Sanctuary for Rosa!
Eighteen months after voting to become a sanctuary congregation, Cedar Lane welcomed our first guest into physical sanctuary.
Rosa Gutiérrez López was scheduled for deportation the morning of December 10, 2018. She would have left behind three U.S.-born children and a full life – work, her own church community, friends, and more. Instead, she made the difficult decision to come into sanctuary at Cedar Lane, determined to continue to fight her legal case.
Immediately our Sanctuary Leadership Team sprang into action. Putting the finishing touches on what would be Rosa’s living space and stocking the fridge were first on the list, but they quickly moved on to training volunteers, creating systems for communications, and seeking answers to all the questions we never anticipated.
We are now eleven months in – and Rosa’s three children have joined her in residence at Cedar Lane. Her children’s presence is a blessing. Rosa deeply missed them while they finished the school year in their home town. She is gratified to see them every day – preparing their meals, checking homework, guiding their growth and development.
Cedar Lane congregants and others have stepped up in ways we only hoped for, giving generously of their time, talent, and financial support. But we cannot do this alone.
We are now turning to you, the greater UU community and beyond, to help us support Rosa through this next phase of sanctuary. The costs of sanctuary are more than Cedar Lane can bear alone, and due to the long delays in the immigration court system, we expect our guest and her family will be with us for as long as 18 more months – or perhaps longer.
Can you help us raise $12,500 in the next month?
Your donation will help cover the cost of groceries and personal care items; school supplies; new clothes as the seasons change and Rosa’s children grow; educational outings and fun activities for the kids; background checks for volunteers; and out of pocket healthcare expenses, as well as other professional support for the family as they navigate this new reality.
Meeting our goal will help ensure our sanctuary program is on strong financial footing for whatever may come — and however long it may take.
Thank you. Thank you for your support of Rosa, her family, and Cedar Lane. Thank you for your commitment to building a more just world.
Our partners: We would not have been able to sustain our sanctuary work to date without the support of hundreds of volunteers who give thousands of hours of their time each month. In addition to Cedar Lane members, many come from religious institutions that are members of Congregation Action Network, a group of 70+ congregations in the DC/MD/VA area that is committed to providing support and solidarity to our neighbors who fear being detained, deported, or profiled. CAN has provided trusted guidance to Cedar Lane’s lay leaders and staff.
Read more: Rosa’s story has garnered media coverage from across the globe. You can read some of the most comprehensive stories here:
- NPR, September 1, 2019
- Telemundo, February 12, 2019 (video, in Spanish)
- Washington Post, December 12, 2018
New Couches for First UU Syracuse Youth Group
The First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse youth group, Teenz, currently has five couches. Four of the couches are like the one pictured below. These couches are plastic, and are cold and uncomfortable to sit on. The blue one pictured is also broken.
As a result, a past group of teenagers went to the church’s annual garage sale and physically carried a couch from the sale back to the teen room. That couch is pictured below.
Couches may seem to fade into the background. In reality, though, they are a cornerstone for warm and welcoming youth ministry. They set a tone for the room, and literally support youth in their faith formation. These current couches have held joy and laughter and leadership and companionship. They are also now past due to be replaced.
We want our Teenz know that, while they are clearly resourceful, they don’t have to scrounge for used couches at a garage sale. Our teenagers are amazing. Let’s give them, and future youth, something new and beautiful.
We estimate that new couches will cost about $3,000. Fortunately, a generous youth parent has offered to match donations dollar for dollar up to $1,500. Please donate, and help us reach our goal of providing a more loving space for First UU youth.
Flash Flood Relief- Help...
DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN: ALL donations will be processed immediately
(NO ALL-OR NOTHING GOAL FOR THIS CAMPAIGN)
East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church (ESUUC) is small in size and large in goals. We have served the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh for 53 years as fair share congregation of the UUA. We have an active CUUPs chapter and our RE program has grown to two classes last year.
Unfortunately the church was flooded on July 21st and when the congregation removed carpet and padding we found out that there is crumbling asbestos tile that needs to be removed by abatement, a costly fix, before new flooring can be installed.
We call upon our sister and brothers UU’s to help us get back into the RE and Community Rooms in the building. We estimate the cost of abatement and flooring to be between $15 and $20K. We have $10K in reserves we are putting toward flooring.
Please help us get back up and running!
Disaster Relief! Help...
DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN: ALL donations will be processed immediately
(no All-or Nothing goal for this campaign)
On Monday, July 8, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA) suffered extensive flooding and water damage when Arlington County, Virginia experienced severe weather when a month’s worth of rain fell in approximately just one hour. We are graciously asking for your generosity to help us repair and rebuild our community’s home.
The 100 year storm caused widespread flooding and significant damage in the Washington, DC area to public facilities, roads, businesses, and homes.
In terms of our church, the storm’s heavy rain resulted in almost 70 percent of our church’s lower level being covered in one to two inches of standing water – causing significant water damage to the affected areas.
The initial work to address the water damage will cost nearly $45,000. Repairing, rebuilding, and refurbishing affected areas will cost significantly more. Other items are still being assessed, so repair costs may continue to increase.
Until repairs are completed, we are unable to hold Religious Education classes or provide space to outside groups and community partners.
Because we are not in a flood zone or near any bodies of water, we only carried $10,000 in flood insurance. And, the storm has not been declared a federal disaster, so FEMA assistance is not available.
Updates on progress of repairs are on the congregation’s facebook page: UnitarianUniversalistChurchArlingtonVirginia
Unexpected and Emergency...
Hello Potential Funders and Angels,
My name is Kecia McMillian, and I have been sponsored and named as a delegate to our General Assembly in Spokane, WA. This is the 7th GA and 5th as a delegate, I have had the pleasure to attend. The knowledge and energy I leave General Assemblies with has been amazing as well as the opportunity to fellowship with UU’s I may otherwise never meet. As you see on my profile, I am currently a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, DE and have been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, PA and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, CA. My passions are Youth and Young Adults and Cultural Competency. My BA in Religion and Sociology (from Albright College) and MA in Religion with focus on the Integration of Religion, Sociology, and Diversity Issues (from Lancaster Theological Seminary) have bolstered my passions. And now I am working on my 2nd Masters degree (MS) in Restorative Practices (from International Institute for Restorative Practices) which of course pairs nicely with UU consciousness in last year’s GA, All Are Called, and this year’s GA, The Power of We. I have led one of, I hope, many Restorative Practices Workshops for my congregation to help build healthier relationships, as well as one Restorative Practices Worship in which we began to tackle the Characteristics of White Supremacy. I also led a Worship centered on introducing the Congregation to the 8th Principle and hope that is the beginning of our work to have the Congregation adopt it soon. I am excited to see what else I can bring back from this year’s General Assembly.
This $2000 dollars would be used for airfare, lodging and food while participating at the General Assembly. The reason for my late and desperate cry for help is a recent and unexpected decline in my income which I hope will increase soon (I have made some positive changes in employment), but the increases will not be in time for this event.
To My Non Unitarian Universalist Potential Funders and Angels,
General Assembly is what Unitarian Universalists call their annual meeting, and it is a time of moving our journey forward (business), celebrating with each other, grieving with each other, supporting each other, fellowshipping with and learning from each other. Feel free to email me KeciaMcMillian@gmail.com with any questions about the great value of this event.
Ordination of Rachael Hayes and Shari Halliday-Quan
On June 9th at 5 pm, Rachael Hayes and Shari Halliday-Quan will be ordained to Unitarian Universalist ministry by the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York. Surrounded by family, friends, religious professionals of many callings, and members of other local UU congregations, Rachael and Shari will have the joy of celebrating this momentous occasion in the life of a minister. We know that not everyone who would like to be there can attend, and we will livestream the service so others can join from afar.
Many congregations and individuals have helped form them as ministers, and for that past support, we thank you. We’d love your support now in making this ordination and celebration possible. When we talk of the costly life of faith, we generally mean something else, but make no mistake–food, drink, music, photography, printing, childcare, travel expenses for the preacher, etc. do add up. Your generous donations will help make this gathering possible, and donations of any amount are humbly received with gratitude. Any additional funds beyond our expenses, along with the offering taken at the service, will be split between organizations supporting UU ministries.
Help Send Crash...
Crash (they/them pronouns) is a dedicated, vital member of the youth group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo. They are raising funds to attend Thrive Leadership School this summer in order to deepen their connection to their Unitarian Universalist peers of color, explore their faith, and enhance their leadership skills.
They are raising funds to help offset the cost of registration and transportation from Buffalo, NY to Minneapolis, MN.
“Crash has been an amazing leader in our youth group and the congregation at large. They have made deep and profound connections among the Unitarian Universalist youth of upstate New York. Making sure that Crash has the funding to attend Thrive this summer so they can connect with other UU youth of color is an utmost priority of our youth program.” – Sarah Martin, Director of Religious Education, Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo
Social Justice Work at Safe Passage in Guatemala
In July, youth from the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady will travel to Guatemala City, where we will spend time working with youth of Camino Seguro (Safe Passage), a top-rated charity organization begun in 1999 by Hanley Denning and members of the Guajero (dump picker) community. Camino Seguro has grown from an educational reinforcement program serving 46 children, to current day, providing more than 550 children and 100 parents with education, social services, and the chance to move beyond the poverty their families have faced for generations. According to their website, “Safe Passage is a refuge for children facing difficult situations marked by extreme poverty, neglect, and abuse. Safe Passage is a gateway out of poverty. Safe Passage is hope.”
Our congregation has been working with Safe Passage for 14 years. We have developed deep, meaningful, and lasting relationships with the children, youth, and adults at Safe Passage. Each time we go, we collaborate with Safe Passage to determine which project we will work to fund. We work for an entire year to raise the funds we need for Safe Passage. We pay for own travel and housing expenses. We create lesson plans for the children in addition to the project we fund. This year, our project is to fund the Quinceañera (a favorite, both for our group and the youth in Guatemala). A Quinceañera is an important Coming-of-Age ritual for the Guatemalan girls who are turning 15 and their families. The funding we raise helps defray the costs of the Quinceañera educational program, which includes classes on self-esteem, higher education, and healthy sexuality. It also includes a celebration for the girls and their families and friends. Without our work, it would not be possible for Safe Passage to host the classes or the celebration. As Fredy Maldonando, one of the founding members of Safe Passage, said to us during our last visit, “The most important thing is that you are giving the girls something special, something unforgettable, something that is about dignity. They will never forget it. This is so important to the girls and their families, the dump.”
Funds raised will go toward the Quinceañerea and program fees for Safe Passage.
Help Barbara attend...
In the last five years my church involvement has evolved from being a Worship Associate to creating new programs and promoting our current programs to a wider audience. My mission involves looking at how we view economic justice to allow more people of all means the benefit of Being a UU. By creating, this Faithify account and asking the wider UU community for your financial support to attend this year’s GA, I hope to bring increased awareness of the importance of supporting those with the time and energy to attend but without the resources to do so.
“As West Shore’s newest Commissioned Lay Minister, Barbara brings both creativity and insight to the projects she takes on in the church. Her infectious enthusiasm has helped transform the idea of a mid-week worship/fellowship experience into a regular, sustainable program. Thanks to Barbara and her growing team, Thursdays @ West Shore is thriving!”
Rev. Patricia Hart, Interim Senior Minister
West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church
I am asking for your contributions to help fund my airfare ($500) and lodging ($600). Please feel free to share widely with other UU friends and colleagues.
Invest in Educational...
Community Empowerment Network-Haiti (CEN Haiti) has been providing support to the Petion-Ville community in Haiti for the past four years. The only community school in the area, l’Ecole Communautaire de Phillippeau particularly targets restaveks, who are children who left their rural home where there are no schools available to stay with family members in the city in hope of being able to attend school and pay for their room and board by doing housework. The school was founded in 2002 specifically to provide an educational opportunity for this at-risk youth population.
Project Description and Rationale:
The school is located in a low-income area that has seen an influx of residents with each natural disaster over the past decade. Since its partnership with CEN-Haiti began in 2016, the school has made significant progress in revitalizing and reconstructing a strong educational program for approximately 400 students per year. To accommodate the maximum number of students, the school offers a morning program from 7:00 am – 12:00 pm and another program from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Because the school particularly focuses on providing educational services to restaveks, the half-day program gives the students time to come to school without neglecting their house chores. Making the program half-day and free, except for a small administrative fee, removes any excuse for families not sending a child to school. In order to ensure the integrity of the program, the local Committee for the Protection of Children will visit the home of any child who has missed school to caution the family that they will be reported to the local authority if their child does not attend school regularly. The committee is composed of local leaders who are very good at following up to ensure that the host families treat the restavek children and youth well, including giving them sufficient time to focus on their studies and complete homework.
L’Ecole Communautaire de Philippeau provides at-risk youth with a comprehensive primary- to-secondary education program, thus addressing a critical need for the surrounding communities. The program expects to also offer young people an opportunity to continue their education, learn English, and build technical skills necessary to attain a job in one of the local industries.
Professional education continues to be a key factor in Haiti’s economic development. The accumulated deficits from natural disaster and economic downfall have created a situation that requires an immediate effort on the part of the Haitian government and local organizations to support underprivileged children who are marginalized due to issues of economic class. It is imperative to support these youth by providing technical assistance and training that could enable them to benefit from a good education that meets their needs.
How Much Money the School Needs for its Yearly Operations:
Recognizing the critical importance of education to community empowerment and economic development, CEN-Haiti has invested heavily in the revitalization of the school. This campaign will support the school to raise $15,000, which is needed to meet its yearly operating budget and sustain the school for the remainder of the 2019 school year. One generous donor has already pledged $10,000. Please join us and helping raise an additional $5,000 in funds through Faithify.
MID-YEAR QUANTITATIVE RESULTS (2018-2019 SCHOOL YEAR)
|Number of Registered Students||400 (5 classes with 40 students each/morning and afternoon groups)|
|Number that will complete the academic year||390|
|Number of Teachers||13 (6 for Primary School; 7 for Secondary)|
|Average Number of Teacher Hours Per Week||44|