Tuesday, April 26, 2016's a wrap!


Front and L-R: Jennifer Kelly (Office Manager), Anna-Kaye Rowe, Lacee McKinney, Kathryn Bublitz, Rev. Evan Young (Campus Minister), Melissa Wales (Executive Director), Jackie Duffy, Aleks Tyler, Kelsey Gerard, Josh Baron and Kelli Wanamaker.

It is hard to believe we’re coming up to the end of another academic year. As always, it’s been exhilarating to walk with students through this transitional time in their lives as they grow spiritually, emotionally and professionally.  We are grateful for all that they bring to UCM and for everything they will bring to the wider world when they leave us. Our graduating interns are Josh, Kathryn, Jackie, Carissa, Anna-Kaye and Kelli. We’ll miss you terribly, wish you all the best, and hope you keep in touch!

We kicked off Spring semester with a Candlelight Vigil for the Beloved Community at Galbraith Chapel in the wake of racist vandalism to the Black Lives Matter mural on the graffiti wall, cosponsored by the Multicultural Center. Our continued participation with the OU MLK Celebration Committee included organizing a visit from Rev. Mel Hoover on anti-racism work in faith communities. Evan was asked to lead the opening invocation at the Silent March, and Melissa helped organize a Teach-In, “Black on Campus: Then and Now” with students and alumni including President McDavis (class of ’70).

Winter (and the fact that OU’s spring break is now in early March) continues to thwart our attempts at executing a local spring break service-learning trip. We remain enthusiastic about the curriculum we’ve put together to connect students to local organizations to learn about the challenges and strengths of Appalachia, so we’re exploring the option of moving our Alternative Spring Break to the week between Spring graduation and first Summer Session. Stay tuned!

Our Better Together campaign has been busy with Campus Conversations, tabling and outreach, and planning Stories of Interfaith Bridge-Building with Peggy Gish.  With continued support from Diversity and Inclusion, we sent three students to Interfaith Youth Core Leadership Institute (ILI) in Atlanta and a mini ILI in Dayton. Our final event will be our signature watershed service project with Rural Action’s Monday Creek Restoration Project.

We were pleased to host representatives from one of our long-time partners and supporters the Scioto Valley Presbytery in March, Rev. Peter Galbreath from Nelsonville Presbytery and lay leader Susan Dietz, lay leader from Logan Presbyterian. We shared stories of how their involvement in UCM has impacted them and why UCM remains such an important organization on campus and in the greater Athens community.

We had our Annual Meeting on April 20 with lay leaders from our 5 local supporting congregations: Athens Friends Meeting, Christ Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens and elected our 2016-17 Executive Officers: Kellea Tibbs (Chair), David Descutner (Vice Chair), Kaytlin Dawes (Treasurer) and Amanda Hobson (Secretary). We are grateful for how the community supports us and are looking forward to growing together!


Thursday, April 14, 2016




April 20, 2016, 5pm - 7pm
18 N. College St.

Join UCM Staff, Board and Interns in wrapping up another great year of campus ministry at Ohio University! 

We will present the 2016-17 Board Officers, bid farewell to outgoing Board members and welcome incoming members. 

We will also hear from lay leaders from our supporting congregations. 

Refreshments will be provided. All are welcome!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 Social Justice Awards


Join us in honoring the following community and student activists and organizations:



LOIS WHEALEY will receive the Kuhre Griesinger Lifetime Award.

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!