Who’s Who of Thursday Supper! Frances Edition

As new interns at United Campus Ministry this summer, we decided that it is time to get to know more about the people who attend, volunteer and are involved with Thursday Supper. This week we are featuring Frances, a regular at Thursday Supper:

1.  What’s your name?

2.  Where are you from?

3.  What is your favorite food?
“Soup beans. I love soup beans.”

4.  Where is your favorite place in Athens?  Why?
“I don’t know… here.”

5.  What do you like most about Thursday Supper? Why?
“I guess…rice with beef stew.  I think you had it two or three weeks ago.”

6.  What is an interesting fact about you that people might not know?
“Love to sew…make quilts.”


New Orleans 2010

UCM traveled to New Orleans over Winter Break 2010 with Ohio University students who engaged in a variety of service projects. The projects were organized by the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal, with help from their partner organizations including the Gris Gris Lab, Greenlight New Orleans, Animal Rescue of New Orleans and the Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association in the Lower Ninth Ward.

IFYC “What If? Speak In”

What if MLK rejected Gandhi’s value of nonviolence because he was Hindu? What if we did nothing to build bridges across the faith divide? What if instead we took action together to build our global community? Prove we’re better together. Start by asking what if?
Interfaith Youth Core at Ohio University will be holding a Speak In on Wednesday, November 10 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Friends of the Library Room (Alden Library 319). The “What If? Speak In” will provide an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn about the interfaith movement as well as engage in a guided discussion about the common value of service in various religious practices. 

Speakers include Greg Emery, Director of the Global Leadership Center, discussing his work with the Harvard Pluralism Project, Elizabeth Collins, Professor of Classics and World Religions, talking about her work with the Difficult Dialogues Project, Amritjit Singh, Professor of English, sharing his interfaith aspects of Sikhism, Rev Evan Young, Campus Minister for United Campus Ministry, discussing UCM’s role in interfaith work, Professor Savas Kaya, Advisor of the Muslim Student Association, and a representative from Rural Action’s watershed project. Information will be provided about how to get involved in Interfaith Youth Core’s winter quarter service project dedicated to local and international water rights. People of all or no faith backgrounds are encouraged to attend and help promote the movement towards religious coexistence. Refreshments will be provided.

“I feel that cooperation among members of different faith communities in common action for the common good is essential to combat daunting issues such as poverty and global warming, both on the local level and internationally,” says Interfaith Youth Core fellowship recipient Guru Amrit Khalsa. “It is only a matter of time before cooperation becomes the social norm, and members of various faith groups come together as opposed to inter-religious conflict.” 
The Interfaith Youth Core is an international nonprofit supporting religious pluralism on campuses across the country. United Campus Ministry (UCM): Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice is spearheading the movement at Ohio University. UCM’s 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. For more information call 593-7301 or email ucmathens@frognet.net.

Annual Auction Featured Items

On November 6 UCM will be hosting its Annual Benefit Auction, where three week-long stays at various hotspots across the states will be auctioned off for vacations in the 2011 calendar year.

A cabin in Lake Hortonia, Vermont.  

Enjoy a week-long stay at Stillwater cabin on the shores of Lake Hortonia, Vermont.  Stillwater is the summer home of Athens residents Aaron and Cathy Wright and their family. The house is fully furnished and equipped with all necessary kitchen supplies and appliances.  There are two bedrooms, one which sleeps four (queen size bed plus trundle) and one with a double-bed.  Additional sleeping space for two can be found in the cozy loft overlooking the main living area. There is a bathroom with a standup shower, a recently refurbished woodburning stove, a gas grill, and wireless access.  Enjoy paddling in the cabin’s canoe, rent a pontoon for the day, or bring your own kayaks and/or speedboat.

Lake Hortonia is conveniently located about twenty miles south of the beautiful college town of Middlebury and the cabin is an easy day trip to anywhere in Vermont.  We are a short drive to the Lake Champlain ferry, which allows access to the Fort Ticonderoga, Lake George and the Adirondacks Mountains of New York.   Nearest airports are Burlington, Vermont and Albany, New York, and the drive from Athens is
around 13 hours.  Stillwater is a three-season cabin, but the best time to go is usually late summer or early fall.
Valued at $700

“Blue Skies Low Country Retreat” Outer Banks Beach House

A newly renovated one-bedroom beach house in Buxston, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. Donated by Freve Pace and Chris Eaton. The house is the third from the beach with an ocean view, and has a kitchen and outside porch. A one-week stay is negotiable year round (available January – December of 2011)

 Valued at $800

Bonita Springs, Florida condominium

A two bedroom two bath condo one block from the Gulf of Mexico and 15 miles north of Naples. Reseveration dates are subject to availability. Donated by Howard McKee (Rev. Jan Griesinger’s father).

Valued at $1200

Building peace in a country at war

On November 11, at 8:00 p.m. in Bentley Hall Room 132, Latin American Studies presents Colombian Catholic priest Fr. Jesus Alberto Franco. He will be reflecting on two decades of human rights work in the midst of deadly conflict.

Father Alberto is a Colombian missionary priest and the Executive Secretary of Inter-church Justice and Peace Commission, a Colombian human rights and community organizing group. For more than 20 years, Fr. Alberto has worked for human rights and accompanied the resistance processes of Afro-Colombian, indigenous and mixed-race farmers. In 2009, he was a featured speaker at the School of the Americas annual vigil at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Witness for Peace is a politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. Witness for Peace’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This event is free and open to the public. Sponsors include Witness for Peace, Latin American Studies at OU, Amnesty International at OU, and United Campus Ministry.

Check out the event page on facebook, and visit the Witness for Peace website.

Ohio Benefit Bank

The Ohio Benefit Bank helps low and moderate-income individuals gain access to government programs targeted to benefit them. If you qualify, you could be eligible for work supports such as home energy assistance, health insurance, childcare subsidies, FAFSA, and food stamps. You can complete the paperwork for these supports with the assistance of a trained counselor at a  registered OBB site, including UCM: Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice. All information exchanged during an OBB session is strictly confidential and sessions are quick, easy and painless!

Things to bring to an OBB appointment:
*Driver’s license or ID card

*Birth certificate IF available
*Rent or mortgage bill
*Recent heating bill
*Other recent utility bills
*1-4 recent pay stubs for each household member earning an income
*Estimated value of household assets
*Information about unearned income (child support, assistance, etc.) for each household member
*The social security number of each household member

For more information about OBB services at UCM, or to schedule a Tuesday appointment, call Shannon at (740) 464-7384 or email her at ss335907@ohio.edu.  Also, you can stop by Thursday Supper, served at 5:30 p.m. every Thursday, or Saturday Lunch, served at 1 p.m. every Saturday and ask for Shannon.

“We need to change– ourselves, and our world”

On Wednesday, October 20, Graduate Student Senate, OU Little Monsters, Student Senate, LGBT Center, United Campus Ministry, ALLY, Open Doors and others held a candlelight vigil to remember LGBTQ teens and young adults who have committed suicide because of bullying and harassment. More than 300 people attended, and for those who could not, UCM Campus Minister Evan Young opened his heart and shared a prayer.

“I’m here tonight because my heart is breaking. It’s breaking for Tyler Clementi . . . and Seth Walsh . . . and Asher Brown . . . and Billy Lucas . . . and Raymond Chase. It’s breaking for my son and his friends who were harassed, ridiculed, and spat on at their high school because they used their silence to express their belief in and support of the full and equal humanity of their friends and neighbors who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. It’s breaking for the 9 out of 10 LGBTQ teens who report experiencing harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And it’s breaking for all of us who have built, live in, and maintain a community that professes love and respect yet permits, even encourages, acts of hate, oppression, and alienation.”

“I know your hearts are breaking too. I love that about you. But it’s not enough. We can mourn and grieve, we can wail and beat our breasts, and it won’t stem the tide of hate. We need to change—our selves, and our world. We need to heal this division between what we say we believe, our commitment to equality and compassion, and what we do, our complicity in oppression. For me that change must begin by being put into words; and the words must come from a deep place some call the bottom of one’s heart, others call the soul. I call these words a prayer, and I want to share my prayer with you.”

“The prayer of my breaking heart is that the next time we gather, it be in celebration of the transformation we have wrought, the transformation of our community into a place where our shared belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person is embodied in the systems and structures we build. A place where the way we teach our children and each other reflects our unshakeable commitment to the full equality of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, class, and all the other fake lines we draw to make a ‘them’ when we know there is only ‘us.’ A place where no one of us can stand by and do nothing when we witness harassment, bullying, and oppression, because the lesson of our common worth has been fed to us from birth, and reinforced by everything we see our parents, families, friends and neighbors do. A place where, when fate brings suffering to one of us, all the others of us simply cannot stay at rest, but must move to comfort and affirm and heal. My dear departed friend Art Gish told me that prayer is dangerous—because when you pray you risk changing yourself. So I pray from the bottom of my breaking heart that my prayer be the most dangerous kind, that my self be changed, that you who hear me be changed, and that our change bring forth change in the ones around us, the world around us, on and on out into the night, so that no hearts need break and no lives need be lost again. May it be so; may we make it so.”

November’s just around the bend!

The leaves may be falling and the days may be getting colder, but that doesn’t mean fall quarter is over just yet! That’s right, UCM still has two important events just around the bend!

On November 6 at 6:00 p.m. we’ll be having our annual benefit auction at the Athens Community Center on East State Street. Reservations are required, and tickets are a sliding scale of only $25 – $100 ($15 for students and senior citizens). Three week-long vacations will be auctioned off as well as jewelry, gift certificates, artwork, etc. Check out the event on facebook, and email Melissa Wales at ucmathens@frognet.net to make your reservation today!

Then, on November 10 at 7:30 p.m. Interfaith Youth Core will be holding the “What if? Speak in” in the Friends of the Library Room (Alden 319). We will have a guided discussion about the common value of service in various religious traditions, and information about how to get involved in our winter quarter service project will be provided. More information can be found on the event page.

By supporting UCM, you’re helping engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, work for social justice and community service guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.

UCM Annual Benefit Auction

On Saturday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m. UCM will be hosting its Annual Benefit Auction. Join us for our most important fundraiser of the year! The event returns to the Athens Community Center and will feature both a silent and live auction (conducted by Shamrock Auction Service), live musical entertainment provided by Tom Daniels on bass and Lynn Sullivan on keyboards, and heavy appetizers provided by local restaurants and chefs including Casa Nueva, Avalanche Pizza, Jonathan Leal (Milo’s Whole World), and others. We will have assorted beverages and you may also bring your own. (Please note this will not be a sit-down dinner as it has been in the past). Featured items include week-long stays at a cabin in Vermont, a condo on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and a one bedroom beach house on the Outer Banks, as well as jewelry, artwork, gift certificates and items from local businesses.

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

Email ucm@frognet.net to make your reservations now.

Pie Bake Off Success!

This past Sunday, UCM hosted its 1st Annual Pie Bake Off, and it was a huge success! We had 22 pie entries, over 50 people attended, and we raised more than $350 (proceeds to benefit UCM). We’d like to thank all of those who showed support in the event, especially those that baked pies. Willy Alexy, Cyndy Burnett, Richard Daily, Jorah Grady, Chelsea Hindenach and Jonah Daw, Jan Keenan, Betsy Kunstel,Richard Dale Otto, Matt Peterson, Diana Pickett, Rebecca Pickett, Chris Riddle, Tina Thacker, Robin Webb, Lois Whealey, and Evan Young, we couldn’t have done it without you!