Social Justice Updates

Rev. Scott McNeill, members of our congregation, and others meet with Sen. Donnelly’s staff in Indianapolis, February 27, 2017

Social Justice Updates:

An archive of “Seeking. Building. Changing.” emails is at the bottom of this page.


Rob Boston – Defending Our Values in Difficult Times

March 31 at 7:15 p.m.

Join us for an evening with the Director of Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. This is the latest in the UU Chalice Lecture Series; the event on Friday, March 31 begins at 7:15 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. (no childcare)


Indiana Senate Bill 309 to be Voted on Soon — Rally on April 1

From our Green Sanctuary Task Force:  Save Indiana Solar Rally Saturday, April 1 at 12 noon at the Statehouse

SB 309, the bill that kills net metering for solar owners, passed out of the Indiana House Utilities Committee this week.  It could be voted on by the full House as early as  Monday.  If it becomes law, this will have devastating effects on rooftop solar in Indiana.  More info at

Join us for the Save #IndianaSolar Rally at Noon, April 1st on the South Steps of the Statehouse.  Send email to  if you want to carpool from Bloomington. Call your state representative, and ask others to do the same.  –Stephanie Kimball


Oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

Help Reach 8 Key U.S. Senators, including Joe Donnelly

There is a dangerous bill now in Congress called “Concealed Carry Reciprocity.”  Currently each state sets its own requirements for carrying concealed loaded guns in public.  Some states require firearms training and local police authorization before obtaining a concealed carry permit. Alarmingly, 12 states do not require any permit or training for the legal carrying of a handgun, either loaded or unloaded, openly or concealed.

If this law passes, an armed person from a state with no gun license requirements and no concealed carry permit requirements would be within the law to carry a loaded gun into any other state, overriding that state’s laws.

Law enforcement overwhelmingly opposes this legislation. It will be difficult for police to know whether a person carrying a handgun has been properly vetted in their home state.

This bill is the NRA’s number-one priority. The gun lobby has been trying to pass reciprocity legislation for over two decadesThey are trying again.

There are 8 senators who are particularly important in efforts to defeat this bill. These are Democrats who voted for a similar bill in 2013.

Your Help Is Needed!

Please help get voters from these seven states (WV, VA, MT, IN, MO, ND, NM) to call their U.S. Senators listed below and ask them to vote AGAINST the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill.

West Virginia (D)       Joe Manchin  304-342-5855 or 202-224-395

Montana          (D)       Jon Tester (406) 252-0550 or (202) 224-2644

New Mexico   (D)       Martin Heinrich 202-224-5521 or (575) 523-6561

(D)       Tom Udall (202) 224-6621 or (505) 346-6791

North Dakota  (D)       Heidi Heitkamp  (202) 224-2043

Indiana            (D)       Donnelly (202) 224-4814  or (812) 425-5813

Missouri          (D)       Claire McCaskill (573) 651-0964 or (202) 224-6154

Virginia           (D)       Mark Warner  (202) 224 2023

You can also help in this way:

Sign up to join the Voter Action Team for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s “Gun Sense Action Network”.  This will allow you to contact voters in these key states through an automated system.  To sign up for the Gun Sense Action Network, please use the following link:

There are training sessions available to people making these calls for the first time, and there is always a script available to use while making the calls.

We need your help RIGHT NOW to defeat this dangerous legislation! Thank you!


Food Help Needed for Interfaith Habitat Build March 31, April 1, and April 2

Habitat Task Force needs food for lunches and site hosts for the frame-up days of March 31, April 1 and 2. Email Barb Berggoetz for more information or see the following for details:


Let Us Persist: A Social Justice Concert Inspired by Nasty Women and Friends

April 2 at 6:00 p.m.

Social Justice Concert here in our Meeting Room on Sunday, April 2, hosted by UU Reproductive Task Force – Let Us Persist: A Concert inspired by Nasty Women and Friends. Doors Open at 5:00 p.m. Concert Begins at 6:00 p.m.! Local musicians, visual artists, speakers, dancers, and social activists will come together for a collaborative concert. For more information, please contact Kim Carballo or Carol Marks The concert is free, but donations to support social justice work are welcome: cash, canned goods, or disposable diapers. There will be food trucks and kid-friendly activities at this event, but no childcare.

Shalom Community Center Needs Volunteers

Our Homelessness Task Force reminds us that Shalom Community Center Needs Volunteers.
As the academic year comes to an end, Shalom is losing a wealth of volunteer support with students departing and vacation season beginning.

Join the Center for the Study of Global Change at the

Art & Refugees Symposium

April 6th

Location: Indiana University (Bloomington) Global & International Studies Building Room 1060 and First Thursdays Festival at the Showalter Art Plaza

Details: Join us for a day of performances, academic discussion panels, and a powerful photography exhibit, as we investigate the complex intersection of art and refugees. Symposium participants will explore the refugee situation alongside an array of artistic expressions, as well as the artists, sociopolitical contexts, analytic frameworks, and global trends from which art about refugees is created and defined.

For more information:

The symposium is free to attend and all are welcome! There will be ample time for discussion during all events.

8:30 AM – Registration

9:00 – Introductions

9:15 AM-10:30 – Panel 1: Perspectives on the Global Refugee Regime

10:45-12:15 PM – Panel 2: Refugees, Art, and Rethinking Geographies

1:45-3:15 PM – Panel 3: Displacement, Stories, and Communities

3:30 PM – Multi-media performance: Finding Home – Shine the Light

5:00 PM – Photography exhibit by Charlotte Schmitz and Oud performance by Rahim AlHaj at the First Thursdays Festival on the Showalter Art Plaza

Monroe County United Ministries Spring Luncheon

April 30

Hear about emergency services and establishing of second child care facility. Contact Jackie Hall for tickets to this Sunday, April 30 event.


Get Your Senators and Representative Contact Information Into Your Phone (posted 2/15/17)

From Jackie Hall, SJ Circle Chair:

If your senators and reps aren’t saved in your phone yet, text your zip code to 520-200-2223. You’ll get a text back IMMEDIATELY with everyone’s contact info.


Urge Senator Donnelly to Hold a Town Hall Meeting in Bloomington (posted 2/15/17)

From David Keppel, Just Peace:

This week, we encourage you to sign and share this petition requesting Senator Joe Donnelly hold a town hall in Bloomington, Indiana. Unitarian Universalism has long advocated for the use of the democratic process, with town hall discussions a mainstay of our congregations and communities. Many of our members and friends have stayed in touch with Senator Donnelly’s office in the past; we encourage you to continue to call and voice your support and concerns about our world. You can find more information (including scripts to use, if you’re feeling nervous) about how to reach Senator Donnelly and other government officials at


Seeking. Building. Changing. email archive:

March 16, 2017

March 8, 2017

March 2, 2017

February 22, 2017

February 15, 2017