The monthly newsletter of the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson
4831 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711, 520-748-1551, www.uuctucson.org. 
To view previous editions of the newsletter, click here.
Newsletter editor: Craig Rock at newsletter@uuctucson.org.

Send us your editorials, stories, poems and photos.

Navigating this 4-page newsletter: Link onto the desired page at the top or bottom of each page.

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UUCT team serves neighbors at the Tucson Interfaith HIV AIDS Network monthly lunch. See story at the bottom of this column. 

Contribute to UUA's Disaster Relief Fund

Our UU friends and neighbors in Florida and the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—have experienced extraordinary devastation following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

We invite you to contribute to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund (formerly the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund) so the UUA can provide financial assistance to UU congregations impacted by these and other natural disasters. In addition to facilitating their own disaster recovery, congregations receiving disaster relief funds will have discretion to provide financial assistance to their members, as well as to support local partner organizations serving the community at large. The Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) may apply on behalf of CLF members living in disaster areas. 

Puerto Rico's situation is especially severe. To contribute aid beyond the Unitarian Universalist sphere, there are many organizations on the ground doing important work, such as United for Puerto Rico, a collaboration between the Government of Puerto Rico and the Private Sector. 

We know that long after the initial clean-up, real recovery can take months or years. Your donations will allow the UUA to respond flexibly to this tragedy and to new situations as they arise.

Donate to the Disaster Relief Fund | Funds raised to date: $145,000+ (updated 10/15/17)

To donate by mail, please make check payable to the UUA with "Disaster Relief Fund" on the memo line, and send to UUA Gift Processing, 24 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210.

UUCT President's Report
by Frank Valdes

What are the key things for UUCT's financial health?  There are many, including the intangible but all important enthusiasm and morale of you, the members, which is currently excellent.  Of course in budget terms it is the balance of expenditures and income.  Here I want to talk about the income side.  In particular, the pledging and the fund raising activities which are part of the "Ways and Means" portfolio in our new organizational structure.  In a small reassignment of portfolios within the Board of Trustees I have adopted Ways and Means as my specific area of oversight; which is why I want to talk with you about it in this month's column.

The pledging, and subsequent fulfillment, is the biggest part of our income in Ways and Means.  Therefore a good pledge drive is critical each year.  We depend on the important work of a pledge team to lead us each year.  This work needs to begin soon in terms of planning for the actual drive in the early spring.  I am now calling upon you to volunteer to join the team.  And the team needs a captain so I am also calling for someone to be a leader.  The captain does not do all the work nor is necessarily the spokesman.  The captain is someone who marshals the team and leads the planning.  Let me know of your interest by email (fvaldes@cox.net), phone, or in person.

The other area of Way and Means that plays a part in our financial health is fund raising.  This includes various events, like the annual auction, and programs, such as Amazon Smile.  In the past these have worked largely independently.  However, I am proposing that we work together more in the form of a Fund Raising Activities Council and provide coordinated scheduling and reporting.  Events and programs still need to operate as individual teams but they, especially the leaders, will gain support and advice by coming together to brainstorm and talk together periodically.  Others who may have good ideas for fund raising but are not already involved with current programs will have a place to come and share their great ideas which may be "outside the box.”  For example, how about a cake auction or, even more outrageously, a date auction?  Something else which we need are ideas for how to bring in money from outside of the congregation since there is a limit to how much we can keep asking ourselves for.

We will hold a kick-off meeting for a Fund Raising Activities Council on Sunday, October 8th (after snacks and lunch) in Holland.  Please come if you can and invite those you've worked with on past fund raising activities to join you.  This is not to ask you to do more (unless you feel so moved) and you may continue to work on just one activity, but we want to know about it and ideas you may have.

Speaking of our governance portfolios, there is a new section in the Members area of our website that provides reports for the portfolios.  While sometimes brief, they are informative.  This is found under the Members menu.  If you need the members and friends login, request it at webhelp@uuctucson.org.

Ministerial Search Committee Update

This year there are 44 UU congregations in search for new ministers.  We are one of 44.  Why should minister candidates consider us?

You can tell them all why by taking the online Congregational Survey.  A high percentage of member participation in the survey demonstrates to ministers that we are invested in the search process and committed to our congregation’s future.  

Highly qualified ministers look for highly invested congregations. 

If you care about this congregation, please complete the survey TODAY.   

This is your church.  This is your search.  This is your choice.   
You are choosing your next minister – now.  

Tucson Interfaith HIV AIDS Network
UUCT Members Assisted in Monthly Lunch
25,000th Meal Served

Thanks to the contributions of many UUCT members, the monthly POZ Café lunch and celebration was a great success. The care packages and game prizes along with the volunteers serving food came from Southside Presbyterian Church, Saguaro Christian Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson. 

Our volunteer team was led by Angela Wasson, a new member here at UUCT. Others participating at the lunch event included Margo Newhouse, Nichole and Rashad Ahmad, Margi Magruder, and Elias Santana. Ray Van Hoosear was also a key supporter as he has been for many years. Special thanks to all our members who donated 115 rolls of toilet paper, 325 razors, 80 containers of bleach, and cash for prizes. 

A special prize was given to the 25,000th guest at the luncheon. For information how you can continue to support the network, click here.

Local UU Churches Retreat a Success
by Susan Rock

Imagine all four UU churches in southern Arizona getting together to further our Unitarian Universalist principles! On a September Saturday, that’s what we did, as ministers, board trustees, and other members of all four churches gathered for our fourth annual retreat at UUCT. Together we are called the Baja 4.

Guided by Rev. Sarah Millspaugh, a UUA facilitator, we shared experiences, ideas, and resources as we looked at different options of working together to improve the quality of both our religious experience and of life in our communities.

A major focus of our day was the identification of each congregation’s assets, a wonderful exercise in discovering all the good things we have to work with. We then used our imaginations to identify ways these assets could be effectively combined. All four congregations expressed a special concern for immigrant rights, and it was clear that we all wanted to work together on this issue. Other ideas that arose were (1) joint participation in the Tucson Festival of Books, (2) small-group collaboration on other social justice issues, such as homelessness, (3) joint share-the-plate efforts so as to have a greater impact on recipients, (4) joint art exhibits, and (5) increased social media presence to publicize Baja 4 events among the congregations and in the community.

Two events are already planned as cooperative efforts between UUCT and Mountain Vista UU: (1) on November 5, a talk by Professor Chuck Tatum on “Literature of the Border”; and (2) on December 3, a showing of the film “Locked in a Box.” You can find more information about these events elsewhere in this newsletter.

The retreat left us all with a deeper sense of the strengths, hopes, and needs of the other congregations and also with a commitment to use our combined strengths to make a positive difference in southern Arizona.

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Newsletter Contents

Page 1 - Disaster Relief Fund, Reports by UUCT President and Rev. Lyn, HIV AIDS Event; Ministerial Search Update, Help Local Immigrants, Health Care Forum.

Page 2 - Yard Sale, Kitchen News, Finance Report, Men's Chorus, CUUPS News, Multicultural Event, Holiday Trip and Program, Sukkot Celebration. 

Page 3 - Speaker on Borderlands Literature, Membership Report, New Members.

Page 4 - Nuclear Weapons Forum, NFL First Down on Social Justice, John Oliver YouTube on the Border Wall.

From Reverend Lyn

I love this time of year here in Tucson!  It is clear and cool, energy is returning, life is peppy and enthusiastic.  It is a good time to be alive, to enjoy the beauty all around us.  And we have a grand year ahead of us.  These are exciting times. 

We are welcoming new members, our Search Committee is preparing a beautiful presentation for UUCT for prospective new ministerial applicants, programs are popping up, your Board and Interim Minister participated in a joint retreat with the Baja 4 Board members, Sunday morning attendance is good, and energy abounds.

I am so grateful to be serving this congregation, to be with you and to work with you.  A privilege indeed.

If you have ideas about new possibilities, new programs, changes you’d like, I hope you will bring them to me or your Board members.  All ideas are welcome and we can talk about them and possibly implement them.  Please don’t be shy!  We want and need your input!

Public Forum on Health Care Reform
on Sunday, October 29, 1:30 - 3:30 pm at UUCT

Do you have concerns about the Affordable Care Act and repeal attempts; about the future of Medicare and Medicaid; or about access to care or cost? 

Whether you are a patient or a provider, we want to hear your medical and health insurance stories. The LD9 and LD10 Legislators will be holding an open mic forum in which we listen, and you talk. 

This is an educational event-- not a campaign event. It's about listening and learning from each other. Senators David Bradley and Steve Farley and Representatives Kirsten Engel and Pamela Powers Hannley have confirmed their attendance. (Rep. Randy Friese is currently out of town, but the event is "on his calendar." Rep. Todd Clodfelter was invited but has a scheduling conflict.)

In the news, we hear what politicians and big corporations think should be done with our country's over-complicated and expensive health care system. At this event, the people of Southern Arizona will have an opportunity to tell us their stories and help shape future policy.

Mark your calendars for October 29, 2017. The event will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 E. 22nd St. Watch Facebook and Pamela Powers Hannley's blog for details, click here to connect.

Immigration Policies Threaten Our Neighbors -- Help Defend Pima County Families

All over the United States, 800,000 people previously protected by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) are facing deportation unless Congress acts and passes new legislation. Other immigrants not protected by DACA also face deportation despite a good possibility of death or injury if they are forced to return to  dangerous countries or neighborhoods run by gangs, drug cartels, or corrupt government officials. Thousands will be affected in southern Arizona.                              (Photos by Craig Rock)

What Can You Do?

Locally, we can protect our fellow citizens by demanding that each person threatened with deportation have the right to present their case with adequate legal defense. People who go alone to represent themselves in Immigration Court are overwhelming ordered removed, that is, separated for life from their relatives, often children, parents or spouses who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Many are our neighbors contributing their energy (and taxes) to Pima County's cultural identity and our local economy. If, like many of us, they can't afford an attorney, they should have a publicly funded one from our county's Department of Public Defense Services.

Ask your neighbors, colleagues, friends, folks in our church, and family members to sign a card asking the Board of Supervisors to vote "Yes" to authorize the creation of the Office of Non-Citizen Defense within Public Defense Services. If you did not sign this postcard on October 1 after Sunday service, they will again be available on Sundays Oct 8 and 15. These cards will be collected and hand-delivered by a group of constituents from each of the Supervisors' districts.

(Editors note: Amor, of course, is Spanish for love. Both of the above pictures were taken a few years ago at rallies near the federal building in Tucson.)

More Background Information

National Public Radio recently published a fact sheet on DACA. Here's some information from that article along with a link for more interesting facts.

What is DACA?

DACA is the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program created in 2012 by the Obama administration allowing young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study, and obtain driver's licenses.

DACA applicants had to be younger than 31 years old when the program began. They also had to prove that they had lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007, and that they had arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16.

Those signing up for DACA must show that they have clean criminal records. They have to be enrolled in high school or college, or serve in the military. Their status is renewable every two years.

Who Are Dreamers?

There are about 800,000 DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Most arrived from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. There are also several thousand from Asia, primarily South Korea and the Philippines. They reside in every state, with the largest concentrations in California (222,795), Texas (124,300), New York (41,970), Illinois (42,376), and Florida (32,795). (Estimated DACA recipients in Arizona are 28,000.)

Why Did Trump End DACA?

During the campaign, Donald Trump railed against illegal immigration and promised to reverse what he called President Obama's "unconstitutional" executive actions.

But as president, Trump began backtracking. Early on, he said a decision about the fate of the DREAMers was "very difficult" for him, but "we're going to show great heart." As recently as last week when he was asked about his impending decision, Trump said, "We love the DREAMers."

Conservatives, who had anticipated swift action from Trump, repeatedly urged the new president to keep his pledge and "pull the plug" on DACA.