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First, please call me James. Ministers among us have a variety of styles. I find I’m happiest with that informal approach, reserving that more formal for court and public events. Now, if you have to call me Reverend James, that’s really fine. Also, I’ve always been comfortable when parents insist their children call me Reverend, and, equally so, when they don’t.

Most of all I am so honored to be able to serve with you all over the next while as your interim minister.

 When Jan and I decided it was time to retire from our work for the past quarter of a century, she as a librarian, most recently research librarian at the renowned Perkins School for the Blind (worth looking up), and me as a UU parish minister, most recently at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, in Rhode Island, and to return home to California, we both that was going to be it. We have other interests, most notably the practice of Zen Buddhism. Additionally Jan’s mom is in the area and she wants to have more time with her. Me, I write, and expected that to fill out much of my “free” time.

Turned out there is to be a transition. Perkins asked Jan to continue for a couple years at least as a consultant. And, me, I found the itch to do at least one more round of ministry, particularly if it allowed me a little more time to devote to my other projects. Turned out you all were in a position where you could only offer a three-quarters time position, at least for the first year of your intended two-year process toward your next settled minister. And it seems I have experience with most areas you would like to address in this time of transition. It appears the stars aligned and, well, here we are.

We will all have some adjusting to do. The way the Board and I have tried to arrange the three quarters time of it is that one week out of four I will be gone, the exact week worked out in advance based on the needs of the church and family. Otherwise I expect to be around, hoping to be more useful than annoying. My exact office hours are yet to be worked out, but we’ll publish them soon. I would love to meet with any of you, although I would counsel against just coming up to the church, as I expect my dance card to fill up most weeks. So, appointments are always wise. During the day, during the week is always best, but don’t worry if that isn’t possible for you, we will find ways to get together!

 Again, what an honor, what a treat!

See you in church,

My Liberty Depends on You Being Free, Too

This Sunday, we enjoy our annual Bridging Ceremony with our graduating young adults! I am grateful to Religious Education Director, Vicki Gavel, for taking on this invaluable endeavor. When you listen and witness these young adults in our church this Sunday during our service, engage them as your itinerate teachers about to take a walk-about! 

I have "launched" three kids into that big, wild world... I understand this nerve-racking and exciting time! That world is a challenging, vexing world. Some have called the millennial generation ( born 1981 - 1997) the "Ben Franklin" generation. The Ben Franklins want a fair system they can be part of, and that can benefit everyone in it. And, yet, we are sending them out into a world that is lacking in fairness and loaded with inequality. I grew up in Detroit and I have never seen such growing racial violence since I was very, very young. 

There have been twenty-four deaths protested by the Black Lives Matter Movement since it's inception in July 2013. That's two years, twenty-four deaths. That does not count the nine deaths in recent the Charleston shooting on June 17, 2015.

It is still echoing in my ears and giving me chills. 

What President Obama said at the memorial service for Reverend Pinckney...

"That my liberty depends on you being free, too. That history can’t be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past -- how to break the cycle.  A roadway toward a better world.  ... that the path of grace involves an open mind -- but, more importantly, an open heart. ... That, more than any particular policy or analysis, is what’s called upon right now, I think -- what a friend of mine, the writer Marilyn Robinson, calls 'that reservoir of goodness, beyond, and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things.

That reservoir of goodness.  If we can find that grace, anything is possible.  If we can tap that grace, everything can change.   

... Clementa Pinckney found that grace. 

Cynthia Hurd found that grace.  

Susie Jackson found that grace.  

Ethel Lance found that grace.  

DePayne Middleton-Doctor found that grace.

Tywanza Sanders found that grace.  

Daniel L. Simmons, Sr. found that grace.  

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace.  

Myra Thompson found that grace.

Through the example of their lives, they’ve now passed it on to us.  May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift, as long as our lives endure."

May our young adults, and we ourselves, enjoy an open mind -- but, more importantly, an open heart. May we find that grace that can conform the culture of violence into a culture of peace.


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.

You can scroll through The View, or you can navigate around The View by clicking the items below. 

Continued: If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break 
7:00 p.m.
Monday, August 17
Redondo Beach

Incoming Interim Minister Rev. James Ismael Ford has written a number of books, including If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break.   PUC members who have started reading it find it a delightful and  accessible book that communicates religious concepts in a down-to-earth way.  Come and discuss the first two parts with our friendly small group. 

Contact Lori Geittmann for location and details.  Her contact information is in the PUC directory. 

From Amazon
“Using vignettes and anecdotes from his own life - as well as quotations drawn from sources as varied as the Bible, Yiddish aphorisms, and stand-up comedy - Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist minister James Ishmael Ford shares the gifts won over his lifetime of full-hearted engagement with the Zen path. ‘I've found myself broken open,’ Ford says, ‘and found in that opening my fundamental connection to the whole world.’”

What's more, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break breathes new life into the Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth - as well as the Buddhist precepts of ethical action - and finds for them kinship in other spiritual endeavors. Even the most cynical of hearts will find resonance in Ford's compassionate presentation of basic human truths.”


6:00 p.m.
This Saturday August 8
Classrooms 1 & 2

PUC's Game Night is a favorite PUC event for some some folks.  Come join us for an evening of fun and fellowship.  It's a great time for adults and kids.  Bring a favorite game or two. Children under 12 years old must bring their adult.

Dinner at the Farm
6:00 p.m.
This Saturday August 8
San Pedro

Come and tour Rachel Bruhnke's abundant vegetable beds and fruit trees at her third annual potluck dinner in the garden.  Enjoy dinner and fellowship, share tips for sustainable cultivation, and see how Rachel’s garden has grown and improved over the years.  

Bring an earth friendly dish to share with organic produce from your garden or farmer’s market and responsibly raised and obtained animal products.  

Please RSVP to Betty Saunders.  Betty’s phone number and email address, as well as Rachel’s address are in the PUC Directory.  


Religious Education News
Thank you to everyone who donated to help us provide backpacks for Toberman Center in San Pedro. The realities of the expense of school supplies often makes it hard for some families to look forward to a new school year. Several children will find it easier to start the new year this fall thanks to you. Also, we give a huge thanks to Gregory Garcia, who not only shopped for the backpacks, but donated a huge amount toward this gift.

Please plan to attend this Sunday's service. We will be honoring our recent high school graduates with a Bridging Ceremony. It is a lovely service for all ages, and will be more meaningful for our youth if we have support from our community. This will be a fun service for kids as well as adults, so we hope to see you all in church Sunday morning.

Thanks to all who have helped with Summer with the Doctors. Many talented people have given their time on one or more Sundays so that our kids have a good class to attend. We always need more help, as we will have classes through the labor day weekend. We are also needing some special people to commit to teaching our regular fall curriculum, starting September 13, and meeting on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

Love and Wonder,

Strengthening Spirituality

At Home

I hope you have found something practical to use with your child/ children in the tips given in recent weeks. To close out this series, I have a quote for you, written by Thomas Moore in his book The Soul's Religion: Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life.

“To be spiritual is to be taken over by a mysterious, divine compulsion to manifest some aspect of life's deepest force. We become most who we are when we allow the spirit to dismember us, unsettling our plans and understandings, remaking us from the very foundations of our existence. Nothing is more challenging, nothing less sentimental, than the invitation of spirit to become who we are, not who we think we ought to be.”

I like thinking of an invitation to become who we are. This, surely, is what we want for our PUC kids. It believe it requires of us our attention and our intention.

Love and Wonder,


Soulful Sundown

Intergeneration Service on the Beach

This Friday August 7
Final Friday August 14
7:00 p.m.
On the beach at Avenue G and Esplanade in Redondo Beach

Only two weeks left.  End the work week by exploring our UU principals in a fun way and share a beach sunset with your PUC friends.  Family Religious Education presents an active service at 7:00 p.m. 

New comers will feel very welcome.  It’s relaxed and appropriate for all ages.  The planned portion of the evening will last about 45 minutes.  Park your car where Avenue G intersects with Esplanade in Redondo Beach. Walk down the stairs and meet up on the sand, just a few yards from the walkway.  

Look for the rainbow flag! 

Playing in the Sage
“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
 Henry Ford
This quote is remarkably the story of the Pacific Sage Preschool.

The story begins with a diverse group of curious and passionate people coming together to explore possibilities and potential for an early learning center that represented a common vision and philosophy…

Keeping together and making progress through challenges (they were a diverse group after all) and making sure no one was lost or left behind… 

Working together, fearlessly and tirelessly to transform a space.  Supporting each other to reveal hidden talents and strengths…

Now the school’s Licensing Application has been successfully submitted and the “beginning” rather than the “end” is near…

There are still a few loose ends before we are ready for inspections, so if you can join us Saturday 8/8 8:30am -1:30pm, we would welcome and appreciate the help.
Director, Pacific Sage Preschool

Women's Reading and Responding
Book Club 

Third Mondays
NEXT: August 17
11:00 a.m.
PUC Library

August: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah
September: Laurie King's To Play the Fool

Please join us to discuss and to chat.
Questions? Contact Robin Arehart.

Summer Camps
Aren't Just For Kids!

Enjoy more time in the woods before the summer is gone.  See what's happening at Camp de Benneville Pines for the rest of the summer here.
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Create Meaning Center logo

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 Increase your mental and physical flexibility while releasing stress and enhancing body awareness

Poses and exercises to build strength, relieve pain and stress, and improve balance

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


August 6, 2015
Our Theme This Month Is
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!
Candle Lighting
This Week

Interactions with Sabbath

Brought to you by our high school students


Next Week

From Faith, Hope and Love to Attention, Gratitude and Compassion

Please plan to join us as Clay Bosler compares three great Christian and three great Buddhist virtues. And please plan to stay afterwards for the"Meet the New Minister" event after lunch!

Clayton Bosler,
PUC Member

In August
Our Theme Will Be


Joys & Concerns


Craig Block will find out the results of his MRI soon and may be home until August 7 at which time he has a planned hospital stay from August 7 to 11.   He would like visitors.

Pat Shull is at Lomita Post-Acute Care Center and welcomes visitors in the afternoon. Cards are also welcome.

Marvel Burke broke her am in a fall.

Chelsea Howell is healing from rotator cuff surgery.

Peggy Boyd is undergoing chemo therapy.


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 reach the PUC office scroll down to the
end of The View.


If you have a pastoral concern, or know of someone in need, please contact Rev Kim Gosney or email

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

Jean Tordella &
Peggy Tigerman

Welcome Table:
Pam Harris
(Volunteers needed - contact Debbie Reynolds)

Kevin Gallagher &
Alana Garrigues

Top Chef:
Margo Meikle

Office Volunteer:

PUC's calendar of events can be found here.

This Sunday's Flowers 

Consider expanding your horizons.  What is growing in your garden this summer?  Show off your botanical bounty.  Let us all enjoy your creative fruit and/or veg display.

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

Next Open Dates:
All of August


Our Seven Principles

This is what binds us together

  1. The inherent worth & dignity of every person
  2. Justice, equity & compassion in human relations
  3. Acceptance of one another & encouragement  to spiritual growth in our congregation
  4. A free and responsible search for truth & meaning
  5. The right of conscience & the use of the democratic process within our congregation & in society at large
  6. The goal of world community  with peace, liberty, & justice for all
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
Unitarian Universalism in Our Area

Pacific Southwest District UUA
The Pacific Southwest District of the Unitarian
Universalist Association consists of 50 Congregations in Arizona, Southern California and Southern Nevada. The PSWD is also part of the Pacific Western Region of the UUA.

Camp de Benneville Pines
Affiliated with the Pacific Southwest District of the Unitarian-Universalist Association and welcoming people of all faiths for programming compatible with the UU philosophy of respect for the interconnected web of life and for the worth and dignity of all human beings.

Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim
511 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805

First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles 
(213) 401-1191
2936 West 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA   90005

UU Church of Long Beach 
(562) 597-8445
5450 East Atherton Street
Long Beach, CA   90815

Neighborhood Church 
(626) 449-3470
301 N Orange Grove Blvd
Pasadena, CA   91103

South Bay Unitarian Fellowship 
(310) 374-1451
2603 Matthews Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA   90278

UU Community Church of Santa Monica 
(310) 829-5436
1260 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA  90404

Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
(805) 644-3898
5654 Ralston St
Ventura, CA 93003

Sunday Service: 10:30 a.m.

For Sunday morning announcements contact Clay Bosler at

5621 Montemalaga Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Office Hours

                Sunday            9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
                                        The office is closed during the service from 10:30-11:30.

                Monday           Closed

                Tuesday         10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.           

                Wednesday    10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

                Thursday        10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

                Friday             10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

               Saturday         Closed

Click here for Directions

Contact Us:

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