Category: Get Involved

03/28/2019: 2 Scholarships to UUA General Assembly Sponsored by Endowment Fund

The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be held in Spokane, WA, from June 19 to June 23, 2019. The General Assembly provides not only a wide range of educational offerings but also a great opportunity to join in fellowship with other Unitarian Universalists.

2 scholarships are being sponsored by the Endowment Fund. Each scholarship is worth $1,200.00.
The hope is that individuals who could not afford to go to the General Assembly would be able to go with the assist of these scholarships. The amount offered should cover tuition, housing, and some meals. 

To apply for these scholarships contact Endowment@kuuf.org.   Give a brief statement as to what going to the General Assembly would mean for you. Please submit your request by May 1, 2019.

03/22/2019: March Parish Nurse Update

Hello friends,

I wanted to share some recent experiences and perhaps get some of you thinking.  This past weekend, my husband Kent and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  At one point, during a delicious meal of “bangers and mash,” I swallowed a piece of sausage (banger) the wrong way.  And by swallowed the wrong way, I mean actually that I didn’t swallow it but it became firmly lodged in my airway.  

It’s amazing how fast and yet slow things moved for me in the next few seconds. I coughed and tried to drink water, and then, couldn’t cough. Training took over and I stood up and moved to the edge of the table so that my husband could position himself more easily to help me.  And then when I couldn’t breathe, I used the universal sign for choking, with hands around my throat.  And one-two-three, pop!  Kent, a trained first-responder, performed three textbook perfect abdominal thrusts, cleared my airway, and I gathered myself together to notice a table across from us with several young men clapping and giving Kent the thumbs up.  Apparently, they were all off-duty firefighters. I was fortunate to be in a safe area, with many well-trained people able to help.  

Last week, during a visit with my parents, my father told me of one of his friends who experienced sudden cardiac arrest in an airport.  A bystander (who was an RN), grabbed the automated external defibrillator (AED) off the wall of the airport and performed CPR with automatic defibrillation.  My father’s friend lived and is doing well.  

The summer before we moved to Washington, I went on a “girl’s weekend” with my best friend Maggie, her wife and their two girls. The youngest at that point was only 8 or 9 months old.  While sitting in the living room, surrounded by adults, that little one somehow managed to get a small clear piece of plastic in her mouth.  She turned the classic shades of red, and then blue in rapid succession.  I cleared her airway in another “training over emotions” moment that seemed to take an eternity.  

So my thoughts this month for you are these. Is this, perhaps, a skill you have to offer the world? Have you taken a CPR class in the past, but don’t really remember much anymore?  Are you worried you’ll “do it wrong?” Have you ever helped someone with a medical emergency, or perhaps, like me this weekend, been on the receiving end of some skilled assistance? This knowledge can be a beautiful way to nurture our interdependent web of life. And if you aren’t able physically to perform CPR, can you advocate for others around you to consider receiving training?

Training in CPR includes techniques in clearing airway obstruction, and using an AED; this is priceless knowledge. Here locally there are so many resources for receiving training or refreshing your training. Currently, the Central Kitsap Fire department offers free community CPR classes on the 3rd Thursday of every month. https://www.ckfr.org/information/cpr-classes/

As our fellowship embraces goals around safety, I hope you will please let me know if you would like further information on training in CPR, first-aid, or have any questions.  

Be well,

Jennifer Ingalls, RN
nurse@kuuf.org

03/08/2019: Second Friday Film Series

The Reluctant Radical: Activist Ken Ward Confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change.

Screening starts at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm for snacks and social time. Discussion following the movie. Families are welcome with a kids’ play corner available.

Free Admission.Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 4418 Perry Ave NE Bremerton, WA call 360-377-4724 or email admin@kuuf.org with questions.

03/07/2019: President’s column

Hello everyone! Spring is not exactly in the air yet, but the KUUF calendar is telling me our Annual Congregational Meeting is right around the corner (April 28th). With that in mind, I want to talk to you about some options for a minister this year. 

Our minister, Rev. Jessica Star Rockers, will finish her quarter-time contract with us at the end of April 2019. This has been an exciting time with her. Together, we held our breath while the UUA Fellowship Council approved her for ministry; we signed a contract with her as a quarter-time minister; we participated in her ordination, and we’ve treasured her care for us…bringing us to where we are now. 

The KUUF board and council are considering how to proceed from here. Individually, we all have a vote on how our fellowship is run. Both the board and council share a greater responsibility, in that we consider not just ourselves but the whole congregation. We have a duty to do what is best for the fellowship, which is why I’m sending a Ministerial Services Survey to the congregation. 

What I’m suggesting to you, and the board is considering, is that we hire Rev. Jessica Star Rockers at a half-time position in a two-year contract. There are several reasons for this:
First is Jessica’s ambition to become a permanent Unitarian Universalist minister. For that to happen she needs work as a minister to gain the necessary experience and skills the UUA requires for a permanent minister, and half-time ministry satisfies that requirement. 
Second is we need to show her our commitment if we don’t want her to be looking at other places for employment. 
Third is that our 2018 Five-Year Plan outlines specific goals and development that JSR is uniquely qualified to provide; notably, attracting younger members through social media. 

I am asking everyone to take the ten minutes necessary to complete the Ministerial Services Survey, either through the link Tanesha will provide you, or in person at the fellowship. March and April are very busy months here at KUUF with budget discussions, planning for the coming year, and generally taking care of business. Your part of this work is taking the survey…and participating in discussions with the board and committees to, as they say, “walk the talk.” 

Thank you all for your strong support of KUUF and the many programs and opportunities offered here, none of which would be possible without your commitment and participation. We are KUUF.

Eric Harrold
KUUF Board President

02/22/2019: Could KUUF Become a Green Sanctuary Fellowship?

Our Seventh Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are apart.

To live out our seventh principle with integrity suggests that we take steps to ensure that our own spiritual home is consistent with that principle.  We should be committed to making every aspect of congregational life as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (our national denomination) has a Green Sanctuary program that supports UU churches in minimizing their environmental impact.  KUUF has made some progress, over the years, in being consistent with our seventh principle, but we still have a long ways to go. 

The Fellowship Council is seeking two or three volunteers who are willing to co-lead the process for KUUF to become a Green Sanctuary certified congregation.  If this resonates with you, perhaps you are ready to step forward and provide shared leadership to make this long-held goal at KUUF a reality.  If you are, please contact the Council Chair, Lisa Johnson through linezj@wavecable.com

To learn more, goto: https://www.uua.org/environment/sanctuary/becoming

02/20/2019: KUUF BOARD OF TRUSTEES AGENDA

***** EXECUTIVE SESSION – (NONE SCHEDULED) *****

6:30 PM Call to Order:  Eric Harrold, President

Chalice Lighting  (opening blessing)

Check-in

6:45 PM Vote to adopt the Consent Agenda

  • Minutes of the January 17, 2019 board meeting
  • Board Liaison & other reports: Council, Finance, Personnel, etc.

6:50 PM Vote to adopt the Agenda for this meeting

6:55 PM President’s Report: Eric Harrold Review of Fellowship Business

  • I have asked three people to participate in the Matan lease renewal (formal talks to begin July 2019)
  • The board voted online to spend $400 for JSR to conduct Elisabeth’s memorial service – thank you
  • Cost comparison for quarter-time and half-time were given to the Finance Committee

7:00 PM Treasurer’s Report (Mark Sugimoto): Vote to approve.

7:15 PM Board Growth Topic: KUUF – A Democratic Republic?

7:20 PM       *****OLD BUSINESS *****

Congregational Safety Task Force (Lisa Johnson): The Council was scheduled to the Congregational Safety Plan at their February council meeting. Lisa – please update the board with their progress and any approaching training. Discussion.

********************

Board service acknowledgement (Jackie Westwood): The unintended consequence from preparing a story of KUUF’s transition from formal ministerial affiliation to a lay-led format is upsetting those asked about this event. I asked Jackie to postpone further enquires a week after our board meeting. Perhaps our minister could lead us in a Celebration Sunday service in which we thank our leaders from that period during a service. Discussion.

7:40 PM   *****NEW BUSINESS *****

As a matter of policy, is allowing an outside agency to fundraise on KUUF property something we want to do (Terry Mallory): It appears that some amount of funds were collected at KUUF by a group advocating against the deportation policy. Should KUUF allow outside agencies to fundraise on our property? Discussion.

7:50 PM                                                                   ********************

Building and Grounds Committee had an unforeseen expense of approximately $500 for snow removal in the lower parking lot (Eric Harrold): This money should come from the General Fund B&G line item. Since this line has not been overdrawn, the funds can be accounted for in the standard way and a vote by the board to authorize this expenditure is unnecessary. Discussion.

*******************

KUUF 2019 – 2020 budget progress (Mark Sugimoto): Discuss where the budget construction process is in completion and set dates for the KUUF Board budget meeting. Also, discuss the pros and cons of not voting on the budget until the April 17th meeting. Discussion.

                                                                                  *******************

What should our Minister’s contract look like (Eric Harrold): Our minister has brought to light that the UUA requires a certain number of paid hours to obtain status as a permanent UUA minister. She has stated that half-time ministry would achieve that. I would like to explore the possibility of making her contract a two-year contract. Discussion.    

****************

8:25 PM Thank you card recipient nomination(s) for January 2019:  

Conversations with the Board Topics: __________

For the good of the order:

Date of next Board meeting:  March 20, 2019

8:30 p.m. Adjournment

02/08/2019: Second Friday Film Series

This Friday’s film showing has been canceled due to snow predicted for Friday afternoon that will worsen as the day goes on.

Screening starts at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm for snacks and social time. Discussion following the movie. Families are welcome with a kids’ play corner available. Free Admission.

Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 4418 Perry Ave NE Bremerton, WA call 360-377-4724 or email admin@kuuf.org with questions.

The Bail Trap: American Ransom

THE BAIL TRAP: AMERICAN RANSOM

Money bail is one of the main causes of mass incarceration in the United States. Yet, few people know what the money bail system is, let alone how it all works or why we need to do away with it.

That’s why Brave New Films’ has produced a short film compilation about America’s broken bail system: The Bail Trap: American Ransom. This ongoing short-film series includes: Breaking Down Bail – unpacking the myths and the history of bail; Tai’s Story: College or Bail? – a documentary about a young woman and the $100,000 price-tag put on her freedom; Deal with the Devil – a cautionary film about the dangers of plea deals; How Much is Your Freedom Worth? – a compilation of spoken-word poetry performed by artists who have been formerly incarcerated; and Lessons for the Nation: New Jersey’s Cash Bail Overhaul – a success story about New Jersey’s historic money bail reform which has led to a near 20% decline in the state’s pretrial incarceration rate.

The reality is that 70% of people in jail are there for one reason: living in poverty. Low-income Americans are sitting in jails for days, months, and even years simply because they can’t afford to pay high bail amounts. All the while, private companies are profiting in the billions each year. This must end. Sign up below to screen any portion or all of The Bail Trap: American Ransom in your education communities.

Together, let’s take action against money bail and help end mass incarceration!

02/07/2019: President’s Column

Happy February everyone. The days are getting longer and our future is certainly looking bright! We are entering the time of year when KUUF builds the budget for the next church year (May 2019 – April 2020). Seems crazy to be writing 2020 already! The Stewardship Campaign is the program that asks each of us to make a monetary pledge which, when combined with all other members’ pledges, will fund KUUF operations throughout the next year. The numbers I’m showing below come from the 2018 – 2019 proposed budget and are only approximations.

What is my pledge used for?

  • About 61.5% of last year’s pledges supported our staff and administrative expenses. We have two paid administrative positions; one paid position for Director of Religious Education;, two paid positions supporting our music program;, and several childcare positions ensuring our children’s well-being.
  • About 23% was dedicated to maintaining our lower buildings and campus.
  • About 16% was used for program expenses. The majority of that allowed the Worship Committee to provide the amazing guest ministers and speakers we enjoy on Sundays.  
  • About 7.5% went to the UUA and the PWR to support their efforts in promoting UU values nationally and regionally. You may know our regional representative Tandi Rogers. She and the region’s compensation consultant were an important resource during contract negotiations with our minister – Rev. Jessica Star Rockers.  

That’s 108% of our pledges used for the stated purposes. How is that possible? Our total member-generated income is the sum of our pledging and fundraising events throughout the year. Additionally, we earn some money from administrative services provided, as well as, for the last several years, revenue from leasing the Matan Building.  

You’ll see that the cost of our quarter-time minister is not included above. This is because the funds providing her services were unspent from the previous year’s budget. As there are no guarantees that we will have unspent money after reconciling this year’s budget, the best way to ensure we retain our minister is through our pledges.

If you were to ask me, “Say Eric, I don’t have extra income. Do I have to pledge?” My answer would be, “No, you don’t have to pledge.” But then I would add that my experience has shown me that making a financial commitment, of any amount, may return to you a greater willingness to voice your feelings for how KUUF is doing, both pro or con. I also feel that your ownership, and the likelihood that you will join a committee or program, will be higher. I’m sorry I cannot support that statistically, it’s just my feeling having been both a pledging and non-pledging member. No matter how you contribute, financially or through volunteering, we love you at KUUF.

Thank you all for your continued support. I am looking forward to spending this year with all of you. We are KUUF.

Eric Harrold

KUUF Board President

02/07/2019: Notes from the Minister

The winter must have come in like a lamb because it is definitely going out like a lion. I hope you all have been warm and safe this week, with electricity and heat. Please remember, if you need anything, the Caring Committee and I are just a phone call away. We can connect you with resources and support during difficult times, including inclement weather. So don’t hesitate to reach out in an emergency, by phone or email (included below.) 

I’ve been particularly grateful this week for technology. When the roads in Kitsap Country were too icy for my long drive from Bainbridge to Bremerton, I was able to stay connected and attend meetings over Zoom video conference. Even our Fellowship Council met over Zoom this week. So not only are they a dedicated group of religious leaders, they are also pretty tech savvy! And neither snow nor sleet nor icy roads will keep them from their important work together.

Some of that important work is easy for us to see and name. And some of it is less obvious. The Welcoming Committee has been engaged in several different efforts to increase membership and make guests feel welcome. The Social Justice Committee continues to combat racism in Kitsap County, including being part of a community-wide response against racist leafletting. The Healthy Communications Committee is planning a community building workshop. And the Worship Committee has several multigenerational services planned for this year, so our most important members (the children!) can be a part of the fun of worshipping with us in the community.

I can’t possibly fit all the good work of all the committees into one article. But I encourage you if you’re wondering what your ministry at KUUF might be, come and talk with me. There are so many places to get involved. I’ve been deeply inspired and filled with such hope to witness the fun these committees have, and how much joy they bring to the life of this congregation. 

It’s an exciting time to be a part of KUUF. And I am so grateful to be serving among you. 

Many blessings and stay warm!

Rev. Jessica
360-377-4724 x. 2
minister@kuuf.org

Rev. Jessica Star Rockers

02/01/2019: New Ideas From the Worship Committee

Many of you will remember the process we’ve been through over the last several years to revise how we honor Joys & Sorrows during our KUUF Sunday services.  It was quite a process and continues to be an area of growth and development.

Now the Worship Committee is tackling an even more important element of our Sunday services: how we include and serve children and families in our services.  We have begun to look at ways we could be more inclusive and welcoming to families and especially their children. Some of the reasons include: (adapted from UUA Renaissance Module)

  • Bring new families into KUUF by offering vital, creative, responsible and caring approaches to including children in the life of our church.
  • Give families ways to spend meaningful time with their children that will promote sharing and conversation throughout the week.
  • Intergenerational worship allows for special interaction between older and younger members of our beloved community, building appreciation, trust and love between the generations.  
  • It allows children to experience UU liturgy, values and norms within worship so that they know what they are when they encounter other worship experiences and when they talk to their friends.
  • Children get to experience seeing what adults do when they worship and offers them an example of reverence and respect for worship they can later emulate.
  • Effective intergenerational worship is often one of the most common characteristics shared by our fastest growing churches.
  • Being able to worship in the main worship room in the church – for the entire service – is often an important clue to our younger members as they figure out what our religion is about and how we value them.
  • Intergenerational worship can be fun, memorable and meaningful.

You may have already noticed that we have families and children leading the Chalice Lighting on the last Sunday of each month, using the Children’s Chalice Lighting Words from Mahatma Gandhi.  Look for other changes as the months fly by; we will be trying new things to see how they work!

The Worship Committee held our annual retreat last Saturday and spent a lot of time exploring ideas about how we could better include children in our services.  We don’t have any final answers yet, but we will be trying new ways of experiencing the Children’s Story, music, and multigenerational services. If you have ideas, suggestions, thoughts or concerns about this evolving process, please feel free to share them with a member of the Worship Committee, send them to Worship@kuuf.org, or call Beth Wilson, Chair of the Worship Committee at (253) 857-5234 (home land line).  We value your feedback and rely upon your response and support. We are excited to be helping KUUF grow in this way!

01/16/2019 KUUF Board of Trustees Agenda

Agenda for January 16, 2019

***** EXECUTIVE SESSION – (NONE SCHEDULED) *****

6:30 PM                Call to Order:  Eric Harrold, President

                                Chalice Lighting  (opening blessing)

                                Check-in

6:45 PM                Vote to adopt the Consent Agenda

  • Minutes of the December 19, 2018 board meeting
  • Board Liaison & other reports: Council, Finance, Personnel, etc.

6:50 PM                Vote to adopt the Agenda for this meeting

6:55 PM                President’s Report: Eric Harrold Review of Fellowship Business

  • Stewardship chair search continues
  • I intend to schedule an additional board meeting in March dedicated to the budget
  • Easterseals of Wash granted us permission to use their wifi to establish comms between sanctuary and children’s care area.
  • Committee on Ministry will transition off board members as replacements are identified

7:00 PM                Treasurer’s Report (Mark Sugimoto): Vote to approve.

7:15 PM                Board Growth Topic: What’s in it for us; UUA and PWR dues

7:20 PM                                                                       *****OLD BUSINESS *****

KUUF community outreach (Jack Peterson): A list of past Charitable Giving organizations has been provided by Arlis Stewart. How can KUUF “intentionally” support those organizations? Discussion.

*********************

Congregational Safety Task Force (Lisa Johnson): A draft Congregational Safety Plan is provided for review. The Council will be discussing at their February council meeting with the intention of implementing safety plan action items. Discussion.

7:40 PM                                                                   *****NEW BUSINESS *****


Reality of quarter-time ministry (Eric Harrold):
I rejoice in having Jessica Star Rockers as our quarter-time minister. The reality is that Jessica will not be able to remain our quarter-time minister indefinitely. She is balancing committee’s interests with quarter-time work. KUUF could get a distorted view of quarter-time ministry if she accepts separate pay from committees. Discussion.

7:50 PM                                                                   ********************

KUUF 2018 Five-Year Plan passed by congregation (Eric Harrold): Now that the KUUF 2018 Five-Year Plan has been accepted by the congregation, the board, council and committees need to review for items which need their attention. The board could form a task force to assist all “Responsible Groups” with identifying their roles in executing this plan. Discussion.

                                                                                   *******************

Board service acknowledgement (Jackie Westwood): There is interest in formally acknowledging members who have served on KUUF’s Board of Trustees. Perhaps a special area on the web-page where members who have made significant contributions can be honored. Should there be written criteria for consideration – if we decide to do that? Discussion.

******************

Library budget request (Eric Harrold): Selene has requested a library budget of $340 to be added to this church year’s budget. I hope to have the Finance Committee recommendation by the time of the meeting. Discussion.

******************

Annual congregational meeting (Eric Harrold): I have discussed our options regarding when to hold our annual congregational meeting (ACM) with our administrator and I’m suggesting we agree on 28 April 2019. Although the new board members will have been voted onto the board at the April ACM, board organization isn’t complete until the May meeting, when a new President and Vice President are elected by the board. Off going board members are encouraged to attend the May board meeting.

****************

UUA congregational certification for General Assembly voting eligibility (Eric Harrold): The UUA sent out a certification link to KUUF for updating. We need to complete this form to be eligible to have voting delegates at General Assembly. We need to vote yes, no or abstain on the statement of conscience entitled “Democracy Uncorrupted.”  https://www.uua.org/action/process/csais/corruption-of-our-democracy/2016-2020-csai.

****************

8:25 PM                Thank you card recipient nomination(s) for December 2018:  

                                Conversations with the Board Topics: __________

                                For the good of the order:

Date of next Board meeting:  February 20, 2019

8:30 p.m.             Adjournment

01/04/19 President’s Column

President’s Column

January 2019

Happy New Year to all our KUUF members and friends! I hope that 2018 brought you all of what you needed and some of what you wanted. I am blessed to be leading the KUUF Board of Trustees towards church year 2019 – 2020 (May 1 thru April 30) and look forward to finishing this year with resolve and determination in providing for KUUF’s needs (and wants). I pray that we keep love in our hearts and kindness on our tongues as we greet the new year and all the opportunities it brings to us.

As I reflect back on church year 2018 – 2019, I’m thrilled with what we have accomplished:

  • Brian Kenny hired as our accompanist
  • Jennifer Ingalls became our Parish Nurse
  • Jessica Star Rockers signed as our Part-time Minister
  • Congregation approved KUUF 2018 Five-Year Plan
  • 2018 Safety Campaign was organized and begun

The events I have listed here only begin to scratch the surface of what KUUF members and friends have accomplished this year…and we have four months left to go! I wonder what amazing things we’ll complete before April 30? I hope you’re wondering that as well, and looking for ways to help us achieve those goals.

Last year the Board of Trustees approved money to pay for childcare so members with children could attend committee meetings and KUUF events. If there are barriers to your involvement in programs or events at KUUF, please talk to a board member so we can examine the situation…you may not be the only one experiencing this difficulty. KUUF wants and needs your involvement, so please see someone with a purple name-tag, or anyone you trust, and let us help you, help us.

Speaking of Stewardship, it’s that time of year again. Most of the KUUF programs we love are made possible through member (and friends) pledges and through fund raising efforts like our rummage sale and auction. Everything I’ve been talking about in this column either directly, or indirectly, requires KUUF budget support. Contributions to KUUF through pledges not only support our fellowship but also support churches and fellowships within our Pacific Western Region and the UUA. If you’re a twelfth-man (fan) of Unitarian Universalism like I am, this is a great opportunity for us to support the things we believe in both inside and outside of our communities.

Thank you for all the support you have given me and your fellow congregants throughout the past year. KUUF doesn’t just reside geographically on a map, or on someone’s ledger, it’s in our hearts and souls…and that’s why – we are KUUF.

Eric Harrold

KUUF Board President