Summer Forum Series  2017

Theme:  The mystery and attraction of contrasting views

Sundays at 10:00 AM

 

June 18 - Julia Rossi, RN – How beliefs and attitudes towards addiction influence treatment and outcomes

Julia has been active in the family support community and writes a blog on topics of interest for families of addicts.

 

June 25 – The Crossroads Project: Musical Conversations About the Earth

A string quartet and visual artists from Utah State University

 

July 2 -  Michael Johnson, PhD, MSN – The Neuroscience of Meditation: Developing the Brain Substrates of Wellbeing

A UofU nursing faculty discusses research on the effects of meditation on the human brain.

 

July 9 - Maysa Kergaye – Hijabs and Halal: Dialogue with a Devout Utah Muslim

An open conversation with a community college math teacher and Zumba instructor

 

July 16 - Thomas Moyer  – Attempting the Impossible: Changing Minds on Climate Change.

Strategies used by the Citizens Climate Lobby to move climate deniers.

 

July 23 - Pat Bagley –Why are we laughing? Political Cartooning and Current Events

Award winning political cartoonist for The Salt Lake Tribune shares his perceptions

 

July 30 -  Pat Shea – Religious Liberty

First Amendment Attorney, past candidate for U.S. Congress and Governor in Utah

 

August 6 – Elliot Francis and William McMahon, M.D. -  Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Accepting Neurodiversity

A self-described ‘autist’ and a UofU psychiatrist discuss self-help and support strategies for adults on the spectrum.

 

August 13 – Rep. Patrice Arent and Rep. Dan McCay -- Ideology and Lawmaking: How Policymaking Gets Done

A dialogue between elected members of the Utah State Legislature with contrasting views.

 

August 20 – Katherine Kanter and Andrew Roberts -- Confronting Gerrymandering: Redrawing Political Boundaries

Members of Utahns for Responsive Government describe the upcoming ballot initiative to redraw Utah’s electoral districts.

FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION:

FROM THE ASHES

Friday, June 23rd, 7-9PM in Eliot Hall

From the Ashes captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration.  From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often heartbreaking stories about what’s at stake for our economy, health, and climate. From the Ashes invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives. Learn more: https://www.fromtheashesfilm.com/

From the Ashes was produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.   This screening has been made possible by the Interfaith Power & Light network of which Utah Interfaith Power & Light is a part.  This is a great opportunity see this film in advance of the National Geographic global broadcast premiere on June 25th.

Co-Sponsors: Association for the Tree of Life, Climate Emergency Coalition, and Environmental Ministry – First Unitarian Church of SLC.

The camping trip is attended by approximately 80 to 140 people depending on campsite. It is a community building activity were attendees of both services and their families can take time to get to know each other away from the church. For many attendees it is a family church tradition.

The event covers 3 nights and 4 days on average. Family friendly activities take place every day and there is a huge pot luck that is often also attended by people who drive up just for the day (another 10 people or so). This summer we will be camping at Pine Valley North Group Site C located up Mirror Lake Highway. The site holds 140 people (number of vehicles 25).  Cost is $30 per car.

Arrival Date: Fri Jul 21 2017 Check-in Time: 2:00 PM  Departure Date: Mon Jul 24 2017 Check-out Time: 1:00 PM

Overview: Pine Valley North Wasatch Cache Group Campground is located on the beautiful Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. The Uintas are known for their abundant recreational opportunities and scenic beauty.

Natural Features: The campground is situated among shady pines and aspens at an elevation of 7,400 feet. The dense stands of trees provide nice shade.

Recreation: The Lower Provo River is nearby, offering good trout fishing. Numerous hiking, biking and horseback riding trails crisscross this beautiful mountain area, including North Fork and Shingle Creek Trails. Off-road vehicle trails are in the vicinity.

Facilities: The campground contains three group sites with picnic and serving tables, grills, campfire circles and large paved parking areas. Vault toilets, and trash collection are provided. We are in Site C. Nearby Attractions: Mirror Lake Scenic Byway parallels the Lower Provo River as it snakes across a portion of the Uinta Mountains, leading to numerous high alpine lakes and streams, countless trails, breathtaking scenic viewpoints. Fishing, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding and biking are popular activities. The High Uintas Wilderness can be accessed from several trails along the byway.

There is limited parking, so please sign up  early by filling out the form and pay fee at by clicking here.  

Congregational Announcements

Congregational Survey.  Your Board of Trustees will be distributing our Annual Congregational Survey this week.  Please watch for an email with a link to the survey.  You can also find the survey on our church website.  We will have a few paper forms available at the Congregational Life table.  This is a 10-minute task that provides critical information for the Board and church staff.  Please let us know how we are doing by completing the survey before June 1.  Survey results will be shared with the congregation in September.

Refugee Resettlement Committee Sweep the dust off your porch, wipe the frost off your windows and critically scan inside your house for vibrant living and dining furniture, table lamps, wall art, etc. Spot what you can do without, and can share with families of tired, bright faces new to the Salt Lake Valley arriving in need our help. Seize the item and call Joe DuBray (904-527-9773) or email () and someone from the RRC will pick it up, promptly, to welcome and brighten the Spring of a refugee family.

Social Justice Film June 1st The congregation, and all members of the community are invited to a free film, 'Oriented,'  7 pm, June 1 in Eliot Hall.  This film will be of special interest to LBGTQs, and all minorities.  This cutting edge film is about three gay Palestinian friends,  who leave families and religion, and move to Tel Aviv where they will explore their sexuality, religious beliefs and cultural norms.  Sponsored by the Tanner Center for Human Rights, Unitarian Social Justice Council and Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land. Film not suitable for children. Adult language, adult themes.

UU Lunch Bunch A family-friendly group for anyone and everyone who would like to get together for lunch and chat with like-minded people. Meet at the Restaurant on Sundays following coffee hour. For more information contact Sonia Carnell at (801) 262-1151 or

  • May 28th: Flatbread Naepolitian Pizzeria (2121 S. McClelland, Ste. E)
  • June 4th: Desert Edge Brewery (Trolley Square)
  • June 11th: Church Picnic at Sugarhouse Park
  • June 18th: Avenues Proper (376 8th Avenue)
  • June 25th: Oasis Cafe (151 South 500 East)

FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION:

FROM THE ASHES

Friday, June 23rd, 7-9PM in Eliot Hall

From the Ashes captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration.  From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often heartbreaking stories about what’s at stake for our economy, health, and climate. From the Ashes invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their lives. Learn more: https://www.fromtheashesfilm.com/

From the Ashes was produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.   This screening has been made possible by the Interfaith Power & Light network of which Utah Interfaith Power & Light is a part.  This is a great opportunity see this film in advance of the National Geographic global broadcast premiere on June 25th.

Co-Sponsors: Association for the Tree of Life, Climate Emergency Coalition, and Environmental Ministry – First Unitarian Church of SLC.

On Being White ...

-Submitted by Joan M. Gregory, Member, Anti-Racism Committee (ARC)

So many of us in our congregation are white.  We’ve been white for our entire lives.  Obvious?  Maybe ... maybe not.  Being white is something we cannot escape, being white is something we cannot change.  In America, being white comes with privilege.   Privilege that we take for granted, privilege we take advantage of every living moment of our lives.  Privilege we are taught NEVER to see.  But privilege is something we can and must change, privilege is something we can learn to see, and then learn how to speak up and show up and stand up when white privilege and white supremacy take action to trample and endanger people of color.

Some of us have dark skin and we’ve had dark skin for our entire lives.  Being dark skinned, being black, being people of color, is something we cannot escape, something we cannot change.   In America, being dark skinned, being black, being people of color, is dangerous every living moment of our lives.   From the day we are born our community teaches us that we must be vigilant every second.  We must practice this vigilance daily, we must teach it to our children.  It is the air we breathe.

And when we speak up for our rights or the rights of our children or friends or colleagues, we, people of color, are taking huge risks.  We are not bringing race into unrelated contexts or playing the race card.  We are living and breathing the impacts of racial injustice ... all ... the ... time.  There isn’t a moment of rest.  It is the context we live in.

What does racial injustice look like in SLC?   Rebecca Hall, JD, PhD, an African American woman, was fired on April 6, 2017 via a text message from her position as Center Coordinator of South Salt Lake’s Promise after school program located at Cottonwood High School.  Read - http://tinyurl.com/FiringOfRebeccaHall  - about the impact of her firing not only on her, but on the immigrant families whom she was serving.  How would you respond?  Would you ask: What may I do to help?

What does white privilege look like?   How will we respond?   Want to understand more?  Want to get involved?  Join the Anti-Racism Committee of First Unitarian Church at our June meeting on Monday, June 19th, 6:30-8:30PM, in Room 207, RE Building.   To be added to our email list, send an email to: .  We are considering doing another round of reading Debby Irving’s Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.   Would you like to participate in the reading and discussion?  Send an email to: to let us know.

We are also working with others in the Salt Lake community, in particular, SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice).   SURJ meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7PM at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 261 S 900 E.  Check out their Facebook page closer to the meeting date to verify date and time: https://www.facebook.com/surjslc/

Learn more at the SURJ meeting, the ARC meeting, or stop by the Environmental Ministry table on Sunday.  Why the Environmental Ministry table – because all things are connected - Dr. Hall is also an active member of the environmental and climate justice community.

The last column of the year invites a review of the church over these past twelve months. It was a year like no other, primarily because of the shock to the nervous system generated by the presidential election last November 8th. Every progressive idea related to the improvement of rights for African Americans, LGBTQ, immigrants, labor, healthcare, and the environment, came to a grinding halt. All trajectories of when justice might wind its way more fully into the American mainstream were erased. Instead, a new administration sought a reversal of all movements that could make society more fair: reduce minority voting, cancel women’s reproductive rights, legalize discrimination against LGBTQ through religious freedom, cut Medicaid, decimate the social safety net, force environmental science to shut down, and return federal lands to oil and gas explorations. Everything liberal religion stood for and fought for was destroyed in a heartbeat.

At least we still had a community to turn to for support, grief work, and hope wherever it could be found. But progressives with no such community, who prided themselves on “spiritual self-sufficiency” while hiking, skiing, golfing, etc, now felt themselves at a loss. A world that many assumed would naturally continue to run its course towards greater parity in pay, equality among races, universal health care, and reversing the output of CO2 into the atmosphere, had suddenly crumbled. The fact that people need each other in crises, need community to restore their faith, need to connect with others to return sanity to the world, has proven an inescapable reality. Churches such as ours have experienced an influx of people since the election. In the literal sense of the word, people come searching for salvation: Deliverance from the consequence of harm, ruin, and sin.

Historically, Unitarianism received its greatest “bump” in church attendance during the McCarthy years in the 1950’s. When the country takes a hard turn to the right, and freedoms are abrogated, and the roadmap for democracy gets shredded, the internal juices of resistance begin to flow. People turn to institutions that represent their ideas of fairness and justice and equality. When the machinery of government cranks out repression and despair, we know we cannot resist as individuals. People need to be linked with others in institutional ways.

Our church year now coming to a close will be remembered for our response to a national crisis, which threatened the basic human freedoms and rights of many of its citizens. This year 53 new families have made a financial commitment to the church, and have joined with us in our social justice work and in fostering the right environment for educating our children.

This church year has not only welcomed new families, it has energized those who have been a part of this community for a long while. The church vibrates with enthusiasm and the tenor of the church has recaptured the spirit of volunteerism and generosity. Our committees are running at peak efficiency, the concept of strategic planning has taken root, and we have surpassed our pledge goal for the first time in recent memory. Our hope for adding a second minister to the staff has been realized. We will meet the Rev. Monica Dobbins from Birmingham, Alabama on June 11th.

It has been an exciting year, and a great one for us to build upon. We will be fully engaged in the work of justice. We have the resources and determination, which come as sweet honey to a church institution like ours. I look forward to the coming year. TRG


 

Among Ourselves

A memorial service for Christine Wood will be held in the chapel on June 3rd at 11:00 a.m.

My family is dysfunctional and fabulous and that's the best way I can describe them and me!  I was born the youngest of six children in Culver City, CA (near Santa Monica and Venice Beach).  I grew up sharing a room with my three older sisters, therefor a “personal bubble” does not exist with me.  This also explains my volume: loud, louder, or loudest.  My mother was the "hostess with the mostess" and there was always enough food and an extra seat at the dinner table for whoever wanted to stay or needed to eat; I owe all my hospitality skills to her!  Both my parents were very social people so we often had parties and family gatherings and there was rarely a quiet moment in my house.

I had the best summers growing up; we would pack up a cooler with food, drinks and snacks and spend all day body surfing, burying ourselves in the sand and digging up sand crabs.  To this day my heart and soul yearns to smell the ocean and feel hot sand in between my toes.  My parents divorced when I was nine and I moved out to Palm Desert, CA with my Mom and Stepdad for my highschool years.  I unfortunately was the only child during those years because my older siblings were out on their own or living with my Dad.  I ran Cross Country and just hung out with friends and just like many teenagers, I was insecure and lost.  The best time of year would be when I went and spent a month with my older sisters, Carrie and Emily.  Carrie was starting her family so I was fortunate enough to be around her family, while my sister Emily taught me the most valuable lesson; how to manage my curly hair!

I graduated early and did a foreign exchange program to Belgium that changed my life forever; even though I didn’t know it at the time!!  I learned some French, a whole new way of living life and fell in love with cheese and bread!!  I moved to San Luis Obispo shortly after returning from Belgium where I worked and went to school off and on and grew more fond of smaller towns.  In 2005 I moved to Utah because my oldest sister, Carrie, lived here and I needed a change.

During these past 12 years living in Utah, I earned my Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Utah, discovered my passion to serve people in need, met amazing friends and my partner, John, of 7 years.  We have 1 dog and 3 cats and are currently looking to purchase our first home together.  I am currently the Volunteer Engagement Manager at Fourth Street Clinic, a medical clinic that provides primary and urgent care to the majority of the homeless population here in Salt Lake City and County.

For fun I love to Salsa and Bachata dance, a passion that I will be do until my body doesn’t allow me to.  I love jewelry, fashion, spending all my summer days at Rock Port Reservoir, and FOOD!!!  I am a BIG FOODIE and I love making dinner for friends and family.  Someday I would like to open up a Plan B Corporation where the proceeds feed back into the business that has the mission to help people in need.  I am a quote fanatic and at the moment here are a few of my favorites: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself", “Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken, but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places”, and  " Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody".

I landed at the First Unitarian Church eight years ago because I felt like I needed a spiritual place to go.  I cried after the service because I felt like I could really connect to the message and I also took the Build Your Own Theology class.  I remember Rev. Tom being surprised about what I wrote at the end of the class and said I had a lot of empathy- that stuck with me.  It took me seven years to return after that class but when I did the first person who approached me was a young adult named Charlie who immediately wanted to talk about life and why I was here.  During that same conversation Rev. Matthew joined in and listened and with his amazing demeanour told me, "Welcome Home," and that moment I knew I’d found more of my tribe.

First Unitarian Church means more and more to me as I get to know the amazing people here and do service that connects me to this community.  It's the one place I can wave my freak flag and ask the hard questions that no one has answers too.  I love being a part of a spiritual community that constantly reminds me to be a better person and challenges me. I am currently the co-chair with the Hospitality & Welcoming Committee where we coordinate greeters, the Congregational Life & Welcome table, and generally try to make folks feel welcome.  I also go the Wednesday night meetings for Young Adults.  I want to do a small group ministry and host a dinner and dialogue, which will be my goals for next year.

I decided to sign the book and become a full fledged member after Trump was elected and the First Unitarian Church was the only place I felt safe to go to where I could cry and mourn for our country.  I really felt like I was part of a community and even my dance coach came to cry and mourn with me that day.  I thought to myself, "What would I have done, if I didn't have First UU?" and that’s when I realized I wanted to become a member.  I totally pledge too!  I understand that I need to pay the staff and take of care of my spiritual home and this is just part of it, period.  I love the people and conversations at First Unitarian Church and everything it stands for and am grateful and honored to be a part of this amazing community!  Thank you to everyone for showing me your love and generosity and welcoming me with open arms and hearts!!

Summer Forum Series  2017

Theme:  The mystery and attraction of contrasting views

Sundays at 10:00 AM

 

June 18 - Julia Rossi, RN – How beliefs and attitudes towards addiction influence treatment and outcomes

Julia has been active in the family support community and writes a blog on topics of interest for families of addicts.

 

June 25 – The Crossroads Project: Musical Conversations About the Earth

A string quartet and visual artists from Utah State University

 

July 2 -  Michael Johnson, PhD, MSN – The Neuroscience of Meditation: Developing the Brain Substrates of Wellbeing

A UofU nursing faculty discusses research on the effects of meditation on the human brain.

 

July 9 - Maysa Kergaye – Hijabs and Halal: Dialogue with a Devout Utah Muslim

An open conversation with a community college math teacher and Zumba instructor

 

July 16 - Thomas Moyer  – Attempting the Impossible: Changing Minds on Climate Change.

Strategies used by the Citizens Climate Lobby to move climate deniers.

 

July 23 - Pat Bagley –Why are we laughing? Political Cartooning and Current Events

Award winning political cartoonist for The Salt Lake Tribune shares his perceptions

 

July 30 -  Pat Shea – Religious Liberty

First Amendment Attorney, past candidate for U.S. Congress and Governor in Utah

 

August 6 – Elliot Francis and William McMahon, M.D. -  Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Accepting Neurodiversity

A self-described ‘autist’ and a UofU psychiatrist discuss self-help and support strategies for adults on the spectrum.

 

August 13 – Rep. Patrice Arent and Rep. Dan McCay -- Ideology and Lawmaking: How Policymaking Gets Done

A dialogue between elected members of the Utah State Legislature with contrasting views.

 

August 20 – Katherine Kanter and Andrew Roberts -- Confronting Gerrymandering: Redrawing Political Boundaries

Members of Utahns for Responsive Government describe the upcoming ballot initiative to redraw Utah’s electoral districts.

“The ancient human question ‘Who am I?’ leads inevitably to the equally important question ‘Whose am I?’ – for there is no selfhood outside of relationship.”  - Douglas Steere, quoted by Parker Palmer in Let Your Life Speak

You and I find ourselves in the opposite position, don’t we? You already know by now “whose” I am – I am yours! I am your new minister. But you probably don’t know “who” I am. I am anxious to tell you about myself, and curious to learn about you as well – your lives, your values, your history, the things you love and that matter to you. I want you to know these things about me too.

I graduate from seminary in just a couple of weeks, so this will be my first full-time professional ministry. As a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, I have focused my efforts on multicultural and anti-oppression ministries, social justice efforts, and pastoral care. I love to preach, and I am an avid student of history. These are the gifts I’m bringing to my ministry among you.

But I’ll bet you’d like to know something a bit more personal about me. So I’d also like to tell you that I have been married to a fantastic fellow, Drew Reamer, for 15 wonderful years, and we have a daughter, Hana Dobbins-Reamer, who will be 10 by the time you meet her. Hana is a spunky, self-assured, free-thinking young lady, and our closest friends sometimes call us “the Gilmore Girls”.  Our family loves hiking and camping – Hana and I are both Girl Scouts – and we are big fans of Harry Potter and the Rick Riordan books for young readers. I love to quilt, when I have time, and I love to cook. Of course, it’s hard to beat the food in Alabama, but I welcome you to prove it to me otherwise!

I’m a proud Southerner, and you’ll know when you talk with me: you’ll hear that Southern drawl in my voice, and you’ll often hear me sing and clap and laugh out loud. Yet I love to travel, and I’m so excited about this adventure to the Mountain West. Nothing makes me feel more alive than seeing a new place and getting to know its land, people, and cultures. I cannot wait to share this journey with you.

Yours in faith,

Monica Dobbins

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