Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June 9, 2019. 9:15-10:15am, BUF Conference Room

Por favor, no entiendo. Necesito ayuda!
Jessica Heck, DVSAS Development Director 

Imagine trying to get help with domestic violence or sexual trauma in a community that does not speak your language. DVSAS is striving to break down barriers for non- and limited- English speakers who have experienced such trauma. Ten percent of our community speaks a primary language other than English. Our DVSAS website has large amounts of information in English but we desperately need translations to Spanish and Russian as well. The BUF collection will help to fund translations of the DVSAS website into Spanish and Russian.

Monday, May 20, 2019

May 26, 2019. 9:15, Conference Room.

Connection through song: African communal music
with Allegra Ziffle and Eli Friedlob

Music is integral to daily life in many traditional African cultures and it has proved to be beneficial to overall health and well-being. Traditional African music-making is participatory, inclusive and accessible to everyone, contributing to a sense of belonging, group identity, and solidarity. It drives the rhythms of daily life, making movements more fluid and coordinated. 
Many of these elements were adapted and incorporated by African Americans through spirituals and work songs. Allegra Ziffle and Eli Friedlob will share their knowledge about participatory music-making and show some videos, but we will also be doing some singing of our own.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BUF's Truth and Reconciliation Resolution, May 12, 2019, 9:15 am

At our Congregational Meeting on May 19th, Members of BUF will get the opportunity to vote on the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Proposal.  At the request of members of Lummi Nation, we have been asked to be an instrument in bringing about a Truth and Reconciliation movement in the State of Washington. As this will be a statewide effort seeking public support, it is appropriate and necessary for the congregation of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship to vote, as one body, on supporting this movement. 

We will be discussing the resolution, and what roles BUF members may play in moving this T&R movement forward, as individual members, a congregation, a denomination within the greater faith community and as an ally and partner with Washington Tribes and Nations.  The resolution was drafted using BUF’s historical and ongoing support of the Tribes and Nations and a number of sources and we'll be looking at some of them including the:  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April 28, 2019. BUF Conference Room

'Depolarizing' America

Edie Norton will introduce the national volunteer organization, Better Angels, whose aim is to politically “depolarize" America. She is the organizer of local skills training workshops, such as a “Red-Blue” workshop in which equal numbers of liberals and conservatives each describe and evaluate the stereotypes they feel others use to label them. She will also introduce the Better Angels Alliance concept, ongoing self-managed groups made up of both liberals and conservatives who want to understand each other better in order to solve problems together. BUF attendees will learn how they can get involved and help depolarize our local county and city communities.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

NO FORUM Sunday, April 14 2019.

Due to the Women's Retreat occurring on the weekend of April 12th, 13th and 14th there will be no Sunday Forum.

The following Sunday is Easter, and we traditionally do not hold Forums on holidays, either.

However, check back on the 28th, when the Better Angels, a citizens' organization uniting red and blue Americans, and working to depolarize America, will give us their presentation.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April 7, 2019, 9:15am. Conference Center.

How Much is a Billion Dollars?

Matteo Tamburini of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center joins us to ask, "How much is a billion dollars?" Engage in exercises to get a handle on some of the trade-offs that we choose as a country when we decide military spending and tax policy.

Matteo Tamburini is a member of the Board of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and a Math Instructor at Northwest Indian College.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Students of the Salish Sea, Sunday March 31, 2019

9:15 AM.  Join us as Izzi Lavallee talks about the Students for the Salish Sea, a student organization at Western.  Izzi is a student activist and community organizer at WWU, studying Watershed Resilience. She is a co-founder of Students for the Salish Sea and is committed to water, equity, and environmental justice by seeking long term strategies to heal trans-boundary watersheds.  The student organization collectively envisions a diverse, healthy biological and cultural watershed of the Salish Sea. In this vision, we acknowledge that we are guests on this land and take an active role in redressing the continuing impact of settler colonialism and support the indigenous-led movements in our communities. Throughout this watershed, we are committed to establishing SFSS club branches at universities, colleges, and schools. Within each group we work locally to affect change, thereby positively impacting our transnational watershed as a whole. We collaborate with our other university branches on watershed-wide issues to cultivate lasting change through a diversity of tactics.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Unist'ot'en Camp: Stop the Pipelines, March 24, 2019

9:15 AM.  Join us as Andrew Eckels talks about what’s happening with the Unisto’ot’en camp. Andrew Eckels has lived in Bellingham as a settler on Coast Salish territory for the last 7 years working on environmental and social justice issues. He has been working to support the Unist'ot'en camp since first spending time there in 2013.

Over the years, BUF has supported the Unist'ot'en Camp and its advocates, particularly Western University students who have devoted an enormous amount of their resources helping construct the Camp. The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’en Yintah Wewat Zenli distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en in British Columbia, Canada and have been constructing dwellings and community centers on land targeted by Coastal Gaslink (CGL) for gas pipelines.  The Unist'ot'en Camp has become Canada’s Standing Rock with non-violent protestors blocking and opposing construction through unceded, traditional indigenous territories.  Recently the Royal Mounted Canadian Police have moved in to break up Unist’ot’en and other camps along the route, allowing for Coastal Gaslink heavy equipment to begin preparing for construction.  What’s happening now and where do we go from here?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Truth and Reconciliation, March 17 2019

During this presentation, Shirley will provide an indigenous perspective of what the Truth and Reconciliation movement is and why it is so critical to the future of indigenous communities. Truth and Reconciliation is a movement bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous communities to engage in dialogues and actions that strive to heal trauma, address inequities, and restore, protect and preserve indigenous lifeways. It is a multifaceted movement that addresses many intersectional issues, while working to dismantle systems of domination and oppression.

We’re expecting to have draft copies of a to be proposed BUF resolution on Truth and Reconciliation to hand out and Shirley will also be joining BUF at GA this year in a workshop on Truth and Reconciliation that has been approved by GA!

Sixteen years ago, Shirley Williams became a licensed nurse.  Those years were spent working within the scope of western licensure.  Now, like a salmon swimming upstream, she is focused on what she considers Indigenous Public Health.  Her passion for holistic healthcare of ancient times began when she started to work for her own community, Lummi Nation.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Lummi Youth Canoe Journey with Becky Kinley, March 10, 2019, 9:15 am

Becky Kinley serves as the Youth Leadership Manager under the Lummi System of Care Expansion Initiative. The Lummi Youth Canoe Family is for Lummi youth between the ages of 13-21 to engage in our culture by preparing for the annual canoe journey and/or international cultural exchange opportunities’. Our desire is to learn who we are as Lummi People and our strong Lummi values; while protecting, promoting, and preserving our Schelangen (Way of Life). 

As youth, we are empowering youth and communities around us to stand up their rights and being the voice of the next generation. The Lummi Youth Canoe Family is fiscally sponsored by the Lummi Nation Service Organization. the Lummi Nation Service Organization is a tribally chartered non-profit since 1996 who’s mission is to Strengthen the people through cultural, social, and economical abundance with hopes that we will empower our people Nilh Xwenang Tse Schelangen (This is our way of life) a healthy, giving, and prosperous community.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

History of BUF's Involvement with Original Nations and Peoples, March 3, 2019

BUF and friends with Lummi Nation at GA in 2015
9:15 AM. Join Beth Brownfield and Deb Cruz as we explore BUF’s involvement with indigenous issues and communities.  Since 2005, our initial contact with Lummi Nation, we’ve charted a path that has led us through many places along the journey through Indian Country not only here in Whatcom County, but throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  Hear about where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going on our journey to establishing right relations with our indigenous communities.

Beth Brownfield:  Beth is a lifelong activist and educator who has dedicated herself to working for understanding and social action around tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and cultural appreciation. She has been deeply involved with solidarity work in the Dakotas, Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest, inspiring and mentoring UU congregations in MN, MA, ID, WA, OR.

Deb Cruz:  Deb has worked with issues in Indian Country across the northern U.S. since the mid-1970s. She has worked with Beth Brownfield in establishing relations with Lummi Nation and other Tribes/Nations throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is also President and Issue Team lead for First and American Indian Nations Solidary of JUUstice Washington, Washington State’s UU action network. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Feb. 24, 2019, Sunday Forum 9:15 - Preserve, Protect and Restore

Gabe Epperson of Whatcom Land Trust will update us on the work of the Trust,
a private nonprofit organization that is committed to the preservation, protection and restoration of the natural and cultural heritage that has inspired so many people to make Whatcom County home. Preserving the extraordinary natural features that provide the quality of life we cherish– exceptional food, water, recreation and livelihood–requires active choices and enduring resolve. Whatcom Land Trust, with the help of landowners, donors and partners, has chosen to ensure that Whatcom County’s unique legacy remains for future generations.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Feb. 17, 2019. 9:15-10:15. Conference Room.


Memorial for Amar Mergensana,
who died on hunger strike at NW Detention Ctr.
Junga Subedar, a community lawyer with the Whatcom Civil Rights Project, will discuss the current war against immigrants and asylum seekers. From an immigrant family herself, Junga is passionate about helping the most vulnerable people coming to our borders. Part of the immigration crisis is our denial of asylum to the most vulnerable people who are coming to our borders, fleeing some of the worst violence and danger in their countries, which in large part our government has created. One way we can do something is to consider becoming a community sponsor of an asylum seeker. A community sponsor can increase someone’s probability of being granted asylum and allow them a safe refuge. We must ask what happened to "Give me your tired, your poor…Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and what this famous sentiment means in a country of immigrants today. 

The Whatcom Civil Rights Project is a program under the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and in partnership with LAW Advocates.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 10, 2019: Transylvania Partner Church - Life in Magyarszovat

Transylvania travelers Mialee Jose and Reka Zoltan will take us back to Romania, sharing pictures and answering questions about what life is like for our church partners in Magyarszovat. What do the farmers do with the crops they grow? What is the school curriculum like? How are the villagers dealing with their children leaving for the cities?  Do villagers commonly have electronic devices? How does the mix of cultures affect their lives? Bring your curiosity and questions - immerse yourself in Magyarszovat village life! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sunday Feb. 3rd. What is Permaculture, by Kurt Yandell.

Kurt Yandell, formerly of Duwamish Co-Housing, will give us a brief introduction to the history, ethics and principles of permaculture. Now a world-wide movement, it can be thought of as an attempt to recreate sustainable systems, in part by mimicking the durable ecosystems we find in nature.  Permaculture provides one pathway to reverse the massive environmental harm humans have inflicted on our planet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

January 27, 9:15am. Growing Vets: Finding New Life in Green Fields

Michael Frazier of Growing Vets will join us this Sunday to share how the program offers opportunities for vets to rejoin civilian life, as well as to heal from PTSD by rebuilding camaraderie and community, sharing peer support, reconnecting with the earth through growing food and selling it at farmers’ markets, gaining experience in managing all aspects of a business, and offering educational projects.

Michael Frazier is a Marine Corps vet with 20 years of organizational leadership and development experience in both public and private sectors.