The Messenger

A Month of Sundays

June 3 Open Care by Jay Downing. Following worship is the first Sunday Potluck.  Please bring a dish to share.

June 10 Readings from Rules for Aging by Chris Muller

June 17 led by Matt Hagerman

June 24 led by Derek

Call Beverly Escuder at (312) 520-2994 to lead Worship.

Sunday Worship is at 11:00am


Hymn of the Month

#165 When Windows That Are Black and Cold

Hymn titles that don’t make sense are because they aren’t titles at all but rather first lines of the hymn. This hymn is a poem by Rachel Bates, an English woman from the Wirral (a peninsula between Liverpool and Wales), and is set to a favorite contemplative tune, Danby, by the master Ralph Vaughn Williams.

The poetry is beautiful; its imagery is reminiscent of those too-infrequent moments of real quiet without the ambient noise of 21st century motors and currents. The denouement is a beautiful meditative idea – after all of the noise and bright banging flashes and shouts and screams of war…  “how sweet the darkness there.”

Zen Meditation Group

Group meditation meets Monday eve’s at 6:00pm. Contact Jean O’Cuilinn (432) 364-2462 if you are coming for the first time & have questions. A small donation to the church is appreciated.

UUBB Interest Groups

The Radical Book Club
Meets every other Tuesday. The Radical Book Club has just begun Ursula Le Guin’s award-winning Sci-Fi novel The Dispossessed which examines two societies, one capitalist and one anarchist.  Some themes of this book: gender roles, sexism, patriarchy, private property, political and cultural boundaries, fear and violence. Next meeting is 6:00pm Tuesday, June 12, at 102 McBride Lane. All are welcome. The next two meetings are on June 12 and June 26. Our next book will be For Indigenous Eyes Only by Michael Yellowbird.

For directions contact Lori Glover: 432-294-2810,

The Big Bend Book Club
meets on the second Wednesday of the month, June 12, at 5:30pm at the UUBB. The reading selection in The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell. Russell combines accounts of terrible sorrow and destruction with great perseverance. It will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. Anyone interested in attending is welcome even if you didn’t read the book. Come and enjoy the conversation.

Day Time Book Club
The next meeting at the UUBB will be on June 21 (the third Thursday of every month) at 10:30am. The book for June is Before We Were Yours it is a highly emotional and moving fictional story, inspired by true events by Lisa Wingate. The plot is based on actual incidents and are a shameful indictment of a set of people who preyed upon the vulnerability of children and/or their parents.  All are welcome.

Zen Meditation Group
Group meditation meets Monday evening’s at 6:00 pm. Contact Jean O’Cuilinn
(432) 364-2462 if you are coming for the first time & have questions. A small donation to the church is appreciated.

Upcoming UUBB Happenings

Come and Celebrate the Life of Jim Glendinning, Alpine’s Travelin’ Man!

Scots-born, Oxford-educated Jim Glendinning visited 136 countries in 50 years of travel. His adventures were by car, truck, in a raft, on a horse and on foot around the world from an Everest base camp to Panama’s Darien Gap. Jim worked in the travel industry for many years and we all have heard his stories of running the Corner Bed
and Breakfast and we hung on his every word as he told us about his adventure challenges and rewards. Jim always traveled simply and sparely, often starting off from Alpine’s train station via Amtrak. Many of us traveled with him to Mexico’s Copper Canyon and beyond. We were fortunate that he settled in Alpine and enriched our lives.

So come and celebrate Jim! All are invited to attend The Celebration of the Life of Jim Glendinning on Saturday, June 2, at 10:00 a.m. at the Big Bend Unitarian Universalist Church, 1308 N. 5th St. Alpine.

There will be fresh fruit, deviled eggs, finger sandwiches, and of course stinky cheese! and lots of great tea made to Jim’s specifications! We will have plenty of live music 🎵 including bagpipes and some lively Scottish Highland songs. Come celebrate our friend ’s life with your presence!

Later that afternoon, Pilar Pederson will lead a hike up Hancock Hill for any intrepid, well-hydrated friends who loved Jim and remember how much he loved going up to ‘the desk.’

Wake the Snakes!
In June, Wake the Snakes will practice on Thursdays at 6:30pm. Wake the Snakes is a Samba/African Drumming Circle that meets at UUBB to practice and learn Drum Circle techniques.  We welcome new drummers at any time as we learn to play fun rhythms.  UUBB members, Megan Wilde, Kay (and Tim) Wilde, Pam Gaddis,  Shanna Howell, Alan and Carol Wallace are part of the circle;  fun and athletic. If you need more information, call Carol Wallace at (262) 637-8799.



History of the Alpine Unitarian Universalist Fellowship by Valerie Naylor

Did you know there was a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Alpine prior to Unitarian Universalists of the Big Bend?  The two groups did not overlap, but there was a bridge between.  It started on January 9, 1997, when Alpine resident Deanna Bowling published a letter to the editor in the Alpine Avalanche:

In April 1996, I moved to Alpine with all the hopes and enthusiasm attendant to relocation in a beloved place.  I have not been disappointed.  The people of West Texas exceed their reputation for friendliness and hospitality. The land is awe-inspiring in its beauty and variety. I have missed only one thing: my association with other people in the Unitarian-Universalist Church. I miss the sharing of ideas, the lively discussions among seekers who do not necessarily agree with each other.  I miss the support of our small group of close friends.  I miss our little community of shared social concern and action.  Therefore, with support of Church of the Larger Fellowship, I would like to start a U.U. Fellowship in Alpine.  

What are Unitarian Universalists?  We are a non-creedal, non-doctrinal group of seekers after truth. We are not exclusivist in our approach.  A Christian, A Buddhist, a Jew, an agnostic or atheist, is welcome to join us as long as he or she can subscribe to the following statement: [7 Principles: ].  

Are there other Unitarian-Universalists in this town who would like to join me in establishing a new spiritual home here?  Are there people unfamiliar with us who would be interested in joining a discussion group or beginning a fellowship based on the above covenant? If so, please contact me at 837-XXXX.  I work during the day but an answering machine will record your message.  Please let me hear from you.

Deanna Bowling, Alpine

The first meeting of the new Alpine Unitarian Universalist Fellowship was Sunday, January 19, 1997 at Deanna’s home on Moseley Loop.  Attending the first meeting were:  Deanna Bowling (fellowship organizer), Valerie Naylor (of Big Bend National Park), Bill Miller (astronautic engineer), Mary and Hal Flanders (well-known community citizens), Oscar Rodriguez, Cliff and Luann Herschel, Frances Ann Ayers Cooper, Harold Brian Kelly, and Tennessee.  Other members in the first two years included Paul Wright (a SRSU professor), Susan Wright (a teacher at the Montessori school), and Mary Beth and Hugh Garrett.

The Alpine UU Fellowship used a forum format rather than a worship service format, with one person leading the discussion on a particular topic.  Deanna tried to lead the group in singing from the UU hymnal a couple of times, but the group was uncomfortable with it.

The group met on Moseley Loop most Sundays for the next two years.  On January 25, 1999, Deanna and Bill moved to Terlingua, and the group then met in various houses in Alpine, often in the home of Paul and Susan Wright or Hal and Mary Flanders.  Deanna did not attend as regularly after she moved to Terlingua.

The Unitarian Universalist Association knew the budding Fellowship in Alpine was using the UU name and that it was functioning, but because it had not met all the criteria, it was not officially recognized by the organization.  However, “we were smiled upon” as Deanna puts it.

Deanna Bowling and Bill Miller became partners and moved to San Antonio in 2005.  Bill died in 2012.  Deanna is part of a Buddhist group in San Antonio.

Valerie Naylor moved to Nebraska in December 1999.  She was a founding member of the Prairie Vista UU Fellowship in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and a later small UU fellowship in Dickinson, North Dakota (now defunct) and then a member of the Bismarck-Mandan UU Fellowship in North Dakota.  Now, she is Vice President of the Black Hills UU Fellowship in Rapid City, South Dakota.  She bought a house in Alpine in April 2017 and is living part-time in Alpine and attending UUBB when she can.

Paul Wright retired from SRSU in December 2015 and he and Susan moved to San Diego in 2016.

Mary Beth Garrett lives in Alpine and joined UUBB in 2015.

Hal and Mary Flanders are gone now, but in January 2005, at age 91, Mary Flanders signed the membership book of UUBB, forming a bridge from the Alpine UU Fellowship to UUs of the Big Bend.

Spirit Play

Spirit Play is a story-telling religious education program that  helps children to understand their world within the context of U.U. principles.  Volunteer RE teachers are excited to offer these interactive classes began on September 10th.

Spirit Play curriculum is designed for kids ages 3–12.  It is a question-based pedagogy and not appropriate for infants and toddlers.   RE teachers and board members are working together to find a safe and effective way to provide nurturing care for our children under three years of age.   For more information, contact Beverly or Mary Beth.


Food Pantry of Alpine

The UUBB congregation has been actively involved in the Alpine Food Pantry since it was formed over a decade ago.  Besides donating food products and money for food donations, some of our members serve on the Board of Directors and as volunteers at distributions and food drives.  Chris Muller has been treasurer of the organization and served several terms;  Carol Wallace is fundraiser for the Pantry.

Other Unitarians have already volunteered at distributions each month. Pantry board members are also active at distributions: other volunteers are needed 6 times every month.  That is 40 volunteered workers a month.  If you are interested in getting involved, talk with Chris or Carol for details.

Currently, AFB is helping feed about 380 people a month.  The numbers are increasing.  Many of our clients are working people who cannot make enough to pay ordinary living costs. The pantry buys food from the Food Bank at very discounted prices.  A great deal of that food is used in the first 3 dispensations.  After that we are dependent on food donations and discounted cash purchases from local stored.

The entire operation is run by volunteers  No-one is paid.  The space for the pantry is rented from The Presbyterian Church – at a very discounted rate, and also donates a very large amount of food every month.

Would you please consider buying an extra can of food, or any staple item when you can and bring to our food collection bin and Chris or I will get it to the pantry.

We sure thank folks for supporting and coming to the American Legion Fish Fry on March 23 to benefit the Food Pantry.  It was a big success!  The American Legion members worked hard and the food was good! We sold out of food and raised $2,500 for the Pantry.  Much gratitude to the Alpine community and our church members who supported the event!

The Pantry can always use juice or baking stuff, flour, sugar, etc. Bring your pantry donation to the church any Sunday!

Sunday Service Leaders and Greeters

The Board wants members and friends to know that UUBB always welcomes their participation as Service Leaders and Greeters. Neither job is difficult, especially since we have newly-published guidelines that will make it really easy for you. Also, any Board member will be happy to help you plan your participation. Both guidelines are available to take home with you at UUBB. Please, please consider sharing your interests and talents with us.

Making the Local News?

UUBB congregants are invited to submit news of their positive community contributions to for review for publication in the UUBB Messenger monthly newsletter.


UUBB Social Outreach in our Community

The UUBB is looking for needy organizations in our community which would gladly accept our outreach donations.  If you have any suggestions, please contact our president, Alan Wallace at

The UUBB Members and Friends Mailing List

The UUBB mailing list has been set up for the purposes of disseminating information to UUBB members and friends pertaining to UUBB activities and events at our church or in the community. Please help us to keep this mailing as a messenger of importance for UUBB activities and information for our members and friends.