In the holiday spirit, the unitary community Universalist Coastside is hosting a fundraiser for seniors with a virtual interfaith music festival on Sunday, December 19. Many musicians have donated their work to Turning Towards the Light: A Holiday Fundraiser for Senior Coastsiders. program, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the service agency.
âThis is once we can really support a community project and it’s up to us to give,â said UUCC planning committee chair Noreen Cooper Heavlin. “For Unitarian universalism, advocacy is just part of our DNA and I don’t think you can think of yourself as a good congregation unless you do something that directly helps the community.”
The UUCC is a congregation that is not based on beliefs but on a set of seven principles.
âPeople can come into Unitarian Universalists with all kinds of different beliefs, including those who consider themselves to be atheists, humanists, or agnostics,â Cooper Heavlin said. âWe honor all belief systems. We come together because we agree on the same basic principles regarding the inherent worth and dignity of each person.
At UUCC, members do not follow a specific religious text but are inspired by the Bible, the Koran and the Torah but also philosophers and poets.
âOne thing that’s special about Unitarian universalism and our own special congregation on the coast is that we have a very strong music program and we still have it,â said Cooper Heavlin.
UUCC has connected with many musicians for the Turning Towards the Light event and they will perform a combination of original songs and familiar classics. The program will include Jewish, Christian and Christmas traditions around the themes of light, love, joy and celebration.
âI was reading this morning stuff about the music of Rick Fabian, founder of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Parish in San Francisco, and Rick said, ‘Music brings people together like nothing else can. said Tom Devine, Music Director of UUCC. “I think it’s really true. It involves your body, your mind, your emotions, your intellect, everything in you. So when people sing, they are alive.
âOne of the goals of religious services is to make people come alive,â he said. âThe importance of music in a congregation is to awaken all the parts of us that can sometimes be put to sleep by everyday life. It awakens our minds and feelings.
Devine hosted the program which showcased Coastside talents such as Lisa Spector, as well as songs by David Tamulevich and Fendrick and Peck. Other participating artists who donated their music for the event included Clovice Lewis Jr., Gigi Cohen, JoAnn Schriner, Krista Enos, Linda Grace Frost, Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Choir, Mo Robinson, Rabbi Moshe Tom from the Jewish Community of Coastside, Shauna Pickett -Gordon, Vera Vanderschalk, Voices of the Coming Tribe and the UUCC Choir.
âWe have a wide range of contributions from many great musicians, and I think it will be enjoyable for everyone,â Devine said. âArtists never earn much, so donating their art, in this case music, really means something about their love for music and for this cause. “
This is the fourth year that UUCC has organized a fundraiser for local organizations. Past grantees include Coastside Hope, Abundant Grace, and the Coastside Adult Day Health Center. Last year, the event raised $ 5,000 for the Adult Day Health Center.
Each year the UUCC chooses a new organization to support and this year it chose Senior Coastiders in part because she had a senior member of the congregation who was supported by Senior Coastiders when she had challenges in her life.
âI really have a new appreciation for the importance of Senior Coastsiders to our local seniors,â said Cooper Heavlin. âI’ve always known they did a great job, but sometimes when it comes home you appreciate the good work that many of these organizations do here on the coast even more. “
The music drive will begin at 10:45 a.m. on December 19 and the official program will begin at 11 a.m. The Zoom link for the program will be displayed on uucoastside.org the day of the service.