In this continuing time of Covid, the church is open as we continue to seek to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World. Our multi-platform Sunday services may be attended in person or online.  If joining us in person, we require vaccinations/boosters; masking is now optional.


Welcome to CrossCurrents!  Your comments are welcome at

In this issue:


Did You Know?, by Rev. Kim Wildszewski

Finance Committee Completes Major Initiatives, by Steve Saddlemire, Chair, Finance Committee

The Practice of Compassionate Communication, by Peter A. Rafle, Sr., Right Relations Committee

In Conversation with South Philly Big Band Founder Chris Oatts, by Erin Busch (she/her),

Director of Music Ministry

Changing the World – How You Can Help, by Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team Facilitator

Year End Gift Appeal, by Susan Irgang, Congregational Administrator

HomeFront Tutoring Holiday Party Returns, by Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team Facilitator, and Sarah Burke, HomeFront Coordinator

Our UU Imprint on the Holidays, by Robin Pugh, Director of Congregational Life




Did You Know? 

Rev. Kim Wildszewski


Rev. Kim shares her second installment of “Did You Know,” a new multi-media way of sharing important news and information about the many happenings at UUCWC.  Watch and listen here.  Look here to read about all the wonderful events happening in December.


Finance Committee Completes Major Initiatives

Steve Saddlemire, Chair, Finance Committee


One of the Finance Committee’s primary initiatives from last fiscal year (2021/22) was to formalize several of the processes we follow when conducting business for the church.  This included developing policies and procedures for: 
the Endowment Committee
addressing budget overruns 
determining available cash in the operating reserve 
operating the Raise Right and Amazon Smile programs
A facility reserve fund.  
In addition, we developed a Finance Task Responsibility List and responded to the 2021 Financial Audit Report.  

Through the hard work of your Finance Committee members, all these tasks have been completed and the representative documents uploaded to the newly created UUCWC Finance Google Drive. These tasks were issues the Finance Committee struggled with and now we have clear instructions on how to address them. If anyone is interested in reviewing the documents we developed, reach out to Steve Saddlemire at


Over the past year, several Finance Committee members have moved on to other volunteer opportunities within the church. This has created several openings which need to be filled by members who are interested in not only understanding how the church operates financially but in becoming part of that process. No financial background is necessary and your fellow committee members are a bunch of fun people to work with!! Contact Steve if you’re interested. The Finance Chairperson position is also opening up for next fiscal year- enter that contest early and often!!


The Practice of Compassionate Communication

Peter A. Rafle, Sr., Right Relations Committee


In our current era of misinformation and raised rhetoric, it has become even more important to possess the tools to resolve conflicts and create a basis for ongoing communication. One way of resolving conflict is to use the process of Compassionate Communication. Compassionate Communication enables an exploration of conflict in a way that reduces blame and engenders compassion. It is based on recognition of each person’s humanity and basic goodness. As writer/educator Steven Covey writes: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”


Compassion is more than “expressing sympathy in times of stress or feeling sorry for someone who is in a negative situation.” Compassion is also interchangeable with sympathy, or a sharing of emotions. But, more than feeling sorry for someone, compassion can motivate one to feel a need to help.


Compassionate Communication is an effective method of conflict resolution that uses nonviolent communication, sincerity, empathy, and attentive listening to seek out the underlying needs of the parties involved. The first step in this process is attentive listening. Focus on what the person is saying without judgment or making assumptions. When a pause occurs, make a request for clarification in a positive non-threatening voice. Look to discern their needs and gently probe for the clarity you need before responding. For example, “ I heard what you said about X. Does that sound right? Could you tell me more about how you have come to that conclusion?” Restating what you have heard, and asking for more, shows that you are earnest and genuine in your desire to help. The process will be more secure moving ahead.


Read more here…


In Conversation with South Philly Big Band Founder Chris Oatts

Erin Busch (she/her), Director of Music Ministry


In advance of our December 11th concert at 12pm, I sat down with South Philly Big Band founder and bandleader, Chris Oatts, to learn a bit more about how this project began.


Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from and what’s your musical background?

My name is Chris Oatts and I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa. There are many musicians in my family. My dad is a trumpeter, my uncle is a saxophonist and my grandfather played saxophone (I currently play his horn). I started playing saxophone in fourth grade and the rest is history. I couldn’t stop and I won’t stop!! I grew up hearing jazz around the house and live from my Dad’s big band that would play every Monday night, so when I started learning to play jazz later on, it came naturally. I currently live in Philadelphia and perform, compose and teach music.


What inspired you to start the South Philly Big Band?

As I mentioned, my dad directed a big band and so did his father before him. When my dad passed down their enormous collection of sheet music, it seemed wrong to not have a band to play all of it.


Read more of the interview here.


Chris and I hope to see you at the concert on Sunday, December 11th at 12pm! The suggested donation for tickets is $5-$20.The concert will follow our children’s pageant service that morning, and our wonderful staff will provide a substantial coffee hour downstairs so you can eat your fill between the service and the concert.


Changing the World – How You Can Help

Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team Facilitator


Our UUCWC mission consists of three pillars: Celebrate Life, Create Community, Change the World.

As we close out the year the Council for Faith in Action (CFA) has been busy in areas of Community Action, including school boards, voting and democracy endeavors, and more!


The Faith Expression and Funding Team (FEFT) within CFA has also been busy providing financial support to groups that need our help. These monies come from the 50% of the plate. Additionally, FEFT has partnered with another CFA Member, our Food Ministry, to combine funds to provide a greater financial impact to groups that help relieve food insecurity.


From September to December, we’ve supported these groups with funds totaling over $3,500:

• Bucks County Opportunity Council (Food banks)
• El Centro Food Bank (Latino/x population) Food support
• Coalition for Peace Action
• Chubby Food Project (Hopewell Food Bank)
• Trenton Area Soup Kitchen
• HomeFront projects
• UU Disaster Relief (Hurricane Assistance).


Did you know that each of you can have a direct impact on how we CHANGE THE WORLD? As you know, 50% of every Sunday plate goes to causes that align with our UU Principles and our UUCWC mission.


We need to hear from you regarding how you’d like to see those monies dispursed. Let us know by filling out this form. It’s easy, fast and your input gives the FEFT a focus. Questions, or want to know more? Email




The YEAR-END GIFT is a very special way to contribute to the life of the church during the holiday season. This effort supports everything from faith engagement to membership, from our staff to our food ministry — all the things that make the Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing so important in our lives, and in the life of the community.

Perhaps you’ll consider giving 10% of your annual pledge or give a gift of a “13th month” based on your annual pledge (this special appeal is not part of your pledge or the Sunday morning plate.). You can make your donation online here. After you select PayPal and your donation, please make a note in the comment section that this is for the year-end gift before your final submission in PayPal. Please support the life and work of our church with a special gift; thank you!



HomeFront Tutoring Holiday Party Returns!


December is upon us and giving from the heart can make all the difference.

Traditionally, our Monday Night Tutoring Program for the children of HomeFront has provided a holiday party. This year—we are back and are hoping to bring joy and excitement to many with our mitten tree, a holiday party with gifts, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.


While HomeFront Tutoring is part of the Council for Faith and Action (CFA) and a budget has been allocated to the program, you can still donate to make this a fun event for the children. Should you wish to support the holiday party, please write a check made out to UUCWC (Memo Field: CFA-HOMEFRONT XMAS).

Your extra caring will enable a bountiful season for many.
Questions? Please contact Sarah Burke, HomeFront Coordinator, at


Our UU Imprint on the Holidays
Robin Pugh, Director of Congregational Life


Did you know that Unitarian Universalists (UUs) had a profound impact on the way Christmas is celebrated today? It was UUs who wove together Santa Claus, Christmas trees, gift giving around the tree, a focus on charity, and peace and goodwill toward all to create the Christmas that many of us celebrate today. Read more about these contributions to our holiday celebrations here.



This month’s Food Ministry chefs and kitchen crew (Judy MacLaury, Mike Muccioli and Bernie Ruekgauer) working to prepare a meal for delivery to Luther Arms Senior Housing in Trenton.  



Don’t forget about the new RaiseRight fundraising program. Easily purchase gift cards for use at many of your usual shopping venues and receive the full card value, while UUCWC receives a donation of anywhere from 4% to 12% of the card’s value.  Look here to review the details.



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


Connect with UU Faith Action, New Jersey’s issues and social justice advocacy voice, connecting New Jersey UU congregations.  Pennsylvania’s counterpart is UUJusticePA.


Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing

268 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville NJ  08560

609-737-0515  |  |