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Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

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Tucsonitarian: October 2020


October 2020 Newsletter


The Tucsonitarian


Rev. Bethany
This month and last, Unitarian Universalists around the country are commemorating the
beginnings of Universalism in America. Rev. John Murray was a Calvinist preacher in Ireland. He heard that a small group of religious heretics were forming in London, led by Rev. John Relly, centering their belief around the idea that Jesus’ love extended to all people, not just a chosen
Rev. Murray was dismayed by this idea and went to London to convince a young female convert, Eliza, of the errors of her ways. But, the more he listened to this woman (who soon became his wife) and Rev. Relly, the more Rev. Murray began to accept Universalism into his heart: God does not choose who God loves...God’s loves all. This crisis of faith led to some serious depression and compelled him to flee Europe for America.
As the legend goes, in September 1770, Rev. Murray’s ship, bound for New York City, landed
unexpectedly on the shores of New Jersey. After landing, Rev. Murray met Thomas Potter, an
American Universalist who had built a church in anticipation of a Universalist preacher filling its
pulpit. To Mr. Potter, Rev. Murray’s arrival was some sort of fate.
Rev. Murray was skeptical, but agreed to preach the following Sunday if the winds did not shift enough for his boat to move. The winds did not shift, and so on September 30th 1770, Rev. John Murray preached the first message of Universalism from Potter’s church in New Jersey. From there, Universalism grew throughout the United States, and is part of our religious foundation today.
To be clear, this story is legend: an embellished truth to capture our imaginations. Modern
historians have uncovered the actual name of the young woman Rev. Murray tried to “rescue” in
London, Eliza, and written her back into the story. And others have questioned why we credit
Rev. Murray with bringing Universalism to America, while there were clearly people with
Universalist beliefs present in Mr. Potter’s town.
Needless to say, this focus on Universalism feels particularly potent in these times of societal
tumult, racial inequity, income inequality, and the rising tide of fascism.
A Universalist theology teaches that all are worthy of life and love – whether that be God’s love, or the love of community. The First Principle of Unitarian Universalism – that all beings have inherent worth
and dignity – arises directly out of Universalist theology.
When I speak or preach on Universalism, an inevitable brand of question arises: What about
Hitler? What about the person who abused me? What about the family who abandoned me?
What about…? You can fill in the blank.
It’s true. Universalism challenges us to see that these people are all worthy of love. Personally, I
find some comfort in knowing that someone loves those who I cannot yet love. I tell myself,
“God loves them, I don’t have to try so hard. I can focus elsewhere.” This allows me to focus on
how to love the stranger, the immigrant, the cash-poor neighbor, my trans siblings, the unhoused,
folks who identify as BIPOC, etc.
Loving those who have been marginalized encourages me to not just tolerate or accept, but to actually love all people. Universalism asks us to consider who has been pushed to the margins, and to direct our love there, where it can make the biggest impact.
So, who are you called to love in this time? What is keeping you from loving them already? How will you become Love’s hands in the world?
See you on Zoom,
- Rev. Bethany
Vespers on Thursdays at 6:30 PM
Every Thursday at 6:30 (please note time change!), Rev. Bethany, guest speakers, and Worship
Associates will lead a 30-40 minute vespers service on Zoom. This is a live service with songs,
readings, and a short reflection from Rev. Bethany or another speaker. Join us!
Vespers Services after Election Day
Anticipating that the days after Election Day will be tumultuous, Baja 4 ministers are planning to
offer daily evening vespers services in the days after November 3rd. This will be a space for you
to bring your whole self – worries, fears, hopes, and all – and be held through music, word, and
silence. Vespers will be at 6 PM on November 4th – 6th and 10AM on November 7th.
Mark your calendars!
More details forthcoming.
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.
Submitted for the Finance Committee
By Heather T Reed, VP of Finance
Now that the PPP loan funds have been spent, the Finance Committee is working hard on a full report of the impact of the pandemic and the PPP Loan on the church's finances, as well as a plan for how best to use the PPP loan funds once the loan is forgiven.
The plan is to provide the report to the congregation in early November. In the meantime, rest assured that our finances continue to be sound thanks, in large part, to your support.
In the last month, the FC has continued its work to create better practices to track spending and easy-to-read reports that provide a useful snapshot of our finances. We have also identified a Chair for the committee and are working on recruiting new members to fill their ranks. While life at church, and everywhere else, is far from what we're used to, know that the FC is committed to keeping our church fiscally sound.
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UUCT Board approves small,
in-person outdoor gatherings
on campus.
UUCT Gathering Policy
Stage 1
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:
Social Justice
Committee - Aston Bloom
Interested in knowing more about the work of the Social Justice Committee?
Attend a meeting!
(You can find the Zoom information below AND on the homepage of the Church website)
The SJC, chaired by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., meets on the2nd Saturday of each month at 9am.  All are invited to participate.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 823 1979 8034
Passcode: 483148
Join by telephone (voice only): +1 669 900 6833, Meeting ID: 823 1979 8034
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As noted previously we are now providing two organizations per month the Share the Plate proceeds.
Our Share the Plate donations for October:
Cafe Justo - This project benefits small-scale, shade-grown organic coffee growers in Chiapas, Mexico.(Love coffee? See information below for purchasing and delivery.)
Mass Liberation Front - Mass Liberation Arizona seeks to DE-CARCERATE and DIVEST from the criminal (in)justice system - we need people & resources IN our communities NOT in prisons.
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:
  • Vail and East Tucson – Marsha Newcomb,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
  • Vail and East Tucson – Cathy Dinsmore,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Northwest Tucson – Terry Spinelli,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Green Valley – Bonita Mott,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Midtown Tucson – Rex Graham,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Deliveries will be made within 1-3 days.
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UUCT’sCoffee and Clothes Drive
Sales and delivery - 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.
Please contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Beth Britton forThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Small Group Ministry at UUCT
Circles of Trustfor Unitarian Universalists are coming to UUCT, beginning the week of October 19!
These ongoing small groups will run through the end of May. Each Circle of 8 people will meet either once a month for 2 hours, or twice a month for 1½ hours, over Zoom. Modeled after Quaker teacher and writer Parker Palmer’s Circles of Trust, now in wide use all over the world, the groups will be facilitated by UUCT Affiliate Ministers and experienced lay leaders.
Participating in a Circles of Trust for UUs offers you the chance to:  
·       Connect meaningfully with others
·       Create a community of trust 
·       Engage important questions of the self and of the times
·       Listen attentively and speak truthfully
·       Learn to ask open-ended, honest questions
·       Welcome silence; invite laughter
·       Practice deep, covenantal relationships
To register, or for more information, please contact Rev. Karla Brockie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Rev. Carolyn Price This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  And if you want to participate, but no available time works for you, let us know. Groups may be added as the church year progresses. 
The following days and times are offered this fall:
Circles of Trust for UUs Oct  2020 – May 2021 
Group Meeting Times and Facilitators: 
1st and 3rd Mondays, 2-3:30pm, Rev. Karla Brockie, facilitator.             Begins Oct 19
3rd Tuesday, 10am to noon, Rev. Carolyn Price, facilitator.                      Begins Oct 20
3rd Saturdays, 10am to noon, Rev. Julie Olson, facilitator.                        Begins Oct 17
1st and 3rd Wednesdays, 7pm, foryoung adults age 18-35, Rachael Milles facilitator.  Begins Oct 21
1st and 3rd Monday, 7-8:30 pm, Linda Myers, facilitator.                        Begins Oct. 19
We hope you’ll join us for this exciting new
small group ministry. 
~ Revs. Karla, Carolyn, and Julie; Linda, and Rachael, Facilitators, Circles of Trust for UUs.
Road Trip!
The Empire Ranch
Empire Ranchis a working cattle ranch in southeastern Pima County, Arizona that was placed on theNational Register of Historic Placesin 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 Festivalwhich 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!
(Space Cat Extraordinaire!)
Submitted by
Gloria McMillan
       When I was about twelve, I had a Sears microscope.  That microscope was a big advance in my life, although it may have held me back socially.  I found friends among tiny things who didn’t know I existed. Paramecia, Volvoxes (who look something like COVID viruses without the spikes), amoebas, stentors—what a tiny zoo!  I grew up in a steel mill suburb of Chicago and so big nature wasn’t right outside my door but little nature was around any time I could get some water from the pond nearby. I realized those little beings were as real as I was but they lived in fast motion. Nobody at school knew or cared much about this and I have found this to be the case to this day. I never became a microbiologist because I mainly enjoyed how these beings looked not how they functioned. I did endless drawings.
         Science, as I mentioned, is about scale.  Everyday life tells us that our human scale is more important than any other scale in the universe, but who are we to pass judgement?  There is a classic story called “Surface Tension” about just such tiny beings under a microscope.  Here is a link to this story.
          Rhetoric about divine plans mean little to people who entertain the idea that there may be no plan, no plan at all, just many complex systems interacting in a myriad of ways.  Having an open system means we don’t deduce from an already-given answer but induce from phenomena like many views of tiny beings that amaze, delight, and sometimes terrify when we consider the implications.
Send ideas to pursue, or write your own column toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
This is your Cosmic Corner and your voices are important to us
Jamili Omar
Director, LFD
2nd Hour is Here!
Day: Oct 11
Time: 12:15-1:15pm
1. Ask an Intern with Megan-Rylee Uhrich (All Ages). Come meet Rylee, our Ministerial Intern. She'll be available to answer your questions, tell stories, and discuss ideas. It's hard to get to know one another during quarantine but she is excited to continue to get to know all of you.
2. Exploring World Religions with Jamili Omar (ages 12+). This year our middle and high schoolers will be “traveling” around the World’s Religions –virtually of course! One of the most interesting parts of the program is always the visits to worship, meeting, prayer, or other religious services. This year, we’re doing them online –and inviting everyone to join! Each month during 2nd Hour, we’ll watch one service or interview a person of that faith. Some reading in advance will help you understand and contextualize the service, but isn’t required. In October we visit… Unitarian Universalism. As both our grounding and our returning, we orient ourselves to the world through our faith home.
3. Game Time! with RE Teachers (All Ages). Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the week with a little lighthearted competition. We’ll play PG rated games like Kahoot, Jackbox Games, and Improv. Having the ability to open zoom and a 2nd browser (on a computer, tablet, or phone) will be helpful, but not necessary.
4. Stitch and Witch with SAZCUUPS (ages 11+). Do you do creative work? Ever want to craft with a bunch of pagans? Come join us for an hour of arts, crafts, and general merriment. Experienced crafters will be on hand if you have questions or need advice. Bring your current work in progress and hang out with us. Questions? EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
5. The Role of Play: Thoughts from a Minister, Homeschooling Parent, and Game Loving Dad with Rev. Matthew (ages 18+). Rev. Matthew will offer a framework for a discussion about the need for play in our families at all times - and particularly at this time.
6. UU the Vote with UUJAZ (ages 12+). This November, we have an opportunity to reflect our UU values in local policy more than ever. Can we ensure free and safe elections? End cash bail and contracts with private prisons? Hold police accountable? Empower those most vulnerable to pandemic and racism? Fund education? None of this will happen without you. We have just over a week before ballots drop, so NOW is the time to have conversations with people you know, or join a phone or text bank. Don't wake up in November wishing you had done more. Find out more at this session.
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.
If you have any questions or want to lead a workshop, please contact Jamili atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  
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Family Faith Development
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.
Worship Services
with the Baja 4
UUCT Fall Services
Worship Calendar
October 4 Gather the Spirit!: MVUU Rev. Sam
October 11 Won't You Be My Neighbor? Rev. Sam
October 18 Democracy, Through My Eyes Rev. Anthony Johnson with Rev. Bethany
October 25 Radical Welcome Alex Kapitan (Transforming Hearts
Collective) with Rev. Matthew
November 1 Spiritual Preparation for Election Janine Gelsinger (Executive Director of UUJAZ) with Rev. Tina
You'll find us on the UUCT
YouTube Channel
Welcoming andMembership
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 Cardhere 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.
EJ Millstone
What is Waning?
We held an Ask-A-Pagan class with many different faiths represented and we all had one thing in common, a lot of book recommendations! We also held a beautiful Fall Equinox ritual focused onpanantheismand the web of interconnectivity.
What Is Waxing?
Our Second Sunday offering will beStitch and Witch. Bring any art or craft you're working on and join us for witchy talk and creation! Show and tell and questions highly encouraged. Join us on Sunday, October 11th at 12:15 pm in our zoom room. ID: 823 936 4868
Our Samhain Ritual will be held Sunday, November 1st at 6:15 pm. Ana Ortiz will be leading us in celebration. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pagan Tip of the Month
It's the time of year when the veil thins and our ancestors are closer to us than ever. Creating an ancestor shrine is a great way to honor those who came before us and influence and guide us even today. Carve out a small space in your home for pictures, items that belonged to them, their favorite foods, colors and candles. You can even add ancestors not related by blood. This year, I plan to include Gene Roddenberry in mine, a big inspiration for my (nerdy) ethical and moral center!
Report from Facilities Team - Margot Garcia
The good news is that theroofs of Goddard, Thoreau and Lincoln(click for aerial view, thanks to Chuck Gould) have been repaired and painted with 2 coats of elastomeric paint. That should keep the rain out for several years. This work was paid for from the savings UUCT realized from getting a PPP loan/grant from the Federal Government to pay for staff and utilities for 2 ½ months.
Thanks to Barbara Ricca, Ken Asch and Carolyn Valdes and many others, the church grounds have been raked and pruned so that our campus looks lived in and neat. Ken also repaired the door to the mechanical room and Chuck Gould has been building basins and deep watering the Palo Verde trees along 22nd St. This summer has been brutal on all vegetation.
The saga of the solar panels continues. Enlightened Solar Solutions Leasing LLC, the company we lease the panels from has gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We have been notified of this by the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona. The Board authorized consultations with a bankruptcy lawyer and withholding monthly payments until we know who to mail them to. The remaining value of the lease is about $128,000. However, we have a right to try and buy the installation next year. We will keep you up to date as the story unfolds.
As a result of the Homeless Summit in August, we are moving to put locks on outdoor water spigots and cover over outside electrical outlets. Ken and Barb mapped the inventory of the spigots and outlets and those that are outside of the Children’s Center have been covered over or locked. When we hear which spigots and outlets the Children’s Center uses, then we will cap the remaining ones to prevent their being an enticement for the unhoused to use our land for an encampment. 
We are adding to the list of needed repairs to our campus in order to prepare a master list that can guide our priorities and funding of those repairs. We would welcome any input from you, the congregants, as to things you have seen that need to be repaired or improved. We welcome your suggestions. Send them to Margot Garcia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Facilities Team facilitator and she will compile them. We hope at our November meeting to begin to prioritize the many things we need to do with an eye to the limited funds we have at this time.
We meet first Sunday of the month at
9 am. You are welcome to join us.
This photo was taken at the PRIDE Parade at the end of September, 2019. It was a miserably hot day, but these folks were committed to supporting the Queer Community in our congregation and beyond!
This year PRIDE will be celebrated virtually on October 24th. Quite a different experience, but none the less worth celebrating. If you wish to join the celebration here is the link.
If you're an older adult you might be interested in Senior Pride. Here is their YouTube link:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClyYqDQwZooNMuNZ2H_IibA
If you're interested in participating in the celebration with LGBTQAI+ Group at UUCT stay tuned! There is more to come...
Conversations with Friends
Ronna James
and Gilbert Moore
Conversations with Friends has resumed meeting weekly, at 2:30 pm on Wednesdays, via zoom. 
For info contact Gilbert Moore at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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.
To stay in the loop make sure that Janice (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Jamili (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) has your email or join us on Facebook: by searching Tucson UU Younger Adults (TUUYA).
Book Club
The UUCT Book Club has selected the books for October and November so that participants will have time to acquire and read the books. We are not ready to meet in person and will continue to use Zoom. We meet online the 2nd Thursday of the month at 9:30am.
The book for ourOctober 8th meetingis "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri.
The book for ourNovember 12th meetingis "The German House" by Annette Hess.
To be added to the book club email list, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88412604078 ?pwd=SWl0dGdyTzZrRTlYaDk1VExINnBlZz09 
go to: zoom.us
select: Join meeting:
Meeting ID: 884 1260 4078
Password: 484848

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