March 6
March 13
March 20
March 27
Fellowship Focus of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart
March, 2022
Our Month of Sunday Services 10:00 AM
“Renewing Faith”
“Reflections on UU Principles 5 Through 8”
Ken Clayborn will continue to share his insights on our unifying Principles The entire “loose plate” collection will go to our Sustainability Fund.
“13 Social Miracles, II”
Carl Rust will continue his presentation of possible changes proposed by author Zac Stein that could make our society more just.
The “loose plate” collection will be shared equally with the Elkhart County Humane Society.
“Music and Message”
Andrew McKnight, a favorite UU musician and philosopher will again share his message with us. The “loose plate” collection will be shared equally with the Program Ad fund of the NAACP of Elkhart.
“A UU Ostara”
Heart of the Circle Pagans (CUUPS) will help us celebrate the onset of Spring.
The “loose plate” collection will be shared equally with the Program Ad fund of the NAACP of Elkhart.
With the severity of COVID rapidly lessening in our area, UUFE may soon offer services onsite, first for small audiences, and then for full services. Information on this will be found at the Zoom Links shown below or in the Update preceding each service. Services will continue to be available on Zoom.

Zoom Links Past Services
We are all longing to go home to some place
we have never been –a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community.
Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands
will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter,
voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength
that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter.
A circle of healing.
A circle of friends.
Someplace where we can be free.
(Contributed by Pam Wycliff)
Upcoming Services
A Message from our UUFE Board President
News from the UUFE Board
How UUFE Works
Stewardship Drive News!
2022 MidAmerica Regional Assembly
April Climate Justice Seminar
News from our Hard Working Committees
Parking Lot Task Force Buildings & Grounds
Worship and Arts Social Justice Membership Committee
News about Members
Readers’ Bookshelf
The Editor’s Soapbox
Volunteer of the Month
A Special Announcement about Reopening
First Page

A Message from our UUFE Board President
It seems unbelievable that it is nearly March and Spring is right around the corner. I can’t wait for warmer weather. We were actually teased with some nicer weather the last couple of days and I have enjoyed it, even though I know that more coldness is headed our way.
We seem to be seeing signs that the pandemic is winding down by degrees and we are forging ahead with plans to have a limited number of people indoors for Sunday worship. Stay tuned as we figure it all out. We will be letting you know how it will work during Sunday morning services and in all our other outlets. We will continue to offer a zoom option and will still post recorded services to YouTube.
Meanwhile, you should be receiving your pledge letters. I would ask that you would consider increasing your pledge by whatever amount you can afford. If you have never pledged before, won’t you consider pledging now?
As we move forward into what I think will be a bright future, let us know what your questions and concerns are.
∼Carl Rust, News from the UUFE Board
Letter against House Bill 1134: The Board of Trustees sent letters to several Indiana state senators —Blake Doriot, David Niezgodski, Mike Bohacek, Parker Zent, and Linda Rogers— who have members of UUFE living in their districts. The letters opposed Indiana House Bill 1134, which tried to impose strict controls on which books can be in public school libraries, the content of lesson plans and courses, and take away legal protections for public school teachers and librarians. As the result of the public outcry against the bill, many of the more objectionable items have been removed, but the bill as changed continues to be considered and these items can still be added back. If you are against what HB 1134 would do to public schools libraries, classes, and teachers, please write or telephone your state legislators!
Re-opening: COVID infection rates are dropping rapidly and the Board is preparing for re-opening for hybrid Sunday services. A trial hybrid service with at most 25 attending in person was done on February 27, and hybrid services are tentatively planned throughout March. Remember: two consecutive weeks at Level Orange or better means at most 25 masked and vaccinated persons can be in the building at a time; two consecutive weeks at Level Yellow or Blue means at most 50 masked and vaccinated persons can be in the building at a time; and two straight weeks at Level Blue removes all restrictions. The UUFE weekly Update will contain information about these levels.
Small Group Discussions: The Board reviewed the progress of the Small Group meetings of members and friends of UUFE, and discussed how to reach out to those who had not yet attended a group. If you are interested in sharing your opinions, let a Board member know! Board members are Carl Rust, Terry Mark, Ken Clayborn, Dwight Fish, Mike Darnel, and Pam Wycliff.
How UUFE Works: Sustainability
Sometimes we get a chance to discuss something pertinent to the budget as it occurs. Many of you have made it a point to stipulate that you want your plate offering to go into the Sustainability Fund. I assume that you know what that fund is used for, since you ask that your donation be allocated in that way.
Some of you may not know so I will give you a quick real-life example of how that fund is used. This took place late in February.
First, please note that there are several budget lines which have been designated as project lines (or P-Lines) on the cash flow budget. These have actual cash associated with each of them as shown on the ledger. The money is in the savings account for UUFE at Centier Bank. In the case of the Sustainability Fund, we designate our collection for the first Sunday of each month go into that fund. The fund is used for unexpected large expenses so that the Building and Grounds budget, which is approved by the congregation each year, is not so unpredictable.
A few weeks ago, the furnace in the central part of the building (foyer, restrooms, office area and kitchen) stopped working. This is one of three furnaces we have in the main building. We had the heating contractor come out and do an evaluation. It turned out we needed a new impeller motor to the tune of $500.00. The unit serving that part of the building is about 13 years old and, according to the service technician, it was not surprising that it failed.
That cost plus the labor and service call will be covered by the sustainability fund. This fund was also used two years ago when the furnace in the Children’s House/Learning Center needed to be replaced. This is just an example of the importance of the Sustainability Fund to the operation of the Fellowship.
∼Ken Clayborn
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Stewardship Drive News!
The UUFE Stewardship Committee reports it has launched its 2022-2023 Annual Pledge Drive Campaign under the banner, Now, More Than Ever. Ninety-three Pledge letters, containing convenient, stamped, self-addressed return envelopes were mailed from the Elkhart post office on Wednesday, February 16, to members and friends of our congregation.
Committee Chair William Becker is hopeful that everyone who pledged monetary support to UUFE last year will at the very least continue their pledge commitment for the upcoming 2022-2023 operations budget. We are off to a promising start: less than a week from the date of the Pledge Campaign mailing, the Stewardship Committee reports there have been phone calls to Committee members with pledges currently totaling $14,000. Please keep those phone calls and pledge letters coming in. Additionally, persons pledging are encouraged to respond to the Stewardship Committee request as quickly as possible, and certainly no later than Monday, March 14.
2022 MidAmerica Regional Assembly
The 2022 MidAmerica Regional Assemby will be a virtual assembly on Saturday, April 30, starting at 10 am ET and ending at 2 pm ET. Fees range between $25 to $50, and scholarships are available. Please register on the
MidAmerica Regional Assembly page.
The keynote speaker, UU educator, consultant, and facilitator CB Beal, will present The Glass is Refillable:
Pandemic Exhaustion, Lifelong Faith Formation, and Preemptive Radical Inclusion. The day will feature worship, keynote presentation and conversation, lunch break, business meeting, and time for social connection. This year we will be using the Whova platform, which improves security, accessibility, and ease of use. Upon registration, all participants will receive information on how to access Whova and learn how to get the most out of it.
April Climate Justice Seminar
The 2022 Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the UN in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth and UUSC will take place online April 22 – May 1, 2022. In addition to the virtual programming, it includes an opportunity for congregations to host local gatherings, allowing Seminar attendees to connect in person with others who live nearby. Addressing the theme “Displacement and Human Rights: All in for Climate Justice,” this event aims to instill in UU youth and adults a commitment to global engagement and the skills to take action locally for climate and migration justice. Be part of the excitement! Would your congregation consider hosting a local gathering? Learn more about the 2022 Seminar and the local gatherings at Climate Justice Seminar . Registration is open through April 3!
Our Shining Chalice
Since around 1988, UUFE used a single chalice for all its worship services: the shiny silvery chalice standing about a foot high and with a large flat bowl also about a foot across, made of pewter. The UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) began offering these for sale to raise funds in the 1970s, and their use spread from the Boston and Washington, DC, areas, to most of North America. Sales continued at least until 1995, but have since ended.
Unfortunately, pewter is a soft metal, and so easily scratched and dented if not properly cared for. Our pewter chalice was recently taken to a jeweler’s for repairs of dents, scratches, damage to the bowl from actual fires, and removal of dirt. Tentative plans are to have a re-dedication of the chalice at a Sunday service in March.
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Committee Spotlight: The Stewardship Committee
The Stewardship Committee, chaired by William Becker, has been hard at work. This has been especially difficult as four of the Committee’s elected members have stepped down. Remaining to help William with the drive is T. J. Shaum. UUFE Treasurer Ken Clayborn will be stepping in to help gather and record pledges.
Nonetheless, even with these challenges, the Commit- tee has made a strong beginning with its theme of “Now More Than Ever”. William has requested that we return our pledge cards to him by March 14th. The proposed Budget for our next fiscal year will be prepared in April, in time for our Annual Meeting.
Worship & Arts Committee
The Worship & Arts Committee, chaired by Oxana Werbiansky, has been fast adapting to planning and or- ganizing a steady program of lay-led services. They have nearly completed planning services for April, and will be- gin planning May services as well.
Parking Lot News
We have contracted architect, and friend of the con- gregation, Ray Enfield to produce a set of plans for the upgrade to the existing parking lot. He has been busy on that project and soon will have enough detail to make the submission to the city to make sure that we could proceed if the project is approved by the congregation. When the plans are available, they will be provided to contractors so that they are able to prepare bids. Once the bids are submitted, we will evaluate the costs and make our choice. Then we will present the package to the congregation, in a congregational meeting, for final approval. It should be noted that we do not intend to expand the parking lot to Canton Street.
We are planning to have color layouts available soon for congregants to view in the gathering place (or sanctu- ary). The Board and the Parking Lot Subcommittee are making every effort to make sure that everyone is kept up to date on the efforts. Members of the subcommittee are: Ken Clayborn, Chuck Bower, Ron Gill, Mike Darnel, and Dwight Fish.
The first things you will notice will be the tree trim- ming and removal of selected trees and brush in the park- ing lot area and in front of the parking area on both sides of Garden Street in the “city owned” tree lawns. This will begin very soon, independent of the final approvals of the entire project since this work has been needed for a very long time. Some trees in the tree lawns should probably
have also been removed long ago. The city will bear the cost of the removal of those trees.
Secondly there will be extensive work to remove the current parking lot material, install new larger drywells, new sidewalks, run lighting conduit, replace the pavement, and install new lights.
Included in the plan is contouring work, and new land- scaping which will consist of replacing the trees and shrubs we are removing. We are making a point of finding non- invasive, indigenous plantings and we plan to save our- selves some money by purchasing the plantings and hav- ing the fellowship all pitch in to help with the planting. We hope to have the Social Justice Committee become the coordinating group for this effort and we visualize a group activity. Those of you with a green thumb who want to help us start some new memories at UUFE will get your chance to pitch in, volunteer and save some money at the same time.
We are required by city ordinance to upgrade our screening between us and the mobile home park. So we will install a new fence on the north side of the parking lot and will place screening bushes or shrubs between the parking lot on the property line to the south shared with Lee Burdorf’s house. Please contact any of the members of the sub committee if you have questions.
Social Justice
Food Pantry Needs
The next time you visit the grocery please pick up a few extra cans of soup or jars of peanut butter and jelly to add to our food pantry. In addition to the pos- sibilities listed above please also consider canned meats, such as beef, chicken or tuna, small sausages, or Spam. Canned baked beans, Mac and cheese, chili and regular beans may also become a quick meal. Of course, cereal is always popular. Most people who visit our pantry do not have a large storage space or the immediate need for an institutional size container intended to serve multiple people. Therefore, it’s best to stay with normal sized con- tainers. Please leave your contributions on the island in the kitchen area at UUFE and it will be put away for future use. If you do not have a key to the fellowship please contact Ken Clayborn at , Susie Wade at , or Judy Darnel at to arrange delivery.
If you would rather make a monetary contribution to assist with the purchase of pantry items please remember we do have a project line for that purpose. Please send your check to UUFE at 1732 Garden Street, Elkhart, IN 46514 and make a note in the memo line that the funds are for the food pantry.
News from our Hard Working Committees
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Building and Grounds
Although Ken Clayborn has provided a report on the progress of the parking lot, there is a little information to share about Buildings and Grounds. As we get closer to an official reopening there will be some tasks to perform. For example, yard work, facility cleaning, sidewalk edging, etc. But these tasks will be accomplished over time as we restart committees and of course the weather gets much better. My suggestion here is stay in touch with UUFE Board activities and our fellow UUFE Members.
∼Dwight Fish
The Membership Committee, chaired by Annette Long, has completed its report on membership, friends, and attendance to the UUA. Birthday cards to members and friends continue to be sent out. A member profile for new member Lee Burdorf is being prepared, and other profiles as well.
Work will soon start on updating membership and friends lists to prepare for the 2022-2023 UUFE Directory.
New Member: Ed Wade
Welcome to one of our newest
members, Ed Wade! Ed, who is mar-
ried to former Board President Susie
Meeks-Wade, decided to sign the book
because she “goes to church with the
nicest people.” He wanted to join a
church where he could be with people
who share similar thoughts and ideas.
In his free time, Ed enjoys watching
sports and spending time with his family and friends.
∼Terry Mark
25-year Members: Chris and Patty French
We moved to northern Indiana from southern Califor- nia in the spring of 1997 with 2-year-old Becky, almost- 4-year-old Lizzie, and Abbie to be born in August. We also had a cat, a baby grand piano, and a 1931 Model A. The Selmer Company had offered Chris a job here, and we decided it was time —before the girls came of school age in L.A. county— to start something new.
We found UUFE right away (in the phone book, ac- tually!) and felt at home. Both of us had been raised Catholic, and though we knew that Catholicism was not
what we wanted for our family, still we did want some- thing. Chris appreciated the value of “ethics without dogma,” and Patty thought, “I’ve been a UU all my adult life, and just not known it!”
Of all the gifts and blessings to come from being mem- bers of UUFE, the first thing that comes to mind for both of us is the way this Beloved Community surrounded us with love and helped to keep us afloat after the unfath- omable loss of our wonderful Becky. We cannot imagine how we would have survived without that support and understanding from those who shared our grief.
As for interests, hobbies, and “what makes us happy”: Patty en- joys music, conversation, puzzles, and cooking. Chris enjoys mu- sic, gardening, working with his hands, and eating whatever Patty cooks! We also love spending time at our primitive cabin near Paw Paw, Michigan, and visiting Lizzie
& Abbie in Boulder, Colorado. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, which is what makes us happi- est of all.
∼Patty French
News about Members
Member Profiles from the Membership Committee
Shirley Ivy (center) at groundbreaking for UUFE, 1963
Our community is saddened by the passing of two of our longterm mem- bers. Shirley Ivy passed away Jan- uary 29 in her daughter’s hometown of South Hampton, Massachusetts. Shirley and her husband Jack were founding members of UUFE. Shirley remained active until her move to Massachusetts.
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Vern Thomas passed away early on February 19th. He and his wife Barb Loy joined UUFE more than 20 years ago; she died several years ago. Vern was a noted photographer whose stunning pictures are currently fea- tured in our art gallery at UUFE.
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In Passing

Readers’ Bookshelf
This month’s selection is by Geneele Crump, who has been reading The Overstory by Richard Powers. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the book has 502 pages. (You will wish there were more!) Her review:
“One of the most ingenious novels I have ever read, The Overstory is a masterful vehicle for the voice of trees and their place in the world – or rather, our place in their world: sentient beings that literally communicate with each other. Here, their history, present, and predicted future co-stars impressively and deeply created human characters that reach your mind and your heart. Their journeys with the trees reveal a world few understand or champion. Sadness, beauty, fear, courage, anger, and inspiration all run convincingly through this book that has been described as “a gigantic fable of genuine truths.” Michael Pollan says of The Overstory: “Gorgeously written, and brimming with amazing information….Something genuinely new, in the way it decenters the human as the source of all meaning and value. Here, it is the trees.”
Read, and let the trees speak to you.”
(If you have a book that you would like to recommend to others, let Judy Darnel know.)
The Editor’s Soapbox
Love is the Spirit of this church / And Service is its Law. To live together in Peace, / To seek the Truth in Love, This is our Covenant.
These are the words we say at the beginning of every Service, but, how often do we contemplate these words and how well do we apply them to our day-to-day lives? I think that during this winter season of rest and restoration it is a good time for us to consider how well we live by these words we know so well.
Love. We all have ideas about what this word means. And the internet is rife with various definitions. For me, the best definition of Love is that Love exists when someone wants the best for another. When we act on this facet of our covenant we do our best to create a community that is kind and welcoming to all. We demonstrate this Love every time we greet our friends and guests wherever we meet; when we accept each other, foibles and all; and help each other on our spiritual paths.
We also commit to Service. While many of us have individual ways to serve the greater community, we also covenant to serve UUFE. In addition to attending services and financially supporting UUFE, there are so many other ways to do that: cleaning up after social gatherings; joining a committee and furthering its work; greeting friends and newcomers at our gatherings; volunteering for church clean-up days. Are there other ways that you serve our congregation?
Third, we covenant to live together in Peace. In living together, friction is inevitable. When it occurs do we address the things that bother us before they become problems? Do we address the other party in a timely manner? Do we seek a mediator when issues cannot be easily addressed? Taking steps such as these will make our living together peacefully much more possible.
Lastly, we seek Truth in Love. There are many paths that we follow in seeking Truth, but it is all too easy to believe that ours is the best path, the one that all should follow. But our Covenant reminds us that we must all find our own way and that, in the Spirit of Love, our search includes respect and support for everyone.
I’m sure that there is much more that can, and should, be said about each facet of our Covenant. Email me at with your thoughts on this Covenant and I will publish them in an upcoming Focus.
∼Judy Darnel Previous Page Contents Next

Volunteer of the Month
Volunteer of the Month recognizes someone who has worked above and beyond, does things extraordinary for UUFE. This month, the volunteer of the month is our Fellowship Focus editor-in-chief Judy Darnel. Not only has she been instrumental in reviving our Focus newsletter, she has also been gathering items and announcing our Fellowship Life items on Sunday morning. She has also been helping with our community food pantry, providing items and stocking the pantry. In December she and Mike coordinated the Mitten Tree Project. Judy has done a ton of work to make UUFE a better place and a more caring community. Thanks Judy!
A Special Announcement about Reopening
At this time, the South Bend-Elkhart region last week was at COVID Level Orange and is now at COVID Level Yellow. By our UUFE COVID guidelines, vaccinated and masked groups of 25 or less can meet at UUFE if they also practice social distancing and provide information for contact tracing. If the March 2 COVID Level is also Yellow, groups of 50 or less can meet at UUFE.
• Yoga Sessions will be continuing Thursday evenings with instructor Kristen Smith-Meyers even if they must be via Zoom! If you cannot meet in person, please feel free to login on Thursday from 6 – 7 PM at UUFE Yoga
• Science and Society plans to meet at 4:00 PM March 8 at UUFE. The first part of the program will be for everyone in the group to share his or her favorite Vern Thomas story. The second half of the program will be the 30 minute film “History’s Mysteries” presented by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Check the March 7 UPDATE for status under Covid Guidelines.
• Science and Society plans to meet at 4:00 PM March 22 at UUFE Featured will be two 30-minute films, “The Spooky Universe” and “Inexplicable Life”, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Check the March 21 UPDATE for status under Covid Guidelines.
• UU Feasters will be Wednesday, March 23, at The Vine, 214 S. Main St., Elkhart. RSVP to Mary Adams by Monday, March 21st at so that group reservations can be made by the Monday preceding the luncheon.
• BUUMS (the Brotherhood of UU Men’s Society) will meet 3:30 PM March 20 at El Camino Real on CR6 in Elkhart.
Contributors: Carl Rust, Ken Clayborn, Terry Mark, Dwight Fish, Pam Wycliff, Oxana Werbiansky, William Becker, Annette Long, Geneele Crump, and Ron Gill
Proofreaders: Ken Clayborn, Joan Clayborn, and Pam Wycliff
Mailing Crew: Ron Gill for email delivery; Joan Clayborn, Ken Clayborn, and Judy Darnel for postal service delivery Photos of Ooey-Gooey Auction, Chris & Patty French, Shirley Ivy, and Vern Thomas: UUFE photo archives Photo of Ed Wade: courtesy of Susie Meeks-Wade
All other photos: courtesy of Mike Darnel
Page Layout & Typesetting: Mike Darnel
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March Meetings, Birthdays, and Events
6:00 PM
Judy Darnel
Sunday Service 10AM
Science & Soci- ety
4:00 PM
Worship & Arts
7:00 PM
Board Meet- ing
6:00 PM
Yoga 6:00 PM
Greg Koehler
Sunday Service 10AM
Daylight Savings Time
Peter Carney
Charlie Bussard
Ray Enfield
Yoga 6:00 PM
Darlene Eddy
Jacquie Friend
Sunday Service 10AM
BUUMS: 3:30
Renee Ruocco
Science & Soci- ety
4:00 PM
Annette Long
Feasters: 11:30
Yoga 6:00 PM
ShaTeisa Davis
Pat Weigold
Art Beutler
Sunday Service 10AM
Georgiann James
Yoga 6:00 PM
©2022 by The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart, Indiana