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Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

A Beacon of Light in the Northwoods

Volume 15, Number 3 – SEPTEMBER 2013


We Are a Welcoming Congregation


Upcoming Services

Services are on alternate Sundays at 10 AM


September 8: Rev Phil Sweet Our Inner Demons

September 22: Tom and Elinore Sommerfeld A Journey Through Time and Place in Transylvania We traveled to Transylvania this summer as a part of the UU Partner Church Council Festival Chorus. We will share music, images, history and stories of this most interesting land. Come learn about some of our earliest Unitarian roots.

October 6: Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth Hallowed Be Thy Curse: The Fine Art of Damning Bobbie will discuss just that and its relationship to universalist principals. 

October 20: Care Committee Preparing for Aging: Embracing End-Of-Life and Bereavement, presented by Deb Van Swol, Ministry Hospice Chaplain. There will be a lunch after the service, followed by three hour-long workshops to chose from. See details below.


Adult R.E.: Adult RE is on alternate Sundays at 10 AM. We are studying "Why Evil Exists"

September 1: Hegel: The Slaughter Block of History

Marx: Materialism and Evil

September 15: The American North and South--Holy War

Nietzsche: Considering the Language of Evil

September 29: Dostoevsky—The Demonic in Modernity Conrad—Incomprehensible Terror

October 13: Freud—The Death Drive and the Inexplicable Camus—The Challenge to Take Evil Seriously

October 27: Post–WWII Protestant Theology on Evil Post–WWII Roman Catholic Theology on Evil

Book Group: This past year, N.U.U.F.'s book group read Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  It was a powerful book.  So much so that the area's AAUW has chosen it as one title for their upcoming reading year.  Barb Logan will lead those AAUW discussions.  ("Yeah, Barb! Way to go!!")  


Members from last year's book group may expect that after services, Sept. 8, Rich Uspel will be tapping shoulders to ask, in a friendly way, "What are your ideas for the book group this winter?"  (Yes, friends, it is considered "friendly" to ask about winter as summer begins to come to a close---this is Wisconsin!  Let's get real!) New book group members are always welcome. For more information, contact Rich Uspel.


Special Presentation: The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service is bringing noted religious scholar, Philip Jenkins, to Wausau to speak on Thursday, September 26 at 7:00 pm at the Center for Civic Engagement, 5625 Stewart Avenue. His most recent book is "Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses". Contact John Viste for more information.


Love Community--and Be at the Table: We will be helping to serve the September 17 Community Table at St. Matthias Episcopal Church. Please contact Pat Bickner if you can bring food and/or help with serving, or if you have questions. Phone 715-356-9130 or email bickner@gmx.com. Thanks in advance to those generous folks who will provide dishes and time.

Purpose of the Community Table - for the love of community (from a post on lakelandministerial.blogspot.com)


Every month, the Community Table is coordinated by the Lakeland Area Ministerial Association and is energetically staffed by area churches. The idea behind it is a home-cooked community meal to all, with a focus to invite those who need to stretch their dollars at the end of the month.

The watchword is dignity to all, and no one should know who comes from the food pantry or is homeless and who isn't. So, we use china and real cups and silverware and everyone is encouraged to serve one another and help with clean up. It's a buffet style feast that includes 3-4 host churches' best foods: Grandma’s famous potato salad, Fred's silky chiffon cake, Al's mouthwatering squash casserole and on and on.

There are no agendas or sermons, just the community taking care of the community. There is something wholesome and real about serving others, and joining with others to do good works. 


NUUF, United Methodist Church of the Pines, and Faith Free Evangelical Church are responsible for January, May, and September meals.


Sunday, October 20, Service Information: The Care Committee will be presenting the service as well as a catered lunch and one workshop-breakout session after lunch. Our topic will be Embracing End-Of-Life and Bereavement.


The service speaker will be Deb Van Swol, Ministry Hospice Chaplain. She works with people of all faith traditions and beliefs in the context of this topic. Lunch will follow immediately with a lunchtime presentation by the Memorial Garden Committee.


Three breakout sessions will start at 12:15 with plans to finish by 1:15 PM. Fellowship members will be able to choose one session:


  1. How to prepare documents outlining advanced directives/power of attorney for healthcare

  2. Advanced funeral planning, funeral options and costs and

  3. How to prepare and organize healthcare and other documents as we age.

Social Justice Committee has prepared a questionnaire about our SJ interests and activities. If you did not receive an email copy, there are paper copies available at NUUF. Please return your completed questionnaire to Diane Reupert or any member of the committee.


Letter received from the UUSC: from President William Schulz: "Please thank the members of your congregation for supporting the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee with the budgeted gift of $434.00....Since 1939, supporters like you have helped the UUSC become a leading voice in advancing human rights worldwide. We pledge to honor your commitment to us through our efforts to defend the human right to water, to restore and protect our civil liberties, to ensure workers' rights and to preserve the rights of vulnerable people after disasters....Thank you again for your generous contributions to our work promoting human rights and social justice. Your support will make a real difference in the lives of people in the United States and around the world."


Welcome New Members: Sharon Reilly and Mary Beth O'Halloran


Arts in Our Community

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

Message from the President:

Two years ago I decided to retire - and I did. I've gotten involved in the Northwoods community, and NUUF has been key to that involvement. I've met many wonderful, fascinating people. I've been amazed at who is hiding in the woods of northern Wisconsin. And, I've gained an appreciation for the difficulties of life in rural America. But, I wanted to reconnect with my home town, Wausau. So, last spring when a friend told me about a job in Wausau with the University of Wisconsin, I decided to apply. I thought that it would be a good way to plug into the community and the state. I've been working at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service for a month now, and I am finding it very rewarding. However, it is a challenge to find the time to get everything done. Please bear with me. I am still committed to the NUUF community and hope that I can manage to fulfill my obligations..


I would like others in the Fellowship to have the opportunity to talk a bit about themselves and about issues of concern to them. So, in the next newsletter I'd like to turn 'my space' over to one of the other board members. We need to get to know each other better.


Speaking of the board, we are having a meeting on September 13 of the board and all committee chairs. It will be a chance to clarify roles and responsibilities, and to understand better what we are all doing. If anyone else is interested in attending, you are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held at the Fellowship from 9:00 am - 11:00 am.


I'd also like to bring to your attention that Philip Jenkins will be speaking at the UW Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) in Wausau, sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute of Public Policy and Service (full disclosure, I work there). Jenkins is the author of Laying Down the Sword :Why we can't ignore the Bible's violent verses." He maintains that the Bible contains language that is much more violent than the Qur'an and that unless we understand this, we will never come to terms with each other. He will be speaking at 7 PM in the CCE theater. Please contact me if you'd like more information. John

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


Sherry Zoars 09-01

Tim Kratz 09-01

Jonathon Beutler 09-01

Ruth Erbs 09-07

Rev. Sydney Morris 09-07

MacKenzie Reupert 09-08

Mollie West 09-10

Eileen Schultz 09-10

Greg & Dawn Holt 09-10

Pam Thul-Immler & Rick Immler 09-11

Sharon Reilly 09-11

Cathy & Dion Peterson 09-13

Erick Boustead 09-16

Tim Muench and Trish Kirk 09-26

Betsy Schussler & Rick Foral 09-30


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



John Viste, President



The NUUSLetter is published monthly. Newsletter Deadline: October 27 (no October newsletter). 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.