Animal Ministry Committee
Annual Report for Committees, 2019-2020
Committee – Animal Ministry
Committee Chair -Anita Grossman
1st __ 2nd ___ 3rd __3+X Check year of term
Committee Members Laura Culler, Marky Deese, Patty and Mark Drews, Susan and Larry Siegel, Linda Brennison and Anita Grossman.
ANIMAL MINISTRY: MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS YEAR.
– Each year we find certain factors that facilitate or impede our work. The principle problem we seem to have is too few members, despite direct appeal to the congregation in articles or references appearing in the OOS and in the Unigram. We also have always participated in any church-wide recruiting efforts but have not been very successful. One goal for next year is obviously to brainstorm this issue and come up with new strategies. It might be useful, perhaps, to contact our cohorts from other Animal Ministries in neighboring Unitarian churches to see how they address this issue.
– Fortunately, in terms of timing and congregational support, we had our main event, the Blessing of the Animals in early November. After extensive preparation, and outreach to the community at large, as well as UU congregants, over forty individuals and their pets attended the service. We were truly blessed this year to have Reverend Stephen Robinson officiate at the ceremonies and he provided remembrance with gratitude of our pets and then with love for all living creatures. The attending animals were blessed as a group and individually. Reverend Ron Brown played beautiful music throughout the service which helped set the tone for this occasion.
As I mentioned, members of the Animal Ministry are small, but work very hard to put together events. They include Laura Culler, Marky Deese, Patty and Mark Drews, Susan and Larry Siegel, Linda Brennison and Anita Grossman. Honorary members who contribute many hours to our events but who are not “actual” members include Bill Dolley and Joan Watterson.
– This was a very unusual year, both from the standpoint of its abrupt, dramatic change in means of communication, and in terms of the wellbeing of the committee chair, who was in a serious auto accident, followed by a broken arm from a later a fall, and in January suffering a concussion and debilitating cerebral bleed. While the chair recuperated, the church became totally virtual and life as we knew it had changed. Wanting to plunge back into to activities is a goal dictated by the ability to once again host events as we have done in the past such as:
Plant-based Movie and Treat Night,
Plant-based Cooking Classes,
Continuation of Field Trips to Animal Welfare Organizations,
Assigning a UUAM member to work with the CYRE to improve communication and make cooperative plans for the future.
Planning and executing the next Blessing of the Animals event
Formalizing Plant-based eating education in the form of special speakers as well as special dinners
Long range plans would include the collaboration with other Animal Ministry organizations in other UU congregations for advice and support. Also a more in depth attempt to formally educate the more members of the congregation on the merits of adopting a plant-based eating life style.
Anita Grossman, Chair