Mission Peak UU – Fremont, CA
The Home of Liberal Religion in the Tri-Cities and Beyond!
January 8, 2020
Happy glorious New Year of 2020 to you all! It’s a brand new year, one full of possibility. That’s always the feeling I have at the beginning of a new year, how much delightful brilliant happenings are there to anticipate. The beginning is always more joyous to me than what happens next. It might be overly theatrical of me to anticipate what the new year holds and then it doesn’t measure up. That is a character defect I need to work on. On the other hand, it is delightful to revel in this feeling of anticipation and hopefulness. I indeed wish to feel that all the time.
We have choices to make when we feel different feelings. My Spiritual Director has often told me how I think a thought and that brings on a feeling. I used to argue with her that it was the opposite. No, I would say, don’t we feel the feeling first and then think the thought? On the contrary she said, your thoughts influence what you feel. And if you decide to act on that thought, you will feel a feeling supporting that thought. Or you can choose to recognize that thought and discard it and a corresponding feeling will not arise.
I knew she was right, and I’ve been working on paying more attention to my thoughts. I’m also wondering if all the energy people are expending right now to hate or resent or antagonize others is hovering over us like a cloud that can be suffocating. We’re putting out so much animosity into the world right now that it has to have an effect on us. These thoughts are bringing about feelings that we then are choosing to act upon or not. The theme this month is Belonging and there’s a lot of anti-belonging sentiment swirling about us right now. The dangerous animosity between us and Iran, the actions of our administration that could be viewed as murder, all of this energy is spinning around us, and it must be having an effect on us. I am feeling such tension in myself just from day to day knowing that any minute we could be on the brink of war, yet another conflict we will be sending our troops to fight. And it feels like it’s escalating and that only creates more fear.
What can we do in our communities to combat this? Individually we can all create practices in our daily lives to calm ourselves, to give ourselves a sense of peace within. We can also bring those practices to our communities and gather each other together to combat these feelings of acrimony or bitterness. But will that community spread out into others, into other states or even countries, to combat the direction we seem to be traveling? Do we have enough of an influence to turn the tide, build a bridge, hold hands with others to create a more peaceful existence? I don’t have an answer for that. I do know that we need to try. We need to consider how we combat these dangerous feelings, how do we change the thoughts before they bring about feelings, before they bring about actions, before it affects the entire world? How can we influence the thoughts in the beginning so that we can bring about change? How do we help others to change their way of thinking to ones of peace, consideration, thoughtful
ness and service?
The only way I know is by example. It could be a slow sluggish way to make change, but it seems to be the only way to be effective. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who we will be honoring in a couple of weeks, said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so, we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
It will be a continuous struggle to change the direction our world is in, the division, the animosity, the cruelty. Continuous struggle can seem inexhaustible and eternal if that is the thought you have. But if you begin with the opposite thought – that it can be achievable and reachable, you will then feel that feeling and be able to continue.
So, let us in this new year, check our thoughts and guide them towards the feelings we wish to feel. We will all be better for it.
Blessings to you all in this brand new glorious year,
By phone: 510-972-3890
Please feel free to contact me
Bridging the Divide into Belonging
What can we do as Unitarian Universalists to bridge this divide that so many of us feel? Our country is divided. We hear it daily and we are now officially in an election year. How can we get a sense of belonging and create the world our 6th principle affirms? Join us this Sunday as we explore the goal of world community together.
Rev. Jo Green will lead the service and assisting will be Worship Associate Mark Rahman. Jay Steele will provide our music.
At our last board meeting on Dec 19
* Approved a new version of the draft ministerial contract for the Ministerial Search Team.
* Approved a procedure for the Justice council to approve charters for its committees.
* Talked about our Governance Review status
* Approved update to CaYRE charter
For complete board minutes of previous meeting or text of committee charters go to the members only section of our web site at mpuuc.org/about-us/members-only
Our next board meeting is Thursday Jan 9th at 7:00 p.m. at Allysson’s house.
During the course of my Interim work here with the Mission Peak UU Congregation, there has been some fun work we’ve done and some challenging work we have done. I am asking for one more challenge that I would love to see every congregational member participate in.
The book White Fragility was highlighted at our last General Assembly and I even was privileged to speak with her and have her sign my copy of her book. I would like to have the congregation read this book and have a discussion on it on January 25, 2020 at 1 p.m. in Ockerman 3/4. I can provide you the book if you cannot afford it, and also I can order them in bulk for those who would like me to. You can also order it on your own.
Please contact me if you would like me to order you a copy and we have over a month now to read it. I would appreciate your participation as I believe this is vital territory that we need to explore here in our congregation.
It takes courage to do this work. I believe you all are up to the task.
Thank you for your courage.
After the holidays we all need something to look forward to and the revival of Mission Peak’s Talent Showcase (a.k.a. Sunday Salon) is just the thing. The
alent Showcase will be held in Cole Hall on Saturday, February 8 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Do you tell jokes? Recite poems? Sing? Act? Play an instrument? Perform magic? If so, we want you to sign up to share your talent with us. Kids are welcome and encouraged to participate. Sign-ups will start Sunday, December 1 after the service. Accompanists are available upon request and Knuti Van Hoven is available as a stage/voice coach (for a small donation to MPUUC). This is a great chance to share what you love with the rest of Mission Peak. We will even have space set aside to display physical artwork such as paintings, drawings, pottery, knitting, mosaics, etc. We hope that many of you will choose to participate.
Join us for Lunch and Launch!
Our UU values of interdependence, democracy, and the inherent worth and dignity of all people are direct antidotes to the fear, bigotry, and inequity that define our world. Our religious community must speak with moral courage and act with prophetic clarity and determination in the 2020 electoral cycle.
On January 12, our Congregation will host a “watch party” and participate in the online launch of “#UU the Vote.”
In this political moment, UUs are called to join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate. Let’s UU the Vote in 2020!
A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. with the watch party to start at 1:00 p.m. Please plan to attend! To register contact Valerie Stewart, Allysson McDonald, or Kathi Bayne.
In this online launch, hear about the organizing plan for UU the Vote across the country, some of the strategies we’ll be deploying, examples of on-the-ground work from congregations already engaging, and how you and your congregation can get involved. Together we will explore how we are called to wear the mantle of our shared legacies, principles, and values as we move boldly together, making our faith relevant and effective in bending the arc of the universe toward justice in this political moment.
The Rapid Response Network
helps train people to protect our undocumented neighbors from ICE by showing up
and document ICE raids as they occur.
Volunteers are needed for this role around the county. The next trainings in Santa Clara County are:
Saturday, January 11th 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Sacred Heart Community Service, 1381 South First St., San Jose 95110
Saturday, January 25, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Casa de Clara, 318 N. 6th St., San Jose 95112
Please sign up for these trainings by emailing email@example.com – please give your name and email address and specify which training/s you wish to attend.
Allie King plans to attend the January 25 training and Paul Davis plans to attend the January 11 training and may be willing to carpool.
The Justice Council is organizing MPUUC members to march with the Women’s March on Saturday, January 18. The venue is TBD. Please sign up after service or after the UU the VOTE kickoff webinar Sunday January 12.
– and the Book that Inspired It!
On December 25 Warner Brothers releases
starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Fox. It tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who,with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The 2015- 16 UUA Common Read selection,
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson (2014, Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House), is the book that inspired the movie! Let’s revisit the book after watching the story play out on the big screen and discuss it February 16 after the service. This will be a public event- see the movie with friends and family and invite them to the book discussion!
If you would like to see the movie at Pacific Commons on Saturday, January 11, at 11 a.m. for $11, contact Allysson for tickets.
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 will present an award on February 16 to an individual or group in our area who has been courageously showing up to challenge oppression and violence. The award will be paired with our February Share the Plate, so will come with a monetary prize. Our nomination period is open now! Contact Allysson McDonald by Thursday, January 9 with your suggestions and a few words about your nominee and why you are nominating them. Join us for a brief meeting after the Service on January 5 to consider the nominations. For more information, and some ideas for people or organizations you might consider nominating this year, click
Spiritual Practices for Courageous and Compassionate Living
First Unitarian Church of Oakland
January 21 through March 24, 2020
Co-Facilitated by Reverend Mary Foran, Affiliated Community Minister and Spiritual Director, together with Patricia St. Onge, Spiritual Director and Coach, Seven Generations Consulting and Assistant Adjunct Professor at Mills College, Department of Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
A Spiritual Direction Group for seekers who want more spiritually grounded lives. With liberation for all in mind, our aim is a diverse group of 10 to 12 participants, who are willing to experiment, reflect and support each other’s search for inner wisdom. Click here for more information.
Mission Peak Wish List
Color Printer for the office
Please contact Rev. Jo or Sandra if you can help with these items for the office.
Turning Love Into Justice:
The Tri-City Interfaith Council (tcicouncil.weebly.com) is a grass-roots organization bringing together people of diverse religious beliefs from Fremont, Newark, and Union City (California). Rev. Jo Green, Rev. Barbara Meyers and Paul K. Davis are members. Join in!
Join the Interfaith council as we stand together for the
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
Senator Kamala Harris
(202) 224 – 3553
Senator Diane Feinstein (202) 224-3841
Second Saturday Documentaries at Niles Discovery Church
: The January Second Saturday Documentary is the film Circles, an examination of restorative justice. Shot over two years, the film follows Butler’s impassioned efforts to nurture troubled youth and keep them in school, fighting racial discrimination by replacing snap suspensions and expulsions with gritty, intimate, and honest mentoring. See the film on Saturday, January 11, 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church. Admission is free; a discussion will follow the screening. Click here for flyer.
The February Second Saturday Documentary is the film Bedlam, an examination of a
national health crisis-our failure to deliver needed mental health care. Impossible to mask when untreated, severe mental illness symptoms shove people who live with them into the path of police officers, ER doctors and nurses, lawyers, and prison guards. See the film on Saturday, February 8, 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church. Admission is free; a discussion led by the Rev. Barbara Meyers will follow the screening. Click here for flyer.
THIS Sunday, January 12, 2020:
Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church
55 Eckley Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Come Celebrate God’s Inclusive Love Welcoming All of God’s Children: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Expansive + and Straight Allies!
Mr. Barb Greve
, Co-Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), preaching on “Just How Welcome?”
- Parents of gender expansive children and teens will be receiving the Spirit Award this year.
- We will also honor the gender expansive youth and children in attendance.
- A blessing will be given to Trans immigrants in attendance.
- Special Music provided by the Musicians of MDUUC
The WOW celebration is cosponsored by CLGS and more than 30 congregations and organizations, including PFLAG & the Pacific Center & the Rainbow Community Center. Offering will benefit the local agencies serving families with members who are gender expansive.
Bring snacks and desserts to share after the service!
Reception to follow hosted by MDUUC & PFLAG.
With Special Guest Red Tail Ring
Each year, St. James’ Episcopal Church hosts the John McCutcheon concert. John is a grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, a consummate entertainer, and a master musician. This year, we also welcome Red Tail Ring, a duo of vintage folk and root music. A portion of the proceeds is donated to Abode Services and their (our) fight against homelessness. The details of the concert are in the flyer. Please join us and/or pass it on.
Mission Peak UU | 2950 Washington Blvd Fremont CA | 510.252.1477 | missionpeakuu.org