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 21, 2018




Ministerial Musings
November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance and although we did not have a service in our community, I wanted to acknowledge and honor this sacred time we have to remember those we have lost just for being who they are. In years past I have participated in a few Days of Remembrance and there is a prayer that is spoken to honor those who have died in the last year due to violence and hate. This prayer was first spoken at First UU in Brooklyn on Nov 6th, 2011 as part of an early service honoring the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was spoken with 4 voices, 4 times, each time giving emphasis on different lines, with 1, 2, 3, or all 4 voices in unison. Let us begin to remember every day, those lives ended because they are Trans and for no other reason, not just one day a year, but each day remember and pray and support the Transgender community.
Let us pray that one day the violence will end and that day will come sooner and sooner as we work towards ending the hate and the violence.
Spirit of Life, God of Many Names and One Transforming and Abundant Love,
Broaden our imagination to see you in the faces of all those we meet along the way.
May your teachers come in all shapes and sizes, all genders and all sexes,
and may we have the courage to hear their lessons so that our lives may be moved.
We live in a world whose bodies are sometimes broken, or broken down, or weighted under burdens that none could hope to carry alone.
We live in a world where we have all the capacity we ever needed to make another life that much easier. And yet we don’t always use our power to help…
we don’t always allow others in…
we don’t always accept help when it is offered…
we don’t always know when we can no longer do it alone.
Spirit of Life – open our hearts to the community of souls that surround us;
Allow our words to be softened before the miracle of being;
Strengthen our voice so that it may be a service to others;
And stir in us compassion when it is gone,
temperance when we are in our might,
and hope when it is hard to find.
We especially hold dear this morning all the lives who have suffered harm for the bodies they were born into; for the genders whose expressions didn’t stand up to the gaze of society; and the lives that were lost due to violence born of fear, of hatred or of self-doubt.
We pray for our youth who are wrestling with the choice of whether to live or to die.
May our love, our compassion, and our commitment, to seeing a world more free,
and more free-spirited, help them to find the hope they need to continue living.
May everyone this week have a peaceful Thanksgiving, filled with love and laughter, hold each other close, and feel the gratitude for all that we have which we’ve been blessed.
Blessings to you all,
Rev Jo
Please feel free to contact me!
To reach me:

By phone: 510-972-3890

This Sunday’s Service:

Becoming Great Souls
An essential element of spiritual growth is embracing and appreciating an ever-wider diversity of contrasting ideas, views, and possibilities. Process theologian Bernard Loomer called this quality S-I-Z-E,” and it calls each of us to find beauty and harmony in diversity. It also applies to the spiritual growth of congregations as a whole. How do we, individually and collectively, become bigger people?



Rev. Jay Atkinson will lead the service and assisting will be Worship Associate Drew Wilson. Jay Steele will provide our music.


Why We Sing

Those of you who attend services on the first Sunday of the month have heard our wonderful choir directed by Shauna Pickett-Gordon and accompanied by Jo Ann Schriner. What you may not realize is that the beautiful singing comes from folks with a range of experience extending from nearly none to many years. Yet with diligent rehearsing and talented direction we still manage to make wonderful music for the services.
As part of music focus month, I asked the choir some questions about why they originally joined, what their experience level is, and what brings them to choir most Wednesday evenings and early to church once a month to sing in the service. Here are some of the answers.
A major reason for joining, as you might expect, is a love of singing. However Jo Ann Schriner originally joined to restart the choir after it had run out of choir directors because she felt the church needed a choir. Kari Martell was invited to join by Jo Ann and Chris, even though the thought of singing in a choir was definitely out of her comfort zone. And David Lefkort reports that he joined because his mom was singing in the choir and he wanted to join her.
As for experience, it varies widely. Sharon played flute and had sung in high school music camp, while Kari had done some singing as part of high school musicals she performed in. Others played instruments or performed from grade school onward, which helps with reading music, but doesn’t necessarily teach you the mechanics of singing. Fortunately, our choir directors, especially Shauna, have taught us a great deal about that, making us all much better singers.
Most folks stay with choir because of the camaraderie of the group, as well as the joy they feel from singing. Several report that they also have a bit of “ham” in them, which is fed by the performances and the appreciation shown by the congregation. Several mentioned their appreciation of the valuable training that Shauna provides, and the opportunity to improve their singing craft.
Another common thread is that singing improves our mood, our breathing, and helps us sort out our thoughts and emotions. We come away humming the tunes and looking forward to the next rehearsal. We especially value seeing the joy and emotion of our songs passed on to our audience. We enjoy reinforcing the message of the day through our songs.
In summary, you don’t have to be a trained singer to join, though love of singing is essential. It’s a fun group to sing with and the experience enriches the lives of our singers. And finally, it enhances the services by its beauty and reinforcement of the Sermon’s message, making it an important element of the worship service. If you love singing, please join us!

Greetings, I am Valerie Stewart and I am a member of the Transition Team.
You have been seeing messages from the Transition Team since the Summer about the process that we went through to select Rev. Jo, and her move here.  We hope it now feels like the Mission Peak community and Rev. Jo are settling into a relationship together.  During the period that a congregation has an Interim Minister there are opportunities to try new ways of doing things.  Rev. Jo has ideas that have provided some wonderful sermons and if you haven’t been to a Sunday Service for a while, come and see how warm and welcoming she is.
The Transition Team is available to you if you have questions about Interim Ministry.  We provide assistance to Rev. Jo in matters that arise in being with a new congregation and in a new community.  In December the Transition Team will be meeting with the Board to review the timeline of congregational activities.  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 me.


Alternate Volunteer Needed

We are in need of an alternate volunteer on Sunday mornings during services to “click” the slides forward as we proceed through the service.  We have someone that does this when they are at service, but are looking for an alternate when they are not available. There is no age limit for this volunteer opportunity!  Anyone from 13 – 100 can volunteer!  Please contact Rev Jo if this is something you may be interested in!  Training will be provided.  You will be giving a tremendous service, as this part of the Sunday service is driving the minister crazy!  Thank you!

Children & Youth Religious Education (CaYRE)

SAVE THE DATES: 2018 Holiday Pageant



The 2018 Holiday Pageant will take place during service on Sunday, December 16. Children of all ages and abilities are warmly welcomed to participate. (Plenty of roles for assistant stage managers and theater techs for those youth who would rather not be in the limelight.) Parents, if your child is interested in participating, please make every effort for them to be able to attend RE on December 2 and December 9, when we will do our rehearsals. In the event they cannot make one of the rehearsals, please check in with Lisa Newstrom regarding any practice that can take place at home.

Adults and teens, we could really use some help with the following volunteer positions: working with the children and youth on sets and costumes; helping run lines from our script; and helping design slides for background and other special effects. Please contact Lisa Newstrom if you are able to assist with these roles or able to share any other theatrical talents with our young people.

Super Council!  Dec 8th, 9:00AM to noon

What’s a Super Council?  It’s all three of our Councils meeting together.  And what’s a Council?  It’s a meeting of committee leaders by general topic.  So —
On Saturday December 8th, from 9:00 AM till noon, MPUUC will have a Super Council meeting, with break-out sessions for the individual Councils.  And what are those Councils?  As presently organized we have a Justice Council, a Ministry Council and an Operations & Personnel Council.  Each committee is assigned to one of the Councils, except for a select few that report directly to the Board.
So, if you are a committee leader, either formal chair or functional leader, please plan to attend.  Your Executive Team will be distributing a detailed agenda as time gets closer.




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





IRA Charitable Rollover

Did you know that giving through your IRA may help you save on taxes while providing support to Mission Peak? This is particularly true if you will no longer be itemizing deductions because of the increased standard deduction.
If you are 70½ or older you are likely familiar with the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Each year, the IRS requires you to withdraw a certain amount from your IRA and you pay income tax on that withdrawal.
Consider these factors and talk to your tax advisor to determine whether this is right for you:
  • The IRS allows donors 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 directly from their IRA to charity each calendar year.
  • An IRA Charitable Rollover can be used to meet all or part of an IRA required minimum distribution.
  • You pay no income tax on the rollover gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize deductions, and it is not subject to the 50% deduction limits on charitable gifts.
You will need to c
ontact your IRA plan administrator to make a gift from your IRA, and specify that you want to make an IRA Charitable Rollover.
Also, be sure to notify us about your plans as the funds will be sent directly by your IRA plan administrator. Advance notice will help ensure that your gift is properly credited. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Save the Date – Holiday Potluck & Boutique – December 8 @ 6:00

Our annual Holiday Potluck will be December 8 starting at 6:00. This year we will be holding the

Black & White Boutique “After” sale at the Holiday Potluck.  This is a great place to have kids shop for gifts for parents/grandparents/teachers/ etc. If you bring your kids by at 5:00, adults will be available to help them shop for parents/grandparents/teachers and we’ll even have a wrapping station set up.  The potluck will start at 6:00. Please bring a favorite holiday dish if you’d like or feel free to bring pizza or something else quick and easy.  (We know that there are many MPUUC meetings that day.) The important thing is to have you there with us.  After we eat we will have a brief story sharing time.  Come prepared to share your favorite holiday related story – the best surprise or worst cooking disaster or favorite holiday memory.  We will wrap the evening up with some music and sing along to some holiday favorites.


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