Religious Education Corner - December 2016

On Thursday, November 19th, at our Thanksgiving service, we introduced the Guest At Your Table program for this year. Michele Maggio and Nancy Hunter gave a wonderful little skit about how easy it is to find loose change (even behind the ear of your child apparently) and contribute it daily to the box that sits on your table. Loose change can be found on the floor of your car, in the washing machine, and even under seat cushions in your living room, not to mention the bottom of your pocket or bag at the end of the day. Traditionally, this has been a RE sponsored program, but it is truly a program for congregation members of all ages.

So, where does all of this change go? This is an annual intergenerational fundraiser for the UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee). The UUSC advances human rights through grass roots collaborations. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC's innovative approaches and measurable impact – in promoting economic justice, bolstering environmental justice, and protecting rights at risk – are grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights. The Guest at Your Table program raises support for and awareness about the UUSC's work to advance human rights.

This year's program theme is "Defying Hate”, based on the recent release of the Ken Burns documentary about UUSC founders Martha and Waitstill Sharp, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps War (on PBS ). The Sharps defied hate by helping Jews and dissidents escape Nazi Germany using brave, creative methods, many of which could have caused them to be
imprisoned, tortured, or worse. The UUSC is proud to carry forward the Sharp's legacy by continuing to defy hate and protect the lives and rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, and other marginalized groups, both here in the United States and throughout the world. Each Guest at Your Table box describes the work of the UUSC on each of the four sides of the box.

If you did not receive a Guest at Your Table box, there are more available in the lobby of the Fellowship sanctuary. The boxes are due back on January 22. At that point, you can either bring back your box filled with change and we will count it or you can count your own change and write a check to the UUSC. Please make sure your name is on the box. Gifts of $40 or more entitle you to a UUSC membership. Gifts of $125 or more are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock. This is a wonderful way for a family to introduce their children to social justice work. The Stories of Hope booklet that accompanies the box (or is available at the Fellowship) also shares stories of UUSC work being accomplished world-wide. Please join with other UUFSB members to support this important endeavor.

~ Gretta Johnson-Sally, DRE