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Get Involved!

Become involved with a project that has caught your passion: whether it's Green Sanctuary, Gift-Based Ministry, as a worship associate, leading a covenant group, or something entirely different, your congregation needs your involvement in order to benefit from your unique talents and gifts!

Become a religious educator. Whether you are working with children, youth, young adults, or adults, this work can be deeply fulfilling and fun!

Offer to become a lay leader in your congregation. Talk to your nominating committee. If your congregation's in search for new professional leadership, think about whether you might contribute in new and exciting ways to that venture.

Witness your faith in the company of others, on behalf of your congregation. Seek out connections with other religious groups who share similar values. Help carry the message -- beyond your congregation -- that makes clear Unitarian Universalism's values and voice in this challenging world.

Become a delegate to your UUA District's meetings. You'll learn new skills, develop a sense of Unitarian Universalism that extends beyond your own congregation, and help nurture the vitality of our faith in your district.

Don't wait to be asked: contact your congregation's Nominating Committee and tell them you're willing to serve. They'll be glad to hear from you!

- from the UUA

Social Justice News and Events

The following events are available on Zoom until further notice.
Black Lives Matter Vigil is still being held in person but is only outside and socially distanced.

Check this Events page for specific dates and times.

Black Lives Matter Vigil, every Thursday, 6-7pm
Because of COVID guidelines, we are still holding our Black Lives Matter Vigils every Thursday evening, starting 6-6:30 along Stenton Ave. in front of the church, followed by about another half hour of sharing under the portico and on the lawn. We can now have up to 15 Vigil participants in person; anyone is invited to join us via Zoom for the sharing portion – contact Bruce PJ if you would like the Zoom link.

CommUUnity “Potlucks” on Zoom, 7:00pm
UUCR has held dozens of CommUUnity Potlucks over recent years to build community and talk about topics related to justice and to connect with our wider community. Because of COVID-19 social distancing, these are currently held as Zoom events. If you have suggestions for a focus (group or guest to invite, movie to watch, topic to discuss etc.) for a future CommUUnity “Potluck”, please let Fern C or Bruce PJ know (see the UUCR Directory and above for contact information)!

Regular Justice Council Meetings: 2nd Sundays, after the Church Service via Zoom.
If you would like to help decide the recipient of our monthly Change for Change or find out about our other justice-related activities at UUsMA (including updates on POWER and UUPLAN, as well as planning and scheduling book discussions, CommUUnity Potlucks, Welcoming Congregation activities, special trips, etc.), please join us on the 2nd Sunday of each month (except in September, when it will be September 19th), at 1:30pm, via Zoom! Contact Bruce Pollack-Johnson at 215-848-6246 or at pollackjohnson@verizon.net if you would like to be on the Justice Council email list. While Bruce is on sabbatical until mid-December, Mary L will be helping out with publicity and facilitating meetings. Occasionally we meet on other Sundays or at other times – these should be announced in the weekly e-newsletter and on Sunday. If you have any questions, contact Bruce!

Widening the Circle of Concern Follow-Up
From January through June, we had conversations every other week based on the Widening the Circle of Concern report by the UUA's Commission on Institutional Change, about things that we can do as a congregation and a denomination to dismantle racism in our institutions and systems, closely related to our commitment expressed by our adoption of the 8th Principle. Our 8th Principle Team is now compiling notes from those sessions to synthesize ideas and suggestions, working with the Board, on specific changes we might want to implement at UUsMA. The Board and the 8th Principle Team have already been working on possible changes to our bylaws, policies, and practices along these lines, so these ideas and suggestions will be added in to the work that has already started.

Book Discussions: See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur (10/24, 4pm)
On Sunday, October 24, at 4pm, we will be discussing the book See No Stranger (about striving to see the inherent worth and dignity in every person, including those you may have strong negative reactions to), by Valarie Kaur. If you would like a copy of either book, contact Fern C. Sharon F and Mary L are helping to organize this discussion. See the weekly e-newsletter for the dates and times in November and December of the last 2 sessions. If you have any other questions, contact Mary, Sharon, Fern, or Bruce!

N'COBRA Collaboration
In June, N'COBRA (the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America), which Wayne B and Cynthia B are members of, announced a collaboration with our UUsMA Justice Council. We are in the process of working out the details, but it is likely to involve a "Reparations Sunday", when the topic of the Sunday service is Reparations, followed by a workshop for anyone in the congregation who would like to find out more about the history and strategies for implementing Reparations in this country, including cultural competence training. Keep your eyes on the weekly e-newsletter for announcements of details. We are also hoping to be able to provide space for N'COBRA’s monthly meetings, once our Re-Opening Committee determines it can be done safely.


Terry W Update

Diagnosed Pre-Diabetic, Getting in Shape Earlier this year, Terry W was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. He took this as a challenge to improve his diet and get back in shape (during COVID, he couldn’t really exercise because they only had 30 minutes outside of their cells a day). He has found a way to eat the salads that many inmates would just throw out, has been working out for hours every day, and looks great! He sends his love, and looks forward to the day in the future when he can greet us all.

Living the 8th Principle: Trevor Noah on George Floyd,
Amy Cooper, and The Uprising

This 18-minute video is a brilliant analysis of racism, white privilege, and the social contract, using George Floyd, Amy Cooper (who called the police on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper - no relation to her), and the property destruction that came after them. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4amCfVbA_c

Terry W. 3rd-Degree Case Charges dropped!
Anne A. & Bernadette Visit Terry!

Anne A., Bernadette L., and Bruce P-J. visited member Terry W., currently incarcerated at SCI Phoenix (formerly Graterford), on February 1. Terry had just found out that the charges against him in his 3rd-degree case have been dropped! KYW had this report aired on the radio on January 29.

Terry's 1st-degree case is still pending (in PA Superior Court, with the possibility of a re-trial). He is currently serving life, but could potentially go free after 35 years if the re-trial is granted! If you would like to visit Terry, write to him, or be of help to him, please contact Bruce P-J. Here is a photo from the recent visit:

Terry W. is Interested in creating a 501-c3 Nonprofit Focusing on Domestic Abuse & Is Looking for Help

Member Terry W. (currently incarcerated at SCI Phoenix, which used to be called Graterford prison, about 45 minutes from our facility) is interested in starting a nonprofit organization focusing on domestic abuse. If you have any related experience or know someone who might be able to help in the process of applying for 501-c3 status, please contact Bruce P-J. Terry has also offered to help with our Caring Committee, and is hoping to start that work soon. If you would like to write to Terry, his address is: Smart Communications/PA DOC, SCI-Phoenix, Terry Williams AY3626, Post Office Box 33028, St. Petersburg, FL 33733. Communications must be on letter-size (8 ½" x 11") paper, and will be photocopied and sent to Terry - an example of the increasingly inhumane treatment of incarcerated people in this state. Since Terry is close to us now, if you are interested in visiting him at Phoenix, contact Bruce P-J. It could take a month or two to get on his visitor list, but he'd love to see anyone who wants to visit from his congregation! There is also an email system you can use to communicate with Terry - ask Bruce if you are interested.

Terry W. Meets Our Minister and Moderator!

Member Terry W. (currently incarcerated at SCI Phoenix, which used to be called Graterford prison, about 45 minutes from our facility) was able to meet for the first time our Minister, Rev. McKinley S., and our Moderator, Fern C., on October 27! If you don't know Terry's story, go to our website, select Words of Inspiration, and click on Reaching Through the Bars. If you would like to write to Terry, his address is:
Smart Communications/PA DOC, SCI-Phoenix,
Terry Williams AY3626, Post Office Box 33028,
St. Petersburg, FL 33733.
Communicationsmust be on letter-size (8 ½" x 11") paper, and will be photocopied and sent to Terry - an example of the increasingly inhumane treatment of incarcerated people in this state. Since Terry is close to us now, if you are interested in visiting him at Phoenix, contact Bruce P-J. It could take a month or two to get on his visitor list, but he'd love to see anyone who wants to visit from his congregation! There is also an email system you can use to communicate with Terry - ask Bruce if you are interested.

Rally for Immigration Rights

Following, are several links important to our congregation's Social Justice program:

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