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.

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"Immigration is the human rights test for our generation."

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez

(Editor's Note: A fair immigration policy is one of the major challenges facing this country. This issue of the Tucsonitarian explores some important humanitarian issues, especially attempts by federal employees (and agencies) to destroy water supplies on the desert and harass aid workers. In addition, DACA recipients and refugees with temporary protective status face an uncertain future with their lives tied up by the President and Congress. See the article immediately below and page 4 for related coverage.)

The President, Dreamers and Temporary Protective Status 

Regressive actions ‘shrinking the soul of our country, 
creating imploding nationalism’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE From Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

UUSC Vice President Rachel Gore Freed issued this statement:

When leaders of Congress met Thursday afternoon (January 25) with President Trump to review a bipartisan deal intended to protect DACA recipients — and the conversation turned to part of the proposal referring to the Temporary Protected Status program for Haitians, Salvadorans and people from some nations in Africa — Trump then reportedly referred to those nations, and by implication the entire continent of Africa, as ‘shithole countries.’

We are outraged. Under no circumstance is such a statement acceptable coming from the president of the United States.

In a discussion with lawmakers about restoring protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador and certain African countries, President Trump demanded to know why he should accept immigrants from these countries rather than people from places like Norway.

This abhorrent, xenophobic comment is the most recent in a string of not-so-veiled indicators that the white supremacist agenda continues to thrive in the White House and actively seeks to criminalize people on the basis of identity.

In what is clearly a reflection of blatant racism and an intent to reduce the very spirit of this country and its diversity, President Trump had also compared immigrants who come to this country under the Diversity Visa to garbage, during his speech to graduates of the FBI Academy.

Racist ravings have no place in immigration policy. The president’s actions only fuel UUSC’s commitment to work in solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities, to ensure that the U.S. opens pathways for permanent legal residency, including for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and by preserving the vital Diversity Visa.

We will not allow our government to slowly pull this country back toward the regressive and racist U.S. immigration policies of the pre-civil rights era. Such actions are shrinking the soul of our country, creating an imploding nationalism that further diminishes U.S. standing, strength and influence on the global stage.

The protracted deliberations of our members of Congress on a tough spending bill have been grueling, as they also sought nonetheless to find bipartisan ways to bring permanent legal status to young Dreamers and extended protections for TPS recipients.

Rather than appeal to White House whims and its mentally unfiltered bellicose vicissitudes’, we turn solely now to those in the position to do something about the issue— rational members of Congress.”

Stewardship Drive
Opportunities Through Stewardship
February 18-March 4, 2018

This is the time of year we reflect on how important UUCT is to each of us. We think about the friends we have made here, the interesting conversations we have had about the big and small questions of life, about how we value the ethical education our children are getting through our religious education programs, and the voice of conscience that inspires us to take an active role in our community and world.

This is the time of year to think about how we need to support the church with gifts of treasure and gifts of time and energy. Think of the opportunities for our church that increased pledging can create:

A new settled minister
Increased hours for our terrific RE Director, Jamili Omar
Increased hours the church office is open
Increased visibility in the community
Upgrading our buildings

This is the time to make a financial pledge to UUCT for the 2018-2019 church year that begins July 1, 2018.

Here is the schedule of events.

Second week in February, you should receive a letter and brochure with a pledge card telling you about the            upcoming Stewardship Campaign.
Sunday, February 18, Rev Lyn Oglesby will deliver her famous Stewardship Campaign sermon.
Sunday, February 18, you are all invited to lunch in the patio to kick off the Stewardship Drive and to fill out          your pledge cards.
Sunday, February 25 -- First report back on progress toward goal.
Sunday March 4 --  Second report back on progress toward goal.
March 5 to March 24 -- Telephoning those who have not turned in pledge cards.
April – Stay tuned for date and time for celebration of success of the Stewardship Campaign.

How much should I give? This is a frequent question we get asked. At one time people tithed, gave 10% of their income, but that approach doesn’t recognize the differences in income level and the difference in the cost to live between a growing family, a single person, and those who are retired. Some say “Give until it feels good,” an amount you can be proud of. Others say, think about what you do with your money. Is donating to the church worth the same as a nice dinner out? Or tickets to an entertainment event? How much do you spend on that each month?

Attached is a table of the percent of people giving last year in each group. See if you can move up a group. If last year you gave $600, a popular amount, see if this year you could give $1000, or $83 a month or about $20 a week.  Maybe some of us can stretch even further and give $100 a month, or even $50 a week ($216 a month).

Whatever you can give is greatly appreciated, and together we can raise the money to fund the church program and facilities we want. Each of us has an important part to play.

Pledge Range Chart

Table of Contents

Page 1 - 'Shrinking the Soul of our Country'; Updates from Reverend Lyn and President Valdes;Stewardship Drive; Request for Testimonials; Search Committee Update.

Page 2 - Auction Time Finance Report; Membership Update;
 Landscape Help Needed; Announcements and Events.

Page 3 - Literature of the Borderlands Class;  Religious Education;
National Alliance on Mental Illness; Share the Plate (UUJAZ)

Page 4 - Threats to Humanitarian Aid, Saving Clean Air and Climate Regulations; Arrest of NMD Volunteer by Border Patrol;
 The President, Dreamers and TPS.


Support Children and Religious Education
by Reverend Lyn Oglesby

I’m certainly glad my children are grown.  We never tried to hide news from them.  In fact, we all watched the evening news on television before supper.  I don’t know if I would do that these days.  I’m certainly no prude, but the amount of violence and sex shown on television astonishes me.  I don’t envy parents of small children who face questions from them.  Thank goodness we have an OWL program that teaches our youngsters responsibility in matters involving sexuality.  Especially since so much of the sex shown on television is not responsible.

And I have been shocked by the variety and amount of violence, murders and killings that are shown.  Fortunately, adults can control some of what their television sets broadcast.

Thank goodness for Unitarian Universalist Religious Education (RE), which teaches our Principles and supports moral and ethical parenting.  Our own RE program is flourishing, and our OWL program is always overbooked.  Parents need all the help they can get – at least I did – teaching and modeling moral and ethical behavior for their children.  Our RE program familiarizes children with world religions.   The program also organizes visits to churches of other denominations.

There are many ways to support the RE program here at UUCT.  Please consider volunteering.  Call or email Jamili Omar, our terrific Director of Religious Education.  There are many ways to help, that do not take a lot of time, and don’t involve teaching.  We are living in a dangerous world, and our children need us to support them and their parents.  Thank you. (See Jamili's article on page 3.)

From UUCT's  President Frank Valdes

The Board of Trustees, Search Committee, and Transition Team met with the UUA Transition Office Director, the Rev. Keith Kron, in December to learn about the experiences of other congregations and how to attract a minister best equipped to meet our needs. One of the key things we came away with was that ministers are not looking for perfect congregations, but rather appreciate those with goals and challenges that they can tackle.  The congregational survey certainly gave us some of those.  The Search Committee and Board distilled and extended these to the following:

    Transformational and Strategic Goals

Building trust, addressing our past, and handling conflicts
Acknowledging and increasing diversity/pluralism
Organizational structure and leadership development
Reaching out to Tucson and our nearby neighborhoods
Adult education offerings and growth workshops
Expanding our facilities to accommodate more educational programs
A more expansive Religious Education program
Potential for satellite ministries and a campus ministry
Diversity in (worship) services

We have heard that this list has been welcomed by ministerial candidates.  Your Board of Trustees is discussing steps to take towards these goals.  We'd like to hear from you about these, both now (email BOT@uuctucson.org) and in congregational forums such as the Call to the Congregation (the next one is February 11th).

A challenge not listed, but which all churches face, is, of course, having adequate financial resources. Several of our finance leaders recently attended a Financial Planning workshop hosted at UUCT, which brought a UUA planning professional together with UU attendees from around Arizona to learn about longer range planning than just our annual budget.  This was valuable and we hope to incorporate more strategic planning here at UUCT. 

And, speaking of budgeting, it is time for our annual Stewardship Campaign.  This is described elsewhere by our VP of Finance.  I would like to add encouragement to participate and commit to growing your pledge.  This is our 70th (Platinum) Anniversary and the start of a new ministry, so let's put our best foot forward as we move into the next decade of Unitarian Universalist ministry here in Tucson.

Celebrating our 70th Anniversary

Pulpit Testimonials - Seeking Speakers

70 years ago the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, then called the Unitarian Church of Tucson, was formed.  In January of 1948 plans were made for a first service and that service was held in February.  The official Organization Sunday, where people "signed the book" and formally created the church, was May 9th.  This comes from a wonderful history of our early years by our own Susan Call and Darlene Mathews that can be found on our website.

So this year marks our Platinum Anniversary.  In those 70 years this church has meant a lot to the people who found and celebrated Unitarianism and, later Unitarian-Universalism, in Tucson.  One event we will have this year is a series of pulpit testimonials where many of us, especially those whose voice is less often heard, will speak on what this church means to them and their hopes for our future.  If you would be willing to speak sometime during the year please sign up here or contact Frank Valdes (fvaldes@cox.net).

Search Committee News

For the last three weeks the search team has been very busy reading ministerial records, looking at candidate’s websites, listening to and reading sermons and taking part in Zoom conferences with ministerial candidates.  We are very excited!  There are several ministers who have expressed an interest in our church who we think might be a great match.  We have now scheduled pre-candidating weekends with three highly qualified candidates during February and March and are waiting to hear back from a fourth.

Pre-candidating weekends include dinner on Friday night to get further acquainted with the candidate, Saturday spent asking and answering questions from both sides and driving to the neutral pulpit site on Sunday morning to observe the candidate in a UU pulpit.

The question most frequently asked by people who are not thoroughly acquainted with the UUA search process is: “Why can’t we meet all of the top candidates and hear them preach?”  The reason that serial candidating — the process of presenting more than one candidate to the congregation — is frowned upon is that it tends to be destructive to the candidates and to the congregations to which they are presented. 

Suppose one group likes and politics for Candidate A, another is for Candidate B, and still another for Candidate C. The congregation would be split before the process has been completed and it is unlikely that any candidate would receive the vote of confidence needed for a successful ministry. From the point of view of the candidates, the confidentiality of the process would be broken and their effectiveness in their current congregation seriously impaired.  Their current congregation probably doesn’t know they are in search.

So, at the end of a long process of interviewing, evaluation, reference-checking, and consensus-building, your Search Committee will present you with the one candidate who is, in their opinion and based on information from our congregation during Vision Circles and the survey,  best for our congregation. Then, probably toward the end of April, after a full week of Sunday services, meetings, and social engagements, when you will be able to meet and reflect on the candidate for yourselves, you will make the final decision in the congregational vote to call or not to call the minister.