This Week on the Peak

This Week on the Peak – Wednesday, December 19, 2018
This Week on the Peak
Mission Peak UU – Fremont, CA
The Home of Liberal Religion in the Tri-Cities and Beyond!
December 19, 2018

Ministerial Musings
Happy Holidays to everyone! This is that time of year when I go from feeling the highs of the season to feeling the depths of tiredness at all that is going on. I know the rollercoaster of events this time of year and its effects on all of us. So what can we do to center ourselves to be able to enjoy all the extra festivities and events of this time of year?
They always say, never start a diet during the holidays, but I think we can begin other practices if we’re not doing them during this time to help relieve stress. Meditation is one that I use daily along with prayer to keep myself in a calmer state as I float through all of the obligations of the season. This is a practice you can begin anytime and maybe during the holidays is the perfect time. Starting now could begin a practice that will continue throughout the year with all the benefits of calm that will accompany it.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you feeling lonely? Are you feeling depressed? This time of year can bring out those feelings even though our culture dictates that this is the happiest time of year. It isn’t for some; in fact it may not be for many. This is a time to meditate for yourself, to give yourself that gift of quiet time, alone time, time to center yourself and focus on you. 5 minutes a day of focusing on you, maybe repeating a mantra over and over, or just sitting and focusing on listening to your breath go in and out, go in and out, will give you calm and a bit of peace for those moments that you carry on throughout your day. There’s a lot to worry about these days. So much of what goes on in our world can make us despair, get us angry, make us cry. We are not any use to the world when we are doing that. Those are the times when we can take a moment to breathe, to quiet our monkey minds and learn how to focus. This is what will better prepare us to tackle those things in our world that feel too overwhelming, that feel impossible to solve. I have discovered through meditation and prayer that I then gain the strength to face those parts of our world that need fixing, to face those parts of my world I need to face. It gives me inner strength, it gives me hope.
So I wish for you all those moments of peace and harmony that CAN be yours. Search for them, not only search for them, but create them. That is truly in your power. It’s up to us to make the world a better place.
May you all receive the blessings you need right now to feel that inner peace within.
Be merry this coming Christmas and Kwanzaa and the New Year of 2019.
Rev Jo
Please feel free to contact me
By email:
By phone: 510-972-3890

This Sunday’s Service:
Toward Bethlehem           

What can we Unitarian Universalists make of the traditional nativity story? How might it speak to us? The sermon will explore the rich mythic and universal themes of the Christmas story.
Rev. Joy Atkinson will lead the service and assisting will be Worship Associate Jen King. Jay Steele will provide our music
Happy Holidays from DeAnna Alm, Transition Team Chair.   
The Transition Team is continuing to support Rev. Jo Green as she settles into her work here at Mission Peak UU Congregation. A few weeks ago we met with the Board after the Super-Council meeting, in order to ensure that we all understood and agreed with the commitments we were making to and receiving from each other. Many thanks to Terri King for her inestimable facilitator skills! We reviewed a proposed timeline that includes those commitments, clarifying and editing as needed. It feels like the Board, the Transition Team and Reverend Jo are all supporting each other in this interim year.

The Transition Team is available to you if you have questions about Interim Ministry.  We provide assistance to Rev. Jo in matters that arise from being with a new congregation and in a new community. If you have any questions or any feedback (good or bad) about how the transition period is going, please talk to or email the transition team: DeAnna Alm (chair), Annette Breingan, Alan Davis, Holly Ito, and Valerie Stewart.  You can send an email to the entire team at
Volunteers needed for the county-wide homeless count  

The biennial county-wide homeless count will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 from 6 am to 10 am. Once again, the City will lead the coordination effort in the South County and is looking for volunteers to participate in this important event. Volunteers will work alongside formerly or currently homeless guides to count the number of homeless individuals in the South County.
Please click here for more information and to volunteer.
Who are the Heroes in our Community?

Every day we hear news about oppression and violence. As Mr. Rogers so famously said, “look for the helpers.”  We not only want to look for them, but to honor them!  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 Allysson McDonald by Jan. 6 with your suggestions and a few words about your nominee and why you are nominating them. We will have a brief meeting after the Service on Jan. 6 to consider the nominations. This year’s award will be paired with our February Share the Plate, so will come with a monetary prize.

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.

In the past we’ve honored folks such as Samina Sundas (American Muslim Voice), Arnav Gupta (Youth Radio), Sister Ramona (Interfaith Sisters of Peace), Pat Skillen (Fremont/East Bay PFLAG), and others. For some ideas for people or organizations you might consider nominating this year, click here.
Centering Prayer Meditation

First United Methodist Church has invited us to attend their weekly prayer meditation.  Please see attached document for more information by clicking here
Black & White Gala Photos

I know that many of you have been waiting anxiously for the photos from the Black & White Gala.  I apologize for the delay.  We’ve had issues trying to set up a website.  So, for the time being here’s the plan. If  you would like to see your photos from the Gala, please email Jen King and she will send them to you.  If you decide to use them and have photos printed (via Shutterfly, Walgreens, Costco, etc.) we ask that you make a small donation to MPUUC as a sort of ‘studio fee’.  Many thanks to Don Ramie’s brother, Jerry, for sharing his wonderful photography skills with us.
Mark your Calendars: January 13 is Bring a Friend Sunday and Potluck

What do your friends know about Unitarian Universalism? About Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation? If the answer is “not much”, we have the perfect opportunity to change that: invite your friends to our Bring a Friend service to be held on January 13. And of course, invite your relatives too. The more the merrier. Let’s spread the word about our Unitarian Universalist values and extend our hospitality to the people we care about. After the service, we will have the opportunity to spend time with new and long-time friends as we kick off our celebration of MPUUC’s 25th Anniversary year with a potluck lunch. Please bring a dish to share. Drinks and dessert will be provided.
Turning Love Into Justice:
The Tri-City Interfaith Council ( is a grass-roots organization bringing together people of diverse religious beliefs from Fremont, Newark, and Union City (California). Rev. Barbara Meyers and Paul K. Davis are members.  Join in!

Call your Elected Officials!  
Calls can make a difference! Contact your representatives to alert them to your views!

Congressperson Eric Swalwell 510-247-1388 or go to 
Ro Khanna  (202) 225-2631 
Senator Kamala Harris   (202) 224 – 3553
Senator Diane Feinstein (202) 224-3841
Mission Peak UU | 2950 Washington Blvd Fremont CA | 510.252.1477 |