Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan open

This will be a show in the old CD release tradition: Laura will play the songs from Say Yes from start to finish, as they appear on the CD. SAY YES, Laura Zucker’s fifth release, is a collection of songs exploring ways that we can find the positive in a world of negative, examining difficult feelings and turning challenge into redemption. She’ll be joined by a band full of special guests including Bill Wentz, Bill Younger, Cynthia Davis, Chuck Rosene, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan.


Singer-songwriter Laura Zucker wins audiences over with a hard-won perspective and a positive spin. The powerful imagery of her songs and stories ring so true you might think she’s read your diary – and you’ll find yourself humming her infectious melodies for days to come.  Laura’s incisive yet sensitive lyrics are matched by her evocative melodies and arrangements that cut straight to the heart.

Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan

Claudia Russell is an outstanding singer and songwriter who has shared stages with Loudon Wainwright III,  Tish Hinojosa, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson,  Peter Rowan, and Rosalie Sorrels  among many others. Claudia is an expressive and versatile singer, as at home on a soulful ballad as a Buddy Holly-style romp. Bruce Kaplan is known for deftly accompanying on mandolin and electric guitar, providing melodic counter point and atmosphere that aspires to elevate each song just a little higher.

$20 suggested donation ($5 for children 6-15, under 6 are free) Cash, check or credit card or Apple Pay, Android Pay at the door.  No one turned away for lack of ability to pay. Sliding scale tickets available only at the door. Show: 8:00 PM Doors: 7:30 PM



“The Freedom to Marry” Movie Benefit

On Friday, June 16th in honor of Marriage Equality during June PRIDE month, the LGBTQ & FRIENDS Social Justice Committee was pleased to host a benefit for the Rainbow Community Center (RCC) where over $500 was raised. It was a memorable evening in Bortin Hall for 110 attendees who came to watch “The Freedom to Marry”, a film by Eddie Rosenstein, about the behind-the-scenes story of the architects of this historic civil rights movement and the brilliant nerve-wracking campaign to win same-sex marriage throughout the United States. Rev. Leslie Takahashi, Lead Minister at MDUUC and Jonathan Cook, Dir. of Communications and Development at RCC each spoke about the importance of LGBTQ equality and their collaboration toward that goal. After the movie, Nancy Newhart, MC, called for a meaningful “Reflection & Connection” session where attendees shared insights amongst themselves, followed by a raffle for a $25 Restaurant Gift Card and a framed color glossy of the movie flyer as a memento for the lucky winner!

Rev. Neal Anderson to be Assistant Minister

The Assistant Minister Search Committee announcement:

Our new Assistant Minister (his official title is Minister of Engagement and Justice) is the Rev. Neal Anderson who is finishing his ninth year as the senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada in Reno.  We look forward to welcoming Neal, his wife, Ruth, and their two sons to our church this August!

District Assembly at MDUUC this Saturday

Register Now

The Pacific Central District’s District Assembly will be Friday evening, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA.

The Rev. Jeanne Pupke, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, and the Rev. Alison Miller. © 2016 Nancy Pierce/UUA

The highlight of the gathering will be the UUA presidential candidates’ forum on Saturday afternoon.

The gathering will also include worship, workshops for congregational leaders, and the PCD annual business meeting.

All print materials are be available for download.   More (including schedule)

MDUUC Remains A Sanctuary For Our Time

Dear Ones,

Last week was a difficult week for our beloved Association. Three difficult events prevailed.

First, an on-going conversation about racial bias in the hiring practices of the Association sounded loudly and became an increasingly divisive conversation on social media. Though the need for such a conversation is always regrettable, it also is a sign of our willingness to aspire to be a religious tradition accountable to those historically underrepresented among us. Courageous leadership and a willingness to speak out has allowed for this honest conversation about a topic many do not even aspire to discuss.

Second, as an outgrowth of this conversation, Rev. Peter Morales resigned as UUA president. You can read his resignation letter here:

On the same day as the resignation, UU Minister Ron Robinson was indicted on  charges of accessing child pornography. This is a personal tragedy and also one about which we wish to be completely transparent. You should know that he has already been suspended from Fellowship as a Unitarian Universalist minister pending charges because our policies and the consequences of such actions are clear in our Association. Addiction and mental health issues are tragic and we are all shaken by this incident of what has become a growing concern in our society as a whole in this age of virtual contact.

In the midst of this, the healthy flourishing of our congregation, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church is even more important.  We are glad tor our Covenant of Right Relations and our willingness to use it to ensure safe and appropriate interactions within our community. While taking time for sorrow and regret about these developments in our larger movement, we remain committed to our Make It So goals and our plans to move forward as a sanctuary congregation. Though regrettable and sorrowful, these events cannot distract us from our path to make a difference in lives here in our area. More than ever, we are called to be a leader in putting our faith in action.

Please feel free to reach out with your concerns, especially as we know that some will find these especially difficult.  Though I am out of town until Thursday, Revs. David Usher and Ranwa Hammamy are available

In the spirit of love and unity, Leslie