Upcoming at UUVerdugo

This Saturday, June 15

The Verdugo HUUT! Presents: Once More Into the Breach!

Are we going to war again? Have we ever left? Our celebrated Hootenanny in the Hills draws performers and fans from the neighborhood and all over Los Angeles. This month's theme is Once More Into the Breach!—an evening of songs, readings, and related performance about war, which has proven fertile ground for all kinds of art (probably because of the blood). Whether you're for or agin' war, this month's HUUT will be filled as per usual with strong performances, good coffee, and fun surprises. Featuring Missy Lee, Andy McAllister, and Fogelfoot.

Sunday, June 16

Sunday Service: Who's Your Daddy?
Guest Speaker: Marty Barrett

The role of the father is constantly evolving. What may have been true of our grandfathers might not be true now. In this congregation-led Father's Day service, we invite attendees to bring stories of our fathers, both traditional and not so much, and consider what unites them.

10:30 a.m.

Sunday, June 23

Sunday Service: The Song of Isaac
Guest Speaker: Marty Barrett

The late, great Canadian troubadour Leonard Cohen penned one of the world's most evocative protest ballads, "The Song of Isaac," that set a high bar for a country's decision to go to war. A scholar and poet, Cohen drew the tune from the old Coventry Carol, which in turn was written about the Biblical Slaughter of the Innocents. We see how Cohen mixed "Old" Testament themes with some from the Gospels to write a Vietnam-era protest song that still resonates--if we let it--today.

10:30 a.m.


Sunday, June 30

Sunday Service: Words for Joy
Guest Speaker: Mary Madill

We all know words can have an emotional impact.  Different languages have words (such as “verklempt”) for emotions that are not described specifically in English.  Let’s share words—English and more--that bring joy and love into our lives. 

10:30 a.m.


Remembering Jerry Reynolds

We lost a great friend in Gerald Homer "Jerry" Reynolds recently. Gerry, the charming companion of our own Edith Young, died at the home he shared with Edith in April, surrounded by family and friends. This month the talented extended Reynolds family gathered at UUVerdugo for a very moving memorial service, filled with music, laughter, tears, James Joyce, and funny stories. Jerry passed just short of his 91st birthday.

A past president of the La Canda-Crescenta Democrats, Jerry was also fondly remembered by that organization. Read this tribute by Edith Young and Bonnie Keith.

Born in Chicago, Jerry spent his school years in La Grange, just southwest of the city, high school class of 1945. He was fortunate to have a liberal-minded principal in his senior year. Jerry had been cutting the P.E. classes required for graduation, but his principal came up with a plan: spend a certain number of hours a week walking track and he’d pass the P.E. requirement. Jerry honored the deal--he walked all those miles while reading books!


In a few years Jerry did what all the young men were doing in those days; he got married and moved out west. First to Tucson, then on to LA. Jerry’s and Esther’s three children were born. Jerry worked in two professional areas: acting (he was a member of SAG-AFTRA)—bit parts in soaps and film, a cast member in Jack Nicholson's “Goin’ South,” a one-man show of James Joyce—and engineering. He became a blueprint specialist, called on from the 1960’s until February of this year to work out solutions for old parts and new ones.


Jerry moved to La Crescenta after his wife of 54 years had died and friends of friends did some matchmaking with another lively and politically-concerned person, Edith Young, also widowed. The match was an instant success and to the end of their 12 years together both marveled at their great good fortune in having found a perfect partner in their autumn years.


The first time that Jerry went out on the line politically was in the 1950’s when he demonstrated against capital punishment. He was devoted to the Democratic Party, and loved working with an active club, helped new citizens register to vote, and tried to make meetings even when his health was slowing him down. Jerry was elected club president for the years of President Obama’s second term (2013 & 2014) when he could present good news to the Club every month.


He will be missed as a distinguished, kind, earnest, compassionate and intelligent leader. Edith’s daughter, Jenny, says Jerry was the best person she ever met!


Jerry is survived by his dear Edith, his daughter Erika, and sons Stephen (Laura) and Moss (Amy) and three grandchildren: Brooke, Justine and Aidan.


The HUUT Is A Hit!

Thank you for your continued patronage of the Verdugo HUUT! Here are a few pictures from the May 18 show, our 16th.

Group selfie with host Marty Barrett

The wonderful Carol McArthur with Matt Margucci

Alex Acevedo with Matt Margucci

Mitchell Schaffer, the hardest-working musician in Los Angeles


Sunland superstar Art Stucco with Matt Margucci




This Saturday's Verdugo HUUT!: I Gave My Love A [Redacted]

For every song about muskrat love there are at least 12,000 more about breaking up. This week at the HUUT we will feature a very high quality fraction of them.

Our 16th Verdugo HUUT! (pronounced "hoot" because of, you know, Unitarians) takes a dark, exciting, and (hopeful?) turn as we devote the evening to music, comedy, and other performance about breaking up. Whether you are happily coupled, tripled, or quadrupled, mournful about the loss of that imperfect someone, or guardedly relieved that that's over, join us for an exuberant evening of songs, stories, and snacks as we tackle this subject in the HUUT's inimitable style. Featuring HUUT favorites Art Stucco, Carol McArthur, Mitchell Schaffer, and Fogelfoot.


Getting By with a Little Help from "Los Aliens"

We have so many intriguing people in our church: artists' models, bookkeepers, piano teachers, actual rocket scientists... add to that our own Amy Starbin, who is returning to filmmaking on her own terms with this sweet little calling card known as "Los Aliens," a story about immigrants from different zip codes doin' it for themselves.

The film will star young Ramona Lopez, who is also a star at UUVerdugo. There is a crowdfunding page for this special film that you can find here

Amy was also the screenwriter for the delightful and inclusive/transgressive (core UU values) film "Kelly And Cal," starring Juliette Lewis and filmed in Amy's native upstate New York.



Our first YUUth Game Night Ends in Puzzles, Fluxx

The adult experience at church is often different from a child's experience, which is why churches, regardless of faith, often see a demographic dropoff between 18 and 30, when those children raised in the tradition come back with their own kids. To soften this divide, UUVerdugo has begun hosting its YUUth Game Night (we try to get a little UU in everything around here), and our first foray, featuring Fluxx, puzzles, and other games, was an intergenerational success.

Thanks to Board Vice President Cindy Lopez, Religious Education Coordinator Elizabeth Schenck, and R.E. Committee Chair April Younglove for hosting, and for the families from neighboring churches who braved the wilds of mysterious La Crescenta to attend. We'll let you know when the next one is!

(Note: We opted not to post pictures of the actual YUUth, just in case you were wondering if the people in these photos looked a little too experienced to be kids.)