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Lay Led Groups
The Adopt-a-Highway cadre is responsible for two miles of Lindle Road near the church. Policing actions are held in the spring, summer and fall.
Amirt Yoga (Meets Monday night from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Fuller Chapel)
The Amrit Yoga Group meets every Monday night from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Fuller Chapel. It's free. When the weather is warm, we often do yoga outside on the deck or lawn. Bring a yoga mat and a blanket, and wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes.
Amrit yoga is a form of hatha yoga. It was developed by Yogi Amrit Desai. We use his practice CD, which leads us through a series of yoga postures that allows for proper positioning of the postures. The entire process moves and stretches every part of your body, for an energetic workout and includes a calming, meditative relaxation at the end.
If you have any medical conditions that restrict exercise, please seek out the advice of your physician before coming. You will be asked to sign a release form for injury liability at the first session.
Yoga is a great way to exercise, offering stress release and relaxation for those of us with busy schedules. Come join the fun.
If you want more information, please contact Ed Sykes (717) 975-9946.
Clover Grove is a group of earth-centered and pagan spiritualists and a Lay-led Ministry at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg. This group meets monthly to discuss spiritual issues related to those of a similar path, and celebrates with ritual the phases of the Earth and Moon.
Our regular monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month from 6-8 pm. Our meetings vary and include rituals, drum circles, discussions, and workshops.
Please join us! All are welcome to attend our meetings and our Sabbat celebrations are open to the public as well as UCH members.
For information, contact Jen Wallitsch
"Program sessions are a structured and facilitated experience. We have learned that informal discussions tend to diminish over time, and it is our intention to provide a deep and fulfilling spiritual experience to those who participate in SGM [Small Group Ministry]. Sharing happens respectfully, with no cross-talk, just active listening to take in what is being shared by another." - Rev. Mike Walker
Covenant Group Ministry Program (Small Groups)
- Provide an opportunity to get to know others in a small-group setting.
- Are committed to caring for each other and to helping each other grow personally and spiritually.
- Include 8-10 people committed to meeting monthly from September through May.
- Meet for two-hour sessions in homes or at the church.
- Are facilitated by trained group leaders.
- Are open to members and friends of this congregation.
- Will end in May and new groups are formed each fall.
Contact Covenant Group Program Team if you are interested in joining a group when new ones are formed.
A discussion group for women over 65, both UCH members and non-members
Honoring a crone tradition of conscious female aging and self-power
For personal enrichment, such as through intellect, knowledge, comfort or companionship, anticipating a maximum of 10 women
Sharing, listening and learning, without gossip or speaking disrespectfully to or about each other
Discussion topics planned quarterly by those in attendance; group guidelines established and refined by the group at least annually
We look forward to seeing you.
For information please contact Joan Hellmann.
What is “Green Sanctuary?” Green Sanctuary is the lay-led ministry at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg focusing on environmental concerns. All members of the congregation are welcome to join and participate.
UCH has been certified by the UUA as a Green Sanctuary. A Green Sanctuary is a congregation that lives out its commitment to the Earth by creating a sustainable lifestyle for its members as individuals and as a faith community.
In 2003, UCH was certified as a Green Sanctuary after completing all program requirements of the Seventh Principle Project of the UUA. This included conducting an environmental audit and designing a comprehensive program and action plan.
Our Seventh Principle affirms and promotes "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." UCH joins UU congregations from across the country in this effort.
What we do: Green Sanctuary at UCH meets monthly to develop programs that support our members, our church and our wider community. We have decided to focus our efforts on congregational education at UCH, and grassroots political action related to climate change in cooperation with other churches. Watch for information in the UCH newsletter, the Reporter, or read our meeting minutes.
Questions? Contact Rachel Mark
Helping People In Prison & Their Families
Our lay-led ministry was organized as an all-church social action project in December 2001. We do some things directly, and we partner with other groups that are also working to people in prison and their families, like:
- The PROGRAM- it’s about change. We provide their community center at 1515 Derry Street with copies of the Sunday paper’s classified ads, and UCH members volunteer there to teach various life skills, computer basics, and the like. And we help the women from the PROGRAM’s Promise Place get to the monthly CCU PAC-sponsored breakfast (details below).
- The PA Prison Society. We join as individual members, and some UCH members serve as an Official Visitor to visit prison inmates at any PA prison (as long as the inmate is not a relative). John Hargreaves can fill you in PPS activities.
- Christian Churches United or CCU has a Prison Action Committee (PAC) which serves “as a voice for those incarcerated and coordinates both staff and volunteer pastoral care for inmates at area prisons.” PAC is tasked with funding 25% of the Associate Chaplain’s position at the Dauphin County Prison. PAC meets monthly, on the second Thursday at 8:00 a.m., at the Dodge City Restaurant on Paxton Street, Harrisburg.” A major fundraiser of the Prison Action Committee is the Concert of Hope held in April each year.
For the past nearly ten years the Prison Action Committee has coordinated monthly breakfasts at community churches for the men and women in work release and prison transition programs. Each month a different church provides breakfast and an inspirational speaker. When we host the breakfast on April 23, 2016 it will be our eighth year! Save the date, because it succeeds with many UCH people sharing their time. UCH people drive women from Promise Place to the host church on a Saturday morning, picking them up at 8:30 am, sitting with them at the breakfast, and dropping them off by 11am. If you would like to try driving, talk with Chris Dutton.
- Decarcerate PA formed in 2011 to challenge the expansion of Pennsylvania’s prison system amid drastic cuts to public education, social services and health care.
- The Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UU PLAN)’s Anti-Mass Incarceration Team. Contact Margaret Carrow, Jim Cavenaugh, John Hargreaves or Chris Dutton for more information.
The Humanism Lay-Led Ministry explores what it means to be a humanist and to put humanist values into practice. What is humanism? Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Mindfulness is an acquired skill, practiced during meditation and vital in our everyday lives. It can be useful in focusing attention, managing pain, reducing stress, and overcoming habitual negative behavior. Meditation can also point the way to spiritual practice, calming the mind and allowing the development of awareness and insight. The ability to be mindful is strengthened through practice, and the Mindfulness Meditation Group provides a space for us to practice together in support of one another.
- Everyone is welcome. Affiliation with any organization or belief system is neither promoted nor discouraged.
- Engaging in safe, respectful and welcoming conduct is the only expectation. Participation is entirely voluntary.
- Format: One 25 minute period of meditation followed by a short reading and discussion.
- Bring your own seating or use our cushions, benches, and chairs.
- Every Tuesday, 6:55 pm, Fuller Chapel, upper level, Clover Lane.
- On 3rd Tuesday of alternate months, there are silent meditations without speaking or reading.
- On 5th Tuesdays MMG holds special events.
For more information or to see the monthly schedule, please email MMG
and ask for the MMG monthly newsletter.
Philosophy & Literature
We usually meet on the second Sunday of month at the Church at 7pm, for questions or to get on the group’s email list: Don Brown
Reading List for 2017
January - Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Written initially to guide his son, Franklin's autobiography is an account of his unique and eventful life.
February - The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston. A book about the wonder of large trees such as the redwoods and the people who study them.
March - Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild. How life feels to people on the right in the emotion underling politics.
April - Every Love Story is A Ghost Story Every Love Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace: by D. T. Max, The story of the of the life of the respected writer David Foster Wallace
May - The Price of Altruism, George Price and the Search for Origins of Kindness. by Oren Harmen. The story of one scientist’s quest to determine the source of altruism in humans.
June – Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, by Janet Moch. The story of one person’s growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America.
July - American Philosophy: A Love Story, by John Kaag. The story of how the discovery of an abandoned library helped a person understand the meaning of life.
August - The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu.by Joshua Hammer. The story of how a few courageous librarians saved some of the world’s most precious manuscripts from destruction.
September - But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past , by Chuck Klosterman. Questions profound in simplicity, such as how sure are we about gravity.
October - White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. By Nancy Isenberg. The book describes the role of class in the United States from the beginning of the country
November -The Oregon Trail: An American Journey, by Rinker Buck A story about a modern day journey by wagon from Kansas to Oregon by the author and his brother.
December - Book selection for 2018
(Meets from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on the first Wednesday of the month)
QueenSpirit shares in a growing movement of women’s groups springing up around the world as described by author and lecturer, Jean Shinoda Bolen in The Millionth Circle. As a lay-led ministry here at UCH since 1999, women from the church and larger community have been coming together to explore, nurture and celebrate their personal and collective spiritual journeys. QueenSpirit came into being inspired by the course, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven,” co-facilitated with the Rev. Jackie Ziegler in 1999. This course explored female religious roots, from ancient goddesses to witchcraft to strong women in the biblical tradition. The author, Shirley Ranck, says that it is up to us to relate that story to our own experience as women in the modern world and to use it as a basis for a non-sexist theology.
In addition to offering the “Cakes” course several times since 1999, QueenSpirit has facilitated numerous courses and workshops that provide a strong basis for women’s personal spiritual journeys. These educational events co-facilitated by QueenSpirit sisters include opportunities for creative ritual, music, artwork, dance, meditation and study.
On the first Wednesday of the month, 6:00 to 9:00 pm, QueenSpirit sisters come together to share a potluck meal and a circle. These circles are formed around an altar with candles, symbols of the four directions and other materials related to the topic to be discussed in circle. Facilitators, who change from month to month, choose their own topic when leading the circle. Jean Shinoda Bolen says of women’s circles, “The invisible center [of the circle] is a source of energy, compassion and wisdom.”
QueenSpirit sisters facilitate many other activities and events and are represented on the Women & Religion Committee of the Joseph Priestly District.
Come and learn and explore with QueenSpirit and find support among other women for your own spiritual journey. For more information, please contact Randa Todd, 766-3119 or Kandy Melillo, 545-6756.
Helps the congregation keep track of reproductive rights and organizes events such as a Roe v. Wade commemorative service and bus service to Women's Marches in Washington, D.C. Contact Barb Pearce or Margaret Blough for more information or go to the UUA's website about reproductive rights.
Women's Night Out formerly Craft Group
Women’s Night Out (formerly the Craft Group) is a lay-led ministry of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg that focuses on the friendship and support of its members and giving back to our local community. We meet on the second Tuesday of every month at a local restaurant chosen by our committee, alternating locations between the East and West Shores each month.
Besides the very social aspect of our dinners, members contribute, as they are able, to the support of a local charity, right now the Ecumenical Food Pantry.
To join Women’s Night Out and experience the fun and friendship of our group first-hand as well as providing support to the Ecumenical Food Pantry, please contact Linda Brown.