Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Rev. Martha Newman, Minister Emerita
Karen Klahr, Moderator, 532-4051
Susan & Bruce Glick, Co-Treasurers, 538-9264
Leigh Griffith, Clerk, 532-2455
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269

Newsletter - April 2004

First Church of Houlton,

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730


The truth, however, is that we are never alone. It is together with all my contemporaries that I live, suffer, and rejoice. Our existence is coexistence. We can never attain fulfillment, or sense meaning, unless it is shared, unless it pertains to other human beings. To be human is to be involved, to act and to react, to wonder and respond, to be a part in a cosmic drama, knowingly or unknowingly. -   Abraham J. Heschel

In our individualistic society of Palm Pilots, PC s and hectic schedules, it's easy to lose sight of the larger picture. We all have our deadlines to meet and our personal "what to do with my life" lists, yet we cannot afford to downplay the value of extending ourselves into the invigorating and complex world of involvements. When it comes right down to it, we only have two things in life; basic autonomy and basic relatedness. The challenge is to blend the two into a seamless and efficient expression so we don't short-change ourselves on either end. When I walk down the sidewalk it is me alone walking, but it's also a side-walk that includes everything and everyone and has no end in sight.

As we take inventory at the Unitarian Society of who we are and what we are about, the value of having each other as companions as well as antagonists is apparent. I do not want to be alone. I do not want to live my life for only myself, but share its full spectrum with others around me. This is the interesting part of life's adventure that keeps us wondering and curious and alive.  In Ministry   ...Dave

Fall and winter have been busy times. November was a special month as we celebrated, with some special events, the centennial of the dedication of our church building . On November 2, an "Organ Plus" concert was dedicated to the memory of Janet White. November is the anniversary month of the Coffeehouse so we thought it fitting to welcome Rev. Don Rollins (who founded the Coffeehouse in 1992) back to our stage. On November 23 we held our Centennial service in the sanctuary. It was followed by a potluck lunch in the basement complete with a small presentation ceremony during which we honored our minister, our senior members, and our outgoing moderator, Sarah Lovejoy.

Our annual meeting in January, as usual, brought changes to the Board of Trustee structure. Leigh Griffith is now our Clerk. Sue and Bruce Glick are sharing the duty of Treasurer, and Fred Griffith and Tanya Pasquarelli are new Trustees. Not only am I still on the board but here I am moderator again!

And now ...spring is almost here and church life promises to remain busy, at least for the board. Our church's centennial seemed a fitting time to consider a revisioning process, a time to take inventory, noting our strengths and weaknesses, a time to be mindful of "how we do church". Recent Sunday services have been devoted to this process, both as sermon topics and group discussion. A questionaire/survey is being developed and will soon be distributed to church members and friends to gather opinions as to what is of value and what could be improved. We hope to have all the results for the May 9th service when the Rev. Jane Dwinell, the Northeast District Small Church Specialist, will be with us for our Sunday service.

At this writing a new project is well underway to purchase and install a new amplification system for both the sanctuary and the parlor which would insure that everyone, including the hearing impaired will be able to hear at Sunday services. It's looking like it will be all in place by May 30th for our Flower Communion service, the final service of the church year.

Ann Rheinlander has lovingly and diligently gathered and assembled all the parts of our "Centennial Booklet" and arranged for its initial printing. It describes and illustrates our activities during our "Centennial Month" and includes the compete text of some of the talks and poetry as well as photography by Bruce Glick. Our initial printing has sold out at $10 each. There may be a second printing and those interested in obtaining a copy should contact Ann or Dave.
  • to Sarah Lovejoy for serving the church as moderator last year.
  • to Ann Rheinlander for serving as treasurer for the last 2 years.
  • to Robin Mosenfelder for cataloging and building our library.
  • to all of those who have contributed books.
  • to Addie and Floyd Boyett for donating and installing the carpet in the coffee room.
  • to Nancy Harris for coordinating our "Organ Plus" concert.
  • to Ann Rheinlander for coordinating the production of our Centennial booklet.
  • to Leigh and Fred Griffith for leading our Winter Solstice Celebration.
  • to Jeff Lovejoy for all the wonderful music for our Christmas services.
  • to John Pasquarelli for coordinating and to all the volunteers helping with the amplification project.
  • to LT Rheinlander for tending to various maintenance needs around the church as they arise.
  • to all of you who take on the task of presenting a Sunday service.
  • to all of our Coffeehour providers and to Linda who often gets an early start at setting up the coffee.
  • to Dave, our "half-time" minister, for all the little extras he does.
    Debra Frazier has recently taken on the challenge of managing our small but significant library. We have a few books on CD, a few videos, and a number of books ranging in topics from Unitarian Universalist books, general philosophy, mental health, Eastern religion and other spiritual topics. She is currently in the process of creating a digital library list, which will either be available via email or possibly linked to the church web site. Books can be checked out for as long as you need them; just please do the usual and fill out the pocket card and leave it in the box. Additionally, if you have any books you'd like to donate or titles to suggest the church might acquire, please let her know.
    Here are the Study/Action Issues proposed by the UUA for congregations to consider and vote on.
  • S-1 Civil Marriage Equality
  • S-2 Oppression of Women World Wide
  • S-3 Stopping Mass Extinction
  • S-4 Threat of Global Warming
    The text of these proposed issues can be found in the Tentative Agenda which is online at We have the opportunity to vote for the ones we want but the ballot must arrive by April 15. Anyone who feels strongly, pro or con, should contact Dave or Karen.
    The president of the UUA, Rev. Bill Sinkford, recently posed a question, "If you were riding on an elevator and someone asked you what Unitarian Universalism was all about, what would you say with only a couple of minutes before you arrived at the right floor?" We'll be using the book "A Chosen Faith" (copies are available in our library), discussing the principles and refining our elevator speeches. If you're interested in exploring more of what UUism is about, then this is a good evening to ask questions and find out.   April 26 from 6-8pm

    Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, May 30. Please bring a fresh cut flower to contribute to the communion basket. This Unitarian tradition originated in 1923 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Norbert Capek asked his parishioners to bring and receive flowers as a symbol of their shared life as a spiritual community. Please come and join us for this special service. Once again we will be blowing bubbles on the front lawn afterward.

    April 10
    Film Night in the Parlor, 6pm
    April 11
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson "The Return of Easter"
    April 17
    Coffeehouse in the basement, 7-9:30pm, feature performer: "Sweetwater Strings"
    April 18
    Sunday service - Karen Klahr (Earth Day)
    April 25
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    April 26
    Monday Evening Conversation 6-8pm Topic: "Working on Your UU Elevator Speech"
    April 30
    6-9pm. Glen and Diane Hines will have an open house at their "studio" in the R.K.Henderson garage, on Route #1, 4 miles north of Houlton, on the east side of the road. Refreshments will be provided. This is also a SACAP event. The NY Botanical Garden Project will be on display.
    May 1
    Meditation Workshop 9am to Noon at the Five Elements Healing Arts Center
    May 2
    Sunday service - Linda Rowe
    May 7 & 8
    Northeast District Spring Conference at the Universalist Church of Yarmouth, Rev.Bill Sinkford, keynote speaker   "Witnessing to Our Faith"
    May 8
    Film Night in the Parlor, 6pm
    May 9
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson and Rev. Jane Dwinell
    May 15
    Coffeehouse in the basement, 7-9:30pm, feature performer: " Psychedelicates" (Carol Ayoob and Band)
    May 16
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson
    May 23
    Open Pulpit Sunday - suggested theme: Spring and Flowers
    May 30
    Sunday service - Rev. David Hutchinson, Flower Communion service.
    June, July & August
    Summer recess! Summer activities still in the planning stages.

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