The View: PUC's weekly newsletter
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September 24, 2015
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by noon on Wednesday.
Sunday Service 10:30 a.m.
Child care is available starting at 10:00 a.m.
Join us for some radical hospitality after the service!

In the Interim

Just a thought.

It was in 1847 that Henry David Thoreau ended his two year, two month, & two day sojourn living in a hut on Walden Pond. His experiment in radical simplicity would eventually coalesce into that amazing, and these days probably more often celebrated than read, masterwork of an American spiritual quest, Walden:, or, Life in the Woods.

Sometime in March of 1845, his friend the poet Ellery Channing had famously advised him, “Go out upon that, build yourself a hut, & there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive. I see no other alternative, no other hope for you.” Few have given anyone better advice. And, in the rarest of confluences, Thoreau saw the wisdom in his friend’s suggestion, and acted on it, building himself that hut.

While there are some who make light of the fact during his sojourn he was never far from home and frequently had dinner at his Mother’s, and that he was by no means a perfectly realized being, shortcomings and prejudices are revealed in those pages, still, still there is in this book that those two years, two months and two days generated that is something compelling and powerful, an American Taoism, if you will.

I have to add into any moment reflecting on Thoreau and Walden, the pamphlet on Civil Disobedience that he wrote during that time on the pond. In some ways I feel it perfectly fits as an addendum to the book. It really is sad the book seems a bit more honored than read these days. I believe most all of us could profit from giving it a read. Perhaps even a re-read.

Just a thought.

See you in church,


A Message from PUC's Trustee Chairman

Exciting News for our Pacific Sage Preschool (PSP)

In the last three weeks, PSP passed two very significant milestones in the preschool licensing process -  a Fire Safety Inspection and just yesterday we passed our Licensing Physical Inspection.  As you would expect, the process to be awarded a license from the State of California to open a brand new preschool is a lengthy and complex one.  PSP’s Director Sylvia Lawrence, the PSP Council - Godfrey Pernell, Yoko Kelly, Claire Moss and Ben Cowan - Board of Trustees VP & Facilities Committee Chair Bruce Lewis, Sylvia’s husband Jay and a small cadre of dedicated volunteers have been working very hard to make required updates to our facilities, author PSP policies & procedures, and complete the state’s licensing process.   There is a bit more of the maze to navigate, but we are just about there.  When we clear the final hurdle and schedule an opening, we’ll let everyone know.  We will be scheduling a ribbon cutting ceremony and a ceremony to honor Lenore Snodey, whose generous gift to PUC made this possible. 

 Congratulations to the dedicated team working towards opening our Pacific Sage Preschool!

John Einhorn,
Board of Trustees President


Season of Service at PUC

“Poverty is not an accident.  Like slavery and apartheid, it can be removed by the actions of human beings.” 

~ Nelson Mandela

Join with PUC and the Social Justice Committee as we commit to a Season of Service -- putting our UU Principles into practice by taking part in any or all of these social justice actions targeting poverty and homelessness in our community:

September 20 & 27 ~ Join the Peanut Gallery

We currently are collecting peanut butter to highlight our regular collection of food and toiletries for the clients of Harbor Interfaith Services in San Pedro.  Unopened jars of peanut butter again will be collected by our RE kids this Sunday.  

Look for our permanent, brightly painted box in the courtyard any time you have non-perishable food or toiletries to donate.

October ~ Service is a Warm Blanket

A warm blanket can make a world of difference to one person on a cold night.  Throughout the month of October, we will be collecting clean, gently used blankets for the homeless clients of Harbor Interfaith. 

November & December ~ Season of Giving

This holiday season we’ll focus on serving the needs of others with donation and volunteer opportunities for congregants of all ages and abilities.  Families with children are welcome!  We will collect food items, assemble food & gift baskets for both Harbor Interfaith and One Voice in Santa Monica, distribute Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets at Harbor Interfaith and, through the Adopt-a-Family program, share the spirit of giving with families in need.  

The Social Justice Committee will meet on Wednesday, October 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Join us if you want to help organize our Season of Service and begin to brainstorm an agenda for the coming year!

The Social Justice Committee will meet on
Wednesday, October 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
Join us if you want to help organize our Season of Service and
begin to brainstorm an agenda for the coming year!
This Week's Sermon

Service Is
A Warm Blanket
Next Week

The Passion of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody
The Peabody sisters were remarkable figures in early nineteenth century Boston culture. None more important than Elizabeth. Today James will reflect on aspects of the American origins of Unitarian Universalism.

Reverend James Ishmael Ford,
Interim Minister
Who's That?

To contact people named in The View please see the PUC Directory which is available in the Members Section of the PUC website.  If you need the password for the Members Section, or if you do not have access to a computer, contact the PUC Office for help accessing it.  The phone number and office hours are listed each week at the very bottom of The View.
Come join friends in the PUC Library on Sunday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 and join the Joys and Sorrows Circle.  The Circle gives a compassionate space for sharing and listening.  Organized by Sandy McNeil.  
To have your joy or concern appear here, send it to 
or call the PUC office.  For information on how to do so, scroll down to the
end of The View.
If you have a pastoral concern, or know of someone in need, please contact our Minister of Congregational Life Kim Gosney at (310)504-4919 or email

Sunday Hospitality

It takes many hands to
make a Sunday.  Special thanks
to all of our volunteers!

Linda Jenson
Are you the missing ingredient in our secret sauce?A second greeter for
third Sundays is needed.  

Welcoming Trustee
John Einhorn

Welcome Table
Pam Harris

Darcy Carroll

Dee Masters

Top Chefs

Naresh Deo

A wonderful and dedicated person is needed to help with child care this Sunday.  Contact Vicki at

A wonderful and dedicated person is needed to help with child care this Sunday.  Contact Vicki at

Child Dedication
Sunday October 18

The child dedication is a short service where we acknowledge that each child's life is sacred, and promise as parents and as members of the Congregation to guide and nurture the child.  As part of the ceremony each participating child receives a rose with no thorns, indicating our responsibility to protect them until they have grown and learned to care for themselves. (You may recall the other ceremony in the spring, in which our departing high school seniors received a rose with thorns.)   Child dedications are often done for members when they introduce a new child to the congregation, but there is no reason you cannot have your child, up to about the age of ten, acknowledged in this special way if you have not had the opportunity before now.  

James will be doing a child dedication during the service on October 18. If you think you might be interested in this service for your child, please discuss it with James or me soon, so that we can be sure we meet your needs and those of your child/children.

It is a lovely ceremony, and often grandparents, aunts and uncles like to attend. It will not take the whole service, but instead be done in place of the children's story, and then the kids will be off to RE.

Curricula for RE Classes
RE Curricula for classes this year are from the UUA, and are modified as needed. 

Pixies and Hobbits (preschoolers and younger elementary)
Creating Home helps children develop a sense of home that is grounded in faith.

Sojourners (older elementary)
In Windows and Mirrors the metaphors of both windows and mirrors are used to explore how we see ourselves and others, and how we are seen by others.

Voyagers (middle schoolers)
Amazing Grace strengthens and enlarges understanding of how to determine right or wrong from a Unitarian Universalist perspective, as well as acting upon these new understandings.

YRUU (high schoolers)
The high school group will be planning their own meetings this year. They will have options of exploring and creating worship services, presenting on topics of interest to them in groups or alone, or leading discussions on topics that have been pre­selected. They will be developing a calendar so they can plan for Sundays which involve their leadership. Their teachers will be available to encourage and support as necessary. If you haven't signed up yet, try it! It is designed for fun, community building, and important thinking.

Registering for RE
Thanks to everyone who has turned in a registration form. Please see me if you need a packet, check the Welcome Table, or email me at


Thanks to our dedicated teachers, and the parents who jumped in to help last week. See me if you are a parent who has not yet volunteered in some capacity. Many hands make light work. Tell me what stops you and I will go around it for you. I've had lots of questions about OWL. Yes, we will run program this spring, more info next week!

 In Wunder,
Vicki Gavel,
Director of Religious Education


Religious Education Fall Calendar*  


September 13: Homecoming Sunday RE Classes
September 20: Kids will be in service longer than usual for Social Justice actionTet Trung Thu, the Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
September 27: RE Classes

Each Sunday in October there will be a special craft making class staffed by your DRE and Child Care Providers that will meet from noon until 1:00 p.m.  Children must be signed in. Parents and others welcomed to participate.

October 4: “Solve It Sunday” with Michele Bethune
October 11: RE Classes
October 18: Class with Vicki & Child Dedication
October 25: RE Classes

Our post-service craft sessions continue through mid November.

November 1: Multi­generational Service for Day of the Dead
November 8: RE Classes
November 15: Class with Vicki Gavel, DRE
November 22: RE Classes
November 29: Assembling gift baskets for PUC members who are unable to attend church.

December 6: “Solve It Sunday” led by Michele Bethune
December 13: RE Classes
December 20: Solstice Celebration with Vicki

*Adjustments are always a possibility.


Playing in the Sage
“Even a snail will eventually reach its destination.”    
~ Gail Tsukiyama, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

Here are Spike and Lucky, Pacific Sage Preschool’s resident guinea pigs and to quote the Pointer Sisters, "WE’RE SO EXCITED!” 

Our Licensing Analyst called early Wednesday morning (while I was still in in my living room and in my pajamas) to ask if I would be at the school soon. He had a window of opportunity and wanted to come that morning and do our physical inspection while that window was still open.

Crisis training and 38 years of working with young children allowed me to avoid immediate panic and say without thinking, "Sure! But could I have about an hour?" (I would worry about speed limits and opening time portals later.) When you ask the universe for something, believe and be ready at a moment’s notice.  
Showing up (cute as a button) 30 minutes before him, I had plenty of time to set up inside and out, scoop up a little distressed scorpion (another story) and have the school looking fabulous and ready to go.

Our beautiful coral trees worked their magic. It was a calm and unstressed visit. Stories were shared and he loved the school, its philosophy and the of course WE PASSED!

There will be some dotting "i's" and crossing "t's" on his end but we should have our granted license this Friday or Monday. We can open as soon as we get that notice, which he will email. The official paper license will follow through “snail mail”.  

With this in mind, we are looking to officially open the doors to Pacific sage Preschool at 7:30am, Thursday October 1, 2015.

License or no license…I say, “Let the dance of joy begin!”

Pacific Sage Preschool


UUSC: 75 Years Advancing Justice

UU Service Committee's grand tradition is returning for its 41st year. It's Guest at Your Table.....the annual intergenerational human rights education and fundraising program that supports the work of UUSC and our grassroots partners around the world.
 PUC will have a kickoff in November to do our part in advancing awareness of Human Rights.  Watch for more information coming each week in The View.
Sandy McNeil


Earn Money for PUC When You Shop at Ralphs

Ralphs Annual Registration Begins

Latest Information
Starting September 1 all participants are required to register or re-register.

 Register your Ralphs Rewards Card in the Ralphs Rewards Community Contribution Program. Choose Pacific Unitarian Church as your designated organization. Every time you shop, 1% to 4% of your expenditure goes to PUC. 

If You Have Never Registered
Register online at   (If you have not previously entered your email address and been assigned a password, click on "Create an Account" and follow the 5 easy steps.

 If You Have Registered in the Past
If you have already registered your Rewards Card on-line, log in to and click "Sign In”.  Enter your email address and password. Click on "My Account" (top right had corner) and follow the instructions.

 Or Try This
If you do not want to register your current Ralphs Rewards Card on-line, pick up a Scanbar letter in the PUC Office.  Take this letter with you the next time you go shopping and present it with your Ralphs Rewards Card to the cashier.  The cashier will sync your card with PUC as your designated Community Contribution organization.

 Website Registration Instructions are printed out and available in the PUC Office.


Women Reading and Responding Book Club
Third Monday of Each Month
Next Up: October 19
11:00 a.m.

PUC Library

Looking forward to having you join us! Contact Robin Arehart if you have any questions.

If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life
by James Ford, our new interim minister

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd, a novel about Hemingway

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx


Upcoming Thursday Evenings

September 24 at 8:00 p.m.
September 29 at 8:00 p.m.
No Class the week of October 5


Gentle Yoga Class for All

11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

Henriksen Hall

A class designed for all levels, shapes, and ages.  We will focus on a gentle practice through movement to help unblock your flow of energy and increase your mental and physical flexibility while releasing stress and enhancing body awareness.  Poses and exercises build strength, relieve pain and stress, and improve balance.  Questions:

Suggested Donation: $15/class.  Taught by Debi Robinson.


This Sunday's Flowers 

Deep in their roots,
all flowers keep the light.

Theodore Roethke, Poet 

Please sign up for your turn to bring Sunday's Flowers on the Flower Calendar inside the door of the PUC Office.

This Sunday's flowers will be provided by Maurice Chevalier & Brad Shreve.

PUC's calendar of events can be found here.

Make It Stop!

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unsubscribe from this list.  If you do unsubscribe you are removed from the tool used to send out all PUC messages about voting, memorial services, events, special messages from the Trustees, etc., and will no longer receive any of these.  At this time we have no way to elect to receive some messages but not others.


For Sunday morning announcements contact Kim Gosney

We are located at
5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275


Office Hours

The office hours will shift as Gaby, our new administrator, continues her training.

In the near term the office will be open:

                Sunday            8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.                       

                Monday           Closed

                Tuesday           Phone messages are checked during the day.      
                Wednesday     10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

                Thursday        12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

                Friday              Phone messages are checked during the day.    

                Saturday          Closed


Hours for Reverend James Ford, Interim Minister
Appointments are always recommended.

               Tuesday         11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

               Wednesday    11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

               Thursday        11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Click here for Directions

Contact Us:

Office: (310) 378-9449    Fax: (310) 378-1508 

Copyright © 2015 Pacific Unitarian Church, All rights reserved.

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