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January Worship Theme: Consolidation and Desolation
Our themes for January are Consolation and Desolation. Many of us feel like we lived
in desolation for the better part of 2020, if by being in desolation we mean being bereft
of friends or hope or to be sad and forlorn. During this last year I am sure that we all
wished at times for something or someone to console us or to allay our sorrow or grief.
The differences between consolation and desolation are dramatic, as is their impact on
how we live our lives. Consolation, among other things, is empowering, while desolation
is a state of powerlessness not unlike that experienced when someone is depressed.
For most of us both desolation and consolation come to us in the course of our lives.
For too many, however, too much of the equation is on the side of desolation.
January 3, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
“All Manner of Things Will Be Well”
Rev. Marti Keller
Service Leader: Burger Vaughan
Tech Team: Robin Kottman, Lori Wilson
Fourteenth century Benedictine nun Julian of Norwich lived in a time of Black Death,
brutal plague years, yet managed a life of creative spirituality. She was not teaching
and preaching a naive toxic positivity, but rather messages of faith, hope and healing
that might just speak to us in this continuing time of pandemic.
Rev. Marti Keller recently completed 22 years of parish and beyond congregational
ministry, including serving as minister with the Unitarian Universalist Women's
Federation, who gave her their Ministry to Women Award in 2020. Prior to UU ministry,
Marti worked as a social justice advocate for Planned Parenthood and other
organizations focused on women and girls; and as a cultural reporter and critic for a
variety of publications. She is a published poet, whose latest chapbook " Red Wool
Socks an d Dark Chocolate: A Life in Three Lines" was recently released by Matrika
January 10, 2021, 10:30 a.m
“One is the Loneliest Number: Atomization, Alienation, and the End of
Rev. Barry Whittemore
Service Leader: Lynda Doll
Tech Team: Robert Kahn, Gayle Gannaway, Norm Leonard
An historian gives a brief tour of the collapse of social order and then shows how we are
both a part of the problem and hold the germ of redemption.
The Reverend Barry Whittemore was GMUUC's minister when he retired from the
Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2013. Currently he teaches Appalachian, American,
and religious history at the University of North Georgia.
January 17, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
“ Original Sin, Sin, and Atonement - Singular Perspectives of a Student in
Dr. Royce Zia
Service Leader: Lynda Doll
Tech Team: Melinda Oliver, Lori Wilson, Norm Leonard
As a student with career goals in physics and mathematics, the only way I could live
with many of the concepts in my Christian upbringing was to put them in a separate
closet. While most ideas seem incomprehensible or irrational, the most difficult for me
was original sin. In graduate school, I happened to hear a sermon which cracked open
that closet. Come and share my “journey of integration” – from a collection of
incompatible bits to an intellectually acceptable whole.
Royce Zia is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at Virginia Tech. Raised by Christian
parents in China and Hong Kong, he came to the US as a teenager. In graduate school,
he not only studied physics but also read ancient philosophers and modern theologians.
After he retired to Western NC a few years ago, he continues to do physics research on
a variety of topics.
January 24, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
“Children at the Heart of Us: A Visit from Sophia Lyon Fahs”
Service Leader: Fran Watkins
Tech Team: Robin Kottman, Gayle Gannaway
Vanessa Cowie, a.k.a., Sophia Fahs, is a charter member of GMUUC, a librarian, and a
community theatre volunteer. She currently lives in the North Carolina mountains with her husband, Ian, and enjoys collecting rocks and leaves with their two-year old granddaughter.
January 31, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
”Life turns on a dime”
Davis Palmour D.D. NCC CHt
Service Leader: Melinda Oliver
Tech Team: Robert Kahn, Norm Leonard
Life may seem like it turns on a dime, but as we react it becomes clear the dime has
been moving slowly all along. In today's program we will explore how life happens and
what to do.
Davis Palmour grew up in Dahlonega, moved away for years, and then back home. He
has worked as an educator, not-for-profit director, and counselor/hypnotherapist. For
the last 12 years Davis has served as a parent educator working with divorced parents.
With degrees in psychology, student personnel/counseling, and holistic counseling he
has supported thousands as they navigate the ups and downs of life.
January Vespers and Wednesday Happenings
January 6, 2021, 6 pm
“GMUUC Game Night”
“To break in the New Year with FUN, the Fellowship committee is excited to host a
virtual game night for January’s First Wednesday Connections! We will all play one
GMUUC Trivia game together, and then break out into small rooms for a scavenger
hunt! Each household, or login, is asked to prepare a list of 5 household items for the
hunt. This could get colorful and will be guaranteed fun! For questions please connect
with Robert Kahn or Jane Threlkeld.”
Program Leaders: Jane Threlkeld, Robert Kahn
January 13, 2021, 6 pm
“What can YOU do about global climate change?”
Dr. Jim Smoot
Tech Team: Robin Kottman
Global climate change is real! It is now! And it is us! In this Zoom session we will use
a "carbon footprint calculator" to recognize and understand one's personal impact. We
will also explore some ways you can make a difference by reducing your personal
contributions to global climate change. Your example can help influence the choices
others make as well.
GMUUC member, Jim Smoot, is a retired Environmental Engineer. He served as
Senior Scientist and Manager at the U.S. Geological Survey; and as Senior Research
Scientist and Head of Earth Science at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Jim lives
in Sautee Nacoochee with his partner Linda Harris.
January 20, 2021, 6 pm
Gayle Gannaway, Kathy Manzella, Jane Threlkeld, Roy Abee
Tech Team: Gayle Gannaway
Join us for an evening of Celebrating Democracy in Song and Dance as we revisit our
history as a free and democratic Republic.
January 27, 2021, 6 pm
“A Cozy Consolation”
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault
Tech Team: Robin Kottman
Virtually join Rev. Charlotte for a Vespers Service on the art of consolation and
self-soothing. All are encouraged to bring a warm blanket, a comforting book, or any
item that may help to soothe your soul.