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Ministry for Social Justice and the Earth in April


A major focus of the world’s attention has been focused on the Ukrainian refugee crisis, but we must not forget that many other populations are displaced by war and autocratic regimes. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, two/thirds of those displaced across borders come from the following five populations:


The Rohingya People of Myanmar. An Islamic population exiled from their homes in southwestern Burma by the military regime’s genocidal policies, about 1.1 million are living in Bangladesh and Malaysia.


Venezuela. About 4 million have fled starvation at the hands of the Maduro regime. Many have found refuge in neighboring Columbia.


Syria. Over half of the population is displaced, with more than 6.8 million outside the country, with 3.6 million in Turkey alone.


South Sudan. Civil war has forced 2.2 million to flee.


Afghanistan. Even before the country fell to the Taliban, there had been a major exodus from the country, and it has escalated with the departure of the U.S.


There are many other parts of the world that are experiencing a large number of migrants leaving. In our own hemisphere, conditions in Haiti and several countries in Central America, in addition to Venezuela, have forced residents to flee.


While we have not organized a church-wide response to the refugee situation, you can donate to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, UNICEF, or to USA for UNHCR. You can volunteer or donate to the Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network, which provides services for immigrants locally.


Also, you can contact elected officials urging them to pass immigration reform. This must include speedy hearings for asylum seekers. To be displaced is a tragedy, but to be denied shelter and a path toward a new life should not be.




Earth Month EcoChallenge


Once again you have an opportunity to join Team Brazos UU in the EcoChallenge from April 1st through the 30th. Participants select and carry out selected personal actions in the areas of social justice, environmental stewardship and health and well-being. Some are as easy as spending an hour learning about a particular topic, such as clean produce, while others take a bit more commitment, like planting a pollinator garden.


You can find the sixty or so options here: https://earthmonth.ecochallenge.org/challenges Then you can go to the “Teams” page to sign up for our church’s team. There are videos and many other resources on the website to support you (and Team Brazos UU) in learning about, setting, and reaching your goals.


MSJE Disbursements form Pledged Funds


In the church’s general budget for the current year, $1,000 is set aside for MSJE, which we use to pay dues and annual donations to important social justice partners. This year, $200 was paid out to each of the following groups:


  1. Habitat for Humanity

  2. Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network

  3. Texas UU Justice Ministry

  4. Family Promise

  5. Pride Community Center


Thank you for these contributions through your regular pledge to the UU Church of the Brazos Valley.




Split-the-Plate

Our new recipient for April through June is Pride Community Center.

The purpose of the Pride Community Center is to (1) educate the public about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, (2) advocate for civil rights under law and social equality for the Community, (3) provide resources like cultural services, emotional support, mental health services, health information and avenues for personal growth to enhance self-esteem, (4) strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against the Community, and (5) develop outreach programs promoting a harmonious relationship between the Community and citizens of the Brazos Valley. The Pride Community Center intends to create a safe space for the Community to assemble for the above-cited purposes free of discrimination, violence, taunting, and fear.



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