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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 UU stories, poems and photos.

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

Editors Note: In the broadest sense this edition explores borders and barriers. You will find articles regarding outreach to other UU groups, to new members, and to the community at large. We'll also look at the border wall 70 miles to our south through the hearts and minds of those attending the School of the Americas Watch events last month. We'll look at a history exhibit that tells the story of the imprisonment of a people only because of their heritage and where they lived in the U.S. Finally, I share a question through poetry:  Why have so many social justice challenges not been addressed in this country, a land of so many well-organized interest groups?  Send us your thoughts on the challenges you see and possible solutions.
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Newsletter Contents
Page 1 - Messages from Reverend Lyn, President Valdes, Membership Chair Beth Britton. Article on Start-up Workshops, Announcements.

Page 2 - Reports from the Finance and Stewardship Committees, Articles on Reveille Chorus, Religious Education and Joining UUJAZ.

Page 3 -  Recap of School of Americas Watch Event, Related prayer by Rev. Susan Gray-Frederickson, Poem Citizens Divided.

Page 4 - Exhibit Opening Perspectives on the Japanese American Incarceration. Poem Quilts.




Beyond Our Walls
and into the Community
by Frank Valdes (President, UUCT Board)

What's out there beyond our walls?  I suspect I'm like many of you in that my comfort zone is inside the physical and metaphorical walls of UUCT.  We grow spiritually through our worship, we enjoy each other's company, and we jump in to help with the many activities and duties in our congregation.  We also pride ourselves in keeping aware of the outside world by following the news and societal progress in the many media forums that now abound.  But Unitarian Universalism has always had a component of actually affecting/ transforming the outside world (principally in areas of social justice) that is also a part of our UUCT mission.


At the personal level we are typically uncomfortable with spreading the word about Unitarian Universalism; in my outside world I almost never talk with friends and co-workers about my faith.  This is because of the social conventions that one should avoid politics and religion among our acquaintances (especially at work) and differentiating ourselves from evangelicals and proselytizers.  This is an individual and personal challenge which is definitely hard.  This is one reason we come together in various ways.


This past month or so the Board of Trustees has been looking outward.  As most of us are aware, we are part of a larger movement.  Outside of our congregation there is the local cluster of UU congregations called the Baja 4.  Then there is our Pacific Southwest District (PSWD) of AZ, NV, and SoCal.  Extending beyond just our corner of the country there is the Pacific Western Region (PWR) encompassing all of the west coast.  And, of course, there is the national UUA.  Less known are international groups such as the International Council of UUs (ICUU).  You can find out more through our website under "ICUU World Prayers” under the "Worship" menu.


Your Board of Trustees recently met with the boards and ministers of the Baja 4.  This educational retreat allowed us to understand the similarities and differences in the issues we face within our congregations.  It also forged connections that allow us to undertake activities together.  An example is having a booth at the Tucson Festival of Books. To keep us connected, the Board appointed Walker Smith and Susan Rock to be on the Baja 4 Council which meets regularly.  They will keep you informed about the work of the Baja 4.  One way is through the minutes of the Baja 4 Council posted in the minutes section of our website.


We also recently covenanted with the Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona Network (UUJAZ).  That covenant is a promise to participate in social justice issues with other congregations in Arizona, to provide financial support to the extent we can, and to lend leadership and foster communication through a UUCT representative.  The Board appointed Samantha Meyer to be that leader.  She will bring news from UUJAZ to us in our various communications such as the emails, newsletters, and our website. (Photo: Frank Valdes signing on to UUJAZ with Rev. Lisa)


Bringing together the Baja 4, UUJAZ, and PSWD, there is an innovative event that will touch many people in our district and beyond.  This is the PSWD Justice District Assembly 2017 which is being hosted by the Baja 4.  Our congregation will be called on to make this important event be a success as one of the local hosts.  We will be supported in this by UUJAZ and the PSWD.  While this DA takes place at the end of March, planning and work on this has been under way for some time and we are now calling for UUs in our district, including you, to educate yourselves on the issues, plan to attend and register early at the beginning of the new year.  Please visit http://justiceda2017.weebly.com/ and check our website for information.


UUCT is playing its part to shed light on the problems of migrants and the border by supporting No More Deaths' investigation of concerns with the actions of Homeland Security.  In particular, NMD is gathering information through the Freedom of Information Act, though it is running into stonewalling.  If necessary, NMD will press its FOIA requests through the courts and UUCT will be involved through our management commitments to NMD.  Right now NMD is simply asking the agency why the requested information has not been provided as mandated by the FOIA.


We recently heard about how organizations of various types, including our UUA, have come together to fight the power of corporate money and the legal fiction that constitutional rights apply to non-humans.  One way is to stand with the Move to Amend Campaign.  UUCT is being asked to take our place in this campaign by adopting a motion to be considered at our next Congregational Meeting on Dec. 11th.  We are looking to engage you in discussion in advance of the meeting.


Changing the topic back to within our walls, I want to call your attention to two activities which are coming up.  One is the Interim Start Up workshop described elsewhere in this issue and facilitated by our PWR.  I want to strongly urge you to participate in this important step towards working through our interim period and on to a new settled ministry.  The other activity is the Community Connections forum on Nov. 6th.  I participated in a "Meet and Greet" with Rev. Lyn (I hope you all are also doing this!) where one topic turned to opening up our connections through activities we enjoy doing together.  As Rev. Lyn exhorted us in her first Sunday message, we will have fun together!  The forum will be a brainstorming and organizational meeting for activities that small groups can do for fun.  Hopefully everyone will be able to get connected with people who share like interests and have fun together.

Reverend Lyn greeting the congregation on October 16.

Minister's Greeting

by Reverend Lyn Oglesby


It is wonderful to be in Tucson and even more exciting to be at UUCT, getting to know you!  Thank you for your warm and cordial welcome.


Your energy and enthusiasm inspire me and energize me.  Encourage me.  After only two weeks, I see enormous opportunities for us to come together, share ideas, regroup, reorganize, and rebuild a thriving congregation that makes a difference in Tucson and southern Arizona.


I look forward to meeting more of you at the “Meet and Greets” that you can schedule by calling the office.  I look forward to listening to your ideas and getting to know each and every one of you.


It is good to serve alongside your elected board, members and staff.  We have a great future ahead of us.  See you on Sundays and any time you would like to sit down and share ideas for this great congregation and building a meaningful future.

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Announcements

 

Nov. 3 - Calling All Artists! Please join our open studio, La Maison d'Art, beginning Nov 3 in Goddard hall from 6:30 to 

8:30 pm. Do you sketch, craft, stamp, bead, knit, paint, or dabble in a creative hobby? Contact courtney for more info at courtney.boyden@gmail.com


Nov. 4 - Exhibit Opening: Perspectives on the Japanese American Incarceration 1942-46. See page 4 for details.


Nov 5-6 - If you're new to Tucson, you may want to check out the Day of the Dead Parade. For more info click here.

Photo from last year's event.




Nov. 6 - Sunday Service - Reveille Men's Chorus: Changing Lives Through Music. After service and fellowship, we will talk about forging connections by identifying group social activities of interest.


Nov. 11 & 12 - Ministry Start-up Workshops - See article  below for more information.


Nov. 13 - Sunday Service - "Giving Life the Shape of Justice: Justice DA 2017" with speaker Carolyn Saunders and worship associate Celeste Rogers.  We live in the borderlands, so results of the unjust immigration policy are quite evident to us.  But what can we do about it?  Join us on Nov. 13 to hear more about the Pacific Southwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association's latest initiative to bring the shape of justice to all lives.


(Check our website later in the month for other Sunday services in November as they are announced at www.uuctucson.org)


December 24 & 25th - Christmas Eve service on the 24th at 5:30 pm, Christmas Day service at 10:30 am, followed by a potluck.


Creating A Welcoming Environment

by Beth Britton (Chair Membership Committee)


Recently, a visitor told a congregant he had visited our church, and after the service no one welcomed him.  Creating a welcoming environment is a ministry task for each of us, but it is so easy to be focused on seeing old friends, rounding up family or taking time to wrap up church business with others. 


The Membership Committee is asking everyone to help welcome newcomers in the following ways:


1) If you are early, look for those with temporary name tags and greet them; 


2) Invite newcomers after church to go to Goddard Hall with you for conversation and coffee; 


3) Don’t assume someone with a temporary name tag is new, as the person(s) may have visited many times or be returning. So say something like, “Have I met you before?”  or “Tell me about you.”; 


4) Share the philosophy of the church if appropriate or why you enjoy UUCT, or;


5) Find out interests, and share activities and social justice efforts of the church in which the newcomer might want to be engaged.  For example, if the person loves plants, introduce them to  Judy Dare who cares for our landscaping.  If social justice is a passion, seek out Craig Rock who is involved in No More Deaths.  Of course, those loving music will want to talk with Brian Moon about the choir or other avenues for instrumental involvement.  Members of the newly formed People Involvement Team can also help newcomers find many volunteer activities. 


The Membership Committee has a newcomer brochure and a list of activities, both social and working groups.  Please help yourself or help others in finding this information at the Membership table as you enter Goddard Hall on Sundays.  Let’s make our church a fun and engaging place for everyone!


Volunteers Needed
VOLUNTEERS are needed in all areas of UUCT church life. Jobs that need to be done are short and long term. Please contact the PIT crew at pitcrew@uutucson.org with your thoughts about committees, groups, and volunteerism and to find out how you can help. Do your part to make this an active, vibrant congregation. (See the articles on the People Involvement Team -- PIT -- and Volunteering as a Spiritual Practice in September's newsletter.) Older editions of the Tucsonitarian can be accessed by clicking on the link on the top of page 1.