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UPCOMING EVENTS NEWS AND INFORMATION


Administrative Office Hours

Wednesday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Email the Office
or phone 215-247-2561.

If you need to reach Desi
you can call or text her on her
cell at 267-595-3250 - 24/7.

Minister's Office Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday by Appointment

Email the Minister
or phone 806-786-9733.

Social Justice News and Events

Sunday, July 28 —

Got Election Nerves? Come Write with Us!

If you're getting nervous about the November election, channel that energy into activism! Join us and Vote Forward in writing letters to voters encouraging them to get to the polls on November 5th.

Vote Forward is a non-partisan, democracy-positive voter activism organization that educates citizens about the importance of voting in elections at all levels of government. Voting is our right and one of our most important responsibilities as citizens. We plan to "adopt" 1000 voters from Vote Forward's national lists and write brief, personalized letters to tell them why we vote and to encourage them to do so. We'll start with a goal of 300 letters at Coffee Hour on Sunday, July 28. Everything will be provided: lists of names, pre-printed letters, and pens. All you need to do is show up and write. Can't make it on the 28th? No worries. More dates to come.

For questions, seek out Brenda R, Bethe O, or Deb G.

Sunday, August 4 —

Film Screening & Discussion: "Bad Faith"

Sunday, August 4 at 1pm | Mainline Unitarian Church: Devon, PA

Wednesday, August 7 —

Join us in watching the movie: What the Bleep Do We Know?!
(Worship Zoom link) Wednesday, August 7, starting at 7pm

The current book we are reading in the UUsMA book group is Race and the Cosmos by Barabara A. Holmes which challenges us to revise our beliefs about religion, race, and science, especially when viewed through the lens of quantum physics. As part of the book discussion we will be showing the movie "What the Bleep Do We Know?" a 2004 movie which may have skipped your radar, but was and still is a groundbreaking movie that deserves our attention today. Embark on a life-changing journey with Amanda (played by Marlee Marlin) a divorced photographer who tumbles down a metaphysical rabbit hole. Her mind-bending voyage through the world of science and spirituality includes revelations by quantum physics experts, playful animation, and even a conversation with a wise 35,000 year old being . Her world is turned inside out as finds the meaning of life. You do not have to have had any prior reading or homework to see this movie. Just bring your own virtual popcorn and drinks and be ready for some follow up conversation.

Friday, August 9 —

Next up in UUsMA Community Film/Lecture Series:


An Insider’s Look at the War in Gaza

UUsMA is partnering with Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting to host Liz Demarest, Vice President of Communications for the American Near East Refugee Aid organization (ANERA, last month’s Change for Change recipient) who will speak about “An Insider’s Look at the War in Gaza”.

Date: Friday, August 9, 2024
Time: 6 pm
Location: Chestnut Hill Meeting House, 20 E. Mermaid Lane, Chestnut Hill

Tuesdays, September 17 and October 15 —

UUtheVote

The UUA/UUTheVote is organizing two national UU phone banks dedicated to calling Pennsylvania voters on September 17 and again on October 15. More information coming...

Every Summer Saturday —

Weekly, on Sundays —

Hello Justice Council Friends

This is a special notice with information from UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME) and UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ) on a Vigil for Gaza that’s held weekly on Sunday evenings hosted by DRUUM (the Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministry), Church of Larger Fellowship (CLF), and the UUs for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME).

In addition, see the attached information on an Action for Immediate Witness (AIW) in Solidarity with Palestine being submitted for discussion and a vote at virtual General Assembly June 20-23, 2024. We are being asked to endorse the AIW as individual UU members and clergy.

In Solidarity for Peace with Justice in Palestine-Israel,
Craig S, Justice Council Co-Chair (412) 760-6478

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Guidelines for Monthly Change for Change

The Justice Council has established the following Guidelines for the recommendation and selection of an organization that will receive our monthly Change for Change Offering:

“We will select organizations led by and primarily serving Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color in our surrounding community* as well as periodic, special projects from UUA associated organizations such as Side With Love, UU Service Committee, UU the Vote, and UU Ministry for the Earth that reflect our congregational values and interests in promoting justice.”

* Note: Community is defined as Germantown and Mt Airy and other NW Philly neighborhoods. This guideline does not exclude nominations for organizations based in or serving communities in which UUs of Mt. Airy members live and are active.
Contact: Rita F (215) 407-0576 to nominate an organization or for more information.

Garden Update

Mary Ellen N provides an update to the progress related to the garden, just in case you are wondering, and if not, hopefully that means you are having a great summer.

As many of you may know, thanks to the efforts of a lot of folks, we got the beds together and the homemade mulch and the soil in bed #1. Some of the soil was donated (thank you!) and the rest was from Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS). In the second bed, we put in all the necessary layers/mulch to get started. Mary Ellen then started germinating seeds to get the beans and corn as the squash went in the first with a few other free plants from PHS and we added more soil and put in the starter plants from the germinated seeds.

We still need more soil and will germinate more seeds or get a few more starter plants. The important thing is, we got the 3 Sisters planting done for this year and then some! WHOOT! WHOOT!

The first bed has grown beautifully thanks to Barb Mc stopping by to water and with the help of our esteemed groundskeeper, Mike F, filling our watering can.

Thanks again for all your support and great efforts in getting the planting off to a great start! Big shout out to Bruce & Linda P-J, Neil K, Holly J, Sharon F, Barb Mc, Janet M, Cathy Mc, Mike F, and Fern C for all their work.

We do need volunteers to help with watering!

Contact: Mary Ellen N, (609) 933-2120

Philly Reparations Movement Update,
Unitarian Society of Germantown (USG)
Vanessa Lowe's “Money Hour” on Germantown Community Radio

Vanessa Lowe, USG member and co-chair of the USG Justice Council, hosts a bi-weekly show on Spotify “Money Hour”. She recently assembled a panel of Reparations leaders from the local Germantown/Mt. Airy communities to provide a primer on Reparations and an update on the Philly Reparations Movement.

Her panel included:

  • Reverend (+ Esq) Jackie Newsome from the City's Reparations Task Force⁠⁠ Associate Pastor at FUMCOG
  • Lucy Duncan, formerly co-chair of Mayor’s Commission on Faith Based and Interfaith Affairs, currently Co-Director of ReparationWorks; member of Steering Committee on Rise Up for Reparations, and co-founder of Green Street Friends Reparations Committee
  • Deborah Coleman of USG, member of USG Reparations Committee
⁠⁠ If you have the time (1 hour), well worth the listen…

Related resources:
USG Approved Reparations Proposal
Green Street Friends Reparations Project Updates on Facebook
Green Street Friends Reparations Plan in The Philadelphia Inquirer
Green Street Friends Reparations Journey

Mt. Airy Fridge and Food Pantry

Founded by two of our UUsMA members with a life-long resident of East Mt. Airy, our Mt Airy Community Fridge affirms food as a right not a privilege and is founded on radical hospitality: We are all here to help each other. The folks that come to get food also often help stock and clean the shelves and break down boxes. Folks from the neighborhood as well as our congregation donate food. There are no requirements, no qualifiers. And we even compost! You can be a part of this wonderful project. Volunteers are needed to pick up food from distribution sites, to help stock the shelves, to help bag bulk produce, and to help keep it clean. Meeting and helping neighbors, reaching out. What better way to live our values?

Pantry Wish list:
canned goods
microwavable meals
shopping bags
cleaning supplies

* For composting: coffee grounds, newspaper, brown paper bags Place these items in lower Pantry shelf with “Composting Materials” sign.

Contributions particularly needed on Sundays and Mondays when there are no scheduled deliveries!

To Volunteer: Contact Laurie D, 215-514-7955 or Deb G, 412-600-9400

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 250 have now adopted it (out of about 1000), and that number was only about 30 a few years ago!

Our 8th Principle Team is Bruce P-J, Portia H, Cathy M, Anam O-E, Fern C, Domita S, and Mary L, (with Rev. McKinley and Ministerial Intern Shaie Dively ex-officio).

This church year we have been focusing on the Meadville/Lombard Beloved Conversations Among program, expecting it will be an excellent structure for us to follow up on our Widening the Circle conversations from January to June of 2021. In recent months we have been looking at trauma in general and in congregations, and have started on the process of assessment of our evolution as an antiracist organization.

This will guide us in our detailed re-examination of our bylaws, policies, procedures, and practices from this perspective. We will also continue our exploration of implementing Radical Hospitality, leadership development, and inclusive decision making.

Rev. McKinley, Intern Minister Shaie Dively, and our Worship Associates have been having roughly monthly worship services about the proposed Article II to the national Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) bylaws which will be voted on to replace the current Principles and Sources. The Article II revision was sparked by our congregation proposing the 8th Principle as a Responsive Resolution at the UUA General Assembly (GA) in 2017. The spirit and wording are largely inspired by the 8th Principle. Our delegates will vote on whether to adopt the proposed Article II changes at GA in June.

Looking to the future, partly inspired by work in Among, we are thinking about creating a Right Relations Team to deal with conflict, especially when social identities are a significant factor.
— Bruce P-J

Justice Council Summer Report

Justice Council members continued to focus their energies on living out our commitment to building a Beloved Community through projects aimed at responding to the needs of our surrounding community as well as our own deep spiritual yearning to bring about social change in our city and society, creating greater wholeness and equity for all.

This report covers the Justice Council (JC) activities from March through May, 2024.

Reparations: We are led by a vision of overcoming white privilege and norms in ourselves, congregational life and society and bringing about reparations, healing, and repair for the harms of colonization and slavery and continuing systemic racism as it impacts Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color.

Our Congregation History research has continued seeking to account for harms the congregation has committed as well as actions the congregation has taken to advance racial justice within and outside our congregation. Several members participate in the “Rise Up for Reparations” interfaith group that arose out of the “Building a Culture of Reparations” they participated in in January 2023.

Also, several members have continued supporting the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA-PHL) in their work forming a Philadelphia Reparations Task Force which was approved by City Council last year and launched Tuesday, May 21st. The new task force members and mission were introduced by City Council member, Jaimie Gauthier, and young and elder community members spoke about their support for this initiative, including Bruce Pollack-Johnson, Moderator, representing UUs of Mt Airy. N’COBRA-PHL is our designated Change for Change organization for May.

The Task Force web site is: phlcouncil.com/reparations and the PHL NCOBRA Task Force site is: rep215.com.

The Reparations Working Group is developing plans to engage the congregation in a conversation via listening sessions to ascertain members’ views of ‘what is reparations’ and what they would like the congregation to do to advance the goals of a congregation-wide reparations plan of action. This plan of action would build on multiple projects already underway that represent reparations work such as the monthly Change for Change Program focused on Mt. Airy/Germantown organizations, Mt Airy Community Fridge and Pantry, the emerging Garden Project, and our Film and Speaker series.

The film/speaker series kicked off last Fall with the Coalition of Natives and Allies in Pennsylvania film “Native Women Speak: What We Weren’t Taught in School” and a panel discussion.

In April, the film, “Neighbor Ladies” was shown to the community followed by a panel discussion on the theme, “Mt Airy - Past, Present and Future: a Welcoming and Inclusive Community for All?”. Panel members included Linda Bell, President of East Mt Airy Neighbors (EMAN), Pat D, a UUsMA member who was featured in the film, and Craig S, a housing justice advocate from UUsMA. Former pastor Rudy Gelsey and members such as Tim and Darlene S of our formerly named UU Church of the Restoration (now UUsMA) helped found EMAN! Our continued support for EMAN includes having designated them a Change for Change recipient in March.

In mid-May, UUsMA hosted the showing of a powerful film on reparations, Pay Up/Get Out of the Way, produced by a grass roots group in Baltimore allied with the national group, Aging People in Prison-Human Rights Campaign (APP), which held a moving Summit on Reparative Justice involving APP members from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and North Carolina on Saturday. A recording of the Summit is available in our Boxcast archive on our website.    to read the entire article...


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

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