Author: Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa

From the Minister: The Miracle of Transformation

Beloveds, as you may have seen on our Facebook page, I have been deeply engaged in the nurturing of monarch butterfly caterpillars. I had read about the scarcity of milkweed plants causing a decline in the monarch butterfly population. But it wasn’t until one day when Darryl Ray and I were sitting outside that I got the idea to actually help the monarchs.

Darryl had brought his medicine bag to share with me his spiritual … Read the rest

From the Minister: Gather the Spirit

Beloveds, here we have re-gathered, both in person and virtually, both just as powerful! It is so good to be together. To gather in peace, to gather in thanks, to gather in hope, to gather in strength. To gather to celebrate once again! It is so good to see you all, to see all your beautiful faces, and to see people, lovely people here with me in the sanctuary. To know that there are children … Read the rest

Hybrid Worship Services

Sunday, August 29th is the start of a new phase in our pandemic era worship. For the first time since March 2020, Starr King will be holding an in-person service! Sunday worship services will continue to be hybrid: both in-person and via Zoom. Our Regathering Team has been working diligently to make sure we open our building while observing COVID safety guidelines:

  • Everyone must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status
  • Children will gather outdoors
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Five Year Anniversary

I read somewhere that traditionally the five year anniversary gift is wood…and I think back to our installation ceremony four years ago…and the drums made of wood, that were such an important cultural element. I can hear the drums as the Aztec dancers blessed me with sacred copal incense. I asked Xiomara, who is an Aztec danzante, if her calpulli would offer the blessing and she immediately said yes! She understood that Drumming and dancing are … Read the rest

May: A Month for Celebration

Minister’s Blog, by Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa  

It might seem too early to celebrate when we are still in the midst of a pandemic, still witnessing acts of violence and injustice all around us, and feeling uncertain about the future. And yet there are so many reasons to celebrate in order to nourish our sense of hope. I keep going back to Chardi Kala, a Sikh practice which encourages us to maintain a … Read the rest

Moving Forward Together

As I admire the beauty of new Spring blossoms, I am reminded that last year in March we closed our building and began to navigate the COVID pandemic as best we could. Despite all the fear and uncertainty, we regrouped and with great leadership and a core group of volunteers, we moved forward together. Since then, we have not skipped a beat and actually have been able to strengthen our connections. I feel so blessed … Read the rest

General Assembly 2019: The Power of We

“Incrementalism and progressivism are insufficient in these totalitarian times.”

-Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President

“In this delicate turning…how will you become ready? No one’s comfort is at the center, you just do what needs to be done. Let’s be co-liberators and get free together.” Reverend Marta Valentin

In a time of great challenge and heartbreak in our world, what does our faith demand from us? At this year’s UUMA Ministry Days and UUA General Assembly, Read the rest

Minister’s Report: Gratitude

Beloveds,
This is a picture of my office door. It is covered with some of the cards and thank you notes that I have recently received: Sympathy cards after my uncle’s passing, Thank You cards, and “just because” cards and notes. I am so grateful for all your expressions of love and support!
As I look back on this past church year, there are so many things I am grateful for! Ours is truly a
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Poor People’s Campaign, Oakland

This past Saturday, our Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa shared her vision of social justice at a Poor People’s Hearing in Oakland, California. WE are the ones we’ve been waiting for!


 

Poor People’s Campaign, April 2019

Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa

 

In my tradition before we say our own names we honor our ancestors by invoking their names: I am the great grandaughter of Dominga, the grandaughter of Rosario, the daughter … Read the rest

All of Who You Are is Sacred

Beloveds,

This month our theme is Wholeness and we want to offer opportunities for all of us to practice self-care and to engage in healing experiences. Part of healing is creating spaces of radical welcoming and unconditional love.

For many of us who identify as Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Two-Spirit/Gender-not-conforming, our spiritual journeys have not always contributed to our wholeness, self acceptance, and unconditional love of ourselves. Some of us were rejected by our families and/or churches and found … Read the rest