March 2011

Expert on Talking with Children About Race to Speak with Parents and Teachers at First UU

Sunday, May 1, 2:00 PM ET

Dr. Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson's work was featured in the chapter titled "Race" in the bestseller NurtureShock. She is considered one of the country's leading experts on talking with children about race. This OSU professor's research convinces her that avoiding talk about race in our homes and classrooms leaves our children vulnerable to the racism that permeates our culture. She has some recommendations about how to go about talking with children in ways that help children rather than leave them in the dark. She has published two practical papersone for parents and another for teachers.

You can compare race with another topic people often have difficulty discussing with children: sexuality. We all know that refusing to discuss sex leaves children confused and concocting stories. My goal is to make First UU a place where we support parents in developing healthy attitudes about both sexuality and race. 

We took the first step my first year with you when we started the middle school class called Race To Justice. Jeane has started to spend time with that class and she told me how impressed she was with the level of discussion, the teaching team, and the youth. Great thanks to Dave Gill, one of the teachers in that class. He read NutureShock, and realizing that Jeane was at OSU, he contacted her. This is the level of commitment we have in our Sunday School.

Our next step is to offer a conversation with Jeane on Sunday, May 1 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM. Invite your friends, regardless of their religion. This is a special opportunity to get some of your questions answered about talking with preschool through elementary children. If you like, we can also form a practice group to support one another as we take bold and sometimes scary steps. Families that attend the 11 AM service may want to bring your lunch. The RE Council will supply lemonade and tea. Childcare will be provided.

Mark your calendars now for this important event!

                                Jolinda Stephens
                                Director of Religious Education
                                First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus

Keep the Cardenas family together

Raul and Judy Cardenas have been married for eight years, with three children: their daughter, plus two sons from Judy's previous marriage who call Raul "Papi."  The Cardenases are like many American families except that except that Raul was born in Mexico and faces  deportation in April— their family will soon be torn apart unless you help.

Despite the fact that he is married to a U.S. citizen, and the father of another U.S. citizen, Raul is an undocumented worker and is scheduled to be deported by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in April.  There is currently no pathway to legal U.S. residency for him.

DHS has the discretion to defer Raul's case—they have deferred similar cases—but they need to feel political pressure.   Standing on the Side of Love and have created an online petition to stop Raul's deportation.

Please sign the petition to halt the deportation of Jose Raul Cardenas Gonzalez of Denver.  Keep the Cardenas family together.

March 19: Fazeel S. Khan on Islam

Fazeel S. Khan is a civil rights and consumer protection attorney. He was born in the Fiji Islands, grew up in Canada, and now resides in Ohio. Aside from his keen interest in the law, he has a passion for theology and comparative religious studies. He is the Secretary of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Islamic Society, Editor of the periodical The Light and Islamic Review, and an active participant in various interfaith programs in the Columbus area, including the September 11th interfaith solidarity service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus.
On Saturday, March 19, Mr. Khan will speak at the 7th annual Amy Interfaith Lecture Series at the Church of the Master, United Methodist in Westerville.

Schedule of Events:
  • Lunch and Keynote Lecture with Discussion
    Discovering Islam: An Introduction to the Basics of the Faith
    Noon to 2:00 PM, Church Fellowship Hall
  • Afternoon Conversation and Tea
    Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam:  An Introduction to the Institution of Prophethood in Islam
    3:00 to 4:30 PM, Church Fellowship Hall
  • Panel Discussion and Banquet
    6:00 to 8:30 PM, Church Fellowship Hall
The Amy Lecture Series was established by the children of Dr. Bill and Flo Amy in honor of the ministry of their  parents.  Dr. Amy was professor of World Religions at Otterbein University from 1962–1978 and 1993–2005.

Pics from March 13th Racial Unity Service

The March 13th Racial Unity Service was remarkable not only for the diversity of its participants (people of many races, cultures and religions were there) but also for its emphasis on the need for people of faith to work on justice. The messages focused on anti-poverty, comprehensive immigration reform, interfaith and anti-racism work.

We are energized!

"The road builds us as we build the road." Sarvodaya saying.

This is what class warfare looks like....

via dailykos.

March 21: RDTF & SJC Synergy Meeting

On March 21st at 6 pm, RDTF and Social Justice Committee members will meet to brainstorm ideas for mobilizing the congregation and the community for justice.

"I saw Jesus at Home Depot": A Poem

There were several requests for copies of Ray Nandyal's poem, "I saw Jesus at Home Depot," which was shared at the Racial Unity Service on March 13th.

Here's the link to the poem.