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.   

UUFKC receives the Pickett Award for growth in small congregations!

June 4, 2019

Dear Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Klamath County,

We in the Pacific Western Region are delighted to announce that your congregation has been selected to receive the Unitarian Universalist Association 2019 O. Eugene Pickett Award.  This national award is given annually to a small congregation that has made an outstanding contribution to the growth of Unitarian Universalism.  The award comes with a certificate of merit as well as $600 to further your good ministry in the world.

Your congregation has embodied the phrase, “small but mighty”. You lost your building to fire about a decade ago, but did not let that be the end.  You have, like a phoenix, been born anew. In your small and conservative community, you have been showing inspirational growth in participation.  Simple programs, like family game night, have helped you become a welcoming home to many young LGBTQ families in your community.  Your use of social media and engagement with the local newspaper project a joyful image of your work.  You are a visible face of inclusive welcome and social justice in your small Southern Oregon town.  You are living our faith out loud.

Not only do you care for your community, you are well connected with the larger faith.  You make good use of UUA resources, from leadership trainings to educational resources.   You are active in SOUUP, the Southern Oregon UU Partnership, working with other small town UU congregations in your part of the state. And you are an honor congregation, reliable in contributing your fair share to the larger association.

Thank you for the good ministry you are doing.  It is an honor for us all to walk with you in this important work.

Blessing,
Rev. Sarah Schurr
Pacific Western Region – Unitarian Universalist Association

The Rev. O. Eugene Pickett was president of the UUA from 1979 to 1985. Ordained in 1952, he served as minister of congregations in Florida, Virginia, and Georgia, as well as the Church of the Larger Fellowship. He is minister emeritus of the UU Congregation of Atlanta and the CLF and now lives on Cape Cod with his wife, church musician Helen Pickett.

Children’s Program Job Openings

UUFKC is seeking two qualified individuals to serve in our children’s program during the 2019-2020 school year, two hours on Sunday mornings, plus prep time. This is a paid position.
Our Religious Explorations program serves children ages 4-12, nurturing a Unitarian Universalist identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love. Our nursery program serves infants and toddlers.
To apply, please send a resume and a letter of interest to: klamathuu@gmail.com

Katie our Children's teacher

Nursery Job Description click here

Lead Teacher Job Description click here

this I believe: chuck wells

On Sunday May 5, Chuck Wells gave us a presentation of: This I have Come to Believe. Following is the text of that discussion.

THIS I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE

May 5, 2019

I have struggled and searched during my 93 years to find the beginnings, growth and the Realization that constitutes the ‘essence’ of my spiritual being.

I have enjoyed the wonder of the process in its anxious and disturbing encounters and confrontations with my fellow human and other beings, and of course with mortality.

So here are a few of my observations of ‘The Human Comedy.’

I see no evidence of Divine Creation in this universe as I understand it.

Miraculous, yes, but not ‘Devine.’

There is no evidence of Divinity guiding us in the manner that we, the more sentient

species, have conducted and rationalized our behavior toward one another.

How we have so much fear and hate expressed throughout our various cultural and

religious values, while deeply knowing that, at best, we have one life.

As does every other one of us on this earth.

So how can we in good human conscience exploit others and believe in a benevolent

source?

No matter the range of our religious orientations, we all have the blood of avarice and

conflicting cultural dichotomies on our hands.

On too frequent occasion we have done unto others as we fear they may do unto us. And history tells us that is so, for good evidentiary reason. It happens over and over.

This grim game has existed in every culture, in every faith and under every form of government to a dominant andcontrolling degree ever since we banded together.

The battle cries sound from “Onward Christian Soldiers” to every other cultural faith’s

own version of supplication for security.

Yet within this continuous conflict is the countervailing expression of love and grace

under fire and under suppression.

Nearly all of us have an innate sense of fairness.

And each have needs for the basics of existence, love and self-esteem, and self expression.

Unfortunately these universal human needs have been, and are, the currency of the dominating cultures and egocentric controllers.

I should acknowledge them and perhaps thank them for having demonstrated to me my innocence as to what we are capable of.

Some of these people I have known and still experience some as adversaries.

And so they have contributed to the formation of my calling, my nature and my spirituality.

Socially, what else is there to do other than to retain my dignity, self-worth and capacity to love and enjoy my fellows and our Heaven here on earth?

The dominant culture is unable or unwilling to recognize that by never having put a survival for humanity value on natural resources they have de facto condemned our nature to a slow uninhabability.

They are threatening life’s balance and future existence. Environmentally speaking our economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of nature.

Nature is still here, and so far supporting this blinded human rationalization.

So we wake up each day and confront the same problem. To paraphrase Sally,

Do we celebrate this primal experience of awesome wonder of living in nature or do we once again stand into the life and death fight to save and restore our earthly habitat? We generally are compelled to do both. And then have a Sundowner glass in celebration of the glory of it all.

Primary reverence expression here if time allows.

Education/ Transformation

a performance project in which seven KCC students who have experienced challenges in getting a college education will be performing monologues about their experiences.

There will be two performances.  The first will be in Building Seven, on the KCC campus, on Thursday, May 16th, at 5 pm. The second will be at the First Presbyterian Church, which is at 601 Pine Street, in downtown Klamath Falls, on Sunday, May 19th at 2 pm.

Attendance at both performances is free of charge and a reception will follow each of the performances.

The seven students participating in the project have experienced a range of serious challenges, which have made it difficult for them to consider attending college as well as staying in college.  Among those challenges are physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and asthma, mental disabilities such as bipolar disease, depression and anxiety, PTSD in the wake of service in the military, recovery from substance abuse, childhood and adult experiences involving physical abuse, being a non-native speaker of English and attending college as an older student.  Each of the performers has an inspiring story to tell about making a very real success of college in spite of these challenges.  Each anticipates a bright future. 

Klamath Community College gratefully acknowledges grants from the Oregon Arts Commission and from the Klamath County Cultural Coalition, which have funded the project along with the Klamath Community College Foundation.

The Project Facilitator is Carol Imani, who has been a community college writing instructor for twenty-five years. She has also overseen two similar writing and performance projects, With You on the Journey (in which family members of people in prison told their stories) and Shaping a Future (in which individuals newly out of prison presented monologues about why they went to prison, life in prison, and how they are adjusting to life after prison). 

Chip Massie, who is the Acting Vice President of External Affairs at Klamath Community College, and who has directed community theater productions in Klamath Falls for over twenty years, directs the project.  

“A Work In Progress: Interview with Anya Kawka”

By Carol Imani

When I asked Anya Kawka if she would be my next subject for an interview she tried to persuade me to choose someone else. “Everyone knows who I am, so I think it would be better for you to talk to one of our newer members” she said.  I didn’t agree.  I thought that, although Anya is probably the highest profile person in our fellowship, few of us know much about her other than what we see her doing on Sunday mornings. But I tried to oblige her and scheduled an interview with a newer member. Before I could talk with that person, though, she went out of town for a week and the deadline for newsletter was approaching. So at that point Anya was willing to sit down for a talk with me under a large pink tree in full bloom in her yard and here’s what transpired.

Anya first came to Klamath Falls in 2015, “as the trailing spouse” from The Dalles, where she grew up, because her husband, Michal, had gotten a job running the TRIO program (for students with special needs) at OIT.  At that point, their son, Bogdan, so familiar to us all, was just seven months old, and Anya and Michal visited various congregations to see which might be a good fit.  She had grown up as a Catholic, and although “that was a meaningful upbringing” she’d also had a crisis of faith in high school when she realized that she could not believe in Jesus as the son of God.  “When we went to the Unitarians we met Chuck and Sally and the second week Sally asked me to be the treasurer.  ‘But I hate numbers, I hate math’ I said and Sally’s response was ‘Well, someone’s got to do it’ and after two years of that Chuck asked me if I’d be the president of the fellowship. I really struggled with that, because I felt that I still wasn’t even sure what UU is all about. But Chuck said ‘Oh, that’s okay.  We just need someone to deal with the administrivia.’  So, in 2017 Anya, who previous experience overseeing things was as the Programming Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation District in the Dalles, became the President of the Fellowship, or more accurately called the Chair of the Board.

What enabled Anya to feel comfortable in her new role was attending a UU Regional Assembly in Eugene, especially a workshop about the meaning of “Beloved Community”  in which the facilitator “had us share our various beliefs about religion, which turned out to be quite different and we learned that being in a ‘beloved community’ means not hiding our differences, but embracing them in an atmosphere of acceptance.”

More confidence building came from Reverend Sara Schurr, a Unitarian minister based in Portland, who acts as a consultant to regional UU fellowships of under 75 people, and one of the ways in which she was helpful was in offering Board Development days.  Among the things Anya absorbed were

  1. You can’t please everybody
  2. Don’t pander to the hecklers
  3. In making decisions for the fellowship the first priority should always be “Does this serve our mission”

After being intensely involved in all aspects of the fellowship since then, Anya is now cutting back on her involvement a bit.  Though she won’t be on the board any longer she will still be chairing the RE (Religious Explorations) Committee and still sitting in on board meetings for a while.  She has witnessed a number of key changes in the fellowship over the last few years, and says they were prompted, in large part by how “We’re no longer a congregation in a cupboard, but are now renting the space for our exclusive use.”  That has led to, among other things, more programming, including Art Nights, Family Game Nights, and New Member Orientation.  And that, in turn, has made the process of becoming a member much more clear than in the past.   Another change has been participation in the process of becoming a “Welcoming Congregation for LGBTQ people” which has included putting a “non-discrimination clause” in our bylaws.  And all of these changes “have helped us gain new members.”  In addition, she says that now “I’ll get to focus on things I particularly enjoy such as overseeing the social media page, as well as outreach, marketing.”

Anya runs a small daycare business from her home during the week, and was motivated to start that when she discovered that “Klamath Falls has a huge shortage of childcare options.  I just wanted a place where the TV would not be on all day, and the food would be healthy and that was impossible to find.”  But now that Bogdan will be starting kindergarten in the fall she’ll be phasing the business out since, although it’s been fun, it’s also been “exhausting.”  And she’s started doing an online masters in education from the University of Oregon.

I asked why she’s doing the degree, phrasing it in terms of that silly question “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” and she said that actually she might like to found an alternative school someday.  “I think that school is less about kids finding their own strengths than having to conform to one-size-fits-all norms, less about figuring out who you are, than capitulating to standardization.” 

She also told me that her undergraduate major, at Willamette University, had been theater.  But “not acting” she said, “more production: bossing people around, organizing them” and so that might also have a role in what the future holds.  Certainly those skills would come in handy in running a school.

In the meantime, she and Michal try to visit Michal’s family in Poland every other year. So that must add another dimension of experience to whatever comes next for her.  I didn’t get to hear about those trips, though, because Bogdan, who had gone into the house to use the bathroom, left the keys inside and locked everyone out.  So we said our goodbyes, and off they went to climb in a window.

April 2019 announcements

RE Committee 
March 9th, 7:00 pm
Conference call with Grants Pass’ RE team. Contact Anya for more info klamathuu@gmail.com


Inquirer’s Class

Wednesday, April 10th, 6:30 pm
What is Unitarian Universalism and is it what you’re looking for? What does it mean to become a member of UUFKC?
Ask these questions and more at the Inquirers’ class. A light dinner will be provided.
Childcare will be available!  

Camp Latagawa
Retreat from the heat of summer the weekend of August 16-18 , 2019 at beautiful Camp Latgawa. We hope you will join members, friends, and families from Rogue Valley UU Fellowship (in Ashland) to enjoy some of the best parts of summer! We want to get to know other UUs in Southern Oregon and grow a sense of community among our congregations.  Reply to klamathuu@gmail.com if you are interested in attending camp!  Camp rates:

YOU can lead Discussion Hour!
Choose a topic that interests you and come prepared to facilitate a discussion. This means making sure everyone gets a chance to be heard. You don’t have to be an expert. This is more about listening and sharing diverse viewpoints!  More Information and SIGN UP HERE

Choir Practice
Every 2nd Sunday at 9:30 am, downstairs in the ‘chapel’. 

Social Justice Committee
Meets every 4th Sunday. Current projects include “Share the plate” fundraising for PALM community dinners. Also, demonstrations of Love on the street. Also, updating policies on our Social Justice partnerships. Courtney Neubauer neubauer.courtney@gmail.com 

BOOKS FOR COFFEE CREEK – info provided by Barbara Turk
The UU Chaplain at Coffee Creek correctional facility is Rev. Sue Matranga-Watson, who will accept books dropped off in her name at the prison.  (She requests only Wicca/Pagan, newer books on Christianity, self-help, Buddhist/Hinduism/Taoism, mysteries,  and westerns, please.) The other UU Chaplain, Rev. Emily  Brault, doesn’t need books at this time. 
Alliance Member Corbett Gordon suggested Trish Brown is collecting books—from toddler to YA books, and especially picture books and easy readers—for children of women at Coffee Creek.  Trish Brown is collecting these books and donated money, but email Suzanne Kosanke if you’re interested in contributing.  (kosanke@hawaii.edu)   

Annual Meeting

Sunday, April 14th, following the service, approximately 12:00 pm. All members are invited to attend and vote on the future of their fellowship! We need a quorum of 30% of members to stay for the meeting. Agenda includes: 

  • eating pizza!
  • reviewing the budget!
  • voting for board members!
  • updating our bylaws to include a non-discrimination clause! Read the proposed update here.
  • celebrating a fabulous year together with a slide show and cake!

March 2019 Announcements

Inquirer’s class – an Orientation for Newcomers
Wednesday, March 6th at 6:00 pm
What is Unitarian Universalism and is it what you’re looking for?
What does it mean to become a member of UUFKC?
Ask these questions and more at the Inquirers’ class.
Led by Anya, Dawn and Barbara
Dinner and refreshments provided.
Childcare will be available!!
Join the event on Facebook!
Announcements
Choir Practice
Every 2nd Sunday at 9:30 am, downstairs in the ‘chapel’. 
This month we will be practicing the song “Filled with Loving Kindness” 
Listen to the song here.  All are welcome to come and learn the song!
Contact Franny or Anya with questions.

The Fellowship that plays together… stays together…
See pictures from our February Fellowship Fun Night!  Photo album

General Assembly June 19-23 in Spokane!
Housing & Registration opens March 1.
General Assembly is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist
Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy
for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend;
congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates. Most
General Assembly events will be held in the Spokane Convention Center.

The Power of We
What do we want Unitarian Universalism to be? It is a time when we are
asking big questions in our faith, and GA 2019 will be focused on digging
into those questions together. It is a critical chance for congregational
leaders and passionate UUs to set new goals and aspirations for our
religious community. Help begin to reshape our Association and our
congregations in new and powerful ways.

This year’s theme is about collective power, “The Power of We,” as well as
the possibility, the purpose, the struggle and the joy of what it means to
be together in faithful community. In the past two years, Unitarian
Universalism has recommitted to the work of liberation inside and outside our faith community. The antidote to a time of dangerous dehumanization
is a love that connects us to our deeper humanity. Come to Spokane to
experience what our shared faith can become when we embrace the Power of We.