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President's Corner

Photo: Ruth Micklem
   by Ruth Micklem

Greetings to all and welcome 2019! What a year we have had at UUFR-VA - welcoming our very first UUFR-VA minister, Dr. Susan Moseley, breaking ground on our expanded building and welcoming many new faces and friends to our sacred space. We have indeed, collectively, created a loving and welcoming space for all who enter here.

I had the opportunity, at our Sunday Service a couple of weeks ago, to talk about this past year and how we can continue our journey of honoring the inherent worth and dignity of every person and taking justice equality and compassion in all of our human relations beyond our church walls and into our community. Having safe and sacred space to gather, revitalize, restore and reenergize is an important aspect of the work we have yet to do. We are blessed and grateful to those who have made this possible – for creating a warm and welcoming shelter is necessary for all living creatures and especially us humans.

In the upcoming year we will have the opportunity to gather together and utilize our space to dig deeper into our understanding of injustice and in particular, racial injustice, as we come together to learn about the Richmond Pledge to End Racism. I had the opportunity to learn about some of the work of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Richmond after attending our Tidewater Cluster meeting this past year and hearing about the Richmond Pledge to End Racism, a learning project and commitment to address racism in the Richmond community. After learning about the incredible work these church members were doing, I decided to follow up and attend the workshops that were being offered. I knew immediately that this was the type of learning opportunity we needed to offer to our members and friends here at UUFR-VA. I also believe this is a program that we can offer and spread throughout the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. This is a program that can inform and transform communities and expand our understanding of the impact and very negative consequences of white supremacy in our nation.

The workshops addressed important topics like recognition of bias and how we all have them, understanding the lingering impact of Jim Crow, how well intended white folks uphold racism through micro aggressions and color-blindness; the impact of systems of mass incarceration on communities of color. We also discussed the origins of Black Lives Matter and what this movement stands for. How did this movement evolve and how can white folks support it? We practiced and role played how to address racist remarks and actions with our white friends and family members; amongst many other important topics related to racial injustice. We ended the series of workshops by committing to continue our journey to end racism.

This year, UUFR-VA will be training facilitators and offering workshops based on the Richmond Pledge to End Racism. This is one step in our journey to dismantle a system of white supremacy, a system whose very structures are counter to our Unitarian Universalist Principles and a system that is gasping for breath and holding on tightly for it fears the unknown. We have the opportunity to be active participants in creating a more loving and supportive world for all.

I hope each and every one of you will join me, Susan and the Leadership of the UUFR-VA in our efforts to dig deeper, expand our consciousness and roll up our sleeves to do the collective work of ending systems that oppress some, benefit others, and negatively impact our democratic process. Lend your energies to our endeavors to Side with Love and live out our Unitarian Universalist principles every day and in all the spaces we enter.

If you are interested in learning more about our UUFR-VA Pledge to End Racism, please email me at ruthmicklem@gmail.com. Wishing everyone safe and joyous New Year!

In Peace,
  -Ruth

UUFR-VA By-Laws

Click Here for Dec. 11, 2011 Revision

UUFR-VA Pastor


UUFR-VA Board of Stewards—2019

President Ruth Micklem
Vice President Bill Gimpel
Past Pres. Dave Dustin
Programs Chair Diana Jamison
Membership Chair Janet Hemming
Treasurer Lynn Langley
Secretary Vicky Kinsel

Photo: The Board at Work
2012 Board of Stewards

Board of Trustees

Barbara Haynes
Janet Hemming
Tom Kinney

Leadership Development

Dave Dustin
Kristi VanAudenhove
Hank Roden

Congregational Committee Chairs

Building and Grounds:   Sharon Coulter
Community Service
& Outreach:
  Pam Collins
Finance:   Tom Kinney
Library:   Chris Gimpel
Publicity:   Susan Johnson
Social Justice:   Vacant
UU For Kids:   Kristi VanAudenhove
Vision and Planning:   Tom Kinney

Music Coordinator:   Hank Stupi
Newsletter Editor:   Bob Prescott
Webmaster:   Bob Prescott

Interest Group Coordinators

"Imagine That!” Art Guild:   Shirley Kinney
Phood and Philosophy:   Celane Roden
"River Readers” Book Discussion Group:   Elaine Weekley