Articles, Reflections, & Announcements

 

UUCT’s Work Toward Justice, Equity (and Resilience)

By Jennifer Carver

2020 was a challenging year, and our UUCT community showed up to fight for social justice in many ways. As existing justice and equity concerns in our community, nation, and world bubbled up to the surface, UUCT’s ongoing social justice, food justice, and racial justice/anti-racism ministries continued and adapted to the changing conditions – the essence of resilience! UUCTers are dedicated to living our Unitarian Universalist principles and being part of the solutions. This article introduces you to some of the ways our UUCT community members tend the spark within themselves (and others) and carry the flame out into the world for a more just, equitable, and resilient future.

Our Social Justice Committee serves as an umbrella for several activities, including UU the Vote, Food Justice, and our Share the Plate program. Through UU the Vote, we sent nearly 5,000 postcards to voters from populations that have been traditionally suppressed, encouraging them to vote. Our focus on Food Justice includes providing food contributions and funds to support the Kearney Center’s residents and staff, contributing to Manna on Meridian (see last week’s Meridian newsletter), tending the Macon Community Garden, gathering in the Food for Thought group to discuss how our diets impact the environment and our health. Our Share the Plate program includes both charitable and social justice organizations and has prioritized Food Justice-related organizations. Additional recipients of UUCT contributions include the Tallahassee Food Network.

Several groups within UUCT are engaging with the internal work of racial justice and anti-racism, including the Emergent Strategy Group, the Monthly BIPOC Group, Allies for Racial Equity, and the Centering BIPOC Voices group. Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) and the Centering BIPOC Voices group are both engaging with anti-racism in different but complementary ways.  ARE endeavors to understand whiteness and privilege, unlearn and challenge white supremacy, and confront racism in ways that are accountable to communities of color, especially UUCT’s BIPOC group. ARE has initiated small groups reflecting on the book, “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad. The Centering BIPOC Voices group seeks to better understand how racism and other forms of oppression affect all our lives and develop as anti-racists through reading books by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color authors.

The Emergent Strategy group facilitated the anti-racist curriculum “Building the World We Dream About” for  UUCT members and friends and is currently continuing group readings for spiritual growth and community building among the participants.  The BIPOC group is an informal group of self-identifying people of color coming together to share and support each other. The BIPOC group initiated the discussion to place the Black Lives Matter banner at UUCT.

We at UUCT are fortunate that these ministries adapted quickly to many changes over the last year and continue to provide opportunities and reminders to keep working toward justice and equity.

 


Share the Plate – Apply Now!

By Deborah Holt

Greetings from the Share the Plate Committee, Every member and supporting friend should have received an application by now. It is due the end of February.

If you did not receive one and you would like to nominate an organization to receive Share The Plate funds, please contact the office or Debbie Holt at Deborah.holt1976@gmail.com.

 


Ministers-in-Formation Update

 

Did you know that UUCT has many ministers-in-formation in our midst?

Our DRE, Helen Rivers, started at Starr King School for the Ministry last summer.  Our recent Sabbatical Music Director, Li Kynvi, is a student there, too, and just started a congregational internship at First Parish Church of Groton, Massachusetts.  E.N. Hill and Lauren Levwood graduated from Starr King this past May. Last fall, E.N. started a congregational internship in Ottawa, Ontario.  Now, it’s Lauren’s turn. Lauren starts an online congregational internship this month in her home state of Virginia with The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.  Just as Li was able to join us as our Sabbatical Music Director while living in Massachusetts, Lauren is grateful that the wonders of technology allow her to minister in Richmond while still enjoying the heavenly weather here in Tallahassee.

We are grateful to all of these ministers-in-formation for their ongoing contributions to Unitarian Universalism and wish them all the best as their journeys continue!

 


Fuel the Flame!

By Bonnie J. Abellera, VP for Management

Every flame needs fuel! It is easier to tend the spark or carry the flame when you have fuel to keep the sparks and flames burning bright. As my responsibilities at UUCT cover management tasks, most of the fuel that is needed for management projects comes from people who contribute their time and talents. Have you wondered how you can help the church grow physically, aesthetically or to improve mobility? Do you have engineering, architectural or interior design experience? Are you able to articulate and explain a vision of what you think will improve our shared spaces? Do you understand contracts or have time to monitor projects?

The Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) plans and oversees long-term capital improvements at UUCT. I am going through file cabinets and pulling out old files, notebooks and building plans to see what previous committees worked on and how they kept track of projects. It is an eye- opening appreciation for what congregation members did in the past. I have some ideas to improve the walkways around the pods to make the pods accessible to people in wheelchairs and I could use some help. What other small or large projects do you see at UUCT that you would like to recommend for improvement? What kind of talents can you share? What would you like to learn about at UUCT? What visions do you have for our buildings and grounds? Are you a doer, a planner, an artist or a scribe? All help is welcome, including input from past CIC members. Send me an email at leonpta1@yahoo.com (Leon like the County) as I’d like to gather at least five people to fuel this committee. Be the fuel and share your time and talents.

G.2.1 Capital Improvement Committee (CIC)

G.2.1.1 Purpose

To plan and oversee long-term capital improvements to UUCT physical facilities

G.2.1.2 Responsibilities

1. Using professional technical and consulting services as needed, and with Board and
congregational approval:
2. Research alternatives, gather information on needs, and make general
recommendations to the congregation regarding long-term facility development.
3. Interview professionals and contractors and make recommendation to Board and
congregation.
4. Oversee developments of specific building plans for facility development, securing
Board and congregational approval at key decision points.
5. Oversee facility construction and any follow-up work required.