Roger Kuhns ventured at the behest of Oliver, his friend and mentor. The quest was two-fold: to search for minerals and to find a purpose in his soul.

In the course of his travels through Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Kuhns walked with a farmer through his title-disputed paddock, and sat around an Aboriginal campfire listening to stories of their dreaming. During these travels he encountered large saltwater crocodiles and venomous king brown snakes, and wondered at the stone art depicting the most ancient of cultures.

Into this dreamtime realm, Kuhns met many people who grappled with their place in a continent turned upside down by colonialism and modern business. He saw how the mines and stations, farms and ranches pushed an Aboriginal culture to the brink of catastrophe. But then he would smile at the sight of a man, with a kangaroo tail over his shoulder, on his way home to cook dinner. Kuhns discovered in these people the resilience of the human spirit and the imperatives of relationships in this ancient geological cradle.

This is a true story crossing dimensions, time and lives that will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone.

A Wisconsin native, scientist/song-writer/performer, Roger James Kuhns holds a Ph.D. in geology and has worked professionally throughout the world. In addition to his field work and teaching, Kuhns has been writing and performing monologues for over ten years. Not to be confused with travelogues, Kuhns’ stories are dynamic performances of music and dramatic life experience. They are presented in artistic monologue form, patterned stylistically after the works of Spaulding Gray.

Kuhns has performed “Dream Time Down Under” in a number of venues and it will soon be staged at the 42nd Street Theater in New York City and at the Maine Fringe2014 Festival in Portland.

Update From the President

by Betsy Hauser

As I enter my second year as President of the FUS Board of Trustees, I am even more appreciative of our governance process and those who embody it. I appreciate the trustees and committee members, and the congregants who give voice to the process of discerning and affirming the motions put before them. A lot of pre-work goes into those motions by ministry teams, the Board, and staff. That fellow congregants want to be a part of the deliberation and affirmation of that work is richly satisfying. If you were at the June 1 Parish Meeting, you saw that glorious process at work.

The agenda contained four matters requiring approval by the congregation. Up first was whether FUS should become a member of MOSES. Lisa Munro and her ministry team did an effective job of educating us about MOSES and its mission prior to the meeting, so after good discussion the motion to allow FUS to become a member of MOSES was unanimously passed.

Next we authorized our new ministerial intern, Sasha Ohstrom, to perform weddings on behalf of FUS. And, since Sara Goodman has been asked to officiate at weddings this fall, we extended her authority, as well.

Of great interest to me was the election of three new Trustees. Many thanks go to Sandy Eskrich and the Nominating Committee for submitting to the Parish a slate of three fine candidates —Carol Roan, Mike Lienau and Kari Ehrhardt—to be Trustees (replacing Will Salvi, Gary Leisman and Patti Reardon), and for recommending that current Trustee Rob Savage become President Elect. Their election by the Parish was unanimous. The Nominating Committee also recommended that I appoint Patti Reardon to remain as chair of the Governance Committee, and that Matthew Doyle be added to Finance, Elizabeth Barrett to Governance, and Maureen Friend to Personnel; I will do so.

The fourth agenda item was approval of the FUS Operating Budget for 2014-15. After presentation by Andy Gussert, FUS COO, this, too, was passed unanimously.

Lastly, Lorna Aaronson, chair of the Ministerial Intern Ministry Team, presented Sara Goodman with tokens of our appreciation for her many contributions to life and work at FUS during her internship. While no voting was necessary, it was nonetheless unanimous that Sara will be missed.

I look forward to another year of vibrant governance at FUS; thank you for allowing me that honor.

Betsy Hauser, President

Visit Sassy Cow Creamery

Join the Water Sentinel Team at the Sassy Cow Creamery, Saturday July 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This Sassy Cow summer celebration will feature creamery and farm tours, wagon rides, and other activities in the yard.

Sassy Cow has both organic and traditional farms and milks; come learn the differences between the two styles of farming and have some summer fun. The store offers milk and ice cream treats. Location: Sassy Cow Creamery, 4192 Bristol Road, Columbus, about 7 miles north of Sun Prairie off Highway N.  Contact: Cindy Rose, 271-6440 or