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RevKatieThe New UU Common Read & Considering Summer Books
Rev. Katie's Animas View

Each year the Selection Committee for the Common Read carefully chooses a new book relevant to the needs and mission of our faith and the world in which we live. This year's choice, an anthology that holds up the intersection of racial justice, environmental justice and economic justice, offers opportunities to look at this long haul justice work and presents tools for engagement. The book, titled Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment , is edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018).

This fall, we'll make available copies of the book for purchase, donation or without charge, to members and friends of UUFD who would like to read and engage in conversation and consider follow-up action. We'll plan and publicize gathering sessions for this coming winter as a way to build relationships, join in further learning and determine action. 

For years my practice has been to lift up and share a summer reading list to both tell you what I've got in front of me and to hear what you are reading. This year, I'll keep it short, by just acquainting you with what I'm currently reading. I'm engrossed in  The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots by Fernanda Santos. 

I'd like to encourage you to make your way to the Social Justice Table, either to offer to staff it some week this summer, or to pick up one of the inspiring books we currently have available there. 
I've just returned from our Unitarian Universalist General Assembly where, in the exhibit hall, the In Spirit Bookstore is the place to be for lively conversation and occasions to deepen into our faith. I'm glad we have similar settings at home during coffee hour and as we plan for our gatherings to come. 

Please note: I will be taking a portion of my vacation June 27 th - July 9 th , then again from July 16 th -August 2 nd , road tripping and visiting family.  

Always in the love,    
Rev. Katie

ServicesSummer Series Services

We'll continue our Summer Series, moving through life's ages and stages, as we consider the question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Our members will proffer their truths. 

July 1          30's     Nicci Unsicker 

July 8         40's     Shanan Orndorff

July 15       4 Corners Retreat at Pine Song (no service held at UUFD campus)

July 22        50's     Gwen Lachelt 

July 29        60's     Lynn Griffith 

PresidentsMessagePresident's Message
Tom Miller

The new fiscal year begins and with it the work of the new Board takes off. This should be a very interesting year, beginning with the completion of the Sanctuary renovation (soon!) which will give us significantly more welcoming space for worship and other activities there.  Thanks to all the volunteers who have been contributing their energy and time to this important project. 

We also expect to have a couple pretty significant deliberative activities for you all to consider. Sometime later this summer we will have the architect's first rendering of his ideas - based on your input - of how to reconfigure our whole campus to better accommodate our current and anticipated growth. We want to encourage as much additional dialog as possible as we absorb those ideas. Ultimately, we will need to coalesce around the plan that we want to move forward with. We're not in a hurry to do this. After all, the idea is to thoughtfully set us up from a facility perspective for at least the next 10-15 years. Thanks to the great work of the Facilities Planning Task Force in conceiving and orchestrating this (continuing) process. 

So, thinking not just about our current needs and issues, but how we want to grow into the future will be key. As outlined in our Strategic Plan's first goal, a big part of that conversation will be to take a look at our foundational documents to clarify how we think about who we are and what we want to become as a fellowship...not just wordsmithing...but thinking deeply about our place and impact in this community. We expect to design this process over the next several months. l hope you participate fully, as you are able, in these discussions as they arise.    

SRJSocial Responsibility & Justice Update
Special Feature: Fire Response

The work of justice means many things, including taking notice and acting to support our local community when crises arise and individuals and families suffer.  The impact of the 416 fire continues to challenge our community and the full effect may unfold over many months.  Here's what we've been doing:

Many UUFD individuals have been volunteering at the Durango Food Bank to help collect, sort, and organize donated food and prepare boxes for distribution.  Food boxes have been provided to evacuees and those impacted by the fire.  People furloughed from jobs are in a new situation of economic need and the food bank is an important help.  Food boxes have also been prepared and sent to Silverton, whose economy has been devastated by the periods of closure of the highway and the train.

We applied for and were awarded a grant of $10,000 from the UUA Disaster Relief Fund.  These funds are intended to support our Fellowship and community in whatever ways are needed in response to the fire and its impact.  We chose to give most of the grant monies to local organizations already working on providing assistance to those in need.  One selected recipient is the Community Foundation Serving SW Colorado, which has a Community Emergency Relief Fund.  They have a vetting process to help people in La Plata and San Juan counties with bridge funding immediate expenses for food, transportation and shelter.

Funds were also given to the Durango Food Bank to help them in meeting the food needs of those impacted by the fire, the La Plata Family Center which helps families in emergency situations, and the Collaboration of Caring Communities which assists individuals in special situations unable to access other resources.  Some dollars were placed in the Minister's Discretionary Fund to provide help to UUFD individuals as the need is determined.  We also supported our Communications Committee in creating a banner and newspaper ads to send a message of gratitude, appreciation and support for the firefighters, first responders, city and county officials, community organizations, volunteers and donors for their dedication to helping our community in its time of need.  We've retained about $3500 for distribution in response to other needs that may arise related to the fire and its consequences.

Finally, many individuals in our Fellowship have acted on their own to provide help where needed.  Some have housed evacuees in their home, helped the Community Foundation with their vetting process, purchased food and water to donate, taken thank you notes to the firefighters, diapers and formula to families at the evacuee shelter, and participated in community planning meetings about how to best marshal our resources.  As Cornel West said "Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public. "  Thank you for siding with love.


inventoryPlease share your interests & skills!
UUFD Skill and Interest Database available online now

Tara Frazer, our Congregational Life Coordinator, invites you to fill out the Skill and Interest Inventory online by clicking here  , if you have not already.  Tara is collecting information from all members and friends to create a database of the collective skills and interests in the congregation.  The purpose is to help more people get involved in the church in ways that are satisfying, while also fulfilling the needs of the church.  You are not obligating yourself to anything by filling out the survey, just communicating what skills, talents and passions you have that you may at some point be willing to share.  

recitalRecital Series 2018-19
Dates and performances announced!

Next season's Recital Series has been finalized as follows.  Please add the dates to your calendars now.
  • Sept. 21, 2018:  "A Night at the Opera" featuring duets, trios and quartets from the musical stage.  The artists are Ingela Onstad, soprano, Kerry Ginger, mezzo soprano (our new Choir Director), Erik Gustafson, tenor, Michael Hix, baritone, and Kristen Ditlow Yuan, piano.
  • Nov. 16, 2018: Four Corners Piano Quartet featuring two quartets by Mozart and Mendelssohn and a trio by Turina.  The artists are Kay Newnam, violin, Danny deSantis, viola, Anastasia Nellos, cello, and Marilyn Garst, piano.
  • Jan. 25, 2019: Rebecca Ray, principal oboist in the San Juan Symphony, and Lisa Campi Walters, pianist and Associate Professor of Music at Fort Lewis College.
  • April 26, 2019: Marilyn Garst, harpsichord and piano works from the 18th through the 20th centuries.

NewMemberGetting to Know You: Laurie Meininger
New member spotlight

In this new feature, we'll introduce a member new to UUFD and give them a chance to introduce themselves in their own words.

My late husband of 42 years, Ray, and I first called Durango home starting in 2009, although we continued to work overseas until 2015.  After he died unexpectedly in 2016, I "retired" to Durango.  We now have four generations of family in Durango. Our son Jason and his spouse Deven have two children, Jordan and Travis, who attend UUFD when they're able as does my mom, JoAnne Roethlein. 

Ray, who was also in the Foreign Service, and I spent nearly 20 years overseas, serving at U.S. Embassies on five continents, including these countries: Marshall Islands, Cameroon, Guyana, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Romania, Iraq, and Sierra Leone.  Now in my "retirement" I am embarking upon a third career as a certified senior advisor with the intention of transforming the older adult service delivery system in SW CO into a more dynamic, holistic community that supports people in aging in place with grace and dignity.  

Two of my core values and fundamental spiritual practices are gratitude and love.  I grew up Lutheran but left the church as a young teen.  About 25 years ago I began attending Unity services and even considered the ministry.  When I moved to Durango I had envisioned starting a Unity church, but then discovered the UUFD community so I feel like I've found my spiritual home. I love bringing people together around great food and building community wherever I am.  I love to read, travel, quilt, garden, race walk, play the kazoo and spend time with my super sweet Goldendoodle puppy, Jax.