Mission and Justice

Mission and Justice

September 2017

Local Outreach 

Arlington Town Day

Arlington Town Day is on Saturday, September 17th this year, and we need/would appreciate help covering our booth so that everyone can have the chance to look around at all the festivities before and after.

If you are able to volunteer for set-up or break down and/or for an hour or two to be at the booth during the day that would be fantastic.

Please call Betty Rich to secure a time slot – the earlier, the better. We will also have a clipboard in the narthex and in Parish Hall for the next few weeks and at Regathering Sunday if you would rather sign up in person.

Town Day is a great way to introduce ourselves and our activities to our neighbors in Arlington, and it is also a lot of fun! Please consider helping out!

Arlington Food Pantry

Arlington Food Pantry and Arlington Eats merged on July 1st. See information about their programs at www.arlington-eats.org. We will be collecting non-perishable food items and household goods for the Arlington Food Pantry on Sunday, Sept. 3rd, and Sunday, October 1st. Visit arlingtonfoodpantry.org 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.

Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless

Our drive to collect school supplies for homeless children in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless was very successful! We collected 31 backpacks and many bags loaded with supplies. Thank you to all who participated for your generosity in helping students struggling with homelessness have a better start to the school year!

Learn about the Coalition at MAHomeless.org

Somerville Homeless Coalition

See the announcement for the next community supper at www.pacc-ucc.org/2017/09/somerville-community-supper-2017-09. Learn about the Coalition at www.somervillehomelesscoalition.org.

City Mission

Thanks to your generosity, we collected enough for several coats for CMS’s Christmas in July kick off of their annual Coat Boston campaign – citymissionboston.org/engage/coat-boston

Refugee Immigration Ministry

We expect to be working with First Parish UU of Arlington this fall as a neighborhood group assisting locally housed asylum seekers with Refugee Immigration Ministry www.r-i-m.net.

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.

In the Wider Church 

UCC Blog

There is a new UCC blog at newsacred.org, with titles such as WWJD? Put His Body on the Line for Racial Justice, Dismantling From Within, and I Won’t Worship Being Busy. 

Advocate for justice

We Do Justice – Join Us! 

In the United Church of Christ, we do justice. We started in the 60’s with the Civil Rights movement. We’ve been advocating for gay rights since the 70’s. We took on environmental racism in the 80’s. And in 2005, we were the first church in America to endorse marriage equality. We’re doing justice. Join us at www.ucc.org/justice

“What does God require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah 6:8

The United Church of Christ: Our faith is 2000 years old. Our thinking is not. We believe in God’s Continuing Testament. We believe in Extravagant Welcome. We believe the church’s mission is to Change Lives. 

In the World 

Black Lives Matter

The Mission and Justice Ministry asked the Council of Deacons to display the BLACK LIVES MATTER banner on the Paul Revere Road wall this month. It will stay up until the end of the first week of September. See www.pacc-ucc.org/black-lives-matter for PACC’s history on this issue and some explanations. Beginning on September 8th, the UCC’s BE THE CHURCH banner has replaced our BLACK LIVES MATTER banner.

International Institute of New England

Our mission partner, International Institute of New England, headed by Jeff Thielman of Arlington, is presenting another “Suitcase Stories” show on Sept. 14th. In an exciting twist, performers will be featured on WGBH’s new nationally syndicated “Stories from the Stage” television series – a partnership with http://www.massmouth.org/ For more information, including ticket access, see the Suitcase Stories page of the IINE website.

Suitcase Stories is a traveling live performance series that features foreign and U.S.-born residents sharing refugee and immigrant stories. The format of storytelling in a theatre-like setting is especially suited to these powerful tales of real-life experience.

About IINE Proceeds from this event support the mission of the International Institute of New England: To build vibrant, inclusive communities in New England by welcoming refugees and immigrants and providing education and guided pathways to careers and citizenship.

This event is hosted in partnership with: Stories from the Stage, Massmouth, TripAdvisor and WGBH, and will be held at its studios at 1 Guest St, Boston.

UCC Pastoral Letter condemns racist violence in Charlottesville, demands equality for all 

August 15, 2017 as a response to the violent clashes between white supremacists and counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va., that left a woman dead and 19 injured, the national leadership of the United Church of Christ issued this Pastoral Letter:

Pastoral Letter Last weekend, a group of white supremacists came to Charlottesville, Virginia, and incited violence to protest the removal of a Confederate monument. Although protest is the bedrock of our nation’s democracy, coming in riot gear proves that they intended to do more than simply protest. We, the Council of Conference Ministers and Officers of the United Church of Christ, strongly condemn the acts of violent hatred expressed by these white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and Ku

Klux Klan members. Their white robes and burning crosses were replaced with polo shirts, khakis, and tiki torches, while their lynching was replaced with a speeding car barreling through a group of peaceful protesters with the intention of harming and killing others, which it did. Their vitriolic hatred is the same. We confess that the events of Charlottesville are systemic and communal expressions of white privilege and racism that continues to pervade our nation’s spiritual ethos. And if we only condemn the acts of August 12, 2017, without condemning the roots of racism, which perpetuate discrimination in our American schools, justice system, business, and healthcare systems, then we have sinned as well. We must work toward the Kin-dom of Heaven here on earth now for the sake of a just world for all. We do this by committing to follow the ways of Jesus, who stood with the oppressed, spoke out against political and religious powers, and courageously embodied a just world for all as he sought to create it. Today, we must follow the ways of Jesus in addressing the hatred of white supremacists and racists among us. Our local UCC churches must be true solidarity partners with those who march in the streets. Our UCC churches are encouraged to move from the sanctuary and walk alongside other clergy and community leaders who seek to resist, agitate, inform, and comfort. We must resist hatred and violence. We must also agitate ourselves, and our neighbors to acknowledge any racism within or among us. We must inform ourselves and our neighbors what our sacred stories reveal to us of a just world for all. We must lament and grieve with those who are injured or murdered during violent confrontations with those who mean us harm. And we must comfort those who have been discriminated against with the transformative love of God. As we go forward, let us model the legacy of activism through our sacred call given to us by our UCC ancestors: May we be prophetic truth-tellers like our Congregational Christian forebears, who marched in public squares demanding equality for all. May we serve others, and remain faithful witnesses like our Evangelical and Reformed forebears, who tended to the needs of the forgotten. And may we be courageous like our non-UCC forebears, who left their spiritual home and joined the UCC in order to fully live out who God created them to be. In the days to come, may God’s truth, mission, and courage be our guide to embodying the Kin-dom of Heaven here on earth.

More at www.ucc.org/news_ucc_pastoral_letter_condemns_racist_violence_in_charlottesville_demands_equality_for_all_08152017

Author: Mark Tuttle

Husband, father, web master