TUCSONITARIAN - August 2016, Page 1

The monthly newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711, 520-748-1551, www.uuctucson.org - - Newsletter editor: Craig Rock  at duniterock@gmail.com


Do You Have a UU Story To Tell, a Social Justice Concern, a Poem, an Announcement?

Welcome to the new format of The Tucsonitarian. News stories, photographs, poems and other media will explore UU-related themes both local and national in scope. Announcements are also welcome. All material should be submitted by the 24th of the month to Craig's email.

Of special interest in this edition are articles on communicating within the UUCT community, and  reports from the Transition Team and Finance Committee (page 2) Krista Tippett's talk at the UUA's General Assembly on the decline and rebirth of our social and political institutions is fascinating (page 3). See other story listings below.

The flag advertising water and medical care at the No More Deaths medical encampment near Arivaca. 

See story and photos on page 3.

President's Column
by Frank Valdes

Let's talk!  I know, I know, UUs are supposed to be all about talk.  But more seriously, communication within our beloved community is one of our most important responsibilities. I have had many people recently tell me how happy they are to hear and be heard.

Before telling you about the many different ways we have to communicate at UUCT, let's be mindful that there is good and bad communication.  In particular, communication has to be respectful, not hurtful, not accusatory, and said with thoughtfulness.  One of the worst problems in our age of electronic media, particularly email and messaging, is firing off something without thought and hurting people, intentionally or not.  Gossiping or bossing (especially of staff) are also not productive.  We have agreed to avoid such practices through our Covenant of Right Relations and we have to always think about the proper uses of email and messaging within our beloved community.

We, your leaders, hope to engage you in discussions this fall through forums after church on Sundays. Topics on the radar are how UUCT is governed, what changes might be considered, and how UUCT will address its debt. There will also be occasional workshops, including the one announced by our Interim Transition Team in this newsletter (page 2). The leadership holds ongoing meetings, announced in email and the Order of Service.  If you are interested in any topic, please attend to receive updates, bring concerns forward, and discuss issues.  These are the "Call to the Congregation" meetings (normally the Sunday before Board of Trustees meetings now scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month) which include members of the Board, the Executive Team, the Finance Committee, and other leaders.

Our UUCT website, uuctucson.org, is a primary medium for communication and contains a wealth of information.  One recent addition is the Annual Report for the past church year (2015-2016).  Of special importance, if you really want to know what is happening in your congregation, are the meeting minutes of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Team. They meet regularly and are committed to publishing minutes.  The minutes are available on our website under the Members menu.  This menu, whose content is only visible to members and friends when they log in using the box at the right, contains our minutes, governance documents, reports and other important information.  If you need the login information, contact the office or webmaster (see the Contact Us menu item).  The Board has taken the action of posting minutes as soon as the secretary has prepared them, even before their next meeting.  But keep in mind, it is hard work being the secretary, so the timeliness can vary.

We hope to continue to add information to our website.  One new development will be adding a document for our key committees and teams that describes their Charge (what they are about) and Covenant (how they agree to do the work for the church).  These will be published so that you may understand, "What does the Executive Team or Finance Committee do and not do?"

Email is one of the forms of communication most used today.  UUCT uses a subscription email system to send weekly and important email notices.  If you are a member or friend of UUCT who uses email, you should subscribe and make sure you read them and that they are not automatically sent to junk mail.  You can subscribe via the church website, through phone or email to our office (office@uuctucson.org), or via the yellow card in the back of each hymnal.

On the subject of email, you will have noticed the importance of remembering uuctucson.org.  Email addresses are available for all staff and various groups at this domain.  Many of these can be found on the Home/Contact Us item on our website.  One new email to bring to your attention is questions@uuctucson.org - an electronic question and suggestion box.

Another form of communication is our Facebook page (Unitarian Universalist Church-Tucson).  If you Facebook, you should definitely connect with us there.  You can find announcements and interesting social posts on our Facebook page.

Please come to service regularly to enjoy the variety of UU worship forms. There are always announcements in the Order of Service.  Then you can also avail yourself of the old-fashioned form of communication, "talking”!  I would be happy to talk with you on Sunday or by phone, as I believe all our leaders would be.

And finally, this newsletter is appearing in a new format.  I covenant with you that your President or another member of the Board of Trustees will write a monthly column.

I conclude with an item of special symbolic significance: after more than a decade of talk, planning, retrenching, and fundraising, we have a new sign for our church, one that will be more visible and let us communicate with the Tucson community that drives by.  Yay!

Let’s talk -- openly and respectfully.

Yours in faith, Frank Valdes

Site Contents
Page 1 - President's Column, Justice Digest, New Ken Burn's film on UUs during Nazi era, Office Manager resignation, Announcements.

Page 2 - Lifespan Faith Development, All About the Finance
    Committee, Transition Team Report, Farewell to the Dowgierts,

Page 3 - Tippett's Art & Mystery of Living, No More Deaths, Sewing
    Cooperative in Aqua Prieta.

by Craig Rock

The Inherent Dignity of All People

Our first UU Principle 

During the last few months we heard stories about so many atrocities. We became enraged, or depressed, and/or almost numb from news reports of continued police shootings of Black Americans, of a few taking revenge on police, of suicide bombings, of people dying on the desert or drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing despotic regimes. Was it the same numbness felt by previous generations when they heard, for example, about the massacres of American Indian villages, the inhumanity of slavery, the lives lost in the U.S. Civil War, and the people murdered in Nazi concentration camps? Will atrocities continue forever?

As members of a Unitarian Universalist church, how do we respond?  Stories in this issue attempt to address this topic. We focus on Ken Burns' new film about Unitarians in WWII Europe, UUCT’s No More Deaths ministry, Krista Tippett's presentation at the UUA General Assembly, and seven women working for their community in an Agua Prieta sewing collective. 

Defying the Nazis, the Sharps' War

(Unitarians in Action, PBS Showing September 20)

Ken Burns’ new film Defying the Nazis, the Sharp's War (and the related book from UUA's Beacon Press) tells the story of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, two young Unitarians who stood up boldly against injustice to defy the Nazis and rescue Jews, dissidents, and other refugees during WWII. 

These past few years have been life-threatening to many refugees who approach our borders and are turned back or deported to neighboring countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and even Mexico, where they face uncertain futures because of civil strife or gang warfare. Many die crossing our desert.

More recently, there also been a rise in Islamophobic rhetoric with various politicians calling for a religious test for refugees, a "ban" on Muslim immigrants, and the surveillance and profiling of Muslim neighborhoods. In this time of rising bigotry and scapegoating, Unitarian Universalists are called to stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors.

If you are interested in joining a UUCT social justice group to address these concerns, contact Michelle Maliniak (mjmtucsonaz@aol.com) or Craig Rock (duniterock@gmail.com) for more information. 

The above information is partially taken from a UUA/UUSC press release.


Office Manager Resignation

Our Office Manager, Ashley Davis, has resigned effective August 5, 2016. She served UUCT faithfully for 5 years and is now moving on to other endeavors. The Church is grateful for her years of service through the good times and the bad times. Please wish her well when you see, phone, or email her, and cards of congratulations and good wishes would be appropriate, but honor her privacy as well. She was a beloved member of our staff and congregation.

The remaining staff and the Executive Team are working on a transition plan to insure the most important duties of the Office Manager are covered. It is our duty as members of our beloved community to understand that things will change and that some things will take longer or even be eliminated. Also please wait to volunteer to help, which I'm sure many of you will consider, until the transition plan is determined and announcements are made.

With a fond farewell,

Frank Valdes for the Congregation