Words matter. The text of the 1776 Declaration of Independence did more than inform the English government that 13 “American” colonies had had enough – it also gave future American generations a set of values to live up to. #Black Lives Matter was first seen in 2013 after Trayvon Martin was killed, and has become another American declaration. Contentious, important words. What can we learn from our declarations, about ourselves and our country?
Justice & Outreach Ministry and Racial Justice Team
On Sunday, March 4, 2018 we installed and dedicated our Black Lives Matter banner in front of the Meeting House. Unfortunately, two weeks ago on June 15 we discovered the banner was vandalized - the third such incident since the 2018 dedication. As a result we initiated our response plan, the first steps of which include putting up a replacement banner and notifying the congregation about the vandalism.
Please join us in front of the Meeting House for a rededication ceremony for the new banner this Sunday, July 4 at 12:30 p.m., led by Rev. Tricia. The ceremony will be held immediately before our regular first Sunday of the month racial justice vigil. We will be issuing a press release covering the vandalism and announcing the rededication ceremony.
If you have questions, feel free to contact the Racial Justice Team at email@example.com. We know that incidents like this may bring up anxiety or concern. If you would like pastoral support, contact Rev. Tricia at 862-5630, ext. 2400 and leave a confidential message. We will also be holding a gathering for staff and congregants to process thoughts and feelings about the vandalism and the racism it reflects. As more details become available, we'll share them through the eNews and Facebook page.
"Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones."
- John O’Donohue
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved minister emerita, Roddy O’Neil Cleary. Roddy served as our associate minister from 1997 - 2008, following a 15-year position in campus ministry at the University of Vermont. Roddy shared her love and light with us as our minister and friend. To list all of her social justice work would be nearly impossible; she was involved in it all. And yet, she still managed to make time to meet up for coffee or lunch, and write beautiful notes to lift someone’s spirits. She was greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew her.
Our hearts are with Tom and Amber, Neil and Dayva, and all of Roddy’s family and friends as they experience this journey of loss together. Roddy’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 25 at 2 p.m. at the First UU Society of Burlington. This service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. Please watch the eNews for further updates.
Director of Operations & Finance
Streaming Project - Help Wanted!
Woody Fulton, Tech Team
As we get closer to having First UU's live-streaming up and running we have a request: If you have any possible interest in being a part of producing the Sunday morning service for the world to view, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are contemplating training in late July or August, and hope to do some practice services in August. The goal is to be fully functional on September 12, the first planned service with the Sanctuary welcoming those who wish to be here in person, and the live-stream welcoming those who cannot be here or prefer to be cautious.
FUUSB Summer Break: July 5-18
As a much-needed break for the FUUSB staff, the congregation will be "closed" from July 5 - 18. Instead of online services for two Sundays, July 11 and 18, we are encouraging everyone to take a virtual "tour" of online services from UU congregations around the country (find congregations at uua.org/find), or enjoy a FUUSB service or two from the past year on the First UU Society YouTube channel.
Calls for a Longtime FUUSB Member
Sarah Weber, Care Network Team
Longtime member of our congregation and beloved former librarian, Rebecca Anderson, has recently moved and would love to hear from her friends at the UU. A phone call each day would be a wonderful gift.
Rebecca responds well to calls from people she knows and loves. She may not remember the call the next day, but in the moment, she feels connected and joy. To spread out the calls, a calendar has been set up using mealtrain. To sign up to call, please click here: mealtrain.com/lz7y1r. The best time is between 1 and 5 p.m. or 6 and 8 p.m. A call of 15 minutes to whatever you are comfortable with would be perfect. Dial (802) 872-1700 and ask for Rebecca. Thank you in advance for your kindness.
Invitation From the Knitting Group
The First UU Knitting (Crocheters, too!) Group will continue to meet on Zoom throughout the summer on the first Tuesday of every month and we hope you will join us. Our next meeting is July 6, 7 - 8 p.m. We are a purely social group that gathers to share various personal projects we are working on as well as all things about yarn and patterns. All levels of experience welcome! Please join us with this link: bit.ly/3qKUgLa.
Second Saturday Potluck, Campfire, Song Circle
Come Together at Our Second Saturday Potluck, Campfire, and Song Circle! In Person and By Zoom!
Next Saturday, July 10, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
We’re trying something bold, new and different this month. This time, for those who feel ready, we’ll gather in person! And, for those who’d like to attend by Zoom, we’ll have that set up as well. Bring some potluck dinner to share (or just bring your own food, whatever feels most comfortable for you). We’ll provide beverages. Please bring your own plates and utensils, and folding chair. After breaking bread, we’ll gather around the campfire (real or metaphorical, depending on temperature) and share songs, sing-alongs, stories, and whatever else is on your mind and heart.
Where:Chris and Todd’s backyard, 166 Loomis Street, Burlington (light blue house, on the north side of the street, between N. Willard and N. Prospect). Limited parking in our driveway. There should be parking on upper Loomis. Come around the rear of our house to our backyard.
Covid-19 Precautions: We will keep a degree of social distancing. Recognize that, for some of us, this may be one of the first times we’ve gotten together with people in person. You need not wear a mask if you’re fully vaccinated and have no signs or symptoms of any sort of respiratory infection. If you’re not fully vaccinated please bring and wear a facemask.
Note: We will not meet in person if there’s a strong chance of rain. If in doubt, call Todd for an update at (802) 922-3786, or check the FUUSB Facebook group page.
Our theme this month is “together.” Share a song, read a poem, or tell a story that meshes with this theme. Or whatever else moves you. To join our email list, RSVP for the get-together, or sign up for the open mic, send Todd a note: email@example.com
A Special Thank You
Have you seen the hand-crafted Thank You card that Hope Baker-Carr created for Dan House, expressing our gratitude for his service as FUUSB Board President? Simply remarkable!
Summer eNews Schedule
Mary Williams, Society Administrator
During FUUSB's July 5-18 summer break, the eNews will be on hiatus. There will be no eNews on July 8 or 15. Beginning July 22, we will be back to the weekly publication schedule.
VIA Action Alert on Housing
Help enact this important housing bill!
The Vermont Legislature last week passed a bill that will help create more affordable housing, and now we need to ensure that the Governor will turn it into law! Bill S79 creates a statewide rental housing registry and provides for an inspection system. It has been touted for years by housing advocates as a great way to help housing-seekers find rental opportunities and ensure that old housing stock is rehabbed and adequately maintained.
Gov. Scott has been lukewarm regarding this bill, and needs to hear from us that this measure is extremely important in the struggle to gain more affordable housing. In the Vermont system, he can either sign the bill into law, or take no action and the bill will be enacted without his signature.
Contact the Governor's office with this message:
"My name is ___ and I'm with Vermont Interfaith Action. Thank you for prioritizing affordable housing in the past; now please take the much-needed step of enacting S79 to create a statewide rental housing registry with an inspection system. We need every possible tool to increase safe, affordable housing - this legislation will help renters and landlords alike!"
Call (802) 828-3333 to leave this message, or write to him here. Thank you!
New England Region UUA News
The July issue of the New England Region UUA Newsletter is now available at this link!
July 11 & 18 - no services
FUUSB Summer Break
We invite you to take a virtual "tour" of online services from UU congregations around the country (find congregations at uua.org/find), or enjoy a FUUSB service from the past year on the First UU Society YouTube channel.