Beyond just the usual resolutions, many of us are searching for “things to do” that would meet the forces of hate with even greater forces of love in this new year. Many articles offer helpful suggestions, but most are written for the “generic person”, and so can feel somewhat theoretical rather than tangible. To help us consider what to do in our lives here in Northern Colorado, we’ve compiled the following list of “Five Things to Do in 2017.”  Pick one, or try all of them.  It’s not an exhaustive list by any means – it’s just a way in.  Don’t be overwhelmed with all that needs to be done – if we all do our part and pick up the piece we can, light the one candle that is before us – this is how the world moves forward, and how a greater love can grow.

  1. Be Community for Our Community.  Former Black Panther Angela Davis, in a speech right after the election, said that the only answer for how to proceed is through community.  But meaningful community doesn’t just “happen,” it takes us showing up with intention and commitment. In the new year, here are just a few ways you can show up – follow the email and other links to express your interest. All require no prior experience, and are open to anyone who has a willing spirit, a good sense of humor, and a love for our community, regardless of how long you’ve been a part of Foothills:
    1. Provide meals for those who are ill or grieving, or by providing rides for those who can no longer drive.
    2. Coordinate those rides – we need someone who is good at tracking and connecting people.  
    3. Greet and host Sunday morning – every Sunday needs at least 15 volunteers!
    4. Help grow and share the power of our community by being a part of our Stewardship Team – we especially need great storytellers and those who are passionate about our mission.
    5. Help connect and welcome all the newcomers by joining our Belonging Team.
  2. Serve the Hungry or the Homeless.  In our own congregation, twice a month we distribute food at our mobile Food Bank.  Quarterly we host families experiencing homelessness.  And we are always looking for those who will commit to a 6 month journey to companion homeless families into housing through One Village One Family – a powerful experience that has so far had our congregation see 6 families achieve stable and permanent housing. Our partners at Homeless Gear, the Food Bank for Larimer County and Faith Family Hospitality‘s Day Center are right now seeking additional volunteers.  Follow any of the above links and get involved.  In most cases, this is not a huge amount of time, but it can have an enormous impact on people’s lives – our neighbors’ lives.
  3. Protect and Advocate for Immigrants in Northern Colorado. The Fort Collins’ Immigrant Advocacy Group Fuerza Latina has been organizing powerfully in the past few weeks, creating what they are calling This is Our Home, a network of grassroots committees working on everything from addressing hate speech and bullying in our community to working with the police and the city.  Join one of these committees and help our community be the place we want it to be. Contact Cheryl Distaso. Within our congregation, we are working to hold a workshop with the Interfaith Community about what it means to be Sanctuary Congregations, and to work together on providing safety for immigrants in our community as many other congregations have done over time.  If you’d like to be involved in this effort, contact Anne Hall.
  4. Work Locally on Climate Justice.  In his recent forum at Foothills, Rep. Jared Polis reminded us that our best hope for creative and impactful action on the environment is at the local level. Our City Council is right now considering whether to take a stand nationally. Connect with the Fort Collins Sustainability Group to get involved in this and other local advocacy.  Foothills has also recently become a sponsor of the local chapter of the bi-partisan effort Citizens Climate Lobby.  Many Unitarian Universalists nationwide are engaged in this work – why not join them this year? Finally, we’re excited to be hosting a workshop in February based in the work of environmental activist Joanna Macy – look for more information and be sure to attend!
  5. Pick a Sustaining Practice and Stick With It. The path ahead is not an easy or short journey.  This is why we’re prioritizing helping you find your sustaining practice in 2017.  Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chih, Tonal Chant, Connecting in Nature….explore all of these and more in our Sustaining Practices Overview January 19th or 22nd – more information coming soon.