2018 Action of Immediate Witness

The Unitarian Universalist Association expresses its strong support for the incarcerated people engaged in the nationwide prison strike.

On August 21, 2018, prisoners across the United States declared a nationwide strike in response to a riot in the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina. During the riot in this maximum security prison, seven prisoners died and at least 20 more were injured. According to the South Carolina Director of Corrections Bryan Stirling and accounts from several prisoners, prison guards and EMTs didn’t intervene until hours after the riot began.

The Unitarian Universalist Association Calls for Solidarity with the Nationwide Prison Strike

This Resolution was a result.

2018 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists recognize the humanity, worth, and dignity of all people within and outside of our membership;

BECAUSE UUs are called to uphold that everyone is worthy of love and justice;

WHEREAS, prisons for profit encourages longer terms of imprisonment and maximizes profit by minimizing services and rehabilitation;

WHEREAS, the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC), under the influence of private prison companies that supply goods and services to prisons for profit, is a system of oppression that perpetuates and further criminalizes poverty;

WHEREAS, the PIC is an entrenched system of white supremacy where guilt and innocence are influenced by skin color and economic privilege, regardless of behavior;

WHEREAS, the federal prison system, thirty-five state prisons, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) charge for necessary medical care using private, for-profit medical companies;

WHEREAS, the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) membership includes 870 incarcerated people, many of whom have medical expenses but no resources to pay for care. Medical treatment must be paid before necessities such as soap, shampoo, stamps, and over-the-counter medicines can be acquired;

WHEREAS, incarcerated CLF members include 200 people living in Texas and Georgia prisons who receive no wages, but are still charged for medical care, leaving some unable to access adequate treatment. This perpetuates illness, debility, insurmountable debt, and chronic poverty. People in prisons are dying every day due to prohibitive medical cost;

WHEREAS the US Supreme Court ruled in Estelle v. Gamble (1976) that ignoring a prisoner’s serious medical needs amounts to cruel and unusual punishment; and

WHEREAS The Federal Bureau of Prisons is violating Rule 24 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules) that states, “The provision of health care for prisoners is a State responsibility. Prisoners . . . should have access to necessary health-care services free of charge . . .”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2018 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association denounces the predatory practice of charging medical fees to people in prison and commits to the following actions:

  1. Contact Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner urging him to sign HB 5104, which is currently on his desk. This bill would end medical fees for people incarcerated in Illinois.
  2. Contact Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and state legislators to demand an end to fee-for-service medical care in their states.
  3. Publicly oppose the practices of Corizon Health, which profits from privatized health care in Kansas, Missouri, and in twenty other states, as well as Wexford Health, MHM Services Inc. and other companies that supply health care for local, state, and federal prisons and ICE detention facilities.
  4. Insist the United Nations World Health Organization press the US to uphold Rule 24 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
  5. Ensure that in your state the medical treatment of prisoners conforms with Estelle vs. Gamble.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT THE 2018 GENERAL ASSEMBLY ENCOURAGES UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS TO:

  1. Get more deeply involved in direct service prison ministry through such actions as beginning or joining local prison ministry efforts within your congregation or community organization; networking with others engaged in prison ministry; leading worship or small group ministry within prisons; becoming a pen pal; and welcoming post-incarcerated persons into your congregation.
  2. Continue to educate ourselves on the adverse impacts of prison privatization and the many injustices in the PIC such as a) grossly disproportionate impact on marginalized groups, b) solitary confinement practices, c) prison-based gerrymandering, d) voter disenfranchisement and e) employment discrimination.

 

Sunday, September 29, 2018

“The purpose of the church is to heal the consequences of lovelessness and injustice in the hearts and souls of our members so they might heal the community and together heal the world.” – Nancy Bowen

 

We would love to have you come worship with us.

This Sunday, Cricket will explore “How the UUA’s Principles and Purposes were shaped and how they’ve shaped Unitarian Universalism”

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.

Children are welcome.  There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information

or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Prelude: “By Your Grace – Jai Gurudev” by Krishna Das
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IJ4nNzbkcY

 Welcome: Call from Beyond By Susan Maginn

Welcome Song: #361 Enter Rejoice and Come In

Chalice Lighting: Come, yet again, come By Anne Slater

Song: Come, Come Whoever You Are

The Principles 

Offering and Response   (Unison)

For the gifts which we have received—and the gifts which we, ourselves, are—may we be truly grateful. Yet more than that, may we be committed to using these gifts to make a difference in the world: to increase love and justice; to decrease hatred and oppression; to expand beloved community; to share, and to keep sharing, as long as ever we can. Amen.

 Lesson Part 1 : Why Meditate?

If you google, Why Meditate, you will get a lot of answers, from a lot of places. The same is true if you were to Google, benefits of meditation.

Meditation helps reduce stress and therefore helps to reduce anxiety and raise productivity.
Meditation helps you focus.
Meditation opens up your mind to new possibilities.
Meditation can help you sleep better.
Meditation increases a sense of connection to yourself and to others.
Meditation increases our ability to get out there and connect with others as a result of feeling more connected to ourselves and clearer and more confident about what is happening inside us.

Video from the Dalai Lama
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCRdM71j2E

Continue reading

Our Faith’s Complacency in Racism

“We have an absurd amount to learn, or unlearn, about race in this country. America allowed slavery to exist by seeking out personal and regional salvation at the expense of universal salvation. Our country felt better about itself because with the South as the identified patient, it never had to look at its own addiction.”

This reflection by Nathan Ryan is part of healing and of the work we need to be doing.

 

Photo Credit: UU World

 

Ware Lecture 2018

Since 1961, every year at the UUA General Assembly there is a special lecture called the Ware Lecture.

This year’s speaker is Brittany Packnett. 

“Brittany Packnett is a leader at the intersection of culture and justice. Cited by President Barack Obama as a leader who’s “voice is going to be making a difference for years to come,” Brittany is an unapologetic educator, organizer, writer, and speaker.

Brittany is an alum of Washington University in St. Louis, American University in Washington, and is a current Aspen Institute Education fellow. She is a proud Advisory Board Member of Rise To Run, an organization committed to recruiting grassroots, diverse, progressive women to run for office, and Erase The Hate, NBC/Universal’s Emmy-Winning initiative to rid the world of discrimination.

Ultimately, Brittany is a proud Black woman who believes that freedom is within our grasp—as long as we unleash love, and build our power, because “power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.” (MLK)” For more information read this article. 

The lecture is tonight at 8:30pm and will be live streamed.

 

Namaste,

Cricket

Sunday June 24, 2018

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss

This Sunday, Cricket will present “Principles, Schminciples: Dreaming big Within our Faith”.

We would love to have you come worship with us.

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.

Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information

or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Image Credit: Ellen Rocket