Announcements

Sunday, Sep 6Service: Blessing of the Animals
The Johnson Family: Chris, Rosetta, and Antonio

Bring your pet or a photo to have them blessed during this annual service. We will take the time to honor the gift of animals in our lives both as pets and in the natural world. This is a Community Worship service for all ages.

Sunday, Sep 13Service: Water Communion
Kathleen Walker
Sunday, Sep 20Service: Dreamwork as a Sacred Practice
Rev. Rebecca Hill

When asked about personal spiritual practice, many people report that meditation, prayer, sacred reading, and time spent in nature are the modalities that sustain them. Have you considered the sacred nature of our dreams? Where do dreams come from, and how might we use them to deepen our connection with the Divine?

Tuesday, Sep 22Soul Circle Conversation: What Does It Mean to Be a People of Invitation? 7-9 pm

Soul Circle is an open spiritual development group that uses the monthly Soul Circle packet to grow personally and as Unitarian Universalist people of faith. The Soul Circle Conversation for September's theme is "What Does It Mean to Be a People of Invitation?" will be held on Tuesday, September 22nd from 7-9pm, in the Yurt. To read the packet - with exercises and food for thought to help the theme make a difference in YOUR life - click the link above, or on the lefthand side of the website. Take a look, and do the exercises or ask yourselves the questions that speak to you the most. Then come to our meeting to talk about your new understandings or struggles with people on similar paths in a safe, supportive environment. September's meeting will be peer facilitated by Julie Burge. See you there!

Sunday, Mar 6Sunday Meditation Service

The Sunday meditation circle meets for silent meditation, reading and sharing of insight on Sunday mornings at 9:00am, prior to the main service.

Welcome!

You’ve found your way to a remarkable congregation practicing a remarkable religion. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal, creedless faith, born out of the Judeo-Christian tradition, that takes two tasks to heart: freely exploring spiritual truth, using a broad range of religious sources and our own inspiration and reason as guides; and loving our neighbors without qualification, as best as we are able. At Sugarloaf in particular, you’ll find a range of people from a variety of backgrounds who come together regularly to celebrate what’s most important to them, support each other in life’s hard moments, and to be a part of a community that matters and cares.

Sugarloaf is located in an idyllic setting and is filled with friendly people. We invite you to come and experience our religious community at Sunday worship. You are welcome here whoever you are: however old or young, wherever you are from, whoever your ancestors were, and in whatever religion you were raised. You are welcome here whatever your gender and whomever you love. You are welcome with whatever abilities and limitations you have. We invite you to bring your whole self.* We know that your presence will enrich the Sugarloaf community – and that Sugarloaf will become a special place for you, too.

If you have any questions about the Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists, Unitarian Universalism in general, or just want further information, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. Better yet, just come down on Sunday morning and see what we have to offer. You’ll be glad you did.

See you at Sugarloaf,
Megan

Latest Update from SCUU Religious Education.
Visit Religious Education directory to learn more.

OWL is coming!  OWL is coming! Unitarian Universalism has made a commitment to provide comprehensive sexuality education for our...
Dear Parents and Youth (age 12 and over), A youth retreat, with the emphasis on fun, will happen at Sugarloaf, May 15/16!  D....
Attention All Those Ages 12 to 15 and Your Parents!  Join us for our Fun-Doing-Things Retreat starting the evening of May 15...
We have a special RE United lesson planned for this Sunday, March 22.  Recent topics in the Mavericks class have covered...
Presenter:  Tiana Meek Durations:  Sun, 01/25/2015 - Wed, 01/28/2015 Join RE's new spiritual growth group for Sugarloaf...
We have a special RE United lesson planned for this Sunday.  Recent topics in the Mavericks class have covered Generosity and...
Join RE's new spiritual growth group for Sugarloaf youth and their families. This is an interactive 12 week program that is designed to...
Put together needed packages of school supplies for children in foreign countries.   The ‘Summer Sunday’ program is a series of fun...
Walk through nature and get a little wet! Walking Seneca Creek from the Germantown road parking lot to the pool about a mile up steam. We...
Clay modeling and creating interesting objects!   The ‘Summer Sunday’ program is a series of fun and adventurous activities...
Eat your way through nature!   The ‘Summer Sunday’ program is a series of fun and adventurous activities intended to build...
Paint pre-constructed birdhouses (2 different styles to choose from) to help shelter Montgomery County’s homeless birds. A donation of $5....
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WOW! An exclamation of discovery and Joy!!
  • Saturday, August 29, 2015


    Julie points out that in this Brain Pickings blog post link  there is a quote by Leonard Bernstein:
    • I believe that man’s noblest endowment is his capacity to change. Armed with reason, he can see two sides and choose: He can be divinely wrong. I believe in man’s right to be wrong. Out of this right he has built, laboriously and lovingly, something we reverently call democracy. He has done it the hard way and continues to do it the hard way — by reason, by choosing, by error and rectification, by the difficult, slow method in which the dignity of A is acknowledged by B, without impairing the dignity of C. Man cannot have dignity without loving the dignity of his fellow. 
    • I believe in the potential of people. I cannot rest passively with those who give up in the name of “human nature.” Human nature is only animal nature if it is obliged to remain static. Without growth, without metamorphosis, there is no godhead. If we believe that man can never achieve a society without wars, then we are condemned to wars forever. This is the easy way. But the laborious, loving way, the way of dignity and divinity, presupposes a belief in people and in their capacity to change, grow, communicate, and love.
    Any time I see a quote with the work "man" I always intone as i read "and woman" ...
    I like this very much.  It has elements of Camus's  Myth of Sisyphus

    there's also Churchill's quotes too ...
    • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.and ...  
    • It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. 



    I love Leonard Bernstein ..  He changed my life.  West Side Story -- somewhere
    instrumental


    and singing.





    Someday i want to do a sermon on this kinda ...  

    Sugarloaf is my somewhere.
  • Thursday, August 27, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Don't miss the End of Summer Cookout & Campfire THIS Saturday!!!! & Thanks Laura for publishing the eflyer...




    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.


    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 8/27/2015. 


    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link
  • Thursday, August 27, 2015


    We have to bring on board our crew - all of you who belong to our Sugarloaf community!

    We hope to set sail when the crew list of volunteers is complete. Jeff B is below deck creating the volunteer profile list. Jeff is creating new custom fields for our crew to use to sign-up in our Church Membership On Line software. The new fields will give these choices for how one wishes to volunteer:
    • Self Directed – for those offering to do self-initiated projects
    • Willing to Help – for those who are open to take on a new task
    • Call Later – for those not able to give the time at this point in their lives
    • Can Work On-site – for those preferring tasks on our property
    • Can Work At-home – for those preferring tasks to be done at home.

    Helen P our Volunteer Captain will also keep a list of all the volunteer tasks and what each crew member is doing. We need to keep track of what hat each crew member is wearing. Some crew members wear more than one hat.

    Our system’s basic tenet is fairness. When a volunteer takes a turn to participate by responding to a personal invitation to do a task, that person will let the Volunteer Captain know. She will check off that volunteer’s name until all who are registered on the crew’s list have had their turns. At that point we start the volunteer turn cycle again.

    It’s important for everyone to sign up and take a turn volunteering. The Volunteer System will help us to achieve our goals identified during our next step meetings, to let everyone know what is going on, and to prevent burnout.

    Please try on a new volunteer hat. September 20 is our deadline to sign up.

    Helen Pop. & Adam
  • Thursday, August 20, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Bookmark the NEW Amazon SCUU donation page!!! & Thanks Laura for publishing the eflyer...




    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.


    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 8/20/2015. 


    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link
  • Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Our yet-to-be established system is like a sailboat still tied up to its dock.  August 9 th’s meeting to launch it, ended with a focus on who belongs on the crew (volunteers’ list) for the maiden voyage.  This voyage will be the system’s trial with our Membership Committee at the helm, steering this experimental leg of the journey.

    This report on Meeting #1 starts an information series.  Preparation for the trial and evaluation period has begun.  A key foundation for the System rests in two ways to volunteer.  First it comes from a personal invitation to do a specific (usually one-time) task that comes out of needs that originate in Committees and our Board.  The second way is  when a congregant chooses to initiate a task for solving a problem (or, simply, to enhance our Sugarloaf community life.)  After a turn is fulfilled, that person will not be asked to volunteer, again, until all who are registered in the Volunteer System have had their turns or the spirit of volunteering moves the person to volunteer again.

    Helen Pop & Adam
  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    A twisty maze of passages which way to turn

    The main point to remember is that we are an independent self governing body who abides by a covenant, principles, by-laws and a democratic form of governance via the most current edition of Robert's Rules of Order and our mission and definition statements.

    “Why Does Sugarloaf Exist?” Sugarloaf is a spiritual community that asks questions, explores answers, and shares the lessons of life. We celebrate theological and cultural diversity and are united by our caring for humanity and Earth. The Mission of Sugarloaf Renew the Spirit Connect More Deeply Inspire Good 
    So we use our best judgement, speak, listen, vote, and lather rinse repeat.

    Personal interpretation is the hallmark and foundation of democracy.

    Communication is key. And with communication we should be able to avoid conflict

    Quick overview ...

    There are three types of ministers that one can hire.  One joke is all this is like a bird mating dance


    but i digress

    The most formal is the Called Minister -- a called minister is one the congregation marries "forever with no known end date" like Rev Megan ...

    The board forms a ministerial search committee and the ministerial search committee is sworn to secrecy and to find a minister that will be approved by an almost unanimous vote by the congregation...

    The main tasks of the ministerial search committee for a called ministerial search outlined in the most sacred of UU text the settlement handbook are ...
    • establish a budget (local search is cheaper and faster than a national search)
    • survey the congregation on the type of minister they want 
    • define what the congregation needs 
    • put the congregational record together 
    • present to ministers at an online minister & congregation dating site
    • select candidates 
    • communicate with candidates 
    • arrange interviews (if a local search free ish ,.. if a national search airline tickets & hotels)
    • arrange third party locations to view a sermon -- neutral pulpit visits 
    •  keep the board apprised of what is going on 
    • select the one minister candidate 
    • negotiate contract terms 
    • organize candidate weekend 
    • have everyone meet the candidate in different venues of the congregation 
    • finalize contract terms 
    • organize the congregational meeting for the fait accompli vote
    • ish ...
    This is usually done after the congregation has been with an interim minister.

    We've had three called ministers.  Our first minister Rev Charlie was an exception he was selected by the UUA and the congregation approved.  Rev Amy and Rev Megan were selected by a SCUU ministerial search committee.

    The Interim Minister has a little less formal search process but is very formal in the pecking order ...

    The Interim Minister is a minister trained in interim-ing. Which means to help the congregation get prepared to do a formal Called Minister search.   The interim minister usually works for one year.  We've had two in our history and both stayed for 2 years.  Rev James and Rev Myron.  An Interim Minister cannot become the Called Minister.

    The tasks above get streamlined for an interim minister search as outlined in the Transitional Ministry handbook.

    Both of these handbooks carry Sacred Heat. You can feel historical experience going back hundreds of years. The whole point is to avoid awkward situations, tar, feathers and torches.

    But these two mating seasons have passed.  The search timeframe for the Called Minister is one year.  The search timeframe for an Interim Minister is four months ish.

    Which to emphasize means that due to the timing of Rev Megan's departure (a time of year when official searches were closed) our only choices were either a contract minister or going at least 6 months with no minister at all.

    So the board has decided to hunt for a Contract Minister and the process is streamline/simplified even more for a contract minister.  The timeframe for a contract minister search is fast like a bunny -- one to two months -- now ish.

    The Contract Minister can do whatever we the board and the congregation decide the contract minister should do and that the contract minister agrees to do  ...

    The plan is to be clear about all that -- in a contract.

    Also if we want we can pivot too.  We could end up hiring a contract minister have her or him do interim-ish things commit to a year and then extend.  And if we really like her or him convert him or her to a called minister.  A contract minister is pretty free form.  About as "Alice in Wonderland" as you can get.  And we're ok with that.

    The board has voted to use the following process to find a Contract Minister ... Each step assumes the candidate has passed the prior step.

    1.        An interview is scheduled with candidate and as many BOT members as can attend.
    2.        References are called and verified (by BOT volunteers).
    3.        A Meet and Greet is scheduled and church leaders and elders and worship committee are invited to attend.  Informal setting to meet and talk with candidate.
    4.        BOT makes decision on whether to proceed to an offer and what the offer should be.

     Underpinning all this is the vote the congregation made to increase the Minister's time and pay.

    This should be the new rainbow flag
    The congregation expects us to move.  We want a minister in place by September.  Minister priorities have already been established.  But the intent is to collaborate to figure out the best way to go.

    The board is working with help from the UUA to find a contract minister best suited to move us forward.  We will move carefully down the Contract Minister rabbit hole.

  • Thursday, August 13, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Don't forget to collect your water this summer!!! & Thanks Laura for publishing the eflyer...




    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.


    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 8/13/2015. 


    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link
  • Thursday, August 6, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Don't forget to collect your water this summer!!! & Thanks Laura for publishing the eflyer...




    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.


    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 8/06/2015. 


    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link
  • Thursday, July 30, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Send us your SCUU wedding photos!!! & Thanks Laura & Julie for publishing the eflyer...




    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.


    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 7/30/2015. 


    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura & Julie and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link
  • Thursday, July 23, 2015
    Advocate Peace!! Pray for Sanity!! Megan's LAST service is THIS SUNDAY!! & Thanks Laura & Julie for publishing the eflyer...


    Farewell

    WOW!! the new edition of the Weekly News from SCUU digest that you will receive as an eflyer email. Tis a beautiful thing.

    Link to Weekly News from SCUU 7/23/2015. 

    If you don't want to use the link, here is a preview in a scrollable frame too..  In a browser it's scrollable and on a tablet from the WOW blog the whole freakin complete weekly digest eflyer just automagically appears...





    Many Thanks to Laura & Julie and the eTaskForce!!!

    Please Subscribe to the Weekly SCUU Newsletter on MailChimp via this Link