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Service Every Sunday -10:30am
 Religious Exploration -10:30am
(toddlers through High School)

9185 Monte Vista Avenue
Montclair, California 91763
(3 blocks north of the 10 Freeway)

Contact Us
Phone: (909) 626-0520
Email: minister@montevistauu.org 

Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation (formerly the First Unitarian Society of Pomona Valley) has been a beacon of liberal religious life in the Pomona Valley since 1888. We are located just east of Los Angeles.

We are a progressive community that encourages and supports individual spiritual quests while we work together for social justice.  We cherish the diversity of age, ability, belief, race, ethnicity, country of origin, language, economic status, education, political perspective, gender, sexual orientation or family structure.

We are Freethinker Friendly: we provide a welcoming community for people with atheist, agnostic, humanist , and other non-theistic world views.

We hope you will find a spiritual home with us.

Upcoming Sunday Worship Services

  • Sun
    23
    Aug
    2015

    Our brains constantly search for patterns and find them -- or make them up. Humans are truly "The Storytelling Animal," to reference the title of Jonathan Gottschall's book. Stories make us humans. We will explore common patterns in stories, including the centrality of trouble. When is it possible to change a story's ending? ~ Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    30
    Aug
    2015

    Sponsored by MVUUC Book Club
    Presentation by Delores Burris and the Book Club.

    Abraham Peraza, Lay Leader
    Lily Popova, Piano

  • Sun
    06
    Sep
    2015

    Unitarian Universalists get irritated with the way that fundamentalist Christians seem to cherry pick passages from the Bible to legitimate behaviors that we often find unacceptable and socially destructive. I will argue that economic fundamentalists do much the same thing with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to justify behaviors that are equally destructive.
    Presented By: Dick Olson

  • Sun
    13
    Sep
    2015

    A comedian once quipped, "How can I miss you if you won't go away?" Many of us had an opportunity to travel away from home for a day or a week or possibly even longer this summer. As summer rhythms give way to the rhythms of fall, we mark our time of reunion with the Unitarian Universalist Water Ceremony. You are invited to bring real or virtual water from the tap at home or from farther away and pour it into our common bowl in this annual ceremony. Families with children will have an opportunity to speak early in the service, and then children will go to their classes.
    Minister: Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    20
    Sep
    2015

    The Jewish tradition marks Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as High Holy Days. We will reflect on those we have hurt in the past year and on those who have hurt us. How can we move forward with integrity? Individual responses may differ, though the first step is acknowledging the presence of hurt. In a culture that values feeling good, religion can help us work with feeling "not so good."
    Minister: Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    27
    Sep
    2015

    Treating people with dignity is important as an expression of Unitarian Universalism. In this multi-generational service, we will explore ways to treat people with dignity.
    Presented by: Amy Randall and Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    04
    Oct
    2015

    Abigail Clauhs will use her experiences in Israel and Palestine this summer (as part of the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East's human rights delegation) to explore how building peace is linked to justice work--an important lesson for our efforts here at home as well. This will be a Lay led service.

    Lay Leader: Abigail Clauhs

  • Sun
    11
    Oct
    2015

    Criminal justice systems in this country and around the world are flawed. It is easy to become discouraged at the size of the problem. However, we can join caring people near and far who support the United Nations in its work to improve criminal justice systems. The focus of our annual United Nations service is on the shift from punitive to restorative international criminal justice. We will receive an update from the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and also mark the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty.

    Lay Leader:  Jeanine Little

  • Sun
    18
    Oct
    2015

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    Are we defined by what we do? And what does that say about inherent worth and dignity? Popular guest speaker and oncology chaplain, Michael Eselun will explore these questions.

    Michael Eselun, a certified chaplain, serves as the chaplain for the Simms-Mann/UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. He has worked extensively in oncology, hospice, palliative care and with acute psychiatric patients. He's been invited many times to speak to students, doctors, nurses, social workers, and to dozens of faith communities across the country about his work as a chaplain. He recently gave the keynote at the national conference for Women Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer in Philadelphia, and was the keynote speaker at the Promising Practices for Mental Health and Aging Conference at the California Endowment.

    Michael is also a co-founder and chair of a non-profit, volunteer anti-homophobia speakers bureau called GLIDE, Gays and Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality. Over the last 20-plus years, Michael and his fellow speakers have spoken to an audience of over 150,000 students, teachers, and other various groups and agencies in the LA area about homophobia. He has a TED talk available on-line via You Tube, called “It’s Magic” and you can find out more about him at www.michaeleselun.com. He will have CD’s available for purchase after the service which include several of his talks.

  • Sun
    25
    Oct
    2015

    Our second Unitarian Universalist Principle relates to justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Justice, equity, and compassion are "super powers" that each of us can use. They may not give us X-ray vision or allow us to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but justice, equity, and compassion change lives. They help us become better people and help us make the world a better place. In this multi-generational service, we will explore our super second Unitarian Universalist Principle (the second of seven Principles).

    Lay Leader: Amy Randall, DRE

  • Sun
    01
    Nov
    2015

    Join us in celebrating the lives of those that have passed on by keeping their memory alive in this beautiful tribute based on a Mexican tradition that is celebrated in many places around the world. Lots of music, fun and a soulful meditation that leads to writing an "ofrenda" to your dearly departed. One of our favorite services at Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

  • Sun
    08
    Nov
    2015

    Last month in Salt Lake City, about 9,000 people gathered, reportedly representing over 200 religious traditions. This was only the sixth Parliament of the World's Religions. (The initial one took place in Chicago in 1893). Dozens of Unitarian Universalists attended, including three people from this congregation. We will share reflections and intriguing questions that emerged. Among other topics, Rev. Ann will talk about the presentation on "Healing Moral Injury in Returning Veterans and Families." Our "Share the Plate" offering will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Pomona Valley.

  • Sun
    15
    Nov
    2015

    Our guest preacher, The Rev Ms. Denise Tracy, was ordained in 1974 as a Unitarian Universalist Minister. Come meet and hear what Rev. Tracy has to share with us about love.  During her career she had ministries on Campus, (Hartford, 74-76) in the Parish (Greater Lansing, MI 76-84), UUA Staff (Central Midwest 84-92), Consultant (Alban Institute 92-07) Interim (07-12) South Bend, Cincinnati, San Mateo.)  She serves as a Police Chaplain for the City of Elgin, IL, where she lives.  She received the 2014 MLK Jr. Humanitarian Award for her work in making Elgin a City of Peace. She tutors two days a week in a middle school.  She retired from UU Ministry in 2014.  Retired, however, is not a word that describes her life. She has been accepted into Pilgrim Place moving to Claremont within a few years.

  • Sun
    22
    Nov
    2015

    Our third Unitarian Universalist Principle is about acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. To honor the acceptance of each other we are going to celebrate with a breaking of bread. Like the grain that rises into bread loaves, we will share stories that will help encourage us to grow spiritually. Bring bread from your heritage or a family favorite to share.

    UUSC's annual GUEST AT YOUR TABLE program begins. Come witness a unique approach to Social Justice.

  • Sun
    29
    Nov
    2015

    2-6-2013 7-53-42 PMDecember is the roughest time of the year for many folks, including upbeat Unitarian Universalists. How do we deal with loneliness and despondency during December? How can we experience deep and abiding joy? Guest speaker: The Rev. Dr. Tom Owen-Towle has been a parish minister since 1967 and is the author of two dozen books on personal relationships and spiritual growth. Tom and his life-partner, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle, are the active parents of four children and seven grand-children. Tom is a guitarist and parlor magician, who currently sings with seniors, mentors children and youth-at-risk, and volunteers with San Diego’s homeless. His sermon will be based upon his recent book entitled: UNWRAPPING The Inner Gifts of Christmas. This book and others will be available following the service. Tom is gratified to be returning to the Monte Vista UU Congregation.

  • Sun
    06
    Dec
    2015

    Join us this Sunday to a morning filled with music as the choir sings its holiday concert during the service to lead us into the holiday season. Bring your friends and family and sing along to Christmas carols.

  • Sun
    13
    Dec
    2015

    For two millennia, people have told of the child in a Bethlehem manger; of angels who announced his birth to shepherds, and of learned men who traveled a great distance to view him. In this time of world unrest, we experience the Christmas Story and expound on the messages of hope, love, and peace. Lay Leader: Amy Randall

  • Sun
    20
    Dec
    2015

    Given the pace of daily life and given the responsibilities that may weigh heavily upon us, it may be tempting to treat another person as "it" -- an object that either helps us or hinders us. In contrast, we may regard another person as "Thou" -- a subject entitled to high regard and worthy of authentic relationship. The Jewish writer Martin Buber wrote about the distinction between "I - It" relationships and "I - Thou" relationships in the early 20th century. He did not wish to be considered a philosopher or a theologian, yet his wisdom has much to offer us. We will explore ways to improve the quality of our relationships.

  • Thu
    24
    Dec
    2015

    7:00PM in the Sanctuary.  In this season when news stories about refugees abound, we remember the birth of Jesus. His parents had trouble finding a place to stay, and Christian tradition holds that he was born in a stable manger. Just as Jesus could not be defined by the circumstances of his birth, neither can we be defined by the circumstances of our birth. In this traditional service filled with music and congregational singing, we will reflect upon Jesus' message of inclusion and hope. You are invited to bring treats to share at the reception following the service.

  • Sun
    27
    Dec
    2015

    Our annual poetry and pot luck! Bring your favorite dish and poetry to share.

  • Sun
    07
    Feb
    2016

    This sermon will address the many aspects of that sometimes slippery word, “Friendship.” This comes a week before that annual celebration of love – Valentine's Day, an appropriate Sunday to look again at what can be one of the most difficult exams of our lives – how to make and nourish and keep a friend. I find that it's all worth it because friendship, in its many guises can enrich, heal and extend our days. I look forward to sharing my experiences of these ultimate connections with you, my dear friends who bring purpose and generosity of spirit into my life.

  • Sun
    14
    Feb
    2016

    Multiple time zones separate us from our partner congregation in the mountaintop hamlet of Calapayan, Philippines. Yet the heart is not bound by time zones. We will reflect upon some changes over the past year which have affected our Philippine partners. Digital technology makes it easier than ever to strengthen the online connections between us. In this annual service focused on the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines, be prepared to leave your heart in Calapayan

  • Sun
    21
    Feb
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale, a Unitarian Universalist minister, has proposed a new genre of literature – mysti-fi. The term is short for mystical fiction, or novels which are neither science fiction nor fantasy, but which explore spiritual and mystical themes, in past, present or future settings. Her book "Mysteries of the Esse: Shala's Hope" will be the springboard for exploration of spiritual and mystical themes.

  • Sun
    28
    Feb
    2016

    In this multigenerational service, we will explore the democratic process in our liberal religious tradition.

  • Sun
    06
    Mar
    2016

    It’s JUSTICE SUNDAY with a WELCOMING LUNCH after service.

    SHARE THE PLATE goes to UUSC. (cash & checks accepted).
    The UU Service Committee, our premier Social Justice organization brings Pam Sparr, Associate Director for Justice Building, to speak about the Syrian refugee crisis & what we, as Unitarian Universalists and people of faith, are called to do .

    After service we’re having a  "WELCOMING LUNCH” to meet our local Syrian refugee families and friends. Breaking bread together is the universal way to create community. Translators will be available. Plan to stay longer than usual. The families have children ages newborn to 21.  Potluck lunch for everyone. 

    People at Dinner

    Everyone, please bring something to share (no pork).  All other foods are OK. The Syrians are bringing food too. (Stuffed grape leaves have already been promised.)  Come. MVUUC is one of the first UU congregations in the country to offer a Welcoming Lunch for refugees.  It's a great opportunity to share in community.

    Special music by Gary Daniels & Harry Ragland. Worship Associates: Social Justice Coordinating Committee. 

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    Parking may be limited. Please park in Appleby's parking lot. Thank you.

     

  • Sun
    13
    Mar
    2016

    As we approach St. Patrick's Day, we pause to reflect on what makes a saint and what makes a sinner. They are each loaded words and not commonly addressed in Unitarian Universalist worship services. We will also explore what it means for the congregation to be "Freethinker Friendly." The choir will present music with Irish themes.

    Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    20
    Mar
    2016

    In our fast-paced world where there seems to be a new "trending topic" each day, the importance of dedication over the long haul may fade from view.  What does it mean to dedicate ourselves to a way of living?  What does it mean to work (and play) for the common good?  We will consider the types of dedication that make a satisfying life sustainable.
    Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    27
    Mar
    2016

    Followers of Jesus draw comfort, hope, and courage from his enduring presence.  Among the multitude of ways of interpreting the life and death of Jesus, what is your way?  In this multigenerational service centering on the Sixth Source of Unitarian Universalism (the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all), we will explore links and tensions between the ways of Jesus and the goal of world community.  The choir will present music with Easter themes.

    Rev. Ann Schranz and DRE Amy Randall

  • Sun
    03
    Apr
    2016

    Galen_GuengerichThe problem with many of the challenges we face today — from climate change and inequality to sexism, racism and other forms of bigotry — is that they are so complicated and so deeply-entrenched that it’s hard to know how you and I as individuals should think about them, much less how we might do anything about them. What can one person do? For that matter, what can one congregation do?

    Galen Guengerich is Senior Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church, an historic congregation located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. He is the tenth person to hold this position in the congregation’s 194-year history.  He is a well-known public speaker on important issues of our time.  He is author of God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age (Palgrave Macmillan) and writes a regular column on “The Search for Meaning” for psychologytoday.com, as well as writing occasionally for Huffington Post and for FaithStreet.  Don't miss this topical sermon right here at Monte Vista UU congregation by a dynamic speaker of our own faith.

  • Sun
    10
    Apr
    2016

    revannAs ripples move through water, our lives ripple through time, space, and people.  Sometimes the effects are dramatically evident.  Other times, the effects are subtle.  What legacies do we hope to leave behind when absence replaces presence?  It is never too soon to begin considering the ways we hope to be remembered.  Such reflection helps shape today, and it hints at tomorrow's richness.
    Rev. Ann Schranz

     

  • Sun
    17
    Apr
    2016

    Picture of Earth from Space
    "Blue Boat Home"

    Climate change is turning our planet into a hot potato.  We could toss the potato into the hands of future generations, but they will not appreciate it, and we will have squandered an opportunity.  Our opportunity lies in experimenting to find more sustainable ways of well being for all.  Socioeconomic and political forces are often resistant to change, but resistance is simply resistance.  What matters is how we respond.  We will also focus on the Jewish Passover story of liberation from oppression as we seek to generate hope against the odds.

    Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    24
    Apr
    2016

    COA youthIMG_4107COMING OF AGE service created and presented by youth:
    Amina El-Zatmah, Brianna Greene, Geoff Norman-Anderson, Jaime Esparza, Miles Presley, Naomi Davison and Noelle Holmes.  Our youth will be formally welcomed into the congregation.   The COMING OF AGE ceremony is an incredible witness to our future generation.

  • Sun
    01
    May
    2016

    Guest Speaker Carol Hayward, M.Div., M.A., was raised in Northern California. She earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts, and is pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. In May 2015, Carol received her second Master's degree in Inter-Religious Studies from Claremont School of Theology.

  • Sun
    08
    May
    2016

    IMG_4155 IMG_4096 IMG_4091blue boat home IMG_4090Amy_RandallsquareIMG_4157

    On this Mother's Day we celebrate two important things, Human Moms and Mother Earth. In our last service about the principles we look at our 7th Principle, Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
    Amy Randall and Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    15
    May
    2016

    flowersIn 1923, Unitarian minister Rev. Norbert Capek introduced a flower ceremony to his congregation in Czechoslovakia. The ceremony draws attention to the beauty of each individual and highlights the ways we are different from one another yet complement one another. Rev. Norbert lost his life at the hands of the Nazi's, yet his message and the flower ceremony continue. From prison, he wrote, "When a holy enthusiasm seizes the heart, your face lights up. You feel like a star singing. Your very soul, hearing your song, is radiant. It was, and it will be again."

    Please bring a flower to the service, and know that you will take home a different flower.

    Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    22
    May
    2016

    Improvisation and Motivations"

    Jazz musicians improvise within certain musical conventions. While there have been people who excelled at blurring musical boundaries, for the most part, conventions or patterns assist with communication in music, art, and life.  Ministers improvise within certain religious conventions.  Jazz pianist Harry Ragland and Rev. Ann will engage in spoken and musical dialogue about the motivations for her ministerial improvisations in the congregation and in the community.

    Harry Ragland and Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    29
    May
    2016

    We take a look back at this year's RPicnic imageeligious Exploration program for children and youth.  We Are Unitarian Universalists, and honor those who have worked to make it so successful. Led by Religious Exploration Director, Amy Randall, and RE Teachers.
    Please join us for a year-end celebration Potluck Picnic in the RE area following the service. Bring something Yummy.  Hot dogs (meat & veggie) and drinks provided.  All ages encouraged to participate.

  • Sun
    05
    Jun
    2016

    Rita Salama, MVUUC member, will share her perceptions of Tanzania, the spiritual practice of forgiveness, and the journey towards love.

    Rita works for Village Network Africa; a local nonprofit that provides health education, clean water projects and improved sanitation in rural Tanzania.  Rita spent a month in Africa last fall.  Come hear her tell her tales.  To find out more, go to www.vnafrica.org.

  • Sun
    12
    Jun
    2016

    After serving as the congregation's minister for nine years, Rev. Ann is retiring from full-time ministry at the end of June.  In this service, we will remember key moments during her time with the congregation.  Rev. Ann will share a blessing and her best wishes for the congregation.  Please stay for a community Fare-Thee-Well Potluck luncheon after the service.  Everyone of all ages are invited to participate.
    Rev. Ann Schranz

  • Sun
    19
    Jun
    2016

    WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?
    Join us as the choir performs most loved songs.  Choir members as well as congregants will speak on "What Music Means to Me".   Come participate in a service of song.
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

  • Sun
    26
    Jun
    2016

    Celebrate and Honor the animals with which we share our lives and our Earth. Bring a photo or bring your animal companions to be blessed and bless us with their presence.  In consideration of other animals and human beings, have a way to contain your animal for protection or possible accidents. This will be an intergenerational, interspecies service.  There will be a special story for all ages by Rev. Ann Schranz about her cat, Chester.  This will be Rev. Ann’s final appearance from the pulpit before she retires.
    Minister Rev. Ann Schranz, DRE Amy Randall with Lay Leader:  Catherine Rowlee

  • Sun
    03
    Jul
    2016

    Guest Speaker:   Ahmad Adib Shaar
    On a weekend when Americans are reflecting on their love of their country and listening to the stirring sounds of John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and America on Parade it is well that we hear of the love that others have of their places, especially when those places are being torn apart by violence which is not of their making.  The city of Aleppo, Syria, is such a place.  One of the oldest cities in the world, a center of world culture when Europe was going through its Dark Ages, it has been a place where Muslims, Christians, and Jews have lived together in peace for centuries, and it is now being destroyed.

    Ahmad Adib Sharr is an Aleppine citizen and engineer who is being hosted this year by Harvey Mudd College and sponsored by the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Program.  He has a special interest in what he calls the intangible heritage of Aleppo, he is a member of the Archaeological Society of Aleppo, and he has been posting daily reflections from Aleppo on Facebook during the past five years as his city has been under attack by Syria’s government, by radical Islamists, and more recently by Russian air strikes.
    Lay Leader:  Dick Olson

  • Sun
    10
    Jul
    2016

    Celebrate the Sun with CUUPs and the Circle Singers.  We will welcome the Summer with a belated Solstice Ritual that celebrates, honors, and greets the Summer season. The congregation is invited to join us in the songs and chants if they so desire.

     

  • Sun
    17
    Jul
    2016

    Guest Speaker:  Ellen Livingston

    Some say the world would be better off without religion. Many prefer the more user-friendly word “spiritual.” In this scientific/technological age do we need either word to describe our faith? I propose we need religion more than ever today: a religion that does not need a super-natural god or holy scriptures to validate our beliefs. I suggest we embrace a more evolved and democratic religion appropriate for our times and our aspirations.

    Ellen Livingston is minister emerita of MVUUC.

  • Sun
    24
    Jul
    2016

    Guest Speaker: Professor Madeleine Scully

    Professor Madeleine Scully, chairman of San Bernardino College’s Performing Arts Department explores being your authentic self, the self you were meant to be.  In addition to sharing her outstanding teaching and vocal careers, she offers insights into her unique life’s experiences first as a man, and then as a woman.

  • Sun
    31
    Jul
    2016

    Guest Speaker: Abigail Clauhs
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    Our prophets call us not just to commemorate them but to continue their work. What do our heroes of the past--such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and the UUs who marched at Selma fifty years ago--call us to do in the face of racism today?

  • Sun
    07
    Aug
    2016

    Rev. Ellen Livingston and Barbara Dev present two seminal works:  One that predicted human-induced climate change, another that is at the center of Eastern philosophy's influence on the West. Presented by the MVUUC Book Club.

     

  • Sun
    14
    Aug
    2016

    Lay Leader:  Mary McMahon

    Come join in singing and learning songs from our hymnbook, “Singing the Living Tradition” and “Singing the Journey” as we experience and learn how music impacts the way we worship. Abraham Peraza will present a brief history on music’s development in history and in the church. There will be lots of singing!!!

  • Sun
    21
    Aug
    2016

    Speaker:  Rev. Susan Manker-SealeRev. Susan Manker-Seale

    One of my colleagues used to love to sing this David Bowie phrase when faced with transitions.  The line after it goes, “Turn and face the strange.”  It can be so hard to do, but that is life.  Interim ministry is about changes, otherwise known as transitions.  This Sunday, I’ll introduce myself to you a little, and share some anecdotes about the nature of change within ourselves and our organizations, as we kick off our new interim ministry.

  • Sun
    28
    Aug
    2016

    Speaker:  Rev. Susan Manker-Seale

    Creativity fascinates me.  In a way, it’s almost as if it’s the sacred way of being, as opposed to adhering to a dogma that denies the free breath of faith.  How do we balance the traditions we inherit and love with the desire for singing a new song, and not just singing one, but actually writing one?  How might we apply the creative spirit to worship, religious exploration, and social action?  How do we imbue our lives with sacred creativity?

  • Sun
    04
    Sep
    2016

    Speaker:  Dick Olson

    In the late nineteenth century, the self-educated American philosopher, Elbert Hubbard, argued that, "Life is a paradox.  Every truth has its counterpart which contradicts it; and every philosopher supplies the logic for his own undoing."  Hubbard was right.  I am told by B.F. Skinner and his fellow travelers that everything I think and do is determined by my biology and my environment; yet I am told by my Free Thinking friends that they can and should be free to choose their own beliefs and commitments.  Some tell me to use my head, while others say listen to your heart or your gut.  Some say persevere against the odds, while others say don't throw good money after bad.  How do we live satisfactorily in a world filled with massive contradictions?

  • Sun
    11
    Sep
    2016

    Speakers: Amy Randall and Rev. Susan Manker-Seale

    Bring water from your summer travels or favorite, precious places, and we will share briefly the importance of sacred spaces in our lives.  Metaphorical water works, as well (as in from the kitchen sink).  We will gather in multi-generational community for the entire service.

  • Sun
    18
    Sep
    2016

    Speakers: Rita Salama, Laura Mulroy, Maribel Dana, and Rev. Susan Manker-Seale

    Who are we as Unitarian Universalists here in Montclair/Claremont?  Who might we become?  We’ll explore the importance of having both a mission and a vision to guide us with passion as we dream about flying.  The service today will be followed by a congregational presentation by our Land Use Task Force, as well as a fun visioning exercise on dreaming up a slogan.

  • Sun
    25
    Sep
    2016

    Speaker:  Rev. Susan Manker-Seale

    This past week PBS aired a documentary on the Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his wife who made a huge sacrifice and put their own lives in danger to save others during World War II (watch Defying the Nazis, Tuesday, September 20, 9 PM).  What motivates human beings to go the extra mile (or thousands of miles) to help others?  I’ll introduce the UUA’s action project #WeDefy, which asks us how we are defying hatred and discrimination today as we carry on the legacy of the Sharps.

  • Sun
    02
    Oct
    2016

    Presenters:  Freethinkers Forum

    The Freethinkers Forum will present a play entitled "Dedication To A Cause".  A panel of Albert Schweitzer, Josey Mengele, Carrie Nation, and Clara Barton will discuss their viewpoints led by an MVUUC moderator.  The play resembles an ancient Greek morality play with heroes and villains.

  • Sun
    09
    Oct
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale and Jill Raiguel, Worship Associate

    This is the time of the Jewish New Year.  Part of the preparation is to ask forgiveness of one another and ourselves, and to let go of past hurts and angers (etc.).  In this way, we make space for new relationships and opportunities.  We will explore these ten High Holy Days of Turning, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, and hold our own ceremony of letting go, wherein we shall take steps to return to the home of our souls (per Carlebach’s beautiful song, “Return Again”).

  • Sun
    16
    Oct
    2016

    Guest Minister: The Rev. Dr. Tom Owen-Towle

    I want to talk about morality, religion, and politics during this tumultuous election year, so bear with me as I explore the core qualities of what makes America a good country. The Rev. Dr. Tom Owen-Towle has been a parish minister since 1967 and is the author of two dozen books on personal relationships and spiritual growth, several of which will be available following the service. Tom and his life-partner, The Rev. Dr. Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle were co-ministers of First UU Church of San Diego from 1978-2002. Tom is a guitarist and parlor magician, who currently sings with seniors, mentors youth-at-risk, volunteers with San Diego’s homeless, and preaches throughout our PSWD. He considers it both a privilege and joy to be returning to our Monte Vista UU congregation.

  • Sun
    23
    Oct
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale and Jeanine Ganzen-Little

    October 24 is UN Day, and this year’s UN Sunday theme is from our UU/United Nations Office’s 2016 Spring Seminar on “The Colors of Inequality:  Costs and Consequences.”  We’ll look at their report on global economic inequality and the consequences for living in health and peace on our planet.  Jeanine Ganzen-Little is chair of our Social Justice Coordinating Committee.

  • Sun
    30
    Oct
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale, Amy Randall, and Abraham Peraza

    Bring mementos of loved ones who have died and we will adorn the altar for this beautiful and moving tradition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  This will be a multigenerational service, with music, surprises and commentary on the value of humor in facing death.  Abraham Peraza is Worship Associate.

     

  • Sun
    06
    Nov
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale and Dick Olson, Worship Associate

    Arguing commentators, voting guides that would kill your toe if you dropped it, horrible television attacks by so many candidates—what in the world?  When it becomes standard practice for candidates to speak over one another in angry tirades, well, I just feel dragged through the mud.  What do we do to stay sane even while exercising our very important, very vital right to vote?  There will be a New Member Recognition in the service.

  • Sun
    13
    Nov
    2016

    Guest Minister: Rev. Ms. Denise Tracy and Anne Thorward, Lay Leader

    Rev. Denise returns to MVUUC with a positive message.  Rev. Denise will speak to us about the Art of Possibility, a way of responding to change that everyone can use when experiencing shifts in our lives.

    After a long career in ministry, Rev. Denise is currently a Police Chaplin among other volunteer activities.  She has a vested interest in our faith community as she intends to become a member of MVUUC when she moves to Pilgrim Place from Elgin IL in a few years.  Come be part of a warm, spiritual worship time together.

  • Sun
    20
    Nov
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker-Seale and Julie Steinbach, Worship Associate

    “My thanksgiving is perpetual,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.  Like the daily practice of counting our blessings, feeling gratitude for all that is our life, every day throughout the day, can be a wonderful spiritual practice.  And since there is a clear connection between gratitude and generosity, we will kick off the annual Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table program, and participate this year in “bringing a brighter future to displaced families.” (uusc.org)

     

  • Sun
    27
    Nov
    2016

    Guest Speaker:  Len Hayward

    The days have been getting colder, and it's been getting darker earlier. This feels out of sync with all of the celebrations and cheery decorations. Yet there is something there. A sense Nature is gathering strength as it rests. A longing for rebirth, but waiting for the right moment. Let's explore our connection to this time of rest and how it can revitalize our lives.

     

  • Sun
    04
    Dec
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker, and Abraham Peraza, Lily Popova

    We’ll reflect on how music lifts our spirits as well as expresses and shapes our emotions, especially during holiday times.  There will be special music and the choir will lead us in singing favorite Christmas carols in preparation for this season of light and love.

  • Sun
    11
    Dec
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker, Amy Randall, and the Religious Exploration Classes

    From Japan to Sweden, Africa to the United States, this play celebrates winter holidays from all over the world. Sung to the Twelve Days of Christmas, we will trace the common theme of light in the dark of winter.

  • Sun
    18
    Dec
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker

    What does the discovery of Dark Matter have to do with a babe in a manger, everlasting light, or a bonfire in the night?  How does our creation of sacred space in this holiday season influence our inner space (Personal Truths) and outer space (Universe-al Truths)?  How do we immerse ourselves in a season that demands so much and almost requires the suspension of the rational for the traditional and the mystical?  Lily will lead the choir.  Mary McMahon is Worship Associate.

  • Sat
    24
    Dec
    2016

    Rev. Susan Manker, Lily Popova and Abraham Peraza

    Let’s celebrate this special night with carols sung in candlelight, children snuggled close and jingle bells.  Rev. Susan will tell a story she wrote called, “The Mysterious Cedar Christmas Box.”  There will be special music to lift your spirits, even if they don’t need it.  We’ll follow this hour-long, multi-generational service with refreshments, so BRING GOODIES if you can manage it (but don’t bother if you’re stressed - just gather everyone up and join us!)  Merry Christmas!

  • Sun
    25
    Dec
    2016

    Worship Associates:  Catherine Rowlee, Dick Olson

    Light is an almost universal symbol of what is good and hopeful and inspiring about our world and ourselves. It transcends the boundaries of cultures, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, historical time and intellectual reasoning. Both the Eastern Mystic and the Western Rationalist seek to become enlightened.  Throughout the world since ancient times rituals of hope and renewal have been celebrated around the time of the winter solstice when the hours of daylight began to increase after the period of maximum darkness. This year Christmas and Hanukkah (two very different celebrations of light) coincide on this day.  In this service we will explore some of our favorite symbolic meanings of light and seek inspiration to kindle and share the light within and keep it burning brightly.

  • Sun
    01
    Jan
    2017

    Guest: Ven. Kusala Bhikshu

    Lay Leader:  Catherine Rowlee

    Ven. Kusala Bhikshu has become a tradition at MVUUC, having spoken to us on the 1st Sunday of the New Year for many years. He is an entertaining speaker and musician whose message is always uniquely profound. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

    Ven. Kusala Bhikshu (Thich Tam-Thien) is an American born Bhikshu (monk) ordained in the Zen Tradition of Vietnam.  Kusala lives and works at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in the Korea town section of Los Angeles. He cares for the grounds, facilitates meditation and discussion groups and feeds the cats and the koi fish. He gives presentations at local high schools, colleges and local churches on Buddhism and social action.

    Learn more about Ven. Kusala at his websites: www.kusala.info and Urban Dharma (www.urbandharma.org

  • Sun
    08
    Jan
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Is there a relationship between physical clutter and mental/spiritual clutter?  I’ve certainly cleared out my life with so many moves over the past few years, but I still haul around my father’s books, and I manage to always stop unpacking before I’ve actually put everything away.  Do I like the stack of book boxes in the corners of my office and life?  There is something to the flow of energy, the relationship of space and mind, spirituality and theology, alluded to in the insights of feng shui.  As we enter a new year, how might we clear not just the physical, but the mental and emotional impediments that keep us from flowing into new awareness, compassion, and action?  Mary McMahon is Worship Associate.

  • Sun
    15
    Jan
    2017

     Rev. Susan Manker and Jill Raiguel, Worship Associate

    The song, “We shall overcome,” still touches our hearts deeply over all these years, and reminds us of the unending struggle for justice and peace.  We’ll explore the challenges of this new year and presidency as we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; kick off the Standing on the Side of Love’s 30 Days of Love 2017; and recognize the rally’s and protests taking place this month around our nation.  Stay after the service for the “Preparing for the Ministerial Search” Workshop.

  • Sun
    22
    Jan
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    “Better Together” is the slogan our stewardship team has adopted for the 2017 pledge drive.  This Sunday will be an opportunity to explore what the congregation and Unitarian Universalism mean to us, as a whole and in small groups.  They say that money follows the heart, so let’s raise our awareness of why we come to church and what we love about it, about us.  This is not the actual kick-off of the pledge drive, but rather part of a theology of year-round stewardship—learning to care for our religious home.

  • Sun
    29
    Jan
    2017

    Guest:  Michael Eselun
    Lay Leader:  Abraham Peraza

    Popular guest speaker and UCLA Oncology Chaplain, Michael Eselun, will explore the idea of pilgrimage -- our pursuit of inspiration and enlightenment. Internal journeys and external ones -- and some in between.

  • Sun
    05
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate: Catherine Rowlee

    As a teenager, Mary Anning was the first to discover dinosaur fossils in Great Britain.  She was not credited with these finds for most of her life, being poor and a woman and a Dissenter (pre-Unitarian), but she changed the world for Darwin and all of us.  She is the “she” in the tongue-twister, “She sells sea shells by the seashore.”  I’ve been a member of the Clergy Letter Project for many years, preaching for evolution, and I’m grateful to its founder, Michael Zimmerman, for sending me free, the book, The Fossil Hunter, by Shelley Emling.
    The mid-year Budget Review for the current fiscal year will be held after the service.

  • Sun
    12
    Feb
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Dee Masters
    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza

    A short history of Valentine's Day. What you can do on that very perplexing day. Defining "love." This is an interactive sermon.

     

  • Sun
    19
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Dick Olson

    Stewardship sermons are jokingly called the “sermons on the amount.”  We do need to talk about money—openly.  But, money follows the heart, and I want to share my reflections on what it is that I, as your interim minister, see you loving about this congregation and Unitarian Universalism.  We started this conversation three weeks ago.  What can we do to ensure the continued health of Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation?  How can each of us become conscientious stewards of our faith and religious community?

  • Sun
    26
    Feb
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  April Fissel

    I’ve taken the title from this year’s District Assembly (DA) of Unitarian Universalists, which will be held a month earlier than we’re used to.  We are meeting in the borderlands of Arizona and Mexico, March 31 through April 2, and you are invited to witness and participate in border activities near Nogales, Green Valley, Sierra Vista, and Tucson.  I’ll share my experiences in the borderlands and tell you what to expect in this very different, hands-on district assembly.  Visit the website at http://justiceda2017.weebly.com.  Early registration discount ends February 15 and  registration stays open through March 15.  There will be a new member recognition in the service.

  • Sun
    05
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Jill Raiguel

    Is a belief in God central to the religious quest?  Many think so.  But Unitarian Universalism teaches a core of faith, of human values, that transcend binding definitions of a higher power.  Are we afraid to let go of God?  Can we even hold on to such an idea?  In a society where “atheist” is the most feared word, are we ready for religion beyond God?  Lily Popova will direct the choir.

  • Sun
    12
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate:  Mary McMahon

    We love it when comedians do the top ten of anything, so let’s apply that to congregational life.  I gathered my own list of funniest and most profound over many years of parish ministry.  I’ll share my favorite jokes and insights, always, always protecting the identity of the guilty (mostly me, though), and have some fun with faith and an offbeat look at life in general.  Don’t worry—this is not about any parishioner’s confidences and confessions; it’s mostly just self-awareness and revelation. 

     

  • Sun
    19
    Mar
    2017

    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza
    Worship Associate:  Chris Sanchez

    Éirinn go Brách! In this service we will Celebrate the Irish culture and lore as well as explore the Irish journey to America and the injustices and prejudices that were faced once they got here. 

  • Sun
    26
    Mar
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Associate: Julie Steinbach

    Rights at Risk is the title for this year’s Justice Sunday. Every year congregations hold a membership drive for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), delving deeper into issues than we can during the holiday’s Guest at Your Table Program. Some of the rights at risk around the globe include sexual orientation and gender identity, refugee status, and natural disaster relief. This year, UUSC is asking us to join in support of marginalized communities targeted because of who they are: people under particular threat because of religion, race, and immigrant or refugee status.

  • Sun
    02
    Apr
    2017

    Coordinator:  Rita Salama

    This service affirms our new slogan “Many Beliefs, One Community.” As Unitarian Universalists, we support each other in our individual search for truth and meaning. This Sunday, three members of the congregation will share what they believe. Come see how their personal beliefs are part of our MVUUC community.

  • Sun
    09
    Apr
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker
    Worship Assistant: Lyn Shaible

    Come a little early and BRING FLOWERS to decorate the Hana Mido (arbor) as we celebrate the Japanese Flower festival of the birth of the Buddha.  Through poetry, meditation and reflection, we’ll rest within the still center of our beings and create sacred space.  The children will join us for the first part of the service to ladle sweet tea over the statue of the baby Buddha.  Lily Popova will conduct the choir.  Plan to stay for the special congregational meeting after.

  • Sun
    16
    Apr
    2017

    Amy Randall, Lily Popova and Rev. Susan Manker

    Wear your Easter finery and renew your spirit with stories, songs, dance, and laughter in this service for all ages.  The Easter Bunny might make an appearance on the patio after the service, along with goodies for the kids.  The choir will sing.  Happy Easter!

  • Sun
    23
    Apr
    2017

    Led by Monte Vista UU Youth

    In celebration of Earth Day, we recognize the role youuth camp plays in our personal and spiritual growth as UUs.

  • Sun
    30
    Apr
    2017

    Lay Leaders:  Abraham Peraza, Catherine Rowlee

    We all have passions and there are many ways to express those passions. In this service, we will celebrate poetry as a means of communicating one's interests, passions, and the rhythm of life.

     

  • Sun
    07
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    On May 1, communities around the world will demonstrate for the rights of immigrants.  The movement has been titled “Rise Up,” and reminds me of the UUA curriculum, “Rise Up and Call Her Name,” in which we uplifted the goddesses in religious history who had been written out of our awareness.  When we choose to rise up, change will happen.  I’ll reflect on what’s been rising up within the UUA, as well as our nation, and explore the theology of resistance with its many ways to rise up.  uua.org/RiseUpMay1.

     

  • Sun
    14
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    Worship Associate: Jill Raiguel

    Mothers.  In this day and age, people are creating many different kinds of families, and choosing to mother in wonderfully different ways.  We’ll share some stories of loving mothering, the kind that sustains us in difficult times and challenges us to aim as high as we can see

  • Sun
    21
    May
    2017

    Rev. Susan Manker

    We have finished a year of interim ministry together and accomplished a good number of our goals.  In the congregational meeting today, you will vote on the search committee which will choose your next minister.  You also voted in April to enter negotiations with the mall developer.  These are huge accomplishments.  Let’s celebrate the highs of this year and the power of positive behavior.  This is Rev. Susan’s last service until August 13.

     

  • Sun
    28
    May
    2017

    Worship Associate:  Catherine Rowlee
    Worship Associate:  Abraham Peraza

    Please join us as we learn about the origins of the Unitarian Universalist Flower Communion, the minister, Norbert Capeck of Prague, Czechoslovakia, who created it for his congregation and how it came to be celebrated by Unitarian Universalists in the United States. We will then participate in the Flower Communion in much the same way as the first communion was held in 1923. Bring one flower to add to the communion vase. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    04
    Jun
    2017

    Led by Amy Randall and RE Teachers

    We take a look back at this year's program - Discovering OUUr Faith, finding the treasures that were discovered, and honoring those who have worked to make it so successful.

  • Sun
    11
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    Join us in celebrating life and music as the choir recaps the year with songs most loved by the congregation! Members of the choir and members of the congregation at large will speak on "What Music Means To Me". This service is one of our congregation's high spirited favorites so come celebrate with us!!!

  • Sun
    18
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza
    Guest Speakers:  Joseph Greene and Steve Shirley

    Join us in honoring our often unsung hero: Dad!!! Steve Shirley will bring some interesting stories of fatherhood based on his experience as a family law attorney and share perspectives on various types of Dads!!!

  • Sun
    25
    Jun
    2017

    Lay Leader: Jeanne Coats

    A presentation in drama and chant of the Pagan Wheel of the Year, which consists of eight Sabbats or festivals. Modern Pagans view time as circular, as did our Pagan ancestors. Time, for them moved at a slower pace, marked by the motion of the Earth, the apparent motion of the sun, and stars, and the lunar phases. Nature marked out the turning seasons with a series of alternating white and green harvests, and it was from these that the original eight Sabbats, came to be established. It is these we will be sharing.

  • Sun
    02
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leader: Catherine Rowlee

    Iris Rowlee and Terrie Maguire will speak on the topic and we will sing songs of inspiration as we approach the 4th of July. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    09
    Jul
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Professor Madeleine Scully
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    We are honored to have Professor Madeleine Scully return to MVUUC to talk about how music moves people on a primal level and how the “Voice” of God is different than His “Word”. She will touch on being transgender and her insight into how music can make people feel welcome. Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    16
    Jul
    2017

    Guest Speaker: Rev. Ellen Livingston
    Lay Leader: Abraham Peraza

    "Travel is broadening" the saying goes, it's true. But I see it as more complicated than that. And now that summer is officially here, the subject of leaving home is upon us. I would like to share a few thoughts and memories on this subject and pose the question: Why do we travel? And does that help to bring more knowledge and understanding between other people and the traveler? Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    23
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leaders: Amy Randall and Catherine Rowlee

    Creativity is a central part of human life. Engaging in the arts as a spiritual practice means honoring the process and cultivating a relationship to mystery. Join us for an interactive, hands-on opportunity to experience the creative process and discover your own insights.

  • Sun
    30
    Jul
    2017

    Lay Leader: Mary McMahon
    Song Leader: Abraham Peraza

    Come join in singing and learning songs from our hymnbook, “Singing the Living Tradition” and “Singing the Journey” as we experience and learn how music impacts the way we worship. There will be lots of congregational singing!!! Lily Popova will be the pianist.

  • Sun
    06
    Aug
    2017

    Guest Speakers: Delores Burris, Chris Williams, Marsha Cookingham

    Introduction by Delores Burris

    Book 1:  Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
    Chris Williams

    Book 2:  The Book of Joy: Lasting happiness In a Changing World
    Marsha Cookingham