Archive for May, 2016

May 20 2016

May Theme: Letting Go

Published by under Minister's Musings

All Hands on Deck!
Uniting Our Forces for Justice in This Election Season
by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
We have a crucial opportunity to make a difference during this election season by calling “all hands on deck” for the Voter Engagement Campaign that People Acting in Community Together (PACT) is organizing across our county and that its parent organization PICO is organizing across the country. 
What Is the Voter Engagement Campaign?
The Voter Engagement Campaign aims to:
1. Strengthen PACT’s power and each participating congregation’s power and effectiveness—by showing how many folks we reach county-wide, and by experiencing the impact we have as a team! (Imagine how persuasive our meetings with decision makers will be in years to come if we can show that we have had an impact on a great number of voters this season.)
2. Transform the electorate by focusing on people who have been excluded from the democratic process but who can and need to have a voice.
Each PACT congregation will set up a team of people willing to work in five areas:
— door knocking (in partnership with other congregations’ teams, like our friends at Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Most Holy Trinity, and many more whom we will meet as we partner)
— phone banking (we are pros at this!)
— data collection (perfect job for the computer-savvy quieter folks among us—lots of data entry to keep track of how many people we reach—this is what builds power for us as PACT!)
— voter registration and pledges (in areas where this will have the most impact)
— coordinating the team’s efforts and communicating with other teams
PACT will provide training for the Voter Engagement Campaign, and will bring groups of folks together across congregations based on which role(s) they want to play.
In our work for immigration reform over the past ten years, we have experienced the life-changing joy and power of building relationships across congregations and cultures. The Voter Engagement Campaign offers us a similar chance to expand our hearts and lives by connecting with our neighbors across the county.
Time Commitment:
Each volunteer can control how many hours they put into this work. The more people involved, the less any one person will need to do.
On Sunday, June 19, we will offer a worship service that explores the underlying forces driving this disturbing election season. What pain and anger cause such extremism? How do we feel compassion for those whose views not only differ from ours but seem downright dangerous? What does our Unitarian Universalist faith call us to do at such a time as this?
After worship that same Sunday, PACT will offer a training for all who want to participate in the Voter Engagement Campaign. Please join us for both worship and training on Sunday, June 19!
What Can You Do?
·         Say “YES” if and when our PACT-staff organizer Jesús Ruiz calls and asks you to join a training and a team!
·         RSVP ASAP for the training on Sunday, June 19, at 12:45 p.m. at FUCSJ (room TBA), where PACT staff will get us ready to jump in with other congregations. RSVP to Office Manager Sharmeen
·         Invite friends to join you on the FUCSJ team!
“Why Us, Rev. Nancy?”
Friends, together we have the passion, leadership, engagement, and concern for the well-being of all peoples and creatures—and of the planet itself—that calls us to make a difference in our community. So much is at stake in this year’s election, not just because of the election of a new president who will set tone and direction for the country but also because of numerous crucial bills and measures that reflect on our care and inclusion of all. Each of us has particular gifts to bring to this campaign—and each of us has friends who will also say “yes” to participating when YOU invite them to join.
Let’s SHOW UP!
We can’t sit this election out. It’s about much more than just making sure that we ourselves vote. It’s about more than just registering more voters. It’s about affirming our deepest values for the direction of our community and our country. It’s about building networks and power so that we can be even more effective in the future.
       And most of all, it’s about RELATIONSHIP. It’s about our kinship with each other and all around us. It’s about Making Love Visible.
I hope you’ll join me in this campaign.
With my love,
Rev. Nancy

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