Category: Community

09/29/2019: Meditating on Mushrooms

How mushrooms have been used in religious experiences. Dr. Tom Cameron, Olympic College Professor Emeritus and former president of the Kitsap Mycological Society, will explore the uses of mushrooms in religious practices and acquaint us with possibilities of foraging in the Pacific Northwest.

09/26/2019: Notes from the Board

As we move into fall, we have so much to make us thankful.

            First of all, after nearly deciding NOT to hold our summer Farmer’s Market this year because of lack of volunteers to staff it, we had a very successful run from May through September.  Last Sunday, in fact, even though the Farmer’s Market was officially finished, a wonderful gardener brought in perfect homegrown tomatoes, with a sign marking them as FREE.  Well, despite the sign, several members still contributed money

Altogether, the Farmer’s Market raised over $1350.00 for our General Fund.  Special thanks go out to Donna Munro, Margo Rhinehart, Kandace McKrabben, Marty Bishop, Ed Looby, and TJ Dominguez for staffing the breezeway after the service, and of course to all who patronized us.  Wasn’t that asparagus wonderful?  The tomatoes?  (You know there are only two things that money can’t buy…true love and homegrown tomatoes!)  I have great hopes that we can do it again next year.  If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact the Board to let us know.  Also, a decade ago we had an active garden next to the Easter Seals building—Nancy-Jo’s Garden.  It has been growing impressive Scotch Broom trees for years, and although it would be a major undertaking to turn it back into an active garden, think of the potential for a community-building restoring this garden could have–for members and the greater community!  Mull that over during the winter, and let us know if you’d like to be part of it.

            Also, deserving thanks is our new Fun and Frolic Committee, who last Saturday held the first of monthly get-togethers to continue building our beloved community.  Nearly 40 people gathered for a potluck dinner, games, and s’mores around the campfire.  People across the spectrum of ages played together, shared food and stories, and had a lovely time.  Special appreciation goes to Jo Walter for leading the games, Jack Peterson for organizing everything on behalf of the Board, and Ginny Sugimoto for chairing the committee.  In the future, committees and Chalice Circles may volunteer to put together a Fun and Frolic event.  The Fun and Frolic Committee will put together October’s, which I’ve heard rumors will have a Halloween theme. (I’m thinking about my family’s costumes already.)  November will be our annual Thanksgiving meal.  Beyond that, the possibilities are endless. Contact Ginny Sugimoto if you have an idea or want to get involved. Watch the Candle for dates and times.

            Still more thanks to everyone who participated in the discussions to clarify the issues surrounding our choice of the new AV system.  There were three meetings in September, first with the Worship Committee and then two after-service small group discussions designed to allow all to listen, learn, and express preferences.  Very special thanks to our Healthy Communications team of Jessica Demick and Marcia Christen for creating a truly inclusive process, which participants appreciated in the true spirit of community.

            Finally, as our Reverend Jessica settles into her role as half-time minister, I want to remind everyone that she is, indeed, only contracted for half-time ministry, 20-25 hours per week.  She has managed to do so much with her allotted time and has approached the Board to ask us for our priorities.  She has visited most Committees and Chalice Circles, and of course, we are always grateful for her presence.   The Board shared with her our confidence in her judgment to decide how best to spend those weekly hours, since, despite her willingness, she cannot do it all. Pastoral care will remain a priority, and of course, her two sermons per month require and deserve significant hours. To accommodate her schedule, the Worship Committee has already changed its meeting time to Tuesdays, when Rev. Jessica is already at the Fellowship.  Likewise, the Board is moving our meeting to the fourth Tuesday of each month, beginning October 22.  We all continue to explore the true meaning of Shared Ministry, which means we all are part of shaping this beloved community.

            In this difficult time of facing issues which often seem insurmountable, I know that gratitude is my key to warding off feelings of despair.  I am so grateful to be part of this community, and it reassures me that our beliefs, hopes, and actions matter.  Thank you all for being part of this community.

            Blessings to all,

            Lisa Johnson, Co-President

09/17/2019: We can help more families find housing

In reply to the Kitsap Sun’s recent story, “Sky-rocketing rental prices show no sign of slowing“: 

America, including Kitsap County, has a housing crisis. Since 1960, renters’ median earnings have gone up 5 percent while rents have risen by 61 percent — and only 37 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. However, because of inadequate funding, only 1 in 4 eligible households can get rental housing assistance.

Stable housing makes our lives and our communities better. It improves job performance and helps our children stay happy, healthy, and safe. Kids do better in school when they have a reliable place to come home to.

Everyone deserves a home. I call on our senators and representatives in Washington to shift tax resources to support a “Renters Tax Credit” for low- and moderate-income families. We must address the affordable housing crisis and end poverty. It is in our power to end this crisis. Will you join in ending homelessness?

Judy Arbogast, Olalla

Link to Kitsap sun page here


If you haven’t already, please note on your calendar that our best party of the year/annual auction fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, November 2, from 5-8 p.m. People are already donating interesting and unique items and events. Ticket sales got off to a great start last Sunday, which prompts me to warn you that ticket sales will be limited this year to the first 100 lucky people to purchase them @ $15.00.  If you can’t attend, please consider purchasing tickets anyway and donating them as scholarship tickets. Watch for Emma/Otto Hines-Brandt and Carolee Effron at the ticket sales table in the foyer. In keeping with the Italian theme of Buona Notte, the focus will be on Italian decorations, food, wine, and entertainment.  A fundraising game or two will be introduced, and you will have an opportunity to support a fun, all-are-welcome weekend at Seabeck Conference Center next summer through the Raise the Paddle event.  For more information on everything from donation questions to how to participate as a volunteer the evening of the event, email or call Ellen Newberg at (360) 692-3981.


Why do KUUF members attend our Fall Auction?

  • To have a good time!  It’s our biggest party of the year.  This year the theme is Italian!
  • To foster fellowship as we work together to produce the auction, and gather that evening to celebrate the joy of belonging to our KUUF Beloved Community.
  • To bring friends as guests who may not yet know that they are UU’s.
  • To enjoy the fabulous professional lip-synching performances by Lennie Bironne, as well as some surprise entertainment.
  • To donate quality treasures that you are ready to pass along for someone else to enjoy, or to donate something fun to do with friends.
  • To eat a tasty buffet dinner, this year including a three sauce spaghetti dinner.  There is also a wine and beer bar and fabulous flavored waters.
  • To support our Raise the Paddle causes.  This year, at the request of our Children’s Religious Education Committee, funds will go toward supporting an intergenerational camp for all at the Seabeck Conference Center.  
  • To find the perfect Christmas or birthday present for someone on your list (maybe even you!).
  • To find a treasure or to obtain a wonderful experience, e.g., a destination vacation venue, a meal in someone’s home, or a fun activity with friends, e.g., a Un Super Bowl Party.
  • To support KUUF.  The auction is budgeted to raise $12,000.00 for our General Fund.  Your support is needed through ticket sales, donations, or purchases.

See you at the Auction on Saturday, November 2, from 5-8 p.m.  Watch for Emma/Otto Hines-Brandt or Carolee Effron in the foyer after worship services—they have tickets for sale @ $15.00.  Childcare is available ( as well as scholarship tickets (  Questions?  Contact Ellen Newberg, 2019 Auction Chair ( or (

09/01/2019: Truth Quest Book Group

The Truth Quest Book Group is taking a “Summer Break” and we will not be meeting on our usual First Sunday time in August.  We will next meet on September 1st, 9:30 am-10:30 am in the KUUF Library.  The book we chose for our September meeting is  Becoming Boddhisattvas: A Guidebook for Compassionate Action (also published under the title, No Time To Lose) by Pema Chodron (previously published as). Jerry Butler, 360-981-8826

08/25/2019: The Beautiful and the Ugly: A Conversation About the Relationship Between Native and Non-Native Peoples

The recent shooting death of Stonechild Cheifstick has surfaced some of the difficult issues that have been part of the Native – Non-native relationship since settlement began. The history is full of trauma, misunderstandings, and false narratives, but there is also a history of community building and mutual support. Heather Purser, a member of the Suquamish tribe and a human rights activist, and Sarah Van Gelder, communications manager for the Suquamish tribe and co-founder of YES! magazine, will speak about both the beautiful and the ugly and look ahead to possibilities after the tragic shooting of Stonechild Cheifstick.

08/08/2019: Free Financial Workshop

When it comes to knocking out debt, there is no such thing as a quick fix.

Reducing your current debt is the first step to rebuilding your credit. It is important to make solid plans on how you going go about doing this.

Becky House from American Financial Solutions a non-profit agency helps clients free themselves from the anxiety and stress of credit, debt, and financial worries.

She will give you some tips on how to take baby steps in reducing your debt.