Updated: Apr 2, 2020
In last month’s MSJE column, you may have noticed that Jerry mentioned transitioning out of the role of MSJE chair. If you were wondering who would transition into the role of chair, here is your answer! I, Zoe Dobbs, have taken on the role of co-chair of the Ministry of Social Justice and the Earth, along with my co-chairs Sybil Jones and Josh Wilkinson. This may be a new arrangement for the group, and it’s definitely something we are still ironing out, but I’m excited about the opportunities ahead of us. These changes have brought to mind for me the church’s theme in February: surrender, and letting go. How does that relate to taking on a new responsibility? Well, as I became more and more involved with the MSJE, I slowly realized that I had been holding on to certain thoughts and feelings that no longer served me, if they ever did at all. I’d been holding on to fear, hesitation, and feelings of not knowing enough, or having enough experience. When I first visited Family Promise, I remember thinking, “I’ve never volunteered at a place like this before, I don’t know what I’m doing!” Ever since I attended a Texas UU Justice Ministry workshop, and heard Reverend Chuck Freeman speak about holding a legislative rally day in Austin, I kept thinking, “I don’t know enough about politics in general, much less Texas politics! How can possibly talk about this to my legislators?” Perhaps my noisiest and most damaging thought has been: “What can I, just one person, do? Can I really make a difference?” As I stepped into this new role, during a month of worship services about the different meanings of letting go, I realized that it was time to finally let go of these thoughts and feelings that were holding me back and preventing me from acting in line with my UU values. I reminded myself that I’m not alone in all of this - the knowledge and experience of my co-chairs and my fellow MSJE members make UUCBV’s social justice activities possible.
We all have limiting beliefs like these that keep us from action; it’s part and parcel of being human. Still, as February concludes and March begins, I think it’s time for us to let go of those stubborn feelings that may have troubled us in the past. Yes, we are each of us just one person, but together we have worked to make real change! We as a church have brought comfort and light to children living with less during the holidays, and supported families experiencing homelessness. Our donations have provided food, shelter, and living essentials to those in need. March brings even more opportunities to make our community, and our state, a better place. Our rotation for Family Promise comes up the week of the 17th, and there’s the UU legislative action day I mentioned on the 20th. We finish off March in style, with a fashion show and fundraiser for Hope’s Locker. I hope you’ll join me as we move forward into this new month, stepping a bit lighter and feeling a bit freer with a weight lifted off our shoulders.
MSJE Event Notices
Texas UU Justice Ministry 2019 Legislative Rally Day
We will be traveling on Wednesday, March 20th, to the Capitol in Austin where we will join with hundreds of other UUs from around the state to visit with our Texas Representatives and Senators. Specifically, we will meet with our legislators from the Brazos Valley to share our views on pending legislation of special concern to UU’s. The day in Austin starts at 8:30 AM, but there will likely be Austin area UUs willing to provide overnight stays. To learn more and register, visit the TxUUJM event page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/texas-unitarian-universalist-justice-ministry-legislative-action-day-registration-53575694344. Watch the Ecast for more information on carpool plans from B/CS.
Fundraiser for Hope's Locker, Bryan ISD
Hope's Locker is a clothing closet open to all students in Bryan and their families to shop free of charge for clothing, shoes and toiletries. It is housed under Project Hope, a support center serving Bryan ISD students experiencing homelessness and providing family support for anyone in need in the district. UUCBV is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, March 30th from 7-9pm, featuring a presentation by Terry Moon, a professionally trained style coach and speaker, followed by a fashion show.
Split the Plate for March
Previously, on the first Sunday of each month, half of our cash collection from the morning offering went to a nonprofit. However, at their February meeting, the Board approved a proposal to expand Split the Plate to every Sunday! Now, each week you will have the opportunity to support our community with your offering. This month, half of your cash donations will be going to Hope’s Locker at Bryan ISD, which we learned about during last Sunday’s presentation by its director, Tara Dupper.
March meeting of the Ministry for Social Justice and the Earth
Our March MSJE meeting will be on the 10th in the Hillel Board Room behind the Sanctuary at 12pm. As always, all are welcome to attend - with or without snacks! - and join us in planning social justice opportunities for UUCBV.