Category Archives: News

Join UUs Nation-Wide for The Colors of Pride Online Events June 14-19, 2021

Rev. Michael Crumpler, UUA’s Director of LGBTQ & Multicultural Programs, writes: “The Colors of Pride is an opportunity for congregations to publicly support equality during Pride month and commemorate Juneteenth. Our goal is to create opportunities for allyship with the queer community, Black and Brown communities, and congregations by engaging at least 300 congregations nationwide to agree to participate in our pro-equality actions during Pride month.

You can register for Faith in Action for the Equality Act, an online afternoon event of advocacy training at fun at 4pm Pacific on Monday, 6/14, and/or Colors of Pride Juneteenth Commemoration at 9am on Saturday, 6/19, by clicking HERE.

District Assembly Update: Moving Toward Regionalization

At the request of the Board, our Intern Minister Alison represented UUFKC at the recent Pacific Northwest District Assembly. Like our upcoming General Assembly, this was an all-online event, but instead of bringing together congregations from across the country, District Assembly brought together congregations from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho to vote on the business of our district.

The major vote taken at this year’s District Assembly was a revision to the District’s bylaws that provide for ways of dissolving the district. While it is best-practice for any non-profit to include such a process in their bylaws, there was another reason that the District proposed and voted on this amendment: the ongoing move toward a regional structure rather than a district structure.

When the Unitarians and Universalists merged in the early 1960s, there were around 20 different districts, each with volunteer boards and paid staff to serve the needs of the congregations included in the districts. Now, 50 years later, the duplication of systems represented by 20 different regions has become unsustainable. As wage stagnation worsens, and families must work more hours to meet our basic needs, many districts are no longer able to find the volunteers to staff their boards or the funds to pay their staff. Regionalization, replacing many small districts with five larger geographic “regions,” is being pursued with the goal of eliminating duplication of efforts, streamlining our organization, and enabling our regions to find the volunteers and staff they need to meet the changing needs of our 21st-century faith. If you’re interested in more details on this process, please CLICK HERE for the explanation of regionalization presented to the district assembly by our Regional Lead Rev. Carlton Smith and UUA Director of Congregational Life Staff, Jessica York.

Currently, UUFKC is part of both the Pacific Western Region and the Pacific NW District. However, as the denomination as a whole moves toward regionalization, our district is one step closer to being able to choose to dissolve and participate in the Pacific Western Region alone with the bylaws revision that was passed at last weekend’s District Assembly. If you would like to participate in a district-wide online listening session on Monday, May 24th at 7pm to share your feelings about the regionalization process, CLICK HERE to register. If you want to read more about regionalization across the denomination, CLICK HERE.

Trans Day of Visibility Worship Draws Participants from Around the U.S. & the World

On Wednesday, March 31st, we gathered together for an interfaith worship service to celebrate the lives, work, dreams, and contributions of trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming siblings in Klamath Falls and around the world. UU Fellowship of Klamath County & Klamath Falls Friends Church hosted Rachel Crandall, founder of TDOV, to share the origins of this holy day. Pastor Anthony of the Friends Church will led us in the ritual of Waiting Worship. In this sacred space, we honored the image of the Divine in which trans people are so beautifully made.

Our worship on Wednesday was a testament to trans joy, made all the more powerful by the fact that the US president recognized Trans Day of Visibility for the first time on that very day! Rachel shared with us her excitement that a project she had started because she couldn’t wait any longer for it to come into being grew so broadly. One participant in our worship service Zoomed in from Indonesia, and shared that they too had held an interfaith Trans Day of Visibility service, emphasizing the global impact of this sacred day and Rachel’s important work.

Thanks to all who attended and shared. Our hearts are filled with joy.

Thank You for Supporting Citizens for Safe Schools with Out Dance Project

UPDATE: While there were some technical difficulties during the UUFKC-sponsored performance of OUTDance Project, prerecorded performances are available to view via YouTube HERE (scroll down till you see the video stills, and click to watch). Thanks to all who came out to support this project, in spite of the tech challenges! We appreciate you, and the youth and mentors of Citizens for Safe Schools appreciate you too!

UU Fellowship of Klamath County Social Justice Committee joins our partners at Klamath Falls Friends Church in sponsoring OutDance, a virtual performance of queer stories and dance from rural Oregon. To learn more about the project and purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

While the performance can be viewed via live stream for free, we encourage folks to buy tickets to the 1pm performance on 3/28, as proceeds from this performance support local Klamath Falls non-profit Citizens for Safe School (CFSS) who says:

“We are a grassroots, positive youth development, non-profit organization. Our main focus is on a one-to-one, community-based mentoring program for youth in the 4th-8th grades. We pair a child with a volunteer mentor and they spend at least one hour per week together for one year. The match is focused on having fun and developing appropriate social skills, but significant positive impacts are made on the youth’s school attendance and academic performance as a result of the relationship with their mentor.” UUFKC Social Justice Committee chair Courtney serves as a CFSS mentor.

The performance draws from stories and songs submitted by queer people living in rural Oregon, weaving words and movement together to remind ourselves and our communities that we are here, queer and fabulous, enriching our rural communities every day. There will be multiple performances, but to support CFSS, please purchase tickets to the 1pm performance on 3/28. Following the performance, there will be a facilitated conversation prioritizing the voices of queer, rural Oregonians as we reflect on our own experiences and how they relate to the performances of OutDance.

Oregon UUs are Talking About the 8th Principle

REPORT: PROSPECTIVE NEW UUA PRINCIPLE  # 8 BEING DISCUSSED IN PORTLAND

On February 10, 2021, our Archivist Barbara Turk attended a conversation on the proposed 8th Principle held via Zoom through 1st Unitarian in Portland, OR. Barbara has prepared this report on the conversation to help introduce this community to the proposed 8th Principle, which has been passed by UU congregations across the country, though not yet by the UUA

For this special  Feb. 10th  ZOOM, the speaker was Paula Cole Jones, of All Souls Unitarian in Washington, D.C.  A member of  All Souls since 1969, she described it as a “multicultural” congregation.  (Having visited it, I concur.)

Jones has been a “Principle Originator” of the proposed 8th Principle since 1999. That brings me to a long-ago story shared by UUFKC founder, Ben Kerns.  Ben spoke of a fork in a road: One direction  has a sign, “TO HEAVEN;” the other has a sign, “DISCUSSION ON HEAVEN.” Ben said that UUs always take the road to ‘Discussion,’ meaning that change is often a long time coming.

In contrast, Jones asserted UUs can be a vanguard of social momentum, and shared that over the past four years 29 UUA churches, from PA to HI, have given approval to the proposed 8th UUA Principle, which reads: 

“We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse, multicultural beloved community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.” 

Jones opened with, “WORK EQUALS GROWTH”.  (Amen to that!). Next she explained the following  visual:

A: Dominant Cultural Paradigm
*White men *White traditions

B: Multicultural Paradigm

Under A, we have our history, our principles, our documents and our structure. This is our history, but what’s our design for B? Jones is hopeful that the 8th Principle will act as “a bridge” between A and B.

Jones continued with the following points:

  1.  Our (USA) system has been damaged by segregation
  2.  Jones stated current UU Principles are basically, “feel good statements”. So we must ask: “Is this how we live, or do we just work toward it?”  She added that the Principles don’t hold us accountable—not one, “Thou shall / shall not.” 
  3. Do we truly relate with, affirm, covenant and coordinate our Seven Principles?  
  4. We have a Mission Statement, we have a vision of our community, we covenant and basically promise one another.
  5. We have history. Jones asserted, “That’s not by chance. History is who we are”.
  6. “And overall we have accountability–definitely not to be overlooked.  History and accountability go together.” 

Jones shared that the 8th Principle is for “spiritual wholeness,”  emphasizing that passage of the 8th Principle, by a congregation or by the UUA as a whole, doesn’t mean much if the principle is not then embodied by those who have passed it. 

Basically, Jones shared, UUs need an identity change.  The old stance of, “Beloved Community” is fine, but we need to find ways to broaden who is included in these beloved communities, and become a “community of communities.” 

Folks may be kin, but think very differently.  How does each fit in?  How are we living diversity in our cities?  Can we become part of a community of communities, beyond our own beloved community? Can/will we truly become a “JUUST Community?”

Giving us an abundance of questions, Jones ended as she began:           

                             “WORK EQUALS GROWTH”   

–Barbara H. Turk                                                                         

Community Care Drop-in Zoom on the 2nd Saturday & 4th Wednesday

Did you ever wish for a chance to share more deeply during Joys & Sorrows? The SOUUP Community Care Group might be just what you’re looking for.

When the SOUUP communities gathered with the UU Trauma Response Ministry last October to help us debrief the experience of living through last September’s wildfires, many of us expressed our desire to see some similar, ongoing space for sharing and holding our collective joys and sorrows in community. Growing out of that conversation, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and new UUGP member Jerry Allen and SOUUP Intern Minister Alison Duren-Sutherland are pleased to announce a new project open to members and friends of Rogue Valley UU Fellowship, UU Fellowship of Klamath County and UUs of Grants Pass

Alison & Jerry will facilitate a Zoom Drop-In Community Care Group twice each month, on the 2nd Saturday at 5pm and the 4th Wednesday at 3pm. Registration is required, which means you need to enter your name and email address to be emailed a link to the meetings. This helps us track interest and participation, communicate with participants by email, and also keep our Zoom room a safe place for open-hearted sharing. You are welcome to attend both Wednesday and Saturday meetings, so if you think you might like to come on both days, make sure to register for both session by clicking each of the two links below and following the prompts: 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR 2nd SATURDAY 5pm SESSIONS.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR 4th WEDNESDAY 3pm SESSIONS.

Each time we meet, we’ll light a chalice, review and agree to our ground rules, get an opportunity to check in, sharing our joys and sorrows with the gathered community, and as time permits, we’ll share a practice you can take home with you to use in daily life to help withstand the impact of the ongoing traumas of these difficult times we are living through. Feel free to attend this group regularly or whenever you are able. 

One of the key ground rules is that we will create a safe space to share. All sharing will be confidential to the group present. Everyone will agree not to share other members’ words or stories with anyone outside the group. Kindness will prevail and no one is required to share. It’s all voluntary, and there is no cost for this gathering. We hope to see you there, to give and receive support from this beloved community of Southern Oregon UUs.

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.

Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training with Monica Yellowowl

Join this event via Zoom on Sat, Nov 7 at 11am by clicking HERE.

Intern Minister Alison Duren-Sutherland writes: “Thanks to the folks at UU Fellowship of Klamath County, Monica YellowOwl of the Klamath Tribes will hold a cultural awareness training for members and friends of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership congregations on November 7th, from 11am-1:30pm.

RVUUF’s Anti-Racism groups have generously agreed to include this training as one of their Saturday morning meetings. You can join the meeting at 11am on Saturday, November 7th via Zoom by clicking HERE. In the meantime, you can learn more about Monica and her work HERE and by watching the video found HERE.

I’m excited about this opportunity for us to come together from all the UU congregations of Southern Oregon to engage in the work of decolonization and anti-racism, in answer to the call of one of the 2020 General Assembly’s Action of Immediate Witness statements (found HERE), which asks us to ‘Research, identify, and acknowledge the Indigenous peoples historically and/or currently connected with the land occupied by congregations, and find ways to act in solidarity with or even partner with those Indigenous peoples.’

I hope you’ll join me at this training to bring this call to action from our faith into being in our community. Whatever the outcome of the election, we can continue our work as Unitarian Universalist by deepening our relationship with our indigenous neighbors.”

Nov 2020 Chronicles by Barbara Turk

An Oregonian headline September 16th read: “Oregon’s new Episcopal Bishop follows journey of faith to historic first for church in U.S.   

The grandparents of the Rev. Diana Akiyama, and their children, including Akiyama’s father, were shipped from Hood River, “…to a camp in Idaho”, Wrote reporter Tom Hallman, Jr. “Having been raised in Hood River, she was, “…forever aware of the injustices perpetrated against her grandparents during WW II.

Initially her family may have been sent to an, “assembly center” at Puyallup, WA fair grounds, then to Idaho’s camp, Minidoka.  A first-hand witness, our friend, Mitzi Asai Loftus, of RVUUF, shared with me that in 1942, as a Hood River elementary student, she & her parents were first sent to, “the horses stalls” at Puyallup (they slept on straw!), then to Tule Lake, Calif., and later to camp at Heart Mountain, WY, all while three brothers wore U.S. uniforms, one in 442nd in Europe; two in the Pacific.  

Mitzi first spoke to our UUFKC in Pine Grove 1997. She has spoken twice since that time.  At 88 she’s always robustly active. When asked, Mitzi said she doesn’t know Diana Akiyama (61), but remembers well her grandparents & father (all deceased).

Mitzi’s parents and Akiyama’s grandparents owned fruit orchards near Hood River. In the 1940’s their properties were un-seized, but homes were looted, and completely stripped. After their 1945 release from camps, all returned to Hood River to rebuild their lives. A nephew of Mitzi’s still runs the Asai orchard.

Akiyama, “..believes her ancestors would view her election to bishop as a sign people can overcome a bitter past.”  Moral courage!!

To clarify, Akiyama’s 2020 election was an on-line convention, first for the church. Her election makes her the first Asian-American woman in the U. S. to be an Episcopal Church bishop. But, what’s another first?!? Previously Akiyama was the first Japanese-American woman ordained to Episcopal Church’s priesthood.

In Hallman’s piece she shared her new role is not considered a promotion in the way the secular world may understand. “I had to have a detachment and an absence of ambition. It could not be about me. I had to trust in the unknown. It’s a reminder we are not in control.” Moral courage!!

As Klamath Falls’ & St. Paul’s own, Dr. Ralph Eccles, recently shared, “We of the eastern / southern diocese have twice the territory, but she has the most under 40 Episcopalians”. East of Cascades it’s, Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon.

Akiyama will be consecrated early next year, then will oversee the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon (W. of Cascades), and its 15,000 congregants. 

QUICK TRIVIA 

Just re-read Defying the Nazis—The Sharp’s War“. When FDR signed Executive Order #9066, in February 1942, it empowered the U.S.  Army to, “relocate those of ‘foreign enemy ancestry’ to assembly centers, and then to internment camps”   Ten camps spanned the U. S., east to Arkansas.   

Thousands of Japanese-Americans, 60% of whom were U.S. citizens, as was Mitzi, were sent to camps.  Oddly enough, President Roosevelt had TWO object to his signing #9066—“the unlikeliest of allies”:  Eleanor Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover.  (E.R—Moral courage??; J.E.H—???)

I’m not a minister, nor board member (been there, done that!)  As Archivist, I believe I have a “ministry” to share and inform; lessons old, new for some.  Example: Unitarian Universalism has no bishops or dioceses.  “Boston” acts as guide; regional guides include Pacific Western Region (PWR). It covers four time zones, and 822,000 square miles in Alaska, western Idaho, and Oregon. Ministers are NOT sent to us.  We, “call” a minister. If a minister accepts, it becomes teamwork, until either party seeks change, or a minister retires. 

My thanks to Oregonian writer, Tom Hallman, Jr., for his Akiyama piece. Also, Artemis Joukowsky  (Sharps’ grandson), & his Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War”.  (Beacon Press, Boston, UU publishing house.)   

“HI HO” to Dawn Albright. It’s been a while! I looked at my Fred Meyer pharmacy white sack, and saw a smiling Dawn, “keeping the REAL in real estate”. Good wishes!

To All: HAPPY THANKSGIVING STAY WELL!!!

                                                                          –Barbara Turk