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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Newsletter of the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Volume 15, Number 10 –May 2014

We Are a Welcoming Congregation

Upcoming Services

Services are on alternate Sundays at 10 AM

May 4: Rev. Bobbie Groth A Fine Day to Die Description:   Spring is the celebration of new life, but without the deaths of the winter season, spring, and new life would not be possible. Death comes to all of us, and yet, precious few of us muster the courage to confront this reality fully until we face a life-threatening event of our own or someone close to us. This sermon will focus on thinking ahead about what our own death means in the interdependent web of all existence, as well as how we would like our death to be, if we could influence it.  Not all of us will get to pick the how, when and where of our death, any more than we pick the how, when and where of our birth.  But how would you like to die, when your turn comes?  It bears thinking about.

May 18: Gerald Viste America's Search for Family History A recent survey indicated that 70% of the respondents were interested in their family history. From 40 years of research on my family and others, I have developed an interest in the relation of Family History to the social character of Americans and the impact of migration within the United States as a stimulus for the interest in “Roots” and a sense of place. My discussion will center on the history of these phenomena.


Adult R.E.: Adult RE is on alternate Sundays at 10 AM. Starting on January 19, 2014 we will begin “Conquest of the Americas” taught by Professor Marshall C. Eakin, Vanderbilt University

05-11   New Peoples, New Religions

Late Arrivals—The English in North America

05-25   Conquest by Dispossession

            Late Arrivals—The French in the Americas

Forum on the Penokee Mine: Science on Tap Minocqua is hosting a forum and field trip to explore the issues surrounding the proposed Penokee mine.  The forum will be Thursday, June 5 at the Campanile Center in Minocqua.  Doors open at 6PM and the program starts at 6:30.  There will be a panel of six experts to discuss geologic, engineering, reclamation, economic, environmental, and regulatory facets of the mining issue.  Each panelist will make a short presentation and then we will have a moderated question/answer session at which we will solicit written questions.  The forum is intended to be apolitical, value-neutral, and informative.

We are also offering a field trip on Friday, June 6.  A coach bus will leave the Campanile Center at 8AM and return 4-5PM.  We will visit the Penokee Range area and see the geology and environment.  Cost is $25 and includes a box lunch.  Registration is required and is capped at 40.  As of April 20, there are 18 slots left.  The only way to register for the field trip is through the Science on Tap Minocqua web site.  The web site also has details on the panelists, goals of the forum, etc.  Go to http://scienceontapminocqua.org, navigate to “Upcoming Events” and then scroll down to the June 5-6 event.  Click on the Mining in the Penokee Range link.

Let me know if you have any questions. Tim Kratz

New Members: We currently have 79 members. Our newest members are: Jim Young, Nancy Young, Missy Young, Bee Young, Rick Immler, Ted Rulseh and Dana Collins. Please welcome them the next time you are at NUUF.

New Member Ceremony and Potluck: The Northwood Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is very pleased to have 8 new members.  We plan to celebrate the Rose Ceremony on May 4th during the regular service. 

Shortly following the service there will be a potluck with grilling brats & hamburgers (weather permitting). 

Looking forward to seeing everyone.  If you have any questions contact:  Candy Sorensen   sorencan@yahoo.com  or 715-892-2997

Seder Dinner: Thanks to Jerry and Tara Woolpy for hosting the community Seder dinner in April. About 40 people of varied religious traditions enjoyed the tradition, the history, the foods that are all a part of Passover.

Update on Ed Semon: Jeanine reports that the concern for Ed has been much appreciated. It is an outpouring of love. He is slowly improving.

Service for Ella Toigo: The service to celebrate the life of Ella Toigo will be Friday, July 4 beginning at 10:00 AM. More details to follow.

Dinners at Frederick Place: We will be fixing and serving dinners at Frederick Place on May 25, 26 Memorial Day. Please contact Diane Reupert if you can help.

General Assembly: This year's General Assembly will be held in Providence, Rhode Island on June 25-29. For more information or to register, visit http://uua.org/ga/registration/index.shtml. If you are interested in being a delegate, please contact John Viste.

Don’t forget our Food Pantry Donation Box in the lobby! Every Sunday Barbara Logan checks the food pantry box in the NUUF lobby to see if donations of food, paper supplies, or toiletries have been left. Any donations are taken to the pantry early Tuesday morning by Dwight and Barbara Logan, when they also take the donations from Save More and Walgreen’s. Envelopes for cash or check donations are also available on the credenza in the hallway leading to the Conference Room or office. Just give them to Barbara Logan or Mel Hoff.

Save the Date: NUUF turns 25 in 2014! We're planning a dinner party and celebratory service the weekend of August 23 and 24. Barb Mochan is taking pictures for the directory after services, so come with your best smile! Questions? Contact Elinore, Chair of the Anniversary Committee.

Report from Regional Assembly by Barb Logan: I represented our Fellowship at the MidAmerica Assembly on April 11 and 12 at the Wausau site. There were three other sites, Topeka KS, Bloomington IN, and Ann Arbor MI. By the use of live-streaming, we were able to see the Bloomington site where the head of the MidAmerica Regional Assembly was located. I was also able to hear Tom Sommerfield, who, as treasurer of the MidAmerica Region, was leading the group of delegates in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

There were some glitches as we moved through the agenda, when we were not able to hear readily responses from the sites. But we were able to finish comfortably all of the agenda before lunch.

Among the most important agenda items were the election of MidAmerican Directors, reviewing the budget, and hearing about the future plans for our region.

After lunch delegates had an opportunity to attend two workshops. There were 9 different workshops available. I attended a workshop on the importance of using social media to attract new members and to stay in touch with current ones. We discussed the need for congregations to have an up-to-date, user-friendly webpage. Michelle Richards, a credentialed religious educator, author, and congregational consultant, led this group and also stressed the need for congregations to use Facebook, Google Chat, and Tweets. She had a very effective PowerPoint presentation that she used throughout our discussion.

The second workshop, which I attended, discussed actions taken by Unitarian Universalists for fossil fuel divestment and sustainable reinvestment in securities that will support a swift transition to a clean energy economy. Students on several Wisconsin college campuses are urging their trustees to stop investing in fossil fuel stocks and divest in these stocks currently held. UU congregations are doing the same. In fact, a resolution in support of divestment from fossil fuel companies by the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee was shared with the workshop participants. At the 2014 UUA General Assembly there will be a proposed Business Resolution by petition, which calls for the UUA to continue to divest its UUCEF holdings of directly-held securities of CT200 companies, reaching full divestment of these companies within five years. That two page resolution was also shared.


From the President: As noted previously, we will be holding our Annual Meeting at the Fellowship on May 17 at 11:00 am. A potluck lunch will follow. At the annual meeting we will be electing new officers, some committee members, and discussing the general state of the Fellowship. If any of you have an issue that you would like to bring up at the Annual Meeting, please contact me (jviste@gmail.com) so that I can put it on the agenda. The meeting is open to all members. We encourage all of you to attend.

The annual Regional Assembly of the newly established MidAmerica Region of the UUA was held on Saturday, April 12. It was held simultaneously in four locations including Wausau, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Tom and Elinore Sommerfeld went to Ann Arbor (Tom is Treasurer of the MidAmerica Region) and Barbara Logan attended the conference in Wausau as the NUUF delegate. I realize that the UUA sometimes seems far away from our everyday life in the Northwoods. But, attending the Regional meeting – or the UUA General Assembly (to be held in Providence, Rhode Island June 25-29 this year) – is a good way to connect, to get a better understanding of what is happening in the UU world. Barbara, Tom, and Elinore would be happy to share their experience with you.

Finally, I’d like to make a pitch for all of you to actively participate in the Fellowship. We need you to participate in the committees, bring snacks for the services, act as greeters, and, of course, make a pledge to the NUUF. We all need to be engaged to make this thing work.

Many thanks. A warm and happy spring to you all! John


Amy Kratz 05-05

Joan Hafner 05-08

Ethan Cummings 05-08

Toni Lieppert Polfus 05-09

Jim Ferguson 05-11

Jim Young 05-14

Julie White and Joe Holzem 05-16

Emerson Morris 05-16

Kate Egan Bruhy & Mark Bruhy 05-18

Kay Hoff 05-18

Solomon Wasko 05-19

Bev Strauss 05-20

Cheryl and Bob Hansen 05-21

Walt Jones and Natalia Graf 05-21

Jeanine Semon 05-25

Alan & Sharon VanRaalte 05-28

Carol Amour 05-28

Bob Dallapiazza 05-30


In Closing: Dave Foster writes: This poem came to me when Gabriel Garcia Marquez died last week.  In it I try to explore the general's state of mind in Marquez's great novel, "The General In His Labyrinth", which imagines the unhappy end of Simon Bolivar's heroic career.


The General In His Labyrinth

(Imagining His Mistress’s Voice)


Let us mend our broken hearts,

She says--let us be whole;

Let us not make war, but

Let us bring peace.


We must be liberal in our faith,

Generous in our love.

To bring the light of truth,

We must first find our way to it.


Her voice fades. The general

Sees no light around him,

Only passages that wind

In silent darkness. He is not like

Theseus, whose torches illuminated

The shadowy Minotaur’s head, or

Indiana Jones, whose flickering lamps

Showed the way to secret treasure.


The general’s search is not like

Those storied quests. Here

As his journey ends, he

Finds no light, no truth.

His fingers trace lines on blackened walls,

As if to mark where he has been,

Left only with memories.


Seeing only darkness

In his caverns, the general

Is tormented by dreams

Of the sword that cuts, the pistol

That wounds, the bomb that maims,

The love that turns to pain.



Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881



John Viste, President



The NUUSLetter is published monthly. Newsletter Deadline: 27th of the month. Please send submissions to Elinore Sommerfeld at esommerf@aol.com.


For distribution of announcements between newsletters or email/address corrections, contact Candy Sorensen at sorencan@yahoo.com.