View this email in your browser
The Outlook

"A Community of Conscience and Compassion"

4451 Dunsmore Avenue, La Crescenta, CA 91214 ~  818.248.3954
February 1, 2017
Volume 22, Issue 2

Worship Services and Fellowship
10:30 AM Sundays

January 29
Express Yourself

AJ Blackwood, M.Div

How do we communicate who we are? During this service we will discussing who we are both as UU individuals and as a collective.  We will be looking at ways to better communicate our beliefs, need for social justice, and how we are formed by UUism as well as how we for it. 
February Worship Theme:

LISTENING

Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.
 
Listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated, lose interest and become irritated.
 
If there is one communication skill you should aim to master then listening is it.
 

February 5
Listening to the Spirit Within

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

During a lifetime we process many messages.  We hear many noises.  We listen actively to only a fraction of the communications coming our way.  This service is intended to get us listening in a more profound way. This sermon is an attempt to get us all listening to ourselves deeply and to the people we care about.  Join us in this important work.

February 12
Gerald Rivers Shares The Words of MLK
Gerald Rivers

UUVerdugo welcomes back Gerald C. Rivers, who will perform his rendition of the words of Martin Luther King Jr.  For more than three decades Rivers as enacted the speeches of the late Dr. King.  He realized his gift for bringing King's words to life in his teens and has dedicated himself to keeping alive the spirit and inspiration of Dr. King through his awe-inspiring renditions. Rivers, who grew up in Compton, has gained recognition as a multi-talented actor, voiceover Artist and inspirational speaker. His presentation is part of UUVerdugo’s celebration of Black History Month.

 

February 19
Hearing Lincoln
Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey
 

In the minds of many historians and even most Americans Abraham Lincoln arguably remains our nation’s greatest president.  His profound sense of right, his love of country, and his words still hold great meaning as we move towards a new era in our countries’ life.  Come share of this giant’s word as we remember some of the history and dream aloud about the future.

February 26
Africans in our Midst
Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

Since 1865 there have been millions of Americans that have lived and contributed to this society.  A good number of them have been African American.  In fact our Unitarian and Universalist faith has been enriched by the stories and theological gifts of this community.  Join us this Sunday as we remember those black ministers and others that have helped make Unitarian Universalism the faith best positioned to serve a multicultural multiethnic world.

 

Vision and Leadership

Continuing Conversations
Rev Gordon Clay Bailey
Minister

Usually in February, during Black History Month or whenever I get this feeling I start sharing African American, black history, and American history with people far and wide.  I used to do it mostly during February as an educational imperative. Yet more recently I’ve found more necessity in dealing with the ongoing narrative of Black Life in America as a day-to-day phenomenon.  Dealing with the humanity, culture, artistic aspects and diversity of a people far and wide is not easy.  Trying to share a lot during a month when the theme I’d like to engage our community with is listening is doubly hard.  Nevertheless, let me say that I feel that it is important to see, hear, know, study, engage and most importantly listen to people that live in a county (USA), sate (California), county (Los Angeles) together.  I feel even more strongly about us as Unitarian Universalist being able to hear and listen to the narratives of others in our movement that are different than our own.  I appreciate the fact that we as a church have chosen me as our minister.  That speaks volumes about your ability to be with someone very different.  I am now asking you to spend some intentional time learning about other black folk as this month of February passes by.  Who were the first Africans to come to this region?  When was the first black child born here?  What have been the contributions of Negroes, Blacks and African Americans to LA County or even more close to us our Unitarian Universalist denomination.  Let’s continue to learn from one another.  Let’s grow our historical knowledge about a people different than ourselves.  Let’s all listen to each other in new ways discerning more, understanding more, loving more as we go.
 
In faith,
 
Rev. Gordon
 
 

Veep's View
David Hostetter
Board Vice President
 
“The black American experience is the history of America.  Our struggle to survive in the face of blinding hatred is in part a key to understanding how the chains forged in the modern world might be slipped and avoided in the future.”
Walter Mosely, Author - Working on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History
February is African American History Month.  Initiated in 1926 as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson, the program was originally planned for February to coincide with the observation of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  In 1976 the week was officially expanded to the entire month of February as part of the commemoration of the nation’s bicentennial. African American history entered the curriculum of many schools as a result of the observation.  In 2016 the long awaited National Museum of 
African American History and Culture opened in Washington, DC, as part of the Smithsonian Institution, providing a prominent place to learn about African American history among the other monuments and museums that line the Mall in our nation’s capitol.

I was eager to visit the new museum when I was in the east in October.  I arrived at the museum early one morning to get tickets, but a diverse group of several hundred people were already in line ahead of me and I did not get in that day. I plan to go back as soon as I can.  It is a positive sign that the museum has spurred so much interest and all reviews I’ve read have been positive.   

Hollywood is finally addressing the lack of films dealing with America’s legacy of racial oppression and conflict, as well a long ignored contributions of African Americans to some of the most significant achievements in our history.  I've watched Hidden Figures, which tells the story of the inspiring example of talented and determined African American women making crucial contributions to the effort to explore space.  13th is a Netflix documentary by director Ava DuVernay that examines the connection of the slavery of the past with the mass incarceration policies of the present.  

Accurate depictions of our nation’s past, both painful and positive, are essential to comprehending the challenges we face today.  The wider availability of more historical resources and the greater involvement of African Americans in telling those stories are important steps toward achieving the informed understanding that can help undo injustice.  I encourage you to seek out the wealth of resources that are available this month.

David Hostetter

 

Congregational Life

Jan 29 - 12:00pm - Communications Meeting
Feb 5  -  9:30am -  New Member Orientation - RSVP to Rev. Gordon
Feb 5  -  11:30am - First Sunday Potluck, Community Hall
Feb 5  -  12:00pm - Building Your Own Theology, Community Hall
Feb 5  -  12:15pm - Religious Education Committee, Classroom
Feb 5  -  1:00pm   -  Internship Committee Meeting, Neighborhood UU Church
Feb 8  -  7:00pm   - Board Meeting, Community Hall
Feb 8  -  7:00pm   - Council Meeting
Feb 10 - 12:00pm - Women's Group Potluck Luncheon, Community Hall
Feb 10 - 2:00pm   - Guest Chef @ Ascencia, 1851 Tyburn St Glendale, CA 91204
Feb 11 - 10:00am - Art & Spirituality: Developing Your Personal Theology,
                               Neighborhood UU Church
Feb 12 - 9:00am   - Membership committee
Feb 15 - 7:00pm   - Committee on Ministry, Community Hall
Feb 16 - 7:00pm   - White People for Racial Justice, Neighborhood UU Church
Feb 18 - 6:30pm   - Amadeus Movie Night, Community Hall
Feb 19 - 12:30pm - Social Action Committee, Community Hall
Feb 20 -  Newsletter Deadline
Feb 26 -  New Member Ceremony

 
Click here for a Printed Calendar
January 29, 2017
12:00pm
 
We are entering an exciting time as a community this year. In an effort to increase better communications and grow our UUVerdugo outreach and brand. We have been working hard as a leadership team on a number of changes to the congregation’s modes of communications. We have updated the Order of Service for worship. We have updated the format of The Outlook and now are sending it out weekly.  We have greatly increased our social media presence. We now have new email addresses for several members of leadership team, and shifted over to a google based platform.  There is a lot more to come over the next few weeks and months!  If you are a board member, a committee chair, or just interested please stay after Service and get an update on these changes and the ones in the planning stages.  If you have any questions, please contact AJ
 

CALLING ALL FRIENDS OF FAITH AND CONSCIENCE: INVITATION FROM UUA PRESIDENT AND UUSC PRESIDENT AND CEO

 

Dear Friends of Faith and Conscience,

 

We’re writing with what we expect is the same urgent sense of concern you’re feeling about the results of the presidential election and what will follow. Based on the many conversations we’ve had with each other, people of our communities, our partners, and those most likely to face looming threats, we’ve concluded that in these extraordinary times we must be united in purpose to protect the values of our democracy and those vulnerable populations among us.

To that end we have undertaken an unprecedented degree of coordination between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. There is a sense of urgency, and a need for vigilance. And there is clarity that we must act, not alone, but together. We need everyone—including you, your congregation, your friends, and your colleagues.

As a first step, we have prepared a Declaration of Conscience stating in the strongest possible terms our commitment in these troubling times. By signing the declaration, individuals and congregations will be affirming our core values and declaring our willingness to put them into action. Please read it and, with your signature, join us in standing on the side of love, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and defending core values that are under attack.

We will be vigilant of administration actions, policies and verbal assaults that undermine the principles of our declaration or disparage, threaten or attack innocent people. We will respond by speaking truth to power and mobilizing support for those who are under siege. To be successful, your support and that of your congregants will be critical.

This is not about partisan politics. It is a principled response to the potential targeting of people not for what they have done, but for who they are. It is a commitment to speak out and to act in support of basic human rights. We will keep you informed of the progress of this effort and of further opportunities to advance our cause together in the coming weeks and months.

We cannot predict what the future will bring, and we do not pretend to have all the answers, but we can and will be ready for the struggle ahead of us. If you feel the same, please join us. Join us in transforming faith into action, sign the Declaration of Conscience today, share it with your own networks and please encourage others to sign as well.

Thank you for your concern, vigilance, and willingness to act.

 

In Faith and Solidarity,

The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Hon. Thomas Andrews, president and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

 

 
Hello Friends and Newcomers!
 
We are happy to have met you and are very interested in getting to know you better and sharing more of who we are!
 
Whether you have been coming for a day or a year, we want to invite you to a “New to UU” orientation class on Sunday February 5, 9:30 am to 10:15 am.  
 
Please bring your questions and thoughts and be prepared to participate in learning about Unitarian Universalism and more about UUVerdugo. Maybe, just maybe you will want to join us and become an official member(s)!
 
There will be an opportunity to officially join the church and sign our membership book on February 26th during the Sunday service should you find this is the right place for you.   
 
Your participation is hoped for but you may also join without the public involvement.
 
For more information and to rsvp, please contact Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

Light refreshments will be served.
Guest Chef
Ascencia, 1851 Tyburn St, Glendale, CA 91204
February 10, 2017, 2:00pm
Contact: Rev Gordon Clay Bailey

Each month we come together to share of ourselves with the homeless in our community.  Please join us in preparing food for the community at Ascencia. Food preparation begins at 2:00pm for meal service at 6:00pm.
 
Amadeus Movie Night
February 18, 2017, 6:30pm
UUVerdugo, Community Hall
Contact: Jesse Silver

 
February's Movie Night will be Amadeus, Best Picture of the Year for 1984.

Screenplay by Peter Shaffer, based on his Tony Award winning play, Amadeus tells the story of Mozart's rise and eventual fall, as told by his arch rival Antonio Salieri.  The film's theme revolves around Amadeus, which translates as beloved of God, for while Salieri has devoted his life to serving God through music, his world has been turned upside down when Mozart appears on the scene.  Salieri hears the voice of God in Mozart's "divinely imspired" music, yet Mozart himself is an utterly uncouth foulmouthed libertine.  How could the same God that Salieri has served, adored, and to whom Salieri has sacrificed his life, bestow blessed genius upon so foul a creature, while rewarding Salieri with the knowledge of his own mediocrity?

As much as a celebration of the genius of Mozart, and an opulent recreation of late 18th century Vienna, Amadeus is a cautionary tale and a meditation on what happens when one sees God as some sort of servant, expected to do what is expected of Him.

Because the film is 3 hrs, the screening will begin at 6:30.

There will be pizza.
Art & Spirituality: Developing Your Personal Theology
Saturdays, February 11 - April 29, 10:00 a.m.
Neighborhood UU Church, Room 3

 
Art has been used throughout the ages to express one’s theology. From early cave drawings and talismans used by ancient indigenous peoples  to great composers such as Handel, writers such as Dante, and beautiful Mandalas created everyday by Hindu and Buddhist monks around the world.
In these pieces of art the artists used reflection and inspiration to create and express their theological understanding and perspective. Each of the artists created their art through self reflection and exploration of several theological themes.
 
Join our Ministerial Intern, AJ Blackwood, for a new multi-session class that explores this intersection of theology, justice and art.  Participants will have an opportunity to explore, reflect, and express their personal theology. We'll be using a variety of media sources, such as film and television, to explore how theology is expressed all around us, every day. 
 
Please contact AJ Blackwood with any questions.  Church members and friends 14+ are welcome to participate.

 
 

Update for "The Jerry Buchanan Toy Drive"
 
We have named our Xmas toy drive after our dear Jerry, who organized so many successful drives in the past.  We received a card of thanks from his brothers after we let them know we are remembering Jerry's generous spirit and especially his outreach to children by naming the drive after him. John and Bill wrote,"It's great to see that Jerry's name will live on in the way he would have wanted it the most...helping the kids!

This year we gave presents to 30 kids, ages 6 months to 16 years old.  The gifts are donated through the "Adopt a Social Worker" program at Pasadena's Department of Children and Family Services.  Over the years we have been working with Kim Mittleman, who compiles the list of names from the families she supervises, comes to the church to collect the toys, then distributes them to the children. 

Kim is a joy to work with and shows so much concern for the kids.  In her thank you letter to UUCVH she said, "I am sending my heartfelt gratitude for your kindness and generosity all these years.  You have put smiles on the faces of so many children!"

Terry and Howard

Annual Canvass

I watched one of my favorite movies again this past week,  Field of Dreams.  There is a line in the movie that reminds me of our Church; "Build it and they will come."
We as a Church hired a RE person when we had NO children to attend the class.  We as a Church refurbished the Sanctuary and the Social Hall to make it more inviting
to visitors.  We as a Church hired a full-time contract Minister when we had less then 40% membership to do so.  We as a Church hired a full-time Minister through a
nationwide search process to have a Minister who would live in the area and be our Minister.  We have done these things because we love our Church and want to share
it with others.

We have been able to do this because we have a endowment that gives us a certain amount of flexibility.  The time has come in the Church that the endowment is being
over utilized and is threatened to be lost to us.  We have never touched the original endowment amount.  We are fast approaching a time when we may have to do this.
The problem with this is as we use the principle the revenue deceases and causes even more use of principle.  I am sending this reminder of are situation to remind you
to bring someone to Church with you to reduce the load on the membership and I will be bothering you for a bigger Pledge in the near future.

Howard Richman
Amazon Smile
Copyright © 2017 Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp