UU Animal Ministry
The UU Animal Ministry (UUAM) advocates for the rights of all animals through education, legislation and other peaceful means. We seek to exclude all forms of neglect and cruelty to animals. We engage in concrete actions that bring about change at the individual, congregational, community, and societal level.
Seventh Annual Blessing of the Animals!
On a slightly overcast afternoon on November 5, 2017, at 3:00 P.M. sharp, a small crowd of members and friends gathered on the Heyward lawn at UUCC, to have their animals blessed. Before the festivities began, attendees were greeted with cat and dog toys as they assembled to await Reverend Jeff’s ceremony. His event to honor animals was presented in a variety of ways. Rev. Jeff reached out to the group with a sermon, many prayers of thanksgiving, and also included group singing, which involved everyone attending!
Perhaps the highlight of the event was with the animals themselves. Pet owners were asked by Reverend Jeff to voluntarily bring his or her pet before the group, to give a brief bio, and to tell why that animal was special. Heartwarming is the only word that comes mind, as we watched Reverend Jeff on his hands and knees to enable him to be eye-level with each animal, as he stoked the fur and spoke to the pet lovingly.
When this portion of the event was over, everyone was treated to people goodies, while the animals indulged in their well deserved treats. During this social-interactive part of the event, conversations of course revolved around pets, and many new acquaintances were made.
Anita Grossman, Chair of the Animal Ministry would like to thank the following people for their involvement in some, if not all of the various phases of planning, executing, and cleaning up after the event, as well as for bringing the materials, food and the animal treats that were enjoyed. They included: Patty and Mark Drews, Linda Brennison, Marilyn Miss, Marky Deese, Susan and Larry Siegel, Laura Culler and Jody Liebmann. A special shout out also goes to Bill Dolley, for his patience and fortitude in taking responsibility for the banner and for doing such a wonderful job with our set up.
Bark to the Park
The Animal Ministry had a team to walk in the annual Bark to the Park event to benefit Pawmetto Lifeline on Saturday, April 8, 2016. Donations were gratefully accepted to help Pawmetto Lifeline, an animal rescue organization that works to address the problems created by pet overpopulation and include: Adoption, Medical, Rescue, and Education.
In March, the Animal Ministry (UUAM) sponsored a showing of the next film in our Ethical Eating series, PlantPure Nation. It relates to a plant-based diet, research into its efficacy, and the struggles for official political recognition. Once again, we collaborated with Columbia Veg (our local vegetarian society). We began with vegan snacks prior to, and during intermission. It was followed with a lively discussion.
Vegan Pot Luck
On Sunday, October 16th, we held a vegan pot luck in our social hall. The speaker for the evening was Trisha Mandes, MPHN, who spoke about “Dietary disease prevention and reversal: an introduction to the evidence.” This meal was a joint venture between the Animal Ministry, Columbia Veg, and, for the first time, the SC Progressive Network. It was a great success with over 90 people in attendance.
Main Activities of the Animal Ministry:
- Education: We coordinate with Religious Education (RE) to engage the children utilizing their programs (e.g., Hogwarts), through books and speakers (e.g., Carolina Wildlife Care). In addition, we have festivals such as the Blessing of the Animals. Through Meatless Mondays and our various vegan events, cooking classes, and recipe sharing, we encourage lifestyle changes directly related to reducing animal cruelty.
- Legislation: We lobby our SC legislators on bills directly related to animal welfare. We attend legislative committee and subcommittee meetings and help to publicize animal welfare causes both within and outside of the congregation.