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Morton Marilyn bw shotIn 5th grade, I wanted to be a secretary and work in an office. In 6th grade, a friend and I created a ‘classroom’ in my backyard to help others with their school work. I told my 7th grade English teacher I wanted to be a writer and my 8th grade English teacher that I wanted to be a lawyer. He scoffed and said, “they’d eat you up alive.” I studied psychology for a while in college with hopes of impacting the lives of others in positive ways.
In 1974 I took a clerical job with the City of Los Angeles only until something better came along. I ended up staying with the City forty years. By the time I retired, I realized that my earliest desire to work in an
office had, indeed, been realized. As a supervisor, I often helped others with personal problems, Morton Marilyn crop 2interpreted language and rules, and was often required to use writing skills. It seems that all my childhood vocations came into play in various ways over the years.
As Board President, I hope to utilize office and writing skills, interpret language and rules, and most importantly, work with others in ways that honor our UU Principles. My vision for the coming year is that by utilizing all of our individual visions and vocations, together we will create a thriving spiritual community that will have a positive impact within our congregation as well as the larger community of which we are a part.

Sept. - Vision and Vocation
Oct. - Leadership and Hope
Nov.  - Unity and Diversity

September 2 - HUMANIST FORUM
001Voices of Latinx Labor
Enrique Vela, Executive Board member of LCLAA
Barrie Hafler, Sunday Service Associate
The issue of civil rights within the work place and organized labor is of vital importance to all of us in the San Fernando Valley.  Enrique Vela, Executive Board member of the greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) formed in 1973, will be joining us to present a history on US Labor (including the formation of LCLAA).  He will also update us on urgent issues affecting Labor in general terms but specifically the Latino community in the San Fernando Valley.

Belong, Become, Bless
Pastor AJ Blackwood

Pastor AJ will be back in the pulpit with us this Sunday and share his vision of the new church year with our theme for the year Belong Become Bless.

September 16 - CONTEMPLATIVE SERVICE: "Yoga with Natalie Backman"
September 23 - TRADITIONAL SERVICE:  "Coming Home"
September 23 - (6:00 PM) EARTH CENTERED SERVICE:  "Mabon Celebration"


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.


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

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.

Humanist Forum Sunday Morning Service
Our Humanist Forum is designed to welcome the secular humanist, activist, and socially concerned members of our community. In a world of heartbreak, dehumanization, and need for information, our community calls us to our better selves. During these services we will hear from community leaders with an objective to live with more wisdom, more connection, and more compassion for the world around us. It will be a time to deepen our faith through action. Note: Children are invited to gather in the Ballou Room for childcare and religious exploration programs.

Intergenerational Sunday Morning Service
Join us for an adventurous service on the 5th Sunday of the month when we incorporate holiday celebrations, multigenerational plays and pageants, musical performances, child dedications, and coming-of-age ceremonies. Note: Children will be welcomed to join us in the Sanctuary for the entirety of the service.

002Evening Earth Centered Service 
September 23 - 6:00 PM
Leaders: Carol Hart, Tim Carmain and Pastor AJ

For those who are new to the Craft of the Wise, we’ll begin with a brief introduction of Pagan practices of the Autumn Equinox. We’ll cast a sacred circle and celebrate a Mabon Ritual. We will conclude with a potluck and Q&A session for those with post-ritual questions. Join us for the annual Feast of the Helper & the Bringer of Justice. Out with the old and in with the new! Potluck

Thursdays at 7:15 PM
Director: Leigh Garner 818-843-3226

The Onionaires are back on board Sept. 6th at 7:15 p.m.  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.


Writing WorkshipWRITING WORKSHOP – Sept. 2 at 12 PM
Facilitator:  Marilyn Morton

If you have an interest in exploring ways to express yourself through the written word, this workshop is for you.  Come join us today when writers and non-writers utilizes various writing exercises and prompts under the leadership of a skilled facilitator. 

This group is open to anyone interested in writing memoir, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or to just enjoy the results of these writing exercises. Writers often share their work in a very friendly and supportive environment.


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 13, 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.

Facilitators: Pastor AJ Blackwood and
Membership Committee

Several times a year, the Membership Committee offers an orientation class for newcomers. We explore Unitarian Universalism, our congregation, and the path to membership. Please RSVP. Lunch and childcare will be provided.


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 with Louise Klatt, Camp Dean or for more info, e-mail:

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.

Fridays (As Announced) - 6:00 PM - Onion
Coordinators: Dallas Moore and Pastor AJ

Come for food, fellowship, games and movies. Do you ever want to see that movie from your childhood on a big screen. Have a night out with other parents and their kids, etc ….

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.

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 9/30.

September 8 - San Francisco, CA
Coordinator: Carol Hart

We are encouraging members of our congregation to attend this important event. On September 8, thousands will march in San Francisco for the largest
climate march the West Coast has ever seen. Together we will Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice as part of a global day of action to demand our elected leaders commit to no new fossil fuels and a just and fair transition to 100% renewable energy.
Get updates & event logistics via text: RiseCA to 83224


001FUNDERSTANDING THE ISSUES:nderstanding the Issues: Ballots and More...
October 6 - 4:00 PM
Facilitator: Doris Dent

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

October 20 - 12:30 PM
Coordinator: Denard Thomas Mosaic Church, Los Angeles

It’s the illegal trade of human beings. It’s the recruitment, control, and use of people for their bodies and for their labor. Through force, fraud, and coercion, people everywhere are being bought and sold against their will–right now in the 21st century.
But phrases like ‘slavery’ and ‘human trafficking’ can still feel ambiguous. This is the reality:
slavery is violence. It’s physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. It’s forced prostitution. It’s barbaric working conditions.
Slavery is more stoppable than ever, and that’s why we’re here, rallying around the world and doing the work together.

October 30 - 6:30pm
Facilitator: Pastor AJ Blackwood

A discussion on the 2018 General Assembly Ware Lecture by Brittany Packnett. We will be engaging a conversation on racism in the UUA and how we address racism as Unitarian Universalists in the larger community.

October 28 - 2:00 PM
Woodland Hills, CA
Coordinator: Carol Hart and Social Justice Committee

The Interfaith Solidarity Network breaks down barriers and inspires solidarity among communities in the San Fernando Valley, highlighting the importance of civic participation and compassion for those in need. We build relationships across cultures and faiths. We educate our communities. We organize for peace and justice. We mobilize against intolerance. We embrace the principles of nonviolence. Dinner served after closing ceremonies.

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

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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