Rev. David Hutchinson, Minister, 446-6858
Fred Griffith, Moderator, 538-6175
  Elizabeth Peltier, 538-1663
  Betty White, 521-0015
Debra Frazier, Clerk, 521-0387
Karen Klahr, Newsletter, 532-4051
Church Phone, 532-9269
Committee on Ministry,
Debra Frazier, Larry Tonzi

Newsletter - Summer 2012

First Church of Houlton
Unitarian Universalist

61 Military St.
Houlton, ME 04730


Farmhouse Allium photo by revdav The boundaries of the actual are no more fixed and rigid than the elasticity of our imaginations. The fact that a rare and beautiful flower which we never saw, perhaps never heard of, for which therefore there was no place in our thoughts, may at length be found in our immediate neighborhood, is very suggestive. - Henry David Thoreau, Journal entry 1853

Work has recently begun on our meditation garden in back of the church, and since I am by no means a plant expert, this has supplied an opportunity for me every time I walk into the garden to get acquainted with new varieties of plants and flowers. When I arrive at the office in the morning, my new routine is to brew a cup of coffee and then take a slow walk through the garden. It’s only a small garden, so it doesn’t take long to walk from one end to the other, but there are places to pause or sit to extend the garden experience. Already, there are plants appearing in the beds and garden ornaments finding a new home in our outdoor space.

The transcendentalists spoke about our innate ability to stretch the mind to observe new objects, ideas and experiences. The only limitation is the confines of our own imagination. If I am open to the natural unfolding of a typical day, I am bound to encounter something I have never noticed before, be it a small garden flower or the shimmer in someone’s eye. We are one living part in an amazing configuration of beauty and wonder.

Live well this summer.     Dave

There is an old joke about the reason why Unitarian-Universalists are the only denomination to take a summer break; the answer is usually because "God Trusts Us"! This may sound self-aggrandizing but I believe it is easier for us to take a summer break than other denominations because of the type of people we are and the relationships each of us have with our higher power.

We have our own divine inner guidance system which not only influences how we act on Sundays, but every day of the week, even through the summer. Even without weekly services, we continue to do our best to live up to our Unitarian-Universalist principles, as well as to live in accordance with the four (five) agreements. What we DO miss out on is the opportunity each week to share our experiences and to learn and grow from that sharing.

Luckily for us, we have Summer Activities! We have a variety of things to do together this summer, ranging from working on the building and the meditation garden, selling crafts and more at the Farmers Market, barbecue cookouts, workshops, hikes and more! Check out the calendar to see what is already planned. Or check out what may be posted on the UU Houlton Community email list at If there is an excursion or gathering that you would like to host, please contact Karen or me.

As you are out and about this summer, don't forget to collect a sample of water from someplace special. When we return in September, we will share our experiences in a mixing of waters from the different places we have been. At that time, we will also start in on our next theme for the year. I'm sure it will be at least as good a theme as the last 10 years have been!

Also over the summer, I wish to remind each of us to continue submitting our pledges so the summer bills can be paid. Further, I ask that each of us try to keep in mind those of our congregation who find it difficult to get out and about, difficult to deal with everyday needs, or don't get a chance to visit with others very often. Each of them is just as much a part of our church family as those who are able to attend weekly. Let's not forget them.

May each of you have a wondrous and special summer break; and be sure to keep in touch!   Love, Fred

As many of you have heard, we began a new venture this year, which is a Unitarian Crafter's Guild. We crafters plan to use our hobbies to help raise funds for the upkeep of our historic Unitarian Universalist Church building. There was much discussion about building projects at the annual meeting, and plans include an upstairs bathroom, as well as several needed repairs. To that end, we have begun crafts sales. Several folks are already participating with donations of time or crafted goods. However, with so many talented and generous folks among us, there are likely many more of you who may be interested in participating. We also have a yahoo group at

We began sales at the November crafts sale in the rec center, and also had a table at our Concert a few weeks ago. And we are already rolling this summer with a booth at the Saturday Farmer's Market in Market Square! I am the lead on that particular project, but my particular work schedule demands that I work most Saturdays. The Farmer's Market takes place every Saturday from 9am to 1pm through August (except for July 7th and August 18th.) We are particularly interested in folks who would like to spend a few hours occasionally manning the booth. If I am not there, it would also entail setting up the tables and gazebo tent, as well as taking it down.

On July 7th and August 18th we'll be selling in the craft fairs. Please come by and visit!

If you would like more information or if you would like to donate some of your homemade crafts to our fundraising efforts, please contact me, Debra, at or 521-0387.

We want to thank everyone for their pledges and support. Our expenses do continue during the summer. Please help by mailing your summer and fall pledge contributions to Betty White/ 1849 Ludlow Road/ Ludlow, ME 04730
Have a great summer!   With love and respect, Liz Peltier and Betty White
The women of the Unitarian Church in Houlton met in June 1895 to organize the “Houlton Branch of the Woman’s Alliance.” The name given to this group was the Sewing Circle. We do not have records to show the Charter Members but church records do show that this group was very active in raising funds for the operation of the church. Our church obtained a record from Ann Rheinlander that does shed some light on this important organization. The document was given to Ann in 2004 by Elizabeth Putnam and is now part of our church records. The record was written in 1937, consequently it does give history and it does show that the group had been operating steadily for 42 years.

The original meetings were held in the homes of the women and considerable work was accomplished at each meeting. A number of public suppers were planned at these meetings and the cost of a meal was 25 cents. One can suppose that to be a reasonable sum in 1895. During the first year that the Alliance was in existence, the group raised the tidy sum of $527. This is strong evidence that these courageous women were not new to the art of raising money. In the first years there were no autos and no telephones, so soliciting for the suppers had to be done by team or on foot. Imagine what that meant in January and February. Often in those coldest months, money would be solicited instead of food and the usual supper did not occur, but as fundraising goes it was not considered to be successful. At one time the Alliance was pledging and paying $700 a year toward the church expenses, and evidently the trustees began to demand more. According to one item on record the ladies voted to inform the trustees that the Alliance "will not contribute in the future, after the seven hundred dollars pledged by them shall have been paid."

When the Unitarian church burned in 1902, the task of building the current church (which we now occupy) was undertaken. These women redoubled their efforts in fundraising and helped raise the necessary funds for the new church building. The record shows that the characteristic that clearly stands out at the meetings was the spirit of friendliness. Mrs. Frisbie, is a name that is singled out. She is described as being generous, her life being wrapped up in the success of her church. As the new church building progressed, the need for an organ was keenly felt, and the women under the vigorous guidance of Mrs. A. T. Putnam, Mrs. Gilpatrick and Mrs. Frisbie undertook the task. These women left no stone unturned, nor did they rest night or day until the organ was installed. This organ was later updated and the chimes were given in memory of Mrs. Albert Putnam by her family.

After 117 years we surely need to recognize that the Alliance was the backbone of our church and there are many physical reminders that surround us today because of their hard work and dedication. It is interesting that Debra Frazier has rekindled this torch from 1895 with her effort to start the Unitarian Craft Guild.

Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 3rd. 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. Flashy shirts and splashy skirts are also encouraged for the festive and colorful occasion. Our cookout is at Dave & Linda's house in Monticello this year next to the beautiful Meduxnekeag River. Car-pooling, as always, is encouraged. Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. There will be swimming, extreme croquet, bocce, and horseshoes for those up to the excitement. Fun for all, but be sure to bring the bug dope!
Remember! Our plant and seed exchange will take place this Sunday after the service and before heading to Dave and Linda's for the cookout. Please bring your extra vegetable and flower seeds, seedlings, plant cuttings or thinnings. Also, if you have old (or new!) gardening books to donate, usable planters to exchange/sell as donation to church, other gardening things (tools, aprons, gloves, etc.) bring 'em on!.
What is “Fair Trade”? How do you know you are buying fairly traded products? Find the answers at Spring for Fair Trade! on Saturday, June 23rd 9-11 am at The Cup Cafe.

Spring for Fair Trade! is an educational event where you can learn what fair trade is, how it is changing the world, and current issues in fair trade, while sampling fairly traded coffees and chocolates. Information, discussion, tasting.

Fair Trade ensures that products purchased around the world are doing good, not harm. This Spring for Fair Trade event is supported in part by a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. FMI contact Audrey Zimmerman at 532-4570.

There is no charge for the event.

On Saturday, June 30th all are welcome to have breakfast at the Brookside Inn in Smyrna Mills starting at 8am. Those who wish to climb Marley Mountain will head out at 9:30. The trail head to Marley Mountain is just a short walk from the restaurant. Bill White will be our guide for this event. According to Bill, the mountain is part of the Oakfield Hills and is a granite intrusion that has resisted glaciation although it does have a somewhat smooth and rounded appearance. Most of the granite around Houlton used for building various structures was quarried from the top of the Mountain. Cary Library is the best example and even the Unitarian Church has granite from this location (look around the windows to find it.) Hearsay would have us believe that at least forty feet was taken from the top of the mountain for construction materials in Northern Maine. Bring a water bottle and perhaps a snack or lunch.
This yearly potluck will take place at the Morin's on Saturday, July 21st starting at noon. Roger will have the grill ready. Bring your lawn chair.
This yearly gathering will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18th. (Rain date Sunday) You can arrive when you want and leave when you want, or even camp out overnight. This is a great location for kite flying and extreme croquet as well as sitting around the campfire. Bring your lawn chair and bug dope.
There were some other suggestions for summer get-togethers which never got worked into the schedule. Some are difficult to plan very far in advance. These include kayaking/canoeing and easy hiking in new and interesting locations. As the summer progresses plans may solidify for these events. Please keep your eye on our changing calendar page, check out our UU Houlton Community email list at, make sure that you are on Rev. Dave's email list, or otherwise keep in touch for news of last minute planned events.
Please click here for the currently scheduled events.

An email discussion mailing list is a tool for a group of people to exchange messages via email. Any subscriber to the list can send messages that are received by all the subscribers, creating an email-based group conversation. The UU Houlton Community Yahoo Group has been created for members and friends of the Unitarian Society of Houlton. We currently have 24 members. Please take a look at the webpage.   If you'd find it useful and wish to join just click the "Join This Group" button. After entering your info, remember to click on "save changes" before leaving the page. You can contact Rev. Dave or Karen if you have questions or need further instructions.
  • The website of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • The website of the Northern New England District (NNED)
  • The UUWorld magazine   (You can also sign up for a weekly email update.)