“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Building Houses, Building Relationships - Report on staff work day with Habitat for Humanity

In 2011, First Universalist entered into a 4 yearpartnership with Habitat for Humanity.We have committed sweat and money to help Habitat and other individuals, corporations and faith communities build 230 homes by 2014.

Many of these homes are in foreclosure-impacted neighborhoods. First Universalist has committed to raise and contribute $8,000 in each year of this partnership. 

We’ve committed to monthly builds, and a weeklong build each summer. Hundreds of First Universalist members have been involved in these efforts.

Recently, the First Universalist staff spent a day together working on our current build, in north Minneapolis. 

It was good to do this work and after a full day, it was clear to all of us: we are not simply building homes; we are building communities, and relationships; we are building up lives and neighborhoods. We're grateful to be in this partnership with Habitat for Humanity, grateful to get to know the soon-to-be-home-owners, and grateful for the small role we can play in helping to make the world a better place.

One nail, one relationship, one house at a time – this is one way we do Love’s work in the world. 

8 Hope Journals Still Missing

Last year, First Universalist launched 10 Hope Journals out in into the wider community. The launch coincided with the 10th anniversary of 9/11. When they were launched, we invited people to reflect on what the 10 years since Sept 11, 2001 had been like (two wars, lives lost, increased religious intolerance), and to dream about what the next tens years might be like. We invited people to share their hopes and dreams for what our shared future might look like.

So far, 2 Hope Journals have returned with some beautiful thoughts, pictures, and stories.

But eight are still out there! Do you have one? Have you written in it? Will you return it to the church in the next week or two? I'd love to share stories of hope during our Sunday services on Sept 9 or later in the year.