Statement following church shooting in Charleston

Reverend Peter Morales

Reverend Peter Morales

The Reverend Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, issued this statement (also online at following the news of the shooting in a church in Charleston, South Carolina:

News of last night’s shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, fills me with a profound sadness. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims and to the entire Emanuel Church community.

Unitarian Universalists are sadly familiar with the tragedy of church shootings. When two congregants were killed and six wounded at our Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in 2008, the entire community reached out and embraced our congregation with love and support. We will pass that love along to the Emanuel Church community in any way we can.

Emanuel AME Church has faced many hardships over the years, but the church has persevered and thrived. May Emanuel’s faithful find the strength to make their way through the tragedy that has taken the lives of nine of their members, including their pastor. We share their grief, and we stand with them in love and solidarity.

Updates to our online sermons

The audio for three recent sermons has now been posted here: “When the Devil Grabbed My Ankles,” by the Reverend Edwin Lynn, our minister emeritus; “Redemption Song,” by the Reverend Jeanne Nieuwejaar, a former NSUU interim minister; and “The Life of Bayard Rustin,” by church member Tom Duff.

If you didn’t have a chance to attend their services, please give a listen and hear what you missed.

New art exhibit to be presented at Northshore Church


“The Friendly Neighborhood,” by Ginger Greenblatt

Two members of the North Shore Arts Association, Ginger Greenblatt and Judy Greulich, will present an exhibit of their works at the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church throughout April and May. An artists’ reception will be held on Sunday, April 19, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Ginger Greenblatt is a retired nurse who enjoys watercolor and oil painting, and pencil, pen, and charcoal drawing. Recently she has been working in Japanese woodblock printing. “I’ve always admired woodblock prints,” Ginger says, “and it’s a process that now has me hooked.”


“Reverie,” by Judy Greulich

Judy Greulich is a graduate of Montserrat School of Art. The subjects of her oil paintings are varied; they include the New England landscape, garden and still life as well as people in figurative settings and portraiture. Judy remarks, “Painting my subject directly from life is my primary and favorite approach.”

Both artists also work with the Malden Sketch Group and the Reading Art Association, as well as other groups.

The exhibit may be seen before and immediately after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday services, or by appointment by calling the church office.

Our holiday schedule of services and events

Winter Solstice. Photo (cc) by Stephen Little. Some rights reserved.

Winter Solstice. Photo (cc) by Stephen Little. Some rights reserved.

The Northshore UU Church has several special services and events scheduled for the holiday season. It begins this Sunday, December 21, at 10:30 a.m. with our annual winter solstice celebration, which will be based on the service “A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual,” written by Julie Forest Middleton and Stasa Morgan-Appel. This celebration will have lots of music, rituals, stories, and candle-lighting. Church volunteer members and friends will be the readers. The Singing Group will perform many musical selections and will lead the whole congregation in song. The service leader is Jennifer Revill.

Our annual Christmas Eve service will be held on Wednesday, December 24, at 6 p.m. Our customary readings will include the Christmas story and other perspectives on this time of year. The festive music will include traditional carols. As always, the popular tradition of candle-lighting accompanied by “Silent Night” from the Bell Choir will conclude this special service. Music Director Judy Putnam is the service coordinator.

The Northshore Church will host the 34th Christmas Dinner with Friends on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. We provide a decorated dining space to enjoy on Christmas Day while sharing a delicious dinner with friends and others who attend. The dinner is free, without any request for a financial contribution. The dinner includes roast turkey with all the trimmings, an assortment of wonderful desserts, as well as carol singing and live musical entertainment.

The Danvers Clergy Association and Temple Beth Shalom are co-sponsors of the dinner. Anyone living in Danvers or the neighboring towns who needs a ride to and from the dinner should call the church and leave a message with the NSUU church administrator at (978) 774-7582. Individuals requesting transportation will be contacted to finalize transportation arrangements.

Our holiday services will conclude on Sunday, December 28, at 10:30 a.m. with the theme “A Look Back and Forward.” People can share their thoughts, emotions, and traditions related to this unique time after Christmas but before the New Year. Those who attended last year will receive the sealed envelopes containing the personal comments and perspectives they wrote a year ago. In the past people have been quite surprised to see what they wrote in their mini-time-capsules. This time we will write statements to be opened next year. The service leader is Peter VanDeBogert.

Visitors are always welcome.

Art show by church members opens this Friday

The Northshore UU Church is exhibiting a group show for 13 of the church members. The show is an eclectic mix of oils, watercolors, acrylics, photography, and crafts. The exhibit opens October 3 and will remain up until the end of November.

Those who are exhibiting their work are our Minister Emeritus, the Reverend Ed Lynn, and Jean Koulack-Young, Dick Lundgren, Marcia Lassar, Peter VanDeBorgert, Marion Frost, Fred Bougas, Astrida Cutter, Brian Orr, Barbara Reeder, Donna King, Audrey Merkle, and Shirley Guerriero.

The Caring Associates serve church members in need

A care-giving team, The Caring Associates, has been established for the Northshore Church. The mission of The Caring Associates is to extend outreach in the church community by offering supportive listening and helpful resources to any member upon request. A member might request a Caring Associate at a time of particular life stress such as illness, bereavement, or family issues. Confidentiality is always respected.

For more information about The Caring Associates, please visit their page on

Needlework exhibit to be displayed in meeting room

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An exhibit of needlework by the late George J. Goddard, of San Antonio, Texas, will be displayed in the church meeting room from August 3 through September 26.

Mr. Goddard was born in 1916 and died at the age of 96 in 2013. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and later earned a Harvard MBA. He entered the Army Air Corps in World War II, served in the Air Force in the Korean War, retired from the service in 1966, and taught aircraft maintenance and materiel until 1971, when he retired for good.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, George enhanced his retirement by taking up needlework. Almost all his work was counted cross-stitch, usually on very fine canvas. He enjoyed whimsical topics as well as American Indian themes and fantasy — there be dragons! Many of the works were submitted to the Oklahoma State Fair, where they typically won first prize in their categories.  Our enjoyment of the pictures and pillows may be increased by the realization that George was colorblind.

The exhibit may be seen before and immediately after the 10:30 am Sunday services, or by appointment by calling 978-774-7582.

Celebrating Reverend Frieda’s six years as our minister

For an album of more than 100 photos from Reverend Frieda's final service, please click on the image above.

For an album of more than 100 photos from Reverend Frieda’s final service, please click on the image above.

Six years ago, the Reverend Frieda Gillespie became just our third settled minister since the founding of the Northshore UU Church in 1966. On June 15, at our last regular service of 2013-’14, we celebrated Reverend Frieda’s service. Frieda will be moving on later this summer; the church is currently seeking a part-time minister.

The service included gifts, a cake, and a big group photo. Among those attending were Frieda’s wife, Jennifer Long, and our minister emeritus, the Reverend Edwin Lynn. We thank Frieda for her years in our pulpit and wish her the best in whatever comes next.

Reception for artist Sheila Farren Billings to be held June 8

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Painter Sheila Farren Billings of Salem is presenting an exhibit of her watercolors, acrylics, and other works in the church meeting room throughout June and July. She is an award-winning local artist and the author/illustrator of four children’s books. Her work has been featured in shows and galleries around the North Shore. She has taught art in the Salem and Beverly schools.

There will be an artist’s reception at the church on Sunday, June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Billings grew up in a family of artists who inspired her creativity and encouraged her to experiment with different mediums and styles. During the nice weather, she loves to sit outside and paint on location, usually in watercolor or acrylic paint.

On cold or rainy days, she delights in working in her studio on more fanciful projects, including cut paper designs, brilliantly colored abstracts, children’s illustrations, and Celtic-inspired drawings. She also enjoys designing logos and creating murals.