It’s Not Too Late to Fight Hunger Together!

cropwalklogoThis is your chance to fight hunger. To show the world you care.

CROP Hunger Walks help children and families worldwide – including here in the U.S. – to have food for today, while building for a better tomorrow. Each year nearly 2 million CROP Walkers, volunteers and sponsors put their caring into action, raising funds to help end hunger and poverty at home and around the world.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens is participating in the CROP Hunger Walk and we’d like to invite you to join our team as a Walker. Just go to our team page using the link below, then click the “Join Team” link next to our team’s name.

Together we can be part of the solution!

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Click here to view the team page for UU Fellowship of Athens
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
http://hunger.cwsglobal.org/site/TR?team_id=86998&pg=team&fr_id=17268&et=FQbLBskUx123EzLYWxj0WA&s_tafId=114916

Growing Together – April 2013

by Rev. Evan Young

Which, as much as I’ve liked it through the years, now feels like a kind of ironic title for this column. Because, as most of you already know, my ministry with this congregation will end on June 30, as I move into another phase of my own ministerial development, and as all of you move into the next phase of your life in community.

We have much to be proud of in our work together. We have grown our congregation in numbers and in capacity to welcome and care for all. We have embraced our mission to teach as well as embody religious pluralism, inclusive community, and sustainable living. We have stretched ourselves with ambitious challenges and goals, and we have celebrated our capacity to achieve them. We have taken upon ourselves and taken to heart the  responsibility to care for this faith community and invest in its development.

I have seen you do things I would not have thought possible 10 years ago. And even as you have surprised yourselves, I have seen you swell with pride at the things you have accomplished.

What will you do with the opportunity that is before you? I can’t begin to guess.
But I can look with eagerness and excitement at the prospect, because I know two things. I know what you have been capable of in the past; and I know that all you have accomplished so far is just a hint of the potential that lies within you. Perhaps we will be growing apart from now on–but I believe we will all be growing!

Growing Together – March 2013

by Rev. Evan Young

Here we are, flush with excitement after an inspiring annual meeting at which we celebrated our achievements, appreciated our leaders, selected our representatives, and adopted an ambitious budget for the coming fiscal year.

So what are you going to do about it? It’s time to think about this now, because sometime in the not-too-distant future you’re going to be asked to express in concrete, dollar-and-cents terms how you value this community — you’ll be asked to make a pledge.

The question that’s coming is not about keeping the lights and the heat on here. It’s not about paying the bills or the pastor or the costs of maintaining and improving our building. It’s about who you want to become.Because what our faith community is for is to transform the individual and society — to move us all in the direction of a vision we hold sacred. And for all our fits and starts and missteps in living into this purpose, we are committed to articulating that vision together, and moving toward it with passion, courage, determination, and compassion.

The question that’s coming, then, is about how you’re going to conform your life, including your financial life, to express in real terms how important this vision is to you. And how much you love this community that works to make it real. And I’m bringing it up now because I want you to have had time to think hard about how boldly you can act. Will your answer be a resolute step toward our shared vision, and toward the person you yearn to become? Only you can say.

Growing Together – Feb 2013

by Reverend Evan Young

We Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. It’s the third of our seven principles. We believe that no one should be dehumanized through acts of exclusion, oppression, or violence because of his or her identity.

A simple enough idea — but as evidenced by a hate-motivated shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in 2008, not a universal one. In the wake of that shooting, the Uni-tarian Universalist Association created Standing on the Side of Love, an interfaith public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) elevates compassionate religious voices to influence public attitudes and public policy, harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence based on sexual orienta-tion, gender identity, immigration status, race, religion, or any other identity.

This month marks the fourth year of “30 Days of Love.” Created by SSL, this event grew out of an inspiration to reimagine Valentine’s Day as a social justice holiday, and now is a month-long spiritual journey and commitment to sustained action and service. Individuals, groups, and congrega-tions throughout North America “make love real in the world” by engaging in community service and work for social justice, by proclaiming their commitment to inclusive community and compas-sionate public policy, and by putting into practice the ideals that have long animated and distin-guished our faith/community/tradition/movement.

In the contentious and vitriolic public square, UUs are called to stand on the side of love. In the face of shocking acts motivated by fear and hate, we aspire to stand on the side of love. Wherever peo-ple are excluded, oppressed, marginalized, and dehumanized, we stand on the side of love. Check out www.standingonthesideoflove.org. How will you stand on the side of love?