Tucsonitarian -- September 2016, Page 1

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


Ken Burns’ new film Defying the Nazis, the Sharp's War (and the related book from UUA's Beacon Press) tells the story of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, two young Unitarians who stood up boldly against injustice to defy the Nazis and rescue Jews, dissidents, and other refugees during WWII. 

KUAT TV Channel 6
Tuesday, 9/20, 9 PM
Thursday, 9/22, 2 PM
(PBS World Channel 9/25 6 PM 10 PM)

For more information about the film, see page 38 of the Fall copy of UU World or click on this link here. After viewing the film, if you are interested in working on some type of immigration justice work, email me at the address above. See the article on page 2 for ideas and examples of what kind of work is being done by other UU churches in Arizona. Photo Credit: Rahoul Ghose/PBS.

President's Column

by Frank Valdes

How is UUCT like an Indy race car?  The answer is the car (UUCT) and the driver (your leaders) would be nothing without the team behind it.  That team includes the investors (everyone who pledges) and the pit crew (the staff and volunteers) who keep the car running at peak performance and stand behind the car and driver.

You may wonder why this analogy?  Our answer to bringing together the pit crew is the PIT crew.  This is the People Involvement Team.  It has been a concern of mine and many members who've talked with me that people have been uncertain about how to bring their energy and talents to UUCT.  The PIT crew is the means to addressing these concerns.

People Involvement Team (PIT)

The People Involvement Team is charged with identifying the needs and processes for volunteering at UUCT.  This includes focusing us on what groups are needed (a topic discussed by the Board of Trustees at their last meeting), how the system needs to work, providing volunteer training resources and support, and generally being the focal point for people-involvement in our church.

The first steps have been taken to form a PIT under the co-chairmanship of courtney boyden and Carolyn Saunders.  This brings a look to the future and to the past (Carolyn was active in the PIT concept a few years ago).  You can reach the PIT crew at pitcrew@uuctucson.org with your thoughts about committees, groups, and volunteerism.

There are two things I've learned over the years to be quite true about being involved and volunteering.  The first is that to really become connected to UUCT is to be involved in at least one, if not more, areas of the church.  When I came to UUCT 26 years ago my avenue was through Religious Education (R.E.), where I was a teacher, R.E. committee member, secretary, and chair.  I am still involved in R.E. through OWL, but have also volunteered in other areas.  The second is that volunteering is a "spiritual practice.”  People sometimes ask why they should volunteer because they don’t feel recognized as much as they think they should be. UUCT tries, and will try harder, to provide recognition.  But the answer for me is that, even without recognition, I feel spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment in volunteering and making a difference.

As noted earlier, an important step in people-involvement is understanding how the race car is built, how the engine works, and what jobs are needed in the pit and garage.  Many members have been concerned about problems at the church and laid the blame on the engine, particularly "Policy Governance" and "Executive Team,” without actually understanding how this engine works.  To clear this matter up, we are having a Congregational Forum on Sunday, September 18th after the service.

Congregational Forum September 18

The Congregational Governance Forum is a very important meeting. This meeting is intended to educate us on our current governance structure, dispel the many misconceptions about it, and open a discussion about changes that might be made.  Also, we will look at the larger organizational structures of committees and teams that are needed to keep our race car moving forward.  Please attend.

In Other News

The Board and other leaders are meeting with our Pacific Western Region Ministerial Transition Team representative, the Rev. Anne Hines, to start the process leading to a new settled minister.  This will eventually involve every member of UUCT starting with the interim transition "Meet & Greet” groups.  The next "Call to the Congregation" gathering after service with your leaders is September 11th.  Come for further updates and discussion.  Your Board is also meeting with other Baja 4 Boards in a retreat later this month.


Quote of the Month

Live as if you were to die tomorrow;

learn as if you were to live forever

- Mahatma Gandhi


Site Contents

Page 1 - Defying the Nazis Film Review, President's Column, 

Volunteering as a Spiritual Practice, Lifespan Faith Development, and Announcements.

Page 2 - Finance Report, Poems by Rosemarie Carnarius, UUJAZ Statewide Work on Immigration, UUJAZ Youth, Program, Borderlinks Needs Volunteers.

Volunteering as a Spiritual Practice

by Carolyn Saunders

One central tenet of the theology of Unitarian Universalism is the concept of interdependence—the interdependent web of all existence.  Often we UUs are so busy asserting and protecting our independence as individual members and individual congregations, we overlook the strength we have collectively to achieve great good in the world.

As is true in most congregations and non-profit organizations, here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson there are never enough funds to hire enough staff to do everything we would like to see done.  This is where interconnectedness comes in.  We, members and staff, are all in this together.  If we want to see UUCT thrive, grow and survive—if we want it to be the force for good that we know it can be—we all must share the work to make this happen. 

That is why volunteers are greatly needed in many areas—social justice, religious education, fundraising and governance to name a few. We are called to offer our time and our talents to the service of this church as an expression of our UU faith and principles.

One of the broadest and perhaps most meaningful definitions of volunteering is this, “Doing more than you have to because you want to in a cause you consider good.”  The mission statement of this church says we pledge energy and resources to transform ourselves, our community and the world around us.  This is our cause.  It is easy to complain about the state of the world or of the congregation.  But it’s much harder to stop venting and do something about it. 

By seeking out ways to be of service and use your talents to benefit others, you are working on a spiritual practice. Volunteering becomes transformative. The simple act of helping others brings powerful benefits to one’s own wellbeing.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  If we truly want to see the world change for the better, the first step is to realize that change starts with us.  Volunteering in this congregation gives you a platform to help those in need and reach the world that is suffering right in your own backyard.  Volunteering is transformative.  Volunteering your time and talent is a spiritual practice.

Lifespan Faith Development

(Update: Our Awareness Theater program is on hold. More information will be published on a future date.) 

There will be a Teacher Training on September 11, 2016.  Come right on over (12:00) after the service to the Servetus Room. Learn all about what it takes to lead or assist in a Sunday school class. Find out what we mean by “teaching as a spiritual act.” Learn our policies and tricks for classroom management. Get to know others in the congregation by being part of a teaching team! We provide childcare! Contact khogue@uuctucson.org

Time to register your children for the RE Program! Our budget and staffing hours are based on registered participants so it is important to keep your registrations up to date.  Please register your child as soon as possible. Forms available at the LFD Table, or email khogue@uuctucson.org for an electronic version.

Covenant Circles begin the second week of October. Sign up at the LFD table.  We need facilitators! If you have enjoyed this small group ministry in the past, please consider facilitating a group.  We provide training and a once-per-month meeting just for our facilitators that includes guidance for each session and ongoing support.