This Week on the Peak

This Week on the Peak – Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This Week on the Peak
Mission Peak UU – Fremont, CA
The Home of Liberal Religion in the Tri-Cities and Beyond!
November 8, 2017


Hello Mission Peakers!
I am excited to share a new activity of my mental health ministry with you.  It is called “The Listening Post” and it happens in the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco.
People who live on the streets or who are otherwise vulnerable are often ignored with few chances to share their sacred stories. To address this need, another spiritual director Karolyn Stenlund and I have started a pilot project sponsored by the Faithful Fools Street Ministry which involves creating a space where vulnerable and marginalized people can come and be listened to for free without judgment.  We are using volunteer-oriented models designed by the widely-known Sidewalk Talk organization and the Listening Post organization in Anchorage, Alaska.
This service happens from 1 pm to 3 pmon Thursday afternoons at the city park on the corner of Hyde and Turk in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco, and cohabits that space and work with the St. Francis Living Room organization. This project began on Thursday, October 19 and will continue as a pilot project for 6 months.
I will be reflecting on this activity in a sermon on Sunday, November 26.
This Sunday’s Service:
True Believers
What does it mean to have faith, to believe in something beyond oneself? Are beliefs something that can be proved or disproved?
Leading the service will be Rev. Benson and Worship Associate Allysson McDonald.  Music will be provided by

Eric Niessner.


A Few Words from Our Interim Minister
A religious community is a community of people bound together with common values, human beings who gather every week to lift up those values together. At Mission Peak, a Unitarian Universalist religious community, we come together with our various ideas and beliefs with mutual respect for our individual search for truth and meaning.
We gather for connection, to show up for one another. We may not, individually, feel a need for that connection on a particular Sunday but we know someone else will, will need to see us there, to be among us, to gain strength for a hard time in our lives, to be able to share with our people our great joys. We come together to grow, to deepen who we are as individuals and as a community. When we join in membership the congregation and those about to cross that threshold into community, we covenant with one another, committing to our care for one another and our mission as a congregation, to grow-in strength and depth-who who we each and together, are.
Come, join us in a service on Sunday at 10 or for an event that will welcome you!

-Rev Benson

A Message from Your DRE
Hi Everyone!


One of the things I love most about the Harry Potter and UU curriculum is the real-world application of learning. Last month we collected over 100 books that were distributed among Little Libraries in Fremont to promote literacy. Over the next 2 months we will hold a food drive. Click here for more info!
Right Now:
Amazon Smile


  • Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
    You can select a different charitable organization after signing in.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at


Save the date:
  • The Tri-City Interfaith Council is organizing an interfaith choir to sing at the Tri-City Interfaith Council’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. Rehearsals will be on Thursdays, November 9 and 16, 7:30-8:30, at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd, Fremont . The interfaith choir will sing two anthems at the service on Monday, November 20. You do not need to register to join the Interfaith Choir; just show up for the first rehearsal. 
  • First Unitarian Church of Oakland, November 14th at 8 PM, the outstanding Paul Kivel will speak about his updated book, Uprooting Racism. Kivel is a nationally known writer and activist and can help guide us in these troubled times. 
  • First Unitarian Church of Oakland, Nov 19,

    1-2:30 pm, Miriam Noriega, seminarian and coordinator of the Interfaith Movement 4 Human Integrity, will be speaking on immigration issues and ways we can support and accompany those at risk.
  • The 56th Annual Tri-City Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday, November 20, 7:30 p.m., at St Joseph Catholic Church, 43148 Mission Blvd, Fremont. The program is sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council. This year’s theme, “We Are One: Building Community,” focuses on how celebrating diversity can help us build unity.
      Please click
    here for
  • UUA Pacific Western Region Conference! Follow this link for details!
Share the Plate
We will be sharing our plate with Pioneers for HOPE, an intervention program at CalState East Bay. The HOPE program was started in response to address food and housing insecurity being experienced by so many students. For more information see
Please make checks out to the CSU

East Bay Educational Foundation HOPE) and put Mission Peak UU on the memo line.

Writing for Worship: The Reflection
If you are a current worship associate or are considering you might like to be one at MPUUC, be in touch with Rev Benson about a workshop
Sunday, November 12 from 12 -2 on how to write a 3-5 minute (300-500 words) personal reflection suitable for worship. email Rev Benson:
Request for Class Proposals – Adult Education – Winter 2018
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!

Thanks to everyone’s participation the 2017 Black & White Gala was a great success and grossed over $18,000!!

Special Thanks to: Gayle Tupper for overseeing the Dessert Buffet; DeAnna Alm for coordinating the Basket Raffle at the event; and Colleen Arnold for help with Set Up and Take Down, Coordinating & Organizing the Runners, Creating the Event Playlist, and putting together the Auction PowerPoint.  Whew! Also, special kudos to Allysson McDonald & Graham Bell, and Eric Ryan & Allie King for bringing LOTS of guests to the event! Way to GO!

But WAIT! It’s not over!

A ‘Follow Up’ Catalog will come out next week.  This will include any items that did not sell during the auction at the event and instructions on how to purchase them if you are interested.

Remaining boutique items will also be offered for sale after
Sunday services for the next two Sundays.

All donors and winners of auction items should expect to receive letters in the next couple of weeks with all information on who offered items you won and/or who won items you offered.

Thanks again to everyone!  Thanks to all of you this was a VERY successful event!

Common Read Book Discussion
Every year the UUA names a Common Read and provides a guide so congregations can have group discussions of the book. This year we had two. The discussion of the second book takes place in room 3/4 Ockerman on
Sunday, January 28, 2018, at 11:45am. The book, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (Skinner House, 2017), centers the stories, analysis, and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious leaders of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities.  Please sign up soon to order a copy and let us know if you will need childcare.
Who are Your Heroes?
Mission Peak UU Congregation presents an award each February to a member or group in our area who has been courageously showing up to challenge oppression and violence. Our nomination period is open now!  Contact Rev. Benson by Dec. 10 with your suggestions and a few words about your nominee and why you are nominating them.


Does someone or a group in the Tri-Cities area (Fremont, Union City, Newark) or Milpitas come to mind? Is there someone who has inspired a local movement for love? Is there an organization or individual who has faced oppression, discrimination, and prejudice with grace and inspired determination? The goal is to recognize love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.


Here are some ideas for people or organizations you might consider nominating:
* Local legislator who has sponsored legislation such as anti-bullying bills, domestic partner benefits, voting rights for convicted felons, driver’s licenses or in-state tuition for undocumented individuals, etc. Anything that lifts up communities who have faced discrimination and marginalization.
* Community leader or group who has vocally supported religious freedom and racial justice.
* Local public librarian, teacher, or parent who has fought censorship in schools.
* Head of a local interfaith coalition, immigrant rights, or LGBTQ advocacy organization that promotes respect, inclusion, and compassion daily.
* Members of the Gay-Straight Alliance at a local high school.
* Educator, administrator, or guidance counselor who has worked to alleviate bullying.
* Clergy member or lay leader who has exemplified faith in action.
* Religious communities and congregations that have been targeted with hate crimes.
* Individuals who have committed acts of civil disobedience so they could elevate the importance of a social justice issue.
* Local community center, museum, or gallery that faced criticism for showcasing a thought- provoking exhibit.
* Students who have risked deportation to advocate for the DREAM Act or DACA, and those who have stood in strong solidarity with them.
* Communities of color on campus or locally that have dealt with vandalism or hate speech.
* University or college president, professor, or administrator who has spoken up for the DREAM Act.
* Military chaplains or members of the military that have spoken out for greater inclusivity.
* Individuals who actively and passionately engage in registering people to vote, poll watching, and ensuring the protection of voting rights for People of Color.
* Ordinary person who has used their extraordinary power to shine the light on injustice or faced great personal risk to fight for a cause they believe in.
Mission Peak UU | 2950 Washington Blvd Fremont CA | 510.252.1477 |