Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Social Justice

scalesofjusticechaliceOur social justice ministry at UUCOV is in the best tradition of Unitarian Universalist history and principles. We support our Seven Principles, nurture our spirits, and help heal the world through:

Social Service: charitable assistance and hands on help to those in need
Social Witness:
publicly addressing justice issues
Social Education:
discussion, study, and reflection about justice issues
Social Action:
organized action to remedy injustice

Our four committees focus on social justice from different perspectives:

Community Outreach: local
Common Good:
local, state, national and international
Green Sanctuary:
environmental
Interweave:
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender

Social Justice News

You’re Invited

facebookThe Common Good Committee invites all UUCOV members and friends to join our new, public Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/InTouchCommonGood/ to share thoughts about what is happening in this country and to collaborate and promote efforts for peace, social justice and protection of the earth our home.

If you have joined or would like to join the Facebook group but have questions about how to use Facebook, make or share posts, etc., you can send a message to that effect, with your phone number, to Barbara Buehring, . Please include information about the device (phone, tablet, computer) and operating system (Android, iPhone or iPad) you are using.

Important Message from Family Promise

Family PromiseBut first: Family Promise Volunteers you rock! Another successful week of hosting 2 single mothers with 3 children each, making them feel welcome in our home!

About Volunteering
A Family Promise hosting week requires about 300-500 hours of volunteer time. We generally host 2 families with 3 or 4 children, but we must be prepared for, and have hosted, 3 families with a total of 14 persons. Volunteers sleep overnight in ALH; help with breakfast; and we clean ALH each morning the families are with us.

We need a pool of 50-70 volunteers to ensure the Family Promise program functions smoothly and is sustainable for the long haul. We need to add to our present pool of volunteers. In addition to those who serve when families are being housed, we also need others with a variety of skills: handy man skills, scheduling or PR skills, liaison skills, bookkeeping or budgeting skills, and data input skills to maintain an e-mail distribution list and to track the training required of volunteers. Interested? Please contact Cindy O’Dell-317-370-6705.

And if you are asking yourself why do this? How about a hug from a child who needed some needed attention? Or being able to give a pat on the back to a mother who needs encouragement? Or the fun of a quick game of chess with rules that are wild and crazy? Or to know that you fixed the squeaking door that used to wake the families up in the middle of the night? or you were integral to coordinating the schedule that made the hosting week a success.

Every family is different, has different needs, and requires different solutions. Flexibility, patience and love are what our volunteers give these families.

A New Venture
The Steering Committee recommendation, to use ALH for an additional 4 weeks a year was endorsed by the Community Outreach Leader, Trudy Jacoby, the Social Justice Team Leader, Marty King, and by the Coordinating Council. Our Board of Trustees approved the recommendations.

The Venice United Church of Christ (VUCC) will join us as a co-hosting congregation using our Asta Linder. We will co-host for two weeks back-to-back 4 times a year. Cindy and Paul O’Dell, UUCOV’s coordinators, and Sandy McHenry, VUCC Family Promise coordinator, will be recruiting over the next several months, visiting our fellow churches and civic organizations to add 25 to 30 volunteers for a two-week summer hosting as a part of the additional 4 weeks

Steering Committee
Essential to the sustainability of our Family Program is the Steering Committee; we have a critical need to add 3 or 4 volunteers. When everyone is healthy and is in town, hosting families runs smoothly. But that never happens. We get sick and have emergencies. We had a 90+ percent turnover in the past year on the Steering Committee, which has been disruptive to the Program, and more importantly to the families.

Two Committee members ensure ALH is prepared to host the new family’s arrival: storing 40 to 50 chairs; rearranging of all the furniture; hanging 8 drapery panels to provide privacy to a family; create night stands out of plastic drawer containers; cover book cases, TV, etc. that Family Promise families are forbidden to use. And, one week later, they undo all of this for ARE and YRE’s Sunday programs. One Committee person coordinates the 7 to 10 dinner providers, ensuring that providers know of food allergies and favorite foods, and tries to ensure some variety in their meals. They also find substitutes when necessary. A third Committee member ensures staples are stocked at ALH and replenishes these items as needed. Fourth member coordinates volunteers who launder the towels, wash clothes, sheets, and mattress pads. Currently the UUCOV Family Promise coordinators recruit, schedule and coordinate the schedule for hosting the families; liaison with SSCFP; VUCC; and UUCOV’s RE; Physical Plant; Community Outreach; Social Justice: Coordinating Council and to the Board of Trustees. We are reaching out to various churches, civic organizations (whoever will listen to our story) for more volunteers and assistance to host families for an additional 4 weeks.

Issues For Our Common Good

UUJFThree members of our Common Good Committee attended UU Justice Florida Legislative Days in Tallahassee March 20-21. See the handout we left with our legislators, and the tracker you can still use if you want to contact legislators on specific bills here: http://www.uujusticefl.org/action-network/take-action. The 2017 Florida Legislative session runs until May 5. All our voices are needed.

For all who are concerned about climate issues, please join us at the Third Assembly of the Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network, April 28 at the First United Methodist Church, 142 East Jackson Street, Orlando, FL 32801. All those interested may stay overnight at a local hotel and join the People’s Climate March in Orlando April 29. Register here: www.interfaithflorida.com. This year’s focus: Florida: Water is Our Life. If you would like to join the carpool from UUCOV, please call Kindra 941-266-8278.

Green, Green, Green

EcoEarth‘Sustainable’ means able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed; environmental sustainability refers to using our natural resources in a way that protects them for the future In short, sustainability looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life.

Abby Gage, member of the Green Sanctuary Committee, teaches classes in sustainability at the State College of Florida; her students are competing to win an environmental poster contest, to be decided on Earth Day in April.  Here’s your opportunity to participate, enjoy their efforts, perhaps learn a thing or two about taking care of the environment. Just go to http://gagea5.wixsite.com/sustainablescf/poster-contest-summer-class-2016, look at all of the 31 images and vote for your favorite two.

Mats for the Homeless

plastic bagsPlease save clean, used plastic grocery bags (Public, Walmart, Target, etc.) and put them in the designated container in the corner of the lanai. We will begin collecting them on Jan 1.

From January through May, the mat-makers will meet, 10am-noon, on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in Waters Hall. Newcomers are welcome to come learn and help. For further information contact Carol Wight () or Judy Heipel () 813-924-3387.

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