Jonalu’s Journal – January 2018

By now, you have probably heard some of the feedback from the Developmental Ministry evaluation, in preparation for the congregational vote on January 7 about continuation of Developmental Ministry. The most heartening tidbit from the evaluation for me was the extent to which people are involved in the community. Over half the members of the fellowship answered surveys and of them, 61% had attended local rallies for social causes, 30% had attended City Commission meetings, and 27% had attended statewide rallies.

These numbers tell me that we have a congregation committed to making a difference in the world. I regularly see letters to the editor and social networking posts from many of you, addressing issues of concern. Members of the congregation also volunteer in a wide variety of charitable community causes–Happy Kitchen feeding people in need; CASA advocating for at risk children; Shepherd’s Crossing, Fairy Godmothers and Guardian Angels helping people access financial resources, Peggy Bowman to help women needing abortions, and so many more. UUFM folks care and work to bring their values into the world.

There are multiple reasons this matters. First, our world desperately needs our values, including respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, commitment to justice, equality, and democracy, respect for the interdependent web of all existence. These need to be championed at every opportunity. Second, our congregation needs the outward focus. We do not want to be an inward-focused group, because that leads to atrophy. Finally, the way we grow into being the best individual people we can be is through engagement with the world. Working to transform the world changes us. So, applying ourselves to the work of the world is good for the world, good UUFM and good for us individually.

In keeping with these commitments, I invite you to consider two upcoming opportunities for participation. First, I encourage anyone who can to join the Kansas People’s Agenda, Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, and Kansas Interfaith Alliance at the People’s State of the State 2018–Wednesday, January 10, at the capitol in Topeka [more on page 6 of January newsletter]. The rally is scheduled for 11:30 to 1, with opportunities beforehand for training in citizen lobbying and afterward, time to meet with your legislators. See kansaspeoplesagenda.org for more information or to sign up. If you want to ride along with others, you can sign up at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWfuNpElLJlkChvy03cX_dAyomncmdGk-KR5is0_HYfJnXOA/viewform.

The second opportunity to consider is making a commitment to dismantling racism by joining our Beloved Conversations team, which will be engaged first in learning through a retreat and classes.  More information is available about that elsewhere in this newsletter [more on page 5 of January newsletter].  I am happy to talk with you about it if you have questions.

However you are engaged in changing the world, I invite you this month to consider it intentionally. All of us are called in different ways. What’s yours?

In faith and freedom,       Jonalu

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