Opportunity to Help Support and Resettle an Afghan Family

Plans are in the works to set up a Resettlement Team similar to the team that was established in 2016 when our church co-sponsored the Altyara family from Syria. This new team will include members of People’s Church, members of the Congregation of Moses and members of the Temple B’Nai Israel, and any members from the community at large who wish to join us. We are welcoming of anybody who is interested and willing to volunteer to help!

Over 150 Afghan refugees will be arriving to the Kalamazoo area in the next few weeks and months. The Afghan refugees will be arriving having been vaccinated for COVID, except for children under 12. Our team will be co-sponsoring with Samaritas, one of two agencies in Southwest Michigan that is contracted to resettle refugees. Our October special collection was held to benefit these two agencies.

Our new Resettlement Team needs volunteers. It takes a lot of man power to successfully so-sponsor a refugee family! We need both coordinator/leaders of subcommittees listed below and people who are willing to volunteer their time in serving on the various sub-committees.

There will be an Informational Meeting on Sunday, November 7th at 7:00 on Zoom. The meeting can be accessed at the following link: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/5527667326   Or by calling 1-646-876-9923 and entering the code 552 766 7326 at the listed time.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, please contact Ann Feldmeier at annfeldmeier2018@gmail.com.

We will also be doing fundraising to support our co-sponsorship efforts. We were able to raise over $10,000 in 2016 and hope to achieve that amount
as we take on resettling an Afghan family. Please consider making a financial donation. Donations can be sent to the church office with Afghan Resettlement in the memo line. An online donation button will be available on People’s Church website as well.

SUB-COMMITTEES VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR POSITIONS

  1. Financial Coordinator
    1. Pre-arrival – Help raise funds.
    2. After arrival – Help to ensure economic self-sufficiency.
    3. Set up bank accounts, help with getting internet, electricity and heat, water, garbage service, setup, etc.
  2. Housing Coordinator
    1. Assist to find housing.
    2. Collect Welcome Pack items (household goods, clothing & groceries).
    3. Arrange for all items that will be needed to set up a home to be collected, purchased or donated.
  3. Social Coordinator – position filled
    1. Arrange occasional meals, visits and other food and fun activities.
    2. Interact with the family to expose them to community activities.
  4. Medical Coordinator
    1. Arrange and coordinate medical and dental appointments.
    2. Log appointments on form provided.
  5. Transportation Coordinator – position filled
    1. Arrange transportation for various needs, especially during the first month after arrival and then as needed for 3-4 months.
  6. Education Coordinator
    1. Help to enroll children in school and adults in ESL classes within 30 days after arrival. Then, support and monitor progress.
  7. ESL Coordinator – position filled
    1. Help adult refugees learn English.
  8. Job Coordinator
    1. Network within church and the community for job leads.
    2. Assist with job interviews.
    3. Communicate with Job Developer.

Please contact Ann Feldmeieir at annfeldmeier2018@gmail.com if you are considering volunteering for any of the coordinator/leader positions and she will be able to answer any questions and provide additional information.


Report on Lincoln School

Thanks to the generosity of People’s People we were able to send $977 to Lincoln School to help teachers and staff with purchasing much needed items for the 2021-2022 school year. We were fortunate to meet Lincoln School’s new principal, Mr. Andrick and hear from him about Lincoln School at our morning outdoor service on September 19th.

There is a great need for tutors. If you have some time to volunteer please contact Jeme Baker at jemaileen@yahoo.com.


November Special Collection: Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry, Sunday, November 14

The Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry provides timely, multilevel, culturally sensitive spiritual care to survivors of mass disasters and other critical incidents that may lead to significant trauma. We provide resources including the deployment of critical incident stress management (CISM) teams to assist congregations and the communities they work within in the wake of mass disaster and other significant critical incidents.

The UUTRM is an organization independent of the UUA that provides services free of charge to congregations in times of crisis. They were of tremendous support to People’s Church leaders a few months ago in the wake of an arrest and a death by suicide among our members. Now, we can pay forward their generosity with their expertise to help their work continue.


ISAAC Virtual Banquet November 11th

Please register now at https://isaackalamazoo.org/ to attend the ISAAC Virtual Banquet to be held Thursday, November 11th
at 6 p.m. on Facebook and YouTube Live. Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author of the NY Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop:
A Sermon to White America will be our much-anticipated speaker. Annual awards will be presented, and local musician Brooke Edwards will perform. People’s Church is a sponsor of this event and several of our members serve on current task forces. Please attend with us and be uplifted in this inspiring gathering with our Beloved Community.

ISAAC Antiracism Task Force Report

Members of the Antiracism Task Force are participating with partner organizations (NAACP, El Concilio, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation —TRHT) and leaders from the Black, Indigenous, People of Color—BIPOC community and advocating vigorously with the Kalamazoo County Apportionment Commission  for an equitable map to be adopted in the redistricting process for the county. Despite strong community voice, the Apportionment Commission has submitted a map that reduces the number of districts to 9, making current diversity in representation on the County Commission harder to achieve in the next 10 years. Advocates have called for the map to be withdrawn and for a map submitted by the community to be considered. See the ISAAC Facebook page to view recording of the community forum held October 12th and for updates.

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