Neal's 3 "C"s

A lot has changed at MLUC in recent weeks. Rev. Dr. Neal Jones gives his perspective on where the congregation stands as we navigate through challenges.

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 Click the image to hear Neal's message

 

chalice smallIf you missed our recent UU Social Media 101 workshop, your head may still be spinning about all of this “hashtag” jargon. Now that MLUC has adopted its very first hashtag, #mainlineuu, you might be wondering what on earth you’re supposed to do with this little phrase. So first, let's define the term hashtag.

A hashtag is essentially a "#" symbol followed by unspaced words or letters. It is used to categorize content on social media platforms like Facebook. So by simply typing the letters “#mainlineuu” with the pound symbol at the end of your post, you are branding it as official MLUC content, while increasing the chances that others on the Main Line will stumble upon MLUC. Including "#mainlineuu" in a post also makes it easier for your friends and family to click and browse relevant posts about the church.

Want to get started as a savvy social media hashtagger? Here are a few ideas about when to type "#mainlineuu" at the end of your post:

  1. You are posting photos from a church event
  2. You are “checking in” after arriving at church on Sunday
  3. You are publicizing a future event happening at MLUC
  4. You are taking part in a UU service project and posting related content
  5. You are talking about a sermon topic from a recent service
  6. You are discussing a social action issue that directly relates to UU values and principles
  7. You are sharing content from MLUC’s website
  8. You are inviting non-members to an open event at MLUC

By including the new hashtag in your posts, you can serve as a spokesperson for MLUC, encouraging others to get involved and join in on the fun.

Got questions? Email

It was the lights of Miami that told me our trip was over. The lights I didn't take for granted, and that seemed so richly abundant—excessive and wasteful, even—after a week spent in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
 
The plane ride allowed for some time to take stock of the past three days. None had the emotional rawness of Wednesday, but they continued the work of understanding this place and its people—and made me aware of how much I have to learn and experience.

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Trip co-leader, Mike Carpenter warned us at Tuesday night's evening reflection that if something is going to go wrong during our time in Haiti, it'll happen on Wednesday. He was both right and wrong.

The day started with a visit to MPP's schoolhouse, which was expanded in the past year with a generous gift from the Unitarian Society of Germantown. We helped with the grounds and met the children, who were full of wonder. Then we headed to our vehicles.
 
And that's when Wednesday struck.
 
On the road back, we came upon an accident. A motorbike with a passenger clipped a boy crossing the road. The boy was lying limped where he fell, and the bike fell over too. One of the young men limped off the road. 
 
Our caravan stopped and two members of the group jumped out to aid the boy. Monica Perme and Nuala Carpenter are both health care professionals and cared for the boy, while the boy's father and others incited a loud, angry argument over who was to blame for the accident.
 
Amidst the furor, the boy regained consciousness.IMG 8610
 
Eventually, Monica, Nuala, the two injured Haitians, and the boy's mom went to the hospital in one vehicle, and the rest of us headed home in the other two.
 
So often we ask ourselves why we're in a place like Haiti. It's not an easy question. Today we knew. We weren't there intending to help in this situation; we were just there. We have no way of knowing if what we did prevented something worse, though it kind of felt like it did. What we do know is that at a terrible time in a young boy's life, when he was surrounded by confusion, and anger, and noise, he received compassion and skilled care and he was delivered safely to more care. 
 
The reflection this evening centered on that event, and several other out-of-leftfield experiences that seem to happen more here than at home. And on the joy that comes with doing this work of living together.
 
It included Monica remembering something that one of the youth, Julia MacDonald, said while gathering rocks to clear a space for a playground at the school what seemed like a lifetime earlier. She said, "I wish I had bigger hands to help." 
 
May all of us have the hands and hearts to help, wherever and whenever we're needed in this world that so often confounds our plans.
 
-Kevin Donahue
Youth Coordinator for the trip

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We are settled in with our Haitian hosts after a whirlwind day and a half.

The 13 members of the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice service learning trip to Haiti arrived in Port-au-Prince Friday and Saturday. Most of us are from the Main Line and Wellsprings congregations In suburban Philadelphia.
 
On Sunday after attending a morning evangelical Christian service with more than 1,000 Haitians, we took a brief tour of the country's national history museum. Then we climbed into three vehicles for the three-hour trip to the headquarters compound of the Mouvement Peasant Papaye (MPP), our hosts for the week. 
 
The trip took us past a vast ghetto of makeshift housing near Port-au-Prince, through the mountains and into Haiti's Central Plateau.
 
To see the depth of poverty here, to be so close to the people who live their lives here, is a world-rocker. 
 
We shared our feeling of heart-opening and heart-breaking at the night's reflection. A house away, we could hear a family going through its paces--talking, laughing, a child calling out. For me, it was a reminder that our circumstances may be so different but our humanity is identical. We live, we dream, we fear, we grow angry and despair. We persevere. 
 
After the reflection, we star-gazed. The sky is both darker and brighter here, and bursting with light. May that be a good omen.
 
Monday we will hear more from our hosts, including MPP's founder, who recently abandoned a presidential campaign. And hopefully we move one day closer to understanding and being in relationship with the people who live in this complicated, difficult, wondrous place.
 
Please keep us and our hosts in your thoughts.
 
-Kevin Donahue
Youth Coordinator for the trip