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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 editorials, stories, poems and photos.

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Regional Assembly in Portland
April 27 -29

Regional Assembly is for the Whole Family!


The PWR Regional Assembly in Portland, Oregon (April 27-29) has something for people of every age. In addition to the main programs for adults, we’ll have a UU Kids Camp for ages 5-14, a Youth Assembly for ages 14-18, and high-quality childcare for infants to age 4. Families can spend time together, too, sharing the experiences of the opening ceremony, the Sunday morning worship, mealtimes, and more. Because of our commitment to including children and youth, we’re covering much of the cost of the programs for young people. The registration fee is just a portion of what it costs for these engaging, inclusive, and faith-building programs.

Regional Assembly promises to be an experience that deepens UU identity and fosters hope and resilience in people of all ages. Register now and join us in Portland this spring!


Social Justice Digest
by Craig Rock

As the killings of our children continue month after month, we sit and watch, outraged, stupefied, waiting for deliverance from some unknown power. It may take our children protesting in the streets to grind everything to a halt. 


UCC Minister Daniel Schultz captures the anger and distrust of one young person in a recent article in Religion Dispatches:

"The people in office have failed us and if they continue to fail us, then they will no longer be in office because we will soon be given the ability to vote—and we will vote them out. And the people around us will vote them out. They must do right by us or they will lose their jobs. And we have brought that up to them time and time again…

We’ve had enough of ‘thoughts and prayers.’ We’ve had enough of ‘We’re in your consideration, we’re going to think about it, and we’re going to tell you how we feel because we support you so much.’ Because we know that is not true. Because if you supported us, you would have made a change long ago and you would be making changes now."

And there is little doubt that these shooting incidents will create an even greater divide between established religions and youth who decide not join any religious groups because of ineffective reponses from congregations x, y, and z, and we the people who fill their pews (and chairs).  And when we read about the students in the streets this month or next, remember everything has been said before, even recorded as far back as 1976 in the movie Network:

"We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

But before you go to the window and yell, here's some background information on gun violence from that independent British newspaper, the Guardian:

From the Guardian Newspaper
 
What gun control proposals are being considered – and will they succeed?

Efforts to ban bump stocks, improve background checks and arm teachers are among ideas officials have recently floated.

The mass shooting that left 17 dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month has led to new calls for gun control legislation in the US. Polling indicates that public support for such a move is at its highest point in two decades – although Republican support is soft, making an act of Congress less likely.

Here we assess the likelihood of federal action on five policies that have risen to the fore after Parkland.

State action may also be possible. That’s significant, because gun laws in the United States vary dramatically from state to state, with respect to types of guns that are permitted, where they are permitted, how they can be purchased, how they may be used, how they must be registered and more. To read the complete article, click here.

To view past Guardian stories on gun violence and reactions by various groups, click here.

From NPR, Dick's Sporting Goods, one of the largest sports retailers in the U.S., has announced it is immediately ending its sales of military-style semi-automatic rifles and is requiring all customers to be older than 21 to buy a firearm at its stores.  Additionally, the company no longer will sell high-capacity magazines. Click here to read the rest of the story.

For information on legislation on gun control in Arizona, click here. This site also features suggested actions on other issues related to our seven UU Principles. See page 4 for more information. 

Updates on the March 24 march (11 AM Armory Park) can be found on Facebook, click here.



Share the Plate - March - UUJAZ
by Carolyn Saunders

Because of scheduling difficulties, Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona (UUJAZ) will be the share the plate recipient for March, not February as previously announced.  We shared with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Arizona (NAMI) in February instead.  If you would like to learn more about either organization, their websites are found at www.uujaz.org or www.namisa.org.

For the remainder of the church year, the share the plate schedule is as follows:

April 15, 2017— Sierra Club, Rincon Chapter www.sierraclub.org/arizona/rincon
May 20, 2017— Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter www.hermitagecatshelter.org 
June 17, 2018— Southern Arizona CUUPS www.facebook.com/SAZCUUPS/

Please begin to think of non-profit organizations in Southern Arizona that you feel share many of the values that we, as UUs, hold dear.  Perhaps you know of an organization whose mission also mirrors our own—that is one that works to transform individuals, our community and our world. In April, we will be asking for nominations of organizations with whom we can “share the plate” in the coming church year.

Thank you again for so generously supporting the program this year.


Social Justice Digest continues on page 3.







Newsletter Contents

Page 1 - Regional UU Assembly; Social Justice Digest; Announcements; Finance Committee Report; Ministerial Search Update; and Share the Plate for March.

Page 2 - Religious Education; Growth in OWL Training; and SAZCUUPS Updates.

Page 3 - NMD Volunteer Arrest Update; Related Editorial; Literature of the Borderlands; UU Article on Sanctuary; Journalists Fleeing Mexico; Atheists and Social Justice; Walk a Mile in a Refugee's Shoes; and Speaker on Refugee Flow.

Page 4 - Arizona Action Alerts; Sierra Club Updates; and What's Congress Up To.


From Reverend Lyn Oglesby

These are days of great opportunity!

Spring is here, and cacti are blooming.

Your Search Committee is interviewing exciting pre-candidates for a new minister, to be called late this spring.

We had a terrific and profitable auction, thanks mainly to Barb Rica and Sandy Ongley.

The beam repair is almost completed thanks to Darlene Mathews, Chuck Gould and others.

The new Facilities Committee has walked the three buildings and the campus and listed all the repairs and needed “fixes”.

And the Stewardship Drive is half over, with excellent progress.  If you have not yet turned in your pledge, please do so.  We need to make some repairs, we need to move the new minister here, and we cannot budget without a firm idea of the amount we will have on hand.

A bright future awaits us, and your contributions will make it even brighter.  Please do pledge now, and make a great future for UUCT even greater!  This is your church.  Please help make it even greater.

In faith, Reverend Lyn


Announcements

March 4 - World Religions Class - Christianity (see page 2).

March 4 - New RE Teachers Orientation (see page 2).

March 4 - Social Justice Council Monthly Meeting, 12:30 pm, Reed Room in Goddard Hall. 

March 11 -   The newly formed LGBTQA group at UUCT will be serving sundaes on Sunday, in Goddard Hall, to introduce ourselves and encourage others to join us. We will be handing out 'Idea Slips' for anyone who has thoughts for growing and learning from one another.  

March 13 - Speaking Event, "Conflict Dynamics and Refugee Flows" with Prof. Alex Braithwaite (see page 3).

March 18 - World Religions Class - Islam (see page 2).

March 18 - We're having a Meet and Greet for anyone interested in participating in the LGBTQA group, on the Patio from 12 - 1pm. Please come by, say hello, and bring your ideas for ways we can grow and activities you're interested in doing. We want to hear your thoughts for celebrating Tucson Pride in October, 2018.

March 18 - Literature of the Borderlands, Urea's Book, "The Devil's Highway" with Professor Chuck Tatum, 3 PM, Goddard Hall at UUCT (see page 3).

March 20 - Spring Equinox Retreat, 6 PM, Brick courtyard between Holland and Goddard Hall (see page 2).

March 24 - Parenting Club, 5:30 PM, Servetus Room off the classroom courtyard at UUCT (see page 2).

March 24 - Student March, 11 AM , Armory Park, Tucson. Check Facebook by clicking here.


Finance Committee Report
by Margot Garcia, VP Chair
The church finances continue generally to be on track despite spending more than we took in. In January, we deposited $55,389.66 and expended $63,498.60. The $8,108.60 difference was covered by the surpluses from earlier months. The cost of utilities including telephone, electricity, and security are about 20% ahead of what is budgeted for this period. Office Supplies, computer upgrades and software, as well as office equipment are also costing well ahead of budget. We did not need to use credit reserve. We have $51,699.05 in restricted funds (money from the OWL conference, $7,294.92, Reah Barrows’ bequest of $20,000, and $9,475 put aside for the Search Committee), and $4,717.12 in the capital fund. The endowment stands at $47,900.71. A deposit of $815 was made to honor Tom Watkins and that will show up in next month’s report. The income from the auction and paying your pledges will get us through the spring.

The Stewardship Campaign is underway. Turning in your pledge cards by March 4th will help us. After that, people will begin calling those who have not pledged to ask them to make a financial commitment so we can present a balanced budget to the congregation in May. We have already put together a draft budget that includes full fair share to the UUA and the District, increasing the RE Director’s hours from 18 to 24, and paying for moving expenses and an installation service for a new settled minister. To cover this budget will require about $270,000 in pledges, a 15% increase over the existing year. Increasing your pledge by 15% will show candidates wanting to be our minister that we are willing to support our values with precious resources.

We recommended and the Board approved using some of Reah Barrows’ bequest to put new carpeting in the RE classrooms rented by the Children’s Center, fixing the leak in the Goddard bathroom, putting in a shower, and replacing the aged electrical board so that the lights in the patio work. This will leave about $8,000 in the bequest.

As good employers we want to pay a fair wage to our employees. The UUA distributes a chart of wages it considers fair for different size churches in different geographic areas. The Personnel Committee recommends we use the UUA guidelines.  According to their chart, all our employees are within the recommended wage ranges. However, many of us consider $15.00 an hour a living wage and our custodian makes $13.80 an hour after the 3% wage increase we gave in January. We may want to consider if we can afford to increase his hourly pay to $15.00. We will have to see how we do in the pledge drive and balance it with our other requirements.

In the office you can find a copy of the monthly financial statement given to the board. 


                        
Ministerial Search Update

We are on schedule! Our committee is in the process of getting to know our pre-candidates through  informal gatherings, interviews, and sermons. The desires of our congregation expressed through the vision circles and survey are uppermost in our minds as we spend time with the pre-candidates. All of the ministers in our final pool of candidates offer great gifts, unique strengths along with human realities. We will be reflecting on them carefully in the weeks to come. We won’t be able to share information about our pre-candidates but will likely be able to announce our final candidate in early April.