Banned Book Reading Club

A reading club to discuss banned books and share insight as to why they have been banned. For a list of titles, please email Susie. Hosted by Susie Smyth. This is a Connect Up Event: connect@uucorvallis.org

Meets 2nd Wednesdays at 2:00 pm in the UU Library. August 9th and September 13th, 2023.

REMOVAL OF INCENSE CEDAR TREES

Affected areas marked in red.

Sadly, many of the tall cedar trees along the east boundary of UUFC’s property will have to be removed this summer, probably in August. After 4 years of discussion, consulting, and much review the Board of Trustees has approved the removal of 30 trees from our east property line for safety reasons. The removal will start sometime in August, 2023. No oaks or other hardwoods will be removed. This is reduced from the proposed removal of 47 trees that was recommended by Corvallis Arborist LLC in 2022.

Because of the danger of the tall Incense Cedar trees falling on our or our neighbors’ buildings we have had to make the hard decision to remove them. We hired Corvallis Arborist LLC (JonPywell) to evaluate all of the trees on our property and he produced a detailed report in November of 2022.  The bottom line is that he recommended that we remove 47 trees because they are a threat to buildings. The threat is that as the trees get bigger, they are more likely to be blown over by strong winds.  Many are already leaning. The UUFC Board of Directors has reviewed this recommendation and had discussions with many of you and settled on a plan to remove 30 trees that appear to be the most threatening.  This is not something they have done casually.  These trees were planted in 1952 by two of our beloved congregants and have been a valued part of our campus for over 70 years.

We have contracted with a very experienced tree removal contractor, Mid-Valley Woodsmen (Josh Cantrell), who will have to climb each tree and cut small portions from the top and lower them down with ropes.  Josh is very aware of our desire to have as little impact on the remaining trees and vegetation as he can.

Because these trees have to be cut into small segments to get them down safely, we will not be able to sell the wood as sawlogs.  Most of the wood will be chipped and sold to a paper mill or used for landscaping.

Links to documents

YOUTH EVENTS CALENDAR

Mark your calendars for fun! Bring a friend! All youth in grades 6-12 are invited to join us for our monthly events.

Updates to the calendar will always be posted here. Registration links will be sent to all registered youth 2 weeks in advance of the activity. To receive email updates, please register for YRUU here.

Please contact Director of Religious Exploration, Skyla King-Christison, for more information on this or any other UUFC program for children and youth.

Between Us (July 2023)

My friends – all you who are members and friends of the UUFC – I’m thinking of you today. This is not a special day, not a holiday, but I’m thinking of you.  Because you, like me, are alive in this world, and there are so many challenges in this living.  There is beauty, and love and insight and compassion.  And there are so many challenges.

I’m reflecting on things I learned at the UUA General Assembly, and on the old understandings of the 4th of July which are outdated, and on the fact of how much danger some people are in from war, and politics, and other people.  And on the facts of climate change and the chaos and the realities of how the changes are affecting us all. 

In the summer months, I always try to spend more time in reflection – on the state of the world, on the state of the congregation, on the state of my energies, and on the needs among us that we call ministry.  I am greatly buoyed at the moment by the upwelling of new and needed relationships, ideas, and goals within the Fellowship.  I am heartened by movements within our UUA – toward more inclusiveness, and more acknowledgement of inequality.  I am inspired by visions of a future which build on the past, but keep us moving forward. 

In these summer months I invite you to reflect as well.  Reflect on how you are related to the Fellowship – to people and programs and visions.  Reflect on where you are uncomfortable – which may be just where you are ready to learn more.  Reflect on how you can add to the store of wisdom and compassion and strength among us.  And most of all – keep coming, keep connecting, keep meeting people, and keep learning.  This committed community which we share is a precious resource, which depends upon, and helps, all of us.   Jill

Women’s Retreat 2023: Save the Date (updated)

The UUFC Women’s Retreat 2023 Planning Team asks that you Save The Date of October 13-14 for our upcoming Fall retreat at the UUFC building. Attendees need only identify as women in a way that’s significant to them. Our theme this year is “Mindful Compassion” and our keynote speaker is Jana Svoboda. We will share lunch and dinner on Saturday, and there will be three workshop hours for smaller interactive sessions. 

We look forward to being together again as a sisterhood!

Amy Ayers, Priscilla Galasso, Kris Egan, Ann Marchant, Joyce Marvel-Benoist, Kimi Mayo, Bonnie Morihara, Sharon Seabrook, and Heather Thomas. 

Email: womensretreat@uucorvallis.org

Faith-based Climate Action 7/8/23

Good News

Climate-Action Opportunities

Of Note

Save the Date

Good News

Weekly Serving of Good News

Good news is a powerful motivator for action, &  there‘s lots of  good news  about climate mitigation, adaptation/resilience, and justice. Here’s a sample…

Sat 8 Jul

EPA Announces $278 Million Funding to Improve Drinking Water for Tribes

The Cascading Effects of Bringing Back Sea Otters

How solar and wind energy are saving Texans from a record heatwave

China on course to hit wind and solar power target five years ahead of time

USDA Investing Half-Billion to Increase Domestic Biofuel Availability

The Potential of Algae Biofuel in Transforming the Transportation Sector

From Waste to Wealth: Transforming Biomass into Biofuels through Biochemical Conversion

Waves of Change: How Tidal Power is Shaping Renewable Energy 

Net-zero emissions target for ocean shipping to be moved up to 2050

Volvo Switch To Renewable Fuels, Cuts Emissions 84%

Government of Ireland publishes Policy Statement on Geothermal for a Circular Economy

CEE and Goldbeck commission 154MW solar plant in Germany

Sun City Installs R16-Million Solar Plant To Reduce Grid Dependency

This vertical-axis floating wind turbine maker just got its first commercial order

N.J.’s first offshore wind farm gets final key federal approval

Compiled stories 

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Climate Action Opportunities

To help assess the engagement of UUFC members and friends in faith-based climate action and to encourage such action, please anonymously  <Share> the number of the actions below you take this week. Optionally, you may  anonymously also share other recent climate action. 

Sat 8 Jul

Sierra Club: Protect Old-Growth and Mature Forests

The US Forest Service (USFS) has just initiated a process to evaluate how we conserve our forests. This announcement kicks off a 60-day comment period for the public to provide input on how to shape a future federal regulation to make forests more resilient.  Tell USFS to protect mature & old-growth forests!

Sierra Club: Stop Salmon Extinction

The Sierra Club, together with nine other NGOs, are plaintiffs represented by Earthjustice and have challenged the inadequate, illegal, and failed salmon “recovery” plans developed by the federal agencies (Bonneville Power Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation). Other plaintiffs are the Nez Perce Tribe and the State of Oregon. The courts have ruled five times against the federal agencies, rejecting their status quo salmon plans. We again challenged the Trump administration salmon plan (Biological Opinion) that was issued in September 2020.  The plaintiffs reached agreement with the Biden Administration to pause the litigation and work to develop a comprehensive plan for the Columbia Basin, meet treaty rights for the Tribes and recover Snake River salmon.  Your comments are critically important during this timeframe. Submit an Official Public Comment Urging Federal Action to Stop Salmon Extinction.

UUs for Social Justice: End hunger, expand food access, and address climate resilience

The 2023 Farm Bill is a critical opportunity to improve food security and nutrition for people and promote climate resilience in the U.S. and across the world. As Congress begins working on this important legislation, we must urge them to prioritize the needs of our communities and the climate, not corporate profit margins. Petition Congress

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Of Note

Sat 8 Jul

Sierra Club

Article: Senators Wyden and Merkley Introduce Legislation Creating Wilderness in the Magnificent Owyhee Canyonlands

UUs for Social Justice

UUA Business Resolution For Divestment Fails. The proponents of the business resolution “Complete Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry and Subsequent Reparations” reminded UUs that the work of fossil fuel divestment has not yet been completed within our denomination. The resolution was a victory in raising the awareness that a young, queer, multiracial collective–reflecting an influx of younger and non-white members–feels called to see the UUA fully divest from fossil fuels.The resolution was voted down by roughly 68% of delegates after strong statements of opposition from the UUA (read the UUA position). After the vote, the UUA made pledges to work on the matter.

Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Energy Action Team

SHIFT TOGETHER: HOME RETROFIT CLINIC

SHIFT TOGETHER: HOME RETROFIT CLINIC

Mon, Wed, or Fri. 1:00 – 3:00 PM or 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  You choose!

Take action as part of the Sustainability Coalition’s newest initiative to rein in climate change – Shift Together!  Nancy Evenson, a retired architect, offers free home retrofit clinics to help you move along the path toward increased energy efficiency.  Nancy will analyze your home’s current use of energy and help you identify the most important upgrades and the financial incentives that help you get there. Gather 3 or 4 households together (yours and 2-3 others) to arrange a date and time to come to Nancy’s home for a 2-hour session.  Contact: retrofit@evensonarchitecture.com

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Save the Date

Sat 8 Jul

Sun 16 Jul, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Avery Park (exact location TBD)

Whole Food Plant-based Picnic Potluck & Lawn Games: We are vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores attempting to eat and/or learn more about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet.  First time attendees do not need to bring a dish.  Bring your favorite lawn game. RSVP for more details about this monthly potluck; usually the 3rd Sun. 

Contact: 541-908-0864 or wfpbcorvallis@gmail.com

Sponsor: Corvallis Whole Food Plant-Based Support

Thu 27 July 7:00 – 8:00 PM <Zoom>

Share and Discuss Climate Action Stories: The Climate Action Team invites UUFC members and friends to share and discuss actions we are taking to reduce our personal carbon emissions and to influence local, state, and nation policy and legislation. Questions: michael.a.hughes1951@gmail.com

Mon 31 Jul, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Franklin Square Park 

(Between 15th and 16th Streets, and Polk and Taylor Avenues)

Home Energy Fair – Funding & Support for Everyone: This festive event is a great opportunity for both homeowners and renters who want to save money by lowering their monthly utility bills. Fair exhibitors will help attendees find out about state and federal money that’s available now to make homes more energy efficient. Cool off with your friends and neighbors at one of our community’s loveliest parks to enjoy snacks and conversations with nonprofits and businesses who will be there to support you. Sponsors: Jobs Addition Neighborhood Association (JANA) and Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Energy Action Team. 

Contact: greenstevens@gmail.com

Mon 7 Aug, 6:30 – 7:30 PM, In person, UUFC social hall, or <Zoom>

Home Retrofit Clinic: The Climate Action Team invites UUFC members and friends to participate in a Home Retrofit Clinic, presented by Nancy Everson, that will focus on the benefits, logistics, and incentives available for switching from fossil (aka natural) gas to electricity for heating, cooling, cooking, and water heating. 

Questions: michael.a.hughes1951@gmail.com

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Youth Programs (grades 7-12)

Due to summer scheduling and the building closures for remodeling, youth group is temporarily unavailable. We have set up a Soul Work shelf in the sanctuary with lots of quiet activities for all ages to engage with during the service. If you have questions, please contact Skyla (dre@uucorvallis.org).

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our youth programs are designed to prioritize the immediate needs of the youth above the regularly scheduled programming, recognizing that these can be turbulent and fruitful years with a high degree of need for compassionate mentoring and social support.

Our formal programming aims to help participants notice their experiences with the sacred, clarify their own personal values while learning what it means to be Unitarian Universalist, and gain practice expressing their own religious convictions through action towards a better world.

It is our goal that these aims be accomplished through adult/youth partnerships rather than direct teaching, so as capacities develop in our youth for leadership, space is made for a greater portion of our time together to be directed by youth, while adults lean into a mentoring and advisory role.

Check our what to expect in YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) below!

HOW TO REGISTER

Before the service, we ask that parents register their children for YRUU. You can do this by visiting the tree stump in the classroom wing and tapping on “YRUU Registration,” or by using this link. Registering helps us create the safest possible learning experience for your child!

While youth are permitted to check themselves in and out of YRUU, we ask that you and your children be aware that we do not permit teens to linger unsupervised in the classroom wing. This provides a layer of safety for both our children and adults, and helps us ensure that our youth are an integrated part of our larger congregational community. Thank you for your support in this area.

WHERE TO GO AND WHEN

Youth should obtain a nametag, just like their parents, either at the welcome desk or from the nametag racks, depending on how long you’ve been attending.

Youth begin with their families in the sanctuary for shared worship. It is important to us that our youth know that they are part of a larger community than just what takes place in the classroom wing. We want them to know and be known by all the members of the Fellowship, and understand their importance and place in our community.

After the time for all ages, the congregation will sing Go Now Children, and a Spirit Play guide with the sign you see to the left will lead the children to the classroom wing. Youth will follow in that general direction and split off to meet their advisors in room 7.

THE EXPERIENCE

When youth arrive in room 7, we will always start with a chalice lighting and brief check-in about how things are going in life, to help get centered in a spirit of community and worship. If appropriate, we move into the lesson for the day. After the session, we’ll have some closing words, extinguish the chalice, and youth are invited to join the wider congregation in the social hall. Light snacks are provided during the session, and donations for the cause of the month are accepted in the social hall after services.

For the 2023/24 Fellowship year, we will be adapting the UUA’s Tapestry of Faith Programming, Heeding the Call: Qualities of a Justicemaker. Each month, the group will explore a different spiritual calling, such as the call to awareness or the call t compassion. These callings will be explored through stories, hands on activities, discussion, and “faith in action” tasks that invite the youth to apply what they’ve learned to the context of our congregation.

in the 2024/25 Fellowship year, we will be using the Harvard Justice Course, an introduction to moral and political philosophy. It explores classical and contemporary theories of justice, and applies these theories to contemporary legal and political controversies. We will be weaving in events and prominent figures in UU history, examining our our religious heritage with a critical eye toward justice.

SPECIAL EVENTS

In an effort to provide more spaced for young UUs to deepen their connections with one another and between communities, we provide a monthly special event for youth. Often, neighboring communities are invited to join, or we travel to them to ensure that our teens are getting experiences beyond our local congregation. You can check out the most current YOUTH EVENTS CALENDAR HERE. Types of events that you can expect include the fall trip to the corn maze, the spring youth coast retreat, and a summer outdoor movie and camping on the lawn. All youth are welcome to join.

Annual Middle School Programming

Every year we offer a special 6 week series of programming specifically for 7th and 8th graders. We alternate between our Coming of Age program and our OWL (Our Whole Lives, comprehensive sexuality education ) program. Both of the programs are central to our UU tradition and community building, and we encourage everyone to take them in the middle school years. These programs are also generally well attended by non Fellowship youth. Space is limited, with priority registration given to member families.

Please send any questions about our children’s and youth programs to Director of Religious Exploration, Skyla King-Christison at dre@uucorvallis.org

Adult RE

This year, our adult religious exploration programs are aimed at helping participants connect with our spiritual center and fine-tune the skills we already possess to help each of us confidently engage with the work of building a new way. We offer programs and events across the year, and we support participants in transforming their skills into learning opportunities for our wider community. Have an offering? Let’s chat!

You can find all of our workshop series, as well as one-time events, in the main Fellowship calendar linked in the “Calendars” tab at the top of this site. We very much appreciate you taking the time to pre-register so that we can arrive well-prepared to provide you with the best RE experience possible.

A few upcoming offerings for adults include:

Spiritual Practices, Part 2

UUA Common Read

Elevator Speeches Workshop

For a sense of our flavor or Religious Exploration for adults, you can check out our past RE event listings here!

Every other year, we alternate between our two core programs that we believe every adult should take at least once. These are the Coming of Age Program and OWL (Our Whole Lives, comprehensive sexuality education) for adults. We are currently in a Coming of Age year. To be added to the mailing list for when we offer OWL again, email Skyla King-Christison at dre@uucorvallis.org.

Spirit Play (grades k-6)

Due to summer scheduling and the building closures for remodeling, children’s classes are temporarily unavailable. We have set up a Soul Work shelf in the sanctuary with lots of quiet activities for all ages to engage with during the service. If you have questions, or would like to be paired with a willing set of helping hands during the service, please contact Skyla (dre@uucorvallis.org).

Our Philosophy

Spirit Play is based in story and ritual, play and creativity. It gives children the tools to make meaning of their lives and questions such as Who am IWhere did I come from, and What is my purpose, within the container of Unitarian Universalism. We use the Montessori approach with key elements of a prepared classroom environment, child-directed activities, and trained teachers. These elements free the children to choose their own focus after an initial lesson or story within a safe and sacred structure shepherded by two adults.

This style of learning environment encourages independent thinking through wondering questions, offers children real choice within a structure, creates a mixed age community, and develops an underlying sense of spirituality and mystery.

Check out what to expect in Spirit Play below!

Registering for Spirit Play

Before the service, we ask that parents register their children for Spirit Play. You can do this by visiting the tree stump in the classroom wing and tapping on “Spirit Play Registration,” or by using this link. Registering helps us create the safest possible learning experience for your child!

Please do not allow your children to be unsupervised in any of our classroom areas, and please make sure you check out with one of our classroom volunteers before leaving with your child. When a child is not properly checked out, it initiates an emergency search. We also ask that you pickup your child before attending coffee hour so that our volunteers may have plenty of time to engage with their spiritual community as well.

Where To Go, And When

Children should obtain a nametag, just like their parents, either at the welcome desk or from the nametag racks, depending on how long you’ve been attending.

Children begin with their families in the sanctuary for shared worship. It is important to us that our children know that they are part of a larger community than just what takes place in the classroom wing. We want them to know and be known by all the members of the Fellowship, and understand their importance and place in our community.

After the time for all ages, the congregation will sing Go Now Children, and a Spirit Play guide with the sign you see to the left will lead the children to room 6 in the classroom wing for their Spirit Play time.

The Guides

Spirit Play is staffed with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides who have been trained in the Montessori approach to classroom management. This means they allow the children to make choices and even struggle a bit, only offering help when it is requested or safety is a concern.

Our guides model the values of curiosity and joy, as they share stories and answer questions. They seek to create a calm and engaging environment that is conducive to exploration and community building.

The Experience

The Spirit Play classroom is a highly prepared environment. Children arrive and sit on the rug for a chalice lighting and a shared story with a basket of physical supporting elements to help bring the story to life. After a shared discussion about the story, which is designed to highlight one of our UU principles or central figures, the children are invited into “work time.”

During work time, children can select their own activity from the prepared trays and activity spaces around the room. They may choose to work alone or form a collaborative group to build, paint, write stories, read books, or investigate our natural world with science trays. It is not uncommon to find the whole room silent, as children are deeply invested in their chosen project. Other days, though, you’ll find a raucous explosion of enthusiastic sharing.

When the weather is right, or the children are squirmy, we occasionally end our time together on the playground. When we do, you’ll find the sign to the right on the door of the Spirit Play classroom. To check your child out from the playground, please pass through the classroom find the two exit doors. The door on the left of this pair will take you to the playground. The door to the right will take you to the parking lot. Again, please make sure that a Guide knows you are taking your child.

Please send any questions about our children’s and youth programs to Director of Religious Exploration, Skyla King-Christison at dre@uucorvallis.org

Nursery Care

Due to summer scheduling and the building closures for remodeling, nursery care is temporarily unavailable. Families with infants and toddlers are welcome to stay together during the service and an area of the gallery in the sanctuary has been made comfortable for napping, playing, and nursery. If you have questions, or would like to be paired up with a willing set of helping hands during the service, please contact Skyla (dre@uucorvallis.org).

OUR PHILOSOPHY

The nursery. located in room 4 of the classroom wing, is a space where our youngest members can build the foundational trust and sense of community necessary to flourish as spiritual and emotional beings at UUFC and beyond. Our nursery care providers follow the child’s lead, model and encourage sharing and good citizenship, and prioritize having fun!

We know that attachment styles vary widely from family to family and child to child, so parents are always welcome to stay in the nursery to help their child become acclimated. We encourage parents to share their own preferences around things like how long to let their child cry for them before calling them out of the sanctuary and best methods of soothing during those initial trust-building days. We’re here to make this as comfortable and positive a transition as possible for our tiny friends!

Below is a little look at what you can expect in the nursery at UUFC!

REGISTERING FOR NURSERY CARE

Before dropping your child off for the first time, we ask that you register them for the nursery. You can do this by stopping at the tree stump in the classroom wing and clicking “Nursery Registration” on the iPad, or register in advance with this link. This allows us to provide the safest possible experience and to contact you if you are needed during the service. Once registered, our nursery care team will be able to check your child in on their phone whenever you drop off.

Please do not leave your child unattended in the nursery when no childcare provider is present, or take them without checking out with a nursery care provider. We also ask that you pickup your child before attending coffee hour in the social hall so that our caregivers can have time with their spiritual community as well.

THE NURSERY TEAM

The nursery is staffed with a combination of paid childcare providers and fully background-checked volunteers from our Grandfolks Squad who are eager to provide a caring and uplifting environment for our smallest members.

THE PHYSICAL SPACE

From building to cooking, driving to climbing, there’s something to spark any imagination in our nursery! Our space is thoughtfully prepared with diverse, non-biased books, toys, and puzzles that encourage creativity, curiosity, and self-exploration. There is always water available in the nursery, and children can bring their own snack , if desired, but because allergies are still being identified at this age, we do not provide snacks or allow snack sharing in the nursery.

For everyone’s safety, we ask that parents take care of their child’s diapering and potty training needs. A changing station and diaper pail are provided in the bathroom beside the nursery, and parents are welcome to use the changing pad stored in the nursery if there is a need while that bathroom is occupied.

Grandfolks Squad for Event Chilcare

When parents of young children wish to attend UUFC events other than the Sunday service, they can request childcare from the Grandfolks Squad by filling out this request form. Every effort will be made to arrange for a team of Grandfolks to care for your child, free of charge, while you attend a UUFC sponsored event. Please note, Grandfolks are not available for non Fellowship gatherings.

As mentioned above, grandfolks are volunteers who are background checked and serve in teams of two, in accordance with our safe congregation policies.