News From the Refugee Resettlement Committee

In August of 2017, the Refugee Resettlement Committee (RRC) at First Unitarian Church launched the Welcome!Basket project in response to the federal government’s lowering of the refugee resettlement ceiling for 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000. The ceiling for 2019 is only 30,000 - the lowest ceiling since the refugee program was established in 1980 - in spite of the worst refugee crisis in history

Thanks to the generosity of the First Unitarian community, 40 families (241 individuals) have received an especially warm welcome to the Salt Lake Valley in the form of a laundry basket full of NEW basic household items, NEW toys for children and NEW picture dictionaries. One basket remains in storage waiting for families to arrive. 22 of the families receiving baskets were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 8 from Afghanistan, 6 from Burma, 2 from the Central African Republic and one each from Pakistan and Ethiopia. The total value of the baskets, including the one yet to be delivered, is approximately $4500. 

While the RRC is discontinuing the Welcome! Basket Project, we want to continue to provide the following five items to as many families as we can: basic tool sets ($10 at Ikea), laundry baskets, tea kettles, soccer balls, and picture dictionaries.  If you wish to donate other NEW items from the list below, please leave them in the back right corner of the Little Chapel. If you prefer to let us do the shopping, cash donations can be left in the church office or given to Joe DuBray or Nancy Rasmuson. 

Thank you for your support of Salt Lake’s refugee community! Refugees ARE welcome here!

 

FOR THE HOUSE

FOR THE KITCHEN

FOR THE KIDS

LAUNDRY BASKET

FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS

SOCCER BALL

WELCOME MET

COLANDER

BUBBLE SOLUTION

BATH MAT

FLATWARE STORAGE TRAY

SIDEWALK CHALK

HAND TOWELS

TEA KETTLE

 

WASHCLOTHES

KITCHEN TOWELS

 

TWIN SHEET SET

POTHOLDERS

 

BASIC TOOL SET

SMALL KITCHEN KNIFE

 
 

POTATO PEELER

 
 

KITCHEN SCISSORS

 

FOR THE FAMILY

   

RICHARD SCARRY’S BEST WORD BOOK EVER

 

RICHARD SCARRY’S BEST PICTURE DICTIONARY EVER

 

OXFORD PICTURE DICTIONARY, MONOLINGUAL, 3RD ED

 

 

The Pedal Project was also launched in 2017 and since then, approximately 41 bikes, helmets and vests have been delivered to refugee families from DR Congo, Burma, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, and Ethiopia.  We are still in need of bikes.  Please contact Chad Mullins at 455-7909 to arrange a pick up of your donated bicycle. 

Lastly, if you have time, we need volunteers who can help with apartment setups where no heavy lifting is required.  The time commitment is approximately five hours a month.  Please contact Nancy Rasmuson if you are interested.  801-633-5666

 

Rise to the Challenge: The 2019 Pledge Drive
by the Pledge Committee

In the recent “Courageous Opportunities” series of conversations about the relevance of First Unitarian Church and its future, participants named shared values as one of their top reasons for coming to church week after week, year after year. Our shared values are the basis for our community. We come together with compassion for one another, with a commitment to truth, and with respect for the natural world. Our mission is to build a progressive and just world, even as—or perhaps because—the future looks so bleak right now. This we agree on.

We also agree that participation in First Unitarian Church adds meaning to our lives. Because it is important to us, we volunteer time and talent towards the mission of our church. But is it enough? To accommodate the steadily growing number of members—which in itself is a wonderful development—we hired a second minister and are expanding programs. These changes are invigorating. But they are also expensive, and income from pledges has not kept up with the increase in activity and membership. This imbalance presents us with a real challenge. Compared to climate change it seems immaterial, but if we want to slow global warming as part of this community, we have to invest into our church not only with time and talent, but also with treasure. We may not want to pay to maintain our church building, but if we are creating a progressive world from within its walls and we provide sanctuary, we need to have a safe and welcoming facility. As advocates for living wages and affordable health care, we need to start at home and make sure our growing church staff is paid fairly. We need to give money as generously as we can to balance the budget. Hopefully this, too, is something we agree on.

We bring our families here and trust that this beloved community takes care of them. The 2019 pledge drive challenges us to take care of our church and our congregation. Pledging is the intentional, purposeful act of giving generously to empower First Unitarian Church to fulfill its mission and continue as Salt Lake Valley’s beacon light for liberal religion. By combining our financial gifts, we will Rise to the Challenge. Please read on for FAQs.

How does pledging work?
Decide how much money you will contribute to First Unitarian Church during the next church year (July 2019-June 2020). You will pledge the total amount today and pay in one payment or in installments between now and the end of the church year. Many pledgers find monthly payments convenient. For instance, they may pledge $1,200 today and make twelve monthly payments of $100 starting in July. Make your pledge via a pledge card (available on Sundays after both services at the Pledge Table in Eliot Hall) or contact Church Administrator Carol Foster (801.582.8687 ext. 201).

I’m not a member; does this apply to me?
You don’t have to be a member to pledge. If you’re a friend of First Unitarian Church, if the mission speaks to you, if you attend service, if you feel like you belong here—please pledge. You are just as much part of the community. (And if you consider becoming a member, don’t be shy and reach out to Rev. Goldsmith or Rev. Dobbins.)

I’m a member; do I need to pledge?
Did raising that question just make you nod your head involuntarily? There, you have your answer. (No one will erase your name from the book if you don’t pledge. But the expectation of members is to contribute to the financial well-being of the church. Some members are able to pledge more, others less.)

How much should I pledge?
First Unitarian Church values socioeconomic diversity, and we support our church at individual financial levels. Plan to contribute a percentage of your annual income. The UUA Fair Share Contribution Guide suggests that you pledge between 2% and 10% of your adjusted annual income depending on your level of commitment and participation. Giving levels rise with income and capacity. Here is a simplified guide to proportional giving; the complete guide is online at: https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/fair_share_contribution_guide.pdf

contribution guildeline

What about the collection plate?

Collection plate dollars vary from week to week and do not provide a consistent stream of income. We rely on your pledge to draw a realistic budget for the next year and plan all activities accordingly.
 

What if my financial situation changes over the next year?
Life happens, and First Unitarian Church doesn’t want your pledged contribution to become a hardship. Or perhaps you’ve come into a windfall! Please contact Carol Foster if you need to adjust your pledge.

Who do I contact with questions?
Both ministers are happy to discuss the pledge drive with you, as are the members of the Pledge Committee: Rebecca Heal (Chair), Carol Blackwell, Melanie Steiner-Sherwood, and Henry Whiteside. If you have logistical question, please contact Carol Foster.

Make sure your legacy reflects your values by including First Unitarian Church in your estate plans. And, let your endowment committee know so you can be listed as a member of our Emerson Society. Our church's endowment fund is also the perfect place for memorial and other special contributions. The fund is managed to support both present and future needs, so a contribution is truly a gift that endures. For more information on the endowment fund, find the brochure at the congregational life table in Eliot Hall. 

As surely as the snow begins to melt in March and the crocus and daffodil bravely defy the odds, First Unitarian Church launches its Pledge Drive right on schedule. You can count on it as reliably as the seasons changing and birds flying north. 

Our theme this year is “Rise to the Challenge.” It echoes what we aspire to every Pledge Drive, maintaining a progressive church community in increasingly challenging times. Immigration issues have revealed the worst of our nation’s xenophobic tendencies, but our church has opened its doors to provide sanctuary. Refugees arrive with only the clothes or their backs, and our church furnishes their apartments and accommodates them with furniture, appliances, bikes, toys, and love. Homelessness grows in alarming proportions, but our church provides four meals a month at the Teen Homeless Shelter. We also partner with The Inn Between, a hospice for the homeless.  Our nation notoriously lags behind in efforts to reverse global warming, but our Environmental Ministry team tirelessly lift their voices in protest and tell the truth to a reluctant population. 

Our church meets these challenges and more with deep commitments to endless volunteer hours. The annual Pledge Drive reminds us that meeting these challenges also requires funding for our programs, staff, and building. Providing decent health care for the staff is a continuing challenge. Keeping up with technology to run our operations is a challenge. Maintenance is a challenge, from utilities, to snow removal to the wear and tear on the building.  We are never short of challenges.

For First Unitarian Church to meet these challenges we rely completely on your generosity. We are more powerful and influential together than we are alone. Our church is a gift, providing us the opportunity to engage more effectively in a world that has lost its moral compass.

To rise to this challenge we need $580,000 in pledge income, the same as last year’s goal which we nearly met. Please consider whether you can help us meet this goal. The times demand that our church move forward as a progressive community that dares to change the world. 

With deep gratitude,

Rev. Tom Goldsmith              Rev. Monica Dobbins            Pledge Chair: Rebecca Heal

Environmental Ministry
invites you to:  

An Introduction to The Work that Reconnects presented by Mutima Imani and Constance Washburn, Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 7-9PM, Eliot Hall, First Unitarian Church (Enter via the North Door).  We face many life-shattering crises today.  These crises are more than we can bear alone. The Work that Reconnects, based on the work of Joanna Macy, brings us together to share our despair, and our dreams.  It connects us with our passions to participate in the Great Turning and helps us uncover and experience our innate connections with each other and the healing powers of the web of life, so we can discover our role in creating a life-sustaining civilization.  This Friday evening presentation is free, with donations welcomed.  Questions: Stop by the Environmental Ministry Table today or contact:  Kathy Albury, 

 

Environmental Ministry
invites you to a Weekend Workshop:  

FROM DESPAIR TO JOY: The Work that Reconnects Weekend Workshopwith Mutima Imani and Constance Washburn, Sat, Jan 19 – Mon, Jan 21, 2019, Eliot Hall, First Unitarian Church (Enter via North Door).   We will gather to make our way through the healing spiral toward a just and life-sustaining world. This retreat will explore the intersectionality of current events and empower us to do what is ours to do for the healing of our world, our ancestors and future generations.  Pioneered by root teacher Joanna Macyin the late 1970s, this highly experiential and interactive work draws from systems thinking, deep ecology, and many spiritual traditions. More Information & Schedule: https://embodimentmatters.com/from-despair-to-joy/  
Registration Fee is on a sliding scale:  $150-$300. [No one will be turned away for inability to pay.   Contact:Kathy Albury, ].
Registration forms must accompany payment and are available at the Environmental Ministry Table or by contacting Kathy Albury via email .   
Registration Deadline: When workshop capacity is reached or Friday, January 18.

People's Justice Forum

Once again this year, First Unitarian Church is supporting the People's Justice Forum (PJF), a grassroots citizen lobbying organization that focuses on progressive issues at the State Legislature.

What does the PJF do? We follow the 45-day legislative season in February and March, and we decide as a group which legislation we want to support or oppose. Then we strategize about how to do it: contacting legislators, attending committee meetings, getting creative about awareness or protest, etc. Our issues include reproductive health, poverty, environmental justice, LGBTQ+ issues, etc.

What's the commitment? You must support progressive issues (there's a screener question on the application regarding your support of abortion rights). Then, you have to be able to commit to a weekly meeting on Monday night, and a kickoff event on the evening of January 17, to be held in Eliot Hall.

If you've been wanting to get involved in politics and have some fun with it, join the PJF! Please reach out to Rev. Monica at  if you have any questions. Here is the link to the application: People's Justice Forum 2019 Application

Thank you for supporting the RRC activity helping refugees resettle in SLC. Your support, whether physical, vocal or financial, has improved lives of more refugees than we will ever know. 

In years prior to the Trump administration, RRC volunteers annually set up housing on average for more than 250 arriving refugees a year, over 40 families a year, average family size of 6, mostly children. In the first year of the Trump administration, 165 new refugees began life in Salt Lake City in RRC set up housing, 165 people, 28 families. In the past 5 years, RRC housed refugees arrived from 19 countries. RRC volunteers together have donated, annually, several hundred hours and thousands of miles: to the collection of donations (an average of over 130 a year) from throughout the greater Salt Lake City area and as far away as Logan, Ogden, Park City and Lehi; to the setting up of housing for new refugees sponsored by the IRC; and to the tending to the furniture, household furnishings, appliance and other life needs of existing refugee families some IRC sponsored and some not. 

From conversation with leaders of the SLC International Rescue Committee (the IRC), the Trump administration intends to limit refugee arrivals in the US to 18,000 this fiscal year. The SLC portion is expected to be about 300, down 50% from the 600 that arrived in SLC last year, significantly below what the RRC has served in prior years. This will mean less demand for refugee housing set up activity in the coming months, although the RRC has set up housing for 5 new families in the past few weeks. A significant portion of the SLC IRC office budget is based on a per capita refugee arrival calculation, so the IRC faces financial challenges, compounded by recent departures of three SLC experienced IRC leaders active with housing set ups and coordination of IRC volunteers. It is not clear yet what all of this will mean for opera.ons of the SLC IRC. 

In July 2017, the RRC added Bicycle and Welcome Basket Projects, each intended to deliver additional helpful products to arriving refugees and to create opportuni.es for RRC members, and other donors from First Church, to personally welcome and have direct contact with IRC sponsored refugees. RRC leaders believe successful resettlement is fostered by befriending refugees early, and often. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of members and friends of First Church, both projects delivered benefits. 26 families (154 individuals) from 6 countries have received Welcome Baskets, valued on average at $127. Thirteen more baskets are in storage to be delivered as families arrive. And over 30 bicycles, after tuning by RRC volunteers, were distributed, along with helmets, locks and visibility vests, to refugee families by IRC staff and RRC volunteers. Additional bikes and related equipment provided by the RRC, have been given out to refugees by IRC staff, as immediate needs presented, and more are in IRC storage inventory, awaiting distribution. Both projects encountered challenges, particularly in not being able to deliver enhanced direct refugee contact opportunities as hoped. Current national IRC policy limits direct contact with IRC sponsored refugees to IRC volunteers who have gone through a formal IRC screening and approval process, completed by many, but not all RRC volunteers or other First Church donors. And the IRC formal volunteer enrollment process and assigned volunteer utilization or follow-up activity has not met time expectations of many from First Church who have expressed interest. Hopefully the processes will improve. 

The RRC continues to solicit and collect refugee focused donations and to help meet housing set up needs for both new and other refugees. But in consideration of current IRC policies and the reduction of anticipated IRC sponsored refugee arrivals, the Welcome Basket Project will end when the current supply of baskets is depleted. The items in the baskets will be added to the list of solicited donations (new or like new items) that the RRC re- quests to then be distributed by the IRC, so refugees should still receive the things they need in their new home. RRC collection of bicycles, helmets, locks and vests, will continue to be solicited and donations collected for IRC distribution to refugee families. According to the SLC IRC, every arriving refugee family would like to receive one or more bicycles and the IRC would like to meet those expectations. The IRC currently receives donated bicycles from several sources, regularly from the Boy Scouts and the RRC, and irregularly from other donor groups and individuals. The IRC also solicits and receives donor gift cards designated for use to purchase bicycles and related equipment. 

Volunteer opportunities to participate in many IRC activities in support of refugees are available. Current high- need volunteer opportuni.es include: 

Family Nutrition Access (WIC) Volunteer: The IRC in Salt Lake City seeks volunteers to support our maternal & child health program by helping new and soon-to-be mothers access healthy foods. Through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) government benefit program, refugees resettled by the IRC in Salt Lake City receive food benefits to be used at the grocery store. Commitment: two 3-4-hour shifts per month for four to six months. Learn more: https://www.rescue.org/volunteer/family-nutri.on-access-wic-volunteer 

Adult ESL Tutor: The IRC in Salt Lake City seeks volunteer tutors to support English language learning among recently arrived adult refugees, typically female, who have fled persecution in their home country and are rebuild- ing their lives in Utah. Volunteer tutors will provide one-on-one and/or small group instruction, promoting English language skills needed to empower the most vulnerable of newly arrived refugees, to obtain and retain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Commitment: two hours/week for at least six month once volunteer train- ing is complete. Learn more: https://www.rescue.org/volunteer/adult-esl-tutor 

Microbusiness Mentor: The IRC in Salt Lake City's Microbusiness Connection Center connects refugee and New American entrepreneurs to volunteers to act as mentors in addressing common obstacles that these entrepreneurs may face progressing their business and contributing to their overall self-sufficiency. Commitment: flexible, part-.me service for at least 10 weeks. Learn more: https://www.rescue.org/volunteer/microbusiness-mentor 

Tech Mentor: The technology mentor will support refugee families recently resettled into Salt Lake City area by empowering them to unlock the potential of technology. This is an opportunity for individuals to act as both a mentor and guide in navigating a new community and creating a safe space for the family to learn and grow in their technology use and English skills. Commitment: two hours/week for six weeks. Learn more: https:// www.rescue.org/volunteer/tech-mentor> 

Front Desk Volunteer: Front Desk Volunteers are the face of the IRC. Volunteers in this role greet and direct all walk-ins and phone calls to appropriate staff members. With a substantial amount of client interaction, volunteers gain practice communicating with diverse populations to find share understanding. Commitment: at least one 2-hour shifts per month; two shifts per month preferred. Learn more: https://www.rescue.org/volunteer/ front-desk-volunteer> 

These IRC opportuni.es do change, especially as training dates come and go. Potential volunteers should also pick their top 3 interests and men.on those in communications to the IRC or at least keep them in mind as op- .ons should one or two volunteer opportuni.es fill up. IRC volunteers should also keep in mind that they can change to a new volunteer opportunity once their first commitment is fulfilled. 

In August, Andrea Globokar ended her activity with the RRC, after 22 years of faithful service, and Ron Anderson and Johanna Whiteman have moved from RRC leaders to emeritus status, s.ll RRC engaged, but less so. Please personally thank Andrea, Ron and Johanna for their inspiration, dedication, leadership and exceptional service. And if you are interested in getting active in the RRC, contact me, cell phone 904-527-9773 or or one of the other members of the RRC Steering Committee, Nancy Rasmuson, Jim Wilcox, Richard Anderton and Bonnie Baty. Thank you again for thinking of the refugees through your actions or your donations, financial and otherwise, and for your continued support of the activity of the RRC. Best regards, Joe DuBray, Coordinator of the RRC. 

Environmental Ministry is still participating in four Terracycle recycling brigades. We collect a number of things, most of which are not recyclable through the city or county recycling programs. Then we send them to Terracycle, and the church receives a check paying us 2¢ for each item. Here are lists for those of you unsure just what things we collect:

Oral care products packaging: Any brand of toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers. Sorry, no electric toothbrush parts are accepted.

Energy bar package recycling: Any brand of foil-lined energy bar wrappers; foil-lined granola bar wrappers; foil-lined meal replacement bar wrappers; foil-lined protein bar wrappers; foil-lined diet bar wrappers.

Cereal bags: Plastic cereal bags and box liners.

Personal care and beauty product packaging: Hair care packaging such as shampoo caps, conditioner caps, hair gel tubes and caps, hair spray triggers, and hair paste caps. Skin care packaging such as lip balm tubes and caps, soap dispensers and tubes, body wash caps, lotion dispensers and caps. Cosmetics packaging such as plastic lipstick cases, lip gloss tubes, mascara tubes, eye shadow cases, bronzer cases, foundation packaging, powder cases, eyeliner cases, eyeliner pencils, eye shadow tubes, concealer tubes, concealer sticks, and lip liner pencils.

We also collect electronic waste for the YRUU’s partnership with Planet Green at our table.  This project is to earn money for their service trip next summer. Items collected are:

Inkjet cartridges, laser/toner cartridges, cell phones and accessories, GPS and radar detectors, e-book readers, calculators, iPods/MP3 players, video/digital cameras, PDA’s, iPads/tablets, video games and consoles.

Now that you know what to bring in, find a corner or doorknob where you can place a bag for collecting these items.  Then take them to the bins next to the Environmental Ministry table. We plan to be there every Sunday except the weekend of the Art Fair, Celebration Sunday, and picnic Sunday, and we’ll be expecting you.

Submitted by Judy Lord 

Thank you to the 6,000 people who showed up to this year’s Out of Darkness Walk. When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Walks, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. It really means a lot to my family and so many other families who have lost someone to suicide. Our church’s team SLCUU had about 12 walkers and raised around $2, 000; part of the $240,913 raised so far from this walk.

 

The First Unitarian Church Auction will be held on November 3, 2018, 6pm to 10pm at the Marriott University Park Hotel. 

This year we are honoring Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly with our Fairly Free Thinker award. He has definitely been a voice of reason in Utah for 45 years!

Join us for dinner and a live auction with special guest auctioneer Mary Dickson. Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. Proceeds from our auction will help support the mission and vision of First Unitarian Church so, tell your friends, family, community! Get everyone in on the auction action!

Please get your tickets to the event today by going to this online link :   https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/communicate/eventtickets.action?auctionId=337048259

 

CLICK here to sign up for sponsorships:

Sponsorships:

Platinum:  $1000 - includes 4 tickets to the auction and name in auction program.

Gold:  $500 - includes 2 tickets to the auction and name in auction program.

Silver:  $250 - name in auction program.

Bronze:  $100 - name in auction program.

Sponsored Table: $1500 - includes 10 tickets to the auction and name in auction program

https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/communicate/donatecash.action?edit=&auctionId=337048259&donation.clickId=341694084