4/25/22 - The 8th Principle Collaboration Group of San Diego invites you to join us in beginning a study of Widening the Circle of Concern. The first three sessions of our group will meet virtually this spring at 10 am on Saturday mornings: April 30, May 21, and June 11. We have found these discussions to be enriching and fulfilling work and hope to share that joy among our congregations.These sessions will be informal and open to all San Diego UUs. Each month will have a chapter from the book to read before our discussion. We hope you’ll return each month, but joining for a topic that particularly interests you would work as well. The book is available for free online, including in audio format, and is also available for purchase as a printed book or kindle book. To learn more go to our 8th Principle page or, to join us online, sign-up for the group today.
D4$ is our beloved community-building fundraiser consisting of events hosted by our members and friends which are then offered at auction. Past events have included cooking classes, guided hikes, tax preparation services, music lessons and even a vacation stay in Costa Rica! We’re gathering events now with bidding to open on June 1st. Your event can be anytime from July 2022 through May 2023. Please consider hosting an event or helping us on the patio on Sundays. For creative ideas and a sign up link, go to our Dining for Dollar$ page.
By Maureen McNair.
Last month, I bought a condo in a small town in the Sierra foothills. I am going to keep my house in Chula Vista where I have lived for 33 years and remain a member of FUUSD. However, I intend to spend significant time in northern California in a quiet place that is both close to nature and many cultural events. Operating the food pantry requires hands on labor and interacting in person with volunteers and clients. While I will always be the pantry Founder, I am shifting my status to something like Coordinator Emeritus at the end of this month. Various voices will take over this blog starting next week. In addition, I have trained a team of familiar faces to run the pantry.
With great pleasure and gratitude, the Board of Trustees and the Developmental Minister Search Team announce that the Rev. Justine Sullivan (she/her/hers) will be our new Lead Minister, effective August 1, 2022. Ordained in 2017 by her home congregation of Northborough, MA, Rev. Justine served our UU faith for several years before entering seminary as a leader in her congregation and a congregational consultant and facilitator across New England and beyond. Prior to ministry, Rev. Justine worked for 20 years as a social worker and psychotherapist and as a technical writer and manager in high technology. Her ministerial record speaks to her passion for transitional ministry: mentoring, leadership development, preaching, pastoral care, and leading congregations through major transitions of growth and service. She served as president of the Clara Barton district board in New England from 2012 to 2015 and president of the District Presidents’ Association from 2014 to 2015. She was recently nominated to run for the UUA Board of Trustees and, if elected, will begin her 3-year term in July of 2022.
By Maureen McNair
Anna Kelley, a Senior at San Diego State University, has been volunteering at our South Bay Food Pantry for nearly two years. “I was looking for ways to get out of my box and serve with others,” she said after her shift bagging donated food from Starbucks last Saturday morning.It was an hour before the food distribution actually began. Volunteers had already set up outdoor tables and bagged thousands of pounds of oranges, cabbages, potatoes, and Romaine lettuce. Anna will continue volunteering until this August because she “enjoys working with this group of people, especially the community members.” Anna is referring to the community members who receive food from our pantry on Saturday morning, but come early to volunteer to sort and bag fresh produce and move boxes of dry goods indoors. Those community members vary each week. However, the pantry has an increasingly steady ﬂow of clients who also form part of the backbone of our volunteer team. To protect their privacy, they are not identified in this blog.
4/15/22 - Our Reopening Team is developing plans for a future in which COVID-19 will likely be endemic and cyclical for the foreseeable future. We are asking members to complete a brief (<5 minute) survey to help us clarify congregational priorities and ensure that our plans are holistic, evidence-based, and grounded in the needs of our community. We will share preliminary results back with the congregation approximately two weeks after the survey closes. Please only take this survey one time; as we have posted this request in several places. Complete the survey
. (If the link does not work, copy and paste this link into your browser https://ucsd.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2rvAFYc2N4HembA )
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month: Mindy and Sebastian Present a Dynamic Mother-Son Duo at the Diaper Distribution
By Maureen McNair
Sebastian Hochgesang is 9 years old now and a veteran volunteer at the South Bay Food Pantry and Diaper & Period Products Program. Sebastian began volunteering with his mother, Mindy Hochgesang, in 2019 in what was then the Sunday morning free diaper distribution program. One Sunday a month or so, and often on Sundays that fell on a holiday, Sebastian and his mom volunteered together to give away free diapers for babies from 8:15 - 9:15 AM. Mindy explains their volunteer gig gelled for them after three things aligned. She heard from friends who already volunteered at the pantry “how meaningful it was for them as a family.” Plus, Mindy says, “I had gone to the Social Justice week at Camp de Benneville in summer 2019 (it was a goal of mine to increase my social justice involvement) and I was looking for practical ways to do that -- one that ﬁt in with my life (single working mother) and provided a meaningful opportunity for my son Sebastian (who is now 9) - it's really hard to ﬁnd volunteer opportunities that meaningfully involve kids.”
By Maureen McNair
Our South Bay Food Pantry opened in December 2019 with a good-sized volunteer crew of people who regularly attended services at our Chula Vista campus. We displayed food on
shelves in a large closet. Our clients came in to select the food they wanted and shopped for themselves. Then, the covid pandemic hit and inside of a week, almost all the volunteers went into self-quarantine. I decided to try to keep the pantry open, and put together a mostly new set of volunteers who started distributing food from tables we set up in our parking lot. Bella Furth started pitching in
wherever she was needed. One of Bella’s many talents is she can see what needs to be done, then does it. As Bella puts it, she “pretty quickly ended up handling intake, rosters and client record-keeping.” It’s a job Bella does most Saturdays to this day.
By Tony Bianca, Program Director
As we enter April, I'm mindful of the many spring holidays that celebrate new life and new beginnings. I'm also reflecting on our April theme, "Stories of Who We Are,'" and wondering what the next chapter of our story is going to be like. We'r e in a time of the year when we, your Program Staff, would normally be wrapping things up and looking toward the slower,
low-key days of summer - those months when there's less going on and more people away on vacation. But, this year, who knows? Things have been shut down for so long, it feels somehow wrong to start winding down just as we?re gearing up. So, at the risk of interfering with your summer plans, I'd like to ask you to consider committing some time to help with our Lifespan Programs. Here are some areas where we could use your help:
By Nancy Fisk, First Words Editor with Robie Evans, Director of Operations
Our system of governing policies at First UU requires we have a Lead Minister at the helm, making decisions. In the past, the Lead Minister has had the support of the Associate or Assistant Minister, the Director of Operations, and a Lay Leader. This group of people is known as the Executive Team. Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube started the team in 2010, when he was our Lead Minister, to assist him with personnel matters.
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