By Maureen McNair
Here is a good reason to answer a telephone call from an unknown phone number, even in the weeks leading up the election: it could be actual good news! Shirley Koch works for Rady’s Children’s Hospital in a program called Health Stars. Health Stars provides early literacy intervention for low income and homeless parents with children up to age 8. It was Shirley on the phone calling to introduce herself and ask if she and her team could distribute books and literacy information at some of our Saturday food and Sunday diaper distributions. I immediately agreed. Not only that, after Shirley explained her literacy mission in more detail, I let her know she had hit pay dirt to help her meet the goals of Health Stars.
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.
by Maureen McNair
Food pantry volunteers Loren and Dana Tomlinson are moving to Arizona at the end of November. They own a huge Ford pick up truck and have been reliably and enormously generous with their time and energy picking up food for the pantry. In fact, they are the only congregant volunteers the pantry has who have ever picked up food in a truck for the pantry. The pantry needs transportation in place no later than November 27. If you, or someone you know, owns a pick up truck or delivery van, now is a great time to volunteer!
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.
By Janet James, Camp de Benneville Pines Executive Director
Hello from a smoky mountain top as I sit in my office pounding out this newsletter to you. We all could use some good news, so in this newsletter, we're focusing on the fantabulous summer we had full of creative Zoom camps! Our volunteer summer camp deans realized that the pandemic would impact our traditional camping season, and they jumped into gear to create a virtual camp experience for so many campers.
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 goodbyes, 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.
by Maureen McNair
The combo box program arrives just as our food pantry clientele continues to explode. Last Saturday, we distributed food to 152 heads of household who waited in line while volunteers unloaded the delivery truck. The heads of household have families with a total of about 650 people for whom we provided food for meals for a few days. We received 132 combo boxes and distributed food to a total 152 households. So, one of the things I am working on this week is trying to obtain more boxes of food for October.
September's worship theme at our church was Change and the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Commission on Institutional Change report is an important reflection on various changes that must be made, if the UUA is going to live its values into practice. At the June 2017 General Assembly (GA), after the resignation of then UUA President Peter Morales and due to the entrenched hiring practices and harm created by the UUA, a Commission on Institutional Change was "established and charged by the UUA Board of Trustees to conduct an audit of white privilege and the structure of power within Unitarian Universalism, and to analyze structural racism and white supremacy culture within the UUA." The Commission worked for three years interviewing and listening to people's experiences within the UUA examining the current practices that have maintained the status quo. At the General Assembly in June of this year, the Commission presented its report, Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change.
Journey Toward Wholeness: What Can I Do? Learn about our work to become more inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive
First UU San Diego has worked hard to become more inclusive, anti-racist, & anti-oppressive and we have many upcoming actions and work ahead. To learn more, read:
by Maureen McNair
Recently, during the same week, two adults visiting our South Bay Food Pantry told me they had not eaten in three days and I received an offer for 11,000 pounds of free apples. We all understand that people in our community go without food because they don't have the money to buy it. And, we know that many more than two people in our region went hungry that particular week. The produce wholesaler offered me the apples for free, if I would take them all. The transportation was our responsibility. The apples were harvested in Washington State and transported in a refrigerated semi-truck to the produce wholesaler's warehouse near the San Ysidro border crossing. But, the wholesaler couldn't find buyers for the apples. They were perishable and took up valuable warehouse space. If he didn't give away the apples, the company would have to pay the costs to transport the food to a landfill and pay the fee to use the landfill. That was more cash out of the business' pocket toward an investment that had already lost money. So, it made financial sense for the produce wholesaler to make a tax-deductible gift of the 11,000 pounds of apples.
by Jan Garbosky
Have you heard, said, or thought:
The fall is a favorite season of mine. I enjoy the changes fall brings: cooler weather, the turning of leaves, and the food of the season. This month will also bring the opportunity to practice living our values and principles, to learn about ballot initiatives and engage deeply in important questions about who we want to be and what direction we want our country to move in as we approach the November election. Our monthly worship theme of Reparations is timely. This topic is both straight forward and complex. This topic brings up all kinds of emotions and there's a lot to learn together. For me, one of the biggest values tied to the theme of Reparations is truth-telling- recognizing the fuller story of our country's history and how it continues to play out in our lives today. This theme asks us important questions that affect our future. I recommend this article for you to read: Floyd’s America — Introduction: The Post-Slavery State, Homicide, and the New Case for Reparations.
By Everett Eastman, from the "Once Upon a Pandemic" service on August 16, 2020
What drove me, scheduling a bouncing day of hospital, clinic, back again? Do As Much As I Can In One Day sometimes rings hollow in the CE, the Covid Era, new normal, pandemic. Bender of human ties, you have many names. Gazing at Our First Lot, familiar, lonely in being filled by not us. I parked early morning, donation to the church, to us, I think. Into the hospital. Processed, sanitized, checked-in, badged, sanitized, find the way, don't touch-oops, sanitized, wandered, don't touch-oops. Sanitized, checked-in, wait and wait, brought back, sanitized. Checked in, informed, injected, informed, instructed, sanitized, released, find the way, don't touch-oops, sanitized, walked out. Repeat again, hours later. It gets old for all of us.
From the "Once Upon a Pandemic" service on August 16, 2020
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