Adult Religious Exploration
Presentation on Affordable Housing in San Marcos
San Marcos City Planning Manager Presents Affordable Housing Taskforce Strategic Housing Action Plan
The San Marcos City Council appointed an Affordable Housing Taskforce about a year ago. They are near the end of their study and are ready to present their plan to the City Planning and Zoning Committee and then to the City Council in October. The City Planning Manager, Abigail Gillfillan, has agreed to come to SMUUF to give a presentation about what the Affordable Housing Taskforce is going to eventually present to the City Council for adoption in October.
Affordable housing in San Marcos is a local social justice issue. We have a responsibility to learn about what actions will be suggested so we can advocate during public input before the City Council. We want our voice to be heard. Attend this meeting to learn more.
Abby Gillfillan has worked for the City of San Marcos for the last 10 years and currently serves as the City’s Planning Manager. Abby earned both her graduate and undergraduate degree from Texas State University in Public Administration. Most recently, she has successfully led a four year project to re-write the City’s Land Development Code and currently serves as the project manager for the City’s SMTX 4 All Housing Initiative. What she enjoys most about Planning is the opportunity to help the community address complex problems in a meaningful way. Abby is originally from California and has lived in San Marcos with her family for the last 20 years.
Childcare is available during adult RE, all are welcome to attend.
Donate-the-Plate to Child Protective Board this Sunday, September 15
June Hankins, Secretary of the Child Protective Board, will be at our Worship Service Sunday to explain what the Child Protective Board does and how SMUUF can help.
The Hays County Child Protective Board promotes a safe environment for all Hays County children, most crucially neglected and abused children in State care. In 2018, there were 55,342 children in Hays County, an increase of 16% from 2014 to 2018. The Board’s chief mandate is to meet needs of children and families in the care of Hays County Child Protective Services (CPS), when those needs are not met by the State of Texas. The Board received 907 requests for assistance last year, compared to 612 the previous year. There were 450 confirmed victims of child abuse/neglect in the county. The population of these neglected and abused children in substitute care grew 116% from 2014 to 2018. The Board’s constant challenge is to raise sufficient funds to promote a safe environment for the growing numbers of Hays County children and to address the increasing number of emergency and ongoing needs of CPS children and families.
In the last year, the eleven-member Board, which is appointed by the Hays County Commissioners Court, has used its funding to meet children’s essential needs, such as emergency clothing and medical care, safety needs such as car seats, beds, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms. It has also been able to fund requests that enrich children’s lives, such as summer camp, band instruments, school trips, driver education fees, and holiday, graduation and birthday gifts.The Board is grateful to San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for its generous Donate-the-Plate awards each of the last three years. The donations have made it possible for the Board to pay for summer camp and extracurricular experiences that could not be funded in the past. A donation in 2019 will help the Board to respond to the rapid increase in numbers of neglected and abused children in the County and to continue to enable children to enjoy some of the enrichment activities that more fortunate children enjoy.
Please give generously to this worthy organization. Write your checks to SMUUF with D-T-P or Child Protective Board on the Memo Line.
FUUDies (Fantastic UU Diners)
The Fantastic UU Diners eat together after church at a different local restaurant almost every Sunday. They love to have new folks join them! See Jeannie Lewis or Lee Bricker after worship. They’ll save you a seat!
Hospitality Teams get it done every Sunday! Searching for new Hospitality Team leader!
Members of Hospitality Team 7 are serving in September. Thanks to these folks for making coffee, providing refreshments, greeting, and generally making the church ready for worship and fellowship!
A great way to get involved at SMUUF is by joining a Hospitality Team. For one month approximately every 7 months, each team provides the refreshments for the SMUUF service, sets up the building, and cleans everything up afterward. It's a wonderful way to meet other SMUUF members and get right into service with us.
Calling All Children! We are excited to continue our RE classes this year.
You have started school, now it is time to start RE! SMUUF IS EXCITED TO OFFER SOUL MATTERS CURRICULUM. This curriculum will follow a monthly theme and it connects to all classes and the weekly talks during service.
SOUL MATTERS THEMES FOR 2019-20 CHILDREN’S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Parents will need to complete a contact/enrollment form for their child(ren). If you have completed this form before and have no changes to contact information, there is no need to complete. From are available downstairs if you want to grab one before the 8th. Also, there is an updated CRE policy pamphlet. Grab one!
See you Sunday!
RE Class Time
Children meet downstairs right after "Time for All Ages". Parents are asked to help children pick up their name tag at the top of the stairs and go into service. Children are welcomed into service in order to help them link with our larger community. They will be sung out after the story and met by teachers to go downstairs.
Room and Teacher Assignments:
|Infant-3 years||Beatrix Potter Room with Deana Piñales|
|4 years-Grade 2||Seuss Room with Robyn Kendrick & Jillian Whitehead|
|Grades 3-5||Susan B. Anthony Room with Monica Rasco & Marissa Fehler|
|Grades 6-12||YUUTH with Laura Haygood|
Here are some upcoming events to mark in your calendar:
|November 3||O.W.L. Grades 7-9 begins, more details to follow.|
(A calendar is posted downstairs with dates and themes)
SEE YOU SUNDAY!!
Week of Friday, September 13 - Thursday, September 19
Check the SMUUF Calendar for current listings of activities
Stand on Every Corner San Marcos - Fridays on the Square
We gather every Friday to protest the present administration, especially it’s mistreatment of emigrants crossing our southern Border.
Our hours are any time from 4:30 till 6:30 at the corner of LBJ and Hopkins, at the statue of Jack Hays. We have water and some extra signs.
Wimberley Pride March
Saturday, September 21 @ 7:30 P.M.
More info at http://wimberleypride.org/
SMUUF to Enter Inaugural Pride March
The assembly point for the march is the large parking lot outside Brookshire Brothers grocery store in Wimberley. The best point of reference for you is the Blanco Brew coffee house which is located at 14200 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley, TX 78676
- Official assembly for the march begins at 6.15pm. The march will move off at 7pm sharp.
- Blanco Brew are having a kick-off party that begins at 5pm so it should be VERY easy to spot where things will begin. They are publicizing this highly, so there will likely be a large number of people there from 5pm onwards.
- Here is an aerial picture of the location, showing Blanco Brew, Brookshire Brothers, and the surrounding areas.
- Please arrive in good time to find parking in the local area. There are a number of public parking areas in Wimberley, including some near the march assembly location area. Please be considerate when you park and car pool where possible. Unfortunately, Wimberley Pride cannot provide parking or security for parking.
- Please avoid parking in the downtown Wimberley Square area as this area is likely to become VERY CONGESTED.
- At 6.15pm, please begin to self-assemble your group outside Blanco Brew. There will be volunteers in yellow high-viz jackets to help you know where to go.
- This march is for non-combustion traffic only. You may have bicycles, unicycles, roller-skates, scooters, etc. but no combustion engine vehicles or floats.
- Only lightweight items can be handed out to people during the march. Please try to hand these things to people rather than throwing them as we will have to pick up discarded items after the march. Please don’t throw any thing that could be considered dangerous, or that could hurt someone.
- Only pre-registered groups will be allowed in the parade. NO EXCEPTIONS
- There will be a police presence at the march. We will also have marshals along the route in high-viz jackets
- We are not expecting any counter protests or protesters at the march. However, if any show up, we would ask that you smile at them or ignore them. Love wins is the motto!The march route is very short and we estimate will take 15-20 minutes to complete for everyone.
- There are two “after parties” taking place once the march has concluded, at Longleaf and Community Pizza. We welcome you to join these and enjoy the evening. Details can be found on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wimberleypride
Saturday, September 21 - SMUUF Float in Local Mermaid Parade
Yes, another local parade for SMUUF. But this one is the most fun and popular. And it has, by far, the largest turnout of watchers of any parade held in San Marcos. Watchers bring out their lawn chairs and line the streets. So we need to be there!
The Mermaid Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. on C.M. Allen Street near the corner of Cheatham Street. Meet us there at 9:30 a.m. to march with our float back to this beginning. We'll pass out rainbow flags and shiny beads to wear. Please return them at the end of the parade so we'll have them next time.
SMUUF Choir - practice restarts in September on a NEW DAY!
Meets Thursdays evenings at 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Anyone who enjoys singing is invited to become a part of the choir, which sings for worship about twice a month. Please contact Gayle for directions.
Meets Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
The Allen Family home in Martindale
The Sewing Guild has made and delivered over 700 quilts to children in need.
Friday "Talk, Then Walk"
In July and August, we will meet at 10am at the Lion Club Tube Rental Parking lot to go tubing instead of walking.
Enjoy good company, conversation, refreshments and a healthy walk. We usually walk about 45 minutes around the San Marcos River, Lower Purgatory, Ring Tail, Spring Preserve and other nature trails. Hope to see you there!
UBarU Camp & Retreat Center Upcoming Events
Oct 11-13 - Women’s retreat featuring Rev. Kraba from UU New Braunfels as the chaplain
Oct 25-27 - Men’s retreat featuring Rev. Skrabacz as the chaplain
Nov 8-10 - Murder Mystery weekend hosted by Helen Sherwood and Olivia Carrender from Houston
Dec 27-30 - Winter Family Camp featuring Rev. Skwarek as the chaplain
Details, registration and more can be found at https://ubaru.org/home/
A week of camp at UBarU is a time to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. We will swim in the beautiful limestone swimming tank, ponder the Milky Way on clear evenings, do some community service, walk the labyrinth, and take field trips to enjoy the gorgeous Texas Hill Country. And of course, we spend some time having fun while we deepen our UU faith.
Joys and Concerns
SMUUF Has Float in Pride Parade this Past Saturday, September 7
The turn out for the parade participants was very good — colorful and fun. Unfortunately, parade watchers were few and far between. Hope for better next year.
Photo Caption from left to right: Mike Russett (riding shotgun), Mark Rockeymoore (SMUUF Board Member), Sarah Wren (SMUUF ParadeTeam), Jeannie Lewis (Social Justice Chair), Rebecca Rockeymoore (SMUUF Parade Team), Gil Fulmer (SMUUF Parade Float Driver). Not pictured but also helping hitch the float, CJ Wright.
During the parade, we had other people riding on our float with Sarah, Jeannie, and Rebecca. There was Mary Pendergast and Nancy Ellis as guests, and the female chorus "The Resistance" who sang throughout the parade. A good time was had by all as we waved our homemade rainbow flags and wore our brightly colored beads.
Also marching in the Pride Parade were SMUUF members Joel Johnson, daughter Alice and pet dog — and Alex Mylius and two sons.
SMUUF Perform Maintenance on Craddock Avenue Medians
When the improvements by the City of San Marcos were made to the medians on Craddock Avenue, the San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (SMUUF) volunteered to care for the three medians closest to their property on Craddock Avenue. SMUUF has not yet built a church on their property there but they feel a responsibility to care for the area.
This summer, three volunteer SMUUF groups have gathered on Saturday mornings on June 29, July 13, and August 24, to remove weeds, pick up trash, and otherwise maintain the medians in good condition. The City provides traffic cones, gloves, tools, and bags for clippings and trash.
In the attached photo see the SMUUF crew that worked Saturday, August 24. From left to right are Kayla McGuire, Dan Gibson (SMUUF Facilities and Grounds Committee Chair), Lisa Arceneaux (Median Clean-Up Organizer), Eleanor McGuire (7), Lisa Cradit, Brock McGuire (9), Tynan McGuire, Tony Garcia, Jordan Buckley, Judy Telford, and Gil Fulmer. Ten bags of weeds and trash were collected.
SMUUF Members Attend City Meeting on Affordable Housing
Three SMUUF Members of the Social Justice Action Alert Team — Jeannie Lewis, Rhoda Sterling, and Sarah Wren — attended an informative meeting hosted by the City of San Marcos on Affordable Housing at the San Marcos Activity Center on Thursday, August 29. Abigail Gillfillan, City Planning Manager, introduced Nick Hall, an expert in Land Banks in the City of Houston, to explain how Land Banks are used to increase affordable housing. It was a good learning experience for us all. For more information, Google Nichola Hall Land Banks.
Abigail Gillfillan will be at SMUUF on Sunday, September 15, for an Adult RE session at 9:30 a.m. to give a presentation on Affordable Housing in San Marcos. She will explain what the Workforce Housing Task Force, appointed by the San Marcos City Council a year ago, will recommend to the City Council in their Strategic Housing Action Plan in early October.
The lack of affordable housing in San Marcos is a critical social justice issue that SMUUF can have a voice to influence. We can advocate before the City Council for the plan or certain aspects of the plan. Please attend this Adult RE Meeting on September 15 to inform yourself.
Mike Russett Represents SMUUF at Thursday CIAF Meeting
SMUUF recently paid our dues and became an official member of Corridor Interfaith Alliance for Families (CIAF). Mike Russett, representing SMUUF, attended the CIAF Leaders Meeting on Thursday, August 29, at Living Word Lutheran Church in Buda. Below are the notes he took at the meeting.
I apologize if this comes off as rambling, but quite a bit to cover.
10 CIAF attendees. Most from host Living Word Lutheran. Rev. Sabrina presided.
Mtg started off with a "get to know your neighbor" time and fairly lengthy discussion of leader traits and leadership development. (After all, it WAS billed a "Leaders Mtg.")
Rep from Capitol IDEA (the folks who provide adult skills training that Sabrina told us about at adult RE - currently healthcare and IT through ACC) was also there, and that was first topic. CIAF has proposed that the County pony up $100K (first ask) in their budget for CIDEA. Judge Becerra fully supports, but commissioners have been mute. CIAF to meet with Commissioner Shell from Precinct 3 in Wimberley on Sep 11, at 3 PM (CIAF premeeting at 2 - not sure loc) to push program. (Note: since ACC is doing the training, it is more cost effective tuition-wise for trainees in Buda/Kyle areas that are in the ACC taxing district, but State gov will also match any Co. funding.) Discussed looking into skills training to also support local manufacturers.
Member Institution Recruiting - Goal is 10. SMUUF recognized for being the latest member. If I understood it right, only other actually signed-on members are Living Word, and Buda UMC, though reps from others were at mtg. Sabrina expects St. John's Catholic and Eikon to sign on shortly. Also actively recruiting several others including Our Lady of Wisdom around the corner.
$$$ - 3 sources: Member institutions (based on percent of operating budget), Corporate donors, and individuals. $ committee working on strategy for corporate donors (to include ties to CIDEA), and will meet on Sep 12 at Buda UMC, time TBD. I have tentatively agreed to attend. Group said to bring Kate and Suzanne, who are apparently well known to Andrea (didn't get her last name).
Statewide issues - short discussion on issues overall IAF is working with state leg/large municipal areas. Gun safety, Mental health in schools, and Parish IDs. The last is in relation to agreements by local law enforcement agencies to accept parish-issued ID cards to avoid being ID'd as "undocumented." Apparently, this is mostly a Catholic parish-centered issue, and if I remember right, either already is, or will be, used in Dallas and San Antonio.
There was also a short discussion of future live Q&A sessions with local/state candidates to get their response to CIAF-identified issues of concern.
Leader training (focus is on holding community listening sessions to ID and develop issues for the CIAF to address with appropriate offices and how to work together to address those offices)
- CIAF specific (by Sabrina) on either Sep 21 at 10-2, or Sep 24 at 10-2 (or 5:30-9), loc TBD
- IAF statewide in San Antonio, Nov 18-22
Central TX (Corridor, Travis, Bastrop, etc.) Delegates Assembly - Nov 10, time and loc TBD
Call for Volunteers at Respite Center at the Texas border
The Sacred Heart Respite Center in McAllen is in desperate need of volunteers. This the Center to which our Sewing Guild has sent over 800 blankets. Volunteers and staff work with families seeking asylum. It is located at 209 W. Hackberry Ave, McAllen, TX 78501.
If you are interested in making a financial donation go to the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Website for information on how to do so.
If you are interested in volunteering contact:
Hermi Forsaghe, Volunteer Coordinator
956 458 3331
The Interfaith Welcome Coalition in San Antonio is another volunteer opportunity. Volunteers meet families who are seeking asylum at the airport or bus station and help them make connections to their next destination. These families have been assisted at the border at one of the Respite Centers there. You can reach the Coalition by email:
Volunteer coordinators are:
SMUUF Social Justice Team Selects Donate-the-Plate Recipients for 2019
The SMUUF Social Justice Executive Team met Sunday morning, December 16, to review the applications for Donate-the-Plate recipients for next year. There were 18 applications for only 10 slots. We usually leave two months open for unexpected situations like Hurricane Harvey, which we donated to and the backpacks for the homeless that we are donating to for December.
We were actually able to select 11 recipients because we combined PFLAG (San Marcos) and WFLAG (Wimberley) to share one Sunday and split the donation 50/50. The recipients selected were:
The recipients are all very grateful. We are busy now trying to schedule them into months that are best for their schedule.
This Donate-the-Plate monthly giving program in SMUUF has created strong alliances with local nonprofits and gained great respect in the community. I frequently hear from community members that they appreciate what we do in the community! -Submitted by Jeannie Lewis, Social Justice Chair
Need a SMUUF Name Badge?
Automate Your Pledge
Tired of writing checks for your pledges? There are three ways you can avoid check writing, and never miss a monthly gift.
- If your bank has bill pay, you can set up an automatic monthly check to SMUUF directly from your bank. It's simple, and it costs you and SMUUF nothing, it should be a free service if offered by your bank.
- You can authorize a regular withdrawal (known as ACH) directly from your bank to ours.
- You can authorize a regular charge on a credit card that SMUUF can process.
For the latter two options, use our donation app to set up recurring payments either by credit card or direct deposit. It's painless!
To make a pledge or general donation at any time:
Board Meeting Minutes available