Garden News — November 2023

Fall is upon us and the garden committee is working to close down for the season.

We had a very successful season this year with a bountiful harvest of strawberries, garlic, snap peas, kale, arugula, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a final fall harvest of 18 pounds of peppers.

Many thanks to Mary and Sam who were instrumental in the success of the garden, sharing the work and keeping everything organized.

The last planting of the season is garlic; the cloves were put in the ground in late October. We will soon be collecting seeds from the Hyacinth beans and saving them for planting again next year.

Our next project is to trim down the garden rows, cover them with garden fabric and top it all off with a thick layer of mulch. This will help to keep the rows neat and will not have to weedwhack so often.

If interested in helping in our UUFP gardens, please contact Kay. She will gladly put you to work!

Thank you, the UUFP Garden Committee

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Goddess Gatherings:

All women in mind, body, and spirit are welcome to attend our Goddess Gathering meet-up where we share, laugh, and learn together in the sisterhood of the female experience. Please join us!


8 SEPTEMBER (FRI)- 12-1:00 PM.  
22 SEPTEMBER (FRI)- 12-1:00 PM.  

JULY 2023:

7 JULY (FRI)- 12-1:00 PM.  
13 JULY (TH)- 7:30-8:30 PM.  
21 JULY (FRI)- 12-1:00 PM.  
27 JULY (TH)- 7:30-8:30 PM.  
Join us!

AprilL 2023:

UUFP Goddess Gatherings in April: Thursday, April 6, 7:30-8:30 PM; Frida, April 14, 12:00-1:00 PM; Thursday, April 20, 7:30-8:30 PM; Friday, April 28, 12:00-1:00 PM

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Sunday Services

Services are held in our sanctuary. Masks are optional. All services can be accessed via Zoom and on YouTube through our website. See links on opening page. Nursery care for little ones is available!

Music is a language of the soul. If you love singing, playing an instrument, or experiencing music as part of your spiritual practice, consider joining the choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pottstown. With the direction of our new choir director, Anna Swansun, the sky is the limit! We meet every Sunday from 9:30-10:30 AM, before our Sunday service. Nursery care for little ones is available!

Note: At the time of publishing the newsletter, services are in person (with optional masks), broadcast on Zoom and published on YouTube. We will be having coffee hour following the services and a Third Sunday Potluck. This is subject to change. Look for email from us, or check our website, for more info.

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Pottstown Cluster Donations

I am happy to announce that on Christmas Eve the Members and Friends of UUFP donated a total of $308.00 to the Pottstown Area Cluster of Relgious Communities. The cluster offers basic needs assistance, spiritual guidance, and self-sufficiency programs to improve people’s socio-economic stability in the Greater Pottstown Area. On a monthly basis we also donate housekeeping items to promote housing stability for those in need. We also provide fresh organic produce from our garden to their food bank during the growing season.

For the month of February we’ll collect new rubber cleaning gloves to support their housing program. Donations of rubber gloves can be placed in the large basket to the right of the kitchen door in our building’s foyer. Many thanks for your generous donations! They make small and large differences in peoples’ lives.

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Intrepid Weeders

The UUFP gardens are getting a much needed  facelift. Kim and Mary are clearing out much of the overgrowth that clings to our garden fence. Now you can actually see into the garden without entering through the gate! Many thanks to these championship weeders for their hard work and positive energy!

You’re invited to join the Wednesday Weeders! During the growing season a hardy group of weeders/gardeners have been meeting Wednesday mornings to weed, water, plant and harvest in our fellowship gardens. So far Allan, Mary and Kim have been showing up and working hard during some of the hottest days of summer to take care of our vegetable gardens, and the Monarch Sanctuary.

If you would like to join our happy band please text/call Kay at 610-659-4802. Or, take a chance and show up between 9:30 and 11:30 any Wednesday morning.

Produce is donated to the Pottstown Cluster.

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Monarch Butterfly Garden

After much determination and effort, the Monarch Butterly Garden is now planted and thriving. It may not look very exciting as the plants are still small, but if all goes well we will have Monarchs (and other pollinators) flying and buzzing around the peace pole by late summer. Featured are swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed, bee balm, aromatic asters, purple coneflower, swamp sunflower and zinnias. The milkweed is crucial for Monarch survival as it serves as the only food source for the Monarch caterpillar. The flowers are needed for their nectar and pollination. All are native plants.

What a job it was to prepare the soil for this project! Thank you so much to Matt K for operating his rototiller to till up the wet clay soil, often getting bogged down with clogged tines. Kim dug in to peel away the weed fabric that surrounded the peace pole, finding old, decayed bricks, which are now at the North, South, West and East points of the Peace Pole. Several days later the second crew came in to hoe the soil and amend it with sand and compost. Thank you to Jon, Mary and Judy for working through the rain, heat and humidity to make it happen!
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From the Minister’s Desk — June 2021


It looks like we are finally beginning to emerge from the depths of the pandemic. The White House announced that 50% of adults have been vaccinated. Case numbers  are down. What has your life been like these last fifteen months? Has it felt like 17 years buried in your cave, alone, dependent on others – family, friends, a huge infrastructure of helpers to keep you supplied with necessities? Have you felt isolated, disconnected, needing those same family and friends, a huge infrastructure of technology to keep you connected? And for entertainment, learning, information about the world around us? It’s been odd, disorienting, a struggle for some, and also something of a relief for those of us who are introverts.

What sort of changes are you experiencing now? Are you fully vaccinated and feeling somewhat safer? Are relaxed masking mandates changing your behavior? Here at White Horse Village, over 90% of the residents are vaccinated and we are allowed to gather in small to medium groups, unmasked. Meal delivery is ending as we return to the dining room. But in public situations – which for me means grocery stores and my pottery class – I am still masked, for the sake of the unvaccinated and unknown passers-by. I feel like I am finally emerging.

Meanwhile, another emergence is beginning. Brood X of the 17 year cicadas have spent most of a lifetime as underground  larvae and nymph forms, eating and growing and shedding old forms to begin coming out in their millions, ready to make a lot of noise so as to ensure the next generation the 17 year cycle. I learned recently that they are not only harmless (assuming you don’t panic when one gets into your car while you are driving) but actually beneficial. My old friend Carol Wagner (with whom I connected again via Facebook, after many years) posted these facts from the Love Our Land website:

  • • They prune mature trees.
  • • They aerate the soil.
  • • Bird populations will increase.
  • • They provide a food source to nearly everything with an insect diet.
  • • They leave plants healthier.
  • • They are an awesome natural fertilizer.
  • • They are a symbol of rebirth, spiritual realization and ecstasy, and immortality.

There’s a challenge! The UUFP board points out that we have never been “closed” but we have been connecting virtually all these months, shedding old forms and preparing to emerge again to in-person meeting for worship and celebration, learning and helping. (See our website for more details on the decision process on how and when we hope to meet.)

But, as we look forward to emergence, let’s think about more than “getting back to normal.” For the cicadas, “normal” is 17 years underground followed by a brief but glorious symphony of mating calls and commitment to the next generation. How do we want to celebrate our return to the above ground world? What have we learned from our time apart? What new energy can we bring? How shall we bless the world?

With love and hope, Kerry

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President’s Message — June 2021

“The world is closed for renovations, Grand Reopening soon.” ~ Anonymous

A lot has changed over the past month as it relates to the pandemic. Case rates of COVID-19 are down, number of people immunized are up and the strict rules on how we can safely interact with each other are easing up. This is great news so I am sure that everyone is wondering  when UUFP will reopen. I will answer this honestly by stating that we never closed.

While the building was closed, we continued to offer Sunday Services and coffee hours via technology. So, the real question becomes when will we be able to conduct these activities in person? I am pleased to share that the current plan is to hold outdoor services (weather permitting) starting in late June and continuing throughout the summer months. And as long as all factors indicate that it is still safe to meet indoors, we will hold our first indoor Sunday Service on September 12, which is the Sunday after Labor Day weekend. It is also important to note that we will still continue  to offer Sunday Services via technology for those who choose not to attend in person. And, thanks to the Membership Committee, there will be numerous social events held at the fellowship throughout  the summer. So, there will be many upcoming opportunities to meet in-person.

On a different note, I want to remind everyone that we will be holding our Annual Congregational Meeting on June 13 after Sunday Services, starting at approximately 11:45 AM. We will conduct  this meeting via Zoom. While everyone is welcome, only members  will be able to vote on the motions set forth. For those without internet capability, you may participate live via teleconference.  If you are unable to participate in this meeting, you may still vote on the motions via written proxy. Please submit your written proxy either directly to a board member or send it in to the fellowship prior to the meeting. Every voting member should have received a copy of the Notice of Meeting which outlined the motions to be voted on as well as a copy of the proposed budget. If you have not received this, please let a Board member know. I would like to encourage everyone to participate in this important meeting.

Lastly, I want to put in a plug for purchasing Giant Grocery Cards through the fellowship. The fellowship gets 5% back on the amount that is purchased (if you purchase a $100 grocery card, the fellowship receives $5). Now while 5% may not sound like a lot, I will let you know that through-out the course of the past year, only three individuals have routinely purchased cards. However, since they primarily shop at Giant, the fellowship has earned on average $80/month from their purchases which means the fellowship earned $960 for the entire year from just those three individuals. There have been others who have also purchased cards sporadically though out the year, so the Fellowship earned over $1,000 simply through members shopping at Giant. If you do any shopping at Giant, I would like to encourage you to purchase Grocery Cards through the fellowship. If you would like to purchase cards, you may reach out directly to me through the contact information in the UUFP directory.

I look forward to seeing everyone very soon! ~ Linda K.

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UUFP YouTube Channel

Subscribe to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown YouTube Channel!
All of our recent Sunday Services are posted to the channel. Check it out!
Let Rick D. know if you have any questions.


Please view our previous Vespers services offered weekly April through July 2020. They are available at this link on the Message from our Ministers and Presidents tab, found under the Meet UUFP tab.

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Turkey 4 Ways: A Festive Fundraiser and Delicious Demonstration

Join us on Saturday, November 11, at 10 a.m. to witness Chef Clifford Schulman de-bone a whole turkey and cook four signature dishes with different flavors, textures, and colors. Each participant will receive recipes, a quart of rich dark brown turkey stock, as well as a sit-down lunch of the dishes prepared. The class will last about four hours and will be held in the fully-licensed, commercial kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown.

Call 610-327-2662 to reserve your spot. The price is $20 and all proceeds go to the UUFP. Space is limited to 20 persons, so please reserve early.

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President’s Message — November 2023

“We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown.” ~ Marcie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

There is a lot going on and much to be thankful for within the UUFP Community. First, I want to let everyone know that Rick Duske has decided to step down from his position serving on the UUFP Board of Directors. He has served on the Board in various positions for almost ten years. His pragmatic leadership style, rational thought process and great sense of humor will be missed. The UUFP is grateful for all that Rick did. In the interim, his seat on the board will remain vacant and Mary Ryan will take on the responsibility of leading the Committee Council Meetings. Thank you, Rick; and, thank you, Mary.

Another person who has chosen to step down from a long time UUFP commitment is Erica Duske from her bi-monthly role on creating and distributing the Sojourner, our newsletter. Her creativity with graphics always made the newsletter not only informative but aesthetically pleasing. All of Erica’s hard work and efforts on the Sojourner are greatly appreciated. Thank you, Erica. If anyone would be interested in helping with the newsletter, please reach out to Kim Kulp.

There is also another area where people will be “stepping aside” from a role that they had been fulfilling. That area is Religious Education for the children. For approximately a year, the mothers of our children have volunteered to provide RE coverage which included building out lesson plans. With the advent of Meghan Mickle stepping up to cover RE full time, the moms are retiring from their teacher role. Until we find and hire another nursery attendant, they have graciously volunteered to mind the small kiddos. So, a big thank you goes out to Monica Buckley, Corina Jenkins, Kim Kulp, Sue Merkel and Valery Murdock for all they did in covering RE. These ladies, along with Ruby Barnthouse and her work with the tweens, have helped to ensure that we develop and deliver a vibrant RE program and help our children along their own UU journey. Thank you all!!

Recognition also needs to be extended to Miranda Van Horn and the Membership Committee for putting together the Halloween party that was held. A great time was had by “children of all ages.” Thanks also go out to all the hobgoblins who helped the Membership Committee to decorate.

The final bit of good news is that we are seeing an increase in visitors stopping by on Sundays. This is exciting, as new people bring new ideas and diversity of thought. All of us, whether we are first time visitors or long-time members, enter the UUFP hoping for a warm welcome. Each of us want to be able to bring our whole self and be our best self, accountable to the UUFP vision. As we build new relationships and strengthen the bonds of established ones, it is important to ground our actions, words, and behaviors in the UUFP Covenant. The Covenant is in essence a contract on how to act when one is in the UUFP community. You will find the Covenant posted in this newsletter. I would ask that you take the time to review it. The Covenant is a great reminder on how to bring your best self to the fellowship and therefore create a warm and loving community. Besides, I think that you will also find some useful strategies for the upcoming family holiday get-togethers.

Thank you all for what each of you bring and each of you have done for our UUFP community.

With gratitude, Linda

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Sunday Service — November 5, 2023

The Power of Now • Speaker: Rev. Kim Wilson

There is a place, beyond time and space, beyond our stream of thoughts, where we can find deep peace and joy, and the knowledge that we are not isolated beings. In this place, we recognize every moment as a miracle. In this place, we know that our minds tell us all kinds of things that it says are real and true, but which in reality, are not. This is the power of now. Drawing on the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and others, we explore what it means to live in the present moment and how it can enrich our experience of life beyond measure.

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Sunday Service — November 12, 2023

Diwali: The Festival of Lights • Speaker: Mary Ryan

Today is the date chosen to celebrate Diwali this year. Mary first learned about this from her co-workers from India. She’ll share what she learned then and later.

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Sunday Service — November 19, 2023

A Celebration of Doubts • Speaker: Emily Quarles-Mowrer

90’s rock band Eve 6 tells us that when we swallow our doubt we “find nothing but faith in nothing.”  Our Fourth Principle, “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” reminds us that doubt is not the end of the journey.  Doubt can instead be a springboard towards the answers that deepen our faith and our connections to one another.

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Sunday Service — November 26, 2023

More Wonder: As Promised • Speaker: Miranda Van Horn

In her poem “Swan,” Mary Oliver describes the swan and asks her reader, “Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air, an armful of white blossoms, a perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned into the bondage of its wings: a snowbank, a bank of lilies… And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?” Oliver knew well how to find and express wonder. Recent scientific studies suggest that people who look for and recognize wonder in their environment stay healthier, heal faster, and increase the likelihood that they’ll get better at finding even more wonder. This program is a consideration of the new science of awe — an extension of my summer talk on natural wonders when I’d promised to share a meditation thatcan help you find more wonder in your surroundings. This time, I’ll keep my promise.

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Fall Garden Clean-Up — Saturday, October 7, 2023

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President’s Message — October 2023

“Autumn teaches us the beauty of letting go. Growth requires release – it’s what the trees do.” ~Ka’ala

The UUFP is continuing to evolve and grow. With the addition of new friends and members come many new ideas on how to strengthen our community and ensure its existence. Moving forward often requires us to let go of “how we do things.” One of the exciting things that UUFP will be moving forward on is to hire a teacher to manage Religious Education for our children. While “the Moms” have done a great job with their volunteering as RE Teacher, many Sundays, we found ourselves scrambling at the last minute to provide coverage for RE. We need to provide a consistency to the children as they are on their own UU journey. The good news is that Megan Mickle, the woman who is currently providing care in the nursery has a Master’s in Education and is very willing to step in. Now we just need to find someone to provide nursery coverage. If you know of anyone who would like to spend time with the youngest members of the fellowship, please let a member of the board know.

However, sometimes growth requires financing. The RE situation is no different. While this expense was not planned for, we will hopefully be able to cover it without tapping into our savings account. Even if we have to use some of savings, remember, this is an important investment in our future. All members can help to minimize what we draw out of savings by doing two things:

  1. If you shop at Giant, please consider buying Giant Gift cards through the UUFP. We get 5% of the value of each card sold. These cards can be used to purchase anything that you might buy at Giant: food, wine, beer, and gas. The holidays are coming up and many of us will be baking, hosting parties and family get togethers. Why not shop at Giant and help the UUFP? If interested, please contact me.
  2. And speaking of parties, if you or someone you know is looking to host a holiday party or need a larger space for family get-togethers, why not rent the UUFP. The number of rentals is increasing. Spread the word!

Unfortunately, something else is spreading – COVID. The “good” news is that the medical community knows a lot more about this virus than they did before and there are now updated booster shots available. In addition, it’s the time of year we also need to worry about influenza and RSV. Our UUFP community is precious, and we all need to chip in and do our part to keep ourselves and others healthy. Please, if eligible, consider vaccinations and booster shots. However, the most important (and easiest) thing that any of us can do is that if you do not feel well, please stay home. Enjoy our services either via Zoom or watch it later on our YouTube channel. We all benefit when each of us takes accountability for our own health.

With Gratitude, Linda K.

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Sunday Service — October 22, 2023

Lay Leader: Jon Dreazen

We often forget that the UUA was formed by two coequal liberal religious faiths— Unitarians and Universalists. I feel that we tend to think of Unitarians as the large U in the name of our faith and the Universalists as the small U. The Unitarian message tends to be one of complex humanism whereas the Universalist message is simple and straightforward—a loving God would never consign anyone to a terrible place called hell. Or even simpler still—God is love. I will discuss the earliest incarnations of Universalism which date back to the beginnings of Christianity and came to the New World and set up shop just down the road from us in Oley, PA.

Coffee Hour follows the Service

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