Join us this Sunday for the Holiday Fair and Messiah Sing-Along

Saturday December 9, 2023

1 pm Holiday Bags & Cards of Remembrance 
In Person – We invite you to join us in Loving Community activities to reach out to “Elders and Others” to remind them we are thinking of them with love and appreciation and wish them well, especially in this season that may feel blue and/or stressful. We’ll make cookies, write cards, and fill bags with goodies.

Sunday December 10, 2023

Inviting Remembrance Bag Delivery “Elves”. Please stop by the table in the Atrium after Sunday’s service to pick up one or more holiday remembrance bags filled with goodies and greetings, to deliver to our members 90 and better and those for whom this has been a rough year.

9:20 am Personal Theology
In Person and Zoom – Spiritual Reflections about the Climate Crisis presented by Kiran Rana. Kiran became dissatisfied with conventional religious ideas at an early age. Eventually he discovered Sufism and has been a student and teacher of the Sufi Way for many years. Prior to retirement, Kiran was a publisher of self-help books on health and personal growth. Currently he is also a member of the choir of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

Join us in the Fireside Room or
Click here to join on Zoom

10 am Youth and Children’s Choir Rehearsal
Meditation Room (below the Sanctuary) – Open to all children and youth, ages 5½ and up. Prior musical experience is not required. Email Teacher Katie for questions:

11 am Religious Education
In Person – K-3rd grade will continue their journey into the “World of Wonder” Tapestry of Faith program. 4th-12th graders will bake cookies to sell at the Holiday Fair. Please email Heaven Walker, Director of Family Ministry for more information:

11 am Worship Service
In Person, Facebook Live and YouTube – Listening for the Deep Dark. Rev. Marcus Liefert, preaching; Worship Associate Karen Elliott. As we light the Hanukkah candles and stay up tending the solstice fire, we remember that while our holiday rituals lift up and celebrate the light, they also beckon us toward paying attention to the dark. Is there a darkness in your life that you’ve been avoiding dwelling in? Is there room in the holiday season for turning inward, and listening for the wisdom that dwells outside the glow of twinkling lights?

12 pm Holiday Fair
Social Hall – For the first time, our Holiday Fair will happen the same day as our famous Messiah Sing-Along for a unique singing and shopping experience! The Holiday Fair will start at noon with holiday decorations, gift wrap, crafts, recycled “giftables,” jewelry, food gifts, and plants for sale. It will go through the intermission of the Messiah Sing-Along.

1 pm Humanist Connections
Zoom – Topic selection + Short Topic Discussion with Ray Westergard. The Humanist Connections group meets weekly to discuss topics relating to our humanity, values, ideas. “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” (4th principle of Unitarian Universalism.) For more information, contact Marcia Bates.

4 pm Messiah Sing-Along

In Person – Join us for our beloved annual sing-along performance of Handel’s masterpiece oratorio Messiah, featuring the Hallelujah chorus. There is an orchestra, choir and soloists, and the audience is invited to sing along with the choruses.

The Week, December 11 – 16

Monday, December 11

9 am Write for Your LifeZoom – Please email Kit Hewitt for Zoom link and details:

9:30 am Women’s Meditation Group In Person – This group meets weekly to practice “Mettā” (pr. METTT-tttah) or “loving kindness” meditation in the Southeast Asian Buddhist philosophy tradition. On the 2nd & 4th Mondays we meet in person (masking & social distancing required), and all other meetings are on Zoom. So that a space can be prepared for you at our new location, RSVP & questions to Evelie Delfino Såles Posch

11 am Textile and ArtSafir Room – Contact Karen Tripp, Helen Toy, and Judy, or

Tuesday, December 12

10:30 am Improving Your Balance Through Tai Chi (New Time)
In Person – Contact Tess Snook O’Riva for more information

12:15 pm Applied UU Buddhist SanghaZoom – Contact Lynnette Delgado for more info:

7 pm What I Wish My Parents Knew Film Screening 
In Person – a 45-minute film that explores the inner struggle of children battling depression and anxiety in silence. 10 youth bravely share their pain living in crisis and express their feelings what they wish their families would have known.
It will be followed by a 45-minute in-depth discussion facilitated by a mental health professional. This session provides an opportunity for attendees to ask questions, share their struggles, and gain insights on supporting youth mental well-being.
Participation is free, but we request that you RSVP.

Wednesday, December 13

10 am Walk & Talk Group
In Person – A small group meets for a vigorous one-hour walk. All are welcome. We are building loving community while supporting our physical and mental well-being. On 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, meet at the UUCB front parking lot and we will walk from there. Contact Ann Harlow or 510-559-3616.

10:30 am Aging with Grace
 – Contact Ann Greenwood (510) 734-3378n or Jane Ramsey: or (510) 499-5204.

7 pm Social Justice Council Zoom – For more information, contact Carol Carlisle

Thursday, December 14

5:30 pm Learn Javanese music at UUCB! In Person – Experience firsthand the meditative Javanese gamelan. All ages and levels of musical skill welcome. Contact Daniel, 510-334-1334 or Tom, 510-495-4879.

7:15 pm Choir Rehearsal
In Person – Luminescence, our choir of adults, joins to sing on Thursday nights in the sanctuary.  New singers are most welcome! You don’t need choral experience, nor do you need to read music – though both help in learning the new music.

Friday, December 15

10 am Improving Your Balance Through Tai Chi (New Time)
In Person – Contact Tess Snook O’Riva for more information

Saturday, December 16

1 pm People of Color CaucusZoom – The UUCB People of Color Caucus (POCC) of the Social Justice Council provides a safe space for racial and ethnic minority members to name, heal and reconcile past and current personal and group racial wounds. Contact Helen Tinsley-Jones for more information:

4-8 pm Parents’ Night Out
In Person – Enjoy a Night Out on us! Finish some last minute holiday shopping or some time to yourself. We will provide childcare, pizza, and fun for the kids!

6:30 pm Youth Social Event
In Person – Please email Heaven Walker, Director of Family Ministry for more information:

7:30 Kensington Symphony Orchestra Concert 
In Person – Tickets available in person.

Upcoming Events

9:30 am Personal Theology. Fire Rituals-Theory and Practice. From solstice bonfires to the UU chalice to candles on a birthday cake, we have long used fire to signal now we take actions with serious intent. As we enter a season of ubiquitous ceremonial flames, what is it about fire that makes it so central to ritual practice?
1 pm Working to Overcome White Supremacy (WOWS). We’ll be talking about microaggressions – please bring examples, along with your MAUBs (Moments of Awareness of Unconscious Bias) and MOIs (Moments of Illumination).  For more info, contact Julia Rogers and Julie Winkelstein at or 510-520-8230 (Julia).
Dec. 21 – Creating the Tinsel Labyrinth
Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice Service
Dec. 24 – 5 pm Intergenerational Service
Dec. 24 – 10 pm Traditional Candlelight Service
Jan. 14 – Resurrecting Love Film Screening
Feb. 11 – Congregational Meeting

Announcements & Resources

Nomination to the Board of Trustees 2024 by Petition. Per UUCB’s bylaws, candidates for election to the Board of Trustees shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee or nominated by Written Petition (which must be signed by at least 4% of certified members -currently 13- and submitted to the VP at least 7 Sundays prior to election). The deadline for petition submissions is December 24, 2023. ATTN: Michael Armstrong, UUCB Board Vice President.

Good Neighbor for December

Safe Return Program. Website:
Mission: The Safe Return Program is invested in building a base of power at the civic, social, and economic levels of formerly incarcerated persons across the State of California, addressing the root causes of poverty and the impact that the criminal justice system has had on black people and communities of color.

UUCB Staff and Board Availability

  • Board Listening Presence: Michael Armstrong: (510) 219-3847
  • Rev. Marcus Liefert (Minister) meetings by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Email:
  • Tess Snook O’Riva (Executive Director) works Monday-Friday. In office Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email:
  • Bryan Baker (Director of Music): in person Thursdays and Sunday mornings, and remotely Fridays. Email:
  • Heaven Walker (Director of Family Ministry and Lifelong Learning): Office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-1. Email:
  • Janae Heard (Office Administrator): in office Tuesdays and Thursdays 11-5. Works remotely M-W-F. Email:
  • Peter Barnholdt (Facilities Manager): Tuesday-Friday 11-7:30.
  • Charis Domador (Connections Coordinator) works remotely Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Email:
  • Diana Steinbach (Finance Administrator) works remotely Mondays and Thursdays.

Stay in Touch

  • Pastoral Care Need? If you or a UUCB congregant you know is sick, hospitalized, recovering, grieving or otherwise in need of attention and support, please email us at In case of a pastoral emergency, you may call Rev. Marcus Liefert at (510) 525-0302 ext. 303 or email him at He is always available for pastoral needs.
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  • Social Justice email list: Email

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Submit items for the Beacon monthly newsletter to by the 15th of the month.

Our Board of Trustees Widening the Circle Vision Statement:
“We, the trustees of UUCB commit ourselves to championing racialjustice, embodying anti-racist practices, and confronting anddismantling white supremacy culture and all forms of oppression(including but not limited to racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia,transphobia, classism, ageism, xenophobia and religious oppression,including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia) in everything we do.”


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