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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Newsletter of the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Volume 14, Number 10 – MAY 2013

We Are a Welcoming Congregation

Upcoming Services

Services are on alternate Sundays at 10 AM

May 5: Rev. Phil Sweet "The Courage to Be a Cynic" Typically we use the word cynicism to mean belief in nothing and criticism of everything. But its original definition was not simply unreflective naysaying and whining, but an opposition and questioning of ordinary cultural values. The ancient Greek cynics were a highly disciplined resistance movement, questioning the rules, laws, power and domination of those in authority. Everything came under scrutiny, everything was suspect.

May 19: Rev. Bobbie Groth "Resistance Through Relationship: Growing Up UU in the Civil Rights Era"
This sermon will focus on childhood memories of growing up in a UU church very active in the civil rights era.

June 2: Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk "Faith Types: Spiritual Paths to a Full Life" Our personalities differ. So do our ways to the divine, to meaning, to the Spirit of Life. The Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk offers some insights into our similar needs for connection and wholeness, and our various faith journeys to fulfill those needs. 

June 16: Jane Nicholson "Talking Peace: Peace Circles"  Peace circles (or talking circles) provide a safe space for guided, meaningful conversations. By employing simple sets of agreed-to guidelines, peace circles have made their way into schools, community centers, churches, youth centers, and family kitchens. The idea of deliberative, inclusive discussions and decision-making processes is ancient and found in indigenous cultures world-wide. Let us take time to consider what the essential principles of peace circles are. And let us imagine how this powerful, energizing means of communicating can enliven the places where we work, volunteer, and live.

Jane Nicholson is a life-long educator. She previously was Professor of Comparative Literature and directed a women’s studies program. Following the murder of her husband at the University of Iowa in 1991 (the first mass college slaying), she turned her teaching career toward violence-prevention work. She has studied with the Quakers to train in their Alternatives to Violence programs and with Balanced and Restorative Justice, also certified to train. Jane has trained many hundreds of students, teachers, administrators, and community members in peace circle facilitation. She has also returned to academia, completing a course most recently at DePaul University in the Peace Studies Program. She is the author of a collection of personal essays, Someone Traveling, that relates the story of the ten years following her husband’s death.

June 30: Sister Ann Wittman "The Peace of Wild Things" Sister Ann writes: "I have been very much involved in a project for recognition of my Grandfather Wittman and his contribution to the state park system so in spite of that - or maybe because of it - I have settled on a topic for my presentation." On Saturday May 4 Council Grounds State Park will celebrate its 75th Anniversary with several events, including a Candlelight Walk and a ceremony honoring Dr. A.R. Wittman. Few persons today are aware that we owe that beautiful park to the efforts of Dr. Wittman, who, as mayor of Merrill, in 1924 persuaded the city fathers to purchase that land and create a park. Until the state acquired it in 1938 it was known as Wildwood Park and was part of the city park system. Mayor Wittman himself proudly named Merrill the "City of Parks."


Message from the President

Welcome back – to those of you who understood that winter was not over in March and managed to head for warmer climes in April. We are all very relieved that spring appears to have finally sprung!

The NUUF building was well-used in April: we had a full complement of Sunday services and adult religious education programs, committees meetings; special programs, and, the classes which are held nearly every day of the week. I hope that we can do even more to fully utilize our lovely building for the good of the community, and to enable us to be "a beacon of light" in the Northwoods.

Three of us went to the Central Midwest District Assembly (CMWDA) in late April: Elinore and Tom Sommerfeld and I. Tom and I were delegates to the meeting. It was a historic meeting; the Assembly voted to disband the District, and reorganize it into the Mid-America Region (which combines CMD with two neighboring districts - Prairie Star and Heartland). And, Tom Sommerfeld was elected Treasurer of the new Region. If you are interested in what this means for us and for the UUA, please contact any of us and we'd be happy to try and explain. Or, you can check out the District's website: http://www.cmwd-uua.org or the new Mid American Region web site: http://www.midamericauua.org/?start=16

The CMWDA in Waukesha triggered many memories for me. I grew up in the UU church in Wausau and attended a number of meetings of the Central Midwest District. The church was an important institution for me; in many ways it was the center of my adolescence. Through the church I was able to interact with adults in the community on an equal level. I interacted with people of other faiths through the religious education program. The youth group (LRY), in which I was active, held regional and national meetings that enabled me to get out of our small town, and to get to know people in places such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha, Fargo, and Boston - all places where there were active UU churches. We carried out community projects through the church. To me, the core of the church was its work with youth and social justice. It was probably the institution that had the greatest influence on my life as a young person. I’d like to see the Fellowship in Woodruff play a similar role for people in our community. I think that we can do it.

Thank you for the pledges to NUUF that you made in the past month. The support that you give to the Fellowship means that it will continue to be a place of fellowship, support, learning, and growth for all.

Enjoy the spring!





May 18: Annual Meeting 11 AM, lunch to follow


Middle Eastern Movies and Books sessions are as follows:

May 27, 6:30 pm (Memorial Day--unless we opt to change)   movie TBA

June 24, 6:30pm  Discussion of the book Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, who is a Sudanese writer.  This novel is widely considered to be one of the best Arabic novels of the modern era.

Anyone interested should feel free to attend whenever they can.  No prior attendance or registration is needed. Contact Elaine or John for more info.


Adult R.E.

Adult RE is on alternate Sundays at 10 AM

May 12 9. Creation, Evil, and the Fall–Augustine
10. Rabbinic Judaism–The Evil Impulse

May 26

11. Islam–Iblis the Failed, Once-Glorious Being

12. On Self-Deception in Evil–Scholasticism

May Community Table May 21: Please join us for dinner! 3:30-4:30 Bring food; 4:30-5:00 Juice and coffee; 5:00 Serving begins. Clean-up done by 6:30. It's easy and it's fun! Please contact Pat Bickner if you are able to bring something or come to help, at 715-356-9130 or bickner@gmx.com. If you plan to eat, please just show up! Thanks in advance for being willing to participate. NUUF is responsible for ten entrees and/or side dishes, plus two desserts. We’re slated to have five people there to help serve and clean up.  The Community Table is intended as a shared meal where people of different denominations in our area can meet in the simple act of breaking bread together. It's great when we get our full complement of dishes. It's even better when we get NUUF members and friends sitting down to eat, and being, in essence, UU ambassadors. 

Common Read Book Group will meet briefly after services, during coffee hour May 5 for 3 purposes: (1) What do we do about what we've read? (The New Jim Crow); (2) What new titles are we now turning to? (Everyone should submit at least one title); and (3)  Who leads the next discussion? (You choose a title--you lead!)  Questions? Contact Rich Uspel.

General Assembly is coming to Louisville June 19-23. If you are interested in being a delegate, either in person or off-site, please contact John Viste.

The SmUUglers are at it again. At last year's GA, we created a 400 volume library of books by primarily Hispanic authors for a community center in Phoenix. Now, we hope to repeat that success by collecting at least 200 books (or the funds to purchase them) for a community center library in Louisville, site of this year's GA. If you'd like to support this project, please give cash donations to Elinore or Tom, who will make sure that the funds get to the organizers. Deadline for contributions is Sunday, June 16.


Arts in Our Community

Are you in a performance or have your art on display? Please let me know so I can include the details in the newsletter.

Kim Norris, currently a student at Alverno College, has a mask on display at the Milwaukee Museum of Art, beginning this month for a year.

Campanile Community Choir: Patty Buehler, Frank Patin and Tom Sommerfeld will be singing on Sunday, May 5, at 2 PM at the Campanile Center.

Artists Interactive: Elinore Sommerfeld will be showing 3 of her pieces as a part of the Artists Interactive Art Show at the Presque Isle Library during the months of May and June. There will be an open house with demonstrations on Wednesday, June 19. For hours and more information, visit http://www.presqueisle.com/news-events/calendar-of-events.html.

Fellowship of the Arts Here's hoping folks will find the May-June theme inspiring: Go with the Flow! We'd like to see some spring images here--growth in the natural world as a metaphor for spiritual growth; flowing water to symbolize the mingling streams of human endeavor; etc. Any ideas?

Please bring your art, photos and/or writing to the fellowship on Sunday, Mother's Day, or contact Pat or Jana to make arrangements. Thanks! We look forward to seeing what you do!

MAY–JUNE 2013: “GO WITH THE FLOW” Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. 

JULY–AUGUST 2013: “WHY ARE WE HERE?” A free and responsible search for truth and meaning. 

SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2013: “I AND WE” The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process. 

NOVEMBER–DECEMBER 2013: “FLOWER POWER” The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.

JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2014: “LIFE IN HARMONY” Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


For the past few years, Pat Bickner has done a great job as our newsletter editor. Now, it's time for her to step down. Thanks, Pat, for all your work.



Ella and Abe Toigo 05-01

Amy Kratz 05-05

Joan Hafner 05-08

Ethan Cummings 05-08

Arthur Eberlein 05-09

Toni Lieppert Polfus 05-09

Jim Ferguson 05-11

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

Jeanine Semon 05-25

Alan & Sharon VanRaalte 05-28

Carol Amour 05-28

Bob Dallapiazza 05-30


In Memoriam


I do find strength in the ashes...

Each of us is alone in the great darkness of our ignorance

and each of us is on a journey.

In the process of our journey, we must bend to build

a fire for light and warmth and food.

When we find another's ashes, the ashes tell us

that somebody else had bent to build a fire,

and somebody else has carried on.

And that can be enough, sometimes.

Noah ben Shea






Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

P.O. Box 1881

Woodruff, WI 54568-1881


John Viste, President





The NUUSLetter is published monthly.

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