UUFA Holiday Greensheet – December 27th 2023 – Happy New Year Edition

We hope you are enjoying the holidays with loved ones or engaged in your favorite hobbies or relaxing to your hearts content.  Whatever the state of your being we welcome you and are glad you are part of our community.  Please see below for this week’s events.

Sunday Service – December 31, 2023

We bid you welcome to “A Ritual of Letting Go, Cleansing, Intention, and Hope” at this Sunday’s New Years Eve Service at 11:00 a.m.!

We bid you welcome to “A Ritual of Letting Go, Cleansing, Intention, and Hope” at this Sunday’s New Years Eve Service at 11:00 a.m.! (worship words by Sylvia Howe)

Like Janus we gather with part of us looking backward and part of us looking forward.

We gather on the edge of the new year saddened by our losses, cherishing our joys, aware of our failures, mindful of days gone by.

We gather on the cusp of this new year eager to begin anew, hopeful for what lies ahead, promising to make changes, anticipating tomorrows and tomorrows.

We invite you to join our celebration of life, knowing that life includes good and bad, endings and beginnings—and EVERYTHING in between!

Service Leader: Roberta Roberson, Chair of Worship Committee


Friday, December 29- Family Game Night and Potluck –  5:00 pm – 10:00.

Please join us for a family game night and potluck.  Please bring a dish to share if you can and we’ll provide the plates, flateware, cups and beverages (tea/coffee/iced water/hot choco)

Just stop in for a bit or stay for a while. Bring your favorite board game and we’ll have some old standbys . Join us for some holiday, low key fun.

Thanks to Marsha Nagy for coordinating this event for our community .


End of the Year Note from Susan Westenbarger, UUFA Treasurer; 

If you have made an identifiable financial contribution to the Fellowship in 2023, you will receive a statement early next year. An “identifiable contribution” is usually a personal check, but placing cash in an envelope with your name on it counts too.
You can still make 2023 contributions to UUFA through the end of the year. I will use 2023 or 2024 based on the date of a check or a note in the Memo field.
Please let me know if you have any questions! Your support of the Fellowship this year is greatly appreciated and has allowed the Executive Committee (aka “the Board”) to provide funding for building maintenance and other essentials, as well as expand our social justice profile in the region.
I can be reached at suusanw.uu@gmail.com or 240-305-0860
Many blessings to you and yours during this holiday season, Susan Westenbarger (she/her)

Reminder about Holiday Giving

The “Guest At Your Table” program runs through January 7th.  If you would like your amount sent along with others from UUFA please give directly to Barb Harrison on Sunday, January 7th.  If you have sent your donation and or membership to the UUSC directly , please let Barb know so that we can keep track of how much our congregation has contributed.  Thank you for considering the UUSC.
The UCM Food Pantry Box ,in the lobbly of the fellowship , will be available for your donations through Sunday January 7th.  Please let me Barb know if you have donated directly so that we can track the amount of giving our congregation has done this season. Thank you so much for your contributions of food for those in need.

From the UUA

Solstice Magick

“Outside, snow solidified itself into graceful forms. The peace of winter stars seemed permanent.”
—Toni Morrison, in Beloved

When I became an adult, I decided to embrace as many holidays as I could. I soon learned that almost everything I love about Christmas came from European winter solstice traditions. I love evergreens and holly! I love the snow…from the warm comfort of being wrapped in a blanket by a window. Hot chocolate, multi-colored fairy lights, and medieval Christmas carols are all my favorite parts of this time of year. Yet all of these traditions come from places where most of the people do not look like me.

As an Afro-Latina, sometimes I’ve wondered why the dark wood of evergreen trees and the smell of cold pine are deep in my blood and feel like ancestral memories of home. After all, the majority of my ancestors all came from warmer climes! But in more recent history, my family members were dotted along the east coast of the U.S., and included Quakers and even Irish immigrants. Perhaps that’s why these seasonal events feel so comfortable.

A few years ago, I participated in a group meditation where we journeyed to the Standing Stones. I remember thinking, “I’ll be lucky if I experience anything, since I have zero connection to Celtic paganism!” So I thought. But as I walked—in meditation—through a dark space between two of the stones, I found myself face to face with the Goddess of the Boreal Forest.

I did not previously know about this goddess, who appears as a woman with antlers on her head. She is remembered in Ireland as Elen of the Ways, but the trail of reindeer steps she traces goes all the way back to Siberia and prehistoric times. Research after the fact introduced me to her, and I treasure that memory as one of the times when my belief in magick was given some form of confirmation.

While surrounded by people and lights and muddy snow and noise and crowds and frantic planning around Christmas, in my mind I’m nothing more than an ethereal observer of the old forest. The antlered goddess is there, and she will make a good guide when I sit vigil in the cool, loving, beautiful darkness of the longest night of the year.


Spirits of winter, I celebrate you! Thank you for your presence in every corner of our homes, whether we can see you or not. May you be welcome this winter.

Erica Shadowsong is a religious educator with years of experience in congregations. She has a passion for all things creative, especially the performing arts. She enjoys using her storytelling skills in Unitarian Universalist worship settings.