Blog

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

December 3, 2023

Rev Terry Cummings will conduct the service on “Advent, A season of Waiting” at Blue Hills Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship the first Sunday of December 3rd.  Marked by candles for hope, peace, joy and love, the season of “Advent” is, more than anything, a season of anticipation and waiting for things to come. Drawing on the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Rev. Cummings’ sermon will include reflections on “waiting” as a spiritual experience.

Rev. Cummings earned her Master of Divinity degree from Union

Theological Seminary in May 2016, and was ordained jointly by both the Central Unitarian Church of Paramus and the UU Congregation of Montclair, New Jersey.    Formerly a partner in a NY City law firm, she practiced law in New York State since 1982.

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

November 26, 2023

The Service at Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sunday, November 26 will  be a continuation of a study of “Wokeism and Identity Politics” from the perspective of author, linguist John McWhorter.  BHUU member Dave Hart forwards the question “Is Wokeism a new religion?” And if so, what are the inherent drawbacks to it?

This will be an opportunity to further examine and discuss the many facets of wokeism and how they relate to racism and cancel culture, with a discussion of McWhorter’s book “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America.”

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

November 19, 2023

Chaplain Dennis Peters examines the mandate of the Golden Rule with Blue Hills Unitarian Universalists at Sunday’s Service, November 19th.  Noting  many of us “do good” when it makes the most sense, or “When it feels good, when we’re in a position of safety, in the company of a large segment of society or don’t fear receiving the anger of our family and friends.”  And yet, it is precisely when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable –or even dangerous, that the strongest need is there.

People with no previous involvement came to the aid of Jews, hiding them from the Nazis in World War II and the decade before. Muslims in Morocco saved Jewish temples, and maintained them, when the Jewish population was no longer large enough to have the means to do so. Indigenous populations in the United States?  Ch Peters challenges us to continue the train of thought and consider how we might effectively put this to practice in today’s world as we “Celebrate the Other.”


Ch Dennis Peters at BHUU

“Third Sunday’s Pot Luck” will convene downstairs after the service;  bring a dish to share and enjoy with the fellowship. All are invited to attend services in the sanctuary at 10 a.m. Sundays, 230 W. Messenger, Rice Lake, or on Zoom;  the link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org    

November 12, 2023

What’s it like for a person who grew up in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, to have lived in Alabama for 47 years?   UU Member James T. Bradley, Ph.D had never been to Alabama before accepting a position at Auburn University in1976.  Jim confesses he brought prejudices formed during childhood to his new southern home, but that gradually, over decades, came to appreciate the unique beauty of Alabama, its natural history, and the courage of its people.

Bradley adds that “In the process of acquiring this appreciation, I gained   valuable insights on life – and about myself.”  What makes a place “home?” Where is “home” today and why?   Jim looks forward to sharing his reflections on personal growth induced by living in Alabama.

Jim Bradley

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

November 5, 2023

Our “part-time itinerant, circuit-riding lay preacher” Arthur Thexton returns to the pulpit at Blue Hills UU this first Sunday of November, to continue sharing an in depth history of Unitarian Universalism.

In the first segment, Arthur discussed the founding and roots of Unitarianism, during the time Christianity separated from Judaism.  How and when did they join with Universalists?  And what exactly is Universalism?  Arthur will lead us in defining and understanding the commonalities that brought the two theologies together.

Arthur Thexton

Thexton attended Meadville/Lombard Theological and received his M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School after graduating cum laude from Beloit College.  He went on to earn a J.D. from the UW Law School at Madison, 1977.  Active in community affairs, he served as a part-time night chaplain at Meriter Hospital in Madison and the boards of the Wisconsin Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the Unemployment Compensation Appeals Clinic, Williamson Street Grocery Coop and is a member of the James Reeb Unitarian-Universalist Congregation in Madison, which he helped found.