The Unigram

Newsletter for August 2015

Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento

 2425 Sierra Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95825
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Month of Sundays 

August 2

Elements of Faith

Allison Claire, preaching, with Rev. Roger Jones and Ina Jun, piano


The traditional "elements" of earth, air, fire, and water provide a symbolic template for exploring the relationship between the natural world and the inner life. The Flaming Chalice, symbol of our UU heritage, also presents multiple potential meanings.  Come explore how these symbols of earth-based traditions and Unitarian Universalism can inspire us to integrate the false dualities of public and private, body and spirit, head and heart. 


UUSS member Allison Claire is a former long-time member of the UU Community Church, for which she served as President and Worship Committee Chair. She is a member of the UU Association's Board of Review, which hears appeals from ministers who have been terminated from fellowship by the UUA. She was a public defender in the federal courts for 20 years, most recently representing death row inmates, and she now works in the federal judiciary.


August 9

Grace--Both Amazing and Ordinary (Part 2 of a Series)

Rev. Roger Jones, preaching


Spiritual teacher and therapist David Richo says, "Our forward move on life's path does not seem to be based solely on our accomplishments... or sense of worthiness.  Something seems to be helping us, an empowering force around us that yet seems to be withinus."  Does this resonate with you?  Come reflect on those times of life when things just come together for us.


After service:  Unitarian Origins in Poland: A Free Faith from 1560 to 2015

Discussion and slides with Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson and Roger. Jay will show slides of historic sites from a UU pilgrimage he co-led in 2014.  See beautiful pictures; hear an inspiring part of our European heritage.  At noon, August 9 at Sierra Arden UCC. 


August 16

Soul Force, Faith and Humor:  Gandhi as Spiritual Guide

Rev. Roger Jones, preaching


On the weekend of India's Independence Day, we reflect on the wisdom, wit, sacrifice, and spiritual freedom of Mohandas K. Gandhi.  He led Indian peoples to victory in nonviolent resistance to a colonial power.  What would he think of the state of human rights in his native land 66 years after independence?  What would he say to us?


August 23

Why I am not an Atheist (or am I?)

Rev. Lucy Bunch, preaching 


As part of the process of becoming a UU minister I was required to write an essay:  What Is the Theological Context of Your Call to Unitarian Universalist Ministry?  Last fall I shared that essay with the participants in the Spiritual Deepening circles.  As I begin my third year with the congregation and my first year with you full time, I thought it timely to share my theology with you.  This Sunday I will reflect on my theology and how it informs my ministry. 


August 30

Parting Glances:  What We Leave Behind, What We Take with Us

Rev. Roger Jones, Rev. Lucy Bunch, with special music and parting ritual


Moving day has come!  As we say farewell today to our "home away from home" of the past year, we reflect on a year of being exiles, or nomads, or at least a congregation in storage. 


What has the past year meant to you?  Join us in giving thanks to our hosts.  We also say goodbye to one who will not be coming back home with us, but choosing to stay with Sierra Arden Congregational Church.


August Community Partner

We give away half of every Sunday offering to one organization per month.

Our June contribution to the Relationship Skills Center was $1,321.64.


In August, our offering is shared with Sacramento Senior Safe House.  Opened by Veterans of America (VOA) in 2009, the "Safe House" provides a comfortable refuge for abused and neglected seniors who are referred by Sacramento County Adult Protective Services.

Mingling of the Waters and Returning to the Church - 

Mark Thy Calendar

We will meet on September 6, for our first Sunday service at 2425 Sierra Boulevard. The Building Re-Dedication Ceremony is in the afternoon of September 13.


Our All-Ages Water Communion service takes place Sunday morning, September 13. Bring small jars or bottles of water that represent your summer activities, whether near or far: an ocean, glacier, lake, river, public pool, garden hose, or kitchen faucet. We celebrate coming together for a new church year by mingling the waters.

 Senior Minister's Message

Spirituality Is Catching:  You're a Carrier

By Rev. Roger Jones


In a book about the great Mohandas K. Gandhi, Berkeley professor Michael Nagler says, "Spirituality is not so much taught... as caught."  Spirituality or spiritual growth is not a sudden gift, not something we think our way into.  Nagler says, "We catch it from one another." 


This is why we have activities that bring people together.  We catch spirituality from one another by being with and being known by one another.  This is the secret ingredient of Religious Education (RE) for children and youth.  You may think our kids learn facts about religions, including our UU heritage. 


Of course they learn some things, but not always what we tell them about.  They will learn much more from being with you.  Our two programs for kids in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 2, and in grades 3- 5 are called Spirit Play.  They are not called Spirit School, but Spirit Play.


We are not here to create scholarly UUs.  We are here to build friendships and to experience wonder and belonging.  We are here to catch spirituality from one another.  It's a two-way street.  In RE, we benefit from insights and connections that arise in a circle of people.  We all grow together.


In a month we launch a new year of Religious Education.  I hope you'll consider your own participation in it.  If you're intrigued by what you might "catch" by spending time with our kids and youth, we would love to talk with you.  


If you have children or youth, consider making attendance a regular practice. They will gain a deeper sense of wonder, connection, friendship, and belonging.  But in addition, they will give the same gifts back to the volunteers who spend time with them.  Catching spirituality, wonder, joy and love can be a two-way street.  Please contact Miranda Massa or me in August.  We look forward to connecting! 


Yours in faith,



P.S.:  Join me for a fascinating slide show about the early Unitarians in Poland. The Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson has led pilgrimage trips for UUs to historic sites of the early stirrings of a liberal approach to faith.  Find out how they lived and what happened to them.  At Noon on Sunday, August 9.


Making Contact:  Where's Roger in August?


My regular office hours at UUSS are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons.  I'm happy to make an appointment or talk by phone with you! Before I return to Sacramento on August 1, I'll spend two days at the UU seminary in Chicago, poring over denominational archives about this congregation!  I'm sure I'll come back to a sea of e-mail. If you don't see a reply to your e-mail after July 31, please try again!

Assistant Minister Message

By Rev. Lucy Bunch


Dave Dawson often shares photos that he has taken on the American River and the animals he finds there.  When I receive one of his photos I experience the river vicariously through Dave on his kayak journeys.  I imagine him silently paddling along just after daybreak, taking in the beauty and the stillness. 


Mary Oliver's poem The Swan uses words to invite us into a similar space:


The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -

A white cross

Streaming across the sky, its feet
like black leaves, its wings like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?

And have you changed your life?


I love the way she draws me in with the invitation of the first two lines.  I can see the bird clearly in my mind's eye, or actually I "see" the metaphor of the bird that she has presented: "white blossoms; a commotion of silk and linen; a bank of lilies."  I feel a longing to connect to this bird, and then she invites me again: ". . . did you feel . . . how it pertained to everything?"  My heart opens to the belief that we are indeed all interconnected in this wonderful web of creation.  My heart and soul understand what beauty is for.  I am drawn in but I have no words.  I offer my life to be changed.  


Blessings to you in this August.  May you find the river.  May you figure out "what beauty is for."


Rev. Lucy


Where's Lucy in August?

I will be on vacation and study leave August 7 to 18.  Otherwise, my regular church hours are T-W-Th afternoons or by appointment.  If you would like to meet with me, it is always best to call or e-mail in advance so I can be sure to be available.

President's Prose: Big Events

 By Linda Clear, President, UUSS Board of Trustees

Linda Clear

Webster's defines anticipation as the act of looking forward or visualization of a future event or state.  I'm not sure that accurately describes my current emotional or mental state, but I can say for certain that I am so looking forward to our move back to UUSS on Sierra Boulevard.


At some time in the next couple of weeks, we'll take possession of our newly renovated home.  Home.  It feels good to use this word.  Coming home after a long time away is always the best feeling.


I have been able to observe the progress made in our project over the last year, but until we actually see the final product, I'm not sure the whole thing will be real.  I can say that everything looks beautiful to me: the Welcome Hall, the new kitchen, the library, the Main Hall, and the restrooms.  If you have not had a chance to see some of this progress, you will be astonished, you will be pleased, you will be thrilled.  That is my hope and prediction.


Once we take possession this month, much work will remain.  Moving back will require many tasks and a team is already preparing for them.  I am confident it will be a smooth operation.  Then we will be ready for our first service back in our home on Sunday, September 6.  This will be what we call our "soft opening."


The following Sunday, September 13, will be our annual Water Ceremony and that afternoon we have our Dedication Ceremony at 3 p.m.  The Dedication Ceremony will not only celebrate moving home but will honor and celebrate all of those who helped make this happen.  Please put that special date on your calendar and plan to be there.

The Beginning of Music Making

By Keith Atwater, Music Director/Choir Conductor

I am sure that many of you, like me, associate the end of summer with the beginning of music making, recalling fondly returning to church choir.  But earlier in my career, September also meant teaching high school marching and jazz bands, or leading high energy middle school choirs and beginning and intermediate bands!  Whatever your age or experience, whatever instrument you play or want to learn to play, whatever song is in your heart,  I am ready and eager to make music with you!  Please read Meg's article to see where and when.


Here's some motivation from a powerful book, Imperfect Harmony - Finding Happiness Singing with Others, as profiled on Amazon:

"Why do we sing?  For author Stacy Horn, singing in a community choir--the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York--is the one thing in her life that never fails to take her to a transcendent place and remind her that everything good is possible.  She's not particularly religious and (she'll be the first to point out) her voice isn't exactly the stuff of legend, but like thousands of other amateur [musicians everywhere], singing with other people makes her happy. 

"Even though God is not the answer for me," Horn writes, "music written in His name is. It both eases whatever pain I am suffering from and heightens all my joys.  While it sometimes feels as if religion only separates people, the music brings us together."

I look forward to making powerful and joyful music together with you all!

Music Program 2015-16:  August Launch

By Meg Burnett, Music Committee Chair


This summer, the long awaited move is happening; we go back home!  Thank you for the many heads, hands, and hearts -our Music Task Force, our Choir Director hiring team and especially to Joan Rubenson, Stanton Vedell, Tim Anderson, Cynthia Shallit, Kathryn and Dave Canan, Bruce Moulton, and John McMillan - for getting our new space ready.  Thanks for the donations, planning, heavy and light lifting, advice, sorting, filing, shelf painting, and all that miraculous cooperation that makes our August 2015 move to the new UUSS Music Office/Theatre One Green Room possible, as well as the certainty of great music and theater to happen this fall.


Mark your calendar--musicians, choristers, and potential new participants in the exciting fall line-up of music starting with our September services.  


On a fun Saturday, 3 p.m. on August 8, at the home of Cathy Whitney and Linda Killick,  UUSS welcomes Keith Atwater, our new choir director, and invites all of you and your families to join in fun, swimming, potluck, and friendship with other music makers.  Please e-mail Cathy Whitney at by August 4, to tell her which of your favorite potluck dishes you will bring and to get detailed directions. 


At this writing, I look forward to the July 21 to 26 conference of hundreds of UU Musicians in Boston for new knowledge and inspiration for the coming year - and for  workshopping, worshiping, and singing in the three famous historical Boston UU Churches.


Before the first choir rehearsal at 7 p.m. in the Fahs Room on August 12, please contact Keith Atwater at to get acquainted and volunteer your musical interest, talent, or assistance.  We wish to update our musician list with the 50 or so of you already on our list if you have newer contact information, and to add new members who want to join us in our gifts of music.


Keep a song in your heart!

Building Project Update: Final Touches

By Dennis Clear 


The Building Project is on schedule for our first service back at UUSS on September 6.  As visible from the parking lot, the exterior of the building is essentially complete.  The major work remaining involves completing interior furnishings and installing appliances, equipment, and utilities.  Final decisions on floor/wall colors, window covers, and signs are being made through a collaborative process.


The new hearing loop system has been installed, with remaining pieces of the updated audio/visual network ordered.  The pulpit chairs have been re-upholstered and the banners cleaned and restored for installation before the Dedication Ceremony. Prices and dimensions for cupboards for the music room equipment and the name tags are under study with decisions to be made soon. 


The moving activities from SAUCC to Sierra Boulevard take place the last week in August and the first week in September.  Many hands, backs, and vehicles are needed. Anyone wishing to help with this stage of the project should contact either the Board or the members of the Steering Committee.  All volunteers are welcome and assistance will be appreciated.

What time should we meet on Sunday?

When we return to our home base next month our expanded sanctuary will be big enough for one service on Sunday mornings.   But what time should meet? 

Click here for a one question survey.

  Our Building Re-Dedication:  The Countdown Continues!

 By Linda Roth

After the re-dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 13, a reception will follow.  Among the planning activities is a need for volunteers to help address and stamp invitations in early August.  We need many people to help at the reception and others to bring finger food. Find the volunteer sign-up table in Pilgrim Hall after the last three services in August.  You can also agree to help by calling or e-mailing Linda Roth at 916-921-2269 or

Fill the Building Matching Fund Campaign

By Mary Howard


In one month we move back into our new building on Sierra Boulevard!  This month, from August 2-16, members and friends have an opportunity to buy $50 shares towards our new audio-visual equipment and have that amount matched up to the tune of $3000!  That's an additional $4000 we can raise in two weeks! 


How can you donate?


  • Stop by the Fill the Building display after church on Sundays and give your cash or check to the volunteers.
  • Call Michele, our bookkeeper, at the UUSS office (483-9283) and give her your credit card information.  If you already have a credit card on file, just leave your name and the amount you wish to donate.  Easy as pie!
  • Send a check to the UUSS office at 2425 Sierra Blvd.

When we walk into our new building on September 6, it will be filled with all the new chairs and equipment you have so generously purchased.  Thank you!

Matching Gifts for our Nursery Cleanup and Renovation!

By Rev. Roger Jones


For a year, the Room 11 Nursery at our Sierra Boulevard campus has been used for group meetings, furniture storage, etc.  It's worn down, and it needs help!  We want to say Welcome Home to our many toddlers and infants. 


A grateful UUSS family that uses our Nursery on Sunday mornings has made a Challenge Grant offer of up to $500 to help with costs of new paint, new carpet, needed repairs, supplies, and a thorough cleanup before we return to using Room 11 as our Nursery. 


This matching grant means that if we raise a total of $500 in donations of all sizes from Nursery families and other friends or members of the congregation, we will have $1,000 to cover those costs.


The renovation of our home nursery can begin soon for us to return September 6.  You may give cash donations to Miranda Massa or write a check payable to UUSS (with "Room 11" in the memo).  Thank you to those who have given and to those who plan to give!

Spiritual Deepening Circles

Lets Go 'Round Again


Spiritual Deepening Circles at UUSS

All are welcome to join


Are you looking for ways to connect with members of the UUSS community? Wanting to talk about what is  important and meaningful to you?  Longing to listen and share deeply?


Everyone is on a spiritual journey. 

Spiritual Deepening Circles will give you a chance to reflect on your journey in community and take steps to deepen your spirituality and connections.


Groups of about 10 each will meet twice a month,  October - May in a member's home or at UUSS.  Curriculum is designed by the ministers to promote deep listening and reflection.


Topics for 2015-16


Spiritual Journeys


Soul Food (what feeds you) 


When Bad things Happen to Good people

Living our Values

Loving the world with Arms Wide open 


For more information, registration forms available soon at, or at the Adult Enrichment table in Pilgrim Hall, or at the UUSS Office. Sign up by September 14.  Circles start the second week of October.

Adult Enrichment in August

Ideas and Experiences of "Faith"


Monday nights with Rev. Roger Jones, August 10 to 31, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Classroom at UUSS at 2425 Sierra Boulevard 


This course for spiritual seekers, new members and long-time UUs was very popular last August.  We have short readings and conversations in small groups and also in the large group.  We'll consider varied perspectives on faith:  Buddhist (Sharon Salzburg), liberal Christian (Marcus Borg), Unitarian Universalist (you and me), among others.  Sign up by August 9, or call the UUSS Office and ask Elaine to sign you up with e-mail and phone information. 


Cost:  Requested sliding-scale donations of $20 to $50 go to UUSS Adult Enrichment to help with overhead expenses.  We start at 6:15 p.m. on the first night.  Minimum eight people, maximum 21.


Wednesday Silent Meditation at 5:30 to 6:00

With Rev. Roger Jones and other quiet people


You are welcome to gather any Wednesday evening in Classroom 6 for some opening words, then 22 minutes of silence.  By sitting and breathing together, we support one another in the practice of mindfulness.  No experience required; no fee, but in the Buddhist tradition we welcome "dana" or freewill generosity toward UUSS. Wednesdays, August 5 to 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Classroom 6 at UUSS.


The Global UU Story:  We're Part of It But It's Much More Diverse

By Rev. Roger Jones


This year, come see how a liberal faith emerges in various locations on the globe over different eras of history.  Just a few of the programs planned or now in the works:

  • Sunday Noon, August 9:  Unitarian Origins in Poland: A Free Faith from 1560 to 2015 with Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson, scholar of UU theological history (with slides).
  • Sunday Noon, September 27:  Emerging UU groups in Africa, Europe, and Asia with Rev. David Usher, founding president of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, which is now 20 years old.
  • In January:  Reception and talk with Arman Pedro, UU minister from Negros Oriental, Philippines, now a seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School.
  • In March:  Sermon by Rev. Lászlo Major, from the Hungarian Unitarian Church in Transylvania, who will spend a year in Berkeley with his wife and daughter, age three.


UU Justice Ministry Camp for Youth and Adults this Month

By Rev. Roger Jones


The UU Justice Ministry of California is the nation's first statewide advocacy network founded by UUs. Click on the name to learn about the issue areas it focuses on.  Sign up ASAP for the  August "Walking the Walk" Annual Justice Summit and Family Camp.  This is the fifth annual summit for learning about the connection between social justice and liberal religious faith, and also experiencing the important role that music and worship can play in our lives if we work for justice.  This intergenerational UU camp is held at Camp DeBenneville Pines in the San Bernardino National Forest, August 8 to 12.

Calling All Story Tellers  

Do you like telling stories?  We are considering brief stories for all ages every Sunday service (before RE) after we return to the renovated UUSS sanctuary.  Would you like to share your gift with the congregation?  Please contact Rev. Lucy to find out more.

UU Bookreaders Choose Sixth Extinction

By Jim Glidden


For August, the UUSS Book Readers have chosen The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert.  Over the last half billion years, there have been five mass extinctions.  The author postulates that we are on the verge of the sixth because of human activities.  The meeting is on Tuesday, August 25, at 7 p.m. in Room 12.  For more information, contact Jim Glidden at or (916) 649-9697.

Theatre One Auditions for Judas

By Lonon Smith


Theatre One will hold auditions on Wednesday, August 5 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. for its Fall production, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Ten men and five women with room for cross-gender casting. This play, described by Variety as having "expressionistic fantasy ... raw language and flamboyantly street savvy characters," is not for children. Performances run October 9 - 25, with rehearsals through August and September. Directed by Lonon Smith.

 Social Responsibility

By Roger Jones


There is no umbrella Social Responsibility committee at UUSS at present, but our UU folks of all ages are involved in many forms of activism, witness, hands-on service, listening presence, and monetary generosity for the local community and the larger world we share. 


See various articles in the Unigram every month and in the Sunday Blue Sheet, or check our Pathways printed brochure found Sundays in our welcoming area.  Call the office if you can't find it.

Family Promise Hosting starts again in 2016

By Barbara Hopkins

For a week in March 2016, UUSS Family Promise will host four homeless families.  We will be looking for help from UU volunteers, such as setting up the dining/activities center in the Fahs Room, setting up family sleeping areas in four RE rooms, preparing meals, and being overnight hosts.


The Family Promise Day Center is their temporary home; and from 7a.m. to 5 p.m., the families are at 1400 'C' Street downtown, where children attend school and parents work to get back on their feet.  Family Promise case managers also meet with parents there to help with ideas for finding a job and housing, and any special counseling needed to move on to independence.  Family Promise volunteers from 20 churches participate to show the families that people do care and support their efforts to turn their lives around.


To learn more about the Family Promise program, come to the Information Table on Sunday.  You can talk with coordinators and arrange to volunteer for two or more hours during that week-whatever your schedule allows.  For more information, contact the current coordinators Nancy Oprsal, Paul Kinsella, or Barbara Hopkins ( 

 In Loving Memory:  Losses in Our UUSS Family

By Rev. Roger Jones


Our longtime members, Dan Greene and Janie Greene passed away recently. Dan died June 24 at age 90 and his wife, Janie Greene died two weeks later on July 8th at the age of 85. Their 67 wedding anniversary was July 17th. 


Dan and Janie moved to the west coast in 1957 and joined UUSS that same year.  They were active and made many lifelong friends through the UUSS couple club.  They were both very engaged in the Sacramento community. Dan served on numerous Boards including Sacramento County Child Care Commission, Suicide Prevention Service Board, Community Services Planning Council and Planned Parenthood Board.  Janie was actively involved for many years in the Los Ninos Service League and was a 50-year member of the League of Women Voters. 


The Greene's were living together and receiving care at Atria El Camino Gardens in Carmichael.  We extend our condolences to their children, Janet, Nancy and Larry, who grew up attending Religious Education at UUSS. 


A Celebration of the Lives of  Dan and Janie will be held  August 7th at 10:30 AM at Pioneer Congregational Church, 2700 L St, across from Sutter's Fort in downtown Sacramento. Reception lunch to follow.  Donations in Dan's or Janie's memory may be made to Loaves & Fishes.


Our longtime member Lou Watson also passed away at age 86 on June 23, after a long decline with dementia.  Tall and trim, Lou was always in the front row at services and attended social and musical events here.  An engineer and inventor, Lou's contributions to us include the cement dome sanctuaryroof in 1960, the lighted UUSS sign by the road, our big storage shed, and wooden walking stilts he once made for several UU kids.  The photo here shows Lou at the groundbreaking ceremony on July 29, 2014.  He leaves behind his only sibling, Rodney, who lived nearby and stayed with Lou near the end.  Lou was preceded in death by his first wife, Emmy, and his second wife, Polly.  He is survived by his daughter Lisa and Rodney's daughter Karen.  Lou's friends may hold a recognition of his life, perhaps after we return to the renovated church.  We will post news in the Sunday Blue Sheet and on the web-site. Donations to honor Lou's memory may be made to the UUSS Endowment or to any charity designated by the family.


The Rev. Ted Webb (our minister from 1971-83) was honored at a General Session and the Service of the Living Tradition at the General Assembly in Portland along with other UU clergy who died in the past church year.


We appreciate the many Endowment gifts made in memory of Betty Faist, who died June 1.


UUSS has received a generous bequest from the estate of the late Martha Jane (Marti) and William Campbell. The couple joined UUSS in 2004, William passed away in 2005, and Marti died in 2014. After his death, UUSS received a bequest, and the recent one is the final distribution. We are grateful to them for remembering UUSS in their will.

General Assembly Report

By Rev. Roger Jones


About 4,600 Unitarian Universalists recently gathered in Portland, Oregon, for the General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  Two dozen UUSS members made the trip, attended workshops, worship services, lectures, public witness events, and enjoyed personal conversations with UUs from near and far.        


GA is part business meeting and part revival meeting.  It's a church convention, and a trade-show for spiritual progressives.  UUSS provided nine of the 1,700 lay and clergy delegates for the business meetings. 


Delegates changed the bylaws to limit donations and spending for election campaigns for president of the UUA.  They also debated a proposal by the UUA board to add a board-appointed committee and thereby eliminate an independent Commission on Appraisal.  This elected commission chooses an issue to study, then reports findings and makes recommendations to the whole denomination.  Delegates debated, and a majority voted NO to any change to the Commission on Appraisal. 


Every two years GA delegates choose an issue for three years of study and action.  Our congregations are urged to dig into the issue and report back.  Some do so; some don't.  The resulting statement is debated, amended, and then approved by vote.  By this work, the delegates make a proclamation of where we stand as a denomination.  We call it a Statement of Conscience.  The title of the latest one is Reproductive Justice.  As reported in the UU World, it "espouses the human right to have children, to not have children, to parent the children one has in healthy environments, and to safeguard bodily autonomy and to express one's sexuality freely." The statement explicitly acknowledges "reproductive justice" as a concept developed by women of color.


As I noted in my July 5 sermon on democracy, delegates also selected three Actions of Immediate Witness to urge congregational attention: 

  • Support the  #BlackLivesMatter Movement;
  • End Federal Detention of Immigrant Children and Families;
  • Support Local Climate Justice Protests (including the native Lummi Nation's opposition to coal extraction).

Read reflections and responses from some of our UUSS delegates and other GA attendees by clicking to see my weblog.



By Miranda Massa


Thank you, SAUCC

Hard to believe a year ago I packed totes full of Religious Education supplies, materials and art resources for our big move.  RE settled nicely into our rented space and we are thankful.  With only a month left before our return home to Sierra Boulevard, I offer my gratitude for all who made our "Home Away from Home" possible:  the RE volunteer leaders who took extra time to plan and create UUSS RE space in rooms that other groups use throughout the week.  Thanks to our volunteers, we held RE every scheduled weekend, conducted a big training for our Spirit Play program, and hosted Our Whole Lives sessions, all while our sanctuary was being remodeled.  The glue that holds together our program is certainly our volunteers.  Thank you for making RE possible!

Spider webs, brown leaves, and dirt - oh my!

The outside play yard used by the Nursery has been lonely while we have been away.  The yard is begging for a group of hardworking, not afraid to get dirty folks, to tidy up the space before we return home.  Clean spider webs, remove brown dried leaves, sweep, clean out bark, etc.  Please contact Miranda real soon!

Summer RE!
ArtWorks continues through August.  We have created wonderful art projects focusing on The Rainbow Promises - a simplified version of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles.  The last Summer SHYG session is scheduled for August 16. 


RE Welcome Table

Volunteering in our child and youth ministry program can be as

simple as a one or two Sunday commitment of staffing the Religious Education Welcome Table located in the church narthex.  All supplies and needed materials are provided in addition to a few basic guidelines.  This is a great opportunity to meet the children, youth, and their families as they sign in each Sunday morning.  Contact RE Coordinator Miranda to sign up!
Re: RE

Farewell to SAUCC is Sunday, August 30.
  • Spirit Play champions Carrie Cornwell, Shannon Williams, Alecia Sanchez, Megan Snyder, and I have discussed and plan on splitting the Spirit Play group into Kinder - Grade 2, and Grades 3 - 5.  This means we need more volunteers!  We would love to be in contact with you!
  • New planning ideas for the Junior High Youth Group (JHYG) in the fall.  Have you heard?  Contact Miranda for more information!
  • Coming of Age Orientation for registered youth scheduled for Sunday, August 30 with Rev. Roger and co-leader Irwin Rosenblum.
  • RE begins with September 6, with our Welcome Home RE event and September 13, with our All-Ages Water Communion service.  Bring a small container of water representing your summer adventures!  Regular RE classes begin the third Sunday in September.

Religious Education (RE) Calendar, August 2015

Sunday, August 2

10:00-11:30    Child care available - Kinder and under


10:15-11:30    ArtWorks 


Sunday, August 9

10:00-11:30    Child care available - Kinder and under


10:15-11:30    ArtWorks


Sunday, August 16

10:00-12:30     Child care available - Kinder and under


10:15-11:30     ArtWorks and Summer SHYG


Sunday, August 23

10:00-11:30     Child care available - Kinder and under


10:15-11:30     ArtWorks 


Sunday, August 30, Last at SAUCC

10:00-11:30    Child care available - Kinder and under


10:15-11:30    ArtWorks

Regular Office Hours

The normal office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm. No office closures are scheduled for August.

Serving Our Congregation

          Linda Clear, President                      Linda Klein, Vice-President

          Denis Edgren, Treasurer                  Gordon Gerwig, Secretary

          Shirley Hines                                      Carol Jacobs

Janet Lopes                                        Dennis Pottenger                      

Contact Board members by email:



           JoAnn Anglin                                      Lisa Derthick                                                        Deirdre Downes (Chairperson)       Patricia Johnson

           Linda Roth                                                                             

    Contact Program Council members by email:



Rev. Roger Jones, Senior Minister

Rev. Lucy Bunch, Assistant Minister

Stanton Vedell, Communications and Facilities Coordinator

Michele Ebler, Bookkeeper

Elaine Cooper, Receptionist

Miranda Massa, Religious Education Coordinator

Keith Atwater, Music Director

Annie Green, Krystal Gollaher, Childcare Providers

Aaron Molina Sunday thru Thursday  and 

Miguel Neri Friday and Saturday, Custodians

Ina Jun, Choir Accompanist