Mark Tuller

I came to the Fellowship when my wife and I moved to San Diego, to find community and to explore myself. I was nervous about coming to a “church” because I’m an atheist, but I quickly found others of like mind, who wanted to be in community, to serve others, and to work for justice. UUFSD has become a large part of my life.

Becki DeBont and Heather Smith

After many years of dipping our toes into the UUFSD pool, we finally took the plunge and joined in May 2018. As our lives began to quiet as (almost) empty-nesters, the internal push to ‘settle down’ and commit began to swell.  UUFSD had always felt like an anchoring space and a place to claim.

We are drawn to this as our spiritual home for not only the philosophical foundation of Unitarian Universalists generally; but for the balance of exploring heart centered living, exposure to many wisdom traditions, and social justice in action at this congregation specifically. Our busy and travel-filled lives make our attendance sporadic, but we are always welcomed by this community, and are pleased to support an organization committed to such tremendous work on behalf of so many. We are proud to call UUFSD our spiritual home base.

Carol Mason, one of our UUFSD Founders

Many forces attract and draw me to the Fellowship….the people are my tribe. I have opportunities for my own spiritual growth. I can help make the world a better place through our social justice efforts. All these are important to me, but the unique experience of worshiping each Sunday in the out of doors is special.  The cry of the hawk. The clouds drifting over my head. The aromatic fragrance of buckwheat, eucalyptus, and ceanothus alert my other senses. Even the breeze and cool marine layer of fog remind me that I am in a place that brings great joy. I am in a place in the universe where the forces of nature and of human beings have come together. Here in the middle of Solana Beach, in the middle of corporate thrash and urban push I can experience the wild shrubs and bird cries and feel grateful for the peace, joy and solace our Fellowship provides me every week.

John Atcheson

My journey to UUFSD is pretty typical.  I came to UUism for the kids and came back for myself.  My original exposure was in suburban Washington DC and after my kids grew up I became a lapsed UUer – which is a mind-boggling concept in itself.  When I retired, I moved out here to be with my wife and we went to UUFSD after some friends recommended it.  I was hooked immediately by the setting, and I loved the people I met.  Becoming a member and attending services challenges me to consider things I might otherwise not think about, and it exposes me to set of interesting, dedicated people.

Patricia Cofré-Stone

When my son turned 5 years old and started asking questions about God, I knew there was only one place where I could go and trust their guidance.  I knew Unitarian Universalists were committed to social justice, defending human rights, the environment, and supporting many causes that I align with.  I just never thought I really needed a “church” for myself.

Now my son is 15, and UUFSD is his home and anchoring place. He has developed a deep bond with many of his peers and with Alison, the Religious Education Director. The regular Sunday school, Coming on Age yearlong program, and Our Whole Life program have supported me in raising an amazing kid.

Little did I know 10 years ago, that I would also find a home for myself. A place where being different is okay and where searching for my spiritual truth is supported.  I have found friends that I will keep for life – especially my camping buddies. UUFSD is a great community!

Joanna Wisniewska-Rosales and Sal Rosales

I have grown up in Catholic faith.  Through the years, however, I found that it was no longer a good “fit” for my family and me.  Over the last 10 years, I searched for a church that could be.  I have to say that I “stumbled upon” the Unitarian Universalist faith while reading biographies of people I admire and finding out that many have a connection to the faith, like Barack Obama whose Grandmother was in UU church.  I then researched the faith as well as the congregations in our area, once I found UUFSD, my family, and I have been coming to the church services and events almost every week in the last year.  I am happy to say that finally, I can live and speak the same truth and I have found a community that supports us and accepts us for who we are.

Irv Himelblau

After retiring in 2000, and empty nesting, my wife and I were looking for a new community.  We were both social activists  and were instantly impressed with the UU philosophy and the people at the Fellowship. I receive great satisfaction from my participation in several of the Men’s Groups on campus and continue to enjoy lasting friendships with members of those groups. I also participated in numerous committees, some of which I have chaired. These included Buildings and Grounds, Social Justice, Membership,  Communication and currently Design Review. I find that service to and involvement in the life of the Fellowship add to the richness of my life. The Fellowship continues to offer me opportunities to grow spiritually and intellectually. Being a long-time chair of our Social Justice and Action committee and continuing to be an active member of this group has given me deep meaning and purpose knowing the far reaching effect of our work together. I feel honored to call the UUFSD my home away from home.

Tiffany Fox

UUFSD has become a safe, loving testing ground for me and my family to experiment with a deeper spiritual life. Each time I take part in services, events, actions and just plain old good times, I feel welcomed and supported by this free-thinking and compassionate community. I have fed the hungry through UUFSD. I have hiked among the pine trees with its members. I have heard sermons that made me laugh and sermons that made me weep. I have learned to sing from the bottom of my heart. I have been challenged and even confronted to grow and evolve in my beliefs. Most of all, I have felt comforted, accepted and cherished by people I admire and cherish in turn. UUFSD is at once a balm for me and a source of strength, a profound joy in a life made all the better because of it.

Linzie Wood and Swagatam Mukhopadhyay

Wonderful space for interfaith families, especially for those with young children since Allison, who runs RE, is such a delight.

Maggie and Mike Rintala

This is the place where each family member has found something to connect to. The 14 year old has a community of friends to gather and grow with; in the sanctuary, in RE classes and in the woods! The 11 year old can sit and read while all the action happens around him and when he wants to engage, the community is ready to receive him. The Dad loves to listen to the messages on Sunday when he can, and he knows they will teach him something new from a perspective he hadn’t considered. And I, the MOM can dance and sing and play with all the amazing people at UUFSD because that is how I worship and that is an option in this thriving place we now call home.

David ‘Didge’ and Diane Masser-Frye

We were originally drawn to UUFSD over 20 years ago by the beautiful outdoor campus and thought provoking sermons that challenged us to live our liberal values through social action, fellowship, and self reflection.  One of the other many things that make UUFSD special to us is its extraordinary children’s education programs including RE, Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives.  These programs have had a huge positive influence on our children and their journey towards adulthood.

Phyllis and Rik Hauptfeld

We started attending UUFSD about 7 years ago when our kids were just 4, 5 and 7.  Almost immediately, the UU Principles spoke to us and the supportive community at UUFSD was exactly what we were looking for as a family. The thing I remember the most from those early visits was speaking to other families with children who had gone through the Religious Education Program at UUFSD. During one of our first visits, we met Alison, the Religious Education Director, who explained the education we could expect our tweens and teens to go through at UUFSD. Although my kids were too young to participate at the time, I knew there would be nothing else like it anywhere and we decided to make UU a part of our lives. Our girls are older now and my oldest daughter has gone through the Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives programs. I could not imagine a better foundation for my teenage daughter to have as she tries to navigate through her teens and young adulthood. She has made lifelong friends and a support system she will have for years to come. As our children were going through these programs together, us parents had our own chances to share the challenges we face in raising teenagers in 2019. We too developed lasting relationships and a support system to help us through it all! Our family is so grateful for our UUFSD community!

Alison Schlick

As a member of UUFSD I have been able to receive the support and love of our beloved community through the years when I started to be spiritually raising two kids on my own, to tackling the challenges of a blended family, and recently seeing off my oldest two in their breath-taking flights from the nest. My kids have experienced through UUFSD: Coming of Age Program (“COA”), Our Whole Lives Program, (“OWL”), Petition drives, education about gun violence prevention, Vigils for peace, Social Justice activities, marches, anti-racism programming, Giving back: Work parties, Supply drives, Home builds in Tijuana with UUFSD and Casas de Luz, plus many many many camping and DeBenneville trips, building deep friendships that stand the test of time.
While I still have a ways to go in my parenting years, I am eternally grateful to UUFSD for helping me traverse the changes of our lives; through hardship and strife, through loss and grief, helping to celebrate happiness and accomplishment…
I have been enriched by the many connections, discussions, lessons, camping trips, hugs and shared meals of our fellowship. I have received comfort, support, and witnessed unconditional love.
These are all what I have learned from being a member of UUFSD.