As UUs we do a lot in the world because action is our form of prayer. We are each compelled by the call of our higher self to get involved in different ways to make the world better. Over the years we have walked and supported walkers in the Walk For Hunger, we have supported Family Promise with regard to homelessness, we fed people at Open Table, and made meals with MCC, we have faced racism with book groups and the BLM march, we have called out for justice with the women’s march and climate change rallies on the First Parish lawn, we have bought and wrapped gifts for Secret Santa, we have stood with our Jewish and Muslim sisters and brothers as they have faced violence.
If you see something that enrages and excites you dare to walk/roil the talk. Read a book and discuss it, go to a rally, speak out with regard to racism, participate online in climate talks and action, look at what it might take to get to net-zero at the meetinghouse and at home. As Howard Thurman once shared, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Peace, love, and light!
• Assisting Ukraine
Shared by Sherri Cline
Many of you know Tania Vitvitsky, a resident of Sudbury and active in the Sudbury Democratic Committee. Tania is also a native of Ukraine. She organized a demonstration in Concord last weekend. She spoke at the demonstration saying, in part,
“You are here because you have watched and read the news, seen photos and videos of the shocking unprovoked attack on a sovereign democratic Ukraine by Russia—with troops and missiles from the north, the south, and the east. This is David versus Goliath and so far, with the help of democratic friends and allies, David is holding his own. But this is also much more than a war between two countries. Ukrainians are fighting and dying for the right of sovereign states to choose democracy over autocracy. Putin wants to drag his country and neighboring countries back to 19th-century style imperialism and colonialism, but Ukrainians want neither a Russian Tsar nor to live in a Russian colony. The people of Ukraine simply want to live their lives in their own country and chart their own future. Unlike their warmongering neighbor to the north and the east, Ukrainians enjoy actual, not sham elections, a free press, and a vibrant civil society.”
Tania has compiled a list of organizations providing relief to Ukraine in a variety of ways. If you are so moved, please consider a donation to one of the following:
The Kyiv Independent is the independent Ukrainian English language press
United Help Ukraine is an American non-profit sending first aid kits
National Bank of Ukraine account to support the Armed Forces of UkraineUnited Ukrainian American Relief CommitteeUkrainian Congress Committee of America – Humanitarian effort
• Caste Book Club
Shared by Rev. Marjorie Matty and Fran Sharp
Hold the dates for a new Book Club to discuss Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson. These sessions will require participants to have read the entire book in advance of meetings, as we will be following the weaving of the stories contained in the book.
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2021
The Caste System – We will discuss how we were affected by the stories about the American caste system and the laws of the South, Nazi Germany, and the caste system, and the violence required to start and maintain systems of genocide and oppression.
Sunday, Feb 13, 2021
Racism and Classism – Caste: How does caste affect all of us and hold us back today. What are the covert ways that caste keeps us separate from experience and oneness?
Saturday, Feb 26, 2021
11 am-12:30 pm
Unpacking White Privilege: How can we use our privilege for good, what action might we take to help open the eyes of others?
• Open Table Seeking Volunteers
Shared by Sara Hartman
FPS has volunteered for Open Table in the past—and we hope to engage more volunteers at this time of great need.
Open Table’s mission is to address hunger in our local community by providing healthy food in a welcoming environment that respects the dignity and diversity of those served. We achieve our mission by:
- Offering a wide variety of healthy and culturally appropriate food choices in our pantry and meal programs.
- Engaging a team of diverse, committed and passionate staff and volunteers
CLICK HERE to learn more about volunteering at Open Table.
• UU Mass Action
Shared by Sheila Murphy, November 2021
My name is Claire Müller, I work at UU Mass Action . I’m reaching out because I am working to connect with congregations in your region. I want to learn more about the social justice work you are doing and to explore a new idea we are working with about creating regional UU teams in a way that feels valuable to congregations. The teams will be to support state-wide justice work, relationship building, resource sharing, etc. so we are really building our power and impact across the state. I wanted to let you all know that the regional team is moving ahead and our next meeting is Nov. 17 in case you or someone you know would like to join.
The Zoom meeting is scheduled for: November 17, 2021. 5:30 pm.
• UU MINISTRY FOR EARTH EVENTS
Shared by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty, November 2021
The 2021 United Nations global climate summit, Conference of Parties 26 (COP26).is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland now through November 12, 2021. This conference offers a chance for high-level collaboration among national leaders to respond to the climate crisis.
UU Ministry for Earth has a dedicated webpage- “UUs Ground & Connect for the COP26 UN Climate Conference” – with numerous resources about engagement with and updates regarding the climate conference proceedings.
Curious about the UN climate conference, but not sure what to make of the proceedings?
Join the “The Daily Discussion” with Dr. William McPherson, daily at 1 pm PT/2 pm MT/3 pm CT/4 pm ET on Zoom, Nov 2-Nov 12.
“The Daily Discussion” is an informal, hour-long, drop-in conversation with updates on the climate summit’s proceedings, highlights, and potential trends in negotiations. UUA-credentialed representatives at COP26 will be present for some of the sessions to share what they’re observing. These daily sessions are hosted by Dr. William McPherson, UUMFE Board Member, UU@UN Envoy at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA, and retired environmental diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. Register here.
Join Wednesday, November 3 (5-6 pm PT / 6-7 pm MT / 7-8 pm CT / 8-9 pm ET), as the monthly Strengthening Local Climate Commitments Zoom convening will focus on COP 26 and the importance of local action. Register here.
What can individuals and congregations expect between now and the conference end?
Enjoy and share this special program from the Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations and Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth to learn more about the proceedings of the 26th UN Climate Summit and how to be involved- even at a distance- over the next two weeks!
In 2006, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations declared, “We as Unitarian Universalists are called to join with others to halt practices that fuel global warming/climate change, to instigate sustainable alternatives, and to mitigate the impending effects of global warming/climate change with just and ethical responses.”
- BEYOND PLASTICS
Shared by Leslie Bryant, November 2021
Please join Beyond Plastics President Judith Enck and lead author Jim Vallette, online, Thursday, November 11 at 7 pm to learn more about the findings of our groundbreaking, a new report, The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change.
join me and lead author, Jim Vallette on November 11th at 7 PM ET via Zoom to learn more about the findings of our groundbreaking, new report, The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change.
Our findings include:
- The plastics industry’s greenhouse gas emissions are on track to surpass those of coal-fired power in the U.S. by 2030.
- As of 2020, the U.S. plastics industry is responsible for at least 232 million tons of CO2e gas emissions per year. This amount is equivalent to the average emissions from 116 average-sized (500-megawatt) coal-fired power plants.
- 90% of the reported pollution from U.S. plastics manufacturing is released into just 18 communities located mostly in Louisiana and Texas. The people who live within three miles of these petrochemical clusters earn 28% less than the average U.S. household and are 67% more likely to be people of color—a massive environmental injustice.
It is deeply worrisome that few people in government or in the business community are even talking about plastics’ climate impact – yet. That must change quickly if we hope to remain within the 1.5° C global temperature increase scientists have pinpointed as critical to avoiding the most devastating impacts of climate change.