Introduction to the 2022-2023 SOUUP Intern QuianaDenae Perkins

Who wants SOUUP? 

I am your new intern minister QuianaDenae Perkins.

I am originally from Minnesota and currently live in Ann Arbor Michigan. I am the mama bear of two teenage cubs. When I am not driving them around, I love being outdoors- hiking, camping, and nature photography are some of my favorite activities.

My history with UU is long, starting back in 2000 as Summer youth staff. Over time and a few moves later, I found a spiritual home at First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor. I later took on a paid staff role as the Coordinator of Social Justice + Pastoral Care. My last role before leaving in Jan 2022 was as Coordinator of Congregational Life.

In addition to parish ministry, I have also been involved Black Lives of UU (BLUU), Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), Side with Love, and UU the Vote. In 2019, while attending the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Fall Conference, I answered my call to ministry. In Spring 2021, I applied and was accepted into Starr King School for the Ministry. In the Winter of 2022, Rev Sean invited me to apply for the SOUUP intern opportunity.

At this stage of my ministerial formation, interning for SOUUP is the perfect fit. There is a great deal of alignment between the needs of each community and my skills + desired areas of learning. We are starting from a place of abundance and joy!

Things to know:

  • My general work schedule is Sunday 10:00-2:00, Tuesday through Friday 10:00-6:00 pacific time.
  • My primary work location will be Ann Arbor Michigan. I will visit Southern Oregon three times over the next nine months.
  • Please note that I am in the Eastern time zone
    • (SOUUP 6:00 pm is my QuianaDenae 9:00pm).
  • I can be reached by email: intern.minister@rvuuf.org
  • Appointments can be scheduled: Meeting with QDP

Support needed: 

All internships require community support and that is where YOU come in!

My first visit will be Wednesday, September 21- Sunday, September 25, 2022. 

To make that visit a success I am seeking volunteers for working/short-term committees:

  1. Welcome to SOUUP- I am seeking people from each community who can help organize gatherings and events during my visit.
    (ex: a listening circle, a fun family event, a young adult social, etc)
  2. 9.25 worship team- I am seeking one person from each community who can assist in planning the 9.25 in-person/multi-platform worship during my visit.

Both these committees will start meeting and planning immediately, please reply by email and include your home congregation in the message.

Where to find me: 

Building a community while being remote is not impossible, however, it does require attention and intention. To that end, I will be preaching at each community in the coming weeks and hosting Open Zooms to foster connection and conversation.

 

Worship Leader
Rogue Valley Sunday Sept 11 10:30 am
Klamath Sunday Sept 18 11:00 am
SOUUP Sunday Sept 25 TBD
Grants Pass Sunday Oct 2 10:30 AM

 

Open Zoom Sessions ZOOM LINK
Tuesday Sept 13 3:00 pm Tuesday Zoom Link
Thursday Sept 15 4:30 pm Thursday Zoom Link
Friday Sept 16 12:30 pm Friday Zoom Link

I am very excited about this coming year. I see the potential we have to grow together! In our social justice movement work, in our faith, and our sacred covenant to each other. So the answer to the question, who wants SOUUP, is easy… I do!

 

QuianaDenae Perkins

Ministerial Intern

Southern Oregon UU Partnership

 

Summer Newsletter

Summer Newsletter: We are taking our traditional summer break but there are still some exciting opportunities to get involved in.
1 message

Klamath Unitarians <klamathuu@gmail.com> Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 2:37 PM
Reply-To: klamathuu@gmail.com
To: dfl5523@gmail.com

 


Sunset Bandon Oregon Photo Credit David Ramirez

Announcements

Summer Recess

It’s almost August and I’m sending the August newsletter a couple of days early as there are a couple of time sensitive activities happening in our town.

Klamath Hospice’s 40th Anniversary Open House Celebration
2751 Washburn Way
Hello friends!
We are excited to announce our 40th Anniversary Open House to the public on Saturday, July 30th from 11-2 pm.
Best,
Jennifer Smith

Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator

Pantry and Garden News

Pantry

Peace and Social Concerns Meeting, August 3rd at 4:30

We (The Friends’ Church) are scheduled to have a Peace and Social Concerns Meeting a week from this coming Tuesday (August 3rd at 4:30)
> If there is agreement I propose we spend the time considering options for stocking the pantry etc.
> Faith, please invite Unitarians who are involved or wish to be involved in the Pantry.
> If there are other P&SC agenda topics, please bring them to the meeting or email to the group.
> Kate

The Pantry had it’s first event July 19th.  It was slow but successful and there were fresh peas from the garden available also.  More help is needed in August, the last 2 Tuesdays 8/23 and 8/30. Please contact Maureen Somers, momoroo2001@yahoo.com  if you are interested in this volunteer activity to help feed our Klamath Falls neighbors.

Garden

The Garden is planted and after some struggles with the weather and pests it is producing produce for the pantry.  It needs ongoing attention, weeding especially. If you are interested in helping please contact Katie Ruth at kfr1027@gmail.com

2022-2023 Intern Minister

We will be welcoming our new intern QuianaDenae (kēy-AH-nuh deh-NAY) Perkins to the Southern Oregon Unitarian Universalist Partnership.  “Quiana Denae will begin this ministry in August 2022. Her ministry will be multi-platform, meaning she will join us in person for short periods of time, but continue to live in Michigan. She will also minister online in all areas of congregational life and in all three Southern Oregon congregations.”

Volunteers NeededJoin the Friends in partnering with the Oregon Extension Office for  Friends Garden Camp, Cooking Matters, and food pantry sampling.
When: 8:30 am – 1:00 pm Saturdays, May 28 thru Oct 14, 2022
What: Staff the Market Booth, assist SNAP participants to exchange/Double Up their food bucks, share ideas on shopping at market, present recipes/food prep ideas, and encourage market goers to participate in a fun market “activity of the week.”
We UUs are invited to help with these worthwhile community events.  If you can help or have questions please contact: Maureen Somers at 541-891-1857 or momoroo2001@yahoo.com.

Bridging the Gun Divide

Opportunity to Host High School exchange Students from Spain and Thailand
Submitted by Faith Leith:
My name is Nichole and I assist high school students from our global community with experience in international immersion. I am reaching out to church leaders in Klamath Falls because we have two amazing students, one from Thailand and another from Spain who would love to come to the beautiful Pacific Northwest this August for their school year abroad.
I am working to connect these two kiddos (as well as others) with awesome volunteer host families that would welcome them into their home and share our beautiful community with them.
Our students will attend the high school closest to their host family and can take school transportation or carpool.  They speak English well, have their own medical insurance as well as their own spending money to cover personal expenses.
NICHOLE HERNANDEZ  //  CIEE
Regional Placement Manager OR/WA
──────────────────────────
email nhernandez@ciee.org
mobile +1.458.212.4134
https://www.ciee.org/partner/hosts/host-families/host-exchange-student

Annual Meeting Minutes Can Be Found on our website under governance:
http://www.uukfalls.org/governance/

Or Here on Google Docs:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uJP4Jaf4h3tuHGGWMxKJtDRNArWjwm_xClMcKJW6c2Y/edit

Board Meeting Minutes Can Be Found Here:
http://www.uukfalls.org/governance/

Get Involved

Klamath County needs a non-judgmental spiritual center and we are it. There are may ways to support our Fellowship financial contributions are just one of these.  Please take a few minutes and look over our committees.  If you can spare a few hours a month, we can make a difference during this challenging time.

 

Help Wanted

 

Religious Education   Find ways to stimulate the young ones via Zoom. Or park visits.  Need folks to think outside the box for the children.

Paid Aide for RE Sought

Know someone who’s good with children and would like to earn extra money on Sunday mornings?  Please put them in touch with Tammy Walchak, ddwalchak@gmail.com  She will plan the lessons.  We need an aide to help her from 11 a.m. to noon.

Worship Committee — Chair Franny Howes Plan Sunday services. Volunteer to be a service leader.

Membership Committee — Chair  Barbara Turk Greeters needed for in person Sunday services.  Reach out to those in need as the Cares & Concerns group.  Especially needed during this time of isolation.  A simple phone call can make someone’s day.

Fellowship Fun Nights — Connie DeVry needs some folks to help her plan whatever gatherings outside the service we can hold.  Special events planning is included.  Sounds like fun!

Social Justice Committee —  Courtney Neubauer leads the service once a month and plans events to get us out in public. To let our presence be known.  Very fulfilling work.  Acting on our principles.  We need idea people too.  So if you can’t march you can at least share your thoughts.

COME JOIN US!

Pledge to Support UUFKC

Find this year’s pledge request letter and the pledge form from our Board HERE

Summer Archives
Barbara TurkIt’s (soon to be) August and a month of summer to go.  Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way:  “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  Do enjoy the rest of your summer.Far from, “play”, but so urgent, on July 16th 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, was launched nationwide. Brethren of 911, it’s  available 24/7, to call or text, by anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis or emergency.  (IT TOOK AWHILE!) Thanks to efforts of many, NAMI included.  PASS THE WORD!

JUMP FOR JOY—Eleanor Pine was pronounced clear of cancer. (Such not expected until ’23!) In 2020 we celebrated the then 9-year-old having completed 799 days of treatment (& recuperation).  YAHOO!!!!!

A BELATED THANKS—Scanning 2020 Archives I  also found a H&N Letter to Editor.  As we celebrated Eleanor, the letter shared volunteers spent 20 + hours collecting illegal dumping on city schools property.  Phil Studenberg quietly did what he does so graciously.  He picked up the dump fee.  Phil,  THANK YOU.  But, I am confused as to your city council vote for the plane for Veterans Park. Can we talk?

MORE GOOD NEWS—In a brief H&N piece July 9th, “Presbyterians agree to divest from fossil fuel companies”.  The Church (USA) sought to encourage, “several fossil fuel companies” (5) to reduce greenhouse gases.  There was , “No substantial change or movement.”  Thus, the divestiture.  In final paragraph, ”Other progressive faith-based groups, in various countries”,  including the Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Assoc., have also taken action. (Of course—UUA Prin. 7.)

Having visited Turkey in 2007 & 2009, Lou & I noted signs, TURKIYE, so I adapted turkiyebabs for my email.  THE WEEK of June 17th  shared the United Nations confirmed, “The official name in the international arena, is ’TURKIYE’”.   (As to Turkiye blood in Lou’s veins, not a clue!)

“Without optimism, we’ve already failed.”             (George Takei)

                              

News From the Wider Community

UU Ministry for the Earth

Interested in Climate justice, follow the link below for more information .
https://api.neonemails.com/emails/content/0OigYzu9gTzbwGPllLXTMN-DmDOnsIQ-dgdYH5jvxaE=

UU the Vote 2022 Has Launched!

When we organize, we build power in our communities for justice, accountability, and healing. In the last two years, UU the Vote has built new networks of spiritual and political communities to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate.

With UU the Vote 2022 we’re organizing on the state and local levels to fight for fair elections, advance voting rights, protect abortion access, and resist the targeting and criminalization of Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.

There is so much at stake in the 2022 midterm elections. Together, our communities can address the current threats to our democracy and human dignity. Download our guide to get started.  https://www.uuthevote.org/

Ukraine
Donate—Donate to UUSC’s Emergency Response Fund to help Ukrainian Refuges:  https://donate.uusc.org/give/355250/#!/donation/checkout?preset1=50&preset2=75&preset3=150&preset4=250&utm_source=fy22-fund-Ukraine-Response-lightbox&utm_medium=lightbox&utm_campaign=fy22-fund
Donations will be directed to current and future partners in the region and strengthen their ongoing work of supporting and advocating for communities. UUSC goes “beyond the grant dollar,” meaning that our relationships are about more than just providing financial support.

Joys and Sorrows:

From Barbara Turk:

On Jul 21, 2022, at 10:43 PM, Barbara Turk  wrote:
This evening I learned Carol Imani fell & fractured a knee a week ago.  This follows two major surgeries, in 2021; concluding 2022. Also, she’s in the process of selling her home (to down-size). Cards, calls welcome.

Yesterday (July 24th), I spoke by phone  (long overdue) with Marilynn Sutherland.  She’s doing well, has enjoyed summer visitors, AND a flower arrangement class.  (I can’t manage a decent arrangement WITH SIGHT!!! )

To have your joy or sorrow posted in the weekly eNewsletter, please email cherylemay@gmail.com by Wednesday each week for your submission to be included in Friday’s newsletter. First names, full names or anonymous joys and sorrows are welcome. Please keep it brief (one or two sentences).

Any life events, milestones or help needed please email cherylemay@gmail.com to have this posted in the weekly eNewsletter.
(We reserve the option to edit, condense, or not publish any submission.)

Are you new to this community? Learn more about the seven principles at the heart of Unitarian Universalism HERE, and fill out the form found HERE to connect more deeply with UUFKC. Please feel free to forward these emails to interested friends!

To have an announcement printed in the weekly eNewsletter, please email cherylemay@gmail.com

Committees

Board – Faith Leith, chair, Janice Silvestri, secretary, Julia Jackman, treasurer, Jerry Brown & Dean Walchak, at-large
Worship – Franny Howes, chair, Julia Jackman, Cheryle Ramirez, Courtney Neubauer
RE – Katie Johnson, chair, Michelle Pine, Tammy Walchak
Social Justice – Courtney Neubauer, chair
Membership – Barbara Turk, Jerry Brown (Cares & Concerns )
Stewardship – Julia Jackman, chair, Sally Wells, Mary Kelley
Communications – Cheryle & David Ramirez, Carolyn Roemheld
Property Task Force – Sally & Chuck Wells, Connie DeVry, Phil Studenberg, Faith Leith
Fellowship – Connie DeVry, chair, Tammy Walchak

 

Pledge to Support UUFKC

Find this year’s pledge request letter from our Board HERE, download a pledge form to return by mail or email HERE, and/or visit our PayPal donations page HERE to make a one-time or monthly payment toward your pledge.

 

Summer Recess – Pantry and Garden

Summer Recess

Last Sunday June 26th marked the end of our church year and the beginning of our summer recess. I’m looking forward to some summer fun and relaxation and I am very excited about our upcoming Fellowship Year, 2022 to 2023.  We will be welcoming our new intern QuianaDenae (kēy-AH-nuh deh-NAY) Perkins to the Southern Oregon Unitarian Universalist Partnership.  “Quiana Denae will begin this ministry in August 2022. Her ministry will be multi-platform, meaning she will join us in person for short periods of time, but continue to live in Michigan. She will also minister online in all areas of congregational life and in all three Southern Oregon congregations.”
The Newsletter will be published once a month to keep everyone updated on what is happening with the garden and pantry and updates on our upcoming Fellowship Year.  Please continue to email me with any information you would like included in the newsletter.
With much Love,
Your Newsletter Editor Cheryle Ramirez cherylemay@gmail.com

Pantry and Garden

If you are looking for some fun and worthwhile summer activities volunteers needed in both the pantry and garden.

Pantry
Please contact Maureen Somers, momoroo2001@yahoo.com  if you are interested in this volunteer activity to help feed our Klamath Falls neighbors.
Garden
The Garden is planted but as gardens do it needs ongoing attention. If you are interested in helping please contact Katie Ruth at kfr1027@gmail.com
Plastic Free July

Happy Fourth Everyone, stay safe and enjoy some well earned fun.  Next Newsletter will be sent in August.

History: Not Yester-year, but in These Moments

Barbara Turk, Archivist

History: Not Yester-year, but in These MomentsHAPPY MAY, HAPPY JUNE—Brides, graduations, retirements, anticipation of summer.

THANKS Janice Sylvesti and Dean Walchuk, moving off our board,  as of July 1st.  And Janice is retiring from KCC. Mid-June she and Joe will be moving.  Our loss, Eugene’s gain!

There is a  May-June retirement in Portland.  And it’s the perfect example of UUA’s Principle 5: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations, and in society at large.

On May 4th  I  ZOOM’ed Portland’s First Unitarian as Rev. Bill Sinkford bade farewell to The Alliance of the church. This May church members vote to accept  the incoming minister, Alison Miller.  Thus, she’ll be  their choice, not an assignee by a church official, or a bishop. (A Minister Search Committee, composed of church members, did what the title states—they SEARCHED.)

First Unitarian is pretty young, vs UUA congregations in eastern regions.  About 1861, and inception of the Ladies Sewing Circle, the Circle’s tradition has been: jump in, or stand back, or be trampled.  Remember, Portland was a frontier town, mostly bachelors. The ladies sewed for them, and raised money to organize a Unitarian fellowship. In 1865 they had funds to call a minister, and gain status as a church.

The Circle is now The Alliance, and men may join. Its many projects continue with its usual precision and completion (of which the military would be envious).  In addition to projects, The Alliance has marvelous speakers at September to May luncheons  (ZOOM remains optional).

Rev. Bill Sinkford came to First U  in 2010.  Previously he had been in Boston for 15 years working at UUA, including two 4-year terms as UUA president.  Prior to that he was a businessman.  Like all of us, he is no stranger to trials & tribulations.   But, his wit, charm, his brain, his love!

Soon Bill will no longer be a guiding light for Oregon’s largest UUA congregation (over 1,500); and  just three years shy of its 160th anniversary.  He stated,  “Ministers hold the whole, including a church’s legacy and history, by Collaboration & Connection”.

He saluted his marvelous co-ministers, the 12 + + lay-ministers,  the great staff,  all chairs, committees, and all who keep our principles in the front view of their lives.  He called it, ”Collaborative Governance”.  First U owns a full city block in downtown Portland.  Imagine the management and staff necessary for TWO historic church buildings, an office building, the Buchan (bue-can) Building, of which all Oregonians can proudly state, is a LEED construction.

Meantime in Klamath Falls, our history is our recent move  becoming tenants of, and beloved associates with Friends Church. No small (Klamath) potatoes; definitely akin to Bill’s “Collaboration, Connection”

May 4th Bill asked, ”How will we re-gather & accept/reject new post-COVID changes?”   BE OPEN, open to those who left the Beloved Community, for whatever reason. Let’s seek to draw them back.  And, OPEN to new folks. That’s what Spirit of Life does.”

“We’re in the meltdown of racism”. He added, “Look at the new UUA 8th Principle.  It proves our stance”.

Roe v Wade:  “If one did not see the reversal coming, one has been asleep.  Face it, the pendulum has swung.  Resistance to love has solidified into manipulate our system.  We’ve rested on our ‘win’ of 50 years ago. Success is difficult to maintain”.

Rev. Sinkford believes in LOVE. The future appears grim, but, “Our work becomes MORE important to evidence before the world”.

He confessed whenever a Child Dedication was scheduled, he called, “DIBS”. (Who in their right mind would challenge the senior minister?)   Bill adores babies & small children, as did our founder, Ben Kerns.

During the Q&A, so many questions!  I share two.

“How is a worship service constructed?”

—It’s an art form.  —Share what “they need” (aka: allow entrance of Spirit of Life).

—Maybe a poem is needed.  —Include what music can  bring to a service.

“What are you reading?”

—First, Bill looks forward to finishing a book. For years he’d read just pages, maybe a chapter, & always heard the ‘little reverend voice’, “You can use that, somewhere.”

—Presently he’s reading  LOVE SONGS by W. E. B.  DuBois.

For a  time he and Marie will be at All Souls in Washington, D.C., as it searches for a new minister.  They’ll  retain their Oregon home—grandchildren in Portland!

The Alliance meets their incoming minister at a May reception  (+ ZOOM).  In the spirit of fun, and honoring the role of the Ladies Sewing Circles, gloves and BIG HATS are encouraged.  (Imagine the chagrin of ministers & church goers whose sight was inhibited by gorgeous, but BIG hats! )

Rev. Sinkford noted the early seamstresses also raised money for a silver communion service for the church.  A WHAT???  Was it in part the eastern sea shore Christian influence on early Unitarianism??  I hope our Fall 2022 intern will have revelations on communion in UU halls of worship.  Stay tuned!

January 2022 Archives by Barbara

In December I promised to share more on Robert Bly, Amercian author, anti-war activist, who launched a men’s movement. Bly passed away November 2021, at  94.  Later I realized Bly had not visited UUFKC.  I had confused him with writer, Michael Pyle.

The latter and a group of writers held workshops at OIT and UUFKC. (To be shared another time.) Those visits were quite a coup for the Basin.  And if one wants to understand Monarch butterflies, read Pyle.  In addition to his writing he journeyed an entire migration route with these natural wonders.

Bly’s 1990 book, IRON JOHN: A BOOK ABOUT MEN, followed a career as celebrated poet and literary figure.  IRON JOHN made Bly, as they say, “a household name” . *  About 1995 or 1996 UUFKC men, cross-generational, met to discuss IRON JOHN.  

Michael Carlson of The Guardian wrote of Bly,  “Influential American poet with an abiding interest in mysticism and the nature of masculinity”.

He continued,  “Bly may be remembered, like the two most enduring of original Transcendentalists, for facets of his work other than poetry. Just as Ralph Waldo Emerson’s legacy  is as an essayist, the influence of Bly’s essays on poetic theory and his many translations have resonated with readers and his fellow poets.  He’s likely to be seen as a 20th century parallel to Henry David Thoreau, as he made his mark with civil disobedience, and later, with a hugely popular prose work…the denaturing effects of civilisation”. ** 

Over decades Emerson and Thoreau have often been  UUFKC  Sunday service topics.

IRON JOHN was on the NY Times best seller list 62 weeks. “Bly remains one of the most hotly debated American artists of the past half-century.”  ***

*   The Week, 10 Dec. 2021   **  M. Carlson, The Guardian  ***  Tom Butler-Bowdon

##
###–Barbara H. Turk, Archivist

Powerful Social Justice Statements Made by General Assembly 2021

In her final service to UUFKC, Intern Minister Alison attended Unitarian Universalist General Assembly (all online) as our delegate, proudly voting for Rev. Sam Trumbore for Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees, as well as for the Statement of Conscience and Social Witness Statements passed by General Assembly.

Statements of Conscience come as the result of a multi-year process of study on an issue voted on by General Assembly. Following the study period the UUA Commission on Social Witness drafts a Statement of Conscience that is voted on by the General Assembly and articulates a mandate for the UUA to focus their efforts and put resources toward achieving its aims. This year’s Statement of Conscience Undoing Systemic White Supremacy: A Call to Prophetic Action, passed with 93% of the vote despite small but vocal opposition to the idea that white supremacy is a problem in our nation or our Association. This is a victory and a mandate for the anti-racist efforts of our denomination. Let’s stay active in this faithful work at UUFKC by reading the statement and continuing to implement it in our congregation!

Actions of Immediate Witness (AIWs) are non-binding statements of the will of the General Assembly at which they are passed. However, they express important priorities shared by our fellow UUs representing congregations across the nation and the world, and must be passed with a 2/3 majority of the vote. This year’s AIWs include some issues near and dear to the heart of our congregation:

Sunday SERVICES; 11am

April’s Theme: Awakening
May’s Theme: Nurturing Beauty
June’s Theme: Play

UUFKC Sunday Service 2021-2022

We are now meeting 11:00-12:00 as of March 13, 2022.
We will be meeting for now face to face on the second and fourth Sunday of the month at 1918 Oregon Avenue (Friends Church), downstairs, on the same side of the building as the garden.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88226726887?pwd=T05nSDlHWDl2NUVBV1pCNE10K2VYZz09

Meeting ID: 882 2672 6887
Passcode: 428452

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Aspirations by Alison: Merry Part, A Farewell Message

On Solstice night, I realized I’d spent most of my day inside, offering my last worship service with you in the morning, followed by RVUUF’s coffee hour and a Father’s Day celebration at my dad’s house. So I set off for a walk, on the longest day of the year, with the sun still bright even at 8pm.

The first thing I encountered as I stepped outdoors was a small bush of yellow flowers, the kind I had woven into a sun wheel on the first summer solstice I celebrated as a solitary pagan, not yet a Unitarian Universalist, 18 years ago. Those first few times I celebrated the turning of the earth felt joyful and maybe a little silly, like I was playing make-believe somehow, even as I was honoring the very concrete, scientifically demonstrable change of seasons. In the beginning, my pagan practice definitely harkened back to the imaginings of my childhood, and while my logical mind at first found this suspect, I’ve come to see that this simply meant I was tapping back in to a way of knowing that I had left behind. Believing in magic, in the power of ritual, of words, of intention-setting, doesn’t feel silly to me anymore, but rather a return to a truth that has lived in my heart, even when my head was taught to discount it. As I walked this solstice night, I plucked a yellow flower and carried it with me.

Later on my walk, I encountered a blackberry bush, many blackberry bushes, mostly done with their flowering, now bursting with fruit, fruit still as green as the plant’s leaves. I was reminded of the theme of the morning’s service, “Coming to Fruition” and I couldn’t help feeling a certain kinship with those little green berries. Yes, they are berries, but they aren’t ready yet. Yes, I am a minister, but still a green one. To have you receive me and affirm me, in all my greenness, has been a gift and a blessing. I can’t help wanting to hurry the seasons of my life along, because it felt so good to work for my purpose and calling, held by and holding this community of fellow seekers on the quest for truth and meaning and lives that express the fullness of our principles. For the first time in a long time, I felt myself living a life that was whole, a life where I could braid family and community and purpose together into my vocation, my ministry. And yet, it is time now for me to pause in being a minister, so I can finish learning how to be the best minister I can be. I want to be a ripe berry now. But instead, I follow the wisdom of the seasons. To everything, turn, turn, turn…  And I am still in the season of my learning.

My solstice walk reminded me of the wisdom of my Goddess, the living Earth. She is there for me, as long as I take time to look, as long as I follow Her whisperings in my own heart. She called me outside that night to remind me, yes, I have been on this journey a long time, and yes, there is still a ways to go. Over the next year, as I step away from this community to allow you to take back reigns of the ministry we’ve shared together this church year, I’ll finish my Masters of Divinity at Starr King. I’ll prepare myself to come before the Ministerial Fellowshipping Committee of the UUA and receive their blessing on my ministry, which could happen a year from now, or two, or more, depending on how the journey unfolds. I’ll try not to hurry myself, as the Earth never hurries, but turns at Her own steady pace. I’ll tend my family and my studies, my garden and my calling. I’ll miss tending our community together. I’ll miss you. And yet, I’ll trust the process.  When we meet again, I’ll be a ruddier berry, less green, pink even, but still not fully ripe. There is a season, turn, turn, turn…

It is hard to say goodbye from so far away. My thoughts, not to mention my physical body, are planted now in Washington State, the lands of the Duwamish, Stillaguamish, Coast Salish, and Muckleshoot, with Tahoma (aka Mount Rainier) out my window, and my father at center of my care and tending. He’s growing stronger with the treatments and pain management he’s receiving for his cancer, and I’m grateful to be a part of his process of healing, though we are told he will not ever be cured. Even in this season of burgeoning life, Death is always present, and I’m learning to dance with Her as well, to savor the moments She gives us before taking it all away. Being unable to deny that Death is waiting, I’m learning, makes the beauty of life stand out all the more clearly. I cherish these moments with my dad, and I’ll always be grateful to you for giving me space to allow these moments to unfold. I can only hope and pray that as I grow into the fullness of my ministry, I will find a congregation that honors my wholeness as a human being as fully as you have done over these last months. I have found ways to hold you, even as I put my family first. I have found the limits of what I could do for you at this time, and you respected those limits and encouraged me to live within them. You affirmed my ongoing ministry even as I didn’t have as much to give as I had before, or as I had wanted to now. A year ago, I did not expect any part of where I find myself today. After another turning of the wheel of the year, I look forward to seeing who we all become.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again.

–Intern Minister Alison Duren-Sutherland

District Assembly Update: Moving Toward Regionalization

At the request of the Board, our Intern Minister Alison represented UUFKC at the recent Pacific Northwest District Assembly. Like our upcoming General Assembly, this was an all-online event, but instead of bringing together congregations from across the country, District Assembly brought together congregations from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho to vote on the business of our district.

The major vote taken at this year’s District Assembly was a revision to the District’s bylaws that provide for ways of dissolving the district. While it is best-practice for any non-profit to include such a process in their bylaws, there was another reason that the District proposed and voted on this amendment: the ongoing move toward a regional structure rather than a district structure.

When the Unitarians and Universalists merged in the early 1960s, there were around 20 different districts, each with volunteer boards and paid staff to serve the needs of the congregations included in the districts. Now, 50 years later, the duplication of systems represented by 20 different regions has become unsustainable. As wage stagnation worsens, and families must work more hours to meet our basic needs, many districts are no longer able to find the volunteers to staff their boards or the funds to pay their staff. Regionalization, replacing many small districts with five larger geographic “regions,” is being pursued with the goal of eliminating duplication of efforts, streamlining our organization, and enabling our regions to find the volunteers and staff they need to meet the changing needs of our 21st-century faith. If you’re interested in more details on this process, please CLICK HERE for the explanation of regionalization presented to the district assembly by our Regional Lead Rev. Carlton Smith and UUA Director of Congregational Life Staff, Jessica York.

Currently, UUFKC is part of both the Pacific Western Region and the Pacific NW District. However, as the denomination as a whole moves toward regionalization, our district is one step closer to being able to choose to dissolve and participate in the Pacific Western Region alone with the bylaws revision that was passed at last weekend’s District Assembly. If you would like to participate in a district-wide online listening session on Monday, May 24th at 7pm to share your feelings about the regionalization process, CLICK HERE to register. If you want to read more about regionalization across the denomination, CLICK HERE.

Aspirations by Alison: Being Human Together

Thirty-five years ago, I met two of the most important people in my life: the little boy who would become my husband, Jamie; and the little girl who has been my best friend ever since, Emily. I met these two beautiful people as a result of the elementary school community that all our families were a part of. When times really get rough, Jamie & Emily are always there for me, to this day. 

Communities are often built in this way, by good fortune and shared proximity. As Unitarian Universalists, though, we come together to build community on purpose, grounded in principles. And yes, when our UU communities lead us into bonds of lasting friendship, we can count ourselves fortunate. But this is a case where we have made our own good fortune, by choosing to be together, choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to go deeper together. We are co-creators with the Great Mystery, as we participate in the alchemy that transforms a room full of individuals into a beloved community.

I made this choice on purpose as soon as I became a mom. I knew somehow that I needed UU — that I needed YOU — even though then I’d never heard of Klamath Falls, and would never have imagined myself as a clergyperson. The beloved communities that are our UU fellowships had something that the nuclear family I was creating desperately needed. Humans are meant to be together, but our US culture of individualism, capitalism and white supremacy undermines our ability to meet our need to be art of strong, connected communities. The more I participate in beloved UU communities, the more I see that the act of community care is a radical act that helps us reconnect to our shared humanity. We’ve seen this prominently in the last year as the model of mutual aid has flourished in response to the pandemic.

It is in this world that I am becoming a clergyperson, and I’ve been so honored to be YOUR clergyperson for the last eight months. At the same time, I continue to be just another human held in this beloved community. Just last week, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, and I was able to fly up to Seattle (so grateful to be fully vaccinated just in time!) to be with him as we begin to negotiate what comes next. Every one of you in the UUFKC community who I have spoken with about this challenging time have affirmed the importance of me being with my father and participating in his care. You’ve held me in your prayers, even as you too are struggling, after a year of isolation and now a time of both rising vaccination rates and rising COVID cases. You’ve offered me grace as I make mistakes because there’s too much on my mind. You’ve given me space to be human. And, together, we keep moving forward, slowly but surely, to get the work of community done.

I’m back in Southern Oregon, and I’m still here for pastoral care, administrative support, and of course, Sunday worship, even as I help coordinate my dad’s care from afar. I’m not sure what the future will bring, but I do know that your support is what makes it possible for me, and for this fellowship, to flourish, in the midst of it all. Thank you for holding me. I, too, am holding you. That is the work of beloved community.

May Chronicles by Barbara

Having turned 83 in April,  I share these words of Jack Nicol, who passed 31 December 2020:  “It’s a big job keeping up with a young heart and mind”.   (H&N Feb. 2021)

’Tis May. Let’s remember Mother’s Day.  “Moms make life half as hard, and twice as good.”  (A necklace)    

One gift from my mother was laughter.  From my birth to first grade she kept an annual diary (just discovered) of my young life.  No words of first tooth or first steps. She shared comical moments.

Fear not. I have scrapbooks of unending items, cards from baby shower, etc. etc. No wonder I’m into archiving!

I laughed SO heartily as I perused her excellent penmanship. I shared some of her trials and tribulations during April family celebrations: two dinners and three cakes. (Love that math.)

Seems early on I fell off of, or out of beds.  My first fall at about four months, a bachelor uncle was living with us. He was to watch me.  Claimed he heard a thud, & rationalized a dropped  shoe. Really?  Mom wore sz-5. How much thud can such make?!? 

Not in diary, but definitely my memory, just prior to 2nd grade. A high school neighbor girl was pushing me on my  best pal’s backyard swing.  Suddenly I went flying to the ground.  I was rushed to the ER. Fortunately no concussion or broken bones. 

For my family, the written witness of my early falls, was pure testimony to any wackiness I’ve  ever or will  demonstrate.   We all laughed uproariously!   (I’m certain such will continue.) 

Another written witness was the tale of  2 1/2 -3 year old having to pee, AND unable to refrain from using her father’s hat.  Mom did not clarify if it was his winter hat, or his summer Panama.  (Both useful in Detroit weather patterns.) 

Reading the diary I rationalized that the Panama, set upside down,  might seem to a child, “my size, suiting my need”!  (I  have yet to share this with grandsons.) But, I’m still snickering. Thanks Mom! 

                                            *****

Let’s offer THANKS to Sustainable Klamath and the Mills Neighborhood Association for Earth Day Activities.  Chief Seattle stated: 

   “MAN DOES NOT WEAVE THE WEB OF LIFE,
  HE IS MERELY A STRAND IN IT.
   WHATEVER HE DOES TO THE WEB,
  HE DOES TO HIMSELF”.  

Then there was Eleanor Roosevelt.  In her day some Right leaders blasted her actions as, ‘unworthy of an American mother’. As a  mother Eleanor bore six children, losing one in infancy.  (She and I share loss of a child.)

In reality her entire life is national and global heritage.  Author Tonya Bolden wrote, “Except for her clothes, nothing about ER has gone out of date.  She fought  battles still being fought, and our world is still not at peace”.  (My hope: The world’s young folks!)

Post-Chief Seattle, and prior to UUA Principle 7, Eleanor stated, 

     “HATE AND FORCE CANNOT BE IN JUST A PART
     OF THE WORLD  WITHOUT HAVING AN EFFECT 
     ON THE REST OF IT”.   

Whatever your age, this from Eleanor: 

    “KEEP YOUR GREATEST GIFT—CURIOSITY—ALIVE”
                   SHARE YOUR STORIES 
           FOR MOTHERS and MOTHERS-OF-HEART
                            HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

–Barbara H. Turk, Archivist

Toward Greater Humanity: Seven Insights into Anti-Racism Work with Kokayi Nosakhere on April 12 @6pm

Since 1675 this American experiment with race and racism is so off-balanced, it makes people think they have to  attain a PhD to learn how to be human.” – Kokayi Nosakhere, community organizer and Black man living in Southern Oregon, 2021

Most Americans in 2021 acknowledge racism remains a prevalent societal ill. The question becomes how to address it. Nosakhere proposes seven insights and suggests several personal practices to effectively interrupt basic American socialization, which makes racists of us all.

  • Learn what a soul wound is and why everyone in America has one.
  • Learn the history of the idea of race in American history and society.
  • Learn functional definitions of culture and the new boundaries emerging around said idea as humanity moves towards self-actualization.
  • Learn how to manage your actions on social media to foster the healing needed in America around the ideas of race/racism.
  • Learn the 11 tactics Dr. DiAngelo has outlined which reinforced a whiteness-centered worldview. Explore the counters to said tactics designed to decenter whiteness and expand our collective capacity to enter greater and greater humanity.

This $225 class has been discounted to $75 for Southern Oregon UUs. To register for this class, make your $75 payment here: https://www.paypal.me/KokayiNosakhere
Make sure to provide your contact information so Kokayi can send you the Zoom link to Monday’s workshop.

Objective: Develop white-bodied allies in Oregon who understand their personal responsibility to heal the American soul wounds and interrupt supremacy socialization practices.

  1. Show LOVE to yourself.

After living in the Rogue Valley for the past two years, I know who it takes to inspire the growth and development most of us can agree on social media many of us want. However, the bridge we all need is a human process which creates the allies strong enough to communicate the benefits of cultural diversity. A collection of open minds can take the next step and envision the practical steps necessary to get there.

As you read in my book, “When and Where We Feel Safe,” first responders inside the organizing planning sessions for the 12th Annual Beloved Music Festival, provided me with the experience of a BIPOC Sanctuary. The space was the brainchild of four young inter-racial geniuses. Their experiment paved a way to showing we pioneers how to fortify BIPOC persons in a sea of white bodies; how to regulate the fear/freeze/flight response and implement the healing modalities shaped at the festival into our community life. 

  1. Protect the vulnerable.

Before you is opportunity to do what has never been done before – in Oregon: heal the white racial trauma which lives here. Ashland is home to the pilot program of this healing experiment: a BIPOC Sanctuary. Ashland is the first community to write the next chapter in this story of providing “medicine for the people.” Eugene, Oregon can be the second. Salem can be the third. Bend can be the fourth.

Here is what I am suggesting you do next. 

  1. Include the marginalized. 

Enroll into the Seven Insights into Anti-Racism Work ZOOM-based class coming up Monday, April 12, 2021 at 6 pm. Cost is $225 per student. (Because you are a UU member, this class is discounted to $75 with a limit of 10 persons total.)

The following endorsement comes from a student of Solsara, who attended a three day event, Interrupting Whiteness, held in the third weekend of February 2020. I attended that event and made a few contributions towards this transformative experience.

“It is my absolute honor to be writing about a very inspirational man and his work. Not only a heart-centered and deeply caring person, his writing and teachings are articulate, passionate, and researched. His investment in his Oregon communities is a humanitarian gift. I imagine he left a large footprint in Alaska, as well; his soulful presence is singular. Indeed, the work he is doing is desperately needed by a society that has been drafted upon marginalized backs. And: he is woefully alone. What measurement of courage, what immensity of spirit is needed, to heal and teach in this environment? In my mind, this makes him a Warrior Leader.

Kokayi Nosakhere is leading by example, through his sharing of life experience as a POC, and by professorship. He is breaking holes in the institutions and spaces that perpetuate a white racialized America, while providing sanctuary for his Brothers and Sisters. Kokayi’s writing is raw and honest, and commands a white audience to listen. He commands us to be still and go within. He writes from a very examined and direct place, which requires – to even begin to enter dialogue with him – to question what it is to be white, or experiencing white privilege. He is teaching us about centuries of oppression from a boundaried place. He is teaching us about who we are, in collective relationship to one another, from a boundaried place. He is doing and sharing his healing, from a boundaried place. And because he is so carefully boundaried, Kokayi is potentially one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. Thank you for who you are, and for all of your work. In our brief knowing of each other, you have changed my life. I expect I am just a humbled one among many. Much love.”

-Ellie Grove, Eugene, OR