Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Family Minister’s Forecast: Thundering Hordes of Youth, Renewing Rains of UU Generosity

Some church members are concerned that we may not be in covenant with our larger UU denomination and the local Pacific Central District.  That’s because the 2010-11 budget does not fully fund our dues to the national and local structures.

I think–with growth in our own awareness and generous giving–this fact will change. After all, last budget year we gave 105% of what we had projected to local not-for-profit agencies through our voluntary Sunday offerings.

Furthermore, I am heartened by the many ways we do support our district and the UUA with volunteer time, personal hospitality, and dollars.

We can always do more, but I am confident that we are in right relationship with all the other congregations in this free faith tradition.

From Oct. 22-24 this congregation will host 60 UU teenagers and adult advisers from all over our Pacific Central District (PCD) for the fall conference of “YRUU.”  They’ll be up early that Sunday to clean up, eat, and attend church!  If that’s not wild enough for you, wait till Nov. 12-14, when 60 middle school UUs come here for their own fall conference (called “MUUGS”).  We’ve sent handfuls of our own teens to YRUU and MUUGS conferences.  They rave about them.

Last year we brought in trainers for workshop days for youth group teachers and for teachers of the new Spirit Play model for RE.  UUSS subsidized the costs so members of other PCD congregations could come and learn with us.

Doug and I serve as officers of the UU Ministers professional association in the local district. He has led the chaplain corps at the UUA General Assembly, preached at our own District Assembly, offered case studies at Starr King School, and mentored UU seminary interns here.

I go to Boston twice a year to serve on a UU grants panel, the Fund for a Just Society.  I served on the Pacific Central District Board, and I continue on the PCD Growth Committee (as have some lay leaders of UUSS).  We have hosted some of those district committee meetings as well as a major PCD workshop on publicity and outreach (with a lovely meal, thanks to Dave and Patricia).  I attended the ministers’ meeting of the International Council of Unitarians & Universalists in Europe and plan to make a Partner Church pilgrimage to the Philippines.

There is a Unitarian minister couple from Transylvania studying at Starr King this year.  I hope to bring one or both of them here to lead a vesper Communion service on a December evening, in their old and lovely Unitarian Christian tradition.  Would you like to help me?

October 3 is UU Association Sunday at UUSS.  It includes a special appeal for donations to grow our churches and spread the faith. “We Are Better Together.”  Will you join me in making a special gift?
Will you show your team spirit for this vital and loving faith?

In the spirit,
PS:  Don’t miss the Connections Fair after both services on Oct. 3, and the Congregational Meeting after the 11:15 service on Oct. 17.

(poem) July Farmer’s Market, Fremont Park

July Farmer’s Market, Fremont Park, Sacramento

“Beauty’s power is so great.  She enlivens the earth, the sky, our soul.”  — Mirabai (1498-1550)

The firm yellow nectarines huddle in a pile, waiting for people like me to take them home.  The sidewalk booth and those next to it hold bounty–color, juice, flavor, fiber, vitamins. The young woman holds out a pair of tongs to drop a sample wedge into my hands.  It’s a triangle of sweetness.  “Try a white nectarine, too,” she says.  “And the yellow peaches are good– freestone.”

The sign in the tent says they brought all this to me from a farm in a far county.  By the time they take down the canopy and re-load the truck, the sky will be full of hot sun, and their way home not nearly as gentle as my morning has been.  I hobble home on foot, lugging more than I can eat in a week, more blessings than I can carry.

Friend in Deed: survey to set up a support system
September 18, 2010, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our fabulous Program Council is in the early planning stages of a mutual-assistance network for congregation members.  The intention is to connect people with abilities and time with those who might benefit from some practical support.  Hence, we won’t promise what we can’t really provide.

If you are in the congregation, please take this survey.  If you are not, feel free to look at it for ideas to help your own congregation.  Paper copies will be available at church for those of you who are not reading this.

Drumming Workshop Saturday, October 16
September 18, 2010, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Children and Youth, Rituals, Prayers, Elements of Worship Services

Advance notice just for my beloved blog readers.  See and hear Wendy tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 9:30 AM.

You Can Do It, or You Will Come Alive Trying!
Saturday, October 16, 9:15 AM-Noon

Want to lighten and enliven your spirit and wake up a worship service?  Rev. Wendy Bartel provided stunning music for our Sept. 19 service.  Wendy returns for a percussion and rhythm workshop for all ages and abilities.

Join us on Saturday morning, Oct. 16.  No need to bring a drum unless you have one–or two, if you have one to share.    Adults, youth and children at the workshop are invited to join Wendy the next day in worship for a drumming processional, accompaniment of a hymn, and other surprises.
Cost:  $12, free for kids and teens accompanied by adults.  Sign up at Connection Central or with Rev. Roger by Oct. 10.

Rev. Wendy Bartel is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry.  Wendy was ordained to the UU ministry by First UU Church of San Diego, CA, in 2010, and now shares a consulting ministry with the congregation in Auburn, CA.

Pakistan Relief & Women’s Empowerment

Summer  floods in Pakistan have destroyed 1.2 million homes, killed at least 1,600 people, left millions more homeless or displaced, and destroyed 14,000 square miles of crops.

In the wake of the continuing disaster the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) are teaming up to provide targeted relief and support to women and their children in a region of Pakistan where women are strictly segregated from men as well as the outside world.

To read what the Service Committee says, visit   You can help the UUSC in supporting its local partner organization on the ground, known as Bedari, which seeks to empower women and get them access to needed medical care, food, and disease-prevention supplies.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to  Pakistan relief or another specific UUSC/UUA humanitarian relief appeal, go to our own