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June 2019 Temporarily Yours by The Reverend Beth Miller

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Even though it’s summer and people’s lives and church attendance have become less regular, there’s still plenty going on at church. Throughout this Newsletter, in weekly email announcements, in your Order of Service, and on our website and Facebook pages you’ll find opportunities to connect. Here are a few things that I call to your attention.

General Assembly 2019, Spokane, WA and online, 6/19-23:   Every year Unitarian Universalists from all over North America gather for General Assembly (GA). As a UUA member congregation of our size, we are entitled to # lay delegates. In 2017 offsite delegates were added to GA. So whether you’re going to Spokane, staying here in Baton Rouge, or are anywhere WiFi is available, you can participate in GA and be a UCBR delegate. Here are some links to help you decide, register, and become a delegate.

Another migrant project needs volunteers: Hannah Hafter, Senior Grassroots Organizer, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, has asked our help with another asylum seeker project. She’s working with a New Orleans based volunteer team from a UUSC partner organization. Volunteers make weekly visits to a new immigration detention center called River (it has been there as a prison but started receiving immigrants a few months ago) in Ferriday, LA. They are asking for overnight accommodations for 1-3 of their people so they can get there for the 10:00 a.m. visiting hours. Please contact Louisiana Detention Watch Coalition, if you can help and we’ll connect you.

Share The Plate:  On the third Sunday of each month, the offering we collect during worship goes to a community organization whose mission and programs UCBR supports. Our contribution includes all cash collected and any checks made out to UCBR with “for share the plate” written in the note at the bottom of the check. The Social Justice Team vets and schedules to recipient organizations and lets us know through their monthly column. Here’s additional information about June’s recipient, the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Its mission is to cultivate interfaith understanding and cooperation to reduce human suffering in Greater Baton Rouge. UCBR was significantly involved in its organization and continues as a strong supporter, particularly of the Holy Grill lunch-time meal program and the adjunct Kids Café Christmas gift program. Our own Becky Cureau is recent past President and continues on the Board. Please give generously on June 16th to support Federation programs.

Email scam update: We’ve received notices from the UUA and UU Ministers Association that dozens of Unitarian Universalists congregations and affiliated organizations have been hit by this same phishing expedition we warned you about recently. We are not alone!  Please be reminded that such scams are common and we all need to be very skeptical of anything (email, text, instant messenger, phone calls) that seems suspicious. Call or email the church office if ever you receive a request for money from anyone in a professional or lay leadership role at UCBR.

To remind you, last month’s newsletter, weekly announcements, Orders of Service, our website, and Facebook pages called your attention to an Urgent Email Scam Alert. Members of UCBR were receiving scam emails from a made-up email address similar to our actual church email addresses from David Hawley and me. These bogus emails asked members to go buy Google gift cards and if you complied, to then scratch the back to reveal the card numbers and email them back. In our Alert, we assured you that we would never ask you to do this, and we won’t.