Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

April newsletter highlight #1 — Senior Minister’s Message: A Big Step and a Bold Future


On April 6, our members vote on whether to authorize UUSS’ borrowing of up to $1.1 million to close the funding gap for our Building Project. A big step.

I don’t like debt! I pay my credit cards off each month (except when I forget). I don’t like construction and remodeling either. After two months of living in piles of papers after moving to the senior minister’s office, my friends came from the Walnut Creek church last fall to do an “intervention” for me. Call it a forced makeover.


However, the results have been worth it in my office (If you know the before and the after, you know what I mean.). I am confident the results of our Building Project will be worth it:

  • A bigger, brighter, welcoming space for all the spiritually progressive and spiritually hungry folks who will come looking for a place to belong and connect.
  • An energy-efficient facility, plus bike racks, and better drainage—putting our green principles into practice. The facility will be more accessible and safer.
  • More space so we can all meet together in a service and for fellowship activities.
  • A beautiful sanctuary to give spiritual comfort in times of stress or grief.
  • A larger profile in the region as a beacon of liberal religion and service to the local community. More facilities to support our social justice ministries.

Because I think the result will be worth it–and because I like avoiding debt–I am thinking about how much more deeply I can dig into my appreciated assets and increase my level of participation in the Building Fund. I know from conversations that many of you are thinking about that as well.

I know that not everyone can make a large gift. That is okay! We would never ask you to make a gift that you don’t have.

However, we can all be generous, so we hope that everyone will find a way to participate in a way appropriate for them.

Your moral support, encouragement, good questions and creative ideas also matter very much. Your presence here is what matters most. This is how we build the beloved community.

Thank you for your giving. Thank you for being part of UUSS.

Yours in service,



TESTIMONIAL by Carrie on CAPITAL GIVING CAMPAIGN LAUNCH SUNDAY, for “Building the Beloved Community”

September 23, 2012


Twenty years ago this month I made a decision that would change my life:  I decided to come to church, here.


When I got here I found a vibrant young adult group, supported by a minister, herself a young adult, who UUSS had hired with funds from a special fundraising appeal. 


Also, 20 years ago, Greg Redmond was moving to Sacramento from St. Louis for his medical residency.  One of his fellow residents was the spouse of that UUSS young adult minister.


In 1993, Greg and I met here in Room 6, right over there in the East Wing.  It was at one of the weekly Sunday evening young adult meetings.  Six and a half years later, we married.  In 2005, our son Alec was born, and a few months later his naming ceremony took place right here.


This place was quite different in September of 1992.  The chairs were a much more bright and bold orange then than they are today.  The reverends John Young and Richelle Russell, the young adult minister, presided over services.  Judy Bell was church president.  Thirty-year old buildings aren’t nearly as worn as 50-year old buildings.  And many of the faces smiling back at me on that Sunday in 1992 are no longer with us.


Still this community – and especially that young adult group – provided me with a special place to come every week to learn about myself, explore religion, and get to know others on a like path.  Those meetings shaped my spiritual life, developed my practice, and in the end, created my family.


In April of this year, my husband Greg told Bud Swank – our capital campaign consultant and today’s preacher – that UUSS is central to my world.  I hadn’t ever thought of it like that, but standing here, I know he’s right.