H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R !


Beginning Now
Rev. Katie's Animas View

"Everything begins on the verge of awareness," wrote my colleague Kim Beach. This applies to the morning glow, the "me too" movement, and our willingness to allow change into our lives. 

A close friend of my son and daughter-in-law was married just a little over a year ago in December of 2016, and as she posted a photo collage of her beautiful life on her Instagram account, she exclaimed it an amazing year "sans the politics and other disasters."

As we begin a new year, we hold coexisting truths, that we experience love and joy, grief and loss, frustration and new resolve as we put up the new calendar.

To what shall we become aware? In what places do we find hope? 

Once again, I am ever so grateful to be with you, to look forward to an amazing 2018 where we can become ever more conscious of this faith that calls upon us to grow, to discern, to begin again when we have made mistakes. 

In faith and with love,

Rev. Katie


January Sunday Services
Monthly theme: We Shall Overcome 
(Concepts of prophecy, courage, change) 

January 7   
Behold I Will Do a New Thing
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
How do we deal with the fear of change when we know that it is the stuff of life? We'll participate in our New Year's ritual of burning off the old, and letting in the new. 

January 14
The Drum Major Instinct
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we'll listen to the words from one of Dr. King's sermons. "If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice!"

January 21
30 Days of Love
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
It's been one year since our Standing on the Side of Love march, the Women's March. How have we continued our commitment to lift up our values?

January 28
Rethinking Relatedness
-Kay Holmes, pulpit guest 
Let's consider the difficult but important work associated with deep reflection and accountability, in particular with the Self and in relation to Indigenous Peoples.


President's Message
Tom Miller

As I write this, the Christmas season is hitting its peak. Santa has not yet arrived, but UUFD already has gifts to celebrate and appreciate.  A month ahead of schedule and in time for the Holidays, our staff moved into a fantastically renovated new office location above Bowman Hall. We now have attractive, comfortable and appropriate spaces for our minister, office administrator, Faith Formation Director, Choir Director, and Congregational Life Coordinator. The new facilities also include a conference room, work room, IT closet, and a break area. The problems of crowded and dispersed staff quarters and limited meeting spaces have been significantly addressed. Bringing our staff into one location will be of great benefit and allow much easier communication and coordination as we continue to expand our ministry.  

Maybe the biggest gift, however, is the amount of volunteer effort over the last five months that has made the transformation from an apartment to highly functional work space possible. Over 40 of you contributed your time and talent (and in some cases, treasure) to make the work complete. The Board appropriated a responsibly small amount of money for the renovation, so we needed to employ very little contracted labor. The different sub-committees were so efficient in the purchasing of materials that there was room for some unanticipated necessary extras even as we stayed within the budget. There is no question in my mind that, had we contracted for this work, the expense would have been several to many times what was allotted. We will have a dedication in early February to celebrate formally. If you haven't had a chance to step "upstairs" yet, please do. I think you will be impressed. And if you were one of the talented volunteer contributors, my deepest thanks for your contribution, budget consciousness and dedication. 

With the new year on the immediate horizon, I look forward to a very active spring. Two major efforts are on the front burner. Continuing the work outlined in our new Strategic Plan, the Facilities Planning Task Force (FPTF) will engage the services of an architect to continue the work started a couple of springs ago to examine how we might alter and/or expand our facilities to accommodate our increasing membership. The designated funds to support this work were generated by your generous support of our last Frolic. You can expect invitations to participate in conversations about our needs in various areas. I hope you will make the time to engage in this important planning and discernment process. Working with the architect, the FPTF will assimilate and integrate the output of that process, which is likely to take the better part of this winter and spring. The result will generate a couple conceptual options for further discussion and elaboration. 

If, as a consequence of many conversations about how best to accommodate our growth in the long term and increase the impact of our mission, we do decide to expand our facilities, it will be several years, at least, before that can be completed. In the meantime, new people continue find us. We have increasingly crowded facilities. You may have noticed this, especially in the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall. How can we continue to be hospitable and inviting when seats in the Sanctuary are scarce and it's hard to make your way to the coffee pot after the service? The Board will shortly appoint another Task Force (to coordinate closely with the FPTF) to develop some options for addressing these more immediate needs. If you are interested in being a part of this planning, please let me know. 

Of course there are many more activities and initiatives on the horizon in Faith Formation, Social Responsibility and Justice, small group ministry, among others. I wish you an engaged, productive and spiritually renewing New Year. 


Faith Formation News You Can Use

Enjoy this photo recap of our holiday activities!
 


CLICK HERE for a larger version!

 -Lisa McCorry, Faith Formation Director


Social Responsibility & Justice: What's new in the new year?
 
With social justice as a core part of our UUFD mission, we continue to forge ahead with our work - and hope that each of you will choose a way to be part of that work in 2018.  Here are some things to look forward to:

On February 17 the annual Diversity Dialogue with Fort Lewis College and other community organizations will again be supported by our Healing Racism Team.  In addition, Indivisible Durango is planning a #METOO march, and there is a public forum on Ending Homelessness at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.  Watch for more details coming up on all of the above.

In March we will be having a discussion of the two books selected for the UUA Common Read:   Daring Democracy and Centering .  John Lyons, Allison Andersen and Rev. Katie will be facilitating the discussion.  Books are available now at the social justice table, so stop by and pick one up.

In April we plan to begin a thought-provoking curriculum called Beloved Conversations, sponsored by our Healing Racism and Faith Formation teams.  Developed by Dr. Mark Hicks, it "is an experiential curriculum that provides a space to re-form/fuse the brokenness of racism into new patterns of thought and behavior ushering in spiritual healing."  You won't want to miss this.

April 21, join in the second local People's Climate March.  Sponsored by Indivisible Durango and supported by our Environmental Justice Team.  Stand up for our environment!

On April 25, 6:30 pm in the FLC theatre, UUFD is again partnering with the Southwest Community Foundation to promote attendance for the next speaker in the "Making a Difference" series.  The inaugural event in October 2017, featuring Nicholas Kristoff, was a sold-out success.  The April speaker will be Jenna Bush Hager.  You know her as the daughter of President George W. Bush, but do you know she is a teacher, author, journalist, philanthropist and humanitarian dedicated to social justice work?  Buy your ticket now from the SRJ table after Sunday services; we've purchased a block of 27 tickets, first come first served.  See separate article in the newsletter for more information.

Our LGBTQ Team continues to participate in Durango Pride Week (June 18-24) activities.  In addition to our booth in the Pride Festival on Saturday, June 23, and joining in the parade, this year we are collaborating with the Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center to host a community concert at Rotary Park to benefit the center on June 22 beginning at 4:30 pm.  We hope all of you will come enjoy the music of three different bands and food from the food carts on Friday and march with us on Saturday morning.  All proceeds will go to the 4CRYC.

Of course, we have regular ongoing activities and welcome your help and participation.  For more information, contact Bonnie Miller at yjmiller2@gmail.com.



Would UUFD be willing and able to provide sanctuary?
Questions from our Immigration Team

Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis Sanctuary Declaration

Our Unitarian Universalist values call on us to provide sanctuary for fellow community members who are under attack by government authorities. Today, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion. Consistent with our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person-and, as signers of the Unitarian Universalist Association/Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Declaration of Conscience-we, the UU Church of Davis, agree to take the following actions.  As a sanctuary congregation, UUCD will: 
  • Be a voice for justice in the public square of Yolo County and in the Pacific Central District and the Pacific Western Region of the UUA.
  • Support UC Davis SPEAK and the AB 540 and Undocumented Center when requested to do so by students or staff.
  • Have congregants who become trained as legal observers, rapid responders, accompaniment companions and UndocuAllies serve when called upon.
  • Raise funds to support the undocumented immigrant community.
  • Attend rallies and actively support selected local, state and federal legislation that protects the immigrant and undocumented communities.
  • Support the immigration work of interfaith groups and other nonprofits in Yolo County and the greater Sacramento area when they request our assistance.
  • Join Area Congregations Together/People Improving Communities Through Organizing (Sacramento ACT/PICO) and become active with the ACT/PICO immigration team.
  • Continue to listen, learn and work as individuals and as a congregation to promote justice, allowing the needs, visions and voices of the communities with whom we work to guide us.
On this day, October 29, 2017, we declare the UU Church of Davis to be a sanctuary congregation. Individuals in the church will be active as their time and talents allow.

Adopted unanimously at the special membership meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis on October 29, 2017.    

The Reverend Katie sent this to the Immigration Team as an example of an interpretation of "sanctuary" that doesn't include providing a physical sanctuary. We at UUFD are doing most of these things. 

For me it raises the question, once again, about UUFD providing physical sanctuary now that we have more space. Does this congregation want to re-visit the idea of physical sanctuary? It would take near unanimous support and commitment. Even without being a physical sanctuary there are more ways UUFD can support immigrants.

Maureen Maliszewski, as the distant leader of the immigration team, suggests the following action steps.
  1. Identify members of a UUFD Sanctuary Task Force 
  2. Identify and recruit affected community member(s) for Task Force
  3. Identify and meet with allies at Sacred Heart and First Methodist Church of Mancos
  4. Report on above and propose next steps
#1 is key in my mind. We have a very small Immigration Team. Who would like to be on such a Task Force? 

I am raising the question for UUFD to examine. I am in no way trying to force the question.  We have some time before the annual meeting in May to explore this if there is significant interest. It would need a congregational vote at that time.

Contact me, Nancy Fisher, at nfisher48@gmail.com to share any thoughts or ideas. I will forward to the Immigration Team.

Blessings,
Nancy Fisher



CUUPS Corner
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
  
CUUPS of the Half Moon 
January 4 at 6:30 pm  in Bowman Hall
CUUPS will be conducting a very timely class on RESOLUTIONS and how to make them effective.  They can be a powerful magical tool.  Children are welcome and childcare is available with advance notice. Contact cuupsdurango@gmail.com.
 
Silabh Anam Druid Grove
January 11 at 6:30 pm in Bowman Hall
Join our study group meeting, affiliated with CUUPs.  As an OBOD group, we continue to learn about the ancient Celtic spirituality of Druidry and how it is blossoming in the 21st Century. Enlightening, educational and great fellowship. Contact sliabhanam@gmail.com.

CUUPS of the Half Moon 
January 18 at 6:30 pm in Bowman Hall
CUUPS will be conducting a class on VIBRATIONS and how to use them and attune to them for physical and spiritual healing. Children are welcome and childcare is available with advance notice. Contact cuupsdurango@gmail.com.

Ongoing Classes and Groups
CUUPs (Covenant of UU Pagans)
All are welcome for seasonal celebrations and to explore study topics.  Meets two Thursdays a month from 6:30-8:30 pm in Bowman Hall.  Childcare on request.  Contact cuupsdurango@gmail.com.

CUUPS of the Half Moon
Visit us on Facebook at CUUPS of the Half Moon


Greetings from Tara Frazer, Congregational Life Coordinator
Introducing a new staff position at UUFD

I have been a member of UUFD for almost 10 years, and I am happy to have been recently hired as the Congregational Life Coordinator, a new church staff position that is 5 hours/week.  Here is a summary of my role: 
  • help newer folks get connected to the church and tap into all that the congregation has to offer to the extent that they would like.  
  • assist in identifying people for leadership positions in the church.  
  • be available for conversations with more seasoned members or friends seeking new ways to get involved in and grow at UUFD.  
  • work closely with the minister and the Membership Committee to integrate new people and keep a pulse on the congregation. 
  • help maintain our church database to track people's interests and involvement.  

You can help me in my new position by...
  • If you are in a group, team or committee and want me to know about your activities or needs above and beyond what's published in the e-announcements and newsletter, please contact me.  
  • While I am not taking over the role that committees and teams have always played in seeking out their own members, I can assist in trying to fill these needs, if you let me know. 
  • If you have a concern or idea about the life of the church, I would love to hear it!  These thoughts are valuable for church staff to know.  
  • While it's important that we each be friendly and welcoming to new people and they will also be on my radar, feel free to point new people my way or to bring new people to my attention. 
To contact me, email me at CongregationalLife@durangouu.org or call me at (970) 759-9739.  I also have an office space above Bowman Hall if you ever want to leave me a note there or in my mailbox.  


Making a Difference - Annual Speaker Series
Jenna Bush Hager to speak April 25 at Fort Lewis

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado is a nonprofit organization investing and managing contributions to our 5-county community.  Their goal is to increase the sustainability and success of our local nonprofits so that each one can achieve their mission and goals.  The 'Making a Difference' speaker series helps raise funds to support nonprofits' work and the UUFD social justice program is again collaborating with the Foundation to encourage attendance.

On April 25 at 6:30 pm, in the Fort Lewis College community theatre, the next speaker will be Jenna Bush Hager on How the Power of Compassion Changes Lives.  A devoted humanitarian, Jenna Hager calls audiences to action and shows they too can make a difference. Hager demonstrates the many positive contributions that people can have to impact their families, schools and communities. As a UNICEF volunteer, inner-city schoolteacher, and a Today correspondent who shows stories of everyday people doing terrific things, Hager has ample experiences seeing the very best in human nature. Hager's message of compassion for supporting those in need inspires audiences to help the disadvantaged and take a more active role in their community.

Jenna Bush Hager is a contributing correspondent on NBC's Today show and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. She is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, which she wrote after traveling to Latin America in 2006 as an intern with UNICEF. Ana's Story is based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother with HIV, who struggles to shield her child from the life she had of abuse and neglect. Hager remains involved with UNICEF and is currently the chair of its Next Generation initiative, which is dedicated to reducing childhood deaths around the world. Jenna holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and is also co-author of the children's books Read All About It! and Our Great Big Backyard. Hager is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. In 2008, she married Henry Hager. Jenna and Henry are the proud parents of their daughters, Margaret Laura "Mila" and Poppy Louise Hager.

Buy your ticket now, as a sold-out presentation is again expected. UUFD has a block of 27 tickets which will be available for sale at the Social Responsibility and Justice table after Sunday services beginning in January.  Cost is $48 per ticket in the Plaza level at FLC.




Free showing of "I Am Not Your Negro"
Thursday, Jan. 11 at 6 pm

Durango Public Library will host a free screening of "I Am Not Your Negro," a Rocky Mountain PBS envisioning of  the book James Baldwin never finished.  It is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.  One of the most acclaimed films of the year and an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary.  The showing will be followed by a d iscussion with Dr. Anthony Nocella and the Fort Lewis Black Student Union.  

Join members of our Healing Racism Team who will be in attendance. 

Find more info here .


Pause for Poetry

On  Monday, January 8, ( 6-8 pm, Bowman Hall) the Poetry Circle will complete its discussion of Neil Astley's  Staying Alive anthology, chapter 12, 'The Art of Poetry.' Other poems on the subject are also invited, as are original works by the members. Light refreshments are served; visitors are welcome.

I AM

There is no beginning
There is no end
There is only
I Am

There is no hereafter
There is no before
There is only I Am

This place where we are
Right here, right now,
Feeling, knowing 
what is

This is he hereafter
We are all that has been
Breathing now into
the new I Am

Tomorrow, hope - yesterday, memory
Shadows from where we stand
Together in this sacred moment
Creating the present I Am

Each particularly needed
To move the eternal plan
Through today's  knowing 
Into tomorrow'a I am 

That is
All there is
And that is
Forever

-Sue Loweree