Guest at your Table

Guest at Your Table, the education and fundraising effort for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, is currently on at UUFA. Beginning before Thanksgiving, it runs until Martin Luther King Sunday in mid January.

For those who wish to make an end-of-year donation tax-deductible for 2014, please send a check to Lois Whealey, 14 Oak St. Athens OH 45701, or give your donation to her at the Christmas Eve celebration or the Sunday, December 28 service.

She will be sending checks in by Dec. 30.

Remember, this is the 75th anniversary for UUSC, which began with the trip in 1939 of the Rev. Waitstill and Mrs. Martha Sharp, who left their young children with relatives to go to Europe before the fall of Prague.  They helped with refugee relief there and elsewhere during World War II. Prague was the site of the largest Unitarian congregation in the world at the time. Its minister, originator of the Flower Communion, would die in one of Hitler’s concentration camps.

Please also check out the UUSC website for merchandise benefitting the national and international work of the UUSC, or continue collecting cash for the Guest at Your Table. And have Happy Holidays!   Lois Whealey, UUSC Local Representative.

UUSC Doings

by Lois Whealey

UUSC has vastly expanded its sales items. Google http://www.shop.UUSC.org/ , and “Choose Compassionate Consumption” will come up. A bar at the top of that page presents choices for purchase; click on holiday cards and gifts, eco-apparel, fair foods, justice jewelry, etc.

Guest at Your Table is a traditional funding program for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee at Holiday time. GaYT runs from Thanksgiving to Martin Luther King Day in January.  It is another way to support social action programs by Unitarian Universalists. In fact, however, UUSC is a separate UU program which is independent of the UUA. So the UUSC has its own staff and offices in Cambridge, MA. UUSC is not supported financially by the UUA.

Lois Whealey has been the Local Representative of UUSC almost continuously since 1979, and served on the UUSC national Board (2001-03). As reported last month, the UU Fellowship of Athens has once again been named a “Vision of Justice Society” by the UUSC. Lois is helping develop the Sunday program for November 24.

UUs Taking Action
Have you heard of Tim De Christopher? He is the  young Unitarian who went to jail in July 2011 for a sensational civil disobedience action which sparked numerous pro-environment protests.  How?

In 2008, the federal Bureau of Land Management ran an auction to sell drilling rights for oil and gas exploration in a number of scenic natural places in Utah.  Tim disrupted the auction by bidding high on a number of BLM parcels–but he had no money, and no means or intention of drilling.  Tim’s  Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City helped support his effort to preserve Utah splendors, with parades and rallies protesting climate change. Eventually De Christopher was prosecuted in federal court, and was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released after 21 months, in April 2013, and is now attending Harvard’s Unitarian divinity school.

Recently Louise McCosker’s free film series at the Athena Theater screened “Bidder 70”, the powerful documentary telling Tim’s story. He has also been featured in The UU WORLD and YES! magazines.

Louise’s final film (shown last spring at the Athens film festival) is set for Wednesday, October 30 at 7 PM. “Chasing Ice” is a beautiful but scary documenting of  the shrinking glaciers and sea ice around the world. Climate change stems largely from the increased  combustion of fossil fuels.  The burgeoning greenhouse gas emissions are warming our planet’s  atmosphere and oceans.