Articles, Reflections, & Announcements

 

Collards & Cornbread Potluck & Cook Off  – RESCHEDULED

The Collards & Cornbread event bridges racial and community divides to find solutions for food insecurity, educate about local and organic gardening, and celebrate tasty and healthy food.

Bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch or register for the Collards & Cornbread Cook Off here by emailing surobins@me.com. The requested $25 donation to enter will support the Frenchtown iGrow garden.

Join FAMU/FSU Students, Farmers, Politicians, Faith Leaders, Local Officials, Health and Nutritionists, and Sustainability Groups for a potluck lunch, demos, kids gardening, and planning meeting in the beautiful iGrow garden.  There will also be an Evergreen Tree Collard Demo & Plant Sale!

 


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2021 AT 7:30 PM                                           

Decolonizing Thanks Giving – a Virtual Worship Service

Livestream this virtual worship service, which was intentionally crafted by centering Indigenous people and cultures. This event is an invitation to come together in that spirit. This service is presented by many Indigenous Unitarian Universalists and friends, the UU Ministry for Earth & Side With Love.

Unitarian Universalism’s history, during the Civil War era, is directly connected to the creation of the mythos supporting the US Thanksgiving holiday and the historically inaccurate and harmful colonial narrative of “Pilgrims and the Indians,” and the pageant traditions that perpetuate these harms. In recent years, UUs have made a commitment to reconsider the cultural and colonial foundations of this tradition, in counsel and relationship with First Nations and Indigenous communities.

To view the livestream, visit their Facebook page (link below):

https://www.facebook.com/events/463787105167969/?ref=newsfeed

 


UUA Virtual Event: Compass: Navigating the Paths of Liberation Together

You are invited to reach into your spiritual toolkits and grab your “compass,” your wayfinder, that inner voice that points you toward goodness, and join us in charting a path toward a deeper knowing of Unitarian Universalism.

Please join us for Compass: Navigating the Paths of Liberation Together, a virtual event taking place on December 11th and 12th. Our very own Article II Commission will ask for your input on our ever-evolving Purposes and Principles. This is Unitarian Universalism, our living tradition, at its theological best: striving to change and be better in a changing world, bending its arc toward a greater inclusivity and a more profound justice for all.

This event is for: lay leaders, religious professionals, adults, youth, members of congregations, and anyone else who is interested in diving into an exploration of interdependence in UU theology and practice.

Learn more about Compass and register today! We hope to see you on December 11 & 12!

 


Why Donate to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee?

By Trudy Deyle

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) advances human rights and social justice around the world, manifesting our UU principles and values through its work. It partners with those who confront unjust power structures and who mobilize to challenge oppressive policies. UUSC creates eye-to-eye relationships with frontline grassroots movements that support marginalized communities in determining their steps for the future.

UUSC’s work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity. It supports self-determination and defends the rights of people displaced due to climate, conflict, or economic hardships. It also responds to humanitarian crises as a partner with people whose access to aid is most limited.

Since its beginning in 1940 helping refugees in Europe escape Nazi persecution, UUSC has made tangible progress to advance human rights, dismantle systems of oppression, and uplift the inherit dignity of people around the world. A few examples of programs and partner organizations over the years include: the Texas Migrant Workers Project, the Navajo Community Center, a community health program in Togo, assisting Ugandans displaced by war, anti-genocide work in Darfur, earthquake relief in Haiti, and a human rights for mine workers project in Guatemala.

UUSC exists through the support of individuals, congregations, and other like-minded organizations.

This Sunday’s Share the Plate is the UUSC.

 


Living into the 8th Principle

by Gwendolyn Waldorf

White as the norm, the default, permeates our society.

Movie reviews never note “an all-white cast with a white centered narrative”. The store’s selection of makeup has no special section for white skin. I’ve yet to hear a song introduction acknowledging a “Euro-American” composer. Joyful white people in wintry scenes are standard on holiday cards and wrapping paper.

Imagine what it feels like to grow up surrounded by images and assumptions that label you as “other” because of your skin color.

A challenge: For one day, identify white people as white. “I saw a white child walking a cute dog.” It is hard to break a lifelong habit.

Until about a year ago, I shared the unconscious thought that any media featuring marginalized people was for other people—and anything featuring white people was for everyone.

UUCT’s Centering BIPOC Voices book group inspired me. Although I am not a member, I moved outside my comfort zone. I began with an easy step: read mysteries by Black authors. I added podcasts and tv shows created by and centering people of color. Each experience challenges my assumptions and provides different perspectives.

Like a fish cannot see the water it is swimming in . . . white centering is like an invisible net holding up white supremacy. Layla F. Saad

Once you see white centering, it is no longer invisible. Adopting the 8th Principle is a commitment to doing the work, personally and in community. Each of us begins where we are.

 


Capital Area Justice Ministry Selects Community Problems for Action

By Bob Deyle

Rev. Holly and 19 UUCT members participated in the November 3 Capital Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) House Meetings Assembly where 268 people from 16 congregations overwhelmingly chose two community problems for action during the first year of the new CAJM initiative:

(1) gun violence and criminal justice and

(2) affordable housing.

Health care/mental health and hunger/food security garnered fewer votes.

Interested clergy, team leaders, and network members will meet next on December 7 for the Research Kickoff to form research committees to address the selected problems. Working with other community organizations and local officials, the research committees will develop specific policy and program initiatives for CAJM to promote with local officials.

All clergy, team leaders, and network members will gather in early March to hear the proposed actions and prepare for the Nehemiah Assembly in April where each clergy, team leader, and network member will bring three additional people with them for a show of strength as we ask local officials to undertake those initiatives.

For more information about CAJM, visit https://www.capitalareajustice.org/. For more information about UUCT’s role and how you can participate, email CAJM@uutallahassee.org or contact one of our team leaders: Jennifer Carver, Mariann D’Arcangelis, Greg DeAngelo, Bob Deyle, Carolyn DuBard, Annette Pearce, or Janet Temkin.

 


PUMPKIN SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE – 

Spread the Nice at Thanksgiving

By Carolyn Pardue

Manna on Meridian is attempting to add some holiday specific items this month to help make Thanksgiving even more festive for those who may have a more limited budget.

The regular staples bag will include (in addition to regular monthly supplies) stuffing mix, and potato mixes.  The produce will include both sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

What you can do to help this Thanksgiving

  • Drop cans of pumpkin or pumpkin pie mix and a can of evaporated milk (for each can of pumpkin) in the Manna Box at UUCT.  We will bundle those for people who want to make pumpkin pie.
  • Drop off a couple of extra cans of green beans and a can of cream of mushroom soup and dried onions and we will bundle for those who want to make green bean casserole.

Those would be great choice items this month. Manna is thankful for all you do.

 


An Alternative View: Why I Think We DO Need an 8th Principle

By Karen Share

This is in response to Mary Wolfgang’s article in last week’s Meridian.

I support the 8th Principle, although I have a lot of questions on how its implementation will affect UUCT. I am glad that ARE members are learning from congregations that have already passed it.

I do not think our UU Seven Principles are enough. Being a good person does not change anything. The Seven Principles are passive; they do not challenge us to change the status quo. Like it or not, we are all part of perpetuating the system as is. The 8th Principle motivates us to examine and dismantle oppression.

It is important that UUCT is a liberal oasis. Another thing that I love about UUCT is its commitment to social action.

Part of the 8th Principle will involve self-examination of UUCT. I hope this will involve things like:

• Is our endowment invested in non-oppressive companies?

• Is UUCT governed in an inclusive manner?

• Are there alternatives to Robert’s Rules of Order, which overrule minority (less than 50%) opinions?

• As a predominantly white church, are there ways we exclude people who are different?

• I have heard that UUCT has done harm in the past. This needs to be resolved with whomever feels harmed.

• How are we accountable for dismantling oppression?

I also hope to become more enlightened and participate in discussions of the 8th Principle. As always, we Unitarians agree to disagree!

 


Office Volunteers Needed

Have you volunteered in the UUCT office in the past and miss it?  Have you always dreamed of volunteering in the office?  Now is your chance to lend your talents and become an office volunteer!

For more information email office@uutallahassee.org or call the office at (850) 385-5115.

 

 

 


Volunteer Opportunity – Canvass Committee Chair

By Dan D’Arcangelis

UUCT is looking for one or two volunteers to coordinate the Canvass effort that will begin in early 2022. The annual Canvass is an important part of our budgeting and planning process. The Canvass chair (or co-chairs) works closely with staff and volunteers to coordinate the communication effort, arrange for testimonials and other service content, and report to the executive board and congregation as to the status of the Canvass throughout the spring.

If you are interested in serving in this critical role, please get in touch as soon as possible with Dan D’Arcangelis, VP-Finance at ddarcangelis@gmail.com or 269-598-9017.