Love is the spirit of our church and it is that love that guides us to seek justice for all. In that spirit the Heritage Social Justice Collaborative brings together individuals who have passion around various areas of social justice.
We gather to share information and support each other around these passions. We meet to generate ideas using the power of group interaction. Individuals or teams take the lead in a specific area of justice work. They communicate their activities to the greater congregation. With congregational involvement, more impact can occur as we work together to change injustices in our world. We also meet to vote on the use of monies from the church’s Social Justice balance sheet account.
Any Heritage UU Church member or friend is welcome to join the Social Justice Collaborative and lead the congregation in their passion.
There’s a lot to dislike in Ohio House Bill 68. (The authors of this bill have misleadingly given it the name “the SAFE Act.”) The bill was introduced on February 27, 2023. It passed a vote in the Ohio House of Representatives and is now in the Senate Government Oversight Committee.
The bill prohibits physicians from providing minors with gender-affirming medical care through surgery and hormones. It includes a prohibition against the use of puberty-blocking hormones (which can delay the onset of puberty in a teen and thereby provide them with time to come to a sound conclusion as to their gender).
The bill also prohibits local governments from passing any laws against so-called treatments that do not involve surgery or hormones. This would mean that the City of Cincinnati’s 2015 law banning “conversion” or “reparative” therapy could not be enforced. (“Reparative” therapy attempts to make gay people straight and make trans people no longer transgender). The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that “The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior….”
In the spring of 2023, people at Heritage were encouraged to write their state representatives if they opposed such a bill becoming law. Now we are again letting our voices be heard, this time with the members of the Senate Government Oversight Committee.
If you are opposed to such a bill becoming law, here is a chance to let elected officials in Columbus know it. In the steps below, we’ve made easy to take action.
NOTE: The draft email provided below is intended to persuade the conservative majority of the committee to vote “NO” on the bill. With this in mind, the arguments used are limited to those that might convince conservatives.
Step 1: Start an email.
Click the link, “Click here to start an email,” below, to start an email message with the TO, the SUBJECT, and part of the body already filled in.
Click here to start an email and wait a minute for the email message to be assembled and come up. (If an email does not come up or if your device is not set up to automatically start an email, then temporarily scroll to the bottom of this article and copy and paste the information into an email that you start.)
Step 2: Personalize the content of the email.
Change the body of the letter/email to add your custom perspective. For example, there are several parents at Heritage who are parents of trans kids, and if you know one or are one, you might add something based upon that experience.
Also, add “Yours truly,” and your full name at the end. Add something that lets them know you are a voter in Ohio (a statement to that effect, and/or your physical address.)
Step 3: Send the email.
For a deeper dive: Click here for the Ohio Legislature page on HB68. This page includes a link to the text of the bill.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns, please feel free to contact Russ Araujo at:
Image courtesy of PxHere.
Information for an email:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Ohio House Bill 68, now in Senate Committee
To the Honorable Kristina D. Roegner, the Honorable Niraj Antani, the Honorable Paula Hicks-Hudson, the Honorable George F. Lang, and the Honorable Rob McColley:
Ohio House Bill 68 is now in the Senate Government Oversight Committee. I am writing to ask you to vote against any efforts to move this bill forward or to pass it into law.
The bill prohibits physicians from providing gender-affirming care to minors who suffer from gender dysphoria. However, this law would violate some fundamental principles of our society.
The bill adds the intrusion of governmental regulation into decisions that should be made by the parents, with input from the physician and the patient.
As a person of faith, I believe that such decisions are best made by the parents in a teen’s life, and should be informed by their own faith. The best decisions cannot be achieved by politicians taking a one-answer-fits-all approach.
Thus, the bill takes power from parents and places it in the hands of government. In doing this, it abridges the religious freedom of those parents.
I urge you to vote against this bill.
Monday, January 1, 2024, 5:00 to 5:30 p.m., offsite.
Greater Anderson Promotes Peace (GAPP) is holding its 19th annual New Year’s Day Candlelight Vigil, “Our Dreams for Humanity,” at the Peace Pole Garden in Beech Acres Park, 6910 Salem Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230 (Anderson Township), on Monday, January 1, from 5:00-5:30 p.m.
On this first day of the year, many people’s hearts turn to the dream and vision of humankind living together in harmony. Participants are invited to bring a brief reading or speak words from the heart. Readings will be interspersed with moments of silent reflection. Candles are provided for use during the event. The vigil will conclude at 5:30 p.m. Bundle up and join your neighbors to start the year in a spirit of harmony and community!
Image: GAPP Peace Pole Garden
Image courtesy of Louise Lawarre.
Just a reminder that Joann Meyer still has a “shoe box” under the coat rack in the rear hall to collect shoes. Most donations go to a national organziation called Soles 4 Souls. They take all and any shoes in any condition, and send them to those in need all around the globe. Check them out at www.soles4souls.org.
But sometimes, Joann finds pairs that can be put to immediate use and sends them to Inter Parish Ministry (IPM) and sometimes to Maslow’s Army. So instead of throwing unwanted or old shoes away, please bring them to church (keeping them out of a landfill) and put them in the blue box. We can make a difference!
Matthew 25: Ministries will now accept only clean, empty plastic pill bottles for inclusion in shipments of medical supplies. They are no longer recycling uncleaned used pill bottles.
Please wash, dry, and bag the pill bottles you are donating, and mark the bag as washed. For exact directions, go to the Matthew 25: Ministries website page at https://m25m.org/pillbottles/
We can still collect bags of clean medicine bottles on the high shelf in the back hallway. Anyone who is interested in taking our collections out to Matthew 25: Ministries please let me know and I will start a contact list.
Thank you all for your interest in this service to our community.
Yours in the spirit of our church,
Image courtesy of macwagen via Flickr.