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One thing I enjoy about this time of giving thanks is how a personal spiritual practice of gratitude has the capacity of becoming more public, shared in community, and thus amplified and broadcasted.
My children are always a little embarrassed when we aim to have each person speak before the Thanksgiving meal about their gratitude, so I sometimes have to make it more subtle and work it into the other conversations of the celebration.
I pause regularly for gratitude in a couple of ways. When I set out to walk by myself several times a week, I do a practice from the book Simply Pray written by Unitarian Universalist Erik Walker-Wikstrom which involves many kinds of prayer - one of the first is just to think and feel those things that have happened in my life recently for which I am truly grateful. I have managed to break myself of the habit of ruminating over things which I think I should be grateful for, but do not necessarily feel. Sometimes I am surprised at what pops into my mind during this time. If I have been backpacking, just the miracle of water coming out of a tap, with options of both hot and cold is something about which I feel amazed.
I know some people keep a gratitude journal where they write down everything they are grateful for - that is a way to read and ruminate on the positive when life gets you down. I know some people practice a more public way of listing on social media three things they are grateful for. I imagine that might have varied results.
I also do something I call counting my blessings as I fall asleep at night - pondering those things that have happened during the day that make me feel a sense of joy, gratitude, and wonder. Sometimes it is the serendipity of calling someone who was just composing an e-mail to me. Sometimes it is the soaring and expansive feeling of witnessing a beautiful sunset. This week it is having time with loved ones from near and far, and not too many duties to overwhelm me.
Do you have a practice of regularly taking stock and pausing to feel and express your gratitude? If so, I hope you can work it into a conversation and see where it leads with those who share your holidays.
Rev. Sonya Sukalski
| This Sunday's Service - November 29, 2015|
Smiling as a Spiritual Practice
When you smile something magical happens: it changes your mood, it relieves stress, it makes others happy who witness it. We will take a look at this important spiritual practice and its power in our lives.
Leading the service will be Rev. Barbara F. Meyers and Worship Associate Mark Rahman. Music will be provided by Jay Steele.
| Mental Health Book Read|
Mental Health Book Read
Sunday, November 29, 1:00 PM, Ockerman 3/4
Please join us for our continued discussion of American Psychosis. This week, we'll be visiting the chapter where Dr. Torrey discusses the closure of state psychiatric facilities, the shift of responsibility for the care of mental health patients onto the federal government, and the immediate and long-lasting ramifications that's had on society. From the arguably positive (the consumer rights and self-advocacy movement for those who had been diagnosed with a mental illness), to the negative (the rampant homelessness of those lacking the cognizance for self-care and advocacy, and their placement into poorly administered nursing homes), to the cataclysmic (mentally ill individuals who had committed violent crimes no longer having access to treatment, and released to society, only to commit further violence). We look forward to seeing you.
| Holiday Boutique|
| Holiday Sing-A-Long Potluck|
Join us Saturday, December 19th at 6:00* in Cole Hall to share the joy of the holiday season together. Please bring a dish to share (if you don't know what to bring see the guide below) and your own re-usable plates, utensils, and cups (we will have compostables for those of you who forget). We will be eating and singing and sharing fellowship together. Feel free to dress festively and bring: instruments, music for your favorite holiday songs, board games, decorations, friends, family, etc. We hope you can join us.
Holiday Sing-A-Long Potluck - Saturday, December 19 @ 6:00 pm
Potluck Ideas - if your last name starts with:
A-E - Appetizer [or a red/green food]
F-J - Salad [or something vegetarian/vegan]
K-O - Main Course [or a traditional holiday dish from your cultural or religious heritage]
P-T - Dessert [or dessert]
U-Z - Beverages [or dessert]
(*Many thanks to Peak Rocks for their flexibility and willingness to modify their practice schedule so we could use Cole Hall during this time.)
| Tim Millar|
Tim MillarHere's a quick update on Tim Millar. Yes, he is still seeking a living donor for a new liver. The good news is that there is at least one person currently being evaluated for eligibility as his donor! Note, however, that on average four people must go through the screening process in order for that one right qualifying donor to be found.
For those of you who missed the service on October 25, here's a link to the pulpitorial telling Tim's story: (click here
If you'd like more information on liver transplants, (click here
Feel free to contact either Terri King email@example.com or Tim Millar firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
| Winter Pageant|
Winter Pageant Help Needed
It's that time of year again! The children and youth religious education program is preparing for the winter pageant and we need your help! This year's pageant is on December 13th and was written by our own Sophie W. and Sarah Baskin. The pageant is based off of the world religions the children and youth have been learning about this semester. We still have need for more children and youth to be involved in the acting, prop making, backdrop making, and backstage work of the pageant. We could also use extra adults to help as well! We will be rehearsing during service for the next two Sundays. If your child(ren), youth(s), or you would like to be a part please contact Eli as soon as possible!
All the Best
Director of Religious Education510-353-3694
| Board Meeting|
Mission Peak UU December Monthly Board Meeting The Mission Peak UU Board will meet Thursday evening, December 10 at Patricia Osage's home at 7:00 p.m.
Members of Mission Peak UU are welcome to attend. For a copy of the agenda, please contact President DeAnna Alm at email@example.com.
| Amazon - Holiday Purchases|
Amazon SmilesPlease follow this link to Amazon Smiles (click here)
| Sunday Services Volunteers|
Sunday Services Committee
We are in need of a volunteer on the 2ndSunday of the month for the position listed below.
1. Someone to help with Set-up on the 2nd Sunday (Work with partner)
|Community Office Hours |
Rev. Nickel's upcoming datesI am always interested in suggestions for new places, times and ways that this could work better for you, so if you have an idea, please drop me a line, it is as easy as clicking right here. And of course I am also always available by personal appointment all days except Monday.
Coffee Hours will resume in April 2016
|Mission Peak UU |
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Strategic Planning Task
Roundtable 11:45-1:00 pm
Book Read 1-2 pm
Buddhist Meditation and Study Group 7-9 pm
Men's Breakfast 8-9 am
Boutique 12-5 pm
Leaf Stone Garden Work Party 10-12 pm
Board Meeting 7-9 pm
Who We Are
Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fremont was founded in 1993. We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mission Peak members determine its policies, choose its minister, and support it financially.
We affirm and promote these UUA Principles and Purposes:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in our society at large
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
We invite you to join us and add your commitment to ours. Mission Peak is a living and changing congregation, responsive to the spiritual needs of its members. With the leadership of our minister, we search for ways to fulfill ourselves as individuals and as a community. Joining us is a commitment to this process.
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 545 Fremont, CA 94537-0545
or click here to contact us directly
Please feel free to navigate to our website by scanning our QR code!