Sunday 3/5, 11am-noon
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Programming Committee Meeting
Review and planning of Sunday services. Contact Roberta Roberson for information.
Executive Committee Meeting
Where the decisions get made; open to the congregation. Contact Jessie Roberson for information.
**And Another Thing… (from Rev. Don Rollins)**
Hello, all. I’m writing to you this week with two things in mind, both about walking the walk:
Goldie Muse, my biological, maternal grandmother would’ve been 95 on St. Patrick’s Day. Scots-Irish and Appalachian to the core, the world into which she was born was still recovering from the War to End All Wars – the ghastly, near-global conflict that took an estimated 38 million military and civilian lives.
My grandma could scarce have known that even as she was coming of age, a young, recently discharged German Army lance corporal was already laying plans for a military conquest and genocide program that would kill roughly 3% of the world population.
Goldie was a kind, bright, but not worldly soul. The degree of hate fueling the Third Reich was beyond her imagination: all she knew about World War II was that her male relatives and friends were being sent across vast oceans to kill people who wanted to kill them.
We can thank all that is holy that, unlike Goldie, most of us alive today were not raised with the real-time specter of Nazi jackboots and salutes. This is said, not to minimize the multiple crimes against humanity since 1945, but to give that war its grizzly due in the pantheon of human cruelties.
I mention the perils of my grandmother’s era because, within and without UU circles, some of the new administration’s policies and actions are being compared to those of 1930s Germany. It’s not my place to make or debunk that observation. I’m a preacher, not a pundit. But there is one statistic that should trouble us no matter our opinions on the nascent Trump presidency: hate crimes in America are up and still rising. (Numbers vary across studies, ranging between 6-10% over the past year. Hate-crime cases against Muslims have driven the increase.)
These acts are a direct affront to our long religious tradition. In a world of theological gang wars, we have (however imperfectly) called out the powers that enslave bodies, minds and spirits. To be in fidelity with that heritage is always demanding, all the more so when whole groups of citizens are in the cross-hairs of hatred.
But what to do? It was the brilliant African American thinker and activist, W.E.B. DuBois, who counseled us to be patient prophets in such times: “The prayer of our souls is a petition for persistence; not for the one good deed, or single thought, but deed on deed, and thought on thought, until day calling unto day shall make a life worth living.”
1. Go local. Seek out and attend groups/gatherings whose mission it is to build solidarity for and with those populations being targeted – Muslims/Jews/Latinos/Latinas in particular;
2. Be a squeaky wheel. Find out who’s representing you in Columbus and D.C. Be in regular contact, especially when anti-hate crime legislation is in play;
3. If you’re blessed to have some spare money, do a search on groups/agencies engaged in anti-hate crime efforts. Check their ratings (try Charity Watch, Give Well etc.) and donate.
UUFA is blessed with many creative people. You likely have other ideas for how to eliminate the twin stains of bigotry and hatred.
In the end, let it be said of us that we were neither complicit nor complacent. That, deed by deed and thought by thought, we did not concede the final word to hate.
It’s pledge time at UUFA. (Join me for the annual generosity service on 3/12. It’ll be more fun than you might think.) To steal my own thunder, the point will be simple: UUFA is a bargain. It’s a place to work out your own beliefs, then test them in community. It’s a place where young people discover themselves, one another and the values we share. UUFA is a shelter in life’s storms, and a place where life’s joys are multiplied. And it’s a base camp for changing the world, one witness, one loving act a time.
Everyone has a financial reality. Our denomination stewardship experts ask us to consider giving between 2-5% of our net incomes. If those figures are realistic for you, thanks in advance for your gifts. And if they’re not, do what you can. And thanks in advance for your gifts.
Whatever your giving level, celebrate the bargain that is the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens. Don’t forget the good stuff.
Rev. Don is offering an adult discussion group prior to his next three services at UUFA. The “curriculum” for our discussion are select pamphlets on UU views such as God, UU history, UUism, etc. The dates are 3/12, 4/9 and 5/14. We’ll start at 10:00 sharp. Everybody’s welcome!
Our contract minister, Don Rollins, is available for pastoral care telephone calls and time sensitive issues via his cell (740-988-7834) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note the letter l (as in lantern) between Don’s first and last names.
Please Submit Announcements
To be sure to be included in the weekly Greensheet post, email your announcements by Thursday at noon to email@example.com. If you miss this cutoff time, you may bring your announcement in writing to the service leader before service begins on Sunday, so he or she can announce it from the podium.