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I was born and raised in this congregation, but that was a long time ago.  As an adult I spent years with my family of five, on Sundays, recreating, chores, projects, or just relaxing. Looking back, I feel there was an opportunity missed. The concepts of UUism open us to reflection and variety in the whole spectrum of life. I’m not making this up! My mother said it over and over as part of her experience at SepulvedaUU, and a life that extended to 104 years. 

I realize “Change is a Constant,” recently elected as Vice President to our Board of Trustees, I am grateful for the guidance from Mary Kraig and others who were open to and invited me to share in finding new solutions to the complexities here at SepulvedaUU.

If you are energized, spread your passion and ideas, and work together here at SepulvedaUU or if you are full or are uncertain of your direction, please know that simply your presence, with the purpose of renewal and balance, is welcome here. I am certain that the ever-evolving journey of my spirituality and passion for our existence on this little blue marble, coupled with your perspective, brings an opportunity for renewed vision and vocation going forward.

Barrie Hafler


A Note from Marilyn:
Morton Marilyn headshot
First of all, congratulations to Barrie on being elected as Vice President finishing out Mary Kraig’s term. I look forward to working with Barrie, just as I look forward to being with all of you. I think we will make a great community and will be up for the celebration, challenges and hard work that will undoubtedly come our way.
I am sorry to be absent during these early days together.  I’m doing some traveling and won’t be back to the Onion in the Valley until the end of September. This trip was planned last Spring, long before there was talk about elections, etc.
However, "as the person in charge" during the president’s absence, Barrie is more than qualified to adequately handle any business or issues that might come up, or need addressing, while I’m away.
Barrie will be conducting the first Board meeting which will bring our Board together for the first time and for 2018-2019 year on Monday, Sept. 17 at 6 PM.
And thank you, AJ, for your leadership and vision of what SepulvedaUU can be and for patiently, and surely, making that vision a reality.
I’m grateful for each one of you,

facebook  September 16 - CONTEMPLATIVE SERVICE                                                          
01 2Yoga with Natalie Backman
Pastor AJ Blackwood, Sunday Service Associate

Join us this week for our first Contemplative Sunday Service. We are honored to have Natalie Backman lead us in time of reflection through the spiritual practice of Yoga. 

Natalie has been practicing yoga for over sixteen years and sharing the teachings for five years with people of all levels of mobility. Natalie belongs to a Living Lineage, which means she is an initiate of the Sri Vidya tradition and part of an unbroken line of yoga devotees that extends back over 2,000 years. 

Natalie's teaching is a modern take on an ancient tradition. It is an exploration of Tantra as presented through a blend of Hatha and Vinyasa Krama.

Practices with Natalie will help to strengthen and purify the body, calm and stabilize the mind, generate and manage prana and facilitate reintegration with your higher, sacred self. You can learn more about Natalie and be in contact through her website

Note:  Everyone is requested to dress in very comfortable casual clothes (yoga or athletic attire preferred but not necessary).  
Contemplative Sunday Morning Service
On these Sundays all will be welcomed into a space of reflection and introspection. Our Sunday Service team will guide you through a time for communal sharing of events in our lives, silent and guided meditations, community singing, and the presentation of an embodied spiritual practice such as Yoga, drumming, writing, and others. Come comfortably dressed and be willing to move as you are able and be moved spiritually during this service.  Note: Children are invited to gather in the Ballou Room for childcare and religious exploration programs.

facebook  September 23 - TRADITIONAL SERVICE
Pastor AJ Blackwood

SepulvedaUU has been a spiritual home for those in the San Fernando Valley who seek authenticity in their lives since 1943. This Sunday Pastor AJ and Leigh Garner, our music director, will lead us on a journey welcoming all members of our community into our spiritual home here at “The Onion in the Valley.”

fumaniThe Onionaires will be presenting a glorious version of Jay Althouse’s “Coming Home” as well a very special presentation by local jazz vocalist, Fumani Thomas. (

Note: Children will begin service with us in the Sanctuary and then proceed to childcare and religious exploration programs.

Traditional Unitarian Universalist Sunday Morning Service
Pastor, AJ Blackwood, joined by our talented Music Director, Leigh Garner, will share with you a message of inclusiveness, community, hope and inspiration. During this time together, we will be offered opportunities for exploring what it is to be a Unitarian Universalist as we weave together our thoughts and experiences with music, beauty, poetry, and words that both comfort and challenge us as we gather to find meaning and live more authentically in our beloved community.

Sunday Morning Experience
9:30 AM - Welcome and Hospitality
10:00 AM - Morning Service
11:00 AM - Refreshments in the Garden
11:30 AM - Continuing Conversations

All are invited on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM for welcome and hospitality as we gather for our morning celebration. Our services begin at 10:00 AM and last approximately one hour after which all are invited to enjoy conversation and refreshments in the garden. On most Sundays we will be invited to return to the sanctuary at 11:30 AM for Continuing Conversations, a time to deepen the discussion with Pastor AJ Blackwood or other presenters about the theme or topic of the morning’s service.

We recognize that our Unitarian Universalist community is both theologically and spiritually diverse. Throughout the month we offer a variety of Sunday Service styles to honor the needs of our community. Twice a month we offer a traditional Unitarian Universalist style service led by Pastor, AJ Blackwood and Music Director, Leigh Garner featuring our choir, the Onionaires. Once a month we host a Contemplative Sunday service which centers on a time of reflection and spiritual growth. We complete each month with a Humanist Forum which is aimed at informing us of community concerns and issues of justice - calling us to act in our local community.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Onion in the Valley.

Thursdays at 7:15 PM
Director: Leigh Garner

The Onionaires are back!  Come join us Thursday nights as we sing a variety of UU Songs and anthems from ‘round the world.  Lend your voice in fellowship as we help lead our congregation in song.  No audition needed.  Great exercise for your heart and soul!  Questions?  Check with our Director of Music.

Our choir, the Onionaires, is an integral part of our Sunday Service experience. The Onionaires’ far-reaching repertoire ranges from madrigals, sacred and classical pieces, to folk, gospel, world music, and current UU fare. As said, it is a great exercise for your heart and soul! All are welcome to join in this fellowship as we lead the worship service in song twice a month as well as at our Holiday service and Spring Concert in May.

DRUMMING CIRCLE– September 14, Friday and every 2nd Friday of the month at 7 pm here at the Onion.  
Leader: Burl Bolerjack
Donation: $5.00 for adults; youth free, or free will donation

Creative primal instincts blossom as we discover more joy, meditation ability, exhilaration & spirituality as we drum together. Percussion instruments provided but you can bring your own.

Saturdays beginning September 29 - 10:00 AM
Facilitator: Pastor AJ Blackwood
Donation: $10 to cover supplies

Pastor AJ will be leading this 10-week workshop rooted in the intersection of theology and creativity. Participants will have an opportunity to explore, reflect on, and express their personal theology.
We will be using a variety of media sources as examples of how theology is expressed all around us, every day.
The workshop will conclude with an art show by the participants to be presented on January 20, 2019. Ideas for creative art projects include painting, cooking, sewing, woodworking, singing, writing, etc. All ideas are welcome!
NOTE: Participants will need access to Netflix, Redbox or other movie provider. If participants do not have access to a service such as these, they will be encouraged to watch movies together.


readingREADING with PASTOR AJ 
1st Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM

Facilitator: Pastor AJ Blackwood

Did you miss the last book? We will be starting a new book November 6th. Come and enjoy fellowship and an in depth read of one of our UU celebrated books.
October 7 at 12 PM in the Conference Rm.
Facilitators: Pastor AJ Blackwood and Membership Committee

The Membership Committee offers an orientation class for newcomers. We explore Unitarian Universalism, our congregation, and the path to membership. Please RSVP by calling the office or click here.  Lunch and childcare will be provided.
AJ Blackwood 1

How are you doing? Do you have concerns that you would like to discuss?  Know that I am available for you.  It is very easy to schedule an appointment with me and I will be glad to spend some time with you.  You can reach me by email AJBlackwood@ or by calling me at 747-224-7887 or through  

Wednesdays - 6:00 PM - Art Room
Leaders: Claudia Hurtz and Teri Ismail

Donation: Free First Time ($20/month for kiln costs)

Claudia Hurtz is a professional ceramist and instructor.  Make ceramics by potting wheel or freehand, or simply drop by for drinks and snacks for fellowship. All ages are welcome.

Fridays - 10:00 AM - Conference Room
Facilitators: Willy Hoult and Ron Ruscillo

Looking to meet new people or catch up with friends?
Why not come and share what’s on your mind, ponder the universe or offer solutions to what ails it, all over coffee in a friendly and welcoming environment. All are welcome. Drop in when you can.


Oct 12-14 at De Benneville Pines (Angelus Oaks)

Join fellow UU's  at our annual LA/Valley Cluster weekend at Camp de Benneville Pines. This is a fun-filled, relaxing weekend for all ages. Get to know folks from our neighboring congregations while enjoying nature. Register here or contact
Louise Klatt, Camp Dean by clicking here 


October 20, Saturday - 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Coordinator:  Gary Davis

Food, games, dancing, and costumes. Freaky poetry “spooken” by Arnold Weiss, famed actor and storyteller par excellence.

4th Saturday - 9:00 AM 
Coordinator: Cecily Garnhardt

Have a love for our grounds? Join us in maintaining and beautifying the Onion Campus and allocating spaces for varying needs.

Mondays and Wednesdays 
Liaison: Carol Hart

We will walking and cleaning the streets from Nordhoff to Devonshire and Sepulveda to Hayvenhurst; feeding the homeless, providing them with clean clothes, and bus passes. We have donated 150 bottles of water.  
NOTE: Please bring more water or reusable water bottles to our Water Communion service on Sept. 30, 2018.


October 6 - 4:00 PM here at the Onion
Facilitator: Doris Dent

Doris will be leading a discussion and addressing the issues and ballot initiatives facing our community both locally and nationally.


PastorAJ Blackwood
Director of MusicLeigh Garner
Office AdministratorRamon Alvarez 

PresidentMarilyn Morton
Vice President and Community Life Barrie Hafler
Secretary and CommunicationsJanet Landau

Committee on Ministry - Vision & ValuesDoris Dent
Community EngagementCarol Hart
Outreach and MemberCare - Phyllis Ruscillo

Program Committee - Gary Davis
9550 Haskell Ave., North Hills, CA 91343
Office hours:  Monday & Wednesday – 9 AM – 5 PM;  Friday – 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

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Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society
9550 Haskell Ave.
North Hills, California 91343

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