Several OUUC members have asked for suggestions for responding to current local and national events that fuel fear and uncertainty. Here are some upcoming and ongoing efforts that all are invited – indeed, urged – to join and support.

February 6-12, 2017:

(Canceled due to inclement weather – to be rescheduled) Monday, February 6, 4-5:30 pm, at  OUUC.  JUSTICE BUILDING INNOVATOR Julia Cochrane invites OUUC members and friends to talk about passions and engagement around social and environmental justice issues. She will also discuss how our statewide and national organizations, WA UU Voices for Justice, NW UU Justice Network, and UU Service Committee, can be greater resources for WA UUs. Her work is sponsored by the UUSC.

Tuesday, February 7, 6-7:30 pmOLYMPIA SANCTUARY CITY VIGIL.  Interfaith vigil at Olympia City Hall to support the City Council’s declaration naming Olympia as a Sanctuary City.  Bring your signs!  Handouts also will remind people to make Olympia’s Charter for Compassion www.olycompassioncharter.org a living document

Friday, February 10 & Sunday, February 12Share the Love – The Rev. Vincent Lachina, Regional Chaplain for Planned Parenthood, requests that faith communities on February 10th or February 12th (just before Valentine’s Day dedicate prayers using the theme “Let Love Be Our Legacy,” and include prayers for immigrants, refugees, Native Americans, African-Americans, the LGBT community, and women – especially for those who will be most affected by cuts to Medicaid, overturning the Affordable Care Act, or the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

February 13-19:

Thursday, February 16, 6:30-9 pm, at OUUC: “Many Rivers to Cross,” PBS series exploring the evolution of the African American people.  This is the first of the  monthly Race in Film series about on race and its depiction in popular culture.  It is sponsored by OUUC’s Standing Up to Racism, the Black Alliance of Thurston County and The United Churches of Olympia.  The films are free, and open to all.  Refreshments will be served

EVERY WEEK:

SUPPORT OUR MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS.  Mustafa Mohamedali, social secretary at the Islamic Center of Olympia (Masjid Al-Nur) offers suggestions for all concerned about the targeting of Muslims and the prejudice fanned in the current political climate.  Pick up the separate handout, and share it with your family and friends.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO – FOR THE WORLD AND FOR YOURSELF

  • Change begins with listening – really listening, with an open heart and open mind. This election made clear how many Americans feel left out.  Learn more about our neighbors in Arlie Hochschild’s in Strangers in Their Own Land:  Anger and Mourning on the American Right  and J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy.  As religious people who stand on the side of love, we must learn more about the reality of our neighbor’s lives by listening to their stories.
  • Refuse to accept bigotry as part of the national conversation and stand up for values of justice and inclusiveness.  In this community we can show love toward our neighbors by rejecting White Nationalism and by naming racism, xenophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism what they are:  sins against humanity. We can stand with our neighbors and confront hate speech and behavior against all marginalized groups in the grocery store, in legislative hearing rooms, on 4th Avenue, or on social media.
  • Read and sign the joint Declaration of Conscience from Peter Morales, president the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Tom Andrews, president of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  You’ll find it at http://www.uua.org/action/show-love/declaration-conscience
  • Nurture a spiritual practice, whether meditation, singing, yoga, reading, or walking;  it will restore your spirit and soul.
  • Ration your media consumption and engagement. Pay attention to what is going on in the world, but turn off Facebook, Twitter, MSNBC or Fox News when you feel news – real or fake – is becoming an obsession.
  • Join a group or groups where you can be yourself and speak your truths, and laugh a lot, like the groups we have here at Olympia UU Congregation.
  • Think about how you can have in influence.  Even if you feel your actions seem small, like taking that bag of food to the Food Bank, sitting with a sick friend, or picking up litter on your daily walk, they are important.  They’re even better when you ask someone to join you.
  • Go back and reread the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.  Like art and literature, the values and ideals in this country’s founding documents will inspire and renew your faith in our democratic system of government
  • Commit to one act of resistance every day:
    1. Call our elected officials in Olympia, at the legislature, or in the other Washington; speak out when you disagree with acts or policies and let them know what you would like to see them do about climate change, the death penalty, education funding, or assistance for the poor.
    2. Send thanks to those officials who support these issues.
    3. Join our local SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice), the ACLU, or Black Lives Matter; they will need your support in the coming days and years!
    4. Sign on to the Rev. William Barber’s Repairers of the Breach campaign.  Barber, North Carolina’s NAACP president and author of The Third Reconstruction, is a prophet for our time.
  • Get involved with one of the hopeful organizations working for positive change in our community:  Interfaith Works’ shelter and warming center, Community Youth Services shelter, Sidewalk, and Quixote Village – each serving the need of the homeless in our community. They will be recipients of ALL Books, Beans, and Brownies proceeds for 2017.  Learn more about these wonderful groups today and how you can be a part of their work.
  • Remember you are not alone.  No one was alone January 21 on the Women’s Marches in Washington DC, Seattle, and Olympia.  Remember the energy, the spirit that just erupted that day?  Let’s keep it up!
  • Finally, share your memories of that day with others.  Together, with our justice-loving and hopeful spirits, we can strengthen hearts, inspire souls, and make a difference.

– Carol McKinley, Faith in Action Ministry