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I Still Believe in Santa Claus – December 15, 2019 at 10:30

I Still Believe in Santa Claus at Petersham Unitarian Sunday, Dec. 15
Rini Kilcoyne will present, “I Still Believe in Santa Claus” on Sunday, December 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the Petersham Unitarian Church, across from the Town Common. The presentation will include a secular Christmas sing-along. All are welcome to attend.
According to Kilcoyne, “The Sermon will be looking at the historical connection between our image of Santa Claus, and our retail economy in America, and how the two have always been inextricably tied together. While we will not neglect the ‘reason for the season,’ I will also speak of how parents make sure each Christmas that Santa Claus exists, just by filling stockings and attributing gifts that they bought to Santa instead. We will celebrate the fun, good cheer, generosity, and the entire creative spectacle of the Christmas Season.”
Rehearsals and solo selections will be held at the Davis Memorial building in back of the church at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Secember 12 and Saturday, December 14.

PHOTO CAPTION: Rini Kilcoyne will present, I still Believe in Santa Claus, a talk and Christmas sing-along on Sunday, December 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the Petersham Unitarian Church. 

Chair of the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to Speak at Petersham Unitarian on Sunday, November 17

Bonnie MacCracken, chair of the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (HFCSWG)  will speak on the mission of the organization at the First Congregational Parish Unitarian in Petersham on Sunday, November 17 at 10:30 a.m.   The HFCSWG  is working to expand the public discussion of gender-based inequality in Western Massachusetts. 

Bonnie MacCracken, photo credit Genevieve Fraser

According to MacCracken, the HFCSWG has been consulting with local legislators and their staff to discuss the issues that impact the women and girls in their district. “We’ve been building upon the groundwork and momentum our 9-member commission created during its inaugural year (2017-2018) and to set new goals that promote the rights and opportunities for all women and girls toward full equity in all areas of life.” 

“The inaugural year was a period of growth from determining our character and purpose to drafting the rules we now operate under. The process of drafting bylaws helped us to lay important groundwork and develop a unified vision,” she said.

MacCracken is a real estate title examiner and owner of  Real Estate Title Examinations and Genealogical Research Services (  She is a state committeewoman with the Massachusetts Democratic Party and a former candidate for state representative for the 3rd Hampshire District.   

We’re All in This Together

On September 20, 2019 several members of the Petersham Unitarian Universalist Church participated in the Global Climate Strike by helping to create a community art project in the center of town. We gathered to 8 AM to put a small boat in front of The Country Store, courtesy of the generosity of Ari Puglisi and the East Quabbin Land Trust. The boat, with a flag for SS Earth, represented the fact that we are all together on the same planet and need to work together to assure a safe and sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.

Jeanette Martin created the colorful 9-foot banner that held the words “We’re All in This Together” along with her visualization of our common environment and activities. Visitors were invited to write or draw their wishes and concerns for out Earth on flags to be attached to the stays tied to the mast of the boat. A colorful and moving artwork was the result of the combined efforts.

The Petersham Climate Boat will remain in front of the Store through the week and the climate activities planned for September 27, hosted by the Country Store and East Quabbin Land Trust. All are welcome to attend from noon through the afternoon and add a flag to the boat.

Where did the summer go?

Where did the summer go? Enjoy the remainder of the August sun and butterflies. Speaking of butterflies, some of us saw a rare Giant Swallowtail (see pic) in Diane’s yard when we were meeting at her house. 

On to the schedule: 
~All services at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary unless otherwise noted. ~Services with Rev. Arthen will include one of our wonderful musicians. ~Coffee, sweet treats and conversation in the Dining Room after service.


September 8 – Water Communion – Rev. Inanna Arthen – bring water you have collected from special places since we last  gathered together


September 15 – Carol Mays – Poetry


September 22 – Harvest/Autumn Equinox – Rev. Inanna Arthen


September 29 – Katja Esser (meet in the Ladies Parlor)


October 6 – Immigration – Rev. Inanna Arthen


October 13 – Robert Rocheleau “Truth, Beauty and Goodness”


October 20 – Inanna Arthen


October 27 – Pledge Sunday Brunch – in the Dining Room


November 3 – Rini Kilcoyne
November 10 – Veterans’ Day – Rev. Inanna Arthen


November 17 – Bonnie MacCracken – Chairman of the State Commission on the Status of Women and Girls


November 24 – Interfaith Thanksgiving – Rev. Inanna Arthen
🔯December 1 – Hattie Nestel “Reconsidering Siddur”


December 8 – Rev. Inanna Arthen


December 15 – Rini Kilcoyne


December 22 – Winter Solstice – Seasonal Celebration – share your winter traditions


December 24 at 7 p.m. – Christmas Eve – Rev. Inanna Arthen


December 29 – Fellowship Discussion “Personal dreams, successes and frustrations in our efforts to make a difference in the world individually”



Tag Sale – Saturday, September 14th, 9-2Please drop off all of your extra primo items at the Davis before the sale. Volunteers needed to help set up and to talk shoppers into buying that certain item they can’t live without.


Climate Strike-Friday September 20, 8:30am and  Friday, September 27, noon  On the North Common – bring your signs. “Millions will take part in global climate strikes on the 20th and 27th of September, with communities across the country and around the world taking action during the entire “Week for Future and Climate Justice.” Led by youth climate strikers, people will walk out of school and work to join mass marches and rallies, music concerts, sit-ins and nonviolent direct action. 

We will be a part of those numbers here in Petersham.  Please join us to show our neighbors, the media, and our elected officials that the climate crisis an issue that we care deeply about.” (from Lynne Feldman’s notice to the Petersham Huddle Group)



Phil Hubbard will be in the pulpit at the Monson UU on 12/1 to swap for Mary Gelezunas’ presentation at our church last spring.


AND PLEASE VISIT THE NEW CHURCH WEBSITE, a wonderful re-design by Diane Nassif. Let us know if you have information about the church history you would like to add, if you spot any corrections needed, etc.