October 2022 
 
 
Just Saying
from Rev. Richard ‘Bud’ Murphy,
UUJF President
 
 

The following three quotes capture core wisdom for me. May they inspire your "wisdom building." 

First: from Rev. John B. Gill from a post by Nicole Hild – Sensini
"Peacemaking doesn't mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free."

Second: posted by someone quoting Robert Duvall in the film, ‘Second Hand Lions’, "Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good. That honor, courage and virtues mean everything. That power and money, money and power mean nothing; that Good always triumphs over Evil; and I want you to remember this: That Love, true Love never dies. Doesn't matter if any of this is true or not. You see, a man should believe in these things because these are the things worth believing in."

Third: from a post about Burning Man philosophy,
"Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic," the committee writes. "We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve "being" through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play."

I believe these quotes express central truths to consider in these challenging times.

 

Legislative Update

 
 

Update:

Why is the Right to Clean Water Amendment needed? And, how does focused discussion about the Amendment help our waters? 

Read what the Waterway Advocates said this spring:   

The Waterway Advocates, a South Florida-based organization with a holistic approach to habitat restoration and pollution clean-up is, demanded answers and action in a letter sent in May 2022 to the Honorable Secretary Shawn Hamilton at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Honorable Governor Ron DeSantis. A few concerns mentioned in the letter are:

Through email correspondence with ERC staff, Waterway Advocates has confirmed that, ”The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission last met on Feb. 8, 2017.” In this same communication, the agency also claimed, “There have been no agenda items that have required [ERC] to convene since this time.”

As an organization that is frequently in the field witnessing pollution, its effects, and working to restore habitats, we see many reasons on a daily basis for ERC to meet. We hear it from our community members, read it in the news, and witness it at our events. Here are just a few of our concerns:

In 2021, a record 1,101 Florida manatees died. This was the deadliest year on record, compared to even 2020 when there were 637 manatee losses. Only five months into 2022, and almost 500 have already fallen to this Unusual Mortality Event. If this trend remains at this rate, mathematically, we could see a potential loss of 1,500 manatees – this year!

The Blue-Green Algae Task Force urged that health advisories be developed by the Departments of Health and Environmental Protection, “to inform the public about the potential health impacts associated with exposure to algae and/or algae toxins.” Lake Okeechobee and many other bodies of water have been “blanketed in blue green algae” within recent years. While our state has a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, the ERC’s failure to discuss or even acknowledge this growing issue is concerning.

In March of 2022, Florida ranked first for the highest total acres of lakes too polluted for swimming or healthy aquatic life, in a new study by The Environmental Integrity Project examining water quality across the United States. In the same report, Florida ranked second in the nation for “lakes that cannot be used at all,” and “total square miles of impaired estuaries.”

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has determined that “nearly 9,000 miles of streams and rivers designated for recreation are impaired for fecal bacteria.” Public contamination warnings have been inadequate at best, and ERC must intervene in this and other water quality issues.

Here is a link to the entire letter at their website.

Until state senators and representatives choose to listen to their constituents, Amendments to the state constitution are one of the only ways the majority of Florida voters can be heard on state issues.

Include a link to the the petition in your congregation's Newsletter and Facebook page. Encourage members of your organization and congregation to circulate petitions to place this amendment on the 2024 General Election ballot. Become a Key Ambassador in your County.

UU Justice Florida supports this proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution establishing the Right to Clean and Healthy Water

 

Legislative Agenda

Personal freedoms, local control, the rights and safety of transgender persons, equitable health care for everybody, reproductive rights, classroom freedoms and the right to assemble are being restricted in Florida.  This fall  we will be updating the Legislative Advocacy section on the UUJF website so that you can start communicating with the nominees and elected officials about issues you care about  in advance of the 2023 session.   Submit your thoughts and suggestions to info@uujusticefl.org.

 

Environmental Justice 

 

Side With Love's Climate Disaster Response Training Series

A TIMELY INVITATION: FIRST session is Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. Register here for September 27.  Use links below for the entire series. 

Join Climate Justice on September 27, October 25, and November 15 for these interactive, 90-minute workshops on local congregational climate action. Share this opportunity with members of your congregation.

When disaster or crisis strikes, many of our members turn to their congregations for support - tangible and spiritual. Our congregations are spaces of faith development, prophetic power, and community care. Our congregations - your congregation - can and continue to provide shelter, offer respite, and literally save lives.

When our congregations are truly rooted in our Unitarian Universalist values, the work of collective liberation naturally follows. We know that as spiritual leaders and ministers within our congregations, you are shaping communities that, each and every day, strive to deepen their commitment to our faith’s values and calls. That is why we are writing to you today with a critical invitation to your congregation to live into the hope and courage of our faith.

Our Climate Disaster Response series is geared towards congregations who are committed to being responsive to the needs of their broader communities in times of crisis and disaster. Our approach with this series is honest and full of care - we know that climate disaster impacts all of us in different ways, so how can we face that reality with a prepared understanding of our relationship, responsibility, and power to support those who are most impacted? From grounding ourselves in the climate risks most prevalent in our communities, to developing plans of action, to staying in conversation with our faith peers, this series is designed to turn the overwhelming nature of climate disaster into a known and collectively addressable entity. Rooted in the belief that shared knowledge and faith are essential to Beloved Community, this series will provide the climate activists and teams in your congregation with essential tools to build a climate disaster preparedness approach that lifts up the best of Unitarian Universalism in your community.

We ask that you amplify and share this invitation with members of your congregation, in the hopes that one or more members attend to help lead these efforts with you. We know that these days there are so many ways in which our leaders are called to live out our Unitarian Universalist faith, and we hope that you and others in your congregation will answer this call, as a way to build more responsive, relational, and resilient communities in the face of climate change and crisis.

The series offerings that we invite you and your congregation to are:

  • Tuesday, September 27: Climate Disaster Response: Assessing Climate Impacts & Making Connections (7pm ET/ 6pm CT / 5pm MT/ 4pm PT) ·
  • Tuesday, October 25: Mobilizing for Action (7pm ET/ 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PT) ·
  • Tuesday, November 15: Community conversation (7pm ET/ 6pm CT/ 5pm MT / 4pm PT

 

 
 

 

Faiths 4 Climate Justice 2022

A global multi-faith action

02 October-06 November 2022

greenfaith international network

Faiths 4 Climate Justice 2022 has the following climate justice global multi-faith message: 

People of diverse faiths want their moral voices to be heard and the right decisions to be taken on climate justice.

Our planet and all living things are sacred and must be protected. The current destruction of our world is an offense to our beliefs and our wellbeing. It is preventing us from living in harmony with the Earth and each other. Government action has been inadequate and continues to exemplify that our political leaders are not moving fast enough. They lack a moral compass and are driving us apart at the exact moment we need to come together. We must step up our efforts to bring environmental justice to all people and the living earth.

From 02 October to 06 November, just before the G20 summit and U.N.’s COP27 conference, religious groups will rise.

We will go peacefully and prayerfully to centers of economic and political power. We will demand an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects and deforestation; a rapid transition to 100% renewables and a fair phase-out of fossil fuels; and a commitment to a just transition for impacted workers and climate-vulnerable communities.

UUJF has endorsed these 2022 goals. 

The UU Southest Cluster has scheduled a virtual event on October 15 titled Ecological Civilization: Earth, Religion and the Human Future. Register below for this important conversation.

 
 
 
 

 

UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry Updates 

Jan Booher, executive director of the Climate Resilience Ministry, facilitates and assists organizations, congregations and advocacy organizations to work together on long term climate resiliency issues impacting them. Read about the initiatives that are being assisted by this Ministry. Does your area have a climate concern and people who want to work together more effectively?

From Resilience to Restoration: Leveraging Houses of Faith to Move the Gulf South initiative Request

Recently a SALSA  Alert was sent that requested recipients to complete a survey. If you received a survey via SALSA recently (recheck you Inbox and SPAM), please reply. Or, use this link and complete. This survey is a grant requirement. Having a good return percentage is very helpful to the project.

The Ft. Myers Youth Resilience Corps (Replicable Water)

Crystal Johnson, co-founder of Community Forum Foundation in Ft. Myers, who is taking charge of the Fort Myers Youth Resilience Corps program ordered  hurricane emergency supplies that will be distributed at a community Resiliency event. Students will learn how to use the CPR defibrillator and receive hurricane supplies and will receive 5 Community Service Hours for their participation. The All Faiths Congregation of Ft. Myers Climate Action Team and the SWFL Reset Center on the UU Congregation of Ft. Myers campus will likely assist with the event.

A permanent Resilience Hub in Parramore, Orlando 

Ms. Betty's Resilience Hub Learning Center is preparing a virtual tour for the October 22nd for a Resilience to Restoration meeting. Plants are growing in the hydroponics project. It is hoped that the Youth Environmental Equity Ambassadors will be able to present as part of the program. The Coalition of 100 Black Women of Central Florida is the lead organization and UUSC and UUJF are engaged. Clean air and healthier community members are major goals.

 

 Events at Congregations

UUJF will be sharing activities happening at our congregations in the future.  Some are on line, others are not.  Just reading what another congregation is doing may give you a great idea for your own congregation. Please share your justice opportunities with our Florida congregations.

 

Ecological Civilization: Earth, Religion and the Human Future

Virtually with the Southeast UU Cluster
Saturday, October 15 at 1:30 p.m.

To register for this free event please reply to seuucluster@gmail.com

with your name, congregation or organization and email address.

 
 
 
 
 

News and Events from UU Wider World and UUJF

 
 
 
 

 

Race to Election Day: Fall Flex for 4 Million!

UUtheVote's Fall Flex for 4 Million leverages the power of our national, state, and local networks to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate in critical ballot measures and combat the voter suppression laws that have made it more difficult for people to vote. We’re hosting events across the country to engage and mobilize voters in key states. Together with our UU State Action Networks and frontline partners, we’re knocking on doors, hosting rallies, calling voters, and doing everything to reach 4 million voters before Election Day! Learn more and join us!  Write, telephone, text in support of issues of importance and to encourage registration and informed voting.  Choose an activity, select a time, choose a state.  

 
 
 
 
 

Southern Region

Support the work of the leaders of your congregation or learn more about what makes UU congregations tick by taking Leadership classes with the Southern Region. 
Check with your Board members, minister or Council to see if others are attending. UUJF will reimburse up to four members from each congregation.  
 The Southern Region Leadership Experience (LE) is a three-part, nine-month, online course designed to support leaders at all levels. The sections of the Leadership Experience must be taken in sequential order. They can be taken over two or even three years. Learn more about the Leadership Experience track below. 
 
 
 
 
 

Unitarian Unitarian Association 

 
 
To learn about other Side with Love actions, click here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
UUJF Funding Announcement
Congregational Member Funding Opportunity
 
 

UU Justice Florida (UUJF) is offering a funding opportunity to kick start, energize or supplement your Unitarian Universalist inspired outreach work.

What we are offering

UUJF is offering grants of up to $1,000.00 to aid a UU group’s work that supports UU Justice Florida’s major goal of promoting justice, equity, and compassion in public policy in Florida. UUJF’s core issues are Democracy in Action, Environmental Justice, Public Health and Safety, Immigration Reform, LGBTQ+ and Gender Justice.

Request an application here.

Applicants need to complete the Google Application form to receive funding for your UU group’s work and submit it to UUJF for review and acceptance.  Once your request is approved by the UUJF Board, you, your minister or/and Board president will be sent the approved application and they will be asked to acknowledge your grant and plans. Please remember, your project’s purpose(s) must align with UU Justice Florida’s goals and core issues as described above. 

Your responsibilities

You will be responsible for saving receipts of expenditures and writing a simple narrative report regarding the results of your project within 6 months of grant acceptance. If the project continues past six months, a preliminary report and receipts collected to that point needs to be submitted, with a final report and receipts by the end of 12 months.

More detailed information will accompany the application.

 
 
 
 

Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the Novermber newsletter to info@uujusticefl.org in time for publication October. 25.

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Visit the UUJF website and UUJF Facebook group
View archived UUJF newsletters.
 
Does your congregation have an online sermon or event that addresses a Justice issue?
Is your congregation involved in upcoming social justice initiatives in our area? Send us a note to info@uujusticefl.org for more information or to publicize your programs and actions.
 

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

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