Guest at Your Table

MAKE SOME NOISE on Dec. 18th when you return your Guest at Your Table coin boxes. $40 membership envelopes can be turned in the next three Sundays. Rebecca Burns will be here on Dec. 11th to describe the UUSC project in Haiti. For more info: Cyd Reider – (904) 329-3264

IRA Charitable Rollover Gift

If you are 70 1/2 or older, making an IRA Charitable Rollover gift is a great way for you to support UUCJ.

  • An IRA Charitable Rollover gift can be used to meet all or part of an IRA Required Minimum
    Distribution (RMD).
  • You pay no income tax on the gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax
    deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your taxes.
  • The IRA rollover allows donors who are 70½ or older to transfer up to $100,000 directly from
    their IRA to charity each year.

Contact your IRA plan administrator to make a gift from your IRA; specify that you want to
make an IRA Charitable Rollover.

Annual Congregational Meeting

December 4th (following service)

Meeting notices shall be communicated to members by e-mail on record and to members without access to e-mail by U.S. mail, order of service, announcements, and other methods as deemed appropriate by the Board. Notices shall include the time, place and agenda of any business to be addressed by all UUCJ members at least fourteen (14) and no more than thirty (30) days prior to such meetings.

Women Over 50 Group

No regular meetings for December. Meetings at 6 pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of January and February will be at the Regency Square Library conference room rather than at the church. Contact Paige Slade at 223-8418 or Joyce Milford at 249-2403.

Guest at Your Table

The 1st Annual Mavis Greene award goes to Mary Blajian and Gene Cronk for being the first to turn in their UUSC membership.  See Cyd for your chocolate prize!   If a $40 membership is beyond your budget, please take home a coin box and collect what you can for our global efforts by Dec. 18th.  If using a check, write it to UUCJ, with UUSC on the memo line.

Guest at Your Table

The GUEST AT YOUR TABLE campaign will kickoff on Sunday, November 20th. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee has been advancing human rights around the world since WWII.

Coin boxes are back; free trade chocolates and holiday cards will be sold; and a special guest speaker, Rebecca Burns will visit us on Dec. 11th, to describe her participation in the UUSC Haitian projects. Contact Cyd Reider (904-329-3264) for more info.

Giving Thanks Potluck

Please join us November 20th to give thanks and share fellowship.   Everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite dish to contribute to the potluck dinner. We will eat after service, in the Social Hall.  Feel free to invite guests, family and friends.  Please contact Jennifer Tucker if you are able to help with set-up, serving, and/or cleanup (jennifergtucker@aol.com, 301-653-4444).

Special Collection November 20th: Rethreaded

The special collection will benefit Rethreaded: a Jacksonville non-profit assisting woman to escape the sex trade through advocacy and training.  Kristen Keen, executive director will explain the mission of ReThreaded and sell some of their lovely products.  The holidays are right around the corner!  Make your checks payable to UUCJ with ReThreaded in the memo line.

Uncertainty, Heartbreak, and Hope: Post Election Thoughts

Since Wednesday morning, I have been providing unanticipated and impromptu pastoral care to several people in our community and to complete strangers who came seeking solace, comfort, and hope at our church.

I have watched tears fall; I have listened to stories of violence, threats of violence, and acts of terror perpetrated against people I know and love. I have felt the fear and rage from those who are at the highest risk, those who have the most to lose in the coming years.

Many of us here today have been traumatized by the events of this past week. As we, in this community, each grieve in our own way, at our own rate, via our own coping mechanisms… I offer this plea: Love one another. Be kind to one another. Hold space for one another. Be not quick to judge one another. Remember, we are in this together. And we need each other now, more than ever.

As we look to the future, there are things we know, and things we don’t know. As it relates to exactly what a Trump presidency is going to look like, I believe there is actually far more uncertainty than certainty at this point. And in that uncertainty there is at least some measure of hope.

Our President Elect has demonstrated over the past several decades that he is a… mercurial… and protean figure. That’s the nice and fancy way of saying he’s a bit of a flip-flopper. The path from campaign promises to actual policies is long and fraught. The President Elect, should he choose to follow through on certain campaign promises, will encounter substantial political and constitutional impediments. In other words, the Trump presidency may not be as bad as we fear.

However, I don’t want to paint the future as less dangerous than it really is. There are certain campaign promises that are very much within the President Elect’s power, and should those promises be kept, people within this community—along with people we know and love outside this community—will be in danger.

Uncertain days lie ahead. But we Unitarian Universalists—our theological foundation is built on uncertainty. We have no specific doctrine about the existence or non-existence of God. We have no specific doctrine about the existence or non-existence of an afterlife. We have no specific doctrine to tell us what to think about figures like Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed. What I’m saying is, our very faith has prepared us to face the challenges of this uncertainty. In this time, we UUs are uniquely positioned to lead with resiliency and courage and love. We were born for such a time as this.

But… there are also some certainties we are already facing and must not overlook. After last Tuesday, our world has certainly become a far more intolerant, and a far more dangerous place. Specifically for people of color—brown and black especially—immigrants—both documented and undocumented—Muslim Americans, Americans descended from predominantly Muslim countries, Jewish Americans, members of the LGBTQ community, and women who prefer not to be grabbed by strangers. Even if campaign promises do not become actual policy, the health and safety of these marginalized communities are already at greater risk. Many have already been threatened, and attacked, and terrorized by individuals and hate groups who have been emboldened by the Trump campaign. Across the country, we have seen a frightening spike in the number of hate crimes targeting the marginalized.

This week has shown all of us that this country is far more racist, far more homophobic, far more misogynistic, than many of us realized or were prepared to admit. Now, many Americans who voted for Trump did so not because of conscious or explicit racism or homophobia or sexism, but for other, more “legitimate” reasons…. But this is the heart-wrenching lamentation I have heard this week from those living at the margins: They feel betrayed by their fellow Americans, because those who supported Trump did not find the clear and present danger his presidency posed to the marginalized as automatically disqualifying. Perhaps they voted for Trump for economic reasons… or because Hillary was a flawed candidate… but in casting that vote for Trump, half of voting Americans demonstrated that they were willing to accept the immense collateral damage aimed directly at black, brown, gay, trans, Muslim and Jewish Americans. At immigrants and women.

The pain and the hurt from that betrayal has divided this nation, and the path to unity will be a long and hard one… and not one that we must run towards too quickly. As a nation, clearly, we have some issues that need to be addressed and resolved before real healing can begin.

As the Rev. Dr. King reminded us in his letter from the Birmingham jail… there are those in this nation more devoted to peace and harmony and “order” than they are to justice…. But there is no true peace without true justice, first. And there will not be true peace and harmony and order in this country, until all are treated with the equality and justice that is the birthright of every child of creation.

I affirm the recent sentiments of Secretary Clinton and President Obama who have called on Americans to come together in this time of great division… but NOT at the expense of denigrating the inherent worth and dignity of ANYONE.

As a church, we must stand together to bring an end to hate; and we must protect those within our community—and those outside of it—who are in the most danger. Beginning here and now: We are the resistance. Any governmental policy, any action of private citizens that threatens the health and safety and the basic human rights of our loved ones who live at the margins will be met with our fierce resistance.

Our pursuit of justice and equality means something very different now following the results of Tuesday’s election. The stakes are much higher for all of us. The risks are far greater. The danger is more real… as is the danger of failure.

But in this… we will not fail. It is still my fervent belief that in the end, Love wins. I am honored to serve with each of you in that pursuit.

Thank you, amen, and blessed be.