(click link to go directly to the article)

RevKatieThe Summer Day
Rev. Katie's Animas View

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 
-Mary Oliver

Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21 st , yet we celebrate it from Memorial Day through Labor Day, then try to hold on to it until the fall equinox in late September. College and school children are off; we've got lots of places to go and outdoor activities in which to take part.  Around church our schedules shift, and we say goodbye to dear ones who are leaving us in special roles. 

Please say goodbye and wish all kind of good blessings to Alane Brown, UUFD Choir Director and member, who will leave her position and leave Durango after the first week of June. Alane has brought so much to music at our fellowship! She has created and built a choir that brings joy and learning to our community and is poised to do even more. Safe passage, Alane. We send you with our love. (See photos of our choir Sunday here.)

Grace Wilmes is now a Young Adult! She has bridged from a UUFD Youth, joining our young adults. Next fall, she'll be taking a "gap" year, traveling and learning abroad, then attending college in Georgia the following year. Her parents will still live in town, so we should be able to see Grace at holidays. Please wish her the best, and remind her that this is always her faith home. 

Our UUFD Summer Series begins the third Sunday in June, with the theme "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver's poem has inspired this topic used in many UU congregations, and we will ask the question of our youngest folk moving through each decade to our eldest. Keep your eyes out for a flyer that will be posted and shared soon to see who will be striving to answer that spiritual question from the pulpit. 

Minister's summer schedule
UU General Assembly dates in which I will be away: June 17-24
First half vacation: June 27-July 9  (available only for emergencies)
Second half vacation: July 16-August 2 (available only for emergencies)

Immediately after the June 17 th worship, I'll be airport-bound for UU GA, which includes Ministry Days and training for "Good Offices," a role in which I've been elected to aid colleagues when ministry gets difficult. I'll return on June 24 th and will be in church meetings all day on the 26 th . June 27-July 9 th I'll take part of my vacation, traveling to Montana, then returning to prepare for the 4 Corners Retreat, June 13-15. I'll take the second half of my vacation July 16-August 2 nd , with short trips including a visit to Denver and to the Bay Area, returning to join the Board of Trustees for training the weekend of August 4 th  in Los Alamos. In the event of emergency, I'll be reachable through our Office Administrator, our Board President or the Caring Team Leader. 

During these beautiful summer days, I hope to see you around town, having fun at a festival or a parade. May you consider the question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"             

Love, Rev. Katie

SundayServicesMay Sunday Services
Monthly theme: De Colores
(Concepts of pride and diversity) 

June 3
Long Haul People
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
We'll examine the virtue of generosity, that thing that feeds our soul while it supports religious living. Today we'll thank our teachers and lift up the many people who are keepers of the hall. 

June 10
Spiritual Sustenance
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
Our faith tells us that "Love Resists" which can make it hard work. What are ways we can find to refill the tank in order to help us keep up the faith?

SUMMER SERIES: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

June 17
Your One Wild And Precious Life-Childhood 
-Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris, Piper Sykes and AJ Swenk, pulpit guests
Mary Oliver's poem called The Summer Day inspires this deep, life-long examination of the purpose of our life. We'll begin with those who have been on this planet the briefest amount of time, hearing their wisdom. 

June 24
Your One Wild And Precious Life-20's
-Sydney Andersen, pulpit guest
What is the work of young adulthood? What are the life tasks, spiritual and emotional when we are no longer a child? 

PresidentsMessagePresident's Message
Tom Miller

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. ~Seneca

June is the last month of our fiscal year. A fiscal year is an artifact, but it's a useful structure for looking forward in planning, budgeting, goal setting and looking over our shoulder to review previous work and measure progress.  Susan Koonce and I reflected on the highlights of our past year in our letter in the annual report. As we end one fiscal year, we will continue evolving several important initiatives (facility issues and the addressing our foundational documents are a couple good examples).  

We approved the FY2019 budget at our recent Annual Meeting on May 20. The budget reflects substantive discussion among our teams and committees as we planned how best to implement our mission in the coming year. A pleasant increase in our pledges has allowed us to grow our spending on programs and staff by 16% and meet nearly all of the requests for funding. Thanks to Elizabeth Crawford and Lynn Griffith for coordinating the Stewardship Campaign and to all who so generously contributed to the sustenance of this beloved community. 

The summer months also tend to be transition times, particularly with our leadership. Please join me in thanking Susan for her most recent service on the Board. She has been a solid and thoughtful contributor to our deliberations who will no doubt continue to contribute her substantial energies and perspective in other roles. We are also grateful for the service of K Redford, who had to unfortunately end her service on the Board prematurely. 

Looking forward to the next year of Board activity, we will welcome three new Board members in July. Julie Jordan, Becky Malecki and Mark Swanson will begin their terms. Each brings with them the value of long time UU experience in other congregations which will certainly add richness to our work together. I encourage you to engage with them (indeed, any of the Board) on issues you feel are important to keeping our community healthy and growing. 

Some of us might take a bit of a breather as we enjoy the warm weather and all this town and region have to offer. But there will still be notable activity around the UUFD campus. In particular, we will be doing a good deal of the seating expansion in the Sanctuary ourselves. Some early demolition work that won't interfere with our Sunday services will take place in June. The majority of the construction will take place in the two weeks surrounding the Pinesong retreat. Many hands will be needed to make this work go well. Please pay attention to the announcements of work parties and times and do the best you can to bring your talents and energy to making more seating available.  

SRJSocial Responsibility & Justice Update
Featuring: Our Immigration Team

With great gratitude we announce that new member Barry Devine is assuming the leadership role of facilitator of the Immigration Team.  Barry's personal commitment to immigration rights and his leadership experience will be significant assets to the SRJ program and to the Immigration Team.  Maureen (Mo) Maliszewski spurred the creation of the SRJ Immigration Team about two years ago, along with several other UUFD members. She served as the facilitator of the new team which focused on support for our local immigrant community through collaboration with Compañeros, the Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center.

While Mo continues to be passionate in her efforts to report undignified, inhumane and unreasonable treatment of individuals and families coming to the United States to avoid violence and limited work opportunities in their home countries, recently she has been required to limit her time in Durango in order to provide support and care to her family in California.  Her contributions will be sorely missed and the Immigration Team hopes that she will return to our community in the future.

Barry is already immersing himself in the work of the Immigration Team.  Here are his observations on the current status of immigrants in the U.S.
  • The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented by Obama continues to be a political football as both parties have been unable to get a congressional vote on continuing the program.  More than 700,000 immigrants qualify for this program and at this time their future is undetermined.
  • Over the past several months the Trump administration has ended crucial protection for immigrants from six countries.  Over 300,000 people are losing legal Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and more individuals may face the same fate in coming months. TPS is a life-saving immigration program that allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if, while they were in the country, something catastrophic happened in their country of origin which prevented their safe return.  Examples include war, famine, natural disaster or epidemic.  Created by a bipartisan Congress in 1990, this temporary program is a humanitarian form of relief which does not give permanent residence in the U.S. --Kathryn Johnson, AFSC Office of Public Policy and Advocacy. 5/4/18.
  • The Trump administration is slamming the door shut on Asylum Seekers.  A caravan of women, children and families escaping political persecution and gang violence in Central America, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. recently arrived at the border.  The Trump administration has threatened to lock them up and has deployed the National Guard to defend the border. (Asylum seekers do not cross the border, they line up at the border to file documents requesting asylum). Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote that while Trump's tweets about immigrants may be cruel, his actions are crueler, particularly the pattern of tearing children away from their refugee parents at the border and sending them to foster care. --Durango Herald, 5/2/18.
  • President Trump threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if Mexico did not stop the migrant caravan heading north to the border, as well as threatening to stop foreign aid to Honduras.  Trump has also pressed localities to cooperate with federal authorities on matters of immigration, even threatening to withhold government money from them, until a judge ruled that to be unconstitutional. --Economist, April, 2018.
  • Pushing back against the Trump administration, the California Senate and more than 20 cities and counties have come out in support of the state's "Sanctuary" Law, which limits state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with Immigration Agencies. In a federal lawsuit brought by Atty. Gen. Sessions over CaliforniaImmigration policies, California has made a judgement that separating civil immigration enforcement, which is a Federal Duty, from local law enforcement general policing, makes our community safer. AP, 5/18/18.
The Immigration Group has participated in an interface e-course titled "Changing systems, changing ourselves: anti-racist practice for Sanctuary, Accompaniment and Resistance."  The first webinar has concluded, but can be viewed independently from this website.

The second webinar will air on June 5 in Bowman Hall at 6 pm.  The subject matter will be "The Accompaniment Model:  Philosophy and Best Practices."  The e-course is sponsored by the American Services Committee, Unitarian Universalist Association, UUSC Church World Service Association and CIVIC.  You are cordially invited to join us on June 5 and to the final two sessions on July 10 and August 7.

-Barry Devine

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.  If you prefer, you can also pick up a survey from her after a Sunday service.   Tara hopes to complete this data-collection process by mid-summer, so please take a moment to turn in your survey if you would like to be included. Thanks so much!  

recitalRecital Series 2017-18
With thanks and gratitude

Many thanks once again to members of the congregation who assisted with the 2017-18 Recital Series.  Hugs of appreciation from Marilyn Garst to those listed below and any I have neglected to mention:  
  • Finances, posters and program - Ron Garst
  • Brochure, poster and programs - Shanan Orndorff
  • Publicity - Lynn Griffith, Teresa Jordan, Tricia Bayless
  • Page turning - Tricia Bayless
  • Sound engineers - Tom Miller, John Schiffel
  • Reception coordinators - Marta Snow, Ilona Hruska, Aline Schwob, Kathy Devine
  • Food, beverages, décor, set-up and clean-up for receptions-Aline Schwob, Lois Carpenter, Ann and Graham Smith, Sue and Jack Eberhart, Carolyn Miller, Judy Hook, Marta Snow, Elizabeth Crawford, Connie Jacobs, Susan Koonce, Bonnie Miller, Nancy Fisher, Donna Nelson and Syl Allred, Teresa Jordan, Ilona Hruska and Mark Swanson, Kathy and Barry Devine, Julie Jordan
  • Financial contributions - Ron Garst, John and Aline Schwob, Anita Cohen (my piano student), Sharon Gordon, Connie Jacobs, Elizabeth Crawford, Tom and Bonnie Miller, Tricia Bayless, Teresa Jordan, John Lyons and Susan Koonce, Brooks and Janice Taylor