Mental Health Worship Service, 5/19

On May 19th at 4pm PDT, the Unitarian Universalist Mental Health Network will be offering an online worship service
centered on how Unitarian Universalism can inspire advocacy and acceptance in the area of mental health.

I’ve been working with the UUMHN for the past several months in an effort to expand our bank of mental health resources at the ready as our local community faces increasing need in this area, particularly among our children and youth, and I’m excited to share this worship opportunity with you!

In the second annual worship service produced by the UU Mental Health Network Speaker’s Bureau, author Sheri Thomas will share how Unitarian Universalism has inspired her to become a leading disability advocate fighting to remove the stigmas surrounding physical disabilities and mental health. Additional speakers include Rev. Barbara Meyer, whose seminary story was told by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt during her recent UUFC reception; Phoenix Bell-Shelton Biggs, a queer, BIPOC, non-binary seminarian; Erin White, member and past board president of The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York, and I’ll be offering the time for all ages!

If you’re interested in exploring topics at the intersection of faith and mental health, I hope you’ll join us!

Coast Retreat Through the Eyes of Our Youth!

In March, members of our YRUU group, along with their advisors Dawn Dirks and Mark Aron, had a weekend of adventure at the annual youth coast retreat.

I asked our brilliant Edna if she would mind writing a few words about her experience so that we could imagine it from a youth perspective and she agreed. And without even being asked, the talented Gabe asked if he could send me some of his photography from the trip to share with you all. So please enjoy this look at the annual youth coast retreat through the eyes of two of our fabulous future leaders!

I remember feeling not excited to go on the cost trip at first. I was a bit nervous because I knew the people but wasn’t friends with any of them. but after a while I realized I had started to actually really enjoy it. I enjoyed going to the beach, and playing sardines, and the food and I felt like I kinda made friends and definitely learned more about everyone there. when I left I realized I missed it. From Edna <3

Child Dedication Invitation, 5/12

In Unitarian Universalist congregations, the dedication and blessing of a child signifies the congregation’s willingness to nurture & love the child, & to support parents & caregivers in providing for their children’s spiritual development. It also celebrates the family’s desire to raise their children in a nurturing religious community.

Children are beloved members of the UUFC. Their growth and unfolding personalities are a source of joy to us all, and we are committed, as a congregation, to their spiritual welfare.  Our child dedication service is an opportunity to recognize that commitment & to welcome the new children in our midst.

It is our custom to dedicate children on Christmas Eve and Mother’s Day, as well as any time a family makes the request. Participating families will be invited to come forward & introduce their children. Each child will be blessed with a touch of water, the gift of a flower, & words of commitment by the gathered community.

If you would like your child to be dedicated on Mother’s Day, please contact Skyla by Sunday, May 5th.

“Successful Aging in Community” Kick-Off, 4/3

Wednesday, April 3, 3-5 pm in the Social Hall

Interested in joining with others who are moving along in age to adapt and thrive? This group is designed to keep us involved: addressing ways to adapt to inevitable changes at this stage of life while creating connections in this community. At this first gathering we will have fun and meaningful table conversations
and get to know one another better. Participants will be guided through a process of listing and prioritizing future topics in two areas: 

  1. Informative programs with guest speakers, and 
  2. Smaller group social activities like informal book groups, coffee klatches, puzzle or game sessions, and attending local cultural events.
    Come join us to create positive experiences for this time of life!

Easter in Spirit Play! It’s Complicated.

It’s that time of year again when we wrestle with what to do with the kids for Easter. As Unitarian Universalist, this can be a most complicated occasion.

For the new to UU, here’s an overview of the scene.

First, as a pluralistic congregation, we’re not universally aligned with the Christian Easter narrative, so it doesn’t always feel like our holiday to celebrate. We’re certainly a religion of Christian lineage and we’re by no means anti-Easter. It’s just…delicate. And yet, parents and children alike have expressed a desire for an Easter egg hunt every year that I’ve been on staff, and by golly, we like to give our families what they desire when we can!

We aim to be good stewards of the Earth, so there’s also the question of how to host the desired egg hunt in a way that aligns with our larger values, so without contributing more plastic eggs to the landfill. Add to that the amazing education Rachel Kohler provided around fair trade chocolate, and suddenly, even if we do have an egg hunt, what would we put in the eggs? Have I mentioned that it’s tricky? We want to live our values and host a joyous occasion at the same time!

So where have we landed? I’m so glad you asked!

We’ll be sharing the story of Ostara and the Hare in Spirit Play on Easter Sunday, and exploring some of the theories around how the Pagan and Christian cultures mingled in such a way that in modern America, we associate multicolored eggs with the Jesus story.

Then, we’ll have an egg hunt on the playground during what is usually our “work time.” We’ve found colorful wooden eggs that we can use year after year. The children can keep what’s inside, and leave the eggs for next year, as a practice in reusing to lessen our environmental impact.

It’s worth mentioning that there will be some plastic trinkets involved. Why? Because I’m not pulled toward the kind of performative environmentalism that might motivate us to send the perfectly usable trinkets we’ve inherited from previous generations to the landfill simply to look like we’re living our values. We have a fair amount of spring-related plastic items that our children will delight in, so we’re passing them out! We’re not planning on purchasing more when these are gone, but let’s give what we already own a full life before the landfill, shall we? We’ve also purchased some earth-friendly treasures to go in the eggs instead of chocolate.

TL;DR We will learn about the Pagan and Christian origins of the occasion and enjoy an informed egg hunt that aligns with our larger UU values by decentering plastics, using up what we already have, and opting out of the chocolate.


If you’re the parent of a Spirit Play kiddo, you are most welcome to send them to RE with their Easter baskets for the activity, and paper sacks will be provided for those who arrive basket-free. 

Register for Camp Blue Boat!

Camp Blue Boat registration is open!

NEW WEEK: June 30-July 5

NEW LOCATION: Get ready for an unforgettable summer experience at Camp Blue Boat at Camp N-Side-Sen in Harrison, Idaho!

This year, registration includes a bus from Seattle, so no need for a second registration. Don’t forget to look for the discount if you’re not taking the bus. And the Sibling and Early Bird (by 3/15) Discounts return.

This summer camp is perfect for youth from rising 6th-grade to 12th-grade graduates. It offers age-specific housing and programming, where campers, counselors, and staff will explore being in relationship with oneself, others, and the wider world. The camp is based on four basic pillars, including community, spirituality, justice, and equality. After attending, youth will be able to articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values, develop spiritual discipline, engage in social change, and build personal and religious resilience. There are plenty of fun activities such as field games, crafts, hikes, swimming, bonfires, and more. Come join us

Why are we moving?  Because our old site wants to use their camp for their campers, so we get to go back to N-Sid-Sen, where Camp Blue Boat started.

Grandfolks Squad (Free UUFC Childcare)

As part of our mission to ensure that people of all ages have the opportunity to plug into Fellowship life, we formed the Grandfolks Squad, a team of volunteers who provide no-cost childcare for Fellowship families during UUFC sponsored events.

Per our safe congregation policy, all volunteers who work with children are background checked and work in teams of two unrelated adults so that children are never alone, one on one, with any nonfamily adult. The squad is composed largely of grandparents who have a heart for nurturing young children.

Only children who are registered in either the nursery or Spirit Play are eligible for care from the Granfolks Squad. This ensures that we have adequate emergency information on file. You may find registration links for each age group under the learning tab.

Please note that because the Grandfolks Squad is completely volunteer-operated, there may be times when a request cannot be accommodated. 

To request a team of Grandfolks to care for your children during an event, we ask that you fill out this request form 2-3 weeks prior to the event date. Once a team has been found, you will be notified via email. Please arrive 5 – 10 minutes before your event and meet the Grandfolks in Room 4. Offer them any information that might help them provide a great experience for your cherished little one, and then head to your gathering.

If you have questions about the Grandfolks Squad, or are interested in volunteering, contact Skyla King-Christison at

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities.

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality.

Because we aim, as people of faith, to never stop growing and evolving, UUFC doesn’t stop offering OWL just because you’ve become an adult. As part of our core programming, we offer OWL every other year, alternating with Coming of Age, each with a cohort of middle schoolers and a separate cohort open to adults ages 18 to 101! Adult OWL is not a children’s program made available to adults. Instead, we expand the conversation to include information about up to date terminology that may have changed in your lifetime and what that means for your conversations about sex and sexuality, as well as discussions around how our identities and challenges shift as we become sexual beings in aging human bodies.

OWL is only taught by teams of background checked adults who have completed training offered jointly by the UUA and UCC. You can find more information about the complete program by visiting this website, and more about our local OWL offerings by emailing Skyla King-Christison at

Coming of Age

Coming of Age is a core UU program that asks participants to explore what it means to become an adult in a Unitarian Universalist context. A lot of cultures have this kind of event in the life of their congregation or community. Close to home, our Jewish neighbors have bat and bar mitzvahs where young people are asked to learn a language and be able to reflect on a text. In other cultures there are walkabouts, solo experiences in the wilderness, or even rounds of combat. In each of these examples, the community is expressing what is important to it. In Judaism, the importance is put on being religiously literate in the language of the Torah. Walkabouts emphasize the importance of survival in nature, while hand to hand combat points toward the importance of defending the group or surviving a conflict.

In our faith, we ask our members to reflect deeply on who they are as spiritual people, to be able to think metaphorically, and to express themselves as soulful, connected beings, capable of experiencing a spiritual passion and transforming that passion into service and dedication to a common good.

Because we aim, as people of faith, to never stop growing and evolving, UUFC doesn’t stop offering the Coming of Age program just because you’ve become an adult. As part of our core programming, we offer Coming of Age every other year, alternating with OWL (Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive sexuality education), each with a cohort of middle schoolers and a separate cohort open to adults ages 18 to 101! Adult Coming of Age is not a children’s program made available to adults. Instead, it’s a program that asks adults to engage with the same themes, but in a small group that is willing to deeply reflect on the personal history that shaped them, where they are in their spiritual development, and where they aim to go next.

For more information about when the next Coming of Age Cycle begins, contact Skyla at

Celebrating Our Scouts!

In case you missed it, Corvallis Scout, Charlie, earned his Love and Help UU Scouting award and chose to celebrate that achievement with us last Sunday during our time for all ages. In addition to receiving his pin in the service, Charlie spent time in the social hall afterward, sharing one of his favorite treats, lemon cupcakes, and the things he recorded in his workbook along the way to this achievement. Thank you to everyone who stopped by Charlie’s table to learn about his efforts! Charlie, we are so proud of you and the learning you’ve done!

If you’re a scout who has been inspired by Charlie and would like more information about earning your UU scouting award, let me know. I’m here to help!