Rev. Katie's Animas View
The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
-Hada Bejar, 17th-century British poet and playwright
We've been talking quite a bit recently about how welcoming we are (or are not) at UUFD. We like to pride ourselves on our warmth and inclusion. We have such wonderful people, and new wonderful people visit us every Sunday.
I have been part of conversations in which people expressed their own awareness that on Sundays, when they are deep in conversation with their friends, people can get left out of the huddle. New folk might wonder if there is a place for them if everyone else already knows each other.
In worship, we have modified our opening, to be more intentionally welcoming, practicing deep hospitality to brand new folks. New people often want to remain somewhat anonymous, not asked to introduce themselves to one hundred strangers. No one likes feeling embarrassed.
Because it is important that our guests be made to feel more comfortable, we can gently approach people during the greeting time during the service, or then immediately afterward, when we introduce ourselves to the other person and offer to show them where we gather afterwards.
Something like, "Hi, I'm Katie Kandarian-Morris." Wait for a response.
"How did the service strike you today?" Listen to response.
"Would you like to walk with me to get a cup of coffee or iced tea?"
"I'd like to introduce you to..."
I like the children's faith formation curriculum titled, "Wonderful Welcome." It
engages and challenges leaders and children alike to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives. Welcoming and hospitality are theological questions as well as psychological and emotional ones. We become willing to practice when we come to worship. We participate in spiritual growth when we introduce ourselves to another, and invite them into relationship, as they feel ready to do so.
I try to keep in mind what family systems theorists and practitioners call, "the balcony view." That is, to step out of the place I feel most comfortable to try to see the bigger picture, or to consider things from another's perspective.
In the "wonder box" of the Wonderful Welcome class is found a friendship bracelet. The children and leaders talk about the intangible gift of friendship. They note that friends can be people we have known a long time or people we just met.
I am grateful to have this opportunity for deepening.
Always in the love,
Summer Series: Frederick Douglass
-Terry McLaughlin, pulpit guest
On the weekend in which we celebrate our nation's birth, we'll consider who was included in that emergence. Douglass was among the worshipers at the Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C. in 1850, although the congregation did not welcome its first African-American members until 1950. How does Douglass inspire us today?
July 14 *No service at UUFD*
4 Corners Pine Song Retreat: Notes from a Prodigal Son
-Rev. Jake Morrill
We'll gather at Pine Song (12758 Cty Rd. 501, Vallecito) at 10:30 for a joyfully led worship. Even if you can't be with us for the rest of the weekend, please make your way through the beautiful country to join us.
Summer Series: John & Abigail Adams
-Laurie Meininger, pulpit guest
Unitarian John Adams was the first Vice President, the second President of the United States. In their old age, he and wife Abigail Adams were called the "grandparents of their country." What wisdom have the Adams brought us?
Summer Series: James Reeb
-Steve Foster, pulpit guest
In 1965, James Reeb heard the "call to Selma" from Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined six hundred civil rights activists there, putting himself in harm's way. How does Reeb show us courage today?
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as president of our Board of Trustees
for the coming year. It is an honor and privilege to serve the community I have grown to love.
I assume this responsibility with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the hard
work and dedication of those who have proceeded me. It is remarkable what our fellowship has achieved since I became a member in 2013.
Let's pause to reflect on what we've accomplished. We've transitioned from a lay-led fellowship to a thriving shared ministry. A ministry aligned with our UU Principles, guided by our UUFD Mission, and faithfully led by our beloved minister, Reverend Katie Kandarian-Morris.
Our Faith Formation Programs have flourished, nurturing a greater spiritual awareness, stronger moral values and open hearts for members of all ages. UUFD governance practices have become more formalized using best practice-based policies and strategic planning to ensure our congregational health and the sustainability of our mission.
We have welcomed dozens of new members to our fellowship - wonderful new friends who share our values, concerns and covenant. Families with young children are making their way to our sanctuary, brightening our Sundays with their joy and optimism. Those who seek to practice a liberal faith, who yearn to deepen their spiritual connection, to know their truth, and who are willing to work towards a more loving and just community, are finding a home at UUFD.
I believe our growing ministry is lifting up lives - the lives of those you see around you on Sunday morning and the lives of countless community members who benefit from our generosity and good work. It's amazing what we can do when we side with love!
In our shared faith,
Read the report from
Review of Ministries Task Force
How are we doing, and how can we do better?
The Review of Ministries Task Force (RMTF) was charged with
designing and conducting the first ever Triennial Review of Ministries,
as required by our ministerial agreement with Rev. Katie. The RMTF
completed their work ahead of schedule with a presentation to the Board
at the April Board meeting. The Board spent several sessions discussing
the report and the implications for our Fellowship. As a result of the
RMTF findings and the subsequent Board discussions, the Board has
written a detailed summary which you can access by clicking here.
You will see that there is a great deal of positive feeling about how we
are doing with our various ministries. As well, and not unexpectedly,
there are some good issues raised that we can address that will help us
continue to improve on the delivery of our mission. Please take a look.
The Board extends its thanks to the members of the Task Force (Allison
Andersen, Tekla Miller, Ken Rice) for their creativity, organization,
diligence, and commitment to the best interests of the Fellowship.
Thanks also to all who took the time and gave serious thought to how we
are doing and how we can continue to improve. Please direct any comments
you may have to a Board member or Rev. Katie.
Welcome Sara Sautter, Interim Director of Faith Formation
Sara Sautter comes to us from Santa Barbara, California where she served the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara as an Interim Director of Religious Education for the past two years. Sara has over 20 years of experience as a religious professional serving both as a Lifespan Religious Educator and a Director of Congregational Life.
She is a Credentialed Religious Educator with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and has also completed UUA certification as an Interim Religious Educator. In addition to Santa Barbara, Sara served congregations in San Antonio, Texas and Overland Park, Kansas.
Sara describes herself as a failed retiree. She retired in 2014 and traveled full time internationally for three years with her husband of 33 years, Ron Johnston. In 2017 she returned to the work she loves - serving the Unitarian Universalist faith - this time as an Interim Religious Educator.
Sara and Ron have a home in Taos, New Mexico. They have three grown children, two of whom live in Colorado.
Sara begins her tenure with us on August 1.
Disaster Relief and Development
Social Responsibility and Justice special feature
Reflecting our commitment to compassionate assistance to people locally and around the world facing desperate situations, UUFD budgets $5000 each year for Disaster Relief and Development. We have done so for many years, and sent financial help to organizations in Durango as well as many states and countries.
This year we donated funds to two organizations, one local and one international.
Locally, we donated $2000 to Compañeros, the Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center, the only organization in the area with its primary focus on serving immigrants. Many of you are aware of the increased activity by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) targeting immigrants in La Plata County. ICE has significantly increased its staff and its actions to detain and deport immigrants. People have been arrested and removed from their work or their homes, leaving remaining family members in crisis. One UUFD member described an immigrant friend and father who was recently abruptly arrested and detained, leaving behind a wife and children with no means of support. Compañeros is setting up a special account using UUFD donated funds to provide support to families in critical need as the result of situations like this.
Internationally, the humanitarian crisis described as the worst in the world is in Yemen. The war there has led to the collapse of many systems, including health care, with more than half of the country's medical facilities closed and many others too damaged or lacking in personnel or supplies to provide care. In addition, checkpoints, land mines, or snipers en route to care facilities make seeking care very difficult and dangerous. Cholera has resurged, as well as diptheria and measles. Malnutrition, war wounds, intentional physical violence and mental health problems have escalated. UUFD donated $3000 to Doctors Without Borders, an independent global movement providing medical aid where it's needed most. It is an internationally known and respected organization, and our funds will assist them as they significantly expand their work in Yemen.
When you make your pledge each year, know that some of your dollars are going to help others in desperate need. Thank you for your generosity, which allows us to reach out with compassion to those who are suffering.
Farewell message from Lisa McCorry
Notes & News from Faith Formation
Greetings Beloved Fellowship,
It is with a mixed heart that I say a final good-bye. It has been my pleasure and my honor to serve this fellowship and its families for over five years. I am grateful.
The love, the learning, the laughs, the tears and the Field Day pies in my face will remain in my heart forever.
Words are insufficient to describe my experience. The feeling is overwhelming gratitude for the opportunity to lead and joy for all I received while in this role.
I am excited to re-engage fully as a member of the church, finding new ways to be involved at UUFD.
In my Ritual of Release during the June 16th worship service, I promised to:
...affirm that in leaving this role and returning to my role as member, I shall whole-heartedly support all congregational staff, most especially all Faith Formation staff members, doing so at a distance, with joy and enthusiasm in my heart.
And you promised to:
...share your future Faith Formation feedback with Sara, the new Director, or the Minister, and not with me.
In Love and Gratitude. See you on Sunday.
Share the Plate update
We've completed three of the four quarters of this year's Share the Plate cycle. Our donations to date total $7,363.60 to recipients Real History of Americas, Café au Play, and Rainbow Youth Center. Our final quarter recipient is the Durango Adult Education Center Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund began as a commitment from individual UUFD members, and grew to become a regular $1000 line item in the UUFD budget. Listen in the next three months to learn more about the scholarship fund and how it supports continued learning.
Are you an artist?
New artwork welcome in Bowman Hall
The Art & Aesthetics team is always looking for spiritually uplifting artwork to exhibit in Bowman Hall and welcomes your participation and your ideas for future shows. We are able to exhibit two dimensional framed art and our shows typically run from 3 to 5 months, changing on Sundays. Although no commission is charged on gallery sales, voluntary contributions are always appreciated. Please contact Ann Smith
you have a special interest in this area of service to your UUFD community either as an exhibitor or as a member of our team. Share the blessing of your creativity!
UUFD and Durango Food Bank
Did you know that UUFD provides a team of people to help at the Durango Food Bank twice each month? Volunteers sort donated food and prepare food boxes for individuals and families in need. Hunger is everywhere and affects more people in our community than one might expect. If it was not for the many people who volunteer, the food bank could not serve all those in need. If you are interested in helping, stop by the Social Responsibility & Justice table on Sunday for more information.
UUFD has also begun regular food drives at UUFD. Four times a year we collect most-needed food items as well as cash that Durango Food Bank can use to purchase food in bulk. From our March and June food drives, we collected 156 pounds of food and $227 in donations. Thank you, compassionate UUFD, for helping to feed our neighbors!
Recital Series thank yous & 2019-20 series announcement
Thank you to those in the congregation who assisted with the 2018-19 Recital Series. The contributions I know about are listed below, and I apologize for any name omissions. I appreciate everyone's help so much!:
- Brochures, fliers and programs-Shanan Orndorff
- Finances-Ron Garst
- Publicity-Lynn Griffith and Teresa Jordan
- Page turning-Tricia Bayless
- Sound engineers-Dennis McClure (Unfortunately, I do not have records of the other assistants.)
- Financial contributions-Ron Garst, John & Aline Schwob, Anita Cohen, Lois & Ken Carpenter, Elizabeth Crawford, Tom & Bonnie Miller, Tricia Bayless, Dwight & Katherine Burgess, Beverly & Hal Jackson, John Lyons & Susan Koonce, Brooks & Janice Taylor, Leigh Nielson
- Reception coordinators-Ilona Hruska, Kathy Devine, Susan Peabody, Aline Schwob
- Food, beverages, décor, set-up and clean-up for receptions-Elizabeth Crawford, Carolyn & Tim Miller, Connie Jacobs, Bonnie & Tom Miller, Aline & John Schwob, Marta Snow, Ann Smith, Susan Koonce, Sue Loweree, Jack & Sue Eberhart, Judy Hook, K Redford, Sheryl & Stephen Guy, Donna Nelson & Syl Allred, Julie Jordan, Kathy & Barry Devine, Susan Peabody, Mark Swanson, Nancy Fisher
I am pleased that the 2019-20 series has been finalized as follows, so please add the dates to your calendars:
- Drea Pressley, mezzo-soprano, and Andreas Tischhauser, flute - Oct. 4, 2019
- Mangold Duo: Bonnie Mangold, cello, and Marilyn Garst, piano - Nov. 22, 2019
- John O'Neal, percussion-Feb. 28 or March 13, 2020 (waiting for date confirmation)
- Montage Music Society (4 musicians from Santa Fe will present music inspired by visual art) - April 24, 2020
Marilyn Garst, Artistic Director
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans
July 11th 6:30 Bowman Hall - CUUPS
Please join us for a drum circle! Bring your drum and/or yourself for a night of raising the roof! We always have extras so we look forward to seeing you!
July 18th 6:30 Columbine House - Silabh Anam Druid Grove Meeting
Please join us as we learn and conduct Ceremony of the Four Realms
July 25th Bowman Hall 6:30 pm - CUUPS
Introduction to Gestalt Method of Tarot Reading
Are you looking for a different way to read tarot cards? Please join us as we explore this!
Gentle Star Woman/Linda Gumper
CUUPS of the Half Moon
visit us on Facebook at CUUPS of the Half Moon (@cuups.org)