Hello to all our wonderful families!
I wanted to share with you a story I heard a couple of weeks ago, that President Obama shared at the Leaders Summit on Refugees that took place alongside the U.N. General Assembly. It's a story of a 6-year-old boy from New York named Alex. Alex wrote to the President after seeing a shell-shocked 5-year-old boy, Omran, pulled from wreckage after an airstrick in Aleppo, Syria. Alex wanted President Obama to go get Omran and bring him to Alex's house so they could be brothers.
The White House shared this video:
I was really struck with the fact that Alex, at 6-years-old, really seems to get what we as Unitarian Universalists work for and believe in--radical welcoming. We ask everyone to come in, to both be a part of us and also to change us with who they are.
Hearing this story also made me realize that the public discourse around the refugee crisis and the moral crisis this is creating for many people is making its way into the ears and the consciousness of our children and youth.
I encourage you to learn more about the plight of these refugees and talk to your children so they hear about it from you and not just from others who don't necessarily share our UU values.
To help with this, in RE last week our 4th and 5th graders learned about welcoming refugees and we will continue to teach these lessons to all age groups, in age-appropriate ways.
If you do have this conversation with your family, it may reassure your children and youth to know that their church is doing a lot to help refugees arriving in Indianapolis and there are ways for them to help as well.
This Sunday in the Social Hall after the Service, during our Second Sunday Program, there will be an opportunity to make welcome cards for refugees arriving in Indianapolis from other parts of the world. These cards will be placed in the new homes of refugees arriving here and I am told these cards make a big positive difference in adjusting to this new home. If you're not able to stay and would like to participate, let me know because I will have some card-making-to-go kitsso you can create cards during the week and bring them back next Sunday.
Next Sunday, October 16, in the afternoon, some members of our Young Adults group are going to be helping a refugee family move into their new home. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Leslie Massicotte at email@example.com. Children are welcome! If you would like to make a donation of household items, please click here to view the list of needed items.
Jackie Wyatt and Ed Archer of the UUI Refugee Tutoring Program hold a warm clothing drive each year. They are kicking off this year's clothing drive as they have 21 new Congolese children and adults arriving in Indianapolis who are not prepared for winter. If you would like to purchase clothing, please click here for the list of needed items. Monetary donations are also appreciated. Clothing donation baskets are located in the coat closet in the Social Hall or contact Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jackie at email@example.com.
I hope to see you this Sunday--we have a great day planned!