Main Line QuiltersThroughout the month of November, an exquisite collection of quilts is on display in the Fireside Room of MLUC. This exhibit will be expanded on Saturday, November 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., as the Main Line Quilters Guild presents "A Quilter’s Perspective: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." The show will feature quilting demonstrations and a boutique of handmade quilts. Light refreshments will be for sale, and there is a small entrance fee of $5.00. The event is sponsored by Steve's Sewing Vacuum and Quilting in King of Prussia.

The Main Line Quilters Guild was founded in 1975, and is a member of the National Quilting Association. With 40 members, the guild is diverse, and includes people of all levels and interest. They offer many programs and workshops throughout the year. Join us at MLUC to learn practical skills and fun facts like why some quilters have long arms! Visit the guild online at www.mainlinequilters.org.

MLUCSocialJusticeAwardMembers at Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) were thrilled to receive the news that the church had won the Congregational Social Justice Award from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). The award recognizes a church’s overall institutional efforts to advance human rights work, and was presented at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rev. Dr. William Schulz, President of the UUSC, praised MLUC’s efforts to raise money and awareness for social justice issues at the local, national, and international level. He said,

“In addition to their phenomenal support of UUSC’s Guest at Your Table program, Main Line frequently conducts collections for emergency appeals such as the Somalia and East Africa Famine Relief Fund. Main Line was also one of the first congregations to form its own delegation for a JustWorks service learning trip, which involved a week building an eco-village in Haiti and hosting a Symposium for Haitian Service after their return. Main Line’s impressive efforts raised more than $50,000 for UUSC in fiscal year 2012. But more importantly, Main Line’s deeper connection with UUSC and their broad outreach merit the Social Justice Congregation Award.”

Rev. Morgan McLean, Associate Minister at MLUC and leader of this year’s General Assembly delegation, was proud and happy that the church’s efforts were recognized by the UUSC. More than 50 percent of MLUC members are active in UUSC.

“As Unitarian Universalists,” McLean stated, “we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and our social action programs allow us to put our faith into practice. I am so proud of our congregation for their commitment to justice at home and around the world.”

Main Line Unitarian Church is hosting a Social Action Fair on Friday, September 21 that leads into a CD Release Concert from activist songwriters emma’s revolution. The fair is free and open to the public, and will feature opportunities to learn about and get involved in the variety of social action programs at the church, addressing issues such as reproductive justice, immigration rights, LGBT rights, environmental justice, voting rights, and more. Tickets for the emma’s revolution concert can be purchased online at www.emmasrevolution.com/live.

The social action program at MLUC has recently been restructured to be more comprehensive, encompassing information on the many annual, semi-annual, or one-time service events and educational programs offered by the church. The Social Action Leadership Team includes representatives from each committee or group that has organized outreach events in the past, and makes it easier to point visitors and new members in the right direction to meet their desire to serve. To learn more about social action at MLUC, visit www.mluc.org/social-action.

Photo: Members of Main Line Unitarian Church are presented with the Congregational Social Justice Award at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2012. From left: church members Hiro Nishikawa, Rob Williams, Grace Williams, Rev. Morgan R. McLean, UUSC President Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz, Catharine Williams, Rachael Milles, Susan Milles, and Sam Wilson.

familysupportlinewebRecently, Patricia Kosinski, Executive Director of Family Support Line, visited Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) to lead a forum on sexual abuse for church members and friends. In her presentation, she provided training on the responsibility of individuals and institutions to report sexual abuse of any kind, but especially sexual abuse of children. In the wake of public child abuse scandals like that at Penn State University, organizations like Family Support Line are integral in educating individuals and preventing children from being abused.

Family Support Line, located in Media, PA, began in 1984 as a group of social service professionals and private citizens concerned about child sexual abuse, and quickly grew into an incorporated organization focused on providing specialized treatment for children and their families. They also develop educational seminars that provide a comprehensive approach to the prevention and early detection of child sexual abuse.

Members of the MLUC congregation were glad for the opportunity to learn more about preventive practices and early warning signs of child abuse during Kosinski’s presentation. Pat explained to them the phenomenon of “bystander effect,” in which otherwise responsible adults neglect to report abuse when they have implicit or explicit knowledge of it.

Family Support Line shares MLUC’s core values, including the belief that all people are inherently dignified. The church named the organization as the recipient for their Offering Outreach program in the month of February, which donates half of the monthly collection to a local non-profit. Kosinski happily accepted a donation check for $2,103.

She said of the donation, “This much-appreciated support from Main Line Unitarian Church will allow Family Support Line to offer our services at a free or reduced cost. We have therapists specially trained to work with the trauma of child sexual abuse, and we provide prevention seminars for parents and children in schools and the community. In 2011, our efforts reached nearly 10,000 people.”

For more information on Family Support Line, including how to get involved, visit www.familysupportline.org. To read more about Main Line Unitarian Church’s Offering Outreach program, visit www.mluc.org/social-action/offering-outreach.

 Main Line Unitarian Church is pleased to announce the new Director of Religious Education, Joy Berry. The search committee unanimously and excitedly recommended Joy as our top candidate. We received 16 applicants, invited six for phone interviews, and three for in-person interviews. Pam Lehman, Kyle Cunningham, Mark DiMarino, Brock Myers, and Chris Stevens were a tremendous group! They dedicated a lot of time to reviewing the materials, interviewing the candidates, talking to references, and discussing as a group what each candidate would mean for this church.

joyberryJoy Berry is excited to join MLUC after three years with a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Arkansas. She is passionate about UU identity and community, and especially enjoys bringing moments of wonder, mystery, and awe into the lives of children, who she believes are naturally religious, asking big questions with an open mind about all possible answers.

A mother of three children, aged 18, 9, and 3, Joy has spent her life deeply engaged with questions about what children need to thrive, to grow, and to see themselves as powerful agents of good in a challenging world. She sees the future of Unitarian Universalism as one that models for children and youth how to use their hearts, minds, and hands to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Formerly a children's museum educator, she is particularly interested in hands-on learning that supports holistic learning experiences. Joy was a long-time volunteer leader with La Leche League, and has been involved with many projects focusing on community and parenting. She earned her Master's degree in Sociology with an emphasis on cross-cultural and American mothering and childrearing. For fun, Joy has been raising and breeding a line of olive-green egg-laying chickens as well as the critically endangered Black Javas. She hopes to continue beekeeping and chicken-raising, as well as organic gardening, here in her new home, along with her husband and children.

Thank you all for your continued interest in and support of our Religious Education program. We are very excited to have Joy on board!

hostsforhospitalswebMembers at Main Line Unitarian Church are always looking for inspiring non-profit organizations to team up with, and Philadelphia-based Hosts for Hospitals was a natural fit for the church’s Offering Outreach program. The organization provides free lodging for family members of patients who come to the Greater Philadelphia area for specialized medical care. Hosts for Hospitals organizes a network of volunteers who open their homes so that family members can focus on supporting their loved ones in a time of need rather than worry about the financial costs of being together.

Hosts for Hospitals was founded in 2000, after Executive Director Michael Aichenbaum had successfully beaten leukemia with the help of a bone marrow transplant. While receiving treatment in New York, his family racked up $20,000 in housing expenses to be with him. When he had the opportunity to start an organization that would help families in similar situations, he knew he had to take it.

Because of excellent local facilities such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, patients and families come from all over the world to receive the best medical care. Hosts for Hospitals has placed families from all 50 states and more than 85 countries, including 100 Haitian families in 2010.

Main Line Unitarian Church Trustee J.B. Hillman recognized the amazing work Hosts for Hospitals has accomplished in their 12 years. He said, “The mission of Hosts for Hospitals is aligned with our core Unitarian Universalist values of service and dignity. An organization that provides shelter and reduces stress for those in crisis is worthy of not only our financial gifts, but, as several of our members regularly demonstrate, our direct involvement in hosting these individuals and families. We are honored to offer our gifts in support of Hosts for Hospitals.”

Aichenbaum recently visited Main Line Unitarian Church to meet with Rev. Morgan McLean and express his gratitude at being selected as the church’s Offering Outreach organization for the month of December. Through the program, the church donates half of the monthly collection to a deserving non-profit or charity. Hosts for Hospitals received a donation of $2,108.

Aichenbaum said, “This timely donation will help us move forward with some of our core projects. Most immediately we will be able to continue shooting videos of hosts with their guests, which we post on YouTube to inspire other local families to volunteer for the program. With more hosts, over the coming months we will be able to offer free lodging to more patient-families with long-term needs, such as when a loved one is hospitalized at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, or the Crozier Burn Center in Upland.”

To learn more about Hosts for Hospitals, make a donation, or volunteer as a host, visit www.hostsforhospitals.org. To view past organizations that have been a part of the Main Line Unitarian Church Offering Outreach program, visit www.mluc.org/social-action/offering-outreach.

Photo: Hosts for Hospitals Executive Director Michael Aichenbaum receives a donation check in the amount of $2,108 from Rev. Morgan R. McLean of Main Line Unitarian Church. Hosts for Hospitals provides free lodging for family members of patients who come to the Greater Philadelphia area for specialized medical care. The church’s Offering Outreach program donates half of the monthly collection to a deserving non-profit organization. Photo courtesy of MLUC Communications.