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Together, we transform lives through love, service, and our welcoming faith.

Read Our Mission Statement

September 17: Not Who but What Causes Gun Violence?
Rev. Dr. Neal R. Jones
Music: Leslie Wright Riley, soprano
The United States has more gun deaths than any other country in the world. On this legislative advocacy Sunday, we will explore the reason.

September 24: Some Second Thoughts About Forgiveness
Rev. Dr Neal R. Jones
Music: Deborah Reeder, cello
The Jewish New Year begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur, ten days of penitance. We will look anew at the practice of forgiveness with a more critical eye. What can forgiveness accomplish, and what are its limitations? Should forgiveness always be granted?

Services are held at 10:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
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Latest News

MLUC Kirtan Workshop


22 September 2017 Views: 10

MLUC Kirtan Workshop


22 September 2017

Water Communion: September 10


31 August 2017 Views: 40

Water Communion: September 10


31 August 2017

Background Check Instructions


11 August 2017 Views: 233

Background Check Instructions


11 August 2017

Introducing Our New DRE


13 July 2017 Views: 203

Introducing Our New DRE


13 July 2017

MLUC Caregiver's Support Group


07 July 2017 Views: 111

MLUC Caregiver's Support Group


07 July 2017

Strategic Planning Report


14 June 2017 Views: 158

Strategic Planning Report


14 June 2017

A Single 10:00 Worship Service


11 May 2017 Views: 479

A Single 10:00 Worship Service


11 May 2017

Congregational Meeting


05 May 2017 Views: 202

Congregational Meeting


05 May 2017

MLUC meditation groups presents..Picture1

Weaving Community: Chanting and Resilience Practices for Healing Our World
Saturday, November 18

An experiential workshop on Kirtan, a call and response chanting technique for mindfulness, presence, and resilience.

Workshop: 3-5 pm | Potluck Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm | Kirtan: 7-9 pm
Suggested donation: $20 workshop | $20 Kirtan | $30 for both
No one turned away for lack of funds
Childcare available with pre-registration

Led by workshop facilitators Steven Groff and Sarah Halley, who will be joined by friends: Shakti Devi, Angelo John, Randy and Marianne Sutin, Laura Kalnajs, and Mira for an evening of lively music and inviting chanting.

Email  to sign up.

waterWelcome Back!

After a summer of church renovations and personal vacations, we will gather back together to start a new church year with our traditional water communion—only this year, it will not be so traditional!

On September 10 please bring two items with you:

  • A small container of water from wherever you spent your summer, whether at home or some faraway location

  • And a canned food item, which will be collected at our service by our children. Our own Ed Barrett will distribute these food donations at Trinity House, a low income housing project here in our community.


And remember, we will have a single, unified service this church year at 10:00 a.m.

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are some very specific requirements for people who will be working as volunteers with children:

One: Complete a Pennsylvania Criminal Record background check through PATCH here. It is free and is a fairly painless procedure. After navigating several screens you will get a result which looks like this:

bgc1

 

Click on the blue link starting with an R (shown in this picture covered with a gray box with x’s for privacy’s sake.  That will get you to this screen:

bgc2

 

You’re still not quite done: click on the link that says Certification Form at the bottom of this screen. THAT will get you your actual certificate:

bgc3

Once this is on your screen you can print it directly, or you can start the printing process and then in the print dialogue tell your computer to save it as a PDF, which you will be able to print or email directly to us.


TWO: Complete a Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance. You can do that here: ChildLine. It is free and a hugely time-consuming process (Sorry. Not our idea.) There are a number of steps.

1         Create an account

2         Check your email for your Username (which you just created) and a temporary password

3         Log back in using the temporary password

4         Create a permanent password, with very specific guidelines about what is permitted/required

5         Log back in AGAIN using the permanent password

6         Create an application for your clearance, which involves listing every PERSON and PLACE that you have lived in/with since 1975. No, we’re not kidding.

7         Wait about 2 weeks for the agency to complete your check. At that point, they should email you that your clearance is ready and you should be able to access it online, especially if you wrote down your extremely complicated password. They will also mail you a copy if you selected that option.


THREE: either submit a Volunteer Application OR have your fingerprints taken for an FBI background check.

If you have lived in Pennsylvania for ALL of the past 10 years, you can download the Volunteer Application, print it out, sign it, have someone witness that you signed it (does not need to be notarized or anything – just someone else who saw you sign it) and send it to us either by scanning, mailing, or handing it to us in person.

If you have NOT lived in Pennsylvania for ALL of the past 10 years, you will need to register online to have your fingerprints taken for an FBI background check. Registering is pretty easy: go to Cogent Public Welfare FBI Checks. If you have any difficulty with the system (sometimes it does have problems), you can also register by calling 1-888-439-2486.

Things to note #1: it is NOT free (cost ~$25).
 If this is a cost you are able to absorb, well and good. If it is a hardship for you, please do not hesitate to ask for us to cover the cost (email ]. 

Things to note #2: it is VERY IMPORTANT to use the link above and NOT go looking on your own and find the Department of Education link, which looks the same but will not get you what we need. For reasons best known to bureaucracy, there are two ways to get an FBI fingerprint background check in PA. One is through the Department of Public Welfare; once you’ve had your fingerprints taken YOU are mailed a paper certificate which you can take anywhere you’re volunteering to prove that you are authorized to do so. The other is through the Department of Education and once you’ve had your fingerprints taken the results go into a database only schools can access. This also means that if you work or volunteer in a school and had your fingerprints done there, we cannot accept the unofficial printout showing that for this portion of the background check process. (Again, sorry. Not our idea.)

Once you are registered, you make an appointment directly with a fingerprinting location to go in person and have your fingerprints taken digitally. The list of locations is can be found here (under “Print Site Locations: Print Locations and Hours.”)

Several weeks after you go have your fingerprints taken you will receive a blue shaded paper certificate. Bring this document to us for us to physically see in person and make a copy of (you keep the original.)

 

All of these certifications are good for FIVE years.

Screenshot 2017 09 06 at 12.46.42 PMDuring the worship services on April 9, Rev. Dr. Neal Jones introduced to the congregation our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Dawn Star Sarahs-Borchelt. She will oversee the Religious Education (RE) of our children, youth, and adults, plan and conduct our multigenerational services, and act as our liaison with St. David’s Nursery School.

Dawn draws from a deep reservoir of experience, having served as the DRE of the BuxMont UU Fellowship, the Youth Ministry Coordinator of All Souls Church in DC and the UU Church of Silver Spring, adjunct staff for the Joseph Priestly District, a religious education consultant for Goodloe Memorial Congregation in Maryland, and the DRE of Davies Memorial UU Church, also in Maryland.

She has just completed the Masters Level Program for religious educators, the UUA’s highest level of RE credentials. She has led RE workshops and conferences for UU congregations, clusters, and districts, and she has written RE curricula on environmental stewardship, multicultural values, bridging between age groups, and multigenerational worship. Not only is she obviously qualified, but according to her references and others who know her well, she is compassionate, personable, and has a wry sense of humor.

Perhaps Dawn’s most practical preparation to be a religious educator, however, is the fact that she is the home-schooling mother of four: Wolfy, Robin, Day, and Juniper. They, along with her husband, Matt, served as our Chalice Lighters on April 9. In addition to all of this, Dawn is also a birth doula.

Our new support group for caregivers will begin this month on Monday, July 17, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Because of the summer building construction, we do not have a location yet, but please RSVP to . Parish Nurse, Jan Cauffman will provide more details closer to the date.

helping

Living Our Mission: Strategic Planning Report

In March 2017, the Mission Task Force presented the Board of Trustees with a Strategic Planning Report. The Executive Team and the Board of Trustees are now working collaboratively to evaluate it and consider which elements to implement and how/when. The full report as well as a visual representation of its seven initiatives and four key themes are seen here.

Strategic Plan Graphic
The congregation adopted MLUC’s inspiring Mission:
“Together, We Transform Lives through Love, Service, and Our Welcoming Faith”

But our Mission cannot be a set of empty words; a lifeless creed. Instead, it must be a call to action – the collective directive that inspires and guides us, and the essential criteria by which we evaluate, develop, and measure the success of our programs and ministries. Our task as a congregation is to make the Mission come alive in our hearts and drive what we do as a loving community now and into the future.

In September 2016, we held a Living Our Mission Summit at which a wide cross-section of the congregation were challenged to address this fundamental question: What is necessary for MLUC to fully live its Mission? Seven key strategic initiatives emerged from that Summit:

1. Inspire Greater Engagement in Our Church;
2. Serve the Needs of Our Local Community;
3. Engage and Support Children, Youth and Families More Deeply;
4. Program for a Diverse Congregation;
5. Become Better Known in the Community;
6. Develop and Sustain Leadership;
7. Fund our Mission.

Following the Summit, Action Groups considered each of those initiatives and proposed concrete plans for accomplishing them. In reviewing the seven action plans, the Mission Task Force identified a four common themes that emerged from and animated the specific plans:
1. Enhance Our Loving Community
2. Engage in Our Local Community
3. Spiritual Growth
4. Sustainability

 

To learn more, see the Full Report.

A Single 10:00 Worship Service logo

After gathering feedback from our Board of Trustees, the Choir, the Church School Committee and other RE volunteers, my Search Committee, two “town hall” meetings, and lots of emails and personal conversations, the overwhelming response I have received is that we should continue our summer schedule of having a single 10:00 worship service throughout the church year. The primary benefits will be:

1. Instead of having one sparsely attended, subdued service at 9:00 and one well-attended, vibrant service at 11:00, the whole congregation will experience one unified, energetic worship service at 10:00. This will be especially appealing to potential new members.

2.  Instead of having duplicated sets of sparsely attended RE classes, we will have unified, well- attended classes and a single set of RE teachers. This will simplify recruiting and planning for our new DLRE and RE volunteers, as well as for our ushers and greeters.

3.  A single 10:00 service will allow us to have meetings and groups before and after the service, and post-service meetings will not interfere with lunch plans. Also, members who normally attend the 9:00 service will no longer have to miss meetings and events scheduled after the 11:00 service.

4.  When our attendance grows again -- and I fully expect that it will in time with a fulltime DLRE and our hosting a Nursery School -- we can always accommodate the larger numbers by going back to two services.

So it appears to be win-win all the way around. I want to thank everyone who has shared their opinions and suggestions (such as asking able-bodied members to park in the Ditmar Park parking lot when attendance spikes this fall).

With the exception of May 21, May 28, and June 4, we will continue to have a 9:00 and 11:00 service until our summer schedule of having a single 10:00 service begins on June 25.

With appreciation for your input,
Neal

Congregational Meeting
Plan to attend MLUC's Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 21 at 11:15 a.m., where all members will have the opportunity to review and approve next year's budget and elect Trustees and members of the Nominating Committee. (There will be one service at 10:00 a.m. on both May 21 and May 28.)