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.

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 for more information. JRUUC is a founding member of MOSES.  

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

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]

JRUUC Works for Justice! Sign-up for our Justice email list

Justice Coordinating Team Meeting, 3rd Tuesday of the month @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, on Zoom. If you would like to attend, please send a request to join the Google Group: and you will get the agenda and Zoom link sent to you every month and you can also be involved in group discussions.

The JRUUC Justice Coordinating Team meets monthly via zoom on the 3rd or 4th Tuesday at 7pm. All are welcome to attend the meetings! Check your weekly newsletter or this space for each month’s exact date.

Click here to find out about justice work at JRUUC and how you can get involved.

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.

Just Bakery Returns to JRUUC!

Get your goodies after Sunday Services in the foyer and support a just cause. 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.

Watch this space for the next date – Probably December 17th.

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

August 2023 – Under “Old Law” prisoners were given long sentences, then expected to be eligible for parole before serving the whole time.  In the 1980s the law changed, disallowing paroles.

Wisdom, the overall group that works with MOSES and other such groups around Wisconsin, is a new campaign to give a second chance for two prisoners with excessive sentences.  It has identified two prisoners imprisoned when young with extenuating circumstances.  In April at Madison Action Day the requests and supporting documentation for commutation were presented to Gov. Evers.

There is a petition campaign so the Governor will see support for this.  To sign go here or better still circulate a petition; give it to Joan Kemble. We also suggest you write a short letter to Gov Evers for commutation.

MOSES meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 2:30pm.  They are in person at various churches, but also on zoom.  Contact the Secretary of MOSES for the zoom address and for meeting location. The September meeting will be at James Reeb on Sept. 10th.

Visit the MOSES website here for more information

In Our Wider Communities…

Past Events, Actions, and News

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.

Poor People’s Campaign Meeting 11/16 7pm Online

Learn about the foundations of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival as well as exciting opportunities to come in Madison in 2024!

November 16 7-8:30pm Online Meeting – More Info here

”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