This Week on the Peak

This Week on the Peak
Mission Peak UU – Fremont, CA
The Home of Liberal Religion in the Tri-Cities and Beyond!
November 29, 2017


This Sunday’s Service:
Grace in the Heart of Darkness
Sometimes grace, the blessings in our life, come in spite of ourselves, how we can get in our own way and not see them when they are right before us.



Leading the service will be Rev. Benson and Worship Associate Megan McMillen.  Music will be provided by
Jo Ann Schriner, Alison Kline & Linda MacNeil.
Your Transition Team was announced in last Wednesday’s Week on the Peak and in our service this past Sunday. The members are Beckett Gladney, Eric Dittmar, Shaun Klopfenstein, Terri King and Mark Rahman.
Next Sunday, December 3rd and the following Sunday, December 10 the Transition Team will have a Mission Peak UU Congregation History Timeline on the wall here in Cole Hall. This timeline will serve as a guide in our process as we review, celebrate, grieve and release whatever of our past we will need to release as we move ahead in our transition process.
You are encouraged to write on the timeline:
*when you first came to a service or event at or with MPUUC,
*when you became a member of MPUUC,
*and other significant points on the timeline if they don’t yet appear.
This is an important part of our process as we move toward our search for a new minister, so be sure to participate! Thank you!


In the Interim: A Few Words from Your Minister
Thanksgiving is behind us for 2017. Other holidays-whether or not we celebrate any of them-are ahead. All the comfort food served in traditional Thanksgiving homes, in congregate living facilities, or in shelters for folks living on cardboard along sidewalks and under bridges, has been served up. For a few weeks we go back more or less to our routine.
Something about me: every morning, though I can’t claim to awaken bright eyed and bushy-tailed, I express thanks to the Universe for another day. Sometimes it feels more like a thank you for another opportunity to do good. And lots of times it includes an I’ll be darned if I can think of what good I’ll be able to do today, but I’ll try,” that kind of thing.
            I look at my calendar, either on my so-smart phone or just in my mind and there it is, often a litany of “musts” and “shoulds” at this hour or that. Sometimes I do not look forward to something I’ve committed myself to do. Sometimes a coffee date with one of you, to get to know you better and you, me, is my salvation. Truly.
            By day’s end I can’t help but review a bit and, you know, lots of days I can see woven in moments that have been gifts. I’m not saying the day has been easy necessarily at all. Some things are so very hard to do! But there are gifts, when all is said and done, most days that I can see them. Just in minutes perhaps, even less time, but nevertheless moments of simple and true blessing that have surprised me.
            I think about some of the folks in our community who aren’t able to see the blessing in their days. Maybe you or someone in your family or friendship circle is among them. Some people are so injured, sick or hurt or not able to truly be introspective. Some cannot remember. And I imagine, too, that maybe a person or group of people that I was with that day may have felt a moment as well, each person in their own way, that maybe what was shared or our just being together provided the space for grace.
            May you find the space for grace in your day. May you let it find you. May you give yourself permission to be aware of even the smallest moments of blessing, one day at a time, and be glad.
                                                                        -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:
Call your representatives in House and Senate. Let them know how you feel about tax reform proposal (benefits largely to corporations and wealthiest Americans)  net neutrality (repealing this will allow providers to limit what you will see) and healthcare ( are you for ACA repeal or Medicare for All or something else?)
Eric Swalwell
510-247-1388 or go to


Save the date:




  • Monday, December 4, 2017, 7:00 – 8:00pm

    California Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry Roundtable 

    building stronger collaboration among California Unitarian Universalists by lifting up and learning about the justice ministry of our congregations.
    Immigration Detention: Visitation Programs and Alternatives to Detention, WITH GUEST SPEAKERS:  Kathy Smith, First UU San Diego, and SOLACE
  • Join the 2017 Nationwide Interfaith Vigils To Remember & Honor Victims of Gun Violence   SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017, service starts promptly at 12:00 noon, OLD MISSION SAN JOSE, 43300 Mission Blvd. Fremont. Please enter the Mission Church via the Gift Shop at 11:45 a.m.Join our effort to shine a light on this devastating epidemic in our nationand give voice to all victims and survivors of gun violence.  NOTE: This is a solemn interfaith vigil. No signs, please.
  • UUA Pacific Western Region Conference!  Follow  this link for details!
Get Involved!
*Are you a congregation member with social media skills? If so we may have a great way for you to get involved in the work of the community. Posting, in collaboration with the Marketing Team and Rev Benson, to Facebook, Instagram, MeetUp, etc. Newer members, please don’t be shy! Contact Rev. Benson,
*Are you a congregation member  trained as a mediator, counselor, or noted for being a terrific listener with good boundaries?  Please contact Rev Benson if you would like to be in conversation about **a possible new project: creating a Right Relations Team.  This team would be available to support congregant-to-congregant conflict resolution.


Old issues left unattended or newer issues left on simmer can bubble up in ways that cause pain and destruction. It’s best to address issues directly with the person with whom you have issues. “When you did/said/didn’t do/didn’t say ______, I felt __________ and in future I’d appreciate it if you would _____________ instead.”  Looks simple but it can be very hard to take that next step.  That’s where the Right Relations Team could be of help.  Contact if you have the skills and the interest to discuss this idea.


*Looking for other ways to get involved? Contact someone from the membership or leadership committee, or Rev Benson to talk about ways you can step up and step in!
Home Warming and Hand Warming
Many of us have experienced REAL winter somewhere else at some time during our lives. I know I did! I grew up in Saskatchewan (try to beat that for cold!). But can you imagine going without shelter during one of our east bay winters when the frost covers car windows and your furnace kicks in? Some local families have nowhere to go when it’s cold outside.

Every year Mission Peak UU generously partners with Abode Services to re-home an individual or family who has fallen on hard times through The Homewarming Sponsorship Program. In early fall we made a commitment to help with the deposit on an apartment and to donate furnishings and other household goods for someone in need. We will collect funds towards that deposit (for someone as yet unknown to us) during our Second Sunday Share the Plate Collection on December 10. All donations that Sunday will go towards this unless specially marked as pledge fulfillment. Make checks out to Abode Services, and mark Mission Peak UU in the memo line. We will call on you as soon as we are assigned a family to re-home to request your donations of homewarming goods.

Are you gift buying?


In addition to our monetary donations on December 10 we ask that you bring along a pair of NEW gloves or socks for the children in Abode’s many programs. Let’s keep those little toes and fingers cozy as we head into our coldest time of year.
Your generosity is heartwarming!


Holiday Traditions Potluck
Join us on Saturday, December 2 at 6:30 pm for a Holiday Traditions potluck.  Many different religions/cultures celebrate significant holidays at this time of the year.  WE STILL NEED MEMBERS TO SIGN UP TO SHARE THEIR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS.  This would entail decorating a table for the potluck and sharing information/stories/music/food from your specific holiday traditions with the rest of us.  Whether you choose to share a holiday tradition or not, we hope that you will join us and bring your favorite holiday dish (or whatever you pick up last minute at the grocery store – we won’t judge).   We hope you’ll all join us as we share food and music and traditions together. [To sign up to share your holiday traditions with the group, please contact Jen King.]
Black & White Auction – Follow-Up


Hi Everyone!  Thanks for your patience as we get everything wrapped up from the Black & White Gala and get the information out to you.  I had hoped to have it finished by now, but life has intervened.  The Black & White “After Catalog” (listing any items not claimed via bidding at the Gala) is listed below, and all of the letters letting you know which items you successfully bid on during the auction and who won any items that you donated for the auction, should be coming out early next week.  Again, thanks for your patience.  If you have any questions, please contact Jen King.
The following items from the Black & White Auction are still available.  If you are interested in purchasing any of them please contact Jen King.  First come, first served.

* Minecraft for Parents Class – offered by Nathan Holmes-King – $25 – 1 space left

* Geocaching Adventure & BBQ Lunch –
June 23, 2018 – Offered by Jen King & Melissa Holmes – $35 – 1 space left (but we’d be willing to make it 2 spaces)

* Therapy Dog Sessions – offered by Lucienne Bouvier – $10 each – 2 sessions left

* Learn to Weave – offered by Barbara Meyers – $50 – 1 space left

* Springtime Brunch –
March 10, 2018 – offered by DeAnna Alm – $50 – 1 space left

* Game Night for Adults – April 22, 2018 – offered by Eric Ryan & Allie King – $40 – 1 space left (probably could be 2 spaces)
Stock Donations to Mission Peak UU
Do you have appreciated stock or mutual funds? Instead of selling it and paying taxes on the gains you may want to consider donating it directly to Mission Peak. As long as you’ve owned the stock/funds for more than a year you will be able to deduct the fair market value at the time of the transfer as a charitable contribution and avoid paying federal and state taxes on the gains. It is our policy to sell any donated stocks/funds as soon as they are received. We record your contribution at the high/low average on the date received. For information on making a transfer to our Scottrade Account please contact  To ensure closing in 2017, transfers should be requested by the beginning of December.
Holly Ito, co-treasurer
Fundraiser at Applebees
Join fellow MPUUC friends at Applebees on
Wednesday December 6th from 5pm – 8pm.
Applebees will donate 15% of your check to Mission Peak UU.  Please print and bring the flyer below.
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 |