Though it's hard for me to believe, my six weeks as your Minister in Residence are already over, and this Sunday is my last one with you. It has been an honor to accompany you for this brief time, and to hear your stories, struggles, and aspirations for this beloved community. You have an interesting and challenging road ahead of you as you navigate what it means to be a religious community in the post-pandemic world. You also have ahead of you the many ways you'll find to heal past conflict and navigate disagreements, and the large decision about whether or not to move in the coming years. I hope you'll let yourselves be guided in all of what's ahead by your sense of mission, asking (in one way or another), Who are we called to be together? What difference do we want it to make, that First UU exists? You have terrific people in leadership - both as staff and as volunteers - and I have great confidence that along with them, your next Minister in Residence and then your new Lead Minister will help you gain clarity and map the path ahead. I'm grateful to have joined my life to yours for this little time, and will be eager to see how your next chapters unfold. With respect and affection, Rev. Kathleen McTigue
On March 19, the South Bay Food Pantry operated for the first time from Suite 105 at 970 Broadway in Chula Vista. What a day it was!
Any move involves a period of disruption and confusion, and the pantry’s move has been no exception. Yet, with nearly 300 households relying upon the pantry for food each week, it was crucial that we carry on with the weekly Saturday distribution despite being mid-transition. Intensive pre-move and mid-move planning helped us organize food, freezers, diapers, period products, cleaning supplies, heavy duty shelving and tables for bagging bread and dry goods in the new space. Valerie Jaques has devoted many hours to addressing requirements for opening such as installation of a hot water heater and organizing volunteers to perform other upgrades to Suite 105. The new space had to be inspected by Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank and we had to adapt the flow of distribution to our new footprint before we could open. The work of our dedicated mid-week food rescuers, food bank truck runners and dry goods baggers and bread donation retriever/baggers was also complicated by the move. New food rescue volunteers Gay and Eric Hybertson arrived at the pantry one evening with the Con Pane bread donation, only to find their key didn’t work to open the new suite door! Luckily, they were able to reach another volunteer who coached them on how to get in.
Our thriving South Bay Food Pantry recently went through a major transition. While church activities were solely virtual during the first years of the pandemic, we were fortunate to be able to use two large FUUSD South Bay campus suites to store the dry goods, bread, meat and period products we distribute to the local community every Saturday morning, as well as diapers on Sunday mornings. With the upcoming re-opening of the South Bay campus, we needed to relocate to suite 105, a smaller space than either of the ones we’d been using. Having grown to accommodate some 300 households seeking food each week, how could we adapt our operations to work from this smaller space? And how could we make that move quickly, so that the South Bay worship and social spaces could be restored for in-person use ASAP?
Thank you so much for the welcome on Sunday, as I shared in the service, it was a true joy being with you. I was also very glad to be able to share some information about how UUSC is responding to the growing refugee crisis being created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
If you would like to support this work, please follow this link to UUSC’s Emergency Response Fund. Gifts coming in now will be used to support both immediate response and long-term partnerships to protect and advance human rights for Ukrainian refugees.
Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, UUSC president
PROGRESS: The reopening Team met on Saturday March 5 to review together what we currently know about Covid in our area and the direction things are trending. Based on our discussion we are ready to recommend the following ...
PROGRESS: The reopening Team met on Saturday March 5 to review together what we currently know about Covid in our area and the direction things are trending. Based on our discussion we are ready to recommend the following:
by Maureen McNair
I don’t know how they do it! But our amazing team of Saturday volunteers, organized by Deirdre Lonergan, provided food for well over 1,000 individuals again inside 90 minutes.
Mid-week, Liz and Scott Jones, Sue Marberry, Kay Chandler, and Nan and Bob Hazelton put over a ton of canned goods in grocery bags. Friday morning, Valerie Jaques, Nina Douglass and husband Jeff Kline, and Adrienne Kaplan brought in meat and bread from four sources. Friday night, Alice and Doug Diamond delivered the bread donation from Con Pane Rustic Breads and Cafe. Then, on Saturday morning, Sophia and Andres Lopez-Zimmer met the Feeding San Diego delivery truck to start off loading more food.
This past Saturday, we gave away over a ton of dry goods, 3,640 lbs of fresh produce and a record 1,048 lbs of food from Starbucks alone.
I’ll be away for a couple weeks. Please contact Deirdre Lonergan if you’d like to volunteer. Watch this space for blogs from Nina Douglass. As ever, thank you for your continued support.
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