Red River Ramblings ~ the February 2023 issue


02/01/23 - 02/28/23    
All Day

Event Type

Download the February 2023 issue here

or read it below without having to download it.

Same content, just not as spiffy.  If you never download the issue,

take a few minutes to do a quick browse to see the version that is retained for our church history.


The February 2023 Issue


Choose your reading preference.

1) As always you can download it as a PDF file right here.

2) Read the entire issue below – identical contents

Sunday Mornings in February

The Adult Forum

t10:00 AM – in the Alexander Room and Streaming on Zoom

Meeting ID 989 0789 7878

The Long Strange Trip:

A Journey Through Two Thousand Years of Unitarian Universalist History

Every Sunday through April 26th

Are you craving knowledge about the history of Unitarian Universalism? If so, plan on joining us for The Long Strange Trip A Journey Through Two Thousand Years of Unitarian Universalist History. We will explore the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought and practice from the early, liberal strands in faith at the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism. Full details and weekly topics here.

The Morning Assemblies

11:15 AM – in the Chapel and Streaming on Zoom using meeting ID: 989 0789 7878

Sunday, February 5, 2023 – 11:15 AM

Beliefs and Values

The Rev. Dr. Mark Y.A. Davies, leading

When it comes to building Beloved Community, shared values are much more important than adherence to a set of beliefs, doctrines, or dogmas. The Adult Forum and Conversations & Calories are taking the morning off. You can read Mark’s bio here.

Sunday, February 12, 2023 – 11:15 AM

The BLUU Story

Jana Norris, leading

February is Black History Month. Knowledge of one’s history grounds one’s journey, while dreams of the future share and direct it. However, it is only in the present that action can take place. But acting in the present is difficult when one is in a minority. For Black UU’s, this has been a painful struggle. Eight years ago, an affinity group Black Lives UU—BLUU—was formed to create fellowship both on this journey and in taking action.

BLUU is committed to expanding the power and capacity of Black UUs within Unitarian Universalism by providing support, information and resources for Black Unitarian Universalists and justice-making liberation for Black people through our faith.

On Sunday, we hear in their voices the passion, the pain, and the determination the past has caused them, and we see their strength, power, and joy as they strive to create not just a future but a present out of their hopes and dreams.

Sunday, February 19, 2023 – 11:15 AM

Ecological Salvation

The Rev Dr Mark Y.A. Davies, leading

Salvation is a concept shared by a number of different religious traditions and typically focuses on the salvation of individuals or portions of the human community from evil, travails, suffering, and even death itself. The context of the ecological devastation of our times calls for an expansion of the religious concept of salvation to include the salvation of the whole ecological community. You can read Mark’s bio here.

Sunday, February 26, 2023 – 11:15 AM

(The Annual Appreciation Dinner is today)

Amazing Young Peace Activists

Marla Loturco, leading

Many times, we think of people who have made a difference in the arena of peace as older and wised. Today I want to challenge that perception by talking about three young women of color who have been making a difference despite their age, or maybe because of it.

The three women are:

Amanda Gorman (24),

Malala Yousafzia (25), and

Ameriyanna Copey (15). 

Come join me for a refreshing and hopeful look young people are offering humankind.

The Annual Appreciation Dinner

Sunday, February 26

12:30 pm

in the chapel

Everyone is invited to come,

lunch will be catered. 

Marilyn’s Musings

February is the month of love and at church and we take time to appreciate those who go the extra mile to make everything function beautifully and smoothly by holding the Appreciation Dinner. This year’s Appreciation Dinner is Sunday, Feb 26th following the morning assembly. This is a special event in our church community, catered to make the event even more special.

Previous award winners are listed on the wall plaque by the AV desk in the chapel. The highlight of the gathering is the announcement of who will receive the award this year. It is also a time we echo our appreciation for the contributions additional people make. As you can surmise by seeing the list of names on the plaque, just because someone receives an award doesn’t mean that their work is done. Instead, they find additional areas where they can contribute. There is much to be done and many hands make light work. Plan to attend the Appreciation Dinner. This is a “feel good” event.

Here are highlights from the January 2023 board meeting:

Amy chaired the meeting since I was unable to attend.

Minutes were approved and Carole gave the financial report.

The Minister Search Team reported that we are waiting for the grant to be funded by NTUUC before we can formally proceed with the search. Meanwhile, Marla is preparing our mission statement according to their guidelines, church profile, and supplemental grant writeups; Jana is researching church history, to see where we have been, and determine how we want to grow.

Jim is working on how we advertise our church to the broader community because that will help us gain members and help with supporting a minister. He is ensuring we have church flyers in community welcome packets and that we advertise to the new high-tech people moving to this area. He is also improving Search Engine Optimization for for Sherman.

To date, $13,440 is currently pledged for the Minister Compensation Fund. Additional pledges can be made by contacting Jim Holmes, chair of the Minister Search Team.

Amy reported that we had 30-40 new families who came to the clothing swap who found out about us. Adrian organized the clothing swap. Please thank Adrian for organizing this service to our community. Amy is beginning Earth Day planning.

David asked that we look for female teachers for our Children’s RE program because he feels we need female teachers. These volunteers could share the job on a rotational basis, so nobody would need to do it all the time.

Amy anticipates tax exempt approval from eBay momentarily, so she can begin listing and selling identified items in the garages. She and Jim are meeting to inventory and identify those items.

Jim Runnels was approved to serve on the nominating committee. Thank you Jim for stepping into your first leadership position.

February 26th was approved for the Appreciation Dinner.

The next meeting will be February 19 at 12:40 PM.

Marilyn Alexander, president

Minister Search Committee

The Minister Search Team meets each month at 2pm in the Alexander Room on the Thursday prior to the Sunday monthly Board meeting. It is an open meeting so join us live or on Zoom with the Zoom ID 989 0789 7878.

Here are the highlights of what the team discussed on our January  12th meeting.

Since NTUUC has frozen grants for a minister’s salary we reviewed the effect on our possible timeline. Assuming that NTUUC will free up grant money later this year, this would be the anticipated timeline.

  • Today – Jan 2023
  • New budget year starts July 1 2023: Budget year 2023-2024
  • NTUUC approves grant this year NLT Oct-Nov 2023
  • Submit church profile to UUA by Dec 1, 2023
  • Apply for Chalice Lighters grant
  • Search for minister through UUA search portal starting Dec 2023 through early 2024 until we find possible candidates
  • Narrow selection down through interviews by Board and members
  • Members vote to approve candidate – May Congregational meeting
  • Make offer NLT end of June 2024
  • Minister accepts offer and starts Aug 2024: Budget year 2024-2025

We also adjusted the financial plan for paying for a 2 year contract minister based on the above start date of August 2024. It looks like we will only need to use about $28,000 from savings based on our assumptions (details of this Excel spreadsheet are available to anyone that requests a copy).

We identified 3 areas that we need to work on as our timeline progresses.

  1. We need to prepare the church profile that we will eventually post to the UUA website – Marla volunteered to work on this
  2. We need to create a packet of the church history – Jana volunteered to work on this
  3. We need to look for ways to better advertise our church to the Texoma area since it may be a while before we get a minister – Jim will work on this

Our next meeting is March 16th, 2023, at 2pm.

Jim Holmes, chair

Money Matters

In the month of December, we had total receipts of $1,633.66. Total expenses for the month were $2,187.45, leaving us with a net loss for the month of ($553.79). Net income for the fiscal year-to-date was $3,216.05.

As of December 31, 2022, we had $14,536.15 available in checking, including $5,413.00 held in trust for Kat Walston from the sale of her personal effects prior to moving into assisted living. There is a total of $19,112.68 in all savings accounts, which includes $2,545.00 for the Minister Compensation Fund.  There is a total of $66,784.40 invested in the UUA Common Endowment Fund. The $1,326.00 included in Other Current Assets, is the prepayment of our entire UUA Fair Share for this year.

A total of $13,440 has currently been pledged for the minister compensation fund. Additional pledges can be made by contacting the minister search team.

Carole Harner, treasurer

It Happens Weekly

CHAIR YOGA – Each Tuesday morning @ 10 am in the chapel is your ongoing opportunity to stretch, reach out and limber up – without straining anything. Newcomers are always encouraged to show up. Try it once and you will return, folks tell us.

SPIRITUAL SELF HELP GROUP/BOOK CLUB – gathers each Tuesday evening @ 6:30, at church. This group is currently exploring the work of Eckhart Tolle in his book The Power of Now. Open to newcomers (and you do not have to had read the book to participate.)

Social Action Update

The new year offers continuing emphasis on ways to help others. Opportunities are listed weekly in the Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry (TXUUJM) Action Hour every Thursday on the weekly zoom meeting from 7 – 8 pm. Any member of the congregation is welcome to join with these.

As part of the ongoing work, Reproductive Justice offers a training course in three parts started the last Sunday in January. The next session is Sunday, February 12 followed by the final one February 26 at 3 pm.

There will also be an opportunity to join other members of TXUUJM on our Lobby Day in Austin on Monday, March 13. Texas UUs and our justice-seeking friends will convene at the Texas Capitol building for our annual TXUUJM Legislative Action Day and an interfaith rally around issues of postpartum healthcare and mortality of Black mothers and birthing persons. Details to come but please get it on your calendar, and rally a group of friends. Red River UU would like to send a group. Check your calendar and let me know if you wish to be part of this group.

To prepare for this and other activities, our Social Action Team resumes our meetings Saturday, February 18 at 2 pm. Please bring your list of other local activities to share.

Black Lives Matter

The third Black History Month Festival and Freedom Parade finishes events in February.

Sherman Community Players presents “Permanent Collection” a play by Thomas Gibbons, a searing examination of racial politics that ultimately asks how much space — literally and figuratively — the white world gives to African Americans.

What is the cost of failing to view the world through another’s eyes? The performances are at Finley Theatre in Sherman February 3 & 4, 10 & 11, and 17 & 18 at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees February 5, 12 & 19 at 2 pm.

For those who missed the Juneteenth event, Grayson United and the Historical Marker Committee for the Sherman Riot of 1930 again present the historical Sankofa Journey of Sherman’s sites on Saturday, February 4 at 2 pm. Meet across Walnut from the Sherman Library for the walking tour with church buses available for persons with mobility issues.

Friday, February 10 at 7 pm, BHM Festival presents an original production titled “The Fall, The Rise and The Hope”. This unique retelling of the struggle from slavery through the Civil Rights era takes place at Austin College’s Wynne Chapel.

Everyone loves a parade, and we have one Saturday morning February 11 at 10 am in downtown Sherman. Bring the family to support local businesses, nonprofits and organizations celebrate.

Saturday night, Feb 11 festivities, again at Wynne Chapel, gives you a chance to celebrate an early Sweetheart Banquet and Dance, music provided by Dallas band Fingerprints. There is a suggested donation of $35 per person to cover food and entertainment. Complete information is available at

Grayson College pays tribute to BHM Thursday, February 16.  A buffet is served at 6:30 pm and the program begins at 7. No details are available at this time for speakers, etc.

To close the month, Dr. Felix Harcourt of Austin College presents local history events in Civil Rights at the next CIVICS 101: How America Works. Join us Monday, February 27 from 5:30 – 7 pm at Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall in Sherman.

Dear Red River UU Congregation,

We need to protect our democracy. We cannot allow a small group of legislators to stop Congress from being a functioning legislative body. We need you to help save it and urge your Members of Congress to prioritize the health of our democracy as an organizing principle during the 118th Session of Congress.

We the people need all those who represent us in Congress to provide a federal government that works effectively to meet our needs. It is critical that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents work together for the good of the people they represent.

  •  Our elected representatives must provide legislation and funding that ensure our rights and keep us secure. That is the fundamental purpose of government.
  •  Members of Congress must make our collective needs their first priority, above their personal needs, and the needs of their political party.
  •  We need them to work together and compromise when necessary.

Help start the advocacy process with a clear statement of interest grounded in our principles and organizational values. Send our volunteers into their various engagements with a strong showing of support. Send our volunteers into their various engagements with a strong showing of support.

In optimism for a better democracy,
Pablo DeJesus, Executive Director, UUSJ


February 2

 • 7pm CT • 

UUSJ Fundraiser $25

free tickets also available

Rev. Frederick-Gray has selected the start of the 118th Session of Congress, to join us for a reflection and then questions and answers focused on federal matters. The next two years will see huge budget and spending battles, that will require our progressive faith voices to remind federal decision-makers that these are moral deliberations. If the Speaker fight displayed anything, it underscored this session of Congress merits some reflection in preparation. Join us to hear Rev. Susan share her thoughts and explore some complexities.

We want to have a lovely, large, and lively audience. Request a free ticket if that will make a difference in your attendance, we sincerely want you.Rev. Frederick-Gray has selected the start of the 118th Session of Congress, to join us for a reflection and then questions and answers focused on federal matters. The next two years will see huge budget and spending battles, that will require our progressive faith voices to remind federal decision-makers that these are moral deliberations. If the Speaker fight displayed anything, it underscored this session of Congress merits some reflection in preparation. Join us to hear Rev. Susan share her thoughts and explore some complexities.


The City of Denison contracts out it’s recycling program to a private company. The previous provider, Waste Management, notified the City of Denison last summer that their services would end at the end of 2022. The notification was because of the level of contamination in the recycling stream. 

Fortunately, Denison has been able to find another contractor, Republic Services, to take over the curbside recycling program. The new program started on January 30, 2023. There are some minor changes in the materials accepted by Republic Services, specifically the types of plastics now accepted. 

Red River UU participates in the city recycling program. Since there are many hands involved, it is more challenging to keep our recycling in compliance with the program and not contribute to the contamination of the recycling stream. Please review the guidelines and familiarize yourself with them. 

1.  No plastic bags are accepted. Our recycling should not be bagged, and no bags of any kind can be added to recycling. This includes shrink film and bubble wrap. 

2.  Acceptable papers are office paper, magazines, printed mail, kraft paper, newspaper, catalogs. Shredded paper, paper towels and paper napkins are not allowed (and never have been). 

3.  Glass jars and bottles of any color can be recycled. Broken glass, window glass, vases, glass baking dishes, and glass cook-ware are not recyclable and do not belong in the container. The jars and bottles should be clean and dry. 

4.  Aluminum beverage cans and tin food cans can be recycled. They need to be rinsed and dry. Aluminum foil is not pure aluminum and is not recyclable. 

5.  Flat cardboard, also called chipboard, should be flattened and placed with recycling. When recycling cracker, cookie and cereal boxes, make sure to remove the liners & all contents. Corrugated cardboard should be flattened before placing in the roll off container. It needs to be clean and dry. 

6.  Denison accepts plastics 1, 2 and 5. Acceptable items need to be clearly marked with the recycling codes. Do not add containers or lids that are not among the numbers our program accepts. Any plastic that does not have a number on it is made from mixed plastics and cannot be recycled. 

Please do your part in helping keep our recycling clean. We are fortunate to have the service and could easily lose the program locally if the problems with contamination continue. 

What Can Be Recycled:

Acceptable & Unacceptable Materials

Check out this 1:35 minute video outlining the changes. 


Videos not your thing? Read about our recycling options on this webpage here that examples and suggestions for proper recycling like how to recycle for a sustainable future. You will… Know what to throw – paper, cardboard, metal, and hard plastics … Learn how to recycle electronics, batteries, light bulbs, and plastic bags … Understand that all items must be empty, clean, & dry. Don’t bag your items. 

A Couple of timely images

The national women’s march for 2023 was held in Madison WI on Sunday, Jan 22. A rally/march was held in Sherman with a handful of people in attendance. There were thousands who came to Madison. Doug was among the throngs.


The national women’s march for 2023 was held in Madison WI on Sunday, Jan 22. A rally/march was held in Sherman with a handful of people in attendance. There were thousands who came to Madison. Doug was among the throngs.


On Sunday, Jan 29th, the 5th Sunday potluck was enjoyed by most of the congregation who attended the morning assembly. Jim H. snapped this picture.