Tucsonitarian Home Page

August 2018

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.

Obstruction of Justice

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Border Patrol

U.S. Border Patrol

The above video provides relevant information about the U.S. Border Patrol and its harassment of No More Deaths (NMD) volunteers who work to save lives in the nearby desert borderlands. During the first week of August, UUs from around the country will gather with NMD volunteers to flood the desert with water supplies and also learn about the hazards these volunteers face on a daily basis - from our government and from nature itself. Although registration to attend the event is now closed, we will report on it in next month's newsletter. See the link below. (NMD is a ministry of UUCT and some of its programs and reports are supported, in part, by grants from the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Click here to read UUSC's article on this issue.)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

To Be or Not To Be

There has been a general outrage about ICE and its policies of rounding up undocumented immigrants and separating families, especially children from their parents. Many progressive organizations including the UUA are calling for a shut-down of ICE. Others are calling for the agency to be reformed along more humanitarian lines. Other related articles are on page 3 of this newsletter.


Love Resists is a joint campaign of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Resource Links from UUA and UUSC

Love Resists

As the deeply racist and oppressive nature of the Trump administration continues to reveal itself and we see our country returning more and more to overt and often violent methods of disempowering people of color and other vulnerable communities, we can find the strength to remain steadfast in our resistance by reinvesting in solidarity.

Ever faithful in our commitment to building Beloved Community, we must keep our hearts, eyes, and ears open to guidance and needs of those most at risk. Love Resists the racism that is tearing apart our shared community. And we know we must be courageous in our resistance.

To renew our courage and sustain our commitment, we've compiled stories, resources, and actions to reground you in this work today:

Take action.

Support No More Deaths’ humanitarian work near the U.S.-Mexico border and encourage your local faith leaders to join Faith Floods the Desert

Call on Congress to deny funding for anti-immigrant policies and programs

Tell President Trump and DHS Secretary Nielsen to protect children and end family separation and detention

Sustain yourselves and one another.

Love Resists' resource on partnership

Prayer for when you reach out to a potential partner

Spiritual practice for challenging moments

Speak out.

How one woman stood up to border patrol when they boarded her greyhound bus

Do’s and don’ts for bystander intervention (6 page PDF)

Know your rights.

What to do if you're stopped by police, immigration agents, or the FBI

What to do if border patrol asks you for documentation

Stay up to date on Love Resists resources and actions by signing up for Love Resists emails.

For more information contact loveresists@uua.org.

Have an Opinion that you would like to share with other UUs?

Write to us at


Newsletter Contents

Page 1 - Love Resists Action Update; Greeting from Reverend Bethany Russell-Lowe; Frank Valdes Board News; Announcements.

Page 2 - UUCT Finance Report; Share the Plate, SAZCUUPS News; Realm Office Software; UUA Common Read, Justice on Earth; Summer Book Club - Black Lives Matter.

Page 3 - Active UUs at UUCT; Fleeing Violence in the Americas; Volunteering as a Spiritual Practice; Committee to Protect Journalists; Love Families, Abolish ICE.

Page 4 - Hope for Our Children's Peace - Saturday Event; Luis Urrea Fundraiser for No More Deaths; Attack on Endangered Species Act.

Greeting from Rev. Bethany

Hello UUCT!

It is so good to be in Tucson. I have been itching to officially be your minister since you voted to call me in May. And the day is finally here! I wanted to write to let you know how and when you can reach me, if you need me. My schedule will be: Tuesday - Friday, 10 AM - 4 PM; Saturdays, as needed; Sundays, 9 AM through early afternoon; Monday, sabbath day. I will use Tuesday through Friday mornings as time to write and read at home. I am available for evening appointments and committee meetings as needed on Tuesdays through Fridays. I will not check email on Mondays. If there is an emergency, call my cell phone and leave a message if I do not pick up. You can contact me via email (minister@uuctucson.org), call/text (520-428-4921) or drop a note in my box in the main office. You are also welcome to friend me on Facebook and contact me via messenger during my work hours.

I can't wait to see you and hear how your summer was. See you in church! - Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe

UUCT Board News

by Frank Valdes

Your Board of Trustees has begun a new church year. Almost all the members are continuing from last year, except we sadly wished Bill Keyes (three years on the Board) goodbye and happily welcomed Bryan Nickola into our midst. Replacing Bill as the formal Secretary of the Board is Susan Rock. Our first order of business was to organize ourselves and how we are available to you. We will be meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm in Servetus except when holidays require rescheduling. The meetings are open for you to observe, though to engage in conversation or to bring concerns to the Board you are encouraged to attend the "Call to the Congregation" meetings on the 3rd Sunday of the month after the service or by email at the addresses at the end of this report.

As you approved at our annual meeting, we engage with the activities of the church and provide oversight through a "portfolio liaison" structure. Each Board member takes responsibility for monitoring and being a liaison for broad areas of the church organization. The portfolios for this year were assigned as follows:

Operations (Jody Bergedick), Finance (Margot Garcia), Worship (Mike Greenbaum), Lifespan Faith Development (Brad Weeks), Ways & Means (Frank Valdes and the Board), Membership (Bryan Nickola), Social Justice (Sonia Cota-Robles), Community Life (Susan Rock), and Denomination (Ray VanHoosear). The areas under the portfolios may be found in our governance document or the portfolio reports. An important part of our transparency is to provide you with regular portfolio reports available in the member's section of our website.

The last part of our organizational work was reviewing as many of the roles and groups in the church that we were aware of and affirming the leaders or contacts. This information will be posted as part of our minutes and on our website in the Committees, Teams, and Groups section of the Home menu. Listing of leaders and contacts does not mean we don't acknowledge the valuable roles played by all the members of the groups, some of which actually have multiple leaders in various roles.

To contact the Board of Trustees there is a group email, BOT@uuctucson.org, and for the president, President@uuctucson.org.


Hope for Our Children's Peace,

Saturday, August 4th at UUCT

Back from the Brink: A Call to End Nuclear War. The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is hosting an anniversary commemoration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cites devastated when the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on their civilian populations at the end of WWII. It will be held here at UUCT on Saturday, August 4th from 4-6 p.m. See flyer on page 4.

Sunday Service - Religious Education Kick Off

August 5, 10:30 AM Holland Sanctuary

Jamili Omar, UUCT's RE Director

Social Justice Council Meeting

August 5, 12:15 PM Fuller Room

Sunday Service - To Build the Common Good

August 12, 10:30 AM Holland Sanctuary

Reverend Bethany Russell-Lowe

Want to Become a UUCT Member?

Interested in joining UUCT as a member of our congregation? If so, please contact Rev. Bethany at the church to arrange a one-on-one meeting with her after August 1 and before August 12. Rev. Bethany will be officiating a membership ceremony immediately after church, in the sanctuary, on the 12th of August. A meeting with the minister is necessary before one joins the church. You may also call Beth Britton at 928-607-6204 to discuss membership or to register your desire to join the church. Reverend Bethany can be reached via email at minister@uuctucson.org.

News from Keep Tucson Together (KTT)

The KTT Naturalization Working Group has produced 300 new sworn citizens since January and just in the last week an additional 60 new citizens were approved are and waiting to be sworn in. Great work! KTT is a working group under No More Deaths, a ministry of UUCT.

Belly Dancing!

Come and move your body to rhythms from the Middle East and/or Americanized alterations of melodies with friends! We'll be doing/learning belly dancing and having a great time together in the Servetus room, Wednesdays at 4:30. All genders, ages, and abilities are welcome. We go as our bodies allow us. Benefits include cardio, flexibility, balance, and endurance.

Let's stay young and playful together. Contact Liz at: lizravenwood@gmail.com for any questions and/or suggestions.

Forming a UUCT Recorder Ensemble

Frank Valdes, a long time recorder player and leader of recorder groups, would like to form a UUCT recorder ensemble for fun and spiritual enrichment. The goal is primarily to gather to play together for our own enjoyment, though if the group feels comfortable, after working together for some time, performing at church or amateur friendly events is possible. You do not have to be a recorder player to participate but should be able to read music and have played an instrument in the past; for example the flute or piano. Playing a recorder is relatively easy and inexpensive, though like all endeavors practice and dedication is needed. The thought is to meet bi-weekly (or as often as the members want) for a couple of hours. If you have an interest in participating or questions, let Frank know (fvaldes@cox.net, 318-8219).