When a BBIPoC person shares that they've been harmed by racism, please learn to listen and respond with compassion. It may seem that we hear about racism in our church more often than in our other spaces. This is not because racism is not happening elsewhere, it is because we have members who trust us with their truth because our principles say that we will hear them. How to Respond with Compassion when Someone is Hurt by Racism.
by Nina Douglass
Jeff and I have now completed the first of two weeks of covering Maureen McNair’s management of the South Bay Food Pantry. Adapting to the role has been a formidable learning experience, characterized by several distinctive stages:
1. Denial: “How complicated can it be to manage a small food pantry?”
2. Shock and overwhelm: The state of disbelief and numbed feelings upon reading Maureen’s voluminous, detailed (and essential) notes and completing San Diego Food Bank training.
As we continue to consider our reopening situation, here are some factors:
Hello from Nina
by Nina Douglass
Jeff and I are excited to join other South Bay Food Pantry volunteers in covering Maureen McNair’s much-deserved staycation from the pantry.
Have you visited the pantry on a Saturday morning during distribution? it’s impossible to distinguish shoppers from volunteers. In fact, some shoppers choose to volunteer, and some offer small donations to express their appreciation. Some volunteers and workers in the strip mall are also shoppers, along with others.
By Maureen McNair
Several months ago, Rev. Kathleen Owens asked me what the process was I used to run the food pantry. I told her it has been like laying down the tracks while the train is coming. So, after 17 straight months of creating and operating the food pantry, I am taking a vacation the last two weeks in May. I have planned a stay-cation.
The food pantry, diaper distribution, congregant food delivery, and feeding people experiencing homelessness will continue thanks to spouses Nina Douglass and Jeﬀ Kline, who have agreed to substitute for me. Many of you may not have met them because they joined our church during the pandemic.
Tales of Excess Produce
by Maureen McNair
Saturday pantry volunteers are likely to observe that I live in fear of excess produce. It is perishable and, while the pantry has some refrigeration space, we do not have suﬃcient refrigeration space to store very much fresh produce for a week. We want food to go into the community right away, not into landﬁlls.
The pandemic situation and official recommendations are changing rapidly. We as a team are continuing to keep abreast as we prepare guidelines specific to our church situation.
We have stated it will soon be okay to resume the lowest-risk types of in-person gatherings. These are small groups in outdoor settings, provided they observe the several precautions and procedures we outlined in our last update. Opening date for these meetings will be announced soon.
Prior to Tania’s and Kathleen’s announcements about leaving, a group was involved with identifying congregational needs and how to achieve them. At their April meeting, First UU’s Board of Trustees approved a process to involve the entire congregation in an opportunity to provide their input on present and future needs before any final decisions are made.
You’re invited to attend and participate in our Focus Group Discussions. These are an excellent, welcoming space for each First UU member and friend to provide their thoughts on the best approach to improving the impact of our present and future programs, projects, and ministries. These gatherings are not for the solicitation of financial support, but rather to exchange ideas and engage everyone as we prepare for the upcoming changes of new ministerial leadership...
Read More and Register for a Focus Group at our Reaching for Our Future page.
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