Events and Updates from South Church.

NUUSflash - September 15, 2019
News you can use, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Portsmouth

Sunday Services - We have one service on Sunday mornings at 10am
22 September - Guest Minister Rev. Jean Wahlstrom Rev Jean Wahlstrom is a second generation UU Minister. She served as Parish Minister is Portland, ME and Syracuse, NY, as as an Interim in Iowa, Michigan, and Pheonix, AZ. She lives in central Connecticut, studying the local ecology, hoking, and sleeping in on Sunday mornings.
29 September - “A Sermon on the AmountWe start our ABC with Rev Len's tongue in Cheek "Sermon on the Amount."
October 6 – “The Days of Awe and Restorative Justice”; Arthur Eves will lead worship today as we approach Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
October 13 – “Oversoul of Singing”; On this Music Sunday, Joanne Connolly will lead worship (and the choir!) with her sermon based on Emerson’s idea of The Over-Soul.

Congregational Meeting - Rev Len will be hosting a Congregational Meeting after worship on Sunday, September 29. Mark your calendars! This will be an informal meeting where Rev. Len is looking forward to hearing about the history and life of South Church as he gets to know us and our community better. 

Shared Plate - During the month of September, we will be sharing our Sunday collection with Seacoast Pathways. Seacoast Pathways supports individuals living with the effects of mental illness. Through participation in a Clubhouse, people are given the opportunities to rejoin the worlds of friendship, family, important work, employment, education and access to services and supports they may need individually. To learn more, visit

Committee on Ministry
The Committee on Ministry focuses on all aspects of the congregation's ministry, including professional leadership, music, social justice, religious education, pastoral care and so on. This model helps the congregation make sure that it's ministries are serving its mission and vision using a whole church assessment model. The Board of Trustees has named Angela Matthews, Mitch Pivor, Susan Dewhirst, Rita Weathersby and Jon Prichard to the Committee. Any comments on ministry should be first made directly to the minister, but may be made in confidence to any member of the Committee on Ministry.


October Book Discussion: Lucky Boy
On October 9, the South Church Spiritual Book Group will discuss "Lucky Boy" by Sekaran Shanthi. Book discussions are on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Emerson Sitting Room. All are welcome. For more information, contact Nancy Lambert at 

Widow/Widower Social Group Meeting
On Sunday, October 6 at 1:00pm, Temple Israel will be hosting a social group for people who have lost their partners within the past 5 years. (Open to all!). This group will meet to socialize and develop friendships. If you are interested, please reach out to Elissa Kaplan Senter via email at or by phone at 516-450-5171

UU Singles Potluck October 5
UU and liberal singles are invited to a potluck on Saturday, October 5 from 6-8:30pm at South Church! Bring a dish to share! Invitations are going out to local UU churches including Sanford, Kennebunk, Saco, Exeter, Manchester, Concord, Durham, Nottingham, Haverhill and Newburyport. LGBTQ+ community is welcome! Please register for planning purposes at

South Church Fall Retreat - Oct 11-14
Share a fall retreat weekend with your South Church community at Geneva Point Retreat Center on beautiful Lake Winnepesaukee. This annual gathering offers the opportunity to make new friends, reaffirm old ones, and enjoy yourself through workshops, activities and leisure time. Each year welcomes a well-rounded mix of veterans and newcomers. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend and there is a significant discount for families. Look for our registration table at coffee hour or register on the South Church Website. 

Fall Singing with the South Church Choir!
Don’t miss the start of the South Church Choir! We’ve got some GREAT, FUN, UPBEAT gospel music for you! Rehearsals September 17, 24 and October 1 and 8 at 7pm. Sing on Sunday, October 13 for Music Sunday at 10am. Contact Choir President Theo Wiegand to sign up at . Can’t wait to sing with you! – Joanne Connolly, Director of Music 

Small Group Ministry Sign-Ups!
Small Group Ministry Program is an integral part of adult education at South Church. Small groups meet twice a month from mid-October to May. They create small communities of inspiration and support within our church. Participants consider important topics, learn to listen deeply to themselves and others, and come away with fresh perspectives for their lives. Sign ups have begun! Come to SGM's table at coffee hour; we'll answer your questions and help you find a group. Sign up at the table on Sundays this month, or online at anytime at
Fall Circle Suppers
It's time for Fall Circle Suppers! These potluck meals hosted by church folk provide wonderful opportunities to get to know people better in a small group setting of 5 to 10 people. Hosts provide the main course and guests provide side dishes. If interested in being a host, contact Mary Banach via email at . Please give your name, date and time, location and number of guests. After we have hosts, the Fellowship Associates will be at coffee hour with sign up sheets. 


Make History as a South Church Trustee: Our Next Minister is Waiting! 
Lay leadership is one of South Church’s great strengths and legacies. Be a part of that legacy by joining the Board of Trustees in 2020. The next BoT will play a vital role in shaping our next ministry. The Nominating Committee is looking for candidates who will work with the Interim Minister and search committee to determine that kind of ministry South Church needs to build on our progress of the last 10 years.
The only qualification for serving on the Board of Trustees is the desire to contribute. Skills in finance, communications, management and strategic planning are always helpful, but ultimately, it’s your desire to make a positive mark on South Church that matters.
We are also seeking candidates for the Personnel Committee, so if the Board isn’t your think but you’d like to get involved by supporting out dedicated church staff, we’d like to hear from you!
Contact Sheila Shea at or Mike McGrail at for more information and to put your name into consideration. You can also reach out to any member of the nominating committee: Randy Lynch (Convener), Stephen Blakney or Dot Mason.

Immediate Donations Needed
The UU church of Greenfield, MA needs help to re-open its doors after the health department's immediate closure because of asbestos. They are an active social justice congregation with a small membership. In addition to Sunday services; they host a weekly meal, feeding lunch to 90 – 150 guests and serve 700 – 1,000 people at an annual Supper. They have been a major force for local community change. The inability to access their church is creating difficulty for many in need. For more info and link to donate:

Social Hour Hosts Needed!
On Sunday, September 8, we move indoors for the fall and winter version of our Sunday social hour. We are in need of a couple of people to help host this weekly event. The training and work are easy and the time commitment is about 3 hours on a Sunday once per month or less. Supplies are provided and volunteers are recruited for you. Just show up and do it! A great way to help the South Church community by simply donating a few hours of your time. To find out more, get in touch with Kevin Leahy in person or by emailing him at 

Join In Helping Portland Refugees
The First Parish in Portland is fundraising for the refugees seeking asylum in Portland. Fund will go to local immigration attorneys supporting the refugee community pro bono in POrtland, ILAP, and the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC). If you want to donate directly to these groups, visit and click on their donate button. 
Donate by check to the First Parish Church in Portland, 425 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04010, putting "Asylum Seekers" in the memo line. The South Church Social Justice Associates will continue to keep us informed of ways to get involved. 

Orientation and Refresher for Service Greeters
Interested in learning the process, or getting a reminder, for greeting on Sunday mornings? Please join Rebecca and Pam of the Fellowship Associates on September 29 at 9:15am in the Narthex. We'll go over the set-up and breakdown of the table, responsibilities of the greeters and answer any questions. We hope to see you there!

NUUS from Religious Education 

Religious Education for Children, Youth and Families: Please take some time to catch up on everything that is happening by clicking HERE for the RE Monthly News.

RE Program for the 2019-2020 year:
The Religious Education program at South Church is a community supported program to support and engage children in a religious community in which they develop a spiritual sense of themselves, their connection to others and to the world as a whole. We provide values-based religious education classes on Sundays for ages 3-18 years. CLICK HERE for Program Details 

RE Program for Summer of 2019!

Nursery - For children up to age 4, open from 9:45am-11:15am

Religious Education continues through the summer for children of all ages! Our nursery is open, as usual, from 9:45-11:15 each morning. For children aged 4 and up we will have an all-ages program that is based on our school-year workshop model. This summer we will revisit the themes from this past year with hands-on exploration, incorporating outdoor time as much as possible





From Your Interim Minister

Congregational Meeting after worship on Sunday, September 29 with Len, your interim minister.

I’ve had a challenge on my sermon on Sunday.  The Challenger stated: “It seems to me that judging people who are “spiritual but not religious” is contrary to the 4th Principle of Unitarian Universalism to support a free and responsible search for meaning and truth.”

I believe that the spiritual that I was referring was so much less than the spiritual I see practiced at South Church. I see the spirituality of clearing the mind in Buddhist meditation, preparing meals in response to a request by the Pastoral Associates, mentoring Coming of Age or working on the opening words for Worship Associates as deeply spiritual and religious.  One of our UU “saints”, James Luther Adams (1901–1994), an American professor at Harvard Divinity School, Andover Newton Theological School, and Meadville Lombard Theological School, and a Unitarian parish minister, who was the most influential theologian among American Unitarian Universalists in the 20th century and worked against Nazism before it rose to power and wrote:

"Freedom, justice and Love require a body as well as a spirit. We do not live by spirit alone. A pure spiritual religion is purely spirious religion: it is one that exempts its believer from surrender to the transforming reality that demands the community of justice and love. This sham spirituality, far more than materialism, is the greatest enemy of religion." 

Throughout religious history this type of spirituality was called piety. Probably the biggest practitioners of this spirituality were hermits whose asceticism marked their lifestyle. While I can describe the spirituality as dedicated, I maintain their contribution to a better world was minimal. There are I believe people who practice a reverence and awe for nature and humanity which is a form of spirituality who take these feelings into action. The scientists, physicians, and social scientist who really see something greater than themselves in their studies and then take their observations into the public arena in an attempt to improve the world. These are spiritual people, I feel, and also religious. The community of the workplace has become their sanctuary.

 Adams once said, "The church is a place where you get to practice what it means to be human."

What I’m advocating is Prophetic Spirituality.  Dr. Jan E. Garrett, a UU academic described Prophetic Spirituality as a method for being religious while seeking social justice.

Let’s continue this dialogue.

Yours in faith and Love,




South Church Unitarian Universalist
73 Court Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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Rev. Dr. Len DeRoche

Kirsten Hunter
Director of Religious Education

Joanne Connolly
Director of Music

Jennifer Leyden
Office Administrator

Sarah Terrenzio
Finance Administrator

Denise Croteau
Finance Assitant

Cat Lyons
RE Assistant

Jen Del Deo
RE Assistant 

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Sunday Services and Religious Education are held at 10am on Sunday mornings. We are handicap accessible and have assisted listening devices.

Tuesday - Friday, 9 - 2



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