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UUSGU Religious Exploration Newsletter June 1, 2022

And all of a sudden, it is June! June, for me, means Monarch Time! Seven years ago, when my youngest daughter was a Daisy Girl Scout, our troop did a service project where we raised monarch butterfly caterpillars to be released in a butterfly garden that my eldest’s Boy Scout troop had helped establish in Sudbury. We did this two years in a row with caterpillars ordered from Monarch Watch and in the fall of the second year, I scattered milkweed seeds among my lilac bushes. The next year we had our own milkweed patch, which has come back each spring. For several years we were blessed to have wild monarchs lay eggs on our milkweed in the spring, and we would bring the caterpillars in and rear them indoors until they made their chrysalises. Last summer we did not see a single monarch, so this year I ordered caterpillars again.

It is amazing how fast they eat and grow. In a week, they’ve gone from the size of grains of rice to averaging 3 centimeters long. Each caterpillar will eat 18 square inches of leaf between hatching and pupation, so harvesting leaves is a constant job. Monarchs go through several generations in a summer, and my hope is that we will be able to raise some caterpillars in RE when we return in September, or next spring if we aren’t so lucky to have wild ones to rear in the fall. Raising endangered species like monarch butterflies is a way we can live the seventh Rainbow Promise--value the Earth, our home, that we share with other living beings.

[Butterfly photo by Michaela Murphy on Unsplash; Caterpillar photo by DRE, Cherilyn Michener Reno]

Reminder: This Sunday, June 5th, will be the Annual Business Meeting!

Childcare will be available either downstairs or on the playground outside depending on weather. We will have snacks and juice available to help satisfy hungry tummies.

This Weekend in Grafton

On Saturday there will be several events taking place that UUSGU families might be interested in checking out.

1. Here on the Common and on Jordan Blvd. (that’s the one-block-long street behind the church), Grafton Pride is hosting the first annual Grafton Pride festival. There will be vendors, food, music and fun. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2. North Grafton Elementary School will be holding their spring Fun Fair for the first time in two years. The Fun Fair starts at 10 a.m. and will be held at the school. Admission is free, but tickets will be needed to play games.

3. Millbury Street Elementary School will be hosting a Scouts BSA community yard sale and box auction from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale will support Grafton BSA troops and Cub Scout packs.

4. If you like alpacas, it’s shearing day at Angel Hair Alpacas located at 66 Wesson Street. Shearing will take place promptly at 9 a.m., but the farm store will remain open until 11 a.m.

Summer Office Hours and DRE vacation

I’m going to be tweaking my office hours somewhat for the summer. I will be working on organizing the children’s library and RE storage in the mornings and spending afternoons doing meetings and planning. Beginning June 21st, you can find me at the meeting house on Tuesday: 9am-noon; 12:30pm-3:30 pm Thursday: 9am-noon; 1pm-4pm I will not be holding scheduled Zoom office hours over the summer, but am willing to meet parents in person or via Zoom upon request. Please email me at or text me at 301.873.0050 to set up a meeting.

I will be away for three-ish weeks this summer. From June 26th to July 1, I will be on a semi-silent retreat with some friends in Maine. July 24th to 30th, I will be with my Scouts BSA troop at summer camp. In August, I will be taking my children for the annual visit to their grandparents--the dates for this are still up in the air. Except for the week in June, I will be available to parents via email or text at the addresses above.

Upcoming Events

June 1st, 7 p.m.: DRE virtual oce hour on Zoom HERE

June 5th, 10 a.m.: Annual Meeting Sunday, DRE off this Sunday

June 12th, 10 a.m.: Flower Communion Multigen Service

June 15th, 7 p.m.: DRE virtual oce hour on Zoom HERE

June 19th, 10 a.m.: Happy Father’s Day! Bridging Ceremony for Reagan O’Malley and Sean Thapa; Congregation Family Picnic at Norcross Park; Juneteenth Celebration at Mill Villages Park

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