Minutes of the Social Action Committee Meeting, March 13, 2016

Minutes of Social Action Committee Meeting March 13th 2016
Next Meeting May 1st 12-1 Nichols

Family Promise No one from the Family Promise group was able to attend, but the next week that we have committed to is Aug. 21st to 28th. There was a lot of discussion about how the experience could be improved the next time. It was acknowledged that making this work is not easy and that for a first effort it was a great success. A number of suggestions were offered by the group and Susan Morrison said she would transmit them to the principals. It would be helpful to our guests to post WIFI information. We should send a member of our group to the previous site and get menu requests, and allergy information the week in advance. For our own benefit we should be sure we know how to operate the thermostats in each room, and presumably info about fans in the summer. It would be helpful to have a meeting of all the volunteers a week in advance to coordinate menus and duties and timing of different roles. Overnighters need to know when to arrive. Cooks need to have their food used and leftovers need to be donated to the Salem Mission e.g. It would be important next time to make sure that volunteers from other churches get called and included if they have offered their services as cooks etc.
Seventh Principle Linda reported that she had not pursued the idea of solar panels on the church roof with the Historic District Commission but she will. It may be difficult to find an area that is not facing a road but we do not know that yet. It is apparently possible to install the panels thru a leasing company but the church would not get as much benefit financially as if it was able to own the panels. Jeff Cohen could supply more information about this.
Racism Susan reported that the Jan. 31st event based on the book Waking up White by Debbie Erving was a great success. It would have been better if her dialogue partner Shay Stewart-Bouley who is the Executive Director of CommunityChange Inc. and anti racist organization had been there. Nonetheless it had started the ball rolling with the police (members of the Racial Justice Team plan to meet with the Chief) and teachers at the HS who would like to incorporate this information into their curricula. The Ministerial Association is considering the idea of offering an Interfaith Book Group on the theme of racial awareness to Marblehead congregations
Nepal Disaster Response- Rehab Nepal, Inc. Jack and Jean reported that Trish continues to work hard on the Nepal project and so far has raised $4.600. She is seeking much larger sums from corporations and has sent many letters to charities and churches. The UUA has been approached. There is a donate button on the web page and monies will go to an account at the National Grand Bank in addition to donations that can be mailed to the business address.
UUJME Carolyn reported that there had been enough signatures collected nationally to get the BDS resolution placed on the agenda of the Business Meeting at GA. The next goal is to recontact all the churches who sent petitions in to the UUA in the first place, and get them to appoint delegates to GA who will vote for divestment. There will likely be education offered to delegates and she listed many events being planned over the next months to prepare. She also pointed to a UUMass Action Newsletter that UUJME had signed onto that lists those efforts, but also other action efforts being carried out by the denomination. Among those projects was one on the Environment and another on Mass Incarceration which we should perhaps get involved with. For their newsletter, sign up here http://www.uumassaction.org/sign-up-for-email/.
Meetinghouse Series Jay reported that his effort to book Lori Erlich is still in need of focus, and people suggested talking about the legislative process would be great. April 13th Wed. at 7PM Judith Black will offer her storytelling piece for the Tricentennial Celebration. May 25th there will be a talk about the Female Humane Society. In the future Jay would like to move away from strictly historical programs. For the Fall people suggested another program about Israel Palestine, preferably led by someone with Jewish background, like Alice Rothchild MD or Rabbi Brian Walt.