We are entering the 6th month of this pandemic. If you are feeling sad or discouraged, I am going to suggest 2 great ways to improve your mood: Help others and practice gratitude.
One of the best remedies for feeling blue is to help others. I have listed several ways to take some important action for social justice at the bottom of this post, including:
- How to support the Paid Medical & Family Leave Initiative
- How to support Jorge Rodriguez, the Longmont resident and victim of a recent hate crime
- Support BLM protestors, like Tianna Arata, facing discriminatory persecution
- Support the boycott of Pillsbury
However, first I want to take a moment to draw your attention to some helpers and how the second remedy, gratitude, can benefit everyone.
When the pandemic reached Colorado and we all had to dramatically alter our lives, UUCB stepped up. We have never missed a Sunday worship service, while many churches missed a month, or more, while they tried to move online. This church has continued more than 15 existing programs and has started more than 12 new programs and events. UUCB held our Annual Meeting, participated in the UUA’s General Assembly, and has continued holding essential committee meetings. We even held a New Member Joining Ceremony. We have also expanded the ways we communicate, like this blog, additional social media, and new formats for our newsletters.
Throughout all of this, staff and volunteers have learned new technology, adapted every single church system to work online, and continued with their old responsibilities while taking on all the new work, too. During this time, the interim minister left and there have been staff cuts.
I hope everyone takes a moment to consider how remarkable this is. Our volunteers are exceptional and we are so grateful to everyone who has gone the extra mile these last few months. Your staff loves you and works shockingly hard to provide all that is needed for this congregation to continue to thrive. Let’s all extend our gratitude!
Are you inspired? You can volunteer at UUCB, too! We need more help at services. This Wednesday, sign up for the training to be a Zoom Host and Usher by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also need people to help with Buildings and Grounds, like our current Playground Clean-Up. You can sign up here and find the instructions here to help with this project. If you want to join the Building & Grounds team, contact me.
Don’t forget that we need your help with these important justice programs!
Colorado Family First Campaign:
The Colorado Families First campaign, the Paid Medical and Family Leave Initiative successfully submitted signatures to be put on the November 2020 ballot. Read more about the campaign, which advocates for twelve weeks of paid leave for Coloradans here: www.coloradofamiliesfirst.org.
If you would like to get involved with the campaign, they are looking for spokespeople
who have stories around why paid leave is a necessity, volunteers to help reach voters in their own communities, and business owners who support the initiative. Please sign up here to get involved: https://secure.coloradofamiliesfirst.org/page/s/volunteer
Visit Colorado Families First to learn more, endorse, sign up, or donate
Do not sit by while hate impacts our home:
Recently, Laura Maguire, from UUCB’s Racial Justice Ministry, shared this story about a man who was assaulted in Longmont in an anti-immigrant hate crime. You can help his GoFundMe to help cover medical and car expenses here. How can this hate crime happen so close to home and so many of us not know? Laura said it best, “It’s appalling, and yet it’s had very little reporting in the local English-language press.” Contribute to help Jorge Rodriguez today.
Help those fighting for a better world:
Take action to support Tianna Arata, one of many young people facing serious criminal charges related to Black Lives Matter protests this summer.
- GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover her legal fees.
Work with UUSC, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, to partner with grassroots organizations to fight back against unjust laws and protect the right to resist. Download their Right to Resist Toolkit, featuring resources for how you and your community can take faith-based action to resist criminalizing bills in your state.
- Join in solidarity with the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, who are organizing to oppose Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals that threaten their land, air, and rights as Native people—even while they face new risks under Texas’ “critical infrastructure” law.
- Take action with Love Resists, a joint campaign of UUSC & the UUA, to urge Congress to protect the lives of Indigenous loved ones and all other people confined in federal prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently several Indigenous inmates in the federal prison system who were incarcerated for their activism against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2017.
You can also support the AFSC in their efforts to boycott Pillsbury:
Owned by food-manufacturing conglomerate General Mills,this company manufactures frozen baked goods in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory—violating international law and contributing to gross human rights abuses.
- Contact the CEO of General Mills using our online form. Tell the company to uphold its expressed commitment to human rights and stop doing business in illegal settlements.
- Don’t buy Pillsbury products until the company stops its production in an illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory. Consumer boycotts are an effective tool that every one of us can use to influence corporate policies and behavior.
- Get others involved. Ask institutions you are a member of to contact the company and boycott its products. Engage family and friends in this campaign by sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter.
I hope these resources help empower you. Let me know if you try help and gratitude in your life and if it helps you push back the pandemic-fatigue induced despair.
Your grateful helper,