Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Holiday Update from Our Outreach Family

Social Justice Chair Jayne Djubek has worked to gather gifts for this year’s Outreach Family on behalf of our Fellowship. View the pictures below to see what kind of goodies await our family in need!

Outreach Family 2012 Presents 021 Outreach Family 2012 Presents 019 Outreach Family 2012 Presents 010 Outreach Family 2012 Presents 009 Outreach Family 2012 Presents 007 Outreach Family 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Want to support our family? Here’s how you can help!

If you would like to donate PAPER GOODS and other NON-FOOD ITEMS such as toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, laundry detergent, etc, bring them to the holiday party Dec 16.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, please write your check payable to the UU Fellowship of Erie County. Designate on the memo line that it is for our OUTREACH FAMILY and sent it to:

Marilyn Shearer
311 Chevy Drive
Huron, OH 44839

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2013 Holiday Service & Potluck

FB-Holiday Party

Join the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Erie County at the Sandusky Sailing Club this Sunday for our Holiday Service & Potluck!

Weʼll gather about 5:00 pm, our service will begin at 5:30pm and the potluck will follow at 6:00pm. In a slight change from last year, Skip Oliver will act as bartender for a cash bar, offering a variety of beers and wines. You may bring in non-alcoholic beverages of your own, and, as usual, everyone is asked to bring a dish to share. Musical instruments, board games and cards are welcome for evening entertainment! Bring your family & friends to come hang out with a universally awesome bunch of folks for a great holiday tradition – All faiths & backgrounds welcome!

Ten Church Models for a New Generation | The Christian Century

Ten church models for a new generation

What kinds of communities are working well?

I’m in a lot of conversations about why the denominational church isn’t working. In some ways, I think of our churches like a crop of corn that was planted at the same time. That field produced corn for 50 years—so much wonderful corn that many of us were fat and happy. In our abundance, we forgot to diversify and plant new fields. Now the corn is coming to the end of its season, all at the same time.

In my denomination (PCUSA), 90% of our members are white and most of them are over the age of 60. Many of our churches are rural and many of the buildings were constructed in the 1950s. After 60 years of dutiful service, the structures are too large, too inefficient, and require too much maintenance for smaller, aging members to keep up with. We’re ministering in a country where younger generations are much more diverse and many of them move into urban areas. Many congregations plan to cut staff (including the pastor) and hold on to the building until there’s only one person left standing. In fact, right now, half of our churches cannot afford pastors, so it’s not difficult to imagine that we might be closing them in the next 20 years.

The crop may be coming to end of its season, but the ground is not fallow. What are some other options? What about the communities that are working? What about new communities? They tend to be small (much like our existing churches) but they often don’t have the real estate and endowments to keep them going. They have to think of other ways to create space as well as other funding sources. I’m going to list these… some are conservative, some are liberal, some have hardly any beliefs at all. I’m giving them to you as models, not because I agree with the theological content (or lack thereof), but because they’re worth exploring.

1)   Large churches plant new communities. Using money from a large congregation and denominational funding, a church is planted. That seems to be what happens the most in our denomination, and it seems to be our trustiest default. The problem? It’s usually conservative, evangelical big-steeples who are in the planting business. If a church-planter does not fit that theological mold, she’s out of luck.

2)   Multi-cultural congregations. Often churches realize that they can’t connect with their changing neighborhoods, so they start or welcome another immigrant congregation within their existing church structure. This works best when it’s not seen as a landlord/renter relationship, but a mutual ministry.

3)   Neo-monastic communities. You can see a list of communities that are connected with the Simple WayMissio Dei of Minneapolis is a community that I often here about. I’ve also heard Wayne Meisel of theBonner Foundation talk about wanting to plant 45 Houses of Hospitality. I don’t know too much about this… I’m trying to set up a meeting with him… so I’ll keep you posted.

4)   Church/business hybrids. The most popular hybrid in our neighborhood is Ebeneezer Coffeehouse/National Community Church. I have also seen an emerging church community where the women (the community was mostly women) make and sell jewelry to support the church.

5)   Pastor/business hybridsKirk Jeffery is a pastor who is also a coffee roaster. You can learn about what he’s up to and order some coffee here. I have friends who want to follow in the monastic tradition of combining wine and beer making with ministry (if you’d like to invest in start-up costs, I can connect you!).

6)   Art churches. The Church of Craft is interesting (the video is pretty good at explaining it). They meet in an Etsy lab in Brooklyn, and different chapters have sprung up all over the country. These are churches that are formed around the knowledge that making things is often a person’s spiritual practice. There’s alsoWicker Park Grace, which met in an art gallery. Creating art, poetry and music has become central to who they are as a commnity.

7)   Food churches. Many congregations are using food—farmer’s markets, local food movements, etc—to connect with the community and (in some cases) provide additional funding. You can hear Craig Goodwintalk about how his existing congregation started a farmer’s market.

8)  Non-profit/church hybrids. In a similar vein with food churches, The Common Table is a non-profit that serves food, and guests pay whatever they can afford. Western Presbyterian (the church I serve) housesMiriam’s Kitchen. New members often talk about “coming upstairs.” In other words, they first connected with the church through Miriam’s, but then they decided to venture up the stairs on a weekend for worship.

9)  Podcast churchesRevolution Church in NYC meets in the back of a bar. They probably can’t seat more than 50 people, but they podcast to 10,000 people. If those 10,000 people pay $10 to support the church, they have funding to keep going. Jay Bakker co-pastors the congregation, so I’m not sure if the model would work for everyone, but the model is worth mentioning.

10) Internet churches. Koinonia Congregational Church and 1PCSL (1st Presbyterian Church of Second Life) are virtual congregations on Second Life. I like these churches because in Second Life, I’m me, but taller and skinnier.

Join Us This Sunday, Dec. 9 – Tim Jurkovac Speaks: “Celebrating Nostalgia, Legitimizing Extortion and Subsidizing Greed: The Hegemony of the Retro Ballpark

Join the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Erie County on the Lower Level of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 431 Columbus Avenue in Sandusky, Sunday, December 9 at 10:30am. Tim Jurkovac will be speaking on a paper he wrote recently on the extortion of American cities by baseball team owners to build ballparks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fair Trade Coffee & Tea will also be for sale before and after the service to benefit the fellowship and the well being of small farm cooperatives & communities.

Promised Land in Select Theatres – Dec. 28, 2012

With our congregation’s participation in  FaCT – Faith Communities Together (for Frac Awareness) and with previous talks from community members on fracking & the energy crisis, we were excited to learn that the son of our Board Chairman Bill & his wife Jayne (Social Justice Chair) was an important part of the crew for the upcoming feature film, Promised Land, produced by John Krasinsky (The Office) & Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) who also star in the movie. Bill & Jayne’s son, Chad Djubek, was the boom operator, recording sound for the film.

“In Promised Land, Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler, a corporate salesman whose journey from farm boy to big-time player takes an unexpected detour when he lands in a small town, where he grapples with a surprising array of both open hearts and closed doors. Gus Van Sant helms the film from an original screenplay written by John Krasinski & Matt Damon, from a story by Dave Eggers.

Steve has been dispatched to the rural town of McKinley with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand). The town has been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, and the two consummate sales executives see McKinley’s citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer – for drilling rights to their properties – as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job and a short stay for the duo becomes complicated – professionally by calls for community-wide consideration of the offer by respected schoolteacher Frank Yates (Academy Award nominee Hal Holbrook) and personally by Steve’s encounter with Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt). When Dustin Noble (John Krasinski), a slick environmental activist, arrives, suddenly the stakes, both personal and professional, rise to the boiling point.” – Taken from the official website.

View the trailer below, visit the website & plan on seeing it in select theatres starting Dec. 28!

Unitarian Universalist Tim DeChristopher Banned from Dangerous acts of ‘Social Justice’ | Grist.org

By Susie Cagle – Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, who was locked up for 15 months for disrupting an auction of oil and gas leases on public land, is now out of prison and trying to put his life back together. As part of that effort, DeChristopher secured a job at a First Unitarian Church — that is, until the Federal Bureau of Prisons stepped in.

DeChristopher wasn’t seeking a job in oil leasing or even environmental activism — fields related to his “crime.” But the feds, in their infinite wisdom, put their feet down. “You know what, we’ve been too easy on these hippies and their subversive jobs at churches.”

From the Deseret News: DeChristopher had been offered a job with the church’s social justice ministry, which would include working with cases of race discrimination, sex discrimination or other injustices that fall contrary to Unitarian beliefs. “The Bureau of Prisons official who interviewed Tim indicated he would not be allowed to work at the Unitarian church because it involved social justice and that was what part of what his crime was,” [DeChristophers attorney Patrick] Shea said. Ken Sanders, proprietor of a downtown rare books store, instead offered DeChristopher a job as a clerk. That employment has been deemed “safe,” Shea confirmed. Oh god, but what’s in the books? Science, economics, politics? What’s in the books???

Tim DeChristopher’s story is a remarkable one. Filmakers debuted “Bidder 70” at this past year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. Click below to watch the trailer:

via Tim DeChristopher banned from dangerous acts of ‘social justice’ | Grist.org

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Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for the Revolution

From the Arab Spring to the American Fall and beyond, a new global people’s movement is being born. The impossible suddenly seems possible, and all around the world ordinary people are trying out new tools and tactics to win victories where they live. In the shadow of austerity and ecological crisis, the urgency of this political moment demands resources that will transform outrage into effective action. Beautiful Trouble is a toolbox for the next revolution.

Beautiful Trouble is both sophisticated enough for veteran activists and accessible enough for newbies. Both artists and activists will find it useful, as it showcases the synergies between artistic imagination and shrewd political strategy. Beautiful Trouble is for everyone who longs for a more beautiful, more just, more livable world – and wants to know how to get there..

Is it a book or a website?

Both! The project consists of short, interrelated modules – creative tactics, action design principles, case studies, and theoretical frameworks – that together comprise an accessible matrix of best practices and ideas in creative campaigning. The website will soon include the core content of the book as well as a growing array of additional modules, resources, profiles, debates and much more. With your help, the site will evolve in real time with new social movements and their latest tactical innovations.

“…a must-read for everyone who is working for a better world. It is rich with ideas, analyses and road maps.” – Gary Shaul, long-time organizer

Can you say more about the book itself?

The physical book is 6″ x 9,” about 450 pages long and published by OR Books. It can be purchased online only. A full color e-book in a range of formats is also available. In the future, the book will also be available from Amazon and select booksellers.

What makes it unique?

Beautiful Trouble not only presents cutting-edge content in an innovative modular structure, it was assembled in a rather unusual manner as well. With many contributors from around the world participating, the entire project was assembled in the cloud, in an open, collaborative process. We also hosted four “book sprints” – weekend-long gatherings where authors and editors gathered face-to-face and locked ourselves in a large room to write, write, write! Beautiful Trouble’s publisher, OR Books, a nimble, progressive, independent publisher with an innovative post-print business model.

 

UUJO: Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio Network Launched

The UUJO is a statewide network established on October 20,2012 at a meeting in Columbus for the 41 UU Congregations in Ohio — 30 in the Ohio Meadville District of CERG and 11 in the Heartland District, MidAmerica Region.

The purpose of this network is to:

  1. Enable Ohio Unitarian Universalist social justice activists from throughout the state to unite in an effective statewide network coordinating liberal religious advocacy in our local communities, the state and beyond.
  2. Educate, motivate and activate Ohio UUs to support public policies that are consistent with key UU principles.
  3. Promote social, economic, environmental and racial justice that fosters the dignity of all, the right of conscience, use of the democratic process, liberty and peace.
  4. Organize concrete action and public witness with/and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals in Ohio

Questions or Comments?  Email Howard.Tolley@uc.edu orwww.facebook.com/UUJusticeOhio

UUJO on Environment/Fracking

Interfaith Power & Light is calling for a National Preach-In on Global Warming. Is your congregation participating?

http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/get-involved/preachin-signup/

Save-the-Date and Pre-Register Today! Please save the dates of February 8-10, 2013, for the 2013 National Preach-In on Global Warming. On the weekend before Valentine’s Day, thousands of clergy will join in our annual event to express love for Creation and address climate change as a serious moral issue.

The “No Frack Almanac” has a new website:http://www.nofrackalmanac.com/. They are selling back issues as well as “Frack Fighter” badges and t-shirts.

Article on the problems with Fracking and Water Flooding potential from the New York area.

 Article on Fracking radioactiveity potential dangers
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UU Fellowship of Erie County December Newsletter 2012 – Holiday Service on Sunday, December 16

UU Fellowship of Erie County December Newsletter 2012 - Holiday Service on Sunday, December 16

Click on the image to see a printable version.