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December 2020
In This Issue

Justice Matters

Beatitudes for Justice Builders

Forward Together News & Events

Celebrating the Ordination of Lisa Garcia-Sampson
Fall Gathering 2020 and Looking Ahead to 2021
UU the Vote in Georgia

Friday Action Hours
'Tis the Season: Year-End Giving

Justice Partners News & Events

UUSJ 20th Anniversary Celebration
UUA: New Day Rising (Feb. 27, 2021)
Green Faith: Sacred People, Sacred Earth, (March 11, 2021)

Congregations Making Justice

Celebrating the Ordination of Lisa Garcia-Sampson

The UU Justice Ministry of North Carolina (Forward Together) congratulates its Executive Director, Lisa Garcia-Sampson, on her impending ordination on December 12, 2020 by the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island as a Unitarian Universalist minister (and officially becoming the Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson).

We thank you for your leadership as Forward Together's Executive Director during this past year and offer our blessings for your future ministry and service to Forward Together and the larger Unitarian Universalist movement.


Justice Matters

Beatitudes for Justice Builders

As we celebrate the work of UUs all across North Carolina and the US to "give life the shape of justice" in 2020 and look forward to the work that lies before us in the coming year, may these Beatitudes for Justice Builders written by Rev. Lindi Ramsden, a UU minister who, among other things, was the founding Executive Director of the UU Justice Ministry of California (2003) be a blessing and gift for each and every one of us during this winter holiday season and always.

Blessed are you who can question your own assumptions and listen with an open mind; you will receive new insights beyond your imagining.

Blessed are you who suffer the attacks of others to stand up for what is right; you will not be alone, for your courage will inspire others to rise.

Blessed are you who build friendships as well as justice even when you lose an issue; you will have strengthened the foundation of your community.

Blessed are you who take delight in people; you will not be bored in meetings.

Blessed are you who agitate the placid waters of complacency; you will create waves in the inertia of privilege, and will know the thrill of riding the surf of change.

Blessed are you who lead with enthusiasm and confidence, resisting the temptation to shame the apathetic or self-absorbed; you will inspire curiosity and hope in others.

Blessed are you who play as well as work; you will have more fun, build more energy, and will draw the powers of the impish to your cause.

Blessed are you who ask for help in your role as leaders; you will find teachers at every turn, and your work will remain interesting and alive.

Blessed are you who, when wrongfully attacked, find safe outlets for your righteous rage; your mind will be clear, your decisions strategic, and your progress will not be derailed by the backlash of the fearful.

Blessed are you who do not demonize your opponents; your eyes and your hearts will be open.

Blessed are you who sing and dance; you will find energy and joy to lift you on your journey.

Blessed are you who offer thanks and praise five-fold for every critique; your children will want to visit after they are grown, people will want to serve on your committees, and friends will be interested in your opinions. 

Blessed are you who study the rhythms of history; you will have knowledge with which to shape the future.

Blessed are you who work in coalition rather than in principled isolation; you will meet great people, learn things you didn't realize you needed to know, and have partners for the journey when you are in the lead, or in need.

Blessed are you who discover, train and encourage young leaders; you will see your work expand and grow beyond your own time and talent.

Blessed are you who can change your mind; you are still alive.

Blessed are you who will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good; you will see progress in your lifetime.

Blessed are you with an active spiritual life; you will find perspective and comfort in times of loss and betrayal, and will rise without cynicism to meet the challenges of a new day.

Blessed are you who live from a place of gratitude; for you will know the meaning of Life.


Forward Together News & Events

Forward Together's Fall Gathering 2020
And Looking Ahead to 2021

Thank you to all those who attended our Annual Gathering on Sunday, November 22nd.

We heard from an amazing group of speakers including Rev. Rob Keithan from The Reeb Project at All Souls D.C, UU the Vote National Lead Organizer Nicole Pressley, and our very own Rev. Claudia Jimenez from the UU Congregation of Asheville.

At the event Rev. Rob spoke about the Reeb Project's recent $10,000 donation to Forward Together. Additionally, Nicole announced that she has become a monthly sustaining donor and invited others to join her in investing in our justice ministry. Thank you Rob and Nicole! 

It was an evening of celebrating all that we have done this year to "give life the shape of justice" and highlighted the efforts of over 650 UUs across North Carolina in powerful voter engagement work. So, check out this video recap of our NC UU the Vote campaign. And thank you to all those who contributed to the making of the video. 

Finally Lisa Garcia-Sampson closed out the night by sharing some of our priority issues in the year ahead. In 2021 we are excited to deepen our relationships with our state and local community partners to fight for racial, economic and environmental justice in NC.


UU the Vote in Georgia: It's Not Over Until It's Over

The Presidential election of 2020 is finally over.

But there are still two run-off elections for two US Senate seats in Georgia (January 5, 2021) that will decide whether Republicans retain their majority in the Senate or whether Democrats will gain control.

So it's not over until it's over and there is still work to do!

On Thursday, December 17th from 7:00 - 9:00 ET, Forward Together will be co-hosting a National UU The Vote Phone Bank to Georgia with our dear friends from the Reeb Project at All Souls D.C. We're excited to again be partnering with our friends at Reclaim Our Vote for this action. For those of you who participated in our Thursday phone banks this summer and fall, we look forward to this being a reunion of sorts! You can Register Here

And of course, please consider joining the other upcoming UU the Vote Phone Banks happening on Sunday and Thursdays from now until the Georgia run-off election.

  • Sunday, December 6, 4:00 PM - 6:00 ET with Reclaim Out Vote. Register here.
  • Thursday, December 10, 7:00 PM - 9:00 ET with Georgia Equality. Register here. 
  • Sunday, December 13, 4:00 PM -  6:00 ET with Reclaim Out Vote. Register here. 
  • Thursday, December 17, 7:00 - 9:00 ET with Reclaim Out Vote Hosted by Forward Together & Reeb Project. Register Here 

For the full list of opportunities to get involved, visit the NEW Georgia webpage on the UU the Vote website.

Write Letters to Georgia Voters with Vote Forward. This week, write letters to encourage voters from historically underrepresented communities in Georgia to vote during early voting or on Election Day. Then send them on Monday, December 7th. Click on this link for more information.


Friday "Action Hours"

Join UUs from all across North Carolina every Friday at 11:00 for Forward Together's Friday Action Hour on Zoom https://zoom.us/j/91029655107.

This week, we'll be calling our US Senators and telling them why North Carolinians need  them to pass another COVID Stimulus Bill right now to provide unemployed and economically-impacted Americans the help they need before the end of the year. 

We'll also be submitting public comments to try to stop the Trump administration from banning many refugee work permits and we'll write letters to advocate for more accessible voting methods as part of UUSJ's December Write Here, Write Now campaign.

Click here for more information.


'Tis the Season: Year-End Giving

As we round out 2020, please join UU's across the state in helping us in reach our year-end goal of raising $10,000 in individual donations to Forward Together. Through your generosity, we can continue to build on the work we've done this year and keep fighting for electoral, racial, economic and environmental justice in 2021. 

In that spirit, please consider making a year-end donation of $20.21 or more today. And if you can, join UU the Vote National Lead Organizer, Nicole Pressley in becoming a monthly sustaining donor to Forward Together. Sustaining donors who give at any amount are critical to the long-term financial health of our organization. 

Finally, thank you to all of those who have already generously invested in the future of our state's justice ministry.  If you can, please consider making one final contribution to help us reach our year-end goal. 

Your Donation is Tax-Deductible! For individual donors who don't itemize deductions, the federal CARES Act allows an additional, “above-the-line" deduction for charitable cash gifts of up to $300 over and above the standard deduction as long as you make your contribution before December 31st. So, depending on your marginal tax bracket, a $100 contribution to Forward Together before December 31st would only cost you $75 (or less). What a deal!!


Justice Partners News & Events

UUs for Social Justice: 20th Anniversary Celebration

North Carolina UUs are invited to help UUs for Social Justice celebrate UUSJ’s 20th Anniversary on Saturday, December 12, at 4:00 pm EST!

The event will feature a policy keynote by U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), House Committee on Oversight and Reform, a charge for social justice makers by Rev. Ashley Horan, UUA (& UU the Vote), with music by LEA Morris. We also have exciting panelists like Forward Together's Executive Director, Lisa Garcia-Sampson; Nicole Pressley, UU the Vote; Everett Thompson of Side with Love; and Sara Benitez of Faith in Public Life and Elizabeth Alex of CASA, among others.

If you have not registered yet, you can REGISTER HERE.


UUA: New Day Rising (Feb. 27, 2021)

Is your congregation ready to take a new step in racial justice work? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.


GreenFaith: Sacred People, Sacred Earth

On March 11, 2021 people  of faith around the world will engage in actions of solidarity to raise awareness and highlight the urgent need for a more just and sustainable world for all. 

This mobilization is called Sacred People, Sacred Earth, and we invite you to join us! 

Here's the link for a beautiful video of people from all over the world reading our statement and demands. And here's the link to read and sign onto the statement.

Please, share this widely with your faith community. In the last two weeks nearly 1,000 people have signed, including high-level religious leaders whose names you will recognize.

In addition, we invite you to join us by hosting an event in your faith community! Visit greenfaith.org to sign up to receive a planning tool kit.

Email (amy@greenfaith.org) Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise, a member of the UU Forward Together Board of Directors and the GreenFaith NC organizer, for questions or support.

Help us push forward one of the most pressing justice issues of our time!


Congregations Making Justice

During Forward Together's Fall Gathering (November 22nd), a number of North Carolina UUs shared short videos highlighting their work to UU the Vote in North Carolina, including:

  • Twelve North Carolina UU congregations applied for and received a total of $6,000 UU the Vote mini-grants to support UU the Vote activities in North Carolina.
  • More than 600 members from 16 UU congregations in North Carolina mailed more than 30,000 postcards to NC voters of color.
  • Members from eight UU congregations in North Carolina joined with members of 25 UU congregations across the US for 950 hours of phone bank calls to NC voters over a period of 13 weeks.
  • One hundred members of the Community Church of Chapel Hill mailed 2,500 postcards to voters, put in 100 hours of phone-banking, and organized a voter education event.
  • Members of the UU Fellowship of Raleigh put in more than 1100 hours of electoral justice work, mailed 3,500 postcards to voters, organized an action hours event for young adults, and raised $1,500 for You Can Vote.
  • Members of the UU Church of Greensboro mailed 1,000 postcards to voters, advocated for early voting, signed up to be poll workers, served as poll monitors, and made the church available as a polling site on election day.
  • Forty-seven of the Unitarian Coastal Fellowship's 100 members mailed more than 2,000 postcards to voters, offered a screening of a documentary about voter suppression, organized a voter registration event, and worked with the NAACP's Black Voices Change Lives project.

Please share your congregation's social justice news by adding UU Forward Together (news@uuforwardtogether.org) to your congregation's social justice mailing list or sending your news to news@uuforwardtogether.org.


Forward Together is the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of North Carolina - 
an independent, nonpartisan, progressive faith-based social justice advocacy organization that works with Unitarian Universalists, Unitarian Universalist congregations, and other progressive faith-based and secular social justice organizations to "give life the shape of justice" in North Carolina through education, organizing, mobilization, witness, protest, advocacy, grass-roots lobbying, and direct action. 

Contact Us

Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of North Carolina
225 West Tryon St., Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278

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