Social Justice Action Update: 8/18/19

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.


EVENTS

Family focus: IOCP Back-to-School Supply Drive. Back-to-school is right around the corner!  IOCP is collecting school supplies for youth grades K-12 throughout the month of August. Volunteers are also needed to help distribute supplies to our families. High school youth can also sign up to help sort and organize school supplies; middle school youth need to register with a parent. Learn more at IOCP.

Family focus – Kids in Need Minnesota. Kids In Need Minnesota’s (KINMN) mission is to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing free school supplies to students most in need throughout Minnesota.  Operating as a free store for teachers serving eligible area schools, KINMN provides much needed supplies to their students for learning and excelling in the classroom. KINMN offers numerous opportunities for individuals or groups to volunteer with a variety of tasks, such as packing backpacks with school supplies. They also host a monthly Saturday Community Volunteer Day. Children as young as five can volunteer with a parent. Learn more and sign up at their website.

Sunday, August 18

Deep Canvassing Information Session, 9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m.., Sabes Jewish Community  Center, 4330 S. Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park.  Deep canvassing brings us into real conversations and deep listening that move past the headlines. When we listen to someone else’s experience and share ours, we have a better chance of overcoming political divisions, forging connections, and creating the changes we want to see. 

Through August 18

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Avenue S., Mpls.  Presented by Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the NY Times calls the exhibition “much-anticipated” and ArtForum says it’s “groundbreaking.” Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and Native-art scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the U.S. and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs—from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographs, videos, and a gleaming El Camino—show astonishing innovation and technical mastery. Continue reading →

Interfaith Outreach: 8/18/19

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One-time Event Volunteer Opportunities!

We are in need of volunteers for upcoming events:

  • Back to School Drive – Shifts most needed Aug. 27-Sept. 6 at iocp.org/backtoschool. Assist families on distribution day, help at our Back to School resource fair, or be on the cleanup crew.
  • James J. Hill Days – We are looking for volunteers of all ages and races to join us as we walk together in the James J. Hill Days parade on Sept. 8.
  • 40th Anniversary Celebration – Help us celebrate 40 years together! We’ll be hosting a community wide 40th Anniversary Celebration in our parking lot on Sept. 14. Volunteers are needed to serve food, assist with games, face paint, or set up/clean up.

View more details and sign up at iocp.volunteerhub.com

Volunteer to Support Our Youth

Make a difference in the lives of local youth! Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners and the Orono and Wayzata school districts need help from community members like you!

  • After-school Mentor (working with elementary students)
  • Literacy Program (working with elementary students)
  • High School Mentor (during lunch hour, monthly)
  • Meal Provider or Host (for parent education program, evening)
  • Child Care Volunteer (variety of locations)

Contact Najmo Yusuf at nyusuf@iocp.org today to find what best suits your passion and availability! Continue reading →

Beloved Conversations Coming This Fall

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We’re excited to bring back Beloved Conversations again this fall. Around 40 members have already gone through this immersive small-group curriculum for exploring race/ethnicity in our lives and in the life of this congregation. It is a meaningful and deep experience as we work to interrupt racism and dig into how racial truths shape our ways of being with each other. The curriculum also supports the different learning and participation needs of people of color and white congregants.

This may be the last offering of this program for a while. If you’ve been on the fence or would like to take it again (which we encourage!), don’t miss out. We will begin in September with an opening retreat (Friday night and all day Saturday) followed by 8 weekly 2-hour sessions on Sunday afternoons. Exact dates and registration will be available soon. Please contact Terri at revterri@uucmtka.org if you’re interested.

Continue reading →

Social Generosity Offering: August 2019

Our AUGUST Social Generosity Offering will go to the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA). MUUSJA equips individual Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations to be skilled, accountable, faithful partners with broad movements working for justice and collective liberation. They strive to work in solidarity with all communities seeking to bend the arc of the universe toward justice. MUUSJA is rooted in Unitarian Universalist understanding of the inherent worth and dignity of all humans, and our radical interdependence with all of creation. In their own words:

“We are UUs from across the state of Minnesota—diverse, spirited, and deeply committed and firmly grounded in our UU principles of world peace, justice, and sustainability. We work together on focused programs of education, witness, and systemic change to create a world that works for everyone.

A key MUUSJA goal is to develop the capacity of Minnesota Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations to work effectively for systemic change and social justice. Because we do this work as Unitarian Universalists, we aspire to help Minnesota UUs develop and deepen our religious voice, and to bring this voice to the public square.

Because we aim to make a difference, we work to build a lasting social justice organization and to prepare UUs to use an action, reflection, collaboration approach to social change ~ action to combat root causes of injustice; reflection to evaluate our progress and ground our work spiritually; and collaboration with faith based and secular social change organizations (including communities deeply affected by our target issues) to maximize our power and impact. Our collaborative work includes developing a social change infrastructure that shifts the political climate toward a social agenda that serves the common good.”

Note: All cash placed in the Sunday collection, as well as checks to “UUCM” with “Social Generosity” in the memo line, will go towards the Social Generosity cause for the current month. You may also use the basket to make other contributions to UUCM. Simply make your check out to “UUCM” with instructions in the memo line.

Social Generosity at UUCM

Every Sunday, UUCM donates the entire open offering to a social justice cause (more details are available in the Social Generosity section on our website). The Social Justice ministry is happy to report that UUCM has collected and distributed $112,899.70 from July 2010 until June 2019 in our Social Generosity efforts. We want to thank the congregation for putting your money where your values are. You should  be proud of your part in this ongoing show of support that  this congregation practices each week during our Sunday services.  I can testify to the fact that at certain times I can only afford to put $2 or $3 in the offering basket and I wish I could do more because UUCM feeds my soul every week and I want to help people and organizations that share my principles and values.  After ushering one Sunday, as I was sorting the bills and checks, I noticed how many $1 bills were in the basket. One week there were so many I could hardly fit the collection in the bank envelope. This tells me that even a small donation is important because it adds to the total. Every dollar counts.

Thank you so much,

Fay LaVigne
Social Justice Ministry

2019 Twin Cities Pride Parade

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Stephanie Siewert, a member at UUCM (and our treasurer!) shared some beautiful photos from her participation in the 2019 Twin Cities Pride parade with MUUSJA – the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance. Below, Stephanie talks about the experience in her own words.

“I was proud to represent UUCM and loved meeting other metro area UU’s. It was a powerful experience of solidarity. I can’t recall a time I’ve felt more love and affirmation in the air among crowds of strangers and it was awesome!”

Here is an article with more coverage of the event, including a photo and statement from Danny Givens Jr., who spoke at UUCM this past March:

“We’re here representing MUUSJA, an organization designed to help faith-based organizations and churches to become more aligned with their mission of values around social justice, and lending our voice, our body, our institution, our social capital to any area of injustice that exists in the land. We have to stay in direct relationship with the marginalization and the oppression that exists within the Pride community. More specifically, MUUSJA has been very instrumental in the marriage equality work, and we’ve been doing some great things, and many of our ministers and lay leaders identify as LGBTQ, so we’re a very inclusive denomination as well.”

Social Generosity Offering: July 2019

Our JULY Social Generosity Offering will go to the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC). MIRAC is an all-volunteer, grassroots multiracial & multinational immigrant rights organization in Minnesota. MIRAC fights for legalization for all, an end to immigration raids & deportations, an end to all anti-immigrant laws, and full equality in all areas of life. MIRAC was formed in Spring 2006 out of the huge immigrant rights marches. They have organized many protests, marches and other activities for immigrant rights in Minnesota since then.

Note: All cash placed in the Sunday collection, as well as checks to “UUCM” with “Social Generosity” in the memo line, will go towards the Social Generosity cause for the current month. You may also use the basket to make other contributions to UUCM. Simply make your check out to “UUCM” with instructions in the memo line.