Category Archives: News

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

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 trauma 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 and share 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. 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.

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

DATE CHANGE:With Malice Toward None Post Election Gathering on Sun, Nov 15th

Congregations of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership are invited to participate in a Zoom session to process our experiences of the election on the afternoon of Sunday, November 15th, in the afternoon.

Rev. Cynthia O’Brien spoke to Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass on Oct. 4th  about a project of Braver Angels: a series of respectful conversations around the county soon after the November elections.  The “With Malice Toward None” project is an initiative to heal America in the aftermath of a clear 2020 election outcome. Religious congregations, colleges, civic organizations, and small groups of friends and neighbors are invited to organize gatherings (online or in-person) for their members after the election has been decided. In these gatherings, red and blue Americans consider how they want to regard their fellow citizens who voted differently and begin building the capacity of We the People to forge “a more perfect union” moving into 2021.

UUGP has decided to make this opportunity available to those in our congregation, and our SOUUP partners, to join one of these groups.  The plan is to hold one conversation among ourselves, which is expected to last about 90 minutes on Zoom Sunday afternoon Nov. 15th.  This will give us a chance to respectfully reflect on the outcome of the election with like-minded citizens, our own friends and fellow UUs. After participating in this event within our SOUUP community, those who have attended will hopefully have the opportunity to engage in respectful conversation with others beyond our UU community, others who may feel very differently about the election outcome, at some point in the future if folks desire.

These meetings will be led by Alison Duren-Sutherland, Southern Oregon UU Partnership Intern Minister, Steve Radcliff, a member of our Southern Oregon community who has been working with Braver Angels for some time, and Georgia Moulton of the UUGP Board, following the Braver Angels guidelines, which have been used successfully for conversations of this kind across the country.  The goals the Braver Angels organization have for each of us from the first meeting are:

  • We achieve acknowledgement and acceptance of our core experience of the election within our beloved community.
  • We commit to regarding and treating our fellow community members and fellow citizens, who voted differently, with respect for their own human worth and dignity.
  • We commit to action steps in our personal lives and within our community aimed at helping to forge “a more perfect union.

Please accept our invitation to join this first session by marking your calendar.  You do not need to preregister, simply click on the Zoom link when it is made available (watch your email!) and join the group on Nov. 15th.  Exact time is yet to be determined.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Aspirations by Alison: Toward Healing, Together

My ministry in October has been focused on trauma and healing. Our Southern Oregon UU Partnership community came together with the UU Trauma Response Ministry on October 10th to share our experience of the September wildfires. We learned that so many of the responses we may be experiencing — including irritability, lack of focus, headaches and insomnia — are normal, human responses to an abnormal event. We also learned that we are not alone. We share so much of our experiences of the fires in common, whether we live in Ashland, Klamath Falls, Grants Pass or somewhere in between. We saw that we can provide a community of support and care that stretches across Southern Oregon. At the event on the 10th, we began to discuss the possibility of a weekly, drop-in Zoom meeting for members and friends of all three SOUUP congregations. I was incredibly encouraged to see folks in attendance asking for something that I had been hoping we might one day create — a regular opportunity to experience the love, faith and community which, as Jackie Clement says, “if nurtured…can serve as the very bedrock of our lives.” Stay tuned or be in touch if you’d like to help with or participate in a drop-in community care Zoom with your siblings in faith across Southern Oregon. 

This month, I’ve also lifted up the intergenerational trauma that black folks carry as a result of living with white supremacist oppression in North America for 400 years, and that white folks carry as a result of accepting and perpetrating that oppression. Healing that trauma so we can move forward into something different and better is the focus of Resmaa Menakem’s book My Grandmother’s Hands, which is so much more than the taste I offered you with the help of my friend Kokayi Nosahere at our service on October 11th.  I want to encourage you to read Menakem’s book and use the tools he presents, not just for healing racialized trauma, but for healing any trauma you are holding in your body. Using our breath, our song, and the sway of our body to stay settled and not let our trauma get the best of us can help us process the trauma of wildfire as well as white supremacy. One of the most encouraging messages I took away from Menakem’s book is that healing myself isn’t something I do only for me, but rather contributes to healing our world as well.  

As 2020 winds down, many of us would describe this year as piling trauma upon trauma: COVID 19, so many deaths, living through climate catastrophe, and our deep political divides about to culminate in one of the most significant elections of at least my lifetime. Tools for staying grounded in these times are so essential, and that is a big part of why my ministry this month has been focused on trauma coping. In closing, I’d like to offer you two tools for the weeks ahead. The first is an embodied practice you can use any time, focused on healing trauma through the movements of Tai Chi. I was introduced to this practice in one of my seminary courses, and although it seemed a bit cheesy at first, I’ve returned to it again and again over the past year, along with my five year old daughter, who loves to do these 15 minutes of Tai Chi with me. Every time I revisit this video, I am amazed at how different I feel in my body, mind, and spirit when the 15 minutes are up. 

I also want to make you aware of an offering from UU clergy and congregations across the country to provide spiritual grounding on Election Day, November 3rd. Any time from 7am to 7pm Pacific, you can join the Zoom meeting here (meeting ID: 995 5323 1971, passcode: 954636, find your local dial-in number at https://uuma.zoom.us/u/aeHgtFP7Ry) for as long or short as you like, to find respite, positive energy, peace and spiritual practice on Election Day. As Unitarian Universalists, we understand the democractic process as key to the values and the practice of our faith. What better way to move through this election season than in the company of our siblings in faith? I know I plan to drop in on the 3rd, and I hope you will consider doing the same.  

Finally, please know that I am here to provide you with direct support as well. I am available Tuesday through Sunday to meet by Zoom or by phone, or even just for an email or text message exchange if that’s what you prefer. Email me at intern.minister@rvuuf.org or contact me by voice or text at 541.291.1718.  

–Alison Duren-Sutherland, Intern Minister
Southern Oregon UU Partnership

Let’s start to heal from the trauma of wildfire: Zoom event 10/10 @ 10:30am

Please join members of the UU Trauma Ministry Team and other members and friends of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership (including UU Fellowship of Klamath County, UUs of Grants Pass and Rogue Valley UU Fellowship) on Saturday, October 10 @ 10:30 am via ZOOM for an opportunity to explore the ways in which the recent wildfires have been and are affecting each of us and how we can support each other and those around us during this important time. Whether or not you personally experienced trauma related to the wildfires, your supportive presence can help our community begin to heal.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting with the UU Trauma Response Ministry on Saturday, Oct 10, 2020 at 10:30 am Pacific

You must register in advance for this meeting!
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The UU Trauma Response Ministry was established in 2002 and has for the past 18 years worked with congregations across the country who have faced a variety of difficult and tragic circumstances including wildfires in southern California, Hurricanes Charlie, Katrina and Maria; the shootings at Tennessee Valley UU Church as well as many other incidents of natural and human made disaster and trauma.  Those who have benefited in the past from the presence of UUTRM report that their work helped greatly, especially through the initial stages of their experiences.  Even those participants who didn’t personally feel as though they needed to talk found that their presence was helpful for others who did.  Please join us for this important conversation.

Question? Email Intern Minister Alison: intern.minister@rvuuf.org.

Southern Oregon Wildfire Relief: You can help!

As the fires still burn, good people throughout this community are taking action to help their neighbors. Our UU siblings at the Rogue Valley UU Fellowship in Ashland, where at least eight families have lost their homes, has published a comprehensive list of ways you can help on their blog HERE, including donations through RVUUF or to community organizations including the MRG fire relief fund which is being administered by local grass-roots groups, and by assisting low-performing GoFundMe campaigns for fire survivors.

The Klamath County Library Services District also has some fire information especially pertinent to those in our area on their website HERE, thanks to UUFKC member Nac Payne. This includes ways to stay abreast of what’s happening with fire activity in our area, ways for folks to get help if they are affected by the fires, and ways that we can help those affected.

Finally, the Klamath Tribes are working hard to participate in relief efforts. Find information in the infographic below for both providing and obtaining assistance for local fire survivors. In addition, relief supplies will be available for pick up by folks affected by the fires on Wednesday & Thursday, September 16th & 17th, 11am-3pm at 204 Pioneer Street in Chiloquin as well as on Monday as shown below.

The Klamath Tribes is still accepting donations at 3949 S. 6th St in K-falls, and via their GoFundMe https://gf.me/u/yx6sc2

White Fragility book Group

Book Group: White Fragility: Why Its So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

by Robin Diangelo
Many of our members have expressed interest in reading and discussing this book over the summer as we work to become anti-racist. The meetings will happen via Zoom. Meeting links will be sent the week of the meeting.

Tuesday, July 14th, 7:00 pm   Discussion on Chapters 1-4 

Tuesday, July 28  Discussion on Chapters 5- 8

Tuesday, August 11 Discussion on Chapters 9 – 12

White Fragility Reading Group Discussion Guide


Ebook Resource:

Z-lib https://z-lib.org/
This website has lots of ebooks on Anti-racism, including the book White Fragility: Why Its So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism