Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kroger Plus Card to benifit UCM

If you shop at Kroger, you can register United Campus Ministry with your Kroger Plus card online to help benefit UCM. It's free, and this year alone UCM raised $900! Remember, you have to reenroll every April, but UCM will send you a gentle reminder in case you forget. Check your receipts when you shop, United Campus Ministry should be printed at the bottom. Here's how you enroll:

- Register at with your Plus Card
- Click on Sign In/Register and then on Sign up Today in the “New Customer?” box.
- Enter your zip code, click on your favorite store, enter your email address and create a password and agree to terms and conditions
- Check your email inbox for a verification message and click on the link
- Click on My Account and log in with email and password
- Click Edit Kroger Community Rewards info and input your Kroger Plus card number (back of the Plus card)
- Update or confirm your information.
- Enter United Campus Ministry or 81730 To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Holiday Meals

UCM's weekly free meal program will be serving Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 25 at 5:30 p.m. Vegan options will be available.

Saturday lunch will be available on Christmas day, Saturday, December 25, and on New Years day, Saturday, January 1 at 1:00 p.m.

All meals will be served in the lower level of UCM, 18 N College St. Volunteers are needed to help set up, prepare food, cook, share a meal, and clean up.

Contact Shannon to donate or volunteer at

Monday, November 8, 2010

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

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  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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"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 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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

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 to make your reservations now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

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!

Friday, October 1, 2010

1st Annual Pie Bake Off

This Sunday, Oct. 3, United Campus Ministry will host a Pie Bake Off and Tasting from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Community is invited to enter a homemade pie (many different category options including dessert fruit, dessert non-fruity, savory, best crust, best use of local ingredients) to be sampled by attendees. There is a $5 - $20 sliding scale donation to enter a pie or to taste. If you're interested in entering a pie, forms are available at UCM or online. If you're just interested in tasting the pie, show up at UCM (18 N College St.) on Sunday at 2:00 p.m!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Successful Fall Retreat? Check.

On Saturday, September 25, Interfaith Impact members journeyed to the beautiful Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens for a fall retreat. The get-away gave veterans and new members of II a chance to bond during the overnight stay. The adventure started bright and early at 9 a.m., with an opening introduction by Melissa Wales, the Executive Director of United Campus Ministry, on what UCM is all about. Next, the retreaters spent a few hours drawing out "life maps," and sharing their stories with one another. Pizza arrived just in time to hush rumbling stomachs, and the next few hours were spent snacking, laughing, and getting to know fellow II members. In between all of the fun, about an hour was spent discussing various issues that II members felt went against UCM's mission of promoting spiritual growth and social justice. Next, UCM's Campus Minister, Evan Young, arrived with dinner, and after vegetarian casserole and salad, the evening activities began. First, II retreaters paired up for in depth discussions about the days events, including what each thought about the Life Maps exercise. And finally, Evan lead a peaceful meditation that closed the days activities.

Interfaith Impact's fall retreat was a wonderful bonding experience, and we are looking forward to doing it again soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interfaith Impact

UCM's student group Interfaith Impact met for the second time this quarter on Tuesday. Over fifteen people showed up, all of whom were female until one lucky male was pulled in to the discussion. The topic this week was spirituality and sexuality, so you can imagine there wasn't a dull moment the entire hour and a half. The fall retreat is this Saturday and we already have 12 confirmed attendees. We'll be going to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens for an overnight stay to bond with fellow Impact members. Stay tuned to find out how the retreat went, and if possible, stop by our meeting next Tuesday in the UCM lounge at 7:00 p.m.

Also, don't forget UCM's open house is this evening from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Stop by for a bowl of chili and find out how you can get involved at UCM this fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Storm Relief

Interested in getting involved with Athens storm/tornado recovery efforts? Call the Red Cross at 593-5273 or shoot them an email at You can also contact the OU Campus Involvement Center on the 3rd floor of Baker or check out their website .  UCM can receive non-perishable food donations M-F, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the blue bin on the basement stage. Please call ahead if you're bringing a large amount of goods. No volunteer crews are being organized through UCM at this time, but may be in the near future. We'll keep you posted!

Our student group Interfaith Impact meets in the UCM lounge on Tuesday's at 7 p.m. This weeks topic is Spirituality and Sexuality. Students of all or no faith traditions are welcome to join. 

Also, this Thursday, September 23, UCM is holding an open house to kick of the 2010-2011 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.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

United Campus Ministry

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:

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.

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.

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).

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

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

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 or 740-593-7301.

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 or 593-7301 or Steve Domienik at or 593-6877.

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 to make your reservations now. Student volunteers needed.

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

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.

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:



(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 for more information.

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Every second Monday of the month
For more information, contact


8:00 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 for more information.


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.