September 2020 Newsletter
What is Essential?
Early on in this pandemic I started asking myself often, “What is essential?” Because we only have time, right now, for the essentials. The short list of my essentials these days are well reflected by the three base needs in Maslow’s hierarchy: air/water/food/shelter/rest,
safety/employment/health and love/belonging.
These days, my spiritual essentials are: compassion, grace, and lament. Compassion is almost always an essential for me. I am always in need of more love for myself, more love for those I
love, and more love for those I cannot bring myself to love yet.
Grace, for myself and others. Because who can be their best self these days? Because we are
living through the following equation: pandemic + uprisings + a Presidential election + sliding =
compound anxiety. I am trying to have grace for the odd expressions of this compound anxiety.
And lament. Because 182,000+ is way too many people gone. And because it has taken 400
years for white people in our country to get to this point of grappling with its racist founding.
And because so much is uncertain. I lament, daily, for all that is lost, and all that cannot be made
whole, and all that is uncertain, still.
UUCT’s essential needs are: gathering, worshipping, and learning. We gather together on zoom, over the phone, and you will be seeing some news from your Board soon on policies for gathering in small groups on campus. We worship through Sunday morning Baja 4 services and in
Thursday eveningvespers**. We are learning together about new-to-us technologies, new faith
development programs (hello: Beloved Conversations!), and simpler things like where to get haircuts during a pandemic!
Learning feels particularly essential right now. In a vespers service last week, Jamili spoke to us
about how a congregation that learns together, weathers change together better. This happens
because change flows naturally from the learning process. We don’t have to agree to change
(which no one likes to do, right?). We only have to agree to learn together.
If we can keep these things at the center – gathering, worshiping and learning – we can weather this time and come out stronger together. Of course, keep sending your pledge in, as you are
able. But really, if we can do three things well in the coming months, it will be enough.
What are the essential things in your life right now? What are the essential spiritual qualities you
are leaning into these days? What helps you focus on the essential in your life?
Send me your responses, if you’re so inclined. I’d love to hear from you.
See you on Zoom,
- Rev. Bethany
*If you haven’t joined us for evening services yes, consider joining via Zoom (on the computer
or over the phone) soon! These are short, contemplative services where the emphasis is put on centering, sharing, and learning from one another.
Vespers Every Thursday
5:30 PM on Zoom
Every Thursday Rev. Bethany, guest speakers, and Worship Associates will lead a 30-40 minute
vespers service on Zoom starting at 5:30 each week(look out for a possible time/day change in
October). This is a live service with songs, readings, and a short reflection from Rev. Bethany or
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Welcome Rylee Uhrich, 2020-21 SharedMinisterial Intern!
Starting September 1st Rylee Uhrich will be joining UUCT and Borderlands UU as a shared
Ministerial Intern. Rylee is currently a student at Starr King School for the Ministry and just drove to Tucson from the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about Rylee by watching this video:
And read the e-blast to learn about opportunities to get to know her.
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Seeking Small Group
Ministry Facilitators for 2020-21
Did you participate inSmall Group Ministrythis year? Have you participated in the past?
Rev. Bethany is looking to create more Small Group Ministries next year, which means we need more
facilitators. Facilitators will need to be comfortable hosting sessions over Zoom (training available).
Board of Trustees
UUCT Board approves small,
in-person outdoor gatherings
UUCT Gathering Policy
The UUCT board has approved a policy designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, while permitting small outdoor gatherings and meetings on our campus under specific safety conditions.
The policy, which is effective Sept. 2, 2020 until further notice incorporates CDC, state and local guidelines, recommendations, and best practices.
This Stage 1 policy will relate to the first of 4 stages in UUCT’s eventual return to normalcy :
- Stage 1 – effective Sept. 2 relates to small-group outdoor gatherings on campus.
- Stage 2* – Small, limited-seating Sunday worship services on the patio.
- Stage 3* - Limited-seating Sunday services inside Holland Hall.
- Stage 4* (post-vaccine) Near-normal, possibly including hybrid arrangements.
(*) Policies for Stages 2-4 have not yet been developed.
You can read the entire document at:
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Submitted for the Finance Committee
By Heather T Reed, VP of Finance
I’d like to begin this update by introducing myself to those of you who may not know me. I have been a member of UUCT since 2006 and have held many positions, both paid and volunteer, in that time, e.g., OWL teacher, RE teacher, Youth Coordinator, Ministries Assistant, etc. Most recently, I was asked to join the Board of Trustees to fill a vacated position. At that time, I was also invited to join the Finance Committee in preparation for becoming your Vice President of Finance this fiscal year. Thankfully, you as a congregation elected me into the position at our online vote in lieu of an in-person Annual Meeting. As most of you know, I have some rather large shoes to fill, in my two predecessors Margot and JD Garcia, and I will strive to do my best to serve you as dutifully and as well as they have.
At its August 11, 2020, meeting, the Finance Committee discussed our current financial status, cash flow, and PPP loan money status. In addition, the group assessed bids for needed roof repairs and continued its work planning how best to fulfill their duties to track our finances, provide sound financial information to the Board, and keep the congregation informed.
While the pandemic continues to impact our daily operations, our finances are sound. July’s net income was reported as $11,000, and we will be able to report $15,500 in additional income once we find that the PPP loan is forgiven. Overall income is 40% below budget; however this is, in part, due to the normal dip in income during the summer months and the changes caused by the pandemic, e.g., we are not doing lunch, passing the basket, renting our rooms to the public, etc. For these same reasons, expenses are 11% below budget.
What I would like to highlight is that our pledges are 25% above budget, which continues a trend seen in FY20. While the PPP Loan has been critical during this time, it is the consistent and generous support of our congregants that has us hopeful that the impacts of the pandemic will be minimal in the long run.
Please know that the Finance Committee will continue to monitor these impacts closely and keep the congregation informed.
Committee - Aston Bloom
Two is better than One$
As noted previously we are now providing two organizations per month theShare the Plateproceeds.
Our Share the Plate donation for the first half of September will go to Reveille Men's Chorus, of Tucson.
Reveille is committed to promoting the acceptance of LGBTQI people through music. They are an internationally recognized men's chorus dedicated to musical excellence, and perform worldwide to promote human rights, diversity and world free of AIDS. In addition, Reveille stands in solidarity with the Black Lives matter movement.
Without the usual concert performances due to the pandemic, Reveille is challenged to pay their operating expenses, such as staff salaries, and royalties for music.
Reveille will be offering a free virtual concert in October in partnership with the "Florence Project" and "The Dunbar Center" highlighting the missions of these organizations. Another virtual holiday concert will be offered in December.
Please help us raise funds for this worthwhile non-profit.
How to donate
Checks with “Share the Plate” in the memo line can be mailed to the office. Online donations can be made athttps://uuctucson.org/donate
. On that donation page you will find an option for Share the Plate as well as designations for pledge fulfillment, general donation, and Minister’s Discretionary Fund.
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UUCT ‘Surrogate Shoppers’
Helping medically at-risk UUCT members
UUCT Surrogate Shoppers can pick up medicines and deliver groceries for UUCT members.
To place a grocery order, contact one of the surrogate shopper volunteers:
Deliveries will be made within 1-3 days.
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UUCT’sCoffee and Clothes Drive
Sales and delivery - of Café Justo coffee are continuing. This Social Justice Council (SJC) project benefits small-scale, shade-grown organic coffee growers in Chiapas, Mexico. (Kate Schleinkofer and Judy Dare lead this project.)
The delivered-price is $10 per pound bag of Arabica beans and ground, and Robusta beans and ground.
Report from the
On Sat. Aug. 29, approximately 16 church members and friends spent 2-3 hours under grey skies finishing the cleanup. The west side of our UUCT campus is clean and beautiful. Thanks so much to the City of Tucson for the initial cleanup.
Special thanks to Judy Dare and Chuck Gould for snacks and drinks. Carolyn Valdes organized the volunteers. Barb Ricca and Ken Asch set it all up and trimmed trees. Jesus Carillo worked on his day off.
Thanks also to the volunteers who made such a difference. We filled a 40 yard roll off with debris and tree branches. It was fun and very successful event!
The Empire Ranch
is a working cattle ranch in southeastern Pima County, Arizona that was placed on theNational Register of Historic Places
in 1976. In its heyday, Empire Ranch was one of the largest in Arizona with a range spanning over 180 square miles. It’s owner, Walter L. Vail, was an important figure in the establishment of southern Arizona’s cattle industry.
In the early 1950’s the ranch was featured in several western films starring many of Hollywood’s most famous actors, such as John Wayne, Gregory Peck and Steve McQueen.
On November 7th the Empire Ranch plans to host their annual “Roundup” now called theCowboy Festival
which has many events of cultural interest.
Carolyn Saunders and Julia Mehrer are planning a one day TUUR to the festival, Covid permitting. No details are available at this time, but stay tuned for more information!
2nd Hour is Here!
Starting the 2nd Sunday of September
join other UUs from around Baja 4 for an hour of learning, fun, and camaraderie!
This month pick from
- UU 101: Theology and Ethics with Rev. Bethany
- Beloved Conversations with Steve Kraynak.
- Game Time! With Jamili Omar
- Ask a Pagan with SAZCUUPS
Day: Sept 13
Location: Online! Check out theUUCT Website
for links and passcodes!
2020-2021 2nd Hour Dates
September 13, 2020 / October 11, 2020
November 8, 2020 / December 13, 2020
January 10, 2020 / February 14, 2020
March 14, 2020 / April 11, 2020
May 9, 2020
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**Seeking Workshop Leaders**
I’m building a schedule of workshops and would love to include you in the line up. What do you have to share with the world? Bring me an idea and we’ll work together to develop it! No need to worry about technical support. I’ll have assistants available to manage the Zoom, so you can simply lead.
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Family Faith Development
Are you ready for some faith development as a family? I am collecting resources for at home religious education both on the Parenting Club Facebook page and in a Google drive. The folder is available to everyone! You'll find activities that take 5 minutes and ones that take 5 days, so you're in control of how much time you spend on RE.
with the Baja 4
UUCT Fall Services
You'll find us on the UUCT
Sep 6 - Ingathering and Welcome Back All Baja 4 Ministers
Sep 13 - What are we learning at Sky Island? Rev. Tina
Sep 20 - What are we learning at Borderlands? Rev. Matthew
Sep 27 - What are we learning at
UU Church of Tucson? Rev. Bethany
Thursday Evening Vespers
Rev. Bethany, Celeste Rogers
Sep 10 -5:30pm
The Need for Lament
Sep 17 -5:30pm
Interfaith Community Services Share the Plate, Lauryn Valladarez, Rev. Bethany
Sep 24 -5:30pm
Forgiveness Starts Within Rev. Bethany
Yes, you can still join the church during the pandemic.
To connect to Rev. Bethany who will facilitate the processclick here.
Know folks new to UUCT? Encourage newcomers to complete theGuest Information Card
here or on line atUUCTucson.org
. Alma Byrd will contact them to help them get engaged in the many distancing activities of the church.
The Directory has been updated. Please print it from theweb page
What is Waning?
We held a beautiful Lammas ritual online that included a blessing over bread and a really nice early harvest meditation.
What Is Waxing?
Our Second Sunday offering will be Ask a Pagan! Representatives who practice many different pagan faiths will be in attendance. Join us on Sunday, September 12th at 12:30 pm in our zoom room. ID: 823 936 4868
Our Mabon Ritual will be held Tuesday, September 22nd at 6:15 pm. Ritual will also be held in our zoom room--it's been really nice to see everyone during these gatherings! ID: 823 936 4868
Questions about Zoom or our gatherings? Email us at at
Pagan Tip of the Month
Make use of the abundant spices in those pumpkin spice lattes! As you stir your latte, focus your intent and send a little energetic boost where ever you need it!
Cinnamon--success, spirituality, healing, psychic power
Nutmeg--luck, money, health, fidelity
Clove--protection, love, money
Pumpkin--ward off evil spirits
Coffee--hard work, clearing a path
(source for correspondences: "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of
Magical Herbs" and
Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity
The UUA Common Read
BREATHE A Letter To My Sons
by Imani Perry
Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity.
She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love—finding beauty and possibility in life—and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition.
Perry draws upon the ideas of figures such as James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ida B. Wells. She shares vulnerabilities and insight from her own life and from encounters in places as varied as the West Side of Chicago; Birmingham, Alabama; and New England prep schools.
With original art for the cover by Ekua Holmes, Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.
Purchase the book here:
BREATHE and discuss
Contact Steve Kraynak
(Space Cat Extraordinaire!)
Science and reason operate on the broadest scale, but culture does not. In culture the human scale is almost everything. Gods tend to be anthropomorphic or at least very concerned with tiny (or huge if from virus POV) human activities. The whole universe from the nano-scale to the cosmos is just “parsley” on our social dinner plate. That view quoted coincides with the unfortunate idea that “knowledge” is something that places us in the center of the universe.
21-year-old science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote “Nightfall” in 1940, to show what would happen if “night” were such an unusual occurrence that it happened just once in a thousand years. Would people rejoice to suddenly be wrenched out of their usual ways of living and made to appreciate the vast scale of the universe in which we are a small band in a scale from tiny to infinitely large? Emerson thought men would rejoice to see “The City of God” all of a sudden. In Asimov’s story the reality hitting unprepared humanity has a much more frightening, yet—now this is important—majestic and awe-inspiring side.
We never knew how limited our POV was until something wrenched us from our usual human scale social routines. In “Nightfall” both the scientist at the observatory and the leader of the planet’s religions were struggling hard to figure out what this “night” was that fell once every thousand years and cause such social devastation. Asimov shows balance in that each is partly accurate. The scientist doesn’t discard what might be helpful in the sacred text of the religion in “Nightfall.”
If any of this sounds a bit familiar, this is what rationalists do. They try on unusual situations and reason about them. Nothing is “strange” about night until a person reasons that night might cause wild social consequences if it happens only once in a long time and people were not too prepared.
You can read Asimov’s short story “Nightfall” here:
“If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God?” EMERSON
This is your Cosmic Corner and your voices are important to us.
Conversations with Friends
and Gilbert Moore
Conversations with Friends has resumed meeting weekly, at 2:30 pm on Wednesdays, via zoom.
Tucson UU Younger Adults
(TUUYA) Meet Ups
Do you identify as a young adult (generations X, Y, or Z)? Would you like to meet up with other UU young adults? TUUYA regularly hosts events and meet ups.
) has your email or join us on Facebook: by searching Tucson UU Younger Adults (TUUYA).
September's book isDeacon King Kongby James McBride.
We will meet via Zoom the 2nd Thursday, on September 10th at 9:30 am.
go to: zoom.us
select: Join meeting:
Meeting ID: 884 1260 4078
UUJAZ News - Janine Gelsinger
Thursdays 7-8pm, Aug 6th - September 10th
What does it look like for UU's to be anti-racist and anti-oppressive? Join Janine and UUJAZ to read the Commission on Institutional Change's report "Widening the Circle of Concern" compiled over three years of interviews and research, analyzing structural and systemic racism. Discuss the recommended actions, and how they could translate into actions in our UU congregations in Arizona, to advance long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism.
The commission's report is available free to read online
, or as a downloadable PDF for a limited time, or can be purchased from the UUA bookstore.
Editor's note: Many thanks to those who provided photos, poems, and art.
4831 E 22nd St Tucson AZ 85711 520.748.1551