Category Archives: featured

Aspirations by Alison: Beloved Community in Southern Oregon

Above: The first meeting of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership

One of the goals I held for my ministerial internship since it was only a glimmer in my eye is that we would find ways for all three of our Southern Oregon UU Partnership (SOUUP) congregations to share in worship together, worship not as in bowing down before anything, but from the Old English root weorthscipe, which means lifting up what is of worth, “worth-ship” as Franny, the board chair at UU Fellowship of Klamath County (UUFKC), referred to it in our December service together. I’ve been so grateful to the people of Rogue Valley UU Fellowship (RVUUF), who have already stepped out of their usual Sunday morning routine to join me for Zoom worship with UUFKC as well as UUGP. Today, I am excited to provide details of a plan for three weeks of shared worship between our SOUUP congregations in February 2021, focusing on the theme of beloved community.

Like UUFKC, UUGP offers a Zoom worship service at 10:30am each Sunday. On Sunday, 2/14, all three SOUUP congregations will join UUFKC’s Zoom, and RVUUF and UUGP will have the opportunity to experience Sunday morning with UUFKC. The following week, 2/21, UUGP will open their Zoom sanctuary to the people of RVUUF and UUFKC. Then, on 2/28, for something completely different, we’ll join RVUUF for their pre-recorded worship service (available to watch on YouTube at your convenience) followed by “Coffee Hour” fellowship time via Zoom at 11:30am, where we’ll be able to share together in small-group discussion and do the work of relationship building that is the foundation of beloved community.

So, for the last three weeks of February, two of your Sunday mornings will be a bit different from what you’re used to. On the 21st, you’ll still log on to Zoom at 10:30am, but the service will be managed by the folks at UUGP, using the readings and worship elements that are part of their liturgy. On the 28th, the whole flow of the morning will be different, as I’ve described above. I want to ask you to enter February with an open mind. In addition to building beloved community, my hope is that we will be able to learn from each other, to see what we appreciate most from the different worship styles our communities have, what we can bring back that will work in our individual congregations, or what we really appreciate about our own ways of doing things. I also hope that as we invest our time in small-group sharing with our SOUUP siblings across the region on the 28th, we’ll reinforce the connections that already exist between us.

One of the great joys I’ve found in my internship so far is making connections: connecting local organizers to folks doing similar work on a national scale; connecting individuals in one congregation to counterparts doing similar work in another SOUUP community; connecting Southern Oregon UUs with opportunities to learn, act or worship with our larger denomination and affiliated organizations. I see our coming together for these three Sunday mornings in February as one more piece of the work of “empowering connection,” as RVUUF says in their mission statement. I hope you will accept this invitation to experience new ways to worship and connect with our faith siblings in Southern Oregon next month.

Klamath Falls UUs: Putting our values into action at the City Council

Big gratitude to those from UUFKC who continue to side with love by bringing our Unitarian Universalist principles into the public square. We’ve seen many letters to the editor by members and friends over the last few months. Most recently, at the December meeting of the Klamath Falls City Council, our Social Justice Chair Courtney and Board Chair Franny both spoke in support of the resolution, recommended by the Council’s Equity Task Force, “condemning racism, prejudice, and bigotry in any form and recognizing the individual, societal, and economic harm caused by these inequities.”

Drawing from her experience as an educator, Franny spoke about institutional racism, where strict rules are created, but selectively enforced based on the race of the rule-breaker. She also spoke about how our Unitarian Universalist faith, and specifically our first principle affirming and promoting the inherent worth and dignity of every person, informs her anti-racism.

Courtney’s testimony drew a clear line from the founding of Oregon as a state for whites only, built on native genocide and removal, to the militia movements that we see today. She shared the everyday racist education that she experienced growing up in Klamath Falls, and highlighted the disproportionate impact of COVID on black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in our communities. Her message was hopeful; by learning our history and addressing the inequities, beginning with the passage of this resolution, we have the power to change this community.

We are excited to report that this resolution was passed by the city council! We will continue to hold our elected officials accountable to upholding the resolution that they passed, and look forward to seeing the positive shifts in Klamath Falls that may grow out of this resolution.

Kid SOUUP Zoom for Children & Youth 1st Sun of the Month @ 10AM

Our Intern Minister, Alison Duren-Sutherland, in partnership with Religious Explorations teachers from Rogue Valley UU Fellowship, will be offering a 10am Zoom opportunity for children and youth from the three congregations of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership (SOUUP) on the first Sunday of each month. Kid SOUUP will include Chalice Lighting, Roses & Thorns (sharing our joys and sorrows), and more!

Registration is required. This just means you have to enter your email and name prior to the meeting so we can track interest and participation and keep this a safe space for our kids. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpc-GrqDorGdeUZPHpxPPr2BaSEsigOU2U After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to join the meeting. If you’re interested, we encourage you to register, even if you’re not sure you can make it. That way, we know you’re interested and can contact you next month for our next Kid SOUUP Zoom event. You can even register while the meeting is happening and join right then.

Immigration Vigil

The Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee (UUSJC) will hold an Immigration Vigil to bear witness to the injustice that is happening in ICE detention facilities on Tuesday, July 16th at 6:00 pm, on the sidewalk in front of the Klamath Falls Government Center, 305 Main St. The UUSJC invites the community of Klamath Falls to join their voices calling for an end to family separation at the border, lack of sanitation in detention facilities, and human rights abuses by Customs & Border Patrol and the ICE agency. As a community with the Tulelake Internment Camp so near to us in location and in history, we must speak out against the incarceration of asylum seekers, and say “Never Again!”. A moment of reflection to honor those who have died in ICE custody as well as songs of unity will be shared.
Speakers will talk about resources and actions that we, as a community, can take to support our migrant siblings seeking asylum.