By Maureen McNair
Every Saturday morning around 8:30 AM, a dedicated group of young adults start drifting into the pantry.
For nearly a year now, Elias Malouf, the ﬁrst young adult to volunteer at the pantry, has come in to set up tables and start bagging fresh produce. He stays for an hour, then leaves for a martial arts class.
California has a history of anti-Black racism and the unjust seizure of Bruce's Beach in Manhattan Beach tells the story of one example. "In April, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to make amends for a massive land grab rooted in white supremacy, though this remedy came almost a century too late (MSN). In the early twentieth century, Charles and Willa Bruce opened a Manhattan Beach resort that offered other Black families the opportunity to vacation under the Southern California sun. The white residents of Manhattan Beach were not pleased. The Bruce’s neighbors slashed their tires. The Ku Klux Klan set fire to the resort’s deck. These horrifying acts of white vigilantism weren’t what forced Charles and Willa to leave. In actuality, it was Manhattan Beach itself. The city government condemned the entire neighborhood around Bruce’s Beach. They then seized the resort through eminent domain. Though the city said that they did this to construct a park, this park never materialized. The Bruce family, forced from the city, was compensated only one-fifth of their asking price for the land they were forced to give up." Read the full article and see steps you can take to support the ongoing campaign.
In 1968, Betty Boone became the first female president of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. As only the second woman to graduate from the University of San Diego School of Law she was truly a trailblazer. “I went to San Diego State University to enroll in a Master’s program, and while I was there I just happened to hear someone mention that there was a law school at USD. So I took the kids back home, called up the law school and found out they were enrolling that night!” For the next five years, Betty worked full time as legal secretary while attending law school at night. “I started with 78 classmates, all men except me. By midterm we were down to 28."
By Maureen McNair
Before we started the South Bay Food Pantry, I really never gave any thought to the difference between a pantry and a bank. But, the distinction is so important that, for instance, the Regional Diaper Bank prohibits us by written contract from calling ourselves a diaper bank. We can use other names, such as a diaper pantry or a diaper distribution, but not the word “bank."
A prolific writer, lecturer, abolitionist and reformer, Harper wrote many poems and novels with anti-slavery themes. A writer for the African Methodist Episcopal church and member of the Unitarian church, her activism combined African American civil rights with women's rights. One of her major concerns was the brutal treatment Black women—including Harper herself—encountered on public transportation.
"We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul." ~ Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
At the time of her ordination in 1978, Carolyn joined a group of less than 60 female Unitarian Universalist ministers in the United States. A pioneer in many ways, Carolyn was the first woman President of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the first woman President of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. After her undergraduate degree in Art she completed a Doctor of Divinity degree at Meadville Lombard Theological School and served as the co-minister, with her husband Tom, of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego for 22 years. Carolyn has also been an unwavering champion of LGBTQIA rights. She offered pastoral care to the gay community from the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, performed civil unions for same sex couples when acceptance in any kind of church was a rarity and championed the rights of transgender people.
By Robie Evans, Director of Operations
We have exciting news! The “River of Life” footpath installation in our Memorial Garden will begin this June, 2021, according to Designer and Artist Jerry Thiebolt. A couple of years ago, we held three brick-stamping events at both campuses to create the “building blocks” of this footpath while leaving a little of our creativity behind as a part of this beautiful garden of six memorial walls. Over 80 congregants of all ages participated in this artistic endeavor and we are excited to see this footpath come into being.
Our Memorial Garden had been a goal of the Church since our current Memorial Wall became fully subscribed. Our garden walls will be inscribed with over 1,000 names of deceased church members in a manner similar to what our current Memorial Wall accomplishes while offering a quiet, open area for contemplation, reflection, and meditation. Esthetically, our Garden complements our Patio and offers windows onto the canyon below. All of this has been accomplished in a design that reflects our vision and mission of our church and our community.
The Garden walls’ recurring theme will be the “River of Life,” with meaningful poetry, symbols and quotes relative to our faith and our lives. The art (clay work) on the walls will be done over several years’ time. “The River of Life flows to the eternal sea,” says Jerry. “We’re here for seconds and this is a perfect analogy. It’s always moving; it keeps flowing - we can never stop it.”
Construction on Wall #1 of our Garden will take approximately one year and will hopefully begin soon after the River of Life footpath is completed. There are a couple of obstacles to overcome first: the specific clay that Jerry uses is no longer available from his clay vendors, and, Jerry is on the lookout for an apprentice in this highly-specialized field; someone who has both engineering and artistic skills.
Watch for updates in upcoming issues of the Window. All questions should be directed to Robie Evans, Director of Operations, at 619-398-4433 or email@example.com.
The First UU Church of San Diego blog is your resource for upcoming events and past event recaps. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!