• NUUF-header2.jpg

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Volume 14, Number 1 – July 2012

We Are a Welcoming Congregation


Upcoming Services

July 1 - 10 am Richard Olson

July 15 - 10 am February Sky

July 29 - 10 am Julie Wambach

August 12 - 10 am James Galasinski

August 26 - 10 am Mary Forrester


July 14 Many Ways of Peace Festival

July 18 - 1:30 pm NUUF Board meeting

Adult R.E.

July 8 - 10 am The Copyists Who Gave Us Scripture: Authority in the Early Church

July 22 - 10 am The Importance of Interpretation: When Did the Canon Get Finalized?

August 5 - 10 am Justice RE Days

August 19 - 10 am Justice RE Days


Message from the President

As an incoming first-time board member, I thought I might introduce myself and give you a little background. I have agreed to take on the president position and am looking forward to the experience. I am a native to the area. I grew up on a farm outside of Rhinelander. I went to school in the Rhinelander district and Nicolet College. I studied hospitality management and culinary arts. I moved to Milwaukee and went to work, until deciding to go to school at UWM for a social work major with minors in history and sociology. I met my husband of 17 years in Milwaukee and lived there until we moved to Arbor Vitae in 2004, when my daughter, Sophia, started second grade.

In 2007, my husband became ill and was transferred to a specialty care facility in Milwaukee. We stayed in Arbor Vitae until 2009, when Sophia and I moved back to my childhood home to help out on the farm. Two years later, we traded houses with my brother and his family and moved to Rhinelander. We are now more footloose and fancy free, since the cows have other humans as their food and water suppliers.

Sophie and I like to travel, camp, cook (sometimes at the NATH and Community Dinners), spend time with friends and occasionally get caught up in a program on the history channel.

I wasn’t born a UU. I was raised in a Catholic/Lutheran family. As a young adult I “tried on” a few religions, but never found one that fit quite right. I came to NUUF as a guest of Pat Bickner one Sunday and realized that this was a place worth checking out. After a few months I was hooked. It’s been said that I’m an unlikely UU, due to my background. I believe it’s more the “journey” than the start that makes a Unitarian Universalist.

I look forward to getting to know everyone. If you want to contact me, I can be reached by phone or email. I ask you to be patient with me, as Elinore is a hard act to follow. I encourage you to contact myself, board members or committee chairs if you have an issue that concerns you.

—Laurie Figueroa (lauriefigueroa2002@yahoo.com/715-439-0600)


Many Ways of Peace Festival July 14

Sowing Seeds of Peace is the theme of the second annual Peace Festival to be held on Saturday, July 14, 9:00am–3:00pm. The attractions include speakers, live music by Jason Moon, Frogwater and area musicians, organic and local food prepared in the Many Ways of Peace Kitchen, Northwoods Children’s museum tent, Sand Mandala for Peace, “Lexicon of Sustainability” photo collage exhibit, and nonprofit organizations all coming together to promote a culture of peace for the earth and all its inhabitants. Speakers include Will Williams; Mike Miles and Barb Kass of Anathoth Community; and Mike Wiggins Jr., Tribal Chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Items available from Many Ways of Peace info tent will include this year’s tee shirt design, the usual bumper stickers and buttons; and (new this year) fair-trade sari lap quilts (great for yoga) and scarves.

Local and Organic Mezze Platter Lunch will be served.

Many Ways of Peace is located at 217 S. Main Street in downtown Eagle River. For more information, phone 715-480-4697 or visit www.manyways-ofpeace.org. More on the Lexicon of Sustainability exhibit can be found at http://www.lexiconofsustainability.com/pop-up-art-shows/


Our June Meals for NATH

On June 24, Barb and Dwight Logan served Sunday dinner with Laurie Figueroa providing much of the shopping and cooking. Dinner was BBQ chicken breasts, rice pilaf, green bean casserole, corn muffins, fresh fruit salad, dump cake, lemonade and ice tea.

Monday dinner included roast pork, baked beans, coleslaw, creamed cucumbers, corn muffins, fruit salad, brownies, and milk. Laurie also purchased napkins, ice cream and cones for them to have on hand.

The Frederick Place kitchen could use an additional cutting board or two, spices and cooking spray, hand can opener, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. If you are willing and able to serve a meal at Frederick Place and/or can contribute staples to the kitchen, please contact Laurie Figueroa or Jana Mirs (janamirs@frontier.com or 715-356-4746) to let one of them know what you can do. All efforts are appreciated.


Wausau UUs Hosting Buddhist Scholar July 3 & 4

UU Wausau welcomes Khenpo Migmar Tseten, a renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and a Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University on Tuesday, July 3 at 7:00 pm. He will speak on “Love and compassion: the heart of Buddhism.” The Unitarian Universalist church is located at 504 Grant Street in Wausau.

On Wednesday, July 4, he’ll do a workshop with two sessions on Shamatha meditation (calm abiding). Teaching sessions are from 10-12 and from 1-3. A vegetarian lunch will be provided at noon. This event will be held at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan St (at 4th St.), also in Wausau. For more information contact Paul Hagstrom, 715-536-9608.


UU General Assembly

The UUA held its annual GA as “National Days of Witness—No Human Being is Illegal,” June 20-24 in Phoenix, Arizona. Events and speakers focused on the injustices facing undocumented workers in Arizona and the rest of the United States. Tom and Elinore attended the GA, while Laurie and Pat -participated as remote delegates. We were able to watch live video as several thousand UUs, most wearing yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” tee shirts and holding candles, held a protest outside Sheriff Arpaio’s “Tent City” jail on Saturday, June 23.

Throughout the general assembly, individuals told of the injustices and hardships they have endured as migrant workers or as ones simply brown-skinned and undocumented. Saturday’s Ware Lecture was delivered by NPR correspondent Maria Hinojosa. She described the horrific conditions she has seen and stories she learned in INS detention facilities—they are not the kind of stories likely to be told in high school civics classes, and not the kind of stories you want to hear about your own country.

Americans have turned our backs to the people who pick our fruit, clean our hotel rooms and cook in our restaurants. Their stories need to be told. To that end, we plan to hold Justice RE Days in August. We will present the Ware lecture and more information for discussion and possible action August 5 and 19 at 10:00 am. More details will be coming.


Lakeland Pantry’s 3rd Annual Bear Cupboard Run

Please join us the morning of Saturday, July 21 at Torpy Park, Minocqua for Lakeland Pantry’s largest fund raising event of the year. All proceeds raised will go to Lakeland Pantry and Food for Kidz.

This year the BCR marks the addition of a half marathon which will be run along 13.1 miles of the scenic Bearskin Trail. Other races include: a 5K Run/Walk (ages 22 and over), a 5K Run/Walk (ages 21 and under), and a 1K Cubby (ages 10 and under).

There will be food for all at the Bear Stop, free photos at the Bear Shot Gallery, and complimentary massages at the Bear Rubs Retreat. Debby’s North Country Market will be on hand with fresh produce and honey products. Back by popular demand, the Bear Paw Painters will do face and hand painting for all ages. The BCR mascot, Benny the Bear, will be on hand for all the fun! To register or for additional info please see: www.bearcupboardrun.org, www.tandhtiming.com , www.active.com , or www.lakelandpantry.com.


Central Midwest District Assembly

Ed. note: I apologize to Elinore for failing to get this into the last newsletter. I just missed it somehow. But it is still relevant so I am inserting it now.

We attended the Central Midwest District Assembly (CMwD) as delegates in Oak Brook, IL on April 27-29. Here are some of the highlights of our weekend.

Friday night, the keynote speaker was William Schultz, past president of the UUA, past president of Amnesty International and the current president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). He gave an impassioned message of hope. Sometimes, it feels as though our world can never improve; that we can never take care of fellow human beings in a just and compassionate manner. But Bill pointed out that there has been progress: slavery is no longer acceptable, for example. We must not give up hope; we must keep working. He talked about some of the work the UUSC does. But it could do so much more if there were better support from UUs. The UUSC get no financial support of any kind from the UUA. But only one in five UUs is a member of the UUSC. He spoke of the new UUSC College of Justice, which will train UUs, particularly young people, to do social justice work. You can find out more at the UUSC web site, www.uusc.org. Bill also discussed some of the immigration issues, the need for comprehensive reform and the need to show hospitality and compassion to our fellow human beings. If you do not support the UUSC, please consider doing so now.

Saturday morning, there was a long business meeting where the proposed merger of the districts was discussed. Here are some of the main points:

• Regionalism is defined as combined staff from the 3 districts providing services region-wide, but not being as physically accessible as before. Services will increasingly be provided by ever-changing technology.

• There have been massive changes over the past few years in how we do business. The evolution of how we (both the district and the congregation) operate is happening at a faster and faster pace. Therefore, there are many unknowns about how exactly the new region will function.

• Perhaps there will be small cadres of lay leaders and ministers locally available to provide pastoral care. (This would likely be available only in metro areas)

• Yes, regionalism is a cost cutting move, but it's not just that. We are reinventing how we function; we must work collaboratively with other UU churches and other churches as well (perhaps on social justice projects).

• There is NO UUA pressure or involvement to create the region.

• We need to change the legal status of the district; we need new by-laws; we need a new regional budget; we need to make decisions about combining (or not) trust funds.

• The districts are aiming for 7/1/13 as the debut of the new region. Much work is yet to be done to be ready by then. Many decisions are to be made at a joint board meeting in August 2012. If the new region is not ready by 7/1/13, it will not debut on that date. The next DA could be our last. We could be voting to dissolve the district and join the region. So, it's really important that we keep track of events and have delegates at the next DA.

• We would have access to a broader group of resource staff and possibly see more face to face contact. (We consider that unlikely for rural, isolated congregations like ours.)

• From our UUA Board Trustee: The UUA is considering selling 25 Beacon Street (national offices). History meets the future head to head. It sounds like it will happen, with a likely move to a modern building, with adequate parking for staff and visitors. UUA may be following our lead and evolving as well.

We have shared membership, publicity and resource ideas with the appropriate chairs. Brief highlights: check out the new regional web site: www.midamericauu.org; we need to have a page on Facebook to attract younger members.

For those interested in the upcoming “Justice GA”, this will not be like other GA’s. Business sessions will be reduced to the minimum necessary to vote on issues; only about 6 hours has been scheduled. Nearly all of the workshops  will deal with social justice - and not just for Arizona and immigration. (43 states have enacted or introduced anti-immigrant legislation. Wisconsin has not—yet.)

Local Arizona partners, such as NDLON (ndlon.org) and Puente Arizona (puenteaz.org), have been invited to participate as official attendees (but not delegates).  Besides sending people to attend and (presumably) present workshops, local partners have been given the opportunity to have tables in the exhibit hall.  NDLON (National Day Laborer Organizing Network) will be holding a national event on Friday, June 23, in conjunction with one of the projects scheduled for GA participants.

—Tom and Elinore





Bev & Joe Strauss


Terri Hoyt


Rick & Julie Wambach


Frank Patin


Carol Potter


Mary Ann Fields


Dick and Mary Ann Fields


Ardis and Herb White


Doris and Art Eberlein


Paul & Irma Braunstein


Teress Toigo


Mel and Kay Hoff


Marilyn Feser


Danny Fichtner


Joe Dallapiazza


Audrey Williams


Charles & Janice Reed


Tom Sommerfeld


Randy Wendt


David Deinard


Harley Erbs



Nancy and Perry Junkermann


Elinore Sommerfeld


Janice Reed


Susan Knight


Joan Hauer


Candace Zahn Cain


Jeanne & Rev. Bob Reed


Cindy and Jim Rusak


Jerry Woolpy


Rev. Robert Reed


David Foster


Mary Rusak


Jack & Joan Hafner


Jason Cihlar


Jeanne Reed


Eliot Frost


Jim and Sue Ferguson


Dawn McCusker


Suzy and David Foster




Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881



Elinore Sommerfeld, President




The NUUSLetter is published monthly.


Next Deadline: July 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.