Town Hall Sessions – March 3 and 4

The Board and the Finance Committee will be hosting two Town Hall Sessions to provide the congregation with an overview of our transitional ministry options and related FY25 budget implications, and to begin to collect your feedback as to our future priorities.  These Town Hall sessions are aligned with the Pledge Campaign Kickoff and will provide important context as you consider your pledge level for the next fiscal year.

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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Justice Unfinished / Stories from the Shadows

9:15 AM: Justice Unfinished

An in-person all-ages service led by Director of Religious Education Colleen Thoele, Affiliated Community Minister Rev. Renée Ruchotzke. Reflection by Ellen

The work of dismantling racism and oppression is everyone’s to do. How can we work together for a better world when the systems in place are broken? How do we build a better way?

10:00 AM Lifespan Religious Exploration

Religious exploration for our children and youth in classrooms.

Facilitated small reflection groups for adults in Hobbs Hall using our wondering questions:

  • What personal or societal injustice has shaped your life?
  • When the enormity of injustice looms, what enables you to hold on to hope?

10:00 – 11:15 AM Community Café

Our social hour in Hobbs Hall is open to all. Connect with others, learn about the church, find out about programs and other opportunities to connect.

Acme, Giant Eagle, and Meijer grocery gift cards will be available for purchase. Learn more about this fundraiser.

11:00 AM: Stories from the Shadows

A multi-platform service (both in-person and on Zoom) led by Affiliated Community Minister Rev. Christie Anderson with Worship Associate Heidi Shaffer Bish.

On the fringe of Kent’s vibrant, bustling city, exists a population of chronically unhoused individuals who have been homeless for most of their adult lives. Frequently dismissed due to uninformed stereotyping, these folks have needs… but they might not be what we traditionally assume. Let us peer into the shadows to reveal a hidden world inhabited by fellow community members.

For those joining via Zoom, our meeting room opens 15 minutes prior to the start of the service (at 10:45 AM) for weekly announcements. We request that everyone joining the service please display your first and last name.  Thank you!

11:00 AM Zoom Information:

https://zoom.us/j/97464785626
     Meeting ID: 974 6478 5626
        Dial by your location:  1 646 558 8656 (New York)
        Meeting ID: 974 6478 5626
     Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acCRYGAK

Learn more about our “new” Sunday morning format.

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Order your 2024 spring flowers for Easter!

Help decorate the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent’s Sanctuary for Easter Sunday and support the UUYJ Community Meal.

Spring flowers (various colors) come 6” pots and are $10 each.  Available flowers are: Easter Lily, Daffodil, Mini Daffodil, Hyacinth, and Tulips.

Flowers will be available to take home on Sunday, March 31 following the 11 AM service.

CLICK HERE to print the order form. 

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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Seeds of Justice / The Legacy of Howard Thurman

9:15 AM: Seeds of Justice

An in-person all-ages service led by Director of Religious Exploration Colleen Thoele and Affiliated Community Minister Renée Ruchotzke with a reflection by Benny Hovancsek.

Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe said, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”. This morning we will center justice for our beloved Earth and all of her children.

10:00 AM Lifespan Religious Exploration

Religious exploration for our children and youth in classrooms.

Facilitated small reflection groups for adults in Hobbs Hall using our wondering questions:

Guiding Quote: “Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

  • Have you ever had a special spot somewhere in nature? Briefly describe it. What feelings did/do you have when you spend time there?
  • What if ― you knew in your bones ― that nature loved you back. What would be different?

10:00 – 11:15 AM Community Café

Our social hour in Hobbs Hall is open to all. Connect with others, learn about the church, find out about programs and other opportunities to connect.

Acme, Giant Eagle, and Meijer grocery gift cards will be available for purchase. Learn more about this fundraiser.

11:00 AM: The Legacy of Howard Thurman

A multi-platform service (both in-person and on Zoom) guest led by CLM Deb Kotte (UU Congregation of Greater Canton), Worship Associate Lori Mirkin-McGee, and Musician Brad Bolton.

Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman (1899-1981) is known as a theologian and mystic, an educator and an author, a spiritual advisor and mentor. He has also been referred to as the godfather of the civil rights movement. The power of his faith and the bonds of his community supported his life and ministry. Let us celebrate the life and legacy of a man whose philosophy and teachings continue to inspire and inform, with their timeless wisdom and relevance. Photo: Dr. Howard Thurman / © 2005 Boston University Photography (used with permission)

CLICK HERE to view, download, or print the Order of Service.

Learn more about our “new” Sunday morning format.

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Who Are Our Leaders?

During this time of transition, it may be helpful for folks to know who our official leaders are, and what areas they cover.

We have a Board of Trustees, led by Moderator Kara Kramer. The board members are our elected leaders and have been given the authority by us to make decisions about the future (with opportunities for members to give input).

We also have a Ministry Executive Team (MET) which includes our Administrator MaryBeth Hannan, our volunteer treasurer Lois Weir, and two other former board members, Diana D. Watt and Kathie Slater. The MET oversees our day-to-day operations and collaborates with our ministry teams.

Our Committee on Shared Ministry, led by Commissioned Lay Minister Lori Mirkin-McGee, helps us to live into our covenant by practicing faithful communication and gentleness with one another.

Our Worship Arts team plans the 11:00am traditional service and is led by Commissioned Lay Minister Kathy Kerns. Our Director of Religious Exploration Colleen Haines Thoele oversees the 9:15 all ages service and Sunday morning religious exploration, with assistance from Affiliated Community Minister Rev. Renée Ruchotzke.

Our parish minister serves as a member of all of the above leadership groups and provides a lot of the communication/coordination. In times when we don’t have a minister, the various groups make adjustments so that communication is maintained. Please give them all extra grace during the next several weeks as they make those adjustments.

Rev. Christie Anderson and Rev. Renée Ruchotzke are affiliated community ministers, and fill in as volunteers in partnership with–and are accountable to–the above leaders.

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Sad and Difficult News

We are saddened to share the news that our beloved minister, Reverend Steven, died Monday evening in the hospital following an unrelated complication, after surgery.  We know this is shocking news and we are all processing it and holding each other in love and care as we face this time of difficulty and uncertainty.  Please take a few moments to care for yourself as you receive this news. 

His obituary is available on the Bissler Funeral Home website.

We have scheduled a time for members and friends to come together on Friday night at 7PM in the sanctuary for anyone who wants to be in community as we hold each other in love and grief.  Music for gathering will begin at 6:45pm.

We know that news like this takes a long time to feel real.  We currently have plans for ministerial coverage for the short term, but also know that your staff, Board, and ministry teams are in alignment and will be ready for the next steps when that time comes.  What we do know for sure is that we are a strong and resilient community that has made it through tough times in the past. 

We love you.

There is a love holding us. 
There is a love holding all that we love. 
There is a love holding all.
We rest in this love.

If you are feeling the need to talk with someone for some personal pastoral care, please reach out to the church office, 330-673-4247 or [email protected] and we’ll connect you with someone.

In peace and love,
Kara Kramer, Board Moderator
MaryBeth, Colleen, and Emily, UUCK Staff
Rev. Renee and Rev. Christie, UUCK Affliated Community Ministers

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e-nUUs: January 31, 2024

CLICK HERE to read this week’s announcements.

Topics included:

Information for church closing due to winter weather.

e-nUUs Information

New Sunday Service Schedule

From Rev. Steven

  • Pastoral Care During Rev. Steven’s Sick Leave

Community Within

  • Adult Religious Exploration – Peace in the Middle East  – February 12, 2024
  • Small Group Facilitator Training – February 6, 2024
  • Drum Circle – February 9, 2024
  • All Church Potluck Dinner – February 25, 2024
  • Town Hall Sessions – March 3 and 4, 2024
  • Knitting, Crochet, and Needle Point- Every Wednesday
  • Coffee Volunteers Needed to support Social Hour

Income Generation

  • February Auction events with seats available
  • NEW DATE Dinner and Live Auction – May 4, 2024
  • Grocery Cards Update
  • Acme Community Cash Back Fundraiser

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Volunteer Plastics Collector

Worship and Music

  • Sunday, February 4, 2024
    • 9:15 AM Do Unto Others... All Ages Worship in the Sanctuary
    • 10:00 AM Lifespan Learning Opportunity
    • 11:00 AM But What About…? Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary and on Zoom
  • Sunday, February 11, 2024
    • 9:15 AM Be Kind to Yourself – All Ages Worship in the Sanctuary
    • 10:00 AM Lifespan Religious Exploration
    • 11:00 AM Rest as Resistance to “Grind Culture” – Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary and on Zoom
  • Multi-platform services at 11:00 AM only
  • What’s That Rug Doing in the Sanctuary? 
  • Sunday Greeters Needed

Social Justice and Community Outreach

  • Special Collection for February – ACLU Ohio (how to donate) 
  • Happy Birthday to the Free Store!  

Lifespan Learning

  • RE Classes begin at 10:00 AM this Sunday
  • Religious Education Committee Looking for New Members

UU, Interfaith and Community 

  • Postponed– Gray Wolves in Continental North America 
  • Winter Institute 2024 – February 16-19,2024
  • CERSI July 7-13, 2024
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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Learn more about our “new” Sunday morning format.

9:15 AM: Be Kind To Yourself

Drawing of a woman hugging herself surrounded by heart-shaped flowers

An in-person all-ages service led by Director of Religious Exploration Colleen Thoele, Affiliated Community Minister Rev. Renée Ruchotzke, and Transitional Music Director Emily Hall.

Before we can have Peace in the world, we must have Peace in our hearts. How might our kindness start with ourselves? Reflection by Kyotē Youst.

10:00 AM Lifespan Religious Exploration

Religious exploration for our children and youth in classrooms.

Facilitated small reflection groups for adults in Hobbs Hall using our wondering questions:

  • How might you unplug for an entire day? How might you reimagine unplugging to small moments during your day?
  • How might we create individual and collective rituals of rest and healing for ourselves and our communities?

10:00 – 11:15 AM Community Café

Our social hour in Hobbs Hall is open to all. Connect with others, learn about the church, find out about programs and other opportunities to connect.

Acme, Giant Eagle, and Meijer grocery gift cards will be available for purchase. Learn more about this fundraiser.

11:00 AM: Rest as Resistance to “Grind Culture”

A multi-platform service (both in-person and on Zoom) led by Affiliated Community Minister Rev. Renée Ruchotzke, Worship Associate David Weaver, and Transitional Music Director Emily Hall.

Why are so many of us soooo tired?  We’ll explore how Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry, invites us to examine how “grind culture” steals our life energy, and explore ways to take back our birthright of dreamtime.

CLICK HERE to view, download, or print the Order of Service.

For those joining via Zoom, our meeting room opens 15 minutes prior to the start of the service (at 10:45 AM) for weekly announcements. We request that everyone joining the service please display your first and last name.  Thank you!

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Sunday, February 4, 2023

On February 4, we return to two services offered at 9:15 AM and 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary. Additionally, all-ages religious exploration opportunities will be offered at 10:00 AM. Our Children and Youth will participate in their RE classes while facilitated discussions in small groups will be offered for adults in Hobbs Hall. Social hour will also be available from 10:00 -11:15 AM in Hobbs Hll. Click here to learn more about our “new” Sunday morning format.

Our services and schedule for this Sunday are below:

9:15 AM Do Unto Others. . .
An in-person all-ages service led by DRE Colleen Thoele.
Some are taught as children to treat others the way we’d like to be treated ourselves. What would it look like if we treated others the way that they wanted to be treated? Reflection by Josephine Brannan

10:00 AM Lifespan Learning Opportunity
Religious Education for our children and youth
Facilitated small reflection groups for adults in Hobbs Hall using our wondering questions:

  • Think of a time when someone treated you in a way that was good for them, but not for you. How did it feel? How did you respond? How might you have responded differently?
  • Think of another time when you treated someone else in a way that was good for you, but not for them. How might you act differently in the future?

10:00 – 11:15 AM Community Café (social hour) in Hobbs Hall open to all

11:00 AM Joy and Woe are Woven Fine
A multi-platform service, offered both in-person and on Zoom, led by CLM Lori Mirkin-McGee and Worship Associate Randy Bish.
“Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.” –bell hooks

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e-nUUs: January 24, 2024

CLICK HERE to read this week’s announcements.

Topics included:

Winter weather church/program cancellations.

e-nUUs Information

New Sunday Service Schedule

From Rev. Steven

  • Pastoral Care During Rev. Steven’s Sick Leave

Community Within

  • All Church Potluck Dinner – February 25, 2024
  • Town Hall Sessions – March 3 and 4, 2024
  • Board Games Afternoon – January 27, 2024
  • Small Group Facilitator Training – January 29, 2024 or February 6, 2024
  • Drum Circle – February 9, 2024
  • Knitting, Crochet, and Needle Point- Every Wednesday
  • Adult Religious Exploration
  • Coffee Volunteers Needed to support Social Hour

Income Generation

  • February Auction events with seats available
  • NEW DATE Dinner and Live Auction – May 4, 2024
  • Grocery Cards Update
  • Acme Community Cash Back Fundraiser

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Volunteer Plastics Collector

Worship & Music

  • Seeds for the New Year – Sunday, January 28, 2024                         
  • Multi-platform services
  • What’s That Rug Doing in the Sanctuary? 
  • Sunday Greeters Needed

Social Justice and Community Outreach

  • Special Collection for January (how to donate) 
  • Happy Birthday to the Free Store!  

Lifespan Learning

  • Justice January Intersession concludes this Sunday
  • Religious Education Committee Looking for New Members

UU, Interfaith and Community

  • Conversation on the Hidden Voices in our Community – January 28, 2024
  • Gray Wolves in Continental North America – February 4, 2024
  • Winter Institute 2024 – February 16-19,2024
  • CERSI July 7-13, 2024
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Seeds for the New Year

Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 10 AM.

Led by CLM Kathy Kerns.

“This special service brings a sermon and other worship elements from our Unitarian Universalist Association staff. It asks the question, what seeds are you planting for the new year?  How are you weaving your magic into your relationships with others? How can we center beauty and goodness and love in all that’s ahead?” ~Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt ,President, UUA

CLICK HERE to view, download, or print the Order of Service.

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Held by Love

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/alexandra_koch-621802/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=7064414">Alexandra_Koch</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=7064414">Pixabay</a> (image adapted)

January 21, 2023 at 10 AM.

A multi-platform service led by Rev. Steven Protzman.

As Rev. Steven prepares to be away for sick leave, we will have a conversation about continuing to be the community we are- a people of care, support, kindness, and inclusiveness- and we will reflect on this mystery that is life, the unexpected things that can happen, and the importance of a spiritual life that invites us to lean into the Love that holds us and will not let us go, no matter what.

CLICK HERE to view, download, or print the Order of Service.

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New Sunday Morning Schedule Offers Something for Everyone!

Starting on February 4, 2024 we will be piloting a new Sunday morning schedule and format that includes a return to two services, but with different formats meeting different needs.

Our “traditional” hour-long worship service format, with readings, hymns, special music, and a sermon/homily will be offered at 11:00am (late sleepers, rejoice!).

We are adding an “all ages” 45-minute service starting at 9:15am, followed at 10:00 am by a 45-minute “all ages” time for religious exploration, with children and youth in age-appropriate classes, and adults in facilitated small discussion groups in Hobbs Hall (with coffee/tea). Occasionally, we will offer opportunities for multi-generational activities during this time.

At 10:00am, we will also have our “Community Café” in Hobbs Hall, a time to meet and greet others and with other opportunities for connection.

Our nursery will be staffed during the all ages religious exploration (10:00-10:45am in the Hobbs Hall building) and the during the traditional service (11:00am-12:00pm in the church building). The nursery room in the church building will also be open during the all ages service for parents/guardians who need a quieter spot during the all ages service.

What Is The Difference Between The Two Services?

The  9:15am “all ages” service might be described as both “scruffy and wiggly.” We welcome babies and anyone who is neuro-divergent. It is shorter, followed by an opportunity for discussion and reflection. The “all ages” service is only offered in person — there is no Zoom option. It provides many opportunities for lay involvement (in leading service elements as worship host or offering a short lay reflection), several consistent ritual elements, and music that leans toward participation rather than performance. We hope that, over time, those who worship with us regularly at the early service will have a repertoire of songs, poems, and prayers that they can access “in their pocket” from memory when needed in daily life.

The 11:00am service is “multi-platform,” i.e. there is a Zoom option. It includes more varied elements, including readings and a sermon or homily. It also includes offerings from our robust music ministry, including choral pieces, special musical guests, small group ensembles, and performances by our tone chime choir.

Tell Me More About All Ages Religious Exploration

We have been using a monthly “theme-based” ministry model for worship and religious exploration for our children and youth for several years using the Soul Matters curriculum. As part of this transition to two services and adding a Sunday morning option for adults, we will be leaning more deeply into our monthly themes:

2024 Themes:
February: JUSTICE & EQUITY
March: TRANSFORMATION
April: INTERDEPENDENCE
May: PLURALISM
June: RENEWAL

Children and Youth (Teens)

Our children and youth have already been using the Soul Matters themes and their teachers will continue to use materials and activities to compliment the monthly theme.

Adults

Religious exploration is an important part of our ministry, which often happens in small-group theological and ethical discussions on our monthly themes It is a wonderful opportunity for our members and friends to have deep, pragmatic conversations about how we can live into our Unitarian Universalist values. Trained facilitators help keep the group focused and the sharing equitable. Learn more…

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A Legacy of Love

Sunday, January 14, 2024 at 10 AM.

A multi-platform service led by Rev. Steven Protzman and Director of Religious Education Colleen Theole.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that “Love is the greatest force in the Universe”. As we honor the life of the Rev. Dr. King, we will reflect on his legacy of love, a love that called him to reject violence as a solution to conflict and to devote his life to justice, peace, and equality, and ask how his legacy challenges and inspires us to continue his work.

CLICK HERE to view, download, or print the Order of Service.

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e-nUUs: January 3, 2024

CLICK HERE to read this week’s announcements.

Topics included:

Winter weather and Church closing information

e-nUUs Information

Pastoral Care

  • Middle School-led Free Story

Community Within

  • Adopt a Poinsettia
  • Adult Religious Education
  • Coffee Volunteers Needed to support Social Hour

Income Generation

  • Auction News – January Seats Available
  • Auction News – Volunteers Needed
  • Grocery Cards Update
  • Acme Community Cash Back Fundraiser

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer Opportunities

Worship & Music

  • A Liberating Love  – Sunday, January 7, 2024                                   
  • Multi-platform services
  • Music Update from Emily
  • Sunday Greeters Needed

Social Justice and Community Outreach

  • Special Collection for January (how to donate)
  • Community Meal – Sunday, January 7, 2024
  • UU Youth for Justice (UUYJ) Service Project
  • Please Donate to the Free Store 

Lifespan Learning

  • Justice January Intersession
  • Religious Education Committee Looking for New Members

UU, Interfaith and Community

  • Winter Institute 2024
  • CERSI 2024
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