—Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern
For anyone who’s seen the inside of my house and office, it is not a surprise to hear that I love books. And I’m in good company here at UUCPA. I’ve written before about how our church is bursting with book-lovers and books. We have Brown Bag Books discussion group as well as other frequent Adult Religious Education offerings focused on a book, such as the one Mr. Barb Greve, our Sabbatical Religious Educator, will lead in February on one of the UUA’s Common Read books, Centering. Our Sullivan Book Fund gives books to children and others in our programs, the Barbara Raskin Fund helps us maintain our children’s collection, and we give a gift certificate for books to every new member. A used book sale is a major part of the annual Yard Sale. Year round, we have the UU Used Books room on one side of the Main Hall lobby and the UUCPA Bookstore occupying the rest of that space on Sundays, except for Second Sundays, when another great love of our community bumps the books: enjoying food together. A Little Free Library (brainchild of our Adult Religious Education Committee, designed by Lynn Grant, and crafted by Byron Brown) announces to passersby that we are a home for those who love to read, and invites them to take a book. It’s right by the little redwood grove, a great place to sit and enjoy whatever they’ve found.
And speaking of great places to sit and read, we have an excellent library, one of UUCPA’s most sparkling hidden gems. It’s in the same building as the main office, and it’s named for the parents of current member Fran Perry, book lovers and longtime members, the late Gail and Frank Hamaker. I go in there a lot just to browse, and you’ll see little cards with “Amy’s picks” here and there (If there’s a favorite of yours there too, feel free to grab a card from the desk and write your own – leave the card in my inbox and I’ll make sure it and its book are displayed prominently.) It has nonfiction, fiction, children’s books, cookbooks, courses on CD, all available by a simple signout process whenever you have a moment.
The library is open whenever the office is: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday. There will soon be the addition of an armchair or two and reading lamps, so you can settle in with a book as comfortably as at home. You can even make a cup of tea in the office kitchenette. Well, there is one difference between reading in the Hamaker Library and in my living room: the resident cat. I would suggest we acquire one for UUCPA, but there are allergy considerations. — Blessings, Amy