Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Remote Office Hours Today in Orangevale: God, Coffee, You & Rev Roger

Hey, suburban UUs and other spiritual progressives!
Today is the first of my Remote Office Hours for those who live a distance from the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento (UUSS). Today, May 1, from 11:30-1:30. Look for our group around a table in conversation, or at least look for me all by my lonesome!
I can be available for private pastoral appointments in each location before and after that time frame. Now accepting café/city suggestions for May 21 and June 5.

FOR TODAY, Friday, May 1, 11:30-1:30: The café in Raley’s at 8870 Madison and Hazel in Fair Oaks/Orangevale.

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Minister’s May Newsletter Message: Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way!

I’m overdue to redraft my Last Will and Testament. I also should create a Trust.

Since doing my will in 1991, things have changed. My nephews have grown up. They are out on their own, and their parents have done quite well, so they are not in need of all my assets. For 17 years, I haven’t even been in the Midwestern UU church that I listed as a beneficiary in my will long ago. Now I have a new congregation that is near to my heart and whose mission inspires my actions. This one!

 

Other things have changed. Since those days, I’ve become a graduate of one UU seminary and I feel very close to another one. I want them to continue to produce “all the ministers that are above average” for a long time to come.

 

At UUSS, our 50-year Master Plan for the Buildings and Grounds is visionary and beautiful, and the amount of resources necessary over the years for it will not be small. What made this plan possible in the first place were bequests of beloved members and friends of UUSS, now departed. You can see all their names on the metal Gratitude and Appreciation tree sculpture in the lobby.

 

Our fundraising consultant, Rev. Bud Swank, told me that we need an organized program to invite people to consider and plan on leaving a bequest or other legacy to UUSS with instruments like wills, trusts, mutual fund beneficiary designations, etc. This will ensure the Master Plan has sufficient resources down the road. I decided to get going on this need myself.

 

I don’t expect to die soon, but I don’t want to neglect putting down on paper the decisions that could put my assets to use in the service of my liberal religious values and in support of the mission and continuing ministry of this congregation.

 

If you’d like to talk to a minister about the kind of legacy you would like to plan for the future of Unitarian Universalism, please be in touch with one of us. I’m glad you are here now, in person. I look forward to seeing you soon on a Sunday. Take care!

 

Thank you for being part of UUSS.

 

Yours in service,

 

Roger

 



Inspiring UU Family Testimonial for the Stewardship Pledge Drive: Sustaining our Vision from Year to Year and from Generation to Generation

Sustaining Our Vision:  From Year to Year and From Generation to Generation.  

Good Morning, my name is Chris, this is my wife, Tamara, and our son Nicholas.  We’ve  been members here for a little over a year now. Shortly before joining UUSS, we moved to Sacramento from Massachusetts, the birthplace of Unitarian Universalism in this country. It was in Massachusetts that we first learned about this unique spiritual community. From what we read on the web, the values and principles of UU’ism aligned closely with our own, so we promptly joined a local congregation.

Each town around where we lived had its own small congregation so there couldn’t have been more than 50 of us on a busy day. Services were held in an old historic church with a tall white steeple typical of every New England town. The building belonged to the congregation but had deteriorated over the years from lack of maintenance. The paint was pealing off the walls and the steeple leaked in several places. The cost just to maintain the building was beyond the resources of our small congregation, so repairing it was not an option. Instead, we had the steeple removed and a cap placed over hole left in the roof. As a result, the building stood out like a sore thumb next to Baptist and Episcopalian churches across the way.

You can imagine our surprise visiting this place for the first time. We couldn’t believe how many members there were and how peaceful the campus was with its large oak trees. Attending Sunday services in this place helps us connect with a spiritual community and re-energizes our souls.  After our experience in Massachusetts, we appreciate what it takes to create and maintain this special, nurturing environment, both today and for tomorrow. As our covenant emphasizes, it requires a commitment of time, talent, and support.

We support UUSS in this pledge drive because we understand the importance of investing in the things we value most. UUSS, through its activities both here on campus as well as in the broader community, represents our values. As busy working parents, financial support of UUSS is an important piece of our family’s time, talents, and support.  We view our pledge as an investment in the future, for ourselves and Nicholas, to help realize the world we envision and strive for.  Thank you.



Voices of the Beloved Community, #2 — UUSS worship service 10/29/12

#2:  We had a beautiful ensemble of members’ voices last Sunday, talking about how this religious community has touched their lives. This one is by  a retired state employee in her 60s, a divorced grandmother whose grown children live out of the area. 

Good morning.

During my college years, I left the church of my youth, Roman Catholicism, when it became clear to me that I could no live within it tenants.  Although I sometimes attended services at various churches, I did not feel connected to any particular church and did not identify with any religion for years.  My religion, if one stretches the definition, was social action—against the Viet Name war, and for fair housing, civil rights, and equality for women.

I came to Unitarian Universalism as so many other do after my children were born and growing to school age.  We felt the need to provide them with some church background and structure.  Truth be told – I knew I was missing something, too, but couldn’t articulate what I lacked.

As my husband and I were discussing our search for a church with a friend, he suggested that we might like the church he was attending.  He lived in Colorado Springs and we lived in Boulder – miles apart – but he was sure there was a UU church close to us.  As he told us more, we were intrigued.

It wasn’t long before we attended services at the First UU Church of Boulder and quickly jumped with both feet to be fully involved.  I remember feeling, “Ah, I’m really home.”  The kids liked it, too. There were Sundays that the only reason we went to church was that Kir, then 6 years old, had to go to RE.  He loved his teachers and the Haunting House curriculum.  I’ll never forget the day, Erika, then about 11, came home from visiting another church as part of the Church Across the Street program.  She said, “Mom, do you know that at that church, they….”

It was great.  I could have told her that, but to have her find it out and then share it with me was magic.

When we told our parents about our decision to go to a UU church, my mother-in-law’s response was not helpful.  My mother, the Roman Catholic, understood completely.  She said, “I’m so glad you’ve found a comfortable church community.”

And that’s why I’ve stayed.  I found a wonderful community.  When I moved to Sacramento 25 years ago, I attended UUSS on the first Sunday I was in town and have been here every since.

I’ve been challenged to learn and try new things.  I’ve been cared for and supported during times of trouble and hurt.  I’ve laughed and cried.  I’ve danced and I’ve sat (as in mediation).  I’ve taught and have learned.  I’ve taken social action, too. Now it’s more focused on voters’ rights, education and health care.  Not so much different that in my youth.   Being part of the UUSS community helps me be more like the person I want to be.

I am part of a wonderful group of caring, thoughtful, accepting, loving people.  I’m thankful beyond measure to be part of the UUSS community and am so glad you are here, too.

Blessed Be and Amen.



Another Great Stewardship Testimonial–UUSS–Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012

Next Sunday morning is Celebration Sunday, when members and pledging friends will make their pledges of support for the upcoming budget year at our congregation.   Each Sunday a member or friend has delivered a testimonial about their feelings about the congregation and their financial commitment to its ministries and programs, staff, upkeep and outreach.  I have posted all of them on the blog.  Here is the latest.

Hello and good morning,

My name is Jorge.  About 8 years ago I started to attend this congregation ever since my partner, Ron, introduced me to the idea of Unitarian Universalism.  I was born in a small town in western Panama and raised in strong catholic family environment.  If my Father could see me now in a pulpit, he would fall on his knees shouting …. “ES UN MILAGRO….it’s a miracle.”

 

Growing up, I was the perfect catholic boy attending mass every Sunday, going to the confessionary and along with it, its corresponding hale Maries and Our Heavenly Fathers as penance for my previous week of mischievous acts.  However, as I got older I started to get more curious about the natural world and wanted to learn more about Science.  Something within me started to question some of the beliefs that I was taught in Catechism. My parents could not understand why I was being so stubborn asking such questions and now I can only imagine what went thru their minds…a heretic son!  So surely, I started to drift away from the Church and ultimately walked away from all the mumbo-jumbo of incoherent ranting, homophobia among many others….the list is long!

 

Science ignited my mind and beliefs, and taught me to truly seek the truth and not just be a mindless automaton.  I have followed that career truly applying the Scientific Method into my life.

 

And yet, here I am as a “friend of UUSS” as friend of this congregation speaking out why I support this institution.

 

I enjoy the camaraderie of peers who charm, challenge and comfort me — I am not alone.  This congregation is indeed a SAFE HARBOR.

 

I am comfortable with the ongoing ceaseless ferment of ideas here.  I align with the important work of social justice and the path that this UU has carved into our noble history.

 

I want to help sustain this community, a community for the stranger who may come thru that door next week, who may be seeking what UUs can give.  And I hope, beyond my years on this planet, that such strangers will become like me, supporting this ongoing community.  This place is truly a BEACON OF LOVE and JUSTICE.