Saturday, October 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Offsite.
“Strength for the Journey: Expanding Our Skills, Engaging Our Spirits” is the theme of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) (www.uujo.org) annual Justice Assembly on Saturday, October 14. The time will be from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., with check-in and on-site registration starting at 9:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to share your ideas and experience the passion of UUs from all over Ohio. The Justice Assembly will be held at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015 (just north of Columbus). (Map). (Once on campus, follow signs to “The Centrum.”)
“Resistance! The Holy No.”, by Rev. Mel Hoover and Rev. Rose Edington
This will be an interactive presentation that draws from the UU awe-inspiring tradition of dissenting towards justice. We are looking at resistance that leads to the lifting of oppression—that’s why we call it a holy no; we also realize that there are those whose kind of resistance leads to oppression, which we call an unholy no. The Holy No allows you the space to affirm the worth and dignity of all people. In the resistance on behalf of “we the people”—all of us—passions often run high. How do live out our UU values as we pursue equal justice for all? . Rose and Mel will do a Q&A in the afternoon.
Clergy couple Mel and Rose are co-ministers emeriti of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston WV. To carry their activism into retirement they founded MelRose Ministries for Positive Transformative Change. When on the staff of the UUA, Mel directed its national justice work, overseeing the anitiracism, antioppression multicultural ministries programs and serving on President Bill Clinton’s One America Task Force. In 2013 he received the UUA’s Annual Award for Distinguished Service. He is on the Board of UU Ministry for Earth. Rose is on the Board of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition where she has served as its president and is the recipient of its outstanding volunteer of the year award. Both Mel and Rose are members of the Steering Committee for WV Interfaith Power and Light.
“Speaking from the Heart,” by Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie
We will learn how to communicate effectively without using notes or scripts. Participants will learn strategies for powerfully conveying their justice commitments, whether they are visiting a legislator, taking to the media, or speaking to a congregation or other group.
Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie is Minister of the North Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lewis Center, OH, Director of the UU House of Studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and author of Children of the Same God: Unitarianism in Historical Relationship to Judaism and Islam. Unitarian Pirates of the Caribbean: Historical Adventures in UU Polity is forthcoming.
Practical Organizing Skills: Campaigns and Teams, by Gary Davenport
Many of us participate in movements for justice, but how can we respond when we are called to be the mover? This session will show how to create a campaign with winnable goals and build teams to achieve them. Come prepared to share your experiences and hopes and take a plan for action with you for yourself and your congregations.
During his time as a professional community organizer, Gary Davenport organized community campaigns to hold lenders accountable for properties in foreclosure throughout Ohio. He has served on the board of UU Justice Ohio since 2013 and, in his capacity as a Commissioned Lay Ministry candidate for the Central East Region, he offers worship services and trainings in community-organizing skills. He also serves as coordinator of the Social Justice Ministry at First UU Church of Youngstown, where he has been a member since 2011.
Family and Friends and Political Differences: Reaching Across Our Divisions, by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere
Differing views on social issues and political policies divide many of us from those we love. Too many of us are afraid to even talk to some of our loved ones for fear of starting heated arguments that are destined to go nowhere.
What can we do to bridge this relational divide? Can we learn to speak to one another again in this age of polarization? We will draw on the wisdom of comedian Jim Gaffigan, Kid President, a hostage negotiator and each other as we explore ways to approach our divisions and rebuild our relationships.
Rev. Joan Van Becelaere is a Congregational Life Consultant for the Central East Region and the Administrator/Executive Director of UU Justice Ohio. Before starting work for the UUA, she was the Vice President for Student Services at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO, where she also taught UU Polity. She lives in Columbus OH with her spouse and three cats.
Rebirth and Resistance in this Age of LGBTQ++, by Samuel Prince
As the assault on LGBTQ++ continue in our era, we need to have a rebirth of what the tools and environment would lend itself to resist and change the narrative of what it means to have justice and equal rights. And whether as the Association, congregation or individual can we say that we are abiding by our Principles for justice, equity and compassion.
Samuel Prince has served as a co-chair of the Board of Trustees in Oberlin, and served as a chair on both the Adult Religious Education and the Anti-Racism Team in various congregations, and he says that these two are two are his life long passions.
His work on the General Assembly Planning Committee and UU Funding Panel are experiential in carrying out what it means to be just and providing a place for all to be believe in equal rights. The work is far from over.
Registration is on a sliding scale from $25 to $60, and includes lunch. (A sliding scale is being used to increase accessibility for all.) Childcare is available if requested by October 1.
Register at the Justice Assembly Registration page.
For more information on UUJO, contact Rev. Bill Gupton, Rae Jane Araujo, or Russ Araujo, or send them email at UUJO@huuc.net.