Volunteer at CRC Dec. 18-21

Thanks to all UUFSD members who volunteered at
Community Resource Center’s Holiday Baskets program last Sunday!

CRC reached out again to let us know they’re actively looking for volunteers THIS Thursday through Sunday (Dec. 18-21) during their distribution days at the Del Mar fairgrounds. If you’re interested, please call the CRC office at 760-753-1156, email Sara Hunt at shunt@crcncc.org, or simply sign up via VolunteerSpot here: http://vols.pt/xE8XBf where you can view available dates/times.

CRC can’t make Holiday Baskets happen without volunteers, and this year they have over 1,500 families to support with food, warm clothes, blankets, and toys. Thanks so much for your help!

Jan 15: Food Bank Volunteer Night

January 15 – Food Bank Volunteer Night
Join Us!

Join us at the San Diego Food Bank in the Miramar area; just 20 minutes from UUFSD! It’s always from 6:00 – 8:00 PManyone over 6 years old can help! Mostly we just put food in boxes on an assembly line or bag fresh produce – really easy, no lifting, no bending, great camaraderie.

Last month we bagged 2500 lbs of apples and prepared 202 Friday Take-Home bags for kids! – in just 2 hours!

This is a wonderful way of helping locally those in need and strengthening our UUFSD community as well. The San Diego Food Bank distributes over 20 million pounds of food annually to individuals, families and a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county. They need our help! Check out the pictures.

Email Sara Ohara for more information: sara@saraohara.com

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Interfaith Shelter Volunteers Needed

Interfaith Shelter Volunteers Needed
Jan 25- Feb 01

UUFSD will partner with St. James in Solana Beach to sponsor a week of the Interfaith Shelter Network. This will occur the week of Sunday January 25- Sunday February 01. We will need roughly 40 volunteers to help prepare and serve dinners, as well as 10-14 volunteers to serve as overnight chaperons during the week we host the shelter. Volunteering a night at the shelter can be a very humbling and enlightening experience as you engage and connect with the guests over dinner and conversation. If you have questions about the Interfaith Shelter program, or would like to get involved, please contact Kevin West at kevingwest@gmail.com

Location of Shelter: St. James Catholic Church 625 S Nardo Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Dinner Volunteer Times: Arrive 6pm and leave by 7:30pm
Overnight Chaperon Volunteers: Arrive 7:30pm and Close 7am the next morning.
Signups: Contact kevingwest@gmail.com or 315.525.8180

UUFSD Joins Commit2Respond!

Featured

Climate Action & Environmental Justice at UUFSD

In 2015, UUs everywhere are being asked to be a part of Commit2Respond, which will be the focus of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign. Commit2Respond was inspired in large part by the success of Thirty Days of Love, and the question: What if we can bring together the UUSC, UUA, and UUs all over the country and our partners to work on one justice issue? Climate justice is already affecting marginalized people all over the globe, and with the Commit2Respond initiative we will stand on the side of love with all those affected. We invite you to embrace this new program with open arms as it, too, has the potential to change hearts.

The campaign will begin on March 22, World Water Day, and extend until April 22, Earth Day.

The UUFSD CAEJ Task Force is planning on hosting a series of talks and events leading up to and through the 30 days of Commit2Resond. These events are designed to inform, engage and educate the Fellowship and the larger community about the nature of the challenge that confronts us, and actions we can take to address them.

View our new Green Reading List containing book reviews, links to blogs and climate-related books and novels. The CAEJ Task Force is working with the Dream Builder’s Task Force to assure that our capital improvements will be sustainably designed and use best practices for energy and water conservation. We are also investigating whether UUFSD should participate in UUA’s Green Sanctuary program.

Climate change is a moral and ethical issue, not simply a scientific fact. Indeed, it is the moral issue of our times. What we do – or don’t do – in this generation, will shape the future for thousands of years to come. Humanity – for good or ill – has become a force of nature, fully equivalent to natural cycles. How we respond to this new status will determine what kind of world we bequeath our children and the generations that follow.

If you’re interested in joining the Task Force, contact Scott Thatcher or John Atcheson.

December 14: Victims of Gun Violence Vigil

Candlelight Vigil Service
of Mourning and Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence

Sunday 14 December 2014 6 to 7 PM
UUFSD 1036 Solana Drive, Solana Beach CA 92075

In commemoration of the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, as well as the 30,000 American victims of gun violence since December 2012, UUFSD is joining the Newtown Foundation, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Washington National Cathedral in a nationwide candlelight vigil service of mourning and remembrance for all those who have fallen victim to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America. We will mark this as a step from moving from the audience to the stage.

For information call UUFSD during working hours at 858 755-9225

Please print and share this flyer if you wish.

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December 14: Holiday Baskets Distribution Event

Holiday Baskets Distribution Event

Join UUFSD volunteers helping prepare for the annual Holiday Baskets distribution event, organized by Community Resource Center, at Del Mar Fairgrounds on . Volunteer with your friends after UUFSD services at either one of two shifts: 10:30am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-2:30pm. We’ll be sorting or packaging food, inventorying coats and blankets, or possibly even maintaining bicycles for 1,500 low-income families. Go HERE for more details or to sign up. Questions? Email susan3733@gmail.com.

National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence

Today is the day we are joined by families from 18 states and the District of Columbia, faith leaders and a coalition of gun violence prevention groups at the Washington National Cathedral to honor the 26 innocents who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the 60,000 other Americans who will have died from gun violence in the two years since the Newtown tragedy.

Please take out your kleenex before viewing our beautiful memorial video.

Kingsolver’s Latest Novel Shows Climate Change In Real Time

Barbara Kingsolver’s Latest Novel ‘Flight Behavior’
Shows Climate Change In Real Time
Review by John Atcheson

Reading the opening scene of Flight Behavior, one could easily believe they’d somehow become immersed in a bad country western song — something like “Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendezvous.”

Protagonist Dellarobia Turnbow is fleeing the white clapboard house that has been at once her home and her prison since she was seventeen, to hook up with a guy who probably drives a pick up and aims to do her bad, but she can’t help herself because “… the anticipation of him prickled her skin.” On her way, she is waylaid by an ethereal vision of a forest aflame.

If this sounds prosaic, it’s because it is. The book starts slow, and teeters to the brink of cliché, albeit sporting some of the best prose you’ll ever read. But that flaming forest hangs out there like a metaphor without a point of reference for a little too long, risking a reader who isn’t so much intrigued, as frustrated.

But that’s before Kingsolver works her alchemy. In Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver proved she is a talented writer, capable of telling important and compelling stories in prose that flows with all the beauty, clarity and snap of a glacial stream. And though she takes her time in Flight Behavior, ultimately she delivers.

Climate change is the leitmotif of this novel. It is the driving force behind all that happens, and it is heralded by that flaming forest Dellarobia rushes through on her way to an assignation that never happens.

It turns out that the flames are Monarch butterflies, cast adrift by a combination of deforestation in their traditional breeding grounds in Mexico and a warming world.

Dellarobia is also adrift. She is the proverbial “smart girl” trapped by circumstance, and when Ovid Byron — a world class expert on Monarch butterflies — shows up on her property to study the monarchs, she begins a journey that will ultimately allow her to grow and escape her moorings. Ovid is attractive, serious, unattainable and therefore irresistible. To add fuel to this girl’s fire, he bonds with her son, the precocious Preston, in a way that none of her peers possibly could.

Ovid allows Kingsolver to dole out information on climate change in a way that is organic to the story. The tale he tells is told as a tragedy, in the sense that Alfred Lord Whithead put it: “The essence of tragedy lies in the remorseless working of things.” When Dellarobia tells Ovid “I don’t know how you get through the day, knowing what you know,” he eventually answers “For scientists, reality is not optional.”

Most novels built around climate change resort to narratives of dystopic futures, when the tragedy has already played out. Kingsolver immerses us in the tragedy as it unfolds in real-time. As a writer, this is a challenge — unwinding the slow motion destruction of the natural world by our species doesn’t lend itself to compelling narrative.

I struggled with this in my own novel, A Being Darkly Wise, which is also a contemporary tale centered on climate change. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether I succeeded or not, but Kingsolver definitely does.

Kingsolver embeds Dellarobia in a small town that is conservative, evangelical, emotionally stifling and in the midst of a near apocalyptic rainy season. In fact, all the seasons are askew. Winter is too warm, freak cold snaps appear when they shouldn’t — in short, it is experiencing climate change.

But the real genius of this novel is how Kingsolver intertwines the larger story of what is happening to the world, into the life of Dellarobia and her fellow townspeople. The struggles between faith and science, commerce and conscience, reverence and ennui are our struggles, the small triumphs and epic failures are our legacies.

One of the astounding things she accomplishes is to reveal why people fall for denier claptrap, and in the process, make them sympathetic. In fact, there isn’t a real antagonist in this story — another challenge for a writer, and another she takes on with skill and grace.

Those people, who seemed at first to be redneck caricatures, emerge as real people, and their desire to belong to the culture in which they find themselves is the force that makes them accept counterfactual denier talking points. Interestingly, recent research supports the idea that one’s peer group has more to do with whether one accepts climate science than education. At one point, after Ovid has gone through how grim the future looks as a result of global warming, Dellarobia says, “I’m not saying I don’t believe you, I’m saying I can’t.”

The author’s background in biology shows through. Her knowledge of the life cycle of the Monarch and the rhythms of the natural world is encyclopedic, and her skill as a writer allows her to showcase that knowledge in a way that interests and delights.

Kingsolver, who lives in the Appalachians that are the setting for this story, deals in shades of grey, and exhibits genuine sympathy and affection for all her rural characters. Dellarobia’s husband, Cub, isn’t a villain, he’s simply a gentle giant miscast as the mate of a smarter, more independent woman, who is with her only because she became pregnant. Her mother-in-law, Hester — the closest thing to an antagonist in the story, and an apparent paragon of piety and virtue — ends up having been trapped in her marriage in much the same way Dellarobia did. The minister of their church believes in stewardship of the Earth, not dominion over it. And just to keep things from becoming too sweet, Dellarobia’s best friend, Dovey, is a wisecracking rebel who sees the world through a cynic’s eyes.

Kingsolver evokes the claustrophobic world of rural Tennessee with equal grace and tolerance. It is a world Dellarobia begins to escape when she goes to work as a lab assistant for Ovid. The interaction between her and the more urban graduate students working with Ovid is as entertaining as it is evocative of how different their worlds are. At one point, Dellarobia resorts to telling one of the grad students who is amazed that she owns a sewing machine and is capable of actually using it, that it’s not “… like an atom smasher or anything.”

Kingsolver allows Dellarobia to transcend the limits of her environment. While her flame-red hair is obviously the same color as the Monarch, Kingsolver does not allow the Monarch much likelihood of doing the same.

She seems to be saying that we can still expect moments of grace and transcendence for individuals, but the world will not be so lucky.

Flight Behavior starts a little slow, but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of people struggling to make a life in a world that is changing beneath their feet, told by one of the best contemporary writers out there.

John Atcheson, a former UUFSD Board President, DOE and EPA official, is the Climate Progress book reviewer. He has his own book out available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon, A Being Darkly Wise: A Novel Of Survival.

Buy Flight Behavior HERE.

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December 4: Food Bank Volunteer Night

December 4 – Food Bank Volunteer Night
Join Us!

One of our volunteers just responded with this:
“What a great break from the hustle-bustle of commercial Xmas!” SO TRUE!

Join us at the San Diego Food Bank in the Miramar area; just 20 minutes from UUFSD! It’s always from 6:00 – 8:00 PManyone over 6 years old can help! Mostly we just put food in boxes on an assembly line or bag fresh produce – really easy, no lifting, no bending, great camaraderie.

Last month we bagged 2000 lbs of pears and prepared 272 Friday Take-Home bags for kids! – in just 2 hours!

This is a wonderful way of helping locally those in need and strengthening our UUFSD community as well. The San Diego Food Bank distributes over 20 million pounds of food annually to individuals, families and a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county. They need our help! Check out the pictures.

Email Sara Ohara for more information: sara@saraohara.com

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November 6: Food Bank Volunteer Night

Join us at the San Diego Food Bank in the Miramar area; just 20 minutes from UUFSD! It’s always from 6:00 – 8:00 PManyone over 6 years old can help! Mostly we just put food in boxes on an assembly line or bag fresh produce – really easy, no lifting, no bending, great camaraderie.

Last month we prepared 468 boxes of food for Seniors and 384 Friday Take-home bags of food for children – in just 2 hours!

This is a wonderful way of helping locally those in need and strengthening our UUFSD community as well. The San Diego Food Bank distributes over 20 million pounds of food annually to individuals, families and a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county. They need our help! Check out the pictures.

Email Sara Ohara for more information: sara@saraohara.com