Helpers among the community of Pittsburgh area UUs. Link to the main Sunnyhill site.

Friday, December 23, 2005

How's your blood?

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King:

One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves...How often are our lives characterized by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Worldview V - Insights from lecture on I.D.

Worldview V Intelligent Design Honors Council Lecture
Last night I delivered a BSU Honors Council lecture on Intelligent Design -- and even got my 15 seconds of fame on the BSU marquee! (thanks to student Jeremy for the photos) Huge crowd for this sort of thing...probably around 120! I based my talk on a series of inter-linked concept maps that I am developing to provide a relatively comprehensive overview of various aspects of intelligent design -- its historical origins, its scientific vacuity, its apparent appeal to large segments of American society, and the cultural/political motivations of some of its most ardent proponents. Have a look...this will remain a work in progress for some time so I welcome suggestions.

Childrens' Choir

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Eight at Eight Dinners for spring, 2006

You are cordially invited to join the traditional Eight at Eight Dinners. This is a great way to meet people. Each person or couple hosts once, providing the main dish, and attends 3 dinners bringing a dish assigned by the host. You can also sign up to be a substitute. This is a superb way to dodge the gloom of winter and brighten your evening with the light of Sunnyhillian food, drink, and conversation.

Dates: February 4, March 4, April 1, May, 2006.

RSVP Dennis Sweeney or sign up using the sheet in the Church dining room.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Banner from UUA and a ring for funds from locals

I got an interesting phone call today from a telemarketing firm. They were asking for donations to the new UUA fund on issues. There was a letter from October that called upon more coordination and organization of efforts on issues that would lead to actions in the nation's capital.

I've got to learn more about that.

But, what was wildly interesting was that the call came from a few blocks away. A South Side firm has the business. They are making the calls to UUs throughout the nation. And, many UUs are on the phones too. A gent from the North Hills church was calling me. He said he thought my name was familiar.

I'm going to meet him, I hope, to talk about this further.

Interesting. Very interesting.

Monday, November 28, 2005

S.W.I.M. 2005 -- Heavenly Bodies

Southeast Unitarian Universalist Winter Institute, Inc., in Miami goes from December 26th - January 1, 2006.

Vacation with UUs in South Florida!

S.W.I.M., the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Winter Institute in Miami, is all about having fun in a supportive UU community in the warm Miami sunshine! S.W.I.M.'s annual intergenerational retreat for UUs and like-minded people of all ages happens every year from December 26th through Jan 1st.

S.W.I.M. offers south Florida hospitality, outdoor adventures (including tours, hikes, windsurfing, canoeing, and sailing), workshops (including spirituality and personal growth), special programs for youth, teens, and young adults, fantastic food, and a new community of friends from across the continent.

Play, laugh, sing, and celebrate New Year's Eve at S.W.I.M.! Join UUs from all over North America for a week of fun in the sun!

For more information, please visit us online at

S.W.I.M. is a member in good standing of CU2C2, the Council of Unitarian Universalist Camps & Conferences, an Independent Affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

You can find more UU retreats featured on the inside cover of the Spring 2006 Issue of the UU World.

Friday, October 28, 2005

There's an election coming up

Rumor has it that the election turnout in Allegheny County may be as few as 400,000 people. Which means that the votes cast will have a powerful influence on the outcome of the election. One candidate running for judge is Kathryn Hens-Greco, who has been endorsed by the Post Gazette and the Tribune Review, and has been rated "highly qualified" by the Allegheny County Bar Association. While we all know that UUCSH cannot and will not endorse a particular candidate for office, I, personally, urge you to vote and to consider giving one of your 7 votes for judge to Kathryn. Besides being highly qualified, she also happens to be a Unitarian Universalist, although I would certainly support her even if she wasn't. She also happens to be a Democrat, but based upon her background and her committment to justice and fair play, I'd support her even if she wasn't. On her web site you can read the eloquent speech she gave at her kick-off meeting for the campaign. It is at:

Sibyl McNulty

Thursday, October 27, 2005

So, we have an election policy now? Where it that.

Can someone please post the new election policy to this blog or via email to Mark It was mentioned in the Nov edition of The Drummer. But, it was not presented there. Was it published in the past editions? Did I miss it?

If you know of it, what do you think?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Reactions on bylaws session from Peter Konke

I attended a bylaws session, and my thoughts were duly noted, but I would like to give a wider airing of them.

The driving force for the bylaws update is apparently to give the president a 2 year term instead of a 1 year term. Along the way, the entire bylaws are being updated, which is a great idea.

But there are more paradigms than just 1 vs 2 years. I am familiar with an entirely different approach from my work on the Montour Trail Council. First, I was almost shocked that there were an even number of people on the board. I have never heard of such a thing, presumably as it permits the possibility of tie votes. But my main point is that the officers are elected each year by the board, NOT the congregation. Also, the president is limited to 3 consecutive one-year terms. This allows for 1, 2, or 3 year tenures. Great flexibility.

Works fine for the MTC. Don't know about Sunnyhill. My purpose in bringing this up is to stimulate conversation and thought.

Peter Kohnke

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cheaper for you.

Mt. Lebanon dollar store plans find some chilly attitudes

Mt. Lebanon dollar store plans find some chilly attitudes 'That's right, folks, soon we'll have our very own Dollar General store. Ugh,' posted Josephine Posti on a Mt. Lebanon blog under the headline 'In the ghetto.'

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pledge Drive Kick Off

Saturday, October 22, 2005 @ 7 PM

To Celebrate the 2006- 3 week only Pledge Drive

What’s Happening: Appetizers, Music, Fellowship, Rousing excitement regarding this year’s pledge drive

Babysitting Available
RSVP a must: George Williams. Or sign up sheet in the coffee room. Please notify us of babysitting needs.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Snap from Hong Kong museum. Humm...

Some concerts updates

There are still seats left for the Mt. Lebanon House Concert featuring Clarke Buehling, master of the finger-style banjo. Mr. Buehling blows the dust off some fine old banjo tunes and songs about `possums and raccoons on Wednesday, Oct 26 at 8:00 at Curt and Annie's house in Mt. Lebanon.

Clarke Buehling is a phenomenal entertainer. He is widely recognized for his interpretations of late 19th century, classic finger-style banjo music. Clarke is also in the forefront of the recent resurgence of interest in the earlier minstrel banjo style. He presents the music and humor of those times.

Clarke will also be offering PRIVATE LESSONS on the afternoon of SUNDAY, OCT 30--if you want to learn minstrel style or old-time three-finger style banjo, he's your man. He has taught private and group lessons since 1972 at venues including the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Augusta Heritage Center, and the Tennessee Banjo Institute.

For more information or reservations for the house concert or private lessons, please reply to this email or call me at 412-343-0498.

Hope to see you at the concert!

Annie Trimble

Upcoming concerts:

Oct 15 Tommy Emanuel (Calliope)
Oct 23 4 pm Eric Schwartz, hosted by Llouise and Jim
Oct 26 (Wed) Clarke Buehling (workshop), hosted by Curt and Annie
Nov 6, 4p Kate McDonnell, hosted by Llouise and Jim
Nov 6, 7:30p Great Bear Trio, hosted by Curt and Annie
Nov 8 (Tues), 7:30p Chuck Suchy, hosted by Cindy
Nov 9 (Wed), Freebo & Jim Photoglo, hosted by Ken Batista & Tica Hall
Nov 19 Andy Statman Trio (Calliope)
Dec 2, 8p Dwight Diller, hosted by Cindy
Dec 10 Del McCoury (Calliope)

Jan 21 Odetta (Calliope)
Feb. 25 Paul Rishell & Annie Raines (Calliope)
Mar 18 Flook (Calliope)
Apr 5 (Wed) Harvey Reid, hosted by Cindy
Apr 22 Tom Rush (Calliope)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Art flashback

Nonprofits were to pay the city $5-million for budget year 2005. It has yet to arrive. Meanwhile, the Salvation Army wants to buy a city park in Brighton Heights for $100. Humm. The city has a policy that it does NOT sell off its property to tax cheats. That's a good policy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

H&H needs volunteers and more

Harvest & Holiday utilizes the most volunteers of any of our fund raisers. To make it possible we need 104 volunteers. To date we have filled 32 of those slots. We have 11 days to fill 72 more. Please add your name to the sign up sheet in the dinning room or call Ann Callen at 412-851-9057.. The hours are short and it is a great way to get to know more of our community. We would love to see men sign up too! There will be a training for all volunteers working at the sale on October 2nd at 12:30 in the main sanctuary. Thanks for your help.

Workshop on Saturday, Nov 5 at First Church is with Rev. Forrest Church and Rev. Mark Belletini on the theme "Unitarian Universalist Values: A Vision for Our World" and it is bound to be a moving and educational seminar. Please refer to the dining
room for more details.

Fast for Darfur: On October 6th, concerned people around the world will be giving up a meal or luxury item and donating the money to humanitarian relief for civilians in Darfur, Sudan. The Faith in Action Committee will be enlisting fasters and taking donations on Sunday , October 2nd after both services. Donations will be sent as congregational contribution to the UUSC Darfur Relief Fund. Please join us.

"Yeast Bread 101" will be set for Oct. 2nd after the service in the Sunnyhill kitchen. If anyone would like to join this service auction class, contact Mary Beth Thakar.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sunnyhill turns the big 4-0

Saturday, Sept 24, 2005, we're celebrating Sunnyhill's 40th Anniversary! The fun begins at 5:00 with a sing along with the choir. The food will be served at 6:30 (be sure to bring a dish that serves 8-10 people along with your own beverage). And at 8:00 there will be Informal Sunnyhill Sharing (babysitting available).

40th flashback.
Be sure to attend this Sunday's service as it will be presented by Sunnyhill founding members and organized by Lynn. Oh yeah, and don't forget to bring COOKIES for the cookie reception after each service!

This Sunday, Sept 25th during LifeCraft, Martha Sweeny and Tippi Comden have kindly offered to share some of Sunnyhill’s history with our children and youth. Everyone will meet at 10:30 and break into two groups: Grades 1-4 and grades 5-12. As part of the 40th anniversary festivities we hope the youth and children will enjoy listening to some stories about the church. For children under 5th grade, please sign up on LifeCraft sheet as usual and the babysitters will be sure to get the children to the right places at 10:30. There will be child care for younger children as usual.

Let It Be a Dance: Living Life Fully

Ric & April Masten to lead a workshop in Western Mass.

October 28-30, 2005

at Rowe Conference Center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts

A “people’s poet,” “a priest and a preacher,” “poet and philosopher,” Ric Masten is recognized today as the creator of a unique genre of inspirational and spiritual poems meant to be spoken rather than read. Ric’s unusual candor, wit, insight, stand-up manner, and honesty address the magic that is in every moment in life – if we would but notice. Ric will offer us a series of presentations that will serve as ink blots to examine our own lives. We’ll explore why families matter and what keeps them going — full circle from grandparents to parents to spouses to children to grandchildren. We’ll explore growing up and growing old, youth and aging.
Ric and his daughter April will both share Ric’s poems. April will share some of her own, as well as dances that are easy and fun and get our energies circulating. Ric’s life shows that sharing creates intimacy and love, so we’ll all share some of our own lives. Bring your journals and we’ll write together. Robert Frost said, “When you want to do a ‘think,’ write about it.”

Saturday night will be a “live the metaphor” evening. We will Let It Be a Dance as April teaches dancing as a way to reconnect the mind and the body. We’ll join in a 19th Century reel, which is easy to learn, fun to do, and a great example of how dances mirror and reinforce society. Midwesterners worked together to survive, so after the barnraising, they’d eat and then dance. The dancing made the weariness from the day’s work vanish.

Sunday morning we will focus on philosophy and religion: matters of life and death, of hope and despair, of bringing our lives and our loves to fruition. Ric’s own life changed dramatically seven years ago when he was told he had terminal prostate cancer. He often expresses thanks for his cancer struggles. He’s been offered a lifetime – whatever the length – of enhanced hourly awareness. We invite you to share a weekend with him and his remarkable daughter April.

Following in the great tradition from Homer to Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, Ric Masten has been making his living by singing and reciting his own words. He does not look away; he found hatred in himself at a peace rally and spoke it. Now his grandson is a medic in Iraq. Ric is also an artist, whose paintings and one-line drawings filled our last catalogue. April Masten is an assistant professor of American History at SUNY Stony Brook, specializing in the History of Dance. Aside from being the “long suffering daughter” of a real artist and poet, Dr. Masten has developed research interests that include dances that were created along the borders between African, Irish, and Native North American cultures, including step and tap, ballads and blues, drums, fiddles, and bones. Her course “Dancing American History From Slavery to Hip Hop” enables her students to experience the steps people danced at particular times and places, enhancing their understanding of historical texts, events, and transformations.

Rowe Conference Center, Kings Highway Road, Rowe, MA 01367

If you know of anyone who may enjoy this workshop, please pass along this flyer.

New bylaws arrived as an email attachment

The bylaws arrived. They look much better. Some questions remain. What about your thoughts?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Eight at Eight Sign-Up is now

Early September is the time to sign up for the Sunnyhill Eight at Eight round-robin dinners scheduled for October 1, 2005, November 5, December 10, and January 7, 2006.

Each person gets to host once providing the main course and beverages. Dishes, utensils, chairs and tables are optional. Guests provide one dish, coordinated with the host, usually and appetiser, vegetable, salad, or dessert. These are AWESOME ways to have good food, great drinks, and fun conversation with the finest folks in the area. Sign up by contacting Dennis S at 724 941-3952 or e-mail. The deadline is September 23.

While you are comteplating the glories of this Fall’s dinners how about talking it up with new members or people you would like to see join us. I cannot offer a bounty for each new diner but will remember you in my will.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Interesting visits and travels -- with water communion.

A Sunnyhill tradition is the water communion. People get to talk a bit about where they've been in the past year. In that spirit -- here is a quiz:

This is not a UU church, but it is a place of worship. Grant and I climbed the steps inside to reach the top. Can you guess what they call this building? Inside, one can leave offerings at various floors and near various statues and windows.  Posted by Picasa
Sunday, September 11, 9:00 am and 11:30 am is the Gathering of the Waters, presented by Rev. Lynn Brodie. In addition to the annual service (bring water), there’s a 9 am Baby Dedication. Each service is followed by an Ice Cream Social.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pastoral message and solicitatin for funds to help victims of the hurricane.

Rev. Harlan Limpert, Director for District Services for the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) announced that there is a fund and message concerning the victims of the hurricane.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Our recent family trip this summer allowed us to visit this UU place of worship. Any guesses were where were? Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

Flying Oyster Spotting in Digital Wasteland

Flying Oyster

Darrin, blogs are not pointless if they come from people who have points to make.

I think you should come up with a new tagline.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Chalice Circle Insights

Unitarian Universalist of the South Hills is launching a new endeavor. Details on Small Group Ministry follow.

Sunnyhill’s Small Group Ministry (SGM) is named our SGM Chalice Circles (CC). Small groups have become an important part of the life of UU churches as they have found that participants have established new and deeper connections with one another, and found a place for religious exploration and spiritual growth. At the same time they testify that their small groups are connected with one another and with the life of the whole congregation and with a larger vision of us as religious liberals, as Unitarian Universalists. Those of us on the steering committee for CC are very excited that Sunnyhill will have its own program starting the fall of 2005. Here are more details!

What’s Chalice Circle About?

SGM has been found to offer congregations another and sometimes better path to realize their missions as a liberal religious community. They maintain that to be a vibrant and vital religious community, resources must be devoted to four areas:

Worship: Worship is central to the life of congregations. SGM is intended not to replace, but to augment and strengthen that shared experience.

Community: Small groups meet the need for connection and intimacy that is both a deep hunger in our society and essential to the ongoing life of a religious community.

Learning: People come to the church seeking spiritual growth, seeking to know themselves better, to grow into their understanding of the world and to ponder the age old questions of faith; how to live, what to believe, how to act, what meanings we can decipher from the mystery of life.

Service: A life of faith is a life of service. As human beings, we seek to be of use and a healthy congregation needs to provide avenues through which we may serve.

Who is in charge of CC?

Lynn Brodie, our minister will coordinate and oversee the program. An Ad Hoc Committee planned the introduction of CC into the congregation and the Board of Trustees gave their approval. Facilitators will bring feedback and ideas to their meetings that help to guide the program.

What happens at a CC meeting?

The small group meetings are focused by a collection of sessions that have been developed by another congregation. We have purchased the first year’s program and each facilitator will get a copy of the session book.. Extra copies of this program will be available for $25. Our church is permitted to keep this money as a fundraiser. Topics include religious histories, spiritual practices, loneliness, fear, poetry, healing, etc. Groups may choose their own order, direction and pace. The session Plans are simple:

Opening Words: Gather people in, help settle folks down, serve to remind participants of the special opportunity of the gathering, and often reflect the topic of the evening. Some groups will light a Chalice as well.

Check-in: Participants share news of what has been happening in their lives. Each group develops it own customs as the length of sharing or how to respond. This portion of the meeting may expand from time to time when circumstances call for it.

Topic/Discussion: A paragraph or two lays out a topic and presents questions that will elicit thoughtful discussion and significant reflection. A group may stay with a topic several weeks or be done in one meeting.

Check-out: This is a positive format for feedback at the end of each meeting. Not every group will include this every time. An example would be: “I like how we approached the topic this evening, but I wish we had moved through the sharing a little more quickly.”

Closing Words: this brings the formal session to an end. Groups are encouraged to start and end on time.

Where do groups meet?

Each group decides whether to meet primarily in members home or at the church.

What is the role of the minister?

The minister oversees the coordination of the program. She helps to recruit and train facilitators, and meets with them each month to counsel and guide. She works with the steering committee in assigning new members to existing groups, recruiting and training new facilitators and in developing new groups.

What is expected of a Small group participant?

Participants are expected to bring a positive attitude, a willingness to share and learn. What has emerged as the most important expectation that participants have for one another is to give the agreed upon meetings a high priority. While no one can make every meeting, members must make an effort to attend.

What does the facilitators do? The Chalice Facilitators facilitate the life of the group. They make sure the group begins and ends on time, or they delegate someone to do so. They remind people of the next meeting and contact group members who miss a meeting or delegate someone to do so. During the meeting, they read from the Session plans and guide the discussion, or delegate someone to do so. They meet each month with the minister and other facilitators and help to maintain the connection between individual groups and the larger church.

Who will know what I say?

There is an expectation of confidentiality within the groups. The level of comfort around confidentiality will vary within groups, so participants are encouraged to review this expectation from time to time and to renew their covenant in regards to this. When there are significant pastoral concerns, a Facilitator may ask if they can share the concern with the minister.

How does Chalice Circles grow?

New groups will be formed as people become interested and new members arrive. As new groups are formed, apprentices or experienced group members step forward to become facilitators for new groups. And, as circumstances of people’s lives change, the membership of a group may change from time to time. While it is anticipated to be sad to say goodbye, new members will be warmly welcomed and expand the circle of the connection.

What is the ideal size of participants for a Chalice Circle?

The ideal size of a chalice circle is 8-10 people. Other groups have found when the groups are greater than 10 people, intimacy wanes and participants are not able to interact as freely.

Is Chalice Circle therapy?

No. While it is expected that participants in our groups will report feeling better connected and happier in their lives, CC is not therapy. Professional therapy is readily available in our communities; we offer connection, reflection, community and spiritual growth.

How does the idea of service fit in?

From the beginning of our planning, the idea of service will be woven into the fabric of CC. We ask every group, over time, to take on some kind of service in the church community. This might be performing some maintenance project at the church, adopting a family in need over the holiday or guiding a fundraiser during the year. Service on behalf of the church is important for two reasons. First, it helps to offset the natural tendency of small, intimate groups to become self absorbed and disconnected, and second, because a necessary aspect of a growing spiritual life, a life of faith is service.

What is a Covenant and why is it necessary?

Each group will be asked to make a covenant between themselves either the second or third meeting. The purpose of the covenant is to have an agreement about how the groups’ members wish to be together. The questions most often dealt with in a covenant include but are not limited to the following:


Where shall we meet?
When shall we meet and for how long?

Respect for one another’s time

Do we agree to arrive by a stated time? How many minutes early is it okay for us to arrive?
Do we agree to start the meeting at the announced starting time, or is it our plan to start later than we say we’re going to?
Do we agree to stop each meeting by the announced ending time? Any exceptions?

Commitment to attend

Do we agree to make every attempt to attend each meeting?
Do we agree to let someone know in advance if we are going to have to be absent?

Sharing “airtime”

How much time do we want to allot to each person for check-in? How much time for check-out?
If someone has a need for a longer time to check in, how do we decide to allow for more time?
Do we agree to refrain from commenting on what people say during check-in until all of us have had the chance to check in?
Do we agree to monitor our own vocalizations to be sure that time is shared equitably?

General Respect

Shall we discourage advice giving?
Shall we avoid criticizing others while allowing for the critical consideration of ideas and beliefs?

Service to others

Shall we agree to spawn another group whenever our membership reaches eight or ten?
Shall we agree to find at least one way each year, as a group, to serve our church?
Shall we agree to find at leas tone way, two ways each year, as a gruop, to serve our larger community?

Why call it small group ministry?

We at Sunnyhill have come to envision the ministry of the congregations being widely shared. The called and settled professional minister is an important component, certainly, but so is the ministry of the laity. The ministry of our religious community is the work of the whole community. Our Chalice Circle as our small group ministry will be known, will encourage religious connections within the context of ongoing small groups.

How often do groups meet?

Each group develops its own schedule; the most common pattern in other churches is to meet twice a month on the first and third or second and forth week schedule. That makes scheduling easier and allows for a three-week interval from time to time. Some groups can choose to meet every week, every third week or once a month. Other churches have noted that meeting once a month does not seem to foster the connectedness that is essential for a successful SGM. You will be asked to designate how often and what days you want to meet and will be placed in a group accordingly.

How long will I be in a group?

We have decided to run our first program from the beginning of October 2005 until the end of May 2006. We have built an annual reassignment date into the program when everyone has a chance to recommit to the group they are in, or ask to join another group.

How does a person join?

Sign up sheets will be available from mid August and into September of 2005.

The above was taken from adapted from, “An Updated, Small Group Ministry Resource Book” and edited to reflect the message from Sunnyhill Steering Committee on SGM, CC.

Original source: Patricia Williams

Monday, August 15, 2005

UUs to hear about PUSH from Molly Rush

Molly Rush is presenting to a small group of UUs about PUSH this Thursday evening at Allegheny U.U. Church. I'm going to try to attend. Karen Z has gone to these meetings in the past.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

B l o g - L e b o: New Link: Sunnyhill

B l o g - L e b o: New Link: Sunnyhill: "New Link: Sunnyhill"

Check out the new blog about Mt. Lebo. The host there put up links to our church site and our blog.

So now we are pointing at this guy in the mirror who is pointing back to us. Make's your head spin, UU, Quaker, Budah, or Methodist! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

UU's gather on August 6 at noon

The recently formed UU's United for Faith In Action are sponsoring the picnic on Saturday Aug 6th from 12-5 PM. It is at Sunnyhill and involves all the area UU churches. We already have over 30 people signed up from First Church. I throw the gauntlet, as hosts, there really shouldn’t be more of them than us. Bring a pot luck dish/salad to share. Dessert will be provided. Games, instruments, etc. are requested. There are a lot of picnics going on, but this one is in our back yard! If possible, please sign up by Sunday the 31st.

Posting from Karen Z.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Picnic for Sunnyhill

Noon, Sunday Aug 14, 2005, at Braddock Grove in South Park.

Please join us for a picnic after church. We request that you bring something to
share according to the first letter of your last name.

(A-H) Salad
(I-P) Dessert
(Q-Z) Snack food (chips and dip, veggie tray...)

A grill and charcoal will be provided, but you must bring your own meat.
Also, we are collecting $5 from each family in order to buy the beer and the
soft drinks. See us after services, or mail a check to 1286 Lakemont Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15243.

Family Services are changing this year!

Although the Children’s Choir will sing, as usual, we are going to try out a new format for the service.

If you did not receive the following letter by mail, with
an interest form & a registration form to fill out, please contact Patricia.

Unitarian Universalist Religious Education has been changing over the past years, moving away from a model of “Sunday School classes” and towards varied models such as “workshop rotations” and “small groups.” We are not radically transforming Sunnyhill’s RE this year but, in the spirit of seeking better ways to religiously educate our children and youth, we are going to try a few new ideas.

Parent(s) and families are the primary religious educators of children and youth-but what does that mean?

This year we are asking that you participate at least once during the year, as a family, in a new type of “Family Service” we are offering.

These services will be different from those of the past years. Using “interest forms” you should have received & returned, we will compile a monthly LifeCraft Family Service with particular families, age groups, or themes in mind. Of course the services will be open to all, but we will extend a special invitation to particular families based on interests or other criteria (such as a service for youth and their families).

We may ask your family to do some preliminary discussion for the service and we may leave you with ideas to carry off and implement in your family if you wish. Even if your child(ren) or youth have not come to a LifeCraft Family Service in the past I hope you will make an effort to attend just one service this church year as a family.
The schedule will be posted in the Prospectus (program guide) to be mailed out in August, and will be followed with a personal invitation to a service that might interest you.

Give this new idea a try and let us know if it meets the needs of your families. It should make clearer the idea that parents and guardians provide much of their children’s religious education.

Also, if any of you are participating in the new “Chalice Circles”
(small group ministry) over the upcoming year, keep in mind it’s
a model we can try to incorporate in RE in the future as well.
Many thanks for your willingness to participate in something
new at Sunnyhill!

From Patricia Loverich Bernard, Director of Religious Education

Services in August 2005

Sunday, August 7, 10:30am
Emile Zola, Presented by Paul F. Laughlin
An examination of the life and work of a literary giant with a strong social consciousness, who placed himself in the forefront of one moral crusade after another.

He is especially known for "J'accuse", his defense of captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army Officer who was falsely accused of treason.

Sunday, August 14, 10:30am
Intimacy in a Growing Church. Presented by Rev. Lynn Brodie
This Sunday Lynn Brodie, minister, will address the issue of maintaining intimacy
as the church grows and introduce our new Chalice Circle program. Sign up for circles will begin after the service.

Sunday, August 21, 10:30am
Garden Festival Sunday, Presented by Rev. Lynn Brodie
Two years in a row makes it a Sunnyhill tradition. Bring a vegetable or fruit or
flower from your own harvest or from the bounty of the marketplace as we share in this celebration of abundance. Held outdoors weather permitting.

Sunday, August 28, 10:30am
Church Faith and Belief, Presented by Ken Wagner

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mindy sings a concert at 10 am at First Unitarian on Sunday

Mindy Simmons performs on Sunday morning at 10 am at First Unitarian. She has a wonderful voice, message and performance with her guitar.

This is a Sunday worship service. The event is free. And, she is doing more than just a few tunes. She is leading the service.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sunnyhill Exchange -- like ebay but more intimate for swaps or give-a-ways, plus...

The Sunnyhill Exchange is a new fundraiser for UUCSH (Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills). Its success relies upon sellers and buyers and the inventory of items.

Early postings included a kitchen table, a humongous list of mysteries for sale cheap, a Krups coffeemaker, table lamps, folding chairs, a Xmas tree, and clothesline poles.

To view older email messages on the website, obtain a Yahoo username and password, though not a Yahoo email address. When you join, I will send you another email asking you to develop this "Yahoo profile", so that you can use all of the features of the Sunnyhill Exchange website.

Missed the garage sale? No problem. Just sell (or buy) your items on the Exchange – a new fundraiser for Sunnyhill.

What is the Exchange? Can’t wait, want to sell an item now? Have an item that's good, but no good to you? Does your item have a value that another Sunnyhiller might appreciate? Need something you think someone else has? The answer to all these questions is, THE SUNNYHILL EXCHANGE!

How is it done? The Sunnyhill Exchange is a new way in which Sunnyhill members and friends can sell items to each other year-round, donating the proceeds to Sunnyhill. Done primarily through an internet group and utilizing members' email addresses, Exchange members can both post and receive For Sale and Wanted messages. Buyers contact the sellers, the transaction is made, and a check is made out to UUCSH with Sunnyhill Exchange in the memo – it’s just that easy!

What’s in it for you? Convenience mostly. You get rid of unwanted items earlier and find something you don’t have to pay retail price for. You can also make exchanges while at church. There’s a level of trust between Exchange participants that can assure your confidence in the items. And two people instead of just one get to help the church in one transaction!

How do you sign up? Brochures will be available starting Sunday, June 26th in the kiosk at the back of the church. The Sunnyhill Exchange coordinator will automatically sign you up for the Exchange using your email address. Or apply at Questions, contact Mary Beth Thakar or Lorraine Carabetta.

Finally, as people sometimes feel forced to put perfectly good stuff in the garbage, pat yourselves on the back for keeping stuff out of the landfill – and for fulfilling our 7th Principle pledge to save the earth.

Looking forward to your joining.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Welcome Rebeca and Green Actions at the Sunday Forum

Executive Director of the Green Building Alliance, Rebecca Flora, will speak at the Forum (10:15 am) on April 24, 2005, about environmentally conscious building practices and local opportunities for such.

Rebecca and I (Mark Rauterkus) were together at the press event on Thursday to help make a statement to vote "YES" on Growing Greener II that will be part of a state-wide election on May 17, 2005.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

JON CARROLL - humor, opinion, over-the-top giggles?

JON CARROLL 'Sincerity is not enough.' We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Come to SUUSI this Summer

Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute

Looking for a great, affordable vacation for your family, one with lots of
adventures and filled with UU friends? Come to SUUSI! You'll be welcomed
warmly and invited into our community of 1,000. Together, we'll create a
week of conversation, of reflection, of activity, of family. You'll be
challenged intellectually and nurtured spiritually. You can stay up all
night dancing or making music, and spend all day communing with nature or
enhancing your personal growth. So many choices! We have special programs
for youth and teens so be sure to bring the whole family. SUUSI is UU summer
camp, July17-23, 2005. We meet on the university campus of Virginia Tech in
Blacksburg, VA - a great little spot in the mountains. Visit
or call [your name here].

Time to Fly

Believe there are no limits but the sky. (Cervantes)

How long until SUUSI?

Plant sale orders due this week

This is the last week to order plants for the plant sale. The plant order form is in a PDF, for the sale. Mail to Martha Sweeney, 363 Carmell Dr., Pittsburgh 15241 or to the church or drop off in the plant sale box in the dining room.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bonfire is to come next weekend, Saturday, April 9

Playland owners report:

Due to the obviously miserable weather this weekend, Denise and Peter are postponing their bonfire until next weekend, Saturday, April 9. Let's hope for better weather then!

Sunday, March 20, 2005


It’s our spring bonfire! We hope you’ll come! And bring whomever: And whatever (e.g. dogs, kites, balls)! It’s on Saturday, April 2 from 2:00 PM until after dark, but come whenever you can. We plan to light the bonfire at around 2:30, watch the flames roar up, and then letting the fire slow down, as it burns into the evening.

It’s at ‘Playland’, our 13 acre property on Welsh Road in Chartiers Township. That is approximately 10 minutes from the Meadowlands Racetrack and McDonalds. It’s rustic: and we don’t mean just no phone or computer. We mean no plumbing, no electricity, no shelter --- and few restrictions. If the thrill of a bonfire in the meadow isn’t enough for you, there are acres of woods to explore (dress for poison ivy) and many of us picnic, play, and stretch our muscles. Whatever the case, bring clothing for all seasons. (One year the weather went from T-shirt weather to a blizzard in the same afternoon!)

You may want to bring lawnchairs and blankets. Some people bring food and drink to share - that's really nice. And, if you have some tree parts that you want to get rid of - just bring them and throw them on the fire. (We had someone bring a box of old tax records, but that did not work out so well as some of the pages were sucked up in the heat to perhaps 100 feet up, and then the breezes wafted them away.)

In case of bad weather (i.e. a lot of rain or wind), it will be postponed to Sunday afternoon. If you RSVP, we will know with whom to get in touch in case of questionable weather. Feel free also to call or email us about the weather situation or anything else.

Hope to see you there!

Peter and Denise

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ralph Reiland at the Forum

Ralph Reiland (an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University, a Monday columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a contributing writer at The American Enterprise Institute, an associate editor at Liberty magazine, the owner of Amel's Restaurant, and a former president at Sunnyhill) will speak this Sunday, 3/20/05, on "REGULATION & LITIGATION: THE NEW SOCIALISM IN AMERICA "

The Forum will start at 10:15 on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Caving trip

Hey, Sunnyhillers, most of you know by now that I am an avid caver (one who
explores natural, undeveloped caves). Many of you have expressed interest
levels ranging from genuine to morbid curiosity in my hobby. Some of you
have been so bold as to approach me and say you think you'd like to tag
along sometime. To this my response is, GREAT!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 5. I have reserved a group trip
into the wild, undeveloped area of Laurel Caverns. I need 6 to get the
group rate of $18/person, group max size is 16 (I think, gotta double
check). The time slot I have is 2pm-5pm, I would suggest we meet at
Sunnyhill at 11:30am. Laurel Caverns is located east of Uniontown, PA on
US40, atop Chestnut Ridge (and the view on a clear day is stupendous!) The
cave trip is into the undeveloped part of the cave: No lights, no walkways,
no hand rails, no tourist trails, the cave is pretty much in its natural
state (for as much visitation it gets). You will need grungy clothes, and a
change of clean clothes.

This is a great trip for folks who think they may be interested in caving,
but want something relatively easy to start (I was 8 years old when I
started doing this cave trip with my dad, due to insurance issues these days
the minimum age is 12). Because this is a trip into undeveloped cave, there
is no access for those with physical disabilities (sorry). You will be
climbing over underground rocks, walking through a shallow stream, and doing
a minimal amount of crawling and squeezing (for a wild cave trip, this one
really is pretty easy).

How did this trip come to be? I had originally reserved this trip for my
high school youth group, but interest in anything this year on their part
has been dismal at best, so I decided rather than scrapping it to offer it
to you Sunnyhillers. Most of the caves I do are the "hike through the woods
to the hole in the ground and go in" type, completely wild, no fees, guides,
etc. but this is a real good into to the sport.

If you are interested, here is a website with more information: . Please read over the information on
this website so you know how to prepare and what to expect (I can print it
for you if you need me to, let me know). You will need to sign a waiver to
go in (insurance reasons, again...). There will be a signup sheet on the
bulletin board at the bottom of the stairway where you can sign up. Because
I need to keep track of the group size, I need folks to sign up.

Hope all of you who are interested can make this!

Carl Pierce

(PS - Hey Spiritways Pagans, get to know our Earth Mother in a new and
intimate way!)

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Drummer goes to PDF to save on postage

the church administrator sent out this email:

Greetings Sunnyhillers

The Drummer (Sunnyhill's Newsletter) will be sent electronically in PDF
form beginning with the February Issue. If someone doesn't have email or I
do not have their email address then I will be snail mailing the February
copy but starting in March they will have to pick up a copy at Sunnyhill or
receive it electronically. Exceptions are Churches that we exchange
newsletters with and visitors that do not provide an email address.

This will save money- postage and paper and it is in line with our Seventh

The February Issue will be sent out at the end of January to this list. If
you would not like to receive a copy of the Drummer then please reply to
this email.

Amy Kent
Church Administrator

Congregational Meeting was held

We did meet on Jan 23, 2005.

A budget passed.

Nuff said, but others are free to post in the comments section.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ex-cop: Rein in the war on drugs

Ex-cop: Rein in the war on drugs - "Ex-cop: Rein in the war on drugs


Howard Wooldridge rode into town last weekend on his horse, just like a lawman from the Old West. But the former detective didn't visit Pittsburgh to lock up bad guys. He was here to lecture on what he feels is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public."

Some coverage of Howard, our LifeCraft presenter. Howard did a great job. Thanks for setting up the meeting.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Kakizome, haiku and cinquain

Kakizome is a traditional Japanese way of greeting the new year with poetry, written for the occasion. In recent years this has become a Sunnyhill tradition as well.

Haiku is a form wiht three lines, the first with five syllables, the second with seven and the third with five. The lines need not rhyme. (See notes for example and submissions.)

Cinquain is a five line poem, with a structure which gives it the form of a diamond.
Line 1: one word to name the subject.
Line 2: two words to describe it.
Line 3: three action words about it.
Line 4: a four or five word phrase describing the subject (a thought, not a complete sentence)
Line 5: one word that means the same thing as the first word, or a word that sums it all up.

1421 - Emerson Group

Thanks for the great discussion and materials that centered on the book, 1421, the year that the Chinees discovered America.

Butch and George - Date is Jan 15, 1:30 pm

Please sign up on the board at the church. Invites were not sent out to those at Sunnyhill, so we need to be sure to pass the word.

Eight at Eight schedule for the spring of 2005.

Eight at Eight schedule. Please sign up with Dennis soon so he can get the word out.

February 5, 2005

March 5, 2005

April 2, 2005

May 7, 2005