Pathways to Beloved Community: Looking back at 2018 and looking forward to 2019

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on accomplishments for the year and to look ahead at the next year. The Pathways to Beloved Community (P2BC) strategic project was given a green light in the fall of 2017. The team meets regularly on the third Sunday of the month starting at about noon. Core team members include: Joy Barnitz, Helen Boyer, Susie Claxton, Diane Harvey, Alison Kieft, Iris Nicholson and Cindy Sojourner. Beth Newell played a key role in our research on Just Peace UCC churches; recently Judy Zlatnik has joined our meetings when she can.

So what has resulted in 2018? In February, Anti-Racism training conducted by the Disciples of Christ trainers was held at our church and about 15 people from the church participated. As follow-up to that, several folks took training offered by our UCC Conference. In June, a similar number of people from the church participated in Bystander Intervention Training which the team encourage folks to attend. Bystander Intervention Training was sponsored by the Tri-Cities Interfaith Council, Compassionate Fremont, Alameda Library and the Human Relations Commission/Resource Council of both Fremont and Union City.

Over the summer, the team discussed whether to propose that Niles Discovery Church become a Just Peace Church, a UCC designation. We presented what we had learned at the Town Hall held in September. People were excited by all the activities we are doing as congregants and we concluded the Town Hall with the realization that we already ARE a Just Peace Church so we should claim it alongside our Open and Affirming designation.

What’s up for us the new year? Assembling a Just Peace Church submission and obtaining Cabinet approval is a priority. Developing an interfaith tool to share over a cup of tea, coffee, cocoa or maybe even a light meal is also on the agenda. Please let us know if you want to join the team to work on an activity; contact Joy Barnitz.

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