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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Volume 13, Number 10 - April 2012

Upcoming Services

April 8 - 10 am Dennis Hawk - Kirtan

April 22 - 10 am Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth - Where Have All the Children Gone?  Who We Are and Who We Might Be

May 6 - 10 am Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk

May 20 - 10 am Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth -  Resistance and Relationship:  Growing Up UU in the Civil Rights Era


April 7 - 7 pm Dennis Hawk - An Evening of Native American Ceremony, Storytelling and Song

Adult R.E.

April 1 - 10 am  Christian Emperors and the Pilgrimage Sites, Judaism and Synagogues under Christian Rule

April 15 - 10 am  Islam’s Transformation of Jerusalem, What an How Archaeology Reveals


Message from the President

It was the first warm, beautiful day of spring, a Sunday morning in April circa 1977, in Garden City Michigan. I just had to get out in the yard, raking, digging, picking up debris. It felt so good to be out in the warm sun, working up a sweat with dirt under my nails. So why were all these people driving past glowering and frowning at me? Eventually, I figured it out. It was Easter and I was in the “wrong” church. Actually, that was during the unchurched part of my life and I didn’t even keep track of when Easter was. It was a non-event. I couldn’t articulate it then, but I can now. I was having my own deeply spiritual morning, physically reconnecting and tending to our beautiful Mother Earth. That morning, I just knew it felt right to be in the yard.

In the 10+ years I’ve been a UU, I’ve spent a bunch of time thinking about what Christmas means to me as a non-Christian. And I’ve pretty much got it figured out. Pretty much. But Easter remains almost insurmountable. I just can’t connect with a crucifixion and resurrection. But I need to remember that Easter (like Christmas) was originally a pagan festival welcoming the return of spring. Since the timing of the resurrection more or less coincided with the original Easter celebrations, the early church overlaid its observances on the pagan ones. Just another example of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

The Easter bunny and Easter eggs are also pagan symbols. Here’s what one web site has to say: “The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit. The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the spring season. . . . From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.”

I probably won’t be out working in the yard on Easter morning this year -either—our service with Dennis Hawk should be way too interesting to miss. I’m sure I’ll still be in the “wrong” church according to some people. But it will be right for me. Whatever you celebrate or don’t this time of year, I wish you a happy spring. —Elinore


Dennis Hawk April 7 and April 8

Dennis Hawk, or Animikii Gekek (Thunder Hawk), is a mixed blood Native American, Cherokee and Mesquaki, who found music to be a healer of the soul, bringing peace to the mind and body. Best known as an accomplished Native American Flute player and flute maker, Dennis is also a certified yoga instructor, guitarist, keyboard musician, composer and Kirtan singer.

He will present an “Evening of Native American Ceremony, Storytelling and Song celebrating Spring—a season of transition” at the fellowship on Saturday, April 7, from 7:00–8:00 p.m. The evening will start with a cleansing smudging ceremony. Dennis will then entertain the group with Native American stories and original music (Native American Drum, chanting, flute, guitar and vocals).

On Sunday, April 8, Dennis Hawk will preside over a Kirtan during the Sunday service at NUUF. Kirtan is call-and-response chanting—one of the oldest sacred sound traditions of the world.

The Kirtan involves Satsang, a Sanskrit term meaning where people gather together as a community to turn inward and to help each other find our own inner path. Congregational singing is popular in many traditions and Kirtan brings us back to the act of devotional singing. Today’s Kirtan is a universal and non-denominational spiritual practice in which the many names of the one God are -invoked in many languages. Kirtan uses combination of sound, vibration, melody, harmony, mantras and devotional songs which often have Sanskrit words, but also English words- the melodies are in both Indian and Western scales. Kirtan is moving and exhilarating as well as quieting and meditative. A student of David Newman (Durga Das) Dennis will lead the congregation in a Kirtan that will calm the mind and open the heart. (Description provided by Dennis Hawk)

Summer Camps 2012

Registration is open for UU adult singles camps, AMUUSE, Ferry Beach family camp in Maine and Camp Bayside children’s camp in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Elinore has posted information the camps on the NUUF bulletin board. Below are web addresses where more information can be found.

AmUUse: www.amuuse.org. Both the June  and August 2012 camps will be held at the Presbyterian Camps situated on the dunes of Lake Michigan’s beautiful east shore in Saugatuck, Michigan.  In addition they have a new location this year - Camp Kettunen in Tustin, Michigan.

Ferry Beach: www.ferrybeach.org. UU camp and conference center on the coast of Southern Maine. It is a welcoming community that supports your spiritual growth and connects you with a larger community that is spreading its liberal religious wings.

Bayside: www.yahoodrummers.com/bayside. It’s a small (60-80 person) family summer camp held at the Wesley Woods Conference Center the third week of July.  Bayside offers adult workshops and worship services, with an emphasis on quality child care during the morning adult activities, and free time in the afternoons for family fun and relaxation.

NATH Update

Last Sunday afternoon, NUUF members Patty Buehler and Jana Mirs drove to Rhinelander to prepare, serve, and share a meal--of white chicken chili, cornbread, and tossed salad, with fruit fluff for dessert--with the 14 current residents of Frederick Place. Patty brought lasagna for the next day’s meal, to be supplemented with garlic bread and green salad, and brownies contributed by Laurie Figueroa. Everyone enjoyed the food, company and conversation, and the residents very much appreciated our time and attention.

A big Thank-You also goes out to Sally Back, Tom and Elinore Sommerfeld, and Ardis White, who stepped forward to help fund the NATH meals when it appeared that money was beginning to get scarce. Also to Laurie Figueroa, Rich Uspel and others who are planning to volunteer their time to make  future meals for residents of Frederick Place. Our little fellowship is making a big difference to many people!

Third Annual CANtastic 2012: “Shine a Light on Hunger”

CANtastic combines the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help feed the hungry in our community. Competing area teams showcase their talents by designing and constructing giant sculptures made with donated canned goods. At the close of the competition, all of the cans used in the structures are donated to Rhinelander Area Food Panty (RAFP) for distribution.

The 2012 event will take place Saturday, April 14 utilizing the theme “Shine a Light on Hunger.” The event is sponsored by the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry, Ripco Credit Union, Kiwanis and Trig’s.

The event planners are actively seeking more build teams and sponsors. The competition is open to any group or organization such as clubs, schools, Scouts, churches, businesses, etc., in the Rhinelander area.

If you are interested or would like more information, email rafp@frontiernet.net, or phone Guy: 715-282-5810, Bill: 715-360-0400 or Dan: 715-369-0656.

Thank You from the Woolpy’s

We should not have left the company last evening without special thanks to the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for hosting and supporting our community and encouraging liberal action like our ecumenical Seder every other year. Without their explicit solicitation of this biannual event it would not happen. They are truly a Beacon of Light in the Northwoods. —Jerry & Tara Woolpy


Vegetarian Recipe Corner

Moroccan Vegetarian Couscous

Delicious! Mildly sweet punctuated by raisins. 4 Servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

14.5 ounces vegetable broth

1 large sweet potato, cooked and cut into pieces

1 lb. spinach, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup uncooked couscous

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook the onion and garlic about 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except couscous; heat to boiling. Stir in couscous, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.

Nutrition Facts: Per Serving — Calories: 425; Total Fat: 5g;

Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium 840mg; Carbohydrate 92g (Dietary fiber 9g); Protein 12g. Percent daily value: Vitamin A 100%; Vitamin C 20%; Calcium 14%; Iron 20%. Diet Exchange: 4.5 starch; 1 fruit.

Please send your favorite vegetarian recipe to

bickner@gmx.com, and I’ll try to include it in a

future NUUSletter.



04-03    Tara Reed

04-08    Joyce Barnes

04-13    Steven Cyra

04-13    Trish Kirk

04-14    Joe Strauss

04-14    Jessica Reupert

04-15    Laurie & Nestor Figueroa

04-16    Doris Eberlein

04-19    Tony Dallapiazza

04-20    Aaron Rusak

04-20    Matthew Rusak

04-22    Stephanie Perkins & Gary Pajonk

04-23    Barbara Logan

04-23    Paul & Betty Frisbie

04-28    Annamarie Beckel

05-01    Ella and Abe Toigo

05-05    Amy Kratz

05-08    Joan Hafner

05-08    Ethan Cummings

05-09    Arthur Eberlein

05-09    Toni Lieppert Polfus

05-11    Jim Ferguson

05-16    Julie White and Joe Holzem

05-16    Emerson Morris

05-17    Paul Frisbie

05-18    Kate Egan Bruhy & Mark Bruhy

05-18    Kay Hoff

05-19    Solomon Wasko

05-20    Bev Strauss

05-21    Cheryl and Bob Hansen

05-21    Joyce and Don Barnes

05-25    Jeanine Semon

05-28    Alan & Sharon VanRaalte

05-28    Carol Amour

05-30    Ellie Deri-Sproull

05-30    Bob Dallapiazza


A few spring things

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

-—Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring is when life’s alive in everything.

—Christina Rossetti

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”

—Robin Williams

An optimist is the human personification of spring.

—Susan J. Bissonette

Sitting quietly, doing nothing,

Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

—Lao Tzu



Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881


Elinore Sommerfeld, President



The NUUSLetter is published monthly.

Next Deadline: March 27, 2012 Please send submissions to Pat Bickner at bickner@gmx.com.

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