We are moving into spring. As the seasons evolve, so does the Church.
Last Month, VP David Hostetter lead the effort, and a group of UUCVH-ers to a visit to the Japanese American National Museum, in Little Tokyo, downtown. The Museum uses memorial space to bring attention to the detention during World War II of Japanese-American citizens in “relocation camps” (from which they were not relocated for 3-4 years), while their homes, businesses, and bank accounts were seized. The impact on Japanese-Americans of FDR’s Executive Order 9066 is akin to what was done to the Jews in Germany in 1936-38 and other efforts at ethnic cleansing. The trip proved to be an enriching experience. Thanks to the social Action Committee for organizing the trip. I hope we do something like it sometime soon.
Plans to begin tutoring people in English as a Second Language (ESL) are moving forward led by Terry Richman, who is already involved in these efforts at Glendale Public Library. This may be a way to make fuller use of our facilities and increase interaction with the surrounding community.
Kudos to the kids, led by Elizabeth, who made the Friendship Salad. I know it is a lot healthier than yummy chocolate cake. Max Silver is serving as co-chair of the Social Action Circle, and great things are in the future. May we all have a great Spring going forward. Enjoy spring!
Gary N Clark, Congregational President
The UUCVH Board adopted a slightly revised Mission Statement at the November Board meeting. It continues our efforts toward our own health, development of Religious Education, and enhancement of spiritual growth. Rev. Gordon noted that a Mission Statement should be consistent with s strategic plan that goes along with it. Our strategic plan is being developed and revised. How do we translate this into specific actions, noting that we are a voluntary organization with many different individuals? And of course, it includes continuation of our normal activities.
November was a month of an election whose outcome was surprising to many people on the West Coast, but less so for people who reside in Eastern Idaho or West Texas. I think the recommended approach is to keep our eyes on our objectives, and undertake or support actions which manifest those objectives and values. Many of our Congregational objectives and goals are internal, yet some may be external (such as community outreach). A step toward accomplishing our goals is to make them more specific and concrete.
Some recent trends, in the context of election results, evoke recollections of past similar constellations of similar trends and forces. William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich comes to mind. I think it is a good book, and it may seem more timely during this period. And every period has its opportunities for creative engagement and response.
Sociologists have a concept called “memorial space.” Roughly, it is the common or community space allocated to memorials, statues, or monuments. Who owns it and how is it occupied? And who decides? So who do we memorialize in Two Strikes Park? Should there be space for opponents of the Vietnam War, or people that went to Canada? I was disappointed and displeased to see the County work to erase the name of Hindenburg Park from Hindenburg Park, as were many non-anti-Semitic local citizens who felt a shared ethnic and cultural heritage. Should there be a plaque at Verdugo Hills Golf Course to note its role in Japanese internment during WW II? Or anything else dealing with local “memorial space”? Influencing or initiating allocations of community memorial space is one way UUs can manifest and communicate their principles locally.
At UUCVH, R.E is growing, under the leadership of Elizabeth and Rev Gordon, and the future looks bright. Howard is doing well organizing children’s Christmas gifts. I regret that I missed the most recent movie night, and look forward to the next one. UUCVH will continue as a place of change and growth as we continue into the holiday season.
Gary N Clark