Get Involved!

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

Postponed —

From Terry W: The Apology Summit is Postponed!

The inmates at SCI Phoenix (formerly Graterford) in Collegeville are putting together what they are calling the Prisoners and Ex-Offenders Apology and Forgiveness Summit 2023. The idea is for inmates and ex-offenders to apologize to their community, be forgiven, and for the prisoners and ex-offenders to present their ideas and plans about how to reduce violence and crime in the city. This event will then just be the beginning of a process to try to implement the plan going forward. Our own member, Terry W is on the planning committee. Unfortunately, the prison leadership has stopped the event from happening on May 28, but they are working to clear up their concerns and reschedule it!

Wednesday, June 7 —

Power Philly Mayoral Forum - FINAL REPORT

Attached is the final report, by the numbers, about the Power mayoral candidate forum!

Just a few numbers to note: Power hosted over 700 attendees at the forum that represented 91 congregations (43 of which are new to POWER), and got 3 out of 4 mayoral candidates present to commit to meeting with us monthly around our issues.

Next up: Working with the new Mayor as a force in this city as we endeavor to position ourselves to have a say in the new Mayor's future cabinet.

And June 7th we're going to Harrisburg to put pressure on our legislators to fight for funding for our toxic school buildings, repairs for homeowners and a liveable wage - details attached! Register for our lobbying day of action here (everyone must register for us to get an accurate headcount).

Laurie D

Justice Council Report

Our Change for Change recipients in the last few months were: Taller Salud (hurricane relief and social services led by women in Puerto Rico) in December, HIAs PA (helping refugees from Texas sent here by bus) in January, Crossroads Women’s Center in Germantown (services for women led by local women) in February, with Doctors Without Borders (for their work to help rebel Syrians after the earthquakes) in March.

In November we had our second and final discussion of the UUA Common Read, Mistakes & Miracles (lessons learned about congregations’ work with antiracism). We then had our first of two discussions of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz in January, with the second and final one scheduled for February 21 at 7:30 via Zoom.

POWER Philadelphia will be working on activities related to the Mayoral Primaries, especially connected with public safety, in the spring. Keep a look out in the weekly newsletter for planning sessions, listening sessions, and a mayoral Forum!

In the area of Reparations, our UUs of Mt. Airy Reparations/History group that has met a few times to research our congregation’s history with respect to racial justice. We have gotten great information about sources of information as we do our research. See the newsletter for details. Five people from our congregation (Rev. McKinley, Bruce PJ, Cathy McC, Craig S, and Cynthia B) attended an intensive 4-day all-day training about Reparations organized by the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs and the Truth-Telling Project early in January. We learned a lot, with other faith communities

interested in this topic all over the City, and helped convince the organizers to add Rashaun Williams and his N’COBRA PHL co-Chair Breanna Moore, to present on the last day about the pending bill in City Council to form a Reparations Task Force. They did a beautiful job! A week later, Rashaun invited Bruce to speak at a Press Conference announcing the planned introduction of the bill, along with current and former Council members, Mayoral candidates, and others. The event was well covered by 6-ABC, the Inquirer, and Billy Penn.

A few months ago, Tim S proposed to the Justice Council that we consider phasing out our Change for Change program, and find a way to form a community partnership with one or two black-led organizations in our area, so that we could concentrate our financial and other resources and make a significant difference as allies and accomplices, following their lead but leveraging our privileges, resources, and contacts to support them. Justice Council as a whole was very enthusiastic about this shift, and a task force has met a couple of times to work on the details, such as developing criteria for who we would like to work with, and exploring possible groups to partner with in the area. As of now, we are thinking that extending and deepening our commitment to the Mt. Airy Pantry, and working with N’COBRA PHL and Rashaun Williams, would be complementary partnerships that would connect us with our immediate neighborhood and black Philadelphians in a way that meets immediate needs, but also works on changing the structures that have created some of those inequitable needs. We may have a Town Meeting in March, and then vote in May or June if we are able to work out the details.

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 couple of years ago!

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

We have recently been following up on our Widening the Circle conversations from January to June of 2021. Now that we have a renewed system for regular Coffee Hours and Monthly Potlucks, the Radical Hospitality group has met a few times, and will continue to think about how we can build radical hospitality and leadership development into the way we do hospitality.

The Inclusive Decision-Making is working on a proposal to present to the congregation about adopting the Modified Consensus process in the spring. This will kick off our detailed re-examination of our bylaws, policies, procedures, and practices from this perspective. Look in the weekly newsletter for dates, times, and Zoom links of specific gatherings as they get scheduled, and participate!

Quite a few members and friends have expressed interest in the updated Beloved Conversations program out of the Meadville Lombard UU seminary on small-group ministry related to antiracism. There are three stages of this new version: Within (individual work), Among (congregational level), and Beyond (community level). Many in our congregation have done the program that corresponds to Within when Cathy Ellis and Maria McCabe were here. Others can sign up for the national online program that runs from March through May (we can sign up as a congregational group, or mix with others nationally), to then be able to participate in the Among program as a congregation in 2023-24, and Beyond the year after that. Contact Bruce if you are interested, or Google “Beloved Conversations”.

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

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