Category: Community

03/29/2020: Spiritual Journey to Peru

March 29 – April 8, 2020

Come with us to the “Womb of the earth” in the highlands of Peru and experience one of the most spiritual places I have ever been to: Machu Picchu. Our journey will be filled with comfortable places to stay, Shamanic conversations, lovely food, water blessings at an old Inca spring, beautiful natural vistas, and reflections while sitting on a mountain top. We will learn about the culture, food, and history as we try to imagine what these things mean for us.

Tour Cost (per person): US$4695 Including taxes and gratuities Single Supplement: US$995 We would be happy to try to match you with a suitable roommate. If we are unable to do so, the single supplement will apply and will be collected with balance payment at 90 days prior to departure. Group Size: 14 – 18 participants

How to Book:
Please contact the Worldwide Quest office for more information and to secure your booking. 1-800-387-1483 | 416-633-5666 | travel@worldwidequest.com

02/01/2020 Join us for KUUF’s 70th Birthday Party & Stewardship Kick-Off from 5-8 pm

Fun & Frolic is hosting this intergenerational evening of celebration to include a potluck dinner and treasure hunt. Birthday cake and ice cream, sparkling wine & cider, coffee, and tea will be provided. Please RSVP ASAP and bring an appetizer, salad, veggie or main dish. Childcare available if requested, but children 3 and older welcome to attend.  Everyone is welcome — this is a festive event and party hats and attire are encouraged!!!

The theme for the evening and stewardship campaign is “Shining Our Light Together” and we will be highlighting the past & present to light our FUTURE.

If any questions, please contact Ginny Sugimoto at 360-620-7537 or sugige1@gmail.com.

12/29/2019: Help Congress Help Homeless With Renters Credits

The Olympian’s Christmas Eve edition asks “Is Congress doing enough to help homeless in Thurston County?” emphasizing struggles within the “unsheltered” population even with some community progress. While Thurston County is to be commended for its successes, the 31 percent rise of average rents in the last 10 years might be a huge thorn that needs clipping for those caught in the downside of our housing situation.

The Olympian speaks to providing political pressure at the federal level in response to what we see daily about our community. Let’s consider financial resources by addressing the increased rent burden and how to insulate the most vulnerable from evictions, one of the major paths into homelessness.

A renters’ tax credit could help address the affordable housing crisis by capping the out-of-pocket rent and utility expenses a low-income household would pay at around 30 percent of their income. The credit would cover any excess above that up to 100 percent of the community’s “Fair Market Rent.” Researchers at Columbia University estimate that a renters’ credit could lift over 9 million Americans above the poverty line. There have been bipartisan proposals to create a renters’ credit and to appropriately address the rights of landlords.

Adequate housing is as complicated as finding solutions. A renters’ tax credit can be part of the solutions. Political pressure comes from our using not only our vote, but expressing hopes and possibilities to our elected representatives. Let’s use our personal power during this dark time of the year.

Nancy Curtiss, Olympia

01/18/2020: MLK Non-violent Vigil

The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action invites you to celebrate the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy of nonviolent resistance to racism, poverty, and war. Join us at Ground Zero Center, 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo WA 98370, on Saturday, January 18, at noon for a potluck, followed at 1:00 PM by a brief vigil (no arrests) at the Main Gate of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in honor of the late Dr. King. The action ends around 2:30.

This is a wonderful opportunity to honor Dr. King’s nonviolent legacy. Bring something to share at the potluck. We will provide signs and banners that we will bring to the vigil. It is a 10-15 minute walk to the gate. Transportation will be available for those needing assistance.

Webpage: https://www.gzcenter.org/event/mlk-vigil-at-bangor-trident-base-2/

Questions? contact Mack Johnson or email info@gzcenter.org.

01/17/2020: Enl!ghten- Kitsap Community Forum

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau — as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. Join the Conversation. Share your reflections about International Holocaust Remembrance Day on social media using #WeRemember.

Our speaker Matthew Erlich, who comes to us through the Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity, Recounts the remarkable story of his mother’s survival of the Holocaust.

Friday, January 17, 2020, 6 to 8:30 PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
700 Callahan Drive Bremerton
Donation at the Door

Enl!ghten is proud to be a new partner with Kitsap Regional Library System

To register and information, visit our website: www.enlightenKitsap.org

01/06/2020: Let’s not ignore the inconvenient issues

If history were only this day and the world were only my house, I think I would agree with Pete Brady (“Economic answers for Trump’s popularity,” letters, Dec.31) about the greatness of these times.  

Like him, many of us don’t like to think of increasing national debt and homelessness, dirty oceans and melting ice, bombs, food insecurity and locally undereducated children.

We want someone else to take care of those problems. Maybe my granddaughter. She’s three.

Jill Clarridge, Bremerton 

01/05/2020: Truth Quest Book Group

The Truth Quest Book Group will be meeting on Sunday, January 5th, 9:30 am-10:30 am in the KUUF Library when we will be discussing the book,  God Virus, How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, by Darrel Ray.  As usual, you are invited to come and listen or participate to your comfort level – Jerry Butler, 360-981-8826

Amazon|Goodreads

01/01/2020: West Sound Climate Action 01/20 Events and Meetings

January 2020 Events and Meetings

Our first meeting of the new year will be on Monday, January 6th in the Admin Room at 5:30 PM.  We will be making plans for a forum and other actions we can take.

On Friday, January 24 we are showing the movie “Cowspiracy” at 5:30 in the Admin Rm.  Rose Christen will be leading a discussion after the movie. 

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, and pollution is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

RoseChristen is a 23-year-old, Physical Therapy Doctorate student who has been researching and practicing how to support climate justice in her everyday life.  She and her mother, Marcia Christen are both passionate about caring for the planet by being aware of what we eat and buy. They are excited to share this documentary to support awareness of the things we can do now in our everyday lives to care for the precious biosphere.

We hope you can join us to learn more about ways to take action on climate.

12/19/2020: Great news for working parents in 2020

Preparing for a newborn should be exciting. But for my family, that joy was tempered by stress and financial uncertainty, because I did not have adequate paid leave. My employer could only offer six weeks at about half my normal pay. As an early childhood professional, I knew the science about the importance of parents being there during a baby’s first months and wanted to bond with my daughter. My husband and I saved as much as possible so I could take 12 additional weeks unpaid.

Those weeks were incredibly difficult. We struggled to cover expenses – and emergencies were a nightmare. Our car broke down, leaving us dependent on family for transportation. My brother’s family lived with us. And when our dryer broke, none of us could afford to fix it.

No family should be pushed into a financial crisis because they need time to recover from birth and bond with a newborn. That’s why I’m so excited about Washington’s new paid leave program, which will help give families the security they deserve.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, Washington workers who accrued 820 hours in the past year will qualify for up to 16 weeks of combined paid family and medical leave each year to bond with a new child or take care of themselves or a loved one with a serious illness. Payroll premiums for the program began last January, with the average working person contributing just $2 a week. Learn more about this new program!

Cristyn Kelly is a graduate student, a mom, and a member of MomsRising. She lives in Bremerton

12/15/2019: Climate isn’t just business as usual

COP 25, the United Nations climate conference, ended on Friday. How many people even know what COP stands for or what it is trying to do? Our climate is collapsing yet only a few people talk about it, or realize what a tragedy is happening.

Instead, business continues as usual. We approve natural gas projects like the liquid natural gas plant on the Tacoma tidelands. We continue to build natural gas lines to homes. And yes, we continue to buy gas-guzzling cars. There are good, affordable alternatives to fossil fuels. We must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Think of all the jobs that we will need to transition to clean energy — jobs in wind, solar, microgrids, and electric rail. We can do this. We just have to start before all the tipping points take us into a future that is unrecognizable.

Marty Bishop, Port Orchard and member of 350 West Sound Climate Action

12/10/2019: Minister’s note

Holiday Blessings!

Midwinter is such a magical time of year. In the northern hemisphere, it is the season of the winter solstice. The days leading up to Christmas, what Christians call Advent, is traditionally a time of prayer and fasting. In Judaism, this is celebrated as Hanukkah, when miraculously the menorah lights in the sacred temple remained lit for eight days and nights. And for pagans, Yule is a time to celebrate the return of the light and literally sing the world once again into creation. All of these traditions speak to the importance of having faith during uncertainty and preparing for the blessing that is coming, even if a part of you fears it may never come.

Each year this is our opportunity to let faith become a spiritual practice. As Unitarian Universalists working for justice, it can be difficult to keep the faith these days. But the miracles of the season—the birth of a baby, the lights of the menorah, the returning of the sun—remind us that miracles happen every day. And when we gather together to witness to them, we build a more resilient community. The awe that we feel when we pause and honor our lives in this way will sustain us in the months ahead.

Because on the heels of this season is the turning of the year itself, in the secular calendar, and we welcome the new. This time we are welcoming an entirely new decade. The 2020s! This is definitely worth a pause. Some of us probably wondered if KUUF would see this decade. And here we are, still together, gathered in this community and going strong. In fact, we are growing!

I hope you take some time this holiday season to honor all that has been and all that is to come. KUUF is entering this decade with renewed vitality, and this is due to those who had faith during a time of darkness. And as we witnessed at our Christmas pageant this month, babies continue to be born, lights continue to be lit, and the sun rises once again.

May your celebrations be blessed. And may you ring in the new year with hope in your heart, knowing you are surrounded by this loving, beloved community of kindred souls.

Rev. Jessica

12/08/2019: Response wasn’t suitable as a counterpoint

In Brett Thovson’s response to Reverend Jessica Rockers (Letters, Nov. 19) I saw nothing more than fear-mongering and slander.

According to his letter, Rev. Rockers said: “she admits her view is based on the law enforcement ‘machine’ and not on the individual.” She was actually was speaking about the structures that were built on racist legislation long before slaves were free and the average person’s view of racial stereotypes. That is very clear to anybody with a reading level suited to an adult.

That said, is it really okay for The Sun to have published him comparing her to child abusers? Do they consider slander a true opinion or is it suddenly okay to print Ad hominem attacks against people? Not to mention the people who are trying to better the world by making us all think about the history of racism and how it affects decisions made by the police, judges, and jury to this very day?

I say the answer is no. It is not okay in the slightest and is dangerous to Rev. Rockers, her family, and the congregation that she preaches to. The Sun as a whole should be ashamed for printing that attack against Rev. Rockers.

Joey Witherspoon, Bremerton 

12/08/2019: Quit making cuts just to benefit the rich

Welfare for the very rich at the expense of struggling families must stop. (“Program for food stamps tighten” Dec. 5) About 3.1 million people would lose SNAP eligibility (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps).

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture itself has admitted its reforms would cost almost half a million children their free school lunches since eligibility is often determined by a household receipt of food stamps.

Meanwhile, with the help of tax loopholes instigated by the rich and powerful, more than half of all U.S. income growth has gone to the top 1% since 1976.

And because of the 2017 tax law, the richest 1% of households (making $1.8 million per year) receive on average about $47,000 in annual tax cuts, while those with the lowest income (making $13,000 annually) receive on average $90. (taxallianceforeconomicmobility.org) This makes our growing wealth gap much worse.

Consider:

– The majority of the people who receive SNAP are children, the elderly or people who struggle with a disability. Government statistics show that the average monthly benefit per person is $135 a month.

– Economists at Moody’s Analytics estimate that every $1 in SNAP payments generates $1.70 in local and regional economic activity.

– Here in Kitsap County about 13.1% of our children are living below the poverty line. (data.census.gov) They deserve better.

We can tell Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer to reject these new changes. 

Donna Munro, Bremerton

12/06/2019: Human Rights Conference Commentary

I was impressed by presenters who were formerly incarcerated and then are working to dismantle mass incarceration. I am familiar with a leader of Mothers for Police Accountability and DADS (Divine Alternatives for Dads Services) which help people incarcerated to be good fathers. But I have never heard people incarcerated themselves teach Social Justice advocacy to others.

-Hiroko Spees.

I attended Eternos Indocumentados: Root Causes of Forced Migration from Central America to PNW, a 90-minute documentary examining the U.S. corporations, policies, and militarization of the local police which is causing the continuing migration from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Presented by the International Migrants’ Alliance (IMA), this film is an analysis from the migrants’ point of view and exposes the U.S. policies that cause and condone the inhumane treatment in our detention centers of immigrants seeking asylum. The film is available for home screening at www.eternosindocumentados.com for a donation of $5.00. This is an excellent documentary and definitely deserves strong consideration for a revived, KUUF, Second Friday Film Series. 

-Gail Davis

I had signed up for the Human Rights Conference and I am so pleased I did. I attended two sessions about the systematic socialization of racism in this country. I was the first person of color in the sixties to attend an all-white school in the south. Needless to say, it was a very painful and lonely time for me. I was surprised to hear it was still so prevalent. Attending this conference confirmed there is still a lot of work to do.  

Verneda Byron  

Bonner concurs w/ what others have already stated but adds “I was somehow simultaneously shocked and not shocked to learn how pervasive human trafficking is not only in Washington state but here in Kitsap County.  Its local prevalence was shared by a Scarlet Road administrator and perhaps could be included in future SJC [KUUF Social Justice Committee] endeavors?”

Bonner Sams

Sheelan Abdulla shared her personal story of surviving oppression, refugee camps and immigration to America. She explained why the Kurdish people deserve a homeland, based on the universal right to speak one’s language and exist as a culture. I admire Sheelan’s activism with many causes here in Bremerton. When asked why she supports religious diversity, human rights, and democratic values, she eloquently quoted the Koran about the divinity that can be found in all people. Sheelan both informed and inspired me with her break out session.

Phil Davis

Peter and I attended the Human Rights Conference.  We were both impressed with the quality of the workshops that were provided.  We have new insights into our community and the resources that are available.  Also, we realize the needs that many of these groups have to continue their missions.  I am proud of our Social Justice Committee’s monetary support given to this Conference. 

Peter and Robin Kreidler

Yes, it was a very good conference.  The concluding panel discussion [Community Leadership at the Center of Human Rights and Policing] was probably the high point but the other sessions were excellent as well.

Alan Newberg

The discussion Alan refers to was taped and will be aired on BKAT television, as well as eventually be posted here:

https://www.kitsapgov.com/BOC_p/Pages/Council-for-Human-Rights.aspx

The annual conference and the Youth Rally for Human Rights in March are presented by the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights. Two KUUF members serve on the Council: Judy Arbogast and Marcie Mathis, with Marcie serving as chair.

The Social Justice Committee was a sponsor and provided two scholarships for KUUF members to attend. At our table, we handed out 20 KUUF buttons and distributed leaflets about our local church and national UU organization.

Interested KUUF members should circle the date of December 11, 2020. The annual conference is usually scheduled for a date near the December 10 anniversary of the United Nations’ 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Olympic College serves as host. The conference offers a unique opportunity to network and informs oneself about social justice issues in Kitsap County.