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.
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Who are Unitarian Universalists?


YouTube Video

What do we believe in?  Many congregations have created videos that describe the wide range of beliefs held by members of their church. Go to www.youtube.com enter the words "Unitarian Universalism" and click one of the choices. Other related choices should appear in the right column and will automatically come up next in the queue, or you can make a selection. Or you can try the example to the left by clicking on the arrow.

Reverend Lyn's Notes

Looking forward to a lovely summer and an exciting future for our congregation!  We have an enthusiastic new board and are filled with gratitude for the service of so many here at UUCT:  your elected leadership, staff, and countless volunteers who work together to create harmony and good works here in this amazing congregation.

As I approach my first summer vacation time in Tucson, I’m feeling grateful for my nine years experiencing the summer heat in New Delhi, India.  I learned a lot those summers:  get up early in the cool of the morning; take a vigorous walk outside to the sounds of birds singing.  Come back home for a shower and breakfast.  Run necessary errand(s).  Spend the rest of the morning working on “inside” chores – cleaning, laundry, paying bills, planning dinner – or practicing the piano before a light lunch.  Glorious afternoons reading, writing, corresponding, a bit more housework (does it ever end?).  A cool-off swim and then prepare for a quiet evening at home, or perhaps a light supper out.

The best part of summer vacation is planning and reading time, going barefoot, doing the necessary ironing looking out the window at the mountains.  Thanking my lucky stars for air-conditioning, yet keeping home only modestly cool – I was a depression baby, I turn off lights whenever I leave a room, and try to avoid excessive use of electricity.

Reveling in my own personal luxury, my heart goes out to those who must work outside in the heat, those who cannot afford air conditioning, or who depend on public transportation for trips to the grocery store or pharmacy.  Having grown up in Texas without air-conditioning most of my youth, I have not forgotten what it is like to suffer unrelenting heat, to be hostage to nature.  It is a humbling experience to recall that, without our inventions and technology, we are simply human animals.  In the end, we are all dependent on one another for support, for kindness when we are ill, injured, or simply cannot afford the luxuries of heating and air-conditioning.  

May we remember to reach out to those less fortunate, to offer rides to pedestrians in the heat of summer, to show extra appreciation to those who work and “do” for us.  Traditionally, in hot countries, tempers flare during the heat of summer, fights and quarrels erupt, and patience is tested.  As we head into our very own Tucson summer, may we appreciate our comfort and good fortune, and look for opportunities to lend a hand to those whose blessings are fewer than our own.  

In peace,  Rev. Lyn

Thank You Sam!
Welcome Jamili!

As many of you know, our wonderful and treasured Samantha Meyer is retiring from her position as Religious Education Coordinator, to begin a new career of her choice as a multipurpose (and treasured) volunteer at UUCT.  We will be honoring Sam and her terrific work on June 18.  Also on Sunday, June 18, the Lifespan Faith Development team including OWL Facilitators will meet after Coffee Hour.

We are fortunate indeed that Ms. Jamili Omar, who has recently moved to Tucson with her husband and two children, has accepted our offer to serve as our new Religious Education coordinator.  Jamili is experienced in Unitarian Universalist Religious Education, has had a career working with the Girl Scouts, and continues to teach online courses for the Lone Star College System in Houston, Texas.  Jamili teaches composition and rhetoric, world literature, and women’s literature. 
Jamili, we’re delighted you are here.  You have big shoes to fill and I’m confident that you will follow Sam with grace, creativity and inspiration to us all.  Please welcome Jamili Omar in the gracious way that UUCT does so well – warmly, cheerfully, and generously.



June Conscience Call  

On June 9, we will hear from Caitlin Breedlove, Vice President of Movement Leadership at Auburn Theological Seminary, and former UUA Standing on the Side of Love Campaign Director. Caitlin will provide us with an overview of the political landscape, the organizing challenges and opportunities at this time, and how UUs and Love Resists can make a difference. As is our practice on these calls we will ground ourselves spiritually and have time for small group sharing and reflection.

Friday, June 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT

Love Resists is about expanded sanctuary for all who need it – all who are being criminalized under this administration – and we will be featuring partners from Movement for Black Lives, LGBTQ equality and Muslim solidarity organizations, as well as UUs and faith partners engaged in the work on future calls and webinars.
Get caught up on past conscience calls and webinars here.

Are you a member of the clergy? Clergy members are invited to monthly “Clergy Resist!” Calls (formerly “Clergy Conscience”) and webinars. During these calls, we will explore theological, spiritual, and social concerns as they relate to Love Resists. Please email Paul Langston-Daley for more information and to be included in those invitations.  Register for Love Resists Organizing, Coaching, and Strategy Sessions at GA

Are you and your congregation organizing locally around sanctuary and solidarity, or want to start? Register for a 40-minute conversation to meet as an individual or a group with an organizer from the Love Resists campaign team during General Assembly.  Share your successes, troubleshoot challenges, or talk through possible plans within the context of your congregation. Learn more and sign up by clicking here.  

Newsletter Contents

Page 1 - Who Are Unitarian Universalists?; Reverend Lyn's Notes; Frank Valdes on Religious Education (RE); Remarks from Bridging Ceremony of Colten Leighou; Thank You Sam, Welcome Jamili; Updates on Love Resists; Film Showing on Human Rights in the Czech Republic.

Page 2 - Announcements; Adult RE: Summer Book Study Group; Youth RE Update; Membership Committee Reports (2); UUCT Pagan Chapter News; Finance Committee Report.

Page 3 - Sanctuary Updates including Denver, Tucson, Phoenix and Philadelphia ("60-Minutes" Link); New Book by NMD Volunteer; Share the Plate - Our Family Services; Ongoing Actions: Tucson ID and Border Wall Resolution.

Page 4 - Surviving the Summer in Tucson; Events at Arizona State Parks; and Exploring the Five Points Neighborhood.

                           Digital Art by Georgia Conroy. See news and events about social justice on page 3.

 President's Column: On Religious Education

by Frank Valdes

We are looking for "A Few Good Men" (and women, too).  UUCT's Our Whole Life program, referred to as OWL and which some may remember as AYS, is one of our best community programs for which we are recognized in Southern Arizona.  The point of the teaser line is that the ideal for OWL at all ages is to have facilitators (aka teachers) which span gender (biological and role model).  We have had some male facilitators (and I am one) but the pool is virtually empty right now. So, men, consider stepping forward to be trained (in August the training is conveniently at UUCT) and then teaching, as part of teams of 3-4, for a few years (a class typically runs for 2-3 months).  In general, there is still a need for a larger pool so that we don't burn out our current facilitators, so, women, also step forward for the August training.  We consider this so important for UUCT that we subsidize our members’ training.  We have a great team of leaders guiding UUCT's OWL program consisting of Natasha Warner, Melissa Brosanders, Heather Reed, and Sam Meyer.  Talk to any of them (or me) and you will hear the enthusiasm for this important ministry.

As part of this month's feature on education, you may have heard by now that we have found and hired a new Coordinator for Religious Education (CRE), Jamili Omar.  Welcome Jamili!  Initially she will be concentrating on our youth religious education program, hence the title, but my longer term hope is that UUCT will be able to afford expanding this position (beyond the 15-18 hrs/wk) with more hours and responsibilities in support of a lifespan educational program.  Yes, I know there may be a concern about staffing growing back after we have just negotiated a downsizing to match our pledging.  We are committed to not staffing beyond our means, but one of the highest priority goals set by us, as we pass through our transition period, is attracting a wider diversity of members which, for us, strongly means younger families and adults who crave a good lifespan educational program, including working towards OWL programs for younger and older adults.  So to make that happen will require your financial commitment to this goal during the next pledge cycle.

Getting back to where we are currently.  Our new CRE will need our help with teaching teams; something that is true every year.  Unfortunately there is an attitude, which is certainly understandable, that one works with the R.E. program when one has children and then rests on "been there, done that" when the kids are grown.  I think we should change our attitude to one of missionary work.  Everyone who understands the role of UU values in the world today and tomorrow should commit to teaching on a rotation such as one year out of every seven years independent of whether you have any children or children of R.E. age.  Not only is this good for the R.E. program, but it is also important for our youth to see a variety of adults involved, much as is desired for OWL.  Please talk with Jamili and Sam about teaching next fall.

Beyond R.E. for youth there are educational and spiritual opportunities for adults in the programs we currently have.  There are small group gatherings, Exploring Spirituality (a free-ranging exporation), a summer book group, and CPR and AED training.  But there is certainly a need for more programing.  Our Rev. Lyn is taking responsibility for adult educational opportunities next year.  Talk to her about your interests and find out what is being considered.

Bridging Ceremony of Colten Leighou
Remarks delivered by Colten on May 21, 2017

What I Learned from My Time at UUCT

I first and foremost learned to never be afraid to be myself. Through my time at this church I learned that people appreciate sincerity and will respect you more for it rather than merely going with the flow and never saying what’s on your mind. With this being said, I also learned never to be afraid to speak your mind. In fact, sharing is essential to growing and can change and help mold others’ points of view. 

While sharing is very important, listening is arguably more important. I think the fourteenth Dalai Lama summarizes it best by saying, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” The reason this is so true is because of the simple fact that everyone is different. Everyone brings their own perspective to a situation and, without this, most problems humanity has faced could never have been conquered.

The dependence of humans upon each other can be seen on an individual scale, however, as I learned to never be afraid to ask for help when I need it. Most of the time people will not mind helping you, but unless you ask for help they won’t know you need it. On the flip side of this, I learned to always ask people if they need help, because sometimes they won’t be able to let you know that they need it. While there are many people you will want to help, there will also be people that you don’t necessarily want to help. To those people, even if you disagree with and dislike them, you should still show them the same amount of respect you would show to any other person. 

The last and arguably the most important thing that this church has taught me is that life is not about the destination, but rather the journey, to enjoy the little things rather than stressing over the big things.

Explore Human Rights and WW II in the Czech Republic Today
UUCT Connections - Film and Discussion, June 13, 10 AM

Private film showing and discussion at the home of Gloria and Bob McMillan. As a basis for discussion the film tells the poetic story of Libuse, the founding princess of the Czechs. It was made by Sudeten Germans to heal old wounds between the Germans and the Czechs from the WW II Nazi occupation.

The Sudeten Germans were marched out of Czechoslovakia as Nazi sympathizers at the end of WW II. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of Czechs were killed in WW II by the Nazis, including Reverend  Norbert Capek, founder of the Czech Unitarian Church. Descendants of both groups are living in the region today.

Gloria went to Prague in 2007 with $800 raised by UUCT for the flood damaged historic Unitaria church in Prague. The church in the 1930s was the largest Unitarian congregation in the world with more than two thousand members. Rev. Capek’s flower communion is celebrated by many UU churches today. It was designed to honor diversity in a very divided city with Czechs, Germans, German-speaking Jews and others.

Come to see the film and hear about the tense situation in the region as some groups want land repatriated and damages awarded. The dispute has been politicized and extreme fringe groups have become involved. For directions or more information, call or email Gloria at 520-623-8905, glomc@dakotacom.net. Snacks provided.