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.

October 29, 2023

The Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship looks forward to hosting Rev. Terry Cummings on October 29th., to share with us a morning of poetry and inspiration.   The work of foremost American Poet Mary Oliver will be featured , as Rev Cummings shares selections of her work, asking the question, is Oliver a “Poet or Prophet?”  

Those familiar with Oliver’s wealth of work might attest to both, as she documents the natural world and its wealth of inspiration if we but take time to notice, as well as changes in norms and understandings that have arrived with the new millennium.  

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 link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

October 22, 2023

Long time friend and Unitarian, Arthur Thexton returns to Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist fellowship Sunday, October 22nd to share in the study of the history our faith.  Classically, the “Unitarian controversy” developed around the Trinity, the doctrine that there is one deity with three presentations:  Father, Son, and Spirit.  This doctrine was actually part of a larger discussion which occurs within all religious traditions and becomes a study of human nature itself:  a struggle that has never been resolved with unanimity.

Arthur Thexton

A one time resident of Rice Lake, Mr Thexton speaks regularly at UU congregations, referring to himself as “a part-time, itinerant, circuit-riding lay preacher in the UU tradition.”  After completing studies at the Meadville Lombard Theological School, Thexton attended the University of Chicago before obtaining his law degree from UW Madison.  He served as Assistant District Attorney in Barron County during the mid-1980’s, and now resides in Wauwatosa, WI with his family.

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

October 15, 2023

What do we know about “Gifted” people?  Could you be one?  Our traveling chaplain, Dennis Peters, will  journey to Blue Hills UU this Sunday, October 15th to consider with us the many times we hear of people with special abilities: amazing memories, perfect pitch, lightning calculation, HSAM (or Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory), and many others. 

What might be the trade-off for having these gifts?   Or one might wonder “Why don’t I have any of those things?”  Ch Peters will explore these gift and share some examples – and maybe take a look at what some think might be avenues of growth for us all. After the service, we will gather downstairs for our THIRD SUNDAY POT LUCK – bring a dish to share and time to enjoy your fellowship.

Ch 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 link is sent to members, but all interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org

October 8, 2023

Blue Hills Unitarian Universalists welcome a new representative of their faith to the Rice Lake Fellowship:  Rev Jack M. Copas of the UU Church of Tampa, Florida on Sunday October 8th.    Rev Copas will challenge the fellowship with the question “Are we Putting our Faith to the Test.”

In considering how divergently conservative and liberal religions respond to the three basic religious concepts of revelation, salvation and ecumenism, Rev Copas suggests that the decisions we as a people make about the nature of these revelations becomes a fundamental point, or a departure for those of faith.

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

October 1, 2023

What actually is “Wokeism”?  Our Vice Chairman, David Hart will explore the topic with fellow Unitarian-Universalists at Blue Hills Fellowship’s Sunday Service, October 1st.   Dave asks “Have we gone too far with “Identity Politics”?  In part a review of Dr. Norman Finkelstein’s book “I’ll Burn That Bridge When I Get To It”, Dave will consider the effect “wokeism” has had on working class politics, and the backlash to it.  What too, may be the effect on academic freedom in America today?

After experiencing many years living in South Korea, Dave will surely bring a distinct perspective to the topic, impacted by his experience living in a unique and contrasting culture. 

BHUU’s Dave Hart

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

September 24, 2023

Chaplain Dennis Peters will travel to Rice Lake September 24th to present the Sunday Service at Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.   As proponents of interfaith relations, UU’s regard pluralism as an important characteristic of their faith.  Ch Peters will lead an inquiry into an evaluation of what that requires – and how related beliefs determine what being a UU asks of members.    

After a successful career in IT, Ch Peters shifted his focus to Spiritual Care, completing a Masters of Arts in Religious Leadership, concentrating on Interfaith Chaplaincy.   The Master’s program included spiritual support for individuals and an ongoing study of different faiths as part of this journey, and   completed his first chaplaincy unit at a daytime center for those without homes, or living with addiction or mental health issues.

Ch. Dennis Peters

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

September 17, 2023

As the Congregational Life Consultant for the Midwestern Region of UUA, Rev Phil Lund MN will address the Blue Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sunday September 17th.   His message will focus on the importance of UU’s historical  mission of being a welcoming religion.   Lund notes that “As the number of people seeking religious community continues to decline, the importance of UU’s ability to be our most responsive selves, is an asset that becomes more important than ever.” 

Rev Lund of has served the Midwestern UU congregations in the area of faith formation and spiritual growth as a religious educator for over twenty years;  he holds a Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and resides in St Paul, MN.

Rev Phil Lund

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 anyone interested may request it by contacting patriciashifferd@gmail.com. https://bluehillsuu.org