Neighborhood Weekly News
March 7, 2019
This Sunday's Service

March 10 - 9:30 & 11:30
Finding Joy
Rev. Arvid Straube, Guest Minister
Dr. Zanaida Robles

Where does joy come from?  Is there a happiness that is not dependent on external circumstances? The wisdom traditions say there is.

Featuring the Bells of Neighborhood, directed by F. Thomas Simpson and the Neighborhood Chorus.

    Upcoming Worship Services

March 17 - 9:30 & 11:30
She Persisted: Honoring Women's History Month 
Rev. Lissa Gundlach 
Dr. Zanaida Robles  

What do poets Emily Dickinson and May Sarton, philosopher Margaret Fuller and astronomer Maria Mitchell all have in common? Come be inspired by these and other brilliant Unitarian Universalist women. The offertory from this service will go to Jericho Road, Pasadena.

March 24 - 9:30 & 11:30
Everyday Rituals
Rev. Lissa Gundlach 
Featuring musical guests Cary Belling and Toni LeBel

From celebrating birthdays to brushing our teeth, everything we do can be a ritual as long as we have the intention to make it so. How can we create meaningful rituals for ourselves and our families? 

March 31 - 9:30 & 11:30
Senior High Youth Group Service
Director of Religious Education Matt Vasko

Our young people thoughtfully design and passionately lead our annual senior high service. Not to be missed! 
Want to catch up on previous services?
Text and audio can be found HERE
Upcoming Events

March 7 - 14
  • Thursday, March 7: Choir Rehearsal, 7:15 pm, Room 21
  • Saturday, March 9: Citizens Climate Lobby, 9:30 am, Room 21
  • Sunday, March 10: Green Council Meeting, 10:45 am, Dining Room
  • Sunday, March 10: Writing As A Spiritual Activity, 12:45 pm, Room 6
  • Sunday, March 10: Happiness 101: A Spiritual Practices Workshop, 1:00 pm, Room 21
  • Sunday, March 10: Pasadena Pro Musica, 4:00 pm, Sanctuary 
  • Sunday, March 10: Shakespeare Club, 1:00 pm, Dining Room
  • Sunday, March 10: Bridging Group, 1:00 pm, Living Room
  • Monday, March 11: Bell Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 pm, Room 21
  • Thursday, March 14: NUUC Choir Rehearsal, 7:15 pm, Room 21
March 15 - 22

  • Sunday, March 17: Writing as a Spiritual Activity, 12:45 pm, Room 6
  • Sunday, March 17: Bridging Group, 1:00 pm, Living Room
  • Sunday, March 17: Single and Over 60 Group, 1:00 pm, Dining Room
  • Monday, March 18: Bell Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 pm, Room 21
  • Tuesday, March 19: SOS Meeting, 7:00 pm, Living Room
  • Wednesday, March 20: Social Justice Knitting Circle, 7:00 pm, Ross Chapel
  • Thursday, March 21: White People for Racial Justice, 7:00 pm, Ross Chapel
  • Thursday, March 21: NUUC Choir Rehearsal, 7:15 pm, Room 21 
March 22 - 29
  • Sunday, March 24: Writing as a Spiritual Activity, 12:45 pm, Room 6
  • Sunday, March 24: Neighborhood People of Color Meeting, 1:00 pm, Living Room
  • Sunday, March 24: Board of Trustees Meeting, 2:30 pm, Cole House
  • Monday, March 25: Bell Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 pm, Room 21
  • Thursday, March 28: NUUC Choir Rehearsal, 7:15 pm, Room 21
Visit our  web calendar  for more upcoming events.  

Neighborhood Church sustains its programs, ministries and facilities through the regular and recurring financial contributions of our members and friends. Our 2019-2020 Giving and Growing Together Annual Pledge Drive helps us plan our budget accordingly for our next fiscal year which begins June 1. 

As of this newsletter's mailing, we have received 70 pledges totaling  $ 219,794.96. This means we are 1/3 of the way towards achieving our total goal of  $660,000 with  $440,205.04  to go. We'll continue accepting pledges until we reach our goal and to do that, we need your help!  We are encouraging members to increase their pledges by 10% and/or give the average needed per member per year to sustain us ($2,000 per household). We have also encouraged members to give through our new online system, Realm, and many members are eager to pledge online and take pledging into their own hands. Office and Stewardship Coordinator Savannah Hemmig will be tabling this Sunday and will remain available to walk members through pledging online or via pledge card.  Thank you all for your help and support with Giving & Growing Together, let's push for the last 2/3 needed!

Please give as generously as you can while you think about the values Neighborhood Church embodies and the ways it has helped you and your family grow. Your participation at any level is welcome and financial waivers are available to members who require assistance.

To make a new pledge or continue your current pledge, please fill out a pledge card or pledge online at

Thank you for supporting Neighborhood Church. 

Should you have any questions or need any further assistance regarding your pledge, please contact the church office at 626-449-3470 or email Savannah Hemmig, Office & Stewardship Coordinator. 

Please Welcome Taylor, Jackie and Jessica!

We have had a change in leadership in the Director of Finance and Administration position. Please welcome Jackie O'Sullivan to our team! 

A word from Jackie:

A New England native, I migrated to LA eleven years ago for what I expected would be a short sojourn. Life, as is often the case, had other plans! After a career spent compiling an eclectic collections of skills, education, and experience, I am delighted to be serving Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church as your new Director of Finance and Administration. I have worked as a bicycle and ski mechanic; an architectural model builder; and as a programs assistant at the Unitarian Universalist Association. I then transitioned to working in congregational and non-profit administration while building a small technology consultancy. I live in a cabin in the semi-wilds of Sierra Madre's Lower Canyon with a super-cool fourteen year old Sierra Madre Middle School student named Kasey and two neurotic rescue cats. Unless I am crunching numbers or working on a deadline my door will be open, so please come up and say hi! You can reach me at 

Taylor Harris will be joining Neighborhood as the Youth Religious Education assistant. She began working with children and families during her master's program in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. In her previous role as a therapist Taylor worked with children with diverse backgrounds and developmental needs. She has also  worked as a childcare provider with the Chalice Children for the past two years and is excited to continue her growth within the Neighborhood UU community. You can email her at

Jessica Gable is a writer, journalist, and actress absolutely thrilled to join the community at Neighborhood UU as Communications Coordinator. She began her career as a broadcast reporter working in Florida and then overseas in Hong Kong, where she developed a lifelong love of travel and an insatiable curiosity about other cultures. While living in Chicago, she earned her master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and trained as an actor with The Second City. You can reach her at
Pathway to Membership: Bridging Group

Sunday, March 10 and 17th 1:00 pm, Living Room.
After the second service, join ZaNyaa and Rev. Lissa for the New to Neighborhood welcome gathering in the house living room. If you feel ready to explore membership and make Neighborhood your spiritual home, our two-part Bridging Groups start this Sunday and continue on March 17th.  

 If interested, please reach out to ZaNyaa Lee

When: Sunday March 10, 1:00 pm Room 21

2019 Pacific Southwest District Assembly Registration 

Attend General Assembly 2019! The Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly is the time each year when UUs from all around North America gather to "worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process." It's full of fun, spirituality, and learning, and is a truly enriching experience in the life of any UU. 

DRE Matt Vasko invites you to join him and his family at this year's GA in Spokane, WA, June 19-23. 

For more information, visit this link or c ontact DRE Matt Vasko at,
Remaining Board of Trustees Meetings in 2019:
  • Sunday, March 24, 2:30 pm, Cole House.
  • Sunday, April 28, 2:30 pm, Cole House.
  • Monday, May 20, 7:00 pm, Cole House.

Moving forward with a Congregational Covenant - I hope you were able to attend the two services led by the Board and Reverend Lissa addressing our goal to create a congregational covenant. To move this process forward, the Board with great pleasure enlisted the following church members to be part of the Covenant Creation Committee, or CCC as we affectionately call it: Irene Burkner; Cybele Garcia; Katherine Gavzy; Julian Juarez; Wes Louissaint; Gail Shand; Joyce Wedseltoft; Joe Welker; and Clyde Derrick (ex-officio) . The Board sought a mix of newer and longtime members representing different sectors of the church in terms of gender, age, and ethnicity.

The church Board, Rev. Lissa and the committee participated in a powerful and meaningful retreat on February 18 led by Elizabeth Sadlon to lay the foundation for the covenant and determine next steps. So, what are the  next steps for this process?
  • A draft version of a covenant will emerge from the recent retreat and be refined by both the CCC and Board.
  • This will be shared in the eweekly on March 28.
  • The CCC will then host congregational meetings after services on March 31 and April 7 to share a version of the covenant and get your feedback and suggestions . The Senior High group will also be asked for similar input.
  • The CCC will integrate your input into final language and send the revised covenant to the Board by April 24 .
  • The Board will review and finalize the covenant at the April 28 Board meeting.
  • The Board will then include the recommended covenant in the annual meeting packet and the congregation will vote on the covenant at the annual meeting on May 19.
We have all appreciated the enthusiasm that many church members already have shown and expressed about this process. Please don't hesitate to email, call or buttonhole members of the Board, including the CCC and me, if you have any questions. Many thanks in advance for your thoughtful participation!

Fair Share Update - Last Fall, the Board held its annual retreat and Rev. Christine Robinson, formerly of the Albuquerque UU Church, was our stellar facilitator. But my heart sank when Christine indicated that our church had not paid for her services - these were being paid by other churches, as we have not returned to our Fair Share payment to the UUA in about ten years. This caused me great concern as Christine also reminded me that our church is the largest in the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD).

What is Fair Share? It's a contribution that all UU churches make to support the UUA's leadership, many services, information, mentorship, and website. As your president, I have relied heavily on UUA guidance in many important matters and found their support invaluable, as have some of our past presidents.

Formerly, the Fair Share each church paid annually had been based on membership numbers, but the UUA has come up with a new, less costly formula based on a church's unchanging a nnual budget items. About ten years ago, we chose as a congregation to cut our Fair Share payment because of a financial shortfall, with the understanding this was a temporary fix. However, we never fixed that fix. I shared with the Board that I felt it was time to return to our Fair Share.

There is a gap of about $35,000 in what we pay annually, and the Board voted unanimously to close this gap incrementally, growing bit by bit over a series of years, as we recover from the costs of the City's CUP (Conditional Use Permit). Please advise the Board or me by email, phone or buttonhole (on the patio) if you have any thoughts or concerns about this decision.

Thank you, Donovan - Donovan Steutel has been an exemplary Board member and secretary, bringing his intelligence and good humor to each meeting. He is stepping down from the Board a few months shy of his one-year commitment to focus on life outside church, and we on the Board certainly will miss him in our meetings. Given the short amount of time left in the church year, the Board will not be filling the vacancy left by his departure.

Again, please feel free to reach out to members of the Board or me if you have any questions, concerns, or even compliments.

Best wishes,
Clyde Derrick
NUUC Board President   

Neighborhood Church is a caring congregation. The Pastoral Care Team and minister are here to help you in times of crisis or need and to rejoice with you in times of celebration. We can provide meals, rides, run errands, and offer one-on-one support.  Please contact Lyn Munro , Pastoral Care Coordinator, if you or someone you know needs assistance.

Our minister, Rev. Lissa, is also available for pastoral care visits and counseling sessions for members. Sunday worship is a time when we witness the joys, sorrows, and life-transitions of the congregation. Do you have a life event (birth, marriage, illness, death, milestone or celebration) which you would like shared in the order of service or lifted up in the prayer? 
Email or  call  Rev. Lissa

The Pastoral Care Committee is also sponsoring a Life After Loss Divorce Support Support Group for those going through divorce or the end of a long-term relationship. Meetings will be held in Classroom Six Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00. Signups will be available at the YRE table.  Facilitators will be Alex Ford and Ann Grant. For more information, please call Ann at 805-540-4899 or email  

Bell Choir Rehearsals
Mondays at 6:30 p.m. 
Room 21

Come ring with us! No experience needed to join. We perform several times throughout the year including a special Holiday performance. For more information contact Thomas Simpson at

Neighborhood Choir Rehearsals
Thursdays at 7:15 p.m. 
Room 21

New singers are accepted year-round. Whenever you're ready to join, just come to a rehearsal! Once you've attended 2 or 3 consecutive rehearsals, you're invited to officially join the choir and lead worship on Sunday mornings. The choir sings at both the 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday services every other week during the program year. The choir also sings for special occasions and for performances with  partners  in our community. For more information, contact Dr. Zanaida Robles at
sound lighting
Volunteer for Sound & Lighting!


Do you have experience or interest in sound or lighting? The Sound & Lighting committee is seeking new volunteers for 2019 to help light up our Sunday services. Contact Randy Baer to sign up or for more information:


Community Events

Religious Education
Social Justice

What do justice, equality, and compassion in human relations look like in everyday life? How do we show up and speak up when we see that justice, equality, and compassion are not being expressed, honored, or upheld?

Last week our congregation showed up by standing with Sequoyah High School through an outpouring of love and compassion as their school was picketed by an organization known for spreading a message of hate towards LGBTQ+ populations and those who do not adhere to their strict biblical interpretations and religious doctrine. The Sunday before the picketing, members of our congregation and larger Pasadena community participated in training and sign making events in preparation for the demonstration. At the same time, just a few feet away, the Neighborhood People of Color and White Allies groups were hosting a workshop centered around the short film Quiet Denial by Zuri Alexander.

The workshop was filled with rich historical research, discussion topics, and Zuri's personal experiences as a classically trained pianist of color. Through these topics, white people and people of color were invited to reflect on the many small and often imperceptible ways that racist attitudes and behaviors are supported in our everyday lives. It was a powerful workshop primed for deep learning, listening, and conversation. It was even more memorable and meaningful to experience it in an interracial forum, with folks of all ages and races right outside pouring out messages of love to address an immediate threat to the values that are upheld by the Neighborhood Church and the UU community at large. It was a very "gentle, angry people" moment.

On the heels of this experience, on Friday March 1st, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) shared a statement from the Commission on Institutional Change encouraging members of the UU faith to continue having deep conversations around the uncomfortable topic of racism and the ways that it impacts our spaces, beliefs, and members of our beloved communities. The commission states:

"If we shut it down, we will cease to be relevant to those who come into our doors emboldened by our embracing theology and believing for the first time they have found a place where they name their pain. And if we shut it down, we do not hear the pain of our elders who are looking at the national elections and other practices and wondering what has happened to the world for which they worked so hard for all their lives."

As we continue to explore what it means to be UU and a member of Neighborhood Church in 2019, let us continue to learn, engage in self-exploration, and have the uncomfortable conversations that allow the seven principles  to be fully lived and experienced in our daily lives.

If you would like support with this process, please be in touch with Neighborhood's Social Justice and Inclusion Coordinator, Luis Sierra Campos, to learn more about supports available both within and and outside of the church community. Below there are a few questions to consider from the UUA:
  • What would it mean to go deeper into the conversation?
  • What would it mean to understand the individual work against oppression that is a deep spiritual practice
  • What would it mean to address the ways it is embedded in our very institutions and their culture?
Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church is a religious community of open hearts and open minds that creates and grows an inclusive family connected by love, spirit, and service.

ZaNyaa Lee, M.A. CLCC
Membership and Community Coordinator Neighborhood UU

Our congregation has been helping Honduran refugee Rosa and her family navigate the uncertain process of seeking asylum. We invite you to think about a piece of sponsorship that feels appropriate to you- rides to school or family outings, or helping Rosa grocery shop or run errands. Spanish is helpful but not required. The children are growing fast with a proper diet and Gift cards to Target, Old Navy or other department stores are always appreciated to help them stay outfitted.  We have established an amazon wishlist for the family which will be updated with needs: 
Due to space limitations at their current location, donations of toys, diapers, wipes, clothes, or furniture are not requested at this time.
Our member  Suzanne Smith  will be helping to organize the support needed for Rosa's next few months.   
Email Suzanne at for more information or 
click here to sign up:

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
301 North Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103
626.449.3470 |
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