On Sunday, January 27, Heritage UU Church welcomed back its Assistant Minister for Religious Education, Rev. Leslie Woodward. Welcome back Rev. Leslie!
Heritage Church owns approximately an acre of land beyond and behind our rear parking lot. This slightly sloped, triangular-shaped area has become very overgrown by weeds, honeysuckle, and other invasive species in recent years – and last month (September 2018), a group of Heritage volunteers began the task of clearing it, so we can eventually make use of it as a beautiful, natural space for reflection, picnics, events, even religious education activities.
Many thanks to Terry Planitzer and Bob Staggenborg (coordinator and visionary), as well as Bob Drake, Bob Lamb, Bill Gupton, Jennifer Sanders, Patrick Sanders, Dave Small, and Garry and Stephanie Wilson (and any others whom we may have inadvertently left off this list) for their “sweat equity” on a series of hot, humid days. Much work went into just beginning the clearing process (as you can see from these photos). More work days will be announced later this month.
On August 30, 2018, two members of Heritage UU Church attended the Dedication and Blessing of the Sanctuary Space at Clifton United Methodist Church (UMC). This space is being added to expand the capabilities of the Cincinnati Sanctuary Congregation Coalition, of which Heritage Church is a supporting member.
The Coalition exists to help a person or family take sanctuary in a place of worship, in order to avoid deportation. The Coalition’s criteria are that the person or family must have a case pending with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), must be at risk of being deported before their case is heard, and must be willing to be public about taking sanctuary.
To create the needed living space for sanctuary, Clifton UMC has contracted with a “second chance” contractor to do the remodeling for $18,000. A “second chance” contractor works with ex-offenders (often people who have completed a prison sentence). These workers are not always efficient, so the work takes longer. Clifton UMC had expected the work to be done by now, but it is not completed.
The living space is on two levels. The kitchen is upstairs, and not directly connected to the rest of the living space, but is separate from the church kitchen. This was required by code.
The future residents have a “private entrance” where they can receive visitors without coming through the main church and hallways.
The primary living space is in the basement. The church has two large rooms, with new weather efficient windows. One room is expected to be daytime living space, and the other will be the sleeping rooms. There is a small laundry area attached to the sleeping area. The bathroom is split, with the shower in one space and the sink and toilet in another.
Clifton UMC needs volunteers to finish and decorate the space—window treatments, paint and wall coverings. They are hoping different churches will sponsor this part. Eventually, they will need furniture, but they don’t want the furniture until the renovations are complete.
At the celebration, the space dedication was lovely and there was a lot of enthusiasm among the visitors and guests.
Pictures from the event are shown below.
As our Assistant Minister for Religious Education, Rev. Leslie Woodward, was about to begin her sabbatical, she received a gift at church on July 29, 2018.
The gift was a beautiful kimono that was hand made by Board President Jaime Castle (a professional seamstress, or as she likes to call herself, “sewist”). It was made to symbolize the Love that is the Spirit of this Church, so that Rev. Leslie, throughout her sabbatical (and beyond) can feel herself wrapped in our gentle, loving embrace.
During the summer of 2018, our children took a break from regular Religious Education classes on Sunday mornings in order to construct some fun! Projects included creating a giant flaming chalice sculpture out of egg cartons, constructing an igloo out of empty plastic milk jugs, creating helmets from papier-mâché, and being creative with Legos. A few pictures are below.
Members and friends of Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church joined with other UUs from the area in celebrating Cincinnati Pride. On Saturday, June 23, 2018, at least ten Heritage folk, and probably more, participated in the Pride Parade through downtown Cincinnati and attended the Pride Festival at Sawyer Point. The parade and festival celebrate the lives of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender.
If you haven’t noticed it yet, please take a look at our new piece of artwork. It’s hanging just to the right of the kitchen passthrough. Sharon Obermeyer graciously created this beautiful painting specifically for Heritage UU Church. Her perspective on UUism was her inspiration. Our deep thanks to Sharon for her generosity and creativity!
We are very fortunate to have excellent musical talent with our Heritage youth. The most recent example of this is the following youth singing at our May 20, 2018 service: Lena Bauer, Tera Maxey-DuEst, and Arleigh Riddle. Lena sang “For Good,” while Tera and Arleigh sang “May the Circle Be Unbroken.” We are so pleased to have our youth share musically in our services.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, Heritage UU Church transformed itself into Mount Olympus for the Gala of Benevolent Deities. Festivities included a harpist, a sumptuous Greek meal, spirits, fortune-telling by the Oracle of Delphi, storytelling of Greek myths, a musical performance, the theatrical performance of “Pyramus and Thisbe,” various games, a silent auction, a live auction, and “split the pot.” The festivities also included the celebration of the 60th birthday of our minister, Rev. Bill Gupton. A big “Thank you!” to all the volunteers who made this evening possible.
Guests were encouraged to come in the costume of a mythical god, goddess, or other creature or mythical person. Pictures of some attendees are shown below.