Important Post via Karen Russell!

Hello folks,

This Wednesday, October 18, 7 p.m. at Winchester Hall (12 E. Church St.), the Frederick County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed Monocacy Scenic River Plan.

The Monocacy River was designated a Scenic River in 1968, along with 8 other rivers in MD, to “protect the natural values of these rivers, enhance their water quality, and fulfill vital conservation purposes by wise use of resources within their surrounding environment.” The 1990 plan has been revised by an all-volunteer River Board and is currently under Planning Commission review. After the Planning Commission reviews the plan, it is forwarded to the County Council for final consideration and a vote to approve. I’d like to invite you to come to the hearing to show support for the plan.

I along with others who hope to protect the river and restore its health are facing organized opposition from some landowners along the river, who feel that their private property rights are threatened, and we expect a large turnout of people who wish to squelch the plan. The Monocacy River is not private property. We all need it to survive and by all, I mean the wildlife and plants that depend on it, as well the population of Frederick County who drink water from it, fish in it, and canoe and kayak down it. 
In order to counter this expected turnout, will you attend the meeting and hopefully speak in support of the plan? A simple statement about supporting the plan would be great! Numbers are what is needed. Cogent arguments supporting the River and calling for Riparian buffers  along it have and will be made. Click here for an editorial I wrote that appeared in the Frederick News Post to give you some background.
I’ve included friends in this email. Please know that I wouldn’t be writing to you if this weren’t important. From a purely health and environmental perspective the plan should be supported. Adding the dimension of the effects of Climate Change speaks to the urgency of implementing useful recommendations.
Thank you,

Neither a goal nor a plan for climate change by Jeff Wilson

Thanks to Karen Russell for alerting me to the following.  Karen is chair who also initiated the Climate Change Working Group

Kudos to UUCF member Jeff Wilson for his 10/10/17 Letter to the Editor in the Frederick News Post:

 Neither a goal nor a plan for climate change

Harvey, Irma, Maria. Death and destruction, unmeasurable economic impact. An island in the Caribbean that is now uninhabitable. Businesses are destroyed, and jobs have vanished. Droughts destroy crops in the South and Southwest. Wildfires destroy houses, homes and dreams. People in New Orleans, Houston, much of Florida, and Puerto Rico are bearing the brunt of these events, while most Americans have not been asked to do anything about the climate change that is making these events worse than they otherwise would have been.

Natural disasters have happened before, and they will continue, but climatologists warned us decades ago that they would become more frequent and more severe. That is exactly what we are seeing today.

Climate-change deniers protest that the long-overdue, necessary adaptations to respond to climate change would hurt the economy and cost jobs. They exaggerate the costs and disregard new kinds of jobs that are being created. I contend that we are seeing worse effects today, and that those costs are randomly and unfairly distributed. An orderly, thoughtful and cooperative approach to the problem would be less costly, under our control, and more equitable.

The rest of the civilized world has demonstrated the courage to face these inconvenient facts and entered into a treaty that allows each country to choose the methods by which they will comply. Those countries are asking all of their citizens to do their fair share. They have a goal and a plan. We have neither.


Food for Puerto Rico from UUCF

I seldom put the same info. on this blog and on our Facebook page, but I think this is worthy of a double-post. Groceries bought with SAC funds were delivered to the collection location in Frederick this morning and will be flown to Puerto Rico on Saturday. We hope by then the local officials will have been able to organize distribution of food, water, fuel, etc. Our $477 purchased 80 lbs of rice, 12 gallons of canned tomatoes, 8 quarts of peanut butter, about 90 lbs of canned tuna, chicken, and ham, 6 gallons of boullion, and 6 gallons of canned beans. Unity volunteers asked that we thank UUCF. And SAC thanks UUCF members and friends for supporting our fundraising so we carry out efforts like this!


Local Drop Off of S

Climate First! March

CLIMATE FIRST! Peaceful Direct Action at Wells Fargo Bank in Frederick

Wells Fargo Bank branch, 7860 Wormans Mill Rd. Saturday, September 23, 2017, 10:30am-12 noon
Gather at Wegman’s Market Cafe (at or near Fireside Room) at 10am.

Questions: Call Monica (240) 344-0574

Other actions you can take: 

Contact the CEO: Timothy J Sloan, CEO & President, Wells Fargo

Sample script: “I respectfully ask that Wells Fargo end its financial involvement with TransCanada, the company that is building the Keystone XL pipeline.  I opposite pipeline because the project will likely have grave repercussions for the world’s climate.  In taking such a principled stand against the KXL pipeline, Wells Fargo would be heralded as an environmental leader in the banking world and beyond.”

  • Telephone number: 866-878-5865.
  • Email: Be sure to “cc” the email to
  • USPS address:  Wells Fargo & Company, 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104. Be sure to “cc” the letter to
  • Facebook:

Join Climate First! at to fight global warming



Help Build the Peace Wave – September 20-26

From Women in Black Frederick.  Please contact them directly if interested in helping.  The local Friends are considering a candlelight vigil at White House or similar action.


Let Us Launch the “Peace Wave” Actions from September 20 to 26, calling on all governments of the World to Join the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 2017 World Conference against A and H Bombs called on the peoples of the world to launch international join international simultaneous actions “Peace Wave” to urge all national governments to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from September 20, the day when the Treaty will be open for signatures, until 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on July 7this year with the support of 122 States. It is a groundbreaking treaty to open a path to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which has long been aspired by the Hibakusha and the peoples of the entire world. Declaring that nuclear weapons are inhumane weapons in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the treaty prohibits the development, production, tests, manufacturing, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons.

Among the 193 member states of the United Nations, only 9 countries are in possession of nuclear weapons. If they decide, it is possible to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world within the lifetime of the Hibakusha.

Turning its back on this historic opportunity, the government of Japan has clung to the “nuclear umbrella” of the U.S. and refused to join this treaty. It is not only absolutely contrary to the wishes of the Hibakusha and the people of the A-bombed nation, but is a violation of the Constitution of Japan that forever renounces all wars.

The “Peace Wave” will start from Japan at noon, September 20, and circle around the globe, linking actions in different countries to call on all governments of the world to join the treaty. In response to the call by the World Conference against A and H Bombs, we call on all of you to organize actions, setting the common goal as “Abolition of nuclear weapons – Urging all governments of the world to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” and including the “Hibakusha Appeal International Signature Campaign” as a common action.

In Japan, we will carry out:

*At noon, September 20, we will declare the start of “Peace Wave” in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo, and conduct a wide variety of actions, including the street signature campaigns nationwide.

*Together with the Hibakusha, we will stage the “Orizuru (peace crane) Action” from 1:30pm in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, Tokyo to urge Prime Minister Abe and the government of Japan to sign the Treaty. We will also visit the embassies of nuclear weapon possessing countries to call for their joining in the treaty.

*We will continue to carry out actions at various parts of Japan and on September 26, we will join a large scale of signature campaign to be initiated by the Signature Campaign Promotion Committee.

Link to the Hibakusha Appeal signature campaign:

We will call on all of you to join the “Peace Wave” actions to circle the globe. Let us start planning/preparations for a success of the starting actions and greater variety of activities at your local communities, workplaces, school campuses and all around the world.

In many countries plans are already being made to mark the occasion, and the International Peace Bureau and other organizations are promoting these actions in support of the “Peace Wave.”

Please send us your action plans to us. We will translate them into Japanese language and spread them to the Japanese movements, and instead, we will send out to you the plans of Japan to link all actions in the world and strengthen solidarity each other. We will appreciate very much your disseminating this call in your networks and links.

Looking forward to working together for “Peace Wave”,

Peace Wave Task Force
Organizing Committee, the World Conference against A and H Bombs
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 Japan
Tel: +81-3-5842-6034 Fax: +81-3-5842-6033


Nancy Hutchins sent this press release from the Alternatives to Violence Project.  Thanks much, Nancy.  Although not a split-plate recipient this coming year, UUCF has supported AVP for many years and Dave and Nancy Hutchins, Emma Lou Comstock, and Mary Fletcher are active volunteers.

Contact:  K. Archer Bunner: (317) 362-7222,
Irene Webb: (310) 722 7011,

O.J. Simpson Credits Alternatives to Violence Project training to helping him deal with conflict while in Lovelock Correctional Facility.

Lovelock, Nevada – On Thursday, July 20, 2017, after 9 years of incarceration for armed robbery, O.J. Simpson sat in on his Parole hearing. During the hearing he stated the programs and steps he took to rehabilitate saying: “I took two courses (Basic & Advanced) that I guess you guys don’t give much credit to.  It’s called Alternatives to Violence. It’s the most important course anyone in this prison could take as it teaches you to solve conflict through conversation.”

OJ Simpson is one of thousands of persons who have been incarcerated that have benefited from these trainings. Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops and trainings are currently given in 32 states and more than 50 countries. In 2016, AVP conducted workshops in 109 correctional facilities in the USA. More than 15,000 persons who were in prisons were trained in 1,033 workshops by more than 1700 facilitators who were also incarcerated.

“This is the first time I felt like a human being in 30 years, AVP saved my life,” Jason Guinn (now paroled Facilitator in Texas).

Since 1975, when a group of Quakers were invited into Green Haven Prison in upstate New York, the Alternatives to Violence Project has been a powerful force for transformation inside of prison and in community groups in the USA and around the globe.  Participants practice in an environment where they can be open and honest. They learn trust and communication skills, practice empathy, build community, and practice resolving conflict nonviolently. The training is also given in communities and schools with a vision of creating a more collaborative world where we are able to work through conflicts rather than avoid them or resort to violence.

AVP has opened up a whole new world for me that I never knew existed. I used to think, where there is a will, there is a way, and I usually meant a violent way. Now I think that where there is a will, there is a non-violent way, and I am going to look for it,” Dependable Dale (now paroled Facilitator in Indiana).

AVP-USA is an association of community, school and prison-based groups offering experiential workshops in personal growth, community development and creative conflict resolution. Founded in prisons and developed from the real life experiences of prisoners, AVP encourages every person’s innate power to positively transform first themselves and then the world we live in. Alternatives to Violence Project brings together diverse groups of people to build Dr. King’s nonviolent, “beloved community.” Together, we will build a more peaceful and equitable world. For more information please visit

UU Service Committee (UUSC), the Social Action Side of UUA

From Carly Cronon, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, via Bill Butler, a strong advocate of UUSC: In situations of dire humanitarian crisis, UUSC looks to fulfill unmet needs and support overlooked communities, with long-term recovery a primary goal.  Often, the communities UUSC supports are overlooked because they are physically remote, or because they were marginalized within their societies even before the natural or human-made crisis struck.  Now, turning our attention to the growing famine crisis in several East African countries, UUSC is following this same model to support relief aid for women, children, and individuals in rural and hard-to-reach areas.

UUSC is fortunate to be working with two reliable partners from past projects who are well positioned to respond to the present crisis in struggling areas.  Here are details on our famine relief partners, supported by UUSC’s emergency relief aid:

1) Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), located in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, has been one of UUSC’s women’s rights and water access partners in past years.  Dar Es Salaam has not yet declared a state of emergency, a pre-requisite for the mobilization of international aid, so communities are left to deal with this issue alone.  Stepping in to fill this void, TGNP, with UUSC’s help, is responding to the famine through immediate humanitarian aid and long-term economic empowerment for at-risk communities, with a particular focus on supporting women-led households and poor families.

2) In 2008, UUSC began supporting our partner SoilFarm Multi-Culture Group’s (SFMG) project Hope in Crops, a community-led initiative that promotes food security through planting and harvesting drought-resistant crops.  With this year’s sharp increases in food insecurity, crop failure, and malnutrition – and sparse government subsidies that do not reach remote interior areas of the country – SFMG has stepped in to help others through creating five food donation centers.  In these centers, with help from UUSC, SFMG is distributing surplus crops planted through Hope in Crops that have withstood recent extreme conditions.

For more information, go here.


Help Kenya Self-Help Project Get Books for Students

Kenya Self-Help Project

Kenya Self-Help Project

KSHP led us to our partnership in education with Lilian Ochieng. We can help other Kenyan students by taking a minute to vote for KSHP and earn books for young students in their program.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Kenya Self-Help is a project I love and support.  Our BOOKS! program is in the running for a $5,000 grant from Better World Books.  I hope you will take a moment to click the link and VOTE for Kenya Self-Help Project.  We need this grant to continue our primary school literacy/text book program.

You can vote once a day through 5pm EDT Friday, June 30.  We would love your VOTE!  The grant will benefit 11,500 rural Kenya kids.


Please feel free to SHARE with like-minded friends!

Thank you very much!

Kathleen Dodge

Social Action Committee Meeting Notes: June 20, 2017

Social Action Committee Agenda and Meeting Summary

Tuesday, June 20, (snack 5:00 pm) at 5:30 pm

UUCF, Room 113

Present: Mike Morse, Di Creedon, Patricia Cronin, Gary Magnuson, Marilou Barratt, Tom Barratt, Gary Magnuson, Mary B-Kruhm, Betsy Bainbridge

Welcome & Announcements

UUCF Split-Plate Contributions, 2016-2017

  • Equal Justice Initiative (July): $445
  • Religious Coalition (August): $1084
  • Asian American Center (Sept): $861
  • UU-UNO (Oct): $932
  • SHIP (Nov): $924
  • Kenya Connection (Dec): $1354.53
  • UULM-MD (Jan): $791
  • NAMI (Feb): $924
  • AVP (Mar): $981
  • Able & Willing (Apr): $1605
  • UUSC (May): $801
  • The Frederick Center (June): $499

Discussion Items

  • Relationship with SAC & Board: Betsy pointed out that s-p amounts vary considerably. Mary mentioned that she had neither been asked for a proposed SAC budget last spring nor been told how much is in the budget for SAC during 2017-2018 and we cannot make plans for projects until we know how much we will receive. Mike spent a few minutes explaining the trends he sees on the BoT now. Betsy will ask for the amount set in the new budget for SAC.
  • UUSC: Betsy will work with BoT to encourage funding UUSC with general funds in the next budget cycle.
  • Future Activities with the Islamic Center of Frederick: Bill Cranmer sent a letter summarizing his interactions with ISF over Ramadan. Bill reported that our congregation is especially invited to attend Urbana Library, June 28, 5-7pm for information session regarding Eid (Islamic holidays) sponsored by ISF. Ben McShane, friend of UUCF and SURJ, also encourages us to attend.
  • June 14th Immigrants’ Rights at Frederick: Mike and Sea Raven and the Barratts attended. Mike commented that the PowerPoint (available online) presented was based on anecdotal information and no audit of data was conducted. Also, ACLU representative was not prepared. Mike is committed to staying involved.
  • SAC Blog (Mary): Mary will post articles she is sent but not write blog entries. She encourages anyone who wishes to write articles to send them to her.
  • News for the Unison: Betsy wants to assure articles appear in Unison and requested that people who take on projects or serve as liaisons write news for midweek announcements and Unison.
  • 2017-2018 Split-Plate Calendar: Betsy will finalize the 2017-2018 list, including SAC members who will support and help with publicity.
  • Clean-up of the SAC Cabinet: Betsy asked if Bill Butler has done any work on cleaning up SAC cabinet. No one is aware if Bill is continuing his monitoring and clean-up of cabinet.
  • Report on Arc of Frederick County and discussion on possible SAC Liaison. Marilou and Tom reported on their meeting at the Arc of Frederick County which supports people with mental disabilities. The focus of this meeting was to inform faith communities of the need for inclusion of these populations. Transportation is a major issue and also how people find a community in which they are accepted and where their needs and those of the family met. Di mentioned Belief-O-Matic, a website that can be helpful in the latter. A representative of the Arc is willing to come and speak at FF. Tom will see if this can be arranged. The Barratts also noted there is a large room with catering available if we would like to use their services for a dinner meeting (e.g., with ISF). Using the Arc would have multiple benefits, including helping this population, people with developmental disabilities, for whom inclusion into our community would be a benefit. To check it out: Charlotte’s Coffee House is open Thursdays and Fridays from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.  555 South Market Street Frederick, Maryland 21701. Enter from Stadium Drive and park in free, private lot.  Phone: 240-405-4731. Tom proposed a group of us plan to lunch there together some time this summer and tour the facilities.
  • Proposal regarding UUSJ for Capital Region: Gary proposes that we consider becoming a member of this organization of regional UU churches which focuses on social justice at the local and national levels. Its current primary priorities are climate change, economic inequality, and immigration reform. Gary discussed quarterly meetings of UUSJ for the National Capital Region and stressed that membership has always been meaningful but their advocacy work is even more relevant now. The next meeting is September 9th. Mike and Gary are willing to be alternatives. Gary suggested that we try to arrange dues-paying amount for this year that is less than that required since dues are considerable ($4.65 per congregation member). Betsy will investigate how we might fund these dues.
  • UUCF as sanctuary; beginning the conversation: Mike reported that there are disparities in the criminal justice system are related to immigration. Our congregation is barely above ground 0 in what will be at least a year-long process in becoming a sanctuary church if we do decide to become one. The groundwork includes: Education: What sanctuary means–a physical sanctuary, rapid response to incidents, providing a bystander who watches or possibly posts bail. Legal ramifications: What congregational support is there for an individual who is sued or is arrested over his/her involvement. Criteria for situations to which response is given: How to evaluate the risk/need for working with someone. Patricia voiced her opinion, shared by many in last Sunday’s FF, that we cannot blindly become a sanctuary. We must understand the whole problem and work for immigration reform.
  • Liaison Reports. Patricia indicated that we continue to be involved in the shelter, although our partner church is currently not participating.
  • Toast to Mary: Betsy brought cranberry juice and wine to thank Mary for her service as chair/co-chair of SAC. Mary said she preferred a toast rather than a roast and was both appreciative and noted her being chair for so long was indeed a labor of love.