Below are programs that fall into what we call the “Community Connections” cluster. These programs are part of the ways we reach out beyond our walls and work to affect the change we dream of not just in our church, but in the wider world through accountable partnership.
Racial Justice Program
January, and year round as appropriate – Members keep TVUUC members and friends informed of the activities and events scheduled in January by the Knox County Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission, and encourage TVUUC participation. Assure that the interests and concerns of TVUUC are represented in the deliberations and planning of the Commission. Attempt to keep TVUUC members and friends apprised year round of activities in, by, and on behalf of Knoxville’s communities of color, and to raise TVUUC’s profile in Knoxville’s communities of color.
Sundays, once or twice a year – Works with MEDIC Regional Blood Center to set up blood drives at the church. Most healthy people at least 16 years old can donate. A coordinator assists in publicizing the blood drive, signing up donors, and overseeing the process on the designated Sunday. If enough donate (35% of total church members currently needed), the church receives group coverage, one year’s exemption from any blood supplier’s processing costs for all persons in every TVUUC member household.
Volunteer Assisted Transportation
In some cases, the church can provide rides to church for people who cannot drive and need personal assistance. Our volunteer drivers undergo extensive training and use hybrid vehicles provided through a partnership with the CAC Volunteer Assisted Transportation program. Those seeking rides must first apply to CAC, and ride availability depends on volunteer drivers. New drivers are welcome and are much appreciated! To volunteer, or to get an application form for a ride, contact the TVUUC office.
Gun Sense Outreach
As an in-house “affiliate” of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, this program will have the objective to educate church members and friends on the Moms agenda and to encourage all to be active in promoting gun sense initiatives at the local, state and national levels. Additionally, once established at TVUUC, the committee will reach out to other churches and attempt to establish a similar Moms program within those communities. Members and friends of TVUUC, as well as those of other area churches, are welcome to attend. We will meet once a month initially. There are no costs associated with membership of this committee.
Denominational Affairs Committee
As needed – Members promote participation by TVUUC in activities sponsored by larger Unitarian Universalist groups including the East Tennessee UU Cluster, Southern Region activities (examples: Southern UU Leadership Experience and Southeast UU Summer Institute) and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Organizes and makes the congregation aware of activities and discussions raised at the UUA General Assembly, while providing feedback to the UUA. The committee ensures TVUUC is represented at meetings of the East Tennessee Cluster of UU Churches.
East Tennessee Cluster of Unitarian Universalist Churches
Monthly meetings, 12 noon at Westside UU Church – A group of representatives – ministers and lay people – gather from the four local UU churches, often also including congregations in Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities. Representatives discuss and organize events of common interest to all the churches, usually geared towards training, educational or social action efforts. The Cluster also plans social events designed to increase interaction and learning among the different congregations. Cluster representatives need to have an interest in Unitarian Universalism beyond their own congregation, and be willing to promote Cluster events in their congregations.