Articles, Reflections, & Announcements

 

Our Share the Plate Partner – The Kearney Center:  Addressing Our Unhoused Community

By Kathryn A. Schroeder

Amidst all the other news, some people slip by unseen. Unhoused people tend to move with the seasons in order to survive. Buildings do not, however, expand and contract seasonally. The new Kearney Center kitchen director, Drew Richards, seemed surprised when he ran out of food on a recent September Sunday evening before the half-hour mark of the dinner hour. In an effort to meet needs, the community service function of the kitchen has been re-established. This service includes free bus service to the Kearney Center for the lunch and dinner service. Although the population of the Kearney Center is limited by the size of the building, the need for nutrition of the unhoused population has no such limitation. Just to let you know, sometimes Kearney kitchen even serves hungry college students whose budget doesn’t stretch to match up with the calendar.

If you drop into the Kearney Center as early as 6:30 on a weekday morning you will see Chuck White meeting with individuals to help with connections to services. Services may range from intake to finding shoes. He provides encouragement along with appointments with medical, dental, social service, and mental health professionals.

As early as 8:00 a.m. people are connecting with services from volunteer health professionals. A closet is maintained at Kearney Center to furnish clean wearables to those in need. Overnight bags, backpacks and tote bags are considered beyond value. Sturdy shoes are also highly valued.

Lest you think that Kearney Center is solely a shelter; a roof and floor and walls, you should be aware that the able clients are not only encouraged to find employment, they are aided in the search and prepared to be successful in that employment. For some residents, the shelter is the place where they sleep, shower, eat breakfast and dinner and come from for work and return to after work. After all, learning how to save and spend responsibly in order to maintain housing isn’t a “born into us” skill and housing vouchers require meeting qualifications.

UUCT has suffered a fall-off of volunteers as has almost every other organization with outreach over the past pandemic era. Here is the thought to hang onto: When you volunteer in the shelter you are part of the sheltering. You provide acceptance and service to people who truly find little welcome in this world.

 


Why I Think We Need an 8th Principle

By Trudy Deyle

Aren’t our UU Seven Principles enough? For me, the answer is no. We Unitarian Universalists have been talking about and committing ourselves to becoming a multicultural, anti-racist, anti-oppressive movement for years. But progress has been incredibly slow. The culture and practices in most of our congregations, including UUCT, are still very white-centered despite our aspirations to move beyond that reality.

At this crucial time in our country and in the world, the 8th Principle calls us to build Beloved Community and holds us accountable to take the actions to do so:  We covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

And what is Beloved Community? Per the 8th Principle project, it is when people of diverse racial, ethnic, educational, class, gender, abilities, sexual orientation backgrounds/identities come together in an interdependent relationship of love, mutual respect, and care that seeks to realize justice within the community and in the broader world. Our current seven principles lack this vision of inclusive community and the commitment to accountable action.

As of mid-July 2021, 117 UU congregations had adopted the 8th Principle and embarked on the work of building Beloved Community. This bottom-up movement among congregations is a change from the top-down, anti-racism, anti-oppression commitments made by our association in the past. Over the next few months, UUCT’s Allies for Racial Equity Group (ARE@UUCT) will be engaging our congregation in a conversation about joining the 8th Principle movement.

 


Gather, Inspire, Launch!

Two-part Fall Social Witness Convening of the Commission on Social Witness October 6 and October 13

At the UUA General Assembly this past June, the delegates voted to affirm three bold statements for healing action. The delegates also adopted a formal UUA Statement of Conscience on Undoing Systemic White Supremacy. Join these two meetings to find out what UU leaders around the country are doing, what you can do, and who you can partner with to carry forward these bold actions full of inspiring possibilities.

Gather, inspire, and launch your social witness action! The Commission on Social Witness invites you to the Fall Social Witness Convening in two parts. Attend both sessions to find out about all the statements and actions!

All UUs are invited to these meetings, and no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. You may review the statements in advance if you are able. The statements are linked above. The meeting will take place via Zoom. Zoom accessibility features are outlined here. In addition, the meeting will include minimal optional breakouts in order to promote meeting usability for all.

Learn more and register for one or both sessions here.


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:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E084AADA72AA5FD0-kearney

Kathryn  Schroeder is now our UUCT coordinator.  Please email Kathryn at 10kmanglin@gmail.com for more information.