Many of us sat down and watched Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. It's not often that a Unitarian minister and his wife get featured on a PBS documentary with a national television audience. The Sharps have an incredible story of resistance, sacrifice, and courage in their efforts during WWII to rescue Jews, dissidents, and refugee children. For congregations wishing to go further, check out "Defying the Nazis - UU Action Project" which includes a congregational study action guide, resources to counter bigotry faced today, and a map that displays congregations doing work related to these efforts. (Waitstill Sharp served as minister at our UU congregation in Davenport, Iowa, from 1954-1963.)
In the MidAmerica Region we have several congregations working to counter bigotry faced today. In Oak Park, IL, Unity Temple is partnering with RefugeeOne to host refugee families from Burma and Cote d'Ivoire. To learn more contact the Unity Temple Refugee Response team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bismarck-Mandan UU Fellowship and Church is supporting the protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline that is proposed to go under the Missouri River just a few miles away from Standing Rock Nation. If you've been following the news on the Dakota Access Pipeline, you are aware of The Sacred Stone Camp near Standing Rock. A group of citizens led by Native Americans is protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which is routed to cross the Missouri River just north of Standing Rock Reservation. All pipelines eventually leak as they age and thus will contaminate the water of the Missouri River.
Hundreds of people are coming from all over the country to express their concerns with the pipeline. This pipeline was originally proposed to cross the Missouri River a few miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota but was nixed because of possible water contamination. Please see this article (first paragraphs) from the Bismarck Tribune newspaper http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/pipeline-route-plan-first-called-for-crossing-north-of-bismarck/article_64d053e4-8a1a-5198-a1dd-498d386c933c.html
Our Bismarck-Mandan UU Church is a drop-off site for donations for the Sacred Stone Camp to support concerned citizens on site; a list of needed supplies can be found at www.sacredstonecamp.org.
(Photo at right taken from our FB page https://www.facebook.com/BismanUU/) Bismarck-Mandan UU Social Action Working Group (SAWG) - Ronya Hoblit, Karen Van Fossan, Carol Jean Larsen, and Wayde Schafer - with loaded Subaru filled with supplies for Standing Rock Nation's Sacred Stone Camp defending water against the Dakota Access Pipeline.