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.

A Lovely Day in the Neighborhood! Photo of Sabino Canyon by Craig Rock

Events Dec 2 and Dec 3

Dec 2 - Learn about inclusive thinking at a Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop led by the Re. Keith Kron, UUA Transitions Director. Saturday, 9 AM to Noon. RSVP to MargoNewhouse25@hotmail.com

Dec 3 - Locked in a Box, a 24-minute film highlighting stories about those detained in immigration prisons in Arizona and the U.S., followed by a discussion. In the Holland Worship Hall at UUCT at 2:45 PM.

more announcements on page 2

Human Rights Day in an Unjust World

UUCT Sunday Service, December 10

(Editor's Note: The UUCT service on Sunday, December 10, is about Americans who serve as human rights advocates, putting their "careers" on hold and risking everything for the inherent dignity of all people. Let us remember and give thanks to all those who contribute to improving the living conditions of people in all countries of the world.)

The following article on the history and purpose of Human Rights Day was written by Allison Hess for our national UUA website last year.

Every year, on December 10th, the world celebrates Human Rights Day. It is the anniversary of the day the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This year marks 69 years since these rights were acknowledged to belong inherently to every human being on Earth.

“Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Fresh from the atrocities of the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) notes in its preamble that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.” It was this outrage which spurred the United Nations into being. Respect for human rights was clearly essential to achieve the peaceful and just world that the UN was founded for. The UN acknowledged that, in order to ensure that Member States uphold human rights in their countries, it was essential to establish a common understanding of what precisely those rights are. And so they made this Universal Declaration, with the understanding that the governments of all Member States would take steps to both recognize and observe these rights.

However, the declaration did not have the force of law. When countries signed it, they basically agreed in principle to the fact that all human beings have this list of rights, but nothing in the Declaration legally bound any of them to change their governments’ policies to affirm those rights. Right now, there is no country on Earth where all peoples’ human rights are upheld, because in all countries on Earth poverty still exists, discrimination still exists, and violence still exists. Human rights bodies at the UN are not empowered to enforce the UDHR – their power lies in monitoring, observing, and denouncing violations. It therefore falls upon us, the members of civil society, to take up the struggle.

Supporting human rights and responding to human rights violations are inherently Unitarian Universalist actions. (The UDHR itself was written by a Canadian Unitarian - John Peters Humphrey drafted the initial text). And still today, around the world our faith stands strongly on the side of human rights. Unitarian Universalists are actively engaged in struggles for social justice and for equal protection of rights denied to so many.

In recent months we have seen an upsurge across the globe in prominent extreme right-wing movements that pose grave threats to human rights and human dignity. Worldwide, these movements have been specifically targeting migrants, Muslims, people of color, women, and those who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. These groups, already marginalized in some societies, are being persecuted and are increasingly victims of hate crimes. Now is the time when, as people of faith, we must stand together in solidarity and in defense of all people’s human rights. On Human Rights Day we acknowledge how far the world has come, and also recognize how much work there is yet to accomplish in achieving respect and dignity for all.

Support the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office to advocate for UN policies that will defend human rights for all, and get active in your community to protect those whose human rights are under threat.

Winter Holidays are a busy time for RE!

by Jamili

We will be celebrating Christmas and New Year at UUCT with a few events —all of which need some merry elves, helpers, and assistants.

Dec 10 Holiday Pageant Rehearsal

Dec 17 Holiday Pageant

Dec 24 The Grinch Party (all ages -10:30 AM)

Dec 31 New Year Around the World Party (all ages)

No matter your skills or time availability, I have a place for you! From party planning to supervising young people to baking treats, there’s a role for everyone.

Complete the form (https://goo.gl/forms/1BRDx97haUPnu5W72) or or contact me directly at DRE.UUCT@gmail.com

Christmas Pageant Information

This year we will be producing A Unitarian Universalist Christmas, a “rehearsal-free” Christmas Pageant. There are no lines to memorize and everyone who attends service on Dec 17 is welcome to participate --no matter your age or if you attended rehearsal!

  • Non-rehearsed parts (Stars, Angels, Shepherds, Animals) -- If you want to get a preview of your part, please attend rehearsal on Dec 10 during RE time (10:45-11:45am). Otherwise, just show up and join in! You’ll be instructed during the play how to get your costume and you’ll follow the leader on stage during the play. Wear comfortable, “neutral” clothing such as jeans and a white shirt.

  • Rehearsed parts (Readers, Mary, Joseph, Donkey, Star Bearer, Wise People, Head Angel) -- if you are interested in one of these parts, please RSVP to Jamili (DRE.UUCT@gmail.com) and plan to attend rehearsal on Dec 17.

  • Stage Hands --to carry this off, we need people to help actors get costumes and “hit their marks.” If you’re not the on-stage type, but want to be involved, please RSVP to Jamili (DRE.UUCT@gmail.com).

Operation Deep Freeze

During the Christmas Pageant, we will take up a collection for Operation Deep Freeze, a safe and warm place for those on the street with nowhere to go. Operation Deep Freeze happens when temperatures drop below 35 degrees, or below 40 degrees with rain. Doors open at the Salvation Army Hospitality House (1002 N. Main Avenue) at 3 p.m. to provide a warm meal and a bed for the evening.

They are in need of coats, blankets, hats, beanies, gloves, socks, sweaters (they can either be new or gently used). We will collect the items during the Pageant on Dec 24, and deliver them.

Toy Drive for Aviva

The UUCT Care Team and RE are sponsoring a toy drive supporting Aviva Children’s Services. Aviva serves the foster children of Pima County. A donation box will be available in Goddard Hall from November 7 - December 7. Please bring new, unwrapped toys for children from newborn to age 18. Questions? Contact Marsha Newcomb at marshanewcomb@gmail.com or Jamili omar at DRE.UUCT@gmail.com

Upcoming Events and Classes

Here are the Life-Span Faith Development events coming up:

  • Dec 3, 12:00-1:00pm, Decorating Holland Hall! Stay after church and help make the Sanctuary festive!

  • Dec 3, 12:00-1:00pm, First Sunday Newcomer Chat

  • Dec 10, 10:45-11:45am, Holiday Pageant Rehearsal

  • Dec 17, 10:30-11:30am, Holiday Pageant. EVERYONE --young and old --is welcome to participate in this Pageant called A Unitarian Universalist Christmas Pageant. You do not need to attend rehearsal or even speak. Just show up!

  • Dec 24, 10:45-11:45am, The Grinch Party. No RE.

  • Dec 24, 5:00-6:00pm, Christmas Eve Service. No RE.

  • Dec 31, 10:45-11:45am, New Year Around the World Party. No RE.

  • Jan 5-7, OWL Train the Teacher (Jr and Sr High)

Taking a Break

LIMBO Crowd will be taking a break until after the New Year. If you’re 25-45-ish, and interested in helping organize the group, contact Jamili omar (DRE.UUCT@gmail.com).

Newsletter Contents

Page 1: Reflections on the Holidays, Human Rights Day Service, RE and the Winter Holidays, A message from UUCT's President.

Page 2 - Announcements, Reports from the Ministerial Search Committee and the Finance Committee, Non-Violent Communications Workshop, CUUPS Chapter News.

Page 3 - Literature Class on Borderlands, Two Share the Plates in December, The Meditative Activist, Boston's Fight Against a Pipeline.

Page 4 - Exploring Multiculturalism, A Report from the Mosaic Makers Conference.

Reflections on the Holidays

by Reverend Lyn Oglesby

I get homesick this time every year. Not for my “home” but for my family. It is so much fun to be with my children and grandchildren over the Christmas and holiday season. Except when I get underfoot in a kitchen that is not mine—and hear about it! (-:

I suspect I’m not alone in being alone at Christmas, and through Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. I don’t plan it, but this time of year is always a time of reflection, looking back in joy and sadness, looking forward with anticipation. Or perhaps dread. What will the future bring? Will I live long enough to do all the things I want to do? Obviously not!

Does someone I love still love me? Why did I snap at that person who was so annoying? Is the sermon going to be alright? I worry about that every week, not just during holiday season! Will I live long enough to pay off my student loan from theological school? I hope so. That loan meant a lot to me, and enabled me to go to theological school without decimating my savings. I was, and am, grateful for it.

I am not afraid of dying, but I sure don’t want to. How do I want to be remembered? That’s a scary one. Our own perceptions of ourselves are so different from the perceptions and observations of others. I’ve decided to heck with it. I’m not saying that how I live and what I do don’t matter. Rather, I’m simply going to try to live better each day. Nothing fancy. Just remember to put people before things. Give away what I don’t need. Stop beating up on myself when I don’t get everything done—set priorities and stick to them, and turn in the newsletter article on time!

Take time to look at the mountains. Make time to take walks. Surprise someone every day with a thoughtful little something, a compliment, or a show of appreciation. The surprise is the best part of it.

While I’m baking sand tarts and making rum balls, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing carols as loudly as the speakers and the neighbors can handle, I’ll remember past Christmases, miss my family, and cry a lot because I love them so much.

The best part will be with you on Christmas Eve, looking out at you and the children, enjoying the music, grateful to Brian and the choir who pamper me by starting out with “Once in Royal David’s City," reading the King James version of the story. Looking out at you and the children. That makes it all worth while. With love and best wishes for all the holidays.

Feedback and Surveys

by Frank Valdes, UUCT President

With a (modestly) large congregation it is a challenge to get feedback. We have one such opportunity with the Congregational Survey undertaken by our Search Committee. According to those who have experience with such surveys we responded impressively well with approximately three-quarters returning surveys. The survey summaries and results are available by clicking here. While the survey was targeted to show potential settled ministers who we are, what we care about, and where we want to go, our leadership can also learn something about what you are thinking.

Interpreting survey results, particularly with free-form written comments, is hard. The Search Committee was concerned by some responses that were particularly critical, even harsh, about people from the past or present. This led them to redact such responses in the published results, something they had not expected to be part of the survey process.

The Board, Minister, and Search Committee are trying to understand what this means and how significant it is; especially in light of the general sense of progress reported by many since the transition began. We have to be careful not to overreact since some responses may be simple statements of historical fact (as they see it) from which they have moved on. But for some who were present during the period before the transition, they may indicate deeper feelings aboout how they were affected or fears about the future.

The most important thing for us is to understand is whether there is a pool of continuing hurt and anger that we have not properly addressed. Do people need to talk about it, need to have some way to let it go, or need to be concerned about future behaviors? Are these concerns significant enough to affect a future ministry? The last is an important area of current discussion within the Board and Search Committee.

The current avenues for those of you carrying feelings of past or present hurts and angers are to be honest about those with our interim minister, the transition team (Carolyn Saunders, Susan Call, and Gary Luce), your president, or any of your Board members with whom you are comfortable. Another suggestion is to write down your feelings, acknowledge them, and let them go as part of the New Year by consigning them to the fire. Your leadership is also considering other more formal avenues for the Spring.

Now let the joys of the giving holidays enter your heart. Happy Holidays and a Bountiful New Year to all!

See article on Page 4

A Report on

UUA's Mosaic Makers

Multicultural Conference

Chicano Park in San Diego