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Message from Rev. Richard ‘Bud’ Murphy, UUJF President

Just Saying 12/17/2020

I saw a sweatshirt message on the Internet. It said “I’m not arguing. I’m just explaining why I’m right!”  With Pandemics and Infodemics and so many convinced that the medium is the message, that dressing for success is success, it’s important to remember there’s an objective world where actions have real consequences, a world where a tree falling in the forest has an impact with or without humans knowing about it.

Even Words are actions, and they have real consequences on people’s beliefs and their understanding of objective reality.  Being clever with words, someone can convince us that is it is in our best interest to drink the cool aid, but if its laced with cyanide our beliefs will not protect us from its objective, deadly impact.

As we celebrate the start of 2021, tradition invites New Year Resolutions.  Resolution is a word with several meanings and one of those meanings has to do with our ability to distinguish between objects.  A stunning example is our increasing ability to capture electromagnetic energy to resolve objects so far away that the images we capture may have been created or reflected by objective sources that may no longer exist. 

Closer to home, we are challenged to resolve an objective reality that is filled with potential dangers and opportunities.  Here in the United States our Democratic experiment is being tested.  President Lincoln grasped the fragility of this experiment in his Gettysburg Address.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".  Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

We can resolve (Commit) to resolve (Heal) our divisions, but to do so we must resolve (Distinguish) the difference between subjective and objective reality.  May we resolve and cling to objective reality and to the future probable impacts of our choices.  May we resolve to choose wisely!

Happy New Year

Rev. Bud Murphy, UUJF President

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Legislative Advocacy 2021

Here is a checklist for those of you who will be making your voices heard in shaping public policy and urging our newly elected members of the State Legislature to act on our behalf in the upcoming March 2 Legislative Session.

  • Form a legislative advocacy team or teams with members of your congregation
  • Encourage members of your team and congregation to sign up for Legislative Action Alerts.
  • If —— is not your correct 9-digit Zip+4 address code please update your current street address on the UUJF website Take Action page.
  • Review, edit and prioritize items on the Legislative Agenda
  • For tips on conducting meetings with your legislators watch this 1 hour training video.
  • Request appointments for virtual meetings with your State Representative and State Senator.
  • The following guidelines may be helpful in planning virtual meetings with legislators
  • Use your edited Legislative Agenda in your meetings as a script or platform to advocate for legislation you support (Suggestion – focus your presentation on legislation tailored to committees on which your Representative and Senator sit)
  • Share personal stories how proposed legislation affects you and and your family
  • Thank your legislators for their time and consideration of your views and concerns
  • Let them know you will be contacting them regarding specific bills when they appear on their Committee agendas or on Chamber calendars for votes.
  • Optional – follow bills of interest on the Legislative Tracker

Please drop a note to info@uujusticefl.org with any questions, suggestions or a progress report.

 

UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry News

UUJF's Climate Resilience Ministry is working with 100 Black Women of Central Florida, the Community Empowerment Project, the University of Central Florida, and Save the Wekiva River and Its Headwaters, Inc. on an EPA Environmental Justice Grant to help low income families identify and address hazardous air pollutants that Impact health. The African American communities of Parramore, Holden Heights and Mercy Drive, where the project is taking place, have major roadways passing through them with large volumes of traffic.

The Kickoff event for the project was held this month, and the initial survey work will begin in early January. Watch this 28 minute video with highlights of the Kickoff event where the project was explained. Here is the link to view the interactive map of EPA Environmental Justice projects.

First Unitarian Church of Orlando has accepted an invitation to engage with the UCF partner to install one of the low cost PM2.5 continuous monitors that the UCF  team is installing around the city. That will intersect with the point sampling of multiple air pollutants using expensive monitors in the low income communities because UCF has agreed to provide reference monitoring for that sampling plan. There will likely be joint training calls with participants from all locations that are installing the low cost PM2.5 monitors. Focus groups will be forming from the neighborhoods.

The UUSC support of Youth Ambassadors who will be participating in events could be an opportunity for allies to show their support in the MLK parade. The Ambassadors will be making a float.

COVID makes most events virtual, so participating together is somewhat easier, but it takes effort to get newly engaged people to join discussion and organization Zoom meetings.

 

#UUtheVote Georgia

UU the Vote Georgia Phonebank
December 29, 2020 6:30 pm
 
UU the Vote Georgia Phonebank
January 3, 2021 4:00 pm
 

News and Events from Congregations, the UUA and Affiliated Organizations

 

The UUJF Board voted to join Florida for a Rising Democracy, a diverse coalition of Florida organizations and community members representing people who believe it’s time to get big money out of politics, make voting simpler, safer, and fairer, and hold our elected officials accountable.  Click here for more information and to sign your name individually in support of H.R.1 and other important pro-democracy reforms.

 
 

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ)

Write Here! Write Now! Online Letter-Writing Platform

From the nation’s capitol, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ) is continuing its Letter Writing Platform.  Add your religious voice to these and other issues of national importance.

 

UU Congregation of Lake County

UUCLC’s Social Justice and Environment Committee is pleased to announce the next three Online Social Justice Programs, 7 pm, Sundays, January 10, February 14, March 14.  All programs will be devoted to ending racism. These presentations are free and open to the public.

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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami

The South Florida Unitarian Universalist Persons of Color and Indigenous Group (SOFLA-UUPOCI) wind-down hour is held biweekly 5 pm on Fridays January 8, January 22, February 5 and February 19.

This is a community of self-identified black, brown, and indigenous folks who are interested in forming meaningful connection with one another. Check out the co-created virtual space full of meaning and wonder.

In order to join the next group meeting please request to join on the UUPOCI Facebook group

 
 
 

Florida Public Service Commission Proposal would Lock In 30-year-old Outdated Energy Efficiency Practices and Higher Bills for Customers

Join the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Earthjustice, League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Environmental Confederacy of Southwest Florida in denouncing a draft rule that changes how the PSC sets energy savings goals for the state’s largest power companies. as a stunningly short-sighted move and not in the best interest of the utilities, customers, or the state.  Click here for more information.

PSC Workshop Thursday, January 14, 2021, 1:00 pm

Public Comments on Draft Rule Changes

Contact: Amy Rawe, SACE, 865-235-1448, amyr@cleanenergy.org; Bradley Marshall, Earthjustice, 845-239-2355, bmarshall@earthjustice.org

 
 

Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the February newsletter to info@uujusticefl.org for publication January 20.

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Have you moved or changed congregations? Update your current contact information so we can match you with your Legislative District.
Visit the UUJF website and UUJF Facebook group
View archived UUJF newsletters.
 
Does your congregation have an online sermon that addresses a Justice issue?
Is your congregation involved in upcoming social justice initiatives in our area? Send us a link or more information to publicize your program or event.
 

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida Action Network
P.O. Box 1310 | Orange Park, Florida 32067
  info@uujusticefl.org

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