MAY 3Assistant Field Director for Religious Outreach Rev. Steven Baines makes four stops in Southern California.  His first appearance is in San Diego, on Thursday, May 3,  where Steven will take part in a gathering at Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial park, on the grounds near the base of the controversial 29 foot cross <>. Steven will speak on "Crisis or Crossroads: Church State Separation in America."   The event is from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, and area residents are invited to come hang out with their Americans United friends, and other supporters of church and state separation, on the large grass area below the cross. The group will enjoy a picnic dinner before the address by Rev. Baines. Like many of you reading this, Steven is watching the current political situation with great interest and is doing his best to encourage supporters of church-state separation to speak out. We need your voices now, more than ever! Please RSVP to chapter president Debbie Allen at, so she can tell you about the dinner arrangements.  MAY 5The Orange County chapter’s May 5th event features Rev. Steven Baines, who will be speaking to the group about both the National Day of Prayer and the far more important ideas surrounding the First Amendment and the religious liberties granted to us in the Constitution.  Steve will also be discussing the need for the strong wall of separation between church and state and the attacks on it by the religious right.  Before coming to Americans United, Steven served as Director of Interfaith Outreach at both the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and People for the American Way. He has also served as Executive Director for Equal Partners in Faith, a national interfaith organization committed to fighting racism, sexism and homophobia.  The event takes place on Saturday May 5th at 1:30 PM, at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine, CA  92618.  There is no charge for this event.  Doors open at 1:00 for snacks and socializing; seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. On Sunday May 6th Steve Baines will be taking the pulpit at the First Congregational Church in Long Beach. Americans United will also be there at the post-service fellowship.  The main entrance to the sanctuary is at the corner of Third and Cedar in Long Beach.  Information on parking and direction is available on their web site You’ll find it a congregation of diverse ages and backgrounds, folks who are coupled and single, gay and straight, young and old. The style of the service is rather traditional, with robed clergy and choir, a processional and recessional. For more information on either event: Email us at or visit the Orange County AU web site at    MAY 7Kern County AU will host Rev. Steven Baines on Monday, May 7, at the CSUB Student Union Multipurpose Room, 9001 Stockdale Hwy, in Bakersfield, CA 93311. Steven will speak on the topic "Crisis or Crossroads: Church-State Separation in America."  The event is being co-sponsored by The Interfaith Student Alliance and the Institute for Religion, Education, and Public Policy at CSUB.  For more info contact: Dr. Aaron Steenbergen, Interim Project Organizer AU-KC, at . You won't want to miss this exciting event!  MAY 11 & 12Mixing things up a bit, the Greater Los Angeles AU chapter is pleased to host Dr. John Suarez for two presentations of "Will the Wall Come Tumbling Down? An Updated Look at Church and State in America" Dr. Suarez is a National Americans United Board of Trustee member, and Chair of National AU's Education Committee.  He will share his insight on the current assault against the First Amendment. The first of two events takes place on Friday, May 11, at 7:00 PM in Newbury Park at the Conejo Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, 3327 Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park, CA 91320. On Saturday, May 12, at 2:00 PM in Studio City you can catch John at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Studio City, 12355 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604.  Contact Stuart Bechman, AU-GLA Chapter Chair, at if you have any questions. You won't want to miss John's informative presentation!