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Social Justice and Outreach

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OUTREACH

Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach

Sign up will continue through Sunday, May 28 for our service at the Holy Grill from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2. Five servers are needed for each day. The Holy Grill is a daily lunch-time service provided by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge in Zion City in North Baton Rouge. Member churches of the Federation and community volunteers provide the daily service. Lasting friendships have often developed as our members serve together, and as they interact with on-site staff an diners. Sign up at the Adult Activities Table or email rcureau@cox.net if you can serve for one or more days. 

Kudos and thanks to members of our choir who, following a busy day singing at two morning services at our church, joined choir members of Camphor United Methodist Church in a 3pm performance at the 27th Annual Sounds of CommUNITY Concert on Sunday May 21 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church. Trey Davis conducted and Leah Hartman served as accompanist. With the theme of "In One Accord," the concert was the first-ever to feature choirs from black and white churches that have paired in partnership in an effort to improve racial understanding following the incidents of the summer of 2016. However, our church's partnership dates back to a similar impetus of church pairings following burnings of black churches in the south in 1995, and is one of only two continuing partnerships of over 20 years. The Interfaith Federation is a network of faith communities rooted in diverse traditions with a major goal of building bridges of understanding and fostering peace and goodwill in our community.

It’s not too late to plan to attend events of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, which convenes in New Orleans from June 21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), when attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. See the April and May newsletters for highlights and details of our church members' roles in several major events, and visit the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/ga for registration, schedules, and other information. Registration is required for all events except the two large worship services. Weekly announcements leading up to GA will also carry additional information, including how our church will be represented by our delegates. You won't want to miss this historic first-time GA in our state.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Bobby Thompson, Director of Social Justice

Our shared offering for the month of June will be Diversity House.  Diversity House is a service provider and an advocate for LGBT homeless youth with a mission to provide transitional housing, intensive case management and supportive services in order to enhance the health, wellness and cultural competency of LGBT youth through education and youth development.  Please be generous in your support of this cause.

The May 23rd lunch meeting of Together Baton Rouge occurred at our church and had a large turnout.  The organization asked the Mayor President and the Sheriff to attend and publicly support the idea of decreasing the amount of industrial tax exemptions for EBR manufacturing firms from the 100% exemption to no more than a 50% exemption.  They both agreed to set some cap on the exemptions.  Governor John Bel Edwards' Executive Order of last year has opened the door to rules changes by the State Commerce and Industry Board for the local authorities to give input on what they wish to exempt.  The governor has insisted that he will follow the wishes expressed by the local authorities in granting any exemption at all.  This has brought forth a We The People initiative to develop relationships with the Metro council members and the School board members to encourage them to keep more of our tax monies in parish. We have much work to do.  There will be training on Monday, June 5 at 6:30pm, to prepare TBR members to talk with public officials who will be deciding what exemptions to allow, place of training TBA.  Email Jane Webb at janepoynterwebb@gmail.com if you'd like to attend.

 

The UU members of Together Baton Rouge were wonderful in their willingness to assist in the set up and clean up for this event.  Allison Hall got clearance from the Starmount Insurance people for parking across the way and Leah Hartman took care of the microphone and project hook ups. It is always wonderful to see the church that shows up in action. We give thanks for the many people who helped make the event a success.

The next meeting of the Social Justice team will probably be in September.