Mission and Justice

Mission and Justice Matters

October 2017

Neighbors in Need

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.

The 2017 theme for the NIN offering is “Protect the Sacred: In a Just World, Clean Water is Life.” PACC will receive the NIN offering on Sunday, October 1, 2017, as part of our World Communion Sunday observance and continue to accept donations through the end of the month.

Help for Hurricane Victims

Church World Service is arranging disaster relief kits that are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to families and communities in need around the world. We’ve been collecting monetary donations for the Church World Service to assemble kits for families in areas hit by the recent hurricanes. We will continue to have a donation box in the Narthex this Sunday. Checks can be made out directly to Church World Service (cash is also fine). We will submit the donations and the kits we’ve assembled during the first week of October. Talk to Cindy Manson or see cwskits.org for more information.

For PACC people interested in environmental and climate justice

The Environmental Ministries Task Team of the Massachusetts Conference is reaching out to invite your participation in the American Climate Metrics Survey. The increasing intensity and frequency of climate impacts compel us to elevate our leadership on the issue. To help shape UCC’s next steps, we want to better understand our members’ attitudes and awareness on climate change and what we can do as faith leaders. As a valued member of the UCC, we want to make sure that we count your voice in this research, which is conducted by our partner ecoAmerica. Below you will find a link to complete this valuable 15-minute survey, which must be done in one sitting, as you are unable to save and go back. Your individual answers are confidential and will be aggregated for analysis by ecoAmerica. Please use the following link complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DMLBX3S

Should you encounter any problems or questions while taking the survey, please contact Paige Fery, the administrator of the survey, at paige@ecoAmerica.org

Thank you for your participation,
Jim Antal
Minister & President
on behalf of the Environmental Ministries Task Team 

SOMERVILLE HOMELESS COALITION

It’s our turn to provide the meal for the Somerville community supper on Monday, October 23. First Church Somerville (89 College Ave) hosts this dinner, organized by the Somerville Homeless Coalition. We provide the main dish, bread, half and half, drinks, and fruit for about 25 people. The middle school youth group and Sunday school will provide the salad and dessert this month. If you’d like to donate items or would like to help serve the meal, please talk to Kate Lindheim.

Learn about the Coalition at www.somervillehomelesscoalition.org.

Local Outreach

Arlington for All The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is spearheading a project to highlight diversity in Arlington and celebrate how embracing our different physical, cultural, and religious histories make us more interesting and stronger as a community.

The idea for Arlington for All (hashtag #arl4all) grew out of a Commission meeting last summer. An overflow crowd of community members showed up to express concern over a number of troubling hate incidents that had been occurring in town and to brainstorm ways to move forward. The clear take-away from that meeting was the desire to come together as a town to address the incidents in a positive, non-reactive manner.

Arlington for All is envisioned as a town-wide campaign, incorporating a number of town organizations, faith communities, schools, arts groups, and individuals. Our first step will be to compile a calendar of diversity-related and community-building events happening in Arlington (and in neighboring faith communities) during 2017.

(From http://www.arlingtonhumanrights.org/index.php/arl4all)

The Hate Has No Home Here Project promotes just and inclusive communities by encouraging neighbors to declare their homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship to be safe places where everyone is welcome and valued. AHRC would love to see these signs pop up all over town. For $7 you can purchase a sign from AHRC to display at your home. PACC has purchased one of these signs, and it will be placed in the garden patch along the Park Avenue sidewalk.

Arlington Health & Human Services 

Families in Arlington may be eligible to receive a few hundred dollars in grocery assistance each month.

ARLINGTON FOOD INSECURITY BY THE NUMBERS

The USDA defines “food insecurity” as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. The Greater Boston Food Bank estimates that there are 3,550 food insecure individuals living in Arlington. According to the Western MA Food Bank, there are over 2,500 individuals living in Arlington that are eligible for SNAP benefits but not receiving the benefit.

WHAT IS SNAP?

SNAP is the federal food assistance program that provides low-income residents with financial support to purchase food, and provides economic benefits to communities.

If you are an Arlington Resident interested in signing up to receive benefits, please call the Arlington Council on Aging at (781)316-3400 to meet with a Social Worker to complete an application.

Arlington Food Pantry and Arlington Eats

We will be collecting non-perishable food items and household goods for the Arlington Food Pantry on Sunday, October 1. Visit www.town.arlington.ma.us/departments/health-human-services/food-pantry/food-donation for the list of needed and “high need” items.

THANKS to Kate Lindheim for bringing our donated items to the AFP each month. If you are interested in helping, periodically or regularly, talk to Kate, Mike Rich or Jill Lewis.

Our next NEAT (Neighbors Eating All Together) dinner will be on Saturday, October 21, from 5-6 pm. This is a monthly community dinner at St. John’s Church (74 Pleasant St, Arlington). The dinner is free of charge and open to everyone. We’ll need volunteers from PACC to help set up, plate food in the kitchen, serve, and clean up. Look for an email to chat with all the details.

In the Wider Church

There is a new UCC blog at newsacred.org, with titles such as WWJD? Put His Body on the Line for Racial Justice, The Lie of White Supremacy, and Repentance, Redemption, and #KellyOnMyMind written by our very own Pastor Leah!

Mass. Conference UCC news can be found at www.macucc.org including information about Super Saturday October 21, 2017 “a full-day of worship, workshops and networking”. Talk to Mike Rich and see www.macucc.org/eventdetail/6451820 for additional details on Super Saturday.

Author: Mark Tuttle

Husband, father, web master