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June 2019 Outreach by Becky Cureau

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When the "The Church that shows up" became our church-year theme several years ago it was an apt articulation of an ethos that took root from our very beginnings and has run through the course of our history. From the  early days of the then- Unitarian Fellowship of Baton Rouge,  even  while  seeking a place to hold weekly meetings and no place to call "home,"  the small membership found time to "show up" to  provide services to the under-privileged,  and to address and protest the social ills and injustices that plagued the still-small city of Baton Rouge. So it has been through the years:  unflagging commitment to service and social justice. And so it is today in our 68th year. Our members "show up" to serve in projects and activities under the auspices of Outreach, Social Justice, stand-alone programs and projects, and as individuals - all to help make our community and our world a better and more just place for all its citizens.

And so it was during the month of May when volunteers "showed up" to serve meals for a week  at the Holy Grill in the high-poverty  Zion City community  of North Baton Rouge; and to prepare "Bags of Hope" for homeless and others in need who eat the daily lunch-time meal at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room, and receive the "Bags" as an evening meal or snack.

Holy Grill volunteers included Ed Allums, Carolyn Allums, Jan Dardenne, Herb Dyer, Liz Hamlin, Holley Haymaker,  George JudyRon Juneau, Tam Le, David Lindenfeld, Melanie Mayeux, Beth Miller, Melonie Pryer,  Marcia Shannon, Judith Sinclair, Kathy Smith, Henry Tillman,& Joanna Wilson. It is a special pleasure to serve on one of the days along with our volunteers and to see the joy with which they serve together and their smiles as they serve the diners.

Special thanks to Family Ministry Director Kathy Smith, who provided information about the "Bags of Hope" service opportunity to parents of children in Religious Education. Parents and their children who prepared "Bags" at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room in May included Jeff, Leslie,& Julianne Dixon; Genevieve & Walter Silverman; Jerry Gilbert, Sue Mitchell,& Dylan Gilbert, Kayla Bourg, Bryan Costello, River Costello & friend, Gavin Taylor. Another team of parents and their children will prepare "Bags" on June 8.

Many thanks to all our volunteers for serving on behalf of our church and maintaining our reputation as "The Church that shows up" while experiencing the joy of service. The pictures below show their smiles as they served.

Following our long tradition, we will "show up" this fall at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank warehouse to sort commodities for distribution to those who depend on the Food Bank to supplement their families' food needs, at a date TBA.

Meantime, please continue to help fill the Food Bank cartons located in the Coffee Room off the narthex with staple food items and healthy snack foods for children through the summer months.