Welcome to CommUUnique – a forum for news, events, and discussion for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff (in Dallas, TX).
We have decided to bring our monthly newsletter into the 21st Century and put it into blog format. Rather than putting out a monthly PDF newsletter, it will be updated on a regular basis and articles will be posted as soon as possible after they arrive in my inbox.
Everyone will also be able to comment on any of the articles posted. (Please note that all initial comments may be held for moderation and you’ll need to supply your name and email address.) You don’t need to do anything to read our content, only to comment.
We are dedicated to keeping discussions respectful and loving, in keeping with the church’s Covenant. Anyone who seeks to create dissonance will be removed. This does not mean we will not tolerate disagreements; it simply means we ask that those who disagree to remember there are sometimes many equally valid perceptions to any point.
If you have an article, photos, or information you would like to see published here, you may send them to email@example.com.
Latest CommUUnique News & Events:
The Dallas Peace and Justice Center (DPJC) will host a panel discussion to present legal, moral and economic arguments for the abolishment of the Texas death penalty.
Rev. Holsey Hickman, Greater Dallas Community of Churches, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, and former Chaplain at Lew Sterrett
Dr. Rick Halperin, Director – SMU.Human Rights, Internationally Renowned Resource on the Death Penalty
Susybelle Goslee, Capital Punishment Issue Chair, League of Women Voters
Justin Moore, Esq.
Melanie Hebert – A family member of an executed death row inmate
Sehla Ashai – Civil Right Activist/ Immigration Attorney
Dallas Peace and Justice Center, SMU Human Rights Program, Friends of MLK Library, and Amnesty International DFW
Join TalkBack in the Sanctuary after the service.
Participate in our Religious Exploration programs.
Walk the Labyrinth & the Sacred Grounds.
Meditate in the Shambhala room of the Charity Building.
Enjoy connecting in beloved commUUnity.
February 17th, 11:15 am, Workshop 2
Where Do We Come From? UU Roots: This workshop offers a brief overview of Unitarian Universalist history, focusing on ideas and people more than on institutional and denominational structures.
This is part of “The New UU” program. Please visit our Religious Explorations page for more details.
The simplest way to explain Roy Zimmerman is to say he sings “Funny songs about Peace & Justice.” Add pointed satire and amazing insight into the world around us, and you get a bit closer.
A portion of the donations will benefit the Social Justice Ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff
See RoyZimmerman.com for more on Roy and his music!
A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar. It offers a message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity.
Pearl was stung by the racial stereotype. But rather than become angry and embittered, it motivated him to prove that misguided man wrong. Pearl bought a house in a “black” neighborhood and began fashioning a garden that would attract positive attention. His goal was modest, but clear: to become the first African-American to win Bishopville’s “Yard of the Month” award.
Realizing he would have to do something spectacular to impress the Bishopville garden club, Pearl began cutting every bush and tree in his yard into unusual, abstract shapes. He didn’t know it then, but he was creating a magical wonderland that would, in time, not only garner local recognition, but also draw thousands of visitors from across the United States and around the world. …
But the impact that Pearl and his art have had on his community is not just economic. He’s also had a profound spiritual influence. As Pearl’s minister, Rev. Jerome McCray, says of the garden: “It’s the one place in all of South Carolina that people can go, both black and white, and feel love.”
You can view the trailer here:
Starting February 3rd:
The Young Adults will roll into a program for all adults to participate in Religious Exploration.
Adults at UUCOC are encouraged to:
• Join in the TalkBack in the Sanctuary after the service.
• Participate in our Religious Exploration programs.
• Walk the Labyrinth & the Sacred Grounds.
• Meditate in the Shambhala room of the Charity Building.
• Enjoy connecting in beloved commUUnity.
February 3rd, 11:15 am – Belief-O-Matic!
Bring your smart phones and join a group activity where we all take the (in)famous Belief-O-Matic online quiz, discussing questions about god, the afterlife, human nature, and more. What faith are you really? Belief-o-Matic can tell you!
the Men’s retreat is coming March 22-24, 2019 and
The Women’s retreat is March 29-31, 2019
Registration is open for you to come and enjoy a quiet weekend with familiar faces and new friends at UBarU!
Lodging in the Dwight & Marie Brown Center along with your meals from Friday dinner – Sunday breakfast are included.
Early Bird cost is $155 for the weekend with shorter stay options, if you prefer. Arrive after 4 p.m. on Friday
A rejuvenating time for fun, quiet and renewal is awaiting you in the Texas Hill Country.
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” — Leviticus 19: 33–34
The current situation at our borders is both inhumane and immoral. It’s become a militarized zone where human beings are mistreated on a daily basis and families are torn apart with little hope of being reunited. Immigrants seeking asylum from atrocities in their homelands are greeted with tear gas and hatred. Children whose only crime is being born in a foreign land are dying from abuse and neglect. Thousands seeking the American dream are met with the new American nightmare. Can we truly proclaim to be “One Nation Under God” when we turn away those seeking our help?
The irony of this situation cannot be ignored. America is largely responsible for the destabilization causing people to flee the home of their ancestors. One example of this is our military policies in Guatemala during the Reagan administration. By supporting the wrong factions in South America we created and upheld the oppressive government people are fleeing. Then, once they arrive, they are denied asylum.
Let’s be clear. The Trump administration does not believe every immigrant is a terrorist. That particular message is pure propaganda aimed at feeding on the inner fears of their political base. In reality, the fear of the administration is that the current white dominance is being threatened. With more brown-skinned people moving in there will soon be a majority of other nationalities with voting rights.
As Americans, we cannot stand by and watch the inhumane treatment at the borders. We must be outraged and demand justice for them. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is calling for persons across the nation to stand behind the moral imperative as we demand:
*A clear and just immigration system that strengthens our democracy through the broad participation of everyone in this country.
*An immigration system that, instead of criminalizing people for trying to raise their families, prioritizes family reunification, keeps families together and allows us all to build thriving communities in this country we call home.
* The demilitarization of our communities on the border and the interior
Immigrants are not criminals, terrorists, or gang members. They are our fellow human beings and deserve the same respect as the rest of us. It is time for all of us to stop our passive stance and speak out against these atrocities clearly and loudly.
Written by: Rev.Larry Brumfeld, Chaplain
Do you need great photos for cards, Facebook, Instagram, or maybe your Breeze profile?
Or just to have some wonderful images of your family?
Vijay Tanwar, our Congregation President and very talented photographer, is offering a special deal on family photographs. Take them at the Gaylord Texan, Dallas Arboretum, or anywhere in the local area. The charge? A $25 suggested donation to UUCOC!
Please contact Vijay at President@OakCliffUU.org for details.
Look for a special way to help out the church this holiday season!
Our UUCOC Angel Tree will be in the lobby again this Sunday.
Items range from $ to $$$.
On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, our First Tuesday Films, in conjunction with The Dallas Peace and Justice Center will present Dark Money. A film that shows us exactly what happens when corporations fund political campaigns. It is about the issues that arise when donors contribute to those nonprofits set up with the intention of influencing the American vote. Although it is set primarily in Montana, it is relevant to every state in the nation.
On this particular night, we will have a guest. Katy Bettner co-produced Dark Money, and will be available for discussion after the show.
Here is a description from Katy herself:
Katy Drake Bettner is an executive in the entertainment industry having co-founded both Playful Corp with her husband Paul, a game studio in McKinney TX and BetRed Stories, a media company with her friend Amy Redford out of Sundance Utah.
Katy is a member of the Women at Sundance Leadership Council, Women Donor Network, Way to Win, the TED community and serves on various boards including the McKinney Chamber of commerce. The Bettners work best when they have way too much on their plates so Katy is also active in politics and philanthropy while raising 3 kids (10/8/5) and a fluffy dog while splitting time between McKinney and Sundance. (Dark Money, The Infiltrators, Raise Hell: The Life &Times of Molly Ivins, Swallow, Always in Season, Akicita).
You can also read my review here: https://www.oakcliffuu.org/wp/2018/12/first-tuesday-film-review-dark-money/
The other day I reviewed the film Dark Money for our First Tuesday Film taking place January 1. Since documentaries are not generally “feel good” movies I watched The Man Who Invented Christmas as a way to balance out my mojo. Instead, I was struck by how similar the messages were. I wondered, for a moment, if anything has really changed over the centuries. It feels as though Scrooge and Marley were merely updated to corporations.
The thing is, I still see the potential for a far-reaching change that could never have happened before. Where there is dark money there are investigative journalists shining a light on it. Where there were workhouses there was a Dickens illuminating the dark dismal corners. After Dickens, the workhouses were closed. Where the dark money has infiltrated government it is being exposed and investigated.
It’s a different world today and nothing can be hidden any longer, regardless of efforts by those who wish to get away with bribery or threats. Social media may have brought us “fake” news, but it also brought us transparency and a majority recognize the truth amid the lies. Those who refuse to see it are bound by their own ignorance and, let’s be real, the ignorant don’t change the world.
I write this on Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and I am reminded that tomorrow the days get longer, the sun stronger and the light brighter. It can be a new beginning if we choose to see it as such. As for me, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is all good for the darkness of the world must be exposed in order to allow the light in.
Enjoy this season with family and friends, then come back renewed to continue the work we are all called to do. May 2019 be the year we side with love more fully and seek justice so we show the inherent worth and dignity of all persons to the world.
Regardless, a good time was had by all and there were some interesting gifts given out. The Animal costume reappeared as did a tutu and a complete hula get up! The favorites that were stolen a couple of times were the lava lamp and the foot bath.
No matter what we ended up with though, it was a great time spent with our UUCOC family!
Recognize Dec 2
Clint Chamberlain 11/26/2014 November 26
James Fairchild 11/26/2014November 26
Jean Kelly 11/29/2015 November 29
Sarah Ricke 11/29/2015 November 29
Recognize Dec 9
Pat McAfee 12/05/2010 December 05
Recognize Dec 16
Becky Brown 12/16/2013 December 16
Dan Brown 12/16/2013 December 16
Recognize Dec 23
Bernie Tjarks 12/18/2014 December 18
Recognize Dec 30
Charles Cranford 12/24/2014 December 24
UUCOC is working with CitySquare to provide a happier winter to some folks who need us!
CitySquare Holiday General Giving Ideas:
Coats & Sweaters
Undershirts or plain t-shirts
Underwear (must be new)
Scarves and gloves
Blanket or sleeping bags
Pop up tents
Backpacks or rolling suitcases
Full-size shampoo & conditioner
Bar Soap/Body Wash
Toothbrushes & toothpaste
Lotion (cocoa butter preferred)
Meat (canned beef, chicken, pork, tuna fish, etc.)
Basic Condiments (Salt, Pepper, Flour, Cooking Oil, Ketchup, Mustard, etc.)
Canned Vegatables and Fruit
Soups (Campbell’s Tomato, Chicken, etc.)
Other canned items (chili, beans, etc.)
Non-perishable food items
Alarm clock radios
– candy canes, apple cider, hot chocolate, candy
The Holidays are just around the corner, so before the craziness sets in, take a moment to verify that your meetings have carried over to 2019 on the UUCOC Calendar.
If you need anything to be added to the calendar, please send me an email with:
• The date
• The beginning and end time
• The building and room you want
• Any special notes, such as equipment, in case more than one group requests the same space at the same time
Knowing when space is being set up or is being used will help our lives run more smoothly and happily! I’m here to help, so let me know if you need to put something on the calendar!
Families to Freedom provides survivors of domestic violence free long-distance transportation to reunite with family or get to shelter far away.
From our Leadership Development Committee:
We need at least two, likely three, more to join the Leadership Development Committee, and we are looking for a couple of people to help manage our annual fundraiser.
Please contact Robertus van der Wege if you can help!
And congratulations to our new board treasurer, Dan Brown!
Want to have a BIG impact on the littler members of our church?
RE is looking for volunteers!
Help the next generation to become kind, respectful, fair-minded, caring people strong enough to side with love and fight for justice!
Please contact Kathy Kauffman Kinkaid
Is the Second Sunday Jazz Jam on your radar?
We’ve been doing this for years, and we’re still finding out that many in our church family don’t know about it! Can everyone please help spread the word? It’s fun, it’s free. And we make some great music!
Do you love playing Jazz?
Do you love singing Jazz?
Do you love listening to jazz?
Would you enjoy listening to Jazz in a quiet setting while having a glass of wine or cold beer or soda and letting the sounds take you away to places you enjoy?
The jam will start at 5 pm and end around 7 pm. Admission is FREE!!!
If you come to listen, feel free to bring food and beverage (nothing harder than beer or wine) for yourself or to share. We have had listeners even bring a candelabra to decorate their table for the evening..
Come planning on having a great time and hearing some of the finest musicians in the Metroplex.
Invite a friend to come with you. The admission is free but the experience is priceless!!!
The Concept of the Goddess
Oct. 14th, Nov. 4th & 11th
A new religious education offering from the UUCOC Young Adults – All adults are welcome.
This four-part series will look at the phenomenon of Goddess Worship, from ancient sects to the modern renewal in feminine faith paths, as well as the Goddesses themselves.
Do you want to know where to go to connect with our church, our members, and our community?
We’ve created a new page on the website to break down all of the exciting options now available:
We could still use additional volunteers to help with the Sunday morning coffee & snacks.
There will be no coffee without volunteers to make it!
Contact Jose at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can download past issues of the OakLeaf from January of 2012 to April of 2018 from our archives.