• Photos of the Week for February 2, 2021

    Photo of the Week #1

    This January 25, 2021 photo shows UUCW’s Catherine Roberts writing notes, a practice she has deepened during the pandemic.

    She estimates she has written several hundred notes during this time of COVID.

    Catherine says “I have always been a note writer and have several pen pals. My job already asks me to sign typed thank you letters, but I switched to handwritten notes to make them more personal. I love finding a letter or notecard in the mail, so I send them out, too. This makes me feel grounded and on track. I have so many memories of receiving letters from my grandmothers, and don’t want this practice to go away.” (photo by Jacob MacDonald)

    Photo of the Week #2

    This image was done by Bart Hill in 2007-2008, part of a series he calls “Light at the Church.”

    Bart’s inspiration came after he noticed the way that light washes throughout our building.

    Fun fact: Bart was 4 or 5 when he first took his mother’s Brownie Camera out to make photos.

    Then, seeing his father’s and uncle’s love of photography, he’s been clicking every since.

    Photo of the Week #3

    This undated photo from the UUCW archives shows Loree Burns, left, and Cathy McDonagh at Ferry Beach.   (photo by Judy Savage)

    Photo of the Week #4

    The photo from the UUCW archives shows a  church event in 1993 attended by, from left, Jan Cutman, Valla Fotiades and Tom Pierce. (photo by Judy Savage)
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  • Photos of the Week for January 26, 2021

    Photo of the Week #1

    Jenny DelGizzi (upper left square, holding up the book) moderated the virtual All-Church Book Discussion about Kim Michele Richardson’s “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” after the service on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

    Photo of the Week #2

    UUCW’s Rev. Aaron Payson delivered the Invocation during the city-wide virtual “Day of Hope – Worcester Prayer Service in Solidarity With Our Nation” on Wednesday morning, January 20, 2021.

    Photo of the Week #3

    #uucwreads highlights the ways that books are part of our members’ lives. Alma, who is now 9 years old, was the motivator behind UUCW starting a composting program when she was 8. She’s a voracious reader, who loves the “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls,” in particular the parts about Rachel Carson and the Black Mambas. Fun fact: Alma decided to write a letter to Elizabeth Warren to ask her to double down on environmental issues, and she pitched state-wide composting programs as an idea!

    Photo of the Week #4

    #timemachinetuesday takes up back to November 18, 2017 when people spontaneously stood and joined hands while singing the song “Lean on Me” during the party that Deb and Joe Zawielski put on in Fellowship Hall. The Zawielski’s, shown center right in this photo, threw the party to thank people for their support during Joe’s medical situation. (photo by Betty Jenewin) #weremember

    Photo of the Week #5

    #flashbackfriday takes us back to January 10, 2016 when ministerial intern Beau Rivers gathered the baskets after the Children’s Collection. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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  • Photos of the Week for January 19, 2021

    Photo of the Week #1

    On Sunday morning, January 17, 2021, Moira Rouse spoke to the children in the Religious Exploration program about the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and in particular, her brother Barton’s square in that quilt. Barton’s photo is shown on her computer monitor.  He passed away from AIDS in 1995.

     Each block in this massive quilt (48,000 blocks), tries to tell the story of a beautiful life lost to a horrifying disease. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #2

    Barton Rouse is shown in the top photo; his block in the AIDS memorial quilt is shown below. (photos courtesy of Moira Rouse)

    Photo of the Week #3

    Beckley and Dave Schowalter perform “Feelin’ Groovy” at the Ferry Beach virtual “Talent/No Talent Show” on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Thanks to Maya Desai for making the magic happen, to George for emceeing and to our friends at First Unitarian for joining us.

    Photo of the Week #4

    This graphic is used by the Side With Love task force as a land acknowledgement. This practice recognizes the indigenous people whose lands we occupy today, and serves as a reminder of the histories that are so often ignored or forgotten.

    This land acknowledgement is used to open the monthly UUCW anti-racism Community Conversations, held on the last Tuesday of the month. (graphic by Evan Wilson)

    Photo of the Week #5

    On January 17, 2021, UUCW’s Rev. Aaron Payson and First Unitarian’s Rev. Sarah Stewart swapped pulpits. Here, Rev. Stewart delivers her reflection “The Meaning of America” during UUCW’s service. An attendee commented “Rev. Stewart: Thank you for sharing your inspirational message today! Please come visit again, soon!”

    Photo of the Week #6

    Linda Miller’s cousin, Cliff Hakim, presents a talk on his book “Walk in My Shoes: The Path to Empathy and Compassion” during the Zoom meeting of the Greater Worcester Humanist on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

    Hakim interviewed 35 people who showed him that empathy is still very much alive.

    One of those folks is our own Bart Hill, who Hakim referred to as an “everyday humanitarian.” Bart says “you can accomplish so much with a smile.”

    Photo of the Week #7

    This photo from our UUCW archives honors our past and our present. On May 17, 2009 current Director of Religious Education and Exploration, Robin Mitzcavitch, left, lit the chalice with former Director of Religious Education, Deb Selkow.

    The occasion was the end-of-the-year Coming of Age service.

    Deb served as DRE from 1999 to 2011; Robin began as Youth Coordinator in 2008 and became DRE in 2012. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #8

    This photo from the UUCW archives takes us back to June 10, 2007 and Religious Education Sunday, which was also Girl Scout Sunday.

    At left, Mary Monica Miner conducts the Girl Scout religious award badge part of the service. To her left are Miya, Audrey, Katie, Leah, and Susan.

    As congregants, these young people completed all the work to get the UU badge, supervised by Mary Monica. This badge was traditionally awarded on Girl Scout Sunday at church; all the Girl Scouts in the room were recognized on that day. #weremember (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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  • Photos of the Week for January 12, 2021

    Photo of the Week #1

    #uucwreads highlights the ways that books are part of our members’ lives.

    “Walk in My Shoes: The Path to Empathy and Compassion” is a book by Cliff Hakim, Linda Miller’s cousin. Hakim dialogues with over 30 “storytellers,” individuals from many walks of life who have learned to walk in other people’s shoes. https://www.walkinmyshoesart.com

    One of the storytellers is our own Bart Hill.

    Rather than using photos of the narrators, the author has drawn a picture of their shoes.
    At right is a photo of Bart, and Cliff’s drawing of Bart’s shoe – a Merrell, size 10 1/2. ©2020 Cliff Hakim

    Hakim will be speaking at the Greater Worcester Humanist meeting on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, on Zoom, on the topic “Kindness Matters, Compassion is a Superpower.”

    Hakim has spoken previously at UUCW, in approximately 2004, about his book “Life’s Too Short to Drink Cheap Wine.”

    Photo of the Week #2

    The Rev. Aaron Payson delivers the reflection “Liberating Liberalism” during the Zoom church service on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

    An attendee commented “One of the most beautiful, diverse and poignant services I’ve ever experienced.”

    Photo of the Week #3

    This photo from the UUCW archives takes us back to October 14, 2012, when Linda Holbrook, left, stopped to talk with Sue Neaz at the Crop Walk table in Fellowship Hall after the service. 

    The Crop Walk took place one week from that day, and a portion of the funds benefitted UUCW’s own Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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  • Photo of the Week for January 5, 2021

    Photo of the Week #1

    Sharon Templeman crocheted 75 soap sacks to be included in the December distribution of Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. She also donated all the soap and plastic baggies to keep them in. It was inspired by a Girl Scout Troop who was doing this project for the homeless.
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  • Photos of the Week for December 22, 2020

    Photo of the Week #1

    The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry volunteers pose for a group photo on Saturday, December 19, 2020, a distribution day. As is tradition, many wear Christmas garb on this day.

    In addition, Dianne Mann, one of the Food Pantry directors, sports a Happy Birthday pin in honor of her special day.

    Seventy families were fed that day. (photo by Pete Lanyon)

    Photo of the Week #2

    Laura Lenahan, right, delivers a shoebox for the Holiday Shoebox project on December 13, 2020. Pauline Courchesne, left, has led this effort since 2008. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #3

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, the children in the Religious Education program sang a song for the Rev. Aaron Payson’s Sabbatical send-off on January 3, 2011. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #4

    This newspaper clipping ran on October 2, 1996 in the Feature Parade section of the Worcester Sunday. UUCW was called First Universalist Church at the time.
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  • Photos of the Week for December 15, 2020

    Photo of the Week #1

    Andrea Cruz, left, hugs her mom, Lynn Gostyla Williams after they finished playing duets of ‘Ding Dong! Merrily on High’ and ‘Le Sommeil de L’Enfant Jesus’ on flute and alto recorder, respectively. They were videotaped for a future holiday Zoom service. The night that their performance was recorded – December 11, 2020 – was the eve of their “Gotcha Day.” Twenty-nine years ago Lynn and her husband David went to Guatemala to pick up Elena Andrea from the orphanage and bring her home to Worcester. Elena Andrea goes by the name ‘Andrea’ now. Andrea and Lynn have been playing together for at least 20 years.(photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #2

    Pauline Courchesne, UUCW’s Holiday Shoebox Coordinator, sorts shoeboxes that were just dropped off on December 13, 2020. Pauline introduced the Holiday Shoebox project to UUCW in 2008, and has led this effort every year since then. The first organization to receive UUCW’s shoeboxes was Operation Christmas Child. This project was sponsored by Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization. The Rev. Aaron Payson halted our church’s support of this charity in the wake of Samaritan’s Purse president Franklin Graham’s anti-Islam remarks following the attacks of 9/11. Subsequent Shoebox donations have gone to the H.O.M.E. shelter in Orland, Maine, Friendly House and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. ACE has been the recipient since 2015. The shoeboxes currently go to children and youth, ages 10-21, in the ACE program (African Community Education). (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #3

    From left, Lucy , Simone and Naziah pack and wrap their shoeboxes for UUCW’s Holiday Shoebox Project. (photo by Cori Henry)

    Photo of the Week #4

    This photo, taken on December 13, 2020, shows the new carpet that was installed this past week on the new video platform at the back of the church. It blends in with the sanctuary and matches the carpet in the lounge. This beautiful platform was built by master carpenter Bart Hill last September; we are grateful for his work. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #5

    Santa visits with young UUCW friends virtually on December 13, 2020.

    Photo of the Week #6

    Sean Divoll, a member of the Building Development Task Force, pounds reflective stakes into the perimeter of the new parking lot on December 13, 2020. They will delineate the parking area and protect the curb and berm from damage by snow plows. Fellow committee member Moira Rouse assisted in this task. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #7

    Members of the Women’s Social Circle wave for a photo on December 12, 2020.

    Photo of the Week #8

    This photo from the UUCW archives shows the brand new symbols affixed to the Shore Drive side of the church in the winter of 1972-73. Ever wonder why they are there? According to an article in the Telegram & Gazette, it turns out that the membership committee, circa 1972, decided that because the church lacked a steeple or any other feature indicating it was a house of religion, something should be done to make the outside of the church more distinctive. Paul Gustafson and his 81-year old father, Per, made the symbols out of sheet aluminum cemented to weather-proof plywood, with a black background. Russ Kay designed the arrangement and Jim Demetry put them up during a December warm spell. UUCW held a dedication ceremony for the new symbols in the spring of 1973.

    Photo of the Week #9

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, a skit on immigration was performed during the service in October of 2010. Back row, from left, are Moira Rouse and Joe Ruivo. Front row, from left, are Skylar and Conrad. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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  • Photos of the Week for December 8, 2020

    Photo of the Week #1

    Music Director Matt Johnsen warms up on the church’s Steinway grand piano before a videotaping session on December 3, 2020. Matt played a selection of Christmas songs that will be used for future Zoom church services. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #2

    UU’s attending the morning’s Zoom church service on December 6, 2020 were surprised to see someone unexpected in the pulpit, although it was noted that this person sounded a lot like the Rev. Aaron Payson. Here, the Rev. Santa Claus delivers the Reflection “Christmas Is All Our Fault.”

    Photo of the Week #3

    Jenny Delgizzi, left, and Religious Exploration Director Robin Mitzcavitch rehearse their respective parts before a videotaping session on December 6, 2020. In this Spirit Play performance Robin will be the Storyteller, narrating “The Weight of a Snowflake” by Janeen K. Grohsmeyer. Jenny will be the Animator, moving the pieces of the felt board around to follow the arc of the story. The video will be produced by Vickie Cox-Lanyon, and will be part of a future Zoom service. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #4

    The Social Threads Group met over Zoom on December 6, 2020 for their Quilt Challenge. This week it was making a ‘churn dash block.’ Displaying their work are, top row from left, Lisa Bailey and Sheryl Cassie. Middle row from left, are Robin Mitzcavitch taking the photo and Gladys Moldonado. Bottom row, from left, are Rachel Peckar and Dawn Cassie.

    Photo of the Week #5

    Nancy Hancock has been leading our church’s evening book group for 4-5 years, and Kim Napoleone led the afternoon group for about the same amount of time. When asked what their favorite fiction book of 2020 was, both women coincidentally selected The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. And, yes, this is the book a group of other church folks picked for our All Church Read!

    Here’s why Nancy made this her top pick of the year. “I liked the book for several reasons: I enjoy historical settings, and the author presented the 1930’s Appalachian life, effects that poverty and outside influences like the Pack Horse program had on the isolated mountain people. I liked learning about the blue-skinned people. I liked the thoughtful development of the courageous main character and how she challenged ideas of racial prejudice, equality and justice in her time.”

    And here’s why Kim selected it. “The book had so many layers: racism being the first theme, but toward blue people. I enjoyed it so much that I paused in reading to look it up and it was based in fact! Some people have blue-tinged skin but they are treated as colored, in the same way that they couldn’t use a bathroom that says no colored people, they can’t marry someone white, they were not to be touched and they were scorned by many townspeople. I loved the main character for her strength, humor, intelligence and perseverance. Plus, she shares a love of reading and helping people, as I do.”

    Photo of the Week #6

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, members of the Youth Group served as the waitstaff for the Gourmet Dinner on March 28, 2015. The youth volunteered their time every year for this dinner, which was once a large fundraiser for the church. They had fun doing it, it was a rite of passage, and their tips went into the Youth Group fund. Shown in this photo, are, back row from left, Mary, Skylar, Tom, Maggie, John, Peter and Emily. Middle row, from left, are Morgaine, Gareth, Maya, Thalia, Taeva, Miya and Mariah. Front row, from left, are Owen, Callie and Joannah. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #7

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, Sandy Paracer and Peg Gifford chat on the porch at Ferry Beach in September of 2012. (photo by Ruth Silver)
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  • Photos of the Week for December 1, 2020

    Photo of the Week #1

    The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence hosted UUCW on November 29, 2020 for a joint worship service over Zoom. This composite photo shows, top, a welcome extended to UUCW. At bottom, the Rev. Janet Bush, minister of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, delivers her Reflection, “Inner Resources.”

    Photo of the Week #2

    This photo taken on November 25, 2020 shows seeds of native plants harvested from Garden-On Committee member Leo DaSilva’s garden. Many of them will be distributed to fellow committee members on November 29, 2020. (photo by Leo DaSilva)

    Photo of the Week #3

    Six members of the Garden-On Committee each picked up a 50-cell tray of potting soil and two packets of native seeds from fellow member Leo DaSilva on November 29, 2020. The members will plant them and set them out in their backyards to overwinter. Come spring the committee will have lots of native plants to put in UUCW’s garden. Here, Jan Cutman, left, gets instructions on planting her seeds – Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) – from Leo. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #4

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, from left, Rachel Peckar, Mary Plummer and Libby Westie sort books for our church library on April 7, 2010. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #5

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, Barbara Wahlstrom prices items for the Yard Sale on June 11, 2016. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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  • Photos of the Week for November 24, 2020

    Photo of the Week #1

    Members of UUCW’s Pie Baking Team, from left, Kristen and Sue Neaz and Project Leader, the Rev. Cheryl Leshay (aka The Pie Goddess), sort pies before putting them into the freezer in Fellowship Hall on November 22, 2020. The trio baked all the pies, with a guest appearance by turkey pot pie baker Bruce Leshay. Additional assistance came from Dianne and Kim Mann, and Collette and Nick D’Errico of the Greater Worcester Unitarian Universalist Campus Ministry. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #2

    Pie Baking Team member Bruce Leshay takes pies out of a cooler on November 22, 2020. Forty-eight 5” or 9” pies were baked – traditional, vegan, sugar-free and Weight Watchers – for this Fall Fundraiser. Sue Neaz and the Rev. Cheryl Leshay picked some of the fruit themselves, which they donated, along with Dianne Mann. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #3

    Baking Team member Sue Neaz puts pies into the freezer in Fellowship Hall on November 22, 2020. Sue’s daughter, Kristen, and Dianne Mann, both trained in ‘Safe Serve’ food safety, consulted on the fundraiser, and Dianne facilitated space in the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry freezer. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #4

    Nancy Baffa’s class at the Touchstone Community School held a Thanksgiving Food Drive for UUCW’s Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. The children, ages 3-6, sorted and bagged the donations. Here, Nancy and Neway pose with the 12 bags of groceries they delivered to church on November 17, 2020. Loaves and Fishes fed 83 families this Thanksgiving, about 4,000 pounds of food. (photo by Dianne Mann)

    Photo of the Week #5

    From left, Andy Labrecque and Paul Wood unload items for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry on November 19 2020. This is a monthly donation from the parishoners of St. George Catholic Church on Brattle Street. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #6

    Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Exploration and Education, holds up a stuffed animal she made during the Family Religious Education Zoom on November 22, 2020. Patterns were distributed to RE families, then Robin demonstrated how to make the bear during the Zoom. While Robin read the book “Ruth and the Green Book,” children made their own bears. The protagonist in the book, Ruth, had as her backseat companion ‘Brown Bear,’ her stuffed animal friend. Ruth gave Brown Bear away; the children in RE will also be giving their bears away. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #7

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, we go back to November of 2011 when the church hosted a celebration of Judy Savage’s 70th birthday. From left are Julia Scheier, Kate Davenport, Judy, Jo-An Bott and Elise Kreiger. Judy’s volunteer service for the church has included several terms as Moderator or Vice Moderator on the Board of Directors. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #8

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, we go back to March 30, 2008 and the ordination of the Rev. Lara Hoke. Rev. Hoke, left, looks on as her wife Emily Ferrara delivers a reading during the ceremony. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

    Photo of the Week #9

    In this photo from the UUCW archives, we go back to April of 2009 when Russ Kay conducted a lay led service. Russ contributed his graphic design talents to the church, donated technology equipment and shared his appreciation of recorded music in a variety of contexts. (photo by Betty Jenewin)
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