Exploring Diversity: On the Path To Understanding

 

 

 

This year we welcome our members, friends, and neighbors to explore Diversity together. Using a model developed from our successful Green Sanctuary Month services, we aim to establish a truly heartfelt understanding of diversity, both within and outside of our community.

The following Diversity topic areas will be explored during months-long periods featuring intergenerational Sunday Services and with special events over the church year: Ability; Age; Race, Power & Privilege; Money; and Gender.

Our first topic, Ability, is underway. In addition to music and readings in our Worship Services and Religious Education being designed around this topic for several weeks, we have had quite a few memorable moments:

  • We have shared why ability matters to us in our Worship Services in our sermons and by church members sharing their own personal stories (click HERE for more information).
  • We are currently looking forward to our showing of the documentary film “The Wounds We Cannot See”, which is free and open to the public (click HERE for more information).
  • We are also looking forward to an Ability-focused Circle Supper, which are small pot-luck suppers held in church members homes. All held on one night, in small groups of 10 or so, after we have our pot-luck dinner, we plan on viewing then discussing a TED talk on “Ability” (click HERE for more information).
  • We have also had Megan Kennedy, her hearing service dog Ras, and Lanie Cantor (from CCI, a service dog organization) come and speak with the adults and the children (click HERE for more information).
  • We had a “Walk and Wheel in Wonder” accessible stroll through Breakheart Reservation (click HERE for more information).
  • And our Ability Topic Team has selected “The Boston Center For Independent Living” as the recipient of our Giving Beyond Our Walls funds (50% of the cash collection on Sunday) while the church is exploring the Ability Topic (click HERE for more information).

 

We invite you to visit or join us for our regular Sunday Services at 10:30 a.m. Children will meet for Religious Education classes, including selected activities on the Diversity Topics, and there is a staffed nursery available for children under age three at the same time.

Please take a moment to fill out this important Diversity Participation Form – click on link below. 

Diversity participation form

We need to hear from you! This can be printed out and completed and returned to the Church Office at 70 West Emerson Street, Melrose MA 02176; or it can be saved then emailed as an attachment to the Transition Team at “TransitionTeams [at] melroseuu [dot] org“. Thank you!

Diversity Topic Teams will be selecting the Giving Beyond Our Walls (GBOW) recipients for the 2017-2018 Church Year. Please see the GBOW page for more information about our current and past recipient organizations.

From the Transitions Team:

Having contributed our thoughts, our desires and our future hopes for Melrose UU over the first year of our two year interim experience, we have now set our course to explore diversity together seeking a truly heartfelt understanding of diversity. 

Together includes all of us – From young to old, of all genders and identities, some living lives of necessary frugality, others with grateful wealth, on both sides of average, born of luck or circumstance, and now finding ourselves here together. 

The Transition Teams (TransitionTeams [at] MelroseUU [dot] org) have continued to meet through the summer in order to develop an overall approach to presenting our selected diversity exploration topics throughout the year and begin implementation through the formation of small group topic teams, focused on each of the diversity exploration topics:

  • Ability (team currently meeting, activities and events under discussion)
  • Age
  • Race, Power and Privilege 
  • Money
  • Gender

We expect each topic above will be deeply explored across multiple week periods between October and April, including Sunday Services. We anticipate creative program offerings including film, lecture, hands-on activities, meals together, forums, and field trips. This is an ambitious but vital agenda to the work of our Church. It promises to be meaningful to all who participate in the creation and experience of the activities. We invite you now, and will again, to join us as we set about exploring diversity together.

Your Transition Teams,

Religious Ed Transition Team: Amy M., Ann E., Patricia F., Don B.

Interim Minister Transition Team: Rebecca M., Mike A., Mary Beth G., Dominic T., David B.