The Grapevine Newsletter

  March 2011

Published by:  Pullman Memorial Universalist Church  Albion, NY

Member of The Unitarian Universalist Association               


Opening Words


"It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah."

Robert Ingersoll stated, the myth of hell represents "all the meanness, all the revenge, all the selfishness, all the cruelty, all the hatred, all the infamy of which the heart of man is capable."  And, “There are in nature neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences."

Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Ingersoll was most noted as an orator, the most popular of the age, when oratory was public entertainment. He spoke on every subject, from Shakespeare to Reconstruction, but his most popular subjects were agnosticism and the sanctity and refuge of the family.

Many of Ingersoll's speeches advocated freethought and humanism, and often poked fun at religious belief. For this the press often attacked him, but neither his views nor the negative press could stop his rising popularity. At the height of Ingersoll's fame, audiences would pay $1 or more to hear him speak, a giant sum for his day.


Service Schedule – Sunday at 11:00AM





Coffee Hour

Mar. 6

Rev. Donald Reidell


Eileen DellaCosta

Mar. 7

Pot Luck  6:30 PM


Please bring a dish to share.

Mar. 13

Rev. John Rex


Chris Loss

Mar. 20

Susan Daiss

Time Share


Mar. 27

H. Lee Richards



Apr. 3

Rev. Donald Reidell





 *Monday, March 7th – Potluck supper at 6:30 p.m.  Please bring a dish to pass. Meet and talk to H. Lee Richards about his 1/3 time ministry proposal, and ask questions.  (See Lee’s letter on page 4.)

 Also, Freeman Lattin will be there to perform several card tricks.

 *Sunday, March 13th – 9:30 a.m. Building & Grounds Committee meeting to go over the Architect’s report and identify priorities.

 *Saturday,  March 19th – 9:00 a.m. Sam’s Diner, Holley. Artist’s Way group will meet and go over chapter’s 3 & 4.

 *Sunday, March 20th – 1) 9:30 a.m. Board of Trustees’ meet.

2). Adult Education/Talk-back Service. Susan Daiss’ sermon will be about the background of our seven principles and a more in-depth look at principle #1.

3). Time Share.

 *Sunday, April 3rd – Book discussion group meets directly following church, ‘Mything in Action’ by Don Lago. All are welcome!

 *Sunday, May 1st – 117th Annual Congregational Meeting, directly following the church service. Lunch will be served.

We would like to see everyone come out for the congregational vote on May 1st.


Other dates of interest:


UUA Common Read Book Discussions, sponsored by GUUSTO (Genesee UU Societies Together). Featuring the book ‘The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands’ by Margaret Regan. The book includes dispatches from Arizona – the front-line of a massive human migration, and including the voices of migrants, Border Patrol, ranchers, activists, and others.  Facilitated Discussions will be held at the following locations:

Tuesday, March 8 – 6:30 PM at the Lift-Bridge Book Shop, 45 Main Street , Brockport. Sponsored by the Brockport Fellowship (BUUF).

Friday, March 11 – 7:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Rochester , 150 South Clinton Avenue . (Potluck supper at 6:00 p.m.).


April 29-30, St. Lawrence District Assembly in Ithaca , NY . ‘The Wider the Circle…The Deeper the Way…Becoming Whole as a Faith Community’, hosted by the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca.


Our Seven Principles – a Talkback Discussion Series

Susan Daiss will be presenting a series of Adult Education/talk-back services once a month from March until June based on our seven principles. Specifically, Susan will be utilizing the book ‘The Seven Principles in Word and Worship’ by Ellen Brandenburg. Susan will preach once a month, and invite discussion on the topic following the service. On March 20, she will preach on the background of the principles and look more in-depth at Principle #1; principle’s 2 and 3 will be discussed on April 17; principles 4 and 5 are set for May 15, and principles 6 and 7 will be addressed on June 19. While Unitarian Universalists have a wide spectrum of beliefs, we almost universally agree on the seven principles. These are considered the bedrock of our faith.  Join us on these dates and learn more about them!




*Louise Wu – said she is pleased that the Buffalo City Council had the good sense to vote ‘no’ on hydrofracking.

*Chris Loss- announced that her son, Dustin, turned 23 on February 12th.  And she said she recently read a wonderful book entitled ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein. The book is narrated by a lovely elderly dog named Enzo.  Enzo explains how his master, Denny, uses the techniques that allow him to be one of the fastest NASCAR drivers (in the rain) to overcome adversity and heartache in his life. It speaks to having faith, keeping a cool head, waiting for the right opportunities to push forward, being a good friend, and never losing hope.


*Andrea Rebeck – is happy for the people of Egypt who utilized peaceful protests to overthrow an oppressive dictator. May they achieve the freedom that they are craving!


*Diana Dudley – is very concerned about two of her friends who are having significant problems. Diana is, as always, a concerned and loving friend.


*Dennis Seekins – was excited to have seen an amazing movie on TV called ‘Before Sunrise/Before Sunset’. Check it out, if you get a chance!

 *Betty Knight and Sarah Knight – joined our church family on Sunday, February 27th! Jim Knight and Chris Lee stood with them before the congregation. We join our strengths, talents, and commitment with them! And while Betty and Sarah have been here awhile now as friends of PMUC, they have now expressed their greater commitment with us! Welcome!!


*Chris Loss – was thrilled to announce that the Board of Trustees has accepted a proposal for 1/3 time ministry from H. Lee Richards!! This is a tremendous occasion for this church, and a chance to keep moving forward with our hopes and dreams!




*Diana Dudley and Dick Hoffman – for purchasing a copier for the church, and setting it up, along with the big screen TV.

 *C.W. Lattin – for assisting with the Eastman at Albion Concert Series offering on February 24th here at PMUC with , Mitzie Collins performing and a display of dulcimers. Note that a follow-up performance is planned for March 13 at St. Joseph’s Church in Albion .



To love another person is to see the face of God.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)



 The Board of Trustees is very interested in making sure that everyone has a chance to meet Lee and have any and all questions answered. Lee will be in the pulpit on March 27th and April 24th (Easter). We anticipate that further opportunities will become available for discussions with Lee later in March. We’d like to see everyone come out for the congregational vote on May 1st, as your participation will be critical!!

Your feedback, comments and questions on the proposal for part time minister at PMUC are most welcome and needed to assure everyone is involved in this decision.  You are invited to send any questions and comments to Chris Loss  or Alan Nugent , or to any board member. 




A One-Third Time Ministry at PMUC


Greetings!  Lee Richards here (the big guy in the bow-tie) with news about future ministry at Pullman Memorial.  At the request of the Board of Trustees I presented a proposal for serving as your minister. That proposal was accepted, so now it's up to the members for a vote at the annual meeting on May 1st.  Let me share the highlights of my suggestions here, with more info to follow in a direct mailing to members.


First, the primary intent of this ministry is to provide more continuity in the religious experience at Pullman. I plan to deliver at least two services per month (plus some special services, such as Christmas Eve). Additionally, I hope at some point to see an expansion of services into the summer so that eventually this will be an all-year-round church - open every Sunday for people in spiritual need, or visitors wanting to check us out.


Secondly, I want to engage members in good dialogue. Following some services I will be available for discussion during the coffee hour to further explore issues raised by the day's topic. I want to hear your thoughts, ideas, or concerns pertaining to the subject - and in a round-table format we can all learn from each other. I'm also looking forward to offering a "Minister's Movie Night" each month where we can gather around and view a film, then critique the significant issues raised on the screen.


Also regarding communication - look for a regular column in the newsletter from me. As well, I'll be exploring the possibility of a column for local area newspapers. If you need to communicate something to me - I have a toll-free phone number in case it is not a local call, and I'm available basically 24/7 for your pastoral care needs to help support you in tough times. I will, of course, offer rites of passage (marriages and unions, blessings and dedications, funerals and memorial services) to church members without charge (services for non-members will be at the usual rate).


I care deeply about making this a better world so I'll be looking for ways to promote social justice in Orleans county and nearby. Often, the rational voice of Unitarian Universalism is missing from such venues so it will be advantageous to represent our views when opportunity arises.


Together, in the covenantal relationship of minister and congregation, I firmly believe we can grow - grow in membership, grow financially, and grow spiritually. It would be my great pleasure to be a part of the adventure that awaits PMUC's future.


This is the proposal in a nutshell. Now it's your turn. Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions? Feel free to contact me or a member of the Board with your ideas. There will also be Q&A opportunities between now and the annual meeting. The first is at the monthly potluck on March 7, and following my next service on March 27. We can schedule more times, too, if you'd like. I know choosing a minister can sometimes be a challenge, so the Board and I are committed to making the process as open and in-depth as necessary. Remember, watch for more information in a mailing.


My sincere thanks to the Board, and all of you, for considering me to be your next minister.


Lee Richards





Eye on the Board of Trustees

from the meeting held on

Sunday, February 20th, 2011


*Motion was made and carried to sell Direct TV shares (49) and place the cash in the checking account.

*Motion was made and carried to accept H. Lee Richards proposal for 1/3 time ministry. A Congregational vote will be taken at the Annual Meeting on May 1st.

*Flynn Battaglia Architects, PC have completed their report on the church entitled ‘Existing Conditions Report – Pullman Memorial Universalist Church ’. Highlights of the report were discussed, as well as grant possibilities.

*Motion was made and carried to accept Susan Daiss’ proposal for Adult Education classes. Her curriculum will concern our seven principles.

*Building and Grounds update – fluorescent lights have been put up, heating costs have decreased this year, icicle formation has decreased, and some items in the Architect’s report will need to be addressed as soon as possible. A meeting will be held on March 13 to highlight these important areas and make a list of priorities.

*Feedback from the Rev. Manley/Doug Yeoman’s concert has been positive, and Doug has indicated he is willing to come back and perform again, possibly for a Hospice concert at a later date. It was mentioned that we need to have different kinds of services like this more often.

*The 117th Annual Meeting of the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church was formally set for Sunday, May 1st. Lunch will be served (either a cold plate or pizza).

*The Strawberry Festival will be discussed further at the next meeting. Ideas include a possible yard sale out front, historical tours, popcorn, and the sale of doughnuts and coffee.

*Discussion was held regarding ways to have our seven principles made in a poster format so they can be posted in the Wayside Pulpit out front. C.W. Lattin has a person he would like to contact who might be able to assist.

Date of the next Board meeting is Sunday, March 20th, at 9:30 a.m.



Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis


Of course, none of our sermons are boring.   Need convincing?  Check out these fine examples on our web site:































Pullman Memorial Universalist Church

10 East Park Street

Albion, NY  14411