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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Last December while volunteers were assembling heavy duty shelving for the pantry, we had our first pantry client — a homeless woman who cut through our parking lot with her grocery cart, said she was hungry, and asked us for food. Since that informal and humble beginning, in less than a year, and during a global health pandemic, we have already distributed 80,000 pounds of food into our South Bay community. Last Saturday, we had our largest client line to date. We gave food to 144 heads of household representing over 600 family members. Thank you for the continued generosity that allows our food supply to grow to meet the growing needs of our community.
As the summer winds down and autumn begins, registration opens for another year of Wisdom Circles at First Church! These small groups, made up of around twelve people each, meet monthly to connect with one another and discuss readings and curriculum designed around the church theme of the month.
Wisdom Circles meet from fall through late spring, and take a break for the summer. Some people choose to remain in the same Wisdom Circle year after year, while others change groups each year in order to meet and get to know new people. Either way, the deep sharing that happens within the Wisdom Circle format allows participants to cultivate long-lasting friendships and a sense of community.
We are less than three months away from the General Election on November 3, 2020. All California voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot with prepaid postage for the General Election. To make sure that you get your ballot, double-check your voter registration at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.
Tip of the Week: Planting a shade tree is a visible and affordable way to take local climate action. Trees absorb carbon, reduce water and air pollution, provide wildlife habitat and help cool the planet. Decades of inequitable investments in San Diego communities can be reduced by planting trees in neighborhoods that lack them. The Kate Sessions Commitment invites communities to plant 100 trees in their neighborhoods. Reserve your five-gallon tree today.
Take some time to reflect on the following questions to help you find your voice:
By Maureen McNair
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.
We have assembled a list of the best anti-racism articles, books, social media feeds and videos we know of to help people learn about a wide range of topics relating to racism. Please invest in yourself, your family, your community and our world by viewing and sharing these links and, more importantly, we hope you'll join us in taking the steps shared herein to begin to heal our world.
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.
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.
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.
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