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UCE will host the Emergency Overnight Shelter again this year. Interfaith Action of Evanston provides some staff to manage the shelters, which rotate among six different faith communities but we need you to help volunteer, especially when UCE hosts during the weeks of February 25, March 4, and March 18. What we need to focus on now is the brief but necessary training. Three opportunities for this hour-long training will be offered at 7pm on 11/7, 11/8, 11/9. You only need to attend one of these evenings if you haven’t been trained before. Below are details about the volunteer roles and the locations of the training sessions. Thank you for your much needed help keeping people off the streets on the coldest winter nights.
Volunteers roles for the overnight shelter
Set-up Volunteers – 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm – able to set up the cots, prepare the rooms, prepare hot drinks and greet guests as they arrive at 9:00
Overnight Volunteers – 9 pm to 7 am – able to spend the night to assist the staff person. Lights will be turned out at 10:00. Volunteers should be able to get some sleep.
Clean-up Volunteers – 6 to 7 am – able to help wake the guests and ensure they leave the facility on time. Also assists the supervisor in taking down/storing cots, cleaning up the facility, and preparing the laundry/cots for pickup.
Emergency Shelter volunteer requirements:
…Attend one training session
…Comfortable with email notifications
…Compassionate heart and ability to get along with diverse people
…Reliable and prompt
…Boundary keeper (Able to enforce rules, not easily manipulated)
Please email Sue Murphy at [email protected] if you are interested or for more information.
Training Sessions (required to come to one)
Tuesday, November 7 7pm Northminster Presbyterian Church
2515 Central Park
Wednesday, November 8 7pm First Congregational Church
Thursday, November 9 7pm First Presbyterian Church
The Serendipity Auction needs you! Every year we rely on our members’ generosity, creativity, and hospitality to come up with a wonderful assortment of items for our catalog. The more donations we have the more entertaining the auction, but more importantly, the more money we will raise for UCE.
Our auction team will be available after both services on Sundays leading up to the auction, and we are excited to help you brainstorm ideas for donations and match people wanting to co-host. You may also contact the co-chairs, Susan Comstock and Jenny Walsh. The deadline to have your donation highlighted in the printed catalog is fast approaching. Get your donation in by October 29th.
Here are some ideas:
Can you throw a great party?
Have season tickets, but you can’t use a certain day?
Do you have a famous recipe?
Is there a local business you like to support? Why not donate a gift card?
What about that vintage bottle of wine aging in your basement?
Can you think of a fun idea for a themed gift basket? Spa? Pet? Sports?
What about sharing your craft? A knitted scarf? Handmade jewelry? An original artwork?
We would love to have more family friendly and intergenerational offerings. What about a family friendly scavenger hunt, a curated collection of your favorite children’s books, an intergenerational ice skating party, or a monthly craft kit for kids?
Are you inspired? Get your donation listed right away. Here is the donation link: http://www.togetherauction.com/ucevanston
“Mary Baker Eddy’s Science of Mind Healing” – 9:15 and 11:00am
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was called many things: heretic, hysteric, feminist, religious reformer. Somewhere within the hype and villanization lies a woman, both brilliant and flawed, who invented the once-fastest growing religion in America. Little tracked is Eddy’s transcendental roots and how the bards of New England influenced her theology and outlook. Rev. Bret Lortie speaking.
The Serendipity Auction is often called the “social highlight of the church calendar.” If you’ve never been to this spectacular event you may be wondering why.
On November 11th, the sanctuary will be transformed into an elegant auction hall. Some members will dress up, but it’s not required.
Get to know someone new over a delicious dinner (there will be gluten-free and vegetarian options). Then walk around the silent auction tables and make some bids. Be sure you return to your desired items frequently to make sure you haven’t been outbid. There are items at every price point and for every interest. Bid on a gift basket, a gathering at someone’s home, gift cards to your favorite restaurant, or beautiful handmade jewelry. You will be amazed by all the options.
After the silent auction closes, the live auction will begin. This year we have a brand new auctioneer/magician. Before the live auction starts, make a game plan for what to bid on with the printed catalog. Each item will be announced and then watch as your fellow members and friends one up each other until the winning bid is made. Don’t hesitate to hold up your number when the item speaks to you. You don’t want to miss out when it’s going, going, gone. The live auction is full of excitement and laughter.
After the live auction there will be a raffle for some truly magnificent prizes. Maybe it will be your lucky night.
If you are still on the fence, give it a shot. It’s a great evening out—good dinner, conversation, child care, all for a good cause. You won’t regret it.
Click here to make your dinner reservation and reserve free childcare.
Click here to view the auction catalog.
“I believe that every thought and every act of racism is harmful; if it is my thought or act, it is harmful to me as well as others.” ~The Birmingham Pledge (http://www.thebirminghampledge.org/)
The Cost of Privilege
In one of my earliest memories – I must have been only about age 3 or 4 – my family stands around me. I am seated in a blue tweed easy chair in the living room. There are many faces encircling me. In my memory, I see the scene alternately from my seated vantage point and as someone standing just outside the circle. I am being asked to say “negro.” Someone special is coming to visit – a new friend – and I’m being coached to see whether I can say the word clearly. If I can it will be fine. If not, I will hurt our new friend’s feelings. It will be very, very bad if I say the word unclearly. Which, of course, is what I do. It’s agreed, then, that if I have any cause to comment on the appearance of our new friend, I should use the word “black.”
To this day, I cannot tell this story aloud without weeping.
This is my earliest memory of racial difference. Later that day, our new friend did come to visit us, and he is a cherished friend to this day. But the tension of that moment before his arrival has also always remained with me; like a sore in the mouth that the tongue seeks out again and again, I have returned to this memory – first as a moment of shame, that I could not get it right, and then later with curiosity as a fraught moment of my development, and then later still as a personal interlude representative of a larger cultural moment. For decades, I thought of it as the moment I learned about blackness. It is only more recently that I have begun to understand it as the moment I learned about whiteness – about my own race, and about my unsought, unwished-for power to harm. I remember with clarity the sense of dread and frustration and grief I felt at the possibility that I might accidentally hurt another person’s feelings enough to do lasting injury.
I have been awake to the need for racial justice my whole life. At first, my conception of it was interpersonal: if white folks could just learn to treat people of color equitably, it would be better. I came later to understand it more historically; Alex Haley’s Roots, in my teens, and in my twenties the PBS documentary, Eyes on the Prize, were the first key textbooks of my remedial education in racial history, but curiosity and a hunger to understand took me further. I am grateful to my professors in Women’s Studies and the African-American authors they taught me for helping me to understand race as a social construct, and racism as systemic – as largely institutional and unconscious socialization. I’m grateful to friends and colleagues in Richmond, Virginia, for helping me to discern racism as structural—as built not only into our institutions and policies, but into things as solid and enduring as our roadways and county lines and transportation systems. My understanding of racism has evolved considerably over the decades since that first remembered moment –but even so, that moment contains the kernel of understanding I’ve drawn on most recently.
I understand my privilege as a white person – in socio-economic status, certainly, and in access to resources like education. I would never deny this privilege. While other aspects of my identity may put me at a disadvantage, most assuredly my race advantages me in ways I have done nothing to merit. When I first began to learn about the untold histories of peoples of color, I felt a guilt I thought was unearned, as a person who never supported, for example, slavery or Jim Crow; then I began to realize that there were things I did or didn’t do, and ideas I unconsciously held, that I could still do something about; and eventually I began to understand that I could actually use some of the privilege I have to mitigate some of the systemic damage from institutional and structural racism. I have come to understand, over time, that when I take these steps, it is freeing to my own soul. I feel some relief from the earned and unearned guilt, and I tread a bit more lightly on the earth.
Indeed, it is only within the last couple of years that I’ve begun to understand what I felt in my heart in that first recognition of race as a youngster – an idea that I think our use of the word “privilege” may obscure for many: that racism – indeed, oppression of all kinds – doesn’t just hurt those oppressed. This is, I think, a thing understood by many people of color, but too seldom by people of whiteness. While the benefits of privilege are undeniable, it exacts a cost on the spirit of the oppressor. It is not ultimately a positive to me that mainstream history is centered on my race; that our economic system is set up to disadvantage people “not like me”; that our neighborhoods and townships and counties are set up to exclude people “not like me”; that it’s hard to form friendships across racial lines. While the financial benefits and relative ease of access to resources is undeniable – indeed, I have no wish to deny them – I cannot see it as ultimately of benefit to me that others are disadvantaged by my race. Indeed, I feel the wrong, the loss, the pain acutely.
In many ways, I am still that three-year-old, still wishing with all my might that I could change things so that I had no power to harm my friend.
“White Supremacy Teach-in, Part II” – 9:15 and 11:00am
A follow up to our spring Teach-In, this service will explore further what it means to live within a “Culture of White Supremacy,” and how this differs from being a white supremacist.
Lobby Art News – Sunday October 1st kicked off the return of lobby art at UCE!
You may have noticed these beautiful paintings in our UCE lobby. They are the work of Barbara Blades, Evanston artist. Barbara was introduced last Sunday and was available for questions and information in the lobby following both services.
The art gracing the lobby is part of our reinvigorated Lobby Art Initiative begun many years ago to highlight work of local artists and raise awareness of arts at UCE. Members of the committee are: Will VanDyke, Johna VanDyke, Eleanor Speiss Ferris, Ally Hunter, Gay Riseborough, and Andrea DeMers.
Funding for this program comes from the Rosemary Zwick Fund for the Arts, a UCE dedicated fund established in memory of our beloved Rosemary Zwick who made the UCE Chalice which we use each Sunday, the mural in Room 3 and the ceramic wall relief of the chalice as you enter the west/main entrance.
Art is an important component of our mission to “Nurture the Human Spirit for a World Made Whole” and is reflected in the UCE end statements written by the Board of Trustees.