Articles, Reflections, & Announcements
UUCT Trunk or Treat
Thanks to careful coordination and planning between UUCT’s Religious Exploration Committee, Staff, and COVID-19 Reopening Taskforce, we are thrilled to announce that UUCT will be hosting an all-treats, no-tricks, IN-PERSON TRUNK-OR-TREAT event on Friday, October 29th from 6:00-8:00 PM.
We encourage UUCT community members of ALL AGES to come out and participate in this fun event! (Yes, even teens and adults are welcome – and encouraged! – to come get some treats!) Costumes are encouraged but not required. Masks are required for most participants. (See Safety & Accessibility below for details.)
Let Us Know You’re Coming!
Registration via the RSVP form below is required for all participants. (This helps us control how many people are on campus at a time and keep the event appropriately distanced.)
Help Out – Lend Your Trunk Time, or Treats
Note: We do need a minimum of 15 trunks in order to move forward with the event as planned.
If you would like to offer your trunk, time, or some treats to this event, please use the volunteer sign up form at the link below. In addition to plenty of trunks full of treats, we will also need a few people to help direct traffic, hand out candy on the veranda, and more!
Costumes and decorated trunks are encouraged but not required.
If you would like to donate candy, prizes, or treats for this event, please email Kerry Burner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate, or leave them clearly labeled by the back door on the veranda any time on Thursday or Friday the 28th or 29th.
Please keep the following in mind as you choose treats to share with the congregation:
a) Try to avoid are common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and dairy OR also offer an allergy-friendly alternative.
b) Treats must be individually-wrapped in their original packaging and commercially produced.
c) Non-edible treats are welcome and encouraged! If you choose to hand out prizes instead of treats, please be mindful of Mother Earth and of the Mothers, Fathers, Caregivers, and Parents who will be taking the prizes you choose into their homes. (Your fellow congregants will thank you for not sending their children home with anything wet, sticky, glittery, or loud.)
Contact Kerry Burner with questions and concerns regarding volunteering or donating supplies.
Safety & Accessibility
This event is being coordinated in compliance with UUCT’s COVID-19 Taskforce’s guidelines for facility use and with the safety of our most vulnerable community members in mind.
Masks covering both the mouth and nose are required for all participants ages 6 and up and recommended for participants ages 5 and under. This masking requirement applies to all volunteers, staff, and participants regardless of vaccination status.
We always strive to make our events accessible and always want to know if there is any way we can make an event easier to navigate for you or your family. This can include a specified sensory-friendly timeslot, treats safe for a specific allergy or dietary restriction, transportation coordination, arranging to have treats brought to you instead, hands-on church staff support during the event, etc.
Please contact DRE Helen Cassara at email@example.com to discuss your needs or for any other questions or concerns.
We can’t wait to see our church friends in their spooky best again!
(UUCT RE Halloween celebration 2019)
Harmony Camp 2023
By Kerry Burner
Because of the uncertainty around the pandemic and primarily because of lack of volunteer support, Harmony Camp will not be held Summer 2022.
Visioning meetings for Summer 2023 will begin in the Spring of 2022 – keep an eye out for announcements in the Meridian. If you are interested in leading or participating in these sessions, please share your contact information using the link below and someone will reach out in the Spring.
Pillars of Systemic Equity
By Ed Oaksford
As UUCT engages in the process of adopting an 8th Principle it is important to understand what the mission really is. Rather than thinking about dismantling racism and other oppressions, as stated in the 8th Principle, we can think about it in positive terms like the ACLU does and think of it as building systemic equity.
The ACLU goes on to describe the pillars upon which systemic equity are built. They include reconciling the past, extending empowerment, building prosperity, and increasing access.
To reconcile our nation’s past, substantial investments and resources will be needed to repair the damage done by centuries of slavery and discriminatory government policies. Two things need to be done to accomplish this goal. First an honest effort to assess how reparations can best be provided to those most harmed by past social norms and government policies. Second, make a sincere effort to decriminalize school discipline.
To extend empowerment the barriers that impede black and brown voters from participating fully in the democratic process to elect their own candidates sensitive to their needs must be removed. To accomplish that, voter rights must be protected and expanded. Furthermore, the politics of racism must be removed from legislative redistricting. In addition, our location in the deep south makes any work we do to organize and advocate for racial equity even more significant in a region of the country that has a blemished history of racism and violence.
To build prosperity we can fill the gaps in wealth between Black and white households that have come about as the result of the accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception. This can be done by cancelling student loans, providing just banking services, ensuring and expanding a refundable child tax credit, and in our own organization making the commitment to ensure people of color are included, elevated, and promoted as well as seeking Black-owned and Black-Led contractors to perform facility services.
To increase access, we need to advocate for leveling the playing field so that every person has the necessary tools to achieve their highest potential and thrive. We can accomplish this by expanding high speed internet access, affirmatively furthering fair housing, eliminating barriers to reentry for returning citizens, and ending algorithmic bias.
So, if our church does decide to adopt the 8th Principle, we’ll have some milepost markers available to guide us as we actively engage in building “Systemic Equity”.
Have You Seen Our Church’s New Mobile App?
If you are a GivePlus Mobile user, you should have received an email earlier about Vanco Mobile, our church’s new and improved mobile app. Vanco, our eGiving provider, has launched this updated mobile app to replace GivePlus Mobile.
How Do You Download Vanco Mobile?
It’s easy! Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download Vanco Mobile for free. Be sure to download this app soon, as GivePlus Mobile will be retired as of December 30, 2021 (previously the deadline was September 30, 2021).
To give using Vanco Mobile, follow these five easy steps:
- Search for our church by name.
- Select your gift amount, fund and frequency.
- Enter your payment method. (You can save this information for future use!)
- Choose whether you want to cover processing fees.
- Click Submit to complete your donation.
You can also check out this Vanco Mobile How-To Guide for step-by-step instructions.
Why Donate to UU@UN?
By Trudy Deyle
Our congregation has a long history of supporting the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations (UU@UN). The office is a non-governmental organization in association with the United Nations. It promotes our 6th Principle, the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, which is reflected in the United Nations Charter. Through targeted education, advocacy, and outreach, the office also engages Unitarian Universalists in support of international cooperation and the work of the U.N.
UU@UN has an overarching goal of protecting the human rights of marginalized people. Its advocacy encompasses human rights, climate, and peace work, bringing the UU perspective to international justice movements. In addition to the overall work of bringing a UU voice to the U.N., program areas include climate justice, demilitarization, empowering women and children in the region of Ghana most heavily affected by HIV/AIDS, and the Holdeen India Program which provides aid for humanitarian service ventures and social enterprises that seek to advance prosperity for all of India’s people.
From involvement in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to leading the faith caucus to establish the International Criminal Court, to overcoming United Nations apathy about sexual orientation and gender identity issues, UU@UN has a long history of providing strong leadership in all aspects of human rights at a policy level.
This Sunday’s Share the Plate is UU@UN.
Sign Up Here!
Kearney Center Meal Service and Preparation Volunteers Needed
By Janet Temkin
If you and your family are looking for a way to give back to our community, the Kearney Center can use your help.
UUCT has signed up to prep and serve lunches on the first, third and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Kearney Center. We will be assisting with dinners on the second Monday of each month. 4-5 volunteers are needed at each mealtime.
Meal prep is a fun way to connect with others and help our vulnerable homeless population at the same time.
You can easily sign up to volunteer using the link below:
Kathryn Schroeder is now our UUCT coordinator. Please email Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.