May is my last month as acting MSJE Chair. Over the last two years, many of our ways of doing environmental and social justice work have been upended by the COVID pandemic and our not having our own building. Many of our usual ongoing and annual activities have been cancelled, including our participation in Family Promise. I have even thought about how I miss our old Social Justice Table at the Welborn Road facility.
We made progress as a congregation on several long simmering social justice goals of mine, thanks primarily to the leadership of our Minister and our Director of Religious Education. Our recertification as a Welcoming Congregation has moved ahead. We also have a strong, social justice centered adult education program going as well, with a fortnightly reading group and Thursday Lunch and Learn sessions.
The coming year will no doubt hold many opportunities to participate in justice work, whether on our own, with our local interfaith and secular partners, or with our state-wide partners within the denomination. Hopefully, we will be in our new facility by early 2023, and we will have the ability to host not only our own events but social justice and environmental groups from time to time that need a venue. Texas UU Justice Ministry continues to coordinate actions around the state and especially in Austin, and the state legislature will be meeting this spring and TxUUJM plans to return to in-person citizen lobbying. And Family Promise has been able to take in families needing a temporary home so we will resume our hosting duties.
I urge you to get involved in the various social justice and environmental undertakings of UUCBV. There is no shortage of potential projects out there, and MSJE welcomes your input.