When John Keasler came to First Church in 1999, he was looking for a spiritual home where his being gay wouldn't be a problem. When he found the Rainbow Action Group on the patio and he learned that the Men's Fellowship sponsored a Gay-Straight weekend retreat, he knew he'd come home.
For 22 years, John has been a loyal member and a committed leader, currently co-chair of Rainbow Outreach. I asked him why he thinks that a group officially recognized as an organization of the church in 1981 is still going strong. He said Rainbow Outreach has been doing the same thing for forty years, and that it responds to issues that affect LGBTQ people within First UU and in the larger community.
128 voted. There were 36 absentee votes and 92 regular votes (all weighted equally).
Board Officers (elected with at least 84.38% of the votes): Vice President/Pres. Elect FY21-22 / Pres. FY22-23: Cora Pendergast. Treasurer: David Rogers (one-year term), Rosalba Ciampi (three-year term) and Rhiannon Roselle (three-year term).
Nominating Committee (elected with at least 93.75% of the votes): Sarah Ormond (one-year term) and Mindy Hochgesang (two-year term).
Budget: Passed with 93.75% of the votes.
8th Principle: Passed with 86.72% of the votes.
Statements of Conscience: All passed. #1 (93.75% of the votes), #2 (91.41%), #3 (95.31%), #4 (91.41%), #5 (94.53%), #6 (95.31%), #7 (96.09%), and #8 (92.19%).
If you missed the meeting, please watch the Annual Meeting video (membership login required).
By Rev. Kathleen Owens, LeadMinister
Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal faith. This means we don't follow a fixed creed handed down from a religious authority; we create a covenant for how we want to be in relationship with each other in this faith community. In 2008, this congregation created a church-wide covenant. As I mentioned in my May 23, 2021 "Real Community: Messy, Imperfect and Needed," this covenant hangs in every room at both our Hillcrest and South Bay campuses. It's also on our website - under the About menu tab, click on Governance; under Guidelines, you?ll find our Covenant of Good Relations.
Our experiences with small group meetings are going well. No major issues have arisen, and we feel more confident about how other meetings may go. Any other small groups that wish to begin to meet on campus should apply for permission through Robie Evans. Church groups are free to meet off campus. Vaccinations are recommended. Mask wearing should continue. Of course anyone with symptoms should not participate. Each group leader should keep track of those who attend. Larger groups, up to about 30 people, will now be permitted to meet on campus. Please apply through Robie Evans to get the okay. The on-campus mask "mandate" continues, along with the other recommendations set out for small groups. The church has acquired a portable sound system which could help facilitate large group meetings.
Our virtual annual meeting will be held via Zoom on Sunday, June 20 at 11 am. Please plan on attending to hear about and vote on important issues and learn about how things are going in our church. More detailed information about meeting URL and virtual voting process will be coming soon. See you there!
by Tony Bianca, Program Director
As we begin to host small groups on campus and think about gradually opening back up to in-person gatherings, we're aware that, currently, children under 12 are unable to be vaccinated and which creates a natural inequity around who is able to safely participate in live gatherings on our campuses. Simultaneously, we're thinking about how this reopening offers us a unique opportunity to reimagine our programming in ways that better serve us, and more fully live into what it means to be a Family Ministry Program.
by Maureen McNair
While our church, communities, and State have been closed down for most of the last 14 months, the volunteers at our South Bay Food Pantry have lived our values, created beloved community, and established an institution. Our food pantry is the future of our congregational life. The fact that our food pantry is our future became quite clear to me during the two weeks I was taking a stay-cation. I cannot wait for those of you who have never visited us to see what we have created. It will knock your socks oﬀ!
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