The Advance — September 2009

From Frieda

We begin a new church year amidst the decline of our wet and short summer. My summer was filled with new experiences which I will share with you in worship throughout the year. I hope to share some of the wonderful music I received from the Choral Festival I attended at Ferry Beach. I will also tell you about the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers whom I spent a week with at Omega Institute in August. I am still absorbing that experience. As delightful as it was to get to know these wise, funny, and deeply moving women, it was also a powerful way to get in touch with spiritual questions that I’ve kept at a distance for a number of years. I wasn’t quite expecting that. If you want a preview of the grandmothers, you can visit their website: I also have had great luxurious time with my family camping and playing. To quote Jennifer’s grandfather, “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

This year we have a little more advance planning in place for some interesting worship services. Fred Mills and I are offering a series of sermons related to Unitarian Universalist and Northshore Church history. We also have some very interesting guest speakers lined up including Liz Walker, whose career as a Boston-based journalist and efforts for Darfur are well-known. Bring a friend! In fact, bring a friend any and every Sunday.

As always, I welcome your suggestions about topics for sermons, ideas for services or other community events. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again on the 13th. I’m excited about what we might create together this year.


From the Board of Directors

I’m pleased to have taken on the responsibility as Board Chair here at Northshore Church. After three years, Frank Armstrong is stepping down from that role, and I can only hope to offer the same calm and patient presence that defined his tenure.

We did finally get some languid summer weather to match the normal pace of this time of year. To me, though, from the time I was a child, the season approaching was always momentous. Whether it was the start of the school year, or just the way the sunlight cast everything in such bold relief, the early fall always evoked a kind of soulful adrenalin. This remains my favorite time, despite the prospect of a long New England winter. As we all return to our more familiar routines and busier schedules, I hope we can take a moment to appreciate the spectacle of this glorious season. Then, fortified by that experience, we can move on to face the challenges that invariably present themselves.

To that should be added the support and warm regard of this congregation. We are all friends and allies here. No one should forget how admired and needed they are. I recall the old adage that we live in a graceless age, and looking at contemporary culture would seem to bear this out. But, here, within this community, we all strive to create the sense of a higher common cause. I’m excited about the year ahead, and I hope that you are too.

John Forbes

September 2009 services

September 13, 10:30 a.m. “Water, Water, Everywhere …” Rev. Frieda Gillespie. We return from our travels and adventures of the summer bringing water to share and blend with our church community. Reflections on a new beginning in our second year together. What harvest will we enjoy from the seeds we planted last year? What hopes do you have for this year?

September 20, 10:30 a.m. “Sing, Camp, Pray.” Rev. Frieda Gillespie. This summer has been a series of intense experiences for me, with the common thread of self-discovery and living close to the earth. This has made me more acutely aware of how unaware we can be of the source of our lives. What happens when we pay attention?

September 27, 10:30 a.m. “What Makes You Think That’s True?” Rev. Frieda Gillespie. So much of human conflict is rooted in miscommunication and misinformation. We are seeing this on a grand scale in the public discourse on health care reform, where lies are being propagated to stir people’s fears. Any of us can be influenced by fear-based rhetoric and gossip. How do we develop integrity in our thinking and communications?

Sermon Series on Unitarian Universalist history

Oct. 18 William Ellery Channing and Theodore Parker – Fred Mills

Nov. 8 Sophia Fahs – Rev. Frieda Gillespie

Jan. 17 History of Unitarian Universalist multi-racial, multi-cultural awareness – TBD

Mar. 7 Northshore UU Church History – Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Fred Mills

Apr. 18 Prophetic Sisterhood – Rev. Frieda Gillespie

Religious education

For low the summer is gone
The time for reading is at hand
And the voice of the child is heard
Throughout the church (Apologies to Biblical scripture)

Growing up in a predominantly Catholic community in Eastern Connecticut, I remember feeling really lucky that I had the summers off from church. I also have strong memories of returning to church in the fall. I hope your families have the same experiences.

Over the summer we have played, worked, slept, read and renewed. Now is the time to come back and show off your new knowledge or your new height, if you grew an inch or two.

Religious Education registration will begin September 6th.

We have a fun filled year planned and I look forward to seeing you all.

In great anticipation,


This year our 5th / 6th grade group will explore a new curriculum The Faith of Our Family. This program explores our Unitarian Universalist history and the rich history of Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church. No two Unitarian Universalist churches are the same. Part of this class will entail visiting other UU churches in much the same way we would visit neighboring faiths when we explore world religions. We will also explore our own church through interviews and treasure hunts. By the end of this adventure we should have a clearer understanding of the differences between, church, faith and religion.

Our older members will spend the coming year developing a service project. This will involve choosing a project and planning the execution of the project and then caring out the project. Throughout the year we will have guests visit with us to talk about large and small social service projects that they have been part of. This will be a “hands-on” year for our young people.

Joy in the Fall is coming!

The Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church’s Fourth Annual Fall Fun Fundraiser

Saturday, September 26th from 7-10 PM.

Our featured artists are The G-Clefs, one of the original doo-wop groups of the 50s and 60s. Together with their five piece band, these five guys have been together since the beginning, four brothers and a friend. Their performance will give us a retrospective of the entire doo-wop repertoire. The dance floor will welcome us, and four of our own teens will be performing with the G-Clefs as their back up group.

The members of the congregation are bringing homemade appetizers and desserts. We will serve coffee and tea, and a cash bar will offer soft drinks, beer and wine.

This is a wonderful evening that will help our church raise $5,000 to support our facilities and our programming. Tickets are $35, each, $25 of which is tax deductible.

This year, we hope to sell 180 tickets. The Meeting Room will be set up in theatre style to maximize the space and make room for a dance floor. We will also offer VIP table service for an additional $50. This provides a small table for your group and wait service for soft drinks, food and coffee/tea. We only have six VIP tables, 2 of which are already sold, so if you want this extra service, please reserve your VIP table now!

We only have two Sundays before the event, September 13th and 20th.

Andrea Kaiser will be selling tickets before and after both services. She would be happy to hear from you in advance of the 13th via email. You can mail her a check and she will send back your tickets. Her email is: ccstpg {at} verizon {dot} net. Her address is 43 Beechwood Road, Wellesley, MA 02482.

Ask your friends to join in the fun. Bring your neighbors. Make it a family affair!

Help us celebrate the start of fall and meet our fundraising goals.

From the FUNd Raising Council

The Fundraising Council spent the summer consulting about how to market our meeting space to produce income. We are the very beginning stages of this process. If you have experience as an event planner, or know someone who does, and may be interested in helping us get this new venture off the ground, please contact: Nancy Levin at : nflevin {at} comcast {dot} net

Social Action Committee

The newly formed Social Action Committee would like to develop a list of community-service/social-justice organizations/activities that members and friends of NSUU currently support and/or participate in. In addition, we are interested in knowing what you would like to see this church support in the coming years. To that end, we have developed a brief survey. We will be sending the survey to your email address or snail-mail address (if you don’t have e-mail) and also passing it out at services in September. Please keep an eye out for the survey and take a few moments to complete it. We appreciate your support.

Small Group Ministry

Consider joining a small group ministry. It is a great way to meet others and take time to touch your soul.

Why join? We all need some time that is set aside with no demands from the outside world, yet connects us deeply to our own soul. We share the opportunity for getting in touch with our spirituality by exploring our beliefs and values on a variety of subjects.

What do we do at a meeting? We explore a simple topic at each meeting and then share our reflections with one another in a respectful and confidential environment. Sample topics are faith, service, money, adversity, caring, family… etc. We leave each meeting with a good feeling of knowing ourselves and others a little better. For some, we may also have an enhanced sense of well being and connection to others.

When are the meetings? The Sunday-After-Church Small Group Ministry will resume this September. We will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month after church. Please contact Marty Langlois (marty-langlois {at} comcast {dot} net); or Brian Orr (BrianOrr56 {at} comcast {dot} net) if you are interested in joining or have questions. The Tuesday Morning Small Group meeting continues on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. Please contact Judy Putnam (judeputnam {at} verizon {dot} net) or Deb Nelson (deborahnelson {at} mac {dot} com) if have questions.

Please note that on occasion the dates may change and the group facilitators will give notice of same. Namasté, Marty Langlois

Coffee hosts

Being coffee host is an easy and enjoyable way to contribute and be part of the community.

You will bring a few finger foods, prepare coffee and facilitate the setup and the cleanup.

Most of us are asked to help out 2-3 times a year with the flexibility to change the date if your schedule changes. Please contact me if you’d like to be part of the team, we can discuss dates. Tina Gibson (tgibson1 {at} hotmail {dot} com or 978-352-2350).

Octoberfair Silent Auction

Saturday, October 17

If you would like to help make the Silent Auction a success by participating in event preparations or marketing, please send an email to The Silent Auction Committee urgently needs volunteers to:

  • Follow up on donation request letters sent to businesses that have donated to the auction in past years
  • Seek new donors
  • Help with event setup, management and close-out
  • Encourage others to attend the Octoberfair and Silent Auction

The Octoberfair and Silent Auction are important components of our annual income with a 100% return to the church. Silent Auction donation request letters and forms are available in the fellowship hall if you would like to take some, please do. When you obtain a donation, please email item details to the email address above so the information can be entered into the database. The Silent Auction is a fun event to participate in as a volunteer, bidder, or both (ideally) – all are welcome and needed to guarantee success!

Bob Cumming
Silent Auction Committee

Looking for ushers

We are looking for ushers for this coming church year. Ushering involves passing out programs, passing the collection plate, monitoring the meeting room door, and tabulating the collection total and attendance. Ushers take a turn once a month and are exempt from being coffee hosts. It is a nice way for new or relatively new people to become involved in the church. See Peter VanDeBogert if interested: 978-922-2276 or vanimages {at} comcast {dot} net

Building and Grounds update

Summer finds us at outermost places and fall a time for coming together. Well, the Buildings & Grounds Committee has been doing a little of this and a little of that preparing for your return.

We have made good progress in sanding, scraping, painting and making repairs to the exterior of the building, together with keeping the grounds at the cutting edge for visitors and those attending summer services. We welcome you back!

Special thanks to Bob Cumming, Dottie Barton, Malcolm Bruce, Ray Haight, Martine Kellett, Aaron Steeves, Greg Erwin, Rick Johnson and John Gibson.

JOIN US ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

September 2009 member profile

The Kennedy Family

by Martha Ardiff

Barbara, an ex-Catholic, and Dan, “unchurched,” met at Northeastern University, where both were journalism students. They were married by a Catholic priest and a Unitarian Universalist minister. After a few years in Medford, they settled in Danvers in 1985. They first came to NSUU on Easter of 1993, with Tim, a sturdy toddler, and Becky, an infant with respiratory problems and a tracheotomy, just home from a 2-month hospital stay.

Dan, a writer, has been Assistant Professor of Journalism at Northeastern since 2005. Before that he worked for the Boston Phoenix for 14 years: Four as an editor and ten as the media columnist. He also appears on Channel 2 every Friday night on “Beat the Press.” In 2003 his book Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter’s Eyes was published (see copy in NSUU library). It grew from his and Barbara’s experiences raising Becky, who was born with dwarfism. Dan deftly weaves the anecdotal with medical and historical research plus socio/philosophic analysis. His website is

Barbara had a long career, job-sharing, as a newspaper photographer for The Salem Evening News, among others. Then she decided to become a school librarian and has recently finished the course work for a Master’s in the Library Media Studies Program in Salem State College’s School of Education.

Tim, 18, and Becky, 17, both grew up in the church from nursery through Coming of Age. And have both joined their parents helping at the Salem Mission under Michele Chausse’s leadership. Tim wants to make photography his career, so he’s off to study at the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, MA. He says “I went to one of the services led by the new minister and found it top-notch.”

Becky is quite healthy after her early problem, is a junior at Bishop Fenwick. She babysits for the church as needed and enjoyed helping plant the new tree at the church after the recent Coming of Age service. She’s happy that some of the kids she’s known all along in RE have been in her academic schools and she loved visiting the Titanic Exhibit in New York with her dad this summer. She enjoys sharing Michael Jackson’s birthday and admires her great-uncle who is 95 and still living on his own and driving.

Barbara and Dan brought their family to NSUU looking for a community to join. They stayed because they found it. And they quickly and consistently gave back to the community in more than full measure.

Barbara was on the church Board of Directors during Ed Lynn’s last year and the tenures of both our interim ministers, one of the busiest periods ever for the Board. They met 2 or 3 times a month, long hours, even in the summer, because so much needed attention. Barbara says, “It was a wonderful experience because of the people and their level of respect and commitment.” Barbara was also a full-time RE teacher for more than 4 years, organized a Christmas workshop, served on the RE Search Committee which brought us Fred Mills, and has taken superb photographs for the church.

Dan also served on the Board, earlier. He received NSUU’s Anne Milender Award this year in honor of his service on the Ministerial Search Committee and with the church website, He says “Being on the Search Committee was quite a commitment but one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. The nine members all hung in there for the whole three years. It was amazing how we were all able to work together and understand each other. And we’re thrilled with the way it turned out.” Two years ago Dan totally revised and upgraded our church website. He continues to be the NSUU church website editor, and is a member of the Ministerial Evaluation Committee.

In addition to thriving in this community of caring and respect, which they appreciate so much, the Kennedys have come to value being able to be part of a religious community that can be a home for each of them, with their differing non-traditional religious views.

September 2009 Calendar

For up-to-date information, see our online Calendar of Events at