Newsletter February 2015 - The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood

Vol. 54 No. 6
February 2015
February’s theme invites us into the world of curiosity. I admit to being curious
about many things. To be curious is a natural state of being, apparent in early
childhood and carried on through a lifetime of self-actualized living. As children
we are natural scientists, asking questions of everything and seeking (and finding!) impossible and improbable explanations. To be curious means to have a
strong desire to learn something. Curiously, it could also mean a strange or
unusual object or fact: a curiosity. To be curious is part of the human condition.
From the Intern
Minister’s Mailbox
My curiosity has caused me enormous challenges. I have found that while it is
reasonable to be interested in some things and even reasonable to be expert
in several things, it is impossible to pursue an interest in all things. I suffered
for many years because I imagined everything was a potential area of focus
and interest. I found my mind racing to connect disparate things and make
whole pieces of things that usually didn’t fit together. But try I would.
When I attended university, I wanted to take every possible subject. I felt never before had there been arrayed before me such a compelling constellation of courses, subjects and subject matter experts. In my first
days at university, I recall spending endless hours reading through the course catalog as though it were the
Sears and Roebuck catalog. I remember being smitten with the idea of taking a year-long course in Polish
history simply because it interested me, though it had no connection to the courses I needed to complete my
major requirements. Also, I looked longingly upon the science and engineering courses with wonder and
marveled at all the things that I might never know. I thought myself to be the lesser for not knowing yet finding solace in being an “artsy.”
Often our natural inquisitiveness and curious nature insists that we hold opposing ideas. It is from the holding
of things in opposition that insight into the real truth of things can be revealed.
In the Middle Ages this was called coincidentia oppositorum, an ecstatic condition in which things that
seemed separate and even opposed coincide and are revealed with an unexpected unity. The holding of such
things can create the opportunity to step outside of oneself, known to the ancients as ekstasis.
In Karen Armstrong’s book, The Bible, she states that as human beings we naturally seek a “stepping outside” of our normal, mundane experience. Those wisdom books we view as transcendent enable each succeeding generation to glimpse the truth through their own fresh eyes and new perspective. Our curiosity for
understanding our lives and the world we inhabit insists that we apply fresh lenses to what is happening
around us. According to Armstrong, the truth revealed by the unity of opposites is a "major characteristic of a
peak religious insight is a sense of completeness and oneness.”
In the month of February you may find your natural sense of curiosity awakened. If by chance you find yourself holding ideas that are in opposition, I ask that you continue to hold them until the larger truth and unity
reveals itself.
Our theme of the month reminds me of one of my favorite children’s books by
Mem Fox, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. She tells the story of a little
boy who brings his curiosity to the residents of the nursing home next door by
asking the question, “What’s a memory?” This particular curiosity of his is the
result of overhearing his parents talk about his favorite resident, Miss Nancy,
who is losing her memory.
The answers he receives from the other residents include “something from
long ago, something warm, something that makes you laugh, something that
makes you cry, something as precious as gold.” The little boy then proceeds
to gather tangible objects from his own life that represent those descriptions to
give to Miss Nancy. It turns out that those objects indeed fueled Miss Nancy’s
memory! Each gift sparked a special life memory that she then shared with the
little boy.
I think I like this particular book so much, because it actually shows curiosity as producing positive results.
“Curiosity killed the cat.” “Ignorance is bliss.” I have certainly been guilty of saying these. I was even told as
a child in the South that questions showed a lack of faith. What??? As Unitarian Universalists who value
questions as much—if not more—than answers, we would be horrified to hear an adult say that to a child.
Curiosity is at the foundation of our UU Fourth Principle: a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
In addition, the mission statement for our Religious Education program states, “To create a safe and nurturing
learning community where our children and youth can…ask questions.” Because it can produce answers we
do not necessarily like, questioning is not always comfortable; however, if we are to be responsible in our
search for truth, we must practice curiosity. Unitarian Universalism is an evolving faith—revelation is not
sealed. As Unitarian Universalists, therefore, our beliefs evolve with our experiences and learnings.
As we explore curiosity this month, perhaps there are questions we need to be asking now. Maybe there are
spiritual practices that can help us discover assumptions or hard-held opinions that are no longer useful. How
can we use our curiosity to dig a little deeper?
In the journey,
Laura Beth
Children/Youth Religious Education News
It is time to return your Guest at Your Table Boxes! Please return your box along with a check for the
amount you collected to Laura Beth’s mailbox in Reeb. DO NOT LEAVE CASH. Make the check out to
“USR” with “GAYT” in note section. Please note: No Religious Education on Sunday, February 15th.
The Paramus-Ridgewood joint youth group will be meeting at Central Unitarian Church, in Paramus, for the
month of February. We are looking forward to a fun and interesting month in February. January 30th-Feb.
1st, several of our youth will be attending the district social event — “Donkey Con” at the Shelter Rock congregation. Any of our youth not attending that CON, please attend that week at Paramus. We will be keeping you up to date regarding YG news via the e-newsletter and the GROUP ME text system in case anything
The Youth Group Service “Ages Stages, Years and Fears” will be reprised on February 22nd at CUCParamus. In addition, we will be engaging in a session around the topic of Standing on the Side of Love, as
well as setting a plan for our service projects, movie trips, and more…
We are always looking for additional youth advisers to work at any level of involvement—from being present
at regular Sunday morning meetings to chaperoning youth at social events—both local and district wide. If
you are all interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to contact Valerie Freseman at (646) 7135928 or at [email protected] for more information.
February 2015
In the quiet of this wintry season, your Board of Trustees has been hard at work. As
we discussed at our January Town Hall meeting, the Board has been actively engaged in supporting congregants and lay leaders during Rev. Kathleen’s continued
medical leave. During this challenging time, we have been grateful for your support,
good will, and steadfast confidence.
The Board looks forward to our work together in the month ahead. By the time you
read this, we will have had a wonderful evening at our Service Auction! Thank you to
all who helped to organize this amazing event, and to those who offered items and
those who generously bid on and purchased these items.
In February, the congregation will continue to strive towards excellence in all areas of
ministry: we will offer stimulating and enriching Sunday Services; we will support our children and youth on
their journeys; and we will provide love and encouragement to those among us who are struggling with illness
and loss.
In the deep of winter, we will also begin to till our fields for what might come in spring.
Annual Budget Drive
The Annual Budget Drive Committee has been busy planning since last summer -- very soon, we will all turn
our attention towards making this year’s drive a success. Over the last few weeks, some of you may have
noticed Eileen Jarrett and her daughter, Jaime, roaming around with their camera and tripod, taking footage
of congregants dancing, singing and even raising their coffee cups. We are eager to see what comes of all
this merriment. Stay tuned for more!
Green Sanctuary
Our application for the LGEA program, which was approved in the fall, will begin to bear fruit in the next few
months, as well. We have chosen a firm to conduct a full audit of our facilities and energy usage, and this
audit will be conducted in the next 60 to 90 days. With this audit in hand, we can begin to think about how to
make our buildings more energy efficient and how to plan for a more sustainable future for our congregation.
Carlos’ Ordination
We are also looking forward to Carlos’ ordination, which will take place on May 31. This event, which we are
co-sponsoring with our sister congregation, the Unitarian Church at Summit, will provide a wonderful opportunity for us to highlight all the things that are unique and remarkable about our congregation. It will also provide the opportunity for us to look towards the future as our intern takes his place in our larger denomination.
Board Goals and Objectives: Communications
Please take a look at the Board’s goals and objectives that follow this letter. As you can see, we have continued to advance on a number of fronts. Thanks to the work of Carol Wolf and Ann Pareti, we have made
amazing progress on our website. In addition, this month, we empowered a communications task team. This
team will first be focused on rolling out the ACS “people” module, and drafting a Privacy Policy and testing to
verify safeguards.
If you have any questions or comments about our goals and objectives, please do not hesitate to approach
me or any other Board member. As always, the Board is grateful to you, our congregation, for the trust that
you’ve placed in us, and we look forward to working with you as we move forward.
Suzanne Samuels, President of the Board of Trustees
Goals and Objectives
Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
Goal 1: Improve Communications
Who is Involved
1) Internal Communications
a) Communicate Strategic Plan
b) Town Hall Meetings
c) Newsletter Updates
d) Interface with Congregants
(Welcome Team, Bulletin Board,
present at all events)
BOT, all congregation Yearlong
BOT, all congregation Monthly
Monthly Updates
Not Begun
Ongoing: Done in Nov/Dec/Jan
Ongoing: Done in Jan/Feb
e) Monthly meetings streamlined
(process observer, readings, create
template for committee meetings,
liaisons to committees)
Bulletin Boards created; Welcome Team ongoing: (done in
Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan) participation in events ongoing.
Process observer instituted;
Readings not started;
Template completed; liaisons
2) External Communications
a) Communications Task Team
b) Website revamped
c) USR Face book Page Updated
BOT and others
BOT and others
BOT and others
As Needed
As Needed
To be rolled out in Feb.
In process
Goal 2: Enhance Stewardship of the Congregation
1) Facilities
a) Reeb Basement Renovation
b) A/V System in Anderson
2) Finance
a) Annual Budget Drive
b) Planned/Legacy Giving
c) Rentals (homepage, photos,
text, review rates)
3) Membership
BOT and Facilities
BOT and Facilities
Reviewed needs;
Concluded Sept. 2014
In progress
BOT and Budget
Drive Comm.
BOT and Finance
BOT and Finance
ABD Monthly
requests; ongoing
In process
In process
BOT and Membership Council
In progress
Goals and Objectives
Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
Who is Involved
4) Leadership Development
a) Support Nominations in filling BOT
b) Harvest the Power Leadership
Development Program
c) Explore change in by-laws to
Leadership Dev./Formation
5) Committee on Ministry
a) Support Ministerial Evaluation
b) Explore possibility of changing/
broadening Comm. on Ministry's
BOT, Nominations
In process
BOT, Nominations,
Human Resources
Fall and Spring
workshop meetings
BOT, Nominations
Fall workshop
Spring workshop in dev.
Not begun
BOT, Comm. on Ministry
Through evaluation
On Hold
through Rev.
Not begun
Goal 3: Finalizing the Long-Range Strategic Plan
1) Share Draft Plan
BOT, all congregation
Not Begun
2) Empower Long-Range Strategic
Plan Task Team (LRSPTT)
By January
Not Begun
3) LRSPTT revises plan, as appropriate
By Jan./Feb.
Not Begun
4) LRSPTT presents plan to congregation
By April
Not Begun
5) Congregation approves plan by vote
Annual Meeting
USR Weather Closing Notification
The severe ice storm on Sunday, January 18th, left many of us unsure
where to get information about USR weather closings. Please be advised of the following, in the case of inclement weather:
1) If the Ridgewood Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, or Department of Education issues a weather advisory, severe
weather alert, or hazardous weather conditions advisory, or closes
schools or public buildings because of the weather, the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood will also close. The premises will remain closed
until the restriction is lifted by the Board of Trustees.
2) The congregation and renters will be advised of these closings
through eblast, website and Face book announcements. We will also change the telephone message for our
main number, 201-444-6225, to inform of this closure.
Thank you in advance for your patience and consideration as we formalize this process.
Fellowship Feast
Do you love to party? Are you a control freak? Is generosity of spirit your forte? Does music inspire you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be the perfect person to host a table for the Fellowship Feast on Saturday, March 21, 2015!! If you’ve done it before, you know how easy it is (not to
mention fun!), and we’d love to have you back. If you haven’t, please consider doing so. Detailed directions will be provided and will include a sample e-mail as well as the list of members you’ll invite to your
table. Since this year’s theme for the Budget Drive is Music, we’d be happy to suggest ideas to incorporate the theme at your table, but we’re guessing you can probably do that all by yourself! If you’re interested in hosting, please contact Assunta Trischka and write in the subject line: I’d LOVE to host a FF table:)
Fellowship Feast — CALL FOR TALENT!
We need YOU to perform at the Fellowship Feast on March 21st! Can you sing, dance, play an instrument, recite a poem, do a skit, tell jokes, juggle, make shadow puppets? Almost anything goes!
Our Music Director, Ron Levy, has generously offered to accompany performers on piano. Also needed
are stage management types and other behind-the-scenes people to help the show run smoothly.
Contact Kristen Plumley before February 23rd if you are interested in participating.
Don’t be shy – join the fun. : )
Did You Know...?
Cost of Religious
Other: $435,000
Total Operating Budget:
Did You Know...?
Cost of Owning and
Maintaining Our
Home: $150,000
Other: $410,000
Total Operating Budget:
The Planned Giving Committee
The Planned Giving Committee would like to announce we are once again accepting applications for
grants. This year, the amount available is $6,000. As a reminder, the purpose of these dollars is to help
support your worthy causes. In the past we have underwritten scholarships for a needy student, contributed
towards a new school in Guatemala, funded a music-based learning program for CAMP, and assisted the
start-up of a reproductive choice organization, among many others.
Applications are available at the main office and may be turned back into the office or emailed directly to JefCagan. Or, go to front page of website and print application. The deadline for all applications is March 16th.
Please direct any questions to Jeff Cagan (chair). In addition, we can also help guide you if you have any
questions about charitable trusts and wills for your Planned Giving goals.
Monday Lecture Series
Please join us every Monday, 12:30 p.m., in the Fellowship Room for our new Monday Lecture Series entitled
“Understanding Cultural and Human Geography”. The course is a 24-lecture series that discusses the cultural and political relationship between people and their geographic location and how these factors interact by
changing both sides of the relationship. No sign up is necessary, just come on time with your interest.
Pastoral Care Team
You did see the Pastoral Care Team in action when we performed the lay-led service on January 11th. I neglected to introduce each member during the service and for that I apologize to them. From your comments,
we should all come away with the knowledge that the team works well together and that the task of being
there when you need us is in good hands. We can help you when you need our services, but only if you
ASK. We like to think of ourselves as a get-well card that says much more than GET WELL...kind of like
Hallmark on steroids! Kathy Azzara is the chair of the Caring Committee that helps with meals, transportation assignments and, yes, appropriate messages saying, get well, congratulations, and offering condolences. The Pastoral Associates, led by Reverend Kathleen is made up of Julie McMurray, Stephanie Byers,
Georgetta Walsh and Carlos. Last Sunday, I told you what we do. If you need a refresher, look on the bulletin board where you will find our names and pictures...then we invite you to find or call any one of us if you
have questions, suggestions or comments.
Martin Lavanhar
We are saddened to hear of the loss of Jan Cohen’s mother, Harriet Cohen, on January 4th after a long battle with heart disease.
We offer a speedy recovery to Marion Jones who is at home, from rehab, after an auto accident.
We wish, Carol Loscalzo, Ira Mendelsberg, Anita Young and Dale Muto our best wishes for a speedy recovery as they recuperate from their injuries.
Our thoughts are with Bernie Spitz as he awaits imminent back surgery while in the hospital.
February 1
Curiosity: Before and After the Beginning - Rev. Mary Tiebout
Myths, fairy tales and religious texts have much to say about curiosity. Heroes are
cautioned against it; heroes are made because of it.
Musician: Ron Levy, piano
February 8th
Above and Beyond - Carlos R. Martinez
Scientific inquiry is often upheld as the epitome of human curiosity and discovery.
Curiosity driven by fact and empirical observation can surprisingly give way to a trust
and confidence in the unseen.
Musicians: Ron Levy, piano and Robert Radliff, violin
February 15th
Footprints on your Soul - Rev. Sue Henshaw
Do you believe in ghosts? How are we connected to those who have died? Or,
aren’t we at all? An exploration of joyful ghost hunting.
Musicians: Ron Levy, piano and Kristen Plumley, vocals
February 22nd
Why Should I Believe That? - Rev. Dr. Edward Frost
Belief is obviously a curious and complicated human phenomenon. It tells us and the
world who we are. It leads us to pick up the sufferer and lift him to a place of healing.
It walls us in and narrows our view or opens the gates and sets us free. It matters
what we believe. May we never cease from believing and never cease from doubt.
Musician: Ron Levy, piano
Upcoming themes:
March - Commitment
April - Joy
May - Appreciation
The Emerson Circle will gather on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays (February 12th & 26th) at
7:15 p.m., in the 2nd Floor meeting Room (aka “the Intern Office”). Come read aloud
the original works of Transcendentalist authors, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker, et. al.
Thursday, February 12th, 7:00 p.m.
“Margaret Fuller and the Peabody Sisters: The Origins of an American Women’s Movement in UnitarianTranscendentalism” — A Talk by Megan Marshall
Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Megan Marshall, will discuss her two prize-winning biographies, her research and fascination with these founders of American feminism whose network of friends (and husbands!) included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Horace Mann. Tickets: $15, can be purchased at the door. Light
refreshments will be served.
Megan Marshall Recommends Reading:
Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
Tickets: $15 (can be purchased at the door).
March 12th, Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
“Emerson, Freedom and Fate”
Paul Grimstad, Asst. Professor of English, Yale University
April 23rd, Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
A Lecture/Concert: “The Transcendentalists and their Music: Inspiration and Influences”
Adam Kent, Pianist & Music Educator
May 14th, Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
“The Evolution of Beauty: From Warblers to Warhol”
Richard Prum, McArthur Foundation Grantee, Professor, Ornithologist, Curator Yale Peabody Museum.
Interested in a unique weekend of travel with “like-minded” souls to sites significant to the Transcendentalist
movement in Concord, Massachusetts? Well, join the Emerson Circle on its trip to the epicenter of the Transcendentalist movement—please SIGN-UP by emailing or calling Intern Minister Carlos R. Martinez NO
LATER THAN MARCH 1st. Dates: April 17-19. Telephone: 201-345-9584 or Email: [email protected]
Transcendentalist Travel Seminar, “Tracing the Transcendentalists in Italy,” May 2015
Travel with other Unitarian Universalists and friends and explore your UU heritage and roots. Join us as we
explore Sicily, Naples and the Amalfi Coast, following in the footsteps of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret
Fuller and Theodore Parker as we delve into their life stories and philosophies.
Visit for more information and to register.
Coming soon: The Spring Season of Connections will be starting in March. Connections is USR’s smallgroup ministry program, a spiritual practice in which 6-10 people gather to speak from the heart, to be heard
and to listen deeply to each other. In Connections you can explore spirituality and life issues, meet new people, develop close relationships and deepen your understanding of our faith and values. New groups will be
forming soon for the spring season of Connections.
There are many ways to sign up for the Spring season of Connections: Click onto the front page of
the USR website,; sign up
through future email blasts or speak to someone at
coffee hour on February 8th, 15th and 22nd. Contact Bea Cronin or Caroline Lavanhar if you have
any questions.
Correction to Pastoral Care article that appeared in the January 2015 newsletter. Please note Intern
Minister, Carlos R. Martinez, is supported by Rev. Charles B. Ortman, UU Congregation of Montclair,
who is acting as his intern supervisor during Rev. Kathleen’s absence.
USR Members Make Time to Help Others on MLK Day
The Martin Luther King Children’s Celebration took place again this year with kids from C.A.M.P. YDP in
Paterson joining our RE youth and children in a racially diverse day of fun.
Bravo to Anita Knechel for organizing the preschool events and to Dave Knechel for assisting. Karen
Ramsahai, Judy Scanlan, Eileen Jarrett, Stephanie Byers and Sofy Foda supervised the activities.
Thanks also to the following adults for entertaining school age children; Sean Brennan, Joanna and
Larry Davis-Swing, and George Witte helped to collect supplies and facilitate activities.
Don Campolo and Marilyn Maney prepared a tasty lunch for 80 children and adults while Brietta Savoie helped out. Tom Sanchez, Elizabeth Ames, Judy Scanlan and Marshall Katzman ran the dishwasher, washed pots and pans, and put the kitchen in order long after the guests were gone.
Thanks to Marshall Katzman for photography, audio assistance, and troubleshooting.
Whole Foods also deserves our patronage for their generous food donations!
USR Youth Perform Social Service
Eleven youth from the Unitarian Society chose to spend Martin Luther King Day serving others. They volunteered to entertain a diverse group of younger kids from C.A.M.P. in Paterson and children from our Society.
Madeleine Brennan, Tyler Richardson, and Helen Witte planned the activities and supervised stations.
Sebastian Samuels, Zoe Trischka, Ava Duran, Alana Krag, Allen Davis-Swing, Josie Percy, and
Mallery Davis-Swing engaged the children in play while Mandy Rosengren assisted in the kitchen. These
teens were joined by Ann Pareti’s son Glenn and his friend Dylan Bischoff. They all are to be commended.
Plate Collection on December 7th
I want to thank the congregation for their most generous support at the December 7th plate collection. We
raised $974.00 for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and the children they serve. This money will transform
the lives of orphaned children in five countries throughout the world. USR Member Judy Silver.
Red Doors
Starting immediately, the ground level red doors of the main building that lead into the RE space will be
locked on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. until the service is over. The Safe Congregation Response Team made
this decision after meeting with a member of the Ridgewood Police Department and with a Security task
team made up of people representing all USR Councils. The safety of our children and congregants were
the motivating reasons. The Fellowship Room door and the red doors leading into Anderson Hall continue
to be open during Sunday services. Questions? Ask Response Team members: Carol Loscalzo, Chris
Byers, Steven Samuels, Suzanne Samuels.
Living the Welcoming Committee
Please join us on Friday evening, February 13th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Room at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, located at 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ, to watch an award-winning film entitled
“JUST GENDER”. The film tackles the little understood world of transgender people. JUST GENDER explores the common myths and misunderstandings about transgendered people. It also explores the confusion between sexual orientation and gender identity, as reflected in the rigid binary view of the world generally
held by society. JUST GENDER also touches on the discrimination, hardships and brutality resulting from
those misconceptions and prejudices. This film has been shown in major cities across America. The film is
being presented by the Living the Welcoming Committee of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood. Discussion
will follow. Admission is free, donations appreciated, refreshments available.
February 22nd Plate Collection
The plate collection for February 22nd will be for Room to Read, a global organization seeking to transform
the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a
habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to
complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of nearly nine million
children in Asia and Africa and is on track to reach 10 million children by 2015. USR member Mary Byron
became involved with the organization when she lived in Japan. She is a member of their NY Advisory
Board. For more information on the plate collection process contact Carol Loscalzo, chair of the Social Responsibilities Council.
Plate Collection Application Deadline
In 2009, the USR Board granted the Social Responsibilities Council (SRC) approval to use the Offertory Collection at Sunday services to collect money for social justice causes, as determined by the SRC.
The deadline to submit applications for the next cycle is March 18, 2015. The Council will consider all requests made by members and friends of the USR on an equal basis. Please think about what social justice
causes you are involved with and complete an application. The cause should be consistent with the mission
of USR to be “a beacon of justice and love in the world”. For full criteria, please consult the Plate Collection
Guidelines which can be found on the USR website (SRC webpage). The application form is available on
the USR website or at the SRC table. If you would like the Council to consider an organization to receive a
plate collection please complete this form and submit it to the office or send to Carol Loscalzo, SRC chair.
Thank you.
An Invitation to Social Justice Weekend March 27 – 29
The Social Responsibilities Council is excited to announce plans for the 2015 Social Justice Weekend. The
weekend's theme will be anti-racism and events will focus on racial injustice, white privilege, and mass incarceration. As a lead up to the weekend, please join in the March 6th book discussion on The New Jim Crow:
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. Refer to USR's website and this
newsletter for more information.
On the evening of Friday, March 27, there will be a viewing of “The House I Live In”, a 2012 documentary film
about the war on drugs in United States. Other activities are being planned, including a panel discussion on
Saturday, March 28.
The YWCA of Bergen County is co-sponsoring the weekend and other co-sponsors are welcome. The Social
Justice Weekend Task Team includes representatives from the Ridgewood/Glen Rock communities, two
other Bergen County Unitarian Universalist congregations, youth, and members of USR. All are welcome to
join us for the next meeting, Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Contact Carol Loscalzo for more information.
Do you know a youth who is fired up about social justice? Help spread the word — the
UU College of Social Justice’s summer youth programs are enrolling now. Here’s what
some of our past participants have to say:
“[Activate] is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. . . . I truly cannot express how good this program was for me. I’ve turned from someone
who was sort of interested in social justice to a true activist, and I would never
have been able to do that alone.” —Amethyst M.
“I learned that no matter where a group of people is from, the sense of community and connection can be almost instant, and within a week, a group of
strangers can become a group of lifelong friends!” —Sarah P.
This summer, we have expanded our teen programs. Please share the information below
with young people who are committed to social justice and eager to grow in community.
Activate General Assembly: A One-Day Sampler, June 24
Join us in Portland, Ore., to dig into climate justice and plan how to be part of change.
Perfect for passionate environmentalists as well as youth new to climate issues.
Activate New Orleans, July 18–26
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, there’s still work to be done. Help rebuild a thriving
New Orleans in this program run in partnership with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal.
Activate Boston, July 18–August 1
Gain a broad foundation of justice skills through mini-internships and work with groups
like Boston Mobilization. You'll explore ways to advocate for change, all in a city rich with
UU history.
NEW! Activate Southwest Border, August 1–9
This program, based in Tucson with our partner BorderLinks, will give you profound insight into immigration and human rights. Find your place in immigration justice today.
Group opportunities
UUCSJ offers service-learning trips customized for your youth group. Our experienced
staff will work with your group to schedule a trip full of enriching service opportunities.
Learn more and register today at!
10:00 Service
12:30 Understanding Cultural and
Human Geography” class/
Fellowship Rm
9:45 Pastoral
Care Mtg/
Upstairs Mtg Rm
7:30 Racial
Justice Weekend Task
Team Mtg/
Conf Rm
7:00 Committee
on Ministry/
Fellowship Rm
11:15 GS 2.0 Mtg./ Conf
11:45 Connections Mtg/
Youth Rm
7:00 USR Board
Mtg/Conf Rm
7:30 Connections
Mtgs/Conf Rm
and Youth Rm
7:30 Writing
Group/Conf Rm
7:30 Connections
Mtg/Youth Rm
7:00 Sunday Service Comm. Mtg/
Upstairs Mtg Rm
7:45 Zen Meditation/Fellowship
10:00 Service
12:30 Understand- 7:00 CYRE
ing Cultural and
Human GeograRm
phy” class/
Fellowship Rm
7:00 SRC
7:15 A Talk by
Megan Marshall/
7:00 Living
the Welcoming Movie/
“Just Gender”
5:00 Youth Event/
7:30 Writing
Group/Conf Rm
7:45 Zen Meditation/Fellowship
10:00 Service
12:30 Understanding Cultural and
Human Geography” class/
Fellowship Rm
11:30 Peace & Justice
Mtg/Conf Rm
7:30 Writing
7:45 Zen Meditation/Fellowship
10:00 Service
12:30 Understanding Cultural and
Human Geography” class/
Fellowship Rm
11:15 UU Class led by
Intern Minister, Carlos
Martinez/Conf Rm
7:00 RJ Mtg/Conf
7:45 Zen Meditation/Fellowship
7:15 Emerson
Mtg. Rm
7:30 Writing
9:30 Stewardship
7:00 Society Café
*Monday Night Zen: First-Timers,
please call Bernard or Marcia Spitz
Editor/Membership Administrator: Ann Pareti
[email protected]
The Rev. Kathleen Green, Minister
Carlos R. Martinez, Ministerial Intern
[email protected]
[email protected]
Laura Beth Brown, Director of Religious Education
[email protected]
Valerie Freseman, Youth Program Coordinator
[email protected]
Ron Levy, Music Director
[email protected]
Jeri Brandes, Finance & Facilities Manager
[email protected]
Laura Summers, RE Administrative Assistant
[email protected]
Society Office Hours: 9:00—3:00, Monday-Friday
Chandrika Chowdhry, Secretary
[email protected]
Board of Trustees:
Page 1
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Page 3-8
Letter from Suzanne Samuels
2014/2015 Goals/Objectives
2015 Fellowship Feast
Budget Notice/Planned Giving
New Lecture Series
Circle of Life
Pastoral Care
Upcoming Services
Emerson Circle
Plate Collection
MLK Celebration Thank You
Notice from Safe Congregation
Living the Welcoming Event
Social Justice Weekend
Book Discussion
UU College of Social Justice
Page 8
Page 8-12
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Page 14-18
Suzanne Samuels, President
Charles Walter, Interim Vice President
Jeff Summerville, Treasurer
Helen Matusow-Ayres, Secretary
Regina Andrews, Trustee
Kris Henrickson, Interim Trustee
Robert Markowitz, Trustee
Kevin Smith, Trustee
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Page 20
Judd Seals, Trustee
Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
Mission Statement
Growing in mind and spirit,
We act together as a beacon for justice and love,
Transforming self and world.
Adopted May 17, 2009
Invitation to Participate
Welcome! For over a hundred years this Society has been a
place where free-thinking, broad-minded persons have come to
participate in a vibrant, liberal religious community. In fulfillment of
our current congregational mission we create a safe and loving environment that supports personal growth and provides ways for
each individual to make a difference in the larger community.
We offer a stimulating Sunday service, an excellent religious
education program for children and youth, and many educational,
spiritual and social activities for adults. Every Sunday our Social
Responsibilities Council has a table set up during Social Hour with
information about social justice and charitable opportunities.
113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Anti-Racist Congregation
This Society is an anti-racist congregation committed to reflecting
this commitment in the life and culture of the entire organization. Adopted May, 2002.
Living the Welcoming
We have been a Welcoming Congregation since 1998, supporting
the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Safe Congregation
This Society is a Safe Congregation where practices and procedures serve to ensure all members, friends, adults, children and
youth are treated with respect and protected from harassment and
NOW accepting articles for February 22nd deadline
@ [email protected]