December 2016 Programs

All services begin at 10:00 am


December 4  “Christmas Service of Songs”    Service Leader: Jeff Maris                             Pianist: Jade Conlee  

 Today is Christmas Cookie Sunday! See Calendar of events for details.

December 11  “God in the World’        Bob Poczik, Speaker   Service Leader: Sue Marom Pianist: Connie Camnitz Vocalist: Rosie Owens; Violinist: Megan Owens

December 18  “The Sound of Beauty” Donna Evans-Deyermond                                Service Leader: Diane Hart             Pianist: Jeffrey Jaskokla                              

 December 25 “Merry Christmas!” No service today                                                __________________________________________________

EDITOR’S CORNER Greetings everyone. I hope everyone is having a good November and has a Happy Thanksgiving! My apologies for no “Editor’s Corner” in the November issue. I was in the middle of a show and it was all I could do to put an issue together with just the basics, let alone write a column! Now, things have slowed down a bit, ironically during the holiday season! I know it can be a crazy time for many of you, so I hope you take a look at all that is going on in the month of December at the UUEA. My wish for you is a very blessed holiday season!



Dec 11 Bob Poczik is a graduate of Clarence Central High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the S.U.N.Y. Binghamton, and his Master’s Degree in Special Education from Syracuse University. He worked 26 years for the New York State Education Department in Albany as an administrator. Bob lived and traveled extensively abroad, including India, China, Japan and the Amazon River in Peru. After retiring, Bob has often been a presenter at community and church groups, discussing topics such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Japan, and Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

Dec 18 Donna Evans-Deyermond has a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary. She has been giving sermons at the Hamburg and East Aurora Churches for more than 25 years. Donna also had a career in public relations and freelance writing, providing feature articles to the Buffalo News, Buffalo Spree and Forever Young Magazine.  



 Dec 4 “Christmas Service of Songs” Join Jeff Maris, other church members and friends, who will present a variety of Christmas music in this special “Music Sunday” service. Stay after for “Christmas Cookie Sunday” festivities.
Dec 11 “God in the World” Through storytelling, Bob Poczik will share an experience he and his son had in the ancient Hindu city of Varanasi located on the Ganges River. There Bob made friends with an old Indian man who shared his view of God in the world, in a way that touched both father and son deeply. Through words and images, Bob will bring the experience to life.
Dec 18 “The Sound of Beauty” During the holiday season, music is a big part of getting us in the mood. So let’s talk about the sound of beauty, hear some special music and sing some of the traditional carols that help us prepare for Christmas.

Dec 25 Christmas Day. No Service                                                                                 _________________________________________________


Sunday Services Committee Meeting: There is no December meeting of the Sunday Services Committee. The next meeting will be held on January 9, 2017. New members are welcome.

Christmas Cookie Sunday: Christmas Cookie Sunday is coming on Sunday, December 4, 2016! That Sunday, Jeff Maris will lead “A Christmas Service of Songs,” and afterwards we’ll drink our coffee and tea, chat as we usually do, and eat cookies (and maybe dunk them first, for those so inclined), and enjoy a little sugar high. We ask that everyone bring a couple dozen of your favorite cookies to share. (Maybe we’ll even have enough to leave a plate of cookies for Santa.)

Board of Trustees Meeting: The December board meeting takes place on Monday, December 5th at 7:00 PM at the church. All are welcome to attend.

Buddhist Mediation: Tuesdays at 7PM.

Newsletter Deadline The December deadline for the January 2017 newsletter is December 17, 3 days earlier this month due to the holidays. Concerts: A few of our members sing in choruses and choirs in WNY.

Some upcoming concerts: “All On A Starry Night.” Buffalo Choral Arts Society. Cheektowaga Chorale. __________________________________________


Religious Education (RE) update:
The UUEA has had no RE this year and we are hoping to remedy this. We miss the children.As a first step, starting in January, we would like to institute once per month RE classes, taught by a different volunteer for each of only five Sundays. Each RE teacher could teach a class around an appropriate RE topic based on already developed lessons. The Sunday Services Committee prefers topics based on “Moral Dilemmas,” but classes might be taught based on the holidays-from-many-lands curriculum Rose Povolko worked on last year or any appropriate curriculum agreed to.
At first we thought we would select the third Sunday of every month, but that might not work out, based on volunteer availability, and we may select other dates. Please let Jeanette Geckler ( know if you are interested in having your children attend and if you would be willing to volunteer one Sunday. We already have a couple of volunteers.
Volunteers will meet in December to formalize plans and confirm dates.
Thanks so much,
Jeanette Geckler UUEA Sunday Services

* * * * * The books and dates for our book club meetings during 2016-17 are as follows:                                                                                                   Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild Jan. 20                                      A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman March 17                                      The Art Forger B.A. Shapiro May 19 *

Special Collection On Sunday December 4th , the plate collection will be used for a UUEA service project in cooperation with the Rural Outreach Center. Once again, we will fill backpacks with meals for 4 weekends in January 2017. The families that benefit are from Parkdale school; this year, that includes 30 kids in 12 families. The approximate cost for the month is $450-500. In addition to your contribution on December 4th, we need volunteers to shop, fill plastic bags with meal items, and deliver the backpacks to Parkdale on the four Fridays in January. Please let Mary Facklam know if you can help! _________________


“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.’~Eleanor Roosevelt                                                                                                                          Blessed Solstice, Season’s Greetings, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, As-salamu alaykum, Happy New Year.     May the light of our Chalice and the Principles we embrace shine brightly.“We light this beacon of hope. . . Peace on Earth?

“There can be no peace without justice.”~ Dr. Martin Luther King  

Indefensible:The wrongful prosecution of the UAlbany Three examines the ways both race and racism are viewed through competing lenses in society, and how dismissing the narratives of the most marginalized can perpetuate existing systems of oppression. It attempts to highlight the inherent problems in allowing the benefactors of racism to define and legitimize what constitutes a racially motivated act. Indefensible also looks at the intersections of oppression causing Black women in particular to be regarded as untrustworthy and undeserving of defense. The three students, all Black women, stated that leading up to the assault they were repeatedly antagonized by a group of intoxicated white students. Among those injuries were concussions and lacerations sustained by the Black women requiring medical attention. Eventually, all three women were expelled from school… (Not white students.) We all need to be paying attention to this case very closely.Institutionalized racism prevented the victims’ protection and defense of their civil rights.

The UUSC works for Social Justice: Southern Poverty Law Center works to bring people to justice who have violated CivilRights

Give the gift of hope. Not just this season, but every day of the year, we are called “To find the lost. To heal the broken. To feed the hungry. To release the prisoner. To rebuild the nations. To bring peace among people. To make music in the heart.”~Howard Thurman, The Work of Christmas (#615 Singing the Living Tradition)

A simple Act of Kindness this Holiday Season. Donate non-perishable food items to our Food Basket and help feed your neighbors in and around our community. Food insecurity is a daily reality for the elderly, children, families and the unemployed. “The perfect gift” for a most important cause. UUSC’s “The Good Buy” offers a wide variety of ethically sourced goods for sustainable living. Items that are good for the Earth and workers, putting our values for justice into action; supporting small-scale farmers and fair trade, encouraging small-batch production and local sourcing, using all-natural organic and non-GMO ingredients, sweatshop-free and eco-conscious clothing. All proceeds from The Good Buy go towards funding social justice programs administered by the UUSC.Catalogs are available on the Social Justice table. Phone: 800-766-5236 ext. 342 or 225 or 617-301-4365 (Eric Grignol) Email:

 New, relevant and spiritual book – “In Spirit”


Dear Congregations of the Central East Region, With the result of last month’s Presidential Election results we know that we are not alone in experiencing a wide range of emotions. We know that many of you are rising to this new day with more questions than answers. We do not yet know what this means for ourselves, for our congregations, for those we love, or for the vision of Beloved Community that our faith calls us to. We are here to support your efforts to change the world, and we all have a lot of work ahead of us. We are in this together. Rev. Megan Foley, Regional Lead Beth Casebolt, CER Communications Consultant of the UUA (740) 232-9048

UU Humor!

It’s near the end of the day at the Pearly Gates and there are just three people left. The first one approaches St. Peter. St. Peter asks the man his religion and the guy says that he’s a Catholic. St. Peter pages through a thick book, reads something and then asks, “Did you go to church every Sunday and receive the sacraments?” The guy says, “Oh, yes,” and St. Peter lets him into Heaven. The next guy approaches and St. Peter asks what religion he is. “I’m Jewish.” St. Peter again flips through the book, reads something and asks, “Did you study the Torah?” The guy responds, “Oh yes,” and St. Peter lets him into heaven. The last person approaches and when asked she tells St. Peter that she is UU. St. Peter again flips through his book, looks up and asks, “Did you bring a hot dish to share?”

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