Celebrating Life
Empowering People,
Caring for One Another,
Helping to Build a Better World
May 2021

Sunday Services are at 10:30am

The Theme of the Month is

May 2
The Power of Stories

Service Leaders: Rev. Chris, Joe Gabaeff, Era Capone; Music: Roger Corman, Sally Jones

May 9
Arise Then,
Women of this Day!
Service Leaders: Rev. Leisa Huyck, others

The UU North Bay Shared Service, hosted by the Napa Valley UUs

Is Mother's Day a holiday you celebrate, or a holiday you dread? Neither? Both? Is it even relevant in today's world, when the gender binary is increasingly being questioned? This Mother's Day, we will tell the stories of how Mother's Day came into being in the US, and think about what it might mean for us now.

May 16
Stories of UUCSR,
Part 1

Service Leaders: Rev. Chris, Linda Lampson, Era Capone; Music: Alan Bell Roger Corman

May 23
Stories of UUCSR,
Part 2

Service Leaders: Rev. Chris, Izzy Fischer, Era Capone; Music: John Ray, Roger Corman

May 30`
Writing the Next Chapters

Service Leaders: Rev. Chris, Era Capone; Music: Roger Corman, Sally Jones

Past services
are archived on the

  • A Message from Rev. Chris
  • Inspiration from Soul Matters
  • President's Message
  • That To Which Your Board Is Up
  • Religious Education / Family Ministry
  • Sustaining Pledge Appeal
  • Adult Education
  • Diversity Project Reflection
  • Borders and Beyond
  • Share the Basket
  • Musical Notes
  • Caring Connections Committee
  • Other Groups and Special Events

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A Message from Rev. Chris
Hello, my Dear Friends and Fellow Members,

If you’ve lived more than 20 years or so, you surely have noticed that the passage of time is a fluid and subjective experience. Some hours fly by in a minute; some minutes drag by for an hour. Time flies when we’re having fun, but it barely gets off the ground at all if you’re at the DMV. A single day of meditation retreat can feel like a glimpse of eternal life. Conversely, I can only imagine that a day of solitary confinement must feel like eternal damnation.

The elusive nature of time is a well-established concern of mystics and philosophers alike. The Third Zen Patriarch said, “The Way is beyond language, for in it, there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.” And the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy asks, “What is time, and is it real? If it is, does time flow or lapse or pass? Are the future or the past as real as the present? These metaphysical questions have been debated for more than two millennia, with no resolution in sight.”

Yeah, OK. Whether real or not, I can say with certainty that this has been one of the longest years of my life.

It was just under a year ago that I announced, somewhat controversially, that we would likely not worship in person for a year. Do you remember that? I barely do. Last year was, like, five years ago, man. 

A year apart seemed impossibly long at that time. But, by golly, we’ve made it through and finally, variants and India notwithstanding, we can start thinking about the end of the Pandemic. The County will likely go to the Yellow Tier in a couple more weeks, and the current reports are that the State of California will “reopen for business” on June 15th. Hooray!

However, “open for business,” is not the same as “completely open for worship services,” and so I continue to ask for your patience and understanding as the Board and the Health Advisory Committee and I chart our safest path forward. Even after June 15th we may have to wear masks, we may not be able to sing, and we have to manage the presence of children and other unvaccinated people with kindness and inclusivity.

The single biggest regret I have of leaving before we have fully reopened is that I don’t have the natural, easy times after Sunday services to hug and smile and talk with you in these next few

And yet, remembering that I am far from the only person who is has decision-making power in this situation, I do think the most gentle and graceful approach, both for me and for the incoming Interim Minister, is for UUCSR to continue to worship primarily on ZOOM until Ingathering in September. I DO hope that we may have at least one large in-person gathering SOMEWHERE (Courthouse Square?!?) before I depart the position. 

My experience of the last three months has been like walking through thick slush. But now, suddenly, there are only three months remaining in my tenure here, and I can already feel that time accelerating quickly. After this I have only two more newsletters to write. Holy Guacamole! How will I get in all my final lessons? I have so many people to whom I want to say, “Thank you!” and “I told you so!” 

Foremost among my wishes in this short window of time is to let each of you know how important and wonderful you are, and how grateful I am to you for helping me build a lasting institution that affirms and promotes reason, faith and love. 

No reason to wait, I guess. 

So, for now, whatever “now” is…

Friend – you are important and wonderful and I am grateful I am to you for helping me build a lasting institution that affirms and promotes reason, faith and love. I believe in you. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping me make through the longest year of my life.
Rev. Chris 



Friday, May 14th
6:00 - 7:30

Join Rev. Chris, Roger Corman, the Music Coordinators and other UU musicians as we pass the microphone around on Zoom and sing some songs together.

Just as on Sundays, everyone will be muted except the singer and/or band that's performing, and we'll all sing along from home. We're going to pick songs many people know. The lyrics will be provided via screen sharing, and there won't be any wordy sermon or announcements to get in the way of some pure musical togetherness and fun.

Want to share a song? Contact Rev. Chris at minister@uusantarosa.org

Inspiration from Soul Matters
What Does It Mean To Be a People of Story?

Stories don’t just embellish our lives; they make and even dictate our lives. This might be the most important reminder of this month. Indeed, who of us hasn’t felt controlled by a story? Stuck in a story? Hopeless about the way our story will end up? Simply put, our stories often write us as much as we write them.
For instance, the author Rachel Naomi Remen talks about how her family clings to the childhood story of her being “the clumsy one of the family.” Ask all her friends and colleagues and they will describe her as graceful. They’ve never once seen her trip over her own feet or  drop something , ever. And yet, somehow, when she goes to her parents’ house or back to a family reunion, she spills coffee on at least one outfit, stubs more than one toe and trips on more steps than she can count. By trying so hard to escape her family’s narrative about clumsy little Naomi, she inevitably slips into it anew. Talk about the power of story!
Or think about our current struggles with economic or racial justice. The unconscionable income gap is often described as “natural” or “the result of complex global dynamics over which we have little control.” Similarly, the story of race in our country is too often told with an “entrenched” story arc or celebrated as “having come so far.” The aim of all these cultural narratives is the same: to undermine action, and worse, to undermine our belief that action can change things.
So let’s tell a new story! This is the message of our faith. We have a choice, it tells us. Our stories are not predetermined! Remember that old theological debate for which our UU forebearers gave their lives? All around them people were saying that God had predestined not just the big story of humanity, but our individual stories too. Supposedly, some of us were slotted for heaven and others for hell. And God had written the list in ink. Nothing any of us could do about it.
“Well,” said our spiritual ancestors, “that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?!” Forget this extreme fate-driven story, they said. Freedom has a much bigger role than we’re giving it credit for. God is not so much the author of the story as she is the magical muse that needles and nags us to put our own stamp on the narratives before us. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” Our spiritual ancestors might have offered a friendly amendment and said, “All the world is an improv show! Our job is to hop on the stage and make up the script as we go!”
So fate and freedom. This month is much more about the tension between these two than one might have thought, leaving us with questions like: Are you an actor conforming to the scripts handed to you? Or have you found your own way of becoming the director or screenwriter of your life? How are you struggling right now to regain control of your storyline? How are you and your friends working to regain control of the storyline of our community? Our country? 
Or maybe taking back control is not your task at this time. Maybe your spiritual work is instead about finding a new storyline. Maybe retirement, divorce, illness or the empty-nest has closed the book on one story and is inviting you to leap into a whole new narrative. Does that leave you excited about what’s to come? Scared? A bit of both?
Whatever it is. Wherever you are at. Don’t give the storyline away. That’s the message of our faith. And hopefully the gift of this month.

President's Message
Hearing and listening really are different.  You can hear someone’s words, but are you letting the meaning of those words penetrate?  Can you be open to considering something you don’t necessarily agree with or don’t fully understand?  

I think of myself as a really open, accepting person.  I may not agree with you, but I can listen and give you respect and honor.  I can try to step into your shoes and look at life from your perspective to see what’s driving your (very different) opinion than mine.

But…sometimes I don’t.  Rooting out those dark corners is really uncomfortable work, and I can’t do it when I’m already not feeling so great about myself.  And often, I can’t do it by myself; it takes a trusted friend to ask questions and know who I want to be, though I’m not that yet.  To hold that mirror up so I can look, and look, and look.

Being able to truly listen instead of just hear words is critical, particularly now.  In our country (and across the world?), we have somehow lost the capacity or desire to truly listen to others.  It seems to be all “talk to the hand”.  In Sonoma County, there are times when it’s the same.  And yes, even in our beloved congregation.  

Who are the people you deeply and profoundly disagree with?  Can you truly listen to them?  Can you hear what they’re saying and, more importantly, why they think and say it?  Can you give them respect as a human being, even though you disagree with them?  Can you extend the open hand of friendship and community, even while having opposing points of view?  

It’s easy to say “Oh, yes, of course!”  But for many of us (I know for me), let me say just one word:  Trump.  Can you respect his inherent worth and dignity as a human being, even while being on the opposite end of the spectrum from his beliefs?  It’s hard!   And I’m not quite there yet.  But I’m trying.

Why is this so important?  Because without being able to treat the other person with dignity and respect and honor, without truly listening, we all devolve into 5-year old schoolyard bullies, yelling at each other.  Nothing gets done, nothing moves forward, and we are all left bruised and smaller.  

Am I open to having my point of view be changed?  Am I open to me being changed?  Am I open to hearing something I didn’t know before?  Am I open to being surprised?  All it takes is me being willing to explore something that doesn’t fit for me – and to tend to my connection with the other person.  I’m not a Buddhist, but I love what I’ve heard about “The Third Way”. It’s not my way; it’s not their way; it’s a way that neither of us could have predicted or thought of without the other – and inevitably, it turns out to be the best way.  Win-win-win:  Win for me, win for you, win for us all.  Perhaps that’s what it takes to build a better world.  

Now that’s a game worth playing!  Hard, but so rewarding.  Wanna play?!

In love and listening,

From the Board of Trustees
We have a lot happening, or about to happen!  In April’s meeting, the Board received updates on a lot of the preparations to make those things happen well.

The Interim Search Committee reported that the information about our congregation for prospective interims to review was just about to go live.  We also set a special Executive Session Board meeting to vote on the candidate the Search Committee will recommend to the Board.

Linda Stabler, Chair of our HR Consulting Group, updated the Board on the process of revising the job description of what has been our Administrative Manager, raising that job to the Director level.  This person will be our “Congregational Director”, more officially known as our Director of Administration, Operations and Finance.  We are in the process of assembling the hiring team, and aim to hire this person by June 15.

The Health Advisory Team (HAT) recommended that a task force be convened to explore and determine all the various things that need to be addressed to re-open safely and well.  There are a lot of moving parts!  Gretchen Vap volunteered to lead that team.  

The Board got a first look at the draft 2021-22 budget.  It’s a pretty “bare bones” budget, partly because it’s not yet clear when Glaser Center rental income will resume, or at what level.  The Board will approve the proposed budget at May’s Board meeting, the Congregation will vote on it in June’s Congregational Meeting, and it will take effect July 1st.  

And the Board continued our exploration of racial justice issues, looking this month as how to move beyond a “charity” mindset in addressing issues of bias and racial justice.  In addition, Tamara Murrell of the Diversity Project informed the Board that they are forming a task force to support the congregation in exploring the UUA’s proposed 8th Principle and whether we want to adopt it for ourselves. 

As always, you are more than welcome to come observe a Board meeting.  
May’s meeting will be on Zoom (as everything is these days!), 6:30pm, May 20.
See you there!

In partnership and love,

Religious Education / Family Ministry
Hello everyone,

May is here, and the school year is coming to a close. With summer break just around the corner, we here in RE are looking at what's in store for families during this long, academic break.

After dipping our toes into in-person RE this past month, I am excited to say that we will be continuing these gathering in the coming months! At the moment, we are planning for another Tween RE & Youth Group gathering on Sunday, May 30th, as the youth of our congregation are once again invited to reclaim UUCSR as their faith home. Additionally, as summer gets into full swing, we'll be looking at new and more frequent ways to get kids and families together, with in-person movie nights, game nights, and Sunday gatherings all in the works!

And, in case you missed it last month, we are working with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin to bring an OWL Summer Camp to North Bay families! Programs are available for kids grade K-9, and you can learn more about it here. Registration is limited, so make sure to sign up here if your family is interested!

If you would like to keep up to date on the latest in RE, check out our RE Weekly Newsletter, or email me directly at dre@uusantarosa.org. I am always thrilled to receive questions, comments, and feedback, and I would love to hear from you!

In love and gratitude,

Era Capone
Director of Religious Education
Sunday, May 2nd - Stories of People Who Remind Us to Be Kind and Fair
This Sunday, the kids of RE will be looking to our second source as they explore the theme of story. The kids will begin their morning by listening to Side By Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chavez by Monica Brown and Joe Cepeda. After the story, the kids will reflect on who they look to as reminders to be kind and fair, whether it's a parent, a sibling, a teacher, or a historical figure.

Sunday, May 9th - Stories From Religions Around the World
Children this Sunday will be exploring tales from around the world! They'll listen to the book Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth, and hear stories from Zen Buddhism and Taoism. Afterwards, the kids will share what other faiths they know, as they discover the many religions that fill our world.

Sunday, May 16th - Stories That Remind Us to Love Our Neighbors
The kids this week will learn what it means to love your neighbor! They'll begin by listening to Maybe I Can Love My Neighbor Too by Jennifer Grant. After the story, the kids will learn about the Jewish and Christian origins of this rule, and unpack what it means to "respond to God's love." They'll discuss what God means to different people, and how responding to love with more love is something anyone can do.

Sunday, May 23rd - Stories of Science and Discovery
For this Sunday, the RE kids will be learning about the stories that come from science and discovery! After checking in, the kids will hear Once Upon a Star by James Carter, which tells the story of the Big Bang. Just like how scientists answered the big question "Where did the universe come from?" the children of RE will take time to ask their own questions, and see if science has a story for them too!

Sunday, May 30th - Stories From Nature and the Sacred Circle of Life
On this last Sunday in May, the RE children will be looking to the harmony of nature. They'll hear the incredible and powerful story We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade. After the story, the kids will learn about the history of the DAP as they reflect on what might happen when a community loses its clean water, and the importance of honoring the sacred ways of nature.

Make those Sustaining Pledges, please!
This past year has been challenging for many of us.  And yet, we remain a resilient and resourceful people!  Despite Covid, we’ve maintained our sense of community with online Sunday services, neighborhood groups, Soul Matters groups, RE classes, parenting groups, lay chaplains, and many other connections.  But more change will be coming soon as we enter an interim of discerning our future while searching for a new settled Senior Minister. 

At this time of change, the need for your continued generous financial support is greater than ever.  During the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, there will be additional demands on our budget.  We’ll incur extra costs from the interim and search process.  Plus, we need significant audio-visual upgrades as we transition to hybrid in-person and online-streaming worship.  And we have to make room in the budget for a new high-level Administrative Director to run our increasingly complex organization.  

To keep our congregation flourishing, and to help us plan for further growth, we’re asking everyone to make a new pledge for the 2021-2022 fiscal year beginning July 1, at a ten percent increase over your current pledge or annual giving amount.

We thank you for your continuing support of our beloved community!
On another note – we’re looking for volunteers to join our team.  Working on stewardship is about connection and generosity.  It’s fun and a great way to contribute your talents to the congregation.  Please contact us if interested!

The Sustaining Pledge Team
Carol Kraemer (Chair), Jane deYoung (ex officio), Mary Lill Lee, Helga Lemke, John Mason, Elaine Wellin (sustainingpledge@uusantarosa.org)

To make your new pledge
for 2021-2022!

Adult Education

Sinless Sex: A Challenge to Religions
presented by William Stayton 
May 4 - June 8, Tuesdays
1:00 pm- 2:30 pm
Using science-based information about sexuality in all its dimensions, Sinless Sex corrects the misinformation found in many religions, offering a new way of thinking, especially to those influenced by or bound by religious dogmas.

“This was a wonderful read. Well written, easy to read, educational and should be a must read for all people. We must learn more about our sexuality.” Jocelyn Elders, MS, MD, 15th Surgeon General of the United States, Professor of Medicine, University of Arkansas.

  • All members of this class will need to REGISTER for the course by emailing Bill Stayton at THIS LINK, so he can put you on the list for the Zoom invitations.

  • Each member needs to have the book because the course will be interactive with reactions to and discussion of assigned readings from the book each week. Bill can sell you a book for his costs, $10, and he will make appropriate arrangements with each person to get the book. Or you can get an ebook or a more expensive paperback on Amazon.

  • Whoever attends the first class will be expected to be in every class for the 6 weeks if possible. If you want to attend the class but cannot attend only the first class, please let Bill know ahead of time. No one will be able to join after that first week.

  • Members will receive a Zoom invitation each week from Bill Stayton.

Bill is looking forward to this class! He just finished a similar class at Bucknell University Institute for Lifelong Learning, in Lewisburg, PA, with very appreciative reviews.

From the Diversity Project
by Leslie Norinsky

Who hasn’t been thinking a lot these days about the kids crossing the border?  The stories are heartbreaking as thousands of them try everyday...and they will keep coming because things are so horrible for them in their own homelands.  America offers some chance of survival for themselves and their families.  There are some solutions, but so many believe that a few people are entitled to accumulate vast wealth while ten percent of the world’s population of 8 billion people starve.  I don’t understand it.  I know that there is also great kindness in the world, and yet I keep circling back to my unanswered questions.

I come from humble roots but far from poverty, and yet unlike many stories of my fellow UUs.  My grandmother, African American, was the child of sharecroppers.  She raised my mom and my aunt by herself.  My grandfather disappeared off the face of the earth when my mother was just 5 years old and no one knows what happened to him.  My mother wore “welfare” clothes as a child and my grandmother worked as a housekeeper in suburban Philadelphia to support her two children.  On the other side of my family, my Jewish grandparents escaped Ukraine in the middle of a pogrom, taken in for a little bit by a Catholic family before finding their way to Liverpool and then on to Philadelphia. Somehow they were able to get to New York and in the late 1930’s opened a fruit store before being driven out prior to World World II due to antisemitism in the community.

I was born in New York, and after my parents separated when I was five years old, my mother and I lived in Crown Heights in Brooklyn.  When I visited last year, I realized that much of the neighborhood had not changed that much, although there is a trend towards gentrification.   Back then, Nostrand Avenue was populated with small grocery stores, delicatessens, drug and stationery and liquor stores.  Now, among all that are a lot of hair braiding parlors, and Caribbean restaurants.  There are lots of accents, and still a vibrant Jewish community as well.  Apartments there are small and old, and the children don’t play out on the street anymore.  The windows are barred, but the community is alive with activity.

When I was in high school, after my parents got back together, and we were then living in Berkeley, I was a pretty uninspired student.  Although I had been born with wits, and managed to get placed into the higher academic track in each school I attended, I really didn’t like school and didn’t do much in terms of work.  I was in classes with a lot of the “hill” kids, kids who had parents with incomes who could afford to live in the hills and send their kids to college, but I hung out with the “flatland” kids, an ethnically-mixed group who may or may not have had aspirations to go to college.  If it hadn’t been for the only African American teacher that I ever had, Mr. Nash, in an advanced biology class, I don’t know if I would’ve had the confidence to achieve academically.  I was getting C’s the first semester in his class, due to never doing any homework.  But then, he took me under his wing, argued with me about the Vietnam War (I was against it) in an adult way, and made me believe in myself.  He later told me that he was also against the war, but wanted me to defend my argument.  We, People of Color, need people who look like us and care for us in teaching and in the professions and in positions of power to keep us remembering that no one is a second-class human being.   I got straight A’s the second semester.  I eventually found my way because of him.  I got my degree in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, earned a Master’s degree and put in 3 additional years of educational work.

   My parents had always stood up for social justice.  I have a photo of my mom at the March on Washington when Reverend Martin Luther King gave his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech”.  She took me to “Jim Crow Must Go” marches, and taught me about my background.  My father wrote a play about “Rivington Street”, a street in Manhattan where the Jewish refugees lived and set up merchant booths to sell their wares.  I learned about the Settlement houses that helped the Jewish refugees arriving in New York.  Our life was about changing the way things are to provide more opportunities for more people to live better lives.

This is probably too long of a story, with lots of details left out...but eventually I ended up for eight years as an engineer in the semiconductor industry.  But it was not my love.   I went back to school and then became a high school teacher and then a vice principal in a Marin County high school.  There I met so many immigrant children trying to make their way.  I met kids from Guatemala who came here so that they could work, to get away from gangs and to send money back to their parents, who were literally barely surviving.  But we made them go to school, instead, because legally kids here have to go to school.  So they weren’t sending money home.  I didn’t know what to say to them.  Why can’t we pay these children to go to school so that their families back home can eat?  I met a young man, age 14, from Haiti who told me about how he basically lived in a one room shack, he took showers in the rain because there was no plumbing, no sanitary facilities. He told me about how he saw people die and that he had to step over dead bodies after the 2010 earthquake to get food from the US army.  Whenever I offered him part of my snack, he took it; his hunger never abated.  I heard many stories up close and personal.  I use my experiences to imagine what it must be like to be them. 

   I think it is important to keep telling our stories to one another and to keep hearing our own stories and the stories of the people with whom we share this fragile earth.  Of course, we need to have fun; we need to dance and laugh and play with the children.  We need to feel the ocean waves on our feet and win games of mahjong.  But we need to really hear one another too. We need to see the beauty in every other culture.  We need to start to realize that we don’t know what is best for everyone else while respecting the decisions that people make for themselves. That’s what celebrating diversity is all about.  Diversity makes us stronger, more compassionate and kind, and more creative.  And it is a work-in-progress.

Borders and Beyond
Bring us your Teddy Bears!

Gente Unida is a 501c organization in San Diego. Their focus is helping migrant children, especially those at the San Diego Convention ctr. right now. There are a maximum of 1450 children ages 4 to 17 in the shelter, mostly girls, however lately more 4-12 year olds of both sexes have come in. They stay for 30 days and, hopefully, are transported to where they have a relative.

Gente Unida is collecting new only (due to Covid) stuffed animals of all types, not just Teddy Bears. Since there is such a high turnover, they are constantly delivering items to the shelter. Sometimes there are special requests, such as soccer balls.

Enrique Morales, the Director of Gente Unida, has spoken at the San Diego congregation a number of times for their “Share the Basket!" He says they tell him he is a UU at heart.

Please help Borders and Beyond bring some light and happiness to the children at the border. Donations can be dropped off Monday - Thursday from 1:oo - 5:00.
Share the Basket / Advocates for Social Justice
Building beloved community through our generosity is alive and well at UUCSR, and in the months ahead you’ll hear from several new organizations you’ve recommended to us recently.

Here’s the schedule for Shares with outside organizations through early September:

May 23 – Lifeworks of Sonoma County
June 13 – Social Advocates for Youth (SAY)
June 20 – Project Censored
June 27 – Listening for a Change

In July, we’ll share the basket with Raices Texas, which provides immigrant support services in the border areas of Texas and was recommended by our Borders & Beyond Group. They’ll introduce their activities during the services on both July 4th and July 18th.

In August, we’ll come back closer to home and share our basket with Community Health Care of Santa Rosa. They’ll introduce their activities during the services on both August 15th and August 29th.

We hope this will give more people a chance to hear about and consider supporting these organizations, even in the summer months when fewer of us attend services. Let any of us on the Share subcommittee know how you like this experiment – or just reflect your feelings by whether and how you contribute 😊.

Here's a summary of what we’ve shared with external organizations recently:

KBBF Bilingual Radio (January 10) -- $350
Food For All – Valley of the Moon (January 24) -- $985
Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH, February 28) -- $315
Catholic Charities (March 28) -- $286

Donations to the support Saturday Breakfast between July 1 (start of our fiscal year) and March 31 were $21,794. In that period, Saturday  Breakfast had spent $12,576 to provide nutritious take-away lunches to people in our community.

Thanks for your contributions in support of these organizations, and also for your support of the congregation through your sustaining pledges and other gifts.

Your A4SJ Share the Offering team – Elaine Wellin, Judy Elliott, Lynn Riepenhoff, Paul Brockmann, Serge Zimberoff

Musical Notes
“Nothing primes inspiration more than necessity, whether it be the presence of a copyist waiting for your work or the prodding of an impresario tearing his hair.”
— Gioachino Rossini

Well, the "copyist" is waiting for my Musical Notes column but no inspiration was primed in me until I met with the Music Coordinators yesterday (online, of course). And while no impresario was tearing out his hair, my fellow MCs did inspire me. 

We discussed how we have all had to learn new technology in order to continue to provide music for the congregation. We discussed a new app that Sadie has discovered called “Easy Virtual Choir” which is actually designed for quickly recording videos. While Sadie is on a leave of absence, she is still sharing her research and discoveries with us choir members.

And now that vaccinations are spreading faster than the virus is, in person rehearsals may be on the horizon. In fact, we discussed gathering in person, those of us who are fully vaccinated, as early as mid-May to record ourselves actually singing together.

Things are definitely looking up! Can in-person worship services be far behind? 

Meantime, we hope you can join us via Zoom or YouTube and sing along with us virtually.  If you'd like to become a participant or have any questions, email a Music Coordinator (musicians@uusantarosa.org).

Stay safe and keep singing.
--Randy Jones   

Caring Connections Committee
Most of us experience emergency situations a few times in our lives.

For example, following surgery, a serious illness, or the death of a loved one, we’re unable to carry-on with our normal life for several days. Usually, family or neighbors step-in to help, but some of us don’t have those resources. That’s when the Caring Connections Committee volunteers can offer short-term help for UUCSR members, such as essential shopping, delivering a few meals, or providing a ride to pharmacies or medical appointments. We also have a list of referrals for services we are not able to offer "in-house."

Gretchen Vap, our Outreach Coordinator, is a retired nurse practitioner who is available for consult. To request help or volunteer, contact Gretchen Vap or committee chair Mac Freeman.

Other Groups and Special Events
We are COSM, the Committee on Shared Ministry. The current committee consists of Maria Praetzellis (chair), Susan Bartholome, Frances Corman, Kitty Wells, David Reitzell and Rev. Chris. We are charged with ensuring the health of the congregation by encouraging communication within the congregation, providing conflict resolution when needed, as well as supporting the minister.

This committee also participates in the yearly evaluation of the minister that we complete and submit to the Board of Trustees each February. We are here for both the minister and YOU, the congregation. So, talk with us! All communications with COSM are confidential. Feel welcome to call any of the COSM members. Our individual numbers are in the directory.

The book group will meet via Zoom on Thursday April 8th from 4-6 p.m.  The book for April is  Where the Crawdads Sing  by Delia Owens. In May we will read  Warlight by Michael Ondatje.  Newcomers and visitors are welcome. Contact Linda Lampson for more information.  

Older and Bolder women’s group—for women congregants who are 80 and older. We continue to meet at 10:30 on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. We are fortunate that Chlele Gummer has agreed to set up our meetings; she has a list of the current members and sends emails to them with instructions each meeting day. For further information call Phyllis Clement at 823-0925, or Shirley White, Dorris Lee, or Clare Whitfield.

Soul Matters
Theme Guide

You can deeply explore
the May 2021 theme of STORY
using THIS handy theme guide
from Soul Matters!

547 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Phone: (707) 568-5381