You are here

Social Justice and Outreach

Blog category: 

     Our fall volunteer service at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is Saturday, October 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. At least twenty volunteers are needed for the morning's service of sorting and boxing donated goods. Senior youth and children twelve and older accompanied by a parent or other designated  adult are welcome. This is a great opportunity for students to get required volunteer service hours while working side by side with other church members and community volunteers.  Sign up at the Adult Activities table in the Coffee Room, or email rcureau@cox.net to join the team.

     Eighteen members of our church were among the more than three hundred attendees at the recent Annual Community Prayer Breakfast hosted by the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Three leaders of faith traditions represented in the Federation’s membership made presentations on the Federation's on-going theme of "Listening:" to your neighbor; to someone different from you; and to one another. The Federation's mission is to cultivate interfaith understanding and cooperation through its network of faith communities. See the bulletin board in the Coffee Room for a listing of events that provide opportunities to experience programs of diverse faith traditions, beginning with World Day of Peace on Sunday, October 1, 2:00 pm in the State Capitol Rotunda and continuing through the month of October. All events are free and open to the public.

~Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach

    Our shared offering recipient for the month of October is IRIS, a center for victims of domestic violence.  The mission is to empower survivors, prevent relationship violence, and promote justice for victims of domestic and dating violence, their children, and our communities.  Currently the program provides a 24-hour domestic violence response hotline, and an emergency shelter.  IRIS also offers counseling, advocacy and legal services.  These services are provided throughout the Capital Area and include outreach offices in Gonzales, Plaquemine, and Port Allen.

    Front Yard Bikes is happy to announce that they got enough bikes to provide for all the students needing one.  It was a happy occasion and they hope to do something of this kind again next year.  Sylvia reports that we managed to donate at least eight bikes and funds were donated from our church members to the GOFUNDME/HELPINGHIGHLAND site.  Many thanks are due to all in the congregation who contributed.

    Our church was once again the host location for the Together Baton Rouge Monthly Luncheon Meeting on September 26th.  A wonderful team of UUs in TBR helped pull this event off smoothly and their willingness to help contributed to the success. We will also host a special Fundraising seminar offered by TBR in October and run by the development expert, Bob Connelly, from Common Ground in Wisconsin.  There will be two sessions, one on Thursday evening, October 19th, from 5:30 - 8:00PM and the follow up session on Friday, October 20th, from 8:30AM - 2:00PM.  The purposes of these sessions are to 

a) help TBR develop a more effective fund raising approach, and b) offer the member churches and institutions of TBR the same assistance in fundraising.

    Once again we will need a team assisting in the set up and needs of those two sessions on those two days.  Jane Webb will be the contact person for those teams and would appreciate volunteers to help.  Please send an email to janepoynterwebb@gmail.com if you are able to help one or both days.

    October is a busy month for TBR and one of the challenges for the Social Justice Team will be to facilitate a series of house meetings within our congregation to revitalize our commitment to the undertakings of TBR.   We also hope to find and develop ideas for TBR within the hearts and minds of our congregation.  If there has been a learning curve this past year, it has been that we need to get back to our roots and develop a wider grass roots initiative around areas of concern.  As the organization has grown, the need to have areas which are always active and always manned has increased, and that requires good communication from the bottom up and the top down within the organization.  SJT will need to plan and carry off that challenge.  We have committed to do ours within the month of October.

    Finally, TBR is hosting a Seminar on Economic Development with Governor Edwards, Thursday, October 26th from 11:00AM - 4:00PM at the University Baptist Church on Highland Road.

    Please put the November Hunger Walk on your radar.  We will address that issue as well at the next SJT meeting which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8, following the second service.

~Jane Webb, Co-Chair with Bobby Thompson, Director of Social Justice