Social Justice, Community and Environmental Action

Environmental Action Sunday:

Renewable Natick

Sunday, October 7 @ Noon

Imagine our town powered by sun and wind! Renewable Natick is a citizen led grassroots effort to increase Natick’suse of renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency, which will lower our community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Come learn more about this local initiative! A light lunch will be served.

 

Get out the Vote!

Thursday, October 10 @ 7PM

There has never been a more critical election for LGBT rights in our Commonwealth. Transgender people are counting on your vote in November to uphold non-discrimination protections this year. Join us on October 10th to learn more about the Massachusetts Ballot Question #3. We will be joined by members of the transgender community, as well as Representative David Linsky, who will provide context on what the repeal of public accommodations access would mean for our state.

 

Faithful Witness at the Border

Sunday, October 14 @ noon

with Myriam Jennings & Marge Roberson

Hear about the efforts of some of our congregation who traveled in August to a border crossing between Mexico andArizona to witness first hand the experiences of familiesseeking asylum at our border. A light lunch will be served.

 

 

Dialogues on the Refugee Crisis

Tuesday evenings @ 7 PM Five-week session beginning October 2

with Vicky Guest, Marge Roberson & Myriam Jennings

It’s not news to anyone that we are living in a time of conflict, division and disagreement. We are becoming people who can’t seem to find our way out of the “us vs.them” pit of divisiveness. Yet our faith story is rooted in journeys of refugees from Abraham and Sarah to Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Because of these stories, people of faith are uniquely equipped to bring healing, hope and wholeness to a hurting world. This small group study will provide participants with a set of tools to create bridge building conversations rather than explosive arguments. Then we’ll take all of that into our jobs, and homes and Thanksgiving dinners, and offer an alternativeto conflict and division. We’ll offer dialogues. Cost ofthe book is $10.

 

Natick Open Studios

Saturday, October 20, and Sunday, October 21

Now in its 18th year, Natick Artists Open Studios is comprised of over 70 artists who live, work or show in Natick, as well as 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 20th & 21st 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 their work.

 

Family Promise Metrowest Celebrates 10 Years

Sunday, October 28 @ Noon

Family Promise has been providing temporary shelter for families in the MetroWest area for 10 years. Our church welcomes families three times a year alongside the large volunteer team made up of 19 host and 31 supporting congregations. Congregations provide these families a safe place to gather for meals and hospitality, as well as put their head down at night. On October 28th our coffeehour will move around the corner to 6 Mulligan Street, because we have been invited to tour the new Family Promise Metrowest Day Center. Come see what the buzz is all about!

 

Environmental Action Sunday:

The Climate Reality Project / An Inconvenient Sequel

Sunday, November 4 @ noon

with Vicky Guest

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that human activity is driving a climate crisis all across the Earth. We know it’s happening, and we know why. Hear an update from Vicky Guest on the Climate Reality Project, with clips from Al Gore’s recent movie, An Inconvenient Sequel. A light lunch will be served.

 

Hot Enough for You?

First Tuesday of the month @ 7PM beginning November 6 

with Vicky Guest & Bill Ramage, 

Monthly book discussion of Climate Church, Climate Word: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, a new resource for congregations on the climate crisis by our former Conference Minister and President, Rev. Jim Antal. His book inspires courage and persistence and offers practical tools to respond to the greatest challenge of our time. Cost of the book is $25.

 

Family Promise Hosting Weeks

November 18, February 3, June 23 

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 for a week several times 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. 

 

Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath:

Vigil and Forum

December 9 through 15
Vigil on Wednesday, December 12 @ 6:30PM; Forum to follow

Each December we remember those lives lost to gun violence in our country and we call for common sense gun legislation to reduce the harm to our families and communities. Join us on the Front Porch for a candlelight vigil to remember those lives, especially those killed this year in Parkland, Florida. Following the brief outdoor vigil, we will move inside for a discussion of the impact of gun violence on the stigma associated with mental health challenges and to hear from Representative David Linsky about Extreme Risk Protective Orders. 

 

Annual Community Opiate Vigil

Sunday, December 16 @ 7PM 

The prescription pain killer and heroin crisis is wreaking a devastating effect on young Natick residents and their families. During the holiday season, 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. 

 

Restorative Justice

Wednesday, January 9 and 16 @ 7PM with Sarallyn Keller

How should our society respond to wrongdoing? Restorative Justice is an attempt to address the needs and limitations of our current legal system. In Micah we are encouraged to act justly, love kindness and walk humbly with our God – we will explore how to apply this lesson in modern times. 

 

I Am Jane Doe

Sunday, January 13 at 7PM 

This documentary follows the epic battle of several American families in a gut-wrenching story about human trafficking. 

 

On the Courthouse Lawn:

The Legacy of  Slavery

Sunday, January 20 @ noon

with Sarallyn Keller 

If we want a more hopeful future, less burdened by bigotry and discrimination, it is important to confront not only our nation’s history of slavery but also the silence that followed in its wake. It is time to change the narrative and acknowledge the brutality and cruelty of the past, so we can move forward to become a healthier society. Sarallyn Keller will recount her visit to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. A light lunch will be served. 

 

MLK Community Celebration

Monday, January 21 @ 10AM
Wilson Middle School Auditorium

Gather with the wider Natick community to 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. The Johnson Peacemakers, guest speakers from the high school and youth winners of the MLK Essay competition will present. All are welcome to participate a community gathering to follow where you can meet many of the great people and organizations committed to service and justice and social action who make Natick a great place to live. 

 

Environmental Action Sunday:

Planting a Pollinator Garden 

Sunday, March 24 @ noon

with Sarallyn Keller 

Pollinators need native plants for food and habitat, and plants need pollinators. Without both, the entire food system is at risk. And right now, the birds, bats, bees, moths, and butterflies that pollinate plants are in crisis worldwide. The New England Wildflower Society has great resources and information on how to plant diverse, systemic pesticide free native plants that support a wide variety of pollinators throughout their life cycles. Maybe you will be inspired to plant a pollinator garden yourself this spring? A light lunch will be provided. 

 

Environmental Action Sunday:

The Journey of the Universe 

Sunday, May 12 @ noon

with Liz Hanna

The Journey of the Universe is a collaboration of the evolutionary philosopher, Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, a historian of religion at Yale. They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology and biology with our role as humans in this awe inspiring universe. Liz Hanna, a recent graduate of the Theology and Ecology program at Yale, will be our guide on this journey and share a few excerpts from the film, as well as her insights from her studies and current work. A light lunch will be served. 

 

Realms of Racism Workshop – Level I Training:

Friday evening & Saturday (Dates TBD in the spring) 

This two day workshop is the first level of Racial Justice Training. We will seek 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” so that we are better able 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. 

 

Realms of Racism Workshop – Level II Training:

Friday evening & Saturday (Dates TBD in the spring) 

This two day workshop is for people who have already completed the Realms of Racism Level I Training. We will do a deep dive into institutional and cultural racism. 

 

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 their website at https://www. natickisunited.org