Prior to Covid-19, Health Stars workers read to children at schools, sent home books with them, and met with their parents to provide low income and homeless parents with more literacy resources. Health Stars had to close down the way they rolled out their program last March when the State went into lockdown. Now, Shirley said, they want to reach those same parents in other ways.
I told Shirley she had hit pay dirt because of the Chula Vista neighborhood where we are located. We are in a Promise Neighborhood. Promise Neighborhoods are identiﬁed by the US Department of Education as targeted places to improve results for at risk children from cradle to college.
In California, up until 2018, there were only four Promise Neighborhoods in the entire State — in San Francisco, Hayward, Corning, and a cluster area including Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and San Ysidro. But, last year, in 2019, the US Department of Education added our Chula Vista neighborhood as only the ﬁfth California Promise Neighborhood. About $5 million in funds will be funneled into our community through the Promise Neighborhood program.
Shirley was thrilled to hear a broad description of the area where our clients come to get food. She made plans right away to distribute books written in both English and Spanish, which she and a colleague did for the ﬁrst time this past Saturday.
I let Shirley know that we give food to about 160 heads of household. We agreed she would be on site from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. However, she left just after 9 AM because she had already run out of the 50 bags of books she prepared to give away! Next time, she says she will prepare more bags.
I am really excited for the children and grandchildren of our pantry clients who will periodically have new books appearing in their homes now. Next up, Shirley plans to give away book bags at a Sunday diaper distribution where we provide diapers for about 75 children every week.
Don’t you just love it that we are nourishing both the bodies and minds of people in our South Bay community!
#firstuusd #thisishowwedochurch #likemindedpeople #community #foodpantry
You can get a full list of our candidate guides here, and can link our stripped-down user-friendly map at guides.vote.
For a quick list:
We also have a 60-second animated early voting video.
Day of the Dead has been an important celebration for so many of us for the last few years. I have felt grateful for the opportunity to share with this congregation this holiday during worship. And I know this is a meaningful service for so many of our Mexican, Mexican-American, and Latinx members. An affirmation of our culture and an opportunity to honor our beloved dead in community.
The pandemic has already prevented us from gathering and celebrating so many occasions together: Easter, Pride, Pachamama, and more. For our services and some rituals, we have tried new virtual ways to recreate them. But, leading a Day of the Dead service online didn’t feel right to me this year. My invitation, when I have created this worship service for our community in the past, is to enter an intimate space where we can both laugh and grieve together for our beloved dead. In US culture, the Day of the Dead has entered pop-culture and with that it has been often misunderstood and, in so many cases, commodified. Streaming a Day of the Dead service that will also continue to live online, did not sit well with me. For that reason, we will offer, instead, a workshop with a Mexican writer about the origins of this celebration on October 24th and I will hold a Day of the Dead vespers service on zoom. See our newsletter for more information if you want to attend.
I am grateful that the Earth Centered Spirituality Circle will offer a worship service around the theme of honoring our beloved dead but in a way that invites the congregation to connect with appropriate cultural practices. This service will be rich and meaningful and I hope you won’t miss it.
I look forward to the moment where you can join me in building community altars to celebrate the Day of the Dead and help me decorate our campus with marigolds everywhere once we are able to be together in person.
~ Rev. Tania Y. Márquez
#firstuusd #thisishowwedochurch #spiritual #community
picking up food on Fridays so we can get fresh produce that will not spoil before the food distribution. If you are not available every week, that is ﬁne. We can build a rotating team.
The pick up time is by appointment only. Dana, Loren, and I have been going to the Food Bank Fridays at 8 AM. However, if you want to volunteer and are only available at a later time or on a diﬀerent day, please let me know, and I can try to make an appointment for that time slot.
I know our congregation can make this happen! If you are available, please contact me at 619.427.1769 or email@example.com.
I cannot begin to tell you all how much I am going to miss Dana and Loren. They have provided an enormous service to our congregation and for the 160 families that rely on us for food every week.
They have purchased a stunning home in Arizona. So I completely understand why they are relocating. I wish them all the best. They are irreplaceable. But, their truck is not! I look forward to working with the next transportation volunteers. Thank you so much in advance!
#firstuusd #thisishowwedochurch #unitarianuniversalist #foodpantry
SURJ is excited to participate in Indigenous Peoples’ Day, on Monday, October 12th as part of our commitment to fighting settler colonialism and respecting Indigenous sovereignty. Dismantling settler colonialism is a key part of undermining white supremacy, racial capitalism, and the continued theft of Native land and genocide of Native people. Let’s rise together for Indigenous sovereignty, for Black lives & liberation and to get Trump out of office in November. Join us in taking powerful action on Indigenous Peoples’ Day when the NDN Collective launches LANDBACK--a campaign to return Native land to its rightful stewards.
Tuesday, October 13, 6 pm, Register here to get the link: http://bit.ly/LWVPropTalk. This year, we will be making decisions on 12 California ballot propositions and five more measures for San Diego city. Get the inside scoop on how to tackle your ballot this election season with the League of Women Voters & First Unitarian Universalist church.
The team is studying how and when we might safely come together again in person. The following is an example of the thinking we believe is worth sharing. Here is the beginning of a recent article by Aaron E. Carroll, a physician in Indiana: "Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year: Americans will need to take pandemic precautions well into 2021 — yes, even after a vaccine arrives by "Dr. Anthony Fauci warned us last week that Covid-19 is likely to be hanging over our lives well into 2021. He’s right, of course. We need to accept this reality and take steps to meet it rather than deny his message. Many Americans are resistant to this possibility. They’re hoping to restart postponed sports seasons, attend schools more easily, enjoy rescheduled vacations and participate in delayed parties and gatherings. It is completely understandable that many are tiring of restrictions due to Covid-19. Unfortunately, their resolve is weakening right when we need it to harden. This could cost us dearly".
By Maureen McNair - Early food preparation last Friday for our Saturday food distribution went smoothly. Jared Blackwell, Kate Collier, Steve Gelb, Steve Howard, Andrea Travers, and I carried 3,350 pounds of food into the pantry and securely stored it. We even arranged the cantaloupes, potatoes, and apples in such a way that Saturday morning, we could create an easy assembly line to put the produce into bags. We worked hard, said our good byes, and went home. Then, my phone rang. It was a friend who operates a food pantry in San Ysidro. She was delivered 48 extra USDA boxes of perishable food, including eggs, cheese, meat, and a full gallon of milk. In total, it was nearly 1,600 pounds of food she could not distribute or store. “Can you take it?” She asked.
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