UU the Vote Launch Event: Thursday March 14 at 6:00 PM

If you’re concerned about the November elections, and want to find a way to have UU values advanced, please join the kickoff of the national UU the Vote campaign on Thursday March 14 at 6:00 PM.

Reebers: This is easy to attend; it’s available via Zoom. You will get to meet the national leaders of UU the Vote. Here is how our national UU the Vote leaders describe the non-partisan organization’s mission:

“UU the Vote 2024 is an ambitious strategy to grow a powerful pro-democracy majority. We are entering the work of UU the Vote 2024 grounded in the current political and spiritual conditions of our faith and national community. The work that is needed in 2024 will require us to anchor in our power and connect authentically to mobilize UUs, voters, and our local communities.” UU the Vote will partner with progressive organizations, helping them to mobilize the vote in a way to promote our values. Making phone calls and filling out postcards are two of the methods used when the campaign gets underway.

If you might be able to join virtually between 6 and 7 PM on Thursday March 14, send an email to Ron Malzer: rjam@jruuc.org and he will provide information on how to register.


Community Meal April 28 After Service

Join us to help build Beloved Community as we share a meal after the service. All are welcome. The meal will be provided and there will be a basket for donations – and as always, you’re welcome to come and eat regardless of your ability to make a donation.

We are always looking for volunteers to help cook for our community meals! Vegan, vegetarian, Gluten/Dairy Free items are always appreciated! Community meals are usually held on the 3rd Sunday of the month but will be on the 4th Sunday in April to coincide with our “Spring Cleaning” Sunday. Please contact Genevieve at re@jruuc.org to sign up with a dish! Your support is what helps us be able to continue this important community building and fellowship. Thank you!


Israel/Palestine – What’s Next for JRUUC? April 21 Post Service Discussion

The UUA has called on UU congregations and members nationwide “to think critically about the ways the US is complicit in enabling this (Gazan humanitarian) disaster to continue (Feb.14, 2024).”

To that end, and as a follow up to our Feb. 25 session, we hope you will join members of the Racial Justice Action Ministry to think about ways we can act individually and collectively to answer the UUA call.

For example, shall we propose a congregation vote on a resolution which “calls on the US government to predicate future military aid to Israel on an immediate and total cease fire, the provision of massive emergency humanitarian aid to Gaza and the safe return of all hostages and prisoners.”

Do you like the idea of a resolution, but have suggestions for different wording? Do you think a letter writing campaign would be worthwhile?

This gathering is a chance for your input and to explore other actions we might take.

Join us on April 21 after the service & coffee hour in person and on zoom. If you can’t make it on the 21 and have thoughts to share, please email us at rjam@jruuc.org.


Just Bakery Returns to JRUUC April 21, 2024

Get your goodies after Sunday Services in the foyer and support a just cause, even numbered months on the third Sunday. Both cash and cards are happily accepted. Just Bakery, an initiative of JustDane, is a 12 week educational and vocational training program. The program works with individuals who are experiencing significant barriers to employment (homelessness, justice involved, lack of education, and/or a lack of work history or skills). Learn more about Just Bakery here.


Sharing Circle for Brian Gehring with Rev. Bowie Kling-Garcia – Sunday, April 7

In place of our monthly adult RE, Rev. Bowie Kling-Garcia is offering a sharing circle where we can share memories of our friend and Reeb Member Brian Gehring who passed away on February 28th. Read more here.


Service Opportunity with Prairie UU at River Food Pantry

Does this sound like a project you’d like to get involved in?  On the first Saturday of each month, several Reeb volunteers will join Prairie UU volunteers in putting together lunches for the River Food Pantry.  Lunches will be taken to drop-off sites where food insecure folks can get a healthy bite to eat.  We work together from 8:30 – 10:30 am at the River Food Pantry, and they have the plan all set up for the volunteers.  It’s easy, it can be fun, folks are friendly and the work is rewarding. If we get enough volunteers, it means helping out just 4-6 times a year.

Put your name on the volunteer list by contacting Peggy Haack.

For those new to our congregation, from 2008 until the pandemic of 2020, Reeb volunteers joined with Prairie volunteers to cook a hot breakfast once a month on a Saturday morning at the downtown Men’s Shelter.  They now have a new site and a new meal plan, so this is a new way to continue working together in service to our community.


Come Celebrate Rev. Carin Bringelson’s Installation – April 27th!

Reebers, you are invited to the upcoming installation of former JRUUC member, the Rev. Carin Bringelson. She will be installed as the minister of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, April 27, 2024Learn more


Share the Plate Nominations Needed!

Each week this congregation gives half of all offerings collected in our plate to local organizations whose work furthers our mission.

Do you know of an organization you’d like us to give to? Please nominate them!


MOSES News – Meeting March 10 2:30

MOSES stands for Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity, and Solidarity for Criminal Legal System Reform.  JRUUC is a member of this organization.  

MOSES General Meeting

IN PERSON

First United Methodist Church

203 Wisconsin Ave, Madison.

 Parking in church lot or at Masonic Temple across Johnson.  Also on Zoom;  see Moses website for more information.  

The Moses Organizer James Morgan will speak at this Sunday’s service – see here.

Click here for information about Reeb and MOSES

Visit the MOSES website


UUA Statement on Gaza Ceasefire


In Our Wider Communities…


Past Events, Actions, and News


Reparations and Land Acknowledgements

Next session is Sunday, March 3

The next religious exploration offering for adults will be a continuation of the congregational conversation started in the Dec. 3 workshop on reparations and land acknowledgements.  This session will be held after the service on Sunday, Feb. 4 and Rev. Bowie will facilitate.  This is part of a series of conversations in which we reflect on the spiritual grounding for reparations and consider concrete actions we might take as a congregation.  You can click on these links to find notes from past sessions and the slide show we’re using for the conversations.

Please come whether or not you’ve participated in earlier conversations.


Jan. 28 & Feb. 18 – All-Reeb Read Book Discussion Workshops

Virginia Harrison and Deb Myrbo invite you to read—and participate in a JRUUC discussion group about—this year’s UU Common Read, On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World, by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg.

  • Workshop 1 Session 1 – January 28th at 11:30 (after service)
  • Workshop 1 Session 2 – February 18th at 12:30 (after community meal)

You are invited to discover Unitarian Universalist resonance with the writings of the 12th century Jewish physician and scholar, Maimonides. With her interpretation, Danya Ruttenberg’s book points people of any or all faiths toward modern day accountability practices that can really make a difference.

You can also find more detailed information about the book and workshops on the UUA Common Read website, where you will also find links to videos about the book and interviews with the author.

Please contact Deb Myrbo if you need a copy of the book. A copy will also be made available in the JRUUC library for anyone who is unable to purchase the book but would still like to participate.

For more information, please talk with Virginia or Deb.


Feb. 25 11:30am – Conversation on Israel and Palestine

The Justice Ministry will host a Congregational Conversation on Israel and Palestine after services (11:30-12:30) on Sunday February 25th. We hear you that this topic is alive for many members of the congregation right now. This will be an opportunity to share what is on your heart and what you need from your spiritual community in this moment – and offer your energy towards any action plans that emerge. Hybrid format.  


Poor Peoples Campaign March/Rally – 3/2 Beginning at 11am

  • Saturday March 2nd , 2024
  • 11 AM: March/Rally at the Capitol Steps
  • 12 Noon: Mass Assembly, First United Methodist Church at 203 Wisconsin Ave.

On March 2nd , in solidarity with marches in 31 other states, Wisconsin’s Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) will bring our voices and our witness to the Wisconsin State Capitol and present our Unifying Values and Demands to the legislature and its leadership. Wisconsin’s PPC is part of the national Poor People’s Campaign, a fusion movement for change led by Revs. William Barber and Liz Theoharis. It unites impacted folks and their allies across all lines of division.

Reebers, let’s have a great showing, united under our “Standing on the Side of Love” banner. The 11 AM rally/march will take place on the State Street steps of the Capitol; the 12 noon mass assembly will take place at the First United Methodist Church at 203 Wisconsin Ave.

The unifying values of the assembly and march center around the following demands for ALL:

  • Living Wages
  • Health Care
  • Voting Rights & Stopping Voter Suppression
  • Equal Rights for All
  • Worker & Labor Rights
  • Environmental Justice
  • Access to Housing
  • Fully Funded Public Education
  • Abolishing Poverty
  • The Unity of Love, Not the Division of Hate

This event will be a prelude to mobilizing toward a nationwide day of action and Poor Peoples’ AND Low Wage Worker’s’ Mass Assembly in Washington DC in June and a massive get out the vote campaign after. For more information, contact Randi Coloni: rjam@jruuc.org or go to this page about the march.

Find out more about the Poor People’s Campaign here


Don’t Miss the Feb. 18 Presentation by Reeb Volunteers Working With Local Asylum Seekers!

Come hear some fascinating stories after the Sunday, February 18 service from several Reeb members who have been volunteering with the JRUUC Immigrant and Refugee Rights (IRR) Justice Action Ministry to help out our immigrant neighbors in Madison who have applied for asylum.  No Spanish required, but we can show you how to use the Google Translate app on your cell phone when you need it.  

The presentation and Q & A will run from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room and also on Zoom.  Those attending in person can grab some lunch and a drink at the community lunch in the sanctuary, then bring your plate to the presentation and eat while you listen to Reeb volunteers talk about their experiences with local asylum seekers.  Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Exec. Dir. of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice and staff to the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, will be the guest speaker at the Feb. 18 service.  Click here for Feb. 18th service information.


Join Us Feb. 10 2pm – “The Meeting” at Madison College

Among the many opportunities in Madison to celebrate Black History Month is a powerful and compelling performance about the imaginary meeting of two of the most influential people of modern times: Malcolm, X and Dr. Martin Luther King.

Join Mary Wichita, R-JAM & Reeb member,  for  the 7 pm performance of “The Meeting” by Jeff Stetson. It will be performed in the Mitby Theater, Madison College, on Saturday, February 10. There is a 2 pm performance, as well. After each performance, there will be a facilitated talk back conversation with cast, and several prominent African-American leaders in Madison.

This event is free, but registration is required. To register & for more information, visit here.   


Art Reception for Colleen at Hawthorne Library – Feb. 10 10-noon

An invitation from Reeber Colleen O’Hara: I would like to personally invite everyone from Reeb to come, see my artwork and visit. 

“The natural world around us is amazing and beautiful, providing everything all species and humans need to thrive. There are so many threats to our beautiful planet, Earth. Still, I have hope. In this work I acknowledge the natural world—hold it close, keep my eyes and attention upon it and celebrate it. I used materials that feel comfortable in my hand—paper, pencils, fabric and thread.”

I am grateful for this opportunity to share my work and visit with you. I hope to see you there. 

Peace and Kindness — Colleen


Black History for a New Day Class Registration Open, Registration Deadline 2/9

It often seems as though black and white Americans live in separate worlds of experience and understanding. Unless we can bridge those gaps, it will be hard for us to work together to build a better community, a better country, and a better world.  One starting point for that work is for non-black people of courage and conviction to come together to think and learn about the history that has shaped our world and worldviews. Over nine Monday evenings, Justified Anger will be collaborating with history professors from UW-Madison to revisit the American past with justice in mind. Our purpose is to understand how the African-American experience has shaped the world we all live in, and how allies can find roles supporting racial justice today. We will lead this process without the use of guilt, finger-pointing, or propaganda, and lead from a place of compassion, community, and understanding. Rooting ourselves in our history, and understanding how we got here, will help us move forward together to make a better world and a stronger local community. Course Dates: February 26 – May 6,  February 26,  March 4, 11,  18,  April 1, 8, 15, 29,  May 6. Register here 

Contact Randy Coloni for assistance, financial aid help, or other questions. 


Feb 1st 6pm – End the Lockdowns Forum at FUS

MOSES stands for Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity, and Solidarity for Criminal Legal System Reform.  JRUUC is a member of this organization.  

WISDOM, Madison Organizing in Strength, Equity and Solidarity (MOSES) and Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO) will host End the Lockdowns and Justice Reinvestment Community Forum on Thursday, February 1, 2024 from 6-8 p.m. at First Unitarian Society of Madison at 900 University Bay Avenue Madison, WI 53705. Join us to meet Madison elected officials, learn about WISDOM’s End The Lockdowns Campaign and provide input on transformational justice priorities in Wisconsin

WISDOM’s End The Lockdowns Campaign seeks to raise awareness on the detrimental effects of lockdowns to people who are incarcerated in Wisconsin’s prisons and their loved ones, urging Governor Tony Evers to use his authority to take action. It aims to close prisons, reduce the prison population and reinvest spending into community resources that decrease crime and strengthen communities.

Currently, we are awaiting response from Madison legislators on who is able to attend. WISDOM leaders will provide a presentation about their vision of justice reinvestment and attendees will be able to share testimonies with lawmakers.. Broadcast will be live streamed on WISDOM, MOSES and EXPO’s Facebook pages.

Register now at the MOSES website.

This event follows a successful event in Milwaukee on December 20 with elected officials. Thanks very much…Joan Kemble


Ojibwe Storyteller Meetings in January

The Racial Justice Action Ministry learned recently that four wonderful Ojibwe storytellers are lined up for this January through the Wisconsin History Project. The meetings are virtual via Zoom, Tuesday evenings, January 9-30, 2024 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. This series is free and open to the public, but registration is required. This year, you only need to register once and you’re automatically signed up for all four storytellers. The zoom link you receive will be good for all four events. Registration is now open. To register, please visit this link 

The storytellers include: Sirella Ford from Lac Courte Oreilles on January 9th, Tina Van Zile from Sokaogon on January 16th, Tinker Schuman from Lac du Flambeau on January 23rd, and Liz Arbuckle, Northern Outreach Coordinator, Wisconsin Historical Society on January 30th


Dec. 21 – Longest Night Memorial @ Capital Square

From our friends at Just Dane: Join us in remembering and honoring people who died without shelter in Dane County and elsewhere. Too often, their deaths are invisible. We will be gathering on Thursday, Dec. 21st, the longest night of the year, with houseless individuals, members of local faith communities and representatives from social service agencies.

3:00pm Service Begins Capitol Square at the intersection of E. Main, S. Pinckney & King Streets

A brief outdoor service with music, prayer, reflections, remembrances of neighbors, horse-drawn hearse procession around Capitol

Donations of warm socks, long underwear, hats and gloves can be dropped off: JustDane Office, 128 E. Olin Ave., Suite 202, Madison, WI 53713. Please enter through the front door of the building. JustDane’s offices are located on the second floor, accessible by stairs or elevator.

Each year we like to create memorial cards for each of the individuals remembered at the event, and for those who may have passed and been remembered in previous years. Eventually we would like to create a Remembrance Wall that would include these cards and could travel to various locations to serve as a traveling memorial to those we mourn. While the service is primarily intended to remember our neighbors, who were homeless when they died, it is also a place where people who are formerly or currently homeless can remember others that they lost but were unable to attend a funeral or memorial service.

With that in mind, we are asking that, if you have someone you would like remembered at the service, that you provide us a little information about the person, their gifts, interests, qualities you admired, anything you would like to share.

Remembrance Form


MOSES Transformation Celebration and Fundraising Gala 

December 9, 5:30 – 9 pm at Brassworks at the Goodman Center

Join us to hear the inspiring stories of our three Honorees to celebrate their accomplishments and to learn more about the work of MOSES. Tickets $75, or $65 for two.  See Mosesmadison.org for more information. JRUUC is a founding member of MOSES.  

And here’s a story about the protest against prison conditions and lockdown.


Native American Heritage Month Events throughout November

If you attended the recent workshop on reparations with the Rev. Kerri Parker, you’ll remember that one of her suggestions was to educate ourselves about our Native siblings by attending public events.  There are many events happening this month, including an introduction to the histories and traditions of Wisconsin’s Native Nations with Tom Jones, and activities throughout the month organized by the UW Indigenous Student Center Coalition.  

Read more about what you can do for Native American Heritage Month in Rev. Karen’s Minister’s Musings for this month.

Reparations Followup Workshop Dec. 3rd

The next religious exploration offering for adults will be a workshop on reparations after the service on Sunday, Dec. 3.  This will be a follow-up to the workshop led by Rev. Kerri Parker in October, and we’ll reflect on the spiritual grounding for reparations and consider concrete actions we might take as a congregation.

The Rev. Kerri Parker is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, and has worked with congregations seeking to restore relationship with the Indigenous people of the land we occupy.  Kerri led our worship and a workshop on October 15th. Click here for her sermon’s recording.

The multiplatform workshop helped us begin the work to refine our land acknowledgement and figure out what reparations might look like for JRUUC.  

Click here for our land acknowledgement page and a recording of the workshop.

Collecting Items for Nehemiah Essentials Pantry Now to December 3rd

Nehemiah (a black-led community development organization) is in need of numerous items in order to create “toiletries” and “laundry” kits which are then distributed to people in need along with food. The Racial Justice Focus Team is requesting that Reeb members consider bringing in the following items (a collection box will be set up in the foyer). 

The fact that there are people in our city without the means to purchase these things for their families is a stark reminder of the inequities that surround us, and providing these items is something we do right here and right now,  while we work on the longer term goal of dismantling the systemic racism and income inequalities which underlie the situation.

For the toiletries Kits:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash / Soap
  • Feminine Hygiene Products

For the Laundry Kits:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Bleach
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Rolls of Quarters

Randy Coloni will then host a kit making event after service on Dec 3rd, with the kits delivered to Nehemiah in time for the December distribution.

Healing House Wish List 

Just Dane’s Healing House is a safe place for families experiencing homelessness to go when a member of the family needs to prepare for a medical procedure, or to recuperate after childbirth or hospitalization.

Guests at Healing House often come there with the bare minimum. Please help us provide some items to make them feel comfortable. The Program Coordinator has developed a wish list of items they need.

View the wish list here

Please sign-up to donate and drop off the smaller items at the Healing House: 303 Lathrop St., Madison, WI 53726 [Added 10/4/23]

Transgender Day of Remembrance Services on Monday, Nov. 20

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.  We gather to remember, and we will continue to gather until we are all accepted for just being us, human beings.  

There are two opportunities to attend TDOR services on Monday, Nov. 20

Here in Madison, there’s an interfaith service organized by Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice and Common Grace.  Because Rev. Karen has done some publicity work for the service, JRUUC is listed as a co-sponsor. 

When and where:

Fitchburg Memorial United Church of Christ at 5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711

  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm Interfaith Service also streamed to YouTube
  • 7:00 – 8:00 pm Fellowship and Community Resource Fair in person only

If you’d prefer a Unitarian Universalist experience, you can attend an online service with UPLIFT Action, Side with Love’s Advocacy team for LGBTQIA+, Gender, and Reproductive Justice, at 3:00 pmRegister here to attend.


”Our History Matters: Wisconsin in Black & White” – Nov. 7

Please join Jeanette and Mike Clawson in attending the screening of Our History Matters: Wisconsin in Black & White on Tuesday, November 7th at 7PM at the Barrymore Theater. This PBS journalism project, created in partnership with the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership, explores the history of racism in the criminal justice and education systems, how these issues are locally unique, as well as efforts to right these wrongs. The first two episodes will be screened as a part of this event. They were reported by PBS reporter of Here & Now, Murv Seymour. Following the screening, Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, founder and president of Nehemiah, will host a dynamic conversation with key individuals who have shaped the need for an understanding of a shared history around racial inequalities in Wisconsin. Anyone interested in carpooling can contact Jeanette.

Click here for more past events, reports, and news