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First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit

4605 Cass Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201

Phone 313-833-9107

Fax 313-833-0127

January 16, 2005

First Unitarian Universalist Church
Organizational Chart 2003 - 2004
Colleen Dolan-Greene
Vice Moderator & Strategic Planning
Jim Harvey
Immediate Past Moderator
Lynda Smith
Board Secretary
Kathe Stevens
Bob Lauer

Interim Minister
Rev. David B. Park
Minister Emeritus
Rev. Larry Hutchison
Director of Religious Education
Jennifer Teed
Music Director
Todd Ballou
Choir Director
Lyle Brown
Church Secretary
Wendi Winston
Building and Grounds
Joe Brimmer

Charlotte Allen
Mark Bendure
Linda Darga
Carolyn Ludwig
Kathleen Rock
Irene Schultz
Dan Secrest
Ruth Seifert
Dan Wiest

Irene Schultz

Upcoming Services

Services begin promptly at 11:00 A.M.

January 30, 2005 Sharing the Spiritual Pathways of our Lives
Both new and older members will share their path to First UU and their visions of the future.
February 6, 2005 Rev. David Parke
Souper Sunday
February 13, 2005 W. E. B. DuBois on Religion
Guest Speaker James Robinson, Ph D.
February 6, 2005 Rev. David Parke
Potluck Sunday

Newsletter Deadline
The next deadline is Sunday, February 6, 2005, no later than 12:30 P.M.

Newsletter Articles

Please leave legible contributions in the Newsletter box located outside the church office. Please include your name and a contact number should there be any questions.Articles may also be emailed to me, by the deadline date and time, at If you email items, please specify they are for the Newsletter.
Please do not write articles on little pieces of paper or contribution envelopes, the ones that don't get lost are very hard to read.

 From the Interim Minister

Rev. Parke is recuperating at home from a fall.


In Memoriam

Floy Cheney, a long time member of First UU, died Saturday, January 18.  She was a former member of the Women’s Alliance and the Red Door Players.  The date for a memorial service at the church has not yet been set.


Women’s Alliance

The February 16 meeting of the Women’s Alliance will meet for noon luncheon followed by program.  Open to all interested persons, the luncheon requires reservations made by Monday, February 14 by phoning the church office at 313-833-9107 or Eiko Takemoto.  The cost of the meal is $6.00.  The meeting will be in Memorial Hall.


Women’s Book Club

The next meeting of the Women's Book Club will be on Sunday February 6, 2005 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in Memorial Hall.  We will be discussing Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi. The selection for March will be The Trouble with Islam Today :A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith   by Irshad Manji.  During our April meeting we will discuss The Close by Chloe Breyer.   Please contact Maria Majer for additional information.



For Sale

I am selling a dining room set (medium oak) which includes 6 chairs a buffet and a lighted china cabinet. I also have a second china cabinet, which is blond mahogany and antique.  There is also a Chippendale desk.

For more information please call Allison Parks.




Our choir is open to all who enjoy singing and being with some really nice people. Rehearsals are in Memorial Hall, unless otherwise noted, and begin at 9:30 A.M.  The schedule follows:

January 30 – off

February 6, 13, 20 with performance on 20th

February 27 – off

March 6, 13, 20, 27 with performance on 27th



First UU at BUC

Art That Is

Artists Lencha Acker, Colin Allen, David Grose, Carol Izant, Mary Neale, Irene Schultz, Mark Schwing, Sumarah Karen Smith, Brian Taylor and Margaret Wilkie will be showing items at Birmingham Unitarian Church February 6 – 20, 2005.  Join First UU artists for a reception February 9 from 6 – 8 P.M.  BUC is located at 38651 Woodward Ave. just north of Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills.




 Did you intend to give me your UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) Guest at Your Table donation but forgot?  You may still make your donation by writing a check to UUSC and mailing it to P.O. Box 835259, Boston, MA  02283-5259.  Write GAYT in the memo line and attach a note that you are affiliated with First U-U Church of Detroit.  At press time, I have in hand $440 for GAYT, another $200 for Tsunami Relief efforts, two more checks to be delivered to me this week, plus whatever YOU send directly to UUSC.  Thank you for your generosity.

 Cindy Hill, Local UUSC Representative



 "Voices of Africa" will return to Detroit to do a Women's History Month benefit concert for us Sunday, March 20.  In addition to benefiting First Church, it will also be a fund-raiser for the UUSC, Alternatives for Girls and Wisdom Institute for Teenage Mothers.  And we will use this occasion to honor outstanding women role models for 2005.


We need your help in advertising the event to all your family, friends, and co-workers.  Do you have locations where you can set out flyers?  Do you know of businesses that will want to advertise in the program book?  With your help, we can make this event even more successful than it was last year.  Please work with us in every way possible.  Thanks.

Event Co-Chairs, Gwen Winston and Janis Thompson


Have You Been Trained as a Lay-leader?

We need you NOW!  Each Sunday, as we enjoy the variety of our church services, we also enjoy having a different lay leader.  You could be one!  This is your ministry Sign up now while there is a choice of available dates or call Charlotte Allen.



Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream

Sunday, January 30, 2005 12:45 p.m.

Memorial Hall 

The Social Justice Committee is showing an awesome, powerful must-see documentary on the dramatic life-style changes we face with a rapidly disappearing oil supply.

Donna Walker



KWANZAA – 2004

Many thanks to our church members who did extraordinary work to make the eighteenth annual Kwanzaa Jazz Concert possible.  Through this Herculean team effort on the part of the church, the Black Concerns Working Group was able to give $1785.00 to the church.  The prime purpose of the concert, aside from financial support, is to continually emphasize the heritage of American music in the community.  The concert emphasizes one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Kuumba (creativity).  The music (jazz) was originally created and developed by African Americans in the United States.  This form of creativity (jazz) is now highly acclaimed throughout the world.  Each year the concert is becoming more popular and is attracting people who learn about where and who we are.  This year the weather was not an asset for us.  Our earnings were not as large as expected.  However, each year we endeavor to be more successful.  We welcome any ideas and help you can contribute.


Attention all Artists/Poets

If you are interested in a free basic Web  page, please contact Mark Schwing.


Flower Arranging

Would you like to help Eiko Takemoto with arranging flowers for Sunday services and learn the art of floral arrangement from her?  Eiko has been purchasing and arranging our chancel flowers for over 25 years and would appreciate some help.  A workshop is in the planning stages.  See Eiko or Arlene Teed for more information.  Also…help is needed to put the hymn numbers on the boards on each side of the chancel. Talk to Arlene regarding this, as well.


Afternoon at the Theater

Join UU retirees and friends for a matinee at the Hilberry in March or April.  The plays are - I Hate Hamlet on Wednesday, March 30, and Misalliance on Wednesday, April 27.  Both performances begin at 2:00 P.M.  Tickets are $11.00 each and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  This is just for fun, not a fundraiser.  See Mary Lou Malone for tickets.


Save the Date

2005 Heartland Spring Conference and Annual Meeting – “Gather in Spirit” – April 8 – 10, 2005 in Cincinnati, OH.  Join us for a weekend of exploring who we are in relationship to one another.  Details will be announced in the months ahead by co-chairs, Gwen Winston and Mildred Robinson.



At the annual Gamaliel Foundation National Leadership Assembly Michigan Interfaith Voice (MI*Voice), the coalition of Gamaliel affiliate organizations in Michigan, was awarded the highest honor given to any organization in the network.  MI*Voice received the Excellence in Organizing Award for its work to consolidate our organizing in the state.  In 2004 MI*Voice facilitated the state-wide Voter Encouragement Project which provided funding and staff for MOSES, Ezekiel and ISAAC to register 17,968 new voters; contacted by mail or phone nearly 30,000 infrequent voters; and worked to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in 50 precincts in the State of Michigan.  MI*Voice leaders are working with funders and the State of Michigan to create a demonstration, cooperative counties project which will promote “regional” land use planning.  Congratulations to the MI*Voice leaders. Congratulations to all of us.


We Get Mail…

 Happy Holidays to Friends and Family! 

December 2004

It's that time of year again! We did a lot of the usual relating to church and genealogy during 2004. In January Jennifer and Mark came out for an enjoyable week. In April we met about fifty of our Michigan friends in Salt Lake City for long days in the Family History Library and sociable evenings, Don has found some relatives through DNA Y-chromosome matches. Ardith has a lot of work to do. In May we visited the British Cotswolds with a group of Michigan alumni. It was a very pleasant week in a part of England we had not seen before. In June Don and David went to Las Vegas for an American Homebrewers' Association conference. While they were gone Sophie suddenly became very ill and died of liver failure almost exactly two years after she had contracted Valley Fever. The vet said it was probably because of all the medicines she had had to take - especially steroids.

In August we went to Oxnard, California to visit with Don's older brother Dick and assorted other relatives. On the way home we stopped south of Redlands and picked up two Toy Manchester Terriers about a year old each - Mercedes, and Henry. They don't seem as bright as Sophie (it took them two months to figure out how to use the pet door, while Sophie needed only two tries) but they seem to be shaping up. They help us remember to take daily walks through the neighborhood. In September Don's brother Dick died and we returned to Oxnard to participate in his burial at sea. One of Dick's grandsons came from Hawaii with leis for us to toss into the Pacific and eleven of us went a mile out from Ventura to deposit the ashes and flowers, with a few appropriate words. We think Dick would have appreciated this memorial.

In October we and Chris and his family took our annual camping weekend to Puerto Penasco with about sixty other Unitarian Universalists from Arizona, Southern California and Nevada. Carl and Brenda couldn't join us this year as Carl had to be out of state on business.

We wish you good holidays and a good 2005. We are looking forward to a wedding in April as Carl and Brenda will tie the knot.

With love, Ardith and Don

6391 Printer Udell

Tucson, AZ 85710-1120


February Birthdays

1. Bessie Mercer, Wendi Winston, Liana Perez

3. Lew Thompson

18. Al Acker

21. Chris Acker, Jon Schultz, Veronica Agosta

24. Pat Kniel, Nancy Hutchison

25. Andrew Malone

26. Walter Greene IV, Laura Thompson


Worship…the good news

By Gwendolyn Winston, Worship Chairperson

The Worship Committee merged with the Worship and Ministry Task Group. Our Saturday, January 15, 2005 meeting was a bit unwieldy, very fruitful, much creative dialogue, lasted from 10:45 a.m. to nearly 3 p.m. and was attended by five new members! We reflected on last Sunday’s service and members’ responses to Dean Drake’s message, “UU Christianity: The Great Commission is for Unitarian Universalists to…”. We heard that members walked out, were disgusted, upset, pledged not to return, stay away because too much Christian UU voices are heard during worship services. Then there were the voices of members who were glad to hear his message and because of it found more grounding in our faith. I stood in the reception line with Mr. Drake for a few minutes while Sumarah Smith (layleader) had a task to do. Six people came through the line. Three told Mr. Drake what he needed to have said. Three expressed appreciation for touching their hearts. Dean Drake shared his nearly 30 year UU path from Agnostic to Christian, expressed numerous times that he did not want to offend anyone, and that he came because he was invited to give food for thought on Change & Transformation Sunday, January 9, 2005. We dialogued about tolerance, intolerance, Unitarian Universalism’s Judaeo/Christian beginnings, spirituality, and looked at how our principles are manifested by the collective and individual ways 1st UU of Detroit walks the walk and talks the talk. My thought/feeling is that the incongruence is painfully striking!

Change & Transformation Sundays. The Worship Committee is responsible for creating worship experiences. There are 23 Sundays when David Parke, Interim Minister, is not in the pulpit. Six (6) of these Sundays we have named Change & Transformation Sunday, called that because 1st Church is in the process of change from the resignation of one minister to the selection of another – projected to occur in two years. In the interim, we will have two interim ministers. Is this a good time to explore who we are and why we exist? Of course it is. Shall we be transformed? Of course we can. Do we want that? Dan & Kathy Fitzgerald shared what they learned at a recent Growth Conference they attended. Several points they shared about how congregations grow is that members must engage in open dialogue about who we are and why we exist, that the system (culture) will change, examine what is changing, not to assume that everyone wants our church to grow, the road ahead will be difficult. Dan & Kathy shared reasons for growth, the need to identify our niche through revisiting our mission statement and that growth works only if members are involved in the change process. We invite and encourage you for the next five Change & Transformation Sundays to bring your whole everything selves and bring nothing – stay open, listen to your own listening, set aside your “already always” knowing for approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Change is. Transformation is not – unless…? The next Change & Transformation Sunday is February 27, 2005. Rev. Daniel W. Aldridge, Jr. is our speaker and Sumarah Smith is our lay leader. Join us!

Editorial: Have you heard that 1st UU will, at some point, engage in strategic planning? Some members present at the Task Force meeting thought that the Governing Board will write a strategic plan and present it to the body for a vote. An effective strategic plan is built through dialogue with members. If members and our voices are not invited into the planning process, the plan will be just a piece of paper on a shelf like the other three plans I have heard exist. I wish for members’ voices, energy and commitment to be central in the shaping of our future.

Community Ministry Sunday is January 30, 2005. The theme is “Sharing the Spiritual Pathways of Our Lives”. We will visit who we are and why we exist through the eyes and hearts of new members. Just as Dean Drake shared his UU path, new members will share how they found their way to us, what those deciding factors were that led them to join our congregation and what they are hoping to get out of being here at 1st UU. (It is then up to us who have been here to enlarge our circles – is it not?) We will see through the eyes and hearts of long-time members who we are, why we exist, and what has held them here. If you wish to participate in our Community Ministry Sunday, call Gwen Winston or Arlene Teed so that we can have a conversation that will help shape this worship experience for our community--our congregation. Community Ministry Sunday is a day of intentionality. We look at our principles and encourage you to invite family and friends to share in this exploration. Community Ministry Sunday is an opportunity for us to bring our relations into our church home so that we broaden our experience of one another. 

The Worship & Ministry Task Force is sponsoring “The Road Ahead: Exploring Our Mission & Vision”. It will be held Saturday, February 12, 2005. The time will be announced. What kind of worship service would you tell your friends about? What have you enjoyed in worship services? What shall we experiment with? What turns you off? Why? One of our “aha” moments during our January 15th meeting was the insight shared by a new member who said that it seems “we” (1st UU collective) protect the rights of the seeker and not the rights of those who have found the way and declared it so. Why should you attend? -- to give voice for the shaping of our strategic planning process. Lay leaders are especially invited! Please bring your copy of our mission and vision statements. Call the Church Office at 313-833-9107 to register.

Worship Service Guest Speakers and Guest Musicians. We are looking for speakers for five Sundays and guest musicians for nearly 12 Sundays. If you have suggestions, please call

Gwen Winston or David Parke so that we can send you a Guest Speakers Form to complete, work out the details of the invitation to speak and perform. We are excited that Megan Joiner, a young woman who is a member of 1st UU of Cincinnati and is the Legislative Assistant for Human and Civil Rights for the Unitarian Universalist Association Washington Office for Advocacy has agreed to be our guest speaker in May. She has also agreed to present a workshop. The date is not yet confirmed. If you have an interest in helping us develop a workshop, please call the Church Office at 313-833-9107, leave your name and contact information (including email address if you have one).

Worship Experiences On The Worship Planning Table: (1) A Sunday when all adults experience 2nd Story Church while children and youth/children hold worship service in the Sanctuary. You cannot climb the stairs? Not a problem. We will bring some of the Second Story classroom experiences downstairs. (2) An alternative evening service for 2nd Story Teachers and others who are not able to attend the 11 o’clock service or for those who seek another style of worship. (3) Alecia Becks (new member) will be working with Eiko Takemoto. On the table is a flower arranging workshop like the one the Women’s Alliance sponsored some years ago as a way to support Eiko’s work. (Editorial: Do I dare to call it Eiko’s ministry? – yes, to me it seems coordinating the recognition process, purchasing, arranging so beautifully and placing flowers on the chancel every Sunday for many, many years is a ministry) (4) Dialogues on Ways of Understanding Worship and Exploring Why & How of Common Worship.

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