This Week on the Peak

This Week on the Peak – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This Week on the Peak
Mission Peak UU – Fremont, CA
The Home of Liberal Religion in the Tri-Cities and Beyond!
May 10, 2017


Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve as your new Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth. It has been an incredible aligning of the stars that we have found each other at just the right time!


I have worked as a DRE in a few UU congregations including High Street UU Church in Macon, GA and UU Fellowship of Stanislaus County in Modesto, CA. I have worked with children most of my life, from 12 year’s of experience as a nanny to teaching Art and English in Thailand to being a Parent Involvement Coordinator for a school district in Georgia. My focus always has been and will be, contributing to the growth of the children and youth I serve. I have a special interest in using creative arts to teach UU values.


I am currently working on my Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management with the desire to find my purpose in this work. Outside of work, I enjoy painting, knitting, and photography. I am owned by a schnauzer named Maysee Moon who loves to play and keeps me on a schedule of daily belly rubs.


Many of you will notice that I am currently listed as JeKaren Taylor, but will be transitioning to JeKaren Olaoya (pronounced O-law-ya) in anticipation of my upcoming wedding in June. If you have any questions, please ask!


The CaYRE committee at Mission Peak  is strong and full of excitement, and it is my intention to facilitate even more growth and excitement. There have been so many successes over the past 23 years, and I hope to be part of many more to come!


I won’t tell you how important it is to raise happy, compassionate change makers because you already know this. I won’t tell you all the reasons why RE is important, you can probably give me a few new ideas. What I will say is that religious education is essential to building this community and keeping it sustainable. We have wonderful work to do, so let’s get started!


With gratitude,


JeKaren Olaoya
Director of Religious Education


This Sunday’s Service:
Why Is the World Beautiful?
Even amidst all of the scary news, all of the wars and famine and hopelessness, lies beauty. Why is the world beautiful? Come and find out! .


Leading the service will be Rev. Jeremy D. Nickel and Worship Associate
Paul K. Davis.  Music will be provided by Peak Rocks.
Share the Plate for May
This Sunday, May 14th, we will be welcoming Renata Moreira  from Our Family Coalition in San Francisco .
Our Family Coalition advances equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families with children through support, education, and advocacy.
Our Family Coalition  seeks to create an inclusive and just world where all LGBTQ families with children have visibility and opportunities to thrive as valued participants in our schools, institutions, and communities.
This non profit brings a unique and progressive voice of families to the LGBTQ movement. They cultivate community-based leadership among LGBTQ families and strong partnerships with  allies in California , to advance social justice and make our nation a more respectful and inclusive place for all. To find out more, please go to
If you are interested in donating to this organization, please come prepared to give generously. Checks can be made out to “Our Family Coalition” and any cash put in the basket will also go directly to them. If you are putting your  pledge for MPUUC in the basket, please make a note of it on the check or envelope. Thank you!

Last month’s Share the Plate was collected for SURJ – Showing up for Racial Justice. Thanks to everyone who donated! We were able to collect $483 for the cause.  Thanks everyone!


The All Time Best Day of My Ministry
1) I had a meeting with the Fremont Unified School District to talk about the possibility of using Emotional CPR to help with their student stress problem.  They were really interested, thought of several possible ways to use it, will be sitting in on a workshop, and gave me a MOU to fill out to work with them.  Much more than I was expecting in a first meeting.
2) I attended a meeting of spiritual directors and met another spiritual director who is interested in creating a “Listening Post” for people who are on the margins – homeless or mentally ill. This is a place where people could come and sit and be listened to as they tell their stories.  It is an idea we both read about in a recent spiritual director journal article and were both interested in exploring if only we could find someone to work with.  So together we will explore this idea over the next several months.
3) I got an email from Skinner House Books, the UUA’s press, inviting me to write a book about mental health in congregations.  This was totally out of the blue, and quite an honor.


Of course I know none of these things have happened, but just the fact that they are on the cusp of possibility is thrilling.  Thank you all for the support you have always given me as a community minister.


In faith and possibility,

Join us on May 13 for this important community mobilization to win housing and immigration rights in Fremont and Union City!


Immigrant Lobby Day: May 15, 2017, 8:30-4:00 p.m.
over 20 years, the California immigrant rights movement has convened annually at the state capitol for a day of advocacy, to champion the rights of the community and celebrate immigrants as part of the fabric of our state. The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California will once again participate with the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) at this very challenging time for immigrants and refugees.

This day is a centerpiece of our immigrant justice ministry–we are morally compelled to stand with immigrants and their families as a visible and credible voice for our Unitarian Universalist values.
Register here:
so we know how many lunches to purchase and can welcome UUs.
We recommend you wear your yellow Standing on the Side of Love shirts!
Please hold your pledges for 2017-2018 until
July 1st!

The 2016-2017 church year ends on
June 30th. In order to keep all our accounting correct, we CANNOT deposit checks or cash for your 2017-2018 pledges until
July 1. We appreciate your eagerness to give!

DeAnna Alm and Natalie Campbell, Canvass Co-chairs
Self Awareness, White Supremacy, and the UUA — Sun. May 28
A recent regional leadership hire has revealed that staffing in our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) shows patterns of definite white bias. As a result, UU people of color have requested that we address this problem and reflect on how it also occurs in our congregations and districts – not just in the UUA. In concert with more than 600 UU congregations who are taking time to address this issue, Mission Peak is offering a workshop on Sunday, May 28th, after our service. We will examine how our biases are linked to white supremacy, denominational history, and how we can move forward. Each of us has a stake in finding ways into and through these issues. We invite you to come support one another as we look for creative and authentic responses to what some may see as a crisis but others frame as an opportunity for growth. Your participation is strongly encouraged. Self awareness of our own part in this issue, while it may be uncomfortable, will help each of us deepen our humanity and our sense of connection to others in our faith.

Rev. Kurt Kuhwald, UU community minister, and presenter for SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) will facilitate our workshop. Assisting Kurt will be Allysson McDonald, MPUUC Social Justice Chair.

Your presence will help us become a more welcoming congregation and inclusive association. RSVP to Allysson, by May 25

and notify her if you need childcare. Please bring your lunch.


Rev. Kurt A. Kuhwald has served 7 congregations and 3 Community Ministries as a UU minister and has preached and served widely in the PCD (including as Interim/Consulting minister here in SFUU in 2003/04). Racial Justice, Conscious Eldering, Worker and Climate Justice, are ministries that occupy his heart and dedication now in his 73rd year. Working with a community of Interfaith, climate and racial justice activists, he continues to support frontline communities in the Bay Area. He continues to be ecstatic that in October he became a grandpa!!

Baseball Sunday Fundraiser
This year our annual Baseball
Sunday celebration will be
Sunday, June 18 which is also Father’s Day.  What better way to celebrate than an afternoon at a baseball game?  We will be heading south this year to see the San Jose Giants play the Visalia Rawhide at
1:00 pm. And it’s not just a fun baseball afternoon, it’s also a chance to support Mission Peak!! We’re making this event a fundraiser and for each $12 ticket we sell we get to keep $5. What could be easier? So invite all your friends and family for a fun, family friendly afternoon at the ballpark and support Mission Peak at the same time.  We have an initial lot of 75 tickets, but can get more if we sell out.  Jen King will have tickets available most Sundays, but is also willing to mail out tickets.  Please make all checks out to MPUUC.  If you have any questions or want to order tickets, please contact Jen King at 510-299-2825.

You are welcome to a special exhibit!
The Welcome Home Project at the John O’ Lague Galleria in Hayward City Hall. 
May 26-July 28th, 2017. Opening night will be June 9th from 5:30-7:30 PM. A panel will feature several of the participants in the Welcome Home Project. Refreshments will be served.
The Welcome Home Project exhibit is a powerful and compelling collection of  photographs and stories of formerly incarcerated Alameda County residents that have turned their lives around after many years of involvement with the criminal justice system. The photographer, Ruth Morgan, is a nationally acclaimed local photographer and her work was in the The Sentence Unseen show on Alcatraz. The
Project Coordinator,
Micky Duxbury,
is an
author and  the interviewer/editor of the stories. The Welcome Home Project humanizes the formerly incarcerated while adding a deeper understanding of the challenges of reentry.
These stories are testimony to the power of resilience, hope, and determination in the face of the barriers that most formerly incarcerated individuals face.
Community Office Hours
Rev. Jeremy’s final dates


Thursday, May 25
4 – 6 PM
Mission Coffee
151 Washington Blvd


Tuesday, June 6
11 AM – 1 PM
494 Stevenson Blvd



Final Community Office Hours:
Thursday, June 15
11 AM – 1 PM
Mission Coffee
151 Washington Blvd



Mission Peak UU | 2950 Washington Blvd Fremont CA | 510.252.1477 |