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!
April 18, 2018
This Sunday’s Service:

Dunbar’s Number: How Many Friends? Really?

How many stable social relationships can you maintain? Does the answer to this impact your sense of how big or small you want this congregation to be? What matters about this interesting idea about our human limitations? Where does our mission fit?

(this is the sermon topic “purchased” at auction by Stephen Longfield)

Rev. Benson will lead the service and assisting will be Worship Associate  Megan McMillen.  Our DRE JeKaren Olaoya will lead the Time for All Ages and Mark Kahn will provide our music.


You are amazing! We’ve received 55 surveys, which is a phenomenal response rate, especially for a long and rather involved survey. Thank you for expressing yourselves with so much thought and caring!

Here are some graphs depicting the results from the multiple choice questions. You’ll notice some themes:
* There’s a strong consensus that we’d like to grow a bit larger (120-200)
* We’d like to be more diverse, better reflecting our larger community
* “Great sermons” are something we definitely value in a minister, plus there are a wide range of other attributes/skills we also care about
* We have about 10 people who are passionate about community outreach; the rest of us have more complicated views
* Communication remains a perennial challenge
* Community,
Sunday Service, and the combination of things related to children and youth are “most important” to us, while we “enjoy” Community,
Sunday Service, and Friendships
* Generally, we see ourselves pursuing a rational, considered approach to change; we’re cautiously optimistic about it; and yet we need to know more
* There’s more!
See the graphs!

WHAT’S NEXT? Let’s talk! Please join the Transition Team this Sunday for an informal first discussion of the survey results:

WHAT: Brief recap of survey results + consider next steps
Sunday, April 22, 11:30 – noon
WHERE: Cole Hall

Surveys answer some questions and naturally raise new ones, so let’s continue our conversation about who we are, who we want to be, and how we can evolve.

With gratitude again for all this congregation does, and all this congregation is, and all that we will be and do in the future.
Your Lay Transition Team: Beckett Gladney, Terri King, Shaun Klopfenstein, Tiffany Longfield, Mark Rahman
Dear Mission Peak UU Members,
As you know, our interim minister, Rev. JD Benson, has informed us that she would not accept an offer to renew her contract for a second year.

She has given her explanation in the April 11 issue of Week on the Peak, identifying various problems in the relationship between her and your elected and appointed lay leadership.

We acknowledge her statement, and agree that there have been problems that eventually became insurmountable. We too, felt that we brought value to the process, including Congregational knowledge and history, a willingness to work in collaboration to begin our journey through the interim period, and the honesty to provide productive feedback that we received from members of the Congregation. Both Rev. Benson and your lay leadership, ourselves, are at fault. We believe
the most important task, however, is not to assess blame, but to work toward a better future.

We take this opportunity to outline to you some of the steps we have taken, are taking, and will take toward that goal.

Our Transition Team has been surveying you to more accurately assess the status and needs of the congregation.

Our new Interim Minister Search Committee has been using this information and other sources to revise our interim ministry application to more accurately describe our congregation and our needs.

Our Board has approved revisions to the interim minister contract for our next two years of interim ministry.

We will engage in advance meetings and consultations with our next interim minister to minimize misunderstandings and launch tasks in a timely fashion.

Looking further ahead, our Board has begun learning about other forms of ministry, such as a Contract Minister or a Developmental Minister.

Our Board and our Transition Team will be meeting to share lessons learned.

Our Board has resumed the process, begun some years ago, of reviewing our policies and procedures to fill problematic gaps and incorporate lessons learned.

We will be following through with a timely review of our new governance structure.

If you believe you have anything to contribute to building a better MPUUC, please talk to one of us, send us an email, or communicate however you can.

Good communication itself is an essential part of building a congregation which can more fully accomplish our mission.

Our thanks to Rev. Benson and to all members of the Congregation.
— Paul K Davis, President-Elect
— Michealle Havenhill, President
— Melissa Holmes, Past-President
A Message from Your DRE
This Week Teaching:                           Next Week Teaching:
K-4: Lisa Newstrom, Patrick Myers    K-4: Shyno Chacko Pandeya, Lisa Newstrom

5-8:  Open                                              5-8:  Melissa Holmes, Kellie Spielmann

Youth Group:  Summer Lander,          Youth Group:  Not Meeting

Alexa Sarten                                          DRE: (substitute) Steve Wallcave

DRE: JeKaren Olaoya


Earth Day Family Movie Night

April 28th 6 pm
Movie:  Wall-e
Join us for another free family movie night! In honor of earth day, we will be showing Wall-e. For more information about the movie click here:


Summer Camps
There will be two amazing camps for children this summer! Attend both or choose one! Both will offer experiences they will never forget!
UU Mosaic Peace Camp
First Unitarian Church of San Jose
June 18-22
Chalice Camp
First Unitarian Church of Oakland
August 6-10, 2018


Get Involved: Opportunities for Service




Once a Month, Be Part of Something Special: the
Service team!


Our services are held in a space that is transformed each
Sunday.  There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved with making our space welcoming and worshipful.

With your involvement, chairs will be set up or put away; hymnals will be set on chairs or put back in the cabinet; people arriving will be greeted and handed an order of service; there will be coffee afterwards.  So, what do you say? This is our shared religious home and we aim to do Sundays well!

Sign up for a monthly assignment or find a friend to share with and each of you serve every other month! Sign up



Ask what committees can use new members or specific tasks done: contact Gayle Tupper, Membership or Jen King, Leadership Development

It’s your community. Be a part of it with a little time and talent, too!

Be Part of the Black & White Gala Team!

November may seem very far in the future, but believe it or not, in order to have the most successful Black & White Gala possible we start planning…Now!  So, first off, go to your calendar right now and reserve Saturday evening, November 3rd for the Mission Peak Black & White Gala Fundraising Event. Secondly, have you ever been interested in knowing what goes into putting on an event like the Black & White Gala? Have you ever wanted to help put on such an event? Do you have ideas about how we can improve the event to make it even more fun and, most importantly, profitable?  If so, Jen King would like to hear from you! Please contact Jen ASAP if you are interested in joining the planning team for the Black & White Gala or if you have ideas for how we can make changes to the event to keep it fresh, fun, and fiscally flourishing.


Turning Love Into Justice:


OUR Tri-City Interfaith Council
MPUUC is now a member organization. Only individual members can vote and anyone from the congregation may join for a $25 dues, and attend whether a member or not. Rev. Benson is a member. Join in!








Stay Strong, California! Join UUs and others from throughout the state on May 14 in Sacramento: Immigrant Lobby Day. Come to the Capitol & speak to your legislators to advance and strengthen this work.  Policy agenda, developed by
California Immigrant Policy Center, includes: Access to Health Care & Public Benefits; Fighting Mass Detentions & Deportations; Immigrant Integration & Inclusion



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




Save the date:





Make it a full and most wonderful day April 22!


Before you go to our benefit with Will Durst, head over to join us at the LEAF event in the afternoon! It’s to be held at the Leaf Center
from 10 am to 3 pm at LEAF Center 36501 Niles Blvd at Nursery Ave California Nursery Historical Park. LEAF’s mission is to promote and teach sustainable agriculture and environmental issues and Earth Day is the perfect day to do this. LEAF will be 
sharing ideas and information
about growing healthy food and environmental sustainability 
with our friends, our partners and our community
. LEAF will be selling plants grown in their nursery and honey from their bees, have informative booths with games and/or giveaways,
 live music to sing your heart away and good food to satisfy those hunger pangs. MPUUC will have an information booth at the event.
 Admission FREE.  Please click here for flyer. 


Experience Pacific Western Regional Assembly-no Travel Required!

If you’re not able to go to Portland to attend Regional Assembly you can view portions Livestream all in our own time zone!
  • Opening Ceremonies, 7-8:30 p.m., Friday, April 27, featuring UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray
  • Keynote Address, 9:45-10:45 a.m., Saturday, April 28, featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
  • Sunday morning worship, 10:30 a.m., Sunday, April 29, featuring the Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern
The video streams of these events, will be shared on the Regional Assembly page as well as on YouTube.





MPUUC 2018 Summer Camp Out – June 15-17

Spring has sprung and Summer is right around the corner.  This year’s Congregational Camp Out will be
June 15-17 at Del Valle Regional Park.  We have room for up to 20 people.  Tents only.  Please contact Jen King for more information and to reserve your spot. Check in is anytime after
2:00 on Friday, and check-out is by
noon on Sunday (and yes, Sunday is Father’s Day). Cost is sliding scale not to exceed $25 per family.

Del Valle Regional Park, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, is located in a valley framed by oak-covered hills. The centerpiece of the park is a five-mile long lake, with all kinds of water-oriented recreation, surrounded by 4,316 acres of beautiful land for hiking, horseback riding, and nature study. Del Valle is also the eastern gateway to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, 28 miles of scenic back country trail. The Livermore valley and its MANY wineries are also nearby.






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