January 19 Weekly Newsletter                                                                                 Vol. 1, No. 1.3

COMMITTEE REPORTS & HAPPENINGS

STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence's annual Pledge Drive is starting on February 7, 2021 and will continue until March 7. For those new to the Society, this is a time that we solicit pledges for the fiscal year 2021-2022 which starts in September. This is distinct from the weekly plate donation and is the major source of funding for the Society, its staff, and all that we need to sustain our congregation as a welcoming spiritual home, a progressive voice, and principled community leader. Our vision, guided by our strategic plan, is that we "be a congregation that: nurtures the light within each of us; sustains our hope and strength; offers welcome, respite and resilience; and...fuels our courage to work for justice". Last year we were able to raise over $319,000 which enabled us to balance the budget, hire a new musical director and retain all our staff. We also were able to continue our services without interruption, expand our religious education programs and support our congregation in its work on climate action, defending democracy and racial justice. We sincerely hope, aware that times are hard, that we are able to raise a similar amount from this years campaign.

All members and friends will be receiving a letter from the Stewardship Committee. About 70 people, a third of our congregation, will have already received a letter by the time this newsletter goes out, with information about a proposed virtual meeting with a solicter, focused on hearing your thoughts and concerns and hopes. The rest of the congregation will receive a letter and pledge form after February 7. We urge everyone to attend the service on February 7 which serves to launch our campaign.

We hope that all are well, staying safe and getting ready to consider how your upcoming gift reflects what the Society means to you, in addition to being within your ability. Thank you!

In peace - Michael Holroyde (on behalf of the Stewardship Committee)

COORDINATING COUNCIL
What should we support with our plate donations? What organizations, preferably local, do you want the Society to donate to that align with the values and mission of USNF? Please send your ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. When the Coordinating Council meets on Monday, February 1, from 6:30-8 pm, we'il choose which organizations will receive donations from our plate collections over the spring. Everyone is invited to attend this meeting to help choose which organizations we want to prioritize. https://zoom.us/j/97751562149, Meeting ID: 977 5156 2149.

Looking for some inspiration? This week is the kick off of 30 Days of Love. This is an annual UU event that runs from Martin Luther King Day through Valentine’s Day, celebrating the racial and social justice efforts of UU organizations and congregations. There are moving sermons, readings, songs, and other resources for adults, youth, and children to engage with at home.

This year, the themes and focus of the event are connected to the Widening the Circle report which looks at how UU congregations can dismantle institutional racism and white supremacy culture. We encourage everyone to read the report and its recommendations either online or by picking up a hard copy from the office (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Donating to the Offertory Plate
Submitted by Margaret Humbert-Droz

In the pre-Zoom era we would place our offering in the plate during Sunday service while music played in the background. We knew our offering would support the causes announced that day. It was easy and didn't break the flow of the proceedings. The Zoom experience however is quite different, and the steps required to register a donation during the service can be uncomfortably distracting... and baffling to some of us. So we decide to do it later, but how?

Three possible ways:
1.  Go without delay to the USNF website, www.uunorthampton.org, and click on the big blue Donate button in the top right-hand section of the opening page, or scroll down to the Donate button if using your phone. Follow the instructions. An account is not needed to donate.
2.  Immediately write a check to USNF and include “plate” on the memo line. Drop the check off during office hours or mail it to USNF, 220 Main St, Northampton, MA 01060.
3.  Set up an automatic weekly or monthly donation directly from your bank account, or through the Donate button on the USNF website. If choosing recurring payments via the USNF website, click on the Donate button, create an account, and then start a transaction. Choose the fund, enter the amount of your recurring donation, go to Donation Frequency and choose how often the donation is to occur, and then choose your payment option (bank account or credit card). Setting up recurring payments means that you can enjoy the Sunday services and not worry about remembering later to put something in the plate.

Please keep in mind that contributions in any amount, and choosing to pay the credit card transaction fee, are greatly appreciated.

RE Council Virtual Bingo Night This Friday
We have received amazing prizes for bingo night so far. Check out this hilarious and bountiful catalogue: BINGO NIGHT PRIZES OFFERINGS. Tomorrow is the last day to email pictures of prizes you would like to donate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
We hope to see you on Friday evening, from 6 - 7 PM for virtual bingo. Everyone is welcome! https://zoom.us/j/94417747010 Meeting ID: 944 1774 7010. Find printable cards here: Bingo cards to print 

Upcoming Online Auction
Submitted by Cathie Brown
There will be another online auction to support the work of the Society from Thursday Feb 4 thru Sunday Feb 7.  To donate items, home-made food or baked goods, or artwork please contact Cathie Brown; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sunday Morning Breakout Groups meet every Sunday right after the service. There are between 4 and 6 people in each group and participants express their feelings about the service and also about recent happenings or concerns going on in their lives. It is optional participation. EVERYONE in attendance GETS A TURN and the discussion continues until 12 noon. Just click after a 10 am service that you wish to join a Break Out group. - Submitted by UU stringer Ellen Dickinson

THIS WEEK'S UPDATES

Thursday January 21, 7 - 8:15 PM, DISCUSSION: Interpreting the White Nationalist Insurrection. Join UU Mass Action to get clearer on what is happening and why. Will begin with a prompt and then primarily be an open discussion, ending with thoughts on how we as UUs are called to move forward REGISTERFacebook Event Page

January Worship Services - Worship information can be found HERE.

Adult Education & Faith Formation - Events and program information can be found HERE.

 

NEW USNF WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

We welcome the new year with a new weekly newsletter, an experiment to bring congregation news to you in a more timely and streamlined way. Each week will highlight a different report and will include that week's events. Reports are due the Thursday before their scheduled run time. The schedule is as follows:

Week 1: Minister's Report

Week 2: Board Report

Week 3: Committee Reports & Happenings

Week 4: RE News

Please send your reports, articles, events or questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.