weaving the threads of community

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spiritual arts

  • Letting Go Practice for May A Spiritual Practice for May The all-Fellowship theme for May 2020 is “Letting Go and Releasing.” People commonly hold onto beliefs, ideas, objects, and commitments long past their best use date. What might you wish to let go of? Feel free to share what you write with Rev. Alison. __________________________________________________
  • Virtual Choir! Have you ever wanted to try choir but didn’t have time? Try out virtual choir! You can participate in two ways every Wednesday at 7p.m.: Join on Zoom: This allows you to see faces, but the sound is not as good for some. Amber can also share the screen with you-for words or sheet music. and/or Join on BAND: This is a live stream (no faces except Amber and Neil’s), but the sound is better, and you can comment. Only the people in your living room can hear you sing, so no need to be shy! If you want sheet music beforehand, e-mail Amber, UUFA Music Director, to join the choir e-mail list. ————————————————————————————
  • Worship in June Cause: Sweet Olive Farm        Monthly Theme  – Serving, Responsibility June 7 – Sharing the Ministry  UUFA leaders shine a light on their commitment to serving UUFA in shared ministry. Service with Rev. Alison Eskildsen and Lay Ministry graduates. June 14 – Stories for Our Lives  Some stories, like the Good Samaritan and Cinderella, are told across generations. What makes these tales so meaningful to our lives? Service with Rev. Alison Eskildsen. June 21 – Celebrate (Good?) Times: Summer, Father’s Day, Pride Month  June is filled with things to celebrate.  Let’s examine three.  Karen Solheim, Morgan Henry, and ?? June 28 – Community Service TBD ——————————————————————————–
  • Worship in May Click here Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. (or a little earlier!) to view the Sunday service live stream and other UUFA videos. Services on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted. All-Fellowship Theme: Letting Go, Releasing, Being Free Spiritual or Personal Practice for May: What do you wish to let go of during May? Add an item or idea to the “Gratitude” chain you began in April, or start a new one. NOTE: Sunday services remain ONLINE ONLY until further notice. May 3 – Letting Go with Laughter  When times get tough, it’s time to laugh. Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen. May 10 – Mothering in Many Forms  Join us as various voices share their ideas on what mothering means. May 17 – Religious Exploration Sunday  A special service honoring our RE volunteers, featuring the unique voices and art of our children and youth. Service led by DRE, Kelli McConnell and Lee Cornell, Lay Minister and Youth Mentor May 24 – Bee Wise  Since its ancient days as a divine messenger, the amazing busy bee holds a significant place in human survival. May 31 – Letting Go of Expectations  Can we free ourselves from other people’s expectations, and live more fully into our own dreams? Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen. Click here to complete worship service reflection form to share what you found meaningful or challenging about any worship service at UUFA.  
  • Virtual Drumming–Now on Fridays! End the week by drumming away some stress with Amber and two members of Palms of Fire, Fridays at 4:30 p.m.. Join the group live stream via the BAND app: https://band.us/n/afa637J6B1Oei Be sure to join by 4 p.m. so you have time to load the app and join the group. ————————————————————————————  
  • May 5: Worship Arts and Celebrations Team You are invited to attend virtually the next meeting of the Worship Arts and Celebrations Team (WACT) on Tuesday, May 5, beginning at 6:30 p.m. You are welcome to attend a meeting whether you want to observe, want give feedback or input, or are considering participating in planning and conducting worship services. You do not have to join WACT although this group always welcomes new members. For further information including connection information, contact Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–
  • Now Online–UUFA Worship Service Reflection Form With UUFA Sunday morning worship services being broadcast online, you now have the opportunity to complete a reflection form online about these worship services. The Worship Arts and Celebrations Team values your thoughts. For further information, contact Lay Minister for Spiritual Arts Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————
  • UUFA May Theme: Releasing, Letting Go, Freeing Cause: Imagination Library May 3 – Letting Go with Laughter  When times get tough, it’s time to laugh. Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen. May 10 – Mothering in Many Forms Join us as various voices share their ideas on what mothering means. May 17 – Religious Exploration Sunday A special service honoring our RE volunteers, featuring the unique voices and art of our children and youth. Service led by DRE, Kelli McConnell and Lee Cornell, Lay Minister and Youth Mentor May 24 – Bee Wise Since its ancient days as a divine messenger, the amazing, busy bee holds a significant place in human survival. May 31 – Letting Go of Expectations Can we free ourselves from other people’s expectations, and live more fully into our own dreams? Service led by Rev. Alison Eskildsen.
  • View This Sunday’s Service Online! (Click for the link.) Visit this page for the live stream link on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and to watch other UUFA videos: https://www.uuathensga.org/online/ ——————————————————————————-
  • Silk Floral Banner Missing In Search Of… …The royal blue silk floral wall hanging that for many years was displayed on the curved wall behind the piano. It was removed during the renovation of the sanctuary and seems to be unaccounted for. If you have any information pertaining to this wall hanging, please contact Kate Blane.   ______________________________________________

  • Join Morning Meditations and Afternoon Social Times A Way to Start or Close Your Day Would you like to start your day off with a brief reflection time? Or close down your day with some lively socializing? We have both for you! On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, at 8:45 a.m., UUFA offers you a 15-minute Morning Meditation time of readings, music, singing, and/or silence. On Wednesday and Friday late afternoons, at 5:30 p.m., UUFA offers you a time to gather socially for Happy Hour–with or without a beverage of your choice–anything from grape juice to wine, smoothies to daiquiris, or water to whiskey. These opportunities are part of our  “Stay Connected” programming. As we continue to shelter at home, we hope you’ll stay connected by taking advantage of these offerings. To participate in these and other offerings, click on this “Stay Connected” link. Looking for something different than what’s already offered? Send a note to Rev. Alison describing what will help you stay connected. ____________________________________________________
  • May 1 Update from Rev. Alison Patience, not Patients May 1, 2020 Since we were asked to begin physical distancing and not hold large gatherings in an effort to reduce infection of COVID-19, the Fellowship has held seven “online only” Sunday morning worship services this spring. I hope you have taken advantage of our live streaming on Sunday as a way to stay connected. Although some people may be getting impatient to gather in person, and some may be struggling with feelings of isolation, the Fellowship is not ready to re-open the building for a return to regular activities. Because Georgia has not met the Trump Administration’s minimum requirement to loosen restrictions, and because many of UUFA’s members and friends are elders, we will not open the sanctuary to crowds. That day will arrive, but it is not here, yet. The Board, Ministry Council, and I are discussing steps we might take to begin the process of reopening. Among the ideas we’re considering is a limited registration for Sunday attendance for those who consider themselves at less risk, or those who have recovered from the virus. By limiting the number of people who can register to attend a service, we can control physical distancing. Under this scenario, we would continue to stream services for those who are not ready to be face-to-face with others outside their immediate household. Other ideas for opening up are under consideration as well. No date has been set for a slow reopening, but those who participate in leading the Sunday services are not anxious to have the sanctuary return to full capacity too soon. We’ll be listening to the medical experts and watching the Georgia and Athens-Clarke County statistics to determine what is best for our UU community. Meanwhile, stay well and keep your distance from strangers. But, please, don’t stay separated from your Fellowship friends and family. If you haven’t, participate in a “Stay Connected” activity offered during the week. A variety of offerings are available–including a Friday at 5:30 p.m. Happy Hour. Bring your beverage of choice and join the casual conversation. For more about the “Stay Connected” events, click on this link.  See you soon virtually, Rev. Alison __________________________________________

denominational affairs

  • Mountain Matters Read the latest from The Mountain. Read Mountain Musings. The Mountain was founded by Unitarian Universalists in 1979 as a nonprofit camp and conference center. This is an ecologically conscious retreat and learning center serving congregations, businesses, schools, and other Unitarian Universalist and community groups. ————————————————————————————
  • UUA Matters: May 2020 Southern Region Newsletter To read the May 2020 Southern Region Newsletter,  click here. Subscribe to the Southern Region e-newsletter if you haven’t already. ————————————————————————————
  • Experience UUA’s General Assembly…Virtually General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to have voting delegates.   The UUA Board of Trustees has passed a resolution to make the 2020 General Assembly a 100% virtual event. Virtual GA Registration is $150. REGISTER NOW! Click here for for information. Click here for additional information. ————————————————————————————–

governance

  • May 17 Annual Meeting Results & Video The votes have been counted… … And all motions passed! 118 people voted (83 Google Ballot; 35 Absentee Ballot): Board of Trustee Nominees (116 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain) Nominating Committee Nominees (116 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain) Budget (117 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain) EOV Funds (116 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain) Thank you to everyone for adapting to the changed voting method and meeting format. It was inspiring to see all of your lovely faces on Zoom and to know our congregation is strong! Thank you! Michelle Swagler, Secretary, UUFA Board of Trustees https://youtu.be/LoJXjFOQot8 ————————————————————————————–  
  • May 17: UUFA Annual Meeting (at Noon) A Virtual Meeting The UU Fellowship of Athens will hold its Annual Meeting without being in the sanctuary this year. Due to COVID-19 and keeping safe distances from one another, this year’s meeting will be a Zoom event for Fellowship Members. All voting members received a reminder email today (May 14) and last week on May 5 with a link to the meeting. If you are a voting member and didn’t receive the email, please contact UUFA administrator Shaye (uufa@uuathensga.org) or leave a voicemail at 706-255-1454. Any last-minute pledges will be received with gratitude! ——————————————————————————-  
  • Nominees for Election at 2020 Annual Congregational Meeting The Nominating Committee proposes the following nominees for election at the 2020 Annual Congregational Meeting (tentatively scheduled for May 17): Treasurer (1-year term) – Thrane Jensen At-Large member of the Board of Trustees (3-year term) – Marco Messori At-Large member of the Board of Trustees (3-year term) – Vivian Sellers Member of the Nominating Committee (2-year term) – Melissa Fahmy Member of the Nominating Committee (2-year term) – Carol Stanley If elected, those above will join the following whose service continues: Board of Trustees Scott Mason, President (2020-21) elected by the Board; at-large member (2018-2021) Michelle Swagler, Secretary (2019-2021) Susan Brown, at-large member (2018-2021) Susan Curtis, at-large member (2019-2022) Clela Reed, at-large member (2019-2022) Lyndall Tunnell, at-large member (2019-2022) Nominating Committee Diane Bridges (2019-2021) Rich Rayburn (2019-2021) TBD (2020-2021), Board representative (appointed by the Board) According to the UUFA Bylaws: At least thirty-five (35) days before the annual meeting, the Nominating Committee shall post its list of nominees and publish it in the newsletter and by electronic mail. Up to twenty-one (21) days before the annual meeting, the Nominating Committee shall accept written petitions of fifteen (15) or more members to add any qualified member, designated as a nominee by petition, to the list. The Nominating Committee shall ensure that the final list of nominees, including those nominated by petition, is mailed (either traditionally or electronically) to each Voting Member of the Congregation with the notice of the annual meeting. Questions?  Contact Nominating Committee Chair Molly Williams (mollyswilliams@gmail.com or 206-234-9625). –From the Nominating Committee: Molly Williams, Chair; Diane Bridges, Linda Gilbert, Paul Gurian, Rich Rayburn ———————————————————————————
  • Sharing Your Secret Super Power Do you have a secret super power? Have you been wanting to share your smarts and skills more actively within our community, but don’t know how/where to start? If you’re interested in exploring leadership opportunities at UUFA or if you know someone with hidden talents, the Nominating Committee wants to hear from you! We are seeking UUFA members who excel in the following areas: accounting; budgeting and money management; survey building; qualitative evaluation; institutional knowledge about UUFA; policy review and accountability; team building. If you’d like to hear more about the available roles, please email one of us: Molly Williams – mollyswilliams@gmail.com, Linda Gilbert – gilbert.linda@gmail.com, Diane Bridges – dianebridges156@gmail.com, Paul Gurian – PHGurian@earthlink.net, Rich Rayburn – camburn7@gmail.com ———————————————————————————–

  • Board Member Notes: A Big Day for UUFA from UUFA Board of Trustees member Susan Curtis: Sunday, May 17, brought joy to my heart and to my mind. Not only did Kelli McConnell and Lee Cornell present the annual recognition of Religious Exploration volunteers–teachers and subs, mentors, youth advisors, the RE Ideas committee, Hogwarts Camp volunteers and prefects (from among the youth themselves), Our Whole Lives advisors, Nifty Gifty elves, children’s worship helpers–but they also brought together kids, youth, and families to celebrate the RE program, all in a pre-recorded service linking videos from families’ homes. Enjoy the service again or view it for the first time by clicking here. Sunday’s second act was another technological achievement: the first ever Zoomed annual meeting bringing together the largest number of voting members in recent memory with 118 people voting (83 Google ballots; 35 absentee ballots). Thanks to Barb Schell, Lee Cornell, Michelle Swagler, Thrane Jensen, Scott Mason, and Rev. Alison for preparing for the many tech challenges and then offering a smooth presentation. In addition to learning about the work of the COSM from Andy Case and about the Interim Search Committee from Jane Mayer, participants voted to accept the slate of board members and nominations committee members presented by Molly Williams as well as the upcoming year’s budget, which Thrane had adapted to the current fiscal realities. You can view the meeting, starting about minute 13:30. May 17 is a super sample of what UUFA has created in order to bring members and friends together in the face of the huge challenges presented by the arrival of Covid 19. As you have heard on Sundays, the rest of the week is filled with opportunities–now numbering fifteen–for people of all ages to gather online through our Stay Connected page. Thanks also to the Pastoral Care team and the Care Rings for their outreach to individuals. I discovered early in my 13 years at the Fellowship that the staff and congregation are filled with imaginative people who dive head first into challenges. I hadn’t realized that we could repeat the commitment required by the building update and expansion, but in 2020, we have, thanks to you all and especially to the leadership of Rev. Alison and Barb Schell. ————————————————————————————–
  • Podcast 10: WOW DANG WOW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy_XumwZ-9g&feature=emb_logo
  • UUFA Solar Project Update UUFA’s solar project is going extremely well.  Solar Sun World made wonderful preparations and calculations, which are paying handsome dividends during installation. All solar panels and inverters are installed.  Wiring and hookups to the inverters and electricals in the mechanical room will be the next steps.  Once installation is complete, the system will be tested.  An internet connection will allow us to use our phones and computers to monitor electricity production.  All of this is expected to be finished before Memorial Day. Within a week or so of Solar Sun World finishing, we hope that Clarke County and Georgia Power will inspect our project.  Also, our existing meter will be reprogrammed, giving us the green light we have been waiting for. Putting all this together, we expect our solar equipment to produce electricity in early June. ——————————————————————————
  • Podcast 9 Great Big UUFA Get Aparty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7urm9iOd4&feature=youtu.be
  • Podcast 8: Here Comes the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSXMi-cY3xI&feature=youtu.be UUFA Board President Barb Schell shares pictures from UUFA folks and news of the upcoming annual meeting and the interim ministry search. Click above to view the video. ————————————————————————————-

exploration

  • Thursdays: Tai Chi Class Tai Chi Flow class virtually on Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. with Jackie and Bill  Pierson Tai Chi Flow is a blend of Qigong and Tai Chi moves that are set to music. You don’t need to know anything or have any prior experience; just follow along and have fun. Tai Chi is a moving meditation that improves strength, coordination, and balance. For more information or to join us, send an email to birdfeathr@gmail.com. ————————————————————————————
  • Mondays: Religious Book Discussion Group This group now meets virtually Monday evenings from 7:30 until 9:00 p.m., and its name–Religious Book Discussion Group–implies its purpose. Currently, this group is pondering the Tao Te Ching. Everyone is welcome. Diverse spiritual or religious beliefs will enhance the discussions. For more info, contact, Paul-Henri Gurian  or Alice Rose. ————————————————————————————–
  • April 26: Common Read Discussion Did you plan on attending the second session of the discussion of the 2019-20 UUA Common Read, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States on March 22? Well, we know that didn’t happen! However, you have the opportunity now to join in a discussion virtually on Sunday, April 26, from 2-4 p.m.. Two of UUFA’s youth, Leo Hayden and Natalie Schliekelman, will co-facilitate the discussion. You still have time to read the book, either the young adult or adult version. Please let Vivian Sellers know by April 24 if you’d like to participate. To order either version from UUA, click on the link below:  An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015) An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, 2019) are the new 2019-20 Common Read. *These books can also be ordered and shipped to your home through an Athens-based business (https://www.avidbookshop.com/). ——————————————————————————
  • Youth Group Meeting If you would like to be included in the Youth Group (6th-12th grades) virtual meetings, please contact DRE Kelli (dre@uuathensga.org) or Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com) to be added to the list. —————————————————————————————  
  • Thanks to Our Wonderful Nifty Gifty Elves This year’s Nifty Gifty craftstravaganza was a huge success, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of some very helpful UUFA elves!! The whole event sparkled with magic and joy, thanks to the folks that offered gifts of their time, talent and treasure this year!! Thanks to Staci Atkins (set-up), Heather, Thrane and Leyla Jensen (RE-Shoppe organizing/set-up), Iva King and Vivian Preston-Sellers (greeters/registration), Linda Smith (hospitality and gift wrapping), Caryl Sundland (ornament adornment), Cookie Kabat (card making and collage art), Morgan Henry (stained-glass chalice), Barb Schell (ornament adornment), Hester Meyers (wrapping station and seasoning salt), Hilda Kurtz (set-up and origami ornaments), Wendy Lamb (origami ornaments), Katie Green (RE-Shoppe Manager and gift wrapper), Deb Brenner (super-star magnets), Betsy Smith (suncatcher), Xena Bruce (set-up and candle-making), and finally Marie and Harold Weber (clean-up crew)! Extra special gratitude to Caryl Sundland’s son, Andrew Chew who came all the way from Atlanta to bring his specially-made wood-worked crafts! Andrew said he wanted to carry on the tradition of his father, Paul Chew, who for years provided the children of Nifty Gifty a special craft from his wood-shop. The kids loved making hand-designed coasters, bookmarks and wooden snow-people with you Andrew! Also, thank you to those (known and unknown) who donated gifts for our Nifty Gifty RE-Shoppe! The kids had a blast shopping for their friends and families! Events like Nifty Gifty are only possible thanks to our volunteers, who show up year after year to create festive and fun memories for our children and their families! Happy Holidays, y’all! -Kelli —————————————————————————————-

communications

  • More Scam Emails NOT from Rev. Alison Dear UUFA Members and Friends, You may have received a SCAM email from an address that includes part of my name. I did not send these emails, and they were not sent from the Fellowship. I will never ask you to buy gift cards, share financial information, or anything similar by email. And, if “patients” or members were in need of money, I would ask you to donate to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, not to me directly. I use only two email addresses—a gmail account with no reference to my being a reverend, and an official UUFA address ending with uuathensga.org. If you received the scam email, please block that address from your email accounts and report this incident to your service provider.  You can file a phishing report using Google’s online form, to get the address/account blocked ASAP. If you receive a similar email in the future, especially one using such phrases as “Peace be with you” or “God Bless You” or anything similar, please take the steps above to report it and let Shaye know (uufa@uuathensga.org). You can find the correct emails for all staff at https://www.uuathensga.org/uufa/ministers-and-staff/ I am so sorry my name is being used to take advantage of people. Stay well and safe, Rev. Alison —————————————————————————————-
  • Communications Matter: Check Early and Often! Are you just checking the UUFA News of the Week just once a week? Are you just visiting the UUFA website periodically? Are you just looking at the UUFA calendar monthly? Are you just looking at the UUFA facebook occasionally? Are you never clicking on UUFA hyperlinks?  🙁 Then you are not informed about everything that is happening in the beloved community of UUFA. Each of these UUFA communications vehicles is updated almost daily if not several times a day during these shelter-place-times, so please be informed, checking each early and often. You won’t want to miss all the goings-on! Questions? Contact UUFA Congregational Administrator Shaye Gambrell (uufaca@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————-
  • Our May Spotlight Volunteers of the Month The UUFA Volunteer Recognition Team is pleased to recognize Peg Graham and Jim Marshall as our May Spotlight Volunteers of the Month for their contributions as the coordinators of the ushers. While they are getting a bit of a reprieve at the moment, their tireless dedication to the organization of many UUFA folks to undertake this important duty is deeply appreciated. Scheduling and communicating with the ushers, assembling the orders of service, collecting the offering, and assisting with special services is such a huge responsibility. Thank you both so much for being such a great positive team and for all you do for the Fellowship! ———————————————————————————–
  • UUFA Building Access Limited For the protection of all and in keeping with ACC and state regulations, access to the UUFA building is now limited to occasional visits by staff, maintenance work, and those producing the Sunday morning service. Please contact Rev. Alison with any questions or concerns. ———————————————————————————–  
  • February 24: Voting Matters February 24 is the last day to register to be able to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary on March 24. Check your voter status and your polling location at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. ————————————————————————————-

fellowship

    • June 1: Membership Team Meeting–You’re Invited The UUFA’s membership team works to welcome and integrate newcomers into our community. This meeting is for the team who coordinates membership operations, and we are always looking for others to help us with the organization to all our efforts. While we encourage ALL regular UUFA attendees to constantly be warm and inviting, we have many creative ways that you, too, can get involved – when we reopen: help us serve a continental breakfast for the New to UUFA, orientation, act as a welcomer at the doorways on Sunday mornings, compile folders to welcome newcomers and folders to the New to UUFA class. Interested in supporting this effort? Contact Michelle Leebens-Mack. ———————————————————————————–
    • Join Us for Online Opportunities: Stay Connected Did you know that you can stay connected with other UUFA Members via our Stay Connected page? Our online offerings are daily activities designed to keep us in community, while we are safely socially distanced. We have Morning and Evening Meditations, which are short offerings that last about 15 minutes. The intention of these morning and evening practices is to give folks a place to gather and to ground, to center, and to connect. There is so much to be gained from taking just a few short minutes to focus on our breathing while clearing the mind and opening our hearts. There are also three activities each week for kids! During Fun & Free Playtime on Mondays, Ms. Kelli invites the children to socialize through games, art, and embodiment practices. Then there’s Story-time on Thursday afternoons, and Show and Tell for kids on Saturday mornings – this usually involves a scavenger hunt for materials from which we build our own story – we use lots of imagination and create tons of fun!! Also, of course, there are offerings like the Fellowship Coffee Hour on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Happy Hour on Wednesday and Friday evenings, where folks can circle up with their beverage of choice, strike up a conversation and stay connected. The Youth Group continues to meet via Zoom, as well. This Wednesday we did a virtual “Harry Potter Escape Room”! For more information including times and days that these offerings are available, check here: https://www.uuathensga.org/stay-connected/ To lead an offering, go to our Sign Up page!  ————————————————————————————–
    • Mondays: Grateful Thread Now Meeting Virtually and Every Monday The Grateful Thread is a social gathering for knitting, crocheting, quilting, hand sewing, embroidery, weaving, and any other types of thready handiwork you might be working on. Whether you’re a dedicated crafter, are learning a new skill, or resuming a talent you honed years ago, we’d love to have you join us via Zoom every Monday from 2-4 p.m. throughout this period of “sheltering in place.” Everyone is always encouraged to work on their own projects; plus there is ample opportunity for anyone to join in on our various on-going charity projects. UUFA & Grateful Thread provide lap afghans and blankets, shawls, scarves, and a variety of other handmade items for the UUFA congregation that are distributed as needed by the Pastoral Care Team as well as for residents of Avery Place in Winterville (in their memory care wing as well as their regular nursing home wing). For information on how to participate in this virtual group, please contact Valerie Hayes or Deb Brenner. ————————————————————————————-
    • Stay Connected with Virtual Gatherings During this time of physical distancing and sheltering in place, we do not need to be isolated. UUFA is now offering a variety of opportunities to get together with Zoom conferencing. Staying connected as a congregation has never been solely about Sunday morning. We hope you will join us as we continue to connect in virtual spaces. Visit the Stay Connected page on our website for more details and links to join virtual meetings for morning coffee and conversation, afternoon “happy hours,” morning and evening meditations, Share & Tell for children and adults, and a story time for children. Previously formed groups at UUFA continue to meet virtually, as well. To connect with one or more of these groups, visit UUFA’s UUFA’s online calendar. Contact Shaye in the office with any questions or requests for technical assistance in connecting online. —————————————————————————————
    • Share Joys, Sorrows & Milestones (Click for link) Stay In Touch! Although we are sheltering in place and keeping physically distant from each other, we need not sever all connections. Please follow this link to communicate your Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones to Rev. Alison and the Pastoral Care Team. We’re all concerned about what’s happening, but is there something special you’re joyful about? Or sorrowful? Or have you reached a significant milestone? If so, please let Rev. Alison know by filling out the linked form. On Sunday morning during our virtual services, any messages you want shared will be announced. We’ll continue to post those you want posted on our collective Joy, Sorrow & Milestone page, too, so stay in touch! Be well, keep your distance, and enjoy your time at home as best you can. _________________________________________________
    • UUFA Fall Retreat Registration Open Registration online for our Fall Retreat (October 2 through 4) is now open. To register go to The Mountain website themountainrlc.org, click on “All Events,” scroll down to events taking place in October, then select “UU Fellowship of Athens Biennial Retreat.”  Select “Learn More and Register”. Then follow the prompts.  If you find that you need help, click on “Contact Us.” Early registration, which saves $20 and makes the cost $170.00, is open from now until July 31.  Keep in mind that housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you need a particular type of housing, registering early is a good idea. The retreat is a Fun and Fellowship activity. For more information, contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314). ———————————————————————————-
    • March 8: Film Fans Film Fans will be gathering this Sunday to see The Call of the Wild showing at Beechwood Theater at 4:30.  We’d love to have you join us for the movie.  Meet us meet in the lobby at Beechwood about 4:15.  Film Fans is a Fun and Fellowship activity. For further information, contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com). ——————————————————————————-
    • SAVE THE DATE for Penny’s 80th! Please help Penny Oldfather celebrate her 80th Birthday!  Everyone is welcome to the party on Saturday, April 11, from 4 – 7 pm. in the Fellowship Hall at UUFA.  Come and help her recover from the shock that she’s actually that old! ————————————————————————————-
    • CANCELLED–March 19: Scrabble with the Rabble Scrabble with the Rabble meets Thursday, March 19,  from 7-9 p.m. in at UUFA in the Fellowship Hall (or Ocean Room). All are welcome to come play; please bring a Scrabble set if you have one. For more information, Kathy Larsen (317-855-0009 or kathylyndall@gmail.com). —————————————————————————–
    • Joys, Sorrows, Milestones – Spring 2020 Recently Shared In keeping with our “Sharing Our Joys, Sorrows, and Milestones” procedure (click on the blue link for details), the following people asked to have their notes from a recent Sunday service shared with you. Notes from the last four weeks are posted. To share your own Joy, Sorrow, or Milestone, link to the form here.   Week of May 24, 2020 Bobby Tyler shares, “I hope you all are doing well during this extraordinary time. I’m grateful UUFA is holding virtual services to keep us connected. Some of you already know, but I wanted to share my big news with the rest of you — I am retiring from UGA effective June 1. As the lone original staff member of the Performing Arts Center, I’m very proud of all we achieved, most notably our partnership with Performance Today. Now I’m looking forward to enjoying the next chapter in my life! Please use my home email to stay in touch: bbtjr@bellsouth.net not my UGA account. I look forward to the time when I can give you each a warm hug in person — in the meantime I’m sending you a virtual hug with love.”   Week of May 17, 2020 Mary Jean Hartel shares two joys: “First, my husband Peter had a “mild” heart attack on Sunday and returned home Wednesday with a new stent in his heart. And second, he returned home in time to make my birthday apple pie for Sunday 17th when I turn 70!!! My mom always called me on my birthday to say, “I remember the day you were born.” She always said it like it was a good thing.” Lee Cornell joyfully announces that, “After weathering a few vacations, a major home remodel, and now a global pandemic I decided there’s not much more to test a relationship with, and asked Donna Clement to marry me. She said yes! Details are evolving as life adjusts to the virus.”   Week of May 10, 2020 John Schell announced that Barb’s 70th birthday was Friday, May 8th. “She is getting ready too explode a whole new decade!” Gary and Lynn Rinker celebrated their 12th Anniversary on May 9th. Congratulations!   Week of May 3, 2020 Rev. Alison Eskildsen shared that her father, Arnold Wilbur, died one month short of his 98th birthday, in Virginia, after a brief bout with COVID-19, complicated by other health challenges. She writes, “Thank you to all who have expressed sympathy for my loss. It is comforting to have so many friends here, especially since the pandemic prevents me from being with family up north.” ___________________________________________________
    • March 10: Second Lookers On Tuesday, March 10, at noon, Second Lookers will at noon in the Eskildsen Room. Betsy Bean will talk with us about her work with her magazine BOOM. Bring a brown bag lunch. For more information or to get a ride to Second Lookers, contact Wendy Lamb or Hester Meyers. —————————————————————————————  
    • Faithify for UU Youth! Please help us support our own UUFA Youth, Josie Green, as well as other UU Youth for the International Youth Pilgrimage! Did you know the US and Canadian Unitarian Universalism is just one thread of a diverse tapestry of liberal faith present all across the globe? Our own Josie Green will be participating in a youth pilgrimage to Transylvania in July 2020. Teens from North America will not only encounter the sites of Unitarianism’s founding from the 1500s, but they will also worship and connect with Transylvanian Unitarian teens in Romania at their annual youth camp. If you are able, please donate to our Faithfy campaign to make this opportunity financially viable for all the North American teens participating. You may be funding the future of our global faith. Go to this site to contribute – https://faithify.org/projects/international-youth-pilgrimage/?fbclid=IwAR2gUz4t8Sb9iOkVBEU1STtMmKl9goCeRMP3mfVtSU2zCSqIYao1Ra2DI1g ————————————————————————————  
    • 2020 Save the date! Retreat! Retreat! Save the date!  Mark your calendars!  Our next UUFA Fall Retreat is less than one year away! From October 2 to October 4, 2020, we will be at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center near Highlands, North Carolina for a wonder-filled, inspirational, fun, and friendship-forming weekend surrounded by the beauty of Little Scaly Mountain. So…save the date, save your pennies, watch for more information, and we hope that you all can come. Anyone interested in being part of the planning for the retreat, contact Carol-Lee Baker, Lay Minister for Fun and Fellowship, at carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314. ———————————————————————————-
    • Get to Know Each Other at These Recurring Events Weekly: Tuesdays & Thursdays: Men’s Breakfast Men of UUFA meet twice weekly for breakfast and conversation from 9-11 am at Panera Bread. Wednesdays People’s Lunch: All are invited to the People’s Lunch Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. at Jason’s Deli. Please join us! Wednesdays Potluck: Wednesday potluck is a 35-year tradition at UUFA. All are welcome! Just bring a dish to share (homemade or purchased) at 6 p.m. and enjoy good food and interesting conversation. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages are available. Hope to see you there! Thursdays Women’s Breakfast: You are invited to join us for Thursday for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at Em’s Kitchen on Hawthorne Avenue. Come and enjoy conversation and coffee or a morning meal. For more information, contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com, 706-483-2314). Thursdays YoUU Can Dance! Everyone is welcome to practice dance with an assortment of music. Whatever your level of dancing is, you’ll fit right in! Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Ocean Room. For more information, contact Sandie Storer (ss6204656@gmail.com). Monthly: First Sundays: Let’s Get to Know You  Join Rev. Alison, a member of the Membership Committee, and other newcomers for an informal opportunity to ask questions, learn a bit about UUFA, and share what you might be hoping to find here. Feel free to drop in the Conference Room with your coffee or tea after the service. The Conference Room is the second door on the right as you enter the Fellowship through the main doors. Grateful Thread: Handwork and Conversation We would like to propose a group for anyone who likes to crochet, knit, quilt, tat, weave… anything to do with threadwork. We mainly want to meet socially as we do our threadwork; however, if anyone is interested in learning a new skill, Valerie will teach crochet and Lindsay will teach knitting. Any other member of the group is welcome to teach as well. We would also like to provide items for the Rolling Marketplace, with an emphasis on donating things for charities (such as hats, gloves, scarves for the homeless). We could also work with other groups at UUFA to coordinate this effort.. This fun group will be meeting on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. Hope to see you there.  We’ll be meeting in the UU Heritage Room (fka “the sofa room”). Second Lookers (second Tuesday each month at noon) is a chance for men and women who have retired from jobs but most certainly not from life! We are interested and interesting older members of the Fellowship who gather to catch up with each other over brown bag lunches and coffee followed by either a guest speaker or other program. For more information, contact Hester Meyers (706-548-4182, rhmeyers@uga.edu). Third Fridays: Scrabble with the Rabble usually meets from 7-9 p.m. in at UUFA in the Ocean Room. All are welcome to come play; please bring a Scrabble set if you have one. For more information, Kathy Larsen (317-855-0009, kathylyndall@gmail.com). ————————————————————————————-    
    • Weekly Breakfast Gathering for All Identifying as Women All who identify as women are invited to gather for breakfast each Thursday at 8:30 at Em’s Kitchen on Hawthorne Avenue to enjoy conversation and coffee or our morning meal. For more information contact Carol-Lee Baker (carlee1945@gmail.com or 706-483-2314). ————————————————————————————–
    • Let’s Get to Know You – First Sundays Join Rev. Alison, a member of the Membership Committee, and other newcomers for an informal opportunity to ask questions, learn a bit about UUFA, and share what you might be hoping to find here. Feel free to drop in the Conference Room with your coffee or tea after the service. The Conference Room is the second door on the right as you enter the Fellowship through the main doors. ———————————————————————————-
    • UUFA People’s Lunch All are invited to the People’s Lunch Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. at Jason’s Deli. Please join us! ——————————————————————————
    • UUFA Men’s Breakfast Men of UUFA meet twice weekly for breakfast and conversation from 9-11 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Panera Bread. ——————————————————————————

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    • April 19: Green Sanctuary Team Meeting The Green Sanctuary Team will be meeting on Sunday, April 19, at noon virtually For further information, contact the Green Sanctuary Team Chair Mark Williams. For the fiftieth celebration of Earth Day, the Green Sanctuary Team is sharing suggestions about how you can make a difference on this planet.  To join the Green Sanctuary Team email list, click here to sign up. —————————————————————————————
    • Athens Area Black History Bowl Coach Needed Would you be able to give your time to coach the children and youth of UUFA so that they could participate in the next Athens Area Black History Bowl that will be held in March 2021? Teams are tested on material regarding national, state, and local black history including historic landmarks and individuals. Questions fall within nine categories. Each team has at least five members from fifth to twelve grade, and according to the rules of the Bowl, every member has to answer at least one question. Since UUFA has never had a team in this event, many possibilities exist as to the logistics of preparing a team. Interested?  Contact Social Action Committee chair David Jarrett. —————————————————————————————
    • Composting Continues–Pitch In Don’t put your pizza crust, cookie crumbs or green salad scraps in the garbage after Coffee Hour or Pot Luck.  COMPOST THEM!  The Green Team is composting at UUFA.  Look for the compost pail (and maybe a friendly Green Team member waving a “Compost Here” sign) just outside the kitchen door. What can you compost?  Any food scraps except meat and excessively greasy stuff.  Composting reduces waste, saves landfill space and enriches dirt.  Do Mother Nature a favor and COMPOST. For further information about this or any other Green Sanctuary initiative, contact Liz Weaver (ejsweaver@gmail.com). ——————————————————————————
    • Help Needed: Volunteer for Vetting and Saying Hello The Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition, part of the Interfaith Sanctuary Movement of which UUFA is a member, needs a volunteer who is someone trustworthy to help check-up on people who sign up to be food delivery drivers and to send them a hello message telling them what to expect. This volunteer position involving a few hours a week needs someone relatively good with Google Sheets and email. Interested?  Email Karen Solheim. ————————————————————————————-
    • Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition Plea The Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, of which UUFA is a part, is asking your help to aid undocumented neighbors who are struggling financially during the corona virus crisis. Click here to read how you can make a difference. The Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, comprised of members of some 15+ faith communities serving the Athens area, is dedicated to offering hospitality, safety, and opportunities for all immigrants, regardless of status, to participate fully in our shared community.   This group traditionally meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. For further information, contact UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team member Nancy MacNair (ncmacnair@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–
    • June 1: Voting for 2020-21 Causes of the Month Opens All members of UUFA are invited to vote for the 2020-21 Causes of the Month. Online voting will be open from June 1 (8 a.m.) to June 14 (midnight). A paper ballot, to be returned by snail mail to UUFA by June 12, is also available for voting. This new procedure for selecting the 2020-21 Causes of the Month for UUFA’s Share the Plate program expands voting to all UUFA members rather than just those individuals attending a given Social Action Committee meeting. If you have questions about the 2020-21 Cause of the Month voting process, please contact Deb Brenner. ————————————————————————————–
    • June 2: Worship Arts and Celebrations Team You are invited to attend virtually the next meeting of the Worship Arts and Celebrations Team (WACT) on Tuesday, June 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. You are welcome to attend a meeting whether you want to observe, want give feedback or input, or are considering participating in planning and conducting worship services. You do not have to join WACT although this group always welcomes new members. For further information including connection information, contact Lee Cornell (uufa.lee@gmail.com). ———————————————————————————–
    • June 20: Chalice Film Series Discussion On Saturday, June 20, at 4 p.m., you are invited to engage in a discussion of the film Pay It No Mind:  The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson. Marsha P. Johnson was a revolutionary trans activist, Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, prostitute, starving actress, and Saint, as well as a downtown NYC fixture from the 1960’s through her too-soon demise in 1992. Johnson persevered through a life embodied by her middle initial P, which stood for “Pay It No Mind.” This film was selected because of UUFA’s Welcoming Congregation Renewal process and because of June being Pride month. All participating in the discussion are asked to watch this 55-minute film prior to the June 20 discussion. For further information about the discussion, contact Morgan Henry. To receive connection information for the virtual discussion, sign up here. —————————————————————————————–
    • June 5: Explore Plant-Based Cooking Another way to “Stay Connected”–Explore Plant Based Cooking Join Kate Blane for a half hour of exploring plant-based salads and snacks.  Click the link on our Stay Connected page on Friday, June 5, at 9:30 a.m. to join! Kate’s offering will be an interactive discussion for you to share recipes, shopping tips, and current information around a plant-based diet. All are welcome! ————————————————————————————-
    • June 7: Social Action Committee Meeting Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, June 7, beginning at noon virtually. For more information including connection details, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett. Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv. This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up! The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. —————————————————————————————
    • June 7: UU the Vote Georgia Meet and Greet with Georgia Equality  Sunday, June 7 at 1 p.m.  Join us  for our regular Georgia Power Hour on Sunday, June 7, at 1 p.m. Georgia Equality Outreach Organizer, Shannon Clawson will join us to talk about what’s at stake in Georgia and how our team can make a difference in 2020. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to meet one of our newest partners. Let us know you’re coming! RSVP here. For more information, contact UUFA UU the Vote Georgia liaison Paul Van Valkenberg. ———————————————————————————
    • Justice Partner Opportunity: AADM Virtual Tutoring During Covid-19, UUFA Justice Partner AADM (Athens Anti Discrimination Movement) is offering tutoring free opportunities for students and is in need of tutors! At present, no new students are being accepted into this program because of the lack of tutors. For more information, including the form to sign up to become a tutor, click here. For more information about AADM, contact UUFA liaison Deb Brenner. ————————————————————————————-
    • Make a Difference While Social Distancing and Sheltering in Place from the UUFA Justice Cluster:   During these socially distancing and sheltering-in-place times, you can still make a difference locally and nationally with your time, talent, and treasure. Give to UUFA’s April Cause of the Month UUFA’s April Cause of the Month will be shared with the UU Association’s Covid- 19 Response Fund and the Fellowship’s Minister’s Discretionary Fund. Gifts to the UUA’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response will be directed to our larger UU faith community to support those religious professionals and communities for whom the pandemic creates the greatest need. The UUFA’s Minister’s Discretionary Fund will be used to assist member and community requests for food, medicine, rent, and other emergency needs. Online Giving Made Easy!  Give online through Realm or by texting “UUFA” to this number: 73256. 2.  Participate in UUFA’s Involvement with UU the Vote. Join UU the Vote and New Georgia Project to contact inactive voters to make sure they have access to the ballot in 2020. 3.  Support UUFA’s 2019-20 Causes of the Month that have asked for assistance: Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Family Promise Our Daily Bread Click here for the other UUFA 2019-20 Causes of the Month, which are linked to the organization’s web page. 4.   Read and respond to a plea from the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition of which UUFA is a part.  ————————————————————————————–
    • March 1: Social Action Committee Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, March 1, beginning at noon in the Eskildsen Room. Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv here: http://lists.uuathensga.org/listinfo.cgi/social_action-uuathensga.org This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up! For more information, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett (daviduufa@gmail.com). The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. —————————————————————————————
    • May 1: Car Caravan The Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, of which the UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team is a part, invites you to social distance and participate in a May 1 Car Caravan. We will meet on the parking lot in the back of the Georgia Square Mall at 4:50 p.m. and we will head towards downtown Athens at  5:15 p.m. from the Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens Team: Let our voices be heard and our spirit of the struggle lift us up so that we can demand justice for the 11 million undocumented workers that are living in the shadows while they feed and build this nation. This is why we are raising our voices and saying ENOUGH! We are essential not illegals. We are part of the engine of this country not a public charge. And while COVID19 does not discriminate, the government does. ————————————————————————————–    
    • May 15: Explore Plant-Based Cooking Another way to “Stay Connected”–Explore Plant Based Cooking Join Kate Blane for a half hour of exploring easy plant-based recipes, nutritional tips, and meat substitutes.  Click the link on our Stay Connected page on Friday, May 15, at 9:30 a.m. to join! Kate’s offering will be an interactive discussion for you to share recipes, shopping tips, and current information around a plant based diet. All are welcome! ————————————————————————————–
    • May 16: Justice Partner–AADM–Conversation Join members of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM), a UUFA Justice Partner–on Saturday, May 16, at 12:30 p.m. for a very important online (Zoom) conversation on COVID-19 impact on the Black Community and Justice for Ahmaud. This will air live on Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement (AADM) Facebook page. For further information about AADM, contact UUFA liaison Deb Brenner. ————————————————————————————-
    • May 16: Chalice Film Series–Agricultural Revolution Discussion On Saturday, May 16, at 4 p.m., you are invited to engage in a discussion of why an agriculture revolution is needed in our meat production system and the proposed solutions. This discussion will be based on a five-minute Ted Talk by Brian Friedrich entitled “The Next Global Agricultural Revolution.” Also recommended to read prior to the discussion is a one page Executive Summary by ReThinkX   that discusses the rapid rise of plant based alternatives to animal products.   Please click here to view this five-minute Ted Talk and click here to read the Executive Summary any time prior to joining the discussion at 4 p.m. For further information about the discussion, contact Kate Blane. To be emailed the information for connecting to the virtual discussion, sign up here. —————————————————————————————–
    • May 17: Georgia UU the Vote Build Power Hour! In most Georgia counties, voters designated as inactive will not receive mailed ballot request forms. Let’s make sure eligible voters have the ability to vote in the upcoming primary election on June 9! Sign up for the Georgia UU the Vote “Build Power Hour!” Every Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m., UUs from across our state are gathering to text voters, share tips and stories, and get real-time tech support on the voter contact software. Didn’t make it to the training? No worries! Sign up now and we’ll get you started! Plus ones welcome! Share this link to invite your friends and congregations to the “GA Build Power Hour.” Let’s get to work! In love and solidarity, Nicole Pressley Resources Quick Text Tutorial (8 mins) Video recording of April 19th Training  ———————————————————————————–
    • May 17: International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia Part of the renewal process to be Welcoming Congregation is an annual recognition and celebration of the Welcoming Days of Observance. These days and seasons are important to LGBTQ+ / TGQNB* communities because they bring visibility and affirmation after generations of invisibility and erasure. These days remind all that “All of who you are is sacred. All of who you are is welcome.” One of the Welcoming Days of Observance is May 17, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia to raise awareness of violence, discrimination, and repression of LGBT communities worldwide. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, certified a UUA “Welcoming Congregation” in 1996, affirms and supports all sexual orientations, gender alignments, and intersex variations by publicizing these special days and bringing visibility to these communities after generations of invisibility and erasure. View the UUA Five Practices of Welcome Renewal. For more information about the UUFA Welcome Congregation Team, contact Lee Cornell. *Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus / Trangender, GenderQueer, Non-Binary ————————————————————————————–
    • May 22: Explore Plant-Based Cooking Another way to “Stay Connected”–Explore Plant Based Cooking Join Kate Blane for a half hour of exploring easy plant-based recipes, nutritional tips, and meat substitutes.  Click the link on our Stay Connected page on Friday, May 22, at 9:30 a.m. to join! Kate’s offering will be an interactive discussion for you to share recipes, shopping tips, and current information around a plant based diet. All are welcome! ————————————————————————————–
    • May 24: Alphabet Family Gathering Do you identify anywhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum? Then come join us for fun and fellowship on the fourth Sunday of every month from 6-8 p.m.! For further information, contact Morgan Henry. ———————————————————————————-
    • May 24: Welcoming Congregation Renewal Team You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Welcoming Congregation Team on Sunday, May 24, from 5 to p.m. The Welcoming Congregation Team serves to help UUFA to complete the renewal of our Welcoming Congregation recognition annually through education, advocacy, and action related to LGBT/TGQNB issues. This meeting will focus on activity planning for the 2020 calendar year. For more information including receiving meeting login credentials, contact Morgan Henry. For more information about the UUA Welcoming Congregation renewal, click here. Stay for the Alphabet Family Gathering thereafter. ————————————————————————————
    • May 26: Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition Interested in immigration issues? You are invited to attend the Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition to be held virtually on Tuesday, May 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For information about connecting to Tuesday’s virtual meeting, contact Karen Solheim. The Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition, comprised of members of some 15+ faith communities serving the Athens area, is dedicated to offering hospitality, safety, and opportunities for all immigrants, regardless of status, to participate fully in our shared community.   This group traditionally meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month. For further information, contact UUFA Sanctuary Movement Team member Nancy MacNair  ———————————————————————————–
    • May 29: Explore Plant-Based Cooking Another way to “Stay Connected”–Explore Plant Based Cooking Join Kate Blane for a half hour of exploring tofu and tempeh.  Click the link on our Stay Connected page on Friday, May 29, at 9:30 a.m. to join! Kate’s offering will be an interactive discussion for you to share recipes, shopping tips, and current information around a plant-based diet. All are welcome! ————————————————————————————–
    • May 3: Social Action Committee Meeting Be the change you want to see in the world. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Social Action Committee (SAC) Sunday, May 3, beginning at noon virtually. For more information including connection details, contact SAC Chair David Jarrett. Can’t attend?  If you would like to know what transpires in the UUFA SAC, join the SAC listerv. This listserv will let you know what transpires not only in the UUFA SAC but also in the local Athens area in terms of social action. Everyone is encouraged to sign up! The Social Action Committee is part of UUFA’s Justice Cluster. —————————————————————————————
    • May 31: Georgia UU the Vote Build Power Hour! In most Georgia counties, voters designated as inactive will not receive mailed ballot request forms. Let’s make sure eligible voters have the ability to vote in the upcoming primary election on June 9! Sign up for the Georgia UU the Vote “Build Power Hour!” Every Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m., UUs from across our state are gathering to text voters, share tips and stories, and get real-time tech support on the voter contact software. Didn’t make it to the training? No worries! Sign up now and we’ll get you started! Plus ones welcome! Share this link to invite your friends and congregations to the “GA Build Power Hour.” Let’s get to work! In love and solidarity, Nicole Pressley Resources Quick Text Tutorial (8 mins) Video recording of April 19th Training  ———————————————————————————–
    • May 31: Green Sanctuary Team The Green Sanctuary Team will be meeting on Sunday, May 31, at noon virtually. You are invited to attend. For further information including how to connect to this meeting, contact the Green Sanctuary Team Chair Mark Williams. To join the Green Sanctuary Team email list, click here to sign up. —————————————————————————————
    • May 31: UU the Vote Georgia Power Hour Phonebank for Immigrant Justice with Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights Sunday, May 31 and June 7, 1:00pm – 2:00pm In our Georgia Power Hour gathering, we’ll be introduced to GLAHR and their work building a base of Georgia voters to mobilize against the 287(g) program. This program uses local law enforcement to act as ICE  agents and targets our immigrant community. Join us for a phone bank training to call Cobb County voters. There is an upcoming sheriff’s race in Cobb County and we want folks to vote love in this critical election. For this training you’ll need a computer with Chrome or FireFox and a phone. Download the Chrome or Firefox browsers using these links: Download Chrome Download Firefox Let us know you’re coming! Click here for additional UU the Vote Georgia information about upcoming events. For more information, contact UUFA UU the Vote Georgia liaison Paul Van Valkenberg. ————————————————————————————-
    • More Ways to Help the May Cause-of-the-Month: the Athens Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program (DPIL) We celebrate teaching reading and helping children, the future, develop a love for books with our May Cause of the Month–the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) coordinated by United Way of Northeast Georgia. This is a program started by Dolly Parton some 25 years ago (12 years in Athens) and is now in 4 countries and has distributed over 100,000,000 books to children between the ages of newborn and five years old. Your money contributions are wonderful; each $31 we contribute to United Way of NE Ga. finances one child in Athens for one year, that is, an age appropriate book sent to them, in their name, to their home once a month. What can you do beside contributing money but that is probably just as important? Click here to read about helping new families enroll their children in the DPIL Program. Another great way to contribute is to get your neighborhood association (or civic group or bridge club etc.) to commit to sponsoring all the Athens children born to parents (or grandparents ?) in the group to be sponsored by that group and enrolled in DPIL. Pictured are Emily and her daughter A.H. in Timothy Estates up the road from UUFA. The Timothy Estates Neighborhood Association has decided to insure that all children born in their neighborhood are enrolled in the DPIL program! A.H. is and, as you see, enjoying this gift. Please share what you are doing to help DPIL in Athens, our Cause of the Month, to Adrien and Ed Helm (706-850-7730) or check with them about ways you can get your neighborhood association to join what Timothy Estates is doing. —————————————————————————————-
    • Nominees and Voting for 2020-21 Causes of the Month (Click here for links to websites of the nominated organizations.) A new procedure for selecting the 2020-21 Causes of the Month for UUFA’s Share the Plate program invites all members of UUFA (rather than just those individuals attending the Social Action Committee meetings) to be part of the voting process. Online voting will be open from June 1 (8 a.m.) to June 14 (midnight).  A paper ballot will also be available to use for voting.  Watch for additional announcements! Members will have an opportunity to vote for up to 12 organizations. The following organizations have been nominated. Click on each name to visit organization’s website. The Ark The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement Athens Queer Collective Books for Keeps (BFK) Circle of Friends Animal Society (COFAS) The Cottage Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens (DIA) Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Athens Economic Justice Coalition (EJC) Food 2 Kids/Food 2 Tots Friends of Advantage Friends of Brooklyn Cemetery Georgia Conflict Center Hands In! HEART Music Sandy Creek Nature Center Support for Immigrant Families in Crisis (SIFIC)  Sweet Olive Animal Sanctuary UUFA’s Partner Church Wheels of Hope If you have questions about the 2020-21 Cause of the Month voting process, please contact Karen Solheim. ————————————————————————————-
    • Our Daily Bread May 2020 Update Hunger is a real and persistent problem for many in the Athens area. Our Daily Bread is a non-profit organization that has provided breakfast and lunch meals to those in need each weekday. Our Daily Bread is part of Action Ministries, and meals had been being prepared and served at Athens First Baptist Church. In the non-Covid-19 world, as part of UUFA’s Justice work, a group from our Fellowship has been volunteering with Our Daily Bread for almost 23 years! Will Sheahan, Dan Everett, Kate Blane, and Lois Shenkel were some of the earliest volunteers with ODB, and in the past, they along with many others prepared meals (at UUFA) to serve 150-200 people each third Friday of the month. Will and Lois did most of the cooking for the first 14 years. Will and Kate shop for the food from the Athens Area Food Bank, and Kate makes it a priority to buy fresh produce as part of her commitment to food responsibility and ethical eating. With sheltering in place, things have changed:     24        neighbors tested for COVID at the free clinic    650       hygiene kits donated (450 already distributed)  1500       Chick-fil-A gift cards from AFUMC distributed  4728       lunches served curbside   Read latest update from Our Daily Bread including current needs. For further information about this Justice Cluster initiative, contact David Jarrett. —————————————————————————————
    • PARES Tutoring Opportunities and Update Members and friends of UUFA  have been tutoring about 20 students at Alps Road Elementary School since the onset of the the 2019-20 school year.  We have received news that the kindergarten children we are tutoring have moved up several levels since the beginning of school! Having more tutors for the remainder of this school year would be wonderful so that we could help more students move up. Please let UUFA PARES (Partnership with Alps Road Elementary School) liaison Caryl Sundland (csundland@aol.com) know if you are available for tutoring so that you can fill out a background check form and become involved with this wonderfully successful program. ————————————————————————————-
    • Please Don’t Donate Expired Food While the Athens Area Emergency Food Bank welcomes your donations of canned and non-perishable food items, please note they cannot distribute expired food. Please check the expiration dates of your items before bringing them to donate. You might want to consider eating the food yourself, since some canned goods are edible after their expiry date. Alternatively, empty the contents (some can be composted) and recycle the packaging. If you know a farmer in the area, sometimes they will accept expired canned goods to feed to livestock, as well. The wicker basket as you enter the sanctuary is always ready to receive your unexpired, non-perishable food items and/or monetary gifts. Contact the office if you have any questions or concerns (uufa@uuathensga.org, 706-546-7914). ————————————————————————————
    • Save the Date–May 2: Courtwatch Workshop UUFA and Oconee Street United Methodist Church will host a day-long “Courtwatch” workshop on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fellowship. The training is designed to enhance participants’ knowledge of the local court system and to describe how citizens can advance the cause of criminal and racial justice. Judge Ryan Hope, representatives from the Clarke County public defender’s office and the Southern Center for Human Rights will facilitate. This workshop is free,  and a light lunch will be provided. For more information contact John Cole Vodicka (johnvodicka@comcast.net) or Connie Bruce (connie.l.bruce@gmail.com). This event is being hosted by the UUFA Racial Justice Team and the Social Action Committee. ————————————————————————————–
    • Share the Plate Program Giving Continuing Online Each Sunday UUFA splits the morning financial offering with a designated Cause of the Month, usually a local Athens organizations or a Unitarian Universalist cause. For April, monies will be shared with the UU Association’s Covid-19 Response Fund and the Fellowship’s Minister‘s Discretionary Fund. Gifts to the UUA’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response will be directed to our larger UU faith community to support those religious professionals and communities for whom the pandemic creates the greatest need. UUFA’s Minister‘s Discretionary Fund will be used to assist member and community requests for food, medicine, rent, and other emergency needs.   To participate in the Share the Plate Program, click here. Make sure to change the pulldown menu to “Share the Plate.” Click here for information about our support of local Athens organizations and global UU initiatives for the 2019-20 program year. ————————————————————————————–
    • UPLIFT – Join Us for a Virtual #DecisionDay! Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court heard three cases that could either take away existing LGBTQ+ employment protections or affirm that existing federal law does protect LGBTQ+ people. We know this is a pivotal moment for our community, as well as a difficult environment for everyone. So we’re inviting you to join us on #DecisionDay* for our Virtual National Rally that will be followed immediately by our Virtual Town Hall. The rally will provide a chance for us to gather together as a community to react and support each other, while the Town Hall will feature experts providing analysis of the opinion, how it will affect our lives, and what still needs to be done. RSVP to #DecisionDay Events The Court must affirm that all LGBTQ+ people should be able to work hard and support themselves and their families without fear of discrimination at work — protections already affirmed by multiple federal courts and agencies for many years. We will also need to continue our work for full federal nondiscrimination protections. So RSVP, and let’s come together as a virtual community for #DecisionDay! —————————————————————————————
    • UUFA Justice Partner AADM February Information Celebrating Black History Month through Community Engagement and Youth Empowerment Saturday, February 8: Time in Athens – Photovoice Youth Show The Photovoice Youth show combines photography, discussion, descriptive text, and public exhibits to address community issues or tell a story about Athens through creative expression. This show will be held at the Lyndon House Art Gallery from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Saturday – Sunday, February 22-23: Teen Social Justice After School Club  Field Trip Students participating in the Teen Social Justice (TSJ) After-School Program will be travelling to Jekyll Island to visit The Wanderer Memory Trail. This trail, located on the banks of the Jekyll River, tells the story of America’s last known slave ship, The Wanderer, that arrived illegally 160 years ago with more than 500 enslaved Africans. The TSJ after-school club includes weekly meet-ups, fun activities, cultural field trips, homework support, and poetry and arts for justice lessons. Our goal is to cultivate future leaders and encourage youth activism through performing arts activities and travel. Tuesday, February 25th: Know Your Rights and Criminal Justice Reform Forum AADM is proud to host the Know Your Rights and Criminal Justice Reform Forum from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Athens Clarke County Library. Guest panelists will discuss and share updated information regarding Athens Cash Bail Reform Ordinance, Pre-arrest diversion program, and Community Police Review Board. There will also be a 15-30 minute presentation offering tips and advice on protecting your rights when engaging with law enforcement. For more information regarding upcoming events please email athensantidiscrimination@gmail.com or call 706 389 4129. AADM (Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement) is a 2019-20 UUFA Justice Partner. ———————————————————————————
    • Volunteers for Family Promise UUFA is a support congregation of Family Promise of Athens.. During sheltering in place, the families are staying at a “static site” at the Athens Church of Christ at 3720 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville, where they are meeting the requirements of social distancing. Volunteers are being solicited for April 8 to 18 to provide the usual assistance: meals preparation, day hosting, evening hosting, overnight hosting.  All volunteer duties are to be done in a way that preserves social distancing for all parties. If you have interest in participating in this effort, click here to sign up. To view the current site at Athens Church of Christ, click here. To view the guidelines for volunteers and families to follow during this period of time, click here. If any of you still need to go through volunteer training for this program, an online training is available. For further information, contact UUFA Family Promise Coordinator Mark Hodges ————————————————————————————–
    • Voting Matters Voter Registration Deadline:  Monday, April 20, 2020 Voter registration for the May 19, 2020, General Primary will be Monday, April 20, 2020. Verify your status, change your name/address or register to vote. You may contact your county Board of Elections office (Athens–706-613-3150) or go to www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. Application for Absentee Ballot for May 19 General Primary If you have not received an application for an absentee ballot by mail, click here for an application. For instructions on filling out the absentee ballot application, click here. After filling out the application, submit it either by mailing (you’ll need a stamp) or by emailing a picture of your filled out application to the local Board of Elections (Athens–155 East Washington St., Athens, 30601). For information about checking the status of your submitted absentee ballot application and about voting, visit Georgia My Voter Page and in Athens-Clarke County check out the ACC Board of Elections website. ————————————————————————————–
    • Ways to Help the May Cause-of-the-Month: the Athens Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program (DPIL) On Sunday, May 3, the May Cause of the Month was introduced–the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL)— with the promise of sharing more information about and ways to become involved with this Cause. One way is by providing treasure to help expand the number of children, newborn to five years old, who can be enrolled. Giving $31 provides for one child getting an age-appropriate book once a month for one year sent to them at their home while $155 provides for one child for five years.  Of course, any amount given helps. The good news is that the Athens program coordinator, United Way of Northeast Georgia, has increased its funding so that over 40 percent of the approximately 7000 eligible children in Athens can be enrolled. The GREAT news is that United Way presently has funding to enroll about 400 more children!  Mark Madison, director of the DPIL with United Way of Northeast Georgia spoke during the service on Sunday.  Mr. Madison invites our help in recruiting more families and enrolling children to utilize the funds that DPIL Athens now has available. A family just needs four pieces of data to enroll on-line:  name of child, birth date, name of parent or guardian, and home address along with an optional email address. FYI–The beginning of every month is the best time to enroll a child because usually some slots have just opened up due to some enrolled children just turning 5 years old, the date when their DPIL books stop coming–(Their fifth birthday present from DPIL is the book Kindergarten Here I Come!). Please share the program information including how to enroll widely. If you see a family with an infant in a store or out and about, you can ask them if the child is enrolled in DPIL.  If they say no, please tell them about the program. You are invited to watch a five-minute video from PBS interviewing Dolly Parton If you do any of the above (such as contributing money or helping children to enroll) and/or need further information, please contact UUFA Social Action Committee members Ed Helm or Adrien Helm. ——————————————————————————————-

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