January Cresset 2015

Introducing Rev. Shayna Appel

Greetings all!  I am Shayna Appel and I will be serving as your Interim Parish Minister half-time for the next 6 months.  What’s an Interim Parish Minister?  Well, for starters, one who serves in the interim period between settled (long-term) ministers.  But in our case, more specifically, one who serves the needs of the congregation in the interim period between settled ministers. In this capacity I will be preaching twice a month at PUUC and once a month over at RiverMead, I will be in the office at regularly scheduled times (Mon & Th) to provide staff support and pastoral care to the congregation, and I will offer support as needed to the various leaders of the congregation.


Those of you who have experienced periods of Interim Ministry before may be wondering, “Great, but what about all that other work that happens during an Interim Period?”  Good question!  This work will be carried out by my good friend and colleague The Rev. Olivia Holmes.  Olivia has years of experience as an Interim Minister and is widely recognized as one of the best in our denomination.  I am thrilled to be working with her, and I am equally excited for all of you.  Olivia will serve ¼ time as the Interim Consulting Minister and her job is to lift up with you, and help you address, some of the wonderful opportunities interim times make possible.


This model of splitting interim responsibilities is brand new for us in the UUA…brand new as in you are the first congregation to engage it!  So as we proceed, Olivia and I will be looking both for your engagement in the process as well as your feedback on it.  We are both really excited to begin and looking forward to getting to know you better.


About me:

I am the youngest of three children, (brother Michael, deceased, and sister Bonnie) born in Lowell, Massachusetts “a few years back”.  My parents (Irving and Gertrude Appel) moved to Orange, Connecticut when I was about three or four years old.  I went away to high school in Greenfield, Massachusetts (Stoneleigh Burnham School), and got my undergraduate degree from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA.).


My work life began in pre-hospital emergency medicine and I spent many years working for private ambulance services, mostly in inner cities throughout New England.  I did some additional undergraduate work at the University of Hartford in Respiratory Therapy before qualifying for Hartford’s second paramedic class.  Shortly after completing that class I completed testing for the East Hartford (CT) Fire Department and soon thereafter became the first woman to serve there.

The journey from this vocation to the ministry is long and complicated, as is my faith journey from Judaism to the UUA, to Judeo-Christianity and now back to the UUA…and the UCC!  (See…complicated!)  But, as mom used to say, let’s save a little fun till we’re older…or in this case, let’s save some of the story for what I hope are many and rich opportunities to get to know one another in the near future!


Till then-Shalom!



Meet the new ministers

Please join us for worship this Sunday January 11 as we welcome our interim ministers Rev. Shayna Appel and Rev. Olivia Holmes.  The service will be followed by an opportunity to meet Olivia and Shayna at community hour and to hear a bit more about our plans for the next six months.


From the DRE

"It is not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…It’s like being in between trapezes.  It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.  There’s nothing to hold on to." (1)


Where do we go from here?  A minister has retired after being a steady loving presence here for seven years.  A gentle gust of wind blows through the sanctuary.  A new year begins.  Change.  What do we want to change and what do we want to keep?  "Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so as though we were making the first step toward disaster."(2) 


Thank you for the 7 years and thank you for this new opportunity.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.


~Char James


Quotes: (1) Marilyn Ferguson  (2) William Bridges


Buddhist Meditation

This Thursday (January 8th) we will be meeting and discussing Part 5 "Opening your heart to include everything" of Pema Chödrön's book How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind.    The chapters are 23 "The Bearable Lightness of Being" and 24 "Beliefs".  These are the same as for December 11th, since weather made us cancel that meeting


As always, we meet at 7 pm in the stage area of the Parish Hall (way in the back).  We meditate for one hour (approximately 25 minutes sitting meditation followed by 10 minutes walking meditation followed by another 25 minutes of sitting meditation).  Meditation instruction is available at the beginning of the session for those who are interested.


After a brief break for tea and homemade refreshments, we spend the remaining time discussing readings relevant to meditation.  Discussions are generally enriched by Binny Clark, a Shambhala Buddhist practitioner with over 20 years of experience. We are a small, friendly, informal, eclectic group -- our members range from beginners to long time meditators.


There is no charge, but we encourage small voluntary donations to the church in recompense for their donation of the space we use.


Directions: Please enter the church by the back door which is lighted and accessible from the church parking lot. To get to the stage area of the Parish Hall, go up the stairs, turn right to go towards the Parish Hall, then turn left and follow the short ramped corridor to the end.  The stage area is on your right.  Because we often close the door to keep in heat and keep out noise, the area may seem dark and empty.  No need to knock, come in and be welcome!  If meditation has begun, just take a seat silently. Someone will attend to you if you need help.


See you there!


The Zumbyes are back again

A show at PUUC not to be missed. The Zumbyes, an all-male cappella group from Amherst College, will put on a show on Saturday January 17 at 7 p.m. Bring friends and family! This group performs songs with energy, complexity and strong jazz influences. They also infuse their shows with irreverent humor and were called “the most dangerous a cappella group on the planet” by the New York Times. This show attracts many people from outside our Church, so let’s have a strong showing from our Church community! This is a PUUC fundraiser with proceeds going to our operating budget.




Yoga that benefits the Community Supper

Weekly, all-levels, donation-based flow yoga classes are offered every Sunday evening from 7:00-8:15 in the Religious Education classroom downstairs. $5-$10 suggested donations benefit the Community Supper. All are welcome, no experience necessary. Questions? Email sarahelizabethfield@gmail.com, or visit www.facebook.com/peterboroughyoga.


Help needed

This Saturday, January 10th from 10 -12 noon come help clean up the legs of the folding card tables to get them ready for new cloth tops.  Some light sanding and linseed oil cloths would be helpful.


Sunday Service Volunteers


January 11 – Laura and Jonathan Gourlay

January 18- Suzy McDonald and _________. Need volunteer.

January 25-Need volunteers


Community Hour

January 11-Suzy McDonald and Ed Chaney

January 18-Need volunteers

January 25-Need volunteers



January 11-Linda  and Greg Scerbinski

January 18-Anne Twitchell

January 25-Need volunteers


Please contact Vanessa to sign up, or go to Sign Up Genius at www.signupgenius.com. You can search by email address. Use to search. Or if you’ve created an account, click on Login Now. 



Office: 924-6245  email:   website: www.uupeterborough.org

Interim Parish Minister: Rev. Shayna Appel  Mon 2-6, Thur 9-1, email: kshaynaappel@gmail.com

DRE: Char James; Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri 2-5 pm, email:

Admin: Vanessa Amsbury-Bonilla; Mon & Thurs 8am-4:30pm, Tues 8-11 am, email: