Nora Unitarian Universalist Church - Hanska, Mn

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Merry Christmas!

Newsletter Archives

Nora Unitarian Universalist Church
12333 155th Avenue
Hanska, Minnesota 56041-4310

Mere Lys in a script font.    Drawing of a chalice.

December, 2004
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Sunday Services
Adult Discussion Group: 9:00 A.M.
Social Hour: 10:00 A.M.     Worship Service: 10:30 A.M.

December 5 – “When Political Pundits Become Theologians” –
Reverend Don Rollins

Over the course of the past few years there has been an increase in the number of political commentators who weave theology into their opinion columns. Is this a good thing?
     • Servers: Gene & Georgine Tepley, Roger & Norma Breu
     • Musician: Sally Hanson
     • Ushers: Matt Harbur & Kathleen Baril
     • 11:30 POTLUCK

December 12 – “Blue Christmas, Easter & Independence Day” –
Reverend Don Rolllins

Depression is a year-round reality for many, but the holidays can be especially tough. Let’s talk about depression, what it is and isn’t.
     • Servers: Wendy Tuttle, Chris Olson
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Darrell & Jeanie Hinsman
     • 8:30 A.M. Board of Trustees Meeting

December 19 – Children’s Christmas Program
     • Servers: Mark & Brenda Wiger
     • Musician: Jordan Rathman
     • Ushers: Sunday School Kids

December 24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 5:00 PM
Reverend Don Rollins

     • Servers: Darrell & Jeanie Hinsman
     • Musician: Mimi Kamleiter
     • Ushers: Noah & Janet Rosenbloom

December 26 – No Service

Services Resume January 9, 2005


View From The Hill

Rev. Don Rollins

His name was Nick, he was a jolly soul and a rather rotund fellow. Combine all that with his funeral director’s penchant for dark humor and you’ve got yourself a first-rate Santa. Nick played the Old Guy every Christmas for as far back as anybody for the West Paris Universalist Church could remember. He’d hold court after church on the Sunday before Christmas, passing out gifts and jokes in equal measure. (Once the kids were safely ensconced in the downstairs parlor for milk and cookies, Nick even did a somewhat “adult” version for the grownups!) Indeed, I have never known a better all-around St. Nick than Nick Clements of West Paris, Maine.

I suppose I think of Nick Clements every Christmas, but his incarnation of the Old Guy has become an even more precious memory now that Nick’s gone. But I’m not alone in my reminiscing about him – there are at least two generations of kids who also found in him the very spirit of Christmas. What mad our Nick the real item? His kindness, laughter and creativity.

Nick Clements has a prominent spot in my personal hall of fame for humanity’s unsung heroes. He took on the persona of St. Nick as an excuse to bring joy into others’ lives, and he did it with great panache. Since his death a few years back, I’ve decided that it’s just not possible to replace my favorite Santa, so perhaps it’s time to follow his lead by looking for excuses to bring a little joy in someone’s life. Given Nick’s absence the world’s supply of kindness, laughter and creativity are down a bit. Perhaps if you’ll join me in taking the Pledge of St. Nick, we might get those supplies back up to their proper levels.

Repeat after me: “I will stop whining about crass consumerism and go get a tree or bake cookies or just shut up so others can have a little fun; I will smile at every child I meet between now and Labor Day; Between today and New Year’s, I will tease every member of my family about something; I will ask my (spouse, partner, child, parent, etc.) for a small and inexpensive gift, then act like I’m disappointed that they’d give me something so cheap!; and, I will live every day like it was my last, and I will speak to everyone like it was the last time I’ll ever see them.

There. Now you’re officially sanctioned to spread some joy. Have at it!

Merry Christmas,

--- Don


Don will leave for Ohio on Christmas Day and return on Thursday, December 30. Members of the Board will have his contact information in the event of an emergency.



Join us in a family Christmas Eve service at 5:00 PM. Come prepared to sing, laugh, reflect and celebrate!


Our first meeting will be held after church, this Sunday, December 5th. Think about the broad areas of responsibility like fundraising, investments, bequests, budget-building, etc. (The team is open to all.)


The next meeting of the Program Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, November 30 at 7:00 PM, at the church. New committee members are welcome.


Our next discussion of Michael Durall’s book, The Almost Church, is set for Thursday evening, December 2. We’ll meet at the church at 7:00 PM to discuss chapters 5, 6, & 7. Note: The group is open, so feel free to join us even if you haven’t been at previous sessions.)


Due to the change in our regular schedule, the Board of Trustees will meet on Sunday, December 12 at 8:30 AM at the church. Agenda items may be sent to Sheldon Rieke.


The Nora Women’s Society will not meet during the winter months unless there is some special business to be addressed.


The LUNCH BUNCH will meet at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, December 7, at the Mexican Restaurant in New Ulm’s Marktplatz Mall. Remember, this group is not limited to women!


The Nora Church Board of Trustees met with Prairie State District Representative Nancy Heege on Saturday, Nov. 20, to help the board members understand their roles in implementing the new mission statement and committee/team structure and working with a new minister.

At its regular monthly meeting, the board approved Rev. Rollins using Nora Church as a sponsor for a monthly coffeehouse event in New Ulm and exploring the possibility of sponsoring a similar event in Hanska at the Community Center.

The board discussed developing a membership packet and placing another order for nametags for new members. Gil Hanson will be asked to get a cost estimate for the nametags.

The board will work with the Sunday School and Social Justice team to develop a plan for helping Iraqi children. Lee Schmitt, who is stationed in Iraq, will advise them.


At a special congregational meeting following services on November 21, the congregation adopted the proposed vision statement. They also voted to adopt the new Committee on Ministry model. The COM will consist of five members, initially appointed by the board, later to be elected at the Annual Meeting. The first members are drawn from the Search Committee. They are: Doug Anderson, Jeanie Hinsman, Anne Makepeace, Kristine Paulson, and Beverly Wellmann. The COM will monitor how well the church is implementing its Mission and Vision statements and will act as mediator in conflict resolutions. Its role is advisory only.

The congregation also authorized expenditure of $4,600 for the purchase and installation of a new sound system for the sanctuary and Fellowship hall.


Lorraine Becken is at home recuperating following surgery in Rochester.

Joanne Saxton reports that her husband, Neil, is recuperating after surgery.

We wish them a speedy recovery.

Congratulations to Christine Schmitt and Anthony Erickson on the birth of their son, Carson Anthony on November 8th. Gr’pa Lee was fortunate to be home on leave from Iraq to see his newest grandson.


Please contact Algot Blomquist by December 20th if you wish to purchase a new or replacement name tag. Cost is approximately $5.00.


The Oak Hills Auxiliary is sponsoring a Holiday Bazaar, Bake Sale and Raffle on Saturday, December 4th from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm. Refreshments will be served and there will be pictures with Santa.

Monetary donations, craft items or baked goods are welcome by 9:00 AM on Saturday. Proceeds from the Holiday Bazaar, along with matching funds of up to $500 from NU-31200 Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, will be used to fund the purchase of a new Medication cart for Station 1.


Lee Schmitt visited our RE Wednesday group in November. He shared about time in Iraq and talked about the Iraqi people and their culture. The girls are all very glad they live here. The kids then packed Ziploc bags of toys, candy, toothbrushes and toothpaste to send to Iraq. The bags will be sent to Lee to be distributed to the children in Iraq. The money the kids earned from their Easter breakfast and Smorgasbord games were used to purchase the supplies. Dentists from New Ulm donated the toothbrushes and toothpaste.

There are extra copies of curricula in the closet downstairs. The Wayzata UU Church has loaned us two copies of “How Can We Know What To Believe, Stepping Stones,” and one copy of “Celebrating Me and My World.” If you want to use a curriculum, please sign it out. There will be a sign-out sheet by the curricula. Thank you to John and Anne Makepeace for obtaining these curricula. We will return them to Wayzata in May or June.

Our next RE Wednesday will be Wednesday, December 8th. Since it is the second night of Hanukah, we will be learning more about the holiday. We will also have a gift exchange.

If you are planning on coming to December RE Wednesday, please bring an inexpensive ($5.00 or less) gift to exchange. Please keep in mind the wide range of our group. We will start at 6:30.

Preparations are under way for our December 19th winter service. The Coming of Age kids are looking for music and have made selections for parts of the service. Anne will visit the Nursery, Juniors and Tweeners classes on December 5th to give them their parts for the service. We will all practice on December 12th.

Thank you for sharing your families. Have a joyous and peaceful winter holiday season.


SPRTC Volunteer Services works to provide a little bit of Christmas for mentally ill individuals from our 10 county area. 100% of the gifts and monies donated go directly to the patients. Your gifts will help to provide a warm and beautiful holiday for the men and women receiving treatment from SPRTC, both in hospital and in the community. Please deliver gifts or money by December 10 between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM at 100 Freeman Drive, St. Peter.

Some items need are toiletries, bedding, pots & pans, dishes, towels, pajamas, jackets, sweaters, socks, gloves/mittens, craft kits, games, billfolds, writing tablets, books, and jewelry.

Call 507-931-7250 for more details.


The United States Postal Service is offering free packing materials to spouses and families of military members who are deployed overseas. To take advantage of this service call: 1-800-610-8734. They will send you a free kit that includes 10 boxes, packing materials, priority mailing tape and mailing labels. These products are to only by used to mail care packages to service members. You must still pay normal postage.


Christmas scene

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