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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.

Democracy is not a Spectator Sport
See photo story on the Women's March and Solidarity Rally - page 4.

Cleaning House and Resisting Bigotry and Hate
by Reverend Lyn Olgesby

Every day I look up at the beautiful blue skies in Tucson and smile a little smile of appreciation for my time here with you.  I admit it has been chilly the last four days. Chillier than I expected, and I didn’t bring enough sweaters (in fact I’ve located only one!).  But it is good sometimes to do without a lot of stuff.   Reminds me how fortunate I am.  It is good to get down to basics from time to time.  To clean house, to get rid of “stuff.”  There’s a saying, “Simplicity is elegance.”  And it’s a good guideline.  Getting rid of stuff means that someone else, perhaps a friend, perhaps a stranger, is blessed and will be able to use what was simply an “extra” something or other in your home.  

When you have cleaned out the extra stuff in your home, you’ll have more time in your life.  And when you have more time in your life, unencumbered by stuff you don’t really need, opportunity shows up on the doorstep. Opportunity in the form of a few minutes more each day.  A few minutes each day to visit a friend who is homebound, to run to the grocery store for a person who can’t get out, to write a note to someone who lives alone.  Opportunities abound.

We are continuously bombarded with requests to support this or that candidate, to support this or that cause – with time or with money.  Life is a series of choices.  The choices we make matter, and make a difference.

So I hope you will join me in my personal choice to sign and support the Declaration of Conscience sponsored by the UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  That Declaration is a call to resist hate and bigotry and the current United States government’s efforts to limit immigration, shut down sanctuary cities, and to eliminate hope for those people who strive to join us in the United States of America so that they can be free, and live in liberty.

These are uncertain and challenging times, and it is sometimes difficult to ascertain what is real and what is unreal.  But one thing is absolutely clear to me, and that is the importance of standing up for our Unitarian Universalist Principles and values.  

Please go to UUA.org, the first page of the UUA website, read the Declaration of Conscience, and let your conscience be your guide.
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MARDI GRAS AUCTION DINNER 

 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

Last chance to get your advanced auction and dinner tickets for a special price of $10.00 each.  Buy tickets at the office this week.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  Kids under 12 are free. Drop auction donation items off in the office before Friday.  Any items not sold on Saturday night at the auction will be for sale in Goddard on Sunday Feb. 5 after the service.  Stop by on Sunday to see what great items are left. Contact: Barb Ricca 360-8562 and Sandy Ongley 465-9082.

Sunday Service - February 5, 10:30 AM
and Share the Plate with UU Justice Arizona (UUJAZ)

Building the Beloved Community in Arizona
Rev. Lisa McDaniel-Hutchings

The vision of UUJAZ is to energize people of faith to create an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just life for all those who live in Arizona.

The mission of UUJAZ is to engage Unitarian Universalists in justice-making by nurturing congregational social justice ministries, connecting UU congregations across the state, and energizing UUs to heal the state by working for justice at the State Legislature and Corporation Commission. ​
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Newsletter Contents
Page 1 - Updates from Reverend Lyn and UUCT President Frank Valdes; UU Day at the Legislature; Mardi Gras Auction; Sunday Service/Share the Plate.

Page 2 - Finance Committee Report; Spring Pledge Drive; Discovering Tucson; Announcements: Chalice Group Starting, Snowbirds Small Group Ministry, 
Tax Assistance, Middle School MLK March, More Potlucks, Hearing Loops, Limbo Group.

Page 3 - District Assembly; Declaration of Conscience; Protecting Nature and Human Rights; Oak Flat March; Citizens Climate Lobby; Human Rights Photo Questions.

Page 4 - Photo Story: Tucson on the March: Women's March and Solidarity Rally.
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Technology and the Internet at UUCT
by Frank Valdes (President UUCT)

We all know that technology and the internet dominate much of our lives.  This is true for our church as well.  Much has been happening in this area recently.  Recall that our mini-capital campaign of a year ago had three priorities -- a sign, technology upgrades, and landscaping for flood abatement.  The sign was completed and now our next priority is the upgrades.

A technology team (let's call it the Tech Team) has formed and met.  There are three challenges to be met.  First is our troublesome telephone system.  Technology has evolved so that, more and more, telephones use the internet as the transmission medium; called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).  We have very recently contracted with our internet provider to include VoIP, allowing us to eliminate the troublesome system we have currently.  Hopefully this transition will happen quickly.

Maintaining an internet connection has also been a serious problem.  The Tech Team identified that our last-decade system of depending on a server as a key nexus was a bottleneck and source of dropped connections.  Changes to eliminate this, while preserving the information on the server, and simplifying how our work computers and routers connect to the internet have made a significant improvement.  A reliable internet connection is required to also make wireless capabilities more reliable.  Improved WiFi in our sanctuary is a priority because the District Assembly, which we are involved in hosting, plans to use WiFi/internet technology to broadcast from our sanctuary to other DA sites.  To this end a high-end wireless router was purchased and installed by the Tech Team.  Next up will be to extend more reliable wireless service to our principal meeting room in Servetus.

The VoIP, hardwired internet, and WiFi ultimately depend on the underlying wiring and hardware that thread through our facility and connect to our service provider.  The Tech Team is planning to improve the wiring and relocate our hardware in a more secure and modern system.

Another technology project is to provide wireless transmission of our sound system in the sanctuary directly to hearing aids and other receivers.  This is a very important, state-of-the-art technology for our hearing-impaired friends.  This will involve some sanctuary wiring work and a driver connected to our sound system.  We hope to make this happen in the next few months.  This particular upgrade was not one noted in our original capital campaign request.  However, it fits within the same general concept and the Tech Team and leadership are asking that if you gave to the capital campaign but object to using the money for the hearing enabling system please let me know (president@uuctucson.org or 318-8219).

One last note on technology: Thanks to the generosity of the A/V team, we are now recording our services digitally.  The tape system we have used for years has worked well, but transcribing to podcasts for our members and the cybersphere is much simpler with the digital technology.

On the technology utilization side, a new Communications, Publicity, and Social Media Team (let's call it the Comm Team) has started work.  We want to be able to reach our members and interested followers in an interesting and informative way with all possible media.  Have you noticed the increased information in emails and Facebook?  We currently use email, a website, internet newsletter, and Facebook and are now looking at the many other forms of social media we can use to our benefit.  If you have a favorite social media that you use please contact the Comm Team (announcements@uuctucson.org).

Kudos to those involved in the technology upgrades and communications initiatives: Mike McDaniel-Hutchings, Bob Reuss (and his connections), Brad Weeks, Larry Newhouse, Margot Garcia, Byron Skinner, the Capital Campaign (led by Gary Luce), Carrie Cooper, Pamela Powers-Hanley, Todd Maynard, Craig Rock, the staff, in small part myself, and any others I may have missed.

Turning to lower tech but equally important work, another new team has recently formed.  This is the Landscaping Team.  We are separating the past approach of a combined buildings and grounds team since skills and interests are different.  The Landscaping Team’s mission is to make our grounds attractive and inviting, as well as safe for all.  The contact for this team is Barb Ricca. I don't know all on the developing team but I want to note the involvement of Chuck Gould in this latest organization and the past work of Judy Dare, Frank Poland, Mike Eperson, and Jesus Carillo.

A final news item: The Board of Trustees has met to refine what we heard at the Governance Forum, utilize our experience with past UUCT governance, and develop ideas to present to the congregation as part of our continuing conversation on governance.  Governance is one of the areas of transition that the congregation has identified for the next year.  Expect to hear more.