Homelessness and Housing Selected as UUCM’s Social Justice Focus

The UUCM Social Justice Ministry Team is excited to announce that Homelessness and Housing will be our congregational focus for the year. We spent a good deal of time discerning the many issues that call us and the purpose of congregational-based social justice work. We believe having one primary focus area will help UUCM increase our community connections and have a measurable impact on an issue.

Affordable housing is a crisis not just in the city core, but even more in the suburbs. Work around this issue is deeply grounded at UUCM through our long partnership with IOCP (Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners); our youth’s commitment through their participation in the Sleep Out for the Homeless program, food drives, and summer mission trips; and how this issue directly connects with UUCM’s mission and ends. Continue reading →

Social Justice Family Events: January/February

NEWLY ADDED EVENTS/ACTIVITIES! (as of 1/24/20)

Family focus – Youth day at the capital – February 25, 2020. Youth (middle school or older) may be interested in attending Youth Day at the Capital. The event includes  advocacy training, meetings with legislators, and the opportunity to check out exhibits Minnesota History Center. Learn more and register on  EventBrite.

Family focus – Mom’s Rising.  A useful social justice resource to check out is Mom’s Rising. Mom’s Rising is a national network of citizens taking on critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions to: (a) Bring the voices and real world experiences of women and mothers straight to our local, state, and nation’s leaders; (b) Amplify women’s voices and policy issues in the national dialogue & in the media across all platforms (from print, to radio, to blogs, social media, and more); (c) Accelerate grassroots impact on Capitol Hill and at state capitols across the country; and (d) Hold corporations accountable for fair treatment of women and mothers & for ensuring the safety of their products. Their website provides recommended action items and opportunities to stay informed via email or text regarding issues such as workplace justice, maternal justice gun safety, health care, immigration, and others.

Family focus – Valentine’s Day ideas. According to at least some stories, Valentine’s Day has a history rooted in overcoming injustice. Learn more at Teaching Tolerance, along with discussion questions and activities geared to helping elementary and middle school youth ensure that Valentine’s day is celebrated in ways that are inclusive and welcoming. Families can also take the Doing Good Together Valentine’s-themed 28 days of kindness challenge. Continue reading →

Advocacy Training

Sunday, February 2 at 11:45 am (preceded by lunch)
Do you know who your local, state and national representatives are and how to encourage them to support legislation on important issues that align with UU values? Part of affecting social change is advocacy — working together through the legislative process to impact public policy. Following worship on Feb. 2, Rev. Meg Riley, from UUCM, and Jean Hammink, from Unity Church-Unitarian in St Paul, will offer advocacy training. This is particularly timely as precinct caucases are on Feb. 25, where resolutions will be discussed, delegates elected to congressional districts and state conventions, and party platforms set. Before the training begins at 11:45 AM, we’ll serve a lunch of soup and sandwiches right after the service. Feel free to invite friends and neighbors to join us!

Interested in helping certify UUCM as a Green Sanctuary?

We are looking for members to join us in our goal of “greening” our church. If you are interested in being a part of this please contact one of us. Our next meeting will be Feb 4 at 10:00am in the Oak Room. With questions or to learn more, contact:

Sue and Richard Asinger, 612-703-2297, sueasinger@yahoo.com
Frank and Ginny Meuers 763-557-6588, frankginnym4220@gmail.com
Nancy Murnane 763-544-2142, nancy.murnane@comcast.net
Jackie Smolen 612-581-5731, jackiesmo@aol.com

Churches, Politics and the Electoral Cycle

This coming election year is a big one, and UUs across the country are being encouraged to boldly engage our values in the electoral cycle. But it can be confusing to know what is appropriate for non-profit organizations with 501(c)3 status, including churches and other faith communities.

The short answer is there’s a lot we can do as long as we are not partisan.

This means we can engage in issue-based advocacy, promote local ballot measures, and perform voter education and mobilization, as long as this work is not done for a specific political party, as an endorsement of a specific candidate, or to impact whether or not a particular candidate wins an election.

Because the UUA knows many of us have questions or concerns, they will be updating and providing clear guidance to the most frequently asked questions later this month (which we’ll share here on UUCM Happenings). In the meantime, the UUA publication The Real Rules is a terrific go-to source, as are the summaries provided by Bolder Advocacy.

If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Terri.

Social Generosity Offering: January 2020

Our JANUARY Social Generosity Offering will go to the Minneapolis Foundation, and specifically their efforts to support survivors of the recent Drake Hotel fire. The Foundation’s goal is to immediately support urgent needs – such as safe temporary shelter, food, and emergency supplies – while also developing strategies to help families find affordable and stable long-term housing. So far, the Minneapolis Foundation has distributed $133,000 from the Minnesota Helps – Drake Hotel Fire Recovery Fund. Visit minneapolisfoundation.org to learn more and check out this article in the Star Tribune.

Additional resource: Minnesota Helps Fund Continues to Distribute Resources to Support Survivors of the Drake Hotel Fire

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. NEW: Donate by PayPal or credit card at bit.ly/uucmsocialgen. 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 Offering: December 2019

Our DECEMBER Social Generosity Offering will go to Guest At Your Table (GAYT), the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s (UUSC’s) annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. This year, the theme is Women Leaders, Strong Communities. UUSC is proud to partner with women leaders who are increasing representation for women in their communities, while strengthening access to justice for all.

UUSC is sharing stories of hope, highlighting four women leaders in human rights. Pelenise is responding boldly to climate change, Marta and Wai Wai are advocating for women in the face of hatred and violence, and Monica is using the arts to bolster resiliency and leadership among migrants. These women, and so many others UUSC has the privilege of supporting, are transforming what freedom and justice look like in their communities. Click here to learn more.

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. NEW: Donate by PayPal or credit card at bit.ly/uucmsocialgen. 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.