IN OUR COMMUNITY
Eisenhower Elementary School Mentoring Partnership
Many individuals spend hours as community activists and volunteers but in addition UUCF has a five plus year partnership with nearby Flint Community School Eisenhower Elementary www.flintschools.org. Several members mentor, tutor, support work in the greenhouse, design and plant an outdoor learning space and support the Backpack Food Program.
Sales Of Fair Trade Coffees, Teas, And Cocoa Products Will Occur In Time For The Holidays!
A large variety of fairly traded organic coffees, teas, cocoa mixes (as well as baking cocoa), and chocolate bars are sold throughout several months of the year in Auldin Nelson Hall after the worship service. Those items can enhance life and entertaining, and serve as delicious and unique gifts at affordable prices. Through an arrangement with the Equal Exchange Company, a portion of each sale benefits the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT)/PICO National Network
Flint Area Congregations Together (FACT) www.flintfact.org is our local affiliate of PICO National Network www.piconationalntework.org. In 2005 UUCF called a minister with experience in community organizing with the goal of more intentional congregationally based interfaith work. Rev. Olson’s efforts helped bring area clergy together and UUCF’s Local Organizing Ministry (LOM) began in fall of 2007 by initiating an education reform research initiative. Our LOM continues education research efforts, supports Ceasefire/Lifeline antiviolence process, neighborhood revitalization and healthcare reform efforts of our local affiliate FACT, other member congregation’s LOMs and PICO National Network efforts.
Green Sanctuary Program
The Green Sanctuary Program provides the framework for congregations to begin specific projects and activities that lead to recognition as a Green Sanctuary through candidacy and then accreditation. Through this process, we embark on an exploration of what it means to live today within a religious community on an imperiled Earth. This is a way for all Unitarian Universalists to join our efforts, both symbolically and explicitly, in becoming stewards of the Earth. At UUCF the candidacy process was started in 2010 with six projects completed of the 12 required. Environmental justice is implicit in our collaboration with FACT and Genesee County Health Department in bringing a lead testing and abatement program to the community. Understanding this program as a Ministry of the Earth provides a more spiritual basis and connects this program to our 7th principle.
For more information on the Green Sanctuary Program, refer to their page.
Can You Welcome A “Guest” At Your Table?
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, many Unitarian Universalist households participate in “Guest-at-Your-Table,” the main annual fundraiser for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Guest-at-Your-Table boxes are made available during the worship service. Each small, colorful box has photographs of some of the people whose communities are being helped by the UUSC. It can be kept handy at mealtime and can represent a guest at your dining table. Individuals and families are encouraged to deposit coins, equivalent to the value of at least one daily meal, in their boxes during the holiday season. Anyone who does not obtain a Guest-at-Your-Table box can find a box or donation envelope on the literature stand in the church foyer. Copies of the booklet, “Stories of Hope,” about some of the people helped by the UUSC, are available there also. Participating households are asked to return their boxes (or envelopes) to the church on the second Sunday in January. A special table will be set up to receive them during our first potluck of the new year.
Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network
www.uujustice.org was organized in 2002 as an education and advocacy structure for the 27 UU congregations and fellowships in Michigan. Monthly phone conference call meetings connect those concerned around survey determined issues. Original taskforces on health care reform, criminal justice and prison reform, poverty, civil and human rights and environmental issues continue with the addition of Palestinian and Middle East Peace and Standing On The Side of Love campaign for LGBT and Immigrant rights. A monthly newsletter, urgent call to action notifications and meeting notifications are delivered via email. Join one of the calls or attend the annual Justice Conference to be inspired to act on UU principles and justice in Michigan.
Second Sunday Collection Program
Our actions include Second Sunday donation giving to six local nonprofit groups which are chosen annually by member nomination and election. For 2010-11 the recipients are:
- YWCA Safe House shelters, counsels, educates and legally advocates for vulnerable women and children. www.ywcaflint.org
- Motherly Intercession operates tutoring, jail visitation, library visits, reading and other programs for children with current or past incarcerated parents. www.motherly-intercession.org
- Wellness HIV/AIDS, Inc. provides support services to those living with HIV/AIDS in the Genesee County area. www.wellnessaids.org
- Eisenhower Elementary School Backpack Food Program sends home a weekend supply of food with children experiencing food scarcity. www.fbem.org
- Food Bank of Eastern Michigan collaborates with Second Harvest to help feed children, families, seniors and others experiencing hunger. www.fbem.org
- Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan provides general and reproductive health care, medically accurate sexuality education and advocates for reproductive choices for all. www.plannedparenthood.org/midsouthmi
- 6 additional monthly collections support UUA Justice Sunday, UU Service Committee, Flint Area Congregations Together dues, member leadership development and Michigan UU Social Justice Network.
Unitarian Universalist Association Social Justice Programs
www.uua.org offers many resources for governance, finances, education, worship and social justice action. Social Justice examples include Socially Responsible Investing, Green Sanctuary Program, Standing On The Side of Love Campaign and our ongoing Social Witness program. Living an intentional, considered, informed and interdependent life is intrinsic to our faith journey.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
www.uusc.org is a nonsectarian organization that promotes human rights and social justice worldwide. At UUCF the annual Guest At Your Table Program, Fair Trade Coffee Project, post Katrina cleanup volunteer group efforts and donations for emergency and human rights work are among our past and ongoing efforts through UUSC. An independently funded affiliate of the UUA, UUSC offers education and resources for our faith journey.
Welcoming Congregation Program
The Welcoming Congregation Program is a completely volunteer program for congregations that see a need to become more inclusive towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It consists of a series of workshops developed by the UUA to reduce prejudice by increasing understanding and acceptance among people of different sexual orientations. At UUCF the certification program was completed in 1999, repeated and reaffirmed in 2010; but this journey of justice and inclusion is ongoing. The Welcoming Congregation painting of a chalice with a rainbow colored flame in the vestibule was chosen in 2005 as a visible reminder to members and visitors of our commitment to making our building space and programs safe for our LGBT members and friends. Click here for the painting selection story.
Other Collaborations & Volunteer Opportunities
Christmas Angel Gift Program with the North End Soup Kitchen
CWS-CROP Walk in October
Genesee County Committee for Community Peace
Tomorrow’s Stars; Elmina, Ghana school