the OUUC spark

February 23, 2023

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What Do We Teach & Learn at OUUC? - Rev. Sara Lewis

Way back in November, we took part in a project to collect responses to the question “What do we teach and learn at our congregation?”

Like many religious educators, I appreciate a saying brought to us by Connie Goodbread that “Faith Development is All We Do and ALL we do is Faith Development”. Truly, we learn from everything we do, and everything we do is shaped by what we learn. Learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom, it happens all the time, and everywhere.

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The answers that we gave to the question in November have been formed into this word cloud. What do you notice here? I notice that we teach Love, but also breathing, and regulation, and some other surprising but very important things. I love the kind of learning community this word cloud points to.

What do you think? Let me know!

March Volunteer of the Month: Joe Joy!

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1. Why do you volunteer? What motivates you to volunteer?

Joe: I think it’s part of my identity. It might have been instilled when I was young – being the oldest of four siblings and being told to watch out for them and to be a “good” example. Also at an early age, having elderly neighbors that needed help with chores, then being paid and praised for it encouraged volunteering. Being raised Catholic, I identified most with stories of St. Francis of Assisi’s life of active service as an example of how to live in the world. So, I’ve found ways to volunteer or help-out throughout my life. What I get out of it now is more of a feeling of “giving back”, and of being an active positive force using any skills I have. I also have a low tolerance (Susan would say, selective) of seeing things undone or deteriorating – it bugs me to the point of having to do something about it if I can.

2. What do you enjoy about your volunteer gigs? What is challenging?

Joe: I enjoy working with others to see something get done that needs doing, especially hands-on tasks. I enjoy getting to know people a little better as we work together to accomplish a task. I’ve also been a wannabe teacher, and I enjoy sharing what I know with kids or other adults. This has been especially true in school, RE, and outdoor education settings. My major challenge has always been organizing, especially organizing people. I’ve always been better at being part of the crew than being the foreman. Low turnouts for some volunteer events make me a little disheartened. After putting a lot of effort in “getting the word out”, I kind of interpret it as my fault rather than knowing that others are busy or are not interested in the activity. I’m facing some new challenges with my first stint on the Board. Budget and policy deliberations are not topics with which I have experience.

3. How did you get started? What was the first way you volunteered at OUUC?

Joe: Our first week of UUFO in Tumwater in about 1986, we received a call from the quarter-time minister, Rev. Donna DiSciullo. “What would you like to do, I have openings on Worship, Finance, etc.” Susan was very busy with her job as a pre-school special education teacher, but I figured I could serve on the Worship Committee to start. Little did I realize that we were responsible for three of the four services each month. That meant we’d either have to find someone to speak or design the service ourselves. It wasn’t a once or twice a month meeting. Anyway, I kept with the Worship Committee for a couple of years and then moved to RE: teacher, RE committee, and RE chair. It was convenient while our girls were going through the program. From there I’ve kept busy on Green Sanctuary/EAT, Building and Grounds, and Tiny Homes. Outside of OUUC, Susan and I do a lot of land conservancy restoration: planting native plants, pulling scots broom and ivy, and teaching kids about nature.

Joe, we all think you are amazing, and a huge Thank You for all you do!

Olly, olly in-come-free! Return your hymnals to OUUC!

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When we shut down for Covid almost 3 years ago, we checked out hymnals to those who wanted them so we could all sing together on Zoom from home. Now, as many return to the OUUC sanctuary, we are running out of hymnals on Sunday mornings. What a great problem of abundance to have!

If you have at your home gray or teal hymnals that belong to OUUC and you are no longer using them there, please return them to OUUC.

You can drop them off during office hours on Tuesday or Thursday between 10am - 2pm. You can bring them by on Thursday evenings and stay for the community dinner at 5:30pm and spiritual practice at 7pm. Or you can bring them on Sunday morning for our 10am service.

Plus, you can receive a book exchange for your hymnals! Once you've returned your hymnal(s), see Rev. Sara for a book from her UU book cart.

Thank you for sharing the hymnals and music with everyone.

Black Resistance, Transformation, & History of Black History Month

Inclusion: Black History & Transformative Healing

The Unitarian Universalist Association shared this video, Inclusion: Black History & Transformative Healing, featuring Amy Verdine-Jones. This brief, introductory video outlines the continued scourge of institutionalized racism and how transformative healing and "telling hard truths" can replace these systems with racial healing.

Verdine-Jones also shares how white people can help deconstruct and confront systemic barriers to ensure equitable access to opportunity for communities of color.

OUUC Building Closed Thursday, February 23

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Due to the weather, we are closing the OUUC building today, Thursday, February 23. As a result, the following events are canceled for this evening: the Community Dinner, the Our Whole Lives Lives (OWL) class, and the Kids Making $ense class.

The "Building the World We Dream About" class will meet online only at 6:30pm; there will be no onsite participation. If you are registered for the class, Rev. Sara will send an email to you today with information for tonight’s online class.

We plan to resume our usual Thursday evening activities next week.

In the meantime, we invite you to revisit this breathing practice we recorded last May:

We will monitor the weather as we consider our upcoming Sunday events. We hope you all stay warm and safe.

A Word About Our Share the Plate Partner

Make a difference in the lives of your hungry neighbors by sharing a gift with Catholic Community Services' Community Kitchen. The Community Kitchen provides life sustaining meals to our hungry neighbors living unsheltered or in temporary shelters. Everyone is welcome for Lunch and Dinner at the Community Kitchen throughout the year – so no one goes hungry. The Kitchen serves individuals, children, families, and veterans living in poverty, and struggling under the effects of intolerance and racism. Sharing your gift will help the Community Kitchen produce more than 100,000 meals for our hungry neighbors in 2023.

Thank You OUUC for Sharing!

Since its founding two decades ago, the Community Kitchen has lovingly served about two-million healthy meals. Over the past two years, due to the pandemic, Kitchen costs have sky-rocketed. Today, each meal costs about $3.50 to produce – that is almost 3.5 times what it cost before the pandemic. Demand for meals has increased over the past four months, and The Kitchen anticipates it will provide even more meals to our hungry neighbors in 2023 than it did in 2022.

In addition to lunch and dinner meals offered in downtown Olympia, homeless and impoverished youth served by Community Youth Service’s get lunch three times weekly from the Community Kitchen. The Drexel complex and the Quince Street Village in Olympia both receive meals from The Kitchen each weekday. Families, young people, elders and veterans are among those served.

With the extremely dedicated volunteers from OUUC, the Community Kitchen cares for and builds resiliency in our community. Everyone served by the Community Kitchen is treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Our hungry neighbors are filled with food and hope – thanks to everyone helping to sustain the Community Kitchen’s feeding programs.

Thank you for helping feed your neighbors by sharing your gifts! Your donation will help purchase much needed food supplies.


Looking for upcoming events? Go to the OUUC Calendar.