April 2013

Thursday, April 11: Rally for Medicaid expansion at the Ohio Statehouse 

Expanding Medicaid eligibility in Ohio would do a lot to support the Second Principle of Unitarian Universalism: "justice, equity, and compassion in human relations."  But support for Medicaid expansion in the Ohio legislature is foundering, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch. 

At 12 noon on Thursday, April 11, supporters from across Ohio will gather at the Statehouse to demonstrate to the General Assembly that Medicaid expansion has broad public support. If you only take one action to support Medicaid expansion, this rally is the one to fit into your schedule.

More information is available here. Please register here if you plan to attend. 

Welcoming the Stranger: An immigration conversation

On Thursday, April 11 from 7 to 9 p.m., Pastor Rich Nathan will join a a panel of guests — including Troy Jackson of Ohio Prophetic Voices, Bernard Pastor, and Matt Soerens from World Relief — to learn about the issue of immigration from a biblical perspective. 

The event will be held at Vineyard Church of Columbus, 6000 Cooper Rd. in Westerville.  Read more

Monday, April 22: Justice Action Ministry meeting at 7 p.m.

We will meet in Room 7 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 West Weisheimer Road, on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome!

Saturday, April 27: Empowerment workshop for reproductive justice

Do you wish that religious, spiritual, moral people with more progressive viewpoints would stand up and voice more loving, peaceful alternatives to the divisive rhetoric we hear?

On Saturday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., The First Unitarian Universalist Church is hosting a workshop to empower spiritual people by giving them the facts, skills, and courage to help those they love one-on-one, and to help their greater community navigate issues related to reproductive justice: birth-control, health care, abortion, comprehensive sexuality education, and many related social justice issues.

The facilitators will be Kellie Copeland, Executive Director of the NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation, and Cathy Levy, Executive Director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. See the flyer for more details. 

A light lunch will be included. Suggested donation is $5. Please RSVP to Jane Larson at janelarson47@gmail.com or 614-766-4223, and  let her know of any childcare or special dietary needs. 

Saturday, April 27: SPAN Ohio's 10th annual conference

Single Payer Action Network Ohio (SPAN Ohio) is holding its 10th annual state conference on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to bring together advocates of health care for all — businesses, community groups, faith groups, health care providers, unions, women’s organizations, and others — to devise ways to build support for publicly funded, not-for-profit universal health care, guaranteeing comprehensive coverage for all Ohioans.

Laurie Wen, Executive Director of Physicians for a National Health Program in the New York Metro area, will speak about states leading the way in the move forward to single-payer health care.

Michael Shay, Consultant to the SEIU 1199 Labor Management Project, will talk about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health care workers and institutions.

The conference will be held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 4900 Sinclair Road in Columbus. Complete details about the conference are available here. You can register online here.

Sunday, April 28: Prof. Hasan Kwame Jeffries on community organizing, Part 2

On Sunday, April 28 at 4 p.m., OSU history professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries will continue his talk about the history of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, its influence on later civil rights work, and how its lessons might be applied to community organizing today.

The event is part of the Labor College series at the Mid-Ohio Workers Association, 1392 E. Weber Road.  Dr. Jeffries' talk will be followed by a discussion and potluck dinner. The event is free and everyone is welcome.

For more information, call the Mid-Ohio Workers Association at (614) 262-0567.

Thursdays: Spanish conversation group at First UU

For those interested in learning to speak and understand Spanish, the Care and Share Time Bank hosts Hispanohablantes Aspirantesa conversational Spanish group at First UU on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. Any level of proficiency is welcome. We particularly welcome those fluent in Spanish to serve as mentors.

Please register for more information. The facilitators are Alice Faryna, alice.faryna@gmail.com, (614) 560-1732; and Michael Greenman, mgreenmanoh@gmail.com, (614) 439-4768.

BREAD Rises to fight for Ohio Medicaid expansion

685 Justice Ministry Network members from BREAD's 54 congregations gathered at Congregation Tifereth Israel on Monday, April 8. 

In addition to covenanting with three new congregations, our clergy and leaders fired us up to make our May 6th Nehemiah Action the largest, most powerful event in the organization's history. 

BREAD is fighting to keep kids in school, divert juvenile offenders into proven programs, build the infrastructure for small businesses and make Columbus a welcoming city for immigrants.

Several faith leaders spoke in support of Medicaid expansion in Ohio. If you support expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover 275,000 low-income Ohioans, call your State Representative today and ask him or her to "fight for the inclusion of the Ohio Medicaid expansion in the state budget." 

The names, districts, and phone numbers of the Franklin County delegation to the Ohio General Assembly are listed below:

Michael Stinziano (18th), 466-1896 Michael Curtin (17th), 644-6005

Anne Gonzales (19th), 466-4847 Heather Bishoff (20th), 644-6002

Mike Duffy (21st), 644-6030 John Patrick Carney (22nd), 466-2473

Cheryl Grossman (23rd), 466-9690 Stephanie Kunze, (24th) 466-8012

Kevin Boyce (25th) 466-5343 Tracy Maxwell Heard (26th) 466-8010

If you are not certain of who your State Representative (or State Senator) is, enter your home address at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us

JAM tours Worthington Food Pantry with Rep. Pat Tiberi 

By a congregational vote, the First Unitarian Universalist Church has charged its Justice Action Ministry with poverty alleviation as an area of special focus.

On March 27, supporters of JAM and the advocacy organization RESULTS met with Congressman Pat Tiberi at the Healthy Worthington Resource Center & Food Pantry for a tour of the facility.

After the tour, the group had a cordial but animated discussion with Rep. Tiberi about U.S. budget policies that affect people who live in poverty, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Read more

Immigrant youth rally to stop deportations

As Congress continues to debate immigration reform, the grassroots movement to shape what the U.S. immigration system should look like is growing in the swing state of Ohio.

On March 25, about 40 young undocumented immigrants and supporters rallied outside U.S. Senator Rob Portman's office to call for a moratorium on ICE deportations until immigration reform legislation has been enacted.

"We cannot stand by and watch families separated, children left without parents, and communities divided," said Rev. Joan VanBecelaere, Unitarian Universalist Ohio Meadville District Executive, one of several clergy who joined the rally.   Read more

Faith leaders urge Ohio lawmakers to expand Medicaid

Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faith leaders held a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse on March 5 to urge the Ohio General Assembly to approve Governor Kasich's plan to expand Medicaid eligibility. About 90 people were in attendance.  

"Everyone wins with this expansion," said Rev. Timothy Ahrens, Senior Pastor at First Congregational Church in Columbus. "We deeply appreciate that Governor Kasich has stepped forward to lead in this effort by including the expansion of Medicaid in his state budget."  Read more