November Edition

Over the next few issues, members from the Sustainability Team have graciously offered to share their thoughts with us here, part of the "why" behind the sustainability work they choose to volunteer with.

This second essay is written by Susan Wester.

     I visited Antarctica 8 years ago. Little did I know how much this trip would change me.  We traveled to the Antarctic peninsula, which is a sometimes rough 2 day ship ride from the southern tip of Argentina.  

     Before we could leave the ship to set foot on the continent of Antarctica, we were required to vacuum our coats, pockets and camera cases for any contaminants. We also had to step with our boots into pans of disinfectant.

     Since 1959, the Antarctic Treaty has governed Antarctica. Currently there are 47 member nations, all of whom work together to protect this precious biome. To me it was an example of how good things can be, and should be, with regard to mankind’s treatment of our earth home.     

     My memory of Antarctica is that of a heavenly cathedral abounding with wildlife. Magical icebergs and snowy mountains form the walls of this watery cathedral. Many birds fly high above the coast; cheerful penguins make a noisy racket as they enter and return from the ocean at the shoreline.  Most impressive were the majestic humpback whales.     

      My moment of eternal reckoning came though when I heard the booming, resounding calls of the humpback whales as they approached our Zodiac raft. Unbelievably large, they were curious about us. They lifted their heads from the water to look at us.  I also felt them glide directly under the Zodiac, so close the bottom of the boat underneath, that I could feel the dorsal fins sliding across. They could have easily flipped the entire boat and drowned us by thrashing around in the water. Yet, they treated us with dignity and respect. I became deeply ashamed of my own species at that time. Historically, we have not treated these large mammals with the same dignity and respect in return.   

     At that moment, I vowed to be a better steward for the animal and plant species we share the planet with. That is, to honor the 7th principle of Unitarianism. We must demonstrate high regard for the interdependent web of life we are part of.  If any part of the web is destroyed, the whole web will disintegrate.  

     As one person I can do only a little, but together we can, and must do a lot more. Please remember in your prayers that mankind is but one life form amidst a glorious cacophony of species. Pray for the wisdom to see how we can better fit into this world.
- Susan Wester

Interfaith Transgender Day of Remembrance Service
6:00PM - 8:00PM 
Temple Beth El and Livestream
2702 Arbor Dr.
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 238-3123

Contact Melissa Osborne
(608) 238-3123

6:00pm - 7:00pm ~ Community Resource Fair
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm ~ Interfaith Service

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. We gather to remember, and we will continue to gather until we are all accepted for just being us, human beings. The Temple Beth El community shares this solemn day of remembrance with many interfaith partners and is proud to be the host congregation for this event this year.
Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith started this tradition in 1999 in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who had been killed the previous year. It became an annual tradition to honor all transgender people who lost their lives to violence because of who they were.
Please review TBE’s in-person guidelines before attending this event in person.
To view this event on livestream, go to YouTube at

Co-sponsored by:
Beth Israel Center
Bethany United Methodist Church
Briarpatch Youth Services (Teens Like Us Program)
Circle Sanctuary
Congregation Shaarei Shamayim
Covenant Presbyterian Church
El Tawhid Juma Circle-Madison
First Baptist Church of Madison
First Unitarian Society of Madison
Holy Wisdom Monastery
Jewish Federation of Madison
Jewish Social Services of Madison
Lake Edge UCC
League of Women Voters of Dane County
Madison Christian Community - Advent Lutheran Church and Community of Hope UCC
Madison Insight Meditation Group
Memorial United Church of Christ
Middleton Community Church UCC
Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ
PFLAG-Madison Pres House (Queerly Beloved; FACETS)
Pres House Apartments
St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church
St. John's Lutheran Church
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Temple Beth El
The Crossing Campus Ministry
Trinity United Methodist Church
Vivent Health
Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

December 2, 2022

Join us for the screening of this film on Friday, December 2, 2022, beginning at 6:30pm. It has been chosen for its family friendly nature. Follow the Eventbrite Link to sign up!


The first movie to be directed by a Saudi Arabian woman, this is a story of a spunky, independent 11-year-old girl who wants to ride a bike, wears Converse sneakers and loves to compete against her (male) best friend. Beautifully done, the film explores topics such as religious traditions and laws, but it’s also an incredible study of female empowerment. Follow along, and cheer for Wadjda as she fiercely makes a place for herself in the w

Rated PG 
98 minutes
Released in August 2012  
Recommended for ages 8+

Shop and Give!

Porchlight will be at First Unitarian Society again this year with all of their delightful goods, including fruit spreads, pickled products, and scone mixes. Come to the Atrium on Sunday, December 18, right before the 9AM service or during the 10AM-11AM coffee hour to purchase something for yourself or something to gift.             Sales benefit Porchlight's programs and you! 


Guest At Your Table 2022! 
Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is UUSC’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues.  The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnerships, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals—the “guests” in Guest at Your Table.
This year's theme is: Courageous Change. Boxes can be picked up before or after Services in the Atrium.
We will collect boxes on
January 7& 8, 2023!
Thank you for supporting this effort.


FUS MOSES Ministry Team Update:

The MOSES Ministry Team of First Unitarian Society meets Wednesday, December 14, at 4PM.
Topic: Moses Meeting Link Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime Join Zoom Meeting
If you'd like to learn more about what the FUS MOSES Team is doing to hasten humane criminal justice reform, please join us.
For more information about our team, contact Kathy Luker @,

The Racial Justice Ministry Team Update

The FUS Racial Justice Ministry Team meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6 pm via Zoom:  http://Meeting ID: 811 7852 9448 .To volunteer or for more information, please contact Kristi Sprague at 
On November 14, 2022, walkers with AIM (American Indian Movement), arrived in Washington, D.C., ending their 1, 103 mile walk that began in Minneapolis, MN, on August 31, 2022.
The purpose of this walk was to raise awareness of Indigenous issues, as well as to draw attention to political prisoner, Leonard Peltier. They are asking for his release. You can read the news article here:

AIM walkers rested at First Unitarian Society in September, on their way to D.C.
The image on the right is of their last camp on indigenous land in the Washington, D.C. area.

FUS Sustainability Team Update:
 Contact Liz Hachten at, for more information on meeting times.
Array It Forward  solicits donations to put solar panels on the roofs of non-profits and faith institutions. They have an excellent arrangement with Renew Wisconsin. Donations of any amount at any time can be made at, and put Array It Forward in the memo line.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  We had an incredible response to our postcard campaign! All of the social justice teams are grateful for the support that the FUS community showed in Getting Out The Vote! 
Let's keep that energy going for 2024!



  A NEW Social Justice Team has formed. The Reproductive Freedom Ministry Team has met twice, and we invite you to join us at meetings or events. 
Contact Minister Kelly Asprooth Jackson
at or Kristi Sprague at, for more information.

 We are seeking a Chair and Co-Chair.

Meet us on Zoom!
http:// Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 889 4550 5065 Passcode: 292136

This team continues collecting resources, researching a potential speaker to talk to the congregation between services, and is looking into peaceful vigils to draw attention to the issues we're facing. 


FUS Social Justice Opportunities:

Find other justice opportunities in and beyond the Madison area at:
Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice & Sustainability Calendar

A note from Social Justice Coordinator, Kristi Sprague:  

I'd like to take this space to thank all of you who currently serve First Unitarian Society in some capacity. Maybe you come to teach Religious Education or to make gigantic containers of are incredible! About 25 of you serve on one to three social justice teams. The work we do couldn't happen without you, and at this time of year, I want to thank each of you for your time and dedication. 

We are a large congregation. We are also very busy humans. I'd like to ask each of you, however, to consider joining a social justice team or asking how to help in the coming year. We need the support. Reach out any time to chat with me. I'd enjoy meeting you and hearing what's on your mind. Thank you for considering. 

In peace and love,


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Madison, WI 53705

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