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 28, 2018




Hello MPUUC congregants! I’m Paul Kwinn. I think many of you may recognize me: I’m the tall, hairy fellow who’s almost always there at the Sunday service, and once a month, the guitarist with our band Peak Rocks. My wife Beckett and I have been with the congregation since the boys were 4 years old (so 13 years now). We joined to give our boys exposure to religious and moral/ethical education, and MPUUC has certainly provided that. I’m a software engineer, with 33 years of experience in video games, starting with coin-operated arcade machines at Atari Games. In my spare time, I play a lot of games (electronic and other), and play music in several settings, including sci-fi/fantasy conventions, as well as teaching music to 5th-graders.

When our then-new minister Jeremy Nickel started his term with the congregation, he wanted to put together a contemporary music group to perform at services once a month.  Whoever he initially spoke with about that idea pointed out to him (at least partly based on a couple of songs we played as a farewell to our previous minister, Chris Shriner) a few known musicians in the congregation, including myself and Cara Madden-Watson. Jeremy gave us our name: Peak Rocks. Our first performance was on March 13, 2011 (I only know because I’m our unofficial archivist), and featured Cara on drums, Brenda Paddon on piano, David Lefkort on harmonica and misc percussion, his son Alex on bass, Marylin Wakefield, and myself on guitar, with all of us singing at some point. Early on, Mark Kahn took over piano duties. We’ve had several other musicians join us for varying lengths of time. And we even got our original drummer back last year!

Our process starts with an e-mail thread where we bounce around ideas for what songs will work best for that service’s theme. Then we have a rehearsal a week before the service, where we decide who’ll be the lead singer for each song, what key we’ll play it in, and sketch out the arrangement (instrumental and vocal). Then after a week of individual prep, we meet again the night before the service to finalize everything and rehearse each song a few times. Finally, we show up early on Sunday morning, run everything one last time, and we’re ready for the service. Well, as ready as we’re going to get. The last bit is our performance during the service, which hopefully you’ve seen and heard.

I LOVE performing with Peak Rocks. These people are just a blast to work with and perform with. I consider myself the least among them, as a musician.  They say that you should surround yourself with people who are better at what you do than you are yourself, so that works out well for me. I’ve also (through Peak Rocks and my work with the 5th-graders) become familiar with a lot of new music, which is also excellent. People in the congregation have mentioned from time to time that they enjoy our performances too, so, bonus! :{)} Thank you, Mission Peak, for letting me be part of this band and for letting us perform for you.

This Sunday’s Service:

Healing with Light
During Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, eight candles are lit, an extra one each day to signify that the miracle grew in greatness each day. Tomorrow is the beginning of Hanukkah. Let’s explore how we can use light to heal while also acknowledging we can heal in the dark.




Rev. Jo Green will lead the service and assisting will be Worship Associate Sharon Davis. Jay Steele will provide our music.



Food for Plates through Share the Plate in December!
Actually, our donations in December will help TriCity Volunteers (TCV) pay for rent and utilities at their local food bank. Be prepared to put cash or a check made out to Mission Peak UU Congregation on the collection plate on Sunday, December 9, and we’ll pass on the total amount to TCV! If you wish to make a payment towards your pledge, please note that in the memo line, and we’ll keep that amount separate.


Earlier in November we indicated that we were planning to donate to a fund for victims of the Camp Fire, but Patricia Osage has discovered that there has been an outpouring of generosity  that our gifts will be more appreciated in a couple of months when families are trying to get re-established and the initial support has begun to wane. We’ll plan to provide assistance to that area in the New Year.


Put a Smile on a Local Child’s Face!
In conjunction with our share the plate offering in December, we will also be collecting new toys for the TriCity Volunteers’ Toy Party. See the attached flier for the
wish list
, and bring a new unwrapped toy to the service on either December 9 or December 16. Sign up to volunteer at the Dec. 21 Toy Party after the service on Dec. 9 too!
HELP!!!  SOS!!!  HELP!!!

Sunday Services is DESPERATELY in need of additional volunteers. We have NO GREETERS and NO COFFEE SET UP for this coming Sunday (and the first Sunday of every month).  We also need additional people to help with set up, goodies, greeting, and take down duties.  Rev Jo has also asked for someone to advance the PowerPoint slides during the worship service each Sunday, and starting in the new year we would like to have a designated AV technician available each Sunday (we will train you).   Being part of the SUNDAY SERVICES TEAM is a great way to dip your toe into volunteer service and really help out our congregation.  It is also a great way for our MIDDLE SCHOOL AND TEEN MEMBERS to become involved.  Please follow this
to the Sunday Services Google Sheet to sign up.  Those positions on the spreadsheet that are highlighted in BRIGHT YELLOW are highest priority.  Those highlighted in PINK are of lower priority.  If you have any questions or would like help signing up PLEASE contact Jen King.


We are having a Christmas Tree this year in Cole Hall and will be decorating it on December 8th at the potluck and boutique event.  Feel free to bring any ornaments you would like to see on the tree and feel free to make any to share! 

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





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 |