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,



Personal Reflection by Lay Worship Leader last Sunday at UUSS

With a story-filled sermon by our capital campaign consultant, Rev. Bud, this congregation kicked off our 2012 Giving Campaign this past Sunday.  The theme for this campaign–our first one in over 50 years–is Building the Beloved Community.

Here is the Chalice Lighting Reflection by the lay worship leader that Sunday, Deirdre.  Many of us were touched!

Given on September 23, 2012



September, 2009. I help my daughter move into her dorm room for her first year of college. She is beginning a new life.

I step off the plane back home in Sacramento, ready to begin my own new life. I have been divorced about a year. I have friends, a house, pets, and a part-time job. I am not looking for a new community, beloved or otherwise.

But I have been thinking about the things I want to have more of in my life, and one of them is music. I have decided I want to sing in a choir, but I’m not sure where to find one. I know that most churches have choirs, but I’m not going to pretend to believe in God just to sing in a choir.

Then, I remember. I do know of one church where they don’t ask you to pretend. That Sunday, I visit UUSS to find out if they have a choir. They do. I arrange to attend the next practice. I join the choir. I attend services whenever the choir sings. I start to make connections with people. I listen to the sermons, and sometimes, they move me to tears. I learn that this is a safe place where I can light a candle to give witness to a joy or sorrow. I never had that place before. My little candle seems to mean so much more when it burns in the bowl with the others.

In February of 2010, I become a Member of the congregation.

Today I light the chalice for finding the beloved community.