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.

 

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