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DECEMBER 2023 Newsletter

From the Board of Trustees

Greetings to all...


Greetings fellow UUCVers. We are now in the winter holiday period. This is a time of Joy for many and unfortunately, a time of sadness for others. Personally, I have good memories of this time from my childhood and through my time as a parent. Michele and I will celebrate some of the time with family and friends. 

But, it is not the same as when we watched our children wake up to the excitement of a Thanksgiving meal or a Christmas morning. We always tried to recognize how lucky we were to be able to celebrate those times in peace and security. Many around the world are not so lucky. Even within our own community, financial struggles, emotional and physical/mental health challenges exist. For many of those experiencing these challenges, it is difficult to celebrate and find joy. However, joy can always be found. It can be found in our community, in the natural world, and in remembering. We have a loving community despite all the issues any community faces. The natural world of trees, flowers, wild life, and our loving pets bring joy. Remembering the good times and focusing yourselves on those good times with family and friends can help as well. One family member of mine who had lost three close brothers and a sister at relatively young ages (between 35 and 45 years old) once said to me, “when I feel sad about not seeing them again, I focus on the good times we had together.” Seek joy, it is out there.


Jim Burton, President, UUCV Board of Trustees

Worship this Month
The Worship theme for
December is MYSTERY

December 3 – "And Yet There is So Much Light" Chalica Candles, advent wreaths, menorahs, our chalice....there is so much light this time of year. Just as all these lights illuminate our sanctuary, one tiny spark of hope can break through the darkness of despair.  Rev. Chris Kapp leads the service with worship associate Susan Lara.


December 10 – “Made of Star Stuff” “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” Astronomer John Flood discusses the mysteries of the universe.  John Flood leads the service with worship associate Matthew Burr.


December 17 - "Sacred Time?"   Let's explore the mystery of sacred time and space. What is the relationship between the two? What differentiates sacred moments from secular or profane moments? Are they mutually exclusive? In this reflective service we'll examine the aspects of attention, context, relationship, reverence, and intention involved in recognizing, creating, and honoring sacred moments in our lives. Cheryl Parsons leads the service with worship associate Ash Hersh


December 24 (Christmas Eve 5:00pm Service Only) "For Unto Us" Just three days after our Journey into Darkness for the Winter Solstice, celebrate the return of light and hope to our Sanctuary with our annual Christmas Eve service at 5 PM. Join us for this moving service of singing and storytelling, as we celebrate the light of life and promise of hope wrapped up in the birth of each child. Rev.Chris Kapp and Lynn Sodora lead the service.  


Following the service, there will be a special time of Christmas Celebration  in our social hall, as we share cookies, cocoa, coffee, and cheer with one another on this special night. 




Join us for in-person worship in our Sanctuary for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5:00 PM or on ZOOM. or “listen in” (without video) by telephone, by calling 646-876-9923 and entering Meeting ID 550 751 6685

December 31 - "Finishing Well" In tasks, as in life, we tend to start strong. Then life hapens and things get messy in the middle. How can finishing well bouy our spirits and help set us up for a new year?  Rev. Chris Kapp leads the service with worship associate Max Donnelly.


Join us for in-person worship in our Sanctuary every Sunday at 10:30 am or on ZOOM. or “listen in” (without video) by telephone, by calling 646-876-9923 and entering Meeting ID 550 751 6685
Sunday, December 3 following worship in the Dining Room.
You will also see a 5 minute presentation on how to use RAISE RIGHT as an additional way to contribute to the Dishwasher Fund.

Help us raise money for a commercial dishwasher and put an end to plastic! 

Spaghetti (gluten free available)

Side Salad

Garlic Bread (gluten free available)

Coffee, Tea, Water provided

Wine will be available by donation



Adults - $12

Children under 12 - $7

Under 2 eat free

Maximum Family Cost - $30


  • Dessert donations welcome
This n That...
UUCV Book Group
Book Selection for January 28,  2024. 
the book selection for January is "American Roulette" by a team of 8 authors. Darlene Smith will lead this discussion. If you have questions, please contact Darlene
See a complete list of book selections for 2024 below in UUCV Announcements.  Complete book descriptions will follow.  
The UUCV Book Group meets at 6:30 pm on the 4th Sunday of each month for a lively, thoughtful discussion on our worship ZOOM channel
UUCV Office Closed

The UUCV office will be closed Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 15.


The UUCV office and staff will be working from home December 26 - January 2. Emails and Voicemails will be checked daily.


If you have an urgent pastoral issue, call 717/249-8944 and select option 9.


Coming Up in December:

Mark your calendars:
  • Dishwasher Spaghetti Fundraiser Dinner Sunday, December 3 in the UUCV Dining Room following worship
  • Kit Franklin Memorial Service Sunday, December 17 at 12:00 PM  in the Social Hall for visiting.  Service starts at 1:00.PM.
  • Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, November 20 from noon until 5:00 pm in the UUCV Social Hall
  • Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Sunday, December 24 at 5:00 PM (There will be no morning service) 
Grocery cards make GREAT Stocking Stuffers
Purchase Grocery Cards from UUCV and help us raise no extra cost to you!
The Holidays are right around the corner which means family gatherings and celebrations!
Purchase Grocery Cards to buy what you need for your event, or donate to an organization in our area in need: Project Share, CARES, Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) and so many more. Pam can provide contact information for you to these organizations. 
Let's take this opportunity  to rededicate ourselves to shopping with grocery cards. Remember, 2 grocery cards each per month = $20,000+ for UUCV. 
Cards can be purchased for Giant, Weis and Karns.and used for items such as food, gas and alcoholic beverages.  Stop by the grocery card table for purchases or if any questions.
Let's make this the year we reach our $20,000 goal!
Social Justice at UUCV
December Social Justice Opportunities
Programs under the umbrella of the Social Justice Committee include the monthly CARES dinner, Change for the World (CFTW), the Mozambique Bursary project and the UUCV Antiracism Initiative. Another component this year has been assisting an Afghan family as they transition to America from war-torn Afghanistan. Other events we regularly participate in include Project Share’s Farm Stand, the annual Pride Festival in Harrisburg, National Public Lands Day, and United Way’s One Day of Caring. We anchor our efforts around UUCV’s mission to transform lives and care for the world. Thank you to all who serve on the committee and for outside support we receive from many others in the congregation.
The next Social Justice meeting is at 6:30 on Wednesday, December 20 on ZOOM   
All are welcome to join our meetings. 
Change for the World -
4th Quarter  October - December
The Good Karma Repair Garage "Working Class Hero Program"

Good Karma Garage creates a welcoming and inclusive environment where "non-car" people can feel heard and assists financially struggling neighbors in Central Pennsylvania to ensure they have a safe vehicle with which to earn a living. They will help you with any repairs or maintenance that you need and work with you to find an affordable solution, so your car remains safe and provides you with transportation for the full life of the vehicle. You will never be talked down to or sold costly parts you do not need.


As a non-profit company, a large portion of Good Karma Garage’s proceeds goes into supporting the community through their Working-Class Hero Program. Aimed at people who are currently working or disabled and struggling to make ends meet, this program is set up to deal with the surprise repairs that arise during the annual vehicle safety inspection. Program participants pay only the cost of the inspection. Good Karma Garage covers the cost of parts and labor to make the necessary repairs to bring the vehicle into compliance with PA state standards. They partner with social organizations such as churches, social services providers, veteran groups, and the like to identify deserving people who could benefit from this program. Their all-volunteer staff makes this work possible.

A Win-Win Opportunity


UUCV has been actively supporting homeless individuals and families in our area with our some of our Change for the World contributions, donations of needed items and supplies when there is a need, and providing a monthly meal for Community CARES.

There are also many homeless youth in our area who are on their own and could really benefit from our support. The organization Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) actively provides multiple types of support for these young people and having adequate food is an ongoing issue. So, what can we do?


Many of us purchase grocery cards from UUCV and know that a portion of the value of each card is donated to UUCV by the grocery store. The WIn-Win idea is that any of us who are able to could make a donation toward the purchase of a grocery card from UUCV that would be donated to ECYEH to purchase food and supplies. Both UUCV and ECYEH would benefit, and we would be actively living our mission of caring for the world.


Here’s how the plan works if you are able to make a donation:


• Donations need to be given to or mailed to Pam Martin at UUCV, PO Box 207, Boiling Springs, PA 17007.

• Donations need to be checks made out to UUCV, and only in denominations of $25, $50, $75, or $100.

• Checks should have ECYEH marked in the memo line.

• Donations will be combined toward the purchase of $100 Giant cards as these offer the best return to UUCV.

• The grocery cards will then be given to ECYEH.

• Your donation will be recorded on your annual tax statement from UUCV



We need your help to gift one dozen cookies to every individual housed at the Cumberland County Prison during this holiday season. Homemade preferred but store bought accepted.
Goal is 375 dozen.December 186:30 PMProject SHARE5 N. Orange St.Carlisle, PA 17013(Packing will be done in the distribution area)Cookies can be dropped off at Project SHARE December 14, 8am – 5:30pm; December 16, 8:30 am – Noon; December 18, 8:00 am – 4 pm or bring them to the packing at 6:30 pm. Project SHARE will be closed December 15. Questions, call 717-574-0521
CARES MEAL  - December
The last dinner from UUCV for Community CARES Carlisle in 2023 will be a Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 17, for 45-50 people. Baked hams, side dishes, rolls, a big salad, holiday cookies & beverages make up the menu. 
We are VERY fortunate to have a large cash donation from a friend, which will take care of the hams and rolls, salad, and some holiday paper products. So the sign up list is shorter, but still important this month. 
We need the following donations...Email Pam to donate or send checks to UUCV, PO Box 207, Boiling Springs, PA 17007 marked CARES in the memo line.
  POTATO DISHES -  2  potato casseroles ( scalloped, hash brown)                                                                       3 sweet potato casseroles
VEGETABLES -  4  Large bags of frozen vegetables (any type)
DESSERT -  4  Dozen of any type of holiday cookies
BEVERAGES -  2 gal of milk, Hot Chocolate Mix, creamer
Your generous donations of food or grocery cards are greatly appreciated!!
*** It has become increasingly difficult to fill the needs list of food items for these Dinners the past few months. So for 2024 we will try providing one dinner during these 4 months : MARCH, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, & DECEMBER. Hopefully the response of donations will work out better and we will still be able to help those in need to receive some meals. Any ideas for meals, or questions, please contact Carol Riesmeyer or Pam

Learn how easy it is to use RaiseRight to build UUCV's Fund for a Commercial Dishwasher.  There will be a 5 minute presentation before the Spaghetti Dinner to help you learn and/or we can help you set up your account. 


UUCV is partnering with RaiseRight for Gift card fundraising, the #1 fundraiser for nonprofit organizations across the U.S. for more than 25 years.  Earn simply by buying gift cards to use for everyday purchases, instead of cash or credit cards.

With RaiseRight, nonprofits and other community-based organizations earn money simply by shopping for their favorite brands—turning daily or weekly purchases into the opportunities that matter for their favorite organizations. 


How to Get Started:

Visit to Sign Up from your computer


Set up your banking or credit card preference.


You can then shop anytime by visiting and see the daily bonuses and specials which will earn more money for UUCV.  Check the % for each card to see what your donation will be to UUCV….with a very minimal fee to you. 


How to Pay:

When you are done selecting your cards, check out at your shopping cart.  You can pay by your own Credit Card (getting points on your card) or LINK to your bank account


How you Receive your Cards:

  • You can choose ecards (which will show up in your wallet on your APP or in your wallet on the main website http://www.raiseright/shop
  • You can print a copy of your purchase to act as a gift card when you shop
  • DO NOT select your card to be sent to the Coordinator….any cards sent to the coordinator will be cancelled and your sale will be VOID


Contact Pam if you need help in getting set up or if you have questions about this program.

Religious Education

Greetings all! 


The Winter Holidays are upon us!  Always an exciting time of year, especially for the children. 



After two Regular RE days at the beginning of December, we will take a break from Regular RE classes until January 14th.  This gives a much-needed break to most of our regular RE volunteers.  However, there will still be Sunday all-ages activities for the children and youth.  On Sunday, December 24th we will have one service at 5:00 pm to celebrate and sing carols.  All are welcome to attend this service - please note there will be no RE activities during this service.  (Nursery Room will be available.) 


Our Mitten Tree collection of new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks will continue through Sunday, December 17th.  All items will be donated to Community Cares in Carlisle. Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!


Below is our Faith Development schedule for our children and youth for December: 


Friday, December 1:     Youth Group Cookie Baking/Decorating, 7-10 PM,                                                      Dining Room/Kitchen

Sunday, December 3:    Regular RE Classes

Sunday, December 10::   Regular RE Classes

Sunday, December 17:    All-Ages Activity ("Triple A") - Winter Holidays Party:  After the Time for All Ages the children and youth will head downstairs to the Dining Hall for a group lesson/activity celebrating the Winter Holidays. Donations of snacks are welcome.


Sunday, December 24, 5:00 PM:  Christmas Eve Worship Service for All Ages:  Join us for this family-focused service celebrating Christmas Eve.  This is a service for all ages.  There is NO RE today.  Nursery care (for ages 0-4) will be available during the service.


Sunday, December 31:   All-Ages Activity ("Triple A") - New Years Eve:  After the Time for All Ages the children and youth will head downstairs to the Dining Hall for a group lesson/activity celebrating the New Year!


NURSERY CARE is available every Sunday from 10:15 - 11:45 am for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.


Our Sunday Morning Worship Services being at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary.  On "Regular RE" days, the children and youth go downstairs to their RE classrooms after the Time for All Ages.  Classes end at 11:45 am.


**Please sign out children in Grades 5 and under from their classrooms by 11:45.** This gives parents the opportunity to socialize before pickup, while respecting the Volunteer Teachers' time as well. 


Thank you to all our November volunteers!  Ryanne Mack, Mrs. Candice Holsinger, Steve Holsinger, Susan Green, Susan Rimby, Dirk Wiley, Rebecca Fratantuono, Kim Stone, Wendy Gebb, Gail Black, Char Klein, Julie Cullings, Primajoy Ramalingam, Laura Soper, John Simcoe and Melissa Mattson. Thank you so much for your time and energy! Members of the Congregation are encouraged to volunteer with the Children's RE Program! Please email Lynn Sodora DLFD at to check in about submitting clearances. 

May we continue to learn and grow together!
In faith and service,
Lynn Lynn Sodora Pronouns: she/her
Director of Lifespan Faith Development
Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley (717) 249-8944  Option 3 Office Hours:  W, Th, F  9-2      Days of Rest:  Monday and fluctuating Tuesdays/Saturdays
Handmade Ornaments for Sale
Our Religious Education children will be selling handmade ornaments on December 3rd in the social hall and dining room after service. 
Come support our UUCV kids and purchase an ornament (or two!) for however UU holiday! 
All proceeds will go to Religious Education programming. 


Adult Religious Education Discussion Group - Class schedule - Fall 2023


These classes will be held on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 am in the Board Room or join via Zoom at

December 3: The Hidden History of the Oligarchy - Part 1 (Video + Discussion)  The United States was born in a struggle against the oligarchs of the British aristocracy, and ever since then the history of America has been one of dynamic tension between democracy and oligarchy, asserts author Thom Hartmann. Pulling from his book The Hidden History of American Oligarchy: Reclaiming Our Democracy from the Ruling Class, Hartmann joins us via livestream to trace the history of this struggle, from America’s founding to the United States’ war with the feudal Confederacy to President Franklin Roosevelt’s struggle against “economic royalists,” who wanted to block the New Deal. While the oligarchs lost the battle in all of those cases, Hartmann argues that increasing right-wing control of the media, unlimited campaign

contributions, and a conservative takeover of the judicial system means we’re now at a crisis point. Hartmann lays out practical measures we can take that he contends will break up media monopolies, limit the influence of money in politics, reclaim the wealth stolen over decades by the oligarchy, and build a movement that will return control of America to “We the People.” Discussion leader: Cheryl Parsons.


Mozambique Bursery


News From the Mozambique Bursary Committee


During our September monitoring trip, the people of Mozambique gave us gifts of warmth, music, and even the occasional chicken! We can give rural teenage girls a gift, too, in 2024 –the gift of education. The UUCV Mozambique Bursary Committee provides girls, who live too far to commute to high school, the opportunity to live in a boarding compound while they receive a secondary school education. Their poverty-stricken parents can’t give them this.



$370 supports one girl for one year. The money pays for room and board, school uniforms and supplies, hygiene products, and the housemothers’ and security guards’ salaries. Donations of any size help and are gratefully received. The Bursary Project, started by UUCV member Priscilla Laws, has been in effect since 2005. We’ve educated hundreds of girls, who have become teachers, nurses, midwives, agronomists, and public administrators. (Below you will see Ida, a Molumbo Bursary graduate, who has a technical degree in agronomy.) Bursary girls marry later than their peers, bear fewer children, and have a better quality of life.


If you would like to participate in this life-changing social justice program, you can write a check to UUCV with “Bursary Project” in the memo line, drop it in the offering plate, or mail it to UUCV, P.O. Box 207, Boiling Springs, PA 17007. If you attend services virtually, you can scan the QR code or click on the link in the chat box during the Offering. Be aware that if you use a third-party vendor, they may take a portion of your donation as a service fee.


Susan Rimby for the UUCV Mozambique Bursary Committee

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UUCV Announcements
Memorial Service for Kit Franklin

A memorial service for Kit Franklin will be held in the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley Sanctuary, 2 Forge Road in Boiling Springs on Sunday, December 17, at 1 pm.  


Music will be provided by the UUCV choir alumni, and the memorial service will conclude with internment in our memorial garden (weather permitting).


Preceeding the service, a special coffee hour luncheon will be held in the social hall at 12 pm.  


We are looking for contributions of finger foods for this special time of remembrance and fellowship in Kit's honor. To sign up to bring something, please email Pam in the office. 


Join us after worship on Sunday, January 7 for an important Town Hall.  The main focus will be "Planning for our Future"  We will talk about the direction we want to take in a search for a settled minister and the funds required to support our future plans

UUCV Mitten Tree
We will be collecting NEW winter gloves, hats, mittens, thick socks, and scarves through Sunday, December 17th.  All items will be donated to Community CARES in Carlisle. 
Any questions, please e-mail Lynn at
If you are interested in becoming a member of UUCV, or just learning more about Unitarian Universalists, classes will be held January 21, 28 and February 4 at noon in the board room.  Please plan to attend all 3 classes...lunch will be provided on January 21.  Please register by emailing Pam and childcare will be provided if needed.
Sunday Coffee Makers Needed

We need volunteers to make coffee on Sundays.  Please consider signing up…it’s an easy way to volunteer….just come in a little early on Sunday morning and if you are a first timer….Max Lara will show you the ropes. 

The sign-up sheet is on the volunteer table in the Social Hall.

Trauma in the Pews: Deconstructing Toxic Belief Systems and Religious Abuse
The rise of Evangelical Fundamentalism across America over the course of the last 50 years has really brought to light the toxic belief structures and abusive practices of many denominations and religions.
When religious zeal is taken to the extreme, trauma can and does occur, affecting us to the core of our being. Join Rev. Chris on the third Sunday of the month at 7 PM in the Youuth room for a support and study group as we begin to work through the damage done in the name of religion, find our own voices, and discover what we truly believe, along with what we don't -- and embrace the freedom that comes with deconstruction and healing. This course will run for the entirety of 2024. Please let Pam know if you're interested. THIS GROUP IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. If you know someone who could benefit from this type of group, please pass along the information and Rev. Chris's email --
UUCV Book Group Selections for 2024
The UUCV Book Group meets at 6:30 pm on the 4th Sunday of each month for a lively, thoughtful discussion on our worship ZOOM channel 
Complete Book Descriptions will be included in the January Newsletter:

January 28 – American Roulette by team of eight authors (Darlene Smith)


February 25 – The Gathering by Anne Enright (Sharon O’Brien)


March 24 - Searching for Savanna: The Murder of One Native American Woman and the Violence Against the Many by Mona Gable (Bev Ayers-Nachamkin)


April 28 – The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine - From Zionism to Intifadas and the Struggle for Peace by Michael Scott-Baumann (Keith Bittinger)


May 19 – Counting Lost Stars by Kim Van Alkemade (Bev Motich)


June 23 – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Susan Rimby)


July 28 – Oryx and Crate by Margaret Atwood (Bev Ayers-Nachamkin)


August 25 – Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See (Susan Rimby)


September 22 – The Age of AI - And Our Human Future by Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher (Keith Bittinger)


October 27 – Women Talking by Miriam Toews (John Katz)


November 24 – 2025 reading selections

Music Director Hired!
The Music Committee is pleased to announce that a Music Director has been hired!  Longtime friend of UUCV, Carole Knisely, will become our new Music Director as of April 1, 2024.  Although we were hoping for an immediate start date, Carole is finishing her obligation to the church she has served for 20 years, which is closing its doors and merging with another congregation.  We look forward to having her at the keyboard and over time, helping us to regrow our music program. 
 Welcome, Carole!

Treasurer Notes -

What’s an “MDF” ?


MDF stands for Minister’s Discretionary Fund, and is one of UUCV’s financial accounts. The MDF is designated to supporting the ministry of the congregation by providing emergency financial aid to individuals or families that cannot be met through other means such as community agencies.

Per UUCV’s policy, the fund is managed at the discretion of the minister or President of the Board. As we are currently a lay led congregation, management of the MDF is at the discretion of our Board President, Jim Burton, with oversight from our Treasurer, Wendy Gebb. Funds are held in a dedicated checking account and distribution of financial assistance is kept confidential.


The MDF Policy provides guidelines for management of the fund. Priority for assistance is given to UUCV members and active participants, with exceptions at the discretion of the minister or Board President. An individual or family may request assistance from the fund one time per calendar year and for a maximum of $350. Distributions from the MDF shall be for goods and services such as rent, mortgage, food, and transportation and, whenever possible, payments will be made directly to the vendor or agency for the debt owed, not to the individual requesting assistance. Recognizing that the need may be greater than what the MDF can support, Pam keeps an updated list of community agencies that provide assistance in times of need, and she will provide that information when requested.


The MDF is not funded from our annual budget and pledge offerings. It receives funds from individual donations or from special collections and fundraising activities approved by the Board. Traditionally UUCV has designated the offering collected at the Christmas Eve service to the MDF, and that tradition will continue this year.


FYI - This year the MDF has been called upon to the point that available funds are exhausted. As you are able, please extend your generosity to the MDF either by participating in the Christmas Eve offering, placing a contribution labeled “MDF” in the offering on any Sunday, or sending an “MDF” designated offering to the church office. As always, many thanks for your support of this ministry.

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