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Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

2017-2018 Annual Report

Printable PDF Version including Financial Statement


This sacred community is rooted in our search for meaning, guided by personal experiences, diverse religious traditions, and scientific discovery. We are varied as the blooms of the Sonoran Desert, yet draw strength from one another. Envisioning a world where justice and compassion cross all borders, we pledge energy and resources to transform ourselves, our community and the world around us.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

4831 E. 22 Street

Tucson, AZ 85711

(520) 748-1551

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: uuctucson.org

Table of Contents

  • 2017-2018 Church Leadership
  • 2017-2018 Church Staff
  • Slate of Candidates
  • Reports

Board of Trustees Portfolio Reports:

  • Worship –Mike Greenbaum: Minister, Music staff and choir, Worship Associates, AV Team, Care Team, CUUPS.
  • Operations –Jody Bergedick: Administrator, Custodian, Child Care, Office Volunteers, Facilities, Landscaping, Personnel.
  • LFD -Brad Weeks: LFD Staff, OWL.
  • Finance –Margot Garcia: FC Committee, Treasurer, Book Keeper, Financial Secretary.
  • Ways and Means –Frank Valdes: Stewardship, Fundraisers, Capital Campaigns.
  • Membership –Susan Rock: Membership Committee, Data Base, Publicity, Newcomers.
  • Social Action –Sonia Cota-robles: NMD’s, Social Justice Council, UUJAZ.
  • Community Life-Bill Keyes: Kitchen Ministry, Church Activities.


2017-2018 Church Leadership

Board of Trustees:
Frank Valdes, President and Ways and Means
Margot Garcia, VP Finance
Jody Bergedick, VP of Operations
Bill Keyes, Secretary and Community Life
Susan Rock, Trustee and Membership
Brad Weeks, Trustee and Religious Education
Sonia Cota-Robles, Trustee and Social Justice
Mike Greenbaum,
Trustee and Worship
Ray Van Hoosear, Trustee

Interim Minister

Rev. Lyn Oglesby Ph.D.


2017-2018 Church Staff

Director of Religious Education                                                Jamili Omar

Congregational Administrator                                                        Mary Wiese

Music Director                                                                        Brian Moon

Accompanist                                                                      Leeza Beriyeva

Custodial and Maintenance                                                                Jesus Carrillo

Nursery Staff                                             Denise Parkhurst, Lily Waer, Julia Nichols,

                                                     Ceighley Wiese, Cassandra Olivares



April 29, 2018

BOARD OF TRUSTEES                                     TERM ENDS


Margot Garcia, VP of Finance                                    2019

Jody Bergedick, VP of Operations                                    2019

Ray Van Hoosear, Trustee                                         2019

Mike Greenbaum, Trustee                                         2020

Sonia Cota-Robles, Trustee                                       2019

Susan Rock, Trustee                                                   2020


Frank Valdes, Board President                                    2020

Brad Weeks, Trustee                                                    2021

Term Ends

Bill Keyes, Secretary                                                             2018



Cary White                                                               2019

Gwen Goodman                                                2019

Becky Keyes                                                   2019

Term Ends                                                           

Julie Omar Makram                                       2018


Aston Bloom  

Janet Moore

Julie Olson                                  


Steve Kraynak (For 6 months)

Wendy Gordon Weeks

Aston Bloom

Beth Britton

Janet Moore

Margo Newhouse

Todd Maynard

Article VII Section 4. The NCLDT shall nominate one person for each office or position to be filled. At least twenty-eight days prior to the Annual Meeting it shall notify by mail the Congregation of these nominations and the procedure for nominating by petition. Additional nominations require a petition with signatures of at least twenty members and the nominee’s agreement. The Congregation must receive notification of these additional nominees by mail at least fourteen days prior to the Annual Meeting.

Board Portfolio Reports


President and Board of Trustees Report: May 2017 - April 2018

While the year 2016-2017 was characterized as a period of regrouping and recovery, this past year, 2017-2018, is characterized as a year of settling and working towards a new ministry. This is illustrated by a new governance structure and the work of the Ministerial Search Committee.

At the last Annual Meeting the Congregation adopted a Portfolio Board governance plan that included the addition of a new Vice President for Operations and an additional member-at-large. The new, 9-member Board took oversight responsibility over eight broad areas (portfolios) of the church. Each portfolio was assigned to a Board member and the portfolio holders reported regularly to the Board and the congregation (see the regular written reports available on our website). We think this governance mode worked well and, significantly unlike the preceding years, the Board saw no turnover in membership. The Board is offering a Portfolio governance plan again, with a few minor changes, for the congregation's approval.

Also at the last Annual Meeting the congregation elected a Search Committee to find a candidate for our next settled minister. The committee was selected by a process of polling as many members and friends as possible about whom they would trust with this important responsibility. The committee has worked very hard, questioned and listened to the congregation, considered various ministerial options, looked at many interested ministers, and now offers an excellent candidate, the Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe, for the congregation's consideration.

The Board of Trustees in collaboration with the Search Committee, in their roles of articulating a vision for our ministry, identified the following potential goals to be worked on with the new minister and the congregation:

  • Trust building, addressing our past, and how to handle concerns in the future
  • Acknowledging and increasing diversity/pluralism
  • Organizational structure and leadership development
  • Reaching out to Tucson and our nearby community
  • Adult education and growth workshops
  • Expanding our facilities to accommodate more people and educational programs
  • A more expansive Religious Education program
  • Explore the potential for satellite ministries and a campus ministry
  • Diversity in worship services

Here are a few additional examples of how we have settled and prepared for a new minister and some of the good work done by our groups and committees. Details on these topics, and more, may be found elsewhere in this Annual Report.

We attracted and hired Jamili Omar as our permanent Director of Religious Education. She has brought a strong presence in our services and managed the youth program while still finding time to start a couple of adult programs. We thank Sam Meyer and Courtney Boyden for handling the work of RE during our time of regrouping. Sam has gone on to help with our burgeoning "Our Whole Lives (OWL)" program along with the leadership of Natasha Warner and Melissa Brosanders. It is amazing what the OWL program has done this past year with many new facilitators, training programs, and three parallel classes to handle the community demand.

The staff (Mary Wiese, Jesus Carrillo, Jamili Omar, Brian Moon) has kept things running smoothly this year despite the challenges of a smaller staff size and budget. They have dealt with a number of problems such as electrical, plumbing, and rodent problems.

Under the leadership of our new VP for Operations, Jody Bergedick and interim minister Rev. Oglesby, we formed a Facilities Team that is taking a coordinated and holistic approach to maintaining our aging campus. Associated with this group is the Landscape Team, led by Barb Ricca, which made significant progress on dealing with our overgrown desert areas and with the rest of the landscaping esthetics of our grounds. We completed the "looping" system for our hearing challenged friends with the funding from the 2016 Capital Campaign. We thank Bob Reuss for pushing this forward. We also want to recognize Chuck Gould and Darlene Mathews for navigating the many challenges with contractors to address the deterioration of the Holland Beam, which has now, finally, been addressed.

Our music program continues to be top-notch under the leadership of Brian Moon with the talents of Leeza Beriyeva and the Desert Chorale. Members and friends provided us with guest music in our Services and entertainment at the Open Mic Coffee House. Of particular note, our in-house composer Randy Springer provided us with several new works performed by the Chorale.

Our finances, under the leadership of our VP for Finance, Margot Garcia and the Finance Committee, continued an excellent trajectory with continued recovery from debt and providing a full fiscal year balanced budget for the first time in a number of years. The VP for Finance also offered an opportunity for members to give beyond their pledges for areas of need not supported in the budget to which many of you responded generously.

The church successfully held our traditional major fund-raising events: the Rummage Sale (led by Margi Magruder, Nicole Rashad, Barb Ricca and Sandy Ongley), the Auction (led by Barb Ricca and Sandy Ongley), and a Holiday TUUR to New Mexico (organized by Julia Mehrer and Carolyn Saunders).

The Kitchen Ministry was amazing again under the leadership of Margo Newhouse, Becky Keyes, Judy Dare, Mike Epperson, and the rest of the crew. This is a vital part of our Sunday fellowship. They also go beyond Sundays to support some of our many social events. The Newcomer and Welcoming Potlucks were also popular ways to connect with new and old members in fellowship around a meal at people’s houses. Thank you goes to Julia Mehrer for spearheading this, and for those who opened their homes.

The Sunday services require many people working together to make them happen. Coordination has improved with Bob Gordon taking responsibility for the Worship Associates and Carolyn Valdes for the ushers and greeters, which are now a unified Welcome Team. Communication among all the people that need to create an Order of Service, the projected slides, and the music improved. We thank and acknowledge all those involved in our services: the minister, guest speakers, staff, the worship associates, the musicians, ushers and greeters, projection and sound, and those behind the scenes.

Our Arizona Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPs) chapter provided earth and seasonally centered rituals for our community, while our Social Justice Council (SJC) engaged us in a number of justice events in our community (as well as addressing issues in social justice at UUCT). We recognize Carrie Cooper and Julie Olson of CUUPS and Craig Rock and Sonia Cota-Robles from the SJC. Craig was instrumental in getting the SJC started; we are now proud he's moved on to a role as a PSWD Board member (and, of course, continuing to provide us with great issues of the Tucsonitarian).

UUCT received a scholarship award of $300 from our district (PSWD) to send three of our members to the national Mosaic Makers Conference. The Board added $200 of support. The three members attending were Steve Kraynak, Margi Magruder, and Carolyn Valdes. This was a tentative first step in learning how to be a proactive, welcoming congregation for people of different cultural backgrounds than our current, fairly homogenous congregation. The attendees shared information with the Social Justice Council and the Board as well as in newsletter articles and documents on our website. They will be a resource as we work with our new minister toward this goal.

UUCT hosted a number of events this year. The Board authorized the Social Justice Council to support local justice events at UUCT with minimal costs to the organizers. We partnered with our Baja 4 sister churches to hold a retreat for Board members, facilitated by Rev. Sarah Millspaugh of the PSWD, to consider how to continue to work together in Southern Arizona. MVUU organized two workshops, held on our UUCT campus, open to all area UUs including many of our members. These were a two-weekend workshop on Constructive (Nonviolent) Communication and a one-day workshop on Financial Planning with a UUA affiliated financial planning professional. We can and should do more long range planning and not get caught in year-to-year budgeting.

The Board of Trustees thanks everyone who made this a good year from which we are well poised to enter our 8th decade in Tucson with a new settled minister.

Frank Valdes, Jody Bergedick, Margot Garcia, Sonia Cota-Robles, Mike Greenbaum, Bill Keyes, Susan Rock, Ray Van Hoosear, and Brad Weeks


Worship-Mike Greenbaum:

Interim Minister’s Annual Report

April 11, 2018

The congregation is coming to the end of a successful year, a year you should be proud of.

Membership remains steady, growing slowly but steadily, with young families joining, and their children participating in Religious Education (RE). The Membership Committee has designed and revised a process for the path to membership that tracks potential members on the path to membership, and schedules regular membership book signings. The next step in this process might be to discuss options for participation in congregational life with new members right after they become members. The Committee has created a lovely Welcome Center in Goddard and posts two members there to visit with newcomers and visitors during Coffee Hour.

Pastoral Care has wonderful support from the Care Team. The Chair of the Care Team Chair meets weekly with the Interim Minister to discuss any urgent needs for Pastoral Care, and the health and welfare of members. Both the Interim Minister and the Care Team visit and call members and friends who are hospitalized, home bound or in need. We could do a better job of reporting the number of calls and visits and note cards sent.

Religious Education continues to grow slowly and steadily, and Jamili Omar, our Religious Education Director (DRE) shows initiative and competence in her work. The Sunday morning Messages for All Ages are indeed popular with all ages. Jamili has started a World Religions book group. The OWL program, one of the most vigorous among Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations, operates well with established leadership and is self-sufficient financially. DRE Jamili Omar will participate in OWL Training.

The Grief and Loss group meets regularly after church services on Sundays, and the Men’s’ Group continues its early morning meetings on Sundays.

The Kitchen Ministry continues to make miracles every Sunday, faithfully providing nourishing and attractive food and snacks after Sunday services. We love them!

Our Music Program continues to enrich us, and the recent Cabaret was enjoyed by a large number of members and friends. We have excellent musical leadership and superb accompaniment.

Mary Wiese, our able Administrator, keeps the office running smoothly, assisted by friendly volunteers who help with greeting visitors and contractors, answering the phones, and financial record-keeping. Jesus Carrillo our faithful and competent custodian, continues to do his job well, always with a smile.

The Worship Associates have been doing a wonderful job, and meet two to three times a year to plan and discuss their work. Their work supporting the Interim Minister is invaluable. The Worship Associates are always well-prepared and reliable.

Our Ushers and Greeters are functioning at a high level of hospitable friendliness and assist the Membership Committee with securing visitor sign-ins.

The Facilities Committee has been very busy, and has its own report.

The Wednesday morning Landscaping team works wonders, clearing, cleaning and tidying our grounds, and are my special, if unsung, heroes, as are the volunteers who change the sign on the front of our property, weekly.

We are all grateful to the hard-working Search Committee and looking forward to the approaching Candidating Week. I will be away during Candidating Week, except for medical emergencies among our members – and hopefully there won’t be any of those!

I will be attending the Accredited Interim Ministers annual meeting April 23-27, and General Assembly June 20-24 when I will participate in the ministerial Retirement part of the program.

I continue to love serving this vibrant and loving Unitarian Universalist congregation and community.

Respectfully, and in faith,

Rev. Madeline (Lyn) Oglesby, Ph.D.


Worship Portfolio Annual Report

April 11, 2018

This is the first year that all worship activities have been incorporated into one portfolio, and I feel that it has been a successful experiment. For me personally, it has been an eye-opener to see how many people and how many activities must come together to make our Sunday morning service possible.

As you arrive for a service at UUCT, you are welcomed by our greeters who help you with name tags if you need them and answer any questions you may have. Then our ushers hand you the order of service as you walk into the sanctuary. If you have special needs, the ushers will assist you to find a seat or space that works for you. Later in the service, they will pass the collection baskets for the morning offering.

These people are part of our:

Welcome Team (Formerly Greeters and Ushers)- Carolyn Valdes

During this past year we have successfully integrated the ushers and greeters into one group: a welcome team. Some people do both, and some do only one job. We have continued to add new people to the team since others leave for various reasons. Our goal is that no one works more than monthly, and sometimes less often. I think that the people who make a commitment to greet and usher would all agree that doing these jobs is a great way to get to know people, as well as being a crucial part of the service.

As you take your seat, you cannot help but notice the video screen to your left as you face the podium. This is courtesy of the:

Video Team - Larry Newhouse and Todd Maynard

Thanks to them, you will see the subject of today's service displayed before things begin, and during the service you will be able to follow along with the words to the hymns and any responsive readings projected for you.

During this past year, the video team obtained new cables for both HDMI and SVGA connections to the projector, and they now have both short 6-foot and longer 12-foot lengths so the operator can function from a position which will not obstruct the congregation's viewing.

Todd and Larry have been alternating dates for the production of the slide shows for the Sunday services this past year and will continue to do so for the next few months. They will settle on a specific format for the slides once the new minister is in place, and they know what he or she wishes with regard to the slides and service format. At that time they will create a hew template to use as a base to work from.

As the service gets ready to begin, you can be sure of hearing everything because of the work of the:

Audio Team - Byron Skinner and Cubby Lash

The audio team is doing well at this time. They made two major improvements during this the last year. The first is that they now have a digital recorder to record the service on digital SD cards. This replaces the older system which, for the last 40+ years had recorded the service on audio cassette tapes. The other audio improvement was the installation of a hearing aid LOOP system for the hearing impaired, so those with hearing aids equipped with a special feature can receive audio directly from the loop. The congregation is still using the old radio receivers with ear phones as a backup although they have a tendency to break down, and also they frequently "disappear."  

With the sounding of the gong, the service begins, and everything that follows has been brought together by two important groups:

Worship Associates- Bob Gordon, Chair


The Worship Associates have the joint responsibilities of assisting the minister with worship services each week and arranging all worship services when our minister is not in the pulpit. It is different from other committees in that it serves at the discretion of the minister, and as such, does not have open membership.

Principal accomplishments during the past year:

  • Held five three-hour meetings: May, August, November, January, and March.
  • Served as the Worship Associate for all worship services (52+).
  • Planned approximately 20 worship services when our minister was not in the pulpit. This is a huge responsibility and takes countless hours. Speakers can be Worship Committee members, members of the congregation, visiting ministers, or representatives of community organizations. In all cases, the Worship Associate works with the speaker to craft an appropriate service, and is responsible for developing the Order of Service.
  • Coordinated with Rev. Lyn, church administrator Mary Wiese, director of religious education Jamili Omar, Share the Plate coordinator Carolyn Saunders, social action minute team Sonia Cota Robles and Margo Newhouse, and power point technicians Larry Newhouse and Todd Maynard.
  • Revised the job description and application for Worship Associates.
  • Recruited and trained four new Worship Associates.

This committee serves at the will of the minister, and we look forward to our new called minister’s arrival in August. Our goal is to have a smooth-running system in place that will support our new minister until s/he sees fit to make changes.

Committee members: Preston McMillan, Gary Luce, Brenda Lundt, Marion Leonard, Celeste Rogers, Bert Meek, Betsy McMillan, Brian Moon, Carolyn Saunders, Kat Nikola, Bob Gordon, and Wendy Weeks (on leave during ministerial search.)

The other important group involved in planning and conducting the service is the:

Music staff and choir- Brian Moon, Director of Music


The Desert Chorale sounds good. Attendance has remained somewhat flat overall, although for the months of December through early March, the average weekly attendance was up slightly. A typical rehearsal contains 18-25 people, and similarly, on those Sundays the choir sings, around 25 people are in the choir. As many as 38 singers have attended some rehearsals this year.

Leeza Beriyeva continues to be the church accompanist. She is an extraordinary musician who contributes a great deal to weekly church services.

In lieu of Cabaret, we tried an open mic evening. The idea is to make the event less of a big deal, but perhaps to increase it in frequency to two or three times a year. Tentatively, we are planning for another open mic night in the Fall.

The choir has a dinner out once a month, and a pot luck at the beginning and end of the season. This year, in our final pot luck, there will be a memorial service for singers who’ve passed away this year (three within this season).

Spiritual and religious experiences at UUCT are not limited to Sunday mornings. One alternate worship experience is available through a new group which was formally established in April of last year:




The SAZCUUPS mission is to connect UUs and Pagans of many different faiths in an inclusive, welcoming space. It celebrates Earth-based faith traditions in harmony with UU principles.

The group is an official chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, a chartered organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and welcomes UUs from all four UU congregations in southern Arizona.

Formally sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and approved by CUUPS Continental, this group, only in its first year, has been an active part of the worship experience at UUCT.

SAZCUUPS is governed by an Administrative Council whose officers must be active members of a UU congregation and CUUPS Continental. Current officers are Julie Olson, coordinating officer, David Foster, treasurer, and Carrie Cooper, secretary.

Chapter members must support the mission of the UUA and of UUCT or their home UU congregation. Currently the chapter has eleven members, and has been responsible for bringing in three new members to the UUCT congregation.

During 2017-18, its first year, SAZCUUPS led two Sunday morning services (May 28 and October 29) and held nine ritual services, open to all, to celebrate the following:

  • Spring Equinox (March 20)
  • Beltane (May 1)
  • Summer Solstice (June 20)
  • Lughnasadh/Lammas (August 1)
  • Fall Equinox and Harvest (September 21)
  • Samhain (October 31)
  • Repose (November 18)
  • Winter Solstice and Yule (December 21)
  • Imbolc (February 2)

These rituals constitute the Wheel of the Year in Celtic Paganism and are celebrated every year.

From mid-January to mid-March, SAZCUUPS members provided twelve meals for a member whose family has been dealing with severe health issues.

Much more information about SAZCUUPS can be found on the UUCT web site, under the Worship tab. This includes their planned activities and goals for the upcoming year. In addition, its activities are publicized in the weekly email blast from UUCT as well as on the back of the order of service and on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SAZCUUPS/

Operations –Jody Bergedick:


  • July –We failed the annual fire inspection due to an older fire alarm. A new fire alarm system was installed and updated. All fire extinguishers were checked and replaced as needed. Refrigerant was added to the chiller for the Holland Sanctuary. A new dishwasher for the Goddard kitchen was delivered, but it was determined that we required a 220 electrical outlet, not the 120 outlet that was there. We needed to make a decision about whether to upgrade the electric, or return the dishwasher, pay a restocking fee, and order a new one.
  • August – A new large HVAC unit was ordered and installed on Goddard Hall that was more energy efficient, and compatible with the square footage. A new copy machine was ordered for the office that was newer, smaller, and cost less.
  • September – The new Toshiba copy machine was installed in the office. Work bids for the Holland Beam were coming in. The organ that was in Holland was sold to a member of the church.
  • October – Plumbing repair work was done to the RE classrooms due to a broken pipe. The new dishwasher was installed in the Goddard Kitchen after the first one was returned, and a restocking fee was paid.
  • November – Our security company, ADT, came out to do an annual checkup of the alarms in Goddard and Holland. The alarm systems were updated to be compatible with the new VOIP phone system that was installed last spring. Plumbing repair work was completed to address the constantly leaking toilets in Goddard Hall, due to uneven floors. The youth group painted the Emerson room and refurbished it with newer furniture that was donated from the church yard sale.
  • December – Electrical estimates were obtained to replace an out of date electrical panel in Goddard Hall. The failing panel was causing outages in several light fixtures and electrical outlets. Plumbing estimates were obtained to rip out the old urinal in the men’s room in Goddard and replace it with a shower.
  • January – There was a major plumbing back up the weekend of January 6, which was a very busy weekend at the church with several trainings and workshops happening at the same time. An emergency plumber was called, but they could not determine the cause of the backup. On Monday, our regular plumber came out and after using a camera, was able to determine that the backup originated in a line outside of the Holland Sanctuary, due to old corroding pipes. They were able to remove the clog, but a modification of the current pipes will have to be done in the future to avoid the back up again.
  • February – We had a leak in the men’s bathroom in Goddard. It was in the wall and the floor. Cement was torn up to access and repair the leak. The urinal was torn out and a shower was installed in its place. The Fuller room was painted and new cove molding was installed. New ceiling lights were also installed in the room. (Thank you Sam Meyer!) A rodent issue was discovered in the Awareness room. Jesus, our custodian, ripped the old cabinet out where the sink was, caulked all of the gaps where the mice were getting in, and replaced the cabinet and countertop.
  • March – A new updated electrical panel was installed in Goddard Hall. The work on the Holland beam was completed and painted. (Thank you Darlene Mathews!) Security shutters for the Children’s Center office were repaired.
  • April – A new playhouse was installed on the playground after the older one was determined to be a safety hazard, and a new commercial exterior rug was installed outside of the Goddard entrance for safety purposes. The Awareness room, Barnum room, Blackwell room and King room, were all painted. New carpeting will be installed in those rooms at the end of April.

Room Usage and Rentals:

2017/2018 was a very busy year, but this past year saw more church room usage, than outside room usage.

We still rent to the Children’s Center M-F, 6-6. We continue to have a good working relationship with them, as they provide the usage all of their age appropriate toys for our toddlers and preschoolers, while we maintain the rooms and the playground according to our contract. They also rent our kitchen in Goddard Hall to provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches to children in their care who live below the poverty line.

We rent to three twelve step program groups every week, a Buddhist group that rents from us three times a month, and Drama Kids, which is a group that holds workshops and camps for children about once a month. We also rent to private groups for weddings, Quinceanera’s, birthday parties, concerts, etc.

In house we had three separate OWL Classes, two weekend- long OWL Facilitator Trainings, and two UU workshops in January. We also had our annual church yard sale in November, and our Auction, in February. Sundays are very busy with our nursery, RE classes, OWL classes, World Religions book group, and the Grief Group. Other after church activities have included BOT Town Halls, and social justice events. During the week there are the Quilters, a small group ministry class, and the Search Committee meetings. Other church groups using the church are Desert Chorale, CUUPS, the Parenting group, and special RE events.


The office hours changed this year to M-F, 9-1. These are the days that volunteers are usually available to help out in the office when it is busiest. Our bookkeeper comes in every other Wednesday to process payroll, and pay bills. I am so appreciative of the volunteers who have helped this year: Carolyn Valdes, Judy Dare, Georgia Conroy, Bob Gordon, Athena Garcia, Cary White, and Sam Meyer.


It has been a very busy year in our childcare department. I call this a happy problem since this is an indication that families with young children are participating in the life of the church. We always have two to three adults in the nursery at all times, and they sometimes help out with the preschool class. All of our childcare providers have current background checks, and are certified in CPR and basic first aid.

Custodial and Maintenance:

A million thanks to our amazing custodian/maintenance person of 18 years, Jesus Carrillo. Jesus continues to amaze me with his skills, and can do attitude. He always goes above and beyond his required duties to keep our church campus safe, orderly and clean.  


Submitted by Mary Wiese, Congregational Administrator

UUCT Landscaping Committee


  • Keep the grounds clean of trash and weeds (including Desert Broom)
  • Keep the trees and bushes (incl. creosote) trimmed and grounds clear of plant debris
  • Excluded – Man-made structures (buildings, parking/driveways, sidewalks, signs, shade structures, patios etc.)
  • Excluded - Courtyard, patio, sidewalk weeds which are handled by Jesus (hired maintenance / janitorial)

Guiding Principles (with input from the Board):

  • Do not remove healthy trees and native bushes. Remove only if causing a problem. Trim and prune only.
  • Recycle the large quantities of landscape debris. Try to avoid landfill disposal.
  • When transplanting or planting, use only native plants which do not require irrigation.
  • Leave no piles of debris, put in the dumpster immediately. If necessary, put large debris at edge of property until a full trailer load is ready for disposal.
  • Minimize usage of chemicals and weed killers (such as Roundup)

Committee Members:

  • Barb Ricca (team leader, Wed. crew)
  • Wed. crew – Ken Asch (chain saw), Georgia Conroy, Chuck Gould, Carolyn Valdes
  • Judy Dare + Mike Epperson - water outdoor patio potted plants, re-pot plants

2018-19 Budget:

$200 -             fees at Fairfax Speedway landscape debris recycling facility (10 loads x $15)

$150 - flowers for planter boxes by doors ($75 spring + $75 autumn)

$ 50 - supplies

$500 -            Large tree removal or rolloff rental once per year (contingency, only if needed)

TOTAL = $900 / year (with contingency for rolloff and tree removal)


  • Barb has a large trailer to use to take debris to the recycle facility.
  • The crew uses their own hand tools (rakes, shovels, clippers etc.)  
  • Church has equipment (rakes, shovels, wheelbarrow, hula hoes) in the tool closet. Bought some new tools.
  • The 6 yard dumpster on the NE corner of the property (emptied on Thurs.) will be used for trash/raked debris.
  • While there is a drip irrigation system installed, it is not operational.

Landscaping Maintenance Plan:

  1. Clean along 22nd Street to present a tidy appearance to members, visitors and the community. DONE 1/2017
  2. Clean the landscaping islands in the parking area. Done 2/2017
  3. Clean the east and north (near trash dumpster) sides of the property prior to DA 4/1/17. Done 3/30/2017
  4. Clean the west area near the homeless camp and near the childcare fenced area for safety.   Done 3/27/2018
  5. Clean Memorial Garden, north of Goddard and east driveway/ditch. By 4/30/18
  6. Develop landscaping plan for building committee. By 4/30/18.
  7. Clean north area near fence, wash childcare area. Remove large dead trees by office/street. By 12/31/18.
  8. Weekly trash patrol on entire property. ON-GOING
  9. Ongoing landscaping raking/maintenance of all areas.   ON-GOING
  10. Landscaping activity reduced in the hot summer months.

Submitted by Barbara Ricca, Landscape Committee Chairperson


The UUCT Personnel Committee was formed by vote of the Board in September of 2017, at which time the Board also approved the mission or purpose statement for the committee.

Since that time, the committee has focused its efforts on three areas:

  1. 1. Collecting job descriptions for all staff positions;
  2. 2. Completing revisions of the Personnel Policy Manual to conform to the governance practice currently in place. Some of the personnel policies depend on input from the UUCT Minister, so the resultant version was labeled as Interim personnel policies, pending changes to be made after consultation with the new Minister. The Interim Personnel Policy Manual 2017-2018 was approved by the Board in November 2017, and distributed to all staff members in December 2017.
  3. 3. Submitting a recommendation to the Board concerning salary and benefit guidelines, for their consideration when adopting the 2017-2018 budget, in accordance with the personnel policy.

Personnel Committee Members:

J D Garcia, Chair

Beth Britton (until December 2017)

Becky Keyes

Samantha Meyer

Walker Smith

Submitted by JD Garcia, Chair

LFD –Brad Weeks

RE Council

The RE Council evolved over the course of the year. Early in the year, meetings addressed combined RE and LFD concerns including Adult Faith Development and various aspects of child/youth faith development. By the October meeting, the purpose and leadership of the Council became unclear, and those in attendance requested clarification from the Board of Trustees in October 2018. With Board clarity, the RE Council developed a clear charge to oversee only child and youth RE. The RE Council met on Feb 25, 2018 with 1 member, Rev Lyn, and Jamili Omar in attendance, but with a clear charge. Another meeting will be held in April to determine summer and Fall/Spring curriculum.

Summer RE

When the leadership of RE transitioned over the summer, we were planning to teach 1 big class of 1st to 12th grades in keeping with a trend in UU RE. However, the high school aged youth made it clear that they didn’t want to participate in that model. In the end, we ran a YRUU-like model for 6th to 12th grades and a modified Youth Chapel for 1st to 4th grades. Attendance ranged from 7-16 children and youth and 3-6 adults. The focus of the classes were topics such as Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, Art as Spiritual Practice, Male Role Models, Friendship, Families, Interdependent Web of Life, The Golden Rule, and Global Warming.

Fall RE

We tried this year to focus Fall and Spring Children/Youth RE around the theme of the World’s Religions. It worked really well for the elementary and middle school classes (1st to 8th grades). The Pre-K (3-6 year olds) and YRUU (9th to 12th grades) followed different themes.

In total, we have 11- 31 children/youth attend classes on Sundays, taught by 6-12 adults.

In all, we have 21 teachers fully trained and lots of parents/community members who have graciously stepped up throughout the year with donations of time, food, and party favors. All the teachers met for 3 Teacher Trainings throughout the year.

Pre-K (3-6 year olds). With 2 volunteer teachers, the Pre-K class was offered on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month teaching Chalice Children curriculum which has a focus on introducing the students to Unitarian Universalism. They have covered topics such as the history of UUCT, the origins of the chalice, and basic UU tenants such as friendship. Once we had teachers in place, the biggest challenge has been the lack of regularity in holding classes; some of the kids had difficulty remembering which class to attend or how to behave in the Pre-K class. The teachers, Beth Williams and Meghan Lederer, were the supportive, friendly, nurturing staff this class needed.

Elementary School (1st to 4th graders). The curriculum initially selected for this class is called Picture Book World Religions, but I quickly decided that it didn’t cover all the religions we wanted to cover and it is very outdated. I have been writing lessons for the classes and using lessons from other curriculum to fill in the gaps. The focus has evolved to World Religions Origins Stories. We have taken this theme liberally and looked at the origins of life/the world (Ancient Greek Myths), but also at the origins of holidays (Christmas), the origins of the religion itself (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and the origins of famous people within a religion (St. Francis). The class was also able to participate in 2 service projects: collected money for UNICEF and teamed up with The UUCT Care Team to sponsor a toy drive supporting Aviva Children’s Services, a support organization for the foster children of Pima County. This class was led by the talented Julie Omar-Makram, Gabrielle Burrow, Aurora Smith, Madeline Brooks, and Rebecca Latura –passionate teachers who engaged students by dressing in authentic regional dress, playing endless games, and creating spontaneous excitement.

Middle School (5th to 8th graders). The middle school had a very active year studying Neighboring Faiths, a World’s Religions curriculum. They have held 2 sleepovers, led the congregation in the MLK Day walk, studied 13+ religions, and visited 12 religious services other than UUCT –all with an average of 7 youth attending each activity. The credit for this amazing achievement goes to the 4 teachers: Natasha Warner, Radka Hart, Shannon Gutenkunst, and Helen O’Brien.

YRUU (9th to 12th graders). The year has been a roller coaster for the YRUU youth. The curriculum for them was Principled Music: a program using music to begin discussions of important topics such as homophobia, poverty, and racism. We started with a solid 4 students attending regularly. Then, in October, YRUU youth participated in a day of Leading and Serving. They went to the Challenge (ropes) Course at the University of Arizona then came back to UUCT to paint Emerson (the YRUU room). We were hopeful that this event would bring the group together as a team, and inspire interest in the program. However, due to personal and family challenges, all except 1 youth stopped attending between November and March. As new families started attending, we had 3 or 4 additional students attending YRUU in the late spring. Youth are intending to participate in running a Sunday Service in May and we will hold a bridging ceremony for one youth on May 27.

The YRUU advisors deserve to be acknowledged for their unwavering commitment to their students and to this program. Many thanks go out to Jody Bergedick, Sonia Cota-Robles, and Kate Keszler-Doak who held the program together when attendance was discouraging, and to Deen Foxx, Miska Latura, and Kate Mixon for helping the other advisors start the year on a strong footing.

Special Services and Events

My first calendar year of Church Service has been eye-opening. I never realized how much there is to do between October and March!

Kick-off and Bridging –book ends of the RE Year. RE Kick-Off Sunday was Aug 13. Jamili conducted the Service around the theme, Living a Life of Learning. We will end the year on May 27 with a bridging ceremony for Tristan Backues, a graduating high schooler.

The Christmas Pageant was held on Dec 17, 2017. It was a new play titled “A UU Christmas Pageant” which was a “drop in” play that asked audience members to participate. There were 23 adults and children assigned parts and another 6 or so who volunteered from the audience to participate. Also during the Christmas Pageant, we took up a collection of new or used coats, blankets, hats, beanies, gloves, socks, and sweaters for Operation Deep Freeze, a safe and warm place for those on the street with nowhere to go.

The December Holiday Season continued with an all-ages Grinch Party during RE time on Dec 24 which was attended by 22 students and 4 volunteers and 2 nursery staff. The following weekend (Dec 31) was a New Year Party was attended by 15 students and 2 volunteers.

We held one Child Dedication this year. It was Dec 31 during Service for 3 children.

Youth Supported Service. In May 2018, we plan to bring children and youth into the Sunday Service by giving service. The young people will be given the opportunity to support the service through jobs such as ushering, learning how to run sound, contributing reading, or other tasks they are confident with.

Other Classes

Safe Sitter was held on Aug 5, 2017 with 10 youth being trained. Heather Reed and Sam Meyer conducted the training.

CPR/AED Training was held July 9, 2017 with 10 people taking the training. Desert Fire provided the training. It is clear that the Church should make the investment in an AED as the trainer said “AEDs are what are saving people's’ lives.”

Family and Adult Programming

The Parenting Club has met monthly since January (skipped March for low enrollment). Each meeting has had about 10 adults, 9 kids, and once, 1 Safe Sitter for games, play time, and a very nice conversation. We plan to continue to meet monthly and have a Facebook page: Parenting Club at UUCT.

The World Religions Book Club has been meeting every 2 weeks since January to discuss The World’s Religions by Huston Smith. The group has 3-6 people regularly attend, and before the end of May will discuss Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Primal Religions. We have a blog: https://uuctworldreligions.blogspot.com/ and Facebook page: World Religions Book Club at UUCT.

Young Adult Programming

The historic Limbo Crowd, a group for Young Adults (18 – 35 years), tried to meet early in the year, but by October, was without a leader. In January, 2 new volunteers stepped up to offer to lead a group, and we began recruiting for a newly formed Young Adult group. However, as of this point, the volunteers haven’t been able to get the group together.

Submitted by Jamili Omar, Director of Religious Education


The OWL program for children and youth has been extremely successful this year.  Since 2007, we have been offering two OWL courses per year.  This year we expanded to 3 courses in Spring 2018 (1 class of 4th-6th grade OWL and 2 separate classes of 7th-9th grade OWL).  Our enrollments continue to grow: a few years ago we would typically have 10 children signed up for a class.  In spring 2017, one of our two classes immediately filled to 19 as soon as we opened registration.  This year, in Spring 2018, all three classes filled to the cap of approximately 15-17 children registered, and we had waitlists we were not able to accommodate.  Thanks to the Jr/Sr High OWL teacher training we ran in January 2018, we were able to have a total of 12 teachers teaching on the three teaching teams this spring.  This year, approximately 2/3 of the children in OWL classes are community members, not affiliated with UUCT.  There is clearly a large unmet need for comprehensive sexuality education in the Tucson community, leading to our very strong registrations.  Community families are finding us through word of mouth, from friends whose children have taken the classes.  The presence of the community children means we can count on having enough enrollments to run our OWL classes.  That is, the fact that so many community children are taking the classes is what makes it viable to keep our OWL program running for UUCT families.  Furthermore, the OWL program is serving as very effective outreach to the community, as families in Tucson now know that respect and justice in matters of sexuality and relationships is something UUCT stands for.  In the future, we hope to organize an OWL-themed lay-led service, and to invite all the families that have had children in OWL to attend in order to start drawing this population into the church.

UUCT hosted two well-attended OWL trainings. In January we trained 19 facilitators, 8 for UUCT in Junior and Senior High OWL. The April 2018 training for Adults and Young Adults looks to be as full as the January training with participants coming from as far away as Europe. With all non-UUCT participants registering with a $250 fee, we were able to nearly pay all expenses for the class ensuring our facilitators were trained very inexpensively.   OWL at UUCT plans to expand to offer Adult classes in the fall of 2018, Older Adult classes in Spring of 2019, and Young adult classes as well. Offering these training sessions locally has given us a rare opportunity to train a large number of UUCT OWL teachers for a low cost, whereas normally it costs upward of $600 per teacher to send teachers to training sessions elsewhere.

Submitted by Samantha Meyer, and Natasha Warner

Finance –Margot Garcia

Annual report from the Vice President for Finance

The church’s financial picture continues to improve with a reduction in debt and a balanced budget. Pledge income has been steady with new pledges being added all year thanks to new members, and there has not been the usual 5% shortfall. Expenses have stayed within budget and necessary facility maintenance, like fixing leaking plumbing and faulty electrical circuits has been undertaken using the budgeted amounts. A new air conditioning unit for Goddard costing nearly $10,000 was paid for out of operating reserves. We were able to balance the highs and lows of income without using credit reserve. Our Endowment Fund held in the UUA Common Endowment Fund has grown from $44,591.70 to $49,330.

Debt reduction:

We started off the fiscal year with debts to the bank and ourselves of $33,720.90. We finish out the year owing only $13,460.52. We paid back all the money borrowed from the restricted funds. In September 2018, we will have paid off Bank of the West Loan #4 and in May 2019, we will have paid back the money borrowed from the Capital Campaign Fund. In August 2020 Bank of the West Loan #3 will be paid off.

Finance Committee:

The 7- member Finance Committee has met monthly to go over the banking accounts and review financial statements from the bookkeeper. In addition, we have updated the cash management policy and held a workshop for all those handling cash to explain the procedures. We formalized the procedure for handling funds for the Share the Plate program. After researching rental fees in other churches, we recommended an increase in our rental fees for individuals and profit making groups that the Board of Trustees adopted. We developed a recommendation for use of the generous $20,000 legacy gift from long-time member Reah Barrows. Under the leadership of Carolyn Cooper, we have restarted the legacy campaign with a new draft brochure and will start promoting it in the fall 2018. We prepared an almost ($500 off) balanced budget to be presented to the congregation for their consideration.

Thank you Finance Committee members Beth Britton (who resigned in October due to workload of search committee), Larry Newhouse, Bill Hoffmann, Bruce Saunders, Linda French, Carolyn Cooper, and our intrepid secretary Rick Meyer.

And thank you Jim Periale for consolidating the bookkeeper reports into a succinct monthly report we give to the board and the congregation.


Ways and Means –Frank Valdes


Stewardship Campaign – Frank Valdes and Margot Garcia

In February, we opened the Stewardship Campaign with a brochure, letter from the minister and pledge card mailed to each member and pledging friend of the church. The campaign kick-off was a luncheon after church beautifully provided by the Kitchen Ministry on February 18. For the next two weeks we collected pledge cards, then had three weeks of telephone follow-ups to those who had not yet pledged. We received a total of $241,301.00, up from $234,965 last year. We have 129 pledging units, up from 127 last year. The average is $1871.71 compared to last year’s average of $1850.12. The median is $1000, same as last year. The table below shows the percentage in each category. Not all categories contain the same dollar spread. PU stands for pledging unit.


2016-2017 number PU

% of total PU

2017-2018 number of PU

% of total PU

2018-2019 number of PU

% of total PU

up to $300





















$1000- $1499










































$5000 and up















We have made progress in the amount being given. We need to continue to emphasize how much it costs to run the church and what is expected as a pledge. We have some very generous donors, but we need to be careful about relying on them too much.

Thank you to Deb Collinge, Susan Call, Steve Cox, Darlene Mathews, David Burks, Carrie Cooper, Athena Garcia, Clara Hill-Pfeifer, Glenn Pfeifer, Rick Meyer, and JD Garcia for their help in various phases of the campaign.

Annual Church Yard Sale: Our annual church yard sale was held the first weekend of November. Margi Magruder, who spearheads this fundraiser every year, did a marvelous job of recruiting volunteers, and soliciting donations. We made $2,841 on the yard sale this year.

Christmas Time in Santa Fe TUUR: A 7- day trip to Santa Fe New Mexico was one of our fun and profitable fundraisers for 2017. Over 18 people enjoyed museums, restaurants, and holiday festivities. We made $7,023.14 on the TUUR. A special thank you goes to co-chairs Julia Meher and Carolyn Saunders who made this trip possible.  

Annual Church Service Auction: This year’s Auction was held on Saturday February 2, and the theme was Fly Me to the Moon, a trip back in time to the Forties. A huge thank you goes to co-chairs Sandy Ongley and Barb Ricca for this fun, delicious, and profitable evening. Also, thanks to the many volunteers that help make our biggest event of the year possible. Our grand total was $12,693.01.   


Membership –Susan Rock


Welcoming and Membership Team Annual Report – 2018

 The Membership Committee changed their name to “Welcoming and Membership Team” at their April 2, 2018 meeting. Below is a list of accomplishments since the last annual meeting in 2017. Current members of the team are: Cary White, Janet Williams, Stephanie Parker, Shirley McLane and Beth Britton. Susan Rock also attends the meeting as a member of the Board of Trustees.

  1. A Welcome Center was established in Goddard Hall. New members can now get a red cup (for newcomers) and visit with a member of the Membership Team. Information about UUCT and the UU faith may be found in a packet of information, along with Yellow Cards for potential friends and members. Follow-up calls are being made from the cards and sign-in sheets found in the foyer of the church.
  2. Packets of information were developed for the minister to give to potential members. These packets provide information about UUCT, giving guidelines and a pledge form.
  3. A UU Newcomer Orientation was designed by Janet Williams and facilitated by her for seven people. It was the first Newcomer Orientation to be held in 2 years.
  4. A New Member Ceremony was held in March to recognize the 13 members who joined the church since July 1, 2017. Three more joined in April, totaling 16 new members this fiscal year.
  5. Newcomer coffees were initiated as a way for newcomers to become integrated into church life. Three were held this fiscal year. Additionally, the Membership Team supported newcomer dinners facilitated by Julia Mehrer.
  6. Steve Kraynak continued to populate the church foyer bulletin board with the photos and bios of new members. Kathy Heuser continues to take photos of newcomers. And, Carrie Cooper continues to support the development of brochures for Membership. She also has publicized events of membership on Facebook.
  7. The Welcoming and Membership Team joined the Social Justice Council at the Peace Fair in a collaborative effort. Literature was distributed and conversations held with individuals and families attending the event.
  8. UUCT reported 186 members to the UUA in February 2018.

Submitted by Beth Britton


Social Action - Sonia Cota- Robles

Social Justice Council (SJC)

The SJC developed the following new mission statement:

Mission statement: To bring awareness of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and our focus on social justice into the greater Tucson community; to be the public face of our living faith in our community and the wider world; to demonstrate that our faith is action-based rather than creed-based.

Craig Rock facilitated the SJC for most of the first part of the year with co-facilitation by Sonia Cota-Robles. In December, Crag stepped down from the leadership role and it was taken over by Sonia Cota-Robles. Meeting times were changed to regular meetings on the first Sunday of each month at 12:30 (to accommodate members of the kitchen ministry who wish to attend).

The SJC engaged in the following activities:

  • The SJC developed a pamphlet that is now available for sharing in recruitment activities.
  • The SJC became the UUCT liaison for No More Deaths, which is required to report to UUCT quarterly according to UUCT’s role as their fiscal agent.
  • Members of the SJC represented UUCT at meetings of the Southern Arizona Sanctuary Coalition (SASC) and helped support the proposed Pima County Department of Non-Citizen Defense.
  • The SJC, with leadership from Angela Wasson, participated in the October POZ Café event sponsored by TIHAN the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), a monthly luncheon for people living with HIV/AIDS. The SJC coordinated financial donations, supplies, and volunteers. Ray Van Hoosear also provided primary support for this effort.
  • The SJC coordinated the participation of UUCT in the Tucson Peace Fair in February;
  • The SJC organized a training and tour of Operation Streamline, the federal deportation proceeding, in March. The training was conducted by Lois Martin of No More Deaths.
  • The SJC promoted UUCT participation in the March for Our Lives on March 24 to oppose gun violence. Georgia Conroy made signs which were displayed in the lobby to promote the event and held by participants in the event.
  • The SJC facilitated UUCT’s approach to homeless people living on UUCT property, including assisting a homeless couple in transitioning to more permanent quarters and having “No loitering” signs made that were respectful and can by posted by the Landscaping Committee.
  • The SJC facilitated to social justice-oriented services, one with No More Deaths and on with the Prima Vera Foundation.

The SJC also coordinates the Social Action Minute, a brief announcement to the congregation every Sunday regarding a community social justice event or an organization that promotes social justice. The Social Action Minute is coordinated by Margo Newhouse with support from Sonia Cota-Robles.

No More Deaths

NMD: Our work, by the numbers


In September, 2017 Kathleen Heuser engaged a small group of UUCT members with an interest in reviving an LGBTQA group. The first event was a ‘game day’ and included about 25 adults and children in a picnic format on the patio of the church. Three of the attendees later joined the meetings and formed the Leadership Team after Kathy left the leadership to work on other church committees (while remaining a member). There are currently five individuals on the Leadership Team. They are making plans for the rest of 2018 and have met monthly since November. Actions have included:

  • becoming ushers to be more visible;
  • holding ice cream social during lunch on Sunday March 18; and
  • organizing a PFLAG panel that was held after church service on April 15, 2018.

Future plans include:

  • with the help of Bob Gordon, providing an LGBTQA sponsored service in October, perhaps along with the Reveille Men’s Chorus; and
  • participating in the parade at Tucson Pride in October.

The LGBTQA group currently has 51 UUCT members (folks who attend) on our e-mailing list. They are enthusiastic about growing the LGBTQA group and the congregation at large.

Share the Plate

The recipients selected for Share the Plate in 2017-18 were:

  • Diaper Bank
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Reveille Men’s Chorus
  • Youth on Their Own
  • No More Deaths
  • Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
  • Sister Jose’s Women’s Shelter
  • Interfaith Community Services (ICS)
  • National Alliance of Mental Health-Tucson (NAMI)
  • Sierra Club
  • Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter
  • Southern Arizona CUUPS

Baja Four

Walker Smith and Susan Rock served as UUCT’s representatives to the Baja 4 Coordinating Committee. They developed the following new mission statement:

“Together we hold more wisdom, more strength, and more resources for our Unitarian Universalist presence in Southern Arizona. We dedicate our work together and with others to the crafting of the beloved community.”

In 2017-18, Baja 4 was involved in the following actions:

  • The B4CC was responsible for planning the annual Board Retreat held on September 23 at UUCT. Ideas for several actions arose from the retreat that have either been accomplished or are in the planning stages;
  • On November 5, MVUU hosted a well-attended presentation by Chuck Tatum of “Literature of the Borderlands.” This was followed by a four-part series on the same subject during the spring of 2018, hosted by MVUU and UUCT;
  • On December 5, UUCT hosted a meeting focused on immigration detention and included the film “Locked in a Box,” a presentation by the Rev. Elizabeth Bishop, Director of Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation, and a guest speaker who had been detained for two years in Eloy. At the end of the program, participants signed cards sending messages of hope at the holidays to detainees;
  • A workshop entitled “Strategic Financial and Resource Planning for UU Congregations” and led by Barry Finkelstein from Stewardship for Us was held at UUCT on January 20. Members from all four congregations attended;
  • Participants from all four congregations manned the Baja 4 booth at the Tucson Festival of Books on March 10 and 11. UUCT contributed $100 to the project.

Future planned actions that came from the 2017-18 Board Retreat include:

  • November 10, 2018 is the date set for a Baja 4 potluck picnic. There will be games and entertainment, possibly including a joint choir presentation;
  • Jamili Omar and Linda Middleton-Hill, Directors of Lifespan Faith Development at UUCT and MVUU, respectively, have been working to find opportunities for collaboration.

Interfaith Community Services (ICS)

Marsha Newcomb is the UUCT liaison to ICS. She helped to coordinate their Holiday Toy Drive.


Samantha Meyer was the Congregational Contact to UUJAZ in 2017-18

2017 ended in April with the District assembly which both UUJAZ and UUCT played a large part and hosting and organizing dozens of social justice trips and activities. The 8/12-8/16/2017 Justice “Walk the Walk” Summer camp had several UUCT representatives at Camp DeBenneville Pines learning about the Love Resists Movement and leadership in social justice.

2017 Issues in Action Day (October 14) was a transformational experience and had at least 2 UUCT representatives meet with UU’s from around the state to learn about UUJAZ’s 5 focus issues of education, water, racial justice, economic justice, and immigration.

Rev. Lyn attended the 2018 DATL (Day at the Legislature) as well as a healthy sized group from UUCT and Rep. Pamela Powers Hanley, who is a member of UUCT. On an ongoing basis, Anne Schneider’s Legislative Review provides email updates on legislation that UU’s may want to contact their state and federal legislators about. UUCT also hosted a listening session with several state representatives and senators learning about citizen’s thoughts on healthcare.

There have also been several marches that UU congregations (including UUCT) have participated in, including the March for Your Lives (against gun violence), Red for ED (raising teacher wages), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (continuing the call to end racism and build racial justice), the Women’s March (getting women involved in politics and political issues), and Love Resists.

UUJAZ hosted an Immigration Justice Workshop at UUCT in March of 2018. Throughout the year there have been several justice strength training webinars. Topics have included things like intersectionality, the sanctuary movement, and race and justice.

Lisa McDaniel-Hutchings conducted a service in March on behalf of UUJAZ.

Pacific Western Region/Pacific Southwest District (PWR/PSWD)

Craig Rock is UUCT’s contact to PWR/PSWD. Craig is nominated to be Vice President. Elections will be held at the Pacific Western Regional Assembly, which will be April 27-29, in Portland, OR.


The UUA hosted a Mosaic Makers Conference in San Diego in October, 2017 for congregations interested in multiculturalism. Three representatives from UUCT – Carolyn Valdes, Margi Magruder, and Steve Kraynak – attended. They were offered financial support from PWR/PSWD and UUCT.

Submitted by Sonia Cota Robles


Community Life-Bill Keyes

Annual Report for UU Quilters Group

April 2018

In response to a request for an adult education program in 1993, Jackie Barnes started a class in quilting for about six members of the church. This later grew into a weekly gathering of six to twelve women. Since then we have met in various rooms of the church every Wednesday except just before Thanksgiving or at Christmas.

Over the years our group has fostered friendships as well as teaching about quilting while making many quilts and other fabric items. Some are group projects and some are produced individually, often sewn by hand.

One of the things our group did for the church each year starting in about 1998 was to raffle off a quilt that we had made together. It was usually pieced with a sewing machine and then quilted by hand. We have so far raffled off at least a dozen quilts, making money for the church and for our group to buy more fabric for the next quilt. We are almost ready to raffle off our next quilt this coming fall, 2018.

Since 2000 our group has taken a trip together to Portal, Arizona, each year for a quilting retreat. There we enjoy the incredible scenery of Cave Creek which attracts birding people from all over the world. We hike and sew, and enjoy each other’s company.

Our group first visited Portal at the suggestion of Alice and Bob Chew, former members of our church who also lived in Tucson part of the year. Alice was a quilter as well, and the Chews had been acquainted with Portal since the 1950’s when Bob worked at the Southwestern Research Station, operated by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, another interesting place to visit while we are in Portal.

Something else our group has done over the years was to hold a show of our handiwork in Holland each November. We had a display in Holland Hall, and sold quilts along with wall hangings, pot holders, purses and other fabric items we had made. These were made collectively or individually, but all made money for the church and our group. We also donated funds for the concrete benches on the patio, plants for the Memorial Garden, and the offering-collection baskets to replace the original baskets from the Tohono O’odam which were stolen. There was also the donation of the rug and kitchen flooring in the Awareness Room, and every year an annual pledge was given to help support the church.

Our group is now comprised of Jackie Barnes, Rita Watkins, Bargie Robson, Ann Steenland, Susan Call, Rena Tucker, plus some “snow birds” Rae Consigli and Clara Hill-Pfeifer. We welcome anyone, whether an accomplished quilters or just someone seeking companionship. We did lose a longtime member this year, Maggie Lawrence, who died in March. Her husband, Bob Lawrence, had designed the banner that hangs behind the “pulpit” that we made in 1998, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the church.

Kitchen Ministry

The Kitchen Ministry continues to serve wonderful lunches most Sundays, and delicious coffee hour goodies every Sunday. The Kitchen Ministry also helped prepare the food for our Annual Service Auction in February. The Kitchen Ministry regulars are Margo Newhouse, Becky Keyes, Judy Dare, Mike Epperson, and Debbie Meyers. Other regular helpers include our wonderful baker Sam Meyer, helpful dishwashers JD Garcia and Athena Garcia, and others.

Search Committee Annual Report

The congregation elected six members for a Ministerial Search Committee and a seventh was appointed by the Board. The committee members were Aston Bloom, Beth Britton, Steve Kraynak, Todd Maynard, Janet Moore, Margo Newhouse, and Wendy Gordon Weeks. Steve Kraynak served as chair for the first six months until his resignation, at which point Wendy Gordon Weeks assumed the role of chair. Youth were invited to give input, and Amelia Weeks stepped forward, serving as youth liaison to the committee.

After 13 vision circles; 146 completed congregational surveys; preparation of a special website and an 18-page congregational record; 42 congregants participating in a Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop with the Rev. Keith Kron, UUA Transitions Director; 18 ministerial applicants; 10 video conferences with prospective ministers; and 4 weekend-long visits by pre-candidates, all representing thousands of hours invested into our congregation's search process, the search committee presented a truly outstanding ministerial candidate, the Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe, to the congregation.

Submitted by Wendy Gordon Weeks




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