By Pantry Volunteer Rhea Kuhlman
There was a lot going on at the Pantry as we built up to an exciting Dia de Los Muertos week distribution. The Sunday before, we finally got our gigantic almost-new commercial refrigerator, transported on Valerie Jaque’s even more giant (and ancient, and extremely green) horse trailer, appropriately dubbed The Pickle. A hearty team of volunteers, including Robert, Manny, and Jim, valiantly wrestled the old fridge, now hobbling on its very last legs, out the door and adroitly maneuvered the new fridge in, accompanied by vociferous instructions from our devoted team of back seat drivers.
By Nina D., South Bay Pantry Volunteer
The mission of the South Bay Food Pantry is to serve nutritious food and other basics to people living with food insecurity in the community. We strive to maximize our impact through careful stewardship of donated funds and goods and volunteer hours (i.e., we shamelessly beg, borrow and steal before dipping into our savings.) The frugality and creativity of our volunteers have led to some innovative practices at the pantry, some of which also provide a bit of comic relief.
By Nina D., South Bay Pantry Volunteer
The South Bay Food Pantry has grown in many ways since it was founded by Maureen McNair three years ago. The number of clients benefitting from the variety of food items, period products, Covid tests and infant and adult diapers we provide has increased to over 300 families each week. The volunteer contingent has also increased, from a handful of FUUSD-connected individuals to a large group of FUUSD and South-Bay based volunteers active throughout the week.
Flamenco dancer, Lakshmi Basile "La Chimi" delivered a dynamic show to a full house last Friday night at First UU Church of San Diego. Accompanied by Jeff Basile on Bass, David Morales on violin, Kambiz Pakan on guitar and special guest singer Pepele Mendez, La Chimi guided the audience through a magical Flamenco journey - to enthusiastic applause.
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White People for Racial Justice 101 Workshop
Sunday, October 16, 2022 1:00-5:30pm
Hybrid event, join us in-person at the Hillcrest Campus or on Zoom
Please register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you plan to attend in-person or on Zoom
Presented by Showing Up for Racial Justice-San Diego (SURJ-SD) in partnership with the Journey Toward Wholeness (JTW) core team at First UU
Join us for an interactive workshop where we will go over the basics of systemic racism and white supremacy in the U.S., and explore such topics as microaggressions and why they matter, how “white fragility” operates to maintain white privilege and dominance, and why white anti-racists need to call in other white people. Bring your questions! Participants will gain practical tools for examining our socialized biases and behaviors as white people, recognizing and interrupting everyday racism (including our own), and taking accountable action in multiracial movements for racial justice. Most importantly, this workshop is a space for white people to strengthen our anti-racist resilience and commitment by talking honestly and caringly together about race, racism, and our own stake in ending white supremacy.
Pre-registration is encouraged for this 4 1/2-hour workshop. Registration is open to all interested members of the UU community, and people of all identities are welcome. However, please be aware that this workshop will be facilitated by white members of SURJ-SD, with a primary focus on basic anti-racist learning, reflection, and discussion for people who are white, white-presenting, and/or benefit from white privilege. Some exercises and breakout sessions may be in caucus. For covid safety and because this will be an active and interactive workshop, space may be limited. For questions and more information, please contact email@example.com
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups and individuals working for racial justice by undermining white supremacy. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. SURJ-SD builds accountability relationships with local racial justice organizations led by people of color. At our monthly chapter meetings and in our action teams, we provide space to learn, connect, and take action.
Journey Toward Wholeness (JTW) is the Unitarian Universalist Association's initiative, which implements each congregation's anti-racism, anti-oppression commitment on a church-wide basis. At First Church, this group focuses on dismantling racism, eradicating oppression, and on bringing about transformation through increased awareness.
By Nina D, Pantry Volunteer
Volunteer participation with the South Bay Food Pantry has led folks like Jeff and me to many valuable new experiences, relationships, and awareness we otherwise would not have developed. A recent example is with the Sunrise Chapter of the Chula Vista Rotary Club.
Friday, October 7th, 7:30-9pm
Featuring singer Pepele Mendez from Southern Spain
Front Street Productions presents a showcase of traditional dance, singing, guitar, and incorporating alternative instruments - not to be missed! Flamenco dancer, Lakshmi Basile "La Chimi" oozes sensuality, strength, and emotion as she dances, glides and taps on the wooden dance floor. Her expressive face, feet and hands show her graceful passion for flamenco. Sometimes it seems almost like she is in a trance as the music and her body become one. La Chimi, as she is known in the flamenco world, may have been born in California but her soul is pure southern Spain. She brings her love of flamenco to San Diego. Joining her is Jeff Basile on Bass, David Morales on violin, Kambiz Pakan on guitar with special guest singer Pepele Mendez. Not to be missed! Register for your free seats.
By Nina D., Pantry Volunteer
Our Food Pantry ministry began quite modestly nearly three years ago, with just a few boxes of canned goods in the front room of Suite 101 at the South Bay Campus. Former FUUSD board member Maureen McNair’s mission to serve South Bay community members facing food insecurity has become a significantly larger and more complex operation, providing nutritious food and other necessary basics (including infant diapers, feminine hygiene products and Covid-19 test kits) to over 300 households each week. We can thank Maureen for her vision to create a pantry system based on best food acquisition and distribution practices, and for establishing strong collaborative ties with community food justice organizations such as Feeding San Diego https://feedingsandiego.org and the San Diego Food Bank https://sandiegofoodbank.org.
by Valerie Jaques, Pantry Coordinator
I started with the pantry about 2 years ago, when Tony Bianca shared on Facebook a plea for someone with a truck to help with a weekly large shopping trip at the San Diego Food Bank. I said, sure, why not, at least for a few months I should be able to handle it. I’m one of very few members of First Church who happens to own a large pickup truck. Might as well make use of it to help my community. Somehow, I am now the Pantry Coordinator.
An audience of about 280 enjoyed this evening of modernist classical music from the early 20th century by Taneyev, Schoenberg, Janáček, Ravel and others. Funded by the Outreach and Growth Fund and produced by Front Street Productions, this event featured the La Jolla Music Society's fellowship artists: the Aestas Trio and the Pelia Quartet.
The Outreach and Growth Fund's Front Street Productions is excited to present this concert featuring La Jolla Music Society's Fellowship Artists. Works by Ravel, Janacek, Taneyev and Schoenberg will be performed by the Aestas Trio (piano trio) and the Pelia Quartet (string quartet), without intermission. This concert is free and not to be missed! You must register to attend this open-seating concert through Eventbrite. Questions? Contact Robie Evans. Read more for artist bios and videos but first, register for your free seats while they last!.
by Rhea Kuhlman, Pantry Volunteer
Around 7:30 each Saturday morning, an enormous white truck rumbles into the parking lot at 970 Broadway in Chula Vista, and the driver starts unloading pallets. Out pour cases of fresh fruits and vegetables – strawberries, melons or plums in the summer, apples or pears in the winter – and squash, potatoes, cabbages and tomatoes, depending on the season. The truck driver then unloads pallets of dry goods – maybe tuna and beans, oatmeal and pasta or rice. On a good day, there’s boxed milk, too. Each case of food is carefully placed on pallets so that no food ever touches the ground.
Roughly 190 attendees enjoyed a musical afternoon on the patio of the First Church Hillcrest campus listening, singing along, clapping and tapping to the rhythms - enjoying being together and having a good time. Entertainers included the Front Street Troubadours, Carolyn and Tom Owen-Towle, Drew Massicot, the South Bay Singers, the Ferrier Brothers, Penny Whistlers, Keith Mesecher and more performing a sparkling variety of folk music. The UU Men’s Fellowship provided free snacks, drinks, ice cream bars and popsicles for everyone.
We have been working to make assembling inside our Meeting House as safe and comfortable as possible for all attendees. Here are some details about our current ventilation system.
Green Rectangles - Incoming air ducts. Currently all air is pulled from the canyon outside pushed into the building through ducts at the front sides back and across the middle of the Meeting House. This air is under pressure and will take the easiest path to get out of the building.
Our Summer Hootenanny
Overwhelming turnout for special food distribution reflects increased food insecurity
A Fond Farewell from Rev. Suzelle
Dear Members and Friends of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego! As the end of my time with you as Minister in Residence (June 30) draws near, let me simply say that it has been a pleasure to serve as one of your ministers during this year of transition. I love the spirit of your church, your talented and hardworking staff, your caring and committed Board and lay leaders, and the curiosity and warmth of the members I’ve met from both campuses. Though I met only about 1/3 of the members, and only experienced three months with you, I can still say with joyful authority that though you’ve been having some painful struggles, your congregation has great strength at its core!
Your love for one another in multigenerational community, your deep desire to be of service to your wider community, your growing attention to the need for restorative healing within the church that is beginning to loosen the knots of pain and mistrust, and your ongoing committed work to grow in awareness of the white racism and other biases that hold you back – these will serve you well as you move into the future. And you have an excellent Lead Developmental Minister heading your way this summer! I’ll keep you in my heart and prayers as you and Rev. Justine Sullivan come to know one another and begin living into your mission.
There are a thousand compliments I could give your staff and lay leaders, but I really want to be brief… You have dozens of amazing, hard-working folks among you who have helped FUUSD carry on through the ongoing pandemic and through this year-of-many-ministers. So allow me to explicitly recognize just three people. First, Marcia Biller, who isn’t just a strong leader, she’s also generously allowed all your Ministers in Residence to stay in her “granny flat.” Her hospitality and kindness have been a wonderful gift. Second – Rev. Julie Forest, whose vision for a very unusual year of ministry, great love for our faith and FUUSD, and strong Board leadership carried the day! And finally, my dear colleague the Rev. Dr. Omega Burckhardt! She’s a marvel of a minister with so many gifts and skills as a leader! It’s been a joy to work alongside her.
Though I’m looking forward to reuniting with my partner Tom Ness and returning home to Wisconsin, I’ll miss you! I hope you’ll come to church on 6-19 or 6-26 and say goodbye.
Blessings to you all,
Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister in Residence
By Rhea Kuhlman, South Bay Food Pantry Volunteer
Church member Adrienne Kaplan wanted to do something for people who don’t have a lot of the material advantages that she and her husband Matt are fortunate to have, so she volunteered to help out at the Food Pantry. Every Friday morning for the past year, Adrienne has picked up food from a Food for Less market in Chula Vista that would otherwise have been disposed of. It’s food that may be nearing its “Best By” date but is still perfectly good, or food that is judged to be surplus for a variety of other reasons. On a good day, she reports, she gets lots of frozen meat and chicken, foods which are sometimes in short supply and highly sought after by pantry clients. She often retrieves bread or frozen dinners. At the store, she carefully checks the temperature of any meat or dairy products to be sure they’ve been stored safely, and then checks the temps again as she weighs the food she received that day and stores it safely at the Pantry. This record keeping is important to comply with state law. There’s a lot of food available, and some days, she says, food is stacked up to the ceiling in her four-door sedan.
Annual Meeting June 12, 2022 at 1 pm
Webinar ID 854 7182 1255 Passcode: 993339
Annual Meeting Notification and Agenda 06-12-2022
Annual Meeting Minutes 06-20-2021
FY 21-22 Financials and FY 22-23 Budget Presentation
by Nina Douglass, South Bay Food Pantry Volunteer
A very active and committed South Bay Food Pantry volunteer was surprised to be asked recently how much she is paid for her pantry work. All who work at the pantry are volunteers! No one receives monetary compensation for their hours of work, nor reimbursement for the use of their vehicle or gas expenses for trips to retrieve food (though reimbursement for such expenses would be provided to anyone who requested it.)
74 events and services have been created and the auction commences today and bidding will continue through June 30, 2022. Help for bidding will be available on the patio after worship services every Sunday through June - come and see Robie Evans or Dan Paul at the tech table after service!
If you remember your bidding number from 2019, it's the same one! And, if you've been a bidder in the past, you may have already received an email from us with a direct link to the auction website. Be sure to make sure you're registered!
IMPORTANT: Download our How To Guide for ease in registering and bidding online.
We appreciate your participation in this important fundraiser and church community-building project. If you have any questions, please email Dave Hunt or Robie Evans. Thank you and good luck in bidding on your favorite events! Register and view the catalog at our Auction website.
Join First Church member Dr. Rebecca Fielding-Miller on June 21 at 6 pm to learn about the results of our recent congregational COVID-19 priority survey. This townhall will cover stated congregational priorities, recommended strategies to keep ourselves safe, and some recent updates on scientific knowledge on the state of the pandemic. Dr. Fielding-Miller is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the UC San Diego School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the UCSD School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health. She holds a PhD in public health from Emory University, and a Masters of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Join the Meeting at https://bit.ly/C19SurveyResults
What's In That Bag?
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
Report on COVID-19 Congregational Priorities and Recommendations. We have completed a comprehensive report on our San Diego COVID-19 congregational priorities and recommendations. View the report.
Parking Lot Gifts and Gratitude
By Nina Douglass, South Bay Food Pantry Volunteer
The parking lot of 907 Broadway is like that of any other Chula Vista strip mall on weekdays. On Saturdays, however, the lot is transformed by hundreds of South Bay Food Pantry volunteers and clients. Volunteers arrive by 8am to receive and stage hundreds of pounds of canned and other dry goods, fresh produce and Starbucks bakery items from the big Feeding San Diego truck. By then, many pantry guests are already waiting for the 9am distribution of numbers which serve to organize the line-up for the 11am - 12:30pm food distribution. The few trees at the site provide welcome shade for people waiting to collect their food.
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!