Minister’s Message for Dec. 20th

On Tuesday, Anne Clough, assisted by Tom Durkin, offered a ‘Blue Christmas’ Vespers Service in our sanctuary. There were 9 of us, and one visitor. It was lovely and poignant.  Blue Christmas is one where the typical holiday fizziness is replaced with quiet reflection, and sometimes tears, because the Christmas party spirit is not in harmony with the sadness or worry or some other sobering event or condition being experienced by the attendees:   

Loss of a partner through death or other separation. 

Estrangement between closely related people; 

Painful or exhausting illness, yours or family or friends; 

Loss of employment, or any form of feeling useless; 

Uncertainty about how to behave in jolly company, when you don’t feel jolly yourself; 

Simple loneliness. 

Elvis Presley had a hit record with his 1957 recording of Blue Christmas. That song is about unrequited love. Fats Domino recorded it too, and does a wonderful job with a similar song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas (if only in my dreams). Leon Redbone’s rendition is also first-class. 

‘Tis the giving season, they say, and I hope that those of us who aren’t particularly blue this year, go a little out of our way to help ease the deprivation of others. I like to give to the Salvation Army’s ringers a dollar for their red pot, sometimes both coming in and going out. The ringers are so nice, so cheerful, conversational, even though the temperatures recently have been cruel. I think they get a percentage of the donations, so it helps them as well as the Army’s beneficiaries.  

In that spirit, I have lifted the cap on the number of cashmere scarves that I’m giving out, now to every person who signs up for members’ area access in our website ( An’ hoot mon, they’re made in Scutlun’ (Scotland)! 

You simply go to, click on the Member menu on the far right of the midnight-blue bar, then select Members Login/Logout. It will take you to a user name and password field. Enter the email address that you have been receiving these progress reports, and then the password: UUCE1866.  We suggest you click the box to keep you logged in, so that you can skip the Login next time. If you need help with any of this, use the Search box to search for ‘QuickGuides’ (no space), and you will find step by step instructions. If you need more help call, text, or email me or Sheena (note: Sheena’s out of the office after Sunday until Jan 2). 

Once you have done that, you can change your password if you like, with help, if needed from the QuickGuide via the Search box. It’s not required. 

Don’t forget to click the Update box before leaving any page. 

When you have successfully established your membership, shoot me a text or email and let me know you’ve done it, and your name will go on my eligible-for-cashmere scarf list. BTW, I am paying for them, not UUCE. 

Wishing you all a happy and toasty-warm Christmas!! 

— Rev. Leland