Last Saturday morning, a woman I had never met drove over to my house and gave me $300 in cash. To be fair, I had spoken with her on the phone earlier in the day when she used her credit card to pay the fees for over a week at a county campground.
Her altruism was on behalf of a homeless US Marine and his family who showed up at the South Bay Food Pantry earlier in the day. The Marine, David, with his two year old son in tow, found our pantry through 211 emergency services. One of our pantry volunteers gave David a standard bag of food we create for unsheltered guests.
Saturday was a busy day. Our pantry has seen a 25% increase in clients over the last two weeks. Last Saturday when David showed up, we served 127 heads of household, representing about 570 people, in 90 minutes. I did not have a chance to get to know David until he came back later to give me his phone number. He had offered to volunteer.
David looks ﬁt, has close cropped hair, and kept calling me ma’am. I asked him if he was in the military. He is a retired Marine. I noticed his limp and the shadow of a back brace under his shirt. He had been injured in Afghanistan.
David was choked up, near tears with gratitude for a single bag of food and a package of diapers. He and his family had been sleeping in their car in a Walmart parking lot.
By the time I got home and had a chance to reﬂect on the day, it was mid-afternoon. I realized I had underserved David and his family. I could not go to bed Saturday night knowing an injured veteran was sleeping in his car in a Walmart parking lot with a 2 year old in diapers. So, I decided to try to ﬁnd David and his family emergency accommodations before sundown.
I called several social service agencies. No one was open late on a Saturday afternoon.
After an internet search, I found an inexpensive hotel in San Ysidro. Then, I called South Bay congregant Rev. Andrea Travers to ask her if she would cover a night in a hotel. She could not say yes quickly enough. Then, it occurred to me I could try to crowd source additional funds through a private Facebook group called Together We Will San Diego (TWW SD), a group of over 8,000 liberal-minded folks who gelled after the 2016 presidential election.
Pantry volunteer Sara Ferguson saw my post right away and emailed me that she had made a donation to the pantry through the church website.
I phoned David, told him I had a hotel room in San Ysidro, and asked him to meet me there.
I waited in the hotel parking lot quite awhile. It turns out he was collecting cans to sell so he could put gas in his car. And, when he arrived with his whole family, it turned out he and his wife, Laurie, have 4 children — ages 2, 6, 11, and 13. So, I upgraded to a room with two beds.
Andrea, Sara, and I pooled our funds, and I paid for a room for two nights, pushing the housing emergency from Saturday night to Monday’s 11 AM check out time.
They had an ice chest, but no money for ice. So I bought ice, milk for the baby, a few other items, raided the food pantry, and brought them more food for dinner and breakfast. I did not know that David and Laurie had been giving all the food they could source to their children and had not eaten themselves for 3 days. I did not know their situation had spiraled into starvation already. When I learned about this Sunday afternoon, I ﬁnally understood why a Marine would visibly choke up in front of a stranger.
David, who had worked as a chef and also receives monthly retirement income, found himself without a home, food, gas, or money after being robbed at the point of an M-16 riﬂe, he reports, by Tijuana police the night of July 3. He had taken his family across the border to ﬁnd affordable housing after losing his job and residence in Texas. David says the police took all his cash and had him empty his bank account at an ATM where he incurred over $600 in deficit spending and fees. He said he drove right back to this side of the border when the police let him go.
The family spent the holiday weekend in a parking lot. They own camping supplies, and received a week of camping, food, and gas assistance from the Navy and Marine Society Relief Fund. The Veterans Administration told them the wait for housing was 3 - 4 months. The American Red Cross turned them away because they had been out of the country. COVID-19 is not kind. David applied for CalFresh, but the benefits had not come through yet.
The outpouring of financial support for David and his family from Andrea, Sara, and the people on TWW SD — including other congregants — was immediately effective.
I drove over to the beautiful county park where David camped earlier in the month, called two strangers who had messaged their phone numbers, handed my cell phone to the county employee who handled reservations, and they put the camping fees on their credit cards. We have paid for accommodations for all except two nights (no camp sites available) through August 1. Other people from TWW SD drove over to my house in Chula Vista to donate brand new towels and hygiene products. It turns out the San Ysidro hotel does not provide soap, shampoo, or conditioner and only gives clients one towel per room.
David and his family will set up their own apartment in Tijuana August 1 when his retirement check is deposited. They will need some support with food and a few other things for awhile until he can ﬁnd work in the COVID-19 economy. I have given him the names, phone numbers, and addresses of several local agencies that should be able to help him.
Here is what I am left with: lots of families live at the Knights Inn in San Ysidro. I saw lots of children living in this hotel across the street from two gas stations and a freeway on-ramp.
The rooms have no table, not a single chair, no mini-refrigerator, no microwave, and costs $80 a night, or $2,400 a month.
The families cannot buy and store groceries. They cannot prepare healthy food. And if by some chance they own a laptop, there is still no table, desk, or chair for their children to use when on-line school opens in August.
These families live in a poverty trap. If they are minimum wage workers, they cannot keep a roof over their heads, feed themselves, travel to work, and pay for health care today and save enough money for a month’s rent and a deposit for tomorrow.
The great social anthropologist Margaret Mead once observed, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
I had the great privilege of seeing her observation in action this past weekend. If you recognize yourself in Margaret Mead’s observation, I invite you to join us in whatever role in which you feel comfortable at the South Bay Food Pantry and Diaper Program.
ARTICLES AND LISTS OF RESOURCES
75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice - Although written in 2017, this article is full of good recommendations for actions and further reading.(https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234)
Rev. Kathleen recommends Waking Up White by Debby Irving, books written by Robin DiAngelo, especially White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism; and What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (UU Author)
Black Pioneers in a White Denomination by Mark Morrison-Reed (UU Book)
Centering Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry (UU Book)
One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp. In a humorous and breakout book by Williams-Garcia, the Penderwicks meet the Black Panthers.
Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom
by Virginia Hamilton
Unavailable for several years, Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning companion to The People Could Fly traces the history of slavery in America in the voices and stories of those who lived it. Leo and Diane Dillon’s brilliant black-and-white illustrations echo the stories’ subtlety and power, making this book as stunning to look at as it is to read.“There is probably no better way to convey the meaning of the institution of slavery as it existed in the United States to young readers than by using, as a text to share and discuss, Many Thousand Gone.”
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
by Carole Boston Weatherford
When four courageous black teens sat down at a lunch counter in the segregated South of 1960, the reverberations were felt both far beyond and close to home. This insightful story offers a child's-eye view of this seminal event in the American Civil Rights Movement. Connie is used to the signs and customs that have let her drink only from certain water fountains and which bar her from local pools and some stores, but still . . . she'd love to sit at the lunch counter, just like she's seen other girls do. Showing how an ordinary family becomes involved in the great and personal cause of their times, it's a tale that invites everyone to celebrate our country's everyday heroes, of all ages.
TED TALKS / VIDEOS
Jay Smooth - How to Talk about Racism (https://youtu.be/MbdxeFcQtaU)
Chimamanda Adichie - The Danger of a Single Story https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en
Megan Ming Francis - Let’s get o the root of racial injustice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aCn72iXO9s
MTV Decoded - Five Things You Should Know About Racism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eTWZ80z9EE&list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6&index=68
MTV Decoded - What Does Privilege Make People So Angry? https://www.facebook.com/MTV/videos/176560756361488/?v=176560756361488
MTV Decoded - If Microaggressions happened to White People https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPRA4g-3yEk&list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6&index=73
MTV Decoded - Should All Native American Mascots Be Banned? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jfjp-a_RX24&list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6&index=65
MTV Decoded - Why Does MTV’s Decoded Hate White People?!? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmDCADWyaiI&list=PLnvZ3PbKApGM-hHuQ9lNc5oSKsusjn0Z6
An Evening with Tim Wise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4fbr1LlxEk
MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES
The Hate You Give
I Am Not Your Negro
When They See Us
Wilderness Journey (UU related) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDsD3mEtwjM
Oprah Winfrey’s Conversations “Where Do We Go from Here?
Oprah Winfrey leads the conversation speaking directly with Black thought leaders, activists and artists about systematic racism and the current state of America. Featured guests include: Stacey Abrams, Charles M. Blow, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ava DuVernay, Jennifer Eberhardt, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram Kendi, David Oyelowo, Rashad Robinson and Bishop William J. Barber II. They discuss: What matters now? What matters next? What do we want? What are our demands? Where do we go from here?
Part one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ysfL2SlHo
Part two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jy6LpivqIM
RECOMMENDED SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Kathleen O. follows Rev. Adam Dyer’s blog Spiritual Wellness (https://spirituwellness.org/) - here’s one of Adam’s latest blog posts:
The Face of Racism…by Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer
Kathleen has learned from Kira Banks - she’s on Twitter and especially good for families; Charles M. Blow, columnist; Shaun King (on Twitter); Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II; and others.
Journey Toward Wholeness (JTW) “What Can I Do?” Window Series
A willingness to explore, reflect, & learn is how we grow. Two resources to reflect on:
1)Read “12 Steps of Recovery from White Conditioning: https://recoveryfromwhiteconditioning.com/
2)View the 2018 General Assembly (GA)Ware Lecture (intro starts at 11:45) presented by Brittany Packnett & learn the difference between an ally & an accomplice: https://www.uua.org/ga/past/2018/ware
It’s our individual responsibility to educate ourselves about white supremacy. 3 resources for you:
1)Read former intern, Rev. Adam Dyer’s, blog post “What Can I Do?” https://spirituwellness.org/2020/05/29/what-can-i-do/
2)View Robin DiAngelo’s “Deconstructing White Privilege” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwIx3KQer54 (She’s the author of “White Fragility.”)
3)Read “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234
There is so much each of us non-BIPOC people can & must do. Start here:
1)Listen to Peter Bolland’s description of his June 30, 10:00-11:30 a.m. webinar “Dismantling Racism One Insight at a Time” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z--Le_QPNiw
2)Sign up for the Oasis webinar (open to all ages, not just those 50 or older). Register for class #321 ($15) at Oasis: https://www3.oasisnet.org/San-Diego-CA/Classes
Does talking about race make you uncomfortable? For help building your capacity to talk about race, watch Shelly Tochluk’s TEDxSan Juan Island talk “Let’s Talk About Race.” It’s 18:31 long & you can access it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=48&v=6tUBJ-1MWG8&feature=emb_logo Then check out the many resources on her website: http://shellytochluk.com/
We’re all wondering when we can return to our beautiful campus & what it will be like. Read what our former intern minister, Rev. Adam Dyer, thinks about returning to church in his reflection “Danger” where he asks the question “Will we be in danger if we open?” Here’s the link for you: https://spirituwellness.org/2020/05/13/danger/
In December 2018, Rev. Marta Valentin led First UU in Intentional Conversations that resulted in our “history wall” of microaggressions. Watch her moving Sunday sermon at 2019 General Assembly—“In This Delicate Turning: It Is Time Now” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSYq3PW-e1w (with captions). The sermon begins at 1:24:45 of the service. The entire service is very moving & well worth viewing in its entirety.
You’re invited to watch:
COVID-19 disproportionately affects poor people & Black & Brown communities & blame has been placed on China eliciting fear & discrimination against Asians & Asian-Americans. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) has produced a “Combating Anti-Asian Racism & COVID-19 Toolkit” to help illuminate anti-Asian racist scapegoating & to offer resources to combat it. Access the 8-pg document at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MKY_I0_s7NdoXJ0TvG3nm4YiOlRHZhZKg8OwROyXvII/edit
Learn about the history of our city’s, our congregation’s, & our denomination’s role as institutions that have caused harm to IP/POC (Indigenous People/People of Color). For a look at our city’s role, read “How Segregation Defined San Diego’s Neighborhoods” https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/neighborhoods/how-segregation-defined-san-diegos-neighborhoods/
Sign up for our February/March 2020 Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race & Ethnicity cohort. For information/dates/times, go to http://www.firstuusandiego.org/journey-toward-wholeness
Watch KPBS’s “First People – Kumeyaay” (51:42) an Emmy-nominated file about the Kumeyaay Nation—currently comprised of 13 reservations scattered across San Diego County & 4 in northern Baja California at https://video.kpbs.org/video/kpbs-presents-first-people/?fbclid=IwAR28ZmHI6pd1ghVEa4sB3GSrDRcN6zHo14LVbYAXFUnNNoGq0qxriS_D7Nc
Watch (or re-watch) the Sunday, October 6, Message “Reflections on Discomfort” presented by Beloved Conversations Retreat Leader, Rhonda Brown, & our own Pat Gordon & Scott GrantSmith (http://www.firstuusandiego.org/beloved-conversations-reflections-on-discomfort-by-rhonda-brown-pat-gordon-scott-grantsmith-10619) After reflecting on the message, consider signing up for the February/March 2020 Beloved Conversations session. Information & session days/times are on the Journey Toward Wholeness webpage (http://www.firstuusandiego.org/journey-toward-wholeness)
We all know the subject of race can be very touchy. Watch Mellody Hobson’s Ted Talk “Color Blind or Color Brave?” (14.03) to hear why she thinks it’s so important to start talking about race to make for a better society. https://www.ted.com/talks/mellody_hobson_color_blind_or_color_brave?language=en
Consider attending one or more days of the FREE San Diego State University Conference “Native Truth & Healing: The Genocide of the First Peoples of California.” The November 21-24 conference will include presentations, music, documentary films, & political action session. For more information & to register, go to https://www.sdsu.edu/conferences/native-truth-and-healing
Change is hard and institutional change—building a plane while flying it—is daunting. We did it when we transitioned to Policy Governance and we’re doing it again as we work to become more inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive. Why are we (and the UUA) doing this? Rev. Leslie Takahashi of the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change answers that question: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/commission-institutional-change/blog/why-institutional-change
Does the term “white supremacy culture” make you feel uncomfortable? Definitions are important as we continue our work to become radically inclusive and make changes to the institution that is First UU San Diego. Cir L L’Bert Jr. of the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change has written a blog post “A Note on Definitions” to clarify some “uncomfortable” terms:
Participants in our first Beloved Conversations program were changed by that experience. One of them—Rev. Jim Grant—found an article that helped him think more about white privilege. It might do the same for you: “Brief Encounters With White Men: I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked” by Claudia Rankine: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/17/magazine/white-men-privilege.html
A willingness to explore & learn is how we grow. “Ten Myths White People Believe About Racism” https://www.christiancentury.org/article/critical-essay/ten-myths-white-people-believe-about-racism, adapted from Carolyn B. Helsel's book Preaching About Racism: A Guide for Faith Leaders, published by Chalice Press, gives us a chance to explore, reflect, & grow.
Wondering what “white supremacy culture” is? Find out in “The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture” by Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun published in 2001. Read & reflect on the characteristics that show up in our congregation (& other organizations in your life): https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/white-supremacy-culture-characteristics.html
Can you identify the many aspects of White Privilege? In 1989, Peggy McIntosh published “Whte Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” She identifies 50 unearned privileges non-POC (non-People of Color) receive in our society that POC cannot claim. No better time to read it than now! https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf
This journey is individual & congregation-wide. We?ll be suggesting resources you can view, read, or listen to on your own; reflect upon; & discuss with others if you like. First, a short video "Systemic Racism Explained" (4:23): https:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ
Join members and friends of the Palestine-Israel Justice team for our first virtual book discussion. We will read: The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan
The discussion will take place on Sunday, August 2 at 4 pm (via Zoom).
In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a young Palestinian man, journeyed to Israel to revisit the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. When he arrived, he encountered Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a young Israeli woman, whose family fled Europe following the Holocaust. On the stoop of this treasured home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967.
Based on extensive research and his celebrated NPR documentary on the subject, Sandy Tolan tells the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspectives of these two individuals and their families, bringing it down to its most human level and suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities, there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.
To Join the Conversation: register here, and we’ll send you a reminder and the link to the Zoom meeting prior to August 2.
To Get the Book:
Free: City of San Diego Library sandiego.gov/public-library (8 copies, online order, with pickup at selected libraries)
Free: Libby app https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/ (1 copy, Borrow and read ebooks and audiobooks from the local public library for free.)
Used: abe.com starting at about $4.50, including shipping
Used: betterworldbooks.com starting at about $5.98, including shipping
New: Independent bookstores through bookshop.org $16.56 plus shipping
New & E-books: Barnes and Noble bn.com : book $16.50 / Nook $10.49
New/Used/E-books: amazon.com – new $13.26/ used starting at $5.20/ Kindle - $9.99
Audio: May be available through audible.com
Photo by Edgar Henríquez, LC on Unsplash
As Unitarian Universalists we must speak and act to stop the frequent, state-sanctioned violence committed against members of our shared community. The murders of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Tony McDade in Florida, and George Floyd in Minnesota, among so many others, were all committed by police or former police. Here in San Diego, we also see police brutality such as that perpetrated against an individual walking her dog on the beach as well as in La Mesa when a police officer had an altercation with a black man at a trolley station. This is not about a few rogue officers. This isn’t about the need for more training. This isn’t even about a change in leadership. Replacing one police chief with another is not enough if the pervasive racist system that empowers them is unchanged. The work of transforming our law enforcement and justice system into a true JUSTICE system will be long and difficult, messy and painful. We commit to that work, in solidarity with our partners. Violence against Black and Brown bodies, committed by officers of the law, demands this system must be remade.
The COVID-19 virus has further highlighted and worsened this country’s systemic inequities. The pandemic has struck Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities at much higher rates than non-Black, non-Indigenous, non-People of Color communities. This is yet another injustice heaped on the great mountain of injustice we as a country have created and allowed to fester - all compounded by the policing of Black and Brown lives to the point of death. All this creates the rage being expressed in the protests.
As people of faith who affirm and promote the interdependence of all life and the inherent dignity and worth of each person, we are called by Love to act.
It starts wherever we are…in ourselves, in our neighborhoods, in our congregations, throughout the San Diego region. It starts now. It starts with US.
From the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, Social Justice Executive Team in collaboration with our Journey Towards Wholeness team.
By Martin Kruming
On a warm, sunny day in March, San Diegans went to the polls. After showing identification, they received their ballots, stepped into voting booths, made their choices, handed the ballots to poll workers, and hurried off to work, home, or elsewhere. Thousands of miles away, citizens of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic surrounded by Russia, Iran and Turkey, showed up at polling stations on a cold, blustery day in February to choose members of the Azerbaijan Parliament. They showed IDs, took a ballot which they marked, returned it to the election officials, and stuck around to socialize with fellow voters. Two places-16 hours apart by plane-each trying to make democracy work during a very unsettling and confusing period in history.
By Tony Brumfield
I want to begin my reflection on resilience by talking about the tree outside our window. That tree needs certain things to withstand difficult times. For one, it needs to be firmly rooted. The Earth not only holds it in place but provides nutrients. The tree needs water. When a tree doesn't get enough water, or the quality of its water is poor, the tree becomes vulnerable to disease. Trees also need air. Trees breathe. Trees need sunlight. Sunlight, water, and air are needed for trees to generate food. The temperature of the air can neither be too hot nor too cold. But trees need more than physical things. Trees thrive best in a forest. I must say that we human beings need the trees in our lives. Not just the trees but all the other living things in our world. And they need us. The resilience of this world very much relies on us human beings being responsible, not just for us, but for all of life.
By Rev. Tanía Márquez, Assistant Minister
When I was 14 years old, while visiting my family's town in Southern Mexico, a group of friends invited me to climb to the church's bell tower from where we could see the procession of people coming into the town to celebrate its annual festival. To get to the bell tower, we had to go through a dark and narrow spiral staircase. While looking forward to the view from the town's highest building, the time we spent in the staircase seemed endless. I was afraid, mostly because it was hard to see beyond the step I was about to take, and it was the voices of the people I couldn't see, but who were there with me, that encouraged me to keep going.
By Maureen McNair
In June of 2019, four or five congregants attending the annual meeting in the Meeting House wrote down that their vision for the future of First UU included a food pantry or a soup kitchen. At the time, the primary concerns on the minds of most people at that meeting were things such as how we would respond to the offer from UCSD Medical Center to purchase our Hillcrest campus; whether we would expand our music, dance, and art programs; and, requests that we find more ways to enjoy meals together. I didn't believe those few requests to start a food pantry would make it into the top five goals of the new strategic plan the congregation was providing input for. But, those requests reflected such an acute and immediate need that, as a newly elected member of the Board of Trustees, I thought we should do something about them.
By Kathleen Swift, Family and Lifespan Ministry Director
Like most of us, your fears and anxieties over the coronavirus COVID-19 are probably elevated right now. Although the risk for children and young adults appears to be less than for older adults, news of this pandemic is changing daily and is alarming. Many parents are wondering how to talk about it with their children in away that is reassuring, but factual. According to experts at the Child Mind Institute, it's better to talk about it than avoid the subject. Your children have probably already seen people wearing masks and have heard stories from their friends. Not talking about it can make kids worry more.
On Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 we enjoyed a very moving and beautiful online ordination for Reverend Everett Howe. Press the play button to watch the recorded live stream go to our Facebook or YouTube pages to watch and see comments (and add your own). Go to our Facebook page | Go to our YouTube Channel | Download the Ordination Order of Service | Traducción al español .
Len and I spent six weeks trying to escape winter weather, on the Sea of Cortez, near Guaymas, Sonora, where it was a bit warmer than here on the Pacific Ocean. We rented a beautiful hacienda style house, steps from the shore. We settled in and adopted a daily routine: sleeping until the sun woke us, Len feeding and walking the dog while I cooked breakfast, enjoying the sun's warmth while eating breakfast on the patio, watching the fishermen, a diver, brown pelicans, seagulls and an occasional bottlenose dolphin begin their daily routine right in front of us. Getting acquainted with a new kitchen is always a bit challenging, but, after a few days, I could fix breakfast without too much difficulty. Until one morning when I lost the can of Pam Cooking Spray.
The South Bay food pantry will be open every Saturday in May from 11 am - 12:30 pm.
Our virtual annual meeting will be held on Sunday, June 28th at 1 pm. 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!
Hillcrest: bring your food donations to the Hillcrest parking lot every Saturday from 8am-9am. Deliver bags and boxes to the bed of Dana Tomlinson’s dark grey Ford pick-up truck with camper shell.
South Bay: deliver donations directly to the food pantry from 9:30am - 10 am. Get directions to either location.
Peanut butter is our most frequently requested food! We cannot buy it in bulk, so your individual donations of 1 or 2 jars makes a difference! Our other frequently requested items are:
Please join us on the First UU website home page on Saturday May 2nd, 2020 for the online Ordination of Everett Howe. Many UU ordinations include a laying-on of hands, where the people present give a blessing to the new minister and their ministry by a physical connection. The physical connection part is not going to be possible due to the need to stay safe through social distancing so instead, Everett has requested that anyone who is inclined can write a one- or two-word blessing for his ministry in large thick highly-visible letters on a piece of paper and take a selfie with the message. Messages can be anything from "Good Luck" to "We're With You" to whatever you like. When finished, email the photo to EverettsOrdination@gmail.com by midnight on Monday, April 27. We'll make a slide show of the photos we get and show it as part of the online service. As Everett says, "Seeing your friendly faces and your blessings will be a gift to start me on this new phase of ministry with a sense of the loving community that has supported me throughout. Thank you!" Remember to email your photo in by midnight on Monday, April 27th.
It’s time for preparation and submission of your Ministry Team / Affiliate Group / Committee reports for our 2020 Annual Report. Click here for your report instructions and template. Refer to our 2019 Annual Report here, and submit your reports and pictures no later than Friday, May 15 to Rose Riedel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the top 8 jobs where the pantry could use more support.
Here’s your video Easter gift from First UU Church! Take a moment to enjoy the wonderful flowers in bloom on our Hillcrest campus this week. Photos by Ray Evans. Music: “Morning Mood" from the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg.
Both one-time and monthly sustaining donations help us stay open! No amount is too small, or too large.
To donate by check:
Make your check payable to FUUSD, write "SB Food Pantry" in the memo line and mail to to FUUSD, 4190 Front St., San Diego, CA 92101, Attn: Robie Evans.
To donate by credit card:
Go to firstuusandiego.org/donations.html.
Follow the steps and under "Fund" select "SB Food Pantry."
Remember to select the frequency for your donation.
Photos by John and Peggy Holl. Click for a larger view.
Because we’re doing all we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and staying at home, we won’t be gathering for our traditional Seder ritual and dinner. And we still want and need to acknowledge this important time. Passover begins tonight at sundown and ends at sundown on April 16th. According to an article in Sunday’s Union Tribune on Religion and Spirituality, many know this year’s Passover will be different. While gathering together with families and strangers for the traditional meals will not happen this year, they can happen virtually. Even in the most traditional practices of Judaism, permission from Rabbis has been given to use social media platforms to gather virtually for the Passover ritual and meal. As Rabbi Laurie Coskey says, “We’ll all have our tables set with our ritual foods, and we’ll all come together as best we can. …Although no theological significance can be attributed to the pandemic, a sense of the vulnerability for our humanity and our need for connection is heightened at a time when we cannot be comforted by our loved ones or beloved rituals in ways we have in the past.” However, she says, “rituals and connections are what nourish our humanity” and so Passover will be observed. Here’s a link on how this year’s Passover can happen for you. May this year’s observance inspire deeper connections to all you hold dear. https://jewishfed.org/news/events/webinar-how-host-virtual-seder
Church member and psychologist Lynn Northrop and her colleague Amanda Mendez are sharing an important tool for self-care in the time of COVID-19. This tool, rooted in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, was created by psychologist Russ Harris. I hope you find this helpful and my deep appreciation to Lynn and Amanda for sharing this tool. ~ Rev. Kathleen Download a worksheet based on the video worksheet en Espaniol | worksheet in English.
We want you to participate in our Flower Communion. You’re invited to send a selfie with a flower and email your photo to Tony at Tony@firstuusandiego.org Please send it by Thursday, 4/9/2020, at noon. Thanks!
Hello friends. It's Meditation Monday. Here to lead us today is Rev. Kathleen.
During this time of physical distancing, it is more important than ever to maintain our social ties to our communities. This is why we will be taking our Social Hour online, starting Sunday, April 5th!
Join us on Zoom after Sunday service for an opportunity to chat in small groups with friendly faces that you would usually see in Bard Hall or on the Patio. Feel free to bring your own mug of coffee or tea to sip while connecting with folks.
The Social Hour meeting will begin at 10:30, using the meeting ID 824-042-297. This meeting will require a different password each week, which will be communicated during the Sunday Service Live Stream - so stay tuned! If you have trouble accessing the meeting, please contact Jenner at email@example.com.
This Zoom meeting will include the use of Breakout Rooms so that we have an opportunity to talk in small, randomized groups and can avoid the chaos of all being in the same meeting at once! Please see the below tips (courtesy of Rev. Sharon Wylie from Chalice UU Congregation) that should help you navigate this new method of doing Social Hour in a way that is enjoyable for all!
The First UU Church of San Diego blog is your resource for upcoming events and past event recaps. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!