On December 22, Christmas came early to those in our congregation who have been dreaming of a green burial nature preserve for the Cincinnati area, when the State of Ohio recognized the incorporation of the non-profit limited liability company (“LLC”) named Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. This is the next step in the creation of what Rev. Bill Gupton has called “the first natural burial option in the Greater Cincinnati area that will also preserve a parcel of land in its natural state and protect it from future development through a partnership with a local land trust organization.”
Heritage Acres will be part of the ministry of Heritage Church, but will remain a separate, independent, self-governing non-profit corporate entity directed by a separate Board. (The Heritage Acres Board will be appointed by our Heritage UU Church Board, but will be comprised of both Heritage Church members and members of the wider Cincinnati community.) All monies and financial transactions will remain independent from Heritage Church funds, and a separate Treasurer will oversee the financial operation of Heritage Acres through a completely separate bank account.
Rules, regulations, and policies for Heritage Acres will be developed by its Board in the coming year. A website and promotional material are forthcoming. Donations of cash – or land – will be accepted beginning immediately; if you know of anyone who is ready to help natural burial become a reality in the Cincinnati area by contributing either property or money to Heritage Acres, please have them contact Rev. Bill Gupton at SeniorMinister@huuc.net or 513-633-8703.
March in Solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington in D.C. by joining in the “sister march” being held in Cincinnati at Washington Park at the same time. Heritage women, men and children will march in solidarity for social justice with others from across the region. All people – men, women, children – are invited to gather at the church at 10:30 a.m. to join in the carpool. The march begins and ends at Washington Park, 1230 Elm Street, Cincinnati, with special guests speaking at the end of the march.
Once again the Heritage family came together and did its part as a Habitat for Humanity member church to help a new homeowner—Ms. Sidney Sanders and her daughter, De’Zyre, build their first home.
For four Saturdays, beginning with the kick-off in August, we worked under Zack Anspach’s direction on several phases of home building. We sweated in summer heat and as the leaves turned helped her home take shape. We learned new skills, met fine people from other churches and companies, and bonded in a cause bigger than ourselves. Adena Warner of Habitat told me she appreciated our work and our support for the Build very much!
And the amazing women of Heritage did loaves and fishes lunch miracles! Somehow they made sure that their tasty, nutritious lunches and desserts fed everyone on the Build despite sudden influxes of unexpected volunteers, and this last week, on short notice they made it all work again!
I want to thank our dedicated builders: Mike Carr, Nicole and Bryan Christ, Bob Drake, Olivia Halterman, Michael Kaufhold, Nancy Moore, Terry Planitzer, Regina Pugh, Julia Sandman, Eva Sofge, Henry Sofge, Ken Stern, and Chris Whittaker.
And our fantastic lunch team: Connie Booth, Julie Kane, Joanne Meyer, Tracy Rosa, Steph Tacy, Joelle Tunning, and Robin Wickett.
If I missed anyone, thank you! Happy Holidays!
By the time you read this, it is likely that incorporation papers have been filed with the State of Ohio to create a legal entity known as Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. Though we do not yet have land, this is the next step in our development of a “green burial ground” for our church community, and for the greater Cincinnati community.
At its monthly meeting on November 14, the Board unanimously passed the following resolution: “The Board of Trustees authorizes the formation of an Ohio limited liability company (‘LLC’) to be owned by Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church and to be named ‘Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary’ for the dual purposes of providing a natural or ‘green’ burial option in Greater Cincinnati and for preserving a parcel of natural land from any future development through partnership with a land trust organization.”
Stay tuned for more developments in this exciting new aspect of our Heritage Church End-of-Life Ministry!
On October 29, Heritage UU Church held a Halloween party with a pot luck meal, haunted house, tarot card readings, campfire, bobbing for apples, face painting, pumpkin carving, a movie, and other activities. Many thanks to intrepid organizers Jill Beyette, Andrea Dale and Louise Lawarre, as well as to all who contributed time and talent to this wonderful evening! Here are pictures of a few of the attendees.
Although they “don’t look a day over 16“, this month Heritage’s Babes with Books (Heritage Church’s women’s book club) commemorated their 20th anniversary with a potluck gala celebrating everything “queenly“. The result – many tiaras, crowns, sequins, glitter, capes, wigs, and gloves graced the royal gathering. Tammy-Beth Coulson was the embodiment of the Sweet Potato Queen. Tammy-Barb Barnes was barely recognizable in her red wig (no, she refuses to “go red“). Tammy-Tracy Jo Small was Marilyn Monroe reincarnated. Still, it was Tammy-Tracy Rossa who brought down the house with her Sweet Potato Queen inspired Tammy Baker.
The evening began with draping each arriving queen with a royal, green sequin sash. Following celebratory cocktails, the queens dined on a feast from the Sweet Potato Queens’ four food groups – sweet, salty, fried, and au gratin. Desserts featured the queen of all comfort foods, chocolate.
The evening’s program began with the reciting of the Sweet Potato Queens’ pledge, beautifully scribed by Tammy-Tracy Rossa. Her Majesty, Queen Tammy-Sara Curtis, then read the group’s emblematic poem that starts “The first thing you forget is the name of the author“, source unknown, (actually – Billy Collins). The reading was followed by a contest matching books read over the club’s history with the author. The winner had a whopping 20% correct! Wild dancing well into the night (as late as 9:30!) followed.
Thanks to the many efforts of the Party Guidance Team (the PGT) who made this event a reality. The PGT spared no expense or effort in organizing, preparing, and decorating for this event, down to the glittering sweet potatoes by candle light! Yes, such an event comes along only every 20 years!
Several Heritage members recently spent a beautiful fall day touring current and historical sites of Unitarian Universalism in Cincinnati with Rev. Bill Gupton. On October 8, these lucky souls (winning bidders in last spring’s HUUC Auction) visited our active sister UU congregations St. John’s UU Church in Clifton, First Unitarian Church in Uptown, and the Gathering at Northern Hills in suburban Wyoming and were given tours by congregational ministers and lay leaders.
Also on the itinerary were stops at the grave of pioneer African American Unitarian minister W.H.G. Carter, a peek inside the former site of St. John’s (next to Music Hall, where the congregation originally worshipped in German), a look at a typical early 19th century small, rural Universalist church (in Montgomery), and – the highlight of the trip – a look at the late 19th century Universalist gem of the “West,” the glorious sanctuary of the First Universalist Church of Cincinnati (that’s us!) in East Walnut Hills.
Essex Street Church Building (Former home of Heritage UU Church)
First Unitarian Church
The Gathering at Northern Hills
Old Universalist Church Building, Montgomery, Ohio
Old Universalist Church, Newtown, Ohio
St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church
Old Building of St. John’s Unitarian Church
Old Universalist Church Building in Milford, Ohio
Though not part of the tour, a tour participant took this picture soon after.
Once again this year, Heritage UU Church members are helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house in Madisonville. As you can see from the picture, the house at 5315 Ward Street is taking shape.
To learn more about the family that will live there, Heritage work dates, and how you can help, see Heritage and Habitat for Humanity.