Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

An Invitation to Check Out My Congregation this Sunday

Dear Members, Families and Friends:

“An Invitation” is written so that you may copy and then paste it into an email or your Facebook status.  This makes it easy to invite a friend or neighbor to attend a service with you (and invite their kids to check out our Children’s Religious Education program).  We find that most of our visitors try us out because somebody has invited them!  I think both the service and RE program this week would be a very good introduction to UUSS.


An Invitation–The Cosmic Force of Love

This Sunday (August 7) my congregation has a special service with a special guest minister.

“The Cosmic Force of Love” is the title of the Rev. Chris Bell’s sermon.  It’s inspired by “The Universe Is a Green Dragon,” by physicist Brian Swimme.  The message will consider how the Divine is revealed in the physics of the cosmos, and what gravity, galaxies and black holes can teach us about the purpose of our lives.   Chris comes highly recommended by our two ministers, Doug and Roger, who have known him since he became the minister of the UU church in Santa Rosa.  Before studying for the ministry at Harvard Divinity School, Chris worked in the restaurant business and in wine sales.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he discovered a UU church in his 20s. Our service is at 10:00 AM at 2425 Sierra Blvd.  It’s a good idea for guests to come 10-15 minutes early to find your way through the parking lot, receive a name tag, and find a good seat.  Please hang around afterwards for refreshments and conversation, if you like.  The congregation enjoys getting to know our guests.  Our website is:

Religious Education for Children:   Guests are welcome to visit our Summer ArtWorks! program.  August 7 to 21, we have Story Time Yoga (a cool program led by Michelle, a mother of two kids in the church).  No need to bring equipment for this.  Teens are welcome to participate (and assist!) or to stay in the services.    (We also have nursery care for ages 0 through 5 with two paid care providers in Classroom 11, but your baby is welcome in the service or the nearby Baby Comfort Room, in our Bookstore.) Kids are welcome to enjoy refreshments or the playground after the service.  Note:  after church on Aug. 21, we have the Swan Brothers balloon circus here for an annual show of fun and funny forms.  All families welcome to that show.

– – – –

Now back to the regular Weekly Message:

Activities in Our UU Community

SUNDAY after service and RE:  Are you interested in finding out about what your fellow UU’s said in the master planning questionnaire?  Or how this information, as well as the focus group information is guiding the development of the master plan?  If so, plan on staying around after the service on August 7 to hear members of UUMPF and architect Jeff Gold lead a discussion on this topic. Discussions like these are an important part of the continued ‘fine tuning’ of this process.  Questions?  Contact Barbara Gardner.

TONIGHT:  U-Tunes Instrumentalists tonight and every Friday–We begin our gathering at 6:30 pm.  Come a little early if you want to get some extra practice in and help set up.     We will have five minutes to perform at the August 19th first ever Shindig at the Hex.   We will play Simple Gifts and the Five Foot Two Medley for the Shindig.  Please come to practice whether or not you can perform at the Shindig — all musicians, including singers, are always welcome! —Joan Rubenson

TONIGHT:  Interweave dinner/swim party – for GLBTQ Unitarian Universalists & Allies — August potluck meeting. Remember to bring your swim suit/shorts and a towel!  Swim Party and Potluck Supper 6:00 PM Friday, August 5, at Linda Killick’s and Cathy Whitney’s home.  Please RSVP  to them for directions and to get an idea as to what food to bring.  Send an e-mail or telephone them; their number is in the UUSS directory.

TOMORROW POTLUCK DINNER/DISCUSSION:  This Saturday, August 6-4-6 PM, our congregation’s  Earth Justice/Green Sanctuary team invites you to a celebratory potluck dinner and discussion to celebrate the 40 Day Challenge.   It will take place in Anne Bandy’s lovely garden & pool in Carmichael.  Contact Barbara Hopkins with questions.  If you are coming, please respond by or calling Ann Bandy at 916-486–8397.  Her address is in the Member/Friend Directory, but she or Barb can tell you.  Everyone interested in Earth Justice issues is welcome, but RSVP.  Come learn about the challenges of changing  personal goals, such as Meatless Monday to Carbonless Transit.  Share your ideas for future Earth Justice programs, including the world wide September 24th

SUNDAY AFTER CHURCH: See first listing, above!

LATER ON SUNDAY:  25th Annual Peace Event– No more Hiroshimas. No More Nagasakis.  Sunday, August 7, 2011, 4–6pm (Doors open AT 3:30 PM for browsing displays)/ Secretary of State Auditorium, 1500 11th St., Sacramento. Free parking across the street, close to public transit.

4–6 pm: Program: • Hibakusha Jack Dairiki, a survivor of the atomic bombings of August 1945. People like Mr. Dairiki have played a critical role in arms reduction.
• The story of “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes” performed by the Crane Culture Theater.
• Music, poetry—and more—in this inspirational family program
For more information: contact UUSS member Patricia Pratt at (916) 482-3018.  Or this website: Free admission. Donations welcome.

MONDAY:  Yoga Easy class continues at 6:30 PM.

Need to register for this class!  See Adult Enrichment section below.

TUESDAY:  More room in the Poetry Circle — For a relaxing summer dusk, why not join the easy evening hosted by Jerry Hostler, probably in Room 12.  Typically, each person brings a few favorite poems, simple or complex, new or classic, by any poet you like.  We have plenty of room for you, and we make an early evening of it.  We’ll do it again,  Tuesday, August 9,  6:30 – 8:00 PM.  No cost for this group.  For questions, contact JoAnn Anglin.

TUESDAY:  UU History:  Our Global Garden.  Need to register!

For this class, see the Adult Enrichment section, below.

WEDNESDAY morning:  Opportunity Reflection Group (ORG)–Last week I was privileged to be invited to facilitate this weekly group and hear of the challenges facing those who are out of work, looking for work, and maintaining their spiritual grounding and courage.  It is not a networking group, though sometimes good ideas do come up.  It’s for support and reflection in a confidential setting.  They suggested that I extend the invitation to those who may not have heard about “ORG.”  It meets from 10:00 AM until 11:30 or so.  Come a bit early if you have not been there before, and contact Carole Czujko with questions.

WEDNESDAY night:  UUSS Generation X & Baby Boomers—  A UU Group for Fellowship, Fun and Connection– Join us for our regular monthly meeting of UU members and friends in their 40s and 50s on Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00 pm at the church.  We’ll check in, socialize and plan future events.  Generation X/Boomers also announces its August party event:  Saturday 8/20 at 5:30 pm. Contact Rosemary Madruga with any questions.

WEDNESDAY night:  Choir Practice at 7:00 PM.  Music Director Eric Stetson invites you to consider joining the Starr Singers.  Contact him at this link.  And don’t forget Eric’s open-mic coffee house on Friday, August 19, Shindig at the Hex!

THURSDAY:  Auditions for “The Laramie Project” at UUSS– Theater One, our church’s own community theater company, has chosen “The Laramie Project” for its fall play and scheduled it for the first three weekends in November.  T-1 will hold auditions Thursday, August 11, and Tuesday, August 16, at 7:00 PM.  Our member Mike Erwin is directing.  Casting will be from a cold reading of the script.  Auditions are open to everyone, not just members & friends.   I’ve head there are a number of roles suitable for young adults, so spread the word.

The play consists of character sketches of the townspeople of Laramie,WY, where the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, occurred, and a lot of the performances are essentially monologues delivered to the audience.

2 WEEKS FROM TONIGHT:  — Shindig @ the Hex!–Friday, August 19– 7:00 PM–Our first open-mic/concert evening event has been confirmed! Spread the word and save the date, come on out for great performances of music, original poetry, comedy, and more along with our inaugural headliner: Brady McKay! Open-mic sign-ups will open two weeks prior to the event (August 5th), so get your acts ready and sign up early, spots will be limited.  Tickets at the door: $10 general audience, $5 for open-mic performers, children 12 and under free. Proceeds support the UUSS general fund.  For more information contact Eric Stetson, Music Director.

Activities outside UUSS:

Sing-along “Wizard of Oz” at Crest Theater, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 13.  Doors open at 1 PM for Oz Karaoke in the Lobby.  Movie at 2 PM.  For prices, etc., click this link.

The Fire Spectacular-Saturday, August 13, in Sacramento’s William Land Park:  Live music 5-8 PM, Fire Dance Show, 8-10 PM. I am so sorry to miss this once-a-year show, since I know at least two fire-dancing, music-making and fire-eating artists.  (I will be in Denver.)  It will be family-friendly and safe (for spectators, anyway):   Find out more at

No More Fish to Eat?  The documentary film “The End of the Line” explores the devastating effect that overfishing is having on fish stocks and the health of our oceans.  Sunday, August 14, at The Guild Theater in Sacramento.  Admission only $5.  Click this link to find out more.  We’re sure a number of Green Sanctuary/Earth Justice folks from UUSS will be there.    

Adult Enrichment summer courses at UUSS:

UU Readers Book Discussion Group will meet August 30, 6:30-8:30.  The book is “A Visit From the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan. More info at my blog.  Jim Glidden facilitates.  Here is a New York Times book review.

The Wednesday Afternoon Women’s Group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 2-4 pm each month.  All women are welcome, you need not be a member. No cost.  Contact Carole with questions.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) will be offered again starting with an introductory session on Monday, September 19.  There will be both an afternoon ( 1:00-3:30 pm ) course and an evening course ( 6:00-8:30 pm ) offered.  After the introductory session, the course will meet weekly for 8 sessions, except for October 31, and there will be one all day session on November 5.  The fee is $100 plus $30 for materials.  Scholarships are available.

Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced sitting in a chair, or standing using a chair for support.  Class includes eye exercises , breath exercise and meditation.  Sign up for upcoming September sessions, which will be on either Monday or Wednesday morning.  Sign up at the Adult Enrichment table!

Wednesday Walkers and Talkers meet first at Panera Bread, at Howe and Northrup, for coffee/juice at 8:00 AM then walk at 9 AM.  Please sign up if you are interested in joining this group, or please call Ray Reynolds at 916-254-3516 to confirm your participation.

STARTS TUESDAY: UU history in other countries:  Roots and Branches: Our UU Global Garden —with the Rev. Roger Jones on 2 Tuesdays, Aug. 9 & 16.  Let’s take a look at our families in faith in other parts of the globe.  In Transylvania, Unitarianism began in the 1560s and churches still proclaim, in Hungarian, God is one!  Come learn about Muslim Ottoman contributions to the Unitarian king’s law of inter-religious tolerance.  We’ll look at Poland and England before the 1800s, India in the 1900s, and the Universalist Church of the Philippines, founded in 1955.  We might also visit UUs in Pakistan or Burundi.  We’ll see that there’s not one way to be a religious liberal.  Cost:  $10, free up to age 25.  Register at Connection Central.

Adult Enrichment Class:  “Immigration As a Moral Issue”

This series of classes will be led by Barbara Gardner and Kathy Olson and will meet over six consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning on September 6, from 7 – 9 PM .  Immigration is now – and often has been – a hot and complicated political and economic issue in this country.  It’s also a moral issue, addressed by the world’s religious traditions, ethical teachers, and the UN.  Engaging with it calls for the use of reason, compassion and a willingness to learn and to listen to those with whom we may or may not agree.  The topic was chosen for denomination-wide study and action by delegates to a past General Assembly of the UUA.  Good resources come from the UUA’s Commission on Social Witness and Standing on the Side of Love campaign. Although the course cannot be comprehensive, it is a good start at understanding a complex and timely issue that involves all of us.  There will be reading assignments prior to each class and much of the class time will be spent in group discussion.  The course fee is $15 and scholarships are available.  Sign up or find out more at the Adult Enrichment table.


All-Ages and Abilities Fencing Class–Fight less, fence more.

Coming Tuesday evenings in September with Elizabeth Leonard and Douglas Leonard.  Cost will be $5 per week for adults and $2 per week for a child.  Equipment provided!

(Maximum 20 individuals, but more openings may be available later through… attrition. –Pastor Cranky).  Really, it will be fun AND safe!

Visit the Adult Enrichment table for more information and to register.

Remember: The family that parries together, stays together.  

God, Consciousness & Spiritual Literacy: 

Looking at Our Lenses Together–

Adult Enrichment with the Rev. Doug Kraft on

4 Wednesdays, Aug. 31-Sept. 21, 2011.

From 6:00-8:00 PM–Sign up on Sundays at church

Doug’s spring sermon series on “God” spurred interest in further conversation on the issues of integral spirituality, consciousness, and the lenses through which we see matters of ultimate concern.

The course features reflective questions, discussion of points from the sermon, and further material Doug has gleaned from the works of Ken Wilbur.  Please read the first two sermons (“God 1” and “God 2”) before the first session. You can read or hear all the sermons at 20 & 27, April 17, May 22).

Or you can get a new book of the four sermons (plus a new introduction, illustrations, and a transcription of dialogues from the “God” services), available soon from our Beacon Bookstore for $10.

The 4-session course fee is $25 ($10 up to age 25), payable to UUSS.  Maximum 20 people. Sign up at and bring your check to Connection Central in the lobby after church.  Registration continues till the class is full or until Homecoming Sunday, August 28.


Long-Range Plans now not so Long in the Future:  

Come for Survey Results & Talk Aug. 7–

Find out what 134 members and friends had to say on the master planning survey!  Learn  how the survey (and the focus group information) will guide the development of the master plan.  Stay around after the service on August 7t to hear members of UUMPF and architect Jeff Gold lead a discussion on this topic. Discussions like these are an important part of the continued ‘fine tuning’ of this process.

Ways We Reach Out:

1)  The red grocery basket in the Lobby or patio area says Together We Share.   We join together in contributing personal care items and non-perisable food items.

2)  Every Sunday we give half of our monetary offering to an organization doing important work out in the world.  In July, we give half the plate to Family Promise.  UUSS participates as one of the congregations which hosts Family Promise families 3-4 times each year.  Sign ups for helping to host our next set of guests takes place on Sunday.  Guest families will arrive Sunday evening, August 28.  We especially need a few more folks willing to sleep overnight (on mattresses on the floor) in teams of two.   Family Promise also needs a few fitted twin sheets and hand towels.  Light colors, bleach-friendly,  and hot-water-washable fabrics work best.  –If you have some to donate, contact  Dorothy Mitchell , 916-730-1099.  


Spiritual Grounding for Leadership– Doug Kraft will take this program into its third year this Fall. The program looks at areas in our life where spiritual grounding (being in touch with our deepest and highest aliveness) overlap leadership (helping a group of people do something). Curious as to what’s this about? Doug is away for a family vacation and retreat, so for more information look at the program description and application(

Sermon Published–The UU  Church of the Larger Fellowship brings together religious liberals from around the world and in remote parts of North America.  CLF’s monthly newsletter is called Quest.   In the current issue is a sermon I gave at UUSS, “Money, Anxiety, and Abundance.”  You can see it or listen to a podcast at this link.

Also there is an article by the writer, singer, humorist and lecturer Meg Barnhouse, who might give a talk and concert here next spring, sponsored by the Betty Ch’maj Fund at UUSS.

All Grown Up!  Inviting HarvestFest/Auction Donations from our Congregation’s Adult Offspring

Did you grow up at UUSS? Do you have children who grew up here?  Do those children (ages 18-80) have something they may donate?  Or perhaps you have grown children who didn’t grow up here, but might be willing to help make our Oct. 29 Harvest Fest Fundraising Auction extra special.  Need some ideas to start your thinking?  So far, we’ve had offers of the following from UUSS kids or “former” kids:

  • One has offered to do a pedicure.
  • Another works at the Zoo and has offered a private tour.
  • One is an accomplished film actress and will either have lunch with some lucky bidders or will offer up a talk to a group of aspiring actors.
  • One has offered a photo shoot.  And she knows how to shoot photos!

Surely there are kids– or former kids in your family or circle of friends–who could…

·      Do a haircut and color for some lucky woman or man.

·      Offer up a massage.

·      Tutor a high schooler in the finer points of calculus.

·      Teach someone to sail.  Or kayak.  Or canoe. Or dance.  Or cook.

·      Clean out a back yard.  Organize a kitchen or study.

·      Offer some nice piece of beadwork jewelry.  Offer a large cash donation to be a HarvestFest sponsor!

Don’t think you don’t have any talent.  Don’t let yourself believe you have nothing to offer.  You do!   This is a great opportunity to give back to your church community for having provided such wonderful experiences in Sunday School, OWL, YRUU, SHYG, or just coming to visit your friends and family and finding UUSS for the first time as a grown up.

Come on!  Fill out one of those forms available at this link or in the office.  Make yourself available for UUSS and help us meet our fundraising goal!  You’ll feel good about it and everybody will have a good time on Oct. 29.

Thank you!  For questions, contact one of the event co-chairs: Mary Howard or Chris Webb-Curtis.

During Clergy Absences…

For listening support, you may contact the Lay Ministry Team, ext. 250.  The team will have our monthly confidential meeting this coming Tuesday, and we’ll keep you in our hearts as we gather. For visits, errands and other practical support, members and friends of UUSS may contact Friends in Deed.

The Office can get you contact information for both of these volunteer teams if you do not find it at

In an emergency, Office Assistant Linda Hoganson can reach a minister.

Who is going where?

Staff:  Religious Education Assistant Miranda Massa returns late Saturday from a vacation but will be here. Linda Hoganson, Carole Czujko and Armando Molina also are here this Sunday, and many volunteers will keep things going.  Eric Stetson, our Music Director, is our accompanist and Emily Fisher provides special music.  Eric has returned all fired up from attending his first conference of the UU Musicians Network.

We extend our condolences to Lead Minister Doug Kraft and his wife, Erika, on the recent death of his brother’s wife.  They are in New Jersey for the funeral.

I will be preaching this Sunday at the UU Church of Berkeley, in exchange for the Mother’s Day sermon here at UUSS by Barbara Hamilton Holway (but I won’t do any liturgical dancing in exchange for Sarah Bush’s dancing at that service.  You’ll have to pay her for that again.  And you can’t pay me enough!).  I will be gone next Wednesday till Aug. 10– in Denver for my nephew’s wedding.

If you travel or have other summer activities, bring back a few ounces of water representing that activity or place, for our August 28 Gathering of the Waters homecoming services.

Take care of yourselves.

Yours in faith,

Roger Jones, family minister

PS–The August Unigram newsletter is now posted at our website.

Pastor Cranky now posts on his weblog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Please create or join a conversation on the weblog by using the “Add Comment” button.

DID YOU MAKE A NOTE of this? Sunday, August 28–we move back to having 2 worship services (9:30 and 11:15) and when we have our water communion ingathering ritual.


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