Blog

February 11, 2024

Member, and sage UUA Delegate, Judy Barisonzi, will share insight with the Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship on our status as a “Welcoming Congregation,” at our Sunday Service, February 11th.  “What does this really mean?”, ponders Barisonzi – “… perhaps the term “welcoming” is actually a goal that needs re-examination.”  We will discuss our successes and brainstorm ways to improve in our desire to be welcoming place for all.

The UUA developed a “Welcoming Congregation Handbook” in 1987, but  discontinued it in 2014, noting that the Handbook was once treated in & of itself as a Welcoming Congregation Program, but this no longer the case, as so many more resources are now available from the UUA and elsewhere. The UUA website notes that the “program” is meant to be custom designed by members of a particular congregation to take their unique needs and situation into account.

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

February 4, 2024

Rev Terry Cummings will be with us again at Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Rice Lake on February 4th to share with members the rights of “Imbolc.”  Based on Celtic tradition, “Imbolc”, is celebrated February 1 through sundown February 2 in Gaelic traditional festivals, marking the beginning of spring.  For Christians, it has become the feast day of St Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint.

Rev Cummings remarks “Now that the sun is rising earlier and setting later, our bleak midwinter is giving way to rebirth and new life.  Since the ancient Celtics, the Irish have celebrated the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox with the festival of Imbolc, to mark the beginning of Spring.   Rev. Cummings also reflects on the ways in which our dreary midwinter can also be a time for midwinter gladness.

Rev Terry Cummings

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

January 28, 2024

Arthur Thexton, our “part-time, itinerant, circuit-riding, lay preacher in the UU tradition” will offer a sermon on “20th Century UU History” at the Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Rice Lake, Sunday, January 28th., 10 a.m.

In his two previous sermons, Mr Thexton shared the historic roots of our denomination.  “It is clear our roots are firmly in Christianity and Protestantism, just as Christianity was initially firmly rooted in Judaism.  And just as Christianity eventually transcended its exclusively Jewish roots, so has UUism transcended its roots to become the 6-source religion it is today.”

Arthur Thexton

Thexton attended Meadville/Lombard Theological School, received his M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1974, after graduating cum laude from Beloit College in 1972.  He went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1977. He served as Assistant District Attorney in Barron County during the mid-1980’s.

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

January 21, 2024

Chaplain Dennis Peters returns to Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist fellowship to offer the Sunday Service, addressing the “Practice of Giving Thanks.”  Noting that  “As we look at our worlds, we find many of us live in comfort, at least relative to the lives of many others.”  We have warm homes, plenty of good food, transportation, all things  we take for granted. So do we feel… thankful? Grateful? To whom?  Or do we tell ourselves: I’ve worked hard and deserve this bounty.  “Let’s talk about that inner feeling and how we express that gratitude.”

Ch. Peters completed a Master of Arts in Religious Leadership, concentrating on Interfaith Chaplaincy, focused on spiritual care.   His M.A. program included spiritual support for individuals and an ongoing study of different faiths as part of the journey, followed by completing his first chaplaincy at a daytime center for those without homes, or with addictions or mental health issues.

Ch Dennis Peters and Lily

Third Sunday is also a time we gather downstairs after the Service for Pot Luck. bring a dish to share and enjoy time with our members.

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

January 17, 2024

The “Safe Sanctuary” committee of Blue Hills UU has engaged Annelise Hughes of the St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team to be guest speaker this coming Sunday, January 14th.   The service is the second in an effort to gain enlightenment as to issues caused by sexual predation, and will focus on the effects to the victims of assault. 

After Ms. Hughes’ presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion, with an expected extension of our morning to approximately 11:15.  Ms. Hughes will also remain after the service for individual interactions with our members.

Annalaise Hughes

Answers to the questionnaire provided on the topic at least week’s service will be shared for members to personally, privately compare with their answers. 

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

January 7, 2024

After serious study over the past summer/fall, our Blue Hills UU “Safe Sanctuary” committee will bring to members an important two-part program on “Sexual Assault and Abuse.”  This coming Sunday, January 7th, the first service will bring to us a film with focus on “Perpetrators” with the aim to enlighten all.

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

December 31, 2023

We’ll be trying something new as we gather the morning of New Year’s Eve this year – we’re goin’ to the movies!!!   Our program committee has chosen a pertinent film to enjoy together, beginning at our traditional 10 a.m. service time.   

The film “Come Sunday” documents the excommunication of Bishop Carlton Pearson, recently deceased, for questioning traditional theology.  This is a full-length feature, so our time at church and on zoom will be approximately two hours, so- bring your own popcorn!

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

December 24, 2023

Member Pat Shifferd will lead the Sunday service, December 24th, as we celebrate this time of cheer and giving by kicking off our annual “Guest at Your Table” collection for the UU Service Committee.  This annual intergenerational program raises support for, and awareness of,  key human rights issues, and is UUSC’s longest-established fundraising and educational program for congregations.

Pat Shifferd

Pat will help us to learn more about the work of UUSC, now established in over twenty countries with more than 50 grassroots partners and thousands of individuals involved in, and benefitting from the work our members make possible. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership and support human rights.

To round out Christmas Eve morning, we will sing some or our favorite Christmas Caroles, led by our own Dave Hart, former member of the Seattle Men’s Choir.

Dave Hart

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

December 17, 2023

Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist fellowship will hold an open discussion of the current conflict raging between Israel and Gaza.   With so much daily information coming through the news media on the situation in the Middle East, many seek a better understanding of the history and roots of the brutal war now in motion.  

As in all our services, those attending will be given opportunity to express view points and share information in a respectful environment, with care and concern for those gripped in this heartbreaking clash.     

Third Sundays also bring us together for fellowship and pot luck downstairs;  bring a dish to share and enjoy time with our membership as anticipate the winter solstice and holidays before us. All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

December 10, 2023

Ch Dennis Peters travels to Rice Lake December 10th to conduct the Sunday Service at Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship;  in this season of loving kindness, he reminds us that being kind to all -includes ourselves, and to “Give Yourself a Break.”  

“The world is a dark place” says chaplain Peters – “yet you carry on.” As another once said:  “Carry on, brave soldier.” But when we reach a point where it all seems too much:  too many projects, too many fronts in the battles for a world with peace, liberty, and justice – what do we do then? Do you give up and merely slouch in front of the television? Or, do you give yourself a break!?

Chaplain Peters completed a Master of Arts in Religious Leadership, concentrating on Interfaith Chaplaincy, focused on spiritual care.   His M.A. program included spiritual support for individuals and an ongoing study of different faiths as part of the journey, followed by completing his first chaplaincy at a daytime center for those without homes, or with addictions or mental health issues.

Chaplain Dennis Peters and Lily

All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the zoom link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org