Escalating Inequality group:

Unsung Hero Award 2016

Participants of this group will have the opportunity to learn about escalating inequality, share ideas, and take actions of advocacy which can include visiting local lawmakers, emailing campaigns, GOTV efforts and working in tandem with local activists.

Michael Teasdale, member of the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, is the current leader of this group.  Contact Michael at 805.405.1792 or  Michael also co-chairs the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community.

Feeding Hands group:

  • provides free dinner on the first Tuesday of each month to those in our community who are part of the free meal program sponsored by Lutheran Social Services
  • members of the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship cook & serve the dinner

Dinners are both prepared at Fellowship Hall and in members’ home kitchens.  Dinners are served at Calvary Church, Westlake Village, CA.

Anne Ewell, member of the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, oversees the organization of the dinners.



Next Steps


Lights for Liberty in Camarillo was a success with hundreds of people and some 40 Chalice members and friends participating to uphold human rights at the border.  Thanks to overall planning from a wide coalition of community groups and certain individuals from Chalice like Willie, Pamela, Danielle, Tiffany and Brian P. our table was able to distribute LED chalices for folks to raise together in the dark of night.  Gordon, Marjorie, Debbie, Andy and others prepared and staffed the table.  CLUE VC was instrumental in helping to make this evening of solidarity, compassion and hope an invigorating experience.  Connections were made in this opportunity to give and receive information of ongoing justice work in Ventura County and how we can help one another.  Now what?  Here are 3 immediate things you can do:

SWAP MEET JUSTICE happens every last Sunday of the month from 8am to 3pm at Oxnard College Community Marketplace (next to the bookstore).  Volunteers are trained to help people fill out forms needed to renew DACA or Green cards, register to vote, register for Selective Service or apply for citizenship.  If you want to volunteer in this hands-on helping, send an email to  For more information, you can call (805) 486-9777 or talk to Marjorie about her experience there.

Check our bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall to find a simple sample script for phone calls to our legislators.   To support humane action, call your Representative to let them know you want them to co-sponsor and support HR 1069 Shut Down Child Prison Camps, and HR 2217 Families NOT Facilities Act.  Call both of our Senators to ask them to support S. 397 Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act, and thank them for supporting S.388 Families NOT Facilities Act.

Attend and help promote our own Community Forum “Saint Judy” on July 26 at 7pm.  After the film, Judy Wood, immigration attorney, will be with us to discuss her experiences and her fight that changed American asylum law.

Now is the time to put renewed energy to use with valuable phone calls and actions to show ourselves, our legislators, and the wider community that we are persistent on the long road to just and humane treatment for all people.  We are stronger when we work together and recognize that our actions, or inactions, are part of making our interdependent world what it is today.



Gather the spirit, harvest the power.  Jim Scott’s UU hymn tells the story.  When we join our spirits together in the work of seeking justice and compassion, we are more powerful.  Our efforts are magnified greater than the sum of individuals.  We learn from one another, support each other, and celebrate together.  We become accountable to something greater than ourselves.

Upcoming Social Action opportunities that you may consider joining, include:

 April 29, Oxnard College Climate Action Now – Environmental Justice Summit, 5:30pm, check with Gordon Clint for carpooling

May 6, Economic Justice Ministry plans for a possible Habitat project, 1st Mondays, 7pm

May 7, Feeding Hands meal preparation, coordinate with Lisa Bortman a few days ahead of 1st Tuesdays

May 20, Immigration Day of Action in Sacramento with the UU Justice Ministry of California (UUJMCA) – rally, program, legislative visits.  Contact Willie Lubka if you have questions.

May 20, Racial and Cultural Justice Ministry, summer planning, 3rd Mondays, 5:30pm to 7pm

June 8, Teach-in/Act-out a 5-hour workshop on immigration at Ventura UU, flyer on our bulletin board

July 19, UU Borders Journey, meet in San Diego for trip to Tijuana with UUJMCA check

August 4-8, Turning the Tides at Camp DeBenneville – Join with the UUJMCA and other UUs to strengthen community, deepen our faith connection to justice, learn about core issues that call to our values and plan for the coming year of justice-making!

September 14, “Hunger in the Conejo Valley” to be held at the Lundgren Center of CLU.  Presenters include people from Manna, Conejo Valley School District, and Senior Concerns.

We celebrate the teamwork that brought about many recent actions including:  hosting a workshop “Imagining Liberation Together: UUJMCA & You”; Community Forums – “Stabilizing Climate Chaos” and “The Real Border Crisis”; a visit to Adelanto Immigrant Detention Center; attending a hearing of the Poor Peoples Campaign; joining with other UUs, Interfaith Witness, and Jewish Voices for Peace to peacefully welcome attendees for a C.A.I.R. event; Reproductive Rights lobbying in Sacramento; a field trip to the “Museum of Tolerance”; trips to the Border to assist with asylum refugees; time with our Muslim neighbors at the Family of Abraham Picnic; O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives, sexual education) program currently underway; Beloved Conversations (a curriculum exploring race/ethnicity in individual and congregational lives) currently underway; each monthly meal for the hungry provided by Feeding Hands; developing a list of folks interested in Climate Justice.

If you would like to join in but don’t know who to contact, please let me know.

Barbara Leighton, (acting Social Action Coordinator)

VC Emergency
For the latest on wildfires in Ventura County go to
This site has current fire maps and evacuation notices, as well as links to other resources.

County of Ventura Human Services Agency
The County of Ventura Human Services Agency is making rental assistance and other help available to eligible local residents who cannot return to their homes due to the impact of the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura County.
Read More information at

The Red Cross
The Red Cross has many additional services that they provide from this point forward. If your home was damaged but still livable, we can send out a truck to your Neighborhood upon request to distribute emergency supplies such as water, snacks, clean-up kits that include shovels, masks, etc. and other emergency supplies. There will also be a nurse on the truck.  Please call the Red Cross office between 10 AM and 3 PM, 805-987-1514.

If you have lost your home, the County has opened a Local Assistance Center at the Thousand Oaks Library on Janss Road from 9 AM to 7 PM.  In attendance will be FEMA and Representatives from many insurance companies. In addition, the Red Cross will be offering mental health support and health services as well as case workers.

UUA Disaster Relief Fund
Thanks to the UUA Disaster Relief fund, we have been granted funds to help those who need it after our recent local fire disaster and mass shooting. We can share this with our congregants who have had fire damage or other troubles. Please let us know if you need help.

To help replenish this fund for the next disaster and the next congregation who needs help, donate today. The Disaster Relief Fund disburses grants to UU congregations and affiliated UU entities. Disaster relief grantees have reported feeling held in care and more connected to other UU congregations and to the UUA as a whole.

Donate Today at

N95 Masks at CVUUF If you or someone you love is living in smoke or poor air quality from the fires, contact our CVUUF office at 805-498-9548 or  WE HAVE MASKS AVAILABLE!


Grace DiTommaso

Director of Social Justice


What a September we have had and are having! I mean that in terms of CVUUF and the ongoing political debacles. It is challenging to turn from the TV screen to pay attention to “real life.”

If I tried to cover all the actions that our three Social Justice Ministries AND Community Forum AND the young people and family groups AND Nica have accomplished, it would take up too much space. THANK YOU for walking your talk. I am awed by you ALL!

I will only mention one extraordinary “past” event… the PRIDE FESTIVAL!  Look what we can do when we join together! That festival was a dream of Narissa Petchumrus, a friend of CVUUF, a year ago. Did she make it happen,or what?!?!?! Of course, we honor the members of CVUUF who supported the Festival with all their energy!

Let’s look toward the future. The elections are coming up! If you are interested in getting involved in the elections and getting people out to vote, please contact me for more information.

Family matters! We have had one family-friendly community forum and it was a success! Our aim is to use that pathway to involve kids from 4 to 18 in Forums in the future. The aim: let the kids experience the Principles of our faith, whether by education or action.  Secondary aim: learn how/why we run forums and services (advertising, tech, lighting, sound, public speaking, music, art and drama as ways to communicate those Principles). Oh, wait-also, to have fun!

This links in perfectly with the growing involvement of families with each other in the fellowship.  In the coming months, we welcome your involvement in forming lines of communication (possibly a Facebook page?), service, and fun for families. Please contact Samantha Dickenson, our Religious Education Director, if you would like to participate!

We have upcoming Social Justice Community Forums on reaching out to help the hungry right in the Conejo Valley and on Gun Control. Our LGBTQ youth group is coming together. Beloved Conversations is coming up in February 2019, as is Reverend Nica’s latest class “Cultivating Joy and Resilience in Challenging Times.”

Willie Lubka is keeping us tied in to the Martin Luther King celebration in Oxnard, and I hope that we all select some service to do in that great man’s honor.

There is so much more. Keep reading News and Notes and ask me to put your email address on our various mailing lists!

Remember, love is a verb!