Friday, October 4, 2013

New Faith in Action Proposals Are Now Being Accepted

What is your passion?  What cause would you like our congregation to learn more about and support? 

In 2013-2014, First Unitarian sponsored 50/50 collections for nine different organizations that were proposed by members.  We plan to do the same in 2014-2015, and we would like to begin accepting proposals now.  

Each month, on the first or second Sunday, a short “Faith in Action Presentation” will be offered from 12-1 pm.  This will include a short presentation (preferably with/from someone involved in the organization) and discussion of how it fits with our UU values and mission.  On the following Sunday, 50% of the cash collected in the Sunday offering will go to the chosen organization.  

In order to have a broad spectrum of organizations, we have separated the year into “categories.”  The category dates may be shifted if necessary, and some organizations may fit into more than one category. Please return your proposal as soon as possible.  The deadline for proposals is November 1.  Either give your proposal in person to Jessica Gray, mail it, or leave it in her church mailbox.  You may also submit a proposal by following this link to the online proposal form.

When the adult programming team (Tom Crowley, Ken Mandile, Fran Nase, and Paul Ropp) receives all proposals, we will determine which fit the best for each category and submit these proposals to the Lay Leadership Program Council.  Organizations that are not chosen for 50/50 collections may still offer educational Faith in Action presentations to raise awareness on other Sundays.

The following categories are suggestions of possible types of organizations. Your proposal may not fit into any of these categories.  We really want a diverse collection of organizations.  Those who have received 50/50 collections in the past are encouraged to apply again.

Race Relations: 
Anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism is a social justice issue on which Unitarian Universalists have taken a specific stance.  How can we contribute to this cause?  

Education:  What types of educational organizations can we support?  One example is the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, which we chose to support through our youth faith in action in spring 2013.  How can we contribute to education?  

Animal Rights and other Animal-related Justice:  Animals are an integral part of the interconnected web of all existence.  Three years ago our children chose for us to support the Worcester Animal Rescue League.  But this category could also include such diverse organizations as Heifer International or even NEADS, an organization that trains service dogs. 

Disability and/or Illness: There are so many organizations that help people with disabilities (including learning disabilities) and illnesses.  It's impossible to list them all. 

Environment: What organizations can help us support positive environmental preservation and change?  This is another opportunity to connect directly with the interconnected web of life.  

GLBTQ:  As a Welcoming Congregation, what organizations support equal rights and awareness for people who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning? 

This is an excellent opportunity for us to give generously and learn more about how to put our faith in action.  Please consider attending the programs and proposing one of your own.   

NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services - See more at:
NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services - See more at:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Halloween at Hogwarts

Halloween is a perfect time for the Hogwarts students from our summer camp to get together again.  Walk between the worlds, see some of your professors and friends from the summer, and enjoy time together - and introduce new kids to the program. All are welcome, even if they did not attend the summer program.

Plus, we want to support UNICEF through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.  So get ready for Hogwarts Halloween!

Friday, October 25
6:00-8:30 pm
Unity Hall of First Unitarian Church
90 Main St. Worcester, MA

The evening will look something like this:

6:00 pm - Opening with Hogwarts songs and games
6:15 pm - Quidditch!  (including Glow-in-the-dark Quidditch)
6:45 pm - Video from Hogwarts summer camp
7:30-8:30 pm - A variety of Hogwarts activities for all ages - Potions, Transfiguration, Divination and more!
Also, from 7:00-10:00, families and youth can join in the Open Mic Night downstairs.

Wear your Halloween costumes and join in the fun.  Even if your kids are not particularly Harry Potter fans, this evening has something for everyone.

Kids (and their parents) and youth of all ages are welcome.  Parents are asked to stay with children 3rd grade and younger. If parents of older kids are not going to stay in the building, they must provide a phone number (in case of an emergency).  We encourage families to attend together.

A $5 donation per child is recommended (but not required).  All proceeds go to UNICEF. You do not need to pre-register.  

Families are also encouraged to bring Halloween or Hogwarts-themed snacks to share.