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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Which Lives Matter?

Recently at Ohio University, a graffiti wall that had been painted by our Black Student Union with the message "Black Lives Matter" was painted over with a different kind of message, which you can see here. The result has been a resurgence of racial tension, an intensification of discourse around race, and renewed demands that university administrators take action to promote an inclusive community on the campus and in the town.
Predictably, there have been backlash-y reactions to it that highlight the continuing problem of racism in this country (as for example here--although if the "f" word bothers you, this will be a risky click). Much of the backlash revolves around the question, "but don't ALL lives matter?" To help unpack this conundrum, our campus minister, Rev. Evan Young, offered this explication:

I'm a Unitarian Universalist. And the first principle of Unitarian Universalism is that we "affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person." So yes, all lives matter. And Unitarian Universalism as a faith community has embraced the‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement, encouraging individuals and congregations to stand with people of color against the systemic and systematic oppression visited on black people in our society. Our actions speak most clearly about what we as a people believe--and our actions as a nation and a society have been saying, for centuries, that black lives matter less. Because I believe that all lives matter, and because I have seen and recognized that our society treats black lives as somehow less valuable, less worthy of respect and equal protection, I must as a person of faith stand with the oppressed, and I must proclaim with them that black lives matter. That's what justice looks like; that's what a just community would do in the face of such injustice. So when people say "black lives matter," the only response I believe can be made with honesty and integrity is "Yes, they do. Let's start acting that way."

At UCM, we stand with those who continue to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. And we commit ourselves to building a community, a culture, and a world in which we all act that way.
 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Old House



The red brick house at 18 N. College St. has been the home to dynamic campus ministry at Ohio University since it was donated to the Westminster Foundation in 1951.  It’s within these walls that courageous and dedicated clergy, staff, community activists and students have fomented resistance to oppressive forces, agitation for social justice and solutions to community problems for almost 65 years. Here we have counseled Vietnam draft resisters, women with unplanned pregnancies prior to Roe v. Wade, organized for equality and justice for women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and community members, and resisted war and violence of any kind. Here we have sown the seeds for area organizations like My Sister’s Place, Athens AIDS Task Force and the Southeast Ohio Foodbank. For our students, UCM has been their home in Athens – a place to come to feel supported and encouraged to live out their faith; to question and grow and know they’re supported and loved along the way; to flop down on the couch for a quick nap or grab coffee in the basement with another intern.

This house has taken good care of us and we must take care of it. In the past 2 years alone, we have invested nearly $60,000 in building repairs and updates including a new roof, gutters and drain spouts; repairs to ramp and handrails; extensive work to address drainage problems in the basement; and removal of moldy paneling and plaster walls. If that wasn’t enough, we had an unexpected main waterline break this past February deep freeze that required expensive repairs.

Since most of these projects required immediate attention, grant funding was usually not an option (other than the front basement door and railings – thanks Athens Foundation!) So we have had to dig deep into our pockets to ensure that this old house is safe and sound for all who call it home. If you love our old house like we do, and would like to help us offset some of these expenses, please consider a donation today! You can set up PayPal to be an ongoing sustaining donation or make a one time donation on our website or check.

Help us ensure that 18 N. College Street is home for interfaith, progressive campus ministry for years to come! Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2015

UCM Annual Board and Staff Retreat at the beautiful Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens! (Aug. 2015)
(First row, L-R) Anna-Kaye Rowe (social media intern), Kathryn Bublitz (Social Work intern), Kelsey Gerard (Community Service intern), Kelli Wanamaker (Community Service intern), Jackie Duffy (Social Work Inter), Melissa Wales (Executive Director), Amanda Hobson (Board Secretary), Katie Dawes (Board Member), Miranda "Lacee" McKinney (Program Intern), Anne Huddleston (Board Member), Josh Baron (Community Service Intern), Rev. Evan Young (Campus Minister), Andrew Stuart (Board Treasurer), Laura Harrison (Board Member), Sarah Jenkins (Board Member), Josh Bodnar (Board Member), Kellea Tibbs (Board Chair), David Descutner (Board Vice Chair) and Tyler Barton (Board Member)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Thank you, Casa Nueva for choosing United Campus Ministry as the recipient of customer tips for the month of July! Go to Casa today, and every day this month, and tip generously! You'll enjoy a delicious, locally-sourced meal AND contribute to UCM's work and mission! 



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting


You are invited….

United Campus Ministry’s
Annual Meeting 2015

Wednesday, April 15
5:00pm – 7:00pm
ArtsWest 132 W. State Street

Meet the current Board of Directors 

including the newly elected 2015-16 Executive Officers, 

staff and interns.

Celebrate our Sustainer Circle and donors.

Panel conversation on current and future accomplishments including 

this year’s expansion of the Campus Minister position!

Refreshments provided.

We look forward to seeing you!



Friday, December 12, 2014








Campus Minister Evan Young facilitating interfaith reflection and dialogue with students after service project with Monday Creek Restoration Project in New Straitsville.


Dear Friends of UCM,

For as long as I've served here at UCM, I have also served other organizations--either as the part-time minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, or as an intern minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta. And while I've loved my involvement with congregational ministry, while I treasure all I've experienced and learned in those settings, I also have to acknowledge that this bi-vocational path I've been on comes with a cost I'm simply no longer willing to pay.

 It's been a trying, demanding, challenging semester at Ohio University, a semester that's called me to rooms and to tables and to conversations I've needed to be in, and where others have needed me. Many of you know about Megan Marzec, Student Senate, the "blood bucket" video, and the ensuing conversation on campus about Israel, Palestine, and justice. (For those who don't, I wrote a blog post about it for the Interfaith Youth Core--read it at www.ifyc.org/content/cultivate-peace.) Many of you probably remember the People's Climate March in New York City, and you might know that I went there with a busload of students UCM helped to organize. Most of you know what's going on now about Mike Brown and Ferguson and Eric Garner and John Crawford and Tamir Rice and all the seemingly endless examples that are showing us how entrenched institutional racism continues to be, and some of you know how students on this campus are coming together to respond to that.

As a campus minister, especially one serving a progressive interfaith campus ministry like UCM, I'm called to show up and to speak out at times like these. And I have. At the same time I'm called to be there for our interns, to be there for the people who come to Thursday Supper and Saturday Lunch, to be there for students who come to us for help with their own personal challenges and crises as well as their social justice concerns. And I'm called to work with and be in relationship with university faculty, staff, and administrators as we work together to shape the future of this institution. It's a full-time job at minimum--and, when I'm doing it the way I'm called, much more than that.

But I'm only a half-time campus minister. With another part-time ministry, with its own full slate of committee meetings, staff reports, pastoral care concerns, and administrative tasks. With its own expectations about which conferences I should attend, what organizations I should join, and how I should lead. Those expectations are legitimate and important and deserve everything I can give them. And, actually, more than I can give.

So, in this Christmas season, I have a wish. And UCM has a wish. And we're bringing that wish to you, because you can help.

My wish is to be, for once, ONE THING. I want to be a campus minister, through and through, and I want to serve United Campus Ministry with everything I have to give. Over the nine years I've been here, it's become absolutely clear to me that this is what I'm for, this is where I'm meant to be, doing this. So when my intern ministry ends on June 1, 2015, my wish is to be UCM's full-time campus minister.

UCM's wish, in this challenging and demanding time, is to be even more the campus ministry Ohio University needs. To continue to be at the forefront of work for social justice, but to have an even louder voice, an even greater impact, to change even more students through our interfaith bridge-building and community service work. And this semester more than ever, it's become absolutely clear that a key piece of our being more is, well, having more--more time, more presence, more service--of our campus minister.

Which brings us to you. Because embracing this larger vision of UCM is a leap of faith we need you to take with us. I've been blessed to be able to do this work because you've believed in the mission and ministry of UCM. Now, when I'm about to be able to commit even more to this work, and when UCM is committed to being and becoming more the ministry that's needed here, we need more--more of you (meaning more donors), and more from you (meaning more financial support from each of you).

You have it in your power to grant these wishes. You received this letter because you believe in what UCM does. So think about how much you'd believe in UCM doing more—and give accordingly. And then, share this letter, and your own stories and wishes about UCM, with someone you know who doesn't know about us. Help them to connect with us and with our work, and give them the opportunity to join us on this leap of faith.  And remember—UCM is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible and will do more than simply finance operating, facilities, and programming expenses. They'll help make our wishes come true.

 With warm Season's Greetings from the whole UCM family, and with all best wishes for the New Year--

Rev. Evan Young, Campus Minister





Thursday, October 16, 2014

UCM ANNUAL BENEFIT AUCTION - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8





THE LOCAL GIRLS
CALLIOPE FEMINIST CHOIR

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MOST IMPORTANT ANNUAL FUNDRAISER!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 6PM
ATHENS COMMUNITY CENTER, 701 E. STATE STREET
LIVE AUCTION BY SHAMROCK AUCTION SERVICE!
SPECIAL MUSIC BY THE LOCAL GIRLS AND CALLIOPE FEMINIST CHOIR! 
LOCAL CRAFT BEER BY JACKIE O'S PUB AND BREWERY
APPETIZERS BY AVALANCHE PIZZA, CASA NUEVA, PURPLE CHOPSTIX 
 AND VINO DE MILO!
RSVP AT jennifer@ucmathens.org
$25 - $100 (sliding scale donation) $15 (student/low income)


The UCM Benefit Auction is generously sponsored by the following businesses and individuals: The Athens Real Estate Company, Carpenter & Associates, Cetide, Jeffrey D. Chaddock, Judith Daso, The Farmacy, Mara Giglio, Rev. Jan Griesinger, Laura Harrison and Christy Zempter, Hocking Valley Bank, David LaPalombara & Robin Webb, Mac’s Thrifty Shop, Vicki Marshall, Dick & Judy McGinn, Frank & Lorraine Myers, MS. Accounting & Taxes, Inc., Peggy Pruitt, Rich Gardens Organic Farm, Carole Schloss, Snider, Full and Stroh, Sarah Webb & Chad Burkett, Wendy Porter Financial Services and Zoe Fine Dining. You can add your name to this impressive list!