Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Post 50

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River  7/23/14

Greetings friends and UUs: Even though traditionally UUs are off on vacations over the summer months, a lot is happening. July 7th was the kickoff for the Horse Ride at the corner store near Backus, where Honor the Earth began pipeline protests. This gained a lot of public media attention. Winona LaDuke spoke and began the ride over to Park Rapids. Now another is planned, scheduled to go through Brainerd and other points, including Pine River on August 20th. NUUF is involved with Union Church in helping facilitate this event, and anyone who wishes to help can look at honorearth.org, the site where the best and most current information is to be had. Or call me, and I can direct you.

We began another initiative, this time to rename Columbus Day to a  day to honor the native community. Discussions include writing a draft proclamation to send to Governor Dayton, which would be in time for this year, hopefully. First, the task is to see if the native community would welcome this, and if so, what name should it have. The thought is, not to have this just another panacea for white consciences "do-gooder" paternalistic impulses, but something to forward education in the white community in cultural understanding, reduction of discrimination. Following the lead of South Dakota, the City of Minneapolis, and other places who have already addressed this, it seems high time our State took this action of respect and recognition, long overdue. We have partnered with Union Church, and hope to enlist other churches. The next effort would be to get the Legislature to pass a law adding the holiday to the statute which governs such recognition. It does not have to replace Columbus Day which is a federal holiday, but could be an additional option; that is to be determined.

Comments and ideas are welcome! watch the website, mnnuuf.org, for more information.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, News Director NUUF 218-587-2543

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post 49

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River, MN 7/9/14

Greetings! the Horse Ride event organized by Honor the Earth, and Union Church in Hackensack that took place on Monday July 7, was well attended, and a lot of media representatives were present as well, for the kick off on Sandpiper pipeline protests, with later rides planned for August. This latter one will go through or nearby in Pine River, so at NUUF, we are thinking of ways to cooperate and facilitate, and generally be helpful. Many of us were on deck on Monday, and lots of pictures resulted, in local and farther afield newspapers; there was coverage also by radio and TV, and a later interview that aired on the Ed Show on MSNBC. This is all exciting, and hopefullly will bring attention to the pending assault on our local environment in the watershed. Of course the star is Winona LaDuke, a dynamic speaker and committed activist on this issue. Stay tuned as plans develop!

There is a Yikes! Bikes! event taking place on July 12, a bike ride in support of Habitat for Humanity, organized by Ted Chisholm. There will be rest stops in Walker, LaPorte, Cass Lake. For more information contact Ted at chisholmtf@gmail.com.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, News Director NUUF...218-587-2543

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Post 48

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 6-28-14

Greetings! Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace is holding a vigil on Sunday, June 29, in protest of further military action in Iraq. Between 1 and 2:30 at the intersection of 371 and 210 (near Kohl's), signs will be available.

The Union Church in Hackensack is working with Honor the Earth on pipeline protests, and is planning a horse ride including Winona LaDuke on July 8th, from Godfrey's on 371 to Park Rapids, starting at noon. Since plans are still in the making, more information will be forthcoming. Frank Bibeau is the point person from HTE.

Hope the summer is going well for everyone!

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post 47

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River 6/19/14

Greetings! Yesterday, I attended the social justice committee meeting at the Union Church in Hackensack, which held a session with Frank Bibeau specifically on the Sandpiper pipeline, and efforts to stop the expansion by Enbridge in northern Minnesota. Chaired by Sara Cox, she had distributed the following information about Frank:
" Frank Bibeau is a Native American and an attorney who is a member of the White Earth tribe, I believe, but is active in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. He lives in Deer River. He has been Tribal Attorney for LLBO Several times. Along with Winona LaDuke and her Honor the Earth coalition, he is working to get the State and federal governments to require a change of route for the Sandpiper pipeline in order to protect wild rice waters and the lakes area generally.
   "Given that the mission of the task force is to try to be better neighbors, I think it is well within our mission to support this effort of our Native American
neighbors to protect their treaty-approved hunting and fishing rights and the future of all of our children in this region of Minnesota...."

I brought along a folder of information we had gathered before and during the three sessions held last fall on this matter, partnering with Happy Dancing Turtle. The meeting was well attended. Frank talked about the final decision by the PUC to be made May 2015. I notice they are still accepting comments from the public at the Commission. As I understand, the position of the tribes is that any pipeline encroaching on Native lands would not be permitted, with treaty rights to back this up; they would recommend alternative routes by the 29/94 highway routes be considered. There are no good immediate answers to this dilemma. His idea is that gaining the support of the legislature to declare a moritorium on pipeline expansion, for the short term, would be a good way to start. He is concentrating his work on the Sandpiper at this time.

The group decided to set up a steering committee to begin work on strategies for moving forward. Leading this will be Lindsey Ketchell, Lake Area Association head in Hackensack. Also a link to Frank on these matters may be found at honorearth.org.

Very likely, NUUF will be in support of these activities in some manner.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director 218-587-2543

Monday, June 16, 2014

Post 45

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 6/16/14 

"Alison Edgerton, Pat Scott, Barb Kaufman, and Luann Rice represented NUUF at the Brainerd Pride Picnic this year. Along with most other booths, ours was protected by a canopy tent provided by Alison. We displayed colored bottles of bubble soap, NUUF business cards, magazines and printed literature, including a NUUF brochure and a copy of the summer NUUF newsletter. Several people stopped by to look and take bubble soap. Quite a few people took business cards, a newsletter copy and/or other UU literature. One woman left her name and contact information." -Pat Scott, President

Please check the website for summer activities.

Other news: the Bellingham WA UUs are involved with the Totem Pole initiative that is promoting resistance to coal and oil/gas transport through the Lummi Nations' lands. Check out their website via google for more information. Apparently this totem pole is set to travel throughout the western states to gather support. Beth Brownfield is our source for information. More on this to come.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director NUUF 218-587-2543

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Post 44

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/Pine River MN 6/4/14

Greetings, friends and NUUFers: The June newsletter is not out yet, because we are still working out locations and dates for the fall. We are making a real effort to find a Sunday venue, still central for most, and think there is a possibility. Until then, keep a watch here for news.

A planning meeting was held on May 28 at Lakes Latte in Pequot Lakes. Progress on locations was discussed, disposition of the Travelin Truth Telling Tour books accomplished. We set a tentative schedule as follows:

Sept 13,14  Water Service  Melissa
Sept 27,28 Letting Go of God PartI   Mary
Oct 11,12  Goodbye Columbus
Oct 25,26 Letting Go of God PartII   Alison

We have asked Suzanne Wasilczuk to come for a guest sermon during this period, and as yet have not firmed up a date until we get the location decided. So plans are subject to change.

A letter has been sent to Bob Whipple, for suggestions on persons who might be interested in acting as liaison with us from the Leech Lake Band, for the purpose of proposing a change in the MN laws to include a native American day on the date set aside for Columbus Day. We will be gathering support for this among the northern tier of UU congregations, and have the commitment of Mesabi UU Church for a start, as well as interest from the Union Church in Hackensack. I will see Bob on the 9th.

We checked on powwows coming up as a possible excursion on a picnic date this summer, as well as a trip to The Farm at St Matthias, to be decided.

Thanks for your patience! Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, News Director NUUF  218-587-2543

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Post 43

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Brainerd/ Pine River MN 5/21/14

Greetings: On May 17, we were honored to have a guest minister conducting our service, Rev. Suzanne Wasilczuk from Duluth. She serves Mesabi Unitarian Church in Virginia, as well as consults in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and several other venues around the UU circuit. The subject was Rhythms of Life, filled with song and inspiration for living the joyful life. We were happy to have Drew Hines, guitarist, to accompany the hymns and provide the prelude. As the last scheduled meeting in the 13/14 calendar, it was a perfect uplifting close to the year.... Now, the summer will have picnics, the next at the Gay Pride gathering in Brainerd on June 14, where we will have a table and presence in support of solidarity with that part of the community. In July and August, the picnics will probably be held at the Pine River park; watch this column for details.

Today, we held a planning meeting with Happy Dancing Turtle, for a series of fall events for which we will partner, on harvesting and other agricultural practices. The dates are Sept. 11, 25; October 9, 23. More updates will be posted as programs are developed.

Respectfully submitted, Mary DeYoung, news director 218-587-2543