Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma

The purpose of this congregation is to provide a haven where members can share in a spiritually, culturally, and socially diverse local religious community. We envision a congregation that will be welcoming to all, that values the contributions of each member in shared ministry, and that actively promotes and models individual development of an ethical way of living. We are intentionally intergenerational, and covenant to provide religious education and spiritual growth for children and adults.

Monday, April 26, 2010

This Blog and Facebook

What are the ways we can enhance our UUP on-line community? Face Book now has many of us linked up, but I find it somehow unsatisfactory for serious sharing. Perhaps it is our imminent departure for the San Joaquin Valley and a desire to keep in touch that prompts this query and post. I know Stacey is working to enhance the Web Site and I am particularly interested in posts in the area of Social Responsibility and sharing the exciting initiatives of UUA and UUSC. We have not heard much or discussed the upcoming Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking that has gone through a three year process like the one for Ethical Eating.

But sharing of other concerns could be beneficial, too. For example, reactions to recent services--what did you learn, what did you feel, what do you want to add or expand upon?

The "ritual" at the Flower Communion was a warm and meaningful interaction. We need more rituals that bring us face-to-face in such a manner. Expressing concerns during An Embracing Meditation brings us together, too. A problem with it for me is I do not hear most of the joys and concerns voiced. Is it important for others to hear? I think so, unless one thinks a god is listening, which I doubt many do.

And how many of us have active Blogs? Is see Berkeley's mentioned and am going to go to it right now.

Might this start a conversation on the UUP Blog with the idea of some "in-depth" or "spiritual" sharing? I for one will check in and am eager for responses.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Jazz and the Spirit," November 15, 2009

Bruce Eriksen and his band, Blue 7, led us in a worship service entitled "Out of Our Heads and Into Our Bodies: Jazz and the Spirit," on November 15. Hope Stewart took some great photos--take a look! (Just click on the picture of Bruce.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This Sunday in Religious Education Classes: October 11, 2009

This Sunday in RE

Religious Education this Sunday- Our UUP children and youth will participate in the International Day of Climate Action by learning about global warming, ocean acidification, and how rising levels of carbon dioxide are damaging coral reefs, shellfish and other ocean species. Stacey Meinzen will present information on climate change and explain how humans must reduce carbon dioxide levels to less than 350 parts per million in our atmosphere to sustain life on our planet. The kids will then create a large sculpture with the number 350 painted on a basketball hoop and backboard from Recycletown. The kids will choose a slogan such as "Let's Shoot for 350" or "One Planet, One Shot, 350" or "We Only Get One Shot, 350". A photo of the sculpture and UUPers will then be sent to the International Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Our RE day will combine science with hands on woodworking and painting.

Our efforts will be part of Unitarian Universalist activities all over the nation. The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth is working to get 350 congregations involved. Working together with many other UU's, we will work to save the world.


Religious Education Update: October 11, 2009

Weekend Retreats for UU Youth

You may have heard our high schoolers talking with great excitement about CONs. These are weekend conferences that have inspired our UUP 15 year olds to say that they are excited about Unitarian Universalism. Conferences are also wonderful places for our youth to make new UU friends that share their core values. The next Con or Conference will be at the UU Church of Marin on October 16-18, 2009. Approximately one hundred teens from all over Northern California will gather to do workshops, meet in small assigned groups, worship, eat together and then sleep ( but not too much) in sleeping bags on the floor of the church.

While high school conferences are youth-run, there are many youth-friendly adults actively involved. As a matter of UU District policy, there must be an adult over the age of 25 for every 10 teens. The adults participate in workshops, attend youth-led worship services, and get to know some terrific teens. Amy West, Bailey Boatsman and Lizzie Gardner plan to attend this Con, and would likely be willing to talk about the experience if you ask.

I’m excited to announce that our younger youth in grades 6-8, or ages 12-14, will soon have their own weekend retreat. This gathering, called a MUUGS Retreat, for Middle School UU Groups, will be held November 13 and 14 at the Mt. Diablo UU Church in Walnut Creek.

This retreat is a first for our UU District, and I’ve been an active part of the planning process. While geared for younger youth, much of the basic format is similar to CONs. The youth will do a variety of workshops, play community building games, worship, meet in assigned small groups with kids from all over Northern California, and most importantly, have fun. Older teens and adults will provide leadership, working in partnership. I will there, of course. I wouldn’t miss it. Please ask if you’d like to more about these important weekend retreats for our young people.

Marlene Abel
Director of Religious Education


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Coastal Cleanup Day, September 2009

UUP participated in the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, working with a coordinated effort to clean up the Petaluma River waterway. We were assigned a section of the river, really a creek at that point, up near Corona Road.

We hauled away several hundred pounds of trash, including some old tires, an old green garbage receptacle (shown, left), and an abandoned homeless encampment.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This Week at UUP

The Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma
Nurture Your Spirit. Help Heal Our World.

To subscribe to "This Week at UUP" for email delivery, please send a request to uupetaluma at gmail dot com.


Potluck Sunday, September 13: Come one, come all!
Join us for a potluck immediately following the service on September 13th at the Greaney/Boatsman home.
Let us continue our in-gathering celebration after the service! Bring a dish to share.
Please see the Order of Service for directions or call Matt or KC Greaney.

UUP's Annual Garage and Bake Sale was a huge success!
The majority of UUPetalumanaries contributed by either sorting and pricing, working the sale, donating items, buying items, baking goodies, or hauling away unsold stuff. Thanks to this tremendous collective congregational effort, we raised OVER $1,500 to support the Religious Education program at UUP. Thank you, one and all!

Bring your gathered Water and Stones
Remember to bring your water and stones gathered over summer travels for the Annual Water and Stones Ritual on Sunday!

Share the Plate Sunday
UUP will share-the-plate on Sunday, September 13th with the Petaluma Educational Foundation, which enhances educational excellence in all Petaluma-area public and non-profit private schools through grants, scholarships and fine arts programs.

Progressive Festival is coming up! Can you help?
The Progressive Festival is Sunday, Sept. 20th from noon to 5 pm. In the past, UUP has hosted a table with brochures, etc. as an outreach activity. If we do this again this year, we need a minimum of 6 volunteers to work the event. That means gathering material, setting up before noon, staffing the table and packing up at 5 pm. Interested? Speak to Phil Boyle or any Board member ASAP!

UUP Women's Group
The Women's Group will meet Monday, September 21st at 7:00 pm at the home of Jean Conrad. The topic for the evening will be "Long Range Planning". Do you "go with the flow", letting serendipity determine the course of your life? Or do you have a plan for the next few years? Whether you call it a to-do list, a wish list or a bucket list, what aims or goals guide you along your way? If you like, bring something to share to illustrate your perspective - an object, photos, poetry, a reading, or just bring yourself. We look forward to sharing with each other. - Jan Crosby for the Women's Group


(Social time with refreshments begins at 10:00 am, at the Petaluma Woman's Club, 518 B Street. Worship service begins at 10:30 am.)

Sunday, September 13: Coming Home: Our Annual Water and Stones Ritual
Worship Leader: Jodi Boyle
As summer draws to a close, let us gather together again. Bring the water and stones that you collected on your summer excursions and adventures, and we will share them with each other as we reflect on our journeys in this intergenerational, participation service.
We will welcome recently and newly-joined members of UUP at this service, and Larking About will sing.

Sunday, September 20: The Green Revolution in Religion
Guest Minister: Rev. Bob Murphy
Worship Leader: Elisabeth Hathaway
Many would consider the Green Sanctuary movement to be associated with preservation and environmental protection issues, but this is a narrower definition than one of its authors, Rev Bob Murphy, holds: join us in our service this morning as he talks with us about his deep dedication to the larger scope of environmental justice, in which he brings together a committment to incorporating concerns about anti-racism and economic justice, awareness of African-American liberation, respect for the Judaic holidays and exploring the wisdom of Exodus.
The Rev. Bob Murphy is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has been active in environmental justice work for several decades and one of the co-authors of the "Green Sanctuary" book. As a high school student, he joined Cesar Chavez at the beginning of the farm workers' strike in Delano. As an adult, he was a business agent for SEIU Local 254, which is the union that represents janitors in the Boston area. Bob is a graduate of the Harvard Divinity School, as well as Tamalpais High School in Marin County and San Francisco State. Nowadays, Bob and his wife Lyn Dalzell serve the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.

Sunday, September 27: Tikkun ha’ olam: Mending the world
To celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days, Joyce Tischler and Ellen Beeler will lead us in an exploration of “tikkun ha’ olam” (Jewish social justice) — nurturing a vision of the world as it ought to be and working to achieve that vision. Please bring a thought, a story or a photo to share with the congregation about your vision to heal and repair our fractured world.

* UUP Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, September 14th at 7:30 pm at Jean Conrad's house.
* "Larking About" (UUP's choir) rehearses each Wednesday evening from 8 to 9:30 pm at the home of Diana Spaulding and David Dodd. New singers are always welcome!

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Religious Education Update, September 13, 2009

Lessons from the ICU

Recently my husband, Dan, was hospitalized with pancreatitis, and spent 13 days in the hospital, including 8 days in ICU. Fortunately, he’s back home now, regaining his strength, and doing well. Those eight days in ICU were scary times for me, and constant reminders of what matters. Here were some lessons that life gave to me:

A reassuring word from a friend can make a huge difference. While Dan was in ICU, he was connected to three different monitors which beeped and blinked nearly constantly. When I remarked on my distress in hearing and seeing these warnings so often, a friend, who was formerly the Chief of Biomedical Engineering at San Francisco General Hospital responded by email. He wrote, “Marlene, just remember that those beeps and blinks are protecting Dan,”

The support of community helps. I didn’t request help from UUP, because I have this false sense of self sufficiency. Fortunately, some wonderful people, including our new Caring Committee, swung into action and provided floral arrangements and dinners. I was truly comforted by the beauty of the flowers and the blessing of receiving delicious and healthy meals from members of UUP. I learned that it is a joy to accept help, and that I could feel less exhausted through receiving community support.

The caregivers need help, too. During the 13 day ordeal, I often heard the same words from the hospital staff, friends, and family. They’d say, “Remember to take care of yourself.” That seemed strange, as I certainly wasn’t the one in the ICU bed. However, the stress tired me, and I reluctantly cancelled some commitments. Jean Conrad advised me to “follow my heart”, which was wise counsel from a wise woman. Thank you, Jean.

Thank you, UUP, for all your warmth and tangible support during this time. Dan and I are both very lucky to receive your gifts

Love to all of you,
Marlene Abel
Director of Religious Education