Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. John, U.S.V.I.

February 2016 Newsletter

Sunday Service Topics for February 2016:

Sunday Service:  Feb 7     Flower Communion   Rev Allen Wells

For this special service please bring along a flower from a plant, shrub, or tree, that has a special meaning in your life, to give to another. Can a few of you also bring some extras for guests who will not be prepared and for those who may forget or unable to secure a flower?

This Sunday we will celebrate the historic and unique UU service of Flower Communion which is probably the single most uniformly celebrated UU service around the world.  It originated with The Rev. Norbert Chapek in Czechoslovakia in 1923 as a means to celebrate unity in diversity.  After Dr. Chapek was killed at Dachau for his liberal views, it become a witness to those of us who stand up for what we believe.  Finally, it celebrates our UU St. John Fellowship Tree Project.


Sunday Service:  Feb 14     Since I Last Saw You   Merry Stockwell

There is much to gain by looking back at some events and experiences of our lives. Hindsight gives us perspective and allows us to understand what we have learned. We do have choice on what memories we want to highlight in our mental galleries. I will share a small selection of what I have chosen for this year.


Sunday Service:  Feb 21   Fifty Shades of Okay     Merry Stockwell

We mean so many things when we say that someone is “okay” or that we are “okay”. We will look at some of the meanings of okay, the many shades of that meaning, and how we can lighten our own shade of okay.


Sunday Service:  Feb 28      Does Thoreau Have Relevance In Our Lives Today?      Merry Stockwell

Henry David Thoreau left a legacy of thoughts and writings about nature, civil disobedience, and rugged individualism. Is his example of valuing solitude and living simply and deliberately too out dated to have relevance to our lives today?

Pot luck follows service. Bring your own utensils, plate and cup as well as food to share.


Speaker Backgrounds:

Allen Wells was born of Irish/English parents in Charlottesville, Va. under the shadow of Monticello.  In fact, his great, great grandfather helped Thomas Jefferson found the University of Virginia.  But, Allen didn’t realize Jefferson was a Unitarian, until he converted from Presbyterianism to UUism while at Davidson College, a Presbyterian College in North Carolina.

After graduating from Divinity School at the University of Chicago, Allen worked for a publisher on the history of atheism.  He went on to serve as minister of UU congregations in Weymouth, Mass., Hollis Queens, NY, at The First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, and of The First Unitarian Society of Rockland, County, NY. He also served as Director of Religious Education for the UU Congregation of Monmouth County and the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship.

In 1984 he became a staff therapist at The DiMele Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy in NYC. Then he established the Allen Wells Center for Psychotherapy and Healing, a holistic mind/body spirit counseling center, in Morristown, which he directed for 12 years.  Now as a UU Buddhist psychotherapist, he continues a Mindfulness Based consultation practice of psychotherapy and spiritual direction.

He holds a postgraduate degree in counseling from the Institute of Religion and Health in NYC, and a certificate of study at the Integrated Study Practice Program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, Mass.

Allen is interested in bridging the internal, personal, psychological world, which we commonly call spiritual, and the external political, social, economic, environmental world, which we usually consider material.  He finds himself at home on the picket line or on his zafu, teaching meditation.  He is also particularly interested in the interplay between neuroscience and Buddhism.

He loves poetry. But, he acknowledges that he hasn’t written any books because he says, he would rather spend the time ballroom dancing. Rev Wells is the Affiliated Community Minister at Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown, New Jersey.

Merry Stockwell grew up in a Boston suburb, met her husband, Dan, at Bates College in Maine, has three children and four grandchildren. They lived in Bridgeport, Conn., then in progressively smaller towns in N.H., each more secluded than the last. Merry has been active in whatever community she was in serving on various boards and volunteering for different causes. She was a Unitarian Universalist Director of Religious Education for twenty-five years serving three different churches. After her husband died she lived in the woods with their horses for four years and then two years ago moved to a nearby town where she now appreciates neighbors, a fire hydrant, and the town snowplow that clears her road! She still volunteers, enjoys traveling and gratefully greets each precious once-in-a-lifetime new day.

Phone number to reach UUF guest apartment and visiting speakers is 340-693-8392.


Special Events in February 2016:

Discussion Evening:  How To Satisfy Your Needs Without Conflict Or Compromise Time, place and date confirmation to be announced after service 2/7

Join UUF members for an informal discussion led by Rev. Wells on a subject of interest to all.

We can get our needs met without arguing or blame, and every nation and faith can find fulfillment without making war or conquering. This is the premise of Marshall Rosenberg the originator of Non-violent Communication, sometimes called Compassionate Communication. The beauty of this process is that it works equally well between friends, in intimate relationships, and between countries and ideologies. Rosenberg has mediated conflicts in Israel, Palestine, Serbia, Rwanda, in corporations and between landowners and migrant workers.  Tonight we’ll discuss the basic premise of this process and there will be an opportunity for self- reflection and simple practice”.


Sunday Services are held in the Great Room of the Gift Hill School, Lower/ Elementary Campus, at 10:00 AM from late October through early June. Please be seated before 10 so we can begin on time.  Directions can be found at our website: www.uufstjohn.com . Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/uufstjohn.

Ride from the Cruz Bay Ferry Dock: If you would like a ride, please call Anna Tuttle at 340-626-2625 (at least one day in advance).

Children are invited to attend the service. Please arrange for child care (held in the playground just outside where services are held), at least one day prior to service by calling Elena Glenn at 503-560-8337.

Members and friends frequently meet for lunch after Sunday service. We welcome visitors to join us.


Offerings are taken during Sunday Services to cover the operational costs of our fellowship.  Your contribution helps to pay for the operational costs of our fellowship like:  rent, utilities and cleaning of the apartment for our guest speakers; rent and liability insurance of the school room for Sunday Services; in addition to the cost of our piano accompanist, child care during service, and our dues to the National and Distinct UU.


Nuusletter Info: Please forward any nuusletter info to me by February 20, 2016 for inclusion in March Nuusletter.  kathy.guidi@gmail.com


Copies of our Guide to Island Housekeeping are still available at Sunday Service, for your personal use or for at rental properties. Also available for reading or download at our website.


Coming up at UUF Sunday Services!


6                  Merry Stockwell

13                Dan Zukergood and Laurie Herrick

20                Dan Zukergood and Laurie Herrick

27                Rev Karon Sandberg



3                  Rev Karon Sandberg

10                Rev Christina Sillari

15                UUF retreat at VIERS

17                Rev Christina Sillari (TBD at VIERS)

21                Rev Christina Sillari



1                  Kimberly Cartwright and Ewell Hopkins

8                  Kimberly Cartwright and Ewell Hopkins

15                TBC – Viki Brown – perspectives from her trip to Thailand

22                Nana Hendricks

29                Nana Hendricks



5                  Pam Kristan

12                Pam Kristan


If you have a topic you would like to share at a Sunday Service or know of a minister who might be interested in coming to St. John, please write Linda Sorensen at: topscotch@earthlink.net.

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