The UUCA Justice Ministry Council is meeting monthly and hearing the many ways in which members of UUCA are engaged in the larger community. As representatives of the different areas: Racial, Economic, Environmental and Gender & Sexuality Justice as well as Faith Development share their updates, I appreciate the importance of providing a space for connection and conversation about the successes, challenges and possibilities of justice work. As staff liaison I am able to provide support to members of the different areas who are organizing and promoting opportunities for service, education, advocacy and witness.
At our last meeting we heard about the ongoing work of UUCA volunteers participating in Room in the Inn, the interfaith shelter for women living with homelessness. This month extra volunteers and resources were needed because the cold weather brought 20 instead of the 12 expected women to the shelter at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Paula Massey, the UUCA coordinator thanked all last minute volunteers in a recent e-news. She and her team: Allison Jordan and Martha Shephard have been coordinating this effort for the last 17 years, yes, 17 years!
The next RITI is February 9-15, 2020. What does it entail? Hosting starts on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 9) and overnight folks are needed for the 7 nights, two UUs per night -Grace Covenant provides two as well. Volunteers provide all 7 days of lunches plus 3 dinners. They also pick up women at 5:45 pm at AHOPE and then in the morning they get dropped off at various places. It takes about 50 UU and 50 GCPC volunteers to make it work. And since it is at GCPC they have to break down a Sunday school room to make into a dorm and stock the kitchen plus make sure there are enough blankets and pillows. And then early the next Sunday morning, after the women leave, that same room has to be cleaned and set back up for Sunday School at 9:30 am. Yes, it is a big effort and an important commitment. Were you aware of this life affirming interfaith effort? If you are interested in being a February volunteer, contact Paula at email@example.com
Room in the Inn, is one of many outreach projects in which members of UUCA engage. On January 19 we will be launching the “#UU the Vote Challenge” organized by the Unitarian Universalist Association to encourage congregations to partner with local electoral justice partners to mobilize voters, combat voter suppression and leverage our resources to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate. The official launch is January 12 if you are interested in learning more before we make it a congregational project. The Justice Ministry Council will be sharing ways of getting our congregation involved and further supporting those among us who are involved in electoral justice work. The organizers of #UUtheVote remind us that all the issues we care deeply about – climate, immigration, LGBTQ, racial, economic justice and so on are at stake in the 2020 election. They state this campaign isn’t about “another thing to work on” or abandoning the work we passionately engage in; it is about incorporating an electoral lens into our strategies. You’ll hear more about that at our launch January 19 during Sunday worship which will also be a Yellow Shirt Brigade event. That means you are invited to wear the yellow “Side with Love” t-shirt to show solidarity and witness for love. Of course, you will want to avoid spilling coffee on your t-shirt so you can wear it January 20 when we march in the 2020 Martin Luther King Rally. Don’t have a t-shirt? You can order one at https://www.uuabookstore.org/Side-with-Love-C1401.aspx
Be on the look out for other Yellow Shirt Brigade events in the e-News. In the meanwhile, check out the Justice Ministry bulletin board in Sandburg Hall. To receive the UUCA Faith in Action e-News or share information contact Elizabeth Schell firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for the next issue is December 4 by 5pm.