A Special Message from Rev. Justine Sullivan, Developmental Lead Minister
I have spent the last few days, as I imagine many of you have, reading about and watching news accounts of the horrific violence that is occurring in Israel and the surrounding areas. Many of us have loved ones with direct ties to the affected area. All of us are heartbroken by the terrible loss of life and the escalating bloodshed. In our congregations and across our movement, the conversations about the conflicts between Israel and her Palestinian neighbors have been difficult. As passionate people of faith, committed to justice, we must engage issues that are complicated, and which contain multiple stories and points of view. Doing so with compassion and respect is not always easy. I call for prayer for the all those caught in the crossfire, all those worried for the safety of those who have been kidnapped, all those mourning their dead. All are beloved, and we pray for their comfort and safety. We pray also for a way forward. On Wednesday, October 11, we will gather for a brief time of prayer, meditation, and song at 6:30 pm in Bard Hall. We will light a chalice, offer prayers for peace, and Marshall will lead us in song. I will offer a similar time for prayer from South Bay. On Friday, October 13, at South Bay at 6:30 pm, please join me in person or on Zoom using this link: https://bit.ly/Southbayprayervigil10-13-23. Beloveds, at moments like this I am especially grateful to be part of a faith movement that can as Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt calls us to do “center justice as we call for peace.” And I am ever grateful to serve our faith with you.
Natalia Molina Author Talk, Book Sale & Signing - A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community
7:30-9pm Sunday, April 30th, 2023 presented by Front Street Productions
MacArthur Genius Natalia Molina unveils the hidden history of the Nayarit, a restaurant in Los Angeles that nourished its community of Mexican immigrants with a sense of belonging.
In the 1950s and 60s, a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles was much more than a popular eating spot: it was an urban anchor whose ethnic Mexican workers and customers formed a robust community. Molina illuminates the many facets of the immigrant experience from racism and segregation to family and community networks, the cross-currents of gender and sexuality, and the small pleasures of daily life. The Nayarit was a space where people could speak out, claim space, and belong. Natalia's editor, our own Isabella Furth, will be on hand along with staff from Libélula Books & Co, an independent book store in Barrio Logan, which will be handling book sales at our reception afterwards. Join us! Registration is free but required, sign up for your free tickets.
by Rhea Kuhlman, South Bay Food Pantry Volunteer.
At the South Bay Food Pantry, we never know until the last minute what kinds of fresh produce we’ll receive from the San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego, or how much meat or bread will be available for our families on Saturday. But one thing we can always be sure of is that the bags of shelf stable goods the mid-week baggers put together every week will contain good healthy food that can keep a family going, regardless of what else is available. The SBFB always keeps on hand stores of non-perishable items to supplement the fresh and frozen items we distribute each Saturday
What is SJET doing in January?
Help First UU become more of a “happening place” and promote more multi-generational, ethnic, racial, and class diversity at First UU, including greater offerings for events - among members, attendees and families. The Board has created a new board committee to administer the Outreach and Growth Fund (OGF) that was created as part of the generous Renewal and Growth Fund donation to the church in late 2021.
First UU has been selected by Project New Village to receive the Fannie Lou Hamer award at the annual celebration to honor the legacy of that great civil rights leader. The event date is to be announced and the award ceremony will take place at the San Diego Port Pavilion. We hope to purchase a number of tickets to encourage our members to attend. More information will be forthcoming soon. If you're interested in attending please contact Steve Gelb firstname.lastname@example.org.
UU's in action! SOLACE volunteer Farrah Karapetian teamed with Rebecca Merton, Freedom for Immigrants staff to write a multi person medical and mental health neglect report. The result is that Otay Mesa Detention Center asylum seeker S. received the MRI he needed and was enabled to get help from a law firm to file a stronger request for disability accommodations at Otay Mesa Detention Center. Learn more about our SOLACE program.
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.
When a BBIPoC person shares that they've been harmed by racism, please learn to listen and respond with compassion. It may seem that we hear about racism in our church more often than in our other spaces. This is not because racism is not happening elsewhere, it is because we have members who trust us with their truth because our principles say that we will hear them. How to Respond with Compassion when Someone is Hurt by Racism.
SOLACE is a visitation program that comforts and supports persons held in immigration detention, tells their stories, and advocates for humane immigration policy. SOLACE offers a friendly visitor to end the isolation and affirm the dignity and worth of those who request a visit. Many people I've spoken to did not know we were back in as a presence at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. This is our 3rd life as SOLACE. We have to keep reinventing ourselves as we've been suspended three times. Two times because they changed the paperwork and agreements we needed to sign to enter the Detention Center? which would effectively have taken away our First Amendment rights. There were many visits to Congressional offices both times to find a way to get back in, as well as phone calls, and needed visits to pro bono attorneys. UURISE (Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education, Inc.) was one of the organizations we consulted with about this.
Following the leadership of BIPOC folks & admitting we can (& do) harm others are important learnings. Gain some insights by listening to:
From our partners at the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC):
"Thank you to everyone for your hard work in making the 2020 TRUTH Act Forum a success! Collectively we:
Journey Toward Wholeness: What Can I Do? Learn about the role of race in Biden's victory & Trump's relative success by listening to NPR's podcast "How Whiteness Affected the Election" (35:39). Listen to Krista Tippett's interview [51:00] with a trauma specialist "Resmaa Menakem in Conversation with Robin DiAngelo." It has made an impression with Beloved Conversations Virtual participants and may challenge you.
Read our UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick Gray's UU World column "A Message to White Unitarian Universalsists" about how her attitudes on policing has changed over the past years & the resource list at the end of the article. Then watch the brief (2:13) interview with Sonya Renee Taylor on combating racism with action.
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.
by Jan Garbosky
Have you heard, said, or thought:
Written for Beacon Broadside by Howard Bryant, correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition & featured speaker ("Full Dissidence") at June's UU Virtual General Assembly (GA). Thanks go to Mary Severine for the suggestion. Read "Policing Is the Glue of Whiteness".
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.
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.
By Stevie K. Carmody, Intern Minister
Many months have passed since this protest, but the learnings have stuck with me, and the urgency of this call has not abated. Because of my short (3 hour) detention and the ensuing Federal Misdemeanor charge, I waited to offer something to this blog until after my court date had passed. On May 8th, I pleaded guilty in court to a charge of “nonconformity to the lawful orders of a federal agent.” Those detained and charged that day were ordered to pay a fine and perform community service. Here’s the story of that day, to complement Rev. Kathleen’s account on this blog, and offer my own reflections:
Love knows no borders. Not only is this a truth in the reality of people’s lives and experience today – it has always been a truth – we’ve been loving beyond and across barriers and borders since we knew we could love. And earlier this month, Love Knows No Borders was also a campaign, organized by the American Friends Services Committee – a campaign to draw attention to what has been happening to migrant families, to people living in dangerous circumstances and crippling poverty who walked for weeks to our border, to seek asylum, to try for a better life for themselves and their present and future children. In spite of the horrible treatment our government has imposed on families already living in this country – separating families, taking children out of the arms of their parents (15,000 children currently living in temporary tent cities and shelters), the caravan of people from Latin America came in hope. And though I was recently back from part 1 of my sabbatical, I knew I needed to participate. I had to respond to the immoral and inhumane behavior of my government and how they were treating people who were coming to our border to ask for asylum.
Text of the speech delivered by Rev. Kathleen Owens at the San Diego Organizing Project's Border Wall Press Conference in San Ysidro.
"Good afternoon, I’m the Rev. Kathleen Owens, Lead Minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego answering the call of Love. We are here to speak the truth – that unless we are of Indigenous Native American or Mexican heritage, we are all immigrants on this land. We’re here to name the truth that immigrants have always made this country better…that we need bridges, not walls."
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