Welcome to the United Campus Ministry blog. This blog will be used to keep readers updated with what’s happening at UCM, including events, student organizations and fundraisers. Our mission is to engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, work for social justice and community service guided by socially progressive and interfaith values. Fall quarter is already under way, so here’s what we’re doing to complete our mission to the best of our ability:

UCM ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, September 23, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Annual UCM Open House joins forces again with Thursday Supper (UCM’s weekly free meal program) to kick-off the 2009-10 school year! All are welcome and a chili dinner (meat and vegetarian) will be provided. Bring a friend and meet the UCM community and find out how you can get involved this year.

MONDAY PEACE VIGIL
Weekly, Mondays 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Athens Court House (corner of Washington and Court)
In honor of local farmer and peace activist, Art Gish (who died in a farming accident this summer) consider joining this 30 year old weekly vigil for peace. The focus of the vigil is international peace and justice issues, but has also included national or local justice issues. Signs are available but feel free to bring your own that reflect a nonviolent and reconciliation oriented stance and are respectful in language and spirit. For more information, contact UCM.

UCM PIE BAKE-OFF AND TASTING FUNDRAISER
Sunday, October 3, 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m at UCM
Bring your best homemade pie (fruit, sweet non-fruit, savory, vegetarian, vegan, locavore, etc.) to see how it stands up to other local bakers in this fun event to raise money for UCM! Sliding scale to enter a pie and/or to be a taster ($5 – $20). Thanks to Heather Johnson for organizing this – check out her website for more details and an entry form (also available at UCM).

INTERFAITH IMPACT STUDENT GROUP
Weekly meetings Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at UCM
The purpose of UCM’s interfaith student group is to further the mission of UCM and to engage students in interfaith community, social justice education and activism, and community service. Topics this quarter include Quakerism, Hinduism, Meditation, Moral Relativism and Islam. Students of all or no faith traditions encouraged to come to this open, safe, and respectful meeting. Questions? Email Christy Johnson at cj371106@ohio.edu

INTERFAITH IMPACT RETREAT
Saturday – Sunday, September 25, 26 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens
Take a break from your busy campus life and get away to a beautiful setting just outside of Athens to meet other OU students in a safe and inclusive space to share ideas about spirituality, faith and social justice. We’re open to students of all or no faith traditions. Interested? Email Christy Johnson at cj1371106@ohio.edu

ALTERNATIVE WINTER BREAK TRIP
New Orleans- December 3 – 12, 2010
UCM is offering an alternative winter break trip to New Orleans. This service-learning trip is primarily for Ohio University students but is open to anyone who is interested in a service-learning experience. The group will work with the New Orleans Rebirth Volunteer Program— a service project of the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists’ Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. In addition to helping rebuild housing and facilities for community organizations, trip participants will learn about how the politics of race, class and religion (and the recent BP oil disaster) contributed to the severity of the problems, and will continue to impact the effort to restore this unique American community. Days will be spent hard at work, and evenings will be spent learning from and processing with Rebirth Program partners like Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, ACORN, Lower 9th Ward Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association, ACT (All Congregations Together), and others.

Participants will leave by van from Athens on December 3, and return on December 12. Cost of the trip will be $500 per person, which includes travel, lodging, and meals while in New Orleans; some assistance with fundraising is available. Registration for the trip starts now, and the deadline for forms and $250 deposit is due October 8. For more information or to sign up for the trip, contact Melissa Wales at ucmathens@frognet.net or 740-593-7301.

OPEN QUESTIONS WEEKLY DISCUSSION SERIES
Wednesdays, Noon – 1:30 p.m., Hobson Lounge of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 64 University Terrace (across from Ellis Hall).
Pick up a free lunch tray at the Wednesday meal, and then join the group in the Hobson Lounge.
This fall UCM teams up with the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd to offer a different kind of Bible study. Evan Young and Good Shepherd’s new associate pastor, Rev. Steve Domienik, will co-lead weekly lunchtime sessions at this progressive Bible study. Come with your questions and ideas for exploring and understanding sacred texts. UCM and Good Shepherd hope that Open Questions will offer a safe environment where students have permission to ask anything they’ve ever wanted to know about scripture.

For more information or to sign up for the group, contact Evan Young at ucmevan@frognet.net or 593-7301 or Steve Domienik at sdomienik@gmail.com or 593-6877.

UCM ANNUAL BENEFIT AUCTION
Saturday, November 6, 6:00 p.m., Athens Community Center
Join us for UCM’s biggest party and most important fundraiser! This years event returns to the Athens Community Center and will feature both a silent and a live auction (conducted by Shamrock Auction Services), live musical entertainment, and heavy appetizers and beverages. (Please note this will not be a sit-down dinner as it has been in the past). Items include stays on the beach, gift certificates and items from local businesses.

Sliding scale $25-$100 (low-income, student, senior donation – $15).

Email ucmathens@frognet.net to make your reservations now. Student volunteers needed.

COALITION ON PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN PALESTING AND ISRAEL
This is a new group of students, faculty and others concerned with issues of human rights in Palestine and Israel. Meetings TBA. If you are interested in getting involved contact George Hartley at hartleyg@ohio.edu

THURSDAY SUPPER & SATURDAY LUNCH
Weekly, Thursdays 5:30 p.m (volunteers come between 4 – 7:30 p.m.) and Sturdays, 1:00 p.m. (volunteers come between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
UCM’s weekly free community meals are open to all. Come share a meal with us and share what you can (labor, love, compassion, culinary or cleaning skills, money and donations are all greatly appreciated). UCM’s meals are open and accepting of all who walk through our door. Poverty and food security issues are a growing problem in Athens County. Get involved with a solution because we’re all in this together.

APJN INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY DINNER
Friday, September 24th, at the First Christian Church. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner is served at 7. Frank Norton will cook an amazing dinner accompanied by live music and belly dancing! We will also announce the recipient(s) of the first annual Art Gish Peacemaker Award!

The Monohan brothers, walking across the country in protest of the Supreme Court decision bestowing on corporations constitutional protections of personhood, will be speaking at the event.

Tickets are $20-$100 sliding scale, $15 for low-income and $5 for children under 12. Proceeds benefit the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network.

Ongoing Meetings at UCM:

Mondays

PEOPLE FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
(Once a month) – September 20, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., UCM lounge
4:30 p.m. PPJ business meeting.
5:00 p.m. Speaker/ educational hour

Contact Appalachian Peace and Justice Network at apjnnn@gmail.com for more information.

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Every second Monday of the month
For more information, contact athensohiopflag@yahoo.com

Tuesdays:

VEGAN COOKING8:00 p.m., lower level of UCM
Registered OU student organization. Small donation requested to participate in this dynamic cooking workshop and community meal. Contact Leslie Albanese at  la361106@ohio.edu for more information.

Wednesdays:

OPEN DOORS 8:00 – 10:00pm, UCM lounge
Student group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally students.

Stay tuned to find out how the events are going at UCM.

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