Thursday, December 3, 2015

February 21st Humanitas Panel

The mission of Humanitas Ministry is to provide support, in a safe, warm and non-judgmental atmosphere, to people in need.  In face-to-face meetings, we listen carefully to their stories, and offer some limited financial assistance along with referrals to other churches and community agencies if necessary and appropriate.  As part of the interfaith Community Resource Network of Opportunity Council, we work in partnership with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Alms Ministry, Assumption Catholic Church (Hope House), the Ministry of St. Vincent de Paul, First Baptist Church, Faith Lutheran Church and Love INC.    

We will explain how we do this rewarding and vital work, answer any questions, and describe the varied, complex and often formidable challenges faced by those we serve. 

February 14th Doctrine of Discovery with Beth Brownfield

The Doctrine of Discovery still Dominates Original Nations and People to this Day  What does the Doctrine of Discovery have to do with African slavery, and the rapacious greed for land and natural resources on this continent and elsewhere? Do these 500-year-old documents still dominate our relationship to Original Nations and Peoples?

Presented by Beth Brownfield, Native American Connections, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship and instrumental in the move of the UUA to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery at the 2012 General Assembly in Phoenix, AZ.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

February 7th Whatcom Land Trust with Gabe Epperson

For over 30 years the Whatcom Land Trust has been working to protect critical wildlife habitat, farms and recreational lands, by securing ownership interest in properties and promoting stewardship. As part of the 30 year anniversary, the Land Trust has recently completed a Land Conservation Plan which outlines geographic focal areas throughout the County and identifies strategies to accomplish its Mission. Gabe will be presenting an overview of the new Plan and highlighting a few areas in the County that he is currently working to protect critical habitat

About Gabe Epperson, Conservation Director:

Gabe has a background in Urban Planning and large-scale environmental planning with a focus on public outreach. He was the Planning Director at Envision Utah for 5 years, completing the Blueprint Jordan River and Wasatch Canyons Tomorrowprojects, which included thousands of Utah residents and led to the formation of the Jordan River Commission and the protection of hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat and recreation lands in the Salt Lake Metro area. Mr. Epperson moved to Bellingham in June last year to do land acquisition and conservation planning for the Land Trust

January 31st Conservation Northwest with Mitch Friedman

A decade ago, Washington had been without several of its large carnivore species for almost a century. Now, fishers, wolverines and wolves are all back, and the government is exploring recovering grizzly bears as well in the Cascades. Mitch will explain this conservation miracle and the efforts that led to it and are making it successful both in the wild and with rural communities.
Check out this article to see more about what Mitch is presenting. 

January 24th Implications of the Point Elliott Land Settlement Treaty of 1855

Travis Brockie Jr., a newly elected councilman to the Lummi Indian Business Council, the governing body of the Lummi Nation, also teaches Tribal Governance and Business Management at Northwest Indian College. He and some of his students will acquaint us with the Treaty of Point Elliott of 1855, a vital contract between native tribes and the U.S. government. We must continue to remind our neighbors of the responsibility of the U.S. government as it pertains to federal statutes, legal and affirmed federal court rulings, and working relationship with local governments and state officials when issues such as water rights, land rights and fishing rights arise

Sunday, November 22, 2015

January 17th What is La Leche League? with Lauralee Carbone

Come and learn how breastfeeding relates to our UU principles. Lauralee Carbone, BUF member, will talk from her expertise as a breastfeeding counsellor with La Leche League, an international breastfeeding organization

January 10th Lydia Place with Emily O'Connor

On any given day there are over 550 homeless individuals in Whatcom County. 1 in 5 of those individuals are children under age 10. Lydia Place has been serving homeless families in our community for over 26 years and is dedicated to ending homelessness in Whatcom County.  The mission of Lydia Place is support households in establishing sustained independence by providing housing, supportive services, advocacy, education, and by raising awareness of the faces and causes of homelessness. Executive Director, Emily O’Connor, will provide an overview of the efforts underway both at Lydia Place and throughout our community to address the issue of homelessness.

No Forum due to Holiday. Happy New Year!

No forum scheduled due to holiday weekend. Next regular Forum January 10th. See you then! :-)

No Forum due to holiday.

No forum scheduled due to Christmas weekend. Next regular Forum January 10th. See you then! :-)

December 20th BUF & Interfaith Coalition

Janie Pemble, Outreach Director for Interfaith Coalition, will share how the Coalition, with the help of BUF and 40+ other partners, feeds the hungry on the streets of Bellingham, helps families escape homelessness through transitional housing, and shelters men and women on cold winter nights. Learn also how BUF, through its Humanitas program and other avenues, works with the Interfaith Coalition to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.

December 13th Solstice with Pagan Priestess Ashley Benem

There are other ways to connect to the Season than through our gift-giving-focused-culture. Local Pagan Priestess, Ashley Benem, will be offering some history and a short discussion about Winter Solstice: Yule Celebrations and ways to bring special pieces of Yule into your Winter Holidays.

December 6th Hospice and the Health Care System

Jody Newcomer of Whatcom Hospice will talk about the role of Hospice in our health care system. Hear about the criteria for entering care, how the Hospice interdisciplinary team functions - including volunteers, and the adjunct services that are available, such as medical equipment, medications and acupuncture.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 29th: No Forum~ Happy Thanksgiving!

No forum scheduled due to holiday weekend. Next regular Forum Dec. 6th. See you then! :-)

November 22nd "" climate justice

Stay current on the climate justice movement! Jill MacIntyre Witt,'s Bellingham organizer, will talk about climate change and the expanding climate justice movement. She will give a history of the movement building, covering campaigns like divestment, KXL, and coalition building with the climate justice movement. She will also share information about the upcoming Global Climate March, how we can be part of it, and 350bellingham's support for Paris talks and beyond!

Jill MacIntyre Witt
350Bellingham Organizer

November 15th "Who Owns the Water?" with Todd Jones

Who Owns the Water?
The human right of access to water is not something most of us need to think about. Western Washington is blessed with abundant amounts; we turn on our faucets and it pours out in a limitless stream.  However, this is not the case for the 900 million people in the world who lack access to a clean source of water.  Whether its access to water for farms, fish or development here in Whatcom County or internationally, water is central to everything we do.  In 2010 the United Nations General Assembly recognized access to water and sanitation as a basic human right. 

Join the discussion ---How should water be fairly managed?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

November 8th “Homeless in Whatcom County”

“Homeless in Whatcom County”
Greg Winter, director of Whatcom Homeless Service Center at Opportunity Council, will provide an overview of the state of homelessness in Whatcom County. This will include a description of trends, the complexity of housing and services needs for homeless people as well as recent innovations that have made housing stability a reality for chronically homeless people. This client group has been particularly difficult to serve in the past. Greg would like BUF members and friends to watch this video about being homeless in Whatcom County:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

November 1, 2015 at 9:15 a.m.“Elements of Honor” – Swil Kanim

“Elements of Honor” – Swil Kanim
Swil Kanim is a classically trained violinist, native storyteller and actor. Separated from his parents and the Lummi tribe at a young age, he spent the remainder of his childhood in foster care. After one of his teachers encouraged him to enroll in a school music program, the violin became his passion and he found his path to healing and personal honor.

The Elements of Honor Workshop is an interactive group discussion facilitated by Swil Kanim. He will lead participants through processes and exercises that demonstrate how honor can work in everyone's life. Specific questions the workshop will address:
·      What are the four Elements of Honor?
·      How can social change be ignited through Honor?
·      How can the presence of Honor be increased in your life?
·      In what ways do you see yourself as an agent of social change?
·      How do you plan to recognize and acknowledge Honor in your relationships?

This event is followed by the BUF worship service at 10:30 a.m.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 25th: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Katie Rose will talk about issues of Domestic Violence, including between LGBTQ couples.She will address questions such as, How do you talk to someone who is experiencing DV? What are the signs? Why do victims return to abusers over and over? What is the cycle of violence?   The agency takes a leadership role in providing collaborative ways to engage the community in becoming active participants in ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015 9:15 a.m. World Food Day

 In honor of World Food Day Adrienne Renz, Outreach Manager for the Community Food Co-op, will be our presenter. Whether your interest lies in culinary delights, water quality, small farm development or anywhere in the diverse food system there will be something to explore as we look at the current state of our local food system and discuss how to keep it  moving in the right direction for our community and future generations. Meeting may be moved to BUF's Social Hall for better sound. Please check when you arrive. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

October 4, 2015  – “Concerns & Solutions for Incarceration in Whatcom County” – Irene Morgan of Restorative Community Coalition
Irene Morgan, founder of Restorative Community Coalition, will discuss the work of RCC in advocating for wholesome alternatives to incarceration that can bring harmony to our community with greater public safety. RCC is an action-oriented coalition advocating for restorative, economic, systemic and social change. Ms. Morgan has worked with and for many nonprofits in our community for 30 years. She has a broad understanding of the structures of the social service system and how alternative solutions can be implemented.
More information at
October 11, 9:15 a.m. – Transylvania: Keeping Faith Traditions Alive

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Partner

Church Council, has helped support a Hungarian Unitarian ministry in the village of

Magyarszovat, Transylvania, whose religious traditions began 450 years ago in the 16th

Century. Panelists Bev Smith, Rev. Bill Haney, Carl Nyblade, Anastacia Lundholm, and

Betty Scott will discuss the culturally-rich relationships established between BUF and

their partner church, since the early 1990s. Whether you’re an armchair or traveling

adventurer, learn what exciting opportunities await both congregations.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 13, 2015:  Rosalinda Guillen, Exec. Dir., Community to Community (C2C)

Speaker Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of C2C, and a widely recognized farm worker and rural justice leader. The stated goals of C2C are to:
  • Empower under-represented peoples to have an equal voice in decision making processes
  • Develop cross-cultural awareness
  • Restore justice to our food, land and cultural practices
  • Promote community relationships towards self-reliance
  • Work in solidarity with those that strive towards human rights for all 
  • Rescue the value of feminine intellect and leadership

September 27, 2015:  Festivals of Mabon: Autumnal Equinox

Ashley Benem, minister and pagan priestess will talk about the history of the festivals surrounding the harvest season and the autumnal equinox. She will discuss how these celebrations were once practiced across most European countries and how they are applicable here and now in our beautiful, bountiful Bellingham. 

October 4, 2015:  “Concerns & Solutions for Incarceration in Whatcom County”

Irene Morgan, founder of Restorative Community Coalition, will discuss the work of RCC in advocating for wholesome alternatives to incarceration that can bring harmony to our community with greater public safety. RCC is an action-oriented coalition advocating for restorative, economic, systemic and social change. Ms. Morgan has worked with and for many nonprofits in our community for 30 years. She has a broad understanding of the structures of the social service system and how alternative solutions can be implemented. Find more information at

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Adult Sunday Forums for May 2015

May 3                   “Interfaith Coalition” with Janie Pemble, Outreach Director
Jame will be sharing some information about Interfaith and it's work and mission to address the needs and fill in the gaps in service for the homeless and vulnerable in Whatcom County, and how BUF is a part of this vital effort.  Interfaith provides a significant way for faith communities to work together in solidarity for the benefit of our community.  We are 41 congregations strong, and we believe that together we can do more.

May 10             “Saving the Future” with BUFster Ron Quinn
What must we change to create a future that provides for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, everywhere? Just about everything. Western models of sustainable development are insufficient. Two new models, regenerative development and eco-modernism, suggest other ways to take better care of everyone.

May 17                 “Bringing Compassion When Tragedies Occur” with Barb Skudlarick, Community Care Crisis Responders and Victim Support Specialist
Serving as a Support Officer since 2000, Barbara will explain the needs of people who receive news of a sudden death by accident, suicide, or homicide. A former flight attendant and nurse, Barb belongs to two aviation organizations and was deployed to assist the Pentagon after 9/11, Sen. Stevens' Alaskan aircraft crash, and Malaysia Airlines Fl #370, as well as coordinating Lummi Nation’s 3-week trip to deliver The Liberty and Freedom Poles to the Pentagon. Barb will describe what happens to people emotionally and physiologically after a tragic event, explain how we can validate people experiencing these responses, and how to phrase verbal support. She will also update us on resources and agencies available to assist with recovery.

May 24                 “Activism on Campus” with Esther Magasis, Community to 

Esther will be holding a conversation regarding the difficulties involved with getting students involved with activist work in the current financial climate of academia.

Friday, March 6, 2015

March Upcoming Forums

March 1
"Poverty and AIDS/HIV in Africa" with Vernon Damani Johnson, WWU Professor of Political Science and African and African American Studies and Paul Barkley, Executive Director of Slum Doctor

Professor Johnson will give an overview of the cultures of the peoples of the Lake Victoria region located in Tanzania and Uganda.  Together, Vernon and Paul will talk about the model for community development being implemented by Slum Doctor, a program that has educated thousands about the relationship between poverty, orphans, gender inequality, and the spread of HIV/AIDS.  Paul will also speak about the Busoga Shining Light Association, an organization that has revealed that poverty and hunger are the root causes of the prevailing HIV/AIDS scourge and working to correct poverty and food insecurity, which is the group that they hope the BUF will partner with.

March 8
“Intestinal Fortitude - Have You Got the Guts?” with Steven Woods, M.D.   Gastroenterologist

How does our body distinguish the good from the bad amid the healthy and the lethal, the vast array of food, liquor, pills, and whatever else we send down?   Sound functioning of the human digestive system is a constant miracle which most of us ignore daily. 

March 15
“Parking Puzzles” with Paul James, Fairhaven Neighborhood Assn.

For years the Fairhaven District has failed to solve its parking crises.  What are possible solutions, and why are they so difficult to achieve?   Paul will place this in the larger and longer context of cultural adaptation and change over time. 

March 22            
 “What’s So Important about Snow?” with Scott Pattee, Water Supply Specialist with the Washington Snow Survey Office

In keeping with the UN World Water Day and to kick off our “30 Days of Climate Justice Action – Climate Justice Month,” Scott will be describing the history of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program along with why snow is such a vital part of all of our lives, all the while demonstrating the uses and users of our data, information and products.

March 29

Adult Sunday Forums for April 2015

April 5                   Easter Sunday, No Forum

April 12             "Bellingham Renaissance: A Golden Perspective" 
                         with Tom Sherwood, Artist of a Special Exhibit at 
                         Whatcom Museum

Before attending try to visit Tom's show at the Museum, March 7 to June 7, funded in part by his former students in China.  Locally he has been an important mentor to Susan Bennerstrom, Tom Wood and others.   Much of his work raises powerful metaphysical questions.

April 19               "Proposed Environmental Tax for Washington” with CarbonWA

CarbonWA will be presenting their revenue-neutral carbon tax campaign. A discussion with Q&A will review how this proposal can drastically reduce carbon emissions, make our tax code less regressive, how it fits in with other state/national climate action proposals and how individuals can help to propel this effort to the ballot in Washington State.

Environmental tax reform would:
§  Improve air quality and reduce airborne toxins
§  Help slow ocean acidity and sea level rise
§  Reduce the state sales tax by a full percentage point
§  Fund the Working Families Sales Tax Rebate to help working families
§  Eliminate the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax for manufacturers
§  Pay for these tax reductions with a carbon tax of $25 per ton of CO2

April 26               “Brain Food” with Marilyn Flint

More than 6 million U.S. residents have Alzheimer’s. By 2050 that number will more than double. Many of us don’t learn natural ways to prevent and treat dementia until it is too late for us or our loved ones. A naturopath, a nutritionist, a woman who stopped her own dementia, and a woman who lost her husband and mother to Alzheimer’s will share what they are learning about ow the essential fatty acids the brain needs and what foods can provide the balance of omega 3 and 6 that prevent and treat some brain diseases.