Although the church building is closed, we are still doing church, continuing to seek to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World. Staff are working from home but are keeping a watchful eye on our building and grounds to ensure that everything will be in good condition for our return. The Board has approved these requirements for use of the church grounds.

Welcome to CrossCurrents!  Your comments are welcome at

In this issue:

Rev. yadenee hailu Joins UUCWC Ministerial Team, by Rev. Kim Wildszewski

and Sue Saddlemire, Vice-President, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Tending the Flame: The Art of UU Parenting, by Anne Godlasky

Beloved Community: What Is It And How To Get There?, by Mike Wilson, Faith Action Ministry

2021 Spring Auction: There’s Something for Everybody!, by Marcia Wittman, Auction Committee

What You’ve Been MissingSandy Muccioli, Chair, Nominating/Leadership Task Force

Addressing the Climate Crisis, by Leslie McGeorge and Geri Koblis, Earth Ministry Team 

Countdown to General Assembly, by Holly Bussey, Liaison, UUCWC Denominational Affairs

Food Ministry Update, by Mike Muccioli, Food Ministry Team

Endowment Grants Approved, by Bonnie Gilbert and Meghan Horn, Co-chairs, Endowment Committee

Stewardship Update, by Andy Kidd, Stewardship Committee

Rev. yadenee hailu Joins UUCWC Ministerial Team

Rev. Kim Wildszewski and Sue Saddlemire, Vice-President, UUCWC Board of Trustees

As you know, from May 3rd through July 19th, I will be on Parental Leave, meeting and learning our newest child. After the Board of Trustees, Personnel and Finance Committees all supported hiring a Parental Leave Minister to cover some of my responsibilities during that time, we quickly put a Search Committee of four in place. This committee was represented by the Board, Personnel, Worship Associates and Pastoral Caring Ministry (Sue Saddlemire, Scott Drew, Scott Cullen and Denny Rodgers, respectively). Candidates were interviewed first by this Committee and then the Staff (Robin Pugh, Susan Irgang, Caryl Tipton and me).

We are so pleased to announce that we have completed our process with a clear and unanimous decision, and that our offer has been accepted! 

Beginning the week of April 26th, the Rev. yadenee hailu will join our UUCWC ministerial team!

Rev. Yadenee Hailu (she/her) is the community minister of blk earth, a Black centered spiritual wellness project in Tulsa, OK, USA. Rev. Yadenee has served Hope Unitarian Church and All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK and was ordained by the three UU churches of Tulsa, including Church of the Restoration, in 2019. Rev. Yadenee’s ministry is to be an oracle for ease, liberation, and healing; the pathways to wholeness—to life. Life’s nature is to flourish and Yadenee works, speaks, organizes, rests and plays so that we all may remember this truth and become co-conspirators in the liberation of our life force and all others’. Yadenee identifies as bi-cultural, Ethiopian-American, cis, Black and a woman these identities as well as the privliges she moves through the world with shape her perspective and insight on a theology rooted in healing and wholeness. To learn more about Rev. Yadenee visit​

Below are reflections from Sue Saddlemire on behalf of the Search Committee, which the staff and I wholeheartedly echo. In addition to Sue’s words, I want to say that paramount in this process and decision for me, was making sure the staff and leadership teams would feel confident and well cared for in my absence.

We’ve had many ministers serve us in different ways over the last decade – from Interims to Interns to our first try at an Assistant Minister. We’ve learned a lot from them and also a lot about ourselves.

As we enter another season of this pandemic, but also another season – like all seasons – in which we sharpen and broaden our ministry in the world, it is essential that we enter this relationship with trust, enthusiasm and curiosity for how we will grow. Considering this, Rev. yadenee was such a clear match for us in so many ways. Truthfully, if I have any regret, it is that I will not be here to experience your shared ministry.

More information will be coming soon, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

With care,

Rev. Kim Wildszewski

The committee was fortunate to be able to choose from four excellent candidates who applied for the position. The committee met in advance to discuss the best approach that would enable us to find the right person to meet our congregational needs.

Initially, we met to discuss our overall goals, choose interview questions and the format we would follow. Our interviews, which lasted a little over an hour, were conducted via Zoom and consisted of a mix of introductions, interesting conversation and Q & A discussion.

The next step was to analyze which candidate would be the best fit for UUCWC. Each member of the team wrote up detailed impressions which we shared with one another and passed on to the staff who conducted their own interviews.

When all was said and done, Rev. yadenee was our clear choice!

Rev. yadenee comes to us from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she serves as a part-time community minister working with local Black-owned businesses. She is also involved in growing “blk earth” which is a digital resource for spiritual wellness and a lifestyle of healing and wholeness by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) young adults within and adjacent to Unitarian Universalism.

We believe she is well-suited for the Parental Leave position because of her administrative and organizational skills, her in-depth understanding of how to share church digitally, and especially because of her unique combination of warmth, passion and intelligence.  Read more…

Sue Saddlemire, Vice President, UUCWC Board of Trustees  

Note: This month, I asked Anne Godlasky, one of the parents in the Tending the Flame circle, to reflect on her experience in that group. I’m so glad she agreed to do so. Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

Tending the Flame:  The Art of UU Parenting

Anne Godlasky

I signed up for Tending the Flame: The Art of UU Parenting not knowing how on Earth I’d make room for it — worn out from working, schooling and parenting under the same roof, with no end in sight; already feeling behind in every arena without the weight of a new commitment. But how to be the kind of parent I want to be, a UU parent, was need-to-know information. I raised my virtual hand immediately, for my children’s benefit. But it ended up being for my own.

Before the first session, Robin promised: “We’ve designed a program that is informative and heart filled.” She doesn’t lie. Like the Coming into Connection and Family Chalice Circle curricula, Robin and Rev. Kim asked thought-provoking questions within a framework that tenderly but effectively guided discussion.

After the very first session, I came to look forward to our monthly meetings. The two hours flew by in a blur of laughter, vulnerability and storytelling, punctuated by stillness, meditation, poetry and prayer. Children and pets often made cameos. All were welcome.  Read more…

Anne Godlasky and Jessica Mark are members who live with their two girls in Rockville, MD.

Beloved Community: What Is It And How To Get There?

Mike Wilson, Faith Action Ministry

“Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. The aftermath of the ‘fight with fire’ method which you suggest is bitterness and chaos, the aftermath of the love method is reconciliation and creation of the beloved community. Physical force can repress, restrain, coerce, destroy, but it cannot create and organize anything permanent; only love can do that. Yes, love—which means understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill, even for one’s enemies—is the solution to the race problem.” Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957

As Rev. Dr. King has shown us, beloved community is one that is formed in love and not violence. I interpret his comments above and elsewhere, as love being anything that affects people positively and nonviolently such as growth, creativity, learning, caring, support, interest, friendship and so on. He refers to Agape love which is a universal intention, a love for strangers, nature and a complete investment in the positive positions of humanity. It is altruistic, unselfish involvement in the welfare of others. It is giving assistance without request or recompense. It involves generosity and open heartedness without expectations, cooperation without reciprocation, and social balance that ensures all are understood equally with needs recognized appropriately.  Read more…

2021 Spring Auction: There’s Something for Everybody!

Marcia Wittmann, Auction Committee

  The much-anticipated UUCWC Spring Auction, “Together Wherever We Are,” is right around the corner! Online bidding opens Saturday, May 1 at 9:00 a.m., and continues through Saturday, May 8, ending at 11:59 p.m. So now’s the time to look ahead and plan your participation in this fundraising and fun-raising, event.

Preview some of the appealing items that can be yours

Whether you’re interested in meals, services offered by church members, items for your home or to give as gifts, or vacation getaways, there’s something for you in this year’s auction.

Take a look at just a few of the many and varied items you can purchase or bid on:  More preview here…

What You’ve Been Missing

Sandy Muccioli, Chair, Nominating/Leadership Task Force

Several weeks ago, the Board-appointed Nominating/Leadership Task Force started hosting weekly zoom meetings after Sunday worship services to bring awareness to the volunteer/service opportunities at UUCWC. These are not breakout rooms, but a separate zoom meeting with the link posted in the chat and also on the UUCWC website and weekly email. Each week, two committees/ministries share the stage to present what they do, what kinds of people are on their committees and one “unexpected” person or skill that has or would be a valuable addition to the group. The April theme of “Becoming” is perfect to describe what these groups are doing. We’re calling these meetings, “Expect the Unexpected.”

First to present was the Nominating /Leadership Task Force. The task force has developed a new process for the way participation at UUCWC is experienced. The traditional Nominating committee is morphing into a team that matches people’s passions to the needs of the congregational ministries and committees. In addition, a larger umbrella group is being formed which we’re calling “Congregational Engagement.” In fact, we have already begun using this name in place of Nominating.  Read more…

Addressing the Climate Crisis

Leslie McGeorge and Geri Koblis, Earth Ministry Team

As the 51st Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the Earth Ministry Team is highlighting the climate emergency. There is a consensus among most scientists that the climate crisis is a substantial, if not existential, threat to humans and the world’s ecosystems. With business as usual, we are on a path to warm the planet by close to 4 degrees Centigrade by 2100 – far exceeding sustainable temperature goals. Impacts such as excessive heat, more frequent and intense storms, and wildfires are already occurring.

With increasing global demands for electricity, including needed electrification in developing countries, demand could double or triple by 2050. Wind and solar energy are not growing fast enough to displace fossil fuels to power such things as vehicles, ships, and planes, provide space heating, and support industrial processes. Clearly, better technologies for clean electricity are needed, as well as for carbon sequestration or capture. Read more…  

Countdown to General Assembly 

Holly Bussey, Liaison, UUCWC Denominational Affairs

TIME TO REGISTER FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA) 2021 (JUNE 24-27) in Milwaukee! (Virtually)

It’s spring and soon UUs from all over will be gathering to meet (virtually) at General Assembly. UUCWC has a long-standing record of having many attend this event of learning, singing, worshipping and doing the work of the UUA. 

This year is no different.  At least THREE of our own UUCWC choir members will be singing in the GA Choir. We also need six (6) delegates to vote on issues coming up during General Assembly and to represent UUCWC.

Key Lecture Speakers and special worship programs include: Read more about these programs here…

Important Reminders:

Information on joining the virtual services will be emailed to you the day prior to the service.

Spring Auction:  May 1-8, online

Our beloved Director of Music Ministry, Caryl Tipton, plans to retire at the end of  June, 2022.  There will be time for celebration and reminiscence of Caryl’s many years with UUCWC over the next year. Read Caryl’s Announcement here.


We would like you to join us in welcoming back Rachel Hansen to the Office Assistant position!  Rachel will be resuming many of her previous duties and a few new ones: she can be reached at beginning the week of April 12th; she will be working reduced hours, so please allow several days for responses to emails.  You can send announcements for weekly emails directly to her.  We’re delighted to have Rachel back on our staff team!

Food Ministry Update

Mike Muccioli, Food Ministry Team

Thank you, Thank you, 1,400 times, Thank you!  Your generosity is amazing!

Last month the UUCWC Food Ministry asked for your help to provide food related assistance to Luther Arms of Trenton, a low income, non-profit for senior citizens, many with disabilities. You have provided the March food drive with over 1,400 items. Food Ministry received 280 fruit cups, and 392 oatmeal and 752 granola bars. This will go a long way to help those struggling with food related issues during this pandemic time. The Food Ministry continues to explore other groups and programs so we may be able to continue our mission.

We would like express our sincere appreciation to all that have donated to our efforts. Please continue to help with your generous financial support to ensure that your Food Ministry will continue to have a positive impact on our community.  

Endowment Grants Approved

The Endowment Committee is happy to report that due to good performance from our investments we were able to fund four requested projects. The nursery plans for new furniture, toys and decoration; the Music Ministry will be able to hire musicians of color; a replacement meditation trail bench will be purchased; and the Sanctuary will be outfitted with new audio visual equipment and upgrades for enhanced streamed services. All this was possible because people have donated specifically to the Endowment Fund in the past. We appreciate all future donations specifically made to the Endowment Fund.

Thank you kindly,

Bonnie Gilbert and Meghan Horn, co-chairs, Endowment Committee

Stewardship Update

As of April 2nd, 180 members, friends and visitors have responded to the 2021/22 Annual Pledge Campaign, for a total pledge of $402,000.

Eighty-eight pledge units have increased their pledge for an average increase of 5%. Thanks to everyone who has pledged, and especially those who have increased.

However, we are still $16,000 less than last year and Stewardship has had to estimate what might come from the thirty who have not yet responded. Stewardship has reached out to every one of these potential pledgers individually. We NEED to hear from every single one of you, whether you are able to pledge or not – AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – please.

Questions? Contact:

“Putting Your Faith into Action: Understanding Trauma in Restorative Justice” event flyer

April 21st & 28th, 7-8:30pm, Ken Marino, a third-year seminarian at Drew University and the ministerial intern at UU FaithAction NJ, will be leading a two-part workshop for members and friends of UU FaithAction NJ. The event is free; registration is required.

This two-part workshop will discuss how a trauma-informed approach to criminal justice could effect restorative justice. We will look at how issues of accountability, safety and racism inform incarceration. This workshop builds on themes in The New Jim Crow and Until We Reckon, although reading the texts is not required.

Read UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Learn more about the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the central organization for UU churches, here.

Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing

268 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville NJ  08560

609-737-0515  |  |