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.