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Sanctuary & Faith: Continuing the Conversation

Written by Jim Caldiero on .

Sanctuary and faith have always been companions in compassion. Ancient Hebrew temples and medieval Christian churches offered refuge to many seeking escape from unjust retribution. During the mid-nineteenth century, Unitarians in Boston practiced a form of sanctuary, serving as the final link in an underground railroad on the way to Canada, aiding slaves seeking freedom. Sanctuary, as the UUA writes, “is about providing safe space to those who are victims of unjust laws.”

Tom Benjamin reminded me about the sanctuary movement in the 1980’s when his Houston UU congregation during the Central American civil wars offered a safe space, opening its doors to fleeing political refugees facing death squads in their native countries. More than 500 congregations of all faith traditions established an equivalent underground railroad of safe houses and safe churches.  

Sanctuary today takes many forms. The New Sanctuary Movement is a coalition of congregations in major cities throughout the country, churches, synagogues, temples opening their doors, providing refuge to those facing deportation, defending Obama-era administrative policies such as Prosecutorial Discretion, speaking loudly and forcefully through prophetic witness at local, state and national venues, defending Dreamers, working with education officials to protect undocumented students on campuses, preventing the heartless separation of mothers from their children, ensuring that local law enforcement does not partner with ICE, creating networks to provide legal assistance, housing assistance, family planning, bail support funds, education about rights and sanctuary space, stopping the Trump Wall, advocating for fair and enlightened immigration reform.

Of the six sources of our living tradition, there is our affirmation of our Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves, teachings wisely expressed in sacred texts:

 “learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17)

“love our neighbors as ourselves” (Luke 10:27)

“We promote and affirm justice, equity and compassion in human relations” (2nd UU principle)

Let us be a “safe and welcoming community, pledging our time and vigor to the continuing celebration of spirit, of the world and of humankind.”

Join our congregational conversation about sanctuary on Sunday, between services in the Chapel.

Contact Jim Caldiero, jimcal87@gmail.com

OWL for Older Adults

Written by Becky Reese on .

UUCC has been approved as a field test site for Our Whole Lives (OWL) for Older Adults (defined as 50+). Rev. Paige Getty and Robin Slaw, Director of Religious Education, will co-lead this brand new workshop series, starting April 20, every Thursday afternoon, 1-3 pm, through June 15. Topics will include: Attitudes About Aging, The Sexual Body, Family Matters, Sexuality & Loss, Sexuality & Disability, Safer Sex, Diversity in Sexual Expression, and more!

Register for Older Adult OWL here.

Board of Trustees February Synopsis and March Agenda

Written by UUCC Board of Trustees on .

Weather permitting, the UUCC Board of Trustees meets on Tuesday evening, March 14 at 7:00pm at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center.  

At its February 21 meeting, the Board:

  • Approved the consent agenda (including the January meeting minutes, which may be reviewed here). 
  • Asked Frank Hazzard to follow-up with the Endowment Board to clarify the specifics of planned disbursements.
  • Received an update on Annual Budget Drive: 170 pledges in – 63% of families and that’s 60% of our financial goal, and noted an increase in first time pledges.
  • Heard from Pat Heidel, Vice President of Cradlerock Children’s Center (CCC), who explained the recent hardships on CCC and requested more financial support from UUCC for scholarships.
  • Conducted its annual review of the Board-Staff Linkage and Governance Process policies.

Please click here to review the tentative agenda for the March 14 meeting.

The YRUU service trip to War, West Virginia is back!

Written by YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) on .

We are kicking off our fundraising with a bake sale starting March 12 between services at coffee hour. Please support our cause! You decide onIMG 1463 the donation amount, then enjoy brownies, cookies, and more, hand crafted with love and care by our YRUUers.

Cristen Von Schlag's service trip experience in 2015:

I went to War, West Virginia unsure as to what to expect. I’d heard a lot of “oh, everyone is so nice!” and “It’s so much fun” and “YRUU Nights get crazy :P” and “It’s so fulfilling,” but I still didn’t quite know what it was going to be about. So I went, and we ended up splitting into 3 different groups for service. My group was remodeling a trailer. This included taking out furniture and fixtures, dealing with insulation, putting up new drywall, a little bit of painting the outside - and of course my favorite, demolishing drywall. I got to work with some people in YRUU that I wasn’t as close with, and I got to know the whole group better. I got to play guitar with a group of musicians while the rest of the group danced, we had numerous games of frisbee, and the all-nighter myself, Rachel, Emily, and Josh pulled the last evening was worth every painful moment the following day. Going to War, West Virginia, was one of the most rewarding, fun experiences of my life. Not going last year was heartbreaking. Help us go back!

IMG 1453For those of you who are not familiar with this program, adult and youth volunteers spend a week in McDowell County, West Virginia living in community with and doing service for the people of McDowell via Big Creek People in Action. Deep in the heart of Appalachian coal country, McDowell County is a deeply impoverished community about an 8-hour drive from UUCC. This trip is an amazing opportunity to learn and to serve.

Please find us (and more importantly, cookies) at this and each Second Sunday coffee hour until the trip in August. Thanks for your support!

Sanctuary: Our Conversation

Written by Jim Caldiero on .

Join us between services Sundays, March 12 and March 19 in the chapel for a conversation about pledging OBIC as a sanctuary. These are informal discussions where we will talk about what it means to be a sanctuary, how members feel about becoming a sanctuary, So. walk across to the fellowship hall, grab a cup of coffee and then join the conversation.

For information, contact Jim Caldiero, jimcal87@gmail.com

Worship With Us

April 30 at 9:00am and 11:00am
Intern Minister Anthony Jenkins will preach
More info

General Information:

  • Academic Year: Two identical services at 9am and 11am.  
  • Summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend): One service at 10am.
Location: Owen Brown Interfaith Center (Directions), Sanctuary C, 2nd floor, East end of the building.  Read more about worship.

Join Us