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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 - 2009 and 2010

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)

Pay It Forward
Cookie Driscoll
December 26, 2010
Every time you are in the presence of another person, you run the risk of impacting his or her life, good, bad or otherwise. Cookie will give you a tool that will help expand the good you do in your everyday life. Several months before Rev. Ron Crawford retired (again) he tould our congregation that lay led services were going to be a more prominent part of the mix at UUG. He suggested that we all have a sermon in us and urged us to consider signing up to do one. Cookie is delighted to lead Pay It Forward, her fourth, and to send you all home with a gift.

Christmas Eve Vesper: A service in Silence, Music and Readings
Rev. Kate Bortner
December 24, 2010; 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Take a break from the hustle of the Holidaze. Come in, sit down, breathe into space set apart from your soul. Leave your packages in the car, put the oven on hold, get home before dark in time for supper.

Courage of Convictions
Rev. Kate Bortner
December 12, 2010; 10:30 am
The second in our series on Faith and Doubt focuses on two individuals whose faith gave them remarkable courage to seek freedom. Two more different individuals you are not likely to meet, yet their stories have similar threads and some lessons for us.

When a Church Comes Out of the Closet
with the Welcoming Congregation Taks Force
sermon author Rev. Thomas Mikelson
December 12, 2010; 10:30 am
The "Welcoming Congregation" is a way of congregation to come out, a way of standing tall in the community and saying to our nieghbors, we are a church that tries, in every way possible, to embrace people whose sexual orientations are outside of traditional American homophobia. Our own Welcoming Congregation Task force will be coordinating the service. The sermon comes from the Rev. Dr. Thomas J.S. Mikelson, who retired as a minister of the First Parish in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2006. He was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and is a noted interpreter of the theology and social ethics of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Courage of the Seed
Rev. Kate Bortner
December 5, 2010; 10:30 am  
As we gear up for the Holiday season it doesn't take much effort to imagine why courage is a virtue we'll need this winter. Let's be honest about why that is and how we can gather our courage for the weeks ahead.

UUD Addictions Recovery Ministry Story
Rev. Kate Bortner
November 28, 2010; 10:30 am
We welcome Brandon Lillie, from York, and Dennis Byrne from Harrisburg, who will share hopeful stories of determination and wholeness.

Is Temperence a Value UUs Hold Dear?  
Rev. Kate Bortner
November 21, 2010; 10:30 am
This question was posed to me last year by a faithful, earnest, thinking UU of my acquaintance.  Unexpectedly, within 6 months of the question, 2 learned UU ministers delivered major addresses on Temperance.  I'll share some of their thoughts and my own for your consideration.

When the Student is Ready: Reflections on Humility
Mark Bernstein
November 14, 2010; 10:30 am  
Being humble with each other enables members of a congregation to find their “right fit” and to truly listen to and learn from each other. In this sermon, Mark will discuss the virtue of humility and how it can help a congregation to grow and thrive. Mark Bernstein is the Regional Growth Development Consultant for the Central East Region of the UUA. He has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County for 17 years and recently completed a term as President of the Board of Trustees. Mark currently leads a team that is transforming the Adult Faith Development Series at his congregation.

Curious Hero: Joseph Priestley  
Bruce Boenau
November 7, 2010; 10:30 am
What Priestley meant for the rise of Unitarianism, what he believed, and his place in present-day Unitarian Universalism. Bruce Boenau is a long-time UU, active in adult R.E. and a retired member of the faculty at Gettysburg College.

How to Cultivate Enthusiasm in the Humdrum of Every Day Life
Bhante Sujatha
October 31, 2010; 10:30 am
Bhante Sujatha, originally from Sri Lanka, has been an ordained Buddhist Monk for over 30 years. Bhante was invited to Australia where he taught in the monastery before coming to the United States in 1998. Bhante found a home in the Unitarian communities in Michigan and Illinois where he has been based for the past 11 years. He is founder and Abbott of Blue Lotus Temple, Woodstock, IL and travels the globe teaching loving-kindness, compassion, peace and joy.

“In Praise of Doubt”
Rev. Kate Bortner
October 24, 2010; 10:30 am
This will be the first sermon in a series on Faith and Doubt, I’ll introduce the thinking and stories of individuals on what we UUs call “the Journey”. , we’ll meet some Enthusiastic Doubters who can help us appreciate the value of our own doubts as religious seekers.

Radical Hospitality
by Rev. Marilyn Sewell, delivered by Bruce Boenau
October 17, 2010; 10:30 am

The “E” Word
Rev. Kate Bortner
October 10, 2010; 10:30 am
“Evangelism” is one of several words Unitarian Universalists seem not to ba able to say. Why is that? What is it? in a month where we lift up the value of enthusiasm, it is appropriate to consider the role of religious enthusiasm in our lives.

The Tao of the "Dude"
J. Scott Hill
October 3, 2010; 10:30 am
The "Dude" in the film "The Big Lebowski" is the unlikely hero of this off-the-wall, hopelessly complex mystery about a kidnapped trophy wife and mistaken identities. The Cohen Brothers at their best...for some anyway. What is even more mysterious is the growth of a religion bast on the the Dude's beliefs...Dudeism, which adherents proudly call the world's slowest growing religion.

Odyssey Sunday
Various Members and Friends
September 26, 2010; 10:30 am

A tradition at UUG, several members and friends will share their spiritual journeys with us, as well as their favorite hymns.

You're Not the Boss of ME!
Reverend Kate Bortner
September 19, 2010; 10:30 am

Where the congregation is its own authority (congregational polity) how does professional ministry fit into the community?  Come hear the story of my own personal ancestor who was excommunicated by his denomination!

Ingathering: Oh, the Places We've Been!
Reverend Kate Bortner
September 12, 2010; 10:30 am

We return from our summer sojourns to gather once again as a congregation.  In music, ritual and celebration we begin our church year enriched by summer’s experiences. Bring a bit of water  that symbolizes someplace that nurtured your spirit for our annual  Water Communion. We will dedicate three new babies this morning from the Hunt and Siviy families.

Salon (Chemical Dependencies related topic
Susan Jones-Sink
September 5, 2010; 10:30 am

Salon: The Meaning of Life
Kris Eyssell
August 29, 2010; 10:30 am

Philosophers have identified several “enduring questions” that seem to persist throughout time: why am I here? What is the point of my existence? This service will explore this theme, with congregants sharing the myriad ways in which they find meaning in their lives

Service: Making Meaning of a Random Universe
Adapted and led by Ruthe Craley, UUG Worship Associate
August 8, 2010; 10:30 am

In general, most UUs can tolerate more randomness and  ambiguity than members of more fundamentalist denominations. How do we explain these views to others, including our own children? Originally from Gettysburg, Ruthe Craley attended the York UU Congregation for many years and attends UUG. She is a retired public school teacher and a devoted advocate for Women's Rights.

Salon: Review & Discussion of Jesus for the Non-Religious by Bishop John Spong
Wes Kulp
August 15, 2010; 10:30 am

Wes will review the book, Jesus for the Non-Religious, by John Shelby Spong, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, NJ for 24 years. The book is a penetrating review of the historicity of Jesus and early Christianity.
The reviewer, John Wesley Kulp, was a scientist and world traveler for 35 years for a subsidiary of Mine Safety Appliances Co.

Service: Are UUs Christian? One man's perplexed answers
Led by Bruce Boenau, UUG Worship Associate

& the UUG Membership Committee
August 22, 2010; 10:30 am

Bruce Boenau is a long-time UU and retired faculty member of Gettysburg College. He has a strong interest in adult religious education and has taught courses in "The New UU," "Building Your Own Theology," and "Challenging Beliefs.

Melissa Sandoe
August 1, 2010; 10:30 am

When have you experienced a sound that is more than just a sound? How can words, noises, or music tap into the essential hum of the universe? Maybe it is a baby’s coo, a sudden intake of breath at the sight of a loved one, or even a death rattle. Let’s talk about the power of sound and its power over us. Melissa Sandoe is a member of UUG, a mother, an artist, and life long resident of Adams County. As a leader of Dances of Universal Peace and Sufi initiate, she has experienced many sounds as they have transformed her life.

Paulette Lee
July25, 2010; 10:30 am

Service from the Church of the Larger Fellowship
Adapted and led by Charles Skopic, UUG Worship Associate
July 18, 2010; 10:30 am

Salon: Non-violence as a Spiritual Path
Alanna Berger
July 11, 2010; 10:30 am
Followed at 12:00 Noon by Silent Witness training.

Love and Marbles
From the Church of the Larger Fellowship
Adapted and led by Cookie Driscoll, UUG Worship Associate
July 4 , 2010; 10:30 am

Growing Up Gay
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner and friends
June 6, 2010; 10:30 am

UUG members and friends will share their personal experiences and insights, as well as information about the UUA Welcoming Congregation process and Silent Witness. Our annual Flower Communion also will be included. Please bring a flower to share.

Does It Make You Happy; Does It Make You Money; Is It Useful?
Conversation Circle
June 13, 2010; 10:30 am

These are three tips for de-cluttering your life. But as the Conversation Circle folks discovered, sane and simple living is neither simple... nor convenient...nor without its complexities. We'd like to hear from you. This will be a conversation service so bring your own tip for simple living to add to our list. And bring your own thoughts to share.

Diversity in the Church
Betty Dorsey Myers
June 20, 2010; 10:30 am

Diversity in the Church: As it relates to Segregation, Discrimination and Integration.

Betty Myers is a lifelong resident of Gettysburg and widow of the late Adam J. Myers Jr. who was a leader in breaking down the barriers of segregation in Gettysburg in the 1960s. Myers received her B. S. and M. Ed. from Shippensburg University, and retired from teaching in the Gettysburg Area School District. She has been active in community organizations, Gettysburg's Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, served on the Gettysburg Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board. Mrs. Myers has become known as the local historian for Black history in Gettysburg and Adams County, after over twenty years of research. She is a life member the Adams County Historical Society, served on the Task Force for the 175th and 200th Anniversary of Adams County, and the Borough of Gettysburg's Bicentennial Committee and the Historic Pathway Task Force. She also is a founding member of the Lincoln Cemetery Project Association, serving as Secretary/Treasurer and Historian. Her activities led to receiving a state grant to write the history of the Lincoln Cemetery: Segregation in Death: Gettysburg's Lincoln Cemetery, published in 2001. All proceeds from the book go to an endowment fund for the continued care of the cemetery.

What Part of Illegal Don't You Understand?
Cookie Driscoll
June 27, 2010; 10:30 am

Cookie is a newcomer to the Gettysburg area, moving here 23 years ago. She’s one of those people who has done a lot of interesting jobs in her life, including working for the Flagstaff Police Department and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department, driving for UPS, Real Estate sales, Radio, Production. Now she works for herself at C. Cookie Driscoll, Inc. and Whodathunkit Farm in Fairfeld PA.

‘No Man is an Island'- If He Builds Bridges
Homer Wilkins
May 30, 2010; 10:30 am

John Donne’s “No man is an island, entire of itself” stands in stark contrast to Kahlil Gibran’s “Your life is an island separated from all other islands and regions”. The two opposing statements can be reconciled by the concept (and actuality) of bridging. In this service, we explore two (related) kinds of bridges: a) one’s ties with other people, and b) the connections between the different phases of one’s own life. In Homer's own experience, these two kinds of bridges are closely related. The ability to build and maintain such bridges is an important aspect of being human. The discussion will be illustrated by stories from personal experience as well as from the lives of others.

Here Comes The Sun
Kris Eyssell
May 23, 2010; 10:30 am

Those who have stumbled upon the publication, The Sun, know its power; it is “an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for more than thirty years has used words and photographs to invoke the splendor and heartache of being human.” Join us as we enact a service that parallels some of the magazine’s gems: Readers Write, the Dog-Eared Page, and Sunbeams. Worship Coordinator: Kris Eyssell

Kris Eyssell is a member of UUG, and an avid reader of The Sun.

The Popularity of UUism: Questions vs. Answers
Dick Anliott
May 16, 2010; 10:30 am

There are thousands of potential UU members out there. What are the odds of their joining our church? A membership assessment.

Dick is a repeated sermonizer at our church, and a life member of the UU Church of Harrisburg.

Lessons My Mother Taught Me
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
May 9, 2010; 10:30 am

My Mother didn't raise a minister. In fact, she's still scratching her head over THAT one. But she did, indeed, lay the bricks that paved my way for the journey. This morning we'll recognize our own "brick layers" and think about the journey we travel together as a congregation.

The Native American Medicine Wheel
Erraeon Perry
May 2, 2010, 2010; 10:30 am

Erraeon Perry is a member of UUG, as well as being a blooded member of the Yukut Tribe of California. Also known as Split Tree, Erraeon will use stories and songs to educate children and adults in the Native American Spirituality of the Medicine Wheel.

Farewell service
Celie Katovitch
April 25, 2010; 10:30 am

In 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the commencement speech at Harvard University's college of divinity, which took the form of a call for a new religious outlook. It has become known as "The Divinity School Address." This sermon is a Pre-Divinity School Address, offered in thanks and hope for the congregation by an aspirant to the ministry Emerson famously left.

Celie Katovitch is a member of UUG, and will graduate this year from Gettysburg College with majors in Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies. She has been accepted into Harvard Divinity School to pursue Universalist ministry.

Earth Day
UUG Sustainable Living Committee and friends
April 18, 2010; 10:30 am
Sara Tower and Lou Hammann co-present remarks about our "Community Garden”.

We will be using a garden metaphor to celebrate the variety of community services and organizations which thrive in and near Gettysburg. Along with the service, we will highlight our area's community organizations, by setting up a table with garden-rows of literature. We hope to 'plant some seeds' to help 'grow our community' through understanding, cooperation, and working together.

Our Future Has Already Begun
Bruce Boenau
April 11, 2010; 10:30 am

This service will provide some reflections on time, and comments on the prospective long-range plan for UUG.

Bruce Boenau is a retired Political Science Professor at Gettysburg College, a long-time Unitarian Universalist, and one of the early members of UUG.

Easter Sunday services: April 4, 2010

7:30 am: Sunrise Service
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
Join us for UUG's first Spring sunrise service. We'll welcome the season, the Sun, acknowledge the return of Life and our own connection to it. This will be a brief service involving some time outdoors, so wear appropriate shoes.

8:00 am: Communion
For those who choose, Communion will be offered in the sanctuary immediately after the first service.

8-9 am: Light refreshment in the kitchen

10:30 am: Traditional Service -- Can UUs Claim Easter?
By special request this reprise sermon lifts up the development of the Easter celebration, its history, complexities, and those elements to which we as Unitarian Universalists are deeply connected.

UUSC Justice Sunday
Melissa Sandoe and Celie Katovich
March 28, 2010

Justice Sunday will explore social action projects happening through the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and, right here, at Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg (UUG). Historically UU's have been among the "gentle, angry people" bringing social change. How are we working, locally and internationally, to bring more justice to our world? Celie Katovich and Melissa Sandoe will facilitate this service.

Melissa Sandoe is a mother, artist, UUG member, and native to Adams County, who believes that each small step we take is a stride towards a more fair world for us all. Celie Katovitch is a senior majoring in Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies at Gettysburg College. She is an aspirant for UU ministry.

Our Expanding Community: A Brief Look at Entanglement and Intention
Lloyd McCraney
March 21, 2010

Expansion of community is small compared to what lies ahead. We appear to be on the brink of a major paradigm shift. Research in quantum physics and psi phenomena is sculpting a new reality that promises to open our minds to how we are all connect (entanglement), and can alter the health and well being of ourselves and others worldwide through our intentions. It gives us hope for a more enlightened humanity and a brighter tomorrow.

Lloyd McCraney is a member of UUCY and presently serves on its Board of Directors. He is an adjunct professor of psychology at Towson University. His interests are in leading edge research in such areas as consciousness, changing conceptions of reality, and true spirituality in their complementary quest to better understand the universe and our place in it.

Casa de Ha Ha: Huumor Sunday
Kris Eyssell and friends
March 14, 2010

Unitarian Universalists might not be the only denomination that promises to be a fun house … but we set out to prove it! Join us as we, once again, rock the casa with fun and frivolity at our annual Humor Sunday. Garrison Keillor's got nuthin' on us!

Can I Say ‘NO'?
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner and Sabrina Paxton-Daily
March 7, 2010

This morning we celebrate the founding of this congregation with some of the visionaries who established UUG. We also mark the formal kick-off of our 2010-11 Stewardship Campaign. So why would you WANT to say "No"? Join us to find out.

New Member Recognition: UUG will welcome three new members during this service. Be part of their warm welcome into our community.

Odyssey Sunday
Richard Jackson and friends
February 28, 2010

An odyssey is a journey or an adventure, filled with notable experiences and challenges. Sound a little bit like life? For most of us, our arrival at UUG was preceded by some sort of religious/spiritual odyssey. Come hear about the adventures of three wayward souls who eventually found their home at our little red church.

To Laugh or Not to Laugh
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner and Pam Henry
February 21, 2010

This service was cancelled due to snow.

Internal jogging, taking ourselves lightly, clever irony, or sarcasm, ridicule and insensitivity— when we all could use a good laugh. It’s important to “use our powers to heal and not to harm.”

Joining Rev. Kate for this service is Pam Henry. Pamela Faith Henry is a self-described ecumenical nondenominational free radical creative sacred clown faith sojourner. Raspberries are a delight beyond imagination and quarters, well, quarters are really, really special! She grew up in the shadow of the groundhog but she drives from Columbia, Maryland to be with us. Rev. Kate and Pam are blessed to know each other from the Kirkridge Courage To Lead series — discovering that they have several UU people in common. Small world!!

A Love Affair with the World
James L. Cavenaugh
February 14, 2010

In the course of doing social justice work in the community, I have realized what sustains me. And like any love affair, there are ample shares of laughter and tears, joy and sorrow. What’s your love affair about?

Jim Cavenaugh serves as a volunteer chaplain to the women’s work release center at Dauphin County Prison. His experience at seminary got him on this road but offers no guarantees where it will lead. Since 2001, he also has been co-leading “Helping Women in Prison and their Families” at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg.

February 7, 2010

This service was cancelled due to snow.

We’ve Got a Good Thing Going
Rev. Kathryn Pfaltzgraff
January 31, 2010

Kathryn Pfaltzgraff is an ordained minister, serving as chaplain at Cross Keys Village — the Brethren Home Community. Born and raised as a Church of the Brethren missionary kid in Nigeria, West Africa, Kathryn will share some of her life journey with us. She has come to believe that the Unitarian Universalist Association is on the only path that has the potential to bring peace in our world.

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
Rob Keithan
January 24, 2010

Let's face it: Sin Happens. Humans are flawed beings. But love happens too. Is sin inescapable? Is salvation possible?

Rob Keithan directs the Washington Office for Advocacy of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. The mission of the Washington Office is to change U.S. policy and culture on issues of concern to UUA, and to support effective, congregation-based action for justice. Rob is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity degree at Wesley Theological Seminary. During the 2008 church year, he served as intern minister at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR. He intends to continue in the UUA Washington Office as his ministry. Rob and his partner, Mandy live in Washington, DC, and are members of All Souls Church.

A Path with Heart
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
January 3, 2010

“Does this path have a heart ? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use.” -Carlos Casteneda How can we chart a path with heart, to pull us into the New Year?

The Four Agreements
Rich Jackson & Kris Eyssell
January 10, 2010

The Four Agreements , by Don Miguel Ruiz, is a book containing philosophy worth sharing-- providing a way of viewing the world as well as guidelines for your own way of life that will help you reach personal freedom and happiness. It addresses the power of your word, taking what other people do, being clear in communications, and doing your best. These four concepts will help you to reach a very good place in your daily living.

Rich Jackson and Kris Eyssell are active members of UUG, and serve on the Worship Committee.

MLK and UUG — What's the Message?
Sara Gondwe & Jessica Gondwe
January 17, 2010

Are you curious about race relations within UU history? Do you know what happened at the UU General Assembly in the 90's regarding racial equity? What did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say about our UU faith, after visiting one of our churches? In addition to touching on the answers to these questions, Sara will also talk about pressing problems of people of color in Gettysburg for 2010, the mission of the JPD "Journey Towards Wholeness" (JTW) Committee and how UUG might be connected to the message of Dr. King and the mission of the JTW committee.

Sara Gondwe is UUG's representative to the Joseph Priestley District (JPD) and serves on the JPD committee, "Journey Towards Wholeness". Recently, Sara helped facilitate the racism session in "Weaving the Fabric of Diversity" and chaired the Kellogg Foundation Grant committee for racial healing and equity in Gettysburg. She is the proud member of a biracial family.

Jessica Gondwe has a degree in modern dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has trained in classical voice at Gettysburg College and Morgan State University. In January, she will be auditioning for admittance to the Yale School of Drama, and in September will be the featured soloist for Music Gettysburg!

In Memoriam
Kris Eyssell, et al
December 27, 2009

During 2009, we lost many people of note around the world. To mark the passage of the year, we will be remembering those individuals who touched our lives.

Christmas Eve Vesper
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
Thursday, December 24 3:30 – 4:30 PM

A service in Silence, Music and Readings. Take a break from the hustle of the Holidaze. Come in, sit down, breathe into space set apart for your soul. Offered by Rev. Kate and George Eschbach. Leave your packages in the car. Put the oven on hold. Get home before dark, in time for supper.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Cathleen McGowan
December 20, 2009

Note: This service was cancelled due to inclement weather.

At the beginning of Winter and at the height of darkness, we tap the ancient roots that feed our modern celebrations, to welcome the Return of the Light.

Cathleen McGowan is a friend of UUG.  She is a professional teacher, artist, and singer.  Standing in the nature-based center, she pours sweat lodge and leads Global Spirits services.

Wonderful, Wonderful
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
December 13, 2009

In this tired, battered world is there Wonder left?

From Concentration Camp to Racial Justice
Hiro Nishikawa
December 6, 2009

A third generation American of Japanese ancestry, Hiro Nishikawa was incarcerated in an Arizona camp as a youngster during WWII. After high school and university in California where he was a practicing Buddhist, he obtained a doctorate in Oregon and became a UU. Upon retiring from a 29-year career in biotech, Hiro got involved with racial justice work as a member of the Main Line UU Church, Devon, PA. He has been governor of the Eastern District Council of the Japanese American Citizens League, and served on its National Board. Hiro also is a member of the Joseph Priestley District Social Justice Committee. He and his wife, Sumie reside in Haverford, PA.

Planet Earth Needs Friends
Charles Skopic
November 29, 2009

Global climate change and accelerated species extinction present daunting challenges for humanity. How can we find new ethical and moral "commandments" to guide us in meeting these challenges?

Charles Skopic is a member of UUG. He is involved in land preservation and water protection activities in Adams County.

Come to the Table
Melissa Sandoe
November 22, 2009

As we begin the "Guest at Your Table" (GAYT) campaign, we invite you to the community table at UUG. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's annual campaign, GAYT, collects funds that drive social action project around the world. Come hear some of these stories and learn how your family can incorporate this program into daily dinnertime conversations. The service will be facilitated by Melissa Sandoe.

Melissa Sandoe is a mother, artist, Adams County native, and a member of UUG.

Friendship with God: Pathway to Intimacy
Sr. Mary Kate Birge, SSJ
November 15, 2009

Mary Katherine Birge, SSJ, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Theology at Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, MD.

Friends, Family, and Allies
Bring a Friend Sunday

Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
November 8, 2009

For all we are and all we do, when it comes time to circle the wagons who's in our corner?

Celebrating Death and Life
Melissa Sandoe
November 1, 2009

In the traditions of many cultures, the autumn is a time to mark the passing of time and loved ones who have died. We will take time to witness death, life, and our community through life's never ending changes. Please bring sprigs of autumn leaves and photos of departed loved ones for the altar. You are invited to share their favorite foods (and copies of the recipes) during hospitality after the service.

Melissa Sandoe is a mother and an artist. She is a Certified Leader of the Dances of Universal Peace who recognized the power of ritual, song, and movement. As a lifelong resident of Adams County, she sees and feels beauty in nature around us.

Peace Within/Peace Without: A Friend's (Quaker) Approach
Edward Norton
October 25, 2009

Inward and outward peace are intertwined. Edward Norton will explore what stands in the way of their attainment and will explore, experientially, ways of achieving this state. Ed's wife, Fran will provide us with the morning's music.

Edward Norton is a member of York Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and is associated with the York Council of Churches and Interfaith Alliance. He has served with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting and Kennett Square PA Ministerium. Frances W. Norton studied music at Indiana University in Bloomington and taught piano privately for 10 years. For 8 years she was a member of the Lansdowne Symphony performing on piano and celesta before becoming “Flutes and Friends” Keyboard/Harpsichordist. The Nortons reside in Abbottstown.

The Acceptance of Peace
Mae Miller
October 18, 2009

In this service, we will be looking at the possible struggle we have to accept peace in our lives, and what form it can take in day-to-day living.

Mary Anne Miller, best known as “Mae”, is a born-again “free spirit of thought”, thanks to the finding of open minds and hearts at UUG.

Can't We All Just Get Along?
Rev. Kate Seitz Bortner
October 11, 2009

Universalism rests on the belief that Divine nature is so benevolent that in it "not one soul nor one atom will be lost." How does this play out in a world shaped by Human nature? And what does it mean for life in our congregations and communities?

Association Sunday
October 4, 2009
McCaskey East auditorium, Lancaster, PA in Lancaster
10:00am – 11:30am

There will be no service in Gettysburg today.

In Lancaster, we will be joining our UU neighbors from Harrisburg, York, Reading, Boiling Springs, Lancaster and State College for a very special combined worship service and celebration of Unitarian Universalist vitality in Central Pennsylvania. Special Guest speaker: Rev. Meg Barnhouse. Music: "Song of Wisdom" (from the book Old Turtle) by UUCL Choir and orchestra.

Odyssey Sunday
September 20, 2009

An odyssey is a journey or an adventure, filled with notable experiences and challenges. Sound a little bit like life? For most of us our arrival at UUG was preceded by some sort of religious/spiritual odyssey. Come hear about the adventures of three wayward souls who eventually found their home at our little red church.

The Great Divide
Rev. Eva O'Diam
September 27, 2009

Using three poems of Maya Angelou (along with some Biblical story telling), Rev. O'Diam will explore what divides us and what unites us, and whether there is hope of ever being united as a people who believe in the rights and dignity of all.

Ordained in the Church of the Brethren, and later affirmed by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, Rev. Eva O'Diam has been in ministry for over 25 years, and has served in many settings. For 17 years, Eva was pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of the Spirit in Harrisburg, a multi-cultural, theologically diverse congregation that has led Central PA in speaking out for justice—particularly for the lesbian/gay/bi-sexual/transgendered and questioning community. She is author of a 10 week Bible Study entitled Love and Justice, and is now serving as Housing Coordinator for AIDS Community Alliance, coordinating housing assistance and information for people who are HIV+ in 14 Central PA Counties.

Ingathering Sunday
September 13, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

Today we will celebrate Ingathering...the worship service which gathers us together as a community from our various summer sojourns. This is the official start to the 2009-10 church year. Rev. Kate will be with us and invites each of you to bring water from a place that has "lifted your spirit, touched your heart, or fed your soul this summer", whether it is near or far away. (a tablespoon to 1/4 cup is sufficient) Together we will participate in a UU Water Communion. Guest musician, Susan Savia, is joining us for this very special morning.

Pat Spader and Friends
September 6, 2009

This service will be devoted to singing some of the "best" songs in the Unitarian Hymnal. Suggestions from the congregation will be welcomed too. So come join us, and talk briefly about what makes a great hymn!

Pat Spader is a longtime resident of Harrisburg. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Ed. from Syracuse University. Pat has had a passion for music since she was six, and currently leads singalongs at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, 3 days a week. She also plays for church services at UUCV and UUG.

Helping the Less Fortunate--Doing Good by Doing More and Doing Less
Denise Weldon-Siviy
August 30, 2009

Today, UUG friend Denise Weldon-Siviy represents the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen as Community Outreach Liaison. Denise has worked previously with DFA (as Community Service Committee leader, collecting tuna, socks, and underwear for the needy), Community Unity, ICPJ, SCCAP, the ASPCA, the Girl Scouts, and a wide variety of non-profits and community service groups. In 2008, the Weldon-Siviy family was awarded the Heart in Hand Award for volunteering, by the Adams County United Way.

Weaving the Fabric of Diversity - Partners for Action
August 23, 2009

Beginning in April, 2009, UUG and Trinity UCC have formed a partnership in learning, exploring and engaging what it means to consider life as if diversity is a faith issue. In this joint service, the Weavers will share their experiences and learnings.

Dancing Circles in the Light
Melissa Sandoe
August 16, 2009

Through movement, song, and sacred phrase, the Dances of Universal Peace offer a doorway to create a special meditative environment. Join this special service as we honor various traditions, dancing to ancient mantras, singing from our hearts and souls. Come with an open mind and open heart, no other experience needed.

Melissa Sandoe is a mother, Adams County native, UUG member, and Certified Leader of the Dances of Universal Peace.

More Music! Music! Music!
Gerry Galuardi
August 9, 2009

Gerry Galuardi, choir director at the Finksburg UU Church, will lead our service today. It’s also our annual church picnic which this year will be held at the Oakside Community Park in Biglerville.

Eliza’s Question
Jim Cavenaugh
August 2, 2009

In Marilyn Sewell’s book, “Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women’s Spirituality,” she reminds the reader of the musical, “My Fair Lady,” where Prof. Henry Higgins' song, “Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like A Man?” leads her to a question that haunts me: “Why can’t a man be more like a woman?”

Jim Cavanaugh has been serving as a volunteer lay chaplain to the women at Dauphin County Prison since 2005, and has plenty of time to contemplate answers to Eliza’s question.

Bhante Sujatha
July 26, 2009

Bhante Sujatha, a Buddhist monk, will be with us for a service of meditation and spiritual renewal. He believes in change rather than tradition, particularly when dealing with our fast-paced American culture.

Celie Katovitch
July 19, 2009

Many of us carry heavy baggage, even spiritual wounds, from past experiences with Christian churches. But, even in our wonderful, heretical faith, the double significance of "woundedness" in Christianity has great meaning and is worth taking seriously. This morning we will explore how we can find blessings in our woundedness, even as we begin to heal.

Celie Katovitch, is a member of the UUG Worshsip Committee, and is a student at Gettysburg College.

A View from Underneath
Anne Mason
July 12, 2009

Anne Mason, M Div. will share some reflections gained from an inter-faith journey to India, and will include readings and songs from our hymnal that reflect our religious diversity. Anne is a recent graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary. She has been the Music Director at the UU Church of Lancaster for 10 years and has maintained a private voice studio. In August, she will begin a residency at Hershey Medical Center as a Chaplain Intern.

We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest
Rev. Yvonne Strejcek
July 5, 2008

On this 4th of July weekend, we will be invited to consider what it will take to create truly just and sustainable community for everyone in fulfillment of our highest ideal. The Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek will share reflections on the calling of our UU faith to counter oppression and create beloved community.

Rev. Strejcek is a life long UU who grew up in the Detroit church. After a career in federal civil rights policy and enforcement and then in editing/proofreading, and during her time in audiobook publishing, she became a deeply involved UU lay leader in the Pacific Central District. She received her MDiv degree from Starr King School for the Ministry in May 2008 and has recently been the intern minister at the Unitarian Church in Harrisburg. In September she will be associate minister in the historic Arlington Street Church in Boston.

Reclaiming tikkun olam – repairing the world
Mark Berg
June 28, 2009

Tikkun olam is usually translated, from Hebrew, as repairing the world. Another definition is the process of fixing large societal problems while maintaining a belief that our actions can have a positive effect on the greater human and divine world.

Mark Berg is involved in so many organizations in the York/Adams region that it is impossible to name them all. His talk will center on why he is involved.

The Moral Dilemma of a Unitarian Shopaholic
Dick Anliot
June 21, 2009

We’ve been taught the value of “don’t buy what you can’t afford”. But our economy has come to depend on doing just the opposite, encouraged by credit card companies. Owning has been replaced by renting. What’s a good UU supposed to do? The sermon will be followed by discussion, which can be continued at the coffee hour.

Dick Anliot, photographer extraordinaire, member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Harrisburg, a mentor for young children to improve their reading skills, and a frequent visitor to UUG, will discuss a UU response to the current fiscal situation.

Theory and Theater
Lou Hammann
June 14, 2009

“Beyond any theory of religion there is religious theater.” The words of the title of this sermon come from the same root. It remains to be seen where Lou will go from there.

Lou Hammann is a semi-retired professor from Gettysburg College and one of the developers of Hundredfold Farm, a Sustainable Living Community near Cashtown.

Flower Communion
Rev. Kate Bortner
June 7, 2009

The Hungarian Unitarian tradition is becoming an annual service for UUG. We’ll learn its history and what it means for us today. Please bring a flower from your yard for the Common Vase.

Rev. Bortner is the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg.

Our Triumphs and Tragedies: Lessons, Strategies, and Reflections
May 31, 2009
Jim Murr

What are the lessons we can draw from the myriad number of triumphs and tragedies, large and small, that are interspersed in the routines of our lives? What are the philosophical /theological/ strategic perspectives that help us stay balanced, and find increased meaning amidst the continuing wave of high and lows typical of life?

Jim Murr is an ordained United Methodist Minister who now attends the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York. He came to York to start the Chaplaincy Services Department at York Hospital from which he retired in 1997. He has had many “retirement” occupations and enjoys writing, travel and reading

Why Unitarian?
May 24, 2009
Ralph Taylor

As adherents to Unitarian Belief, we constitute a minority among the religious groupings of South Central Pennsylvania. Some say we are a pragmatic group, choosing to depend of concepts that obey the laws of physics, and lend themselves to confirmation via such methods as archaeology and astronomy, while turning our backs on concepts such as creationism, divine revelation, and miracles. As such, we have gained some experience in answering the often-asked question: “Why Unitarian?”


The Exquisite Longing
May 17, 2009
Ellen Dionna

The spiritual quality of longing is both existential and mysterious. It is the essence both of Celtic spirituality and of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Our longing is linked to our passions, and both are guides to our spiritual fulfillment. The service explores our deep need to answer the call of our soul, and how awakening to our longing becomes a gateway to that call.

Ellen Dionna is a Spiritual Director and a licensed psychotherapist in private practice. Her works includes a deep connection with nature and a shamanic perspective. She is a collage artist and painter, poet and writer and a leader of workshops and wilderness quests. She resides near York with her husband, Arthur Hover, a retired UU minister, and is a member of the UU Church of York.

Finding Our Mothers
May 10, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

Each of us has been shaped by our parents, born or chosen. We as a church have the ability to likewise shape the lives of our young people. I will share with you this morning some stories of mothers and fathers in our UU family and my own experience who have been shapers.

Rev. Bortner is the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg.

Tourist Season
May 3, 2009
Celie Katovitch

As summer approaches, we find our town inundated with travelers, re-enactors, and other strangers. What can our visitors tell us about the world and ourselves – besides that we are (all) terrible at giving directions when a traffic circle is involved?

Celie Katovitch is a junior Philosophy student at Gettysburg College, who hopes to pursue UU ministry. She is a member of UUG and serves on the Worship Committee.

Longing For A Better Day
April 26, 2009
Dorothy Thormaehlen

The human tendency to look for a better day can keep us from enjoying the one we have. Are we “past perfect” or “future perfect”? Some of us look to and idealize the past, other live hoping for a better future. If we employ these techniques, we lose the value in our “present imperfect” – and the value of presence in our lives.

Dorothy is a first year seminarian at Lancaster Theological Seminary, following a career in Social Work, currently at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Geriatric Psychiatry, and is a member of Cedarhurst UU in Finksburg, MD.

Envisioning a Sustainable Future, an Earth Day Service
April 19, 2009
Sustainable Living Group

Three local community members will speak about their vision for a sustainable future. Audrey Hess, the facilitator for the Adams Co. Local Food Network, Mark Knight from Hundredfold Farm, and Eddy Ruben, Environmental Educator from the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve will share their perspectives on bettering our community for ourselves and generations to come.

Can UU’s Claim Easter?
April 12, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

For so many former Christians, our several atheists and agnostics, Jews, Pagan and Buddhists, Easter is perceived at the one holy day we cannot embrace. Or Can we? This celebration service of new life and renewal will include recognition of our new members. Join us to bid them welcome.

Rev. Bortner is the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg.

Humor Sunday –Is Nothing Sacred?
April 5, 2009
Kris Eyssell

Most of us know about the physical and psychological benefits of laughter, but are there spiritual benefits as well? Join your friends at UUG to explore the divine consequences of laughing, crying, chortling, giggling, and pondering all things irreverent.

The Church for This Century
March 29, 2009
Rev. Archene Turner

Theodore Parker said, “The church which did for the fifth century, or the fifteenth, will not do for this. It must have our ideas, the smell of our ground, and have grown out of the religion of our souls. The church that is to lead this century will not be a church creeping on all fours, mewling and whining, its face turned down, its eyes turned back. It must be full of the spirit of the day (keeping also the good of times past.) How will the Unitarian Universalist church lead today?

Archene Turner is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister and Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church's part-time coordinator of Senior High Youth Ministries. Full time, Archene works as a primary examiner evaluating patent applications at the United States Patent & Trademark office. In her 'spare' time she is on the executive team of OWL-OUT. OWL-OUT is a program that takes a comprehensive sexuality education out to youth who would not necessarily get this life saving information. Archene was recently chosen to be a part of the national youth ministry working group in Unitarian Universalist Association charged with re visioning youth ministry. Archene comes from a family of ministers, but found her home in Unitarian Universalism which unites her strong belief in social justice and the need to support a community of individuals with varying beliefs. Archene's ambition is to build a school based upon UU principles.

Odyssey Sunday
March 22, 2009
Eyssell and other members of our church family

What distinguishes us, as Unitarian Universalists, from any church down the street is that we can't assume anything about the spiritual journeys of our members without asking. Odyssey Sunday, a tradition at UUG, features members of our church sharing the details of the road that lead them to Unitarian Universalism. You will perhaps be delighted and/or surprised by what you learn about the person sitting next to you!

It is Time to Greet the Spring!
March 15, 2009
Cathleen McGowan and Lee Melchior

Spring! It’s the beginning of new hopes, new life, new projects, new events and perhaps warmer weather. Snowdrops are blooming, other bulbs are peeking up, and the wind is a little softer. This is a free flowing celebration of the return of Spring and the reawakening of life from the earth.

March 8, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

Paul Tillich remarks “The first duty of love is to listen”. And author Mark Nepo challenges us further this way, “ At the deepest level, ours is not to make ourselves heard but to be still enough to hear”. Who among us is truly ready for the hard work really listening requires?

Rev. Kate Bortner is the Consulting Minister of the Gettysburg Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

What’s A Heaven For?
March 1, 2009
Homer C. Wilkins

Since most Unitarians do not believe in heaven as a place to which we go after we die (if we’re good), we are apt to abandon the idea completely. However, as the embodiment of one’s views of ideal existence to which one aspires, it has value. If you had your druthers, what would the world be like? The topic will be related to the adopted principles of UUA.

Homer Wilkens returns to us from Knoxville, Tenn. and from other travels in this country. He is a retired college physics teacher and then an administrator of a large community mental health center in Knoxville. He is a nearly life long Unitarian.

How Can I Keep From Singing?
Feb. 22, 2009

Worship through folk and gospel music with the Young People’s Music Group from Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalist Church in Finksburg, Maryland.

Is All Fair In Love and Chocolate?
Feb. 15, 2009
Emily Fox, Scott Hill and friends

Explore some insights about Love in the context of Chocolate and the social justice implications of how it connects us to the world. Come enjoy a techno-drama AND Chocolate Communion.

Been a Miner For a Heart of Gold
Feb. 8, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

This year’s annual pledge campaign kick-off is this Sunday with member testimonials, stories and inspiration for building our future. Please plan to stay for the Fellowship Lunch (NOT A POT LUCK) that is sponsored by your Stewardship Committee.

The Ancient Art of Story
Feb. 1, 2009
Carol Stowell

Good stories connect us to each other – they invite us in and evoke feelings. They deliver what we all seek – meaning and order in this sometimes terrifying, haphazard quality of life. Storytelling has been an integral part of our history, identities, and culture and even how we remember. It’s a relatively recent thing to learn about the world by statistics and by logical argument. Join us as we rekindle this ancient art of story.

Carol Stowell is a long time member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, where she often delights in telling stories in the Sunday service. For many years she performed as Princess Pick a Pocket until her zipper broke. She comes to us as The Gypsy to share her favorite pastime, telling stories.

This Perspective Has Been a Long Time Coming
Jan. 25, 2009
Lou Hammann

Lou's talk is based on Jim Carse's book, "The Religious Case Against Belief." Jim Carse will speak at UUG on January 27 at 7:00 pm.

The Prayer of Yeshua – (The Lord’s Prayer) - a re-reading of ancient words
Jan. 18, 2009
Melissa Sandoe and Margaret Jacobs

For all the wisdoms and truths that Jesus taught to his disciples, and to the crowds that would gather to listen, not a word spoken by him in his Aramaic language was put into written form for nearly a hundred years. We believe that this Lord’s Prayer is a fresh and very different rendering into English from it’s original language, Aramaic.

Melissa Sandoe has been a member of Abwoon for over 20 years. It practices the teachings of Jesus as translated from the Aramaic Gospels. Margaret Jacobs is a newcomer to the movement but feels she is “home at last”.

To Do or To Be
Jan. 11, 2009
Rev. Ron Crawford

What makes life worth living? What is it that interests, engages, enthuses, and ultimately keeps us sufficiently satisfied to go on? Is it who we are or what we are able to do?

Ron explores this issue from both perspectives. Any resolution is necessarily a very personal experience, one that we hold close to our heart, one that we may choose not to discuss.

This year Ron has officiated at 37 weddings, conducted several memorial services and funerals, performed 3 Christenings for couples I had previously married, and substituted at Cumberland UU. He is presently a Chaplain intern at Hanover and Gettysburg hospitals.

Turn the World Around
Jan. 4, 2009
Rev. Kate Bortner

Each dawn is the sun’s birthday. And we are now at the birth of a brand new year; one in which each of us, little or big, young or old, has an opportunity to DO SOMETHING. Come hear stories of a few people who turned the world around. Join us for this intergenerational service to name the thing YOU will do this year. We might even see some magic.

The Rev. Kate Bortner is the Consulting Minister at UUG.

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