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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Volume 16, Number 9 – March 2015


We Are a Welcoming Congregation


Upcoming Services

Services are on alternate Sundays at 10 AM

March 8:  Rev. Denise Tracy "The Center of Our Faith: The First Principle".  In this service, Rev, Tracy will discuss the process by which the principles were created and why we need them.


March 22:  Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth  "The Importance of Stupidity."

Events and Information:

Adult R.E.:  Adult RE is on alternate Sundays at 10 AM.

Who We Are in MidAmerica: By the Numbers  

by Nancy Heege, Congregational Life Consultant 


For those of you who like numbers, here is an introduction to the region. MidAmerica Region is made up of 186 UU congregations [affiliated with the UUA] spread across 13 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. There are several other small congregations not yet affiliated.http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs192/1101484281688/img/220.jpg

 Of our 186 affiliated congregations, 89 are served by full time ministers [one or more ministers]; 37 by part time ministers; and 60 congregations [about one-third] are lay led. Many of our congregations are also served by full and part time religious educators, administrators, membership professionals, music professionals, social justice coordinators, and others.


When our congregations certified their adult membership last year, the region totaled 29,216 members. This year, the total adult membership is 29,044, a drop of less than 1%. The number of children and youth dropped also from last year, from 10,005 to 9,888, a decline of 1.2%.

 Of our 186 affiliated congregations, 4 are over 750 adult members and 6 are between 500 and 749 adult members. More than a quarter of our adult members are members of those ten congregations. Twenty four congregations are between 250 and 499 adult members; and 24 are between 150 and 249 adult members. One hundred twenty eight congregations [nearly 70% of our affiliated congregations] have fewer than 150 adult members.

 So there you have it.


Regional Assembly is Coming!  The MidAmerican Regional Assembly will be held April 17-19 in Naperville Il, near Chicago.  The Keynote speakers are Rev. Marlin Lavanhar and Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt.  There will be worship, workshops and the annual business meeting.  For more information or to register, go to www.midamericauua.org/ra.

And if you can't attend Regional Assembly, here's an invitation:

Hello. I’d like to invite you to help us with an experiment on the weekend of our Regional Assembly in Naperville IL, April 17 – 19. http://www.midamericauua.org/events/regional-assembly/1718-faq-2015


In an attempt to make our Assembly accessible to more people, we will be live streaming parts of the conference.  We will be live streaming three segments of the weekend –

  • Friday evening [welcome, banner parade, [first presentation by keynote speakers 6:45 – 9 p.m. Central/7:45 – 10 p.m. Eastern

  • Saturday morning [second presentation by keynote speakers]  9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Central/10 – 11:30 a.m. Eastern

  • Business Meeting on Saturday 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Central/11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Eastern

If you are coming to the conference, you could help by recruiting a few people in your congregation who are not coming to Chicago to view our live stream, either individually from their homes or as a group at the church or fellowship building and help us evaluate the experience. If you are NOT coming to the conference, you could either watch the live stream from your own home or invite others to view it with you at your church or fellowship building, and help us to evaluate the experience. While it’s not necessary to watch all three segments, we hope to have enough people participating so that we’ll have some for each of the three time blocks. At a minimum, all that’s required is a laptop and an internet connection. If you have a group participating, you might want a projector and large screen and a way to amplify the sound coming in. And don’t forget the popcorn!  


In the past few years, the UUA has been experimenting with live streaming at the General Assembly. It’s now possible for off-site viewers to register as congregational GA delegates, participate in the discussion, and vote. We don’t have the capacity for that at the regional level at this point, but our Board and staff are conscious of the expense, time, and travel for people attending the conference and agree that live streaming is a step toward accessibility for more people.


Thanks!  Nancy Hegge Congregational Life Consultant 



UUSC's 75th Anniversary!
From the very beginning, it has defined us.  A determination to go where others won’t and offer help that others can’t.

That’s why Waitstill and Martha Sharp traveled to Europe in 1940, on a mission from the Unitarian Service Committee to help refugees desperately trying to escape the darkness that was rapidly descending on the continent.

And for 75 years now, that same determination is why generations of UUSC members have found hope in places others refused even to look.

Today that legacy rests in our hands — and that’s why I am asking you to reaffirm your commitment to the same values Waitstill and Martha Sharp carried with them three-quarters of a century ago by sending a generous gift to the UUSC 75th Anniversary Fund.

The Sharps had many reasons to abandon hope in 1940. During a five-month mission the previous year, they’d witnessed firsthand the overwhelming might of the German army and sensed the hot breath of Gestapo agents searching for them. But they didn’t turn away. And because they didn’t, hundreds of refugees who would otherwise have fallen victim — to war, to starvation, to the death camps — escaped the war-torn continent.

For 75 years, dedicated UUSC members like you have refused to turn away from other persecuted, oppressed, and forgotten groups in the following places:

  • The United States, where we provided child care, vocational and health education, nutrition assistance, and immunizations to exploited migrant workers in Texas in the 1940s

  • Nigeria, where we provided health care to impoverished families in the 1950s

  • The U.S. South, where we fought to bring Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream closer to reality in the 1960s

  • El Salvador, where we worked with indigenous communities exploited by the brutal, right-wing dictatorship in the 1970s

  • Ethiopia, where we launched one of the first campaigns to end that country’s famine in the 1980s

  • Rwanda, where we provided medical services and worked with grassroots partners to bring peace to the area in the 1990s

You’ll provide hope to families still struggling to build new lives in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and you’ll safeguard girls in Kenya from the atrocity of female genital mutilation.

You’ll help refugees recover from the brutality they experienced in Syria, and you’ll help make sure that no working parent in our own country is forced to raise her children in poverty.

And you’ll carry on the legacy established by the Sharps 75 years ago — to go where others won’t and offer help that others can’t.

Please, make your gift to the UUSC 75th Anniversary Fund as generous as possible.  Visit http://www.uusc.org/donate to make a contribution

Thank you. Sincerely, Bill Schulz
President and CEO Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

General Assembly is Coming! GA this year will be in Portland Or from June 24-28.  Housing reservations open March 2.  It's recommended that you get your hotel reservation EARLY; GA registration can wait till later.

Social Justice Activities Pictures:  The Social Justice Committee is seeking photos.  Please bring any old or new photos of social justice events (Mardi Gras, MLK, bare cupboard run, food for kidz, Alzheimer walk, NATH events, Fredrick place photos, caritas photos, Lakeland food pantry work, etc.)  We will have a box at the fellowship.  Please write your name and address on the back of the photo (a mailing label works well) and tell us which event you are at.  We will digitally copy the photos and then return...I promise. 

Thanks for all your help.  Diane and Cheryl.


Men's Group Meeting:  The next meeting of the Men's Group will be on Tuesday, March 10, 6:00 pm at the Fellowship.  All men of the Fellowship are welcome to attend.  The meeting includes a pot luck followed by a discussion led by Frank Patin.

Concert at Jerry and Tara's:   Mark Dvorak Returns to Tara and Jerry’s for “Listen & Learn”

  • Concert Saturday March 14 at 7 PM

  • Guitar Lessons for Beginners Sunday March 15 at 1 Pm

  • Guitar Lessons for Six Strings and Ten Finger Sunday at 4 PM

Mark returns after rave reviews from Minocqua’s finest folk audience who have packed our home for his previous concerts. Award-winning singer, guitarist and songwriter Mark Dvorak is an integral member of the faculty at Chicago's remarkable Old Town School of Folk Music. Since 1986, thousands of music students have passed through his classes. He has helped many a beginner get through their first chords and strums, and has hosted a catalogue of master classes and workshops on a range of subjects from old-time banjo picking to the legacy of the great Lead Belly, to just about every other topic related to the study of American folk music.


RSVP to Jerryw@earlham.edu to reserve places at the concert or to participate in the workshops. The concert donation is $10 to $20 per person and each workshop is $25.

Arts in Our Community

Please let me know if you are showing work, appearing in a performance, have literature/poetry to share.  Elinore


Frederick Place Dinner:  We will be supplying dinners for March 22 and 23.  If you can help, please contact Diane Reupert or Barb Logan.

"Like" us--Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship--on Facebook.  We're posting pictures, reminders about upcoming events and more.


Tom & Elinore Sommerfeld        03-02

Jan Anderson                03-02

Karin Schmidt                03-04

Tony Zoars                03-09

Iris Linder                03-10

Ed Semon                03-11

Dick Fields                03-12

Nancy Junkermann            03-12

Sally Back                03-12

Charles Reed                03-13

Walt Jones                03-14

Ginny Metzdorf            03-15

Nancy Bayne                03-16

Kayla Norris Demers            03-19

John Viste & Elaine Strite        03-21

Connie Downey            03-22

Sophie Singleton            03-22

Lara Tenório                03-23

Sally O'Brien                03-24

Dan Rondello                03-24

Rich Uspel                03-25

Terry Hoyt                03-27

Pat Bickner                03-29

Sophia Figueroa            03-29

Kayla and Jason Demers        03-30

Marti Hall                03-31



Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881



Robert Hanson, President



The NUUSLetter is published monthly. Newsletter Deadline is the 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.