Blair County (UUFBC)
We are a diverse community that seeks to transform lives through spiritual growth, social activism, and mutual trust and support.
Declaration of Conscience
At this extraordinary time in our nation’s history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and compassion, to truth and core values of American society.
In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and the LBGTQ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment, and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
• any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote
• unjust governmental actions to deport, register, or discriminate against immigrants
• turning back advances in access to health care
• reproductive rights
• initiatives that address the threat of climate change
• a commitment to justice and compassion in human relations
We will translate our values into action and stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable.
We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice. The time is now.
adapted from Declaration of Conscience by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Blair County is a small, but growing lay-led community with plans for a big future. We're a come-as-you-are congregation and we welcome anyone and everyone to join us.
In the 1980s and 90s, when the word “welcoming” became a code word for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, the Unitarian Universalist Association began a Welcoming Congregation Program to help us learn how to undo homophobia—and later, transphobia (prejudice against transgender people)—in our hearts and minds, our congregations, and our communities.
Today, most Unitarian Universalist congregations are recognized Welcoming Congregations. The spiritual practice of welcome is a very important one to our faith community.
Our Fellowship in Blair County is a Welcoming Congregation. When we had the opportunity to have a transgender man tell us his transition story (see below), we decided to record it so that we could share with others. We believe the presentation of Michael Jones will help all who view it to better understand the individuals and the transition process.
Our meetings are held on the first and third Sunday of the month at the Penn State Altoona Campus Chapel, beginning at 10:30 and followed by a time of fellowship and sharing in the meeting room of the Chapel at the conclusion of member and community-led presentations.
When & Where
We welcome people of all faith backgrounds or no faith. We also happily welcome people of all races, colors, creeds, sexual and gender orientations.
We invite you share any ideas for presentations.
Please review our Declaration of Conscience (above) and offer any ideas that you might have to assist us all in our growth toward our commitment to greater justice for all.
Services & Events
for the Month of May 2023
Service Leader: Denice Rodaniche
Topic: The Mental Health and Substance Misuse Connection
Guest Speaker: Carol Taylor
Refreshments: Steve Lawson
Service Leader: Steve Lawson
Topic: Blair County Prison Society
Guest Speaker: John Grove
Refreshments: Shamim Rajpar
BOOK CHOICE FOR MAY
The book discussion group will meet at 10:30 on May 14 at the Chapel.
Alice Flarend will be leading the discussion of the book Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America's: Culture.
Read the book and then join us in the discussion.
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"A Transition Story"
Michael Jones has graciously accepted an invitation from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Blair County, central Pennsylvania, to tell us about his gender transition. His presentation is infused with the spirit of the first, second and third Unitarian Principles
1. that we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person,
2. that we seek justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and
3. that we strive for acceptance of one another.
Michael has asked us to reflect on the spirit of the words of St. Therese of Lisieux as we as we open ourselves up to the gift of his presentation.
“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, pray, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
It is an honor for me to offer this brief introduction to my dear friend, Michael.
Michael identifies as a transgender man but that is only one aspect of his identity and experiences. He cherishes his friends, many of whom have become his chosen family. He is a native of New Orleans and loves his city and its culture. He is companion to an affectionate and rambunctious Goldendoodle, Finn.
Professionally, Michael is Executive Director of Libraries and Professor of Political Science at a regional university in Oklahoma. Both on the job and off, Michael strives to live in a way that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion for groups who have historically been excluded.
Our community decided to share this presentation as we believe it will help others to know and understand the individuals and the transition process.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Blair County