We all want to hear some good news, right? Well here goes:
Since I have come back from Austria (a three week visit with my brother), I have seen some amazing happenings within our own church, UCCA, and in the congregations of our friends.
First the newest news: The Yasir family is coming for lunch after our worship service on Sunday, October 22. This is only two Sunday's away.
Please make an effort to greet them. They are very excited about visiting us and telling us about their life since we last saw them.
If you can bring some food please sign-up here:
1. ACTION MEETING
On September 28th, we were part of a group of 15 plus churches who came together after many weeks of training and work, to be a part of our new (as yet nameless) organization's ACTION in Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties. We wanted to see if we could bring together enough "People Power" to be effective for, if and when we need to work with or against the "People in Power."
We had hoped to reach our goal of 250 attendees - and we did that!! PLUS: we got 170 more than that - for a grand total of 420 people showing up on a Thursday evening for a group without a name. Those of you who attended this meeting will remember how well this "Action" was organized and built up to a better and better place as the evening went on! We got 100 plus people sign up to go to workshops to become Community Organizers and to help us build up the Action Group and its finances so that this group will be effective over the long haul!
Pastor Ryan deserves a huge amount of credit for this! He was the one who persuaded all the pastors and imams of seventeen regional faith groups to become Community Organizing instruments in their congregations. He also helped gave encouragement to move forward. He has been instrumental in keeping us on track, getting us a teacher from IAF, taking us to an Action in other areas to show us how powerful this organizing can be or become. Then, he was more or less the main person for getting this Action group organized for September 28th's set up and working out!! Many thanks from all who were there, and to Ryan - We are blessed to have you be our pastor!!
Of course, we must not forget all the members of the churches, including ours, who gave so much time and effort to actually get it off the ground. Thank you, thank you, thank you ALL!!
The best news for all who worked so hard to make this happen is that we got it right and that we showed that we can bring together a lot of people to do great work in our region. We are now officially an IAF group in this region!!
Still working on a name.... So far the most popular name is AACT: Anne Arundel Coming Together. But there still time to find the appropriate name. If you have any suggestions, please contact Ryan, Monica or Hildy.
2. Annapolis Immigration Justice Network
The Annapolis Sanctuary Network was renamed the Annapolis Immigration Justice Network to keep the churches who belong to the Network from having trouble because of the use of the word Sanctuary. The Network has been integrated into the Annapolis Immigration Justice Board and is now under the UCCA umbrella in the same way as our Cornerstone Ministry. We hope to keep working to help make this a successful endeavor under the leadership of Suzanne Martin and the members of various churches and organizations, who are now Board Members. Monica and Hildy are co-treasurers. Please help to support this work if you feel called to do so. We do need You!
3. Beach Side Picnic for Immigrant Children and Parents.
Saturday, October 7th, some of our newest members, Kathy McFadden and Lora and Jake Bleacher organized the best Beach Party I've ever been to! Our church invited the Yasir family and three other Immigrant families from South America to come for a fun afternoon at the Hillsmere beach. There were about 55 people - half children and half adults. We had great BBQ hamburgers and hot dogs, halal chicken for the Yasir family and ALL the fixings that go with a fun picnic.
All the kids including Yasir's youngest daughter, who is 2 1/2 years old had a blast with the Rope pull and the sack hop. Did you ever see a 2 1/2-year-old sack-hop about half a field length behind the other children, but very happily persistent? It was hilarious and she got a big hand for her efforts. She will grow up your best American Girl - not afraid of anything.... There was volleyball, a corn hole toss game and, of course, playing in the sand and water at the beach. Every child was wet and needed to change clothes before getting into the car to go home.
The best part was seeing everyone, children and adults, interacting, talking with each other, getting to know one another and building relationships and trust!
Thanks to all who put this Fun Beach Party together and all those who brought and cooked the hotdogs and hamburgers and brought games to make this such a fun event!! We are thinking about a party at Quiet Waters Skating Rink in January! Anyone ready for more fun??
Had enough good news? Please join us in further Missions work. We can use all the help you can give. Please call Hildy, (443) 603-8787.