UUFSD Joins Commit2Respond!


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.

Jan 24 – Emma’s Revolution in Concert!



Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 7:30 PM

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito
1036 Solana Drive, Solana Beach

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Emma Goldman
vickyPicEmmaAdvance tickets $18; $22 at the door
Tickets available online HERE

Emma’s Revolution is the duo of activist musicians, Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Emma’s revolution creates new standards in the art of social justice. Their songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger and recorded by Holly Near. They’ve been called “Rachel Maddow & Jon Stewart with guitars.”

Questions or to request childcare,
Contact Vicky at

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, or simply sign up via VolunteerSpot here: 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:


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

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 or 315.525.8180

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.


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

The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars:
A Must-Read Novel On Climate Change
That Doesn’t Use The Words ‘Climate Change’
Review by John Atcheson

The Dog Stars, a debut novel by Peter Heller, succeeds on so many levels it’s almost frightening.

It is a piece of literary fiction that is likely to be a best seller.

It is a dystopic future tale that is nevertheless full of beauty.

It is a moving novel that illustrates the horror of climate change, without ever mentioning climate change.

Heller paints a grim picture of the world we are even now sculpting, populates it with people who are desperately violent or violently desperate, but leavens it with a triumph of the human spirit in the form of Hig, one of the most endearing and unlikely heroes to show up in fiction in a long time.

Hig, a pilot, lives in an abandoned airport in what appears to be an armed truce with his companion of nine years, a tough survivalist who refers to himself only as Bangley.  Their relationship seems, at first, strictly one of convenience.  Each contributes to the survivability of the other.  Bangley tackles the job of killing marauders with verve; Hig does so with reluctance.  He wants to believe in people, but it is a world which punishes people who do.

It is set sometime near the middle of this century. The natural world is in the process of being devastated by climate change and much of the world’s population has been killed by a pandemic.  Nine years have passed since Hig lost his wife, since the world crumpled into this chaos.

It is certainly one of the better novels addressing climate change out there, but as noted, it doesn’t once use the words climate change or global warming.  And therein lies its strength.  It reveals this new world without lecture, rancor or melodrama, and it does so through the eyes of a character we care about.  As a result, we aren’t beaten over the head with a message; we are exposed to a dramatic tragedy, which, as Whitehead put it, “… resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.”

At the end of the day, fiction must stand on story, character and damn good writing to succeed.  When it does, it reaches us on a visceral level, and it can be a powerful way to move us.

Heller, an award winning writer for Outdoor Magazine, succeeds on all three levels in his first foray into fiction.

Too many of us, writing novels that include climate change as part of the story allow the facts to compromise the fiction.  Even great writers such as Ian McEwan fall into this trap. I recently published an eco-thriller centered on global warming, part of a trilogy – and I definitely wrestled with this issue.  Still do.

Heller doesn’t.  He transcends it. Yet no one reading this book could fail to be moved by it, and by the future Hig lives in.

One word of caution.  Heller’s prose is not conventional.  It is reminiscent of Cormack McCarthy’s writing in Blood Meridian or perhaps The Road, a Pulitzer Prize winning book Dog Stars has been compared to.  Stark. Clipped sentences.  Non-sentences. No quotation marks. But …

As Robert Penn Warren said of McCarthy, Heller’s writing “… has, line by line, the stab of actuality.”  This kind of fiction must be done well to succeed and avoid the trap of being merely pretentious. Heller succeeds.

Jasper, Hig’s faithful dog and copilot, is one of the best canine characters since Enzo In the Art of Racing in the Rain, and it is Jasper’s death that launches Hig on what could be a one-way journey into the unknown that ultimately redeems his belief in a life with love, friendship and hope.

The past – our present — is as much a part of this book as is the hellish future Hig lives in, and Heller creates it seamlessly; indeed, Hig’s wife and his pre-apocalyptic life are evoked poignantly, and they seem as alive to the reader as they are for Hig.  Once again, Heller manages this without resorting to melodrama or cheap emotional appeals.

It’s difficult to give this book its due without going into the plot in more detail, but that pleasure should be left to the reader, without some reviewer imposing his views or otherwise spoiling it.  Better to let it unfold, the way all great stories must.

Heller’s restraint and discipline are the stuff or great literature, and his mastery of story is the stuff of great reads.  That is why this book should do well now, and be read long into the future, as a classic.

Provided we leave ourselves a future in which we have the luxury of books.

Dog Stars. Buy it. Read it. Pass it on.

John Atcheson has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks. He recently published his own novel, A Being Darkly Wise, the first book of a trilogy chronicling a small band’s attempt to save some part of the world as it unravels in the face of the great warming.