Invitation to March for Justice and Reconciliation this Sunday, August 2 at 11 am

standing love heartA new group is forming in Kent called the Kent Inter-Faith Alliance on Reconciliation and Justice.  I have keenly felt the absence of such a group over my years serving here and thus wanted to support this emerging effort with my presence.  I was thrilled to find representatives of many diverse area faith communities seated around the table and the promise that the invitation to participate will eventually be sent to all faith communities in our area.  The group is forming specifically to seek faith based collaboration in embodying reconciliation and social justice.

As a first event, the group is inviting faith based communities to participate in a march this Sunday, August 2, from First Christian Church of Kent (Disciples of Christ) to Spelman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The march will step off at 11:00 am and is 8/10 of a mile.  We are invited to march with a symbol of our faith tradition.  When we arrive at Spelman, each faith community will be invited to place their symbol on an altar.  The pastor at Spelman, Dr. L. A. Gatewood, is preparing a special sermon on reconciliation and justice which will be delivered once the marchers arrive.

I will be attending and I hope that some of you will join me.  If you do, you might be inclined to wear Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts.  However, as a sign of respect for our hosts at Spellman Chapel, I encourage you to consider dressing up a bit for church.  If you’d like to participate but aren’t up to walking that far, please feel free to meet us at Spelman Chapel around 11:20 or so at 910 Walnut Street in Kent.  Outdoor amplification will be arranged with the hope that we will not all be able to fit inside the church.  If you would like to march, First Christian is just up the street from our church at 335 West Main Street.


Yours in faith and hope,


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Mark Your Calendars!!!!

Capital Campaign LogoOur congregation has worked hard to develop the plans to live out our church vision.  The Capital Campaign Team is pleased to announce the launch of our church’s capital campaign to raise over $1,000,000.  Our 3 phase plan is to build an addition with a new social hall, kitchen, and RE rooms, renovate the basement into bigger and better RE space, and renovate the sanctuary.  We take an important step forward the weekend of September 26 – 27.

Saturday Sept. 26, 9am to 1PM: training of canvassers for the campaign.  We are asking anyone who might be willing to be a canvasser to come to the training provided by our consultant Bill Clontz.  After you hear what will be involved, you can let us know if you are willing to be a canvasser.

Sunday September 27: official launch of the campaign during Sunday morning service.  After second service, we will have a campaign launch celebration with a simple catered lunch.  We hope everyone will come be part of the celebration!

Sunday September 27 (7PM):  The band Hey Mavis will hold a fundraising concert for the church at the Kent stage.  The band is donating all concert proceeds to the capital campaign. Please join us in this fun way to support the campaign.  To purchase your ticket(s) visit The Kent Stage:

Before the concert, there will be an opportunity for members to meet at the Kent Hotel for drinks and food (special pricing will be offered).

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The Patricia Pownall UU Book Group – August

bookwormThe Patricia Pownall UU Book Group will be meeting on Tuesday, August 11 at 7 pm in the home of Kathy Kerns.  This month we are reading any book by the author Anne Tyler.  In September we will be reading Margot by Jillian Cantor and in October we will be reading The Care of Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway.   If you have any questions you may contact Bonnie Harper.

All are welcome.

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Economic Justice Activity

school suppliesPlease join in a school supply drive for children served by Family & Community Services. They are in need of new backpacks, 1″ 3-ring binders, 1 subject spiral bound notebooks, composition books, pocket folders with prongs, pens (black, blue & red) colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, pink erasers, 24 count Crayola crayons & Elmer’s bottled glue/glue sticks.

Bring items to church Sunday, July 25 & August 2; there is a box in the lower level closet or you may see me either day. I’ll get all donations delivered to The Center of Hope.

Thank you for helping children have what they need for school!

Grateful for your generosity,

Elaine Bowen

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Summer RE is in full swing!

RE logoThis summer is packed with wonderful lessons on how our kids can care for the planet and for themselves. This Sunday July 26th our children will be guided through breathing, meditation and yoga by Jen Walton-Fisette. Come join us!

Summer RE is offered at 9:45 for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Preschool and nursery care are also available.


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Cuyahoga River Concert Series Kick Off: August 15, 2015 featuring Magpie!

Stop by our table in Fessenden during Coffee Hour!

magpieFavorite performers “Magpie” will start off the Fall 2015 Season on Saturday, August 15th at 8:00 pm.  Come and enjoy the beautiful harmony and powerful voices of Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner.  An outstanding guitarist, Greg’s playing and fingerstyle approach form the solid basis of their sound.  They describe their eclectic repertoire as a musical rainbow, so come prepared to hear traditional, classic country, swing, blues, or contemporary songs written by themselves and others.
Plan ahead:

  • September 19:  Hal Walker / Matt Watroba
  • September 27:  Special “Hey Mavis” concert at the Kent Stage – part of the Capital Campaign Kickoff weekend
  • October 17:  Neil Jacobs

At our table:

  • Purchase discounted tickets in advance
  • Purchase discounted Fall 2015 Season Passes
  • You can now purchase your tickets with a credit card

?Please visit our table or contact Cara Constance if you are able to donate food for the hospitality time during intermission.  Our warm, inviting intermissions are a wonderful part of these intimate concerts.?

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Hope is the Thing with Feathers – July 12, 2015

feathersLed by Lori McGee with Nicole Zavodny and Worship Associate Cheryl Spoehr

During periods of trial and tribulation, hope is often what sustains and carries us through to better times.  This service will explore the ways that hope lifts us and keeps us moving forward in our lives.

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Black and Blue – July 5, 2015

UU Principles in blueLed by Dani Beale and Worship Associate Deb Biggins

Unitarian Universalism’s first principle calls for us to uphold and protect the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and our second principle requires us to seek out justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Recent events, such as the horrific mass shooting at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, and the numerous highly publicized killings of unarmed black people at the hands of police, have sparked a national debate about how we value the lives of ourselves and others, and specifically those of black people. Our own community has demonstrated a diverse response to these events, and our country is divided on how to move forward.

For this service, we will explore the historical roots of liberation theology in Unitarian Universalism and how our faith calls us to act when oppressed peoples are asking for us to witness their struggle and join them in protest for change. Most importantly, we will consider how we as individuals and a community can address the challenges facing us. What does it mean to be antiracist? What does it mean to be an effective ally? Are we ready to take a hard look at ourselves, and work towards understanding our place in one of the civil rights movements of our time? Join us as we begin again in love.

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International Student Outreach: Friendship Partners

International-StudentsPlease join Sevim McCutcheon and an international student to learn about opportunities for UUs to connect with college students from around the world!

Informational meeting on Sunday, July 19th, at 12:45 p.m. in Fessenden Hall. 

Snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring a lunch.

For more information, contact Sevim McCutcheon.

If you can’t make it to this meeting but want to get involved, contact Sevim.

Nearly 3,000 international students from scores of countries will attend Kent State University this fall.

They come to the United States hoping to engage in local activities and make connections with people who live here.

Often, international students arrive in the United States alone and without family members or friends in the area to assist in the transition into their new surroundings. In this situation, support from the local community in the form of a “friendship partner” can be a key to adjusting to culture shock and connecting with their new hometown.

In this proposed Friendship Partners program, American individuals, couples and families are introduced to an international student or two, with potential for building relationships and sharing culture in unique and fulfilling ways.

Friendship partners can engage in a variety of activities with their international students, depending on mutual interests and schedules.  Possibilities include informal meals, holiday traditions and celebrations, outings to local festivals and sporting events, shopping, and hikes in nearby parks.

Given UU values and principles, Sevim considers the UU congregation to be especially well suited for reaching out in positive and accepting ways to international students of many backgrounds, religions, and cultures. Sevim will gather contact information from interested Americans and interested international students and facilitate the initial connection.

In addition to the Friendship Partners program, for those with a spare bedroom who are interested, there are opportunities to host international students in your home. This can be temporary (a few days to a week, giving students a “home base” from which to find more permanent housing) or longer term (a semester or more).  Housing needs are especially acute for new, incoming international students in August, just prior to the fall semester.

While Sevim meets international students and learns about their needs and situations because she works at KSU, this pilot program has no formal affiliation with Kent State University.

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