Refugee and Immigrant Ministry, 1/29/20

Members present:  Diana Borrero-Lowe, Diane Schwabe, Betty van Gheluwe, Cathy Sandstrom

The chalice was lit and a quote was read by Cathy.

Action Items are bold italics.

Topics discussed:

IRC:

  • Citizenship Tutoring.  The IRC no longer has someone to coordinate volunteer citizenship tutors, is looking for someone and has approached our ministry.  Because of our other obligations and the amount of time this position would require (estimated for about 14 hours/week) ,we do not feel that we can step up to do that.  We would be happy to host a training for more tutors in conjunction with the IRC if this opportunity arises. Diana will send an email to Rabiou outlining our position, asking them to contact us when the program resumes. Betty and Cathy continue to tutor and have received some referrals through word of mouth or the IRC. 
  • Other.
    • Citizenship days.  A mass event to assist people in filing their applications for citizenship is run several times a year in southern Idaho by the IRC.  Several volunteers from BUUF will be assisting at one this Saturday at Catholic Charities in Boise.
    • Volunteer appreciation night last week.  Attended by Diana, Betty and Cathy.  Volunteer coordinator Meghan Schwab will be leaving and the search is on for a replacement.

Social Justice update:

  • Plate partner nominations are open and should be submitted before the Social Justice committee meeting in March, I think.
  • A social justice retreat is planned for March and is in the planning stages.

RE request: 

  • Several months ago, the Religious Exploration committee sent out a request for volunteers from the various social justice ministries to provide some education for youth.  Scott Smith has volunteered to do this and Cathy will contact Gem to relay this information.

Webinar: 

  • A free monthly webinar run by a coalition including the UUA and American Friends Service Committee, called Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves started last night and will be broadcast each month at BUUF in the Balasz room.  It is of interest to persons concerned about either Racial Justice or Refugee and Immigrant justice.  Cathy will send out monthly reminders.

Future meetings: 

As our large project, the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program, is occupying most of our time we elected to hold off on discussing the next meeting of the Refugee and Immigrant Ministry until spring, unless something comes up.  Rev. Sara has been notified. Meanwhile, Cathy will continue to send out emails of interesting opportunities and events that arise.

The chalice was extinguished and meeting adjourned.