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Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg


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The Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg is a member of the Joseph Priestley District of the Unitarian Universalist Association.


Services - 2011

Please join us for Sunday services at 10:30 am. All are welcome!

What are our services like?

(View 2009 -2010 services, 2008 services, 2007 services)

The Turning of the Year
Sunday, December 30, 2007

Members of the Worship Committee are planning an End of the Year service with poetry, music, and surprises.

Christmas Eve: Sing a little jingle with your church family
Monday, December 24, 2007; 7:30 PM

We’ll have candles, stories, carols and companionship to warm us up this time of year. Kris Eyssell and Sabrina Paxton-Daily are coordinating this service.

A Theological Experiment – but just for UU's
Lou Hammann
Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lou Hammann is a semi-retired Emeritus Professor of Religion and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is a founding member of Hundredfold Farm and always politically engaged as well as engaging.

Shepherds of Light
Rev. Kate Bortner
December 16, 2007

At this darkening time of year we instinctively yearn toward the light. Endings and beginnings occupy our thoughts, ritual and remembrance. What new treasurers lie
within and ahead for UUG at this most ancient time of year?

An Inquiry into Immortality
Charles Skopic
December 9, 2007

The idea of eternal life after death has a long history in religion and is a central tenet of many religions. The concept is very appealing and long enduring, but how does it stand up under close examination?

Charles Skopic has been a member of UUG for about 4 years. He is a retired Federal executive who, with his wife Lynn, moved to Gettysburg in 1998. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the local United Way and the Watershed Alliance, and a member of the County’s Green Space Advisory Committee. He occasionally writes an article for the Gettysburg Times and sometimes hosts a ½ hour program on Adams Community TV.

From Fundamentalism to Freedom
Marc Adams
December 2, 2007

Marc Adams is the son of a fundamentalist Baptist minister and grew up (gay) in rural Pennsylvania. He has written an autobiography “The Preacher’s Son” which received a Silver Pen Award and was a finalist in the Lambda Literary Award. He has also written “(lost) Found” and “Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with the Religious Right”. He has spoken at other UU congregations in the area in the past several years. He will also be speaking at Gettysburg College.

The Devil’s Dictionary: The Life of Ambrose Bierce
Knitters and Stitchers

August 14, 2011: 10:30 am
Ambrose Bierce has been compared to satirist Mark Twain. His Devil’s Dictionary, published in 1906 under a different name, is a compendium of aphorisms about religion that have aged well. The Knitters and Stitchers discovered his booklet while organizing donations to the annual yard sale.

Learning to Live Without a "Why"
August 28, 2011: 10:30 am
Rev. Richard S. Gilbert, presented by Charles Skopic
Some thoughts on the search for meaning in the daily routine of our lives.

Mindfulness Meditation Community
The Mindfulness Meditation Community meets at 6:30 p.m. each Sunday at the Unitarian Universalists Church of Gettysburg at 136 South Stratton Street. The meditation group follows the Buddhist Theravada tradition of Vipassana or Insight Meditation. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience and compassion. People of all faiths and backgrounds are welcomed to learn about meditation, contemplation and mindfulness. For information, call 717-334-1233.

Islam and the UU
David Humphrey
August 7, 2011: 10:30 am

The Devil’s Dictionary: The Life of Ambrose Bierce
Knitters and Stitchers
August 14, 2011: 10:30 am
Ambrose Bierce has been compared to satirist Mark Twain. His Devil’s Dictionary, published in 1906 under a different name, is a compendium of aphorisms about religion that have aged well. The Knitters and Stitchers discovered his booklet while organizing donations to the annual yard sale.

Odyssey Sunday
August 21, 2011: 10:30 am
The path to Unitarian Universalism is not typically linear. Unlike at places of worship where there are shared creeds, we UUs have individual perspectives on questions of ultimate meaning. At our traditional Odyssey service, several of our members will share of their spiritual journeys.

Learning to Live Without a "Why"
August 28, 2011: 10:30 am
Rev. Richard S. Gilbert, presented by Charles Skopic
Some thoughts on the search for meaning in the daily routine of our lives.

Previous Services

What are you Harvesting?
July 31, 2011: 10:30 am
Halfway between Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox, Lammas or
Lughnasad is the Celtic name for this cross-quarter day. It is a time to celebrate the first harvest of the growing season, especially loaves of bread made from grain. Spiral Paths CUUPS will incorporate pagan ritual elements into this service, inviting you to consider what you are harvesting in your life at high summer.

Does God have a Big Toe?
July 24, 2011: 10:30 am
Rev. Emily Palmer
Emily Palmer was a student at Gettysburg College and graduated in the same class as our own Ruthe Craley. She lived for many years in Chambersburg and her granddaughter is currently a student at Gettysburg College. As an Interim Minister, working with Extension Services and our churches abroad, she has served close to 20 Unitarian Universalist churches, from  Vermont and Canada in the North, to Florida in the South where she now lives.  

Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty
written by the Rev. Richard S. Gilbert and read by Ruthe Craley
July 17, 2011: 10:30 am
How can random acts of kindness affect the lives of those about us as well as ourselves?

A Holy or a Broken Halleluia
Rev. Anne Mason
July 10, 2011: 10:30 am
The music of our soul rises unbidden, delighting or despairing.  We need to create space in our lives to listen and savor what it is trying to express.  In the deep stillness of summer, what is the song in your heart? 

Anne Mason, M. Div. is a recent graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary.  After completing a residency in pastoral care at   Hershey Medical   Center , she now works as Director of Pastoral Care and Music at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster. 

Resisting Easy Labels:
The Religion of Thomas Jefferson

Bruce Boenau
Bruce Boenau, a long time UU and member of UUG, views The Jefferson Bible and the complex question of pinninga label on Jefferson: Deist? Anglican? Unitarian?

Flower Communion
Rev. Kate Bortner
June 19, 2011: 10:30 am
Join Rev. Kate and others in the collaborative annual celebration of Summer and our UU community. Please bring a flower for the bouquet we make together.

That Sort of Kindness
by Reverend Jane Rzepka
Kris Eyssell
June 12, 2011: 10:30 am
We come to church for our mind and our spirit...but we also come for relationships. In this treatise on friendship, the Rev. Jane Rzepka, reminds us that church is about the "thousand threads of feeling and shared experience" developed within our community. 

Now That's Righteous, Brother!
Rev. Kate Bortner
Righteousness - an old fashioned virtue, a Biblical requirement, to be embraced or avoided? Just waht is righteous and why should we care?

Amish Grace
Rev. Kate Bortner
May 22, 2011: 10:30 am
In 2006 a tragedy struck a small community in Lancaster County. The world watched in astonishment as this little understood faith community demonstrated forgiveness on a scale few of us can comprehend. I'll offer a look behind the scenes of the many ways the West Nickel Mines shooting touched so many lives.

Vesak - A Celebration of the Buddha's Birth, Death and Enlightenment
John Mulligan
May 15, 2011: 10:30 am
Vesak is a major Buddhist holiday observing the historical Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death. The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal message of peace and loving kindness. The heart of the teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths:

  • The noble truth of suffering

  • The origin and cause of suffering

  • The end or cessation of suffering

  • And the path that leads to the end of all suffering 

Struck by Grace
Rev. Kate Bortner
May 8, 2011
For Unitarian Universalists reason, conscience and free will are foundational to the way we make   our way in the world.  Does that mean we can expect no grace?  Is Grace unavailable to or lost to us?

New Life – Can you Feel It?
led by the Spiral Path, Gettysburg’s Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS)
May 1, 2011
An introduction to CUUPS and a celebration of springtime rituals past and present around the world.

Rev. Kate Bortner
April 24, 2011
7:30 am: Sunrise Service outdoors. Remember to wear “dew-proof shoes”!

8:30 am: Optional Communion in the sanctuary

10:30 am: Easter Service

The offering at this service supports the Gettysburg Ministerium’s voucher system to help churches respond in a systematic, accountable manner to requests for assistance.  This offering will boost their account as it is lowest after winter and provide 2 vouchers/month for UUG to hand out at its discretion.  UUG is a member of the Ministerium.

The Family Chalice
written by the Rev. Bill Gupton, read by Michele Jewell
April 17, 2011: 10:30 am
Flames are used symbolically by many ancient religious traditions - and the chalice has been associated with communion since the early centuries of Christianity.  They are symbols of usefulness and sacrifice;  faith in action, and were used as a symbol denoting safe passage.  Michele will read excerpts from a sermon given by the Rev. Bill Gupton, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church Cincinnati, Ohio.   

Michele Jewell has been active with UUG since 2009.  She is a native of Detroit, has four grown children, four grandchildren and has been a lifelong spiritual seeker ranging from Native American traditions to Buddhism.   

Margaret Fuller
Ruthe Craley
April 10, 2011: 10:30 am
Margaret Fuller was an early feminist (1810-1850) and a member of the so-called "American Transcendentalists ".  She was celebrated at last year's Unitarian Universalist General Assembly for her influence on our church and its teachings.

Ruthe is a retired from public school teaching from York, where she was active in the York UU congregation. She returned to Gettysburg, her home town, in 2000.

Belief - Do We Need It?
Rev. Kate Bortner
April 3, 2011: 10:30 am
Continuing our series on Faith and Doubt, we will look at the role of belief in our lives as humans and as Unitarian Universalists.  Karen Armstrong asserts, “ Religion is not about accepting twenty impossible propositions before breakfast, but about doing things that change you. It is a moral aesthetic, an ethical alchemy. If you behave in a certain way, you will be transformed." --The Spiral Staircase (p.270)

How Shall We Fight
Dick Anliot
March 27, 2011: 10:30 am
Is “fighting” a Unitarian Universalist value? Does it apply differently depending upon the issue? Join us as Dick Anliot, long-time UU and frequent speaker at UUG, unfolds this complex phenomenon.

Voices in the Struggle
Rev. Kate Bortner and Paula Cole Jones
March 20, 2011: 10:30 am
Fresh from Saturday's Journey Toward Wholeness meeting here at UUG, our guest Paula Cole Jones's will join Rev. Kate and others in offering poems from her book  Encounters: Poems about Race, Ethnicity and Identity .   Join us for inspiring words, music and reflections.

After the service Paula will offer a workshop, free and open to other congregations, about leading diverse congregations into the changing future.  Plan to attend this rich morning of worship and engagement.

The Quest
Ellen Dionna
March 13, 2011: 10:30 am
We are born on a quest, to understand our place in The Mystery.  What central questions might inform that quest, and how might we create community with them?

Ellen Dionna is a Spiritual Director, psychotherapist, and shamanic practitioner in private practice in York, PA.  She is a second generation UU, a member of the UU Society of Community Ministers, UU Spiritual Directors Network. She defines herself as a Universalist Mystic.  She is married to retired UU minister, Arthur Hover, and they share a large extended family of children, grands, and great-grands.

A Rampage of Appreciation
Rev. Kate Bortner
March 6, 2011: 10:30 am
I love the extravagance of that phrase. And in the month of Gratitude, on the morning after our Stewardship Dinner, what better time to be extravagant!

Celebrating 1oo years of International Women's Day, 2011
Mary Furlong
February 27, 2011: 10:30 am
With the upcoming celebration of 100 years of International Women's Day on March 8, Mary will share insights about women's rights in various cultures including Malaysia, Zambia, Ghana, and Qatar. In some nations, the day is a national holiday, much in contrast to western societies who often neglect.

Mary Furlong has received two Fulbright awards to Malaysia and Ghana, state women educator's award for Qatar and almost six year church volunteer in Zambia (training teachers and serving as program coordinator of a rural HIV/AIDS project). She initiated women consciousness raising groups through the Hanover YWCA while also serving on a national professional social studies Sexism committee. She recently received a Lifetime Peacemaker award from the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice.

Wholly Joy! Being Happy in an Unhappy World
Rev. Kate Bortner
February 20, 2011: 10:30 am
Have you noticed the number of books, shows and studies being produced on the subject of Happiness? Are we really unhappier or suddenly able to measure it? My colleague Rev. Tom Owen-Towle offered some thoughts in his own book. I’ll share them with you this morning.

Do I have to Love Everyone
By Rev. Douglas Taylor; presented by Kris Eyssell
February 13, 2011: 10:30 am
Join us this Valentine’s weekend to explore the question of what it means to “love everyone” by exploring the history behind St. Valentine’s Day. The Rev. Douglas Taylor is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, NY. Our Worship Committee chair, Kris Eyssell, will read his sermon this Sunday.

Open Doors, Open Hears, Open Minds
Rev. Kate Bortner
February 6, 2011: 10:30 am
We begin the 2011 Stewardship Campaign this Sunday.Your donations finance the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg.As we start to contemplate our pledges for the next fiscal year, how can these contributions make a difference to our community, our congregation and our own convictions? Your gifts open doors. Your gifts open hearts.Your gifts open minds.

A Voice Crying for the Wilderness
Rev. Arthur Hover
January 30, 2011: 10:30 am
In our concerns for institutional religious activities we tend to forget about the prophetic tradition which is universal, breaching all sectarian lines.   Where can we find in our era the historic prophetic line?   We will reflect on this vital aspect of our religious experience.

The Rev. C. Arthur Hover is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister.  He served congregations in Oregon, Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts and Vermont in a ministry that lasted over 40 years.  He and his wife, Ellen Dionna, retired to the wilderness of Vermont in 1992 and spent 13 years co-directing their wilderness retreat center "Blessingwood".  In 2005 they retired again to Pennsylvania.  They are now members of the UU Congregation of York.

Waiting For   IT
Rev. Kate Bortner
January 23, 2011: 10:30 am
How often have you heard or said yourself   "it will be better when I get married...have a baby...get a pet...graduate"...? Just what ARE we waiting for?

In Memoriam
Worship Committee
January 16, 2011: 10:30 am
Lena Horne, Howard Zinn, Mary Daly, and J.D. Sallinger all died in 2010. Join us as we celebrate the lives of the public figures that inspired and challenged us.

Work and Rest: The Rhythm of Our Lives
Rev. Cathy Bowers with Charlie Skopic, reader
January 9, 2011: 10:30 am
This sermon addresses t he religious, cultural and spiritual influences that influence balancing work and rest.

Guilt, Regret and Forgiveness
Rev. Kate Bortner
January 2, 2011: 10:30 am
With our theme for this month as Gentleness, Rev. Kate and Carolyn Stephenson will offer reflections on the shadow side of New Year's Resolutions.  This annual tradition at UUG includes our Burning Ceremony. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow advises:

"Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.”

Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg, 136 South Stratton Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325