the OUUC spark

October 27, 2022

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One More Covenant - Rev. Mary Gear

As we’ve taken a deep dive into the spiritual theme of covenant this month, I noted that there are covenants everywhere. Many of the teams, committees and groups that I participate in at OUUC have covenants, and I’ve heard about many more. Thank you for being intentional about how we are together.

After my Spark article last week, Rick Brandt-Kreutz shared with me the covenant between OUUC and our partner church in Kissolyos, Romania, which establishes the relationship between our congregations. We join other UU congregations in the United States in having a relationship with a partner congregation in the birthplace of Unitarianism. If you’d like more information about OUUC’s Partner Church Ministry, please contact Rick Brandt-Kreutz at

Please read the Covenant of Partner with Kissolymos and take in the fact that our covenants exist across space and time, connecting us to our past and to each other as we make a future together.

Blessings on your week.

Rev. Mary

Covenant of Partnership Between The Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Washington, USA) and Unitarian Church of Kissolymos, Transylvania (Romania)

The Unitarian Church in Transylvania was the birthplace of the Unitarian religion over four hundred years ago, and

  • The Edict of Torda, signed by King John Zsigmond of Transylvania, was the first known declaration of religious freedom and tolerance in Europe, and

  • This Edict inspired the Founding Fathers to include the doctrine of separation of church and state in the constitution of the United States of America, and

  • The people of the Unitarian Church in Kissolymos have struggled to keep their religion alive throughout centuries, despite hardship and challenges,

  • In partnership, we, the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Unitarian Church of Kissolymos promise to each other that:

  • We will build and maintain a relationship based on friendship, respect, mutual support, and love;

  • We will strive at all times to be forthright with each other, to clarify assumptions, and to facilitate continuous communication between our congregations;

  • We will respect our cultural and religious differences;

  • We will share the responsibility for nurturing this relationship through open communication and mutual goals for partnership;

  • We will share the visions, the goals and stories of our congregations;

  • We will translate our words into action according to our respective values. We will demonstrate our Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist faiths to each other and the world;

  • We will support each other as needed, knowing that our connection is already a source of support; and

  • We will maintain and promote this Covenant of our Partnership.

We sign this covenant on behalf of our respective congregations:

Rev. Berei Istvan, Minister, Unitarian Church of Kissolymos, Transylvania (Romania)

President of the Board, Unitarian Church of Kissolymos, Transylvania (Romania)

Rev. Rev. Arthur S. Vaeni, Minister, Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Olympia, (Washington, USA)

OUUC Board President, Timothy Ransom, Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Olympia, (Washington, USA)

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Thursday Evening Spiritual Practice

Thursday Evening Spiritual Practice is an opportunity to pause and catch up with ourselves mid week. Spiritual practice is the act of connecting to ourselves, to each other, and to something greater.

What to Expect:

The Spiritual Practice session begins at 7 p.m. in the OUUC Sanctuary and on Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 874 3878 6949
Passcode: 297714

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Book Sale Beneficiaries - Rev. Sara Lewis

It’s back! Our very popular annual fundraiser, Books, Beans, and Brownies, is back in person for the first time since Covid, with an in-person sale on Saturday November 5th. Sign up now to volunteer, and let all your friends know about this chance to shop for a good cause!

The causes that are being supported reflect our OUUC Faith in Action focus areas. In the past, the sale has supported our associated homeless shelter, Out of the Woods. When Out of the Woods closed, we supported other local organizations working to serve and support our homeless neighbors. This year the Faith in Action Leadership Team (composed of folks who represent our different faith in action teams and projects and liaisons with our faith in action partners such as Interfaith Works) decided that funds raised should be split evenly between our three Faith in Action Focus Areas. Those are:

  • Economic Justice

  • Racial Justice/Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression

  • Environmental/Climate Justice and Care

Teams nominated organizations for each of those focus areas, and the leadership team voted and chose these recipients:

For Economic Justice: The ForKids: Weekend Backpacks program at the food bank. This program focuses on children experiencing homelessness, economic distress, and food insecurity. Nutrition is a fundamental need for growing children, but too many children in our community face food insecurity. While schools have programs in place to provide some meals to children on school days, that still leaves gaps on weekends and school breaks. The ForKids program works with school counselors in 31 elementary schools, 2 Head Start sites, and 2 middle schools to provide food bags at school that can go home with kids to provide food while they are not at school. Food is chosen that is kid-appealing and easy for kids to prepare for themselves even if they lack kitchen facilities or adults who cook for them.

For Racial Justice/AntiOppression: Pizza Klatch. Pizza Klatch is an example of intersectional justice, with strong leadership from people of color and a focus on creating affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. Pizza Klatch is active in 15 area schools with 28 lunch programs that create support group spaces during the lunch break, and provide pizza. The goal is to make positive and supportive community easily accessible for all youth, affirming them as they explore their identity in space that is free from discrimination, bullying, suicidal ideation, or self-harm.

For Climate/Environmental Justice: Thurston Climate Action Team. TCAT’s mission is to partner with the local Thurston County community to reduce climate change impacts and increase resiliency, health, and joy for us all. They work to educate and empower us all to be environmental stewards, to coordinate efforts among citizen activists, NGO’s, and local governments, and to hold governments accountable to taking action on climate change.

As James Trujillo said in his reflections on covenant last Sunday, part of our covenant is with our (collective) children and the future. What kind of future are we working toward? What is the vision of a better future that our faith calls us to bend the arc of justice toward? I see in these choices organizations that are working for our children and youth today and for a future we would want them to live in. A future where no one goes hungry, and all can grow healthy and into their full potential. A future where all are accepted and supported and no more lives are lost to discrimination, hate, and fear. And a future where we care for our shared earth home and one another with mutual responsibility and zest.

Does a used book sale make that happen? Not by itself, no. But bit by bit, this is one of the ways we bend that arc toward justice.

So, please, come and join us!

To volunteer, contact Ryan Baye or use the Signup Genius.

To spread the word, please share: Books, Brownies & Beans ( or the facebook notice: Facebook.

And come shop and buy books on November 5th!

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Community Dinner Starts at 5:30 PM!

This week’s dinner is pizza and salad bar. Donations accepted. Volunteers welcome! Sign up here.

Following this dinner, there will be:

  • 6:30 p.m. Growing Anti-Racist Kids Class (Spirit Play Room)
  • 6:30 p.m. Young Adults (Youth Room)
  • 7 p.m. Spiritual Practices (Sanctuary)

Faith in Action Profile - Rev. Sara Lewis

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There are many ways that we put our Faith into Action, and for Bruce Wells it is through his work with the Faith Alliance Initiative for Tiny Houses (FAITH). Bruce is the construction coordinator for FAITH, and has helped to build dozens of tiny homes for folks without safe housing.

Bruce is always happy for more volunteers to help! Individuals who would like to volunteer to build tiny houses with FAITH can contact him at or 720.339.7175.

Thank you for all you do, Bruce!

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Thank you for all your book donations for Books, Brownies, and Beans!

Books, Brownies, and Beans is back! This popular used book sale returns live and in person Saturday, November 5th, from 9—4.

We have the books. (Over 10,000 gently-used books, CDs and DVDs!)

We have the brownies.

We have the (coffee) beans.

Now all we need is you!

Over the years, this sale has raised more than $80,000 to benefit non-profits serving the South Sound community. This year, all proceeds benefit three local non-profits:

  • Thurston County Food Bank ForKids: Weekend Backpacks

  • Pizza Klatch

  • Thurston Climate Action Team

All items are half-priced starting at 1pm, and books are $5 per grocery bag starting at 3pm!

Come find some great books to curl up with this winter.

Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation

2315 Division St NW, Olympia


Looking for upcoming events? Go to the OUUC Calendar.