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The Outlook

"A Community of Conscience and Compassion"

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

Worship Services and Fellowship
10:30 AM Sundays

January Worship Theme:

Global Understanding

January 1
A New Season, A New Lease on Life/Church

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

As we step into a new year we have an opportunity to alter the course of our lives and the trajectory of this congregations life. The New Year and all of the hoopla about leaving the bad behind and stepping into the new gives us both the audacity to dream ourselves anew along with the justifications to do so. Please join us for a service about the future of this congregation, you and how you can make real steps this year towards our best selves and a better UU.

January 8
Universalism, Our Best Hope for a Peaceful World

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

Our world has fought many wars over religions. We in fact continue to be plagued by religious intolerance and dare I say a lack of acceptance of other beliefs to this very day and in this very community.  This service is about what I think is the greatest idea known to religiosity, Universalism!  Join us for an engaging theological and philosophical experience.

January 15
MLK Jr: Back to the Future

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey and AJ Blackwood, M.Div.

As we move towards 50 years after the loss, as we as a nation have in many ways taken steps backward, as the world is ever more in danger I believe the words of this champion for human rights is needed more than ever.  Its no longer a question of a poor peoples march its now a necessity for a conscious peoples activism.  Please join us at UUVerdugo as we grapple with the situation and develop a clear understanding of where we as a people want to go.

January 22
Now the Fun Begins

Rev. Gordon Clay Bailey

The votes in many states have spoken.  The Electoral College did its work.  The populations of the northeast and far west must figure out how to navigate a radically new reality.  This one has the middle of nation and its more conservative approaches to life in control.  May the corporations develop generosity, May the elected officials remember they serve us all.  May we as a people of hope and action move with love.  Join us at UUVerdugo for a service intended to inspire.

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. 

Vision and Leadership

Continuing Conversations
Rev Gordon Clay Bailey

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Midway into 2016, when I realized that I would never look like Denzel Washington (some other sexy man?), I abandoned my decision to buy yet another self help book. Instead I went back to an old familiar practice that I usually reserve for the New Year.  

Welcoming the month of January as a time to look at old issues in a new way, oftentimes through the eyes of my father has taught me to welcome each day and especially the New Year by embracing love, forgiveness, disappointment, and peace as special gifts in their own. Oftentimes he would sit on his porch to watch nature, read and just daydream.

In many ways my dad taught me to meditate, to capture breath-taking moments, to live in the here and now.   Today, simple reflections are often wrapped in a never-ending search for peace and tranquility, which is so elusive in this stress-filled world. But I have come to see that serenity begins with an attitude of gratitude. Grows larger than we ever imagined with forgiveness.  And reaches its maturity as we extend ourselves to others in need. 

I’m looking forward to a New Year filled (2017) with hope.   I have begun the task of pondering the hopelessness of New Year’s resolutions past.   All those things on our "should do" list that never or usually never get done. Then in talking about this with a colleague, one question seemed to become crystal clear – “what would you like to do if you had nothing else to do?’

Each person obviously will answer that question in our own way.  Nevertheless, the gift of a lifetime would be making time in our day to think about our own needs.  This isn’t selfish.  It needs to be done if you will be at your best when the time comes to serve others.   In fact if we are depleted, we have nothing to give!

So make a wish list that gives you purpose. Fill it with wishes for right now for yourself and people you love.

Read books, listen to music, do things to enliven your imagination. 

Let go of an angry heart.  Forgive someone to refresh your soul. Spend some serious time thinking about the situation that created strife, including your own role. Then wish blessings to everyone.  

Take a nature walk to find little miracles in the song of a bird, beauty of a tree, clouds making shapes ranging from elephants to butterflies floating by.

Write letters, a serious handwritten letter is a great treat to receive.

Listen to those in your life who may need you to step back, slow down, and be there for them.  Then create uninterrupted alone times to share with yourself.

For an enlightened New Year, instead of the usual, search for peace of mind and ways to renew your spirit.

In faith,

Rev Gordon

President's Column
Gary Clark
Board President

Merry Christmas!
Christmas is a great time of year, evoking happy memories from my youth.  Moving into January brings a new outlook for this forthcoming year.  The cooler season, and perhaps the Winter Solstice, offer more opportunities for reflection and planning.

The Election has been completed, and it appears there will be some changes in our nation over the next couple of years.  Our UUVerdugo
community continues to grow with the leadership of Rev Gordon, and to become more active both internally and with the broader local community.
Guest Chef at Ascencia will occur on Friday, January 13th.  We enjoyed Movie Night this past month, and we will have another one on January 14th.  Martin Luther King Day is Jan 16th.  On Saturday, January 28th,  we will evoke and memorialize the spirit of a great Scottish poet  Robert Burns  with readings that embody the noble and romantic spirit of the Scottish psyche, as it flows forth over the moors of Scotland.   Don’t miss it, if you like Scottish poetry. 
I and other members of the Board continue to strive to conceive of structures or activities from which UUVerdugo could increaser local community interaction, involvement,  and exposure to UUVerdugo membership.  At the Retreat earlier this year, we agreed on a quarterly Council of Committee Chairs and others to come up with such ideas.  So be thinking of activities or actions  that would facilitate broader community interaction.  In the meantime, have a great start of the New Year.

Fire of Commitment
AJ Blackwood, M. Div.
Ministerial Intern
Veep's View
David Hostetter
Board Vice President
A New Frontier ... 
Over the last few months as I have been talking to others about the happenings here at UUVerdugo.  As I have discussed the desire to have a new mission statement, strategic plan and growth, the almost always immediate  response is.  How are they doing with that? or Do they really want it? To each of these questions I have responded.  I believe they really do want change but change is scary and they like all people sometimes get caught up in the fear. The best part is that I see in this community a collective that is taking on that fear head on and making GREAT change for the betterment of the community.

I am so happy to see that we are trying this community to grow and change together.  While I don't believe we are going where no person has gone before, we are definitely exploring in the words of Gene Roddenberry, some strange new worlds and seeking out new life forms in this community.  I thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you.

As you can see with this new format for The Outlook, we are definitely going boldly into uncharted territories for UUVerdugo.  This is one of the changes that I suggested we would be embarking upon earlier this year.  We felt January was as good a time as any to give it a try. I know that this may be uncomfortable at first, and this new format for The Outlook may need some time to get used to but I believe that if we give it a chance to "grow on us" we will all learn to love it.

This is going to be a learning experience for us all as enter 2017.  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.  

In Service,

Positive Protest
“Every man (sic) of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
2017 marks the 36th annual celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. as a national holiday.  The commemoration has evolved to included parades, a day of service, as well as worship and reflection on the meaning of King’s work for civil rights. Assassinated when he was only 38, King was at the center of an earth-shaking social movement from the Montgomery Bus Boycott through that tragic April day in Memphis. The struggle lives on and King, through the annual remembrance, stays with us as a reminder of the millions who marched in step with him in the spirit of nonviolence to demand justice and peace.
Finding the best ways to apply our convictions to protest injustice while expanding freedom is a collective process.  To that end, the Social Action Circle will be meeting at noon on Sunday, January 22 after church.  At that meeting we will discern the interests of those gathered and craft plans for 2017.  We will also have a discussion of MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech from 1967.  The transcript and audio recording of the speech can be accessed at this link -
Please read it ahead to the meeting so we can have the fullest discussion.
Please bring your lunch if you desire.  I hope to see you then!


Congregational Life

Jan  1 - 11:30 am - First Sunday Potluck, Community Hall
Jan  1 - 12:15 pm - Religious Education Committee, Community Hall
Jan  8  -  9:00 am - Membership Committee, Community Hall
Jan 11 -  7:00 pm - Board Meeting, Community Hall
Jan 13 - 12:00 pm - Women's Group Potluck Luncheon, Community Hall
Jan 13 -   2:00 pm - Guest Chef @ Ascencia, 1851 Tyburn St Glendale, CA 91204
Jan 15 - Newsletter Deadline
Jan 14 -   7:00 pm - Selma Movie Night, Community Hall
Jan 18 -   7:00 pm - Committee on Ministry, Community Hall
Jan 19 -   7:00 pm - White People for Racial Justice, Neighborhood UU Church
Jan 22 - 12:30 pm - Social Action Committee, Community Hall
Jan 28 -   6:00 pm - Burn's Whiskey and Poetry Night, Community Hall
Click here for a Printed Calendar
Guest Chef
Ascencia, 1851 Tyburn St, Glendale, CA 91204
January 13, 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.
Selma Movie Night
January 14, 2017, 7:00pm
UUVerdugo, Community Hall
Contact: Paula Hallowell
Selma is a chronicle of Rev Dr Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. We will be watching the movie and engaging in a discussion about the historical events of the times and how they apply to today world.
Burns Whiskey and Poetry Evening
January 28, 2017, 6:00pm
UUVerdugo, Community Hall
Contact: Vivienne Payne
Please mark your calendars for a Whisky and Poetry evening in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday 28th January!  This date is close to the birthday of Robert Burns, widely regarded as Scotland's national poet and celebrated worldwide.  We plan to celebrate with food, whisky tasting and poetry reading.
Copyright © 2016 Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills, All rights reserved.

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