I’m in Montgomery Alabama as I write this, here as part of a colleague’s ordination ceremony. In some stroke of fate, I’m here the day after the Alabama Legislature—25 white men—voted to outlaw abortion, even in the case of incest and rape. They also voted that doctors who perform this medical procedure face life in jail. And, just as I arrived, the Governor signed it into law.
I spent the afternoon driving around to see the sights of Montgomery and what struck me most was the dominant presence of the Confederacy, right next to landmarks of the 1950s and 1960s civil rights movement. Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where the Montgomery Bus Boycott was organized by folks including the young Dr. Martin Luther King, is just blocks from the original Confederate White House, where Jefferson Davis lived until the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond. That House—now a museum—is directly across the street from the Capitol building. The Rosa Parks museum is right down the block from the marker for the Montgomery Slave Market. All of the history—the good the bad and the ugly—is mixed in one giant stew of wildly divergent viewpoints and experiences about America. Continue reading →
The theme for May is “curiosity” – a strong desire to know or learn something. When I read this definition, I thought I could see an immediate connection between curiosity and open-mindedness. I had to see whether others found a similar connection.
The website, SelfGrowth.com’s, contributor Rikky Maas observes,
When you’re curious about something, you keep an open mind. Being curious is a state of wonder, in which you look for answers about the unknown. Asking questions about things is the direct opposite of judging things. Imagine how much kinder the world would be if everybody went ‘Ah what’s this? How does that work? What can this do?’ instead of ‘I like this, I don’t like that, that’s stupid’.
When you’re curious, you’re okay with not knowing. You embrace a certain insecurity, and it takes strength to do so. It’s much easier to hide behind fact, opinion or thought, whether false or true. You have to be okay with being vulnerable. It takes tremendous courage to show yourself unknowing. It takes courage to have no belief to hold on to. Continue reading →
UUCM’s Social Justice Ministry keeps members and friends informed about upcoming social justice events and activities of interest. We encourage you to participate and help build the congregation’s capacity to educate, serve, witness, and advocate for social justice. If you have a social justice event you would like to publicize, contact John Ziegenhagen.
Family focus – Stay Woke website. Stay Woke is an online resource for youth in grades 9 and up. Their tagline is “Learn-Build-Resist”, and they organize youth in working groups to effect change in policy, data, elections, and design. Stay Woke is a citizen-driven effort to organize and engage Americans to advance equity and justice. Users must fill out a simple Google form with their interests and zip code.
Saturday, May 18
Climate Justice – A Better Future for Us All, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., First Unitarian Society, 900 Mount Curve, Mpls. This workshop will build a narrative on the human right to a safe and habitable environment and the challenges posed by over consumption and a rapidly industrializing world. Panel members will share stories and creative solutions to address the degradation of our environment and the inequalities within our communities. Come learn from energy experts, climate activists, farmers, community organizers, and medical professionals about how we can ensure climate justice for all. Speaker list and full schedule (which includes free lunch) available here. RSVP on Facebook.
Saturday, May 18
Family focus – Nerf battle for Violence Prevention. Project My Neighborhood is hosting the “World’s Largest Toy Battle & Bullying Prevention Event.” They are hosting this event to raise funds for a bullying prevention efforts. The nerf battle is intended for ages 5 and up. Tickets are $10 and you can register online.
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 21-22
Family focus – Movement for Violence Prevention – Tubman’s Movement for Violence Prevention (MVP) series helps youth organize around violence prevention. This class will help teens expand their knowledge about violence prevention strategies and will also give them tools to provide presentations to other youth so they can create safer communities. Participants receive a flash drive with a pre-loaded PowerPoint presentation and a certificate recognizing graduates of Tubman’s MVP action team after completing the course. Participation in this course also serves as a great resume builder that showcases a commitment to making a difference. MVP helps youth organize social justice projects about violence prevention. There is no cost to join, but participants must attend two sessions to complete MVP. An additional session will be held July 16-17. Learn more and register online.
Tuesday, May 21
What’s Your Solar Plan? Energy Efficiency, Solar and More. 6:30-8:30 p.m., MNIPL Office, 4407 E. Lake St., Mpls. Join in a conversation about your energy consumption and how to transition to solar power in a way that works for you! Groups that will be presenting include the Center for the Energy and the Environment (home energy audits), Apadana Solar (roof-top solar), Citizens Utility Board (understanding your energy bill), and Cooperative Energy Futures (community solar). Bring your energy bill with you so that you get the most out of this great evening. RSVP here. Continue reading →
Brighten a holiday for our neighbors – last chance!
The first day of Ramadan was May 5. As a faith-filled tradition, our Muslim neighbors started fasting from sun up to sun down during this holy month. When Ramadan ends in early June families celebrate by buying clothing for children and creating cherished memories at family entertainment venues.
Our Eid Holiday Program still needs your help. $50 will help alleviate the financial stress of this holiday period for 250 people. Can you help our Muslim neighbors the same way we help our Christian and Jewish neighbors in November-December? Please consider giving any amount online at iocp.org/donate by May 27 (select “Eid Holiday Program” from the drop-down menu). Thank you for sharing this special holiday joy with our neighbors! Continue reading →
Andrea will be leaving us in just a few short weeks, and we’d love to send her off with a gift from the congregation celebrating her retirement and years of dedication to UUCM families. Look for the collection box in the community room and show your appreciation by making a contribution toward this gift between now and the deadline of Sunday, May 26. Contact Malia Brandt with any questions.
Sunday, June 23 at 11 AM at Loring Park – 1382 Willow Street in Minneapolis
The Twin Cities Pride Festival is a CELEBRATION of the LGBTQ+ Community. There will be 400 exhibitor booths, 40 food vendors, and 4 free stages with music and other performances. All LGBTQ+ people and allies are welcome! The event is FREE. Click here to learn more. UUCM is registered to be a part of the MUUSJA group, and we need to have an idea of the number of people who can attend. Contact Mary Cotton at 763-442-5808 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or with any questions. Please RSVP by THIS SUNDAY.
If you made a pledge in 2018 for the current fiscal year, please plan on paying the balance of your pledge by Friday June 28 (our fiscal year closes on Sunday, June 30). To check the status of your pledge payments, you can either contact Fred Hulting or login into your online UUCM directory account and look under “Contributions”. If you do not have an account, you may contact the office to set that up. Thank you all for your support of UUCM!
On Sunday, this year’s teaching volunteers will be recognized and thanked in the worship service, and they will also receive a small representative gift of thanks on behalf of the congregation. Please add to this occasion by signing notes to the spring teachers that are available in the Community Room after today’s service. It is hard to say thank you enough to the many UUCM volunteers, but it helps tremendously to receive a short personal note from someone who cares and understands the importance of their role. You may also send messages to Andrea for sharing with some or all of these fine volunteers.
Our children would love to learn about you, your hobbies and interests. “Summer Sunday Fun” sessions are just for that. Cooking, painting, hiking, group games, gardening, and more. You can partner with a friend to share your joy, to make it more fun. For more information and the schedule of dates go to https://tinyurl.com/SumFun2019.