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Social Justice and Outreach

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     It gives me special pleasure to have as one of the first official acts of my recent election to the presidency of the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton thanking our members on behalf of the Federation for their generous support of this year's annual Kids Cafe Christmas gift project. Kids Cafe is a year-long after-school and summer program in tutoring, life skills, and enrichment activities for children through the sixth grade.  It is one of two programs of the Federation based at Cadillac Park in Zion City, a low-income area of North Baton Rouge. Our church has supported the Kids Cafe Christmas Gift project for more than twenty years, and each year the list of names, ages, and  "wish-list" of Kids Cafe children received by our church and passed on to the Social Justice Council is quickly exhausted by members wishing to purchase gifts.  This year was no different: in addition to gifts to 37 children, members missing out on a child's name donated more than $200 to the project. Many thanks to all donors for your generosity, and special thanks to Jane Webb for coordinating the project on behalf of the Social Justice Council with a team of Team members that included Nancy Kunen, Melonie Pryor, and Sarah Traylor.   Additional thanks to Jane and husband Rick Webb for delivering the gifts to Cadillac Park, and for representing the church at the Kids Cafe Christmas Party and gift distribution on December 16. Whether through physical presence or acts of generosity, ours is truly  "The Church that Shows Up!"

      The other special program of the Federation is the Holy Grill, also based at Cadillac Park in Zion City. Our church has supported the Holy Grill for the twenty-five years of its existence through serving the mid-day lunch at least twice each year. Our first service for 2017 is January 17 through January 20. Sign-up for a team of five servers to serve from 11:45am to 12:30pm each day will continue through Sunday, January 8. Sign up at the Adult Activities Table or email rcureau@cox.net to join a team.  As with all our service projects, serving at the Holy Grill is an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow church members and friends and often the occasion for making new friends.     Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach,  January 1, 2017

     Once again, thanks to everyone that makes us truly the church that shows up. We had another very successful toy drive for the Interfaith Federation’s Kid’s Cafe. The toys and the donations were very generous. Thanks to Jane Webb for organizing it all and to everyone that helped.

     Congratulations to Becky Cureau our new president of the Interfaith Federation.

     We had a great turn out to Together Baton Rouge’s end of the year gala and fundraiser. More than four hundred people showed up. Once again the Unitarians have shown up. Our new mayor elect Sharon Weston Broom was present and pledged a working relationship with TBR.

      Leaders of Together Louisiana from across the state will meet at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Alexandria Louisiana on Jan 7, 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to start developing our 2017 strategy especially for the upcoming legislative session. Additionally we will plan a tax fairness and workforce development action scheduled with the governor for January 20, 2017 in Alexandria. Your presence and input are important to help accomplish these tasks. Again, for more information see me Bobby Thompson or you can contact me at numbernine@cox.net or 225-939-1564. In the past we have carpooled.

      I would like to encourage as many of our members as possible to get involved in “We the People” campaign. WTP is a strategy of, by and for citizens to strengthen citizen leadership at the local level, to take action on issues affecting our communities and to create a powerful force against factionalism in government, to build trust among fellow citizens in local districts, and to put citizens at the center of public decision-making. Find out what metro district you are in and then contact Together Baton Rouge at togetherbr.org to get your name on their mailing list or find out where and when your WTP group is meeting.

      The shared offering for January goes to the River Road African American Museum, 406 Charles Street Donaldsonville, LA, 70346. The River Road African American Museum, located in the historic district of Donaldsonville, Louisiana is the premier facility in the South to focus on the history and heritage of African Americans along the Mississippi River.     Bobby Thompson, Director of Social Justice, January 1, 2017