The Weekly 9/30/2022

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict—alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.”   ~  Dorothy Thompson

  • Lifespan Religious Exploration
  • Sunday Services & Fellowship Engagements
  • Climate Action Campaign
  • Caring Connection
  • Fellowship Happenings
  • Ministerial Relations Committee Report
  • Staff Office Hours

Lifespan Religious Exploration


Burritos & Brainstorming for New Directions in HUUF Family Ministry. 
As we navigate the tumult and times we are living in, we are asked to come together once again as a Faith Community and ponder the questions:
What do I need from my spiritual community?

What does my family need?

And how can we all come together to begin to re-envision and create the type of space and program that will seed the type of world we want to live in and leave to our children?

Please join DLRE, Amy Day and members of our RE Teaching Team and some of our key parent volunteers to chat about the programs and possibilities unfolding at the Fellowship this year:

*The Nature-based Playscape 

*All Ages/Multi-Generational Worship

*Our Whole Lives (OWL) Human Sexuality program for youth and adults

*Mindful Mondays: Yoga and Mindfulness for adults and kids

*Youth ART show exhibit

*Soul Matters groups

*Social Action Sunday opportunities

*Exciting opportunities for our Teens!

This will be a great night to come and RE-connect with fellow, like-hearted members of this Beloved Community and begin to RE-birth the type of program we want to be a part of for this year – and hopefully the ones to come.  

Time for RE-connecting and burrito-themed potluck at the beginning, followed by a separate caretaker/adult space to chat about our plans and visions for the year to come, while the kiddos are cared for in the RE classroom.

* Join us if you can!
Your voice and presence makes all the difference in the world.*

Please RSVP using the sign-up genius link here

And volunteer to bring an item to our burrito-themed potluck!


Calling All Playscape Volunteers!
Looking for a chance to play in the dirt?
Be part of the playscape magic!
Come join members of the playscape committee on Thursday and/or Friday October 13 & 14. 10am to 4pm each day as we continue to improve the area.
We will be doing some necessary fine tuning on the berm of the playscape. Projects include sign installation, drip water line installation, planting, weeding and repairing damage to the mound beside the climbing wall.  Berti, Montana and Jason will be your gurus.
Call Berti to volunteer or just show up in your grubbies with gloves.  All else will be provided. Berti Welty. 707 382-1472


Sunday Services & Fellowship Engagements 

Grace as a Feature of the
Known Universe

Sunday, October 2nd
11:00am  at HUUF
with Worship Leaders:
Ann Kilby & Debi Cooper

This service will be a multifaceted, interactive exploration of the experience of Grace (no religion needed) and of how we may use these experiences to enhance our capabilities and resilience.

Join us in person
 Join us on ZOOM


Ministerial Possibilities 

Sunday, October 9th
11:00am  at HUUF
with Worship Leaders:
Berti Welty  & Rev. Tom Lewis

This service will be a multifaceted, interactive exploration of the experience of Grace (no religion needed) and of how we may use these experiences to enhance our capabilities and resilience.
Join us in person 
OR… Join us on 



Yoga Continues!

Mondays, 5:30-6:45 pm
At the Fellowship 

Join Jamie Kessloff  for a gentle & accessible yoga practice for ALL Bodies!
All levels and stiffness Welcome.
Join Jamie on the mat as she guides  every body  toward an improved state of flexibility and balance.

At the same time, in our CARE building, Ms. Debbi Kallish will be offering one final Magic Monday session for our artists aged 5-12.  You can sign your young creative one up ahead of time by going here. 

Both of these classes are lovingly sponsored by our Fellowship Engagement and RE programs.  Donations welcome and gratefully accepted, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Click HERE to access all Fellowship Engagement listings

Climate Action Campaign


The “Fridays for the Future” Rally on September 23rd was a triumph!
Thank You to all who came out to support this effort. Read all about it here:


Congratulations to Bridgette Garuti upon having her work accepted by the Humboldt Arts Council for the upcoming 26th annual Junque Arte Competition that opens on October 1 at the Morris Graves Museum of Art.
Bridgette’s work will be on exhibit through November 27.
Bridgette has had for years a deep concern for the environment, plastic pollution, fossil fuel use, and the climate crisis, and she is our recycler extraordinaire. Three years ago, Bridgette worked with the youth in our congregation to produce the “Turtle” that is hanging in the foyer. This piece was created for the CAC sponsored “Big Think and Challenge”, and is made up of discarded household plastic bags.
All entries for the Junque Art Show are required to be made from 100% recycled materials. Stop in to Morris Graves to see all the amazing entries that support Reuse through Art. The exhibition is sponsored by Recology Humboldt County.

Caring Connection

Sending all good thoughts for JoAnn Thomas who is at St. Joseph Hospital after not feeling well for several weeks. She is currently hospitalized for a congestive heart condition. JoAnn requests no visitors at this time, but cards will be appreciated.

Fellowship Happenings

  • Your Congregational Administrator, Bridgette Garuti,  will be on Vacation next week: Hello Fellowship!  I’ve been working hard all week to assure that things run smoothly while I’m out of the office next week . I’ll be back in my seat on Monday, October 10. See you then!
  • Next Congregational Meeting – October 16: Mark your Calendars and plan to attend the next Congregational  Meeting. This hybrid meeting will take place directly after sunday Service on 10/16. Those on Zoom will use the same link as the service to attend. The meeting agenda will be forthcoming soon. This meeting will allow for congregational input and time for voting on various issues. Your input is a necessary part of our consensus structure! In preparation for this next meeting, please read the Ministerial Relations Committee Report that was presented to the Board in July along with the supplementary articles written by Bonnie Macgregor and Amy Day.

Ministerial Relations Committee Report &

Supplementary Articles



Ministerial Relations Committee Recommendations and Support

The Ministerial Relations Committee (MRC) submitted the following proposal to the HUUF Board of Trustees in July 2022.  Below we present our ideas for how to move forward without a minister and support HUUF’s critically important staff with fair compensation and clear duties during this transitional time. This proposal is slated to be discussed at the October Congregational Meeting.

Proposal from the MRC:
Serving on the Ministerial Relations Committee (MRC), we worked closely with Rev. Bryan Jessup and Rev. Anthony Johnson as they led the congregation as clergy. We learned to view what went on at the Fellowship from the perspective of ministry. And it is from that perspective that we make our recommendations and offer our support in this time of transition.


1. Encourage HUUF members and friends to participate in the summer series of discussions led by the Program & Worship Committee about the Future of Worship at HUUF. Worship has been the consistent center of congregational life during the pandemic and the changes in clergy. It is a natural place for people to come together in small groups to reflect on what this spiritual nurturance means to them.

2. Convene the Council of Chairs for a special meeting asap to discuss and decide on whether this body, or which members, could serve as the Transition Leadership Committee (TLC) as recommended by consultant Ursula Bischoff.
       2a. This TLC would ascertain what key questions would be discussed by the congregation in small groups over the next year related to:

  • The congregational Mission or Purpose (why we exist and who we want to become);
  • What form of Ministry is desirable and sustainable;
  • What organizational structure can sustainably support our purpose and ministry.

 3. Covenant with an Interim Ministry Team for the period of 2022-2024. This team would consist of our two Religious Professionals: Amy Day, Spiritual Leader and Educator and Bridgette Garuti, Congregational Administrator, who would provide constancy, coordination and creative congregational engagement; and, a UUA or local Professional Religious Consultant who would plan and direct ‘the inclusive and comprehensive process of deep listening, reflection and discovery that will chart a future direction for the congregation’ as conceived by the TLC and confirmed by the HUUF Board of Trustees (BOT) and Congregation.
  3a. In the Fall of 2023, at a Congregational Meeting, HUUF members would decide if they  want to create a Ministerial Search Committee to engage in a Ministerial Search Process that would result in our engaging a Minister in August, 2024.

Ministerial Relations Committee (MRC) Support:

Alison O’Dowd and Bonnie MacGregor (current MRC members) will recruit one more member for the MRC who will join in the supportive activities described below. As they work together during this interim period, they will organically discover and develop an ongoing Committee on Shared Ministry whose purpose and way of working will help sustain ministry at HUUF into the future.

  1. Members of the MRC will serve on the Transition Leadership Committee (TLC) to help plan the interim process.
  2. The MRC will act as a Ministerial Support Committee to the Interim Ministry Team (IMT). They will assure good communication between the Interim Ministry Team, the Board of Trustees, and the Transition Leadership Committee and work collaboratively to guide ministry over the course of this interim two years.
  3. The Ministerial Relations Committee will assist the Board of Trustees in ensuring that the professional staff are fulfilling their contractual agreements; and assist in conveying any concerns the Interim Ministry Team may have to the Board of Trustees and Transition Leadership Committee.

In fellowship,
Alison O’Dowd and Bonnie MacGregor, Ministerial Relations Committee 



A Reflection on Unexamined Gender Bias in Ministry,

It has bubbled up in me that even we at HUUF may have a case of unexamined gender bias when it comes to how and who we think of as providing ministry.
For all my years (25) at HUUF, the Program & Worship Committee has provided either half or all the Sunday services – every week of the year. And, during this time 95% of the members of P&W have been women and not a one of us has ever been offered a dime for our work – we are volunteers.
In the past four years since Bryan Jessup retired, we have had two new Ministers serving for one year each. Neither served a full year. All the ministry that they could not provide because of their lack of knowledge and understanding of our community and culture and people – especially because of COVID – was provided by the only people who could provide that on a day to day basis – Amy Day and Bridgette Garuti – and yet we do not call their work ministry and we do not pay them anywhere close to what we have paid our ¾ time Ministers at $75,000 while they were here.
Yes, I know there is true merit in being educated / trained as a Minister, but I ask you once again, who is ministering to this congregation day in and day out?
Whatever decisions we make going forward together, we will need a team ministering both in the interim 1-3 years and beyond. Perhaps if we help each other examine our long-enduring cultural bias about what a minister looks like and what they are worth, we will find a way to open ourselves to the divine feminine and allow women to minister in the ways we do best while being shown our worth in societally appropriate ways by compensating us in equal pay for equal work.

Bonnie MacGregor

P.S. HUUF has only ever hired one woman Minister and she was an Interim Minister for one year.

To the Beloved Community~

I find myself having lots of conversations these days about, what I am coming to think of, as “holy math”.  This idea that families, classrooms, communities, workplaces, and yes, Congregations – work best when we can strive towards the “80/20” rule.  If people can be put to work 80% of the time leaning into their strongest gifts and talents, with the other 20% spent on the necessary admin, nuts-and-bolts “grunt” work needed to achieve their aims, we are all the better for it.  Sadly, what tends to happen within many contexts is that this ratio becomes reversed.  We load people up with tasks, meetings, requests and to-do’s that fall outside their immediate zone of genius (and optimal service), leaving them scant time and energy to give to the work that really gives value and feeds people’s souls.

During my brief (just under 3 years) interim here at HUUF, in deep collaboration with trusted committee members and volunteers, and my beloved Core Team colleague, Bridgette Garuti, I have worked toward the following:

  • Creating more opportunities for multi-generational worship and connectivity through spearheading All Ages Services
  • Reinvigorated our Social Action work by devising and implementing a fourth Sunday Social Action service, which has also served to create vital connections and relationships with like-minded organizations like the NEC, Cooperation Humboldt, Food for People and others
  • Served as a catalyst to see the first phase in our Nature-based Playscape come to fruition
  • Provided small group ministry, innovation and informal pastoral care through the ongoing facilitation and coordination of Soul Matters groups, Newcomers gatherings & circles, writing groups, Elders’ panels and more
  • Originated the role and preliminary systems of Tech support when Covid first began and helped to craft the job description for the current position 
  • Nurtured relationships with the larger Interfaith network & promoted our values and amplified our presence in the community beyond our own
  • Provided valuable feedback, structural support and input to a variety of our committees
  • Served as a welcoming and pastoral presence to those who enter our doors, or find themselves in Fellowship spaces
  • Providing regular, heart-centered communication to the larger congregation
  • Offered spiritual companioning and support to all previous and existing staff, as well as to congregants seeking support

Beyond this, there exists another longer list related to the work I’ve done specific to RE.  

  • Re-booting and co-facilitating our OWL program
  • Recruiting, hiring, companioning and supporting RE staff to provide rich and meaningful experiences for the families who come to us
  • Conducting 1:1 and small-group outreach to reconnect to families and created additional offerings beyond Sunday child care, in response to those exchanges
  • Supported our fledgling Teen group
  • Overseen and coordinated the Halloween Festival

Looking over this sample of my efforts here at HUUF serves to remind me that my personal “genius” is best put to work in the service of offering, connection, relationship-building, and growth.  I am doing my utmost service to the world when I am allowed to funnel the majority of my efforts toward building the new and championing and uplifting those working alongside me. 

What I am not good at however, is being put in a place where I feel like I am being continually asked to battle the old.  To unofficially perform many of the duties that would normally be allocated to a professional minister, and yet have to fight for the recognition and compensation that would normally accompany such labor. To extend multiple requests to our lay leaders, asking for the chance to come together and collaboratively imagine and craft new and bold solutions to the challenges that we face, only to be told, on multiple occasions, that my voice is not welcome inside that space.  To ask for a timely resolution on matters related to staffing, compensation, and reasonable division of labor, only to have that request put off, time and again.  

Please, let me be clear: I hold tremendous affection and respect for the individual members of our Board.  I know it is hard and often thankless work you all perform, and I wish to be your support, ally and champion in that work.  But in order to do that, I must be asked.  I must be invited to the table where the conversations are taking place.  I must be taken up on my repeated offer to come help craft innovative and holistic solutions to the problems we face.  Otherwise, there is no generative path forward.  

My experiences, sadly, are not unique.  We ask too much of our volunteers.  Our staff is routinely asked to give more than is reasonably in accordance with their titles and payscale.  Somehow we have managed to craft a system wherein all are asked to give in a way that is ultimately depleting to them.  And such a system cannot last.  

During my time here, I have been collectively dreaming with many of you of what a system that is regenerative, and not extractive, might look like.  Of one that replenishes as much as it takes.  There are so many imaginative, creative and innovative ideas we could come together on.  We could be leaders in re-envisioning what values-led, sacred community (and work and service and care) looks and feels like, and the impact we can make, from the inside out.  And know that I, and the wonderful Team of which I play a part, can be a fundamental part of conduiting this change.  

Eventually, we know what happens when the “holy math” gets reversed.  When a person begins to feel like 80% of their energies are moving towards just plugging holes, rather than taking a good, long look at the source of the leak.  Scrambling to pull people out of the river, rather than turning one’s attention upstream to where they are being pushed in, in the first place.  When the people being tasked with doing the vital and mission-driven work of this Fellowship must jettison their efforts toward repeatedly asking for just compensation or clearer communication, or better systems of support, rather than whole-heartedly and resourcedly engaging in the work itself.  The edges begin to fray.  The systems begin to collapse.  Individuals – like myself, and beloved others who have stepped away from us during this past year or so – start to wonder if there is a place where their precious human life force can be better put to use.  If there exists somewhere beyond this space, a place where the groundswell of prophetic human voices are already coalescing into a pronounced and powerful choir.  Where their one, small voice is welcome and honored, amplified and harmonized with by the whole, and they no longer need to strain to be heard.  

I urge you, Beloved Community, however you collectively decide to move forward: Do not be so quick to put a positive spin on our present state, that you fail to leave room for difficult and uncomfortable truths to be heard.  Do not be so firmly attached to old models of leadership that you fail to recognize and affirm the many forms of sacred service, guidance and stewardship that are happening right before your very eyes. Do not cling so tightly to the mythology of a singular, charismatic captain who will come to help us chart this difficult course, when there many wise and spirited sailors already on deck.  

May we be more wedded to the possibility of what we might become than we are to the staid imprint of what we have been.  Among you, there is a murmuration of wise and discerning voices straining to be heard.  I pray you craft the means necessary – and soon – to let their songs take wing. 


In Grace & Gratitude,

Amy Day

Staff Contacts

OFFICE – Congregational Administrator, Bridgette Garuti, on campus: 9:30-4:00 Monday-Wednesday, available by email only on Thursdays.

DLRE – Amy Day, on campus: Tuesday and Thursday on vacation during the month of July

TECH – Anna Bressers,  available by email

Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Nurture Embody Empower