July 12, 2019
“As a people of faith, we seek to better ourselves, our community, and our world through integrity, justice, and hope.”
Hungry to Make A Difference
A major theme of my time away was witnessing our individual and collective hunger to make a difference. Oscar and Valeria Martinez Ramirez (young father and 23 month old daughter) died while I was gone. After being blocked from crossing the bridge into the U.S. because of a filled quota they tried to swim across the Rio Grande. The waters overtook them and they drowned. La Jornada was there to photograph their bodies floating in the water, the toddler girl’s arm still wrapped around her father’s neck. The picture hit mainstream and social media and was seen by teary eyes across the world.
The evening the picture came out in the Seattle Times Ben and I had dinner with some old friends. The father spoke about how he couldn’t do anything that day except think of Oscar and Valeria, and his own three year old daughter, Cedar. During dinner he kept asking, “what can I do?” I spoke about our own members who have gone to the border to help out. I spoke about the Annunciation house in El Paso. Towards the end he said, “I have a week off in August. I’ll take my daughter and we’ll see what we can do down at the border.”
After Dorner Carmichael spoke about her time on the border, many asked urgently, what can we do? Many have donated to the Annunciation house where Dorner volunteered, and many are actively searching for ways we can make a difference.
I don’t have a whole lot of answers. Probably one of the most far-reaching things we can do is support candidates for the 2020 election that support the humane treatment of immigrants, and help to register voters and get out the vote. The Lights for Liberty vigil tomorrow will highlight local ways we can make a difference, and, of course, family separation is not just a problem for immigrants but also for African Americans who are incarcerated – and separated from their children who need them – at a far higher rate than any other racial group, mostly for nonviolent offenses. We can urge our District Attorneys and law makers to make more compassionate and less punitive laws and spend money on education, prevention instead of punishment.
My friend Pat’s response and the response of many of you upon hearing Dorner’s talk reminded me of a parable, written by UU minister Richard Gilbert:
There was once a great-hearted soul who ran through the city streets crying, “Power, greed, and corruption. Power, greed and corruption.” For a time, the attention of the people was riveted on this single-minded, open-hearted person for whom all of life had become focused on one great question. But then everyone went back to work, only slightly hearing, some annoyed. Finally, a child stepped in front of the wailing figure on a cold and stormy night. “Elder,” said the child, “don’t you realize no one is listening to you?” “Of course I do,” the elder answered. “Then why do you shout?” The child insisted. “If nothing is changing, your efforts are useless.” “Ah, dear child, I do not shout only in order to change them. I shout so that they cannot change me.”
Even as we witness heart-breaking cruelty coming from the powers that be, may these policies and actions not become normal. May we not be changed. May we remember who we are, and that we are all one.
Our theme for the month of July is “What does it mean to be a people of Wonder?”
GA Gems – Rev. Cassandra Howe
General Assembly (GA) is the Annual Meeting of the a Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Our President, the Rev. Susan Frederick Gray, speaks, we sing, dance, discuss and vote on important issues together. What are some of the important issues facing our denomination? Come hear some of the “gems of GA” as experienced by your minister!
Share the Plate with Rebuilding Together
Religious Education for Children and Youth
July 14, 2019
Spiritual Practices – Zen Doodles.
Paula Del Rio – DRE – firstname.lastname@example.org
1. TONIGHT! High Street’s Social Justice Committee invites us to join them at: Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End to Human Detention Camps on Friday July 12th, 8:30pm, at the Government Center (700 Poplar St.) Parking is free beginning 8pm! This event is being put on by Georgia Women.
2. Bring a beautiful rock on Sunday July 14th! This Sunday we’ll be thinking about how Unitarian Universalism is like a rock, even a gem. If you have a beautiful rock, could be a gem, doesn’t have to be, bring it for all to wonder at (place on the table on the chancel).
3. Following the morning service on July 7, Dorner was asked how one could help the immigrant families served by Annunciation House in El Paso. Here’s a link to their donation site: https://annunciationhouse.org/financial-donations/
4. Adult Religious Education Needs You! This summer your Adult Religious Education team is looking for class proposals for the fall, winter and spring 2019-20. Proposals that connect with our UU principles, values and beliefs will be given priority. Courses may be Sunday morning before Sunday Service (anytime between 9:30-10:45am), or other times throughout the week. Please submit all proposals to Cassandra Howe at email@example.com.
5. Collect Water this Summer! When we gather back together for our ingathering service in late summer/early fall we will have what is called a Water Communion. Our “homework” for water communion is collecting a little bit of water as a symbol of that which sustains you. It may be water from your kitchen sink (anyone who has had their water shut off knows the value of public sources of water). It may be from the Ocmulgee river. It may be from a special place you have visited this summer. Bring it to our ingathering service (date to be announced) and feel the power of what happens when we join together as one.
6. Reproductive Justice Worship Team. Are you concerned about reproductive justice in Macon? In Georgia? In our country? Do you want to be part of a team to offer a worship service around such issues as abortion care, families separated at the border, families separated by our criminal justice system, global warming, and more? Please contact Rev. Cassandra if you want to participate in any way: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. OUR GUEST MINISTER on July 28th will be the Rev. Dr. Ed Brock, who currently serves as the Interim Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Huntsville, AL. He has served UU congregations throughout the US and Canada. A former United Methodist minister, Dr. Brock is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University. He also has a Doctor of Ministry from Wisdom University in Oakland, CA and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Optimal Relationships by Ed Brock, published by CreateSpace in 2018, “… provides a roadmap for developing, nurturing and keeping healthy and vibrant relationships in all aspects of life. The material of this book will be valuable to professionals engaged in helping people with their relationship challenges as well as anyone who is simply seeking greater clarity about improving their relationships.” Copies will be available for purchase following the service on July 28th.
8. A Letter from Taylor Dempsey
My name is Taylor Dempsey and I have been diagnosed with end stage renal failure. I have been on the waiting list for a kidney at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for the past 3 years. I am a twenty-two –year- old studying to be a Dental Assistant at Central Georgia Technical College. Prior to starting dialysis in July 2018, I worked part-time as a waitress. Now I baby-sit and work at our church nursery.
I was born with one functioning kidney and was a patient at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta until I reached nineteen, when I was transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. I have been told by my doctors that I am a good transplant candidate.
If you would like to help me, please call Donor Registry @ 855.366.7989 or go on-line to Emory.donorscreen.org. There is no medical expense for donors and a donation in my name, even if you are not a match for me, will move me up the list for transplant. You can also help by emailing my information to your friends or family who may be interested. I appreciate your time and interest.
Information that you need to be a donor:
Name: Taylor Marie Dempsey
Date of birth: 12/19/1996
9. Join The Mountain’s Fall Institute: Aging to Saging! Oct 6-11. Become a “Superb-Ager!” Want to be a “Superb-Ager” or know someone aiming for this? Learn which of our behaviors empowers us to flourish as we age, and which behaviors to avoid for a successful journey from aging to saging. SUUFI (Southern UU Fall Institute) 2019 will help us learn what superb-aging is and how to get there!
Dr. Rita Brodnax, our Lead Presenter is an expert in neuroscience and learning. She brings her passion for applying brain research to teaching so that every individual learns and reaches their goals. Dr. Brodnax gives definitive, research-based answers about how to use your own brain better and how to capture the blessings and benefits of elderhood to become a Superb-Ager. Rita gets rave reviews for participant engagement as she consults and teaches OLLI classes in JAX, FL. She is fun and epitomizes sage-ing…!
The morning general session sets the stage for an afternoon of 20+ workshops by other skilled leaders to enable further understanding, refresh priorities, review productive strategies, and participate in various opportunities for relaxed enjoyment.
A workshop “Snapshot” is attached reflecting the range of choices, including indoors or outdoors, contemplative or hands-on, instructional or interactive, onsite or offsite, etc.
Do it! Pursue it! Lift your Spirit, Mind, and Body at SUUFI 2019. Enjoy The Mountain’s retreat site and the autumn coolness as it helps you escape the hassles and demands of city life, while offering excellent food including vegan, evening entertainment, and small group interactions for renewing and connecting fellowship.
Register at https://themountainrlc.org/event/suufi-southern-uu-fall-institute-2019/ by 8/9 to get Early Bird Discount of $25/person on 6day/5night package. Hurry—33 have registered already! Reserve your spot!!!
10. The Social Activities Committee is looking for volunteers to handle coffee hour for the next few weeks. This will involve arriving early to make the coffee and set out some snacks, as well as cleaning up afterwards and making sure the church is locked up once coffee hour is finished. If you are willing and able, please see David Hensley after the service, or reach out to him via email, Facebook messenger, or phone call.
11. Daybreak is in need of the following items: Lysol spray and hand wipes, bleach, iced tea & lemonade mixes, powdered drink mix/juice, stirrers for coffee, napkins, and canned fruit for snacks & breakfast.
12. Are you in a financial pinch? Medical bills make rent hard to pay? Could use marital therapy but you just can’t afford it? Consider talking with Rev. Cassandra about the Minister’s Discretionary Fund! This fund is set aside for members and friends of the High Street Community who find themselves in a short term financial pinch. Kroger cards are also available for those in need. Call 510-225-8921. Rev. Cassandra
13. Help Others! Please check out the Social Justice webpage for what you can do for others. Specific needs that change often will be placed in this Announcements section
The following calendar is from this month’s newsletter. Please check the Announcements section above for any updates!