Celebrating Life,
Empowering People,
Caring for One Another,
Helping to Build a Better World
UUCSR Newsletter
May 2023
In This Issue
Click “View Entire Message” if Sections Are Missing
  • Services in May
  • Message from Your Minister
  • Message from Your Board President
  • Message from the Treasurer
  • Message from Your New Community Minister
  • Religious Education
  • Wednesday Night Market
  • Message from Your Worship Team
  • CUUPs
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Adult Education
  • General Assembly
  • Lay Chaplains
  • Social Groups & Events
  • Committees & Working Groups
  • Soul Matters
  • NBOP
  • UUCSR Covid Policy updated 2/2023
  • Calendar of Events
Please Consider Visiting the
Thank You for Your Support!
Services in May: The Path of Creativity

Sundays, 10:30-11:45 am PST
Creativity is Not a Product
May 7th
What is often lacking is not creativity in the idea-creating sense, but innovation in the action, putting ideas into work sense. We will explore the concept of how creativity can move into action.
Service Leader: Rev Dave Clements
Worship Associates: Richard J. Senghass
Music: Gage Purdy
Pianist: Roger Corman
Share the Basket: Saturday Breakfast for our Neighbors
Who Grew You or Survival of the Nurtured
May 14th
A tribute to those who have nurtured us in our journey called life. It could be our mothers, grandmothers or others who had a significant role in helping to shape us and give us a sense of identity.

Service Leader: Rev Dave Clements
Worship Associate: Clare Whitfield
Music: Robert Howseman & Sally Jones
Pianist: Roger Corman
Share the Basket: Ukrainian refugee program of the Unitarian Church, Bayoon, Romania

Creating Community
May 21st
Our Annual Flower Communion. Bring a flower to the service and take a different flower home with you. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the UU Flower Communion. What is the history behind this annual ritual and what does it say about community? Multi-Gen Service.

Service Leaders/Guest: Rev. Dave Clements
Worship Associate: Susan Thollaug
Music: Gage Purdy
Pianist: Louise Bettner
Share the Basket: Saturday Breakfast for our Neighbors

Imagining Worlds and Selves: The Spiritual Dungeons and Dragons
May 28th
The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, now nearly 50 years old, shows no signs of waning in popularity. Today we'll explore the power and beauty of this wonderful art, in which players express their inner elves, warriors, wizards, druids, and goblins as, through rolls of many-sided dice, they live out the fates and dramas presented by the Dungeon Master. D&D, we'll find, teaches UU Principles in powerful and fun ways, grounding players in rich senses of self--even as they launch themselves into flights of fantasy.

Service Leaders: DRE Era Capone & Scott Miller
Worship Associate: Cathie Wiese
Music: Gage Purdy
Pianist: Roger Corman
Share the Basket: The 100 Black Men of Sonoma County
From the Minister's Desk
Reverend David Clements
I wish to thank all the work of the various committees here at UUCSR. So much work happens behind the scenes, and it is accomplished by the various committees. Today I give a shout out to the service auction committee.
On May 20th UUCSR will be holding our service auction. It is a fundraiser for UUCSR, but it is also a time for some community building within UUCSR. Many times with auctions, people who don’t have a lot of surplus funds feel left out and sometimes don’t even come. Let me assure you that the Service Auction committee is doing all they can to make sure that items are priced so that everyone can purchase something. Please plan to attend this event and come enjoy this time to celebrate UUCSR and to have fun.
The month of May is a time of celebration and coming together; with the Women’s Retreat the first weekend, our annual Service Action on Saturday the 20th and our annual Flower Communion on the 21st.  As a congregation we do indeed have a lot to celebrate. I think back on where you were when I arrived in August and where we are now. I salute all of you for your determination and willingness to begin the work of deciding what things are going well and what things we need to work on.
Engagement with each other and with our UU faith is not always easy. Clear and honest communication doesn’t always happen and sometimes feelings are hurt, and people get offended. When this occurs, please keep in mind that we are a community, and we may not always agree with each other and that’s ok. In our disagreements may we listen with love and understanding and not always operate from a place that our idea or our way of doing things is the only way. 
This is a time of looking and thinking about new ideas and new ways of doing things. This is part of the process that happens while you are working with an Interim minister. I encourage everyone to be willing to try something new and to be mindful of new members who are joining this congregation. Reach out to them and welcome their new ideas and new approaches. They are a blessing to this congregation. In closing let me say that I am happy to have this opportunity to serve you and feel free to come and chat with me anytime.
Rev. Dave
President's Message
Leslie Norinsky
This will be a short report as I have been laid up with a back injury over the last three weeks. The most notable thing that I can say at this time around board activities and decisions is the agreement by the board of a budget that was a collaboration of the board, treasurers and finance team for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. At times it was has a challenging endeavor because the Board was in learning mode and taking deep dives into the depths of budget land. 

As we bring budget conversations to the congregation as a whole,  we need to remember that this congregation has had close to seven difficult years starting in 2017 with  fires and floods for three years and then a pandemic with the closing of our doors, and finally, challenging situations with ministers. However, we also need to take note of all the accomplishments of this congregation, starting with the renovation of the coffee area, new carpeting, a new roof, the sewing of 4000 masks for essential workers and writing of many thousands of postcards to get out the vote and the passing of the Eighth Principle. And that is just to name a few things that we have done. I’m sure that you can think of many more. We are optimistic about our future and we know that we have a lot to offer our community. It has been so inspiring to see so many new faces in the pews on Sunday and in our committees.

We have a congregational meeting coming up on June 11. Let us gather then to pass a budget, to ensure a future for our spiritual  home that provides  so much for each one of us. We will continue to thrive. The board will provide opportunities for you to receive information about the proposed budget and the ask questions prior to the congregational meeting. 
I guess this was longer than I thought. 

-Leslie Norinsky - BOT President
Message from the Treasurer
Linda Balabanian
“Generosity is a practical expression of love.” Gary Inrig

By the time you read this newsletter, the Board will have voted on next year’s budget and will have scheduled a meeting time for interested members of the congregation to hear about it, in advance of the Congregational Meeting, where you will vote on it. This budget is the result of a long and arduous process between the Board and the Finance Committee and the Board wants to involve interested members of the congregation in discussions to include differing perspectives and promote understanding of the difficult financial considerations ahead of us. Please attend, if possible.

Because of the switchover in Bookkeeper’s I haven’t received the financial statements for March at the time I am writing this. But we can see through Realm that pledge payments were very low in March and are trending much higher in April. Everyone should have received a Pledge Statement in their email (check your spam folder!). If possible, please plan to have your pledge fully paid by the end of June.

Thank you to a very generous member for a very large donation which enabled us to exceed our donation revenue budget for the year.

Finally, please participate and attend this years’ Service Auction May 20! There are many exciting offerings on which to bid and it will be lovely to be together again for this event. Please check the table in the Social Hall after services to find out all you need to know.

Linda Balabanian, Treasurer
What is A Community Minister?
Rev Bev Spears
What is a Community Minister in a UU Congregation?

I recently read the highest and best definition of a community minister I’ve ever come across. UU minister Rev. Theresa Ninán said, “Community ministers – both ordained and lay –– are a living example of the possibility of revolution in each heart, not in individual locations of change, but rather as an interdependent chain reaction of transformation.”

In the UU world, most ministers are thought to be congregational ministers. Many Unitarian Universalists may not know what a community minister is, but like congregational ordained ministry, community ministry is a calling – a sacred calling. Community ministry is care for the social and spiritual needs of the world outside the walls of the local congregation as well as the community within. Community ministry has deep roots within Unitarian Universalist movement, dating back to the 1820s. Today, community ministry in Unitarian Universalism is the fastest growing and thriving vocation for both ordained ministers and lay people.

The Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministers (UUSCM) is a movement of ordained clergy and lay individuals committed to promoting a broad spectrum of healing and social justice as an extension of the congregation. Community Ministers may be Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Spiritual Directors, Social justice Activists or a wide range of other vocational callings. 

As Community Minister at UUCSR, I am committed to the Faith values expressed in our eight principles, and my work is guided by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) code of practice and conduct. I nurture relationships and coalition building between UUCSR and secular justice organizations such as the North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP), as well as with the interfaith community in Sonoma County. Much of my work outside UUCSR, is focused on allyship with Indigenous, Black and People of Color (IBPOC), as well as with people of the LGBTQAI+ community. I will also on occasion guest preach in worship services of other Faith denominations. 

My responsibilities as Community Minister inside UUCSR include helping our congregation to fully live into the 8th Principle, and expanding awareness of a multitude of internal as well as external diversity issues such as economic equity, and the needs and concerns of people with diverse physical abilities. 

My additional ministry service within UUCSR will continue to include participating with Service planning as a member of the Worship Associates, leading worship services and preaching four to six times a year. I will also participate in small spiritual groups, and teach classes on spirituality. While I will take summers off from preaching, my Community Minister responsibilities are year-round. 

I’ll end by saying that my community ministry responsibilities are a freely given expression of Love and service to the people of this congregation –– my congregation. While I do receive an honorarium for preaching at Sunday Services, I am not at all financially compensated as your Community Minister. 

I am grateful and honored by the love and support shown me by the incredible people of UUCSR. We are all on this journey together.

In gratitude, Faith, and Love,
Rev. Bev
Religious Education
Era Capone
Hello all,

The congregational and school years are drawing to a close, which means a lot is happening in RE! Our Coming of Age Presentation on May 21st will be the culmination of a year of work by students on their exploration and creation of their own spiritual identities. The youth group will be celebrating the end of the year with a trip to Fanime on May 27th. And, on June 3rd, the children, youth, families, and friends of UUCSR will be marching in Sonoma County Pride! We had a great turnout last year, and hope to see even more of you for this year's event.

If you'd like to be a part in Pride or any of the other programs or events happening in RE here at UUCSR, contact me at dre@uusantarosa.org to get involved!

In love and gratitude,
Sunday Morning RE
Sunday, May 7th - Creative Solutions
This Sunday, the kids of RE are exploring this month's service theme of creativity. They'll use out of the box thinking to solve puzzles, tell stories, and engineer a solution to a rather strange problem.

Sunday, May 14th - Mothers' Day Celebrations
This Sunday, the kids of RE are celebrating Mother's Day. They'll be making gifts for the maternal figures in their lives and hearing the story Mama, Do You Love Me by Barbara M. Joosse.

Sunday, May 21st - Flower Communion (Multigenerational Service)
This Sunday, kids are invited to join us in the sanctuary for our annual flower communion. Bring a flower to the service and take a different flower home with you. 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the UU Flower Communion.

Sunday, May 28th - No RE (Memorial Day Weekend/D&D Service)
Other RE Programs
Coming of Age
  • Sunday, May 14th, 2:00-3:30pm

Coming of Age Presentation
  • Sunday, May 21st, 12:00-1:30pm

Youth Group
  • Sunday, May 7th, 2:00-5:00pm

Youth Anime & Game Night
  • Thursdays, 7:00-8:00pm
Beginner D&D
  • Sunday, May 14th, 2:00-3:30pm

Advanced D&D
  • Sunday, May 7th, 2:00-5:00pm

Family Game Night
  • Friday, May 26th, 5:00-8:00pm
  • Childcare provided
  • Sign Up Here
D&D Youth Meet and Play
  • Saturday, June 17th, 12:00-5:00pm
From Our Worship Team
Save the Date: Taize is coming to UUCSR

Do you long for a respite from a chaotic world, the toxicity of the news, or perhaps the busyness of traditional worship? If so, our new evening Taize contemplative service may be for you. Based on the chanting and meditation service created by the Taize spiritual community in Burgundy, France over 80 years ago, UUCSR’s Taize service will include an opening reading, chanting songs from our UU tradition, silent meditation, and the lighting of candles. The intention of this hour long contemplative service is to create a place of solace that allows you to connect with the Spirit of Life in a deep way.

The first service will be on Wednesday, June 14th, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. It will take place on the second Wednesday evening of each month thereafter. For more information, please contact Judy Withee at jlwpia@sonic.net.
From CUUPs
Written by Chlele Gummer
Renewing Your State of Mind

Living as human beings we have an elevated point of view. Because our brains have created the world of today with cars, airplanes, electricity, telephones, and electronics - all the creations of the last 150 years - we think we are the top form of life. We live indoors, away from nature in houses of materials that no longer resemble their natural state. We design plants to surround us, instead of those nature would provide. We build cities of concrete creating a place for buying and selling all things made by us. In making these dramatic changes of the natural state we turn it into something toxic to life.

Because of our creative brain we have stranded ourselves from the nature that gave us life. At some point in our lives then, we feel a lack, an emptiness we can’t explain. I suggest that we need to change our focus. We need to examine nature, to practice a respect for it, and to commit to caring for it. It’s as easy as caring for the spiders in your house. Don’t laugh. I have rescued spiders in the tub or sink by throwing a towel over the edge, giving them a way to climb out.

We need to do more than feed the birds. We need to make choices that enhance nature like leaving the fall leaves in the borders over winter to protect the insects, like composting our food waste, and not using plastics. We can get outside to see the nature that is still left to see. We can appreciate the dandelions and other flowering plants that invade our lawns. We can stop covering the earth with cement and find a more natural way. To protect the climate we can start using the bus for short trips and walking to the store, reserving the car for out-of-town trips. We can insist that governments require the latest earth saving materials in building homes and cities and to invest in taking care of the remaining wild places.

I encourage you to become more interested in what lives around you, the plants, the animals, the insects, and the smaller life forms, enabling them to live with us and we with them. They are not the enemy; they are our family from whence we came.
By Chlele Gummer
Fundraising Events:
Service Auction
May 20th
UUCSR's Annual Service Auction will be springing on us soon --- May 20.
We need your donations and participation.

This year we will be jumping into the 21st century by taking our beloved Service Auction on-line! Services and gift items will be presented for bid online (more information soon) so the general public will be able to participate in this. Our UU Community offerings such as special dinners, game nights, personal services, etc. will be up for bidding in the traditional way at the UU. On May 20th we will come together to celebrate and bid while enjoying our Service Auction feast. See the attachments for donation suggestions and the donation offering form, along with contact information.

See the two buttons below for a list of Donation Ideas or an Auction Donation Form.

New This Year! Online Auction is Open! See link below!

Let's put some “Sparkle and Shine” into our long-awaited 2023 auction!

Adult Education
 The Adult Education Committee offers a wide variety of courses and programs in such areas as film, science, current social and political issues, skill development, personal growth, and forms of religious understanding. We always welcome suggestions from anyone who would like to present or participate in a program. Our members are Helge Lemke, Steve Sweaney (co-chairs), Nadene Carroll, Carol Daeley, Linda Lambert, Elizabeth Wheless, and Clare Whitfield.
UU History That You Never Knew
Rev. Dave Clements
Part 2: Wednesday May 3, 6-8 PM, Board Room
Even if you did not attend Part 1 on April 19, you are welcome to attend Part 2.
Rev. Dave is offering a two-session course that he has taught many times over the past 15 years. He will discuss early UU history and will include such topics as women in the ministry and our relationship with Black history.

Movement As Nutrition
Monica Anderson
Thursday May 11, 2-3:30 PM
Zoom Only
This class is will provide a practical experience that participants can continue on their own. It will include these elements:
·        Assessment of participants
·        Breath explanation and practice
·        Breath with movement (strength, flexibility, mobility)
·        Alignment and balance
·        Everything counts!
·        Questions, inquiry, what next?
Participants will need a sturdy chair, a wall, a hand towel, and water.
PLEASE NOTE: Advance registration required at the Adult Education table on Sundays or by emailing adulted@sonic.net. 
Monica Anderson is the Studio Director, Co-Owner, and Founder of Tone—Yoga and Pilates, in Santa Rosa.
Fibber McGee and Molly Win WWII
Alan Bell
Tuesday May 23, 2-4 PM
Board Room
Rationing, war bonds, victory gardens, defense workers... these were just a few of the familiar features of what was known as the Home Front—the efforts of US civilians doing what they could to support “our boys” fighting in World War ll. The federal Office of War Information worked with radio programs to help keep that support strong and morale high. And no one in radio pitched in more enthusiastically than Fibber McGee and Molly, This is a class about how they did it, while remaining funny and entertaining. Come to learn about what Home Front Americans were expected to do, and to enjoy comedy with a serious point.
Alan Bell is a long-time Congregation member with 20 years of experience in television, mostly as a public TV producer, and 15 years as a professor of communications.
General Assembly
Hear and Share More on June 4th

Now really, everyone, wouldn’t you like to know something about the UU General Assembly? It begins on June 21 in Pittsburgh, PA, and runs through June 25. We at UUCSR are part of the UUA, the national association that supports all the UU congregations across the country. At least two of us will attend GA in person.
           So, what to expect? For starters, remember the 8th Principle that we voted to adopt? It’s part of the proposed revisions of Article II of the UUA Constitution. Yes, delegates to GA will discuss adding the 8th Principle and revising the other seven principles. The proposed revisions are sure to inspire controversy and many late-night discussions.
           And then there’s the election of a new UUA President. The only candidate at this time is Dr. Sofía Betancourt who used to teach at Starr King in Berkeley and now advises the UU Service Committee. Her candidate statement appears in the latest UU World Magazine.
           On June 4, immediately after our service we’ll meet to discuss GA and to give guidance to your delegates, Carol Kraemer, Margaret Bregger-Coston, Robin Marrs, and of course, Rev. Dave. How would you have them vote on GA matters? They need to hear from you! We could use three more delegates, too. You can attend GA in person in Pittsburgh or online.
           There’s much more to learn about GA! Ask your delegates. Read the UU World. Attend the June 4 meeting. What does the congregation want of YOUR delegates?
-Robin Marrs
From Your Lay Chaplains

The Lay Chaplains are part of the Pastoral Care Team, under the direction of the minister. We are here to listen to the important things going on in your life- your joys, your sorrows, the things for which we light our candles. We visit people in hospitals, talk with people on the phone and in person, help people deal with difficult situations, and put them in touch with resources they need to ease their lives. Contact laychaplians@uusantarosa.org

Our Lay Chaplains are: Rob Carlisle, Judy Ervice, Bruce Hope, Barb Kezur, Lucia Milburn, Gayle Shirley, Gretchen Vap
Social Groups & Events
In this month's newsletter:
  • Adult Education
  • Book Group
  • Women's Group-
  • Information about the Women's Retreat in "Click Here to Read More" Below
  • Men's Groups-
  • Information about the Men's Retreat in "Click Here to Read More" Below
  • Older and Bolder Women's Group
  • Saturday Breakfast
Committees &
Working Groups
In this month's newsletter:
  • Volunteer Stewardship Opportunities
  • Membership Committee
  • Ushers & Greeters
  • Caring Connections Committee
  • Flower Committee
  • Lending Library
Soul Matters: The Path of Creativity
Soul Matter's May theme is The Path of Creativity. We hope you spend some time learning the gifts of Creativity this month.
Click on the photo for more information

Join Reverend Dave and a Soul Matters Facilitator after the service at 12:15 in the Board Room, every first Sunday of the month. We will be available for information on Soul Matters, the spiritual aspect of our Unitarian Universalism and the chance to explore closer relationships with others and ourselves in a small group setting.

Contact Katie Trieller for information:
From NBOP:

From H.A.T.
Feb 23, 2023
Do not enter if you have
any COVID symptoms
If you feel you are at higher risk,
wear a high quality mask,
N95 or KN95.
Being current on vaccinations
lowers risk for all.
Respect the choices of others!

 At this time we recommend that if a person perceives their risk of contracting COVID as high, they should continue to wear a high quality mask for all indoor gatherings. Requesting all congregants to wear a mask is no longer necessary. As always, anyone with suggestive symptoms should not come to public gatherings. And we should continue to respect the choice made by individuals regarding mask usage.  

Due to specific medical needs of our staff, we require all visitors to wear effective masks during their interactions with staff or while in the office space.
UUCSR Event Calendar
Check Out the Calendar for Important Event Dates and watch for the weekly Newsblast for upcoming dates.
Glaser Center Events
  • May 14th, Occidental Community Choir presents Seeds of Hope at the Glaser Center. Gage Purdy is their music director as well! Sunday 5/14 at 3pm. Tickets are available at occidentalchoir.org/tickets

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