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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Newsletter of the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Woodruff, WI

Volume 16, Number 4 –October 2014

We Are a Welcoming Congregation

Upcoming Services

Services are on alternate Sundays at 10 AM

October 5: Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth Flunking Sainthood:  Discipline, Deep Spirituality, and UU Demons Through the ages religions have proposed regimens of self-discipline for adherents, often elevating those who manage to dedicate their lives to such things. Does self-discipline enter into our spirituality at all? How, why, in what forms, and for what purposes does it have meaning for us? Can we aspire to sainthood?

October 19: Richard Olson Noises, Noises, Everywhere, but Little Time to Think.  If, as they say, silence is golden, then we must be living in a culture of cold rusty steel.  How can we disconnect from our cacophonous culture and build healthier connections with ourselves and others?  .    


Adult R.E.: Adult RE is on alternate Sundays at 10 AM. In September, we began a new series entitled The Vikings. As explorers and traders, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of Western Europe. In this course, you will study the Vikings not only as warriors, but also in other roles for which they were equally extraordinary: merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas. Professor Kenneth Harl synthesizes insights from an astonishing array of sources: The Russian Primary Chronicle (a Slavic text from medieval Kiev), 13th-century Icelandic poems and sagas, Byzantine accounts, Arab geographies, annals of Irish monks who faced Viking raids, Roman reports, and scores of other firsthand contemporary documents. Among the topics you will explore in depth are the profound influence of the Norse gods and heroes on Viking culture, and the Vikings' extraordinary accomplishments as explorers and settlers in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. With the help of archeological findings, you will learn to analyze Viking ship burials, rune stones and runic inscriptions, Viking wood carving, jewelry, sculpture, and metalwork. From 790–1066, virtually invincible Viking fleets fanned out across Europe, raiding, plundering, and overwhelming every army that opposed them. By 1100, however, the Vikings had disappeared, having willingly shed their identity and dissolved into the mists of myth and legend. How did this happen, and how should we remember this formidable civilization that, for being so formative, proved so transient? Please join us for this interesting series.


Social Justice Events in October: at Saint Augustine’s Guild Hall 39 South Pelham Street, Rhinelander

1st, WEDNESDAY….Interfaith Worker Justice Program    Times:  1 p.m. and 6 p.m First time the nationally recognized worker justice organization has been in the Northwoods.   Speaker:  Becky Schigiel   She coordinates the Social Justice Program at First Unitarian Society, a Unitarian Universalist congregation of 1,465 members in Madison.   She serves on the board of directors of Madison-area Urban Ministry, as well as the Stewardship of Public Life Commission of the Wisconsin Council of Churches.   Since 2009, Becky has been a leader with the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin – as a board member, then as the staff Field Organizer, and finally, as ICWJ’s Acting Director in early 2014.  With ICWJ, Becky led a Black Friday Walmart protest of 200 in 2012 and helped WI Jobs Now to successfully protect living wage ordinances in 2014.  Q. & A. following presentation.

10th, FRIDAY….Inequality for All     Robert Reich’s award winning video about the widening economic gap at Saint Augustine’s Guild Hall 39 South Pelham Street, Rhinelander.   Time:  1 p.m.


22nd, WEDNESDAY….What’s Up With Badgercare?     Speaker:  Kevin Kane, Citizen Action of WI at Saint Augustine’s Guild Hall 39 South Pelham Street, Rhinelander  Time:  1 p.m.  Q & A. following presentation.


Dinners at Frederick Place We will be fixing and serving dinners at Frederick Place on October 19-20, 2014. Please contact Diane Reupert if you can help.

Men's Group Meeting: The Men’s Group will be meeting at 6:00, Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the home of Paul Branustein, 9430 Country Club Rd., Minocqua-715/356-2428. Let Paul know if you will be coming. Paul will provide a fish fry as well as baked beans. Bring a dish to pass and a beverage of your choice.

Presentation on Romania Tom and I will be reprising and expanding the presentation of our 2013 trip to Romania and Transylvania we did last fall for NUUF. The program will be on October 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM at the Boulder Junction Community Center. If you missed our service or want to see more, please join us. Elinore

NUUF Book Group: NUUF's book group's first meeting of this reading season is scheduled for November 9, 2014, 12:15 p.m. at the Fellowship.  The book discussion led by Cheryl Hanson is centered on The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi.  This book title fits the CSAI (Congregational Study / Action Issue) selected at this year's General Assembly: "Escalating Inequality".  (Please visit Proposed CSAI: Escalating Inequality  for further information.  Congregations across the country are considering possible congregational / District actions as (1) Collecting current and historical resources on inequality, written and online, from here and abroad; (2) Enlightening ourselves via discussion / film / study groups on the effects, causes, and history of inequality; (3)  Developing a variety of spiritual experiences to inspire UUs to transcend barriers of class; (4) Organizing action agendas on select issues, networking with other congregations and allied secular and intefaith groups to collaborate, as feasible, with UU organizations like state Legislative Networks, UUJEC, and UUSC;  (5)  Joining to develop a vision of the common good that animates a movement toward sustainable well-being for all, to reduce demands on the earth's resources, and to nourish the soul by sharing life's essentials. (p. 91 of UUA's General Assembly Program Guide & Handbook)  All are invited to book group to join in this essential discussion.



Thanksgiving Dinner: We will again join for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 27. I will be organizing the menu, but could use a partner. If interested, please contact me. Elinore


Holiday Service: Yes, just a couple of months away. Mark your calendars now. Our holiday service of music and readings will be Saturday, December 13 at 4 PM. A potluck supper will follow. Do you enjoy singing? Consider joining our choir. We'll be preparing for the holiday service at 9 AM on October 19, November 2, November 16, and November 30. Please contact Patty Buehler if you can join us.


Note from Joyce Barnes: Moving was a major upheaval to my already declining equilibrium, but now that I am here and somewhat settled in, I know that it was a good decision to make the change.  I am happy to be in an apartment, living in a smaller community than Minneapolis or St. Paul, in close proximity to anything I could need, and, very close to family.  (They have been attentive, helpful, available, and are happy to have me here.)


The magnificent send-off party you all held for me was an incredible gathering of 70 or so of the most loving and beautiful people I have ever known!  To those of you who so generously dedicated your time and talents to making it such a memorable evening, I send my heartfelt thanks.  To all of you who came to the party, I want you to know you are a permanent fixture in my heart, never to be forgotten.  The nineteen years Don and I spent in the Northwoods of Wisconsin provided beautiful natural surroundings and opportunities to make our dreams come true.  Such great memories of good times, great friends, and lovely trees and lakes all around—what more could anyone ask for?  One thing, especially for me—to participate in music, using the somewhat limited talent I had. Not long after our move to Minocqua, Patty B. asked if I could accompany hymn-singing at the UU Fellowship.   I certainly could and would.   Another dream realized!  Other musical adventures followed, including a few years accompanying “Trillium” which was challenging and exciting, as well as soul-satisfying. 


It has been a privilege to have been a member of the NWUUF these many years, and to have been able to play accompaniment for hymn singing and  talented vocalists and instrumentalists in the community .


I will be coming for another load of furniture with some family members this coming week (9/15-20), and will meet with the realtors regarding a counter offer on my house.  It will be a quick trip and I may not see any of you this time, but hope that you will consider calling me if you are planning a trip to this area.  With love and many, many thanks—Joyce Barnes


President's Message, September 30, 2014


This Fellowship is kept alive and functioning through the contributions of its members, associates and friends. This happens through the use of an extensive committee system and generates actions about which I am gradually becoming aware. Membership of committees is fluid, seeming to vary according to the interests and wishes of participants. Each board meeting I have attended deals with resignations and approvals of new volunteers. Most recently our Spirituality Committee (Program Committee) saw the appointment of three new members, Nancy Bayne, Ann Sorenson and Dick Fields. They are meeting soon under the temporary leadership of Terry Hoyt to select their new chairperson. In addition, they will be reviewing the many tasks required of them and seeking volunteers to assume responsibility for getting them accomplished.

This scenario is repeated for each of our sixteen committees at various times throughout the years, but somehow always concludes successfully. I am amazed at what this system has accomplished throughout the twenty five years and counting of this Fellowship. Coming from a more formal management background, I marvel at the effectiveness of this volunteer informal organization. It may not always be efficient, but it is always effective. Why? I believe it is due to the quality of our volunteers and committee members, and I thank all of you for what you do. It is your action that powers this Fellowship.

But, I have yet to discover a clear understanding of our direction. My role as president seems to require only that I take whatever steps are necessary to keep things going the way they are. And I ask myself , "Would it be better to have a goal to strive for, an objective to achieve, a plan for our future?" Please help me find an answer. Meanwhile, I love the way things are going. Bob


Cheryl Hanson 10-03

Eileen & Thomas Schultz 10-04

Rick Wambach 10-07

Marti & Jim Hall 10-08

Jean Polfus 10-10

Avery Koblings 10-13

Barbara and Dwight Logan 10-14

Mel Hoff 10-19

Greg Holt 10-23

Tim Muench 10-24

Tara Reed & Jerry Woolpy 10-25

Charmaine Winters 10-26

Ethan Sites 10-26

Myrle Wasko and Dawn McCusker 10-31


Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881


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Bob Hanson, 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.