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Social Justice and Outreach

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   Many thanks to the volunteers who served at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank during our fall service on Saturday, October 21.  The Team included John DeVore, Nelson DeVore, John Howe, Heather Jahnke, Lizzie Jahnke, Gail Johnson, Jill Johnson, Dottie Kelly, Joy McCord, Sam McCord, Joe Mondello, Gail Ott, Penny Ramsdell, Courtney Stevenson, Anya Stogner, and Jean Witherow.  The Team spent the morning sorting commodities that are donated to the Food Bank, then boxed for delivery to distribution centers, where they are then available to individuals who rely on the Food Bank to supplement their families' nutritional needs.  The Food Bank also provides some of the food for meals served at the Holy Grill, at which our volunteers also serve at least twice each year; and to several other daily feeding programs, underscoring its critical role in the Greater Baton Rouge area.  Our Volunteers serve on behalf of our church as we continue our long-time and continuing partnership with the Food Bank through this twice-yearly service, donations to the Food Cart, shared offerings, and the offering taken at the Annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.  The smiles on the faces of the Team in the picture below are indicative of the joy with which our volunteers serve together in this critical service to the Food Bank and our community.  

    As the holiday season approaches, the Food Bank will be a major source of staple food for holiday meals for many families in our community and surrounding areas.  Think of a typical holiday meal, and buy extra canned and boxed staples to place in the Food Cart as you shop for your family.  See the weekly e-announcements for suggestions of specific holiday food items.

~Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach

   Our shared offering recipient for the month of November is LEAN, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.  This group seeks to protect Louisiana's environment for future generations.  It is a community based not-for-profit organization that has been working since 1986 to resolve the unique environmental struggles present in Louisiana through education, empowerment, advocacy and support.  These are necessary tools for individuals and communities facing environmental problems which often threaten their health, safety and quality of life.

   UCBR served as host to a special fundraising seminar offered by TBR in October and run by the development expert, Bob Connelly, from Wisconsin.  There were two sessions Thursday evening, October 19th, and Friday, October 20th.   There was a good showing from institutions all across town including our own church.  The energy was evident throughout with good questions to help lead the direction of the seminar.  TBR also hosted a seminar on Economic Development with Governor Edwards as the special guest, October 26 at the University Baptist Church. 

   At the October meeting of SJT we agreed to seek greater church involvement in the November 5 Hunger Walk.  Consider joining our group of walkers that Sunday.  We also gave our blessing to the new UU team for Days for Girls named East Baton Rouge LA Team.  Check out their Facebook page and consider joining if you are not already a team member.

   Our annual gift donations to the Kids Cafe Christmas party will be coming up soon, and this year we would also like to help put on the party.  The gifts lists are being developed now, so expect the sign up to begin by mid-November.  The actual Kids Cafe Christmas Party will be Dec. 15 at the Cadillac Park, so put that date on your calendar and let Jane know if you would like to help with that.  When it is time to deliver the gifts to the Interfaith Federation office, we will need a truck, another volunteer opportunity!  Again, let Jane know if that is something you can do.

   The next meeting of the Social Justice Team will be Sunday, November 12, 12:45 - 1:45pm.

~Jane Webb, Co-Chair with Bobby Thompson, Director of Social Justice