The Monthly Newsletter of Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church

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1 A Community of Open Hearts, Inquiring Minds, and Helping Hands January 2017 Edition 615 The Monthly Newsletter of Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church January 1st Intentional Sharing Every year at about this time, we invite you to look back over the old year and forward to the new with some special questions. And if you like, you get to share a brief answer or reflection with us all as we welcome the new year. January 8th Religion as Resistance Rev. Elwood Sturtevant I ll look at Rev. Douglas Taylor s claim that We Unitarian Universalists strive to be not only counter-cultural but radically transformative of culture as well. Welcome to the resistance: here we insist that all are welcome, all are inherently worthy and equally filled with human dignity. Here we buck conformity and call each to live as a human being not as a market niche, not as a label, not as an illness, not as a stereotype. Welcome to the resistance. Stand up and be counted among those who are human in community. Together we can change the world. It s also time for Frying Pan Communion. - ERS January 15th America s Original Sin Rev. Elwood Sturtevant As you know, I m not given to preaching much about sin, but for the Dr. King Holiday weekend this year, I think I can make an exception. Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) says that America s Original Sin is racism, and I ll explore that idea while also considering whether there are other candidates to lift up. - ERS January 22nd Valuing Women s Integrity Rev. Elwood Sturtevant This Sunday is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that had some of its roots in the work of the Women s Alliance of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas (where I did my internship 31 years ago). I ll look at some of the current and ongoing debate, and at how it appears to me that much of what seems to be going on amounts to men making up inflexible rules for women. - ERS January 29th Our relationship with marijuana: from Hebrew Scripture to the West End of Louisville James Higdon will speak on Western humanity's long and stormy history to the cannabis plant, which begins in the Book of Exodus. Once a focal point of early Hebrew spirituality, the cannabis plant was shunned by later Old Testament authors, after associating cannabis with King Solomon s reverence of the Queen of Heaven, aka the Divine Feminine. American history has followed a similar storyline. Once grown in vast plantations by the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay, the American government decided the cannabis plant to be unfit for society about 45 years ago. Today, we are suffering from the results of this decades-long prohibition. The violence and poverty of the West End of Louisville stems from a number of sources, but the use of police power to enforce the marijuana prohibition perpetuates the cycle of violence.

2 minister S musings Chances are, by now you ve noticed that we re trying out monthly themes this year at TJ. Maybe you ve noticed the theme in connection with a Sunday service, or you ve looked at the theme questions we ve been including in the Tapestry? For this year, at least, we ve been using materials shared by dozens of UU congregations in a group called the Soul Matters Sharing Circle. And for this year, at least, we ve been using the materials that most of those congregations used last year, I m telling you this so that you ll know that the theme for January was not selected with the recent election results in mind. You see, for us, this month s theme is Resistance, and it would be understandable if you suspected that I had selected that theme in response to what has happened/is happening in the world around us. I assure you that it s just coincidence, or synchronicity, if you prefer. But recent events have made the theme even more relevant than it might have been, because we are all invited to consider, what does it mean to be a people of resistance? Last year, chances are that most of us at TJ might not have identified much with that question. This year, I d guess things seem to be changing enough that the question may have some urgency to it. What will it mean to try to hold on to our values, our vision for a future where the inherent worth and dignity of all people is respected, as is the interdependent web of life? In some ways, religion has often been about resistance resistance to power being used for ill, resistance to the seductions of popular culture that can lead to collusion with oppression or destruction, and the like. Unitarian Universalists, in my experience, have tended to see Unitarian Universalism as such a religious tradition. UU minister Tom Shade, in an essay at suggests that this may be a relatively new stance for us, one that came about in resistance to another era of cultural conformity in the United States. Briefly, based in part on his reading of One Nation Under God, by Kevin Kruse, Schade argues that in the 1930 s, business leaders began a pro-business form of Christianity that preached individualism (and individual salvation) and reliance only on God (not any form of collectivism). By the time of Eisenhower and Joseph McCarthy, when anti-communism had become dominant, America added under God to the pledge of allegiance, and In God We Trust, to our paper currency. Schade argues that while Unitarians and Universalists had perhaps more than their share of radicals throughout our history, for the most part we had been a less-rigid part of the establishment for our lay members. But with the rise of a kind of Christian nationalism in the U.S. (leading to an all-time high in weekly church attendance in 1959), Unitarians responded with Humanism and the Fellowship movement. While the National Advertising Council was producing public service ads urging all Americans to go to church on Sundays, Unitarians were running ads that said Unitarian churches are dedicated to the progressive transformation of ennoblement of the individual and social life, through religion, in accordance with the advancing knowledge and the growing vision of mankind. In Religion Freedom is our Method Reason is our Guide Fellowship is our Spirit Character is our Test Service is our Goal. Schade reminds us The Fellowship Movement was the single most successful growth strategy of the entire Unitarian or Unitarian/Universalist history. Over one third of present UU congregations were formed as fellowships in the period of (TJ was founded during that time, and with much of the same vision, but as a church intended to have a settled minister.) Schade then adds: I think that our turn from the respectable religion of the 19th and early 20th century predates our commitment to the Civil Rights movement; it stems from our resistance to the Christian nationalism of the 40 s and 50 s. We were formed in this moment of a push toward a cultural conformity, and our resistance to it. Humanism, not only as theology, but as resistance to the popular forms of piety of the day, is a part of that history. What do you think? - ERS

3 Joys and Concerns JOYS: Marie Cassady just celebrated her 104th birthday! Jim Hawley is recovering from back surgery. Susie Pasikowski s lumpectomy was negative! Carolyn Brown is recovering from a redo of hip surgery. Steve Heifner is recovering from surgery for Crohn s disease. Roxanne Sturtevant and Jackie Thomas s mothers successfully transitioned to an assisted living facility. Tonya Mount s son, Cameron earned Eagle rank in Boy Scouts! Bruce Murray, whose daughter had her first child Nov. 21st. Maggie Gardiner whose fiancé and friend are here for her upcoming wedding. Neisja Yenawine s son s positive outlook despite his ongoing medical problems. Elwood celebrated his 65th birthday and is beginning his 30th year of service for TJ. CONCERNS: Nancy Neill s grandson needs hospitalization for severe drug addiction. Tonya Mount s father is struggling with mental health issues and her mother s cancer has returned, now metastasizing to her lungs. Diana Fulner s niece who needed to have gallbladder surgery. For Susie Pasikowski and her ongoing decisions about treatment for stage one breast cancer. SYMPATHY: For the family and friends of the 114 victims of homicide in our city. To Alan Godsave on the death of his mother Caregiver Support Group The Caregivers Support Group Tuesday, January 3rd at 4 pm in the Hearth Room at TJ. All are welcome. This group is for anyone in a caregiving situation, either local or long-distance. Men s Group The first Monday at noon of every month at Bob Evans Restaurant on Hurstbourne at noon. All men welcome! Womens Lunch Bunch On the first Monday of every month at the Bristol Café on Hurstbourne Lane at noon. All women welcome!

4 Our January 29th Speaker - James Higdon: James Higdon was born and raised in Lebanon, Kentucky, and attended Centre College, Brown University, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He published his first book, The Cornbread Mafia, in 2012 and relocated to Louisville, where he now works as a freelance journalist for the Washington Post and Politico Magazine. He mostly writes about politics, crime, drugs, and guns. Suggested readings for his service (no, it s not a Bible class): Exodus 30: 22-33, New American Standard Bible re: half as much fragrant cane Jeremiah 6: New American Standard Bible re: sweet cane from a distant land" Matthew 2: 9-12 NIV Have A Heart Tree Thank You The Social Justice Committee offers many thanks to the numerous people at TJ who participated in our Have-A-Heart program this holiday season! The kindness and generosity of our congregation was on full display this year. We provided gifts of clothing, toys and books, and gift cards to be used for food, for a family of 4 referred to us from the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The family included a grandmother and her 3 grandchaildren. They receive no state support since KY s Kinship Care program was suspended in Thus our gifts were greatly needed and appreciated. We also sent in numerous monetary sponsorships to the Americana Community Center. Each sponsorship provides one child with one week of After-School Programming where they receive homework help, college and career readiness preparation, creative workshops, a hot supper, and field trips. Thank you TJ members and friends, once again, for having a BIG heart. Calling All Newcomers! Come join us TJ s Newcomer Orientations on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 1-3pm in the Hearth room and Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 9 am. In Weston Hall. Staff and committee chairs will present our principles, history and more. This is your opportunity to find out more about our faith community. Please RSVP to Childcare is available with notification. Bridge Anyone? Every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm. All levels welcome. Just drop in! So many of us deeply desire to live on the side of love when it comes to social justice movements. How can we be a nurturing, humble and steady hand on the side of justice in the face of an ever more complex world? We re excited to bring you 30 Days of Love Each week we will share tools and resources to help you reflect, learn and act around different themes. Save the dates January 16, 2017 through February 14, 2017 for 30 Days of Love From worship resources and weekly actions to opportunities to honor courageous love within our community, stay tuned for more information and resources.

5 Sunday Mornings at 9:30 Current Issues Class-January 8th The adult Sunday morning class issue for January will be "Wealth and Income Inequality." Northern European countries have less income and wealth disparity than most Western industrialized nations. The United States, though a wealthy nation, has a large income/wealth gap between high and middle/low income citizens. We will examine economic and social policies that appear to minimize income and wealth inequality within Northern European countries and discuss possible policies the US could adopt to decrease our inequality. 9:30 AM Drop In Discussion Group We are making our way through The African Experience: From Lucy to Mandela a general introduction to Africa and its history. Even those of us who have studied history have often missed out on learning about Africa. Professor Kenneth P. Vickery says, Our objective is to provide a fuller and more balanced view, a greater appreciation and understanding of the complexity of the African experience. See for details, or just come and see for yourself. 1/15 Segregation to Apartheid in South Africa 1/22 The Armed Struggle for Independence 1/29 The First Taste of Freedom Thursday Evening at 7:00 Five Thursday Evenings: 2/1, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/1 7 to 8:30 PM Introduction to the Bible the Christian Scriptures. This is a continuation of the previous class, but you don t need to have attended the previous class on the Hebrew Scriptures to attend this series. We ll be using the second part of the book Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Sceptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals by UU minister John Buehrens, discussing the readings and additional materials. Copies of the book are available see Debbie in the Church Office. Five Wednesday Evenings (starting 2/1) We ll be taking a first look at the UUA Study/Action Issue, The Corruption of Our Democracy, looking in particular at our election process and the role of corporate citizenship and the Citizens United decision. Watch for details in the next Tapestry. Did you know that TJ is on facebook? Please like our pages: TJUC Lifespan Religious Exploration Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church/Louisville, KY

6 NEW MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS PRESENTS SARA O NEIL For several years before becoming a member, Sara attended our Winterfair event. She also lived nearby. After her husband, Bob, died three years ago, she felt a need to find a spot for spirituality. An old friend sent her a note that he had found his spiritual needs met at a Unitarian church and Sara followed suit. Sara has lived in many cities.indianapolis, Chicago, Stanford, Conn., Buffalo, NY, Tampa, Fl., and Los Angeles. Each region she found to be very different although she learned that no matter where you live, it becomes a small town. Sara has three adult children and three wonderful and adorable grandchildren. She has lived in Louisville for 25 years. As a cancer survivor, Sara now counsels patients at the Friend for Life Cancer Support Network guiding them on the steps they will be taking during their treatment and beyond. She also attends the Caregiver Support group. We are proud to have Sara here in our community. Please welcome her. Wholeheartedly. Janet Taylor Membership Coordinator Refresher on Touting TJ- Impact on WinterFair! Touting (Definition): advertising, hyping, flaunting, plugging, puffing, piling it on, laying it on thick. The Promotions Committee s mission is to promote TJ s unique character to our community. Our purpose? To attract new members and to promote our values and venue to the bigger community. WinterFair! 2016 is a prime example of the power of social media. This year we created an Event page and our WinterFair artists were encouraged to add their art work. Thanks to Ashley Kretschmer, we were able to auto post all artists photos to TJ s Twitter Account and Instagram. The artists loved the publicity! The page was shared within a 50-mile radius for all Facebook users who enjoyed shopping and art. TJ s ad reached over 9,000 Facebook viewers who engaged in viewing our artists work and expressed interest in attending our art show! TJ had one of the most successful art shows this year, and many visitors were newcomers. Some visitors asked about TJ as a church community and may return for a Sunday sermon! Social media also includes digital and print media and thanks to Jordan Friedland, we got THREE mentions for WinterFair in the Courier-Journal. Congratulations, Jordan, for making such a good impression! Of course, Public Radio was also blasting our message on all three stations all week! The Promotions Committee hopes that our TJ members and friends will continue to TOUT TJ in our own way: if you follow TJ s Facebook Page, it is so effective to share an upcoming event, Invite your FB friends to it, and proudly display that you re GOING? If you are not a Facebook user, then share our events with friends and family in your own way. Don t keep TJ a secret! Newcomers are following us on Facebook and our TJ website. We are proud of TJ and we hope you will help us TOUT IT! P.S. Follow TJ on Twitter and

7 January Theme = Resistance Your Question The goal of these questions is not to help you analyze what resistance means, but to figure out what being a person of resistance means for you today. So, which question is calling to you? 1. What would happen if you saw praise, joy or the creation of beauty as your primary form of resistance? What if the world needs your praise as much as your picket signs? What if it needs the creation of beauty as much as the elimination of injustice? 2. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. How is life asking you to end your silence? 3. Is it really an insurmountable and futile challenge? Or just a matter of taking the next small step in front of you? 4. The psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote, What you resist, persists. So, is it possible that your resistance is the source of the struggle you are in? Would the fight end if you stopped fighting? Would the wall fall down if you stopped pushing on it? 5. Has the habit become bad? Is it time to be honest about how your habit controls you more than you control it? 6. If you were put on trial for being countercultural, would you be convicted? 7. Is it possible that your refusal to give up and give in may be a way of avoiding the pain? 8. Is labeling them the enemy defeating both them and you? 9. Are your efforts to save the world leaving room to savor it? 10. What would happen if you saw your justice work not as saving the world or bending the arc of the universe towards justice, but simply as being a pest? (Inspired by the Dalai Lama, who wrote: "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.") What s your question? Your question may not be listed above. As always, if the above questions don't include what life is asking from you, spend the month listening to your days to hear it. Humanist Meetings Important Notice What is humanism? What does it have to say about theistic religion, values, and social justice? To find answers to these questions and more, attend the Humanist classes being offered in the Spring 2017 Open Campus sessions at TJ. In preparation for these classes the regular 2 nd Monday night humanist meetings each month for January, February, and March will be suspended. We will resume our regular meetings again in April. 31st Annual Hootenanny! January 27th, 7:00 pm Bring your non-amplified instruments and play (or just sing!) with John Gage and friends. Supervised children are welcome. $7/ person (Kids under 12 are free) Munchies and soft drinks provided. Please

8 Our Whole Lives: Middle School Sexuality Education Starts This Month: It s Time to Pre-Register! TJUC offers Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education to guide middle school youth in learning about the life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in lifeenhancing ways. It puts sexuality into the context of values and personal responsibility, helping them manage social pressure and serve as advocates for equality. It provides an opportunity to bring values and integrity to the real-life issues they are experiencing or will experience. It guides and supports youth as they address their attitudes and values, their feelings about themselves and their sexuality, and their attitudes toward others sexuality. The program, which requires a family commitment to participate as fully as possible, is offered cooperatively with First Unitarian Church within the safe and inclusive environment of our church communities. OWL models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. Participants in grades 7-9 are guided by trained facilitators through an engaging curriculum that addresses topics typically excluded from other sexuality education and health classes. Parents of youth in grades 7-9, including mature youth in grade 6, are encouraged to enroll eligible youth in this nationally recognized sexuality education program. Please pre-register your youth via to DLRE Barb at and mark your calendar for the required parent orientation to the program to be held at TJUC on January 15 from 1:30-3:00 PM. Part Time Early Childhood Teacher Needed! This is a paid position. The quest is ongoing for a lead teacher for our Pre-Kindergarten through First Grade group. This fun and rewarding position offers opportunities to let personal talents shine- crafts, music, movement, storytelling are all valued skills. Previous experience teaching children in this age range is required. A Bachelor's Degree in education would be dandy and dependability and a kind and gentle personality are also important qualifications. Regular schedule from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Sunday mornings, starting at $10 per hour. TJUC is an equal opportunity employer. An application and background check is required. If you re interested, or know someone who might be, please contact DLRE Barb by phone at church or to Nurturing Our Families We ve got a growing number of young families at TJ! Nurturing our families with young children through our wonderful early childhood program is important. Every Sunday, we need a helper to work with Amy Wurzbacher, our Nursery Specialist, and another helper to work with our Pre-Kindergarten through 1st Grade Specialist. More volunteer helpers are needed! Will you join our team of early childhood helpers to serve once a month from 11:00 AM until 12:15? Please contact DLRE Barb to say YES or for more information. Thank you! Amy Wurzbacher

9 January 2017 Monday, January 2, :00 PM - 01:30 PM Women's Group at Bristol Wednesday, January 4, :00 PM - 09:00 PM Bridge Group Sunday, January 8, :30 AM - 10:30 AM Aesthetics Committee 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Current Issue Discussion 12:15 PM - 12:45 PM Potluck 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM Administration Committee Monday, January 9, :00 PM - 08:30 PM Stewardship Committee Tuesday, January 10, :00 PM - 08:30 PM Choir Rehearsal Tuesday, January 24, :00 PM - 08:30 PM Choir Rehearsal Wednesday, January 25, :30 PM - 08:00 PM Open Campus Kickoff 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM Bridge Group Thursday, January 26, :00 PM - 08:00 PM Women's Choir Practice Sunday, January 29, :30 AM - 10:45 AM Drop In Discussion Group 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM Council Meeting Tuesday, January 31, :00 PM - 08:30 PM Choir Rehearsal Wednesday, January 11, :00 PM - 09:00 PM Bridge Group Thursday, January 12, :00 PM - 08:00 PM Women's Choir Practice Saturday, January 14, :00 AM - 11:30 AM ARE Meeting 04:00 PM - 11:45 PM Youth Lock in Sunday, January 15, :15 AM - 10:45 AM Social Justice Comm Meet 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Children & Youth RE Meeting 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Drop In Discussion Group 12:30 PM - 02:30 PM Sunday Service Planning 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM OWL Orientation Tuesday, January 17, :00 PM - 08:30 PM Choir Rehearsal Wednesday, January 18, :00 PM - 09:00 PM Bridge Group Thursday, January 19, :00 PM - 08:00 PM Women's Choir Practice Sunday, January 22, :00 AM - 10:30 AM Newcomer Pancake Breakfast 09:15 AM - 10:45 AM Green Sanctuary Committee 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM Drop In Discussion Group This Sunday say hello to someone you don t know! The next Tapestry Deadline is January 20th, 2017 Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church is now on Twitter! Our account

10 TJ Grounds Committee Wild Bunch planting 10 of 17 new native trees in our natural area restoring 3 of our acres to native species Building Bridges A Visit to The Islamic Center on January 17th Join The Adventure; All are invited! Our faith tradition visit for the month will be at The Islamic Center(4007 River Road, Louisville,40207)on Tuesday, January17that 6:45 p.m.modest dress code is encouraged for everyone. This is a multigenerational, family friendly event. All children and youth do need to be accompanied by a parent. Everyone should gather outside the front entrance 6:45 p.m., the service begins at7pm. Please sign up on the clipboard on the RE table in the Welcoming Space so we have an idea of group size. We have visitors every Sunday. They would like to meet you.

11 Winter 2017 Open Campus Schedule Offered by the ARE (Adult Religious Education) Committee What s fun, fascinating and FREE? Open Campus Classes -- that s what. The Louisville community is encouraged to join the Thomas Jefferson crew during February and March a special welcome is extended to young adults, older teens and parents -- just arrange ahead of time for child care at the church. Check out the eight weeks of classes and times below. But before classes even start, we will have a terrific kickoff dinner featuring our famous spaghetti recipe perfected by TJ s own chef Ernie Weill and an entertaining preview of one of our classes: YOU MUST LEARN: A Hip Hop Appreciation Primer for the Under-Informed. Be sure to sign up online or at Thomas Jefferson before or after the service. Spaghetti Dinner Kick off January 25 Everyone is invited 5:30-6:30 Ernesto s Fabulous Spaghetti Dinner 6:20-6:50 Introduction of classes and entertainment Sign-up for dinner ($5 per adult, children free) and classes is at the ARE table in the Welcoming Space during coffee hour on Sundays. Sign-ups will also be offered online. Open Campus Schedule: February 1-March 22 (weather make-up day March 29) 5:30-6:30 Dinner at Shiraz Order your dinner and join the group at reserved tables. 6:30-7:00 Vespers, led by Elwood Stutevant, Open to everyone 7:00-8:30 Wednesday Evening Classes (sign-up is requested to help planning and make possible facilitator-participants communication). Understanding Humanism. Facilitators are members of Humanists of Metro Louisville + friends. February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1, 8, 15 & 22. Is our democracy being corrupted? an exploration of the 2016 UUA study/action issue. Elwood Sturtevant, facilitator. February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1 Citizens Climate Lobby and You. Tony Sweazy, facilitator. March 8, 15, 22. YOU MUST LEARN: A Hip Hop Appreciation Primer for the Under-Informed. - Daniel Sturtevant, facilitator. February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1, 8. Weather Policy: If Jefferson County Schools are canceled, consult the TJ website or call the church or the class facilitator to check potential Open Campus cancelations. Adult RE Sunday Morning Discussion Class, 9:30-10:45 in the Hearth Room Drop-ins are welcome. Current Issues Discussion January 8th. Elwood Sturtevant and Steve Sargent, facilitators. Other Sundays during the month: The African Experience, a video- - discussion series continues Elwood Sturtevant, facilitator. Thursday Evenings at 7:00 pm: Understanding the Bible, Part 2 The Christian Scriptures (using the book Understanding the Bible, by John Buehrens). Elwood Sturtevant, facilitator. February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2.

12 Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church 4936 Brownsboro Road Hwy. 22 Louisville, KY Return Service Requested January 2017 Edition 615 from Still I Rise by Maya Angelou Out of the huts of history s shame I rise Up from a past that s rooted in pain I rise I m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. The Reverend Elwood Sturtevant, Minister Tuesday - Thursday, 1-4 pm and by appointment Barb Friedland, Director Lifespan RE Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00am - 3:00 pm Wednesday & Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Frank Richmond, Music Director Janet Taylor, Membership Coordinator Debbie Horvay Administrator/Newsletter Editor Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm Ellen Wade, Rental Coordinator Weddings and Rentals Call the office. Office hours: Monday thru Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm 9:30 am - Adult Religious Education 11:00 am - Sunday Service 11:00 am - Children /Youth Lifespan RE Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church 4936 Brownsboro Rd (Hwy 22) Louisville, KY 40222

13 What s More Fun Than a Mystery? Sign-Ups are Open NOW! An intergenerational and fun way to learn more about each other. Because building community is an important part of the life of our church. Mystery Friends is for all ages. Young children will need lots of parental support AND are welcomed J The idea is to match older with younger people. Anyone aged 15 and under will be in the younger Mystery Friend category. Anyone 18 and up will be in the older Mystery Friend category Anyone under the age of 18 and who is at least 15, may elect to be in the older OR the younger category. Mystery Friend forms are available online at and in the Welcoming Space at Church Applications to be a Mystery Friend should be turned in by December 30th. Friend pairs are matched up by the DLRE. Welcome letters with more info and sharing a bit about your friend, will be ed on January 2nd so be on the lookout! The program begins officially on Sunday, January 8th. The idea is to write messages to your Mystery Friend that share about you, while keeping your name under wraps. Friends are expected to message each other every week from January 8th until February 12th Friends may drop messages off at TJUC during the week or send them via the USPS or even via . (See special note below!) The program will have a big reveal event, including a pancake breakfast, on Sunday, February 12th at 9:00 AM. Please mark your calendars for that date NOW. In the spirit of Mystery Friends, I won't be telling you my identity. If you all don't mind, I'd love to play along with you by adding clues to who I am on the Mystery Friend group board in the Welcoming Space. Be sure to look at that board every week. Who will learn who I am first? This is going to be fun! And for you kiddos, I ll be keeping track and every week that you leave or a note for your Mystery Friend, I will leave a special surprise activity in your TJ Mystery Friends Mailbox, you ll find out more about your mailbox in your welcome letter!. Oh, yes! - I almost forgot. I ve set up an official Mystery Friend account that DLRE Barb and I will be monitoring. The address for the Mystery Friend account is: Mischievously Yours, Mystery Friend Postmaster

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