Although the church building is closed due to a very high risk of COVID in our area, we are still doing church, continuing to seek to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World.  Rev. Kim shares a video on reopening here, and the full guidelines as of 9-25-21 are here.

Welcome to CrossCurrents!  Your comments are welcome at

In this issue:

When We Are the Whale in the Jonah Story, by Rev. Kim Wildszewski

New Opportunities for Children and Youth, by Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

Reflections from a New Board Member, by Wendy Stasolla, Trustee, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Treasurer’s Report to the Congregation, by Joe Schenk, Treasurer, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Council for Faith In Action Priorities for the 2021-2022 Church Year, by Holly Bussey, Facilitator, Faith Expression and Funding Team

Justice Rolls Down Like Water – UUCWC Action at the National Level, by Holly Bussey, Denominational Affairs Liaison

A Message from Rev. Kim, by Rev. Kim Wildszewski

UUCWC Continues to Help, by Holly Bussey, Facilitator, Faith Expression and Funding Team

New Fall Adult Learning Classes, by Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

When We Are the Whale in the Jonah Story

Rev. Kim Wildszewski

This month, I share the Meditation Prayer offered on September 19, 2021 in honor of Yom Kippur, wherein the Jonah story is read each year in Jewish synagogues and homes, and as part of the conclusion of our series on Trauma.  The full service is available here.

This morning I’m going to ask us to think a bit more on the Jonah story that Robin shared.  But for this time of meditation, of deep listening that some call prayer, I want us to think not about Jonah for a moment, but about the whale.

First, let us gather ourselves up for this moment.

We call our attention to only what is before us.

If that means the chair that holds you, the floor on which your legs rest, the table that holds the computer, the smells of coffee, or if that means the physical or sensory things around you, call your attention to those things.

Lean into them with wonder and curiosity.

Describe to yourself what coffee smells like; find the words that describe the texture of the chair. Call your attention to it.

If within your body, dancing for attention in your brain, if there are thoughts, if within your heart there is an ache or an excitement, don’t call it a distraction. For a moment, imagine that even these might be some type of prayer. 

That fear.  That joy.  That “to-do list,” even.  Go there.  Let it speak.  Then, listen.

Read more here…

New Opportunities for Children and Youth

Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement

This month we begin two opportunities for children and youth.  The first is virtual Family Chapel, a space on Sunday mornings where our UUCWC families from around the country can join together: to light a chalice, sing “Spirit of life”, learn together by story and song, share joys and sorrows, and hear the blessing and send off of “Go Now in Peace.”

It’s a space for our children and adults to learn, to connect, and to be given tools to practice their Unitarian Universalism together.

On these family chapel Sundays, I offer the same story for all ages at the family chapel, the virtual service and the outside service (if there is one) because this wisdom is for all of us.  The continuity of the same story in three places helps me feel connected to all three of our worship spaces. I hope it does for you too.  Feel free to invite your grandchildren or children’s cousins or friends to the Family Chapel.

The second opportunity is one for youth. On Friday nights, there is a firepit for youth in 7th-12th grade. We gather around the firepit at UUCWC when it is still light finding sticks to feed the fire, then we play group games around the fire, have s’mores and share something about our lives.   There is something about a campfire that pulls us toward it and gathers us in community. We notice the stars, howl because we can and feel the warmth of the fire and of each other.

Both the Family Chapel and the Firepit are held the first and third Friday (Firepit) and Sunday (Family Chapel) of the month.


 Reflections from a New Board Member

 Wendy Stasolla, Trustee, UUCWC Board of Trustees

 For the past twenty some odd years, I’ve seen UUCWC through the lens of being a church member, an RE parent and teacher, and as part of various committees and volunteer opportunities. As part of the Board of Trustees, I now have a much broader view of the workings of UUCWC. This new perspective already has me in awe of the many volunteers and staff who quietly work behind the scenes to make things happen.

What impresses me most is that, despite our building being closed, our community is still doing the things we do best. There are members working tirelessly to make our dream of a newly renovated space happen, committees revising budgets, refreshing our website, re-writing bylaws, re-imagining the technology in our sanctuary, and discussing when to return to in-person services. We’re still supporting outside organizations in need with our weekly plate dollars, caring for our own with meals and rides, communicating information through weekly emails, running chalice circles, and the list goes on. Yes, I can say I’m in awe of all that I’m seeing as UUCWC.

In the spirit of serving on the Board as best we can, a group of us are attending board training sessions through the UU Leadership Institute. The course is called Helpful Board Habits. We are given reading assignments and then gather virtually with members from other UU Churches across the Northeast to discuss and practice what we’re learning.  Read more here…

Treasurer’s Report to the Congregation

Joe Schenk, Treasurer, UUCWC Board of Trustees

Fiscal Summary as of the Month Ending August (written 9/19/21):

• All financial indications are positive with a $25k positive variance to date!

• Bank Account Balances total $1.23 million:
$482k Operating combined balances
$594k  Capital Campaign
$190k Endowment

• Despite a very positive Year to Date report, the Finance Team is evaluating funding plans for the 2022-2023 fiscal year when an expected deficit approaching $75k is expected with staffing plans put in place in 2021 and planned for 2022.

The fiscal summary is available in chart form here:

Council For Faith In Action Priorities for the 2021-2022 Church Year

Holly Bussey, Faith Expression and Funding Team Facilitator

The Council for Faith in Action (CFA) met in August to discuss its focus for the 2021-2022 church year. While we will continue to support our legacy organizations (See our September article on where contributions go), we will also monitor and fund the following four areas as needs arise this year:

• Voting rights/ability to vote
• Food Insecurity (most recently Fisherman’s Mark; see related article)
• Immigration

• Disadvantaged School Programs

Funds for CFA are monitored by the Faith Expression and Funding Team (FEFT) Ministry of CFA. Support for all causes comes from your generous support of the weekly plate. CFA receives 50% of the total plate and those funds help form the budget of money we can then give to those in need. Thank you for your continued giving even while we are not physically together—the NEED IS STILL GREAT.

If there is a concern that you feel might need support, please feel free to submit a request to FEFT.  If you’d like to learn more about what we do, or participate in awarding grants, please contact

Justice Rolls Down Like Water – UUCWC Action At the National Level

Holly Bussey, Denominational Affairs Liaison

This past June, nine members of UUCWC attended virtual General

Assembly (GA) in Madison, Wisconsin. Now, you may think a virtual conference can be uninspiring, dull and maybe just not your cup of tea. You should consider GA!  There was excitement and energy flowing through the Zoom sessions that you could almost taste.

Several attendees admittedly said it was challenging to capture enthusiasm for this GA.  But, after attending, one of our delegates, Heather Edwards stated, “This was my second General Assembly, and both have been virtual. Despite that, after attending GA virtually I still feel more connected to the wider community of Unitarian Universalists and re-energized in my personal spiritual practice and my volunteer work within UUCWC.”

The group gathered to review their GA experience. All agreed that the Ware Lecture-shared by two people—a first—was amazing and energizing. Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade were the two lecturers this year. The session is now available for viewing, here.  

Read more about this year’s GA here…

A Message from Rev. Kim:

Not unlike all other clergy in this time, I want you to know that this fall has been full with rites of passage: weddings that were had on zoom a year ago, memorial services and committals that we weren’t able to gather for until now, new unions and new losses that we are celebrating and navigating in this ongoing pandemic time. 

Because of this, I am not able to take on any non-member rites of passage until late winter or early spring of 2022.  While I greatly appreciate your pride in your community and me as your minister, if a family member or friend is in need of an officiant, I will of course provide you or them with a list of capable and skilled colleagues who may be available.

UUCWC Continues to Help

Recent weather related issues caused tragedy in Lambertville, NJ. UUCWC has been there to help. Fisherman’s Mark, Lambertville’s food pantry and social services non-profit, quickly became the organizing group on the ground. Responding quickly, there was a call put forth to UUCWC members and friends for initial supplies, and many responded.

As the days continued, needs changed and Fisherman’s Mark communicated clearly those needs. CFA quickly responded through two of its groups: 1) Food Ministry contributed $500 in cash cards from a variety of stores; and 2) Faith Funding and Expression (FEFT) contributed $1,000 in cash. Both donations reflect our mission to “Change the World.”

As needs evolve, UUCWC will keep members informed via weekly announcements and links for possible action. We thank you for your generosity of plate and time.

Holly Bussey-FEFT Facilitator

New Fall Adult Learning Classes
Feed your head, heart, and soul with our Fall Adult Learning opportunities. 
New Class, the “Creativity Matters Studio,” invites you to respond to the monthly theme with your favorite modality (i.e. form of creative expression- draw, paint, collage, movement, film, taking pictures, etc.). Optional suggestions offered each month. For example, for this month’s theme on “cultivating relationships,” one suggestion is to pick three songs that best communicate your relationships and design an album cover. The first monthly class is on 10/18
• The book was so good, this class is back! Imani Perry’s Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, a 3-session book discussion. Starts 10/21.
Chalice Circles –  read more about Chalice Circles here. Starts anytime (rolling start dates).
Get more information and register for classes here

Get more information and register for the UUFaith Action NJ Issues Conference taking place on October 16th here.

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.  

It's a new day for Side With Love

Read about the UUA’s Justice Work under the banner “Side With Love,” here.

Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing

268 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville NJ  08560

609-737-0515  |  |