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.
UUCT on Sunday, June 18. Younger UUs visiting from Grass Valley CA, Reno NV and Albuquerque NM. As part of one of the tours offered by the UU's College of Social Justice, these students visited various organizations working on humanitarian border issues. More news on social justice on page 3 of this newsletter. Photo by Gary Luce. Photo used with permission.

President's Column
by Frank Valdes

Happy New (UUCT) Year!  I am referring, of course, to our July to June operational year which just started. I have a fondness for this new year's day as it also coincides with my birthday.  Like any new year it is a time to look backward and forward.

A more detailed look back may be found in the Annual Report, now on line, click here.  Looking back to the start of the last fiscal year, I had recently taken office as president after leading a successful interim search that brought us Rev. Lyn in October.  Rev. Diane had left on vacation and then to her new position in North Carolina.  My first task was to arrive at a balanced budget to present at a special June Congregational Meeting following the failure to adopt a budget at the Annual Meeting.  We took the step of proposing a half-year budget because of the all the changes taking place and to provide time to form a new Finance Committee.  That committee developed a good Spring budget and the budget for the new year, approved at a well-attended and supportive Annual Meeting.  The financial situation is tremendously improved since the start of the last year.

My second major task for the new year was to begin work on a new governance plan since, rightly or wrongly, the executive team approach was a source of contention for a significant number of people.  With the congregation's input the Board proposed and you adopted a new governance plan, which includes a larger, "portfolio" Board.

Other priorities were to address problems with volunteerism, reinstate and revitalize committees, and to stabilize the turnover of the Board of Trustees (with several appointments) and make the Board meetings a positive force for change and supporting the congregation.  We were successful in these goals.

So what's in store for the new year?  From my president's perspective I see continued good news from our finances, a Board that will take on governance in a new way and start some strategic planning, an even better pledge and budget season, a congenial Annual Meeting and, most significantly, the call of a new minister.  Along the way we will continue to have regular talk-backs, topical Congregational Forums, and conversations between the Search Committee and the congregation in the form of surveys, workshops, and informational meetings. Of course, we will continue to have interesting worship services (both traditional and alternative), RE, adult, and OWL programs, even more community life events, involvement in social justice issues, and a growing and thriving congregation.

So I DO see a happy new year ahead.


Thank you from new RE Director
Jamili Omar
A big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has so warmly welcomed me to UUCT!  The love you all have for this church and our children truly shines.

The summer months for RE will be a time of reflection and planning.  We are relying on our current (and fabulous) Elementary and Middle School teachers to continue their great work into the fall, while creating a Pre-K class (4 and 5 year-olds) and refocusing Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) for our oldest youth. 
There is always room for more adults of all skills and talents to work with our youth!  We need more dedicated teachers, but also have opportunities to support RE through occasionally leading youth, guest lecturing on a topic of your own expertise, and even “office work.”  If you’re interested, please contact me at DRE.UUCT@gmail.com and we will find a spot for you!
If you’re looking to enhance your own skills, there are opportunities to learn with UUCT this summer.

Newsletter Contents

Page 1 - Update from President Frank Valdes; Process for Ministerial Search Committee; Editor's News and Notes.

Page 2 - Finance Committee Report; Summer Solstice Celebrated; Share the Plate - Diaper Bank; Announcements, TUCD Supply Drive, UU General Assembly News.

Page 3 - Border Patrol Raids No More Deaths Camp; Free Film Showings in July; Speech to Unite the World. Help Wanted Hospitality for Sanctuary Coalition.

Page 4 - Balkan Summer Film Series at Gloria's; Life in a Day Film; David Frost Interview with Gael Garcia Bernal; and Fundraising Appeal from UU's Camp de Benneville Pines.


Editor's News and Notes
by Craig Rock
As we struggle or meditate to get through summer's heat, this issue of the Tucsonitarian will attempt to provide some good news and good videos to help balance some of the challenges presented by our nation's leaders, lawmakers, and lobbyists.

Reverend Lyn Oglesby is on vacation and study leave until mid-August. In case of emergencies you may call her at 302-747-6633. She wishes all of us a lovely summer. Mary Wiese is on vacation and will return on July 6. 

The ministerial search committee has published its search guidelines for us all to view. See the bottom of this page.

Border Patrol Raids No More Deaths Camp

On page three, you can read about the recent Border Patrol raid on the first aid encampment operated by No More Deaths (NMD), a ministry of our church. Several major media outlets covered the June 15th effort to halt the humanitarian aid provided by NMD volunteers. In the the coverage on National Public Radio, it was incorrectly reported that the camp would be closing down its lifesaving operations. Please consider signing the petition expressing your concerns and/or contacting your Congressional representatives directly. Information is at the end of the page 3 article.

The following segment of "This American Life" features a talk by Francisco Cantu, a former border agent who now teaches English at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His talk starts at the 12:30 minute mark on this YouTube audio. The talk captures Francisco's life as as a border patrol officer before teaching. (Approximately 30 minutes)

YouTube Video

Health Care Proposals

The important issue to watch this month is what Congress might do with the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.  At publishing time, it is unclear if or when there will be a Senate vote on their proposal and what form that proposal will take.  It's embarrassing that despite our country's wealth (and the number of millionaires), we have a segment of the population that strives to limit or eliminate medicare and medicaid benefits for those who can't afford insurance. If any legislation is passed, it should limit the profits made by investors in the health care industry, including pharmaceutical companies. You can only wonder how much more stress our economic system can take before these exorbitant health care costs, along with increased defense spending, take even a greater toll on the average American family. How many lives are lost or cut short because of this blatant greed? Send Senators Flake and McCain a message today and tell them how you feel. Phone numbers are on the bottom of page 3. More information will come in weekly E-Blasts as needed.

Reaching Out, The Future of Unitarian Universalism

Those of us attending the summer discussion group on the book "Turning Point, Essays on a New Unitarian Universalism" had a lively session in June.  According to what we read so far, what's at stake is a bleak future of Unitarian Universalism itself if it doesn't adapt to fast-changing conditions that require a more outward approach to challenges faced not only by UUs but also by our neighbors and community. Of course, this is not only a challenge for our religion but for for other religions as well. The authors featured in the book also address our outreach challenges resulting from the superiority complex that often characterizes UUs due to our education, wealth, and history. Another issue addressed in the book is the devotion to individualism among UUs to the point of having difficulty working on communal projects. As you can see, there are many sides to these issues. The two remaining sessions are after Sunday services at noon in the Servetus room on July 16 and August 13.