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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

Theoretical Physics”

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”

Vanessa Cowie

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

“Celebrating Democracy”

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.

Events Calendar


Georgia Mountains

Unitarian Universalist 

P.O. Box 630
439 S. Park Street
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Phone: 706-864-0661

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Rev. Charlotte Arsenault joined GMUUC as their contract minister in November 2013.

Rev. Charlotte's primary office hours are on Thursdays. 


9:00 AM

Sunday Services:

10:30 AM


Children’s Religious Education:

10:45 AM


10:00 AM & after church service

Rev. Charlotte Arsenault, Minister

Worship Schedule

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