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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

Justice Council

In February and March, we discussed The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich, about the challenges faced by American Indians in the 1950s. This was suggested by Elaine F, who did a wonderful job preparing resource documents and leading the discussion. In April we read aloud together and discussed The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson, a book of poetry for all ages that we highly recommend for parents, teachers, and libraries. In May and June we will be discussing Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown, who will be a featured speaker at the UUA General Assembly (GA) this summer. The Ware Lecturer (featured speaker) will be Ibram X. Kendi, whose book How to Be an Antiracist we read a couple of years ago, and whose Institute of Antiracism Research we supported with our Change for Change in March. Keep an eye out in the weekly newsletter for specific dates and details of future discussions.

Our next book is likely to be The 1619 Project after we finish Emergent Strategy. We are also thinking about adding The Deepest Well, about the lasting trauma resulting from racism and how to deal with it.

We plan to plug into UU the Vote and POWER voter registration and engagement campaigns as we prepare for the General election in November. These midterm elections will be critical for the direction our country will be heading for years to come. Keep an eye out to the weekly newsletter for details of how you can get involved.

We have now had all 6 workshops about Reparations and cultural competence with N'COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for

Reparations in America. Our facilitator was Rashaun Williams, who did an amazing job conveying a huge amount of information, as well as resources for us to continue to educate ourselves. N'COBRA is working on a petition for a Ballot Question to create a Reparations Commission in Philadelphia. This commission would not only do a study and make recommendations, but would be empowered to take action, and includes a procedure for ensuring that the voices of those directly impacted (Descendants of Africans Enslaved in the US, sometimes referred to as "DAEUS") are fully represented. Rashaun is helping to create a coalition called Rep 215 to bring in younger activists to work with N’COBRA on this project. He has asked us at UUs of Mt. Airy to find people we know who are movers and shakers in progressive organizations to introduce them to the idea of the petition and Rep 215 and see if they are willing to be contacted by Rashaun and others about it. Rashaun is hoping to have a publicity project in June, and to try to time our connecting with our contacts to overlap with that.

We have also talked about connecting with Greene Street Friends school about their Reparations work, and about things we might be able to do from a Reparations point of view when we use or sing Negro Spirituals, as Jane Hulting has suggested and other congregations have started to explore. Rashaun has suggested, and we are considering, taking leadership in a local interfaith Reparations affinity group, possibly in coordination with Rev. Naomi Leaphart Washington, who has led services for us in the past, works with Bruce at Villanova, and is Mayor's Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs in Philly. We may want to explore our own congregational history with racial justice over the years.

8th Principle Team Update

The 8th Principle that we adopted in 2017 is: “Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions”. Our congregation was the first in the country to adopt it, but at this moment, over 150 have now adopted it (out of about 1000), and that number was only about 30 a year ago!

Our 8th Principle Team is Bruce PJ, Portia H, Cathy M, Anam OE, Fern C, and Wayne B (with Rev. McKinley ex-officio). In February, we organized and facilitated Dinners for 8th gatherings (on Zoom only, unfortunately, although one came close to being in person…) with a focus on the idea of Covenant, talking about times when we have felt especially connected with our Restoration/UUs of Mt. Airy community, and also about times when we have felt less connected. As before, these were deep and meaningful conversations, and we look forward to doing more Dinners for 8th in the not-too-distant future.

Now that our Covenant work is coming to a conclusion, we are gearing up for following up on our Widening the Circle conversations from January to June of last year. As preparation, our Team is reading Journeys of Race, Color, & Culture by Rick Huntley, Rianna Moore, and Carol Pierce, to give a framework for our process in this work. We expect this work to start this summer, and continue through much of next year. Some of the areas we plan to examine are Governance/Decision-Making (moving to more inclusive modes of decision-making, such as possibly Modified Consensus), Radical Hospitality, and Leadership Development (incorporating the work of the Nominating Committee). Look in the weekly newsletter for dates and times of specific gatherings as they get scheduled, and participate!

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


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

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