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Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Pittsfield, Maine

ASK NOT ONLY WHO SITS AT THE TABLE,                            BUT WHO OWNS THE TABLE

In response to and solidarity with the UUA Commission on Institutional Change and Black Lives UU, the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Pittsfield has begun addressing not only who sits at the table, but, as Rev. Bill Sinkford so aptly put it, “who owns the table,” as we open ourselves to a challenging exploration of what beloved community is and how we go about creating that. In a June letter to our congregations, the Interim Co-Presidents Rev. Bill Sinkford, Rev. Sofia Betancourt, and Dr. Leon Spencer posed these central questions to our congregations:

  •   How does the culture of white supremacy operate in Unitarian Universalism? 
  •   What truth needs to be told?
  •   What reconciliation do we need to seek? and
  •   What vision needs to shape our work together?

To that end, our general programmatic focus for the year will be devoted to these questions beginning with an informal presentation by Trudy Ferland and Holly Zadra as they reflect on what they experienced and learned at General Assembly this year in New Orleans and how that translates to our Central Maine communities.

 

The Unitarian Universalist Meeting House continues to host a discussion group What Does It Mean to Be White focused on white socialization that serves as an entry point to what is more and more commonly referred to as “white supremacy culture” - the insidious ways in which white socialization creates racism and is hidden or hooded from popular discourse.

 

In October, we hosted an evening workshop, Liberating Language: Decolonizing How We Talk, an exploration of how systems of oppression pervade our language, and how oppressive terms and phrases can sneak into our vocabulary without us even realizing it.

 

On Saturday, January 20 (snow date January 27), we will host a day-long workshop presented by Wabanaki REACH, an interactive learning exercise where together we experience events through the more than 450 years of relationship between Wabanaki and settler culture through gathering on a huge map of the state and telling the story together. This requires at least 20 attendees as well as volunteers. The 6-hour program goes through this history in detail, then focuses on understanding privilege, allyship, and decolonization here in Wabanakiland/Maine. To register, go to www.mainewabanakireach.org/events

If you have questions or would like more informationcontact, Barbara Kates at Barbara@mainewabanakireach.org  or by Phone 951-4874.

MUUSAN Special Message

Maine UU State Advocacy Network
submitted by Trudy Ferland

The Maine UU State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN)'s mission is to be a leading faith-based advocacy organization for progressive social justice in Maine. MUUSAN works with congregations to educate, empower, and energize UUs to voice our liberal religious values in the public square. That voice is more important now than ever. 

MUUSAN focuses on three major issues: health care, climate justice, and strengthening our democracy - concerns shared by UUs across the country. MUUSAN provides a path to stand up for those values here in our state with other UUs and coalition partners.

I have been honored to serve as the First UU of Pittsfield's congregational liaison to MUUSAN but am looking for someone to take over that role. MUUSAN meets 6 times a year, the second Saturday of the odd numbered months. As MUUSAN's co-chair, I attend the meetings so anyone who wants to participate can ride with me. 

The mission is important and the bonus is that MUUSAN presents an opportunity to meet and work with other UUs from around the state. 

Go to www.muusan.org or our FaceBook page to learn more. You can support our work by making a contribution by clicking on the donate button on our website. To receive the latest MUUSAN news, click here.

Social Justice in Action

As part of the living tradition of Unitarian Universalism, our congregation has a legacy of “deeds not creeds.” Some primary ways we currently support local social justice initiatives are via:

Financial Support of Black Lives UU (BLUU), providing information, resources, and support for Black Unitarian Universalists and works to expand the role and visibility of Black UUs within our faith. See http://www.blacklivesuu.com

MUUSAN - Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network is a statewide advocacy and public policy network anchored in our faith and animated by its principles. See more info below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaineUUSAN

Website: http://www.muusan.org/

For more information on Unitarian Universalist commitment to Social Justice, visit the UUA website. http://www.uua.org/justice

LGBTQIA RIGHTS - Our congregation has been among many in our faith to advocate for marriage equality. Through the Standing on the Side of Love Campaignat every election opportunity, and in moments of crisis, our congregation stands for equality.

Freedom to marry group

  • Advocacy to End Domestic Violence and Support its Victims - via our pulpit, distribution of publications and hosting special events, our congregation strives to inform the public about the ways in which domestic violence exists in our communities, the ways in which victims can seek help, and the steps we can all take toward ending domestic violence locally and globally.  We connect people with Family Violence Project.

What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?

Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world's religions. Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition as described in our six sources

The Seven Principles are:

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.