Food for Our Souls:
Opportunity for Good

For two years, members of ALAS (Ayudando Latinos A Soñar) have advocated for affordable housing and renter protections. Their efforts include testimony to the Half Moon Bay City Council and monthly marches through downtown Half Moon Bay.

Although Half Moon Bay has two affordable housing projects in the planning stages, these are insufficient to meet Half Mon Bay's needs, which run to over 1000 units. Many individuals and families pay upwards of $1500/month to rent a single room—sometimes even without kitchen or laundry privileges. Meanwhile, the City of Half Moon Bay has initiated a broad Tenant Protections Plan. As a first step, the City needs to better define the characteristics of rental properties and renters within City limits. Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 7 pm, the Half Moon Bay City Council will consider this Residential Rental Registration ordinance.

Our UU Principles—“The inherent worth and dignity of every person” and “Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations”—invite us to publicly support measures to protect low-income renters, like the draft Residential Rental Security Measures ordinance. And here's info about the upcoming City council meeting. (Due to recent antisemitic messages, virtual comments over Zoom will likely be disabled.)

UUCC Gallery View Sunday, Sunday, January 21st, 11am

Continuing with the January congregational theme of Justice, on January 21, Bill Heavlin offers a reflection entitled "Darned Socks: A Knitter Contemplates Justice."

Bill Heavlin contemplates justice through the fingers of a knitter darning a sock, repairing a sock, seeking to give a worn and torn sock a fresh and sustainable future. Inspired by the writings of historian Nicole Eustace, he widens our perspective about what outcomes might constitute justice, and which frameworks might inspire hope. And if you don't know how to darn a sock, Bill has a video to show you.

Following the Gallery View Third Sunday format, this is a Zoom-only service.

January 21 Order of Service

One-click UUCC Zoom Link

or Meeting ID: 661 775 5196 Password: UUseesea or 416762

or visit for the day-of Zoom link

Please join us at 11:00 am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

One-Year Remembrance Ceremony Commemorating Victims of Farmworker Shooting in Half Moon Bay

Sunday, January 21st, 4-6pm

The City of Half Moon Bay has scheduled a special One-Year Remembrance Ceremony in honor of the victims and survivors of the tragic shooting of January 23, 2023, which took the lives of seven local farmworkers.

This Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, January 21, 2024, from 4 pm – 6 pm at the Boys & Girls Club Event Center, 530 Kelly Avenue, in Half Moon Bay. All are invited to share this solemn occasion with friends, family, and other community members.

This One-Year Remembrance Ceremony commemorates the lives lost and those who suffered injuries, as well as those who witnessed or were displaced by the shootings. The ceremony has speeches from local civic and faith leaders, includes a multi-instrument sound healing, and concludes with a candlelight procession from the Event Center to Mac Dutra Plaza.

Confirmed speakers include members of the Half Moon Bay City Council, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Senator Josh Becker, Assemblymember Marc Berman, San Mateo County District 3 Supervisor Ray Mueller, and former United States Representative Jackie Speier. Bill Heavlin is among the community faith leaders speaking at this remembrance ceremony.

Survey on New UUCC Third Sunday Formats

Only a handful of UU congregations are hosting services exclusively over Zoom these days. UUCC's small yet dedicated production team has been creating Zoom-only services since April 2020—almost three years now. We are proud of our work but this form is more work-intensive, attendance is low, and our volunteer pool has remained small. We will continue with the first Sunday formal services at Odd Fellows Hall but are proposing some alternatives to the third Sunday gatherings, with a focus on personal growth and transformation.

One idea is to have a Small Group Discussion based on the monthly Touchstones themes. We would include a link to the Small Group Discussion Guide in our newsletter, followed by a third Sunday in-person discussion on the reading material provided. Here's an example of a Small Group Discussion packet.

Another idea would be to host monthly discussions on ethics through the vehicle of the Middot of Mussar, 18 soul traits from the Jewish tradition, based on the work of Alan Morinis and others. We would collectively vote on the soul trait we would discuss for the following month and have two or three people present a 5-minute Reflection; followed by open discussion. A list of the Middot is here.

The final idea is to host a Democracy Cafe, where we'd take on a monthly current affairs discussion with topics such as Limits in Freedom of Expression, Bias in the Media, and the Ideal Role of Police in a Free Society. You can read more about the Democracy Cafe here.

We're also interested in hearing about your ideas for a new Third Sunday format. Email us at and let us know what you think by ranking your preferences from the selections above. We'll make a final decision on the format change for Third Sundays after our February 18th Congregational Meeting.

UUCC First Sunday Service, February 4th, 11am

The Touchstones theme for February is Hope. On February 4, 2024, 11 am, UUCC holds a fundraiser for Coastside Hope, in a service entitled "Hope as an Action Verb."

For the past 5 years, UUCC has been holding all-music fundraisers in December to raise funds for local non-profits. And we are overdue in paying tribute to Coastside Hope: This important non-profit here on the Coast provides a free-food pantry, brown bag groceries twice monthly to needy seniors, annual tax preparation assistance, ongoing citizenship classes, and more.

Unlike other fundraisers, this won't be an all-music extravaganza. However, we'll have beautiful music provided by our excellent musicians along with a few surprise guest musicians. We'll also hear reflections from Joanne and Dave Rokosky, Bill Heavlin, and others on how Hope in the UU tradition is indeed an action verb.

Like all first Sunday services, we'll meet at Odd Fellows Hall in Half Moon Bay at 11 am. 100% of the proceeds collected for this service will go to Coastside Hope.

Deeper Conversations, January 27th, 1:30pm

For December's "Deeper Conversations on the Coast" at Cafe Society, we had nine people. The acoustics were a bit loud so we have decided to meet next time at the Half Moon Bay Coffee Company, 20 Stone Pine Rd., on Saturday, January 27th, at 1pm. We'll be using a new card game called "We're Not Really Strangers." Some sample questions include: "What is the best compliment a stranger ever has given you?," "What is something you wouldn't want to change about yourself?," and "When was the last time you surprised yourself?" Join us as we set aside the small talk and continue bonding more deeply as our UU Coastside beloved community.

Save the Date: Congregational Meeting Feb. 18, 2024

Please mark Sunday, February 18th, 11 am on your calendar for next year as UUCC holds our annual Congregational Meeting to discuss some format changes for our Third Sundays and check in with our regular attendees on how our social action outreach, community building, and service programming shaped up in 2023. There are very few congregations broadcasting Zoom-only services anymore and our attendance has been down for these Zoom-only Third Sundays.

Poetry and Reflection Corner

"Maybe hope, maybe faith,"

by Mary Oliver

In the winter I am writing about, there was much darkness. Darkness of nature, darkness of event, darkness of the spirit. The sprawling darkness of not knowing.

We speak of the light of reason. I would speak here of the darkness of the world, and the light of - - -. But I don’t know what to call it.

Maybe hope. Maybe faith, but not a shaped faith—only, say, a gesture, or a continuum of gestures. But probably it is closer to hope, that is more active, and far messier than faith must be. Faith, as I imagine it, is tensile, and cool, and has no need of words. Hope, I know, is a fighter and a screamer.

— from Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems

Call for Peace in the Gaza & Israel Conflict

Volunteer Jobs Needed for In-Person Services

Now that we are meeting in person on First Sundays, we need help in different ways. Can you commit to helping out in any of the following ways?

  • Photograph our February 4th Service
  • Bring flowers!
  • Greet people as they come in
  • Set up chairs before, and/or put them away after, the Service
  • Help unload and load video equipment for hybrid service
  • Assist with setting up video equipment for hybrid service
  • Pass out the orders of service and distribute hymnals
  • Clean up of the hall before closing

To tell us how you can help our Beloved Community come together again, please contact us at And thanks to all who have or continue to volunteer!

Compassionate Caring Committee:
The UUCC Compassionate Caring Committee volunteers are often able to support our members during life events such as post-operative, illness, or being homebound. Do you need food delivery or an errand run? Are you feeling loneliness, loss, or grief that a call might help?
Please if you’d like support or if you want to volunteer.  
We Appreciate Your Support:
For supporting UUCC financially, we have two options:
(1) Donate by Check
If you prefer to donate by check, please make your check payable to UU San Mateo, and write UUCC on the memo line. Please mail your check to:

Nancy Palmer
506 Willow Avenue
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019-1648
(2) Online with Stripe
Food for Our Souls:
Unitarian Universalist Coastside Community
Half Moon Bay, California
Bill Heavlin, UUCC Planning Committee
Dave Rokosky, UUCC Planning Committee
Noreen Cooper Heavlin, UUCC Planning Committee
Bruce Rafnel, UUCC Technical Director
Nancy Palmer, UUCC Treasurer