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Giving & Generosity

Seasons of Giving, Summer 2018: UUA immigration justice updates; Pride month; and more.

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Seasons of Giving
Summer 2018

In this Issue

Opening Words

Immigration Justice News

Countering White Supremacy: Online Resources

Pride Month

Thank You from Colorado

Staff Profiles: Patty Lynch

UUA Resource: Regional Calendars

Opening Words

"CSA as Spiritual Discipline"
by Rev. Nicole Janelle, courtesy of WorshipWeb

I understand participation in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) as a spiritual practice or discipline. While the word discipline may want to make us run and hide, a spiritual practice or discipline is meant to help us find our center.

Approaching my participation in the CSA as a spiritual practice transforms my anxiety around limited time (“When will I find the time to prepare all of this produce?”), cooking (“What will I make?”), waste (“I don’t want anything to go bad!”) and eating (“Will it taste good? Will my toddler actually eat this food?”).

In this spiritual practice, the CSA box creates a space for contemplation, appreciation and wonder.

Read more

For our family, the CSA box prep time is the hour that my partner sets aside every week to clean, wash and store our vegetables. He enjoys listening to a podcast while he goes about the work. As a part of the mindful process, he minimizes water use by “catching” rinse water in a large bucket, and using it to water our thirsty trees.

I overlap with him in the kitchen, taking some of the freshly washed produce (like the ever-abundant winter greens) to create our first CSA meal of week (often an egg dish with sautéed greens, egg, tempeh, tofu or beans, or a vegetable soup with lots of lemon and chili for added zing).

Throughout the week, the vegetables call me back, keeping me accountable to my spiritual discipline. There are several more rounds of chopping, sautéing, roasting, spicing, and baking.

These cooking moments are an invitation to reflect on my life and the life of the community of which I am part. I try to be present to the meditative rhythm of prepping, creating, cooking, cooling and washing dishes. This is my time to reflect on my life, work, and relationships.

The spiritual practice of the CSA does not stop at the kitchen sink, cutting board or stovetop. It follows us to the table, where we have the opportunity to give thanks for the abundance of the harvest and the many hands that have helped to prepare the beautiful meal before us.

One of my greatest rewards as a CSA member is watching my toddler delight in eating her greens. She doesn’t welcome them with gusto every day, but she digs into them often enough.

In my mind, spiritual disciplines are not meant to be entered into with the expectation of receiving a reward at the end of the process.

But fortunately for me, this particular spiritual discipline offers me an abundance of rewards: it’s fun; it connects me to the earth and to a community that cares about the health of the land and people; it provides a space for contemplation and creativity; it supports the local economy; it’s water efficient; and, it provides delicious, nutritious food that my family and I have the privilege of eating every day of the week.

Find this reading and more at

Latest News on Immigration Justice and the UUA

As Stewardship & Development staff prepared this issue of Seasons of Giving, the news cycle once again went into high gear on immigration justice issues. Events are developing rapidly, so please follow the links below for the latest information.

  • UUA Condemns Family Separation at the U.S./Mexico Border

    Statement from Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray here, which includes links to Families Belong Together upcoming rallies.

  • Abolition of ICE

    With an overwhelming majority, delegates at General Assembly adopted an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) calling for the abolition of ICE and the end of family separation and detention of asylum seekers. The UUA is amplifying the call of Mijente to Abolish ICE by joining Mijente’s Day of Action in San Diego on July 2.

  • UUA Denounces Supreme Court Travel Ban Decision

    The UUA was party to an amicus brief questioning the constitutionality of the travel ban. Read the full statement here.

Countering White Supremacy: Online Resources
  Jessica York headshot

"When Did You Realize Your Race?" This clip from MTV News series "Decoded," is available on the page.

Prepared by Susan Lawrence of the Faith Development Office, the page on Dismantling White Supremacy is a new, valuable resource for Unitarian Universalists and other likeminded folks who are looking to make progress on their own journey of understanding this deep and complex system.

Here you can find many different types of resources available for you, your family, and your congregation for the important work to combat systems of white supremacy.

It's Pride Month: Have you been reading UPLIFT?

Created by Michael J. Crumpler, LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager, the UPLIFT blog and quarterly newsletter are platforms for the UUA to highlight LGBTQ+ issues and concerns by featuring related programming, reflections, and content. Here's Michael writing in the June issue of UPLIFT:


May you and those who love you enjoy the peace and freedom of being OUT and PROUD during this joyous June!

This is my 18th month of service as your LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager. I am infinitely grateful for all that I have been able to celebrate and share with you in our work of full inclusion and affirmation.

This special June Pride edition of UPLIFT reveals the heart of our faith and the beautiful lives we have hewn out of the stone of hate, homophobia, and cissexism. As you read and share the featured blogs, may your own heart be uplifted as we seek to build the Beloved Community desperately needed in our world."

Check out the rest of Michael's message here in this special issue of UPLIFT, featuring essays from Elizabeth Ann Terry, Rev. Sara Green, and Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, among many others.

Thank You from Colorado
  Denny Davidoff standing at a podium

Rev. Dawn Cooley of the UUA Southern Region shared this message of gratitude from Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, affected by wildfires:

"Deepest gratitude from each of us here!

As smoke fills our skies and terrible plumes of heat and fire scare us, we are much comforted by support like this. We will be meeting this week to determine where the most immediate needs are and processes we will use to disperse.

Thank you for your prayers and for giving us this opportunity to help those whose lives are upended by the fire’s impact."

Please visit for more information on disaster relief.

Staff Profile: Patty Lynch
  Headshot of Mae Patterson, Stewardship & Development Office Assistant

Photo (c) Patty Lynch


In the past year, Patty Lynch has accepted a new role on the Stewardship and Development team as the Events Coordinator and Assistant to the Director. Patty was formerly Congregational Giving Assistant for the Annual Program Fund here at the UUA.

Patty is currently serving as a member of the department's interim leadership while the UUA searches for a new Director of Stewardship & Development.

As Events Coordinator, Patty loves to plan events for General Assembly and the President's Council that are thoughtful, grounded in gratitude, and most of all, fun! Patty also helps coordinate smaller donor events across the country in partnership with many of our wonderful congregations and their dedicated ministers and staff.

Patty has a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle. She also has studied yoga and worked for many years as a licensed massage therapist. She lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with her two children, husband and mother.

Patty Lynch can be reached at (617) 948-4661 or

UUA Resource: Regional Calendars

Have you checked out the calendars pulled together by your regional congregational life staff? These are great resources if you're seeking info on regional gatherings, summer outings, webinars, and much more. Check out the links for your region:

  Map of UUA regions with each one marked in a different color