Tagged: “Central East Region”

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...

Project Beneficiaries:

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.

Director-and-teachers

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

Ramapough Lenape Art...

STRETCH GOAL ADDED: $800 – see below for details.

I am running this program as part of my internship for Community Ministry, with the Center for Earth Ethics, supporting indigenous rights and climate justice. My home congregation is the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY, my internship committee is at All Souls, NYC.

The Rampough Lenape are the original peoples of Connecticut, Rockland to southern New York and northern New Jersey. They are recognized by the state of New Jersey, but are not federally recognized, due to prejudice and racism. They continue to live in their ancestral lands and continue to experience encroachment by various entities. They have experienced toxic dumping on their lands which has caused cancer clusters and decimated many in the community.

Like many communities in the country, the Ramapough have had to deal with the effects of the opioid epidemic. The proposed after school program, Art & Literacy Lab, is a way to bring an educational program to the Ramapough youth, to allow them to process their concerns through literacy, art and creative expression and to create art connected to their Ramapough Lenape heritage.

The first session will begin with a small meal, followed by a sharing circle, where participants will discuss their interests in order for me to assess how to go forward. We will discuss how we will interact as community, setting norms or rules of engagement, in order to create a safe space. I will share with them my notebooks which demonstrate using art to create poetry. I will show them a selection of an image for them to respond to in writing. After they have written their response, they will share their observations for discussion. There will be individual work for students to choose literature from a variety of sources offered. The individual session will allow me to provide one on one support where needed. (Subsequent sessions will begin with a meal, sharing circle for check in and a sample piece of literature.)

A menu of options will be available for creative expression through writing, such as re-writing an ending, writing from another character’s perspective or changing one’s identity. Students could change a text to become a graphic novel, write a rap, continue journaling. Materials will be provided for drawing, painting, collage, modeling with clay. Use of DVD’s on history and culture will also be used in the program.

This program is a four-week, eight session program, two hours on Monday and Tuesday from 3:30-5:30. The program will begin in mid-March and end in mid-April. By the end of the program, students will have created a project to show to their families at the close.

I am a retired DOE teacher/administrator who has taught special education to Middle School students. The program will serve students from age 11-17. The funds raised will pay for books, journals, art materials, snacks for students and pay for gas and tolls to Mahwah, NJ from Westchester.

RAMAPOUGH Lenape NATION (MUNSEE)
March 6, 2019

To Whom It May Concern,
We at the Ramapough Lenape Community Center are looking forward to having an After-school program this spring. The Art and Literacy Lab will be a pilot program, six-weeks long, twelve sessions and will begin the work of providing an educational outlet for our middle to high school age students. I am looking forward to seeing our children engage in literacy and producing art work that they can be proud of as well as have the opportunity to engage in history and cultural practices. This is invaluable to our community and Mrs. Thombs is an experienced educator who will provide this program for us.
I heartily endorse The Art and Literacy Lab and am hoping that this program gets the funding support as it will greatly benefit our children.

Chief Dwaine Perry

UU Church of...

Your donation ensures that all youth at UU Church of Silver Spring can attend the Boston trip. Donations cover transport, housing and food.

New Music for a Progressive Faith: “Open Doors”

STRETCH GOAL ADDED: $5,000  see details below

“Open Doors” is a full-length album of original songs that will share Unitarian Universalism with music-lovers, social activists and progressive faith congregations.

Emily Joy spent a year meditating on our Principles (7 of them, going on 8!) and creating a song exploring each one as it lives in the world.  The music has been shared at several UU churches, and house concerts on the East Coast.

The songs are engaging and inspiring both inside and outside the UU context.  The album can be interpreted as music for social and environmental justice and/ or as music celebrating and illuminating the UU Faith, due to the unique focus of our Principles. Through sharing this new music, we will also be sharing Unitarian Universalism, creating a new avenue to connect with our congregations.

Emily has been a versatile professional musician for over two decades- this recording will be her second full-length album. Her first, “Front Porch” is available on iTunes, Amazon and Youtube. Your donation will go to paying for mixing “Open Doors” and fairly compensating the professional musicians involved for their work.

Music is the glue that holds us together, inside and out.  It builds community. It makes us stronger.

Thanks for making this happen!

Humanist Collaboratory Travel Scholarships

The Humanist Collaboratory will meet for the 2nd time in March 2019, bringing together clergy in UU, Ethical Culture, and humanistic Jewish traditions–and this year, extending special outreach to organizers of humanist communities outside of those institutions. We seek to center the voices of people of color, queer folx, and women who have often been left out of institutional humanist leadership, as well as emerging leaders in humanism. Because many of those leaders don’t have the institutional support of congregations, travel to the conference (hosted by the Washington Ethical Society in Washington, DC, which will also provide home hospitality) may be prohibitive. Please help us to make it possible for these folks to join us at the Humanist Collaboratory, so that their voices can be centered in our work together and in our shared exploration of what humanism is today! YOUR GIFT WILL BE MATCHED by a generous grant from the UU Funding Panel!

2019 Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary

Help us put love into action.

As a congregation it is our hope that this one-day conference will be both a place where trans and gender non-conforming folk can gather, connect and learn and where cisgender folk can learn about being better allies. We are also hoping that by hosting this conference we will make a BOLD statement to our larger community that we are a safe and welcoming community because we really do want to build beloved community beyond the binary.

By doing this fundraising, we are able to offer a nationally known keynote speaker and excellent workshops at a sliding scale ticket price that is accessible to all. Your contribution will also allow us to provide FREE tickets to youth and FREE childcare to those who need it.

Exciting and NEW THIS YEAR, we are working on creating a “toolbox” that will be available to other UU congregations so that they too can host a successful Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary conference of their own.  Your support will help to spread our UU welcome throughout our Association.

 Our keynote speaker is J Mase III, who is  a Black/trans/queer poet & educator based in Seattle by way of Philly. As an educator, Mase has worked with community members in the US, UK, and Canada on LGBTQIA+ rights and racial justice in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities and restricted care facilities. He is founder of awQward, the first trans and queer people of color talent agency.

His work has been featured on MSNBC, Essence Live, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous, the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Root, theGrio, Teen Vogue and more.

His current projects include being the head writer of the theatrical production, Black Bois and being co-editor of the #BlackTransPrayerBook.

Find him on Instagram (@jmaseiii) and www.jmaseiii.com!

J Mase will also be offering two workshops, in addition to the keynote – On Faith and the Criminalization of the Black Trans Body, Write Me Where It Hurts

Workshops

While workshops are being finalized, here are some topics we are planning to offer:

De-escalation and micro-aggressions

Parenting trans kids

How to make your classroom trans friendly and inclusive

On Faith and the Criminalization of the Black Trans Body

Write Me Where It Hurts

Legal rights

Preemptive Radical Hospitality

Trans 101

How to be a trans ally activist

Health issues and transitioning

This year we have a grant from the UU Funding Program – Yay!  Reaching our Faithify goal will allow to also access a challenge grant of 1500.00.  Please donate.

If you would like to register for the event click here

Justice Associates Curriculum

Training Leaders and Doers: 

We are seeking to develop a curriculum for training and nurturing congregational and community leaders who are interested in becoming Justice Associates – centering the needs of our next generation of leaders. This training will incorporate practical skills with a focus on faith formation. Spiritually grounded, the curriculum seeks to combine 21st-century innovative solutions and a multiplicity of perspectives to better equip leaders to engage in the spectrum of support needed in justice work from a religious grounding. The Justice Leaders Initiative is built on the understanding that our leaders should feel spiritually fed by the work to build the Beloved Community, in addition to being better practical and administrative leaders.

Supporting Spiritual Grounding:

Our tradition has models for training Pastoral Care Associates and Worship Associates, but there is no equivalent for supporting the swell of leaders in our congregations and beyond who are focused on Justice as one of their main spiritual practices. At the UU Fellowship of Huntington, we wanted to come up with a way to support our leaders in their work for justice, while deepening their spiritual grounding and supporting their overall development as leaders. In discussions with many parish ministers and UUA program consultants, there is overwhelming desire to develop such a program. While some congregations and individuals have tried to achieve such a program through various means, our hope is to develop a unified program with widespread support and implementations.

The Justice Leaders Initiative seeks to address this gap – supporting individuals, strengthening ties between lay leaders within congregations, but also across our congregations. Some locations may use it internally, while others might use it in congregational clusters.

Collaborating for the Future:

While the genesis of this project grew out of one congregation, it is our hope that it will be a resource for the whole denomination and beyond. That’s why the curriculum will be developed through the synergetic, exploratory process of the “curriculum incubator” at the Fahs Collaborative.

Fahs has created several other curricula through this incubator model with varying formats. One such curriculum is the UUCSJ Study Guide for Cross-Cultural Engagement. Another project from Fahs you may know is the Beloved Coversastions Curriculum.

Working with the Fahs Collaborative ensures the project will be built on the cutting edge of faith formation and supported by a team that is passionate about faith formation for all ages. In their words, “Fahs Curriculum Incubators gather experienced educators to grow a seed of an idea into a full and useful learning encounter, or create new curricular strategies for solving stubborn faith formation challenges. Members of the incubator teams are invited to join projects that match their skill-set, disposition and experience of breaking social molds.” The values inherent in the Fahs approach to development will be instilled in the project.

Crafted for Congregation & Community:

As soon as funding is secured, the Fahs Collaborative will gather development participants to draft the curriculum – hopefully in the early months of 2019. The final project will likely be a curriculum of 12-15 hours of content in the form of six to seven 2-hour lesson sessions, or one 6-hour retreat plus six to nine additional learning session hours. A group of three to four writers will meet in one location for several days to develop the curriculum plan based on our goals, then work virtually to produce the learning materials. Then, the program will then be piloted in the Spring at the UU Fellowship of Huntington, NY. After a final assessment and revisions based on feedback from the pilot, the Justice Leaders Initiative will be available to congregations and faith communities via the Fahs Collaborative catalog of curricula.  

Your support makes it possible! 

We have already secured funding from three other sources: the Fahs Collaborative, the UUA office of Youth and Young Adults, and the UU Fellowship of Huntington.

But, we need your help to close the gap. And that seems so fitting – in the work for justice and our Unitarian Universalist faith, we are supported and uplifted by the gifts and effort of the individual for the whole. So please, donate what you can to help make this project a success, not just for the UU Fellowship of Huntington, but for all those working for justice in the name of Unitarian Universalism.

Thank you.