Social Justice, Community and Environmental Action

 

Natick is United

Natick is United is a network of a variety of groups in Natick interested in promoting an atmosphere of welcome and inclusiveness..  There are many opportunities to get involved from flying a rainbow peace flag at your home to attending an educational event to showing up for a peace rally on the common.  Keep your ear to the ground and watch for more information about what this group is planning. Visit Natickisunited.org

 

 

Sing One Song to End Gun Violence

September 24th at 10:30 AM

Join with faith communities and other groups across the country to set a world record of the number of people singing exactly the same song on the same day to draw attention to the increasing threat of gun violence.  The song is “Nothing More” by Alternate Routes and our choir plans to get us all singing during worship on September 24th.  Help us turn up the music and turn down the rhetoric that has become a hallmark of the gun debate. 

 

Environmental Action Sunday: Town of Natick Update

Sunday, October 1 @ Noon

How “Green” is the Town of Natick? We know there have been many initiatives underway  (including the distribution of rain barrels to residents this spring). Join Jillian Wilson-Martin, Natick’s Sustainability Coordinator, to learn about the Town’s current projects and plans, including: the new curbside textile collection program; solar virtual net metering; a study on the local social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change; town-wide sustainability metrics and more! Jillian will also be available to answer your questions and hear your ideas on how we can create a more sustainable future for our town.

 

Natick Open Studios 

Saturday, October 21 and  Sunday, October 22

Now in its 16th year, Natick Artists Open Studios is comprised of over 70 artists who live, work or show in  Natick, and guest artists. You can engage in conversations about the experience of creating art, learn about how it is made, and buy local art  directly from the artists.  On October 15 and 16th you can enjoy the exhibits of many of these talented Natick artists both in our vestry, as well as traveling around town to the many locations where other artists are exhibiting.

 

 

Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation 

Thursday evenings, November 2 & 9 @ 7pm

Our sacred texts are saturated with stories of immigrants and refugees.  What do we hear in those stories? What is our role and responsibility as a congregation in the ongoing national conversation about immigration? In these two sessions we will begin to engage what next steps we can take and how our congregation can be in solidarity with those threatened with detention or deportation and how to respond to the challenge of the 2017 General Synod of the UCC which called each congregation to declare itself an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.  

 

Environmental Action Sunday: Lyme Disease 

Sunday, November 5 @ Noon

The Environmental Protection Agency cites CDC figures showing the nation’s incidence of Lyme disease has more than doubled since 1991 and climate change has contributed to the increase by expanding the range of ticks and changing the predator/prey balance.  Representative David Linsky has advocated for Lyme patients and families for many years. Representative Linsky will be oined by Jean Sniffin, whose nursing career has brought her into contact with patients and options for treatment.

Spring Environmental Action Sundays will focus on Wildlife in Your Backyard  (January 14), the Greenfaith Energy Shield (February 11), and Greening Up Your Garden (April 29).

 

Recognizing and Responding to Microaggression 

Monday, November 6 @ 7 PM 

This workshop seeks to unmask racism in our lives and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry. We will evaluate how microaggression works in our society and how to respond to the complex issue of racism that is so deeply rooted in our cultural experience that we are often unaware of the assumptions that we make.  The facilitator for this workshop is Melissa Patrick of Equity & Expectations.

 

Active Bystander Training: Creating Safety in Contentious Times 

Thursday evening, November 16th @ 7 PM

Have you ever witnessed a situation that feels unfair or wrong or troubling and not known how to intervene?  Active bystandership does not mean aggression against a harm-doer but rather taking responsible action to help people in need, instead of remaining a passive onlooker. A trained facilitator from Quabbin Mediation will lead the workshop and teach participants how to recognize when you are a bystander and how to interrupt harm and generate positive actions by others. You will take away a changed and empowered vision of an individual’s role in creating a supportive and engaged community.

 

Family Promise Hosting Weeks

November 19, April 22, July 22

Family Promise offers hope to homeless families with children through safe transitional shelter, meals and supportive case management as they seek permanent housing.  We open our church building three to four weeks each year to provide a welcoming place for homeless families to stay. Volunteer opportunities range from set-up to shopping to hosting meals to offering activities for the children and overnight stays.

 

Annual Community Opiate Vigil 

Sunday, December 17 @ 6 PM

The prescription pain killer and heroin crisis is upon us and having a devastating effect on young Natick residents and their families. On the Sunday before Christmas, the Natick community will gather again to remember those we have lost and raise awareness about addiction in MetroWest.  The evening will include testimony, inspirational speaking and prayer, as well as an invitation to future action.

 

Environmental Action Sunday: Backyard Wildlife

Sunday, January 14 @ Noon

From birds to mammals and beyond, a wide variety of animals may visit backyards in the Natick area. What animals are you most likely to see in fall and winter? Come find out more about our local wildlife, as well as occasional visitors, and what brings them to our neighborhoods.  Joy Marzolf from Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary will join us following worship for a short workshop about our outdoor friends.

 

MLK Community Celebration

Wilson Middle School Auditorium

Monday, January 15 @ 10 AM

Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and discover how his legacy continues to shape our community and empower our young people to practice justice and compassion for all people. Guest speakers and youth winners of the MLK Essay competition will present.  All are welcome to participate in a brief service project following the celebration!

 

Realms of Racism Workshop: Level II Training

Friday evening & Saturday (Date TBD in the spring)

This two-day workshop seeks to create a common language around racism, to unmask racism in our lives, and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry.  We will explore the “Inclusivity Spectrum” and what is required to make the shift from “Tolerance to Solidarity and Critique” so that we are better able to respond to the complex issue of racism so deeply rooted in our cultural experience that we are often unaware of the assumptions that we make.  

 

Environmental Action Sunday: Greenfaith Energy Shield 

Sunday, February 11 @ Noon

Partnering with GreenFaith whose mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership, we will kick-off a series of highly cost-effective measures for households as well as for our church building that are designed to reduce energy use and our carbon footprint by 20% or more.

 

February Animal Tracking at Broadmoor in South Natick

Date to be determined

Winter is a great time to look for signs of animals as they forage for food and shelter at Broadmoor during the cold winter months. Learn from naturalist, Joy Marzolf to identify the tracks, chews, scat, burrows and other clues left by many creatures including deer, fisher and coyote. Enjoy a guided walk as we search for signs of our local winter wildlife. 

 

Environmental Action Sunday: Greening Up Your Garden

Sunday, April 29 @ Noon