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. 


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!


                                                                          –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 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 or contact me by voice or text at 541.291.1718.  

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

A Salute by Barbara Turk

In November when perusing your ballot for the 2020  general election, please salute and thank our local League of Women Voters, many Oregonians, and past  League president, KATE MARQUEZ,  for  that mail-in ballot. 

Much time, many efforts put it on our ballot. It PASSED!  Oregon— first in the nation to have it. (But, do know  there were decades of  pro / con Oregon history before that vote by citizens.  Nothing good is ever easy.) Even today  OPB News states, “…in Oregon it’s old news”.  “It’s been a law now since 2000”, said Phil Keisling, former Secretary of State.

I want to salute KATE MARQUEZ,  for her continued heartfelt neighborliness and good works, for all of us. Here’s why:  After vote by mail, Kate spearheaded the drive to get non-partisan voting for Klamath County Commissioners on county ballot. PASSED!  Again with LWV, she worked on the Klamath County Transient Room Tax (TRT). 

It had been brought to the League’s attention that the county’s TRT supported  ONLY the fair grounds. Those folks had no interest in sharing any funds.  What about assisting  arts,  tourism, and their meaning to our county?  

Kate researched and shared with League:
Klamath County had  lowest TRT in the state, and how other TRT’s benefitted  their counties. (It was as if Klamath County was in the dark ages.)

To expand  TRT, League gathered petition signatures. One Third Thursday, Kate and I manned a booth, and explained the petition to a local businessman. His response:  “Well, this is a no-brainer.”   It made the county ballot, and PASSED!  

About TRT:  A tourist stays at a motel or private campground, pays a TRT  (we all do, whatever state we travel!).  It goes into our county, ”tourist” grants fund.  That  moniker actually is a very broad umbrella.  Many local groups have benefitted from the tax, including our county museums.   Such continues until voters change it.

In 2014 Kate was, ”the force behind petition to create a county charter”. It was defeated., But two out of three PASSED is great.

There is no sitting around for Kate.  She also participates in: 

***The Oregon Community Foundation Statewide Leadership Council 
***Klamath Community College Board of Trustees (public election)
***Ragland Rife Foundation Board
***Kate served seven months as RRT interim director, awaiting selection of a permanent, paid director
***Klamath County Tourism Grants Review. Board 
***Klamath County Rotary
***Philanthropic Quest (local trainings for nonprofits). 

That brings me to Kate’s connection to UUFKC.  Long ago I learned she knew about UU’ism from a marvelous source—an aunt, and  U.S. Senator,  Maurine Neuberger.  She became one of Oregon’s U.S. Senators  upon the passing of her husband, Senator Richard Neuberger.  Maurine was elected, Oregon’s first (so far only) female U.S. Senator.

Tho not a UUFKC member, Kate certainly is a, ”friend” and her lifetime activities are in step  with our seven principles, and UUA’s, “Side With Love”.  Kate’s giving of her skills to the region has been most ample.  I’ve shared only a portion. 

I wanted to nominate Kate for a 2020 Spirit Award.  But, in this time of Covid-19, wild fires, and smoke, all we can offer is:

                                                        KATE, THANK YOU!

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!

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:

Aspirations by Alison: Let’s #UUtheVote [UPDATED!]

(scroll to the end for links to ongoing #UUtheVote action opportunities)

On my first Sunday morning leading worship as Intern Minister with Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass, in the wake of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I heard our collective grief and fear for the future. I shared that, grounded in the 5th of our 7 Principles, I was preparing to exercise my right to vote, and writing letters to encourage others to do the same. And the congregation asked me, in their words and in their silence, how can it be enough?  

The following Wednesday, the day that the sitting president refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, and the day that no one was held legally accountable in the killing of Breonna Taylor, I joined UUA President Rev. Susan Fredrick Gray and UU the Vote for their Gather the Spirit online event, celebrating the work our faith has done together in 2020 to embody that 5th Principle. During the call, it was announced that the number of voters reached through the work of UU the Vote had already surpassed their goal of one million, by another 300,000 people – and the work continues! They’ve increased their goal to 2 million contacts, and we can be a part of it! Gather the Spirit ended with a call to action. Phone banks are ongoing, and their Week of Action is coming up in late October. (I’ll share more as the week gets closer.) Their partner organization, Vote Forward, makes it easy to mail out personalized letters to encourage folks to vote.  It is not too late to get involved, in fact the most important time is now. Vote Forward’s Big Send date is October 17th – plenty of time for you to get a few letters ready to mail out to encourage others to vote.

I’ve signed up for my first UU the Vote phone-banking session, calling voters in Florida, on Tuesday the 29th. I’d love to see some familiar faces there on Zoom with me. Folks who shared about their participation in these phone banks during Gather the Spirit said that even as introverts who didn’t like to call strangers on the phone, they had felt well-prepared by the Zoom training provided and had had fulfilling conversations with the voters they called. Make no mistake: these contacts will lead to more people voting. This is crucial, and not only from a UU perspective. The most important thing we can do to ensure a peaceful transfer of power is to make sure the outcome of the election is clear and resounding, impossible to deny. My UU faith assures me that the more people participate, the closer we will come to achieving justice. The arc of the moral universe is long, and it is ours to bend.

Starr King President Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt shared with me recently a teaching that she carries close to her heart these days: “It is too early to despair.” While there is work still to be done, it is too early to despair. While we are here to do the work, it is too early to despair. While the outcome is yet unknown, it is too early to despair.  So, my friends, let us not despair yet. Instead, let us #UUtheVote!

UPDATE! With one phone banking session under my belt, I feel at ease with the technology and excited to continue to multiply our impact by working together in this way. Although many of my calls ended in hang-ups, I was able to identify a few Spanish-speakers to get a follow-up call in their own language, as well as help a woman figure out that she could vote early, and where her polling places would be for early voting. I immediately signed up for the next Florida phone-bank on October 27th, and I’d love to see you there.

I’ve also learned that my fellow Ministerial Intern, Jennifer Hackett in Eugene, has organized an ongoing West Coast UU the Vote action, where folks can join to make calls every Saturday at noon up until the election. As with the national UU the Vote actions, all training will be provided when you log on to Zoom for the event at noon on Saturdays HERE with additional training materials available to review prior to the Zoom events HERE.


  • Sign up to phone bank with other UUs from around the country with #UUtheVote national HERE.
  • Sign up to write letters to infrequent voters with Vote Forward HERE.
  • Join West Coast UUs to phone bank. CLICK HERE to join the Zoom session on Saturdays at noon.

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

Aspirations by Alison: My first two weeks

September 16, 2020

As I begin my third week of ministry as an intern with the three congregations of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership, I can hardly believe so little time has passed. So much has happened, in our work together, and in the wider Southern Oregon community. I began my first day with the Starr King School for the Ministry chalice lighting words

With the kindling of this flame,
We reaffirm our commitment
To accept life’s gifts with grace and gratitude
And to use them to bless the world
In the spirit of Love.

Friends, we are already working together to bless the world. As the fires were still burning in Medford, Talent, Phoenix and Ashland, our UU siblings in Grants Pass offered space in their back parking lot to SO Equity, a community organization that has been instrumental in coordinating relief efforts, to collect donations for our Rogue Valley neighbors impacted by the fires. With all that is already underway in our Souther Oregon UU Partnership congregations, lifting up the things that matter on Sunday mornings and doing the work of our faith the other six days of the week, I can only imagine how much we will be able to accomplish together and with our Southern Oregon UU Partnership siblings over the next ten months. 

Already, we have an event planned for all members and friends of the SOUUP community to engage in the work together. Thanks to your worship team, who called my attention to her work, on November 7th, Monica YellowOwl of the Klamath Tribal Nation, will offer a free training for our three congregations from 11am to 1:30pm on Zoom to help us learn more about the experience of some of the indigenous peoples who are our neighbors. This training offers a concrete way for our community to answer the call of the 2020 General Assembly’s Action of Immediate Witness statement, 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. 

In closing, I want to thank you for welcoming me warmly into your community. It was a joy to share Water Ceremony together, especially as fires raged around us. I have placed the water we poured onto the home altar I tend as part of my Unitarian Universalist spiritual practice. There are so many ways to practice our faith, and I’m looking forward to learning how you practice and where you find inspiration as a Unitarian Universalist.

Our ceremonial waters of beloved community on Alison’s home altar.

I’m looking to get to know as many of you as possible, so I hope you’ll consider signing up via Calendly for a one on one meeting. Feel free to email me at, and call or text me at 541.291.2718. My days off are Mondays, so unless there is a real emergency, I won’t likely get to messages between Sunday and Tuesday. 

This is the first post in an occasional blog I’m calling “Aspirations” because my official title is “Aspirant” to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry. I love being an Aspirant. Our aspirations — vision of what we hope will come to pass — move us to take action for the world we want to bring into being. What are YOUR wildest aspirations for how we might bless the world in the spirit of love? Let’s see how close we can get to making them come true. 

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again! 

–Alison Cole Duren-Sutherland, Intern Minister

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

Water Ceremony: A UU Ritual & Our First Worship of the Church Year

Bring a chalice or even just an LED candle to light, and a container of water and something to pour the water into for the first service of our church year. You’ll have a chance to light a chalice in community and share a few words about what your water means to you as you symbolically pour it into the bowl of beloved community. We gather together over Zoom at 10:15am on September 13th. Looking forward to seeing you then!

Our new intern minister

Board President Franny Howes writes: This summer, our UUFKC board was presented with a tremendous opportunity: to have a ministerial intern support us, together with the other Southern Oregon Unitarian Universalist Partnership congregations in Ashland and Grants Pass. In consultation with committee leadership and after a review of our finances, we voted in favor of this and we will be working with Alison Duren-Sutherland this coming year. We are incredibly excited about all that Alison brings to us, and we will all be getting to know her better throughout the coming months. And now, you can hear from her in her own words:

My name is Alison Cole Duren-Sutherland, Duren from my mother, Sutherland from my father, and Cole for the street in San Francisco we lived on when I was born. I am excited to have the opportunity to introduce myself today as the incoming Ministerial Intern for the church year running September 2020 – June 2021.

At the mid-point of my distance-learning Masters of Divinity with Starr King School for the Ministry, and a recognized Aspirant to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry, I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve the three UU communities of Southern Oregon (UUs of Grants Pass, UU Fellowship of Klamath County, and Rouge Valley UU Fellowship) as Intern Minister under the supervision of Rev. Sean Parker Dennison of RVUUF.

I look forward to creating worship experiences for each community, and some that we can all share together. I look forward to organizing with you, inspired by the Actions of Immediate Witness passed at our Unitarian Universalist General Assembly this past June and the call of our 5th principle to uphold the democratic process. I look forward to getting to know you as we share joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats, as we do the work of being beloved community and Widening the Circle of Concern. And I am excited to share with you some of the Education to Counter Oppression that I am receiving at Starr King.

To learn more about my internship, CLICK HERE for the proposal, keeping in mind that this is a living document that provides a framework for my ministry, which will evolve to meet the needs of our community. Through this internship serving the three congregations of the Southern Oregon UU Partnership (SOUUP), I seek honor the memory of Gordon O’Hara of UUGP by serving his vision of a strong and interdependent Unitarian Universalist movement that is a force for good in Southern Oregon. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the ways that we can be together, and the Unitarian Universalist Association has provided excellent leadership and resources to help us keep our faith and each other alive by coming together online. In some ways, this gives us more opportunity to participate together in the work of our faith.

A bit about me: I grew up in Portland, Oregon in a liberal off-shoot of the Mormon church. In my early teens, a series of anti-gay measures sponsored by the Oregon Citizen’s Alliance appeared on ballots in statewide and local elections. The hateful message was couched in Christian rhetoric, and when I came out as bisexual, I no longer trusted my faith community to love me as they said they did. At the same time, I was learning about the Bible as an historical artifact, a collection of early common era writings curated by the most privileged men of the 11th century, translated again and again, and ultimately, in my family’s faith, explicitly revised to fit one man’s vision of God’s truth. During my years at Smith College, studying mathematics and anthropology, organized religion was largely absent from my life.

Working at a women’s reproductive health clinic in Seattle after college, I learned about the Unitarian Universalists through the Our Whole Lives curriculum. When I had a tiny person that I was responsible for teaching values, and determined to live into my queerness in a way that was visible to her despite my straight-passing marriage, I ended up in a UU church. Reading the principles and sources, hearing that service is our prayer, and reading #530 Out of the Stars in the gray hymnal, I thought, “Here is a place where the wholeness of myself and my belief is reflected and welcome!” I came home to a community that held the faith that was alive in my heart

I came to Southern Oregon to manage a birth center in 2011, and the roots I have put down here run most strongly through the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; I was at RVUUF the first Sunday after we moved. When they invited me into the pulpit, I felt all the talents I love most to use come together into joy, as I researched, wrote and shared the loving, liberal, queer, feminist, sex-positive, justice-seeking UU pagan faith that is alive in me. The call to ministry came in my heart and from my people.

I live in White City with my husband Jamie, and our two daughters, Ramona (12 years) and Frances (5), plus four chickens, two pear trees, and an ever-burgeoning thicket of plums. We love to visit the Oregon Coast, but are staying home these days to protect Jamie, who is at increased risk of COVID complications due to an underlying medical condition. Our garden has been an incredible source of solace for the family during these times of staying at home.

I look forward to sharing more with you, learning the stories you have to share with me, and being of service to and with the UU communities of Southern Oregon. Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again!

Get to Know Our Intern Minister

Alison asks, “Please schedule an online meeting so we can start to get to know each other. All meetings will be via Zoom, and a link will be provided once you schedule. I’m excited to learn the story of this fellowship and how you found your way here, the gifts you bring and your hopes for our future together. CLICK HERE to schedule a meeting. If you can’t find a meeting time on the calendar that works for you, email me at and let’s make a plan to get together a different time.”